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set set music music free free free free // issue issue 45 45 // o ocTober cTober 2015 2015 diymag.com diymag.com

C H V RC H ES CHVRCHES T H E E Y E O F T H E S T O R M N E V E R LO O K I N G D OW N

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WHAT’S ON THE DIY TEAM’S R ADAR?

............................. Emma Swann Founding Editor GOOD Eoin Drenge playing a gig wearing a pig snout. Also Jeremy Corbyn. EVIL Posh university drinking societies, evidently (again). .............................. Sarah Jamieson Deputy Editor GOOD I can’t stop listening to the new Chvrches album. What an iiiiincredible record. EVIL Oh god, is it really genuinely time for Christmas shopping already?! ..............................

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GOOD VS EVIL STEPHEN ACKROYD Founding Editor GOOD Swim Deep are taking risks and having fun with their new album. Bands: take risks. Have fun. EVIL Taking risks and having fun does not mean jazz. Say no to jazz.

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Victoria Sinden Contributing Editor GOOD Wavves’ new album is great. Also nothing of mine broke or burnt down this month. EVIL Hydra? .............................. Louise Mason Art Director GOOD That man made a Monday brilliant. Pigs might...fly. EVIL Summer is over, so standing in a field with some gin is no longer classed as work. .............................. El hunt Associate Editor GOOD Planes with wi-fi make the sweet dream of airborne episodes of Great British Bake off possible. All hail gadgets. EVIL My dentist blasting The Weeknd’s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’ with a clear hint of smugness. I couldn’t feel my face at the time.

When I was a teenager, I asked DIY if they’d let me write for them. Foolishly, they said yes. This was a few years ago. Since then, the website’s been joined by a magazine, and said magazine has become bloody amazing. After years running the show, Stephen has passed the baton. Now it’s time to watch me singlehandedly ruin everything. That’s a tough task, given who’s in this issue. Cover stars Chvrches have upped their game when it didn’t look possible. They front a mag containing similarly ace acts, from The Dead Weather to Spring King and Wavves. As usual, it’s jam-packed with STUFF and rubbish jokes. Nothing’s changed, except it’s my fault now if everything goes to shit. Jamie Milton GOOD DIY’s 5-a-side football team winning the hearts and minds. EVIL DIY’s 5-a-side football team not winning any actual games.

LISTENING POST

What’s on the DIY stereo this month? Bastilleus Bastille Volume 1 From the depths of the internet comes ‘Bastille Volume 1’. A work of art, an album of our time, it mixes M83 with Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’. It has Guy Fieri on the cover. It contains a song called ‘Kidnap Dan Smith’. So good, Dan’s claimed it as his own work (sort of).

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C O N T E N T S

NEWS 6 MYSTERY JETS 1 0 RADIOHEAD 1 2 S TA N D F O R S O M E T H I N G T O U R

Founding Editors Stephen Ackroyd, Emma Swann

14 JOHN GRANT 16 HALSEY

Editor Jamie Milton Deputy Editor Sarah Jamieson Contributing Editor Victoria Sinden Associate Editor El Hunt

1 7 D I Y H A L L O F FA M E 18 MERCURY PRIZE 20 JENNYLEE

Art Direction & Design Louise Mason Head Of Marketing & Events Jack Clothier

2 2 P O P S TAR P O S T BAG 3 0 F E S T I VA L S

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NEU 3 2 I N H E AV E N 34 HONNE 3 5 D I L LY D A L LY 36 HO99O9

Contributors: Larry Bartleet, Henry Boon, Tom Connick, Matthew Davies, Loren DiBlasi, Joanie Eaton, Joe Goggins, Jessica Goodman, Louis Haines, Ross Jones, Kyle MacNeill, Amelia Maher, Liam McNeilly, Will Richards, Ali Shutler, Tom Walters, Josh Williams, Danny Wright, Martyn Young, David Zammitt Photographers Andrew Benge, Sarah Louise Bennett, Jonathan Dadds, Sarah Doone, Carolina Faruolo, Rob Hadley, Leah Henson, Mike Massaro

38 58 62 78

For DIY editorial info@diymag.com For DIY sales rupert@sonicdigital.co.uk lawrence@sonicdigital.co.uk tel: +44 (0)20 3632 3456 For DIY stockist enquiries stockists@diymag.com 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.

FEATURES 3 8 CHVRCHES 4 6 SPRING KING

5 0 T H E D E A D W E AT H E R 5 4 HURTS

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5 8 DEMOB HAPPY 6 2 WAV V E S 4 diymag.com

REVIEWS 66 ALBUMS 76 LIVE

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


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news In The Studio:

Mystery Jets “B

asically,” begins frontman Blaine Harrison, as he places It’s been three an edition of The Last Whole years since Mystery Jets Earth Catalog on his coffee last released an album but table, “I found out about this book through now they’re back, with a new a speech that Steve Jobs made.” What member, a new studio exactly this book has to do with the new and a new way of looking Mystery Jets album is a reasonable question at things. Words: Sarah to ask. Turns out, it became something of Jamieson. Photos: an inspiration for the band’s fifth effort. “He Emma Swann. was talking about how you should never lose the sense of innocence about you. The example he gave was a phrase, ‘Stay hungry, stay foolish’. It was written in the pages of this book; another from this catalogue. That expression was coined by a guy called Stewart Brand. “For us,” Blaine reveals, sat on a leather sofa in his North London flat, “when we started the record it basically provided the springboard for a lot of the themes that we’ve gone on to explore. [Stewart Brand] was there at the dawn of the environmental movement and he’s sort of seen as one of the founding fathers of sustainable living. He’s a scientist really, and I wrote to him and he became a bit of a guiding spirit. We established a dialogue with him on what the album’s about and how we want to carry his vision forward, really.” 6

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For the past few years, Mystery Jets have remained quiet. They set up their own home studio in a former button factory that sits directly opposite Blaine’s flat - “They made all of the buttons covered in fabric for the whole world,” he says. “When we moved in, there were so many buttons, we could’ve started our own business!” work on their fifth album has quietly been going on in the background for some time now; probably longer than many would realise. “We began writing at the end of the summer in 2013,” divulges guitarist Will Rees, “which was when ‘Radlands’ was coming to an end. The first ideas and songs and discussions about what we wanted to do and achieve began about two years ago. “There was a lot of jamming but there


It’s no Mystery - they’re back in business.

GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT

were also some very clear ideas that went on to change completely. Initially, there was quite a clear blueprint as to what we were trying to achieve. We wanted to make a record that was unlike what we had done before. It was dealing with themes that were beyond our normal realm of existence; more to do with what other people could relate to than just our own little bubble of things we’d been going through. I think scale was something we were trying to get across in the music and lyrics.” “We decided we wanted to make this really bold record,” Blaine emphasises, “and suddenly we had our own space where we could play for twenty four hours a day if we so wished. After our last record, we had come back from America and had explored Americana and living in another country. We came back and realised that, in our musical

life, we had explored different worlds and now we wanted to create our own world. We had musical nods to different eras, which has been a lot of fun, but with this, we wanted to make the definitive Mystery Jets record. We said it’s got to be bold; we didn’t want to think about it in terms of singles, we wanted to think of it as a cohesive, body of work. So, we built our studio which took about six months to do.” What the band didn’t really count on was their new sense of freedom allowing almost too much room for exploration. “We started making the record and, in a sense, there were no perimeters for it. It was pure expression and there was something really, really wonderful about that, but it got to a point where it was all feeling very heavy. Jack [Flanagan] had recently joined the band and I think he brought

Title: TBC Where: Stoke Newington, London When: Summer 2013 – Summer 2015 Songs: ‘Telomere’, ‘Bombay Blue’, ‘Midnight’s Mirror’ Due: Spring 2016 Other deets: The record will be their first with new member, bassist Jack Flanagan. a sense of immediacy and a live energy to the band. I think that really informed the creative process.” That was when things began to change. “So, we thought we had the album, we played it to people and we also agreed it was really dense, intense” - Jack chips in, “Intense!” - “so we decided to write something to create some contrast.”

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“After a year of being in that room and making a record,” continues drummer Kapil Trivedi, “we sat down our manager and listened to the whole album. It was just too much. It was really epic, and almost like too much information. It didn’t really feel like there was a balance to the record. There was just too much of one thing, and then we proceeded to find that balance, and now it’s a completely different record.”

confirms Will, “having Jack on board. I think the journey of the record has been quite tumultuous in a way. Meeting Jack turned us all around and gave us a new lease of life for what we were doing, and the music shortly followed him jumping aboard. We almost reinvented ourselves a little bit. There’s a fresh gang mentality that I think had been missing since Kai [Fish] left, and that was a key part to being able to finish this record.”

From the sounds of things, the quartet are a completely different band. After their fourth effort ‘Radlands’ hit the shelves, they embarked upon the touring circuit, but soon found themselves without management, without a publisher and without one of their members. It was the addition of Jack – all bright eyes and pink hair – that seems to have really shaken things up for the group. “We were a gang again,”

The record itself stands as “a big melting pot of all of our influences” with the likes of Pink Floyd and King Crimson both getting a namecheck. It’s also given them a chance to redefine what they love about being in Mystery Jets. “For us, we’ve been through quite a lot in the last couple of years and there have been certain realisations that come with being in a band that has been playing together for two

decades,” concludes Will. “There’s been a lot of growing up that’s happened in the last couple of years, and a lot of us just doing it for ourselves and setting up the studio, and having to fight our own corners. Not worry about disappearing for a couple of years, not worry about whether we’re still popular or not, and just getting on with it and facing up to reality. I think these songs have that feeling about them. “It’s about redefining yourselves with what’s going on in your life, and not making anything up. There are a lot of songs on there about friends and lost friendships and not recognising the face in the mirror in the morning. There are songs about trying to growing up and whether that’s even possible. It’s a kind of coming of age, I think.” Mystery Jets’ new album will be released early next year. DIY

“We wanted to create our own world.” - Blaine Harrison 8 diymag.com


new for 2015...

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FFS Radiohead, Get A Bloody Move On!

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o alarms and no surprises? Yeah right, guys. Radiohead like having a trick up their sleeve. And if the first few months of 2015 are anything to go by, there’s more in store. Thom Yorke hitched up to the middle of a forest to play a secret Latitude set. Jonny Greenwood’shared music of his own via Flying Lotus radio shows. The very first band to drop an album without warning, there’s a good chance whatever they’re up to will be shared in an instant. That’s left the world on tenterhooks: a new Radiohead album could arrive any day now. It might have arrived between this magazine going to print and it appearing in stockists, which would be a very Radiohead thing to happen. Regardless, let’s get speculating. The latest update from Camp Radiohead came from drummer Philip Selway, who in September told an audience of journos: “We’re just launching ourselves into it. We want to finish a record and that’s where we’re at.” This suggests a follow-up to ‘The King of Limbs’ is imminent. Will it be released on BitTorrent? Snapchat? Via a robot dog that will unlock a download code when asked to “fetch!” a new album? Anything can happen, but here’s what LP9 could bring to the table. THE GOOD OLD DAYS? It’s an old Radiohead habit to connect their past to the present day. With 2007’s ‘In Rainbows’, they took old ‘90s number ‘Nude’ from the grave and gave it a facelift, turning it into a ‘00s classic. Looks like they’ll be doing the same with this new LP. Jonny Greenwood recently claimed they’d be taking on ‘Lift’, a song from the ‘OK Computer’ era. And if that’s not enough to get the ‘anything-from-KidA-onwards-is-simply-rubbish’ gang out of their seats, nothing will. It’s an absolute juggernaut of ‘Tourist’ and ‘Lucky’ standards, a fan favourite that’s been dug up for 2015. BLEEPY BLOOP-AGEDDON? Thom Yorke loves his beats, a bit of minimal techno, didn’t you know? If that wasn’t clear by last year, his 2014 solo outing ‘Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes’ did the talking. Chopped drum patterns, glitchy vocals - it was like if his first solo work, ‘The Eraser’, suddenly found heaven in a Zomby record. Yorke’s solo output isn’t always indicative of the Radiohead frame of mind, but it definitely weaved its way into ‘The King of Limbs’, which merged frenetic electronics with the band’s beastly repertoire. His latest track, ‘Villain’, is a patchy, moody piano number that brings the beats in their droves by the end of its eightminute running time, and features the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, providing eerie vocals. Hopefully it’s just the sound of Yorke finding an outlet for ideas that

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didn’t make the final Radiohead cut. ALRIGHT, BUT WHEN’S IT ACTUALLY OUT? 2016 is the safest bet (famous last words). Sometime before a Glastonbury headline slot? Potentially. They’d need to get a bloody move on though. Composer and collaborator Robert Ziegler recently posted pictures of the band surrounded by string sections, sending the hype factory into overdrive. Only, Ziegler recently claimed he was working on a film score for Jonny Greenwood, who happens to be the subject of a new Paul Thomas Anderson documentary. Again, solo commitments are entering the fray. Yorke and Philip Selway got the solo itch out of their system with respective albums last year, but both have been touring, and Greenwood’s orchestral work looks to be going full steam ahead. The longest wait for a Radiohead album could stretch a good deal further, by the looks of things. DIY


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G N I H T E M O S R O F STAND TOUR 2015 T TW IN AT LA NT IC GE PA LM A VI OL ET S & S AO nd For SE T TO CAUS E CH les, the Dr. Mar tens Sta sgow with Dutch Unc ng to be

in Gla s month, there are goi quite an impression up the swing of things. Thi Having already made h DIY is now firmly in wit tion ocia ass in r Something Tou ws. two more intimate sho

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resh from festival season and smashing it Stateside, Palma Violets will be descending upon The Owl Sanctuary in Norwich to showcase their latest record. No strangers to ruffling feathers, the quartet seem finally ready to give their second album ‘Danger In The Club’ a proper introduction. “Yeah, we haven’t played ‘Danger In The Club’ stuff live as much as we perhaps should’ve done,” admits the band’s Will Doyle, “because there have been festivals. That’ll change and hopefully, we can actually tour it properly.” As for whether or not Mr. Doyle will be donning his trademark nightgown at the tiny show, well, it’s looking unlikely... “I’ve been banned, which is a shame! My legs looked really good in it. It’s sitting in my wardrobe just there, staring at me. Some day it will make an appearance, but right now we take ourselves too seriously.”

They’re not the only band gearing up to take on The Owl Sanctuary’s confines: Best Friends are looking forward to returning to some of their old haunts. “Believe it or not, Lewis and I actually grew up near Norwich,” says the band’s Tom Roper, “so we have a lot of fond memories of the ‘Wales of the East’. It’s where our taste in music developed and we experienced our first live shows - mine was The Hives, I believe Lewis’ was Louise Redknapp on her ‘Finest Moments’ tour. We also supported The Black Lips at Norwich Arts Centre last Halloween which was a dream come true.” Palma Violets will be joined by Best Friends and New Thieves at The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich on 10th October.

PALMA VIOLETS

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THE

DATES 10.10.15 PALMA VIOLETS BEST FRIENDS NEW THIEVES

NORWICH, THE OWL SANCTUARY

24.10.15 TWIN ATLANTIC CREEPER LIFE

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07.11.15 LONELY THE BRAVE ONLY RIVALS R51 BELFAST, THE LIMELIGHT

21.11.15 THE WYTCHES DEMOB HAPPY BEAR CHEST

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28.11.15 BURY TOMORROW HECK

CAMDEN, OUR BLACK HEART

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t’s been a massive year for Twin Atlantic: from playing huge festival stages to selling out the The SSE Hydro up in Glasgow, it’s safe to say that the band finished up their ‘Great Divide’ cycle with a bang. Things aren’t quite over just yet, though... “We were very ready to play a show of that size,” frontman Sam McTrusty reveals, on the subject of their humongous hometown show back in May, “with the years of touring and playing to thousands upon thousands of people supporting bigger legendary acts. On the other hand, it was our first time on our own so that made it feel strange. To be the main event in that surrounding was validating and we managed to share it with family and friends seeing as it was a hometown show.” Luckily for fans, the quartet will be giving their second album one final airing before work begins on album number three, when they appear on the tour at Leeds’ Brudenell Social Club. “We just make sure that everyone leaves feeling good

and energised at any of our shows,” says McTrusty. “It’s easier in a smaller room because I could literally walk over and shake you! It’s gonna be intimate and fun, personal and passionate!” The Scots will also be joined by Southampton newcomers Creeper, who have already caused quite a stir with their new EP ‘The Callous Heart’. “We’re very excited indeed!” the band’s Will Gould enthuses. “It’s another thing we’re doing that’s completely blown our minds. It’s going to be amazing to play to that crowd and then to watch Twin Atlantic after with everyone else too! “Collectively we’ve been to Leeds so many times in different bands, this time though it’s something very special. People can expect something very dramatic yet visceral from us. We’re going to be playing from our hearts and giving the people of Leeds everything we have.” Twin Atlantic will be joined by Creeper and Life at the Brudenell Social Club, Leeds on 24th October.

TWIN ATLANTIC

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Losing His “E Grip John Grant

veryone’s telling

is one of the most me to let go,” says honest musicians John Grant. Letting around. His songs mix go is what he says his new album ’Grey observations about being Tickles, Black Pressure’ is loosely about HIV positive with wry – but in response to the ‘let go’ dictum jokes. Words: Larry on its title track, you’ll hear him growl: “If Bartleet. I hear that fucking phrase again, this baby’s gonna blow.” This seems like a contradiction: Grant’s fierce intelligence makes him the kind of conversationalist that’s often quick to make one statement, counter it with another, then present a moderated, considered result. But that’s not to say he’s unsure of himself. Grant is all about precision, and the key to why seems to lie in his love of languages. This is at its most obvious in the title of his new album – a literal translation of the Icelandic for ‘middle-age’ and the Turkish for ‘nightmare’ – but his passion for linguistics is really nothing new. After his 10 years with alt-rock band The Czars, he retrained to become a Russian interpreter at a New York hospital, where he worked from 2007 - 2008. It was then, in 2008, that Midlake prodded him down to their studio in Texas to make his first solo album, ‘Queen of Denmark’. The record was beautiful, wry, and bleak – a series of candid confessionals from a man who had grown up gay in a religious family; who had struggled with addiction and anxiety disorder; who had a heavy burden of rage to shed. The following LP, 2013’s ‘Pale Green Ghosts’, was made in Iceland and was largely informed by Grant’s diagnosis as HIV-positive. Now, on ‘Grey Tickles…’, that rage is still there, but he continues to vent it stylishly.

