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Round Two Call Out Launchpad offers support to new & emerging artists and music professionals across Yorkshire with new open call. Applications are now open for artists, musicians, producers, bands, composers and music professionals in the Yorkshire region to access bespoke industry and career advice, live opportunities and funding for recordings, project delivery and personal development. If you think this is what you're looking for, head over to for more information.

If you think your music career could benefit with industry advice, recording support and opportunities to perform then apply here

Applications close 25th October 2021 Have questions about the application process? Read through our resource pack here and sign up to our upcoming advice sessions - Launchpad is delivered by Music Local, and is supported by Youth Music, with public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, as well as Bradford Council, Craven District Council, Leeds 2023, arts@leeds, Leeds City Council, Awesome Merchandise, PRS Foundation's Talent Development Partnership supported by PPL and in partnership with Wakefield Council's Creative Wakefield programme funded by The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Cultural Development Fund grant, which2is administered by Arts Council England.



DIRECTOR Tony Ereira (he/him)


MAGAZINE Andrew Benge (he/him)


LABEL Eva Davis (she/her)


ARTIST DEVELOPMENT Scott Lewis (he/him) DIVERSITY PROJECTS Antonia Lines (they/she) DIVERSITY EVENTS Lily Sturt-Bolshaw (she/her)






PHOTO BOOTH & ART WALL 24 MODERN WOMEN / FREEBOOKING and in no particular order... Lily, Jenny, Mirella, Holly, Louisa, Sarah, Amy, Jamie, Bree, Beth, Sally, Ellur, Brooke, James, Paddy, Ruth, Yasmeen, Whiskas, Nick, Cole, Shauna, Georgia, Tina, George, Abi... all of the artists, contributors and everyone else who took the time to tell their stories and helped make this happen.



Come Play With is printed by Mixam. Copyright © 2021 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, email the publisher at Printed in the UK.


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SEPTEMBER 2021 Hi everyone Here at CPWM we've all been enjoying the tentative opening up that we’ve seen over the last couple of months. Feeling cautiously positive about where we are music-wise right now! Like everyone we’ve been really struggling to get vinyl pressed in the last few months - but we did release our ‘Boundless’ LP earlier in September which included some incredible tracks from some amazing Yorkshire-based creatives of colour. Check it out if you haven’t already! Hoping that if the major labels would stop re-pressing 180g coloured vinyl versions of classic albums, this situation may relax a little? Unfortunately our 7” releases planned for late 2021 will now be landing in early 2022 but fear not as we have some treats in store. We’ve just announced a series of 6 artists though that we’ll be releasing some digital singles with over the coming months - some corkers coming from Adult DVD, Bad Idea, Josephine Sillars, Mollie Coddled, Fuzz Lightyear and Dirty Freud. We’ve also got some great events coming up - Otis Mensah, Dwellhead & NikNak at Wharf Chambers 7th October, the return of our annual LGBTQ The Music panel event (Douglas Dare, Shauna, Aeris Houlihan) 11th October and a very special event with Witch of The East and Galaxians 13th October - Rainbowtopia. An exhibition, a gig and so much more. Hope you enjoy this edition of the magazine - big thanks as always for your support Big love Tony & the CPWM team

To support CPWM please see PATREON.COM/CPWM






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Entering lockdown with a single, and re-emerging with her first headlining tour well underway and a second EP on the horizon, Holly Humberstone has hit the ground running. 7


The past two years have been a time of lifestyle change and personal growth for many, but while for most this took the form of an exciting new haircut or a sudden passion for crochet, for Holly Humberstone she emerged from lockdown with a fullyfledged and formidable career in music. However, the newlockdown-new-me analogy ends there, as Holly’s career trajectory was nowhere near as spur of the moment as a shaved head. Instead, music has been present throughout her childhood. Growing up, her bedroom was her space for music and from those walls, Holly's debut single Deep End was released to the world in January 2020. No one needs reminding of what would happen next, but while the world closed its doors Holly was busier than ever. Almost two years later and with multiple singles, a debut EP, and a second well underway, major media recognition and a fast-selling out headlining tour, Holly Humberstone has hit the ground running.

there listening to my music. Suddenly it’s more than just a load of statistics on Spotify or comments on youtube.’

I have been wanting to play there for so long.’

Holly’s latest EP The Walls Are Way Too Thin is set for release on November fifth and the young musician is ready for it to finally be available to "I ALWAYS SEEM the public. ‘I’m really proud of it all, it feels like a time TO PUT MYSELF IN capsule for me and it's nice REALLY TERRIBLE to listen back. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I've worked POSITIONS AND really hard to get it all right THEN I HATE MYSELF so I’m very excited for it to be released and to tour and see WHEN I ACTUALLY everyone finally. It's going to HAVE TO DO IT be really nice.’ From listening BUT MAYBE THAT to The Walls are Way Too Thin, it becomes clear that MAKES ME A BETTER this piece of work really is PERFORMER." like a diary, or a time capsule, to the artist. Right from the offset with ‘Haunted House’ Holly works through the inner ‘It felt so weird, and so going turmoils of adolescence and to festivals over the summer leaves that all behind, along has been really fun. It’s still with the comforting familiarity really bizarre to me that there of her childhood home, to set are actually physical people out on her own. ‘I wrote the who can show up and who EP all in the space of a year want to hear me play.’ or two and it pretty much sums up how I was feeling at For Holly, starting out as she that time. I was in an awkward did during lockdown and never in-between stage from being knowing what the “normal” at home and a teenager, and We spoke to Holly as she musician experience was, was then moving out and living on waited in departures for a a blessing in disguise, but the my own. I was experiencing a flight to continue on her funny mix of simultaneously lot for the first time.’ headlining tour that is now in having your career gathering full swing, a testament to her momentum while physically The rising star moved to busy schedule of which she is remaining stationary at home London in the summer of incredibly grateful. ‘When I set did not go unnoticed. ‘It 2020 and it took a while for out on this tour I told myself felt odd to have all these the now twenty-one year old I would never take it for amazing opportunities and to find her feet. ‘There was a granted again and just enjoy support coming in but to be lot of chaos. It's the busiest every second of it because sat at home and just seeing place ever but you can feel I haven't really had much of it through my phone screen’ very isolated and lonely there. a chance to experience this Finally that sense of waiting in The studio was the only safe yet.’ While she welcomes it the stalls is over for Holly as space that I had and it was excitedly, it is no surprise that the artist once tied down to my therapy to work through her new fast-paced lifestyle Nottingham and then London all these feelings that I had. It as a musician and performer now takes to the skies and really helped me to express to adoring fans has proven travels the world, ‘I’m going how I was feeling.’’ a shock to the system, ‘It over to the US which will be is completely new to me. really exciting as it’s my first This deeply personal and For a while, it was hard to time over there. Then I’ve got cathartic subject matter believe that this was actually the UK tour and Shepherds continues throughout as happening and that there Bush Empire which is an she tackles friendship with were actually people out exciting milestone for me as ‘Scarlet’, a track named 9

