Author: cdevelin

Bad Friends, Good Enemies – the brilliant debut of Basheba

Bad Friends, Good Enemies – the brilliant debut of Basheba

At the end of this month, amazing newcomer Basheba releases her debut EP, Bad Friends, Good Enemies. You may or may not be familiar with her, but one thing is certain – you will be hearing a lot of Basheba in the not too distant future. The North West Londoner blends R&B, blues, and gospel to deliver spectacular vocals and a dark intensity that is laced with hope. We caught up with her out front of the release thanks to Kate Whitmarsh of Space Promotions. This is Dirty Love (Your Love): How did you choose your name?

Basheba: It comes from my favourite place to visit in Barbados, Bathsheba. The scenery and views are amazing. It’s somewhere I could never get bored of. So when thinking of a name I decided I wanted a name that meant something to me. It came to me one day and I thought maybe, and that I’d live with it for a while. Then the next day I was on the train to the studio and a woman was carrying a bag with a map of Barbados on it, in bold writing it highlighted Bathsheba. That sealed it for me; I felt it was a sign. When I got to the studio I asked my producer Dean Barratt what he thought and he agreed. I later decided to take out the ‘TH’ to make it easier for people to remember and spell. What is your favorite original song or album to date? Why?

Basheba: My favourite song to date is the lead track from my upcoming EP. The track is called ‘Hold on’. I wrote it at a time when I felt lost. It’s a song about young people in the UK and how they are abandoned by society. It’s quite deep, if I were to explain the full concept I would need a couple more pages. Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Basheba: I am influenced by many different artists and genres. I grew up listening to Marvin Gaye, Rolling Stones, Nina Simone amongst others. I have never tried to replicate what another artist does. I’ve always tried to use my own experiences and emotions to write and create my music. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by you?

Basheba: I wish I wrote the whole of Marvin Gaye’s ‘What’s going on’ Album. I honestly wouldn’t change a thing. It’s timeless. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?

Basheba: The future is looking very exciting. I’m releasing my debut EP ‘Bad friends, good enemies’ on the 26th of October. I am also working on my debut album. I love doing live shows so next year I am on a mission to get some festivals. What are your best and worst experiences to date?

Basheba: My best experience would have to be the filming of Dirty Love (Your Love). It was such a fun weekend. And worst. Honestly I don’t think I have had a “worst” experience. This past year is easily a contender for the best year of my life. Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a label?

Basheba: I’m not signed; I do have my own label that I am building at the moment. Being signed by a major is obviously the dream for most artists. But I am enjoying just grafting at the moment. I hope a deal will come when the time is right. What would you like your fans/audience to know about you?

Basheba: I’d like them to know that I’m not as solemn and miserable as I may portray! I’d like to think I’m quite a happy person. Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see you perform in the flesh?

Basheba: Being on stage is actually where I am most comfortable. I love putting on a show. My band are awesome, alone they are worth seeing live. Where can we see you in the near future?

Basheba: I am playing at Westfield in Shepherds Bush for Juicy Couture on the 18th of October.

This sounds like a particularly good night to be in Shepherds Bush. Juicy Couture is already on to the next big thing. You can check out the video for No More on our facebook page and get more Basheba on YouTube and facebook.

We Are The Catalyst featuring Kenny Boufadene and Cat Fey

We Are The Catalyst featuring Kenny Boufadene and Cat Fey

Watc_3_april14_mediumScandanavia – in particularly Sweden – is an awesome source of up and coming talent, especially in Drunken Mermaid’s favorite vein…metal. We’ve featured Pound, Red Nova, and now, thanks to Stuart at One Night Stand Management – We Are the Catalyst! Their new Album, Monuments, releases October 1. Here’s Fight for Air:

[youtube] Tell us about yourselves – how did We Are The Catalyst form? How did you choose your name?

Kenny: We Are The Catalyst was formed in Varberg, Sweden, by Cat Fey and Kenny Boufadene in November of 2012. After several years of touring and releasing albums as members of the Swedish Modern Metal act One Without, (In which we toured with bands like Dead By April, Katatonia and Evergrey, and were signed to Lifeforce Records and released two albums) we both felt the need to do something different from what we had previously done both musically and ideologicallym hence “We Are The Catalyst”

The meaning of the band name is simply that if you want something to change, you have to start that change yourself, being the catalyst.

