Los Campesinos! - Neil Cousin - The Streets - Blood Orange Laura Marling - Various Cruelties - festivals and loads more delights
August 8th saw the launch of our second issue, but the date will be remembered for something surreal and bizarre. That was the first of four days when kids controlled the streets of Britain, following a weekend where a protest got out of hand. These riots took place across London, then England, developing every minute, our eyes were glued to the news for hours, it was like watching a film. The world has been a strange place since, Cher Lloyd has topped the charts and summer arrived two months late. Now the festivals are over we have been inundatted with lots of fine new albums and bands which we will share with you, of course. Sorry we were late, missed the bus Matty
In This Issues News Mumford & Sons Laura Marling Festivals Neil Cousin Grouplove Introducing Blood Orange Los Campesinos! The Streets
What’s Ha We were saddend to hear the news that This Many Boyfriends guitartist Peter Sykes passed away on the 27th September. Peter died suddenly from a brain haemorrhage. We pass our condolences on to his family, friends and the band who we are huge fans of, as well friends with. They have understandly put plans on hold, we wish everybody well at this sad time.
Christmas wouldn’t be the same without Cliff Richard, neither would Wimbledon or any Princess Diana tribute. The aging popstar has won a battle for the oldies, who will now be receiving royalaties for songs they performed up-to seventy years ago, it was previously fifty years. These Old Age Performers need the extra dosh to keep the heating on in their mansions this winter. Who’s music from 2011 will be heard in 2081? There are plenty who will be forgot about in 2012...
appened!? Ed Sheeran, that annoying ginger kid who is everywhere right now with singles mixing three of the ‘on-trend’ genres (acoustic pop/grime/dub-step) released his album in September, that isn’t news worthy, but the oh-so-cutting-edge-rapper-with-anacoustic-guitar-weed-smoking-teen-favourite comes from a town in Suffolk, voted No.1 place tp live in Britain by Country Life Magazine. Hardly struggling to survive on the rough part of town like, especially with 100,000 sold in the first week and becoming the fastest selling album from a solo male artist. Edgy. Awards time, again! PJ Harvey took home the Mercury Prize for this year, in what was a particularly weak shortlist in comparasion to previous years whilst the MOBO (Music Of Black Origin) Awards had a surpringly large quota of white musicians nominated, it should consider changing its name to ‘the Brit Awards’. Then there is the Q Awards, it’s tough second guessing the winners as it is all so middle-of-theroad.
Abolish Confusion Recommends
Catherine A.D. releases her mini-album, Communion of 17th October. A seven track introduction to the talented solo artist who will follow this up with her debut full album early next year. You can find out more right here.
Sing No More, Write More Anniversaries get celebrated way too often however trivial, it gives a chance to reflect on the past, even if it had little affect. There have been a few landmarks in recent weeks, the ten years of The Strokes debut, twenty years since Nirvana released Nevermind, Freddie Mercury’s sixty-fifth birthday, if he hadn’t died…oh and Amy Winehouse’s twenty eighth. The fifth October saw the second birthday of Sigh No More, the debut album by banjo loving Londoners Mumford & Sons. You might think it is a little too soon to count the album, the band even, as significant but what they have done in the twenty-four months that followed might become. For a band to be touring the same material for four years, constantly, still sounding fresh, picking up new fans is remarkable, but, becoming a hit in the US is something incredible. Their folk inspired pop is largely rooted from America and they have welcomed the Brits in with open arms. Despite staying away from the UK for the majority of 2011, they still proved a hit with the Glastonbury crowds who were left wanting more, and that is what they are planning. The group have been playing ‘new’ material for eighteen months now but haven’t had chance to get an albums worth yet, they have gone to do that now. Sign No More has sold over a million and a half copies since release but they were still largely unknown when it came out. They were struggling to sell out small venues, three months later and you couldn’t escape them. After touring the UK to death, then championing Europe, conquering Australia then flying the UK flag in America who let them team up with Bob Dylan at the Grammy’s. Within such a short amount of time they went from unknowns to the next Coldplay. Once Laura Marling’s backing band, now outselling her, was it too much too soon? Only time will tell.