John Grant, definitely not picking his nose. 14 diymag.com

“I don’t want to become one of those people who just snaps and murders somebody,” he ponders. “I had a lot of rage built up from the way people treated me when I was younger. I put up with a lot of shitty behaviour from people because I didn’t think I deserved better. And that’s a very sad thing to have to realise about yourself. When you wake up later in life and realise what a horrible joke that is, you have to figure out a way to process that stuff. I suppose that’s why


I go at it from an absurd angle.” Absurdity infuses Grant’s music, particularly when he addresses his homosexuality and others’ reactions to it. But he’s always been very frank about it too: since starting his solo career he’s used gendered pronouns ‘him’ and ‘he’ for lovers. Was doing so something that ever concerned him? “I definitely had that thought process when I was younger,” he responds. “Like, ‘You can’t say “him” here, or you shouldn’t.’ That’s something I did away with when I started writing ‘Queen of Denmark’.”

“ W h at g ot m e i n to addiction wa s t h e c o n s ta n t need to e s c a p e .” John Grant This, Grant says, was his way of staying sober. “What got me into addiction was the constant need to escape from my reality. If I was to stay sober, I needed to talk about things exactly the way they were, so I was going to use the pronoun ‘him’ where it was appropriate to do that, and not worry about what anybody thought.” He’s now been living in Iceland for three and a half years, and has been with his Icelandic boyfriend for two. In the close-knit capital of Rejkjavik, he sometimes spots Björk, who he says “has always been a huge influence. I’ve bumped into her several times. Sometimes I’ve been with people she knows and she’ll just say ‘hey’, you know.” Right now, life seems pretty ideal – but Grant’s music often highlights his insecurities, which makes it hard to know if he appreciates that things are going so well. “I really feel like it’s important not to have too much of my self-esteem attached to whether I’m succeeding right now as a musician,” he says. “If it were all to go away tomorrow I would hope I’ve learnt enough to know that that wouldn’t mean I was all

of a sudden not successful. I would still be successful by being who I am.” This makes sense, because Grant has been through a lot, and it seems he has this pragmatic way of looking at things as a result. Case in point: HIV. “My HIV came about because I made some really poor decisions,” he says. After getting sober, “I was still hanging on to a lot of my self-destructive behaviours in the world of sex.” Addressing this beautifully in ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’, he sarcastically romanticises the hedonism of the 70s: “I love the way men looked then,” he says. “Their moustaches and their beards and their tight jeans and their snug slacks. But if I’d been alive in the 70s it wouldn’t have been romantic, it would have been me indulging in my self-destructive behaviour. It’s a very dark joke, basically.” In the same song, though, he compares his own HIVpositive status with cancer-stricken children; he finds an even thicker tangle of issues therein. “We need to use these things in order to have perspective about what’s going on in our personal lives,” he says. “It helps you to be a little bit more humble.” But then again, “you can’t say that your problems don’t matter because there are children with cancer. You must never use it to say, ‘My life is stupid because I have first-world problems.’ When you live in the first world, those are the kind of problems that you do have. It’s grotesque, but that’s the way it is. And that’s not your fault or my fault.” His pinpoint skewering of the things and people he loathes seems to get sharper with each record, but it always seems righteous. As he embarks on a tour – “my favourite part” – of both the US and Europe, he reflects on this, and concludes, “I don’t think it can be my goal to hurt. Even though I love the idea sometimes of getting revenge on certain types of people, I don’t think it’s all it’s cracked up to be.” Everyone is telling John Grant to let go. Even John Grant is telling John Grant to let go. On the face of it at least, it seems as though he already has – but knowing Grant, there’s probably far more to it than that. John Grant’s new album ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’ will be released on 9th October via Bella Union. DIY

NEWS

IN BRIEF

DON’T BE A BULLY Bully have announced a series of UK and European shows for later this year in support of their debut album ‘Feels Like’. They’ll play eighteen shows from 27th October to 23rd November, including UK dates in Brighton, London, Manchester and Glasgow. For the full dates, head to diymag.com

IT’S WOON TIME Jamie Woon has officially announced his long-awaited return, confirming a new album set for release this November. ‘Making Time’ will arrive via PMR Records on 6th November, and follows on from his debut ‘Mirrorwriting’ which was released four years ago.

OFFICIAL AS YOU LIKE Alexisonfire have officially confirmed their return. Playing the final show of their scheduled reunion tour at Riot Fest in Toronto, frontman Wade MacNeil addressed the crowd during the set, stating: “Alexisonfire is officially back. We promise to never leave you again.”

MORE REFLEKTION Arcade Fire have announced a deluxe edition of their 2013 LP ‘Reflektor’, which comes with six unreleased tracks. ‘Get Right’ and ‘Crucified Again’ - which are already streaming online - are set to appear on the re-release, which will land on 16th October.

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New American Classic With her ‘New Americana’ single a radio mainstay and both her debut UK shows selling out in under a minute, things are hitting warp speed for Halsey. Words: Tom Connick.

A

radio-mainstay without being a household name, Halsey’s rocket-speed rise has defied expectations at every turn. ‘New Americana’ - her ode to a generation “high on legal marijuana, raised on Biggie and Nirvana” – was named Beats 1’s second most played track during the station’s first month on air, before a stream of it was available anywhere. “It doesn’t really feel much different for me,” she insists between two debut London shows that both sold out in under a minute. “I’m doing the exact same shit I was doing six months ago.”

Halsey describes her shows as harbouring a “punk-rock mentality.” Indeed, just twelve hours ago she was throwing herself around the O2 Academy in Islington, London, crowd-surfing and mic-swinging like any number of teens raised on “old school punk-rock” to a

Internet-savvy in a way most record label execs would fall “ over themselves to understand, Halsey’s online presence is the perfect fit for 2015’s access- I’m everything instinct; she’s the distilled form of what a thousand just a fuckin’ Buzzfeed confused middle-agers would deem a millennial. She admits that article!” - Halsey her online standing leaves her with “a responsibility” to address certain issues. “I had a writer tweet me and she said, ‘my editor just walked up to me and said sold-out crowd of devotees ‘can you give us race content on Halsey?’’ I’ve literally become who loitered outside the the living version of a clickbait! There’s a topic of sexuality to venue for hours afterwards. be spoken on, a topic of race, a topic of mental illness, and Halsey insisted she stay of age and artistry – I’m just a fuckin’ Buzzfeed article! It’s so behind to meet every one annoying.” of them. “The fear’s always that it’s a fluke,” she admits.

I’ve become clickbait

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“The fear’s that I come here and it doesn’t work, the kids don’t like it and the shows aren’t as big, and it’s like ‘Oh, I guess this is just a thing in America.’“ On the contrary, though, and typical to Halsey’s out-of-the-ordinary take on stardom, the explosion of her success has left her attempting to reign things in. “It’s funny cause a year ago I would’ve been like ‘I want it to go faster!’ and now I’m like ‘woah!’” she laughs. “I’m a firm believer in building a collective. I’m a firm believer that I would rather have 40,000 fans that supported me ‘til I died than have a million fans that supported me for a year.” Halsey’s debut album ‘Badlands’ is out now via Astralwerks. DIY


DIY HALL OF FAME A monthly place to celebrate the very best albums released during DIY’s lifetime; the next inductee into our Hall of Fame is The Cribs’ ‘The New Fellas’. Words: Jess Goodman. Photo: Nick Scott.

the cribs the new fellas

the Facts

Released: 20th June 2005 Standout tracks: ‘Hey Scenesters!,’ ‘Martel,’ ‘Mirror Kissers’ Something to tell your mates: The shield on the album’s inner-sleeve is the actual Jarman family crest. The bobbins in Latin means ‘not from the east nor the west’.

S

ome bands can harness and capture attention. Other bands earn affection. Then, every so often, a group comes along that’s capable of changing the way people look at, think of, and feel about music. The Cribs are one such group, and Wakefield’s favoured fraternal trio have been tearing through indie-rock’s standard levels for years. Before their stint with The Smiths’ Johnny Marr as a member, and long before the band signed a major record deal, The Cribs were calling the ‘Mirror Kissers’ and declaring ‘It Was Only Love’. It seems odd to think of 2005’s ‘The New Fellas’ as a decade old. The songs on the record are still as raw, still as empowering, and still as immediate as they ever have been. All it takes is one listen to the opening riffs of ‘Hey Scenesters!’ and you’re back instantly in the thick of it – dancing without a care to the music that defined an era, every bit as relevant today as it was ten years ago. It may have been with their self-titled debut that the Jarman brothers found their

voice, but with ‘The New Fellas’ the siblings demonstrated themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Punky, poppy and anarchic, but never once out of the group’s control, the album veers to the precipice of chaos without quite steering over the edge. The three-piece’s grungy aesthetics, raw performance style, and distinct voices made them one of the most engaging acts around. The venues they played may have been small, but those shows are now infamous; their audiences envied. The collection of songs The Cribs released in 2005 is still as potent as it was ten years ago. Since then, The Cribs’ steady climb to success has barely even faltered. Temporarily joining forces with a lauded ex-Smiths guitarist, signing to a major label, touring across the globe, and releasing a set of consistently characteristic albums, the Jarman trio’s influence has only continued to grow. It was with ‘The New Fellas’ that The Cribs cemented what they’re capable of. DIY

17


Eyes On The As the Mercury Prize approaches, excitable rumours about who could and should win are in full flow. But what’s it like to be an actual nominee, someone who’ll always be badged with the prestigious award whether they win or not? And what’s it like to be a judge, one of the twelve people deciding on a potentially controversial winner? “I’ve been lucky to see it from both sides of the fence,” notes Ghostpoet, who was nominated for his 2011 debut ‘Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam’ and judged the prize last year, where Young Fathers won with ‘Dead’. Obaro Ejimiwe gave his take on what it’s like to be in two very different roles.

ON BEING N O M I N AT E D . . . “It was completely out of the blue. Especially as it was my debut record. I never expected anything like that in my wildest dreams. Being nominated instantly puts you in this weird Mercury Prize bubble. Everyone wants to know what you’re doing. Mainstream press wants to talk to you. It was a bit weird, for me. But I looked at it as a big opportunity. And it was a privilege because I’d argued and moaned about the Mercury Prize, discussing it just as a fan of music. “The day of the ceremony - I just wanted to enjoy it. I was never of the mind of being like, ‘I’m gonna win this!’ If I win, great. But I was seeing the benefit of being nominated. With the work, I could really get something out of it. I was of the mind of just enjoying the night. It was at the Grosvenor Hotel. And the first thing I thought was how much it was like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It’s like, ‘I’m in the television!’ This is what people see on TV. Way smaller than I thought it was gonna be. It looked so much grander from the other side. “I got to meet other people, and all of us were of the mind that it was a celebration of music. It’s not a competition. I don’t think nominees feel that way. It’s a celebration of British music and we’re part of that party - let’s enjoy it. Maybe it’s a British thing. Our attitude isn’t to be too competitive. Everyone got on and it was a great party. There was that little moment just before Jools opened the envelope and I was like, ‘It… could be me!’ The camera team are close to you, it’s like, ‘Is it me?’ But then they shout out someone else’s name and it’s like, ‘Where’s the wine?’ I remember we stayed in the hotel that night and got a taxi back to South London. I had the Mercury Prize 18 diymag.com

statuette and the taxi driver asked me, ‘Oh, you’ve been at the Mercury?’ I didn’t mention I’d been nominated, but it was done - it was over. It’s like a knighthood though. It’s constantly in your life. It can be a pressure constantly having that in your title, but for me it’s a great experience.”

ON BEING A JUDGE... “It was a similarly great experience, being a judge. I judged last year, where Young Fathers won. Seeing it from that side, you’re deciding who wins, who gets nominated, the final twelve. It was a great pride for me, seeing a lot of the artists I wanted to be nominated, who were all in there. Not in a God way, but it’s a proud uncle moment. Hopefully they have the right attitude and they can do something from it. “Deciding who won, it wasn’t squabbling. Just a discussion. You had a room full of passionate people, which was great nobody was blagging it. And there’s a mediator making sure everyone comes to a decision. Ultimately we’re all passionate about music. And they all wanted to make sure the integrity of the Mercury Prize was intact, and that was

great to see. It has to be unanimous. Everyone has their favourites in terms of people they’d like to win, but we came to a happy compromise and decided on Young Fathers. I was really happy with the result and the process. It’s very transparent and for me as an artist, that’s of utmost importance. “I took it on board not to allow the performances to help decide. I’d never judged anything before, but it was a great experience. If I don’t get nominated - which is very likely - I could get asked to do it again. I would love to!” The 2015 Mercury Prize shortlist will be unveiled on 16th October, with the winner announced on 20th November. DIY


Prize IN IT TO WIN IT

Our guide to the potential 2015 nominees. Ghostpoet - Shedding Skin Ghostpoet could be on the judging panel again this year, but if he’s not, that’ll only be because his third LP is a massive step up. Young Fathers - White Men Are Black Men Too “Personally I think it’s a better record,” admits Ghostpoet. The odds are in their favour, then. Last year’s winner has been followed up by a more bombastic, pop-centric full-length - it’s a definite improvement from ‘Dead’. Wolf Alice - My Love Is Cool The debut of the year, Wolf Alice’s first work exceeded expectations and then some. It’s a special album that deserves to be rewarded. End of. Blur - The Magic Whip More than a comeback LP, ‘The Magic Whip’ was a return born out of scrappy Hong Kong sessions, miraculously transformed into a gem by Graham Coxon. Jamie xx - In Colour The bookies’ favourite, Jamie xx has Mercury Prize previous (The xx won in 2010) and ‘In Colour’ puts him on the map as a producer with far more than a bit-part role in his day job.

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At just 12 months old, Ludo was already a photoshoot natural.

Right On Time Warpaint’s unshakable bass foundation, Jenny Lee Lindberg set out to make a

I

few solo demos. She ended up finding her voice. Words: El Hunt.

t’s lunchtime, and a caffeined-up Jenny Lee Lindberg is pacing it breathlessly down the streets of LA, helplessly trying to hang onto a labradoodle puppy with other ideas. “My dog’s pulling me!” she yells down the phone, “Ludo, stop it!”

I didn’t ever concentrate so much on vocals, and I wrote a lot of instrumental music. I never really sing much, ever - not even in Warpaint. I almost made [‘right on!’] out of necessity. I was partially terrified to sing,” she admits, laughing.

Jenny’s new solo project, jennylee, might’ve started small, but it quickly bounded out of control with similar amounts of energy to a one-year-old dog eager to discover new things. Starting out with raw, self-engineered demos - intended for casual release - Warpaint’s bassist ended up booking ten days in her friend Norm Block’s “I didn’t want to get studio. “A song per day?” laughs Jenny, “I just didn’t think!”

h e av y,

I wanted

fun

She wound up asking Norm to to have .” engineer the record, and play live drums. She extended her Jenny Lee Lindberg studio time, again, and again, and found herself directing a room full of musician friends Warpaint’s Stella Mozgawa among them. Three months after “I never really liked my that, she had ‘right on!’. Judging from Jenny’s enthusiasm singing voice until recently,” when she talks about ‘right on!’ - there’s barely room to get a she goes on, “which is when word in edgeways - it’s been quite the creative journey. “I’m I decided - look - I’m never telling you my life story!” she cackles. going to have that classically trained, typical, acquired, “I just wanted to focus on being creative,” she continues. “I’ve beautiful voice. I’ve thought always recorded by myself, I’ve been doing that forever. But over the years about trying

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to find my voice, the voice that’s me. It’s sorta unique, it’s a little bit raspy, and I don’t think it’s for everyone. But the more I tuned into that, the more I enjoyed it.” As for the chief aim of jennylee, Jenny has a tagword of choice - fun. “I didn’t want to get heavy, and I wanted to have fun,” she says. “I wanted it to be really raw, and I didn’t want to get hung up. Those things came out stream of consciousness, and I appreciate that kind of writing. Whatever your first instincts are, whatever comes out first… Ludo, come here,” she yells suddenly. “Knock it off! He’s just a puppy.” jennylee’s new album ‘right on!’ will be released on 11th December via Rough Trade. DIY


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Popstar Postbag pVris

We know what you’re like, dear readers. We know you’re just as nosy as we are when it comes to our favourite pop stars: that’s why we’re putting the power back into your hands. Every month, we’re going to ask you to pull out your best questions and aim them at those unsuspecting artists. You don’t even need to pay for postage! This month, PVRIS frontwoman Lynn Gunn is poised with the Qs. How are you guys? @callihagen Great, thanks! Currently on our way to Sydney so that’s pretty neat! What has been your biggest challenge as a band? @danielabeary I think our biggest challenge has been adapting to how quickly things are moving. We’re trying to keep our footing the best we can and just keep up with everything. I keep saying it, but it feels like our bones are growing faster than our skin. It’s absolutely a good challenge to have to face, there are far worse problems we could be having, but it’s a challenge nonetheless. Do you remember the first time you heard your song on the radio? @ hollyj5sos We actually haven’t heard our song on the radio! Whenever we’ve been in the UK we always tune into Radio 1 to see if we can catch a song, and it never happens.

What is your main inspiration when you’re writing music? @trinmoree Sonically? Everything. Lyrically? Whatever is weighing me down emotionally, every sense of the word darkness. What are some of the nicest things fans have given you? @oliviagvnn We receive some amazing things but I think the biggest thing of all is their time, dedication and support. They’ve always got our backs and support us no matter what and I think that’s the nicest and most valuable thing of all. What are you going to be for Halloween? @Kimbug126 I keep wanting to dress up as an old man, maybe that.

Will you help me convince my dad to let me get a cat? @alexbabenski Just be like “Dad, I never get any pussy the least you can do is let me get this type.” What are your best tips for recovering from a cold? @ driftingfaraway Lots and lots of sleep, tissues, water, apple cider vinegar, eucalyptus oils, healthy foods, steamers and complaining. What is your favourite ice cream flavour? @ThisIsCVLT I’m not a big ice cream person... But cookie dough is pretty sweet.

NEXT MONTH: THE MACCABEES Want to send a question to DIY’s Popstar Postbag? Tweet us at @diymagazine with the hashtag #postbag, or drop us an email at popstarpostbag@diymag.com. Easy! photo: emma swann 22

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DIIV Cole gives Mac DeMarco’s ‘Backer’ a run for his money.

