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Cali’s favourite sisters strike again

Declan McKenna Waxahatchee Milk Teeth Grizzly Bear & more

R i g h t B ac k At c h a !

set mu s ic fr e e f ree / is s ue 65 / JULY 2 017











“Welcome to Clarks, how can I help you today?”



Emma Swann Founding Editor GOOD Glastonbury, and getting to photograph Katy Perry there. What a star. EVIL My broken MacBook is insedrting d’s all overd the dshop like dthis. ............................. El hunt Features Editor GOOD A drag queen poured an entire tub of glitter over me at Glastonbury’s NYC Downlow, and now all my belongings are covered in silver sparkles. EVIL I was holding out for that Jeremy Corbyn guest verse on ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal’ during Run the Jewels’ Pyramid Stage set. ............................. LOuise Mason Art Director GOOD Phil Smithies, and the 6897 photos he has blessed us with for this issue.

EVIL I feel bad about forcing Waxahatchee to go bowling and then kicking her ass. .............................. Lisa Wright Staff Writer GOOD If you made a mix tape of all the best new songs of the last month (Wolf Al, Arcade Fire, QOTSA, Killers), you could prob call it Sexy Disenfranchisement. Well done, bands. EVIL I wasn’t even bothered about going to Glastonbury anyway. No, you shut up. ............................. Will Richards Digital Editor GOOD The Killers’ new single ‘The Man’. The Killers’ video for new single ‘The Man’. The Killers playing new single ‘The Man’ at Glastonbury. EVIL The lack of Brandon Flowers’ number in my address book.

EDITOR’S LET TER When Haim first announced their return with a pared-down but powerful live version of ‘Right Now’ earlier this year, it was quite clear that something special was afoot. The Cali sisters may have decided to take their time on perfecting ‘Something To Tell You’ - and granted, it’s almost four years since their debut first hit shelves - but, as you’ll discover in our cover feature with the band, it’s more than worth the wait. Elsewhere in our July issue, we check in with the brilliant Declan McKenna as he preps for his debut’s release, travel to Stroud to get a dose of country living with Milk Teeth and take Waxhatachee bowling (why not eh?) Plus, you can catch up on all of our Glastonbury 2017 coverage. Gotta get that one last fix before 2019! sarah jamieson, Managing Editor GOOD: Very excited to be sunning it up in Madrid for this month’s Mad Cool Festival! Also gonna have a good ol’ singalong to Green Day while I’m at it. EVIL: Being stuck on a three hour train with no air con while it’s 34 degrees outside. Not the one, Virgin East Coast, not the one.

LISTENING POST What’s been tickling the DIY team’s eardrums this month? The Killers - Hot Fuss

After the unparalleled genius of new track ‘The Man’, we’ve been clutching The Killers’ most fabulous moments dear to our hearts in anticipation for the full LP. We know it’s only glamorous indie rock’n’roll, but we like it.

Alvvays - Antisocialites

It’s been three years since this Toronto band’s flawless debut, but it feels like a lifetime. In our hearts forever and alvvays (ahem) we’ve had the equally ace follow-up on repeat at DIY HQ.

The National - Sleep Well Beast

Everyone’s favourite gloomy Cincinnatians return in September with album number [Len Goodman voice] SEVEN, and it’s as heartbreaking as ever. Us, crying? Never. 3


6 GLASTONBURY ‘17 12 MR JUKES 1 4 H A L L O F FA M E 1 5 H AV E YO U H E A R D ? 1 6 F E S T I VA L S 20 DIY LIVE





For DIY editorial For DIY sales For DIY stockist enquiries DIY is published by Sonic Media Group. 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. 25p where sold. 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 Sonic Media Group 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. Cover photo: Phil Smithies. This page: Emma Swann.



Founding Editor Emma Swann Managing Editor Sarah Jamieson Features Editor El Hunt Digital Editor Will Richards Neu Editor Jamie Milton Staff Writers Lisa Wright, Eugenie Johnson Art Direction & Design Louise Mason Contributors Dan Jeakins, Joe Goggins, Rhian Daly. Photographers Caroline Quinn, Phil Sharp, Phil Smithies.

new albums from topshelf records: Ratboys GN

CD / LP / CS / digital - out now

Chicago’s Ratboys continue their trend of effortlessly creating country-inspired indie rock songs with an airy, leisurely charm. For Fans of: Pinegrove, Rilo Kiley, The Weakerthans, Ben Kweller, Feist, Andy Shauf. “The sumptuous licks of guitar and Steiner's honeyed vocals tell an intimate story.” -FADER “Not just a well-crafted listen, but thoughtful, tender, and incisive at every turn” -DIY “Rocks all the the way through.” -NPR

Us and Us Only Full Flower

CD / LP / CS / digital - out now

Featuring members of Teen Suicide, Us and Us Only expertly employ layered harmonies and orchestral arrangements over twelve emotionally charged and sonically concise tracks. For Fans of: Wolf Parade, Vampire Weekend, Pedro the Lion, The Weakerthans,

“Phenomenal” -GoldFlakePaint

People Like You Verse

CD / LP / CS / digital - July 28

Incorporating improvisation, classical guitar, breakbeats, a punk ethos, literary references, and beautiful pop melodies, People Like You has developed a sound that they can truly call their own. For Fans of: American Football, The World Is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, The Most Serene Republic, Johnny Foreigner, Yndi Halda

“People Like You find their own voice within the emo catalog.” -Pitchfork “People Like You have simply never sounded better” -GoldFlakePaint

tour dates, merch & info:

additional new titles coming soon from:

Prawn, Wild Ones, Special Explosion, Gingerlys & Queen Moo


NEWs glastonbury

the xx



Katy had been trying to escape from the big pink carwash for hours now.

Want more Glasto? Of course you do. Head to and you can hear three whole episodes from the weekend.


we’re not worthy!



Surrounded by several dozen bouquets of pink roses, mirrored platforms, dancing inflatable tube men, enough pink confetti to fill a house, and a 90s-as-hell logo, it’s fair to say Charli XCX’s set on Friday isn’t a particularly understated affair. Shaking a dozy field of revellers free of their hangovers, it’s overblown, brilliant, and filled with its fair share of chaos. Over on the John Peel Stage, Black Honey are brilliantly excitable. Single ‘Somebody Better’ feels perfectly at home in a tent as cavernous as this, and the stop-start intensity of ‘Hello Today’ is easily mirrored in the sucked-in crowd. Not only is the band’s placing on such a legendary stage deserved, it’s the start of something much bigger. Then, sporting a dashing sparkly jacket, Declan McKenna proceeds to give the full tent a mid-afternoon shot in the arm. There’s no fazing the youngster as he crashes through the rapturously received ‘Isombard’ and ‘Brazil’.

over the crowd. Lovely boys.

charli xcx

Back playing “the most beautiful festival in the world,” George Ezra is on beaming form on the Other Stage, telling the crowd long, meandering stories like he’s sat in the living room having a tinny with his best mates. Following him, Lorde is completely commanding she perches on the edge of the stage, demanding a sea of phone lights be raised for a gorgeous ‘Liability’, before prowling the front rows and entering into a staring contest with the TV cameras.


From the moment the opening bars to The xx’s ‘Intro’ ring out, the Pyramid Stage crowd is all theirs. Coasting into ‘Crystalised’ and ‘Say Something Loving’, the trio completely command their huge slot before tonight’s headliners. Messing about and making occasional scathing remarks about Theresa May, Thom Yorke’s a smiley chap this evening. The latter half of Radiohead’s set plays like a Greatest Hits, too. ‘No Surprises’, ‘2+2=5’, ‘Creep’: being meticulously protective of their artistry has got Radiohead to the point of being one of the greatest bands in the world, but now, they’re embracing the stepping stones that got them there, too. What the hell are they doing here? Radiohead belong here.

Dropping ‘Little Monster’ just minutes in shows just how confident Royal Blood are, and though the pair are appreciative throughout on the Pyramid Stage, it’s clear they’re taking it all in their stride. And if it wasn’t already clear that there’s celebration in the air - what with their new The Absolute Boys! album hitting Number One today - the duo proceed to crack open a bottle of bubbly all


It’s no understatement to call Maggie Rogers one of the buzziest new names of this year. Playing first thing in the John Peel Stage, she proves she’s worth the hype, with the help of a metallic seatbelt-inspired jumpsuit, and a cameo from Declan McKenna to cover the Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’.

cuts destined for their debut: ‘Baby’s Alright’ goes off with particular bombast, while they deserve a gold star for kicking off a circle pit so early. Does life get much better than sharing a stage with Jeremy Corbyn, only to begin a Pyramid stage set on the dot at 4.20, for Run the Jewels? Spoiler: probably not. Beaming from ear to ear while admitting freely to being stoned off their faces, El-P and Killer Mike are on top form. “We don’t stand for people,” says Mike, in reference to the Labour legend providing their intro, “we stand for ideas.”

Next, returning after a spot at William’s Green last year, INHEAVEN are dressed for the occasion. James Taylor has gone all out with glittery black eyeshadow, while Chloe Little opts for Dancing tellies with gigantic flowery everything. eyes, a winged angel-type rucksack contraption and It’s a set heavy on several rounds of confetti;


The sea of heads at the Other Stage doesn’t seem to end for Stormzy. ‘Big For Your Boots,’ ‘Know Me From’ and

ed shEeran

Not even a bit of tree being stuck in her guitar could stop Lazza Mazza.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, following her are The National, complete with a stumbling Matt Berninger doing his best ‘yer da’ fistpumping - and a sprinkling of cuts from upcoming album ‘Sleep Well Beast’.

‘Shut Up’ might close things out in a triple-threat blast, but there’s also a cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, and crowd chants of “Oh, Jeremy Corbyn” that lead to a collaborative freestyle. We all know the story: back in 2015, Foo Fighters had to pull out thanks to Dave Grohl literally breaking a leg. Opening with ‘Times Like These’ (dedicated to super sub Florence Welch), then into ‘All My Life’ and ‘Learn To Fly’, they’re not messing about. Granted, there’s a bit of a mid-set slump, but from ‘Monkey Wrench’ on, it’s bam-bam-bam. Nine albums in, they’re showing no signs of slowing down.


Biffy Clyro

Laura Marling has been playing Glastonbury since she was a teen, so we bet she could’ve knocked out today’s Pyramid Stage slot with her eyes closed. It doesn’t make the hour-long show any less special though, soothing more than a few Sunday hangovers.


frank carter



Katy Perry’s totally ridiculous Pyramid Stage set has all the OTT elements you could possibly expect and more. Dropping megahits aplenty, grinding around security guards and crowdsurfing her way off stage, she enters fully into the Glastonbury spirit.

as Alana points out, it’s their third Glastonbury. “And it’s as sexy as ever!” adds Este.

Biffy Clyro later go full pelt into a monumental set on the Pyramid Stage, nestled between disco veterans Chic and ginger pop prince Ed Sheeran. With Simon Neil taking the time to don a fetching flower crown, Biffy Clyro’s roaring anthemics do Frank Carter and the Glastonbury proud on the Rattlesnakes couldn’t have wished for a better slot: they’re biggest platform of all. ‘Mon the Biff indeed. right before the most hotly anticipated TBC set of the Met with divisiveness when his weekend. Frank predictably headline slot was announced, takes this opportunity by the scruff of the neck, putting in a you can say what you like about Ed Sheeran; as it goes, truly heroic performance. he relishes playing up to his own opinion-splitting nature There’d been a whole load tonight. “I’m going to play of names thrown around a song now that you might for Sunday’s secret set, but, not like,” he says with a smirk, when The Killers’ trademark “but I’m pretty sure you know ‘K’ lights up, the applause is the words”. He’s referring to deafening. Dominated by ‘Galway Girl’ (which to be fair, the hits - with an outing for is both awful and infectiously new single ‘The Man’ - the catchy), and though at times hour-long set reminds the things get cheesier than overflowing crowd just how a day trip to the Cheddar massive they are. Gorge, there’s no denying he’s capable of building up an With just weeks to go until ‘Something To Tell You’, Haim almighty sing-along. are desperate to air new songs Catch up with all of our on the Other Stage. Newbies Glastonbury 2017 coverage ‘Want You Back’, ‘Right Now’ by heading to and ‘Little of Your Love’ all make an appearance, and the trio are glad to be back, too -




Believe it or not, pop and rock stars sometimes do normal things too. They get lost, go food shopping, and catch buses - all sorts. Here’s who Team DIY saw out ‘n’ about this month. The xx’s Oliver Sim in a snaking queue waiting to see Paramore at the Royal Albert Hall. Glass Animals and Hayden Thorpe from Wild Beasts, ignoring each other on a shuttle bus at Barcelona airport. Paul Smith from Maximo Park boarding a train from Newcastle to London.

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.

Position of the Month: I don’t like it when I am not angry, just disappointed, and so very aware of it

First Executed By: Matty Healy, The 1975


atty Healy has one of the widest emotional repertoires in music, but one of his more understated signature moves has to be this one; the deeply let-down sigh. Pitched somewhere between a despondent pupil being forced to deliver a class presentation on cardboard’s structural integrity, and your dad taking you to one side and repeatedly insisting that he’s “not angry, just disappointed” after you, say, smoked a naughty ‘cigarette’ under the table at a televised award ceremony such as The Brits (ahem, Matthew), it’s an expression that conceals many facets and layers of meaning. A bit like the Mona Lisa, then, but with a snazzy jumpsuit, and a floppy quiff. To emulate it yourself, cast your mind back to the last time you felt highly irritable about something. The lack of screen-time afforded to minor characters Flaca and Maritza in Orange is the New Black is a good avenue for channelling that anger, as is briefly thinking about the ever-rising price of Freddos. Furrow your brow, pout a little, and look as disapproving as you can. And there you have it.

Holding a toy elephant aloft like Simba, it’s one of Biffy Clyro! We’re not sure which band member, mind. (@biffy_clyro)

Alvvays return with an ‘interesting’ new image for album two… (@alvvaysband)


Let’s not beat around the bush: every month, at least one of our favourite pop stars does something brilliant. So, to celebrate, we’ve decided to dedicate a few column inches to The Best Person In Music This Particular Month™.

Ariana Grande Just two weeks after the tragic terror attacks that took place at her Manchester concert in May, Ariana Grande showed unbelievable bravery and compassion by returning to the city, and putting on the massive One Love Manchester tribute show, raising over £2 million pounds for victims of the attack. With everyone from Miley Cyrus and Liam Gallagher to Coldplay and Little Mix taking part in the pop bonanza - which was hosted by Ariana herself - it was the perfect display of love, togetherness, and the unifying power of music in the face of absolutely horrific events. Ariana, you’re now an honorary Mancunian. And a total legend.


Minds blew when it emerged that Lorde was secretly running an Instagram account dedicated to reviewing onion rings. It’s now deleted, but the artistry of Onion Rings Worldwide lives on forever in our hearts. (@onionringsworldwide)


Mr Jukes: Our Friend’s Eclectic

Three years since Bombay Bicycle Club released their last material, and 18 months since they officially christened the break an ‘indefinite hiatus’, Jack Steadman is back with something very different up his sleeve. Words: Lisa Wright. Photos: Phil Smithies.


own a quiet North London backstreet, in a section of a converted button factory that he shares with, among others, the man who wrote the Jeremy Kyle show theme, sits former Bombay Bicycle Club frontman Jack Steadman. Surrounded by a thrift shop’s worth of lovingly curated curios (old model trains, whiskey bottles, aromatherapy burners and endless books and records), his studio feels more like a cosy home than a major label hit factory. There’s even a pair of old man slippers tucked underneath the mixing desk.


