New Music: Seafret

You know how when going to a gig, especially the great ones, you want to listen to that band again straight after leaving? I wasn’t able to do that with a few I attended as I was on Seafret mode for so long.

I had read about them quite a few times on Postmodern Mixtape and I knew the writer really loved them so I thought I’d give them a listen and subsequently texted [PMM’s blogger] Zaira: “I don’t know if I slit my wrists or if I buy a concert ticket” (as they had a London gig coming up as part of their “Tell Me It’s Real” Tour).

I often complain people don’t write like Bob Dylan anymore and nowadays a lot of the audience doesn’t even seem to care that most chart hits have very stupid lyrics. They might not be Dylan (I mean, who comes even close?!), but their lyrics hit straight in the heart. I mean, they make me want to fall in love! (*changes record to Metallica*)

Obviously, I didn’t slit my wrists and I can’t even remember why I said that! I was probably in a shitty mood and in need of some more upbeat music. So much that I didn’t realise, the fact that  their sound is more chilled and lofi, didn’t mean the songs were depressing nor sad.

I did buy a ticket in the end and realised how uplifting their music actually is! Jack’s voice is out of this world stunning and Harry is the perfect bandmate to make up this ridiculously exciting up-and-coming duo. seafret2

I cannot remember the last time I saw a crowd so mesmerised by an emerging band like the one for Seafret. Actually, I do, it was Coasts and it was boring because they sound exactly like Two Door Cinema Club while Seafret sounds like no one but themselves. Their music is pure pop, don’t get me wrong. One of my favourites, “Skimming Stones”, is 100% pop formula but they manage to, well, running the risk of sounding like a moronic X Factor judge, “make it their own”.

We hung out after the gig for a chat and they are such nice guys! And actually quite diplomatic while dealing with drunk groupies. I followed PMM and completely fell in love with them too.

Oh! Most importantly, not only they DO NOT have the same set every gig (I know they’ve only got an album, but still…) but they played my favourite song which I like to think was because I tweeted them the night before asking for it when I saw it wasn’t in previous set lists (it wasn’t because of my tweet, but don’t take the illusion away from me! A band that takes fan requests is a band that’ll live in my heart forever!).

 

For those of you familiar with Entourage, Jack reminds me SO much of Vincent Chase! I say the character Vin instead of the actor, Adrian Grenier, because of his attitude. Vinnie is the famous heartthrob dude who doesn’t act like a dick. He’s really friendly and polite yet confident, charming and pretty sly.

I actually tweeted that Jack could be Vincent’s younger brother tagging Adrian Grenier and he tweeted me back! The 1999 version of me was ecstatic.

Seafret’s debut album “Tell Me It’s Real” is out now and you can actually catch them at Glastonbury if you’re heading there on 22 June.

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Sweden National Day requires a special playlist

As the title says, it’s Sweden National Day and this blog couldn’t let it go blank…I mean, “I ♥ Sweden” is actually a category here!

Sweden National Day

I’ve loved Swedish music pretty much for as long as I’ve loved music, even if unknowingly. And it probably started with Ace of Base and Roxette (happiest gig I’ve ever been to back in 2011 at Wembley Arena!). Although it was “Lovefool” and my brother’s First Band on the Moon CD that  The Cardigans - First Band On The Moon (1996)made me listen to The Cardigans at first, I’ve long transcended that underrated gem of a song and have loved pretty much everything they’ve released since, even going into Nina Persson‘s no-longer-in-existence parallel project, A Camp and, most recently, her solo album, Animal Heart.

Sweden is not only a stunning country with a cool hippie vibe, IKEA and Pippi Longstocking, but it’s always been one of the main exporters of music, whether it be bands, singers or songwriters. I mean, having written numerous hits for some of the biggest popstars in the world, Max Martin is probably one of the most important pop songwriters of all times.

To celebrate Sweden Nationaldag, I put together a selection of tracks of some of the country’s most popular artists ranging from obvious classics such as Abba and my dearest Cardigans to iconic Robyn and the latest up-and-coming gems such as Matilda Gratte (with whom I’ve been in love since I first heard her at Camden’s best hidden treasure, Spiritual Bar). Sadly, she’s only got two songs on Spotify, so I’ve added a video down here too.

Although all the artists are deserving of more than a mention, I’ll keep this brief but give you a heads up on this one great musician I was introduced to on a trip to Stockholm: Tingsek. It was love at first listen and I was lucky enough to get to see him play East London’s Cargo a few years ago when opening for Allen Stone. I can’t exactly describe his music…it’s just stunning! And he recorded probably the best version I’ve ever heard of Depeche Mode‘s “Shake the Disease”.

I’ll stop here so you can carry on to more important matters: the actual songs!

If you feel like I’ve missed someone important or want to suggest some new artists, please do feel free, comments are very welcome!

Seriously one of the most anticipated releases finally announced!

Disclaimer: I’m Latin. I do feel very passionately about things that I truly love and sometimes it comes across as slightly obsessive to my European peers. 😂 Oh well!

The reason I’m sharing this information is that I’m possibly about to go very nuts over the latest album release announced. In my defence, I’ve been waiting for this one in particular for over TWO YEARS.

