Where the Class of 2011 meet 2012â€™s freshers
& s a m t s i r h Merry C ! r a e Y w e N a Happy Itâ€™s just a matter of days till we will be singing along to Cliff whilst welcoming in 2012. Whilst doing that silly dance to Old Lang Syne we hope you have digested our tips for the new year and spend the rest of 1st January preparing yourself for another twelve months of explosive tunes. We hope you enjoy this, our fourth issue where not only have we looked to the future but weâ€™ve also reflected on the last twelve month. See you next year Matty
In This Issues
2011 has been a funny old year, the weather has been as ridiculous, frightening at times, like some of the news stories, the uprisings of dictators Gaddafi, Mubarak and Cowell, kids ruled the streets of London and the collapse of the economy, again. We learnt that not only could we not trust the media but the police and politicians as well! Step-away from politics and the lack of coinage in your pockets, the music that has shaped the year has been just as interesting. The year began with heavy pop royalty, Britney Spears and Lady GaGa launched new albums, GaGa kept up her controversial edge whilst making Britney look ‘past it’. Hip-hop has been the most adventurous, Jay-Z and Kanye West’s collaboration was
groundbreaking Creator showed t the rap game.
The Vaccines bro back to the chart indie-pop debut, failed to sparkle w Arctic Monkeys f consistently good capitalised on the Adele took over t airwaves with her before Lana Del Video Games ma that came before
As Spring got wa festivals began an time it was a wide genres taking on tents, from pop to hip-hop, there wa everybody. Post-fe X-Factor took ove
and Tyler, The there is youth in
ought guitars ts with their , The Strokes with Angles and fourth LP was d whilst Yuck e grunge revival. the r bore-pop Rey arrived with aking everything it mediocre.
failed to shine like it’s previous years, it was more about tabloid columns than record sales. Little Mix might have a lengthier career than Matt Cardle but the X-Factor has almost run its course. The reformations of S Club 7 and Steps couldn’t make lite of the corrupt journalism scandals and the resurrection of The Stone Roses failed to save the Euro, Odd Future didn’t help build relations for America and we finally saw Silvio Berlusconi release his third album. Music can’t change the world, it just helps it to.
armer the nd for the first e spectrum of the mud and 2011 has been diverse, but 2012 o rock, folk to is set to be even more exciting, as something for read on, we will tell you why. estival and the er the telly but
Albums Of The Year The past twelve months have seen plenty of good albums but few great ones. Adele and Coldplay might have sold more than anyone else but they were just middle-of-the-road. Often the best ones come in the form of debuts but new artists have failed to impress. It wasnâ€™t exactly easy to pick five albums out of the lot, Bombay Bicycle Club, Patrick Wolf, Lady GaGaâ€™s diverse pop failed with quality control, Bright Eyes, The Strokes mediocre Angles and Los Campesinos! all narrowly missed the cut. There was some fine debuts, notably from The Vaccines, Bad Meets Evil, Chapel Club, Givers and Jessie J who all produced LPs that came close too. So, the five who made it make twenty elevan memorable, where each artist had something to prove and came up with the goods, and more.
Jay-Z & Kanye West Watch The Throne
As collaborations go, Jay-Z and Kanye West are hip-hop’s Chuckle Brothers. The two have been working together in different capacities for years but not as closely as they have to create Watch The Throne. This album was written off straight away by many, especially after Kanye’s seminal album, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy last year. Lyrically it is full of bragging rights by these mega stars who cover religion and the stresses of fame and fortune. Get passed the arrogance and you hear what the pair are best at, the production. It is brash, bold and textured, full of idenity and that is what makes this special. The small fact that they’ve dragged a few guests in, Frank Ocean, Beyonce and Pharrel Williams amongst many more shows the power they hold. The record is expansive, experimental and varied and the duo have another ready for 2012.
Arctic Monkeys Suck It & See A lot can be achieved in five years, Arctic Monkeys have proved it. It was only 2006 when the Sheffield four-piece changed the charts with the record breaking, Whatever People Say I Am,That’s What I Am Not. Evolving sonically and stylistically it is safe to say the band are adventurous and they have done it their way. 2009’s Humbug wasn’t as accessible yet it highlighted the bands braveness and open-minds with a heavier tone. Suck It And Sea is a compromise as it has the indie pop moments that the band were famed for but with a hint of heavy drums and grown guitar riffs that go hand-in-hand with the quirky lyrics. Everything from 60’s physcediilia to America rock can be heard on this fine record that is forever dabbling in pop. Where Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair takes influences from fifty years ago, the title track is punctual pop, Library Pictures is typical Arctic Monkeys and Brick By Brick is laughable, in a good way.
