Brighton-based indie-pop 4 piece Fond of Rudy produce hook driven pop that channels Top 40, circa early 2000s. BBC Radio 6,BBC Introducing London, CLASH and Earmilk have thrown fuzz their way and it’s well deserved. “Singapore” is ambitious and just about impossible to get out of your head once the chorus has its way with you.
The single release will mark the beginning of an accelerated drive to the bands first UK tour this summer.
Experimental female pop ambassador Madeline has been serving up delectably strange and empowered media since she arrived on the scene in 2017. It’s only fitting that, when attempting to appropriate the work of another artist, she decided to cover the fairy godmother of Alterna-Pop, Bjork, who wrote “Birthday” in her artistic infancy as a member of The Sugarcubes.
The new video boasts a joyful, simple, uncluttered vibe which is exactly what Madeline intended. “It’s a beautiful ode to the innocence of a young girl, and the beauty of a life. Sometimes I need to remember myself as a little kid. It helps me to have more self love and compassion when my anxiety starts to take over,” she asserts. Indeed, the unbridled performance coupled with the songs lighthearted vibe makes for a deeply therapeutic experience, even if it’s not your birthday, per se.
“Birthday” is lifted from her new EP, Then Her Head Fell Off, which is Madeline’s most left field project to date – brimming with weird, wild and unmistakably original songs.
Welcome to the monthly series where I write about the ideas and inspiration behind the Spotify playlists I release on the first of every month.
“Jesus. I’m another year older. What am I doing with my life? Shouldn’t I have everything figured out by now?”
That’s been the narrative inside my head for many years now when May 1st rolls around. Really nailing that self-love thing, right?
Things were different this year. I felt a little bit like myself as a child, when I would eagerly await my birthday so I could be one year older, one year cooler, one year closer to my older sisters’ ages. (It took me a while to realize that I was chasing a moving target with that one…)
Here’s the thing. I’m all about my 30s. I tell people all the time that they’re the best years I’ve had yet. But if I’m honest with myself, 31 was rough. I was ready to be done with it. Knowing my birthday would fall on the same day that I was scheduled to publish a new playlist, I thought I’d take the opportunity to celebrate my excitement by putting some songs together that represent the things I love about birthdays.
Have a party!
After a rough year, I felt like I needed a pick-me-up. Time to put some songs together to make me want to dance. That was my main intention with this playlist. It’s worked for me. Hopefully for you too. Try this: wake up one morning, press play on “Welcome to the Wonderful World of,” making sure you’re not on shuffle mode. By the time you get to work, I hope you’ve danced a bit and feel energized for the day ahead. That’s a micro version of what I was aiming for. Energizing myself for the year ahead.
Hear from a people you didn’t expect to hear from
This is my favorite thing about birthdays. Getting a message, an email, a Facebook post from people I haven’t heard from in a long time or wouldn’t expect to hear from. Little things like that really make me grateful for the wonderful people I have met in life. Cheesy as it may be, I tried to reflect that concept in this playlist through its variety. The tone is predominantly upbeat, per my my first point, but I layered in some surprising bits and pieces. It slows down, twists, turns, and kind of in the middle of nowhere includes an African chant.
Celebrate a new beginning
As you can see through the standard voice in my head on birthdays past, I’ve had a tendency to fear the concept of aging. This year, I flipped the script. I learned a lot while 31, but I was ready for a reset. Don’t get me wrong, I am fully aware that not much has changed circumstantially, but I’m working on adjusting my mindset. I also realize that I’m only human and I am certain I’ll continue to fall down and pick myself up, and fall down and pick myself up, and fall down and pick myself up, again and again and again. (“I still got a lot of shit to learn, I admit it.”) But this is me picking myself up. Set to the sounds of badass women like Beyonce and Lauryn Hill and Jain and Meg Mac and Billie Eilish and Sampa the Great and Sia and Noname and Maggie Rogers and Lizzo and others. Because I’m a badass woman inspired by these badass women.
So, here’s to 32. A new beginning I’m celebrating by surrounding myself with all sorts of wonderful people and a good soundtrack.
Everything is everything, what is meant to be, will be. After winter, must come spring, Change, it comes eventually.
– Lauryn Hill
Alessandro Ciminata is a London-based songwriter who creates romantic indie pop, brimming with bittersweet nostalgia. Instead of leaning into the future for inspiration, Alessandro seems to find his muse in the bygone days when people shared real moments, devoid of smart phones and social media. Reflecting on the themes of his empowering new single “Kings,” Ciminata asserts, “In the era of social networks we sometimes forget what real life is like. Have you ever asked yourself how many unforgettable moments you could lose by looking at your phone? We don’t need to use social networks to feel complete and pretend to be someone we are not. We are who we are and this is unique already.”
Finland-based MC Pete Santos creates a compelling hybrid of world, R&B, and hip hop. His anthemic single, “Heroes,” finds the artist in an uplifting mood, laying down a series of beautifully designed rhymes about his faith in humanity. In a strikingly creative move, the track begins with the original demo of the hook, which Santos and his producer Berat “Flos” Cimily had on the shelf for over two years before they busted it out as the fourth single from the 2019 release Fisherman. Hit play and hold tight for the bright, positive vibrations.
Hollywood songstress Olivia Henry produces sophisticated glam pop, influenced by her previous incarnation as a jazz starling. Her lush compositions often vacillate between zesty, confident swagger and deep-seated insecurity. “Tear Me Apart” falls into the latter category, with Henry detailing the drastic measures she undertakes in order to hold on to a dispassionate lover. Somehow she makes these desperate sentiments seems sexy as all hell.
“Tear Me Apart” is the sophomore single from Henry’s forthcoming release Part I—Expectations