Let’s Talk Music – December 2020 Edition

A short post for December, with just three singles included, but each artist is definitely worth your time. Make sure to check out the end of the post for information about how reviews will work in 2021 and when you can expect my “Top 10 Singles of 2020” list.

“Like Heaven” (Single) by Graywave

Singer-songwriter Graywave (real name Jess Webberley) is an artist I discovered at the beginning of the year and somehow, around the chaos, I managed to see live twice. She is a talented young women with heaps of potential, something the single clearly shows.

“Like Heaven” is the first single off her upcoming EP and it is a great advertisement of what’s to come. The single combines grunge style guitar, rock drums and almost dream-pop vocals. The opening is delicate but it builds to something full of life and energy which is consistent throughout the song, even when elements are stripped back.

Her bio on Spotify simply states, “music to take you elsewhere”, which I think is the perfect description. In a time where I for one use music to transport me away from current crises and stresses, Webberley’s discography is perfect for just that.

Graywave‘s varied material shows us that we don’t have to be defined by one genre by creating a wonderfully complex track which excites me greatly. I cannot wait to hear what’s next.

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“Free Lovin’ Woman” (Single) by Shanghai Hostage

Opening with a catchy guitar hook, I’m instantly all in with this latest release by Coventry outfit Shanghai Hostage. Not only do these guys carry incredible music talent but I can tell you from experiencing their live shows, they have great personalities too.

“Free Lovin’ Woman” is their third single of 2020 and if you want something to get funky to, this is it. The combination of the rolling snare sound, humming bass and strong vocals along with that guitar riff; it really is something else, and so smooth… I genuinely love it. The breakdown in the bridge with the staccato keys/guitar combination takes it to a new level before dropping back a notch to the familiar cool overtones.

These guys do not limit themselves to just one or two genres, instead they have fused together different musical vibes thanks to their various influences creating a special sound. There are definitely elements of rock, jazz-funk, reggae, disco to essentially produce music people will want to dance to.

A great tune and a hilarious music video which uses Barbie dolls… truly inspired!

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“smudge” (Single) by Stay at Home and Die

This is the debut single from Birmingham emo band, Stay at Home and Die, and let’s be real, their name is a mood – especially because of the current situation.

I for one was surprised on listening to “smudge” that despite their inelegant name the themes explored in this track are anything but. The lyrics are earnest, exploring how a withdrawn individual would look at relationships and isolation, something I believe introverted people will relate to.

The single is only one minute and forty-five seconds long but it sure does pack a lot in. Great energy carried by the alt-rock guitar riffs and crashing drums but it is the vocal performance which catches my attention. Singer Ellie Ashford has a great voice, perfectly suited for this style of music. Her work in the chorus is particularly captivating.

There is a breakdown of chaos towards the end of the track that has me wanting more. I’m intrigued to hear what the quartet has for us next.

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Thank for reading the final ever “Let’s Talk Music” post. I have been putting out my music reviews in this format for two years now but I have come to the conclusion that it would be more beneficial for the artists if instead each review gets a dedicated post. It will also mean that instead of reviewing everything in one go at the end of the month, I will be reviewing music as I get sent it.

This isn’t my final post of 2020, tomorrow I will be posting my “Top 10 Singles of 2020” list and it is a good one.

Please get in touch anytime and send me your tunes.

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