DIIV – Dopamine It’s been over three years since debut LP ‘Oshin’, and it’s with great relief that music can once again be the focus when talking about DIIV. ‘Dopamine’ works its magic from the get go, with the kind of immediacy you’d expect; subtle, shimmering melodies glowing as they intertwine. It just keeps growing, creating what feels like its own magnetic field as it unravels, before the neurotransmitters lock in to overdrive. It has everything you know and love, but there’s more nous. With the track given more time to breathe, its bigger moments overrun the senses like never before. Still no idea what the hell new album ‘Is The Is Are’ might be about, but ‘Dopamine’ will make you all the more desperate to find out. (Liam McNeilly)

have you heard

The bes t new tr acks from the l as t month.

The Japanese House – Cool Blue

Hinds - Garden

Black Honey – Corinne

If Justin Vernon returned to his famed wood cabin - the home of his Bon Iver debut - with a bottle of prosecco and a few poppers, he’d sound like this. As The Japanese House, Amber Bain uses the same core ingredients as Vernon - multi-layered vocals and clipped guitar notes. But on ‘Cool Blue’, for the first time she spins her wistful experimentation into an instant fix of a pop track. It’s a playful song about being haunted, that refuses to give into the demons. (Jamie Milton)

With Strokes-y vocals and stomping drums, ‘Garden’ leads you down the path of miniature bridges and verses before punching you with a chorus more chaotic than La Tomatina. The latest from Hinds is still more fun than you can shake a metaphorical stick at, and sows the seeds for a blooming brilliant album to grow out of. (Kyle MacNeill)

All of Black Honey’s songs deserve their own blockbuster flick, and it’s more evident than ever on ‘Corinne’. Even though Izzy Phillips chants “we live in a movie that nobody else will ever see,” there’s nothing understated about the rest of this new single. Like compressing a dramatic thriller in the space of three minutes, it’s a tale of escapism delivered with enough gusto to send this Brighton lot skywards. (Jamie Milton)

Wolf Alice – Baby Ain’t Made Of China Some bands do B-sides the old fashioned way: Wolf Alice, however, don’t do things by halves. More positive than their dark-slanting debut ‘My Love is Cool’, ‘Baby Ain’t Made of China’ is anything but an afterthought. Joel Amey once told DIY he pens one song a day - add Ellie Rowsell’s output into the mix and Wolf Alice probably have hundreds of these songs in their locker. Just imagine what’s next. (Jamie Milton)

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Arcade Fire - Get Right On their 2013 LP ‘Reflektor’, Arcade Fire undergo countless transformations. They morph from a basement-dwelling punk outfit into stratospheric arenaready giants, making stopovers in Haiti and a disco-obsessed parallel universe. ‘Get Right’, a song that didn’t make the final cut, is somewhere else altogether. A desert sand-covered wrangler, it’s from the same headspace as Jack White’s Nashville hub - the complete opposite of a ‘Reflektor’ gem but intriguing all the same. (Jamie Milton)

Panic! At The Disco – Death Of A Bachelor Panic! are no strangers to bombast, and with Brendon Urie’s newest offering the outfit really push the boundaries even further. Guiltlessly channelling the likes of Burt Bacharach and Frank Sinatra, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is a smooth-mover that yet again showcases Urie’s incredible vocal talents. Dotted with intriguing electronics and a brass section to boot, this is another of Urie’s unexpected but perfect musical concoctions. (Sarah Jamieson)


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The Next Vision Could Claire Boucher’s follow-up to 2011’s ‘Visions’ be about to land?’

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ver the last eighteen months Grimes has been busy. Touring alongside Lana Del Rey and setting up her own “artist co-operative” the Eerie Organisation, she’s been all the while finishing work on her hugely-anticipated fourth album; she’s been working non-stop. The fruits of her labour could, however, all be set to appear sooner rather than later, if the clues she’s been leaving for us are anything to go by. Granted, talk of her follow-up to 2012’s ‘Visions’ has been abound for some time now - originally, she slated its release for September last year, before releasing standalone single ‘REALiTi’ earlier this year. Since then, there have been promises of her newest full-length appearing later this month, and by the

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looks of things, it could well happen. “I think I want to [announce] it right before and be like, ‘This is the title and my album is coming out in three days’” Boucher told Entertainment Weekly back in August, after replying to a fan’s question on Twitter back in May with an answer of “oct!”, hinting at a psuedoBeyoncé for the as-yet-still-untitled record. Since then, Boucher has opened up to Dazed, who claim that she couldn’t “reveal the final name of the album,,” as she plans “to make this announcement the day before it hits iTunes in October.” “Lyrically, it’s more political and less abstract than before,” she told them. “Like, really trippy free association about

nature and shit. There’s a song that’s from the perspective of a butterfly in the Amazon as people are cutting down trees; there’s a song that’s from the perspective of angels who are polluted, so they’re crying polluted tears. I feel like it’s more about the Earth. I think I was more in society when I was making it, so it feels more grounded.” That’s not all: when confirming plans for her US tour last month – which will kick off on 24th October at Santa Ana’s Growlers Beach Goth Party Festival – she went further to promise her new material should surface soon: “will drop some trax b4 tour” she told Twitter, “still mixing and working on vids cuz I’d like it all to be perfect 4 yall.” Only time will tell now... DIY


Around the corner...

2015 has already been quite the year for albums, but are any more lurking in the last few months? Here’s a couple that could well take everyone by surprise.

RIHANNA

RiRi may have released an album every year from 2005 through to 2012 (bar a quick break in 2008), but she soon put a stop to that as soon as her tentative eighth record ‘R8’ didn’t appear on shelves two years ago. Now, we’re almost on the home straight to 2016 and there’s still only been four tracks to bear Rihanna’s name – could her newest full-length be this year’s biggest surprise release?

JAMES BLAKE

As it stands, we don’t know a whole lot about the next effort to come from James Blake’s camp, but that won’t stop the conspiracy theories rolling in. Having already confirmed the title of his follow-up to 2013’s ‘Overgrown’ and aired its title track ‘Radio Silence’ live, things look to be firmly in motion. With Kanye West, Justin Vernon and Connan Mockasin all apparently contributing to it too, it’s going to be one to keep an ear out for.

KANYE WEST

Speaking of Kanye... While the superstar might already be thinking about his longterm plan to run for president in 2020 (yuh-huh) that doesn’t mean that he’s not still tinkering away with ‘SWISH’. Not even President Obama could force West into releasing his ‘Yeezy’ follow-up (despite the petition trying) but could it land before 2015 draws to a close? Anything could happen.

ADELE

Will she or won’t she? That’s the main question when it comes to Adele’s third album: is it set to be released later this year? If you believe the bookies, she’s already booked to headline next year’s Glastonbury and according to Billboard, her follow-up to the massive recordbreaking ‘21’ could land as soon as November. Are the stories finally lining up?

Whats Going on With... glass animals Debut album ‘Zaba’ made them a Really Big Deal. Now the Oxford group are turning attention to LP2. Hello Glass Animals! When’s work set to start on your second album? Dave Bayley: We’ll be getting something solid down. We’ve got bits and bobs swirling in our heads. It’s just a matter of time of getting it all down on paper. Do you have any standalone releases out ahead of a new record? DB: There’s a lot of stuff. Joe Seaward: We did the Erykah Badu and Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover recently. The idea behind that - Dave had stuff lying around and we wanted to share it with the world before it gets old. We thought, why not? And it means the live show can be more exciting. It gives a little bit of new life. A year on from the debut, do you feel like a different band? DB: We’ve started having more fun. JS: It’s just experience. It becomes less terrifying and more exciting. Earlier on, it’s a scary thing to do. But when it becomes more normal, you

can start thinking about how to express yourselves, rather than just getting it over and done with. That’s a normal instinct. Getting thrown onto a festival stage after a twentyminute changeover is a crazy idea at first, but once you get used to it… DB: You can embrace the carnage. Have you thought about how the new record will differ to the debut? DB: We still have a lot of experimenting to do. I have ideas and sounds in my head. I don’t even know if anyone’s gonna like them. We’ve got to sit down together and just be off the road for a month or so. JS: We just need some time to formulate things and communicate in something that isn’t a bus. I’m really excited to hear what happens. DB: And there’s always bits been made. Little snippets. When’s this current ‘Zaba’ tour actually finishing? DB: I think we’ll wrap up in December - end of that month. DIY 27


DIY live

The best of the last month’s DIY Presents gigs.

OUGHT, THE DEAF INSTITUTE, MANCHESTER

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here’s already a slither of the iconic about Ought as they leave the stage of the Deaf Institute. Having pummelled through the final song of the set, ‘More Than Any Other Day’ album-closer ‘Gemini’, frontman Tim Darcy finally releases the transfixion he’s held over the crowd for the last hour. From the first bars of opener ‘Pleasant Heart’, Ought deliver an unerring set that sees them pull and push the boundaries and limitations of their punky, angular sound. While on record the Montreal band often use quietness and repetition to great effect, live they tend to charge through their set with filled-out songs and a speedy, effective momentum. The laissez-faire musing of ‘More Than Any Other Day’ is still present but Darcy goes further into his Jekyll and Hyde routine with a cynical, effete David Byrne-ish talking voice battling a furious, seething roar. What’s really striking about Ought, though, is the sheer timelessness of it all. Ought could have been hanging out with The Velvet Underground. Ought could have lived next door to Joy Division. Ought could be the cousins of the guys in Liars. Or Bloc Party, or Pavement or Sonic Youth. But more than “Ought could be connected to legends” – on the evidence of this one performance and a very young career Ought could just be legends. (Matthew Davies)

MAC DEMARCO, THE INSTITUTE, BIRMINGHAM

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shoulders, and crowdsurfing, the momentum in the crowd barely seems to slow for even a moment. Taking his regular stage dive, everything then turns to chaos. He vanishes among a sea of limbs, bodies are lost in the crush, the music is stopped, and confusion fills the outer edges of the room. When Mac finally emerges, he’s dishevelled and a little disorientated, but he powers through a final sing-a-long chorus. Disorder may have momentarily taken hold, but with an audience lost in their own enjoyment, skirting along the edge of anarchy, Mac DeMarco does what he’s best at: putting on a show that provides the perfect way to let loose. (Jessica Goodman)

photo: Rob Hadley

o stomps of expectation and chants of his name, Mac DeMarco and band finally take to the stage for their first Birmingham performance. As the opening chords of ‘The Way You’d Love Her’ resound around the room, the balcony rises to its feet and the crowd clamours to get closer to the stage. While material from his first album is by and large ignored, Mac and band respond to the audience’s enthusiasm and power through a set filled with fan-favourites, from ‘Salad Days’ and ‘No Other Heart’ to ‘I’ve Been Waiting For Her’ and ‘Chamber Of Reflection’. Drinking, dancing, clambering on

photo: Leah Henson

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NEWS IN BRIEF EVEN FROOTIER

photo: Carolina Faruolo

GIRLPOOL, THE SCALA, LONDON

W

alking onto stage, Girlpool ask “what’s up?”, adding between songs how grateful they are to be playing “so far from home”. Opening with ‘Ideal World’, the pair weave their way effortlessly through an entrancing set, the title track from recently-released debut ‘Before The World Was Big’ receiving a particularly warm welcome. Their simplistic set-up – just the duo’s amps on stage and minimal lighting - makes the capacity venue feel more like a friend’s front room than a reasonably-sized venue in the heart of London. This comes to the fore wonderfully during their haunting rendition of ‘Emily’, as their youthful spirit echoes around the room. ‘Crowded Stranger’ proves another highlight with the chorus’ distorted guitar working perfectly in harmony with the vocals whilst the ever so slightly off-key harmonies of ‘Chinatown’ echo around, making the gig feel even more intimate. The crowd still wants more as the pair finish with ‘Pretty’, but the night will live on atmospheric and moving with a near-perfect performance. (Josh Williams)

coming up OCTOBER

01 – 14 The Neu Tour feat. VANT, The Big Moon & INHEAVEN – various cities 05 Nai Harvest, Bloody Knees & Abattoir Blues – Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro) 07 Brawlers, Get Inuit, Calls Landing – Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro) 11 A Way Of Seeing - Bungalows & Bears, Sheffield 16 Speedy Ortiz – Sound Control, Manchester 16 Girls Names, Feature – Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro) 20 Best Friends, Hannah Lou Clark, Beverly – Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro)

NOVEMBER

04 Clean Cut Kid & more – Hoxton Bar & Kitchen, London 13 Tuff Love, Fake Laugh, Lazy Day – Headrow House, Leeds (Beacons Metro)

Not content with a full UK tour still to play in November, Marina and the Diamonds has announced further shows for February. The ‘FROOT’ singer will stop in Glasgow, Manchester and London early next year in a continuation of the tour for her third full-length, released earlier this year.

NEW YEAR’S ROCKING EVE Biffy Clyro have announced their live return with a show at Edinburgh’s 2015/16 Hogmanay Concert in the Gardens on 31st December. With Idlewild and Honeyblood set to support, this marks the end of the trio’s self-professed “musical hibernation”

UNLEASH THE DRONES Fresh from a summer of festivals, Muse have confirmed plans for a huge arena tour in April 2016. To celebrate the band’s latest album, they’ll play nine shows across the UK, including a whopping four nights at the O2 Arena in London. Tickets are on sale now.

SUMMER OF ‘89 It actually happened: Ryan Adams has now released his full re-work of Taylor Swift’s ‘1989’. The album, re-recorded in full by Adams ‘in the style of The Smiths’, was previewed by his cover of ‘Bad Blood’ and you can now stream the full thing via Apple Music or YouTube. 29


festival previews 2015

MIRRORS 31ST OCTOBER, HACKNEY, LONDON

F

or some people, 31st October means Halloween outfits, fake blood and lots of booze. This year however, there’s a more musical option on offer: Mirrors.

Taking place across three venues in Hackney, London, the event will be packing crowds into Oslo, the Hackney Round Chapel and St-John-at-Hackney for an array of brilliant acts. While Rhye will be crossing the pond for a rare UK appearance, Brighton-based noiseniks The Wytches are set to cause quite the racket. Elsewhere, the likes of The Thurston Moore Band, Alex Burey, Aquilo and Oceaán will all be gracing the bill. Having released her second album ‘Fast Food’ earlier this year, Nadine Shah will be hitting the stage of St-John-at-Hackney. “It’s a lot more fun to perform live than my first one,” she offers. “The first one is about a really macabre subject but this one isn’t. Everyone’s living!” she laughs. “I guess I wrote this album thinking about the live performance; a lot more of it is uptempo, and I wanted to make the audience move. I was thinking about my musicians on stage and what they’d be playing. They love their bass parts and guitar parts, so we’re having a right giggle performing it. Glastonbury was a laugh, that was good. To be honest, I do prefer places that are smaller, because I have a bit of a fear of massive places… “It’s a good job I make shit music so I’ll never get massive crowds!” she giggles, before mentioning some of her other upcoming shows. “The gigs have all been really well received this year; the audiences are getting bigger and bigger and we’ve started to sell out shows which has been awesome. We’ve got a lovely one in October at Union Chapel, which sold out really quick, so I’m dead chuffed so far.” DIY

liverpool music week 22ND - 31ST OCTOBER, VARIOUS VENUES, LIVERPOOL

I

t’d be all too easy to assume that festival season is now in the distant past, but October is a great time to discover some brilliant new music and Liverpool Music Week is giving fans the opportunity to do just that. Some of the finest new acts have signed up to play DIY Presents x Liverpool Music Week shows this month. Dubbed ‘DIY Presents: Breaking Out with LMW’, we’re teaming up with the festival to host a series of showcases in both The Shipping Forecast and Arts Club Loft. DIY favourites Palace open proceedings on Friday 23rd, while Shura is set to headline the closing night on 30th October, showcasing tracks from her forthcoming debut album. The remaining shows boast performances from new 4AD signing Pixx, who plays on the 29th, along with hyped Aussies DMA’s, The Amazons, All Tvvins and Telegram. Tickets for individual shows are priced at £3 in advance and on the door, with no booking fees, but a £10 wristband will get you access to every gig. The rest of Liverpool Music Week is set to host sets from Deerhunter, Soak, Micachu & The Shapes and Best Coast.

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T

neu

INHEAVEN James Taylor and Chloe Little felt like they were missing out on a band to believe in. So they made one themselves. As the Neu Tour kicks off, the INHEAVEN obsession starts now. Words: Jamie Milton.

he founding members of shoegazepop hybrid INHEAVEN - James Taylor and Chloe Little - grew up geeking out over bands. Chloe would tell her mum she was staying at a friend’s house before travelling to London to see Babyshambles. James was more of an introvert. “I’d obsess over each song and listen to things in isolation.” When the pair hit their twenties, they realised the age of obsession had passed by. They weren’t jumping out of their skin to buy a pin badge. They weren’t queueing outside of record shops to buy their favourite band’s new release. With that gap still nagging at them, they decided to fill the void by forming a gigantic force of their own making. Two years after having their first practice session, they’re kicking and screaming into the foreground. INHEAVEN are loud. Not in the sense of wanting to turn eardrums to rubble. More that they have big, bellowed-out ideas backed by a steadfast belief. New single ‘Bitter Town’ is an anthem for kids who’ve been crying out for one. “We felt frustrated that there wasn’t a band we could grab onto,” declares James, who quickly found an answer for that problem. “Let’s make

“We felt frus tr ated

a band we could grab onto that there wasn’t

.”

James Taylo r

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that band up - the one we’re waiting for, the one we want.” The gusto with which INHEAVEN deliver everything, they come off as fictional. The stories of escapism circuiting around ‘Bitter Town’ speak for thousands - they’re not just introverted, personal accounts. It’s as if from day one, Taylor and Little realised they wanted to be gigantic. “As a kid, I obsessed over everything,” says James. “I was proud to Tippex a band name on my bag.” Being fair, there are hundreds of bands getting this exact treatment today. From a headline Reading Festival crowd to the “mom” or “dad” comments under a pop star’s tweet, enthusiasm manifests itself in different ways. But INHEAVEN are grabbing a slice of fandom for themselves. They started out two years back with a rehearsal in South London. Before they’d even made their first proper song, Little produced a video for what would become ‘Regeneration’. “That was the first thing we had. It got our brains going,” remembers James. “Weirdly, we had the visuals first. It was a blueprint.”

and not come back for two years. But to do that, we needed everything.” With tons of songs under their belt, they’re ready to get flung out onto the road with zero inhibitions. “If you wanna be in a band, that’s what you’re doing it for. We’re all a bit too sensitive to go out every night, so we have to take it steady. Maybe we’ll have to pace ourselves. Speak to us after,” he says, referring to the Neu Tour that kicks off this October. It’s set to be the first step towards INHEAVEN’s eventual domination. DIY

ALL ABOARD THE NEU TOUR

Starting in Nottingham and Bristol, the Neu Tour is in full flow. INHEAVEN, The Big Moon and Vant are all on the road together. And if you miss out on seeing three of the best new bands in the same room, you’re a wally. Check out the remaining dates at: diymag.com/presents.

