The Fly November 2013
Includes: Joey Bada$$, Jon Hopkins, Connan Mockasin, Splashh Tour Diary, plus Warpaint new album news, Sky Ferreira, Blood Orange and Lorde albums reviewed.
Issue n째166 November 2013 Joey Bada$$ Free the-fly.co.uk 4 [REGuLARS] IN THE STuDIO O6 WIN STuFF O8 JOHN KERRISON’S GRAPHIC CONTENT 12 FILM 16 ONESTOWATCH 18 [FEATuRES] JOEY BADA$$ 26 JON HOPKINS 32 SPLASHH TOuR DIARY 34 CONNAN MOCKASIN 42 [REVIEWS] ALBuMS 44 LIVE 56 SIX SHOTS 66 We’d be lying if we said getting hold of Joey Bada$$ was easy. Access to the precocious Brooklyn rapper is tough. So, when he announced a flash-visit to the uk to play at the 100 club for converse in october, we seized the chance to take his portrait. even so, it took another three weeks to get an interview. Ben homewood tracks him down from page 26... JJ DuNNING, EDITOR Splashh’s Sasha carlson, shot by Jim eyre for The Fly, London, october 2013 5 the-Fly.co.uk I n T h e S t u d io Warpaint Stella Mozgawa talks about the LA foursome’s upcoming LP... Title: ‘Warpaint’ Producer: Flood [U2, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, PJ Harvey, The Killers], Warpaint Studios: 5 Star Recorders, LA and Assault And Battery, London Label: Rough Trade Due: January 2014 Hi Stella. Which new song are you most excited for people to hear? “There’s one called ‘Biggy’ that is my favourite. Emily [Kokal], myself and Jono Ma from Jagwar Ma worked on that song initially. It was a really spastic electronic song that was about seven times faster than it is right now. It was an instrumental and an idea that Emily had had for a long time. the-fly.co.uk Jono was visiting me in LA and we were hanging out in my basement making music. Emily came by and had this idea she’d had for a few years. We found the perfect sound and got really excited about it, then left it on the shelf for a little while. Then it came out when we were in pre-production with Flood. He basically flipped the whole thing on its head – he added lyrics and made us slow it down to about 20% of the original speed. It’s just one of those things – watching it from the inception to the way that it is now, I just feel really proud of it. I remember when we first recorded it with him - we had the instrumental version - I went home and listened to it four million times. I just texted everyone saying that I thought we’d done something I didn’t know we were even capable of.” “I’m very happy with a lot of the songs, but I know the struggle. I can almost hear it when I hear them – I’m starting to relax about it now, but that’s because it’s been a little while. When something just happens naturally, I just think it’s just a joy to listen to every time.” Sounds like it was hard work to grind some of these songs out? “The hardest aspect of making the record was knowing that something’s finished - knowing that it has its own 6 momentum. Not picking at it like a wound, because otherwise it just continually bleeds. You could go through that process forever and ever. Why not just let it heal?” “This has been a new process for us – making something from scratch. A lot of these songs have only existed for a year, a year and a half, as opposed to the last album where a lot of those songs had existed for seven or eight years. All that we were drawing from were new elements. Now that we’ve been through that process I think we know how to do it better the next time. Or just in a shorter period of time.” This record is produced by Flood – he’s got so much experience. What did you learn from him? “Oh my god. So much. I can’t even... I’ve been trying to work a bit more on engineering – especially our demos – so I was looking over his shoulder a lot and look at the elements he likes to keep. He doesn’t work the same with everyone. He 7 said that one of his talents was ‘making something lo-fi sound hi-fi’. Watching him psychologically deal with a group of four women with strong personalities - dealing with them diplomatically and watching the speed that he did it was priceless. And I honestly feel like I made a friend in him.” Bonus Fa c t o i d s Stella drummed on Kurt Vile’s ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ LP. “He’s one of those troubadours that could’ve existed 35 years ago,” she says. the-fly.co.uk King Krule headlined The Fly stage at TGE 2013. Tom Oldham wi n st u ff WIN: A “Golden Ticket” To Three Festivals Take a friend to Great Escape, Lovebox and Wilderness in 2014... The Fly celebrates 15 years in print in 2014; we’re staging a series of gigs around the country, plus an awards ceremony in London (more on p10). As a gift to you, our readers, we’re offering the chance to win access to three of the best festivals the UK has to offer in 2014, as well as the night of The the-fly.co.uk Fly Awards itself. Head to www.the-fly.co.uk/ competitions from 4th November to take part in our competition. Enter your email address (chillax, we’re not gonna do anything funny with it) and you will be entered into a prize draw to win a pair of tickets to Brighton’s Great Escape festival (May), London’s 8 Lovebox (July) and Oxfordshire’s Wilderness (August). You’ll also gain entry to The Fly Awards ceremony on 6th February at Kentish Town Forum in London. Sign up to our newsletter (via our homepage) to get the latest announcements directly to your inbox. 9 the-fly.co.uk ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ A W A R D S ★ ★ 2 O I 4 ★ ★ READERS, DISTRIBuTORS, FOLLOWERS, LIKERS, BANDS AND ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ INDuSTRY HEROES: THANK YOu. Next year, the Fly will celebrate 15 years in print as a national music magazine. After two years as a camden fanzine, we first distributed to the whole nation in 1999. Since then, we’ve been subsisting on the good will of the general public (you), the hard cash of our advertisers (thanks guys) and a diet of Jelly Babies and Diet coke (plaudits to the staff of hV kingsley A W A R D S newsagents, Paul Street, london). But, principally, our magazine would be nothing without the continued support of you, the readers. 2 O I 4 your appetite for our magazine is insatiable and we are grateful. ★ ★ ★ ★ So, as a way of saying thank you as much as anything else, we are planning a series of live shows around the country as well as an awards ceremony in london next February. taking place at the kentish town Forum on 6th February, the Fly Awards 2014 will boast a line-up of your favourite bands. head to www.the-fly.co.uk/competitions for the chance to win a Golden ticket securing entry to the Fly Awards, Great escape, lovebox and Wilderness festivals for you and a friend in 2014. you’ll also get the best new music delivered daily, plus news of exclusive ticket deals and giveaways. Visit our Fly Awards website www.the-fly.co.uk/awards, follow us on twitter @theflymagazine, and like us on Facebook for the latest line-up announcements. Ĵ ĵDunning JJ Dunning, editor M MU student ad 115x148_Layout 1 24/06/2013 11:06 Page 1 Are you serious? Playing live, writing or recording? Join us and receive: – – – – – – Free instrument insurance Career and business advice Rights protection Free contract and partnership advice £10 million public liability cover Legal advice and assistance The network of 30,000 musicians across the UK theMU.org 11 @WeAreTheMU the-fly.co.uk x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Critical success, good reviews and sales x x x x x x x x over time. We don’t rely on chart positions. We might sell 100,000 x x x x x x x over a period of a year, that’s just x x selling x x xin a x x asx fantastic as 22,000 week charting at number one and x dropping x xout. xEven xthough x we x then may not have charted over a year we x x x x x x x x have sold more. Business success and critical acclaim. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x xIt’s a xnickname from my x x x hip-hop x x days at school. IsseyxMiyake. My geometric jacket. x x x x x x Black. Gorge. x x x x x x Oi oi x VV,xyou x @megacindos always look amazing...what’s x x x x x x x your favourite outfit and why? x x x @dereklloyd67 What x x x x xdoes xthe x second V stand for? x x x x x x I needed axserious I wanted x x to make x x record. x x x x to make an album that represented the person xI amxnow.xI learnt x a lot x about x x music x x new and culture. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x@iamsoviekitsch x x x How x doxyou xget your x x x quiff so perfect? x x It was x made x x wex I used tox havex a roll. and clipped it in and added it to my own hair. I x x x x x x x x x don’t wear it anymore. x x x x x x x x x x x VV Brown performs at Camden Barfly, London, on Thursday x21st November. x x Support x comes x from x Mausi x and Holly x x x Walker. Head to facebook.com/becksvier for tickets. x x x x x x x x x x x x 12x x 12 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Everyone would earn the same amount of x money x x bexcompletely x x equal. x x and x x x x x x x x x @frankec64 If there was one thing you in xcould x change x x thexworld x what x would x x it be and how would you go about it? x #justsaying x x x x x x x x x x x x x x and x spending x xa lot xof time x Axbreakx fromx music with real artists who were studying. x x x x What influenced your new album? x x x x x x x x x x x x@Spurs_H x xWhyx suchx a change x xa direction? x x x x x x x x x x “It’s a x x x x nickname x x my x from x hip-hop x x x days...” x x x Maturity and changing as a person. I loved x x x x x x x x new art forms and different types of music. Discovery. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x A singer. x x Music x willx always x and x has xalways x come first. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x @talulahvondouve VV Brown, do xyou see yourself as more of a fashion designer or x x x x x x x x x more of a singer? the-fly.co.uk x x x x x x x VV Green. x x x x x x x x x x x x x x @OllyReeves How did you find the x transition x x from x commercial x x x x pop tox your own sound? x x x x @VerdiCries What inspired you to the x x of tune x x the xnew xalbum? x x change in x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x How x dox youxmeasure x x x @drammogan your success of #samsonanddelilah, and has x releasing x x it independently x x x x x this? x x changed x x x x surname to a different colour, which colour would choose? x xyou x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x change x @KristelaAnne x x x If you x could x x x your x x x x x x x x x No-x8 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x VV Brown x x x x x x x x x Hip-hop, fashion, and different-coloured surnames. Stylish London singer VV Brown answers your questions... x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x The Fly Promotion 13 the-fly.co.uk »John Kerrison’s Graphic Content Instant Classics It seems there are very few things Morrissey can’t do, be it maintaining an audacious quiff for roughly three decades, spouting ill-thought-out tirades about animal rights like someone pulled a PETA string in his back, or creating important works of classic literature. That’s if the publisher Penguin is to be believed, as last month it instantly added Mozza’s autobiography to its famed ‘classics’ range. That means the likes of Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Jane Austen are now kept company by a man who wrote the following line without an ounce of irony: “I vomit profusely when I discover that the album has been pressed in Japan with Sandie Shaw’s version of ‘Hand In Glove’ I am so disgusted by this that I beg people to kill me.” No harm in begging harder. Here are some other celebrity tomes that could make the list... Danny Dyer I haven’t read Danny Dyer’s autobiography, because I like myself, but I’d hazard a guess that if you were to remove all the swear words, cockney rhyming slang, and stories about ‘birds’ you’d probably be left with something more closely resembling a tweet about cocaine than a book. Having said that, it’s a welldocumented and slightly baffling fact that Dyer was close friends with Nobel prize winning playwright Harold Pinter, so there’s probably quite an ominous and claustrophobic chapter about walking like a geezer that makes this an instant classic. Alec Baldwin A Promise To Ourselves: A Journey Through Fatherhood and Divorce, is amongst the lowest-selling autobiographies of all time. You’d think this would be enough to prevent it from becoming a classic work of literature, but bear in mind if you buy the audiobook it’d be like learning all about the trials and tribulations of parental separation from Madagascar’s Makunga. Sold. Justin Bieber In 2010, when Justin was around, what, eight? He released First Step 2 Forever, a horribly numeracied title for what was actually just 200 pages about Lego written in crayon. Probably. However pointless, it’s due to become a classic soon as the majority of Beliebers are rapidly approaching reading age. Coreyography Corey Feldman is Hollywood’s answer to the question ‘What would a less successful Charlie Sheen be like?’ Recently Feldman has turned into something of a cut-price Hugh Hefner, charging people upwards of £500 to attend parties with him and a selection of the sort of scantily clad women who look like they probably have a bulk rate. You can no doubt read all about this and maybe three other things in Feldman’s new autobiography, Coreyography—a title that would be considered clever if he were in fact a dancer at all. the-fly.co.uk 14 Overly verbose descriptions of fairly ordinary things making Manchester seem like the setting of a particularly cruel Dickens novel pie-gested Read An uncomfortable image of childbirth causing involuntary thoughts of suffering: “Of course my birth almost kills my mother, for my head is too big.” Moments of near-humility successfully jettisoned Genuinely intended selfdeprecating humour A refusal to see the bright side in things, comically offset by references to enjoying Skippy the Bush Kangaroo OLYMPICS CHARITY “The spirit of Germany now pervades throughout media-brand Britain.” – On the persecution of millions that was last year’s Olympic Games “The most self-righteous platform ever in the history of popular music.” – On popular charity event Band Aid FAST FOOD AWARDS “That is nothing compared to what happens in McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Shit every day.” – On Anders Brievik and bad names for chicken shops “I would never accept a Brit, it would be like Laurence Olivier being happy getting a TV Times award.” – On self-doubt 15 the-fly.co.uk Picks of 2013 TOY, Citizens! and Swim Deep rock at J.D. Roots shows... Last month, TOY, Citizens! and Swim Deep played hotly-anticipated JD Roots shows in Edinburgh, London and Manchester. Swim Deep were up first, treating Edinburgh’s Picture House to a set largely drawn from their ecstatic debut album ‘Where The Heaven Are We?’. After a vibrant opening from Scottish newcomers Prides, the floppy-haired band worked the crowd into a frothy mass of raised hands during singles ‘King City’ and ‘Honey’. The following night, Citizens! and local boys Night Engine appeared snappily dressed at The Garage in London. Night Engine’s clipped, Bowiethe-fly.co.uk tinged post-punk proved the ideal pre-cursor to Citizens! indie-disco, which left a room full of sweat-soaked, grinning fans. Finally, at The Ritz in Manchester, much-tipped outfit Young British Artists played a rousing hometown show before TOY put on a typically hypnotic performance. The psych five-piece were lost in their motorik rhythms throughout, and the new songs aired from forthcoming new album ‘Join The Dots’ were menacing. At the set’s climax, lights dappled the crowd and TOY’s wall of noise finally crumbled, bringing an exhilarating trio of shows to a spectacular end. 16 The Picks of 2013 shows in October are a continuation of Jack Daniel’s J.D. Roots commitment to local music scenes which in May, saw them take Miles Kane and Maxïmo Park back to play intimate gigs in small venues in their respective hometowns of Liverpool and Newcastle. In addition, they hosted several breakthrough acts, including The Family Rain, The Ruen Brothers, Charlie Boyer and the Voyeurs and Loom, to further support the great music coming out of towns and cities across the land. For more information on JD Roots go to www.jackdaniels.com/music. Know when to unplug. Please drink Jack Daniel’s responsibly. For the facts: drinkaware.co.uk Citizens! headlined the JD Roots picks of 2013 minitour at the Garage in London and Toy (below) headlined the final night at The Ritz, Manchester the-fly.co.uk F I L M “I need to get myself a better agent” said the crow, ruefully. Falling Stars 2013 has been a disappointing year for films. James Luxford blames the movie stars... It’s the time of year when many publications start to feverishly compile various top ten of the year lists. While there have been plenty of celebrity scandals to keep the more sensationalist outlets happy (hands up who the-fly.co.uk wishes they didn’t know what ‘twerking’ was?), in the movie world it’s been harder than usual to find the gems. 2013 has seen many big names fall, a lot of cinematic “bankers” disappoint, and many studios’ bank balances turn that 18 dreaded reddish colour. A lot of the films that proved huge let downs had one thing in common - a normally reliable star attached. It’s been an annus horribilis for Hollywood’s former golden boy, Ryan Gosling. Kicking off January with the drab Gangster Squad (remember when people were talking Oscars for that film? Seems silly now, doesn’t it?) and ending with the garbled, confusing Only God Forgives. Then there was Will Smith. Previously a man who could read from a phone book and score a box office #1, he TA K E F I V E : 2 0 1 3 ’ s w o rst M O V I E S Royally crap Diana Corny and terribly written. Hard to believe this was from the director of Downfall. Sandler Sucks Grown Ups 2 Adam Sandler and his friends decided to make a(nother) film. Nothing funny happened. The Horror, The Horror Scary Movie 5 Proof that movie spoofs are dead. did the dreadful After Earth alongside his rather wooden son, Jaden. They’re not alone, however. Jamie Foxx and Channing Tatum couldn’t muster any interest for White House Down, the shine came off of James Franco’s apple with the flashy but pointless Oz The Great & Powerful, and even Leonardo DiCaprio couldn’t prevent The Great Gatsby from becoming the film version of a U2 gig (lots of effects but little soul). The golden turd that eclipses all of these, however, is The Lone Ranger starring Johnny Depp. Too long, too convoluted and a teeny bit racist, Depp’s streak of Billion Dollar summer films ended and many wondered what he and everyone else involved was thinking. While the era of the movie star isn’t over, it seems the real money and talent is flocking to franchises – Iron Man 3, Star Trek Into Darkness and Fast & Furious 6 (yes, six) all scored big with audiences. So then, next time you complain there’s nothing but sequels at your local multiplex, remember – we’ve only ourselves to blame. 19 The Yawn Identity Identity Thief Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman go on an annoying road trip. Nightmare Ensemble Movie 43 A huge cast appeared in this awful sketch film. Every single one wishes they hadn’t. the-fly.co.uk o n e s t o wat ch TELEGRAM The cable guys... Words R obert C ooke Photos J im E yre “Matt and Oli were in a Roxy Music tribute band, but we don’t like to talk about that”, says Telegram frontman Matt Saunders. It’s true that Saunders (top left) formed Telegram with guitarist Matt Wood and bassist Oli Paget-Moon over a mutual infatuation with Roxy’s electronic innovator Brian Eno. The band was born – so the story goes – in the aftermath of a house party where Eno’s albums were on heavy rotation. But in the same way that there’s more to Eno than what you hear on ‘Virginia Plain’, you’d be crazy to think that the striking London-based fourpiece can be defined by their favourite glam-rock band. “There are some bands that we listen to from the last 10 years and those are really influential as well,” explains Saunders. “There’s a lot of interesting melodic folk stuff like Quilt or Cate Le Bon, the-fly.co.uk people like that. There’s a lot of influences, but I guess there’s more of a nod at the moment, currently, in what we’ve done to mid-70s artrock.” Take ‘Follow’, Telegram’s debut single. The video casts the band as a cross between The Ramones and The Velvet Underground, and though the track closes with a particularly Roxy-esque wigout, drummer Jordan Cook’s clattering kraut rhythms give it the post-punk urgency of early Wire or Magazine. Saunders - who lived in Caerphilly before moving to London for art college - adds another flavour with snappy mellifluous-accented vocals, even if he didn’t feel at home musically until he left his home nation. “Growing up I didn’t necessarily meet a group of people in Caerphilly that were interested and excited by the things that I was, and I was 20 trying to find that, I guess. There’s a definite group of musicians - Cate Le Bon, Sweet Baboo, people like that - that are based in Cardiff and got into that scene around the Furries, Gorky’s, which I’m a massive, massive fan of, but I just missed it. I never saw it.” Now though, this perfectly crimped outfit have their own scene with friends in TOY and The Horrors, and are synthesising the influences of English glam-rock, Welsh alt-pop, J. G. Ballard and Kurt Vonnegut into some of the most exciting new rock music around. Even Eno might be impressed by Telegram’s message. “I think he’d either hate us or he’d laugh off the compliment,” says Saunders. “I’d be surprised if he cheered us on and was glad that someone like us had come along at last. I guess you’d have to ask him.” ‘Follow’ is released on GramGram on 11th November 21 the-fly.co.uk o n e s t o wat c h COP These punks are a law unto themselves... Words W ill F itzpatrick Photo S ophie H all Noel Anderson has barely woken up, but already his hyperactive brain is going a mile a minute. “A lot of hardcore bands can be dogmatic, which is boring. What’s exciting about the-fly.co.uk those bands isn’t just the sound they make, but the context in which they’re making that sound.” For COP, the context is simple: DIY punk. Forming after the breakup of their old band, east 22 London rejectionists Advert, COP’s early intentions were simply to do something “more aggressive”. “It felt like a weird continuation of what we were doing before,” explains guitarist Luke Tristram, whose fascination with Born Against, Mission Of Burma and the Kill Rock Stars label led to the muscular noise that forms the backbone of COP’s sound. On their choice of name, Noel quips, “Millions Of Dead Cops was already taken”, before admitting they enjoyed the sense of “monolithic appropriation” that came with naming themselves after the corrupt antagonists