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Laura Marling A Creature I Don’t Know After two Mercury nominated records, twenty-one year old Laura Marling did not disappoint as she returned with ten tracks that came across as written by one much older. A Creature I Don’t shows maturity in Laura’s work, not that Alas, I Csnnot Swim and I Speak Because I Can didn’t, it was just a new discovery, new direction and new instruments, this is noted right from the opener, The Muse, heavy on piano, full of influences that Laura had never shown before. There is still the intimacy that the singer-songwriter has always delivered, an honest approach that makes her so appealing as a musician. Sophia, the first single that came from the third album is possibly Laura’s most complete to date. I Creature I Don’t Know proves that she hadn’t struck lucky both times on her previous work, the future is bright.
Florence & The Machine Ceremonials
It’s safe to say Lungs, Florence & The Machine’s first album blew up. For 2009 there was no escaping the red-headed singer and her powerful voice, it was intriguing how she could follow it up. Ceremonials is darker, tougher and grittier than Lungs, where glittery pop once bellowed, now this is more challenging, blowing the ‘second album struggle’ out with ease. It isn’t all doom and gloom on Ceremonials though, Shake It Out is breezy and Breaking Down is delicate, leaving behind Florence Welch’s harsh vocals. Lungs was a pop masterclass, a perfect model for a debut on Ceremonials is what a follow-up should be as maturity is shown as Welch has worked hard on lyrics, something that was at times, bypassed on Lungs. No Light, No Light might be Welch’s most accomplished piece to date as orchestral sounds fight with ‘the voice’ to make a battle where words win.
The Horrors Skying After The Horrors ill-received debut, Strange House, front-man Faris Badwan said the band would like to become a cult band with a lengthy legacy, this seemed unthinkable at the time, until a huge turn-around, losing their eye-liner and cartoon character image, the follow-up, Primary Colours was a new sound and won over many. The Horrors kept up the reinvention of themselves with Skying, creating an even bigger cleaner sound, an innovative pop masterpiece. The East-Londoners have managed to put innovative music in the charts, creating trends rather than following them. Their sound is borrowed from many eras, combining to create something fresh on the ear. The Horrors have become the surprise package once again, becoming one of this years festival hits and their singles having heavy rotation on the radio and television.
Songs Of 2011
Album releases in 2011 might not have excited as much as anticipated but there was some fine songs out there, especially from pop and hiphop artists. There was also a few new bands who released some great songs this year and a debut album due in the new year. Those who narrowly missed out include Lucy Rose with her delicate effort in Middle Of The Bed, Florence & The Machines’ eurphic No Light, No Light, Britney’s electro-pop clash ‘Till The World Ends, GaGa’s Born This Way might have got in the ten but there was numours condenders from her recent LP, there wasn’t even room for Beyonce, Bruno Mars Katy Perry or Rihanna and Calvin Harris’ dance anthem, We Found Love. Tribes’ We Were Children became a moment for a generation and Los Campesinos!’ By Your Hand was their best effort to date. Tyler, The Creator lived up to the hype with the incredible Yonkers. There has been plenty to listen to and avoid bores like Ed Sheeran.
Bombay Bicycle Club Shuffle
Lady GaGa Born This Way
Hey Sholay Wish Bone
Lana Del Rey Video Games
Patrick Wolf Bermondsey Street
The Strokes Under Cover Of Darkness
Spector Never Fade Away
Bad Meets Evil ft. Bruno Mars Lighters
Martin Solvelg & Dragonette Hello
Gigs Of 2011 This year has seen the majority of the mega-stars visit Britain, some were embraced, leaving crowds begging for more (Beyonce, Foo Fighters), others didn’t live up to their excessive ticket prices (Rihanna, Britney Spears). The ever growing festival season wasn’t as memorable as previous years, there are not enough bands to go around but next summer will see a new set of bands ready to make the step-up to headliners and if Spector’s Bethnal Green Working Mens Club is anything to go by then their will be no escaping their catchy chorus’.
