STAND FOR SOMETHING TOUR UK 2015 WATCH THESE VIDEOS ON BLOG.DRMARTENS.COM
STILL TO COME
SOLD OUT ONLY RIVALS 7TH NOV // BELFAST
DEMOB HAPPY 21ST NOV // SHEFFIELD
SOLD OUT HECK 28TH NOV // CAMDEN
N O V E M B E R
2 0 1 5
Raury: So hot right now
GOOD VS EVIL
WHAT’S ON THE DIY TEAM’S R ADAR?
STEPHEN ACKROYD Founding Editor GOOD CHVRCHES + Paramore on a boat is my idea of The Best Time. Ever. EVIL I am not going to be on that boat. ............................. Emma Swann Founding Editor GOOD By the time you read this the winner may well be known, but Wolf Alice’s Mercury nod is welldeserved. [clap emoji]. EVIL We’re already at the NEW BANDS FOR 2016 stage. Where did 2015 go?! .............................. Sarah Jamieson Deputy Editor GOOD The introduction of Donut Friday in the office. Yeah, you know it. EVIL The one day I managed to go home ill - THE ONE DAY - that’s when Ezra Koenig shows up. .............................. Victoria Sinden Contributing Editor GOOD Rediscovering this month’s DIY Hall of Fame
album (p25), and listening to it 284353 times. EVIL Kitten farts. .............................. Louise Mason Art Director GOOD Carrying 24 eggs around Madrid all day . EVIL I think I have a crush on a rope. .............................. El hunt Associate Editor GOOD Flying out to Madrid. Flying back after 22 hours, two cervezas, and one margarita. I have never felt more like Madonna. EVIL The man who has started cooking, while wearing nothing but his pants, opposite DIY HQ. Buy some blinds mate. .............................. tom connick Online Editor GOOD Running a half marathon and raising over £2500 for Mind. EVIL Not training, screwing up my foot, not being able to walk properly for two weeks after.
E D I TO R ’ S L E T T E R
DIY’s November issue is all about musicians who break the rules. And we don’t just mean in a sense of attempting to play a saxophone while doing a headstand because nobody’s done it before. Some of DIY’s favourite acts shun the norm, switch gears and ignore outside pressure to get their way, so we decided to bunch them together into a massive feature. It’s led by Hinds, Madrid rule-breakers whose debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ is testament to sticking by your guns. They’re joined by the brilliant Run the Jewels, Shamir and Father John Misty - acts who stand out by doing things their way. Next time some old fart tells you to do something you don’t want to, give this issue another read. Jamie Milton, Editor GOOD Handing a packet of noodles to Ezra Koenig. (Spotted, p10) EVIL Realising I’d taken Tom’s dinner away from him by giving it to Ezra.
LISTENING POST What’s on the DIY stereo this month?
Daughter - Not to Disappear
It won’t cure winter blues, but Daughter’s beautiful and tragic new record is an early 2016 essential.
Savages - Adore Life
Talk about raising the game. Savages’ ferocious second album has the makings of being iconic.
C O N T E N T S
NEWS 6 NEU TOUR 1 2 S AVA G E S 1 4 B L O C PA R T Y 16 HONEYBLOOD 18 GIRLSAGAINST 2 0 S TA N D F O R S O M E T H I N G T O U R 2 4 H AV E YO U H E A R D 2 5 D I Y H A L L O F FA M E 2 6 P O P S TAR P O S T BAG
NEU 30 FRANCES 32 DIET CIG 3 3 YA K 34 BO ROCHA
36 56 FEATURES OUR SHIT OUR RULES
4 6 FAT H E R J O H N M I S T Y 5 2 RUN THE JEWELS
6 0 R AURY
6 4 C H E ATA H S 4 diymag.com
Editor Jamie Milton Deputy Editor Sarah Jamieson Contributing Editor Victoria Sinden Associate Editor El Hunt Online Editor Tom Connick Art Direction & Design Louise Mason Marketing & Events Jack Clothier, Rhi Lee Contributors Henry Boon, Anastasia Connor, Loren DiBlasi , Joanie Eaton, Lucas Fothergill, Joe Goggins, Jess Goodman, Greg Inglis, Liam McNeilly, Will Richards, Ali Shutler, Alex Taylor, Sophie Thompson, Tom Walters, Natasha West, Danny Wright Photographers Sarah Louise Bennett, Grady Brannan, Carolina Faruolo, Luke Hannaford, Mike Massraro, Ellen Offredy, Caroline Quinn, Matt Richardson, Phil Smithies
3 6 HINDS
5 6 WOLF ALICE & DRENGE
Founding Editors Stephen Ackroyd, Emma Swann
REVIEWS 68 ALBUMS 76 LIVE
For DIY editorial email@example.com For DIY sales firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com tel: +44 (0)20 3632 3456 For DIY stockist enquiries firstname.lastname@example.org 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: Mike Massaro
LANTERNS ON THE LAKE
B 1 3
NOVEMB E R bellaunion.com 5
This touring larkâ€™s so easy, Mattie Vant spends the whole time hanging upside-down. 6
Vant, The Big Moon & Inheaven take the UK by storm Three of the most exciting new acts around traverse the UK’s service stations for eleven unforgettable dates. Photos: Carolina Faruolo, Emma Swann, INHEAVEN and The Big Moon
EST TOUR EVER BIG SNOG HUG LOVE BITE,” is how The Big Moon
sign off the Neu Tour on Twitter, and it’s a fitting statement. With VANT and INHEAVEN joining the ride, three of the most exciting new bands in existence have conquered eleven cities, each packing their own surprises. VANT may have drawn first-on lots for a penultimate night at Brighton’s The Haunt, but they shun traditional running order etiquette by prompting a stage invasion. They tick the same boxes headlining Dingwalls on a triumphant closing night. On paper, these three acts have very little in common. INHEAVEN make sky-reaching, shoegazepop with enough ambition to outmuscle giants. VANT keep things simple with hook-crammed, politically-charged rock. The Big Moon are in a world of their own, forging huge melodies out of playful interchange. This trio might have been taking different paths, but this October these parallel lines locked together. They’re all fresh out the crib, just a couple of tours and singles under their belts - and before the tour’s opening night at Nottingham’s Bodega, they’re already chomping at the bit to get on the road. There’s no less excitable a mood by the time Dingwalls comes round. INHEAVEN are more enrapturing than ever as they open proceedings. Frontman James Taylor plays a shaman-like role, bouncing on the spot and rinsing noise at any given opportunity. Throughout the tour, headliners and openers have rotated - everyone’s had a shot at topping bills. On closing night, each band looks like they’re playing their own headline set.
They’re schooled in the art of almighty send offs. With closer ‘Regeneration’, INHEAVEN have an anthem-in-waiting, filtering The Jesus and Mary Chain-style bombast into a chart-ready charge. The Big Moon played their first show less than a year ago, but on the basis of Dingwalls’ secondon set, they’re mates for life. All four fail to miss a beat, the dynamic between Juliette Jackson and co. being just as much of a draw as their playful, ever-changing take on pop. Before tonight even kicks off, punters are treated to a playlist of Westlife, Craig David and the Spice Girls. That’s The Big Moon’s doing. The thread runs through to their amped-up cover of Madonna’s ‘Beautiful Stranger’, and it’s hinted at in their originallypenned giants ‘Nothing Without You’ and ‘The Road’. With each note played, they look more confident, egging each other on and sharing injokes without a care in the world. There’s nothing quite like watching a band progress at this rate. There’s similar cause for celebration with VANT. Stage invasions being their forte, they spend half their fully-charged set forcing crazed fans to go increasingly more ferocious, to make photographers in the front row “sweat a bit more”. Mattie VANT is a no-fucks-given frontman. Off stage, he’ll pen enraged songs kicking and screaming about gun culture, foreign policy, any divisive issue he can get his hands on. And when it comes to application, he turns these topics into vicious beasts. Again - VANT are unlike any other new band around right now. Three acts taking their own wildly different route pooled together for an unforgettable tour, and it’s a watershed moment.
All together now!
THE BIG MOON’S BIG VERDICT ON THE TOUR Backstage on the final night at Dingwalls, The Big Moon reminiscence on highlights, divas and, err, slugs that defined the Neu Tour. What was the best night of the tour? Soph Nathan (guitar): Glasgow was really good. That was my favourite. Juliette Jackson (guitar / vocals): With Glasgow, we stayed in our first ever hotel afterwards. That was very exciting. Travelodge! Soph: We were all excited and a bit Carlsberg-y. Very light and watery. So you don’t really know that it’s doing anything to you. Yep. Who’s been the biggest troublemaker on this tour? Fern Ford (drums): Jake from INHEAVEN. Number one, he won’t shut up. Number two, he’s so disrespectful. Number three, he’s just rude. ‘Jake, how are you doing?’ He’s like, ‘Fuck off’. Juliette: Really, he’s a maverick. But there’s also Billy from VANT. He’s got a mole. We’ve got a mole thing going on. Mole bros. We tried to touch moles earlier - we got really close. An inch apart, and we just blew away from each other, repelled. I think if we did touch moles, we would form a wormhole. Fern: He wears the bass so low, I tried it on and I couldn’t reach the frets. Has Mattie Vant turned into a diva yet? Juliette: He won’t even let me borrow his hair straighteners! He had to set some boundaries. Celia Archer (bass): But no, it’s actually been really lovely. It’s great. I’m sorry we can’t dish any dirt. Juliette: Going on tour is the best. To be 8 diymag.com
on tour for this long, I don’t want to stop. Celia: It’s ten new people you want to go for a pint with. It’s the best thing. Everyone’s so supportive. Everyone watched each band’s shows every night. It’s so nice to see. It’s been a rotating headliner tour. What’s your preference? Being first, second or third on stage? Juliette: You definitely feel a difference between going on first and going on last. Being in the middle is just the middle. Soph: Watching the other bands and then going on stage, it’s like a relay. It’s nice doing it knowing that everyone there is waiting for another band afterwards. With each gig, there would be someone singing along. Sometimes it was Chloe from INHEAVEN. Most nights it was Chloe from INHEAVEN, actually. What would be the one thing you’d change if you were to do this all again? Soph: Just go on tour with different bands. I’m joking! Juliette: I got slug slime all over one of my bras. I woke up one morning after sleeping really deeply. I was frowning, like I’d just come out of a different dimension. I looked on my bedside table, and my bra was on the table right next to my head, covered in slime. I looked down, the slime went down the wall, all across the floor and my clothes, into my bag, out of my bag. I never found the slug, or the snail - whatever it was. Maybe that’s the thing that would change. I would kill that animal before it had a chance to touch my stuff. And maybe my face, in the night. I don’t know if it did that. It really gave me the willies.
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PLAY GIGS IN GREAT VENUES
he votes have been cast and counted, now it’s official: the nominees for 2015’s Mercury Prize have been revealed.
Every year, the list is decided by a judging panel of twelve musicrelated individuals, which this year featured the likes of Anna Calvi, Corinne Bailey Rae and Nick Mulvey, who have been all previous nominees. As for this year’s picks, former judge Ghostpoet – who gave us a rundown on being on both sides of the Mercury in our October issue - has earned his second nod, while Jamie xx, Aphex Twin and Florence & The Machine all feature on the list. There are also some newbies, for good measure, with Slaves and SOAK both up with their debut album, and - of course! - Wolf Alice will be battling for the gong for ‘My Love Is Cool’. The judges’ top pick (and £20k prize winner) will be revealed at a dead posh central London ceremony on Friday 20th November.
Aphex Twin. .Syro.
Wolf Alice My Love Is Cool
Róisín Murphy. Hairless Toys.
Florence and The. .Machine How Big How.Blue. How Beautiful.
Ghostpoet. Shedding Skin.
Benjamin. Clementine At Least For Now.
.C Duncan. .Architect.
Jamie xx. In Colour.
(What Would Wolf Alice Do?)
As you can probably imagine, DIY HQ was pretty darn chuffed to hear that Wolf Alice had earned themselves a place on the shortlist, so we consulted our speed dial and had a quick chat with Ellie. Any big plans for the ceremony? Any Kanye-style mic grabs? Maybe don’t wear a cape… Who knows how we will deal with that level of excitement so yeah,
maybe. Doubt it will be any mic grabs or cape wearing. I’ll probably just wet myself or something less rock’n’roll. If you DID win, what would you do with the twenty grand? I’d like to give it to Theo and tell him he has 24 hours to spend every last penny, then follow him round with a GoPro and submit the footage to whatever the Mercury equivalent is in the film industry.
Soak. Before We Forgot. How To Dream.
Gaz Coombes. Matador.
Slaves. Are You Satisfied?.
SPOTTED DIY rounds up the last month of indie celeb happenings (and bloody hell this wasn’t a quiet month). “Ya Hey!” What happens when you’re in the DIY kitchen, acting like it’s any other day, making noodles because what else is there to do on a gloomy Tuesday, when all of a sudden - Ezra Koenig appears. Then he asks where the toilets are. Then you point him in the right direction. Then you tell Twitter about it. And this isn’t the end of the story. After seeing DIY’s tweet, Ezra (@ arze) promptly asked for a noodles delivery. We fulfilled his wish. Ezra got his noodles. Everyone was happy. Just another day in the office, to be honest. Elsewhere This Month • Which bearded bloke didn’t find it ‘Eez-eh’ when he found out a train only had one toilet? • Which famous pop person couldn’t ‘Take Shelter’ and hide when we spotted him buying Lemsip and cat food? • Which member of a twin band wasn’t saying ‘Haha’ when he went into a bakery and got confused by sourdough breads?
TOO LP / CD / DL
MYTHOLOGIES 2LP / CD / DL
BREAKING MY PHONE DOWNLOAD AND STREAM NOW
Album of the Month UPSET
“you’re going to be hearing a lot from this boy” THE GUARDIAN
“FIDLAR are officially back at the top of their game” THE LINE OF BEST FIT
HHHH DIY HHHH THE LINE OF BEST FIT HHHH CLASSIC ROCK “It’s a hell of a ride” LONDON IN STEREO
ON TOUR IN NOVEMBER 10th Bristol - Academy 11th Manchester - Ritz 12th Glasgow - Garage 14th London - The Forum 15th Birmingham - Institute
ON TOUR IN NOVEMBER 17th Sheffield - Picture House Social 18th Manchester - Soup Kitchen 19th Edinburgh - Sneaky Pete’s 20th Leeds - Wharf Chambers 21st Brighton - Green Door Store
ON TOUR IN NOVEMBER 11th London - Moth Club 14th Bristol - O2 Academy * 16th Cardiff - Clwb Ifor Bac 17th St Albans - Horn 18th Newcastle - Head of Steam 19th Leeds - Brudenell Social Club 20th Manchester - Fallow Café * supporting Ezra Furman
“Their most vitriolic work yet” NME
ON TOUR IN JANUARY 19th London, XOYO
IVY TRIPP LP / CD / DL
HEYDAYS LP / CD / DL
“unabashedly personal pop” PITCHFORK
GIRLPOOL BEFORE THE WORLD WAS BIG LP / CD / DL
FRANKIE & THE HEARTSTRINGS
DECENCY LP / CD / DL
DON’T WEIGH DOWN THE LIGHT LP / CD / DL
This might look like important recording work, but Savages are just playing Sudoku.
w h at’s goi n g o n wit h... We’re reversing into 2016 faster than you can say: ‘new albums! From some of the best bands around! Coming soon!’ As the new year approaches, we’re getting the first word from the biggest acts about what the hell they’ve been up to.
savages Braver, bolder and more of a beast than their debut, Savages are returning with their second record and – as Fay Milton explains - it’s going to be huge.
hen Savages released debut album ‘Silence Yourself’ in 2013, it was a statement with real intent. Accompanied by its own manifesto, it was a defined, determined effort which marked the London-based quartet out from their peers. Now, they’re gearing up to release its follow-up, and it’s set to be an even braver, more beastly effort.
“You’ve got to be brave, otherwise you shouldn’t be in a rock band, frankly!” laughs the group’s drummer Fay Milton, while she tries to dodge the North London rain. She’s referring to their New York residency back in January, after the band had completed the majority of their writing. It gave them an opportunity to road-test tracks from their second album. John Grant, definitely not picking his nose. 12 diymag.com
“I think,” she offers, “it was a way to stop dreaming. We had all been writing these songs, but they’re just not real until you play them.” Their shows across the city marked a chance for the tracks to become tangible, to see first-hand reactions. “You can talk about a show and imagine all sorts of things, but when you play it, it is what it is. “It was about taking the songs from this dream state of ideas - being very in our heads and cerebral - and making it into a physical state. It was like making a prototype. It was that kind of experience; to put those songs in a live setting and see if they’re gonna work, and to see what details are good and what aren’t so good. It was finding that out through that process.”
It’s also set to be much biggersounding than their debut, emphasised in part by recording at RAK Studios in West London. “We wrote the first songs in quite a small studio and it was lovely, but the size of the room - and its acoustics - were leading the music in a certain way,” she explains. “We realised it was too small; we wanted to make something larger than that - physically larger - so we had to move to a larger studio to finish writing. “Moving into RAK Studios was great. They have everything there. The equipment’s amazing and we had a Neve desk to record on and a really great sound engineer, Richard Woodcraft, so we just felt really comfortable. It was just really comfortable. In a way it seems really simple; we didn’t use any extra instruments or anything we didn’t already have, but we just did what we do and recorded it in the best way that we could.” GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT Title ‘Adore Life’ Where RAK Studios, London Songs ‘Evil’, ‘I Need Something New’, ‘Surrender’ Due 22nd January 2016 Other Deets Anders Trentemøller mixed the album over in Copenhagen, Denmark.
“you’ve got to be brave, other wise you shouldn’t be in a rock band.” fay milton Their intentions for a second full-length were clear from the outset. “It’s going to sound ridiculously obvious, but we set out to write a record. That’s different from how it was the first time around in the sense of, the first time we were just writing songs and seeing how we collaborated together and how it came out. It was exploratory. We started writing together so we could play shows.”
