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  • Writer's pictureBarney Townsend

TM Breakthrough Vol. 21

The first Townsend Music Breakthrough of 2023 serves up a fresh helping of groundbreaking talent, all ready to make their mark with their debut albums this year. From perfect pop to psychedelic rock, by way of UK rap and some "classics from a parallel universe" for good measure, TM Breakthrough has you covered.


Shy Martin - Late Night Thoughts

For Fans Of: Sia, Jess Glynne

Swedish singer Shy Martin first gained attention as a songwriter, writing hits with the likes of Jess Glynne and The Chainsmokers before launching a career as a performing artist with two EPs of her own. As a songwriter, her compositions have been streamed over 3 billion times on Spotify alone, while her songs as lead vocalist have been streamed 1.5 billion times on the same platform. In August 2020 Shy released the Sad Songs EP, her first solo collection, set to be followed in May 2023 with her debut album late night thoughts. The first single from the album 'wish I didn't know you' has already generated over 2 million streams on Spotify and will open Shy's debut album.

The majority of the LP was written in her bedroom and living room and depicts struggles with mental health: antidepressants, burnout, and friends and family going through difficult times. New single 'late night thoughts' wrangles with these introspections, both positive and negative.

"I'm an overthinker, especially at night, this song is a positive train of thoughts almost like a daydream" - Shy Martin

Pre-order late night tales on CD, LP, Cassette and exclusive Blue LP on her Official Store.


The Dream Machine - Thank God! It's The Dream Machine...

For Fans Of: The Coral, CVC

Formed in 2021, The Dream Machine offers a playful take on the '60s alongside the current wave of psychedelic acts and have have already gained widespread support including Steve Lamacq, Radcliffe & Maconie and Chris Hawkins on BBC Radio 6 Music. The band have inked a deal with white-hot indie label Run On Records who are set to release Thank God! It’s The Dream Machine..., the band's hotly anticipated debut album, in April 2023.

A self-produced collection of twelve tracks exploring everything from love and loss to angels, dogs and the devil, the LP was recorded on an 8-track in the winter of 2021 in the band's rehearsal space.

The album treads a thrilling path of 60’s inspired pop anthems, psychedelic-tinged country, punk, doo-wop and everything in between.

Pre-order Thank God! It's the Dream Machine... on Signed White Vinyl, Signed Black VInyl and Signed CD from the Run On Records Store.


Brooke Combe - Black Is The New Gold

For Fans Of: Amy Winehouse, Rianne Downey

We previously featured Edinburgh singer-songwriter Brooke Combe back in TM Breakthrough 10, after Brooke had amassed a huge online following by posting her bedroom cover versions of popular tunes. She went on to release the 'Are You With Me?' single on Signed Orange 7-Inch Vinyl on her TM Store. Since then, Brooke's career has continued in the ascent and she kicked off what looks to be her most exciting year yet with tastemaker tips in Rolling Stone UK’s Ones To Watch (“one of 2023’s defining talents”) and the Dork Hype List 2023.

After announcing the news of her debut mixtape Black Is The New Gold, Brooke has also shared her new single, the mixtape’s title track.

"Black Is The New Gold is probably my most mature yet. I’ve always felt quite disconnected from my black ancestry (being a mixed race girl) so this song for me is about exploring more of my black roots, lyrically and musically." - Brooke Combe

Pre-order Black Is The New Gold from Brooke's Official Store on Black Vinyl, CD and limited edition White Vinyl, with free signed lyric cards for the first 150 orders.


K1 - Love Never Dies

FFO: Central Cee, M1llionz

Derby, East Midlands rapper K1 made a huge impact with his second single 'Broken Hearted Crook', gaining over 10 million views and streams and poising the young rapper in place for a thriving career within the UK rap scene.

Tragically, K1 lost his battle with what he described in a social media statement as a "rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma" in November 2022, leaving the material for his planned debut album behind.

"I’m not sure how long left I have, hopefully a little while longer yet as I got so much music for you all❤️‍🩹" - K1

K1's team shared a statement with regard to the music still to come: “On behalf of K1’s family and management team, although we are still processing his loss, we are committed to continuing his legacy just as he intended. Music meant everything to K1 and our aim is to share it over the coming year with all the people who supported his dream. He wanted to release ‘Tomorrow’ as his next single and at the time of filming, K1 suggested using a double as he wasn’t well enough to shoot the video."

'Tomorrow' is featured on K1's debut album Love Never Dies, available now on the Official Store, alongside a new range of merchandise.


Alien Tango - Kinda Happy, Kinda Sad

FFO: Pillow Queens, MGMT

One-man-band and producer Alberto García Roca AKA Alien Tango found a following through lockdown with his eccentric shortform songs and videos, fortified by the earworm of a full-length single 'Arthur Conan Doyle'.

"There isn’t another artist like London-via-Spain pop oddball Alien Tango" - DORK

Kind Happy, Kinda Sad, the long-awaited debut LP by Alien Tango, promises a joyous and bizarre compilation of what Alberto posits are "classics from a parallel universe".

Bedroom recordings that explode with personality, colour and ideas, Alien Tango boldly proclaims that the music to come will be "like a fever dream where David Bowie, MGMT and Queen are knife fighting in a church while the priest shreds on a detuned guitar and the organ is set on fire."

Pre-order Kinda Happy, Kinda Sad from the Official Store exclusively on limited edition Coloured Vinyl alongside Doggo Dynamite Tees.



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