Spotlight!: Margo Raats

margo raatsIn today’s music industry EPs are more important than ever. They have usurped the role of debut albums as a way for artists to make a good first impression, with some acts building up a massive following on the back of just a few EPs alone. At the same time however they are never given the respect they deserve. I’m a big believer in quality over quantity. Much like how a great actor can say more with just an expression than others can with pages of dialogue, an artist pouring their heart and soul into just a couple of tracks often makes a greater impact than most albums.

With her debut EP On The Run, Belgian born singer/songwriter Margo Raats hammers the point home with a handful of songs that are altogether more moving than perhaps any album I’ve heard this year. ‘Fly’ is as uplifting as its name suggests with its message of reassurance and comfort, while ‘Wondering Why’ wins you over with it’s off-kilter arrangement and bright folk melodies. It’s in the stripped back soul of ‘What Is It Like’ and ‘Remember Me’ that Margo really shines however. The sparse arrangements ensure that Margo’s gorgeous vocals take centre stage. It takes great skill to be so passionate and expressive, but it takes even greater courage to be so open and vulnerable for the world to hear.

Fans of Hannah Grace, Lucy Rose, Gabrielle Aplin and Freya Ridings should check out Margo’s debut EP On The Run.

Top Tracks: Pastis – On The Run

While we mostly focus on looking forwards and celebrating what’s new, we are still susceptible to moments where we long for the “good old days”. I for one miss the days of B sides, the days when bands would hide away some of their best tracks for only the most ardent of fans to find and make them into the music equivalent of cult classics. That spirit is alive and well with this brilliant new track from Helsinki based band Pastis. This particular B side is real A+ material. With ‘On The Run’ the band have channelled all their talents into a song that shows them at their very best. Combining the bright, bubbly melodies of mid-2000s indie with the scrappy, relentless energy and lo-fi philosophy of 70s punk, ‘On The Run’ manages to pack a wealth of great music into just a brief couple of minutes. This spirited little number is more than deserving of some time in the spotlight, as indeed are Pastis themselves.