Samina – Prom

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“I taught myself how to play guitar when I was 15, started writing songs at 18, and now I’m 20 and there are few things I love more than music,” says Samina Saifee, a Detroit-born, New York-based singer-songwriter.

Samina has just released her debut single, the delicate and moving ‘Prom’. “It’s is a love letter to the summer after high school,” she explains. “It’s funny to me that everyone knows prom as a night that never quite lives up to our dreams. Finishing this song was my way of closing a chapter in my life even though it’s been years since that night, and even though it didn’t live up to my dreams.”

‘Prom’ is built up from gentle, ebbing layers of guitar, piano and discrete electronics, presented with a gauzy ethereality as if looking back on an especially poignant memory. There is a plaintive, wistful, dejected quality to Samina’s beatific lyrics, full of expectation and ultimately disappointment at going home alone. “Can’t tell you how small the world feels when you’re seventeen,” is the song’s final line, left hanging in the empty school halls of Samina’s hopes and dreams as she looks back on the naivete of youth.

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Prom by Samina was released July 25 2020. Listen at Spotify.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

First Play: Slippery People – Resuscitate Our Love

Slippery People - Julian Tardo (L) and David Best. Photograph by Kirsty Yates and Julian Tardo.
Slippery People – Julian Tardo (L) and David Best. Photograph by Kirsty Yates and Julian Tardo.

“Don’t throw it away like a disposable razorblade.”
– Slippery People, ‘Resuscitate Our Love’

Today we bring you the first play of ‘Resuscitate Our Love’ by Slippery People, a new project from the Hove-based duo of David Best from Further. favourites Fujiya & Miyagi and Ex-Display Model, and Julian Tardo of Insides.

Named after a seminal Talking Heads track, Slippery People nods firmly in the direction of the skewed, twitchy, awkward funk sound instantly familiar from David’s work in Fujiya & Miyagi, but hitches that to a solid disco beat.

With the addition of euphoric vocals from Siggi Mwasote and intense percussion from Noel Watson, ‘Resuscitate Our Love’ is both reverential to the era my parents still get all misty-eyed about, while also giving it a fresh, ultra-modern edge infused with a distinctively DIY ethos. Full of hi-NRG synths, ridiculously funky bass sounds and some of David Best’s wryest lyrics to date, the track contains an inner rumination on love gone stale and desperate efforts to revive it, all wrapped up in a breezy, infectious groove.

“I’ve known Julian probably since 2004,” explains David of Slippery People’s origins. “He invited Fujiya & Miyagi to record in the much-loved Church Road Studio in Hove, which is where we recorded the Transparent Things album, and most of our other records after that. We both really love electronic disco, and that’s how Slippery People came about.”

The product of three years of sporadic recording around their other groups, ‘Resuscitate Our Love’ and its B-side ‘Swimming In The Shallow End Of Love’ are the first, essential tracks to emerge from the duo, prefacing other singles that will featuring contributions from Ben ‘Faz’ Farestvedt. Expect a sudden resurgence in disco balls and flared trousers.

Listen to ‘Resuscitate Our Love’ and watch Julian’s advert video below.

Slippery People · Resuscitate Our Love

Resuscitate Our Love / Swimming In the Shallow End Of Love by Slippery People is released July 10 2020.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

YOVA – You’re The Mirror

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Further. favourites YOVA release their new single, ‘You’re The Mirror’, today.

The duo of vocalist Jova Radevska and multi-instrumentalist Mark Vernon here offer up what appears to be a slice of breezy soulful pop that masks a set of lyrics dealing with mental health and the myriad concerns that have entered our thoughts since lockdown began.

With the addition of treacly bass from Daniel O’Sullivan and a jazzy keyboard lick that sounds like an outtake from a late-period Talking Heads session, ‘You’re The Mirror’ taps into a soul / funk tradition that showcases a different side to this talented group. Smart pop for pondering life’s uncertainties while enjoying a languid summer sunset.

Watch the video for ‘You’re The Mirror’ below. Listen to ‘You’re The Mirror’ at Spotify.

You’re The Mirror by YOVA is released June 19 2020.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

First Play: Flossy Jones – Poolside

Today Further. brings you the first play of ‘Poolside’, the new single by Brighton singer-songwriter Flossy Jones.

A hypnotic, languid pop song presented with an aching, mysterious narrative, ‘Poolside’ finds Flossy depicting a dream-like scene. We find voyeuristic boys watching the protagonist swimming while drinking on the edge of the water. We see palm trees and concrete flamingos gazing mutely and without judgment at the scene. It is a song of extreme juxtapositions, the summery warmth of the imagery in Flossy’s lyrics offset by a distinct chill thanks to a hazy backdrop of electronics, piano and submerged rhythms.

“It’s a story about the other woman,” says Flossy tentatively about the subject’s shrouded subject matter. “It’s about a time in my life where I’d wait at midnight underneath the palms each night for someone to arrive. The song came to me while I was watching the reflection of the moonlight in the pool. It was almost like a vision of darkness that caught my attention while I was waiting there one night. I find myself really inspired, creatively, by beautifully unconventional situations like that.”

