New song: Lottie Brazier – Washing Machine

It’s often claimed that music journalists are just failed musicians. London’s Lottie Brazier, former music journalist (Guardian, Pitchfork, The Wire etc) and now budding songwriter, puts fire to that frankly ridiculous cliche with ‘Washing Machine’ – a debut single that proves her aptitude for both.  Co-produced by William Doyle, ‘Washing Machine’ is loosely inspired by […]

New Song: JFDR – Taking A Part of Me

A huge Balloon Machine favourite, JFDR (Jófríður Ákadóttir) is the only artist I’ve made two separate five hour round-trips to London to see. Having only released one album under her JFDR moniker, Ákadóttir is perhaps more known for her work as Pascal Piñon, her folk-infused project with twin sister Ásthildur,  and Samaris, an electronic project with […]

New Song: Julien Baker – Tokyo

There are few artists able to command your attention so entirely as Julien Baker. Whatever household task your involved in, her voice sounding from your speakers instantly stops you in your tracks, the washing you’re carrying instantly becoming weightless.  Her new single ‘Tokyo’ – part of the Sub Pop singles series – is no different. […]

New song: Lazy Day – Real Feel

The brainchild of Tilly Scantlebury, London’s Lazy Day have followed up their ‘Letters’ EP with new single ‘Real Feel’. Their most angsty, most visceral track yet, ‘Real Feel’ sees Scantlebury take on her inner voice with brute force. With her voice right out front on the mix, Scantlebury howls “but you always blame me / […]

Premiere: No Swoon – Forward

Brooklyn duo No Swoon return today with ‘Forward’, the second single from their forthcoming self-titled record. Formed primarily around two opposing synths, the first is acid tinged, slinking around corners with its snake-like groove, the second is discordant, a sledgehammer taken to a brittle window. Together they sound almost seedy, granting listeners access to a […]

New song: Great Grandpa – Digger

Great Grandpa have entered new territory on forthcoming sophomore record, ‘Four of Arrows’. The soundscapes are gargantuan in scale while the lyrics are vulnerable, raw – it’s truly one of 2019’s great records. Written about mental illness, the shocking shifts of pace in ‘Digger’ are suggestive of that whirlwind of emotion; everything seems to be […]

New song: Alessi’s Ark – Sacred

It feels strange to hear a song exhuming the joys of summer just as the rains arrive overhead and a chill begins to stand in the air. However, ‘Sacred’, the new single from Alessi’s Ark, the long-running project of songwriter Alessi Laurent-Marke, arrives at the perfect time allowing for the listener to spend cold nights […]

Premiere: Old Amica – Collisions

Though seven albums into their career, we first became aware of Sweden’s Old Amica mere weeks ago after friends Fox Food Records released ‘Julia, Umea’, the first single from forthcoming album ‘Constellations’. Opening with a heavily autotuned vocal, the song is initially like a blurred image, the fade reducing overtime to reveal a flowering, bounteous […]

New song: Coral – find me wrong

Coral’s debut single ‘find me wrong’ is as fragile as an insect navigating a busy footpath; one accidental stomp away from disintegration. Formed around a reeding guitar, the track almost feels perilous, as if you could fall in the silence that lies between each pluck. Sharing characteristics with Tomberlin, ‘find me wrong’ is tender and […]

New song: Amy O – Rest Stop

Amy O’s ‘Rest Stop’ is a lilting ballad reminiscent of that liminal space between sleep and waking up. Ambling lightly on your subconscious, it’s rhythm floats undramatically up and down, a tide going in and out spraying water gently over your bare feet. Written shortly after she moved home and left her job of five […]

New song: Rosie Tucker – Ambrosia

With a title like ‘Ambrosia’, you may envision Rosie Tucker’s new single as a joyful, pop-punk tribute to their favourite sweet treat. Yet, this is Tucker at their most vulnerable. Indeed, it’s more somber than anything from their debut album ‘Never Not Never Not Never Not’, which we hailed as one of 2019’s greatest guitar […]

New song: Robbie Thompson – Above Us All the Devil is Laughing

Robbie Thompson’s new single ‘Above Us All The Devil Is Laughing’ is indicative of a man wise beyond his years. Joined by a full band for the first time who bring punching snares and feedback-laden guitars to the party, Thompson sounds no smaller, still asserting his command over a bigger sound. His wearied, husky vocal […]