But everything leading up to now has been about touring. “We always knew we wanted to go on tour - leave

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“And on Wednesdays... we wear black.”

“Over the years, you

figure out what you d o b e s t .” - Andy Clutterbuck

Honne T h e E d g e O f G lo ry

Beyond the buzz, this London duo are on the brink of being 2016 favourites. There’s more to their game than “smooth” pop, too. Words: Jamie Milton. Photo: Emma Swann James Hatcher and Andy Clutterbuck are the smoothest crooners in town. For the past neu few months as Honne, they’ve gone from slick operators to a duo who barely need nudging in the right direction when it comes to direct, late-night pop. Tagged as penning “babymaking” music, there’s a definite lights-off vibe to their early EPs, but it’s soon apparent that there’s more to Honne than romance and dusky production. For one, they’re naming songs after cleaning products. Tear up the idea of them soundtracking the lives of lovers - they’re more about dusting the shelves. ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’, a song from their recent ‘Over Lover’ EP, is named after a Mr. Muscle tagline. “It’s exactly that,” admits Andy, somewhat reluctantly. “The song’s about the difficulties of modern living, so household arguments comes into that.” When Honne get a moment of inspiration, they hit record. That’s been the case since the pair met six years ago at university. Instead of lounging around and watching Hollyoaks re-runs, they made music three days after meeting. “We were very proactive. Sensible boys,” says Andy. “It was more of a hobby, just

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learning the tricks. We were probably making some terrible music at the time. Over the years, you figure out what you do best.” Spending their days as music teachers, they found time after dark to work on their own material. “It’s always had this late night feel,” agrees Andy. Every song is matched with a flickering photo of streets lit up at night, coupled with Japanese text. Honne are obsessed with the country since Andy took a trip out a couple of years back. The band’s name translates as “true feelings”, while their label imprint Tatemae relates to how people project their own image. “You want the image to enhance the music and the music to enhance the image,” claims James. It’s all part of their slick operation. But over time there’s every chance Honne will go beyond the smooth tag and let a few rough edges do the talking. Scraps about cleaning products have already done the trick. And their live show is a more spontaneous thread to what they do - “we always wanted it to be something you could only get by coming to the gig,” says Andy. As talk turns to 2016, it’s clear these two will be at the top of the agenda. DIY

JOBSWORTHS Based on their ‘Loves The Jobs You Hate’ number, we asked Honne about their previous careers good and bad. Andy: “I’ve had a few corkers in the past. Retail assistants and stuff like that, a few years ago. Christmas hours. I remember going to the stock room and I didn’t do this all the time, but I did fall asleep on occasion.” James: “Up until Christmas we were working in schools and I was a guitar teacher. I didn’t mind it at all though. It was short hours and it gave us enough time to write. You feel like you’re enhancing kids’ lives - I think I had to teach a kid a Honne song once. They wanted to learn it!”


“T

here’s one track This tenacious ambition shapes their album on the album that ‘Sore’. It’s a debut full of anger and snarling I wrote when I was vocals. However, at its core it’s a record all about neu 18, and that was before me simple songs that glisten with pop undertones. and Liz even got the Dilly Dally “We always knew that we just wanted to make tattoos. I’ve got mine on my simple and powerful music. We felt that was collar bone; Liz has hers on her arm. We got the more effective – to be really intentional about tattoos before we even played our first show.” each note, each chord, each word.” Everything Dilly Dally are the gutsy, grunge-infused fourabout this band is deliberate and everything is piece from Toronto - and they’re in it for the laid bare on the table. long haul. Founded by lifelong best friends Katie Monks and Liz Ball, who began playing together From ‘Witchman’ - a song written about a friend around six years ago, the tattoos were only the of Katie’s who everyone thought was going His first work is due early next year, according to the beginning of their journey. crazy - to ‘Green’ – “that’s about someone I had Londoner. Words: Jamie Milton. Photo: Mike Massaro a crush on and I still Having gone haven’t told him” – it through numerous really does feel like line-up changes an honest record as “ I t ’ s a l l b o i l e d and developed well as a complete through different body of work. “It’s an up to a phases over the album from all parts years, it seems as of my life,” declares .” though they’re Monks. “And it Katie Monks on to a winning probably feels like a formula as Katie well-rounded record admits “it’s all because it’s a story boiled up to a in a way. It captures point of no return.” so many stages in The band first caught attention with their mine and Liz’s lives. It definitely encapsulates the self-released track ‘Next Gold’; however it was journey that we have had.” ‘Desire’ that got tongues wagging and sent the internet into overdrive. Katie makes it clear that With a ferocious debut and a live show that it won’t be going to their heads anytime soon. promises to shake up the audience and ignite a “Positive stuff coming towards us is amazing spark, there is no telling as to what could come and it feels like things are moving in the right next for Dilly Dally. Katie sums it up. “We are in it direction. But we can’t relax - we are really for the long haul. I have big plans.” focused on what we want to do and we have our sights set on what we want to be.” Dilly Dally’s new album ‘Sore’ will be released on 9th October via Partisan. DIY

Oscar talks his debut LP

point of no return

Dilly Dally’s Top Three Karaoke Anthems Dilly Dally are massive karaoke fans, and although they have a rule that no one can have their ‘one song’, we asked Katie Monks what her current top three favourites are. 1. Divinyls – ‘I Touch Myself’ “That song is excellent!” 2. Backstreet Boys – ‘Larger Than Life’ “I love the way it’s like, ‘All of your time spent keeps us alive’. It’s about the fans, and we’ve been getting all this positive energy, so it’s a good one.” 3. New Order – ‘Bizarre Love Triangle’ “This is Liz’s favourite at the moment, she’s doing it all the time.”

Dilly Dally From vandalising Toronto suburbs to ignoring the norm on record, Dilly Dally are all about tearing up the rulebook. Words: Amelia Maher.

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Ho99o9

These New Jersey rap-freaks didn’t just take over a scene, they founded one. Words: El Hunt. Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett. Newly decked out in a top hat covered in fake leopard print, The OGM has changed out of his flowing sapphire dress, and is reflecting neu on Ho99o9’s set at Reading Festival. “We were rushed,” is the blunt and honest verdict. “Snap, snap, snap. I don’t like that kind of shit,” he finalises, with a tut. “It fucks with my energy.”

shows,” Eaddy says of Ho99o9’s hometown. “Nobody was booking us,” says The OGM, “so we booked our own shit. We were throwing shows anywhere; rap shows, punk shows, fashion shows, art shows; mixing New York vibes and shit. That was the only platform that we had.”

Other than a place to play, Ho99o9 don’t need much to conjure mayhem. Writing material comes from anywhere - “This,” Energy, after all, is key. Five months earlier, Ho99o9 played the says The OGM, referring to the current conversation, “right show that instantly yanked spotlights their way. Destroying now, is inspiration. Everything is.” - and besides that, they the basement of Brighton’s Patterns at The Great only insist on three Escape, Eaddy clung onto the low ceiling above a other things. “Wifi, thrashing crowd, a wedding-dress clad The OGM weed and water,” “Nobody was hurling himself across the sweaty cavern. “You saw says Eaddy, form me in my beautiful gown!” exclaims a delighted Ho99o9’s perfect booking us, so OGM, adding “I’ve got a couple of different looks triangle. lined up.” So far the duo have Despite the whirlwind of chaos that batters been releasing ” headlong into any stage Ho99o9 take to, the New material in dribs Jersey duo are perfectionists - that’s clear from their and drabs, letting The OGM post-set ponderings. It’s a clarity of vision that can their live show pack only come from years of playing shows... well, just majority of the about anywhere. Growing up in New Jersey, past onslaught. They’ve the furthest fringes of New York, Eaddy and The got two EPs - ‘Mutant OGM didn’t have any sort of music scene growing Freax’ and ‘Horror of up. So naturally, they decided to make a scene, instead. 1999’ - out, and the slow-burn, Eaddy says, is fully intentional. Ho99o9, as they say, are not fond of being rushed. “It’s like “We grew up in an urban community - drug dealers and gangs eating soup,” announces Eaddy with a slurp. “Just... spoon around - so we just didn’t have that atmosphere of going to feeding. Once it cools down we’ll go for a nice big chunk.” DIY

we booked our own shit.

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T rudy

Sweet, serenading types with a dark edge. Give Leeds trio Trudy a sack of grit and they’d turn it into a bunch of flowers. These shameless romantics like to swoon. It’s there in early songs like the divine serenade of ‘Behave’, produced by Spring King’s Tarek Musa. If ever a band were pitching for DIY’s Indie Dreamboat spot from the off, it’s these guys. Listen: ‘Behave’ is the sign of a rebellious streak. Similar to: Going on a double date with David Beckham and Wild Beasts’ Hayden Thorpe.

D ay Wav e

More than an everyday escapist. Jackson Phillips should surely be done for, what with DIIV returning and summer being long gone. But there’s a magic running through his escapist-first approach. With a song like ‘Come Home Now’, he threads reality through dreamy guitars parts. Buried within the reverb is a message that bites. Listen: ‘Come Home Now’ would be a chart-topper in different hands. Similar to: Falling asleep on a delay pedal.

Pumarosa

Start small? These Londoners take the opposite route. Debut singles don’t come more ambitious than ‘Priestess’, London group Pumarosa’s first work. Isabel Munoz-Newsome sings like she’s got the world in the palm of her hand, leading the group through ‘80s pop, sweltering guitar lines and beaming horn sections. It’s a grand, arching work, something that should be way beyond a band who’ve been together for less than a year. Listen: ‘Priestess’ is out via Chess Club / Mom + Pop. Similar to: Bat For Lashes overseeing the apocalypse.

neu

Recommended G r ace Acl adna

Finding a new truth in the ever-changing UK capital. There should be a limit on songs written about the Big Smoke, but Grace Acladna breaks the rule with ‘London’. And somehow, she discovers new territory. An understated track neatly rooted in the capital, it breaks through smoggy city streets by harking back to a wild heritage - Acladna is from a family of Bajan gospel singers and Egyptian choir mistresses. Listen: Debut EP ‘Songs of the Subconscious’ is out now via Hometown. Similar to: Tripping out on a night bus. 37


eye With th ei r d eb u t a lb u m , Ch v rch es cau s ed a frenz y. Now, less than a year since they finished touring, they’re unleashing ‘Every Open Eye’ - and it sees t h e m b e c o m e t r u ly f e a r l e s s . W o r d s : S a r a h Ja m i e s o n . Photos: Mike Massaro.

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storm 39


“S

ee, the excitement graph for me personally,” starts Chvrches’ Martin Doherty, tracing his finger across the table in front of him in an attempt to illustrate the band’s most recent studio experience, “starts up here at absolute maximum. Then it goes,” his invisible graph dips slightly and evens out. “Then you do some nice production,” the line creeps up again. “Then you get the mix back and it goes all the way back to the top.” He stops to conclude. “Right at the beginning it feels amazing, but you lose that kind of excitement after a while, until you hear it completely finalised and think, ‘Yes! It’s as good as I thought it was!’” Even back when they were part of a big crowd of blog favourites, Chvrches demanded attention. Then it happened: a Top Ten album, sold out tours across the UK and North America, high profile festival slots across the globe. Once ‘The Bones Of What You Believe’ came out of the blocks, that

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the excitement graph Maximum excitment

Some excitment

A bit of excitment T = making a record

excitement graph never dipped. Not even a little bit. Stateside acclaim was instant. Whatever the hurdle, that trademark dark electro-pop and a firm understanding of exactly who they should be carried them straight over. Within two years, they were superstars-in-the-making.


After so long racking up the air miles in support of their debut, the band were eager to return to their own Alucard Studios in Glasgow. Their natural environment, it was during the latter half of their gigantic world tour that the itch began to creep in; making notes of melodies, working on loops and segments, keeping their creative brains switched on. Six weeks after coming off the road late last year – having given themselves “a little bit of distance from it all” - the band found themselves heading back into the same converted three-bedroom flat where their debut had come to life. It was a necessity to the band but this time, they had a plan of action. “It was a sweet spot,” Martin says, explaining tactics. Instead of jumping straight into the deep end, they would work on one song a day over the space of two weeks, providing themselves some semblance of structure. “It was about managing the time, first and foremost. From previous projects and the way we did things on the first album, we knew that that method worked. We called them all ‘Day

One’’s and then ‘Day Two’’s.” After a fortnight, they’d then have the starting points of ten songs. “The second half of the month would be ‘Day Two’ on the first batch, followed by the second batch. Over four weeks, you’ve got ten songs that are in really good shape. Some of them you like, some you don’t but none of them are you committed to. It allows for perspective over anything else.” “And it stops you going too far down the rabbit hole on one idea,” Lauren Mayberry throws in. “You can spend two weeks on one idea and not really get anywhere, and then you’ve lost two weeks.” “We’d do that on the first album,” Iain Cook explains. “We’d hammer it out until we’d got to a natural conclusion and you just get really burned out. If things aren’t going as well as they could, you just feel so disheartened and you just need a few days off to get your head back together again. Doing it this way meant that we could completely bypass that exhaustion and try something fresh that gets you excited again. You carry that energy forward.”

“We were making music without fe ar.” Martin D ohert y

41


It’s a remarkably considered approach to a process that – for so many other bands – can become notoriously fraught.  “It’s a weird one,” Martin admits, “even just saying it there, it all sounds a little bit soulless, but it never felt like that in the studio. It always felt like we were following our noses and using our excitement levels to gage where we would go with a piece of music, or a song. I think 90% of that was coming from the fact that we hadn’t seen the inside of that studio for so long, we hadn’t flexed those muscles. That’s something we’ve talked about before; the idea of being a promo machine for two years and then suddenly, someone saying, ‘go’.

version of us. I think that, when you think about it both sonically and lyrically, it’s assertive. It just feels a lot more assertive than the first record, a lot more sure of itself.” That’s something that feeds into Lauren’s vocal performance, too. Not only do her lyrics feel to be more direct and focused, but her delivery packs an even heftier punch. “Something that we’re always thinking about when we’re writing,” she says, “is the marriage of lighter and darker things. There are some themes on the first record that are still here on the new record, but I suppose as we’re now three years down the line, we can just look at things differently. I like that when I listen to the album - I can hear that the lyrics sound like they’re out for blood; then you can hear that in the instrumentation, you can hear it in the arrangement, you can hear it in the production.” It all sits together. “I really like that sonically and thematically, it all feels like one body of work.”

“It was like pouring it all out of a jar, all the stuff that had been caught up,” he continues. “All of the thoughts, all the ideas, all the observations about your life on the road, all of your progressions as a listener, first and foremost. That was such a huge part of what making the record was about. Who you are as a listener and an appreciator. The way “To me, I can 100% say that we were that your taste is formed really governs where you go in the studio, creatively. The way your tastes change is the first real indicator of where you’re going to go with your own music. That’s why it was important to take some time off the road: so that when we finally got back in there it was like someone just took the reins off and we ran.” L au ren May b erry

nature. Triumph is a word that keeps coming up at the moment and that’s cool because it just feels like we were ready to make this record. The first time around, we didn’t even know it was a record until it was done for the most part. We were ready for this, and we crushed it,” he laughs. “Time will tell whether people like it but from a personal perspective, I know for sure that we couldn’t have made a better album. We could’ve taken two years off and it probably would’ve been worse because we wouldn’t have that fight, that drive, that frustration of not being able to do this for so long and suddenly being unleashed on a studio.” “Unleashed! Wild dogs!” ribs Iain, before Martin continues. “We put to bed any anxieties that we had about whether or not we could still do it. We went in on day one and ‘Never Ending Circles’ happened. We were like, ‘Okay, we’re still here, this is cool’. That was when the train started moving. I feel so happy with this record and I know we couldn’t have done any better.”

“It feels a lot more as sertive than the first record, a lot more sure of itself.”

I

n contrast to the rigid, organised way it came together, ‘Every Open Eye’ is bursting at the seams with energy. Excitement ricochets from those first opening synths of ‘Never Ending Circles’ and the songs take liftoff without warning. Each track feels more definitive than the last. They’ve taken the core of the debut the bones, to be exact - and hit a whole new level. “That’s what we kind of hoped,” says Lauren, “that having lived in the band for two years, we would have a better idea of how to get a more distilled

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making music without fear on this record, on any level,” confirms Martin. It shines through ‘Every Open Eye’’s eleven tracks; from the affirming ‘Leave A Trace’ to the explosive ‘Clearest Blue’, the euphoric chorus of ‘Empty Threat’ to the reflective build of ‘Afterglow’ there’s no holding back. “We weren’t worried about being cool - not to say that we were before - but we weren’t worried about any external factors. We were completely fearless in the studio and that’s the confidence, the assertiveness, the triumphant

“I think it’s exciting,” Lauren adds in. “We’re really proud of [the album] but when you start to put it out there, there is an element of, ‘What if I’m really out of touch and I really like this but it’s not gonna connect with anybody?’ but I think the response to the songs we’ve had so far has been great. “We played a few festivals last month and just playing the songs, people didn’t know them at that point. Seeing people respond to just the music was pretty cool. It was like, ‘Phew! That went


“Just wait ’til I tell Martin and Iain about #piggate.”

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Chvrches take this whole ‘outside the box’ thing very literally.

“We weren’t worried about being cool.” Martin Dohert y

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how we hoped it would go!’”

G “ C a n yo u imag ine if we were the band who burned down the Barrowl ands?”

Seen Chvrches live? You know the score. They like to impress. So, er, what’s up their sleeves for the next part of their touring adventures?