after her best friend, and then mulls over relationship breakdown in ‘Please Don’t Leave’ featuring the 1975’s Matty Heally. Working with Matty was a dream come true for Holly. ‘He’s been a huge inspiration to me and pretty much wrote the soundtrack of my teenage years. It’s been really nice to work alongside him and see how he comes up with his music.’ Her lyrics capture some of life's most intense feelings and she packages this all with what can only be described as bottled twilight. Her sound is jarring, gothic, and ethereal. It is interlaced with warped and glitching tones and stark blank space which intersects sharply with stripped-back electronic beats and mindwarping synths. Some of Holly’s spooky aesthetics and tones can be accredited to her unconventional childhood home which was once used as the servants quarters for a nearby castle and comes complete with meat hooks in the basement and mushrooms growing out of the walls. It is no surprise that when the rising star was young, friends would often make excuses to avoid staying the night. Despite this Holly looks back on her time there fondly and from listening to the aptly named track ‘Haunted House’ it is clear how important her childhood home was both sentimentally and creatively. ‘I had always written in the same room in my house where I grew up, and that had always been my safe space to do what I wanted musically and to work through everything that was going on the outside.’ When she moved out, recreating that musical safe space became a priority. For Holly it turned out her new “safe space” may not Words by Mirella Cockerill

come in the form of a physical room, but instead the people with which she surrounds herself. ‘When I moved out I just tried to channel that same environment by bringing in people that I trusted and could be really comfortable around.’ ‘I found it very hard at the beginning of my career because I was going to all these writing sessions and it was so strange trying to write with people that I didn’t know and had nothing in common with. It took a little time to find my people but working with them, it can never feel like a job. It's always so much fun going into the room and just talking through what's been going on in our lives.’ While the last few years have been characterised for Holly by continuous transition and change, one thing that has remained a constant is the role of music in keeping her mentally grounded. ‘It has definitely become a form of therapy for me. I know that sounds cheesy but it really is.’ Not only is this personal writing restorative for the artist, but the transparency in her work also succeeds in connecting to her fans. “I write so I can connect with other people but I think the reason that it connects with other people is that I'm writing for myself.’ Her quickly growing fanbase is a testament to the overwhelming appreciation her open lyrics receive. Holly is known for establishing rich narratives within her music videos and aesthetic choices. Over the past year, action-packed music videos that resemble something closer to a four-minute-long blockbuster, have become the hallmark of a Holly Humberstone music video. 10

‘I always seem to put myself in danger’ Holly Laughs, ‘I’ve been freezing cold, I've been in an air vent with fire blasting at me, and for the Scarlett music video I was on the back of a moving truck. I always seem to put myself in really terrible positions and then I hate myself when I actually have to do it but maybe that makes me a better performer.’ This rich inner narrative is now so intrinsic to her style that the visual elements do not come secondary to the music as is often the case, but are instead often designed alongside the writing process meaning the elements complement each other perfectly. ‘I've always had the same director for video and I think he just really gets the vision and the aesthetics of it all. It's just become really fun thinking of new ideas and new ways to tell the story. When I'm writing I have a bit of a visual of what I want the music video to be in my head. I also get inspiration from films a lot of the time.’ We leave Holly to board her flight and continue on her journey in a music career that is only gathering speed. While she does have the whispers of an album in the works, ‘It will take a little while to get it right but I have a couple of songs that I am really excited about.' For now her life consists mostly of preparing for the EP to drop this November and touring and performing like there is no tomorrow. It is safe to say she is making up for lost time. The second EP 'The Walls Are Way Too Thin' will be released on 5 November 2021 on Polydor/Darkroom/ Interscope records and Holly tours the UK this Autumn. Photography by Andrew Benge



I’m Ellur, a young, northern lass with a passion for all things music, shits and giggles.


I write songs, I perform some of them and I write and direct the visual stuff for my music. For fun I like to dance around my room, paint and I enjoy the occasional “funny cat video”.


Because it’s literally so fun!!!! Since I could walk and talk I’ve been dancing, singing and striving to be the centre of attention. I thought it’d be a good idea to make a career of it. I was also brought up watching bands live, at festivals and stuff, which has always inspired me. I’ve wanted Words by Ellur

to be on stage ever since I can remember. When I grow up I wanna be Tim Booth or Lady Gaga… or Tim Booth AND Lady Gaga. That’d be pretty cool.


I am about to release a single!! 29th September, new Ellur tune is heading your way with a bloody cracking music video to accompany it. I also just got a job working in a lovely little sandwich shop near my house! Come see me for all your sandwich-y, lunch-y needs.


The hot topic in music, I think, is all things TikTok related. Still can’t really get my head around how I promote my own music on there but I think if a person can 11

write a song that’ll connect with someone in 15 seconds, they’re pretty talented. Already mentioned the single but I’ll mention it again. I also have an EP coming out (which the single will appear on) and that’s coming out in December. There will definitely be a Leeds show around that release so come get your tickets. Also, got a full band together now, where I previously did gigs with a backing track and my Dad playing guitar. So if that’s not enough encouragement to come and see me with my pink bass and pulling out my craziest dance moves, I dunno what is. PS. May or may not be working on another EP… ;) Photography by Andrew Benge



Artists and Industry professionals get together to support Yorkshire’s music industry Yorkshire Music Forum Convention returns in 2021, back in person at Belgrave Music Hall, to support the region's music industry.

