Babsi – New Artist Spotlight

Pusca Logo 2

To say that up-and-coming London-based German singer Babsi is ambitious would be an understatement.

The artist has not only one but two promising projects underway which both serve to bring out both sides of her personality to the world musically.

Pusca are a band from North London, with Babsi on vocals, Damian Clay on guitar (and vocals) and John D on drums. Taking the narrative cues from traditional English and Celtic folk music, their material touches on the social and the personal, placing the story as the song. Their set recalls numerous musical influences that fuse into a dynamic Alt/Indie/Americana sound with a West Coast feel.

Edith Sitwell described them as, ‘Pearl Jam meets The Smiths at a party Lou Reed threw for Blondie.’

Here’s one of their videos for their heartfelt 90’s-style ballad “Shoot For You”:

When the alt. rock band, Kodiak Moon, split up, and the members were left looking to start a new project with a fresh new vocalist. In March 2012 they put out feelers far and wide to try and find a singer with the talent required to fit the bill and it would turn out that the vocalist they saw at the first audition, Babsi, would be the one they would finally select. Rehearsals began straight away, working on a number of the tracks drawn from the Kodiak Moon repertoire. But it soon became clear that Babsi was a different kind of vocalist with a subtle and yet defined approach to heading the band. So work also began on a new set of songs that took the now titled band, Pusca, into a more folky, poppy and jazzy direction.
Pusca
The band played their first gig at the Trinity Bar, Harrow, in June of 2012 and spend the rest of the year performing on the London circuit at venues like Surya, The Underbelly of Hoxton, The Enterprise, Camden Rock, The Mother Bar, Nambuca, The Water Rats, The O2 Academy and many more besides.
Here’s a sample from one of their Camden Rock gigs performed last year:
They began working on their first album, Secrets Half-Revealed in May 2013. The album was officially released in November of last year. You can find some of their work on their website.
By December, they even got festive and offered their fans a Christmas song:
In August 2013, Pusca played live to over 10,000 listeners on the Jonjo radio show at Rag Radio. The Youtube video of this acoustic performance has since gained almost 15,000 hits:

Pusca continue to concentrate on the London scene and are currently embarking on a series of gigs. Look out for their stuff over on Facebook where you can “LIKE” their page entitled, simply, “Pusca”.

This year, Babsi unveiled her solo project which opened with debut single “We Are Everywhere”, inspired by Stephen Fry’s idea that all athletes competing in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics make a simple gesture, crossing their arms over their chests to show solidarity and support for the LGBT community of Russia. A gay rights protest music video was released and illustrated the gesture in an upbeat, positive yet defiant manner:

“Russia needs to understand that there are millions of people worldwide who are offended by the Russian government’s treatment of the LGBT community,” said Babsi, “I thought Stephen Fry had a fantastic idea to enable those participating in the games to be able to make a subtle protest.”

Damian Clay, who wrote the song and directed the video said, “It’s just too late now to try and convince ours or any other government to boycott the games in protest; though I believe that, were this racial or religious prejudice on display, that some countries would have stopped their teams attending. With that in mind it’s more important than ever that we have some way of letting the Russian LGBT community know that they have some support from the countries who are participating.”

Babsi

Gay presenter, Jonjo, who appears in the video, said, “It’s vitally important that this issue be front and centre throughout the course of this Olympiad. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. We’re a natural division of humanity; we need our rights respected and our people supported.”

“We Are Everywhere” is Babsi’s first release as a solo artist and she will be launching a solo album later this year, which will include this track.

We-Are-Everywhere

This single is currently available to buy on iTunes, do make sure you show your support if you can.

Expect many more great things from both Babsi and Pusca very soon.

For further information please contact:

Babsi Tel: 07753386822

Email: puscababsi@gmail.com

Hedgehog – Artist Spotlight

Hedgehog Pic

Beijing-set indie rock band Hedgehog may not be too well known in the west, despite having recorded their latest album Sun Fun Gun in the U.S., but they have been around since 2004, proving over and over that there are very good Chinese rock bands out there.

Hedgehog are a trio, ZO, Atom and He Yifan, and make a hell of a lot of noise for two dudes and a little lady. Despite forming in the 2000’s, the band’s music sounds very 90’s, early 90’s even, and there’s definitely some Nirvana influence in there.

As you can probably tell from “Wink”:

Trademark characteristics of the band include catchy bass lines, the use of English lyrics pretty often, wild and memorable choruses and Atom’s backing vocals. Though they have angstier tunes like “Wink” under their belt, they also do a great job with slower, moodier, more atmospheric tracks.

Case and point, “The End”:

But it’s not all moody stuff, they do have a good bunch of lighter, more easy-going songs like “Heart On Fire” or even the Ramones-inspired “Dear Boy I Wanna Be Your Girl Friend”:

The band has 7 albums to their name so far and are still going. Their first was Happy Idle Kid, which included the songs “Wink”, “One” and “Cool Bad Girl” and is quite probably their angstier effort. Then came the melodic follow-up, Noise Hit World, which included the fun, lighter “Toy & 6.1” and the rather abstract “Apart”

Blue Daydreaming was next and included the beautiful title song, which opens the album with a bang. You could tell that Hedgehog’s style had solidified by the time this album came out, with loads of well-defined melodies and just instantly loveable tracks peppering the album. The likes of “In Spring” and “Tree” definitely worth hearing. Drummer Atom gets to also show off her vocals a little more in “Waiting For The Last Bus”.

Honeyed & Killed is the band’s fourth album, released in 2010, and contains the aforementioned “The End” as well as the mellower titular track and the darker “Kill Your Age”. The album was followed by a 2011 self-released effort, DEstroy MeMOries, which was a little more experimental (see “Broken Wings”) while still kept a raw energy, a bootleg called Still Alive and their latest, Sun Fun Gun, which came out in 2012 and which included “The Band” and the explosive “Surf With Shark”:

That Hedgehog have already crammed in so many cool albums in such a relatively short amount of time is impressive and it’s looking like there’s plenty more to come, probably going in an edgier direction.

You can listen to a bunch of the band’s songs HERE and look out for updates on what they have in store next on their website.

Anyone into Nirvana or The Jesus And Mary Chain, or into that kind of music anyway, should definitely check out Hedgehog: loads of cool songs, loads of great albums. Be warned, though, the lyrics in some of their English songs aren’t exactly amazing but the songs themselves carry enough charm to keep you rockin’ throughout.

Recommended.