of innumerable songs by the likes of Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys. He talks engagingly about politics and music, but most passionately on the subject of the shows he and Luke promote as Unwork/FuckUp Force. Based at Dalston arts space Power Lunches, and cribbing the name from Valerie Solanos’ radical feminist text The SCUM Manifesto, Unwork is a realization of their belief in the DIY ethic. “When you try to set up things outside established networks, a community naturally develops. This idea is very important to me whether culture should be in the hands of the people or whether it’s a commodity.” “Even being on an indie label these days seems to have a very image-related attitude,” Luke continues. “DIY is just a lot more fun.” Currently, COP’s musical output is limited to their Bandcamp demos, but they’re planning to turn Unwork into a label and head straight to Luke’s flat to start “getting an album together” after our farmyard photo shoot. Their choice to be photographed in front of a large pig is part of COP’s good-humoured but strictlyenforced determination to remain masters of their own destiny, as Noel concludes: “We just don’t want to be misunderstood. We want to be in control of what we do.” KEVIN MORBY Broken songwriter comes out of the woods... Words B en H omewood Photo K evin M orby New York City exhausted Kevin Morby. He recently left the place he’s loved since he drifted there from Kansas City six years ago. One of the ‘faces’ of Brooklyn’s incestuous band network, he became worn down by the relentless pace of his work with Woods and The Babies and repaired to the relative calm of Los Angeles to record his first solo album. “These songs span six years. I’ve been writing since I was 18, so it was important that I brought a few old songs for the first record. Ones that are dear to me that I didn’t want to go without ever being heard,” he explains. “It sets the foundation for a solo career.” Concentrating on his own work for the time being, Kevin is using his effortless, sighing songs to ease his mind. ‘Harlem River’, his album, also offers closure on his time in New York. Each song relates to a different NYC tale, but the enchanting title track is a woozy centrepiece, planting the listener firmly in Kevin’s dislocated, disaffected mind. “New York is very dear to me, it’s forever in my heart, and I never want it to become tainted in my mind or lose its magic, so I had to bow out,” he says. ‘Harlem River’ also betrays Kevin’s “attraction to tragedy”, with stories of alcohol problems and drug use hiding behind his warm vocals and sleepy melodies. “There’s a lot of beauty in those things. The world’s a fucked up place, and usually, at the centre of [addiction], is a beautiful person who doesn’t know how to handle themselves.” ‘Harlem River’ tenderly explores these issues, while telling the story of the relationship that persuaded Kevin Morby to finally go solo. “I can really dig into my core. It’s fun, thrilling, and scary to suddenly be feeling so naked.” ‘Harlem River’ is released on Woodsist on 25th November copmusic.bandcamp.com 23 the-fly.co.uk o n e s t o wat c h LORELLE MEETS THE OBSOLETE Mexican psych pair will never expire... Words A lex D enney Photo D anny P ayne Lorelle Meets The Obsolete are skint. After a US tour lined their pockets with fluff early this year, the duo launched a crowdfunding campaign to get them to Europe. They fell a few grand short of their target - and yet here they sit in a London boozer ahead of their debut UK the-fly.co.uk show. How did they do it? “Everything was already booked!” laughs Alberto González, who founded the group with girlfriend Lorena Quintanilla. “We booked in February, way before the campaign. We had to ask the bank for a loan. So we’re actually more broke now than we were.” 24 Nonetheless, they have reasons to be cheerful. Like the fact their third album ‘Chambers’ is, by their own admission, their best to date. Mixing psych, drone and blues, its focus is down in part to its recording at an artists’ retreat in deepest, darkest Illinois, the first time Alberto and Lorena were able to write together without distractions. They’ve had to put in the miles getting to this point too. Starting out in their native Guadalajara after breaking with old band the Soho Riots, Lorelle put out one record, ‘On Welfare’, before tiring of the city’s “apathetic” vibes and relocating to Mexico City. That didn’t last, either - fed first o n 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 1 Courtney Barnett 2 Jaakko Eino Kalevi 3 Autobahn 4 Grimm Grimm 5 Los Cripis up with the way performers treated music “as a means to an end” in the capital, they wrote a bitchy album on the subject, ‘Corruptible Faces’, before high-tailing it to California, where they are now happily resident. But they’re not completely bummed about Mexico they’re openly indebted to 60s garage-rock bands like The Dug Dugs and The Spiders, and say there is some good music coming out of the country just now. “I guess we’re just difficult people!” says Lorena, with a laugh that says they’re anything but. Jaakko Eino Kalevi is a Finnish, Chris Rea-loving tram driver and self-taught multiinstrumentalist. His duvet-soft ‘Dreamzone’ EP is out on Weird World next month. Koichi Ymnha’s ‘Chambers’ is released on Sonic Cathedral in February Wet are perfectly named. The New Grimm Grimm project floats on an axis of spidery folk and acid-fried psych. See him at Catch on 7th November. Clever couplets and awkward stories sung in a cakey Australian twang personify Courtney Barnett’s debut. Get ‘The Double EP: A Sea Of Split Peas’ now. 25 Yorkers, who starred at CMJ, make downtempo, slushy beats perfect for a reflective soak. ‘Wet’ is out now on Neon Gold. Los Cripis’ shadowy, crumbling indie-pop is as crusty as it is melodic. The Argentine trio have just recorded a new album; seek out the ‘Goldfish’ EP in the meantime. Leeds five-piece Autobahn aren’t just another punk band. There’s that loaded name, for a start. Then there’s gruelling intensity and elegant grace. ‘Autobahn 1’ is out on 4th November on Tough Love. Blending METZ’s tone with the torn melodies of early Vivian Girls, HSY are a sludgy nightmare. Download their EP from hussywhore. bandcamp.com. NA M E s t o wat c h The Preatures Honeyblood Weird Menace Real Lies Eyedress Sponsored by the-fly.co.uk the-fly.co.uk 26 Who is Joey Bada$$? The worldâ€™s greatest rapper, or a stoned, homesick teenager? Ben Homewood has 11 minutes to find outâ€Ś Portraits T om O ldham 27 the-fly.co.uk joey bada$$ Wait there. Joey Bada$$ will be with you soon. Friends, weed and touring separate us from the Brooklyn teenager for three weeks. We don’t fit into his routine. He’d rather post pictures of himself in socks and flip flops on Instagram. The struggle begins on 2nd October at London’s 100 Club. Our time with Jo Vaughn Virginie Scott is cancelled without explanation. Protracted negotiations result in a 90-second photo shoot close to midnight. Joey ambles towards our slipshod photography studio outside the venue. He doesn’t say hello and has to be cajoled into lifting his puffy eyelids to focus on the lens. He’s distracted by two female fans (and their joint) who have been waiting almost as long as our photographer. As hangers-on lollop into shot, the focus dissolves and Joey disappears. It’s “I’m gonna up the game, I will have impact. It’ll be all around, everywhere. It’ll be great...” not quite badass behaviour, more dazed and unbothered. Perhaps he doesn’t know where he is. This theory is soon disproved, as Joey’s social media feeds buzz with up-all-night escapades and the usual self-confident proclamations as the Smoker’s Club tour crosses America. With a phone interview offered, we wait for the call. None comes. The unsatisfactory option of interview-via-email is offered. The answers that return - after two weeks - are anodyne and flimsy, in no way similar to Joey’s music and character. Hardened first by his parents’ divorce when he was five and then by the recession, Joey’s exterior is robust. Toughness bred self-assurance. He lived comfortably with his mother and grandmother in Flatbush until the economy crippled his family. Joey the-fly.co.uk concentrated on music, listening to Jay-Z and DOOM and deciding that he would become a great rapper. At the 4,000 student Edward R Murrow High School on Avenue L, Joey formed the Progressive Era crew with Jamal Dewar (aka Capital Steez) and began rapping under the name JayOhVee. But as their collective gained recognition, goofing around and releasing tapes (notably Joey’s debut, ‘1999’), Dewar died last Christmas Eve after allegedly committing suicide. Joey’s continued rise is in tribute to his friend. His first official release - an EP version of his second mixtape ‘Summer Knights’ features the moving ‘#LongLiveSteelo’, but he won’t talk about Dewar during our eventual 11-minute phone call. The dedicated, creative and non-stop nature of Joey and Pro Era emphatically illustrates that what they started in a classroom will live on with Dewar’s memory. With sharp, illustrative lyrics snaked around padded, jazzy beats, Joey’s own music brims with promise. But you could call him a classicist. His craft is well-informed and, beyond that, nostalgic - references to Nas and the boom-bap beats of the 90s pepper the press, to Joey’s chagrin - but it resounds with a free-spirited desire to hack a niche all of his own. Only the Maverick Sabre-featuring version ‘My Yout’ on his new EP could be seen as a concession to the radio. Something about the attention paid to his more notorious peers A$AP Rocky, Earl Sweatshirt and Tyler, The Creator among others feels transient and fashionable. Joey’s craft is rougher, focused on music and the development of a fearless talent who feels his place in history is pre-ordained. Kendrick Lamar certainly isn’t flimsy (his MC-baiting verse on ‘Control’ mocked Joey directly) and is a closer match, but he too feels trendy. With debut LP ‘B4.Da.$$’ due next year, Joey Bada$$ shines as a fresh, vital proposition. “I don’t think about other rappers at all. I’ve moulded my own sound, my own comfort zones.” The line crackles, emphasising the distance between Joey (backstage before soundcheck in Milwaukee) and I (sitting 28 H E DI D T H I NGS H IS WAY. WHICH HEL PS EXPL AIN OUR MUTUAL ADMIR ATION. Look onstage any given night and you would see Frank Sinatra, in his trademark tuxedo, captivating audiences everywhere. Look a little closer and his favorite drink, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, wouldn’t be far away. Frank was never shy about how much he loved Old No. 7. In fact, he’s even laid to rest with a bottle of it. So we thought it was only fi tting to show how much we loved him back. With a whiskey of his own. Jackdaniels.com/sinatraselect. ACT B OL D LY. D R IN K R E S PON S I B LY. SINATRA IS A TRADEMARK OF FRANK SINATRA ENTERPRISES, LLC, USED UNDER LICENSE TO JACK DANIEL’S. ©2013 JACK DANIEL’S. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 29 the-fly.co.uk the-fly.co.uk 30 joey bada$$ in a quiet cul-de-sac in Oval at 10:30pm on a Friday.) The wait and this eveningabandoning, not-quite-gonzo journalism prove worthwhile; Joey is animated and engaging. He describes the previous night’s show in Chicago, “that shit was really fucked up” saying that he needs energy from his audience. A year ago I saw him play a tiny and chaotic ‘secret’ show, where he made an improbably chic crowd perspire. It wasn’t a place to be seen, rather to experience the heat, speed and molten, thunderous energy of Joey’s live show. Joey puts a high price on energy as part of his arsenal of unique attributes. “I definitely serve a platform, keeping a lot of people on they feet. Just being so young - and I don’t even like to bring that into the light - is one thing I have over other rappers. They can be like ‘This kid is mad young and he stand better than me, so…’” he stops, arrogantly leaving the sentence unfinished. “Lyrics and energy are different things,” he continues. “Another thing people enjoy about me is I have a youthful approach and a mature, older soul approach on the game. I can appeal to the youth and they parents as well.” There isn’t a hint of a smirk. At 18, he’s easily reeling off a list of things that don’t just make him better, but the best. Shortly after leaving the 100 Club, he tweeted that he would be “the greatest” within five years, before clarifying that he could do it in three. In response to a question about this in my email, he answered: “I still feel as confident as when I said that. My bars give me the confidence I need.” I mention it again, to absolute silence. I wonder if he’s forgotten, or if he wrote the answers at all, then he says, “Self-belief and confidence definitely come naturally. You need to have them to do anything you want, to be a successful person. Of course I get days when I feel less [confident], that’s nature. Humans go through waves and variations of moods naturally.” Nothing about Joey suggests he’s ever been in such a mood. What he says next makes the thought even more unlikely. 31 “I definitely feel I’m an example to kids. I’m living proof of belief in oneself and self confidence and doing what you wanna do. I’m gonna up the game, as far as the impact I make, and [if you] base that impact upon my complete vision, yes I will have impact. It’ll be all around, everywhere. It’ll be great.” His press officer interrupts: “Can we wrap it up?” There’s time for another question. I ask about what he misses most on tour and his plans after his current 29-date run. “I miss my family. I talk to my mum, but not like every day. You see, the thing is I’m the kind of person where I can’t… if I keep talking to her, it’s just gonna make me homesick even “I miss my family. i go home as much as i can...” even a bada$$ misses his mum... more, so I spread it out. I hope to go home as much as I can. When I get back I’ll wrap up the album for sure.” Like the photos of Joey and his family he occasionally posts online, it’s a solitary flash of the vulnerable teenager living inside the relentless, bullish rapper who really believes he can take on the world and win. But it’s only a moment. Homesickness notwithstanding, Joey Bada$$ swaggers through our conversation, his tough confidence appears limitless. At the end of the eleventh hour before our deadline and 11 minutes on the phone, he sounds like a badass, a mini-deity. “Man, I don’t care about anything else. At the end of the day it’s always just Joey. It’s always me.” ‘Summer Knights’ EP is out October 29th via Relentless Records/Cinematic Music Group. the-fly.co.uk Jon Hopkins The twice Mercury-nominated producer has spent 20 mind-expanding years chasing a feeling. With ‘Immunity’, he’s finally tracked it down... Photography T om O ldham the-fly.co.uk 32 33 the-fly.co.uk jon hopkins Jon Hopkins is crying. Tears stream down his cheeks as his mum puts on a record Beethoven’s piano concerto, most likely - and the music strikes up. A change comes over his face, and the tears stop flowing. Jon Hopkins is two years old. Jon Hopkins is floating above the earth. He’s in his early twenties, we’d guess, looking down at the planet with the spirits of every human being that ever existed. “I mean obviously, it’s ridiculous bollocks,” he says on returning from his trip. “But the feeling “I sank down like that scene in Trainspotting, it was incredible...” was life-changing. And when I came back to earth what I did know was that there was an immense comfort out there of some sort.” For 20 years now, Jon Hopkins has been chasing a feeling with his music. It’s a feeling he had when smoking too much of his mate’s homegrown skunk as a teenager, and later through self-hypnosis and meditation. It’s a feeling he got through early experiments with ketamine, as with the quasi-religious experience described above, and who knows, maybe it’s a feeling he got as a child, when his parents played him records to stop him crying. But it’s only now, with one of the year’s more strikingly beautiful records in ‘Immunity’ (you’ll know by now how it fared at the Mercury awards), that the Wimbledon-born producer has captured this feeling completely through his own music. “It’s like a door that once it’s opened never truly shuts, you’re always able to touch on that,” he says. “I look back on this album and think that does the thing that I used to experience when I was young, for me at least.” Jon Hopkins fidgets in his tuxedo, as he prepares to give a piano concerto for directors and parents of pupils at the Royal College Of Music in London. He surveys the scene before the-fly.co.uk him, resolving in his head to ditch the classical stuff and focus on making electronic music in his bedroom from now on. “It was a horrible experience,” says Hopkins. “I just didn’t think that’s how music should be presented or experienced. It felt so elitist - I mean, I was a 16-year-old stoner having all these faux-radical thoughts about everything. And I knew the way people used to listen to this music when it was written was not like this, they would shout and cheer and jump up, but classical music’s been sidelined into this unrealistically pristine thing.” Four years later, he signed a record deal with Just Music. He released two albums, ‘Opalescent’ and ‘Contact Note’, which failed to find much of an audience, before becoming disillusioned with his solo career and pursuing production work instead. “It was quite sad, because I felt so confident,” says Hopkins. “But I look back on it and it’s so polite, I can completely understand. [Those records] don’t go very deep. They have moments, but I was naive back then. When you’re that age you just assume your first record deal will be all you’ll need - your first album will do well and you’ll become successful. But that’s not how it goes, and I learned a valuable lesson in discovering that.” Jon Hopkins, aged 29 or thereabouts, is sitting in with Brian Eno on a Skype conversation. On the screen, Lord Of The Rings director Peter Jackson sits in his pyjamas with his wife. They’re discussing a film adaptation of a novel, The Lovely Bones, that Jackson wants Eno to write the soundtrack for. Things are looking up for Jon. He first met Eno, a man who “takes lunch very seriously”, in 2003 through musician and old schoolfriend Leo Abrahams. The pair went on to collaborate on several projects, including the Lovely Bones soundtrack (whose eventual use in the film neither was happy with), and before that, work on Coldplay’s fourth album ‘Viva La Vida’. The latter gig even won him a supporting slot on the band’s 2008 world tour, which in turn led to the surreal situation of Hopkins 34 jon hopkins travelling via private jet for his first-ever tour. Hopkins admits to being nervous about working with Eno at first, but he was soon put at ease: “Brian’s an extremely relaxed man, there’s not many things he gives a fuck about. Certainly not meeting some new wretch who’s come in to play with him! I soon realised there was nothing to be worried about.” Around 2008, Hopkins decided to take a second crack at a solo career. Newly-signed to Domino and with a wealth of experience now under his belt, he put out a record, ‘Insides’, written in fits and starts between his now presumably in-demand session work and a soundtrack commission for a ballet. Again, it failed to do much, but on a couple of tracks at least, the ghost of that feeling hovered tantalisingly near. One such track, ‘Drifting Up’, was inspired by another ketamine experience (we feel honour-bound to note he gave up the drug shortly afterwards, when a nasty experience made him reconsider his position): “It was at the tail-end of a party, I was lying on this bed with two girls on either side - not like that - and we were just talking. I sank down the bed like that bit in Trainspotting, it was incredible. And I just heard these two lovely soft voices talking, and as I disappeared further and further down into this amazing cocoon, I couldn’t hear the words they were saying, they were all muffled and beautiful, the femininity and the warmth of it. I incorporated that on the track, and some people seem to hear it and really, really get it.” For his next record, Hopkins decided there were to be no distractions. The idea was to create a more cohesive album, loosely modelled on the sort of heavy night out that bleeds imperceptibly into the morning after. “I really thought I’ve got to put my money where my mouth is - to use a terrible phrase - and say no to doing other stuff,” says Hopkins. “And as a 35 result the album to me sounds like an album, like one proper train of thought realised from beginning to end.” It makes for a record that, mixing ambient techno and sublime post-rock, washes over the listener in ecstatic waves, seemingly poised on a knife-edge between rapt beauty and oblivion. Which, of course, is entirely the point: “It’s like I’d finally worked out how to do it,” he says, with the quiet assurance of a man who’s finally arrived at his destination. ‘Immunity’ is out now on Domino Recording Co. “There aren’t many things Eno gives a fuck about...” the-fly.co.uk to u r diary: splashh Swiss fans, toothache, stitches, kebabs, Ibis hotels and a daily dose of bacon. Left to right: Sasha Carlson, Tom Beal, Toto Vivian and Jacob Moore report from their The Fly Presents UK tour... Photos J im E yre the-fly.co.uk 36 37 the-fly.co.uk splashh Glasgow, Art School 08/10/2013 By Jacob We’re in the van now on one of the longest drives of the tour from Leeds to Glasgow [the fifth night of this 13-date run]. Things have been great so far. Last Saturday’s show in Manchester was us getting used to touring mode. The Deaf Institute is a beautiful place decorated with mirror balls and forest scene wallpaper. It does crunchy Mexican salads, too. The show was lively and we had time to meet a lot of the people who had come to watch. One couple had travelled all the way from Switzerland for the gig! They bought doubles of all our records for gifts and told me, in true Swiss style, that the album sounded too compressed. We stayed up all night in the dressing room with our new friends Charlie Boyer and The Voyeurs and others and smoked and drank until there was no more music to hear and no more smokes to smoke. By last night at Leeds Brudenell we’d hit our stride. Edinburgh, Electric Circus 09/10/2012 By Sasha Today is my birthday. Starting to really feel the cold as we walk around Edinburgh and check out the city. It’s our first time here as Splashh and we really dig the vibe it has to offer. Had some lunch in a cosy pub where the-fly.co.uk apparently the last hanging in Scotland was done, walked across the road to check out some vintage store, bought a sick Jimi Hendrix t-shirt for myself. As for the gig, The Voyeurs get things started nicely and warm up the crowd. The venue is wicked. We