Yorkshire Music Forum Convention returns with a series of important panel discussions for future artists, entrepreneurs and industry makers, a keynote speech by former Kaiser Chief Drummer, Nick Hodgson and an opportunity to meet industry experts 1:1. The day is put together in collaboration with Launchpad, DMF Digital, Arnold Brown Ltd and Music:Leeds.

The focus of this years’ convention is placed on a balanced programme suited for both musicians and industry professionals. The event features the likes of emerging 17-year-old singer Cole LC (Columbia Records), James Smith of rising Leeds band Yard Act, independent record label The Leaf Label and communications and 12

events marketing agency Hanglands. 'It’s great to be able to bring people from across the music sector in Yorkshire to this year’s Yorkshire Music Forum event.’ Says Sam Nicholls/Whiskas, Director of Music:Leeds. ‘We’re really keen to make sure there is something for everybody in the event, so we have panel discussions about

artists and those working in the industry at the start of their careers, as well as an intense conversation about the resilience of the music industry moving forward.’ Alongside the panel discussions, the day will feature a ‘meet the experts session’ with representatives from Help Musicians, PRSf, Launchpad, PRS, PPL and the Musicians' Union at hand to offer advice. ‘You really get an insight into their world and an opportunity to network.’ Artist Premaura reflects on to last year’s convention.

‘Attending the session, and event as a whole, has been something that has contributed to my growth as an artist: opportunities have come to me off the back of attending this event, connecting with people and following the advice that resonated with me.’ The day of talks will be concluded by a Yorkshire Music Forum Showcase from Northern talent Faux Pas, Fuzz Lightyear and Pleasure Centre. The day of talks will be concluded by a Yorkshire Music Forum Showcase from Northern talent Faux


Pas, Fuzz Lightyear and Pleasure Centre. The event is free, attendees are encouraged to register via EventBrite. Yorkshire Music Forum Convention is produced by Launchpad, DMF Digital, Arnold Brown Ltd and Music:Leeds and supported by BPI, Youth Music with public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, as well as Leeds 2023, arts@ leeds, Leeds City Council and PRS Foundation's Talent Development Partnership supported by PPL.


EMMA BRADLEY SYNESTHESIA & SONGWRITING... Hi, I’m Emma and I’m a singer-songwriter from London! I’ve been writing songs since I was 13 years old, after stealing my little brother’s guitar and teaching myself how to play. When I was about 16 I started teaching myself how to play the piano from listening to my favourite film scores and trying to replicate them. Film music was and still is my biggest source of musical inspiration, so it made sense to me that it’s how my musical journey began. The way that music can

support, inform and amplify she had no idea what I was visuals and moments, I think talking about and that led me to do some research it’s a really special thing. on it. I’ve always had a really visual and colourful experience with music, "I BEGAN TO REALISE which is perhaps why I find HOW INEXTRICABLE film scores so fascinating. This all made more THE RELATIONSHIP sense a couple of years BETWEEN MY ago when I discovered SYNESTHESIA AND I had synesthesia. Until then, I wasn’t aware that MY SONGWRITING my experience was any PROCESS WAS..." different from anybody else’s. It was only when talking to a friend about There are several types of how Wednesday was ‘quite obviously bright yellow’ that synesthesia and everyone’s personal experience with I came to realise this, as 14

it is unique to them, but it is essentially the overlap of two senses. I experience a few different types of synesthesia, but the one that is most notable for me is my chromesthesia. Chromesthesia is where sound evokes an experience of colour, movement and shapes; so when I listen to music I have a very visual picture in my mind’s eye of what that music looks like. One song will always look the same to me, it never changes, and certain musical elements always have the same appearance to me as well. For example, piano is blue, cello is purple and guitar is pink.

guided by the textures and colours I experience when I sit at the piano and begin to write. For example, if a melody line feels purple and circular, I’ll try to hone in on that and let it guide me whilst I find other melodies to fit into the same world. Songs are like little worlds to me and if I have a strong idea of what it is beginning to look and feel like early on, it’s easier to build and create that world.

It’s become like an intuitive tool for me when I write now… If I’m writing and it doesn’t feel colourful to me I’ll often abandon the idea until I come up with something that I began to realise how inextricable the relationship is! It’s a strange thing, but I definitely wouldn’t between my synesthesia and my songwriting process change it about myself if given the opportunity. I was. I tend to find myself Words by Emma Bradley

love my colourful musical experience! It helps me write the music that I want to create and the music that feels most true to me, and that’s something invaluable and super cool to me. Emma Bradley recently dropped her debut EP Perfumed By You, a fourtrack collection which includes production credits from the likes of Will Canzoneri (Vampire Weekend), Jack Rochon (Charlotte Day Wilson) and James Jacob (Celeste, Ellie Goulding, Little Simz). The EP is out now on tmwrk records.

Photography by Jordan Hardy




in the UK for several years, nijuu has now moved back to her home city of Seoul, and here she gives us a guide to some of the best local places..

INTRODUCTION Korean indie dream-pop artist nijuu, aka Yujin Jo, has just releases her second EP nijuu in the forest, out now via The state51 Conspiracy. nijuu explains that the nijuu in the forest EP represents a natural thematic evolution from her first EP nijuu in the sea, embodying her heightened confidence and sense of self. After living

CAFÉ My favourite cafe is Unplugged in Seoul, in Hongdae. They also have a gig space. On the first floor is a cafe/ bar and underground is a live venue. The owner, 16

I call him Kang PD, loves musicians and is very supportive. If you want to play guitar in the cafe, there are some guitars that you can play. Also they got 2 kinds of coffee beans and some great beers as well.

RECORD SHOP Gimbap records. They have lots of new and unique LPs and Tapes. Actually I don't really know

about record shops in Seoul as so many of them are gone. Gimbap records is a small place but they always have some records that I want to listen to.

