Sunday, 3 May 2015

Listen To The New Single From The Beach - 'From Above'

Premiered on Annie Mac's Radio 1 show last week, the second and upcoming single release from The Beach - 'From Above'.

Following 'Thieves', 'From Above' contains similar epic crescendos meet complex acoustic playing with surging pulses of electronica, with a dive into atmospherics that is richly melodic with stabs of experimentalism, and where rhythm and melody intertwine to startling effect.

Known to his friends as George Morgan, The Beach was a hitherto unknown name when his moniker 'The Beach' first appeared synths start of the year. By the time we featured him here at the beginning of February he had already caught the attention of Radio 1's Head of Music George Ergatoudis, calling him a "MAJOR talent."

The Beach will play at The Great Escape in Brighton as part of the Communion show on May 15.

'From Above' is released on June 15 thru on Year One/RCA Records.

Album Review :: Palma Violets - Danger In The Club

Palma Violets

Danger In The Club

May 4 2015 (Rough Trade)


Words: Alison Mack

The follow-up to their touted 2013 debut album, '180', that saw them throw themselves unstintingly on the British public, and what's more were able to even better their performance live. Produced by John Leckie 'Danger In The Club's 13 tracks holds firm to their initial feistyness; their raucous stage act being replicated in the party vibe here.

From big singalongs like 'Gout! Gang! Go!' where the two frontman formation of Sam Fryer and Chilli Jesson whoop and yelp their way through, and the swollen intro of 'Hollywood (I Got It)' that leads promptly into a stimulative surf punk ride - and with those smile raising “fresh fish, I got it!” lines - to the touching 'The Jacket Song', and the travails of unwanted love on the inebriated 'Coming Over To My Place' (“I would rather die, I would rather die/ I would rather die than be in love”).

'Girl, You Couldn’t Do Much Better On the Beach', has all the surfy bounce of early Violets as it bops along like an over-excited puppy, while closer 'English Tongue' provides the all-encompassing finale pummeled over a stomping piano-driven rhythm, blues guitar riffs, and Fryer/Jesson getting their own 'English tongues' around the vocals.

'Danger In The Club' is an engaging, exuberant and uninhibited album that touches with lightness on even the most pessimistic of the tracks. and bitter moments, and turns it all into one big passionate party.

The Dunwells Line Up For The Great Escape // Share 'Lucky Ones' Video

Leeds quartet The Dunwells line-up to play Brighton's Great Escape festival on May 15. This will mark a good opportunity for fans to hear tracks from new EP 'Lucky Ones', which is released a week later on May 25.

Produced by the band and James Flannigan (Kodaline), and mixed by Manny Marroquin (Rhianna, Kanye, Pink), the EP’s lead track and first single ‘Lucky Ones’ is a rousing anthemic track that became a live favourite on the band’s recent headline UK tour. You can check it out below.

The EP is provides a taster of their upcoming album, due for release in September.

Live dates:

15. The Great Escape, Brighton (Bulletstage, New Road)
16. The Great Escape, Brighton Museum (Ground Floor)
25. Oran Mor, Glasgow (supporting Need To Breathe)
26. Ruby Lounge, Manchester (supporting Need To Breathe)
27. London (supporting Need To Breathe)
30. Indie All Dayer Festival, Manchester
06. Ardrossan Music Experience, Ardrsossan

Album Review :: Django Django - Born Under Saturn

Django Django

Born Under Saturn

May 4 2015 (Because Music)


Words: Alison Mack

Second album time for the Djangos, who continue to mix their surfy guitars with sparse percussion, dance electronics, and psych harmonies. And at 54 minutes, it's a lengthy one too to get your attention and keep it. And for much of the time they do.

Given that their self-titled debut of three years ago was feted and lauded and Mercury-nominated, there must have been pressure to come up with another work to equal it. Number two is a weightier, polished effort; ‘Giant’ - “Take it back to the start!" - layers vocals over an ear-catching rhythm, and ‘Reflections’ employs its own sax solo delectation, while 'High Moon' with its spacey synths, and ‘Beginning To Fade’ gain hold on the memory, as does the darkly atmospheric lead single 'First Light'. ‘Shot Down’ and 'Vibrations' both herald electro, as ‘4000 Years’ plies infectious bass notes.

'Born Under Saturn' is an energetic dancefloor work, that in places may have needed some extra shots of Red Bull to keep it going in the places where it drags.

