With just over a month to go until the release of highly anticipated EP ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ Dan Bettridge has gifted us with another slice of what we can expect, in the form of latest single Sign.
Following a hiatus from releasing music since 2019. The dawn of 2021 saw the appearance of initial ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ offering, Habitat. The electro style composition was unheard of from Dan Bettridge before now. Yet, layering synths against a cool percussion provided a fresh vibrance, and the ability to add a new genre, into an already impressive repertoire. Alongside EP co-producer Minas, Dan Bettridge is embracing a bold experimental style, and we like it.
Sign affirms what had been pre-empted from gorgeously emotive April release Love Ain’t For Everyone. Heavy in sentiment and flooded with memories. Dan Bettridge evokes a softer, more sultry sound, that certainly knows how to get pulses racing.
Placing vocals at the forefront, the emphasis is lyrical, captivated by moody blue vocals. Stirring our senses and brooding nostalgia. With co-lyricists Hannah Graceand Martin Luke Brown at his side, it was clear that Sign was destined to swim with emotional depth.
Having awakened a new era within his music. Dan Bettridge stands unapologetic and unafraid. Brave and bold. Words can barely emphasise the evolution we have witnessed from this musician.
Whether it is a period of growth, or a period of reflection. Old stirring emotions or a contemporary change. What remains, is that Dan Bettridge has the ability to tap into our most inner emotions. Capturing fleeting moments of his life in sheer beauty through the medium of music.
We await ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ with bated breath.
Stream ‘Sign’ on all platforms now via Channel Analog Records
Rona Mac is a musical enigma nestled in the heart of Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Wind swept by the sea, and mysteriously combed by the countryside. Debut album Sheelah was nothing shy of mesmerising. Aching with earnest acoustics, laced against licks of fierce, raw lyrical honesty. Rona Mac set our souls alight with an untamed DIY approach, that resulted in the most confessional, heartfelt body of work.
Often so bold as to go where no lyricist has gone before, Rona Mac’s charm exudes from her unwavering realness. Writing, performing, mixing and mastering initial indie-folk tracks alone. Rona relished in clattering makeshift instruments together to create song. Curating her debut in the cosy corner of a caravan. Carefully extracting each passing thought, each pang of a memory, each pestering desire to scream out how she truly felt. To capture songs that played out like snapshots of her life, in the hope of awakening and inspiring others.
Returning in 2021 with latest single ‘Weapon’. Rona Mac is out to make her mark on the music industry, and make an impact she certainly does. Breaking boundaries, Rona soars with a newfound untamed sound, as ‘Weapon’ quickly engulfs each and every one of its listeners. Brooding over the bark of a heavy bass guitar, before bursting into the addictive fizz of an indie-pop anthem. Gone are the pots and pans as makeshift drums, and welcomed are the grazes from electric guitar strings. This meaner, moodier style adds an unexpected but gorgeous grit. Allowing Rona Mac to delve even deeper into her intoxicating lyrical honesty.
Expansive and undeniably different, ‘Weapon’ is musically miles away from debut DIY album Sheelah. Yet this intriguing switch of styles shows clear progression for Rona Mac, and will leave listeners desperately needing to hear more.
A standout symbol for queer identity, a blazing feminist icon, bundled up in dog-eared folk tenderness. Rona Mac is the glorious hippie muse we all yearn to be, and will certainly yearn to listen to.
Stream ‘Weapon’ on all platforms now via Rose Parade Recording Co.
As Spring bursts into bloom, our favourite queen of hearts Rebecca Hurn returns with her stunning single, Panic. Due for release on 30th April, but available to pre-save now. The single is a follow-up to the gorgeously festive Something About Christmas and October’s mesmerising Love Like This. Written among the bustling romantic boulevards of New York City, almost 2 years to the date. Asides from an intimate live performance at Bleecker Street’s The Bitter End, Hurn has kept this latest surprise single close to her chest until now.
Deeply personal, Panic is a poignant pop track that explores the highs and the lows that we can go through at the beginning of a new relationship. Hand in hand, Hurn sweeps us away with majestic song writing, cradled by the caress of sweetened vocal chords. Striking the balance just right, between story-telling and song. Instruments are perfectly paired, as gentle acoustics glide across verses, and the chorus breaks with building percussion. Bold enough to make a memorable impact, just as a quickened heartbeat would when caught in the moment.
A singer songwriter drawing largely upon her own experiences for inspiration. Rebecca Hurn divulges music as a memoir. Heartbreakingly honest, leaving no emotion unexplored, or a word left unsaid. Panic is poignant yet perfect, as it captures those inner monologues that we often shy away from expressing ourselves.
Following the intimate debut performance of Panic in New York, Rebecca Hurn described the tracks meaning herself:
“I have this thing where I think…. when I’m like – I start seeing somebody – Oh my God I know how this is going to end and it’s never nice – so I think when it’s good ….I’m like Oh God when is this going to go wrong! So that is what this is kind of about.”
This keen ability to match unhindered lyrics, with a soft and almost delicate soundscape, allows Hurn to truly tap into theemotions of her listeners. There is an air of wonder and magic to her music, with its twinkling acoustic strums and patters of percussion. Yet also that firm grounding from its emotive meaning, and a compellingly raw human aspect that yearns from the aching truth in her vocals. Creating music that makes us feel alive, by making us feel.
Produced and recorded by Cardiff-based Lee Jon House, Panic is a beautiful single from a mesmerising musician. It is with excitement that we wait to behold what the rest of 2021 has in-store for Rebecca Hurn.
With an appearance at The Isle of Wight Festivalset for September. To our delight, it won’t be long until Rebecca Hurn will be enchanting audiences once again.
Mr Bewlay is an eccentric musician, determined to re-define everything that we know about music. From the bright and bubbly Her Name is Juniper to the sombre piano ballads of Fake Yourself. Bewlay is shaking off genres and shaking up our eardrums. Yearning that we explore as many new sounds and styles as possible. Proudly breaking away from any constraints of the mainstream, Bewlay paves his own beautiful path, and it’s a road that we certainly want to join him on.
