Sunday, 31 March 2013

The Playlist: Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Supermodel-and-inspiring-genius Lily Cole is the star of Yeah Yeah Yeahs atmospheric video for Sacrilege, the first single from their latest album Mosquito. Our favourite red-headed super uses her body to break the hearts of all the men (and a woman) of a remote town, before marrying a seemingly unassuming-and-pure young man. A reflection of contemporary society? Perhaps. Ouch.

The video, directed by Megaforce, is brilliantly visceral and raw: with the sexy sound of the single the end result is beautiful.

The album's cover art caused controversy when it was revealed in January, but with that the music is aiming to save rock from its 'wimpier tendencies' – "Where has all the carisma and the sexuality and the gnarl gone?" asks front woman Karen O. With Mosquito, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs promise to bring a bit of that back.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs | Photo: promotional/Dan Martensen

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Swinky's, Park Street

When the rain falls in Bristol, it really falls. And at this time for me there seem to be endless grey skies and hurtful lies (but that is another story, and this is not that kind of blog). There are, of course, those often-occurring and appreciated moments of clarity and brightness in the form of lovely places to spend time here.

One of those places is Swinky's on Park Street. The tea shop specialises in retro sweets and delicious homemade cupcakes to accompany a selection of brews. The decor is bright and kitschy, and customers are invited to sit around beautiful mosaic tables.

I enjoyed a lovely (and much needed) detox tea and a triple chocolate cupcake to keep me out of the rain on a drizzly Friday afternoon.

Life is sweet | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Swinky's | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Detox | Photo: Rosie Pentreath


Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Fallingham Fair: Songbook

Brimming with fragile folk vibes and earthy textures, Fallingham Fair's second album Songbook is the lastest release to slot into the current folk music renaissance. In the climate of Ben Howard being voted 'Best Breakthrough Artist' and Mumford & Sons beating Justin Bieber to the top of the charts, Fallingham Fair are bringing their own brand of homegrown folk to the indie music scene. 

Songbook is a collection that offers varied perspectives on music with its considered use of guitar and piano riffs, three-part harmonies and reassuringly familiar melodic ideas. From life reflections in the opening track Dancer, through a quirky and effective use of bugle call in Take Me Home, to calm resignation in the atmospheric Luck, the authentic folk plays like a journey through the hazy memory of a favourite community.

The album has a feeling of fragility; the singer's voices are authentic and laid-back, and the harmonies are treated without fuss. I particularly liked the strong male vocals in Wonderings, and Aoife McCauley really shines in Red Light. The trio's sound resembles Mumford & Sons in some moments; in others it evokes Of Monsters And Men. It is a concise and gentle album – perhaps perfect for a rare shimmering mid-summer day spent sitting on a blanket in the middle of a sunny park.

The band are known for their Launderette Sessions (a tour of three cities in three days, staged unconventionally in launderettes) and their 2012 Christmas single, which aired on BBC 6 Music at the end of last year. With the release of Songbook Fallingham Fair's growing number of followers can expect a continued creative effort as their sound infiltrates the folk awakening that has been so in vogue for the past few years.

Fallingham Fair's Songbook is released on Friday 29th March. Pre-order your copy HERE.

Friday, 22 March 2013

Artemis: Designer Jewellery & Gifts

On a rainy Friday afternoon I found myself absent-mindedly cycling up Cheltenham Road from Stokes Croft. Before I knew it Cheltenham Road had become Gloucester Road and that led me all the way to Bishopston. Needless to say, I had ended up a LONG way beyond my planned destination of Montpelier Station road.

As I prepared to dismount and find my way back onto the right track, I glimpsed Artemis out of the corner of my eye. The idyllic workplace of one my closest friends, I had been meaning to visit the beautiful jewellery shop ever since moving to Bristol. 

And what a lovely place to catch up with somebody, whilst taking in some much-needed retail therapy. It is a lovely haven of exquisite jewellery, gifts and fashion accessories – all irresistible. Whilst the chit-chat of familier friends ensued I fell in love with a beautiful black string necklace holding a shower of beads, designed by Catherine Amesbury

That one inevitably left the shop with me. And so did a beautiful silver bracelet. It may be a foul day outside, but I urge anybody to take the walk up the hipster-haunt that is Gloucester Road and find this beautiful shop. You are unlikely to leave empty handed: if not for yourself, go and treat someone to the perfect gift.

