Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Roll up, roll up, Ecstasy going free! Get yours here!
Now we have your attention, before you all rush, whilst 'Ecstasy' is free - by way of a free download - and it may well invigorate certain parts, and is both safe and legal, it is, however, for aural use only.
This is the debut single from new Brighton four-piece The Island Club which has just been released online two days ago. Formerly known as Vacant Age when they set up last year - after meeting at university - as a five-piece, they have now seem to have dropped the fifth man and changed name to, quote, "pursue our image." That statement may need some clarifying, suffice it to say that drawing influence from the likes of Peace to Alt-J, they received some approbation from gigs they played locally and tracks uploaded online - check out 'Only Love' below - and a certain live promoter has described frontman Michael Askew (that's him lighting the fag on the Soundcloud above) to us as "a legend". Worth checking out on that alone.
Although new song 'Ecstasy' is more than worth a listen, with a nice fresh, slightly trop-pop, sound, complete with a tremendously catchy chorus line that is guaranteed to stick in your head. The track is a DIY bedroom recording that was mixed and produced by the band themselves.
Sounds good to us.
The Island Club are: Michael Askew - vocals, rhythm guitar; Dan Ely - bass; Julien Forsythe-Lewis - lead guitar; Sam Cantlon - drums.
They are augmented live by the addition of : Anderson Bell - trumpet; Aidan Chadwick - trumpet; Aimee Blowers - backing vocals.
Son Lux’s - New York City-based musician Ryan Lott - latest video from last year’s dark experimental work 'Lanterns' is for album track 'Lanterns Lit'.
Directed by SJ Finlay in South East Asia, who adds a note: “This music video was made while shooting a short film to help children at risk in South East Asia. To keep updated about the release of that film and the project, search for #Children of Change.”
Stunning visuals and a compelling and moving track.
Last week's performance by Ryan Adams at the Newport Folk Festival was one of the most anticipated of the event. Adams, who is set to release his self-titled 14th studio album on September 8, included in his Friday set both favourites from his solo debut 'Heartbreaker', as well as new songs from his forthcoming album including 'My Wrecking Ball' - "[a] protest song protesting the death of my grandmother” - and 'Catherine'.
Check out both below, although it appears that the latter at least will not be appearing on the new album. Stream the show link below, skipping to track 15.
Adams has announced three UK live dates for September to coincide with the album release. Presales begin today (July 30) before going on general sale at 10am on Friday.
19. London, O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
24. Manchester, Albert Hall
25. Glasgow, Royal Concert Hall
Bill Callahan unveils weird and wonderful solar system exploits in the new animated video for 'Javelin Unlanding'.
Taken from last year’s album 'Dream River', Callahan puts on his moon face to travel through space.
Watch the video above.
Even with the likes of Luc Besson directing, and cast including Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman, hasn't seemed to help the poor reviews levied on new motion picture 'Lucy', which has just opened in the US. An action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
The film also features our own Damon Albarn, not in acting mode, however, but as writer of soundtrack song 'Sister Rust', a low-key, string filled track.
The soundtrack for 'Lucy' is out now on Back Lot Music.
Albarn has also announced he will play a one-off show with his band The Heavy Seas on November 15 at London's Royal Albert Hall. Tickets are available from Friday (August 1) at 9am and cost between £35-£65 each. Albarn will be joined by "very special guests" for the night.
Tuesday, 29 July 2014
July 29 2014 (Trouble In Mind)
Words: Linn Branson
In his guise as Soft Walls, Faux Discx label honcho and one-fourth of Cold Pumas, Dan Reeves also manages to add a further string to his already impressive bow. And in this follow-up to his 2012 album, Reeves has on this occasion, with the aid of an 8-track and an idea of creating a collection of songs that are interwoven, achieved an output of ten songs with the crux of it being: time.
'No Time' is time itself: the passing of, reflecting on, and what should, and what is, done with it; and the perhaps often unspoken fear within all of us once we get past a certain age, of where it went. Reeves apparently spent a copious amount of his own time in writing, re-writing, then rehearsing, re-rehearsing before finally recording - and no doubt putting in as much painstaking effort there as well, and re-recording the re-records - the final work; aided and abetted by MJ of Hookworms, who took on mixing duties.