Bright Eyes - Royal Albert Hall, London 23rd June Bright Eyes returned to the UK for the second time in 2011 for some festival performances and a spetacle show at the prestiges The Royal Albert Hall. The American collective filled the iconic venue with a wall of sound coming from multi-instrumentalists who made their way through the extensive back-catalog. The power of two drummers during newer material such as Shell Games was a brilliant contrast to the more delicate moments. This was perfect.
Patrick Wolf - The Garage, London 20th June To celebrate the release of Lupercailia, Patrick Wolf’s fifth album he performed at intimate show at The Garage, North London. The show gave Patrick the chance to perform all the new material from the album. Patrick showed his happiness through-out as he had a cheshire cat smile beaming the whole time. It wasn’t just the new material that had an outing as old favourites were performed, highlighting the strength on Patrick’s work, it was also a professional performance that kicked off a new era in what has becoming an ever evolving career.
Laura Marling - The Catherdral, Sheffield 22nd October Gigs can be won or lost on the surroundings alone. Laura Marling has always created atmospheric sounds, her third record, A Creature I Don’t Know took her deeper into new terrorties. Her early gigs were in church’s, she took a big step up, touring Catherdrals. The Sheffield leg saw her play two sets, a matinee which was a relaxed affair, the evening show was special. The place of worship was transformed into the most beautiful venue, the dimly lit stage was comforting and once Laura and her band began, the focus was never lost. Material came from all three records, at times it was intense but her quirky anecdotes broke the atmosphere. It was a special and memorable autumn evening.
Arctic Monkeys - The Roundhouse, London 6th July In just five years Arctic Monkeys have become veterns in their field of music. With four adventurous albums and plenty of big gigs under their belt they rarely disappoint but this gig stand-outs from others. This was one of the first gigs since the release of Suck It & See and it was near perfect. The Sheffielderâ€™s have grown up a lot since their debut but it is the skills they have picked up which never fails to surprise. This set featured material from all four records in the amazing Camden venue, the sound was huge, the atmosphere was intimate, old songs sounded fresh and the new ones highlighted the skills. You forget they are still in their mid-twenties.
OFWGKTA - Camden Crawl, London 1st May Americaâ€™s latest brats, Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All attracted a large crowd at Camden Crawl. It was full of expectations, even though nobody was sure what to expect but what they delivered was manic, exciting and chaotic. The young rappers swore, shouted, ranted, bounced and almost caused a riot as a stage invasion took place. This was never about the music, it was profile building and it was a success. The group, who have been hyped by many of their peers took the Camden festival in their stride, becoming the talking point, for good, not bad.
Break-through ac The Vaccines What did you expect?
It was no secret as we were nearing the end of 2010 that The Vaccines destined for big things. From the very first gig the hype surrounding th quartet was intense, their debut single sold out as did their first major at Kings College Student Union in January.
That gig was okay, nothing amazing but potential was visibal. It wasn’ their debut album followed, the short and spikey What Did You Expect was a bit of a slow burner, the band toured and toured, their live show when they reached out to the masses.
Having gone from pub gigs to festival main stages and arena supports were constantly being played on radio and their faces were splatted acr
Catchy indie-pop is what The Vaccines are and fortunantly for them it i same reactions as Last Nite did it 2001 and Wetsuit became a festival
The success shouldn’t be a total shock as Frank Turner sings ‘Justin is t gonna make it’ in I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous, referring to band and that is why they have become loved by so many. Second album syndrome is their next challenge.
ct of 2011
were he London headline gig
â€™t long until t From The Vaccines showed they were worthy of the hype. The album improved at every gig, confidence grew at it was the summer festivals
slots where they received reactions like headliners whilst their singles ross magazine covers.
is what the public want. Norgaard and If You Wanna received the anthem.
the last great romantic poet, heâ€™s the only one among us who is ever The Vaccines singer. There is nothing pretentious about the London
o i s u f n o C Abolish The Graduation We’ve been giving you our favourite new bands in the previous issues and on the blog. Here are a few of our favourites. We’ve tried to avoid the ones already topping the usual lists, you know the names like Azealia Banks, Frank Ocean, Skrillex, Lana Del Rey and Michael Kiwanuka, don’t wanna get bored of these ‘cutting-edge’ musicians before they have even had a hit.
g n i c u d o r on Int The BBC â€˜Sound of 2012â€™ list received a backlash by many, saying it was irrelevant but the BBC is one of the most powerful sources when it comes to acts breaking through. Afterall, it is them who choose who gets played on the most influential radio stations. It is more important than all the blogs combined, stronger than any magazine and it dictates what the
mainstream listen to.