Beauty And Few musicians receive Mercury nominations for their first two albums, especially ones so young as Reading-born singersong writer Laura Marling. September saw Brit Award winner release the beautifully sounding third record, A Creature I Don’t Know. The progression between the debut, Alas I Cannot Swim and its follow-up, I Speak Because I Can was huge, this is in a different league. Where the first album felt bare, bringing attention towards the lyrics, the highly acclaimed I Speak Because I Can had a grownup, yet eerie vibe, the new release is diverse with influences from far and wide. The group of bands that came from West London’s folk inspired scene might have sold more records than
Marling, but she has point for it, both mu personally, she is als longest career. The p haired twenty-one y into her role which away from. The soun Don’t Know is more her earlier work, tha apparent in the open where jazz sounding During the epic and ute track, The Beast, the album circles ar pick-up the electric ‘Judas’ moment, like did similar, but mor of her sounds. It isn instruments that defi strength of her voca unrecognisable to w confidence of the sin unmistakable too, no with embarrassment lips with ease, where character used throu
d The Beast
s been the centreusically and so likely to have the pale-faced, blonde year old has grown she once shied nd of A Creature I e experimental than at becomes ner, The Muse, g piano kicks in. d intense six min, which the rest of round, sees Marling guitar, this isn’t a e when Bob Dylan re like an evolution n’t just the range of fine the album, the als is what it was. The ngers lyrics is o longer hiding t as the leave her e The Beast is a ughout.
Single, Sophia is strong and brash while Don’t Ask Me Why shows huge Joni Mitchell influences, both vocally and in song-writing, Night After Night is a dark dream that has elements of part two of Night Terror from Alas, I Cannot Swim. The depth of the record is grander than ever with string sections more prominent than before. The way that Laura has switched from album-to-album seems effortless but works incredibly well, she is becoming mature as an artist at just twenty one! A Creature I Don’t Know is out now on Virgin. Visit her website for details.
Applecore When people pass away they often get remembered more fondely than they were thought of whilst living. Steve Jobs, the genius behind Apple, not just briliant technologically but a master at marketing too. Bringing the Apple branding from an almost niche product to one in many households in just over a decade whilst forming a new way of life for many with his products, from portable music players to legal downloads, the MacBook to the iPad He has also always been regarded as a comendable human being too. Unusual for such a powerful man. Steve Jobs died on October 5th, aged fifty-six, his work and visionary will live on forever. Without meaning to, he changed how we live.
Who you gonna call? Scottish shouters Dananananaykroyd were always ones to split opinions, unfortunantley for them, this has led to the announcement that they are to split as group. The six-piece have made screaming credible with their socalled ‘fight-pop’ songs. Over the years they have braved audiences as they spent the majority of the gigs amongst them, always fun, always energtic but lacked a ‘hit’.
For regular news, reviews and opinions visit our blog
Abolish Confusion RecommendS A very special record from a duo who fit together better than Salt â€˜nâ€™ Pepper, Chas & Dave and PJ & Duncan. The lovely Zooey Deschanel and the far too talented M.Ward take a break from their hectic lives to come together once again for another She & Him album, this time it is full of festive fun.
The album is out on the 24th October, pre-order it and receive a special She & Him knitted hat and gloves to keep you warm in the cold winters. Full details here.
Festival Round-Up So festival season is over for another year, it feels like it expands each time. In 2011 there was dozens of festivals cancelled due to dropping audience numbers and/ or lack of funds in the ‘recession’ climate, but it was the weather that was the biggest let down. Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds and T In The Park all saw puddles and down pours, making the enjoyment of watching live music in a field more of a challenge whilst Hyde Park’s lack of sound ruined their events. It wasn’t all bad, by no-means, The Strokes returned to triumph with material from their new album and Arctic Monkeys proved they are still the festival kings. Pop shone through this summer, Beyonce stared at Glastonbury and Rihanna took on V, there was plenty more offering more than your casual mime too, notably Jessie J, Olly Murs and N-Dubz. One real disappointment came in hip-hop super-star Kanye West who trood too far over the arrogance line, ending up getting booed off at The Big Chill, new-comers to the genre OFWGKTA got bottled at T but welcomed with admiration at Reading, they had to cancel their Leeds appearance in favour of the MTV Awards.
Summer Sundae We Leicester’s Summer Sundae Weekender reached ten this year, a rarity in today’s saturated festival market. Now a three day family event, it has progressed naturally, with both facilities and acts suited to a wide range of audiences’, with music of numerous genres, comedy, food from around the world and areas for children, providing a chilled out atmosphere over the sun-blushed weekend.
they delivered plen throughout. The ne with a build-up tha bands progression welcomed well but got going when the favourites, First Lo and Precious Time. for The Maccabees festival headline slo it with ease.
