Friday, 24 October 2014

Black Honey Reveal All - And Play Secret Gig Tonight

Since early summer the blogging fraternity have been going to great lengths on trying to work out the identity behind new band on the block, Black Honey. As they successively dropped one track after another between June and September - firstly 'Sleep Forever' in June, followed by 'Teenager' and 'The Taste' - words like "mysterious" and "enigma" as well as "unique" and "sumptuous" were banded about to describe the expansive waves of strings, percussion and shimmering guitar riffs they utilise in their sound, as well as acclaim for the smouldering vocals of their female vocalist.

As neither names or images were out out, it was left to the vast majority not personally associated with them to puzzle over who they were. All that was known was that they were Brighton-based. If one thing was clearly obvious by the sheer quality and production of the tracks, it was that this was no band of wet-behind-the-ears youngsters who were new to the game. Some also may have though the vocal strikingly familiar - particularly gig-goers and those with their ears to the ground on the music scene in Brighton.

Today all is revealed. Firstly, we have the fourth and final track 'Bloodlust' unveiled, which together with the previous three songs will comprise their debut EP. Secondly, that (nameless) EP is also released today and will be part of a limited edition physical run only available at gigs.

Perhaps most interesting, however, is the naming of the individuals involved as Black Honey: Izzy Bee, Chris Ostler, Tommy Taylor, Tom Dewhurst. Those eagle-eyed enough will no doubt recognise the names of the first three - and from band image above - as being the former incumbents of the band known as Kill Moon; fourth Black Honey member Dewhurst is a graduate of the Brighton Institute of Modern Music.

In a further move at exposing themselves, Black Honey will be playing a secret gig tonight (October 24) on home turf in Brighton. And if you want to get in on this inaugural show, all you need to do is contact the band direct for guestlist on the following number: 07578 533359.

Their next live venture will be in London on November 2 at Notting Hill Arts Club.

Track Of The Day :: Bare Pale - You Owe Me

The dark, scuzzy three-minute wallow of 'You Owe Me' is the new single from north-west London's Bare Pale.

Distorted guitars, mellow drums and a nearly-not-there vocal lend a murky psych patena to a shoegaze base. It doesn't exactly go anywhere, and the tone is lethargically slacker, but goes down the lugholes easily enough.

'You Owe Me' has apparently had touching on 12K Soundcloud plays in eight days too.

Bare Pale are: Matthew Rickekton (vocals / guitar), Joe C (bass / vocals), Harry (drums).

The Twilight Sad Stream New Album - Listen

Scottish rockers The Twilight Sad are back with their new ten-track album 'Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave', the follow-up to 2012′s (No One Can Ever Know'.

The trio discharge reverb-heavy shoegaze anthems on this new work, recorded in Glasgow at Mogwai's Castle of Doom studios.

Stream the album in full below.

'Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave' is out on October 27 (28 in US) on FatCat Records.

October 24 2014 - Hot Top Ten

Definitely one of the highlights of the week. The Yorkshire trio sign to Brooklyn label Color Station for this smooth-flowing, electronic RnB-like new single out on October 28 that we featured earlier in the week here.

Taken from the south London garage pop foursome's DIY scratch jangled 'Mama's Boy' limited edition cassette EP out November 17 via the always reliable Soft Power label.

The lady continues to share more tracks from her debut album, 'Bury Me At Make Out Creek', and before it's even released on November 11, we are saying the Brooklyn songstress is a star for 2015.

Announcing a new 11-track LP out on January 26 2015 via BMG Chrysalis, the band, fronted by Tim Burgess, have first album taster with this new single, released on December 1.

Electro pop stomp second track from thd self-titled EP by Scottish synthpop duo from Ayrshire.

First single to be released on the band’s new label, Without Consent. The track, referencing The Fall frontman, is out on October 27, will be available on 10" single or download.

PORCHES - FORGIVE (ft. Greta Kline)
New Yorker Aaron Maine's sparkling synthpop B-side to 'Prism' - our Track Of The Day here in September - digitally released last week via Terrible Records.

Eighties electro vibes and high falsettos on this new single - out November 10 - taken from their debut album ‘Ever Moving Happiness Machines', released via Integrity Records. Catch them live tomorrow (October 25) at Manchester Roadhouse.