Opener 'Won’t Remember My Name' is a psych-driven reverb display, that leads into 'The Big Nod', where beats and guitars duel in complimentary form. 'Never Come Back Again', with its Cold Pumas drone motorik style beat that rides for a full minute just as it is, then while continuing on its same path, is joined by synths and instrumentation - and we're almost two minutes in before Reeves deigns to pitch a vocal in that ranges from the almost ghostlike to little touches that make this one of the album standouts, as well as one of the lengthiest, pushing over the six minute line. 'Guided Through', a zizzy five minutes of psych around which Reeves works fuzzy guitar notes and trademark lo-tone vocals, ends on
the best white noise scratch you are likely to hear all year.
But one of the strengths of 'No Time' is its range of style and depth, so amidst the likes of 'Never Come Back Again' and 'Guided Through' we also find lighter aural shades, like the title track - a Californian style daydreaming 1.42 minutes - 'Transient View' and 'Early In The Day', all shorter, sweeter, more ambient in tone to the ears, with the last of these three heaped with drone-fuel. 'Slumbering' too as its name may suggest, forges its way forward on a tide of pulsating tranquil sound - before 'Foot Of The Stairs' charges up in the latter's wake, full of sharp guitar clashes that are threateningly juxtaposed against Reeves' muted tones.
Dazzling, hypnotic and surprising in equal measures, 'No Time' is an album that should be made time for, because you certainly won't come across much better of its genre.
James Page, better known as Sivu, has taken on the task of covering an all-time classic: Frank Sinatra's 'Strangers In The Night'.
The track - which was actually the first song he took to producer Charlie Andrew when they began working together - forms part of Sivu's forthcoming EP, 'Miracle (Human Error)', which was released via Atlantic Records yesterday (July 28).
With 'Miracle (Human Error)' having debuted on Zane Lowe's show, and already picked up plays across Radio 1, 6Music and XFM, Sivu has also been confirmed for this year's Reading & Leeds, Bestival and Wilderness festivals. He will announce plans for his debut album shortly, whilst a UK tour - featuring a headline date at London's Oslo - has been confirmed for October.
Affecting and anthemic, 'Miracle (Human Error)' is a bold step forward from Sivu - marrying his trademark brand of baroque-pop, which has drawn frequent comparisons with Wild Beasts, to the soaring, wide-screen quality of Arcade Fire, and the distorted, aggressive guitars of Radiohead 'Creep' era.
08. Beacons Festival, Yorkshire
09. Wilderness Festival, Cornbury
22-24. Reading & Leeds Festival
14. Oslo, London *Headline Show*
15. The Hope, Brighton *Headline Show*
16. Soup Kitchen, Manchester *Headline Show*
17. Glad Cafe, Glasgow *Headline Show*
Yeah Yeah Yeahs frontwoman Karen O has released the video for 'Rapt' from her forthcoming solo debut album 'Crush Songs', out September 9 on Cult Records. The video was directed by Barney Clay with production design from K.K. Barrett, who is known for his work with Sofia Coppola and Spike Jonze.
'Crush Songs' will first be available as a limited, special vinyl edition incorporating Karen’s own personal drawings, handwritten lyrics and more. In addition to this limited edition, the album will be released on standard vinyl, CD and digitally from September 9.
“When I was 27 I crushed a lot,” says Karen of the new record. “I wasn’t sure I’d ever fall in love again. These songs were written and recorded in private around this time. They are the soundtrack to what was an ever continuing love crusade. I hope they keep you company on yours.”
Recorded in 2006 and 2007, the record is an intimate collection of lo-fi, bedroom recordings in the vein of Karen’s Oscar-nominated 'The Moon Song'.
Cult Records is helmed by Julian Casablancas. In addition to Karen O, the Cult roster includes Albert Hammond, Jr., Cerebral Ballzy, Har Mar Superstar, Rey Pila and more.
