Live: Jessie Reyez at Miranda London

Back from watching a short set list from one of the most anticipated Canadian exports over the last year, Jessie Reyez.

Intensely beautiful blends of hip hop and RnB mixed with the most innocent sounding voice you could imagine!

 

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Live: Dua Lipa + Off Bloom at Shepherd’s Bush Empire

Shepherd’s Bush was the place to be in London last night! Being one of the UK’s biggest pop exports of late, Dua Lipa put up an impressive gig to a sold-out crowd, with support from Danish indie-electro outfit Off Bloom.

Live: Sailor & I at Pickle Factory London

sailor-and-i-pickle-factory-london-march-2017

I saw Sailor & I last evening at London’s intimate Pickle Factory. The sound coming out of this Swedish talent through a good sound system is one thing, but hearing the synths and beats live was on another level! Debut album ‘The Invention of Loneliness’ is out now via Skint.

Live: Harlea / Petrie at Sebright Arms London

harlea-sebright-arms-london-live-january-2017

petrie-sebright-arms-london-live-january-2017

Caught Harlea do a short set at London’s Sebright Arms today… Umm… WOW! This kid is carrying the flag for British rock with some serious power.

Support from Petrie was also pretty special.

2016’s Random List

What a year, eh. I was almost tempted to not write up a random list for 2016 on the count of me wanting it to end as soon as possible. But alas, in a year of many disasters, there were a few nice things to come up which made everything OK for a little while. It’s a condensed list this year, so here’s looking to an awesome 2017. Anyway…

The guy who made a song two years ahead of it’s time

ragz-originale

This song by UK talent Ragz Originale is basically a view of the future for me. It bounces between dark samples while keeping a gritty rawness. All the while still sounding slick. I see this sound taking off majorly in 2018.

The song most likely to turn you into an emotional wreck

daniel-caesar

I am not a huge fan of covers, however, when I stumbled across this Kanye West rework by Daniel Caesar I was an emotional mess. Stunning, beautiful, flawless… Everything that reminds you that the world can still be a beautiful place.

The boyband that got it right

hare-squead

Ireland. Home of the type of boyband that you love, and love to hate. Until this year. HARE SQUEAD are a bunch of kids crafting a sound that is on-point.

Most epic Scandi pop

smith thell

Smith & Thell have been on my radar for a really long time. This Swedish duo haven’t been afraid to change musical directions, and with the release of ‘Row’ this year I can’t think of any other Scandi act that has managed to come up with a song as intense and catchy as this one.

Most listened to song on my iTunes

dua lipa

I’ve surprised myself with this one. And I’ll be honest, I did consider leaving this category out for 2016, but f*ck it. For the second year, Dua Lipa is behind my most listened to song on my iTunes. This time it’s with ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – a pop banger through and through. It’s not edgy, nor does it push any boundaries. But it’s everything you want from a big pop sound, and that’s all I need to hear a song on loop.

Most likely to be huge in 2017

Rag’n’Bone Man

It’s been a while coming but I am finally excited to see that Rag’n’Bone Man is certain to be the biggest new act to hit the mainstream in 2017. Well deserved too.

Live: HONNE at The Roundhouse

honne-roundhouse-london-october-2016

Probably the most anticipated gig of the year for me. I’ve made no secret of how much I love HONNE so seeing them at London’s Roundhouse last night was just… Epic.

 

Live: M.I.L.K at Ja Ja Ja

m-i-l-k-at-ja-ja-ja-lexington-london-october-2016

I went to the monthly Ja Ja Ja night at The Lexington this week just to see one of Denmark’s most exciting pop exports, M.I.L.K do a short set list.

Effortlessly cool (with tons of sax) and easy to fall in love with.

Live: Huntar at Camden Assembly

huntar-camden-assembly-october-2016

So I caught Huntar at London’s Camden Assembly last week and realised that I never posted about it…

Anyway – it was a packed house and the effort into the production that this kid put in was spectacular.

Live: William The Conqueror at The Islington

william-the-conqueror-the-islington-london-october-2016

Just back from seeing Cornwall’s William The Conqueror at London’s Islington, hearing a unique blend of mellow, trippy psych and Americana. Random and very cool.

Live: Snakehips at Koko

snakehips-koko-october-2016

Last night I went to watch Snakehips (one of my favourite acts over the last twelve months) at London’s Koko (my favourite music venue in town).

