New Music Editor Christian shares his artist favourites this May, featuring Pip Hall, Haze and Zelah.
You don’t need a huge studio to make huge music anymore; you probably already know that. All you really need is a laptop – and that is all Preston-native Pip Hall used to record her incredible new single ‘Fire’. It’s so polished and breathtaking, however, that it seems impossible to have been created in a grey box.
Pip creates stadium-sized dream pop, with shimmering synths and languid guitars drifting alongside her soothing vocal. The teenager (yes, teenager) recently signed to My Little Empire Records and has begun to show the wider world just what she is capable of – even catching the ear of Huw Stephens.
What makes Pip so special though, is not just her beautifully hypnotic songs, but the angst and fragility that lies within. ‘Fire’ lays that fragility bare, with Pip explaining that the track is about her “battling [her] own thoughts and criticising [herself] for the most insignificant things.” Intricate and personal, Pip Hall is the kind of artist that you’d like to hold close, but with songs this special, it’s hard to keep quiet about it all.
With their brand of sharp, spiky post-punk, Haze join the ranks of acts who are currently keeping Mark E. Smith’s fire burning bright. Currently spread between London, Bristol and Oxford, the band bring a chaotic energy, pushing razor-sharp guitars up against deadpan yet unhinged vocals. Like many of their contemporaries – such as LICE or Shame – there’s a cool calculation to the band’s sound beneath the noise, and first studio single ‘Ladz Ladz Ladz’ puts the male ego in its crosshairs as blunt lyrics land a knockout blow. Combine this all with a raw, intense live show and it’s only a matter of time before you’re converted to Haze’s cause.
Track: Ladz Ladz Ladz
If you like your pop dark, intricate and moody then you’ve come to the right place. Zelah – who formed in Bristol but are now based in London – combine expansive instrumentation with emotive, breathtaking vocals in their perfectly-shaded alt-pop output. The trio claim modern monoliths such as Sigrid and Banks as inspiration and their influence is felt on the reverb-haze that lies heavy on every track.
Most importantly though, Zelah excel at catching your ear; their songs dragging you in with infectious guitars, glitching drums and brilliant choruses. Just give new single ‘Wide Awake’ a spin, because once you’ve listened to it, it’ll be in your head for days.
Track: Wide Awake