ZILLA OUT 03.02.17
PRE ORDER AT ITUNES FOR A LIMITED £5.99 OR GET EXCLUSIVE PHYSICAL BUNDLES VISIT WWW.FENECHSOLERMUSIC.CO.UK - LIVE 2017 25.01 MERCURY LOUNGE, NEW YORK, US 01.02 BOOTLEG THEATER BAR, LOS ANGELES, US 24.02 PATTERNS, BRIGHTON, UK 25.02 WATERFRONT, NORWICH, UK 27.02 THE THEKLA, BRISTOL, UK 28.02 GORILLA, MANCHESTER, UK 01.03 HEAVEN, LONDON, UK 04.03 STEALTH, NOTTINGHAM, UK 06.03 YUCA, COLOGNE, GER 07.03 MILLA, MUNICH, GER 08.03 MUSILK & FRIEDEN, BERLIN, GER 09.03 PRINZENBAR, HAMBURG, GER 10.03 TRIX CLUB, ANTWERP, BE 14.03 LES ETOILES, PARIS, FRA 15.03 BITTERZOET, AMSTERDAM, NL 16.03 EXIL, ZURICH, CH
Editor: Stephen Ackroyd firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor: Victoria Sinden email@example.com Assistant Editor: Ali Shutler firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributors: Ben Jolley, Corinne Cumming, Jamie Muir, Jenn Five, Jessica Goodman, Martyn Young, Rob Mesure, Sam Taylor, Sarah Louise Bennett, Steven Loftin, Tony Woolliscroft All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of The Bunker Publishing Ltd. Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which The Bunker Publishing Ltd holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of Dork or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally. P U B L I S H E D F RO M
THE BUNKER W E LCO M E TOT H E B U N K E R.CO M
THIS MONTH, WE’VE
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0 4 . C I R C A W AV E S 0 7. C I T Y G U I D E S … M E N A C E B E AC H 0 7. M A R I K A H A C K M A N 08. METRONOMY 0 9. L U C Y R O S E 10. BA N G E RS HYPE 12. CA B BAG E 13. KING NUN
22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 28. 2 9.
SPRING KING L E T ’ S E AT G R A N D M A G LASS ANIMALS M YST E RY J E TS BLOSSOMS BANG ERS OF THE YEAR R E A D E R S ’ P O L L R E S U LT S
N E W WAV E O F 2 0 1 7 30. 35. 3 7. 38. 41.
I N H E AV E N DECLAN MCKENNA MURA MASA GET INUIT ESTRONS
BEST OF 2016 14. T H E 1975 21. ALBUMS OF THE YEAR
20 QUESTIONS WITH... 42. F R A N K CA RT E R
B E E N M O S T LY
Toothless - The Pace Of The Passing Former Bombay Bicycle Club man Ed Nash’s debut solo effort is everything you’d hope for.
Menace Beach - Lemon Memory Leeds’ finest scuzz poppers evolve again on LP2, but remain one of the UK’s sparkliest gems.
CIRCA WAVES AREN’T STANDING ABOUT AND WAITING FOR THE WORLD TO COME TO THEM. WITH THEIR SECOND ALBUM ‘DIFFERENT CREATURES’ COMING NEXT YEAR, THEY’RE AIMING FOR THE VERY TOP. WORDS: JAMIE MUIR.
weaty gigs, summer sing-alongs and anthems the size of the pyramids. Circa Waves know more than most about all of them - they’ve lived it ever since they first unpacked their indisputable box of bangers. It”s less than 24 hours after the Liverpudlian indie-heroes rip through an explosive comeback show at the tiny Omeara in London, where the band truly kick in a new era - one filled with the confidence, swagger and ambition. It”s the signalling of something far greater than just some new tracks, and frontman Kieran Shudall knows it. “I’m happy that finally people are starting to hear it,” he explains. “I wrote ‘Wake Up’ in like December last year, and as soon as that riff came out I thought, ‘Ohh, this is heavy - I wonder if people will like it?’” He needn’t worry. That leading charge ‘Wake Up’ is the call to arms that takes Circa Waves into a whole ‘nother league, not only returning but bursting back into frame and reaching higher than they’ve ever done before. Like a ferociously wrapped nugget of life changing importance, it”s the statement of intent that comes when facing what to do next after sold-out shows around the world, enough summer playlist inclusions to make Spotify seem obsolete and a connection to thousands that runs through everything they do. Reflecting back on it all and the band”s debut album ‘Young Chasers’, Kieran sees those songs as a snapshot of who he was, looking back and reminiscing like a scrapbook of summer thrills. “For me, it was such a small segment of my life,” he contemplates. “They were written in such a short space of time, like they all came together in three months and it covered exactly what I was into at the time. When I wrote those first songs for ‘Young Chasers’ I thought nobody was going to hear them. Nobody was paying attention to the music I wrote - I’d been writing songs for twelve years, and nobody gave a fuck. Then it went everywhere and I’m massively proud of that record, there are some amazing pop songs on there.” “But then you play it solidly for two or three years and you”re really in a different place now,” he continues. “It’s a strange thing about being in a band; I think a lot of bands suffer from that - playing songs that are maybe not entirely their mindset anymore. A lot of ‘Young Chasers’ was looking back on the past, while this record is more present-day and what’s going on in my head and the country’s head I think.” Laying down their marker and packed with an intensity that’ll shake venues around like a rag doll, that second album ‘Different Creatures’ is bristling with a drive that grabs you on the first listen. Beefier and packed with bigger hooks than any boxer could dream of, it’s the sound of a band not settling for the status quo, but coming back harder than anyone could have imagined. Shaping into life straight after the end of their mammoth ‘Young Chasers’ world tour, Kieran was ready to hit the ground running.
“People talk about the difficult second record. That’s a load of bollocks.”
“When we came back from those amazing American shows with Foals last December, I just had so many things I wanted to record. I do all the demos at home, so I just gorged on my own songs. Like, I wrote about 150 songs in four months, just letting it all out and then cherry picking the best bits. There was a lot of shit in there, don’t get me wrong, but easily some of the best stuff I’ve ever written too. “People talk about the difficult second record. That’s a load of bollocks.” While ‘Young Chasers’ sprung like a sun-soaked drive with bright and shimmering indie goodness, ‘Different Creatures’ stands as a different beast altogether (if you’ll, y’know, pardon the pun). Taking
a dip into the dark corridors and chilly streets that litter the world around us, it’s a record that thrives within the shadows - of defiantly taking on what the world is chucking at you and launching it right back. It”s not only a huge record, but a vital one. “I wanted this album to be based in the night,” elaborates Kieran. “This record feels gritty, like you’re in a bar, it’s dark, and your head’s down in a whisky glass. I’ve always been really into heavier guitar music; that’s why ‘Young Chasers’ really represents only a small phase of my life. “I think people needs something like this now; I don’t think there”s anything else like it out there.” For Circa Waves there’s a larger story to tell, searing with the confidence of thousands waiting for their next step. You can hear it surge in new numbers such as ‘Goodbye’ (that sounds like a cut lifted straight from the desert that Queens Of The Stone Age call home) and ‘Stuck’, a ferocious festival-ready punch that finds Circa Waves heading to the darkest corners of The Strokes’ psyche with skyscraper results. It’s a sound that demands attention, born in the here and now and bold enough to tackle not only the dreams of many but the realities of a modern age that’s more divided than ever. From reality TV to the current refugee crisis, Circa Waves aren’t afraid to take them on. “It all just kinda came out,” explains Kieran. “Like, I wrote the title track when everything was going on with the Syrian refugees, and there was this decision made to let exactly 20,000 refugees into the country - and I found it bizarre that this round number could be placed on human life. The idea that you couldn’t have one more - that this was the end of the queue. Now, I don’t have the political answer to this but from a purely human standpoint what the fuck is going on? “People are dying, and there are other people kicking off about them trying to survive - why do we need to go against another human? It pissed me off, and I guess a lot of people were and still are pissed off too. “Maybe there’s something subconscious about the way I write now, where I know there is an audience out there who are going to listen to what we say. I hope people will take something from it when they listen.“ There may not be a band as primed for 2017 than Circa Waves. If you thought you knew exactly what they stood for, what they want to be and who they are - then ‘Different Creatures’ is about to change things up. Throwing off those summer-day restraints, it’s the counter-punch record that’ll catapult them up festival bills, send them back on the road to those live nights of joyous abandon and onto the biggest stages - but more than that, it’s one that means something. With ‘Different Creatures’ there”s only one destination for Circa Waves. “I’m so ambitious now,” exclaims Kieran, his face lighting up with pure adrenaline and passion when thinking of what’s ahead. “When I started it was very much like, ‘Oh, this is cool’ - but now, once you’ve reached that step, you just want more. “I wanna be headlining Reading & Leeds. I wanna be headlining - why the fuck not! Kings Of Leon and The Killers can’t headline them forever, so bands like us need to step up - and with this record, I think we’ve got a point to prove that we are that next generation. “And the record does that completely! I’ve got massive confidence in it, and I think people will see that and believe in us.” Just like the rest of the world, Circa Waves are restless, pissed off and ready to fight back. The summer’s over, but the climate’s about to take one hell of a swing. P Circa Waves’ album ‘Different Creatures’ is out 10th March.
Marika Hackman’s Christmas playlist
Menace Beach IF YOU EVER FIND YOUR LOVE FOR MUSIC WANING, TAKE A TRIP TO LEEDS. IT’S A HOTBED OF SUPPORTIVE FOLK AND TOP NEW ACTS - AS MENACE BEACH’S RYAN NEEDHAM EXPLAINS.
moved to Leeds five years ago almost to the day, and at that point I think I’d pretty much decided to stop making music, or at least no longer have it as the all-conquering consumer of every drop of life force that I had. That soon changed after being in the city for a month, though. It seems like if you live in Leeds and you have even the vaguest interest in playing music then you’ll end up playing in a band or putting shows on and meeting people that make you whether you like it or not. This place just seems to drag it out of people, it makes you want to do good things because there are so many good people around that it all just seems possible. JUMBO RECORDS The best record shop in the country. The guys at Jumbo have been supportive of us from the day I took our first 4-track cassette in to see if they’d stick it in the ‘local produce’ section. The people there are super helpful and they love an excuse for an event or an exclusive and have lots of in store shows. A couple of weeks ago was the Jumbo 45 year anniversary and they had an all-day party in an abandoned shop next door. OUTLAWS YACHT CLUB This bar is next to my house and they are pretty unique in Leeds for putting on spoken word events and have held talks with people such as Anton Newcombe, Lætitia Sadier, Irvine Welsh, Alan McGee, Tim Burgess, Don Letts; among many more. It’s got a genuine kind of European feel and has great beers, a great art space, they sell records, and there’s even a hairdressers out the back. THE BRUNSWICK Dead good new pub on North Street
with an event space and gallery upstairs. This place is really new and has been set up by passionate guys who have been putting shows and events in Leeds for years. I’m including this largely because it recently ended my quest for the best pub Sunday dinner ever. BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB It just keeps getting better and better. A social club bang in the middle of an area largely populated by students, musicians, and artists. It’s a place for the community where the magic happens and now they even sell pie and peas super cheap. The first Menace Beach show was here and Nathan has really helped us along ever since. The gig listings are second to none. I wish I lived closer to that place. SUPER FRIENDZ Consistently great promoters. They seem to get on exciting new artists super early and put together eclectic and quality listings. I’ve been to shows on a whim by artists that are not necessarily in my regular listening realm or whatever, just ‘cause I trust them. We also often have band pizza and burger afternoon meetings in their venue, Belgrave Music Hall, too. Delightful. SUBURBAN HOME STUDIO Studio of MJ from Hookworms where he’s recorded everything from Menace Beach up to this record, as well as a crazily great list of records from Cowtown, Hookworms, Eagulls, Martha, Pinact, Joanna Gruesome, Traams, Doe, Bruising etc. It’s quite recently been rebuilt after the horrible floods last Christmas and the new place is a work of art in itself. It just feels really calming and creative and the rooms sound better than ever.
on Leeds NEW BANDS DRAHLA These are brand new and I really want them to play our album launch show at the Brudenell in February. MJ just recorded them and I’ve only heard two songs but it’s super exciting in that the lyrics are great and challenging and it feels unpredictable and sometimes dangerous and a bit no-wave and postpunk and dark. Really into them. XAM DUO The first record has just come out on Sonic Cathedral. I first saw the solo version of Xam Duo at Liverpool Psych fest when I had a real midtour everlasting hangover tired and miserable thing going on, and watching this was just revelatory and it reinvigorated me for the rest of the tour. Genuinely. I don’t claim to know a lot about this kind of music but it’s electronic and minimal and hypnotic and based around an ever-evolving modular synth setup and saxophone. I can just have the record on loop all day, it’s just so nourishing. MAGIC MOUNTAIN All I’ve heard of this band are some GarageBand demos, but I just know it’s going to be good as it’s the new band from Lins Wilson, who’s done a ton of great stuff before and played in Menace Beach a few times. Also featuring Tom from Pulled Apart By Horses and Nestor from Menace Beach. Their first show is at the Brudenell supporting Traams and it’s gonna be big riffs and West Coast psych swiftly followed by partying with the Traams guys cause we haven’t seen them for ages and they’re sleeping on our floor. P
WOULD YOU LIKE TO KNOW WHEN DORK FIRST BROKE OUT THE MINCE PIES AND MARIAH CAREY THIS YEAR? HERE’S A CLUE: IT WASN’T DECEMBER. AND IT WASN’T NOVEMBER, EITHER. WARM UP SOME MULLED CIDER AND JOIN IN THE FUN WITH MARIKA HACKMAN’S FESTIVE PLAYLIST.
DESTINY’S CHILD 8 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS It’s pure noughties sass, which is a nice antithesis to the constant cheesy holiday cheer. SUFJAN STEVENS O COME O COME EMMANUEL My favourite carol done in such a heartbreaking style, yet it still feels cosy and nostalgic. JOHN TAVENER THE LAMB Mum’s always played this at Christmas, and now it’s one of my favourite pieces of choral music, makes you feel like you’re being stretched and squeezed. WHAM LAST CHRISTMAS Makes me feel like I’m at a shit office Christmas party, in a good way. JONI MITCHELL RIVER Christmas is crap if you’ve just broken up, but at least there’s a beautiful song about it. THE RONETTES FROSTY THE SNOWMAN This is probably the most Christmassy song ever recorded, it would make me excited for Christmas in spring. BLAENAVON CHRISTMAS TIME (DON’T LET THE BELLS END) This is such a heartfelt take on a ridiculous song, it makes me feel like it’s snowing outside. THE POGUES FAIRYTALE OF NEW YORK First half is all drunken hilarity, second half is fucking depressing. Pretty much sums up Christmas. MARIAH CAREY ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS I heard it was Jesus’s favourite song. Marika Hackman’s Christmas EP ‘Wonderland’ is out now.
that you can find any kind of music that’s ever been made, really easily. I think it’s weird, because if I was younger and starting out again I think it’d be quite a different situation.” Mind you, quantity isn’t the same as quality. ”Half of the stuff I hear about I don’t like, and that’s just how it is. Obviously, if you want to be popular you have to change what you do, you have to adapt to what the world is like, but I think it’s just too pointless to complain about it really. You just have to get up to speed, you know, and move forward.”
Metronomy: “I just do what pleases me.” BANDS RELEASE ALBUMS AND THEN TOUR, RIGHT? IT’D BE CRAZY TO DROP ONE OF THE HITS OF THE SUMMER AND THEN… TAKE A BREAK? NOT SO FOR METRONOMY, IT SEEMS BUT JOE MOUNT AND CO. ARE BACK ON STAGE THIS SPRING. WORDS: STEVEN LOFTIN.
hen Metronomy released their fifth album ‘Summer 08’ in July of this year, frontman Joe Mount made a bold decision. Instead of touring, they’d take some time off. Now the band have announced dates for May 2017, the big question is: why the break? “It was purely practical, like I’ve got children and stuff,” Joe laughs. He’s reached a point in his career where real life has to take precedence. “If I put out a record and I’m touring, when I come home I feel so guilty, I don’t do any music or anything because I’m trying to be a family man.” Ultimately, this decision should benefit both Metronomy and their fans. “It’s been a really enjoyable time for me, I’ve just been at home hanging out with my family,” he continues. “The great thing about having not toured and stuff is I’ve been able to write - it’s been the first time in probably 10 years I’ve done that.” With this reinvigorated creativity, the fact Joe had to add an extra album onto
his record contract to make up for his tour-less year should pose no issue at all. “As far as I’m concerned, the record label I’m with are really good and have kind of been part of the story and part of the reason why everything’s going well. I think at the moment the record label are still important in the career of an artist.” 2016 also marked the tenth anniversary of Metronomy’s debut, ‘Pip Paine (Pay The £5000 You Owe)’, not to mention the fact Joe actually started the band back in 1999. During his time as a musician, he’s seen “everything change”. “When I first started putting out music,” he explains, “iTunes was around but there was no streaming and people were still buying CDs. Live music has become this insanely popular thing, arguably more important than buying an album or listening to an album. As a musician it’s a thing that affects you and how you think about what you make and what you do.” Indeed, if he were starting from scratch right now it would be a different ball game entirely. “I’m 34 now and imagine if I was 15 years old, having the possibility
The key to Metronomy’s longevity, according Joe, is: “You have to stimulate yourself. If you’re not interesting to yourself then there’s no way you’re going to be interesting to anyone else. You have to focus. I guess for me it’s not really that much of a conscious decision, I just do what pleases me, and hope it pleases enough of the people to keep me in a job.”
He continues: “The more I make music the more I realise that kind of approach is finite. One day I’m going to run out of ideas, but for now, I think if you can get really gee’d up by the fact you still got ideas then I think that’s enough.” So while ‘Summer 08’ may have so far seen little touring, it’s far from over. “The thing is I love touring, that’s the problem,” Joe considers. “I don’t want to make sound like I don’t like touring, but basically as soon as you bring a partner, like a girlfriend or boyfriend, into the equation then touring becomes a different thing - it starts to get between the people you love. As soon as children are in the equation it’s even more difficult.” He concludes, laughing: “It’s easy to be selfish when you’re young and single.” P
MAY 16 GLASGOW ABC 17 MANCHESTER ALBERT HALL 19 LONDON BRIXTON ACADEMY
THIS IS HAPPENING F I RST BA N DS FO R RE A D I N G & L E E DS Muse are the first headliner announced for Reading & Leeds 2017. Also confirmed for the 25th-27th August festival, are: Against The Current, Andy C, Architects, At The Drive-In, Bastille, Danny Brown, Glass Animals, Major Lazer, Tory Lanez and While She Sleeps.
T H E JA PA N ES E HOUSE IS OFF ON TO U R November’s Dork cover star, The Japanese House has plans to tour the UK next spring. The dates follow her December support tour with The 1975, and include a night at London’s KOKO on 17th May. Visit readdork.com for all the dates.
L AU R A M A RL I N G W I L L D RO P A N E W A L BU M SO O N Laura Marling has revealed she’ll release a new album on 10th March. “I started out writing ‘Semper Femina’ as if a man was writing about a woman, and then I thought; ‘It’s not a man, it’s me’,” she says. “I don’t need to pretend it’s a man to justify the intimacy.”
ARE YOU LISTENING? The first bands for Are You Listening? have been announced, including The Big Moon, Kagoule, Shame, Matt Maltese and Tusks. Dork is joining up with the one day, multi-venue Reading event, which takes place on 22nd April in aid of Reading Mencap. Keep an eye on readdork.com for all the details.