Here is where Jack, having pressed pause on the band that propelled him and his schoolmates to fame, holed up to write his first ‘solo’ record as Mr Jukes, ‘God First’. A crate-digging explosion of jazz, funk and soul, he’d like, he decides, you to listen to it in the way that he listens to the eclectic plethora of music that lines the studio walls: “late night, maybe having taken an edible or two”. Naughty. But before setting the Jukes train in motion, Jack embarked on a different kind of trip. By the end of Bombay’s fourth LP ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’, the singer knew he needed a break. “I wasn’t excited by the prospect of making another album and I think I can say confidently that none of us were,” he says. A conversation was had and a unanimous vote to temporarily go their separate ways was agreed upon. All four members remain tight friends, he adds, and he knows that “there’ll be a time when [they] really do want to make another album.” Needing to clear his head, Jack spent three months travelling: across Siberia on the world’s longest train journey and then from China to America, setting up a studio in the belly of a working cargo ship where he inadvertently became the “in-house producer” for the staff on board, helping them record self-penned love ditties to their families back home. “Very surreal, but very sweet,” he notes. But while it would be easy to see the sample-heavy, genre-blurring culture clash of ‘God First’ as a product of these worldly explorations, truth is it’s been a long time coming. “The first bassline I ever learnt was ‘Lovely Day’ by Bill Withers. And since then, that was my style,” shrugs Jack. “Maybe it’s boring, but there’s no discovery here. [This music] has been in my heart for a decade.” Citing soul man Donny Hathaway and jazz singer Alice Coltrane as key influences, ‘God First’ takes these cornerstone ideas and throws them in the mix with samples, horn sections, choirs and guest vocals from the likes of Charles Bradley and Hathaway’s own daughter Lalah. Jack himself barely sings a note. Why? “Take the song [‘Grant Green’] with Charles Bradley,” he begins, by way of example. “I could record that myself and it would be fine. But in my head I had this screaming, soulful voice and I can’t pull that off. And why should I even try? That’s why I wanted to take a break from Bombay. Because there were definite limitations, which aren’t always a bad thing, but I wanted to see what I could do if I didn’t have them.” What he could do, it turns out, is create an utterly different project. In part, that’s why he’s ditched his own name. “I want this to be taken as something else,” he explains. “‘Jack Steadman’ is very much the singer of Bombay Bicycle Club, whereas I wanted to get out of my shell a bit.” “Plus,” he continues. “‘Jack Steadman’ sounds like a heartfelt acoustic record, like The Jack Steadman Folk Experience or something, not a badass funk’n’soul album.” And if that’s what precisely zero people were predicting from the softly-spoken 27-year-old, then he’s OK with that too. “I know it’s not what people are expecting, but I also know that the tunes hit you instantly and they just feel right,” he smiles. “On a personal level I feel really comfortable because this is me and people are getting a taste of who I really am rather than being a quarter of something. This is a fresh start.” ‘God First’ is out 14th July via Island. DIY


Natick Service Plaza Eastbound, Massachusetts, USA

Service Station of the Month Bands love service stations more than life itself. Snacks, bogs, time to think - it’s all there. These are miraculous places where festival headliners mingle with lorry drivers. It’s due time we paid respect to the very best.


’m an anti-capitalist! But let me tell you about which state highways and their corporate chain restaurants tickle my nostalgia bone. I spent seven years living off various points of I-90, a highway which, when it runs through Massachusetts, is known as the Mass Pike. Fun fact about Mass Pike rest stops: they are all sort of bad! And they all sort of look the same! No luxuries like an M&S for us; instead, we have a rotating cast of bland amenities depending upon the service plaza: McDonalds, Auntie Anne’s, Boston Market, $1-a-minute massage chairs, vending machine sticker dispensers and claw games where you’ll never win a stuffed animal. At some point I grew partial to Natick Plaza, perhaps because it’s the only eastbound service plaza with a Dunkin’ Donuts (gotta represent Dunkies, New England’s best). I also decided [nearby rest-stop] Charlton Plaza was Natick Plaza’s bigger, more corporate enemy. They look IDENTICAL. This imaginary beef between Charlton Plaza and Natick Plaza has sustained me through many a night sitting in Mass Pike traffic. It’s also cost me some dear personal friendships. I moved to Philadelphia about a year ago, and now when I drive to a different city, I take the Jersey Turnpike. Unlike ANY PLACE off the Mass Pike, every NJTP service plaza has a Starbucks. And state law mandates that an attendant must pump your gas for you, free of charge. Nice! Still, I miss my Mass Pike plazas, particularly Natick. There’s something sort of nice about pulling up in a place where you don’t wanna buy anything.” 13



Nearly ten years on from its release, and with Joe Mount trying to recapture its magic on new album ‘Summer


‘08’, we revisit the youthful exuberance and charm of Metronomy’s second album. Words: Will Richards.

here was something about the summer of 2008. So much so, in fact, that Metronomy’s Joe Mount tried to take himself back to those heady days with his his latest album, named in thrall to that giddy, late-noughties season. In ‘08 itself, Joe released his second album under the moniker, the breakthrough ‘Nights Out’, an album that brought Metronomy to the attention of many more people, and started the band’s journey to becoming one of the country’s very best electronic pop outfits. Following promising but muted debut ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)’, ‘Nights Out’ flung Joe into the indie discos he’d soundtrack for the next decade, turning his studio project into a band that became festival favourites almost immediately. Created around the idea of a heavy weekend on the English Riviera of his South West birthplace, ‘Nights Out’ chronicles the ups and downs, twists and turns of tumultuous benders with huge slabs of hooks thrown in for good measure. From the instantly addictive ‘Radio Ladio’, in which he probes to find out the name of a girl who’s taken his breath away, to warning against Metronomy’s audition for The Blue Man Group needed a little work.


a ‘Heartbreaker’ in the album’s centrepiece and song of the same name, ‘Nights Out’ is a second album that Joe Mount didn’t find at all difficult; it’s instead become one that he’s still striving to emulate nearly a decade on.


Facts Release: 8th September 2008 Stand-out tracks: ‘Radio Ladio’, ‘Heartbreaker’, ‘A Thing For Me’ Tell your mates: According to reputable information hub Wikipedia, there was a printing error on the record, leading it to just be called ‘Nights’.

Metronomy’s greatest skill has always been their ability to craft songs that fit equally as comfortably on packed, sweaty dancefloors and bedrooms on evenings of introspection. The youthful, almost naive romanticism of ‘A Thing For Me’ sees Metronomy at their most captivating. When they revisit such sultry subject matter on ‘Summer ‘08’, it’s done with a little less subtlety - “I love sex and I love dancing,” he croons on ‘Old Skool’. As well as shining on its own, ‘Nights Out’ paved the way for Metronomy’s third album ‘The English Riviera’, one which set dancefloors alight even more. Without ‘Nights Out’ introducing the idea of Metronomy as a fully-formed band, over the studio project that birthed ‘Pip Paine’, Metronomy wouldn’t nearly be the band we’re blessed with today. It’s a joy to look back upon, and enough to make us want to pack the car full of cider and breeze down to Devon for a weekend of regret. DIY


..................................................................................................................................................................... WOLF ALICE • Yuk Foo ..................................................................................................................................................................... Making use of the best musical spoonerism since NOFX’s ‘Punk in Drublic’, the first teaser proper of Wolf Alice Mark II is easily their finest example yet of distilling anger into a shade over two minutes of bristling grunge. “You bore me”, Ellie Rowsell shrieks between expletives atop grubby, doomy, industrial guitars and a rollicking drum beat. Her lyrics, whether distorted, yelped or sinisterly whispered, give voice to a deep frustration that’s constantly threatening to bubble over. Piercing, prescient and precocious as fuck - in its short length ‘Yuk Foo’ encapsulates pretty much everything that’s great about Wolf Alice, and maybe even music itself. The best band of the decade just - incredulously - stepped it up. (Emma Swann) .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... • The Horrors • • Arcade Fire • • Queens of the • The Killers • Machine Creature Comfort Stone Age • The Man .......................................... .......................................... .......................................... The Way You Used To Do ‘Machine’ is the most How, as one of the world’s Arcade Fire’s head-first dive .......................................... delightfully grotty thing The into ridiculousness is endlessly biggest bands, do you return When Mark Ronson gets it Horrors have put their name from a five-year gap? Writing entertaining, and ‘Creature right, he gets it really right. to since the those eyelinerhits is second-nature for Comfort’ doesn’t dial down And judging by ‘The Way rimmed early days. Pulsing the band that gave us ‘Mr the bonkers levels one jot. You Used To Do’ - the first cut along on an industrial throb Brightside’, ‘Somebody Told Its first ten seconds feel like from QOTSA’s forthcoming, that wouldn’t feel out of Me’ and ‘Human’, but they’ve stumbling into a thudding fully Ronson-produced LP place on a Nine Inch Nails gone all-out ridiculous this nightclub by accident, ‘Villains’ - it looks like he’s record, it’s a filthy thing - all time. ‘The Man’ is huge, before Win Butler yells his nailed it. You can picture metallic rasps and prowling bombastic and fearless, with manifesto atop erratic synths, Josh Homme - ol’ Ginger basslines, with a gigantic Brandon Flowers at his most lines repeated back at him Elvis himself - hip-swinging chorus that’s more Marilyn enticing. “I know the score by even more hyperactive his way through the whole Manson than Mazzy Star. A like the back of my hand,” counterpart Régine affair, with a glint in his eye deliciously dirty, revitalised he begins, with lashings of Chassagne. The confidence in and an eyebrow raised, reminder of exactly how good sass, and he only gets more their continued reinvention knowing he’s written a the group can be. Grab your confident from there. We’ve and the new world they’re really rather excellent, in leathers, and welcome to heard nothing quite like it so creating for themselves is his own words, “song about Horrors Mk. III. (Lisa Wright) far this year. (Will Richards) invigorating. (Will Richards) screwing”. (Lisa Wright) 15


DIY at the Kopparberg Urban Forest Stage

16th July

Make yer way to Mile End this month for a rare sighting of the lesser-known Foals, as the band’s headline spot is a UK festival exclusive. Oo-er. Yannis and the lads top a bill that’s also boasting ‘very special guest’ Laura Marling, Wild Beasts and a live set from Bonobo, plus more including Twin Peaks, Michael Kiwanuka, Maggie Rogers, Nadine Shah and - on our DIY at the Kopparberg Urban Forest stage - buzzy newcomers Yonaka.


Foals frontman Yannis Philippakis spills about the band’s massive Victoria Park headline spot. Hey Yannis, what have you got planned for Citadel? We’re gonna mix things up and play some stuff we’ve never played before – some old stuff, and then a couple of tracks off the last two records that we’ve never played. Just freshen it up. Because there isn’t a new record out, we wanna give something different to the people who’ve seen us play before to make it worthwhile. Give a little back! And what tracks do we think might worm their way in there? I couldn’t say definitely because we don’t know yet, but the ones in contention are ‘Black Gold’, ‘Heavy Water’, ‘Night Swimmers’, ‘Albatross’ and some other ones as well but we don’t know yet. Whatever makes it fun and fresh. Are you excited to be getting back on stage after a break? I don’t know about anybody else in the band but I’m definitely excited to smash out a couple of shows. I’ve been to Greece [in the time off]. I haven’t

been playing guitar or really doing anything music related. I went to this weird mountainous area of Greece, did some boxing, grew some vegetables and just had a break from music. I wanna write the new record out of boredom, to be pulling my hair out and then be really desperate to be creative rather than just doing it like a hamster on a wheel.





















l y















Are you getting to that stage yet? Yeah, I am. And that’s gonna make the show even more fun.

• Yonaka • • Oscar Jerome • • Cosmic Strip • • Aldous Harding • • Xamvolo • • Stevie Parker • • Tamu Massif •

DIY Presents the

Alcove Stage Friday 14th July • Sløtface • • Youngr • • Pixx • • King Nun • • Aldous Harding • • Benjamin Francis Leftwich • • Catherine McGrath • Saturday 15th July • Dan Owen • • OUTLYA • • Mosa Wild • • Flyte • • Minke • • Bruce O Yates • • While the World Sleeps • • Jade Bird • Sunday 16 th July • Childhood • • Lea Porcelain • • Klangstof • • Tender • • Mulally • • Joe Fox • • Alex Vargas •



Latitude 13th - 16th July

Suffolk’s favourite weekend does it again, this time giving The 1975 the famed Friday headline spot, following in the footsteps of Foals, alt-J and The Maccabees. Elsewhere, Mumford & Sons bring their Gentlemen of the Road stopover to Henham Park, with Maggie Rogers, Declan McKenna, Lucy Rose, Honeyblood, The Lemon Twigs and Baaba Maal among their handpicked artists. If that wasn’t enough there are plenty of our faves sprinkled across the weekend, with The Japanese House, Two Door Cinema Club, Dream Wife, Marika Hackman, Goat Girl and The Magic Gang - and returning heroes The Horrors. That’s all before getting to the DIY Presents the Alcove Stage. Ber-limey.


Mumfords’ Ben Lovett talks bringing their fave newcomers along for the Latitude ride. You’re getting excited about Latitude now, we assume? Latitude is going to be an all-day party for us, we can’t wait! All four of us have spent so long picking over 20 of our favourite new acts to come and share the day with us, and it’s so brilliant to be in a position to do this. So it’s nice to be able to use Gentlemen of the Road to give a leg up to newer acts? The Maccabees invited us to support them on their UK tour when we were releasing our first album, almost ten years ago, and at that time it was such a big thing for us to be able to be exposed to such a bigger audience, and go out on the road with a bigger band. For us to be able to give this opportunity to bands now is a brilliant thing.

Super Bock Super Rock 13th - 16th July

With rock titans Red Hot Chili Peppers and Deftones paired with chart-topping minimalist pop beast London Grammar and former Prince backing band The New Power Generation all Lisbon-bound, this year’s Super Bock Super Rock looks to be a beast of a weekend.


Deftones’ Abe Cunningham talks festival prep and getting ready to ‘throw down’. How do Deftones prepare for festival shows? You kinda have to just jump right into it. It could be the hottest of hot, the muddiest of muddy, it could be the most beautiful day ever - you have to surrender yourself to it! What can we expect from your set? We’re just going to go out there and throw down. I think a lot of bands try to make a festival set all bangers and we try to make it varied. We like to switch it up depending on what we played there last time. A festival setting is a wild setting and you have to design the set as such. We really just go out there and try to feel what the day has to offer and design the set around that. Not too much preparation, its more of a feeling - but good times for everyone!




Mad Cool 6th - 8th July

With headline sets from Foo Fighters, Green Day and Kings of Leon, plus Foals, alt-J, Savages, Warpaint, Deap Vally, MIA and George Ezra lower down, it’s hardly a surprise that this Madrid weekender has long been a sell-out. Taking place at the city’s home of tennis - the venue plays host to the Madrid Open - there’s gonna be as much heat on stage as off it.


NOS Alive 6th - 8th July

The xx, Foo Fighters, Depeche Mode, The Kills, Royal Blood and Glass Animals are among the acts headed to Lisbon’s Passeio Marítimo Algés this month, alongside Phoenix, Peaches, Floating Points, Fleet Foxes, Warpaint, Savages, Ryan Adams and Bonobo. Plus, if your Portuguese is better than ours, there’s a comedy stage. Ótimo!