play our show - two guys jump on stage for a kind of awkward finish. As it’s my birthday I’m convinced to drink a shitload of booze and we continue to go to the back of the venue as there’s all these karaoke rooms. We get through about three bottles of whiskey and end up getting a kebab on the way home – haha! standard! – a nice way to finish up in Edinburgh. Newcastle, Cluny 10/10/2013 By Jacob I have a sore head today in a whole new way. Our gig at Cluny was great! Really good to have The Wytches on the tour now for the next few shows. Saw them for the first time last night and they killed it. Later in the night I was in The Voyeurs’ hotel room and Samir (drums) and I are wrestling on the bed. I got pushed off and split the back of my head open on the counter. Blood gushed everywhere and when we couldn’t stop it Charlie and Samir and I had to walk up to the hospital. The boys watched as the doctor put 10 staples in my head without using any anaesthetic. Got a sausage roll and a pasty on the way back to the hotel as Newcastle got into its 9am 38 swing and I waited for the Splashh boys to pick me up. Sheffield, Leadmill 11/10/2013 By Tom The gig was alright - I saw a few enthusiastic youths singing along to the songs but it was a pretty early one because there was a club night on straight after. Toto, Sasha, myself and Mike (our tech) went out afterwards in search of a house party that we had been promised (Jake decided to stay in, for good reason). So to kill some time we went to the Great Gatsby and sunk a few Zombies which are our favourite cocktails. After a few there we ended up going to some student bar that had more drinks offers than I’d ever seen – it wasn’t the best bar either. At this point it was getting on a bit and there was still no sign of the party so Sasha decided to call it a night. The rest of us decided to stay on in hope of finding this house party. When we eventually did, it was pretty much over. Toto gapped it home shortly after arriving and Mike and myself ended up staying and got picked up in the van the next morning. Bristol, Simple Things Festival 12/10/2013 By Tom Didn’t feel the best this morning, but on we drove to Bristol to play a festival. Fortunately we didn’t have to be there until 9pm so we got to spend the afternoon sleeping in the hotel. When â€œThe doctor put 10 staples in my head without using any anaesthetic...â€? 39 the-fly.co.uk SPLASHH we got to the festival we got escorted into the shared dressing room where we hooked up with our travelling buddies The Voyeurs and The Wytches for some pre-game drinks. The gig kept on getting pushed back and I think we ended up going on about 1am – by that time everyone was pretty inebriated. Shifnal, Day off! 13/10/2013 By Tom Today was a day off and as the next gig was in Birmingham we spent it in my neck of the woods [Shifnal, Shropshire] for some much needed TLC. Toto and I stayed at my parents’ house and indulged in some home cooking and watched some Sunday afternoon TV. Just as I was ready to have an early night I suddenly got the most excruciating pain in my tooth. I necked some pain killers, but they didn’t do the trick so I had a couple of codeine pills. Birmingham, Temple 14/10/2013 By Tom Bit of a strange start to the day: I have a quick trip to the dentist to get a bit of emergency treatment before heading to Birmingham. I got prescribed some antibiotics and we went on our way. After soundcheck we went to the Irish pub next to the venue, which has now turned into a bit of a tradition, and had some grub. We met up with our good friend Doug and sunk a few drinks in there before the gig. The gig turned out to be a pretty good with some excited teens having a the-Fly.co.uk bit of a mosh for a couple of tunes. There wasn’t much cracking in Birmingham on Monday night so we decided to call it a day and head back to the Ibis budget hotel - full luxury! London, Garage 17/10/2013 By Toto After a boozy drive back to London from Brighton, we ate some doughnuts that were given to us by the Voyeurs and watched Beal air drum to Deerhunter for most of the drive. Eventually making it back to our homes (and couches), we get a good rest. The days always start with caffeine and bacon. Down at the local cafe, Sasha and I grab a bite and discuss the day ahead. It’s our biggest headline show to date at the Garage and we’re starting to feel some excitement in the air. Eventually, we’re picked up by our tour manager John and head to the venue to do our soundcheck etc…. We were shocked as we walked through the doors as it appeared much larger than we initially imagined. It was over a year ago that we played our first show upstairs and remember having to load our gear through the same room whilst a McFly-like band was sound-checking to a bunch of crazed teenage competition winners. Sound-check was smooth and before we knew it we were in our dressing room talking shambles as always to let time slip away. As doors-time approaches we run through some ideas for 40 the show’s visuals, preparing them just in time (always good at leaving things to the last minute). As the first bands go onstage we head to a pub to get some fresh air and meet our friends for a few drinks. By this time we start to feel some nerves. I couldn’t even stomach some home-cooked wedges. Heading back to the venue just in time for the Voyeurs, I curiously stick my head out of the dressing room doors to see the room. I was shocked! More people than I imagined all contributing to the sweat and haze that was densely filling the venue! After catching some of the Voyeurs’ set from side stage I’m introduced to an Italian guy that travelled all the way from rome to see us (good effort). Before we knew it we had five minutes until we had to play. Some last minute gin and tonics were poured, there was a group hug and off we went. It was one of the most special shows we’ve played, unfortunately these ones seem to go by in a flash. We couldn’t wipe our grins off our faces, seeing so many people in front of us singing and swaying along. After we came off stage we all agreed it was the sweatiest show we had ever played and definitely one we will not forget. By this time all our minds were drunk and clouded. We head into the night to celebrate the end of the uK tour... ‘Comfort’ is out now on LuvLuvLuv. shop. look. listen. never be without hmv again... Now you can search, listen and grow your music collection... wherever you are. Use the image search to snap single or album cover art and we’ll do the rest, serving up exclusive track previews, right then and there to your device. Or simply sound search to discover the tunes you hear around you everyday. And by using the pre-order tool, you’ll always have the latest releases at your fingertips! Download the app for free, using the App Store or Google Play. If you’re a Blackberry 10 or Windows* user, just point your browser to hmv.com to access the download store now. With the hmv app, you’ll never be without your “home of entertainment” again. *Blackberry 10 and Windows users can access the hmv MP3 download store, but not image or sound search recognition features at this time. Albums featured priced correctly at time of going to print (October 2013). 41 the-Fly.co.uk You know what’s weird about Connan Mockasin? How he’s not that weird. Lisa Wright explains... Portraits T om O ldham It would be easy to get the wrong idea about Connan Mockasin. Having emerged back in 2011 with Syd Barrett-tinged, oddball psych debut ‘Forever Dolphin Love’ – a kind of one-man Unknown Mortal Orchestra, had Ruban Nielson grown up in Narnia rather than New Zealand (where, ironically, Mockasin also technically comes from) – the singer quickly became categorised as something of an eccentric. Forthcoming second release ‘Caramel’ expands on this persona. It follows the-fly.co.uk on from ‘Forever Dolphin Love’, we’re told, both in sound and storyline (the dolphin leaves; his male lover is sad and then there’s a car race and a crash. Of course.) The cover depicts Mockasin with a pencil-thin moustache lying on a bed, giving you the come-on eyes. There’s a track entitled ‘Why Are You Crying?’ that features a girl sobbing solidly for over six minutes and another – ‘It’s Your Body 3’ – that sounds like traffic congestion in space. Essentially, on paper, Connan is a kind of 42 43 the-fly.co.uk connan mockasin real life musical Nathan Barley, pushing the boundaries of hipster “quirks” to hitherto unknown levels. It takes approximately four seconds of meeting Mockasin, however, to realize that this is about as far away from the truth as you can get. Shy and softly spoken, the singer is heartbreakingly endearing almost to a fault. Ask him questions surrounding almost any part of his creative process and you get a reply so unsure and almost embarrassed that you feel like an inadvertent playground bully for even asking. “This is only my second album so I don’t really have a method, and the last one I only did because mum told me I should. I didn’t really know how to do it…” he smiles. It’s this charmingly childlike demeanour that casts ‘Caramel’, its origins and its eccentricities in a whole new light. Any accusations of try-hard strangeness are “I only did my last album because my mum told me I should…” immediately dispelled by pure force of wideeyed innocence. Recorded in a hotel room in Tokyo, ‘Caramel’ is a concept album of two sorts. The original idea for the record centres around its title: “The main concept was just that I liked the word caramel and I wanted to make a record around what I thought caramel music would sound like,” Mockasin explains. Yet the record’s all-immersive creation seems to add another layer to the singer’s initially velvety inspirations. From the flutters of female Japanese laughter that pepper the record to the oriental sonic influences that dip in and out, to the general dusky bedroom atmospherics that are a constant, ‘Caramel’ is clearly a record indebted completely to its surroundings. “I find it really exciting there; I like the atmosphere. Everyone’s really polite and cute and funny and it’s quite alien for me. It’s the-fly.co.uk completely different, and you have to feel that kind of excitement to have enough energy to then make a record,” Mockasin enthuses of his month-long Japanese sojourn. “It was fun being out there and having a few little slumber parties in the hotel. Lots of giggling. It’s good, it was really fun. I’d do it again.” Again – should be a little odd, but somehow isn’t… As well as crafting his second solo endeavour, meanwhile, Connan has also been busy working with a couple of musical mates. Having been personally singled out to write a track (entitled ‘Out Of Touch’) for French actress and chanteuse Charlotte Gainsbourg, the pair have since been collaborating on some further material with the potential for a fulllength release. “We’re just demoing stuff and writing together, so I’m not sure where it’s at right now,” the singer elaborates. “I don’t write with people normally, so it took a long time for us to get comfortable with each other. But it was surprisingly easy, considering I can’t speak French.” On top of that, Mockasin has also been beavering away on a side-project with Sam Eastgate, of indie-pop freaks Late Of The Pier. Performing under the moniker Soft Hair, the pair have finished an eponymous debut LP which is set for release next year. “All I could say is it sounds like the mix of us, although Sam’s moved on a lot from Late Of The Pier. I’m really proud of it,” he tells us somewhat coyly. And yet, for all of his seemingly prolific activities, it seems we might only have Connan Mockasin (in a musical capacity, at least) for a little longer. “At the moment, I can’t imagine myself… I don’t know how much more I can do,” he shrugs acceptingly. “I feel silly even calling myself a musician. It’s just something that I do. At the moment I can imagine doing maybe one more [record], but I want to try things. I’d like to make a programme or do some bad comedy or just… something else.” Like we said before, then: Connan Mockasin – nothing if not full of surprises… ‘Caramel’ is out now on Phantasy Sound. 