Sunday, 23 November 2014

Win Tickets To See Citizens! & Wild Smiles Play Original Penguin Plugged In Show

Fashion brand Original Penguin continues its mission to celebrate the very best in musical trailblazers with its Plugged In series, which gives musical visionaries a platform to showcase exactly why they are considered to be original and pioneering.

London four-piece Citizens! release 'Lighten Up', the first single from their new album on December 1, which marks a return for their catchy dancefloor melodies, and precedes the album 'European Soul', out In Spring 2015.  The record is produced by Phoenix collaborator Laurent d'Herbecourt and combines the format of European pop with the testifying emotion and textures of American Soul.

Wild Smiles are Rob da Bank's newest signings to his Sunday Best label and their debut album 'Always Tomorrow' caused a huge stir on the blogosphere on its release, as well as picking up plays from the likes of Zane Lowe and Huw Stephens on Radio 1.

The Original Penguin Plugged In shows of 2014 have already played host to current and future stars including house duo Gorgon City, drum and bass don Wilkinson, Scottish rock superstars Twin Atlantic, Mercury Prize nominated singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey, indie poster boys Peace and New York indie-rock stalwarts We Are Scientists alongside a host of upcoming talent including Thumpers, Tigercub and We The Wild all in the intimate confines of London’s Hospital Club.

To win tickets to Citizens! and Wild Smiles on December 10 at the Hospital Club in London, visit Plugged In Sessions.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Track Of The Day :: California X - Nights In The Dark

Massachusetts punk four, California X unleash their second album 'Nights In The Dark' early in the New Year, to follow their self-titled debut.

Engineered by Justin Pizzoferrato (Speedy Ortiz, Dinosaur Jr), check out the title track below. A murky distortion across five minutes of anthemic grunge fuzz.

'Nights In The Dark' is out on January 13 2015 via Don Giovanni.

Friday, 21 November 2014

Live Review :: The Jesus And Mary Chain :: Manchester Academy - Nov 20 2014

Live Review

The Jesus and Mary Chain

Manchester Academy

November 20 2014

Words: Belle Samuel

There were undoubtedly those here tonight who weren't even born when The Jesus and Mary Chain were around the first time, but there are still enough of those in the greying, poundage added department queueing outside on Oxford Road to tell that this was no ordinary gig night.

As excitement  amongst the capacity-filled room became as tangible as the sweat pouring off the balding fiftysomethings, the band - now stretched to a five-man unit - began with vocalist Jim Reid telling the crowd how they would play “the encore first”, referring to the bunch of later material which made up the first section of the 21-song set, and comprised of the likes of 'April Skies', still remaining as relevant and fresh to today's listeners as it did back in 1987.  'Reverence' scratches like nails on metal, although it was not until 'Upside Down', the last song of the 'encore', that the crowd really began to come alive.

The Reid brothers - William hanging with guitar to a lesser spotlight, but both still delivering an urgency and unadulterated cool that has not dimmed over the years - have been back together now for seven years, and reapplied with varying degrees of both sharp intensity and almost breathless rage, a sound that weaves between ferocious mindblowing power and cautious fragility.

When they return to the stage after the break, it is to play the whole of 'Psychocandy', almost 30 years since it had first been aired, and now considered generally to rank on the all-time classics list. Decibel levels peak throughout' Just Like Honey', 'The Hardest Walk' and 'The Living End' and 'In A Hole'.  Crashing waves of reverb and feedback echo in the Academy room as well as ringing eardrums as they draw to a close on the fearsome three of 'You Trip Me Up', 'Something's Wrong' and 'It's So Hard'.

Tonight was a reminder of the past for those who had been there the first time, and for the new striplings coming to witness how it used to be done back in 'the good old days'. Filled with moments of magic, of genius, of sheer noise abandonment, and mostly a big rush of twisted psycho fury and sweet-tasting candy.

Set list:

1. April Skies
2. Head On
3. Some Candy Talking
4. Psychocandy
5. Up Too High
6. Reverence
7. Upside Down

8. Just Like Honey
9. The Living End
10. Taste the Floor
11. The Hardest Walk
12. Cut Dead
13. In a Hole
14. Taste of Cindy
15. Never Understand
16. Inside Me
17. Sowing Seeds
18. My Little Underground
19. You Trip Me Up
20. Something's Wrong
21. It's So Hard

Introducing :: New Oxford

Formerly known as Revier up until this summer, when vocalist Jack Frogatt departed, things could have been looking dicey, but instead the now re-labelled New Oxford have picked themselves up, swung guitarist Emerson Noble onto vocals and just released their debut single, 'Lockup Garage'.