Listen :: Communions - Summer's Oath

Copenhagen quartet Communions (brothers Martin and Mads Rehof, Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik Lind K√∂ppen) release their new self-titled EP next month, and after sharing lead cut 'Out Of My World' they now give us 'Summer’s Oath'.

The doom-pop merchants deliver this latest track with a fast-paced anxious sense of urgency, filled with reverb-laced angular guitar riffs and hazy vocals from vocalist Martin Rehof.

'Communions' is out on June 1 via Tough Love.

Introducing :: Attic Youth

This is both a fitting track - being called 'Sunday' and all! - for today, as well as an interesting first taster from a new band who, by the sound of this, have great potential.

The three-piece (two aged 18, the other 23) Attic Youth hail from Shropshire (Telford, Shrewsbury, and one member over the border in Stafford) and formed a mere month ago - hence why there is little information at this stage and no band photo.

While working on "trying to find our sound", they seem to have managed to find something quite nice in 'Sunday'. Vocalist Jimmy Kirton tells us where its influence lays: " I am a massive fan of Wolf Alice, and after going to see them live, me and Ed [drums] just started working on similar stuff. I listen to a lot of My Bloody Valentine as well, so that's also contributed to the song because of the droney guitars and such." There's also a hint of grunge-like Nirvana in there too, if we're not mistaken.

The band are currently busy on some more tracks, and "planning to release another song or two and then begin gigging - just so people know what they're in for."

Attic Youth are: Jimmy Kirton - vocals/guitar, Alex James - bass, Ed Potts - drums.

Track Of The Day :: Lull - Bubble Tea

London quartet Lull, do, just as their name implies, lull you into a deep shoegaze cocoon. And new track 'Bubble Tea' - the first single off their self-titled debut EP released on June 2 - is a right nice cuppa.

The guitars may waft the essence of My Bloody Valentine, but hey, it is much the fragrance of the day, so why not. There's also the plus factor some great melodic textures and the bloke wot sings does so very smoothly.

Saturday, 2 May 2015

[Video] Ceremony - Your Life In France

California punks Ceremony share their Dustin Aksland-directed black-and-white video for 'Your Life In France', the latest track from 'The L-Shaped Man' full-length upcoming in a couple of weeks.

The film finds frontman Ross Farrar brooding in contemplative fashion on life.

'The L-Shaped Man' is out on May 19 via Matador.

Live Review :: Communion New Faces Tour - Tenterhook + Others :: The Louisiana, Bristol - Apr 29 2015

Live Review

Tenterhook + Frances + Freddie Dickson + Charlotte OC

The Louisiana, Bristol

April 29 2015

Words/Photos: Pollyanna Sheehan

Having previously featured acts including the likes of Amber Run on their bi-annual ‘New Faces’ tour - and supporting releases from Michael Kiwanuka to Ben Howard - Communion have firmly established a strong reputation for promoting some of the best new talent around. In keeping with the ethos of Communion, the ‘New Faces’ tour gives the opportunity for each artist to headline at least one date.

This present tour, finishing its seven-date run tonight at Bristol's Louisiana, sees Charlotte OC first onstage, accompanied by a duo of bass and a keys/synths player. Unfortunately, shows in smaller venues like The Louisiana that have early starting times can mean that the majority of the audience don’t arrive until later than the suggested times - which was exactly the case here. Seemingly undeterred, Charlotte OC delivered a truly spectacular set that could have easily been performed to hundreds - as opposed to a handful - of people. With a tremendous vocal that carries, songs such as ‘On and On’ and ‘Colour My Heart’ worked to create a sultry pop-vibe, which could see these tracks potentially become strong contenders for future chart success. Seeming at ease on stage, Charlotte OC continued to show the versatile nature of her performance. Changing things mid-set, she picked up a guitar and launched into a solo blues-styled track that was complete with a daring but effective moment of silence mid-song. The rotating order of acts on the bill may confuse many who aren’t aware of the way that the ‘New Faces’ tour operates, and the latecomers had missed a truly exceptional 30 minutes of music.

