Sunday, 29 March 2015

Listen :: Beach Baby Air Debut Single B-Side

New London four-piece Beach Baby have aired the flipside to their debut single ‘Ladybird’, which is out tomorrow, March 30.

Big swirling 'Bruise’ is almost as good as its sister A-side, with layered guitars and soaring chorus. And if you happened to ever see Beach Baby in their previous guise, you'll appreciate how they've grown in both sound and style, rather like their Jungle (ex-Born Blonde) management pals, whom they join tonight in Paris.

Beach Baby are on tour in April. The previously announced date at London’s Courtyard Theatre on April 15 has now been moved to Sebright Arms on 16th.

29. Paris Le Cigale w/Jungle (SOLD OUT)

08. Brighton Prince Albert
09. Salford The Eagle Inn
11. Cardiff Dim Swn Festival
16. London Sebright Arms

[Video] Young Guv - Ripe 4 Luv

Fucked Up guitarist Ben Cook's shimmery power-pop project Young Guv, recently released new album 'Slumberland'. Now they share the video for the title track.

Directed by Danielle Nemet, the video for the Toronto musician's 'Ripe 4 Luv' is shot in black and white, and features British boxers training for next year’s Summer Olympics in Rio.

Fucked Up's Ben Cook Gets 'Crushing Sensation' As Young Guv

Track Of The Day :: Evawolf - Lose You

Joey J (vocals, guitar) and James D (drums), the two members who comprise East London's Evawolf, take just shy of four minutes on new track 'Lose You' to win the listener over.

They may only have been together a short time, but already earned our Track Of The Day honour last month with their debut 'When the Truth Is Out'; 'Lose You' follows suit with ease. The mix of light pounding drums set against Joey's silken guitar notes, and yearning lyrics - “I don’t wanna lose you/Just yet” - create a delicately impressive soundscape.

Evawolf play their debut live show on April 1 at London's Sebright Arms.

Watch :: Jessie Ware Joins Nicki Minaj On Stage For 'The Crying Game'

Singer/rapper Nicki Minaj, who was playing last night (March 28) at the 02 Centre in London, was joined by Jessie Ware for a duet of their collaboration 'The Crying Game'.

Watch fan-shot footage above.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Track Of The Day :: Shadow Age - Silaluk

Richmond, Virginia post-punks four-piece  Shadow Age - formerly known as Colony, and made up of former members of Nocere, Asylum and Lost
Tribe - are set to release their debut EP 'Silaluk' on May 19 via 6131 Records.

Their darkly melodic style is one that lends much to Manchester’s industrial sound, and obviously the Joy Division aspect, as so often is the case with this reference. And on none more so than on the title track.

It was written from a fairly dark abyss by vocalist Aaron Tyree when he was injured while working on an Alaskan fishing boat during a harsh winter. For four days he had to sit out an ice storm in order to be evacuated for medical treatment. It was out of this period that he came up with 'Silaluk' - the Inuit word for storm.

And a 'storm' of a three-and-a-half minute track it is. Icy, angular guitar lines, pulsating synths, and Tyree’s affecting vocal deliver a plangent and top brooding layer.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Listen :: Stranger Cat - Unzip Your Skin

Stranger Cat is the project of Brooklyn artist Cat Martino, whose CV includes being Sufjan Stevens’ right-hand woman for 'Age of Adz' and 'All Delighted People' albums and world tour; has recorded/toured with Sharon Van Etten, and also sings on the new Son Lux record 'Lanterns'.

Here she has teamed up with multi-instrumentalist Sven Britt for their forthcoming debut album, 'In The Wilderness', which features guest appearances from Sufjan Stevens, Christopher Powell (Man Man), Darby Cicci (The Antlers) and Reggie Pace (Bon Iver), amongst others.

Following lead single 'Sirens', the duo now unveil the hazily synth-pop track 'Unzip Your Skin'.

'In The Wilderness' is out on April 14 via Joyful Noise Recordings.

Bully To Release June Album // UK Dates

Nashville quartet Bully are to release their debut album, ‘Feels Like’, on June 23 thru StarTime International in the US.

Recorded at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studio - where frontwoman Alicia Bognanno was once an intern - the album features lead single ‘I Remember’, and 2014 singles ‘Milkman’ and ‘Brainfreeze’.

After performing at SXSW and on tour now in North America, the band will head to the UK in May.