The Sydney three-piece - described as the bastard love-child of Silversun Pickups and Bombay Bicycle Club - launched their initial EP in December of last year under their old moniker. Having spent the best part of 2014 formulating a new sound, their debut EP is set for release shortly.

New Oxford play a single launch show on November 25 at The Vanguard, Newtown, NSW.

New Oxford are: Emerson Noble - vocals/guitar, Connor Mackenzie - piano, Lewis New - drums.

[Video] Iceage - Against The Moon

Taken from their new album 'Plowing Into The Field Of Love', Danish punks Iceage now reveal the video for 'Against The Moon'.

Directed by Martin Masai Andersen and Kim Thue, the film is shot in black and white, the images of weathered faces and beaten limbs is stark and haunting.

Track Of The Day :: The Trotskies - DYR

Fab piece of psych drones here from Melbourne-based five-piece, The Trotskies, on their first single, the near five-minute long 'DYR'.

Coming from their imminent second EP, both track and video draw on their ‘70s and ‘80s post-punk vibe, with a dark hypnotic beat to visuals that hark back to the days of the gangster movie - with an ultimately surreal finale. Jack Rudich's vocals, whilst present only for approximately 70 out of just under 300 seconds of song, nevertheless provides the right sense of forboding behind the layers of synths, percussion and droning guitars.

Having released their debut EP in 2013, with lead single cut 'Vis A Vision' taken from it, and live outings since then supporting Kele, Wolf Cub and Gang Of Youths, The Trotskies have been steadily garnering a fanbase in Australia. 'DYR' could be the one that puts them on a wider stage.

The Trotskies Live Dates

29. The Workers Club, Melbourne
05. Black Bear Lodge, Brisbane
06. Brighton Up Bar, Sydney
07. Howler, Melbourne
Also appearing at Beyond The Valley Festival December 30 - January 1 2015
Phillip Island Circuit, Phillip Island, Victoria


November 21 2014 - Hot Top Ten

Montreal/Stockholm husband and wife duo Erika and Simon Angell who we first featured back in January, return with another track from their 'Turning Rocks' album. Catch them on current European tour, playing two UK dates: December 1, The Hope, Brighton and Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London on 4th.

Latest find hailing from Newcastle, this is the sparse and enigmatic debut track, written recorded and produced by this up and coming new 22-year-old artist. Already starting to create a blogosphere buzz and received radio airplay via XFM, this could be one to watch.

Not a band of musical dentists, but the scuzzy garage Brooklyn duo, here with one of the two tracks from their split with Big Ups released this week. Jangly screech punk with crunchy guitars, this follows their 'Bighead' EP debut earlier in year.

Melbourne experimental electronic duo, formed in 2013. Their debut EP 'Domesticated' is out on December 1 via Dry Cry Records. Alisha Linsdell and Dylan Hill have married acoustic sounding elements with a heavy synthesized electric vibe.

New single - out November 30 - from the Bristol quartet, which melds big harmonies and well-attuned melody. Catch them live tonight (November 21) at The Sanctuary, Basingstoke.

New track from Birmingham's grungemeisters, dishing out another raft of sharp riffs, kick-ass beat and fuzzy sonics.

New London-based producer delivers an intimate deep house track, with hus own vocal added to this as well as piano and synth swells to create a warmly layered work.

Debut single of Paris-based Charles Braud, giving up a taste of Gallic pop. Mais oui.

Shimmery 80s style pop from New York sibling duo, marking the release of their debut EP 'Magic' - out today - with this lead cut. Catch them tonight when they play their first UK gig at The Stillery in London.

Third single from the Brighton outfit which, according to writer and singer Natti Shiner, is about "realising a relationship isn't ever going to go anywhere, despite how sad it feels & how much you really want it to work."

Thursday, 20 November 2014

LANKS Unveils New Track 'Beach Houses' - Listen

First included in our September round-up of new sounds from Australia, Will Cuming - LANKS - is now streaming a new track, 'Beach Houses'.

The Melbourne-based producer first made waves with his 'Thousand Piece Puzzle' EP and 'Brave Man' single cut, with an emphasis on chilled multi-textured melodies. His latest track nestles electronic beats and yearning vocals, with trippy synths, and laid-back RnB groove.

'Beach Houses' is self-released this week and available as a free download. A second EP is due early next year.

New December Single From The CHAMPS Brothers

CHAMPS, aka Isle of Wight brothers Michael and David Champion, announce new single ‘Desire’, released thru Play It Again Sam.

The first track from their forthcoming album ‘Vamala’, due next February, 'Desire's lovelorn beauty, with its wistful entrance giving way to a sweeping musical panorama of love and rejection, sees CHAMPS veer away from the pared back feel of their debut ‘Down Like Gold’.

