Deep Cuts #19 featuring Kiran Leonard, Pharoahe Rocher, Hellena, Life At The Arcade and more – best new tracks July 2018

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Deep Cuts #19

Deep Cuts #19

It has been one of the most eventful summer’s in recent times, Ellie Montgomery considers the role of the fan both in football and music terms as the Getintothis team unearth 12 of the best new artists and tracks.

July 2018 has been a month filled with milestones. It’s one of the hottest summers in forty years as well as the first time England’s men’s team has reached the semi-finals of the World Cup since 1990 in Italy.

As the month comes to an end, while we’re still enjoying the gorgeous weather, England’s thwarted dreams of a World Cup win have left a bitter-sweet taste on the tongue of fans. In this post-hysteria of football ‘mania’, it’s important to consider not only the motivations behind why the entire nation appeared to come to an almost standstill on match days, but contemplate how music played such a huge part – as well as what similar occurrences occupy the world of music.

In these times of great political instability and uncertainty, in a social climate where the news appears to be monotonous, repetitive and depressing, should we really be surprised by the nation grasping onto something which doesn’t express doom and gloom? After endless months of Brexit, Theresa May and health cuts it seemed that football had ignited a shared interest in the public consciousness which didn’t require a constant debate or a general election.

In regards to the music world, the obvious comparison here is the sixties social phenomenon of Beatlemania. Streets filled with hysterical fans, gig venues awash with frenzy and the endless selling of band merchandise were such some of the symptoms which appear in similarity to the football fever of 2018.

This, too, was a moment of deep unrest within the political landscape of the era. At this time, the music of the Beatles captured in the imagination of the public something new, colourful, exciting and joyous: there was a common interest which appeared not to be up for dispute.

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It would be ignorant, however, to completely categorise both the response of fans in the cases of Beatlemania and July 2018’s support for the England team as an inherently positive occurrence. There are, of course, darker implications.

In the case of football, it seems that while superficially the World Cup may have partly overshadowed Brexit coverage in the media, divides and disputes between world nations can unfortunately be entangled with the tournament.

While I want to make it clear that I do not by any means wish to generalise how fans choose to support their particular team, it seems important to reflect on what has been occasionally overheard and witnessed while watching the England games in public places. I am referring in particular to support for the England team being used as vehicle for casual racism. For example, the perpetuation of particular stereotypes has been used as a method to insult the sporting failures of their opposing teams.

This reflection on and enforcing of political tensions through competition leads us to also consider Eurovision. The way in which certain countries are included while others are not (despite many not being physically in Europe etc.), the way in which countries are tactically supported by others and again, the expectations of the nations to fulfil superficial cultural stereotypes.

Even the negative impact of fan hysteria reached the untouchable Beatles, with the band notably stopping touring in 1966 as a consequence of not being able to hear their own music over the screams of the crowd. As well as this, to leave concerts safely, the band were transported from the venue in an armoured car which Paul McCartney has publicly referred to as a ‘stainless steel box’.

My eventual point, then, is the responsibility of us, as fans, to be respectful of those we idolise and support. In the hysteria of the music (or the match!) those performing on the stage may become dehumanised and can occasionally be turned into an involuntary symbol for a cause they do not wish to represent. Ultimately, how the band, team or image is viewed lies in the hands of the fan. Ellie Montgomery

Bryony Williams (Image Credit; Artist's Facebook Page)

Bryony Williams (Image Credit; Artist’s Facebook Page)

Bryony WilliamsWhirlpool

Bryony Williams released her first EP, Wanderlust, in 2016. Two years later sees the release of her latest EP, Concious, with the first single of the album titled Whirlpool.

Whirlpool is a catchy guitar-pop song that will get stuck in your head very quickly and have you singing along to it. Not only the song, but her music reflects alternative pop with guitars slightly softer than Wolf Alice. The strongest elements are lyrics and the beautiful femininity along with occasional melancholy making her stand out from her contemporaries.

Bryony graduated at university last year and when not recording, touring or writing she is working with GRRRLGROANNN!!!, the feminist female collective that she herself founded. She has just finished her UK tour with Joe Booley and is off to Milan to record her debut album.

  • Lucia Matušíková

Pharoahe Rocher (Image credit; artist's soundcloud)

Pharoahe Rocher (Image credit; artist’s soundcloud)

Pharoahe RocherRobocop Expert {EP}

Last month we waxed lyrical on the prodigious and super-productive powers of YANK SCALLY – well, here’s another chainsawing his way through a similar block but with even more power.

Lurking into a shadowy submerged nowhere somewhere on the outerskirts of Badlands L Town is Pharoahe Rocher – a samurai beat-maker who’s precision with a hook is as sharp as Jaws‘ teeth and darker than the abyss of the Great White’s eyes.

