Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Track Of The Day :: Memory Tapes - Fallout

First single 'Fallout' b/w 'House On Fire' - out today, March 31 via Carpark Records, is the new offering from Dayve Hawk’s musical project Memory Tapes.

The chillwave track follows the Nes Jersey artist's 2012 album 'Grace/Confusion', and comes after a hiatus by Hawk following personal and professional problems, including trashing an entire album he had been working on; a new, fresh one is, however, scheduled for later this year.

The four-and-a-half minute 'Fallout' resounds on buoyant synths, reverb rich guitars and clipped beats.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Listen :: Pelts - Stand Behind The Rope

Originally from Cincinnati and now based in Los Angeles, both members of electronic synth-pop duo Pelts - Jim Swill (vocals) and Henry Sugar (production) - have a background in electronic, punk and hip-hop and wanted to create a new fusion of these tastes with an emphasis on making music that is both pop and experimental, containing strong lyrical conten that is both socially relevant and digestible.

Recently released February single, 'Stand Behind The Rope' fits the bill pretty aptly, with Swill’s edgy, metaphor-laden lyrics fused with Sugar’s electronic/hip-hop-inspired beat. "The song was written about obtaining government papers in a courthouse, which later became this elaborate poem about bureaucracy in general; as things fall apart around us the rules are still upheld, and the uneasiness that comes along with that," explains Swill.

Watch :: White Shadows - Give Up, Give Out, Give In

From the new project by Craig Nicholls of The Vines and Nick Littlemore of Empire of the Sun and Pnau, comes the first single from the upcoming debut album 'Secret of Life', out on April 13 in the UK.

The track was co-produced by Littlemore and his younger brother Sam, known for his part in Australian bands such as Peking Duk and Parachute Youth.

'Give Up Give Out Give In' was originally recorded by The Vines as a B-side to their 2006 single, 'Don't Listen To The Radio'.

White Shadows have now revealed the slightly surreal visual journey via Melvin J. Montalban and Dylan Duclos' directed video for 'Give Up Give Out Give In'. Watch below.

Track Of The Day :: Girls Names - Zero Triptych

At one second off 11 minutes, Irish post-punk foursome Girls Names have undoubtedly set themselves up for producing one of the lengthiest tracks of the year with the fairly major soundscapes of new single 'Zero Triptych'.

The post-punk feel of 'The New Life' -their last EP of 2013 EP - is still here, but more as an undercurrent over which flows psych-rock guitars, propulsive rhythm and skittish synths. The mesmeric “symphony in three parts” is menacing and atmospheric, and while the track may be a long one, its multitudinous parts more than fill the time.

'Zero Triptych' is out on May 11 via Tough Love.

Listen :: Elephant Memoirs

Alternative indie rockers Elephant Memoirs, who hail from Gateshead, have recently released their debut single, 'Mug'.

According to the trio their sound is, 'a driving powerful rhythm section, accompanied by melodic distorted guitar', which pretty much sums up this first offering.  Four-and-a-half minutes of pounding drums and lyrics which draw in the darker depths - "When Fate calls for me/with a parting word not a kickstart/then I'll sink my teeth into it's heart" - and it's got a few strong hooks to boot.

With music comparisons to Biffy Clyro, BRMC, and QOTSA and lyrically covering themes such as love, prejudice, frustration and life in general, the band has gone from strength to strength since the release of a four-track demo back in August last year.

A new EP is planned for later this summer.

Elephant Memoirs are: John Aspinall (Vocals/Guitar), Carl Aspinall (Bass), Barry Drew (Drums.


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