Saturday had more With a choice of four stages of music with Flashguns and going on, it was the main stage that in DeMontfort Hal brought most of Friday’s highlights. Rising Stage suppo America’s new afro-beat five piece looked talent inclu Givers brought fun and joy to the Comets and Pete an occasion as their upbeat tunes won but it was Chapel C the crowd over. You’d be forgiven for the show back in D thinking you were listening to The London five-p Vampire Weekend at times but that best from their deb is no bad thing and these were a real as a couple of new ‘musical treat’. headliner Newton F to be a nice surpris The Maccabees headlined the first playing drums and night and the Brighton band opened ing, his on-stage ba with a newie, ended with one too and well suited for the
nty more ew sound is slower at highlights the and they were t the crowd really e band played old ove, No Kind Words e. This was a test s on their first ever ot and they passed
e indie delights d The Heartbreaks ll. The Last.FM orted more overuding Little nd The Pirates Club who stole DeMontfort Hall. piece covered the but, Palace as well tunes. Main stage Faulkner proved se as he took to d guitar whilst singanter was family crowd and
his rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody went down a storm. The Sunday headliners were McFly but there was a lot more going on before that. The Last.FM Rising Stage hosted Kyla La Grange and Warpaint showed why they have many the highlight of many festivals goers this summer at the Drowned In Sound curated stage. On the main stage Example caused a sing-a-long during hits such as Kickstarts and Changed the Way You Kissed Me. McFly closed the festival with a set of top ten material from all eras in their lengthy career, they even stuck a Tinie Tempah cover in for the over excited crowd who went home happy. At a time when festivals are coming and going at a frightening rate, it is obvious why this festival has kept afloat, the variety, friendliness and organisation made this a successful and enjoyable weekend.
Arriving at the Chelmsfords site in the middle of a rain shower t sun was out and didnâ€™t leave for the rest of the weekend. Former outdoors T4 Stage to a home-town crowd. He was then followed of Kick Start. The vibrant weather kept going over at the main st think about the band, they are great for a festival crowd, especial taing as the music at times, not one pair of skinny jeans in sight
Sheffield four-piece Arctic Monkeys strolled onstage to the soun ease. They went straight into Library Pictures from this summers gratitude to the faithful fans. Over the ninety-minute set came so were given a new lease of life whilst the new ones showed the m gle on big stages but this performances proved any doubters wro
The festival would conclude on the Sunday evening with one of had an afternoon set on the T4 Stage with a fun performance tha to the main stage for a hit-laden set that suited the Sunday after towards the T4 stage for N-Dubz, the hip-pop trio played a mix o single, Spaceship. The crowd bounced with excitement as the gr worthy at times, annoying as well but they have good songs and e
The kids were treated to more entertainment on the T4 Stage th their teens, the indie pop stars are good for a sunny festival day, love? Rihanna performed a set full of hits but with the ridiculou the side really spoilt the enjoyment, not only could you not see t Eminem followed, the white rapper rarely tours but the ÂŁ2millio was kicking in as was the annoyance of lack of sound and vision early night. Just one of few disappointments from a great weeken
things were not looking hopeful but once that went away the r X-Factor contestant Olly Murs played his cheerful pop on the d by Example who got the crowd moving to an anthemic version tage which saw a return for the Kaiser Chiefs. Whatever you lly for those who attend V. The festival crowd was just as enterbut plenty of fake tan and shaven-headed Essex LADs.
nd of Hot Chocolate’s You Sexy Thing, looking relaxed and at s LP, Suck It & See. Alex kept chat down to minimum, showing ongs from all four of the bands albums, hit after hit, older songs maturity of the twenty-somethings. Many say that the band strugong.
Detroit greatest export, Eminem. The rapper’s buddies D12 at was energetic and spirits were high in the sun. Squeeze took rnoon. It seemed the whole of the festival crowd had moved of material from their three albums as well as Dappy’s recent roup thanked their fans throughout, they might be cringeentertained the young crowd well.
hanks to The Wombats, highly underrated by most aged out of with a handful of big chorus’ and bags of fun, what’s not to us amount of people it meant that the view from far back and to the tiny singer but it was hard to hear, ruining the atmosphere. on performance fee was probably worth the trip. The tiredness ruined the experience so it made sense to call it a day and an nd that N-Dubz and Arctic Monkeys were the biggest highlights.
Last ye the Thu promis twelve that mu wasn’t betwee
The lin the fest Patrick went on festival goers flooded in whilst he made his way thr favourites, The City and House in what was a faultless set, th pop punkers The Offspring performed on the main stage an nostalgia with a set full of singles from the past.