It was on Wednesday 05 Mar 2014 that I was really excitedly waiting to see dear Nina Persson at the Scala. I was just chilling, minding my own business celebrating my 10th anniversary of the first time I left home to leave abroad when the support act came on stage…that was it. Norma Jean Martine began and it was all, well, uphill! from there.

At the time I really liked her but normal, the way I like a billion artists. But then I checked her out online, again, like I usually do with the artists I like, and I got hooked. I’ve long lost count of how many times I watched her videos on YouTube and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME I ask myself “why on earth isn’t she releasing these songs so I can actually have them on my daily playlists?!”

Well, guess I (and you. You’ll all love it! She’s amazing!) won’t have to wait that much longer…this is part of the email I got today:

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I was so excited that I forgot to watch the video and check the release date: 09 Sept 16 (aaahhh another 5 months!! But ok, at least now we know it’s happening).

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And the video. Seriously, the video. I haven’t been excited about one in forever but reading about it gave me all the feels…I’ll share NJM’s words as she can obviously explain it better than anyone else:

njm_video

And, obvs, the video:

This song was actually released a while ago with a different video but this one really is just beautiful! So personal, so sweet. And I’m not entirely sure as I hadn’t heard the studio version of “No Gold” in a while but sounds like it’s been slightly reworked…sounds cooler, more interesting (even though the original was already a great song!).

Apart from the fact that we still need to wait a few months for the album to be released, one of my favourite NJM songs is not in the track list…but all good, everything is fine, we’ll just have to hope she’ll release a bootleg/acoustic version of it to keep us going (because one album will not be enough!)

[this track, btw]

Hopefully she’ll announce the London gig soon and, better yet, I’ll be able to go!! It’s been too long…about 3 months =)

[NJM at The Lexington, London 16 Feb 2016]

You can find Norma Jean Martine on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Milestone: Panic Island on Q Mag’s Top 5

Although I started this blog to talk about all things music industry-related and I have a gazillion posts all over my notebooks, post-its, Mac Notes, Word docs and some still in my head, I haven’t had the discipline time to share them with the one or two readers of this thing.

Worse of all, I don’t even write about my own artists! But today things will change. Ok, they won’t. But I WILL say one thing:

Panic Island, the first band I ever took on to manage, who is about to release their debut EP, had their first ever single feature on Q’s website as one of the FIVE songs to hear this week. And even though it’s been hours since we found that out, we’re all still pretty much:

realitybites_mysharona

Photo evidence:

Qmag_slider

And the sweet, sweet words of James Skey…

Qmag_blurb

More on : http://www.qthemusic.com/9270/five-songs-to-hear-this-week-zohara-axel-flovent-panic-island-rob-bravery-my-baby/ 

And, more importantly, here’s “Temples”:

And then there was Nina

Video overload. For a reason beyond great.

I’ve declared my love for Sweden and its culture, landscape and people many times on this blog. Mostly for the music.

Yesterday I mentioned Garbage being one of my all time favourite bands and today I’ll reveal another which is often fairly underrated and misunderstood: The Cardigans!

Apparently they’re playing a couple of gigs in the coming weeks which hopefully means they’re getting back to work as a band but, while that doesn’t happen and nor does A Camp (their website doesn’t exist anymore and it looks like neither does their FB page. That’s sad.), the loveliest Nina Persson has recently announced her upcoming solo release (out 29.01.2014 on Universal) and you can pre-order a signed copy:

here (CD)

here (CD)

here (vinyl)

AND here (vinyl)

Check it out!

 

 

Pre-release streamings of the week

*WARNING: cliche overload*

I know I should’ve shared this on Monday but better late than never.

Christmas definitely came earlier this year with the most anticipated releases available for streaming a week before release date!

Pearl Jam - Lightning Bolt

Pearl Jam – Lightning Bolt

 

Back to Forever stream

Lissie – Back to Forever

Wrecking critics

All these unrequested opinions about everyone and everything – much like my own here – are really tiresome and boring.

“Wrecking Ball” is a great song and the video is almost as beautiful, save for that unnecessary licking and attempt at making sexy faces when it should really be more of a so-sad-i’m-borderline-clinically-depressed.

Were it not for that VMAs’ disturbing Gremlin resemblance + the twerking and the sledgehammer licking, there would be far less ready-made criticism between re-tweeted and stated as it was one person’s own opinion rather than just an attempt to sound opinionated by repeating someone’s unthought rant blasts. Not to mention the mass of hypocritical pseudo-political correctness.

I wonder if the world would be a better place if people had hobbies and thoughts of their own.

The underrated artist of the century

How is this possible??

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The Lissie people have been paying to keep this post popping up all the time for at least a couple of weeks now and she hasn’t got 500 likes. And her page has only about 157k thumbs up.

HOW? WHY?

She’s one of the best musicians of today! Her music is pretty unique, her voice is stunning, she plays guitar, writes her own songs and she’s not over the top yet still outstanding. Because really, nobody needs over the top. Actually, some artists suit a big show, like Pink, for example. It’s highly entertaining but she’s also an amazing singer and a very peculiar lyricist and makes fun pop music.

Anyway. Another one of life’s many mysteries but good for me as I’ll get to see her at a venue like Koko, not the O2 at the nosebleed section because all the good tickets were gone within the first 3min.

I still wish she was properly recognised though.