Laura Mvula

On The Stereo: March 2021

Listen up! Explore our latest playlist, featuring Laura Mvula, The Wandering Hearts, Rhiannon Giddens, Glimmers, Tamaraebi, Adora, Pixey and more

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SAFE PASSAGE BY LAURA MVULA
Safe Passage is the new track from Laura Mvula and her first original music for Atlantic Records. Complete with a whipcrack beat and serious 80s sheen, it’s a sound that suits her rich vocals and leaves you curious for more.

ANTHEM TO THE YOUTH BY ADORA
With its piano intro, driving rhythm, sinewy guitars and attitude-laden vocals, Anthem To The Youth has all the hallmarks of a rock classic. That it’s Adora’s debut single makes it all the more impressive, the sky is clearly the limit for this lot!

OVAL BY STEPHEN FRETWELL
The new single from Stephen Fretwell is a welcome reminder of the singer-songwriter’s unique ability to conjure up meaningful yet opaque imagery. With its sparse and haunting structure helps present the lyrics in the best way possible.

WATERBOUND (WITH FRANCESCO TURRISI) BY RHIANNON GIDDENS
Waterbound, the latest release from Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, is a sensitive revisiting of a traditional fiddle tune from the 1920s. Both lyrically and instrumentally, the song evokes feelings of being stuck far from home.

BUG HUNTER BY DUDE SAFARI
Ending the week how we started, with an impressive debut, Bug Hunter is the opening gambit from Surrey outfit Dude Safari. This grungy grasshopper of a song knows when to keep its head down and when to take flight.

FOUR WHEEL DRIVE BY FOLLY GROUP
London-based collective Folly Group returns with Four Wheel Drive. A churning pulse supplies the rhythm and momentum as layers of vocals, guitars and percussion gather, swirl and disappear like objects viewed from a fast-moving car.

APOCALYPSE MARSHMALLOW BY NATHAN LAWR
Canadian singer-songwriter Nathan Lawr brings a little psych fuzz to his latest offering, Apocalypse Marshmallow. That element of wonkiness adds a feeling of chaos, thoroughly appropriate for a song about becoming a parent.

GROW BY MALIKA TIROLIEN
The kind of song that has us gasping for the return of live music, Grow by Montreal’s Malika Tirolien is a breath of fresh air. Propelled by a scuzzy funk riff, not to mention Tirolien’s jubilant vocals, you can’t help but dance to this.

BROWN ANGEL BY TAMARAEBI
Hazy RnB that you’ll want to stir into your morning tea, swallow down and feel oozing through your body, Brown Angel by Tamaraebi is both seductive and spaced out. Comparisons with the mighty Prince are definitely justified.

ANYWHERE BY SARAH KLANG
Swedish singer-songwriter Sarah Klang continues her unique take on Americana with latest single, Anywhere. Though a sense of melancholia permeates the air, it’s never oppressive; instead inviting the listener to breathe it in and share the moment.

Laura Mvula

Laura Mvula: Safe Passage is her first original music for Atlantic Records…it’s a sound that suits her rich vocals and leaves you curious for more. Photo: Danny Kasirye

JUST ANOTHER BAND FROM WARREN DUNES BY WARREN DUNES
What makes a song a song? Does it need both words and lyrics and what about some sort of structure? While we struggle with such questions, the rest of you can enjoy Just Another Band From Warren Dunes, a Zappa-esque jam by Warren Dunes.

DRIVE IN MIND BY L’OBJECTIF
Leeds newcomers L’objectif are the latest bunch of teenagers to prove that age is no barrier when it comes to songwriting talent. Drive In Mind is propulsive and immersive, like a harder Editors, and there’s an underlying precision propping up the raw energy.

ROCK BOTTOM BY MATHILDA HOMER
A co-write with Matt Maltese, Mathilda Homer’s Rock Bottom marries her shattered glass vocals with a punchy driving beat. Though its subject turns a blind eye to a faltering relationship, this powerful song is another but resigned.

YOU CAN HAVE HIM JOLENE BY CHAPEL HART
Songwriting inspiration can come from all manner of places, including existing songs. Chapel Hart’s You Can Have Him Jolene is a defiant riposte to the Dolly Parton classic in which the man in question finally gets cast adrift.

8MB BY TOM JOHN HALL
Described as ‘Daniel Bedingfield for Devo fans,’ Tom John Hall’s 8MB has us hooked from the off. Wonky beats and oddball synths form the basis of this off-kilter pop track – oh and all proceeds from it will be donated to Derby and Burton Hospitals Trust.

TURNING RED BY NEPTUNE’S CORE
Comprised of two sets of sisters, Chicago-based indie rock outfit Neptune’s Core return with new song Turning Red. Built upon the quartet’s classic songcraft and tight harmonies, this brooding number is a rumination on attraction that has us hooked.

TAKE THE WHEEL BY TOBY LEE
As a guitar-slinger, Toby Lee’s talent has always been obvious but there’s clearly more under the bonnet. His vocals take centre stage on the bluesy and rocking Take The Wheel – that’s not to say space isn’t left for those blistering solos.

THE MERSEY LINE BY PIXEY
There’s an indie-pop current sweeping along The Mersey Line by Pixey. Echoes of The Coral and The La’s suggest that the local sound has inspired this emerging Liverpool-based artist, and it’s a sound she’s given her own unique spin.

STAY IN THE CAR BY BACHELOR
Bringing some serious Pixies vibes is Stay In The Car, the new song from Bachelor. Made up of Jay Som’s Melina Duterte and Palehound’s Ellen Kempner, there’s clearly chemistry between the pair, as well as a desire to put out music that packs a visceral punch.

GOLD BY THE WANDERING HEARTS
Those masters of harmony and melody The Wandering Hearts are back with new single Gold. Their AM-friendly folk, imbued with the spirit of Americana, remains brushed with beauty and as charming as ever.

PURPLE TUX BY GLIMMERS
Atlanta’s Glimmers know how to make their music soar. Piano, guitar, rhythm section and vocal harmonies all work together in order to help Purple Tux take flight. It’s classic pop-rock done particularly well, pulling you in and lifting you up.

ARMS AROUND ME BY AMBERLAKE
Though the chiming guitars on Arms Around Me are a welcome addition, Amberlake’s ability to make uplifting pop gems remains. Featuring vocals from Nick Tsand, there’s an honesty and confidence which comes from keeping things in-house.

CONTACT BY RYAN DOWNEY
With the same emotional flamboyance as peak Brian Ferry, Ryan Downey’s vocal performance on Contact demands your full attention. The songs atmospheric grandeur is an ideal accompaniment, enveloping the Australian singer in a giant hug.

Words: Duncan Haskell

Listen to these songs and other On The Stereo selections on the Songwriting Magazine Spotify profile

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