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Issue n°162

July 2013

Janelle Monáe

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MovieUK

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[regulars] In The Studio O4 win stuff O6 john kerrison’s graphic content 1O stop’n’chat 12 OnesToWatch 16 [features] janelle monÁe 22 daughn gibson 30 swim deep 36 film: the world’s end 40 [reviews] albums 46 lives 56 six shots 66 Icons. We’ve not had that many decent ones in recent years (Kanye notwithstanding). Lady Gaga might be a massive phenomenon, but she’s hardly a musical genius. In this month’s cover artist Janelle Monáe, you sense there’s a burgeoning international star. An intellectual, high-concept artist and musician with the potential to be this generation’s Prince. (Fittingly, he appears on her record, ‘The Electric Lady’, which is due on September). Plus she looks cool. Turn to page 22 to read Daniel Ross’ interview with the former chambermaid from Kansas... JJ DUNNING, editor Janelle Monáe, shot by Tom Oldham for The Fly, London, June 2013

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the-fly.co.uk

I n T h e S t u d io

MGMT Andrew VanWyngarden (left) says MGMT’s new album isn’t weird – but it was conceived from over 30 hours of improvised jamming...

Producer: Dave Fridmann Confirmed Tracks: ‘Alien Days, ‘A Good Sadness’, ‘Your Life Is A Lie’, ‘Introspection’, ‘Plenty Of Girls In The Sea’, ‘I Love You To Death’ Studio: Tarbox Road, Upstate New York, NY Due: September 2013 Hi Andrew, is the record finished yet? Have you heard it? No? [Laughs] Good. If you had that would be a pretty amazing first question! It’s all shiny and ready to go. It’s a pretty big change from ‘Congratulations’, as opposed to a full band it was just me and Ben [Goldwasser]. It was the most active the-fly.co.uk

Dave Fridmann has been of the three times [we’ve worked together]. It was nice to get back to it being just Ben and I, like in college. A few tracks were more traditional, but a lot came from improvisations that we put melodies to. What was the vision for the album? We wanted there to be at least some moments where there was more space. We wanted a freer, more open, feeling. ‘Congratulations’, which reflected a particular time for us, felt a little bit uptight. We were obsessed with doing takes over and over, which can take the life out of something. We tried to keep obsessive self-filtering to a minimum and let

things blossom and develop. Lots of the songs have lots going on, but for whatever reason it feels more refined and it works as a whole. Were you conscious of the reaction to ‘Congratulations’ whilst making this record? Let’s not get into what people were saying about that. We’ve never really consciously made music that was a reaction to anything. ‘Congratulations’ wasn’t a conscious effort to back off and do something strange. This time we allowed ourselves some time off. We did other things and were able to step away, which got rid of pressure or stress

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when were writing this one. There were no deadlines; we were allowed to make things as they came. It’s a whole new thing. Did you discuss accessibility at all? When were 19 and wrote ‘Kids’, our goal with our little band was to [take the piss out of] mainstream pop in a sarcastic way. We would try

to make the catchiest songs possible. For the second and the third record that wasn’t the case. The second was lonely and inside itself. Now, for the third album, it’s just what’s coming out naturally. We gained a lot of fans on the last record because they sensed we were just a band doing what we wanted to do.

And are you still pursuing that, doing what you want? Touring ‘Congratulations’ was one of the most trying and stressful years I can remember. I don’t feel that constant strain or self-conscious, nervous insecurity as much now. There’s not a constant sensation that everything’s wrong.

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I don’t wanna preach a certain message or pretentious lesson, but I do think people will react really positively to the new album. Everyone we’ve played it to, including the label, is really excited. I really doubt we’ll have to react defensively to what we’ve done, like we did last time. We know we’re happy.

Bonus F a c toi d s Andrew didn’t really know where he was when we phoned: “I am in Tribeca, I guess.” Recent surgery means Andrew is unable to play guitar. “I’m studying YouTube videos to see what singers do,” he said. the-fly.co.uk

W I n S T u F F

win: mgmT Tickets! see the psych-pop duo live in london... MGMT are set to tour the UK later this year. The jaunt includes two shows at London’s Forum on 16th and 17th October - and we’re giving you the chance to win tickets to the second night. The dates follow the release of Andrew VanWyngarden and the-fly.co.uk

Ben Goldwasser’s third album in September. In this month’s In The Studio interview, which you’ll have just read on the preceding pages, VanWyngarden tells us about the recording process: “I really doubt we’ll have to react defensively to what we’ve

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done, like we did last time. We know we’re happy.” For your chance to win tickets to see MGMT’s long-awaited return to the capital, head to www. the-fly.co.uk to enter. For more info on MGMT go to their official website: www.whoismgmt.com.

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This aged 18xor x competition x xis only xopen toxUK residents x x x over with access to the internet and excluding employees of Beck’s and The Fly magazine. By entering the competition, you x x x x x x x x x x agree to our full Terms & Conditions, which can be found at the-fly.co.uk/tsandcs. Closing date for entries is 12th July. x x willxbe responsible x xfor thexcost ofxtheir own x travel x Allxapplicants and accommodation expenses incurred in connection with their at x attendance x x the show. x x x x x x x

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The Fly Promotion

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the-fly.co.uk

»John Kerrison’s Graphic content The Internet’s Guide To everything “Given the choice, Anne Frank probably wouldn’t have opted for her ‘lifestyle’...”

the-fly.co.uk

There are some things the internet is good at. Pornography, bickering, and copyright theft it has down pat. Providing good advice, not so much. For instance... “How To Look Like Andrea Corr (From The Band The Corrs)” This article request from WikiHow proves two things; firstly, explanatory text in brackets (like the example above) is quite often completely unnecessary, and secondly; the pressure of being Jim Corr has finally led to an online cry for help. I’ll avoid elaborating on this almost-joke because it heavily relies on your memory of a deeply average band who haven’t released a song in 13 years. Which raises the question, who chooses Andrea Corr as their style icon in 2013? Has there been a 20-year power cut somewhere? “How To Choose A Unique Name For Your Baby” Kanye probably read this article last month before deciding to dub his firstborn ‘North West’ – presumably an overly general attempt at naming a kid after the place of its conception. Generalities are more than welcome, however, considering an alternative based on specifics would probably result in celeb kids being named after the positions involved. Reverse Cowgirl West, anyone? Missionary Positionary Martin? IVF De Niro? Sits uncomfortably, doesn’t it? “How To Think For Yourself” Yes, really. Once this article has explained exactly how you should think for yourself you are given the opportunity to hand over your bank details entirely of your own volition. “How To Think Like A Wolf” I’m assuming this piece was created to help Liam Neeson research his role in The Grey, a film in which he had to both understand and punch wolves for a solid hour and a half. It turns out it’s not just “walking everywhere on four legs”, “communicating in whimpers” and “sniffing other ‘wolves’’ bums”, but also being open about it: “If your friends ask, then just explain what you are doing and they will respect that,” claims the author. In case you’re wondering, they absolutely fucking won’t. “How To Fly In Your Dreams” WikiHow actually has a page on How to Stop Reading Stupid Articles about Unnecessary Things. I ignored it and read, ‘How to Fly in Your Dreams’ instead, which contains the simple advice, ‘believe you can’, and was presumably either inspired by or written by R Kelly. “How to Live Anne Frank’s Lifestyle” This 13-step guide, again on WikiHow, at no point mentions living in an attic in constant fear of discovery and death. Nor does it mention that, if given the choice, Anne Frank probably wouldn’t have opted for her “lifestyle”. Having said that, point 10 does simply state, ‘Stay In The House’: a suggestion that grapples with the practicalities of the situation, while sadly negating the concept of tact. “How To Be Sexy” “Pick up a couple of sushi rolls and invite your man to eat a meal off your naked body. If he’s not a fan of raw fish, use Gummy Bears instead.” – Go home Cosmopolitan, you’re drunk. Sources: WikiHow, eHow, Cosmopolitan

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how To Think Like Kanye West baby names better than ‘north’

genuine desire to hear kim kardashian’s thoughts on important issues, such as The economy, kanye west, and kanye west.

baby names worse than ‘north’

sense of self worth 2, 3

misunderstanding of basic biology 1

statistical assumptions and race-related paranoia 6

humility

‘kanye’ as a baby name

rhetorical questions disguised as philosophy 5

musings on influential literature 4

controllable desire to then let Taylor swift finish

overwhelming desire to interrupt Taylor swift during fleeting moments of public joy

KeY: Real Quotes From Kanye 1 “I

got the answers. I understand culture. I am the nucleus.”

2 “My

greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live.”

3 “I

will go down as the voice of this generation, of this decade. I will be the loudest voice.”

4 “I

would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.”

“Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?”

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“I don’t know if this is statistically right, but I’m assuming I have the most Grammys of anyone my age, but I haven’t won one against a white person.”

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S T O P ‘ n ’ c h aT

FRANCIS ROSSI , STATUS QUO “I REALISE WHAT A PRICK I WAS...”