So, here are some of our favourites. Read our blog for our latest findings...
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
London five-piece Spector might be newbies to the untrained eye but you might recognise some of the others from their previous life but everyone has a history, it is the present which is most important. They might hail from the trendy East London scene but they haven’t shown preteniousness, what they do bring ro the table is brilliantly catchy indie pop. They have big chorus’ and fun guitar pop with a sence of charisma. Having released three great singles on Luv Luv Luv Records and have got their live sets spot on, Never Fade Away is already a classic and an album due in Spring, is 2012 is finally going to be Fred MacPherson’s year? They have a website www.spector.co.uk you should take a peek.
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
We’ve been backing Hey Sholay for a while now, they featured in our very first issue back in June. 2011 has been a busy year for the Yorkshire five-piece. Having spent their early days figuring out their sound, the past twelve months have been all about laying their roots down. Having built up a reputation locally they were then courted by the national press who found their awkward pop compelling. They were given helping hands from BBC Introducing who put the bands single, Wishbone on Radio 1 once a day for a week and the NME who sent to band on a plane to Europe’s mainland to play at Serbia’s EXIT Festival. These bright young things might have got lucky with these oppourtunities but they are full deserved as their live performances are captivating and they have a group of diverse and exciting songs ready to take over 2012. To listen to the band before everybody else does check out www. facebook.com/heysholay
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
Kites’ are the work of Brit School alumni Matthew Phillips who made his childhood dream of pop-stardom a reality once he gathered some musical friends together to form a band. The former student of the school who has also seen the likes of Adele and Jessie J walk through its doors is different. Using his creativity and passion he has moulded a sound that sees ‘80’s influences sound fresh and interesting. Kites’ debut single, Brother is intense, dark and beautiful as it pays homeage to New Order’s synths put powerful vocals that build up. With a single in the pipeline for the new year it is theirs to lose. For more information visit www.facebook.com/wearekites
Theme Park When a song like A Mountain We Love comes about it is sure to grab attention, this was the debut single from Londonâ€™s new five-piece and with Milk, the bands second single there was plenty of reasons for excitement. The smooth summery vibes will be the soundtrack to next years festivals no doubt but with winter and spring before that the band have a highly anticipated album to release with samba beats and slick grooves. You should probably check out www.themeparkband.com
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
Fort Lean started life at the beginning of 2011 and they are ending it with New York’s press in awe over them. The five-piece represent a new breed of bands coming out of the American city. With elements of those who emerged in the electrifying scene ten years ago (The Strokes/The Walkmen/Interpol) but with a twist. We caught up with the bands floppy-haired singer Keean Mitchell to discuss the past, the present and the future of the Brooklyn band. Abolish Confusion have included you in our ones to watch for 2012, what can we expect? Lots of new music and lots of touring. The plan is to make it to Asia as soon as possible. How and when did the band form? We formed in January 2011. All of us have been friends for many years, we’ve played music together in the past, and we had been planning to start something as soon as our other musical obligations allowed. January 2011 was that time, and we went for it. How would you describe Fort Lean’s sound? Loud and clear. No smoke and mirrors. What you see is what you get. We’re a rock and roll band in the traditional sense. Where/who do your influences come from? Mostly from the music we grew up with and the friends that surround us.
W S T a
T w a p h
C s w w
N t r
We’re big fans of John Lennon’s solo records, Sam Cooke Live at the Harlem Square Club, Neil Young. And then friends like Das Racist, Oberhofer, MGMT, Twin Shadow, and everyone else we know who are awesome people and make amazing music.
Does NYC have impact the band? How did you find CMJ?
The city has an impact in a certain sense, but with a place as big as NYC you wind up just sticking to the places and people you know. We all live in Brooklyn and cruise around in pretty small circles. It feels like a small town for the most part, and there’s a ton of people here doing the same thing, so that kind of synergy has definitely helped the band develop and grow.