When we started to write songs for WATC we quickly realized how easy it was for us to work together only the two of us in the studio, me making the foundation of the songs with the music, and then having Cat bringing in the vocals, then working together to polish the songs as much as possible, and not being satisfied until they felt really special and worked through. We had not worked this much in detail before in any other band we were in, and looking back I feel that we maybe hurried the songwriting to much in our old bands, and had to many people involved in the writing. Working just the two of us has been so much easier in the end, and I already look forward to writing our next album.

When we write songs we mainly just work directly in the studio and try out tons of ideas on the songs before making the final cut, and it has been a great start for us, as is evident in “Monuments”. What is your favorite album?

Kenny: Bring Me The Horizon’s “Sempiternal” – because it has such a raw energy as well as having a very produced sound. It doesn´t hurt that there´s an ominous sound to the songs as well as an epic atmosphere, and a “Pop meets Metal”-vibe to it . I often get tired of albums pretty quickly, but this album I have been listening to almost constantly since it was released. I just can´t go many days without hearing “Can You Feel My Heart” or “Shadow Moses”.

They really deserve all the success they get! Who are your major influences? What do you take from them? What do you add or do differently?

Kenny: Tons of influences! Many of them subtle in our sound, some of them you might hear more, not going to say which is which because I honestly don´t know! But some of the big ones are bands that I grew up listening to, like Linkin Park, 30 Seconds To Mars, In Flames, Katatonia, Killswitch Engage, Soilwork and Kent.

Others are more recent additions, like Bring Me The Horizon, Paramore, Skrillex, Ellie Goulding and many more. I learn something from all of them and conciously or unconciously add that influence to our songs. I also get very inspired and influenced by movie scores, as I feel that there are so much potential and story telling in that kind of “background music”. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by you?

Kenny: “Can You Feel My Heart” by Bring Me The Horizon, It would probably sound the same as I wouldn´t want to change a thing! Seriously one of the best songs ever written. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your music?

Kenny: We have started writing a few new songs the last couple of weeks (as we are always writing songs, not just when working on an album) and currently I have been in a kind of dark mood, making the songs more ominous than the ones on “Monuments”. Some of them have also become more heavy, more “Metal” in a way, and more serious in the feel, so will be interesting to see how they turn out in the end and if they make the next album or not. I don´t think we want to be too dark in the end, but there certainly is a lot of those songs being written by us at the moment. Are you signed to a label? Are you looking for a label or artist’s representation?

Kenny: We are currently talking to several labels, as we have been getting quite a lot of bigger label interest with “Monuments”, but I really can´t say any more at the moment. As for representation we are working with One Night Stand Management in the UK and Chris Bianchi (Mercenary Management/CB Entertainment) in the US. What would you like your fans/audience to know about you?

Kenny: Aside from the music, my biggest interest is playing video games. Also, me and Cat are married and have a daughter. 🙂 Could be that´s why we work so well together! Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see you perform in the flesh?

Kenny: Intense! Where can we see you in the near future?

Kenny: We are currently booking tour dates for early 2015, but no dates are official yet! Keep your eyes out and your ears open!

We will, no doubt. In the meantime, check out more of We Are The Catalyst on their official website, facebook, and Twitter. You can see their video for “Tomorrow” on Drunken Mermaid’s facebook page.

Coming next: Basheba, Absynth Quintet, Gordon Duthie, Alec Morrison, and news from Brother Octopus!


Without further ado…The Winner of the Summer Battle of the Bands is…

Without further ado…The Winner of the Summer Battle of the Bands is…

Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands! In the end it was a (long overdue) dogfight between CB and Red Nova, who is just amazing and is finishing up a tour of Japan. Crystal Bright is our first repeat winner – Missy and Chelsea took honors in the second battle. Crystal Bright will receive a check for 500 dollars; each of our four awesome finalists, including Red Nova, Caitlin LeBlanc, and the awesome Bill Madison will receive a 50 dollar Sam Ash gift card. We have a lot of exciting upcoming news, beginning with our feature on Basheba, October 1! In the meantime, enjoy Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands performing “Especially Your Mother” and make sure to visit all of our finalists on facebook:


And Introducing Caitlin LeBlanc!

And Introducing Caitlin LeBlanc!

We’re back with Battle of the Bands finalist 4 of 5 – Caitlin LeBlanc! As is the case of late, we’re late again – law school is killing our publication schedule. But we are coming down the home stretch, tonight with Caitlin and wrapping up next week (we promise!) with Joy Focus.