'Crush Songs' Tracklisting:
5. Comes the Night
6. NYC Baby
7. Other Side
8. So Far
9. Day Go By
12. Indian Summer
13. Sunset Sun
14. Native Korean Rock
Oxford four-piece Pixel Fix have released the stream of 'Overflow', the latest track from their forthcoming 'Running Thin' EP, due out on August 4.
The 'Running Thin' EP will be available digitally and physically, including a limited run of cassette tapes.
Following on from last EP 'Fall' the third delivers the distinctive electronic and atmospheric sound the young band have been mastering for the past 18 months. Laced with reverb laden blissful synths, guitar riffs coated with effects and ethereal vocals, 'Running Thin' is set to see Pixel Fix continue to make their unique mark on the music scene.
Monday, 28 July 2014
The Black Angels
Clear Lake Forest
July 22 2014 (Blue Horizon)
Words: Leanne Crowley
'Clear Lake Forest' is the latest offering from the ever mutable Black Angels. The eagerly anticipated release follows in the wake of 'Indigo Meadow' which was set loose on the world in all its glory over a year ago.
The album opens with ‘Sunday Evening', the real punchy track of the pack with the raw, empowered vocals that are characteristic of Alex Maas present very early on; the rolling dual guitar riffs driving the tempo, with drone machine adding depth. It's nicely upbeat feel sets the mood for the rest of the album; it is certainly not a disappointing start after their leave of absence.
‘Tired Eyes' is overall more mellow despite the strong drum presence, the organ sound is less prevalent but the guitars and bass of Kyle Hunt and Jake Garcia are brought into focus to compensate. Hot on its heels follows ‘Diamond Eyes', possibly the strongest track on the album with its haunting and reverberating vocals accompanied by shoegaze-esque guitars and the driving drums yet again in control. The balance of elements is almost perfect in its execution here, and their prowess as a band is as finely tuned as it could possibly be.
‘The Flop' is governed by the organ sound stealing the show at the opening of the track before the percussion of Stephanie Bailey bites and doesn't let go. The vocals reverb once more and the whole track finished off with an abrupt ending - which brings the 'always leave them wanting more' adage to mind as certainly you wish it would go on longer.
‘An Occurrence At 4507 South Third Street' is probably one of the more bizarrely named psych tracks you are likely to come across. No less brilliant than any of its predecessors, the lyrics are very Black Angels - "going down with a gun in my hand" - well there had to be a reference in there somewhere. The guitar shines through strongly here and the repeating organ melody adds an overly rhythmic effect to the song.
Penultimate track ‘The Executioner' has been circuiting the psych scene for some time already this year with its lazy repetitive drum and guitar duet opening. Maas' vocal range is displayed well here and the increase of tempo in patches keeps things consistently interesting. The track builds in the centre before returning to the intro tempo once more to close. "If it feels good, do it again", we are told, and this is a song that certainly will be 'done again' through repeated plays, I am sure.
As they draw to a close with ‘Linda's Gone' - which is also the longest track on the album - it opens with a different feel to the preceding tracks with spaghetti Western-style guitars, and what sounds suspiciously like a violin, accompaniment. The lengthy instrumental sections are a change of tact for The Black Angels, and yet so well orchestrated that it is easy to see why they receive such credit: their music has a versatility which will never grow old.
The Black Angels set the bar high for themselves after previous releases, and it was easy for many fans to wonder where they would go next - and if they could possibly improve on 'Indigo Meadow'. I think the answer is undoubtedly clear in what they have produced on 'Clear Lake Forest'.
Shot in a school hall in the small Victorian town of Bacchus Marsh, and directed by long time friend Steven Tandy, check out the video above to 'Pull The Trigger', the new single from Melbourne garage rockers Apes.
The just released digital track is as strong on its visuals as its hooks, energy and melodic layers. in an effortlessly pop wrapping. The video perfectly embodies the band's energetic live delivery, and does so without the help of any clever visual embellishments, but with just the assistance of a few interesting sideways glances from the school's janitor.
'Pull The Trigger' was produced by Michael Belsar of fellow Melbournian's Hunting Grounds and mixed by Bill Skibbe (The Black Keys, Wild Belle, The Kills, The Dead Weather).
