MISTREE THE MAINE | SEMI PRECIOUS WEAPONS | CHLOE HOWL | the lafontaines |bastille
issue 01 | JUNE ‘14
Katy Perry PRISMATIC WORLD TOUR
HELLO NEW ADVENTURES ARE awfully exciting, and so it is my pleasure to introduce you to Mistree Magazine. Recognising which new artists matter, and combining these pieces with mainstream artist features and industry insiders, you’ll unravel music mysteries and find out what it really takes to make it in the music industry. In our first issue we have highlighted a wealth of artists we think you deserve to discover and in-depth interviews with both up and coming and established acts. We also managed to review some pretty great live shows and luckily for you most of those artists will be touring this summer. We’ve also reviewed some of the latest music offerings. Summer is coming which means festival season, we’re probably pining over the amazing line-ups just as much as you. You can catch a run down of our favourite festivals in issue 02.
Determined to offer more than your static music mag, we want to create an experience and strengthen relationships between the industry and fans. While we’re critical, we’re about bringing positivity back into the music industry. Buckle up and sit tight, we’re taking you on a journey one interview at a time. Come and join us. #unravelthemystery
bekka collins, editor
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MISTREE MAGAZINE is an independent publication that is solely published on issuu.com. All material is copyright. All rights reserved. The views of our contributors do not necessarily represent the views of the MISTREE Magazine team. At the time of writing the information published in this publication is known to be correct, but changes can occur bringing the accuracy of copy into question. We do not accept responsibility for these changes. firstname.lastname@example.org
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special thanks Thank make have help
you to everyone who helped this issue possible, we wouldn’t been able to do it without from the following people:
Wired PR, LaDigit, Dylan Razo, Christie Goodwin, Patrick Cusse, Atlantic Records, 8123 Management, Six 07 Press, Press Here Publicity, Sonnet Music, Blake Harnage, Matt Feldman, Lindsey Gardner, Glassnote Records, Universal Music and most importantly the featured musicians and contributors. We would also like to give a big thank you to you, for joining us on our journey into unravelling music mysteries.
CO N T EN T S 38 THE
Katy Perry POP-PRINCESS
back. After the release of her third studio album (under her own name), Prism, Perry began planning for tour. Having seen her California Dreams Tour twice, we knew the Prismatic World Tour was going to be a big production, but we would have never of guessed what we were in for. We take a in-depth look at the Prismatic World Tour and review our show date. The UK run of the tour just ended in London but it picks back up in the States mid-June. If youâ€™re a Katy Cat, this issue is certainly for you.
discover 04 CAITLYN SCARLETT 10 BIPOLAR SUNSHINE 12 ROO PANES 16 EFFIE 18 VANCE JOY 20 MEADOWLARK
20 SUNTRAPP 33 RAE MORRIS
visual 14 NATIVES 15 LOCAL NATIVES 45 THE SUMMER SET
check out what else is in this issue!
36 42 44 46
semi precious weapons
ALBUM REVIEWS BASTILLE THE SUMMER SET CHLOE HOWL
the LA FONTAINES
The 18-year-old singer-songwriter who is ready to progress from backing singer to soloist.
CAITLYIN SCARLETT IS A NAME many of you may not have heard of, but we have a feeling that will soon change. Well rehearsed in the art of performing, Caitlyn has been providing backing vocals for UK rapper Little Simz for the past year, but now at just 18 years old is ready to take to the stage herself.
Bad Love is taken from her debut EP titled Jurassic Jukebox and Other Drugs, which was released on April 29. We’re expecting Caitlyn to be on the majority of everyones One To Watch lists by the time this year is out. With a tremendous amount of talent at such a young age, she has the ability to do great things and you can guarantee that we’ll be at the side lines cheering her on.
With many teen singers flocking up within the UK’s music scene it’s becoming harder to get noticed, but as a multi-talented musician who can play both piano and guitar Caitlyn is already one step ahead. No stranger to the stage and equipped with an honest writing front, we get our first taster of Caitlyn’s music in the form of her debut single Bad Love. Bad Love was created with the help of Ayo Beatz, known for working with the likes of Wretch 32 and Wiley. You can tell within the first 30 seconds that Ayo and Caitlyn have created a foolproof collaboration that allows Caitlyn’s innocence to remain present, but as a perfectly subtle undertone. The track itself is dynamic and refreshing, beginning with a tight bass line that progresses into a song that combines pop, indie and electronic elements together. As it builds, we see hints of EDM fuelled lines work their way into the melody as the beat shapes and shifts between the verses and chorus. With a piercing voice that is handled with such control, Caitlyn manages to show a real edge with her vocals and songwriting abilities that translate her talent seamlessly.
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JURASSIC JUKEBOX & OTHER DRUGS is a six track release that shows Caitlyn’s diversity as an artist. No two tracks sound the same and her vocal range is dynamic. Slicked with electronic beats, gritty soundscapes, melodic riffs and rhythmic lyrics, Caitlyn delivers her lyrical tales with confidence and ease. As a collective her EP is a spunky pop edition that is bound to get some recognition.
D I S C O V E R LOOK OUT FOR OUR DISCOVER HEADINGS WHICH FEATURE UP AND COMING ARTISTS. @LEYOUTH
DANCE MUSIC IS RE-INVENTING ITSELF IN A VARIETY OF WAYS, WITH EDM being the front runner as its new found fame is circling around radio stations all over the world. What is more unusual to find however is the pop-hooks of a rhythmic 90s track and a undeniably feel good beat that still makes you want to dance, but isn’t overproduced by overused synths and samples. Well, it’s time to say hello to producer Wes James, the mastermind behind Le Youth. Le Youth’s tracks ooze contemporary vibes and confidence that are free of chaos and uncertainty. Instead they are constructed and developed in the most stylish of fashions, building and enhancing as each song progresses. With irresistible melodies, subtle synth moments and driving dance beats, it’s no surprise that Le Youth is capturing the hearts and ears of even the most established of critics. Here’s hoping that Le Youth can redefine the sound of Summer.
@wearelisbon @daleymusic HAILING FROM THE coastal town of Whitley Bay in Newcastle, alt-pop four piece Lisbon formed in 2012 and have finally found their stride. Consisting of Matthew Varty, Joe Atkinson, Gaz Turkington and Alex Wright, the quartet have toured the regional scene and secured a solid local fan-base that they should definitely be proud of. More recently however, it’s their single Blue Love that has put them on the map, and this time we’re not just talking locally. Blue Love is a summerinfused mellow song and was recently one of BBC’s Introducing tracks, getting airplay from the likes of Greg James and Fearne Cotton. With hometown shows coming up, another new single on the way and a potential EP, things ahead are looking very bright.
BEGINNING HIS MUSIC CAREER IN 2010 Manchester born Daley collaborated with artists such as Gorillaz, Wretch 32, and Jessie J while finding his feet in the industry. Soon he began paving his own path and signed to Universal Republic Records and Polydor, allowing his music to be marketed to both sides of the globe. He released an EP titled Those Who Wait, played numerous shows and gained a solid group of fans, before releasing his debut album Days & Nights in February of this year. It incorporates his soulful vocals with alt-pop melodies and shows big promise. His sound has definitely strengthened and DALEY could easily be a breakout artist in 2014.
WRITING AND PLAYING MUSIC TOGETHER since high school, London based duo Ant West and Casey Roarty formed We The Wild in February 2013. Their infectious indie-pop tracks blend together electronic elements to create ambient soundscapes. Written and produced themselves in their home studio, the duo released their debut track You Lost My Mind in June of last year and garnered a wealth of critical acclaim. They went on to release their four track debut EP Volume I in November via Super Recordings, showcasing their knack for creating warm alt-pop tracks. Their summer looks to be a promising one.
FORMED IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR, Leap Years are one of the newest acts on the scene. Previously Paladins, this indie rock quartet made up of Jimmy Balch, Andy Nove, James Wilson and Kieran Cotter may not be producing anything overly original but they’ve got a strong grasp on their new sound. They released their four-track EP titled Vices in March which has already impressed their continually growing fan-base. Though the band are still finding their feet, they seem to be headed in the right direction, and if they continue they could have a potentially strong future.
