Some songs are intrinsically linked to a place or time. They capture the spirit of a particular scene or movement, or reflect the culture surrounding where they first came to life. Some songs however are a lot harder to place, they shift and evolve to become whatever the artist wants it to be. Take ‘I Don’t Wanna Wait’ for instance, what setting does it conjure up in your mind? There’s a dreamy warmth to it that evokes images of a Californian summer, yet there’s also a suave and sophisticated aura around it which you can picture drifting out from some Parisian cafe. There’s a subtle psychedelic shimmer to the track that simply screams 60s, but the groove feels so fresh and contemporary. It’s whatever the band wants it to be, and they revel in whisking you away to wherever they please. And so, from their cold and quiet Norwegian homeland, Remington Super 60 take you on a grand summer voyage to golden beaches and bohemian bistros. In the end the destination doesn’t matter however, not when the journey itself feels like drifting across the clouds without a care in the world.
We all have a longing to forge our own path ingrained within us, one that bubbles its way to the surface as we get older. We want to see all that the world has to offer, we want the freedom to find ourselves and make our own mistakes. This is the case even when you’ve had a happy and healthy upbringing, you still can’t help but wonder what else is out there, but when you come from a broken home that feeling grows tenfold until the dam is fit to break. It’s that latter scenario that ‘Wild Horses’ reflects upon as it tells the tale of a girl yearning to break free. When your house doesn’t feel like home then it’s not just a case of the grass being greener, it’s more like living life in monochrome and wanting to finally see colour on some new horizon. It’s imagining bars on every window as you find yourself caught in the crossfire of every spiteful family squabble. It’s not simply wondering if there’s a better life out there, rather longing to truly live for the first time, a longing that won’t be denied no matter how long it takes.
Mariana Semkina – Sleepwalking
Baroque Pop | Folk | Progressive Pop
New York based singer/songwriter Jenny Kern manages to up her game with each new release. In many ways her latest single ‘Now We Now’ pulls together all the finest parts of her prior releases. Musically it is the perfect blend of the warm and fragile folk of her debut EP and the indie pop synths explored in ‘Satellite’. It’s her most assured vocal performance to date, and the lush arrangement and beautifully bittersweet tone make this the kind of song that you end up listening to on repeat and losing all sense of time. Most of all however it showcases her songwriting at its most open and vulnerable. ‘Now We Know’ is a track all about facing the end of a relationship; the pain of parting, the struggle that comes with facing up to your mistakes, and ultimately a sense of understanding and acceptance. By opening her heart and being honest with both herself and the listener, you feel a keen sense of the hurt and emptiness, but with a feeling of peace and closure shining through, on this entrancingly introspective track.
As January lingers on it still feels like a time for looking forward and thinking on the future. That suits us just fine as in a way Belwood is all about looking forward as we champion new music and up-and-coming artists. It seems fitting then for my first gig of the year, of the decade even, to be Megan Dixon Hood, our ‘best new artist‘ pick for 2019. Based on her grand and mystical music released thus far, most notably her most recent powerhouse single ‘The Wishing Tree‘, I was adamant that 2020 was hers for the taking. Little did I know that she was planning on starting early by beginning the year with her first UK headline tour. Naturally I just had to make my way across to Manchester to see her in action. Continue reading
It’s time to live in the past for just one brief moment longer before we fully embrace the future. Time for one last shot of nostalgia as we look at the very best songs of the past ten years. Songs that dominated the airwaves and became anthems for millions, and the ones that formed the backbone of our playlists and became the musical lifeblood of a more personal journey. Songs that have hyped us up ready to take on the world and ones that helped us escape into daydreams, ones that have given us goosebumps and some that have even brought us close to tears. So, assuming you’ve caught up with part one, let’s get to it! Continue reading
There’s nothing quite like a truly great song. Just a few short minutes of musical brilliance can change your life. It can be the backdrop to falling in love and be the soundtrack to the first dance at your wedding, or it can be the voice you rely upon to talk you down from the edge when your world feels like it’s falling apart. Great songs can stay with you for a lifetime, and there was no shortage of songs like that over the course of the past ten years. We did our best to narrow it down to our top 50, and as with our albums list we limited it to one song per act. Let’s get to it! Continue reading
Algiers – There Is No Year
Alternative | Post Punk | Electronica | Soul
YouTube is a platform that has become second nature. Much like how Google has completely overshadowed other search engines to the point that Google is almost synonymous with the internet itself, if a video isn’t on YouTube then to all intents and purposes it may as well not exist. While music may not be its primary purpose, it’s a great tool for artists and fans alike. So we’re taking a look at how YouTube stacks up as a music platform, and how well it works for both music makers and music consumers alike. Continue reading
Some songs resonate with you on a personal level. Perhaps the lyrics find just the right words to say what you’re thinking, or the beat almost seems to fall in time with your heart. There’s just something about it that you can feel in every fibre of your being. Songs like ‘The Mountain’ take that idea a step further however, they feel like they resonate with the world itself. Like you could close you eyes and listen to the hum of nature around you, the wind, the trees, the ground beneath your feet, all in tune with the song. The simple dark folk arrangement, reminiscent in places of Nick Drake’s Pink Moon, the hair-raising choral harmonies, and the fantastic video that flows like a living tapestry, all make it feel like there’s something ancient and mystical at work. Taken from his debut solo album Chants From Another Place out 13th of March, this new track from Swedish songwriter Jonathan Hultén is something to behold. There’s magic in ‘The Mountain’, as though its melody has echoed down the generations or its words lie engraved in some long forgotten ruins.