Emilie Nicolas – Fail

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We’ve written abut this song already as part of our review of 2014, but now it seems to be getting promoted as a buzz release-slash-single and frankly we don’t need any excuse to write about it again. We’ve been listening to the album Like I’m a Warrior solidly since its release and Fail has always stood out as a highlight. Previous singles Grown Up and Nobody Knows showed Emilie’s soft, fragile side, but here she’s brutal and most definitely not putting up with your crap. Her soft voice takes on a harsher tone over the accompanying grinding beats, most notably on the standout line, “Don’t call me lazy, I go down on him daily”. Tickets are sold out but we would recommend you do whatever you can to catch her live in London at St Pancras Old Church on 28th January.

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Lisa Alma – Man

We’ve been very vocal about our love for Lisa Alma (here and here) and so Sweater, her second album, is one of our most eagerly anticipated of the season. And here’s the first official single, Man. While still sounding notably like Lisa Alma, with delicate piano and her beautiful voice, it’s also a slight departure as it opens with a juddering electronic drum and takes her closer to Jessie Ware territory than she’s been up to now. It’s a thrilling taster of the album to come (on 16 February, date fans).

Jennie Abrahamson – The War

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We have to admit to discovering Jennie Abrahamson by accident, when we caught the end of her set supporting Truls at the Kulturfestival in Stockholm this summer. We instantly went out and bought the album, so it is extremely good to hear that Jennie plans to take it further afield, launching with The War. We could describe it, but Jennie did it so well herself on her website:

“The War” was written as a short piece, supposedly a little piece of music & lyrics to put in between two “real” songs on the album. Though, when showing it to my co-producer Johannes and drummer Micke, they said I had to rewrite and make a full song out of it. I still wanted to keep it quite short and not add any more parts, so I wrote more lyrics (plenty of inspiration for that!) and made it a “proper song” – but effectively short. We brought in a great little orchestra of string players that brought on a dignified effect to the song. Other than that it’s just a tuned drum kit (I wanted the drums to sound more “tribal”), percussion, synth bass, lots of vocals and some sparse keys hoovering above it all. Small parts that create a big sound world.

She goes on to explain that although she was inspired by feminism, she does not view feminism as a war, but is fed up, rightly so, with seeing endless all-male festivals etc and feels that if we can change this representation a little, so we’re not just exposed to white males 24/7, then eventually there will be a new normal.

Anyways – long story short: I wrote this song to celebrate all people who endures talking about these issues, who works with it every day, big or small. It might have to do with getting girls to school in a country where girls and women traditionally are held at home, it might have a to do with counting names on lists of board members, it might have to do with making sure women have safe health care or legal rights. For all of you who struggle daily to make this world equal and better for everyone – I salute you! It’s not a war but it’s a fight we need to go through to move forward.

By now you probably just want to hear the damn thing. The single is out now, backed with B-side This Is Our Land, and the album, Gemini Gemini, will be released internationally in spring 2015, but is available in Sweden now and is VERY GOOD (for example, Wolf).