Caitlin is a 14 year-old singer/songwriter from Michigan who plays guitar, ukelele, mandolin, banjo, and piano. She began performing publicly at the age of 11 and this past July, she won the singing competition American 1 Teen Idol in Jackson, Michigan. Some 50 teens auditioned, and Caitin placed first out of ten finalists. Listen to her perform her original song “Move On” and you’ll know why:


Caitlin’s main influences are Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, and her mother Mariah, who has always supported her in her goal of becoming a professional musician. “Move On” and “What We Could Be” are the first singles off of her debut album, releasing in 2014.

Until then, you can find her on facebook (at and YouTube ( Check her out and give her a like. You’ll be hearing more and more from her in the near future…

The Return Of Bill Madison! (and a quick contest update)

The Return Of Bill Madison! (and a quick contest update)

First, a quick update – we’ve had some MAJOR delays getting the contest entries up and we still have more to run.  Drunken Mermaid is grateful for everyone’s patience. We are also invoking the contest rules and revising the timeline as follows – all entries will run by October 25, 2013. Winner to be announced Monday, October 28 with award payout October 31, 2013.

Now, back to the good stuff – in the Summer of 2012, had the good fortune to “meet” Bill Madison via facebook.  Not only did Bill give us a great series of submissions, but he hooked us up with one of our first big industry partners – One Song World.

Bill sat out our last two competitions – but threw his hat in the ring for this one, which is awesome. Here’s Bill’s video entry, Desperate Wind, performed with his band, Them Fargo Brothers 


And here’s Just Pass On The Love, the title song of Bill’s new album–which is, of course, his favorite album to date:

You can keep up with Bill on facebook and at his web page, where you can hear his new song Can’t Stay Away written by his wife Nancy and his remake of one of his early songs, The Loner.


And We're Back with a Vengeance: Former champs, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

And We're Back with a Vengeance: Former champs, Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands

So August 2013 came and went in blur, and law school kind of kicked our publication schedule in the teeth – but the good the news is we’ve a got a glut of great contest submissions. The Battle of the Bands is now closed to entries, and we will resume running the finalists starting NOW.  What better way to challenge the awesome Red Nova, and what better way to come back, than with Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands? Those of you who’ve been with us know that they were the champions of our first 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands. We would LOVE to put them head to head with Missy and Chelsea (or better yet, on a double bill) somewhere down the road. For now, just consider them on the short list of “Bands that we will suck up to until we launch our record label” (2014 – its coming!). Without further ado, here’s their 2013 entry, Especially Your Mother:

It has been a very busy year for Crystal Bright & the Silver Hands, with over 150 shows from Canada to Austin, TX and New Orleans to Nashville in support of the latest release, “Muses and Bones.” Bright is rising through the ranks quickly and performed with the North Carolina Symphony in 2011 on an arrangement of her song “Toy Hammer,” at SXSW and Savannah Stopover in 2013 where she was highlighted by Savannah Now as one of the “Must See” acts, and will be featured as one of the On the Rise performers at FloydFest 2013. The group has an eclectic, haunting but yet whimsical, carnivalesque world folk sound. Singer/Songwriter Crystal Bright plays accordion, musical saw, concertina, piano, Taiko drum, adungu (Ugandan harp), and various others, leaving people captivated with her operatic & soulful vocals and virtuoso command of her exotic instruments. Together, the band “creates an uncommonly dignified circus sideshow or a melodramatic, gorgeous Eastern European street performance. Think Kate Bush with Tom Waits’ sense of humor, or maybe a Tim Burton film with the steampunk quotient maxed, alternating between reckless klezmer and enormous gothic ballads.” Who are your biggest influences these days?

Crystal Bright: Tom Waits, The Tiger Lilies, PJ Harvey, Lhasa de Sela, Yann Tiersen, The Gotan Project, Michael Nyman, Tori Amos, Flamenco, Children, Dreams It’s been about a year and a half since we last “spoke” –  which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Crystal Bright: “Muses and Bones” is by far my favorite album so far. There was so much time and love put into it and it really encompasses all of my different sounds to date. What makes you unique?

Crystal Bright: I really play and write from my heart instead of trying to play a certain “genre.” I really love to collaborate with different kinds of artists, dancers, and performers. I am a crazy multi-tasker and love to play many different instruments from around the world.

If you need proof and Especially Your Mother didn’t do it for you, here’s Drowned Out that won the 2012 Spring battle:

[youtube=] What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

Crystal Bright: Keeping a steady line up of musicians that can go on tour with me constantly and still have jobs. It’s been pretty stable for a year now, which has been great! What has been your best experience to date?

Crystal Bright: There isn’t just one, but I really love all of the new friends that I’ve made from touring. It has been amazing. Also, playing with the NC Symphony on one of my songs was pretty amazing. When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

Crystal Bright: I will hopefully have an EP out by the end of 2013. Are you working on any videos?

