Table of contents
1) “Plasty” – LL Burns
Hold up, have we got one of the greatest love songs in a while? Yes we have. Those lyrics, wow. For some reason the self-titled track of the EP is getting more hits than this sly one found at the back. A beauty. It’s featuring Isobel Risk but you’re only told that on Bandcamp. According to the internet, LL Burns is the ex frontman of Filthy Boy, who you may remember having a bit of a hit album in 2012/13. There are also rumours swirling round on Reddit that he’s friends with King Krule and even used the same directors as he does for his first music video.
EP: “Get Me Back in the Game” (2020)
2) “SHALLOW (PPL SWIM IN SHALLOW WATER)” – Saya Gray
Saya Gray is a Japanese / Canadian musician currently living in Toronto. This track is gorgeous and sassy with venom in those words. Self-recorded, Saya Gray played multiple instruments on the song, as she was born into a musical family: her father is a composer and trumpet player and her mother founded a music school in Toronto. Her first love is bass and you can tell from the baseline that works through this song how good she is.
Single: “SHALLOW (PPL SWIM IN SHALLOW WATER” (2020)
Label: Immigrant Hustle
3) “EMMA” – Kean Kavanagh
Big up Ireland! Following For Those I Love, who stole the show on Jools Holland the other week, is a bit of an invasion about to happen? Kean Kavanagh already runs a record label, Soft Boy Records (founded 2015), with his best mate and rapper Kojaque. Currently the label is making a stir in the Irish music scene with their mix of indie pop/rock and hip-hop artists. It’s not the best song ever, but it’s not bad either. Sounds a lot like other indie rock tunes that hurtle along but sometimes you need one of those. On the live front, he has supported the likes of Slow Thai, Lana Del Rey, Maverick Sabre and Vampire Weekend, not a bad way to cut your teeth!
Album: “Dog Person” (2020)
Label: Soft Boy Records
4) “Begin Again – Little Dragon Remix” – Nick Mulvey
Nick Mulvey had me hooked with “Unconditional” (2017) then unfortunately I didn’t find another track that reached that height, although his 2014 mercury nominated album “First Mind” probably deserves more time. However, “Begin Again” might be on to something but only when remixed by Little Dragon. The lyrics and distinct style are coming through and maybe his next album could be the one to win me round again. He played the hang as a founding member of the band Portico Quartet when he was just starting, did you know?
EP: “Begin Again” (2020)
Label: Universal Music Operations
Bastien Keb profile
Right at the start of RunPip (June 2018) I loved “Flowers” by Bastien Keb. I still do now. After a very unfulfilling job it was the soundtrack to my escapism and daydreaming. A terrific, highly underrated piece. He has already been compared to Bon Iver on numerous occasions but artists deserve their own credit more often. Based in Royal Leamington Spa, Keb is a producer, songwriter, vocalist, and musician who plays guitar, drums, bass, keyboards, trumpet, and flute, among other instruments.
He made his debut in 2015 with “Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou”. Released on One-Handed Music, the album found an early supporter in BBC DJ Gilles Peterson. After he remixed tracks by Submotion Orchestra, Paper Tiger, Pedestrian, and Quiet Dawn, Keb appeared on the First Word label in 2017 with the grittier yet more colorful “22.02.85”. Proving he has dexterous skills with these two albums as he can do alternative to more mainstream in a beautifully distinctive way.
Then came the surreal…
Signed to Gearbox Records for his most recent album, “The Killing of Eugene Peeps”, it was said to be a soundtrack to an imagined film. An ode to Giallo, 70s crime flicks, and French new wave cinema. It was all played live using battered/borrowed instruments. With a backdrop of VHS home movies samples, these now form the very artistic music videos showing it’s not just a musical piece but also a visual one. All the music you hear on the album is played live, recorded, engineered, produced and mixed by Keb.
A talented and extremely clever artist with a lot of ideas.
Standout tracks: “Flowers” (2018), “Fit Rare (feat. Cappo)” (2017)
Albums: “Dinking in the Shadows of Zizou” (2015), “22.02.85” (2017), “The Killing of Eugene Peeps” (2020)