Lauren: We’re definitely working on stuff with our lighting designer - a guy called Louis Oliver - who did the first album too, and we’re working on something that fits with the album’s aesthetics. It’s something we take quite seriously, making sure the visuals match up with the music and making sure that feels consistent. Martin: I dunno if we’ve got lasers this time… There are going to be less lasers but lots of other… secrets. L: Secret things! And you know, lasers are stressful. Iain: They were burning my neck! L: Yeah, our laser guy - because you have a laser guy - was like, ‘Okay, make sure you don’t look directly at it and move slightly to that side’ and I asked why. It’s because they can burn shit. I was like, ‘I don’t want these to be on!’ M: Yeah, ‘Whatever you do, don’t look directly into the lasers’ and I’m looking around the stage... L: They’re everywhere! M: There’s like fifty lasers pointing in a matrix across the stage! Wherever I look, I’m looking directly into these fucking lasers! I: I remember we were soundchecking once, and I noticed there was smoke coming off the stage. The laser was pointing at the floor and it was melting the actual line along the stage. M: It was at the Barrowlands! Can you imagine if we were the band that burned down the Barrowlands?! I couldn’t live with myself! So, no more lasers for the moment, at least until we get some health and safety guys…

ranted, not everything has gone exactly to plan. While the reaction from the majority of the public has been nothing short of incredible, the band have also been party to the more unsavoury sides of the online world. Just a handful of days previously, the band’s video for ‘Leave A Trace’ was unveiled and greeted with a barrage of gross, abusive comments on Mayberry’s appearance. But going down without a fight just isn’t an option for this band, and the injustices of misogyny are another target for the trio to topple. With an album this confident, there’s a renewed sense of strength within their bones. Now that the first wheels on their new record are firmly in motion, Chvrches are about to head out and do it all over again. With the calm, considered haven in which ‘Every Open Eye’ was born now behind them, the album’s about to be thrust into the world just for the whirlwind to begin all over again. “I’m really eager to let other people hear the record as soon as possible,” Martin assures, before nodding to Iain, “but not too soon! I think that there’s more progression on there than I think is apparent from the three songs out now. Those first ones were almost like the bridge between the first two records, but there’s definitely a bit more variety and bit more forward progression.” Triumphant, assertive, their most confident work yet; there are all manner of words to describe the band’s second record, but after it’s out in the open, it’ll become a different beast entirely. More than anything, it’s set to see them become one of the most important UK bands of the moment. Arenas are closer than you’d expect. They might have already booked a few spots.   “The thing that is always the biggest compliment to us,” ponders Iain, on the subject of what they hope that listeners will take away from the record, “and our end goal with

making this kind of music is that it means something so people. So, if they can listen to the music and the lyrics and the songs as a whole and feel a resonance or an identification with them, or if it makes them stronger or inspires them to write, that’s ultimately what I would want them to take. “I think that’s the point of what we’ve been doing since before this band,” adds Martin, “It’s what most  musicians are trying to do: to communicate, to mean something more than a band on the radio, a band on a blog. As great as that stuff is, they’re here to communicate further than that and mean something to someone. That’s what I want to do with this record: to mean as much to somebody else as my favourite artists’ music means to me. “We wanted to make something that we feel proud of and we feel good about,” Lauren confirms, “but this band wouldn’t really get to do what it does every day if people don’t bring that into their own lives. Hopefully, they’ll take this record into their lives and come to shows and we can all live in this great, wee, vacuum.” “I was listening to a podcast and someone was quoting Bruce Springsteen,” she continues, “and he’d done an interview once,” she pauses and turns to her bandmates. “I think I told you about this before because I was ‘Oh my god, it’s so emosh!’ - where he was asked, ‘What do you want people to take away from a Bruce Springsteen show?’ He was like, ‘I want people to look at me and see themselves in me, and I never want to play a show where I don’t look at the audience and see myself in them.’ I just like the idea of communicating something in a certain way and I always think that’s what I want our band to feel like, like it’s coming from an authentic place and it’s communicating a genuine emotion. So, go Bruce! He hit the nail on the head.” Chvrches’ new album ‘Every Open Eye’ is out now via Virgin EMI / Goodbye Records. DIY

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“I d o n’ t kn ow which of the seven Gods is l o o k i n g d ow n o n u s …” Ta r e k M u s a

Tarek shows the band their new grubby recording space. 46 diymag.com


First Day Of

Sax addict

SPRING KING’S SECRET WEAPON - SAXOPHONE DAD Steve Darlington - fondly referred to as “Steve-o!” by Spring King fans - is the band’s babe magnet. Every other show, he’ll join the four-piece for a spellbinding sax solo, and the room will be swooning. He needed an interview of his own, to be honest. Are you going to be on all the dates from now on, Steve? I’ll spice it up occasionally. Special occasions only.

A f t e r y e a r s s lo g g i n g away, Spring King a r e s u d d e n ly t h e n a m e o n e v e ryo n e’s li p s . B u t i t wa s n’ t j u s t a Z a n e Lowe s e a l o f a p p rova l t h at c h a n g e d t h e i r li v e s ( t h at d i d h e lp, m i n d yo u ) . Wo r d s : Ja m i e M i lto n .

he’d forgotten it was his birthday, or something really strange had happened.

O

n 1st July this year, Spring King’s Tarek Musa was recording music in his bathroom. As usual. He was treating the day like any other, either putting down songs for his go-to project or mixing other bands’ music. Then his phone buzzed. Email alerts started flashing up. And it kept happening. Either

As it turned out, his life had taken a very sudden, ridiculous turn. A few minutes before Musa’s phone went apeshit, a familiar voice was on air. “We’ve spent the last three months trying to build this radio station and now we can build no more,” said enthusiasm-volcano Zane Lowe, introducing the first song on Apple’s newly-launched Beats 1 station. “There’s been one song we’ve been coming back to. I’ve referred to it lyrically.” And then out stepped ‘City’. Being fair, this was already Spring King’s breakthrough moment, only on a much smaller scale. Make no bones about it they weren’t the talk of the town. Almost two months later, drummerslash-vocalist Tarek and his bandmates - guitarists Pete Darlington and Andrew Morton, plus bassist James Green were on another planet. Lapped up by hundreds of pit-hungry new fans at

What was your first one? I think it was Hoxton actually - Hoxton Bar & Grill. Do you get people coming up to you afterwards? Surprisingly, yes! I’m genuinely surprised that people actually like it.

Reading Festival, they’d played their set of their lives. “The reason I’m sitting like this is because I might spew,” says Tarek a few minutes after the show. He’s a known vommer. Midway through a set you’ll often see him tucking his chin underneath a tee - just in case. One radio play can do a lot, but nothing on this scale. When Beats 1 launched, everyone was listening. Not just musos and diehard fans. Tech geeks were tuned in. Reporters worldwide at least had it on in the background. When Spring King’s ‘City’ launched Apple Music’s flagship station, it also launched these DIY diehards. “USA Today... Wired... Entertainment Weekly did an article on us,” says Darlington, listing off the new fans. “But in terms of day to day life, it’s exactly the same,” he claims. Tarek doesn’t completely agree. “Things have definitely changed, though. I’ve been at the post office every day, posting out t-shirts. There’s been more and more people at the shows. I never

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The good old days, recording in a bathroom.

“Pete wa n t e d me to ta k e a picture of the b at h r o o m , frame it and get it in the new s t u d i o. ” Ta r e k M u s a

expected that. It’s just an accumulation of the whole year. Somehow, I don’t know which of the seven Gods is looking down on us…” Shortly after the breakthrough moment, Spring King played a free gig for DIY Presents at London’s Old Blue Last. On previous occasions, there was a fever pitch around their no-inhibition garage punk, but nothing of this scale. A&Rs who’d previously dismissed the band’s prospects were there to get a glimpse. In true Zoolander-style, someone was actually overheard saying: “They’re the hottest unsigned band right now.” It was surreal. If the change in situation’s impacted on anyone, it’s Tarek. Before the OBL gig and at Reading, he still looks taken aback, like he’s pinching himself. “It doesn’t necessarily change anything,” claims James. He could be right. For the last three years Spring King have done things their way, bit-by-bit cementing a rep as underground heroes. If anything, they’ve had equally big moments in 2015 by supporting Courtney Barnett, with Spector and Slaves tours also around the corner. Darlington cites the Barnett dates as their big break. “On a personal level - for me that was the highlight of the year. I think we grew so much, playing those bigger stages.”

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KINGS OF THE UNDERGROUND

Zane’s not the only Spring King fanboy. Fred MacPherson recently told DIY he thinks they’re “underground kings,” with Danny Blandy adding: “At Paul McCartney’s university, Tarek was the best in show.” “Kings of nowhere, more like!” jokes Tarek after hearing the Spector praise. “Kings of overdrafts. Kings of credit cards,” adds James.

“Today’s been the highlight for me,” interjects Tarek. “I’m still recovering right now, as you can tell.” What’s next, in the surreal stakes? “I would love Adele to do a cover of ‘Demons’. That would be amazing,” laughs Tarek. “I’ve got Paul Epworth on speed-dial so we’ll see how it’s going,” agrees James. “Paul, we need you in the studio. ‘Which one?’ The bathroom!” The bathroom is still in use, but not for much longer. That’s not because Spring King have gone A-league all of a sudden. Tarek’s moving house, so he’ll have to find somewhere else to cram in band members. “We’re gonna record new songs in a proper studio this month, so I’ll be like a kid in a toy shop. Pete wanted me to take a picture of the bathroom, frame it and get it in the new studio,” he beams. Once Musa settles down and stops needing to spew, the band collectively agree that yes, life’s changed. “It’s like we were dislodged. Unlocked into this new world,” claims Morton. Darlington agrees: “We are a DIY band but we wouldn’t really have it any other way,

to be honest. In some ways it’s been a slow build, but we’ve done it the way we wanted to do it. We’ve definitely been contacted by more and more labels, but… We’ve been doing this for a long time. “When we were supporting Courtney Barnett, we played this show at the Brudenell,” he remembers. “We were all so hyped for it. We thought it’d be the wildest show of the tour. And we played. And the crowd was so unresponsive. They were so stonefaced. But that night we sold more merch than we’d ever sold before.” “It’s like The Great Escape,” adds Tarek, referring to the Brighton buzz festival. “For us on stage it was really hard - the sound was really difficult. I wouldn’t even call it a sound on stage. But when we got off, people were like: ‘That’s the best we’ve ever seen’. It’s a headfuck, isn’t it?” The whole thing is a headfuck, at this stage. For years Spring King have been chipping away, getting closer to their breakthrough. And all of a sudden half a dozen watershed moments have hit at once. It’ll take a lot to top Zane’s seal of approval, but few bands deserve a leg up like these guys. DIY


“I t’ s a headfuck, i s n’ t i t ? ” Ta r e k M u s a

INZANE IN THE MEMBRANE

Z

ane Lowe made Spring King’s ‘City’ the first song he ever played on his Beats 1 station. Here, he explains why he opted for an unsigned band on the other side of the world. “It was this record that I genuinely referred to constantly. It came with me from the UK over to America, and I couldn’t stop listening to it. I listened to the lyrics in a different light. And whenever we’d do these demo runs, we’d go down to an office room with a microphone, and I’d record links. Just to give an idea of what

kind of broadcast we’d be bringing. And I’d always use Spring King. It was in my head as Beats 1. That’s what it sounded like to me. That’s the fucking song. “I didn’t really know what this [station] would become. You’re just trying to build it. But the closest thing I could get to what I wanted, at that time, was me yelling over Spring King. That’s it! It’s the energy of that song. It sounds brilliantly-produced, scrappy - it sounds like a play fight. “I hope it was a breakthrough moment for them. That’s the only message we had at the start - we’re here to be of service. You know what your personality and driving principle is - and that was ours.”

Actual texts. To DIY. From Tarek.

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e “ I ’ m i n

t h e

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M o s s h a r t

“No! I don’t want to exclusively stream via TIDAL! You can’t make me!”

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p e r s o n A l i s o n


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The Dead Weather are a supergroup like no other. “It’s difficult to explain why this works so well,” says Alison Mosshart. Words: Emma Swann.

I

t’s been five years since the release of The Dead Weather’s second album, ‘Sea of Cowards’. In the meantime Jack White has started a solo career – releasing both 2012 debut ‘Blunderbuss’ and last year’s ‘Lazaretto’ - Dean Fertita has become a fullyfledged member of Queens of the Stone Age as opposed to just live, Jack Lawrence has joined up with Dallas Green for both live and recorded City and Colour duties, and Alison Mosshart’s The Kills released 2011 album, ‘Blood Pressures’. And that’s before even touching on tours. So if The Dead Weather were a supergroup back in 2009 when they formed – what are they now? Busy, is the answer. So busy their initial plans for LP three – to record songs as they went along, releasing a series of 7”s to eventually become the full-length album – had to be partially shelved. So ‘Dodge and Burn’ features four songs from those initial plans in 2013 – ‘Open Up’, ‘Rough Detective’, ‘Buzzkill(er)’ and ‘Too Bad’ – plus eight from, well, any point since, really. “It’s kind of a magic trick,” is Alison’s somewhat understated summing up of just how they manage fitting in recording sessions in among the hectic schedules of at least four not inconsiderably-sized acts. “When we all

knew we were gonna be in town for two or three days we’d just decide that we were gonna go in to the studio together. It happened over the course of two years, but yeah, it’s not easy to find the time.” Of course The Dead Weather are in one hell of a sweet spot – they’re incredibly speedy. “The first songs we ever did,” she recalls, “we wrote and recorded four in one day”. They have the luxury of, thanks to the not-so-small matter of their label boss sitting behind the drum kit and producer’s desk, being able to work at their own pace – however fast that may be. “The pressure is different,” she says. “There’s not a record deadline. We’re not acting like a traditional put out a record, tour it, do all this press, do all these things... we’re doing it in the only way we can, like this, when we can do it we’ll do it, and when we can’t do it, it’s no big deal. “It’s definitely an interesting situation, and one which makes it so much fun and such a pleasure to do. We really can make this music because we love making music, we really can put this record out because we really want people to hear it, and with all good intentions behind it. Not to say there’s not good intentions behind other things, but I think it’s different when you have a ‘main job’ that you’ve always got to do, and this is... it’s differ-

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ent. But the record holds up. It might be a side-project in the fact that everybody is in pretty successful bands, but it doesn’t feel like a side-project when we’re doing it. It feels like a band.”

walked in to the studio while I was playing it on an acoustic guitar and he really liked it so sat down at the piano and started playing along with me, and then LJ [‘Little’ Jack Lawrence] walked in and he started playing it with me and then Jack walked in and he started playing it, and suddenly we’d recorded it and it was a Dead Weather song.

A band who – in Alison’s own words “wouldn’t work if you replaced one of the four of us with anybody else.” “There’s something difficult to explain about whatever energy it is that makes this work so well,” she says. “All of us have worked with tons of people before, but you don’t always get that sort of wild, unhinged creativity and the freedom to just express and and express and play and there’s just no fear. When you find a special combination of people, you just roll with it. It’s nothing you can go out and find, it just has to fall in your lap.”

“That’s how it works, really, all four of us will be in the same room, somebody will have a riff, or something, and everybody just starts playing off whatever someone’s playing. I’ve got a notebook and a microphone and a pen and I’m just scrambling to keep up with those guys! To write lyrics at the same time, it’s really really challenging and really exciting.” An adrenaline rush? “It’s a total adrenaline rush, yeah. It’s really addictive, it would be great if we could do it all the time, we’d have about a billion records given the chance, we work so fast. But it’s really fun, it’s a totally bonkers way of working. Sometimes it’s more about the process, you know, than the outcome. It’s a really wild form of art, which I love.”

A small insight in to The Dead Weather’s (speedy) writing process comes courtesy of the sprawling, theatrical, album closer and Alison solo write, ‘Impossible Winner’. “I’d had that song, I’d say four or five months or something,” she explains, “it wasn’t a song that I thought was a Kills track, or a Dead Weather track or anything, it was just one of those little songs in my head, and Dean caught me playing it one day. He

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w i t h

“I’m not great at coming off tour,” she admits. “I only need one 12-hour sleep and I’m alright again, ready to go. There’s a speed at which you live when you’re on tour, and it’s really really hard, mentally, to go from that to basically a standstill. So it feels great to go in to the studio, you’re still going, you’re right in the middle of that music brain you’ve got going on, and the worst thing to do is turn that off. You’re in the thick of it, so it [working] doesn’t feel like a drag. It’s certainly not the worst thing to come home and do.” Laughing, she adds: “I’m the luckiest person in the world that this is my JOB, I fucking lucked out because I really love it and I don’t want to do anything else!” The Dead Weather’s new album ‘Dodge and Burn’ is out now via Third Man Records. DIY

As if the whole touring and recording thing wasn’t enough, this summer saw

f i n d

c o m b i n at i o n

a New York gallery host Alison’s first art exhibition, ‘Fire Power’. “I do that really fast as well,” she says, laughing. “That’s always been my crash-and-burn freedom where I don’t have to over-think anything, and I’ve been lucky enough in the past couple of years that people want to see that work.”

o f

i t.”

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a

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p e o p l e , A l i s o n

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M o s s h a r t


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“We j ust kne w we had to throw away all the blueprints.� - Theo Hu tchcr af t Hurts are treading a new path for album number three. Words: El Hunt. Photos: Mike Massaro.

