There’s an odd sense of solace that comes from feeling small and inconsequential. We feel it most in the bittersweet tranquility that comes from gazing up at the stars, or in this instance from watching the rhythmic crashing of waves upon the shore. Staring out from the sand at a vast expanse of rolling ocean, stretching beyond the horizon, somehow makes you and all the worries holding you down feel insignificant by comparison. Watching waves dash upon rocks and race along sandy beaches before retreating back – same as they always have, and as ever they will – offers some comfort in their constancy when so much in life feels uncertain. With their new single ‘Waves Poem’, Irish trio All The Luck In The World capture that feeling brilliantly with a blend of vivid imagery and compelling soundscapes. Taken from their forthcoming album How The Ash Felt, it marries the soft shimmer of their affecting introspective folk style, with layered grandiose instrumentation and hints of glitchy electronica that recalls Bon Iver’s self-titled, and feels every bit as expansive and spellbinding as the ever swirling sea it depicts.
Wolf Alice – Blue Weekend
Alternative Rock | Dream Pop
Olivia Rodrigo – Sour
Pop | Pop Punk
Rag’n’Bone Man – Life By Misadventure
Pop | Soul
Quite often the spark that drives me, and I would hope all music writers, is the one that comes from finding a diamond in the rough. Hearing a new track full of promise from an up-and-coming artist and just being completely captivated by the sense of possibility, and looking forward to watching them grow. Hearing some interesting style or engaging melodies, envisioning how it can be built upon further down the line, and singing its praises from the rooftops to give it a nudge (however small) to help reach that point. ‘Vampire’ is not one of those tracks. It’s no diamond in the rough, rather it’s already perfectly cut, full of fire and brimming with brilliance. Nashville based artist Reed Gaines offers an assured performance, and delivers a song that any big name band would proudly parade as a new lead single. The anthemically bittersweet melodies and driving drums immediately recall The National’s ‘Don’t Swallow The Cap’, but the quiet dignity of Reed’s hushed vocal style and some smatterings of elegant piano and spaced out synths in the closing moments manage to add his own unique stamp upon it. ‘Vampire’ is such a triumph that almost the opposite is true and it’s hard to see just how it can be built upon… but I’m looking forward to finding out.
This past year has been difficult for everyone, and for many of us our friends have been the lifeline that has kept us going. We’ve all been given a chance to reflect on the things that truly matter and strengthen the connections that matter most to us. But as we rekindle old friendships and grow closer to loved ones, we are sadly also reminded of all the relationships that have somehow fallen by the wayside. For whatever reason there are plenty of people that we slowly drift apart from until they become strangers in all but name. While the relationships that end abruptly usually at least come with some amount of closure, those that quietly erode without you noticing before it’s too late leave behind a multitude of questions and ‘what-ifs’; no big crescendo, just fading away into silence. With wonderfully expressive raspy vocals reminiscent of Stevie Nicks, the bittersweet Americana of ‘Ellipses’ addresses the lonely limbo of faded friendships. How you try your hardest to keep the conversation alive but the replies still become fewer and further between, until they just stop all together. How it leaves you with so much left unsaid, still wondering how they’re doing long after losing touch, never knowing if there was a reason, something you could have done different, or whether it was all just life getting in the way.
Birdy – Young Heart
Royal Blood – Typhoons
Manchester Orchestra – The Million Masks Of God
Frost * – Day And Age