The musical project for Italy born, London-based, multidisciplinary artist Francesca Brierley, heka has been exploring the indie music world for quite a few years now. She debuted with a series of double-singles releases in late 2017 , then released her debut ep other drugs via Juicy Records in 2019, and delivered the standalone single “redwoods (a few interesting facts about sequoias)” . Francesca/heka is the latest signing to a new label based in the North West of England, Balloon Machine Records, founded by Paddy Kinsella and Philip Moss in 2020. To date, the label has released the music of Bristol based herbal tea (the project of Helena Eve Walker) and London artist Laura Fell. Heka forthcoming EP, the first for Balloon Machine Records, will be titled (a) and will contain the lead single (a) wall, which was released in March featuring Jemima Coulter’s trumpets , and the new song (a) dab.
“Caring About Something Utterly Useless” is FLeUR second album, out in February on Bosco Rec. The music of the experimental duo, formed by the Turin-based Enrico Dutto and Francesco Lurgo – the latter moved to Milan long ago – focuses on the dialogue between electronic programming and the human warmth of the hands playing guitars and keyboards, which blend together to the point where the two components become symbiotic and their respective edges merge, so that the digital sounds turn into breaths and the electric walls raised by the strings become synthetic roars. The seven songs on the record become a coherent whole thanks to the production of Emilio Pozzolini, member of port-royal (small, great heroes of Italian dreamy electronics).
Phantom Handshakes is a lo-fi, dream pop collaboration between Federica Tassano (Sooner, Mônetre) and Matt Sklar (Exiles) based in Brooklyn, NY. They had a mini album out in 2020, Be Estranged, a collection of 7 tracks ranging from jangly indie pop to shoegazey post-punk recorded at home during April and May of 2020 (mastered by Carl Saff at Saff Mastering in Chicago) and their upcoming full-length, No More Summer Songs, will be out tomorrow, April 30th on Z Tapes. The whole new album was created in true DIY fashion by the duo from their respective homes in Brooklyn and Manhattan from August until November 2020. No More Summer Songs has been previously introduced by a pair of tracks of shimmering lo-fi dreampop, Cricket Song and No Better Plan.
John Myrtle, originally from Birmingham but now London-based, had his debut EP out back in 2019: “Here’s John Myrtle” is a journey across love, heartbreak and loneliness, made of jangly acoustic pop at its best. Influenced by “’90s Liverpool music scene, ’70s Jazz, C86 bands and Sarah Records”, John signed for Sad Club Records and his debut album, Myrtle Soup– “an exploration of love and identity, diffused within the difficult and lonely period of writing during lockdown, packaged together as a homely bowl of soup” – is due in early June. There are a couple of singles out yet, both exciting! “Get Her Off My Mind” is 60’s inspired and warm, filled with the upbeat hope and optimism of new love, while the new “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?”, is an infectious indie-pop anthem embracing his own anxieties surrounding love.
Raveloe is the stage-name – taken from a reclusive weaver in the George Eliot novel “Silas Marner”, of Glasgow-based songwriter Kim Grant, formerly of the band Tongue Trap. After going solo at the end of 2019, Raveloe shared her first single, Abalone, then she signed a deal with Olive Grove Records. “Notes And Dreams” was recorded at home during lockdown, with remote collaborators found in locations as diverse as Derby, Melbourne and Dumfries.