01. Nottingham, Chameleon
02. Leeds, Live at Leeds
03. Glasgow, Live at Glasgow
04. Middlesbrough, Westgarth
05. Sheffield, The Harley
07. London, The Lexington
08. Bristol, Start The Bus
09. Manchester, Night & Day
10. Leicester, Scholar
14. Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach
15. Brighton, The Great Escape

Danish Quartet Communions Share New Single From June Debut EP

Danish quartet Communions have shared a new single, the first preview of a self-titled EP out on June 1 via Tough Love Records.

Lead track 'Out Of My World' is accompanied by four other tracks, all recorded in their hometown of Copenhagen, and follows their AA-side single ‘So Long Sun/Love Stands Still’, released at the end of last year.

Communions, made up of brothers Martin and Mads Rehof, Jacob van Deurs Formann and Frederik Lind Köppen, are fast gaining attention for their transcendent melodies, delicate guitar lines and emotive pop songs about naivety and youth.

‘Out Of My World’ reveals some lively spritely hooks and reverbed vocals, along with some sharp and sparkly guitar work, as Martin Rehof ruefully croons, "You're so out of my world / I don't even know your name."

Listen to ‘Out Of My World’ below.

Listen: Bleachers' Jack Antonoff Covers Beatles 'Dear Prudence'

You've all hesrd the Beatles' original, right? Well now get a load of Bleachers’ Jack Antonoff taking on 'The White Album' classic track 'Dear

Recorded in his hotel room in North Carolina - we know 'cos he has this on the artwork - Antonoff gives his own interpretation, adding Autotune to stand in for vocal harmonies.

Seems he was feeling a little downhome and lonesome and feeling a little Liverpudlian vibe, as he also noted on the Bleachers Facebook page, with a link to the album: "there is nothing more direct and perfect than the lyric "I'm lonely / want to die". perfect. the pace the drums are at and the angry guitars literally feel like the lyrics themselves. it's by far the most inventive song with a blue progression of all time. no matter what place I'm emotionally in, this song brings me all the way down. that's amazing."

Interview :: Freddie Dickson

Interview: Freddie Dickson

Words: Pollyanna Sheehan

Freddie Dickson has not conformed to a certain mode or style, but his distinctive vocals, brooding and emotionally wrenching style have been earning him praise across the board in the last 12 months as one of the best of the new crop of emerging talent. Now, as he prepares to head off on the road as part of the upcoming Communion New Faces Tour, we stopped him for a quick chat about how he is enjoying his journey so far, and what we can expect from him on this tour.

Hi, Freddie. Thanks for having a chat. To start at the beginning, more or less, how long have you been writing and how does the songwriting process occur for you?
I have probably been writing songs since I was about 16. I wouldn't say there is a specific "process" but generally it will stem from a vocal hook that I will record on my phone and then I'll try and match it to a concept that I feel suits the tone of that particular melody.

How have things changed for you since you have been signed?
The main difference is that I get to work in a studio that's not my bedroom, which is great, as I love having somewhere to go so as to avoid any cabin fever. I guess the best part is being able to concentrate solely on writing songs and having someone else to book your shows and organise recording sessions for you.

Your music is being described as ‘doom-pop’, and it’s earning comparisons to artists like Lana Del Rey. If you had to describe your sound in 5 words - what would they be?
Erm...intense, dark, catchy, visceral, dramatic.

When listening to your music, one key element that stands out for me is how well-crafted and emotive the lyrics are. What influences do you draw upon or try to channel when writing?
I'm very interested in people and their actions and reactions towards life. I often tend to write about mentalities rather than physical occurrences. I find the human psyche really fascinating.

You have said that songwriting is something you find very cathartic and that you spend a lot of time on each song, which comes first for you: lyrics or melody? Secondly, how long does it take you from that initial spark?
I'd definitely say the melody. Once I have that and the concept then I will sit down and write everything I can about that particular subject and then work on shaping the best lyrical ideas around the melody.

Your debut EP ‘Shut Us Down’ received universal acclaim on its release last year. Is there always a worry or added pressure after delivering something that good, that you won’t be able to replicate it?
I think the more you worry the worse it will be. If I look at my job requirement its basically to write good songs or stop and find something else. If I think like this then I’ll just stunt any creativity. I think experimenting with different styles and sounds is important to keep your work interesting, especially in the pop world.

Your new single ‘Speculate’ is particularly upbeat and uses more guitar and drums than some of your previous material. Is this the direction that your music is heading in?
I guess it's a bit more band-based now yes but I wouldn't say this is the staple sound to expect from me. With this album I'm trying to create a dynamically interesting body of work. The idea of having "filler" terrifies me! The sound is definitely more "live" than my first E.P though.