The first day ended with an emphatic show by My Chemical the rock band last visited the festival where they got bottled superstars with two massively selling albums. The band brav Na and I’m Not Okay but went on to cover material from a l of Queen’s We Will Rock You with Brian May on guitar. Ger Freddie Mercury, both visual and vocally whilst gleaming wi their closing number, The Black Parade, he looked equally a the VMAs.
ears Reading Festival was the muddiest in years, arriving on ursday afternoon twelve months on to sunshine showed se for a nice weekend. Then after sun-set, rain poured for hours, the campsites were a mud bath, making everything uch harder, including reaching the main arena, once in, it so bad and the rain had stopped, just showers few and far en over the weekend, but it had already done its damage.
ne-up was as uninspiring as the grey sky for the majority of tival compared to previous years but there was some gems. k Wolf took to a sparsely filled NME/Radio 1 tent, as his set rough material new and old, with inclusion of recent radio he singer ended up in the crowd in the finale. American nd showing their age, as did the spectators seeking
l Romance on the main stage. It has been five years since d, since then they shook off the â€˜emoâ€™ tag and become vely opened with arguably two of their biggest hits, Na Na large part of the career. Their encore included a rendition rard (who was reading lyrics from a sheet) emulated ith joy. May stayed on stage to perform with the band for as happy, before heading to America to join Lady GaGa at
Saturday began with Tribes in the Festival Republic tent. The four-piece played an energetic set to a busy tent where the crowd sang back to them for We Were Children and Sappho, these songs were written for moments like this. They were followed by the uplifting sounds of Grouplove who were a joy to watch, opening with the bouncy Don’t Say Oh Well, ending with Colours, and smiles in-between, this is a band worth loving. Ska favourites Madness made the most of the sun-drenched main stage but lacked excitement which was a huge disappointment. The BBC Introducing Stage hosted Spector, their set was one of the highlights of the weekend with catchy indie pop songs with sing-a-longs and finger clicks of enjoyment, it didn’t take long for crowds to grow, the set was short but the chorus’ stayed memorable. It was then time for the main stage co-headliners, first up was Pulp. The recently reformed Sheffielder’s enjoyed being back in-front of a huge crowd as they pleased them with old
favourites. The hour a get a bit bore for thos knowledge of their ba Jarvis’ chat helps to k interesting. It was the Strokes to conclude piece who first appea ten years ago. The Ne low-key as usual, bare dimly lit stage as they songs from their four very different to last y gig but still enjoyable talkative mood which moment. It might not spectacle but you don when you have tunes Juicebox and Reptilia joined the New York g of The Cars song, Jus which was a nice touc return for the much-l
Sunday had a cold ch made tired bodies cry comfort, making the fi Chapel Club played a NME/Radio 1 stage fu as well as some old fa
and a half set did se without a deep ack-catalog but keep things en up to The day two, The fiveared at the festival ew Yorker’s were ely visible on the y worked through r albums, this was years Dingwall’s e, Julian was in a h is a rare t have been a n’t need it to be like Last Nite, a. Jarvis Cocker group for a cover st What I Needed ch to a successful loved five-piece.
hill and only y-out for final day brief. a great set on the ull of new tunes avourites.
Before leaving the festival early, before headliners Muse, with warmth and a comfortable bed in-sight it was a last opportunity to see The Streets before Mike Skinner retires the group with a ‘best-of’ set. This was the weakest line-up in years for the festival, maybe without Glastonbury next year they can capitalise.
Full festival reviews can be found on our blog
Indie's Not Dead
The ‘golden era’ for our gen in 2006, before that there on Pop and some middle-of-th Afterwards came watered d Kooks and The Fratellis. H In the ‘golden era’ there w introductions of The Strok culture changed forever) f Arctic Monkeys as well as
Every six months we are s but the promise never de quality of those who they baffled and turning to ne credible and ‘urban’ acts
The indie resurgence has been happening over t bands who are fueled with passion. The Vaccines likes of Tribes, Spector, Grouplove, S.C.U.M, Hey all being slightly unique, not having a ‘The’ in the exciting too, it is time to turn that frown up-side d
A few years back nobody would have predicted T entered the album charts, although these two hav than guitars they still portray the sounds of a ‘roc becoming acceptable.
nerations guitar music began in 2001 and declined nly credible music came from the last bits of Brit he-road bands such as Travis and Coldplay. down, radio friendly indie thanks to the likes of The Hip-hop was on the rise again, as was dance and pop. was explosions on the music scene with the kes in 2001 (some labelled it Year Zero as popular followed by The Libertines, The White Stripes, s lots of talent bubbling away in the underground.
sold the story of so-and-so being ‘the next Strokes’, elivers, the copycats lacked the originality and y were trying to replace, leaving indie kids bemused, ew sounds, luckily pop was on its way back to being s pushed boundaries.
the past twelve months with a florae of exciting were just the start of the new beginnings, with the Sholay and Givers who have/due to release debuts, e name but all creating something diverse and down.
