Monday, 10 March 2014
Belfast-born, Liverpool-based brother/sister duo (Thom and Lucy) Southern release their new EP 'Where The Wild Are' on April 14 via Marathon Artists (Courtney Barnett, Jagwar Ma).
Listen to the EP's title track below.
Southern play The Social in London on April 1, before Liverpool Sound City, Live At Leeds and The Great Escape in May.
Sunday, 9 March 2014
The Take Off And Landing Of Everything
March 10 2014 (Fiction)
Words: Alison Mack
Over the course of their 20-odd years and six albums together, Elbow have become as much a Northern institution as Coronation Street. They may no longer be exactly the sprightly callow youths of old, but in approaching middle years they have taken their roots and the path that leads from the Manchester 'burbs, to produce on this latest album, a tread not stamped with clog marks, but with sensitive steps through the life choices of relationships, family, heartbreak, change, and those aspects which build the bones of both man and song.
In Guy Garvey there is a raging lyricist who can deftly and poetically craft a line here or there that conveys far more in a simple sentence that would take others a whole work to equate similar. "I’m pouring oil in double time upon the troubled rising tide inside of me", relates the man who saw his 10-year relationship end during the making of the album. "I am the boy who loved her so in every song".
Indeed, Garvey says the album title itself refers to the many events and upheavals not just he, but other mlbsbd members too, have been through: marriages, break-ups, births, bereavements; tackling "some of the big and little, positive and negative, lif experiences that any group of men approaching 40 can expect."
Opener 'This Blue World' takes seven minutes to set the scene and tug at your heartstrings in its tender projection encompassing lines such as "While three chambers of my heart beat true and strong with love for another, the fourth is yours forever - " which perhaps echoes most their Asleep At The Back debut.
'Charge', as its title may suggest, strikes a more aggressive approach, with Garvey delivering "Glory be, these fuckers are ignoring me, I'm from another century" to an electro beat and hooky organ.
The blues-riddled 'Fly Boy Blue/Lunette' with its sax grooves, takes a wry Northern humour dig at the Government, with an MP described as "a chinless prefect, gone Godzilla", and where Garvey’s vocal is multi-tracked in partnership with horns and electric guitar; whilst earlier single release, the big styled ‘New York Morning’ - which features former Doves' Jimi Goodwin - is Garvey’s ‘love letter to a city other than Manchester' and where "folk are nice to Yoko". The album's second half is largely ruled by the seven-minute title track that rather sums up the work as a fitting flight and settling of all things in place.
Elbow will not displease any of their long-standing fanbase with 'The Take Off And Landing Of Everything', and there is more than enough contained here to draw in a new listening audience. Grim up North? Don't you believe it.
Chairlift's Caroline Polachek is to release a solo album. The work, which was recorded in Rome and is out next month under the name Ramona Lisa, is entitled'Arcadia'
Watch the two of the album's 11 tracks - which Polachek describes as "pastoral electronic music" - she has so far unveiled, 'Arcadia' and 'Backwards and Upwards' below.
'Arcadia' is released on April 15 in the US thru Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor's Terrible Records, and a day earlier in Europe and Japan via Pannonica.
Tom Krell - How to Dress Well - has posted a brand new song to YouTube. Entitled 'Words I Don’t Remember', it is the first studio recording Krell has released since 2012’s highly acclaimed 'Total Loss'.
"This song for me is about love, trust, commitment", explains the 30-year-old German artist, of the slow groove RnB groove that incorporates synth, handclaps, and electric guitar. "And what happens to these things and, like, what happens to really real love when sentimentality is so co-opted and ruined. What remains of true love in this world of simulations?"
One of the answers might be ... going towards making one of his best tracks yet.
Saturday, 8 March 2014
Purple Heart Parade + Great Ytene + Psyence
The Castle Hotel, Manchester
March 3 2014
Words/Photos: Leanne Crowley
Tonight's proceedings, hosted by Strange Days, showcases three of the nation's finest upcoming shoegaze/psych bands, all in the intimate venue The Castle, in Manchester's Northern Quarter.
First on the bill is Stoke five-piece Psyence, who offer ear-jarring riffs with heavily effected swirling vocals and an organ interlude. ‘Why Won't You Be Mine' offers a fast-slow stop-start tempo and a crazy drum solo from Joe Walsh, while the strong vocals from Steve Pye shine through on ‘Zebra' with a build in speed as the song progresses. New track ‘9 Tales of the Night' has a different feel and offers hints of reggae; the rhythm guitar of Ben Comley being the prominent influence. Stating that its "unusual to be in Manchester on a Monday night" they pass through ‘Yeti', ‘4:20' and ‘Dead Eyes' before rounding up on ‘Chemicals for Breakfast' which strongly exhibits the bass skills of Jamie Bellingham.