44 a lb u m of the month Sky Ferreira ‘Night Time, My Time’ HHHH (Capitol Records/Polydor) Overdue debut shines through the clouds of controversy… Originally signed to a major label in 2009, the story of how 21-year-old Sky Ferreira finally came to release her debut, complete with Gaspar Noé’s provocative cover photo, would need at least 1,000 words. It’s involved more than one run-in with said label, at least four completed and scrapped albums, a flop electro-pop single (the excellent ‘One’), and a re-emergence as a music blogger’s delight thanks to the Dev Hynes-produced ‘Everything Is Embarrassing’. That song’s absence here is telling; it’s very much the work of an artist compellingly trying to figure out exactly who she is. Opening with the vampy, new-wave-ish strut of ‘Boys’, the album veers between Cyndi Lauper-esque pop confections (the brilliant singles ‘You’re Not the-fly.co.uk The One’ and ‘24 Hours’, in which she comes on like Tiffany’s disillusioned younger sister), to the impenetrable swamp of ‘Omanko’ (Japanese for vagina). Elsewhere she sounds like she looks on the sleeve on the soft electronic thrum of ‘Love In Stereo’, and bubbling with anger on ‘Ain’t Your Right’ and the almost petulant ‘Nobody Asked Me (If I Was OK)’. Released under a cloud of judgement following her recent arrest for drug possession, the best and most intriguing song is ‘I Blame Myself’, lyrics to which were posted on Sky’s Tumblr following the incident. With a chorus that runs, “How could you know what it feels like to fight the hounds of hell? You think you know me so well” and a recurring lyric about blaming herself for her reputation, it’s a fascinating mixture of self-laceration and solipsism bundled up in the album’s simplest melody. Bold, vulnerable and pleasingly disjointed, miraculously ‘Night Time, My Time’ was worth the wait. Michael Cragg Download: ‘I Blame Myself’, ’24 Hours’, ‘Love In Stereo’ 46 Ferreira Wash, eh? Sky, with this album you are really spoiling us. 47 the-fly.co.uk Dev Hynes: Zest in a vest. Blood Orange ‘Cupid Deluxe’ HHHH (Domino Recording Co.) Hynes’ variety makes for a lovable second album... As the world waits for Solange “Beyonce’s Sister” Knowles to follow up her stunning symphonic R&B hit ‘Losing You’, it’s good to have her collaborator Dev Hynes to sate our appetites for sensual pop. For his second album as Blood Orange, Hynes has taken the ‘Losing You’ template and run with it, like Frank Ocean if he were possessed by Prince, splashing around in a syrupy pool of slick synths, slap bass and SBTRKT-like tribal beats. Featuring cameos from David Longstreth, Chairlift’s Caroline Polacheck, Kindness and more, ‘Cupid Deluxe’ is a rich, rewarding listen. the-fly.co.uk It indulges in languorous sax lines (‘Uncle Ace’) before ‘No Right Thing’ borrows the bass from ‘You Can Call Me Al’ and romances it into submission with panting, pleading vocals. ‘Chosen’ is the record’s real masterpiece though, ascending from jazzy abstraction, through some enigmatic Frenchaccented spoken-word and a few angelic choir passages until Hynes’ performance goes all dewyeyed to devastating effect. It’s when Hynes embraces his sensitive side that he’s most effective - the tougher hip-hop tracks, ‘Clipped’ and ‘High Street’, are the weakest here - and frankly, when he’s made an album this sophisticated, why bother waiting for Solange? Robert Cooke Download ‘Chosen’, ‘You’re Not Good Enough’, ‘Clipped’ 48 a lb u m r e vi e ws Cate Le Bon Cults Cut Copy ‘Mug Museum’ ‘Static’ ‘Free Your Mind’ HHHH (Columbia) (Modular Recordings) (Turnstile Music) HHHHn HHHH ‘Mug Museum’ is a heart-breaking album inspired by the passing of its author’s grandmother, yet Cate Le Bon makes it shine with brilliant, childlike wonder. Opener ‘I Can’t Help You’ is like a Fisher Price Camera Obscura, ‘Sisters’ and ‘Cuckoo Through The Walls’ are kindergarten krautrock and her collaboration with Perfume Genius, ‘I Think I Knew’, casts the pair as the loveliest Blue Peter presenters the show’s never had. Psychedelic leanings and Le Bon’s fragile Welsh lilt make ‘Mug Museum’ a typically unusual listen, but its sincerity shines throughout, finding beauty in the strangest, sometimes saddest of places. Robert Cooke Lumpy with romance and pocked with gristly vintage influences, Cults’ debut should have come with a complimentary Rennie. Last May, founding couple Madeline Follin and Brian Oblivion broke up after “some obscene behaviour”, deciding band was more important than relationship. ‘Static’ vindicates that decision. Their recipe is no longer saccharine and flimsy. Claustrophobic highlight ‘Always Forever’, which apes Britney Spears’ ‘Lucky’, throbs like an over-tight hug and ‘So Far’ offers the freaky loneliness Cults always promised. With sadness and intent coursing through it, ‘Static’ is notably progressive. You won’t want to throw up this time. Ben Homewood After 2008’s excellent, ‘In Ghost Colours’, Australians Cut Copy rebelled against that album’s concise pop hits with the flabby, meandering ‘Zonoscope’. Thankfully on the day-glo ‘Free Your Mind’, they’ve remembered there’s nothing inherently wrong with channelling a love for house, electro and dreamy acoustic strum-alongs into intelligent, radiofriendly bangers. On 90s-dunked ‘We Are Explorers’ for example, a gentle vocal melody swirls around a percussive beat and ridiculous synth squiggles, while ‘Meet Me In A House Of Love’ is every bit as acidhouse-indebted as the title suggests. It’s good to have them back. Michael Cragg Download: ‘Cuckoo Through The Walls’ Download: ‘Always Forever’ 49 Download: ‘Meet Me In A House Of Love’ Dead Meadow ‘Warble Womb’ (Xemu) HHHH Few bands exemplify the concept of a slow burn quite as fully as Dead Meadow. Drawn-out, luxurious, beautifully fuzzed and reverbed, and with just enough melodic gloop to make the whole thing deliciously sweet, ‘Warble Womb’ is like a sexual assault from a sasquatch. The backwards-fed guitars of ‘I’m Cured’ and the symbiotic thud of bass and drum on ‘Rains In The Desert’ beg the listener to get lost in them and bid farewell to conscious existence, and if you treat the album properly and listen in one go, that’s just what will happen. Daniel Ross Download: ‘I’m Cured’ the-fly.co.uk a lb u m r e vi e ws Denai Moore Diane Coffee Grass House Jacuzzi Boys ‘The Lake’ EP ‘My Friend Fish’ HHH ‘A Sun Full And Drowning’ ‘Jacuzzi Boys’ (Because Music) (Marshall Teller) HHHH HHH (Western Vinyl) “Unassuming” seems to be the word when talking about 17-yearold Stratford songstress Denai Moore. Sure, you could imagine her performing for Gary Barlow’s characterless analysis at X Factor boot camp, but that can’t wholly discredit the meek melancholy of ‘The Lake’. It prods sharply at the lachrymal glands and is preferable to tour mate Tom Odell’s chapfallen schtick. Plan B’s on production duties on the title track, which swells delicately, before ‘Everything’ sees producer Renaud Letang (Feist) draw out Moore’s Bon Iver fandom to conjure something fairly convincing. James West Relevant music news alert! Here’s another stupidly-named project from a Foxygen guy! Shaun Fleming, who drums for the bickering, brittle-boned freaks, is covered in gold makeup on the cover! It’ll probably sound wacky too: Fleming used to be a Disney voice-over artist - it does! There’s wailing, laughing, weird noises and all the other kooks you’d expect! But, as with Foxygen and Jonathan Rado, there’s tight playing, smart songs, dusty record shop references and hooks to push the Pitchfork score up. Foxygen are annoying, but they’re pretty talented! What’s the point? Ben Homewood Life’s hard in the Grass House. The cyclical riff to their debut’s opener ‘Spinning As We Turn’ practically bursts with gloom, fervently heaping salt onto open wounds. They pull themselves back from outright misery, however, and despite Liam Palmer’s ominous, Nick Caveesque baritone, they’re lighter and breezier than first impressions would suggest. ‘I Was A Streetlight’ hints at euphoria without slipping into saccharine - that’s left to the sappy ‘Wild And In Love’. But they recover smartly, and by ‘Tasteless But Taciturn’, they’re grimly hopeful in sorrow’s wake. Will Fitzpatrick Download: ‘Tale Of A Dead Dog’ Download: ‘Tasteless But Taciturn’ Download: ‘The Lake’ the-fly.co.uk HHHHn 50 (Art Fag) People disappointed that Smith Westerns have grown up a little since ‘Dye It Blonde’, rejoice! For new third LP, Jacuzzi Boys have largely ditched the scuzzier, Black Lipsrecalling end of their spectrum in favour of doe-eyed warmth and shimmering, hearttugging melodies. ‘Black Gloves’ sounds like the essence of youth itself, whilst ‘Heavy Horse’ is all melancholy, dusky sadness. There are still heavier, more ballsy traces of old to be found (‘Rubble’ and the glam stomp of ‘Over the Zoom’ particularly), but the greater proportion of ‘Jacuzzi Boys’ is like SW’s brother from another mother. Which is obviously brilliant. Lisa Wright Download: ‘Be My Prism’ If you don’t sit properly Jake, you won’t get your Alphabetti Spaghetti. Jake Bugg ‘Shangri La’ HHH n(Mercury) Have another go, son... He’s everywhere - nominated for the Mercury Prize, A-listed on daytime radio, grimacing through earnest performances on showbiz chat shows… A less generous public and industry might have dismissed Jake Bugg were it not for his swiftly turned around second album, ‘Shangri La’, and a bit of artistic growth to boot. Gradually shearing off accusations of Dylan theft, he sounds a million times more comfortable here than on his debut. However, the songwriting is still worryingly derivative, perhaps because of the continual clamour for that particular authenticity people 51 seem to think only comes from Rick Rubin production and homespun, regional-accented charm. A bob under Paul Simon on ‘Me And You’ and a weave through Lynyrd Skynyrd’s lengthier noodles on ‘All Your Reasons’ are the more obvious culprits - but is it fair to attack Bugg for that? Something in the blazing brevity of his songs, his complete confidence in making them breathlessly effective, suggests that with a little more stimulus he might make something truly interesting and creative. Though ‘Shangri La’ is a laudable second, it’s without that lasting, killer incision that will guarantee longevity. Count ‘Shangri La’ as a paradise lost. Maybe Rick will let him have another bash? Daniel Ross Download: ‘Simple Pleasures’ the-fly.co.uk Ella Maria Lani Yelich-O’Connor has a rest. Possibly after filling in a form. LORDE ‘Pure Heroine’ HHHHn(Virgin) Mercy, Kiwi songstress is a Rey of sunshine... Rewind two years. With debut single ‘Video Games’, Lana Del Rey is crowned Queen of the Future of Everything and a debut album hastily follows. It’s really quite good and does