The Horrors and Bombay Bicycle Club would have ve expressed influences from dance beats rather ck n roll’ band, just a bit more adventures and
A family affair Singer-songwriter Neil Cousin is due to release his latest record, Bonfire fittingly on the 5th November. We caught up with Neil after falling in love with the album, wanting to find out more. What inspires Bonfire?
I still remember the first time I was in a band and we went to a recording studio, and I remember taking the cassette tape home and playing it over and over again. It seemed like some sort of magical thing. I still like that feeling, I’m still impressed by multitracking. And I like the actual process of recording. A particular theme or message, so a lot of it is trying to get into the subco really understand what the motives behind it are and it’s actually prob last song on the album, ‘The Headless Hawk’. It’s based on my impressi once, so I’m not sure how far the lyrics actually mirror anything in the thing genuinely unsettling about it. How long did it take to make the album?
From doing demos to the end almost two years. But I was working as w
As far as the songs go it’s difficult to tell. I don’t set out with a onscious and letting it run so it’s a bit like a dream where you can’t bably better not toanalyse it too far. The one exception would be the ions after reading a short story by Truman Capote. I’ve only read it book, but it’s more about the impression it left me with. There’s some-
well so it was in my spare time, so it didn’t take as long as that sounds.
Does recording in familiar surroundings make it easier? Yes, it was all recorded at Grange Farm Studio, where I live with my girlfriend Isi Clarke. Isi also did all of the the recording on the album and it actually worked really well. The only time we really argued was when I wanted to recorda lot of accordion parts. I canâ€™t play the accordion. It was also good to have the time to experiment with different things, for example one of the songs was recorded at the bottom of an empty swimming pool. It was a good experience. Do you write autobiographically? No never. Not consciously anyway. Inevitably bits of your experience find their way into the words that you produce but I wouldnâ€™t usually try to write a song about a specific person or time or place in a literal way.
Did you find working with a band a challenge? It wasn’t necessarily your typical band set-up, in that I had different people playing different things at various points in the album, but not the same band for every song. I quite like the freedom of not being restricted in that way. I got to work with some great musicians, who were very generous with their time. But it’s helpful to be able to work with other people because if you are one person who writes the songs, sings the songs, and plays all the instruments, sometimes when you work with other people then that can just bring a different light to things. Do you enjoy playing live? Yes. We had a party recently for the album launch, at the studio. The stage was set up in a tractor shed in the field out the back and we had bands on all day. People camped out and we lit a massive bonfire. It was a really good day. Are you a constant writer or do you have to schedule it in? I do write quite a lot, pretty much constant. But I also believe that writing doesn’t just happen at a certain time when you’re sitting down with a guitar or whatever, I think your experiences and the way you live are part of writing rather than it being an isolated act. I think the worst thing you can do is sit down with the intention of writing a song, if you do that you’ll end up with what you think a song should sound like, rather than what you should be saying.
What are you views on music released in 2011? Cack, mostly. At least where major labels are concerned. I don’t like a lot of stuff I hear on the radio. There is good music being produced, but you have to search it out. There are some bands doing great music who don’t have record deals, or if they do maybe they aren’t well known. I’m hopeful about the situation though, the music industry is not in a good condition but sometimes when people struggle against adversity it produces good results. What are your views on the relationship between music & the internet? I think that using computers in general will alter the way people think and behave. Bearing in mind access to computers, and more importantly the habitual use of computers on a daily or hourly basis is relatively new, we haven’t begun to understand the long term effects. In just a few decades I think that the way people’s minds work will have altered radically, and it will be interesting to see what that does to creativity and the artistic process. Eventually new technology is subsumed into the creative process which is inevitable and progressive rather than either good or bad. Bonfire is released on 5th November on Oil Bug Music, details can be found here.
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London record label Luv Luv Luv began life in 2009 and has seen grown to become one of the best labels to offer new music. Started by Maired Nash (of Queens Of Noize fame) it has released material from Florence & the Machine, Babeshadow, Blood Orange and Spector. Visit the website to see what they are up to.
Itâ€™s been a busy year for LA five-piece Grouplove. The band ha attention over the last twelve months as the energetic group titled EP. Single, Colours the for-front of the release was the k Say Oh Well really captured the chaotic vibes of the band. A f small tours helped the buzz but it the early festival appearanc SXSW and The Great Escape where new fans were made, peop took notice, live is what they do best at their sets at Glastonb and Reading/Leeds Festival highlighted that.
Never Trust A Happy Song is the debut album from the quintet and it is full of big chorusâ€™ and twelve shambolic pop song where male and female vocal intertwine to create layers of fun There are few moments on the record where the tempo drops but when it does, it comes across as delicate and sincere.