What part of the Communion New Faces Tour are you looking forward to the most?
I'm really excited about this. It's a lot more stripped down than our usual live set so I'm looking forward to playing around with my songs in different styles and the challenge of trying to keep it interesting. It will be fun to hang out with three other artists on the road as well.

As your music is pretty atmospheric, how important are visual effects to your live performances, and can fans expect this element to be included in the upcoming shows?
I would love to get involved in visuals but right now we are solely focused on making the songs sound great live. Also we don't really have the budget for anything grandiose so I’d rather do nothing at all than a half-hearted attempt at moody lighting.

What are you looking forward to the most this year - be it a particular performance, or a goal you hope to achieve?
Finishing the album and doing some festivals in the summer.

Which do you prefer - playing live shows, recording or the writing aspect of the process?They all have their own thrills but nothing beats playing live.

What’s your favourite thing to be doing when you’re not busy writing or playing?
I'm really interested in food so I love to cook or I like drinking Guinness and watching football in the pub.

We understand that Neil Young and Bob Dylan are two of your heroes. How would you feel if either asked you to join him on a duet, and which songs would you choose to perform, if given the opportunity?
I think that's the hardest music question I've ever been asked! Can I duet with both? If so then I’d sing 'Unknown Legend' with Neil and 'I Shall Be Released' with Bob.

Communion’s biannual ‘New Faces’ tour takes next month, opening on April 20 in Liverpool and finishing on the 29th in Bristol. Taking part are some of the most hotly tipped emerging artists of the moment: Frances, Tenterhook, Charlotte OC and, of course, Freddie Dickson. The tour will feature a rotating bill, giving each artist a chance to headline at least one show.

Frances will bring her unique brand of ambient piano-based pop to the tour, whilst Tenterhook (aka Archie Faulks) will be delivering his take on indie/folk. Following these two, Charlotte OC will treat fans to her sultry and seductive brand of upbeat singer/songwriter fun, and Freddie will soothe fans with an atmospheric set based around his intense and emotive singer-songwriter ballads.

Tickets and details of line-up for each date can be found here.

Tour Dates

20. East Village Arts Club, Liverpool
22. Brudenell Games Room, Leeds
23. Ruby Lounge, Manchester
24. The Bullingdon Arms, Oxford
27. Sticky Mike’s, Brighton
28. St Stephen’s Church, London
29. The Louisiana, Bristol

Track Of The Day :: Modern Bones - Hush

A collaboration between Max Binet and Patrick Bailey, Modern Bones release their debut three-track ('Hush', 'Worth The Weight', 'Shit Gold') EP on April 20.

Individually, Max also performs live electronic music under the moniker Raspy Meow, while Patrick records hazy lo-fi tracks as Static Masks (previously LoOmis). After years of swapping shows with their own outfits, the two decided to work on some songs together. Although given that Max is currently in New Orleans and Patrick in San Francisco, you imagine it took some navigating.

The first EP single, below, is the hazy three-and-a-half atmospherically electronic 'Hush'. Constructed around Bailey's robotic vocals that weave hypnotically around Binet's programmed layers of beats and sound textures, it makes for an absorbing first work by the duo.

Modern Bones are: Max Binet - Beats / Electronics, Patrick Bailey - Vocals / Guitar


March 27 2015 - Hot Top Ten

Memphis duo, Ex-Cults’ JB Horrell and his wife Laurel Ferdon, formerly of Nots, turn out this frantic punk Record Store Day debut single, helmed by Ferdon's ferocious vocals and abrasive guitars, that sounds like it could easily have come straight from the 70s.

B-side to single 'The Night' - featured here last month - out March 30, from the vibrant Bucks three-man outfit, swoony guitars, and a driving and powerful vocal. See them live at Barfly, London on April 24.

Radiant harmony, buoyed by piercing guitars and jets of synth in this new single from the Russian shoegaze quintet, out March 30 via Club AC30. On tour in UK through May, they kick off April 30 at London's Village Underground.

Out on April 27 thru Killing Moon, the debut single from songwriter Ali Forbes and producer Andy Savours. Melds honeyed vocals with a densely textured backdrop of acoustic electronica, handclaps, synths and dreamy soundscapes.

Recording project of London-based Alexander Shields. Drifting second track taken from the fourth album (recorded in Nashville with Lambchop’s Mark Nevers) 'Feathers Wet, Under the Moon', out via Lefse on May 4 in UK.

