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H er e c o m es th e n ex t wa ve ...

VA N T B la c k T he Big Moon

Sp r i n g K in g H o n ey

Sh u ra


Honne + lo a d s

mor e






04. THE CRIBS 0 7. P U L L E D A P A R T B Y HORSES 08. BROODS 10. BA N G E RS 12. BLINK-182 14. THE GUIDE

LISTENING TO... Wild Beasts - Boy King Beasts by name, sexy by nature.

Tegan & Sara Love You To Death Basically perfect.


Little Mix - Get



20. 25. 26. 2 7. 28. 30.

We love t’Mix. If you want to disagree, we’ll see you outside.


30. 31. 32. 32. 33. 34. 36. 36. 3 7. 38. 3 9.


REVI E WS 4 0. 41. 41. 41. 42. 43. 44.




Editor: Stephen Ackroyd Deputy Editor: Victoria Sinden Assistant Editor: Ali Shutler

Contributors: Corinne Cumming, Heather McDaid, Jamie Muir, Jessica Goodman, Josh Williams, Martyn Young, Phoebe Fox, Sam Taylor, Sammie Maine, Sarah Louise Bennett, Steven Loftin, Tom Hancock 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



Coming Home

The Cribs are throwing the gig of the summer in their very own Leeds. Words: Jessica Goodman


ake three brothers, mix in six albums worth of success, add some celebrated supports, and sweeten with a just a dash of hero worship. The result? A night unlike any other. Curating their own mini-festival at Millennium Square in Leeds on 22nd July, The Cribs are gearing up for something truly great.

“I guess this is a bit of a childhood dream in some ways, to put on a big outdoor event in your hometown.” Gary Jarman enthuses. “It’s the sort of thing that you fantasised about when you were a kid, y’know?” Talking from their practice room in their hometown of Wakefield, the band couldn’t Thurston Moore be more excited “Thurston was a big influence on to have the city us when we were growing up in flooded with the the 90s. It’s a really great honour sounds of their to have someone like that on the favourite acts. bill. It’s almost like it completes the “Having a heavy circle for us.” band like Pulled Apart By Horses echo around the centre of Leeds, and having it so that anyone who’s in the town centre can hear somebody who’s a hero to us like Thurston Moore doing his Pulled Apart By Horses thing, it makes you omnipresent “We’re good friends. It’s good for in the city a headline band to have someone that day,” Gary on before them who really brings raves. “That’s it - the sort of band who are really something that’s going to try and kick your arse. It really exciting, makes you up your own game.” when you’re really bringing it to people.”

A ls o p la y in g .. .


Menace Beach “They’re just a great band - someone we think Cribs fans would be into as well. It’s a good way to try and turn people on to a band from their area they might not have seen before. The perfect start to the show.”

Terming the event their “Live Aid/Wembley 86/Reading 92/ Spike Island/ Knebworth”, there’s no doubting the sense of occasion as the date edges ever closer. “We put bands on that we really like so that you can get excited,”

they delight. “Having it outside in the summer, you can hang out and watch bands and have a few drinks and get

“This is a bit of a childhood dream.” in the frame of mind where you want to do your thing.” Bringing the music they make and the music they love to the people, for the people, the sense of celebration could not be stronger. “I’m not going to say that it’s been our white whale,” Gary chuckles, “but it’s been something that we’ve really been hoping to be able to put on for a long time.” Initially attempted last year, this “Cribs show to end all Cribs shows” has been a long time in the making. “We’ve been working on the show for months,” Gary recounts. “There’s been a lot of logistical preparations for this show that we wouldn’t normally do for a regular Cribs show. There have been a lot of hoops to jump through.” Now, with permissions granted from the city council, a line up firmly in place, and some exclusive merchandise designs in the works (“we’re going to get scarves and we’re going to get posters made!”), all that’s left to do is ready for the show itself. Despite the extensive groundwork behind the scenes to ensure the event is one to remember, the group are quick to denounce putting any more preparation into this performance than they would any other. “We’ve never wanted to feel that we put any more effort into a big show than we do a small show,” Gary asserts. “We try and see the show through one person’s eyes, rather than many people. We’ve always had the belief that whoever’s there is just an individual. It’s a personal experience for everyone.” Catering to the individual in a forum as large as this might seem like an impossible task, but their ability to connect with a crowd of 10,000 as resolutely as they can a crowd of 100 is part of what makes The Cribs so ardently adored. Inciting free-wheeling chaos and heartfelt sing alongs across a festival field as effortlessly they can in a basement venue, the Jarman trio