This is what The Fratellis would have produced if they were fr sunny LA, and credible. The album flows with fun as lyrics are all about having a good time in the sunshine. The songs are in tunes for hours.
Never Trust A Happy Song is out now on Atlantic Records. Fo
ave had a speedy, yet gradual burst of received blog hype from last years selfkey to spreading the word but Donâ€™t few ces, ple bury
gs n. s,
rom e nstantly catchy, youâ€™ll be humming the
or more details check-out their website.
o i s u f n o C Abolish
The West London scene, best known as Communion, h of Mumford & Sons, Laura Marling and Noah & the W the gift that keeps giving.
Just twelve months ago four-piece Various Casualties fo since then they have created some beautifully crafted i pop tunes, played early gigs with their mates, The Vacci sold-out two self-released singles and signed to Hideou Records, who have put out the super-catchy single, Che
With an album ready for release, he caught up with fro How have you found the past twelve months since starting the
Itâ€™s been an amazing experience, fast in one way, slow in another gether and ultimately I feel we have a lot more to do and people
What were your influences when you formed? Have they chang
It was more soul and motown than alternative guitar bands, henc How would you describe your sound? Scruffy Soul
g n i c u d o r on Int
home Whale is
ormed, indie ines, ut emicals.
ont-man, Liam to see how this has happened. band?
r as iâ€™d been writing for a few years trying to get a set toe to play to.
ce we arrived in this kinda spot.
You were given opportunities s the daunting? Did you learn a
It was fight or flight, in many w how much work is ahead to be Cruelties gig was me solo at one actually supported them as a ba start. Where do you see yourselves in
Yes the album is finished and w myself here 12 months ago so its unlikely i can fathom 12 mon What do you think of the current crop of guitar bands aroun I’m into Michael Kawanuka and Lana Del Rey at the moment, great songs on the new Kasabian record. What can we expect from your live show? I promise i’ll tell you if you come And, what are your plans for the immediate future?
Finish the UK tour, sort the artwork for the next single and pro try and chill out for a couple of days. Check out their website here.
supporting The Vaccines and Mumford & Sons early on, was lot? Did it help having friends who had already ‘made it’?
ways supporting the Vaccines on your second show, highlighted as good as them. Regarding Mumford, the very first Various e of their Communion Nights in Brighton. We’ve never and, just benefited from their community! I love how rumours
n the next twelve months? Do you have an album ready?
we are mastering it today in London. I especially didn’t see nths from now! Hopefully on tour somewhere in the world.
nd? so not that guitary! Although I can’t deny there are some
To find out what happened at their recent gig at SoYo Live in Sheffield visit our blog for a review. You can watch the video for their recent single, Chemicals is here.
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Theme Park It’s always a bit suspicous when a band signs a record deal before their first gig, but ignore that, listen to A Mountain We Love and the b-side, Wax and you will understand why. The new Londoner’s follow the indie-disco trends that have flowed through the past few years with danceable beats and eighties influences. You might recognise Theme Park’s guitarist, Louis Bhose who has been playing keyboard for Bombay Bicycle Club, bass for Eliza Doolittle and used to be in indie failure’s Trafalgar. He has also been an MTV presenter, and on BBC’s programme, Switch. Safe to say he’s a trier and Theme Park might just ‘make it’ this time. To find out more visit here.
The Hunting Accident Hailing from LA, The Hunting Accident formed at the end of the noughties following the split of two bands, Piebald and Arlo. Members from each grouped together for a fresh start, The Hunting Accident were born. With just a self released EP to their name, the band are still criminally unsigned despite sussing out the art of making great pop, success is surely on its way. Download their EP for free here.
Outfit Myster surrounds Liverpool five-piece Outfit who only formed at the turn of the year. The group have only released cryptic tales of the members and their formation but it is their eighties inspired pop that talks the loudest. Firemen Donâ€™t Fly and Every Night I Dress Up As You share a psychedelic twist and build on vocals harmonies and layered sounds. Expect big things from the new Mersey Beat. Listen to and found out about Outfit over here. Caged Animals New Jersey is a city that never stops producing ground breaking musicians, Caged Animals are just the latest installment. The four-piece have been building up a fanbase with a little help from odd-ball Darwin Deez but their synthheavy, gentle atmospheric album, Eat Their Own proves worthy of their existance. The album, which was released last month on Lucky Numbers covers influnces from dub-step and hip-hop to dream pop and sixties surf making each listen varied and interesting. For more information on the band visit their website.