really quite well, and then with the same speed she arrived, Lana all but disappears (save for popping up on the odd H&M ad). Lorde, we are led to believe, is the new Lana. Partly because she sounds quite a lot like the old Lana, and partly because her own debut ‘Royals’ has arrived similarly from nowhere to chuck a spanner towards the hype machine’s cogs and pistons. the-fly.co.uk Similarly, ‘Pure Heroine’ is really quite good. But, unlike her predecessor, you get the feeling the sixteen-year-old prodigy might be have a tad more staying power. Whilst there’s a hip-hop influence underpinning the New Zealand waif’s electro-pop minimalism on ‘Glory And Gore’ or ‘Tennis Court’, the overall atmosphere never feels contrived. There’s an honesty to Lorde’s youthfully cynical musings (very much the thoughts of a teenager, albeit a damn savvy one) that affords her more avenues to explore. And, whilst Lorde’s world creates its own incredibly distinctive atmosphere, it feels accessible and open to maturing. Lisa Wright Download: ‘Tennis Court’, ‘Team’, ‘Royals’ 52 a lb u m r e vi e ws La Femme ‘Psycho Tropical Berlin’ (Disque Pointu) HHHHn As with many French bands, it’s easy to think that La Femme are taking the piss. And, in a sense, they probably are - but their mix of twangy surf, cheapskate electro and yé- yé comes with such an abundance of ideas and healthy disregard for good taste it’s hard to care much. Their debut is at least five songs too long, but it’s also got more louche pizzazz than John Waters’ pencil moustache, and moments - ‘La Femme Ressort’ and the sweetly insistent ‘It’s Time To Wake Up (2023)’ particularly - that belie their cartoonish intent. Alex Denney Download: ‘It’s Time To Wake Up (2023)’ Los Campesinos! ‘NO BLUES’ (Turnstile Music) HHHHn The transition of Los Campesinos! from scrappy youngsters that emerged yelping, xylophone-in-hand, in 2007 to near-overlords of angst-ridden indie is striking. ‘NO BLUES’ is their most grandiose album yet. Layers of glossy synths and vocals turn ‘What Death Leaves Behind’ into an impressive sensory overload - then there’s the overwrought ‘Glue Me’, and ‘Avocado, Baby’, which makes good use of a children’s choir. Packed with witticism, ‘NO BLUES’ is Los Camp’s thesis about how a band can get older, and in many ways better, without abandoning what made them great from the start. Robert Cooke Download ‘Avocado, Baby’ 53 Mazes Midlake ‘Better Ghosts’ ‘Antiphon’ (Fat Cat) (Bella Union) HHHHn HHH As their Pavement records gather dust under their beds, Mazes return with a mini-LP - essentially a companion piece to this year’s ‘Ores And Minerals’. It’s immersed in the rickety krautrock spasms that chased away the slacker-pop comparisons of yore, alongside various shades of The Fall’s dazed post-punk. ‘Higgs Boson’ is a puzzling inclusion; a hyper-tense retread of their previous album’s standout moment (Lungfish tribute ‘Daniel Higgs Particle’), but it’s a neat fit with the frazzled ‘Hayfever Wristband’. It all feels rather too short, which was surely Mazes’ plan all along: leave ‘em wanting more. Will Fitzpatrick Despite losing their singer and chief songwriter halfway through gathering material for a new album, Midlake seem to be coping without Tim Smith quite admirably - but it does now mean that the comparisons between old and new Midlake are going to be ever more stark. And while it is laudable in its ambition of creating a sound that is truly ensemble-led, ‘Antiphon’ doesn’t possess the spectral, anything’smusically-possible atmosphere of previous works. Aside from the meandering wonder of ‘Corruption’ and the dusky groove of the title track, it’s tighter and darker, but ultimately less loveable. Daniel Ross Download: ‘Hayfever Wristband’ Download: ‘Corruption’ the-fly.co.uk a lb u m r e vi e ws Kevin Morby ‘Harlem River’ (WOODSIST) Shopping Swearin’ Kurt Vile ‘Consumer Complaints’ ‘Surfing Strange’ ‘It’s A Big World Out There (And I Am Scared)’ (Wichita) (Milk) HHHH HHHH Kevin Morby, Woods bassist and Babies cofounder, has spent his early twenties in Kansas City, New York, and Los Angeles, where he settled to record solo LP ‘Harlem River’. Morby a conventionally mature but unjaded songwriter - has the easy wisdom of a ruffled traveller, his stories spilling forth before he’s pruned himself of leaves and bark. Refreshingly, he knows to weave his downbeat into the uptempo: ‘Miles, Miles, Miles’ decorates timeworn lyrics with melodic curlicues, while frosty ballads like ‘If You Leave And If You Marry’ have the campfire glow of early Thee Oh Sees. Jazz Monroe It’s strange that postpunk - an era driven by forward-thinking ideals and an urge to deviate from pop’s standard formulae - should have spawned its own traditions and signifiers. Londoners Shopping are a prime example: ‘In Other Words’ deals in minimalist funk and clipped rhythms that echo Gang Of Four and Pylon. Slits-esque skipping-rhyme delivery comes laced with joyous energy and the same dancefloor pulse that powered The B-52s’ early work, making ‘Consumer Complaints’ both addictive and compelling. As an added bonus, ‘For Your Money’ satirises cyclical commercialism with warmth that Andy Gill’s lot could never manage. Will Fitzpatrick Swearin’s debut was a pop-punk clusterbomb, scattering explosive melodies in small-but-deadly bursts - this time; however, they’re operating undercover. Breeders reunion got you all het up for another ‘Last Splash’? Here, try Allison Crutchfield’s none-more-Kim ‘Mermaid’. Meanwhile, Kyle Gilbride’s discombobulated psychballad ‘Glare Of The Sun’ is all weirdo beauty and sublime creepiness. There’s a handful of ballads too - the surest sign of maturity - but just when we think they’ve given up the pacy numbers forever, they sucker-punch us at the death with the perfect one-two combo of ‘Unwanted Place’ and ‘Young’. Growing up ain’t so bad. Will Fitzpatrick Download: ‘Harlem River’ Download: ‘For Your Money’ Download: ‘Young’ HHHHn the-fly.co.uk 54 (Matador) HHHHn He looks like he regularly wakes up with Rizlas gummed to his cheek, but Kurt Vile is a busy man. This is just the latest in a series of EPs from the Philadelphian, though some may quibble it’s light on original material. Of the two new tracks to feature, ‘Feel My Pain’ stands out; its spindly, corkscrewing guitars being quintessentially Kurt. ‘The Ghost Of Freddie Roach’ is a meandering psych excursion, while an extended ‘Snowflakes Are Falling’, whose vapour-trail hooks fully merit the bigger canvas, is the pick of the tracks reworked from his ‘Wakin On A Pretty Daze’ LP. Alex Denney Download: ‘Feel My Pain’ Hands up if you’re annoying. M.I.A. ‘Matangi’ HHH n(XL Recordings) Maya Arulpragasam is a frustrating icon... Though a thundering social irritant, Maya Arulpragasam’s music uneven, distractible and bizarre - comfortably justifies her cachet, flirting with a kind of effortless, of-its-generation vitality. Scatty, diverse, and as chilled as bottled lightning, M.I.A.’s fourth LP could spar with ‘Yeezus’. The title track sees Arulpragasam chant over fragmented, militant bhangra - “Bali! Mali! Chile! Malawi!” The erratic culture-mash of ‘Only 1 U’ likewise reflects identity pluralism: “There’s only one y-y-you,” she stutters. ‘Warrior’ heralds ‘Matangi’’s gradual 55 submission to melody and vulnerability. That’s fine, when done well; ‘Lights’ and The Weeknd-sampling ‘Sexodus’ twinkle resplendently. Elsewhere, though, beats founded on fluffy EDM (‘Y.A.L.A.’) and Vengaboys-esque balladry (‘Come Walk With Me’) sap her trademark, mind-mangling hysteria. Still, what shines is Arulpragasam’s yen to suffuse foot-moving pop with untrendy political content. With pop implicitly resigned to the grim philosophy that sex - or, if we really get lucky, love - is the last consolation for living in an unjust world, M.I.A.’s approach remains revolutionary. ‘Matangi’, however, should be worshipped with caution. jazz monroe Download: ‘Matangi’, ‘Only 1 U’, ‘Lights’ the-fly.co.uk Off the wall: Connan Mockasin Connan Mockasin ‘Caramel’ HHHH n (Phantasy Sound) True eccentrics of this calibre are hard to find... In a world of internet straw men and hollow hype, Connan Mockasin’s cult feels pleasingly earned. The Kiwi songwriter’s 2010 debut, ‘Please Turn Me Into The Snat’, was largely slept on by critics, but word of its peculiar magic spread through a subsequent reissue (retitled ‘Forever Dolphin Love’), winning him fans in The Horrors, Radiohead and Warpaint, among others. But if his debut saw Connan preside, like some peroxide boy-king, over a psychedelic la-laa land of his own creation, then its follow-up is a different bag of hammers entirely. Dialling down the Syd the-fly.co.uk Barrett/King Crimson vibes, he’s come up with a seriously weird set of R&B slow-jams. When it works, it’s brilliant - ‘I Am The Man, That Will Find You’ is satin-swishy and irreducibly strange, while ‘I Wanna Roll With You’ has the same off-beam soul that Ariel Pink’s cover of the Emerson Brothers’ ‘Baby’ had. At times ‘Caramel’ feels undercooked - ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’ weakly rehashes his own ‘Forever Dolphin Love’, and a near-instrumental five-part suite on the record’s second half falls disappointingly flat. But the good stuff is really good, and only makes us sorry eccentric visionaries like Connan are so thin on the ground nowadays. Alex Denney Download: ‘I Am The Man, That Will Find You’, I Wanna Roll With You’ 56 a lb u m r e vi e ws Vuvuvultures ‘Push/Pull’ (Energy Snake Records) HH Given how many hits the word “twerking” now gets on Google (around 12.8m), it’s pretty clear that the parameters of what counts as edgy in modern music have shifted in recent weeks. Now we’re not saying that Vuvuvultures need to do anything that’s going to upset Sinead O’Connor, but they ought to realise that morbid song titles (‘Your Thoughts Are A Plague’, ‘The Strangler’) and gothic, bassdriven choruses don’t make for provocative pop in 2013. ‘Push/ Pull’ sounds like The X Factor’s rock week staged on Hallowe’en - if Miley’s leading the race to the bottom, Vuvuvultures are coming dead last. Boboboring. Robert Cooke Download ‘Steel Bones’ White Denim Wooden Shjips Young Knives ‘Corsicana Lemonade’ ‘Back To Land’ ‘Sick Octave’ (Thrill Jockey) (Gadzöök) (Downtown) HHHH HHH The power to be irretrievably transported by an album is something never to be underestimated. Especially when the place you arrive at is a brutal, fuggy dream state where total relaxation and total engagement become kind of the same thing. Wooden Shjips welcome one and all into their world without prejudice, making these ridiculously hypnotic grooves captivating to even the most grasshopper-minded of listeners. ‘Back To Land’ positively compels you to experience Wooden Shjips with absolutely no dilution. Daniel Ross The Young Knives are reborn. Home-recorded, self-released and odd, fourth album ‘Sick Octave’ retains the potting-shed eccentricity that made their 2006 debut a worthy Mercury nominee. ‘Sick Octave’, however, is a collective “fuck it” by a band exploring their inner weirdos. ‘Owls Of Athens’ finds frontman Henry Dartnall bellowing “defibrillate me” over honking synth brass and a tumult of seething bass: it sounds like the local model railway enthusiasts’ club doing their version of Radiohead’s ‘The National Anthem’. Stand back, this may get weirder. JJ Dunning HHH If last album ‘D’ was White Denim giving in and accepting that they’re musos and not hipsters, ‘Corsicana Lemonade’ finds these Texans comfortable in their own snakeskin boots. The band’s fourth is a throwback that lands between southern rock and the hippies of halcyon California.