DIY, October 2017

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set music fr e e f ree / issue 68 / o c tober 2 017










Collectively, Idles have the shocked face emoji down to an absolute T.



Emma Swann EVIL Lost my phone; Founding Editor dropped a mirror on GOOD Tourmageddon my now entirely purple strikes! Live music is foot; broke my laptop; the best. smashed my head on EVIL Bestival’s a door. Etc etc etc etc. weather did for my FML. trusty Dr. Martens ............................. boots. RIP. LOuise Mason ............................ Art Director El hunt GOOD An insane Features Editor man in a basement GOOD Everyone’s in Hamburg fixed favourite noughties kids my MacBook Pro by telly show - Raven - is putting it in the oven coming back! and baking it. EVIL The devastating EVIL Actually he broke knowledge that the it even more and then majority of team DIY blamed me for Brexit. (everyone except ............................. Will) would absolutely trounce me at Way of the Warrior. ..............................

Will Richards Digital Editor GOOD Interpol, LCD Soundsystem, Lisa Wright The National, Lorde. Staff Writer What a month for gigs GOOD Went to a September has been. puppy cafe in South EVIL Tired just Korea and got literally thinking about the covered in dogs. Also met Dave Grohl. Strong amount of times I’ve walked up the hill to month. Ally Pally.

EDITOR’S LET TER Let’s be straight: any album launched with a fake news conference boasting a neon pink bum on its cover is gonna be a talking point. What makes it all the more incredible is that it’s St Vincent who’s behind it (but not the behind, if you will). Easily one of the most anticipated albums of 2017 in DIY HQ, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is - quelle surprise! - nothing less than awesome. So it’s a real treat to have Annie back on our cover again. Also in this month’s issue, we dive head-first into Bully’s intense ‘Losing’, catch up with Toronto’s finest wonky popsters Weaves and discover how Kurt Vile and Courtney Barnett managed to make a new album together with an ocean in the way. Plus, we stumble into Dave Grohl ahead of Idles’ massive opening slot for the Foos… No biggie. Sarah Jamieson, Managing Editor GOOD I went to New York! For a holiday! It was brilliant! (No, but seriously, it was really brilliant.) EVIL Some bugger elbowed me while I was walking down the street there and now I have a bruise the size of a (big) apple. Geddit?


W h at ’ s b e e n t i c k l i n g t h e DIY team’s eardrums this month? baths - ‘romaplasm’

Will Wiesenfeld is back with his first LP as Baths in four years, and the ‘Obsidian’ follow-up is another slice of blissful electronica, spearheaded by impressive first single ‘Yeoman’.

wild beasts - ‘present tense’

As we went to print, we were saddened by the news that Wild Beasts are calling it a day. The intervening time has then obv been spent giving their discography a good few spins.

lcd soundsystem - ‘the long goodbye’

What better way to warm up for LCD Soundsystem’s triumphant Alexandra Palace gig than to spin their three-hour Madison Square Garden extravaganza from 2011? 3

Annie felt strongly that her mannequin should be kept safely out of ‘arm’s way.






C O N T E N T S 4


Founding Editor Emma Swann Managing Editor Sarah Jamieson Features Editor El Hunt Digital Editor Will Richards Neu Editor Jamie Milton Staff Writers Lisa Wright, Eugenie Johnson Art Direction & Design Louise Mason

Contributors Adam Parker, Alex Cabré, Cady Siregar, Dan Jeakins, Ellen Peirson-Hagger, Grant Rindner, Joe Goggins, Katie Hawthorne, Rhian Daly, Shefali Srivastava. Photographers Catalina Kulczar, James Kelly, Jenna Foxton, Lindsay Melbourne, Luke Hannaford, Mike Massaro, Patrick Gunning, Phil Smithies, Rob Loud. For DIY editorial For DIY sales For DIY stockist enquiries DIY is published by Sonic Media Group. All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of DIY. 25p where sold.

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which Sonic Media Group holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of DIY or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally.

Cover photo and this page photo: Catalina Kulczar.





Join our music masterclasses with…




Dizzee rascal


of the

It was a wet and windy Bestival, but with Happy Kanye, more glitter than you’d shake the World’s Largest Disco Ball at, and the pop hits of Pet Shop Boys, it was a (confetti) blast. Words: Lisa Wright and Sarah Jamieson. Photos: Emma Swann and Phil Smithies.



the magic gang



Jamie T

hile the Jägerhaus plays host to Jäger Curtain Call (see p10), The Magic Gang start doing the same to former schoolmates. Greeted by a packed out tent at the Invaders of the Future stage, theirs is a heroes’ welcome.

Dressed entirely in matching neon yellow raincoats - presumably just in case the rain shows back up this evening - it takes the four-piece mere minutes to dial up estivals in 2017 like to pack it in. the celebration levels to 11. ‘How Can I Not content with providing a full Compete’ is a bona fide indie anthem musical line-up alongside craft which sees a Magic Gang flag emerge stands, drag shows and more artisan food stalls than you can shake a tempura from the centre of the crowd before the prawn skewer at, they also now begin the likes of ‘Your Love’ and ‘Alright’ provoke arms-aloft singalongs that the mightiest second you walk through the gates. of headliners would be proud of. Case in point: Jamie T. Playing his only UK gig of the year, the London scallywag Returning to the festival for the first time is headlining Thursday night while half since 2012, The xx’s headline slot is one the punters are still pitching their tents. of this year’s must-sees, and you can tell: the crowd gathered in The Castle Field That’s not to say it’s anything less than tonight await their arrival with baited celebratory, however. Taking to The Box breath. to a crowd that’s pouring out the sides,



he’s greeted like a hero throughout. Kicking off with recent tracks ‘Power Over Men’ and ‘Tescoland’, he dedicates ‘Salvador’ to “the lovely ladies out there” before inciting a mass dance-off to ‘If You Got The Money’. “As the headline act you’ve got to play the hits,” he begins later, to predictable cheers. “I was talking to Dave Grohl last week and he said you’ve got to play the hits, so this is for Dave.” Launching into a joyous ‘Sheila’, it’s an exuberant, playful highlight in a set that’s characterised by sheer energy and good vibes.

danny brown

And while their musical prowess is undeniably impressive - production whizz Jamie xx seemingly growing eight arms and still managing to hold the beat - it’s within their more human moments that their set really feels special. When they trip over the intro for ‘Say Something Loving’ for example, the warmth they show one another brings a new element to their faultless set. Their set’s also a meaningful one: after nodding to Jamie’s solo material with a full colour rendition of ‘Loud Places’ and they go to close their set with their infectious ‘On Hold’, the cheers from the crowd are deafening. the xx

SATURDAY On the Castle Stage, Danny Brown is his usual walking, talking embodiment of the tongue out emoji – a perma-jokester character spitting out cuts from recent LP ‘Atrocity Exhibition’ with the kind of inimitably strangled vocals that add a warped undercurrent to all that he does. Formation suffer from an unfairly small crowd on their afternoon set, but the brothers Ritson don’t let that bother them. Now swelled live to a five-piece, the relentless rhythms of ‘Powerful People’ and ‘Buy and Sell’ really deserve far more fanfare. A Tribe Called Quest may technically have taken the top spot, playing their last ever gig on UK soil, but it’s Dizzee Rascal in all his crowd-pleasing, cheeky chappy glory that really sends Bestival bonkers on Saturday night. Backed by a huge screen bearing his name and a banner of current album ‘Raskit’, Dizzee spends the early part of

the xx 7

be st iv a l

his set dishing out newies, but by the time he unleashes ‘Fix Up, Look Sharp’, it’s all uphill from here. Whether he’s bounding across the stage for ‘Bassline Junkie’ or spitting out the older kicks of ‘Jus’ A Rascal’, Dizzee’s an undeniably endearing performer throughout; sure, there’s all manner of smoke plumes and fire cannons, but really the Londoner doesn’t need anything but his natural charm. Despite the mud making things that little bit more challenging for anyone keen to cross the site today, it doesn’t put punters off heading towards the Invaders of the Future stage for Honeyblood. Granted, the pair spend most of their set fighting against the distant sounds of Fatman Scoop, who’s playing HMS Bestival nearby - drummer Cat Myers spends most breaks between tracks tapping along with the beat - but they don’t let the energy drop at all. A Tribe Called Quest later close out the evening in touching style. Playing their last ever gig on UK soil, there’s a sense that this is an important show. It’s none more prevalent than when the current members exit the stage, leaving one empty mic front and centre as a recording of the recently-passed Phife Dawg plays out to the crowd.

a tribe called quest


the set of the weekend. Packing the wooden room to bursting point, they’re the perfect mix of snarling, political disdain and playful, sardonic wit.

Taking to the Invaders of the Future stage, the entirely unideal conditions would be enough to justify a potential wash out for Blaenavon’s early evening set, but have no fear - the trio are far too in demand these days for that kind of disaster. It’s a packed tent that greets Ben, Frank and Harris tonight.

Donning an avant garde piece of silver headgear that can only be described as ‘robotic fruit bowl chic’, Pet Shop Boys’ Neil Tennant is still a wonderfully odd frontman. Guiding the crowd through a series of club hits, he and bandmate Chris Lowe (himself wearing a giant, silver orb helmet) are backed by a constant stream of technicolour screens showing acid smiley faces, giant Rubik’s Cubes, giant coloured balls and more; it’s like a cross between a massive rave and a children’s TV show and it suits Bestival down to the ground.

SUNDAY fter Sunday’s midafternoon patch of unruly wind means that Loyle Carner’s main stage slot is cancelled, it’s up to Circa Waves to bring back the vibes to a decidedly drizzly site. Between singer Kieran Shudall’s tropical shirt and the summer bounce of ‘T-Shirt Weather’ et al, people stand on each others’ shoulders regardless.

By the time they reach the crashing crescendos of ‘I Will Be The World’, frontman Ben is throwing himself around like those damn winds have made a sudden and explosive return. Meanwhile in the Jägerhaus, IDLES deliver

Theirs is a catalogue that mainlines big pop songs but always retains an element of strangeness; the likes of ‘It’s A Sin’ and ‘Go West’ might be anthemic, but they’re delivered with an icy aloofness that always ensures things are just that little bit weird. DIY


pet shop boys



Out 6 Oct on CD, white vinyl LP & digital




ON TOUR 13 Nov - Cambridge, Portland Arms 14 Nov - Leicester, The Musician 15 Nov - Glasgow, King Tuts 16 Nov - Leeds, Oporto 17 Nov - Manchester, Eagle Inn

18 Nov - Newcastle, Think Tank 19 Nov - Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 20 Nov – Bristol, The Crofters Rights 21 Nov - London, Oslo 22 Nov - Brighton, Green Door Store



In the



Uprooting from its usual spot on London’s Curtain Road, Friday saw Jäger Curtain Call relocate to the Jägerhaus at Bestival 2017 for a full bill of present artists and returning alumni of the project.

B Muncie Girls

righton quartet FUR pack out their late afternoon slot for a set that includes new track ‘If You Know That I’m Lonely’ - recorded for Curtain Call at Tileyard Studios last month. Decked out in an all white outfit, singer Will Murray jokes that he’s going to keep it on for the entire rainy festival while attempting to stay mud-free, before launching into a set of ‘60s-influenced jangly bangers including recent singles ‘Trying’ and ‘Not Enough’. Londoners Free Money are up next. In early track ‘What Did I Miss’ and current single ‘I Want In’, the quartet channel classic mid-’00s indie riddled with singalong choruses plucked from the early Arctic Monkeys school of anthems.

Muncie Girls

Switching up the dynamic, Croydon quartet Bellevue Days bring a more alt-rock leaning to the stage. Veering between emotive climaxes and scuzz, they power through tracks from recent LP ‘Rosehill’ with little

ceremony but a fully engaged crowd throughout. The relatively local (well, Devon) Muncie Girls are a punk-spirited force in the penultimate slot. Tracks from debut LP ‘From Caplan to Belsize’ are delivered with the kind of conviction that shows the political message that lurks beneath is more important than any boundaries of genre. Headliners Kagoule return to the Curtain Call stage stronger than ever, debuting new songs from their forthcoming LP in between old favourites. Theirs has always been a singular sound, one that weaves tricksy, contorting song structures between Pixies-esque dynamics; now, the trio seem they’re genuinely having fun with it too. DIY To catch up with all things Jäger Curtain Call, simply head to





N eW S


Believe it or not, pop and rock stars sometimes do normal things, too. They get lost, go food shopping, and catch buses – all sorts. This month, we clocked a fair few of them roaming around the capital… A bleach blonde and confused alex kapranos looking at a bus timetable in Dalston. jack from the magic gang staggering across a field at Bestival, wearing the same outfit he wore at their set two days prior. jade from little mix at The Killers’ Brixton show, as well as peter crouch complaining that he ‘can’t see’ the stage. Try being 5’6”, pal.

On These days, even yer gran is posting selfies on Instagram. Instagran, more like. Everyone has it now, including all our fave bands. Here’s a brief catch-up on music’s finest photo-taking action as of late.

Position of the Month: Left Hand Free (to point up into the sky) First Executed By: Joe Newman, alt-J


rmed with a barrage of fancy bright lights and juddering bass squelches, alt-J’s live show is an impressive feat, all about the big, multicoloured picture. There’s certainly no sign of complex choreography or headpiece-mounted microphones - a setup that leaves Joe Newman free to do… well, exactly as he wishes, really. And what does he wish to do? Why, he wishes to point skyward in the exuberant manner of a dad who has just discovered that Keane are playing a show at Westonbirt Arboretum, and to make things better still, Wyevale Garden Centre’s got a spicy 2-4-1 deal on blended loam topsoil. Get in, weekend plans!

For the last time, Chaz, you’re meant to walk down the red carpet. (@charli_xcx)

To conjure up a slice of Joe’s unbridled zest for the upward point, ease yourself into the mindset of somebody who closely monitors the fluctuating market rate of patio pressure washers on Amazon. Bob’s yer uncle, Joe’s yer da, and you’ve mastered his signature move.


The Big Moon’s very own Fern Ford isn’t just a monster behind the drums, she’s a footwear maverick with the sandals to match. She’s set up a whole Instagram account dedicated to their adventures around the world. (@fernssandals)

Josh Homme

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


hink of Josh Homme - yes he of Queens of the Stone Age - and the first thing to spring to mind probably isn’t music fit for a soothing lullaby suitable for young infants. Always one to take on a new challenge and widen his repertoire, though, Josh is playing a very unlikely gig. Later in October, the rock star will be reading a children’s bedtime story on CBeebies. Let’s be honest, this particular booking is - like Tom Hardy’s appointment previously - for the benefit of swooning mums everywhere more than anyone else. But still, it’s going to be grand.

Finally it’s apparent how The Kills got their name. Jamie Hince is KILLING this new look. (@amosshart)






























































N eW S

Star Baker Returning with second album ‘Turn Out The Lights’ and mingling with the darlings of the folk and punk scenes, Julien Baker is finding her voice. Words: Will Richards.


ulien Baker is gushing about her favourite bands. Just back home from Riot Fest in Chicago, Paramore and their latest album ‘After Laughter’ is high on her list of praise, as is the music of Frightened Rabbit, who she recently collaborated with on new track ‘How It Gets In’. With almost every word the 22 year-old says about her own new album, ‘Turn Out The Lights’, there’s a reference to her favourite bands or touring partners. Taken under the wing of and out on tour with everyone from Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard to Conor Oberst and The Decemberists, and having a cover of her song ‘Sprained Ankle’ thrown out by Jesse Lacey at Brand New gigs, the Memphis native is fast becoming your favourite singer’s favourite singer.

the person behind them, proved as she piles another excitable compliment atop the new Manchester Orchestra record, barely containing her glee. As with Andy Hull’s band, Julien occupies a flexible middleground between the punk and emo scenes of the US - adding vocals to LA hardcore band Touché Amoré’s last album ‘Stage Four’ - and the indie and folk worlds, and this lack of definition is something that pleases her. “People are allowing genre barriers to disintegrate, and realising that the music that moves us is music that is honest and passionate,” she begins. “I appreciate that people are starting to ignore such rigid markers. It’s pushing us to reconsider why we even try to compartmentalise things, which I like. It’s great for me too, because I want to listen to Every Time I Die and Skepta and Death Cab For Cutie and not have to think about how I’m deviating between those worlds.”

And if there’s one thing she’s learned from being around some of her primary influences, it’s to never stop evolving. “These bands that I love,” she begins, citing Manchester Orchestra and Death Cab For Cutie and perking up with help from No matter how many layers you add onto the top of a song morning coffee, “they never “sprinkles on stop innovating. Each of their the top of the “ P e o p l e a r e a l l ow i n g records is a world of its own, and ice cream of they slowly build on what came my album” as before. Then they tour the record Julien says, and play their hearts out every letting out a night. That’s what I aspire to.” sharp giggle and audible “I’d much rather that way of cringe - if progressing, rather than exploding via a pop hit and having the song’s good at its most bare, then it’s a good song. She’s to live up to that for the rest of my career. That’s without written ten of them on ‘Turn Out The Lights’, and though she questioning the validity of pop music - it’s just a different occupies a largely undefinable space, sitting between different world,” she’s quick to clarify. worlds, it’s one she’s making all her own.

g e n r e ba r r i er s to d i s i nteg r ate .”