Latest track Dan “The Don” Wilson introduces itself with a thumping 80s synth line. Pair this with marvellously kooky lyrics about central character “The Don”, and Bewlay strikes gold yet again. From music that is mind-warpingly mesmerising, to a story unusually fascinating. Bewlay makes no apologies for allowing all forms of their creativity to flow free.
On the topic of his latest release, Mr Bewlay discusses:
“Dan “The Don” Wilson is really a deep look into opposites. I teamed up with my old friend Dai Griffiths [producer] again and together we built up this song from fragments and incomplete ideas. At one point we didn’t know where it was heading and let the song guide itself, it was very exciting! I really wanted to convey the stark difference between the commercial instrumentation and the surreal lyrics and I wanted that to be the underlying theme of the track, that of beauty and ugliness.”
Not merely content with releasing music that is any way “normal”, Bewlay shines as a charade character himself. With an ingenious, read between the lines style of song-writing. On this latest track, Bewlay pens lyrics that purposefully don’t make sense.
Off the wall and intentionally strange. Dan “The Don” Wilson unfolds into music that we are not meant to understand. Ingulfed instead by thoughts of “Triple Decker Bacon Supremes” we allow ourselves to be transported into this artist’s colourful world. A place where the ordinary surely becomes extraordinary, Bewlay provides a musical thrill ride full of twists and turns. As a listener, you never know what to expect next, and that is what makes Mr Bewlay so bewilderingly brilliant to behold.
Produced by Dai Griffiths, Dan “The Don” Wilson is the 2nd instalment in Mr Bewlay’s ‘Synthwave Trilogy’. This independent release has incorporated multi-media assets from likeminded independent artists. Including bespoke pieces from Veronika Purplesfinx, Stephanie Gunnz, Emily Irvin and Rose Ashley. The cover art for the single was digitally created by the Irish artist Cor McGowan and fulfils the theme of contrast with the uncanny-valley burger, dripping with meat, grease and cheese.
Stream ‘Dan “The Don” Wilson’ on all platforms now
An EP from Welsh indie-quintet Campfire Social has been highly anticipated for some time now. Following the stirring buzz that swarmed from singles released throughout 2020 and early 2021. Latest EP release ‘Everything Changed’ encapsulates the excitement and intoxicating energy that has exuded from their music.
Taking a big bite out of 90s emo-pop, with a heady injection of 00s indie vibrance. Campfire Social create a sound that reverberates delight across audiences. Tapping into different moods and genres, each song on their brand-new EP showcases its own unique style.
Opening with EP-entitled track Everything Changed, we are catapulted into the melodic atmosphere that Campfire Social create so well. Dual vocal harmonies from lead Tom and co-vocalist Carrie pair gorgeously together, delivering blissful indie goodness to the core.
Lacing guitar-laden melodies against thought-provoking lyrics. It’s Not Goodbye (To Those We Left Behind) has all the charm of indie-pop, with pockets of punk nostalgia. Musically breezy and upbeat, but lyrically emotive and stirring. These two elements curate together so pleasantly, you could be forgiven for dancing over the tracks tear-jerking, deeper meaning.
Stand out favourite, Awake in the Wake of a Wave, builds beautifully. Truly reminiscent of a rolling oceans tide. Delicate and light at first, with minimal instruments and soft-toned vocals. Lyrics focus on the uncertainty and dread that can swallow us when we feel trapped in situations. As the tempo of the track picks up, and the lyrics switch to the hope of finding happiness in new circumstances. The mid-section bursts into life. Combining a variety of instruments, to erupt in euphoric music, that is such a joy to listen to.
To cool the tempo down, Campfire Social proceed with the hazy, dreamlike Speak Louder. Washing over us with the softest, most comforting hints of acoustics. Although do not be fooled, this isn’t a track mistaken for being “entirely acoustic”. Giving us just a subtle taste of the bands ability to explore more ambient soundscapes. It does bring a smile to your face to discover that pop of ingenious flair Campfire Social possess, when you hear an instrument such as a banjo, join the mix.
Although not to disappoint fans of those purely poignant, spine-tingling blues. On the Subject of Death is the EPs most heartbreaking listen. Providing a few minutes to pause and reflect, over what is otherwise a playful and experimental sound. Instruments are stripped-back, vocals soar at the forefront. The track provides clarity and calm, giving us just a moment to capture ourselves before Campfire Social close their EP. Final track Wherever Your Rest Your Head is an ode to American pop-punk, proving to be the perfect musical equivalent of a polaroid snapshot. Embodying jangled guitars and sharp defined vocals, the song sparks memories of first loves and the giddiness of youth.
An emotional rollercoaster ride from start to finish. ‘Everything Changed’ really does shine, celebrating music and all it stands for. Brimming with nostalgic throwbacks, a vibrant medley of sound and inspiring lyrics. Campfire Social have captured our thoughts, feelings and emotions through the medium of song. Tuning into those momentous highs and crushing lows, with each jangled guitar strum or vocal note latching onto our inner-monologue in harmonious symmetry.
Stream ‘Everything Changed’ on all platforms now via Mai 68 Records
After a hiatus from releasing music, Swansea favourites Trampolene return with rousing spoken-word track ‘Come Join Me In Life’.
Fronted by Jack Jones, Trampolene are certainly not a band to shy away from. Boasting music that is unapologetically loud, outspoken, and bold. This 3-piece have garnered a reputation for packed-out, reckless, and brilliant live shows.
Quickly becoming infamous for their ability to combine raucous indie rock music and spoken word poetry, capable of intoxicating any chaos-hungry audience. Future crowd pleaser ‘Come Join Me In Life’ elevates Trampolene even further, as it delights with a no holds barred, gorgeously untamed approach. Definitely one that Jones will have fans reeling back to him at every upcoming Trampolene gig.
Stirring, and at times intentionally and purposefully unsettling. The singer-songwriter addresses us as though we are a boisterous crowd pouring down a flooded street. Jones at the forefront, demanding justice for each and every one of our lives.
