You know when something that’s NOT a meme, funny video or potential new crush pops up on your timeline, and you’re just like, “damn”. Yeah, not that often is it. Well, this happened earlier this week when I saw this:
I know this one doesn’t fall under the confines of art, but when something’s so good, you have to share it. Anyway, this blog is all about opening avenues, minds, ventricles and hearts, so this absolutely ticks the box.
Podcasts are all the rage at the moment, although they’re not a particularly new phenomenon. However, with a large volume of them to sift through, it can be hard to find the gems, and that’s where I’ve come to the rescue!
Over The Bridge is one of those gems, and it features four Cambridge graduates from London – Bilal, Kwaku, Patrick and Tom – who share their experiences, opinions and ideas on a plethora of topics now that they’ve passed “over the ‘bridge”.
The Split is one of the newest dramas to BBC One, which premiered last Tuesday night. Created by Welsh screenwriter Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady, Shame and Suffragette), it centres around the life of elite divorce lawyer Hannah Stern (Nicola Walker), as she “splits” from the family business and deals with the unexpected return of her estranged father.
The first episode in the six-part series (produced by SundanceTV and the BBC) introduces us to Stern: married, mother of three and increasingly distancing herself from mother and former boss, Ruth Defoe (Deborah Findlay). Following her departure from the firm, she finds herself in direct competition with younger sister Nina (Annabel Scholey) on opposing sides of a case between a comedian and his agent, which is only the beginning of this brewing rivalry. To top it off, 30 years after walking out on them, Stern’s father (Anthony Head) returns the day of his ex-wife’s 70th birthday to pass on a card, and, unbeknownst to him, receive a stern (pun intended) telling off from his eldest daughter.
The Weepies are currently in the middle of a 10-year anniversary tour for their album Hideaway (2008), so I thought it would be apt to revisit one of the folk-pop duo’s best known projects and share some of my favourite picks from it!
If you’re not familiar with The Weepies, they are an American band comprised of husband and wife musicians (how awesome!) Steve Tannen and Deb Talan. Yes, their names were already kismetically like that before they met. Even spookier is that the two were fans of each other’s music – again, before they’d even met. That obviously made it easier for them to eventually meet, which was at one of Tannen’s shows back in the early 2000s. They decided to join forces and if we fast-forward to today, they’ve released five studio albums (2015’s Sirens, the latest), got three kids, and as I mentioned before are now on this tour to celebrate 10 years since the release of Hideaway… I’m almost certain you’ve probably heard them on one of your favourite TV shows.
Rebecca Krzyzosiak is a designer from Bath who makes handmade jewellery and accessories. A Bath Spa University graduate, with experience working in different areas of the textile industry, last year she opened her own small business, Little Wren Accessories.
Her creations can be found on Etsy, but you would be well advised to snap up whichever of those you wish to acquire, as each piece is one-of-a-kind. From necklaces to brooches, from fascinators to cuffs, most feature pre-loved fabrics and items such as buttons, beads, lace and pearls.
Curxes (also known as Roberta Fidora) is an electronic musician from the Isle of Wight, who makes “bleak and oblique choral post-pop songs”. Featured in many publications, such as NME, MOJO and BBC Music, and having toured across the UK, she has gained an appreciable following with her eerie, somewhat sad, yet complacently content music.
Pariis Opera House is an electronic band hailing from London. Their latest release, “Your Body, My Tune” is taken from the album MIRRORS (2017), which the band have described as “the soundtrack to life and love in our digital age”.
Founded in 2011, the duo have played festivals and shows across the UK, received regular play on BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6 Music, and had their songs featured on television and in films, such as Hello, My Name is Doris.
Hidden Gentlemen are an alternative rock band from Glastonbury. I first met them when we shared the bill last year at a gig at The Louisiana in Bristol and they’re really nice guys (which I now realise is a testament to their name). Consisting of Mark Anthony (vocals, guitar), Kyle Cullen (drums, vocals) and Greg Shepheard (bass, vocals), the band have played various festivals in the UK, as well as toured individually in Germany and the U.S.
They have released three EPs to date, including 2017’s Quietly Step Inside, and since February this year have been releasing a new single every month, the first of which is “Jericho”.
We could all use some uplifting and encouragement, so when a live music, poetry and spoken word event pops up with the name ‘Life & Soul’, you can expect it to do exactly what it says on the tin.