Joe Seaward of Glass Animals reveals sunburn secrets and his (lack of) comedy skills ahead of the Lisbon weekender.


Deap Vally’s Lindsey Troy lets us in on her coolest moment and some useful Spanish. What’s the maddest and coolest you’ve ever felt? That time we played a Lynyrd Skynyrd Cruise and I was on a jet ski with my mama in Key West and we took a dip near the mangrove trees! Soooo fun. As California natives, no doubt your Spanish is better than ours - what’s a useful phrase to keep in mind? Tengo hambre. (I’m hungry!) Do you have anything special planned for the Madrid crowd? Of course! The show of a lifetime. Are there any other acts there you’re hoping to see? Spoon and Peter Bjorn and John!


Which member of Glass Animals needs to watch their suncream levels the closest? We’ve all been known to burn. I fell asleep in the sun in New Zealand this Christmas and fried. Dave [Bayley, frontman] is the fairest though so I would say him. There’s a comedy stage at NOS Alive. Tell us your best joke. How do you turn a duck into a soul singer? Stick it in the microwave till its bill withers. Who are you hoping to watch while you’re at the festival? Floating Points are great live. As are Bonobo. There’s lots to watch. I’m very excited. Do you have anything special planned for your summer festivals? Other than performing all of our amazing amazing songs you mean? More special than that? There might be a couple of surprises up our sleeves yes, but if I told you what they are now it wouldn’t be nearly as special...


Circa Waves


Kieran’s pipes - a bit more robust than the ones at the Sebright.

Sebright Arms, London. Photos: Emma Swann


f there’s anything to learn when it comes to live music, it’s that, sometimes, things don’t go to plan. That’s something we faced back in March, when cover stars Circa Waves were due to play a teensy, tiny show at the newly-renovated Sebright Arms to celebrate. But, alas, you don’t always get what you want. Now, despite that minor timing setback thanks to an over-zealous builder and the small matter of a flooded venue originally postponing the band’s set - things are finally all good to go. Their return to the capital this evening is still hugely anticipated; tonight is a real cause for celebration, the band returning to the venue in which they made their London live debut all the way back in 2014. What’s happened in the three years since has


been staggering, but as the foursome burst onto the stage on this hot and sticky Saturday night, it’s clear to see they’ve lost none of their youthful vibrancy in the process. Blitzing through rough-around-the-edges cuts from their debut, they’re pros at whipping the crowd into a frenzy, before newer tracks offer up a slicker, darker vibe. The crunching riffs and stadium-sized chorus of ’Fire That Burns’ stand up as a real highlight. As the night draws on, things only get hotter down in the venue so it’s no surprise that when set closer - and certified indie banger ’T-Shirt Weather’ finally kicks in, it provides the loudest singalong of the night. A sneak peek into the madness that’s to come when the band return to our shores for festival season, tonight’s a very special night for a very lucky few. (Sarah Jamieson)

OH MY POD Want more Circa Waves? Of course you do. Head to and you can hear a chat with frontman Kieran from the night.









































Meet the 22 year-old using her platform to create change. Words: Will Richards. Photos: Phil Smithies.

thing new music new bands



t’s less than a week since West London newcomer Nilüfer Yanya played Brixton Academy, supporting indie stalwarts Broken Social Scene. In two days, she’ll fly out for the second round of Artists in Transit, an art therapyslash-workshop scheme she runs with her sister at the Eleonas refugee camp in the Greek capital. Talk about a contrast.

“It’s very strange when it’s all about you.”

For someone so new, it’s a pretty ballsy, all-encompassing entry she’s making, and it’s reflected in her ever-changing, genre-melting sound. “I didn’t want [to be a solo artist] for quite a while,” she confesses, winding down from a weekend of shows across the UK in relatively-local Chelsea. “That’s why I was hesitant to start singing at all. I was in bands but didn’t sing. It’s very strange when it’s all about you.” Despite presenting a series of ultra-confident singles over the past year, the idea of being the face and name of her music still doesn’t come naturally to the 22-year-old. “Sometimes I wish I [performed under a moniker] but I also never felt the need to, because my name isn’t a particularly normal one,” she begins. “If my name was Jane Smith, maybe I’d feel the need to have a stage name, but I think people will remember me anyway! Sometimes I do wish that I had another ‘thing’ so it wasn’t all just totally me, as a person and an artist. Even now when someone asks my name I’ll sort of mumble it, but I think it’s good for me, because I’m not naturally that person that says ‘HEY! IT’S ME!’ “I think you always expect people in my situation to be bigger,” she continues, determined to break down any assumed barriers between artists and fans. “Not even physically, just stronger. And then you realise, ‘Oh, they’re just a person.’” While having no willingness to play up to rockstar tropes in her dayto-day life, there’s definitely a different persona at work on the stage. “I have to act out things that I want to say on stage, that I might not be able to say face to face,” she explains. “I’m becoming more comfortable in being that version of myself. It’s not actually me, even though it is. It’s weird.” New EP ‘Plant Feed’ is Nilüfer’s most accomplished work yet, fusing jazz-flecked numbers with a clear punk influence. Her next live dates are in support of returning Mancunians Everything Everything. “It’d be weird to be put on a support slot for a band because you sound just like them,” she says, and as time goes on, it’s looking harder and harder to put Nilüfer Yanya in a box - exactly where she doesn’t want to be. Nilufer Yanya’s new EP ‘Plant Feed’ is out now via Blue Flowers. DIY Nilüfer Yanya is appearing at Latitude this year. Head to for details.

artists IN TRANSIT Not content with just music, over the past year Nilüfer has been travelling to Athens with her sister to set up their new project at the Eleonas refugee camp, as she explains. “It’s still just beginning, and we’re realising now that the things we want to achieve are really hard. For me it’s about bridging the gap between us here and the way people see refugees and displaced people, and giving them their own voice that isn’t filtered or edited by other people or the media. I think you need to get closer to the situation and to the people involved to gain your own ideas on what’s actually happened, rather than simply from what you’re reading, and help from there.”


Hare Squead


Dublin-based trio Hare Squead won’t be staying in their home city for long. Every song to their name is a border-crossing, international smash hit in waiting. From the squeaky clean ‘Herside Story’ to darkness-plunging ‘Pure’, the three teenagers already sound like they’re seeing their name in lights. Coupled with the ultra-gifted Rejjie Snow, Ireland’s hip-hop newcomers are definitely having a moment. Listen: New EP ‘Season 2’ is out 28th July. Similar to: Big ambition going head-to-head with the lush production of Anderson .Paak.

Their name rolls off the tongue, and the music of six-piece art-poppers Alaskalaska is similarly approachable. They do their best to wade you off, though. Their lyrics are brutally upfront and self-effacing, like peering through the pages of a stranger’s diary. And just when a song like the gorgeous ‘Bitter Winter’ settles into a groove, they’ll throw in the kind of crazed guitar solo last seen on Radiohead’s ‘The National Anthem’. Listen: ‘Bitter Winter’ / ‘Familiar Ways’ is out now on House Anxiety / Marathon. Similar to: Warpaint meets Grizzly Bear.

Irish hip-hop charmers

Middle Kids

Windswept songs for endless road trips On face value, Sydney pop prospects Middle Kids can be filed next to the likes of Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs – artists capable of soundtracking long, sun-soaked drives into the wilderness. But this group’s vast songwriting has the added strength of keeping it short and snappy. Single ‘Never Start’ has the instant crush effect of early Haim, coupled with that signature road trip glow. And it’s all compressed into a chart-ready three minutes. Listen: A self-titled, self-released debut EP is out now. Similar to: A first love and break-up soundtrack wrapped up in one.

Recommended The Orielles Trend-bucking, rough-edged gems

Halifax indie kids The Orielles aren’t the types to upload one buzzy track and wait for the multi-million pound record contracts to roll in. They’ve been rising to the top the old school way. Since 2015, their ramshackle fuzz has been making its way across the country. One show to the next, the trio – made up of siblings Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand Halford, plus best mate Henry Carlyle Wade – have been gradually turning heads. Hard work paid off this year when they inked a deal with famed indie label Heavenly. And over time, their splintering, scrappy sound has become way more assured. Listen: ‘Sugar Tastes Like Salt’ is a gutsy introduction. Similar to: A C86 compilation being mined for gold.


Photo: Louise Mason


A sarcasm and sax-sporting phenomenon






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Lao Ra

Growing up during Colombia’s

war on drugs, Lao Ra spent her after-school hours watching MTV. Now she makes uplifting pop that evokes the spirit of magic realism. Words: Eugenie Johnson. Photo: Emma Swann.


One of Lao Ra’s favourite novelists is Gabriel García Márquez. She gets more than a bit enthusiastic when talking to us about how he represented her native Colombia. “There’s a lot of tragedy and violence and poverty,” she says of the ‘One Hundreds Years of Solitude’ author, “but he managed to give it a twist to make it sound like the most beautiful, magical place you could ever be. That is Colombia, it’s a mix of the tragic and the magic.” And if there’s anyone who knows about that delicate mixture, it’s Lao Ra. She grew up in Bogotá during the war on drugs and, while she was very young, the memories of that time are “very vivid.” “We were kind of aware of what was happening and that Bogotá wasn’t the safest place,” she says, recalling bombings and having to spend a lot of time indoors. There was a silver lining of sorts: she puts her obsession with music down to spending a lot of time watching MTV. “It was being exposed to that crazy, pop surreal world, especially in the mid-’90s! The videos were so fucking crazy!” Determined to pursue her dream of being a musician, she moved to the UK after finishing school. But getting a break wasn’t easy. She worked a number of jobs, including dog walking, selling smoke alarms and being a breast model. “It wasn’t shady though!” she laughs, “it was for plastic surgeons in a hospital.” But after a few years music wasn’t really working out, and she considered moving back home. Luckily, she experienced some good karma. Or should that be korma? The 26

owner of the Indian restaurant she lived above helped her meet her now-manager Pete, who helped work on first single ‘Jesus Made Me Bad’. It’s been on the up for her ever since, releasing an EP and a string of tracks powered by strong, uplifting beats and tropical melodies that evoke the spirit of South America. She’s even got her own term for her musical cocktail: pineapple pop. “If you think about a pineapple, it’s sweet but it’s got a kick,” she says. “I feel like if my music was food, it would taste like that.” Similarly to Márquez’s novels though, that escapist tone is balanced by her lyrics, which often focus on toxic relationships, human nature and, on ‘Bala’, her memories of [drug lord] Pablo Escobar. “I know I’m very bubbly but there’s an introspective side to all my lyrics, none of them are completely happy. They’re more about the struggles of being a young woman,” she explains. Her mix of sweet and sour continues on latest single ‘Body Bounce’, where she couples lyrics about wanting to dance away sad times with a reggaeton-inspired groove. “For me, dancing is the biggest and most incredible way of selfexpression. The idea of shaking your sadness away is a very strong one,” she says. “That’s the image I had with ‘Body Bounce’, literally shaking your shit away.” With her colourful bursts of pop, and down to earth outlook on life, Lao Ra is keeping the spirit of Márquez’s magic realism alive. “It’s the realness and the humanness, but also the joyfulness, that makes magic realism,” she says. “And I’d like to think my music was kind of the same.” DIY

From dropping out of uni to working with Dan Auerbach, it’s been all systems go for Hertford newcomer Ethan Barnett. Words: Sarah Jamieson. Photos: Phil Smithies.

Volorund antium ea arumque ne necto im nos voloria ex eat que dolut et iur, seditatis dolorep

Most twenty year olds might visit America as part of their gap year, or make a stop while travelling the world. It’s less often that they head straight for Music City, Tennessee to go work with one of the biggest names in music. Yet, Nashville was exactly where Ethan Barnett – aka Ten Tonnes - found himself headed when he was invited to go write alongside Dan Auerbach. Unsurprisingly, it came as a bit of a shock.


“My friend and I have always been massive fans of The Black Keys,” he explains, while sipping an afternoon pint just off Brick Lane in London, “so I rang him straight away. [My management] were like, ‘Oh, do you want to write with Dan Auerbach?’ and I was just like, ‘What do you mean?! Uhh, yes!’” And despite any potential for fanboying, their session was a productive one. “He’s such a cool dude and we got four songs done in two days, which is pretty insane. Plus, his studio was like heaven, it was so beautiful. He’s just got hundreds and hundreds of guitars...” Having grown up in a musical household – you might recognise his older sibling as a certain George Ezra – it was as a teenager that Ethan really discovered his passion for playing the guitar. Then, after the small matter of dropping out of university where he was studying music production (“I knew that music was what I wanted to do, so I went to uni hoping I’d do loads of gigs, but I didn’t do one the whole year”) he decided to throw his all into making music. Since then, things have been thrown into overdrive.

ten tonnes

“I had six gigs in three days, which I know isn’t the most that people do...” he admits, when his successful stint at this year’s SXSW comes up in conversation. “It was really cool, but a bit of a whirlwind. We played a lot of shuffleboard...” He’s also just released new EP ‘Born To Lose’ – as produced by The Maccabees’ Hugo White – which offers up a rousing taste of his penchant for earworm choruses and classic singalong melodies. Armed with the songs and a slew of festival slots over the summer, it won’t be long ‘til people are singing back at him, but that’ll still take some getting used to, he assures us. “That’s been one of the weirdest things really!” he laughs. “People are coming to gigs to see me, and I’m always like, ‘Err, you sure you got the right place?!’” DIY


Haim’s debut album ‘Days sisters from the Valley and year whirlwind. After stage with with Stevie way, Haim follow-up,


Are Gone’ yanked a trio of sent them into a threecasually sharing a Prince and palling up Nicks along the are back with the and they’ve got ‘Something To Tell You’. Words: El Hunt. Photos: Phil Smithies.

Sisters: Ledge



attling off jetlag with copious amounts of coffee and lounging across a sofa, Haim are back. Having finished and turned in second album ‘Something To Tell You’ just last night before catching a flight to London, amid the understandable tiredness, they may have just dropped the biggest clanging statement of this year so far. “We’re now robots,” deadpans Este, leaning towards the dictaphone to give her words further gravitas. “This,” adds Alana, indicating towards her bandmates, “doesn’t exist.” Danielle nods sternly in agreement. To be honest, you wouldn’t really blame Haim for employing robotic stunt doubles to fill in for them every now and again; in the years that have followed the release of debut album ‘Days Are Gone’, the sisters have developed a magical ability to be in at least four places at once. Splashed across tabloids on their holidays with Taylor Swift, performing with the late legend Prince (as you do), palling up with their idol Stevie Nicks, sprinting across festivals around the world, and working on their second album – practically all at once – is the kind of schedule that could feasibly inspire such a move. Apparently, though, their newfound android form is actually all thanks to Beyoncé. It all began when the sisters Haim found themselves at the BRITs, along with a huge ice bucket packed full of booze, dancing along to ‘XO’, the routine fully memorised. After her performance, Queen Bey herself nodded at the band, and mouthed “thank you”. As you’d perhaps expect, they could barely cope. “When she pointed at me... I just burst into tears,” Alana says. “They shot out! It wasn’t even tears, it was projectile crying, flying out of my eyes. And now I don’t exist,” she laughs. “I melted into a Beyoncé puddle. A puddle of lemonade.” Spraying tears of joy across the O2 Arena is just one of the pinch-yourself experiences that has fuelled the trio’s second record, which draws on all the live energy of three years on the road. “After tour, we really felt like we were on fire,” affirms Danielle. That surge of confidence, and all the mayhem that had followed their debut, clearly feeds the follow-up. From the urgent immediacy of lead single ‘Right Now’ – which fittingly emerged in the form of a live performance video directed by Paul


Thomas Anderson – to the punchy, to-the-point choruses that continually pepper the record, ‘Something To Tell You’ is packed with moments custom-made for a muddy field and several thousand clapping, yelling, booze-swigging revellers. ‘Little of Your Love’ – a peppy, stomping standout dedicated to “another recovering heart” – howls and yelps with smirking Thin Lizzy-esque guitar licks. ‘You Never Knew’, meanwhile, takes an unexpected swerve into, erm, ‘80s disco. Elsewhere, they’ve crammed the album with “a lot of guitarmony, a lot of drum-offs.”


ast month, they even popped up without warning at Barcelona destination festival Primavera Sound in the very early hours of Sunday morning, to air brand new songs and bash the living daylights out of every drum they could get their hands on. It’s clear that, on every level, ‘Something To Tell You’ is written for the stage and, at the same time, is also inspired by it.