A modern-day wordsmith, delivering poignantly punchy points and fiercely frank truths. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ is poetry that invades your mind and overtakes your voice. Etching itself upon your memory, with an eerily divine presence. “I belong in this poem and I belong in this pen. I belong in your head every now and then.” Through gloriously unrefined and powerful words, Jones has made clear impact, as the phrase “working-class hero” surely springs to mind. Aiming to empower and encourage, walking the line between rebellion and redemption, with glorious reckless abandon.
Heightening emotions, challenging thought processes, and demanding us to firmly grasp what we want out of life with both hands. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ fuels political fires and breaks from convention, as the track roars in solidarity with recent cultural and historical movements. Jones taking centre stage as that pillar so desperately needed, to prop up every single underrepresented voice. Giving much needed encouragement and support at a time where we must stand united to survive.
‘Come Join Me In Life’ is out now via Strap Originals
Horizons are set to embark on their Independent Venue Week Tour of Wales. Between the 25th-31st of January prepare to be enthralled by exciting sets from the incredible new Horizons prodigies, as well as performances by many other Welsh bands, including special appearances from HoldingAbsence and Junior. As sessions from the artists are streamed online, there is a focus on not just marvellous music talent, but also a spotlight on various venues across Wales.
The Horizons tour will celebrate and champion Independent Venues, in need of as much love and support as we can muster, following the unprecedentedly tough backlash of COVID-19. Although we won’t be attending these glorious Welsh venues in person for now, we can certainly be present in spirit, with Horizons streaming sets at 12pm each day for viewers to enjoy at home.
Immerse yourself in the best new musical talent Wales has to offer, right from the heart of our beloved independent venues. From mountain top Neuadd Ogwen in Bethesda, to the west coast’s Queen’s Hall in Narberth. We journey to the modern Galeri in Caernarfon, and flow into inner city hubs Sin City in Swansea and Le Pub in Newport. Across the upcoming days, Horizons Independent Venue Week Tour of Wales will explore some of our most cherished venues. Celebrating and showcasing their crucial role, fostering the next generation of Welsh music talent.
Bethan Elfyn, Project Manager of Horizons for BBC Wales said:
“We’ve been watching helplessly as Covid-19 has kept venues and theatres from opening, keeping communities that need each other apart, keeping us from watching, supporting and growing talent in Wales, and keeping us from the benefits of wellbeing and personal growth that music brings to life.”
“Independent Venue Week is a chance to celebrate everything about our map of venues around Wales, the maverick producers and promoters behind the venues, and the talent that would normally fill the empty buildings with life. The tour is a celebration of what we have, what we miss, and a nod to the future when we can get back to the community that we’ve missed.”
The line-up of musicians to perform, include hip hop artist Mace the Great, r&b singer Faith, rock band Those Damn Crows, urban siblings Leila McKenzie and K(e)nz, country vocalist Jodie Marie, alternative singer-songwriter and producer Rona Mac, low fi enigma Ennio The Little Brother, Gwilym frontman Ifan Pritchard, blues rock pair Alffa, female duo Body Water, and electro pop artist Malan.
In what will be a rather special but poignant week for music, Horizons are taking the opportunity to bring us closer together. Sharing sets from artists, your stories and our memories of music at its very greatest, as emerging talent has thrived through independent venues. Show your love for your favourite venues by streaming and sharing throughout the week, with Horizons.
Cradling tender emotion in the palm of their hands, is a skill that Cardiff indie-pop band Rosehip Teahouse have completely perfected. Boasting a back catalogue of gorgeously cathartic music. Latest EP ‘Fine’ merges old and new tracks, entwining memories, thoughts and feelings into just shy of a blissful 15 minutes.
Swooning vocals from lead singer Faye Rogers glide ever so delicately across a soundscape of lightly placed instruments. Twinkling keyboards shimmer among a subtle pop of synths. While guitars nip, and drums dance, adding just enough grandeur to collate that “full band” sound. Rosehip Teahouse carefully ensure their blend of instruments is not overpowering, but instead provide a sound that is wholesome and pleasant to the palate.
It is a delight to rediscover gems such as ‘No Gloom’ and ‘Summer Sleep’ from very early demo recordings, alongside new singles ‘I Meant What I Said’, ‘A Million Times’ and ‘I’m Not Whole’. We hear a progression in songwriting style as Rosehip Teahouse have grown, yet cherish the emotions forever present within their music. Embodying such poignant pleasure, from their very conception as a band.
Of Rosehip Teahouse’s latest EP, Faye expresses; “The fine EP is a collection of moments that span from 2016 to now. They cover love, losing love, fighting an eating disorder that wanted to take me over completely, my unregulated emotions, dreams (both literal and metaphorical) finding some sort of meaning amongst it all and coming out the other side, slightly stronger as a result of it. A lot of the songs are re-arrangements of the very earliest Rosehip demos and it’s been really cathartic and really special to let them free with the help of the rest of the band. I hope people can relate to the songs, give them a home for a bit and feel at least a little supported in the struggles we all have staying grounded in this overwhelming world.”
‘Fine’ is without doubt, another firm favourite, more than capable of capturing hearts and bottling heartbreak. Exquisite in its fragile delivery of unwavering lyrics, Rosehip Teahouse share a true depiction of our innermost self-doubts and worries. Swathed within the most beautiful music.
Stream ‘Fine’ on all platforms now via Big Indie Records
This year has seenHorizons’ most diverse selection to date, with a record number of female and black musicians awarded funding. Putting a spotlight on the exciting growth of MOBO (music of black origin) throughout Wales.
Musicians from a range of genres have received funding to aid their career development.
If you’re unfamiliar with Horizons and the work they do. Horizons are a Welsh music collective, formed from a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales and the Arts Council of Wales. Focused on supporting Welsh musicians, producers and record labels. Horizons have an active presence on social media, and are advocates for Welsh talent. Investing, supporting, and providing a platform for music in our country to grow.
The Horizons Launchpad established in 2014, has so far helped to support more than 200 Welsh artists, in over 60 towns. Providing £210,000 worth of funding, to pay for the for likes of studio time, music equipment, promotion of releases and a multitude of projects, for the musicians selected each year.