Surrender to

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the Unexpected

H

urts don’t do anything by the book. Following a totally roundabout trajectory, Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson were gigantic ruckus-causing sensations in Germany long before anyone in the UK had really heard of them. The duo attract a solitary knowing look while buying a coffee in East London today, yet in Poland they’re endlessly pursued by adoring mobs wherever they go. It’s no exaggeration to call Hurts a proper international band, and as frontman Theo sees it, that’s the key ingredient that allows them to take risks, time and time again. “It means you can’t second guess your music,” Theo ponders. “We’re very lucky to have that strange existence. It’s why when we make albums we can’t think about the person listening to it too much,” he laughs, “because we don’t know who they are.” Operating without expectations, and forging forward into their third album, Hurts poured gasoline all over their previous rulebook and watched it smoulder away to nothing. True to name, ‘Surrender’ is about panning limitations. “That feeling of letting go,” says Theo, “not resisting. Often, when people ask us about it - maybe it has a different meaning in other languages - they say it’s a very negative title. But, that’s what it means to us. Whenever we feel too comfortable, we do something that makes us feel uncomfortable, and completely

alien.” With a reputation for slick grey suits and darkened, soaring, pop music, the duo’s second album was an especially emotionally taxing affair, made from the confines of a Manchester apartment in the middle of a chilly winter. Theo and bandmate Adam put themselves in self-imposed isolation to create ‘Exile,’ and typically, the follow up is the total antithesis. “We’d exorcised a lot of the demons on ‘Exile’,” Theo says. “We set out to write a certain type of album. We wanted it to be intense, and dark, and very introspective. After we finished ‘Exile’, it was quite tiring working like that, so we thought, what would happen if we tried to move around, and live in a different environment. The key is, we’ve got to keep moving forwards,” he insists, “and the music has to be emotionally honest.” Hurts’ search for something new took them away from their rainy flat, to the Hollywood Hills, Ibiza, and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. “‘Surrender’ is a lot more extroverted, and outward looking,” as a result, they reckon. As well as sticking with their long-time producer Jonas Quant - who is “almost part of the band” - the pair also took yet another step further out of their comfort zone, getting in touch with pop heavyweight Stuart Price, best known for working with 55


Madonna, The Killers, and Kylie. They also reached out to deskmanning man of the moment Ariel Rechtshaid; who produces everyone from Haim and Charli XCX, to Sky Ferreira and Tobias Jesso Jr. “It shakes it up,” Theo says. “We’re used to doing it ourselves, and then Jonas being involved, this pattern we’ve made for ourselves. Because we’d tested out new territory, we looked to people like Stuart, and Ariel, to give us the perspective on it. We did ‘Lights’ with Ariel - because we’d written this very different song, his musical brain could help us piece it together. Stuart’s got an amazingly infectious, positive personality - he’s just a joy to be around. It was a dream team, for us. It’s quite nice to treat every album separately, and not repeat yourself,” he continues. “Prince and Bowie have never done the same thing twice. They’ve always taken risks to move forward. We didn’t start with a plan, but we just knew we had to throw away all the blueprints.”

matador - “my friends,” he comments, “had no idea I could dance like that”. Clip-clopping and twirling his way around a dated club, while Laura Palmer from Twin Peaks staggers around in her plastic wrapping, it’s Hurts doing what they do best. Despite their slightly misleading reputation for serious ballads, and serious melodrama, taking themselves seriously is actually the last thing Hurts want to do. “Being in a band is funny,”

When Hurts first signed their record contract they made a few very specific demands. Six years on, we’re wondering if they got everything they asked for. So, you demanded a drink with Simon Cowell before you signed. Theo: It was a gin and tonic to be shared in equal measures between all three of us. That didn’t happen.

Adam - by far the quieter of the two - doesn’t so much see ‘Surrender’ as such a grand departure, rather a return to Hurts’ roots. “There’s probably about three songs up the more uplifting end; ‘Lights’, ‘Why,’ and ‘Kaleidoscope,’ he says. ”It’s a bit of an obscure perspective that people have,” he says. “The rest is more traditional for us. It sounds like the first album, I think.” Whichever way you look at it, though, ‘Lights’ still stands out as one of the boldest songs Hurts have ever written. As a single, it’s a strong statement of intent; as a complete package with its neon-hued video, it’s the jackpot return of well-paying risks. Frontman Theo suddenly, unexpectedly turns dancefloor

“If yo u say yes

en o u g h

t i m es , e v ery s o o f ten ,

weird

things will happen.” T h eo H u tc h c r a f t

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He is a busy man... T: I might just turn up at Sony and say I want it, or ‘Surrender’s not coming out. What else did you ask for? T: We got a comb, and an umbrella. Adam: I got a Manchester United season ticket. T: Tickets to the Michael Jackson premiere, too, and flights to LA. I put a suit on there which I still haven’t collected. What on earth possessed you to request all these things? T: We were sat in the canteen before we were about to sign, and we went ‘this is our only chance to do this. So, lets just write a fucking list.’ The lawyer had to change the official record contract. I saw him recently and he said ‘that was a busy day.’

says Theo. “It took us a while to get there, so we don’t take it too seriously. We were on the dole for two or three years when we first started out, constantly sat there, going one day, hopefully, hopefully. Getting there is like getting out the traps!” “If you say yes enough times, every so often, weird things will happen,” he goes on. “When you go to Ukraine, and people are trying to get into your hotel, it’s like being in a movie. We’ve been taken out by strange gangster type people before in Poland, and half abducted because they wouldn’t let us go home. They owned this club, and they cleared everyone out. It was a bit like the club in the video for ‘Lights,’” he observes. “No matador, though. Just a load of burly dudes.” As far as weird occurrences go, Hurts have seen it all. In the past fans have given the band some incredibly bizarre gifts; notably a voodoo doll, and a portrait of a butt-naked Adam with only a watermelon to conceal his modesty. “It just means people like it, the more intense it is,” shrugs Theo, unperturbed by dodgy Al Capone types, and unusual gift choices alike. “When you make quite emotional music, you put your emotion on the line. You know when you hear a song and you think ‘I feel like somebody understands me?’” he asks. “We all do that. People don’t realise it happens the other way round. When someone comes to us, and says this song really means something to me, we go, ah, finally someone knows what we’re talking about. It’s a weird therapy between people.” Hurts’ new album ‘Surrender’ will be released on 9th October via Columbia. DIY


When Hurts first signed their record contract they made a few very specific demands. Six years on, we’re wondering if they got everything they asked for. So, you demanded a drink with Simon Cowell before you signed. Theo: It was a gin and tonic to be shared in equal measures between all three of us. That didn’t happen. He is a busy man.. T: I might just turn up at Sony and say I want it, or ‘Surrender’s not coming out. What else did you ask for? T: We got a comb, and an umbrella. Adam: I got a Manchester United season ticket T: Tickets to the Michael Jackson premiere, too, and flights to LA. I put a suit on there which I still haven’t collected. What on earth possessed you to request all these things? T: We were sat in the canteen before we were about to sign, and we went ‘this is our only chance to do this. So, lets just write a fucking list.’ The lawyer had to change the official record contract. I saw him recently and he said ‘that was a busy day.’

Even Kurt was getting exasperated by the popularity of the ‘Lorde or Kurt Vile’ meme. 57


T H G I A STR UP For six years, underground

heroes Demob Happy have been

following their own rulebook. As

debut album ‘Dream Soda’ reveals, it turns out they’ve been breaking

hearts along the way. Words: Jamie Milton. Photos: Emma Swann.

S R E SINN

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orgive Demob Happy, for they have sinned. The writing’s on the wall with debut album ‘Dream Soda’, a relentless ride through psychotic, devilish rock that does everything to leave a bitter aftertaste. But the signs have been there from the start. Never trust a band who rehearse by lurking in their own Brighton cafe and record in a remote Welsh cottage. They’re hiding something. Dark secrets line the walls of their first fulllength, which also happens to be one of the most instant, smack-in-the-face debuts of the year. Its impact can’t be understated - it checks in to Arctic Monkeys via Josh Homme-style

sleaze, unleashing hell when it’s least expected. As the four-piece take stock of a record they’ve been working towards for six years, they’re not shy in admitting that dark and terrible things happened in the process. It starts innocent. A tiny space in Carmarthenshire housed their recording sessions. Transforming the cottage, drummer Thomas Armstrong describes the Demob tradition of “buying a load of booze and changing the lightbulbs to red.” That was winter 2014. What followed was a solid six month session, interrupted with the odd European tour to up the insanity levels another notch. By the time they left, blistering sunshine was beaming through the windows and it was time to launch

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into festival season. “It blows my mind when I think about it,” claims frontman Matthew Marcantonio. “That six months just flew by.”

“We’ll make it up to Sally somehow. We could be the first new guests in a new guestbook,” pipes up Tom. “Thou shalt not accidentally take guest books.”

The poor cottage owner - Sally is her name - didn’t know what she was letting herself in for.

“That’s about as legitimate a sin as the other ones, to be fair,” says the frontman, aware that his band have done a terrible thing.

“We accidentally took their guest book…,” admits Tom, his face pale with regret. “We had it in the van safe, but it was like ‘What’s that noise?’ We realised it was hanging out of the door by a string, smashing along the road. We tried to treat it well after realising we took it, but it was dragged along.” Nothing remains of that guest book - the only piece of the cottage not to be transformed into a dimly lit pit by Demob. “The amount of guilt I feel in my heart because of that,” starts Matt. “And I didn’t even take it! I don’t know who it was. I feel so responsible for that. It’s just gone forever. The inner bit came out. It’s by the side of the road in a London suburb somewhere, or fucking Europe.”

“There’s a lot of guilt underlying the whole album. It’s cast a heavy shadow on the whole process,” jokes Tom. Matt says there was a “lot of sinning… back in the days”. Beginning in Newcastle, Demob Happy got the wheels turning when they moved to Brighton, setting up home in their own Nowhere Man cafe. It’s not all flat whites and gluten-free brownies, over there. You could mistake the place for a nearby tattoo shop. It looks dingy, but also capable of delivering damn good coffee. Like the band’s own mode of transport - the rickety, crisp packet-lined van dubbed the ‘Demobile’ - everything up to ‘Dream Soda’’s album deal has

us

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been proudly self-funded. Going six years playing shows night-after-night, before arriving with a record this tight and polished - it’s a rags to riches story. They had big offers - particularly after the post-Royal Blood rush of rock being a breadwinner - but the DIY ethos saw them through to a full-length. “We were always too intent on doing it ourselves,” claims Matt. “It’s not like others weren’t capable or great, but that was just what we’ve always done. We can write on the album: ‘Produced by Demob Happy and Christoph Skirl’, because what’s what we wanted.” “We said - if anyone comes along and injects money into us and gives us a deal, it’s only gonna put us further up a ladder that we’re climbing by ourselves anyway,” he continues. “We always did the videos ourselves, we paid for the recordings, we funded tours, paid for artwork. We were entirely self-sufficient. And so when the label [SO Recordings] came along - and they were really cool guys that we wanted to work with - all this would do is speed things up. As opposed to a make it or break it situation. It was inevitable really, this

f nt il all o u e n o d “It’s not ead he go -ah give it t

t hat’s


album.”

go along, but it had to be that way,” says Tom.

There remains a sense that Demob have yet to fully break. ‘Dream Soda’ is more than a sinful ride through the extreme. It’s a breathless introduction that ought to put these four on the map Stateside. The ‘Demobile’ might even get an upgrade. They’ve played their fair share of no-show gigs and in their half a dozen years together, things have been bumpy. But Matt says he had “endless optimism.” “It’s the only way you can be. If you start to doubt yourself at any point, then why bother? What we always did was just kept going. I don’t know what to do now, really. Because for the last ten years it’s been my goal. Sign a deal, make an album. That’s been my entire life goal since I was a teen.” Two seasons passed between arriving in the cottage and accidentally stealing the guest book, but ‘Dream Soda’ wound up being exactly the kind of debut they wanted to make. “It exists in you, and you’re digging away at it. You’re working out what it is as you

Matt admits the process was a “fucking ballache”, but he’s clear in saying: “It’s entirely our own album. Nobody else can lay claim to it.” “You don’t know what perfect is until you hear it,” claims Tom. “And you know what’s not perfect until then. Same with the writing process - it’s about not settling for stuff. Snappy, dirty and fat - whatever you want out of it. It’s not done until all of us give it the go-ahead. That’s what makes it a Demob Happy song.” Through sin and struggle, these four have wound up with a record that’s unashamedly theirs. No outside opinions, no reason to shift from an ethos they started out with - they’ve hit gold by doing it their way. Demob Happy’s new album ‘Dream Soda’ is out now via SO Recordings. DIY

ALL THINGS BRIGHTON BEAUTIFUL They might not own their own cafe, but here are some more self-sufficient Brighton-based acts making their mark. Tigercub - First signed to Blood Red Shoes’ Jazz Life label, the trio are a staple of the Brighton scene. “The lead singer (Jamie Hall), we go way back,” says Demob’s Matt. Abattoir Blues - Fronted by the fearless Harry Waugh, these guys bring a live show that out-muscles and out-plays the noisiest around. Manuka Honeys - Part of the buzzy band collective Echocamp, Manuka Honeys channel Mac DeMarco with romanticallyinclined garage rock.

ppy a H b o m w ha t De a t i s e k ma song.” Th o m as

A rm s tr

ong

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H

aving already released two albums and an EP this year via various ventures - as Sweet Valley and Spirit Club, as well as his collaboration with Cloud Nothings - Wavves mastermind Nathan Williams is doing what comes most naturally; releasing another record. Originally a solo bedroom producer project, Wavves is now a fully-fledged band and all the better for it. Taking a break doesn’t even seem to have occurred to him. “Only to do these interviews,” Nathan laughs. “I really don’t do anything else,” the frontman ponders. “If I don’t do something musically, if I don’t record for a day, it’s like an itch that I haven’t scratched. Even if I record something and end up trashing it, I like to go through the process each day. It’s like…” he pauses, before chuckling. “This is disgusting, but it’s like shitting - recording is like shitting. If you haven’t done it you’re like, ‘I need to do this every day.’” Much like bowel movements, writing and recording are necessary parts of Nathan Williams’ life. “I just became partner in a studio in downtown

“ I ’ d r at h e r s tay b u sy t han l e t my m i n d wan d e r i n to a dar k pl ace . ” Nat han Williams

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An Aw e s o m e


Los Angeles with a friend of mine,” he enthuses. “So we’ve got this studio now that we can use to do anything. I don’t even think about it as some sort of job. It’s what I like to do. I’d rather stay busy than let my mind wander and get into a dark place. Recording music is what makes me happy anyway, so it works out well.” The latest product of Wavves’ recording time arrives in the form of ‘V’. As passionate about their music as the band may be, however, it’s not all been plain sailing. Upon announcing the release of the new record, the group found themselves in the midst of major label differences. “I’m not entirely sure what happened. I don’t know what the fuck their deal is,” Nathan laughs. “I don’t think I have a bunch of fans at that label to be quite honest with you. They were just telling me what I could and couldn’t do.  They’re not their songs.” he explains. “It’s a giant corporation, and for us, this record is very important. It’s more than important, it’s dire to us, it’s our life. For them it’s not even just another record; I don’t think it’s anything to them. I should probably not say too much…”

Wav v e s Nathan Williams can’t stop recording. Think of his output like bowel movements. Actually, please don’t do that. Words: Jess Goodman.

Their most collaborative album to date is a storming mix of scuzzy riffs, youthful angst, and driving optimism. “I think it’s a little more realised,” Nathan says of the release. One third of a trilogy, ‘V’ links with Wavves’ first two albums ‘VV’ and ‘VVV’. “It’s not like some story that goes through – it’s not like Star Wars or Lord Of The Rings,” the frontman jokes. “But there is a lot of stuff in there. With this one, with ‘V,’ it’s not just about the v pertaining to the v’s in the other titles of the previous records. If you look up the cover, there’s a lot of stuff in there that explains this record, and what Wavves is about.” The artwork in question is based on the ‘Five Of Cups’ card from a 1910 tarot deck by Rider Waite. A hooded figure stands surrounded by cups - three knocked over, and two standing - and they’re staring at the three fallen ones, signifiers of loss. In the background, there’s a fortress, which in tarot represents security at the cost of seclusion. Meanwhile, they’re totally ignoring

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RIPPLE EFFECT

When Wavves aren’t on the go, the frontman will still be making music. Nathan Williams talks through a few of his side-projects and how they came to be. Cloud Nothings collaboration:

“I’ve known Dylan [Baldi] for six years, maybe longer. He was living in Paris at the time. The weather was shitty, it was snowing… I’ve bought a house in LA, and I have a makeshift sort of studio in here. So I said we should record a record in here. A month later he got on a flight and came out here.” SPIRIT CLUB:

“I let my little brother [Joel Williams] and Andrew [Caddick] live in one of the rooms in the house that I bought. That’s how Spirit Club came together. We were able to demo stuff out ‘cause we were all in the same place at the same time. We’re talking about another record that’ll come out next year.” SWEET VALLEY:

two standing cups, a river, and a bridge leading safely to something new. If only the figure were to turn round and see them. While the album may not have a narrative, it’s filled with the same combination of desperation and aspiration as the artwork, a duality that Wavves are very much conscious of. “It’s what I would tell myself when I was younger,” Nathan explains. “It’s okay to be yourself. It’s okay to be sad sometimes. It’s okay to be depressed sometimes, and that’s

“It’s taught me to handle criticism,” he continues. “That’s something that people

“ I ’ ve had f r i e n d s g i v e u p c o m p l e t e ly b ecau s e s o m eo n e r e vi e we d a r ec o r d p o o r l y . ” Nathan Williams just a normal thing.” Wavves are no strangers to life-affirming statements. “A lot of kids come up to you after shows and tell you that the stuff that you said, the stuff that you sang, helped them through suicidal phases, which has happened multiple times,” Nathan remembers. “We take it all pretty light-hearted, but when stuff like that happens you realise that this is important. It’s as important to these kids, if not more important to them, than it is to us. I don’t want to let anybody down.”

“I guess my downtime is mostly spent playing video games, or sleeping, and when I travel I read a lot. But mostly I’ll have my computer with me, so I’ll be recording every day for Sweet Valley. It’s not something where I’ll be like ‘I need to do this now.’ I guess I just keep going.”

Nathan really didn’t like his birthday cake.

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Five albums in, Wavves show no signs of tiring from the constant high standards they set themselves. It wasn’t always viewed that way. “When I first started doing this there were people who thought I was a one trick pony,” Nathan recalls. “There were multiple journalists, magazines, and websites that said, after something like Primavera [in 2009,] that I was never gonna play another show.”

don’t always really think about, but I’ve had friends that just give up completely because someone reviewed a record poorly, or someone said something about them.” Nathan pauses, choosing his words carefully. “If you want to do something, just do it. You don’t need to overthink these things. If you work hard at, mostly, anything in life, you can probably succeed at getting it. Sounds cheesy, but it’s true.” Wavves’ new album ‘V’ is out now via Ghost Ramp / Caroline International. DIY


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THE MADDEST ALBUM OF 2015 MIGHT ALSO BE ONE OF ITS B E S T.

eeeee

SWIM DEEP Mothers

I

(RCA / Chess Club)

t’s better to do something assertively than anything plagued with self-doubt. An argument with more holes than David Cameron’s spit roast, unless you’re in a band aiming to make anything close to popular music. On their first album, Swim Deep should have had it all. A rabid fan base, more than enough buzz - but somehow they didn’t become the biggest band on the planet. Second time around, there’ll be no what ifs. No regrets. They’re swinging big - for glory or glorious defeat. That’s where the magic starts. On ‘Mothers’, the now-five-piece have left nothing on the table. More than one kitchen sink has been proudly gaffertaped to their musical fun bus; every idea - however half-formed - integrated with complete confidence. Delivered with the swagger of someone who’s just half-inched Joseph’s Technicolor Dreamcoat, it works spectacularly. ‘One Great Song And I Could Change The World’ lives up to its billing -

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augmented with any and every groove available. ‘To My Brother’ sparkles with 80s sheen, matched comfortably in the earworm stakes by ‘Namaste’ - a song doubtlessly originally intercepted en route to an A-list 90s boy band. ‘Grand Affection’’s veins practically run neon, while closer ‘Fueiho Boogie’ explodes time and time again into increasingly more ridiculous krautrock techno extravaganzas. No sane band would consider any one of these a safe banker. Though a single musical thread runs though, at any given point anything feels possible. As each chance is taken, each experiment kicks in, it seems impossible that eventually one won’t fall flat. And yet it never really happens. Instead, they feel brave, fresh, exciting and - in their own way - like dangerous gambles that all pay out. With ‘Mothers’, Swim Deep may not quite change the wider world, but they’ve certainly changed theirs. (Stephen Ackroyd) Listen: ‘Namaste’, ‘Fueiho Boogie’


ph oto: em m a swa n n

...and then the wind changed, and Austin was shocked forever more.