Words: Linn Branson
So, hello....and who do we have here then? Tell us your full name and address - okay, we'll let you off the address; don't want hoards of girls dropping in on you do we...!
Hello. I'm Rory Wynne. No, we don't. I can't be doing with the screaming at all.
And how and where do we find your good self at this point? I believe you have been or still are over in Ireland this week? But most of the time you are based at home in Stockport?
I'm now back on home soil in Stockport. I'm in Reddish right now, actually, where I grew up. I do live in Heaton Moor, however.
Right, check. As long as you know where you are, eh. Now, is this school hols time for you, young sit? How do you plan on filling the summer?
It is, yes. Sometime in September we go back - too soon to be honest! I don't have any plans really, just to keep writing new songs, and listening to new things. I want to try experimenting with a few things musically as well. I think I want to go a bit more punk. We shall have to see though.
I think most who know of you may know this, but for those who don't, and may wonder about the school reference: how old are you again?
I am now 15 - half-way to thirty.
Okay, so 15 now, but the songs you have out online you wrote and recorded when you were...what...14? 13?
Mostly 14. I started at 12, so there are ideas from here there and everywhere age-wise.
Do your teachers at school know about your music life, or have you kept it pretty much away from the 'day job'? Have they been supportive in your music endeavors?
Some of them do. The ones that do have been supportive, yeah.
Acting as your own PR, give us a short spin on Rory Wynne: the songs, the influences, your best points...
Rory Wynne is a handsome young fella...just kidding! Here we go: Born in 1999 in Stockport, Manchester, Rory was brought up on a steady diet of rock n roll with sides of indie, punk and Irish music. With those influences anchored in his blood, Rory started writing his own music. Mostly fast, in-your-face tracks yet some tracks more soft, delicate and even ambient. Rory plays guitar, drums, keys and tries to sing. With a cool style, swagger and cocky vocals, Rory is surely destined to be a full-time rock star. I took some lines from reviews.
You were going great there until the last bit. If the music falls through, you could take up the publicity side, you know. So how did you come to pick up the guitar and turn to writing?
I first took up guitar when I was maybe 5, 6 ...or 7, I can't remember, because I got a guitar and lessons for my birthday or Christmas. I wasn't very keen then as it was classical guitar and at that time I had a MP3 player with rock and blues and punk etc. So I wanted to play songs like that. I gave it up. Then the Christmas or birthday before I started secondary school I got a white Telecaster with an amp and lessons at school with Mr Connor, and I realised then that that's all I wanted to do really. I think it was either that year or the one after that I wrote me my first song, 'I Know She Knows'. Then it all took off from there.
Given your age, you seem to be making a fair bit of headway on radio. I believe Tom Robinson knows of you, is that right? And you have also been on Pure Radio and of course had the national airplay with the session and phone interview on XFM with John Kennedy. Tell us a little about all and how they came about?
Tom Robinson knows of me, yeah. I've been told by a colleague of his that he "loves me" and he's given me heaps of advice which I am very thankful for. Tom first got in touch with me when I uploaded 'Heart of Stone' to his website 'Fresh On The Net' 'cause I read somewhere that the site was brilliant for advice on how to get started. And it is, the best. I saw there was a link or something that said 'upload your music here' and that's what I did. Weeks later I got an email from him saying he wanted to play my track on one of his shows and he was a big fan of 'Post Party Confusion' - another of my songs - as well.
I did a session and interview on Pure as well, which was my first one so as you can tell if you watch the YouTube video I was very inexperienced. Then XFM, well I listen every night to John Kennedy's X-Posure show as it's my favourite show and I remember one night I just thought maybe I should send him my stuff. So I wrote to him with a Soundcloud link asking if he'd check it out; he did and he liked it. His favourite was 'The Storm' and he played that a few times, and included it in his 'Tips for 2014'.