During an extremely tough year for music as a whole. Horizons Launchpad have awarded £40,000 in total, between a mix of musicians, taking the crucial next steps in their careers. Welsh record labels High Grade Grooves (Caernarfon), Recordiau Jingcal (Cardiff) and Something Out of Nothing (Cardiff) also received funding, as Horizons deepened its support of grassroots, who foster and provide a platform for emerging talent.
Deciding which lucky applicants are chosen to receive funding, is a panel of 25 experts from across the Welsh music industry. Made up of musicians, DJs, industry representatives, radio presenters, PR, bloggers, and many more!
This year, I was given the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Horizons Launchpad Panel
Being on the launchpad panel for 2020 has been such a rewarding experience. It was amazing to see a number of applicants that were so passionate about developing their music careers. Showcasing such an innovative flair, while remaining considerate of the implications of COVID-19.
I was moved by musicians who took the DIY approach in hand, and yearned to create something otherworldly. Whether it was recognising the importance of social media self-promotion, or thinking about utilising the skills of Welsh freelancers to help with their creations. Music from all genres are bursting out of Wales, and it is clear to hear the love for music, that every single person who applied has!
The most treasured part of the process for me, was seeing the sheer determination that everyone applying possessed. It’s no secret that 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to music, but the passion and creativity of so many of YOU, is just completely inspiring.
I want to say a huge congratulations to every artist or label awarded funding, and also a massive well done to everyone who had taken the time to apply to the Horizons Launchpad. You’ve all done yourselves, and Welsh music, extremely proud!
Horizons will be celebrating this years Launchpad Results with a multi-platform virtual festival, highlighting the new artists!
Well, it’s December 1st and Christmas is on its way. For me though, this date marks something rather special on my calendar. Today celebrates 1 year since I started ‘Becky and the Bands’, and what a year it has been!
What was just an idea in my head and a burst of enthusiasm, has grown to become something I could never have imagined. Beginning writing with nothing other than an incredible love of music, putting my thoughts out there was very scary! Yet I received such an overwhelming amount of love and support from you all, and every day since, I remain in complete awe at how much positivity and warmth you continue to show me. I cannot put into words how sincerely grateful I am. ‘Becky and the Bands’ has provided not only amazing opportunities, but also wonderful friendships, experiences and a complete adoration for the music industry.
We are all aware that 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges on the world, but there is no denying that it has hit music so earth-shatteringly hard. However, despite all of the chaos brought upon us. We continue to support, nurture, and provide for one another. Showing bold bravery in the face of uncertainty, and an unbreakable bond — That has brought us all even closer together, despite being so far apart.
Music lives within each and every one of us. It is our passion, and our comfort. It keeps us busy, and calms us down. It is our livelihood, and our lifeline. Music may not be playing as loud as we would love it to be heard right now, but if you listen close enough, then you’ll realise that WE are music. We play the instruments, plug in the speakers. Our voices, our words and our passion are what keep us going right now
Writing has been a tremendous help to me over the past year. Discovering and celebrating brilliant new music, getting to know so many lovely musicians, working with the most incredible companies, publications and individuals. Music has opened my heart to an entirely new outlook on life. However what it has shown me the most, is how hardworking, dedicated and inspiring music, and everyone who is a part of it, really is.
A huge THANK YOU to you all!
Your support this year has meant the world to me, and I’m so grateful for you!
Happy 1st Birthday
Becky and the Bands
I wanted to celebrate the amazing musicians I have written about this year!
The most experimental and groundbreaking of his work to date. Dan Bettridge has made a fierce return to music, in the run up to latest EP ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ Lyrically immersing himself in new depths, whilst musically reaching new heights. Bettridge has boldly tread into unexplored territory, harnessing newfound vocal effects, an array of…Continue reading »
With just over a month to go until the release of highly anticipated EP ‘Good People. Bad Habits.’ Dan Bettridge has gifted us with another slice of what we can expect, in the form of latest single Sign. Following a hiatus from releasing music since 2019. The dawn of 2021 saw the appearance of initial ‘Good People. Bad…Continue reading »
Rona Mac is a musical enigma nestled in the heart of Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Wind swept by the sea, and mysteriously combed by the countryside. Debut album Sheelah was nothing shy of mesmerising. Aching with earnest acoustics, laced against licks of fierce, raw lyrical honesty. Rona Mac set our souls alight with an untamed DIY approach, that resulted…Continue reading »
As Spring bursts into bloom, our favourite queen of hearts Rebecca Hurn returns with her stunning single, Panic. Due for release on 30th April, but available to pre-save now. The single is a follow-up to the gorgeously festive Something About Christmas and October’s mesmerising Love Like This. Written among the bustling romantic boulevards of New York City, almost 2 years to the…Continue reading »
Mr Bewlay is an eccentric musician, determined to re-define everything that we know about music. From the bright and bubbly Her Name is Juniper to the sombre piano ballads of Fake Yourself. Bewlay is shaking off genres and shaking up our eardrums. Yearning that we explore as many new sounds and styles as possible. Proudly…Continue reading »
An EP from Welsh indie-quintet Campfire Social has been highly anticipated for some time now. Following the stirring buzz that swarmed from singles released throughout 2020 and early 2021. Latest EP release ‘Everything Changed’ encapsulates the excitement and intoxicating energy that has exuded from their music. Taking a big bite out of 90s emo-pop, with a heady…Continue reading »
Expanding on their impressive indie sound. Latest single ‘Early Dreamer’ sees Cardiff-based Twin Stranger introduce a refreshing twist on the genre, with a reflective and brooding, yet melodic breakaway track. As waves of psychedelic rock and power pop burst through, creating music that is both vibrant and immersive. Opening lyrics battle the ever-tempting pull between…Continue reading »