Hello Francis. You’ve an upcoming movie: ‘Bula Quo!’. Tell us more. This film idea came up a few years ago when we did Coronation Street [the band played at Les Battersby’s wedding in 2005]. The first script we saw was a little more violent. The backers wanted us [Rossi and bandmate Rick Parfitt] to be more like Morecambe & Wise. The general public see us as two jolly chaps. What’s the film about? [Bamboozling description of the plot that ends with the words:] and then they die and then they harvest their organs. We see this going on and they end up chasing us. Sounds confusing. Do you have any regrets in life? I can’t stand the documentary we had out last year called ‘Hello Quo’. I watch it and I realise what a prick I was most of my life. Us men, there’s something wrong with us. We should have our testicles removed early on. Just slam them in a door. That’s the quick route. the-fly.co.uk

Talking of cutting things off, you gave away your ponytail via The Sun newspaper in 2009. Would you grow it back? No. I feel rebellious having short hair. The idea of not looking at my hair anymore is such a plus. Who’s your weirdest fan? The lady who took the ponytail. Her and her husband are very, very keen. They turned up at one of the shows the other week and wanted to do this thing about where she’d been putting the, er, ponytail. Do you get my drift? It’s difficult to make any assumptions... I’m actually moving away from the phone in case the nasal receptors kick in. If she’s been using it as a pubic wig, then I believe that’s called a “merkin”. Oh, don’t... [knocking on hotel room door] Sorry, we’re on the move! We don’t have a bus, so now I’ve got to get on a fucking plane. I hate aeroplanes. What song do you wish you’d written? Snow Patrol! [sings] “...nah, nah, nah... chasing cars...” It’s extremely simple. It’s fucking marvellous. Are they your favourite band of recent years? No. What’s your favourite bit of the film? The outtakes! How many more records have Status Quo got in them? I’ve always thought one or two, and I’ve thought that since I was 30... [lusty pause] ...don’t you love a woman in uniform? Sorry? Where are you? It’s that close to the airport that we’re walking across. [DEAFENING SCOTTISH WIND] Funny day, I tell you. I’m gonna kill somebody for not having my bus ready. ‘Bula Quo!’ is released nationwide on 5th July.

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the debut album 13

01.07.13

the-fly.co.uk

24-hour

a&R Kicking off this year’s Bacardi Beginnings music mentoring programme, Rudimental and Bipolar Sunshine team up for a 24-hour creative challenge... Rudimental and Bipolar Sunshine are teaming up to write, record, release, rehearse and perform an original song, all within 24 hours. On Thursday 11th July, starting in a London studio at 7am, the artists will get together and thrash out an entirely new song, to be performed at a gig at 7pm that evening. The 24-hour A&R challenge is the first of three creative projects happening this year. The music mentoring programme brings the-fly.co.uk

together established artists with emerging ones, with the aim to push the boundaries of music releases in a unique series of creative projects. Now in its second year, Bacardi Beginnings offers a unique platform for some of the UK’s best up-and-coming music talent to showcase their sound to a wider audience. Speaking about the project, Rudimental’s Piers Agget says: “Getting exposure in the music industry has never been easy and is getting increasingly harder for new artists. We’ve been fans of Bipolar Sunshine’s work for a

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while now and it’s great that this kind of opportunity exists with Bacardi Beginnings. The programme is different to anything we’ve come across before – the development of an artist’s music from conception to promotion in just 24 hours is a huge challenge and will really push our and Bipolar Sunshine’s creativity and production skills.” To follow the artists’ progress, to stay up to date with the entire BACARDÍ® BEGINNINGS campaign, and to apply for tickets to the 24-hour A&R gig, visit www.bacardibeginnings.com.

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o n e s to wat ch

LUST FOR YOUTH Observant, nocturnal and very much alone, Swedish producer Hannes Norrvide explains his new album ‘Perfect View’... Words H annes N orrvide Photo C atherine C oleman

When recording ‘Perfect View’ I wanted it to sound like an after-party; not only the songs that the people attending listen to, but also the sounds of the couple arguing on the balcony or the people dancing and hooking up. Imagine something Greg Araki [American independent filmmaker] would write a film about and create a soundtrack for that. But, at the same time as being a soundtrack for an after-party, it’s also the sound of feeling alone, but not necessarily in a bad way. After reading ‘Mariamne’ by Pär Lagerkvist [Nobel the-fly.co.uk

Literature Prize-winning Swedish author] I started to think more of death, and a lot of the thoughts often came back to loneliness and feeling comfortable in being alone. It wasn’t so much the story itself that inspired me, it was more the feeling the book left me with after reading it. Most of the songs were recorded in Copenhagen where I live now, but they were later re-recorded in Gothenburg together with my friend Viktor Ottosson. He had some great ideas of how to record that were very different from my recording

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techniques. Having an extra pair of hands and his knowledge of sound definitely helped the recording.  In a way, I guess you can say that where [my last LP] ‘Growing Seeds’ was happening at the party, ‘Perfect View’ happens at the after-party, on the way home, or in bed with someone. In one sense that leaves room for a bigger emotional palette. The mixed emotion that the early mornings leave you with - that’s what ‘Perfect View’ is about. ‘Perfect View’ is released on Sacred Bones on 15th July.

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o n e s to wat ch

The Orwells Protests, whipping and spilt beer – teenage Chicago punks seek to brand themselves onto your conscience... Words L isa W right Photo T om O ldham

At first, The Orwells’ guitarist Matt O’Keefe seems pretty mild-mannered. However, his anecdotes suggest otherwise... “At our first show at SXSW there was a big, big miscommunication. They cut our set in half, so we played the-fly.co.uk

for ten minutes and then did this huge protest on stage. We held this one note until they threw us off. Mario [Cuomo, singer] started whipping his microphone around and then the security were trying to hold him back and people

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were throwing beers at the stage guys...” Fronted by Cuomo (who’ll say precisely zero words in our entire interview and then turn into a wild-eyed, juddering maniac the second he steps on stage later) and completed by Dominic Corso [guitar] and Brinner brothers Grant [bass] and Henry [drums], the Chicago quintet are a perfect amalgam of pure party and (semi-) professionalism. Coming on like the bratty younger brothers of Black Lips (“We owe our entire career to them, the first 500 songs we ever wrote were direct rip-offs of them,”

jokes O’Keefe), last year’s debut LP ‘Remember When’ and forthcoming EP ‘Other Voices’ may reek of youthful hedonism and small-town frustration, but The Orwells aren’t just here to fuck about. Having formed the band when they were just 15, the group are already four records in and showing no signs of stopping their prolific, blood-pressurethreatening journey. And now, with Dave Sitek at the production helm and a motley crew of industry ‘tastemakers’ tracking their every move, the gears are only going to kick up even further. “We’re at the age when a lot is changing. If you start a band when you’re 23 or something, I’d assume not a lot changes in your life. Whereas we started at 15, and now we’re 19...” O’Keefe continues. “That’s the tough thing, that what people liked about you from the beginning has to change, but you have to do it otherwise it just gets boring.” “We don’t want people to be like ‘Remember The Orwells? What the fuck have they been doing?’” adds Grant. “You have to be prolific. If you force people to keep you in their mind then they don’t have a choice.” But The Orwells needn’t worry (though admittedly, they don’t seem the types). Judging by the unhinged reaction that’s greeted them everywhere they’ve been so far, it doesn’t look like this lot will be disappearing from people’s minds any time soon.

Mø Danish minx is no wannabe... Words A lex D enney Photo T om O ldham Maybe it’s the language barrier, but Mø seems to be having a spot of bother arranging her thoughts into sentences today. “My songs are about being young and confused,” she says excitedly, “and feeling like, ‘RRRRRR, I don’t want to grow up, but I have to and I don’t know how!’” During our interview, the 24-year-old Danish musician real name Karen Marie Ørsted - never uses a word where an exclamation of the non-verbal kind will do. It’s apt for a musician who spent seven years trying on various guises before finding the perfect vehicle for proper artistic expression. Mø - which means ‘virgin’ in old Danish - started life as a “trashy” electroclash project, before Ørsted learned to dig deeper with her sound and sent some demos to NO WAV producer Ronni Vindahl. “It’s so fucking hard,” she continues, “but the more I got into it the more I realised I had to open up and do what I really wanted. It just takes time.” The hook-up with Vindahl was inspired: together, they paired cut-glass R&B with soulful pop melodies recalling Lykke Li at her most playful on tracks like ‘Maiden’ and ‘Pilgrim’. Before her debut arrives this autumn, new single, ‘Waste Of Time’ looks to put the polish on her cred-pop CV - Ørsted is equally at home discussing the Spice Girls as Sonic Youth and was once in a punk band called MOR. “I’ve always been quite aggressive,” she says of her punk ways, “but I’m also a very groovy, power-to-the-earth type person. I’m a big, uhh - contrast, you know? I’m either like [does meek face] or I’m like, RAAAA!” ‘Waste Of Time’ is released on Chess Club/RCA Victor on 7th July

‘Other Voices’ is out now on National Anthem/East End Records

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o n e s to wat c h

LAURA WELSH Candid songstress stitches emotional storytelling to sleek pop music... Words B en H omewood Photo T om O ldham the-fly.co.uk

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Laura Welsh’s music suits crumpled bedding. Take the sheets at the beginning of the Staffordshire-born singer’s ‘Cold Front’ video. It’s impossible to tell whether they’ve been rolled around in or wallowed tearfully in;

and Welsh’s music is built upon the honest emotions she associates with both. “Without honesty it doesn’t work,” she says with a Midlands twang. “It’s about writing honestly from where you are, and your experiences and surroundings.” ‘Cold Front’ follows a similarly lovelorn trajectory to predecessors ‘Hollow Drum’ and the Dev Hynes-produced ‘Unravel’. Underneath the pop gloss, there’s a relationship wasteland, its surface covered in screwed-up love letters and photographs torn in half. “I write in a moment, capture that raw feeling,” she continues. Much of Laura’s debut album was written during a year out after music college. “I stepped back and found out what sort of artist I wanted to be,” she explains. With her grainy, black and white visuals, polished, sultry songs (she’s also working with John Legend, Lana Del Rey producer Emile Haynie and one half of Rhye Robin Hannibal) Welsh’s craft is both classy and fashionable. “I like that the record has those two sides,” she says before excitedly describing sessions with John Legend as “pretty funny”. Laura now finds herself signed to Polydor and working with some of 2013’s most sought-after writers and producers. But, thanks to that underlying honesty, the opportunity doesn’t scare her. “I go on gut reactions; if I connect with a song I can feel it.” ‘Cold Front’ is released on Polydor on 15th July

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1. Jonathan Rado 2. Cheerleader 3. Jackson Scott 4. Raspberry Bulbs 5. GAPS

Don’t mistake Raspberry Bulbs for a black metal band. Hooks and even choruses lurk beneath the New Yorkers’ tangled dirge. ‘Deformed Worship’ is out on Blackest Ever Black next month. If MONEY were money, you wouldn’t want to spend them. You’d save them forever. Watch out for the (moderately priced) debut album from the slinky Mancs next month. Theirs may be a classic case of online buzz, scant recordings and industry-packed shows, but Cheerleader promise big-chorused indie-pop massiveness that’ll worry Brandon

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Flowers. Visit Cheerleadersounds. com. Stripped of his band’s hysterical weirdness, the solo debut of Foygen guitarist Jonathan Rado is a lilting beauty. Due on Woodsist soon. College dropout Jackson Scott’s bedroom pop-craft brings Cox, Pink and DeMarco to mind, but this Pittsburgh kid’s unobtrusive dreaminess is all his own. ‘Melbourne’ is out on Fat Possum in September. Bloody Knees are rank. Fantastically, their songs are soaked in more undesirable fluids than a Wetherspoons’

urinal and slacker than Humpty Dumpty’s trouser elastic. ‘Bloody Knees’ EP is out now. GAPS might give you goosebumps. Their whispered electronics distil the hedonism of a night out and the cosiness of night in. Facebook.com/ gapsmusic.