RECORDING STUDIO + PRACTISE SPACE Molstudios - they are so good. I recorded there and I wanted to come back! They are in the basement but the air and equipment and everything is great. Also, Byulnamu practise space - I always have rehearsals there!!! MUSICIAN FROM SEOUL Puer Kim - She's been my role model since I was in high school. Especially her first EP mom and sex and Korean EP are so great.

PARK/GARDEN My favourite park is Seoul Forest. If you've ever been to Seoul, you might know that Seoul is a very urban city. But if you go to Seoul Forest you might feel like "How can this forest be in Words by nijuu

this city?" It’s huge and I love it. There are so many trees! But interestingly, around Seoul Forest, it's just a really cool city. So if you have any chance to visit Seoul, please come and check out Seoul forest.

FAVOURITE VENUE Prism Hall, I feel grateful for them. Because I had only one show there in May, and they've got a huge space and equipment. Through the Covid19, lots of live music venues were closed. However, they are still doing gigs and are very supportive to artists. I really respect them.

calm space, surrounded by mountains (you should walk up them as well). But it's really worth visiting there. They will lead you in peacefully and calmly. QUIET/CALM PLACE For me, Church. When I get busy and stressed I really need to talk about my situation. I never really want to make people get bad energies because of me. But when I pray or go to church it makes me calm and I feel like God says to me "It's alright, it's not your fault, you can do better, you will be fine" and I get inspired there as well.

nijuu's second EP 'nijuu in the forest' is out now on state51 conspiracy. It is the follow up to her 2020 debut EP 'nijuu in the sea'.

GALLERY Whanki Museum. One of my favourite places in Seoul. Whanki museum was made by his wife Hyangan Kim. They were both great painters in Korea. So Hyangan Kim made a museum for young artists and to remember her husband’s art as well. The museum is in a very 17

Main photograph by Mingyu



So this might come in useful for anyone trying to dig their way out of a songwriting rut right now, or anyone who is simply interested in the subject of songwriting in general. It’s something I’ve always been very passionate about. So I hope that even if you don’t agree with me you can enjoy reading as I relish the opportunity to talk about it. My name is Jim Faulkner. I’m one of the songwriters in the band BEACH RIOT and it is my job to bring raw material to the table ready for working on. We have a very Beatles type dynamic in that respect. And if we’re using that analogy I guess then that makes me… Paul? Ok, before I begin I have to point out that the entire song writing process in regards to this

particular band rests on the very fact that these vital elements are already in place: •

There’s a sh*t hot drummer (Jonny Ross) already on board and able to play and develop any concept that gets thrown at him.

None of us are afraid to put in hard graft practicing individually at home to fully understand and interpret/ embellish our parts in the song. (We are not a band that spends a lot of time rehearsing jamming in studios, as much as we’d love to. But we do fly-test a song in a room once we’re all confident we have our individual parts locked)


"FOR EVERY 20 DEMOS, I MAKE THERE’S TYPICALLY ONE OR TWO THAT GO ON TO BECOME A PROPER FLESHED-OUT SONG." IN THE BEGINNING My particular method to starting songs up in the demo process is to not be precious and just make as many as possible. All in one burst of energy. Doesn’t matter what I’m feeling, I just grab a guitar or bass, plug into garage band (cue boos and hisses from the crowd but I lovvvve garage band IOS), I might try a few of my fuzz pedals in the chain too for chaotic wonkiness.

For every 20 demos, I make there’s typically one or two that go on to become a proper fleshed-out song. It’s just a numbers game. It’s kind of inevitable you’ll strike gold with that ratio. I’ve always hung on to something I once read that either Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen said (I forget which… LenBo?) - they would write 20 or 30 verses of a song just to get the best 3 or 4. Mind - blown! GARBLED NONSENSE BECOMES SONG With my 1 or 2 best demos from the pack I then get heavy into trying to decipher the strange jumble of vowel and consonant sounds, I was making in order to get the guitar parts down (I should have mentioned I record a mic on a separate channel at the same time as the guitar). I know this was Kurt Cobain’s method of songwriting. I really like it. A magical thing happens where the logical part of your mind begins to make sense of what your subconscious mind poured out. It sounds random and like it shouldn’t work, but I’ve found it the most effective method to get a song that doesn’t have all those horrible forced words ‘just because they were what you wrote as poetry so they must be good!’ If it sounds jank then that’s cos it is jank. If you’re keeping an open mind and asking the right questions of the tune then a story, vibe or theme soon comes to the surface. Much like the Room of Requirement in HP. It just turns up when you need it most. Sometimes you might want to keep it more abstract with the phrases you write, like with the scrapbook method. This particular writing process lends itself well to having a less dictatorial delivery of words and opens up a more playful, interactive use of language: internal rhyming, word plays, juxtaposing opposites etc. It becomes its very own selfWords by Jim Faulkner

contained puzzle you have to solve. I absolutely love that about songwriting . THE BEST CRITICS Once you’ve got your wee babba tune standing up on its legs and walking, you now have to do the hardest bit… send it to the rest of the band for criticism. This bit is probably the hardest for any artist as we’ve already invested a lot of time into it and put much of our more vulnerable self into a track. The idea that it can now instantly be torn to shreds by other folks that weren’t there at the birth and early development stage puts many people off going further, but you absolutely must! It’s the most crucial part of the process. Again, if you are churning out fifty-odd songs a month then this bit shouldn’t hurt so much. You’re going to get constructive feedback from the gang no matter what. It is, after all, them that will ultimately have to play the finished product live, so just hand it over and walk away for a while. Then, once criticism comes back you try to interpret all the points suggested. It’s like swapping to a finer grit of sandpaper so you really start getting a finer finish on your track. We repeat this back and forth, sometimes recording on top of each other’s demos like a bunch of sonic vandals and refine until it feels done. I guess that’s it really. Rory (the John to my Paul) and I often write our best demos right after a good gig. Something about that sensation and the lingering memory of the night before. We want to make a track that will make that crowd go totally nuts or feel all the feels. When you get the ‘person at Reading Festival sitting on someone else’s shoulders’ vision as you play your demo back in your living room you know you’re cooking up something special. You can just feel it!


IN A NUTSHELL I’m in love with the art of songwriting. It’s an essential part of who I am by this point. I’ll never stop learning. There’s always a new discovery or breakthrough even after all this time. Not many other things in life feel quite as satisfying. That’s nuts when you think about it, as it’s effectively one the cheapest forms of entertainment. A used guitar is £50 upwards (I use a squier bronco mustang that cost me £68). Garage band is free on an iPhone. An interface is £70+ That’s the same price as a few beers and some grub in town! Hope this has helped you in some way. I ain’t saying my advice is relevant for everyone. But if it is… GO FORTH AND SMASH IT! Write me a banger worthy of Mordor. Jim Bassy shouty singy guy in Beach Riot standing at the back x

The debut album "Subatomic Party Cool" is out now via Alcopop! Records. For rescheduled Nov/Dec 2021 UK Headline Tour Dates see

SHE DREW THE GUN Using punk-infused psych-pop as a vehicle for exposing injustice, Louisa Roach provokes a timely question – are we going to look away and tend to escapism or are we going to find the determination to make this world a better place? 20

She Drew The Gun’s new album Behave Myself exposes the societal circumstances surrounding its creation: the continued divide between rich and poor, political corruption and violence against women. Borrowing ideas from punk and science fiction, the album is a call to action and a reminder that we can do a lot better as a society. Louisa’s music and lyrics are inspired by her experience of growing up in a workingclass family in Birkenhead, Merseyside. The city was once known as the ‘New York of England’ before it got a reputation as ‘the poor neighbour of Liverpool’. “In its heyday, it had theatres like the Argyle Theatre and Harry Houdini performed there. Birkenhead’s got quite a rich history, but when the shipbuilding industry went downhill it ended up with massive unemployment. When I was growing up there in the 1980s it was quite poverty-stricken and there was a lot of drugs. It's been a bit trashy for a while, but it's having a little resurgence at the moment.” Deprived neighbourhoods such as in Birkenhead are often a result of weak infrastructure, government austerity programmes and benefits cuts. The government’s recent plan to cut universal credit by £20 a week could make life even more difficult for people who live in those areas, families and low-income workers in particular. For Louisa the government’s decision to cut benefits came as no surprise. Putting this injustice into a song is a way for her to speak about it and make it visible. “During the pandemic I observed that there was much corruption and injustice going on at the top

of societies. People always think when the government's really bad you'll get really good music. That happened in the past – the whole punk scene was a response to what was going on politically. Given the times that we’re living in now, I feel it would be a bit too frivolous of me to write an album that was just love songs. I can't ignore what's going on. I had to find a way to speak about it. The challenge is putting these things into the music and the lyrics in such a way that people can still enjoy the music. Even if you were not listening for the message, the message is there, because there's more layers to it. Some songs on the album, Class War for example, are very straight up. It is what it says on the tin, it could be from a punk song. I think the spirit of punk is there, but it's less harsh to listen to.”

with my brain. When I was studying, I wrote essays and worked with words. Things just clicked together with the music that I’ve always enjoyed playing anyway, so I started writing songs.” While Louisa is convinced that art should provoke a reaction and make people think, she also wants to write music that is melodic and enjoyable. “The challenge is finding a way to put these things into the music and lyrics in a way that you can still enjoy it. But even if you were not listening for the message, the message is there – there's more layers to it. At the end of the day, I'm a songwriter and I want to make songs that people enjoy.”

During lockdown Louisa also posted a few spoken word videos on social media to connect with people and speak about the injustice she was observing around her. As well as many low-income workers and freelancers, "I CAN'T IGNORE a lot of musicians were WHAT'S GOING ON. I struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. The HAD TO FIND A WAY Musicians Union ran Covid-19 TO SPEAK ABOUT impact polls last year, which revealed that many musicians IT. THE CHALLENGE couldn’t access state support IS PUTTING THESE schemes. And even more musicians, 88% percent of THINGS INTO THE the study’s participants, felt MUSIC..." that the government didn’t do enough to support them during the pandemic. It’s not Louisa’s career as a musician surprising that chancellor hasn’t been a straightforward Rishi Sunak’s remark that one. Although she had been musicians should retrain if interested in music for her they can’t afford a career whole life, Louisa didn’t in music was met with start writing her own songs much criticism, particularly before she was in her late amongst musicians. The twenties. “Me and my brother chancellor’s statement were brought up by my reflected the government’s mum, who’s a really inspiring continued lack of interest person to me, because she in the music industry and worked so hard for us. After an attitude towards art that I had become a mum myself, can’t be further away from I went back to university. It's the day-to-day life of many wonderful being a mom, but musicians – musicians from I needed something to do working-class backgrounds 21

in particular. This is also something Louisa has observed. “I think there’s a general disregard for the arts at the moment with this government and fewer opportunities for people that don't come from privileged backgrounds. A career in music is difficult unless you've got financial backing. That's why there’s a lack of working-class voices in music. When I listen to music on the radio, I don’t hear working-class people with accents. The people who do well in the music industry are kids who went to private schools. A lot of the music in the mainstream doesn't really point towards problems people face in our society. So, we need more working class voices we need more working-class female voices! I think if you make music accessible to rich people only, then we're going to miss out on people that could have been really great!”

"YOU DON'T REALLY LEARN POLITICS AT SCHOOL, YOU HAVE TO LEARN IT YOURSELF. PEOPLE HAVE TO CONNECT WITH EACH OTHER AND SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES AND THAT'S WHAT CREATES A COLLECTIVE CONSCIOUSNESS." Although Britain has had a few successful workingclass bands – The Beatles, The Sex Pistols and Oasis, to name a few – working-class people were and continue to be underrepresented in the British music industry. Words by Sarah Mengede

Unpaid work, homogenous tastes and exclusive networks make it difficult for a lot of people to access the industry. The Panic!2018 report by Create London reveals that only 18.2% of the people working in music and performing arts are workingclass people. Charities and organizations such as Arts Emergency, Brighter Sounds, PRS Music Fund or Help Musicians UK try to change this by providing advice and funding opportunities for musicians and their families. While Louisa is rather critical towards a lot that is going on in British society and politics, she believes in a better future and in the younger generations, whose voices have become louder during the pandemic. "If you look at the results of the last elections, it becomes clear how much of a conservative country it is that we live in. There's not a lot of pushback going on. But then movements like BLM, MeToo and Extinction Rebellion are happening. There's always these bits of dissent and the idea that we can have a better society – that we can live a better life than we are doing now. Younger people are becoming more restless, more knowledgeable and political.”

of a lot better.” In Louisa’s hometown Birkenhead people are working hard to improve the image of the city and to make art and culture more accessible for its residents. The community-led venue Future Yard has recently launched The Leftbank Soundtrack to showcase local artists and help revive Birkenhead’s arts and creative scene. Louisa contributed to the project by writing a song about the area, which is part of a sonic walkway experience. While contributing to local grassroots projects and writing songs for a better future, Louisa and her band are advocates for a more tolerant society and a voice for people that are often overlooked by the government and the mainstream media.

“There's always a bit of hope in my music. There's one song on the album, which is set a few years in the future. It's really dystopian. But the end of the song is about the question, ‘Are you going to tend to escapism or are you going to find the determination within yourself to fight?’. I like science fiction – there’s always a little bit of science fiction in my music. “You don't really learn Because it shows you what politics at school, you have to possible worlds we could learn it yourself. People have have and where our decisions to connect with each other can lead us.” and share their experiences and that's what creates a SDTG’s album Behave Myself collective consciousness. will be out on 8th October. I think the pandemic has The band are also touring the probably caused a collective UK in October with support shift and has brought things from Annabel Allum. More to the surface. The lyrics information can be found on in my song Behave Myself SDTG’s social media channels – when it says, ‘now I see and website. the bars of this cage’ – are literally about raising your consciousness and seeing the structures that we live in, and that we could do things a hell 22

Photography by Andrew Benge






MODERN WOMAN I am the lead vocalist, guitarist collecting previous work, to and songwriter for the band attempting something entirely Modern Woman. new. I jot down quotes, study notes or I try to write or paint. I’ve always kept notebooks, I've always been interested in though recently I tried to artist notebooks (Charlotte approach working with them Brontë’s notebooks and Derek in a different way. I’m not Jarman’s sketchbooks have sure what to call this activity been a huge influence) and - essentially it encapsulates like Jarman, I set aside certain journalling, writing, sketching pages to look good, to be and many other things all in a work in one go. We can maybe call themselves. it freebooking, for the sake Others I leave of ease, because freedom of entirely for expression (based on intuition free-writing rather than organisation) and editing, is what I set out to achieve without a during this project. care for aesthetic A few months ago I ordered appearance. a thick notebook to be made bespoke, with insertions of Before high gsm paper at set intervals freebooking, for painting, and began my ideas felt freebooking. To do so, I use disarranged my intuition, pick a random and spread page and do whatever takes across many my fancy - from archiving and journals 24

and sketchpads. There were those for lyrics, music, scraps of writing from the half-finished study topics, piles of postcards from art exhibitions. These notebooks helped motivate me to write, and acted as an aide during stuck periods of work. Nevertheless, as they were so dispersed, it felt difficult to

get the ‘whole picture’ of a topic. I’d always be searching for something else, some piece of text or image I knew I’d written about, but which would be lost in some other notepad somewhere. Freebooking provided me with an ‘archive’ of all these things, making the book an easy access point for creative work.

We have just released our debut EP ‘Dogs Fighting in my Dream,’ which is available to listen to on all streaming services. Our first headline show is on the 9th November at Moth Club in London.

Words and illustrations by Sophie Harris


Main photograph by Alex Stephen Thurston



My name is Cole LC I’m a singer, songwriter, rapper from Leeds. Before I start can I just clarify, not to worry, I don't have an imagination barrier and LC doesn’t stand for Leeds City. It’s my second name, LawtonChallenger, felt like I had to get that off my chest because Cole Leeds City doesn’t have a ring to it really.

I’ve always been a music head but I’ve tried other things like rugby couple different sports but nothing really satisfied me like music. So the next thing along for me is seeing things live festivals, DJ’s just somewhere I can be with all my peoples and have a good time. I’m not good at being by myself, I get bored fast and get fear of missing out which probably isn’t always a good thing - I always want to be active.

I’ve liked growing up in Leeds I wouldn’t change it if I could - it was a good start to life being around so many different characters and I could appreciate different music and cultures from a young age. I think when you grow up around parents who have music as such a big part of their lives like mine did it puts you in good stead as an artist because you're invested from the get go.

This past year has obviously messed up a lot of things for everyone and from dropping out of collage to signing a record deal and going back and forth from London (for studio, drive to the studio and go straight back to hotel after kind of thing) I had a lot of bottled up energy and I missed being social and what leads from meeting new people just from being out and about.

Words by Cole LC


Me and my mates are proper tight and more time if you see one of us you see a few so when they shout me for something course I want to roll! I made the subject for this feature “I’m on it if you man are” because that’s what it is with me and my guys. My mate Longden started climbing mountains recently for a reason I will never know but we got big plans in the old mountaineering scene so if you see us flying up a mountain near you, you know what time it is. My next steps for this year will be my debut Solo shows in Leeds at the Key Club on the 19th November and Colours in London, Hoxton, on the 22nd. I’m super gassed for that and to show the world the new music I’ve got lined up because it’s a Mazza!

Photography by Andrew Benge



Nick: I’m Nick Rattigan Jacob: and I’m Jacob Rubeck Both: and together we are surf curse!


Nick: Oh man, so many things! We make music, we watch movies, we eat a lot of sandwiches. Jacob: and whenever we can, we sleep!


Jacob: We just have an urge inside of us that needs to get out, like a creative outlet that, you know, we need to make come to fruition you in this crazy world, it’s the only thing that makes sense to us. Nick: we don’t know any other way, we learned this way a long time ago and old habits die hard.


Nick: There’s currently a lot of Words by Surf Curse

dust in the air in my house, we’re inhaling a lot of dust, a lot of dirt, a lot of chemicals - at work we’re doing a lot of rehearsals; we have a show coming up next week, we are writing a lot of music, we’re recording a new album next month - but currently we are inhaling a lot of dust.


Jacob: My hot topic as far as me, Jacob, is that I like the failure, and I say this with peace and love, the failure of like the focus on Drake and Kanye West. I think it took the whole pandemic to realise why we should or shouldn’t care about people with such power in the music industry that we can stop and be like you know what? They don’t matter, what they’re talking about is completely pointless to what we had to go through during the pandemic. So I like that, that’s what excites me and I think that that’s like the hot topic right now, 27

it’s that like there’s just such a lack of empathy towards these huge artists that everyone used to care about, and now it’s just like ‘nah, we’re good’. Nick: Yeah I sort of agree, the pandemic was like the end of fight club and everyone got set to zero and now the facade of fame and celebrity has been lifted and everyone is on a bit of more of an even playing field, and I feel like this is allowing for a lot more different creations and music and different levels of music to exist all at the same time. There is no longer just the David and Goliath thing. Nick: We are going to be recording our new record, we’re very excited about it - I think y’all are gonna like it! But God knows when that’ll come out… haha! Listen to 'Freaks' on all streaming platforms now.



around here are easy going folks and we sure do like our coffee, But we’ll tell you all about that and what is up around here

INTRODUCTION Hi, we are Vök and we live in Reykjavík. We’re an Icelandic indie band that loves to make moody electronic pop songs. We’re a trio that consists of Margrét, Einar and Bergur. It’s lovely living in Reykjavik as it’s a rather small city and easy to manoeuvre. It only takes about a 15 minute drive in any direction and - boom you're in a lava field. We’d like to think that most of us

CAFÉ Reykjavik Roasters is our favourite Icelandic coffee house chain. They roast their own beans and their coffee is absolutely divine. Another favorite is Café Pallet which is in Hafnarfjörður. It has 28

these lovely queer owners that are so warm and welcoming and the coffee there is delicious.

VENUE Húrra (a intimate venue that has a heart) Gamla Bíó (beautiful concert room with class) AutoClub (an insane nightclub that’s opening soon!) STUDIO Tónhylur is the new up and coming place to have your

studio in Reykjavík with 15+ studios and a student academy. Margrét and Bergur have a studio there and absolutely love the community which is forming and the good vibe it contains. It definitely does not hurt that one of the frontman of Tónhylur and his girlfriend opened up a cute coffee place on the first floor. Love starting the morning there!.

Hinsegin ladies nights events. ICELANDIC ARTISTS Gugusar - Keep an eye on this young and up and coming talend, she's a killer producer Rakel - beautiful songs with some airy vocals Sykur - Legends! Eydís Evensen - composer, makes music for the soul.

Both are super nice to hang out in while searching for the gold. EVENT Iceland Airwaves is a festival with a heart. We truly care for that festival. It has done so many good things for us as a band and for the Icelandic music scene. It's the party of the year for Icelandic musicians. The latest EP 'No Coffee At The Funeral' is available now.

LGBTQ+ Kiki - queer bar

RECORD SHOPS Lucky Records 12 Tónar

Words by Vök






Geordie singer/songwriter and artist IMOGEN emerges with a new immersive and beguiling body of work: Bloodbag EP. Here she tells us the importance of world building in communicating her vision The Bloodbag EP is a collection of songs that explores what it is to lose control, how much you start out with anyway, and what it means to claim it back. It’s something I’ve been writing about for a long time so it felt powerful to me to put 4 songs written at different points in my life together, coming at the subject from 4 different angles, ages and scenarios. The title track Bloodbag explores surgical recovery, Lioncub the loss of innocence, Sleeptight the societal treatment of women’s bodies, and Every Five Minutes a longing to reconnect with oneself. I’ve always written to process and understand my feelings. I come from a long line of storytellers Words by IMOGEN

(the Geordies do it so well) so I grew up understanding the importance of singing and storytelling for connection, for making sense of the world around us. But with live performance and audience interaction on pause, I began focusing on new ways of communicating the work I hadn’t quite approached before. Through building a visual world around this EP, these four songs were able to take on a multi-layered life of their own, imbued with new meaning, feeling and colour. I was nervous initially inviting visual collaboration to something that began as so intimate and personal. I feared that intentions would be lost, or they wouldn’t translate. But welcoming dialogue around this work was the best thing I could have done. Sometimes other’s ideas chimed with my own, sometimes they were surprisingly different and magic happened. I think every songwriter has to let go at some point, in order to expand. Feelings are ephemeral. Interpretation is subjective. Meaning morphs. 30

As each artwork and video was discussed and built, each track took a new path, and continues to do so each time someone listens and watches. It’s wild for me to stand back and see what this EP has become and the community that has evolved around its creation. A lot was exorcised creating the Bloodbag EP universe. I want people to feel immersed and invited in, to interpret it as their own and to hopefully find the same catharsis and empowerment I have throughout this process of bringing it to life. I’m very excited to watch it grow and shape and now, fingers crossed, incredibly excited to perform it live. Huge thank you to my fellow world-builders: Harv Frost, all at Nova Productions, Katie Scott, Ruth Kilpatrick, Chris McCourt, PRS Foundation and ACE. Sleeptight is out September 30. The Bloodbag EP by IMOGEN comes out October 28th via sevenfoursevensix.



My name is Louis. I am 25 years old and live in North London. If I look out of my bedroom window, I can see Hampstead Heath which looks like a big green dog bed surrounded by dull, grey buildings. On the other side of my flat I can see the Shard which looks like a lot like baby glass toothpick and a little like Isengard.


I play in Lazarus Kane. There are five other members and we are all best friends! A short fact about each band member: Molly – is the kinda cool/badass one in the band. She is pretty famous on TikTok has a best friend called Amy ‘Big Vibes Only’ Edwards. Harry – is incredibly smart and is very interested in classical literature. Bernard - The expression ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ was invented about Berny – he’s very sweet! Ben – is a very good actor and did Words by Louis Haynes

a superb performance as Juror 8 in Twelve Angry Men at school. I was Juror 7 and got to sit next to him for much of the play! Nick – has the most nicknames in the band. My two favourites are ‘Yum Yum Berthoud’ and ‘Lemony Snicket’ but there are loads of others too!.


love and support him totally. After sets, we all come off the stage and sort of plod around in circles hugging each other. Then our managers Rich and Tash join us and it feels like your parents have come to see you at sports day. They have given us so much time and effort and it feels very rewarding to see them proud of us


There lots of things I don’t like about being in a band. I find touring a bit tough because I feel very bloated after eating petrol station food and I am deeply selfish when it comes to sleeping arrangements.

We have just released an EP called Psychobabble through So Young records. It is four tracks written and was recorded in Studio Bort (Nick’s bedroom) in Spring of this year.

However, there are small tiny moments that happen regularly which I enjoy more than anything else in the world.

The songs are very different from what we have done in the past and I am incredibly proud of them..

When a performance is going well and we are all locked in, Ben and I sometimes end up looking at each other. It is as if every particle of him has been consumed. He looks straight at me but his eyes have completely gone and he’s been taken away to somewhere I have never been to. I know that this is when he is at his most happy and I 31


I am really excited that there are bands/artists who are playing more ‘quiet’ music. Bands like Caroline and Broadside Hacks are very inspiring as they create tension and excitement without playing loud. “Psychobabble”, their debut EP, is out now on So Young Records.



I’m Shauna, a DJ/producer from Leeds and part of the DJ collective SISU. Back in June me and Kahreign released ‘Underdog’ as part of Rhythm Lab Records’ ‘giRLs’ project, which aims to facilitate collaborations between female and gender nonconforming artists who have never met, creating a space for them to network and develop the skills necessary to get their foot in the door of the music industry. A door that is often locked to them (the whole EP, which also features collabs between Sutty and Migixhi and NIIX and Martha Pryer is out now). Women, and other minorities, such as a people of colour and the LGBT+ community, are underdogs within the dance music scene. Despite

being pioneered by the black, queer community, the genre is dominated by cis, straight, white men. A recent survey by Female:Pressure found that at international dance music festivals between 2017-2019 only 20% of the DJs on the line-ups identified as women.

"DESPITE BEING PIONEERED BY THE BLACK, QUEER COMMUNITY, THE GENRE IS DOMINATED BY CIS, STRAIGHT, WHITE MEN" However, it would be wrong to say that there is an absence of women in dance music. In fact, there are many actively 32

involved within the scene as DJs and producers. If we are to achieve true equality the emphasis needs to shift from simply counting the number of female DJs on line-ups, as focusing on a lack implies that simply increasing the number of women behind the decks would improve the situation. Unfortunately, the behaviour of (male) gatekeepers within the scene does not always change because the numbers have. There may be more female DJs than there was 30 years ago, but it does not necessarily follow that their experiences are reflective of equality having been achieved. Instead, the issue is with the scene itself. A microcosm of society at large, sexism and misogyny are deeply rooted in dance music, from the way in which female vocalists are rarely credited, to the lack of opportunities afforded to

women in comparison to their male counterparts. As clubs closed their doors over lockdown, promoters had the chance to take a step back, consider the state of the industry and re-evaluate their priorities. However, many promoters did not use this time to reflect, and as we returned to the dance floor the lack of diversity behind the decks was glaringly obvious.

that promoters ‘can’t find’ female DJs, non-binary DJs, or DJs of colour. It is more likely that they cannot be bothered. Databases such as B.A.D (FKA Black Artist Database), the recently launched Non-Binary artist database, and numerous other resources mean there are no excuses for lack of diversity within line-ups.

When we (finally) do get booked, women and other minorities are often expected True equality needs to amount to play for free or very little, to more than tokenistic boxoften told that we should be checking. Do not book women grateful for the exposure. because you want to ‘look Unfortunately, exposure good’ or to meet some kind does not pay the bills. Here, of diversity quota. Women promoters’ calls for equality should be booked purely for need to go beyond face-value. their talent, as male DJs are, It is easy to book women but not because you have some if you are paying them less box to tick. than you would pay a male DJ for the same slot, then you One excuse I often hear is are only contributing to the

problem. Promoters need to operate a fair and transparent pay policy, in which we are paid the same as our male counterparts This is something I care deeply about, so much so that my PhD is based around the subject, exploring the lived experiences of female DJs and how these experiences may impact their wellbeing. I hope that one day I won’t have to write about this anymore, but until then I will keep fighting for greater equality in dance music. Shauna will be a guest speaker, panellist and DJ at the I Can See Queerly Now event. The giRLs EP is available to stream/download now.

Photography by Andrew Benge

Words by Shauna Stapleton




We are Wings of Desire, a spiritual industrial sophisti-indie band from London via the West Country. Our names are Chloe Little and James Taylor and we are a couple who create art and music together.


We make music that delves into the depths of the human experience. We also create all of our own artwork, visuals and are now in the process of developing our independent label WMD Recordings.


It’s something we both knew was inherently part of our being, and no other outlet could really satisfy that urge for creative freedom. Music has always been Words by Wings Of Desire

an urge we cannot shake, and even though the world provides many safe career options we have chosen a life of sleepless nights, uncertainty and creative freedom.


We have just released our 2nd EP Amun-Ra which has been very satisfying to put into the ether and watch it grow and take shape in people’s consciousness. Along with releasing new music we have our first headline show on 27th September at The Sebright Arms in London, this will be the first time we get to debut some new songs and invite our fans into the world we’ve been creating over the past year.


Live music has really suffered over the last 18 months, especially 34

for new acts like ourselves there have not been the opportunities to get out there and play in front of some homosapiens . Watching festivals being given the green light this summer feels like there is hope for new artists just around the corner. And for us it means we can shape shift into something tangible, we can’t wait to share that experience with people. Come see us at our first headline show on 27th September at The Sebright Arms. You can follow us on @ wingsofdesir3 on social platforms and visit our website www. where you will find lots of videos and artwork to get lost in.






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