Then I finished my record - which I hope to release sometime before I die! Nah, I want to release it next year definitely - so I dropped off a copy of that to XFM in a parcel with his name on when I was down in London. About a week later I was listening and 'Post Party Confusion' was played as an 'X-Posure Hot One' or 'X-Posure Big One'. I was surprised and he said he liked it and then he played 'I Know She Knows' later in the same show. Then a month later or so I went to school as usual and was sitting when the fire alarm went off, to cut a medium-length story short we were sent home for the next 3 days and we were finished for holidays then anyway. So I emailed John saying I'd got a free few days would you want me to record a session, and he said 'go on then'. So I did and a few days later he emailed back saying he liked them and was going to use them. And that was that we did the phone interview the week after. While we're on radio, I'd just like to mention Bruce Ravid in the US as well, another who has given me loads of advice and a few plays recently.
Fire alarms...school shutting...you weren't up to no good setting off the fire sprinklers yourself were you to get a day off?
No, no, not me.
Who are the musical influences behind Rory Wynne and how would you say that has impacted in your style and sound, if at all? I gather you write everything on a laptop, in your bedroom, is that right?
I write on paper then record via the laptop which barely works any more. The Influences are very varied. My first influences were: The Beatles, The Jam, The Kinks Blondie, Mammas and Pappas, The Who. I think it was 'Rolling Stone Magazine Top 500 Songs' that I had on an MP3 player and that was all I listened to between the ages of 4/5 - 7/8 out of choice. My Dads music collection had a lot of influence he listens to Rock, Blues, Irish, Indie, Metal so I picked up bits off that especially some of the Rock : Pearl Jam, Guns n Roses, Nirvana etc. And the Indie, Blues & Punk. I think that shaped what I listen to now and my style and sound definitely come directly from that. From the age of 8/9 to 11 I started listening to mainstream pop for some reason. And now I listen to all that I used to listen to - and think it's utter rubbish! I obviously felt some kind of appeal then. But I don't think that's influenced me much at all. So my style and sound comes from 'Rolling Stone Magazines Top 500 Songs' and what my Dad listened to.
What is the process for you? ie do you sit in a boring maths or science lesson coming up with song lines or a guitar tuning you want to try out? Or do you get a melody first and then fit words to it?
I don't really have much of a process. The only kind of thing that's occurred in all my songs is that I wrote the whole song at once. I know some artists like to come up with riffs and give them time to develop but once I start I have to finish. I never write the music first, I always write lyrics first or just do both as I go. So I'm sorry but no super productive processes' here.
The three songs we have heard online 'Post Party Confusion', 'I Know She Knows' and 'The One Before The Next One'....tell us a little about each.
'Post Party Confusion' was just, well I had a structure which I wrote down as riff-verse-riff-verse-riff-verse-riff-chorus etc. And I just wrote some lyrics that I wanted to be funny and unrealistic yet some people though they're stupid he's clearly never been out that'd never happen. All that is true but I wasn't trying to be realistic I just wanted a fun song. 'The One Before The Next One' I wrote whilst listening to an awful lot of The National, in fact that was all I listened to for a month or two at least. And it's just simple chords with that riff and droney vocals. The lyrics are just about how a character says something that he's never going to do so when he says it it's 'The One Before The Next One'. I had that as I title for the album so I tried to write lyrics around that. The production on the non-session version I'm pretty proud of and I can't wait for people to hear it. 'I Know She Knows' is... about a character who is reflecting on school love life. It was the first song I wrote.
'PPC' - written from personal experience? With it referring to beers, black eyes and fights - one would hope not!
Unfortunately not. I'm not that exciting, unless I'm playing of course.
'I Know She Knows' - you have described this as "a love song", but you sounded on JK show as if you didn't want to divulge too much more about it?
Ah-hah, could this be the Rory Wynne equivalent of James Blunt's 'Beautiful'...? Hmm.
You have a rich timbre to your voice which I think if people were unaware of your age and had to guess they would place you in a much older age group. Is this your natural sound, or have you had any vocal training?
I haven't had vocal training - and I never want it. This is my natural sound. I don't think my music is meant to be sang perfectly. I don't think anything is 'perfect'; in fact, I hate the word. It's those little imperfections that bring out the human element to music.
Although we have you as a solo performer, you played your first band gig recently - with The Jumping Pandas. So is the band side to work alongside you solo, or is the idea to record solo but have a band for live dates?