If any one phrase has been bandied around in regards to their forthcoming record, it’s been “a beast.” Would Fay go as far to agree with its description? “In a sonic sense, I imagine a beast would make a really loud, low growling sound?” she asks. “Like a guttural roaring sound? That is definitely on the album! Ayşe [Hassan, bassist] made sure that there is a beast of bass on this album.” She laughs, “but it’s a friendly beast at some points. It’s not aggressive, it’s feisty... but it’s still a beast, yeah.” DIY
HAVE YOU HEARD Savages – ‘The Answer’ Colliding with the abstraction and magnitude of powerhouses like Swans, ‘The Answer’’s guitar riffs soar up into the air before plunging into razor-blades. In terms of aggression, this reaches the teetering top of Savages’ scale, but there also feels to be playfulness coursing through ‘The Answer’. Love might be the answer, but cramming insanity, limits, living, dying, breathing, playing, poetry, and boredom into one single song, Savages have the kind of boundless, all-consuming zest that matches up precisely with an album titled ‘Adore Life’. (El Hunt)
fter the whirlwind that was her debut album ‘Glorious’, Foxes is set to return with a brand new, more close-to-heart effort. “It’s a very personal album; about losing someone in my life and all I knew I could do at that moment was write about music,” says Louisa Allen. “I always have this thing where I feel like I have to go through an emotional car crash to be able to talk about something.”
hether opening up at the Golden Globes or offering Tumblr updates on her progress, Lorde is definitely hard at work on a second album; what stage she’s at still, however, remains a mystery. Back in January, the ‘Royals’ star revealed to MTV that she was going at her own pace (“I have no timeline - I really don’t care”) before teasing a few more details several months later in an update to fans. “I’m just getting into making the next body of work, which is very exciting and scary but SO VALIDATING,” she said. “First records are like meeting someone and feeling that need to do everything, just in case you run out of time, or they stop feeling the same way as you. I feel much calmer, more comfortable in my love of doing this, and its apparent love of me, this time around. So there’s that.” Whenever the follow-up to ‘Pure Heroine’ lands, it’ll be something extraordinary. 13
GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT Title ‘Hymns’ Where Lynchmob Studio, London Songs ‘So Real’, ‘Fortress’, ‘Different Drugs’, ‘Exes’ Due 29th January 2016 Other Deets This’ll be the band’s first album with new members Justin Harris and Louise Bartle.
“this idea of death was never far away.” kele okereke
What’s Going On With... bloc party w h at’s goi n g o n wit h...
bloc party Recruiting new members and creating modern hymns: Bloc Party are back and it’s the start of a brand new chapter.
n the past few years, the story of Bloc Party has taken a tumultuous turn. After a short hiatus in 2009, they returned to form with ‘Four’, only to then say goodbye to half of the band. Now, however, life’s looking up. Having recruited two new members – bassist Justin Harris and drummer Louise Bartle – Kele Okereke and Russell Lissack are returning with fifth effort ‘Hymns’. It’s a whole new chapter. “Despite all the recent turmoil with the band,” begins frontman Kele Okereke, “I was in a very calm headspace. I think the nature of the music that I wanted to make, it brought a sense of calmness; I wasn’t really stressed about anything. It felt like the music was coming from a different place, like there was a purpose with this record that I don’t think there has been with any of the others we’ve made.” The departure of Gordon Moakes and Matt Tong seems
to have opened up the group to explore a little. “This record was really an opportunity for the freedom to do what we wanted,” he says. “We had to make sure that we captured all the delicacy and have the opportunity to take it where we want to take it. I was conscious that it needed to feel serene, I guess. Given the nature of the title and where everything’s coming from, I realised it had to have a certain reverence. I don’t think we’ve ever been able to explore that fully in our previous incarnations. Now, we have a new chemistry and I was keen to explore that.” Explaining that he wanted their new songs to feel “like modern hymns”, the subject matter of the record isn’t such a surprise. “I’m not a religious person,” Kele
offers, while conceding he did grow up with religion at the forefront of his life. “It was a challenge to me to make a record that explored what I believe faith to be. It forced me to ask questions of myself that I’ve never really asked before. “I had a very religious upbringing, and although it was never something that I really subscribed to, I still think there are residues of those experiences that have influenced me as an artist. Looking back at our previous records, I see now there are lots of references to faith and religion in the music. That was part of the reason why, on ‘The Love Within’” - the first track taken from the record - “I took a lyric from ‘The Prayer’ from our second record. It just seemed to make sense really, that direct reference
to where I’d been as a songwriter in the past.” The idea of faith and permanence was something the band were also faced with on a day-to-day basis when it came to recording: they were holed up in Lynchmob Studio near Wormwood Scrubs prison, where they spent a month staring out at the graveyard that lay nearby. “Being in a confined space and seeing rows and rows of tombstones, it fed into the spiritual nature of the music. This idea of death was never far away; every day I was thinking of this idea of permanence and how nothing is gonna last.” Despite delving into some of the bigger unknowns of life, Kele is now feeling calm and confident. Adding that this record was “the easiest recording experience” he’s ever had, it’s an album that will forever mark a change in the tide for Bloc Party, and in his eyes, it’s been “a real pleasure.” “It definitely feels like an exciting time,” he confirms. “I think I would’ve maybe been stressed by the idea of working with new musicians if I hadn’t had the experiences I’d had making solo records and collaborating with people that I didn’t know as well, and realising it can be just as fulfilling as working with people you’ve known half of your life.
w h at’s goi ng on wit h...
rtist Jamie Hewlett is gearing up to showcase his first exhibition – ‘The Suggestionists’ - at London’s Saatchi Gallery, but that’s not all he’s got going on. Speaking of his upcoming plans for Gorillaz, Hewlett says: “That’s next year. I’m working on it at the moment, and it’s going very well. I’m very excited. I don’t want to say too much about it, but I’m at that phase of experimentation. “What I try not to do when I’m working in this creative period, the cooking of the mess, is go to other peoples’ exhibitions and look at other peoples’ work. I close my eyes, and don’t want to know what anyone else is doing. Doing that has kind of ruined the creative process for me in the past, and I don’t want to let that happen again.”
“To be honest, I was starting to feel like, with our previous line-up, that the way we were playing was, personally, feeling a bit stale to me. After making ‘Four’, we were relying on a default setting when it came to making music. It was a feeling that kept coming back to me when we were touring ‘Four’ that I wasn’t feeling perhaps as inspired as I should’ve been. “I very much welcomed the experience of working with new musicians because it’s given me a new perspective. Justin’s a genius and I’ve always felt that; I was a fan of the band he was in, Menomena. It’s been a pleasure to work with him because it feels like anything is possible. It was a real pleasure to hear the songs coming to life, and that was what I was most excited about.” DIY
GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT Title ‘Suicide Songs’ Where Iguana Studio, Brixton Songs ‘I Am The Lord’, ‘Hopeless World’, ‘Cocaine Christmas and An Alcoholic’s New Year’
Due 29th January 2016 Other Deets The band worked with Alt-J and Marika Hackman producer Charlie Andrew.
ONEY are planning to release second record ‘Suicide Songs’ next year, and as the band’s Jamie Lee admits, it was definitely pressured. “Recording tends to be a stressful experience,” he reiterates. “It has neither the thrill of performing nor the rabid confusion of writing. It is about capturing the right feel on each track. “It was fun - I wasn’t really present. Go in - do some singing, playing and then head out - find a corner of a pub and try to figure out what needed to be done the next day or in general. Making indecipherable notes on receipts or whatever paper I could find. Inevitably they would be thrown in the bin.” “I think I put Charlie Andrew through hell with the confusion and inconsistency of my ideas,” he says of their producer. “One day I wanted this. The next, after having heard something on pub sound system or at home, I wanted that. He kept it together though and we managed to deliver the record. It is really an accomplishment on his behalf to have to work with a bunch of unreliable people who don’t want to work and fit these songs into something tangible within the allotted time.” 15
GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT Title TBC Where Fish Factory Studios, London Due Summer 2016 Other Deets The record will be Honeyblood’s first with drummer Cat Myers.
panic! at the disco
aving already showcased a handful of tracks, the fifth Panic! At The Disco album, ‘Death of a Bachelor’, looks likely to be the most flamboyant and confident to date. “For me, writing alone is more of a comfortable setting,” says Brendon Urie, who’s now worked on the previous two records by himself. “I feel like I can challenge myself in different ways. I feel like I can’t step out fully if I’m around people; I get a little too shy.” Taking the reins on his more recent efforts also makes the fact that he’s about to release a fifth record feel even more surreal. “It’s like I have all these kids that I’ve produced, and I don’t feel like it’s a fifth album!”
w h at’s goi n g o n wit h...
honeyblood From writing with new members to exploring new worlds, it seems to be all change for Honeyblood’s second record.
hey only released third album ‘There Is Only You’ last year, but already - as the band’s Murray Macleod explains - The Xcerts are looking ahead to their next musical endeavour. “Musically, we are really pushing ourselves to simplify our sound,” he says. “In terms of songs, we have always played quite hard and vigorously even when we weren’t considered so much of a rock band, so we are looking at writing some easier jams to digest and play. “We definitely want to explore the idea of hope. We want this record to make people feel uplifted in the same way Bruce Springsteen or The Replacements make us feel.”
oneyblood have primarily spent summer 2015 stomping through festivals every weekend. During the week, however, it’s been a different story, as the band’s Stina Tweeddale reveals. “We’ve been at home writing,” she admits, “or trying to as much as possible, for the second album. It’s kinda different to the first album, when there’s no pressure to write any songs because you’re just doing it because you wanna do it. You’re writing for yourself. Now it’s like, ‘Oh right, now I actually have to write a second album and I’ve only got four months to do it.’ It’s been a change in the process definitely, and I’ve had my eyes opened a little bit more,” she laughs. “Before, I was innocently writing songs for the sake of writing!”
finding herself exploring entirely different territory when it comes to her lyrics, she’s also got herself a new writing partner in drummer Cat Myers. “I think that the whole thing has been different,” she confirms, from London’s Fish Factory Studio, where the band are currently recording. “Cat’s with me now so I have a completely different writing partner musically, and the songs have definitely developed in a way where they’re not so much… The first album was pretty personal and either written about my own personal experiences or about my friends. I think - talking to other musicians, who are on their third, fourth albums - there seems to be a process where you write a really personal first album and then your second album becomes this wild record that could go anywhere. I think that’s what’s happened!
There have been all sorts of changes for the duo: not only is Tweeddale
“I was like, ‘Cool, I’ve got loads of things to draw inspiration from’ and then I
“i ended up going into this fantasy worl d and writing these crazy stories.” stina t weeddale just ended up going into this fantasy world and writing these crazy stories. My favourite songs have turned from more of a personal voyage into this fictitious mental dream world that I’ve made up in my head. I like it! There are these mad characters that I’ve discovered and they’re now the stars of the story. Maybe it’s because I’m a big loner and when I’m at home I don’t spend enough time with people so I make up characters in my head…” As for how their second record is going to sound, Stina’s still keen to hold some details back but it will be something of a step up. “I don’t want to give too much away but it’s gonna be exciting, the album will be different,” she states assuredly. “Cat’s just totally on it and is definitely up for challenging herself. Her favourite thing is to be like, ‘I’ve written this thing but I cannot play it but I will learn to and we’ll be fine.’ She’s like an octopus with eight arms and stuff. She’s definitely up for taking the challenge, and this is really the first album she’ll be contributing to, and she’s up for making it not sound like there’s maybe only two people, there’s more.” After the rather stressful recording process that accompanied their debut - “last time, I spoke about how I had a mini breakdown where I freaked out because we felt like we were against the clock!” - they’ve also decided to stay that little closer to home this time around. “We’re working with James Dring who’s worked with Jamie T, Gorillaz, and he’s just done Rat Boy recently. We’ve already recorded a couple of tracks, so we’ve got a good thing going on. This album, for me, is about having a little more time to think about what we’re gonna do. We’re still rushing against the clock because that’s just how making an album works, but now I have some headspace to think about what arrangements are gonna happen, and what I want it to sound like.” DIY
ill they, won’t they? It’s been the question on every Brand New fan’s lips for at least the last year, if not longer. From confirming they were entering the studio, to releasing new track ‘Mene’, the quartet have been teasing the idea of a fifth album for bloody ages now, but is it going to happen? Well, if frontman Jesse Lacey’s recent emotional display is anything to go by, it seems like the follow-up to ‘Daisy’ will land at some point soon; it just might be a bittersweet occasion... “This will be the last show we play for a while,” the frontman said, speaking through tears recently on stage in Nashville. “I’m gonna have a new daughter. We’ll hopefully have a record for you. I wanna tell you right here and now, this isn’t gonna last much longer, but it’s been so special for so long. For as long as it does last, we’re so grateful to you all for being here.” The mystery continues...
rom working with Beyoncé to finding the space for their own studio, the past few years have been pretty busy for Chairlift. Now, they’ve cleared their diaries and are finally gearing up to release a new record, ‘Moth’. “I had a sort of sound in my head that I really wanted to get out,” says Caroline Polachek, “that was different to anything we had done before: like, juicy and emotional and high-flying.” “We wanted to be very explorative in our own world,” adds Patrick Wimberly, “with instruments and gear. We were really digging to find new those sounds.”
HAVE YOU HEARD Chairlift - ‘Ch-Ching’ Chairlift have unlocked a code on new single ‘ChChing’, and it’s not just the “27-99-23” Caroline Polachek goes on about in the chorus. There’s an added spring in the duo’s step. Polachek’s ultra-flexible vocals match up to whichever fancy tricks Patrick Wimberly has up his sleeve, and there’s plenty on show here. Like ‘Hollaback Girl’ given a 2015 sheen, it’s the most confident these two have sounded, a million miles from the gloomy bedroom-pop charm of the ‘Bruises’ days. (Jamie Milton) 17
How five teenagers are combatting sexual assault at gigs. Words: Emma Swann. Warning: This article contains information about sexual assault which may be triggering to some readers. “One of them put their hands on my waist. I presumed it was an accident ‘cause everyone touches everyone at gigs, so I brushed them off because I wasn’t okay with it. It kept happening though, and he kept trying to put his hands in my tights. It made me feel so uncomfortable, I had nowhere to go because I was up against the barrier. Every time I tried to push him away he would just press his whole body up against me into the barrier. Eventually the crowd shifted and they weren’t behind me any more, but it made me feel so powerless and I didn’t know what to do.” When 17-year-old Hannah Camilleri’s experience at a Peace gig in Glasgow in September was shared online, it quickly drew the attention of the band’s frontman, Harry Koisser. “If you think this is OK,” he wrote on Twitter, “please I beg you do not come.” His words echoed those of Drenge earlier this year, sharing a fan’s similar report with the caption “Hey douchebags. This makes me want to stop playing gigs.” But it wasn’t just the bands’ responses that struck a chord, it was other fans. “We’ve received a lot of stories from people being groped at gigs,” says Anna, who along with Hannah, plus other friends Ava, Bea and Anni, have formed girlsagainst, a campaign to raise awareness of sexual assault and groping at gigs. They’ve been inviting fans to share their experiences online (anonymously, if they so wish), and contacted bands to speak out in support of the campaign. “We
want to open up a discussion between fans and their favourite bands about it.” That discussion is well underway. In addition to highlighting the problem of sexual assault at gigs, they’re engaging the artists at whose shows it happens: “[heartbroken emoji] that girls going to gigs might not feel safe,” wrote Spector. “This is awesome and super important, I’ve been groped when jumping in the crowd and we gotta speak up and educate,” said Kate Nash. Swim Deep frontman Austin Williams wrote “It’s great to see a bunch of you taking these horrid matters into your own hands and raising awareness. Power to you!” Highlight the problem, get fans – and bands – to speak out about it. Is there anyone they’re really hoping will join in for the cause? “Catfish and the Bottlemen,” says Anna. “From personal experience, the crowd at their gig was so unpleasant I had to leave my place at the front and it completely ruined my night. We’d love support from them, as we know for a fact groping occurs at their gigs. “Many people we’ve heard from have told us that after their experiences, they’ve been too scared to see the same band again, or even go to another concert again. Again, speaking personally, the thought of going to another Catfish gig is quite daunting.” Find girlsagainst at @girlsagainst on Twitter, and girlsagainst.tumblr.com. DIY
H E L L O. . .?
In case you’ve been living under a pile of rocks of late, Adele is BACK and she’ll release her new album later this month. Her long-awaited, much-teased third record ‘25’ will land on 20th November. She’s also released the first track to be taken from it, ‘Hello’. Listen on diymag.com now. R E I M AG I N AT I O N
Villagers will release ‘Where Have You Been All My Life?’, a new album that re-imagines songs from Conor O’Brien’s back catalogue on 8th January. New versions were recorded at London’s RAK Studio with Richard Woodcraft, over the course of just one day. E A R T H LY PLEASURES
Mystery Jets have announced plans to unveil new album ‘Curve of the Earth’ early next year. The band - now joined by Jack Flanagan on bass - will release their fifth effort on 22nd January via Caroline International.
G U E S S W H O’ S B AC K ( B AC K AG A I N )
Kings of splitting up and reforming, Death Grips are back. Again. “We’ve decided to make a new Death Grips album and it will be called ‘Bottomless Pit’,” said the band in a to-the-point post on their Facebook page. No release date is confirmed.
MARCH 2016 TOUR 04 05 07 10 11 13 14 16 17 19 21 22 23 24 26 27 28
BELFAST MANDELA HALL DUBLIN OLYMPIA STOKE-ON-TRENT KEELE UNI STUDENTS UNION MANCHESTER ACADEMY OUT NORWICH UEA SOLD T LD OU OXFORD O2 SO ACADEMY PORTSMOUTH PYRAMIDS GLASGOW BARROWLANDS YORK BARBICAN LEEDS O2 ACADEMY FOLKESTONE LEAS CLIFF HALLS BRIGHTON THE DOME NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY CARDIFF GREAT HALL EXTRA DATES ADDED DUE TO DEMAND
T LD OU LONDON O2 SO FORUM KENTISH TOWN OUT LONDON O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN SOLD LONDON O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN
AXS.COM | SEETICKETS.COM | TICKETMASTER.CO.UK DEBUT ALBUM ‘MY LOVE IS COOL’ OUT NOW
A MERCURY PRIZE ALBUM OF THE YEAR
A Goldenvoice, SJM Concerts, DHP & DF presentation in association with Primary Talent International
NEW ALBUM OUT NOW INCLUDES THE SINGLE ‘TURN YOUR LOVE’ 19
G N I H T E M O S R O F STAND TOUR 2015 NT IC KI CK STAR T OL ET S & TW IN AT LA E CO UN TRY. VI A LM PA , ES CL OU ND TH DU TC H UN -R AI SI NG TE AR AR DI Y AN D DM ’S HE LL
Glasgow Fruit at Nice ‘N’ Sleazy, Dutch Uncles + United r and autumn ove h) muc tty (pre estival season is now Stand time for the Dr. Mar tens is finally taking hold: it’s DIY to with ion ciat asso in 5 201 For Something Tour off with their brilliant. Kicking things begin, and it’s set to be les are taking Unc ch Dut rtet qua ster opening show, Manche Nice ‘N’ Sleazys. on Glasgow ’s iconic bar n lads Schnarff packed out as hometow With the room already ning is going eve this that r clea it’s e, Schnarff take to the stag United Fruit are ians weg Glas ow Fell to be something special. r crunching stage tonight, and thei the second act to hit the d, unabashed Lou d. goo ngly sfyi sati s brand of post-punk feel r set gets the for good measure, thei and just a little bit mathy headliners. ’s ning eve this for y room warmed up and read here four zys after last per forming Returning to Nice ‘N’ Slea ing into the gett time little te was years ago, Dutch Uncles funk y y, the out fit are a slick and swing of things. Instantl
DU TC H UN CL ES
Dutch Uncles boogie down. 20
from all with ease through cuts musical machine, moving e in thick and fast; the com hts hlig Hig rds. four of their reco Wallis pulling sees frontman Duncan a Hot Chip -esque ‘Fester’ ssage’ - which received ‘Dre le whi , pes sha some fabulous r stripped-back inthei ing dur er eov mak wonderfully odd is chaotically brilliant. store set earlier today ning showcases just how eve this e their per formanc a melting e can be; the band are styl r thei ctic wonderfully ecle pop. Wallis gets the n rive ar-d guit and pot of disco, funk r hour-long and ease throughout thei crowd dancing with flair is met with rapturous ight ton k trac ing clos r set before thei l’s ‘Kiss From tion fit for a cover of Sea applause; the only reac overdramatic, it’s the bit tiny a just and y A Rose’. Fun, funk per fect way r set tonight, and it’s the per fect ending for thei Something Tour 2015 For d Stan the of date to draw the first to a close.