CMJ was cool. It was easy because we live here, so we would just go play each show, hang out for a bit, and then go home and sit on the couch and watch TV or whatever. I think for bands coming from out of town it can be a bit daunting, but we had a pretty easy time of it.
Do you have plans to visit the UK?
Nothing solid yet, but it’s definitely in the cards. A few of us have toured there in the past, so we’re really eager to get back and eat some doner, drink beer, and get rained on. But seriously, we love England, can’t wait to be there!
Where do you want to take the band next? Is there an album written/ recorded? We want to take the band directly upwards. Outer space I guess? We have enough material for a record now, but we’re continuing to write and record. When it comes time to make a record we want to have as much material as possible to choose from, so we’re just continuing to trudge along and churn them out. But at this point, we have a lot of songs that we’re extremely excited to share. The first of which will be a 7” single called “Sunsick,” coming out February 28th on Neon Gold Records. Do you enjoy performing live? Yeah definitely. When we put the band together we were all really focused on making sure we wrote songs that would be fun to perform. We write our music by spending long amounts of time in a room playing together, so getting on stage to play the songs feels really natural and fun. Who are your favourite bands at the moment? Kurt Vile and the Violators, Tame Impala, Ill Fits What inspires you? The idea of paying our rent by playing some songs we wrote for people who are willing to pay us to do that. That’s crazy! Visit www.fortlean.com for all you need to know.
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
You might feel like weâ€™re inundated with the female/singer-songwriter but they all have their own charm and identity. Scottish-born Katie is a talented story-teller where her acoustic pop is catchy and clever. She has been known to take advantage of Youtube as she regularly films herself singing new songs and her recent EP is a pop masterpiece with nods to both folk and country without ripping others off. Check out www.katiemalco.bandcamp.com
The Chevin Leeds four-piece The Chevin have brought indie-anthems back from the dark days of 2007 when The Enemy killed all hope of quality, this years hopefuls, Viva Brother got caught out for being rubbish. The Chevin have tunes to sing-along to with passion and meaning, Champion, the bands debut single had swagger without arrogance. Learn more www.facebook.com/thechevin
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
The Fridge Magnets
Describing themselves as alternative electro, Glasgow’s Fridge Magnets just want to make you dance. Originally born out of a school friend collaboration, the current line up comprises Campbell Nelson (synths/programmer) Ciaran Pasi (bass guitar) Laurie Sanderson (lead guitar/backing vocals) and Chris Phillip (drums) all headed up by charismatic front man Steven Winton on lead vocals. The end of summer 2010 saw them with T in the Park, Rockness and Belladrum festival performances already under their belts and this year’s been just as good to them. With Radio 1 support for tracks ‘Miss Right’ and ‘Death of Rock N Roll,’ 2011 has seen Fridge Magnets become a hot tip on the Scottish scene. Never failing to fill a venue pretty much anywhere in their native land, the band proved just as huge a hit in London last month supporting fellow Scot Calvin Harris at the Coronet Theatre. I caught up with lead vocalist Steven Winton to find out what that was like, their plans to storm through 2012 and how they seriously pissed off Adele....... Hello Steven! So for those of us who don’t already know, what do you sound like? “It’s quite hard to pigeonhole us but if we had to I would say Dance/Alt/Electro. I would say with more emphasis on the dance side of things.” And why should we be listening? “I would say we are very original and I don’t really know another band like us. We have music a DJ would play however we are playing it all with live instruments. We use a specialized electric drum kit which is quite novel nowadays. We also have a light show, which matches our music and adds to the visual aspect of our live show.”
With so many electro bands out there it’s refreshing to hear unashamedly straightup dance-yourself-mental tunes. What influenced you to follow this route? “I’ve always liked dance music and wanted to join a ‘dance band’ for some time. Acts such as The Prodigy, Faithless and Chemical Brothers have always made me want to play dance music live, and more recently DJs such as Calvin Harris and Deadmau5 have shaped the direction of what we wanted to sound like.”
Citing fellow Scot Calvin Harris as a major influence on the band, supporting him must have been a dream eh? “It was incredible. From the venue to the bill we were on. Calvin is one of the biggest acts in the world right now so to share the stage with him was something special. The other acts on the bill included Alex Metric and Japanese Popstars who are both extremely credible acts and we learnt a lot from playing with them. The Coronet Theatre was stunning. Oasis, Blur and Justin Timberlake have all played there in the past. The sound in venue was fantastic and the engineer had worked with Prodigy in the past and seemed to like our vibe. It was definitely the best we’ve ever sounded.”