‘Turn Out The Lights’ sees Julien well on the way to such a future, a slight but definite progression from debut ‘Sprained Ankle’. Swells of strings and organ flow through the record like waves on top of her vocals, adding a majesty to the intense sadness of the album, while managing to not glamourise the turmoil she sings of. When playing a sold-out out show at London’s Bush Hall back in June, she was quick to lighten the mood between songs. Throwing out self-deprecating jokes or witty one-liners, it’s clear that while her songs are nothing but honest - and incredibly dark at that - it’s not a reflection of 14

“I don’t think of myself as being success-orientated,” she says, pondering her signing to Matador and the increased exposure she’s already seen from it. “Or at least temporal success. I think success and security, to me, comes from being proud of the art that you create, and establishing a meaningful connection with your listeners, and I think as long as I’m able to do that, I’ll be happy.” Julien Baker’s new album ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is out 27th October via Matador. DIY

Like Just Jack, Julien’s got stars in her eyes (stars in her eyes).


What’s Going On With…

MØ has taken aaaages to make her second album, but for very good reason. We caught up with the Danish pop ledge as she was midway through munching a croissant in Paris (casual!) for a quick update on that follow-up to ‘No Mythologies to Follow’. Interview: El Hunt. Hello MØ, or should we say, bonjour. How’s that second album of yours coming along, then? It’s going well, but it’s been a really, really long process. I had those big [collaborative] singles [with Major Lazer] and all of a sudden it was a different scenario. I had to find my own voice again, in a way. Not in a bad way, but when I release my own stuff, and do a real release I want it to be 1000% right. I don’t want to compromise. I realised, or rather I came to learn [laughs], that it takes a long time. It’s true what they say about the second album. It’s the hard one! I would always laugh about that before, like ‘ah, that’s bullshit!’ But it’s so true. Yeah. I guess i’ve been saying that it’s coming along for three years now [laughs]. Always when I say it, it’s because I really think it is, so I’m gonna stick to that again! As you say, your Major Lazer collaborations - especially ‘Lean On’ and ‘Cold Water’ (which also featured Justin Bieber) blew up and became massive pop hits. Did that throw your timeline off, as well? Yeah. That’s what changed everything. In a good way, but it also made it harder. Before that I was doing much more of an indie thing. All of a sudden, I’m standing in the middle of two worlds, having love for both worlds, and you gotta find your own voice. You can’t just rely on their sound, but you also don’t want to go back because you want to evolve. It’s a long process, finding my sound and voice again, basically. And you really can’t rush that kind of stuff, right? Exactly. And also, I’ve been touring and stuff, and so you can’t rush it. It takes time, but that’s fine. It’s a learning process.

In the

MOMENT-UM Francobollo, Muncie Girls and Alpines are among the latest to receive funding from the Momentum Music Fund.

Joining past recipients including Kagoule, Tigercub, Our Girl and LIFE, the latest list of artists awarded Momentum Music Fund support has been announced, with acts including Francobollo, Muncie Girls, Alpines and Fizzy Blood. The Momentum Music Fund is run by PRS Foundation using public funds from Arts Council England, support from PPL, and is in association with Spotify. For more information head to


Francobollo’s Petter Grevelius talks through their Momentum funding experience. How did it feel when you found out you’d be getting funding? What did you apply for? It felt amazing! Such a weight off our collective chest to not have to worry about money. It’ll cover our first tour of the UK promoting our debut album. Oh my god I’m excited! What was it that made you turn to the idea of funding? As a musician you need all the help you can get. Funding is a good way to get the support you need. How much do you think the money will really benefit you? So much! We can afford our own sound engineer, we’ll have a tour manager doing the driving and the lights. And we won’t need to crash on floors! What advice would you give to bands in your position, especially if they’re considering doing similar? Play every show you can and use every gig as an experience. The blessings such as these will only truly help if you’ve already put in the work and shown that you’re ready for it.





They take over London’s EXCEL between 6th and 8th October to host three days of panels, featuring industry bods like Radio 1 DJ Annie Mac, the people behind Record Store Day, managers, promoters, bookers and just about anyone involved with making music, whether recorded, live, or anywhere in between, happen. Subjects covered include ‘How to run a label’, ‘A guide to self-releasing your music’, ‘How to be good at social media’, and the all-important ‘How to make money’. In short, if you’re in a band, or hoping to make your way in the biz ‘at large’, it’s a must. If that wasn’t enough, some artists themselves will be sharing their wisdom; acts signed up include Frank Carter, Marika Hackman, Creeper and Actual Spice Girl, Melanie C. Our own Neu Editor, Jamie will also be there, taking part in the ‘I Can’t Get You Out Of My Headline’ panel on Friday at 2:45pm. DIY



f you’ve been at a major UK festival in the past few years, or tuned into to BBC Radio 1 or any local BBC stations, you can’t have missed BBC Introducing, whether it’s them hosting the likes of Pale Waves at Reading & Leeds, bigging up local talent across the country, or Huw Stephens playing most of what you’ll see here in the pages of DIY. They’re celebrating a decade this year, and as part of that are hosting Amplify, the “biggest new music business event ever to be held in the UK”.

BBC Introducing’s Amplify debuts this month in London - and we’ll be there too.



In desperate need of a live music fix but can’t decide where or who? If you feel too spoilt for choice, here’s just a few of LNSource’s upcoming shows worth getting off the sofa for.

Bleachers 18th October, KOKO, London From his production work with artists including Lorde and St Vincent (squee!) to releasing his second album under the name - June’s ‘Gone Now’ - it’s fair to suggest Jack Antonoff has had a busy time of it. He brings his own euphoric pop gems to the giant disco ball of London’s KOKO on 18th October.

Kele Okereke

25th October, Islington Assembly Hall, London While the Bloc Party frontman is better known for his forays into electronic music - whether through his day job, or solo records ‘The Boxer’ and ‘Trick’, latest full-length ‘Fatherland’ has him headed down a more acoustic, stripped-back route, attempting to channel the likes of Joni Mitchell, Nick Drake and Elliott Smith in the process.

One dye-job later, and Frank Carter’s nearly reached his goal of joining GIRLI’s band.

Little Dragon Nationwide, from late October The Swedes released fifth album ‘Season High’ back in April, having worked with super-producer James Ford and pop machine Patrik Berger in the process. They play dates in Manchester, Bristol, Glasgow and at London’s Roundhouse this month. For more information and to buy tickets, head to or



N eW S



Part spiky punk, part Mike Skinner-channelling social commentator, ‘Panic Prevention’ was the debut that set one Mr Jamie Treays up as the bold, brash voice of young London. Words: Lisa Wright.


ack in 2007, London was creating a new kind of star. The Libertines had already combusted after two albums of Albion-dreaming, but their legacy of back alley urchin charm still remained. Now it was being taken on by a different kind of social commentator. On one side you had the Thamesbeat oddballs – the first days of Mystery Jets et al; ragged bands of weirdos in waistcoats and neckerchiefs, emerging from the city’s outskirts in a scuffle of tumbling guitars and junk shop percussion. On the other you had Lily Allen and Kate Nash, estuaryaccented storytellers, documenting the fights and fuckheads of the capital in brazen form. Somewhere in the middle of these two, with one foot in both and a heart clearly also steeped in the British hip hop tradition of The Streets, was Jamie Treays. Just turned 21, the Wimbledon singer emerged as a ballsy raconteur spinning colourful, often miserable tales of the city that sonically straddled a unique line between spat-out rap delivery and spiky, punk guitars. From the opening, crazed shout of “Fucking croissant!” at the start of opener ‘Brand New Bass Guitar’, ‘Panic Prevention’ marked itself out as a bold, uncompromising debut that set the standard for a truly singular star. 10 years on, it’s easy to pick out the classics. Head to any indie disco worth its salt and ‘Sheila’, ‘Salvador’ or ‘If You Got The Money’ will still incite bigger sing-alongs than pretty much anything released since. But they were merely the figureheads of an album that dug deeper than just providing a knees-up soundtrack to a Saturday night snog. Named after a tape for anxiety sufferers (a thing Jamie himself knew a thing or two about), it turned that feeling outwards, honing in on the everyday characters and situations of the thencurrent youth culture and spinning lyrically dense, verbally dextrous tales around them. Nominated for a Mercury Prize, he’d go on to follow it up with 2009’s also-quite-excellent ‘Kings & Queens’ before disappearing for five years in a reclusive retreat away from the spotlight. Now, of course, he’s back and bringing out ‘Panic Prevention’’s wares live once more. And frankly, thank fuck for that. DIY


the Facts

Release: 29th January, 2007 Stand out tracks: ‘Sheila’, ‘Salvador’, ‘If You Got The Money’ Tell your mates: ‘Rawhide’ – the B-side to ‘Panic Prevention’ single ‘Sheila’ – featured fellow city dweller Lily Allen on guest vocals. Have a banana, etc.

We’re going to need to see your ID for that Stella, young man.










WED.08.NOV.17 SUN.22.OCT.17


THU.09.NOV.17 SAT.28.OCT.17

WED.13.DEC.17 MON.13.NOV.17


Rae’s new single is all about the saucy ruff ‘n’ tumble.


Rae Morris • Do It ................................................

Rae Morris’ drastic reinvention on her appropriatelytitled comeback single ‘Reborn’ was a change it took a little time to adjust to, swapping introspective, pianoled ballads with hushed vocals for neon-coloured pop. Second offering ‘Do It’ slots into its new home far more comfortably, straddling the line between the singer’s past and future, and exhibiting bucketloads of confidence along the way. “Take your guard down, I can see through it,” she asserts in the track’s bouncy chorus, before repeating the track’s title in a confident refrain. Finding the perfect balance of the chartmingling she’s clearly going for and the songwriting craft of her past on ‘Do It’, Rae Morris’ return just got a whole lot more exciting. (Will Richards)


.......................................... • Björk • The Gate .......................................... ‘The Gate’ is often delicate and minimalist, but towards the middle of its six minutes it swells with deep pulses. As Björk sings about not wanting to be so needy and having “proud selfsufficiency”, it’s possible to think that, with its call for compassion in tow, ‘The Gate’ has formed something of a healing process. With its deft traversal between moody and transcendent melodies though, Björk moves past loss and further into even bolder new territory. (Eugenie Johnson)


.......................................... • Gengahr • Carrion .......................................... As comeback singles go, Gengahr’s ‘Carrion’ is a magnificent re-introduction. Carried along by a rollocking drum beat that carries the momentum of a runaway train, Felix Bushe’s fragile falsetto has become a swaggering, piercing vocal, channelling Deerhunter’s Bradford Cox and worming his way around thunderous drums and a guitar solo that could break through walls. Welcome back Gengahr, this is an absolute delight. We await album two with baited breath. (Will Richards)

.......................................... .......................................... • shamir • • False Advertising • ‘90s Kids Hey You .......................................... .......................................... This latest from the Based around a springy piano Manchester-based trio sees riff, Shamir’s first material for them on ferocious form, new home Father/Daughter matching ‘90s power-pop, and follow-up to this year’s grunge and one irresistible self-released ‘Hope’, is a chorus to oh-so-potent brilliantly youthful look back. effect. “Hey you-ooh,” yells Taking aim at those who vocalist Jen Hingley again attack millennials and those and again, in a way that’s titular ’90s kids for practicing both playful and menacing, self-love, the songwriter’s as the track takes aim at anger is portrayed through gender stereoytping. False a brilliantly fragile vocal and Advertising have already hurriedly strummed lo-fi built a reputation as being guitar. Rather than getting a beast of a band in the bogged down, ’’90s Kids’ live arena - now they’ve comes out fighting and proves got a beast of a single to both a huge rallying cry and a match. (Emma Swann) fantastic return. (Will Richards)





10.02.18 GLASGOW


11.02.18 NEWCASTLE

25.02.18 NORWICH

13.02.18 DUBLIN


14.02.18 BELFAST

27.02.18 BRISTOL

16.02.18 SHEFFIELD

28.02.18 LONDON














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09 | 10 | 17



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N eW S




26th October - 4th November



t’s time again for the various live venues of Liverpool to be taken over for the city’s Liverpool Music Week. Acts from Everything Everything to The Orielles are set to take part, with DIY favourites such as Perfume Genius, Childhood, Gengahr, and Goat Girl starring in the Merseyside mayhem.

21st October


xcited about the imminent return of Peace? Head to Oxford’s Cowley Road later this month, then, as the Birmingham indie heroes are headlining the city’s Ritual Union festival. Fellow DIY faves Black Honey are also there, as well as artists including Traams, Dead Pretties, Trudy & The Romance, Her’s and Copenhagen fuzz fiends, Baby In Vain.

We’re teaming up with the festival for its Breaking Out series at EBGB’s, where Goat Girl, Spinning Coin, and Little Cub are among the artists appearing.


Baby In Vain’s Benedicte Pierleone lets us in on their summer of fun.

How have your 2017 festivals been? Reading & Leeds was great. They were our first UK festivals besides The Great Escape. We played a festival in Prague as well, and I’ve never been there, so it was really nice to walk around the city.


Any particular highlights? This summer we played a festival in Denmark for people with learning disabilities and their families. They were a great audience! One kid had brought his own guitar and played on it in the crowd. And they all wanted our autographs.

Goat Girl reflect on the summer’s events and their previous visits to Liverpool. Hello, what’s new in the world of Goat Girl? We finished recording our album, we’ve got rid of our bedbugs and we’re going to Spain. Things are looking up.

Did you have an eventful summer festival season? Rosy passed out at Latitude and someone robbed her back pocket with the car keys in which had all our instruments in it as well. How have your previous experiences of Liverpool gigs been? We’ve only been to Liverpool once or twice before. It seems like a nice city but we never had a chance to spend much time there. But the ferry from Dublin to Liverpool was pretty nice. Free food all day, and only people over 70 other than us… I recommend it to anyone looking for a great day trip. 24

yes, it’s october. yes there are still f e s t i va l s . w e k n o w.

Since Oxford is a city known for its educational prowess, what were your favourite subjects at school? I was actually quite geeky in school, good at maths and stuff like that. Hated German though. And of course music was always awesome. And for some reason I now have a history degree.

Service Station of the Month


Mondo.NYC 4th - 8th October

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


rtists from across the globe will be heading to New York City this month, as Mondo buries itself deep in Manhattan to host both many a live performance and a series of panels on ‘the future of the industry’ and ‘similar things’. Among the acts performing there are Grandchildren, Carnival Youth, Birthday Club, and Hodera plus a handful of British artists including Alpines, Mt. Wolf and Luke Sital-Singh.

Fifty shades of


The Great Escape’s First Fifty is back, with King Nun, The Orielles, Freak and more. Last November, the first fifty names for The Great Escape 2016 were revealed via a series of gigs across five east London venues - ours hosted Abattoir Blues and Eat Fast among others. And it’s back! Kamio, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, The Old Blue Last, The Courtyard Theatre and Zigfrid von Underbelly will all host shows between 21st and 23rd November, with artists booked including King Nun, The Orielles, Freak and Ten Tonnes. Even better, we’re hosting the gig at Kamio on 23rd November, with a killer line-up: 23.11.17 @Kamio:

Ten Tonnes Freak Feet King Nun


A mysterious establishment on the M25… wait, actually, was it the M60? Nah, um, definitely the M1!


irst of all, shouts out to Tebay, but today we’re going with a service station that has touched all three of us deep down [so much so that you can’t remember where it is, eh lads? - Ed]. It’s enriched our lives and warmed our hearts; a service station where once, in the dead of night, we caught Joe Cole buying a Maccies; a service station where we once watched a woman feverishly ask for chocolate sauce on her chips and saw her face contort in shame upon realising what she had said. A service station where Olly once spent his last 20p on one of those shite toy vendors for his darling; a service station that cuddled us through a post-Royal Albert Hall hangover while we reminisced over an early

morning Greggs on the way back to Liverpool; a place in which what seems like thousands of unwinding bines have been smoked and a sea of Costa Express cappuccino guzzled. In short, our own little Shangri-La in the dogged eternity of the motorway. Alas, I have forgotten the name of this service station and it’s doing my fucking head in. Are you Watford Gap? Woolley Edge? Or Leicester Forest East? Nevertheless, we love you, and we cherish you every time you receive us. Follow us on twitter @trudymylove [shameless, much?! - Ed] to find out what the service station is called when we go there next and I actually have a look at where we are. Sincerely, B-rad. (Brad Mullins, drums)


DIYLive We’ve teamed up with the (literal) party-starters to host some of your faves ‘in the round’.

FLUFFER PIT PARTIES Spring King + Demob Happy + Nova Twins Hackney Showroom, London. Photo: Patrick Gunning.


y the end of tonight’s gig, the entirety of the venue has invaded the raised stage – devouring Spring King into a sweltering heat of their most passionate fans. There’s a heightened tension and immeasurable degree of chaos in the room tonight that just amplifies the band – ‘Mumma’ is gritty and rocking as ever, a perfect + Bad Breeding + YOWL mix of surf-rock and punk-laden guitars Epic Dalston, London. Photo: Lindsay Melbourne. + Demob with Tarek delivering flawlessly mightyHappy + Nova Twins Hackney Patrick f all Photo: the bands thatGunning. could most embrace singalong choruses from behind the Showroom, London. the idea of a Fluffer Pit Party - 360 degree drum kit. Crowd favourite and early chaos, fully involving the crowd and never single ‘City’ is restless and commanding. standing still - there’s three of the best tonight. The entire crowd converges onto the Openers YOWL are one of London’s most exciting stage for set-closer ‘Rectifier’, fans nearly new bands, and waste no time getting involved. drowning the rest of the stage as the If the opening set wasn’t intense enough, quartet enthusiastic mosh pit almost completely Bad Breeding up the chaos to a whole other level. obscures the band from view. The It’s a bit more of a joyous experience when Japanaudience descend around Tarek, still droids hit the stage, if no less intense. 2012’s ‘Celgasping at vocals as he’s engulfed by a ebration Rock’ is still one of the best rock records sea of adoring fans – and by the end of of the decade so far, and highlights ‘Younger Us’ the song, chants of “I can see there’s a and ‘The Night Of Wine And Roses’ are still brilliantly fire” have been claimed exclusively by impassioned, feeling no less vital than when they first the entirety of the Spring King devotees. showed themselves five years ago. (Will Richards) (Cady Siregar)

Japandroids Spring King



Ooh-arrrr matey!

