TIPPER OF THE WEEK: ATHENA KAM
This week we continue our latest feature on the Tipping Point, spotlighting the biggest and best emerging acts from across the UK. Each Monday, we ask one of our esteemed tippers to select five of their hottest tips to be featured on the site throughout the week.
Next up we’ve got Athena Kam, deputy editor of Gig Goer and writer/photographer for When The Horn Blows. Check out her top picks below!
The Welsh music scene has always been full of gems, and Holding Absence is a band that maintains the high calibre of the scene. Their recently released debut album stands testimony to their ability to craft music that resonates with the listener, and they manage to dig deep into the emotional aspects of music whilst many other bands merely scratch the surface.
A huge amount of thought goes into everything the quintet puts out, and nowhere is this more evident than in their lyrics – often making subtle references to their other work, it’s like a treasure hunt for fans to pick out easter eggs and join the dots together. Additionally, their lyrics read like poetry in the flow of the words and does indeed lift words from poems at times – a case in point is ‘Like A Shadow’ which references one of Shakespeare’s sonnets.
Their music is music for the rawest parts of yourself. Blending visceral songwriting and tumultuous instrumentals that act as a vessel for exonerations of pain, listening to them is a truly cathartic experience.
When I think Manchester, I think guitar bands. Names such as Oasis, The Stone Roses, The Smith all come to mind, and I wouldn’t be surprised if in 10 years time, the name Larkins is added to that list. The quartet has already mastered the formula for writing stadium-worthy tracks, crafting utterly infectious melodies topped with an irresistible energy.
Their music is for anyone who loves indie, pop, rock, or anything really; bringing in fluorescent synth lines and rock-inspired guitar lines, there’s a feel good vibe within their music that will appeal to all fans of music. Believe me when I say you can’t not dance along to their most recent single ‘TV Dream’, or stop a smile spreading across your face when listening to ‘Something Beautiful’ (especially not with that funky bass line).
For anyone desiring some fun and uplifting, Larkins are the exact band for you. Bouncy yet infused with a genuine authenticity that grounds their music, you are sure to have a good time when listening to them.
East London quintet North America may be relatively young in their formation, but the maturity of their music certainly doesn’t reflect this. You could almost be forgiven for thinking you’re listening to a wearied old soul, but it’s precisely the timeless quality of their music that makes them a group that sticks out to me.
I remember listening to their newest release ‘Your Lips Are For Kissing (Acoustic)’ when writing up the premiere for it, and having to reach for tissues because of how much it tugged at my heart. Pairing raw vocals and nuanced instrumentals, it’s a song that you can imagine being played on a jukebox in the ‘50s, yet it still manages to sound refreshing in the day and age of streaming and completely captivates whoever listens.
Emotive and gently cradling nostalgia within their hook-laden tunes, North America will be the band that accompanies you through life, through the lows of heartbreak to the highs of flourishing companionship.
South London outift Dahlia Sleeps are the equivalent of tea in music; soothing to the soul, and perfect for every occasion. They create lulling, ambient pop music that will provide accompaniment when you desire a bit more calm amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
Delicately blending alluring beats and docile vocals, their songs are exquisite in composition and comforting in feeling. The band doesn’t compromise on emotional depth either, as each lyric is infused with meaning and intimate feelings, such as the heart-rendering ‘Storm’ which dives into a personal perspective and creates an affinity between the listener and the band.
The honesty within their tracks make Dahlia Sleeps chime with listeners and create a shared bond, and you can rest assured you’ll find an escape within their dreamy soundscape.
Brighton-based alt-pop quartet Orchards feels like a high you can’t quite get enough of. Their tracks are oozing with charm and packed with fun, with razor-sharp rhythmic precision that hints at the immense ability of the band.
If you imagine a melting pot of math-rock, catchy tunes, and shimmering textures, then you’ve got Orchards. Although many people might be put off by the mere mention of math rock, fearing the complexity of it, Orchards manages to incorporate this element of their music in such an accessible way that it’s not so much a hinderance as it is a defining feature that you’ll grow to love.
You’re guaranteed a good time with Orchards, and with such an unmistakable musical identity already defined, I wouldn’t be surprised if Orchards becomes a staple name amongst festival headliners.
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