Monday, December 16, 2019
After another year of hits and highs, we asked some of our writers to take a look back at what rocked their 2019.
Steve Willcox shares some of the tracks that stood out for him during the last 12 months.
Declan Welsh and The Decadent West - ‘No Fun’
Musicians are often political aware but make drab boring songs, you can’t say this about Declan who has the ability to make you dance and sing out loud, as with this song about egocentric show offs who brag about their bullshit lives - and ones I seem to get trapped with at parties! As the driving guitars and rapid drums distract, you find your knees are keeping in time with its beat and itching to dance away.
Sports Team - ‘M5’
After seeing these guys play ‘M5’ and seeing the room explode on its crowd friendly chorus, I soon downloaded it and it has become my go-to song when I’m in the car with the windows down, blasting this out of the speakers: “Sunlight ! splashes off the bonnet / On the M5 / No one else is on it / It's an open wide motorway." I'm even singing it while writing this. What a song.
Lady Bird - ‘LOVE’
When I first heard this I wasn’t that fussed, but looking further into the lyrics like “If you love yourself then please do me a solid and remove yourself from this delusional promise”, you find it is all about empowering yourself to get out of toxic relationships and having belief in yourself. Wise words with fast paced drums and soaring guitars with a machine-gun vocal delivery that is now, repeatably, played on my stereo.
Drusila - ‘Single Life’
Drusila from Portsmouth bring an openness to their music and this song is no exception with its killer 80s synth hook and steady beats. Capturing the emotional heartache of love whilst having the rare ability of transferring well into a live setting.
Fontaine’s D.C. - ‘Boys In The Better Land’
From the off with its infectious guitar and deadpan vocals, you can’t help but get hooked into its Irish post-punk vibe. The lines “If you're a Rock Star, Porn Star, Superstar / Doesn't matter what you are / get yourself a good car / get outta here” were certainly the most infectious earworm ones to be heard. The keeping it simple approach works really well with this song and when I’m at the gym it’s always on when I use the treadmill as I try to foolishly keep in time with its beats.
Friday, December 13, 2019
Credit: Rory Barnes
Words: Linn Branson
If ever there was a guarantee that a song was a bit special, it is one that makes you tingle with excitement and give you goosebumps on first hearing and watching. And there was no way that this particular one here was going to be anything other than Track Of The Week.
Everything is, for me, personally, so perfectly encapsulated in this little nugget of 5:33 minutes by Glasgow band VLURE of standalone track 'Desire', that if I were managing this band, I would feel both immensely proud of them and extremely excited by. Something that no one can actually take credit for, surprisingly, as the five-piece are currently self-managed and self-promoted.
Little Indie first happened upon VLURE earlier this year at The Great Escape - unintentionally. Sending our writer along to catch Alligator as part of the Showcasing Scotland line-up, he instead of and in place of, found VLURE. Unsure of whether this was a newly named Alligator (he recognised two 'alligators' amongst the members), a side project or a completely new outfit, he stayed to find out what they were about, and ended up blown away almost into the Brighton sea!
Credit: Steve Willcox
One of my favourite images from that set is the one above: vocalist Hamish Hutcheson off stage and confronting an unsuspecting punter who looks as if he's thinking "if I just stay still and hold me pint, perhaps he'll go away!" It definitely summed up that this band was sure to be one facing things head on, not shying around ineffectual ditties - and that they want their audience to be a part of their theatre of experience as opposed to mere onlookers.
The newly released film for ‘Desire’, below, has been artistically shot in monochrome by Justyna Kochanska at the Axiom Art building in Glasgow, and she has managed to capture both the live presence, intensity and excitement of the band, along with the feel of the impassioned, powerful lyrics.
“This is one of two tracks filmed and recorded live in the building where this band was started," say the band. "It was one of the first songs we all came together on. Releasing it as a live recording felt like a fitting way to introduce ourselves to you all. Desire is your crux, an impassioned campaign against designless lust and addiction.”
VLURE head out of 2019 destined to be a band on tastemakers' lips in 2020. And with their first proper single out before the New Year is too old, plus a second song from the Axiom session, things are looking very desirable indeed.
18 Beat Generator Live!, Dundee
25 PJ Molloys, Dunfermline
28 The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
Words: Sam Geary
After sharing 'For The First Time' last month, Los Angeles duo Best Coast - Bethany Cosentino (vocals, guitar) and Bobb Bruno (guitar) - deliver a seasonal offering with a cover of the Beach Boys' 1964 classic, 'Little Saint Nick'.
Both tracks come ahead of new album 'Always Tomorrow' arriving in 2020.
“Being from California and being heavily influenced by The Beach Boys, we had to cover this one," says Bethany. "It’s also always fun for me to cover a song with a wall of harmonies and background vocals because it’s my favourite part about recording vocals.”
Words: Sam Geary
Philadelphia indie punk outfit Church Girls follow EP 'Cycles' released earlier this year, with a second full-length, 'The Haunt', produced by Scott Solter (St. Vincent, Spoon, The Mountain Goats), which will arrive on February 7 2020 via Chatterbot Records.
Ahead of that they share the record's lead single, 'Could've Been', helmed by the emotive voice of Mariel Beaumont.
Listen in here.
Julian Casablancas’ Voidz have shared a new song called 'Did My Best', co-produced by Mac DeMarco and Kirin J Callinan.
Out now, it is accompanied by a two-part music video directed by Johann Rashid, with the second half featuring a new version of 'The Eternal Tao'.
“This video is inspired by a nonexistent Fellini TV show mixed with a futuristic timecop-party vibe," say the band. "How do humans interact with robots/non-DNA carrying entities and how do said entities interact with us? Are we teaching them? Are they teaching us? Or is it all more sinister....”
Words: Sam Geary
San Francisco's Tycho has unveiled ambient new EP 'Stress', out now via Mom + Pop/Ninja Tune.
The project of Scott Hansen sees a re-work of recent album 'Weather' cut 'Stress', becoming 'No Stress' and joined by singer-songwriter Saint Sinner (aka Hannah Cottrell).
“I’ve always wanted to explore the process of approaching the same idea from two totally different perspectives," says Hansen. “With 'Stress' I wanted to expand the original version from 'Weather' into a very different space while maintaining some common elements. I think viewing the core concepts through these two lenses better illustrates the underlying meaning of the song.”
Listen to the EP below.
Live EU/UK dates 2020
09 Oslo, Norway - Rockefeller
10 Stockholm, Sweden - Vasteatern
11 Copenhagen, Denmark - Vega Main Hall
13 Hamburg, Germany - Uebel & Gefährlich
14 Cologne, Germany - Live Music Hall
15 Paris, France - Elysée Montmartre
17 Brussels, Belgium - AB Ballroom @ Ancienne Belgique
18 Amsterdam, Netherlands - Paradiso
19 Berlin, Germany - Huxley's
21 Warsaw, Poland - Praga Centrum
23 Prague, Czech Republic - Roxy
24 Budapest, Hungary - Akvárium
25 Vienna, Austria - WUK
27 Milan, Italy - Fabrique
28 Bologna, Italy - Estragon
01 Barcelona, Spain - Sala Apolo
05 London, UK - Printworks