Demob Happy,

Pirate Studios, London. Photo: Emma Swann.


ast month we teamed up with Pirate Studios to bring you sets from Brighton riffers Demob Happy and London punks Skinny Girl Diet – streamed live via Facebook, to watch from the comfort of your sofa. Skinny Girl Diet took to the stage first, dishing up a set of snarling energy, including recent single ‘Yeti’, while Demob Happy used the opportunity to debut four totally new tracks from their still-in-themaking second album. Filthy and fuzzy, they’re a stupidly exciting glimpse into what’s to come. If you missed it (you silly billy), you can re-watch the sets via diymag. Don’t say we never do anything for you, eh.


KALI UCHIS Fusing her eclectic, scatter-genre pop with a punk ethos, Kali Uchis could well become as big as the huge names she has lining up to work with her. And best of all, it’s all on her own terms. Words: El Hunt.



f there’s one unifying sentiment to Kali Uchis’ world - all empowering defiance shot through a soft-hued, bubblegum pink lens - it’s that she doesn’t take anybody else’s shit. Driving nonchalantly around town in the video for the tellingly named ‘Know What I Want’ (while a man lies gagged in her bathtub at home, no less) and kicking aside preconceived notions of genre like they’re nuisance bits of trash scattered on the ground, her music fuses together jazz, soul and doo-wop oldies, Spanish pop star Jeanette, strong female innovators from Sade to Gwen Stefani, and - somehow - a cuttingedge ear for production that unifies the whole messy sonic dot-to-dot into something coherent and trailblazing. Starting out from behind the counter at Whole Foods - where Kali worked as a cashier while writing her earliest music - other artists steadily caught onto her intoxicating brew of oddball pop; lying somewhere between smooth, velvety horchata, and a bracing shot of tequila.



domination now,” she finalises, “and being able to conquer everything with my music.” Kali doesn’t have much time for modesty, but to be honest, why should she? Her Twitter bio wryly introduces her as a ‘dislikable Colombian girl”; in part a jibe at the expectation that female artists should be meek and humble. Kali knows full well she’s onto something. “As females particularly, we grew up having other people constantly trying to make us doubt ourselves,” she says. “It’s a world that’s constantly trying to tell us not to love ourselves and why we’re not stood up straight enough, why we need to hold our head higher, whatever. I think it’s really important to have a strong sense of self. We’re all going to die, and there’s no point trying to live just to impress other people,” she summarises. “We don’t really have anything to prove to anyone, apart from ourselves.”

Almost every single music video - mangling together Pulp Fiction film noir, smoke-stained neon, and candy hues - is self-directed, and every collaboration or feature spot has to be, in Kali’s mind, a reciprocal relationship. “I wish more people would create like that,” she says. “I’m not gonna lie, I have also been the kind of person to send an email to an artist saying this needs a feature, I think you would sound bomb on it. That’s inevitable. But when you find someone you really like to work with,” she adds, citing Tyler, the Creator as an example, ”he’s a creative person who Snoop Dogg quickly got the Kali Uchis memo, writes songs, he’s a musical genius. You make linking up for their ‘On Edge’ hook-up. Tyler, a whole lot of shit. You do something for my The Creator - now a close pal of Kali’s after project, I’ll do something for yours,” she says. years of collaboration - Vince Staples, Gorillaz, “I got lucky that so many amazing people Kaytranada, BadBadNotGood, and Major Lazer were down to work with me I was able to work were also quick to associate with her, and no with Gorillaz, Tame Impala, Bootsy Collins... all wonder. Kali Uchis has achieved an impressive these amazing people I’ve grown up listening feat; not only has she carved out her own to. Even if this isn’t the album that breaks me, musical avenue, she’s done it for me, it’s a success anyway. all on her own terms.

“I’m ready for global domination.”

“I feel really proud of the boundaries that I’m pushing,” states Kali, speaking over the phone, midway through putting the finishing touches to her debut album proper. “I want to create this whole new lane for me to be in. My objective was to create

a whole world of my own. People would tell me to be more this, more that, more pop, whatever, but I think as an artist…” she pauses. ”I’ve gotten as far as I’ve gotten by listening to my intuition. I’m ready for global

For all Kali Uchis’ strength, her music contains many disarming moments of vulnerability beneath the gaudy visual sheen. Drawing on her own experiences with an open door honesty, her intonation flecked with the sort of jazz-drenched sadness you might associate most readily with one of her all-time favourites Billie Holiday, it’s yet another form of empowerment. “I’ve always liked to believe that being vulnerable is a really admirable trait,” Kali reasons. “So many people pride themselves in being guarded and hidden. With so many people being like that I always thought it was admirable to wear your heart on your sleeve and say what you mean. Be proud of being soft,” she states, resolutely. “It’s a part of being strong. Being able to be vulnerable and let yourself really express how you feel is a part of strength. You abandon the fear of what people will think.” DIY



Meet the hip-hop collective changing the game. Catching up with Brockhampton’s heroics in the last 12 months is a bit like wading through several series of a TV show you’ve just been told about. In summary, the Texas-raised collective – 15 members strong, with others coming and going – have released two bold, ground-breaking LPs (‘Saturation’, ‘Saturation II’) as well as the blueprint ‘All American Trash’ mixtape. On those releases, recorded in their Los Angeles ‘Brockhampton Factory’, they mix razor-sharp production with equally on-the-ball observations on being an outsider – bold hip hop, trap, folk and pop that dares to be different. Oh, and third album ‘Saturation III’ is just around the corner. And breathe. Listen: ‘Gold’ and ‘Queer’ are your best starting points. Similar to: The early buzz around OFWGKTA.



Sloan Peterson Music for a day off.

Naming herself after the Mia Sara-played character on Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sloan Peterson’s music was always going to carry a youthful freedom. So it proves on her self-titled debut EP, a crash course in writing rough-edged, Weezer and Best Coast-nodding pop. And like the finest fuzz pop bands, she always puts big hooks before a jagged aesthetic. Listen: The ‘Sloan Peterson’ EP is out on Mirror Records. Similar to: Weezer meets Alvvays.

Summer isn’t over yet, guys. Got a spare couple of weeks and unlimited funds? Of course you do! Fly to America, hire a fancy car, and drive it through the wilderness with MMODE as your soundtrack. The Belfast duo - made up of siblings Lucy and Thomas Gaffney - are the ultimate road trip band. Sure, for the time being you’ll only be able to listen to debut single ‘Waiting on the Desert’ on repeat, but its Wolf Alice-via-Britpop brilliance is quite enough for now. Listen: ‘Waiting on the Desert’ Similar to: The Cardigans meets ‘Bros’.

Recommended Vera

Around the world in 3 minutes and 30 seconds.

Copenhagen producer Vera makes welltravelled pop, a journeying kind with so many visa stamps it requires a new passport. One second he’ll be inspired by the salsa-filled streets of Cuba, the next he’ll be extracting a club pulse from Ibiza’s sweatiest club. And it’s all wrapped under his signature, ether-sunken aesthetic. Anyone who’s anyone wants to work with him – MØ, Liss and Off Bloom already have – and it’s no wonder he’s Denmark’s hottest property since Peter Schmeichel. Listen: ‘Falling’ is an inspired collaboration with Okay Kaya. Similar to: A Gilles Peterson radio show compressed into a pop song.

Look! Vera’s already racking up the fans. 30



mon 20 nov 2017 o2 academy brixton tues 21 nov 2017 o2 academy brixton + 3rd and final london show wed 22 nov 2017 o2 academy brixton fri 24 nov 2017 o2 apollo manchester sat 25 nov 2017 o2 academy bournemouth sun 26 nov 2017 norwich, uea

the new album ‘THE FAR FIELD’ out now





Slipping largely under the radar when it first came out, Soccer Mommy’s ‘For Young Hearts’ - a scrappy, lo-fi bluster of grazed knees and 3am chats - crept up on more or less everyone before becoming Bandcamp’s best demo release of 2016. A bit like Adam Lallana in the Southampton days, it was clear Sophie Allison was just getting started, her clipped diary-entry lyrics and lonesome, frayed-edge melodies painting vivid pictures of the muddle of love. “Do you think it’s sweet I’m nervous talking to you, or am i just a freak?” asks ‘Death By Chocolate’ deprecatingly, while ‘3am at a Party’ - with that plaintalking title - pulls apart being in love with someone far too occupied by his “girlfriend’s shit”. Soccer Mommy, in a nutshell, pours bottled up emotion onto record, approaching storytelling with sparse, straight-to-the-point economy.

neu Can she kick it? Yes she can! Beefing up her Bandcamp gem demos for ‘Collection,’ and recording her debut album proper, Sophie Allison has it all to play for. Words: El Hunt.

As scrappy and unpolished as it was, a quiet release with zero fanfare wasn’t the end of ‘For Young Hearts’. Enlisting a full band and playing the material live for the first time, the beefed up songs took on a new life, and got re-recorded for ‘Collection’. Eventually, it saw Soccer Mommy touring the world, too, in the surreal position of performing the songs she wrote during one New York heatwave in her dorm room. “I never really expected it to go this far,” Sophie ponders. “Especially not to a different country, to play songs I wrote when I was in college.” Yearning for the impossible, and brushing past strangers on the street before indulging in low-risk fantasies, much of ‘Collection’ centres around crushes that work strictly on a one way system. And in newer songs - written especially for the beefed-up release - give a window towards what might lie next; stand-out newbie ‘Out Worn’ announcing it’s “sick and tired of feeling undesired” atop a grungy, more pointed guitar riff. Relationships come up so much, she reckons, because “it’s the most prominent thing

SOCCER MOMMY in my life that I don’t get to express.” And Soccer Mommy’s songs - occasionally bordering on bleak in their self-effacing honesty - prove cathartic. “It’s important,” she agrees. “Just because it helps me to express better what I’m feeling rather than just keeping it covered. It’s a lot better to come right out and say what I’m actually feeling; it feels a little bit more confrontational or more expressive.”

Looking ahead, the plan is to sack off college in New York “for the time being,” in favour of focusing on Soccer Mommy. There’s also a debut album on the way, too. “I actually just finished writing it,” Sophie says, “and now we’re recording it. It’ll be early next year.” DIY


This Byron Bay quintet might not be pals of Postman Pat’s, but they still write some first class tunes.

Parcels neu

“It was an incredible feeling seeing them in the crowd, intently watching our show,” recounts Parcels’ bassist Noah Hill. “Even without their robot suits, they just have this presence about them…”

Daft Punk seemed intent on spearheading a seventies-disco revival with 2013’s allconquering ‘Random Access Memories’ a record that brought Nile Rodgers and Giorgio Moroder firmly back into the limelight. And while they’ve never really worked with new artists in the past, perhaps it should come as little surprise that they chose to take Parcels under their wing. Formed in Byron Bay - a coastal town in New South Wales – the Australian quintet fuse disco and soul and modern electronic pop, with unmistakable gravitas. They’ve been releasing a steady stream of dancefloor-ready tracks since 2015, but exploded into the limelight this year with ‘Overnight’ – a slice of pop gold produced by the Parisian pair themselves. “It’s a song which has had a huge journey,” Noah remarks proudly. “It’s gone from being on our laptop to finding its way to a studio in Paris. It’s been a process that’s gone on for about a year and a half, but we’re really happy with how it turned out.”

Words: Dan Jeakins.

club in France. We had heard rumours they were coming,” recalls Noah, “and at the time we didn’t really want to believe them. We were introduced to Thomas and Guy-Manuel after the show, and they ended up inviting us back to their studio.” Very few artists have had the honour of working with the legendary duo, and it’s certainly not something Parcels took for granted. “It was like a mentorship I suppose, but we were absolutely in awe of the way they worked. You could sit there for hours listening to them talk. We collaborated really naturally with them, even though their process is unlike anything we’ve ever come across.” Parcels’ French connection doesn’t stop at Daft Punk either; the band are due to support Phoenix on their upcoming arena tour. “It’s a huge step up for us,” Noah reveals excitedly, relishing the prospect. They’re one of the bands we have been most inspired by, and it’s giving us the opportunity to play some of the biggest venues you can ever play.” “There’s just something about French music,” he continues. “One of our favourite records as a band is Air’s ‘Moon Safari’. There’s something really special about that French touch we’re just all in love with.” As for Parcels themselves, the future is looking very bright. “We’re starting to think about a debut album, and are really excited so far. Hopefully you’ll be able to hear it soon.” If their current output is anything to go by, it’ll be unmissable. DIY

The band caught the attention of Daft Punk “at a really small 33


SHOWS this month Like being the first to see the next big thing? Get ready to brag to your mates about watching this lot before they go big, sell out and spectacularly break up.

NilÜfer Yanya London, Omeara (16th October) Profiled in July’s DIY, the forward-facing Nilüfer is coming off the back of big support slots for Broken Social Scene and Everything Everything. Both those bands specialise in wild, frenzied expression, whereas Yanya prefers a more introverted style. She’s just as compelling, though. This month’s London headline show is guaranteed to sell out.

Pale Waves Nottingham, Bodega (17th October) The Manchester noir-pop newcomers are drawing big crowds everywhere they go. Sometimes, admittedly, the big crowds are already waiting for The 1975 (they supported their label mates on recent arena dates). But on Reading & Leeds’ BBC Introducing Stage last August, they pulled a huge audience. This October they head off on their first headline tour.

vagabon Brighton, Green Door Store (20th October) Vagabon impressed earlier this year, bringing her careful jumble of blurred memories and meandering, half-remembered snapshots to SXSW. In the process she achieved the mean feat of making rowdy Austin fall silent in admiration - for a minute, at least! Returning to UK shores, you’d be a fool to miss out on a seaside rendition of ‘Infinite Worlds’. 34

downtown boys Leeds, Brudenell Social Club (12th October) Fresh from tearing up the rulebook with ‘Cost of Living’, the Rhode Island snarlers are set to descend on Leeds’ most infamous musical institute later this month. Speedy Ortiz - who’ve toured with the band are fans, and it’s easy to see why; this is biting, cathartic punk at its best.

neu neu

ON THE PLAYLIST Every week on Spotify, we update DIY’s Neu Discoveries playlist with the buzziest, freshest faces. Here’s our pick of the best new tracks: JW Ridley ‘Somewhere Else’ London shape-shifter JW Ridley is either going to turn into some Brian Eno-like, genre-dodging powerhouse, or he’ll write big hits for popstars from behind the curtain. ‘Somewhere Else’ suggests he’s capable of conquering both worlds.

All the buzziest new music happenings, in one place.

maggie rogers says goodbye (for now) No sooner has she introduced herself, altpop star Maggie Rogers is already waving goodbye. After releasing new song ‘Split Stones’, the Pharrell-approved newcomer has called the track a “parting gift.” She explained: “This is me saying goodbye for a little while. Here’s to the end of the beginning and the start of everything else.” All of this is to essentially say that she’s going to be holed up in a studio recording a debut album. We’re really good at decoding messages, you see.

more dates on the ‘grid

Emerson Snowe ‘If I Die, Then I Die’

Norwegian future superstar Sigrid is planning ahead, announcing her first ever UK headline tour for March 2018.

Taken from Brisbane musician’s Jarrod Mahon’s ‘This Is Baby Blue’ EP from last year, get lost in the gorgeous miserabilia of this rough surf pop. Like Ariel Pink only way less problematic.