UPDATE T his is


Slow Club on tour Slow Club will head out on the road this autumn in support of their new album. ‘One Day All Of This Won’t Matter Anymore’ (fair enough…) is set to drop on 19th August via Moshi Moshi. Find dates on

Banks has finished her new album, ‘FYI’ Banks is done working on her second album, apparently. Sharing a photo to Instagram with the caption “IT’S FUCKING DONE”, it sounds like she’s rather happy to have the follow up to her 2014 debut album ‘Goddess’ in the bag.

Local Natives to release new LP Local Natives’ third album ‘Sunlit Youth’ will be released on 9th September. “A lot of the excitement in making this new album came from discovering how to make songs in different ways,” the band’s Ryan Hahn says.

Deap Vally’s ‘Femejism’ due in autumn The follow up to 2013 debut ‘Sistrionix’, Deap Vally’s ‘Femejism’ is due for release on 16th September. It was recorded in Downtown Los Angeles and The San Fernando Valley, and produced by the band themselves alongside Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner.


perform with an energy and a spirit that can be neither forced nor rivalled. It’s this spirit that draws support and admiration from all across the world. With fans travelling from as far afield as the USA, Canada, and Japan to attend the concert in Millennium Square, the three brothers couldn’t be more humbled. “It’s really hard to put into words,” Gary stutters, piecing together his thoughts. “It’s hard because I’m a very sentimental person,” he trails off, flustered. “With the internet and the way that people can communicate I’ve become very acutely aware of things like that. We’re definitely not in any way numb to that sort of thing.” It’s a compliment and a responsibility that the siblings take with every note of sincerity. “It’s nice to feel responsible for people getting out of their hometown and going somewhere else. That’s something that when I was growing up I always wanted to do. So if people are going to use the band, or use what we’re doing, as an excuse to do that, then that’s really inspiring to us.” Inspired by the crowds they inspire, it’s this mutual appreciation that has brought The Cribs to where they are today, and indeed, led them to curate their very own Cribs-summers night’s dream. “It’s pretty good justification to know that we’re putting on an event that appeals to people from different countries to the point they’re prepared to get on a plane,” Gary expresses. “It really gives it a huge sense of occasion. That’s exactly what we wanted. Fans having that sort of dedication, it really vindicates everything that we wanted to do.” Ever thankful for the support they continue to

“We want it to be really special.”

receive, The Cribs’ shows are every bit as much about the band celebrating their fans as they are the other way round. “We feel indebted to the crowd a lot of the time,” Gary explains. “We’re a band who had a grassroots following and managed to compete on the level that our contemporaries were, not based on any sort of marketing, but just because we had a hardcore fanbase.” Growing up attending independent punk gigs in and around Wakefield, the Jarmans formed a strong DIY resolve. “We were small town kids, y’know? We didn’t get that many shows,” Gary recalls. “If any band came in getting complacent because it was a small town or a small audience, to us kids that was the only time we’d ever experience them, so we’d go away with a bad opinion,” he gripes. “There’s never an excuse to not be as good as you can be on any night is how we see it.” Dissatisfied and ambitious, The Cribs have always strived to give their all in all that they do. Inspired by the DIY ethos of the punk gigs from their youth, the siblings established their ambition to give back to the scene that nurtured them by putting on shows in their studio in Wakefield. “We always had that desire. If we felt like there wasn’t much going on, we used to be the kind of people who were proactive in trying to make stuff happen.” Now the DIY music scene is thriving, but that doesn’t stop the band from continuing to push themselves to the limit. “You could go to a gig in Leeds or Wakefield or wherever most weeks if you wanted!” Gary exclaims. “There’s so many great shows that come through Leeds that we felt like if we put something on then we want it to be really special.” It’s not just playing live that’s getting the group excited this summer: with a bit of luck, there’ll soon be some new music on the way. “We have a real desire and determination to make a record,” Gary teases. Rest assured, the process is already in motion. “We’ve been really prolific recently. We’ve got a lot of stuff going on,” he reveals. “We’re pretty desperate to get back in the studio at

You What? Everyone has their favourite Cribs story. Here are a few of ours.

