A Mote Of Dust – ‘Slow Clap’

As you should know by now, the work of Craig Beaton will always be on our radar. The former singer of legendary Aereogramme and The Unwinding Hours presented his first real solo effort as A Mote Of Dust in 2015. Back then, I also had an extensive talk with him about how he’s building his musical self around his everyday self nowadays. Now Craig B has announced a second A Mote Of Dust album (out March 1st) – something we honestly didn’t necessarily expect to come.

But Slow Clap, the first glimpse of it, is an exciting statement. With its build-up, the synthetic, piano-driven sound paired with Craig’s soothing voice and some irritating moments, it’s not a usual single. Actually, this could have happened on an Aereogramme record back in the days. There’s something brooding in this song and in Craig Beaton when he sings ‘Wow, you really showed them now, didn’t you?’. Slow Clap can be read as a bitter farewell to a relationship and also, more likely, as a comment on the Brexit. In the end, it boils down to this: If you are leaving then I can’t stay. Considering that Beaton announced that this will be the final A Mote Of Dust release, this is a bitter, melancholic but empowering statement. (Henning Grabow)

VEE 303 – ‘Wounded’

Photo by Nicolas Blanchadell

After her mesmerizing debut single Innocence put listeners immediately to R’n’B heaven in style of FKA Twigs or Banks, Berlin-based artist VEE 303 presents her newest effort Wounded – accompanied with a hypnotic and sensual music video. Gothic-stills and red lights are dominating elements of the short clip – with the songstress turning viewers into her spell.

Lyrically, the song dives into deep emotional territory: ‘Wounded is about the dynamic of control between two people and how it can be a liberating experience to just let someone take over’, the singer explains. ‘It can give you some kind of freedom to not worry about the world for a second and indulge yourself in the moment. It is a reflection on how I experience salvation through pain and the contradictory forces of violence and beauty.’ Stay tuned for new releases of this promising artist in 2019! (Kai Hermann)

First Breath After Coma – ‘Heavy’

It’s the essential question for many artists in the age of declining attention spans, streaming playlists and quickly accessible singles: How do you record an album in the 21st century? Does it even make sense to record one anymore? Portugese post pop collective First Breath After Coma found their own artistic. They stopped working on the follow-up album to their 2017 record Drifter due to an overall frustration with the idea of recording a concept album. Out of the ashes of this project a new one rose – NU (Portugese for ‘naked’).

The upcoming release is more than just a record, it’s an interdisciplinary adventure. All songs from the NU project will be accompanied by visuals that will tell the music’s story – First Breath After Coma created their own soundtrack for their own film and throughout 2019 they will present it on various film festivals. The epic Heavy delivers a good first impression of what we can expected – it’s a massive piece of cinematic pop that can’t deny the band’s post-rock roots but also opens itself for electronic elements. In-between the futuristic landscapes of Woodkid and Bon Iver the band settles in its own niche and that looks pretty promising. NU arrives on March 1 via Radicalis. (Norman Fleischer)

Chain Wallet – ‘No Ritual’

Photo by Oyvind Halsoy

Back in 2016, Norwegian three-piece Chain Wallet first caught my attention with their dreamy shoegaze pop straight from Bergen. Honestly, where else than the country’s hottest place for exciting new music? The band even gave NBHAP a tour through their hometown back then. Now, they finally return with follow-up material to their joyful debut album and this time they extended their cosmos – both, musically and geographically. No Ritual found the group emerging to a small cabin on a remote beach in the southwest of Norway where the summer, beach and maybe even the surfers inspired their upcoming second record. No Ritual still got this tempting lush Wild Nothing-like 80s wave pop style that was just meant for daydreaming. Chiara Cavallari of psychedelic shoegaze band FOAMMM also helped on the new Chain Wallet material and you clearly sense that. Everything seems a bit more focussed and defined now and it really makes you excited about their second album which also goes by the name No Ritual and arrives on February 15. (Norman Fleischer)

Eliza Shaddad – ‘(To Make It Up To You)’

Photo by Melanie Tjoeng

Quite possibly, Eliza Shaddad put out THE definitive break-up album this year (okay, along with Ex:Re maybe) but with a fresh perspective. The British with Sudanese and Scottish roots wrote every piece on Future from the angle of the person leaving, instead of the one being left. And she does that in such an empathetic, relatable way, combined with sweet, dark tunes, that it’s quite hurtful sometimes (really, give that album a spin, it could easily have made it to our overlooked albums as well).

To Make It Up To You is the album’s last track and the ultimate question you ask yourself at the end of a relationship: What can I do to make it up to you? Because love is not reality TV. In real life, there’s far less yelling, far less drama and much more slow, hurtful decay. To find the strength to walk away from a person you really care about often is the hardest because there’s always doubt involved. It’s hurting for every side. Shaddad‘s otherwise mostly dark and grungy folk is very reduced to its core in this song. It’s the silence of regret and guilt. But also the very honest hope for a better future. (Henning Grabow)

NBHAP’s Daily Tunes from December 2018

Find all of those songs and plenty of other new music in the following playlist which – obviously – gets updated daily.