T H E X X A RE BAS I CA L LY M OV I N G I N TO B RI XTO N ACA D E M Y The xx not only have a new album coming up (‘I See You’, out 13th January) but a whole heap of tour dates - including SEVEN nights at London’s Brixton Academy. The run kicks off on 4th March, and tickets are on sale now. If there are any left.
S P RI N G K I N G M A K E NEW LIVE PLANS Spring King have a batch of shows scheduled for next February. The dates will follow their support tour with Cage The Elephant in January, and precede their run with Kaiser Chiefs, kicking off on 12th February.
T H E B I G M O O N F I RM U P T H E I R D E BU T Titled ‘Love In The 4th Dimension’, The Big Moon’s debut album is set to be released on 7th April. Hooray. They also have a new headline tour that kicks off on 20th April in Brighton.
s d r a c t Pos
THOSE BANDS. THEY GO OFF ON TOUR, THEY NEVER RING. WE’RE
WORRIED ABOUT THEM. TO PUT OUR MINDS AT REST, WE’RE
INSISTING THEY CHECK IN AND KEEP US UPDATED FROM THE ROAD. THIS MONTH...
A Day In The Life Of...
Lucy Rose 8:00 Wake up, straight to the park to walk my dog. Usually end up talking to my neighbours for a good hour about some hot community gossip or whether they have had their coal store damp proofed or not. Thrilling stuff!
Dork, It’s Joe from Glass Animals. I’m in Paris. This is what the super moon looked like here. Mad cool. Ghostly. We just finished our EU tour. It was great. Drew had a wild time in Berlin. Will fill you in when I’m home properly. Wish you were here. Miss you BB. Lot’s of love, G.A. <3
9 :00 I manage myself so there is normally a fair bit of admin in my inbox so I try get that done first thing, of course with a cup of tea.
15:00 Today I went to the Japanese embassy to pick up my passport ‘cause I needed visa as I’m going to Japan in two days for my first proper Asian tour. 17:00 Potentially go for a cheeky half at my local and have a break and see friends. 19:00 Back home and writing music again, I feel the evenings are a good time for me to write if something is on my mind. 23:00 I always have a bath every night, I bloody love it, definitely helps me sleep! Lucy Rose’s album ‘Live At Urchin Studios’ is out now.
It’s festival time again
Wild Beasts, Slaves, Jagwar Ma + more are playing Live at Leeds The initial line-up for this year’s Live At Leeds has been announced, and it’s a ‘reet good ‘un. Among the first batch of names are Slaves, Wild Beats and Jagwar Ma. There are also Dork faves JAWS, Let’s Eat Grandma, The Big Moon, Black Honey, The Magic Gang, Bad Sounds and Superfood – yep, Superfood are back, among a whole load of other big hitters. There are loads more names still to be announced for the northern powerhouse, which takes place on Saturday 29th April. Tickets are on sale now. P
BLAME US FOR HOW AWFUL THEY ARE. IT’S ALL ON THEM.
14 :00 Most free days at home I have a meeting with someone, either my booking agent, label, Dave Tree who is helping put together a documentary for me and discuss plans for the next record. Sounds boring but it’s so exciting planning release dates and tour dates.
“WHY DID THE BAKER HAVE BROWN HANDS? BECAUSE HE KNEADED A POO.” - ED, TOOTHLESS
13 :00 Food is extremely important to me, I get pretty grumpy when I’m hungry and I think lunch is more important to me than dinner. I’m really bad and love going to local cafes and eating out there either with my husband and dog or with a book.
WE ASKED A LOAD OF BANDS TO GIVE US THEIR BEST JOKES. CUT THEM
11:00 When I’m home I’m either writing music or reading books or spending hours on my computer working out how I’m gonna shoot my next music video and doing rough budgets for them.
OUT, STICK ‘EM IN A FESTIVE CRACKER, AND UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES
10:00 I’ve just started recording my next record with a producer at his house in Brighton, so normally we start work at this time. I’m wanting this record to be as raw as possible so many of the songs have been recorded in one take, guitar and vocals sitting on Tim’s sofa.
“HOW DOES A SNOWMAN GET AROUND? RIDING AN ICICLE.” - IZZY, BLACK HONEY
“KNOCK KNOCK. WHO’S THERE? *JESY NELSON FROM LITTLE MIX’S JAMAICAN ACCENT IMPRESSION*” GIRLI
“WHAT SONG DOES SANTA STICK ON THE STEREO WHILE FLYING THROUGH A STORMY SKY? SLEET DREAMER.” - WILL JOSEPH COOK
“I WENT TO THE ZOO. IT WAS CRAP, THERE WERE NO ANIMALS, JUST THIS ONE WEIRD LITTLE DOG. IT WAS A SHITZU.” - JULIETTE, THE BIG MOON
“WHY ARE ELEPHANTS BIG GREY AND WRINKLY? BECAUSE IF THEY WERE SMALL WHITE AND SMOOTH THEY WOULD BE AN ASPIRIN.” - IAN, CREEPER
“JESUS FED 5,000 PEOPLE WITH TWO FISHES AND A LOAF OF BREAD. THAT’S NOT A MIRACLE. THAT’S TAPAS.” BLAINE, MYSTERY JETS
“WHAT DO YOU CALL A PERSON IN A TREE WITH A BRIEFCASE? A BRANCH MANAGER.” - TAREK, SPRING KING
THE BEST NEW TRACKS
ON HOLD The xx are a band who rely on dynamics to create the magic. On new single ‘On Hold’ they’re sounding more magical than ever. It’s built around three distinct parts – Romy and Oliver’s tender verses set against Jamie’s chopped up Hall & Oates sample, yet it all comes together perfectly. The kind of track that would sound equally as beautiful for night time bedroom reflection as it would blissful nightclub euphoria, it’s a trick few bands can pull off, but The xx manage it effortlessly. This is the sound of a warmer, more welcoming xx – a band perfectly in tune with each other and the music they want to make. That long awaited third album should be very special indeed.
THE BIG MOON
Mostly, when bands talk about bringing something to their recorded output, they’re on about capturing the ferocity of their live performances. The Big Moon don’t have to worry about that: they’ve captured something even more magical. The best bands, see, are a gang. Open up the door and they’ll drag you into their world. It’s that which runs through the core of ‘Formidable’. Switching between swooning verse and firmly planted chorus, there’s a steely defiance to ‘Formidable’, The Big Moon’s latest offering. Like the last piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it’s the sound of something clicking. What was potential before is now realised.
Hey Robin. What can you tell us about your new album? Was it fun to make? ‘Big Balloon’ is our fifth album and comes out in February. We did have fun making the record for the most part. We made a conscious decision early on in the writing process that we were going to construct an album that reflected our live instincts. This meant that much more of the preproduction time was spent rehearsing in the practice room rather than sat behind a computer. We tend to enjoy playing live, so injecting that energy and adrenaline back into the recording process was very important. You’ve said your new single is about being content with who you are - is that a feeling you’re familiar with, or aiming towards? I think it kind of reflects how we, as a band feel we have fitted in the music
After a debut album that triggered more bouncing bodies than a bouncy castle, ‘Wake Up’ is the gritty moment of realisation, the defiant fist in the air for a generation of young people who over the past year and half have been greeted into an entirely different world. Beefier and bolder than anything they’ve done before, ‘Wake Up’ is a true coming of age mover – packed with cutting guitar lines and a chorus the size of Everest. Like a lit fuse, it sparkles and fizzes with the energy of a band ready to take on the world. If you thought you knew what Circa Waves were all about then think again. ‘Wake Up’ is a statement of intent.
industry. There have been frustrating moments over the last eight years, but they have tended to coincide with us trying to do something that didn’t suit us or being influenced to do something that made us uncomfortable. We feel that on Big Balloon we have made music that comes more naturally to us, honing in on our inherent wonkiness to make a quintessential Dutch Uncles record. What other topics do you touch on across the record? Austerity cuts, therapy, fried chicken, paranoia and coming to terms with loneliness. How is 2017 shaping up for you guys? Do you have much in the diary, in addition to the album and tour? We would like to gig as much as possible next year. P
Life in the key of Dutch Uncles remains one of the most joyous experiences in modern music. That’s the take-away from Dutch Uncles latest album-leading oddball banger. A rattling jaunt, the Mancunians effortlessly inhabit an instantly identifiable world of their own. Smart and silly, fun yet fearsomely good, ‘Big Balloon’ keeps one foot either side of the divide without ever exposing itself to a fatal kick to the critical balls. A true gem amongst a world of shiny baubles.
PULLED APART BY HORSES
The rampant chaos of Pulled Apart By Horses’ shows is the stuff of legend – all sweatboxes, crowd surfing and screaming anarchy. With ‘The Big What If’, they’ve got closer to that than ever before. Tight and tense, they’re like a clenched fist ready to throw a one punch knock out. Playing anxiety as a driving force, it’s a hundred mile an hour charge through a world of dread and intimidation. “I’m riding out the storm / And I don’t wanna feel regret”, frontman Tom Hudson offers. With this, those doubts can clear a space. There’s no need for second chances. Don’t argue, she’s only gonna tell you once, mate. Next time, things get lairy.
If everyone new Sohn’s special trick, we’d be able to leave the heating off well into December. There are few others who are able to bring such a warmth and texture into their music quite as well. One blast of ‘Conrad’ – the second taster from forthcoming album ‘Rennen’ – is enough to cosy up even the coldest of spaces. This isn’t cloying sentiment or lazy, comfortable familiarity, either. Building on a platform of all-enveloping, slowburning, subtle tones, there’s a pleasingly real serving of percussion, and a vocal that lifts the whole thing out of the haze. As the cold nights come in, Sohn’s more than ready to keep us all toasty inside.
THE BIG WHAT IF
Donâ€™t look dumb.
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HYPE ESSENTIAL NEW BANDS
“THE WORLD NEEDS PEOPLE TO B E OUTSPOKEN.”
A BU N C H OF DRU N K BASTARDS F ROM M OSSL EY W ITH SONGS ABOUT WA N KI N G I N QU I C HE, AND J I MMY SAVI L L E. Y ES, RE A LLY. WORDS: J ESSI CA GOOD MAN.
CA B BAG E
am waffling shit, aren’t I?” Lee Broadbent asks. Waiting backstage having warmed up for a headline show miles away from their hometown, Cabbage are raring to demonstrate exactly how much they’re capable of. “I think what we’re doing is tapping into what a lot of people talk about,” the frontman ponders. “I recently watched a documentary that explains the internet’s algorithms…” he begins. Delving into an in-depth description of media echo chambers, Cabbage aren’t ones to shy away from challenging the status quo. Having made their name with songs about everything from wanking in quiche to Communism in North Korea, that much has been evident right from the start. “What the western world needs right now is for people to be outspoken,” Lee declares. “Musicians and artists alike should team up, really open the world up. Instead of living in this trapped Facebook entity, we should be breaking free.” Sure, they may be idealistic, but their determination is part of what makes Cabbage such a dynamic act. They might have only been creating and performing together for a year, but the hotly tipped outfit have rocketed to the forefront of attentions. The band, however, remain unfazed by the excitement as it
continues to build around them. “The only idea we wanted to do when we started was record an EP,” Lee recalls. Twelve months and four EPs down the line, the group were quick to say the project was something worth sticking to. “We’ve been completely taken aback by the sales, and even more so, the attitudes of the crowds,” they marvel. “To get out in places that we’ve never headlined is a fucking elated feeling. You don’t really expect it, do you?” Lee quizzes. “Especially when you’re just a bunch of drunk bastards from Mossley recording songs about Jimmy Saville and Tony Blair.” Put like that, the whole thing might almost seem like a joke, but presented with such a raw integrity, there’s no shirking from the fact that every move Cabbage make is one they firmly believe in. “A lot of people refer to us as a breath of fresh air,” Lee depicts. “I guess it seems important to everyone else, but to me it’s just a creative output. This has always been my life. It’s just how I put it into an art form.” Driven by dissatisfaction, Cabbage’s music is a rallying cry for purpose built to shake the masses into motion. “We basically get our Aleister Crowley on,” the frontman alludes towards their inspiration. “We get the occult table out,
and one of us has to cut each other up and find hidden gems inside our souls.” Right then. “It all comes out into a beautiful song at the end of it,” he assures, laughing. “We spend so much time on tour that when we finally get to the practice room it’s like there’s this sombre existential pain to get rid of,” Lee offers, more seriously. “That’s where the songs come from.” Using all their spare moments on the road to scrap together demos, it’s when faced with the sobering glare of the day-to-day that Cabbage’s sound takes its shape. “For me to have this message and to become a bit of a poverty-stricken artist, to spend my life on the road conversing with people...” Lee trails off in amazement. “That’s where the essence of Cabbage is, I think,” he concludes. While the band are quick to acknowledge there’s a certain romanticism in the struggle for success, they’re accustomed to the reality of where they find themselves. “If we made a load of money in the future, God knows what kind of shit we’d be putting out,” they laugh, before stating that they’re “just a band that want to bring fucking joy.” “I don’t know whether life’s testing me and just putting me in this situation where it’s forcing us into being this essence of what Cabbage believe,” Lee mulls. “The essence of Cabbage is nothing
more than that non-conformist message.” It’s that active nature that Cabbage want to spread. “If you hear our music, you should take that and go do something else in your own art form,” Lee enthuses. “Not that I believe that art is the answer to all the issues of the world,” he adds. “I just think that if you’re involved in any form of creative output, that’s a good place to start.” With four EPs under their collective belt, this is only the beginning. “Our intent as a band is to write an album’s worth of music a year,” Lee reveals. “Expect it,” he grins. As convicted by their own drive and proficiency as they are their beliefs, the outfit are ready to face the next year head on. “Hopefully, come February, we’ll come off tour in December,” the frontman laughs. “I hope so anyway.” With the promise of more material built from “the emotions of how we feel about the western world at the minute,” and an abundance of live shows that combine “an element of disgust” with “a lot of violent nudity,” Cabbage are keeping everything turned up to eleven. They might be brazen, but there’s no shirking the conviction they carry. “I’m happy to rub people up the wrong way because I believe it’s for the better of man,” Lee proclaims. Sure enough, you won’t find another wake-up call quite like them. P
ON THE GRAPEVINE
“ W E ’ V E WA I T E D SO LONG FOR THIS.
THIS IS FUCKING I T, M A N ! ”
WO RDS: JA M I E M U I R.
eminiscing about early shows on a freezing winter evening, King Nun frontman Theo remembers a novel way to get people’s interest at the local boozer in West London. “We got so annoyed at being asked to quieten down, that the introduction to every song we did would be the intro to ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’. People thought we were that type of band, so each time they thought we were about to burst into it, we’d end up cutting it and jumping into ‘Tulip’. Slowly they got more and more annoyed with us.” The George’s loss is without a doubt the globe’s gain. King Nun are the type of band who don’t need comparisons, over-the-top hyperbole or a name-check from rock royalty - they have that key ingredient in abundance which makes a band an immediate hit after one listen: a hunger for what they do, a rabid need to play music and get it out into the world and on those stages. “I think the overarching thing is, you want to shoot people with that feeling you get when listening to the bands you love,” details Theo. “Like that ferocity in Richard Hell’s music that just charges you up for some reason, I inspire to that passion and the ability to just shoot energy into people with what we do.” If there’s ever a way to describe what King Nun do best, then a high-powered shot to the chest is probably not too far off. Bursting with youthful energy, they’re the injection of adrenaline needed to kick new life into the world. Like a triple-sized trifle, they shake you about and grab your attention on first taste, unveiling a delectable core of hookworthy anthems that brim like the Pixies in their prime. Meeting while all were at secondary school, King Nun was born out of necessity and boredom, something to do during the dull lunch hours between Maths and English Lit. We’ve all been there, but instead of playing football on the field, King Nun were laying the groundwork for something greater - even if they didn’t realise it at the time. “We were like 16,” explains bassist Nathan,
“so we didn’t expect anything to come from it, but we started playing together and having fun. It was just something to do at the time and then we realised that actually, this is something we really enjoy doing.” Bristling with energy, and after meeting drummer Caius through friends, King Nun became an entity that together stands as something far greater than any of them could put into practice themselves. Yet, for a band that surge with a vigour that announces from the first note that they were born to be experienced live - those formative years were spent away from an audience. Mainly because they had no other choice. “We would send like 10 or 15 emails a day out to venues, asking them to play,” recalls James. “And they’d like the demos we’d send over - but would ask how old we were.” “Our manager would have to trick venues into letting us play,” jumps in Theo. “We would turn up to these blues pubs and sit through two hours of people covering ‘Hey Joe’ and then jump in for two or three songs.” “If we did a gig, which was extremely rare, we always had this thing where it would only be originals - we wouldn’t cover anything.” Why would you, when you have certified screamers such as ‘Tulip’ and ‘Speakerface’ - the two opening gambits to the King Nun party that whisk effortlessly with true nuggets of pop crunch drenched in a wall of sound that buries you quicker than a demolition. It’s an introduction out into the world that grabs you by the throat and pulls you in, and in some way - the tracks had the same effect on the band themselves. That moment where it all clicked is something Theo recognises clearly. “I think that came with ‘Speakerface’, which was one of the first songs we ever wrote together. It’s so rhythmic-based and when we started clicking into that we realised that we were sorted. I feel like who we are now has been sculpted around that song.” “I think that song is good for us,” notes Nathan. “Like in terms of having a lot of space to, not mess about but have a bit of fun with it. We spent so long writing it, changing it, reshaping it and finding out how
Here’s something worth cheering and leaping around the room about – Toothless has confirmed details of his debut album ‘The Pace Of Passing’, set for release on 27th January.
EST RO N S P LOT F E B TO U R
N OTH IN G I S STA N DI N G I N THE WAY OF THESE NOI SY YOU NG ‘U N S.
TO OT H L ESS A N N O U N C ES D E BU T A L BU M
“The original Batman theme is fucking sick”
Estrons have confirmed a tour for early next year. The group – who’ve not long released new EP ‘She’s Here Now’ – will play several dates, kicking off on 8th February in Sheffield. “We’re going back out on the road in February and can’t wait to see you all,” they say.
King Nun know a banging hit when they see one - and the Batman theme song has certainly struck a chord. “It sounds like The B-52’s,” Theo elaborates. “We like to play it for like ten minutes straight in the studio, and then we just start all over again. So we might as well say we’re influenced by the Batman theme.”
it feels - all those little details.” It’s seemed to of been a lifetime for the band, but now they’re ready to show the world the soul of who they are and what they do. Finally, a band born to play live can take their anthems out to the masses, and realise what they’ve been destined to become. Theo realises just how vital that stage is for them. “We’re in it all to play in front of people, I have no idea what the psychology is in it, but it’s just like an inherent need when you start playing music that people need to hear it in the moment you play it.”
S LØT FAC E C O N F I RM U K H E A D L I N E S H OWS If you’ve been blaring the new Sløtface EP half as much as we have over here at Dork HQ, then you’ll be bouncing all over the show with the news that the Norwegan hit-rattlers are set to return to the UK next year. The band are set to kick things off on 13th February at The Castle in Manchester before calling into Leeds, Glasgow, London and Brighton.
