Album of the week: Julia Shapiro – Perfect Version

Julia Shapiro’s first solo album “Perfect Version,” is the picture of self-expression, tucked right in with filmic hooks and laid back vocals. With her band Chastity Belt, Shapiro makes music that’s angsty and wild in the best possible way, Perfect Version is much more introspective. The songs are homemade and warm, recorded in Shapiro’s flat. […]

New song: Vagabon – Flood Hands

Vagabon’s electronic talents lingered in the shadows of her debut album ‘Infinite Words’, opting instead to put guitar-driven melodies front and centre. On new single ‘Flood Hands,’ the first taste from forthcoming album ‘All The Women In Me’, Laetitia Tamko brings it to the fore, merging carousel-like synths with a venomous bass evocative of James […]

New song: Erin Durant – Rising Sun

The fourth and final single from Erin Durant’s forthcoming album ‘Islands,’ ‘Rising Sun’ is its raison d’etre, the grand statement that leads you by the hand into her sprawling, sun-dappled archipelago. Over a gently strolling guitar and muted toms, Durant sings ‘I’m going far, I’m going wide’, signalling her intention to embed you within her […]

My pet: Annabel Allum

Welcome to ‘My pet’, a new Balloon Machine feature where artists and bands tell us all about their furry companions. I have a little Patterdale called Clover, so this feature unites my two true loves – sorry, not sorry. Launching this new feature is Annabel Allum, a songwriter from Guildford who fuses punk and folk. […]

New song: American Poetry Club – Pro Pic

Pinegrove articulated that the love we have for friends we’ve lost touch with and new ones is often equal on ‘New Friends’. The anthemic album closer forms around the words ‘I resolve to make new friends / I liked my old ones / but I fucked up.’ The album starts with ‘Old Friends’ where Evan […]

Interview: Julia Shapiro

Julia Shapiro has given over most of her adult life to Chastity Belt. The band, she sings and plays guitar in, started eight years ago when she was just 20. In those years Chastity Belt have forever been on the album-touring treadmill. Halfway through the tour for their third album ‘I Used To Spend So […]

New song: Pearl City – Taste Me

I first met Greta Carroll and Nick Delap back in 2015. Yes it was for an interview but once we were done, the dictaphone was packed away and the drinks kept flowing. In all my time writing about music they’re two of the most human people I’ve met; I vivid remember popping to the toilet […]