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An android? A psychiatric case study? A burgeoning international icon? Daniel Ross interrogates

Janelle Monรกe Portraits T om O ldham

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janelle monÁe The night before we join Janelle Monáe at her Marylebone hotel room, we attend a listening party for her second LP ‘The Electric Lady’. There, the Kansas-born psychedelic soul innovator tells the canapé-inhaling music industry usuals about the album’s inspiration: while touring her first album, an easel would appear on stage during the instrumental section of the soaring epic ‘Mushrooms And Roses’, upon which she would hastily paint the impressionistic image of a woman. Night after night, the same woman would appear on canvas with subtle variations. Such was the regularity of the image, someone close to her (she never actually says the word ‘therapist’) suggested she give it a name, so she could deal with it. She chose ‘The Electric Lady’. The following morning, made-up for her photo-shoot but naturally striking, petite and serene in a squishy lounge chair, she answers calmly and quietly. It would be going too far to say that Janelle Monáe doesn’t like journalists,

“I can definitely connect with being ‘the other’...” but the traditional push-and-pull of asking artists thoughtful questions and hopefully receiving interesting answers certainly does not apply. We talk first about the video to the first single from the new album, ‘Q.U.E.E.N.’, which casts Monáe as the rebel alongside Erykah Badu – a future museum exhibit that comes to life and storms around singing, “I can’t believe all the things they say about me.” But can you still be a rebel when you’ve been accepted, as she has, by popular culture? The answer is polite, but abrupt. “I rebel against labels. I defy every label that you put on me,” she says, firmly. Her insistence on giving a defiant message is admirable, but there has to be something rawer and more human in there. What sounds the-fly.co.uk

like a pretty tough upbringing (“I know what it’s like to live from cheque to cheque,” she hints) is given a coat of aspirant showbiz wax, the main message being the classic mantra ‘you can achieve anything when you put your mind to it’. But being a chambermaid in Kansas while she dreamed of being an artist in New York must have been frustrating? “Absolutely not. I enjoyed it. I was around a lot of women making me laugh, always asking me to sing while we would clean. Looking back, I think it was meant to give me more compassion and inspire my music. It was meant to make the working class my inspiration.” Speaking again of inspiration, Monáe also told the guests at the listening party that we should expect at least one very special, but secret, guest. And I know who it is. Even a cursory glance at her CV shows an intense connection with one kindred spirit in particular: Prince. She’s been to his house, they know each other well… so it’s Prince. Definitely Prince. I know it is. “Why do you know that?” she asks. “OK, I guess if you wanna build it up in your head… but I didn’t confirm that.” This is the first time things get a little cagey. A boundary is being tested, but she’s reacting with impeccable poise. Deflect, deflect, deflect. Perhaps it’s just because that’s the collaboration people want to hear the most, to hear two incredibly distinct yet similar artists showing off on the same song, I suggest. “I have a lot of relationships with a lot of artists. You’ve already said to yourself, ‘That’s who I wanna hear, so that’s who it is’? I love your conviction.” Like a pro, she’s turned a sticky situation into an empowering compliment directed back at me. Incredible. (Still, a Billboard interview published a couple of weeks after our interview confirms that suspicion: Prince is on the new record.) A nervous sort of conversational dance starts. Gentle inquiries about her youth and growing up in Kansas encourage her to elaborate slightly on her early life. It wasn’t a childhood where she felt

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janelle monÁe extreme prejudice, but it seems like a sense of alienation took a long time to leave her. “I can definitely connect with being ‘the other’,” she says. “Being an African American in society, being a woman in society… But I don’t consider myself ‘the other’ now. I belong to society and I don’t feel like a misfit. I definitely do not feel like an outcast.” Reconnected outcast or not, it’s tempting to view Janelle Monáe as a concept, not an actual person. Her music is rooted in allegorical, Orwellian sci-fi, with herself boldly cast as an android prophet. The image she presents to the world is not the real Janelle Monáe, and it’s that way on purpose, isn’t it? “Janelle Monáe is a constantly evolving concept. I’m finding out more about her as time goes. She’s constant, and that is a concept - the constant evolution of Janelle Monáe.”

“Janelle Monáe is a constantly evolving concept. I’m finding out more about her as time goes...” Is she nervous about letting people see any more of her than this fictional representation of herself? “Am I nervous?” she says, scrunch-browed and incredulous. “I’m not scared of human beings. I think I just… I do things on my own. You have a right to go to work and reveal what you want to reveal about yourself, and that’s the same approach that I take.” The difference being, of course, that going to work for Janelle Monáe is rather more interesting than it is for most Average Joebodys. One of the evils of being a pop star is that those people want to get that little bit closer to the artist. “It’s important to have boundaries with the public because everybody’s intentions are not always out of love and in your best interest.

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janelle monÁe So you have to protect yourself and your family and your privacy from those who have no respect for it. Some things can become a bigger focus than your music if you put it out there. I try to make sure I stay on-message and draw attention to the things that I feel are more beneficial.” But that’s difficult, isn’t it? People expect a level of access, and I don’t think people feel that they know you. “Where did you get your…” she hesitates. “Where’s your theory coming from?” Well, now that she’s a success in the public eye and a critical darling, people just want to know more about her life. Where she came from, what she likes, who she likes, maybe who she loves. But, as delightfully and professionally as she has done all morning, she rebuffs the thought. “They know the right things. They know the most important things.” Her relentlessly efficient answers make it

“I’M AN ARTIST. MY JOB IS TO START DIALOGUE...” clear no more information will be forthcoming. It’s time to back off and get into something she actually wants to talk about. We discuss the continuation of the concept that dominated both her debut EP, ‘Metropolis’, and her first album, ‘The Archandroid’, where Monáe assumed the role of Cindi Mayweather. Mayweather is an android (the real Janelle Monáe straight-facedly describes herself as one while she is being made up for the photo-shoot) on the run for falling in love with a human, Sir Anthony Greendown. Does ‘The Electric Lady’ pick up where ‘The Archandroid’ left off? “Cindi is still involved. We share the same DNA. She’s an inspiration for me.” She is more business-like now. “I will not be able to speak too in-depth about the story, but this is a continuation. This is two new chapters in the book. The name of the album is ‘The the-fly.co.uk

Electric Lady…’” Monáe then spools out the exact same story she told last night, about the paintings and the hint at a psychiatric need to name the image she had drawn. We’ve got time for one more question and, unwise as it might be, it’s time to test those boundaries again. Now, it’s a dirty journalist trick to quote an interviewee’s previous statements back at them, so I make her aware in advance that that’s what I’m doing. She narrows her eyes. “Well why would you do it?” This is a definite warning. But with a laugh, she restores something resembling a light atmosphere. In an interview with Rolling Stone, she once said that the lesbian community had ‘claimed’ her as one of their own. But, characteristically, she has eschewed any particular stance on the issue of her sexuality. She seems to almost relish it, using her tailored suits to toy with asexuality on a Morrissey-like scale. Is it enjoyable to have that control? “I’m an artist. My job is to start dialogue. And when you hear ‘The Electric Lady’, it will be thought-provoking music that deals with sexuality, that deals with religion, that deals with rebellion, that deals with love.” There’s a small pause, to allow me to digest, before she says with total finality, “So there you go.” Which seems to be her way of saying, “That’s all you’re getting out of me.” All the statuesque statements of artistic credibility wouldn’t work unless there was something to back it up. Fortunately, as she becomes one of the world’s most important pop artists, Janelle Monáe continues to back up her quirks, her insecurities and her maniacal desire for creative control. ‘The Electric Lady’ is proof that a singular vision is enough to create an artistic legacy to rival the greats. Two albums in and, so far, not a step out of place. We might never get to know the Janelle Monáe, but as long as she’s so firmly in control of her art, we’ll only ever see what she wants us to. ‘The Electric Lady’ is released on Atlantic Records/ Wonderland on 9th September. Make-up by Maria Asadi using Cover Girl cosmetics.