Nice, Nice Baby

Haim have a bit of a theory when it comes to their secret for success. During their first ever showcase at SXSW, back in 2012, they played a show for approximately five people. One member of the ‘crowd’ was a very enthusiastic dancing baby, and the sisters reckon she helped spread the word. Their shows have gotten busier ever since... Alana: The first time we had ever been outside of LA playing, we played to a dancing baby. She was why it got better. Danielle: We played for the dancing baby, and then for thirty people, and then by the end, there was apparently a line out the door. A: So yes, 100%. It’s because of that little girl. I wish I could find her. She must be like, 5 years old now.

“We started playing live as kids,” Alana enthuses, “and that’s the part of being in a band that’s so much fun; you get to run around and play music. It’s a dream. Before ‘Days Are Gone’ I had never really been outside the US!” she adds. “It was a culture shock, like, woah, I’m in places I learned about at...” “Places you see in books!” Este picks up, finishing the sentence. “Talk about a rollercoaster ride. That’s the theme of this interview, a fucking crazy rollercoaster ride!” Alana resumes. “Coming back, we had all those experiences to write about, and to draw from. Really, I think that’s how the record got created,” she says, “because we were lucky enough to tour for so long. That’s all we ever wanted, growing up.” The whirlwind of time on the road aside, though, ‘Something To Tell You’ is unmistakably charged with their home city of Los Angeles, too. Returning to The Valley after years away was welcome; not least because it brought them closer to beloved burger-vending West Coast institution In N’ Out. “I have the app on my phone,” announces Este, her pride palpable. “Right now,” adds Alana morosely, “you press it and there’s a sad face, saying sorry.” Having first acquired their In N’ Out favourite, animal fries (“fries with melted cheese, special sauce, and grilled onions”) upon arriving back in California, Haim returned to a familiar haunt to write ‘Something To Tell You’, setting up shop, as they did for the debut, in their parents’ living room. Funnily enough, their first band Rockenhaim – a family Von Trapp type setup which also included the Haim parents as members – practiced in that very same room, and reunited for a oneoff gig back in 2015. Today the band insist the revival is likely to stop there. They’re not, for example, planning on bringing


Sisters.... are doin’ it for themselves.

“We’re musical hoarders, and if something isn’t

it doesn’t mean it’s not good.” - Alana Haim working,


back the comfy Westlife-style stools they used to perform on. “The stools weren’t padded, but we made pillows,” hoots Alana. “Special pillows for the stools, which is super embarrassing...”. “Bandana pillows,” Este yells. “Yep, we’d sew two bandanas together and stuff them with cotton,” adds Danielle. Asked whether the stools are likely to make a return, Alana and Danielle shake their heads and look mildly horrified. Este, meanwhile, isn’t so sure that the notorious high chairs are consigned to the history books for good. “Record five,” she announces. “When our hips give out. I weirdly feel like when we’re that old, we’ll have walkers that have

summer for this very reason – their focus proved worthwhile. The space allowed them to crack tricky challenges like ‘Want You Back’, which at first proved a nightmare. It ended up being one of the album’s highlights. “It was ‘The Wire’ of this record,” Alana quips.

Meet the

“We never throw anything away in this band,” she goes on. “We’re musical hoarders, and if something isn’t working, it doesn’t mean it’s not good.” “Sometimes we’ll take different paths, with different songs....” muses Danielle. “Like a Mr Potato Head.”

The Haim sisters aren’t shy about making friends: here’s just a couple of the more famous faces you might spot in their selfies.

Though slapping various facial features onto a crude plastic potato might

“We get to go on this

rollercoaster of life once again, together!” - Alana Haim been specifically made so we can play. I have a weird visual of my bass propped up on a walker. It’s not even on my shoulders, I’m just tinkering,” she expands. “One day. In 2077.” By Este’s maths, anyway, that means that Haim expect to release a new album every twelve years going forward. And though this one only took a measly four years to come out (putting them way ahead of schedule), it’s certainly true that the band refused to be rushed, taking their time in producing something they were truly proud of. “We’ve never put out a second record,” Alana jokes. “You can only do it once!” Este laughs. As much as they’re gutted they had to cancel a handful of festival slots last summer to knuckle down for the final push – Haim pulled their planned appearance at Reading & Leeds last

sound like an unusual metaphor for writing music, it’s true that Haim tried a whole bunch of methods this time, and little was off limits. “‘You Never Knew’ we actually started with Dev Hynes [aka Blood Orange],” Alana explains. “Ariel [Rechtshaid’s] studio is kind of like an open door policy. Whoever’s in town, they visit. Dev was in town, and he moseyed on over, and we were like, let’s write a song, ‘cause why not. That song came together in like, two hours,” she adds. And on the flip-side, others took months to bring together; gradually shifting from ballads to drum-machine charged pop bangers after being yanked out of temporary retirement several times over. Former Vampire Weekend man Rostam Batmanglij, who produced a handful of songs on the record, also proved another huge influence on pushing Haim to keep persevering no matter what. “He is


family Taylor Swift

Haim and Swifty aren’t exactly shy about showing their mutual love for each other. As well as sharing numerous snaps of the gals hanging out, Tay returned to Instagram earlier this year solely to rave about ‘Want You Back’: “On. Repeat. Til. The. End. Of. Time!!!!”

Bobby Gillespie

“They’re fucking amazing singers. They sound like gospel singers. They’ve got this celestial telepathic thing going on, and they can just switch harmonies like that,” said the Primal Scream frontman about his 2016 collaborators.


After recruiting the band to help out on ‘Bite Down’ - as featured on Bastille’s ‘VS. (Other People’s Heartache Pt. III)’ mixtape - it’s safe to say that Dan Smith & co. are good chums with the sisters. “So excited that this brilliant lot are back,” he told Twitter, when they re-emerged with ‘Right Now’.


Chuck Bass (Face) Este, your bass face has become a bit of a sensation. Este: It’s here, and it’s not leaving. It’s not going anywhere. Alana: It literally can’t go anywhere. E: It’s my face, sorry. I feel like my face has always been pretty expressive. I snarl a lot. When I was younger, people would make fun of me for it, and I would try to stop what was happening and be conscious of it. My playing would suffer, and I sounded like shit. Then I thought, why do I care, why do I give a shit? I’ll be the best player I can be, and that’s it, and have fun, and if people have a problem with it, fuck ‘em. Honestly. These days you get fans turning up to shows with signs dedicated to you, and big pictures of your bass face. That sure showed the haters, right? E: That photo of me at Coachella is what I want to be put on my tombstone. A: My favourite thing was how that big picture of your face travelled to so many shows. The girl was just so proud!

your biggest cheerleader when you work with him,” beams Alana. “At least for me, there’s a voice in my head saying, ‘I don’t know if this is good’,” she goes on, and the others nod in agreement. “‘I don’t know if we should keep going.’ You need a voice to be like, no, keep going. That’s Rostam in a nutshell.”


aking stock of the last few years, the band suddenly note that ‘Something To Tell You’ is being released on a big anniversary of theirs. ”Literally, our record is coming out ten years – to the day - after our first show,” Este observes. “It was at a clown museum in North Hollywood,” she remembers. “Danielle had just graduated high school,” adds Alana, “...and we played Vitamin C! ‘Graduation (Friends Forever)’!” Without any prior discussion, the three of them suddenly burst into song. “As we go on, we remember, all the times we had together...” Haim’s impromptu rendition might’ve been unplanned, but listening to ‘Something To Tell You’ – which frequently wrestles with reaching a point of no return in a relationship, and weighs up stagnation against walking away – it’s filled with the universal kind of struggles that almost everyone can draw from, and feeds off older experiences in the band’s lives. “When we sit down, we’re almost channelling a feeling that we’ve maybe felt before, in high school,” Danielle says. “We like writing songs that channel different emotions from different parts of our lives. And we’re lucky that we’re sisters, so when I’m like ‘remember my first boyfriend, and when I was crying my eyes out?’, they remember!” she points out. Haim drew on memories old and more recent for their latest offering, and it turns out they have an unlikely fairy godmother to thank for helping them to mentally organise the chaos of several years in a tour bus. Alana quickly whips out a crescent moon shaped necklace she wears in honour of Stevie Nicks, and the three of them start singing ‘Sisters of the Moon’ by Fleetwood Mac in unison. “I have chills saying I’ve met Stevie Nicks!” Alana exclaims, still clutching her necklace. “All of a sudden I’m in her house, in front of her! We were trying to not lose our shit.” “The way she journals!” interjects Este. “I’ve copied it! She’ll write a journal passage on one side, and on the other side, she’ll write lyrics. I was like, that is so


genius! It’s so simple! And now we have these magical little books that depict everything that’s been going on in our lives.” “Stevie Nicks’ tips,” Danielle adds. “We were super lucky, she took us in her arms, and taught us about journals.” “It’s like that scene in Beauty and the Beast,” concludes Este wistfully, “where she sees a library for the first time. And the beast is like, ‘this is all yours!’ She walks in, and there’s bound books, upon bound books!” Happy accidents and chance encounters figure frequently in the good ship Haim. Along with Stevie Nicks coaching them in diary-keeping, and Beyoncé approving of their choreography, the biggest jaw-drop of all arrived when Haim – and a very drunken Haim, at that – found themselves on stage with Prince, live on SNL. “We weren’t really supposed to be up there for that...” admits Alana. “That was just a mistake.” “At that point of the night, we were all fucking drunk,” she continues. “Honestly, you could’ve told me ‘lets go sky-dive!’, and I’d be like, ‘why not! Why didn’t I think of that!’ We were about to play a Prince song, and then someone had announced ‘Prince is in the building’. I was like, are they all talking about... us? Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, here, we’re three drunk bitches about to butcher a Prince song. All of a sudden, the crowd parted, and then Prince just walked in with his band. I don’t even know what happened, but I flung off the instrument. ‘I am not worthy! Take everything! Take my clothes, I don’t care!’ He played ‘Let’s Go Crazy’ and we were on stage.” “I’m glad there’s video footage, or else I wouldn’t feel like it actually happened,” Alana concludes. Looking ahead, Haim are chomping at the bit to put out ‘Something To Tell You’, and make no mistake, they’ll be keeping a journal to help them keep track of the impending loop-the-loops, twists, turns and properly topsy turvy moments in the days, and months, that follow. “We get to go on this rollercoaster of life once again, together!” beams Alana, more addicted to cheesy theme park metaphors than Ronan Keating. “Right now, we just wanna get out there. We’re done being in a studio, we just wanna play.” Haim‘s new album ‘Something To Tell You’ is out 7th July via Polydor. DIY


“We can see your halo, halo halo….”


A s h e r e a d i e s h i s s o c i a lly- c o n s c i o u s , b o ld d e b u t ‘ W h at D o Yo u T h i n k A b o u t T h e C a r? ’, t h e r e’s j u s t n o s t o p p i n g D ec l a n M c K e n n a . Words: Eugenie Johnson. Photos: Phil Smithies.


f you can’t walk, then run.” That’s the feverish refrain of Declan McKenna’s single ‘Isombard’, inspired by a poem by E. E. Cummings and centering on a newsreader’s misinterpretation of a story he’s trying to tell. It’s also a curiously apt way of summing up Declan’s career so far. Going from nought to sixty in just a couple of short months, he was first thrust into the limelight at sixteen after his anti-FIFA song ‘Brazil’ won him Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent competition in 2015.

But this is where his story differs from the dazed and confused reporter in ‘Isombard’. Rather than stumbling, Declan’s been confidently progressing forward, producing a clutch of politically-charged yet catchy singles. Now, two years on from that first release of ‘Brazil’, he’s unleashing debut album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ into the world, and he’s taking it all in his stride. “I’m glad to just finally have an album and a group of songs that exist rather than a few singles,” he says. It’s a collection that mixes singles like ‘Isombard’


with a clutch of brand new tunes, and was pieced together with the assistance of James Ford. But despite having produced the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Klaxons and Depeche Mode, Declan wasn’t fazed by the knob-twiddler’s musical pedigree. He remained as calm as ever, simply working to “get everything to sound its best”. Declan has a simple explanation for his collected nature. “It’s funny, as a producer, although James Ford has worked on loads of records I’ve listened to, I wouldn’t recognise his face,” he muses. “He wouldn’t be someone you’d look at in the street and be like ‘oh my god, it’s James Ford’ even though I’ve listened to a lot of his work!” Putting a face to a name is something Declan wants to try and establish for himself. The cover of ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ is simply an intimate head shot with nothing to hide. For him, having a portrait on the cover of his first record was a no-brainer. “People don’t really know who I am or what I look like,” he explains, “so I think having a big fuck-off picture of my face is very simple, very effective.” Looking at the shot though, it shows off more than simply the face behind the music. In its vision of a slightly sweaty young man, hair bedraggled and eyeliner smudged, it presents a musician who’s toured and recorded tirelessly over the past two years, as well as someone who’s found a home making smart pop music, the starkness of the image harking back to ‘Aladdin Sane’-era David Bowie. Indeed, for the cover Declan kept a question in the back of his mind - “what would Bowie do?” It’s not a surprising mantra; he did perform in front of Brixton’s ‘Aladdin Sane’ mural in the original video for ‘Brazil’ after all. The callbacks to vintage pop records don’t stop there either. Declan listens to Paul Simon, Madonna and even a bit of George Harrison, saying that “there’s so much good stuff from the classic pop world, 80s and before,” so it’s unsurprising that these influences have filtered through. “I’ve edged towards taking in a couple of different influences and work more towards pop, because that’s what I want to do,” he explains. At its heart, ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ is a big, bold pop record, with the likes of ‘Mind’ fitting into a long tradition of lilting alt-ballads and ‘Why Do You Feel So Down’ almost ironically a perfect pick-me-up thanks to its euphoric melodies. Opener ‘Humungous’ is a perfect introduction to Declan’s world, built around classic, powerful chords and a chorus that’s, well, enormous.