Sixties-influenced psych pop-gaze, the title track from the forthcoming debut EP by Newcastle-based Paul McGill.

Dropping the 'Charlie Boyer &...', the new single, out November 3 via Heavenly, still retains their love of glam stomp pop. 'Stunners' takes its
title from the now-defunct Limehouse transvestite niterie in east London.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Listen :: Wild Balbina

Spanish four-piece Wild Balbina may hail from Vigo, but whose California sound is more reminiscent of Veronica Falls and the Vivian Girls than crazy flamenco - and definitely not wild.

'Stay Alive' / 'Such A Jerk' is the upcoming digital single via Elefant Records, with the former coming from their debut seven-track mini-album 'Sisters Before Misters' which was released in June.

Wild Balbina play Cardiff Clwb Ifor bach tonight (October 24) and tomorrow night, The Lexington, London.

Listen :: French For Rabbits

New Zealand duo French For Rabbits about to release their debut album, 'Spirits', create the kind of eerie, dreampop orchestrations that are both wistful and swelling in misty lyricism.

On tour in the UK now - having played London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, supporting Agnes Obel - check out their remaining dates below - along with a stream of 'Spirits'.

October 27. Shacklewell Arms, London
October 29. Cafe Kino, Bristol

'Spirits' is out on October 27 thru Lefse.

Watch :: Noel Gallagher Joins Johnny Marr On Stage In London

As had been speculated all week, Noel Gallagher joined Johnny Marr on stage during the latter's show at London's Brixton Academy tonight (October 23).

Despite Marr himself denying rumours of an appearance by Gallagher, when he returned to the stage to play an encore, it was to introduce an "old friend who he'd known for 20 years and one of the greatest songwriters of our time," at which point Gallagher walked out to overwhelming applause to join together for a cover of Iggy Pop's 'Lust For Life' and a rendition of The Smiths' 'How Soon Is Now'.

You can watch some fan filmed footage above.

Johnny Marr's UK tour continues at:

24. Bath, Pavilion
25. O2 Apollo, Manchester
27. O2 Academy, Glasgow
28. O2 Academy, Newcastle

Brighton Teens High Tyde Back 'Feeling' It

The four Brighton teens (with a natty line in dress) known as High Tyde have spent the last 12 months working hard to hone their sound and have finally released the eagerly anticipated first song ‘Feel It’ from their second EP due early 2015.

Apart from wondering how on earth this bunch of 17-year-olds manage to cram it all in with education, ‘Feel It’ picks up where summer single ‘Karibu’ - our Track Of The Day back in July - left off, filling the ears with more vibrant and infectious choruses intertwined with neat guitar hooks and lyrics that will reside with everyone from their core teen fan base to the more mature critics.

These four encapsulate what it is to be young, fun and most importantly carefree. Sold out headline shows at The Haunt in Brighton, Leeds Cockpit as well as festival slots at Rainfest and The Great Escape, have secured them a dedicated and passionate group of fans.

Catch High Tyde at:

October 23: Reading, Oakford Social Club
October 25: London, Highbury, The Garage
October 31: Brighton,  Concorde 2 (Little Comets Support)

Watch :: White Fever - Shadows

Anglo-Scandinavian dream-pop newcomers White Fever release their debut EP 'Beating Of Wings' on October 27.

Check out the video above to lead single 'Shadows'. Leaping from driving verse rhythms to the glimmering, dreamy guitars in a Cocteau Twins-esque chorus, the track teams perfectly with a haunting, dark fairytale video, shot and produced entirely by drummer Josh Williams.

To mark their EP release, White Fever will play a special headline show at London's Old Blue Last on Monday. Support comes from Twin Graves.

Listen :: DMA's Debut Single & November UK Dates

DMA’s (dee-em-ayes), the Aussie three-piece (Johnny Took, Matt Mason, Tommy O’Dell) from New South Wales, bring their garage pop sound to the UK with their new AA single 'So We Know'/'Laced', out on November 17 via Partisan Records.

With rolling melody and crack-of-dawn swagger, 'So We Know' emerges on a hazy ‘morning after the
night before’, and the single is the follow-up to 'Delete' released in February and their self-titled EP.

The band head to the UK next month when they support The Courteeners on tour, closing with a solo show at London's Koko.