Palma Violets + Best Friends at The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
s tonight’s opening act - Bournemouth-based The New Thieves - take to the stage at the 150-cap Owl Sanctuary, things are already a bit of a squeeze. There’s a buzz in the air, with the promise that tonight is going to get rowdy. Next, Best Friends offer up their second performance of the day following an in-store earlier in the evening - but this time, there’s even more dancing, singing and crowdsurfing on the bill. By the time Palma Violets are due to begin, the whole room is chanting a chorus of their name. The air fizzes with excitement as they finally arrive - Chilli Jesson dressed in an open shirt-and-suit combo, Sam Fryer sporting a rather wonderful hat - and it’s time for things to really get going. New songs come thick and fast, before the four-piece plow headfirst through old favourites ‘We Found Love’ and ‘Best Of Friends’, inciting riotous cheers of gratitude. As the quartet draw to the close of their hour-long set, the crowd is a hot, sweaty but elated mass. Completely rowdy and wonderfully ridiculous, Palma Violets may be that little bit rough around the edges, but that’s what allows them to really shine.
Twin Atlantic + Creeper at Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
he evening kicks off with Hull newcomers LIFE who use their opening slot to put on an impressive show, before Southampton quintet Creeper prove just why theirs is the name on everyone’s lips right now. It’s soon clear, however, that tonight truly belongs to this evening’s headliners. Bursting onto the stage with the commanding guitars of ‘Edit Me’, Twin Atlantic’s set is bursting at the seams with their huge-sounding anthems. Diving through high octane cuts like ‘The Ghost of Eddie’, potent old classic ‘What Is Light? Where Is Laughter’ and the passionate ‘Free’, the night is dialled up to eleven, with their audience jumping, singing themselves hoarse. With emotions running high, frontman Sam McTrusty thanks the audience one last time before a powerful encore of ‘Brothers and Sisters’ – a rousing track to draw things to a close – and the playful ‘Heart and Soul’. This may be their last show for a while but for those cramped against the small stage, their return can’t come soon enough.
TWIN ALTANTIC 21
We’re now at the half-way point of this year’s Stand For Something Tour, but things are showing no signs of slowing down. Having already seen Dutch Uncles, Palma Violets and Twin Atlantic cause a right ruckus across the country, the fun is set to continue for another month with Lonely The Brave, The Wytches and Bury Tomorrow.
STAND FOR SOMETHING TOUR 2015 LONELY THE BRAVE, THE WYTCHES & BURY TOMORROW JOIN IN THE FUN
C LONELY THE BRAVE
ambridge five-piece Lonely The Brave are no strangers to the Dr. Martens Stand For Something Tour. After all, they supported Don Broco on it last year in London. Now, however, they’re back to go one bigger. “It’ll be the first time the band’s been over to Ireland, so we’re excited,” explains frontman Dave Jakes. “I think half the audience will consist of Mark [Trotter, guitar]’s family!” he laughs. “They’re all from the Fermanagh area, so it’ll be great to meet them all. I’m looking forward to it.” Lonely The Brave will be joined by Only Rivals and R51 at The Limelight in Belfast on 7th November.
ext up, Brighton-based noiseniks The Wytches head up to Sheffield after spending most of the past year writing and recording a new album. “We toured almost all of last year so we didn’t want to over do it,” the band’s Kristian Bell says, explaining their relatively quiet year. “We have been working on an album, though, and also some other songs where it’s more of a fun thing rather than something with expectations.” The trio are also hoping that their show will match up to the stands of their last visit to the Steel City. “We played with Razoreater and Kagoule last autumn, and it was shreddin’!” The Wytches will be joined by Demob Happy and Bear Chest at The Corporation in Sheffield on 21st November.
his year’s Stand For Something Tour will be brought to a close by none other than Bury Tomorrow, who – after a jam-packed 2015 - are a surefire bet to tear the London show apart. “We’ve pretty much been on tour for an entire year,” frontman Dan Winter-Bates says, “spanning from UK shows to Australia, Japan and even Russia. We’ve also written and recorded our fourth full-length album, so all in all we’ve been pretty busy.” Despite spending the last twelve months performing across the world, it’s already looking likely that their show in Camden’s tiny Our Black Heart is going to be a highlight of their calendar. “It’s going to be crazy,” he enthuses. “Camden in general was one of the first out-of-town places Bury Tomorrow played. We’ve gradually been rising up the ranks in venue size, starting at Barfly, Underworld, Garage to now having sold out KOKO. The whole place is a hub of art, entertainment and individuality. I love it there.” Bury Tomorrow will be joined by Heck at Our Black Heart in London on 28th November.
DATES 07.11.15 LONELY THE BRAVE ONLY RIVALS R51 BELFAST, THE LIMELIGHT
21.11.15 THE WYTCHES DEMOB HAPPY BEAR CHEST SHEFFIELD, CORPORATION
BURY TOMORROW 22
28.11.15 BURY TOMORROW HECK CAMDEN, OUR BLACK HEART
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Grimes - Flesh Without Blood If the anti-pop purists weren’t into ‘Go’, they should stop now. Claire Boucher hasn’t backtracked one jot. The lead track from ‘Art Angels’, ‘Flesh Without Blood’ is a chaotic but sky-reaching burst of life, like Taylor Swift going gung-ho EDM and keeping the recipe to herself. The tropes of ‘Visions’ - finding unorthodox ways to hit big heights - remain, but this still sounds unlike anything Grimes has put her name to before. Closing section ‘Life in the Vivid Dream’ is a broken and blood-splattered clash of jagged beats and looped acoustics. Again, new territory for her. But on the basis of this bright one-two, she’s ready to take on anything. (Jamie Milton) Adele - Hello A ‘Hello’ is all that was needed to cement Adele’s return. Picking up four years later, the reluctant well-wishing coursing through ‘Someone Like You’ and the angered regret of ‘Rolling in the Deep,‘ are both replaced by more reflective, retrospective sadness. The heart and soul that comes from her voice - painstakingly controlled but flipping out into acrobatics like she’s sitting right on the edge of composure is there, still, as we always knew it would be, and blimey o’reilly, can she still write a heartwrencher. (El Hunt) The 1975 - Love Me “We didn’t necessarily get in a room and put on leather trousers,” claimed The 1975 frontman Matt Healy, speaking to Annie Mac before unveiling new single ‘Love Me’. But Healy and co.’s comeback statement pictures this exact scene - four guys getting engrossed in the hi-glam, neo Hollywood life and loving every second. A Talking Heads and Bowie-channelling funk force, ‘Love Me’
is 2015’s answer to previous decades’ shine and glitz obsessions. (Jamie Milton) Jack Garratt - Breathe Life Cast Jack Garratt in a different pair of shoes, take away the goofy charm and production knowhow, and his songs would still do big things. Like previous single ‘Weathered’, ‘Breathe Life’ could be a sappy singer-songwriter blubfest if it fancied. It’s hard to argue that his doe-eyed sentiment doesn’t get him places. But on his best track to date, the Londoner exhibits so much more than earnest lyrics. Jack Garratt is the opposite of a one trick pony, and he’s only just beginning to show his hand. (Jamie Milton) Charli XCX - Vroom Vroom Scottish producer SOPHIE likes to play on words and imagery. ‘Lemonade’ sounded like a fizzing drink set to burst. Breakthrough single ‘BIPP’ has a slide for artwork, and it soundtracks a slippery slope of crazed dance. With Charli XCX’s ‘Vroom Vroom’, it’s a foot
on the pedal, all-revving number that ignores the speed limits. It’s also a match made in heaven. Charli’s talk of keeping it “whipped and creamy” causes a stir alongside razor-sharp electronics, and the insanity breaks down for a straight-up pop chorus that puts sense in SOPHIE’s madness. Less a compromise, more a happy marriage of bonkers. (Jamie Milton) MØ - Kamikaze Fun is something that flows through ‘Kamikaze’ to the point where it defines it. Carnival-style horns burst out of the track with absolute glory, abandoning all inhibitions along the way. “Are you never gonna get enough?” Karen Marie Ørsted sings, but ‘Kamikaze’ has everything. MØ said that her and Diplo are “not all about making a hit record, more that we have fun together.” The second aim has clearly been fulfilled, and whether they want it to or not, ‘Kamikaze’ has all the ingredients to achieve the first goal along with it. (Will Richards)
DIY HALL OF FAME A monthly place to celebrate the very best albums released during DIY’s lifetime; the next inductee into our Hall of Fame is Be Your Own Pet’s selftitled debut. Words: Tom Walters. Photo: Parrik Jolson.
Be Your Own Pet Be Your Own Pet
THE FACTS Released: 27th March 2006 Standout tracks: ‘Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle’, ‘Love Your Shotgun’, ‘We Will Vacation, You Can Be My Parasol’ Something to tell your mates: ‘BYOP’’s American release date was the once in a lifetime 6/6/06. Uh oh. Watch out.
n 2006, British indie rock was making noise again. Arctic Monkeys won the Mercury Prize, Franz Ferdinand were already two albums deep and festival bills were packed with acts that made everything seem feverish and fresh. On the other side of the pond were a band making a whole different racket - Be Your Own Pet. Their debut, self-titled album was rewriting the rulebook. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how it all started, but initial demos of tracks like ‘Damn Damn Leash’ created a buzz that had everyone frantically searching their file sharing service of choice for songs that seemed beyond reach. The fuzzy, scratchy recordings showed a band primed with a frenetic energy that - by the time their XL debut came out - was fully formed, biting and vital. While Alex Turner and co were yelping about bumbling nights on the town, frontwoman Jemima Pearl was screaming about golden Nashville cornfields, ripping off damn, damn
leashes and causing the utmost chaos while having the utmost fun. There isn’t a single track on ‘Be Your Own Pet’ that doesn’t encourage losing your goddamn shit. What this rowdy lot cooked up pushes the limits of what it means to make your own fun in a place that’s seemingly deadbeat and downtrodden. Songs like ‘Ouch’ channel the frivolous energy that came from staying up post-midnight as a kid and watching something you’re not supposed to. Then there’s ‘Bicycle, Bicycle, You Are My Bicycle’, an in-your-face power anthem that’s a brilliant two fingers up. With ‘Be Your Own Pet’, Pearl and her dastardly accomplices tapped into an energy that resonated with kids everywhere, and that still remains absolutely essential. It was one that yelled at the top of its lungs that you don’t have to settle for what life hands you - kick, shout, scream, flail, lose your mind completely - and most importantly, have a shit-ton of fun while you’re at it. DIY 25
Popstar Postbag felix white, The Maccabees
We know what you’re like, dear readers. We know you’re just as nosy as we are when it comes to our favourite pop stars: that’s why we’re putting the power back into your hands. Every month, we’re going to ask you to pull out your best questions and aim them at those unsuspecting artists. You don’t even need to pay for postage! This month, The Maccabees’ Felix White is poised with the Qs. If you could relive any show that you’ve played in the past, which would it be and why? Jane, via email I’d probably go back ten years to our arena support with Ben Folds - the first time we’d played to any kind of substantial amount of people - find my shoelaces, walk on stage wearing shoes and not shout “FELIX!” down a microphone back to 8,000 people when a guy in the front row asked “What’s your name?” Where’s the best place to visit in Elephant & Castle? Thomas, Fife Our studio, but probably best to visit while we’re not recording an album though. If you were forced to go on TV for a reality show, which would you pick? Matt, via email Can’t Cook, Won’t Cook if that counts. Or Maccabees Come Dine With Me would be watchable. What are your favourite Toy Story characters? Steffi, via email Am I the only person in the world that thinks Sid, the neighbour, looks like a pre-fame and fortune Gareth Bale? I still love Toy Story. I definitely empathise more with Woody than Buzz, even if that’s painful to admit. What was the last album you bought? Heidi, Chiswick Our guitar tech, Tom, bought me Morrissey’s ‘Your Arsenal’ and I’ve only just found out ‘Step On’ was a cover, so I bought a John Kongos compilation. Both have been keeping me good company on this American tour.
Petrol? Sun tan lotion? Do you have any songs in your back catalogue that you’ve really grown to dislike? Anna, Manchester I’m not enamoured with some of them anymore, but they’re all part of the story, so no. What was the inspiration behind making Elephant Days? Pete, Southampton Initially, it was to find something the new record could soundtrack as a different angle and purpose for writing. Eventually it became celebrating that everyone is trying to achieve something; be it making an album, a suit, a guerrilla garden or winning a basketball tournament.
have a baseball. I’m still ‘mastering’ the curveball. I’d take Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, recite bad defensive philosophies and just go, “Discuss”, and watch them go. That would be an even better way to kill time. I’d also take a guitar. I know that’s four but Jamie and Gary come as a package I think.
Who’s your favourite new band? Stewart, via email SonLittle. You’re trapped on a desert island: what three things would you hope had washed up on shore with you? James, via email I’ve fallen in love with baseball on this tour, I wake up thinking about it and it feels like basically everyone has an opinion on it in the whole of New York, so it’s a good way to kill time. I’d
What’s your favourite smell? @ dylan4everever NEXT MONTH: DRENGE Want to send a question to DIY’s Popstar Postbag? Tweet us at @diymagazine with the hashtag #postbag, or drop us an email at email@example.com. Easy! 26
photo: mike massaro
It’s that time again. The past twelve months have seen many so-called ’musicians’ do ‘stuff’ with varying levels of ‘success’, and while we’ve spent that time yelling at you about quite a lot of them, now’s your chance to have your say on the year that’s been 2015.
There are two ways to do this! SNAIL MAIL: Fill in the form below and post it to us here at DIY HQ, 9, The Laundry, 2-18 Warburton Road, London E8 3FN. THE FUTURE: Head to diymag.com/readerspoll
• Best Song • Best Album • Band of the Year • Breakthrough Band • Best Person in (or outside of) a Band • Best Cover Version • Best ‘Collab’ • Most WTF Lyric • Best Comeback • Best TV Appearance • Artist who most needs to ‘get a bloody move on!’ • New Band Most Likely To Be Amazing In 2016 • Best Video • Best Live Act • Sauciest Warbler • Best Festival (or ‘Festival Like Event’) • Future Festival Headliner • Indie Dreamboat of the Year • Prat of the Year 27
A round-up of the gigs DIY’s been putting on this month.
Manchester. photo: Ellen Offredy
f you wanna throw, you better have an awfully big stone,“ warns Speedy Ortiz chief protagonist Sadie Dupuis. Make no mistake, she means it. Pausing only to declare her love for Manchester and raise a cheer for supporting bands Parakeet and Trust Fund, she powers through her band’s jagged asymmetric melodies.
In Photos: BEACONS METRO leeds. Photos: Luke Hannaford
DIY teamed up with Headrow House for a series of five free gigs, which kicked off on 5th October with Nai Harvest, Bloody Knees and Abbatoir Blues.
Speedy Ortiz have always had a way with wiry coiled tunes, skilfully executed in gnarly outbursts of sonic fury. Their latest, the five-star rated ‘Foil Deer’, dominates the first half of the set, bursting with high-spirited confidence and sharptongued quips. Although their sound bears the hallmarks of classic American college rock, some of the tracks from ‘Foil Deer’ betray a cheeky pop swagger. By the end of the night the dark steel-framed space of Sound Control feels fully charged, buzzing with positive energy. (Anastasia Connor)
coming up NOVEMBER
b lo o dy kn ees
13 Tuff Love, Fake Laugh, Lazy Day Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro) 10 Titus Andronicus , Hare & Hounds, Birmingham 16-20 Oscar, Blaenavon UK tour (Cardiff, St Albans, Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester) 27 Formation Soup Kitchen, Manchester
21 Dilly Dally The Castle Hotel, Manchester 5,12,19, 26 Beach Baby, Pumarosa and more, The Old Blue Last, London (Hello 2016) A bat to i r B lu es
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METROPOLIS MUSIC PRESENTS
ALBERT HAMMOND JR
METROPOLIS MUSIC, SJM CONCERTS & DF CONCERTS BY ARRANGEMENT WITH ATC LIVE PRESENT
Plus special guests
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NOVEMBER 03 LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB • 04 MANCHESTER GORILLA• 05 BIRMINGHAM INSTITUTE •
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NOVEMBER TOUR 2015 WHYTE HORSES / MT . WOLF / MY GREY HORSE
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TO U R A N N O U N C E M E N TS & P R I O R I T Y B O O K I N GS • F I N D U S O N
neu By geeking out on chart stats, this 22-year-old learnt how to become a star. Now she’s taking her first steps. Words: Jamie Milton. Photos: Emma Swann.
rances makes heart-on-sleeve pop. It isn’t revolutionary, but her voice could pierce the most stubborn of surfaces, and when combined with stirring piano notes, out steps something different. It’s a talent you can’t teach. But as for the rest of the 22-year-old’s early career, she’s learnt everything from scratch. When the reality hit that she wanted to become a songwriter for a living, Frances got down to business. “I studied the charts,” she declares, looking back on her late teens. “Anything that went Top Ten, I checked out who wrote it, who they were signed to.” Without being given the keys to success or having everything dished out on a silver spoon, she learnt the ropes herself. “I knew nothing. I didn’t come from a musical family, I didn’t know anyone in the industry. I had no clue what the whole thing was about. I just needed to do some work and gain a textbook understanding of how it works.” She spent years following the work of songwriters who get credit behind the scenes without stepping into the spotlight, finding the inner-workings of today’s biggest hits fascinating - pretty much the only aspect of music she’d fixate over. “I was never interested in the money thing,” she states. “Being a songwriter? I’d do that for free. I’d eat baked beans every night and live in a shed for this.” It’s early days, but this Londoner already comes across as driven enough to make her own success. She admits to
being a “bit of a control freak,” where she’d play the role of a producer in a studio without realising she didn’t need a helping hand. “I was dictating it. It’s a hands off producing role, because someone else is mixing. But I know what I want to hear and where I want things to sit. I just thought that’s what you do.” Debut EP ‘Grow’ is just her and a piano, but there’s more to come. She’s classically trained on the violin, and she’s a dab hand at bass, guitar and a basic drum kit beat. “I feel like I’m a songwriter first, singer later,” she claims, despite having the kind of earth-shaking voice that’s picked up early comparisons to Adele. “Listening to music growing up, I wasn’t attracted to voices, I was attracted to songs. I always want the song to speak first. Not purposefully, but my way of doing that was to not put too much in a song. You need to make sure nothing’s getting in the way of a lyric that’s important.” With the hard work and studying out the way, Frances’ focus is now on putting practice into play. There’s a debut album in the works (“I’ve been writing since I was twelve years old. That’s ten years of music to compress”) and she’s already dreaming of playing Madison Square Garden on a Stateside trip. Not exactly small steps, then. “Obviously you only really learn these things when you’re doing it,” she admits. Given the speed at which she’s ascending, don’t expect Frances to have her head in textbooks for much longer. Frances’ new EP ‘Let It Out’ is out now. DIY
“I’d eat baked beans every night and live in a shed for this.” Frances
Diet Cig Since the release of their debut EP at the start of this year, Diet Cig have been venturing as neu far as their melodies will take them with a unique brand of ‘slop-pop’. “We got to go rock climbing and see mountain goats!” Alex Luciano exclaims. Following the success of ‘Over Easy’ in February, the New Paltz duo have been recording and touring across America, making the most of every moment.
people in our scene, and songs that are about myself.”