When Ryan appeared on Buzzcocks and claimed to have invented Live8. “I sent [Bob Geldof] a text message just saying ‘Live Aid 2’,” he explained. “Lo and behold six months later Live8 comes ‘round. It’s just nice to know you’ve made a little bit of difference.”

new stuff out. We’re in that frame of mind.” What can people expect from The Cribs’ new music? “We’re the sort of people who grew up listening to heavy, hard edged punk rock music,” Gary hints. “I think that we’ve always wanted to make a record that really embraces that. Then once we’ve been doing that for a while we get a bit fed up. So we’ve been writing some other stuff.” From raw punk to power rock, the group are quick to admit that they’ve “always had two sides” to their creativity. “Some of the stuff that we’re writing is really heavy, and really dirty, and really riffy. I’m really excited about that. It’s really primal. Then we’re writing some other stuff which actually sounds like really old school Cribs, first album kind of stuff.”

It’s been over a year since The Cribs’ last record saw release, and the appetite is rumbling for more. “We’re trying to get booked in “O w ” for more sessions. We’ll probably finish an album this year, and we’ll probably record another one next year too, is what I’m hoping. I’m looking to make one this year and one next year anyway,” Gary grins. “We’ve When Ryan (again) threw got a big backlog of stuff.” himself across a table of With a potential two new glasses and bottles at an records in the works, there’s everything to look forwards awards show, resulting in a to. Drawing from unfinished trip to the hospital. He came ideas left from the sessions back after, though. for ‘In The Belly Of The Brazen Bull’ and ‘For All My Sisters’, and writing new material in their studio in Wakefield, the trio are raring to get their new music heard.

When The Cribs literally never released a bad album because actually, when you think about it, they might be the greatest British band right now. Or something. Just a thought. this point.” Having already done a number of sessions together in Portland earlier this year, the three couldn’t be keener to get recording underway. “I’m ready to go in the studio tomorrow if we could get in,” Gary laughs. “The thrill is in creating. It’s exciting to get

Anyone headed to the Millennium Square show might get to do just that. “I’m really keen to play some of this new stuff live,” Gary buzzes. “The thing that’s weird about that is that when you play a show, for the most part, people just want to hear songs that they know. So no matter how good a new song is, people will respond better to something they know anyway. I think all three of us would be happy to do it. But we also want the crowd to have a good time too. I feel like playing new stuff is almost wasted really if people don’t know the songs. Maybe people will tell me otherwise.” P

“It’s a super important moment for The Cribs and Leeds.” PABH are getting giddy about the most exciting gig of the summer.


Words: Sam Taylor.

ulled Apart By Horses are one of Leeds’ best loved bands, and playing alongside The Cribs at their epic Millennium Square show isn’t the only exciting thing they have on their calendar: they’ve just finished a new album, too - as frontman James Brown explains, from his local pub no less. So - you’re playing The Cribs’ huge show in Leeds. How did you get involved? The Jarman boys took us out on for a few gigs last year and we’ve known them for a while now being local lads and all that. We had

such a good time playing with them on tour, big boy bonding. They mentioned something about a big Leeds show back in 2015 and we obviously said we’d be more than interested in joining them live again but didn’t really know what kind of a show it would be. Was so chuffed for them to hear it was going to be on Millennium Square though.

hard and not had chance to think about it until the past couple of days. I’m sure we’ll inject some kind of surprise into it and we’ve definitely all agreed that we’ll play some new material at this show. Hands down the gig of the year in Leeds for 2016 this one.

Have you played the Millennium Square before? No, I reckon its the only place we haven’t played in Leeds now actually. I think it holds about 8,000 people or something crazy and I can’t think of a better setting for a rock gig out in the summer sun in the centre of Leeds. Getting quite giddy about this one already.

How important to you think one-off events like this are for galvanising the Leeds music scene? I think is a super important moment for The Cribs and Leeds, they’re one of the hardest working bands I know and they’ve been building towards being able to headline a gig this big for some time. For a band to remain relative and admired for well over ten years is a tremendous thing and the band and this show will inspire other local musicians, bands and artists for years to come.