03.  Blackburn, King Georges Hall w / The Courteeners
04. Oxford 02 Academy w/ The Courteeners
06. Newcastle 02 Academy w/ The Courteeners
07. London Brixton Academy w/ The Courteeners
09. Hull University w/ The Courteeners
10. Nottingham Rock City w/ The Courteeners
11. Leeds 02 Academy w/ The Courteeners
14. London, Club NME Koko

Listen Up :: New From Australia #11

More new vibes from Down Under in our latest selection.

After the success of their first two singles 'Reel Me In' and 'XX', Sydney based indie-electronic duo, Aviva Payne and Matais Coulter, return with their latest single ‘Crystal Eyes'. Since their formation, the duo have branched away from their usual minimalist style, a full bodied electronic sound extracted from a world of dark electronic beats and industrialized synth, balanced by the stunningly complex vocal layers of Payne.                          

Rock n rollin' Melbourne five-piece influenced by the likes of Rolling Stones, The Doors, Led Zeppelin, Velvet Underground and early Kings of Leon, but once you’ve had an audible taste of their latest single ‘Crystal Pistol’, released on October 24, you will find they have created a sound that is refreshingly their own.

Queensland indie rockers unveil their latest single 'Arcadia', taken from the six-piece's 'Sadako' EP out on November 17. Blending indie-rock and post-punk, they have drawn comparisons to The Temper Trap, Cayucas and Two Door Cinema Club.  The 'Sadako' EP’s simple, almost abstract title harks back to their love for Japan, the first place they toured overseas. After spending two months working on the six-track EP, it was mixed by Catherine Marks (Foals, Wolf Alice, The Killers) at London’s Assault & Battery Studios. Marks also recorded and produced the band’s debut EP ‘Burning Feet’.

Four-piece Perth outfit formed in 2011 and known for a 50s/60s sound, their music and band image being inspired by the British music from the 1960s and Mod Culture. Latest single ‘Clear My Mind’, out on November 7, embodies a retro sound complete with raw vocals and jangly pop-rock instrumentation. Recording took two weeks in total, with the band taking more time experimenting with different sounds and recording techniques, including using instruments such as a harpsichord, mellotron, flute, acoustic guitar and piano during the sessions.

18-year-old college students Avi and Nushi, and the 17-year-old prodigious talent that is Gab Strum - better known as Japanese Wallpaper - have spent the year working on their debut EP and have just signed to Pilerats Records to release 'Done as Dinner', their first offering. Rich synths and a vibrant beat meet in a five-minute swirling mesh of catchy rhythms and guitar. At times quite a complex and layered arrangement structure, all the more impressive given their tender ages.

Sydney garage twosome who formed a few years ago - in a garage - their sound mixes garage rock sensibility with a vast array of alternative and popular influences to create a raw, 60s-influenced rock sound.

Listen :: Twin Graves

After emerging earlier this year with their debut EP ‘Walk In Circles’, Hertfordshire duo Twin Graves return with single ‘Love You To Death’ (w/ ‘No Future’), produced in collaboration, for the most part, with Ian Dowling (Cloud Control, Chapel Club, Bombay Bicycle Club) and out this week.

Infused with 80s post-punk romanticism and a feverish sense of rebellion, ‘Love You To Death’ is a brutally honest confessional, full of heart-on-sleeve emotion and love-lorn lyrics.

Twin Graves (Jeremy Aris Polychronopoulos - vocals/guitar, Zarah Lawless - vocals/bass/synth) play The Old Blue Last, London on October 27.

New Single For Psychsters Saint Agnes - ‘A Beautiful Day For Murder'

Cinematic psych outfit Saint Agnes have released their new single, ‘A Beautiful Day For Murder’ via London Label Energy Snake Records. The track is a twisted ballad; a love song to death itself.

"It’s the soundtrack to a dark and beautiful Western where Lana Del Ray stares down nick Cave in a saloon bar stand-off," says founding member Kitty Austen, who fronts the band with Jon Tufnell. After releasing their debut single as a duo and packing out Sebright Arms in suitably raucous fashion, the pair return with a trademark slice of cinematic, Tarantino-style lushness.

B-side ‘Where the Lightning Strikes’ is blues stomping, dirty rock n roll with psychedelic organs, screaming guitars and haunting harmonica.