The Maine THE maine
ON BUILDING THEIR OWN STUDIO, DEALING WITH LIFE ON ON THEIR DEBUT, PROGRESSION AND THE FUTURE. THE ROAD AND LEARNING FROM UNEXPECTED CHALLENGES
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I NT E RVI E W THE MAINE ARE A BAND who have been together for seven years and in that time they have toured all over the world, released four albums and attracted a large fan base. Originating from Tempe, Arizona and made up of John O’Callaghan, Garrett Nickelsen, Pat Kirch, Kennedy Brock and Jared Monaco, their sound and style has evolved over the years and they are becoming one of the most talked about indie-rock acts. We caught up with Pat and Jared at the Newcastle date of the Deaf Havana tour to talk about their acoustic EP, future music, building their own studio and living life on the road. The band released a five-track acoustic EP titled Imaginary Numbers in December of 2013. It is unusual for a band who are known for strong instrumentation to opt for the simplistic route and produce a strictly acoustic EP of completely original songs. “We had some songs kind of floating around, I guess they were kind of demos, and we were just trying to work on them the way we always do,” said Jared. “I think the kind of reason we decided to go acoustic and use new songs as opposed to like re-record other songs, was just because we had them ready and we might as well let people hear them. We knew that we didn’t wanna take up a bunch of our time doing this little acoustic EP, but we just took as long as we needed to really,” added Pat. “Yeah, especially since we have the ability to do that now because we’ve just built our own studio back home. The songs on Imaginary Numbers were the first things to come out of the studio too. We have no one to say no when we wanna put music out, so we just do what we wanna do,” noted Jared. While home DIY is never an easy task, The Maine took it to a new level by building their own studio. “Well, it started
when Pat bought a board, like a mixing console and a bunch of gear. But basically there’s two rooms in our managers office in Downtown Phoenix, and so we kind of just cleared it out and turned it into a studio,” explained Jared. “I mean, I guess the reason we did it was because that’s kinda the dream you know, to be able to recorded whenever you want. It’s something that we’ve wanted to do for a long, long time,” said Pat. “We’ve always had to travel to make records you know?” - Jared chimed in. “To like Texas and Nashville, and now we can just do it right there at home.” Pat also noted that they had recently gotten back the final mix of the first song The Maine has recorded full band and completely from scratch. He said: “We’re very happy with it, and it actually sounds great. You wouldn’t know we had just done it like, ourselves. We’ve recorded a batch of songs actually, some are like old songs that haven’t made it on to past records, so we think we’re gonna make an extended edition of Forever Halloween (the bands fourth full length), and that will come out in the beginning of June. As far as recording other people’s music though, I actually recently recorded with Nick Santino who used to be in A Rocket To The Moon. I recorded his first full length record at the office, so that was cool,” he added. Being a goal-orientated band and complete workaholics, The Maine often only have themselves to answer to, and so we wanted to know how they organised themselves in order to make sure things get done and they achieve want they set out to do at the start of the year. “I guess it depends. Every day I usually have a set of things that I wanna get done, but I don’t normally right them down,” laughed Pat. “We just are kind of always thinking about what 7
we’re gonna do next because we love being on the road and we love recording music. It’s all we wanna do. So we’re always thinking of the next thing we want to do as a band.” Speaking of making and recording music, seven years is a pretty lengthy time to be in a band and a lot of things can change, more often than not this tends to be a bands sound and their influences. Like most bands, The Maine’s sound has grown alongside its members. “I think that when we started there was a much more narrow group of influences that we had. We were just younger and we hadn’t been able to really expand and listen to stuff outside of what we grew up on. So the more time that we’ve had as a band, the more we’ve been able to realise what we like and what works for us and what doesn’t. I think now we kind of really look up to bands that have like, stayed true to what it was that they saw their band always being, like sticking to what their vision was. Like bands who have similar stories to us, who have been tossed about a bit by labels, and dealt with this or that you know. I guess we’re all just in the same boat now anyway,” said Jared. I myself am an indecisive person, so if I had four albums under my belt and was left with the task of balancing a setlist, I would basically find it impossible. Jared noted that “it’s getting a lot harder,” to decide what to play live. Pat nodded in agreement before saying: “Yeah, it’s very very hard. But when we do a headlining set it’s a little easier.” “Actually, it’s kind of a blessing too,” said Jared. “We like to kind of tailor the set to the vibe of whatever tour we’re on. I mean we’re about to do Warped Tour so we know that’s kind of a high-end energy set, so having four albums makes it a lot easier to pick the songs that are kind of fitting for that vibe. But generally it is tough, it’s tough to pick the ones that our fans are gonna love and the ones that are also gonna impress like a new audience,” he explained. Preparing for a gruelling tour like 8 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
Warped Tour which has over fourty dates across the US must be tough, but Pat is ahead of the game. “I’ve already been kind of like thinking about it,” he said. “I think when we get back from Brazil we have a month before it starts. My game plan is to get myself in the schedule of Warped Tour a month in advance, and be up at 8am everyday and do some exercise or something, and then be in bed by midnight. I’m planning on just making it so that’s my habit. I mean it’s a tough tour, but we’re so excited to do it. The amount of new people you can reach on that tour is unlike any other tour that goes around.” Warped Tour is iconic in the US, but it only made it’s first appearance as a two day festival in the UK last year. The Maine were on the line up, oddly enough alongside a lot of heavier and hardcore acts, it’s safe to say it wasn’t quite what they were expecting. “Yeah it was pretty different for us,” Jared recalled. “I think that was one of the first times where we have been one of the only bands that kind of sound like us. Like, there was a huge diverse line up so we just tried to do what we always
“YOU’RE JUST TRYING TO LIVE YOUR LIFE AND BE IN A BAND AT THE EXACT SAME TIME” do, and tried to add energy to our set and make it kind of fit the vibe of the tour. But there wasn’t really a way to do it this time, we weren’t gonna scream into the microphone or anything, you know.” “I think it was just one of those things where we just had to go up and do what we do. It’s obviously gonna be like a harder thing you know. The reception isn’t gonna be how it is to people that are expecting to hear a band like us. The people there were expecting something completely different. That was kind of a hard thing to fight through, but then you know it makes you appreciate it when you come and do a different show,” added Pat. Having played thousands of shows
all over the world, the band are anything but amateurs on stage, so we are pretty sure they handled themselves with grace. What we were interested to find out about though, was the differences in the music scenes across the globe. “I guess it kind of depends because I feel like we have good shows everywhere, and bad shows everywhere,” laughed Pat. “I think at first when we came here [Europe], we thought it was a little bit different or something, but I dunno I just feel like people all around the world love to go to concerts.” “Yeah, that’s the one thing that remains the same, and I think our core fans have kind of created this community among themselves,” added Jared. Pat agreed before explaining that “it’s like evolved to a point where we have like a worldwide fan base, so instead of thinking about our fans in different areas it’s just like a group of people who are all into the same things, which is really great.” “Stuff does change though,” added Jared. “Like, their excitement usually depends on when the last time we came through their area was. Some places we go to quite often. We’ve been here like eight times, so it’s up there. As for like Brazil, this will be our third time there.” While touring is essential for any band and a great experience, it can also bring along many problems too. Jared and Pat opened up about some of the hardships they’ve dealt with over the years. “I guess it’s kind of just like everyday stuff,” said Pat. “You know, you’re just trying to like live your life and then like also be in a band at the exact same time. Now with how much we’re on the road, the line is blurred.” Jared added that: “Especially now that everything we do, we’re doing it ourselves. We don’t technically have a label, well we do but we don’t,” he grinned. “We answer to ourselves I guess, and that blurs the line even more. Everything is ran from home and we deal with everything so it’s a very unique lifestyle. It’s very hard for like my family to relate to what we’re doing, and it’s hard to explain it too. It’s worth it though, we all love what we’re doing and really there’s no downside to that.” As for the bands achievements? There’s a ton. “I think being able to
release albums independently is a huge thing for us,” noted Pat. “And to do it in a way that feels like we’re not just a band doing it ourselves, that feels more professional. I think that’s a big thing; just being able to do what we want to do as a band and not have to answer to anyone. We see bands every single date just doing whatever they can to like, get to the top. Being forced to shake all of the right hands and do all of the things like that, and play games with every aspect of what they do as a band. We don’t have to do that anymore, and that’s really cool.” “That’s way cooler than so many people realise,” added Jared. “I think it’s better than ever we understand.” “You know, we don’t have to go through that other aspect of it anymore, and it’s been so many years since we’ve had to answer to people that we even like forget how incredible that is, and how it PHOTOS BY: DIRK MAI
how it was or could be. So it’s pretty amazing for us, and we’re in this position because of our fans,” explained Pat. And as a thank you, The Maine are a band that will continually give back to their fans. With new songs on the way and Warped Tour just around the corner, Pat notes that they aim to do some “international touring and stuff, so we’re just gonna be on the road with this record that we have out. Eventually we’ll record more songs that might be a record, or may just be more songs. Who knows.” “But we can do that now,” Jared reminds us. “That’s what being home is for us. And whenever we get time this year we’re just gonna sit down and see what we can do to stay creative and write, but right now we’re still focusing on Forever Halloween and getting our music out to people.”
You can catch The Maine on this years Warped Tour, and be sure to keep an eye out for their extended version of Forever Halloween. www.facebook.com/themaine @themaine
“WE ALL LOVE WHAT WE’RE DOING AND REALLY THERE’S NO DOWNSIDE TO THAT” INTERVIEW BY: BEKKA COLLINS
DIS COV ER
COMBINING RNB AND DANCE MUSIC, BIPOLAR SUNSHINE IS IN A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN.
WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS PHOTO BY: HOLLIE FERNANDO
PREVIOUSLY THE CO-VOCALIST of Kid British, Adio Marchant has been experiencing a wealth of solo adventures under the name of Bipolar Sunshine since 2012. As Kid British came to an end, Adio was unsure about taking his first solo steps, but with the help and support of his producer Jazz Purple, everything just seemed to fall into place. He released his debut EP Aesthetics in June of 2013 which was followed by his second EP Drowning Butterflies in November. The world soon got a feel for Adio’s soothing melodies intertwined with vulnerable yet blissful vocals and
just couldn’t get enough. He went on to perform hit tracks during his first UK headline tour which was met with a great turn out. His music combines indie, R ’n’ B and elements of dance that puts Bipolar Sunshine in a league of his own. His single Love More Worry Less garnered Adio critical success as it made its round across the national radio stations. With his fan-base and strong network of support continuously growing, things were heading in the right direction as we said farewell to 2013. Bipolar Sunshine has however taken things to a new level this year, and
through sheer hard work, talent and patience is proving if you want something bad enough hard work will guarantee success. Starting out the year supporting Rudimental and Phoenix, Adio went on to complete his second UK headline tour. His latest single, Where Did The Love Go is already popping up all over the place with its hook-driven riffs and easy listening vibes. Set to play most of the biggest summer festivals, including Ibiza Rocks and Reading and Leeds, we think it’s safe to say that Bipolar Sunshine’s success is only going to go up. www.facebook.com/ bipolarsunshine @bipolarsunshine
D I S C OVER @MAISETTO
MAISETTO THE UK’S MUSIC SCENE IS bursting with underground talent and a lot of bands find themselves struggling to catch a break, so there’s nothing I love more than stumbling across a rising act. Currently in my ears are the “woah oh oh’s” of Manchester quartet Maisetto and their rockfuelled track Watch The World. The energetic four piece made up of Tom Whitehead, Kyle Gibson, Dec Croxall and Brad Walker formed back in 2009 under the name Odd Squad and released their debut EP
Just Another Hang Up in 2011. Changing their name at the back end of 2013, Maisetto reflects a new start for the lively lads who are determined to show how dedicated they are to their music. Their debut 12-track album Moving Forward is available for free on their Soundcloud page and is packed full of chugging riffs, thudding drums and lyrical tales. Spending the rest of the year touring and working on new material, Maisetto certainly have a promising future ahead of them.
ASIDE FROM STUMBLING ACROSS rising acts, I love watching musicians that I know and love, grow. One of my favourite acts who are garnering some decent spotlight lately is Coasts, an indie-pop fivepiece from Bristol. Coasts formed back in 2011 and spent a great deal of time experimenting with their sound. Appropriately named, their songs are often built upon nautical backgrounds with jangly beats, synth hooks, soaring melodies and solid vocals. They released their new single Rush Of Blood in March and have just returned home after spending two months on the road travelling across Europe. I can’t wait to see what summer brings for this talented young act.
