Liverpool’s latest success story, Holly Låpsley Fletcher doesn’t really need my love in the way some new artists do. It’s not like she’s an unknown at this point struggling to get heard… having deservedly found her way on to the Radio One playlist in the space of a few short months. What Holly does need though is genuine and continued support, because inevitably the hype will die down and her music will rise above it. Latest release Falling Down is a stunning arrangement, one that breaks my heart with every little nuance and sound… her vocals reaching places others are unable to, the very depths of my soul.
If I’m honest, this week has been difficult; Sounds From The Other City was a huge success for all at Tru Luv and it’s been hard trying to refocus. One act that played the festival to great acclaim last year is Liverpool/Manchester based G R E A T W A V E S. Having seemingly been in hibernation these past few months, David Lacy’s dreampop project finally emerged with a beautiful new track in YOU. The production is cleaner this time round, more refined. It feels like the sun rising at the start of a new day, warmth scattered across the sky.
The recent revival of Liverpool’s music scene has been well documented. For me, Outfit were the band that first got my attention (‘Performance’ is last year’s most underrated album) and most recently Holly Lapsley Fletcher has been making serious hype waves. Electronica duo D R O H N E (yeah that whole capital letter thing is getting pretty dull) worked with Lapsley before she got discovered and it can surely only be a matter of time before these kids do something, having spent the last few months creating beautifully dark and ambient soundscapes.
Comprising of Luke McCulloch and Richie Craddock, there is an obvious hunger there… seeing them perform live in Manchester earlier this year left me intrigued as the hoods that they were were hiding under revealed something more delicate, more anxious that I had previously imagined. This anxiety is also found in Sample Pictures, the first track taken from debut EP ‘Parasite’, produced by Espher. Don’t expect to sleep easily after listening, it’s a moody affair filled with regret and an intense sadness.
“I found you when you were sleeping… Don’t wait for me, I cannot love”
As I listened to Stars by Liverpool quartet SeaWitches for the first time, I actually felt alive inside. I could hear my heart beating faster than usual, pounding against my chest. Taken from forthcoming EP ‘Tear Back The Sky’, Jo Herring’s lovelorn vocals dance above unremitting melodies. The contrast between her personal lyrics and the soaring sounds around them is compelling and exquisite. With hints of No Shout’s No Call’s era Electrelane, SeaWitches have for me, produced the track of the year so far. Urgent, romantic and utterly beautiful. Sha Sha la la la.
Liverpool’s SeaWitches are spooky, exotic, raw – they make you want to dance like there’s no-one watching. Their spiky, hypnotic guitar music is a heady brew of post-punk and psychedelia.
Jo Herring and Laura Caldwell swap instruments and share vocal duties, from traditional singing to all out orgasmic moans. It’s seductive and sinister. Equal parts Kim Gordon and Nico. Backed by a rhythm section stirring up a dynamic dust cloud through some pretty off-kilter terrain. The epic, two-part title track from their excellent Space Gun EP, is a visceral and evolving, alive-below-the-hips, groin-grind, fully deserving of your attention.
Earlier this year, Liverpool’s Tear Talk released 7″ B R E A T H E on exciting independent label Bleeding Gold. The track showcased a band with a very clear sense of identity and vision – sparse and minimal guitar (its hard not to make comparisons with The XX) slowly revealed new elements and colours – distorted, fuzzy and painted darkly onto the canvas.
Sleepwalking is much more immediate and hints at a less bleak outlook. Josh Miller’s vocals cutting dreamily through like Echo & The Bunnymen drenched in sunshine. Its not as experimental but all the better for it.