Deccers recently caused a bit of a viral sensation when he filmed a squirrel defending a slice of pizza from a horde of pigeons. That wasn’t the full story though. It turns out that this particular squirrel was fully aware of the raging pineapple-onpizza debate, as a nearby pizza box contained no slices but “was full of pineapple pieces!” What does Deccers think of the fruity topping? “It’s not the worst thing ever, but it’s just wrong,” he explains. As a vegetarian though, don’t expect Declan to be plumping for a Mighty Meaty anytime soon. “I’m a fan of mushrooms actually,” he says. Declan McKenna: a fun guy.


But ‘Humungous’ also gives a glimpse at another side of Declan. Its squalling, frenetic ending symbolises his frustration over the past few years pouring out, giving a glimpse into his more socially-conscious side. He’s criticised FIFA, questioned why religion is used to justify hate crimes on ‘Bethlehem’, and he wore a t-shirt demanding ‘Give 17 Year Olds The Vote’ on his debut performance on Later... with Jools Holland. ‘Paracetamol’ was inspired by the tragic suicide of American transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, the track focusing on the misrepresentation of trans issues in mainstream media. On that topic, Declan still thinks there’s more to be done. “There’s been certain moments in the past few years where I’ve seen progression, but there’s a long way to go,” he says. “A lot of it is just having normalised perceptions of people from different backgrounds and LGBT representation. A lot of that will come from the mainstream media and it’s super important.” Despite standing up time and time again for young people of all backgrounds, he’s still reluctant to be labelled as a spokesperson for youth. “It’s odd,” he muses. “It’s nice seeing people say certain things, but I don’t think what I’m about is being a voice of a generation.” Declan’s fully aware that his forthright stance on political and social issues lends itself to that statement, but his hesitancy isn’t necessarily because of wanting to avoid the spotlight. Instead, he wants there to be a greater, collective voice that’s more representative of a range of thought. “There’s so much happening in this generation,” he says, “so many different voices to be heard or that need to be heard more. Until all those voices can have their say, it’d be unfair of me to take on that title and be what people want me to be.” On that front, Declan’s already made a step into making sure the voices of ordinary young people are voiced, featuring them prominently in the video for ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home’. A toe-tapping stomper, it’s about challenging the idea that young people are more bothered about uploading selfies than they are current affairs. The clip further proves it. “That video was just largely about using a platform to let some young people talk about what they care about and what they think about the world around them, which isn’t done enough,” Declan says. He knows that one video alone might not change the world, but it’s a start. “It’s a very small step,” he admits, “but it’s part of representing people and presenting them for who they are rather than what the media represents them as.” While it’s unsurprising to hear him state that “politics is a big part of my life and a big part of the world, and ignoring it would be very difficult,” his debut, he insists, “is not all politics. A lot of the songs have multiple meanings and they come from all kinds of different places,” including personal

Politics is a big part of my life and ignoring it would be very difficult.”

experiences and thoughts on human connections. On ‘Make Me Your Queen’ he examines a potentially abusive relationship between two people with “the assumption that one person is a king and they’re possessing someone else because the queen is the second most important person.” ‘I Am Everyone Else’, meanwhile, was originally about someone that he and a friend became particularly annoyed at, but there was a catch. “I liked the melodies, but I didn’t really like the song itself,” Declan explains, “it was just mean and didn’t come across how I wanted it to.” So instead, he flipped the concept on its head, turning his personal experience into a wider commentary on the world. “It became to be about politicians in general pretending to represent the masses without actually doing it,” Declan reveals. “Pretending that they had the same experiences as normal, everyday people when they’re very far from it.” Similarly, while ‘Make Me Your Queen’ is on the surface a tale of two people, it harbours a deeper subtext about “being patronised, with connotations surrounding the patriarchal society that we have.” That’s Declan’s songwriting skill in a nutshell. He can write nuanced, intelligent lyrics that span the personal and political, and wrap it all up in an impossibly catchy tune. “It’s just about controlling it and learning about yourself, learning about where your writing comes from,” he confirms. If there’s one thing Declan seems to have always known though, it’s that one day he’d be releasing this album. Before a note is played, a recording of his four-year-old self plays, and he confidently declares “I’m going to sing my new album now.” Fourteen years down the line, it’s impossible not to sit up and take notice. ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ is out 21st July via Columbia. DIY

Such shiny locks! What conditioner do you use, Deccers?

Declan McKenna is appearing at Latitude this year. Head to for details.




Four albums in and with a t u r b u l e n t, v i ta l n e w r e c 0 r d u n d e r h e r b e lt, W a x a h a t c h e e I s f i n a l ly fe e li n g c o m fo r ta b le i n her shoes as one of indie rock’s best songwriters.


Words: Will Richards. Photos: Phil Smithies.




hiladelphia is, without much doubt, the current hotbed for indie rock in the United States. From Hop Along and Mitski to (Sandy) Alex G and The War On Drugs, the city’s lower rents and proximity to NY are providing the base for a new community to thrive.


st ri k


Being a spearhead of this recent flurry of activity probably doesn’t come too naturally to Katie Crutchfield, who released her acoustic, introspective debut album as Waxahatchee from her native Alabama just five years ago. But, if anything was going to give her the confidence to go big on her fourth solo record - and second on Merge Records - working with Dinosaur Jr./Sonic Youth/Kurt Vile producer John Agnello should probably do it. For her first three albums, last releasing ‘Ivy Tripp’ in 2015, Katie kept things very close to home. Recording with Kyle Gilbride - of the now-defunct Swearin’, the band in which twin sister Allison was a chief songwriter - it was a situation that both benefitted and hindered her, with the prospect of moving on serving as a line in the sand. “With Kyle, we’d essentially grown up together and experimented with everything,” she begins, sat in an East London bowling alley halfway through the promo tour



Before sitting down to chat all things ‘Out In The Storm’, we took Katie down to the lanes to throw some pins down, and a poetic, poignant story unfolded before our eyes. Struggling to make any impact with the 12lb ball, Katie then tried her hand at the 10lb, with a little more success but still massive frustration. It was when she strode over and picked up the ‘8 Ball’, though, when things really started to click in place, and the strikes started flowing. “On the song ‘8 Ball’ on the album, the 8 ball is the enemy, so it’s all come full circle!” Katie smirks. A story to warm even the frostiest of hearts.


“I wa n t t h i s to be a record people put on when they’ve had a

r e a l ly fuckin’ b a d d ay. ”

for new album ‘Out In The Storm’. “So it was a completely different experience, in a proper studio, and I did things a little bit more traditionally. That’s why sonically, in my opinion, it’s so different.” “Those relationships were very specific,” she goes on, “and I just needed to try something different. A lot of the people I made this new record with are still people I’m really close with - my band for instance. My sister too, and Katie Harkin [Sky Larkin, Sleater-Kinney] played lead guitar on a lot of the record. She’s one of my oldest friends. It was still people I was close with, but just a different vibe.” This change in process ties together with the album’s blustery first impressions: there’s the title itself, a signal of travelling into the unknown; the bleak, weather-beaten cover art; the record’s first single, the immediate, crunchy ‘Silver’. It all points to the start of something new for Waxahatchee, and ‘Out In The Storm’ was borne of long-standing relationships coming to a close, in turn opening the door for Katie to explore infinite new avenues. “I feel like a very natural leader,” she says. “Some of the dynamics I’ve worked amongst in the past have made it hard, but a lot of those relationships have ended, and that is what the record is about. It’s not unnatural for me to take a lead, and if it ever does feel unnatural, I know something’s up.” Across the whole of ‘Out In The Storm’, there are knowing nods to Katie’s past, be it in reference to relationships or her own previous material. It all enforces the idea of moving on, one that courses through the record’s ten songs like a battering ram. In highlight ‘Sparks Fly’ she sings “I take it back, I was never alone / My censored thoughts, mild and monotone,” almost mocking her fragile former self, before calling herself “a live wire, electrified”. “Sometimes it makes me cringe,” she reflects, thinking back to her bare, hugely emotional debut ‘American Weekend’. “I feel like I captured and articulated a really specific moment in my life, and although I don’t really relate to it as much any more, I’m still glad that it’s down. It’s so melodramatic, and the things that crushed me then seem so small now, but that doesn’t make them less valid.”

wrote this record,” she comments. “My friend Daniel, who took the photo for the artwork, described it as ‘claustrophobic’, and I completely agree. There’s so much in there, but I think it’s cool, I think it’s good. It’s all the stuff I always needed to say and never got the chance to. For me, one of my priorities as a songwriter is to articulate exactly how I’m feeling, and if I can get really close to being able to do that, hopefully that will draw people in and help them to relate to it. That’s the best feeling, and I think that I did that.” Katie cites an inspiration of “pure frustration and anger” on the album, and from vicious opener ‘Never Been Wrong’ to ‘No Question’ - a track in which she’s the grittiest and most determined she’s ever sounded - there’s a vital urgency to ‘Out In The Storm’ that most songwriters would crave to be able to draw from more than a decade in. “I want this to be a record people put on when they’ve had a really fuckin’ bad day, and they just need to release some kind of frustration,” she throws in. “It’s always a good feeling to be a professional musician yet not think ‘oh, it’s time for me to write another album’ without a real impetus. With this record, and the way that my life went recently, it was a case of ‘oh yeah, I have to write this album’.” “I see myself, hopefully, as a person who will make a lot of records,” she states, with a quiet confidence that’s infectious. “I’ve always done it, and I hope I will always do it. This is just one of ‘em, and maybe the next one will be very difficult.” Reinvention isn’t on her mind, but the tweaks made on ‘Out In The Storm’, and the, ahem, stormy relationships that fuelled the album’s anger, have made her an even more vital component of the indie rock scene that’s making Philadelphia so exciting right now. Not that she’d admit it, though. “I try not to put too much stock into it. I feel like I do my best to just lean into what’s happening and get caught up in the magic of it.” Waxahatchee’s new album ‘Out In The Storm’ is out 14th July via Merge. DIY

‘Maturing’ is an overused term when relating to the progression of artists in the stage of their trajectory that Katie currently finds herself, but ‘Out In The Storm’ signals the singer kicking on and setting herself up for a career which looks to be an extremely long and fruitful one. Despite this, there’s still plenty of turmoil in the album’s fibre, and it’s a heartbreak - though she doesn’t refer to the album as a break-up record - that gives ‘Out In The Storm’ its firepower. “I was really emotionally overwrought when I


With bust-ups now left in the past, reassembled back in their sleepy Stroud hometown, Milk Teeth are aiming bigger and better still with new EP ‘Be Nice’. Words: El Hunt. Photos: Emma Swann.



et in the middle of endless green, sheep-flecked hills, Stroud – a market town in Gloucestershire – is the sort of place where it’s entirely reasonable to find a different vegetarian cafe serving variations of tofu every second step. People pairing tweed suits with monocles isn’t even considered outlandish in these parts, and nightlife-wise, there’s a single sticky-floored club called Warehouse with a light-up dancefloor. Otherwise, the local music scene consists of born and bred bands gigging around the pub circuit, a man dressed as a jester playing keyboard covers on the high street, and the occasional failed attempt at hosting rural music festivals; before the fields are overrun with underage ciderswiggers, that is, and the whole thing gets closed down.

treasured landmarks, from the infamous “stoner bench” of Stratford Park (very idyllic, for the record) to Becky and guitarist Chris Webb’s former music college, where Milk Teeth still record the majority of their demos. Taking stock of it all in their local Wetherspoons (“the spiritual home of the band”) they reckon that starting out here has gone on to shape them in the long-run. “There’s nothing here really, is there?” Chris laughs. “Country life,” he adds putting on a thick West Country accent for effect, “is a bit different. You’re making your own fun, really, and making your own music was a good way of doing that.” “I think it keeps you down to earth, because it is more community-based,” Becky points out. “We’ve always said we’re not very cool. I like that. It’s so important to be yourself and to show people you don’t have to fit a certain image to do what we do.” “Sometimes I see pictures of us together,” laughs Chris, “and we don’t even look like a band. It looks like we met at a bus stop.”

“Tell me we’ve sold out when we do a commercial with Pepsi!”

Despite Chris’ claims, Milk Teeth An anomaly to certainly seem like Stroud’s decidedly a proper band, quiet reputation roaring around are Milk Teeth. town crammed Breaking the into drummer Oli - Becky Blomfield countryside Holbrook’s car, hush with their enthusiastically raucous debut greeting their album ‘Vile Child’ last year, the band old music teachers, and making fun left behind their tranquil hometown to of each other at every opportunity. make a right beautiful racket around These days they’re a close knit bunch, the world, supporting a dream roll-call with the sudden departure of former of acts – from Refused and Against Me! band member Josh Bannister – who left to rising cult heroes Creeper – along immediately before Milk Teeth’s ‘Vile the way. Now back where it all began, Child’ tour in the States - well behind Milk Teeth are sat around their beloved them. “He definitely quit at a time to park bandstand where they host regular try and fuck us...” reflects Becky. “And meetings. Inexplicably, somebody now,” Chris picks up, “we sound better nearby has a tame owl perched on than ever.” their arm. A gaggle of baby swans are drifting lazily down a stream. And Becky With that period of uncertainty firmly Blomfield – Milk Teeth’s chief vocalist consigned to history, newest recruit and bass-wielder – would quite like a Billy Hutton is now a fully-fledged cider, to be honest. “There’s a Tesco member, and an integral part of new across there,” she says. “I’m down.” EP ‘Be Nice’. “Billy’s a triple threat,” Becky grins. “He can sing, play guitar...” Following the rip-roaring success of “and he’s devilishly handsome,” Chris their first full-length, Milk Teeth are finishes. “If Bill was on ‘Vile Child’ it’d be clearly in no rush to leave Stroud. Over way better.” the course of a searing-hot summer’s day, the band amble around town “That’s my biggest regret,” Becky hosting an informal tour of their most admits, “that we couldn’t have him on



Milk Teeth give us a whistle-stop tour of the most famous highlights of their hometown; the good, the bad, and the plain bizarre.


A very short-lived music festival, cancelled forever after too many teenagers got pissed in a field. Chris: I remember a 12 year old boy offered me a cigarette, and I was like, where did you even get those? Becky: It was rough, but it was sick. So Stroud, proper Stroudie. Chris: A mate of mine set her hair on fire. This was back in the days of hairspray and massive hair. We were all patting the shit out of her head.

Stroud Market

A fairly quaint gathering of food stalls in the Town Centre. Raunchy novelist Jilly Cooper is a regular. Becky: Stroud Market’s sick! Chris: There’s that guy who does the sauce. Tubby Tom? He’s a local BBQ hot sauce maker. Becky: And the guy who plays keyboard, in his jester hat! With the bells. There’s also a guy with a guitar who always looks really serious, like someone just ran over his cat, and he plays really minor moody chords with loads of reverb on them, and this tiny little amp. Usually outside The Works.

