Having last week been 6Music’s Album Of The Day for the digital release of the first half of their upcoming double album In Quiet Moments, today Lost Horizons share a truly mesmerising video-of-the-year contender for new single ‘Every Beat That Passed’, which features Swedish singer and producer Kavi Kwai on lead vocals. The video, which is a visual feast and includes some incredible choreography, is again directed by Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation, Walk Away Renee) who created the hypnotic video for ‘Cordelia’ which features John Grant on lead vocals. Of the video Caouette says: Through the work I did on the videos, I began feeling that ‘Cordelia’ represented memory, loss, melancholy, and how inescapable impermanence is and that ‘Every Beat that Passed’ represented the antithesis of those ideas: the promise of resetting and renewal, and the hope that not all is lost, even under the hardest of circumstances. So, even though they have two distinct feelings they also work together as two different perspectives, yin and yang etc.”
Of the track Simon Raymonde of Lost Horizons says: “Richie came up with the piano part for this and it grabbed my attention immediately. That ‘waltz’ rhythm is pretty much in my DNA from my Cocteaus days, and the other instrumentation just kinda flowed out in a rush of emotion and memory. Discovering Kavi Kwai was akin to roaming the beaches of Bognor with a defective metal detector and discovering a whopping blue diamond. She is from Sweden and on hearing her music, I vowed to create a track especially for her. When I received her vocal back, I had that unusual experience of simultaneously laughing and crying at the same time. Laughing because I couldn’t believe how incredible it was, and crying because she turned our tune into a beautifully sad song which really moved me. Still does to be honest.”
Kavi Kwai adds: “The feeling that came to me when I first heard the instrumental version was that it felt very hopeful. Hope always has an undertone of something heavy or dark – otherwise we wouldn’t need it. When I wrote the melodies and the lyrics I stayed in that mode, I wanted to capture the combination of dark and light.”
Jonathan Wilson has graced us with a 7 track EP of rare and unreleased recordings, including a cover of Graham Nash’s “And So It Goes”, featuring Dawes. The EP titled ‘Rare Blur’ is a special Black Friday release so stocks are super limited. Be sure to get yours this weekend and complete your JW collection!
Following rave reviews for his recent solo album, I Love The New Sky, Tim Burgess today releases a new EP, titled Ascent Of The Ascended. The 6-track EP contains two superb new tracks, “Yours. To Be”, and “The Ascent Of The Ascended”, recorded soon after the album was finished, as well as four tracks recorded in New York City back in March as a live session for Paste magazine. Three of the tracks are from I Love The New Sky alongside a new version of The Charlatan’s classic ‘The Only One I Know’.
Of the lead track, “Yours. To Be”, Burgess says: “At the tail end of the glory of the night before – with all the hope and beauty that the following morning brings. Away from the glare of the party – like the calm after the storm has left town. It’s a feeling that’s so pure and uncluttered. It’s around a while, then real life starts to creep back in. It’s all about making the most of moments as they are happening .”
Burgess goes on to say: “There was an energy that came from recording the album with such a brilliant band – I didn’t want it to end, I wanted to record a bit of a magnum opus, which is where Ascent of the Ascended came in. I’d always wanted to work with Charles Hayward from This Heat, so we have him a ring and he said yeah. With “Yours. To Be” being almost like an instant feeling you get in a moment, very rarely in your life – the two songs are so different but they somehow complement each other. So an EP was the perfect idea.”
“We had so many plans for playing live this year – from South by Southwest to Glastonbury and everything in between. But that wasn’t to be. We played four shows in New York before lockdown happened – so our session for Paste Magazine was such a rare event, we’ve included the songs to complete the EP.”
With his new album Every Mover due for release 8th January via Bella Union, and having previously shared videos for the tracks ‘Good To Be Young’, ‘Seen The Boreal’ and ‘Anthropic (Cold Times)’, today Hilang Child shares a distinctive video for new single “King Quail”. Of the track Ed Riman aka Hilang Child says: “King Quail is about taking a step back and realising the absurdity of modelling one’s life and appearance around what you think others want to see, rather than living for yourself. It’s about learning to be comfortable the way you are, breaking away from that fear of rejection and the feeling that we have to exaggerate ourselves into some showpiece to gain the validation of others. The song started one night in Wyldest frontwoman Zoe Mead’s basement studio in Greenwich. I had this OP-1 loop and a motorik 808 beat, which I’d been messing around with for a while. We spent the night jamming over it and shaping it into a psychedelic, krautrocky pop-song with Zoe adding spacey guitar and myself reworking the drums, allowing the groove to loosen up. We ended up using a large chunk of the demo in the final version with my co- producer JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose) adding some finishing touches to hone the song.” The video, directed by Riman and filmed by Elliot Tatler, can be viewed below…
“The greatest thing about being a musician is experiencing it with other people,” says Ed Riman, the Brighton-based Eurasian singer, songwriter and sound-scapist who records as Hilang Child. “Whether that’s playing with others, creating together, sharing a vision, whatever, I just think in all aspects it’s a totally elevated experience when you’re not alone.”