By that time, the raspy-voiced ‘Don’t Kill My Vibe’ singer will be readying a debut album, which could very easily become an instant chart-topper. It’s no wonder she’s already playing a venue the size of Shepherd’s Bush Empire next year. Check out dates on

OUTLYA ‘Howl’ Day by day, it becomes increasingly clear just how massive OUTLYA are going to become. They capture a crystal-clear euphoria best matched by Bastille. Expect ‘Howl’ to go stratospheric.

jorja sees her name in lights Nobody gets asked to play two episodes of Later… With Jools Holland in a row. Except Jorja Smith, that is. The Walsall-raised talent played the show’s Royal Albert Hall shindig, appearing alongside Kali Uchis, before returning the following week to perform debut track ‘Blue Lights’. It’s no surprise, mind you. 2017’s seen her collaborate with Tyler, the Creator and Drake, as well as putting out club-glued single ‘On My Mind’. She’s just announced big UK shows for February of next year. Check them out on


LAUGHING WITH FANGS/ With her self-titled fourth album, St Vincent stepped up her pink staircase to a whole new realm. And now, seducing the masses with ‘MASSEDUCTION’ - an absurd

Words: El Hunt. 36

and biting dissection of life’s paradoxes she’s cemented herself as a once in a generation artist. Photos: Catalina Kulczar. 37



t Vincent’s self-titled album took her to some downright bizarre places. Purple toilet costumes, dates with movie stars, front rows at fashion shows, and water pistol paparazzi stand-offs; they’re all images of the musician that appeared splashed across the whispering pages of celebrity gossip magazines. Probably the last place she thought she’d end up. It’s an astronomical rise to fame that would be more than enough to test most artists. St Vincent? She turned it all into an album. Removing herself from the daily obligations of her New York apartment, Annie Clark set up temporary shop at the Marlton Hotel on 8th (oddly enough the uncannily named poet Edna St Vincent Millay once had the same idea) and set about trying to follow up her best record to date. “It was about holing up and having all of the small needs met,” she reasons, speaking over the phone from LA. “If I need food, I can get food – it’s right there. If I need coffee, it’s right here.” She also took up pilates, which provided a few indirect benefits, too. “I don’t know if they advertise this, but pilates made me sing better, and it made me come harder,” Annie announces gleefully, ever the master of throwing a clanger into general conversation with zero notice. “Seriously.” Earlier on, though, it’s St Vincent’s turn to be taken by surprise, which, it must be said, is something of a rarity. “Oh... GOD!” she exclaims - with mild mortification - when asked to ponder a world populated by endless clones of herself. “Um. It would be very clean, like, super fastidious and tidy,” she starts. “All the buses and trains would be five minutes late. Five minutes late. Everyone would make plans to go out, and then it would be fine...” she laughs. “All of me would cancel, because they all started working on a song.” she laughs. “So no-one would ever go out.”


St Vincent’s hypothetical dystopia might not sound like an immediate winner (at the very least, shifting all the world’s time zones back to accommodate her promptness sounds like a logistical nightmare) but for just the one, lone, Annie Clark, her relentless artistic ethic and unwavering attention to the finest of details has proved her forte. St Vincent has always been a true chameleon between records, painting vivid archetypes to head up each of her creative eras. Masking sinister menace beneath a blankly innocent grin on her debut album ‘Marry Me’ set the precedent back in 2007, while its follow-up, ‘Actor’, was fairytale lightness charged by a surging undercurrent of violence. Sparse pop refinement, gaping teeth straining against latex, and housewives slipping sedatives into their ice-cold Chardonnay coloured the bleak ‘Strange Mercy’ four years on. And then her self-titled album – released three years ago – seemed to elevate things to a whole other level. Sternly watching from her pink utilitarian throne, ‘St Vincent’ looked on as the digital and analogue collided in battle, mocking the endless mundanity of cosy everyday life (“take out the garbage, masturbate,” quipped ‘Birth in Reverse’) and yearning for a truer, rawer kind of connection that knocks down all the barriers we build around ourselves each minute for self-preservation. At times, she adopted the persona of a cult ringleader, and when she hit the road to tour the record, her physical presence – the analogue side of proceedings, so to speak - was placed in the firing line. She took a chunk out of her thigh when she slammed into a bannister during one show; at another, she returned to the dressing room with a blood-streaked face. Security guards were given hickies, and audience members had everything from hats to crutches stolen. All of the aggression that typically sits at the centre of St Vincent’s music, dormant or malignant, was exorcised right there on the stage, her body wielded as a weapon. ‘MASSEDUCTION’, though equally as bold, is a different beast. Fronted by a leopard-print clad ass poking in humorous

“It’s very rare that a great artist makes their best record after they’ve bought the yacht.”

Everyone can use a helping hand.




isolation through a sheet of gaudy day-glo paper, the rear end in question belongs to St Vincent’s research assistant Carlotta Kohl. In her own right a prolific artist, Carlotta’s photography – centred on women’s bodies - cuts out the creepy old trope of a male artist objectifying others and makes a playful power-play out of sexualisation. It’s not quite clear whose idea it was, either, so her butt being on this brilliantly subversive album’s cover, then, seems quite fitting. “We’re laughing with fangs,” is how Annie puts it. “It’s aggressive, it’s sexy, but also totally absurd and silly.” Sonically, Annie Clark’s fifth veers between ‘Savior’’s ‘70s porno sleaze, and the drug-gobbling lullaby of ‘Pills’ – at once completely overblown, and tapping into some of her most vulnerable moments to date. Though it’s impossible to fact-check this album – a point she continually makes in interviews, with a palpable degree of relief – the parallels between ‘MASSEDUCTION’’s major temptations, and St Vincent’s own growing celebrity profile are inescapable. The pressures to retain artistic integrity under the camera glare of the tabloid churn rears its head; sex, power and money all looming as seductive influencers of the masses, on the teetering edge of self-destruction. Her most personal

record yet, here St Vincent is wielding emotions as a weapon instead. “I think that’s a very good way to put it,” she retorts, wryly. “I would almost suggest you write that in an article.” As absurd as ‘MASSEDUCTION’ can be – the record was announced by way of a rolling news conference which veered off on a variety of surreal tangents ranging from her musings on macrophilia (a fetish involving giants) to the album’s supposed working title of ‘Ass Education’ – St Vincent’s in-jokes feel like warm jibes rather than an impenetrable ‘1989’-style clique of cool. Some of the time, she’s also poking fun at herself. In one such move – in a moment of boredom between albums - she started up an informal series on her Instagram account which saw her obnoxiously taking an “important call,” in the manner of an ego-inflated Artist (with a capital A) flanked by a hundred-strong entourage and far too much hot air. “Someone putting their finger up to silence you is so aggressive and such a douchey thing to do,” she says, with a brief cackle. “I guess I was doing a parody of being a douche. I hope,” she sidenotes, quickly. As a consequence of her relationship with supermodel Cara Delevingne in the years following the release of

Bring Me Your Collabs For ‘MASSEDUCTION’, St Vincent broke with a bit of an informal tradition, and didn’t link up with producer John Congleton. Instead, she threw herself into things with man of the moment Jack Antonoff, worked with Top Dawg Entertainment whizz Sounwave, and invited her musician relatives into the studio.

Jack Antonoff “He is such a wonderful person. I really can’t sing his praises enough. We met and basically instantly connected and opened up to each other, and told each other all of the things that were going on in our lives, and after that conversation we just had a mission. The mission was to make a great album. Go places emotionally that I haven’t gone before, write the best songs that I’ve ever written. We just walked hand in hand through the fire.”


“We worked together on [the soundtrack for] A Bigger Splash, and when he was working on the Kendrick record he came over, and I played guitar on a couple of things – none of it ended up getting used, but y’know! Hip hop is exciting in that you can grab so many ideas from different places and put it all together unexpectedly. There’s a constant need to innovate in hip hop that I think gets lost in other kinds of music. We just had a good rapport, he’s a lovely guy, and I had him do the beat on ‘Pills’.”

Tuck & Patti (her aunt and uncle!)

“It was a real family kumbaya. They’re such incredible musicians, and I liked getting them out their comfort zone a little bit. Patti screams in a song and it’s just so resonant. It’s buried in there, and it was like, woah, the sea’s parted. They’d seen my shows, but we hadn’t been in the studio together since I was a kid, watching them and learning.”



‘St Vincent’ (the pair publicly split up but remain friends), Annie Clark inadvertently found herself at starstudded parties, inevitably filled with the kind of celebrities she was satirising. She also ended up in the disorientating position of being pursued by a flock of paparazzi when she tried to leave the house. “It’s a very unnatural thing to be walking down the street and have photographers chasing you,” she says. “That’s just very weird as an experience. It’s part and parcel of this celebrity industrial complex. You gotta keep the magazines stocked with pictures of x y z person in order to sell magazines, to sell movies, to sell a can of soda, to sell.. sell. It’s...” she sighs, “yeah.”

this to me?”

and danger is sexy.”

“There were traps I was wary of falling into,” Annie admits. “It’s a complicated thing to be making music in these times. With the exception of Bowie,” she quips, “it’s very rare that a great artist makes their best record after they’ve bought the yacht.”

For all its shadowy explorations into people at their most selfish and selfpleasuring, and all its dark dissection of power and manipulation, though, this is also a strangely funny record. Operating using the same bizarrely droll strain of wit as its creator in conversation, as her creative director Willo Perron put it to the New Yorker, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is “absurd but hot”. Filled with retina-searing colour even in its saddest moments, the hurt and pain on this record is a new strain. “There’s a certain seriousness and austerity to the last record,” Annie says, looking back on ‘St Vincent’. “This record is oddly filled with more sorrow, but its melancholy is

By St Vincent’s reckoning, anyway, fame often comes at the expense of artistic integrity, just one paradox in ‘MASSEDUCTION’’s dark swirl of power-exchanges. Fixated on the ways in which humans exploit one another to get what they want – often through seduction – the album takes it all on with characteristic black humour. “You

“Pilates made me sing better, and it made me come harder.” Though Annie largely dismisses her glimpses into the A-List in exactly this way – with a weary laugh – there’s no doubt that the pressures she faces as a artist increasingly in the public eye hover in the background of ‘MASSEDUCTION’. One of the forms of seduction dissected, here, is invariably fame. ‘Pills’ – featuring vocals from Cara Delevingne – warns against being “defanged by fame,” before racing ecstatically off to bed “to give head to the money I made”. ‘Happy Birthday, Johnny’ meanwhile sees a frequent character who has appeared before in St Vincent’s music (first on ‘Marry Me’, then in ‘Prince Johnny’) phoning up to give her right earful for selling out. “You yelled through your teeth, accused me of acting like all royalty...” she recounts on the song, “Annie, how could you do


put me in a teacher’s denim skirt,” teases ‘Savior’, fulfilling someone else’s kink, but only when it’s begged for, “ruler and desk, so i can make it hurt”. And in ‘Los Ageless’ meanwhile, having comes at the cost of losing: “how can anybody have you and lose you and not lose their mind too?” It’s a darker side of humanity that’s not especially pleasant to confront; making it prime subject matter for St Vincent. “There’s often a gap between what people want, and what people say they want,” Annie details. “Exploring that kind of power, the seduction that it - be it love, sex, drugs – poses. Staring into the void, staring at the black hole, and wondering how close you can get to it before it sucks you in... It’s dangerous,

a lot brighter sounding.” “I think that horror movies and comedies share a very similar trait,” she adds, “which is build up, build up, build up, tension, release. Fear and laughter are entwined in that way. I feel like the world is a bit of a tragic comedy,” she goes on. “The human race has so much potential and has done so many incredible things, and then it’s capable of the utmost stupidity. We’re capable of the best and worst, and that’s absurd. We’re living in absurd times. All of this is just a coping mechanism, I guess.” St Vincent’s new album ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is out 13th October via Loma Vista / Caroline International. DIY











S E D/s I g







S u b


P o p

‘ L o s i n g ’ ,
















f o r B u l l y












n e w h a v e












r e c o r d

f o u n d











t h e i r















things get l o w e n o u g h , people “Once

come together and wo rk tog ether .”

- Alicia Bognanno


few months before announcing details of new album ‘Losing’, Bully returned with one-off track ‘Right’, released as part of the ‘Our First 100 Days’ compilation. The series, which provided a song for each of Donald Trump’s first hundred days in office as President, catalogued many of the shared worries and anxieties of young people in the US and beyond as 2017 began. ‘Right’ is maybe the most furious song Bully have ever penned, a relentless thrash that feels vitally current. These worries, both personally and on behalf of her whole country, gave vocalist Alicia Bognanno a hell of a lot to write about on ‘Losing’, an intense step-up of a second album and the follow-up to lauded debut ‘Feels Like’. Speaking from Austin, Texas before beginning a run of shows in the US to road-test the new album, and with ‘Losing’ now firmly in her back pocket, these moments are serving as the calm before the metaphorical storm. “Our first album was such a learning curve,” Alicia begins, laying out all the changes she and her band experienced in a

first world tour that took the band to national TV, the planet’s biggest festivals and beyond. “We learned so many things, and now we know how to look after ourselves a little bit better. We’re looking forward to when we fully get back on the road with this new album.” On top of adapting to a lifestyle as a full-time band and a touring circus of sorts - as well as finding themselves a new label - the world is a very different place to that which greeted ‘Feels Like’ in the balmy summer of 2015. It’s one the band have had to adapt to, from a less-than-traditional vantage point. “It’s so strange when everything’s changing around you, and you’re constantly on the road,” Alicia lays out. “It’s not like you’re sheltered from what’s happening - sometimes you’ll be in the van on your own and just be bored and scrolling through your phone every five minutes looking at the news a bit too much. It’s when you’re back in town and see everyone you know that it really hits; like, ‘oh yeah, this is happening’.”


S tay F o c u s e d : B U L LY

“Particularly in the last year, I’ve had a difficult time finding confidence and learning how to adapt to certain situations,” she continues, with the unease at the world permeating every part of ‘Losing’. “With the political climate in America, these feelings have only been made stronger. It’s been discouraging and sad to witness, and music has been a space for everyone to use as an outlet for negative energy, and as a platform with which to speak up.” It’s a situation that, while coming from a dark place, is leading countless bands from the US and beyond to find more common ground in their new material than ever. ‘Our First 100 Days’ and beyond, the sense of community has never been stronger. “It makes complete sense that these things are tied into a bunch of records that are coming out this year,” Alicia reinforces. “It’s really unavoidable, you can’t overlook this. It’s affecting everybody. “It’s comforting,” she continues, thinking about her peers working through the same troubles and difficulties. “Once things get low enough, people come together and work together. I know that when we had the women’s march here it was unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced. I thought ‘Wow, this is amazing, this is happening’ but also it was unfortunate that it had to happen because of such terrible circumstances.” ‘Losing’ is an album that puts this nervousness and adaption onto tape perfectly. First single ‘Feels The Same’ tries to forcibly break out of a claustrophobic state of mind, while ‘Focused’ serves as a distilling of the record’s battle against anxiety, repeating the line “I am trying to stay focused”. Alicia’s vocals are brought to the fore more than ever before, a sweet, melodic undercurrent contrasted with her most vicious, gravelly bellow on top. It’s the best example of the band honing the sound they began to shape on ‘Feels Like’, and one they make their home across the twelve tracks on ‘Losing’. Returning to Steve Albini’s Electrical Audio studio in Chicago - where Alicia famously once interned (though


ONCE YOU (sub) POP YOU CAN’T STOP For ‘Losing’, Bully have signed to one of the most legendary labels in the world. Here are three of our favourite Sub Pop records of all time.

never meeting Albini himself) ‘Losing’ is a steady, tangible step up, both in songwriting and production from the vocalist, who found herself without a label to release it while more than halfway through finishing the record. Splitting from Columbia after the release of ‘Feels Like’, the band’s DIY roots in Nashville meant they were never too scared of the idea of self-releasing. But when Sub Pop presented the dotted line for them to sign on, it made perfect sense. “We’re having the best time with them already,” Alicia says of the link-up, “and it’s all looking really exciting for the future.”

Sleater-Kinney - ‘The Woods’ (2005) ‘The Woods’ was the trio’s most streamlined album to date, ending their career (til then) on a glorious high, spearheaded by brilliant, intense single ‘Jumpers’.

Despite the deal with Sub Pop - a move that will only strengthen the comparisons between Alicia’s gravelly vocals and those of the label’s most famous son - most of ‘Losing’ grapples with simply enduring change, rather than enjoying it. There’s a catharsis gained from thrashing out such worries, though, both for writer and listener.

The Shins ‘Wincing The Night Away’ (2007) Hookier, louder and sweeter than anything previously, the album was and still potentially is the band’s pinnacle.

After a series of one-off warm-up shows and the album’s mid-October release, Alicia and her band will hit the road for the foreseeable future, touring ‘Losing’ all across the globe. It’s an undeniably scary prospect, and a dark world to trek out into, but with these songs of fire and resistance under their belt, Bully are going to come out fighting.

METZ - ‘METZ’ (2012) Channeling Nirvana, Toronto trio METZ made a hell of an entrance from north of the border with their spiky, unforgiving 2012 debut.

Bully’s new album ‘Losing’ is out 20th October via Sub Pop. DIY

subscRibe every month get DIY delivered ) (UK £25/ yr Ribe


Difficult second album? Hardly. A year on from their debut, the Canadian odd-pop wonders are back with even more genre-bending anthems and an emotionally open approach to songwriting. Words: Eugenie Johnson.

When Morgan said he wanted to be in Stillwater, this wasn’t what he had in mind.

We AVES 48


alking to Weaves’ Jazz Burke and Morgan Waters with the help of modern day technology (a three-way phone call, to be exact), there’s a sudden sharp, piercing tone backed by a combination of rustling and percussive clatter. “Where are you? Are you shopping?” Morgan asks, a little perplexed. “I’m on the bus!” Jazz exclaims. It turns out she’s heading to a shopping centre an hour and a half away from Toronto. “Little adventures are good!” she enthuses.


A couple of years ago, Weaves unleashed their own odd-pop cover of One Direction’s ‘Drag Me Down,’ a groove-laden version that turned the track completely on its head (obviously). Now, two years on, One Direction are on hiatus, something Jazz laments. “I’m so sad. I like Harry Styles though,” she says, before bursting into an impromptu rendition of ‘Sign Of The Times.’ “Harry Styles is a dramatic one,” Morgan ponders. “In our rehearsal space Zach [Bines, drummer] was playing the vocal loop from the Niall song,” he adds. So does this mean they’re tempted to tackle one of 1D’s solo efforts? “We want to do another pop song, because we’d like to keep doing songs other than ours,” Jazz laughs. “So maybe we’ll do some in a little while.” Watch this space then, eh?

