WHILE coronavirus put the brakes on the global music scene, thrilling rising star Brocarde has been busier than ever.

Not allowing the closure of venues get in the way, the Oxfordshire artist has been busy writing recording and even designing items for her own fashion label.

Brocarde – real name Alayna Salter – is not ignoring the pandemic though; she is tackling it head on, releasing her hard-hitting Covid-referencing Christmas song Waiting For January – recorded at home in Witney.

A world away from the usual fluffy, upbeat releases that usually drop during the festive season, the track heads in the opposite direction by showcasing the harsh reality that we are all facing, tapping into the intense emotions we have all felt.

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With an impressive 137,000 followers, Brocarde has been keen to share her lockdown and pandemic journey with her fans through her music.

“I’ve always found Christmas an inspiring time,” she says. “The intense celebrations and the underlying sadness that it holds for many people.

“It’s a time of excess and excessive outpourings and I’ve always wanted to write a Christmas song that captures both the sadness and hope, a song that’s almost contrasting in its point of view, as I feel it’s a time for mixed emotions.”

She goes on: “I started out writing an anthem for those who find Christmas difficult and challenging, but as soon as we went into the second lockdown, I realised that there was a universal topic that was far bigger than my personal feelings.

“Instead of having a ‘I hate people, I’m a misfit and I want to be left alone’ mentality, I found myself longing and hoping for a ‘normal’ Christmas surrounded by friends and family. I was thinking of those who are truly isolated and alone and I started wondering how a Covid Christmas is going to affect us all.”

The verses have a sadness to them and the lyrics are haunting, Brocade capturing the mood with a creepy dysfunctional piano and ‘choir’ – actually all her own voice singing in various different places with different tones.

The chorus is more uplifting, inspiring hope and with a light humour to counterbalance the sadness and the longing for normality.

The video was shot during lockdown so is more stripped back to her usual efforts.

“It felt inappropriate at this time to be making an all ‘bells and whistles’ style music video with extras and flashy sets,” she says. “So I tried to imagine what an isolated Christmas could look like and made a lockdown Christmas video.

“It’s almost like a party for one, which travels through a range of perspectives

from reflectiveness to celebration.”

The same goes for the merchandise. Her take on the traditional Christmas jumper is an elegant black sweat emblazoned with the song title ‘Waiting for January’.

It’s an optimistic message with which we can all get on board.

Her previous fashion designs have been worn by Katy Perry and Lady Gaga – so expect to see an A-list following..

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It follows her Halloween inspired single Twisted and July’s Love Me Till I’m Beautiful EP, which saw her teaming up with Korn drummer Ray Luzier.

“I recorded it at home in my bedroom,” she says. “I’ve done my fair share of travelling, but it’s amazing what you can achieve virtually these days!”

Herald Series:


Who are you?

I’m Brocarde.

What do you do?

I’m a rock singer, songwriter, performer and clothing designer. I have a clothing collection which showcases my lyrics and poetry.

Where do you live?


What’s your background

I used to go to a strict all girls school in Oxford, I had a horrible time there. I used to hide in the woods and write poetry and songs to avoid being bullied, it was my little escape from reality and it made life more bearable.

I always loved performing and that made me really stick out, everyone else wanted to be doctors or lawyers so I was perceived as being a bit strange, being on the outside at such a young age forced me to create my own identity and follow my own path. When you are young, you often have ambitions but you don’t necessarily know how to achieve them, so I did theatre, I acted, I toured, I had fashion brands, I even wrote bubblegum pop music and was encouraged to be the perfect pop princess.

It’s been a rollercoaster to get where I am today but I’ve finally got the courage to have my own voice and showcase my own style.

Tell us about your music...

It always feels to me like I’m orchestrating my emotions. I adore lyrics, words and storytelling. I don’t like the confines and rules of genres, so often my music will often contain eclectic elements from classical to heavy metal. I love playing with contrast, light and shade, there are so many contrasting parts of my personality that contribute to who I am as an artist and I think it’s important to showcase them all.

How did you get into music?

I was always that kid who was obsessed with performing. I have one of those personalities that is both introverted and extroverted. I didn’t have all the answers growing up I just did what I could to get noticed.

I always had a love for writing. My words were always quite dark and emotional but in the past I felt completely misunderstood. There was a huge chunk of my life where I was watered down and encouraged to write pop music and present a very fluffy image. I really had to break free from that world and re-invent myself and take a moment out to have the courage to give it another shot.

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How would you describe your style?

Everyone keeps referring it as “Victorian doll”, although that’s slightly disturbing, I love it. My image has a little darkness to it, like my lyrics, it’s almost gothic, quite vintage and it’s traditionally overtly feminine. I love those period puff shoulders and nipped waists; it’s empowering. I love all the dark heavy fabrics, which are a pain in the summer, like velvets and tartans, they feature a lot in my clothing collections. I also love a little dark eyeliner, to offset the windows to the soul!

  • Waiting for January is out now. Go to iTunes, Spotify, Amazon & YouTube. For fashion items including the Waiting For January sweat, go to brocarde.com