The centrepiece is a wicker tree that has modest sprawling branches holding wooden hearts and charming spring-time decorations | Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Pretty petaled fairy lights line the high shelves | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

These bohemian string necklaces proved irresistible to me |  Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Take your pick from a selection of luxury toiletries  | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Avian decoration | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

 Gold trinkets and proud glass decanters | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

A touch of green brightens up this window display | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

I see a light there, shining through the leaves | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

An elegant perch | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Necklaces hang in neat rows, and over the torsos of pretty manequins | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The art of display | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Even a downpour can be stylish with these perfect parasols | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Those pretty green shopping baskets were quickly filled | Photo: Rosie Pentreath


The Playlist: Marika Hackman

Marika Hackman | Photo: promotional

Marika Hackman | Photo: Burberry

When I experienced the haunting lyrics and mesmerising sound of Marika Hackman at The Louisiana at the beginning of the month, I knew she was destined for great things. And yes, tonight one of her songs gained an accolade of undeniable cool – the status of Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World.

Congratulations Marika. The 20-year-old singer is an authentic-and-ridiculously-talented folk artist. In just a year she has taken her music to a Burberry Spring-Summer eyewear campaign, on tour with Ethan Jones and then on her own UK tour. I enjoyed a brief chat with her after her Bristol gig, and will now watch in awe as she receives the recognition she deserves.

Her debut album, That Iron Taste is playing on repeat in this house.


Monday, 18 March 2013

Just Kids

Patti Smith & Robert Mapplethorpe

I am currently devouring Patti Smith's 2010 autobiography, Just Kids. The poetic narrative is drenched with 1970's New York rock cool, and vivid anecdotes from the art scene. The book is a beautiful and honest portrayal of Smith's relationship with artist Robert Maplethorpe, and the journey she took through art, music, drugs and personalities when she moved to New York in 1967. It is a portrait of the artists before they reached fame; so full of life and colour and experiences; a work of pure poetry.

The world Smith conveys through the novel is so perfectly complete. Life at Hotel Chelsea, the permanent residence of numerous artists and musicians including Janis Joplin and Bob Dylan; nights spent at Max's with the artistic elite and Andy Warhol's factory crowd; living in squalor in order to sweat over love and art. It is a visceral and romantic tale.

The Polaroid in Robert's hands. The physical act, a jerk of the wrist. The snapping sound when pulling the shot and the anticipation, sixty seconds to see what he got. The immediacy of the process suited him.

Patti Smith: Just kids | National Book Award Winner 2010

Through the haze of an old polaroid really knowing somebody: that's what Just Kids reads like.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Home Truths

None of it is 'designer'. And yet, the interiors of my parents' house is beautifully realised by any standards. When I arrived home for a whirlwind weekend in south west Cornwall, I realised what a stunning job they have done of transforming our old farmhouse.

Builders and decorators by trade, my parents made interiors their living in an understated way. Projects were completed at low cost and with careful planning. Their houses – bought derelict, built up, designed and sold on – have provided the framework for a challenging but rewarding career.

Carrallack Farm, which we moved into as a family in 2002, was a damp and near-derelict 17th-century cottage. Over several years it slowly become the tidy, clean-rustic and accommodating space it is today. A new dresser here; that indispensable heavy chest of drawers imported from Africa there. I would describe it as a minimalist country aesthetic. Horses have been carved into the cement seat window by my mother the artist; rough wooden floorboards lie underfoot in the music room and the upstairs open-plan living room; a larder painted in green stain holds its own in a quiet corner.

My Mum has always kept an immaculate and lovely home, and I have come to fully appreciate the effortless and authenticity of my parents' interior vision. They say home is where the heart is: this one is certainly the product of love, patience and real care.

Brick fireplace | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The larder cupboard; a green stain finish | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Kitchen shelves | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Pasta | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The wine | Photo: Rosie Pentreath
Carved horses | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The open-plan bathroom | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Wooden floors | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The music room | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Granite fireplace | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Monday, 11 March 2013

a walk on the beach

Saturday. On a magical fresh spring day I took a walk on the beach with my family. It was one of those special days with electricity in the air. I felt inspired and in possession of a clarity that allowed me to feel I was in exactly the place I needed to be. Here is the story in pictures. I used a Pentax K1000 with 35mm film.

Sennen Harbour | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Crab pots | Photo: Rosie Pentreath
The hunter-gatherers | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Coastwatch | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Surf's up | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Anticipating | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Family | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Wave chase | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Catching | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Smiles all round | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The Roundhouse | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Wave | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

The Lifeboat launch | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

SS7 | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

SS226 | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

Sennen | Photo: Rosie Pentreath

To see more of my photography CLICK HERE.