Thursday 10 June 2021

Take A Seat EP by Nia Wyn

Come Home To You has a massive pop hook, an irresistible groove, all softly punching horns and group soul harmonies. If Mark Ronson had been in the studio, you'd have heard this at least a thousand times and people would be saying 'the new Amy Winehouse'.

You should have heard it a hundred times at least from open windows, shop radios and passing cars. It's that sort of immediate big party tune. Not sure why that hasn't happened yet, but we live in strange times.

I've had this record a month or two and played it more than any other 2021 release. That doesn't mean it's the best - although, come on, if you've know of a better one, give it to me - but it does mean there's more going on in these 8 songs than in other records.

There's skinny guitars (Imma Be Honest sounds like a great lost TLC track), Frank Ocean neo soul (Muzzle), Labi Siffre folk-flecked soul (Who Asked You) and political anger about the NHS (Such A Shame). Take A Seat is a mod record - or, if you like, a distillation of Paul Weller's aims and ambitions, merging the old and the new, creating something very special of her own.

You can still say the new Amy Winehouse if you like, even though she's as much as common with Michael Kiwanuka. On this evidence Nia Wyn easily has enough talent to go where she likes on her own terms. We'll be seeing her name in lights soon enough.

Monday 7 June 2021


The sub-genre 'bands who sound like Teenage Fanclub' doesn't have that many candidates raising their hands up to say 'actually, we're just as good and there's a bit more to us as well'. So welcome Norway's Rider, who unsurprisingly number one of I Was A King, whose Norman Bleik points to where Rider have hitched their (band)wagon.

Smell The Floor is the hit - classic sunny powerpop, a lazy groove, effortlessly catchy. There are also two songs under a minute, one of which they surely turned to the producer and said 'make it shitgaze'. Assuming they had a producer, of course. This ep is very DIY and sounds all the better for it.

And then there's Tape Bounce, where they answer the question 'that weird bit in C.T.A. 102 by The Byrds is good but what would it sound like if the whole song was like that but only weirder still?' Great, in case you wondered.

There were 50 copies of this on 7". They've just pressed 100 more. Now's your chance.