After a hiatus from releasing music, Swansea favourites Trampolene return with rousing spoken-word track ‘Come Join Me In Life’. Fronted by Jack Jones, Trampolene are certainly not a band to shy away from. Boasting music that is unapologetically loud, outspoken, and bold. This 3-piece have garnered a reputation for packed-out, reckless, and brilliant live shows. …Continue reading »
A fresh face in South Wales’ indie music scene, singer-songwriter Alcie Bela is mystifying. Perfectly pairing dark witted lyrics, to a delicate acoustic folk sound. The musician is currently recording her upcoming EP at a studio deep within the heart of Welsh woodland. Ensuring the seeds of her kindled earthy spirit are sown. As debut single ‘Don’t…Continue reading »
Horizons are set to embark on their Independent Venue Week Tour of Wales. Between the 25th-31st of January prepare to be enthralled by exciting sets from the incredible new Horizons prodigies, as well as performances by many other Welsh bands, including special appearances from Holding Absence and Junior. As sessions from the artists are streamed…Continue reading »
Despite the unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought upon music, I have been incredibly inspired by the continued efforts of musicians and the entire industry. Those who have dedicated so much of themselves to creating. Doing all that they can to bring joy, in the darkest of times. To celebrate their unwavering determination, I am…Continue reading »
2020 has seen Phoebe Green literally “Reinvent” herself. From a striking new single in July, to her current EP release. The Manchester based singer-songwriter has awoken a new persona, and she is certainly not one to be messed with. Possessing flame orange hair, and a dark witty humour, Green is flourishing. All while raining a glorious revenge…Continue reading »
Stepping out of the flamboyance and fun of previous release ‘Her Name Is Juniper’. For new double-A side ‘Fake Yourself’, Mr Bewlay takes on the far more somber role of an eccentric lone pianist, and the results are nothing short of sublime. Stirring vocals and soft piano keys entrance, with Bewlay knowing just how to…Continue reading »
Cradling tender emotion in the palm of their hands, is a skill that Cardiff indie-pop band Rosehip Teahouse have completely perfected. Boasting a back catalogue of gorgeously cathartic music. Latest EP ‘Fine’ merges old and new tracks, entwining memories, thoughts and feelings into just shy of a blissful 15 minutes. Swooning vocals from lead singer…Continue reading »
Horizons Cymru have announced the Welsh musicians and record labels, awarded funding from the Horizons Launchpad 2020. The 33 chosen Welsh artists/record labels awarded funding: Aleighcia Scot Eadyth Faith Foxxglove Hako Hemes High Grade Grooves HVNTER Ifan Pritchard K(E)NZ Kingkhan Leila Mckenzie Los Blancos Mace the Great Madi Magugu Malan Jones Mass Accord Mawpit Minas…Continue reading »
Frosty nights, cosy firesides, mulled wine, and mistletoe. December is here, Christmas is fast approaching, and serenading us this festive season is the gorgeous new single ‘Something About Christmas’ from Welsh singer-songwriter Rebecca Hurn. ‘Something About Christmas’ is mesmerising in its entire composure. From tender emotive pangs, to cosy Christmas references. With vocals as soft…Continue reading »
Bold and charismatic, an intoxicating charm blazes from the flamboyant powerhouse and emerging talent, that is Mr Bewlay. If personality alone is not enough to draw you in, and I dare anyone not to swoon under the spell of this captivating young musician. Latest single ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the psychedelic spark that will…Continue reading »
With a passion for supporting emerging musicians. The exciting South Wales based initiative Forté Project, have launched their new application process. Giving six lucky individuals, the chance to join their prestigious talent development project. Previously only available to young musicians from South Wales. Following support from the PRS Foundation and the Arts Council of Wales. The Forté Project…Continue reading »
Punk rock is infamous for its love of rebellion. Rule-breaking, non-conformity and an unwavering bold stance in both style and substance. It is a genre that regularly depicts a state of turmoil, and hits back at society with a vengeance. As global politics and the state of the world at large, are currently tipping the…Continue reading »
Meet the Cheshire band, providing all the bite of a classic rock sound, with an intriguing modern twist. The Moondogz tether gritty instrument playing to moody vocal blues, and latest album ‘What’s Done Is Done’ will spark the curiosity of any classic rock fan, and grab the attention of all who dare to listen. No…Continue reading »
Bold and charismatic, an intoxicating charm blazes from the flamboyant powerhouse and emerging talent, that is Mr Bewlay. If personality alone is not enough to draw you in, and I dare anyone not to swoon under the spell of this captivating young musician. Latest single ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the psychedelic spark that will ensure you fall head over heels for this intriguing “mista”.
Owning an eccentric Bowie-esque swagger, Mr Bewlay demands our attention from the very get-go and ‘Her Name is Juniper’ soars with effortless precision. Turning a sharp tongue to lyrics that drip in bubbly lovelorn lust, and pairing them with a melodic soundscape of synths. Showcased is a true showman, impeccably switched on to what sounds good and harnessing the electrifying capabilities of shooting to stardom, with both a driving talent and compelling alter-ego.
Oozing all of the makings of a musical muse, Mr Bewlay is mysterious, wickedly brilliant and devilishly fun. An enchanting character that dominates both their sound and style, ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the catalyst that will surely send them to the stratosphere.
Having produced a single so strikingly catchy, Mr Bewlay can boast their intent of enchanting any and every listener they ensnare. There is no denying that ‘Her Name is Juniper’ will snake around your mind and invade your brain, nestling itself delightfully into your memory, until its firmly lodged at the top of every playlist and listened to on repeat. It is a chaotically fantastic funhouse, for all of our senses.
For fans of Adam Ant, Mr Bewlay is a musician that exudes such a delectable confidence. Something so inherently appealing is paraded by their utterly compelling uniqueness. A trait that makes them stand out and shine bright, above all others.
There is an overwhelming urge to shout loudly, that Mr Bewlay will soon become the next big thing we will all be talking about, listening to, and loving. Whether it is a result of the magically mesmerising ‘Her Name is Juniper’, or their vibrantly playful personality leading the charge. I for one, cannot wait to watch them skyrocket.
Punk rock is infamous for its love of rebellion. Rule-breaking, non-conformity and an unwavering bold stance in both style and substance. It is a genre that regularly depicts a state of turmoil, and hits back at society with a vengeance. As global politics and the state of the world at large, are currently tipping the scales. There is no denying that punk is the musical outlet we need at the moment.