Diet Cig sparked their kinship with fans through their starkly honest lyrics and simple refrains. “It’s a lot of writing about my feelings and interactions I’ve had with other people,” Alex explains. “I have songs that are about exboyfriends and songs that are about annoying
Recording isn’t the only thing on the cards for the pair. “You hear all these beautiful things about the UK…” Noah alludes. “It’s in the works, and we are SO PUMPED!” Alex squeals. “We’re going over for a week,” she continues. “Sayin’ hey, drinkin’ some tea.” DIY
“It’s the kind of music that you want to dance around your room to when your mum told you that you can’t go out until you pick up all your clothes off the floor,” she describes. “I want people to be listening to my music walking down the street like ‘yeah, I’m the best, I rule.’”
With songs of love, anger, enthusiasm, and enjoyment that both engage and “We never planned on this to be entertain, the duo have captured “ S o m e h ow anything, really,” Noah Bowman the hearts of fans around the ponders. “We recorded this EP to world. “We’ve got to see a lot th e s ta r s put out there and see what would of the country that we never a li g n ed.” happen. We had no idea that ever thought we’d go to, and to people were going to respond connect with fans that we didn’t Alex the way they did.” With fortune expect to have,” Alex enthuses. smiling down on them, the two“We had dinner with a nine-yearLuciano piece are grateful for every moment. old girl who really loved the music, “I think somehow the stars aligned,” Alex and her mum,” she continues. “When expands. “Our music just hit everyone in the we get a chance to connect with some of right sweet spot at the right time, in a way that the people who have connected with our music, we’re still not totally sure how it happened. But it almost feels like ‘Oh my God we’re not alone it was really amazing.” out here!’ It’s really cool.”
Based on their track ‘Harvard’, we asked Diet Cig what their time as a band has taught them. Alex: How to fix your amp when you spill beer on it. Noah: How to sit in a car for a really long time. Alex: It’s taught me it can be tough out there in the music biz - for everyone, but especially ladies. It’s also taught me that people are so resilient. We’ve met so many amazing people that are just doing it out there, musically, that are just so inspiring and amazing.
Diet Cig might act too cool for school, but that doesn’t stop them from being top of their class. Words: Jess Goodman.
u p t h e a n t e w i t h y e a r - d e f i n i n g L o n d o n s h ow Words: Sophie Thompson. Photo: Carolina Faruolo
A Yak is “a large domesticated wild ox with shaggy neu hair”. The band are also wild, the music is large, the three identical haircuts are definitely shaggy but they’re nowhere near tame. While tonight’s opener ‘Cumberland Gap’ is somewhat selfindulgent in taking too long to get going, it soon swells into a frenzy of grubby psychedelic rock. The pace is as manic as the distorted guitar lines; aggression pours from the relentless drumming to Oli Burslem’s snarling vocals - not so much singing as it is spitting. The surging energy of first official single ‘Hungry Heart’ is contagious to say the least, fast and reverberating like the audience’s bobbing heads. It’s all dark and messy: this is music that improves with a moshpit. And, with a little bit of persuasion from the frontman, that is exactly what
live Yak report
EPs This month in
happens. Part juvenile Jagger with a voice ranging from smirking guttural yelps to Cramps-like quivers, it’s no wonder that that Oli is a natural. Brow furrowed, his face is as distressed as the sound booming around the sweaty walls of the Barfly. ‘Smile/ Distortion’ is reminiscent of Rowland S Howard’s darkest material - less urgent than some of the earlier numbers, it’s just as hauntingly boisterous. The song toys with changes from quick to slow to fast to quiet quiet (and simultaneously teases the audience’s ability to guess when to resume their jumping). Erupting from throaty crooning to intense screams, Oli is practically bouncing off the walls; one minute he’s writhing around with the crowd and the next he’s whacking his guitar against a hanging speaker. With songs this energetically turbulent and a frontman to match, it’s no surprise Yak are one of the most exciting new bands around. DIY
November is chock-full of new releases from acts edging one step closer to a full-length. Kacy Hill - Bloo Kanye-approved G.O.O.D Music signing Kacy Hill is skilled in experimental, uplifting pop, producing a fine balancing act on debut EP ‘Bloo’. Francis Lung - Faeher’s Son Vol 1
Ex-Wu Lyf musician Tom McClung has a farflung solo routine compared to barmy ‘old days’ of his previous Manchester outfit. On his first collection, he announces himself as a star. Blaenavon - Miss World There’s a storm brewing with Blaenavon, a band who’ve been on the cusp of something special for years. Post-finishing school, they’re ready to show their hand, starting with the rousing ‘Miss World’ EP.
Oli Yak in his natural habitat - on people’s shoulders.
u p t h e a n t e w i t h y e a r - d e f i n i n g L o n d o n s h ow Words: Sophie Thompson. Photos: Carolina Faruolo
bo rocha Former Mt. Wolf member Bo Rocha threw all her chips onto the table to make her debut EP ‘Even Green,’ and now, the odds are stacked in her favour. Words: El Hunt. Photo: Mike Massaro. At first glance, gambling is down to the lucky roll of dice. Take a closer look, and there’s far more neu at stake. To win, you have to work the system, hedge your bets. The odds are skewed in favour of the house, even in a fifty-fifty bet. With Bo Rocha’s debut EP ‘Even Green’, she shoved the chips to the centre of the felt, and went all-in, win or lose. “I wanted to suggest that I’m not sure which way it’s going to go,” she laughs. “It could end in tears, or be great. I don’t know who’s going to have the last laugh.”
anxieties have come out in this,” she says. “A lot of it is me working shit out. It became kind of meta,” she says, of ‘Even Green’. “It’s about writing, too.” “I had six months of writing absolute bullshit,” she laughs. “It was a weird rebellion, writing something that will never see the light of day. After leaving the band [Mt. Wolf] I had an aversion to singing for a while. Eventually, I fell back in love with songs, and I think I found a voice again.”
As a result, overcoming boundaries is everywhere on ‘Even Green’ from song titles like ‘Live Fast or Die’, to the more symbolic act of it is me of abandoning everything Bo Leaving behind her former Rocha learned in the insular band Mt. Wolf, gambling was world of classical music. “You something she had on her had people on the front row, .” mind when she started work in a sat there with a score,” she says, makeshift studio; along with a copy looking back at the performances Bo Rocha of Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. “It that made her stomach do tumblegoes as it lays, don’t do it the hard way,” turns. “You’re playing from memory, and says the book’s game-playing addict Maria, they’re there tutting if you get it wrong.” before listing off everything she can’t - and won’t - do out of fear. “I found it way too rigid,” she reasons. “There are too many rules and regulations. Unlearning Bo had a list of her own boundaries, many of that stuff has been really liberating,” she adds. which she forced herself to overcome and “I have no idea most of the time what I’m doing, confront on ‘Even Green’. “I think a lot of my theoretically.” DIY
Old billboards “I’m interested in advertising and how it affects us, I use a few old taglines in some of the songs.”
“A l o t
wo r k i n g shit out
Bo Rocha’s ‘Tangerine Flake’ is about pimped up cars, and when she wrote ‘Angel Eyes’ she was thinking about Virginia Slims - a dainty cigarette from the 70s, targeted at women. She tells us about more of her influences.
Photographer William Eggleston “Glass In Airplane reminds me of every time I get on a plane - I have to get myself a drink, and sit there with it.” History “You can’t leave a boarding school, so I weirdly got into history.”
Recommended GIR L I
Attitude-dripping, tongue-in-cheek pop.
GIRLI is going to make a lot of people have very strong opinions. She sings about punching “a granny in the tooth”. She has the swagger of M.I.A. and the postcode of a London geezer. Everything under her locker so far is attached to the capital, from Boris bikes to a sweltering, grime-nodding pulse. There’s spit and fire defining her every move, and on a relentless stampede, GIRLI is going to prove a magnetising opinion-splitter. We know which side we’re on. Listen: ‘ASBOys’ is a deadly opening statement. Similar to: Too many alcopops, and repeat.
S l u t fa c e
Uncompromising, razor-sharp pop
punk from Scandinavia. Norway’s Slutface were a standout name at their own country’s Øya festival, earlier this year. Hitting with heavyweights, they announced themselves with fireball-breathing pop punk, crammed to the brim with giant hooks. They’re even better in recorded form. Fronted by the American-born Haley Shea, there’s a fighting spirit in everything they produce, from the defiant ‘Shave My Head’ to the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin ‘Angst’. Listen: ‘Shave My Head’ premiered last month on DIY. Similar to: Paramore with a Scandi edge.
Chain of Flowers
six-piece with no limit.
On their debut full-length, Cardiff’s Chain of Flowers break the doors down. Six members make up the Welsh force, led by disarming frontman Joshua Smith. But you wouldn’t rule out this bunch expanding, adding more fuel to their already all-guns-blazing tankard. Listen: ‘Crisis’ is a vicious statement from their debut album, out now. Similar to: Eagulls staring into the abyss.
A multi-dimensional revelation.
In each of Emily Cross’ songs as Cross Record, there’s enough going on to feed the imagination for weeks on end. Guitars flutter before breaking into knife-edged notes, broken strings each around the fringes, chugged bass lines enter the fray. Glueing it together is Cross’ voice, a lighter blanket on the otherwise berserk arrangements. It’s no surprise she reaches so far. Art, photography and classical composition are further skills she’s keeping close to her chest. Listen: ‘Steady Waves’ is an exciting start, taken from debut album ‘WabiSabi’, out 29th January. Similar to: Grizzly Bear with a broader palette. 35
Gone are the days when musicians had to save pennies for studios or play the game to get their way. In 2015, the biggest acts can arrive out of anywhere, and once they’re in the public conscience, the
ball’s in their park. But it’s down to a handful of acts to shake the foundations of music. Leading the charge for the next generation is
Hinds, a Madrid
group who’ve done everything their way to get to their personality-crammed debut album, ‘Leave Me Alone’.
words: el hunt photos: mike massaro
“ oday,” frowns Carlotta Cosials, rifling through a tattered notebook of draft lyrics and vague doodles for merch designs, “we have done 88 gigs. Including last year, gig number one hundred is happening now,” she finalises. After a week apart at home in Madrid, a newly reunited Hinds have assembled for cervezas in a downtown bar, and, with debut album ‘Leave Me Alone’ waiting for deployment in January, they’re all in particularly reflective moods.
new bands, the immense pressure could have been overwhelming. Hinds, though, have a single motto that they’ve stuck by. Nuestras mierdas, nuestras reglas. Our shit, our rules.
Whether they’re harnessing their innate talent for prompting stage invasions wherever they go, mounting full-scale missions Who can blame to befriend “Who are we telling them, really? musical hero Little over a Mac DeMarco, to leave us alone? year ago, or sticking firmly Hinds - then to their analogue called Deers guns in the studio, .” were nervously Hinds have lived by waiting that mantra from the Carlotta Cosials backstage at beginning. Typically, London’s Sebright they’ve just released a Arms. Back then, rather brazenly titled new you could count their release, ‘Very Best of Hinds So total live appearances Far’. “It’s funny. People just laugh easily with one hand. “For a little bit because it sounds like a real, that was our fourth joke,” cackles Carlotta, “but it’s actually gig, ever!” exclaims Carlotta, real.” “and we weren’t musicians before.” Growing up in Madrid, listening to The Black “Lots of fans are so sad because they don’t have Lips, and making yearly pilgrimages to watch [early physical singles] ‘Barn’ or ‘Demo’,” adds bands like The Strokes pass through Benicàssim, Ana, “so we did it for them.” Basic principles of Carlotta and her friend Ana García Perrote supply and demand aside, though, Hinds do started Hinds on a whim after mucking about admit that releasing a Greatest Hits collection with a couple of guitars on holiday. Bands in - before their debut is even out - is something Madrid stayed in Madrid; that’s what they’d of a ballsy move. It comes hand in hand with a learned. certain amount of self-belief. That confidence, it turns out, has been there from the beginning. “I Suddenly, though, joined by new recruits Ade have an old CD in my car, actually, with mobile Martín and Ámber Grimbergen, Hinds found recordings, called ‘The Very Best of Deers.’” themselves playing sweaty, low-ceilinged Carlotta remembers, suddenly. “Retro,” she shows to rammed-full rooms across the quips. channel, and touring the States with Glass Animals. The suggestion that Hinds jumped Hinds do to-the-point titles very well, straight into the deep end - without a single it turns out. Their debut full-length look back - is no exaggeration. For a lot of ‘Leave Me Alone’ extends a purposefully
Keep it DIY
Hinds started out doing everything alone, and that’s stuck with them. They announced their name change from Deers to Hinds with a doodled note, filmed all of their early music videos on the streets themselves, and design all of their own merch. That’s not going to change any time soon. Carlotta: It’s cool, but it’s a lot of work. We worked from ten to ten doing the artwork for the album. The back. the front, the inside of the CD, the lyrics and stuff. We make everything we’d like to have. We are music lovers, so we do it, because we are a band. Raghhh! I can do whatever I want. Ade: We have to do Hinds pants. For the merchandise. Carlotta: We want to.
deployed middle finger in the direction of any aspiring meddlers. “Who are we telling to leave us alone?” asks Carlotta. “Everyone. So many people.” “Everyone,” adds Ade, “but us.” “You need the explanation behind,” clarifies Carlotta, hastily. “We are very open to everyone. We don’t just go around Madrid just saying ‘fuck you!’ But if you ask us why it’s ‘Leave Me Alone’, that’s the answer. We talk a lot with everyone, and we get a lot of opinions. ‘You can’t do a song like that,’ or ‘you can’t do these things in your life’. It’s just like, ok, leave me alone,” she says, pausing for a sip of beer. “I’m going to do whatever I want. At least I’m doing what I want. I’m not going to regret it.”
“I’m going to do whatever
I’m not going to regret it.”
“What people don’t like about us, maybe we do,” chimes in Ana. “We’re not going to change that, to make people love us or something. I think as we had just started, people thought that we needed their opinions.” “There were so many opinions,” picks up Carlotta. “It’s so difficult to stay in the real. It’s difficult to stay loyal.” Ade, characteristically, has a blunt summary at the ready. “There were so many opinions about everything. ‘Leave Me Alone’,” she laughs. When Hinds last met DIY, they were far less jubilant. Back from two weeks of recording in the southern Spanish city of Cádiz, they returned frustrated with the results, and chomping at the bit to get back in the studio. “So many hours, so many Coca-Colas and breadsticks,” says Ana, looking back at the following discussions before the band went back to re-record. “We’d really thought about it, and it only took two days,” she says. “We had time,” agrees Carlotta. Their persistence has paid off. Now, Hinds are left with an album that perfectly captures the energy and excitement of starting out, the beaming, ramshackle nature of their notorious live shows. With just a handful of previous singles in the mix, ‘Leave Me Alone’ is far more keenly focused on bringing Hinds’ raucous gigs into focus. In particular, Hinds grab hold of the out-of-control live monster ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’, and yank it onto the wax, crashing jarring vocal takes over the top of each other, atop a sidling, plunking Ade Martín bass-line special. “We looked at small things that are disturbing,” grins Carlotta, describing the process of finding lyrics for ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’. Before, after all, it was a frenzied 40 second outburst of incomprehensible yelps. “Fat... calmed... kiddos,” she announces, with relish. “Fat calmed kiddos just touching your pillow. Ergh. It’s just disturbing.” “They can be so creepy!” shudders Ade. “We love
kids in that way,” laughs Carlotta. Finding a suitable container for Hinds’ pressure-bottled live energy, the band agree unanimously, was the biggest challenge on ‘Leave Me Alone’. Happy to rip up their own rulebook, it led them to reconsider the whole way they approached song-writing. “We usually take months to finish songs,” says Ana. “We took a long time to write,” adds Carlotta, “thinking about the shows and stuff, and then we were in a real hurry. We started to write just what we were thinking about in the moment.” “Is this an album of the moment we’re having right now?” Carlotta wonders. “I think so. It’s even old now for us. I’d even change more things now. We’re learning all the time. We are such babies in music, so we learn every day.” Writing from a spontaneous place has produced a surprisingly sad album. With love songs, falling-out-of-love songs, unreturned calls, drunken miscommunications, and those unsettling ‘Fat Calmed Kiddos’ hovering at every turn, belting choruses like “I am not always gonna be around” - from early single ‘Bamboo’ take on new nuance in a different context. “I remember once we started thinking about this,” starts Ana, “and we thought, we want our songs to work when they’re played at 7am at an after-party - because of what it means to you, not because it’s a party song. We tried to write it about our experiences,” she goes on, “but not so specific, so everyone can understand it in their own way. Extrapolate. Make it their own. That’s
HINDS Y AMIGOS
It’s the way of the road - it soon becomes like one big school trip for musicians. During their gigging travels this last year, Hinds have made some pals. Mainly drunken pals, it must be said... They snuck up on Mac DeMarco as undercover fans at Primavera Carlotta: We were very drunk , and we said ok let’s sneak up and say something. We touched his back and he turned around and said ‘oh my god guys!’ A nice morning. Ana: He’s one of the pillars for our music. They ’ve induc ted Oscar into Spanish drink ing traditions Carlotta: We did botellón with him. Do you know botellón? It means big bottle. It’s just buying cans and sitting on the floor. Choose place, choose beer, drink . Ana: Such a Spanish thing. So typical. They tried (and failed) to go to the karaoke with Swim Deep Carlotta: We were drunk and cheer y, and we said, ‘let’s run away, to the karaoke’. Austin said he knew somewhere - “so close, take a left.” Ana: We turned, and they were gone. They just left! Carlotta: We didn’t even go to the karaoke. 41
“We’re not going to
to make people love us.” - Ana García change
Perrote 42 diymag.com
when you love something. I really like when that happens to me.” “In fact the song we hate the most right now is ‘San Diego’,” states an upfront Carlotta, “and it is the most party one. We hate it so much, I hate it!” Considering they started as the unofficial band de la fiesta, Hinds sure have changed their tune. Ordering in another round of cervezas, and looking back over a flurried year, Glastonbury Festival was the biggest stand-out moment for Hinds. It hasn’t got anything to do with late night doobies in the Healing Field, or stumbling across a man dressed as a crab on stilts, either. Hinds’ attachment to the whole thing is particularly patriotic. “You really can’t imagine how big it is,” starts Carlotta, to the other’s amusement. “You are English,” she laughs. “No, seriously. We are the only Spanish band, ever, in the history of Glastonbury, that has played on one of the main stages,” she explains, visibly stunned from the whole experience of playing The John Peel Stage. “It’s one of those moments.” “You don’t think about it. You think that music in Spain stays in Spain,” Carlotta goes on, “because that’s what we’ve learned, forever.” Bands, she reckons, are taken far more seriously in the UK, where Hinds have been well and truly taken under wing. “We still have these comments here,” she says. “We had the guitars in a Spanish airport, and we got ‘ay, you have a little band!’ You guys take culture so much more seriously than us in Spain,” she claims. “We have good paintings,” protests Ade. A fair point. DIY
Hinds are spearheading a new wave of Madridians breaking the “Spanish bands stay in Spain” rule for good. From splitsingle buddies, to label-mates and keyboard destroyers, here are some other locals leading the musical armada.