Before we reel off Pharoahe‘s achievements, he’s a master at regaling his own extensive CV: “I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks… I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru… While on holiday in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had taken a small bakery…”

But don’t let this false modesty cloud from what’s on offer on his most recent banquet: Robocop Expert – a nine track EP complete with J Dilla breaks, sashaying harps, woozing ambience, New Orleans brass, Blaxploitation funk, Curtis Mayfield aping soul and a world of dusty grooves.

Our pick would be the sensual Wet/baywatch or the brass-infused bomp all regal and charged with swaggering bass booms.

Head over to his SoundCloud now, there’s about two years worth of material to absorb, Monsieur Rocher is simply spoiling us.

  • Peter Guy

Hellena Image credit; artists Facebook Page)

Hellena Image credit; artists Facebook Page)

Héllena – Kissed the Sun

Hailing from Olympus, Greece and now residing in London, singer-songwriter Héllena has produced one of the finest debut tracks I’ve had the pleasure of holding an ear to for quite some time.

Kissed the Sun, the title track from her debut EP, is a gorgeous number, striking a subtle balance of darkness and beauty. The vocals are haunting, sparse and melodic. So too the instrumentation, led by a finely crafted piano sequence that provides the sonic linage for this track.

While Kissed the Sun was self-produced, Héllena enlisted the expertise of Chris Common (Chelsea Wolfe, Pelican, Emma Ruth Rundle) to further enhance the lush textures which drip from this stunning track and indeed, the EP in its entirety. From the first intro to the final track, Kissed the Sun is a proper victory, and one I could talk about at further length. The four remaining tracks fail to crumble under the weight of this spellbinding single, with highlights aplenty.

Those yearning for a Marissa Nadler fix, Héllena proves to be a very worthy addition in the pantheon of mysterious desert-witch folk. Héllena is currently working on her debut album and if it’s anything as good as this, then it will be undoubtedly met with much fervour.

  • Simon Kirk

Kiran Leonard

Kiran Leonard

Kiran LeonardParalysed Force

22 year old Mancunian Kiran Leonard – not to be confused with his Saint Leonard almost-namesake – is back with a new single.

We’re welcomed into the song, Paralysed Force, by the scuffle of a simple soldier’s drum and pretty acoustic guitar ticking along smartly, briskly, Kiran’s emotive vocal theatrics and full band building before pulling us back into that simplicity again. The melancholic sweetness of a viola is kept on the down low, not swamping or competing with the singer’s emotive pleas.

Let’s not suggest Paralysed Force is Kiran Leonard gone pop exactly – imagine that – and the song has got all the drama of his earlier releases on albums Bowler Hat Soup, Grapefruit and last year’s Derevaun Seraun.  But it’s contained, yet so bloody BIG, and a thing of heart stopping beauty.

The single comes from the new album Western Culture, out in October on Moshi Moshi.

  • Cath Bore

Life at the Arcade 2018 EBGBS

Life at the Arcade

Life At The Arcade – Little Lies

Liverpool four-piece, Life At The Arcade, are an exciting addition to the city’s music scene. Their upcoming EP, From the Basement, demonstrates the ability to produce a good old fashioned catchy indie song.

The stand out track of their debut EP is the opening track, Little Lies. This song is easy listening, with a lively riff and enigmatic lyrics. There’s a feel-good factor feel to it, which could make it the perfect backdrop for your summer.

It’s not hard to imagine a packed crowd being in full voice singing the chorus back to the band. Once the EP drops on streaming services, Little Lies should go straight onto your playlist.

  • Amos Wynn

Beaten John Lip

Beaten John Lip

Beaten John Lip – People

Beaten John Lip are the Wirral-based four piece who are cooling down this ceaseless summer heat with some melodic 70s tunes that will have you feeling that the summer of love never ended.

Their latest song, People, does this perfectly. As soon as the opening beat begins, you’re thrown into the era of long hair, peaceful revolution and, let’s face it, weed.

If anything it’s a song of unity – have a look at those around you, and really see them. Living in a busy city it’s easy to think of others as in the way, whether they’re walking to slow or having a natter in front of the milk. Instead take some time to get to know them; it’s better than silently scowling and you’ll save yourself a few years of wrinkles.

  • Lauren Wise

Liverpool music gig guide: Seatbelts, !!! (Chk Chk Chk), Gazelle and much more

Soul Desire

Soul Desire

Soul Desire – Ignite

Heavy from the start is Soul Desire’s debut EP, Ignite. The three-piece from the north west are freshly formed, having only just got together at the beginning of 2018.

Having risen from the ashes of last band One Last Run, it’s safe to say they know how this stuff works. That’s why they’ve already got a plan of action, having released their debut EP this month and with an upcoming tour set in their sights.