Dog Is Dead Dog Is Dead have had their name on the ‘ones to watch’ lists for a while now, it is finally time to take note. The Nottingham five-piece are about to hit the road with Bombay Bicyle Club around the UK, ready to prove that they are more than just a poor man’s Mystery Jets. The quirky pop group have seen success on the horizon with wellrecieved singles such as Young and River Jordan have lead to a record deal with Atlantic on the cards and a successful future is promised. Check out the bands website.
You could never accuse Dev debuting with the raucous then rebranded himself Lig folk-inspired offerings such London to New York a year
Yet another genre gear shift from doe-eyed musings to d it’s jumped straight out of the 80’s all twirling, writhing late at night seems to have inspired Dev to experiment could well be the soundtrack to a hot sweaty evening sp
Lyrically, aspects of ‘Coastal Grooves’ is written from a f Boulevard’ highlights the identity-blurring documentar Whilst working on the mixtapes and songs which event in the US also influenced Blood Orange. The result, alth such as ‘Champagne Coast’ are the result of blurry jaunt
Still an adamant purveyor of the bedroom studio, Hyne himself. Drawing influence from sources as disparate as when finding a middle ground somewhere between Chr good, who cares? Coastal Grooves is a triumph.
Coastal Grooves is out now on Domino, find out more h written by Lyndsay Warner
vonte Hynes of predictability. Or laziness. First hardcore crossover flurry of Test Icicles back in 2004 he ghtspeed Champion and surprised everyone with delicate h as ‘Falling Off Lavender Bridge.’ Cue moving from r later and his new guise Blood Orange was born.
downright filthy bass lines, ‘Coastal Grooves ‘ sounds like g and thrusting in your face. Wandering around Brooklyn with a darker sound and lead single ‘Sutphin Boulevard’ pent drinking in one of Brooklyn’s seedier spots.
female perspective and the video accompanying ‘Sutphin ry work of American trans-gender icon Octavia St Laurent. tually made up the album, a string of gay teenage suicides hough definitely dark, isn’t all shadowy though and tracks ts along the sunshine-drenched L.A strip.
es recorded all the album parts himself, simply to please s his genre switching, some critics hail Dev as faddish, but ris Issack, 80’s Japanese pop and Billy Idol sounds this
Soap Opera Stars
Los Campesinos! are back with their third a winter. Song titles such as ‘Songs About You Divorce (Three Lions)’ and ‘Life Is A Long T true LC! fashion with heart on the sleeve po bands. We caught up with energetic front-man Gar
album, Hello Sadness, to be released this ur Girlfriend’, ‘Every Defeat A Time’ Hello Sadness promises to follow in op from one of Britain’s most underrated
reth to find out more...
Hello Sadness is due at shortly previous releases?
Very excited indeed. It feels like m apparent in what we’ve created, an
You do well to make sad songs release?
I suppose so. The words are consi covers an awful lot of ground, so t What inspired the album, the title doesn’t sound too chirpy…? The lyrics were written very quickly after the break up of a relationship. How was the recording process? Was John Goodmanson the automatic choice? It’s certainly the most enjoyable recording experience we’ve ever had. The surroundings, in Girona, Spain, were nothing short of idyllic and helped us really focus on the job in hand. As a result, I think we were a band more united and inspired than ever. As for John, he’s an absolute pleasure to work with. He knows how to get the best out of us and is a whole lot of fun to be around. Where do you feel most comfortable, in the studio or on stage?
They’re completely different experiences. I think we’ve always been a the studio, a place which, five years ago, would have seemed very fore
y, how are your feeling? How does it compare to the
more work has gone into this record than ever, and I think thatâ€™s nd in our keenness for people to hear it.
s sound so upbeat, does this trend continue on the new
istent in their sadness, but musically the collection of ten songs the juxtaposition and degree of difference in shades varies.
an exciting live band, but by now weâ€™re also very accomplished in eign to us.
Harriet recently announced her departure, did she have involvement on the record? Are you replacing her? With the loss of Aleks two years ago and Ollie’s departure last year, has the dynamic of the band altered? Yes, Harriet’s present on the record, playing strings. No, we’re not replacing her. I’m never really sure what’s meant by the word ‘dynamic’ in this context. It’s inevitable that as a group of people evolves and the individuals within it change the way that people interact changes too, but I think that’s both inevitable and completely positive within a group of people who’ve gone from teenagers to being in their mid-twenties. I think now, without doubt, we’re more united and devoted to eachother and to LC! than ever. Is it going to be a challenge to choose a setlist for the forthcoming tour having so much material to pick from now? I think it’s actually going to make it easier to choose setlists. We’ve always felt a little obliged to delve deep into our backcatalogue, perhaps when sometimes we’ve not wanted to. Now we have this new record, and especially since we have so much faith in it, we’re excited to play these new songs to people. And we can season the setlist with a whole host of different songs from previous records.
