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Watch “Magnolia” by Thomston (with ZEPH)

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New Zealander Thomston certainly does not receive as much press attention as fellow kiwi Lorde does. (Even though both artists share similar styled lyrical prowess). I have an inkling he very much prefers things this way. With that said. He is also keen for his musical artistry to be appreciated, connected with, and related to in some way. Since arriving on the music scene in 2015, there has been progression regarding the style of sound. He has not strayed much from the sonic beginnings that we have similarly witnessed Troye Sivan move away from, though. Thomston’s next album is due Autumn (fall) this year, and the teasers are beginning to filter out. “Magnolia” is a new dreamy offering. A track boosted with a warm sonic allure and lyrics that resonate, touching on the feelings of loneliness and isolation many of us will have experienced more profoundly during the last year.

Listen on Apple Music

“The song is about that yearning for a different place,” explains Thomston. “It touches on isolation and loneliness and tries to paint a picture of a utopian summer where a struggling relationship could thrive.”

What interests me is. What is the significance of Magnolia, why use it as a title for the track? I had to find this out because I am of the feeling, it has nothing to do with the buttery shade of wall paint commonly most used in the 80s and 90s. It has to do with the Magnolia shrub or tree instead, but how does it fit in with the context of the song? Speaking with Hype Medium, he has shared that when living in Texas, the house was made out of Magnolia wood and felt like an apt metaphor for the song. (Check the full interview with Hype Medium here).

The feature on the track from rising singer-songwriter newcomer Zeph (Zephani Jong) provides a splash of liquid gold harmony. Her’s and Thomston’s voices fit perfectly together.

Armed with notable alt-pop sensibilities, and well-crafted arrangements. Thomston adds further flame to the fire with “Magnolia” that he remains New Zealand’s best-kept secret.

Connect with Thomston
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thomstonmusic/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/thomstonmusic
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thomston/

Connect with Zeph
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zephanijong
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zephanijong/





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Watch “are you?” by zeph

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I have New Zealand singer-songwriter Thomston to thank for an early introduction to Maryland-based bedroom pop auteur zeph (Zephani Jong). She featured on Thomston’s recent, dreamy offering “Magnolia” (review here), providing a splash of liquid gold harmonies to the sonically driven piece. She is also the latest artist to be snapped up by Neon Gold Records as a part of their fantastic roster of artists and has released her first single on the label. The catchy and fresh alt-pop track “are you?” arrives ahead of her forthcoming debut EP slated for arrival in the Autumn.

Her vocals are shimmering and hypnotic, with a notable breeziness about them. The best way of describing her style is that it is really, quite indie-pop angelic. And she is into creating vibes from the ground up. The debut “are you?” is written, recorded, and produced by, Zeph herself. She also exudes some quirkiness, which I love to see in pop artists (in fact applies to people in general). I am, loving that quite a lot of quirkiness has spilt over into the music video also. It is sweet and adorable to watch and is making me want to jump into the screen to join her because it looks like Zeph had the best kind of fun making this Erik Rojas (Isaac Dunbar, Rich Brian, Jessie J) directed video.

Listen on Apple Music

The track endearingly broaches the topic of relationships. Does this guy still want to be with Zeph? If only he would quit the mind games. Speak up, reciprocate with some answers and not be so vague and distant, Zeph politely inquires.

Zeph has a voice that is sweet enough to charm. Yet her honest, straight to the point style of lyricism is her weapon of choice and the embodiment of her signature style. This is the winning formula that culminates in the whimsical banger “are you?“. Dive into this fiercely cute pop track now. I guarantee after just one listen, it will be in your head for the rest of the day.

Connect with Zeph
Twitter: https://twitter.com/zephanijong
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zephanijong/





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Happiness Not Included: Soft Cell announce new album

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Happiness Not Included
Happiness Not Included

Soft Cell have shared details of their brand new album, Happiness Not Included, set for release in Spring 2022. The LP will be the first from Marc Almond and Dave Ball since 2002’s Cruelty Without Beauty.

The album’s release will be preceded by a new single, due out this Autumn.

“In this album I wanted to look at us as a society,” says Marc Almond, “a place where we have chosen to put profits before people, money before morality and decency, food before the rights of animals, fanaticism before fairness and our own trivial comforts before the unspeakable agonies of others. But in the album there is also a belief that there is a utopia if we can peel back the layers and understand what really matters.”

Dave Ball, meanwhile, describes *Happiness Not Included as “Science fiction stories for the 21st century.”

*Happiness Not Included is available for pre-order here.

The duo have also announced a string of live dates, kicking off on 10 November at Glasgow O2 Academy (full list below). Tickets go on general sale here from 10am on Friday, 6 August.

Read our Soft Cell interview here

*Happiness Not Included tracklisting

  1. ‘Happy Happy Happy’
  2. ‘Polaroid’
  3. ‘Bruises On My Illusions’
  4. ‘Purple Zone’
  5. ‘Heart Like Chernobyl’
  6. ‘Light Sleepers’
  7. ‘*Happiness Not Included’
  8. ‘Nostalgia Machine’
  9. ‘Nighthawks’
  10. ‘I’m Not A Friend Of God’
  11. ‘Tranquiliser’
  12. ‘New Eden’

LIVE DATES

Wednesday 10 November 2021                        GLASGOW O2 ACADEMY

Friday 12 November 2021                                    MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO

Saturday 13 November 2021                               LEEDS O2 ACADEMY

Monday 15 November 2021                             LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO

Tuesday 16 November 2021                                LONDON HAMMERSMITH APOLLO

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James Blake announces new album Friends That Break Your Heart

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Friends That Break Your Heart

Mercury Music Prize and Grammy Award-winning singer and multi-instrumentalist, James Blake has announced his fifth studio album, Friends That Break Your Heart, due out 10th September 2021, via Polydor Records.

Blake joined Annie Mac on BBC Radio 1 to premiere the album’s first single, Say What You Will alongside co-hosting the show.

The accompanying music video for the single is directed by Bear Damen and features a guest appearance from Finneas.

Of the single, Blake says: “The song is about finding peace with who you are and where you’re at regardless of how well other people seem to be doing. Comparison really is the thief of joy.”

The new record follows the Covers EP – a collection of Blake’s favourite covers, including his version of Frank Ocean’s Godspeed – and his 2019 album Assume Form which was his highest charting LP in both the UK and US to date.

James Blake’s first new full-length album in two years, Friends That Break Your Heart will feature collaborations from JID & SwaVay, Monica Martin and SZA. James worked closely with British artist Miles Johnston to design a cover reflective of the album. The result is a visual encapsulation of the emotions brought forth throughout the body of work.

Pre-order the album here.

FRIENDS THAT BREAK YOUR HEART  tracklisting

  1. Famous Last Words
  2. Life Is Not The Same
  3. Coming Back (feat. SZA)
  4. Funeral
  5. Frozen (feat. JID & SwaVay)
  6. I’m So Blessed You’re Mine
  7. Foot Forward
  8. Show Me (feat. Monica Martin)
  9. Say What You Will
  10. Lost Angel Nights
  11. Friends That Break Your Heart
  12. If I’m Insecure

Read more: Soft Cell announce new album

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