‘At Night In Dreams’ would have your music teacher massaging his mouche in appreciation. ‘Pretty Green’ ends in a flourish of guitars that sounds like the Top Gear theme. Clearly, they’ve given up on the cool thing; pair it with a golf towel and it’d make an amazing Fathers’ Day gift. JJ Dunning DOWNLOAD: ‘At Night In Download: ‘Everybody Knows’ Dreams’ 57 Download: ‘Something Awful’ the-fly.co.uk the-fly.co.uk 58 Wands by David Howarth liv e r e vi e ws Liverpool International Festival Of Psychedelia Liverpool, Camp & Furnace/Blade Factor y 27/09/2013 – 28/09/2013 Paisley shirts a-go-go in the north west... A weekend of glorious, mindmelting psychedelia in a restored warehouse, deep in the midst of Liverpool’s increasingly hip Baltic Triangle district. Starring some of the world’s best and most renowned proponents of said style, it’s a festival of truly cosmic proportions. Here’s our picks: DEAD MEADOW A welcome return to these shores from DC’s stoner rock heroes, not to mention an early contender for Psychfest’s standout set. Jason Simon’s liquid fretwork positively sizzles against the molten, sludgy backdrop, as old favourites melt into new tracks from latest album ‘Warble Womb’. They’re a trip, alright. NOVELLA London’s Novella have never been shy of coating their captivating pop with thick layers of murky haze, but now there’s a blissed-out, motorik wash underpinning their impassive melodies. It’s a marked change from the distorted noise of yore and, as demonstrated by ‘Mary’s Gun’, they wear it extremely well. 59 THE RESONARS Less challenging than some of the interstellar travellers on the bill, the thoroughly entertaining Resonars appear courtesy of Chicago’s Trouble In Mind Records, who curate the main stage on day two. Drawing from Hollies-esque powerpop and tumultuous punk rock energy, they rip through a set of endearing nonchalance. THE WANDS Fresh outta Copenhagen, The Wands arrive in Liverpool as one of the more hotly-tipped stars of the current psychedelic crop, and sure enough the grandiose drama of their ragged drone wins plenty of new friends and admirers. Exciting that a band who only formed two years ago could already seem so fully-realised. FUZZ Ty Segall’s latest project sees his guitar traded for drumsticks, as he rattles wildly along to an exhilarating set that merges Mudhoney-esque caterwauling with skull-crushing heaviosity. They render Liverpool gobsmacked, and fully, memorably psyched. Will Fitzpatrick the-fly.co.uk the-fly.co.uk 60 Manic Street Preachers by John Rahim/ Music Pics liv e r e vi e ws Manic Street Preachers London, Shepherd’s Bush Empire 24/09/2013 Richard Hawley joins the irrepressible (and indecisive) legends on stage in London... So much for the long hiatus, eh? Ever since the Manics declared they were downing tools for the foreseeable future following their greatest hits gig in December 2011, they went and did exactly the opposite. They toured Europe less than four months later, re-released a 20th anniversary edition of their 1992 debut ‘Generation Terrorists’, started working on not one but two new albums and piggybacked the British Lions’ rugby tour. Let’s be honest though, you couldn’t really imagine Nicky Wire hanging up his bass for a Welsh cheese farm could you? Thankfully, their quick return has paid off. With 11th studio album ‘Rewind The Film’, the Welsh trio have entered one of their most creative periods. Tonight, their new material sits impressively alongside hits from ‘Everything Must Go’, ‘This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours’ and 2010 LP ‘Postcards From A Young Man’ - especially when Richard Hawley steps up for a stunning rendition of ‘Rewind The Film’. 61 Frontman James Dean Bradfield flippantly declares that the Sheffield crooner puts the “man in Manic Street Preachers” and tonight he actually does. The likes of ‘Motorcycle Emptiness’ and ‘Your Love Alone Is Not Enough’ almost sound a tad muddy by comparison. But, following Hawley’s surprise entrance, ‘You Love Us’, ‘If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next’’ and ‘Revol’ in particular find the Manics at their balls-to-the-wall, rocking best - even if Nicky Wire (by his own admission) looks a bit like a “fucking milkman” in his white sailor outfit. Hawley returns again for ‘Motown Junk’, but his acoustic guitar plucking is lost in Bradfield’s ferocious guitar licks and Sean Moore’s thunderous drumming. They sign off with ‘A Design For Life’, which is as emotionally triumphant as ever. The Manics may have performed the quickest U-turn in music history, but on this form, thank God they did. Damian Jones the-fly.co.uk 1. No Age by Jennifer Lo, 2. San Cisco by Adam Darroch-Thompson, 3. These New Puritans by Danny Payne, 4. Pixies by Thomas Perry Simple Things Festival Bristol, Various Venues 12/10/2013 From opera halls to prison cells, Simple Things’ organizers have chosen a range of venues almost as wide as its choice of artists. And their two finest choices lie at equally opposite ends of the spectrum. In a small room at a converted fire station Jon Hopkins simultaneously leans on his sound’s dance roots, whilst not skimping on the more textual elements of his craft. A pounding rendition of ‘We Disappear’ gets the capacity crowd sweaty, but the depth and delicacy of his soundtrack work is still present and expertly layered on top of the beats. Bizarrely, No Age play on a stage, but they still bash their way through a crowdpleasing set of lo-fi art punk as if they were playing in someone’s kitchen. From ‘Teen Creeps’ to ‘C’mon, the-fly.co.uk 1. 2. Stimmung’ and beyond (there’s even a cover of Black Flag’s ‘Six Pack’ in there) the duo buzz with a ferocity and purpose that’s befitting of their stripped down sound. It’s full of heart and determination. It’s the fact that all the performers (and spaces used) are as varied as these two that makes Simple Things matter. Sam Mildner San Cisco Scala, London 17/10/2013 Following the release of their ‘Golden Revolver’ and ‘Awkward’ EPs, Australia’s San Cisco have been on a whirlwind of international tours, signed to a major label and finally put out their self-titled LP. Rounding the year off, tonight is the last of their UK tour and the band’s earlier, naturalistic pop tunes open proceedings. ‘Golden Revolver’, ‘Girls Do Cry’ and ‘Awkward’ are upliftingly-percussive with an essence of Vampire Weekend, backed by some jolting, jangling guitars. More encouraging are the 3. contemplative ‘Hunter’ and single ‘Wild Things’. The former highlights lead singer Jordi Davieson’s lyrics, featuring some acerbic phrases about toxic love. The latter, meanwhile, offers warnings about bitterness and hate amid Josh Biondillo’s distorted, twisting guitars. ‘Beach’, the first track from their LP, sees Biondillo ditching guitars for synthesisers in a dreamy ode to ‘Africa’ by Toto that ends with a rowdy singalong, whilst the encore is a rendition of ‘Get Lucky’ – cover versions of which are now as over-familiar as the original. This wishy-washy version is hardly awe-inspiring but the crowd do, of course, dance without question. Alison King These New Puritans Leeds, Belgrave Music Hall 19/10/2013 Without wanting to cast a cloud over a venue that’s only been open a couple of weeks, the newly-opened Belgrave Music Hall has just played host to one of the best bands they’ll 62 ever book. The six-strong ensemble of These New Puritans haven’t just set the bar for every act passing through Leeds – theirs is the standard that any artist planning a return in 2014 ought to be aiming for. The oddball beauty of ‘Fragment Two’ is breathtaking, with its fidgety piano and heart attack-inducing drums. But it’s quickly obliterated by a tumultuous trilogy of tracks from 2010’s ‘Hidden’, with the live brass helping to make the terrifying ‘We Want War’ all the more menacing. At their more sober moments, TNP are thoughtprovokingly pretty, mirroring David Bowie’s Berlin instrumentals in both ambition and quality. Jack Barnett is a far more unassuming frontman though, keeping tight hold of his bass, or else squeezing his eyes shut and waving his hands around wildly like a hallucinating Thom Yorke. On record, TNP are a clearly a band following their own path, but live they make it look like the direction that all artists should be pursuing: towards 4. liv e r e vi e w s originality, and never being bettered by anyone. Robert Cooke Pixies London, Roundhouse 25/09/013 It may only have been three years since the Pixies’ last visit to these shores, but with a new EP of questionable quality in tow and, crucially, an old bassist firmly not, it feels like the seminal quartet have an unusual amount to prove. As Black Francis comes out strumming the band’s acoustic, surf take on classic ‘Doolittle’ offering ‘Wave Of Mutilation’, however, it’s apparent that – even without Kim Deal – the Pixies are as assured and confident a 63 proposition as a band of their stature should rightly be. And tonight they, thankfully, deliver the kind of greatest hits set that even the odd, ropey new track can’t sully too much. The hits comes fast and early, ‘Where Is My Mind?’’s iconic riff bleeding into notorious albatross (but come on, it’s still bloody great) ‘Here Comes Your Man’. We get the chills of ‘Velouria’, the relentless crashes of ‘Bone Machine’, an absolutely sublime ‘Hey’ and the bitter caress of ‘Caribou’. And sure, when you hear the intense crackle and the perfectly juxtaposed evil sweetness of these tracks next to newie ‘What Goes Boom’ it’s a little sad. But tonight is still 90% A-grade genius, and that’s better than most. Lisa Wright the-fly.co.uk All Advertisements.indd 1 21/10/2013 09:04 SJM Concerts by arrangement with X-ray presents WE ARE SCIENTISTS thu 06 march oxford O2 academy fri 07 march tue 11 march newcastle O2 academy wed 12 march cambridge junction glasgow O2 abc sat 08 march nottingham rock city leeds stylus sun 09 march manchester ritz thu 13 march sat 15 march birmingham institute sun 16 march norwich waterfront mon 17 march southampton university wed 19 march bristol O2 academy thu 20 march london O2 shepherds bush empire gigsandtours.com | 0844 811 0051| wearescientists.com Business Casual EP Out Now on 100% Records 04 Sat 02 Nov £8 ADV Thurs 21 Nov £12 ADV 12 DIRTY BULLETS THE BRIGHT YOUNG Plus Support FOLK feat. THE CARRIVICK SISTERS, GILMORE & ROBERTS, PHILIP HENRY & HANNAH MARTIN Tue 05 Nov £8 ADV LIFE IN FILM Plus Support Sat 23 Nov £15 ADV Sun 10 Nov N £10 ADV SON OF DAVE INTO IT. OVER IT Plus Support Plus Support Wed 13 Nov £10.50 ADV TORRES Mon 25 Nov £9 ADV THE BROWNING Shoot The Girl First + Upon This Dawning Plus Support Thurs 14 Nov £7 ADV NATIVES Wed 27 Nov £5 ADV Plus Support THE DELEGATORS Sun 17 Nov £7 ADV Special Guest DJ’s TIERRA BLANCA (Album Launch Show) Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support CLUB NIGHTS Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support Day/date/month £ NAME NAME Plus Support 31/12/13 10pm-5am £10 early bird tickets available Day/date/month £ NAME NAME P until 4th Nov £12advance/£15 on the door Who: Bo Ningen When: 10/10/2013 Where: Scala, London si x s h o ts 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, Will Fitzpatrick. 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