For King Nun, the horizon is here - there are huge shows, landmark moments, breathtaking trips and more to be had, and the ride is already primed for an explosion that’ll shake thousands into life. It’s an energy that bounces ‘round each of them, and one that’s headed only one way. “We’ve waited so long for this,” details Theo. “Like - this is fucking it, man!” “When you wait so long for something, you kinda doubt whether or not it’s a good idea,” reflects Nathan. “It’s nice after putting up with, well - being miserable at times, to get such a positive reaction. It’s so rewarding. We don’t want to waste any more time now, we want to do it.” “Yeah this is it, man,” exclaims Theo. “It’s the way it’s got to be.” Their time is now. There’s before King Nun and after King Nun - we know where we’d rather be. P
LOY L E CA RN E R REV E A LS D E BU T, ‘ Y EST E RDAY ’S GONE’ How shall we kick off the new year? With an album full of uncompromising and stunning British hip-hop? Well that’s a reality now, with Loyle Carner confirming that his debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ will land on 20th January.
THE BeST of
E HA D ITS SU RE, 201 6 MAY HAV WH AT A YEA R, EH? T OU T BU , ERY MIS D AST ER AN FAI R SH AR E OF DIS JO INT ED DIS ED, ENT GM A FRA OF TH E FLA ME S OF ’S BEE N TH E YIN G WO RLD TH ERE RIF TER TEN OF D AN E LAS T R LIN ING TO O. TH SPA RK LE OF SILVE A BU MP ER RED IVE DEL E HAV TW ELV E MO NT HS T BA ND S ALB UM S, BR ILL IAN BATCH OF AM AZ ING TH E NEX T ER T OF BA NG ERS . OV AN D TH E BA NG IES H SO ME UG RO GO NN A RU N TH FEW PAG ES, WE ’RE T. OF TH E VE RY BES
THIS YEAR, ONE BAND H AS STO O D O U T A BOV E A L L OT H E RS . B RI N G I N G PEO PL E TO G ETH E R I N A D I VI D E D WO RL D, T H E Y â€™ V E B E C O M E T H E V O I C E O F A G E N E R AT I O N . THE BAND OF THE YEAR
WORDS: ALI SHUTLER
he trouble with real life is that there’s no danger music,” quips Jim Carrey as he climbs a satellite dish at the climax of ‘The Cable Guy’. Yeah, the film’s pretty shitty but a young Matt Healy, perhaps six or seven years old, heard this and it resonated. Suddenly everything made sense; life would be better with musical accompaniment. “When I was younger, music was a portal,” he explains. That line from The Cable Guy was the first time that idea had occurred to him. “I soundtracked my life. My wish was that in all of those moments where I felt certain things, they were viewed with a musical memory. That’s why The 1975 became so cinematic.” Documenting his life in song, “you can see the inspiration from John Hughes and the cinematic portrayal of youth and that apocalyptic feeling of being young,” across both albums. “That all comes from me wanting to live my life soundtracked.” Based in the everyday grime of reality but treasured like it’s the only thing that’s ever mattered, The 1975 tackle it all. Singing about loss, acceptance and a devil-may-care abandon, they capture very real moments. For Matty, the band has always sung ‘The Ballad Of Me And My Brain’. It just so happens that with ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, he’s written a soundtrack for an entire generation. Not that he’s buying into that idea just yet. In a Toronto hotel, Matty speaks a million words a minute. He’s just woken up, and he talks a lot in mornings. Ideas are born and die over the course of a sentence; there’s a temptation to make facetious jokes about drugs and there’s a constant worry about misrepresenting himself. He uses Marc Bolan as his yardstick for glam rock star excess. He quotes Thom Yorke, Noel Gallagher, Ricky Gervais and he hears what he’s saying in real time. Halfway through a sentence, he stops and laughs: “Don’t write me up to sound pretentious or over-inflated,” because he knows what’s coming next. He avoids the comment section but will read interviews with himself because he’s interested in how his words translate. He’s a writer after all. Every detail of a story is important, and despite the gruelling year The 1975 have had, he never complains. That’s an “element of being English”: “Get over yourself. What would you rather be doing, washing dishes at the fucking Plough and Flail in Alderley Edge? Get up. Go and fucking do it. “ his year, The 1975 have indeed gone and fucking done it. They’ve had a couple of big years behind them, but 2016 has been bigger still. They’ve gone from a weird cult band with a Number One album to a weird not-really-thatcult-anymore band with two Number One albums. With their selftitled debut, people struggled to place them in the larger musical landscape, but with the follow-up, they’ve got a space all of their own. Matty and the boys (George Daniel, Adam Hann and Ross Macdonald)
haven’t had much time for that, though. After all, it’s hard to be objective; they’ve become immersed in their world. “Touring is almost the foundation for my life now,” explains Matty. “I get to go out most nights and see thousands of people who want to come and see us, so that’s incredibly humbling, rewarding and a big change from the majority of the time I’ve spent in this band.” Formed in 2002, The 1975 have spent most of their existence being ignored. They’ve struggled to sell ten tickets in Manchester and “couldn’t get fucking arrested” until they were 24. “All the labels came down to meet us. We were a known band in the industry, but nobody wanted to sign us.” Apparently, they were just too eclectic. It shaped who and how they are today. “We got used to being this insular band that just operated in and around Manchester and Cheshire. There was a lot of safety in that. All those songs that are on the first album were written in that time, and when it came out and became so successful, especially amongst so many young people, I was like, ‘Woah, woah, woah, woah! That’s not all I’ve got to say.’ The whole thing just happened so fast. For me, that album was quite confusing, so I don’t know what it was like for other people. “In my mind, that record is tied to the idea of becoming known. Not a desire to be famous but wanting people to know who my band is. There’s an element of ego involved in that, an element of jostling for position and for people to take you seriously or think you’re cool.” With the release of ‘The 1975’, people started listening. And looking. The band had a position. They were known, and they were cool. Suddenly, the insular group had to deal with the world as a whole. When it came to making album two, they had to pretend it wasn’t there. “We had to not care to make the album that we did in the end. We made a really, really honest record; a record we wanted to make, and for us, it was really uncompromising. I know we make pop music but we just wanted to make a really free record and that was the record that, in turn, went on to be our most commercially successful and globally accepted. My only intention was to show what we do. To be these ambassadors for this generation of millennials who consume music in a certain type of way. It’s been amazing for us. When you stop trying so hard, it kinda works.” Looking back at the creation of ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’, Matty has convinced himself that “at no point did I think about the critics or being objectified or worried. I think I’ve idealised that album recording process as me just creatively gallivanting around the studio, doing whatever I wanted. I’d convinced myself I didn’t really care. ‘I don’t give a fuck about awards; I just want to make records. I’m going to be a pop outsider, don’t include me in anything. Oh, Mercury nomination, that does feel quite nice.’ Maybe I do care about these things.” Not that the reaction has been that much of a surprise. “I live these records. I do a show, go to a hotel room, work on music and document my psyche. But it makes me think, if somebody does put as much heart into what they do as we did with that record, then it should be commercially successful. So, I have been a bit surprised, but I have been a bit, ‘Yeah, too fucking right’, too. I worked really hard and I can
tell that song connects with people. What I’ve done now is start to accept the fact that The 1975 is more accepted in different worlds.” ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ is - in its own way - a bizarre album. It covers so much ground and deals in everything from acceptance to loss, ranging from delicate minimalism to commanding blow-out. As big as the record reaches, though, The 1975 never use that scale to hide or distract. The band deals in the blunt truth. “It’s interesting when you talk about hiding behind something because I would rather lacerate the pomposity in front of you. As much as there’s that ‘Love Me’ rock star, post-Marc Bolan, ridiculous cliché part of my performance, there’s an insecurity there. When I perform live, I’m never thinking I’m actually Mick Jagger. There’s a fragility there and I think it’s the same in the record. When things get too much for me, in regards to it feeling faux or slightly contrived, then I have to reference it or change it. I think the problem is the self-awareness of it. You can’t be a proper rock star anymore because everybody else has everyone’s number. Everybody knows being cool is just referencing stuff. It was way harder to be cool ten or twenty years ago because you had to have seen that film or been to that bookshop or been at that show, whereas now everybody’s got a computer in their pockets so you can reference things at a million miles an hour. Now my generation’s first response when they see something cool is to be suspicious of that. They think that’s probably not real, or they’ve learnt that from somewhere else, and that’s the way that people act now. There’s an element
of that in my identity, so there’s an element of that in my music. It’s calling myself out before people get a chance to do it. I even do it musically, the number of times I call myself a cliché, it’s all part of the way that I hope I become relatable.” Whichever way you look at it, The 1975 connect. Self-aware and tuned in, everything they say feels real. The more the band have opened up, the more the world has taken to them. “You know what I hate, though,” asks Matty, answering instantly: “People who say, ‘Oh, I just say it like it is’. Yeah but that doesn’t mean you’re not a dickhead. It doesn’t stop you from just saying things that make you a dick. But what I am very aware of is when people are really honest, respectful and they’re frank and they say how they’re feeling, even if talking about part of themselves that’s quite distasteful, it can be quite endearing having someone saying it how it is. Loads of people come up and talk to me about ‘Nana’. Of course, if you write a song about the death of a loved one, it’s going to connect with loads of people, ‘cause people die. The specific thing that people talk to me about with that song is its lack of metaphor because death is the ultimate context of metaphor. I’m not that good at metaphor and when I had to write about it, there’s a line in it that goes ‘I don’t like it now that you’re dead’. When there are things that make me feel blunt, it provokes me to be blunt. And I think that’s what we’re talking about in terms of that openness; there’s something about me being frank about something that maybe you’d be less frank about.” Matty has yet to push that frankness too far. He’s yet to draw a line because he doesn’t need to, “because I’ve got the
“When you stop trying so harD it Kinda works.”
boys. We’re obviously so close and we’ve been together for so long, everything I write has to be true because one of them, at least, is with me all day. I can’t make up some narrative about some girl I was in love with. If I went too far, one of them would say, ‘Listen, man, you don’t need to be putting that shit out there. That’s too heavy. That’s just indulgent’. There’s a time for it to be harrowing - I adore Antony and The Johnsons - but music is still an escape for people and I only want to write about stuff that’s cathartic for me but also helpful for other people. I don’t want to cross into the aggressively indulgent. There’s no time for that with me.” As intricate, winding and horizonstretching as ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ is, the line in ‘Paris’ “Hey kids, we’re all just the same. What a shame” sums it all up. “You can’t be objective to what your favourite lyric is but in regards to when we do it live, when I hear it, when I remember writing it, when I remember the feeling, it sums up the album now. When I wrote that line and I had that song ‘Paris’, I felt like I knew what the album was. That inspired ‘Loving Someone’ which inspired the
whole glue of the knowledge of us all being a witness to this madness. I know in The 1975 we use the paradigm of my life to look at the world and talk about it, but most young people’s desire is for everybody to be caramel and queer. I think that line sums up the whole record. Our shows are so multi-everything. When you’ve got white kids, Sikh kids, black kids, all these kids at your show all singing that line and it resonating in such a literal way, it’s hard to get away from.“ Despite the crowds growing, it just makes Matty feel way more a part of it. People spend a lot of time asking him how crowds from different countries compare to one another but that’s a tricky one to answer, ‘cause touring the world has taught him something else. “You realise that it’s not the differences you notice, it’s the consistencies. Whether that’s unique to The 1975 shows, I’m not sure but I’m telling you, we play to the same group of people, the same group of kids every night. Bangladesh, Alaska, Hackney. It’s the same type of people and sure, their hair might be a different colour over here or they might look slightly different over there. The thing is, people seem to notice the differences but for me, you have
THE BeST of
THEY’RE OUR BAND OF THE YEAR,
The greatness of The 1975
BUT WHAT’S SO SPECIAL ABOUT THE 1975?
hink of The 1975 this year and what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Is it the numerous bangers and heartbreaking slow jams? Is it Matty’s ever more outlandish stage outfits? Is it that pic with the glasses? (If you’re a fan you’ll know the one.) Or is it that distinctive shade of light pink that has coloured everything they’ve done this year? Then think of Prince and what comes to mind? - Bangers, ridiculous outfits and the colour purple. Think of Bowie and what comes to mind? A striking visual identity, showmanship and theatricality. Notice a theme developing? Now, we’re not saying that The 1975 are on the same level as those two dearly departed icons (well, maybe), but it’s an odd and heartbreaking coincidence that their departures this year coincided with The 1975’s stratospheric imperial year. Their success has been inspired by an unmatched visual identity and clever cultivation of a unique aesthetic, two things that those two late legends pioneered.
is incredibly simple and direct. They make a little go a very long way. In frontman Matty, of course, they have the grand showman. Someone who is both aware of his idol status yet totally lacking in self-awareness at the same time. He’s a mass of contradictions, naivety, brilliance and messed up curly hair and that’s what makes him such a compelling character. This year has been one of the outstanding moments for the band befitting an album bursting with ambition. It’s easy to forget among the bangers just what a staggering 15 minutes of music the middle instrumental section of the album is, but they brought that to life with the help of the BBC concert orchestra for a stunning performance in Blackpool. This emphasised the peak of their gift: to create a moment and a magical memory. To make something that’s more than just the music and the band playing their album: this was The 1975 making a statement that they’re more than just a regular band.
The visual look has always been If music is about anything, key to The 1975. Every little it’s about being brave, true to detail counts. This year with the yourself and sticking to your release of their second album ‘I principals - and that’s what The Like It When You Sleep, For You 1975 have done this year. P Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, they took things to the next level with a stage show that looks unbelievably THE JAPANESE HOUSE slick and stylish yet
ON THE 1975...
You work a lot with the guys from The 1975, what makes them such a special band do you think? I work with George, the drummer of The 1975. But I’ve known them all for about 4 years now and they’re all lovely guys. I think what makes them a special band is their ability to create such varied and topical pop music which is unashamedly bluntly reflective. That’s why so many people connect with them. Their production is also incredible. And their live show. And their devoted fans.
to search for the differences. It’s the similarities that are blindingly obvious. It’s why it confuses me with the culture we’re in. The internet has opened up the doors and exposed everybody to everybody, shown everybody how different everybody is from one another, and that’s created this hardening of position and people becoming scared of one another. There’s this polarity of stuff, so it’s interesting at The 1975 shows because we don’t really have that as much, it’s just this weird community.” That’s why The 1975 are soundtracking a generation: they take being an outsider and champion it. They shine a spotlight on what makes them different and people can see themselves in it. “There’s a cultish element to this band,” starts Matty. “It’s just grown. It wasn’t like we had a hardcore group of fans, then we had one hit single and everybody’s mum started showing up to The O2 to see us. It is massive now but it’s grown with every single kid. When we used to play shows to 300 people, 100 would wait behind to meet us and there’d be kids with The 1975 tattoos. There was this intensity early on that just seems to have spread and spread. With these kids, they just live for The 1975 and the thing they all tell me about is how they all met, or are all friends because of this and that’s the community that interests me. It all gets like Skynet, Terminator shit. It’s an idea that starts in your bedroom, and it’s never got any bigger than that. You’ve
got people saying that idea is starting to define a generation; there’s no way to be objective about that unless you come across as insanely pretentious or you buy into your own bullshit, and I can’t do that. I’ve just got to keep being me. I need to keep the purity of the pursuit, the pursuit of excellence for my own self.” People have found a voice within The 1975. That comes with pressure to speak up, to become a spokesperson. It’s one of the things he’s struggled with, “but I’ve realised that I don’t have much control over myself when I’m in an interview, I’m such an impulsive person, and I’m quite a genuine person, so I fuck up quite a bit. I get worried about misrepresenting myself and therefore being an idiot but I don’t feel personally responsible. On this album, what I wanted to do was use my platform to make people as passionate and conscientious as possible, but at the most times, do that through my music. It’s way more powerful to have that line in ‘Paris’ or songs like ‘Loving Someone’ as opposed to a speech every day on Twitter. I’ve got opinions - the amount I could have spoken about American politics - but I’d rather try and create three minutes of something that’ll last forever and really means something as opposed to something that doesn’t mean as much that’ll last for just as long. I try and keep it in the music. There are charities I’m aligned with like the British Humanist Association. There are certain things I
Y L l A R E “I DO LiVE THESe ” . s d r o C Re
THE BeST of
REaders PoLl: BAND OF THE YEAR WINNER!
They’re our band of the year. They’re your band of the year. With an album for the ages, countless bangers and a direct line into the cultural zeitgeist, it’s not hard to see why. SPECIAL MENTIONS
If any band has found success in 2016, it’s Blossoms. While others had the sure foundations already set, this rag tag bunch of indie upstarts fulfilled on their promise to fly up the live bills, play alongside The Stone Roses and score a Number One album. Not bad, lads. Not bad at all.
THE BeST of
Long described as a cult success story, with their second album Glass Animals proved that their acclaim didn’t have to be purely underground in 2016. With ‘Life Itself’ ripping up the airwaves, they brought that perfect mix of smart and fun to the masses.
Tarek and co. pack more pizazz than any other band around. Delivering it injected directly into the ear-drums with their debut album, they relentlessly attacked the last year, blasting through with a gang of exciting bands in their wake.
“I T ’ S Y d a E Alr a e t QUI d R I e w ” . D R reco venue, look at your beard, you look like a right cunt’. There are always moments of nostalgia that bring you back to the whole thing being a huge story.” The band reflect a lot more than they used to, “just because we’re a bit older and we wear trousers instead of jeans occasionally. The 1975 is a big thing now, so there are grown-up conversations to be had, but we try and subvert them as much as possible by doing them naked or something. It’s very much just us touring the world and having fun.”
stand against; I’m very anti-faith schools and I’m all about the disruption of religious rule. There are lots of things I’ll vocalise, and I’ll talk about if asked but I don’t want to be…,” he goes quiet. “I get very, very, very scared of being known for anything apart from The 1975. I get anxious for being known for anything more than my music. I just think it’s way better for people if they’re persuaded through an art form instead of someone just waxing lyrical about something.”
one you’ve decided to love then let’s do it. There was enough of a foundation of me being emo and weird and insecure for people to know that between albums I hadn’t become Marc Bolan. ‘Oh my God, he‘s actually turned into *that* guy. I wish I was like that, fuck me, that’d be awesome. I’d love to be that person but unfortunately not. The 1975 is me and my brain. It is a complete paradigm; I suppose that would be the word. It’s a whole vocabulary.”
Despite his fear of being misrepresented, Matty puts a lot of faith in his audience. There’s a subtle art to his delivery. ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ covers everything from heartfelt sincerity to tongue-incheek jokes. There’s no chance of being spoon-fed with The 1975. “I give people the benefit of the doubt because I expect to be given it as well. I expect to be able to say things and have people say ‘he’s joking’ and if I don’t do that with other people, then I’m a dick. I want a strict door policy on my band. I don’t want every fucking idiot getting in. I love that saying, ‘If you’re offended, it doesn’t mean you’re right’. I don’t need to justify or apologise or ask permission to talk about anything, but I expect my fans to give me the benefit of the doubt because there’s so much of my personality and morality and what I stand for in our music. If I do say something that’s slightly sassy or a little bit controversial, people will assume that there’s nothing to be offended by. People aren’t fucking stupid, though.”