Single Ignite, taken from the debut EP, can be defined by one simple word; power. It canters into your eardrums from the off, with lead singer Becky Jade’s vocals a harnessed energy that’s released at the perfect point. A great listen no matter what genre you’re partial to.

  • Jamie McDonald

Andy Weaver

Andy Weaver

Andy Weaver – Pink Light Vibing

Having worked as a session musician for a number of years, Andy Weaver is now making his own mark on the music industry by releasing a debut EP, titled Pink Light.

The EP is a beautiful mix of some of the best types of music and you can see why when Weaver cites his influences as J Dilla, Kendrick Lamar, Basement Jaxx and Jungle.

Single Pink Light Vibing is one of the best tracks (in our opinion) on the EP, merging the genres of funk, soul and jazz to a tee. While you might fear it dulls into the ‘elevator music’ genre of jazz, this isn’t the case. It’s always kept fresh by a funky undertone, an RnB feel and a perfectly danceable beat.

A feathery guitar trickles throughout the song while the birds quite literally sing and the beat comes in. It’s a must for your summer 2018 playlist.

  • Lauren Wise

Kyami

Kyami

Kyami – Games

We were first captivated by upset New Yorker, Liverpool-based Kyami on a super sunny Sunday afternoon at LIMF with her single Games released just days after her first festival performance, which was one of the stand out sets of the weekend.

Perfect for a lazy Sunday afternoon, it’s a bluesy soulful rnb track with a laid back dance beat and catchy lyrics we can all relate to in the world of modern dating. It’s all about making sure you feel good about yourself rather than having the social status of being in a relationship. The opening and closing spoken word track is a beautiful soul searching introduction about the social pressures of feeling like if you’re not in a relationship then you’re not wanted.

Kyami has a sweet light and airy effortless voice that echoes Solange and yes that’s not the first time we’ve made that comparison. We’d highly recommend checking out Games if only for the cute old school Game Boy graphic that accompanies the song.

Since playing LIMF & also graduating from LIPA in the same week, Kyami has started a crowd funder to be able to afford to remain in the UK under a work visa to continue with her LIMF Academy artist development programme. If you’d like to help out please see her Facebook page to read her story and make a donation.

  • Lucy McLachlan
artfromayar (Image credit; artist's Twitter page)

artfromayar (Image credit; artist’s Twitter page)

Artfromayar – Lemonade

The mellow, soul drenched sound of the Fender Rhodes gives way to the beats, Ayar’s rap, a jazzy flavoured bass line and a soprano sax soloing away. Very North London, the manors that brought us Acid Jazz and Jamiroquai all those years ago – but as Ayar points out “Inflation don’t seem to stop.” He’s hustling on these suburban streets, and it’s serious: “at gunpoint – do or die”. Time to make a little lemonade…

Strangely for a rapper he in turn gives way – to a sung vocal by Kohini “so original, metaphysical.” He fulfils the soul promise of the intro and takes us through to the finale. Meanwhile Ayar has left the building. He’s off round the North Circular “pulling on his strings for a means to ascend.” Good luck to him.

  • Jono Podmore
Olivia-Louise (Image credit; artist's Twitter page)

Olivia-Louise (Image credit; artist’s Twitter page)

Olivia-Louise – Pressure

Surely soon to be entering the realm of stardom, Chester based singer/songwriter Olivia-Louise only cements this outlook with her latest single Pressure.

Released only a couple of months after The Outernet album, the experimental concept continues as That Boy Good joins forces to produce this one of number. With more R&B than even Ella Mai‘s latest endeavours, Olivia taps once more into that dream-like voice, and although a tad more pitched, the similarities to that of Kali Uchis are far from unnoticed – in the best of way possible, of course.

Adding to the lineup and featuring the somewhat, er, lewd lyrics of KoJo, the tone is set and half held in place by the periodic outbursts of the starring rapper, flip flopping between the two artists, each having their turn at supporting the sensual theme.

As a footnote, on the off-chance that Olivia herself may be reading this, be aware that your bio website leads to that of an estate agents with the same name!

  • Ryan Craig
Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish

Billie Eilish – You Should See Me In A Crown

You Should See Me in A Crown is a barbed warning from Billie Eilish. Over a bassline so prowling it sounds just about ready to pounce out of the shadows and sink its teeth into an unsuspecting passer-by, the teenager hisses out a steely-eyed rebuttal to anyone who might underestimate her as just a pretty face.

It’s the sound of an artist carving out her own macabre domain, a domain where sleazy fanboys will not be admitted. Take heed: anyone who tries to call Billie Eilishbaby” after playing this deserves whatever’s coming to them. It could probably do without the drop, but then again, that’s the price we pay for pop music these days.

  • Orla Foster

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