Hello and welcome to our final weekly update of January 2021! Now in the thick of Lockdown 3 there is an undeniable feeling of pandemic fatigue however, with vaccines being rolled out, new music being released and the occasional flurry of snow we are still here finding things to stay positive about. That being said, the past week has been a particularly difficult one for the musical community.
We were completely shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of acclaimed producer and pop pioneer, SOPHIE, who died in a sudden accident on Saturday morning aged 34. She performed solo material all around the world and collaborated with and produced tracks for artists including Madonna and Charlie XCX. Fans across the world have been paying tribute to SOPHIE by sharing some of the tracks which made an impact on them.
Pia: I can distinctly remember hearing one of SOPHIE’s tracks, Faceshopping, for the first time. Both metallic // industrial yet glossy at the same time, SOPHIE’s huge, multidimensional palette of sound completely changed the way I think about music. The visuals in the accompanying music video are also absolutely extraordinary and I wish I’d had the chance to go to one of her sets. An extraordinary talent gone way too soon.
From all of us here at AM we send our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by this tragic loss. Such a sad and sudden loss of a true visionary.
In happier news, this week has seen the release of debut albums from two of the most exciting newcomers in the UK music scene.
Transgressive Records signee Arlo Parks has just released her gorgeous debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams. Aged only 20, Parks is an incredible young artist whose unique sound and beautifully poetic approach to lyrics glows with a maturity beyond her years. An advocate for mental health charity CALM, Arlo delves into many deeply relatable themes including depression and her experiences of sexuality. Indeed, her music is the perfect soothing musical balm to listen to during these cold lockdown evenings.
BBC Sound of 2020 winner Celeste also treated us to her debut album this week. Not Your Muse is filled with vocally rich, old romantic tones, and the album takes a modern feminist slant on topics ranging from body image and empowerment, to political climates and family relationships. Celeste gives us the spice we’ve so desperately been looking for during lockdown in her opening track, Ideal Woman. Spilling the tea on a former lover, she warns ‘please don’t mistake me for someone who cares’… ouch. A stark warning for any exes who are considering sliding into the DMs!
For many of us, podcasts have filled a conversation-shaped hole in our lives since the pandemic began, bringing us company when we have needed it most. Earlier this week, Hermione wrote a feature telling us which podcasts she couldn’t live without. Check it out here: https://www.apocalypsemusic.co.uk/our-top-music-podcast-picks/
In other news, we have decided to take on yet another venture: we are launching a plan to take TikTok by storm! 2020 saw a global rise in users of the platform with several of the world’s most influential and successful musical campaigns leaning into this boom to develop audiences and boost streaming figures in the absence of live gigs.
On a mission to see what all the fuss is about, we will be tackling a new challenge each week, so get in touch if there are any trends you want us to try and go and give us a follow on @apocamusic!
Words by Hermione Kellow & Pia Rose Scattergood