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Daughn Gi b s o n Two albums in, rumbling-voiced singer Daughn Gibson is here to save bad instruments from a life on the scrapheap. Even the bagpipes... Words JJ D unning Portraits T om O ldham

What do you know about Daughn Gibson? That he’s tall? That he’s handsome? That he used to be a truck driver and had a job in an adult book shop? The bottom-line facts that were reeled off and redistributed from interviews around the Pennsylvanian singer’s first album, ‘All Hell’, were told and re-told. Understandably, people were seduced by a romantic notion indebted to the fizzing prose of Kerouac: these were baritone tales, conjured in solitude upon the endless tarmac of the American road. Or, in other words... “People just love the trucking shit,” he laughs. “I get that it’s a somewhat romantic profession, but saying, ‘He wrote a whole album on the road’ is a little bit more romanticised than the reality of a dude driving a truck and spending ten hours a day by

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himself, wishing he had another life.” So the reality was quite, quite different? “Really, the time you spend on the road is spent waxing nostalgic,” says Daughn. “You find yourself slipping into memories. That nostalgia, I think, is the pit that a lot of humans fall in. They wax nostalgic about jobs, or periods of their life that actually sucked, but they want them back because they think they felt alive or felt like something kinetic was happening. You never look at the moment you’re in and think you’re happy, you just look back. I was by myself, seeing landscapes and eating bullshit at truck stops. Maybe Jack Kerouac had similar experiences, but what makes the story worth telling is the fraction of moments where something actually happens.” If ‘All Hell’ was about uncovering cherishable memories during hours of tedium, the-fly.co.uk

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DAUGHN GIBSON ‘Me Moan’ seems to be about salvaging unlistenable instruments from the slag-pile. Amongst the rescued detritus are bagpipes, pedal steel guitar, loungey piano and jazzy wine-bar brass. In short, it’s just a swannywhistle and an accordion short of a children’s orchestra. “Any old turd, any terrible thing, any thrown-away food, in a certain context, can be wonderful,” he says. “To me that’s one of the challenges of making music. And that goes for lyrics too, like telling a story that’s so terrible that it’s good. Whether or not it’s pulled off to other ears is, like, whatever, to me. Bagpipes are sometimes dreadful, you know? They’re not the most beloved of instruments, but for me, at that moment, I was loving it in the room. I certainly don’t listen to bagpipe music, but if I watch a bagpipe brigade or marching band or whatever they’re called, I can’t help

“TECHNOLOGY MEANS THAT YOU CAN REALLY NOT KNOW SHIT ABOUT CULTURE...” but get choked up by it.” From Daughn’s perspective, ‘Me Moan’ is an internationally-minded album. It seems strange to us on these misty isles, where the wheezing drone of a puce-faced man with no pants on huffing into a tartan Hoover bag is commonplace, tedious and reason to run away, but when you live in Pennsylvania, bagpipes are something of a foreign curio. During our chat, Daughn claims no Scottish heritage, blaming an Irish bloodline for his predilection for the pipes, but he does speak with plausible enthusiasm of his “love” for “purely rhythmic and melodic” world music. He’s even downloaded an app that allows him to play in a Greek scale, though he doesn’t feel ready to write a song that way just yet (“Technology means that you can really not know shit about culture,” he surmises). the-fly.co.uk

But despite the globally-conscious mind at its helm and the instruments at hand, Daughn’s grizzled baritone means ‘Me Moan’ never sounds anything other than American. Plaid-shirted, tobacco-toking American. “I never used to sing in this way,” he explains. “In the band I was in before [Pearls & Brass, for whom he drummed] I sang backups and harmonies. I was trying to emulate Cream and Jack Bruce - really high falsettos that were kind of dark. I wasn’t making anything that sounded even remotely country, even though I desperately wanted to, so I wasn’t getting a shot to sing anything in this way. I remember when I first got the chance to sing like that, and I remember thinking, ‘Whoa, this is a weird voice’.” It’s a voice that, on ‘Me Moan’ as much as on ‘All Hell’, you sense has been washed by barrels of sippin’ rye and harshed by endless Luckies. Hasn’t it? “I’ve given up smoking,” he laughs with a clean chuckle that, as if to back up his point, doesn’t get stuck on any phlegm. “I had total health guilt. I think it’s good to live a moderate life. It’s okay to drink a beer, you know? If you go for a jog in the morning it balances out, but why sweat in the morning if you’re just gonna ruin it with cheese fries?” As well as being birthed during a healthkick, ‘Me Moan’ also comes from a clean conscience. Gibson found the record’s title so sexually evocative that he felt compelled to okay it with his wife, Amber. As he says, it’s not uncommon for her to be his sounding board. “It came off my tongue out of my brain and it gave me this weird feeling. I loved it but I also thought it was a weird thing to say. All decisions that make me feel peculiar like this, I have to give to my wife and ask if it tickles her fancy, or if it makes her want to throw up. ‘Me Moan’ made me feel slightly nauseous, but she thought it was great.” Health freak. Sensible husband. Bagpipe fan. There’s so much more to know about him, maybe ‘Me Moan’ marks a Daughn of discovery? ‘Me Moan’ is out now on Sub Pop.

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Are Swim Deep the happiest band in Britain? Well? Guys?! Words L isa W right Portraits J im E yre

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swim deep

“THIS IS THE TIME WHEN POP MUSIC GOES FROM SHIT TO GOOD...”

They might look a bit miffed in the photos (put that down to tour fatigue), but you have to trust us on this: Swim Deep’s enthusiasm is insanely infectious. “I think the most surreal thing that’s happened to us is that, at this point, we’re actually like, ‘Shit! We’re fucking smashing it!’” a happily drunk Austin Williams tells us down the phone from a hotel room in Holland. “I can’t believe we’re that band! We’re fucking smashing it!” the-fly.co.uk

In most cases, this kind of confident statement would come off as arrogant or, at least, a little OTT. But there’s something about the singer and his charity shop-clad band of merry men that makes you want to just give them a high five and join the party. Maybe it’s because, within three seconds of meeting them, you know that Swim Deep really couldn’t be arrogant if they tried. Or maybe it’s just because, at this point in 2013, the Birmingham quartet really are, as they put it, “smashing it”. But, whatever the reason, Austin, Higgy, Zach and Cav are the kind of intrinsically likeable guys that you just want to do well. It’s a large part of why they’ve wound up where they are now, with a riotous recent headline tour under their belts, an even bigger one set for autumn and a great debut album (entitled ‘Where The Heaven Are We’) about to land.

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“The process of recording wasn’t messy, it was really organic for us. The whole thing was really organic. Organic. Organic,” jokes bassist Cavan McCarthy, like a comedically stuck record player, of the album sessions – which saw the group decamp to Brussels for a month just before Christmas. “We pushed our beds together and made one big bed. We wanted to make sure that everything we did was about being together and the four of us. The thing about signing a record deal is there’s a thousand more people involved in it than you imagine, so it’s best to just get the four of you and the producer in one bed.” “If anything, music is quite sexual anyway. I’m not saying we slept together, but I’m not saying we didn’t sleep together,” adds Williams. “The four of us just did it together, we just smashed it together. [sings] ‘Juuuust

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the four of us...’” The result of their inter-band and bed love-in is a record that actually completely reflects this “togetherness”. Whether in the more familiar, effervescent bounce of singles ‘The Sea’ and ‘Honey’, the laid-back groove of ‘Make My Sun Shine’ or the sweetened Stone Roses lilt of ‘Red Lips I Know’, the overriding feeling throughout the record is one of carefree, united positivity. “We wanna tell people that pop music can be good. We want to make music to really believe in,” Williams concludes. “I haven’t believed in music for a while, but then I had to write a list of stuff that came out in 2013 recently and I nearly cried I was so proud. This is the time when pop music goes from shit to good.” ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ is released on Chess Club on 5th August. the-fly.co.uk

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...goIng To The shop? The World’s End, the anticipated conclusion to British cinema’s finest ice-cream-themed comedy trilogy, is in cinemas this month. James Luxford speaks to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg...

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the world’s end Wright, left, and Pegg on set. Sometimes, you just know when you’ve trodden in something, don’t you?

BRITISH MOVIES have, in the past, been hampered by a hesitance to try anything new. If it didn’t have Hugh Grant, corsets or fake cockney accents, not many people were going to be able to see it. That was until the (slightly) nerdy trio of Simon Pegg, Nick Frost and director Edgar Wright hit big in 2004 with Shaun Of The Dead, a “Zom-Rom-Com” based in North London which was adored on both sides of the Atlantic. Devon-based buddy cop movie Hot Fuzz followed, and won the trio a legion of fans for their original, funny writing and clear affection for all types of cinema. Now it’s time for the third and final instalment of the Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy, The World’s End, arguably the biggest British movie of the summer. the-fly.co.uk

The film follows Pegg’s character Gary, a wild man-child who gathers his old friends to re-attempt a pub crawl they failed to complete twenty years ago, only to find their hometown besieged by other-worldly goings-on. “If Shaun Of The Dead is about a guy becoming 30 and facing up to becoming a responsible adult, this one is about facing 40 and trying to drag his responsible friends back into being teenagers,” explains Wright. “I thought it was a nice way to wrap the whole thing up, a character who absolutely refuses to grow up.” For Pegg, it was a chance to finish off what he started. “It was a very significant thing - we were doing the last in the series of those films that

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t a k e fi v e : C O R NE T T O T R I L O G Y I N - J O K E S

FENCES

Both Pegg and co-star Nick Frost attempt, unsuccessfully, to jump over fences in all three films. Sure enough ,the trailer for The World’s End sees Pegg go straight through one.

THE SECOND COMING

The Stone Roses’ second studio album was the subject of debate in Shaun Of The Dead, and the band’s music will feature in The World’s End - “There’s a bit of a tradition with the Stone Roses and these films,” admits Pegg.

SPACED, MAN

Wright, Pegg and Frost’s cult TV show is referenced an awful lot in the movies - almost every main cast member has appeared in the trilogy, while certain phrases associated with the series (particularly “Fried Gold”) pop up.

we’d always planned to do,” he says. “Of all the characters I’ve played in these films, Gary King is probably my favourite just because I was completely let loose. Shaun, and particularly Nicholas Angel is a very restricted character he doesn’t smile for forty minutes of Hot Fuzz! Gary is just a force of nature. He’s a complete lunatic and it was really fun to play him.” The film was shot in ‘glamorous’ Welwyn Garden City during a particularly nasty winter, a bit of a culture shock to Pegg, now a confirmed Hollywood star. “The biggest change was going straight from Star Trek to The World’s End was the weather. I shot Star Trek in Los Angeles, where it’s beautiful all the time, and I shot The World’s End in England in the winter where

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CELEB CAMEOS

Famous names who make cameos in the trilogy include Coldplay (in the final scenes of SOTD), Hollywood A-lister Cate Blanchett and Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson (above as Father Christmas) in Hot Fuzz.

