Greentea Peng – ‘Ghost Town’.
I really like giving local and upcoming artists a leg up. I heard Ghost Town on spotify and immediately took an interest in its overtly political lyrics, where Aria Wells aka Greentea Peng, details the worsening inequality in London. Call it a protest song or anthem for London, its message is razor sharp in whom she is taking aim at. “Ghost Town is inspired by a Dub Judah dubplate I heard at an Iration Steppas gig. Call it gentrification, call it social cleansing, either way you are making it clear that your vision for this city does not include us,” Wells explains. “This song is not just for London. This song is for all of us, all of our cities, all of our towns and all of us people who bring these places to life. It’s about our fundamental right to thrive in the communities we were born into and grew up in. It’s about the loss of soul in these soon to be ghost towns.”
Bryde – ‘The Trouble Is’.
Sarah Howells, better known as Bryde, has crept into my consciousness in the last few years that I honestly cannot think of anyone else, except maybe Adrianne Lenker from Big Thief, who has emotional moved me with her indie rock. Bryde has always managed to tap into her own inner force of thoughts and come out with some amazing songs that evoke a real sense of feeling. She, of course, makes plenty of room for the listener to share in her joy and agony. Her new single The Trouble Is is a wonderful example of that turmoil we often wrestle with trying to find or figure out what makes us happy, maybe even more so the things we really want. It is the long-awaited lead single from her forthcoming new album The Volume of Things (out in May). More on Bryde in the coming months but please check out her sobering new song.
Sweet Whirl -‘Something I Do’.
Esther Edquist is Melbourne singer songwriter Sweet Whirl. She came to my attention last month with her song Something I Do, a beautiful straightforward piano ballad with unbelievable composure and grace. Its inspiration in some ways is credited to Cat Power’s The Greatest according to Edquist herself. Believe me when I say this, I’m not the first to point out that Edquist’s song is quite easily one of the most beautiful songs released so far this year. Like The Greatest, Something I Do is haunting and hypnotic with one of those assured vocal performance you occasionally hear that gives goose bumps. In truth, it leaves me to wonder why the hell I haven’t heard of Edquist before now! Anyway, with a little investigation I soon discovered that Edquist is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist who “imbues bleak moments with space, mystery and romance”. With her debut album How Much Works to be released in late May this year, I cannot wait to hear more from Sweet Whirl.
Siobhan Wilson – ‘Plastic Grave’.
In the middle of 2019 Siobhan Wilson released The Departure under her own record label. In short, it was a brilliant follow-up to her critically acclaimed debut album There Are No Saints. Then surprisingly, by year’s end, Wilson was at it again, with a wonderful new seven track EP entitled Plastic Grave, an atmospheric multi-facet listen with her hauntingly beautiful vocals again the star of the show. I must admit, and I’m sure she will kill me for saying this, I initially missed its release back in December of last year, as I began to wind down for the holiday period. But I hope to at least make somewhat of an amends here, by sharing the emotionally piano-laden, slow-jam Plastic Grave which has found itself on my stereo this week. A lot like the rest of the EP, its strength lies in its stripped down approach employed by Wilson. In short, with her general dislike of overworking songs, Plastic Grave is incredibly sparse, left to breath in between some soft keys and Wilson’s wonderful vocal work. Enjoy!