Updated: Aug 4
July 29 sees Allusions available on all streaming platforms and Blowtorch Records vinyl.
Released: July 29 2022
For me, one of life's great mysteries is not what constitutes the dark matter which makes up 85% of the universe, rather why so many musical writers and commentators are sniffy about pop music. Why they value "rockism" to "popism", authenticity over head spinning harmonic highs and quite often pompous men rather than wondrous women. Give me Nothing But A Heartache by The Flirtations over any Bob Dylan track any day of the week. As Johnny Marr said "When Morrissey and I started The Smiths, we thought pop music was the most important thing in the world. It was almost a spiritual thing for us, and because of that, we knew what it meant to be a fan." I rest my case.
Portsmouth based artist/producer Wyse loves 80s and 90s pop. She takes this as her reference starting point and like all the best artists, stamps her own anger and energy on it; adds in elements of scuzzy indie rock; and then layers on lyrics as a bold and powerful way to express her inner emotions.
Wyse takes inspiration from her life, relationships, struggles and experiences to seek out connections with others. “It feels important for me to be honest and sincere about emotions that we are often shamed for talking about,” Wyse says. “I want to free myself from them and to impact the stigma around talking about 'ugly' emotions. How can we be compassionate to others if we shame ourselves?”
Wyse's 2021’s EP Anomalies debuted this sparky, emotionally literate alt pop. Her new EP sees it fully fledged and soaring. Formed of five impassioned and fiery new recordings, Allusions sees Wyse step wholly out of her comfort zone, pushing her abilities as a producer, writer and musician beyond anything she’s done so far.
“My main focus for the Allusions EP is the production,” says Wyse herself . “I want it to evoke a range of feelings in the listener and to feel like a journey, an arc throughout the record.” She continues "I’m obsessed by non-linear sonic textures which meld musical influences and emotional impulses into a coherent whole, mixing poignant and compelling lyrics with infectious melodies, unexpected rhythms and percussive interludes."
The first track on the EP Run Away was also the first single. As our review noted at the time "It is a driving alt-pop blast of attitude with a gorgeous sheen leant by the 80s style production. It cleverly subverts traditional song structure, initially with a big, dramatic verse which drops, after a brief pause, into a chorus almost devoid of instrumentation but with a delicious, delicate vocal melody reminiscent of Debbie Harry & Blondie." Like Blondie, Wyse is able to twist traditional pop yet still make it accessible to a mainstream audience.
3 Whole Days was the last single to be taken from the EP and is possibly our favourite. Another great alt pop track and another fabulous production. It starts off with a synth line worthy of Giorgio Moroder before a huge chorus with hints of Blondie's Atomic. It feels like Wyse threw everything at this track and she herself says "I wanted the production of this song to have a sense of humour beneath the dark and difficult lyrical content."
Belladonna was written when she was at university in London and grappling with her goals as a musician. Plagued with self-doubt, the two options were to whole-heartedly throw herself into music, and to do whatever was needed to achieve her goals, or to throw in the towel and thus avoid the chance of failure.
This dichotomy is reflected in the title - Belladonna the poisonous but beautiful plant, which also has medicinal purposes. Dancing between light and darkness, the descending chord sequence of the menacing opening is reminiscent of Massive Attack. The fact that you can feel that the track is going to take off doesn't make any less thrilling when it comes and it builds brilliantly into the climactic final section.
Elsewhere non singles Don't back For Me and What You Gonna Do maintain her manifesto of infectious and coolly brash alt pop and complete the coherent whole she was seeking.
Her drive and purpose is connection to herself, and others. Learning from those who have come before while treading an impressive path of her own, Wyse is busy making her dreams a reality, flying the flag for women writers and producers in a world that so often dismisses such talent. And she’s only just beginning.
Track listing is:
1. Run Away 2. 3 Whole Days 3. Don't Come Back For Me
Side two. 1. Belladonna 2. What You Gonna Do
Order the Allusions EP on deluxe 180g black vinyl
Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and never miss out on gig info and our latest deals