Next up was Freddie Dickson who was to give an emotionally evocative set, full of tender and often slow-building guitar and piano-based ballads. Starting with ‘All Means Something’ followed by ‘News’, Dickson’s strong and soulful vocal was complemented with backing harmonies provided by his onstage band. Introducing ‘Your Love Was Meant For Me’ as him transitioning “from one pathetic ballad to another” - albeit this time a piano ballad - Dickson's performance was adorably tender, emblematic of his well-crafted writing style that is a far cry from ever being described as pathetic. After experiencing a few technical issues with the second mic, Dickson kept the crowd entertained by joking that this actually a “marketing ploy” to plug his EP. Met with laughter and applause from the audience, he wrapped up his set with ‘Speculate’, full of solid guitar riffs, intricate fills, and a punchy chorus.

Continuing to add diversity to the evening, it was the turn of Frances, whose piano-based singer-songwriter style worked a treat with the intimate sized crowd that had gathered. Alone on stage and seated at a piano, she produced a set full of haunting ballads that entranced the crowd. ‘A Million Lines’ and ‘Coming Up For Air’ featured intricate piano melodies that eventually reached a gentle climax, which she delivered impeccably. In between songs, her conversational and bubbly personality was engaging  and warm, with the crowd and expressing her sadness about finishing this tour - a sentiment that was echoed by all acts that performed. It was impossible not to strike comparisons between Frances’ humbling vocal and the likes of Adele. Yet the addition of a full band, as heard on her recordings, would shake off these comparisons by adding an extra dimension to her live performance.

Last up to delight the crowd was Tenterhook - aka Archie Faulks - who took to the stage with an electro-acoustic guitar. Opening with the song that first brought him to attention early last year, ‘Stereo’, his soaring and tender falsetto coupled with his refreshingly honest lyrics, was to make for a set full of instantly enjoyable songs. Sharing stories of his tour antics, Tenterhook exposed his sincere side when introducing his third offering, ‘Whispers’: a song which is about realising you're in love with your best friend. This is a theme that no doubt resonated with a few members of the audience, if the hushed laughter was anything to go by. Touching performances such as this, and the equally as reflective ‘Go Easy’, place Tenterhook’s sound and performance style between other singer-songwriters that are much in demand currently like Rhodes, Paul Thomas Saunders and Ed Sheeran - without the loop pedal and the rapping!

All the acts on the bill, each bringing a different feel to the stage, made for a night not just of the pleasure of seeing and hearing four high calibre artists, but four who all proved that while they may be 'new faces' now, they are ones who we will be seeing much more of.

Track Of The Day :: Everything Everything - Regret

Premiered on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show this week, Everything Everything have unveiled 'Regret' from their third album (their first since 2013's 'Arc'),'Get To Heaven', out via RCA on June 15.

The infectious 'Regret' has already been proving itself a winner amongst the band's fans when played live on their recent sold-out shows. The punchy repeat of "Regret, regret" throughout, along with Jonathan Higgs' falsetto vocal that draws you in to the track's worthy lyrics and some well-crafted guitar work.

Everything Everything have announced a UK headline tour for November. The dates follow a string of sold-out low-key comeback shows.

Live dates

07. Cardiff Great Hall
08. Bexhill De la Warr Pavillion
09. Portsmouth Pyramid
11. Nottingham Rock City
12. Glasgow ABC
13. Newcastle Academy
14. Birmingham Academy
16. Sheffield Leadmill
17. Cambridge Junction
18. Bristol 02 Academy
20. London Brixton Academy
21. Manchester Apollo

Friday, 1 May 2015

Track Of The Day :: Flesh World - Poolside Boys

Flesh World are the San Francisco-based four-piece which includes Scott Moore (ex-Limp Wrist) and Jess Scott and Diane Anastasio (ex--Brilliant Colors).  Preceding the release of their album 'The Wild Animals In My Life' in June,  the band unveil a srcond single cut, 'Poolside Boys'.

If the guitar opening is not enough to win you over to 'Poolside Boys', wait for when the vocals kick in and it expands into a noisy, grunge-toned grime textured melody.

'The Wild Animals In My Life' is out on June 2 via Iron Lung /La Vida Es Un Muse.

May 1 2015 - Bank Holiday Top 20: 1-10

Making something of an impression on promoters and radio folk since we introduced this young - 16-year-old vocalist - Sheffield band on the rise a few days ago (see here). Catch them at The Great Escape festival in a few weeks - if you know what's good for you

Teenage grunge pop angst in an insanely catchy melody, marks Russian 17-year-old Sarah Persephona from St. Petersburg's debut single. Out May 22 via PNKSLM Recordings

Stirring alt-rock track from the debut EP, 'Alive At Best', released last week by the Brisbane indie quartet.

