A comfortable arrangement

A comfortable arrangement

The Portuguese word saudade is a profound form of longing for something absent. Rachel Zeffira, one half of the duo Cat’s Eyes (the other being Faris Badwan of The Horrors), describes it as a two-directional pull that keeps her home country Canada vibrantly alive in her mind. Saudade transforms British clouds into snowcapped mountains and strangers on the street into long lost friends. “It’s like being haunted,” she says when we meet to talk about their new album Treasure House. “It’s a reminder... a ghost in my mind.”

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Little Simz behind the wheel

Little Simz behind the wheel

Only a week has passed since the UK rapper Little Simz released her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons on her independent label Age 101. It's an achievement music industry officials had always told her was impossible--despite her 50,000 Soundcloud followers and praise from hip hop giants like Mos Def, Snoop Dogg and Kendrick Lamar. During a drive through London, Simz tells me about her independent strive for success.

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Vulnerable doesn't hurt

Vulnerable doesn't hurt

When Rosie Lowe was studying music in London, she felt like she was the only student on the course who lacked a distinct sound. Nearing the end of her last year, she decided to step away from her specialisms--piano and guitar--learnt production instead, and began using her low yet light vocals as an instrument. Fast forward a few years and it's Rosie's sound of soul and stripped-back electronica that shines through. When we meet at the start of summer, the musician is polishing off her awaited debut album, the first big release since her breakthrough EP Right Thing in 2013. 

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Carried by the melody

Carried by the melody

Often simplistically described as thoroughly bleak and troubled, the force of Marika Hackman's songwriting instead lies in its ability to sustain the tension between light and dark elements by altering the meaning of a song through its melody. Her debut album We Slept At Last, released earlier in the year, was written intensively over a two-month period, in the aftermath of an emotionally challenging year. I spoke to the experimental folk musician about growth and the challenge of conjuring up songs out of nowhere.

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Focus, Faith, Belief

“When I was sixteen, I got The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill as a present. It was life-changing for me. I had never heard anything like it. It pulled me into this place of optimism and that someone understands.” Sitting by the kitchen table in the warehouse flat she shares with her boyfriend, soul singer Andreya Triana speaks calmly and coherently, laying out this moment as if it’s one she often returns to. 

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