Albeit, with a broken foot so I couldn’t do much other than watch everyone around me have an amazing time wishing I could join in.

Live: Ady Suleiman at The London Edition

ady-suleiman-showcase-london-edition-september-2016

Just back from the Ady Suleiman showcase this evening at The London Edition. Intense voice…

The October show at Scala is now sold out but you can still catch him here.

Live: Phlake at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen

phlake-hoxton-london-september-2016

I caught Danish RnB/ pop/ soul outfit Phlake this week in London. It was their first show in the UK and it was pretty awesome. I don’t know why, but I have a sense that these kids will get buzz internationally. Who knows…

Live: Sway Clarke at The Victoria London

sway clarke live london the victoria june 2016

Sway Clarke has been on my radar longer than I can remember. By chance I found out that he was in London for a couple of shows so I shifted my ass from Shepherds Bush to Dalston (was I the only one there over the age of 30?) to catch him supporting HAUS. I’m glad I did- the kid has so many stories with his tracks. I really hope he takes off… He deserves it.

Live: Broods at Electrowerkz London

broods may 2016 london electrowerkz

New Zealand duo Broods hit London this evening at one of my favourite spots, Electrowerkz.

As expected, these kids showed off their unique brand of electro pop on an epic scale. The new album, ‘Conscious’ is out June 24th on Capitol.

Live: Demo Taped + NAO at Village Underground

demo taped village underground london april 2016.

nao village underground london april 2016

This was by far my favourite show of the year. Demo Taped pulled off an incredible set completely on his own (and doing it pretty flawlessly), while NAO just proved to me even more how she’s taking 2016 by storm.

Live: SLOWOLF at Oslo Hackney

slowolf oslo hackney feb 2016

Caught some of SLOWOLF’s set from last night’s Warchild gig at Hackney’s Oslo. Immense hip hop.

2015’s Random List

As has become tradition, here’s this year’s Random List. A collection of music highlights that have caught my attention in the last year. I spend the whole year featuring new and edgy stuff, so it’s nice to put up the last post of the year as a little fun. For previous years, head here.

Most Underrated Talent Of The Year

kwabs

Kwabs has been a dilemma in 2015. He’s so good, so talented, and the songs are so on-point. But he’s still not tapping the mainstream the way he deserves to be. Maybe it’ll change in the next twelve months.

Most Random Act To Pick Up Recognition In Sweden

mnek

Just before the world was introduced to MNEK’s work with Zara Larsson (one of pop’s biggest successes in 2015 in my view), Sweden took an unexpected liking to MNEK’s ‘The Rhythm’ to the point where the track picked up Gold sales. Which is nice since it hardly made impact in the UK. And let’s face it, Sweden knows good pop.

Most Played On My iTunes

dua lipa

Dua Lipa. Emerging from the same team behind Lana Del Rey only less of the weirdness. This is a fresh slice of pop.

Best Pop Banger That No One Will Hear

lucas nord

Lucas Nord’s work is already well noted through this record with Tove Lo, but this track that was released in November took me by surprise. It’s just SO GOOD.

Hottest Fans At A Gig

honne oval space london october 2015

HONNE are a staple on this blog. This year I managed to catch them live and not only was the gig sold out but it was packed with Abercrombie model look-a-likes. Fancy yourselves a hot boyfriend / girlfriend? Catch HONNE live…

Scandi Country Of The Year To Pull It’s Act Together

norwegian-flag-norway-surfing

Norway. What with Aurora (and that John Lewis advert), Astrid S and Loveless all making impact this year in some shape or form, Norway’s shown that it’s the country to watch in 2016.

Biggest Turnaround Moment

justin bieber purpose

Justin Bieber… Where did that come from? Seriously- everyone seems to be on Justin’s side this year with the release of ‘Purpose’ and the random pop gems that are contained within that record. Just goes to show that kid stars can make good as they grow.

Act Who Owned 2015

years and years

Years & Years, as predicted in last year’s Random List. More importantly though, these kids have shown that you can have a lead singer be out, gay and comfortable with himself and have no one care.

Act Who Will Own 2016

Jack Garratt

Jack Garratt. No one’s even pretending that Jack won’t take over the next twelve months. It’s great though; he’s showing off a new style of dark soul-pop that’s touching people in a way I wouldn’t have expected.