Month: March 2015

Black Yaya – ‘Black Yaya’

Album, Music, Reviews March 22, 2015

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (01/03/15).

At the nucleus of any self-respecting artist is a DIY ethos, and for many, in the manner of which they started their careers alone, they are wont to come full circle. Understandably, David Ivar – the sole creative force behind Black Yaya – is feeling that pinch.

With Ivar’s band, Herman Dune, firmly planting their roots in affable pop that successfully straddles that mean fence between radio-friendly and, simply, good, Ivar had the ever-increasing urge to pursue his own path and remind himself exactly why he fell in love with making music in the first place. Having birthed eleven albums in the sixteen years of Herman Dune in 1999, their career itself is a testament to finding a happy niche and riding its wave by writing songs that stand the test of time. However, it is a long time spent on one vision, and with Black Yaya, Ivar is free to delve into his more experimental eccentricities.

Find the rest of my review over on Gigslutz.

Laura Welsh – ‘Soft Control’

Album, Music, Reviews March 1, 2015

Originally published and still available on Gigslutz (08/01/15).

In a BBC interview approximately a year ago, Laura Welsh described her music as “hypnotic… electro soul-pop“. Fast forward a year and what began in nebulae back then has now reached its affirmation. The Staffordshire born singer-songwriter’s debut album, Soft Control, is an assured and confident opus that sees her build on the graft of previous years with bands including Laura and the Tears and Hey Laura.

Now claiming her own as a burgeoning musical force to be reckoned with, Welsh ricochets between big, anthemic pop songs and soulful tracks with abandon. Atmospheric and laced with eerie intrigue, album opener and title track ‘Soft Control’ acts as the perfect introduction to Welsh’s sound. From the piano-led beginning to the husky edge of her emotive voice, Welsh (somehow) manages to float just above the fray of her many contemporaries, and Soft Control, the album, bears notable resemblance to others in searching to carve her own niche. From the ambient diversions of Delilah and the sultry tones of Jessie Ware to the feral wails of Florence (and the Machine) Welch, this Welsh manages to pursue a sonic dalliance that twines all of the above into a sound that is intoxicating.

Read the rest of the review on Gigslutz.