Jon and Kitty met whilst playing in their respective bands (The Lost Souls Club & Lola Colt) and immediately bonded over musical influences. Their onstage chemistry is palpable and they are now joined by Matt Devine and Ben Chernett, the no-nonsense bass and drums powerhouse who dress as sharply as The Bad Seeds.


Sleater-Kinney will release ‘No Cities to Love’, their first album in ten years and most explosive to date, on January 19 2015 via Sub Pop Records with North American and European tours to follow (including dates in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Dublin). See below for tracklisting and tour dates.

The trio - Corin Tucker (vocals / guitar), Carrie Brownstein (guitar / vocals) and Janet Weiss (drums) - recorded ‘No Cities to Love’ in secret at Tiny Telephone Recordings in San Francisco in early 2014, with additional sessions at Kung Fu Bakery Recording Studios in Portland, and Electrokitty Recording in Seattle. John Goodmanson, who helmed four previous Sleater-Kinney albums, produced ‘No Cities.’

"We sound possessed on these songs," says Brownstein, “willing it all - the entire weight of the band and what it means to us - back into existence."

Sleater-Kinney surprised fans by including the new song “Bury Our Friends” as a one-sided 7” with October 20 release of ‘Start Together’, a limited-edition vinyl boxed set comprising remastered versions of their seven previous albums.

The band formed in Olympia, WA in 1994, and set a new bar for punk's political insight and emotional impact, earning the mantle of “America’s best rock band” (Greil Marcus/Time Magazine) along the way.  Since the 2005 release of ‘The Woods,’ which Entertainment Weekly called “a masterpiece,” Tucker has released two albums with the Corin Tucker Band, while Brownstein and Weiss released one album with Wild Flag.  Brownstein also co-created and co-stars in the IFC series ‘Portlandia,’ and Weiss has recorded and toured with Quasi and Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, among others.

‘No Cities To Love’ tracklisting:

1. Price Tag
2. Fangless
3. Surface Envy
4. No Cities to Love
5. A New Wave
6. No Anthems
7. Gimme Love
8. Bury Our Friends
9. Hey Darling
10. Fade

Tickets go on sale for all European shows at 9am local time from Friday October 24.

Live dates 2015

08. Spokane, WA  @ Knitting Factory - Spokane
09. Boise, ID  @ Knitting Factory - Boise
10. Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
12. Denver, CO @ Ogden Theater
13. Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
14. Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
15. Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall
17. Chicago, IL @ Riviera
22. Boston, MA @ House of Blues
24. Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
26. New York, NY @ Terminal 5
28. Philadelphia, PA@ Union Transfer
18. Berlin @ Postbahnhof
19. Amsterdam@ Paradiso
20. Paris @ Cigale
21. Antwerp, Belgium @ Trix
23. London @ Roundhouse
24. Manchester @ Albert Hall
25. Glasgow @ O2 ABC
26. Dublin @ Vicar Street

EP Review :: Dear Desert - Gift Above

Dear Desert

Gift Above

October 20 2014 (digital)


Words: Linn Branson

If, on this occasion, we may skip the preamble and linear commenting on an EP, and get straight to the nitty gritty: 'Supernatural Love' is one of the best tracks to be heard on a debut release in many moons; and if there is another vocalist who puts as much heartfelt emotion into the lyrics as does Brendan Millar during the last minute of this, I have yet to hear it. These lyrics of "I just couldn't save her, in time" and the deep wailing howl in which they are delivered, you don't need to be psychic to tell these hold some deep personal relevance to the writer.

On this Asta Kalapa/Dear Desert produced debut EP, the Dublin three - Millar, Richie Fenton and James O' Donnell - have come up with a work that is both articulate and memorable; dripping in emotionally wrenching synth pop, from the driving rhythms and impassioned soul of 'Give It Up', to 'Gift Above', the title track that shines on strains of synths and percussion. It's six minutes long too, and you have to wait 90 seconds for the vocal - but oh boy, is it worth it. Completing the four tracks is 'Pharoah Vessel', with a slight ecclesiastical feel to it in places, notably in Millar adopting brief excursions into near Gregorian-like chant mode, set against staccato beats and choral type harmonies.

The one problem with this exquisitely lovely EP is that there simply isn't enough of it. It hasn't just whetted the appetite for another eight songs that one might expect on a full-length, it's positively started an addictive obsession to hear what this band will produce next.