• James Booton

Essential Bedroom Pop: Flower Face, SPINN, Philine Sonny & more!



Dee Holt


18 year-old Canadian songwriter Dee Holt has developed rapidly since her 2020 debut 'Hardest Part'. The subtle swagger to her vocals and variety of instrumentation, ranging from R&B beats to dreamy electronics, has earned her critical attention. For such a young artist she has already demonstrated an accomplished understanding of musical arrangement and she is audibly comfortable within her sound. She has collaborated with numerous other vocalists, stretching out her songwriting capabilities. This has honed her talent and led to the fantastic new release 'Nobody Like You'.



Instrumentally, the new single leans on her R&B influence with a super rich and crisp guitar line leading a stripped back sound. The percussive clicks pop out of the beat while the guitar flicks add a slick flavour. Her vocals have an instant swagger to them. They initially carry a playful urban twang reminiscent of early Lily Allen yet as the track develops more and more layered harmonies join the fun and give off hints of Billie Eilish. It is one of those catchy hypnotic songs that perpetually grows on you and by the time you hear the final chorus you know that its smooth rhythm will be stuck with you all day.

 

UncleBoy


Digging retro grooves out of his Bristol home studio, the slightly eccentric writer/producer Tom Campbell aims to capture the anxieties of the modern age with his UncleBoy project. His debut album 'Pink Purple Green' from 2021 darts between musical styles. From the acoustic, natural feel of the aptly named 'Wilderness' to the more built up electronic landscape and popping Rock drum finale of 'Lately' the record took things track by track, exploring each song's lyrical theme with the most appropriate musical style. It demonstrated an impressive musical understanding and was a good teaser for what he had coming next.



Now, he is back with two new singles taken from his upcoming second album 'Blue Forever Blue' set for release this Spring. The first of which, the album's title track, is a lot more upbeat than much of his previous work and has a fuzzy Garage Rock guitar underpinning a slew of sharp synths and vocals that combine seamlessly into one whirlpool of joyful sound. The most recent release 'SO SO BAD' returns to a more dream-like Psychedelic state. His attraction to retro influences is apparent with a thick funky baseline lying underneath swirling electronics. The super melodic laid-back vocals in the chorus are what really make this track and assure listeners that the new album will strike the right balance between insular bedroom atmospherics and Indie Pop melodies.

 

Flower Face


The Canadian Songwriter is by far the most experienced artist on this list. After writing two albums in two years had an apt amount of time to evolve her songwriting understanding and her recent return to music certainly lets this experience shine through. After a 4 year wait for a new album, fans will finally be blessed with that allusive third record this year. Two singles 'Cornflower Blue' and 'Sugar water' have been paired together on streaming platforms indicating they could be the start of the new album titled 'The Shark in Your Water'. The new record was actually recorded two years ago but COVID and the likes have forced a postponement creating a heightened anticipation and by the sounds of these new singles it will be worth the wait!



'Cornflower Blue' follows in the footsteps of her previous work with its intimate atmosphere, beautifully subtle vocal inflections and lo-fi synth textures that slowly swell across the confines of the song. However, it builds to a more emotive and cinematic finale with a swinging drum beat and thickly layered tapestry of tranquil instrumentation. The latest single 'Sugar Water' is more openly expressive with its playful synth melodies and vocally it radiates a new confident swagger. It is as if Lana Del Rey and Wolf Alice's Ellie Rowsell have been dragged into a floating dream-like escapade. These tracks build on the bare qualities that Flower Face has always shown and builds them up into a more complex and immersive experience.

 

Urbanparcs


Following in the footsteps of Alfie Templeman, Urbanparcs AKA Ed Fisher is stealing musical hearts at just 18 with his deliciously smooth brand of Bedroom Pop. Sandwiched between cities in the North-West he has been gathering a loyal live following for his high-energy shows that take his sun-drenched beats and inject them with a Rockstar showmanship. He has recently been working with Merseyside record label Tri-Tone (Sugarstone, Oya Paya) with whom he released 'Hay Fever'. The track showcased his infectious vocal tone while layering big sing-a-long melodies over a punchy drum rhythm. It earned huge support from local taste makers such as Dave Monks of BBC Introducing Merseyside.



Now, he has returned with a more dreamy offering 'Kool Aid'. The new single builds off a funk-infused groove while Ed's vocals offer a soothing serenade. The chorus is full of spaced-out vocal harmonies that help you sail away into a sonic daydream. Urbanparcs is looking like the next Bedroom Pop maestro on the block so keep your eyes peeled for what comes next.