Crystal Bright: There is a live DVD of one of our Cabaret shows being worked on right now, so can’t wait to see that! It involved silk aerials, acrobats, fire dancing, burlesque and a lot of other dance while the band played live.

We can’t wait! –

And we're underway! The 2013 Battle of the Bands opens with a Red (Super) Nova

And we're underway! The 2013 Battle of the Bands opens with a Red (Super) Nova

Happy August, everyone. From now until mid-September, Drunken Mermaid will be featuring a new band weekly as our 3rd virtual Battle of the Bands is underway.  We’ve got new talent and old favorites for you, including Crystal Bright, Bill Madison, and Joy Focus.  This go round we are kicking off with Swedish sensation Red Nova, featuring Pär Eriksson, Simon Hjortek, and Tobias Ohlsson. Red Nova describe themselves as “the band that makes your head explode. With small means the band delivers music of greater proportions and makes you constantly hunger for more.” How did Red Nova come to be?
The band was formed a sunny afternoon when sipping tea peacefully in a garden. When the beverages ran out, all members felt a sudden urge to play rock music. So we did.  Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Our biggest influences are Muse and Nirvana. Muse is simply superb and always gives you a performance out of this world, Nirvana is likewise and good if you feel like smashing stuff.  Which of your songs or albums is your favorite to date?

Our favourite song constantly changes, but the song we enter this competition with, called Appearances are Deceptive, is always a blast to play.

Let’s give it a listen:  What song by another artist do you wish you’d written? Why? What would your version sound like?

Panic Station by Muse. It´s simply the perfect song for every moment, whether your walking down a lonely street or need to wake up in the morning, it always make you feel groovy. Our version would probably feature a lot of whammy-guitar and tap dancing. What makes you unique?

We´re never afraid to stick out, and love changing our sound. We also have a big groove and harmonies that you don´t see that much in similar bands.  What has been your biggest challenge/hurdle to date?

We recently toured in Japan, and it was a big challenge getting our drummer Simon out of those sushi-places. That guy´s appetite just never ends.  What has been your best experience to date?

Playing the Peace & Love Festival and touring in Japan and the Philippines. All those places rocked so much.  When is your next song/album coming out? What can you tell us about it?

We recently released our debut album “Sharp Colours And A Taste Of Dust” recorded in co-operation with producer Henrik Edenhed who has also worked with acts such as Robyn, The Sounds, Jordin Sparks and others.  We´re still busy touring with the material, but we´re simultaneously working on the next record, which we have a lot of ideas for. It´s gonna be a mixture between the sound of a broken synthesizer and a dragon swallowing six guitars.  Are you working on any videos?

Absolutely! The video for the song we´re competing with will be released soon. It will include revolvers, shaved legs and quite a few pillows…  Where can we see you live? 

We play at the festival Rockstad Falun this summer, and we´ll also do a tour in Germany by the end of August. We´re super-turbo-mega excited about both!

Awesome stuff. We recommend checking out both. If you can’t make either, you can always catch up with Red Nova at their facebook page. – Drunken Mermaid

The 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands is Back! Summer 2013 edition

The 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands is Back! Summer 2013 edition

It’s back!!! Beginning July 1, The Drunken Mermaid 500 Dollar Battle of the Bands is open for submissions. This is a global competition, open to US and non-US musicians and bands in any musical genre. Previous entrants and winners ARE eligible. Past winners include Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands and Missy and Chelsea. Full contest details are available on our Contest page and you can contact for further details.

Our Other Favourite Creature from the Deep: Brother Octopus!

Our Other Favourite Creature from the Deep: Brother Octopus!

Brother OctopusWay back in August of last year, we at Drunken Mermaid became sober enough to realize there was something else interesting lurking in the depths, something lurking in that OTHER pond on the left coast of North America, where Drunken Mermaid gets far too infrequently, given our penchant for washing up on Cape Ann, or heading up the Thames for a pint or twelve. That “something else” has since emerged from the Pacific Ocean and is taking over Edmonton, much in the same way as Godzilla owns Tokyo, albeit with electronic riffs and plush octopods rather than pyrotechnics. We give you 2013 Edmonton Music Award Nominee BROTHER OCTOPUS! Where did the concept for Brother Octopus emerge from (other than the deep)?