Stratford Park

An oasis of green (in more ways than one, ahem) next door to the college. Becky: We used to go catch Pokémon there. We always have our band business picnic in Stratford Park. When I was growing up, you’d say to your mates ‘what should we do?’ and you’d get a bottle of cider and drink it in this park. Peak Stroud. Oli: I used to eat chicken on the bandstand. Rotisserie chicken. Becky: True story, a man once saved his dog on the lake there! It was iced over, and the dog fell through, and there’s a picture in the paper of him crawling across the lake in his pants! 45

[‘Vile Child’]. I’m very proud of it, because it’s our first album, but it’s almost quite bittersweet, isn’t it?” Looking ahead (with Milk Teeth’s second album “in the very, very early stages of planning”, according to Becky) there’s a definite sense that this lot want to right the turmoils of the past, and go bigger and better than ever before. From the bright, brash pop-punk of ‘Owning Your Okayness,’ to ‘Fight Skirt’’s furious, unrelenting pulse, it’s an EP that shows all Milk Teeth’s different facets at once, painting them as a band unafraid of trying anything. And “if anything,” Becky adds, “more work went into these songs that are coming out now than went into the last album.” ‘Be Nice’ sees Milk Teeth signing to rock institution Roadrunner Records, and they’re still pinching themselves now. ‘When I was growing up,” Chris enthuses, “I would go to Roadrunner, and think, who’s on there? What bands should I listen to? Nickelback, for one!” he laughs. “Obviously Slipknot. But it’s not just all metal, they’ve got Code Orange, and Turnstile, and Marmozets.” “For us, it made sense,” adds Becky, of the move to Roadrunner, and the varied



Right, let’s cut to the chase. Do Milk Teeth have good teeth? Chris: I had a root canal not long ago. They were like, ‘ok, open your mouth. Wider. Wider! But relax!’ How am I meant to fucking relax like this! Becky: He had smoke coming out of his mouth! I’ve had far too many run-ins. My wisdom teeth have been coming through, and as a singer it’s caused so much shit. Your jaw swells up, you look like you’ve been punched in the face, and everything goes really horrible and numb. They need to rip them out. I threw up pink on tour. I was on loads of tablets, and you’re meant to have them with food, but I couldn’t really chew, so all I’d had that day was a pink yogurt. There was just pink sick everywhere. Bright Barbie Pink sick from my cherry yogurt. Billy’s got fake teeth... why is that, Billy? Billy: Someone elbowed me in the face during a Four Year Strong gig. Becky: Oli doesn’t brush his teeth, so something’s going to happen.

sound – at times, verging on pop – of ‘Be Nice’. “We faced a lot of backlash,” she explains. “In any other job if someone got a promotion, you’d say well done, but for us it’s like ‘oh, you sold out’. Tell me we’ve sold out when we do a commercial with Pepsi,” she snorts. “‘Owning Your Okayness’ is a radio banger and we don’t shy away from that. I hate that people box you in. We’ve never shied away from the word pop. Never. Why wouldn’t you want to make a catchy song? We want to make them heavy as well, but people forget that you can love Code Orange and Carly Rae Jepsen.” “We don’t just want to make one album,” she continues, “be a flash in the pan, and disappear. I’d love to be able to say I wrote six great albums. I try to base our path on older bands like Placebo, bands who had careers where they consistently put out good music over time, and they’re just being themselves the whole time. Why wouldn’t we strive to do that?” “If we sold out, where’s my money?” Chris hoots. “I don’t give a fuck about people like that. Should I make the same song 100 times? Nah. Jog on.” Milk Teeth’s new EP ‘Be Nice’ is out 28th July via Roadrunner. DIY

Oli the tree-hugger should be right at home in Stroud.

B L A E N AV O N 20 Nov. Sheffield Leadmill 21 Nov. Leeds Wardrobe 22 Nov. Manchester Gorilla 24 Nov. No London O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire 26 Nov. Newcastle Academy 2

27 Nov. Glasgow St. Luke’s 28 Nov. Nottingham Rescue Rooms 29 Nov. Liverpool Arts Club 30 Nov. No Birmingham Mama Roux 01 Dec. Bristol Thekla

Tickets on sale now: An RFB and Friends presentation by arrangement with Primary Talent


LEEDS - belgrave music hall SUN 27 AUG

glasgow - st lukes MON 28 AUG

sheffield - leadmill TUE 29 AUG

southampton - talking heads SUN 03 SEPT

birmingham - institute MON 04 SEPT

nottingham - rescue rooms WEDS 06 SEPT

oxford - bullingdon arms THURS 07 SEPT

manchester - gorilla FRI 08 SEPT

london - koko tickets:�


bristol - theKLA 47

Grizzly Bear never did pay much attention during Blue Peter as kids.




Five years after the release of last album ‘Shields’ and with a clutch of other projects under their belts, Grizzly Bear have come together again not to rewrite the musical history books, but to cement their place in them. Words: Lisa Wright.

n case you hadn’t got the memo throughout the Brooklyn quartet’s first four albums - all luscious, intricate compositions designed for ultimate goosebump-age - Grizzly Bear aren’t the types for wild U-turns and harebrained japes. Sitting in a quiet corner of a West London hotel, discussing the forthcoming fifth addition to their canon ‘Painted Ruins’, multi-instrumentalists Daniel Rossen and Chris Taylor are a measured proposition, more likely to describe their band dynamic as one of “patience and respect” than reel off a list of Gallagher-esque escapades. “Throwing chairs isn’t really our style,” notes Daniel with a smile. In a world of internet hyperbole, where every statement has to be either the greatest or the worst thing to happen to humanity, their understatedness is refreshing. Along with fellow band members Ed Droste and Chris Bear, Grizzly Bear have cemented themselves as both a class and classy act, relying on the strength of their inimitable songwriting rather than a host of zany pull quotes to elevate them to the status of a genuinely Big Band (on 2012 LP ‘Shields’, the group headlined End of the Road festival and London’s Alexandra Palace). Ironic then, that the group have been making some of the most quietly complex, beautifully odd music out there this whole time - and ‘Painted Ruins’ is no different. “I listen to our music and I still hear it as very strange compared to the rest of the stuff we hear out there,” shrugs Chris. “I think we were a little surprised when things really took off. We worked hard for a long time but there was no expectation that we were gonna get this far, especially when you consider how weird

our music is,” agrees Daniel. “I know it’s out of the ordinary for [music like ours] to do well.” After the touring cycle for ‘Shields’ and the peak of this recent success (not least in part down to superlative 2009 breakthrough LP ‘Veckatimest’), the four members of Grizzly Bear decided to take a break from the band, to “embrace the freedom of seeing where your life goes for a couple of years”. For Daniel it took him on a brief “daunting” solo tour before moving out of New York to a secluded new house in the sticks. Chris Taylor, meanwhile, busied himself with various production projects as well as making a record under the solo moniker CANT. Ed and Chris Bear also put their name to various other musical ventures. When it came to getting the band back together, Taylor was the first to crack. “[However] I had to come to the realisation that no matter how soon I wanted do this, it wasn’t gonna be a good record if I was forcing people into it. I had to adopt a zen patience as best I could,” he notes. Were the other parties as enthused? “Probably in our own ways that we didn’t understand,” chuckles Daniel. “But I’m always having some fucking life crisis about what I should be doing. I need someone else to say ‘Just do it’ or it’s not gonna happen. I’ll just hang around in the country, stare out the window, split wood and mumble about the news...” Eventually, however, the band reached a mutual mindset and slowly began trading emails and snippets of songs. Un-rock’n’roll as they admit it sounds, they realised that this record would have to be birthed from a more considered 49

place than the “clusterfuck” of writing and recording they indulged in as twenty-somethings. “When we were younger we’d record at all hours of the night and it was really fun and inspiring and sometimes a complete mess, but we’d get through it and have a record,” explains Daniel. “But now we’re in our mid-30s and we’ve been through it enough to know we needed not to do that again. As you get older, music functions in a different way. Serotonin doesn’t hit you in the same way as it did at 19 when you’re 35; you have to find new ways to make it exciting and it takes a bit more energy.”

do that,” deadpans Daniel. The resulting record is one full of Grizzly Bear’s inimitable, impossibly gorgeous harmonies, layered over sparkling, ever-contorting arrangements of the ridiculous wealth of instruments they all collectively turn a hand to. It is, however, notably more energetic and – as they attest – band-centric than ‘Shields’. It’s Grizzly Bear, but shining that bit brighter. Whether in Rossen-led highlight ‘Four Cypresses’, hooked around a central refrain of “It’s chaos but it works”, or the deep, resonant tones of Ed Droste on the following ‘Three Rings’; the strange, scattershot time signatures of Chris Bear’s drumming on ‘Aquarian’ or the intoxicating, electronic spaciousness of ‘Systole’ (Chris Taylor’s first lead vocal for the group), ‘Painted Ruins’ is an album that thrives on having four equally matched minds inputting to it. Like all Grizzly Bear records, it’s essentially an advert for next-level musical proficiency.

If that all sounds surprisingly like hard work, then the pair are quick to establish the increasing rewards as well as the initial obstacles around making ‘Painted Ruins’. With the bones of the album in place, the quartet went off in pairs on various writing trips to Big Sur and the mountainous Californian town of Crestline where they literally lived in a cloud (“It was wrapped around the house the whole time, all grey and rainy and cosy”). “In Big Sur, I remember playing some music and staring out the window and seeing whales jumping, just Lyrically, meanwhile, the band are still keeping it oblique but thinking ‘This is a pretty good place to be’,” letting just a glimmer more light through. recalls Chris. “It can be really good when “Lyrics are a funny thing in our band,” Daniel you’re looking at nothing instead of being says. “In the past, they’ve always just worked in your life, with your things you have to into the fabric of the tune, but there’s do. All you’ve got to do is write music and more of an attempt to make some bits less look out the window. It’s nice.” They found haiku-like and obtuse [this time].” “There’s that the integral components of the group no ‘You gotta love me, baby’ chorus though. – easy chemistry and a lack of preciousness Nothing like that,” Chris interjects. “Maybe over their individual contributions - were and I still hear next time...” Daniel laughs. We won’t hold still effortlessly there, and by the time him to that. they took the fully-formed demos into the it as studio, the quartet were invigorated with So yeah, Grizzly Bear might never throw an even more excitable, fresh energy than a telly out the window. They might be they’d found together in years. “I remember heading into the next phase of their careers compared to being excited about hearing us play as and lives with a sense of decorum. But a band. ‘Shields’ was more about the they’ve also just made their most vital, stuff we hear arrangements, more like painting. Whereas vibrant new music in years. Who said that out there.” this felt more band-like, more propulsive,” growing old gracefully was a bad thing? Chris enthuses. “I think we got a good Chris Taylor amount of self-serious, intense music under Grizzly Bear’s new album ‘Painted Ruins’ our belt in our twenties and it felt fun to not is out 18th August via RCA. DIY

“I listen to our music very strange



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28/06/2017 23:52



DECLAN MCKENNA What Do You Think About the Car?


A mishmash of just about everything.

here is probably a decent correlation between people who’ll fail to ‘get’ Declan McKenna and those who still can’t get their heads around last month’s general election result. Declan, like any very suspecting member of Generation Z, is a mishmash of just about everything, knowingly contradicting himself at every twist and turn his debut takes. See, while there’s a huge swathe of ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ that could well owe its sound to the dour singalongs



of the post-Britpop years, everything here is doused in sonic hundreds-and-thousands, the kind of synth beeps and squelches and breakdowns your average bucket hat would turn their sunburnt nose up at. A floppy-haired teen singersongwriter Declan may be - Jake Bugg he’s definitely not. Throughout the record’s eleven tracks, subjects both big and small are taken on. There’s the FIFA-baiting single ‘Brazil’, ‘Bethlehem’ and its take on religion and warfare, ‘Isombard’ and its right-wing media, and the ferociously delicate ‘Paracetamol’, written after learning of the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn, sitting effortlessly alongside

TRACKLISTING: Humongous Brazil The Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home Mind Make Me Your Queen Isombard I Am Everyone Else Bethlehem Why Do You Feel So Down Paracetamol Listen To Your Friends

1 2


Mc De-Mark-oH the twisted love song ‘Make Me Your Queen’, the lovelorn ‘Mind’ and the angst-ridden ‘The Kids Don’t Want To Come Home’. Then, as the whole shebang is introduced by an infant Declan being asked by an older sibling about the family car of the title, a concept later echoed by present-day Declan attempting to explain his song to a small child, there’s a nice reminder of the massive personality that underpins everything on show here. Because while a very strong album ‘What Do You Think About The Car?’ definitely is, it’s impossible to extricate it from the songwriter himself. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Paracetamol’, ‘Make Me Your Queen’

We asked Declan McKenna to rate all the other Mc-somethings he could think of off the top of his head.

Elvis Costello: 8/10

“He’s actually called Declan Patrick MacManus. Not Declan McKenna, though.”

Ewan McGregor: 7/10 “He’s a good Mc”

Ronald McDonald: 1/10 “I hate him! I hate Ronald McDonald! I’ve got beef with that guy. Beef.”



Saw You In A Dream EP (Dirty Hit)

‘Saw You In A Dream’ is an EP that sees Amber Bain moving away from established production staples - doubled-up vocals, glitching reverb - and treading into new, more revealing territory. The title track is her most confessional yet, dealing in grief and mourning. It’s also the best song she’s written to date. ‘Somebody You Found’ meanwhile veers between nonchalance and pain, while ‘3/3’ is equally hardhitting, battling emotional numbness beneath The 1975’s George Daniel and Matty Healy’s increasingly diverse production. Building vastly on her earlier tricks, and stepping to the forefront as a clear, distinct voice, releasing seemingly endless EPs has clearly served The Japanese House well in finding her identity artistically. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Saw You In A Dream’


Be Nice EP (Roadrunner)

An EP may be short but – at least when it comes to Milk Teeth’s newest offering - it sure is sweet. Building upon the scuzzy foundations of debut ‘Vile Child’, ‘Be Nice’ sees the band redefining themselves as an even more potent entity. ‘Owning Your Okayness’ offers up a singalong of the most satisfying degree, all brilliantly rough around the edges, while ‘Fight Skirt’ is a taunting assault of distortion and drums. ‘Be Nice’ may just be a taste of what’s to come, but it’s just about enough to sate appetites right now. (Sarah Jamieson) LISTEN: ‘Prism’


Something To Tell You (Polydor)

‘Little Of Your Love’ is perhaps the closest ‘Something To Tell You’ comes to delivering a stone-cold pop banger. “You were just another recovering heart,” dismisses Danielle gleefully atop the opening snare-claps, “I wasn’t even gonna try.” Yowls of guitar intermingle with playful Yé-yé nodding call-and-response, and to top things all off, there’s plenty of trademark Haim shout-laughing - yells of ‘Hah!’ pepper the song more generously than a particularly enthusiastic chef dishing out the seasoning. ‘Right Now’ and ‘Want You Back’ - the other two singles to land ahead of ‘Something To Tell You’- feed off similar immediacy, revolving around close-knit, snappy choruses, and a keen attention to raw, live production. Where debut ‘Days Are Gone’ felt like a hybrid record, merging synthetic drum machines with organic samples to the point that the two became totally indistinguishable, its follow up feels like an altogether different prospect. Instead, whirring synths - more Passion Pit-esque glitching than warm washes of sunshine - meet headlong with ‘Want You Back’’s pounding, epic pianopounds. It’s as if Haim are pulling apart the production strands of their debut, and pitting them against one another. For the majority of the time it works, on a surprisingly low-key second album that’s worth spending some time (or rather, Haim?) with. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Little Of Your Love’


WAXAHATCHEE Out In The Storm (Merge)

After the unfiltered heartbreak of debut ‘American Weekend’ and the breakthrough of follow-up ‘Cerulean Salt’, with Waxahatchee’s third effort it felt like she was finally hitting her stride without a hitch. Something changed before ‘Out In The Storm’ though; from the album’s title to its equally blustery, bleak cover art, everything is far from rosy. Luckily, such turbulence has fuelled her most vital and brilliant work yet. ‘Sparks Fly’ is the most visceral emotion that the Alabama native has ever transmitted, ‘Hear You’ is helmed by a near-stomach-churning bassline, and there’s a backbone to ‘Out In The Storm’ that’s never appeared on a Waxahatchee record before. Held together by a superglue formed from a mixture of Dinosaur Jr/Sonic Youth producer John Agnello’s influence and the undeniably turbulent situations that shaped the record, it’s unflinching. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Sparks Fly’





Man of the World (Glassnote)

As an American nomad after the tumultuous year that was 2016, Chris Baio began to feel trapped inside his own mind, racked by anxious thoughts and dogged by a sense of loss. ‘Man of the World’ is his attempt at processing those twelve months, whether that’s outside forces or the whirlwind of thoughts in his own head, intent on documenting a sense of collective loss and disillusionment. While much of the record is built around smooth grooves that let Baio’s lyrics come to the fore, he sometimes wanders into more eclectic territory that doesn’t hit the mark, jarring against the synth and funk vibes. But when ‘Man of the World’ lands its blows, its intelligence and self-awareness are a knockout. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Shame In My Name’, ‘PHILOSOPHY!’


