Browsing Tag


Test Card Girl shines on synth-pop treasure ‘Holds Me Down’

A fantastic mesh of indie, folk, synth and soul all wrapped up in a cute bow by Test Card Girl on ‘Holds Me Down’.

Test Card Girl is a solo project by Manchester singer-songwriter Catherine Burgis who started unexpectedly writing songs in 2019 aged 35. Bored of an admin-based existence, Catherine set off on a song-writing journey into all corners of her mind, simultaneously becoming a stand-up comedian touring the country with a novelty miniature keyboard. In late 2019 she began working with producer Dave Fidler on upcoming debut album ‘Seven Dolls‘ and featured on Tom Robinson’s’ Fresh On the Net ‘Fresh Faves’ list in June 2020. She takes her name from the iconic image of the girl and clown used on UK television to signal the end of evening broadcasting – a girl trapped in a technicolor world of screens and machines.

Holds Me Down‘ is an optimistic lofi Indiepop love song stacking folk harmonies over retro 80’s/90’s synthesizers. Test Card Girl draws on the musical giants of her Manchester heritage echoing the punchy synths of New Order and the confessional songwriting of Guy Garvey and John Bramwell.

A tale of love loss and gained here. On one hand you have lost some love as they tried to wrap you up in a box and keep you confined. On the other, you have learnt something and will perhaps love yourself more?

Manchester’s Test Card Girl is rather splendid here and Holds Me Down’ is a terrific track that hits the highs and there are no lows here. What a talent and we are so happy that she is no longer stuck behind a desk.

Click here for the stream link.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Max Starzeff – It’s a dogs life

Not many songs are written from a dogs point of view, but that is exactly what Max Starzeff has done with his beautiful ballad Take Me Away. Highlighting the plight of a Spanish Greyhound, one of many abandoned by their owners at the end of the hunting season, the song is heart tugging, emotive and beautiful. It plays with indie grace, pop accessibility and a haunting alt-folk resonance.

Take me Away is the master of understatement, using space and atmosphere, subdued harmonies and considered instrumentation to create its haunting passage through the listeners mind. This is all the more impressive considering that Max himself was on a recording and production learning curve whilst completing the song. Some songs are about the fun and the frivolous things in life, others react to the big issues and rally against the world but the power of music can be seen in songs such as this, ones that raise awareness, send a message, highlight and issue and do so via the most evocative music.