5 New indie tracks in less than 5 minutes f. Sofia Gillani, David Long & Shane O’Neill, The Ghosts of Torrez, BECAH and Jamila & The Other Heroes.
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Get more info about this episode’s featured artists below:
Sofia Gillani is a pop and soul singer/songwriter based in London. At only 14 years-old, she has devoted herself to music from writing, producing and marketing her own music as well as directing her own music videos.
Gillani began her musical career at just 9 years- old; starring as a lead in the musical Evita where she sang “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” The production was a commercial success, running for four nights at the Oliver Awards.
In the subsequent years, Gillani trained her voice, owning its natural power, emotion and sheer vocal strength. Taking cues from ballad icons such as Sia, Adele, and Ariana Grande, she crafted a sound all her own, culminating in the release of her first single “Ain’t A Game” in December 2020. Its self-directed music video featuring vibrant animations has since been entered into numerous film festivals for its originality and innovation.
Sofia has performed at a variety of local venues around her hometown of London including a charity event at the 02 Academy Islington, where she raised over £500 for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
In addition to music, Gillani is an actress and voice actress represented by Mad Fish Management in film / television. She is currently recording vocals for the indie children’s series Zayn and Zayna’s Little Farm and recently completed a photo campaign for Barnardo’s Voice and Influence of Young People.
Irish music icons David Long and Shane O’Neill present their ‘Dreams Come’ EP, a 3-track offering that arrives hot on the trail of their ‘Far From Home’ EP and video for the title track, which has garnered the duo excellent reviews and radio play in dozens of countries.
The title track features sweet, uplifting melody intertwined with bittersweet lyrics – a seeming nod to a love that could be fraying at the edges. From the beautiful opening chords, right through to the end, it will make you feel like you want more of whatever it is. Love, loss, hope, all of it.
Best known as frontmen of successful 1980’s post-punk / indie rock bands Into Paradise and Blue In Heaven, respectively, now they are together creating invigorating new music.
David Long was the face of 1980s band Into Paradise, who released two albums and several EP’s on legendary British independent label Setanta Records and also one major – Ensign. Their most successful album was their major record label debut, the Adrian Borland-produced ‘Churchtown’.
Shane O’Neill fronted Blue In Heaven, who released several singles and demos (including one produced by U2’s The Edge) before signing to Island Records in 1985. Their debut album ‘All The Gods Men’ was produced by Martin Hannett (Joy Division, Magazine, New Order, OMD, Happy Mondays).
1986 brought the ‘Explicit Material’ LP, produced by Island Records head Chris Blackwell and Eric Thorngren. Their popularity grew as they did the live circuit with U2, Echo & The Bunnymen, The Damned and New Order. The band later reformed in 1990 as The Blue Angels.
Hailing from the same part of Dublin, Long and O’Neill have known each other since they were 6 or 7, when they knocked over Shane’s TV set, fighting over which channel to watch.
Their first band was a trio called amuse with David on bass and vocals, Shane on guitar, and Dave Clarke (Warren Zevon, now Hothouse Flowers) on drums. After splitting and doing their separate thing, around 1996 they recorded an album as Supernaut.
Recorded remotely during the lockdown, this release previews their ‘Moll & Zeis’ LP, which will be released in autumn.
“We wanted to make an album that could and should be listened to all the way through. It was an equal collaboration, Shane and myself have known each other so long that there was never a problem editing each other if something didn’t fit with the song. We had no time restrictions, or release dates to go by, so we took our time with this album and thought about every aspect of it,” says David Long.
Enigmatic animal-mask-clad experimental-folk-horror band Ghosts of Torrez first appeared on the scene in 2017, under the name of Bong Torrez, receiving some interest due to featuring on the horror animation short “The Place”, described by Horror News Net as “Simply Gorgeous”.
Since then, they’ve been beavering away on a number of tunes, taking their time until resurfacing this year with a new name and a slightly more electronic, psych sound from their indie, folk roots.
‘The Return’ is the first release from these secluded sessions and has already won the Audition show poll on Amazing Radio as well as featuring on Fresh On The Net’s Eclectic Picks playlist. The track is an intriguing cinematic instrumental piece, swathed in a mysterious darkness that’s underpinned by intricate acoustic arpeggios and a solemn drum machine.
As the track coalesces, we experience builds and breaks with organic flourishes of spontaneity. The band’s unfathomable sound twists and turns, as the listener gets hooked further and further into a hypnotic black hole of progressions and atmospheres. A genre pushing single, from identities unknown, there’s a poignant gloss of melancholy surrounding ‘The Return’ that is hard to shake off once you’ve heard it.
Lurgan based indie alternative artist BECAH is releasing a stunning single and accompanying video ‘Reminders’ on Aug 12th. The second single from her upcoming debut EP ‘Freak’, due out later this year, Reminders uses BECAH’s hypnotically tender vocal, backed up by electronic synths, electric guitar and vulnerable lyrics to tell of her experiences, digging deep and drawing into those darker parts of us we like to keep hidden away.
About the song BECAH says “I wrote ‘Reminders’ in the aftermath of a very toxic relationship with a past girlfriend. The coinciding music video, filmed by Chris McCann and directed by John Dynes and Chris McCann, presents a glimpse into that story – the good times I had with her in the beginning, to its violent turn. The lyrics speak of the struggle I had to feel like myself again, and how all my attempts to push away all the little details and memories of that time felt futile.”
Having cultivated her art playing the local scene over the last number of years, BECAH has in that time secured support slots for renowned acts including that of Aslan, The Four of Us, and Brian Kennedy, most recently playing on the same bill as Brian Houston, Sam Wickens and Amy Montgomery.
With inspiration drawn from the likes of Jeff Buckley and MUSE, BECAH has found her own unique sound – with a hypnotically tender vocal backed up by loud electronic synths and electric guitar. Lyrically vulnerable, BECAH sings of her life experiences, digging deep and drawing into those darker parts of us we like to keep hidden away.
Jamila & The Other Heroes was formed in 2016, based in Berlin but coming together from a variety of different backgrounds bringing influences from the Middle East and Latin America.
The frontwoman, Jamila Al-Yousef was born on the day the Berlin Wall came down, and is the daughter of a Palestinian medical doctor who came to Berlin as a refugee after losing his home in the Six-Day War in 1967. More than just a love for music drives the band as they aim to break down prejudices towards people with histories of migration and asylum and make the abundance of cultural diversity more visible and audible.
Elements of dance, magic, hope and fine cinematic elements come together to create the video for ‘BORDER SYNDROME احلام بلا حدود’, directed by Philipp Wenning. Jamila & The Other Heroes play with perspective while they showcase the current difficulties many people face and contrast it with a futuristic border-free Middle East that comes after the pain of war, human rights violations, and being separated.
Inspired by her own discrimination experience while crossing borders, Jamila Al-Yousef presents a strong idealistic character who understands the importance of working towards a more accepting world.
“Let‘s build a place of togetherness where everyone is allowed
– no matter what name or passport –
live in freedom of moving souls and healing hearts, but yet we are seperated, geographically so close, but further away than the stars.”
Speaking of the creation of the video, Jamila tells us: “My dream of a togetherness that is crossing borders became true with the production of this music video. Half of the film crew in front and behind the camera were Palestinians and Syrians, while the other half people from all over the globe such as Russia, Germany and Argentina.
All of us are stranded in Berlin looking for freedom. We were co-creating something very special, imagining a utopic safer space. We were living through discriminatory situations again and thinking about where we escaped from or what we wanted to free ourselves from to be together in this space through art was really empowering”