67


ee NEW ORDER

music complete (mute)

Despite arriving almost 40 years since Joy Division first helped pioneer post-punk, ‘Music Complete’ marks something of a watershed for Manchester’s (erstwhile) finest. Their tenth studio album, it’s also New Order’s first without Peter Hook, while keyboardist Gillian Gilbert ends a hiatus that stretches back to 2001’s ‘Get Ready’. Unfortunately, the results are predictable at best. More often than not, however, the New Order apparatus feels tired and outdated. If you still find yourself loitering at the doors to the Haçienda on damp Friday evenings then this might be for you, but if you’re happy to move on then leave this one alone. (David Zammitt) Listen: ‘Tutti Frutti’

eeee JOHN GRANT

eeeee WAVVES V (Ghost Ramp)

Grey Tickles, Black Pressure (Bella Union)

“Love is patient. Love is kind.” So John Grant bookends this multilingual adventure in psychological trauma, knowingly juxtaposing St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians with the depressed friends, hated corporations and alienation that make up the majority of ‘Grey Tickles, Black Pressure’. It’s not all doom and gloom though; the work is buoyed, and then some, by his typically biting humour – a healthy mix of gleeful and sardonic. Grant has a fascinating combination of wisdom, world-weary cynicism and righteous anger; it never grates. (Larry Bartleet) Listen: ‘You and Him’

eee

THE GARDEN Haha (Epitaph)

The Garden’s ‘Haha’ is an incomparable trip into the unknown. Twin brothers, Fletcher and Wyatt Shears, appear to have a knack for making commanding, innovative music that makes perfect sense and then no sense at all, with that pattern spinning cataclysmically in circles. Sadistically teasing all essences of musical genres into a 17 track debut, ‘Haha’ has more than its fair share of insanity, deciphering into something chaotically enjoyable. (Joanie Eaton) Listen: ‘We Be Grindin’

Nathan Williams is a musical machine. Over the past seven years, Wavves – his 2008 project which has since morphed into a fully-fledged punk rock band – have managed to rack up five albums, all while their leader runs riot with various other projects. And somehow, having so many things going on hasn’t been a distraction for the outfit. It’s in the midst of this constant whirlwind of creativity that Wavves have found themselves at their peak. Thrashingly good from the get-go, ‘V’ is a record that not only aims to cause a good old ruckus but to have a laugh while doing it. Contagious and sarcastic, in-your-face and self-aware yet ultimately all about cutting loose, Wavves have offered up an album that proves themselves as leaders of the punk pack. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘My Head Hurts’

wav v e s p r o v e t h e m s e lv e s l e a d e r s o f t h e p u n k pa c k

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Majical Cloudz smile for the camera.

eeee

MAJICAL CLOUDZ Are You Alone? (Matador Records)

Q&A

Majical Cloudz have always been a deeply emotional band. Breakout, 2013’s ‘Impersonator’, was enough of an affecting listen. ‘Are You Alone?’ takes the instrumentation displayed there and makes it even more sparse, amplifying and isolating vocalist Devon Welsh’s words to a point where they’re never removed from being the absolute focal point. The blankness filled with Welsh’s never-ending, tossing and turning storytelling is striking in its clarity, and the delivery of every love letter, apology and wish throughout ‘Are You Alone?’ is stunning. It’s not clear exactly to what extent Welsh’s lyrics are autobiographical, but to a listener it almost becomes unimportant, and empathy gives way to personal reflection, whether it’s meaning something different to each person, or transmitting a universal feeling. By stripping back the band’s sound even further than ‘Impersonator’ showed, Devon Welsh has opened himself up to a point where everything he is and has been is given to ‘Are You Alone?’, resulting in a listen that encourages looking inwards and coming to the kind of realisations Welsh himself has poured into the album, a record it’s impossible not to be swept up by. (Will Richards) Listen: ‘Silver Car Crash’ Devon Welsh talks through his new album (and selfies). Words: Loren DiBlasi. ’Silver Car Crash’ opens with the line: “I never show it but I am always laughing.” How does humour play in part in your music? I’m not sure. To me it definitely does, but I wouldn’t say that humour is something I expect people to find in the music. I love seeing the world through a humorous lens, and that doesn’t really mesh with the music I feel drawn to make. One day it might, who knows. I at least want there to be a lighter feeling to ‘Are You Alone?’. I wanted to make music that feels spiritually nurturing. Your lyrics are extremely personal. Are you intending them to be messages for yourself, or for others? In a way every lyric is personal. I wanted to start out with darker lyrical topics like ‘Brainwash Yyrr Face’. It’s about shame, and shame that can accompany drinking too much and getting too fucked up. About things like depression and relationships between citizens and their states’ violent foreign policies. These are all impressionistic but that’s the kind of thing the first half is about. The second half is more about love songs and art songs, about the relationship between people and art. And finally, have you ever taken a selfie? I’ve probably take a few. They make me uncomfortable, I don’t know why. I’m conservative in that sense; oversensitive to projecting narcissism.

ee HERE WE GO MAGIC

be small (Secretly Canadian)

Since the release of the first self-titled Here We Go Magic record in 2009, Luke Temple has slowly transformed the principles for which his moniker follows. He’s gone from moulding electronic folk-led experimental textures to polished, albeit distracted, synth pop. With ‘Be Small’, Temple continues to test exploratory phases whilst attempting to find balance within a pop ethos. It comes, much like some of his previous output, with mixed results. If kept short and sweet, Temple would have made a charmingly laconic record that blossomed in unconventionality, yet sadly here is muddled in his expansive means. (Ross Jones) Listen: ‘Stella’ 69


S h e’ s c r e at e d a world of her own

eeee DEERHUNTER (4AD)

It’s difficult to start anywhere else but with Bradford Cox’s 2014 car crash when it comes to Deerhunter’s seventh album ‘Fading Frontier’. With every record he fronts, Cox is a magnetic figure. This time, there’s a potentially life-altering story leading the way. Instead of diving into a new self or seeking change in near-death, however, with this record Cox rediscovers what he does best. If anything’s changed since the crash, it’s in how he’s discovered a newfound ambition to pen the simplest, most affecting songs. He’s come a long way since the experimental mid-‘00s, and his bandmates have followed suit. ‘Fading Frontier’ draws a new line in the sand, and it could be the beginning of a more direct and big-thinking Deerhunter. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Breaker’

ee

REAL LIES

Real Life (Marathon Artists)

With their early declarations that all London music was “a disgrace” and they were its saviours, Real Lies’ intentions were always clear. Bolshy and bratty, theirs was a Gallagher-esque snot delivered with a Factory Records bounce – far from original, but drenched in a confidence that they knew would grab attention. Strip back the showboating though, and debut full-length ‘Real Life’ illustrates a harsh truth - Real Lies’ knife-twisting soundbites are little more than a cover-up for a musical direction that’s lacking in any discernable identity. Their debut effort puts forward a group who’ve clearly agonised over every detail of their early 90s aesthetic, and forgotten about the songs in the process. (Tom Connick) Listen: ‘Seven Sisters’

eeee DILLY DALLY sore (Partisan)

Originally masterminded by school friends Katie Monks and Liz Ball, Dilly Dally sprung out of a potent brew of teenaged malaise, a shared love of college rock stalwarts Pixies, and a penchant for angsty poetry scrawled in battered notebooks. A sense of focused attack sets them apart: frontwoman Katie is in lethal possession of the sort of gnarled, scratchy, drawled vocal that would make Fame Academy’s own Carrie Grant wince with consternation. With ‘Sore’ Dilly Dally prove themselves as a hungry, relentless band ready to make a lasting mark. (El Hunt) Listen: ‘Burned By the Cold’ 70 diymag.com

eeee LANA DEL REY Honeymoon (Polydor)

From day one, Lana Del Rey has been dogged with authenticity jibes. It’s taken three albums, but with ‘Honeymoon’, there can be absolutely no questions over the ‘real’ Lana Del Rey. She’s created a world of her own. ‘Honeymoon’ is a romantic obsession drowning in darkness. It’s the equivalent of falling for the alien in Under the Skin, following Scarlett Johansson before being submerged in an inky trap. Spanning over an hour, if the ghost town film soundtrack strings of ‘Honeymoon’ and ‘Terrence Loves You’ don’t leave a trace, the funereal ‘The Blackest Day’ and ‘Swan Song’ do the trick. If ‘Ultraviolence’ felt like it shunned the singles-first pop approach, ‘Honeymoon’ takes that mantra and runs into the distance. This isn’t an album stripped of hooks - far from it - but everything’s approached with a strung-out quality. It’s Lana’s own style, and in a world where the biggest pop acts construct their own universe, hers could be the most distinct. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Terrence Loves You’


eee

CITY AND COLOUR

If I Should Go Before You (Dine Alone

ee

ORDINARY BOYS

The Ordinary Boys (Treat

Yourself Records)

Records)

It’s ambitious to kick off an album with a nine-minute opus, one which feels to build and float against a hazy warm backdrop, but that’s exactly how Dallas Green has chosen to open his latest City and Colour offering ‘If I Should Go Before You’. Ambition is the name of the game here; more atmospheric than Green’s previous offerings, this is a record that puts more weight upon on textures and feel. Tracks like ‘Lover Come Back’ or ‘Mizzy C’ manage to pierce through the denseness, but overall it’s a full-length that blends together that little too easily. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Wasted Love’

eeee PROTOMARTYR

The Agent Intellect (Hardly Art)

Are Protomartyr trying to teach the world something? If one word summed up Protomartyr it’d be “decay”. The Detroit 4-piece seem to have cornered the market in soundtracking everything getting worse. Which is why ‘The Agent Intellect’ works so well; it starts with a slow drip and builds to a raging flood. It’s irresistible and so eloquently convincing that despite their claims of failure, Protomartyr are unstoppable. They’ve won. And they’re going to need a whole new round of applause. (Matthew Davies) Listen: ‘The Hermit’

After nearly 10 years since their last album, The Ordinary Boys are back - and they’re taking things back to basics. With the original ‘Over the Counter Culture’ trio plus Spectrals’ Louis Jones on guitar (he and Preston met stage-diving at a Cribs show and decided to work together, as you do) their fourth, self-titled album ditches the progression of their last two LPs and steps back to the happy-go-lucky punk influences of their inception. But this is an album that feels like it’s been written with a sense of ‘Yeah we know how to do this, shouldn’t be a problem’. The times when The Ordinary Boys actually do know what they’re doing and start to head in the right direction are broken up by tracks that feel like they’ve been chucked together lethargically and arrogantly, following old patterns without any real coherent line of thought. (Henry Boon) Listen: ‘About Tonight’

S l i g h t ly ec c e n t r i c , a n d . t h o r o u g h ly u n i q u e , eeee

JOANNA NEWSOM Divers (Drag City)

Since her debut, Joanna Newsom has been cultivating an outlying aesthetic in leaps and bounds. Not storming off to explore entirely new landscapes with quite the same ferocious tenacity, ‘Divers’ instead folds in on itself like a sentient IKEA sofa-bed with a penchant for deconstruction. It’s a dizzying journey through legacies, frontiers, and erased creations, Newsom questioning where, why and how “our work might count”. Avant-garde, slightly eccentric, and throughly unique - she could’ve easily made another aesthetic switch here. Being honest, that was probably what we all expected. Instead, in a roundabout way, Newsom does the most inventive thing of all - takes a bold, explorative leap into the centre of her own mind. (El Hunt) Listen: ‘Sapokanikan’ 71


eee RAURY

All We Need (Columbia)

Raury acts like a loose cannon. The 19-yearold Atlantan wants to inspire a “revolution”, and he’s building an army of fans who declare him to be a genius, someone capable of inspiring radical change. There’s still a fire within, but his first full-length is a surprisingly subdued effort. If it’s the sound of revolution, it’s less all-gunsblazing, more Jeremy Corbyn politely knocking on the door of No.10. The strength of ‘All We Need’ is in how he filters the madness into a slick, easy-flowing record. It could be more unhinged, it could have been a chaotic, crazed mission statement instead it’s further proof that Raury’s trade is in playing the unexpected hand. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Crystal Express’

eee

NEON INDIAN

VEGA INTL. Night School

(Transgressive)

It’s October 2015, so here’s a question - is chillwave still a going concern? The tag still seems to be following Neon Indian around, which is especially confusing given that this is his first album in four years, or in other words, his first record since the genre actually seemed to take off. Sonically, there’s absolutely all sorts going on here, with pretty much the only consistent characteristic being that electro is order of the day. Elsewhere, though, the record is bogged down both by the weight of its concept - which never seems totally coherent and which, with the handful of instrumental interludes, slows the pace to unfortunate effect. (Joe Goggins) Listen: ‘Annie’

eeee

THE DEAD WEATHER

Dodge and Burn

(Third Man )

The exhaustive nature of The Dead Weather’s constituent members’ calendars is one thing – the hyperactive energy that permeates throughout ‘Dodge and Burn’ quite another. Sure, for the most part it’s ‘as expected’ – the scratches in Alison Mosshart’s vocals again matched dead-on by similarly glitchy guitar lines – but there’s also room for a little weird (‘Three Dollar Hat’), a lotta loud (‘Lose The Right’) and hella evocative (‘Mile Markers’). Plus with ‘Rough Detective’, the best musical laughter since Bowie. (Emma Swann) Listen: ‘Lose The Right’, ‘Impossible Winner’

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eee

DEAFHEAVEN

new bermuda (anti-)

Not many bands straddle both mass critical acclaim and niche black metal and survive, yet somehow, Deafheaven do. With ‘New Bermuda’, the Californians prove to be no less brave and daring. Throughout the five tracks, they possess a gruelling intensity, amplified through the guttural vocals of frontman George Clarke, that feels unmatched. Despite the foreboding darkness within their offerings, there are glimpses of light that shimmer within. It’s these moments that completely change the atmosphere of their work from something impenetrable to something brilliant. It’s a skill they may have only practiced with ‘Sunbather’, but have well and truly honed. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Brought To The Water’

eeee DEMOB HAPPY Dream Soda (SO Recordings)

There’s a storm brewing. Demob Happy have existed for six years, playing knackered pub venues before being given bit-by-bit promotions up the ranks. You’d be hard pressed to find a UK city they haven’t played. And on their debut album ‘Dream Soda’, they don’t just fight for their place in the running order - they leave no other option. Led by Matthew Marcantonio - if they made commanding frontmen in labs, he’d be first out the freezer - their first work never threatens to run out of steam. Demob Happy sound frantically tight-knit, always on the brink of self-implosion. Somehow, the group can be disgusting and foolproof at the same time. ‘Dream Soda’ is a fucked-up mission statement to rival the best. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Strange Things’


Some of their strongest moments t o d at e

MAD SOUNDS

C h e atah s ’ Jam es W i g nal l r e v e al s t h e i n s pi r at i o n s b e h i n d ‘ M y t h o lo g i es ’ .

