New Music – This Week in New MusicOctober 16th, 2014 by Poejazzi
Turn this one up real loud. Shanaz elevates this skank worthy electro track lyrically and vocally into an intense lament: “there’s always somebody to miss and I miss you” Whilst the instrumental in itself has immediate impact, Warsnare and Shanaz prove themselves to be equals on this track, both with promising futures ahead of them. Weeds is a dance track that stands apart from the majority of electro that finds its way into our inbox, it has meaningful things to say that are so perfectly written that they lodge in your brain, “footsteps on the dance floor remind me baby of you, teardrops in my eyes next time I’ll be true”, anybody? “I keep dancing on my own”, anybody? Well now we’ve got “there’s always somebody to miss and I miss you” This track requires a lot of listens to work out what is so great about it, because it’s so cohesive it kind of blinds you to the individual elements, as a lot of the best songs do. We don’t want to see all the strings behind a song, its inspiration should meld together seamlessly into something new, something unrecognisable and uncannily familiar, if that is a good definition of what catchy means, this song is exactly that: catchy as hell, in the best possible way, with an inimitable London edge.
Tanya Auclair – Semaphore
Eerie, intelligent and frankly, just beautiful new music from Tanya Auclair. This concept EP is defined by the mutable quality each song takes on from one to the next, without losing each’s individual identity. Highlights include lead single Mersea Mesrea Me, a hypnotic track with flourishes of oriental elements and a marching pace and Jupiter + Venus, a love song that sounds like it is being emitted over a transmitter in outer space, full of space and pause heavy phrasing, fat orbs of tension suspended like planets, it heaves with longing and distance like the distance the song proposes can occur between people in love. “If you can handle the worst of me, then you will the very, very best of me” preceding the instrumental’s descent into a dark winding melody, and then a constellation of connecting light sounds, this song contains so many awe inspiring details and symphonic touches within the context of the cosmos that lift it way and beyond Tanya’s amazing previous efforts. Here Comes The Planes signals a new dawn, and the possibility of salvation/all not being lost. This track seems to signal even more human complexity than the previous with its far off sounding robotic vocal effects and hope filled post apocalyptic like lyrics: “The sky hasn’t fallen in, what is there left to do but begin again, even when you fall from grace, I haven’t written you off yet…” (Robyn would be so jealous of this robot loving track, can someone send this to Robyn, like, now,) Semaphore is luxurious and textured, considered and intuitive in its power to affect mood: this is ambient music at its best.
Shanaz Dorsett – Mother Tongue
Shanaz is clearly beloved round these parts with two entries in This Week in New Music. Well this exceptional singer songwriter with the lyrical dexterity of Amy Winehouse deserves to be, with her brutally, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, and at best both all at the same time, lyrics and her perfect vocal ability, Shanaz is unquestionably one of the most talented artists we could, if we’re not stupid and don’t sleep on her talent, have to offer the UK and beyond. Mother Tongue deals with home, identity, love, all the good, bad and ugly stuff that makes us who we are as people, making it the perfect introduction to Shanaz and who she is as an artist. Highlights include AirMax 90 a sultry ode to young love, who could resist the boy in all black everything in yes, you guessed it, AirMax 90s. Episodes in everyday family life/wannabe suburbia that turns out to not be as simple as everyone probably hoped for in tracks like Daughter Karma “Daddy says don’t take no shit, but mummy always forgives, now your daddy’s got a baseball bat..cos your lover loves the taste of tears and the face you make when you’re begging, til you have a daughter, that’s what I call karma, history’s a bitch, she has a sickest sense of humour” In Big Peoples’ Business Shanaz deals with a plethora of cliches adults churn out to children: “Do as I say and not as I do…and life just aint easy for women and if you can’t take the heat get out of the kitchen and keep your nose out of big peoples’ business” only to highlight their ridiculousness, adult hypocrisy and the failures that are inevitably waiting for you as a child of that environment if you are to listen to all these rules we should all apparently live by. Four Walls And A Garden, the lead single, is another incisive highlight: “Four walls and a garden, you finally made it, flat screen with cable, your kids will be raised here, you finally made it, meat and potatoes, but you’re never sad at your dining room table” the suburban dream has been realised and yet it doesn’t add up like it should: “but you step out your house and you cant face your neighbours, and its just brick and mortar…but it’s blood on carpet, these walls are way too thin” the inclusion of the refrain “ring, ding, dong, ring-a-ding ding, ding, dong” from Dr Dre’s song Keep Your Heads Ringing, the song that featured in the film Friday, that shows us a black family with suburban aspirations that keep getting disrupted by dystopian elements like neighbourhood trouble, relationship problems and money issues is a stroke of genius. We could quote Shanaz endlessly but this is a review not a transcript, if you like King Avriel and her literary approach to R&B, well, you’re going to love Shanaz because she is doing it but with way more dimension (sorry King).
We’ve been crushing on Palace’s sound from afar for a long time, waiting for this EP and it’s a perfect storm, seamless melding of blues, Jeff Buckley-esque emotive dynamism, unexpected changes, into laid back, contemplative indie. Bitter, Palace’s lead single, is an obvious highlight, philosophical and catchy refrain “why am I bitter, bitter, bitter?” (bitterness is such a … emotion is deserves repeating three times, no?) lodging itself firmly in the mind. We also love Oceans Deep, a reflective song with gorgeous beachy, lifting guitar changes that are unexpectedly epic and then dive back down into the relaxed state we have come to associate with Palace’s sound. Antoher favourite is, of course, Veins, another previously released single; Veins is a simple and agonisingly beautiful song, that has a feel of spilling over with nonchalant but deliberated vocal delivery, serving up that aching/ yearning feeling we love so. This self produced EP spells out a great future ahead for the band, you can see them live on the following dates:
15 London St. Pancras Old Church – SOLD OUT
19 London St. Pancras Old Church – SOLD OUT
23 Sheffield Rocking Chair
24 Leicester The Cookie Jar @ What Became Of Us
25 Manchester Fallow Café (free entry)
31 Southampton The Cellar w/ Pale Seas
1 London The Laundry @ DIY all-dayer
4 Bristol Start The Bus (free entry)
Etta Bond - Cool Urban New TalentWarped soul via Labrinth’s first signing Etta Bond sounds like a hybrid of Mary J Blige ghetto fab, Rihanna’s edge and Charli XCX once upon a time London influenced electro pop sensibilities. every song on the EP Cool New Urban Talent is an edgy, blow it back in your imaginary Maybach, gangster lean moment. We can’t find any info on the production yet, but whoever is responsible, it’s pretty amazing, souped up R&B with glitches and lasers and pulses interspersed with lyrics that alternate between aggressive and sensual. Now this MOBO nominee has graduated from the label Oddchild to Syco (Simon Cowell’s joint venture with Sony) the concept of this EP is a weirdly creative/DIY addition to one of the most commercial labels in the UK, is Etta Bond the UK’s answer to Rihanna? (with more smarts: see Big Girl’s Vogue, we think she could be just the girl for the job. File next to Charli XCX and maybe Lily Allen (if you still like her after that video for Hard Out Here…oh and that pretty sub par album…ooooh, the shade, the shaaaaade.)