Excellent Musician

(Moshi Moshi)

Former Let’s Wrestle singer Wes Gonzalez is the kind of witty misanthrope who’s two parts Mark E. Smith and two parts Jarvis Cocker, straddling the bitter bastard-dom of the former and the deadpan playfulness of the latter in one wonderfully singular package. Channelling that through XTC-esque wonky British songwriting, the likes of ‘I Am A Telescope’ and ‘Cake On Your Birthday’ present a debut filled with working men’s club-style faded glamour and personality that shines through at every opportunity. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘I Am A Telescope’


Q&A Vampire Weekend’s Chris Baio didn’t really mean to make ‘Man of the World’, but world events and feeling alienated meant his new album sprung from nowhere. Interview: Eugenie Johnson. When did you start writing and recording ‘Man of the World’? The album came together really, really quickly to be honest. I honestly had no plans to make another record but it kind of happened, perhaps as a safety mechanism, and it explores a lot of the things that I was feeling. Was the general feeling of political isolation and alienation last year heightened for you personally, by being an ex-patriate? Absolutely! In a weird way, I get more anxious about it when I’m away. I think that part of it is because when you leave your country, you become more aware of your country’s identity. I feel most American when I’m away from America. In a way you become a bit of a representative for your country and it was a very weird feeling last year when a lot of crazy things were happening to be a kind of representative for those things, in some way. You’ve said David Bowie was an influence on the record - how much is that the case? He’s my absolute favourite, alongside Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music. For me this record really began with Bowie passing and then it was Trump being elected. I just found that it was a year categorised by loss. When it came time to record in September I picked the studio because every day I would walk past the mural of ‘Aladdin Sane’. All day, whenever the sun’s out, there’s always people in front of it, or with it, or leaving flowers. It is a really powerful reminder of how music can touch people and I found that incredibly inspiring. He’s the single biggest influence on this record.

Eurgh! (Amour Foo)

Starting the record by counting in the first (sub-minute) track, replacing “1, 2, 3, 4” with “I DON’T LIKE YOU!” is a pretty representative introduction to ‘Eurgh!’ as a whole: Breakfast Muff are mighty pissed off. Transmitting their fiery, lightning fast cuts to a full-length album was always going to reveal gaps for Breakfast Muff, but with some refinement and promise as strong as this, LP2 could be a real gem. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘R U A Feminist’

eee TORO Y MOI Boo Boo (Carpark)

“I just want everybody to have a good time, I really do,” declares Toro Y Moi as the disco-funk sparkle of ‘Mirage’ kicks in. ‘Mona Lisa’ is perfect, lovestruck sci-fi pop, while ‘Embarcadero’ sounds like a classic ‘80s slow jam, grooving its way through nearly three minutes of instrumental that’s sultry, sticky and smoky. In places, like the seven-minute long ‘W.I.W.W.T.W.’, it’s a little self-indulgent, but ‘Boo Boo’ is largely free and fun, playing with new ideas the whole way through. That it follows such a time of turmoil in Chaz’s life isn’t at all apparent, proving music once again is a true healer. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Mona Lisa’

ee WASHED OUT Mister Mellow

(Stones Throw)

On ‘Paracosm’, Washed Out explored themes of nature and the wider world around him; this follow-up is a much more introspective affair to the point that you might accuse him of navel-gazing. Musically, meanwhile, he’s striking out into new territory, leaving his bed of synths behind in favour of lush instrumentation. Not all of the new ideas come off though, and the short skit-type tracks are an irritating distraction. Add to that a misguided concept that’s difficult to sympathise with, and this feels like a frustrating misfire. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘I’ve Been Daydreaming My Entire Life’ 55


Two Hearts And No Brain

(Dead Oceans)

Kane Strang has a taste for the odd. In parts, ‘Two Hearts And No Brain’ is like what Interpol would’ve sounded like if they’d ditched the suits for t-shirts, jeans and scruffiness. ‘It’s Not That Bad’ is grungy and lo-fi, moody guitar lines blustering through it like a storm’s coming, while ’My Smile Is Extinct’ is deceptively chipper. If Kane’s fans were worried signing to a proper label might dull his bright talents, ‘Two Hearts And No Brain’ provides them with plenty of reassurance. Smart, spiky and hugely infectious, it’s another strong step forward. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Not Quite’


God First (Island)

If you were expecting Jack Steadman’s solo debut to sound anything like Bombay Bicycle Club then get ready for a shock. Mr Jukes is to BBC what Africa Express is to Blur – the work of the same curious mind but expressed and explored in wildly different ways. On ‘God First’ the former frontman’s focus is on a hugely eclectic patchwork of jazz, world music and sampling. Each track here, from the Argentinian horns and swaggering funk of ‘Angels/ Your Love’ to the joyous vocals (courtesy of soul legend Charles Bradley) on ‘Grant Green’, is like a meticulously stitched patchwork of musical discovery. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Grant Green’

eeee RATBOYS GN (Topshelf)

Not to be confused with a floppy-haired British skateboard enthusiast with a very similar name, Chicago duo Ratboys’ own faire is less ‘SCUM’ and more, hazy, intricate scuzz. ‘GN’ (the internet version of saying ‘Good Night,’ fyi) deals in various forms of loss, and near loss. Personal experiences meld interchangeably with Julia Steiner and Dave Sagan’s reimaginings of other narratives, linked by the unrelenting iciness that invades almost every song beneath Ratboys’ warm, vibrant melodies. Not just a well-crafted listen, but thoughtful, tender, and incisive at every turn. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘GM’ 56


SHEER MAG Need To Feel Your Love (Static Shock)

Any album that kicks off with a riff uncannily like the Hollyoaks theme tune (honestly, compare the two) is already off to a flying start, and Sheer Mag’s debut proper doesn’t disappoint. Chucking together shamelessly glammy Thin Lizzy vibes with a giant dollop of vitriol aimed at oppressive systems, these Philly punks have a knack for colliding angry bite with a gleeful, smirking sense of defiance. ‘Suffer Me’ revisits the Stonewall riots. “Suffer me, You got to let me be,” yowls Tina Halladay, fists clenched. ‘(Say Goodbye to) Sophie Scholl’ meanwhile pays tribute to an anti-Nazi student who was executed for her activism in Germany. And looking ahead to the bleak reality of 2017, ‘Need to Feel Your Love’ rallies equally hard against police brutality, the dishonesty of politicians, and a world made for “rich men in their white skin”. As we’ve sadly seen from recent tragic events, sticking together and loving each other feels absolutely vital, and in that sense, ‘Need to Feel Your Love’ is an album that not only shreds, but feels prescient, too. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Suffer Me’, ‘Meet Me In The Street’


With their debut proper finally done, the band’s Matt Palmer tells Eugenie Johnson about keeping it DIY, and taking things slow. Was the process of recording and producing ‘Need To Feel Your Love’ any different to when you did your earlier EPs? We still recorded it all ourselves. The first record was recorded in the house we were living in, and we have a practice space that we use as a studio and so we recorded it all there. We mixed with the same person. The process is exactly the same as all of the EPs. It’s all the same technology, it’s just that we’ve got better at it! The album’s still got a punk, lo-fi feel, but it does have slightly more of a sheen. Yeah, we made a little more effort to put the vocals a little bit higher in the mix. Mom has been telling me for years: “I can’t hear Christina!” We didn’t wanna go full-blown pop mix like Katy Perry loud but we figured there’s gotta be a middle ground, and get to a point where people can actually hear the lyrics! Do you think coming from a very DIY scene where you have the freedom to write and record as you see fit helps to mix it up and give that scope to add something new to something classic? The medium is the message in some ways. There’ve been classic rock bands before but they haven’t used the template of DIY in the same way we have. Having the freedom to do that is something that defines the band: we can record whenever we want, we can put out records when we want and not have to wait a year. So many of my friends on record labels have to wait nine months after their album is finished for it to come out, but we can release it as soon as it’s pressed. Is maintaining that DIY ethic something you’ll always continue? Yeah! We’re trying as hard as we can not to be greedy and just building bit by bit! Slowly but surely as opposed to jumping to a place. We’re gonna keep building up and hopefully we’ll put out other bands’ records and have our own indie label someday. We’re just sort of taking it slowly and not getting ahead of ourselves.

Everything Now

It’s two for two in the banger stakes as we write from the Canadian troupe’s new full-length, which comes out 28th July.



The Londoners have delivered slice after slice of irresistible grunge so far, meaning their 1st September debut is one to get very excited about indeed.



Roping in some well famous indie pals, and making like a Beastie Boy to NYC, Jordan Cardy and pals’ debut will pack some punch. It’s released on 11th August.

Missed the boat on the best albums from the last couple of months? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.





Paramore After Laughter



Melodrama (Republic Records)

Single ‘Green Light’ was the pop smash expected from Lorde’s return, but ‘Melodrama’ gets a lot more complicated and involved from there. An album tracking the progress of a house party, it takes the downs as cleverly and emotionally as the ups. Maybe her finest moment yet comes on ‘Supercut’. The track carries pummelling momentum, distilling the many twists and turns of a relationship into a highlights reel. There’s also an overwhelming positivity on show, whether it’s the playfulness of ‘Homemade Dynamite’, or ‘The Louvre’, a striking acknowledgement that the moments that aren’t perfect can still be the ones that make you feel on top of the world. Theirs is a sentiment that carries through to its final track. “What the fuck are perfect places anyway?” it concludes, and ‘Melodrama’’s acceptance of taking what you can get while never failing to reach for the stars makes it one of the smartest pop records of the decade. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Supercut‘, ‘The Louvre’

The Tennessee trio returned with twelve tracks of pure power-pop that it’s okay to cry to.


Marika Hackman I’m Not Your Man

Grunging it up for album two, Marika’s second coming is as witty as it is rambunctious.

eeee Pixx

The Age of Anxiety

Contrasting light and dark like nobody’s business, Hannah Rodgers’ debut shimmers with post-punk brooding.



Public Service Broadcasting have their niche fully locked down by now. ‘Every Valley’ investigates the mining industry in South Wales, its demise, and how the fierce communities it forged still live on. “It’s a story reflected in abandoned and neglected communities across the western world, and one which has led to the resurgence of a particularly malignant, cynical and calculating brand of politics,” the band’s J. Willgoose states, and the sense of wider importance to these stories is palpable. There are a few missteps here - ‘You + Me’ feels laboured and disconnected, while closer ‘Take Me Home’ is a little too overblown, even for a band as overblown as this - but for the majority of its length, ‘Every Valley’ ties together a story that needs to be re-told with utmost care and attention. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Progress’


(City Slang)

For every bombastic tune on ‘Hug Of Thunder’, there’s a more hushed, downbeat moment, usually tinged with an element of melancholia. Perhaps the clue was always there. ‘Hug of Thunder’ is exactly that: an intimate embrace by an old friend that often contains electrifying highs, but also jolts you with its emotional and musical intricacy. With Broken Social Scene’s return, the world certainly seems a brighter place. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Hug Of Thunder’



CHILDHOOD Universal High (Marathon Artists)

The difference between ‘Universal High’ and Childhood’s 2014 debut ‘Lacuna’ isn’t down to a huge musical U-turn. But where ‘Lacuna’ felt like a record trying to fit into the musical landscape of the time, ‘Universal High’ feels utterly comfortable existing in its own bubble away from it. It’s almost a concept record, in sound if not in theme. From the dappled guitars and balmy, summer lean of opener ‘A.M.D’ through the 70s, ‘Shaft’-like strut of recent single ‘California Light’ to the sweetened harmonies of shoulder-shimmying latter-album highlight ‘Don’t Have Me Back’, the whole record exists in a hazy, sun-drenched city summer from decades past. There are still modern influences in there, but in general, ‘Universal High’ is more in debt to Prince and Motown’s finest than it is any of music’s more modern masters. In digging back through music history’s treasure trove, Childhood have forged ahead into genuinely exciting new ground. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Don’t Have Me Back’


Q1: What does the inside of your brain look like when you’re making an album?

Q2: What does Californian light look like?

Something’s Changing


Lucy Rose might have spent its gestation travelling across South America, but there’s no Latin flavour on ‘Something’s Changing’. Key to its success is her pared-back approach that she’s taken putting her voice front and centre. That proves a smart tactic on the tender likes of ‘Love Song’ and ‘Moirai’, the latter flecked with fluttering strings. It isn’t without flaws - ‘Soak It Up’s shuffling tempo jars, whilst the orchestral leanings of closer ‘I Can’t Change It All’ are at odds with the rest of the record - but perhaps more songwriters should go backpacking after all. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Love Song’


Mura Masa (Anchor Point / Polydor)

From Bonzai’s contribution on the funky ‘Nuggets’ to Crossan taking up Jamie xx’s mantle as king of the steel drums on the A$AP Rocky-featuring ‘Lovesick’, it’s the album’s guests who give ‘Mura Masa’ its vibrance and energy. The record will set festivals alight with no doubt, but when its special guests take a back seat, Mura Masa is still yet to find his own voice and truly strike out alone. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Lovesick’ 58

Q3: If ‘Universal High’ was a food dish, which one would it be?

Q4: What scares you the most?