Eager to shake up society and our music scene, are the fiery Pseudo Cool. Possessing all of the grit and grunge you could desire; this band have a sound that is edgy and untamed. Led by siblings Cathy Bastian (lead vocals, bass) and Lloyd Bastian (backing vocals, guitar), family ties run deep throughout their music. Lead guitarist Dylan Howells, and drummer Shay Bevan complete the lineup.
Bursting out of the South Wales town of Maesteg, Pseudo Cool blazed onto our radar just this year. As 2020 has seen them release not one, but three new singles. All of which have received heavy praise, including backing from BBC Radio Wales and Horizons Cymru, as well as a string of music blogs, publications and podcasts. With tongue-in-cheek lyrical jabs and jangled guitars, Pseudo Cool inject humour into their music. Yet add just enough of that raw punk-bitterness, to sharpen our taste buds.
First single ‘Modern Man’ released in July, gave us a first glimpse of what to expect from Pseudo Cool. Debuting their edgy punk sound to the world, the band certainly kicked off in style. With unapologetic lyrics poking fun at modern 21st century masculinity. ‘Modern Man’ is a satirical quip, that delves into the strives and struggles of your everyday relationship. Delivered in a rhythmic blend of riffs, instruments glide along with Cathy Bastian’s muted almost spoken vocals, which interject that brooding tone we adore. Reminiscent of female punk fiends such as Siouxsie and Debbie Harry.
Progressing only further with sophomore single ‘Wrong’, at the end of September. Pseudo Cool rose the tempo of their music higher, breaking previous vocal and instrument boundaries they had set for themselves. As their muted brooding sound, gave way to a punk-rock charm; Bastian flexed her pitches and flaunted her vocal flair on this track, and it is truly a delectable transformation to behold. Proving her to be a multi-tonal, and very capable vocalist. Seeking influence from the likes of Lily Allen, with the grit of popular Dublin newcomers Fontaines D.C.
Exploring every branch of punk is certainly on this band’s agenda, as they prove their worth yet again on latest track ‘I’d Like To Watch’. Released just this month [October], with a sound so ominous and dark, it sizzles from a sinister twist. Abolishing the punk-rock prowess of the predeceasing ‘Wrong’. Pseudo Cool have built a bass-driven track, that is entirely different to the previous two guitar dominated singles. Raw, grungy and heavy, ‘I’d Like To Watch’ reflects the muted brooding of ‘Modern Man’. Although any satirical comedy that was present, is now long gone. Replaced instead with a sensual, simmering atmosphere. Unnerving, yet so deliriously exciting.
Pseudo Cool break the rules, refuse to conform, and stand bold in both their style and substance. Modern rebels of the music scene, their sound embodies the true spirit of punk, and they are a dose of EXACTLY what we need to hear right now. Set to release more singles before the year is out, it appears that the chaos of 2020 has delivered us a band so chaotically brilliant.
Listen to Pseudo Cool on all platforms now!
All tracks were Produced and Mixed by Cody Reynolds-Shaw of Trenova Sound
With a voice so soothing and tranquil, we find ourselves transported by the breathtaking beauty exuding from Welsh singer-songwriter Rebecca Hurn. Latest single ‘Love Like This’ pairs long, sweeping vocal pitches with an elegant cradle of instruments. Kept strikingly tender, through a subtle and soft musical composure. It is delicate yet daring, hereby its lyrical content.
A thrilling love story, the track proves to be a captivating listen. The tale of two star-crossed lovers, and a seemingly doomed fate. Yet their adoration for one another outshines all odds. ‘Love Like This’ is a whirlwind fairytale romance, embodied though music. Both enchanting and cathartic, the track swells with emotion and a loving grace.
Placing itself gently among the realms of indie-pop. The track straddles elegantly between a cool twinkling pop sound, and an immersion within the growing indie-folk/alternative scene. Echoing vocals reminiscent of both pop sensation Maisie Peters, and folk-queen Laura Marling. Rebecca Hurn’s capability of softly blending these two genres in such a gorgeous way, surely stems the roots for unrivalled future success.
Already making an impact, Rebecca Hurn received an award for earlier single ‘Waves’ at the Independent Music Awards in New York City, and was again nominated upon the release of ‘Homesick’. Making her the only Welsh artist to ever receive the prize, throughout the ceremonies 18 year history, and the only unsigned UK artist to be nominated in the same category consecutively.
Latest single ‘Love Like This’ was released as a result of Rebecca Hurn being one of twenty artists selected for the Re_Balance Programme; a pioneering initiative providing studio and recording space for emerging female musicians. At Old Castle Studios in Leeds, Rebecca Hurn teamed up with award-winning producer and sound engineer Rhiannon Mair, along with studio assistant Laura Williams. It was here, that her own original song ‘Love Like This’, was then recorded and mastered over five days.
A passionate and driven individual, Rebecca Hurn’s music is soothing and comforting, but also incredibly inspiring. With a global reach firmly in her sights. We wait with bated breath, to marvel as to where her voice will take her next.
Music thuds through the walls, and the building shakes from the blaring pulse of the speakers. As doors fly open, and countless people weave in through the darkness. The packed-out gig is hot and humid. Filled with laughter and noise, beer and chanting. Livelier than any stadium, a wall-to-wall show at Fuel promises to please. The band on stage certainly do not disappoint. Gritty guitar work, blaring vocals, and clashing drums engulf the room, delighting the eagerly awaiting crowd.
An atmosphere that is surely engrained within heavy metal band SouthBound, who celebrated the release of their debut EP ‘Even Angels Sin’, to a packed-out show at Cardiff’s Fuel Nightclub in January. Determined not to let lockdown deter their spirits, the band have been working hard on creating their sophomore release. Proudly presenting, latest single ‘Bermuda’ to the world.
A gritty guitar anthem, you can really sink your teeth into. ‘Bermuda’ roars with feminine ferocity. Lead vocalist Megan Jenkins sets the tone, as ravaging guitars and drums whir around her. Choosing to keep pitches low and biting to begin with, the band allude to that sinister tension, building throughout their music.