THE PARROT S . As well as sharing animal-based band names, The Parrots have other close ties with Hinds. Singer Diego García has produced for the band from the very beginning, and the two bands have united forces for everything from split singles on Burger Records, to joint videos. With a similarly rag-tag approach to guitar music, and a love of all things fuzzy and garage rock, The Parrots are closely behind Hinds when it comes to leading the Spanish pack.
LOS NAS T YS . They might have a song called ‘Madrid Es Un Cementerio’ (Madrid is a graveyard) but this chaotic rabble are actually helping to prove the opposite. Bratty, poster-peeling, blastthis-at-full-volume-in-your-bedroom punk, with a hint of The Sonics turned Español, this self-confessed nasty bunch are Madrid’s snarliest new prospect.
LOIS . Take a Fisher Price ‘My First Keyboard,’ and whack it a few times with a spoon to make sure you’ve messed up the speakers good and proper. Superglue down the demo button, find a surfer-rock melody, and drop it into a vat of golden syrup. It’ll sound a bit like Madrid’s Lois. Oddly romantic, and charged with a deep, booming croon, he just signed to Hinds’ European label Ground Control.
arrive in all shapes and
s i z e s , w h e t h e r t h e y ’ r e d r a s t i c a l ly
shunning the fame game.
is taking a look at the acts sticking to their guns a n d o n ly f o l l o w i n g
With most acts, there’s a simple tangible progression between records. Next steps are visible from a mile away. But every so often there’s a spanner in the works, someone out there willing to wipe away everything they’ve done before with a radical change. If there’s a rule for treading the same path, these guys break it.
THE HORRORS The Horrors shapeshift constantly. Plodding and relentless, their debut was unapologetically gothic; monotone thudding basslines prising themselves out of circulation-cutting skinny jeans. Somehow, Faris and co. did the unexpected, and pulled a successor like ‘Primary Colours’ out their sleeves next. Reaching ever spiraling heights of musical ink chromatography, and skipping in the opposite direction to expectation, it’s a tradition they’ve stuck to ever since. Cranking ‘Skying’ up dizzying tempos for their latest, ‘Luminous,’ only one thing is consistent in The Horrors’ output; it keeps getting even more ambitious.
There’s one quality uniting everything Kanye does - it sounds like Kanye. Somehow, the Curtis Mayfieldsampling ‘Touch the Sky’, his Rn’B obsessed fourth album ‘808s & Heartbreak’ and the trilling, nightmarish ‘Blood on the Leaves’ (from his most recent album ‘Yeezus’) all sit neatly alongside one another, making perfect, brilliant, genius sense. He’s duetted with an acoustic-wielding Beatle, Paul McCartney, and put out the audacious, gospel-propelled ‘Bound 2’ - and that’s just very recently. There are few artists as wildly unpredictable as Kanye West.
swim deep Not even Swim Deep could have predicted the drastic sonic leap they would make between first and second records. Tipping out brains, dipping everything in superglue, and pelting it at a wall to see what stuck, ‘Mothers’ spawned a game show theme tune from Jupiter (see: ‘Namaste’), the belching, robotic insanity of ‘Fueiho Boogie’, and an entirely new manifestation of Swim Deep willing to give anything and everything a go. It takes a brave band to go stark raving bonkers, but this lot pulled it off with a casual assertiveness.
Away F r o m T h e
Spotlight Once the plaudits start pouring in, the everyday route is to take the fame trip and say hello to red carpets, private jets, millions of followers. For some acts, however, they’ve somehow resisted putting their identities out there, achieving a fine balancing act between all-out success and relative anonymity. For the most part, they wouldn’t get recognised buying a pint of milk - they’re the smartest rule-breakers of them all.
sia Sia casually penned ‘Diamonds’ for Rihanna. She shrugs when Adele says ‘no’ to a song. She’s responsible for over 25 million singles sales worldwide. Meanwhile, she’s said Sia later to fame in recent years, refusing to show her face in public. The artist infamously performed her epic belter ‘Chandelier’ on Seth Meyers while lying face-down on a bunk bed, and on her 2014 album cover ‘1, 000 Forms of Fear,’ she’s a faceless blonde bob. She’s appointed Lena Dunham as a wig-wearing stand-in, and played shows with her back turned in the past, too. Her bio on Twitter simply says she was “born from the bumhole of a unicorn named steve.” “I’ve never been very famous, but I’ve worked with a lot of famous people,” Sia reasons in what she calls her Anti-Fame Manifesto. What she’s seen, peering into their lives, is apparently enough to put her off fame. Citing the constant behind-keyboard criticism and judgement that comes with being a celebrity, Sia has stuck up a middle finger. Fuck it, she’d rather focus on the music.
Sia couldn’t bear to be recognised in public sporting triple denim.
daft punk Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel De Homem-Christo’s continued insistence on wearing big shiny helmets is admirable. They probably have wrinkled up faces from the condensation, but on they go, pursuing their attempt to be the biggest and most personally unidentifiable dance acts. It goes hand in hand with the parallel universe they weave around records like ‘Random Access Memories’, and it furthers the impression they’re capable of anything, at any time (like headlining Glastonbury in 2016 - get the hint, lads). The guy who’s famous for not being Four Tet, Burial is also champion of the world’s greatest selfie, the biggest pitch for DIY Indie Dreamboat that never quite made it. Will Bevan - the closest fans have come to digging up his real name also happens to be the buffest in the game, but that hasn’t stopped him from staying in the shadows, gradually tinkering with the ambient dubstep he’s best known for. It’s credit to a producer who’s kept fans on tenterhooks for years, without touring or tweeting a single rant.
fat h e r j o h n misty
While most of his singer-songwriter peers treat their work as ‘serious business’, Father John Misty wields his warped sense of humour like a weapon through everything from songs to social media. Words: Tom Connick
he caricature of the singer-songwriter often outweighs even the best of intentions. Forlorn, doe-eyed, navel gazing - probably not the type to post memes of paper towel dispensers all over Instagram. Father John Misty, though, does exactly that. “I’ve always cultivated a persona through social media,” he admits, “because I’ve always had a hard time believing that people take it as seriously as they do.” Indeed, while the art of Father John Misty is pored over by ever-more intellectual bores, Josh Tillman spends his off days uploading stock photos of men taking selfies alongside such knowingly daft captions as “My mind tells me this is cliché, but my heart tells me I am fundamentally unique.” It’s a bizarre contrast.
True to his word, the covers lasted a grand total of “a couple of hours” before Josh pulled them offline. When he was approached for comment on why they’d disappeared, he made up a lie about Lou Reed visiting him in a dream. It wasn’t the first time he’d played a knowing prank on the music press – earlier this year, ahead of the release of his latest album ‘I Love You, Honeybear’, Josh uploaded a MIDI electronic version of the record for advance streaming, stating that it was a new technology titled SAP - “a new signal-to-audio process by which popular albums are ‘sapped’ of their performances, original vocal, atmosphere and other distracting affectations so the consumer can decide quickly and efficiently whether they like a musical
Josh is quick to admit he’s a slave to social media in his own, left field way. “I get wrapped up into it when I’m on tour or something,” he admits, “I’m just bored. I guess in some “ I t ’ s t h e w ay respect I do try to do… this is a pretentious word to apply to something so silly… but, there are a series of posts. I started finding SecondLife photos that represented what I was actually doing. Josh Tillman So if I was in London, I’d find a [virtual reality game] SecondLife photo of London. composition.” Yet again, it And then my friends would be like, ‘oh, I saw that you’re in was leapt upon. London!’” - he peels off in fits of giggles - “So that was good!”
brain w o r k s .”
This knowing, wry humour won’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s kept half an eye on Father John Misty’s extracurricular activities. Following up Ryan Adams’ Taylor Swift covers album with his own, Lou Reed-aping “interpretation from the classic Ryan Adams album ‘1989’” may have been leapt on like an act of cultural genius, but for Tillman it was just another way to pass the time. “I’m not sure I even believe in spontaneity any more,” he ponders on the subject. “We make these very deliberate decisions and presume that they must be spontaneous if they feel right. “But I will say that, with the covers of Ryan Adams, if you can justify spontaneity with an amount of time spent on anything – which with that particular thing was under an hour total – that’s as close to spontaneous as I guess there can be. But, that said, I did kind of know what I was doing; I did know that it would resonate. But I didn’t expect it to be as resonant as it was… which I found to be kind of disgusting.”
“Here’s the deal,” he continues. “The entertainment landscape, in order for it to be the kind of entertainment that people want, it can’t be timeless. The fact that that [Ryan Adams] thing came out that day, and turned the thing into an event, that’s what made it take off. The MIDI version of the album, that’s a far more timeless idea – and maybe it’s timely in that it’s addressing this far more drawn out conversation, but the Ryan Adams Taylor Swift thing was timely in that ‘this is the white-hot’ moment, and that’s what gets people
off these days. It’s the same mentality as a tabloid.” Talk of tabloids, smartphones and consumerism might initially seem at odds with Father John Misty’s grandiose, borderline classical arrangements and heart-rending love songs, but there’s a sense of humour that drips into Tillman’s day job too. ‘Bored In The U.S.A.’ sees an in-built laugh track used to counteract the dark lyrical statements, while his onstage set-up includes a neon sign which demands ‘No Photography’. Of course, if you want to see it, you need only search #fatherjohnmisty online. “Irony is a double-edged sword,” Tillman explains, “It can be a wake-up call, but it can also be anaesthetising.” He laments “the more toxic form of irony,” whereby people become overly wrapped up in just how clever they are, and admits he tries to veer away from that chasm. “So much music, so much culture is almost reverted to propaganda, where everything has to be a prescription for decent human living. There’s a lot of ugliness in this album, because if you’re gonna be creative you open the door of madness and you let everything in, and you have to run that risk. Or at least, I do.” Tillman’s admission of his own personal madness is quintessential Father John Misty – relishing in the harsh and twisted realities of his subjects is what pitches him leagues ahead of his singersongwriter contemporaries. “I’m not sure I can speak to what other songwriters think or how they experience that process, but I know that I just have a very attuned bullshit detector with my own work,” he admits. “I don’t aim straight for irony when I write this stuff, it just ends up being that way because it’s the way my brain works.” DIY
fa x: f r o m t he o f f ic e o f Rat B oy
fa s h i o n
killers Fashion is about taking risks. Sometimes adventures into the unknown - like Grimes’ initially ill-advised socks and sandals combo - become iconic. Many trailblazing warriors, though, stand out for different reasons. Here’s a peek at the admittedly brave looks in music that flopped harder than Hugh Gengahr’s hat being used as a fly-swat. (Sorry, Hugh. We still love you)
Peace, capable of wearing squirrels on their heads.
Yannis Foals accidentally rolled in a magic carpet and it got stuck.
Swim Deep, pre-‘Mothers’, looking especially #SWISH.
Hugh Gengahr’s James Bay impression was a 2015 highlight.
Tarek Spring King also happens to be a successful businessman.
shamir Shamir Bailey’s successes are built on a foundation of breaking rules. Now, he’s busting his way into the world of the chart success, all while maintaining his musical and personal independence.
aintaining favour with the indie crowd while taking a two-footed leap into straight-up pop is no easy feat, but then Shamir’s never taken the path of least resistance. Putting all his cards straight on the table in a scene that thrives on secrecy, he’s taken left turns at every opportunity and thrived off the expectationshattering success each one has brought. Spontaneous and carefree though Shamir may seem, however, he admits he thought about the caricature of mystery “a lot.” “The mystery appealed to me,” he says, “but I decided to come into this as myself. I felt like no one would listen to my music if I were not completely myself.”
As well as pulling back his own curtain, though, he’s taken a bit of a peek behind other peoples’, mucking in on the ‘industry’ side of things as much as possible. Before signing to XL, he interned for the label – an experience he’s now applying to other up-and-comers as manager of bubbly Philadelphia indie group Joy Again, something he’s relishing. “I love new music and helping new music get out there and touch others like it touches me,” he states matter-of-factly.
My fa n s are “
Shaking things up at all levels, Shamir’s also made a point of subverting gender binaries – “I find it amazing that we even still have ‘best female’ or ‘best male’ categories at award shows! Why not award the best of the best?” he says – and playing with pitch-shifting to subvert yet more expectations.
Thankfully, Shamir’s personality kind of like my is every bit as larger-thanlife as his enormous take on “In the end I think it’s worked for the electronic pop. Outspoken-yetbest,” he states on his against-the-grain approachable, he’s been known dedication to laying himself bare, “because a w ay f r o m h o m e ! ” to leap the barrier after his highI think it’s always cool to have a musician or energy shows and spend much public figure that’s completely human every Shamir of the rest of the evening hugging once and a while.” those who stick around. “I wouldn’t be here if people didn’t like what I do - I like to It’s that that’s fed into Shamir’s boundary-leaping show how much I appreciate it,” he explains. successes, as he embarks on tours with chart-crushers like Marina & The Diamonds and Years & Years whilst remaining “When I’m on the road it’s very solitary and I don’t get to see signed to a label that many still consider the backbone of too many people outside my small crew so my fans are kind indie, XL. “I think it’s because my music is less ‘pop’ and more of like my friends away from home!” Shamir confides. “I also to be relatable,” he explains. “I just try to make music anyone like to break down the weird ‘I’m an artist, watch me entertain can listen to regardless of taste. Timeless music is never done.” you’ barrier and just kinda make my live performances feel DIY like a shared experience between me and the audience.”
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard Morphing their sound with every release and churning out multiple, show-stopping new records every year, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard are proving it’s not just their name that’s out of the ordinary. Words: Tom Connick.
e’ve always been really careful to not be in a position to do anything we don’t wanna do,” explains Stu Mackenzie, frontman of Aussie warped psych-poppers King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard. “If we wanna put something out, we can put it out,” he states bluntly.
release of their eighth record, ‘Paper Mâché Dream Balloon’. It’s yet another departure in sound for a group who’ve yet to sit still for more than about five minutes. It’s a pick’n’mix attitude to writing that Stu relishes. It’s that carefree attitude and non-stop spontaneity that’s pure King Gizzard – a chaotic approach that, on paper, shouldn’t work, and yet through sheer determination keeps things building.
That much is clear. Currently averaging an album every six months, the scraggly-haired, bafflinglynamed seven-piece are the antithesis of the Kanyes and Frank Oceans of the world. Where countless bands are stuck sitting on their work for an eternity, waiting for the opportune time to unleash it, King Gizzard are Stu Mackenzie queue-jumpers, firing out impossibly accomplished works at an alarming rate. “That would really frustrate me,” So much so, in fact, that the second admits Stu. “I’d probably get angry things started to feel formulaic, they and… be a bad person,” he says before threw out the rulebook yet again. “It chuckling to himself, only slightly was kinda liberating,” he confides, ominously, “So let’s hope that doesn’t “after making a couple of pretty heavy, happen!” conceptual records in a row it started to feel a bit thought out – intellectuThankfully, Stu’s misdemeanours look alising music is a bit dumb, in a way. set to remain wholly theoretical as the We started to feel like, ‘let’s just write band round off their fifth year with the some songs that are just songs and not
these epic pieces’. That’s where this record came about.” On stage, too, King Gizzard are an odd prospect. Two drummers, three guitarists and the occasional flute solo, it’s all just about tied together by Stu’s jellied spine as he flops about like an inflatable tube-man with a deathwish. Even after a globetrotting summer of festivals, though, they’re still not after a lie down – instead, they’re finishing up that half-done record that they left on the back burner in favour of ‘Paper Mâché Dream Balloon’. “We’ve been building a studio in this little warehouse where we can make music and do our own thing,” Stu enthuses. “So that’s fun – I guess we’ll just work on recording and stuff!”
“Intellectualising music is dumb.”
It’s fair to say that sitting outside the norm seems fairly important to this lot, then. “It’s definitely important to my own sanity!” laughs Stu. “Feeling like I’m trying new things or having fun with it – that’s the main thing for me. It’s all just fun and games at the end of the day – it’s not super serious shit!” DIY
T H AT F E E D S : D N A H E H T G N I TWEET
ARTISTS VS. LABELS Musicians can wait years before a record they made yonks ago finally makes it into the real world. But in an age where fans can get instant access to almost anything, some acts are taking release woes into their own hands, giving the people what they want, when they want (even if it pisses off label bosses).
With frustrations at their major label backers reaching boiling point and the release of debut album ‘Dirty Gold’ pushed back once more to March of the following year, Angel Haze broke cover and leaked the record as Christmas 2013 approached. “I don’t count anything as a loss,” they assured DIY in a recent chat despite the fact that the stunt left their record sales dwindling, “it allows for me to have such succinct creativity and a freedom that’s palpable.”