For the most part, the mesmerising ‘Poolside’ is sung in a detached, understated style acting as the perfect match to the graceful, delicate musical backdrop. A latent sensuality comes to the fore as the track – and the affair – progresses, leaving the song poised on a strange axis between the romantic and the anguished; between levity and brooding disappointment; between a yearning for the affair to become something more defined and an acceptance of the futility of that notion. Its highly evocative imagery transports you into the scene, whereupon you find yourself complicit in the long looks of the pool’s myriad spectators.

The track is backed by the poignant, fragile and ultimately hopeful ‘When It’s All Over’. “I wrote that song at the start of lockdown,” says Flossy. “I missed everyone. I missed my life. Sometimes you have these moments where songs just come to you, and it takes maybe no more than five minutes to write them. It’s when you feel so passionately, where you’re right there in that very moment, and that was definitely the case with that song.”

Listen to ‘Poolside’ below.

Flossy Jones · Poolside

Poolside by Flossy Jones is released on June 19 2020 by Blitzcat Records. All proceeds from the first week of the single will be donated to Show Racism The Red Card.

Interview: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

Nadine Khouri – Tomorrow

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Often, during lockdown, positivity has felt like it’s been hiding. We grimly fixate on daily statistics, obediently join queues outside supermarkets like it’s a breadline in the final days of Communism, and try not to freak out when people start talking about similarities with the Great Depression.

It’s possibly a vain hope to think that a song could single-handedly lift us out of our collective malaise, but London-based Nadine Khouri’s cover of Annie’s plaintive ‘Tomorrow’, recorded at home, certainly did much to raise my sagging spirits.

Delivered in Khouri’s warm, enveloping, reassuring tone, her version of ‘Tomorrow’ is rendered as a gentle, optimistic folk song, replete with dreamy, subtle layers and a profoundly moving essence. Taking a ubiquitous show tune and turning it into an anthem of fragile optimism like Nadine has done highlights her imagination and dexterity as an arranger.

To accompany the song, Nadine asked her social media followers to send in footage (much of which was filmed from their windows) which was then assembled into a video to accompany the song. “I really wanted to do something directly involving others,” says Nadine. “I found myself really moved by these contributions, which kind of helped me retain my sanity between my four walls. If it weren’t obvious enough, this pandemic has really shown how interconnected we all are.”

Nadine Khouri’s cover of ‘Tomorrow’ is released through Bandcamp today.

Words: Mat Smith. With thanks to Shaun.

(c) 2020 Further.

First View: Precious – Monsters

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London fourpiece band Precious released their debut single ‘Monsters’ earlier this week. Consisting of intense, Rowland S. Howard-esque guitar shapes and a heavyweight rhythm section, the group embrace the dynamic atmospheres of post-rock, with frontman George Latinio-Butler delivering a vocal edged with a threatening urgency, framing lyrics concerned with innocence, mental health and addiction.

Today Further. presents the video for ‘Monsters’, reflecting the themes of the song using manipulated scans of guitarist Will Coath’s own brain.

“Using the brain is extremely poignant in relation to the song’s key theme,” says George Latinio-Butler. “It helps represent this in the best possible way – the monsters are inside each and every person, whether manipulating or torturing you, guiding you or biting you. It’s ironic that people are scared of fictional characters or animals when the scariest thing out there surely is the development of a person’s character over time.

“The music itself is presented as a journey,” continues Latinio-Butler. “It’s like a persistent voice to the painful choruses finally culminating in a crescendo, perhaps signifying a violent ending. The dream-like bridge represents the idea of Groove Child, almost like the inner child: cling onto the Groove Child, be wild, or be forever envious of that free spirit.”

Precious are George Latinio-Butler (vocals), Will Coath (guitar), Dan Preston (drums) and Dan Treacher (bass). Listen to ‘Monsters’ on Spotify.

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‘Monsters’ by Precious was released April 23 2020. ‘Monsters’ artwork by Maggie Fraser.

Interview: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

First Play: Matthew Barton – Christie Christie

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Today, Further. presents the first play of Matthew Barton’s new single ‘Christie Christie’, due for release tomorrow. Barton first hit our radar with the mesmerising ‘Orchid’, a sensitive slice of avant pop released earlier this year.

‘Christie Christie’ finds Barton in rockier territory while still showcasing a personal lyrical and compositional style that defies categorisation. “It’s a song about escape,” he explains, “whether that’s fleeing from a situation, another person – or yourself. Is the lyric an internal monologue, or an address from a lover? What has Christie done that means they must flee so rapidly? Or what has been done to them? Caught doing what? I wanted to explore in the song the meaning of loyalty (“the ties won’t sever but the will just might“), identity (“a misfit no more in a foreign land“), and memory (“inside I store the silhouette of your head in the light“) in the face of a seemingly urgent situation.”

Reflecting the inner anguish in the song, Barton’s evolving arrangement of keyboard, banjo and layered process is designed to augment the song’s themes of confusion, tension, conflict and paranoia while never letting his singular vocal style be subsumed. “I guess at its heart the song is about the ‘fight or flight’ impulse,” he says.