Portland, Oregon quartet fusing dreampop and Americana, taken from their upcoming 'No News From Home' album, out March 31 via No Quarter. The follow-up to 2013's 'Ride Out The Dark' once again highlights Katie Bernstein's inviting vocals.

The noise punk Minneapolis trio give a taste of their raw propulsive DIY sound on this debut single from their first LP, 'I Am A Disgusting Pig', out on April 7 via Forged Artifacts. We're sure they're lovely really.

Not from the far reaches of Iceland curiously enough, but the duo of Paul Tissington and Scott Munro, who hail originally from the banks of Newcastle's Tyne and now to be found London's Thames, where they fused indie, dance and punk influences into this Record Store Day release on April 18 via Tigre Fair Records.

First single from LA-based songwriter Tristan Johnston taken from his upcoming debut LP 'Apartments' (out in May via Forged Artifacts) which takes its title from bring written over a period of six years in between moving around apartments.

Melancholic, almost chant-like, piano track taken from London singer / songwriter Paolo Fornasari's debut EP, 'The Distance Between Us', out May 4.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Listen :: The Baby Blues Project Shares First Pledge-Funded Album Track

Unveiling the first song from his album 'The Baby Blues', the first surprise on hearing Daryl Waller is that he is a London-based Cornishman - and not, as he for all the world sounds like on 'Take Me Anywhere', some American Midwest musician in the middle of a jam session with friends.

Waller, a visual artist, turned to music in 2008, and now, 'many demos later",  he is to release his PledgeMusic-funded debut album, ‘The Baby Blues’. Recorded over three years between 2010 and 2013 in London and a beach chalet in Hayle, Cornwall, the album features synth from Jason Lytle (Grandaddy), drums from Chad Matheny (Emperor X), spoken word from film-maker Philipp Virus, cello from Rob Williams and vocals from Erica Jarnes.

'The Baby Blues' is out on April 6, and you can purchase in CD format, but press notes state "there is also a whole host of extra content, including the acoustic guitar used to create the record, a limited edition album poster, an original watercolour painting, lyric sheets, secret notes and much, much more." Everyone who orders a CD also receives a free 'womb mix’ of the original record… this is an experimental reimagining of the entire album using original womb recordings, re-amping techniques, waterproofed microphones and a bath tub.

Sounds like a good offer there.

For more information/store, visit: The Baby Blues

Introducing :: Big Tooth

We have no idea what size teeth either party of the Big Tooth duo may possess, but we do know they have a very big song in their just released single 'Bluebells'.

The London-based two - George Crossland, 22, vocals / guitar / bass / drums; Joe Weightman, 21, vocals / guitar - only got together just over a month ago and have been "writing and recording loads of material to gig with."

Without wasting any time they have already produced an EP's worth of material. The four-track 'Pink Edges' was released on March 22  - available via Bandcamp - and as well as they have come up with this latest track 'Bluebells', which is not part of ithe EP.

All (bar stompin' number 'The Hate Blues')  contain light and easy melodies, the kind you can easily sink into with a glass of wine at the end of the day, that take a bluesy, jungle pop slide. Our favourite of the four is probably 'Take Me Over', below. However, in our opinion, none match up to the truly delightful slow ballad 'Bluebells', above. Take a listen and make up your own minds. But definitely keep on eyes on Big Tooth.

Keep On Track :: Dark County

When Dark County first made contact they did so in that mysteriously aloof way that an increasing number of artists seem to be doing: adopting a Garbo-esque distance. As Little Indie draws the line on anonymity, we asked if that was the intention, because the track that they had offered up to our ears, 'Say To You', was one that held much appeal.

Fortunately, it seems that their lack of information was due more to newness than anything else. Which means that we can stand true to our refusing to cover 'mystery' bands, and report on this 'dark' London three-piece, whose psyched-out stoner fuzz follow-up to last August's 'Watching Them Burn', sounds like an adulterated Polterghost mixed up with something Faux Discx/Cold Pumas Dan Reeves might turn out.

Formed last summer between brothers Graham and Chris Cotton, and friend and sticksman Dan Buckland, Dark County have spent the ensuing period writing and self-producing their debut album, set for release on their own imprint, Slim Vision Records, this summer.

They have certainly put the work in on 'Say To You'. With enough scorching riffs feedback fire contained in its three minutes, they could easily be starting up a blazing inferno quite soon if the rest of their material is as flammable.

The band will be touring from the end of May, with dates to be confirmed. Keep check on their Facebook page.

Dark County are: Graham Cotton - vocals/bass, Chris Cotton - guitar, Dan Buckland - drums.