New song: Common Holly – Measured

The third single from Common Holly’s forthcoming album ‘When I Say To You Black Lighting’ is a mystical, hymnal thesis on the forever enduring cycle of love and loss. Anchored for the most part by a flute and Laurie Anderson-like vocal instrumentation, ‘Measured’ in its ups and downs, its starts and stops, most closely represents […]

New song: Friendship – Clairvoyant

In ‘Clairvoyant’, Friendship have summoned an aura which settles healingly over you. It’s an outer-body experience, its glorious to-and-fro of mournful, whalesong-like synths, restrained guitars and tender drums transporting you to calmer, sun-dappled waters. A thank you note to a friend who offered support during a tough period, ‘Clairvoyant’ reduces to just a guitar before […]

New song: Sour Widows – Pilot Light

Formed only last year, Sour Widows’ debut single ‘Tommy’ was suggestive of a band who had been perfecting their craft much longer. Today, they release ‘Pilot Light’, an effortlessly cool follow-up. A tightly-wound, prodding guitar provides a playground for singer Maia Sinaiko to exude a Faye Webster-like assuredness over, “My pilot light glows blue / […]

New song: Green Gardens – They Held Me Down

A few months ago, we went to see Balloon Machine’s first ever interviewee Faith Eliott. Green Gardens, the evening’s support act, were entirely new to us, bewitching us with their impeccable harmonies and charmingly restrained rhythms. Their set left us excited to hear more from the Leeds quartet, something that was assuaged with the release […]

New song: Great Grandpa – Mono no Aware

Built around a frankly anthemic chorus, Great Grandpa’s ‘Mono no Aware’ – the first taste from sophomore record ‘Four of Arrows’ – is a contemplation on the fleeting nature of memory. Led by warm, wistful guitars, ‘Mono no Aware’ also has Bon Iver-like electronics in the shadows – their spirit-like presence personifying the fragmented, childhood […]

New song: Dry Cleaning – Goodnight

Dry Cleaning were a highlight of Greenman 2019. The dead-eyed look of singer, or more accurately speaker, Florence Shaw as she delivered her lyrical tirade – comprised of overhead conversations, YouTube comments and adverts – paired with the band’s wiry, fraught riffs almost chainsawed the stage in half.  ‘Goodnight’, the opening song from their debut […]

New song: Sumie – Moon

By Anjali DasSarma “Moon” by Sumie is the perfect gentle lunar song. The careful and delicate piano contrasts against the direct and certain vocals. “The whispers of a morning tune/A sister’s lullaby,” Sumie sings. The flow of the song has the perfect amount of ups and downs, an early morning porch swing overlooking a hill. […]

Premiere: Rey Villalobos – Donut Girl

Joy Division’s live recording of ‘Sister Ray’, originally a Velvet Underground song, at London’s Moscow Club in 1980 has become notorious, legendary even. Los Angeles’ Rey Villalobos’ pairing of basement, lo-fi effects and his acerbic Lou Reed-like croon on new single, ‘Donut Girl’ brings that historic recording to mind.   The follow-up to ‘Breathe’, this is […]

New song: Field Guides – Guessing at Animals

On ‘Guessing at Animals’, the lead single from forthcoming album ‘This is Just A Place’, we find Field Guides’ king pin, Benedict Kupstas experiencing infatuation for the first time following the dissolution of a long-term relationship. “The night I met her / I was feeling kind of rough”, he sings, her presence lifting him from […]

New song: Soot Sprite – Bleed

Soot Sprite’s ‘Bleed’ is a breezy pop song darkened by an encroaching, ominous undercurrent. Originally a solo project for singer/guitarist, Elise Cook, ‘Bleed’ is their first release as a full, collaborative band, and an intriguing taster of ‘Sharp Tongue’ – their forthcoming EP on Specialist Subject Records. A start of shimmering, shoegaze-like guitars is soon […]

New song: German Error Message – Fine

After five years of near silence, Paul Kintzing (German Error Message) has had a busy 2019, releasing his fifth album ‘Mend’, an electronic record under the moniker Other Nothing and producing one of the year’s standout singles, ‘Count to Five’ from Bedroom.   His purple patch continues with new single ‘Fine’, an expansive song hinting at […]

New song: Longriver – Wasting Time

The project of Austin songwriter David Longoria, Longriver’s debut single ‘Wasting Time’ is a direct, occasionally funny, look at procrastination- something we could all do with a little more of! With meandering guitars and creeping hand percussion, Longoria imbibes the fragmented, dreamlike state present in latter day Cass McCombs. While embellished with an organ later […]