Do you have anything special planned for the gig? It sounds like it’s going to be an event to remember. The past few months have been pretty intense for us, we’ve been working super

You’ve also just finished your new album. Can you tell us anything about it? We have indeed! The recording session ended a couple of days ago and we spent three weeks holed

up in Sheffield with the wonderful Ross Orton. We’d been wanting to work with him for a long time now but we could never make it work in the past. The entire process has been much less pressured than the previous record and we’ve really found the adrenalin, vibe and excitement levels in creating this one have been totally off the scale. This record is the most exciting we’ve made so far and the energy in it is pretty constant and pounding. We can’t wait for people to hear it. What’s been your biggest achievement with it? For me it would have to be the sheer amount of time and energy we put into writing the material this time around. It can be pretty intense and extremely hard writing an album. It’s very easy to get bogged down in it leaving everyone feeling unconfident, but this time we cracked on until we found a wavelength and ended up in our lock-up pretty much every day we could get in until we were writing at our very best. Can you let us in on any of the tracks included? We don’t really want to give too much away, but a couple of tracks made it onto the record which we played last year at a few shows in Australia and also in the UK with The Cribs.

What’s hot, and what’s, y’know, slightly less hot. Photos of torrential rain and muddy fields at festivals you wish you could have gone to but couldn’t Gutted, guys. Gutted.

Haim album two It’s due later this year apparently, and this time the band came at it “from a more organic, rock standpoint.” Exciting times.

“This record is the most exciting we’ve made so far.”

CHVRCHES and Paramore ‘Bury It’ It’s been rumoured for a while, but now it’s finally here: CHVRCHES have teamed up with Paramore‘s Hayley Williams to record a brand new studio version of ‘Bury It’. Listen now on

The 1975 sell out The 02 Tickets for the December show disappeared in just three hours. Three hours!




he second record is one of the most daunting things you can do as a recording artist,” starts Caleb Nott. Alongside “the expectation of living up to your first record,” Broods also wrestled with wanting to develop their sound without “freaking anyone out by doing something totally different.” Despite the pressure and the cliff-faced struggle, they’ve made following up 2014’s ‘Evergreen’ look remarkably easy. Caleb and his younger sister Georgia set to work on ‘Conscious’ as soon as their debut dropped, hitting the studio at every opportunity. “There was a lot of experimenting to begin with but the first songs we wrote were similar to the last record,” explains Georgia. “’Free’ was the first song that really stood out.” Drawing from the likes of Kanye West, M.I.A., Radiohead, Marilyn Manson and CHVRCHES, the track is drenched in passion, gets straight to the point but is smart enough to keep you coming back for more. “We found how we wanted to evolve and after that, we got on a roll and wrote most of the record.” Anything went, as long as it “felt like a development for us and as long as it felt different.” With years of touring experience and a clearer idea of what the band could be, Broods felt comfortable expanding. Alongside long-term collaborator Joel Little, the pair set about writing and working with a host of other musicians for the simple fact that they felt they were now able to. “Before we didn’t have the confidence but now we can do a session and feel totally confident in our ideas and our ability to write. Now we don’t feel scared to say our opinion,” offers Caleb, as

Band meeting!

Unknown Mortal Orchestra


“ H iya

Georgia adds: “It’s when you realise you can’t be wrong that you just let go off of all the pressure. It’s music, it’s totally up to you. It’s like any art, there are no rules to it.” Naturally, the band’s second album sees the pair armed with a more grown view. “As you get older, you’re exposed to more of the world and you have to face different problems,” Georgia says. “That’s what we’ve been writing about.” ‘Conscious’ is about life experience. “It’s about how you change and you grow. It’s just trying to figure out, with the first record we were still trying to find ourselves as writers, with this record we’d learnt a lot from people that we’d worked with and from our experiences. We’d also experimented heaps just by ourselves. We’d tasted a few different ways of writing and what we came out with was a style that’s true to is. It’s very emotionallycharged, and that’s what this new record is. A very heavy emotionallycharged pop album.” “We wanted a sense of individualism and a sound that was unique to us. We wanted it to sound new,” continues Caleb. “There are so many different types of energies on this record. It’s all very energetic but they’re all very different because we wrote it over such a long time.” That space to explore also meant that “there’s a lot of different topics on this record, compared to the first record which we wrote and recorded in five weeks.” Despite worries that the ever-changing energies and topics would confuse the album, ‘Conscious’ is bound together by Broods’ powerful sense of self.


