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.
What you really think Accidental Allies are all about depends upon which thread you pick at first. Start one end and they are a synth-pop act doing a spot of avant gardening, start somewhere else and they are an acoustic act building electronic platforms underneath deft, classical guitar lines. Others might think of them more as a dance band heading off into more progressive territory, or a soul band having embraced a futuristic vision of what the genre might become.
The reality is that they are all of those things or none of them, they might be a wide-ranging eclectic mix or a very singular roadmap towards their own musical destination. Not that it really matters, it is only when you try to write things down, to turn music into words that you come up against the limitations of language. Until they invent the right words to properly describe what is going on here you will just have to access their world via your ears and imagination. It is a world of interesting musical choices, mercurial stylistic blends, genre hopping and genre splicing, why would you try to capture that in word form?
Blending and layering hints of modern Alt-Pop and 80’s nostalgia, Lavoy is Alternative’s answer to Ellie Goulding.
Since their polished synth-laden take on dance party rhetoric hit the airwaves in early 2014, the charismatic collective have brought new meaning to the term ‘entertainment’, while the unassuming audience finds themselves persuaded into letting the movement take over and soon realise they’ve given way to the luring sound. Founded on and fuelled by the principles of quality dance tracks and the pure elation the 5-piece displays while performing, the alt pop visionaries that make up Lavoy are ascending beyond the forest of new industry talent with a great bit of confidence and more fervor than most seem to muster in a life time.
“Friend is about the value of others individually and the influence that relationship can have on someones life. I wanted to make a statement on the currency of friendship… that a friend is alive in this particular time to influence a moment in ones life is a powerful thing and a position of great stature. Todays world has benefited technology advancement and many other thing in great ways, but we’ve unknowingly been distracted by these things and I believe the art of friendship is becoming a lost art and has been sacrificed up in exchange for convenience and ease. This song was written when we first left our home in Alaska and is highly influenced by our friends that we left behind when the band moved to Washington. There’s nothing quite like leaving home to cause you to stop taking your relationships for granted and seeing the value in them.” – singer Tyrell L. Tompkins
Lavoy’s forthcoming EP, produced by Casey Bates (Portugal.The Man, INXS, Pierce The Veil, MxPx) will be in stores later this year.