Proof rings out with force and feeling on Hilang Child’s superlative second album, Every Mover. In 2018, Riman delivered a serene, textured debut album in Years, rich in sound and feeling. Lauren Laverne, Q, MOJO and others lavished praise, but the “isolating process” of making the album left Riman hungry to find alternative ways of working. Meanwhile, the “lonely, pressured” aftermath of Years found Riman grappling with “rough self-esteem and anxiety issues”, amplified in part by social media’s ‘fulfilment narratives’. Duly, he set out to navigate and overcome these mindsets, drawing deeply on his own insecurities and those he recognised in others.
These themes converge emphatically on Every Mover, an album steeped in everyday emotional states and crafted for cathartic, communal performance. Drawing on a rich spread of collaborators, sounds and themes, Riman uses his frustrations as the impetus to transform the brimming promise of Years into upfront and expansive new shapes. “I wanted it to sound a bit gutsier than the first album,” he says, succinctly, “heavier and closer to the kind of stuff that hits me when I go to shows or blast music in the car. I started out in music as a drummer playing for pop or beat-driven artists and grew up listening to louder stuff, but a lot of the music I’ve made as Hilang Child has been more ethereal. I wanted to bring it back to a place that feels more ‘me’ and make more of a thing of having big hypnotic drums, aggressive bass, ripping distorted instruments and a general energy to it.”
“Good to be Young” serves swift notice of this leap, its banked synths and twinkling sound clusters leading to an assertion of fresh force when the main beat lands and a congregation of friends – AK Patterson, Paul Thomas Saunders, Dog in the Snow, Ellen Murphy, members of Penelope Isles – unite for the gang-vocal refrains. “It’s all iridescent colour I’m on,” Riman exults, a claim lived up to on the full-flush folktronica of “Shenley”. A reflection on spiralling insecurity, “Seen the Boreal” ups the ante again with its monk-ish chorales, looping samples, spectral woodwinds (from multi-instrumentalist John ‘Rittipo’ Moore, of Public Service Broadcasting and Bastille previous) and ecstatic chorus, Riman transforming a meditation on hindsight’s limiting effects into a spur to look forwards. And surge forwards he does with the glittering synths, spacey guitars, and Krautrock propulsion of “King Quail”, developed in jam sessions with dream-pop wonder Zoe Mead (Wyldest) in her basement studio.
Riman’s sounds are enriched wherever you turn, from the epic prog-tronica of “The Next Hold” to the vocal release and layered arrangement of “Play ’Til Evening”; a kind of summit meeting between Surrender-era Chemical Brothers and Fleet Foxes in the high church of ecstatic sound. The treated chorales of “Magical Fingertip” and naked lyrics of the festival-sized new single “Anthropic (Cold Times)” showcase a fertile push-pull of lush arrangements and wide-open emotions in Riman’s sound; on the latter, Rittipo’s horns brim with expressive power.
Brought to a sublime close with “Steppe”, the resulting album projects its own epiphanic force. The birth was not always smooth: due to Covid-19, tours were cancelled and studios closed. Thankfully, most of the main parts were recorded pre-lockdown between East London, Gateshead, Brighton, Wandsworth and elsewhere, before mixing proceeded remotely. Meanwhile, alongside indie-pop trio OUTLYA’s Will Bloomfield (percussion/co-production on ‘Play ’Til Evening’), visual design collective Tough Honey (accompanying videos) and other collaborators, Riman’s bond with co-producer JMAC (Troye Sivan, Haux, Lucy Rose) proved crucial. “It felt freeing to work collaboratively and have that push-and-pull of ideas,” says Riman. “Even the moments where we didn’t see eye-to-eye made it feel like I wasn’t alone, with someone else working just as passionately on the project.”
That sense of passion lights up Every Mover, an album that hymns the redemptive qualities of richly expressive music crafted in simpatico unison with friends. “I get told I’m quite an openly emotional person,” says Riman, “and I suppose the extremes in this album reflect that! But I also wanted the album to roughly follow the mental flow of feeling worthless, then recognising it, then accepting your shortcomings and trying to work on it, then coming out unscathed on the other side. I’m still not fully out of the spiral. The Covid apocalypse, alongside some personal life changes, have definitely caused it to resurface. But I’m glad I made this album as a kind of cathartic primer on trying to deal with it.” Now, time for other people to experience it too.
With her new 6-track EP A Private Road due for release 4th December via Bella Union, and having previously shared a video for lead track ‘Infinite Wisdom’, Laura Groves today shares a striking video for new single “Foolish Game”. Of the track Groves says: “Foolish Game is a song about the tension between the thrill and the hurt of a situation you can’t seem to let go of – the harshness and tenderness of submission to the same pattern even though we know it may be bad for us, and the strength that can come from becoming aware and taking control. I wanted to evoke the feeling of a slow dance at the end of a night and the thoughts that might go through your head on the journey home afterwards.”
In other news, Groves has also announced news of a special socially distanced London livestream show for the week after release at Folklore in Hackney… Full details found here.
