Intern Picks of the Week — British Invasion

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British singers and musicians have impacted our culture and society for decades now. From the Beatles to Elton John, to Adele, to Harry Styles, and countless others, the music industry would not be what it is today without such icons. So, this week, we’re sharing our favorite songs from British artists!

Michael’s pick: Jockstrap – “Concrete Over Water”

While the British Invasion may have started in the 1960s, songs from across the pond remain at the forefront of music today. A standout track on British experimental pop duo Jockstrap’s 2022 album I Love You Jennifer B, “Concrete over Water” describes a lonely night in the city. Despite all of her failures with interpersonal relationships, writer and singer Georgia Ellery thanks the city for embracing her at even her darkest moments. As she feels torn between her two great loves, the city and the night sky, Ellery documents her struggle to find light in the darkest scenes in life.

Musically, Jockstrap places Ellery’s desperate, yearning vocal delivery front and center. Interspersed with brief moments of hyperpop-inspired semi-symphonic instrumental sections, Ellery’s voice carries this track alongside bandmate Taylor Skye’s eclectic production choices. Oscillating from lo-fi production to artificial perfection, “Concrete over Water” and its immensely diverse range of synthesized and acoustic sounds redefines the pop ballad for a new age.

Mikayla’s pick: Nothing But Thieves – “Lover, Please Stay”

My pick this week is from a band based out of Essex. Nothing But Thieves began their journey in 2015 with the release of their self-titled, debut album. “Lover, Please Stay (Live)” is what started their discography and my admiration. Lead singer, Conor Mason, is able to captivate his listeners with each starting lyric in each song. Mason has one of the most authentic and angelic voices I can recall. It is almost chilling how precisely he can convey a message through his exceedingly impressive tone, range, and control.

The track is a masterpiece, meshing eerily soft vocals and a gentle, harmonic acoustic melody. Guitarist, Joe Langridge-Brown, wrote the lyrics on the edge of his bed, while alone in his room. Whether performed live or recorded in the studio, the song is in its simplest form. However, this will not keep you from feeling every ounce of emotion encompassed in it. There is no other option than to feel everything through Mason’s sorrowful voice, pleading lyrics, and broken heart.

Katie’s Pick: Sam Fender – “Getting Started”

I am about 90% sure that Sam Fender is going to be my top artist for 2022. For British Invasion week, I wanted to pick an artist who is undeniably British. Sam Fender is a North Sheilds native. He skyrocketed to public attention with his single “Seventeen Going Under” after it blew up on TikTok.  

I, however, have been a fan of Fender’s since 2019 when he released his first full-length album, Hypersonic Missiles. Sam Fender’s music to me is like a British Bruce Springsteen vibe, whom Fender cites as one of his many inspirations. To me, this album feels like it should have been released in 1984. Listen to “You’re Not the Only One,” and tell me you do not love that saxophone solo.  

Last year, Fender released His sophomore album, Seventeen Going Under, and this one is a fall album at its finest. The album, while still in Fender’s signature style, has a darker feeling to it. Fender reflects on the state of the world since the pandemic and various social issues. However, he prevalently relies on his own strife in his small town of North Sheilds for inspiration. “Getting Started” is Fender’s love letter to his journey into the limelight. The chorus discusses Fender’s hard work thus far and how he does not plan to give up on his dreams anytime soon.  

Sam Fender is one of my favorites now and is undeniably one of England’s great new artists.