Gürl – Surrender

I decided to make the most of a few days away from work to head to Valencia. I’ve never been here before but I can now see why friends rate it so highly. Despite being visibly impacted by the pandemic, there’s still an urgent sexiness, a thrilling throb in the air. Like a virgin, I can’t wait to give in to the full experience. 

My legs are tired though from all of the tourism-walking that I’ve been doing. Eagerly, I look at the health app on my phone to realise with disappointment that I’m simply covering the same steps that I did in a normal London day pre-pandemic. I’m out of practice.

Then, after work, I was invariably rushing across the city to spot the new and the up and coming. I still keep an eye out for what those acts are now doing. Bristol’s anti-pop  band, gürll, were one that most impressed. 

I saw them twice in 2019, both times as the support act for Gazel. The first time I saw them (review here) at Paper Dress Vintage, they delighted with a powerful, sexual machismo, their vibrant desire-fuelled soul bouncing off the vintage garments in the clothes shop. 

Last month, gürl released a new single and video for a song, Surrender, that perfectly sums up the mood they create. As lead singer, Joshua Dalton observes, “Surrender tells a story of desperate submission; giving yourself to someone fully and them giving themselves to you. A dangerous kind of love, filled with the shallow base yearning of smoky eyes, tipsy confidence, and hands running up your back, through to an endless, cosmic devotion. Surrendering to someone, totally.” 

You can’t say fairer than that. 

I didn’t want to write about Surrender in 2020 to get lost amidst the Christmas buzz; I wanted to feature this as my Happy New Year song. 2021 is surely going to be better and we won’t be able to surrender to those sexual urges any longer. 

Valencia – I’m about to see what your Saturday offers. 



Francesca Brown – Undone

Last night was a bit stupid. If I was of sensible nature, I wouldn’t have gone to the pub. Or, at least, I would have left after three pints to head home to my impeccably tidy house. I would have put on my slippers and chilled, maybe watching another episode of that box-set I adore whilst waiting for my wholesome stew to stew.

But I’m not sensible. I stayed at the pub for longer than I should have. I bought a pizza on the way home and woke fully clothed, having fallen asleep on my sofa. This is not the life I Imagined when I was a younger man.

Music is my constant. I can’t have been older than ten when I discovered the joy of headphones. Put on a pair, the more visible the better, and you’re making a statement that you don’t want to engage with the world. I woke this morning with headphones on.

The wonderful Francesca Brown had sent me to sleep. Or at least, it was her track, Undone that undid me. One minute I was watching this video, the next I was in the land of nod. In many ways, this might imply that what we have here is dull and languorous. But, the truth is something entirely different. 

For sure, this is not a brain beating punk excursion; it’s more of a protest song done serenely. Undone has a very specific ‘je ne sais quoi’ that I cannot fathom but love all the same. Maybe, it’s the shuffling melody or the rise and fall of Francesca’s vocal, the sense that something isn’t quite right here in a world that should be perfect. It both calms me and makes me anxious. It’s sexy and completely not so. It leaves me speechless and without a rudder. It’s soul that touches my soul and I suspect this is a good response.

Ladies and Gentleman – have happy weekends. I’ll continue to nurse this hanging head with Francesca and my headphones for company.