Of the A Private Road EP Groves says: “This record, made mostly on my own, became both a channel for the expression of an inner world and an imagined soundtrack to my physical journeys through the city. It is rooted in the stories, atmospheres, mistakes and wrong turns, desires and layers of meaning that run through and play out in the landscapes we inhabit. The songs are snapshots of late night journeys across the river, the sparks of love that transform us and keep us going, the dead ends that the mind can lead us down, the erotic, the visible and invisible places we pass through as they merge and are erased and overwritten. The ability and opportunity to create and connect through music is a gift and I’m so happy to be able to share these new explorations with you.”
Laura Groves is an artist and producer born in West Yorkshire and based in South London. As a multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, she explores themes of inner worlds, healing, connection, and imagined environments and real-life surroundings, mixing traditional songwriting with experimental synthesised sounds, textural electronic layering, and a passion for home recording. Following on from her work as Blue Roses on XL Recordings, Laura has released two EPs under her own name on DEEK Records, created with long-time collaborator Bullion: ‘Thinking About Thinking’ (2013) and ‘Committed Language’ (2015).
Along with her solo work and three-piece band, Nautic, Laura has built a reputation as a sought after collaborator, in both live and recorded settings, for the likes of Darkstar, Wilma Archer, Sampha, Westerman, The Paul Institute, Bat for Lashes, and Hannah Peel. Delving into the art of soundtracks, Laura scored the silent film ‘Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde’ at the BFI and Latitude Festival, along with creating her own moving image work to accompany her music.
Laura has been regularly played on BBC6 Music, championed by Guy Garvey, and continuously featured on NTS with both guest slots and performances. She has been featured in The Fader, DUMMY, Dazed, and The Line of Best Fit. Notable performances include Glastonbury, Bestival, Green Man, NTS at Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival, along with supporting St Vincent and Wild Beasts.
Having last month announced the release of Songs From Isolation, a 9-track LP of cover versions out 12th February via Bella Union, today A.A. Williams shares another new track from the album. “Porcelina Of The Vast Oceans” is a beguiling, stripped-back cover of the Smashing Pumpkins classic. Of the track Williams says: “Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness is such a nostalgic album for a generation of music-lovers, it was great to have a chance to work on one of the tracks for the Songs From Isolation project. The Pumpkins’ Porcelina has so many timbre changes and complexities that in this arrangement I wanted to hone in on the text, whilst leaving the piano to underpin everything with a dreamy positivity.”
The Songs From Isolation project began at the beginning of the UK’s nationwide lockdown in March. A.A. Williams took songs suggested by fans and created a series of videos presenting the tracks with stripped-down instrumentation, recorded and filmed from her home in North London. The album represents a continuation of the project into a full collection of recordings and features cover versions of The Cure, Pixies, Deftones, Nick Cave, Gordon Lightfoot, Radiohead, Nine Inch Nails and more.Williams has previously shared cover versions of Deftones’ ‘Be Quiet And Drive’ and ‘Lovesong’ by The Cure from the album.
A.A. Williams recently announced news of further live dates which will hopefully take place next year. March sees her on tour in Europe with The Sisters Of Mercy followed by an extensive tour with MONO running through to mid-April. This is followed by UK headline shows including a special Songs From Isolation London performance in September.
Critical acclaim for Forever Blue, A.A. Williams’ July-released debut album:
“Williams moves with ease between singer-songwriter territory and post-metal heaviness… Forever Blue is a remarkable accomplishment, confirming that Williams has already built a world of her own.” MOJO – 4 stars ****
“Revelatory… Minimalist singer-songwriter material blending with elements of classical, metal and post-rock to make a distinctive whole.” The Observer (One To Watch)
“Darkly beguiling… A.A. Williams’ songs maintain an eerie delicacy whether she chooses a setting that’s spare, ornate or pulverising… The shifts between moments of high drama and quiet tension point to her kinship with Chelsea Wolfe and PJ Harvey.” Uncut
“blending moments of introspection with soaring post-rock crescendos and classical elements, this is a compelling debut throughout.” Q– 4 stars ****
“A masterful work of melancholy and bruised beauty… One of the most wonderful new British artists of recent years.” Planet Rock – 5 stars *****
“Stirring and evocative… We’re only halfway through 2020 but the chances of a more heartrending and fully formed debut emerging this year are practically zero.” Metal Hammer – 9/10
“Enduring the emotional abyss with breathtaking grace and grit on her debut album; A.A. Williams’ Forever Blue is a record that reveals more of its sublime poetry each time it’s listened to.” The Line Of Best Fit – 9/10
“A stunning eight track debut… Her vocals are stirring and emotive, while conveying raw emotion that perfectly encapsulates the anxieties and addictions of love and loss… Just sublime.” Clash – 8/10
“A concise yet profound debut album that displays incredible craft both lyrically and dynamically.” Secret Meeting – 8.5/10
“A debut of richness, depth and genuinely shattering emotional engagement – pure melancholic majesty to lose yourself in.” Beats Per Minute – 8.2/10