This year has been good to you Steven! Any other stand-out moments of 2011? “We have had a good year in terms of gigs. Ones which come to mind are the ABC in Glasgow, Death Disco in London and The Forum in Aberdeen. All gigs were sold out and had amazing energy. When the crowd gets into our music at a gig it just becomes a huge party. We didn’t really know anyone in London and didn’t know what to expect but as soon as the first chord was played the place was going wild. ABC was funny as we were playing the same evening as Adele and she made us go on later than billed as she complained we were too loud and it was affecting her sound. Even whilst on stage she commented to the crowd how loud we were ha!” Steady stream of touring aside, what can we expect from Fridge Magnets release-wise? “We released two singles at the start of the year, both which did really well (‘Miss Right’ & ‘Death Of Rock N Roll.’) ‘Miss Right’ was play listed in Topshop and the ‘Death Of Rock N Roll’ video became a bit of a hit on YouTube (watch it here) We have since taken our tracks off iTunes as we plan for a major release early next year.“ 2012’s shaping up to be another good one then! “Aye! We have some great management based in Glasgow and London and they have some big plans for us which we’re really looking forward too. Expect some new tracks to be released and plenty of gigs down in England. If you haven’t checked us out live I suggest you do!” Catch Fridge Magnets next headlining Aberdeen’s Lemon Tree on 28th December. For full details visit www.facebook.com/thefridgemagnets Words by Lyndsay Warner
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
Lucy Rose 21 year old Lucy Rose lives two lives, when she isnâ€™t providing backing vocals for Bombay Bicycle Club she is playing her own songs on a acoustic guitar that fits with her delicate and sweet vocals. Lucy released her single, Middle Of The Bed this year and received rave reviews. An album is due for 2012 and it is set to see the singer reach new heights. Check out her www.lucyrosemusic.co.uk buy her own blend of tea.
Nottingham five-piece Dog Is Dead might be familiar to those who saw Bombay Bicycle Club this autumn as well as Lucy. The band spent 2011 supporting a handful of bands, building up a fanbase with their quirky pop.
Dog Is Dead
2012 will be the year that Dog Is Dead can be let off their leash and make it on their own. To find out more www.dogisdead.co.uk
Abolish Confusion TIps for 2012
This Many Boyfriends
This Many Boyfriends discuss the influence of art and design on their music
Shortly after completing this interview with This Many Boyfriends, in September this year, I received the sad news that the band’s guitarist Peter Sykes had passed away due to a brain haemorrhage. After some consideration the band have decided to continue, and have started to play live again. They also have some very exciting recording projects lined up, and I and Abolish Confusion wish them all the best for the future and send our condolences to his family. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to partly realise one of my teenage ambitions: to design an album cover. Even better, I was lucky enough to realise it with two of my oldest friends, Richard Brooke and Laura Black from hot Leeds band This Many Boyfriends. I’ve worked with Richard before on artwork for club nights, and I jumped at the chance to collaborate with Laura to design the cover for Young Lovers Go Pop!, their first release on Angular Recording Corporation. I had a really great time working with them and I know they care passionately about the visual representation of the band, so I emailed them a few questions to learn more about their artistic influences, and their plans for the future. What LP/single covers do you particularly like? Are there any artists you are particularly inspired by as a band? Richard: I did my dissertation on Peter Saville’s artwork for Factory so he’s a pretty huge influence despite me not doing any actual art! The covers for the Smiths’ singles are really ace too, really uniform and complete over their whole career. The cover for Horses by Patti Smith is just beautiful too, so stylish but so aggressive and confrontational about gender. Also Born To Run’s gatefold sleeve is absolutely awesome.