Providing sublime guitar pitches, substantial enough to satisfy any rock n’ roll fan. Classic influence from giants such as Slipknot, Slayer and Avenged Sevenfold are clear to be heard, and evoke this bands hungry desire. Resulting in the grungy, alternative soundscape that charges ‘Bermuda’.
Rooted within the heart of the Welsh Valleys, a passion for music runs deep in the veins of SouthBound. There is such resonating energy present, that rings clear through their music. Instruments are pushed to breaking-point, with a fearless style of playing. Vocals are steeped in Megan’s rich Welsh accent. It is these bold touches of home, that push SouthBound forward in Cardiff’s metal scene, and ‘Bermuda’ is certainly a promising catapult.
MojoJNR is the alias of South Wales Musician Josh David-Read. Pairing the dreamiest of summer soundscapes, with husky vocal musings. His canvas of creativity spans far and wide, crafting music that will surely delight any listener. With a deep and unique approach to indie-pop, composed from the world around him. Josh harnesses a brave expression of his own thoughts, feelings and emotions. Utilising a vibrant spectrum of personal experience, to share his colourful musical universe with us. Friends and those he meets along the way may play a helping hand in what finally culminates as Mojo JNR. Yet the driving force, evoking and breathing life into the project, truly is Josh himself.
Sophomore single Peach Out is a clever play on words. Written about holistic methods of coping with anxiety. The idea for the track was originally derived from a text sent by Josh, with Peace Out, having been auto-corrected to Peach Out. This little quirk looped around in Josh’s mind, and together with a bit of research, he stumbled upon a crystal called peach aventurine. Discovering its benefits to soothing stress and worry, the concept behind Peach Out was born.
Josh explains how “Peach Out is essentially a light-hearted bedroom-pop track, focusing on how difficult it is to relax, even when you are doing nothing.” With swirling thoughts around anxiety, coupled with lockdown. Josh found himself determined to write the lyrics for the track, record, and self-release it by the end of July. Achieving that and more, Josh has proven himself to be a complex and motivated musician. It is truly awe-inspiring to behold his creative flow, from start to finish.
Peach Out pairs husky soulful vocals with simmering instruments and synths. With lead vocals from Josh harmonising exquisitely with backing vocals of fellow-musician Ci Gofod (Jack ThomasDavies) who features on the track. As the two vocals gently brush off one another, their overall warmth combined with keeping the pitch fairly low, results in a sultry summer-time track. Peach Out will perfectly resonate with fans of folk-rock singer Paolo Nutini, as well as the power-pop musings of an 80s Bowie.
Instruments are not overbearing, but instead infuse with the gorgeous vocal musk concocted, to create a soft yet rousing track. Without being raucous or loud, Peach Out is a woozy exploration of self-expression, evoking imagery of moody sunset blues.
Peach Out swiftly follows Mojo JNR’s debut offering Miles Away, which was released back in May. A brooding and slower guitar-fuelled love song, Miles Away stirs our senses, bringing to the forefront that one person we all need to move on from. With a smooth ability to easily transcribe a breadth of emotions, into lyrics. Josh is a remarkably keen songwriter, and it is clear to hear this talent reflected through his music. Miles Away is a marriage of music to lyrics, and a strikingly beautiful debut.
Mojo JNR is certainly one to watch, and amongst many others, I find myself incredibly excited to behold what the future has in store for this musical muse.
Peach Out and Miles Away are available to stream on Spotify
3:00am. Despite the stillness of the night, you find yourself lying awake. Looking again for the hundredth time, at the hand crawling around the clock. “Tick-Tock, Tick-Tock!” rattles through your brain like a dull ache. Bleary eyed and tired. Your inner monologue just won’t stop tonight. Sleep would be nice, but the thoughts are too loud.
Latest single Thought Number 3 from Rosehip Teahouse embodies those lonely hours we share with the moonlight. Basked in nothing but our own thoughts. Sleep will not come, because we are too exhausted by our minds.
Peering in through the glass of Rosehip Teahouse, we steal a glimpse at the thoughts keeping lead vocalist and songwriter Faye Rodgers awake. What begins as gentle musings, soon spiral.
Wrapping sincere lyrics within soft, delicate sounds. Rosehip Teahouse create emotional music, without any crushing weight to it. Instruments are kept light, and twinkling synths sparkle throughout the track like stars.
The woozy, dreamlike soundscape sets a scene of calm and tranquillity. Lyrics highlight Faye’s gorgeous song-writing abilities, and flawless vocals remain perfectly harmonious. The soft nature of the song, almost for a moment, allows for an escape from the sadness behind the words sung to us. Until we are jolted by the poignant finale.
Pairing opposing elements, of deep sadness and soothing music, together so beautifully. Fragile emotions are cradled and vocals lullaby soft. As though warming us with a comforting glow in the darkness.
At just over a minute and a half long; Thought Number 3 is a tender little indie-pop track, with huge emotional, poetic, and personal reach. For Rosehip Teahouse to have conveyed music so moving and resonate within such a short duration of time, is truly wonderous.
Thought Number 3 is available to stream now via Sad Club Records
Ahead of the release of her strikingly-beautiful Debut EP Open Up, Honey which will be outthis Friday (24th July). GILLIE has shared with me the EPs lead single Winter Girl, which I am beyond delighted to introduce to you today.
Combining rich earthy tones, with a sheer and beautiful whimsicality. GILLIE blends a variance of sound to create the most sublime music.
Winter Girl is heartfelt and staggering. A stunning debut, from a very promising EP.
A lyrical journey of change. The track encapsulates growth from a pained past. Yet bravely explores elements often unspoken, through recognising that progression may not be easy.
Flourishing in the freedom of her self-expression. The track provides hope and clarity, whilst not hurrying past moments of doubt and angst. Recognising that in time, one can move forward with them.
GILLIE’s songwriting is raw and truthful. Encasing this within delicate yet fiercely unwavering vocals, and finessing amongst the gentle strums of a guitar. GILLIE has self-produced a track that is open, and enriching.
Providing a wonderful welcome of what we can expect to hear from Open Up, Honey upon its release on 24th July.