On Sunday 9th April, public relations and events company E. Stellar PR hosted its first live event at Toto’s Wine Bar in Bristol. Where “soul and inspiration collide”, the evening promised to “uplift, inspire, spread love, bring life and be 100% honest and real as artists share their truth”. Sounds good, no? I must reveal that I was part of the line-up, and I also happen to be sibling to the organizer, but here’s proof of my non-bias:
Eleanor VS. (@eleanorvsartist) March 29, 2017
(Yes, I did just use Twitter as a credible source – it’s 2017.)
If you’ve never heard “Samson” by Regina Spektor before (even if you have) you have the absolute privilege of experiencing the eloquently and ridiculously sweet love song in this beautiful way.
Originally from Arizona and now based in LA, American dancer and choreographer Lauren Froderman (also winner of season seven’s So You Think You Can Dance) has been busy writing and producing concept videos of her choreography along to some of her favourite songs. The first uploaded to her YouTube channel was a fun, slippery sequence to “Soap” by Melanie Martinez, and today she released her interpretation of one of Regina Spektor’s most beloved and well-known pieces.
London-based musician and singer-songwriter Oscar Jerome released his eponymous debut EP last week. After spending years grafting in the music scene and refining his talent, the young artist unveils a work consisting of four weighty tracks that are certainly a testament to that.
It’s hard to define Jerome’s sound as it’s a peculiar mixture. The influences of jazz, hip-hop and soul are clear, but it’s more aptly described as alternative. With contemplative and obscure lyrics, and arrangements that have carefully been thought out, he creates something original and mysterious that captures your attention from start to finish.
You never know what to expect when you walk onto Stokes Croft any night of the week. There are dozens of cafes and bars always packed with brooding or buzzing punters socializing their sorrows away, music is always pulsating through the walls of these same establishments, and there is certainly an ever-present people-driven spirit that supports and welcomes art of pretty much any format. Last Wednesday, siblings Beulah Davina, ThisisDA and Eric Sings picked the rustic and minimalistic 123space to host an exhibition displaying their art and music.
Annalise Lam is a remarkable young jazz and pop violinist based in the musical city of Bristol. Having been involved in music since she was very young, she’s an intuitive and dedicated talent with a spirited energy and inquisitive attitude to music in many of its styles. She has played at a number of festivals, and with orchestras and a quite a few local bands and musicians, including Immigrant Swing, Julia Turner – and myself.
Last week I’d scheduled to rehearse with Lam (who also happens to be my friend) and I asked if she’d be so kind as to let me interview her – gladly she agreed. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know her a little better… or in other words have a slightly more formal and thus potentially awkward chat.
All is right in the world. Order has been restored. Finally, thankfully, gladly after 10 long years, it can be said with near absolute certainty that Joanna “JoJo” Levesque is releasing her third studio album.
There’s a lot that’s happened in the gap between The High Road (2006), which was JoJo’s last official LP, and the forthcoming Mad Love (out 14th October). In short, while dealing with legal troubles – without a doubt the main reason for her lengthy mainstream absence – she never let that stop her from creating and releasing music to her fans. She put out the mixtapes Can’t Take That Away from Me (2010) and Agápē (2012), followed by the EPs LoveJo (2014), III (2015) and LoveJo2 (2015).
Last Friday I attended an important gig for a good musician friend of mine. Jazz, blues singer-songwriter Julia Turner, whose new album Fifteen Times the Moon is set for release this year, hosted a pre-release album launch at the Bristol Folk House.
The show took place downstairs past the cafe in the medium-sized hall, which had a surprisingly really intimate feel. People sat in groups around tables or on a line of chairs off to the side of the stage. Lighting was dim (obviously, that would be pretty harsh to make people eat and drink in the dark now, wouldn’t it), which added to the cosiness – I felt as though I were in a living room. A big one, of course.
I’m a Bristol-based artist/musician that goes by the name of Eleanor VS. (but my family and friends call me Vanessa). Since I can remember I’ve been annoying my family and neighbours with my incessant singing and guitar-strumming. Also since I was young, I’ve loved to read and write. As I got older I discovered I wasn’t too bad at drawing. I also discovered that films are not only a means of entertainment. Then I did something that really pissed my parents off and left school to pursue all this creative stuff. Because, y’know… art is my religion.
Basically, I’m one of those unbearably annoying people that would say something pretentious and nauseating, like: art is my religion.