He doesn’t have synaesthesia but “as soon as we’re working on a song, I know what colour it is. Not in a pretentious, wanky way but there’s an element to it. I knew how I wanted to light the video for ‘Somebody Else’ and how I wanted to light the video for ‘The Sound’. I have quite a visual brain so when I’m writing lyrics, I suppose I’m writing a little video as well. I’m visualising it. I’ll have a book where the song and the lyrics and the video are all on the same page. I write it all at one time, and then we finish at once. It’s the same with the artwork. We had the album cover [for ‘I Like It When You Sleep…’] before we even started writing. That album cover was up in the studio, so we knew what we were working towards because I already knew that was the visual identity. Those kind of things come first. The whole thing feels like a creative expression as opposed to just being the music. It’s my world and my life, and if people are going to be witness to it, then it needs to be perfect. “
Take the faux-arrogance of ‘Love Me’, playing up to stereotypes and turning them on their head with a tongue-incheek smirk. It walks a line between smart and silly without a disclaimer. The track is “just taking the piss out of myself, basically. Love me, fine, if I’m the
‘I Like It When You Sleep…’ celebrates the moment, and the band are trying to live accordingly. “We’ve always had friends on tour with us, taking photos and filming stuff, and occasionally you’ll see a photo and think, ‘Fucking hell, that was three years ago. Look at the size of the
The band will sit in venues and work on material for the next record but they’ll also stop and vocalise the fact they’re about to play a show to thousands of kids in Pittsburgh. “Fucking hell, that’s mental. When we did the Apollo in Manchester, I sat at the dressing room window from 10 o’clock in the morning and I watched as every single kid turned up, because I know what it’s like to go to a show there. I know what buses you have to get if you want to go from Wythenshawe or Cheadle. I know what it’s like when you come out The Apollo and your ears are ringing and you get in your dad’s car and it’s deathly silent and the indicators sound insanely loud and you’re really sweaty. The amount of history I had
with The Apollo, I sat there and I really appreciated it. I really got it and I really felt ‘fucking hell, this is full circle’. We do the M.E.N. in December. I might as well have lived at the M.E.N. when I was 15 I was there so much. Those things you can’t take for granted, they shake you up.” As much as they’ve enjoyed the story so far, they’re onto the next thing. “I think every great artist has been about evolution and progression, but the greatest artists have had that Thom Yorke quote-thing where your records become distillations of the records that preceded them. You take what’s amazing about the previous record and you distil it and you refine it and extend it and you build upon, that’s always our idea.” But as for specifics, “I don’t fucking know. I talk a million miles a minute and I’ll be writing one song and I’ll think I’ll know what the whole record is going to sound like and it completely changes. I know that it’s going to be more all over the place than the last record in regards to it being recorded in so many different places. It’s already quite a weird record. I’ve written a lot of it. It’s going to be… I don’t know. It is interesting to think I don’t know. I’ve got an idea of what I want to do visually and then it becomes
THE BeST of a process of procrastination, figuring out exactly what I want to do.” There was talk of new The 1975 in 2017 because of a blunt tweet that said “New The 1975 – 2017.” And, “there will be something but that was me slightly pissed and being honest with myself about how impatient I am. There’s not going to be another album next year because we all know how seriously I take our albums, but I think we’ll put out a piece of music. We’ve met so many people recently along the way and we’ve met so many artists who we’re not necessarily going to be working with, but it’s been a very inspiring time for us. I just know we’ll definitely put out a single next year or an EP which will lead up to the album which I reckon will come out early summer 2018, and it’ll be really sad but it’ll change the world ‘cause it’ll be fucking sick. There’s a quote for you.” The 1975 have connected like so few bands manage. They’re a genuine, worldwide phenomenon but you ask Matty why he thinks this is, and he’s more interested in what you think. He listens and readily admits he doesn’t fucking know. “If I knew, I’d be doing it more. If there was remotely a formula to it, I’d have done it another two times.” He pauses, before asking: “Do I have to care? Like, because I can feel like I can appreciate it without intellectualising it too much. I don’t want to review it. That’s the sort of thing you do when you come out of a relationship. Maybe when we break up, I’ll do a mind retrospective where I’ll figure everything out but right now, I’m really humble and I’m very lucky. I don’t think people realise how much we do it for ourselves. Anytime you pull a leather jacket on or go out on stage, there’s an element of showmanship there. What the 1975 really is, is me and George smoking weed in a bedroom and making records. That’s all we do. Instead of sitting there and watching a film and getting wrecked, we’d play around and make a tune on a laptop. Now, imagine sitting around and watching a film became your job. That’s fucking wicked, and that’s what’s happened with me. It’s the same thing. I’m just in Toronto and it’s a hotel room instead of my bedroom but still, why would you want to go out?
Albums of the Year
ow do you define the voice of a generation when you can’t even define the generation itself? Enter The 1975 and Dork’s Album Of The Year, ‘I Like It When You Sleep...’ For The 1975 life is messed up, glorious and heartbreaking all at the same time. They chronicle real life and scrapes we all get into. They represent modern pop culture and all the craziness that it entails but in a way that is deeply human. This is the album where Matty Healy bares his soul like never before, and takes his band to the next level in every conceivable way. It’s a statement album. The sound
of a band unabashed and unafraid to revel in and rub people’s noses in their own ridiculousness, like on opening banger ‘Love Me’.
in one of numerous brilliant call backs to their debut album. The 1975 are smart, and they know that this stuff matters.
Across its 16-track excessiveness, it represents the band in all their brilliance. The production is crisp and on point, while the songs are strong and incisive. Where it’s really special though, is in the finer points: the details that mark The 1975 out as a band to treasure.
Adoration is key to Matty’s psyche. He revels in it but also finds it a bit scary. On this album he goes deep into his soul and questions his very being, but he does it in a way that’s very self-aware. By the end you’re fully invested and full of compassion as he relates the feeling of hopelessness and desolation prompted by the death of a loved one and cruelness of illness on heartbreaking duo ‘Nana’ and ‘She Lays Down’. The 1975 have more bangers than anyone, but their softer side is what makes them really special.
In many ways the album is a sequel in the truest sense, nothing the band do is ever in isolation and their entire career is one long increasingly compelling story. See for example Matty wistfully remembering the girl that, ‘used to have a face straight out of a magazine’ before lamenting that he ‘never found love in the city’
#1 The 1975
2016 will be remembered for many pretty horrible reasons but by far the most cheering event was the elevation of Matty Healy to true icon status. Think of the outfits, the hair, the posturing and the posing and one thing is certain: this was The 1975’s year. P
I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it
“There’s a great Noel Gallagher quote in that new film that goes, ‘When I found weed and guitars, what the fuck do you want to go out for’. It was the same with George and me, once we found weed and a laptop, what’s the point? Why would you want to go out, people can come over but let this be the nucleus of our life and everything else can orbit around it. That’s been happening for ten years. I don’t need to think about it more than that; it’s my life and it’s what I do. I just want people to do what I did. Music, y’know? Awards and being part of culture that way, that’s all really nice but what really excited me is a couple arguing in their car in Cheadle, near where I’m from, while one of our songs is on and then that forever becomes part of their history. That’s the shit that excites me, when our music bleeds into humanity. That’s what I’m into and that’s because of how I write it. It’s all a cinematic version of reality. That’s what I want people to take away from it. It’s just nostalgia, innit. I want it to be nostalgia.” P
KONNICHIWA If there’s a record that signifies groundmoving punk defiance in 2016, then it’s ‘Konnichiwa’. After years of anticipation, Tottenham’s finest delivered his state of the nation address, and it was nothing short of spectacular. From trading sharp barbs on ‘Lyrics’ and ‘Corn On The Curb’, delivering knockout blows on ‘Shutdown’ and ‘That’s Not Me’, or thriving with confidence on ‘Crime Riddim’ and ‘It Ain’t Safe’ - ‘Konnichiwa’ is not only a landmark album for 2016, but a turning point in modern British culture. Nothing will be the same from here on out.
Spring King: “2016 has been crazy.”
CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS
CHALEUR HUMAINE ‘Chaleur Humaine’ is the perfect tonic for 2016, finding a home with the depths of darkness and fear by shining brighter than any beacon ever could. Across twelve tracks, Héloïse Letissier introduces the world to Christine and the Queens, gliding over lush and infectious electro-pop highs and seizing the crown of pop royalty with ease. In ‘Tilted’, she not only brought back the pure joy of pop, but redefined what a star is in 2016 with a remarkable and life-affirming record. #4
TELL ME IF YOU LIKE TO Only one band truly captured youthful abandon in 2016, and that was Spring King. ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ is a bristling collection of sweet pop nuggets, ripped with a primal urgency that grabs you and holds you close from start to finish. It breathes from the melodic swoons of ‘The Summer’ to ‘Detroit’ and its moshpit inciting rush, and more than anything manages to capture the raw magic of being in a band and enjoying life to the fullest. There’s no filters, no pretending - and that’s where the true beauty of it all lies. #5
22, A MILLION For a while, it seemed that another Bon Iver record was just a distant daydream rather than a reality, but that changed with ’22, A Million’. A succinct and powerful blending of folk, electronica, distorted flourishes and dark blues - it’s Justin Vernon’s most direct and all-encompassing LP to date. Spiritual in places but emotional throughout, ’22, A Million’ is the sort of record that’ll provide comfort and hope for years to come, and for that it’s nothing short of stunning. #6
BLACKSTAR This final release from one of music’s
Hey Tarek! How are you today? Today is the first day of our break, we’ve been on tour non-stop most of the year with little gaps here and there. I’ve got a Four Freshmen record on, getting into the winter feels. Have you had a good 2016? How does it feel to have had your debut album out for six months already? 2016 has been crazy. I’ve had some of the best experiences of my life this year. We’ve been to the US, Australia and many European countries. I’ll never forget our day off in LA where we went surfing and watched the sunset with a few beers, or hanging out in Melbourne. The album has been out since June and we’re already looking ahead to the next release, whenever that may be! One thing I didn’t expect was the reception we’ve had from our fans, they always send us messages about how much they enjoy the album. Have there been any other achievements this year that have particularly meant a lot to you? Performing on Jools Holland was an incredible experience. I was so nervous, I could barely hold the drum sticks. Some of my favourite bands of all time have been on the show. At The Drive-In performed on Jools and that really hit me growing up, it will always stick with me. I’ve personally been shortlisted by the MPG (Music Producers Guild) for the award of ‘Self Producing Artist of The Year’ alongside James Blake and Jeff Lynne, which is a huge honour. What do you think has been the biggest music-related news story of 2016? We’ve lost so many great artists this year including Prince, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen. They’ve created music that generations have grown up with, and inspired so many to create art and music. What’s your album of the year? I really got into the Whitney album, it made the drives through our European tour even more beautiful. I love the sound of that record, it’s like a big warm hug.
brightest and boldest stars was the perfect swan song. Inspired by everything, including his own apparent oncoming death, ‘Blackstar’ was his last stand and it couldn’t have been more apt. #7
BLONDE ‘Blond’. ‘Blonde’. Whichever. In 2016 Frank Ocean dropped two albums, and built a staircase. What did you achieve? Exactly.
Where will Spring King be this Christmas? Are you having a bit of time off? We’ll all be at our homes, spending time with friends and family. Me, Andy and Pete are gonna buy consoles so we can game for a bit. It’s been a while since we’ve had a solid break. I’m going to miss playing shows, but we’ll enjoy ourselves by writing music.
What presents will you get for your bandmates? James loves Tequila, maybe I’ll get him some. Andy and Pete are into a game called Hearthstone, so maybe I’ll get them some ingame purchases. Lots of gaming and drinking will be done this December.
NOT TO DISAPPEAR Stunning, enchanting and staggeringly beautiful, ‘Not To Disappear’ is a glorious and heart-rendering record that places Daughter firmly in the upper leagues of acclaimed genius. If you’re not holding back waves of emotion, you’re in awe of the moment where they became an entity of intangible significance.
What’s top of your Christmas list? Dream wish list would be a Jeep Wagoneer, ideally one from circa 1967. Realistically, a pair of trainers would be cool. What do you think is the most important part of a Christmas roast dinner? The gravy for me. It pulls it all together, it elevates the experience. Do you have any favourite festive party games? Does Poker count? Other than that, maybe Charades or Monopoly. Do you have many plans for 2017 yet? Anything in the diary? We’re touring with the Kaiser Chiefs in February on their arena tour! Also supporting Cage The Elephant for two UK shows as well as our first ever show in Madrid supporting Hinds. Apart from that it’s mainly writing music so far! Which album are you most looking forward to being released next year? I can’t wait for Arcade Fire and Fleet Foxes to drop new albums, they will be holy days. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? He’s already smashing it but Aldous RH is great. I hope he releases more music next year. P
THE BeST of
LEMONADE Striking out of nowhere with a video concept album that united the world with cries of “Slay!” and “Queen Bey”, ‘Lemonade’ made sure everyone remembered why Beyonce is such a powerful and prominent figure in both music and culture. #9
A MOON SHAPED POOL Whenever Radiohead release something it’s a big deal, but nobody expected just how powerful and gripping ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ would be. One of the most complete and breath-taking albums of their career, it once again proved that Radiohead are still leading the pack when it comes to the ultimate artistic album. #11
NOTHING’S REAL The glorious world of Shura burst into life with ‘Nothing’s Real’, a true kaleidoscopic journey into the mind of a future-pop svengali. It’s vulnerable, euphoric and a fully-formed portrait of an artist flourishing before our eyes, and no matter
THE BeST of
what - you can’t turn away. #12
99.9% When the Canadian producer stepped into the limelight, boy did he seize it. Sounding like the product of an international diet of beats, bass and boogie - 99% is a transcendent descent into the highs of liberating dance that’s as welcoming as it is essential.
Let’s Eat Grandma: “2016 has been endless excitement.” Hey Rosa, what have been your defining moments of 2016? Releasing your album must be up there, right? 2016 has been endless excitement, and so many things have happened that it’s hard to process and remember what they all are. We’re grateful to have been able to see so many new places, like Iceland, which is beautiful and where everything smells and tastes like volcanoes. One minute you’re at a German fairground eating Ananas on a stick, then you’re in the moat of the Sacre-Coeur. Then you’re back in your bedroom feeling a bit confused (that’s me today). Jools Holland was a highlight for me, as I’ve watched that show with my family for as long as I can remember, so that was very surreal.
BABES NEVER DIE Loud, fun and with an aura that makes you wish you could be in their gang, ‘Ready For The Magic’ is the clear-cut statement of everything Honeyblood stand for. It’s a record that spills straight into your head, full of unmistakable hooks and moves and before long has your heart too. #14
THE LIFE OF PABLO Only Kanye West could release an album and then keep re-releasing with constant changes. Both powerful and self-aware, ’TLOP’ gave Kanye an outlet for his personal life while remaining filled with impressive guest appearances and memorable lyrics. ‘Famous’, anyone?
Are there any news stories that have particularly affected you this year? Brexit was shocking in that it’s showed how divided this country is in a way that I don’t think anyone realised before, especially as on social media there are algorithms so that you only get your opinion sent back to you. It was frustrating that it was beyond our control because we’re 17 so couldn’t vote, especially considering the amount it will affect our generation. Afterwards, the hate crime rate went up a ridiculous amount - someone threw a petrol bomb through a Romanian shop window just down the road from us, and I think a lot of communities feel threatened. What’s your album of the year? Christine and the Queens - ‘Chaleur Humaine’. She’s created her own distinctive sound and speaks about identity and defying gender expectations. It’s relevant at the moment because people need to realise that gender roles are outdated and restrictive and that we need to move forward from them. And what was your favourite gig? Gold Panda at Latitude! Mega visuals too.
LIGHT UPON THE LAKE Like sipping a glass of iced lemonade on a boiling hot porch, ‘Light Upon The Lake’ is the sort of record destined to cool you off after a long day. Drenched in smooth and wistful Americana, it catapulted Whitney into the big leagues and the album into many a record collection. #17
HOW TO BE A HUMAN BEING Bursting like a box of frogs, ‘How To Be A Human Being’ is packed with edges, flourishes and destinations that refuse to play any corner by half-chances. It’s an international line in the sand, as shown with the monumental ‘Life Itself’, that confirms just how needed Glass Animals are right now. #18
THE LEMON TWIGS
DO HOLLYWOOD A dizzying tumble through glam, power pop and technicolour baroque’n’roll, the D’Addario duo’s 4AD debut packed more harmonies, instruments and madcap ideas into its forty-three minutes than almost
And the worst? I can’t say because sometimes my relatives read these and I don’t want them to get offended... What’s your favourite thing to watch on TV during the festive season? Elf is always a favourite. What’s the best New Year’s Eve party you’ve ever been to? A couple of years ago we went to a wicked party on a boat which floated out to sea through the night. On New Year’s Day we all jumped off and went for a swim. Do you have any resolutions for 2017? Regulate my sleep schedule to stop falling asleep at college. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? Camembear Grill Club - if you haven’t heard of them you should check them out, they’re gonna be massive. P
TEGAN & SARA
What’s the best present you’ve ever received? My Christmas pyjamas that sadly got confiscated in Iceland.
that overlook us all. With the panoramic screens of tracks like ‘Telomere’, ‘1985’ and ‘The End Up’ ringing out, it sits as a record you’ll be going back to again and again.
LOVE YOU TO DEATH They’d been teasing it for a while, but ‘Love You To Death’ was finally the moment Tegan & Sara became a larger than life pop force to be reckoned with. ‘U-Turn’, ‘Boyfriend’ and ‘Stop Desire’ are just a trio of hits that make it a record of absurd brilliance.
Where will Let’s Eat Grandma be this Christmas? On the top of the Christmas tree.
anything else this year. “Is 2016 a bit of a struggle?”, they asked. “Then why not join us back in 1974?” Why not, indeed?
COLOURING BOOK No record this year may be as important as ‘Colouring Book’. A masterpiece that’s been on the cards for a number of years, it cements Chance The Rapper in an elite group of names who can take any genre and make it theirs. A gospel offering from a holy trailblazer.
TRICK Jamie T burst back into shot a few years ago, but with ‘Treat’ he well and truly returned to form. A record that managed to juggle the harrowing depths of ‘Carry On The Grudge; with the gritty urgency of ‘Panic Prevention’ - it’s the sound of a man with his hands firmly back on the steering wheel.
CHANCE THE RAPPER
PANIC! AT THE DISCO
DEATH OF A BACHELOR Who’d of thought that Brendon Urie had this in him. Taking the reigns firmly in his hands, ‘Death Of A Bachelor’ is a bonkers re-introduction that opens Pandora’s box through Jungle Book swing, late-night croons and explosive arena rock to leave the greatest album of his career so far. #22
MYSTERY JETS CURVE OF THE EARTH Expecting summery indie strums? Think again. With ‘Curve Of The Earth’ taking Mystery Jets into space-sized orbits
HAMILTON LEITHAUSER + ROSTAM
I HAD A DREAM THAT YOU WERE MINE After Carly Rae and Frank Ocean, exVampire Weekender Batmanglij brought his production smarts to bear on this
THE BeST of
This year has not only seen Glass Animals release their second album ‘How to Be a Human Being’, but appear on the cover of Dork, too. What more could a band want, eh?
Thanks, Ma. I got a Micro Machine Island once. That was the happiest I’ve ever been at Christmas. Then my Grandpa drunkenly stumbled into it and smashed it to pieces.
Joe Seaward looks back on an exciting 2016, and fills us in on his Christmas plans. All the kids will be playing Werewolf over the festive season, it seems.
If you went carol singing what would you sing? 12 Days of Christmas. NEXT QUESTION.