GEORGE EZRA APPROACHING THE FINE AGE OF 21 Bristol born singer-songwriter George Ezra is just a few months younger than me, yet he has two established EPs under his belt and an ever growing fan-base, whereas I certainly do not. You could call me bitter if George was another manufactured pop prince who is marketed perfectly to reach the biggest audience possible, but thankfully he is not. With an irresistible voice and a knack for writing, George is a rare and real talent who deserves all of his success. I will happily tell you that I’ve fallen for his husky vocals, which like many others have pointed out before me, are well beyond his years. His soulful delivery is on point, while musically his acoustically driven tracks are struck with a bluesy twang that really sets him apart from the rest. His latest EP Cassy O’ was released in March of this year with his debut Wanted On Voyage due in June. George is spending his summer on the road and playing T in the Park and V Festival. Now signed to Columbia Records, he is slowly working his way into the mainstream music scene on his own terms and is bound to succeed. WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS
D I SC OVER
BRODY DA L L E
FROM SUPPORTING BEN HOWARD TO BECOMING THE FACE OF BURBERRY, LEARN ABOUT ROOâ€™S STORY AND HIS BRAND NEW ALBUM
ULTI-TALENTED ANDREW PANES more commonly known as Roo, is a rising
singer-songwriter from Wimborne, Dorset. His musical roots and education stem partly from his Grandmother, a classical concert pianist, but also from the hymns of his local church. When his parents introduced him to the likes of Nick Drake and Bob Dylan, things really started to fall into place for Roo.
DIPLOID LOVE OUT NOW!
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With rich melodies and a natural way with words, Roo began crafting songs inspired by the likes of Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and Bon Iver. Taking inspiration from his picturesque hometown, songwriting came almost naturally to him, and he began to poetically tie his lyrics with beautiful soundscapes that are perfectly arranged. After honing his craft and finding a sound that defines what he is about,
Roo played his first show at the Troubadour in London, before playing his second show in support of Ben Howard. Growing tiresome of the long journey back and forth to Dorset, Roo boldly moved to London in 2011 and hasnâ€™t looked back since. After taking a chance and writing to Burberry, Roo soon found himself on the back of magazines and billboards all across the UK, and became the fashion labels featured composer. During this time he began to experiment with his sound, releasing two EPs in 2012 titled Once and Weight Of Your World. Consistently writing and continuously creating, Roo released his third EP Land Of The Living in December of 2013, ensuring that he would have a strong start to this year. He is currently on the road traveling across the majority of the UK and will
PHOTO BY: ALEXANDER RHIND
URORA ARE AN alt-rock female fronted quintet from Birmingham. Formed back in 2012, their debut EP was released in December of the same year via In At The Deep End Records. Having spent the past two years gigging across the
Photo: Leigh Drinkwater
country, Aurora have an impressive regional fan-base. Supporting acts like Astroid Boys and Hacktivist, they have learned how to deliver an electrifying live show that is sure to get you hyped. You can catch them at RedFest alongside acts like PEACE and Skindred. Getting ready to release their debut full length album some time later this year, the five piece have just released the album’s lead single titled Hypocrites. Hypocrites is hard-hitting and dynamic. It is riff fuelled and upbeat, featuring a gritty melody and sturdy percussion. Keep an eye out for the bands forthcoming debut album, we expect that they’ll be pretty busy this Summer.
J finish up his tour in June. So if you are looking for the opportunity to experience Roo’s real and raw talent in an intimate setting, now is your chance.
ESS GLYNNE IS ONE of our favourite artists at the moment. You may recognise her vocals from Clean Bandit’s Rather Be or Route 94’s My Love. Her voice certainly has a memorable quality and a luxurious tone that we can’t get enough of. She has shown diversity and talent and the buzz around her is only going to continue to grow. We can’t wait to see what’s next for Jess.
And a brand new tour isn’t all that’s on the agenda for Roo this year, he has finally announced that his highly anticipated debut album will be released this autumn. With three EPs already under his belt, we’re excited to see how his storytelling will progress across a full-length release. If you’re wondering what Roo’s new material will sound like, he has already announced that the lead single from his forthcoming release is titled Tiger Striped Sky and will be released on 9 June via CRC Music. Created with the help of his band, Tiger Striped Sky is a gentle reminder of Roo’s knack for creating structurally sound songs that feature his soulful chords, tight string sections and lyrical tales. www.facebook.com/roopanes @roopanes ALL WORDS ON PAGE BY: BEKKA COLLINS
NDIANA, THE GIRL NOT THE state is popping up all over the place with her newest single Solo Dancing. Combining synth-pop melodies with delicate vocals, Solo Dancing reached number 14 on the UK charts and is set to be one of the best easylistening summer tracks. Having made her breakout early last year, Indiana has only released three tracks to the public, but it’s easy to see just how much she is developing as an artist. Ready to play some of the top UK festivals such as Dot to Dot, Bestival and Wireless, Indiana will play to thousands across the summer. Catch her now as 2014 looks to be the perfect year to kick off her music career and put her into the spotlight.
NATIVES + BLEACH BLOOD PHOTOS BY: BEKKA COLLINS / NEWCASTLE, UK || MARCH ‘14.
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LOCAL NATIVES @LOCALNATIVES
LOCAL NATIVES ARE A WELL established indie-rock group from Orange County in Los Angeles. The five-piece made up of Taylor Rice, Kelcey Ayer, Ryan Hahn, Matt Fraizer and Nik Ewing formed back in high school before moving to Silver Lake. After releasing their debut album Gorilla Manor in 2009, it was noted that the band had created their own brand of psychedelic folk slicked with energetic drumming and impressive harmonies. Spending lots of time honing their craft worked out well, as they soon found themselves supporting the likes of Arcade Fire and Vampire Weekend.
Their second full length album, Hummingbird was released at the beginning of this year and has received much success. Despite shying away from their original sound, Hummingbird is an album that incorporates a darker theme but still shines a spotlight on optimism, while lyrically it is emotionally charged and genuine. Having just finished up supporting Kings of Leon on tour, they plan to spend the rest of their summer on the road in the United States.
WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS 15 PHOTOS BY: DYLAN RAZO PHOENIX, AZ || MARCH â€˜14
DI S COV ER
ON HOW SHE RETREATED BACK TO BASICS BEFORE CREATING NEW MUSIC IN LA
FFIE GOT HER START IN the industry a few years ago with her debut single Into Yellow. Although she was securing national radio support and had a touring spot with JLS and Lemar, Effie decided to take a step back from the industry before launching herself into a music career. Now she is back and better than ever. Her new single Addicted is making the rounds on the web, and it is taken from her forthcoming EP Conquer. We had a quick chat with Effie to find out more about her new material and what she has planned for the future. What would you say you learned about yourself when you took a break from the industry? I’d say the most important thing I learned about myself is to always be real with yourself. Don’t do things to please others because ultimately you’ll end up being unhappy and having a project that doesn’t have your heart, which has a bad effect all around. I think I also learned to speak up and allow my creative self to come out more. I’m very outspoken but when I began the process at 15 I had to learn a lot about myself and grow in confidence 16 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
to believe in my own ideas. I think as we grow as people our creativity grows around us. I think naturally I’ve matured musically too, ideas and direction changes and I’ve learned a lot about the writing process. Do you think the space allowed you to realise what you wanted your music to say and how you really wanted it to sound? Yes absolutely. I mean there are moments when you go in to a session or a producer calls you up and they have a song for you, either a track or sometimes a fully written song and it’s so sick you roll with it because it fits in with what you’re portraying, or just because you love the sound. Then other times I’ll write from scratch which is the hardest way for me. But my favourite way to get across how I want to sound is by going in to a session with a producer, creating a track together and then writing to it. I think everybody will eventually get “their sound” but I think before that there are a lot of years of growing and developing, so the core of the sound may always be the same but it will adapt through time. I’d say now I have a great understanding of my sound but I have a way to go until I can portray exactly what I am because it’s part of the journey. How did you come up with the video concept for Addicted and
I sat, closed my eyes and began to see myself walking the streets. I had a love interest and I knew I wanted to capture the pain and the addiction in as many ways as I could and I knew I wanted the video to be quite dark, understated and real. I needed someone to be able to bring that out and create a story line to it all. Enter Jonny Finnis and his right hand man Jack David. Jonny was incredible, he took the vision and made it come to life. He’s very gifted, not only being the bass player in These Reigning Days but also doing all the artwork and videos for the band, so I knew he’d be able to make it special. I owe him a lot. Can you tell us a bit more about the writing and recording process of Conquer? I knew I had a lot to say and a lot of emotion to get out, so I thought it would be best if I went to LA for a month or so to try and come up with a few ideas, I didn’t expect to come back with a whole EP! Before I went to LA I had been writing with a friend of mine Joe Cihari and he came up with the melody of the track for It’s Hard. I then wrote the song and from then on I opened myself up to be able to write about my heartache and my break up. When I got to LA, I started
working with Rhett Raha “Kidforce” and immediately we got on. He had some amazing ideas and some unfinished tracks, one of them he played me by accident. It was just a dark synthy noise, nothing much to it, but I loved it and I said I have to write to this. I took it away, worked on it as we worked on all three then went to the studio and recorded all three tracks in one evening. I felt a sense of relief after that. All of the emotions I had been harbouring were out there and other people could relate just like I relate to other artists everyday. What can we expect from Conquer and what do you hope it says about you as an artist? I think you can expect soul, heartache, fire and depth and something true, something relatable. I hope it shows that I bare my soul for my music and I want to make people feel that and relate to that. I hope it says that I have a fire in my belly and that this is just the beginning. What do you have planned for the rest of the year? For the rest of the year I plan to continue to write and collaborate with other projects such as Ape Like producers, a duo from Southampton I’ve been working with. I love house music so collabing with people in that scene is something I love doing. Also to be performing a few shows and I’ve been performing These Words alongside Ghetts which has been amazing so I’ll continue to do that as much as possible. I also want to plan where Effie’s gonna go to next!
INTERVIEW BY: BEKKA COLLINS
“Addicted” is quite simply addicting. Starting out as almost a raw ballad that showcases Effie’s soulful vocals, the track builds with subtle synths and incorporates voice manipulation into certain segments. Breaking out into a pop-driven melody that has hard-hitting beats and is notably energetic you almost forget about the song-writing talent Effie possesses. Now I heard the track before I watched the music video, and already knew that there was a heart-wrenching story that went hand in hand with this song, but watching the video gave it so much depth and feeling I can’t recommend it enough. It is beautifully shot and is incredibly captivating, drawing you into Effie’s story right until the end. This is certainly a new beginning for Effie, and I’m excited to see where she goes.
