Since the acclaimed success of Moonshine Freeze in 2017. A further album from mesmerising folk band This Is The Kit has been highly anticipated. Having teased fans with new songs during shows for over a year now. Today, our first real glimpse into This Is The Kit’s 6th studio album Off Off On was given. Exclusively through BBC6Music, the band debuted the upcoming albums lead single This Is What You Did.
Unmistakably folk music at its best, the single bursts to life with gorgeous banjo playing, before the sweet vocals of Kate Stables weave through. A song embodying entrancing thoughts and excess time to ponder. Lyrics depict being trapped within yourself and the deprecating thoughts that accompany those feelings of isolation. Swirling rumination, paranoia and a cycle that repeats itself, in a saga of sleepless nights and endless days. More prominent now than ever for many of us.
Described by Kate Stables herself as a panic attack within a song. The message and lyrics are both incredibly emotive. Yet, the song is just so beautifully delivered, you can’t help but reach for that play button over and over again.
A stunning introduction to what is set to be an incredibly beautiful album. I am so eagerly excited for any future releases to come.
Off Off On is scheduled to be released on 23rd October 2020 via Rough Trade Records
I have one word to describe this band and their sound, and that is intriguing. I had never encountered Sorry before 925 burst on the scene. I merely saw an album from a band unknown to me, receiving rave reviews on social media. Therefore of course my curiosity was peaked, and it wasn’t long before I indulged my senses with their debut album release.
925 greeted me as a gorgeous medley of sound. Each song is able to capture a different mood and feeling. With every individual element of each song reflecting this. It appeared to me as though they have been crafted meticulously, from their lyrics through to each note of their musical content. Different instruments are used within every song to create a unique vibe for each.
With each song having its own uniqueness, this does mean that overall tracks on the album do contrast. However, I don’t see this as a bad thing. These contrasting sounds blend together to create a kaleidoscope. Complete clarity can never be captured within this album, as we are taken on a wild ride both lyrically and musically, but I believe that is the point. The album is a trippy, euphoric rush. Moods sway and vocals swing. It’s a meticulous, gorgeous high.
I have seen this band described as having an ‘I don’t care’ attitude. Through the album however, personally I struggle to find this. There is a confidence present of course, although, I perceive Sorry as a band experimenting and breaking boundaries through their debut album. 925 is an experiment with impeccable results surely, I am left wondering how there could possibly be any anomalies present?
Whether Sorry constructed 925 on an arrogant social whim, frankly has no impact on me. I can see they have sought inspiration from and interpolated well-known tracks, however I only have admiration for their boldness. To be so blasé, and use popular releases to create something new. Yes it does snub the noses of their predecessors slightly, but they have crafted their influences into their own forms of artwork. In no way are the songs of 925 carbon copies of resembling sounds before them.
The album is meant to be beautifully woozy and dream-like. This is what we should focus on, if we possibly can. Hazy vocals clash with jarring instruments and create songs that shake and wake you up. Vocals are bordering on mundane but, they’re not. I can’t help but feel that lead vocalist Asha Lorenz, purposefully mutes her sound to stir emotions and hook onto the ledge of a feeling.
To hone in and cherry pick my favourite tracks for you to listen to, would not do this album justice. Listeners who capture the spirit of 925 as a whole, will enjoy the freedom it offers from its fluidity, and relish in the mystery of this intriguing band.
Every Bad, the second album from Brighton’s Porridge Radio is in many ways their debut. Previous quietened bedroom recordings paved the way, allowing them to flourish on stage; captivating their audiences and myself. We hear a sound blossomed into music so pure, lead singer and songwriter Dana Margolin’s voice can only be described as incredible. No longer do Porridge Radio hide behind a hushed, whimsical ghost of their former sound. Today Porridge Radio are a reflection of the hurricane we behold on stage, and the storm is phenomenal.
Following their signing to Secretly Canadian, Porridge Radio have toured relentlessly, enabling their music to be heard across the globe, and in turn gaining them a wave of new listeners. I have been a fan of theirs for the last couple of years now and was lucky enough to first watch then performing in a room with no more than 20 others. Dana’s voice captivated me then, with such intensely driven songs. I knew that one day the band would skyrocket. It looks as though that day has come.
‘Every Bad’ is in no uncertain terms, an exquisite album. The eccentrically beautiful collection of jarring songs, somehow compliment one another in the most gorgeous way possible. Lyrically, each is home to their own unique message, but intertwine to become a screaming ode to and advocate of mental health, both for the individual and humanity as a collective.
The album is raw and honest, nothing is hidden. We are graced with truths in their purest forms; hurt is shown to us, shame is shown to us, denial, loss, indescribable self loathing and agony are shown to us. However we are also gifted with self-belief, love, acceptance and strength. We as humans can harbour anxiety, depression and worry inside of us. Through ‘Every Bad’ Porridge Radio explore how we can learn to accept them, and the incredible bravery of this. Dana has written the album drawing vastly on her own experiences and emotions in life. I believe this gives ‘Every Bad’ a wonderfully human aspect.