 

Nadia Kamrath


With American Singer/Songwriter Nadia Kamrath it is her vocals that instantly grab your attention. They always posses a gentle intimacy that makes each track feel incredibly personal and creates the perfect atmosphere for letting your mind drift on a sunny afternoon. She released her debut single 'Fever Dream' in June last year and since then she has been rapidly gaining attention for her heartfelt lyricism and blissful delivery.



She states herself that her songwriting is "soft and vulnerable" and this is more true than ever on her latest single 'For Lucy'. As is depicted in the music video above, the track explores those moments in life when certain events strip away your built up exterior to reveal a child-like vulnerability and innocence. This story of childhood reminiscence is once again personal in its content and superbly angelic in its delivery. Despite her soft and gentle vocals, the track is not simply one of daydream serenity. The chorus melody is super catchy and will make you wish you had the voice to sing along without feeling like you're bursting the blissful bubble.

 

SPINN


After a line up change and a summer EP, Scouse Bedroom Indie quartet SPINN are back with album number 2 'Outside Of The Blue'. The band said that the entire process of making this album felt a lot more relaxed than their 2018 debut and this is audible throughout the record. Their signature Dream Pop, Marr influenced guitar lines are still a constant thread but the songwriting on the tittle track feels more considered and melodies on tracks like 'Stargazing' and 'Getaway' allow themselves more time to grow.



The album also digs deeper into their personality as a band. The artwork, which comes from Guitarist Luke Brickett and designer Marine Cox, reflects their lyrical and thematic influences which largely consists of their favourite literature and films. Lead singer Johnny Quinn sounds a bit more composed, swapping his loose hipped swagger and Indie heart throb persona for a more considered and sentimental approach. This doesn't mean that their aren't carefree moments throughout the new record for Johnny to dance around in his charismatic style and moments that provide a joyful soundtrack to Indie romances yet they are just that...moments. This more matured project is reflective and at times poignant, with opening track 'Hello' providing a really uplifting yet thought provoking intro, yet it chooses the right moments to loosen up and indulge in their undoubtedly infectious sunny melodies.


 

Philine Sonny


With only a few songs to her name, German songwriter Philine Sonny has quickly become one of the hottest Bedroom Popstars from across Europe. Her first release 'Lose Yourself' is introspective in style with jangly washed out guitars providing the backdrop to her somewhat solemn late night musings. Her music probably carries the strongest melancholic tones of anyone on this list as the deeper vocal lines mirror those swelling 3am thoughts that just won't leave. Yet at the same time, there is something calming to these late night isolated vibes as it makes you feel like you have your own space to breathe and escape the hectic day to day. Her follow up 'Same Light' has a slightly more heartwarming tone to it offering a good balance for her debut duo of releases



Now, she has returned with single number three 'People' which sees her escape the dreamy confines of bedroom pop slightly with its expansive finale. To start with it carries many of the qualities that have made her such a one to watch across Europe. Deep, thoughtful guitar lines swell underneath while her vocals create a poignant atmosphere. However, as it goes on the instrumentation builds and just after the halfway mark it leaps into a euphoric ensemble of big vocal harmonies and punchy rolling drums. This is by far her most lively offering yet. It builds on those beautiful raw qualities of her songwriting and vocal abilities but then enhances them with an uplifting musical backing. 'People' radiates rewarding feelings of exploration and personal discovery and it will leave a lasting impact long after the final notes.

 

Heddy Edwards


Influenced by female Rock icons like Stevie Nicks, Washington D.C. based poet, singer, songwriter, producer and dancer Heddy Edwards uses a retro sonic palette, combining rolling 80s synths with a 90s Rock mentality. Musically her songs capture the environments that she has surrounded herself with, from the electro pulse of downtown cityspaces from her hometown Chicago to more expressive and free-roaming vocals in 'White Lightening'.



Her first two singles give a good indication of what fuels her songwriting. A lot of artists use the '80s synths' descriptor but the tone of the electronics in her music really does carry a retro feel with the rigid drum beat and quite drawn out smooth synth chords. Her vocals have a retro twang too, giving glimpses of her musical heroes gone by with a slight Country twang and a powerful delivery that cuts through the music. The instrumentals of her latest track 'cherry picker' are really dense and provide quite a cinematic feel as the guitars and synths tangle in a lucid state while the chorus arrives with a powerful and poignant tone. The perfect sound for reflective late night drives

 

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