JUST THREE CORNETTOS…

Obvious, perhaps, but it’s worth listing the three cameos for the frozen favourite - “Red” strawberry flavour for Shaun Of The Dead (to symbolise blood); “Blue” original in “Hot Fuzz” (for the police); and “Green” Mint for The World’s End (to symbolise… well, you’ll see).

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the world’s end it’s shitty all the time...” Wright concurs: “The British weather will always be there to fuck you up… if anything, the cold increases the characters’ desperate strife I guess.” With SOTD and Hot Fuzz making over $100million, did that ease the budget or just increase the pressure? “I guess over the three films the budget has gone up, but only in a modest sort of way,” says the director. “Hot Fuzz was three times more than SOTD, but this is less than double

“THE SOUNDTRACK IS ABSOLUTELY RAMMED WITH CLASSICS...” what Hot Fuzz cost, if that makes sense? So it’s on a bigger scale than the other two. There’s always pressure when making a British film, particularly when you’re doing something fairly ambitious and especially if you’re trying to do the work on location.” Interestingly, Pegg and Wright wrote the film with a specific playlist in mind. “The soundtrack is absolutely rammed with classics,” Wright enthuses. “There’s a lot of songs from the 89-93 period that evoke a lot of feelings for me, when I was at sixth form. And

NEE D T O C O R NE T T- K NO W ! Essential stuff we learned from Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright about The World’s End... Using popular songs in a film soundtrack is expensive. “You’d be surprised by what ends up costing a fortune,” Pegg says. “Like, for example, The Soup Dragons’ ‘I’m Free’, because it’s a Stones cover, becomes an incredibly, incredibly expensive proposition.”

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in the movie Simon’s character wanted to be a kid again. It was one of the inspirations for the film in a way: ‘What if a person who listened to ‘Loaded’ by Primal Scream or ‘Step On’ by the Happy Mondays tried to live his life by those hedonistic anthems?’” “The only thing you hear that isn’t from that period is a Doors track,” Pegg adds. “It was great fun compiling that playlist, we listened to a hell of a lot of music - we had a playlist that was just on a loop while we were writing.” So, this trilogy is over, but does that mean we’ll never see the Wright-Pegg-Frost collaboration again? “The next thing we do together might not be in the UK,” says Pegg. “It might not be constricted by the criteria we set ourselves with the ‘Cornetto’ movies.” Having co-written Spielberg’s Tin-Tin and reportedly developing Marvel’s Ant-Man (think Iron Man but smaller and more insect-y), Wright is certainly in demand, but believes he will be back on these shores eventually. “I think my next one will be American but I plan to do more British films as well,” he says. “It’s nice. It’s one of the strange perks of the job, getting to make movies in different countries. But I’d like to keep doing both. I’m very proud of making films in Britain. It feels really good.” ‘The World’s End’ is in cinemas from 19th July.

Prior to speaking with us, Pegg was interviewed by a Russian journalist who told him the Russian title for The World’s End was “Armageddong”. The Cornetto in-joke was put in due to Wright’s belief that the ice creams are “the best hangover cure”. Also, after becoming synonymous with the trilogy, the ice cream company will be doing a tie-in for The World’s End. The story is partly based on Wright’s own attempt at a home town pub-crawl when he was 18, which ended in “various incidents and lots of mayhem.”

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The subject of their favourite Cornetto flavours became a tricky proposition, for Pegg at least. “I think the original nutty one, although that tends to disappear quite quickly. The strawberry one, that zesty tang goes right down to the centre. It’s one of those things - I haven’t tried the new caramel flavour which I know I’d love, I’m not averse to a mint either…” Wright’s was a simpler: “I do like a mint Cornetto which happens to be the one in Worlds End. We waited. We’ve saved the best till last.”

Top, l to r: Martin Freeman, Paddy Considine, Pegg, Nick Frost and Eddie Marsan in The World’s End. Bottom: The Shaun Of The Dead cast.

Everything Everything

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a lb u m of t h e

“Kanye guess where my walkie talkie would be, if I were using it?”

mo n t h

Kanye West ‘Yeezus’

HHHH

(Def Jam)

Yeezy’s latest mixes borderline sacrilege with patisserie-themed frustration...

On ‘Yeezus’, Kanye West plunges deeper into the irresolvable conflicts that make him perhaps the only essential pop star in the 21st century. It’s a wild ride, and many have taken its title as continued evidence of the Chicago rapper’s limitless sense of self-regard. But in context, it works perfectly: ‘Yeezus’ is Kanye’s attempt to wrestle with his own Messiah complex by (to paraphrase a line in ‘Black Skinhead’) “getting my [primal] scream on”. Rejecting the lush arrangements of ‘My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy’, Kanye pairs his stream-of-consciousness flows with a brutally sparse palette, overlaid with bloodcurdling screams and jarring segues. It’s a brave gambit, but one that pays off handsomely. the-fly.co.uk

‘Black Skinhead’ lifts Marilyn Manson’s glam-noir aesthetic wholesale, while ‘I Am A God’ resembles Nicki Minaj if she was more into Throbbing Gristle than trap (boasting an already-classic Kanye couplet: “In a French-ass restaurant/Hurry up with my damn croissants”). ‘New Slaves’ swipes the double-time raps of Kendrick Lamar, repurposing them for minimalist ends. And Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon again makes a great foil for our antihero on ‘Hold My Liquor’, soft synths punctuated by incongruous carcrash sounds. Lyrically, Kanye’s diatribes on race and consumerism are often more revealing of himself than they are righteous social commentary – ‘Blood On The Leaves’’ rancorous musings on an ex set to a sample from ‘Strange Fruit’ is one such dubious moment – but, ironically, it’s Kanye’s willingness to present the ugly aspects of his persona unvarnished that makes ‘Yeezus’ such a remarkable (if not entirely amiable) record. Alex Denney Download: ‘Black Skinhead’, ‘New Slaves’, ‘Hold My Liquor’

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Fuck Buttons misunderstood when we said the wall needed “two coats”. Andrew Hung, left, and Benjamin John Power.

Fuck Buttons ‘Slow Focus’

HHHH (ATP Recordings)

Bristolians’ second album is pretty bleeping good... Once in a while, Bristol turns out an outstanding electronica outfit with a singular, unhinged vision. In the early nineties, with their skunk-fuelled brand of trip-hop, beat-splicing madmen Massive Attack and Tricky presaged two generations of electronic artists - from Radiohead, Air and Moby through to The xx and Burial, and even dubstep itself. Exploring similar themes of inner-city tension and decay, Fuck Buttons are of a piece with their westcountry forebears. However they diverge from their progenitors’ shadowy, downbeat script, venting their angst through brain-and-speaker-melting the-fly.co.uk

sounds, namely post-rock and rave. Coincidentally,  while cryptic electronica contemporaries Boards Of Canada’s (to whom Fuck Buttons tip their hat) latest album suggests the aftermath of some unexplained, planetary calamity, the self-produced ‘Slow Focus,’ with its cinematic scope, earthquake beats and ferocious synths, reveals the source of the catastrophe. The thug-drum opener of ‘Brainfreeze’ sounds like Mogwai shoved through an industrial grinder and the crushing, gridlocked maze of ‘The Red Wing’ will prompt you to stock your cupboards in preparation for the breakdown of civilisation. A fearsome, mind-broadening collection. Jamie Skey Download: ‘The Red Wing’, ‘Brainfreeze’, ‘Stalker’

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A Grave With No Name ‘Whirlpool’

HHHHn

About Group

Bass Drum Of Death

‘Between The Walls’

‘Bass Drum Of Death’

HH

(Domino Recording Co.)

Editors ‘The Weight Of Your Love’

HH

HHHH

(PIAS Records)

(Innovative Leisure)

Poor old Alex Shields. The desperate sense of longing that resonates throughout his band’s third album just makes you feel protective. You’ll wanna throw an arm over his shoulder, dry his eyes and zip up his jacket, whilst explaining that this Cure-tinged mopery can only end in tears. ‘Everything will be alright,’ you’d assure him. Then you’ll hear the crunching shoegaze chorus of ‘Dig Me Out’, or the reflective grace of ‘73’, or even the skeletal ‘Bones’ and you’ll wonder if it’s better to leave him to it. Lo-fi melancholia never sounded so magnificent - long may he sniffle. Will Fitzpatrick

Imagine cramming your psyche’s constituent parts into the blender, only for the resulting smoothie to taste of sugarless rice milk. Imagine Alexis Taylor wibbling sincerely as you drink. What you’ve envisioned is the dire psychedelic universe of About Group. The improv-quartet’s third LP, ‘Between the Walls’ sounds like indie being bullied by jazz fairies; ‘I Never Lock That Door’ is essentially the Smiths’ ‘Please, Please, Please...’ having an existential breakdown. Lyrics like “If words are a dying breed, why does the song proceed?” aren’t exactly pant-moistening, but it’s keeping Hot Chip rice milk-free, so we’re not crying over spilt minds. Jazz Monroe

Whilst John Barrett and his band’s chosen moniker may imply ballsy, no-holds-barred punk hedonism (and, indeed, a large majority of their eponymous second album finds its peers in the Ty Segall/ Black Lips school of bratty garage kicks), there are nuances here that prove there’s more to BDOD than just three chords and a load of cheap beer. The opening guitar lines of ‘Way Out’ are almost Beach House-esque, prettying up the scuzzy chords and no-fi vocals to perfection, whilst ‘Fine Lies’ deals in glam rockrecalling sleaze. Sure, this is a great garage rock record – but it’s dreaming even bigger. Lisa Wright

At best, Editors’ new album is another smartly appointed set of slategrey indie rock that should keep Tom Smith’s troupe in O2 Academy gigs for the next few years. At worst, it’s like being stuck in a Cormac McCarthy novel with the world’s most boring man; miserably ekeing out your last days of existence on tins of dead baby while he prattles on about how hard it is being in a long-term relationship, and the existentialness of... stuff. ‘A Ton Of Love’ shows they’ve not lost their knack for passably impersonating Echo & the Bunnymen, but really, you deserve better than this hazily indistinct angst. Alex Denney

Download: ‘Dig Me Out’

Download: ‘After Video’

Download: ‘Fine Lies’

Download: ‘A Ton Of Love’

(Stare)

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Half Moon Run

Fists

Fist City

‘Phantasm’

‘It’s 1983 Grow Up!’

