So many albums to cover, including Danafae, Beverly Kills, Knife Girl, Honeyvein, Major Parkinson and many more, but i wanted to start with a quick write-up on Thea & The Wild, an artist I've followed since way back. 'Deadheading' is her 3rd album, with her debut release 'Strangers and Lovers' featuring on these pages way back in 2014 - how I'm still here writing nonsense after all these years is a mystery to me.
Behind the name is Thea Glenton Raknes, described in her bio as a 'storyteller' who spent a childhood between her mothers 'hippy flat' and her fathers boat 'crewed by Swedish prog rockers' - I rather like the idea of both, particularly the prog rock boat on an epic journey that mostly goes around in circles and never quite reaches a destination. She also didn't have much of a formal musical education, which is interesting because although I liked her debut, I didn't always find the songwriting quite delivered the punch that I wanted.
However 'Deadheading' is a really good album, it actually feels like a breath of fresh air, written without a care in the world, a simple approach based on mostly big uplifting, but always heartfelt, indie songs, with tunes that you can dance to, and that would actually be perfect for a summer festival, even if just released when 'winter is coming'.
Highlights include the upbeat opener 'Poisoned Apple', which engages me right from the start, and mixes indie, rock, pop and country styles, while 'Little Sister' has a 'sing-a-long' anthemic chorus to enjoy - a pre-release single which has clearly made it on to a few Indie Playlists. But it's the more reflective 'Misery Mountain' which appeals as much as anything, partly for the lyrics: "I will call you when i get down from my misery mountain", a simple really appealing idea. And if there's a 'hit' it's definitely 'Rip Tide', a belting track with a euphoric killer chorus, relentless indie guitars and great vocals.
Having spent Friday and Saturday at a festival and gig with hippies and old prog rockers, it's no surprise that Thea has such a varied and interesting set of influences, and that she writes simply because she seems to love what she does. Who cares about that formal musical training, Thea has style and she writes good tunes, with 'Deadheading' an undoubted success.
Find her on Facebook.