Little adventures are indeed good, but the adventure that Weaves have embarked on following the release of their explosive, genre-bending self-titled debut has been frankly massive. They spent nearly a year on the road. As soon as they returned home though, getting a well-deserved rest wasn’t the first thing on their minds. “After sitting in the van for so long, I think we were like ‘let’s be creative now, let’s do this!’ You kind of get antsy to get creative, and we just did it,” Morgan says. “You just get excited to come up with new material,” Jazz explains. “New” for Weaves never means simply replicating what’s come before either. Even from the off, the production of what would become their second album ‘Wide Open’ was characterised

by a willingness to keep things fresh. While much of the first record had been written using a loop pedal and phone memos, this time round Jazz added to her technique, using acoustic guitar without being tutored. It turned out to be a fruitful test, which helped fuel the creativity of the overall album. “You have to kind of trick your brain into thinking of something fresh, so not having a tutor helped me think of things differently and not get bored playing the guitar,” she explains. “It was a fun experiment!” As its title suggests, ‘Wide Open’ also marks yet another distinct shift in Jazz’s writing style. “You have these interactions with people and it sort of inspires you to be more human,” she says. Here, she puts her own humanity on display, starting as she means to go on with the record’s frank first line: “I was a stranger inside of my own body.” As a result, it’s an album where her lyrics explore a huge range of sentiments, reflecting the inner conflicts that can come with chaotic times. “You’re touring and you’re having fun, but then something like the [US] election happened,” she reflects. “I think a lot of people are feeling extreme emotions.” While she didn’t have any preconceived notions of precisely what to express (“that’s the case with a lot of writing; you don’t really know what you feel until afterwards”), just trying to be honest and connect with the listener was something that became an important focus. “It was just trying to figure out ways to express my emotions in ways that are more relatable to people, and not use loads of metaphors. I didn’t want to hide.” Morgan believes that being on the road helped instil the confidence needed to be so frank. “It’s scary to be direct. You put yourself more on display by making yourself more direct, so I think it was just confidence.” “Everything’s really raw and open,” Jazz adds. “I think that we wanted it to be open and free.” This sense of candidness at first lead the pair to describe ‘Wide Open’ as their “Americana album”. “I guess with the Americana thing, [it’s because] the songs are more direct,” Morgan ruminates. “We tried to keep some of those elements in, even when the songs don’t sound like that at all. It was emotion first.” But this is Weaves we’re talking about. Musically, the record couldn’t simply stay with the “little more earthy” sound Morgan describes.




“The further down the line we went with the record, there were things that don’t fit with that world,” he explains. True to their ethos of going with the flow, even the Americana-tinged pedal steel that characterises the title track was born from an opportunist moment. “My friend was just in the next studio over and I was like ‘come on over’ and twenty minutes later we had pedal steel,” he reveals. So sure enough, ‘Wide Open’ is just as expansive, off-kilter and adamant not to be placed in a neat little box as its predecessor. Much like the album cover - where the band stand in vibrant clothes that are scorched by flames and smeared with dust – it’s a mix of glitzy and winningly ramshackle, channelling everything from glam and garage rock to punk and torch songs, packing in more than a few killer pop hooks along the way. Each track is anchored by Jazz’s increasingly confident vocals, but differentiated by an increasingly unbridled determination to experiment. “We don’t just ever want to stick to one genre, as that would just be boring,” the vocalist says. “The way people listen to music now, you don’t have to identify with a particular sound.” “It’s impossible to put a genre on our music,” Morgan states. “We’re never going to lose that.”

“It’s my debut tap performance!” - jazz Burke Trying to bend even more genres than you can shake a really long stick at means that the band have also taken in a few more instruments to further propel ‘Wide Open’ into anthemic territory. A couple of these are pretty traditional – the steel pedal, a glockenspiel – but others are straight out of left field. “Jazz really wanted to tap dance, so we found a space for that on the record,” Morgan bursts out. “Yes, I’m very excited about tap dancing,” she gleefully responds. “It’s my debut tap performance!” Sure enough, listen closely to ‘Scream’ and you can hear the click-clack of tap shoes, but that’s not the only unique element of the track; they also enlisted the help of Inuit throat 50

singer Tanya Tagaq. Jazz recalls that the experience was “very intuitive and emotional,” and that they had more in common musically than you might first expect. “She’d done it in two takes,” she explains. “I don’t think she really thinks about it too much either,” Morgan adds, “so it was kind of a good match that way.” Tanya’s involvement in the record brings up an intriguing question though: as they prepare to hit the road once more in support of their new record, will Weaves be trying to emulate her guttural tones? “We’ll figure it out,” Morgan says. He refuses to have her performance on a loop, instead endeavouring to do something a little more organic and out of the ordinary (of course). “I’m sure we can supply our own little insanity,” he wryly ponders. You wouldn’t really expect anything less, and for anyone wondering whether Weaves will be constantly try to morph ‘Wide Open’ into all kinds of new and dynamic shapes on the road, he has a simple, definitive answer. “Oh yeah.” “I think our band would not be able to tour much without a little bit of experimenting,” Jazz claims. “We recorded the songs really fast so we’re all still essentially learning the songs, but it’s more fun when you can have fun with the songs on stage. At least then when people see you more than once on stage they’re not like, getting bored or something!” It’s the reaction and vigour of a live audience that helps keep Weaves energised when they’re on the road. “People are very invested in watching us play live, so we kind of feed off their energy,” Jazz states. Morgan believes that the reaction of a crowd spurs them on to find new ways to surprise even the most avid of fans: “The audience can be involved in the creation of it,” he extrapolates. Even when they get into a freeflowing grove though, they’re a band who instinctively know how to bring it all to a rousing climax: “That’s the nice thing, everyone’s really good at improvising and then bringing it back.” It’s the spirit of going with the flow and letting intuition guide the process that’s a defining factor in what makes ‘Wide Open’ such an engaging listen. “We don’t ever overthink things,” Jazz says. “Nothing would get done,” she chuckles. “Nothing’s really thought out, and then we look back and are like, ‘should we make up a masterplan, some reason why we did this?’” Morgan adds. “But the truth is, we didn’t.” When Weaves can excite without ever needing to stick to a formula though, you hope the rulebook stays firmly torn up. As for where they go next? Naturally, that’s wide open. Weaves’ new album ‘Wide Open’ is out now. DIY






O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE Wednesday 11 October



VILLAGE UNDERGROUND Wednesday 18 October







HEAVEN Wednesday 11 October

THE VICTORIA Monday 20 October





KOKO Friday 13 October


OMEARA Tuesday 17 October





CORSICA STUDIOS Tuesday 17 October



THE VICTORIA Monday 23 October


ELECTRIC BALLROOM Tuesday 24 October






O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN Thursday 26 October



KOKO Sunday 29 October




O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN Tuesday 7 November

SHACKLEWELL ARMS Wednesday 15 November



BORDERLINE Tuesday 7 November




O2 FORUM KENTISH TOWN Wednesday 15 November



THE GARAGE Tuesday 7 November

THE WAITING ROOM Thursday 16 November



100 CLUB Thursday 2 November

O2 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE Wednesday 8 November

OSLO Friday 17 November



VILLAGE UNDERGROUND Wednesday 1 November




EVENTIM APOLLO Thursday 2 November





BIRTHDAYS Wednesday 8 November




KOKO Tuesday 21 November Wednesday 22 November



ROUNDHOUSE Thursday 9 November

DINGWALLS Thursday 23 November




KOKO Friday 3 November

THE BREWHOUSE Wednesday 15 November

CAMDEN ASSEMBLY Friday 24 November

ROUNDHOUSE Friday 3 November







MOTH CLUB Friday 24 November Saturday 25 November


SCALA Tuesday 28 November


Thursday 7 December



PAPER DRESS VINTAGE Saturday 9 December




KOKO Wednesday 29 November





TROXY Tuesday 5 December





MOTH CLUB Wednesday 6 December



THE LEXINGTON Wednesday 6 December


MOTH CLUB Tuesday 19 December



MOTH CLUB Thursday 1 February



EVENTIM APOLLO Saturday 17 February



ROUNDHOUSE Thursday 17 May


Idles’ debut LP ‘Brutalism’ is this year’s most exciting sleeper hit. Winning fans for its sarcastic, visceral blasts of socially-attuned ire, it’s earned them across-the-board acclaim and now a spot opening up for the Foo Fighters. We joined them on their big day to see how it all went right. Words: Lisa Wright. Photos: Lindsay Melbourne.

The Importance of Being



n the belly of the O2 Arena, past the multiple hotdog stands and bars touting warm glasses of Pinot Grigio for a tenner a pop, a man in a floral shirt clutching a bottle of Buckfast is shouting an ode to his late mother. The song, itself entitled ‘Mother’, deals in issues of political angst and class-based toil, and of how his own parent would “drink herself into oblivion and work too many hours to make me happy, when all she had to do was spend more time at home.” It climaxes in a righteous declaration - “The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich” - but even that isn’t as simple as it sounds. “Maybe the worst thing you can do to a Tory is earn loads of money and be learned and have a good point, but my mum was intelligent and she worked too much and she ended up dying, so it’s a criticism of that as well,” says Joe Talbot – the Buckie-swigging singer of incendiary Bristol punks Idles and the man in question. “It’s supposed to all be open-ended. I want to start a conversation.”


It’s but one moment in a series of moments that could stretch the breadth of the arena why the quintet are an ill fit in a corporate enormodome such as this. They’re here tonight, as handpicked supports to the Foo Fighters no less, through a combination of hard work and humour – two other traits the band also possess in spades. After finding out they’d been shortlisted for the spot, Idles decided to take matters into their own hands. “I got our manager to get a jigsaw puzzle made of our bassist in his pants holding up a card saying ‘Pick Idles’ and we covered the box up with a thing that said ‘If you build it, they will come’. So they did, and we did. Now we’re here,” says Joe. But though they’re here by merit, there’s

Definitely not a megaphone, guys, but three points for the effort.


The Imortance of being I d l e s

something deliciously subversive about this move. Like a Trojan horse infiltrating the midst of the masses, Idles are too raw, too outspoken, too goddamn angry to curtsey politely for the nice men in suits, so instead they deliver the most blisteringly honest and visceral half hour that the O2’s likely seen in years. And if there’s one thing Joe knows a thing or two about, it’s the crippling power of those gut-punch emotions. Back at the start of the decade, Joe Talbot wasn’t in a good place. Having grown up in Exeter – the kind of classic, mid-sized place where the established culture revolves around “the whole town being thrown out of the pub or club at half one in the morning into a bottle neck on the streets and then getting in a fight” - he’d moved to Bristol but wound up in the same, self-destructive habits. “I grew up very angry and remorseful and sad and there’s a lot of stuff I bottled up for a long time that was channelled into drugs and alcohol and violence,” he begins, fiddling with a vanilla puddingflavoured vape, looking out of place at one of the venue’s many nondescript restaurant chains. “Actually, in the opposite order really: Violence; drugs; alcohol.”

At this point he’d already met all of the people that would go on to form Idles alongside him. Bassist Dev was an old friend from Exeter, who Joe began DJing and running a club night with. Through that, they met mustachioed guitarist Bowen. Guitarist Lee – now totally sober – was a pal who he knew from “getting fucked all day”, while drummer John was a friend of a friend. After running their night for a while, Dev and Joe, who’d never previously expressed any interest in getting into music, decided to start a band with the age-old impetus of feeling like they could do it better than the people around them. And gradually it became an alternative sort of catharsis to another set of nights on the piss. “I started the band and [life] started to become easier because I realised I was just killing myself. Losing friends and making enemies and getting arrested and all sorts of shit that was unnecessary and caustic,” he explains. “It’s carcinogenic behaviour, y’know? It doesn’t do anyone any good to fuck yourself over, so I realised that music was a good way of channeling my confusion and my regrets, my love, my hate. Trying to get it out in a positive way.” When Idles first started out, releasing their first EP ‘Welcome’ back in 2012, they were a largely different proposition to the streamlined,

aggressive onslaught that characterises recent debut album ‘Brutalism’ – the blistering sleeper hit, released in March this year, that’s begun to turn Idles into 2017’s most important breakthrough

In ‘Brutalism’ Joe takes aim at both Rachel Khoo – tea dress-wearing host of The Little Paris Kitchen – and everyone’s favourite telly nan Mary Berry. What’s your beef with TV chefs, mate? “Shit, I do mention two chefs on there, but it’s the epitome of middle class living isn’t it? Being able to spend time making lavish suppers. What a life Rachel Khoo has, man. I would move in with her. My girlfriend would have to come obviously though; I’d kick Rachel out.”

“I think people are bored of seeing pretty people that aren’t saying anything.” Joe Talbot


band. Originally a post-punk outfit obviously indebted to their influences (The Fall, Gang of Four etc), Joe compares the transition to “having stabilisers and then pulling wheelies by the end”. In the middle, however, there was a trifecta of situations that brewed into a game-changing perfect storm. Firstly, their original guitarist left the band and was replaced by Lee. Newly sober, he spurred them on to “not drag him through our mud; to not do that to another person.” Joe’s mother also passed away. Having cared for her for five years, the resulting emotions and change in lifestyle (“it was a massive weight off my shoulders,” he admits) and mentality “exploded into an album”. His girlfriend too, had begun to question his behaviour to an increasing degree. “There was a point when she said, I cannot be with you anymore, you’re a fucking cunt,” he says. “And I was like, trust me, I know I am, but I know I will fix this.” Tragically, the pair later lost their daughter, which pushed him to smarten up even further. “I wanted to make sure I started living my life respectably,” he nods. “In a sense I am a father now, even though I’m not, and it’s either drink myself to death or start respecting myself.”

vape. “So that’s what it ended up being. It was a need to be more honest; I think we were just trying to please everyone else [before], but when we started having fun with it - literally taking the piss - then it worked.”

And so out came ‘Brutalism’: an album that takes all this rage and hurt and pain and fear and distills them into one searing discourse. It’s a record that draws on these raw feelings and expresses them playfully and sardonically because that, as Joe states, is how he is. “I became more in need of becoming more aggressive and sarcastic and funny and angry because I was becoming more and more impatient with it,” he begins. With the band? “No, with life. Just like: fuck off. Everything can just fuck off.” He takes a drag on his pudding

Dave Grohl’s on board. It’s about time you were too.

Undoubtedly ‘Brutalism’ does work completely. It’s direct and it doesn’t fuck about, whether in the sarcastic lambasting of the Tarquins of the world in ‘Well Done’ or the fraught, anxious rattle of ‘1049 Gotho’’s dealings with depression and mental health. “I hope I’m an eloquent person but I don’t necessarily want our songs to be that eloquent because the really visceral part of my brain is the creative part,” Joe enthuses. “I’m never going to be Caravaggio or Morrissey; my creative part has no patience.” But it’s also beautifully human – a record that just about keeps it together for people who might be just about holding it together too. “I think people are bored of escapism, bored of seeing pretty people that aren’t saying anything. I got bored of it,” he says. “I’m interested in a congregation of people that are all a bit pained that can celebrate each others’ company and make things a bit easier.”

Idles’ debut album ‘Brutalism’ is out now. DIY Idles are one of the acts involved in the European Talent Exchange Programme. For more information on ETEP, and the artists and festivals involved, head to

How’s the pudding vape, Joe?


Kurt’s hair bears remarkable similarities to Courtney’s barnet. 56

What d’ya get when you blend one of Philly’s brightest talents with Melbourne’s finest? ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ - a meeting of minds, spanning the Pacific ocean - was an accidental collaborative album, brought about by friendship alone. Words: Cady Siregar.


ourtney Barnett and Kurt Vile should have started writing with each other years ago. The pair, two of indie rock’s finest songwriters, have a shared penchant for deadpan humour and wry witticisms – Courtney’s droll observation is riddled through lo-fi guitars while Kurt’s existential bluesy grooves intertwine with American cliche. First starting off as acquaintances (and both deep fans of the other’s work), a combination of creative curiosity and effortless output helmed the spark between the two, leading to their collaborative album, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’. It’s a dream musical partnership that is obvious, in hindsight; a friendship first founded through mutual admiration, and talent cut from the same cloth.

literally finish each other’s sentences - is reflective of the effortless writing process, too. “It was real easy,” says Kurt. “We both came with our own choices and songs. With ‘Over Everything’, I had the idea, but I was still writing the lyrics. I had all the lines, but I still didn’t have written them written down when I got there.”

“ W e j oked about writing to g e th er , a n d th en it happen e d.” - Courtney Ba r n e t T

“It’s just one of those things over the years, where we somehow became friends,” says Courtney. “We joked about writing together, and then it happened.”

The collaboration was initially just limited to that one song, with the goal of releasing just a single split 7-inch. However, after ‘Over Everything’ began taking shape, he knew right away he wanted to make it an EP… at least.

“We were acquaintances and mutual admirers,” adds Kurt. “I was a fan of hers and was so stoked to work with her. The experience caused us to be great buddies.”

“I never thought it would be an album back then,” admits Kurt. “But at least an EP, so it could be a 12-inch and not get lost.”

‘Over Everything’, the pair’s first single, was first written by Kurt back in 2015 after he imagined singing alongside Courtney. From then, email exchanges with song ideas thrown back and forth between the pair spanned the course of two Australian summers, where Kurt would make visits to a recording studio in Melbourne between tour stops. His hometown of Philadelphia - and the minor logistical issue of Courtney living approximately 16,552 km away in Australia - meant the two couldn’t make their studio visits regular, but in the end, the cross-geographic collaboration ultimately proved an international labour of love.