Sky’s never been one to shy away from scolding her various labels via social media. Way back in 2011, she branded old label EMI’s process “extremely frustrating” after they continuously delayed the release of any material. After Capitol then failed to have vinyl copies of debut album ‘Night Time, My Time, ready for release, she took it into her own hands, pressing the record out of her own pocket. Earlier this year, too, she put Polydor to rights for ‘ripping her off’ with regard to various video ideas, and then not providing her with any support post-release. “I think it did pretty well considering the circumstances,” she said on Twitter, before laying into the label once more; “Maybe I would have ‘sold more records’ if I had the resources to do so.”
D E AT H G R I P S
Anyone could tell you signing a band like Death Grips is a risk, but few could have foreseen the firestorm that erupted back in October 2012. Uploading second album ‘NO LOVE DEEP WEB’ onto their website before their label Epic even knew it existed, Death Grips quickly decried the label as “BASIC AS FUCK” via Twitter after the site was taken down. The label were apparently “upset and disappointed” - a fact we only know because Death Grips posted the entirety of a confidential email from the label’s legal team as a Facebook status. Unsurprisingly, Death Grips were dropped a couple of days later.
Poodle-shooting rule breakers with a penchant for cat noises and politics, not even Killer Mike and El-P could’ve predicted just how important Run the Jewels would become in 2015. Words: El Hunt. Photos: Grady Brannan
f all the things you could possibly imagine Run the Jewels doing during a normal lunchtime in Dallas, carefully folding laundry probably doesn’t rank very highly. Two separate, established faces on the underground rap scene before they had even met, El-P and Killer Mike formed the project in 2013 with few expectations. Spitting out their satirical, hyper-bravado pumped statement of intent - debut opener ‘Run the Jewels’ - the pair came out blazing with fury; “hungry as fuck,” and threatening to pull pistols on poodles, smash things, and change the entire game in the process.
being incredibly wary - Mike and El-P didn’t want to waste their fans’ money - the pair of them sat down and realised ‘Meow the Jewels’ could grow into something far more serious; a ludicrously far-fetched charity fundraiser. It was, in a roundabout way, undiluted genius.
Run the Jewels rarely do things by halves, and so their next step was to enlist some of the most talented producers in the world for ‘Meow the Jewels’. Massive Attack’s 3D, Geoff Barrow from Portishead, Just Blaze, Prince Paul, and BOOTS - the list goes on - all got swept along with Run the Jewels’ madcap new idea. “I’m very lucky those people came on,” El-P Run the Jewels soon snowballed into a hulking monster, and says. “I think everyone was very inspired by the idea behind it, though Killer Mike and El-P always had an inkling the project and the challenge. But straight up, I just did that shit because would connect in a big way, they never imagined I couldn’t do it by myself,” he laughs. “I enjoy the they, as Run the Jewels, would become two of painful irony that this is probably the only time the most vital, leading voices coming out I’ll get to be on an album with this amount of rap. “As a rapper you have to envisage of people I respect, and I forced them to The small matter of being on yourself right at the top,” reasons Mike. make the stupidest fucking shit possible.” a world tour didn’t halt ‘Meow the “I mean, the bullshit we talk on the Jewels,’ and it hasn’t stopped Killer Mike records...” Yet here they are, Killer Mike, “We raised even more than we asked and El-P looking ahead to ‘RTJ3’ either. El-P and El-P. Carefully folding t-shirts into for,” reflects El, “and all the money went gives us an update a suitcase. to charity, directly to the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. It was El-P: “We have two more weeks of tour “People would pay good money to the choice of the community,” he adds, this year, and as soon as I get home, we see this,” shouts El-P from across the “I’m really inspired by the fact people start Run the Jewels 3. We’ve already room, laughing. He makes a very valid made that happen.” started some of the production. point. Over the past two years, since the That’s what we’re doing all project first came into being, people have “Mike doesn’t like cats,” he laughs, switching next year until it’s paid good money to see Run the Jewels do a tact, and dropping a clanging great revelation done.” lot of ridiculous shit. Take ‘Meow the Jewels’ as case in the process. “Even he was down. The cause was in point. good.”
“Marijuana,” muses El, recounting how the entire ridiculous saga first materialised. “The pure power of marijuana and its shitty sense of humour. That’s it. I was just trying to spice up the [‘RTJ2’] pre-order packages to entertain myself to be honest, and that joke ended up being a Kickstarter campaign on the internet, apparently...”
“Because they’re stupid,” yells Killer Mike across the room in defence. “I don’t understand the ownership of a pet that doesn’t understand it’s your pet.” On Mike’s sliding scale, though, cats don’t fare nearly as badly as his biggest literal pet peeve, poodles. “Poodles I just detest!” he exclaims. “I wouldn’t shoot a cat.”
El-P’s first reaction as he watched his stoner antics spiral out of control, he readily admits, was one of pure dread. “One day I realised I was fucking doomed,” he laughs. After initially
The snobbery of poodles is just the start of what Run the Jewels takes down in a deft swipe. Killer Mike and El-P veer from playful, overblown goofiness to attacking social critique.
bullshit w e ta l k o n t h e r e c o r d s . . .â€? Killer Mike
With ‘RTJ2’ track ‘Love Again (Akinyele Back)’, they got festival tents chanting their self-confessed “fucking stupid chorus” all summer. Then, just as satirically, they invite in Gangsta Boo to flip every tired out hip-hop stereotype on its head. There’s a lot going on here, for a song that, on first glance, is all about dicks. ‘Early’, meanwhile, sees Killer Mike imagining himself - a black American - being dragged away by the cops in front of his son. Across the whole of Run the Jewels’ second record, in fact, there’s a clearly detectable shift. “We had a discussion about it,” says El-P of the gradual transition into something more complex. “[‘RTJ2’] needed to be more than just a fun record, it needed to represent who we were artistically. We knew there was a chance to make this thing grow,” he says. “I think the foundation of Run the Jewels is ‘RTJ1’. That vibe, and that playfulness with each other,” he adds. “We’ll never be a super serious group.” Besides the vibe El-P talks of, a refusal to do things by the book is also there buried in Run the Jewels’ foundations. From the very beginning, they also made the fairly weighty decision to release all their music for free. Not content with competing for first listens and sales, Run the Jewels played the game by their own rules. “It cuts out the bullshit,” states Killer Mike. “It’s an unspoken agreement between us and our audience. ‘Hey, we’re going to give you this record. If you like it, thanks. If you like it a lot, buy it, or come out and see us at a show, support us, and buy a t-shirt or something.’” “We don’t like the vilification of all the people that are allowing you to do the thing that you love,” continues El-P. “One of the byproducts of the confusion, as the industry’s changed, has been this really misplaced us vs. them. We don’t like that,” he says, flat out. “We’re not interested in trying to point a finger at something that is, at this point, essentially an antiquated business model. We also respect you if you don’t buy music, and if you can’t buy music. That’s the biggest gesture we could imagine to our fans; to say we want you, we want you involved, interested, listening. That’s it.” That sense of openness also extends to politics, outside of their music. Appearing on news channels across the world
as a social commentator, and speaking at universities across America on the subject, Killer Mike particularly has become a hugely important voice in the dialogue surrounding race in America. On the night of the Grand Jury’s verdict on the killing of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown, Run the Jewels were playing a show in St. Louis, as Ferguson’s protesters continued to take to the streets outside the venue. A clearly emotional Killer Mike spoke directly to the room in light of the verdict; speaking about his fears for his children, his wife, his black community, and for the future of America. Then, he and El-P launched together into the angriest, most venomous rendition of ‘Run the Jewels’ imaginable. “As a black man, and a father of two boys in America, I feel a responsibility to do that,” Killer Mike says today. “There are not a lot of people doing it in a way that I view as effective. There are not a lot of people who understand the perspective, the pressure it is to be a young AfricanAmerican male in America. I have the perspective of having a policeman as a father,” he adds. “I think there are extremes,
extremists on both sides just shouting for the other side to lose. I don’t see a lot of growth coming out of that.” That calling, he adds, exists out of the realms of art, and comes down to something more basic. “I feel a responsibility to make good art, too,” picks up Killer Mike, “and sometimes that’s very social, and poignant, and speaks to the human soul. Sometimes,” he laughs, his folding completed, and ready to bus off to yet another sold out tour date, “it’s just utterly ridiculous shit about shooting a poodle.” DIY
Who leFt the dogs out!?
Since ‘Meow the Jewels’ dropped, there have been unverified reports of animals reacting in unprecedented ways. Cats, apparently, view it like musical catnip. Poor dogs, on the other hand, are terrified. We put these claims to the creators. Have you tried playing Meow the Jewels to a cat yet? Mike: I haven’t, but I’ve heard cats have reacted in various ways. It varies from mildly entertained to just going batshit crazy. El-P: I saw a great video of a dog, a chiwawa, and the owner was playing ‘Meow the Jewels’ . You saw the dog’s face, and it was just completely uncomfortable. Mike: It’s like a zombie movie for dogs. Do you feel like maybe you’ve disappointed quite a few of your canine fans? El-P: We owe dogs something. Mike: We gotta look out for the dogs.
Run the Jewels’ tour bus is an understated, low key automobile. 54 diymag.com
How about ‘Woof the Jewels’? El-P: Fuck no. On all that is holy. Never again.
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Eoin Drenge and Theo Wolf Alice are the tourâ€™s blossoming romance. 56 diymag.com
It ’s Wolf Alice and Dreng e . It ’s the b es t to u r o f the year , o bvio us ly. Backstage ahead of a sold-out closing night at Brixton Academy, the dream lineup sit down to reflect on their biggest batch of shows ever, with more than a few anecdotes up their sleeve. Words: Jamie Milton. Photos : Emma Swann & Phil Smithies. What’s been your favourite night of the tour? Joel Amey, Wolf Alice: We haven’t even had a chance to speak about it. Eoin Loveless, Drenge:
“I GOT A GIANT ORDER OF DOMINO’S - SO MUCH, I HAD TO HIRE A LORRY FOR IT. I THOUGHT ‘HEY, WOLF ALICE ARE REALLY GONNA LOVE THIS AT 3AM’.” RORY LOVELESS Manchester was really good. Beautiful venue. Theo Ellis, Wolf Alice: But you know - each venue is equally good and each crowd is equally great. I love playing in most places. Joel:
Southampton - the venue was really good. Old and regal. Eoin: But we weren’t allowed to play football. Joff Oddie, Wolf Alice: Because Johnny, our tour manager, was playing football in there years ago and smashed loads of the ornate shit. Theo: The guy in the venue was going to me, ‘Ask Johnny why’. He was like ‘Yeah, I put a dent in the wall. Cost ‘em a grand.’ How are you going to survive taking this to America? Eoin: The first time we went to America we were kind of sickened. The neck pillow incident. Rory Loveless, Drenge: Ok. We hired a guitar tech over the West Coast. Theo: And he tried to shag your neck pillow? Rory: He was a bit of a wildcard. And I’ve got this black neck pillow my mum gave me, just for flights. And one
night, he’d brought this girl back to the hotel from the bar, but rather than go to his room, he sort of just did his thing in the van. The next day I came down and there was a condom lying on the floor, outside the van. He was like: ‘Dude, that was me’. And when we were driving, I noticed there was white crusty stains everywhere. I picked up my neck pillow and… We asked him what happened. He said: ‘Oh yeah, we went and got doughnuts that night. It’s doughnut juice.’ Theo: That’s ten times worse than what I thought it would be like. Whose bus actually got smashed on this tour? Theo: Ours. Rory crashed his Domino’s wagon into it. Rory: I just got a giant order of Domino’s - so much, I had to hire a lorry for it. I thought ‘Hey, Wolf Alice are really gonna love this at 3am. I’ll just park my bus up’. And then crash. Wing mirror comes off. The front window’s just gone - obliterated. Their driver comes up completely starkers and stands in front of my lorry saying I’m not going anywhere, just as I’m trying to get away! Theo: It’s
completely written off. This is the first time you’ve played the whole album on tour, Wolf Alice. What’s the reaction been like? Joel: We’ve been playing ‘Silk’ and everything. ‘Turn to Dust’ in the encore. ‘Giant Peach’ is still the one going down best. It’s just that ending. We’ve got the lights and everything to blind everybody. It’s a completely different everything, this tour. Theo: It’s a lot more of a ‘show’ show for us. We’ve got proper production and we’ve had time to think about it. It’s less frantic. Hopefully people are liking it, or they just get bored. Like that guy who said he’d rather be on his Sky Sports News app instead of watching us. Eoin: That was on our Facebook page. And you know, we’ve all been there watching a shit support band. Getting out the Sky Sports app and then going on Facebook while they’re playing. Rob Graham, Drenge: I was really bored on stage, so I was on my Sky Sports app. How’s the glitter been selling? Ellie Rowsell, Wolf Alice: Everyone’s wearing it. Theo: We’re gonna make it like the Odeon where you can’t bring your own glitter in soon. The fans have been out since 7am and I went out to see them earlier. They asked me if I wanted a drink, I said no, and they unleashed a two litre bottle of whiskey. At 10am. It’s good to queue. But it’s also good to queue and not die. They’ll be there in the front row with a hangover and a coffee. How have Made Violent been, joining you guys on tour? Joel: They’re great fun. They’re really cool to have on tour. It’s so good live. Rory: They’re so American though. They’re just sat round drinking Budweiser and talking about hunting. You couldn’t get any more American than that. Ellie: It’s really weird watching them on stage over here and in America. They’re really talkative and then it’s so different when they’re playing somewhere like the Guildhall. Joel: They play American bars and there’s a lot of hollering. We miss that. Brixton must be a rite of passage for you guys. Joel: Brixton Academy has big memories for me. I went and saw Linkin Park here and I walked down
Theo has an interesting way of dealing with eyebags on tour
the road next to the venue. DJ Hahn - the keyboard player - was peering out the window. I was like ‘Wahey!’. He said: ‘Stay there!’ Came back and he had a signed bag of cookies, which he chucked at me. Joff: You were quite a chubby young fella though, weren’t ya? Joel: Yeah I was, so… When are you going to stop jetsetting around the world? Theo: When it’s finally pulled from under our feet and suddenly for some reason, people hate us. ‘Wolf Alice? I hate them’.
‘Swallowtail’ gets a grunge makeover.
HEAD TO HEAD: Wolf Alice and Drenge ask each other the big questions Eoin: What’s the best thing you’ve eaten on tour? Theo: I had the best Nando’s. Massive. Not in size, but in quality. A quality Nando’s. Theo: What’s the best thing you’ve seen this tour? Not musically, but something that’s pulled on your heartstrings. Maybe a child giving his mum a flower. Eoin: Earlier today we saw three really fat kids on those hoverboards. It was like looking at the future, but a depressing version of it. Like ‘Wall-E’.
IN THE QUEUE
Sass, Vicky How’s this tour been for you? Sass: I megabus’ed it all week. 4 in the morning, two buses a night. It’s been 100% worth it. Mine and Vicky’s friendship is based around Wolf Alice. We met at a Cambridge show and now we’re really close friends.
Ailbhe, Issy, Danielle, Tom, Lauren, Maria How many times have you collectively seen Wolf Alice? All: 31! Ailbhe: The Monarch was the best show. It was a tiny show. And you got free drinks!
Joff: Rob, which is your favourite member of Drenge? Rob: My favourite member of Drenge is Rob. I just see him the most and I get on with him the most. I’d go as far to say that he’s my closest friend. Theo: If you could be one member of Wolf Alice for the day, who would you be? Eoin: [To the tune of ‘Swallowtail’] “Joooooel Ameeeey, yeaaaah that’s fucking me.” 59
IF I WAS A RICH BOY If Raury had all the money in the world (not a complete impossibility, the way he’s going), what would he do with all that dollar? “I would start a community. It wouldn’t even just be for music. It would be for people that wanna evolve. Every tree and bush planted would grow food. There’d be no hungry or homeless people. Everyone can eat, and we’d have educational systems that teach people how to cope with themselves, and their emotions. Knowing what’s going on in your brain when you’re jealous about somebody - all that kind of stuff. Some people go their whole life not understanding themselves, but they know how to do math. Don’t get me wrong, that’s important, but we miss out on a lot of other things.”
When Hurts first signed their record contract they made a few very specific demands. Six years on, we’re wondering if they got everything they asked for. So, you demanded a drink with Simon Cowell before you signed. Theo: It was a gin and tonic to be shared in equal measures between all three of us. That didn’t happen. He is a busy man.. T: I might just turn up at Sony and say I want it, or ‘Surrender’s not coming out. What else did you ask for? T: We got a comb, and an umbrella. Adam: I got a Manchester United season ticket T: Tickets to the Michael Jackson premiere, too, and flights to LA. I put a suit on there which I still haven’t collected. What on earth possessed you to request all these things? T: We were sat in the canteen before we were about to sign, and we went ‘this is our only chance to do this. So, lets just write a fucking list.’ The lawyer had to change the official record contract. I saw him recently and he said ‘that was a busy day.’
Playing with fire Raury is a daredevil 60 diymag.com
At just nineteen years old, Raury speaks for a generation who shun narrow-mindedness and embrace everything. Debut album ‘All We Need’ is a mission statement for this Georgia-born “wildcard”, and he’s not anywhere near finished. Words: Jamie Milton. Photos: Mike Massaro.
aury stands out because he shouts louder. Aged 19, he’s been making bold statements for years. Give the Georgia-born prodigy a platform on the top of Mount Everest to declare his love for the universe, and he’d still use a megaphone. Any big topic, any divisive issue - he has an opinion. His biggest moment so far arrived on Stephen Colbert’s The Late Show, back in September. Performing ‘Devil’s Whisper’, Raury wore a Mexico football shirt with the name ‘TRUMP’ crossed out on the back. It was enough to make the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump quake in his boots from the other side of the television studio. “He’s talking about building a wall, so much money on building a fucking wall,” Raury states a couple of months on. “There’s a general consensus amongst the youth and the people who live morally - somebody like that is not what’s up. The guy has a very old way of thinking, a stagnant way of thinking. “You wanna know one story that I’ve never really included when talking about where I grew up, and where I come from?” he starts. “Stone Mountain is really close to Clarkston, Georgia. Clarkston is the most diverse city in Georgia. Damn near top three in the nation. They fly in refugees into HartsfieldJackson, and that’s pretty much where everybody goes. I went to high school with this girl who had a story about how she walked cross country and on a boat, all to get to this high school. More often than not, somebody’s from a different country in that high school. It’s there for refugees to get on their feet. Stuff like that is right around the corner from me. I’ve always seen it - people can live together. And as far as homelessness and all that goes, I feel like there’s enough for everybody. A country is judged on how they treat their poor.” When it comes to big statements, there’s a lot more where that came from. Debut full-length ‘All We Need’ is crammed full of messages designed to sway opinion and change headspaces. And despite on the surface being more simmered down than last year’s erratic ‘Indigo Child’ mixtape, it finds Raury using his voice more than ever. The album “relates to this state that society’s in right now,” he says. Despite the bright eyed optimism of this teen - in person, he has a habit of jumping up and down at random, high-fiving strangers and looking around at the world in wonder - he speaks about the present day with negativity. “It’s becoming a dark society,” he claims, citing the themes around TV shows and movies as examples. “This is what we’re into - Narcos; the darker shit, the pessimistic shit… A lot of us are finding a home in that darkness Evenand Kurtthey’re was getting exasperated by the and negativity, choosing not to fuck popularity of the ‘Lorde or Kurt Vile’ meme. 61
RAGE AGAINST THE NORM
On ‘All We Need’, Raury invites some big names to guest on his record.