There isn’t a single song that is anything short of mesmerising. Every detail knitted and woven into each has been carefully stitched, creating an album crafted to evoke feeling. The lyrics are haunting and resonate deeply. Sung with such passion that you are moved from within your very core. ‘Every Bad’ wraps itself around your heart, and lingers longingly in your mind.
Not a single fragment of Porridge Radio’s powerful live sound is lost within it. It is undeniable that as an album ‘Every Bad’ is groundbreaking. I have relished in and written about every single offering provided in the lead up to this album release, and in many ways I feel that Porridge Radio have allowed us to travel on this journey with them.
‘Every Bad’ is an album that will hold different emotions and different outlooks for each listener. Although the musical and lyrical content of each song will not change, how we perceive it based on our own mindset will vary. Although do not believe that Porridge Radio do not know this. I firmly believe that the album was written for this very reason. ‘Every Bad’ is an experience of reflection, growth and acceptance for each listener it pours upon, from the start to the very finish. A gift in the form of unwavering, brutal honesty. What better way to experience such an intense emotional outpouring, than through the medium of music?
I have to echo my past thoughts, and say that standout favourites for me remain to be Circling and Sweet. Circling for its unwashed beauty and clarity. The single is just homely and fills me with daydreams of the sea and becoming lost within my own thoughts. Sweet for its sheer impact and the intensity of it, with a sound so hard-hitting and raw. Both songs possess the most captivating lyrics for different reasons. Circling embodies emotions such as love, longing and escapism, whereas Sweet draws on feelings of anger, confusion and denial, but in the end these emotions are relinquished and in time we perceive self-love and acceptance instead.
I was also pleasantly surprised to find a re-recorded version of an old favourite of mine, Born Confused, opening the album. This song was at home in my online music library for a while, until one day it disappeared. I was heartbroken at it being pulled, but believed it could be due to record label reasons. It was a joy to rediscover the song on ‘Every Bad’, with a slightly different sound but remaining still as mesmerising as ever. As is the same for the emergence again of older material, in the form of Give/Take and Don’t Ask Me Twice, both of which Porridge Radio fans will already be familiar with.
This familiarity and inclusion of older material on the album, envelopes what I have been saying throughout. Porridge Radio are nothing if not true to themselves. Older songs have allowed them to bloom yet still remain a part of them. Their places on the album are cherished nods to the bands past.
‘Every Bad’ is a journey for Porridge Radio and the listener alike. A kaleidoscope of emotion and feeling which can expand the horizons of your sight and sound, allowing for a sense of awakening. The album has been created using a variety of instruments and each song is curated with its own blend of music. The album pushes Porridge Radio to showcase every aspect of their incredible talent. This talent is always seen on stage, but now it is in our hands. We can immerse ourselves in their glorious music whenever we need to.
This album was released on Christmas Day. Before this, it was kept a total secret. There were none of the usual pre-album single releases, or marketing strategies to prepare us. We weren’t aware this was happening, until the tweet came through on the bands page and the album was available to stream online. What a present it was.
The surprise element sent fans into melt down, and there was no denying the buzz around this album. So many questions teemed about it from not only fans, but names in the music industry too I’m sure. The release was a completely wonderful surprise. As it was Christmas Day though, I struggled to find a moments peace to listen to the album in full. On Boxing Day morning, I seized my chance. I listened to the album in its entirety, twice for good measure. My first impression? Honestly, it’s just stunning.
This new album has stripped Blaenavon back to their roots entirely. Recorded mainly just using a piano and an acoustic guitar. It consists of pure, raw, emotional lyrics that encapsulate singer Ben’s struggle with anxiety and depression. The album speaks of pain and hurt, but also of recovery and redemption. It’s a stunning vocal outlet of emotion and feeling, gift wrapped in gorgeous piano playing and acoustic melodies.
Stand out favourites for me are ‘Michael’, ‘slow down, cyclist’ and ‘write it down’. I just love how real and simply recorded these songs are. I don’t think I can gush about this album more. The way they’ve left dialogue in from where they’ve conducted the recording session, the emotional conversations, the odd bursts of laughter. It doesn’t appear to me that there were any forced retakes, any attempts at utter perfection. This album is perfect simply as it is. Blaenavon. Ben. Honestly this album is a masterpiece, and you should be very, very proud of it.
The songs are extremely touching and truthful. Whether there is intense meaning behind them, or whether they are simply the produce of a recording whim on the spot. The fact they leave the listener guessing and to draw on their own conclusions is magical in itself. For me, this album isn’t one that necessary needs to be understood and dissected lyric for lyric, as I have seen people calling for. It just needs to be listened to. It’s beautiful.
“What happens when you listen to one version of something so much that when it’s properly recorded it’s difficult to accept.”