The two were incredibly productive in the first sessions, recording a cover of Fat Domino’s ‘Blueberry Hill’ that didn’t end up making the record. Then, Courtney proposed covering each other’s songs instead.

The two exchange sardonic life perceptions over folky guitars, the lyrics making it hard for the listener to track down where one stream of consciousness ends and the other begins. The easy-going nature of the two’s spilling of words - where they

“She wanted to cover ‘Peeping Tomboy’, so I recorded ‘Out of the Woodwork’ on my own,” continues Kurt. “First it was five songs, and then evolved into more.” “I think the fact that we didn’t actively plan to make a record together worked,” Courtney adds. “We just planned to make one or two songs. The non-planning helped it.” As mutual admirers of each other’s songs, the swap made sense. Kurt’s act of covering ‘Out of the Woodwork’, she says, was an “inception” of sorts – where a song that she knew so



well had taken on a whole new meaning. “It’s funny hearing a song from a male perspective. ‘Out of the Woodwork’ is about social anxieties. I thought, hearing it from a male perspective, with the ‘she’s easy’ repetition, sounds funny! I’d never noticed it before. It’s supposed to mean ‘she’s so easy to walk all over’ kind of thing.”

“The experience c a u s e d u s t o b e g r e at b u d d i es .” - K u r t V i le

“There’s that kind of magic of when you cover a song and you interpret it differently,” she adds. “Even when you listen to music, you always make it suitable to your own life. I find it interesting how that works – so malleable.”

nature of Kurt.

Whereas Kurt tends to start out writing music with lyrics in mind, Courtney does the exact reverse and begins with a melody, fine-tuning the song as it takes shape.

“I love all of his lyrics, and it feels it’s on par with my style,” explains Courtney. “I think he’s got a similar way of phrasing. We’re on the same wavelength. We think slightly the same and just to click. I was a bit scared to get together with him because it’s an intimate process, but it’s come together really well.”

“I find it if I don’t have the words it’s hard for me to finish, so it’s best I have the words to sing it on the spot,” continues Kurt. “But Courtney likes to always keep fine-tuning it, from the back, which is awesome. It’s a different version of the same thing. Same results, more or less.”

The similarities of the two songwriters both finding beauty in the mundane didn’t go unnoticed.

By building on the skills of the other, the two had no trouble with laying the foundations of each song down.

The two, Courtney says, worked on songs first individually, before bringing ideas together for more fleshing out. The act of working together to complete a song had the pair calling on the other’s strengths as gifted songwriters in their own right.

“Courtney’s such a strong songwriter and lyricist on her own, I definitely didn’t help her in that way,” Kurt says. “No song was hard to finish. She’s such a great multi-instrumentalist that she even played drums and bass on a few songs.”

“Most of the time, we’d be figuring the songs out together,” Courtney says. “it was a slightly surreal process. But it was easy, because I trust him. He was reassuring.”

The one hiccup that Kurt Vile did have to figure his way around, however, was singing with another accent in mind. Wth his Philly twang, he had to work hard to sing Courtney’s quick and arching “can’t” – while the Australian had to mimic Kurt’s American drawl.

From this, a sense of trust and mutual respect was built that developed from the blossoming friendship. In turn, it made the creative process flow so well. “The trust [in Kurt] as a person and musician was there. They overlap,” she goes on. “The personal side bleeds in. We both get paranoid moments in the studio, thinking everything we do is shit. But the other had to be like, ‘No, it’s great. You’re great.’” You can hear the influence of Courtney Barnett on Kurt Vile - and vice versa - on ‘Out of the Woodwork’. Whereas the latter is usually more prone to inebriating auras and garage-rock stylings, the record sees him drifting to the concise storytelling so characteristic of Courtney– while the Australian has, in turn, leaned towards the grunge-folk

“Because she’s Australian and I’m American, there are certain lines she wrote for me to sing or vice versa,” laughs Kurt. “We would have to change the delivery of pronunciation or slightly change the phrase. We had to sing it in one way or another. So she had to sing the American version of ‘can’t”!” The two are to embark on a North American tour of their record, backed with an incredible crew that features members of Sleater-Kinney, Warpaint and Kurt’s own Violators. It is a record founded on the most rewarding of partnerships that transcend genre and decade, conceived in the most simplistic and effortless of ways. “The best part of the experience was actually singing together with Courtney and singing in unison,” Kurt finishes. “It was great.” ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ – about Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile seeking comfort in the everyday, finding solace in the ever-banal and humdrum and creating poetry with the one person who shares your precise vision of the world – is just enough to make you believe in creative soulmates. ‘Lotta Sea Lice’ is out 13th October via Marathon Artists / Matador / Milk! Recordings. DIY




SATURDAY 02/12/17


An RFB and Friends presentation by arrangement with Primary Talent

FEBruary 2018 Fri 16 Bristol Trinity Sun 18 GLASGOW O2 ABC MON 19 Manchester Academy 2 WED 21 Leeds The Church Thu 22 Leicester O2 Academy 2 Fri 23 London Roundhouse

Tickets on sale now from 59







Recording Catholic Action’s debut album nearly ended the band before they’d really got started. Luckily, they made it through with the help of a fearless producer and a refusal to compromise. Words: Rhian Daly. Photos: Louise Mason.


D 60






e’ve heard of bands calling their debut albums things like ‘Greatest Hits’ before (Goldie Lookin’ Chain, we’re looking at you), but how about pretending they’re dead, building a shrine to themselves for the cover and calling it ‘In Memory Of’? Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world of Catholic Action. Formed in 2014, the band began life as a trio comprised of frontman Chris McCrory, bassist Jamie Dubber and drummer Ryan Clark. The three had previously played together in a group called Male Pattern Band and invited Jamie’s old bandmate Andrew Macpherson from another outfit called Sick Kids to complete the line-up on guitar. “It’s typical of Glasgow - everyone knows each other and plays in bands with each other,” Chris explains over the phone from Berlin. “It just made sense for us to keep playing together.” You’d assume those pre-existing relationships would make the recording of ‘In Memory Of’ something of a breeze. That chemistry struck upon at sweaty gigs and long days making cassette releases doesn’t just vanish overnight, after all. But, while the second album is traditionally seen as the most difficult to make, the recording of Catholic Action’s debut meant the death of the band as a collective was actually closer to being reality than you might expect.


Back from the Dead: Catholic Action “I wanted to do it right,” Chris says, as he begins to explain just why the process was so difficult. “My favourite album of all time is ‘Loveless’ by My Bloody Valentine. The thing that I love about bands like them or Sonic Youth or Pavement is, to me, they perfectly balance pop songs and melodies with a more experimental edge. To get that right, it took a while.” The band had actually previously recorded a version of the album at Chris’ parents’ house before embarking on the troublesome sessions. Recorded in very lo-fi, “super vintage” style, their plan was to release it as just something for their friends to listen to. Then, the music industry pricked up its ears after word spread about their glam-tinged bullets of indie brilliance and they found themselves in a very different situation. “[People] were like, ‘You know you could get these songs on the radio?’ I was like, ‘Really?!’,” Chris recalls. “I didn’t really think anything of it before they were just songs we’d written at home.” Shortly after, they headed down to London’s Hermitage Works studio where the perturbing task of rerecording the album took place. There, producer Margo Broom forced them to face up to the facets of the band that weren’t good enough, deconstructing and reconstructing the songs and their parts until they were as strong as they could be. “Margo allowed us or encouraged us or pushed us or shoved us or dragged us into really confronting the weaker aspects of the band,” Chris says. “It’s quite a difficult thing to do, but if we wanted to go above just playing to our friends in Glasgow we had to look at some of the songs again.” A producer and engineer himself (Chris spends his time off from Catholic Action recording other bands in his own studio), the frontman and Margo didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but he credits her with bringing the band into a thriving new chapter. “She challenged me to get out of my comfort zone,” he says. “It’s such a cheesy thing to say, but the band really is in the healthiest place it’s ever been. Everyone’s getting on really well and it’s a really creative laugh at the moment.” Despite that praise, the producer did reduce Chris to tears at one point. After he had spent years in self-enforced exile, existing in a bubble of just ‘60s and ‘70s music, she sat Chris down and exposed him to some of the modern tunes he’d been shying away from - namely, those on the Radio 1 A-list. The tears, you might have assumed, were not ones of joy. “I can’t really quote you Taylor Swift lyrics


- I don’t know if they’re good or not - but when I do happen to flick through the radio, the stuff that I hear is so vapid and so disposable,” he says. “I like to approach songwriting not just as a gimmick - this is coming from the guy who wrote a song called ‘Rita Ora’, but I knew that was disposable and silly, and that’s why it’s not on the album. But, to me, the mark of a “real” song is if you can play it on acoustic guitar and it still works as an interesting thing.” Second track ‘Propaganda’ is named so in homage to the weekly club night that allows fans to dance all night to an arsenal of indie hits new and old, while spilling dirt cheap shots all over their leather jackets. It’s the kind of giddy indie-pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on Los Campesinos!’s debut and contains the line “It’s music to tick boxes” before Chris passionately insists “I will never be like you.” “[When we were first] coming into contact with the music industry outside of Glasgow, I did feel that people were trying to shove us down [the wrong] path,” he explains. “I’d rather not be in a band at all than be in a band doing something that I wasn’t behind. What’s the point? I can’t go out on a stage and sing songs I don’t believe in. It doesn’t make me feel very good because, believe me, I’ve done it and I don’t wanna do it anymore.” You can feel that conviction in the rest of the band’s rushing debut. Centrepiece ‘The Shallows’ is rife with sweeping anthems and tackles life “floundering in the suburbs, fudging away your time on anti-depressants and not really doing much, but wanting to find something that can give yourself meaning in life.” The spiky, pop thrash of ‘Doing Well’ was a “kneejerk reaction” to a bad time Chris was going through, its chorus line of “I’m doing well” repeated over and over like a mantra that’s duty-bound to make his words reality. Working with Margo again, they’ve got “seven or eight” songs down for a follow-up already, hinting that this time round will be far less arduous. “It’s gonna be a much more open production,” notes Chris. “I know who we are now as a band and I know what I want to do with it and how to do it. And it’s also really fun.” In that case, they might want to tear down that shrine - it looks like Catholic Action will be with us for a long time yet. Catholic Action’s debut album ‘In Memory Of’ is out 20th October via Modern Sky. DIY

You know you’ve officially ‘made it’ when you get one of those funny mirrors with lights around.

“It’s such a cheesy thing to say, but the band really is

the healthiest place it’s ever been.” in

Chris McCrory



LIAM GALLAGHER as you were


(Warner Bros.)

ack in June, Liam Gallagher said he’d rather be playing with Oasis than going solo. It’s a sentiment echoed by literally every other fan of the Mancunian loudmouth on the planet, and yet here we are and here it is: LG’s first record under his own moniker after two-and-a-half decades in the spotlight. In his own words “you can’t just sit at home twiddling your thumbs,” so instead we have ‘As You Were’ – seemingly a glorified way of killing time until he and Noel eventually kiss and make up for the inevitable 64

internet-breaking reunion. If that all makes the album sound a little, well, underwhelming, then Our Kid’s first is actually a far more decent listen than its context might suggest. ‘As You Were’ is very much a Liam Gallagher record, which is to say there are no massive curveballs or surprises. But no surprises from a man who’s been involved with some of the biggest and best rock’n’roll tracks in modern music is like getting no surprises from your Big Mac meal – exactly what you’d hope for from a classic. Lead singles ‘Wall Of Glass’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ operate at either end of the album’s spectrum. The former swaggers


Wall of glass bold greedy soul paper crown for what it’s worth when i’m in need you better run i get by chinatown come back to me universal gleam i’ve all i need doesn’t have to be that way all my people / all mankind i never wanna be like you

EXACTLY WHAT YOU’D HOPE FOR. around on overdriven, stadium-sized riffs, while the latter is a big Beatles-channelling ballad. Both are genuinely good; if Liam has two major songwriting modes, he’s still wont to veer wildly in quality within them and these land near the top of the scale. ‘I Get By’ makes for an album highlight, opening with the kind of world-beating tumult of guitars – the kind that could only come from a Gallagher – that hark back to ‘Definitely Maybe’. ‘Bold’, meanwhile, is a more melancholy turn, full of minor chords and an uncharacteristic sense of self-criticism (“Yes I know I was wrong / I didn’t do what I was told”); it, too, works completely. Then we get to the iffier elements. Not since Kasabian’s

infamous “bugle / Google” line in ‘Eez-eh’ have we been gifted (for it is, undoubtedly, a gift) a line as face-palmingly awful as “The cops are taking over / while everyone’s in yoga”. Then just to cap it off, he throws a Beatles reference in there for good measure: “...’Cos happiness is still a warm gun”. OK. ‘You Better Run’, while perfectly adequate, has the aura of ‘pub back room’ to its chugging riffs; it’s fine, but it’s largely filler. In general though, ‘As You Were’ is almost certainly the best thing Liam’s offered us since he parted ways with his big bro. It’s no ‘What’s The Story...’, but it’s most definitely better than sitting, twiddling your thumbs. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘For What It’s Worth’, ‘I Get By’ 65



ST VINCENT masseduction (Loma Vista / Caroline International)

Embracing this 21st Century world as the bleak tragicomedy it is, Annie Clark’s fifth album ridicules its backdrop, while carving out a space for the weirdos and the others in a world that often seems hell-bent on erasing the misfits. As with everything she does, ‘MASSEDUCTION’’s approach to seduction itself is less than straightforward. ‘Savior’ tries on kinks like fancy dress costumes, while fluid banger ‘Sugarboy’ casually frog-hops between genders above a frantic glitch gasping for air before a pomp-filled trumpet-type solo gives way to abrasive scritches. It’s like the musical equivilant of a Linder Sterling collage, exaggerated and magnified to defiant effect. These queered approaches to gender and sexuality aren’t new for St Vincent, but here, they’re at their most overt. Amid the technicolour new wave and ridiculousness, though, this is also a deeply personal, often sad, record. As eyebrow-raisingly absurd as the current state of the world, ‘MASSEDUCTION’ is a lesson in black humour. (El Hunt) LISTEN: all of them, on repeat, forever.


BULLY losing (Sub Pop)

If Bully’s gravelling debut ‘Feels Like’ was a roar of anger, follow-up ‘Losing’ is the rage continuing; this time with an an exasperated howl. “I cut my hair, I feel the same,” recites Alicia Bognanno atop fret-scaling grunge, “masturbate, I feel the same.” If a foreboding sense of dread tinged the air back in 2015, it’s fair to say things have got a lot more hellish since. And held up next to the current climate, it’s impossible to read songs like ‘Kills to be Resistant’ as anything other than raging protest. Trading blows with anxiety, and trying to remain upright and focused amid the chaos, ‘Losing’ is often concerned with fighting what seems like a losing battle. Somehow, though, it still comes out on top. Alicia’s vocals retain their distinctive sawtooth edges, but frequently she’s expanding her scope, too; her sweetest melodies yet jarring in fastcombusting contrast to every brilliantly strained yowl. With the world often seeming like an episode of Black Mirror these days, ‘Losing’ is both timely and cathartic. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Feels The Same’, ‘Kills To Be Resistant’

TIMELY AND CATHARTIC. “Four full Englishes and a side of toast please, guv.”