Broadcast – The Noise Made By People It’s hard to pick just one record, but I’ve gone with this as it features ‘Unchanging Window’ and ‘Come On Let’s Go’, two of my favourite tracks. Trish Keenan’s voice is so pure, full of wisdom, sadness and joy. I feel very lucky that I got to see Broadcast live a few times before her tragic death. William Byrd – Mass for Five Voices I was listening to a lot of choral music during the recording of ‘Mythologies’, especially by the English Renaissance composer William Byrd, to shake off a long day. Some of the counterpoint vocals on the album definitely owe a little debt to him and Thomas Tallis. Jack Kerouac – Blues and Haikus I love this album – it’s equally wryly funny and moving. It’s Kerouac reading a selection of poetry with jazz saxophonists Al Cohn and Zoot Sims improvising along. You can practically smell the Lucky Strikes and whisky creeping through your speakers.

eeee

CHEATAHS

Mythologies (Wichita Recordings)

Writers’ block is clearly not a worry for Cheatahs. While ‘Mythologies’ might mark only their second full-length, between this and last year’s self-titled debut the trio have released two transitional EPs – ‘Sunne’ and Murasaki’ – that perfectly illustrated their penchant for studio time. It’d be easy to assume that their creative wells might be beginning to run dry, but on the contrary, ‘Mythologies’ showcases a band still bubbling with ideas and harbouring a mad-scientist approach to experimentation. Never sitting still or dwelling on their influences for too long, the third incarnation of Cheatahs in 2015 have harnessed the hyperactivity of their release schedule, channelling it into a collection of tracks that houses some of their strongest moments to date. Thank god we won’t have to wait long for the next step. (Tom Connick) Listen: ‘Signs To Lorelai’

eeee ALEX G

Beach Music (Domino)

‘Beach Music’ is a misleading title for Alex G’s seventh album, because it’s the first to not be rooted to one single place. Like the previous cult favourites he has to his name, this album hits gorgeous highs without making a big fuss. ‘Brite Boy’ is a treasure that’s been buried six feet under, while ‘Salt’ strangely mixes Alex’s staples with light, alien-like drum patterns. Alex G has the ability to sound uneasy and perfectly in his own comfort zone at the same time. This record was defined by never being in the same place at once - each song was recorded in a different location - but there’s a glue holding everything together. (Jamie Milton) Listen: ‘Kicker’

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“FFS, Matt, you don’t need another nap!”

photo: emma swann

e v e ry t h i n g m at t berninger does so well eeee EL VY

Return To The Moon (4AD)

Q&A

Lyrically, ‘Return To The Moon’ can at times be as Matt Berninger as Matt Berninger gets, addressing acquaintances by name - this time admitting to a Michael that he’s “been a sad case”. ‘I’m The Man To Be’, though, exudes a rarely seen confidence that borders on hilarity, stating “I’ll be the one in the lobby in the coloured ‘fuck me’ shirt... the green one”. EL VY could have been many things for Berninger - in the end his first non-The National album serves to take him away from gloom to a certain extent, but largely just exhibits him doing everything he does so well. (Will Richards) Listen: ‘Silent Ivy Hotel’ One half of El VY, Brent Knopf (Menomena) discusses how he ended up making a record with Matt Berninger from The National. Words: Danny Wright. How did the collaboration come about? Menomena and The National toured together years ago to half-full rooms and we became friends. Then a couple of years later Ramona Falls played a couple of shows with The National as well. Matt kind of mentioned the idea. He was like ‘Hey, would you ever want to work on some songs together?’ and I never took him seriously, because by that time The National were becoming more than a full time job. I don’t think I really thought it would actually happen until about a year ago. I never told anyone about it because I always thought it would fizzle out, but instead it picked up and it was just so much fun. What was it like working with Matt? Matt loves to work hard and that’s really contagious. It was a lot of fun. I

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think we both felt like that. Matt likes to say it’s an album of guilty pleasures without the guilt and I think that’s true. I think, left to my own devices, I would make gloomy, introspective, despondent music and Matt’s songs can take that form too, but with the El VY record we were really able to take a wide spectrum of feelings and musical moments and textures and make them work together. Did the album go through many stages of change throughout the process? There were a lot of stages of evolution, and it always took a very unpredictable trajectory. Even in the week before mixing these new moments, new melodies, new lyrics were being added. In fact with ‘Return To The Moon’ the final line “Don’t make me wait for you at the corner of Eden Park / Don’t make me wait for you at the Serpentine Wall” - those lines and that melody that was a lastminute addition. And that’s now my favourite melody of the record.

eeee BEACH SLANG

The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us

(Big Scary Monsters)

Punk’s obsession with integrity is an oft-wheeled out punchline, but it’s one that latches itself onto Beach Slang’s debut album like a leech. Shooting to scene success off the back of a pair of EPs, the quartet’s appeal is built on an earnestness and an honesty that leaks from every sweat-channelling pore. Destined to form the faded tattoos of the next generation of punk-rock escapees, Beach Slang’s sentiments are a breath of fresh air in a genre increasingly plagued by doe-eyed boy-bands. That ever-present ‘integrity’ question doesn’t look set to disappear from the scene any time soon, but Beach Slang can rest assured they’re pushing things in the right direction. (Tom Connick) Listen: ‘Hard Luck Kid’


eee EDITORS

In Dream (PIAS Recordings)

You kind of have to feel sorry for Editors; they’ve historically been damned if they do and damned if they don’t. They seem to have picked up a reputation for being a little bit unadventurous, boring even, which has followed them around like a long shadow ever since they made the hardly unreasonable decision to follow up their universally-acclaimed debut, ‘The Back Room’, with more of the same on 2007’s ‘An End Has a Start’. Since then, they’ve made genuine efforts to diversify their portfolio; ‘In This Light and On This Evening’ experimented heavily with synth, while 2013’s ‘The Weight of Your Love’ played it straight and bold, referencing R.E.M. and Arcade Fire throughout. If anything, the group seem emboldened by the general outside refusal to change their tune on the band. ‘In Dream’, their first self-produced record, sounds devoid of external pressure. It’s a cohesive album - incredibly pristine, with the production shimmering throughout - but at the same time, as diverse as anything they’ve ever put out. There’s dreamy electronica on opener ‘No Harm’, orchestral menace and no shortage of drama on the outstanding ‘Salvation’, and the gorgeous ‘At All Cost’ sounds like an accomplished take on the sort of sound MONEY have made their own; minimalist instrumentation and a barely-there falsetto from frontman Tom Smith. When it works, it does so spectacularly; it’s just a shame that elsewhere, they revert to a default mode. (Joe Goggins) Listen: ‘Salvation’

eeee HURTS

Surrender (columbia)

Hurts have a reputation as dapper, suited-and-booted peddlers of moody power-pop that cries tears of pure melodrama; like if The Smiths’ ten-tonne truck went steam-rolling straight into Ultravox. With ‘Surrender,’ Hurts give themselves up to something different happiness. Though the duo sometimes return to the comparative safety of moping synthetic orchestras, and soul-reflecting mirrors lying conveniently on the Camberwell Road pavement, for the most part, there’s a new sense of fun to Hurts. When Theo Hutchcraft and Adam Anderson unearth their gaudier, more playful side - in the parping horns and trotting bass-lines of standout ‘Lights,’ the squelching ‘Slow,’ or the swirling disco-lights of ‘Kaleidoscope’ - they hit on a bold new direction. Long may it last. (El Hunt) Listen: ‘Lights’

eeee !!! as if (Warp)

If anyone needed an example of how !!! don’t take themselves too seriously, it’s found on the artwork to their sixth album ‘As If’. A monkey sitting proudly upon a pile of bananas - that’s indicative of a playful spirit running right through the album. Party jams get deeper and more intense, culminating in the stunning disco house odyssey of ’I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)’. It’s a fittingly blissful climax to an album that has no shortage of huge highs. (Martyn Young) Listen: ‘Every Little Counts’

eeee MARTIN COURTNEY Many Moons

(Domino)

It’s about time Martin Courtney made a solo record, what with his Real Estate bandmates giving us Ducktails and Alex Bleeker and the Freaks. The frontman recorded ‘Many Moons’ in downtime between tours, and many songs on the album - such as ‘Airport Bar’, for example - deal with our uses of time, whether it be spent well or wasted. Where Real Estate’s phenomenal ‘Atlas’ dealt with touring in a mellow and melancholic way, ‘Many Moons’ feels like its brighter, more optimistic take on journeying on the road. (Tom Walters) Listen: ‘Before We Begin’

ee EAGLES OF DEATH METAL

photo: mike massaro

Zipper Down

A bold new d i r ec t i o n

(T-Boy / Universal Music)

They say never to judge a book by its cover, and the same could be remarked for an album; but while Eagles of Death Metal usually seem like a bit of harmless fun, it’s hard not to raise an eyebrow this time around. It’s a shame too; tracks like ‘Complexity’ and ‘Got The Power’ are infectiously hip-shaking. ‘I Love You All The Time’ is a moody sway of country-infused rock, ‘Save A Prayer’ bears a poignant edge, and closer ‘The Reverend’ boasts a satisfying snarl. These tracks feel like the band’s most effective yet; it’s just a pity that ‘Zipper Down’ isn’t a little less literal when it comes to the imagery gracing its cover. (Sarah Jamieson) Listen: ‘Complexity’ 75


live missy elliotT

BESTIVAL isle of wight Photos: matt richardson

The Isle of Wight gets its f r e a k o n w i t h M i s s y, Ta m e I m pa l a , a n d e r , t h e C h u c k l e B r o t h e r s i n t o w.

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aybe it’s because it’s the end of the summer season, maybe it’s the unique line-up or maybe it’s the fact that one of the stages is literally a massive ship dressed head to toe in lights and dancers, but search the Bestival crowd for one single face not plastered with a look of genuine glee. There isn’t one. If there’s anyone with whom you can be sure there’s gonna be ‘good times’ it’s Jamie xx. As one of the busiest sets of the weekend, Jamie rises to the occasion, deftly mixing hits from debut ‘In Colour’ in and out of the samples they’re crafted from; a disco, house and dance hotpot of Jamie’s own creation.

LÅPSLEY

Day two’s beginning sees Drenge blow out any cobwebs from the night before in an instant, cuts from their recent album ‘Undertow’ as well as fan favourites like ‘Let’s Pretend’ and ‘Bloodsports’ prompting carnage. Later the main stage sees Charli XCX dripping with attitude as she commands the stage, making it fully her own. As evening falls Flying Lotus, behind his usual impressive visual set up, is joined by Thundercat’s dexterous and infinitely funky guitar licks for a set that flits from the darkest depths of hip-hop to lofty jazz-infused electro with a few nods to regular collaborator Kendrick Lamar thrown in for good measure. Headliners Duran Duran over, Friday night still has Tame Impala and FKA twigs waiting in the wings. Tame Impala bring the most colourful set of the weekend both sonically and visually, their spacey psychedelia filling The Big Top’s walls to euphoric capacity while FKA twigs is, in short, spectacular. With arguably her best work to date with the recent ‘M3LL155X’ EP, twigs is more impressive than ever as she contorts herself around powerful, jarring beats and tender vocals.

tame impala

As Slaves unleash their torrent of aggressive punk and immerse themselves in the crowd the evening moves swiftly towards the second headliner in the form of The Chemical Brothers. With a full stack of hits in their arsenal, a mesmerising visual performance (including the appearance of two massive, fully functioning robots) and the ability to re-structure their music into a live environment with skill and intrigue, The Chemical Brothers live is a mind-blowing spectacle. Låpsley gently rocks Bestival awake on Sunday afternoon with her tranquil, soulful electronic come classical pop before JME, Skepta and the rest of the Boy Better Know crew kick things into high gear. Shifting and collaborating on the main stage to an large and lively crowd, BBK belt out grime anthems ‘That’s Not Me’, ‘Man Don’t Care’ and Skepta’s massive ‘Shutdown’ with wellpracticed poise and precision. While the instantly recognisable, endlessly enjoyable electronic funk of Todd Terje rings out from the Big Top it’s time for Missy Elliott’s return to the UK after a six-year absence. Opening with a magic trick, Missy appears inside a previously empty box that might as well have been a time machine. She barrels through hit after hit at breakneck speed, pausing only to dish out signed trainers and to get fully immersed in the crowd. As with most of Bestival, before anyone has a chance to quite get their head round what they’re seeing, it’s over. One last elaborate, in-your-face dance routine leads into the beginning of Bestival’s semilegendary closing fireworks display and Bestival draws to a close.

Clap your hands if The Chuckle Brothers should headline next year.

The lights on the world’s largest disco ball begin to dim, the last of a vast array of weird and wonderful activities in the forest start to wind down and the weather almost instantly turns bitter. Summer’s over when Bestival says so, the last blast of good times shutting things down in spectacular fashion. (Henry Boon)

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B

FESTIVAL NO. 6 Portmeirion Photos: Andrew Benge

efore even arriving at Festival No. 6 there’s a sense of leaving behind the day to day as the miles peel by across North Wales. And, if for some reason this isn’t established en route, the first wander around Portmeirion should do to drive it home. No amount of back story can prepare for the sheer oddity of an Italianate village built into the rugged landscape above the Dwyryd estuary, but put that in the mix with a high quality music lineup that’s only about 40% of all the zany goings on at Festival Number 6, and you’ve got one surreal weekender. Years & Years delight the crowd on Friday afternoon, a waning Welsh summer forecast doing little to dampen the glow of their music, or the crowd’s enthusiasm. Frontman Olly Alexander’s immersion in the audience during ‘Shine’ causes a hysterical scramble for selfie sticks and iPhones. With the crap weather stubbornly in place for the night, Mark Ronson brings his playlist of birthday bangerz to the main stage (it’s his birthday btw). Even with a set consisting mostly of Noughties hip hop classics, the man’s got star power, and it’s one of the best attended of the weekend.

Friday night’s headliners Metronomy emerge for what singer Joseph Mount portentously calls their “last gig for quite some time”. Thus, the never easy to pin down outfit take the crowd on a tour de force of their catalogue befitting of any swan song. metronomy They’ve veered and swerved over the years, but tonight they lay it all bare, and it’s great to hear. grace jones

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BRAND NEW

mark ronson

Alex andra Palace, London. Photo: Sarah Louise Bennett

“W Saturday begins in the best possible way with a set from Spring King. ‘City’ is huge, and they engage in a musical blitzkrieg that does everything to blow away the cobwebs. Everything Everything take to the stage with imperious presence as night falls. Jonathan Higgs marshals the performance with startling energy, articulating every line. Belle and Sebastian’s colourful menagerie have been at it for a decade and a half now. An indie music gateway for many, the nostalgic bliss tonight is surpassed only by Stuart Murdoch’s sincere st vincent pleasure at performing for the assembled crowd. A mixture of soothing ‘oohs’ and spikier grooves from The Big Moon proves the perfect tonic to any final day blues. LA Priest does his best as a one-man band, and apart for the odd moment of over stretching, tracks from new album ‘Inji’ like ‘Oino’ sound remarkably accurate. girl band

hen we’re around each other, it’s kind of like family,” states Brand New’s Jesse Lacey, reflecting on their return to the UK in front of an almost-sold out Alexandra Palace. He lists “The Xcerts, Dinosaur Pile-Up, Basement” among those who make their trips to these shores so homely, it’s another touching moment from the iconic and introverted frontman. The latter of his list opens up proceedings tonight, their shortlived hiatus almost a distant memory. Basement may have leapt several steps upon their return from said break, but they prove their standing in seconds as they tear into ‘Whole’. Every bit as vital as they ever were and prompting a pocket of madness at the crowd’s front from the off, the Ipswich emos are nonetheless still clearly humbled by the opportunity to support their heroes.

As Lacey then takes to the stage solo to open with ‘Soco Amaretto Lime’, it’s spine tingling, near ten thousand voices screaming back every line and ensuring that the navel-gazing anthem is anything but a muted start. In stark contrast to their opener, though, it quickly becomes clear that Alexandra Palace’s huge expanse does no favours to the sonic rollercoaster of a Brand New set. Punchier moments break through - the galloping intros to ‘The Archers’ Bows Have Broken’ and new single ‘Mene’ bookend things in style - but their more delicate touches are lost amongst Ally Pally’s cavernous, echoing hall. It’s a career-spanning setlist, which touches on everything from snotty teenage ode-to-anex ‘Mix Tape’ right through to ‘Sealed To Me’, one of the few hints we’re granted at a potential new record, but it’s one that relies on a deftness of touch that Alexandra Palace simply can’t provide. (Tom Connick)

With the anticipation high for a certain film, fashion, and music icon, the largest crowd of the weekend assembles, and true to form, Grace Jones is spectacular. In a wild array of outfits, she plays a set of covers and originals, a reminder of the many boundaries she has pushed in popular music and her dazzling selection of musical contemporaries. Add to that giant inflatable balls, a hula hooping display worthy of someone many years her hot chip junior, and there’s a madcap warmth emanating from the whole scene you’d be hard pushed to replicate. (Louis Haines) everything everything

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END OF THE ROAD

hinds

Larmer Tree Gardens Photo: Jonathan Dadds

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at at the end of a week that sees most of the country drenched by rainstorms, End Of The Road is an apt title for a festival that marks the closing of the summer months. It’s cerebral in the extreme, a sea of chin-stroking ale drinkers replacing the chaos that defines festival season for many, though there’s still space for the odd unhinged moment, Ought incite a crowdsurfer as they debut material from new album ‘Sun Coming Down’ - but it’s not a patch on the chaos of Mac DeMarco’s appearance. He even returns to the stage post-set to serenade the site with a singsong of ‘happy birthday’, before showering the crowd in cake. Mischief, managed. Hinds, too, inject some fun into proceedings in spite of almost missing their slot entirely. “Hello, we are Rihanna,” cackles Carlotta Cosials as they take to the stage, “and we are here to shine bright!” Alvvays are another sunny-day hit, ‘Archie, Marry Me’ proving itself as a left-of-centre festival hit as its infectious singalong spreads throughout the crowd. The weekend is crowned by its Saturday night headliner, though, as Sufjan Stevens takes to the Woods stage. The ability to re-work older cuts alongside more open-heart, acoustic material is Stevens’ masterstroke. It may have taken eight years for End Of The Road to convince Stevens to offer up a rare appearance, but this is proof that their persistence has been well-rewarded. (Tom Connick)

CREEPER

Old blue last, London Photo: sarah louise bennett

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lmost a year ago to the day Creeper took to the stage of The Old Blue Last for their first performance in the capital. Tonight, the stage may be the same but the band commanding it are barely recognisable. They’re still dressed in black and singing songs for outsiders but in those twelve months, they’ve grown comfortable to their calling.

‘Gloom’ and ‘We Had A Pact’ are as fearless as ever but it’s the danger of their newer material that really lifts the band into pastures new. The sugary bounce of ‘Allergies’ collides with the one-two stomp of ‘Black Cloud’ while set closer ‘Henley’s Ghost’ shows a beautiful confidence in refrain. “Love in Decline.” Not likely mate.

Forced back to the stage for a one shot encore of A desperate ‘VCR’ launches ‘Novena’, the band look things off proper before the moved. As the room drowns frenzy of ‘The Honeymoon out the stage, it’s a moment Suite’ stokes the fire. In such of overwhelming unity and close quarters you can almost support. The cry of “I can see Creeper spark off one feel all your dreams start another. Vocalist Will Gould is to flicker and fade,” echoes at the bow, hanging into the around the room with a snarl crowd and acting out every and a clenched fist, bringing moment of their fraught the evening to a close while drama but he’s the band’s throwing fairy lights around lightening rod, channeling Creeper’s onwards march. (Ali their charge. Shutler)

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INDIE DREAMBOAT Of the Month

Full name: Jordan Cardy. Nickname: RAT BOY. Star Sign: Pisces. Pets: Two. Favourite Film: Pulp Fiction. Favourite Food: Dog. Drink of choice: Milk. Favourite hair product: Grease. Song you’d play to woo someone: GG Allin - ‘Bite It You Scum’. If you weren’t a pop star, what would you be doing now? Pilot. Chat up line of choice? Help me.

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photo: emma swann

r at b oy


MUTATIONS

MULTI-VENUE FESTIVAL

AN INTIMATE 1000 CAPACITY EVENT IN BRIGHTON, UK

28TH - 29TH NOVEMBER

LIGHTNING BOLT METZ JOHN TALABOT

(DJ)

TOURIST / NEKO CASE OM / CHELSEA WOLFE WILLIS EARL BEAL OUGHT / JANE WEAVER

NATALIE PRASS / BRNS / KAGOULE / VISION FORTUNE BLAENAVON / ALL TVVINS / LOWLY / PLASTIC MERMAIDS CHASTITY / MOUNT BANK / ABI WADE / SEA BASTARD BLACKLISTERS / FOREIGN SKIN / NATURE CHANNEL PLUS MANY MORE TO BE ADDED

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INDIVIDUAL STYLE UNITED SPIRIT PULLED APART BY HORSES BAND

DRMARTENS.COM


DIY, October 2015