Keeping an ear out for the best new music? Edith Bowman is here to give you her favourite new artists and tracks of 2020 on the Play Next podcast. We are all ears for this one.
“I’ve just been to the cinema!” Edith Bowman excitedly declares down the phone. “I can’t tell you what the film was but I felt kind of levitated in there. I become quite insular when I’m in the cinema anyway, because I get so focused on the film – for two-and-a-half hours I totally forgot about Covid,” she tells Stylist.
And what exactly happens in a cinema trip involve in a post-lockdown world? “There were 18 people in the IMAX. We had to wear masks, we cleaned our hands, we were told where to sit – we had to be escorted to the toilet, if we needed it. But it felt amazing.”
While Bowman’s passion for film plays a huge part in her broadcasting career, we’re actually ready to chat about her new podcast, Play Next, which is all about shining the spotlight on music. For anyone who wants to keep on the pulse of new music in 2020, it’s an absolute must-listen.
“We wanted it to be a real celebration of cutting edge music that’s out there at the minute,” she says. “The unique element compared to other music podcasts is that we play each track in its entirety so that people can have the full experience of the music – I’ve been fully involved in that.
“We don’t want it to feel like it’s about hype or genre of specific types of music. It’s more a case of if we feel something is groundbreaking, trying to do something different, and we like it, then it goes in. It’s not about names and labels. So that’s really refreshing.”
As well as playing a selection of new tracks, Bowman also does a deep dive into a new artist on each episode, and speaks to a music expert in the industry about its future. In the debut episode, for example, Gilles Peterson – radio DJ, record label owner and live music stalwart – attempts to answer the question many of us are nervous about: what exactly is the future of festivals?
(Don’t worry Glastonbury-goers, there are some hopeful vibes ahead.)
When it comes to picking out some her favourite music specifically by female musicians in 2020, Bowman struggles to whittle it down. But Pillow Queens, who feature in the first episode, are an Irish band who first come to mind because she thinks they are “doing amazing things – their sound is so confident and huge”.
She also insists that new sounds don’t necessarily have to come from new artists: “Róisín Murphy has been in the industry a long time, but she’s constantly pushing the boundaries and trying to do different things… She’s got a new record out called Róisín Machine and I think it’s amazing.”
Play Next is of course a brilliant way of plugging in to discover new music and discuss the future of an industry that has been hit by the pandemic. But what can we do as individuals to support artists and venues?
“If you have a local venue that has a food outlet then go and support it through that means, because then you’re keeping it ticking along,” Bowman suggests. “In terms of the artists: buy the music. A number of artists are also putting on virtual gigs that are like a fifth of what you’d usually pay for a live performance.
“Find out what your favourite bands and artists are doing, and support them.”
The Play Next podcast, in partnership with BMW, is available from Wednesday 12 August on all major streaming platforms.
Hollie is a digital writer at Stylist.co.uk, mainly covering the daily news on women’s issues, politics, celebrities and entertainment. She also keeps an ear out for the best podcast episodes to share with readers. Oh, and don’t even get her started on Outlander…