With a little help from our friends

“You have to remember that human beings don’t only feel one thing and they don’t only go through one experience, so it can still be an accurate The band teamed up with depiction of Lorde to write ‘Heartlines’ just our life. We because they were both free. go through The same happened with Tove different Lo’s appearance on ‘Freak of phases and Nature’. “We really clicked,” feel different Georgia explains. “We showed emotions and her some of the stuff we’d been awesome working on, she really loved albums have ‘Freak of Nature’. I asked her to that diversity. sing on it, and she did.” I really like it when there’s a wave, a journey, when you’re listening to it.” you feel at home. And as the band’s world-view gets bigger, so does their scope to put their mark upon it. “That comes with the confidence of experience,” ventures Caleb. “Having that experience of playing all around the world, you have that confidence in yourself that you are better than you were. Georgia is a much stronger singer and on this album you can hear it. The production’s a lot more full on and honed in. The last record was emotionally expressive but this record is physically expressive as well.”


cool again, and that’s


“Everything’s very in your face,” Georgia adds. “We’ve left little room for people to relax listening to this record but music’s suppose to be an all-senses experience. It’s cool to have all these pop tunes

“I want people to feel like there’s a sense of comfort in some of the songs because we do get pretty personal. I want people to feel empowered. There’s some dark stuff on this record but the reason I write is to express how I feel,” finishes Georgia. “It’s that honesty I take from other people’s music so I want people to feel that when they listen to ours. To feel like there’s some sort of connection. Music’s helped me through a lot of things and I feel like we can just be open now. We’re not holding anything back. It makes you feel quite at peace with yourself knowing that you’ve put everything into it. Hopefully other people can feel what we feel.” “I just want to break down that wall of pop side of things and the alternative side of things and build a little bridge in between them,” adds Caleb. “Over the last year pop’s been getting so much more interesting and a lot more expressive. Pop’s cool again and that’s awesome.” P Broods’ new album ‘Conscious’ is out now.

It’s not all about the Aussies Down Under. New Zealand has it going on.


that have some essence to them and a depth to the lyrics and the production. We’re just really happy with it.” And you can hear that despite Georgia finding it “hard to write happy songs that I’m not annoyed at” (“it’s hard to find the edge and not make them sound cheesy,” she explains), ‘Conscious’ is all about challenging yourself until

Flight of the Conchords

Sure, they may be based out of

If you’ve heard Pip’s latest album, you’ll

A true national treasure, New Zealand’s

Portland, OR now, but they’re a New

know she still packed more certified

fourth most popular guitar-based digi-

Zealand / American group, and that’s

gold bangers than a really extravagant

bongo a cappella-rap-funk-comedy folk

good enough for us.

sausage magnate.

duo have conquered the world.

“ We

’r e n ot h oldi a ny ng thin g ba ck.”



FREE Broods return with their

second album, and they’ve

Words: Ali Shutler

Photo: Corinne Cumming

never felt more themselves.




Wild Beasts

The Avalanches

Glass Animals

Something happened to Wild Beasts. Between 2014’s ‘Present Tense’ and now, they’ve been through an, erm, awakening of sorts. That’s the best way to describe ‘Get My Bang’ – a track that’s complete and utter filth. The first taster of new album ‘Boy King’, it’s the sound of a band discovering a new level – not just of depravity, either. Bold, brave, immediate and drenched in its own sweat, it’s less an evolution and more the embracing of the beating black heart that lies beneath. Fully engulfed in the dark side, Wild Beasts are more alluring than ever before.

‘Frankie Sinatra’ doesn’t sound like music that’s changing the world. In fact, at times it sounds rather like Gorillaz. Not that that’s any insult – both are music from sharp minds, both trying to push at the edges of what’s acceptable in a mainstream mega-hit. With an impressive list of collaborators (this features both MF Doom and Danny Brown), there’s no shortage of star power too. Trying to get a proper read on something with so much build up (sixteen years) is a fruitless pursuit, but removing the baggage, in 2016 The Avalanches still sound like a band with something to offer.

Since when did Glass Animals do certified, solid gold bangers? That’s no criticism to their previous material – but ‘Life Itself’ is a different, more confident beast. Shoving its way onto a dance-floor of jerking, awkward weirdo-pop, it’s like someone dragged Glass Animals v1.0 into Photoshop and clicked invert. An evolution and revolution in the same breath, now they strut to the beat, earworm chorus firmly displayed for all to see. Where Glass Animals built foundations first time around, now they’re planning skyscrapers so tall even The Shard is turning green with envy.