(Gringo)

(Black Tent Press)

HHH Hn

Say, what’s this fuzzy feeling? Why, that’s fun, friends, and it courses through the veins of Fist City’s latest like booze through Bukowski. You want sweat-sodden garage pop that just won’t quit? Here comes instant classic ‘The Creeps’. Prefer Nation Of Ulyssestinged punk clatter? Try the emphatically-titled ‘Fuck’ – basically, the whole damn record feels like an instant recipe for joyous, carefree abandon. So what if it sounds like it was recorded in John Dwyer’s outhouse? These Calgary kids bring the noise like it’s all they’ve ever known, and they’ve crafted one of the year’s strongest albums in the process. Will Fitzpatrick

(Communion)

It may be chock full of flying, snow, diamonds and beaches, but Empire Of The Sun’s follow-up to ‘Walking On A Dream’ offers more than whimsy. ‘DNA’ flits between bass synths and choral breaks, ‘Alive’ is heartwarming, and ‘Awakening’ provides the first real change of pace (harking closest to ‘Walking On A Dream’) with shimmering keyboards and 80s funk guitars. But, following such relentless joy, it’s hard to imagine where Empire Of The Sun go next – a slump feels inevitable. For now though, take ‘Ice...’ for what it is - a riot of good-time dream pop. Matt Glass

With a name like that, you’d expect an LP as punchy as David Haye performing a Punch And Judy show inside a giant bowl of punch. Sure enough, there’s a few searing punk thrashes, but they’re tossed cheerily amongst tender ballads and off-kilter oddities – Nottingham’s newest noiseniks like it eclectic. The influence of The Breeders hangs heavily, especially over ‘Solvent’’s nagging hooks and the insistent yelping of ‘Cockatoo Redux’ (think Bearsuit in their Sunday best). Despite some songs merely bruising where bones should be broken, it’ll be exciting to see if FISTS can live up to the potential indicated here. Will Fitzpatrick

Formed via a Craigslist advert, Half Moon Run readily admit they probably wouldn’t be friends without music. Fortunately, that’s where their friendship sticks best, leading to ‘Dark Eyes’, a debut that’s engaging, accomplished and a little bit deceptive. Despite ‘Full Circle’ and ‘Call Me In The Afternoon’’s folky welcome, the Montreal band soon reveal an experimental heart. ‘She Wants To Know’ sounds more like Radiohead than it does Mumford & Sons, whilst the hypnotic synth layering on ‘Drug You’ is futuristic in its cold precision. A stark lesson in avoiding pigeonholes and a stellar record to boot. Rhian Daly

Download: ‘DNA’

Download: ‘Cockatoo Redux’

Download: ‘Never Bored’

Download: ‘Drug You’

Empire Of The Sun ‘Ice On The Dune’

HHH (Virgin)

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HHH

HHHH

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‘Dark Eyes’

Deap Vally: Ain’t no mountain high enough to escape the din. Julie Edwards, left, and Lindsey Troy.

Deap Vally ‘Sistrionix’ HH n(Island Records) Sisters, have mercy... On paper, Deap Vally’s buzz-band appeal isn’t all that tricky to fathom. They’re loud. ‘Raunchy’. Fans of Led Zep and The White Stripes. What’s not to love, right? Well, given the aggravating jumble of blues-rawk clichés that litters the LA duo’s debut – plenty. Singer Lindsey Troy’s throaty yowl – a sort of lightweight cross between Janis Joplin and Karen O – is toe-curlingly affected, while the lyrics, all no-strings fun and man-baiting sass-talk, might almost be exciting if they weren’t so corny (“Don’t think I’ll be visiting you in jail – HUH!”

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Troy admonishes one sleazy suitor in ‘Creeplife’). And we don’t think that’s doing womankind a disservice, either: early Yeah Yeah Yeahs, PJ Harvey on ‘Rid Of Me’... now that’s the kind of lust-drunk feminism we want to be fucking with. This is just kids’ stuff. Mostly, though, the music on ‘Sistrionix’ is plain bad. ‘Lies’’ Nick Zinner-esque riffing could almost pass for dangerous, but ‘Walk Of Shame’ sounds like Jack White overdubbed in one of those YouTube ‘shred’ videos, and ‘Baby I Call Hell’ reminds us you don’t need a cock to make cock-rock. Deap Vally? We’ll head for the hills, thanks. Alex Denney Download: ‘Lies’

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Nu-petal heroes. Swim Deep, clockwise from right: Austin, Zach, Higgy and Cavan.

Swim Deep ‘Where The Heaven Are We’

HHHHn(Chess Club)

Brummie boys’ indie-fatigable debut... Two years ago, the chances of Swim Deep making one of 2013’s most promising debuts looked slim. Since then, they’ve evolved from Wavves-worshipping teenagers into an increasingly accomplished (and desirable) indie boy-band with an insatiable following. That ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ is full of bright, positive spirit shouldn’t come as a surprise given the band’s past statements about doing more with their lives than stacking shelves. Lines like “life ain’t beige so colour your ways and see things in the right light” from ‘Colour Your Ways’ are lyrical the-fly.co.uk

pep-talks that are near impossible not to get swept along by. But the album still has time for romance - apt considering their new found status as indie heartthrobs. The subtle, baggy lope of ‘Make My Sun Shine’ deals with the euphoria of love whilst album closer ‘She Changes The Weather’ marks the finest thing the band have done so far, a heartfelt paean to the whirlwind of emotion and invincibility that comes with finding someone special. Although it doesn’t always hit the mark, Swim Deep’s debut proves more than capable of matching the dizzying highs they write about. Rhian Daly Download: ‘She Changes The Weather’, ‘Make My Sun Shine’, ‘Colour Your Ways’

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Hebronix ‘Unreal’

HHHH (ATP Recordings)

Hook & The Landshapes ‘Rambutan’ Twin ‘Never Ever Ever’

HHH

Lust For Youth ‘Perfect View’

HHH

(Bella Union)

(Dancing Coins)

Relax, no need to call Operation Yewtree. OK, that moniker seems ill-considered given the hysterics of the zeitgeist, but ‘Perfect View’ is far too good to worry about such ephemera. ‘Breaking Silence’ sprays optimism over taut shuffles of retro synth, while the foreboding, mournful tones of the title track tug gently at the tearducts. Outlines are blurred between postpunk, rave and a very modern psychedelia; brushing between textures and emotions with skillful subtlety and provoking sincere disappointment when ‘I Found Love In A Different Place’ brings proceedings to a close. Will Fitzpatrick Download: ‘Breaking Silence’

Having heaped on the kindling for the stillburning grunge revival, Daniel Blumberg’s post-Yuck guise sees him plunge further into hazy 90s alt-rock with Neil Hagerty (Royal Trux) producing. It’s undeniably a slacked-out soundtrack for dopey wallflowers everywhere, but ‘Unreal’ is also a surprisingly progressive affair that speaks to your soul. It may occasionally teeter on Red House Painters pastiche, but the novel twists on Smashing Pumpkins (‘Unliving’), off-kilter nods to The Notwist (‘Viral’) and even Blumberg’s pre-GCSE forays with Cajun Dance Party (‘Garden’) suggest its creator has melded a sound that’s truly his own. James West

Among a slew of acts that think ‘retro’ means paisley shirts and bell-bottom jeans, Bristol duo Hook & The Twin’s squeeze on 80s kraut-rock is a pleasant diversion. It begins as a steadfastly linear nod to Kraftwerk and the rest, albeit supplemented by Tom Havelock’s reverbladen vocals. But ‘We’re So Light’ bounces atop thumping bass and, alongside ‘Animals’, drags itself towards modern-day Miami house as synths bleep and flutter manically. The guitar-led, screamo hook of ‘Bang Bang Cherry’ is an unsettlingly brilliant antidote to the electronic tilt of ‘Never Ever Ever’, providing a thrilling highlight of a glorious journey.  Matt Glass

As Savages clean up the post-punk market, it’d be an easy mistake to overlook Bella Union’s Landshapes. Formerly Lulu & The Lampshades - best known for a barelyforgivable a capella video gimmick (Youtube ‘Lulu cups’, or y’know, don’t) - the London fourpiece have ditched the buy-my-cupcakes schtick with a leap comparable to that The Maccabees took between ‘Colour it In’ and ‘Given to the Wild’. Veering between spectral ballads (‘Night So Strong’) and earlyBanshees odysseys (‘LJ Jones’), ‘Rambutan’ is a formidable debut. Vitally, it also leaves them plentiful room to grow - and leaves us little doubt they will. Jazz Monroe

Download: ‘Unliving’

Download: ‘Bang Bang Cherry’

Download: ‘LJ Jones’

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HHHH

(Sacred Bones)

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David Lynch The Orwells ‘The Big Dream’

HHH

(Sunday Best)

‘Other Voices’ EP

HHHHn

‘Honey Locust Honky Tonk’

(National Anthem/ East End Records)

Pumped with creepy synth-waves, alienspeak vocals, saw-mill guitars and a strangely murderous Dylan cover, ‘The Big Dream’ is - let’s be honest - among the tamer conceits to have escaped Lynch’s mind. It evokes Trentemøller’s headfuck dirges and the industrial churnings of latter-day Tom Waits, a kind of plodding blues with frazzled borders, neatly suited to the film noir title. From the depressed rockabilly of ‘Star Dream Girl’ to ‘Wishin’ Well’’s hypnotic esoterica, Lynch showcases a grim neighbourhood that seems electrically oppressed somehow, synthesised echoes murmuring like residual radiation. You’re invited, but maybe you’re doing your hair that day. Jazz Monroe