(Loma Vista))

Across their four albums, Manchester Orchestra have travelled from emo darlings to crunchy rock stalwarts. Last album ‘COPE’ was a powerhouse that saw the band at their most straight-forward and riff-heavy. Its follow-up, ‘A Black Mile To The Surface’, is infinitely more fiddly, and takes the band closer to the indie rock of The National or The Shins than the Brand New they grew up alongside. The band balance loud and quiet better than ever on LP5, with the one-two of ‘The Maze’ and first single ‘The Gold’ that opens the record the perfect example. ‘The Alien’, meanwhile, is fiddly and intriguing, showing that ‘A Black Mile To The Surface’ could transport the band to an entirely new world. From this showing, they’d fit perfectly. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘The Alien’, ‘The Parts’


Quazarz: Born On A Gangster Star & Quazarz vs. The Jealous Machines (Sub Pop)

With a concept surrounding a “sentient being from somewhere else” who lands on “Drake world”, you might expect Shabazz Palaces’ new albums to be just as bonkers and experimental as 2014 effort ‘Lese Majesty’. On the contrary: both albums drift on trap beats and appropriately cosmic synths that feel restrained, at least by Ishmael Butler and Tendai Maraire’s standards. Sometimes that vibe gets the better of them on ‘Born On A Gangster Star’, making it difficult to decipher their commentary, but when the words are put to the fore on ‘The Jealous Machines’, they weave poetic and engaging sci-fi tales that resonate with today’s technological society. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘The SS Quintessence’


The Underside of Power (Matador)


The band’s Andy Hull and Robert McDowell tell Will Richards all about switching things up. You’ve been away for a good few years now - how does it feel to be back? Andy: It feels great! This was probably the most difficult album we’ve ever made, but also the most satisfying now it’s finished. We pushed ourselves more than ever before and agonised over the record for months, but we’re so pleased with the results. Since your last album, you wrote the soundtrack for ‘Swiss Army Man’ - how was that? Robert: Completely different to anything we’d ever done before. We didn’t allow ourselves to use any instruments, so our hands were almost literally tied behind our backs. It gave us a whole new perspective on how to utilise our voices. You also worked with John Congleton on ‘A Black Mile To The Surface’ - how did he influence the record? Robert: He was so brilliant to work with. He’d give us all the space we needed but interject with little, really intelligent suggestions - like leaving all the drums out of one bit of a really loud song - that completely changed our perceptions of the record.

Instead of running away from the dark political times we live in, Algiers are running headlong into them. ‘The Underside Of Power’ is heavy going, but completely, necessarily so. On the title track, Franklin’s voice is just as full of feeling, but the music that runs beneath him is a soulful groove. It’s not hard to imagine him dancing along, getting his rage out via his feet as well as his throat. It’s brilliant proof that there’s more than one way to be angry, and a song that, like the rest of the album, will leave you torn between tears and dancing. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Walk Like A Panther’

eeee FRANCOBOLLO Long Live Life (Propeller)

Having quietly gathered a following during festival season last summer, Francobollo arrive with a debut record which embodies the joy, passion and pure chaos of the band‘s live shows. The record channels rock and roll in its many varieties – from the pure punk of ‘Trees’ and ‘Radio’ to the prog stylings of ‘You Know This’. ‘Worried Times’, meanwhile, comes to life in bursts and culminates in distortion-induced chaos. By the time the record’s dreamy, palette-clearing centre-piece ‘USO’ comes around it’s hard not to be converted. (Dan Jeakins) LISTEN: ‘USO’

eee SIVU

Sweet Sweet Silent (Square Leg)

‘Sweet Sweet Silent’ is an uneven listen, although that often plays in its favour; James Page’s vocal delivery is consistently unpredictable. He’s gossamer thin one minute, and wracked with pain the next - see the compelling second half of ‘Childhood House’. Ultimately, it’s hard not to feel that the record drifts a little, and on an album as quiet as this one, you wonder whether he could have made more of the negative space in terms of feel and atmosphere. In the circumstances, though - a diagnosis of Ménière’s disease has him wearing a hearing aid at 28 - it might be a miracle that he’s managed to turn out another record at all, let alone one that feels as accomplished as this. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Lonesome’ 59




Primavera Sound


Parc del Fòrum, Barcelona. Photos: Emma Swann.



t doesn’t really get much better than sipping a sangria underneath Parc del Fòrum’s sharp concrete angles as the sky slowly turns the colour of Aperol; unless of course you’ve got a surprise Arcade Fire set kicking off right in front of you, prompting Primavera Sound’s first fiesta. They open with ‘Everything Now’, the title track from a new album the band announced right before this secret set. Extra points for timing ‘Here Comes the Night Time’ to coincide with the sunset, too. Across the site, Solange is dancing for all she’s worth. Soaring from the brassy hi-hat bites and humming strings of ‘Cranes in the Sky’, it’s a set rightly dominated by ‘A Seat At The Table’.


Judging by the number of people howling it during ‘33 “GOD”’, the hilarity of Bon Iver‘s choice lyric “sleeping in a stable mate” has clearly translated to Spain, too. As darkness really sets in, there’s time for a look back; especially a standout rendition of ‘Skinny Love’ - from a lone Justin Vernon on an acoustic guitar. On paper, Sampha’s as shy as they come. It’s a pleasant surprise to see him throwing shapes around the stage on Friday, then, leaving the piano behind to get closer to his gigantic audience. Showing off both careful restraint and soul-charged vocals, he’s clearly stepping up and into the spotlight.


By starting small and sparing with ‘Crystalised’ and ‘Islands’, headliners The xx leave themselves infinite room to crank things up. And they do. Jamie xx has clearly stamped his influence all over the band’s live presence, flipping ‘Shelter’ on its head,

creating a dance banger out of the skeletal foundations. From start to finish, they’re on fearless form. There’s a bizarre sight unfolding on Saturday evening. A sizeable crowd has decided to remove one shoe, and so a sea of trainers are dancing along to Swet Shop Boys’ ‘Shoes Off’. Heems’ relaxed Queens flow colliding with Riz’s quick-fire London delivery has always been a recipe for brilliance, and backed up by production whizz Redinho, the pair deftly chuck bars about like they’re playing a game of keepy-uppy. Let’s not beat around the bush here; Grace Jones’ set is absolutely fucking bonkers. tasselled silver headdresses? Yep. Peaked marching-band style hats? Of course. A massive strap-on dildo? Yes, that too. Ludicrously good fun, ridiculously funky, she even performs ‘Slave to the Rhythm’ while hula-hooping. It’s remarkable to hear ‘Everything Now’ - a song Arcade Fire only released a few days ago - belted out by the crowd in full off the back of a single sloweddown snippet, but then again, this lot are the kind of band that inspire euphoric bawling-along. A few special nuggets arrive along the way: ‘Neon Bible’ and ‘In the Backseat’, and new album sneak-peek ‘Creature Comforts’. Mainly, though, tonight’s all about the yowled anthems and wildly waved lighters, which they deliver in the shed-load. ‘We’ve got something to tell you” read the screens either side of the Ray Ban stage. It only turns out they’ve got blimmin’ Haim tucked away for another secret set, bringing brand new album cuts ‘Right Now’, ‘Want You Back’ and ‘Little of Your Love’ along for the ride. (El Hunt) 61



O2 Arena, London. Photos: Emma Swann.

uge pop productions and old man rockers might be the O2 Arena’s usual order of the evening, but tonight there’s an altogether stranger spectacle occurring in the belly of the former Millennium Dome. True, ‘Number One artist headlines large venue’ is hardly the shocker of the century. But the fact that three unassuming men singing tongue-twisting chants about geometry and bizarre sexual metaphors have reached this stage – and tonight’s particular stage is played out in front of a nearly-full, nearly-20,000 strong crowd – is special. And it feels so from the off, not least in part due to another trio that kick off proceedings. Though only on their debut record, Blaenavon have been in the game for a good while now and they channel every


second of that experience into a set that lays down a sizeable gauntlet for alt-J to follow. From a thunderous ‘I Will Be The World’ – a track that’s sounded arena-sized from the off – to the twitchy, dark humour of recent single ‘Orthodox Man’, the band already have a canon of work that more than stands up to the space. And so to alt-J, who take to the task of headlining said Very Large Venue (as part of the O2’s 10th birthday celebrations, no less) in their own inimitable style. Above the stage hangs a giant triangle that emits a grand and hypnotic laser display throughout, while the trio stand on individual plinths that each illuminate their own flickering bulbs in tandem. You might not be able to point any given band member out in a Tesco queue, but tonight the whole spectacle looks

a great deal calmer over on the Main Stage with Whitney. ‘Golden Days’ and ‘The Falls’ feel as fresh and sprightly as ever.



It’s a whole different story in the MOTH Club tent, where Danny L Harle kicks off the PC Music showcase with all the energy of an excitable puppy.

Field Day

Victoria Park, London. Photos: Louise Mason.

A incredible. They begin with recent album opener ‘3WW’, opening as it does with a kind of Pagan folk chant. From the intricate, undulating guitars of ‘Something Good’ to binary code-quoting recent single ‘In Cold Blood’ to the lusty verses of ‘Every Other Freckle’, the trio create an all-encompassing, entirely spellbinding universe within a venue that can seem corporate and stale even in the flashiest of circumstances. Old single ‘Matilda’ receives the most unanimous singa-long, while the heavier throb of current album track ‘Hit Me Like A Snare’ kicks off a final run (‘Breezeblocks’, ‘Left Hand Free’, ‘Fitzpleasure’) that shows that alt-J might be bookish, but they’re probably hiding a ratty copy of Playboy between the pages.

s with many festivals last summer, Field Day 2016 was blighted by torrential rain. Today, as Loyle Carner heads to the Main Stage in Victoria Park, it’s blistering heat that’s the (significantly nicer) problem. There are plenty of soggy souls in the tent for Death Grips though, who thrash their way through a hugely intense hour. Though fully operational once more, following that 2014 ‘break up’, every opportunity to

see them feels like it may be the last, and the once-in-alifetime energy this creates makes the show unstoppable, despite multiple sound issues. The most striking addition this year is the cavernous Barn, which virtually engulfs the entire site. Nicolas Jaar fills it for his probing afternoon set, while following Jon Hopkins and Moderat, everything in there feels like a precursor to the headline onslaught of Aphex Twin. Earlier, though, things are


The release of tension when Aphex Twin finally bathes The Barn in fidgety, intense noise is completely euphoric. As the heavens open for the only short-lived shower of the day, the atmosphere gets even more intense, before Run The Jewels bring a whole different type of energy out on the main stage. Killer Mike and El-P begin by crashing through highlights from ‘RTJ3’. ‘Call Ticketron’ and ‘Stay Gold’ are already regarded as hits, receiving as much adoration as ‘Lie, Cheat, Steal’ and ‘Close Your Eyes (And Count To Fuck)’. Capping a set that champions togetherness and strength, Killer Mike dedicates closer ‘Down’ to the Labour Party and the bond between band and crowd just grows stronger. (Will Richards)


It’s an absolutely masterful 90 minutes. One that casts the band as radio-friendly chart toppers, experimental boundary-pushers and lust-fuelled weirdos at the same time. By all accounts, a band like alt-J shouldn’t work in a venue like this. The fact that they not only unequivocally do, but that nearly 20,000 people agree feels victorious. (Lisa Wright) 63

Perfume Genius

Heaven, London. Photo: Caroline Quinn


nder a railway arch on election night, Heaven is campaigning for Perfume Genius to become the next Prime Minister. “It’s too hard to do, though,” says Mike Hadreas quietly, smirking and taking a moment to hoick up his costume; an extravagant, plumed creation which channels a vibe somewhere between a well-dressed peacock and a milk maid. “I’ll do it,” he adds. Mike is light on so-called stage banter. It’s when he performs or rather, throws himself headlong and billowing into the abyss of every single song - that he turns into a force that fills the entire room. ‘Fool’ waltzes cheekily along. “I titter and coo, like a cartoon,” he sings sweetly, grinning across the room, before swinging open the door to soaring melancholy, and contorting and howling like a gymnastic wolf caught in a hurricane. Puckering and swirling while the orchestral synths rip past, Mike Hadreas is a wild force. It’s ‘Queen’ that closes out a victory lap encore; basking gleefully in a camp, kitschy kind of strength that refuses to conform to anyone. Shatteringly vulnerable and terrifyingly powerful at the same time, Perfume Genius’ music gives a voice to the ragged, and lends a sashay to the ruined. (El Hunt)


Royal Albert Hall, London. Photo: Emma Swann.


here’s no denying that playing the Royal Albert Hall provides a somewhat poignant moment for any musician during their career. Tonight, as the UK’s sweltering heatwave reigns on, that’s no different for Paramore. But it’s not just this evening’s venue that gives their London show a sense of occasion.

Stone Age – many things have changed for the Nashville natives, but based on their performance tonight, they’re back to full strength. ‘After Laughter”s gorgeous ‘Told You So’ opens proceedings with a real sense of slick bombast, before the one-two hit of ‘That’s What You Get’ and ‘Brick By Boring Brick’ speeds things into dizzying overdrive. Tonight’s agenda is a high octane blitz through their last decade of being a band, and the likes of ‘Turn It Off’ and ‘I Caught Myself’ provide some of the set’s more unexpected, but glorious moments.

Since their Reading and Leeds sets back in 2014 – where the band co-headlined More than anything, tonight feels like alongside the mighty Queens of the


HEAVEN SCENT a real moment for both audience and band. Having faced quite the journey to get here, there’s a real sense of catharsis in the air as the trio dive into a cover of ‘Scooby’s In The Back’ - a track from drummer Zac Farro’s solo project HalfNoise – and have the time of their lives in the process. They say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger and tonight, against the iconic backdrop of the Royal Albert Hall, Paramore prove to be at their most powerful. (Sarah Jamieson)


13 NOV. 14 NOV. 15 NOV. 16 NOV. 17 NOV. 19 NOV. 20 NOV. 21 NOV. 22 NOV. 23 NOV.


OXFORD Bullingdon Arms LEICESTER The Cookie MANCHESTER Gorilla LEEDS Wardrobe

GLASGOW King Tut’s



LONDON O2 Shepherds Bush Empire




29 SEPT - 01 OCT









, we’ll pub quiz of sorts A big inter-band by one. e on es fav ur be grilling yo

It’s Your Round eat fast Cost: Free He Drink: ineken l Club, Leeds cia So ll ne de Pub: Bru

Chosen subject: I’M ALAN PARTRIDGE What is Alan Partridge’s favourite Beatles album? Oh, bastard. Oh no - it’s The Best of The Beatles! Absolutely correct! Just after Alan pierces his foot on a spike, what does he tell Lynn she couldn’t present? YOU COULDN’T PRESENT A CAT! Bingo! Name the three drinks that make up a Ladyboy. Gin and tonic, large Baileys and a pint of lager.

Disgusting, but yes, correct. What is the name of the book that Lynn buys for Alan in S2E6, Alan Wide Shut? Ooohhhh god! What is it! Is it Bad Slags? Again, you’re bloody right. According to the people of Norwich, who is the best lord? Oh, it’s Lord of the Dance! And that’s full marks! Back of the net, Kiss my face. Smell my cheese, etc etc. Score:


General Knowledge In what year did Robbie What is the collective Williams originally term for a group of crows? leave Take That? A murder! Shiiiit. Right, ok. ‘96 or Yes! ‘97? Maybe ‘98 actually, because he started What is hippopotoreleasing his own stuff monstrosesquipedaliaround ‘99. Let’s say ‘97. ophobia the fear of? It’s 1995! Ummmm. Hippos? [universal groan goes Wide open spaces? I around the table] dunno. Snapping a bass string on stage? What vegetable are It’s more literal than lady’s fingers more you’d think... commonly known as? A riddle or summat? A Okra! Straight off the bat, correct. hippo which is a monster which is a monster which How many films are is equipped with a gun. there in the Fast & I mean, absolutely top The Furious series? marks for effort, but it’s Eight? a fear of long words. Correct, again! Cor, you’re good at this. Score:


SCORE 8/10 A truly stunning performance from EAT FAST here, but granted, there were four brains at work here as opposed to our usual one.

Verdict: Canny!




Profile for DIY Magazine

DIY, July 2017  

From playing LA bars sat on stools to mingling with celebrities and popping up in tabloids, it’s clear to see that the past few years have b...

DIY, July 2017  

From playing LA bars sat on stools to mingling with celebrities and popping up in tabloids, it’s clear to see that the past few years have b...