“Rage Against The Machine knew what they were about. And that’s what I feel is happening with artists like me in hip-hop, coming off the cusp of self-indulgent material. We’re like ‘Fuck that, we’re about this’. Alessia Cara, Lorde, Little Simz - they’re about a true message, and they’re dope. These artists are the new Rage Against the Machine.”
“I feel like I do best over the 90s beats. And I wanted that energy brought to my album. RZA was a fan, man. He was someone I could reach out to. I’m still new, and I can’t just get anybody. Some big artists are stepping back going ‘Alright, let’s see what this kid is gonna do’. I’m a super wildcard, you don’t know what I’m gonna make next.”
“Some people don’t hit on him as hard, because of his accent. He’s so slept on, but he’s up there with Kendrick, Drake, J. Cole. I just wanted to support the South and let people know we’ve got something to say.”
with this. So anti about everything, but not pro for anything.” Raury’s answer to everyday cynicism? “I want to offer kids something so they can find themselves, like I did,” he states. “But not only that, but to wake them up out of the numbness. I can speak for myself - nothing really genuinely excites me at this point. Something’s missing. There’s a lot of dope shit, but a lot of kids are growing increasingly numb.” Every speck of optimism coming from the mind of this excitable newcomer stems from his past. Back when he was fourteen, Raury was in the depths of depression. His Aunt had passed away, and he’d just started a high school while all his current friends went elsewhere. “I felt very alienated. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t like life that much,” he remembers. But from day one of his career, he’s always cited one album that changed his life - Kid Cudi’s ‘Man on the Moon’. “I embraced me being different. It made me comfortable in my own skin and encouraged me to chase my dreams. Ever since then, I decided I was going to make music for that fourteen year old right now, or that nineteen year old now.” Music wasn’t always the only option for a kid who, aged nine, was “hellbent on success”. He googled how to build a career before he’d even become a teenager. “Guitar, working out,
lot of kids are growing
i n c r e a s i n g ly n u m b .” R au ry
making sure I was super fast - I was picking up a bunch of things with the mindset that by the time I’m seventeen, I’m going to be killing it in something. And I was right.” There’s plenty of idealism in what Raury proclaims, and everyday cynics will snipe and dismiss him as a naive so-and-so. But his big claims are grounded in reality. He invites fans on road trips, hosts exclusive listening parties before networking industry types can get their foot through the door. “As a new artist, going the extra mile and doing stuff like that is really necessary. They need to know you, they need to feel you,” he says. “By 2020, an artist like me doing all these different genres will be normal. An artist that does one thing probably can’t retain the kid of 2030’s attention. Who knows what the kid of 2030 will be! Multi-dimensional artists such as myself and all the young kids coming up - that’s what’s gonna outlast everything.” Donald Trump, old heads and anyone who’d prefer to dismiss new ideas should be quaking in their boots. Raury is one of millions of big-thinking visionaries ready to take over for the next ten, twenty years. Just until the kids of 2030 have their turn. Raury’s debut album ‘All We Need’ is out now via Columbia. DIY
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heatahs are the perfect figureheads for London’s hodgepodge of culture. Each of them descended on the capital from far-flung corners of the globe in the mid-noughties, in search of a creative hub. Instead, they found each other, together forming an outlet for the four musicians to flex their artistic muscles. Tucked away down an alleyway in Camberwell, South London is the four-piece’s home-from-home, Dropout Studios - a basement-dwelling recording haven, packed full of guitar pedals and a snake-pit of various wires. Like everything the band put their name to, it’s patchwork, the over-flowing studio tucked amongst the foundations of a cosy living quarters above, which itself sits below a massive suntrap of a roof terrace. It’s here that Cheatahs’ earliest works began to take shape.
In a converted office block two doors down from MI5, Cheatahs crafted their most experimental offering to date, and they’re itching to finally get out of the studio. Words: Tom Connick. Photos: Emma Swann. “Marc [Raue, drums] used to live here for a while,” states Canadian frontman Nathan Hewitt down in the basement, gesturing upstairs. The German-born drummer in question entered the mix through guitarist James Wignall, who himself shared a bar job with Nathan, the pair bonding behind the taps over their musical obsessions. Bassist Dean Reid - owner of an American passport - was an avid fan of Nathan’s earlier bands. Coming together in their newly chosen hometown, it was only a matter of time before the four of them holed up in the downstairs floor of this building, instruments in hand. “It used to just be loads of people living here,” explains Marc. “But yeah, loads of our early recordings, this studio’s always been involved in it. Then we’ve moved on to trying out different things, other environments.”
For the band’s latest record ‘Mythologies’, the other members of Cheatahs once again decamped to Marc’s latest abode – a guardian scheme property on the northern bank of the River Thames, just two doors down from MI5’s headquarters. A former police station, the office block provided the perfect environment for the band to polish ‘Mythologies’’ widescreen sheen.
that just do whatever they want, and it kind of legitimised what we were doing in a way.
“It was pretty cool,” enthuses Nathan, “you could look out through the view and you just had the Thames and the whole city.”
“You should see how many versions of songs there are!” laughs Nathan.
“Which was inspiring… or demoralising, depending on how we were doing!” James laughs. Taking over a whole floor of the building allowed the band “just to make noise throughout the day,” Nathan notes, a luxury they’re careful not to take for granted. Indeed, while London may have brought the band together, the band are highly aware that the rising rents and incessant pace of the city could well have pulled them apart too. “It was pretty fortunate,” Nathan admits, because the amount of money it would’ve cost to have a studio that we could do that in… we never would have been able to do it.” Outside of Cheatahs, Dean spends his time recording pop artists. When ‘Mythologies’ came a-knocking, he took up the spot behind the desk once more. “That’s the thing - with Dean being able to record so well, we wouldn’t… especially in London; there’s no way we would’ve been able to be a band,” Nathan continues. “We’re quite self-sufficient, that way,” states Marc, “which is quite a luxury I guess; that we can really just do everything between ourselves and do what we wanna do.” That sense of freedom certainly seeps into ‘Mythologies’. A kaleidoscopic record, it’s packed full of playful ideas, each track twisting and turning as electronic and reverb-heavy melodies shimmer in and out of view. While not quite a world away from their punchier past, it’s a brave new step. “We looked to bands that inspire us,” explains James, “and they didn’t just find themselves only operating in one area or one genre. For me, a band like No Age – though there’s not comparison between us – in terms of their output they do everything from ambient dreamscapes to full-on DIY punk. That’s quite inspiring – bands
“But reduction is as much of a key to songwriting as throwing everything in. It’s not a maximalist record – as much stuff on there as there is, we’ve taken a lot of stuff away. It’s like throwing paint at a canvas and then scraping a lot of stuff back.”
“It’s the best thing when a song actually arrives fully formed,” Dean admits, “and it does happen once in a while. Some of them went through so many versions and such a journey.” “Which is the nature of four songwriters in a band, all pitching in and all saying ‘I like this’ or ‘I don’t like this’,” Nathan continues, “it’s not just as simple as one person saying ‘this is the song, learn it’ and then we record it.”
put them out.” Dean agrees - “I feel like it wasn’t that unusual back in the day, for bands to just put out EPs when they felt like it,” he shrugs. “It’s just these days, it seems to be this unwritten rule that you have to go away and ‘disappear’ in between records for a while so people can forget about you, but we just didn’t care about that.” “We didn’t really know what we were doing on the first record either,” says James. “We had a bunch of songs and we put them out. I think we’d always hoped to have more time to develop ideas – that’s what we did with the EPs, we took our time and wrote the record as well. It was just consciously putting the brakes on a little bit – even though it seems like we’ve been very productive, we were spending a lot more time on songs and thinking about them and how we were gonna present them.” That said, they’re gagging to leave the studio. “I can’t wait to play shows, seriously,” says Nathan restlessly. “We’ve just been rehearsing so much and it’s like, we need to get out, cause it still feels like we’re in the studio.” They enthuse about how fresh the live show now feels after adding in a new organ and more electronics, Dean even noting that they’re “doing slight musical chairs” as part of their new set, “trading instruments… not like crazy, Arcade Fire style, but y’know.”
Given that constant back and forth, Cheatahs’ productivity is nothing short of a miracle, ‘Mythologies’ marking the band’s third release this year after a pair of “transitional” EPs – ‘Sunne’ and ‘Murasaki’, in February and May respectively. Drop this recording schedule on any other band and it’d bleed them dry – with Cheatahs, though, it brought forth wave after wave of inspiration. “It was just fun to experiment on those two EPs and just do whatever we wanted really,” admits James. “It was a bit of a road map.” “The more we were writing the more fun it became and the more interesting it became,” says Nathan, “so we just kept going until we found enough. And then it gets to a point where you can’t just be sitting on songs – you have to
They may be finally rubbing their eyes and stepping out into fresh air, then, but that’s not to say the creative well’s dried up. “It’s nice,” says James, “we don’t feel pressure to make a facsimile of the recording. We’re actually, with some songs, doing a live version that’s different to the record. We change up the songs in the set and revisit old songs and re-invent them.” “I really think that sometimes the version of the song on a record isn’t the definitive version,” admits Dean, “it’s just what the song happened to be when you had to turn it in.” James agrees; “Yeah, I don’t think there is a definitive version, really. The record is just a diary of that period and what we did at that point - it’s quite fluid. Creativity shouldn’t end when an album finishes.” Cheatahs’ new album ‘Mythologies’ is out now via Wichita. DIY
eeee KING GIZZARD AND THE LIZARD WIZARD Paper Mache Dream Balloon (Heavenly Recordings)
eee GUY GARVEY
Courting the Squall
On the surface, King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard’s second album of 2015 is an unusually fluffy return, ditching the psych jams and snarls for a wholly acoustic approach. Dig below the skin and fur though, and there’s pitch-black blood throughout ‘Paper Mache Dream Balloon’. Taking a step back from their hundred-mile-an-hour psych-thrash and shaking their own foundations, it’s a record that should finally prove King Gizzard to be every bit as brilliant as their name is daft. (Tom Connick) Listen: ‘Cold Cadaver’
Monastic Living EP (Rough Trade)
With Parquet Courts it seems almost natural to expect the unexpected. New tour EP ‘Monastic Living’ is as much of a departure as every move the group make. Without words or angst-ridden cries, they’ve crafted a beast ready to swallow you whole. Huge and sprawling, yet somehow intimate, it feels like being let into a private jam – extended layers of loud and searing sounds drawn out just for the listener. It’s dark, it’s filthy, and it’s entirely immersive. Engaging and draining, Parquet Courts have once again pushed their capabilities to the max, and as ever, the results are like nothing you’ll find elsewhere. (Jess Goodman) Listen: ‘No, No, No!’
Solo ventures feel important for artists, and for Guy Garvey - holding national treasure status - this was much needed. After two smart but very steady albums in Elbow’s latest output, the craving for a shake-up in the band’s anthemic aesthetic was widely desired, seemingly even by Garvey himself. ‘Courting The Squall’ touches and recaps on the ideas which he masters in his romanticisms and balladry, but gloriously glimpses his experimental and playful side. As Garvey becomes unhinged, his solo work casts an intriguing light on the songwriter’s day job, but stands up on its own two feet as a fine piece of work. (Sean Kerwick). Listen: ‘Angela’s Eyes’
g arve y’s solo work casts an i n t r i g u i n g l i g h t. 68 diymag.com
eee BEACH HOUSE eee JAMIE WOON making time (pmr)
If there’s one truth running through Jamie Woon’s first album in four years, it’s that he’s spent the spare hours settling into his skin, cementing his knowhow as a producer, finding a muse in slick-as-it-gets pop. ‘Making Time’ has a swagger in its step, and the songs follow suit. Lead single ‘Sharpness’’ stop-start basslines are backed with tightly-wound melodies, and the production on should-be-a-hit ‘Movement’ is worth marvelling at. He’s prone to getting carried away in a D’Angelo-nodding, babymaking aesthetic, but ‘Making Time’’s strength is in asserting exactly what Woon specialises in. After so many years away, a reminder was much needed. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Movement’
eeee BOOTS AQUARIA
It may well be a coincidence that ‘AQUΛRIA’ shares its name with a computer game based around underwater journeys of self-discovery, but it’s a fitting one. Since 2013, producer BOOTS has been making deliberate efforts to move away from his prolific work on ‘Beyoncé,’ and in his bubbling cauldron of a debut, he finds that liberation. The static-glitchy suggestion of ‘Bombs Away’, and the bizarre thrash-rock strains pushing ‘I Run Roulette’ stand up as highlights in a brilliantly chaotic and verging on brazen debut. (El Hunt). Listen: ‘Bombs Away’
Thank Your Lucky Stars (Bella Union)
The purpose of Beach House’s new album ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ was to avoid the methodical build and hype that usually centres around an LP before it comes out. They’ve stated that this isn’t a “surprise” release, but that’s exactly what it is: nobody was prepared for a follow-up to this year’s ‘Depression Cherry’. Unlike the previous LP, this record is more prone to striking with a golden, melodic touch. The duo claim to have a more “political” spirit in their step for this album, but the true stance comes in how they continue with inhabit their own unique world without giving a spare second’s thought to outside perspective. They’re untouchable in one sense, but they don’t look to be building on more than solid foundations. Threading together moments of true beauty is a nagging sense that there’s so much of this parallel universe they’ve yet to explore. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Elegy to the Void’
The Pink Noise (Art
‘The Pink Noise’ is half an hour of glorious fuzz that manages to remain delicate and affecting. ‘Peter’ proves an early highlight, possessing the chorus of the album and using the frantic additions of Marina Sakimoto’s band members to realise her Weezer-sized melodies. Everything that made ‘Honey, Milk and Blood’ an attention-grabbing debut is in tact, while mountains of distortion help carry Sakimoto’s voice further than ‘Honey...’ ever dared. It’s a huge step up. (Will Richards) Listen: ‘Paleontologist’
a r ec o r d b o u n d i n f r u s t r at i o n a n d r e l e a s e .
T r a am s t e l l D I Y w hat t h e y w e r e l i s t e n i n g to w h i l e mak i n g ‘ M o d e r n Dan c i n g ’ .
Panda Bear - Panda Bear Meets The Grim Reaper This album came out just as we started recording our new album and it struck a chord with us instantly. The busied mix decorates the songwriting while the experimentation and simplicity shine equally without getting in the way of each other. A gift of melody. Queens Of The Stone Age - Era Vulgaris This album is quite an influence on us, particularly in our rhythm section. It’s daring yet dependable while being fun and garish the entire time. Each track has something completely new to offer, as an album it’s a bloody good hoot. The Smashing Pumpkins Mellon Collie & The Infinite Sadness ‘Mellon Collie…’ is a regular listen in the van and is an important record to the three of us. It is probably our favourite album collectively so it is always an influence on us musically.
Modern Dancing (FatCat)
Even the most well oiled machines sometimes need a push-start. In the case of TRAAMS’ second full-length, it’s a cough and a splutter that gets things going, a bassy hum marking their slightly cobwebbed return before the delicate bop of lead single ‘Costner’ takes over. It’s not quite the roaring start that you’d expect from the band’s recent made-in-heaven match-up with UK super-producer MJ of Hookworms, but ‘Modern Dancing’ is a road trip, not a drag race, and it’s all the more satisfying for it. Tangibility defines ‘Modern Dancing’ – it’s a record bound in frustration and release, exacerbated by the band’s continuing reliance on repetition, and as it comes to roost with the tense ‘Bite Mark’ and its tumbling conclusion TRAAMS’ return shows itself to be one that’s all the better for its slow build. Early birds are overrated anyway. (Tom Connick) Listen: ‘Succulent Thunder Anthem’
eee ONEOHTRIX POINT NEVER Garden of Delete (Warp)
Oneohtrix Point Never drags himself slightly nearer to the top of the pop charts with ‘Garden of Delete’ – but he still remains a million miles away. Synths bounce around like demented pinballs, striking mirrors and going off at weird directions. From the stop start of the burbling ‘Ezra’ it’s in the world but also outside of it. It sounds like a soundtrack to a demented new level on Mario Kart. If all this sounds surreal, the listener’s soon so immersed in the world that he’s created, it all begins to seem normal. It’s both playful and anxious, full of pensive tension that comes paired with moments of release. He may not be in our world completely yet but you should keep making the trip to his. It really is a trip. (Danny Wright) Listen: ‘Sticky Drama’
eeee THE JAPANESE HOUSE
Clean EP (Dirty Hit)
It’s still small steps for Amber Bain, but as The Japanese House, she’s bit-by-bit establishing herself as a pop force like no other. Debut EP ‘Pools to Bathe In’ was alien-like, spinning magic out of multilayered vocals and playful synths. On ‘Clean’, Bain makes a run for it. The focal points of her first work are magnified, and there’s a noted confidence with every next step. ‘Clean’’s titletrack is a magnifying love song made out of new shapes, while ‘Letter By The Water’ finds sweetness in the deftest of touches. ‘Cool Blue’, the EP’s highlight, is less subtle. Beginning with Bon Iver style plucking, it gives way to a bright-eyed, brilliantly odd slant on pop. Give Bain a standard set of tools and she’ll manage to make something strange. It’s her finest skill, evident in the space of two blinkandyoumissedit EP’s. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Cool Blue’
Behind the Devil’s Back (Self-released)
It may have been over ten years since Fightstar first made their mark with a debut EP, but if the first thrashing guitars of opener ‘Sharp Tongue’ declare anything, it’s that they still know how to cause a riot. Still channelling the potent influence of the likes of Deftones, the quartet’s latest album manages to deftly balance soaring, melodic verses with brutal, earth-shaking riffs, not unlike the offerings from their debut full-length ‘Grand Unification’. Granted, it’s a precarious line to tread but they manage to pull it off. From the pummelling title track through to the intensity of ‘Animal’s introduction, the band may be flexing muscles that have been otherwise unused for the past few years, but their return to the band suits them well. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Titan’
This month sees Björk releasing a strings only, stripped back version of her ‘Vulnicura’ album, one free of her production work alongside Arca. Comparison points aren’t hard to find between the two forms of that record, and it’s clear on Arca’s second album ‘Mutant’ that he currently operates in a dark, twisted and gutsy headspace. This record forges a new feel out of complete chaos, in the most deranged way possible. Aside from the brutal norm its twenty, overwhelming tracks follow, ‘Mutant’ is also capable of digging up gold. The closing half of its title-track is a gorgeous breath of fresh air, while ‘Front Load’ could be a Timbaland beat in alien disguise. This record is deadly in intention, but it packs a sweet heart - Arca is one of very few names around who can balance the two extremes. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Mutant’
FLOATING POINTS Elaenia (Pluto)
Floating Points’ long-awaited debut begins with the understated electrometallic glitch of ‘Nespole’ - gently swaying rather than having a forward momentum. Little elements are added to the mix slowly, as if being stirred in. A little electronic squelch there, a jazz drum here. For the most part, it’s a lesson in intricacy, of suspense and minimalism. Then there’s the euphoric release of final track ‘Peroration Six’, like the end of the night on the dancefloor, and it’s what everything has been building up to. (Danny Wright) Listen: ‘Peroration Six’
a lesson in i n t r i c a c y. 71
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Wiped Out! (Columbia)
Slow built-up melodies are in abundance on cinematic obsessives The Neighbourhood’s album, with ‘The Beach’ and ‘R.I.P. 2 My Youth’ creating a meandering feel of leaving teenage life behind. Meanwhile, the honest and staccato-filled ‘Prey’ and the sombre yet loved-up ‘Cry Baby’ balance out the tone. Offbeat bass lines and incessant hooks make ‘Ferrari’ an anthem your everyday needs, with ‘Single’ being the go-to song for those pesky relationship complications. (Natasha West) Listen: ‘Ferrari’ The Neighbourhood’s Jesse Rutherford opens up about new album ‘Wiped Out!’. Words: Loren DiBlasi.