CHAMPS play  The Stillery  Camden on December 2.

Listen :: Jack Garratt

London producer Jack Garratt has already been hailed by Radio One's Zane Lowe when his new single, the RnB-influenced 'The Love You're Given was premiered as the 'Hottest Record In The World'.

Following his debut EP 'Remnants' success, Garratt has cemented his presence as one of the most promising artists of the year with undoubtedly more to come in 2015.

See upcoming December live dates at top of post.

EP Review :: Tenterhook - Tenterhook 2


Tenterhook 2

November 24 2014 (Cartoon Records)


Words: Alison Mack

A fairly rapid follow-up to the August release of his debut EP, shows young Archie Faulks is not about wasting time sitting back on tours with the likes of Ásgeir on his European tour and playing London's massive Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Not bad for a young musician who few had heard of this time last year.

Like his first, this second EP also contains four tracks, including the recently unveiled 'Go Easy', and adhere to a similar pattern with Faulks' emotion-rife vocals flowing over often minimal, but uniquely affecting, instrumentation and melancholic guitars, although the majority of the songs on this second outing are more upbeat than previous.

The EP opens on the breezy 'Go Easy', which leads onto the more ponderous 'Whispers'. 'Steady', composed around mainly just acoustic guitar and signature fragile vocal to start before violin strains enter, is the most down-key of the bunch, while 'Rest My Head' may sound fairly somnolent, it is kept afloat by its back drum beat.

Slow-burn, articulately constructed, measured compositions to feed the heart.

Nothing Share Video Ahead Of UK Tour

Already our Track Of The Day last month with 'July The Fourth', Philly's heavy shoegazers Nothing have this week dropped their split-release with Whirr, which also features 'Chloroform'.

The track shows more of a pop-focussed Nothing, with Don Argott’s video showing footage of the band performing - with a kidnapping thrown in.

Nothing are over in the UK now for a handful of live shows, starting tomorrow.

21. Green Door Store, Brighton
22. The Oobleck, Birmingham
23. Broadcast, Glasgow
24. Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
25. Birthdays, London

Whirr/Nothing split is out now on Run For Cover.

First Listen :: Power Swan

After having uploaded two tracks to Soundcloud in the last 24 hours under the name Power Swan, and then sending us a cryptic email to alert us to them - that is where we come in, and where we stick.

We think he's definitely American, lives in Austin, Texas, known as Hunter, and that's about it. So if you know this man, please contact us in the first instance as we're pretty much groovin out on these two fuzzy grungers.

Track Of The Day :: Osca - Trumpet

Going for their Little Indie Track Of The Day hat-trick are Osca with new single 'Trumpet'. Following 'Blood' in July and 'Illume' the following month, the London four-piece now unveil the third track from their just released 'Blood' EP.

Note wanting to blow out own trumpet, we have followed Jack Kenworthy and his merry band since ... well, since they were called Kenworthy, in fact. Now they've gone all moody blowing their trumpet ... sort of. In fact, there's not a single solitary trumpet to be heard on 'Trumpet'. What there is, is plenty of layered guitars, percussion and synth sounds that take a smooth ride behind Jack's vocal, slowly graduating to a driving rhythmic pace before coming to a glitchy end.

According to JK, the track's writer, it was inspired by reading about the life of jazz trumpeter Joss Moody, a jazz trumpeter in the 50s, who was born a female but lived as a man so that he could become a musician. "The line ‘It all doesn’t matter, let the trumpet sound’ is a direct reference to the book,” he says.

Hear it live when Osca play two upcoming London dates: their first London show this Friday (November 21) at The Stillery, London, followed by November 25 at The Montague Arms

'Blood' is out now on iTunes via Duly Noted Records.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Listen :: Macatier

Shortly to release his third EP, 23-year-old, 'upbeat acoustic' musician Dan Brown, otherwise known as Macatier ("pronounced Mac-a-tee-er"), has released ‘Swimming To Canada’ as the lead single.

Recorded and produced by the Guildford-based musician (who also did the artwork himself), ‘This Boat Is Definitely Sinking' is the follow-up to last December's 'The Outside World' and debut work of 2012, 'A Year From Now'.

Having supported and played alongside acts such as Marika Hackman, The Xcerts and All The Young - in amongst well over 200 gigs he's played over the last couple of years - he has shown he can engage both a folk rock audience as much as an acoustic one. 'Swimming To Canada' highlights both his rawness of vocal and unstintingly raw lyrics.

‘This Boat Is Definitely Sinking' is digitally released on December 8.