At the minute it's record solo an play with then live however this could change depending on the feedback I get.
What are your long term aims: a career in music, or is this just a 'hobby' more at this time in your life?
I want a career in music. I can't see myself doing much else.
You now have a few sentences for your big plug to push whatever you might want to promote. Use it wisely. Go.....
The new single is on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google, YouTube Channel.
Last word: spill your word or words of wisdom. Say 'pass' if you have none.
Put yourself first.
In our book you can never have too much of Dan Reeves - of Cold Pumas and as here, Soft Walls - and MJ of Hookworms - producer of more artists we have featured on Little Indie than probably any other individual - so this is a double delight in that this track, 'Never Come Back Again', is from Soft Walls' new full-length 'No Time' - out tomorrow - and also happens to have been mixed by MJ.
If you like your drones and you like that propulsive drum beat, then you will undoubtedly love this. Get a load of the vocal trick too that makes our spines ever-so-slighly quiver.
This is one fabulous track. Very much in the Cold Pumas vein, but with a few minor adjustments here and there to create its own stamp.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
Do you ever, on listening to a track without knowing what the artist looks like, conjure up your own image? Well, we did with Honne, and although we can't give an exact description of what we had in mind, a baseball cap might have been involved.
It was, as you can see from above photo, an image quite wide of the mark we were to realise.
"Ok, it's 3.17 AM. You're tuned in with your main man, Tommy Inglethorpe. This next song's gonna keep you warm on a cold, cold night. So if you don't got a lover, just close your eyes. And listen, to Honne."
No, that's not us getting all late night smoochy but the opening to this debut single 'Warm On A Cold Night' from the aforementioned Honne, as introduced on the track by a late-night US radio DJ. The duo work a deep and seductive vocalled Frank Ocean style with that kind of James Blake electronic style that feeds through a R n B filter.
Honne are a soulful electronic duo who hail from Somerset and Wiltshire - via London's Bow. Vocalist Andy met producer James on their first day of university in the capital, where they immediately hit it off. From there they gradually began to develop their sound and production skills, before a trip to Japan instilled the idea of Honne: a Japanese word for "True Feelings" with no Western equivalent, describing the contrast between what one really thinks, and what they project to others - which they felt summed them up.
So far, Honne seem to be projecting an accomplished, polished sound. What we think is that Honne could just be on the verge of hitting the big time...even if they don't wear baseball caps.
'Warm On A Cold Night' is released on September 1 via Super Recordings.
East Anglia's Real Life Charm made their first appearance last autumn with their debut single 'Freud'. which was followed soon after by an EP. After spending the last months writing and recording their next EP, the first taste is new track 'Khor Ba' - scroll down to the end to stream.
Drawing comparisons to alt-J and Youth Lagoon, the eight-piece collective are hands-on in creating all aspects of their music in-house from their Norwich hub: writing, recording / production / mixing through to directing / shooting / editing videos. Even their visuals and illustrations are taken care of by member Adam Avery, a freelance illustrator whose work has appeared in the Guardian, Sunday Times and WIRED.
Real Life Charm was founded by T P Hyland and Adam Avery while both were studying at Norwich University of the Arts and, frustrated at looking at fine artists taking themselves so seriously, they both set out to create something unique, highly visual and a project akin to their favourite conceptual records and art rock peers.
T P set out asking friends and friends of friends who played instruments: Frank, the piano playing producer; Narayan, the multi-instrumental genius; Dan, the guitarist who makes the guitar sound like anything but; Scott, the tall and handsome bassist, and George and Jason, two best friends who both play electronic and acoustic drums respectively. They locked themselves away in a studio for a year and began to write...which is where we came in.
Real Life Charm are: T P Hyland - vocals; Adam Avery - illustration & visuals; Frank Walker - keys & production; Narayan O Hanlon - samples, violins, co-production; Dan Fretwell - guitar, Scott Aldridge - bass, George Welsh - electronic drums; Jason Naylor - acoustic drums
'Khor Ba' was digitally released on July 25 and will be available to download from Monday.