CATHOLIC ACTION in memory of (Modern Sky)



colors (Virgin EMI)

It’s been 27 long months since Beck dropped the sassy funk strut of ‘Dreams’ – technically the lead single from this, his 13th studio LP. Then, a full year later, came the equally forward-thinking ‘WOW’ – a mad, wonky thing that managed to somehow combine hip-hop and panpipes, whilst also rhyming “shih tzu” with “jiu jitsu”, in a way that actually worked unfathomably well. Then nothing. It’s the kind of trajectory that could suggest a disaster – that Beck’s return to the funkier side of life following the more downbeat ‘Morning Phase’ could be an aborted mission. Thank fuck that ‘Colours’ is an absolute treat from beginning to end, then. From the stupidly infectious pulse of its title track to the unapologetically fist-pumping riff chorus of ‘I’m So Free’ (think The Vines if they’d grown up solely listening to Prince), ‘Colours’ is a giddy barrel of fun throughout. ‘Dear Life’ might be what Elliot Smith would’ve come up with had his introspection received a dose of funk, while even the slightly cheesy ‘Up All Night’ forces you to surrender to its sheer powers of positivity. ‘Colors’ is Beck at his most exuberant, concocting weird, wonderful dancefloor fillers like a mad disco scientist. Good things come to those who wait. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘I’m So Free’, ‘Dreams’


‘In Memory Of’ is the sound of Catholic Action setting their sights on success, without sacrificing any of the quirks that have earned them a devoted following. Fortunately this tension results in one of the most self-assured debuts you’ll hear all year. Outrageously glam guitar solos and a party-starting bass set a rapid pace, and it’s a treat to hear hedonistic early single ‘L.U.V.’ kick the album off, while newer cuts like ‘Propaganda’ sound right at home. Slick, memorable hooks are offset by savvy lyricism, and every guitar lick has an unexpected twist. For the most part, and as the name suggests, ‘In Memory Of’ has a morbid feel. Although ‘The Shallows’’ chorus of “I wanna give myself to you” sounds like a boozy love song, it’s in fact a story about a local suicide spot, hinting to far darker depths. The record spirals to a melancholy close - by this album’s standards, anyway - and ‘Stars and Stripes’ promises still greater things to come. A suitable memorial for the band they’ve been, and a mission statement for the band they’ll become, ‘In Memory Of’ sees Catholic Action put all their faith in pop songs. Join their congregation. (Katie Hawthorne) LISTEN: ‘Propaganda’, ‘Stars and Stripes’

the ooz (XL)

On ‘The OOZ’, King Krule expands on some of the more hip-hop and jazz-influenced ideas that weaved in and out of 2013’s ‘6 Feet Beneath The Moon’, giving more space to dusty percussion, brass and contemplative electronic melodies than to his stark, ramshackle guitar riffs. Sometimes, as on opener ‘Biscuit Town’, these tones open up into more substantial, muscular shapes. At others, they melt together into a languid, free-form river that flows from one track to the next without leaving distinct impressions. Unfortunately, wading through some of the more amorphous tracks on the album can be a chore. It’s sometimes as if he wanted to deliberately lull the listener into a semi-soporific state before shocking them back into life with something more immediate. As it draws on though, it gets easier to think that a bit of brutality on the cutting room floor might only have been of benefit to ‘The OOZ’. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Dum Surfer’, ‘Sublunary’ 67





pacific daydream (Crush Music / Atlantic)

‘Pacific Daydream’ is not the album Weezer set out to make. And yet while ‘Pacific Daydream’ and its inception may have come as a surprise, the playful lightness that pervades it, after the impeccable ‘White’ album showed a band at total ease, doesn’t. Simply put, Weezer are a band at play. Permission to sprinkle Big Sounds over their insta-recognisable songwriting might not have been something they’d allow themselves in the past, but here it transforms what could’ve easily been ‘churning out more of the same’ into 21st Century alt-pop bops. ‘Weekend Woman’ is heartwarming, ‘Sweet Mary’ as its name suggests, while ‘QB Blitz’’ line of “I can’t get anyone to do algebra with me” is more than enough to let the world know it’s the same Weezer as ever. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Weekend Woman’, ‘QB Blitz’

eeee GIRLI

hot mess ep




wide open (Memphis Industries)

Weaves’ self-titled album - released just last year - was pretty perfect, unbeatably so. Positioning the oddball outfit as Toronto’s toast of wonky pop, the band also emerged as a ferociously polished live prospect. And cheerfully mixing infatuation, winky face innuendo, thwacking anger and disarming moments of honesty - all in that distinctively powerful waver - Jasmyn Burke didn’t mess about either, every inch the leader from the very beginning. ‘Wide Open’ is a denser, less angular prospect, occupying a different emotional space; a logical gear shift from a band fuelled by the unpredictable. ‘Scream’ features frantic gasps for air from the Canadian throat singer Tanya Tagaq as a percussive undercurrent. ‘Puddle’ meanwhile crescendos from hushed infatuation to swelling crashes and rolling drums, and ‘Law and Panda’ combines playful handclaps with a hefty bass-riff, along with a brilliantly surreal chorus. “I’m a panda bear.” Leaner, more menacing, but still quintessentially Weaves, ‘Wide Open’ does what it says on the tin, in the best possible way. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Law And Panda’, ‘Scream’


Girli has been skirting around the edges of greatness for a while now. This year’s ‘Feel OK’, featuring Lethal Bizzle, felt like a toe-dip in the water of the world of chart domination. But the ‘Hot Mess’ EP, is her most cohesive work to date. With a mischievous bass line, the title track’s war cry against the patriarchal music industry tells of jumped-up executives in boardrooms who think they know best. ‘Mr 10PM’ explores Girli’s identity as a teenager, ‘Neck Contour’ combines warm synths with a repetitive break beat, and the gritty ‘Can I Say Baby’ then shimmers like retro video games. With ‘Hot Mess’, Girli makes it look easy. (Alex Cabré) LISTEN: ‘Neck Contour’


JESSIE WARE glasshouse (PMR)

Over the course of five years, Jessie Ware has been responsible for some total gems. She’s also been at the helm of a fair bit of fodder over the years, too; classic beige ballads that soar perfectly to the high notes, but otherwise express very little besides universal notions of torturous love, and vague, unspecific heartbreak. Sometimes her music can feel generalised and somewhat blasé; so universal that it seems insincere. It’s her biggest Achilles heel. Interestingly there’s been very little piss-taking regarding Jessie Ware’s ongoing collaborations with Ed Sheeran in the past (he also co-wrote the acoustic number ‘Sam’ here), and it might be because - unlike other minimal pop-floggers who attract far more derision for being uninventive - Jessie Ware knows her niche inside out. ‘Glasshouse’ isn’t exactly groundbreaking. It could also do with being about half its mighty 17-track length. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Selfish Love’


COURTNEY BARNETT & KURT VILE lotta sea lice ( Marathon Artists / Matador / Milk! Recordings)

Since the start of the decade, Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile have stood out as two of the smartest, most charismatic songwriters around, and as expected, this brings an irresistible chemistry to their collaborative LP, ‘Lotta Sea Lice’. The interplay between the two is unstoppable, feeling like a record of shared stories, hopping between them both across verse after verse. First single ‘Over Everything’ is a slow, jangly introduction, with the pair sounding each other out - by the time ‘Untogether’ closes the record with a gorgeous slow-jam, they’re joined at the hip. The pair are destined to always be only the second most famous Kurt ’n’ Courtney, but on ‘Lotta Sea Lice’, Vile and Barnett have provided one of the year’s best link-ups, and only increased their individual prowess in the process. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Over Everything’, ‘Untogether’




ALEX LAHEY i love you like a brother (Dead Oceans)


take me apart (Warp)

‘Take Me Apart’ is a record characterised by juxtapositions, mirroring the breakdown of relationships and hope for new ties. There’s a constant tussle between harsh and soft, where metallic scraping can be set against a background of calming, ambient waves. Even through these harsher moments, Kelela’s voice provides a constant source of lightness. However, this can sometimes prove a double-edged sword: at times she sounds in danger of being overshadowed. On ‘Enough’, the layers of electronica and muffled beats become oddly oppressive, competing against her - and winning the battle. It’s in moments like this where ‘Take Me Apart’ proves to be frustrating. When it’s at its best though, it’s an album that invites the listener to do just what its title invites. Digging deeper for its intricacies and exploring Kelela’s myriad of influences can often be a fulfilling journey. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Take Me Apart’, ‘Waitin’


cry cry cry

(Sub Pop)

Wolf Parade don’t do things by halves. From the filmic piano revolutions of opener ‘Lazarus Online’, to the growl of Spencer Krug’s voice all the way through, on ‘Cry Cry Cry’ the Montrealformed quartet’s comeback is resolute. Strikingly reminiscent of The National, this is brazen, boisterous music from a band of men who are more than happy to be plugging in once again. ‘Cry Cry Cry’ does not offer up a revolutionary new scope of sound. But that doesn’t mean it totally lacks artistic ingenuity. Songs which are synth-heavy add a spritely feel, and liven up a record that is otherwise often menacingly dark. (Ellen Peirson-Hagger) LISTEN: ‘Incantation’




Alex Lahey’s ‘B-Grade University’ EP has ironically proved the catalyst behind where she finds herself now. Though the same lo-fi approach has remained in place for her debut album, it’s otherwise a totally different beast, taking on a far wider scope, with a ramshackle, beer-chugging spirit and buckets of ambition. In ‘I Want U’ she’s at once sharply witty and rendered static by the muddle of having a big ol’ crush and no guts to make the first move. And incidentally, that’s a main characteristic of Alex Lahey’s writing as a whole; often quietly hilarious without forcing it. Moving on from her reputation as a slacker, where this record focuses on larger issues, it does so with a subtlety. On closing track ‘There’s No Money’ Alex recounts how her brother just got hitched, and protests “we can’t marry even if we want to”. It’s the slyest of nods to the political issues around gay marriage in her native Australia, and a line that speaks volumes with little fanfare. ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ builds all sorts of these clean bridges, and though Alex Lahey’s world springs from small images and clean sentences, it says a lot with very little. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘I Want U’, ‘I Love You Like A Brother’

Graduating from ‘B-Grade University’ and releasing her debut album, Aussie talent Alex Lahey tells El Hunt all about the people that shape us, and her profound love for Dolly Parton. Are you excited to be a Musician With A Debut Album? Yeah! I never thought I would ever make an album. It’s one of those things that seems so unattainable until you start doing it, and then you’re like, this is happening! And, now, talking to people about it.. it’s almost like as soon as you admit that something exists, it actually does. ‘I Love You Like A Brother’ explores relationships of all kinds; romantic relationships, friendships, family bonds. Why do you think that subject finds its way into your music so much? I think the relationships we have with people are the things that shape us and affect the way that we see the world. And I guess I wanted to explore that in songs at various times in my life. I think that the most important relationship we have is the one we have with ourselves That’s what makes things sink or swim. You’re a huge Dolly Parton fan. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the Queen of the Great Smoky Mountains? Always be yourself. Even though people might see her demeanor as being quite superficial, she is 100% her own person and literally gives zero shits. She was coming up at a time when it was taboo to sing about a lot of the things she was singing about. There were certain things she would talk about, and that country music sphere is so conservative. She didn’t care. Elvis wanted to record ‘I Will Always Love You’ and she said no. She said no to Elvis. Go Dolly. And then, I heard this interview with her, and she was like ‘yeah, we said no to Elvis, and then Whitney did it. She did a pretty good job!’ So funny. People underestimate Dolly. time right now. As people look back, I hope that it matters!

eee KELE OKEREKE fatherland (BMG)

A world away from the banging beats and club kicks of his previous solo endeavours, ‘Fatherland’ finds Kele going back to his sad boy roots. But while it’s nice to have him back from his big night out, ‘Fatherland’’s acoustic musings and intimate vocals often lack a little bite. ‘Capers’ is a slightly odd rinky-dink knees-up, while ‘Streets Been Talkin’ is too sing-song to really land. There’s plenty of gorgeous bits in there too – ‘Yemaya’’s lush strings are genuinely affecting. Kudos for another reinvention, but the best version of Kele probably sits nearer the middle of the spectrum. (Lisa Wright) LISTEN: ‘Yemaya’

Baker’s half-ahalf-a-dozen

As Julien tells us in her lovely chat with DIY (see p14) she wears her influences on her sleeve, and has even (casual!) supported a few of her faves on tour. Here are just a few of them.


The champions of colliding glossy, euphoric highs with crushing lyrical sadness had Julien open for them earlier this year. Sounds like the definition of a pinch-yourself-moment.

Every Time I Die

Buffalo metalcorers (what a title!) Every Time I Die share two things with Julien - well deployed rage and a nod to Southern grit. It’s no wonder she’s a fan.

eee ANDREW HUNG realisationship (Lex)

The lo-fi nature of the first few seconds of ‘Realisationship’ are no accident; this is an album that favours more organic tones over electronics, heavily punctuated by both acoustic guitar melodies, live, often clashing drums. However, the most significant change is that Andrew Hung hasn’t just written and produced the album: he also sings all the way through it. His unbridled vocal delivery sits perfectly against the darkened backdrop of house-inspired loops. ‘Realisationship’ might not always come together neatly, but his desire to push his own boundaries, whether that’s moving into that lo-fi zone or utilising his vocals, leaves you wondering just where he’ll turn next. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Animal’


turn out the lights. (Matador)

Julien Baker’s debut ‘Sprained Ankle’ marked her out as one of the most affecting young songwriters in the US. ‘Turn Out The Lights’, its followup takes this promise even further. From reverb-drenched opener ‘Appointments’ to the aching finale of ‘Claws In Your Back’, ‘Turn Out The Lights’ is a crushingly sad album, but the heavy subject matter is handled with grace, none of its sorrow glamourised. When the singer’s voice threatens to crack during the title track and at the end of ‘Sour Breath’, it’s some of the most touching music 2017 will see. Those consistent comparisons with Elliott Smith just get stronger with this second effort. Julien Baker is surely on her way to forging legendary status. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Sour Breath’


On paper, these two are worlds apart, but then again, they both crept up from the underground. On the strength of ‘Turn Out The Lights’, Julien’ll probably win a few awards herself.


ALBUMS eee PALE HONEY Devotion (Bolero)

‘Devotion’’s strengths and weaknesses are much the same as Pale Honey’s self-titled debut. There’s a tendency to sweep too quickly from rolling drama one minute to quiet reflection the next, all within the same song, and it conspires to make the record a disorienting and occasionally awkward listen. The same existential angst pervades Tuva Lodmark’s lyrics as last time out, and they work best when she plays up to them. As was the case on ‘Pale Honey’, there’s a fraught tension running through ‘Devotion’ and it’s effective in creating genuine atmosphere it’s just that there’s also the sense that the band are treading water on an album where they had the platform to make a bigger statement. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Get These Things Out Of My Head’


vante ep (Urban Scandal)

Curls is Christopher Owens’ new band, sort of. Since his success with Girls the Miami-born artist has released two solo records. It’s second time lucky, then. But what comes from this reincarnation of Curls hardly stands out from bands with a multitude of other names, whether they rhyme with Girls or Curls or not. Indie rock is no short of emotional ballads, like the cunningly titled ‘Emotion’, with a sweet enough melody that plods along at all too a meaningless pace. 2009’s ‘Album’ was an offering of anthems for the young, lost, and high. It’s hard to tell exactly what ‘Vante’ is trying to offer up, and to whom. (Ellen PeirsonHagger) LISTEN: ‘Golden Gate’


GORDON RAPHAEL sleep on the radio

(Zero House)

Gordon Raphael is, of course, most famous for producing The Strokes’ seminal debut, ‘Is This It’ and follow-up, ‘Room On Fire’. If you’re anticipating his very own debut to mine similar wells of elegantly bored garage-rock, you might want to adjust your expectations somewhat. ‘Sleep On The Radio’ is more Bowie via Brian Jonestown Massacre than turn of the millennium NYC indie. ‘I Sleep On The Radio’ (an ode to growing up on pop radio), for example, sounds like Richard Hell backed by a cheesy ‘80s synth-pop group. ‘Sleep On The Radio’ is a neat insight into Gordon’s talents on the other side of the production desk and a more than worthy addition to his already heaving CV. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Savage’ 72



ash (XL)

After signing to XL in 2013, Ibeyi garnered significant interest through a fusion of jazz, soul and R&B. Eclectic in sound, the duo were a difficult group to pin down. And once again it’s the vocal performances of sibling duo Lisa-Kainde and Naomi take centre stage on ‘Ash’. The modern hip hop tones of ‘Away Away’ compliment the dreamy harmonies nicely, while the electronic beat of ‘I Wanna Be Like You’ is a vibrant addition to the record. Penultimate closer ‘Numb’ is another highlight. Epic in scope, the track ebbs and flows before culminating in an outstanding vocal finale. The record then comes to a grandiose close with ‘Ash’ – a gripping, experimental cut which sees the duo declare ‘We are ashes’ over a soothing electronic beat. Ibeyi’s second effort feels very much like an upgrade on their debut - a sprawling, diverse record without so much as a dull moment. If you missed the band first time around, now is the time to make the leap. (Dan Jeakins) LISTEN: ‘Numb’



ogilala (BMG)

The only previous album Billy Corgan has officially released as himself, 2005’s heavily electronic effort ‘TheFutureEmbrace’, felt sufficiently far removed from his work with Smashing Pumpkins to justify being nominally separate from the band. That’s largely true also of ‘Ogilala’. The record marks his first collaboration with Rick Rubin, and it’s quickly apparent why he was the first producer to spring to mind; the songs are pared back and low key, the sonic palette consisting largely of piano, acoustic guitar and sparingly-employed strings. It isn’t the first time that Corgan’s presented songs in this fashion, but he’s certainly never put out a whole album like this. It suits him, too, especially given how prone the last couple of ‘Pumpkins records, ‘Oceania’ and ‘Monuments to an Elegy’, were to bombast - there’s precious little room for that here. Much of his recent work remains underrated, but by ‘Monuments…’, he was beginning to sound a little short on ideas; happily, the simplicity of ‘Ogilala’ seems as if it’s rejuvenated him. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Processionals’, ‘The Spaniards’


ecca vandal (Island)

Over a dizzying run of twelve genre-hopping tracks, Ecca Vandal shows us what she can do – whichs whatever she likes. Roaring out of the gates with an absolute stunner, ‘Your Way’ is driven along by a menacing buzz of a bassline that recalls Queens of the Stone Age at their dirty desert-rock best. She channels bratty Gwen Stefani circa early No Doubt on ‘Price Of Living’, which features some major guest stars (Dennis Lyxzén of Refused and Letlive.’s Jason Butler). ‘Ecca Vandal’ is a tantalising prism, reflecting her tastes, influences and multifaceted personality. (Shefali Srivastava) LISTEN: ‘Your Way’


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




wolf alice visions of a life

OK, regular DIY readers can’t have missed this one coming, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a smasher, right!

eeeee sløtface

as you please (Run For Cover)

On ‘As You Please’, Citizen continue to prove they’re a group committed to tweaking and developing their sound. It’s more about personal turmoil than political protest, but the quintet’s Midwestern origins do provide an additional level of grounding resonance to the record’s more open-ended, existential questions and scenes. Their brand of emotive rock has always excelled at capturing a feeling of waywardness, and ‘As You Please’ manages to do that throughout. Citizen haven’t mellowed per se, the emotion is as grand and raw as ever, but they have refined their delivery, and their latest album manages not to shortchange that underlying sentiment while expanding their sonic palette. (Grant Rindner) LISTEN: ‘Discrete Routine’


