Before our list season dives into the year’s marvellous music, it’s time for one more list celebrating 2021’s most stunning visual splendour. We’re talking the acts that utilised the medium of music videos to its fullest potential with their delightful dance moves, creative concepts, and cinematic storytelling. So, without further ado: lights, camera, action! Continue reading
I’ve always had a special place in my heart for character driven songs. Those moments when an artist decides to walk awhile in someone else’s shoes and tell a part of their story. Often I find it offers that little extra hit of escapism, something we could all use with these dark and lonely lockdown days getting us down. As it happens though, ‘Always’ hits pretty close to home in that regard, as it tells the tale of someone for whom isolation feels all too familiar. “I had that first line “leave the tv on” about watching dodgy daytime television shows… It made me think of elderly people, maybe who have lost their significant other, spending most days dreaming of special nights dancing together, losing a little bit of sanity with each passing day alone“. Such moving inspiration has lovingly been brought to reality with this sublime new single. Sophie Morgan’s signature wistful warmth and vivid imagery offering a bittersweet blend of the blissful escape of nostalgia and the painful pangs of loneliness. The song is stunning as ever from this Belwood favourite, but it’s the accompanying video that really sets it apart. The wonderful choreography capturing all the grace and elegance of the golden age of Hollywood, but all the while the façade ready to fall away and bring us back to reality.
It’s time to celebrate not only the blog’s 6th birthday, but also the chance to say a wholehearted “fuck you!” as we finally leave 2020 behind. It’s been a deeply challenging year, and the road ahead is still rough and uncertain, but if there’s anything we can take away from our time in quarantine, it is learning to better appreciate the little things in life. Even a music industry left battered by the impact of Covid and incompetent governments has still been able to produce some incredible releases for us to cling on to. Before we put this crazy year in the rear view mirror, let’s take one last look back at the music that helped us through it all. Continue reading
The medium of choice for rising stars, an invaluable tool for up and coming artists, EPs are the oft overlooked lifeblood of the music industry. It’s always been our most hotly contested list as the wealth of great EPs often represents the very best and brightest new acts on the scene. In a music industry decimated by Covid-19 however, these artists are amongst those hardest hit. So as we reel off our favourite EPs from our least favourite year, if you stumble across a release that resonates with you, we ask that you do your bit to support the artists in whatever way you can. Continue reading
If this year has taught me anything, it’s that no matter how crazy things get, there’s always a song out there to keep you grounded. A little musical oasis to take sanctuary in when you lose your way. Each track here has in some way provided just the escape I needed at some point this past year, and hopefully they can offer you the same: Continue reading
The best things in life are worth fighting for, even if it occasionally means clashing with those we care about. Even with those we hold closest to our hearts, the ones we love and our dearest friends and family, you’re likely to fall out every once in a while. The mark of a strong relationship isn’t making out that everything is perfect, but through confronting problems and ultimately emerging stronger on the other side. That said, sometimes we can find ourselves chasing an “other side” that simply isn’t there. You can end up fighting tooth and nail with someone to keep them in your life, only to be blinded to the fact that the fight is all you know. ‘Unwinnable War’ is the realisation that they’re not worth the energy. Belwood favourite Sophie Morgan has really outdone herself with this latest single. Her vocals carry the same distinctive warmth and elegance as ever, and yet somehow every sublime lyric seems to roll off her tongue with more clarity and meaning than ever before. The soft and sparse arrangement swaying back and forth, punctuated with a brief mournful howl of guitar. The bittersweet melodies that tug at your heartstrings and linger in your thoughts. There’s no fight when it comes to loving this song, it welcomes you with open arms. This stunning single is a poignant reminder that sometimes the bravest course you can take isn’t to keep fighting, but to admit that it’s time to walk away.
A common piece of advice for writers is that you should write what you know. The same applies to songwriters; when you create music that tells the tale of your life, about the experiences that shaped you, it can make a world of difference. There’s a certain electricity in the air when you can tell an artist has poured their heart into a song and has crafted something very human and relatable. That feeling is perfectly encapsulated in Belwood favourite Sophie Morgan’s latest offering ‘Bar to Bar’, which tells her story of starting out in music, writing songs, gigging across town, and falling in and out of love along the way. While most songs about life on the road tend to glamorise playing to massive crowds or a life of excess behind the scenes, it’s so refreshing to hear a humble depiction of a musical journey just beginning and the loves and losses that come with it. Especially when it shares the same wistful poeticism and gorgeous honeyed vocals that left us so enamoured with Sophie’s last release. If this track from her latest EP Marmalade (out 20th March) is anything to go by, then the humble origins shared in ‘Bar to Bar’ were just the first step along the road to great things.
It’s new year’s eve, and therefore, more importantly, it’s Belwood’s 4th birthday and time for our annual awards! It’s been an odd twelve months in many respects, and a real mixed bag as far as music is concerned, but 2018’s highlights more than made up for its lows. Here’s the music that left the biggest impression on us over the past year: Continue reading
These lists aren’t final until they are up on the site to give a chance to those November and December releases that often get forgotten. That said, a basic list usually gets drafted quite far in advance as a guide. This list however is the exception. It took a long time to narrow down to a top ten, and even longer to decide on the final order. It’s been an impressively consistent year for EPs across the board, but after much deliberation I’ve settled on my final rankings. Continue reading
Have you ever gone for a walk at sunset? You could be walking along the most unassuming path, strolling past scenery you’ve seen a million times and take for granted, yet by some trick of the light it feels like a whole new world. The trees and houses glimmer with golden light, the clouds awash with colour like some impressionist painting, and you’re greeted at every turn by a chorus of birdsong. I get that exact same feeling listening to Sophie Morgan. This Cheshire born singer/songwriter doesn’t carve out a new path, she follows the trails carved out by generations of artists before her, but does so in a way shines some fresh perspective on it and makes it feel as though you’re experiencing things again for the first time. ‘Sons & Daughters’ is the kind of track that runs through your head when you just take a moment to yourself to watch the world drift by, while the delicate and dreamy ‘Lemony Girl’ reminds me of Billie Marten. Her mature songwriting on tracks like ‘Above You’ is remarkable for an artist so early in their career, while the Nick Drake inspired ‘Black Dog’ shows Sophie at her very best, her angelic vocals rising at its climax to meet the elegant swell of strings.
Fans of Billie Marten, Jade Bird, Hannah Grace and Freya Ridings should check out Sophie’s new EP Sons & Daughters.