Hey, Joe! How’s things? I am pretty okay thanks. I’m eating cereal. What have been your defining moments of 2016? Well, this year we released our second record, ‘How To Be A Human Being’. It’s been really great having it out in the world. We made it too, earlier in the year. That was great fun. Since it’s been out we have toured America, the UK and Europe. Met some lovely people and partied pretty well. That was pretty rad. Ed moved house. We all had birthdays. It’s been cool. I’d give 2016 a gold star I think. Are there any news stories that have particularly affected you this year? Some guy is in charge of America. Britain decided to be more unpopular than it already was. Terrorism sucks. I think the stand out news story this year goes to the super moon. I didn’t see it, it was very cloudy, and there was a building in the way but apparently it really was super. What’s your album of the year? [Radiohead’s] ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’. Because it’s better than the other records released this year, don’t you think? Where will Glass Animals be this Christmas? AT HOME. With friends and family. It’s going to be blissful. We are going to have a Glass Animals Christmas party at some point too. What’s your favourite thing to eat or drink at Christmas? Mulled Wine to drink and brandy butter by the ladleful to eat. What’s the best present you’ve ever received? Life? Probably life to be honest.
Do you have any favourite Christmas party games? Werewolf. This. Game. Is. The. Best. Aim of the game: Find the werewolf/ don’t die. Rules: Turn all the lights in your house off, find 9-15 friends/family. Werewolf gets chosen at random, they have to murder the villagers (everyone else) and not get caught. Each round consists of one murder, and then a village meeting where everyone, including the werewolf, has to try and find the werewolf by saying what they have seen (werewolf needs to deflect attention). If the werewolf isn’t found, the game continues. Every time a villager dies, they become zombies and have to scare the shit out the rest of the players in the dark. It’s the best game. And I haven’t explained it well. Look it up or ask me some time. What will you be doing this New Year’s Eve? Almost certainly playing Werewolf. Do you have any resolutions for 2017? No. I’m still doing 2014’s resolution which was to stop eating meat. One at a time. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? Pumarosa. What one thing would you most like to happen during the next twelve months? I’d like to sit by a beach and drink a piña colada. I’d like to travel the world some more playing music with the dudes. we are going to Australia and south America where we haven’t been as a band yet. We are playing Brixton Academy, I’d like that to happen. I’d like to get to Japan. I’d like to see the new series of Stranger Things. I’d like to play some festivals in the summer. I think that might happen. 2017 hopefully will get a gold star too. P
“We’re going to have a Glass Animals Christmas party at some point.” timeless, woozily charming collection. July’s lead single ‘A 1000 Times’ is worth the entry price alone, but stay for the raggedly glorious ‘Rough Going’, waltzing wedding speech ‘The Bride’s Dad’ and dazzling closer ‘1959’. #24
TWO DOOR CINEMA CLUB
GAMESHOW Revitalised and unrestricted, entering Two Door’s ‘Gameshow’ is a thrilling ticket through disco, pop, indie and electronica merged into one delectable cocktail. Shimmering brighter than ever, it’s a record that oozes swagger and an attitude that’ll have them heading up the biggest stages and venues around the globe. #25
We Haven’t Got Yet’ and ‘Just A Boy’, ushering in shoegazed indie glory like never before. #27
DRIVE NORTH Loud, proud and more direct than a Leicester City counter attack, SWMRS’ assault on 2016 was so complete they even scored their way onto scene-king label Fueled By Ramen. This story isn’t run yet. #28
THE WHITE ALBUM Weezer’s return to form was so miraculous that it was almost enough to forgive ‘Raditude’. Almost. Back to their very best, their previous full-length ‘Everything Will Be Alright In The End’ knew it all along.
BOY KING Strutting and dripping with neon-lit sex appeal, ‘Boy King’ was one of the head-turning returns of the year. Brooding and menacing with synth-laden licks and underground vibrations, it found Wild Beasts once again doing what they do best. Reinventing and refreshing everything around them.
VILE CHILD Another of UK rock’s new breed of heroes, Milk Teeth started the year buzzing and ended it ready for a second assault. In ‘Vile Child’ they’ve released an album that has more tricks than a Hogwarts graduate, but parties far, far harder.
SIMPLICITY Returning sure of themselves and in mesmeric wrapping, ‘Simplicity’ is the coming of age record that defines what JAWS can be for many years to come. Stunning portraits are painted with the likes of ‘What
FROM CAPLAN TO BELSIZE Muncie Girls know what’s going on. Bursting out of the UK underground with a batch of catchy-as-fuck bangers with a message, they needed no help to claim their turf. #30
HEY, BANDS. WHAT ALBUMS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017? “I’m excited for the new Maya Jane Coles record. She played us a little bit of it and it sounds incredible. Can’t wait to go top to bottom! Also excited for Formation’s debut record and to hear the XX comeback.” - Sarah, Nimmo “LORDE LORDE LORDE.” - Harris, Blaenavon #31 MITSKI PUBERTY 2 #32 CAR
SEAT HEADREST TEENS OF DENIAL #33 WEAVES WEAVES #34 ANGEL OLSEN MY
“When I first started playing songs with Toothless in May I asked my friend Sivu to
play guitar and sing. At the time he was in the middle of recording his second album and seemed super excited with how everything was going. If it’s anywhere near as good as his first album we are all going to be in for a treat.” - Ed, Toothless “It’s between the new Gorillaz and the new Marilyn Manson albums!” - Oscar, Sundara Karma “There’s a new Friendly Fires record on the way. It’s gonna be very very very synth and very very different from what they’ve done previously… but I’m pretty psyched for it nonetheless.” Patti, Fickle Friends
LUNG PARADISE #36 SUNFLOWER BEAN HUMAN CEREMONY #37 FRANK
#41 BLOOD ORANGE FREETOWN SOUND #42 MOOSE
#43 TACOCAT LOST TIME #44 DOE SOME THINGS LAST LONGER THAN YOU #45 YAK ALAS SALVATION #46 EAGULLS ULLAGES #47 BLOSSOMS BLOSSOMS #48 BAT BRIDE
FOR LASHES THE
#49 OSCAR CUT AND PASTE #50 SAVAGES ADORE LIFE
Oh come on. We know we’ll have missed something. An album you love, something that’s ‘reverential’ (yuk) and ‘important’ (zzz). We’ll make it easier. There’s a box below. Write it in. Whatever you want. That way, it’s in here and you can stop complaining. No, not The Hunna.
______________ ______________ ______________ THE BeST of
IERO AND THE PATIENCE PARACHUTES #38 LET’S EAT GRANDMA I, GEMINI #39 DEAP VALLY FEMEJISM #40 BLACK FOXXES I’M
Hello, Blaine! How are you today? I’m very well thank you. I’m at Jets HQ on Eel Pie Island, have a big window in front of me and the river is bathed in a wonderful golden light. I’ve just finished a new song so I’m feeling rather bouncy. How has 2016 been for you guys? Ironically, it feels as if things have come together very nicely for us this year, we had a great summer of shows and a lot of fun touring either side of it. I say ironically because it feels like chaos everywhere else I look. I could go on about the madness that has been grating on us all but I feel actually people are very conscious of the world we are living in for a change. Maybe the purpose of music is not to comment on that but to provide an escape from it. You released both an album and EP were you pleased with how they were received? The release of ‘Curve of the Earth’ came as a huge relief. We started writing those songs while we were still touring ‘Radlands’ in America in 2013, so from start to finish it was over a three-year creative process. We amassed quite a substantial amount of material in that time and it wasn’t until we invited Richard Formby round to hear some music that he pointed out we were essentially already producing the album ourselves. We had an excellent co-pilot in Matthew [Twaites coproducer] and building the studio ourselves was essential. In the past, we’ve always been quite precious about holding back outtakes and tracks that didn’t make it, but in this case, the songs that made up ‘The Whole Earth EP’ were just as important to us as the ones that had made it onto the album.
What would you say is your absolute favourite thing about ‘Curve of the Earth’? In the nicest possible way, I would have to say the feeling of being able to step away from it. Getting some of those songs out was almost like an exorcism. And now they’re out there, they’re not our problem! We had this saying all while we were making it - ‘no song is safe’. In other words, everything on there had at least one other song on it’s back, fighting for its place. I can’t tell you how many times a song like Bubblegum or Saturnine was almost put back on the scrapheap. Towards the end of the recording process, it was very much like we were living in a vacuum, half the band working all day, the other half turning up for the night shift. Some days we’d only cross paths over dinner. Are you planning to take a break over Christmas? How do you guys recover from the band’s busy periods? We are on roll right now so I don’t think we have any intention of making 2017 a fallow year. I’ve taken a couple of months out to have some surgery but that’s given us a great chance to make a start on the next one. We don’t like waiting around. We’ve also always got side projects we’re working on with other artists. A little film work at the moment. That’s actually the great thing about the studio, from one week to the next there’s always interesting people coming through, we like to work with other artists whenever we have time. What’s at the top of your Christmas list this year? I’ve recently taken an interest in soldering out of disgust at how expensive guitar effects pedals are becoming. After taking a few apart I thought it looked easy enough so had a go at making some from scratch but I keep on melting the components. I would gladly appreciate some training on this matter if anyone with a C or above in Electronics is reading this.
2016 Mystery Jets: “Getting some of those songs out was like an exorcism.” Are you going to buy your bandmates presents? It’s not very sexy but I’m gonna buy them books. But not just any old books, magic books. I live round the corner from the delightful Watkins Books on Cecil court in Covent Garden (aka Diagon Alley) so that’s where the order will be taken this year. There’s a little man who sits in the window reading palms for a fiver so I’ll probably consult with him before I put slap any cash down. Do you have any plans for 2017 yet? Are there any festivals you’d especially like to play? We’ve still never been to play in Russia. Or Chile, or Peru. We’ve got fans out there but are still waiting for the invitation. I’d love to set up our own version of the BA executive club, whereby fans are awarded Jets avios based on how far they travel to see us play. You would be able to spend them on things like a free soy latte at our favourite cafe or a sag paneer at a curry house of our choosing. We’d be in the app store. If anyone in tech with too much time on their hands reads this you know who to call. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? The Garden are clearly made for rock stardom. They’re two identical twins from Orange County who dress how I would imagine Bros would look like after an Iowaska binge. P
THE BeST of
ALL EYES ON US BLOSSOMS HAVE HAD ONE HELL OF A YEAR - INCLUDING A NUMBER ONE ALBUM.
BEN JOLLEY TALKS TO THE INDIE SUCCESS STORY OF 2016.
e want longevity. We don’t feel like we’ve made it yet…”
Tom Ogden, frontman of indie-pop five-piece Blossoms, is looking back on a “mental” year that’s seen their debut self-titled album top the Official Albums Chart, propelling them around the world – and back again. Unsurprisingly, when Dork calls, they’re not in their Stockport hometown; or in the country at all, for that matter. Instead, Tom is wandering into the centre of Bologna with his bandmates for breakfast. Blossoms are in Italy for their own headline show, in the middle of a tour which has seen them travel across Europe supporting Nottingham’s boy-done-good, Jake Bugg. “It’s just nice to get out innit,” Tom offers, in his distinctive Manchester twang. “It’s just been non-stop really; we genuinely haven’t stopped,” he continues, pausing for a moment to try and take in the past twelve months. “There’s not one word to sum it up really. It’s been the maddest year of our lives.” “Mad” is an accurate analysis. “We finished our debut album, released it, then it went to Number One. Then we did all the live shows and like 50 festivals this summer, travelled the world and went to places we never thought we’d go to. We’d go to Cologne and everyone would be singing all the words, then go to America and it’d be the same. It couldn’t have been better really.” Throughout their stratospheric rise, Blossoms have received their fair share of ‘odd’ gifts from fans. “In places like Japan, you get the maddest things: Kit Kats with our heads on them and people printing off Myles’ face and wearing it as a mask. We’ve had some Russian fan-fiction, as well, which was pretty odd. That’s definitely the weirdest we’ve had…”
Headlining The Plaza in Stockport the night the album came out was a particularly special moment from the year 2016. “We played the full album in track order, which was fun. It meant a lot more because it was in a place where we had grown up watching plays, and we got to do a gig there...” Being invited to perform on Later… with Jools Holland was another “surreal” milestone. “It was cool and kind of surreal because you’ve grown up watching people like Iggy Pop on there. It’s just kind of mad.” Making a piece of work that “we’re dead proud of” takes the crown, though. When ‘Blossoms’ got to the Number One spot,
to breathe, let alone reflect on their whirlwind year. “You’re that busy, you don’t really have time to take it in; you go from place to place and it’s just non-stop touring… We just want to keep writing and focusing on the future, but we are enjoying it obviously.”
second album’ nerves? “I think you’d be daft if you didn’t feel any pressure at all because you’d become complacent,” Tom contemplates. “You’d think, ‘Everyone knows us, we’ve made it’ - but we don’t feel like that; I’m not really like that, I’m more realistic.
Although there aren’t any concrete plans for a second album just yet, that’s not to say Tom, along with his band members Charlie Salt (bass/backing vocals), Josh Dewhurst (lead guitar/percussion), Joe Donovan (drums) and Myles Kellock (keyboards/synthesiser/backing vocals) haven’t been outlining new music… when they can, at least.
“I know that eyes are going to be on us but the best bands always rise to it,” he adds, with a sense of defiance and determination gleaming through his Stockport accent. “The pressure’s not enough to make you unhappy; it’s more a healthy amount to drive you on. If you didn’t have it, you’d think something was wrong.”
“We’ve done a couple of demos; nothing
Although he’s right to say that eyes are on Blossoms’ next move, Tom insists that they’re not going to be rushing anything out. “We’ll do it when we feel like we’ve got something that we’re dead proud of again,” he begins. “We’ve made our mark now, so we just want to do the same thing again, the second time.
“ EY ES A RE G O I N G TO B E O N US , BU T T H E B EST BA N DS A LWAYS RI S E TO I T.” the band were playing Boardmasters Festival in Newquay, Cornwall. “Our managers were there and a few other people who are close to the band,” he recalls. “We had a few glasses of champagne, but then we were off to Romania the next day!” Although it was undoubtedly the cherry on the top of their 2016 - having only formed in 2013 - Tom says “it’s not the be all and end all”, referring to topping the chart. “We’re just happy that the fans like going out and getting guitar music back in there,” he adds, nearing the end of an unexpectedly great twelve months. Blossoms have barely had a moment
serious yet, but we’re putting the feelers out there and getting the ball rolling,” Tom says; “because you’ve got to stay on top of it, haven’t you? Obviously, it’s harder when you’ve not got enough time to yourself because you are travelling about,” he concedes, confirming that – as one would imagine – “tour buses aren’t the most creative of places.” Though every time Tom gets to go back home, he tries to write. “I’ve got a collection going and I keep adding to it, because when it comes to doing the next record we’ll have a lot of different tracks to look at and pick from.” But, are Blossoms feeling the ‘difficult
“When it becomes contrived, that’s when it doesn’t work. Everything we’ve ever done has been a natural evolution of the band just growing and going with what we’re feeling; what songs we like at the time. There have never been any rules to what we make…” Before their second album, though, there’s the small matter of another massive UK tour. Following the release of the extended edition of their debut; adding an extra ten tracks into the collection, Tom says fans can expect to hear a lot more of the B-sides and longer sets during the thirteen-date run. “It’s just five mates ‘avin it on stage… with cool lights. We’ve never been one to do choreographed dance moves or anything like that,” Tom laughs, referring to their no-frills live shows. “People who are coming to the gig know what they’re getting. No one’s gonna come and be like, ‘Fuckin’ hell, I wasn’t expecting that!’ It’s underwhelming, but you’re not watching the Rocky Horror Picture Show…” P
THE BeST of
CHRISTMAS IS BUSY. WE’VE A LOT TO DO. NEW YEAR STUFF TO PUT TO BED BEFORE SANTA COMES ‘ROUND, LISTS TO MAKE, BANDS TO RUIN. WE NEED SOME HELP. THANKFULLY, OSCAR IS ALWAYS ON HAND TO SAVE THE DAY, SO WE’VE ASKED HIM
Oscar reviews the Bangers of the Year 2016
TO REVIEW SOME OF THE BIGGEST TRACKS OF THE LAST TWELVE MONTHS. SORRY, LITTLE MIX.
THE 1975 SOMEBODY ELSE
This is definitely my favourite track by them. It’s so tender and mellow and the way the melody carries over the chords is really comforting somehow. The video has a pretty postmodern message.
Love this tune! It’s pretty lez-affaire and chilled but still maintains energy throughout. Reminds me a little bit of Le Tigre in their heyday.
ZAYN - PILLOWTALK
DRAKE - ONE DANCE
When I first heard this song it annoyed me. By the end of it, I was supporter. Not sure what that says about it but it’s a compelling track regardless. His accent is quite strange, and the tempo is slow but somehow it doesn’t feel that unusual.
BLACK HONEY HELLO TODAY
The lyrics crack me up in this. I keep trying to work out who the diss track is about? Is it Wiley? Dizzee Rascal?? I guess I’ll never know. I like how the beat is Grime but has definitely been informed by US hip hop.
Take an already existing banger and make it even bigger. It’s a great pop track, definitely a Drake highlight of this year. I was quite disappointed by ‘Views’ but this and ‘Controlla’ almost redeem him from falling too far from grace.
This track was firmly in my head whilst I was on tour. Love the Britpop swagger of the drum break and the roll of the lyrics. It’s quite a direct and addictive listen. I can totally hear this in 90s American teen movie.
GLASS ANIMALS LIFE ITSELF
Sounds a bit like Truth Hurts at the beginning. The production is pretty amazing throughout this record. It’s a nice sonic progression from their older material. Not sure about his voice though.
INHEAVEN - DRIFT
Kind of reminds me of Big Deal. Always love a boy/girl vocal scenario. I like the jagged guitar chords and the strings at the end are a really nice touch. I’m told J Cass is a fan too.
THE BIG MOON SILENT MOVIE SUSIE
It’s an anthemic, Kinksian tale. I stand by everything this band do. I love that her voice is so low and crooner-esque and the oohs are so satisfying. It’s familiar in a good way. Such good songwriting.
DREAM WIFE - HEY HEARTBREAKER
SKEPTA - MAN
CHRISTINE AND THE QUEENS - TILTED
This is the standout track of this year! Full of character, identity, and such an ear-worm. Truly original and inspiring. What an artist. The album is incredible too.
BANGER OF THE YEAR
The bigger question when it comes to The 1975 is which of their bangers would take the title. Dropping ‘Love Me’ in late-2015 did ‘The Sound’ some favours, while the stunning ‘Somebody Else’ isn’t quite as... y’know... bangy. WINNER!
THE 1975 - THE SOUND SPECIAL MENTIONS
GLASS ANIMALS - LIFE ITSELF BLOSSOMS - CHARLEMAGNE THE BIG MOON - CUPID
KANYE WEST FAMOUS
This is so typically Kanye. The beat, is almost old school Ye. When the Althia and Donna sample comes in though. BANG ON THE MONEY! Would listen to this track on repeat solely for that moment.
LITTLE MIX - SHOUT OUT TO MY EX
Not sure about this one. I feel like the chorus is such a cop out. Just shouting the same note doesn’t feel very inventive. The lyrics kinda of cringe me out too. Don’t think I can get behind this one. I do like ‘Black Magic’ though. Far more interesting as a composition. P
ALBUM OF THE YEAR Yeah. We know. Huge shock, right? WINNER!