(Run For Cover)

Across their first two full-lengths, Makthaverskan have come close to mastering joyful punk-pop. Their last album - you guessed it, ‘II’ - was packed full of jaunty pop songs that hid melancholy lyrics under a rosy sheen. ‘III’ furthers this, serving as a documentation of the shame many of us feel in 2017, yet also a record bound for indie discos. Opener ‘Vienna’ is synth-pop of the highest order, while ‘Eden’ lets the sorrowful lyrics come to the fore. A sensible progression rather than a reinvention, Makthaverskan’s ability to write stupidly catchy indie-pop isn’t going anywhere on ‘III’ - it’s only growing. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Vienna’

try not to freak out

It’s slice after slice of party-starting pop-punk from the Norwegians on this ace debut, with witty lyrics ahoy.


the horrors v

Returning, in a way at least, to their none-more-black goth roots, a hint of industrial suits Faris Badwan and co. 73



the great distraction




ken (Dead Oceans)

Throughout his career, Destroyer’s Dan Bejar has borrowed titles from other people’s songs for his own work. His eleventh studio album follows suit - ‘ken’ takes its name from the working title of Suede’s ‘The Wild Ones’. And while LP11 is more accessible than predecessor ‘Poison Season’ it seems unlikely to affect the Vancouver musician’s cult name status. Finding some middle ground, it brings synths and some elements of the ‘80s back into the mix, but still keeps a slightly sullen air to proceedings. Dan sums up the record’s balance between hope and sorrow with one beautifully downcast line: “Good things come to those who wait forever.” If that’s true, at least ‘ken’ is a worthy soundtrack for the journey there. (Rhian Daly) LISTEN: ‘Sky’s Grey’


willowbank (Cascine)

It’s when Yumi Zouma go maximalist on ‘Willowbank’ that they blossom. With ‘A Memory’ they create their most atmospheric soundscape though, where sweeping, emotional strings bristle up against electronic bleeps and house-inspired beats. It’s pretty much the furthest the band get from their comfort zone, and the result is spellbinding. Discovering that the LP is bookended by two different versions of the same track – ‘Depths (Pt. I)’ and ‘Depths (Pt. II)’ – just makes it all the more simple to keep the album on a continuous loop, its mostly elliptical effect keeping you ensnared. Really though, it’s not at all difficult to want to push that play button again, ‘Willowbank’ is utterly charming. (Eugenie Johnson) LISTEN: ‘Persephone’

eee JULIE & THE WRONG GUYS julie & the wrong guys (Dine Alone)

Cranking the volume up is the only way to listen to this selftitled debut from Julie (best known for fronting iconic Canadian rock outfit Eric’s Trip) and her Wrong Guys (with two of compatriot metallers Cancer Bats). It’s a modern echo of ‘90s growling indie with blues rock riffs and enough wailing to please Wayne and Garth. Highlights ‘Call My Own Shots’ and ‘Condescending You’ rumble along with a physical grit thanks to Julie’s rasping vocals, even layering them at times to craft a somewhat eerie tone. Well worth a fuzzy late-night listen if you’re longing for meatier abrasive guitars, sand-scraped vocals and drums that pound their way through the years back to the decade of angst. (Adam Parker) LISTEN: ‘Call My Own Shots’

C O M I NU GP 74


Vessels’ progression has been a hard one to track. Starting out as an expansive post-rock outfit, the Leeds five-piece drastically embraced propulsive techno on third album ‘Dilate’, becoming an entirely different beast. ‘The Great Distraction’ continues on this path, with some highly unexpected guests along for the ride. The Flaming Lips feature on the psychflecked ‘Deflect The Light’, while John Grant’s booming vocals are twisted and distorted into a hurricane on closer ‘Erase The Tapes’. Breaking out of their box with help from some of the indie world’s most recognisable vocalists, Vessels finally feel at home on ‘The Great Distraction’, and it’s glorious to watch. (Will Richards) LISTEN: ‘Deflect The Light’

eee RATIONALE rationale

(Warner Bros.)

There’s no denying Rationale’s Tinashe Fazakerley has a gorgeous voice, soaring and emotional without becoming sugary-sweet or over-egging the point. Unfortunately, in releasing this self-titled debut about a half-decade after his particular brand of minimalist R&B electro-pop had reached its zenith, what could’ve been deeply affecting and instantly connecting instead all-too-easily washes by under the mantle of ‘more of the same’. Still, if Jessie Ware’s your bag yet Sam Smith’s impending return has you hiding in fear, you’ll find much to love. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Loving Life’


With the self-released ‘Hope’ acting as stop-gap after 2015’s debut ‘Ratchet’, we’re Very Excited Indeed about Shamir’s third. Out 3rd November.



Almost as worth getting giddy about is the translucent Gucci outfit the Icelandic queen’s donned for the new LP. Almost, that is. Hooray for Björk!

DANIELE LUPPI & PARQUET COURTS milano After pairing with Danger Mouse for ‘Rome’, he’s got Parquet Courts on board now - with bonus Karen O!

Though ‘Jersey Devil’ marks Ducktails’ sixth album, it’s Matt Mondanile’s first release since leaving Real Estate. That said, he’s never seen it as a side project. Interview: El Hunt.

Thawing Dawn (Dull Tools)

There was always going to be something of the familiar about ‘Thawing Dawn’. It’s reassuring, almost, that among the slide guitar licks - there’s a lot of slide guitar here - and between curious instrumental breakdowns and (imagined) wistful sighs, sits a voice who’s half-fronted one of the decade’s best-loved newcomers for enough time as to be instantly recognisable. Of course we know what Andrew “A” Savage is about, and although this solo debut is somewhat of a potter around his songwriting chops outside Parquet Courts, it’s still very much the same guy. Because if his day job is his ‘A-side’, all blustery post-punk mayhem with that near-militaristic yelling over the top, ‘Thawing Dawn’ is the flip to that; with a slower pace, softer tone and (whisper it) relaxed mood, he’s almost soothing. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Ladies From Houston’, ‘Eyeballs’

Back to the DRAWING BOARD with a. savage

Us: Hi Andrew, can you draw us a picture of your cat? Andrew:




eeee A. SAVAGE

Do you think returning to your roots any middle man. I can make all the had any bearing on the results? decisions myself, I can just go forth Yes. After leaving Los Angeles where and be completely free. I also enjoy I lived for almost four years, returning playing solo then running to the merch home was the best thing i could do. table right after to sell the albums I lived in my childhood home with and tapes. It’s immensely satisfying. my mother and her dog, Lucy. What inspired me most was the green lush With that in mind, these days landscapes, the trees, bushes and Ducktails is less of a side-project cloudy weather in the summer. You and more of a primary occupation. forget seasons exist when you live in How was that transition? LA. I also felt the heavy vibes from the I’ve never considered Ducktails a wood-panelled walls that inspired my side project, even when I was in Real early work. I realise now since I tour Estate. I am Ducktails, Ducktails is me. so much, I need peace and quiet. I spend all my time working on this, it’s my life. When I wake up and get This is your sixth album under a bagel, I am Ducktails. When I take the moniker, but your first since a nap on the couch, I am Ducktails. officially leaving Real Estate. There is no ‘side’ thing about it. It’s my Does it feel like the start of a alter ego like Clark Kent to Superman, new chapter in that sense? but it’s also not. I am the living Yes. I am doing a lot of stuff on my own. embodiment of a cartoon pop band. I book myself in the USA, I manage myself. I’m also releasing the album Who would win in a fight, ‘Jersey myself. Sometimes it’s really Devil’ or a Tasmanian devil? overwhelming but also Taz would get his butt it’s simple because I’m whooped by the dirty not going through Jersey Devil.

jersey devil (No Image)

‘Jersey Devil’ is Matt Mondanile’s sixth record under his Ducktails pseudonym, and yet, in a lot of ways, it’s the first time he’s truly stepping out on his own. The enormity of his decision to leave Real Estate seems to have rubbed off. Like predecessor ‘St. Catherine’, it’s also influenced by geographical factors. It was only once Matt returned to his home town of Ridgewood, New Jersey (see what he did there?!) that the songs began to come to life, and sure enough, this sounds like a record entirely at ease with itself,- fitting, given that lyrically he seems to be working through the transitional stage between Real Estate and whatever life holds in store next. With this project now his primary outlet, though, ‘Jersey Devil’ comes with a real sense of sharp focus. On this evidence, leaving Real Estate in the rear view mirror has done him the world of good. (Joe Goggins) LISTEN: ‘Solitary Star’ 75



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reeperbahn festival Various venues, Hamburg. Photos: Louise Mason.


he Hamburg equivalent of The Great Escape, Reeperbahn offers up a yearly smorgasbord of exciting new talent from across the planet. In the same five metre vicinity, you can stumble into some of the buzziest bands around and also frequent a neon pink venue charmingly named the Sex Palace; truly something for all. Thursday kicks off with the second set of the festival from Sweden-via-London boys Francobollo. The afternoon sees them atop a makeshift roof in the midday sun, singer Simon Nilsson joking that he feels like The Beatles before declaring that, in fact, he looks “more like a white Wesley Snipes”. In Molotow’s basement, Pixx is on wild-eyed form. Neon pink eyeshadow smeared across her lids, she’s either staring out the gathered throng or giving them crazed eyeballs; both are magnetic and when she launches into a “self-indulgent” run through of Joe Jackson’s ‘Different For Girls’, there’s something pleasingly righteous about her refusal to apply the song’s archaic message to herself.



Looming ominously down upon the central stretch of the Reeperbahn, a 20ft tall Liam Gallagher has been bearing the words ‘coming soon’. Yep, in typically understated fashion, Our Kid’s popping into Hamburg and he’s not coming quietly. Yet weirdly, those who do manage to get inside Docks are a reasonably quiet lot. Maybe it’s just that Liam’s a demi-god on UK turf and just, y’know, a human man in the rest of the world, but there’s something odd about watching a clutch of Oasis songs – because of course he plays a clutch of Oasis songs – sung back with reasonable decorum. In the Imperial Theatre, Matt Maltese is a charming raconteur, flitting between deadpan humour and heart-swelling grandeur with ease; recent single ‘Vacant In The 21st Century’, meanwhile, still remains an absolutely flawless example of just how good the young South Londoner can be.


It’s hotter than the sun in the Molotow Skybar on Saturday, and although frontman Mez has spent his day vomiting, LIFE are on form and deliver a short brutal barrage of noise from ‘Popular Music’, complete with Mark E Smith style snarls, stage divers and mosh pit. In the safe retreat of a dark and moody Nochtspeicher, Marika Hackman later runs through a good mix of old and new. One final run of the neon strip bar and tourist-lined gauntlet of Grosse Freiheit, for a last dive down into the basement of Kaiserkeller to see Sløtface bound around under thick blue and red fog. 1am may feel too early an hour to leave Reeperbahn but it’s probably best we let it continue without us. (Lisa Wright and Louise Mason)




THE KILLERS, SLAY. Brixton Academy, London. Photos: Rob Loud.

hen The Killers made their ‘secret’ live return at this year’s Glastonbury, their arsenal of hits was once again immediately apparent - if that knowledge ever went away in the first place. Since then, Brandon Flowers and co headlined London’s Hyde Park for BST in July, before bringing things back down again tonight at the legendary Brixton Academy. The scaling down of venue says doesn’t mean anything for tonight’s stage production though. As Brandon strides out onto the stage with the most confidence he’s ever transmitted, the band’s usual light-up K on the singer’s keyboard stand is swapped out for a Mars symbol, ‘The Man’ revs up and kicks in, and pink confetti sprays out onto a crowd whooping with delight. Only two members of The Killers are present here tonight guitarist Dave Keuning is taking a break from touring, while bassist Mark Stoermer is studying at university - but Brandon has more than enough charisma to run this show alone. Thumping their way straight into ‘Run For Cover’, ‘Somebody Told Me’ and ‘Spaceman’, the run up to the band releasing fifth album ‘Wonderful Wonderful’ is less about showcasing the new songs, and more about reaffirming the power of the band - and especially their frontman.

Rarities are given an outing (‘Andy You’re A Star’ from ‘Hot Fuss’ gets its first play in eight years), covers are thrown in, and rather than Glastonbury’s non-stop thrash through the mega-hits, it’s an up-and-down set that’s never less than enthralling, even if the energy drops at points. The band’s now customary cover of Joy Division’s ‘Shadowplay’ leads into ‘Battle Born’ cut ‘Miss Atomic Bomb’, before ‘Human’ reasserts itself as possibly the most glorious song the band have ever penned. It also turns out that no matter how many times Brandon will shout ‘LONDOOONNN!’ before the track’s life-affirming drop, it will remain completely magical. The band then manage to have the gall to not even close their set with ‘Mr. Brightside’ - probably the biggest song of the millenium so far. To their credit though, they do bring out Woody-bloodyHarrelson for the encore to debut new album track ‘The Calling’, enciting manic screams and bemused faces in equal measure. A gigantic ‘When You Were Young’ closes the show, Brandon departs after a polite goodbye, and The Killers remain one of the most entertaining live bands in the world. Job done. (Will Richards)

Brandon, why are you cradling an invisible baby?



KOKO, London. Photo: James Kelly.


here are always smiles all around the Alvvays camp, but tonight is extra special. The Toronto four-piece released new album ‘Antisocialites’ a mere twenty hours ago, and are greeted with a jubilant sold-out crowd to host quite a release party. The record is still settling in for many in attendance after one or two listens (if any), but once ‘Saved By A Waif’ opens the set, everyone’s on side. ‘Adult Diversion’ is an early oldie to sate a packed KOKO, but there’s no real need - ‘In Undertow’ is already received with adoration, and even ‘Lollipop (Ode To Joe)’ is already yelled back at them. ‘Your Type’ - a sugarysweet pop song that rolls along at a pace - falls into a trio of well-loved hits from ‘Alvvays’, culminating in calling card, ‘Archie, Marry Me’, the singalongs in which make an unavoidable grin burst out across vocalist Molly Rankin’s face. ‘Dreams Tonite’ and ‘Party Police’ bring more swaying and whooping before the band close with a cover of ‘Trying To Be Kind’ by The Motorcycle Boy. The only downer of the day, Molly tells the crowd, is that she finally changed into a new pair of shoes she’d been saving all tour earlier in the day, only for a bird to do its business all over them almost immediately. If that’s the only gripe they have though, then Alvvays are doing just fine. (Will Richards)


Alexandra Palace, London. Photo: Luke Hannaford.




rom the moment the opening chords of ‘Untitled’ ring out across a packed Alexandra Palace - midway through a tour playing ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ in full for its 15th anniversary - this becomes a show like few others. There are a few technical hitches - Sam Fogarino’s snare drum only properly thwacks into life half way through, and Paul Banks is let down by his microphone during ‘Obstacle 1’ - but for the most part, Interpol are impeccably tight. The album is played out almost note for note - but for ‘Stella Was A Diver And She Was Always Down’ becoming beefed up, and ‘Roland’ even more aggressive than on record. They finish, of course with the dark, creepy ‘Leif Erikson’ and bonus track ‘Specialist’ before returning for an encore of hits, most notably ‘Slow Hands’, which incites a sea of jumping bodies. ‘Turn On The Bright Lights’ remains their (ahem) brightest star though, an still hitting frighteningly close to home after a decade and a half. (Will Richards)


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

It’s Your Round

CHILDHO -HOPCR AF T, BEN ROMANS st: ic Co £4. 50 Drink: Gin and ton s, London Arm Location: Trinit y

Chosen subject: CRICKET Q1: Which country’s cricket team has the most consecutive test match wins in a row? I’m gonna have to say West Indies. Australia Fuck! I was gonna say that. But I didn’t. Q2: In which decade did the England Cricket Team play their first game under that team name? Was it maybe... 18th century? 1710? It was the 1730s – 1739 to be precise. Q3: In which year did Brian Lara retire from professional cricket? 2007 Correct!

SCORE 4/10 A note from our contestant: “I feel like the questions were pretty challenging so I’m happy I even got some of them right.”

Verdict: Back to school with you, Childhood.


Q4: Who is the bookies’ current favourite to win the next Cricket World Cup? Is it Australia? Correct! Sweet. Q5: In which town is Durham County Cricket Club’s ground in? Oh, I do actually know this. What is it? I can’t remember man, but I’ve been there. The answer was actually Chester-le-Street . Score:



General Knowledge Q6: How many bones are in the human body? I’m gonna say 300. It’s 206 as an adult, or 270 as a newborn. Q7: What does the J stand for in Homer J. Simpson? Is it... Jay? Correct. Q8: If you were born on Christmas Day, what star sign would you be? Capricorn? Correct! Also, very quick answering on that one, Ben. Well, I’m January 8th so... Q9: What colour are flamingoes when they’re born? Er... white? No they’re grey, and

then they turn pink gradually from eating shrimps. Madness. Maybe we should test that on humans and see how many prawns you’d have to eat to turn a human pink. Q10: How many calories are in a large Wetherspoons breakfast? Oh my god. Like... 6,000? Jesus no. It’s 1,630. But you’re only meant to eat 2,000 a day. Oh, I thought 2,000 was a bag of crisps but that’s how much you eat in a day. OK. Score:





SAT 28/10/17

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