What do you hope the artwork communicates to people buying the single? R: An element of fun and joy, a childlike enthusiasm I guess. Lots of colour and excitement! I guess also a window into how we have a lot of autonomy as a band, doing our own art as well as making records. Laura: I also wanted it to look like effort. Like weâ€™d put effort into creating it and making it look and sound as good as we possibly can, even though weâ€™re not the best musicians/artists. The artwork actually had a hand in saving the single from the PIAS fire didnâ€™t it? The artwork, and our own extravagance! The artwork has a sticker design, and rather than have a faux sticker printed on we went for actual real life stickers, in shiny gold! Our record label boss forgot to order the stickers after the vinyl had been printed up so rather than them being stored in the PIAS warehouse, they were actually still with the printers having their shiny stickers stuck on. They look all the better for the stickers and it was a real close call. It was very close to being an extremely limited edition as we have about 30 copies of the single which were faulty and they were almost the only ones to survive. Unfortunately Angular lost a lot of the rest of their stock though, which s real sad as there is a lot of amazing stuff on their back-catalogue.
Laura, what inspired your illustration? L: it was as simple as young lovers go pop=balloons go pop! We wanted something really colourful and fun for the artwork and balloons seemed to say just that. Once I decided on the balloons I googled some images and got an idea of what makes balloons look cool and interesting. It was quite important to me that we have someone actually make the artwork rather than rush something through or have the record label hire someone to do it. I also wanted it to be quite abstract and a little bit DIY (if you look closely there’s little bits of pencil that I forgot to rub out) and to stand out, rather than just a boring band photo or something. You create posters for all the gigs you play, do you find the same themes coming up throughout the illustrations you draw? L: I started making the posters as a way of giving myself drawing projects which I no longer get cos I don’t go to art school anymore! I find that I mostly like doing quite literal posters (e.g. I did a poster for a Lovely Eggs gig we played and the background was an egg) or I like to incorporate all of the information within the illustration, like a gig we’ve got coming up where I made a chart of the alphabet e.g. a for apple, c for cat and put the band names and venue in the alphabet. I like everything to be quite colourful and I try to test out different ways of drawing/painting so I don’t end up with a ‘Laura style’. But I would quite like every poster to be an animal dressed in people clothes. For the single artwork I used a little thing of watercolours which Rich bought me, and I’ve used them almost exclusively in various bits of artwork since. I like that everything I do at the moment is all based on the same colours so it all ties together. I used the same watercolours to make a poster for our single launch party, and to make some ‘Young Lovers Go Pop!’ bunting (sadly deceased at said party)
I don’t really have any particular way of working. Just usually on the sofa at home and I mostly do stuff while sat around with everyone watching Corrie. Most of the art/craft I do is to keep my hands occupied while I’m watching rubbish telly. I really enjoyed the homemade video you have for Young Lovers, what inspired you to create a video separate from the official video? R: We were asked to make the video to go alongside the NME article as a ‘website exclusive’, but it just so happened that the website bit was delayed a little and our official video was finished at the same time. We could have just used the official video but I think the photo-video is a lot more personal and we worked pretty hard on it. If we’d have had time I would have loved to do the official video like that on a larger scale and done by some sort of professional. The little personal touches like including shots of records we like and things relating to our friends is nice for us and its also an aspect of our band personality, the whole referencing-stuff-welike thing. Do you have any plans for using more visuals and artwork in the future? R: I always quite liked the whole Velvet Underground/Andy Warhol Exploding Plastic Inevitable thing so have considered projections. Granted I don’t think we’re cool enough for all that! Our favourite films playing during our sets would be pretty ace though. L: I really like signs, like the Ramones ‘GABBA GABBA HEY’ signs, and the Pooh Sticks also use them at gigs. Rich has done this at gigs a few times and the only downfall for us would be carrying round big signs when we travel to gigs on public transport a lot, but I’d like to do it again. Especially as a lot of our songs have sing-along choruses which work well on signs. I think its funny and also has a kind of group/inclusive aspect to it which is great for audience interaction. Young Lovers Go Pop! is available digitally and on vinyl from Angular Recording Company. You can visit www.thismanyboyfriends.com Words and images by Kate Dunstone and the band.
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Many thanks to those who contributed, supported and helped but this together. We are very grateful for the bands, PR’s, labels and management for taking time out to respond to our requests and of course give us music we love. Lets hope 2012 is just as fun! Words by Matty Pinder (unless stated) Images by those we ‘borrowed’ from various sources (we would love to credit you if we knew your names!) Designed and edited by Matty Pinder If you like what we do, want to get involved, tell us a secret, send abuse or present, you can do by e-mailing email@example.com