With ‘Wiped Out!’, you seem to have moved into a much more pop-orientated sound - was this intentional? It’s funny because in my head I feel like we sound so much more like a band on this album. But I guess that doesn’t necessarily mean that it wouldn’t sound more pop. I think, if it sounds more pop, hopefully we just got better at writing songs - we all like pop music. We worked for nine months on this album to get it to a point that we thought was perfect, every song had a reason to be there. So yeah, I think it was just a natural progression for it to maybe sound more approachable from a pop sensibility because that’s what we were going towards I guess. What else would you say defines the difference between ‘I Love You’ and ‘Wiped Out!’? We’ve turned into sounding more like a band. On the first album, we were all a couple of years younger and a few of us handled a lot of writing and opinions. Like before, there were only a few opinions in the pot and now there are five opinions in the pot. Like, all things were stirred up at once and to find the right recipe - it is and was a challenge. It was all stereotypical second album shit, you know like it’s really hard and we’re all trying to figure stuff out and we’re arguing for a while - but we all got through it and now it’s a full band thing. I feel like the new album sounds like a band and not like a production anymore. I feel like the first album stuff sounded like it could’ve just been a pop artist, like a producer just doing his thing.
ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF The Miraculous
As a child, Anna von Hausswolff’s family would tell her tales of a favourite location in their home of Sweden, one steeped in mythological history of beauty and blood. She tells the story here - there’s solace within the dreamy drones of the title track and gorgeously composed breather ‘En ensam vandrare’, yet a brooding sense of dread on ‘Come Wander With Me / Deliverance’. Those looking to take a journey through Swedish folklore would do well to explore the epic landscapes of ‘The Miraculous’. (Tom Walters) Listen: ‘An Oath’
Much like masked producer Brolin himself, ‘The Delta’ doesn’t concern itself with introductions. Opener ‘Nightdriving’ bursts straight into action, heading right for the blurry peripherals of darkness, light, melancholy and euphoria all at once. While largely channelling the likes of Chet Faker, Jamie Woon and - at times Caribou, it feels distinctive. Fleeting bursts of strings flit in and out of almost every track giving a sense of identity to an otherwise vastly fragmented sound and a virtually anonymous artist. This combined with Brolin’s reserved yet varied vocals makes for a sound that is indisputably Brolin’s own and results in a debut that’s fully ready to make its mark. (Henry Boon) Listen: ‘NYC’
“Not another bloody. train delay!” .
eeee TRUST FUND
Seems Unfair (Turnstile)
Honesty remains intact in droves on Trust Fund’s ‘Seems Unfair’; nothing has been diluted, with Ellis Jones producing yet another collection that drips with sincerity. It’s full of clever quips – both heartfelt and witty – creating a narrative that puts both a reflective and uplifting slant on often-shitty realities. “But for now we’re dreaming, there will be time to find the failings” sings Jones on ‘4th August’, and this is a record that sums up that thinking nicely. It’s a weird kind of temporary escapism that comes through confronting problems head on, and allows whatever troubles you’re facing to feel like a lighter load come the album’s close. (Liam McNeilly) Listen: ‘Big Asda’ Trust Fund’s Ellis Jones talks footy and the main ingredients of his new album. You like football quite a lot. Tell us about your new single, ‘Football’. As if a song about football wasn’t already broad enough in its appeal, it’s more just a metaphor for something that acts a pressure valve in a relationship. I guess that football is a classic one of those, really. Coming from a DIY background, how did you find the process of making this record, especially recording in a proper studio? I still find it pretty hilarious that we can sound like that as a band - that it sounds like a proper record. But we couldn’t have recorded with MJ (Hookworms) unless we were on Turnstile because we wouldn’t have had the money. It’s important that we acknowledge as much as we can who’s enabling us to do what we’re doing. We can’t say that we’re a DIY band… and it’s important to acknowledge how much effort people put into their music at all levels.
H e a r t f e lt and w i t t y. eee HALF MOON RUN Sun Leads Me On
Take random snapshots of Montreal fourpiece Half Moon Run’s second album ‘Sun Leads Me On’, and it resembles flicking through a playlist of separate acts. Threads run throughout these songs, but by and large it could easily be perceived as a band suffering an identity crisis. That’s a fair judgement going by multi-instrumentalist Dylan Phillips’ default mode, rarely hitting the melodic highs of ‘It Works Itself Out’ or the enraged bruiser ‘Consider Yourself’. But that’s an acceptable consequence for a group grappling with their own sense of self, and it’s rare to hear a band doing this so openly. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Turn Your Love’
eeee GNARWOLVES Adolescence EP
(Big Scary Monsters)
Gnarwolves are a productive bunch: not only do they spend the majority of their lives on the road, but they’ve managed to release new material every year since their inception. Now, as 2015 draws to a close, the Brighton-viaCornwall trio have followed up their self-titled debut album with an altogether leaner, more muscular EP. ‘Adolescence’ may only clock in at eight minutes and thirty three seconds, but it packs in more than just your regular punch. There’s the driven gruff anthem of ‘Waiting Line’, the wonderfully intriguing ‘Blondie’ – a strange reworking of its namesake’s ‘Hangin’ On The Telephone’ – and the ominous guitar-led closer ‘Bad Dreams’. It may only be four tracks long, but it’s as disenfranchised and potent as ever. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Daydreamer’
eeee SUN CLUB
The Dongo Durango (ATO
No ep (Third Man Records)
Thank fuck for Yak, a berserk bunch who balance noise with a don’t-give-a-shit mentality. Over the last twelve months, they’ve been known to fill venues with pulsing psych solos and ghoulish organ drones. But when it comes to putting the madness down to tape, they’ve a serious knack for getting to the point. It helps when Jack White’s involved, backing Oli Burslem and co. for a one-off single on his Third Man label. There’s clearly an added zest in camp Yak. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘No’
ee NOTHING BUT THIEVES Nothing But Thieves (rca)
If the barrage of singles to have come from Nothing But Thieves’ camp in the lead up to their debut album are anything to go by, they’re a band that who specialise in big-sounding rock songs. So, it’s with very little surprise that the Southend-on-Sea quintet have offered up a album’s worth of them. Granted, there are a few quirks; the dirty guitars of ‘Ban All The Music’, the airy falsetto of Conor Mason, the funkiness that shrouds ‘Hostage’. It’s an album that plays to the band’s strengths yet overall, just feels that little bit too safe. A bit like the edges have been sanded off, this an album that shows the band have laid some solid foundations, but could do with pushing the boundaries just a little more. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Ban All The Music’
eeee LANTERNS ON THE LAKE Beings (Bella Union)
Even if Lanterns on the Lake hadn’t been making gradually more mature, sophisticated and quietly stirring indie rock records these past few years, the fact that they continue to fly under the radar would be a travesty for more than that. ‘Beings’’ slow, deliberate title track is probably the standout; when the strings flutter and guitars shimmer quite like this, there’s no real need for a crescendo. Lanterns on the Lake are making rock music that, in terms of how vital it feels in 2015, is criminally unsung. (Joe Goggins) Listen: ‘Faultlines’
Forceful and blustering, scorching and euphoric, Sun Club’s debut album is a tropical storm committed to tape. The Baltimore five-piece have condensed their whirlwind capabilities into a debut album – and it’s primed to leave listeners reeling. From the mick-take echoes of ‘Glob’, through the resounding nursery rhyme-esque refrains that close ‘Carnival Dough’, to the battle cry choruses of ‘Tropicoller Lease’, ‘The Dongo Durango’ is the sound of a band unhinged. Off the hook, running wild, and beckoning you to join them in the boundless freedom they’ve created. (Jess Goodman) Listen: ‘Tropicoller Lease’
On Escort’s ‘Animal Nature’, there’s a surprise that comes at you in the form of an admirable disco cover of St Vincent’s ‘Actor Out Of Work’. Just like the original, the pace - like having an anvil glued to the accelerator pedal - is relentless and an instant highlight. Album closer ‘Dancer’ is another standout. But, at the tail end of 2015, disco fatigue is starting to set in. It’s easy to find yourself wishing ‘Animal Nature’ to be more adventurous, but, unfortunately, Escort seem content with dishing out solid - if a little unremarkable - classic disco tracks. By playing it too safe, ‘Animal Nature’ is just sort of fine and that won’t cut it. (Lucas Fothergill) Listen: ‘Dancer’ 75
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Tufnell Park Dome, London Photos: Emma Swann
here’s a rumbling of keys, a flicker of lights then Chvrches assume the position. Iain Cook and Martin Doherty increase the volume, the lights behind them explode and Lauren Mayberry stands centre stage, a clenched fist in the air.
Tonight is the first evening of their “proper tour” for ‘Every Open Eye’ and the trio have crouched into the relative intimacy of London’s Tufnell Park Dome for the occasion. Before the opening wave of ‘Never Ending Circles’ has a chance to wash over the crowd, bewitching as it goes, the band launch into a familiar routine of mesmerising wonder. Now with twice the back catalogue to play with, there’s a dynamic venture to the set. The known is married to the unknown and the band thrives off that cavalier exploration. The likes of ’Gun’, ‘Tether’ and a closing turn from ‘The Mother We Share’ are all still as daring as the first time but there are new toys to play with. Heavy, gutsy toys of deft attitude and poise. Sure, a hunk of the material aired tonight is done so for the first time live but fully formed, there’s already a comfort in each commanding stride forward. From the gleeful snap of ‘Make Them Gold’, the playful back and forth of ‘Keep You On My Side’ and the dashing hammer of ‘Clearest Blue’, Chvrches dance between light and dark. There’s intensity to every considered step. As ‘Playing Dead’ reaches a pounding close, Lauren falls to her knees and trades blows with the floor. Theatrical and direct, Chvrches are still finding ways to push the show on. Skipping almost recklessly between the old and the new, their growth comes into its own: there’s simply no fear. While the cherished blows of ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ land true, it’s the full-bodied swings of ‘Every Open Eye’ that now match Chvrches’ powerful, defiant presence. (Ali Shutler) 77
FLORENCE + THE MACHINE Alex andra Palace, london. Photo: Carolina Faruolo
onight’s opening trio ‘What The Water Gave Me’, a dramatic ‘Ship To Wreck’ (which feels like her vocal chords will burst at any given moment), and ‘Shake It Out’ are a Usain Bolt-like burst out of the blocks. During the last, Florence Welch invites the audience to be part of her choir for the evening, an invitation enthusiastically taken up by a crowd who are in fine voice. Up there, on that massive stage she’s having tremendous fun - and she wants her audience to share it, whether it’s inviting the crowd to climb onto each-others’ shoulders during ‘Rabbit Heart’ or throw off items of clothing.
Florence + The Machine swings an imaginary rope into the crowd. 78 diymag.com
Hers is the face that radiates from the pair of giant screens flanking both sides of Alexandra Palace’s auditorium as she cavorts barefoot around the stage with theatrical abandon, twisting and spinning in a display of ballerina-like grace.
brixton acadeMy, london. PhotoS: sarah louise bennett
efore tonight’s headliners have even taken to the stage, the anticipation in Brixton Academy is palpable. Glitter-cheeked adolescents scramble to take the perfect selfie before the lights dim for Peace’s entry, generating an eruption of One Direction worthy screams. Set opener ‘O You’ is a grooving if slow start to the set but full-on jumping is soon instigated with the bouncing guitar lines of ‘Wraith’ and ‘Follow Baby’. The pace slows with an acoustic interlude of ‘Someday’, ‘Under the Moon’ and ‘Float Forever’. While the gentle strumming and Harrison Koisser’s waif-like quivers of vocal delivery may have interrupted the chaos temporarily, the enthusiasm of the crowd hasn’t dampened (metaphorically not literally – they’re all drenched in sweat). A particular highlight of the show is old favourite ‘1998’, a Binary Finary cover taken from their first EP. It’s epic in every sense of the word. A whole ten bloody minutes of haunting ambience, teasing and then erupting into a crescendo of sensual sonic frenzy. This is Peace at their most grand and musically adventurous.
Her versatility is shown in the stripped back version of ‘Cosmic Love’ which features harp and acoustic guitar to spellbinding effect. Despite some occasionally shrieky backing vocals, a heavier rendition of recent album cut ‘Delilah’ and a blistering ‘Mother’ explode with energy in balance with some of the more sedate material tonight. It would be easy to throw in a crowd-pleasing remixed version of ‘Spectrum’ but the original, and a euphoric ‘You’ve Got The Love’ succeed in getting tired limbs moving in this all-standing venue.
The buoyant melodies of ‘Perfect Skin’ act as a call-to-arms for a high percentage of the crowd; crossing their fingers for acne no more. The entire show is as slick as Douglas Castle’s riffs but it’s encore closer ‘World Pleasure’ that delivers on sheer funky energy. While Harrison Koisser’s semi-rap may be questionable, these stylised psychedelic grooves show just how fun these boys can be. Reminiscent of Primal Scream or the Happy IN THE Mondays, it’s again easy to see why Peace are often QUEUE associated with the ‘90s revival’, ironic considering the majority of the audience in question barely existed in that decade. (Sophie Thompson)
“If I could marry the bass solo from ‘World Pleasure’ I would. I’d put a ring on its finger and spend my life with it.” - Eddie
Having finished the main part of the set clutching a host of retrieved garments and throwing them over the stage, Florence re-appears back on stage arms wide open before throwing herself to the floor and getting up close with male audience members during a faultless ‘What Kind of Man’. ‘Drumming Song’ concludes proceedings on a high note, the intensity of the “louder than sirens…hotter than hell” lyrics building with every drum beat. Florence is a marvel to watch, charged with charisma yet charmingly quiet and refreshingly normal. One of the musicians of her generation. (Greg Inglis)
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Dingwalls, London. Photo: Caroline Quinn
t’s not often that ambulances are pre-emptively called to gigs on Tuesday nights, but Rat Boy’s admirable reputation has evidently proceeded him tonight at Dingwalls. Jordan Cardy’s chaotically cheeky give-no-fucks attitude has already earned him a fervent fan base. From being sacked from Wetherspoons and rejected by McDonalds to playing the UK festival circuit and selling out 500-capacity venues, the mammoth hype for this 19 year old from Essex is blowing up like a NOS-filled balloon. A relentless machine of mix-tape making, his set tonight runs through an array of material - while crowd surfing and riding a mini motorbike on stage. Crowd favourites ‘Sign On’ and ‘Fake ID’ resonate deep, screaming of a mislead, misinformed and mistreated adolescence. The wonky voice of disaffected youth, there’s shed loads of potential for this “young, dumb, livin’ off mum” heart throb yet to come. (Joanie Eaton)
Brixton Academy, London, Photo: Matt Richardson
his feels like a celebration. Jamie xx, the quintessential quiet party-animal, has had quite a year – his xx involvement momentarily suspended for a first full length solo dance album, ‘In Colour’, to drop to rapturous, Mercury-nominated acclaim. Tonight shows just why the 26-year-old is held in such high regard. If the history of dance music can be told in a clear lineage of influences colliding to domino effect, Jamie xx spends his time travelling in the opposite direction, floating between sounds. For better or worse, this is mainstream innovation in 2015, no rules, no boundaries, no scenester border controls. Encouraged and enthused by the packed out crowd, he throbs along to the sounds up on-stage, playing the role of pied-piper chameleon. The steel drum inspired ‘Obvs’ draws the first big cheer of the night, teased amongst layers of bassline subtlety, scaling everything from jungle to two-step garage. Artful Dodger’s ‘Moving Too Fast’ gets a play, spun in homage to the UK club scene, but the change of pace only heralds another immediate swerve - a jump up dubstep beat - all crafted out under the warm glow of colourful soft-focus lights, where nothing is predictable. (Alex Taylor) “Do you take requests, mate?”
INDIE DREAMBOAT Of the Month
ja m es Balm o nt Full name: James Balmont. Nickname: Fat Jim. Star sign: Aries. Pets: Fabrizzio the Tortoise. Favourite film: John Carpenter’s ‘The Thing’ / David Lynch’s ‘Lost Highway’. Favourite food: Pad Thai, but i’m up for trying new things . Drink of choice: Frozen margs x10. Favourite hair product: Slime. Favourite pose: DIY’s fond of my sublime football skills so I’ll go with that. Song you’d play to woo someone: ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. If you weren’t a pop star, what would you be doing now? Well I wasn’t allowed to go on The Island with Bear Grylls because we were making a record so I’d probably give that another shot. Chat up line of choice: Are you a garden fence? Cos I can’t get over you.
photo: emma swann
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Featuring artists doing it their way - Hinds, Run The Jewels, Father John Misty, Shamir and more. Plus on tour with Wolf Alice and Drenge, a...
Published on Oct 30, 2015
Featuring artists doing it their way - Hinds, Run The Jewels, Father John Misty, Shamir and more. Plus on tour with Wolf Alice and Drenge, a...