With dream-like artwork by the Dutch Expressionist artist Tinus van Doorn, ‘Christie Christie’ is another strange trip into Barton’s subconscious. Listen to ‘Christie Christie’ below.

Matthew Barton is currently working on his debut EP, which will be released by Knife Punch Records later this year. Barton has also contributed songs to some benefit compilations – Z-Tapes’ Hope For European Bedrooms to benefit DIY artists hit by COVID-19, and two compilations benefiting healthcare and community services in the wake of COVID-19: Brace Cove Records’ Quarantine Comp and Under The Counter Tapes’ Banders.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

First Play: Matthias – Hold Me (Matt Pop Radio Edit)

Matthias is Matt Danforth, a Canadian electronic musician known for producing upbeat music full of faithful synth sounds and brilliant, sparkling melodies; music that nods reverently in the direction of classic synth pop but without ever sounding like a pastiche.

His most recent single, ‘Hold Me’ features vocals from his frequent collaborator Mark Bebb (Andy Bell, Shelter, Form). The track includes one of Bebb’s most impassioned vocals in a career of impassioned vocals, here set to a gripping, happy-sad mood that’s the perfect complement to the vocals.

Following December’s single release, ‘Hold Me’ has been given stunning remix treatments by Further. Favourites Circuit3, Reed & Caroline’s Reed Hays with Phil Garrod (featuring a rare Moog and Hays’s distinctive cello), Darwinmcd, People Theatre, Nature Of Wires, MDA/ADM and the inestimable Matt Pop.

Today we’re pleased to bring you an exclusive first play of Matt Pop’s brilliantly-executed, high energy Radio Edit.

Hold Me – The Remixes by Matthias is released February 28 2020.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

First Play: Novelty Island – Saturn Alarms

Novelty Island is the brainchild of Tom McConnell, who hails from an indeterminate location somewhere in the north of England, and whose group may or may not be named after a Vic and Bob skit.

Featuring deft choruses, woozy retro synths and a wonky, space-age sensibility, Novelty Island released their debut single, ‘Magdapio Falls’ last year and follow that understated, singalong gem with ‘Saturn Alarms’ which will be released this Friday.

Both tracks feature on the debut Novelty Island EP, Welcome To Novelty Island, which is due to land in March. ‘Saturn Alarms’ is the counterpoint to ‘Magdapio Falls’s languid, laidback structure, being an urgent rush through the turbulent reaches of our solar system and the omnipresent sauce junk floating around out there, replete with catchy vocals and star-scraping electronics. The track was named after some inexplicable graffiti that McConnell spotted tagged onto his mother’s house in Liverpool, and thenceforth transformed into a retro-futurist pop monster.

Listen to the exclusive first play of ‘Saturn Alarms’ below.

Novelty Island play The Social, London on March 19 and Shipping Forecast, Liverpool on 26 March. Saturn Alarms is released January 24 2020 through Ditto Music.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2020 Further.

The Bassturd feat. The Fantastic Plastics – What Even Is A Christmas Anyway?

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When is it appropriate to stop listening to Christmas songs in the twilight period between December 25 and New Year? In our house, it’s only about now that we start going back to our old playlists, still slipping in the odd cheeky spin of a few festive Christmas classics if it feels like the seasonal spirit might be in danger of slipping away from us.

This is a long way of justifying why I’m only just getting around to writing about ‘What Even Is A Christmas Anyway?’, a collaboration between The Fantastic Plastics and The Bassturd which forms part of the latter’s dizzyingly ambitious project 2019: The Year Of The Turd, which saw the secretive and industrious musician releasing a new track every single day in 2019. This track was number 337. Details on the full project can be reached through the Bandcamp stream below.

I didn’t do a rundown of my favourite albums of 2019, but if I had, The Fantastic Plastic’s sublime Malfunction from October would have been right up there near the top. I’ve followed this band since they first got in touch with me hawking their debut album Devolver in 2015 and their mix of high-energy pop, jagged guitars, retro synths and punky vocals has been a staple part of my listening diet ever since. As for The Bassturd, according to the bio, “The Bassturd was born, and now occasionally plays music. He does not care for deep house or cucumbers. Influences include alcohol, cigarettes, psilocybin and cats.” So there you go: not one for cucumber fans.

‘What Even Is A Christmas Anyway?’ consists of brilliant, effortlessly evocative one-note synth melodies, obligatory jingle bells, an unexpected banjo conclusion and a chunky beat, all infused with a certain lo-fi charm. Topping that is the kind of infectious, wry and adept observational lyrics that Tyson and Miranda from The Fantastic Plastics have made their own, the lyrics covering everything from the disappointment at never getting kissed under the mistletoe to the perpetually-overheard statement that people seem to start putting their decorations up ever earlier with each passing year. At its heart, the song is a deft commentary on the over-commercialism of the modern Christmas, dressed, as The Fantastic Plastics know best, as a smart electronic pop song.

Listen to ‘What Even Is A Christmas Anyway?’ at Bandcamp below.

Words: Mat Smith

(c) 2019 Further.