We’re excited to announce that we will be hosting a stage at this years @mutationsfestival 2023. It’s a HUGE line-up this year and includes some of our favourite current bands! Tickets go on-sale this Friday 10am at www.mutationsfestival.com
Picture Parlour are natural born storytellers: even in conversation, Katherine Parlour (vocals and guitar) and Ella Risi (lead guitar) are eminently watchable, sharing anecdotes with a charismatic back and forth that makes you feel as if they’ve done this a hundred times before. Which, to be fair, they probably have; the pair are speaking to me at the end of a full-on press day, giving them plenty of opportunity to have perfected their interview patter. And yet, nothing about them seems rehearsed – genuine and animated, I get the impression that there are elements of the band’s lore which just don’t tire from repetition.
Take, for example, their live shows, which quickly generated a word of mouth fervour that spread round London’s gig circuit quicker than a Lost Mary in a smoking area. Anyone hoping to satisfy their cravings for Picture Parlour’s earworm tracks had to do so via YouTube footage of them playing live; even a cursory glance through their Instagram would yield a glut of semi-outraged ‘I can’t find your songs on Spotify!’ comments. This week, though, the band have finally released their debut single, ‘Norwegian Wood’ – a track they’ve been sitting on for over two years. “It feels surreal”, says Parlour. “We wanted it to sound like how we imagined, and we just didn’t have the means to do that before [signing with their current management]”. She pauses, smiling, “so I guess we’re delusional and waited, thinking that something could happen”.
Listening to the track, it’s not hard to understand why the pair had such ambition. With expansive production and an anthemic chorus, ‘Norwegian Wood’ is a powerful yet vulnerable expression of insularity as a self-defence mechanism. ‘If I express myself / Well you wouldn’t stick around me’ sings Parlour, paralysed by a potent contradiction of love and fear. The single also comes accompanied by a DIY, monochrome video inspired by one of her short stories – an evocative tale which fans may well be able to read for themselves at some point down the line. “We were saying that it’d be cool to release a book alongside [a longer body of work]”, Risi explains, “containing all the stories that the songs came from”. Spanning auditory, visual, and literary mediums already, it’s clear that Picture Parlour’s world is one which invites immersion.
After the release of her debut EP “Bitter Sweet”, Unflirt discusses dream collaborations, touring with childhood friend beabadoobee and her love for crochet.
With a candid and open approach to personal experience, up-and-coming artist Unflirt is the songstress intertwining bedroom pop and dreamy shoegaze. She’s racked up over four million streams for her intimate tunes and, having just wrapped up a string of live shows with beabadoobee, the future’s looking promising.
With the release of her new EP, “Bitter Sweet”, the 22-year-old feels she’s found her sound. It features four tracks that divulge love-gone-awry, youthful naivety and longing for more. “Differently”, the newest addition to the release, is a melodic retelling of regret giving way to closure. Raw and honest, it’s an offering to rival her highly successful 2020 track, “Crush”.
Unflirt’s still in the infancy of her career, having only started releasing music during lockdown. Despite having no formal training, bar a few basic guitar lessons from her father, her sincere songwriting and beyond-dulcet tones have resonated with many.
Already marked for stardom, we catch up with Unflirt to discuss all from touring through to her last karaoke tune.
Clara Mann was raised predominantly in a village in the south of France, where she developed an appreciation for choral music as well as the chanson tradition of Jacques Brel and Edith Piaf. Although she doesn’t describe her family as strictly religious, the church was an important part of the community, and when they returned to England, Mann enrolled in a Quaker school in the southwest. But it wasn’t until she started going to DIY shows in Bristol, where she was exposed to more alternative and contemporary musical influences, that she experimented with songwriting. A few demos she uploaded on Bandcamp caught the attention of Sad Club Records, which released her debut EP, Consolations, last year. Earlier this month, Mann followed it up with Stay Open, a beautiful collection that dresses its plaintive, vulnerable compositions with graceful subtlety and poise. Daniel Rossen of Grizzly Bear produced and contributed to ‘Confessions’, a highlight that displays Mann’s knack for relaying personal stories with a mix of tender melancholy and self-assurance. “You want to hear confessions, well I’m twisted out of shape,” she sings, yet complicated emotions pour out. “Somehow we just keep crashing on and on, and through each broken day.”
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