Beer, riots, sick, sweat... The Orwells must infuriate their parents. But the Chicago teenagers’ shtick is believable enough. This EP isn’t their debut (they’re already four records deep) but it does seem to be a watershed. Critics are interested, attempting to reduce their uninhibited mess to words on a page. These tracks sound like wrecked idiots falling down the stairs at a house party. But, like The Stooges and (even) Palma Violets, there’s more to gain from slurring along trying to keep up than analysing what’s actually happening. The Orwells are about the moment; it’s fun to live in it with them. Ben Homewood

Download: ‘Wishin’ Well’

Download: ‘Head’

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Robert Pollard HHHH

(Fire Records) The title is ridiculous. The lyrics are just words arranged at random. The songs dart furtively past the one-minute mark and then expire without warning. Basically, ‘Honey Locust...’ sounds like an atypical Bob Pollard release, with one significant difference: almost nothing here is unlistenable, abrasive or tough to love. ‘I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You’ is more immediate than any recent Guided By Voices song, while closer ‘Airs’, with its muted Duane Eddy guitar and somnambulant piano, is arguably the most coherent bit of soft-rock the silvering lo-fi king has ever recorded. Better than Bob standard. JJ Dunning Download: ‘I Killed A Man Who Looks Like You’

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Samaris ‘Samaris’

HHHH (One Little Indian) Teenagers, eh? Always staying out late, getting pissed in the park and leaving their odours all over the house. Except for the trio of Icelandic under-20s that make up Samaris, that is. Áslaug Rún Magnúsdóttir has obviously been staying in to practice her clarinet, because it breezes so beautifully over the band’s pensive, gently pristine pop. This is an effortlessly atmospheric album that has all the arty sophistication of any great Icelandic act, but with graceful contemporary streaks that place Samaris alongside Purity Ring and Austra in the premier league of forward-thinking electro. Bet they don’t even stink either. Robert Cooke Download: ‘Viltu Vitrast’

Johnny Borrell: averse to irons, keen on brass.

Johnny Borrell ‘Borrell 1’

H

(Stiff Records/Virgin EMI)

J-Bo does a Britney on ill-advised solo offering... Britney Spears shaved her head. Johnny Borrell is releasing ‘Borrell 1’. Inexplicable, outrageous and a bit sad, both acts signal popstar meltdowns. Her stakes might’ve been higher, but Britney’s shorn locks mirror Johnny’s lyrical abominations and hopeless ideas. ‘Borrell 1’ is preposterous and almost resistant to criticism. Zazou (Johnny’s new band) strive for epic sequences with farting brass and piano. The lyrics prompt psychiatric wonderings: “I received an erotic letter, but it didn’t turn me on” (‘Erotic Letter’), “I strip the thorns off every rose, strap them inside

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my clothes, range through the darkness with my great big nose” (‘Cyrano Masochiste’). Johnny says the album was “born in the spirit of a party”. But it’s a party full of twats that nobody would want to go to. Johnny and Zazou would be slumped in a corner, lovingly fingering their fringed suede while reminiscing about exotic lovers. On ‘Erotic Letter’ Johnny sings, “there were some problems in your rock and roll career, they took your jokes seriously”. Tragically, he’s apparently taking his own jokes more seriously than ever. Masquerading as a relaxed return, ‘Borrell 1’ is a disaster that could obliterate any appeal Razorlight once had. Hair grows back, credibility doesn’t. Ben Homewood Download: ‘Erotic Letter’

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Pond regretted not unwrapping their KitKats.

Pond ‘Hobo Rocket’

HHHH (Modular)

Mind-tickling madness from Perth hippies... Stepping on board Pond’s ‘Hobo Rocket’, you zoom past the equator and their vast homeland, and up into the outer limits of space, infinity, and your own understanding. If 2012’s ‘Beard, Wives, Denim’ was the album that put the Perth hippies on the musical map, this sends them into uncharted territory. It works on two levels. It’s psychedelic, but mercifully, Pond keep the frazzled Flaming Lips approach to psychedelia to a minimum. So you can gaze with wonder at the transcendental ‘Midnight Mass’ and ponder the meaning of life throughout ‘Odarma’ – but you can the-fly.co.uk

also hear the jams break out of ‘Giant Tortoise’’s Deerhunter dreaminess and ‘Whatever Happened To The Million Head Collide’’s sixties shuffle, and just enjoy ‘Hobo Rocket’ because it absolutely rocks. Admittedly, things verge on being overly surreal when guest vocalist Cowboy John turns up to mumble his way through the title-track as though he’s Johnny Cash, when in fact he seems more like Perth’s answer to Mark E. Smith. But Pond haven’t forgotten what makes a great album – ambition without over-indulgence, reinvention rather than rock cliché and, above all, songwriting before psychedelics. If travel broadens the mind, there can’t be a better vessel than ‘Hobo Rocket’. Robert Cooke Download ‘Whatever Happened To The Million Head Collide’, ‘Xan Man’, ‘Giant Tortoise’

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Scott & Charlene’s Wedding ‘Any Port In A Storm’

HHHH (Fire)

Unashamedly, as all throwbacks should be, Scott & Charlene’s Wedding main man Craig Dermody is completely besotted by his period of choice. And, in case anyone was in any doubt, that period is the early 90s. He even names a song ‘1993’, in which he shouts “1993!��� about a million times like an autistic diarist version of Jeffrey Lewis. The rest of ‘Any Port In A Storm’ is a wonderfully breathless and melodic surge that only takes about half an hour to skip through. Wonderfully, it’s somehow nostalgic and current at the same time. Daniel Ross Download: ‘1993’

Nadine Shah

Soft Metals ‘Lenses’

‘Love Your Dum And Mad’

HHHH

(R&S/Apollo Records) With influences ranging from the Bad Seeds to Maria Callas, Nadine Shah’s debut could easily be melodramatic. But ‘Love Your...’ is suffused with a quiet dignity too; the Tyneside songwriter allows her native Geordie burr to shine through on tracks as eloquent as ‘Runaway’ and ‘Floating’, a rumination on mental illness. At times a lick more panache might have leavened proceedings, but ‘Winter Reigns’’ celebration of the great English pub (where “the dark’s never far behind”, naturally) rounds out this confident debut in style. Alex Denney Download: ‘Winter Reigns’

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HHH (Captured Tracks) Underpinning their processed electronics with singer Patricia Hall’s beguiling, ethereal vocal, Soft Metals make for an intriguingly juxtaposed proposition. Yet, whilst the haunting coo that adorns ‘Tell Me’ should add a layer of humanity to the array of whirrs and beats going on beneath it, there’s something dead-eyed about Hall’s reverby, sing-song vocal that only serves to further distance you from any emotional core. It means that, whilst the likes of ‘No Turning Back’ and ‘Hourglass’ are smart and well-constructed, it’s hard to really connect. Still, you get the feeling that’s probably the point. Lisa Wright Download: ‘Hourglass’

Oliver Wilde ‘A Brief Introduction To Unnatural Lightyears’

HHHH

(Howling Owl Records) ‘A Brief Introduction...’, the debut from Bristolian Oliver Wilde, is queasy and compelling in a manner reminiscent of Bradford Cox’s Atlas Sound albums. Its 50 minutes loll by in a bleary funk of drum loops and semi-conscious vocals, Wilde always sounding somewhere between the late Mark Linkous and a yawning Bagpuss. But the net result is far from soporific; instead it feels like an amble through a magical mist. When the clouds occasionally clear (i.e. when ‘Flutter’’s flittering guitars appear through the smog like gilded butterflies) it shows Wilde can do delicate detail as well as smoky ambience. JJ Dunning Download: ‘Twin’

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Laura Marling By Karen Toftera

li v e r e v i e ws

Laura Marling London, Secret Location 22/06/2013

Hampshire singer impresses, at an immersive, pseudo-theatrical event...

In deepest Hackney tonight, it’s 1927. “Welcome to The Grand Eagle Hotel,” announces the porter as the sharply dressed hordes - each clutching a bouquet for the Mistress of the House – shuffle through the secret venue’s towering doors. Inside, a flame-haired maiden shows The Mayflower Party to their respective rooms, before thrusting us a scrunched note angrily intended for a Lord Cardeux, who’s to be found playing bowls on the lawn outside. Vacating the heebie-jeebie-inducing chambers, the mass then descend into the building’s winding corridors, which are littered with curious passageways hosting pop-up acts, buffet stalls and giggling water vendors. A cluster of black tie-sporting lounge lizards are observed leaving their game of billiards to tack photos of old lovers to the wall. But their crafts session is interrupted by a sweet coo. From the above balcony, an angelic Laura Marling appears – dressed in virginal white – to deliver a

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spellbinding ‘Dancing In The Dark’, stripping The Boss’s pomp to a silencing whisper as the hallway below is showered in rose petals. It’s a magical teaser ahead of the Eagle Ball itself, of course. Unveiled by hotelier Mr. Undine, the 23-year-old performs a 10-minute-plus suite that strings new album ‘Once I Was An Eagle’’s first four songs into an enchanting medley. After her band vacates, her solo performance captivates. The moist-eyed longing of ‘Little Love Caster’ leads into the deft ‘Sophia’, the latter the musical apex of Secret Cinema’s flawlessly nostalgic dream world. Then, with closer ‘Saved These Words’ – half world-weary soliloquy, half Marling falsetto – still lingering in their ears, those dressed to the nines vacate in a dazed and wondrous state to reconvene with concrete jungle London, a perfect night of surreal wistfulness and exploration firmly lodged in their memories. James West the-fly.co.uk

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Solange, by Braden Fletcher

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Field Day London, Victoria Park 25/05/2013

From R&B to hardcore, Hackney’s hipster day out delivers eclectic thrills...