Get My Bang

Frankie Sinatra

Life Itself

B a n g e r o f th e M on th

Holychild x Kate Nash Rotten Teeth

Sometimes a song is just an undeniable, fun banger. When struggling to move for drippy-tap laptop blog ‘pop’, it would be easy to forget that such a thing ever existed, but thanks to HOLYCHILD and Kate Nash, there’s a 10 out of 10 fix to put things right. ‘Rotten Teeth’ is as subtle as dayglo. Sugar spun and brilliantly bratty, even the description on the video refuses to back down. “I’m currently feeling cynical about explaining our art so here is a music video I directed while we were in Mexico,” says HOLYCHILD’s Liz. “I’ll let the merkins speak for themselves.”

T his is


Fall Out Boy & Missy Elliot ain’t afraid of no ghost

Beck Wow

Beck is a bit like Nandos [stick with us here – Ed]. He comes in all flavours and strengths, from laid back, mild acoustic Beck, to fullpower, burn your face off extra hot Beck. Everyone has their favourite, but nothing really hits the mark better than when he starts to play in the mainstream lanes, goading the MOR traffic with flashes of brilliance. Last year’s ‘Dreams’ showed he still had that playful mischief, but with




“Locked in” Queens of the Stone Age are back.

a full record on the horizon, ‘Wow’ confirms it. We’re getting Pop Beck, the best Beck of all. Both lackadaisical and on point, ‘Wow’ is fun. It’s not high art – though it’s certainly not dumb – but it’s music for hot summers, cocktails and good times. A slide flute hook, a slacker beat, there’s line straight back to the ‘Devil’s Haircut’ glory days, updated to feel almost startlingly fresh. Pass the water, this one’s a scorcher.

With Josh Homme taking some time off working on a multitude of other projects, including Eagles of Death Metal and his collaborative album with Iggy Pop, ‘Post Pop Depression’, QOTSA have been taking some downtime. Now, though, their leader has confirmed moves are underway to pick things up. Asked by Den DelRay on the ‘Let There Be Talk’ if he’d be working on new QOTSA next, Homme replied: “Yeah. Same line up, we’re locked in. We’re having our meeting tomorrow to talk about what we’re gonna do.”

Fall Out Boy and Missy Elliott are teaming up for a new song. The track – as yet untitled – will appear as part of the soundtrack to the new Ghostbusters film, which will also feature songs from 5 Seconds of Summer, Walk The Moon and Wolf Alice.

Angel Olsen announces new album ‘MY WOMAN’ Titled ‘MY WOMAN’, the follow up Angel Olsen’s ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’ is set for release on 2nd September. It’s apparently split into an A-side with “punchier, more pop/rockorientated songs” and a reverse with “longer, more reflective tracks”.

UPDATE sure, there is a sense of Mark not letting this Blink baby go down without a fight but can we just sit back and calm the fuck down? ‘Neighborhoods’ really wasn’t that bad you guys; it was actually pretty good. It’s refreshing to see a band that stays true to themselves and evolves without heading into the cliched electronic phase of their careers (hiya Busted).

T his is


Wild Beasts announce ‘Boy King’ Wild Beasts are set to release their new album ‘Boy King’ on 5th August. It’ll be followed by an autumn tour that includes two nights at London’s Roundhouse - find dates on

k, W h a t I t h in r ig h t .. .

The everlasting appeal of Blink-182

you’ve always wanted.

aka Why we should all be Preoccupations reveal self-titled album The artists formally known as Viet Cong, Preoccupations, have revealed plans for their debut album under their new name. The self-titled effort is due on 16th September.

Låpsley and more join Reading & Leeds A new batch of names has been announced for Reading & Leeds (26th-28th August), including Låpsley, Whitney, Fickle Friends, King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard, Palace, Will Joseph Cook, Deaf Havana and Arcane Roots.