Next up come Great Ytene, who cite London as their home and are named after an old Anglo-Saxon term for a densely wooded part of the New Forest. Promoting their self-titled EP tonight, they open with ‘Away For Now' where the bass line of Jorge Stride dominates with the joint guitars of Leon Diaper and Tom Baker a side feature. ‘Hunter' is more melodic than the previous track and the vocals of Leon swoon and are reminiscent of The National at times. ‘Witch' provides a more alternative rock vibe with psych undertones, rather than it being the forefront of their sound; ‘Unknowing' and ‘Suburban Lights', with the thumping drums of Lewis Baker, round off the set.
Fresh off a hugely successful show in London, Purple Heart Parade are what you would call ‘psych without the synth' offering a mind altering twist on the tired concept of psych and adding a polished rock finish. Taking to the stage a little after ten, they start with new track ‘Blackout', which quickly gets the local crowd cheering and wooping in all the right places. The charisma of singer Peter Cowap is apparent immediately and, as always, he enchants as he jumps off the stage and out into the crowd. Moving into ‘Painting Pictures' is where the guitar work of Ryan Arnfield and the bass lines of Ste Woods really shine through. The dreamy feel to the song forcing the crowd to sway aimlessly whilst being drawn further into the music and the swirling vocals.
Fan favourite ‘Starlover Blues' showcases the drumming talent of Brodie Dickerson with its take on edgy psych and tambourine fuelled magic, add swirling vocals and the overall feel is reminiscent of that which made The Music famous back in 2002. ‘Spirit World', a PHP set staple, continues to grow in intensity every time it is performed; the guitar prowess of Sam Bugajski shining through the musical volume created. Two new tracks ‘Petrol' and ‘Moonlight Burn' follow, with the latter offering a more mellow feel than what we're normally used to from this band. An overall slower tempo but dreamy as ever, and enough to sends the crowd drifting off into other realms - until the drums bite hard and attention is snapped sharply back to reality. Rounding up their set with the intense and layered sound of ‘The Room', which as a fan favourite has everyone in the room rocking away as the set draws to a close.
Not a bad night for a start-of-week Monday. A little psych to get you through to Friday can never be a bad thing.
A hip black and white video accompanies the debut release - out March 18 on Kore - from new five-piece House of Lions. Odd name, but not at all unappealing to look at or listen to.
Originally from Winchester and now based in Camden, north London, they have an easy style that could be placed somewhere in between Everything Everything and The 1975, and frontman Ed Vyvan exhibits a cool enough stage presence and a soulful toned vocal that is just enough to make you want to hear more.
The band host a launch show for 'Uncruel' on March 21 at 229 The Venue, London.
House of Lions are: Ed Vyvyan (Vocals); Tom Rea (Lead Guitar); Dougal Gray (Rhythm Guitar); Will Ryder (Bass Guitar); Jake Gidley (Drums)
Friday, 7 March 2014
Morrissey fan site and seemingly part spokesperson for the former Smiths frontman, True-To-You, broke word yesterday (Friday) that a new album - his tenth studio work - entitled 'World Peace Is None of Your Business' would be out in late June/early July.
A statement reads as follows: "Morrissey is said to be beyond ecstatic with the album. All 12 tracks of which were produced by Joe Chiccarelli (The Strokes, The Killers) in France."
The release will mark the singer's first product since 'Years of Refusal' five years ago, and first since signing a new worldwide record deal with Universal Music's US-arm Harvest Records.
Last month Morrissey announced two US arena shows with very veteran performers Sir Tom Jones and Sir Cliff Richard, at Los Angeles Sports Arena (May 10) and Brooklyn Barclays Center (June 21).
Atlanta's Black Lips have today (March 7) uploaded the full stream of their 12 track new album ‘Underneath the Rainbow’ - ten days before its official scheduled release on VICE Records on March 17.
The album - the follow-up to 2011's 'Arabia Mountain' - was recorded between New York with Thomas Brenneck, who was recommended by Arabia Mountain producer Mark Ronson, and Nashville with the Black Keys' Patrick Carney, who offered to help produce in a Mexico City hotel room just before dawn.