18 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
D I S COVE R
HOW A GAP YEAR TURNED INTO A TOP TEN SINGLE AND SOLD OUT NATIONAL SHOWS
HE FOLK-POP MELBOURNE-based singer songwriter, James Keogh, better known as Vance Joy, has been on our radar since early 2013, and he has recently started to make his way into the mainstream scene. But before we get to that, let’s start at the beginning. Inspired by his mother’s aptitude at literature and his father’s fondness for singing, Vance fell in love with music and the art of crafting melodies. After earning a university law degree, Vance travelled to India and South-East Asia. Gaining valuable life experience but also material for writing songs, his gap year to focus on music seemed to fall into place on his return home. With influences as vast as The Pogues to Paul Kelly, he began to construct his travelled-inspired songs. His popularity and success developed organically at a rapid pace, as he did the rounds among Melbourne’s open mic circuit. Before long he had secured a solid local fan base as well as the attention of the press, before signing to Liberation Music in Australia, Atlantic Records for the rest of the world and Infectious Music here in the UK. With some healthy label support behind him and the knowledge from the open mic shows, Vance began to showcase his music to the world, supporting acts like Of Monsters and Men, Julia Stone, Lissie and Tom Odell across the USA. Before he knew it he was not only headlining, but selling out shows in Canada and the UK. This is when his profile began to rise, and slowly but surely his gapyear had turned into the start of a
viable music career that has taken Vance further than even he expected, and this is still just the beginning. He went on to release his debut EP God Loves You When You’re Dancing in March of 2013, and it was met with great critical acclaim. The release was created with the help of producer John Castle, and Ed White on percussion and cello. The five track EP is easy listening and emotive. It is full of character which is personified through delicate strings and soulful vocals. It oozes a stripped back, simplistic vibe but still is dynamic and entertaining to listen to. The EP’s most popular track is Riptide which made its way into the top ten of the UK charts. Giving Vance a big break within the industry, its rhythmic textures and upbeat melody seamlessly blend with Vance’s controlled vocals; with his words highlighting his impressive song writing skills Currently working on new material that was recorded in a tree house, Vance hopes to release a full length album that is tied together through prominent lyrical themes. Until then though, you can find him spending his summer on the road playing the likes of Bonaroo Manchester Farm in Tennessee, Firefly Music Festival in Delaware and Glastonbury. His name is slowly becoming more common on everyone’s lips and we’re excited to see how his summer stints and potential future sounds will affect this. www.facebook.com/vancejoy @vancejoy WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS PHOTO BY: ATLANTIC RECORDS
DI S COV ER
MEADOWLARK FROM SOLOIST TO TRIO, WHY MEADOWLARK HAVE MORE TO OFFER THAN MOST
BRISTOL BASED THREE PIECE Meadowlark formed when previous soloist Kate McGill teamed up with Carl Jones and Daniel Broadley. The trio got together at the end of 2012, with the desire to create something more in terms of musicianship and lyricism. Having been a “girl who plays covers on YouTube” (albeit, her original material was also great), this desire was especially strong for Kate. The trio debuted a live version of their track Family Tree which was met with an overwhelming response, having secured over 63,000 plays in a year. Evidently, the vulnerability of the emotive lyrics and soothing vocals have struck a chord with listeners. As the song grows around melodic keys and guitar slides their talent seems almost effortless. Their hard work didn’t go unnoticed however, as the band soon found themselves with some cracking opportunities such as supporting Elvis Costello and Bastille.
would be released on May 26. The release coincides with their headline tour which began on May 17 and ends in Glasgow on June 6. With a summer of touring ahead of them and a new EP to look forward to, we’re excited to see what comes of Meadowlark in the forthcoming months. Stay up to date with their journey by following the links below.
After taking time to work on their sound, Meadowlark recently announced that their debut EP Three Six Five
PHOTO BY: JOSUHA HALLING
His luscious tones and beautifully arranged tracks brand Suntrapp as an indie-folk outfit, and we have to agree that he wears the name quite nicely. Citing Neil Young and The Beach Boys as primary influences, Suntrapp’s introductory track, All The Seas gained an abundance of plaudits including a ton of airplay. His latest single Silhouettes is set to be released on June 2, and is taken from his forthcoming EP Yannia.
suntrapp THE UNSIGNED INDIE-FOLK ACT IS SET TO RELEASE HIS NEW SINGLE IN JUNE 20 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
Yannia is the final product of a bunch of sessions Suntrapp did with former Detroit Social Club front-man David Burn. PHOTO BY: TOM AVERY The EP focuses on the lyrical themes of love and vitality, and JAKE HOULSBY, MORE COMMONLY KNOWN is sure to garner the critical Suntrapp deserves. as Suntrapp is an acoustic singer-songwriter attention from Newcastle. After picking up the guitar at ten he began singing at 15 and noted that With Yannia on the way, and a he finally found his voice after a wealth of hometown show that went brilliantly, practice. Now his voice can be recognised Suntrapp has a promising few in an instant, and it is often heard echoing months ahead and is definitely through the streets of Newcastle when he is one to look out for this year. busking or performing shows. For many years Jake played under his own name before www.facebook.com/suntrapp adopting the stage moniker of Suntrapp. @suntrapp
YOUTH CLUB @weareyouthclub
2013 SAW THE FORMATION OF AN indie-pop band from Southend-onSea. After five years of touring with New Zealand pop artist Ladyhawke, Danny Blanco joined his brother Joe Fran alongside Gerarrd Duffield and Rees Broomfield to create Youth Club. Mesmerised by the authentic sounds of summer, Youth Club have concocted their energetic and albeit youthful sound from pop choruses, snazzy synths and warm guitars. They are playing a handful of festivals this summer and have just released their debut album titled Colours, which is already doing well. Youth Club have the potential to be one of this summer’s break out bands.
PHOTO BY: PAUL ARCHER
ANDREAS MOE ANDREAS MOE IS A SWEDISH SINGERsongwriter and is probably most known among the masses for his collaboration with hit DJ Avicii, on his track Fade Into The Darkness. However, Andreas has been involved in music for a long time. He has formed many bands, hit the Stockholm touring circuit including bars, clubs and centres and written a variety of songs for other musicians. After becoming increasingly sought after for his talents as a writer and session guitarist, he signed a publishing deal in the UK back in 2011. With a variety of influences from Michael Jackson to Iron Maiden, Andreas has a strong grasp on music and knows what works for his sound, which is often a mixture of gleeful melodies and heartfelt lyrics that are brought to life through passionate vocals and synth soundscapes. After receiving glowing reviews for his debut EP Collecting Sunlight in 2012, Andreas began to pick up worldwide number ones for his songwriting talents. He will release an album in Sweden in October, but will first release a series of EP’s in the UK starting with Ocean in June. We couldn’t be more excited about his continuing journey into music. www.facebook.com/andreasmoemusic @andreasmoemusic
HANNON SAUNDERS may be a name you know from YouTube, but we have our eyes on her budding independent music career. With her third single Atlas being a prime example of her irresistible vocals and undeniable talent, we can’t wait to see what will come from her first album which is due to be released some time this year.
CATE LE BON @catelebon
HAILING FROM CARMARTHENSHIRE in West Wales, Cate Le Bon is a singer-songwriter who has been turning heads since 2012. Her first album Me Oh My was released in 2009, but it was her follow up in 2012, CYRK, that started to get Cate the attention she deserves. With a unique vocal definition and a talent for writing lyrical tales, she moved to Los Angeles to work on her third album titled Mug Museum which was released in November of 2013. The third single from the album, Sisters, reinforces Cate’s songwriting ability, discussing her relationship with her late Grandmother. Cate has a way to captivate you with her soulful vocals and simply structured melodies.
PHOTO BY: KYLE DEAN REINFORD ALL WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS
i nd u stry
“MAKING A GOOD SONG SHOULDN’T HURT YOUR BRAIN”
BLAKE HARNAGE PRODUCER ENGINEER MIXER CO-WRITER
ON GETTING INTO PRODUCING AND WORKING WITH ARTISTS
TWENTY-FIVE-YEAR-OLD BLAKE Harnage is most commonly known for making up one half of the electro-pop duo Versa (previously VersaEmerge), but Blake’s talents extend further than creating music with counterpart Sierra Kusterbeck. Multi-skilled in writing, singing, producing, engineering and mixing, it seems Blake’s talents have no bounds. We spoke to him about combining artistry and producing, working with other artists, his creative process and plans for the future.
rock roots, to fuzzy electronic soundscapes and almost cinematic elements. There was hints of a new direction after their full length Fixed At Zero was released, but this took full effect in Versa’s Neon EP which is layered with synthpop vibes, experimental techniques and a world away from what fans were used to. During this transition, Blake was able to hold a more vital role in this part of the process, which by default will have strengthened his relationship with music and Versa’s creative needs.
“I began guitar lessons at age nine, but didn’t start performing out until around 14,” explained Blake. “My guitar teacher at the time used to invite me to this ‘open blues jam’ at a local club where I could sit-in and improvise. Back then, I hoped to become a famous, young blues guitarist,” he laughed. “Come high school I played in some various metal/hardcore bands. Back in 2006 I purchased a small Pro Tools rig for demoing out ideas. I also started recording quite a few local bands at home in my bedroom. It wasn’t until the end of high school that VersaEmerge (now Versa) started to tour, and eventually collaborate with writers/ producers around the world.”
“We’ve always just wanted to create a strong vibe with music. I’ve learned a lot about textures from trying things like mixing orchestral sounds with drums and guitar. After gaining a little more experience, I’ve realised how important the ‘song’ is to the the equation. You’ve just gotta have fun with the rest of it.” Speaking on behalf of Versa, “we’re never
As an artist and a producer himself, Blake made plenty of connections while travelling overseas. What we tend to find is, people, whether that’s producers or musicians, often take inspiration from artists that they admire the most. “Growing up, I was immersed in all sorts of different styles of music. I think that has a huge, enduring impact on the way people’s brains subconsciously interpret music. I think that’s the strongest type of influence a person can gain,” Blake said. “As for more recent (and conscious) influences, I’m drawn to artists that use a lot of dramatic textures. I love Bjork and film composers like Bernard Herrmann. I’ve also gotten into the production on some modern hiphop records like Kanye and Drake.” Not focusing on one type of genre opens up a world of possibilities. When VersaEmerge transitioned to Versa, there was a shift in their sound, moving from indie-
“AS LONG AS THE SONG IS GREAT AT THE CORE, YOU CAN REALLY DO ANYTHING” really sure what noise, instrument or lyric will start the process, but once a song gets moving, it tends to move along on its own. We just get in the studio and jam on something, and let the sounds fall into place. We’ve learned to trust our guts, and if something is fun and makes us feel good, then we go with it. Making a good song shouldn’t hurt your brain,” Blake explained. When you’re creating music for yourself it’s more than likely easier to understand what direction you’re going in, and what it is you’re looking for. But what about when it comes to working with other people? An artist-producer relationship needs to be a strong one, and so it is important to get that balance so
everyone can perform their jobs to the best of their ability. “It’s fun for me as a producer to find artists who are not only super talented, but who are open to trying new things,” said Blake. “As an artist myself, I know how easy it is to put yourself in a box and feel as if what you’re doing has to be a certain way. In reality, you can do anything you want. As long as the song is great at the core, you can really do anything. I think it makes the whole process much more exciting and bring a much more interesting end product when you’re not afraid to try a drastic tempo change or switch up your sonic pallet. Just try and make it as good as possible!” Being as multi-talented as Blake, I can imagine that working on a project with someone else can be a blessing or a curse, depending on whether you like to be involved in as much of the process as possible. “I definitely prefer to be full involved in a project from beginning to end,” Blake noted. “I think it’s important to make sure the song retains that original vibe you started with, which can so easily get lost along the way. When it comes to working with someone: “I usually start out by listening through the artist’s demos and voice memos to gather up all the best bits. Then jumping over to compose a new track on the computer. I do a lot of mixing on the fly, automating plugins and EQ-ing to make sure every sound finds its own place in the song. At the end, I like to bring in another skilled set of ears to adjust the mix. Spending weeks focusing on small details can draw your attention away from the big picture. It helps to step back and reassess.” Having build his studio continuously across the past few years, adding gear as and when he can, Blake said his set up is “sort of a small operation, but it works great,” he reassured me. “I’m running Pro Tools on my MacBook Pro with a firewire interface. I have a couple of different vocal mics and preamps/ channel strip. I’ve got a guitar cabinet mic’d up in another room. All my keyboards and synths go DI. I usually head to another location to cut live drums. Everything else is done here in one small room. It’s amazing what you can do 23
PHOTO BY: ANGELO VALENTINE 24 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
with technology, right?”. When it comes to his favourite/must-have piece of gear Blake explained that he has a “little Yamaha VSS-30 keyboard sampler from the 80s”. “I bring it to every writing session. It’s pretty limited by todays standards but I think there’s a certain quality in that. It’s super easy for coming up with unique sounding instrumental hooks and melodies,” he continued. He has recently worked with Colleen D’Agostino most notably known as the lead singer of the rock-act The Material. However she has recently begun a solo, electronic infused project under the name of With Beating Hearts. “I’ve known Colleen for a while, and did a remix for With Beating Hearts back in 2012,” said Blake. “She was really happy with the way it turned out and wanted to collaborate on some original tracks. She flew to Florida for a week and we wrote and recorded three songs. We wanted to make big 80s inspired electro songs. It was a lot of fun to work on, and that style fits Colleen’s voice so well.” Speaking of collaborations, Blake also got the chance to score an original piece for the film Of Many. Of Many, which is set against the backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict depicts the tension between college students. The film orientates around the
relationship of an orthodox Rabbi and Imam, aiming to combine topical aspects with documentary points of view, humour and highlighting the importance of uniting a community. It premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. On working on the score for the film Blake described it as “a big challenge but a lot of fun.” He went on to say: “I got called in sort of last minute to write a song that fit with the existing movie cuts and edits, so it was a little intimidating. I was happy and relieved to hear that the producers liked what I wrote,” he laughed. “This was my first time working on film music, and it was really cool to have someone like Chelsea Clinton on as producer. You can hear the piece titled Joplin on my SoundCloud.” As Blake mentioned, working on film music for the first time was quite a challenge for him, and we wanted to know what other challenges he faces while working as a producer. “It usually takes a day or two to feel-out and understand the relationship you have with someone when working with them for the first time,” he explained. “I’ve got to give them an environment where they’re comfortable just doing their thing. Most people have a strong personal connection to songs they’ve written and I definitely don’t want to overstep
any boundaries by jumping in and slicing it up. They’ve got to trust me and let me help them improve what they’ve already got.” But for every dozen challenges, there is the rare success. “I haven’t been around for all that long, but I’m really proud of what I’ve done thus far,” said Blake. “I’ve always wanted to work in many different areas of music, so that’s a big personal achievement for me! Also, it’s infinitely amazing to see how many people around the world I’ve reached by making music.” As for the rest of the year, Blake informed us that they have “some more Versa tunes in the works that will be out in the near future. Followed eventually by some touring,” he said. “I’m so excited for all of our new music to get out to the world. At the moment though, I’m finishing up a LP I produced for a new band called Pvris. They’re gonna be huge, keep an eye out!” To finish up Blake instructed us to “keep listening” and wanted to say “thanks for all the support.” It certainly sounds like Blake is getting to grips with his new role behind the scenes, and we can’t wait to hear his work on both Pvris’ and Versa’s new material. @blakeharnage www.soundcloud.com/ blakeharnage INTERVIEW BY: BEKKA COLLINS
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SEMI PRECIOUS WEAPONS
ON THEIR FIRST ALBUM IN FOUR YEARS, DAY TO DAY LIFE AND PLAYING SHOWS www.semipreciousweapons.com www.facebook.com/semipreciousweapons @preciousweapons
26 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
INTERVIEW BY: BEKKA COLLINS
I NT E RVI EW SEMI PRECIOUS WEAPONS ARE a high-energy quartet currently comprised of Justin Tranter on vocals, Dan Crean on drums, Stevy Pyne on guitar and Cole Whittle on bass. Having all played music from an early age, the foursome met each other in their freshman year of musical school at Berklee College and officially formed back in 2006, with Stevy Pyne joining in 2008. The band make rock-rooted tracks that are slicked with attitude and combine the occasional flare of flamboyant pop. They released their debut album We Love You in 2008 via Razor and Tie Records. It was met with a wealth of success and formed a platform for their ever-growing, cult-like fan-base. They went on to wow supporters and stun critics with their follow up sophomore album You Love You which was released in 2010. The band then relocated from New York to Los Angeles to collaborate with multi-platinum, grammy-winning producer Tricky Stewart who has worked with the likes of Beyonce, Frank Ocean and Rihanna. Tricky and Semi Precious Weapons worked alongside each other, writing and recording the material that would make up the band’s third album titled Aviation. They then signed to Tricky’s new label RedZone Records. Having not released any new material for four years, it was only natural for there to be an air of uncertainty about how Aviation would perform, but despite only being released in April it has already garnered great press. The lead single Aviation High grabbed an iTunes Single of the Week spot and front-man Justin Tranter said that Aviation was “the album we [the band] had always hoped to make.”
The 12-track release blends an array of genres from dance-punk to good old indie-pop, and with Tricky’s urban production it offers something for everyone. Justin told us: “Our influences never seem to be clear in the music we make. We like to come from angles that don’t give a clean line back to the songs that we were listening to at the time. Whether it’s Patti Griffin or Sonny Rollins. How has our sound expanded? All the way around, [we’re] growers not showers.” While Justin joked that the only challenges they faced in the studio were “running out of booze and trying to figure out how to mic an aeroplane,” we know that with any task difficulties are faced and problems arise - but thankfully none seem to be present in the final product. Aviation is packed full of lyrical tales and themes, and the band have a real knack for storytelling which can be seen in their video for Aviation High. “We always just try to tell a new story, with a new point of view song by song,” said Justin. “But over the time we wrote the album, themes just started to show up. The sky, looking up, moving forward, falling in love and having awesome friends is the over arching theme.” Justin gave us an insight into a day in his life so we could learn
more about what it’s like to be a member of Semi Precious Weapons. A typical work days sees the band do one of three things, “we either wake up and go to a radio station to perform, wake up and write a song, or wake up and take a nap.” Their routine obviously differs depending on whether they’re recording material or on tour. “It’s very, very different,” said Justin. “When we are on tour we never sleep and play really loud. Really loud. When we are writing and recording there is sleep and brief moments of quiet crafting. Every time we schedule time to chill out, some amazing opportunity presents itself,” and in their spare time Justin “plays tennis and puts on makeup for no reason. Cole fights people. Dan naps and Stevy makes films.”
“WE ALWAYS JUST TRY TO TELL A NEW STORY”
“AVIATION IS THE ALBUM WE HAD ALWAYS HOPED TO MAKE” 27
Semi Precious Weapons are no amateurs on stage, having supported none other than Lady Gaga on her Monster Ball Tour, Kesha on her Warrior Tour and they headlined their own tour titled the Dirty Showbiz Tour too. They have even tried their hands at festivals, making appearances at Lollapalooza and the Isle of Wight festival. When we spoke to Justin the band were currently at a radio event known as DC101 Kerfuffle which was a show that hosted eight bands including Cage The Elephant and Foals. Their favourite part of the day is being “on stage, always” said Justin. “The amazing program director at DC101, James, really believes in our songs and our band and asked us to come play their big show,” he explained. While the band don’t rely on rituals to get hyped for a show, Justin told us that once their set is rehearsed and ready, “it’s just about getting to the gig and having a drink, or 13, so it feels like it’s midnight even though we have to perform and 3pm.” As for the bands show, we’re in for a treat. “It’s safe to expect the unexpected,” said Justin. “Anything can happen, and it usually does. I think people appreciate the fact that they can come to a SPW show in a bunny suit and do interpretive dance because no one is watching them. We distract all crowd judgement, so people just get wild.” Having been a band for eight years now, Semi Precious Weapons are familiar with the way the industry works, but said that despite everything, “still believing in each other after all these years enough to not quit,” was their biggest accomplishment so far. With the hopes of having a lot of people hear their newest album Aviation, 2014 aims to be music filled for the guys. “It’s all that matters. We want to fly to a new city every day and play a show every night. Plus, we are writing our entire next album in the meantime.” So while the band are already thinking about their next moves, it’s clear that the goal this year is to connect with as many people as possible through their music. They have a few tour dates coming up, but who knows what could be around the corner for this talented act.
28 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK PHOTOS BY: ANDY JONES DC101 KERFUFFLE || MAY ‘14
AVIATION out now
IGGY AZALEA the new classic OUT NOW via island records 30 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
GLASGOW -BASED INDIE ROCK ACT SUPPORT NATIVES AND RELEASE DEBUT EP BROKEN CLOCKS @ARCHESUK
INDIE ROCK QUARTET Arches are made up of Barry Morell, Niall McGarvie, and Andy and David Johnston. Having played shows together since 2011, they aren’t short on chemistry and their energetic tracks are worthy of any stage. We caught them live recently supporting Natives and were blown away. With a wealth of regional support already behind them, WORDS + PHOTOS BY: BEKKA COLLINS NEWCASTLE, UK || MARCH ‘14
the band’s ever growing fanbase speaks volumes about their sound and talent, but if you need a little bit more convincing you can check out their debut EP Broken Clocks which was released last August. If Arches continue to head in this direction, it won’t be long before we’re seeing and more importantly hearing a lot more from them.
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PHOTOS: BY DYLAN RAZO / PHOENIX, AZ || APRIL ‘14
D I S C OVER
DO YOU EVEN KNOW ABOUT THE NEXT FEMALE ARTIST TO TAKE THE UK BY STORM?
WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS PHOTO BY: ATLANTIC RECORDS
EVERYONE IS FALLING IN love with Rae Morris and it’s about time the rest of the world caught on. We’re thankful that we are no longer lone passengers on the Rae Morris train, as this Blackpool singersongwriter is certainly making the most of 2014. If you haven’t heard of her yet, you soon will.
Do You Even Know? via Atlantic Records, which included three versions of the title track and another song titled Unguarded. While the EP may not be the best judge of what is to come from Rae, seeing as it includes the same song three times, one listen to the lead track and you’ll see what we’re all raving about.
After lending her vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club’s hit single Luna and then releasing, and receiving phenomenal feedback on her own single Skin, her sincerity and genuine talent is starting to become recognised.
Do You Even Know? possesses soulful vocals and impressive high notes, while melodically it encompasses a murmuring beat with light synths and sparkling strings. For those unfamiliar with Rae’s lyrical tales, she has a gift for storytelling through music. The track analyses the concept
On May 6 she released an EP titled
of solitude and being the only person who will ever really know you, and is conveyed with such transparent emotion that it’s almost impossible not to get hooked. The Do You Even Know EP is almost a taster, or alternatively something to tide us over until her debut album makes its appearance later this year. We’re very excited about the direction Rae Morris and her music are about to head in, and we promise that you’re going to want to be along for the ride. www.facebook.com/ raemorrisblackpool @raemorris 33
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EWS PHOTO BY: DYLAN RAZO 35
R EV IEWS
THE HORRORS LUMINOUS
2.5/5 This ten track release from The Horrors is long-winded and albeit dull in parts. However when the melodic structures kick in and we get a chance to experience the textured soundscapes we can appreciate the minimalist and almost bleak-psychedelic vibe The Horrors have gone for. Unfortunately there’s no stand out and barely any signs of life and so I haven’t taken much away from Luminous as a record.
THE NEW CLASSIC
3/5 Iggy Azalea’s debut album is classic, but I’m not so sure about new. Earning stripes for her fierce-flowing rap verses, sections of her album seem nostalgic rather than fresh and new, and that is my biggest complaint. The album as a whole is well produced and is enough to solidify Iggy as a worthy artist. 36 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
BRODY DALLE DIPLOID LOVE
The former Distillers singer has returned with her debut solo album and it certainly packs a punch. Though strikingly different from what we’re used to, Dalle still spits with attitude and reminds us of her real gift for creating grunge-influenced tracks. Though it takes a while to adjust to her new style, if given a chance Diploid Love will prove its worth. The nine track release opens with Rat Race which is full of trumpet bursts and lined with an anthemic chorus. Dalle has always been fond of creating fast-paced, gritty riffs to cloak massive hooks and thankfully that trait features throughout the whole of this album.
to let everyone know who’s boss with a hard-hitting song that is sure to make you pay attention. Dalle has been through her fair share of shit and previously created what some would describe as angry music, to deal with that, but the honesty and vulnerability that is present on Diploid Love is one of my favourite aspects surrounding the album as it really let’s us connect with Dalle on a more personal level.
Having teamed up with a bunch of people to help create this album, Diploid Love is fused with influences from Garbage’s Shirley Manson, Warpaint’s Emily Kokal and Nick Valensi of The Strokes. No two songs sound a like but they all have her signature sound cutting straight through them. Whether it’s her raspy vocals or reliance on Don’t Mess With Me is one of my power-stricken riffs, you can spot a favourite tracks on the record, Brody Dalle track from the first listen. embodying defiance and throwing a middle finger up to the world. Though I was apprehensive about this Now a mother and no longer as album, and actually didn’t start to like angst-y as she used to be, we can see it until my third full listen, Dalle has that Dalle’s approach to music has created an impressive debut that is a matured, but she, alike us, still loves perfect ode to her past and present.
LILY ALLEN SHEEZUS
LINDSEY STIRLING SHATTER ME
Give Lily the crown bitch, “I wanna be Sheezus”, exclaims Allen in the opening track of her new album of the same name. It’s been five years since Lily has released any music, and she notes that things within the industry have changed. The album however is a contradiction of itself, deeply rooted in mainstream pop while slagging off the industry at the same time. The lyrical themes are slicked with controversial topics that border on attention seeking, but still put the problem into the spotlight. Known for her bluntness and sass, Lily isn’t afraid of confrontation, but there’s no denying that this album is written incredibly well. It is loosely tied together with conflicting attitudes and a contrasting line of crude vs sweet. Having listened to it in its entirety a handful of times, I think a fair portion of the songs will become growers, as it’s hard to knock Allen’s talent for crafting pop jams but that doesn’t take away from the fact that combining a multitude of genres makes Sheezus sound messy and direction-less at times.
Lindsey Stirling is one of the most diverse and dynamic performers out there at the moment, and this statement is backed up by the release of her second album Shatter Me. Having found a way to combine hard-hitting dubstep beats with beautifully sculpted classical violin pieces, Stirling creates something that you won’t find anywhere else. The 12-track release incorporates pop melodies with infectious strings that are new sounding and exciting across every single track. Post-production helps give this album the edge it needed, however that’s not a discredit to Lindsey or her obvious talent in any way. Shatter Me is an honest effort and is successful in crossing over genres in a way that doesn’t feel forced, but instead just simply works. V Pop for example uses samples from Rapture, while the title track aims to reach that dance-pop audience further by adding vocals from Lzzy Hale. What Stirling has here is a completely stunning sophomore release that is impressive from start to finish, and with each listen something new arises.
The long awaited debut album from Louisa Rose Allen, also known as Foxes has finally arrived. Glorious is a follow on from her 2012 Warrior EP, and the progression in her sound is immediately evident. The deluxe edition contains 16 tracks and is a fun-loving, upbeat album about being young and carefree, well almost. The album is synth-fuelled and creates deep and rich textured soundscapes that work well for individual songs, but get lost when listening to the album as a whole. Glorious offers some of the best popsongs I’ve heard in a while, like the already popular Youth, Let Go For Tonight and The Unknown. But as an album that focuses on the bigger picture, it’s easy to undervalue the more soul-searchy ballad tracks on the record like Night Glo and Home. They show Foxes’ diversity as an artist and display her vocals properly which sometimes take a back seat among the fun. Glorious works individually, but not as a package. It has some glimmering moments and overall puts a promising light above Foxes’ career.
I NEVER LEARN
Lykke Li’s third album is deep and sentimental, a world away from her previous uplifting electro-pop sounds. While the electro influence is there, it’s subtle, and has practically been over taken by heavy drumming and striking piano chords. The album which centres so prominently around the themes of love and loss is delicate and emotive from start to finish. The fourth track Silver Line is beautifully composed and it’s so easy to get lost in the vocals, until the thudding drum patterns of Gunshot make you question whether it’s better to have loved and been shot, or never loved at all. The melodic and key heavy chorus is stunning and is delivered without a fault. The acoustic ballad of Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone really highlights Li’s talent as a songwriter, and with nothing more than elegant strums, we’re sucked into Li’s love story and struggling to stay dry-eyed. The album as a whole is a heart-tugging tale of love and heartbreak, that is relatable to us all. 37
The Prismatic World Tour
Katy Perry 38 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
revi e w Thousands of people piled into Newcastle’s Metro Arena to see Katy Perry live this May. After being pre-warmed up by Swedish DJ duo Icona Pop, the lights dimmed and several of Katy’s dancers appeared on stage wearing neon coloured mo-hawks. They were welcomed by deafening screams and burst straight into their choreography for their opening number which was the hit single Roar. Having seen Katy Perry twice before on the California Dreams Tour, I was expecting things to be big, bold and adventurous. Her performance was split up into sections, with the Prismatic theme taking the lead. An appropriately placed prism evolved at the foot of the stage and unveiled miss Perry in a white dress which was accessorised with neon lights. She began to belt out Roar and then energetically show off her skipping rope skills before diving into the female-empowered Part Of Me. Part Of Me was the first song of the night to showcase Perry’s moving walkway, which looked like a great deal of fun! Only two songs in and I started to feel a little weary of how the night would proceed. While Katy rarely seems to excel at television performances, her live shows are always on point. Every note is hit and no complaints can be made (why this doesn’t translate on TV - I don’t know), however I had noticed that she seemed to be overly relying on her backing singers for the more strenuous notes. I wondered whether this would become a common feature. Regardless, The Prismatic theme continued with a dance remix of Wide Awake which saw Katy sing on her spinning prism, before finding her voice once more to perform a melody mash up of This Moment and Love Me. During This Moment the room was filled with colourful lights as Katy screamed “let the light hit you,” which seems to be her latest motto. The Egyptian theme of the performance soon followed after a quick costume change, of course, and was by far my favourite section. Making her entrance on a golden horse, Perry burst into Dark Horse with the fire and hit I had expected from the start. ET followed and was one of the more risk-factored parts of the show, seeing Katy spin upside down on a moving prism
that was attached to the ceiling, while continuing to sing about boys being aliens. Legendary Lovers and I Kissed A Girl also featured in this section, and by this point Katy was completely owning the stage. One thing I’ve always admired about Katy is her tenacity with regards to putting on a show. She doesn’t just do her best when she performs, but she tells a story, making it something that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all ages. The production on this tour was insane, from the costumes to the props to the visual aids that added depth during the songs or kept the audience entertained during her brief costume changes. As ever her live band, backing singers and dancers continued to pull energy from the crowd as we moved into Cat-Oure. Cat-Oure is an excellent name, and also turned out to be one of the most surprising sections. Always the storyteller, things got theatrical as
“LET THE LIGHT HIT YOU” Katy paraded about in a sweet-pink cat suit to a musical rendition of Hot N Cold. The performance levels upped further with a mash-up of International Smile and Madonna’s Vogue, which almost unfolded into a full on pantomime performance - just replace the song lyrics with dialogue and you would have been good to go. As mentioned, I had seen Katy beforehand and thought that during her last tour she excelled during her acoustic section. While I, like most of the crowd, enjoy her crazy costumes, antics and general upbeat and enthusiastic stage presence the realness of her acoustic performance is always breathtakingly emotive and raw. Before getting deep, Katy took some time to talk to the crowd and thanked them for coming while offering a few people at the front
some alcohol with a pre-warning sign about catching her two-week cold if they chose to drink it. They did. Having explained that she was feeling somewhat weak, which was “weird” for her to admit, her reliance on the backing vocalists was clearly a technique to savour her energy, and one that I’m sure any performer would have adopted in her situation. Sniffling before the microphone, Katy performed some of her best lyrical tracks to date including By The Grace Of God, in which she admitted still made her nervous to sing. If her vulnerability as an artist were to be captured in a moment, it would have been then. Yet she absolutely nailed it, singing along with the delicate piano keys her vocals were flawless as her lyrical tales were laid bare for the room to inspect. She went on to perform The One That Got Away, an unexpected rendition of Thinking Of You, Double Rainbow and Unconditionally. By this point in the night, Katy had already outdone herself and received top marks in my book, anything else she had in store was just a bonus. Stepping away from the emotional side of things, the dance party was back in full flow after a megamix dance party anthem took to the stage combining some of the best 90s hits for the Throwback section. When Katy returned to perform Walking On Air her hair had been replaced for a green tinted wig and she was kitted out in a yellow get up. Harnessed and ready to roll, Katy zip wired above a blue sheet which covered parts of the crowd while singing her upbeat 80s anthem. It Takes Two was a little bizarre as Katy’s dress inflated upwards and she hovered over the crowd for what purpose, I’m not sure. The dress was fitting however, representing the yin yang symbols and reinforcing the reality of two complimentary or opposite forces working together. This Is How We Do then happened, and I say happened because for about three minutes I was looking at a giant inflatable poo Emoji. Not a sentence I ever thought I’d write, not a sight I ever thought I’d see, but there you go. Besides the poo Emoji, This Is How We Do transformed into a chilled, even somewhat spaced out rendition of Last Friday Night (TGIF), which I thoroughly enjoyed. As a upbeat pop song that fulfills the need of making you want to party, it was nice to hear it performed and arranged 39
in a way that was not the norm. While it highlighted Katy’s impressive vocal range it also offered a moment of relief. Katy, like many other artists is a performer who always takes things up a notch, and her energy levels never dropped once despite being ill. If anything they only increased as her set when on. We then moved on to the final section of the tour titled Hyper Neon. If I could sum it up in a word, it would be: riot. Teenage Dream came first and was quite mellow in terms of production and effects but vocally and musically no problems were had, and it was a definite hit with the crowd. California Gurls however was as spunky as ever, making us all wish we lived in California down by the beach too. The summer-infused track saw the energy levels rise even higher, not that I thought it was possible, and the stage set up was amusing, with large letters spelling out the words Hollywood, Yolo and Ooh throughout the song. The section finished with Katy’s latest single, Birthday. Birthday was chaotic, loud and messy but in the best of ways. Each show sees a competition winner who’s birthday is that week join Katy on stage for some special treatment. A birthday cake is sculpted around the winner before they’re lifted up in the air as a wave of confetti explodes in what you would mistakenly call the grand finale. Katy then attaches herself to some balloons and a zip-wire and flies around the audience like it’s the most natural thing. The one song encore has Katy return with Firework, and yes, this includes many explosive Fireworks. Though it wouldn’t have been my choice of closing song, this power-pop track with ballad elements and a memorable chorus sees fans show their support for Katy one last time. Finished before it even seemed to start, Katy Perry shows always fly over because they’re packed with so much fun. Always criticised for being manufactured pop Katy is anything but. With traditional music roots, genuine talent and a strong worth ethic, no one can argue with her ability to put on a show. From colourful theatrics to sincere moments, Emoji’s, dance parties and transporting in time, Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour is certainly one to see. Her stage charm and professional showmanship allowed her to shine on stage, and after her UK stint she will be taking the tour international across to the US and Australia so make sure you don’t miss it. www.facebook.com/katyperry @katyperry 40 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
PHOTOS: BY BEKKA COLLINS|| MAY ‘14
PHOTOS: BY CHRISTIE GOODWIN|| MAY ‘1441
PHOTO: DAVID CONGER
REVIEW: NEWCASTLE, UK || FEBRUARY ‘14
"THIS TIME THEY WERE LIKE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT BAND" 42 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
THERE IS SOMETHING so special about watching a band’s success grow to an international level. This happened to me with Bastille; the lovable indiepop quartet who are known for their memorable hits such as Pompeii, Flaws and Laura Palmer. Having been a fan since 2011, I already had their tracks memorised before seeing them perform in support of Two Door Cinema Club back in January of 2013. While they gave a great performance back then, I always felt like they were lacking something which I couldn’t put my finger on until I seen them headline this February. The unfortunate fact is, the majority of the time the crowd only give their all for headliners, which is what happened in 2013. While this was not Bastille’s fault, it did have an impact on their performance. This year however they were like a completely different band, dominating the stage with their electric, high-energy show, including that one missing element: presence. Opening with fan favourite Bad Blood, taken from their album of the same name, the crowd cheered as Bastille took to the stage, hyped and raring to go. The Weight Of Living Pt II and Blame soon followed, offering contagious beats and powerful, lengthy vocals. Next up was a personal favourite of mine Laura Palmer. It was executed perfectly and even had the occasional addition of standalone drum beats from front-man Dan Smith. Bastille continued to perform tracks such as Icarus, Overjoyed, These Streets and Oblivion before inviting support act Angel Haze back onto stage. The pair unveiled
and then performed The Weapon, their brand new collaboration which was met with positivity from the crowd. One thing to note about Bastille’s show is that while they sounded solid throughout their entire set and put on an incredibly captivating show, it was also easy to see the amount effort and detail that had gone into producing this tour. Their iconic triangular symbol was mounted at the back of the stage incorporating visual elements to aid their tracks, and occasionally showed the crowd and the live show itself. This was illuminated by a precisely choreographed light show which filled the room with colour. The band also enlisted the help of a beautifully arranged string section which added another dimension of sound to their live shows. Everything had been thought of and everything had its place. During Flaws, Dan made his way off the stage, sung through the crowd and then rocked up a height standing on the venues bar, much to the securities disgust. He sent fans into a frenzy before returning back to the stage to perform their iconic cover of Of The Night. Encouraging everyone to get involved, the crowd were on the floor and jumping to the roof on every single beat drop as Bastille powered through the cover, giving an exciting and fresh vibe to a classic track. They then finished up their set with none other than Pompeii, ending the night on a total buzz after giving a knock out performance. Bastille have a knack for constructing tracks but they perform them live even better. Make sure you catch them at a show soon.
the summer set AFTER YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL TOURING, ARE THE SUMMER SET ABOUT TO MAKE IT IN THE UK?
WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS PHOTO BY: IAN COLLINS
THE SUMMER SET FROM Scottsdale, Arizona are a pop-rock quintet who have been touring the UK circuit for years, and in March they finally got to play to an almost sold out crowd at Newcastle’s O2 Academy 2. They were supported by Paradise Fears and William Beckett. First up to the stage were Paradise Fears, a six piece alternative-pop outfit from South Dakota. Having formed back in 2009, Paradise Fears are no strangers to the stage, except for here in the UK, with Newcastle marking their first ever UK show. Apprehensive about how their material would go down overseas, front-man Sam Miller kept up some charismatic conversations with the crowd and the whole band looked at home on stage. Self-defining himself as a “nerdy little fucking white boy,” before beginning to rap alongside the pop-rock melodic sounds, Paradise Fears surprised me on all levels. It is unusual hear to a mix of alternative-pop and rap that works so well, and while it’s clear that the band took a risk, it definitely paid 44 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
off. As for their actual performance it was energetic and charming, their audience interaction was on point and they delivered praise worthy tracks from beginning to end. William Beckett of The Academy Is... fame then took to the stage with a guitar and a Mac-book. He explained to the crowd how he didn’t get to do his extremely cool introduction, and so went back off stage and returned after playing an edited version of Eminem’s My Name Is. Though there were a couple of drunk hecklers during his performance, William took it all in his stride as he wowed the audience with his acoustic tracks that made you uncontrollably sway along. With a much softer and less energetic set than Paradise Fears, it was refreshing to see that the crowd appreciated a more mellow act, as they got lost in his storytelling lyrics and cheerful melodies. He brought out the frontman of The Summer Set, Brian Logan Dales, to end his set on a high. Then
had all been waiting for arrived, The Summer Set took to the stage to headline The Legendary UK tour, in support of their latest album Legendary. Straight from the onset the energy was at an all time high as the thudding beats led us into Rescue, which was followed by Chelsea, sending the crowd into a frenzy. The band played a healthy set-list featuring songs from all three of their albums. A poppy chorus and shredding guitars led us into Young while the intense clapping from the crowd accompanied the upbeat Someone Like You. The Summer Set played a solid set throughout. Their interactive and magnetic show had the whole room moving, as the band themselves continued to dance around on stage while still remaining on top of their vocals. The Summer Set seem to be continually enhancing their live shows, and it’s about time that they moved up to headlining the main stage. www.facebook.com/ thesummerset @the_summer_set
PARADISE FEARS | WILLIAM BECKETT | THE SUMMER SET
PHOTOS: BY BEKKA COLLINS / NEWCASTLE, UK || MARCH ‘14
WORDS BY: BEKKA COLLINS PHOTO BY: EMMA SWANN
WHEN THE HEADLINER drops out and the venue decreases by half of the size, your night is gonna go one of two ways; it will either redeem itself, or become absolutely tragic. Newcastle’s Riverside All Dayer, which turned into a normal show at Think Tank, thankfully ended up following the former trail. Local lad Sam Fender opened the show and this was my second time seeing him live. Like the first, his voice captivated the whole room with such ease it was like he wasn’t even trying. His husky vocals and raw melodies are classic and bold, and really do well with his simplistic stage setup. While his banter on stage got a few laughs, referring to the fact that his last name actually is Fender, he seems more comfortable performing rather than trying to force interactions with the crowd. When they come naturally however, he glows. On the local North East scene I would say Sam is the most underrated performer I know of, and he should be playing to thousands of people as opposed to a handful. He has a strong future ahead of him and is 46 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK literally bursting with talent.
WITH 2014 SET TO BE HER BREAK OUT YEAR, YOU’D BE A FOOL TO MISS CHLOE HOWL Next up was Lisbon, another local act who I had also seen before. Mentioned in our Discover section this four piece are getting themselves noticed, combining alternative soundscapes with upbeat melodies. I actually prefer their songs in a live setting. There’s just something so electric about their performance that they unfold better that way. They did a superb job of warming up the crowd, playing tracks that got everyone moving and ending with their hitsingle Blue Love. Their performance was tight, energetic and a whole lot of fun to watch. London five piece Eliza and the Bear soon crammed onto the stage, sans bear. Having only heard of their name, rather than what they sounded like, I was apprehensive for their set to begin. With a special flare for brass, Eliza and the Bear brought a new kind of energy with them for every song,
and the crowd reacted incredibly well, singing and dancing from start to finish. After agreeing that they were ultimately the happiest band I have ever seen play live, it was a pleasure to see their energetic melodies, pop-tastic riffs, powerful vocals and dominant percussion flow easily throughout a brilliantly performed set. Finally it was time for nineteen-year-old headliner Chloe Howl to take to the stage. Signed at the age of 16, Chloe has been honing her craft for the past few years and is gearing up to release her self-titled debut album in June, with the intent on making 2014 her breakout year. Known for her feisty synth-pop tracks and cleverly written tonguein-cheek lyrics, Chloe is a dominant front-woman who knows how to work it on stage. Surprisingly she kicked off her set with a few unreleased tracks which eased the
crowd into her set, before she whacked out previous electro-fuelled singles Paper Heart and No Strings. Girls & Boys also deserves a worthy mention. With a sultry voice Chloe shows a snippet of her vocal power during the vulnerable Takes Me A Long Time. While every note may not have been hit, the real power in her performance comes from her rawness. Following the crowds vibe, Chloe is a natural on stage, feeling the music and rocking an edginess that I hope she maintains further into her career. She finished up her set with her latest single Rumour. Like her songs, her persona is addictive and anyone who can make me dance like I have no inhibitions is always a winner in my book. www.facebook.com/ chloehowlofficial @chloehowl
THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED SELFTITLED ALBUM VIA COLUMBIA RECORDS
CHLOE HOWL out june 9, 2014
chvrches SCOTTISH ELECTRO-POP TRIO Chvrches formed back in 2011 and are made up of Lauren Mayberry, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. Getting into the electronic music scene at the right time, the band have had a core fanbase from the beginning and it has continued to grow rapidly across the past year and a half. In January of 2013 the band signed with Glassnote Records and released their five track EP titled Recover in March. It received generally positive reviews and opened up a wealth of opportunities for the band, who made their US TV debut on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon in June of 2013. They also came fifth in the BBCâ€™s Sound Of 2013 poll for the most promising new music talent. The buzz around the band at this point was already hitting new heights and was something they hadnâ€™t expected, especially not so soon. Their debut studio album The Bones Of What You Believe was then released in September of 2013 via Virgin Records. This album knocked the positive comments about their EP out of the park, and before you knew it, everyone wanted a piece of Chvrches. More recently the trio have been working hard on their live shows, and have been touring internationally, all around the world. Now one of the most popular electronic acts to originate from the UK, Chvrches are touring right through until October. Keep up to date with their journey by following the links below. www.facebook.com/CHVRCHES @CHVRCHES
48 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
PHOTOS: BY DYLAN RAZO / PHOENIX, AZ || APRIL ‘14 49
50 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
PHOTOS: BY DYLAN RAZO / PHOENIX, AZ || APRIL ‘14
The LaF 52
ON DEFINING THEIR SOUND, GROWING UP IN SCOTLAND AND TOURING AMERICA
i nt ervi ew THE LAFONTAINES ARE A Scottish quintet who have put a stamp on their own cross-genre style, giving their sound a unique hip-hop to pop vibe that allows them to stand out among a crowd. We had a chat with frontman Kerr Okan and vocalist and bassist John Gerard about the bands original formation, touring in America, the Scottish music scene and their brand new single. “The band formed in Motherwell about three years ago via friends with a mutual interest in all things musical,” Kerr told us. “Iain (guitarist) and myself, I suppose, were the main instigators in terms of getting the ball rolling and actually booking some shows. But people like Jamie (drummer) helped to provide a little buzz around what was happening with us. Jamie you see, is notorious in his home town of Wishaw for managing to cause a stir in anything he does, so people were intrigued to see how we would manage to contain him I think. Three years in, we’ve not done too bad. Nothing the odd slap wont fix. As a band I’d say we draw from all of our individual preferences rather than a collective interest in one type of music. Darren is all about his synths, Ian loves a bit of punk and old school hip-hop, Jamie is the soul man, John loves a bit of pop and I listen exclusively to Nickelback.” One listen to this band and you can automatically hear a wealth of influences pouring into their music, but it is done in a way that allows them to create their own genre rather than regurgitate the same generic tracks. So when it comes to defining their sound, things get difficult. “Here’s where we run into some problems,” said Kerr. “It’s hard to try and describe something that doesn’t really exist anywhere else. It’s the gift and the curse. Some people try to loosely lump our sound with something else, just because it’s the done thing in the industry or whatever. It’s cool though, it’s always going to be tough being the first through the door. All we know is whatever type of music we make, people like 54 | MISTREEMAGAZINE.CO.UK
it. Be it 2,500 kids up in Glasgow or 100 over in New York, they keep turning up to the shows.”
There was an obscene amount of Jersey Shore lookalikes asking for EDM. That’s so last year bro…”
And turning up to shows certainly isn’t a bad thing, especially overseas. Having just returned home from the States in support of Nina Nesbitt, John told us how America was “just an altogether new type of crazy.” Kerr added he felt like Vinny Chase from Entourage when they were out there, saying: “we were made such a big deal of, it was nuts.”
Now back with their home comforts, The LaFontaines are currently on a UK run with Bad Rabbits. John said: “Playing live is where this band finally makes perfect sense. It’s where all the preconceptions beforehand go out the window. Where people suddenly stop caring about genre and where things should be placed, and just seem to let go and have a good time. I can almost predict it to the exact point it happens. If they’ve never heard the band before, it usually takes about three songs. You see them start to let go towards the end of the third song, then we drop Pon De Fonts on them. If you have ever been to one of our shows before, you know exactly what happens then. I won’t spoil it, just come down and see for yourself.”
“Playing Central Park while thousands of American’s run by wearing kilts and tartan hats screaming quotes from Braveheart will never really sink in,” he said. “To be honest we were so drunk the entire time we were there I’m actually starting to think we’ve all just made this up, and we actually were just gigging in our local park. Before I forget though, Daniel Craig told us to ‘shut up’ in a restaurant while he was having dinner with his wife. Hilarious. Perhaps he didn’t enjoy our rendition of Sky Fall.”
“WE’VE MADE SOMETHING WHICH IS ENTIRELY OUR OWN, YOU CAN’T PUT US IN A BOX” “The shows were so much fun though,” added John. “People even knew the words to some of the songs. We will never tire of American’s doing the Scottish accent. It’s pretty amazing to play to an audience in New York and realise the music we’ve been making in Motherwell has got us there - humbling actually. Wee Nina is a class act as well.” Speaking about the music scene in the UK and US, Kerr said: “In terms of passion, the fans seem on it and all the venues we played had real character and personality, so I’d say they are pretty similar at first glance. But every thing in America is so grand and exaggerated. One night we were DJ’ing in this pretty cool spot in Downtown Manhattan. It was there I sorta thought to myself, in a lot of ways you guys are kind of behind, in terms of what’s in at the moment so to speak.
One place that is familiar with the bands live shows is Scotland, and we wanted to know how growing up in the Scottish music scene affected the bands attitude towards music. “People say London’s where you need to be if you want to be seen and heard,” said Kerr, “and in part that’s true,” he continued. “At least, that’s what we tell ourselves when we travel eight hours in a horrible wee van down to London. But you only have to look at the quality of acts we’ve [Scotland] produced over the years to see there is real depth to the music we make up here. All that said, I don’t even feel like it’s that big of a deal anymore, it’s 2014 and we live in the age of the internet. It’s easy to feel like playing down south needs to be handled more delicately than up here, but experience has proved otherwise. We expected a language barrier, and were concerned that this would interrupt the fun and energy that we try to project live. However, it’s ended up never being an issue…apart from when we try to order drinks afterwards.” So with no obvious problems to face, we wanted to find out more about the bands approach to music, starting with their signing to Manchester based LAB Records. “Well, LAB pursued us for a while and we really liked their ethos. They
PHOTO VIA: INVERNESS GIGS
like to do things a little differently, like us, and they really work hard to make sure everyone gets on the Fontaine train. As a label, they’re really passionate about their artists and they allow us to have creative freedom, which is a massive deal in this day and age.” And they’re right. With so many big name label’s mass producing music to cater for the public, it can be difficult to maintain a stripe of individuality in a crowd full of packaged and processed artists. So since it’s the music that really counts, we learned more about the way the band construct songs and what they like to write about. “I wouldn’t say we have a set process as such, it just sort of comes. Generally though, Daz brings a riff or demo that he’s worked on throughout the week into the studio and everyone puts their own touch to it. Lyrically however, it can vary drastically. Our songs are a sort of social commentary, where we touch on everything that’s going on in our lives, from the monotony of working nine to five in our mundane jobs, to being invited to some crazy rooftop parties in NY with Lindsay Lohan. That shit actually happened, otherwise it would just be a crap celebrity we’ve picked to base this around!” So although crazy parties seem to come few and far in-between, one thing that is consistent is The LaFontaines ability to create INTERVIEW BY: BEKKA COLLINS
“PLAYING LIVE IS WHERE THIS BAND FINALLY MAKES PERFECT SENSE” infectious lead singles, including their latest offering Under The Storm. “It has been a joy from start to finish, and since we first wrote it we knew we wanted it to be a single,” said Kerr. “It’s pretty cool to see it all come together. Making the video for it was originally the most stressful period we’ve ever had as a band. We blew the whole budget we got from our label, with one single bet at the casino. After coming to terms with what we’d done, going round various types of people trying to use our charm to acquire things like speedboats, Clydesdale horses and free roller-skates was great. We got so much more than we could have hoped for, and we can’t thank those involved in making it happen enough. I will however never, ever get on a horse again…” added Kerr. Having been a band for a couple of years now, we were keen to see what The LaFontaines are most proud of so far, and what it is that keeps them motivated. “I’m proud of lots of things we’ve done. Headlining the BBC Introducing stage at T In The Park, full UK tours supporting some major acts like Twin Atlantic, playing to over 12,000 people in one sitting, going to New York for free to play our music, (passing the working VISA assessment to get into the country as well actually…) all that shit is cool.
But I think our biggest achievement is that we’ve made something, which is entirely our own. You won’t find another LaFontaines down the road and you can’t put us in a box. We make something which is truly unique and original, and for that I am most proud,” said Kerr. For now the guys in The LaFontaines will be focusing on their headline run and a slur of UK summer festivals, reiterating that you should “get yourself down to a show. It’s where it all makes sense.” However their plans for the rest of the year are to “get this album out, sell out our massive headline show in October, keep touring as much as we can and all collectively get better at football. I’m pretty sound, as is Iain to be fair, but the rest are so embarrassing man,” said Kerr. So while things are set to be busy for The LaFontaines, it is great to see that they are still having fun creating music and travelling the world with one another. Keep an eye out for them, we reckon 2014 could be their “make it” year. www.facebook.com/ thelafontainesmusic @thelafontaines
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