You have always taken pride on your D.I.Y. ethics, have you found that hard? Have you noticed the industry change since you formed? We’ve only ever behaved and acted as we’ve wanted to, and none of the wonderful people who we work with have wanted us to be any other way, so it’s been remarkably easy. I think it’s probably easier than ever, because the lack of money within the biz has meant that bands have to work harder and think outside the box a little more to survive and to be relevant. That suits us just fine! Do you have any regrets? Did it put strain on the band gaining exposure so early on? No way. The band was only a hobby. We never expected to get signed and had we not, we’d not have carried on once we’d finished uni and moved all over to get proper jobs. I can’t think of any regrets at all. After refusing to release your music for corporate use before, what made you allow Budweiser to use You! Me! Dancing! for their advert? I’d not say we ‘refused’ to, just that we chose not to. It was very much the right thing to do, to establish ourselves as a band and as songwriters before allowing the albatross of a big buxxx commercial to hang round our necks. We’re a very different group of people to those who wrote Y!M!D!, and so we’re happy for it to have this new lease of life. Plus, there ain’t no money in the music industry anymore, and a seven piece band kind of needs some money to be a band.
Who are you currently listening to? Alan Partridge Autobiography Audiobook, XXX - Danny Brown, Dr. Lecter -Action Bronson, Perfume Genius, Jacques Greene. Apart from Twitter, how do you keep busy when you aren’t making or playing music? Personally, I am nearly always watching or playing Soccer, in some way or another. I also like drinking beer and chainwatching US Sitcoms/Dramas. What affect has Huw Stephens had on the Welsh music scene? I’m unsure. He’s been very supportive of us and we’re very grateful for that. If there was an award for best song titles, you’d be dead certs to take the prize, is it something you take time in thinking up? Which are your favourites? Usually the songtitles make sense to the song, once the song’s completed. I think it’s key not to take much time thinking them up, otherwise it becomes conceited and faked. On the other hand, I totally appreciate that a lengthy or wordy songtitle can be attractive or curious to a potential listener. Hello Sadness released on 14th November via Arts and Crafts, pre-order the album here.
Ed Miliband Labour’s new leader Ed Miliband left the oppositions party conference to the sound of ‘You’ve Got The Love’, the Florence & the Machine version. An odd choice. That song was HUGE so it isn’t like he is coming across hip and happening. Also, ‘You’ve Got The Love’ hardly shouts out ‘vote for me’ and ready to fit for and change the country. Here are some suggestions:
1. PJ & Duncan - Let’s Get Ready To Rhumble 2. Beastie Boys - You Gotta Fight For Your Right (for the Labour) Party 3. Larrikin Love - Edwould 4. N-Dubz - Against All Odds 5. Dizzee Rascal - Bonkers
Remember the first time you heard The Streets? I do, late night on MTV, Mike Skinner walking down a street talking about everyday life in the video for Let’s Push Things Forward. It was different, orginal, struck a chord and it was just the beginning to a new era in music. This Autumn will see the era close its curtains. With the single came the debut album, Original Pirate Material in Spring 2002, before Mike Skinner and had even performed in live.
Icons Of A
Almost ten years on it still sounds fresh and relevant, even if Skinner’s later work did not keep up to the high-standards he set himself. Original Pirate Material rightly topped many ‘Album of the Noughties’ lists and inspired many, in the song-writer as well as the music, helping take garage out of the underground and pushing poetry into the mainstream.
Skinner told tales of an early twenties lad growing up in the late nineties/ early noughties, making the most mundane things sound so eloquent and interesting, the youth had a voice to listen to.
A Grand Don’t Come For Free followed with a less edgy approach but quality flowed, Dry Your Eyes became the break-up anthem for a generation as every beat felt like a tear. The album might have lacked the innovation of the debut but it brought in a wider audience and the lyrics still featured the everyday stories. Two more albums came and went without much excitement as Skinner was living the celebrity lifestyle, something the everyday listener could not relate to, it felt like he was on auto-pilot making these records as he dealt with addicitions, producing lacklustre tunes. This February came Computers & Blues, the final release from The Streets and make on track to the standards produced in the early days. After a busy summer of festivals, The Streets only have a few gigs left before the farewell but the imprint left will be remembered just as well as Original Pirate Material. Arctic Monkeys, N-Dubz, Dizzee Rascal, Lily Allen and Example all have a debt to pay to the Brummie who defined ‘real’ life for a generation.
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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. 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