THE 1975 - I LIKE IT WHEN YOU SLEEP... SPECIAL MENTIONS
BLOSSOMS - BLOSSOMS SPRING KING - TELL ME IF YOU LIKE TO CHRISTINE & THE QUEENS - CHALEUR HUMAINE
REaders’ PoLl 2016 ReSULts
BEST SOLO ACT
Mr T [No, not that one - Ed] and his amazing comeback continues at pace in 2016, beating out a strong field including genuine actual genius Grimes. With Shura and Oscar making the cut too, it’s been a good year for those going it alone. WINNER!
WE KNOW WHO WE THINK WAS GREAT THIS YEAR (LOOK AT
THE COVER, M8), WE KNOW WHO OUR MUMS THINK WAS GREAT
GRIMES SHURA OSCAR
THIS YEAR (ADELE, FYI), WE KNOW WHO WE THINK WILL BE GREAT NEXT YEAR (KEEP READING) - BUT HOW ABOUT YOU GUYS? WELCOME TO THE RESULTS OF THE DORK READERS’ POLL 2016.
BEST NEW ACT
A fierce fight sees Blossoms come out as narrow winners against Spring King, who both proved this year that something special is going on in the lab of UK Indie PLC. Expect explosions in 2017...
BEST NEW ACT IN WAITING OF 2017
... Explosions set off by the combined might of these four. Sundara Karma may take the prize, but this squad are just part of a whole gang set to set things alight next year.
SPRING KING YAK SUNFLOWER BEAN
THE BIG MOON INHEAVEN THE MAGIC GANG
THE GEORGE EZRA AWARD FOR MUM’S FAVOURITE ACT
Your mums are a lot cooler than our mums. Either that, or you Glass Animals fans are fibbing to get ‘em more wins. WINNER!
GLASS ANIMALS SPECIAL MENTIONS
JAMES BAY THE 1975
Anyone shocked? No. Anyone have any disagreements? Thought not. At least this is one election Trump won fair and square. WINNER!
BEST LIVE ACT
Glass Animals had to fight hard for this one. The Spring King and Blossoms fans may have been out in force, but to slay the mighty Wolf Alice is an achievement in itself. Expect battle to recommence in festival season 2017. Blood will flow. WINNER!
PERSON OF THE YEAR
In a year where everything and everyone has felt a bit of a rotter, thank goodness for our Matty - a beacon of light in a dark and murky world. And that’s just his stage set up. Insert your own comedy drum roll here.
SPRING KING WOLF ALICE BLOSSOMS
With a summer packed with more amaze-o events than ever before, Reading & Leeds remains the gold standard, winning its annual battle of wills with fellow monolith of music Glastonbury. Special mention to Truck, though, which had a remarkable 2016. WINNER!
READING & LEEDS SPECIAL MENTIONS
GLASTONBURY LATITUDE TRUCK
MATTY HEALY BERNIE SANDERS DAVID BOWIE BEYONCE
MOST ANTICIPATED True fact. You could ask this question at any point, ever, and you’d probably get the same answer. Yep, you lot love Arctic Monkeys. WINNER!
ARCTIC MONKEYS SPECIAL MENTIONS
WOLF ALICE THE BIG MOON SUNDARA KARMA
NIGEL FARAGE ‘TORIES’ IN GENERAL
Guys. We need to chat. Yes, Alex knows his stuff. Yes, Izzy is sharp af. Let’s not mention Jezza. But seriously - HAVE YOU SEEN OSCAR’S JACKET? Robbed. WINNER!
ALEX TURNER SPECIAL MENTIONS
IZZY B PHILLIPS JEREMY CORBYN
BEST MUSIC VIDEO
Spring King beat The 1975 to best vid. We’ll take your word for it. We’re still watching that cat dressed as a bee fall over on loop. Yes, since 2011. Still funny. WINNER!
SPRING KING DETROIT SPECIAL MENTIONS
THE 1975 - SOMEBODY ELSE
BEST POP STAR PET
We ask you what your favourite pop star pet is, you suggest that Miles Kane - he of the grubby gob and the ‘oh have some respect for women’ fame - is nothing but Alex Turner’s surrogate chum on a leash? We’re saying nothing. WINNER!
ERM... MILES KANE? 29
EVERY YEAR IS THE SAME. AS THE START OF ANOTHER TWELVE MONTH CYCLE COMES AROUND, THE NEW BAND TIPS BEGIN. WHO WILL SHIFT THE MOST UNITS? WHO IS THE ‘PRIORITY ACT’? WHO HAS THE BIGGEST BUDGET? BUT THIS YEAR, THIS YEAR MIGHT BE A BIT DIFFERENT. A GROUP OF YOUNG BANDS AND ARTISTS HAVE BEEN GAINING MOMENTUM OVER THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS. 2017 IS WHEN THEY’RE SET TO COME OF AGE. PREPARE FOR SOMETHING SPECIAL. PREPARE FOR...
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
WORDS: JAMIE MUIR.
“There’s not been so many great new bands around for a long time.”
his year has been filled with far too many lows, far too many moments that beggar belief in a terrifying manner, and far too many moments of regret. What we need now is a band willing to drown out everything we’ve seen - to distil all that pent up emotion, frustration and fear into a mixture that’ll take on the world. For that, we’ve got INHEAVEN. If 2016 has been a plunge into darkness, then INHEAVEN are certainly the beacon of light burrowing through the mess. Colouring in the shades of life with a rainbow sculpted vision of life, love and vibrant energy, INHEAVEN are the band that aren’t just packed with bangers but vital for here and now. “We wanna make people feel something, we want people to live and die by us,” explains co-frontman, James Taylor. “We want kids to have the same feeling we had when we were younger when we went to gigs, that feeling that you can do anything. There’s definitely a message behind everything we
do, I think it’s important to - especially now in this day and age, it’s a mental time to be alive and I think if no one else is going to fucking speak out then y’know, we should.” What’s hit over the past twelve months is more than any words could put to paper. It’s been the seeding and origin of a band brimming with confidence, aiming for the stars and refusing to look down. Combining the sounds of decades past into one conjoined library of immediate anthems and swinging live sermons, INHEAVEN have built the foundations for what a band should and have to be in the modern world - and they’re reaping the rewards. Sold out shows, hysterical scenes and a cult following has seen them become the next great phenomenon, and we can’t wait to see it flourish. “We’ve basically just been in the back of a van haven’t we really?” notes James, looking around at his bandmates as they savour a rare night away from the stage in South London. “2016 has been a lot of touring, a lot of gigs and well, the rise of the mosh at our gigs which is amazing. There’s been a lot more chaos at our shows which has just been the best feeling ever.” 2016 has certainly been the moment the
band became more than a blog-based fantasy. It’s the moment where they took the dreams and visions they’d been morphing in flats and studios, and placed them firmly in the live world. When you see a band live and they change your life it’s something truly magical, and that feeling is the essential ingredient for any INHEAVEN show. It’s not just a band in a room playing away, but a band aiming to take your mind and throw it right down the field for a touchdown and scoring every time. Headlining their own shows, touring with the likes of Jamie T and Yak and playing these festivals they grew up admiring from afar, it’s been a landmark year. “We’ve really learnt our craft from playing gigs, this year we’ve really got the momentum and seen those kids jumping around and going crazy,” recalls James. “We just love touring, if we could tour for the rest of our lives then we’d be happy - it’s one of the best things being able to go to all these places. There’s nothing better than that for us.” It’s been a journey that’s organically sprouted from lives dedicated to creating music, art and independent dreams, kicking into life when co-vocalists and band leaders James Taylor and Chloe Little took the mantle, building on their own creativity and
birthing not only a band but an outlet for their own thoughts and creations. “It started off with me and Chloe,” James tells. “Chloe made this little clip, before anything, and she left me at home with this clip, and the whole aesthetic of it was something that we loved, and it led to the first track that we ever made which was ‘Regeneration’. “Chloe came back and thought, ‘What the fuck is this?’ And so we then put the track over the video and that became the first INHEAVEN video, if you will. From then we put up a video a week on this weird website…” “Which then had secret videos hidden within it,” interjects Chloe. “It had alternate versions of the songs we had, which I don’t think anyone saw.” “Well, someone saw I guess,” replies James. “We ended up taking the website down and thought nothing of it, but then we got an email a few months later from Rory Atwell, who mixed the track, who forwarded this email from Cult Records who were saying: ‘Me and Julian [Casablancas] love the track, where is it, who is this band, we need to release this!’”
“They had no idea who we were,” exclaims Chloe. For James, it’s a mind-blowing moment. “The thing is we’d taken it down, so they must have been brewing on it for weeks.” Equally, the significance of it all isn’t lost on Chloe. “He must have heard it and been thinking about if for a while - he just couldn’t find it anywhere which probably helped make it more appealing, looking for this mystery track.” It was the match that set the fire going for INHEAVEN (or Blossom, as they were known at the time), inciting the confidence to push on with the genre-bending anthemmaking sounds that had naturally come through with a track that encapsulated the unifying themes which they keep to right up to this day. “I don’t think we’ve really said how much it meant to us,” explains James. “It did really mean the world to us. I idolised Julian Casablancas growing up, and The Strokes are everything to me, so it was a big deal, full stop.” From there the world was their playground, bringing in drummer Jack McDruwer and guitarist Jake Lucas to complete a force aimed squarely at heading high. Locking into the influences and vibes emanating from the various corners of the band, INHEAVEN was well and truly born. James looks back at that time with a degree of appreciation as well as sheer surprise as to how it all lined up. “When I think about it, it was all pretty mental how that all happened - you couldn’t write it, it was just mental.
BLOSSOMS X 2
Aside from touring together to round out 2016, it seems like INHEAVEN and Blossoms have a bit more in common... “So in the midst of putting all this music out, we got in touch with a management company who said: ‘This is great, but you can’t be called Blossom as there’s another band from Stockport with pretty much the same name…’,” recalls James. “Yeah,” says Chloe. “At the time they had like 200 followers and weren’t that big, but little did we know!” “Now we’re going on tour with them! That’s why we became INHEAVEN.”
imaginations. It’s a journey not only into a band, but into an idea. “It’s nice actually,” elaborates James. “You use all these platforms to extend your world, if y’know what I mean? It’s kind of like another version of our songs, our live shows, of our fanzines, or our videos - we’re trying to express everything we do through everything we use. “You have to really. At first when we started the band we thought it was all bullshit and had the whole ‘it’s all about the music’ mentality, but now it’s probably the most important aspect of what we do.” “Nobody represents what’s in your head better than you do,” notes Chloe. “I’d like to think that we’d always do our own artwork, videos and fanzines. It comes from every
idea we’ve ever had - even if we couldn’t afford it, we’ve always managed to do it and get it together some way because we’ve just done it ourselves.” “It came out of necessity really,” comments James. “We’ve never gone out of our way to do it ourselves but we’ve just had to in the end and we’ve got better at doing that. It’s jumping in the deep end and seeing what happens and that’s kinda been our mentality all the way through. Somehow it’s come together really well.”
For James, it comes as part of a vision that the band have believed in since day one, grabbing that feeling of seeing a band live, investing in everything they’ve got. It’s the feeling in the gut of your stomach when you’re queuing up to see a band you’ve been listening to for years, about witnessing a moment that transcends here and now. INHEAVEN trade in those kind of realities, and they’ve got the full package to back it up. “We’ve always wanted to create our own world,” lays out James. “We want the name INHEAVEN to mean something bigger than just us, bigger than the people in it - and I think we’re close to it. You see all these kids that are so invested in us and we’re seeing it pay off - like we put ‘Treats’ out only a few week ago and already we have people asking us where the vinyl is, about the artwork and when they can get it. It’s
amazing.” That world has well and truly come to life, and it’s only set to get bigger. Dipped in different flavours of music history, INHEAVEN can be perfectly sampled as a melting pot of all things punchy - whether that’s the urgent Hives-esque stomp of ‘Baby’s Alright’, the mid-90s grunge sweetness of ‘Drift’ or the Britpop on steroids kick of latest track ‘Treats’ - any sense of boundaries is out the window. For James, it’s a result of the times and lives we all live right here and now. “I think we’re examples of the Spotify generation where it’s like every song you listen to is in a playlist or is from a different decade - we really grew up listening to everything at once.” “We’re all big music fans,” explains drummer Jack McDruwer. “We’re not just people who play instruments and focus on that, we all love different types of music and it shows.” “That’s it,” replies James. “It comes from listening to shit loads of music on the internet, as opposed to a straight record collection - which we all have - but the internet has opened up all these doors which certainly comes through in what we create.” Sitting on the cusp of greatness, INHEAVEN are ready to paint the world into their own portrait masterpiece. Taking stock of a year that has brought everything they dreamed of into life, they’re a band waiting at the starting blocks - and there’s nobody that can stop them.
“We all locked in together and it’s mutated into something else. I think now it feels like we’re fullyformed and everyone is bringing in their own elements and their own influences and becoming better because of it.” What INHEAVEN have managed to tap into, is something above and beyond simply the music they create. Aside from the huge highs and spiralling melodic punches of ‘Regeneration’ and ‘Bitter Town’, they’re focused on creating something more than that. Something larger, more meaningful and more impactful - the sort of aura that draws you in and transports you to every facet and corner of their
“It’s been a load of little stepping stones along the way, but it’s all coming together now,” says James. “Next year is going to be massive, releasing that album. I’m a huge fan of The Ramones and I would love for us to release an album a year if we were allowed to. We’ve just kept writing and coming back with more tracks so we’ve never actually planned it.” “It’s a big deal,” notes Chloe. “We’ve worked on it for such a long time, so it’s really exciting that we’ll be putting it out.”
“We want kids to have that feeling that you can do anything.”
“And there are so many great new bands out there at the moment,” outlines James. “It feels like a real burgeoning scene and I think there’s going to be a moment next year which tips it over. There’s not been so many great new bands around for a long time, so it’s really exciting to be a part of that.” If 2016 on Earth has been a struggle, then let’s start again with INHEAVEN. The future stars here, and it means more than it ever has before.“P
SHAME BY NAME, SHAMELESS BY NATURE. ‘Vocal South London five-piece’ may not be a unique descriptor for a new band, but Shame have something unique about them. Finishing 2016 off the back of a blazing double A-side single ‘Gold Hole’ and ‘The Lick’, as well as a storming three shows in one day, there’s little likely to hold them back once their mind is set on something. In Charlie Steen, Shame have a frontman who already feels more than a touch iconic. Whisper it quietly, but this could already be a Very Important Band In Waiting.
A NEW GOLD STANDARD IN SCOTTISH ART-POP OF THE NIGHT. Glasgow has previous for this kind of thing. No city is better at arch, raised eyebrow, dancefloor-tastic art-pop, but with WHITE, they’re really excelling themselves. Like Franz Ferdinand before them, they’re a band with history, but their previous projects show little influence here. Instead it’s deep fried disco fever; a sleazy yet undeniable stalk through the neon-lit jungle. ‘Private Lies’ peeks round the curtains with all the sleazy glory of a shadowy Jarvis, while Bryan Ferry lays down the soundtrack. The lineage is safe with this lot.
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
WILL JOSEPH COOK
HE’LL TAKE YOU DANCING, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? Hello Will. How have you found 2016 so far? Poor 2016, it didn’t ask for any of this. Fortunately a lot of cool stuff has happened too. Highlights for me and my music have been getting to make dumb videos and hearing the tunes on the radio. Top of the list was my last tour, playing to and meeting lots of fans. You’ve been super busy - how’s your debut album coming along? Is it nearly there now? It’s very almost there, I have three or so tracks that I really want to finish before the year is out and then it’s time to get brutal and trim off the track listing.
YOUR READERS’ POLL MOST LIKELY TO ARE STARTING THEIR 2017 WITH A NEW ALBUM AND A BIG OLD BANG. Hey Oscar, what was the most exciting thing that happened for you guys this year? It’s been a bizarre year for us. Probably finding out that Yoko Ono is a fan. By fan, I mean she follows us on Twitter. What’s top of your bucket list for 2017? Unity with god! Your debut album is about to land what can you tell us about its creation? Did you know how you wanted it to sound from the off? No, not at all. The making sense of it came afterwards. For us this record is like being at a party and blurting out some incoherent drunk babble. We didn’t think any of it through, I think that’s what gives it it’s honesty. You’ve both a headline tour coming up, and support dates with Two Door Cinema Club - how do you prepare for being on the road for so long? Meditation, genuinely. Being alone for a long while normally does the job. It helps me mentally prepare for the damage. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? My Blaenavon chickens.
SHE’S ALREADY A MEGASTAR IN WAITING, BUT WITH HER DEBUT ALBUM SET TO DROP, OUR DUA IS THE REAL DEAL. If you’ve not had your head buried in the musical sandpit during 2016, you’ll be well aware of pop powerhouse Dua Lipa by now. Dropping a string of rocket-propelled bangers into a tightly packed chart, she’s proved she can mix it with the best of them. Yet, while her game remains strong, it’s with her forthcoming debut album that things will really start to spark. A true shining light to unite us all.
WILLIE J HEALEY
2017’S ‘OTHER’ WILLIE ISN’T STICKING TO THE SHADOWS. Someone at the brand awareness department needs to have a word. We’re already more than sure that messrs Cook and Healey will cause some confusion amongst the barely conscious masses, but both have something uniquely brilliant to offer. One listen to Willie’s ‘Would You Be’ is enough to mark out a talent of note - unwilling to play the tired troubadour, we’re more than happy to be his best mate.
#INDIE. STILL NOT DEAD. DEAL WITH IT. Some of the self-proclaimed taste-maker classes will never ‘get’ those northern strongholds, but someone clearly does. Even the most insecure of thought would be forced to concede that, with their last two singles, The Amazons have proved there’s life in the old #indie dog yet. Latest ‘Little Something’ broods, rattles and roles with the best of them. Think they’re backing down? Not a chance.
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THE JAPANESE HOUSE
HER HOUSE. HER RULES.
Hiya Amber, do you have any resolutions for 2017? Maybe drink less. Read more. What song would you crown banger of the year? Robbie Williams’ ‘Party Like a Russian’ because it is the single most insane song I’ve ever heard. And how has 2016 been for you? 2016 has been great. Lots of touring at the beginning of the year; I’ve played so many memorable shows, but I think the most exciting thing has been either our Reading set, or playing a sold out Heaven.
What’s the most exciting thing about being an up-and-coming musician right now? Having the opportunity to tour around the world. Especially touring with my friends. Wahoo! This time next year, what would you most like to have achieved that you haven’t already? I’d like to have made an album. I will have done.
A SCOTTISH FOUR PIECE WITH MORE THAN A TOUCH OF STARDUST. Glasgow’s Catholic Action have already got their share of famous fans. From Alex Kapranos’ personal invite to support FFS in their hometown, through to Carl Barat’s insistence they open for The Libertines a month later, it’s easy to see why the indie A list is so enamoured with the four-piece. And that’s before they started writing songs like ‘Rita Ora’. Some of us just move in illustrious circles. “We never say exactly where we want to go, it just tends to happen,” the band told Dork earlier in 2016. “We just follow what excites us.” We get it, lads. We’ll just follow wherever you end up heading.
IN 2017, THE CREEPER CULT BREAKS COVER. EXPECT, WELL, EVERYTHING. Ian! How was your 2016? Has it been a good ‘un? 2016 has been wild, it’s hard to fully comprehend everything because it’s all happened so quickly.
“Punk is about expressing yourself.”