Pick your way through the flamboyantly-dressed East Londoners and, within the capital’s hippest one-dayer, you’ll find enough buzz bands to make prioritising a veritable nightmare. Still, we tried. Here were our top five acts at this year’s festival... Solange: Undeniably the hot ticket of the festival, Beyonce’s hip sister makes for the perfect, sun-drenched, afternoon crowdpleaser. Backed by a band including Dev Hynes (who’s also produced her work) the louche grooves of ‘Locked In Closets’ and, of course, ‘Leaving You’ are just as effortless as you’d hope. Toy: Yep, they still look like a bunch of mannequins that’ve just stumbled out of a nearby vintage store. However, Toy’s motionlessness only enhances the mind-melting waves of psyche that turn the audience’s collective mind into a gooey ooze. Lovely. Metz: The Canadians do a mighty good job of getting everyone to dive in. Thrashing out the highlights from their

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self-titled debut might not be quite what the doctor ordered alongside the mid-afternoon sun, but who gives a shit what physicians think about punk? Palma Violets: It starts with some yelling and ends with a stage invasion. And, sure, that’s pretty much protocol for a Palma Violets show now, but the fact that they can bring just as much carnage to a packed festival as to 180’s now-legendary house shows is still impressive. Now the hype’s eased off, the Lambeth boys can just get on with being brilliant. Animal Collective: Closing the curtain on the whole thing are Animal Collective, whose beat-laden bombast, glittering electronics and intoxicating choruses embody the eclectic mix of the festival perfectly. With a career-spanning set complemented by an elaborate light show, Noah and co. provide an euphoric full stop to the day’s proceedings. Samuel Cornforth/ Lisa Wright the-fly.co.uk

1. Wolf Alice 2. Swim Deep by villunderlondon 3. The Killers 4. Queens Of The Stone Age by Chiaki Nozu

Wolf Alice Birmingham, The Victoria 31/05/2013 As Wolf Alice frontwoman Ellie Rowsell steps up onto The Victoria’s sweaty box-room stage, it’s immediately apparent she’s a star. With a wry smile between songs and knowing glances to her band members, her confident and effortless demeanour belies the band’s relatively minimal years. Even throughout the more animated likes of recent standout single ‘Fluffy’ – which boasts an impressive guitar riff alongside a brilliantly shouty, foot-stomping chorus - Rowsell remains in the Justine Frischmann school of natural cool. It works perfectly with Wolf Alice’s sound – which, too, is impressively varied for a young band. Quiet beginnings build into heavier anthems, prompting some good old-fashioned head-banging before returning to their mellow starting point. ‘Leaving You’ remains the group’s quietest moment and provides a chance for the-fly.co.uk

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Rowsell’s impressive vocals to shine. Recent B-side ‘White Leather’, meanwhile, sits at the more introverted end of the London band’s spectrum, meaning that when they finally unleash ‘Bros’, its effervescent guitar spins and addictive chorus send a wave of movement throughout the crowd. As far as statements of intent go, tonight’s is proof that Wolf Alice are undoubtedly on the up. Tom Williams

Swim Deep London, Village Underground 29/05/2013 Last time Swim Deep invaded Shoreditch, they did a good job. Tonight, they do an even better one, surfing back into town on a tide of expectation; debut album ‘Where The Heaven Are We’ is drawing near (read our review on page 52), and tonight is the perfect teaser trailer. Album track ‘Francisco’ makes for an energetic opening burst, before the first big moment of the night arrives in ‘Honey’, the crowd suddenly erupting

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in a fit of dancing and an eager singalong. ‘Stray’ and ‘Red Lips I Know’ show how the band’s songwriting has evolved and progressed since their first single, whilst the B-side to that release, ‘Beach Justice’, follows to huge cheers. The highlight, though, comes in the penultimate song of the night. On record, ‘She Changes The Weather’ is an emotional stunner, but recreated tonight it’s even more powerful. Towards the end a confetti cannon fills the room with blue and silver foil. It’s a glittering burst of euphoria that shows just how joyous Swim Deep can be. Rhian Daly

The Killers London, The Garage 22/06/2013 So, there they are. One of the biggest bands in the world. On stage at The Garage. More absurdly, three hours ago nobody knew this show was happening. Yet, after finishing a sold-out Wembley Stadium gig, The Killers have dashed

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across north London to play for the first six hundred people to arrive. Announced by a tweet, tonight is social media hysteria in real life. The band eventually go on stage around 1.45am, Brandon Flowers wearing a t-shirt bearing the word “VINCE”, for reasons unknown (pun intended), and the crazed audience are treated to a 40-minute selection of less-often-aired tracks, including opener ‘Change Your Mind’, ‘Tranquilize’ from the Sawdust compilation, and a cover of Tiffany’s ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’. Euphorically and with unswervable inevitability (it’s The Killers, ffs!) the show closes with a mass sing-along: ‘Runaways’, ‘When You Were Young’, ‘Glamorous Indie Rock & Roll’, ‘Mr Brightside’ find the band drowned out by the by-now-bursting crowd, before they finish with a rousing flourish in the form of ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’. Frankly, a stupid show. Truly once-in-alifetime stuff. simon nzonzi

4.

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Queens Of The Stone Age London, Rough Trade East 11/06/2013 “You’re sweaty down there. We’re sweaty up here. Let’s all sweat together baby...” purrs Josh Homme from the literally-dripping surrounds of the Rough Trade East

record shop. The heat is intense and the hormones flying around the 200-capacity crowd are tangible, but the second the Californian rock gods kick into the opening assault of ‘My God Is The Sun’ any sticky discomfort is swiftly forgotten. Playing a oneoff performance in support of majestic new album ‘...Like Clockwork’, Homme and co. go above and

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beyond expectations. Surpassing usual in-store traditions (brevity, lack of atmosphere, only playing the material you’re promoting) and then some, we get a set not only drawn from across their career but also largely based on fan requests. “Let’s turn this shit up until it blows the fuck up,” the frontman announces. Technically, he means the volume,

but really it works as an analogy for the entire evening. Powering into old favourites ‘Burn The Witch’ and ‘Go With The Flow’ alongside irrepressibly sultry newie ‘Smooth Sailing’ and ‘I Sat By The Ocean’, the eight-song set is a succinct distillation of everything that’s uniquely brilliant about the band. 1% perspiration, 99% inspirational. Lisa Wright the-fly.co.uk

Frankie Francis, by Priti Shikotra

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Frankie & The Heartstrings Leeds, Brudenell Social Club 05/06/2013 When Mick Jagger performs in front of 20,000 people, his surreal strutting and flamboyant flicks of the wrist don’t look so strange. But if he the-fly.co.uk

was doing his freaky dancing a few feet from where you’re stood, in a cosy pub lounge in a suburb of Leeds, you’d realise how insane a person can look when they’re acting like a rock star with stadium-sized confidence. And so it is with Frankie Francis. The Heartstrings’ frontman puts in a performance worthy of Live Aid, with an unfashionable level

of energy and relentless pop posturing you’ll only see nowadays on Top Of The Pops 2. Of course, that’s why he’s brilliant. With his spring-loaded hips, Francis is so bizarrely out-of-place in modern music, he makes the old rock ‘n’ roll conventions look completely maverick. It’s the same with the band as a whole. The traditions of 60s

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pop, the melody of 80s indie, the nononsense approach of punk and the piercing wit of the north-east football terraces have all been infused by these Sunderland songwriters into a set that’s uniquely, unusually timeless. It’s music for megadomes taken totally out of context and turned into something strikingly new. Robert Cooke

12 October Glasgow ABC1 13 October Wolves Civic 14 October Manchester O2 Apollo 16 October London Forum EXTRA DATE ADDED DUE TO DEMAND

17 October London Forum AXS.COM | AEGLIVE.CO.UK | SEE TICKETS whoismgmt.com facebook.com/mgmt | @whoismgmt NEW MGMT ALBUM COMING SOON WATCH WHOISMGMT.COM FOR ALL INFO AN AEG LIVE PRESENTATION IN ASSOCIATION WITH CAA

Who: Neon Neon When: 04/06/2013 Where: Village Underground, London

si x s h ots

Photography by J im E yre

Editor: JJ Dunning Deputy Editor: Ben Homewood Associate Editor (Online): Alex Denney Live Editor: Lisa Wright Art Editor: Russ Moorcroft Staff Photographer: Tom Oldham Staff Writers: Daniel Ross, Michael Cragg, Rob Cooke Photographers: Tom Andrew, Tom Bunning, Shari Denson, Jim Eyre, Louise HaywoodSchiefer, Sakura Henderson, Gideon Marshall, Layla Smethurst.

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Advertising: Laura Akam Marketing and Distribution: Laura Astley Publisher: Debbie Ward/Lucinda Brown Contributors: Clare Considine, Rhian Daly, Scotland’s Euan L Davidson, Will Fitzpatrick, Matt Glass, John Kerrison, Nick Levine, James Luxford, Emily Mackay, Jazz Monroe, James West. Thanks To: Rosie Lord, Chris Rickett,and Taponeswa Mavunga at Atlantic.

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New Bands: Get A Head Start With The Fly! Sign up to Sonic Bids for the chance to perform at one of our live events... If you’re in a new band and looking for a head start, The Fly is here to help. The Fly magazine is Britain’s biggest new music-centric monthly. It’s available in pubs, clubs, venues and record stores, and is consulted by the industry for its on-the-money new bands section, OnesToWatch. This year, the title is offering the chance to give new bands a bigger break. Sign up to Sonic Bids www.sonicbids.com/theflymagazine as a new artist and have your music heard by editorial staff, as well as MAMA & Company’s team of promoters, who book venues nationwide. Each month, one band will be selected to perform first on the bill at one of our OnesToWatch nights at The Garage in London. For full terms and conditions visit www.sonicbids.com/terms-and-conditions-of-use

Fri 4 Oct

Sun 10 Nov

In C

Josh Ritter

Pantha du Prince & The Bell Laboratory, Matthew Herbert and Joshua Light Show Sat 5 Oct

Nicolas Jaar

with Joshua Light Show

Acoustic Show

Sun 8 Dec, Milton Court

Yo La Tengo Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller Sun 8 Dec

Stornoway

Image: Pantha du Prince

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The Fly July 2013