"It was one of those super-late-night/super-early-morning drunk talk sort of situations, so we weren't sure if he meant it," explains Jared Swilley. "People do that all the time. We were going to call it 'The Dark Side of the Rainbow', then we googled it and realized that's what they call that thing where you watch The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd and it syncs up."
The band have also released a new behind-the-scenes video featuring Carney and the band working on 'Dandelion Dust,' 'Funny' and 'I Don't Wanna Go Home' at Blackbird Studios in Nashville.
Click below to listen to the LP and for the behind-the-scenes video footage.
Skaters + Drowners
Deaf Institute, Manchester
March 4 2014
Words: Dave Beech
Tonight sees one of Manchester's most eclectic venues play host to one of New York's current 'buzz' bands, Skaters - two, if you include Drowners in support; both of whom have released their full-length debuts this year.
The indie masses are out in their droves, the venue's upstairs area packed wall-to-wall with shabby-chic twenty-somethings anticipating an evening of old fashioned indie-pop, followed by snotty garage rock. Drowners oddly enough for a support band, manage to rattle through their entire eponymous album, almost chronologically. Released in January to generally favourable responses, 'Drowners' was 12 tracks on unadulterated indie-pop, that swings to and fro, bouncing between Strokes-esque vocals and Smiths-esque guitars. Thankfully, live, the band seem to encapsulate the same energy that the album exhibits, with tracks such as 'Ways to Phase a Rejection' and 'A Button On Your Blouse' spawning early sing-alongs from these in the know. It's always a worry when you see a band for the first time as to whether or not the same spark that caused you to buy the ticket in first place would be present in a live environment: thankfully with Drowners it most definitely is.
Skaters' demeanour drips with the same anti-swagger that the characters of any given Larry Clarke film do. They are the embodiment of those kids from Kids; they're not part of the New York sophisticate, they're part of the city's rough and ready underbelly, and it shows through in their set. Depending on your outlook though, this is somewhat of a double-edged sword. On one hand their laid-back, effortless cool is completely in keeping with both their sound, and attitude; on the other, it could on occasion almost be mistaken for apathy. As it happens though, their set is peppered with excellent moments, with tracks such as The Clash-inspired 'Band Breaker' getting the whole floor moving, and early inclusion of 'I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)' providing the crowd with a perfect opportunity to do just that, (whether they know how or not). They end the night with 'Schemers', giving fans one final chance to go all out.
To their credit, their album (incidentally titled 'Manhattan', just in case you forgot where they were from) has only been available for about a week before tonight, and even on those tracks which lack a full-blown sing-along, the crowd seem very much in to it. Both Skaters and Drowners may be relative newcomers to the scene, but both have the potential to go far.
TENSE MEN - NONENTITIES
As darkly hypnotic and intense as you would expect, all five-minutes-plus, from a Faux Discx production of Cold Pumas-ish drones. Out March 10 on the six-track 'Where Dull Care Is Forgotten'. Fabulous.
THE SAVAGE NOMADS - PORNO
A band we introduced and interviewed here last year are back with this bouncy little single out on April 7.
BARE JOHN - ALL LOVE MAKES
Female-fronted Stoke-based rockers. Not as heavy as their description would have you believe, and this debut single - out April 7 - has echoes of the early 90s.
TWO WEEKS RUNNING - HOLY GHOST
We get a slight touch of The Twang here on this just released single from the Bolton five-piece. Already being hailed by the likes of Steve Lamacq and Tom Robinson.
MALPAS - PROMISE
Currently in tour with Cloud Boat, the new single - out this week on Killing Moon - taken from the self-titled debut EP by Birmingham duo, songwriter Ali M Forbes & producer Andy Savours.
GIVE BLOOD - SLIDING DOORS
Our One To Watch from last October return with another hypnotic piece of synthed-up electronica...with an edge.
MOSES GOLD - PARADISE LOST
Produced in collaboration with Espher, Manchester's Phill Young's (Moses G) latest darkwave release to stir the inner senses.
WARMTH - KING CALM
Jon and Thom hail from Walthamstow; have a Facebook and Twitter, but as yet, have said nothing on either. So letting the music speak for itself, this is quite a crunchy little number for their debut.
SHRINE - SAVIOUR
Lead track from the debut EP 'Closer To The Sun', out April 7 on Mountains Of Records, by Brighton-based math rock outfit. Some catchy riffage and enough melody in amidst the rock to guarantee more than one listen.
YOKO TEMPLE - MOODS
Solo dreamgaze project of Cardiff-based Jevon James. Taken from the just released 'EP 02', wrap your ears around these lo-fi vibes.