2017 WILL SEE RAT BOY FINALLY LET RIP. LOOK FOR COVER NOW. The enfant terrible of the indie scene, Rat Boy knows how to play it to perfection. The mayhem of his live shows fast became a thing of legend, but it’s the undeniable shiny bangers that really prove our Jordan is a talent beyond his force of nature persona. Like a pop magpie gathering from across the last 25 years, he’s had a bit of Beastie Boys here, a touch of Beck there. Together, it makes a glorious din.
CLEAN CUT KID
Your debut is wrapped up in a super theatrical, complex story - what sparked the idea to give fans more than ‘just’ an album? For a while the alternative music scene seems to have thrived on a stripped back/no frills approach, which to us seems strange. Punk has always been about expressing yourself so we wanted Creeper to be a bit more bombastic and theatrical similar to the likes of T.S.O.L, the Misfits, The Nerve Agents but at the same time have a nod to the glam of Bowie. PACKED WITH VITAMIN C. This Liverpool four piece look pre-destined for those sunny, middle of the day festival slots this summer that win over legions of fans. They’ve been at it for a while now, but with every new track the banger count ramps up another gear. With work on a debut album underway for release ‘early’ in 2017, expect a lot more to follow very soon indeed.
Are there any other elements you’d like to bring in down the line? A few albums have been turned into musicals, for example… Will would love to be involved in making a musical, in fact he was working on a musical involving aliens before we got back together for Creeper...
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THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
DECLAN MCKENNA WORDS: MARTYN YOUNG.
“It’s good to be part of a wave of cool new acts.”
his has been a tumultuous year for many reasons but for Declan McKenna, it’s seen him undergo a stratospheric rise from promising indie prodigy to a genuine bona fide star in the making. As he looks forward to even greater things in 2017, the 17-year-old songwriter is in a confident and ebullient mood. “There were so many cool things all in one year,” he excitedly proclaims about a year that has taken him gigging across the country, over to America and from US talk shows to our own Jools Holland. Declan has been making his presence felt and winning hearts worldwide. His appearance on Jools Holland in September though is one moment that stands out. “It’s still hard to believe for me because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do from when I was young,” he says. Striking in his debut UK TV performance was a newly assured stage presence and simmering bravado, backed by his newly formed band who played like demons. This was Declan making a statement. “I was just thinking that I can’t really go on Jools Holland and do nothing,” he laughs, noting his expanded performance skills. Perhaps the main change for Declan that will shape him for the future is the evolution of his songwriting process as more opportunities come his way and his way of working develops. It’s a change that he acknowledges and relishes: “I think I’ve learned a lot about the way I write songs. I know how to do that better than I did a year ago. I think that’s a good thing. I’ve been pushed this year to write in less comfortable conditions than I normally would choose to. That’s made me better at what I do. There’s been a lot of change and it’s made me more confident.” Unlike many new British stars, Declan started making an impact across the pond first. “Things kicked off in America quicker than it did over here,” he explains. “I was able to play headline shows to decent numbers of people
over there quicker than I could here. Up until recently, I didn’t see anything like that happening in the UK. All of a sudden a load of people became interested in me.” Despite the unusualness of breaking in America first Declan has grown accustomed to the crazy nature of the music business. “I guess it’s me learning that in the modern world of music, cool shit can just happen without much explanation.” You get the feeling that nothing could shock him or ruffle his feathers in 2017 although maybe the Christmas Number One that he longs for would do the trick. With an album produced by James Ford due in the spring and a European tour with Blossoms on the cards, there’s a lot for Declan to look forward to in the year ahead. At the forefront of his mind though is giving a voice to his ideas and feelings through his music. Contained within Declan McKenna’s whip-smart pop songs are some big messages and big ideas. “The album as a whole is about being frustrated as a young person, being open and talking about politics,” he says. Engagement and allowing different voices to be heard is a key theme of his music and his message. “There’s a lot of things that people need to talk about,” he proclaims. “Keeping the conversation going is the most important thing.” As he begins to take 2017 by storm, Declan McKenna isn’t alone. There’s a simmering air of confidence and excitement brimming in British music and it’s something that the young songwriter has noticed as well. “I’m always excited about my generation and my era of music that I’m a part of,” he begins. “It’s good to be part of a wave of cool new acts who are pushing boundaries and trying something new. I’m excited about new music and young people doing stuff for themselves. It’s an important time.” Important times call for important people so it’s just as well that Declan McKenna is ready to answer that call. P
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
A POP PICKER WITH A TWIST, THIS PIXX IS MORE THAN JUST ANOTHER SELFIE. Howdy Hannah. What are you up to next year? We are playing SXSW so looking forward to that. There’ll be lots more Pixx stuff announced soon!
If you could wave a magic wand and have one thing of your choosing happen in 2017, what would it be? I’d really love to get to see South America in 2017, I know I have at least one fan in Brazil…
Who’s gonna be the biggest new band of 2017? The Magic Gang, maybe?
THE BIG MOON
THE SUPER MOON HAS NOTHING ON THIS LOT. Hey The Big Moon, what’ve you been up to lately? What’s good? Soph: We recorded our album! Cea: It’s been pretty amazing for us. We’ve done so many incredible things from The Maccabees and Ezra Furman tours at the beginning of the year to playing Glasto for the first time, and our Scala show was just mental. Fern: It’s felt like such a wait to be able to do [an album], and now that we’ve recorded and mixed and mastered the thing, I can’t quite believe it’s all done. The whole year has been fun, full and a bit bonkers really. Juliette: Also, a man got a big moon tattoo. WOWOWOWOW. Have you had any more studio encounters with Robbie Williams? What do you make of his new material? C: Not yet! And I haven’t actually listened to the new stuff (sorry Robbie). F: Not into it. J: I haven’t heard it yet but I’m really hoping for a return to the Kylie Minogue ‘Kids’ era rock sound, and maybe some rapping. If you could wave a magic wand and have one thing of your choosing happen in 2017, what would it be? C: More Robbie Williams encounters. And also lots of things that are way more earnest that I don’t know how to write without sounding super cheesy. But general world healing and hope would be really wonderful. F: Yeah, it would be nice if we had fewer prats in power and people started being nicer to each other.
Mattster! What do you think has been the biggest music-related news story of 2016? David Bowie and Prince passing away because it was the realisation that one by one all of the greats are leaving us and that is pretty heartbreaking. And how has your year been otherwise? It’s been a whirlwind of confusing consumerism and bad decisions, but on a personal level we’ve had a blast.
“If an alien comes to Earth and finds a vinyl of ours sticking out the ground, it will be a pretty good explanation of how everything went wrong.” What would you most like fans to take away from VANT’s music in the coming year? The message is huge. We want people to use their voices more and talk about issues in the real world rather than just online.
DANCING MAKES ‘EM BRAVE. Oi, Sarah from Nimmo. What’s your debut album like? It’s a body of work that really represents where we are in our lives right now. There’s a lot of themes of fear and displacement when coming into your mid-twenties. There’s some more banging pop stuff like ‘Dancing Makes Us Brave’ in which we talk about the need to go out and physically lose yourself in dancing to move through and past bad situations. It’s a 50/50 mix between electronics and live instruments and we think it’s a beast!”
Your debut album is about to drop - what are you most proud of about the release? It is a real marker of where we are as a species in 2017. If an alien comes to Earth after we’ve become extinct and finds a vinyl of ours sticking out the ground it will be a pretty good explanation of how everything went wrong. If you could wave a magic wand and have one thing of your choosing happen in 2017, what would it be? We’d rejoin the EU and start the process of moving towards a more unified planet once again.
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DOES ANYONE KNOW IF MATTIE VANT HAS SOMETHING TO SAY? WE’RE NOT SURE IF MATTIE VANT HAS SOMETHING TO SAY.
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
“I want to be a bit cool and edgy but everything I write seems to come out really catchy.”
MURA MASA M
ura Masa has become a sensation. Not the type of tabloid-splattered scandal you see on a regular basis on your Twitter feed, but the type of sensation who’ll take on the globe and seize it from under your feet without anyone realising. The only difference is that a whole load of people are checking into Mura Masa’s world and are ready to follow it into 2017. At the start of 2016 Mura Masa (otherwise known as 20-year-old Alex Crossan) was already the talked-about star of the underground dance world, the clearcut heir to the chart smashing heights that Disclosure hit back in 2012. What’s followed are twelve months that have seen him whisked around the globe, playing sold-out shows and delivering the sort of bangers that turn any radio station playing it into Mura Masa FM. It’s an infectious rise that has heralded the coronation of future banger royalty, giving Alex the opportunity to grow and experience sights he would never have dreamed of growing up in Guernsey. “It’s been a real adjustment period for me,” explains Alex “I wasn’t actually expecting to be out on the road so much, and I probably could have toured more but I think I’m more of a stay-at-home kinda dude. It’s just been really cool getting out to different countries and playing these shows.” Shows have flowed and masses have been moved by a potent cocktail of vibrant dance, a mixed concoction that’s underpinned by the raw emotion of classic pop songwriters - a collection that a young Mura Masa grew up with on the island of Guernsey, a place more famous for its cows than any sort of late-night electro hysteria. “My mum really loves Joni Mitchell, so I was listening to a lot of that growing up,” remembers Alex. “The first song I can remember hearing on the radio was Phil Collins’ ‘Another Day In Paradise’ - which is a wicked song, but beyond listening to those old records, my time was spent tapping into the internet and trying to understand from afar what people meant by ‘club culture’.” He may not have been in the midst of
things, but Mura Masa had the next best thing - spending days and days absorbing a web filled with sounds, beats and flourishes from across the musical landscape. Whether it was indie, hip-hop, rap or soul - what’s come from it is an appreciation and dedication to making truly defiant and independent music, pushing the boundaries of what he can create at every turn. For a guy who knows his way around a late-night electro mover, Mura Masa’s path to underground beat sensation lies squarely with one of the most creative and influential forces in the scene today. It’s just some guy who’s done a few things, you may know him... “Every time I think about it, I think of James Blake. Up to that point, I wasn’t really listening to electronic music. If you’d said to me at that age what did I think of electronic music I would have said - ‘What, like house and dancing in clubs?’ And that’s because there’s really no such thing as club culture in Guernsey, so I didn’t understand it. “It was right at the start of it all for him, and he did a performance of ‘The Wilhelm Scream’ at like Maida Vale and I remember hearing it and thinking, ‘Wait, why has he made the choice to say the same thing over and over again, not to change the song around too much but sound so good?’ I went and listened to the album and it was even weirder, but I learnt just how beautiful electronic music could be.” Ever since then it seems, Mura Masa has been preparing to make his own lifechanging beats and hooks into a reality. Immediate dance floor anthems such as ‘What If I Go?’, the Nao-featuring ‘Firefly’ and the Shura-featuring ‘Love For That’ expose exactly what makes Mura Masa more than a dance prodigy done good. It’s the gritty feeling of dirt beneath your fingertips, the tangible sense of what it means to be young and the glimpse of a future with all its fragilities and raw truths on the table. “I’ve got a pop sensibility, which pisses me off sometimes actually!” notes Alex. “I want to be a bit cool and edgy but everything I write seems to come out catchy. I think that’s good, though, to be quite accessible - I can get weirder as the years go on. Do a
WORDS: JAMIE MUIR.
MURA MASA’S TIPS FOR 2017 BONZAI She’s working on her debut album now and she’s just doing something that nobody else is doing, and that’s increasingly rare. I’m not aware of any other Dublin-born rave revivalists, but she’s doing something pretty cool. JADU HEART They’re basically a psychedelic dream-wave duo and they wear these crazy masks and nobody knows who they are. Every time they release an EP, they write a comic book to go along with it and it corresponds with the lyrics. They’re mental, and the music sounds like 2011 Jai Paul meets Tame Impala - it’s really cool. LISS I saw them at The Great Escape in Brighton and that convinced me of their greatness, I think they’re going to have a really good year too.
Radiohead and write ‘Creep’ and then just go off and do my own thing!” Working with whatever equipment he could muster together, Mura Masa’s hits are the type that will be played again and again for years to come, and have found themselves a home not only on the UK mainland but far across the globe. “It’s kinda crazy,” Alex explains, taking a moment to think back to a year which has transformed his life. “With music, it’s like this baby that you raise for ages, and by the time it’s come out you’ve heard it a million times - so it’s surprising to see people hearing it with fresh ears and liking it.” After spending his childhood on the island, moving to London was a true cultural turning point for someone who had studied and peered in for so many years at the city’s darkest secrets - wanting to know more and be invigorated by its 2am flashbacks. “Just being in London... Like, having moved it was quite a shock, but I now feel like I’m a bit more in touch with my club culture and the underground world - which is really good for me. I’ve seen it all first hand now and have a grasp on a much wider breadth of music now.” His presence is undeniable and future destined for greatness, something even the biggest names in music have noticed. Enter frame, A$AP Rocky - dropping arguably the knockout remix of the year by jumping all over the previously released ‘Love$ick’ and in turn ensuring just as Mura Masa soundtracked the beginning of 2016, Mura Masa will be the name on everyone’s lips in the clubs, basements and venues rounding out the next twelve months too. “It was a lot of talking back and forth,” recalls Alex. “In the end, we actually ended up in the studio together in Abbey Wood
- where he came over and worked on it together and recorded it all, and it ended up being quite a personal collaboration. He had heard the original version of ‘Lovesick’ and really enjoyed it, and just wanted to jump on it - quite simple really I guess?!” While touring and dropping so many bangers have kept him out of the studio for most of the year, 2017 looks set to be the one where the world finally gets to grab onto a full-length Mura Masa journey. If this year is anything to go by, it’s going to be something special, as a true fan of boundary-breaking gets to shift up the storyline once again - with a collection of tracks that jump between style, genres and memories with ease. One thing’s for sure, Mura Masa is excited. “I think it’s going to be mental, to be honest. I think some people will be confused as to why I chose to do certain things - like there’s a guitar ballad on there which is just a guitar and me singing, and it’s about a minute long. “It’s stuff like that and just choices that are more about me doing what I want rather than being coherent, which is selfish but I think will make for a better listen once it’s all out. I guess it’ll be the sort of album where everybody has their favourite couple of songs from it, so not like an album where you can sit there and listen to a narrative all the way through. “I was very obsessed with making a coherent storybook of an album to start with, but then I just thought... it’s not that deep! I’m 20 and can make that deep album later on in my career when I’ve got more to say, y’know? It’s more of a mood than a message, this album.” Someone who started out far removed from frothing modern culture is now leading the charge for how 2017 will sound. And boy, do we want Mura of that. P
“We’re going to be universally loved by the world by February. Then we’ll probably break up by March!” THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
GET INUIT WORDS: JAMIE MUIR.
amie Glass is sipping on a glass of Coke. It’s been a busy day, month and well, year for the Get Inuit frontman. If it hasn’t been spent working on their frantic blend of scuzzy-pop in the studio, it’s been spent bursting around the globe - playing shows all over the place and introducing Get Inuit as a band not only packed full of bangers but with the good times to boot. So you can forgive him for kicking back a bit, well - as much as possible when you’re sitting in the very venue that they’ll smash into 2017 with.
“There was a young girl - who definitely regretted it in the morning - who got us to sign her actual iPhone. As I finished doing it I thought, ‘Ahh wow - people actually want us to damage their property!’
“It’s really exciting,” declares Jamie, as he gazes across The Lexington on a chilly winter night. “It’s one of my favourite small venues in London, so we’re all really looking forward to it.”
Much has certainly been done, but that’s been born and engrained in Get Inuit from Day 1. Forming over two years ago after meeting at school in Kent, they’ve bonded over a mutual love for loud pop music, keeping that core sensibility while grabbing every opportunity they can to rehearse, record and grow into the sort of band they’d want to listen to back in the bedrooms where it all began. Alongside Jamie, brothers Rob and James Simpson and bassist Oliver Nun, Get Inuit have managed to capture something deemed so simple but yet falls away from many - the idea of having a bloody great time and not being shamed away from it.
In the space of twelve months, Get Inuit have gone from hard-working locals driving around on weekends to play shows all over South-East England to indisputable new music thrivers, injecting a much-needed booster of energy and dreaming wherever they go. Drenched in scuzz-flavoured glory, their summer anthem ‘Teriyaki’ shows exactly what they do best - blistering nuggets of pop-hooked grunge that sound like The Beach Boys biting into a king-sized bar of Snickers. “It felt like this year the band went from living in Kent and every now and again pretending to be a proper band, to actually now doing this as our full-time jobs,” remembers Jamie. “I think one of the moments that stood out was from our tour with Spring King, and we were selling merch after the show - and people were actually coming up and talking to us, buying our stuff and getting us to sign it too.
“I’m just so used to shaking people to say, ‘We’re a good band!’ and now people are just listening without us asking - no blackmail involved, they just listened and liked it! There’s been a transition with people actually wanting to hear our songs, the songs that we’d written in our bedrooms, which is incredible. I’d never have thought we’d do so much in a year.”
Working away during the week, and dedicating themselves to the band in any free time - Get Inuit’s knack for adventure lives through everything they do. From sneaking into the recording studio where James’ worked to record demos in any time spare, to country-spanning tours and relentless live shows, if there’s ever a band more dedicated to getting their music out there then Get Inuit will give them a run for their money. For a band used to playing the odd gig here and there, the past 12 months has certainly been a game-changer.
“To be fair, this year has been the real jump,” explains Jamie. “Last year we did the odd show here and there, but this year we’ve been out with Spring King twice, toured with VANT and also played a summer full of festivals. I feel like, and I know it’s a cliche - but there’s no better way to get better as a band than just to play and play. I never thought it would be possible, but over this year we’ve really enjoyed being a good live band. With James having a studio we’ve always seen ourselves as a recording band, as we enjoy creating and making music, but it’s been really fun touring the songs. “Plus, there’s a lot more dancing now.” There’s something undeniable about Get Inuit live. Some bands never seem to truly capture the magic of what they’re all about when they hit a stage, but for Get Inuit it’s well and truly their home. It’s a relationship that they’ve nestled into through 2016, and one that’s now an integral part of who they are, and what they represent. “Yeah, we’ve been adding layer after layer to what we do. I mean, my Dad at the end of a tour is always a pretty good judge. He shows up, which is all that I can ask for though I’m sure he’s waiting for my balls to drop - but he always says how we’re getting tighter and tighter, so we must have got better through the year.”
Big Moon at Scala a particular highlight, and Black Honey during the summer another one). “I love indie bands, and even if I’m meant to be this cool guy I’ll try my best to go out of my way to see new, upcoming bands. “There are some bands that I don’t even listen to now, but when we’re playing we naturally seem to play like them. Bands like General Fiasco - who we reference to even now, and The Beach Boys of course who have made us want to make our harmonies sound as god-like as possible. Musically then there’s Weezer, where you can see the very obvious pop core but it’s heavy and loud, and I love that.” And those pop songs are going to cause something far greater. For a year that has seen them establish themselves as the band they’ve always dreamed of being, it seems that now Get Inuit have the title in their sites. 2017 is already starting with that soon-to-be pivotal night at The Lexington and from there the stage is well and truly theirs. “It feels like we did a lot of learning this year, and I think we’re going to hit 2017 so hard - right from the start, it feels like we’re not warming up anymore - we’re ready to hit it,” enthuses Jamie. “I think we’re going to be universally loved by the world by February - maybe not the end of January like I think that’s too much but maybe February. Looking around Valentines Day and then we’ll probably break up by March!”
It’s in those moments where the sounds they all grew up on shine through. Get Inuit aren’t afraid to show the world what they’ve got, not afraid to appear ‘uncool’ Get Into it, there’s only one band with the but ready to kick off with an arsenal of good times ready - one that’ll take them tectonic bangers. The type that make a well beyond March, that’s for certain. P NOW compilation disc seem like a collection of B-sides and rarities. It flows through the bands they love and admire, and is there “It’s not necessarily a dance, more like something every time they step I do with my body - but it’s all about out to play. the upper-body. So get your shoulders moving and your arms as limp as “If I’m perfectly possible. Then just swing around, the honest, I’m a more it looks like you’re out of control fan-boy,” declares the better. It looks good, but try not to hit Jamie. It’s something anyone - that’s why I need a good metre you catch on to circumference to get it down, I’m always very quickly in his an upper-body mover, shake what your presence, chatting mother gave you I say.” about the bands he’s recently seen (The
THE INUIT GUIDE TO DANCEFLOOR SLAYING
THE HERO WE NEED RIGHT NOW. Hey Girli, how was your tour with Oscar? Do you guys get up to many hijinks when you’re together? Oscar is one of my bezzies and tour was fucking funny. Lots of pranks and in jokes and dancing. We played a gig out of the tour van in Manchester for some kids who weren’t allowed into the venue ‘cause of stupid age restrictions. Do you have much planned for next year yet? It’s gonna be busy, right? Next year’s gonna be busier than any other year of my life - there’s loads of releases planned, and touring. Excited is the word. In twelve months time, what would you most like to have achieved that you haven’t already? I’d like to have played shows abroad. And have forced Donald Trump out.
“Which 2017 album am I most looking forward to? Ours.”
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
Hey guys, what can you tell us about your plans for 2017? How’s the album coming along? Rakel: Alice’s favourite sentence these past months has been: ‘No sorry I can’t make it I’m writing my debut album’. Now we’re changing it to: ‘No I can’t make it I’m recording my debut album’. Bella: Yeah we’ve just been road-testing all these new songs and gearing up to start laying them down, new year is looking very exciting. Alice: We just gotta lay this baby down!
HONEY TO THE B.
Izzy Bee! Tell us something exciting. I think the most exciting thing for us has been 2016 as a whole, touring Japan and Korea, playing for Roberto Cavalli at Milan fashion week, making a western in the desert and sold out tours, the list is endless. What do you think has been the biggest music-related news story of 2016? The death of Bowie, I still have recurring dreams where he is teaching me how to write songs. What’s top of your bucket list for 2017? To make a perfect debut Black Honey LP. Our standards. Our terms. How was your tour with Dream Wife? Are you guys best buds now? We love the Dream Wife guys; I think Alice is one of the most interesting guitarists of our generation. It’s rare to see a guitarist these days master their tone through their amp alone, not supported by a crutch of pedals.
THE MAGIC GANG
Which album are you most looking forward to being released next year? Ours. Who do you think will be the biggest new band of 2017? We will. I don’t think we’d be doing what we’re doing if we didn’t believe in it.
AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS IN HOGWARTS, 2017 IS THE YEAR THESE WIZARDS OF POP CAST A SPELL ON EVERYONE.
SCOTTISH ELECTRO-POP’S LATEST ICON IN WAITING. It’d be hard for KLOE to have a decent stab at grabbing what she so obviously deserves without having to run that CHVRCHES gauntlet, but there’s nothing about this singular talent that’s remotely forced or identikit. Already packing her fair share of millennial feely-bangers, once she hooks them up to a full-length album, expect all the doors to open at her will.
If you’ve been going to the right shows over the past 18 months or so, you can’t fail to have caught a glimpse of The Magic Gang. Firmly clutched to the bosom of team indie’s cool club, they’ve perfected their craft on the road with Wolf Alice, Spring King and countless other trailblazing peers, but by 2016’s festival season it was clear to all that, finally, they were ready to go it alone. This year’s Reading & Leeds saw the band level up big time. A packed-out tent singing back every world, what previously felt like raw potential became a pinky-swear promise to do or die. With a label signed up, and a debut album on its way, the spell is already cast. Join their gang willingly, or be bewitched by force. Either way, you’re coming along for the ride.
READ MORE ON READDORK.COM 39
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
EX-BOMBAY ED NASH IS FOOT LOOSE AND DENTURE FREE. Hey Ed, what’s it like going it alone after being in such a massive band? It’s great to have a completely blank slate again!
With Bombay there were things that I wished we had done differently at the start... most notably the band name and logo. Thank god I don’t have to explain Bombay Bicycle Club to people anymore. What can you tell us about your upcoming debut album? How would you describe its vibe? All killer, no filler.
FICKLE FRIENDS PUMAROSA
Nick! What’s top of your to do list for 2017? Do you have a lot in the works? Release the album and start work on the next one! We want to play music in South America. How far along is your debut? I’d say we’re about halfway in the transition between polishing and buffing. You’ve said previously you’ll be playing a lot of festivals next summer - are there any you’re especially keen to attend? Glastonbury is a big one for us. I’ve heard good things about Super Normal too. Fusion in Germany. Transylvania Calling in Romania.
EQUIPMENT ISN’T THE ONLY THING BAD SOUNDS WILL BE BREAKING NEXT YEAR. Hey Callum, how’s tricks? Hey Dork. We’re just in the studio. All our stuff just broke. It’s not going very well. Oh dear. How have you found 2016, otherwise? 2016 where did you go? It went by so quickly. We’ve had too many exciting things happen this year to choose one. Getting Annie Mac’s support on both our singles was a massive deal. Glastonbury was the muddy party in a field I always dreamt it would be. Going on tour with Rat Boy was a bloody eye opener too. What does 2017 look like for you guys? More singles and an EP hopefully. Lots of touring and festivals. We’ll be spending most of our time in fields next summer.
WITH A DEBUT ALBUM FOR THE AGES, 2017 IS WHEN BLAENAVON FINALLY ARRIVE. Hey Harris, what was the most exciting thing that happened for Blaenavon in 2016? 2016 has been pretty amazing, but all the stars aligned in the Big Apple - we smashed our first US headlines. What can you tell us about your debut album? What’s your favourite thing about it? There’s a lot of nostalgia attached to it because it has songs from such a wide time period on it. That’s my favourite thing; that it perfectly sums up and documents our ridiculous lives over the last five years.
BANGER MERCHANTS FICKLE FRIENDS HAVE MORE TO COME. BUFFING UP FOR 2017, PUMAROSA ARE READY TO GO BIG.
Hey Natti, how have you found 2016? It’s been a bit of a crazy year for us… probably hasn’t seemed like it from the outside, but we’ve been busy writing and recording our album which has pretty much dominated our lives. Last time we spoke your debut album wasn’t very far done at all - how’s it looking now? It’s almost there actually. Pretty exciting… we just want people to hear it but looks like we may have to wait a bit for that. It’s come a long way since we last spoke. We wrote a lot more over in LA and during the summer so there’s definitely an obvious progression in the music. It’s pretty diverse to be honest; some darker pop songs in there, not just straight indie pop (that’s right, FF do ballads too, shocking!?). I like to think people are gonna be pleasantly surprised. We’ll just have to wait and see. What’s top of your bucket list for 2017? Play Glastonbury. The greatest festival in the worldddddddd.
Have you started thinking about its follow up yet? Yeah, we’ve waited a long time to release this one and naturally over that time we’ve been churning out some more secret bangers. What’s the best thing about being in Blaenavon right now? Feeling that all the love and time we’ve put into our silly band is starting to pay off.
W E AS K E D A BU N C H O F T H E B EST N E W ACTS O F 2017 FO R SO M E F U N FACTS . O BV I O US LY T H ES E A RE A L L 100% T RU E . CA N YO U G U ESS W H I C H I S W H I C H ? F I N D T H E A N SW E RS O N PAG E 42. 1. Which Dork fave is related to Debbie Harry? “My auntie told me recently, I thought she was joking as it’s something my family always talk about.” 2. Which frontman has a metal rod in his leg? “Basically I’m Wolverine.” 3. Who’s best kept away from matches as they’re “a huge fan of fire?” 4. Who once had the misfortune to “wet myself on stage?” 5. Who has a famous fan in Pete Wentz? “[He] invited us to come and hang out after Fall Out Boy played Wembley last year.” The band later spent a day writing with Patrick Stump. 6. Who DJs at a techno night with their brother, under the name Coffee on Mars? 7. Which up-and-comer has a secret stick and poke tattoo that “feels like it’s burning whenever I enter a church…” 8. Who has the word “ART” tattooed on their bum? “My girlfriend wanted to tattoo an F in front of it.” 9. Which ocean-loving band member says they’re “really into sea creatures. Turtles, pink dolphins, squirrels etc.” 10. Which misbehaving posse met while they were at school, when one of them was “rude to the teacher and told her I wouldn’t sit where she told me to.”
READ MORE ON READDORK.COM 40
“We don’t have a secret master plan; that’s what keeps it exciting.”
THE NEW WAVE OF 2017
WORDS: ALI SHUTLER.
e’re just going to wake up on 1st January 2017 and see what happens,” smiles Tali Källström. Estrons could have easily laid out plans for the new year, after all, they’ve been offered tours, and there’s more than a hint of buzz around the band, but they’ve turned them all down. “We’re not planning anything; we want to make sure the right thing happens.” You might raise an eyebrow and look at the band’s grand plan, or lack thereof, with a tilted head but the band has experience in the right thing. Their 2016 has been a lesson in just letting things happen. This time last year the band, “couldn’t have predicted SXSW would happen, we couldn’t have predicted Slaves would have walked past our set at Latitude and taken us out on their Back In The Van tour, we couldn’t have even predicted Latitude would happen.” Writing ‘I’m Not Your Girl’ was unpredictable, as was the creation of ‘Drop’. “It’s just us wanting to make sure the right moment comes at the right time. It’s all very up in the air, but we don’t have a secret master plan. That’s what keeps it exciting.” Kickstarted by the release of ‘Make A Man’, the past twelve months have been non-stop “but in a good way,” for Estrons. They’ve had to make a lot of big decisions, “We’re pleased we didn’t do anything silly or drastic.” They’ve learnt a lot, they’ve toured a lot, and they’ve reached a lot. “The reaction to that song was a whirlwind of industry and hype. We just tried to stay grounded, so we didn’t get pulled up in all of it. We wanted to build a proper fanbase and do it the proper way. I was surprised in the beginning, and now I’m trying to do everything the right way. ‘People like our music. This is good, this is
positive, let’s move forward’.” There have been moments of doubt, back to back tours with Slaves and their own run saw the band pushed to their limits, but the amazing moments always outweigh the struggle. “Your job can’t be amazing all the time,” reasons Tali. “There are loads of negative moments for bands when you start out; we were playing to three people who were all our mates. It’s crazy to think of where we’re at now. It’s easy to forget where you started because once you’ve got a taste for it, you want to keep working your way up.” “You can see it slowly happening over time,” she continues. “We’ve still got a long way to go; we’re never under any false pretences of ‘we’re here now.’ We’re never too big for our boots. We’re still a young band, and we’re still working our way around the circuit.” Despite being shiny and new, there’s a history to Estrons. “We’ve evolved a lot into what we are. We started out playing very different music, and I don’t know how this happened. One day I was messing around, and I wasn’t trying anymore, I stopped trying to write songs and just started being myself. With ‘Make A Man’ it was me being myself and joking around. The lyrics started off as a bit of a joke, and that transpired to mean a lot more. I wasn’t trying to force myself into being any particular type of person or performer, and it just happened.” Playing in countless bands, Tali finally reached the point where she stopped caring about putting up walls and being something she wasn’t. “It was that moment where I stopped caring where thing started to happen for us.” Cementing that journey with the release of their ‘She’s Here Now’ EP, the second half of a sentence that their now hidden
‘Whoever She Was’ EP started, Estrons used those three tracks to talk about “the musical and personal journey we’ve been on, as corny as that sounds.” Talking about real experiences: “There’s a lot of frustration on that EP,” starts Tali before adding, “in a nice way, I hope. I hope people don’t take it as some crazy political movement because it isn’t. It is a compilation of sarcastic tones and complaints.” From the perspective bending ‘Make A Man’ to ‘Belfast’, which sees Tali talk about breastfeeding, it would be easy to paint Estrons as a radical band, all politics and revolution but in reality, they just sing stories about their lives. They just come out. It just happens. “We never sit down as a band and talk about song concepts. We tried, but the problem is, we’re all very different people. I’m in a band with three guys and we’ve all got very different outlooks, even though there’s common ground. We’re not jerks or anything, but it does seem like it’s hard to explain a female perspective to a bunch of guys. It’s not even with female issues, despite songs like ‘I’m Not Your Girl’ and ‘Make A Man’ - it’s not some feminist movement, it’s a song about fancying people. I try and involve people as much as possible.” Despite not always getting it straight away, what unites the band is “we all share that common frustration with what’s going on in society. That’s the common ground.” It’s a shared interest that’s seen people take to Estrons. “There are some amazing bands at the moment, Savages and Slaves, and even though we’re not quite punk, it’s that fierceness and that honesty that I like to think is appealing to people.” ‘Make a Man’ is delivered with a tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and “a lot of other bands seem a bit more serious or a harder to decipher. The different is that, with Estrons, it’s honest, raw and in your face. I can
imagine that’s captivating. It’s just really nice when people come up and seem to have been touched in some way by our music. Even though it’s not meant to be this ridiculous emotional roller coaster, it kinda is. I don’t take myself very seriously on stage, and I never want to, but I think people can tell how honest and open I’m being, Sometimes I have to stop myself from saying too much. Sometimes on stage, I’ll accidentally cry a bit. These are genuine experiences I’ve had, and I just want people, male, female, transgender or whatever to connect to that. I want people to feel like it’s real. When you see us live, it becomes apparent that we’re not this raging political band. It’s a very personal band. Obviously, in songs like ‘Belfast’ I’m talking about political issues, but you can tell it’s me speaking from my perspective.” Estrons may not be out to inspire a revolution, but talking about real life means equality, and the lack of it, is going to come up. “We like to believe we’re so past it and so in the 21st century now but if you look at what’s going on around you, recent elections and recent decisions in politics globally, it makes you realise we’re not there yet. There are so many social standards people are expected to abide by. Who knows, I think it’s still really important to be yourself and make a point about what it is that you believe in or who you are and what personal choices you make, that’s what ‘Drop’ is about. No matter how messed up you are as a human being; it’s about making sure you don’t let anyone make you think you should be this meditating Buddhist if that’s not what you are. If it is, fine. If it isn’t, don’t change. If you’re some drunken mess right now and that’s all you can be, then be that. It’s important to stand up for who you are even if, in society’s eyes, that person isn’t seen as great or achieving much.” P
TW ENTY QUESTI ON S WITH...
FRANK CARTER YES. WE KNOW THIS ISN’T HOW 20 QUESTIONS REALLY WORKS, BUT STFU, OK? THIS MONTH, FRANK CARTER RUNS THE GAUNTLET OF OUR RANDOM, STUPID QUERIES.
1. HELLO. HOW ARE YOU? I am well, nine shows into an eleven show sold out tour of the UK and playing in Brighton tonight so I’m feeling good! 2. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO TODAY? Just recorded a session for John Kennedy at Radio X this morning and now on our way down to Brighton. 3. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN? Travelling and performing. I feel really lucky to have a job that allows me to travel a lot and I was born to play music so performing is where I feel strongest. 4. WHAT’S THE BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT YOU’VE EVER RECEIVED? My daughter was born in 2014 late November so every year seeing her get a little bit older and a lot smarter and funnier is pretty much the best present there is... and one year my wife got me a rifle. That was pretty awesome. 5. WHAT CHRISTMAS PRESENT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO RECEIVE THIS YEAR? World peace. Equality for all. Failing that, a pool table. 6. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BROKE? I got sent home from Berlin in a wheelchair two months ago. Docs thought I had cracked a vertebrae. Luckily I had just torn a muscle and was on the mend pretty quick after some R&R. 7. WHICH DEFUNCT BAND WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO REFORM? None, I’m pretty happy working on Rattlesnakes right now. Future with the snakes is getting brighter and brighter. 8. WHAT’S THE BEST
9. WHAT IS YOUR MOST TREASURED POSSESSION? I try not to get too hung up on possessions but I have some great original artwork in my collection. A few earlier works by Matthew Palladino and also I was very lucky to be given an amazing scene of characters from Hell by Jake Chapman. 10. HAVE YOU EVER DRESSED UP AS FATHER CHRISTMAS? No. 11. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Rattlesnakes is my biggest career accomplishment so far. We took an uncompromising punk rock record and put it in the Top 20 in the charts and then started selling out tours. The band isn’t even two years old and it feels like we are really resonating with people. I’m looking forward to next year. 12. WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE NEW BAND? I like Thee MVPs, God Damn and Strange Bones. All great new bands flying the flag for UK rock music. 13. WHICH WOULD YOU RATHER WATCH, STRICTLY COME DANCING OR X FACTOR? I’d rather eat my television. 14. WHAT’S THE SCARIEST THING YOU’VE EVER DONE? Become a father. I wake up every day and I’m still not sure what I’m doing but I’m just trying my very best to let her know she is loved and safe and teach her that the world belongs to her. 15. DO YOU LEAVE OUT A MINCE PIE FOR FATHER CHRISTMAS? We haven’t yet as Mercy is still quite young but maybe we will start this year. 16. WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? A musician, a tattoo artist or a professional basketball player. Two
PAGE 40. YOU WHAT? QUIZ ANSWERS: 1. IZZY, BLACK HONEY. 2. MATTIE, VANT. 3. IAN, CREEPER. 4. JULIETTE, THE BIG MOON. 5. NATTI, FICKLE FRIENDS. 6. WILL JOSEPH COOK. 7. ALICE, DREAM WIFE. 8. ED, TOOTHLESS. 9. HARRIS, BLAENAVON. 10. SARAH, NIMMO
CHRISTMAS SONG OF ALL TIME? ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade.
out of three ain’t bad I guess. 17. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CHRISTMASSY FILM? Elf or Jarhead... don’t ask me why. 18. WHAT STRENGTH NANDOS SAUCE DO YOU ORDER? Lemon and Herb all day, every day. 19. HOW PUNK ARE YOU OUT OF TEN? Punk isn’t about numbers, it’s not about fashion or style, it’s not about the music you make or the clothes you wear or the bands you listen to. Punk is a mindset. You either have it or you don’t, and the people that do have it certainly don’t stop at 10. 20. ARE YOU GOING TO MAKE A NEW YEARS RESOLUTION FOR 2017? My New Years resolution is more family time. I’ve been a little bit busy this year and it’s been tough for all of us, so next year it’s going to be our priority. Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ album ‘Modern Ruin’ is out 27th January.
the long-awaited second self-titled album
mothers when You walk a Long distance You are tired
“captures the magic of their debut and will satiate those who’ve waited so patiently” kerrang
“raw, striking” PitchFork
**** Loud and Quiet **** uPset **** dork
**** the guardian **** Q magazine **** diY
the debut album
the new album from the american Football frontman
Features the singles ‘sometimes’ and ‘daffodil days’ “glorious” the guardian
the Line oF Best Fit
the debut album
**** PitchFork **** the skinnY **** the Line oF Best Fit
Published on Dec 15, 2016
Published on Dec 15, 2016
The Best of 2016, featuring The 1975, Blossoms. Glass Animals. Spring King, Mystery Jets, Let's Eat Grandma, Oscar and more. Plus our New Wa...