Listen to the first track Winter Girl exclusively here
Spirited and sassy, Welsh rockers Chroma are back with their latest single Head in Transit. Since hearing the powerhouse that is Girls Talk, I have eagerly anticipated and devoured each single released. Head in Transit has certainly not disappointed, in fact I am yearning for more, as my adoration of this band only grows.
Filled with as much fire as I expected. The single begins with a shredding guitar riff, before powerful vocals from front woman Katie Hall scorch their way through. Embodied with all of the richness of her glorious Welsh accent, Katie projects an impressive vocal range, at every possible altitude. Lullaby softness quickly breaks into furious, heartfelt vocals. Screaming through with as much passion as fans had longed for.
Unapologetically loud, Chroma have such a way of clashing together rampant guitars with gorgeous pragmatic vocals. Energetic, with just the right amount of chaos thrown in for good measure. Lead vocalist Katie is surely set to become a fiercely talented icon of female-fronted rock, for the next generation.
Even more admirably so, what really gives Head in Transit the most clout, is the deeply emotional message it conveys. Having written from her own personal experience, Katie has shared in an open letter that the context of Head in Transit surrounds a very poignant time in her life, when she worked in a Call Centre. Emotional phone calls, difficulties of work pressure, cruel bosses, and various other aspects all culminated to have a detrimental impact on her mental health.
In our current time of crisis, Katie has shared Head in Transit in the hopes it will urge people to be more empathetic towards those who are continuing to work hard, ultimately to help us. Treating these individuals as though they are nothing more than just cogs in a machine, is selfish and wrong.
Head in Transit showcases Chroma in all their glory. I applaud Katie for having the courage to share this deeply personal track.
It is undeniable that musically, Head in Transit is brilliant; vocally sublime, rooted and charged by heavy, ‘rock n’ roll’ instrument playing. However, it is ultimately the moving lyrics and fundamental message behind the track that have resonated with me, and I hope others, the most.
Head in Transit is available to stream on all platforms now
Following on from their previous release True Secret to a Happy Life, TJ Roberts are back with yet another slice of indie-rock goodness. Latest single Sinceridipity makes no apologies for its bold entrance, as shredding guitars hurtle us full force into the track. Brooding vocals from front man Tom tear through in the first verse, but there is no hiding from that biting guitar lurking underneath, as the track builds to break in its charged chorus.
Blazing to life, Sinceridipity brands its mark, easily becoming one of the finest indie tracks of the year to date. Instruments stampede in a glorious frenzy but complement one another exquisitely well. The track features Zac White of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard on guitar. A musical collaboration of dreams, with fellow BBB member Tom Rees having produced the track. The close-knit South Wales Music Community proving yet again, just why it is so good.
Demanding your attention from start to finish. Sinceridipity is undoubtedly a track that needs to be turned up loud. Especially if you really want to enjoy that minute-long guitar solo that powers through to the end. Hushed thought-provoking verses intertwine with the triumphant chorus; showing off impressive combinations of vocal and instrumental prowess that are driving this band to the forefront.
Lyrically Sinceridipity encapsulates adolescence, and those moments of embarrassment, when we somehow find ourselves looking back over an array of fake, but often misinformed, personalities that developed. A time-honoured tradition of barely comprehensible nonsense. Musical inspiration has been sought from the dark-eyed Lou Reed and Eels’ Mark Everett, as well as the rambunctious energy of Dinosaur Jr. and Fugazi.
The track is available to stream on all platforms via Libertino Records.
I could not love Panic Shack any more if I tried. Their fierce bad girl attitude, tongue in cheek humour and adoration for chaos, all creates an impressively powerful emerging punk band. How close they are means they are more like sisters than friends, and they are quickly becoming the band that everyone wants to know. Causing carnage with raucous live shows, and acquiring a cult following. Panic Shack have already supported infamous punks Amyl and the Sniffers, and are tearing up Cardiff’s live music scene as they go. Once you have seen Panic Shack perform at a gig, you certainly won’t forget them. A band that were born to break the rules. Combine crazily good music with an infectious amount of energy, and they are able to command a crowd and deliver a gig like no other.
Panic Shack’s debut single ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ was a roaring success. The band are renowned for playing a number of unreleased songs at their gigs, so fans already knew what to expect from their loud and untamed debut, and its popularity has continued to soar ever since. At Panic Shack’s headline gig in March the track had its first live outing since its release. A boisterous crowd and a night fuelled with frenzy, meant their debut hit went down a storm, and blew the roof off Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach. Since its release, the single has received airplay on a number of radio stations, including BBC Radio 1. YouTube views are racing up by the day, and streams are continuing to spiral. A lockdown is not going to reckon with the force of Panic Shack.
Today the band are releasing their latest single ‘Jiu Jits You‘. An unapologetic anthem that is as bold as its title suggests. The track tells the tale of a night out, and the idiots encountered along the way. Not shy in speaking their mind, Panic Shack do not hold back on this brilliant spoken-word story and express in no uncertain terms what they would like to do to anyone causing them trouble. In true Panic Shack style it’s all delivered in good humour, proving they are as fun as they are fierce, but you’d still be a fool to think you could mess with them. Especially if they really do know Jiu-Jitsu!
Their ability to blend spoken word stories with rebellious punk music, provides Panic Shack with a unique edge that certainly makes them memorable. Many punk bands can spit out their lyrics with a harshness and throw themselves around a stage, but Panic Shack have a different appeal. Although rebellious and wild, they also bring in a girlish charm and there is a bubble gum pink theme surrounding them. A female-fronted punk rock band with two personalities, that clash gloriously together.
Bringing in an added element of fun with the song’s catchy chorus and shout-out chants, ensures that ‘Jiu Jits You’ really sparks to become a hit that you can sing along to. It is not for the faint hearted, but is fun and fiery, and I love that they make no apologies for that. Guitars blare, and vocals shout out to pack a punch on this screamer of an anthem.
‘Jiu Jits You’ will plant itself firmly in your mind and knock you out by how good it is. It is a very strong follow-up to Panic Shack’s debut single, that shows listeners exactly what they are all about.
You can follow Panic Shack on their socials below: