STELLA DONNELLY FOXYGEN PUP WHITNEY Free • Issue 84 • April 2019 DIYMAG.COM • Set Music Free
Divine Intervention From the ashes of Wild Beasts, Hayden Thorpe is settling back into his own skin and letting things be.
APRIL LISTENING POST
QUESTION! Our cover star Hayden has launched a mega exciting solo career following Wild Beasts. Which other former band members, pray tell, do DIY think have spawned superlative solo guises? SARAH JAMIESON •
Managing Editor I could probably name loads but truth be told, I’ll always have a giant soft spot for Brandon Flowers’ solo stuff. Still bloody love ‘The Desired Effect’, in all its finger-clicking glory!
EMMA SWANN • Founding Editor While Robbie will always have my heart, and there’s nothing (yet) Jack White has put his name to I dislike, it’s got to be the world’s youngest classic rocker, Harry Styles, hasn’t it?
LISA WRIGHT • Features Editor Was never enough of a big emo to get into My Chem, but holy hell I could fuck with Gerard Way’s solo Britpop reinvention. Gimme more, as Britney would say.
LOUISE MASON • Art Director Kathleen Hanna’s solo record. She made it post-Bikini Kill, when she was suffering from Lyme disease, and it cuts through to the heart of strong, female-led art in a way that connects with me much more than all that shouty Riot Grrl did.
WILL RICHARDS • Digital Editor Sue me, but I’d put on the Jamie xx record over his ‘day job’ with The Kiss Kiss in a heartbeat. RACHEL FINN • Staff Writer There is only one true answer to this question and we all know that answer is Beyoncé.
EDITOR’S LETTER Back in 2017, the DIY office shed a collective tear when news broke that our favourite Kendal family (Wild Beasts - not the Jenners, don’t worry) were calling it quits. And that’s what made us so bloody happy when Hayden Thorpe re-emerged with debut solo offering ‘Diviner’ earlier this year. This month, we get first word on Hayden’s next move - spoiler alert: he’s releasing an album - as he reflects on the past and looks ahead to his future. We also dive inside the world of Stella Donnelly, catch up with our favourite morbid punks in PUP and offer up all of the gossip and best bits of SXSW - mostly from our own DIY showcases, natch. We’d also like to take this opportunity to send all of our love to the family and friends of Her’s, who tragically died while on tour in America late last month. Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading were some of the most wonderful guys around, and we here at DIY were so lucky to have worked with them so closely. We’ll remember them always. Sarah Jamieson, Managing Editor
What’s been blasting from speakers in the DIY office this month?
SLOWTHAI - NOTHING GREAT ABOUT BRITAIN With easily the best cover image we’ve seen in yonks, Tyron Frampton’s debut is every bit the hard-hitter it promised to be. Anything but a load of Northampton cobblers.
CHARLY BLISS - YOUNG ENOUGH After their sets at SXSW had us fall head-over-heels (see p43), the Brooklynites’ forthcoming second LP has been on repeat at DIY HQ.
SUPERFOOD - DON’T SAY THAT It’s a bittersweet time to revisit this really-quite-wonderful debut: see us shedding a few tears down the front at the final gig. 3
6 WHITNEY 12 LIFE 16 HAVE YOU HEARD? 18 HALL OF FAME 20 BLACK HONEY 22 BODEGA 24 FESTIVALS NEU
26 THE MURDER CAPITAL 28 PIP BLOM 33 GIRL IN RED FEATURES
34 HAYDEN THORPE 42 SXSW 46 SHOW ME THE BODY 48 JADE BIRD 50 PUP 54 FOXYGEN 58 STELLA DONNELLY REVIEWS
62 ALBUMS 74 LIVE
Shout out to: All at SXSW, the British Music Embassy, New Colossus and all the lovely bands within, Espero for the use of their fire extinguisher, ear plugs, Walthamstow Wetlands, Show Me The Body for the hospitality, Uber for the scooters, AG Photographic, Kodak for the existence of Portra, Abba for the music.
Founding Editor Emma Swann Managing Editor Sarah Jamieson Features Editor Lisa Wright Digital Editor Will Richards Staff Writer Rachel Finn Art Direction & Design Louise Mason Contributors Ashwin Bhandari, Ben Lynch, Ben Tipple, Cheri Amour, Connor Thirlwell, Eloise Bulmer, George Wilde, James Bentley, Jamie MacMillan, Jenessa Williams, Joe Goggins, Louisa Dixon, Matt Hogarth, Tom Connick. Photographers Graham Tolbert, James Kelly, Jamie MacMillan, Jenn Five, Patrick Gunning, Phil Smithies, Pooneh Ghana. Cover photo and this page photo: Phil Smithies. For DIY editorial: firstname.lastname@example.org For DIY sales: email@example.com For DIY stockist enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
DIY HQ, 23 Tileyard Studios, London N7 9AH All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of DIY. Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which DIY holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of DIY or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally.
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NEWS 6 DIYMAG.COM
SecondLight With instant breakthrough debut ‘Light Upon The Lake’, lovelorn Chicago boys Whitney won hearts all over the world. Now, they’re finally ready to lift the lid on its hugely-awaited follow up.
ummer 2016 and, for the the first time probably ever, Miss Houston is only the secondmost talked about Whitney on the block. With understated, heartstring-tugging early single ‘No Woman’ propelling former Smith Westerns players Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek immediately into the uppermost realms of the alternative music world’s buzz list, an album – the Words: Lisa Wright. near-perfect ‘Light Upon The Lake’ Photos: Graham Tolbert. – followed, succeeded by a year that most can only dream of. Within 12 months, the band went from playing an early London show at a warehouse day party to selling out the city’s 1,500-capacity KOKO. Elton John declared himself a fan. After an incessant period of touring, they finally capped things off with a free outdoor show in their home of Chicago. 13,000 people showed up. “It felt legitimately like a really big thing, for the city and for us. It was crazy,” nods Julien now. “But we also worked really hard on that record, too. So we’re just grateful really.” Following a, by all accounts, fraught split from their old band (“That previous experience taught us the importance of being humble; we learned through the most intense way what taking things for granted can do to your project...” says Max), the pair had emerged from the situation with an album that exuded warmth and softness, and an audible sensitivity that resonated with all that it reached. “The people that we had worked with in the past were kinda toxic, so it felt really good to do something in a genuinely good situation where we just only have love for each other and the people that we work with,” Julien explains, speaking down the phone from his hometown, where he’s sat with his bandmate, shooting the shit. We’re catching up with the pair because, alongside the announcement of their live return later this year where they’ll step up to the even-bigger Roundhouse in London as part of a series of dates up and down the country, they’ve also wrapped up album two. They’re keeping its title under wraps, and they’re not sure when new material will begin to surface (although they “can’t imagine” they won’t have something out before their first comeback show at Pitchfork Chicago in July), but everything else? It’s all, very excitingly, in the bag.
Written over a full year, starting almost immediately after they’d finished touring their debut, the record was formed in a series of different, isolated spaces. Prone to enjoyable excess - “We have a habit of trying to live tour to its fullest extent, which doesn’t really bode well for necessarily being responsible enough to write a song,” laughs Max of their on-the-road writing ban. “You can’t really make sure that something’s good when you’re not sure of your own existence...” Julien chips in – they decided to cut themselves off from temptation, first heading to a cabin near Mount Hood in Oregon, before spending short stints of time in Justin Vernon’s April Base studio, Max’s parents’ Wisconsin outpost and their own much-used Chicago basement. “A lot of it was just Jules and myself alone with no-one around us, having nice, deep discussions,” nods Max. “Watching as many Tom Hanks movies as we could.” The result of this time spent away? “I think we only got more confused, but in a good way,” decides Julien. “When you listen to the record, I think it’s a beautiful confusion.” If ‘Light Upon The Lake’’s deceptively sweet nuggets were largely formed around the language of a break-up, then its follow up looks set to go wider – Whitney breaking up with the world. “A lot of the lyrics on the record read like an inner dialogue that we pretty much think that everyone is having. Like life and death vibes,” begins Julien. “It’s a somewhat wary optimism about things ending and beginning,” says Max before his bandmate cuts back in: “And fear. We’re not openly talking politics because I don’t really think our point of view as straight white dudes is really anything that people need. But this record is dealing with a lot of fear, confusion, substance abuse a little bit. It’s definitely not reading like ‘we love the way the world is moving’,” Julien nods. “We’re not happy.” With the world or with yourselves? “With the world or ourselves really,” answers Max. “I think the big word that to me really [sums it up] is that the songs are wary of everything, they’re looking at these large picture issues with a heavy dose of scepticism.”
So far, so downbeat. But, the pair reassure, they’ve not traded in their customary heart-tuggers for an album of pure misery. “It’s definitely still major key,” Julien chuckles, “so it still sounds like optimistic Whitney. I don’t think we’re ready to release a record that’s truly sad...” Elsewhere there are a few other changes in the mix too. Original member Ziyad Asrar is back in the band, and Julien’s been experimenting with his kit. “Some of the songs have drums, but not a full set – we just made a beat that sounds like an 808 or something,” he says. “One song,” laughs Max, “we put a mic in what used to be a giant refrigerator and Julien punched the wall a bunch and that was the kick sound.” They’ve even written a “dance song” - although they’re saving that one for the demos released postrecord. “It’s recorded onto a 4-track so it sounds pretty destroyed, but it’s very cowbell-based...” Max hints. Kitchen appliances and existential dread might not sound like a classic recipe for success, but in their own way, Whitney are upping their ambitions this time. “I don’t think either of us are chasing some sort of massive rise, but I think the way the record sounds, [bigger shows] seem like the logical thing,” begins Julien. “Every time I listen to it I think, if people liked ‘Light Upon The Lake’, they are really going to fuck with this. We took our time with it; we didn’t throw something together and it certainly doesn’t seem like we’re throwing a Hail Mary [aka a desperate, unlikelyto-succeed move] right now. I think we’re doing something that we really want to hear and we think that people will want to hear, too.” And really, when you’re following up one of the most-loved debuts in recent years, isn’t that all it actually boils down to? DIY
“Every time I listen to it I think, if people liked ‘Light Upon The Lake’, they are really going to fuck with this.” - Julien Ehrlich 8 DIYMAG.COM
April Base – Bon Iver’s Wisconsin studio - has become the stuff of legend among music circles. Recently, The Japanese House told us about some ghostly rumours down in the woods – how did Whitney fare? Julien: We didn’t hear any ghost stories but we spent a week out there last year just writing, and absolutely no one was there and that was freaky. Usually that place serves as a weird writing camp and there are a lot of people working at the same time, but we had the keys to the whole place. The lady let us in and was like, ‘there isn’t as much security as there should be, have fun sleeping...’
The New Album 9
WHAT LEDGE EMILY EAVIS Glastonbury, as well as being maybe the greatest knees-up on the planet, is leading the way in making festivals more sustainable. Having partnered with Greenpeace for donkeys’ years now, The Eavii, as we affectionately like to call them, are all about cutting-edge ideas. This month, Emily Eavis revealed that the festival will not be selling singleuse plastic bottles this year. “It’s paramount for our planet that we all reduce our plastic consumption, and I’m thrilled that, together, we’ll be able to prevent over a million single-use plastic bottles from being used,” she said. “I really hope that everyone - from ticket-holder to headliner - will leave Worthy Farm this year knowing that even small, everyday changes can make a real difference. It’s now or never.” What a bloody legend.
Due to the name of our magazine, dear readers, we often get some slightly strange requests in our social media inboxes. Sorry, Jane from Surrey, but we’re really not sure on the best way to assemble your new desk. As our expertise lies far away from actual DIY, we’ve done the sensible thing and asked some of your favourite bands for their #1 DIY tips. We’re a magazine of the people after all. This month, it’s Arni Arnason from The Vaccines.
“A combination of vinegar and baking soda works better in most situations than actual cleaning products. Unblocking drains. Cleaning washing machines. Removing limescale: you can use it for anything.”
These days, even yer gran is posting selfies on Instagram. Instagran, more like. Everyone has it now, including all our fave bands. Here’s a brief catch-up on music’s finest photo-taking action as of late.
You having a bit of a tough time there, Laurie? (@slaves)
S P OT T E D Believe it or not, pop and rock stars sometimes do normal things, too. They get lost, go food shopping, and catch buses – all sorts. This month, we clocked a fair few of them roaming around… The ultimate dreamboat himself, Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koening, down on the South Bank sporting socks’n’sandals. A selection of true A-listers lurking in the crowd at Foals’ recent EartH show - including Yala!’s Felix White, Ed from Radiohead, and Alexa Chung - and Billie Eilish, round the corner from DIY HQ in some rather fetchy dollarcovered tracky bs.
Matty Healy has some interesting ideas for their new album’s artwork… (@trumanblack)
Not even that comical – we just love looking at this brilliant doggy! (@thejapanesehouse)
y the time you read this, LIFE will be somewhere in the middle of mainland Europe, hightailing it in a shared tour bus with IDLES. It’s of little surprise, of course, that the Hull quartet would have found kindred spirits in the UK’s premier purveyors of wittily subversive punk: their own new single ‘Moral Fibre’, with its cries of adoration for “cocaine tables”, “gourmet riders”, and “online reach”, is a rant-with-a-wink if ever there was one. “The lyrics are more playful on [that track], it is a bit tongue-in-cheek,” begins frontman Mez Green over the phone as he and the band - completed by guitarist Mick Sanders, bassist Lydia Palmeira (who joined last spring) and drummer Stewart Baxter - prepare to hit the road. As well as a tasty morsel in its own right, however, the track also acts as the first teaser of the band’s forthcoming second record. The follow-up to 2017’s incendiary, social commentary-laden debut ‘Popular Music’, the as-yetuntitled effort is already completed and set for release later this year - and, this time around, the quartet are focusing their bold, politically-charged lens inwards and as well as out. “It’s still political in the fact that we talk a lot about community and living within your means and what that means, but this record has definitely turned it in on ourselves more,” explains the singer. “It very much charts six or seven months of my life and the band’s life; it’s more political in the sense of it being about us personally, whether that be about mental health or me going through a big relationship breakdown and being a single dad. It’s still outspoken and brave, but more internal.” Attempting to accurately portray the new emotional experiences that he found himself in, Mez describes the record’s writing as “like picking at a scab”. “We live for music and, in terms of the work that me and Stew do [both are youth workers], it’s very community driven and creative stuff is very much at the core of it. But this was like scratching at that surface and seeing what’s inside ourselves as well. “It was a fraught time but, that said, the album is still a journey that ends on a positive note.” That positivity might in part come down to the intense camaraderie and good vibes fostered during the album’s recording sessions, which primarily took
In The Studio with…
Having broken through with debut LP ‘Popular Music’ and the most DIY punk ethos imaginable, Hull’s LIFE are gearing up for round two and turning the political into the personal. Words and photos: Emma Swann.
LIFE were itching to get started on their game of giant chess.
“This record scratches at the surface to see what’s inside ourselves.” - Mez Green
place during a month-long studio stint in London at the end of last year, recording with producer Luke Smith. “We got stuck in straight away: on our first day, we were crate-digging through a load of late ‘70s, early ‘80s experimental music, mapping out different sounds that we wanted to channel. “Because [the album is] a bit… I mean…” he pauses. “I don’t want to reference Talking Heads, but it’s got a kind of New York dance sound, but still British punk. And that’s what Luke saw [in us]. He saw hints of that, and that’s the direction we’ve taken. He’s drawn a bigger landscape for us to work from. This is the best stuff we’ve written. It’s broader; It’s wider; It’s probably more accessible. There are tracks that are light and tracks that are dark. We’ve just become better writers as a unit.” Recording and living together away from daily life back home also allowed the foursome to become “part of something that was a lot bigger than what we’d done before,” he explains. “We’ve always had that family vibe, but there we were living as a family. Stew’s always been Dad I guess, and me and Mick are the wild ones…” he continues, joking, ”but we’ve very much written this album as a unit.” “The first record was kind of a collage of work that didn’t really follow a timeline, whereas this was written in a specific timeframe and all the songs interlink and there’s a theme running through it,” he elaborates. “We were experimenting with sounds, with backing vocals, and with the way we were writing. We all finished each others’ work off - [by the end of recording] we all knew what each other were thinking.” Now, with a new label in PIAS on board, and the success of their tour pals giving them some added faith, LIFE are stepping into phase two in the best position of their careers. “Being mates with IDLES, and watching them grow and never compromise on any of their values, it’s great to see,” he nods. “While the music industry is still hard to navigate, it feels like it’s more open now. There never used to be any room, but it looks like there’s room for actual artistry and characters again.” Vital but vulnerable, LIFE’s next moves look set to cement their rightful place in that lineage. DIY LIFE play Sound City (3rd - 5th May), The Great Escape (8th - 11th May) and Pohoda (11th - 13th July) where DIY is an official media partner.
HAUS Party We’re heading back to All Points East to take over a day at the Jägerhaus as part of Jäger Curtain Call this May. This is what you can expect...
ast year, DIY and Jäger Curtain Call pitched up at All Points East for our first annual takeover of the festival’s Jägerhaus stage, bringing a host of our faves including The Big Moon, Superfood, YOWL and more to Victoria Park as part of the all-star event. This year, we’re excited to announce that we’ll be back in East London to present a speciallycurated bill that will join the likes of Bring Me The Horizon, IDLES and Run The Jewels on Friday 31st May.
buzzy Brighton oddballs Squid and Dirty Hitsigned new hip hop talent 404 also there for your pleasure. The day will also act as the kick off of 2019’s full Jäger Curtain Call programme - our yearly team-up with Jägermeister, giving three bands the chance to record a brand new track, headline a one-off show and, of course, play this very festival stage.
You’ll have to hang tight to find out our special guest headliner - we’re keeping that one under wraps for now - but we can reveal a full day of supports that’ll be warming things up for them.
This year, two of the acts taking part will be popping up on the bill, with one more still to be announced. First up: fresh from storming our Class of 2019 launch, lovable Kent punks Lady Bird. And second, fronted by Danny Nedelko himself, Bristol live-wires and IDLES’ BFFs Heavy Lungs.
Leftfield Londoners Warmduscher will be bringing you into the evening, with everyone’s favourite pink-haired powerhouse Girli, super
Stay tuned for more news of their JCC exploits, and to find out who’ll be taking the top spot on 31st May. It’s gonna be a mighty fine party. DIY
SKY FERREIRA Downhill Lullaby
It’s taken six long years for Sky Ferreira to follow up her star-studded debut ‘Night Time, My Time’ - such an extended period of suspenseful waiting and endless anticipation, indeed, that we kinda forgot to even speculate what that return would actually sound like when it finally did arrive. None of our best guesses, however, would likely have been much like ‘Downhill Lullaby’. A deliciously dark slice of pop noir, Sky’s comeback track doesn’t so much reintroduce the singer with a sledgehammer as slowly slide in, defying expectation and serving only to ramp up the excitement for what comes next even further. (Will Richards)
You Had Your Soul With You .....................................
Glitchy sounds may open proceedings, but by the time Matt Berninger’s vocals slide their way into the mix, a comfortable sense of familiarity returns. But it’s the unexpected twists and turns the track takes that make it a triumph: there’s a fresh rhythm that drives it, and the introduction of David Bowie collaborator Gail Ann Dorsey comes in as a much-needed textural change. With enough tweaks to the formula, ‘You Had Your Soul With You’ sees the band soaring into their next era. (Will Richards) 16 DIYMAG.COM
THE BLACK KEYS
As all good employers of lyrical tropes - and for that matter, rollercoasters – know, for every up there must be a down. The Black Keys’ ‘Lo/Hi’ uses this most basic of conventions in a very suitable fashion: say, valleys vs birds flying. So far, so… fine? But for a band whose festivalheadlining reputation is built on swaggering rock’n’roll riffs, ‘Lo/Hi’ can’t help but be a let-down. It coasts along, safely, never even threatening to hit the accelerator. As an album track, sure. As the pair’s big return, not so much. (Emma Swann)
Repping a genre which emerged from the literally burning embers of New York City in the ‘70s, but in a world that’s going to shit in oh-so-many-ways, there’s a poetic nature to the choice of sounds Kevin Parker has opted for on the band’s return with ‘Patience’. The track is mostly the Tame we know and love, swirling synth sounds coating Kev’s trademark lackadaisical vocals like honey, however that disco dust sprinkled atop stops it becoming Just Another Tame Impala Song. Welcome back. (Emma Swann)
AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS
Monsoon Rock .....................................
Like attempting to explain the concept of a mud bath to your Dad, listening to Amyl and the Sniffers is diving head-first into decades of punk basement sweat and last night’s smeared makeup on a two-day hangover and emerging fully invigorated. ‘Monsoon Rock’ carries on where the rambunctious Aussies left off, matching quotidian lyrics with Amy Taylor’s broad drawl atop 100mph thrashing punk. It’s delicious stuff. And very probably the only rock song that’ll get away with the phrase “fucking lit” in 2019. (Emma Swann)
NE WS of
Tame Impala - Innerspeaker In 2019, Tame Impala are bona fide headliners, but it was the untampered vision of Kevin Parker on ‘Innerspeaker’ which got them off on the right foot. Words: Sean Kerwick.
t’s a fantastic origin story, by anyone’s standards. The tale of a 22-year-old Kevin Parker doing a U-turn on the finals of his Astronomy degree shortly after he received the call from Modular Recordings confirming their decision to sign Tame Impala. This lifeaffirming moment came after years of him conceiving music in the playful, not-too-serious mentality of a ‘passion project’. At this moment where dreams and reality finally greeted one another, Kevin set about finally creating music with a purpose. The result of this shift arrived in the form of ‘Innerspeaker’. He’d always had a romance with rudimentary recording equipment, preferring the restrictions of an 8 or 16-track tape recorder over the boundless potential of Logic or GarageBand. When Modular brought Tim Holmes on board, Kevin warned the engineer of his ‘unprofessional’ method of recording. Little did he know, it was this perceived weakness and naivety that would gift Tame Impala with a now universallyrecognised sonic identity - one that would eventually influence music way beyond the walls of the alternative genre it was born in.
The Facts Release: 21st May 2010 Stand-out tracks: ‘Why Won’t You Make Up Your Mind?’, ‘Solitude Is Bliss’, ‘Desire Be Desire Go’ Tell your mates: Recording in a beach hut studio near Perth, the temperamental power would often lead to material being lost, once including a whole set of drum tracks.
His penchant for crushing frequencies gave the music a sheen of otherworldliness; the woozy bass line that crawls behind the tranquil falsetto of opener ‘It Is Not Meant To Be’ is hypnotic and instantly enveloping. His unique production also conjured a vivid, cinematic portrayal of the moods explored throughout the songs; ‘Alter Ego’ and ‘Runaway, Houses, City, Clouds’ are drenched in a potent melancholy whilst a tangible grit can be felt within the stop-start chord sequence of ‘Solitude Is Bliss’ and the swampy riff which animates ‘The Bold Arrow Of Time’. It’s likely that Tame Impala’s debut album was and still is being discovered in reverse order for most people. The release of its 2012 follow-up ‘Lonerism’ shot the musical outfit straight into the heart of the mainstream: a position Kevin has only burrowed further into since working with the likes of Mark Ronson and Lady Gaga. Through the lens of hindsight, listening back to ‘Innerspeaker’ gifts the thrilling sensation of peeking behind the curtain of a pop genius in the making. DIY
AnythingBut Get to know some of your favourite acts – without a word spoken about the music.
with... Black Honey
“It wasn’t really cricket, it was just a spade and some snails.” Tommy Taylor
Izzy always opts for BYOB: Bring Your Own (disco) Ball. 20 DIYMAG.COM
Any recent van chats that you want to get off your chest, to begin? Tom Dewhurst [drums]: [Immediately] You know when you’re younger and you have those things you think are true, I thought that all goats were male sheep until I was... 19? I went camping with someone and was like “there’s fucking sheep everywhere”. And they were like, “Mate, they’re goats” and I was like, “Yeah, they’re male sheep”. How does that work reproductively? TD: Well, I thought that goats fucked sheep and made more sheep and more goats. Tommy Taylor [bass]: I remembered last night that I used to bury my Action Men in the mud. Just drown them. Chris Ostler [guitar]: It made you feel like a God. TD: I used to play with my toy cars in my own piss in my potty. Brooom... splash! And then no-one else would play with me because all my cars were covered in piss. This is quite a sad picture of your childhoods... TD: We shouldn’t mention the snails... TT: Oh, don’t mention the snails. TD: He used to whack them like cricket. TT: It wasn’t really cricket, it was just a spade and some snails... Needless to say I’m going vegetarian. Izzy B Philips [vocals]: You know those plastic skeletons you get at Halloween? My brothers would put them in the deep freezer and then bow and arrow them through my window. I found all these things in the freezer; loads of worms in the freezer. TD: Would they then bring them out and pretend they were cryogenically
frozen? ‘This worm is now 75 years old...’ Would you cryogenically freeze yourselves if you had the option? I: It feels cold. TT: I’m sure it probably would be! TD: If you said no because you didn’t want to be cold, that would be a shit answer. When would you want to wake up? I: [sings] “The year 3000...” TD: I’d give it longer than that. I’d wanna come back right on the edge of armageddon and fuck shit up. TT: And in what way exactly would you “fuck shit up”? TD: Well, if you’ve only got 48 hours left to live, what do you do? I’d get my own cruise ship and drive it into an island. C: They might not have cruise ships that far in the future. I: They’d have cruise spaceships. C: You haven’t thought this through. TD: I would actually freeze myself now, or maybe when I’m in the prime of my life... TT: When’s that gonna be? You remember that gig we played three months ago? That was it. And what would you want to wake up to? I: Sex robots. TD: You could wake up to anything, you could wake to world peace and you want to wake up to sex robots? I: You could make them dance! TD: You want to wake up and dance with sexy robots? C: She’s very easy to please. TT: I’d want to go back to Ancient Egypt and be a pharaoh. TD: Wait, you want to enslave thousands and thousands of people so you can build a house?
C: You’d definitely just end up being a slave. TT: If I just appeared in Ancient Egypt wearing a Topman jacket, they’d be like, shiiiiit, who’s this guy? TD: He’s a timeline destroyer! TT: That was weird... TD: Tommy had this whole conversation with us the other day where he tried to convince me that he was from the future and he was a timeline destroyer and I was going to facilitate the end of the world and the reason he had joined this band was because it got so successful and I got so powerful that I killed everybody and he was there to stop me. C: But now he’s told us the whole plan. Any other elaborate ruses? I: At one of our first A&R meetings we did a reenactment of the birth of Jesus. We didn’t get signed from that one. Tommy was being born out of Tom, I was narrating, it was a theatrical masterpiece. TT: There was a little stage on the side of this bar we were in... TD: I don’t really understand how that happened because we were having a meeting, and somewhere there must have been a line drawn in the sand where we all just stood up, left and started reenacting the birth of Christ. It’s like, ‘oh... that’s why we didn’t get that deal...’ TT: The best bit about it was when we closed the curtains for the show and someone just popped their head through the curtain and went: “Act One”. TD: It’s not as bad as the Valentine’s show this year. I got so pissed I left the stage halfway through and there’s Instagram videos of me in the front row, clapping, like ‘Wow, this band are great!’ DIY
SHOW ME THE PUPPY
We love dogs. You love dogs. Here are some pop stars’ dogs. This month: Oscar Pollock of Sundara Karma and his pooch, Ziggy. Name: Ziggy Age: 2 1/2 Breed: Tibetan Terrier Favourite things: Peanut butter / slippers / not doing what he’s told. Tell us a bit about him: When we first got Ziggy, for the first couple of weeks or so, I would sleep next to his bed just to keep an eye on him. We got into the routine of waking up everyday at 6am and later on I would have a nap on the sofa and he would sleep on my chest for an hour or so (at this point he was a puppy, so he was tiny!) Whenever I go home and lie on the sofa, he always jumps up into the same spot and it’s very sweet. 21
DIY’S PICK OF
LNSOURCE WHAT’S GOING ON WITH...
Since the release of superlative debut ‘Endless Scroll’ last year, New Yorkers BODEGA have been touring its wares (including a recent, sold-out jaunt to UK shores) and crafting their next moves. We caught up with singer Ben Hozie in their home city to see what’s cooking... Interview: Lisa Wright. Photo: Louise Mason. Last summer, you spent the summer reading philosophy books on stage in front of drunk festival crowds - how was that? It depends on the place! France really gets it. There's something very French about our music, all the different references and [how] everything is very meta-contextual. Dublin as well, the land of James Joyce. Have you started work on ‘Endless Scroll’’s follow up yet? We recorded in December and we're gonna put out an EP later this year, hopefully in late summer. But one of the goals of the new record was almost adolescent, like, whatever you think I am, I'm not. Sorry, did you just quote Arctic Monkeys? What? Oh. Shit. Don't use that. Too late. Anyway, you were saying... So the idea [with this new EP] is to go in a more melodic direction, pretty singing, traditional song structures
- because we can do it and because we were getting pigeon-holed in with certain bands we didn't feel like we belonged with. There's a much sweeter side to our band that we haven't showcased yet. There are also a lot more instrumental sections on it; that's a big part of our live show that wasn't on 'Endless Scroll' because we wanted it to be as tight as possible. This EP is coming at it from a different point of view; it's almost intended to be - and I say this facetiously, with air quotes - like background music. The whole B-side will be a 20-minute piece of music, like a dance mix that you're meant to get lost in. Anything else you've been up to? We did record a couple of other songs that we think will be on the second LP, which we're saving for 2020. We've got one song that's set in a bodega, which is this weird Joycean thing about being in this band... Being in BODEGA, set in a bodega... Meta! Thanks Ben!
In desperate need of a live music fix but can’t decide where or who? If you feel too spoilt for choice, here’s just a few of LNSource’s upcoming shows worth getting off the sofa for.
Nationwide, from early April The Class of 2019 stars hit the road in support of only-just-released debut ‘When We Land’ hitting up venues in Southampton, Leicester, Newcastle and Glasgow as well as London’s Scala on 9th April.
sundara karma Nationwide, from early April
Oscar and the gang follow their February cover - and the release of that beast of a second record, ‘Ulfilas’ Alphabet’ - with a tour that sees them return to the hallowed ground of Brixton Academy, as well as similarly really-quite-massive rooms elsewhere.
4th April, Roundhouse, London & 7th April, Albert Hall, Manchester These two UK dates form the end of IAMDDB’s European tour, finishing with a massive date in her home city of Manchester. For more information and to buy tickets, head to livenation.co.uk or twitter.com/LNSource
THE FLAMING LIPS PERFORM THEIR MASTERPIECE ALBUM
The Soft Bulletin FEATURING
The Colorado Symphony Orchestra WITH CONDUCTOR
ANDRÃ‰ DE RIDDER
THURSDAY MAY 26TH 2016 RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE
ALL HUMANS ARE URGED TO ATTEND
THU.10.OCT.19 WED.27.NOV.19 THU.02.MAY.19
Merseyside’s a-calling as festival season ‘proper’ prepares to start all over again.
Liverpool Sound City 3rd - 5th May
Sound City returns to its newly-adopted home of the city’s industrial Baltic Triangle across the early May Bank Holiday weekend, with a smattering of big names alongside local newcomers. Pop queen Mabel, the chef-citing Loyle Carner and noisy boys Shame are all Merseyside-bound, as well as DIY faves Blaenavon, Stella Donnelly, Our Girl, Halfnoise and LIFE. While they’ve been quiet of late, rabble rousers The Magic Gang are also set to play the festival - while working on a follow-up to that ace self-titled debut. The band’s Jack Kaye tells us more. Hello! It’s been a while. What have you been up to? We’ve been locked away writing some new music. It’s been a welcome break from doing lots of shows but we’re ready to get back on it now. We’re not planning on doing too many festivals this year so playing Sound City will be a bit of a treat for us. Will you have anything new to play for the Sound City crowd? Yes! We’re going to a play a few new ones. It’s a really exciting notion. It’s been a long time since we’ve played unreleased tunes live. Do you have any particularly
memorable stories of previous visits to Liverpool? The first time we ever played in Liverpool, we stayed at a friend of Gus’. It was in a uni halls and while we were asleep someone stole Gus’ shoe thinking that it belonged to the guy whose room we were staying in. The next day he had to make his way back to Brighton with one shoe on. This was before the luxury van days so it was a long walk, followed by a Megabus trip. Who does the best Scouse accent in the band? That’s a tough one. Paeris is exceptionally good at doing a Scouse accent but Kris’ dad is actually from Liverpool so he has the edge.
NEWS in Brief
FIDLAR, Dave, Sports Team and King Princess are among the latest additions to READING & LEEDS (23rd - 25th August). Headlined by The 1975, Post Malone, Twenty One Pilots and Foo Fighters, the festival will also see sets from Royal Blood, Charli XCX, Billie Eilish, Bastille and Sundara Karma across the weekend.
IT’S GUNNER BE BIG
Fontaines DC, Friendly Fires and more for Citadel 2019. The lineup for Citadel - which returns to West London’s Gunnersbury Park this July - has been announced.
Fontaines DC, Bastille, Friendly Fires, Dream Wife and Squid all feature on the bill for the all-dayer, which will be headlined by Catfish & The Bottlemen.
Chvrches, The Japanese House and The Futureheads will all play LATITUDE (18th - 21st July), with Jenny Lewis, The Magic Gang and The Big Moon also joining the previouslyannounced Lana Del Rey, George Ezra, Pale Waves and more. GREEN MAN (15th - 18th August) have added artists including Marika Hackman, Yak and Bill Ryder-Jones to their bill, joining acts such as Four Tet, IDLES, and Sharon Van Etten.
For all the details, including ticket info, head to diymag.com/festivals.
Yonaka, Johnny Marr and more join Foals at Newcastle weekender This Is Tomorrow. More names have been announced for Newcastle festival This Is Tomorrow. Yonaka, Johnny Marr and Ride are among the acts newly-confirmed for the event, which takes place at the city’s Exhibition Park between 24th and 26th May. They join artists including Foals, The Vaccines, Anteros, You Me At Six and Editors across the weekend. For more info, head to diymag.com/festivals.
New event FUSION PRESENTS (30th August) has been announced for Liverpool’s Sefton Park, with Kings of Leon and Franz Ferdinand set to play. DOT TO DOT (24th - 26th May) has announced its lineup, and will bring Crystal Fighters, Dream Wife, Swim Deep, Heavy Lungs and Alex Lahey to venues across Manchester, Nottingham and Bristol. Mura Masa and Death Grips have been added to the bill for POHODA (11th - 13th July), where they’ll join Skepta, The 1975, Liam Gallagher, Lykke Li and more. 25
If you go down to the woods today… five Irishmen will probably shout at you.
“That’s what the scene is: it’s watching and pushing each other, with a fire under our arse at all times.” - James McGovern
MURDER CAPITAL Dublin five-piece The Murder Capital have just landed in London to begin work on their debut album, a record that’s set to further their already rapid rise. Right now though, there are more rudimentary things playing on their mind, namely how to turn the oven on at the Airbnb they’ve rented for their five-week stay in the UK. “It should just turn on, but no!” drummer Diarmuid Brennan moans, exasperated.
Currently recording a debut album to back up their buzzy beginnings, this Dublin five-piece channel intensity and anger into tangible social change.
The album, produced by Flood, follows a series of incendiary live performances and a session video Words: Will for early track ‘More Is Less’, which Richards. saw the band’s name travel overseas Photo: Emma without a note of studio-recorded Swann. music out in the world. When a debut single did arrive in the form of ‘Feeling Fades’ at the start of the year, the hype was immediately solidified. A barrage of wiry guitars and hurricane-like vocals, it was a forceful opening statement. Singing of “tearing streets” and “curling toes”, vocalist James McGovern also proved himself a frontman with a razor-sharp tongue. “I feel like everything that’s happening to us isn’t normal,” the frontman reflects today, with a slew of headline shows and festivals stretching out in front of them. “I don’t really follow people’s career paths or whatever, but it’s just the way it’s landed. We released the ‘More Is Less’ video and suddenly got loads of attention. There wasn’t any big plan hatched to crack the industry or some shit.” “I remember the discussion when we decided which song to release for the session video,” adds guitarist Damien Tuit, “and we said, ‘Well, it doesn’t really matter anyway as it’ll only get about 800 views, so whatever’.” Despite their fast trajectory, longevity is undoubtedly at the heart of The Murder Capital’s plan. “We knew [‘More Is Less’] was our opening statement, so we did think about what we wanted to say first,” James adds, “but if you’re doing it for any other reason than because you love it, and you’re trying to say something [forced] and connect with people in a certain kind of way, you’ll only get so far.” Sharing a practice space with Fontaines DC and also taking encouragement from neighbours Girl Band, it’d be easy to lump The Murder Capital into a Dublin ‘scene’. But rather than producing a factory line of carbon copies, the
city is instead fostering an inclusive, supportive network that’s spawning fantastic new bands from every corner of the guitar music spectrum. “I remember when Fontaines signed to Partisan,” states James. “I remember feeling a sense of pride for them, and then also it made [the idea of success] so close to home, and a realistic prospect. That’s what the scene is: it’s watching and pushing each other, with a fire under our arse at all times.” His final point is the most pertinent one: whatever differences and alternate angles of attack these bands might have, they’re all fighting tooth-and-nail to make their voices heard, and none more so than The Murder Capital themselves. Questioning the current social and political climate in their homeland, they’re viscerally animated, demanding better at every turn. “It just feels like there are loads of fuckin’ hotels going up over Dublin, where there could be new housing,” James hammers home. “There are cranes all over the city. There’s one on George’s Street right now, and they’re gutting this beautiful Georgian house, and I stopped and asked the builder what it was gonna be, and it’s turning into a fuckin’ Premier Inn. “The hotels are only a sidenote to the homelessness, the suicide, the mental health issues. The lack of services available to people who aren’t from even middle class backgrounds,” he continues. “We just wanna talk about it as much as possible, and make sure that the government knows that we’re not happy with the standard of where it’s at. People have real issues in their lives, and they need somewhere to go and talk about these things beyond their friends and families. It feels like there’s no excuses. I know bad things that have happened to people that were avoidable.” There’s an understandably murky line on the lengths to which music and artistic conversation can affect real change in these areas - “you can think, ‘What am I contributing to society by doing this, in relation to, like, a nurse?’” the frontman reflects - “but I think we all think we’re contributing at least something to someone. We’ve all had those moments with albums where they’ve changed our lives, or [helped us] see a completely different perspective on things. It’s all a process of communication and understanding.” “It’s trying to reach that fucked-up 15 year-old kid at home, alone, and change their perspective on something,” Damien sums up. Bolstered by grit, determination and passion, The Murder Capital’s reach to affect such change is growing by the minute. DIY 27
After line-up changes, multiple EPs and numerous years cutting their teeth playing basement venues, Amsterdam’s Pip Blom are ready to come into their own on debut album ‘Boat’. Words: Rachel Finn.
Starting as a self-produced solo project in her bedroom in 2016, Pip Blom has since grown into a fully fledged band, featuring Pip’s brother Tender on guitar and friends Darek Mercks and Gini Cameron on bass and drums, the finalised line-up of the group solidifying last year. “This was the line-up where we felt everyone was the most involved and the most ready to try and put all of the time we possibly have into this project,” Pip explains. Currently, the singer still lives with her parents in Amsterdam in order to put as much of the money she makes as possible back into the band. “We’ve got a great base to do this, so why not? It was just the right time.” The ‘this’ in question refers to the imminent release of their debut album ‘Boat’, which combines fuzzy rock tendencies and a DIY-spirit cultivated from years spent playing basement venues across Europe with the confidence they’ve steadily gained on bigger stages, as the support act for huge artists such as The Breeders, Franz Ferdinand and Garbage. Yet it’s often those smaller, grubbier venues where the band’s sound comes across best. 28 DIYMAG.COM
“It’s funny, because we only did one show with Darek, the new bass player, before going to [record the album],” Pip says. “It was in a kitchen in a student house. They moved all the furniture aside and then our amps were on top of the cabinets. It was completely tiny and the sound was horrible, but it was complete mayhem, which is always really fun.” Recorded at Jelly Studios in Ramsgate, ‘Boat’ finds Pip leading the songwriting, using a blend of her own experiences and storylines from documentaries as inspiration. “It’s usually Dutch documentaries. I’m a really big fan of [ones that paint] a portrait of someone, maybe someone from a difficult background...” she says. “But, of course, I love Louis Theroux!” She then reels off a list of all the places the band are set to tour this year; following their first US shows, they’re pretty much on the road all spring and summer. “We’re going to be so, so busy,” she laughs. But it’s the kind of confident laugh that suggests Pip Blom have got 2019 all in hand. DIY Pip Blom play The Great Escape (8th - 11th May), This Is Tomorrow (24th - 26th May) and Mad Cool (11th - 13th July) where DIY is an official media partner.
FEAT. CAFÃ‰ AMARILLO & WHEN AM I GONNA LOSE YOU
The widescreen, open road soundscapes of The War On Drugs with a distinctly London twist.
New YALA! signings shaking the foundations of the danciest side of guitar music. The title of ‘Fast & Loud’ does pretty good justice to the debut single from Talk Show. Newly signed to YALA!, the four-piece’s first offering is danceable enough to feel at home at the disco, but you wouldn’t call it sunny-side-up; full of sharp, scratchy guitars and Harrison Swann’s booming vocal, it feels like drunkenly sprinting home from a night out, angry and exuberant in equal measure. Listen: Debut single ‘Fast & Loud’. Similar to: If a group of post-punks got lost and wandered onto the dancefloor.
EUT Fun is the optimum word for these Amsterdam indie kids who don’t wanna grow up. EUT’s debut ‘Fool For The Vibes’ has been creating a nice little buzz in their native Netherlands since its release last year. A melting pot of ‘90s indie and youthful exuberance, it’s driven by fun and a desire to stay young and hungry forever. Getting a re-release via Heavenly in the UK, where the band will play their first shows in May, the five-piece, led by the effervescent Megan de Klerk, are a new slice of grizzled indie goodness to tuck into. Listen: ‘Crack The Password’. Similar to: Sløtface, Blur.
New London talent JW Ridley has been working extensively in the studio with Ali Chant (who has also worked with Perfume Genius, PJ Harvey and Portishead) recently, and there’s plenty of the same drive, ambition and grandeur to his music. New song ‘Homesick (Out The Blue)’ shuffles along a highway with the escapist ambition of Bruce Springsteen, and from this offering, it really does look like the sky’s the limit. Listen: New single ‘Homesick (Out The Blue)’. Similar to: Escaping from all your problems with gritted teeth and an open heart.
RECOMMENDED KOKOKO! New Transgressive signings fusing protest and party. Congolese quintet KOKOKO! have been knocking around for a while (their name even translates as ‘knock knock knock’) but, having recently signed to Transgressive and stamped their mark over SXSW, now they’re starting to turn a few more heads. Making their own instruments and fusing innovative percussion, deep, intoxicating grooves and a political lyrical stance, it’s a heady mix that brings genres together on record and bodies together in the live arena. Listen: Last year’s ‘Liboso’ EP is an enticing intro. Similar to: Very little already out there, and that’s why it’s great. 30 DIYMAG.COM
BUZZ FEED All the buzziest new music happenings, in one place.
WYCH ELM There are a few hints of Wolf Alice in these ‘90s-nodding Bristolians. Bristol is one of the most fertile breeding grounds for new guitar bands in the UK right now. Hot on the heels of SCALPING and Heavy Lungs are wych elm, who mine the darkest corners of the ‘90s, presenting their findings on a distinctly angry platter. There’s hints of Wolf Alice’s Ellie Rowsell in the sardonic delivery of Caitlin Elliman on new single ‘1983’, while older track ‘School Shooter’ sits closer to (Sandy) Alex G. Listen: New single ‘1983’. Similar to: Wolf Alice, ‘90s nostalgia.
TO INFINITY AND BEYOND... Following their appearance in our Class Of 2019, Leicester newbies EASY LIFE have returned with new mixtape ‘Spaceships’ - listen on diymag. com.
ON THE PLAYLIST Every week on Spotify, we update DIY’s Neu Discoveries playlist with the buzziest, freshest faces. Here’s our pick of the best new tracks: SORRY ‘Jealous Guy’
AN AWESOME WAVE Fresh from playing at SXSW, Glasgow duo THE NINTH WAVE have announced their debut album, coming this year in two parts - get all the details on diymag. com.
Asha Lorenz is green-eyed in the sax-enhanced new one from the Class Of 2018 stars. LADY BIRD ‘Love’ Romance is the order of the day on this polished, catchy new one from the Kent trio. YOHUNA ‘Mirroring’
NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, WEST Also reaching debut album time are Leeds trio DRAHLA, who will release ‘Useless Coordinates’ in May - listen to first song ‘Stimulus For Living’ on diymag. com.
NYC’s Johanne Swanson presents a swirling, shimmering number from a new LP of the same name. BODY TYPE ‘Stingray’ An immaculate conception at Sydney Aquarium is the inspiration behind this one… obviously.
Various venues, New York City. Photos: Louise Mason.
ew Colossus is the small but well-formed new kid on the block, aiming to be New York’s showcase festival of choice. Only in its first year proper, it’s a three-day, sixvenue affair across the Lower East Side.
Kicking off Thursday night at Pianos is Ontario’s Ellis. The singer and her band are like a chilled-out, dialled-down take on Canadian peers Alvvays – all wistful melodies and sugared vocals. Channelling the more flamboyant end of the ‘80s, The Ninth Wave are a mix of new wave pomp and mid-’00s indie synth bangers (we even spot We Are Scientists nodding along appreciatively in the corner). For entertainment value, from the stylised catwalk clown aesthetic down to the pouting delivery, they’ve got it nailed. Friday afternoon and Hussy conjure up the kind of fuzzy magic that should see them fit right in on this side of the Atlantic. Recent single ‘Forever’ pits singer Sophie Nicole Ellison’s clear, confident vocal against swirls of alt-rock guitars. It’s locals Poppies who prove the day’s highlight, though. Helmed by softly spoken vocalist May Sembera, they’re a quiet storm, entreating you in before WHENYOUNG
unleashing a climactic crescendo. Penelope Isles’ spine-tingling, harmony-led Real Estate vibes have grown new layers of late. Now, at their set on DIY’s stage at The Delancey, there are big, sprawling, swathes of noise thrown in the mix. Later, special guests Whenyoung sound like a band that could – and should – go the whole way. From the ringing clarion call of ‘Pretty Pure’ to the deceptive bounce of ‘The Others’, the trio are already masters of the three minute pop song. With the release of last year’s debut EP ‘Mysterious Visions’, Nancy announced itself as a thoroughly exciting, annoyingly elusive project. Now, there’s finally a face to the name in the form of towering singer Jamie Hall (also frontman of Brighton grungers Tigercub) and, though tonight marks only the third ever outing of the group, the warped theatricality that categorised that EP is already translating gloriously. Sonically, they veer from a crunchy cover of ‘These Boots Are Made For Walking’ into the sweeping melodrama of ‘French Cinnamon’ to the space age Klaxons call of ‘Teenage Fantasy’. Nancy had nothing to hide; this is glorious stuff. (Lisa Wright)
MUSTSEE SHOWS THIS MONTH Like being the first to see the next big thing? Get ready to brag to your mates about watching this lot before they go big, sell out, and spectacularly break up.
The London newcomers impressed at our own Hello 2019 gig at The Old Blue Last down here - thanks to super label YALA!, they’ll be doing the same in Glasgow (26th April, McChuills) this month.
The Uxbridge gang are heading out on a nationwide tour from early this month, including nights in York (16th April), Derby (18th) and Cambridge (19th).
MELLAH The South Londoner plays a one-off headline show at the glittering MOTH Club on 15th April.
“I couldn’t help but wonder… will I really have to wear this scarf forever just to make my name make sense?”
GIRL IN RED Penning short and sweet bedroom pop songs about love, obsession and everything in between, Girl in Red’s music is refreshing in its honesty. Words: Rachel Finn.
“First of all, it was in Norwegian. And second of all, it was... bad,” laughs Marie Ulven when asked about the music she made before starting Girl in Red in 2017. “That’s not a good combination! I wrote all my stuff back then, but I didn’t produce it, so it didn’t really have a specific sound. I was just totally lost. I mean, it’s part of the journey of becoming a better musician though, you gotta make some bad stuff before the good stuff comes.” The “good stuff” came in the form of breakout track ‘I wanna be your girlfriend’, which she first posted to SoundCloud in late 2017 - a song about falling for a friend called Hannah who didn’t feel the same. For months, the single went largely unnoticed until early fans started re-posting it on YouTube the following year. “The algorithm must have picked up on it or something, ‘cause it just started snowballing,” she explains. “It’s super 2018-internet kinda stuff.” Alongside her music, however, the increasing eyes on Girl in Red can also be partly attributed to her witty social media presence, where posts to her 23k Twitter and 135k Instagram followers (none-too-shabby for a new artist)
have gained her a loyal following, cultivating a community of queer fans. “This girl came up to me at my gig in Dublin and she literally almost started crying in front of me,” Marie recalls. “She was like ‘I know you have to go into this taxi but I need to tell you this, I literally came out yesterday because of you’ and I was just like, ‘Oh my fucking god, congratulations!’ I was like a proud mum.” Next up is her biggest headline show to date at London’s Heaven in May, following an extensive US headline tour in support of Conan Gray. “I just want people to fucking catch me when I fly off the stage!” she tells us, excitedly. “The last gig I played in London, honestly, when I went off stage I just started crying so much, not like shedding a tear gracefully but I just started sobbing. I was just filled with so much joy.” And with every new experience, Girl in Red is clearly having an absolute blast. “Oh my god,” she enthuses as our conversation comes to an end. “I can’t wait to be in a magazine!” She’d probably best start getting used to it. DIY Girl In Red plays The Great Escape (8th - 11th May) where DIY is an official media partner. 33
SUSPENDING THE MADNESS ON DEB UT SOLO ALB U M ‘DIVINER’, FORMER WILD BEASTS FRONTMAN HAYDEN THORPE FINDS SPIRITUAL FREEDOM IN SURRENDERING YOURSELF TO THE UNIVERSE, AND THE POWER OF CARVING OUT NEW BEGINNINGS. W ORDS: PH OTOS:
R ICH ARDS. S MITHIE S.
ayden Thorpe’s mum has given him plenty of pep talks in his life, but one in particular was needed more than most. Driving him from his home town of Kendal to the Oxenholme Lake District train station in January of 2017 - a journey the pair have taken countless times, and one they know like the back of their hands - the message was simple. “Step out. Face it.” Just a few weeks before, over the Christmas break, Hayden and his Wild Beasts bandmates had convened at their local pub to settle on the hardest, most painful but necessary decision of their lives: they were to break up. Critical darlings that had progressed beyond belief in their decade and a half, the decision, as Hayden puts it, to “ring the bell” on the band came as a surprise for most. Rather than sliding away quietly over a number of years with dwindling interest and softened enthusiasm, the four-piece, in a similar way to The Maccabees before them, bowed out with what seemed like so much more still to give. Unable to process the decision they had made immediately, his motherly heart-to-heart came at the start of a trip to Los Angeles, somewhere he went, he says, “to suspend my reality for enough time to deal with [the breakup]”. There were few plans or rules for the trip, more just getting time as far away from the blustery Lake District winter as possible, trying to process the news, and formulate some form of a plan for what comes next. There was one stipulation for his accommodation in LA though: it had to have a piano. “I didn’t know what that piano represented at the time - all I knew was that you couldn’t move it,” he says simply. “This was an immovable object, the most solid, earthbound object in this house, and I can rely on the mechanics of it, I know these sequence of notes. There is order.” What came from this trip - almost as a surprise, or a voice from within - was first solo single, ‘Diviner’.
underestimated what it’s like to have the inside of your house feel very different to the outside,” he reflects today, sitting outside at the Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve near his home in North East London, one of the few places of true calm to be found in the capital. “I was operating in secret for quite a long time, and I no longer have to and that’s just healthy. It wasn’t this kind of CIA-type operation, but contractually I couldn’t really let people know that the band had finished, so when I was writing ‘Diviner’, it was in secret. It belonged in my front room, with only my dressing gown for company.” Spending the best part of 2017 in an invisible room sat between past and future, Hayden’s life as the frontman of Wild Beasts carried on unassumingly to the outside world throughout the majority of that summer, just with the insider knowledge that it’d be their last. “In a way I became a hologram of myself,” he reflects. “Outwardly, I was still the frontman of a band, and still operating as the guy who would bring what that job description requires. We played a summer of festivals after we’d decided to break up, and it had been nine months since that decision. It was a pretty playful exercise in to how it felt to live within me, to dress as me, but actually to very much feel not quite that person anymore. “It was like the day of the dead every time we played,” he beams, looking back. “You’re often asked ‘Would you rather go straight away, or would you rather have the time to make peace with your loved ones, and have the conversations you need to have?’ and although you have to endure the pain of
“If y ou relinquish y ourself to the ev entuality of how thing s w ill come to p ass, thing s g et a lot e as ier.” 36 DIYMAG.COM
‘Diviner’ highlight ‘In My Name’ was written within the emotional melee following the band’s final show, as Hayden explains... It was written in full the Monday after the last Wild Beasts show. That had never happened to me before, that something arrived in full in that kind of way. I was just a conductor at that moment it felt like. Oh my god.... when you see thousands of people weeping in front of you, and processing whatever they need to process, and whatever it represents to them, but you yourself cannot weep, because you’re just trying to keep a tune in your mouth. It’s a lot to hold. I didn’t know where on earth that song came from, or what on earth it meant, it just…
knowing the ending is coming, at least you get to have those conversations. There was a lot of heavy lifting done emotionally in that time. I have to say, at times it felt like trying to land a jumbo jet without the qualifications, but it was worth it in the end. I was squirming and I was kicking at times, and the toddler in me didn’t want to have to tolerate it, but we were all the caretakers of our dreams. As guys, we’d fulfilled our dreams, and we had a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to look after that.”
Welcome To The Jungle
“Yeah I crossed over at that point, for The tour that summer was on the myself,” he smirks. “There’s a point back of Wild Beasts’ fifth (and soon in any musician’s life where they have to become final) album ‘Boy King’. Across our chat, Hayden the sunglasses on for practicality, A stark departure from the regal, had some pretty off-theand it’s the decision not to take them quietly-sensual sound they’d been wall theories, like this one off. I just had a fucking great time. It known for, the album swapped regarding the internet and, was just fun, and it was raw. I was a cardigans and baroque leanings uh, tigers? bit contorted and warped and fucked in favour of leather jackets and a up at that time, and it was great. slick, unashamedly sexy riff-fest. You know in the wild, if you For those people who followed us, For four guys that’d always seemed look at evolution, and why they were reaching for the Advil and so, well, ‘them’, painting this new the ego might have formed, instead got, you know, something face on was one that it took time it’s because of all this huge quite different. It was self-medication. to truly grasp. “I think the line sensory information we’re Your ego is there to protect you for between actor and method actor burdened with, this cosmic survival, [and] at that time my ego and your actual self became very joke of sensitivity we are. The needed to be swollen for protection. blurred,” Hayden reflects with a ego quickly says ‘This area The ego is only ever as big as the knowing (if slightly self-conscious) here is ME, and any shit that insecurity it’s defending. And it was grin. “You believe what you need comes close, I have to be large at that point. I had a family that to believe in order to live how you the gatekeeper of, be it an was in the process of not being a need to live. I believed I was that arrow, a tiger...’. It very quickly family anymore, and you need to try a guy, and therefore I was that guy. became important that we few selves on before you know which You are only the you you are being had that. We still have that one fits when that stuff is happening.” when you are being you... if that facet as beings, but rather makes sense.” He cracks another than being in the wild of some grin, before recalling a memory of deep forest, we’re in the wild one of the most eyebrow-raising of the world wide web. It’s moments of this era, at the tail end fucking wild out there, man. of the summer of 2016. Wild Beasts It’s a human jungle! t was beyond feeling performed a secret set at midnight ‘right’,” he ruminates, at End Of The Road Festival, an thinking of whether he event they’d previously headlined. knew at the time that Hayden sauntered on stage a few the way Wild Beasts minutes behind schedule, clad with black bowed out was the sunglasses, and thrusted his way through correct one. “There was such alignment and a set that saw him croon lyrics such as “no such symmetry, it was as if it was already written. getting it right, no getting it wrong, just And that was what really became the genesis of getting it on” from ‘Get My Bang’. ‘Diviner’, this uncanny feeling I had that it was always like this. That the songs I was writing were already written, and they’d always been there, and that I had to be of the right mind to come and collect them.”
“There’s a p oint in any mus ician’s life where they hav e the s unglasses on for p ractic ali ty, and i t’s the decis ion not to take them off.”
After the title track was penned in Los Angeles, Hayden set up stall in his Walthamstow flat and embarked on, as he remembers it, “a time of vast aloneness”. ‘Diviner’ is a record that he describes as deeply intuitive, and this deep sense of knowing flows through it, with earthy, fluid piano lines floating around his ever-present falsetto. “If you build a band around yourself, you’re definitely someone who doesn’t like to be on their own,” he laughs. “That sense of ‘No, don’t leave me!’ isn’t something you grow out of if you form a band.” The “real knowing of self” that the creation of ‘Diviner’ gave him is something he describes as a “delayed adolescence”. “I think if you imagine songs, you have a distinctive imagining of yourself along 39
with it. I always thought if I wrote a song in a certain way then I became it, so I kind of wrote myself into existence in that sense. I wanted to make sure it was from gut to heart to mouth, rather than via too much conscious thinking, and therefore intuition came in. “The main difference when you’re making music on your own is that you are your own value system. You’re the only person who decides what a good idea is or not. Any group of people will decide what a good thing is if it’s good for the group. On your own, you have to decide what that society inside yourself looks like. Your mind is plastic, and if your neural pathways have been firing in a certain direction for your whole life - and that is to make songs, to try and pull these melodies out of the air and make something out of the day so you’re not in deficit to the day - then those neural pathways eventually become a Ganges, and you just have to go with it. I couldn’t help myself,” he continues, his voice gathering pace as if this compulsion is still firing within him. “There was something very soothing about sitting at a piano. There’s something so present about it. It’s like you’re remembering the future. I know that sounds really strange, but music only works when you remember what has been, and anticipate what will be. You’re in that space in between. So that’s where I would have to put myself; I wasn’t looking back too much, and I wasn’t too shit-scared about what was next. It was the only position where I could hold hands with both worlds.”
This sense of a perfect circle hangs heavy over ‘Diviner’. The piano loop in ‘Spherical Time’ - an ambient, droney instrumental track that sits near the end of the record - was written on that very same piano when he was 16, and has existed as his “reboot chord sequence” ever since, to test out new pianos and kick into gear in soundchecks. “It just survived, it was like a cockroach. It kept crawling back, and every now and again it would start on me. Funnily enough, we recorded it at full speed and then it became a half speed instrumental track. And I was double the age I was at 16 making it. It’s almost as if I had to slow time down by half to go and shake hands with that guy.”
“[‘Div iner’] b elong e d in my front room, w ith only my dress ing g ow n for comp any.”
ayden carries with him a deep belief in what some might call ‘the universe’, or the sense that a path has already been laid out for you, that some things are just meant to be. This sense of surrendering yourself to these eventualities carries ‘Diviner’, and became vital to its creation, even if it manifested itself in some pretty gruesome ways. Around the half-way point of the creation of the record, he developed quinsy, a rare complication of tonsilitis that causes inflammation and the development of a pus-filled abscess in the throat. Struggling to breathe almost entirely, he dragged himself back to his dad’s house, and a trip to A&E followed, in which he lost his voice entirely. “That’s the hook I hang myself off!” he says, exasperated. “I’m a singer! At least I have that! Don’t take that from me!” Recovering at his childhood home, the compulsion to continue work on the album led him to start singing again a little too early in his recovery, to the point where he had to drop all the songs he’d written for the album into a lower key in order to sing them properly. “I just took it as me literally re-finding my voice,” he reflects. “It had to happen. And it had to happen in the mountains, at the piano that I learned on as a boy. That’s just how it had to be. This is what I mean about the uncanniness of alignment. Of course it was gonna be like that... and if you just
relinquish yourself to the eventuality of how things will come to pass, and the certainty that you have no control over it, then things get a lot easier.”
Hayden describes the process of writing ‘Diviner’ as like a weather system shifting in. “And that’s why I brought you here today!” he giddily exclaims, looking out over the tranquil nature reserve. “There was a very definitive day when I knew I had the record, towards the end of 2017, after the [break up] announcement had been made. Hurricane Ophelia had whipped up all the dust in the Sahara, and it blew right across London. I was down here, looking at Canary Wharf, and the red mist was upon the city, and there was just this deep.... and this is where it gets kinda quasi-mystical,” he grins, unapologetically full of pretension, “this deep sense of oneness. That the Saharan desert can belong here. It was a peaceful moment.” Peace sits at the heart of ‘Diviner’. Formed from the formative decision he and his bandmates made that Christmas, the album exists as an ode to new beginnings, finding understanding in solitude, and making that seemingly scary jump that ends up opening a whole new world to explore. It’s put best in highlight ‘Love Crimes’. “Even the greatest of loves can be given up,” he croons over stomping piano, before gorgeous, glacial backing vocals back him up as he sings: “I’m away.” Now that’s a pep talk if ever there was one. ‘Diviner’ is out 24th May via Domino. DIY
Over the course of this photoshoot, Hayden has actually accrued 63 years of bad luckâ€¦ Sorry mate!
Last month, the buzziest bands from the four corners of the world journeyed SXSW-wards for the biggest new music knees-up of the year. We scoured Austin to find the best of them: here are the artists that owned the week and who you need on your record players now - if not sooner. Words: Lisa Wright & Will Richards. Photos: Louise Mason.
Emerging to the exultant sounds of recent single ‘Cuz I Love You’, decked in a sparkly, Stetsonhatted tribute to Texas, it may have taken too many years for Lizzo’s star to fully ascend, but 2019 looks set to be the year when it’s cemented. Her set is filled with empowering eulogies to the power of loving yourself, peppered with commands for “everyone to make some noise for [her] backside” and the announcement of her “official candidacy for President Lizzo 2020”; at one point she brings out her “annoying ass accomplice” named Sasha Flute, an actual flute that she merrily toots for a bit. Absolute legend.
2 FONTAINES DC
There’s one name on everyone’s lips this week, and it’s a certain bunch of antsy Irishmen. Taking the 11pm slot at DIY’s showcase at Swan Dive Patio, the venue is absolutely heaving for the Dublin quintet. You can’t move for sardine-like packed-in bodies and, from the moment the band arrive, there’s moshpits aplenty. It’s been like this all week for Fontaines DC; though they rack up close to a dozen shows across the festival, each one is at capacity with a queue stretching down the road yonks ahead of their arrival. This show, however, feels special, not least because radio ledge DJ Steve Lamacq is in the front row, shouting along to every word.
Kicking off with a cover of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’ before launching into their own irrepressible brand of hyperactive pop, CHAI break up a day of psych-rock at Hotel Vegas in style. There are colour co-ordinated outfits, masks bearing pictures of their ‘PUNK’ album cover (released that day) and an endearing speech about accepting your own body complexes. If CHAI’s raison d’etre has always been to bring a new, empowering slant to their country’s ‘kawaii’ ideals, then here they’re cute but also righteous and full of bangers.
Formed from the ashes of the superbly exciting and sadly now defunct WALL, NYC punks Public Practice strut their way through half an hour of superbly confident, ‘80s-leaning dance punk numbers, their taut riffs turning on a sixpence and disappearing down unusual alleyways on a journey that you can’t help but follow them on. Singer Sam York is almost unbearably cool; a slight figure in a spotted, oversized T-shirt and bleached-blonde bob, she’s like the love-child of every iconic musical New Yorker in one. Dedicating their afternoon set to their tiny cousins in the crowd is the cherry on top.
Taking to the stage for a sun-drenched mid-afternoon outdoor set, New York’s Charly Bliss deliver one of the surprise gems of the weekend. On record, singer Eva Hendricks’ high-pitched nasal twang can be polarising, but on stage, with the power pop-punk bounce of her band behind her, it works perfectly. She’s a hypercharismatic leading presence, sporting a metallic tinsel dress that’s somewhere in the realm of a human Christmas decoration, and exuding pure giddy enthusiasm throughout. With second album ‘Young Enough’ on the way, there’s a lot to love.
Get to Know... CHARLY BLISS
We caught up over some signature margaritas during their whirlwind Texan trip. Hello Charly Bliss! How has your SXSW been? Eva Hendricks (vocals): What a wonderful week it’s been so far! So far, no sunburns. Well, a little bit on the back of Sam’s neck... We’ve been in New York for so long that it feels SO good to get some Vitamin D. We’re all crawling out of our apartments day after day... It seems like you have a hell of a lot of fun with your music - is that paramount to what you do? Eva: Realistically, you’re in a van for 7-10 hours a day - I don’t think we could do it if there wasn’t this massive feeling of release when we’re on stage, and joy, and an explosion of fun. I can’t imagine doing this if I didn’t get to have that as the pay-off. It’s the best! When you’re playing these kind of showcase festivals, what do you want people to take away from your sets? Sam Hendricks (drums): Seeing people in the audience that are having as much fun watching as we are playing is always an incredibly fulfilling feeling. Eva: I think joy is the most powerful tool.
A gnarly bunch of misfits who’d likely give your gran a coronary, Sweden’s saxophone-toting Viagra Boys are like if the Fat White Family grew up listening to Madness. Singer Sebastian Murphy – topless and covered in tattoos and a pair of wraparound shades – is a frontman of the purest kind, a sneering punk who spits beer and stalks the stage like the kind of back-alley bovver boy you’d cross the road to avoid. One track is just one long, nightmarish instrumental (aka: fucking fantastic) and by the time they introduce the ridiculous banger ‘Sports’ (“Baseball / Basketball… Ping Pong / Rugby Ball”) there’s not a person in the crowd who isn’t on board.
Arriving in a barrel of theatricality and lyrics about Tesco Finest, Sports Team are here to put the ‘British’ firmly, fully into DIY’s Monday stage at the British Music Embassy. However, though the sextet’s quintessentially English sense of humour and niche references (Goldsmiths University? A mini roundabout in Aldershot?) might mean there’s something lost in translation, tonight proves they needn’t worry. Frontman Alex Rice is in full attention-demanding show mode, flinging his arms out in a Christ pose, telling someone off in the crowd for saying he moves like Jagger (spoiler: he does), and climbing up on the bar for a run through of ‘Kutcher’. Glorious. 44 DIYMAG.COM
There are many statements of intent laid out by young, British talent, but none put their stamp down more forcefully than Squid. “We’re gonna play some Brexit bangers for you,” singing drummer Ollie Judge quips before they roar into 35 minutes of joyous noise at Hotel Vegas. Switching between instruments like musical chairs, throwing horns, cowbells and the metaphorical kitchen sink into the equation, all set above Talking Heads-influenced jaunty punk, it’s an intoxicating cocktail. New single ‘Houseplants’ shows off this frenzied energy best, singing of the disillusion of life in your twenties and the lazy stereotypes levelled at millennials over fizzy, intricate dance-punk.
Partisan Records are having something of a purple patch and follow a huge week for Fontaines DC with equally buzzy new signings Pottery. Hailing from Montreal and with only a couple of singles to their name, the quintet are impossibly tight, nodding to the angular judders of Television but updating them with sharp, slick, modern twists. Bottle blonde lead singer Austin Boylan is a hard-edged, no-nonsense frontman, twisting and jerking his way through a set that shoots in unlikely directions but retains its power and propulsion at all times.
NOTABLE MENTIONS Of course, there were
far more than ten artists who got us excited across the week. Big claps all round go to...
BLACK MIDI The UK’s most unlikely buzz band, and now one of SXSW’s too. Turns out discordant post-everything noise DOES work in the sun.
Body Type might have to wrestle with some less-than-ideal sound quality in the warehouse-like student union space of the Pearl Street Co-op, but their personality-drenched, fuzzy indie-rock kind of suits a bit of scuzz anyway. Serving up the slacker charm of ‘Stingray’ and the standout bounce of ‘Palms’, their tracks are riddled with earworm hooks but delivered with an easy, chilled out charm. In these pleasingly grotty surrounds, they’re diamonds in the rough.
STEF CHURA Playful heaviness and a unique twang of a voice tee up forthcoming LP ‘Midnight’ with aplomb.
WHENYOUNG Getting over a technical difficulty by impromptu singing an acapella tearjerking traditional folk song gets the thumbs up from us.
Propulsive elements of disco laced atop of a punk rock base - aka big fun.
WESTERMAN Another tech malfunction Get to Know... BODY TYPE
Mid-way through smashing their first SXSW in advance of the release of their second EP, the Aussie quartet invite us round to their Austin HQ to talk all things USA. How has your Stateside trip been so far? Cecil Coleman (drums): It’s been fantastic! We’ve just got over the jetlag, and I feel like we’re in the swing of things by now. Annabel Blackman (guitar): We got so many fist-bumps after the set! Georgia Wilkinson-Derums (bass): So many people are coming up to us after the shows, and I’ve learned to say that we’re called ‘Baaaa-dy Type’, not Body Type, as people don’t get it. ‘This is a baaaattle of waaaater, and we’re Baaaa-dy Type’! Cecil: We’ve met a lot of amazing people and eaten a lot of amazing food. $2 tacos! It’s the beans that make it. SXSW is pretty intense on the mind and body - how are you coping? Annabel: Did you see our vitamin
store? Next to the coffee machine we’ve got a variety of seven different things that we’re chugging in the morning to help with the energy levels. Sophie McComish (vocals): I feel like we’ve transcended any energy expectations at this point. Gears are on, we’re going!
that works out well; sans band, Westerman is a stripped-back songwriter of clout.
HAIKU HANDS Synchronised moves; flamboyant headwear; Charli XCX sass. We wanna be in their gang.
It’s a pretty big deal, coming to the US to play your music - has it been a moment to take stock and realise that things are really happening? Cecil: I think it took us a while to realise, especially with the jet lag. It all felt completely surreal. Annabel: Sophie and I had a bit of a moment during a soundcheck where we flipped out silently, and just looked at each other ‘What the fuuuuck!’. It just kinda lands…
“This, when we do it, it gives us hope. It makes us feel free.” - Julian Cashwan-Pratt
B A C K
T H E
NEW YORK GROOVE World tours and a hype-harvesting debut made Show Me The Body one of the US’ most essential and experimental groups. Back home in New York, they explain how ‘devotional’ new album ‘Dog Whistle’ expanded their horizons. Words: Tom Connick. Photos: Louise Mason.
t’s an all-too common statement that political strife breeds powerful art. A get-out clause for people less interested in the root causes of inequality than in shrugging it off or - worse milking it for their own good, ‘at least we’ll get some good art out of it’ is as cliche as it comes. It’s a mindset Show Me The Body treat with the scorn it deserves. “A lot of people have said to us this is a perfect time to make a punk record,” the New York band wrote in a statement that accompanied the announcement of their second fulllength ‘Dog Whistle’. “We are disgusted by this prompt.” “We need to do this - we don’t feel OK if we don’t do this,” explains bassist Harlan Steed, in the front room of the Queens, NY house frontman Julian Cashwan-Pratt shares with his girlfriend and their 14-year-old dog, Shady. “If we don’t play music for a month, Julian and I start fighting; we don’t get along! That’s the thing that bummed us out about that prompt from our label, or from friends, from all kinds of people. It’s like, ‘Oh, you’ve got a fascist president? Write a punk record!’,” he sighs. “I wouldn’t say it was insulting, but it was… disgusting, when we were asked that over and over.” Before all that, though, came Show Me The Body’s debut. ‘Body War’ was like no other record released in 2016 - a caterwauling cut of noise-punk, documenting a New York City rife with gentrification and inequality. “There’s a definitive hierarchy of money, class, culture here,” Julian says today. It was a viewpoint hitherto unexplored, at least with such venom; as such, Show Me The Body became one of modern youth’s most essential exports. Tours with hardcore heavyweights like Code Orange and Disembodied soon came a-knocking, slotting in alongside runs with rapper Denzel Curry and King Krule - the latter of which they were offered at the eleventh hour. Fresh from that Denzel run, they got home to New York, got a message from Krule, and were straight back out the door. “Nobody was there to see Show Me The Body, and that was kinda cool,” Harlan recalls of that tour with the indie wunderkind. “You can’t ask for a more tabula rasa situation
- a white page to do your thing with.” ‘Dog Whistle’ embraces that clean slate. No longer a band documenting their New York City environs, their horizons have been expanded, due in no small part to that rigorous touring schedule. “Getting out of New York, prior to writing it, has been a huge influence on us,” says Harlan - Julian agrees. “It just gives you a more international view of what’s happening around you,” he says of that wider scope. “Artists and young people in New York are completely disenfranchised; people don’t want you to do things. We’d travel to cities like Groningen and all these small towns around Europe where the government was paying people to make underground music, or run underground music venues! You come back here and you realise how little your city actually cares about you. You really feel like a rat, coming back.” Despite the real-world implications of that outsider feeling, ‘Dog Whistle’ takes a more metaphysical approach to Show Me The Body’s surroundings. “In a sense, it’s less about the physical world, and more about our friends - people who are around us, and people who are no longer around us,” explains Julian. In the spoken-word, poetic interludes that break up the record, you can hear Show Me The Body’s edges softening. “We wanted to make something that is, in some sort of way, devotional,” he admits, exemplifying how the band’s approach has matured from the teenage punks they emerged as: “It’s not just ‘repping’ something - it’s actually for somebody else.” Today, Show Me The Body’s dedication to creating a space for others to assemble is core to their being. From hiring out studio time for local kids and creatives and releasing the ensuing recordings as the ‘Corpus’ mixtape, to offering out their rehearsal spot to anyone in need in a city far from rife with such places, to the creation of Corpus TV, an online visual arts channel for their peers to exhibit their wares, Show Me The Body are a band of the people, for the people. “Being ‘a punk band’, or being ‘a hardcore band’? Doesn’t mean shit to me,” says Julian. “This, when we do it, it gives us hope. It makes us feel free. So, at the very least, we just want other people to feel that way.” He thinks back, one last time, to that vile notion of the Trump era being a boon for politicised art: “It’s not about a reaction to the time. We’re still gonna do this tomorrow, whether there’s sun or there’s not.” ‘Dog Whistle’ is out now via Loma Vista. DIY 47
ro c k “I After years of displacement as an army brat, Brit singer-songwriter Jade Bird is back on the road but this time with a debut full-length in tow. Words: Cheri Amour. Photo: Emma Swann.
can’t quite get over the fact that people are standing up. It makes me lose my mind every single time. I’ve never had that in my life.” Jade Bird is revelling in the reaction from US crowds during her recent support tour around some of the country’s more traditional, seated spaces. Head over to her Instagram and it tells an even more candid account of her Buffalo show - which saw a standing ovation for the 21-year-old. Striding onto the stage in her signature boiler suit and hi-tops combo, she may have been playing second fiddle on the bill to Irish singer Hozier, but she soon bowed out with a sea of new fans. However, despite being anointed in recent months as some sort of new country-pop prodigy, Jade’s actually been slogging away at this songwriting lark since her early teens.
resting on my shoulders, but there’s just something about that place that sets everything into perspective. You’re just there to create. You’re not there to change the world.”
Growing up in a military family, the singer spent many of her early years moving across the States and Europe before her parents divorced. When she settled with her mum and grandmother in Bridgend, South Wales, her tentative first guitar strums came at a time when she was searching for something to ground her. “Music, for me, was the only constant in my life apart from my family,” she says stoically, her well-spoken British twang a far cry from that Southern singing drawl. “It doesn’t ever change. It doesn’t decide one day that it’s going to leave you. It’s always going to be there and that’s kind of why I love it so much.
But though she might be an affable, and often hilarious, character in conversation, these traits are always mixed with an innate determination and conviction. Make no bones about it, Jade Bird is made of stern stuff. “The first thing I did when I was looking for a producer was I called up and said, ‘I want someone eccentric. I don’t want a ‘yes man’; I want a partner’. It’s push and pull.” This attitude rings throughout her musical output, too. Single ‘Love Has All Been Done Before’ challenges the tired tropes of a love song, offering an alternative rhetoric into the mix. “It’s about being finally happy but getting this sense of ‘It’s gonna have to be doomed because everything is doomed’. That constant battle of conflict and contradictions…” Yet an important thing for her was to have the drama in her songs without feeding off the real-life theatrics. “The one lesson I learned this year is to stop creating chaos to [write songs about it],” she says with a lilting laugh.
“When I was 14, I was gigging constantly. I remember I would try and fill my diary with something music-related every day; a meeting or a gig,” she recalls. “It’s my Mum’s influence. She brought me up by herself and never really took ‘no’ for an answer. She started from the very bottom and worked her way up; watching that as a kid definitely bled into my work ethic, for sure.” It was a powerful motivator. Having recorded an early demo in a friend’s bathroom, it bagged her a management deal and, almost immediately, Jade found herself headed for Woodstock to record an EP with producer Simone Felice. The journey out to the Catskills studio meant another uprooting for the musician, but this one felt worth it. “It changed my life,’’ she admits. “When you’re a young person at 18 or 19, especially a female, you kind of have to [work out your plan]. I went up there like the world was
Woodstock soon became something of a hub for the singer, who returned to the same studio and the same team to record her self-titled debut. With displacement weighing over much of her early years, now Jade had found a cluster of constants - familiar faces and spaces to facilitate the music that had been there all along. Playing alongside musicians who’d previously backed up the likes of Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley, she describes the experience as one where she simply “learned, absorbed and enjoyed”. Even down a crackling phone line across the Atlantic, Jade exudes a warmth and humility that’s evidently part of her endearing charm.
Perhaps, when you’ve made it up to the Catskills mountains, you no longer sweat the small stuff - something she’ll have to remember when her debut hits shelves this month alongside some pretty big rock’n’roll heavyweights. “The Rolling Stones [record] is coming out on the same day. It’s good company to keep, innit?” she says, audibly grinning. Flanked by musical icons both in record stores and recording studios alike, Jade Bird is here to prove you can sometimes get what you want. Just don’t tell Jagger. ‘Jade Bird’ is out 19th April via Glassnote. DIY
P Toronto punks PUP return with third album â€˜Morbid Stuffâ€™, a record that laughs and rages in the face of death and despair with bags of wit, humour and defiance. Words: Will Richards.
title track. “I was bored as fuck, sitting around thinking uuuh...can I interject for about all this morbid stuff,” Stefan spits. “Like if anyone a second?” announces I’ve slept with is dead and I got stuck on death and dying PUP frontman Stefan and obsessive thoughts that won’t let up.” Across the Babcock sheepishly, half record these thoughts come back time and time again. way through a call with DIY For anyone in their late 20s, it’s a common conversation and his three bandmates. to have with yourself; if ‘The Dream Is Over’ pondered “I feel like now is a good the end of an idealistic teenage vision of the future, then opportunity to say this. So ‘Morbid Stuff’ sifts through the wreckage and finds all the two or three minutes ago, I hope it can claw at. had my earbuds in on this call and was walking down the street, and it’s really icy. Luckily I had my phone on mute, “I think that’s part of growing up and becoming and I swear I just fell flat on more mature,” the frontman reflects, “realising my face and yelled ‘OH FUCK’ that it’s just not gonna fucking work out. It’s just and a lot of strangers were just not going to. Being able to let go, for better or looking at me and laughing, “I CAN SAY worse, makes it become a bit easier with each and somebody was giving a THAT THERE’S passing year.” really serious answer so I just didn’t say anything…” The trio LITERALLY on the other end of the call espite this, and despite the fact that - in erupt into hysterical laughter. its final form - their music sounds fluid NOTHING THAT and instinctive, making a PUP record is COMES EASY As the singer takes his tumble, always a bit of a slog, they tell us. “I can guitarist Steve Sladkowski say that there’s literally nothing that comes easy IN THIS BAND.” is talking about the privilege in this band,” Stefan laughs. “Whether it’s writing - STEFAN of being in a band, and how music, touring, making videos or anything, the Toronto-based foureverything’s a struggle. I think that’s part of the BABCOCK piece try, above all else, to pressure that we put on ourselves, and the drive keep perspective of their that we all have to not repeat ourselves musically, achievements. It’s an oddly and to keep things interesting. Everything we do, pertinent - as well as stomach-achingly funny - moment we have to feel like we give it our best.” in the middle of a conversation about third album ‘Morbid Stuff’, a record that dives deep into death, despair and Unlike many other bands, though, these recurring frictions hopelessness, all while maintaining a wicked grin on its are dealt with via time, space, and, above all, humour. The face, safe in the knowledge that, well, it could always be opening track from ‘The Dream Is Over’, which reflected worse. “My pride is bruised a little bit,” Stefan chuckles on the four-piece getting just a little too close to each of his You’ve Been Framed-worthy slip, “but my body is other, was called ‘If This Tour Doesn’t Kill You, I Will’. A fine.” highlight of ‘Morbid Stuff’ that reflects on paranoia and confusion, meanwhile, is titled ‘Bloody Mary, Kate and PUP’s first two albums, a self-titled effort from 2014 and Ashley’, and, as if laughing at their own misfortune, the 2016’s follow-up ‘The Dream Is Over’, fought passionately album’s pummelling, heavy-as-fuck centrepiece is given against defeatism, always clawing back some form of the name ‘Full Blown Meltdown’. There’s also an option hope from the mire and transmitting it via sunny, forceful on the band’s website to purchase ‘The PUP Morbid Stuff punk riffs and Stefan’s howled vocals. All this is taken Annihilation Preparedness Kit’, which includes custom to the red line on ‘Morbid Stuff’, a record that far from plasters, a waterproof container, a multi-tool penknifelike cutlery bonanza and, in an extremely limited version, scraps the PUP rulebook, but adds new textures and a a full-sized inflatable boat. PUP know that rather than greater intensity to their mission statement. It hits the getting too downbeat, sometimes it’s better just to come hardest out of anything they’ve released so far. Its subject out cackling. matter comes in to focus immediately on the opening
“[Humour is] definitely a tool to cope with how shitty this world that we all live in can be,” agrees Stefan. “I think the other records definitely had that element of humour as well - self-deprecating, tongue-in-cheek stuff - but this one it was just brought to the surface a bit more. I think part of that is the fact that we’re tackling so many negative emotions, and things about the world that suck, and you kinda have to approach that stuff with a little bit of humour otherwise everything’s just completely hopeless.
to a PUP video or three) and Charly Bliss vocalist Eva Hendricks. It’s brilliantly absurd. “Every single submission was fucking ridiculous,” Stefan laughs of the process of compiling the video. “Nothing was out of bounds for that one. We have some naked Swiss dudes in the video... People are insane. I always thought that the four of us were weirdos, and it turns out we might be fairly fuckin’ normal in comparison to some of our fans.”
PUP: PUP: “We do take this band really seriously and we try really hard at everything that we do, but we don’t take ourselves that seriously, and for the most part, even though we can all be bummers, we’re pretty funloving individuals I think.” “Yeah...we’re all shitheads, just screwing around,” drummer Zac Mykula affirms. “We all have our issues, and we deal with them in different ways.”
This affable quality shines through most clearly in their music videos. In the past, they’ve created a chooseyour-own-adventure-style clip for ‘Old Wounds’, paid tribute to a literal puppy in the ‘Sleep In The Heat’ video, and embraced VR for their ‘Kids’ visual. Their finest hour, though, comes in the video for ‘Free At Last’. In advance of the song’s release, the band shared the lyrics and chords to the song online and asked fans to pen their own cover of the track, having never heard the original. What materialises is a fantastic clip comprising no less than 253 versions of the song, including cameos from Calpurnia and Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard (who’s no stranger
Indeed, there’s quite a community that’s formed around PUP, and they come together in a melee of sweaty bodies with wicked grins on their faces at the band’s notoriously raucous gigs, all there to take a few hours out of the shit going on in their heads. But, despite the love that clearly exists for them, the quartet are still just taking it in their stride.
“At the end of the day, we’re not like neuroscientists…” Steve reflects. “I think it’s important to remember that being in a band, and doing well, is a privilege. Not that I’m trying to diminish it, but [artists should] keep being real people and not get an inflated idea of the work that you’re doing, and keep the focus on actually doing the work. That’s what’s important. Us taking ourselves seriously just gets in the way of working hard and creating things that are fun and interesting.” “We’re not saving lives, and no-one’s dying because we didn’t do a good job,” Stefan is quick to agree, “so who the fuck cares?” ‘Morbid Stuff’ is out now via Little Dipper / Rise. DIY
The band’s video for ‘Free At Last’ closes with a stunning guitar solo that pretty much makes the whole thing. Introducing: Wallace.
Stefan: Yeeeah, Wallace! What a fuuuckin’ legend. I just had breakfast with my parents, and my Mum was like ‘You know, the video was iiiinteresting, but I don’t know why you spent so much time on the kid with the guitar solo at the end - it wasn’t very good...’ - like ‘oh my god, you’re so OLD!’
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Sam had taken to demanding his own spotlight follow him wherever he went.
Other people’s problems
Refusing to tour, railing against the industry and sitting on a tell-all memoir, with new LP ‘Seeing Other People’, notoriously wildcard LA duo
FOXYGEN are teetering on the edge of collapse - or is it all just an act? Words: Lisa Wright.
ess than a minute into our chat with Foxygen’s flamboyant frontman Sam France and the singer offers up a declaration: “Everything I do is performative. I’m not genuine. I don’t feel real feelings. I’m a robot, a robot of rock.” Then silence. Next question. If it’s a slightly baffling way to begin a conversation then it’s also one that fairly accurately tees up the next thirty minutes of careering, sometimes bitter and awkward, sometimes genuinely understandable and eloquent thought. In the space of a sentence, he can veer from hilarious raconteur to pompous ass and back again. You’re never sure if he means it, or it’s all an act, or where the lines might begin to blur between the two: everything, as he says, is performative. But is it really? Since Foxygen - the project of Sam and muti-instrumentalist and noted producer Jonathan Rado - first properly broke through with 2013’s eccentric, hedonistic ‘We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic’, they’ve sought to create a mythology based around theatre and excess. Onstage meltdowns, internet diatribes and cancelled tours regularly overshadowed the fact that the duo were quickly amassing a catalogue of wildly creative, unusual and often brilliant music. “We started when I was pretty young and it was more tabloid-y. It was like my teenage journal was being made into headlines every week. I don’t know if I’m proud of everything I’ve done, I’m pretty embarrassed by a lot of it,” mumbles the singer now, speaking down the phone from his Los Angeles home. Then the irritable rebuff kicks in: “It’s a stupid band, right? Foxygen? It’s not very well-respected. Cool record nerds, kids who like to smoke weed and listen to records from the ‘70s, they like it. And I like that, I like Foxygen and things like that. But I don’t think we’re very critically appreciated. I think we’re seen as pretty goofy and not a very progressive group. I don’t know... I don’t know what people think of what I do...”
“I don’t just hand out my presence unless there’s a pretty high price.” Sam France
It’s this world-weary view that writes itself over forthcoming sixth album ‘Seeing Other People’. If Rado, who we speak to separately, has a slightly more pragmatic view of the band’s current musical output as simply the next reinvention in a career defined by them - “it was always the idea,” he explains, “to do an incredibly rough and drawn out record like ‘… Star Power’, and then an orchestral pop record like ‘Hang’, and then to make kind of a hip hop record which turned into [this album]”, then lyrically it seems like the divide between their usual fiction and increasing reality is less clear.
’m just doing all the work / If you’ve got something to say, then say it,” goes the chorus of opening track ‘Work’ before a series of songs called things like ‘Livin’ A Lie’ and ‘Face The Facts’ follow. The singer may be a self-declared “robot of rock”, but these are gripes that sound suspiciously human. “Everyone else gets paid except me, is what I feel like sometimes,” he begins. “That’s kind of what the record’s about - the realities of it all. I don’t mean to make it seem like, ‘oh it’s so hard being a touring musician’, because it’s not. It’s just that musicians are idiots, and people that run the music industry are idiots and there’s a lot of bad business.” As a response, the band have decided not to tour this record. “The way that we’ve always decided to tour has been extremely expensive because we’ve always put the show first; we’d tour with a horn section or a nine-piece band and singers and dancers, so it hasn’t been a profitable thing for us,” Rado explains. For Sam, it’s a more personal affront. “When you don’t get paid and you perform like I do, then after a while you start to feel a little silly. The whole last tour I was drunk off my ass for every show because I just didn’t care about it, and I’m not proud of that. If someone wants to pay me a shit load of money to play then I will, but I’m kind of a diva. I have pretty high standards for what I do at this point. I don’t just hand out my presence unless there’s a pretty high price and it’s really worth it for me.” Not the most humble of comments,
but he admittedly makes a fair point. Even on the band’s last pissed and unpleasant tour, the singer spent their London show dashing off the wings for unexpected quick changes, commanding the stage like a ringleader and generally being the kind of frontman that you’d guess was having a far more pleasant time than he was in reality. “That’s how good I am,” he shrugs by way of answer. “I’m not one of these musicians who’s like, ‘Oh I’m a long-haired white guy with a guitar, let me tell you about my feelings’. I’m a performer, and I enjoy performing.”
hough almost every aspect of the industry falls under the wrath of Sam’s unapologetic acid tongue, there is, at least, a genuine creative love that still sits at the heart of the duo - the thing that makes ‘Seeing Other People’ a deceptively grand and enjoyable listen despite its fraught thematic preoccupations. “I’m probably better at working with Sam than anybody else, and we’re both a little bit nihilistic so I don’t have to worry about a band [I’m producing] sitting there looking at me like I’m crazy,” says Rado of their relationship. “Foxygen is never gonna be a traditional thing; I never see it that way, and I think there’s so many bands that can do it that way so we don’t have to follow those rules.” “Rado is an artist, that’s what I’ve realised at this point in my career,” theorises Sam. “There’s a difference between a musician and an artist, and musicians are the WORST. If you were to X-ray their brain it would be like a guitar amp with a beer can on it. But Rado is an outside thinker and I’m so grateful I’ve had him in my life for so long.”
It’s a viewpoint that will doubtless come out in full force on the singer’s forthcoming, incredibly-titled memoir ‘Sam Francisco: Confessions of an Indie-Rock Star’ - a book he currently, probably not inaccurately, describes as a “big rambling mess that needs a lot of editing”. “I think it’s a good glimpse into what the record industry is really like; what this stupid, sexist, boring, corrupt, disgusting business is really,” he says of the text. But how does a band as prickly and outspoken continue to operate within an industry they hate? With a new album literally about to land, what happens next? “I’m way too next-level to be in the music industry. In the US it’s a devastating time for music because basically if you’re a white rock’n’roll indie artist you’re not allowed to make anything except for watered-down folk music that can be played at a low volume in a cafe,” he spits. “If you do anything different or fun or colourful, nobody wants it. It needs to be sold and packaged so specifically, it’s so exhausting. You have to be uncreative to be successful. It’s a bleak atmosphere and I wanna get out of it; I don’t wanna be part of that system.” “I don’t know what the future is,” his bandmate nods. “I think we both have ideas that we’d like to do but we’re gonna take a little bit of a break for a second and figure out what the next move is... But we’ve always been an unusual band... We’re not even a band...” ‘Seeing Other People’ is out 26th April via Jagjaguwar.DIY
“Foxygen is never gonna be a traditional thing.” Jonathan Rado
END OF THE ROAD 29 Aug - 1 Sept
Larmer Tree Gardens Dorset
“A truly special musical celebration” ★★★★★ The Guardian
BEIRUT / METRONOMY / MICHAEL KIWANUKA / SPIRITUALIZED /
COURTNEY BARNETT / JARVIS COCKER ( ) / SLEAFORD MODS / LOW / DEERHUNTER / INTRODUCING JARV IS
PARQUET COURTS / MITSKI / CATE LE BON / BA XTER DURY / DANIEL AVERY / WIRE / CASS MCCOMBS / BEAK> / GOAT GIRL / SERPENTWITHFEET / NUBYA GARCIA / LET’S EAT GR ANDMA / JESSICA PR AT T / ATA K AK / Y VES TUMOR / STEVE GUNN / KIK AGAKU MOYO / BC CAMPLIGHT / MOSES BOYD / BL ACK MIDI / KELLY LEE OWENS / KERO KERO BONITO / FONTAINES D.C. / GEORGIA / TUNNG / BCUC / KOKOKO! / T YLER CHILDERS / LONNIE HOLLEY / WILLIAM T YLER / NÉRIJA / STELL A DONNELLY / JADE BIRD / THE BETHS / & MANY MORE
Secret shows, ar t, comedy, cinema, literature, karaoke, late night dance floors, family friendly activities, award-winning food, real ale, and rubber dinghy rapids.
T h e W o r l d
A c c o r d i n g T o
STELLA DONNELLY 58 DIYMAG.COM
Across her debut album, the Perth musician finds herself playfully tackling gender equality, sexual harassment and Australian nationalism. We talk to Stella Donnelly about how ‘Beware Of The Dogs’ captures a society in transition. Words: Rachel Finn. Photos: Pooneh Ghana.
ven the most casual of Stella Donnelly fans will be familiar by now with the story behind breakout track ‘Boys Will Be Boys’. Written in the aftermath of the sexual assault of a friend and comparing the difference in how perpetrators and victims are treated, when the song was released in early 2017, it went on to serve as a vital takedown of victim blaming and misogyny. But when the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke a few months later and the #MeToo movement began to spread like wildfire over social media, Stella’s music began to take on an ever-morepressing significance. It’s something she tackles on ‘Old Man’, the opening track of debut album ‘Beware Of The Dogs’, which serves as a jaunty, playful poke at men who abuse their power and, all too often, get away with it. “Your personality traits don’t count if you put your dick in someone’s face,” she sings over a gentle, swaying guitar line, before asking defiantly: “Are you scared of me old man? The world is grabbing back at you.” But while the album treads the line of the ‘cultural zeitgeist’, it also serves as a pull-nopunches insight into Stella’s own thoughts and experiences over the past couple of years, in which the Perth songwriter has gone from performing in covers bands at weddings and corporate events to being one of Australia’s most hyped new musical talents. “I just wanted to reflect on the year that had
gone by,” she explains during an evening off from tour in Melbourne. “My industry got completely shifted and the world just kind of changed in front of me, for me as a woman and hopefully for my future children one day,” she continues, “I just never thought that in my lifetime, I would see justice or a shift start to happen. I want to be part of that push towards respect and compassion for everyone.”
t was a moment in time that most people similarly weren’t expecting. But while the #MeToo movement spread through the film and TV industry, in the UK at least, the music industry’s response to cases of sexual harassment and abuses of power seemed to move at a slower pace. “It’s a funny story,” she muses. “I’ve spoken to a few people in the UK and I feel like it is happening [like that] right now over there, but in Australia it was the music industry that really did have the upheaval, more so than the film industry,” Stella notes. “So, for me, as a musician, that was my experience over here, whereas I feel like the other industries are taking their time in catching up with that.” Inspired by a similar initiative launched in Sweden, that year over a thousand women in the Australian music industry - including Stella - signed an open letter titled ‘#MeNoMore’ in the wake of #MeToo. “We all have our own stories, or know someone who does,” the letter reads. “We are not whingers or vibe-killers. In the face of uncountable discrimination, 59
Look into my eyes, look into my eyes, don’t look around the eyes…
harassment, violence, and the general menace of sexist jargon, we have gritted our teeth and gotten on with the job. But today we say, no more.” “Australia has really hectic defamation laws,” Stella explains, digging into the country’s more recent awareness of sexual harassment cases across the entertainment industry, “and it protects the perpetrator and many cases never make it to court. In terms of defamation, as you saw with [Orange Is The New Black actor] Yael Stone, she’s an Australian and she had to go through America to call out Geoffrey Rush. We’ve just got very strict laws that don’t protect the victims, therefore, who else do you turn to than the public media, you know?” It’s another development in a landscape where - despite the rising representation of female-identifying people across the music industry specifically - women are still facing obstacles, both on stages and behind the scenes. According to one 2016 survey by the UK Music Diversity Taskforce, women occupy 30 percent of senior executive positions and 40 percent of senior management positions in the industry, despite comprising more than half of entry-level roles. Meanwhile, on stage, research last year by Pitchfork which focused mainly on US festivals, found that female representation across last summer’s line-ups has increased to a pretty depressing 19%, from just 14% the year before.
symbol for white nationalism. “We had some riots many years ago now on our Australia Day celebration where these white Australians wearing their flags and Southern Crosses went around and tried to beat up anyone who didn’t look like they were Australian, which is to say anyone that doesn’t look ‘Anglo’,” Stella explains. “It’s been, unfortunately, hijacked. So I definitely don’t want to be pointing a finger at everyone with that tattoo. I guess I’m just adding to this person’s character and profile.” And while some tracks address more systematic and structural issues of power, ‘Beware of the Dogs’ isn’t all politics and cultural issues. Her work stands as more of a portrayal of life and society at large, so naturally, her debut is also a very personal record. Spanning everything from relationship breakdowns in ‘Bistro’ and ‘Allergies’ to those shit jobs you do to pay the bills, like her uninspiring days working at a Perth pub which colours ‘U Owe Me’. It’s also a record full of brazen wit too - ‘Mosquito’’s stand-out moment being when Stella unabashedly confesses her love for someone with the line “I used my vibrator / wishing it was you”. “There are so many aspects to us as human beings and my anger and frustration is only one part of that,” she confirms. “I’m just trying to show me in a very whole way and not hide myself.”
“I want to be part of that push towards respect and compassion for everyone.”
“Just do your absolute best!” Stella insists, in reference to initiatives like Keychange’s current campaign to get festivals pledging a 50/50 gender split between male and female and non-binary artists on their line-ups. “If you can’t do 50/50, do 40/60! When people are completely blind to the issue and don’t think about it, it just reeks of privilege.” It’s an issue she’s come to know all too well. “I’ve been playing music for ten years almost and back in the day, I was very much outnumbered. I think that’s changing over here now, which is incredible.”
lsewhere on her debut, ‘Tricks’ paints a stereotypical caricature of a rowdy, nationalistic type of man she sometimes encountered during some of her early pub shows. (“You only like me when I do my tricks for you / You wear me out like you wear that Southern Cross tattoo,” she sings on the song’s chorus). “They would be screaming at me to play ‘Wonderwall’, you know?” she laughs. “And I’d be there trying to play something else, and eventually I’d play ‘Wonderwall’ and that would appease them in a way.” In the video for the song, which was co-directed by fellow Australian musician Julia Jacklin, a clueless man follows Stella around as she goes about her day, vying (unsuccessfully) for her attention. “[I wanted to] disarm the seriousness of the song with a fun video,” she notes. Like many of her offerings, it comes packed with multiple layers of meaning. That ‘Southern Cross’ she sings of is a constellation of stars featured on the Australian flag and holds a deep significance for many Indigenous Australian cultures, but it’s since been co-opted by some into a
This vulnerability is perhaps shown best on ‘Lunch’, a gentle lament about the homesickness and loneliness that can set in with life on the road. Having been touring regularly for around two years now, Stella admits it took her some time to figure out how to travel and look after both her physical and mental health in the process.
“I thought I was really low on iron so I went to the doctor, but he was like, you’re totally fine, so I don’t know what it is! I think it might just be that adrenaline, you run off that energy and then all of a sudden it stops and it’s all about trying to stay healthy while doing it. It’s a really weird thing, it’s not a holiday. It is work and you have to treat it that way.” As an artist, Stella Donnelly isn’t trying to solve the world’s problems. Instead, her aim is to capture the fine line between the personal and political, documenting issues facing many young people today in a frank, refreshing and honest way. It’s paying off, too. “I get more positive feedback than I do negative and that’s worth it for me, to keep going,” she affirms. “Hearing from beautiful, good men has meant a lot to me. It’s been really moving. Being able to get feedback, from all sorts of people, has been really special.” ‘Beware Of The Dogs’ is out now via Secretly Canadian. DIY Stella Donnelly plays Sound City (3rd - 5th May) where DIY is an official media partner.
here are several ways in which, amid a swarm of industry buzz, Ireland’s Fontaines DC have been described. Depending on the article, they’re a bunch of misty-eyed poets, extolling the virtues of Keats and Joyce like a bunch of rag-tag Morrisseys with dirtier shoes. Or they’re the next in line to tourmates IDLES’ throne - a biting, visceral live force who’ve already taken over SXSW in a barrage of amp-scaling and high-intensity mosh pits. Or, they’re some true Irish (or should we say Oirish) lads, cut from the innate emerald cloth of the homeland: prick them and they bleed Guinness. The real beauty of Fontaines DC, however, is that they’re all of these things and more. Though the Dublin quintet might find kinship in one form or another with the aforementioned
Bristol punks or neighbours Girl Band, theirs is a patchwork fused together from a truly personal set of threads. On debut album ‘Dogrel’, they display the unique results in exceptional style. Take opener ‘Big’ - as solid and statement-making a start to a record as any of music’s great first albums. A twitchy rattle of ride cymbal and kick drum gives you an eight-second head-start before singer Grian Chatten’s blunt, no-nonsense brogue comes in to claim his kingdom: “Dublin in the rain is mine”. It’s an almost monotone bark, shot through with bassist Conor Deegan’s probing, insistent repetitions that only relent when a squall of guitars dredged up from the earth pronounce its climactic chorus: “My childhood was small, but I’m gonna be big”. Sentimental yet direct, ambitious yet rooted in their history, it cuts to the heart of their stance from the off.
IEWS 1 BIG /// 2 SHA SHA SHA /// 3 TOO REAL /// 4 TELEVISION SCREENS /// 5 HURRICANE LAUGHTER /// 6 ROY’S TUNE /// 7 THE LOTTS /// 8 CHEQUELESS RECKLESS /// 9 LIBERTY BELLE /// 10 BOYS IN THE BETTER LAND /// 11 DUBLIN CITY SKY
For a band known for their poetic sensibilities, many of their best lines are these kind of succinct missives. There’s a cliche that a love of literature lends itself to flamboyance and wordiness, yet though there are moments of this throughout, they’re never the pay-off. ‘Too Real’’s opening line (following swirling, warped crashes of guitar from co-axemen Conor Curley and Carlos O’Connell) might be “None can pull the passion loose from youth’s ungrateful hands”, but its crescendo is far more visceral, Grian spitting “Is it too real for ya?” with all the disdain and physicality of a man more used to getting into a brawl than a good book. ‘Hurricane Laughter’ works in a similar fashion, its verses full of stream-of-consciousness intrigue before building to a moshpit-inducing, shout-along inclusive chorus. Whether on the softer, plaintive lament of ‘Roy’s Tune’ or the excitable, grinding riff of ‘Chequeless Reckless’, Fontaines DC are masters of when to pull back and when
to let go. If it sounds like a basic comment to suggest that the music perfectly serves the words - building up the intensity and then cutting back to let Grian’s lyrics land with their fullest force - then trust us, it isn’t. In many ways, like a lot of good punk music, these are tracks that are fairly simple - a few notes, a lot of repetition - but there’s nothing plug-in-and-play about this lot, they’ve simply stripped things back for maximum impact. ‘Sha Sha Sha’ shuffles along like a pissed-off ‘Lovecats’ on the dole; ‘Liberty Belle’ is like the smartest, sharpest football chant in town, while old favourite ‘Boys In The Better Land’ still barrels along with the same excitement it did on first listen. ‘Dogrel’ – or doggerel – might refer to a sentiment badly expressed, but on their debut, Fontaines DC have crafted a clear, unedited picture of who they are and what they’re made of. It’s a joy to witness. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Big’, ‘Chequeless Reckless’, ‘Boys in the Better Land’
When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? (Polydor)
MAYBE THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT AFTER ALL.
hen Billie Eilish arrived in London for a three-night stint at Shepherd’s Bush Empire earlier this year, it felt like the first proper physical manifestation in the UK of what the internet had known for a long while now. Kids camped out since the early hours of the morning. Ear-splitting screams up there with any that have greeted history’s bona fide teenage icons, from The Beatles to BTS throughout. The fervour around the 17-year-old feels at once both hyper-modern and yet completely classic. She’s a child of the internet, whose legend has arisen largely via that platform. However, like any cult teen obsession since the dawn of time, half of her charm is that the kids love her and the old bores don’t get it.
So does the singer have the chops to go from beloved youth icon into a genuine, mass-appealing, world-beating star?
“Coming out of my, uh, manhole, AND I BEEN DOING JUST FINE”
Not for years has the answer been such an exciting, resounding ‘yes’. ‘When We All Fall Asleep…’ is almost certainly the weirdest album from a huge pop concern in recent memory. It is, as represents a young person born into an age with everything at their fingertips, an amorphous thing that pays little attention to genre, going from grinding industrial throbs (‘you should see me in a crown’) to playful trap beats (‘bad guy’) to fragile, forlorn balladry (‘listen before i go’) to big, cheeky classic pop (‘wish u were gay’) at will. It begins with a 10-second snippet of Billie pissing around in the studio: “I’ve taken out my Invisalign [brace], now here’s the album!”. There’s even a track - the minimal hip hop of ‘my strange addiction’ - that, amazingly, has samples from the American version of The Office dotted throughout. Though there are undoubtedly some tender moments to be found, and the
record’s latter quarter is comprised of a trio of tracks ripped straight from a tear-stained diary, the record’s finest moments come served with a wink and / or swagger. Single ‘bury a friend’ is a dark, gothic masterpiece, the embodiment of Billie’s customary deadeyed stare. The only real wobble comes with ‘8’ - a ukulele ditty that begins with the singer affecting a purposefully-babyish twang. Maybe it’s meant to be jarring; with lyrics about rejection and doomed romance, then there’s an argument to be made for adding another layer of vulnerability, but it still remains slightly grating. Still, every so often, someone comes along that immediately seems to represent a generation. Billie is that person for right now, and if ‘When We All Fall Asleep…’ is the result, then maybe the kids are alright after all. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘bury a friend’, ‘bad guy’
When a noisy minority of Radio 1 listeners responded to Dave’s ‘Black’ with indignation, the man himself was vindicated. Their primary complaint that, in producing a complex and deeply incisive treatise on how his ethnicity had helped to shape him, he was somehow drawing racial battle lines; the same people who so readily shared the All Lives Matter hashtag, you suspect, were now taking umbrage at a track that, simply by virtue of being pro-black, was somehow anti-white. That the song burns with a perceptiveness way beyond the Streatham native’s twenty years threatened to be lost in the mire. The good news is this: ‘Psychodrama’, from which ‘Black’ is the lead single, is an album of such sublime quality that the controversy will be forgotten in time, overshadowed by the towering achievement of a record that speaks astutely to topics from mental illness and systemic racism to grief and loss without ever missing a beat. He turns his pen every bit as smartly to his broiling conflict of emotions over his brother’s imprisonment for murder (‘Drama’) and the dizzying pace of modern life in London (the hectic ‘Screwface Capital’). ‘Psychodrama’ is so consistent in its darkness, in its razorsharp lyricism from start to finish, that you’re listening to a record that will join the likes of ‘Boy in Da Corner’ and ‘Original Pirate Material’ in terms of its level of cultural significance in years to come. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Lesley’
When I Get Home (Saint Records / Columbia)
There are few who can describe their latest effort as an ‘insular project’ without inducing an eyeroll. Fortunately, Solange is someone we’d never argue with. Purveyor of tonal, fluid melody, she stands every inch the cult superstar, presenting work that reaches to the multi-dimensional. When she talks, you listen. An homage to her hometown of Houston, ‘When I Get Home’ is a bricolage, flicking between jazz, soul and trap with the swipe of an elegant finger. While certain waves float over with little attention, others crash their arrival - ‘Almeda’ is a powerful, meditative shoulder-roller that could have easily fit on ‘A Seat At The Table’, and ‘Stay Flo’ digs deep into the lower tones of Solange’s register, carrying a no-nonsense, hip hop swagger. Each demands repeat listens to get to the heart of its essence - paired with the imagery of the visual album, the connections begin to click, and when they do, it’s glorious - a love story and a lesson in equal measure. If ‘A Seat at the Table’ looked you straight in the eye as it challenged perceptions of race, then ‘When I Get Home’ is more of a soundscape, acknowledging that it can exist in its own lane; Solange no longer cares for your gaze. A beautiful stream of consciousness, ‘...Home’ is the sound of an artist, donning a cloak of creative freedom. It’s a look that suits her. (Jenessa Williams) LISTEN: ‘Almeda’, ‘Stay Flo’
Not Waving, But Drowning (AMF)
Loyle Carner’s 2017 debut ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ was a strong statement, filled with emotional vulnerability and vignettes of the rapper’s life. Accolades followed, and predictably, the musician’s life got bigger. How success can create distance between your and your peers is something Loyle does touch on with the Jorja Smith-featuring ‘Loose Ends’. But mostly, ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ retreads a lot of ground: family, friends and specific observations from his day-to-day life. It’s bookended by two complementary tracks - ‘Dear Jean’, a song telling his mother, who’s already a regular feature in his work, that he’s met the love of his life and he’s moving out; the second ‘Dear Ben’, a song narrated by his mum about how proud of him she is. There are features from further afield courtesy of Tom Misch, Jordan Rakei, Sampha and more, with the latter’s contribution, ‘Desoleil (Brilliant Corners)’, proving one of the album’s highlights. Overall though, ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ doesn’t quite match the intensity and impact of Loyle Carner’s debut. (Rachel Finn) LISTEN: ‘Desoleil (Brilliant Corners)’ 65
FULL OF BOLD CHORUSES.
MARINA Love + Fear (Atlantic)
JADE BIRD Jade Bird (Glassnote)
A few well-worn stereotypes may come to mind when you think of country, but few of them apply to Jade Bird. The genre is having a renaissance of sorts, thanks to the success of Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, but Jade has previously spoken about being labelled a country artist as potentially restricting. Based on her self-titled debut, she shouldn’t be too worried about that. Across the record’s twelve polished tracks, she switches from piano ballad to stomping singalong and back again, full of bold choruses and raw, ricocheting vocals. ‘Uh Huh’ and ‘Going Gone’, the latter with its line-dancing style ‘4, 3, 2, 1’ countdown on the chorus, are perhaps the most straightforward, country-influenced tracks on the record, but elsewhere she shows a decent amount of versatility. ‘Does Anybody Know’ is an affecting ballad that contemplates loneliness whereas ‘I Get No Joy’ - a song about trying to find peace from all the chaotic thoughts present in the mind of any chronic overthinker - is, ironically, jubilant pop. (Rachel Finn) LISTEN: ‘Does Anybody Know’, ‘I Get No Joy’
Ahh, the double album. Once a concept reserved for progrockers and actual certified legends, in 2019, everyone seems to be trying their hand at it. And while some of the year’s releases feel like vitally exciting prospects, there’s decidedly some that just... don’t. Sadly, Marina’s latest foray feels to creep into the latter category. After discarding the second half of her now-infamous moniker, she’s also seemingly decided to give the more flamboyant part of her artistry a rest too. While previously, the likes of ‘Electra Heart’ and ‘FROOT’ saw her dial up the vibrance to 11, on ‘Love + Fear’ - a double record of 16 tracks loosely tied to those same emotions - things feel somewhat more understated. Granted, the funk-infused lilt of ‘Orange Trees’ is a summery highlight, and her vocals will always sound gorgeous, but on too many occasions does the record feel to veer into the safe, well-worn paths of pop music gone by. (Sarah Jamieson) LISTEN: ‘Orange Trees’
Seeing Other People (Jagjaguwar)
Opener ‘Work’ may, amusingly, kick off with a beginning few notes reminiscent of Whitney’s effervescent banger ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’, but on their sixth LP, unpredictable Californians Foxygen are less up for a bop than an attempt at settling some scores. Like the hangover from 2017’s Broadway romp ‘Hang’, the likes of the scornful ‘Livin’ A Lie’, that pulls no punches at a friend turned nemesis, or ‘Flag At Half-Mast’’s curtain call melancholy are not the songs of a happy band; the aforementioned, meta ‘Work’ is its bitter apex and calling card: “If I’m such a fucking jerk, then why don’t you write it down?” Of course, because this is Foxygen, and they can’t help but add a little theatre, then musically there’s still a lot of fun to be found, from ‘Face The Facts’’ yuppie rock to ‘News’’ playful, ritzy keys. Still, despite the spruced-up surface, the bubbling undercurrent of ‘Seeing Other People’ remains a troubled one. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Work’
SHOW ME THE BODY Dog Whistle (Loma Vista)
“A lot of people have said to us this is a perfect time to make a punk record,” NYC trio Show Me The Body say of ‘Dog Whistle’. “We are disgusted by this prompt. This album and our music does not belong to a political party.” Despite this fervent distancing of themselves from party politics, ‘Dog Whistle’ is a brutal, impassioned flag-in-the-ground for the disillusioned in New York and beyond. From opener ‘Camp Orchestra’, where the band reflect on a recent trip to Auschwitz, spitting “no work will set you free” over and over, to the fiery but playful discontent of ‘Madonna Rocket’, it’s music to exorcise your demons to; for teenage angst that’s dragged on into your twenties and beyond. “When I meet someone that’s good, I wanna die with them,” goes ‘Madonna Rocket’, and ‘Dog Whistle’ is vital and forceful enough across its length to sound like life and death. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Madonna Rocket’ 66 DIYMAG.COM
THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS No Geography (Virgin EMI)
Morbid Stuff (Little Dipper / Rise)
It’s fair to say PUP have a bit of a knack for titles. On last album ‘The Dream Is Over’, the Toronto punk quartet took the wise words of frontman Stefan Babcock’s doctor - whose prognosis was that he’d never sing again, fyi - and twisted them into an ironic yet succinct gauge of their current place in the world. With ‘Morbid Stuff’ they’re once again hitting the nail on the head; this time using their firecracker brand of punk rock to explore the disillusionment and existential crisis that most of us find ourselves facing right now. Much like their previous two efforts, it’s a seamless explosion of ferocity which translates their anger and nihilism perfectly, still somehow managing to promote a sense of camaraderie and hope. From the gang-vocal taunts of ‘See You At Your Funeral’ to the paranoid questioning of ‘Bloody Mary, Kate and Ashley’ (‘Are you real or fake, are you alive, am I awake?’), they may be using ‘Morbid Stuff’ to face their demons head on, but there’s a sense of reckless abandon to the whole thing that makes it entirely freeing. (Sarah Jamieson) LISTEN ‘Kids’, ‘Closure’
KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Fishing For Fishies (Flightless)
There’s always a tendency, with bands that possess back catalogues as stacked as The Chemical Brothers, to exist on festival headline slots and half-baked new material every couple of years. And who could blame them. Tom Rowlands and Ed Simons could be seen as guilty of that themselves over the last decade, but on ‘No Geography’, they punch their way back into the present day with a revelation of a record. The tone for ‘No Geography’ - pedal to the metal, hard as fuck, unrelenting - is set within seconds of opener ‘Eve Of Destruction’, with a robotic voice menacingly repeating its title. What follows is something akin to destruction, and there’s more than a few songs here that will hold their own alongside ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’, ‘Galvanize’ et al. Single ‘MAH’ is an unhinged, acidic ripper, while ‘Got To Keep On’ sounds tailormade for those uninhibited, intoxicated early hours at Glastonbury. Both what you’d want and expect from a Chemical Brothers album, it pushes the duo firmly back to relevance. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Got To Keep On’
A CHEMICAL BROMANCE The dance stalwarts have come a long way since their days as natty remixers The Dust Brothers - here’s a few of their records to get yourself well acquainted. SURRENDER (1999) From perennial banger ‘Hey Boy Hey Girl’ to the epic return of old pal Noely G on ‘Let Forever Be’ with its equally impressive video, little surprise the chart-topper went multi-platinum. PUSH THE BUTTON (2005) Roping in Bloc Party’s Kele on ‘Believe’ kept The Bros’ indie cred up high in the midoughts, while Q-Tip featured on ultimate earworm, ‘Galvanize’. BORN IN THE ECHOES (2015) St Vincent features on ‘Under Neon Lights’, while Beck guests on ‘Wide Open’, Cate Le Bon on ‘Radiate’, and if you passed through a very specific place and time, you’ll recognise the name of noughties buzz boy Ali Love on ‘EML Ritual’.
After releasing a mere five albums in 2017, it would be wrong for the ever-prolific ‘Gizzard to have taken too much time off, wouldn’t it? ‘Fishing for Fishies’ sees the band balance a mixture of hand-clapping glam, pastiche blues, and soft rock, negotiating space-y electronica wanderings in the meantime. So sweet, puckishly colourful and genre-dizzying is this 13th effort, that it’s like a motorised adventure through the topologically muddled landscapes of a Mario Kart universe - deserts one minute, icecaps the next, and concluding at one of Bowser’s perilous volcano-citadels no doubt. Cheesy, sci-fi-inspired closer ‘Cyboogie’ is the most tepid of the bunch, as if marking the roll of the end-credits and a collective sigh of relief. With that being said, do not doubt that King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard still know how to kick ass. (Connor Thirlwell) LISTEN: ‘Plastic Boogie’ 67
What’s It Like Over There? (Prolifica / PIAS)
On debut ‘Young Chasers’, Circa Waves hammered out indie bangers that were tailormade for the Radio 1 A-list. 2017’s ‘Different Creatures’ built steadily on this, amping everything up to 11. It’s a damn shame, then, that ‘What’s It Like Over There?’ is both over-produced and underwhelming. ‘The Way We Say Goodbye’ sounds more the results of a B-list dance producer, while ‘Times Won’t Change Me’ and ‘Me Myself and Hollywood’ are weak photocopies of ‘AM’ era ‘Monkeys. And is 2019 the best year to release a record getting all misty-eyed over the US anyway? (Louisa Dixon) LISTEN: ‘Passport’
eeee MODERN RITUALS Yearning (Holy Roar)
It’s no easy feat to make a searing impact over the space of just four tracks, but with this follow-up to their 2018 album ‘The Light That Leaks In’ Modern Rituals more than manage it. Opening with ‘Alfredo Snivellin’, a mammoth track which veers from densely squalling guitars to discordant moodiness and back again, their four-track offering showcases their composed ability to shift from ginormous sonics to luscious, delicate moments, and back again, with the deft flick of a switch. Packed with power, yet still laden with gorgeous melody – especially in its second half – ‘Yearning’ is an intricate and intriguing example of heavy music being pushed past its boundaries. (Sarah Jamieson) LISTEN ‘Shroud The Works’ 68 DIYMAG.COM
MARTHA Love Keeps Kicking (Big Scary Monsters) Across about five years, via two LPs, a handful of singles and notorious, community-led live shows, Martha have become a cult phenomenon. Signing to Big Scary Monsters for third album ‘Love Keeps Kicking’, their arm looks like it could stretch further than ever. At once, ‘Love…’ is their funniest (song titles include ‘Wrestlemania VIII’, which interpolates Blink182’s ‘First Date’, while the video for the title track circles around a sci-fi alien invasion) and most pertinent album to date. These are eleven tracks that, ahem, kick back with defiance at the worst that life can throw at us. Whether trying to find solace in community while battling your deepest demons, or after an uninhibited jig to some of the catchiest indiepop around, Martha still have your back. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Heart Is Healing’
Q&A Is third time a charm for Martha? Nathan Stephens-Griffin spills on working with a new family, and embracing country. Album three: is three a lucky number for Martha? Sunderland won the FA cup in 1973 so 73 is definitely lucky, and so I guess 3 is lucky by extension. The number 3 is also significant in Hegel’s concept of the dialectic (thesis + antithesis = synthesis) and without Hegel’s dialectic we wouldn’t have Marxism and without Marxists we wouldn’t have an NHS or welfare state so I think 3 is a lucky number. How has it been working with new home Big Scary Monsters? It’s been really great, it’s a brilliant label run by lovely, enthusiastic people who have been so supportive of the new record. It was scary when Fortuna POP! ended and we felt a little bit lost but it’s been very cool working with BSM. How did you approach this album differently from your others? I think one of the big differences is that there is a subtle but evident country influence on this record that maybe hasn’t been there before. It’s important to keep pushing on and trying to develop musically, but we’ve never been a band who’ve tried to reinvent the wheel - we effectively write pop songs. It’s been nice to explore the way texture is used in country and add acoustic guitar and lap steel. They might not be immediately noticeable but they are definitely there.
GOOD COP BAD COP
(Count To Ten)
Good Cop Bad Cop If you thought there weren’t enough drums on Arctic Monkeys’ last record, best steer clear of this particular side-project from Matt Helders. Ostensibly a vehicle for the songwriting of Milburn’s Joe Carnall, musically it’s lo-fi, simple electronics. At its best it channels some of the pair’s home city’s ‘80s synth pop legend - at its worst, it evokes Ross Geller’s stint as keyboardist on Friends. Mostly, it’s pretty enough: Good Cop Bad Cop aren’t likely to set the world alight any time soon, but as a sideproject, they’re sufficient enough. (Louisa Dixon) LISTEN: ‘Sharp Shooter’
Recorded over two weeks in Bristol with PJ Harvey producer John Parish, ‘Designer’ is about as enchanting as folk records come. ‘The Barrel’ is a wonderful balance of fingerpicked acoustic guitar, piano chords and plodding bass. ‘Zoo Eyes’ demonstrates the breadth of her gentle voice. ‘Fixture Picture’, meanwhile, is a lofty highlight that reaches melodic peaks with the aid of a captivating strings crescendo. Despite what the album’s plain, monochromatic cover art might suggest, this is a warm, textured collection of songs that breathe life at every corner. A real triumph. (James Bentley) LISTEN: ‘Zoo Eyes’
PETER DOHERTY & THE PUTA MADRES
Peter Doherty & The Puta Madres (Strap Originals / Cargo)
Roughly translated as ‘the motherfuckers’ they may be, but P-Do’s new comrades aren’t so much punk ruffians as shanty-favouring pub rockers. And aside from a dodgy vocal collab on ‘Paradise Is Under Your Nose’, the wistful laments and Arcadian lingo is very much business-as-usual. Much here sounds as though it could have been unearthed from the old demos the singer unloaded across the early ‘00s. Great for the diehards, fairly inconsequential for everyone else. (Sarah Pope) LISTEN: ‘A Fool There Was’
The Seduction of Kansas (Sister Polygon)
On ‘The Seduction of Kansas’ there’s no doubt that Priests have allowed some infiltration into their setup (producer John Congleton and multiinstrumentalist Janel Leppin the literal examples), a move that has drawn them away from their strict post-punk aesthetic. The results are a mixed bag; the title track is a glorious pop cut, a clear sign of the flexibility of guitarist G.L Jaguar and drummer Daniele Daniele. ‘I’m Clean’ and ‘68 Screen’, however, feel underdeveloped, draining the band of their trademark bite. Regardless, ‘The Seduction of Kansas’ reiterates Priests’ ability to present topics with clarity and depth. (Ben Lynch) LISTEN: ‘Jesus’ Son’
Everybody Is A Universe (Cannibal Hymns)
Though Jelly Boy - the new project from former Happyness guitarist Benji Compston - isn’t likely to give any fans of his former band a coronary, it does suggest that much of the trio’s prettier side may have come from his pen. Opener ‘Terminal Island’ is a delicate offering cut straight from Elliott Smith’s notebook, while ‘Coffee Without End’ makes for a heartwrenchingly affective document of a young family (“We made a child in the usual way”), set to the kind of harmonies Brian Wilson would likely endorse. Jelly Boy has all the beginnings of something genuinely special. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Coffee Without End’
WEYES BLOOD Titanic Rising (Sub Pop)
The escapism of cinema runs throughout the fourth album by Natalie Mering’s Weyes Blood. Her conversational lyrics demonstrate a disarming power, while the music drips with a silky ‘70s vibe elevated by a vibrant use of strings and piano. Yet ‘Titanic Rising’ is not bogged down by its comment on existentialism. Through the sheer beauty of the music and the casually-delivered lyrics, Natalie never breaks from the record’s escapist fantasy. Much like the power of the big screen, ‘Titanic Rising’ presents an elegant journey to a different place and time. (Ben Tipple) LISTEN: ‘Andromeda’ 69
CAGE THE ELEPHANT
Violet Street (Loma Vista)
Odd One Out (PMR / Virgin EMI)
DRUGDEALER Raw Honey
Local Natives have never been shy of committing to a theme: if ‘Hummingbird’ was a dedication to loss and ‘Sunlit Youth’ a mediation on politics, then ‘Violet Street’ is an album about heart. ’Shy’ is anything but with its pacing, industrial percussion, while ‘Tap Dance’ makes for a lovely closer, guitars threatening to hurtle right into the ground. For those who tend to see the glass half empty, it can be difficult to enjoy even the purest of happiness, but with ‘Violet Street’, Local Natives deliver a tale of affection deeply rooted in the realism of love. (Jenessa Williams) LISTEN: ‘When Will I Lose You’
Cage The Elephant are a band who’ve never really caused many ripples, but have still grabbed GRAMMYs along the way. Their early raucousness now firmly filed away, ‘Social Cues’ is pure US radio - each song a suitable soundtrack to endless road trips: think Imagine Dragons in leather jackets and ripped jeans, if you will. That they’ve nabbed tour mate Beck for ‘Night Running’ should be a coup but while they were gunning for The Clash with their skatinged number, they’ve ended up more Hard-Fi. (Louisa Dixon) LISTEN: ‘Tokyo Smoke’
Already having made waves with her bright, brash alt-pop, GIRLI’s debut LP seals the deal, firing shots left and right towards patronising mansplainers and disingenuous friends. Shifting from the bubbling synths on ‘Day Month Second’ to the introspective airiness of ‘Friday Night Big Screen’, there’s a versatility on ‘Odd One Out’ that doesn’t compromise the window-shattering precision with which GIRLI makes her points. It’s a charming and defiant debut, and one that encapsulates the GIRLI mindset, heartbreaks and all. (Eloise Bulmer) LISTEN: ‘Friday Night Big Screen’
Despite Michael Collins’ ominous nom de guerre, the second album by Drugdealer opens in such a fanciful manner that any notion of harm is instantly cast out the window. With gentle guitar and choral vocals, the instrumental ‘You’ve Got To Be Kidding’ immediately sets the mood for a whimsical collection. ‘If You Don’t Know Then You Never Will’ evokes the charm of Tobias Jesso Jr, while ‘Wild Motion’ sounds like a Roy Orbison crooner, full of dense layers of acoustic guitar and down-tempo fretplay. You can hear the whole band performing - the music is genuinely rich, and creates a strong nostalgia for a musical era gone by. (James Bentley) LISTEN: ‘Wild Motion’
(Ernest Jenning Record Co)
In the four years since 2015’s ‘Not Real’, Stealing Sheep must have looked to the stars in search of new aural bravado: ‘Big Wows’ sounds intergalactic from the offset. But the excess of topsy-turvy melodies and syrupy synths often make the record too much; restrained numbers like ‘Just Dreaming’ are essential in preventing the record from choking on its own glitter. The band’s strongest assets - three fantastic vocalists in Rebecca Hawley, Emily Lansley and Lucy Mercer, and a focus on tight bass-and-drum grooves - are ever present, but there’s enough sugar in ‘Big Wows’ to make even the sweetest tooth ache. (James Bentley) LISTEN: ‘Back In Time’
“This record documents the last three years of my life,” says PAWS’ Philip Taylor. ‘Your Church on My Bonfire’ is an emotionally bare and open record unlike anything the trio have done before. On opener ‘What We Want’, he channels Michael Stipe with hushed vocals: “And I love my father, though not often said”. The record packs in a lot of expression through tight melodies - and the emotional depth is amplified by Philip Taylor’s refined vocal performance. It’s not an album that pushes any boundaries, but it’s a commendable expression by some clearly passionate alt-rockers. (James Bentley) LISTEN: ‘Not Goodbye (See You Later)’
There’s stating your intentions at the start of your debut, and then there’s the stunning, soaring vocals that open Collard’s ‘Unholy’. The song is called ‘Hell Song’, but sounds distinctly more heavenly as he saucily croons “less is more, but more is good”. There are hints of the sunny-side-up funk of Anderson .Paak as well as a heritage from the likes of Janis Joplin and Otis Redding. ‘Warrior Cry’ shows versatility, swapping to a deep, controlled rap, while distorted stabs of guitar on closer ‘Blood Red’ add elements of blues rock to his varied repertoire on a debut that introduces a special new voice. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Warrior Cry’
Over the course of three seminal albums, Kevin Morby has established himself as a cult icon blending raw songwriting with rich orchestral notes and gospel elements which leave listeners on the point of evangelical ecstasy. Here, his ability to create a close bond with the listener is undeniable, finding himself between the preacher and the clergy. This is perhaps best shown on ‘No Halo’ with its layer after layer of handclaps, sax and flute lines, and the glam rock showtune-esque ‘Congratulations’, leading to one of his strongest bodies of work to date. (Matt Hogarth) LISTEN: ‘No Halo’
Your Church On My Bonfire
Oh My God
Whatever the reason for his change of heart, Jonny Pierce’s decision to work with additional writers and producers on ‘Brutalism’ has yielded mixed results. On the one hand, it feels less bloated than any of its predecessors, and a number of sharp production touches ensure that some of its tracks are excellent: the use of a choir at the end of ‘Loner’ compliments the song’s “I don’t want to be alone” sentiment, and the scratching prelude to the ear-wormy chorus of ‘626 Bedford Avenue’ elevates it to grand heights. On the other hand, the album is missing some of The Drums’ lo-fi charm. If Jonny brought in help to mask his limitations as a producer, he perhaps should have considered that these limitations defined much of the band’s early appeal. (George Wilde) LISTEN: ‘Loner’
JAWS The Ceiling (self-released) Three years since 2016’s ‘Simplicity’, JAWS are delving even deeper inside themselves, trading songs about generational woes for taking things slow and getting away from it all. Opener ‘Driving at Night’ sounds somewhat unexpectedly like a cut from Turnover’s ‘Peripheral Vision’, while ‘Do You Remember’ with its abrasive riffs is a welcome addition to the Birmingham trio’s catalogue, especially with drummer Eddy Geach’s bombastic snare fills during the song’s climax. ‘Please Be Kind’, meanwhile, captures the group’s warm escapism well. (Ashwin Bhandari) LISTEN: ‘Please Be Kind’
MISSED THE BOAT ON THE BEST ALBUMS FROM THE LAST COUPLE OF MONTHS? DON’T WORRY, WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED.
Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost - Part 1
Have you stopped waving glowsticks to ‘In Degrees’ yet? No, thought not.
Q&A JAWS turned their gaze upwards (literally) for ‘The Ceiling’, as frontman Connor Schofield explains. You’ve said some things ‘took you by surprise’ during recording. I think how a lot of it just worked and went together so smoothly was a bit of a surprise in itself but we did a lot of messing around with guitar tones, drum sounds and synth and sample layers. We were so proud of the last record that we didn’t think we would be able to match it, but I think we have - and gone a few steps further - with this one. What is it about Gethin Pearson that made you go back to work with him? I think we have a good relationship in the studio. He gives you the belief that trying out some crazy idea that you hate the thought of might be great and he’s usually right. We had so much fun when we did [previous album] ’Simplicity’ that it was obvious to us he’d do the next one. I think that’s important in the studio too, obviously it’s work but if it’s not fun, why the heck are you doing it?
KAREN O & DANGER MOUSE
Sometimes records are exactly the sum of their parts: legends make legendary music.
On The Line Forget the starstudded backing band - her fourth solo effort has Jenny Lewis sounding more confident than ever.
Drawing Board Back to the
Grim Town (Rough Trade)
The transition into early adulthood is usually full of hard truths: life is hard, people can be shit and success and stability is often more difficult to achieve that you’d once hoped. So forms the premise of SOAK’s ‘Grim Town’. If a then 18-year-old Bridie Monds-Watson’s 2015 debut ‘Before We Forgot How To Dream’ was largely full of teenage optimism, her second is something of a rude awakening. It mixes together glossy, upbeat production with tales of disappointment, confusion and angst all set in a fictional dystopia. On ‘Knock Me Off My Feet’ she explores the tricky relationship many people have to their deadend home towns. Elsewhere, she asks soul-searching questions that don’t have easy answers - “There’s no heaven in front of me,” she laments on ‘Deja Vu’. Overall, ‘Grim Town’ is something to sing along to, rather than the soundtrack to your next existential crisis. (Rachel Finn) LISTEN: ‘Deja Vu’.
Q1: Where did you record ‘Grim Town’?
Q2: What does a ‘Grim Town’ look like to you?
Q3: What would a ‘Valentine, Shmalentine’ card look like?
Q4: Draw your Grandad contributing his part to the album.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND Father of the Bride
With some awesome tracks having come down the aural aisle two at a time, we’re playing a (v funky) wedding march in our head already. Released 3rd May.
THE NATIONAL I Am Easy To Find
There’s one childhood game Matt Berninger’s still brooding about being crap at, it seems. The album hits shelves on 17th May.
AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS Amyl and the Sniffers It’s raining riffs on the debut full-length from these gloriously gnarly Aussies. Out 24th May.
JULY 2019 07 NOTTINGHAM RESCUE ROOMS 08 LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB 11 BRIGHTON THE HAUNT 12 LONDON EARTH
01 NORWICH ARTS CENTRE 02 MANCHESTER GORILLA 03 GLASGOW ORAN MOR 04 EDINBURGH THE CAVES
(HACKNEY ARTS CENTRE) MATTIEL.COM | DICE.FM | GOLDENVOICE.CO.UK
ftherealmattiel | tmattielbrown A GOLDENVOICE PRESENTATION BY ARRANGEMENT WITH BELMONT BOOKINGS
SPRING 2019 ~ LIVE ~ 03.04 17.04
Vok / 20.04 Kap Bambino / 30.04
Girls Against The Machine /
Ella Vos /
Shae Universe /
Winston Surfshirt /
Giant Rooks /
Jungle Brown /
Bears In Trees 27.04
Tea Street Band
The Aussie BBQ: Cable Ties +
Cousin Tonyâ€™s Brand New Firebird + Dear Seattle + Jeffe + Press Club + Sons Of The East + These New South Whales + Triple One + Tropical Funk Storm /
CloseUp Festival: Chilcare + Spinn +
Patawawa + Banfi + Pizzagirl + Little Cub + Salwater Sun + Wyldest + Femme (DJ) / 22.05
Mild Orange /
Foreign Beggars /
Jillian Jaqueline /
Low Cut Connie /
Karen Harding 08.06
Dates, times & tickets: w w w.hoxtonsquarebar.com
LIVE “A DIFFERENT KIND OF POP STAR.”
BILLIE EILISH Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London. Photos: Emma Swann.
t’s hard to recall a time when Shepherd’s Bush Empire might have housed as much euphoric screaming as it bears witness to tonight, from the moment Billie Eilish steps out until the final embers of her hour-long set come to a finish. Sure, the venue has held surprise shows from massive stars, but these people don’t inspire the same kind of hyperventilating devotion. And the kind of imminent megastars that can provoke such a reaction? Well they don’t normally show up at this kind of mid-size gaff.
• MY BOY • IDONTWANNABEYOUANYMORE • LOVELY • WHEN I WAS OLDER • BORED • PARTY FAVOR • WISH YOU WERE GAY • BITCHES BROKEN HEARTS • WATCH • &BURN • WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER • YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN • HOSTAGE • BURY A FRIEND • BELLYACHE • WHEN THE PARTY’S OVER • OCEAN EYES • COPYCAT
The hottest ticket in town, with three easily sold-out nights at the venue under her belt, Billie too could have upgraded several times by now without much thought. But it seems fitting that the 17-year-old, clad in black sportswear and possessed with the kind of dead-eyed, no-fucks-given stare that could silence grown adults four times her age, would prefer a venue such as this. From the deafening roars soundtracking her emergence from a giant metal spider that dominates the stage, you’re made fully aware that Billie is a different kind of pop star. She looks different, her oversized, skater style completely un-sexualised; she presents her music differently, the aesthetic of the stage coupled with gothic, blue-green lighting that’s more Hacienda than Hannah Montana, and, most importantly, her music cribs from all directions. If the oft-repeated note that the Spotify generation is one unfettered by genre is true, then Billie is the epitome of this, going from the ukulele sing-along of ‘party favour’ to the industrial throb of recent single ‘bury a friend’ without apology. Judging from the almighty singalong that greets every word to every song (for most of the set, you can barely hear Billie herself at all), everyone in attendance agrees. Bounding around with a presence more akin to a highenergy MC than a trad pop singer, Billlie is completely, magnetically in control of every moment. She’s got natural swagger that permeates her every move; even when she’s temporarily behind the uke (neon yellow, of course), she’s popping her shoulders and throwing all kinds of sass. When the grinding kiss-off of ‘you should see me in a crown’ comes in, meanwhile, she urges the throng to have a go at a circle pit, thrashing around on the stage like she’s leading a hardcore show. It’s all a melting pot, flitting between hip hop and the purest of sugary pop, via hardedged crunching moments and the clever, Lily Allen wink of recent single ‘wish you were gay’. It feels completely, invigoratingly like the sound of now. And if, on the ground floor, there are teens old enough to feasibly have a go at a pit, then on the balcony there are groups of real young’uns, squealing in excitement, chaperoned by their mums, giving every song just as much welly. And that’s the real proof that Billie’s on a guaranteed trip to the proper big time. Nine-year-olds don’t give a shit about what’s trendy; nine-year-olds (sadly) probably don’t care that DIY are telling you that Billie Eilish is worth a punt; but they’ll sure-as-hell give you proof that an artist has permeated through to the mainstream, in a big way. Believe the hype: Billie Eilish isn’t just the newest flavour of the month, she’s the most game-changing, potential-laden pop star we’ve seen in a long time. (Lisa Wright) 75
DEMOB HAPPY Concorde 2, Brighton. Photo: Jamie MacMillan.
VAMPIRE WEEKEND EartH, London. Photo: Emma Swann.
t’s been an incredible six years since Vampire Weekend last played a show in London, but since then, Ezra Koenig hasn’t exactly been slacking. Since ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ in 2013, the frontman has been hosting a fortnightly radio show on Beats 1, wrote and produced an anime series for Netflix and also completed the small feat of having a real-life human baby. All in all then, it’s not like the singer has disappeared completely.
previously released singles rather than giving any previews. EartH as a venue (“one night on earth!” jokes Ezra), with its amphitheatre-like setting, has the benefit of all of the audience having a wide view of the stage; when they open with ‘Harmony Hall’, the bouncing piano line and soaring chorus sends half the room bolting to their feet immediately. ‘Big Blue’ makes its live debut and ‘2021’ receives two renditions: the first as it’s heard on the album, the second, arriving straight after, a piano version which ends with Ezra comically squawking the chorus via a talk box, making his voice sound like a helium-filled kid at a birthday party. ‘Sunflower’ begins as the gleeful bop as it sounds on record, before launching into a roaring, jazzed-up electric guitar number, thanks to guitarist Brian Robert Jones.
Yet there’s a palpable excitement in the air tonight at the New Yorkers’ return. “We’re just getting back into the swing of things,” Ezra announces while apologising for the band’s absence. He’s also perhaps the only human on this entire planet that could somehow make wearing socks and sandals, as he does tonight, not an abhorrent crime against humanity. “It’s been too long!” insists one audience member, to which Ezra Theirs is a set that’s playful and quips back smoothly: “Let’s not dwell creative, spanning an hour and fortyon the past.” five minutes and including a six-song encore made up of Ezra bravely He may not want to focus on what’s taking song requests from a chaotic gone before, but tonight’s show crowd. But as classic and celebratory feels more like a celebration than a crowd-pleasers such as ‘A-Punk’ and showcase of new songs. Although ‘Oxford Comma’ cement, despite there’s just a few weeks before album taking several years away from the ‘Father Of The Bride’ is released, the live arena, this is a band holding onto band - completed by bassist Chris their creative peak with ease. (Rachel Baio and drummer Chris Tomson, Finn) plus new live additions - stick to 76 DIYMAG.COM
righton. A city ruled by an angry mob of malevolent seagulls as well as being home to one of the most prolific music scenes in the country. Local heroes Demob Happy stepped it up a gear last year, following a high-profile support slot with Jack White. Now, football-style chants of “DEE-Mob” ring around the room well in advance of the trio’s arrival, and as they open with a thundering ‘Succubus’ the venue descends into joyous chaos Grinning at each other all night long, that easy chemistry between frontman Matt Marcantonio and guitarist Adam Godfrey is on display from the start as they rattle through an early salvo of moments largely taken from last year’s mighty ‘Holy Doom’. The sheer volume and power the trio build for tracks like ‘Spinning Out’ is breathtaking, Tom Armstrong threatening to pummel his drums right through the stage. But it’s when they mix things up that they show hidden depths. ‘Runnin’ Around’ live becomes even more of a psychedelic trip, sneaking through the ether in a swirl of synths before exploding into an extended frenzy of riffs. Merging seamlessly with an unplugged ‘Holy Doom’, there’s a captivatingly trippy feel to the harmonies. There are just enough time for a couple of new singles, the alreadyclassic ‘Less Is More’ having been joined earlier by the glam rock stomp of ‘Mother Machine’ before the devastating ‘Be Your Man’ ensures a blistering finish with the band crowdsurfing among their fans by its end. Doom has never felt so good. (Jamie MacMillan)
THE JAPANESE HOUSE Electric Ballroom, London. Photo: Emma Swann.
hen The Japanese House first began releasing music in 2015, she was somewhat of an enigma, often seeming a little unsure of herself on stage. Almost four years later - and with four EPs and long-awaited debut full-length ‘Good At Falling’ now out in the world - one of the first things that’s obvious tonight is just how much she’s grown as a performer. As Amber Bain strides on stage alongside her band, the whole room descends into chaos. With a full arsenal of songs now at her disposal, she cherry-picks from across her discography, allowing it to not become too album-heavy. Though her lyrical content dissects what it always has - confusion, isolation and heartbreak - live, the songs sound bright and vibrant, and the night is a celebratory one. Opener ‘Face Like Thunder’ comes in contrast to some of the newer songs she brings out tonight - ‘We Talk All The Time’ and ‘went to meet her’, for example - her earlier ambient style now complemented by a sharper, choppier, synth-led sound that suits her well. It may have taken a little longer than expected to get here four years is quite a long time to wait for a debut album, after all - but it’s been worth the wait. The Japanese House has truly arrived. (Rachel Finn)
SELF ESTEEM Village Underground, London. Photo: James Kelly.
aving stepped aside from long-time collaborator Charles Watson by putting Slow Club on indefinite hiatus in 2017, Rebecca Taylor is fully embracing her pop dreams with Self Esteem. Tonight, she emerges on stage in synchronised dance perfection, matched move-for move by her backing vocalists, ready to kickstart an evening that simultaneously celebrates and reinvigorates pop cliches.
choreographed dancing, occasional guest appearances, and even the holy grail of pop - the costume change.
Cue heaps of choreographed dancing, occasional guest appearances, and even the holy grail of pop - the costume change. Glorious enough in itself, even better when you consider one of her outfits is made entirely of Boots Advantage cards.
Yet she does so with remarkable intimacy. During softer moments, the room falls into pin drop silence. Not least for understated closer ‘I’m Shy’, where the on-stage ensemble step away from the microphone for a powerful, fully acoustic display. Like much of tonight, which regularly sees Rebecca welcome a handful of female collaborators and friends onto the stage, it plays out like a celebration of friendship and of womanhood.
Sipping on a pint of tequila and lemonade, the show cements her step from cult indie stalwart to pop powerhouse. Playfully enacting her pop star fantasy, she indulges in whims far from possible during her Slow Club days. Cue heaps of
Think how many meal deals you could buy with that outfit.
On stage she’s far from subtle. From the rousing pop of ‘The Best’ – delivered through a burst of joyous laughter – to the atypical beat of ‘Steady I Stand’ and all her musical peculiarity in-between, it’s an eclectic onslaught of pop prowess.
Together they embody effortless cool, with no signs of holding back. Having achieved as much as was possible during her time in Slow Club, Self Esteem has thrown countless new doors open for Rebecca Taylor, ones which she is diving through head first to live an ever-perfect pop fantasy. (Ben Tipple)
THE INTERNET Brixton Academy, London. Photo: Patrick Gunning.
he Internet’s ascent hasn’t exactly been breakneck. Since branching off from Odd Future in 2011, founding members Syd tha Kyd and Matt Martians haven’t displayed the same penchant for grabbing headlines as Tyler, the Creator, nor were they sent stratospheric by debut ‘Purple Naked Ladies’ in the same way that Frank Ocean was by 2012’s ‘Channel Orange’. Instead, their rise has been quiet and gradual, via a series of increasingly accomplished LPs (the most recent of which, ‘Hive Mind’, was released last year). Tonight, at their biggest show to date, their presence is typically understated: they stroll to the stage in nonchalant fashion, at odds with the deafening noise that greets them. They perform in front of visuals that play more like a hurriedly put together slideshow presentation than the backdrop to a blockbuster R&B gig. Still, as the show goes on, they leave little doubt as to how they got here. If at times, Syd’s breathy vocals are too low in the mix to sound as rousing as they do on record, at others, they cut through the noise to mesmerising effect. Patrick Paige II is on inspired form, too, his grooving bass line coming to the forefront on ‘Stay the Night’. Most impressive of all, though, is producer and guitarist Steve Lacy. At just 20 years old, he cuts a charismatic figure on stage; strutting from one side to the other in a rainbow-emblazoned jacket, Rickenbacker strapped high to his chest, he incites the kind of crowd reaction normally reserved for global superstars - never more so than when he plays a screeching solo on ‘Come Over’. With closing track ‘Get Away’, he and the rest of The Internet confirm yet again that they’re a band at the top of their game. While it may have taken them a while to get there, tonight’s performance is enough to make you feel that their ascent was never really in doubt. (George Wilde)
OCTAVIAN Forum, London. Photo: Emma Swann.
onight’s show is one of two halves. One minute, Octavian is playfully skipping across the stage to tropical, light hip hop tracks sung in his gorgeously smooth vocal; the next, he’s screaming towards the precipice with harder, sharper raps that see moshpits expand across the lager-soaked ground floor. The former suits him better, but both are received rapturously. ‘Party Here’ is a sprightly, dancehall-flecked highlight, sliding into its danceable breakdown with a glint in its eye. It comes seconds after the foreboding stabs (“grab your head, I’ll crack your neck”) of Skepta collaboration ‘Bet’, his two sides blending into one on stage. Beginning an encore with euphoric, party-starting Mura Masa collaboration ‘Move Me’, Octavian’s arsenal of hits is already plentiful, and more than carries tonight’s set. The main feeling taken away, though, is of how much more is left to come: when Skepta joins him for another run through of ‘Bet’ to close the set, it signifies a passing of the baton of sorts, and Octavian taking up the mantle of the next hero of the British underground. (Will Richards)
PANIC! AT THE DISCO The O2, London. Photo: Luke Hannaford.
alking into London’s O2, one thing immediately strikes: you’d be hard pushed to find a more diverse crowd at the 20,000 cap venue this year. From diehard teenage fans in the front rows to mums and dads striding into the seated section with a bottle of Cab Sauv under each arm, and emo nostalgists packing in to see their hero from 2006, it’s clear that fitting into a neatly packaged box isn’t Panic! At The Disco’s game in 2019. Instead they plunge headfirst into two hours of some of the most unrestricted entertainment we’ve seen all year. Brendon Urie springs out of the ground via some sort of James Bond-style ejector seat to launch into the first chorus of ‘(Fuck A) Silver Lining’, the first in literally dozens of gasp-worthy moments in a show that never stands still, and is never less than thrilling.
After wading through the crowd for a glorious run through of ‘Death Of A Bachelor’, he takes a seat at a piano in the middle of the arena which proceeds to fly over the crowd. Belting out a cover of Bonnie Raitt’s ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ and the genuinely affecting, powerful ‘Dying In LA’ from latest LP ‘Pray For The Wicked’, he reaches some mirror-shatteringly high notes that he smatters through the lengthy set. Sure, it’s absurdly overblown, but when you have the budget to do such things, and the pipes to reach those notes, why the hell wouldn’t you grab it with both hands? “We all just gained a superpower! We turned it into a Saturday!” he beams after ‘Say Amen (Saturday Night)’, and it sure feels that way. Who are Panic! At The Disco for in 2019? Well, absolutely everyone. Try it. It feels great. (Will Richards)
The O2, London. Photo: Emma Swann.
s Oasis’ ‘Don’t Look Back In Anger’ fades out and an alarm clock emblazoned on the big screens ticks over to 07:00, the voice of Greg James rings out over the Greenwich enormo-dome. “It’s a beautiful day,” the host of BBC Radio 1’s breakfast show announces, “and what a beautiful day needs is the music of a beautiful man”. George Ezra then proceeds to come bounding on stage, arms outstretched, and launch his way into ‘Don’t Matter Now’. Across the past year, the singer has gone from superstar-inwaiting to the biggest act of 2018, with second album ‘Staying At Tamara’s’ barely out of the top 10 since its release. Just a month ago, he was standing on the same stage accepting the award for Best British Male at the BRITs. Ever since the early days, cracking wise on social media while sitting just to the left of your bread-and-butter Radio 2 singersongwriters, the potential for George to go stratospherically big has always been there, and even though he now firmly sits in the realm of being a household name, these quirks that set him aside still exist. From poking fun at the audience and encouraging sympathy when retelling an old story about the origin of #1 single ‘Paradise’ to pressing play on a rickety old record which then plays a recording of him singing an old soul song, it’s far from a straight-down-the-line pop-rock show. Team these eccentricities with the unifying, glorious power of uber-smash ‘Shotgun’, and you’ve got a guy who’s perfectly, wonderfully at home on the biggest stages of all. Truly, it looks like nothing can stop him now. (Will Richards)
“Haha! I’ve sold THIS many records!”
26-28 JULY 2019 • HILL FARM, OXFORDSHIRE, OX13 6AB
Y SDA S UR ER THADLIN HE
PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING IDLES • KATE NASH • SHAME • LEWIS CAPALDI presents
MACKY GEE NOTION TURNO
MY NU LENG W/ DREAD MC
K MOTIONZ W/ MC SKIBADEE SWITCH DJS
THE FUTUREHEADS • HOT 8 BRASS BAND • PALACE • DODIE • SUNSET SONS THE JAPANESE HOUSE • MALLORY KNOX • SEA GIRLS • YONAKA TEN TONNES • FONTAINES D.C. • SPECTOR • CLEAN CUT KID SHE DREW THE GUN • EASY LIFE • CASSIA • FATHERSON • WHENYOUNG SPORTS TEAM • PSYCHEDELIC PORN CRUMPETS • MILK TEETH • PUPPY ONLY THE POETS • ISLAND • PIP BLOM INDOOR PETS* • HEAVY LUNGS • VISTAS • SALTWATER SUN • THE MURDER CAPITAL • GURR • ANTEROS FEET • LUCIA • LADY BIRD* • SWIMMING GIRLS • PRESS TO MECO • SEAN MCGOWAN • HOT MILK MARTHA • GAFFA TAPE SANDY • APRE MARSICANS • ALFIE TEMPLEMAN • HAZE • DEVON • THE MYSTERINES • KAGOULE • ZUZU ANNABEL ALLUM • FUR • DECO • INHALER • SPINN • CASSELS • CHEERBLEEDERZ SUNSHINE FRISBEE LASER BEAM • LACUNA COMMON • SELF HELP* • FALSE ADVERTISING RED RUM CLUB • SAINT AGNES • SUGARTHIEF • THE VAN T'S • BLACK DOLDRUMS • PLANET THE ESTEVANS • AIRWAYS • THE KICKLIPS • LACUNA BLOOME • LATENIGHT HONEYMOON RATS • YOUNG GARBO • THE OXFORD SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA • MR MOTIVATOR * THURSDAY ARTISTS
quiz of sor ts, we’ll A big inter-band pub es one by one. be grilling your fav
IT’S YOUR ROUND BODY TYPE
Texas Type HQ, Austin, Location: Body e ffe Co : Drink
SPECIALIST SUBJECT: AUSSIE SLANG
1. Austin is home to the longest running music tv show in the USA - what’s it called? Annabel: M.....TV? Cecil: Wait no... Austin City Limits? Sophie: Did you just guess that? Cecil: Yeah! And it’s a correct guess!
Harry Potter series? At least two members, instantaneously: GOBLET OF FIRE!! Yep, you got it.
2. Which European country is home to half of the world’s roundabouts? Cecil: SWINDON! Sophie: WHAT?! Cecil: My family lives there! Georgia: Uh, England? It’s France, but unlimited kudos for the guess of... Swindon?
5. “Man, it’s a hot one, like seven inches....” Sophie: “in the midday suuuuun!” ‘SMOOTH’ BY CARLOS SANTANA FEATURING ROB THOMAS! ...is the first line of which 1999 song was the question, and yep you got it!
4. Which Dutch explorer was the island of Tasmania named after? Sophie: Abel Tasman. Correct!
3. What is the name of the fourth book in the
VERDICT: The best score we’ve had so far - Body Type have proved themselves true Aussies. Bonzer! 82 DIYMAG.COM
6. If an Aussie was to say ‘Accadacca’, to who or what would they be referring? Georgia: AC/DC It just seems more difficult than actually saying AC/DC. Georgia: Yeah for some reason Aussie slang is always about making things longer rather than shortening them... Anyway, as you know, it’s correct. Annabel: Do any of you have an Aussie nickname? Georgia: Yeah, G-Banger! 7. What British city is used in Australia as the name for bed linen? Sophie: Hmm! That’s a really good one - give us a minute. [A minute passes..] Oh it’s Manchester right? Yes - yes it is.
8. Two Up is a gambling game played on which day? Georgia: Anzac Day! Sophie: That’s riiiiiight! It is, Body Type, it is! 9. What is the purpose of the Booze Bus? Georgia: In case you are too intoxicated to drive, you have to do a breathy. To catch drunk drivers, indeed! 10. What would you be doing if you were to ‘pash’? Sophie: Making out! Annabel: Kissing! Cecil: Snooooggggging! Correct!
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