From the self-titled debut EP by the Macclesfield four-piece, out last week. Heavy alternative rock with influences of blues and grunge accompanied by strong melodically orientated vocals.

Melodic riffs from Leeds duo -singer/guitarist Naomi Baguley, guitarist Ben Lewis - taken from the second installment of label Art is Hard's Family Portrait series, which is released on May 11. They play Live At Leeds Festival tomorrow (May 2), and Handmade Festival on 3rd.

Richard Formby (Wild Beasts) produced single B-side - which came out this week - to 'Send High', for the London five-piece, who confidently mix floating guitars, euphonic vocals from Nick Hayes, and oscillating synths into a dreamy concoction.

Detroit duo Josh Freed and Josh Smith reflect on early days in this stripped back, slow bass and airy vocals latest single. Expect a debut EP later in the year.

Kat (vocals, guitar, percussion) and Drew (bass, keys, beats) release this new pulsing electro-punk single on May 25 via Primitive Light Recordings as a free download. Inspired by science wars about the brain, with science queens Susan Greenfield and Rosalind Franklin namechecked in it.

Originally from Cavan, Ireland, now based in Belfast, Luke Ward (vocals, bouzouki, bass) and his trio kick up some good old riotous sounds that would a treat with a pint of the amber nectar, with plans for a forthcoming five-track EP.

The Danish punks take a grey scenic trip around Aarhus, in the visuals for track from their recent ‘Alter’ EP, released on Tough Love Records.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Listen :: Hot Chip Air 'Burning Up' From New Album Extra EP

Not even May yet and already Hot Chip are 'Burning Up'. Well, that may not be exactly the reason behind this latest track from upcoming new album 'Why Make Sense?', but they sure have been burning the technological fuel.

After airing 'Huarache Lights', and the electro-fest of 'Need You Know', this new track is actually not on the album but will appear on the accompanying 'Separate' EP of four tracks that didn't make the main dish.

'Why Make Sense?' is out on May 18 via Domino.

Introducing :: XOCKHA

Words: Linn Branson

Quite a more-ish little EP this four-track 'Sleeper', just released a few weeks ago by a band with a 'shocker' of a name: XOCKHA. Well, it could be 'shocker', or 'x-ockha', or even 'socker'. While we ponder a little longer over the name, we'll leave you with some gen on them and a chance to get your ears around the record on the Bandcamp stream below.

The four-piece, all aged between 20 - 22, formed just this January, and seem to have made great strides in such a short space of time. Hailing from Cowes on the Isle of Wight, where they'll be playing the Bestival main stage this September - which at this point would make just their third gig, having made debut a few weeks ago at a Ryde bar for the EP launch, followed by Bestival competition show from whence they won a slot on the main stage. They are hoping, however, to slot in a few home island ones later in May, and even venture onto English turf proper once they have all finished off the degree courses (BA (Hons) in Commercial Music) they are all currently busy with.

Sound-wise, it's lo-fi indie pop rock with a wealth of lush drifting melodics, plenty of neat guitar riffs, intertwined with twinkly synths to capture an airy - "wafted here from the IOW" - dream-state ambience alongside floating, and rather unusual, vocal lines. Sounds luvverly, don't it? It is.

And as for that name? We asked vocalist Ben Jones how that came about. "The name was developed from a song called 'Xhocka' by Young Colossus. No particular reason why, I'm just a fan of the project and needed a name! When this project was just myself back in October I thought it was a cool name, I still do, and hope you do too, despite the confusion it can cause. Personally, I still think it's easy to pronounce!"

EP highlights: 'Slow // Fast', 'Indecision'

XOCKHA are: Benjamin Jones (vocals, guitar), Frankie Baker (guitar/synth), Ellis Durand (bass), Max Harrison (drums).


Listen To The Stunning New Single From Arctic Lake // Live Show Tonight

We first heard London outfit Arctic Lake early last summer, profiling them as our One To Watch.

Seems a lot of people have been watching the trio - Emma Foster, vocals; Paul Holliman, guitars and Andy Richmond on drums and percussion - having caught the ears of Radio 1's Huw Stephens, Greg James and Fearne Cotton, after their releasing debut ‘Limits’. Follow up ‘Only Me’ looks set to bring them further attention, bearing comparisons to Lapsley and Aquilo, and sees the band continue in their endeavour to create minimalist music, whilst capturing intense emotion.

Catch them live tonight (April 30) at
London's Old Queens Head in Islington.