Brother Octopus: Under the depths of the Pacific Ocean, it can become quite dark and lonely at times. Luckily for me, a “human” from above decided to drop a guitar into the ocean which had sank down to where I resided. I picked up the guitar and played it to my hearts delight, eventually I learned how to play the drums and keyboard. The name Brother Octopus began to take it’s place through the voices of my friends. Lady Friend had loved my name so much that we decided to stick with it as our band-name. Tell us about yourselves – who are Brother Octopus and Lady Friend in the real world (whatever that is)?

Brother Octopus: The real world is boring. I’m half man, half octopus currently living in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. Canada. The only real thing here is the snow and it gets cold!

Lady Friend: I would prefer not to state my real name since I’m a wanted woman for stealing a chocolate bar in my early ages. If it wasn’t for Brother Octopus, I’d still be serving time in jail for life! I owe him the world but all I can offer him is my vocal and tambourine skills which I put to good use on Tentacle Trauma. You recently released your first full length album, the 7-track Tentacle Trauma.  What went into its creation? 

Brother Octopus: It’s actually a 6-track EP since the 7th track is a hidden bonus track (thanks a lot Drunken Mermaid!). We incorporated plenty of silliness into this album including songs about Jurassic Park, Animals and even Aliens. We like to write songs out of the ordinary but with serious intentions. It’s meant to make you laugh and enjoy the overall track at the same time so I think Tentacle Trauma nailed the tail on the donkey. How does it differ from your debut EP, Yukilo?

Brother Octopus: Well, Yukilo was the first album we’ve ever released and so it will always be dear to my heart. Since it only had 3 full tracks on the album, I think that Yukilo was considered more of a sampler album – a taste of what’s to come and Tentacle Trauma is the icing on the cake. However, the cherry on the top is yet to come. What are your favorite tracks to date?

Brother Octopus: Underwater Mysteries from Yukilo

Lady Friend: Recreational Zoo from Tentacle Trauma

While we’re at it, here’s the video for Recreational Zoo:

[youtube] Who are your influences? What do you take from them? What do you add?

Brother Octopus: For me, I’d have to say The XX and King Cobb Steely are my main influences for Brother Octopus. I love the elements that The XX brings into their sound and we have the boy/girl vocals in common with them. King Cobb Steely just has that cool electronic vibe to his tracks and so we incorporated that to our music and added some playful lyrics.

Lady Friend: Daft Punk, definitely. I’ve always been a fan of the electronic sounds of Daft Punk and I’m happy to be in a band that can bring in some of that awesome sound. Chemical Brothers is also a favourite of mine. Good stuff. What song do you wish you’d written? How would it sound as performed by Brother Octopus?

Brother Octopus: Lately, I’ve been digging that Tegan & Sara song called Closer but I’m sure if Brother Octopus wrote it, it would become to be a song about Robots for some reason. I like Robots. What does the future hold – is there a particular direction you’d like to take your unique brand of music?

Brother Octopus: We are already working on a full-length album which will be entitled Sea Of Champions and is due for release in late 2013. I’d like to get our music into a comedy film or commercial. It seems to be the most prominent way of receiving exposure. However, with so many artists to choose from, I’m sure we’re just a drop in the ocean (see what I did there?). Tell us about your live gigs. What is it like to see Brother Octopus in the flesh?

Lady Friend: Brother Octopus insists on always bringing a plush toy of an Octopus to EVERY show and sometimes throws toy tentacles around on stage. It’s really a sight to see. I’m usually the one in the background trying to avoid the soaring tentacles, I’d like to keep my eyes intact.

Brother Octopus: I like to have fun on stage! I wear my bright red top hat and octopus ties. I mean, we’re already singing about silly things, why not dress silly as well? That said, where can we see you in the near future?

Brother Octopus: Although, we’ve only been touring around in the province of Alberta, we’d like to expand our tours not only within Canada, but to the US as well. You can always keep up to date with our shows by liking our facebook page and following us on twitter.

Drunken Mermaid suggests you do, while we wait for their immanent victory in the 2013 Edmonton Music Awards.

Dinner, Sex and a Movie

Dinner, Sex and a Movie

Dinner, Sex and a Movie_ebookAnd now to start the new year with some shameless self promotion – Drunken Mermaid/ co-founder Sean Develin has just released his latest work, a five-act stage play/romantic comedy, on Kindle. But be warned, it’s chick lit, or wants to be, anyway. The female advance readers loved it; the men, not so much. Their responses ranged from “It’s OK” to vomiting followed by testosterone replacement therapy. We say give it a read, and if you feel you’ve been estrogen-poisoned, listen to some Reverence and that will purge all that from your system and get your T levels back up.

Happy New Year.