There is no greater pleasure for someone like me, than to see a Mancunian act like Bernard & Edith find themselves in the position of beginning 2015 signed to Bella Union, deservedly about to find bigger audience. I distinctly remember the first time I met vocalist Greta ‘Edith’ Carroll down at the SWAYS Bunker, her warm personality left a real impression, shining brightly in a room full of chattering people… and together with her talented partner, a/v artist Nick ‘Bernard’ Delap, they have created a musical project unlike any other.
This is pop music with a uniquely northern imprint, defined by Greta’s jazz influenced vocal, unconventional and darkly delicious. Nick’s beautifully experimental soundscapes, produced with field recordings and basic instrumentation, add texture and mystery. It’s an artistic marriage made in well… Whalley Range. I’ve done my little bit in supporting Bernard & Edith along the way, having promoted them back in 2013, and written about them here on numerous occasions… so it feels fitting today to support and celebrate the official launch of WURDS at The Eagle Inn, Salford tonight. 8pm
Clarity is a rare and wonderful thing… when the fog parts from before your eyes to reveal an overwhelmingly clear vision. If like me, you’ve experienced depression, you’ll know just how difficult it can be to find it… every little negative thought compounds daily, making a light at the end of the tunnel seem so painfully out of reach. Music has always been a way of breaking that spell, certain voices and sounds together just seem to fill me with hope. I feel this way about Huh, the début song from QUALIATIK.
An experimental electronica project from Philadelphia’s Arielle Herman; it’s hard not to be excited.. her exquisite falsetto vocals seem to swirl around in melancholy before soaring away into another dimension, a rap chorus bursts the track into life, playful… restless, teeming with tension. As a demonstration of her ideas and ambition, Huh is a stunning statement of intent.
Hailing from New York, Katelyn Fay’s electronic pop packs a strong DIY aesthetic – programmed beats and retro-flavoured synth riffs merge with hip-hop style vocal raps set on an experimental spin cycle. Brimming with pop culture references, a bit like a contemporary take on Ciccone Youth’s The Whitey Album, Katelyn’s music screams attitude, imagination and wit – it’s a delicious combination.
From the edgy ecstasy and haunting grind of Can’t Change Me to I’m Not A Toy’s sample-tinged feminism and Barbie Doll frustration, “If I’m a little fucking different – good, I’m better that way.” Katelyn’s music strikes a fine balance between personal expression and cultural relevance. From relatively amateurish beginnings, Katelyn’s creations have grown more focused, accessible and fun, with a healthy lack of self-consciousness – explosive Pop Art filtered through an obsessive teenage mind.
Manchester electronica duo Bernard & Edith are to blame for my untidy house. FACT. I had serious plans for a spring clean today… and Henry Hoover is just sat there looking at me with a sadness in his eye. Poppy is one of those songs that makes you drop everything you’re doing, the kind of distraction you’re relieved to have.
It’s felt for a while now that Manchester’s musical resurgence has not been down to one particular movement or specific sound, more a DIY ideology that can be found in pockets of activity across the city. I’ve often likened Whalley Range based vocalist Greta Edith to Grimes with a hint of Coronation Street – she has this genuine warmth and attitude that really sets her apart from everyone else. Poppy is a stunning piece of work, dark and atmospheric – accompanied by the perfect visual representation.