Celebrating the release of Gill Sandell's new album 'Songs Of Our Years', out on 6 May 2016.
Sylva Kay writes, performs, and records her own music. She has fronted various bands on both sides of the Atlantic and released her solo album Undercut in 2012. In October 2015 Kay released 'Heart of Stone' on Indianna Records. Kay produced 3 out of the 4 tracks on the EP at her own studio 'The Cabin'. The title track was recorded by Grammy award winning producer Jimmy Hogarth The four blues rock/dream folk songs evoke both the great spaciousness of North America’s landscapes and the wet, green, cool tones of Kay’s homeland, England. Sylva Kay has worked with producer Jimmy Hogarth (James Bay, Maverick Sabre and Joel Culpepper). photographer Tara Darby(Vogue, Dazed & Confused, Saatchi & Saatchi) and musician Half Cousin (Gronland Records). She is now based in Oxford, tours the UK monthly and is recording and co-writing her 2nd album with Jimmy Hogarth at Hoxa HQ , London.
Sylva Kay learned to express herself musically and artistically from a very early age. She was a child of an artistic family and was often surrounded by performers and artists. Having written songs from a young age, Kay had set her course early, writing and composing her own music on guitar and piano. Photography and Art were also early passions. It was whilst studying these two disciplines at a Winchester 6th Form that she also tried her hand at 4- track recording. Kay claims the process of being self taught in these areas of writing and recording as "messy and often a frustrating experience, but the process produces results which feel exciting, therapeutic, empowering and offer a chance to create something personal, meaningful, and unique to share with the world". Thus, after college she chose to pursue music rather than art. Kay graduated from a much-coveted place on a degree course for songwriting and performance at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA).
After a few years developing and showcasing her work in London, she moved to New York to explore new horizons, new influences and a change of scene, which Kay found in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. The DIY music and art culture in New York and Brooklyn gave Kay many of her ideas for her later album Undercut. Many of the photographs taken during this period were used as album artwork for the record. From there she moved on to San Francisco and played solo around the coffee houses, bars and music venues before meeting drummer Jon Sortland (with whom she formed the band Ra Ra Rabbit which later became American City). The band went on to also include Jeff Schmidt on guitar and Jonathan Hischke on bass. The band recorded the best part of an album with producer Jimmy Hogarth in London. The material is awaiting release in the UK and the US in 2017.
Living a peripatetic artist’s life in the US, Kay gained valuable experiences working with musicians, touring and recording. Eventually Kay also realised she needed a place to call home and thus returned to England in 2007.
Back in London, she formed a band called IC with Kevin Cormack of Half Cousin (bass) and Mat Fowler of Bontakt (guitar), in which she fronted, sang and played drums. When Cormack left the band to focus on solo work, she decided to record her own solo album, Undercut, which she did in a live/work warehouse in East London. Inspired by bands Kay had immersed herself in listening to as a teenager; Belly, The Breeders, Buzzcocks, Talking Heads , Kay created a record that sounds both nostalgic and alien at the same time. “The sound is really cool with tunings slack and the songs rattling along like swirling pysch-shoegaze garage gems caught on a slightly wavery 8 track. She’s got the tender college rock kudos and the carefree off-kilter weirdo nous... I’m confused but totally happy to hear this current London resident who seems to have netted a huge wet dream-bubble of hazy 90’s indie slacker ephemera. Bathe deeply in her fuzzy half-drunken music” 8/10 Norman Records.
Sylva Kay's most recent release 'Heart of Stone' - The 'survival edition' - has been on sale through Big Cartel since October 2nd 2015. Each copy has been stamped, numbered, signed and packed by hand. There were only 400 copies made. Copies are still available from www.sylvakay.org and at shows. Catch her tour dates with Felix M-B in July, and many more this year (full listings below).
My Crooked Teeth
My Crooked Teeth is the work of Oxford musician, Jack Olchawski.
Having spent the last decade contributing to a wildly eclectic set of projects; from the sprawling country-shoegaze of UK cult outfit, Toliesel, to drumming for the live incarnation of Message To Bears' yearning ambient electronica, he has since become recognized as an emerging songwriting talent in his own right.