Spring King plot October tour Dork cover stars Spring King have planned a headline tour for October, in support of debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’. The run culminates with a show at London’s Koko. Visit for dates.


excited about ‘California’, aka Stop moaning about Tom. Words: Sammy Maine.


his month, Blink-oneeadie-twoah will release their seventh studio album. Their seventh. ‘California’ is the epitome of a band unafraid to go down without a fight; the one still shouting for their pals to join them for a shot at 4am. And you’ve got to admire that. First taste ‘Bored to Death’ was way better than any of us had expected, igniting a sense of hope for a new era, an era – cover your ears – without Tom. Blink-182 didn’t get here by just singing about blow jobs and poop the whole time. They know how to write a hook y’know? They know how to make the foreverteenager in you feel validated. And that’s a good thing. You see, Blink-182 have fundamentally

never been cool. “We’ve always existed out of that [cool] reality,” Mark said in a 2010 interview. I truly believe that no one ever feels like they fit in and Blink-182 are the band that whisper “hey it’s okay that you fucked that up” and then tell a fart joke to make you feel better. I don’t want to deter from their creativity though. A band that has both ‘Stay Together for the Kids’ and ‘Fuck A Dog’ on the same album deserves a standing ovation. You see, Blink-182 are pretty average musicians – okay, I’ll give you Travis – but the band as a whole, their package, their output, their entire thing shows three dudes who learnt a few chords writing some of the best pop songs of the past, woah, wait a minute, 20 years? Damn. They’re proof that if you work really hard at something, you may just get that cameo in American Pie that

Perhaps the first glimpse of a “grown-up” Blink-182 was their self-titled record from 2003. It saw a band refine their sound, moving away from producing a couple of hit singles to producing an album as a whole. Granted, it was one of their most successful in terms of hit singles but listen to that album from start to finish and that’s a band who’s telling a story, unafraid to take creative risks. And hello! They got Robert Smith on it. If that’s not endorsement of a good fuckin’ album then I don’t know what is. Just like any band who’s been around for 20ish years, there are of course, the eternal cries of “they were better before” and

And that leaves us here: the first Blink-182 album without Tom. Gasp! I know I’ve pretty much brushed over what this means for the band but can we set aside our butthurtedness for just a sec and stop covering ‘Bored to Death’ with Tom vocals. Seriously, this album isn’t about him. If we don’t stop prodding Blink-182 with our internet fingers of ‘where’s Tom tho’, this record doesn’t stand a chance. ‘California’ is a step in a refreshing, unknown direction that needs its own platform. It’s an album that is both for the fans and also, not for them at all – it’s proof that if a band really want to keep going, they can do it whichever way they want. And hey! If you really can’t get over the whole Tom thing, you don’t have to listen to it. It’s okay, they’ll understand (and not care, no matter how many YouTube comments you leave). If we can treat ‘California’ as its own thing then I guarantee that we – and Blink-182 – will be all the better for it. P

“ S a y it

a in’t s o .. .”

HACKED! Tame Impala start posting bomb threats, but the hacker was only trying to help, ok?

A cheeky Canadian hacked his way into a number of musician’s Twitter accounts recently, including Tame Impala and Bon Iver. But he was only trying to help. “At first I did this for fun, but I never wanted to do this to ruin people’s careers,” the hacker said. “I’m just doing it to prevent that from ever happening in case someone who knows how to do it comes along and possibly does some damage. “ And the bomb threats Tame Impala tweeted while hacked? That was just ‘a friend’. Honest.






Ray BLK - My Hood

Alicia Keys - In Common

Ray is so talented. I grew up with her in this hood she sings about (Catford, SE6!). So sick to see her doing her thing and making bangers while at it.

The Afrobeats vibes and lyrics and everything on this is too sick!

Janet Jackson - Empty Honestly one of the most forward thinking pieces of music ever. And Velvet Rope!

Becky Hill & Little Simz Back to My Love Two of my favourite women in music together on a track couldn’t ask for more really!

Yuna - Lanes I love a tune with fun chords and vocals that just sit right in the mix. I heard this song on the radio and my ears instantly pricked up.

Jorja Smith - Blue Lights

INOJ - Love You Down I love the Miami bass elements in this tune and also the juxtaposition of the sad tune with a dance beat.

SG Lewis - Yours This is incredible. Raye is singing on the song but it’s pitched down to sound cool and edgy and it worked; I love it!

from the When bands bugger off on tour we worry about them. Are they eating okay? Has anyone gone missing? They’re not having too many fizzy drinks, are they? To put our minds to rest, we’re insisting they check in and keep us updated from the road. This month: Big Deal.

One of my favourite dance tunes from ‘Dreamland’, my favourite dance album of the 90s. Martha Wash is queen.

Such a talented young girl with a beautiful voice and an amazing spirit.

Postcards frontline

Black Box - Everybody Everybody

dvsn - Too Deep

S GER B A N OY ! AH all sic, we love mu ic, you use of this, in s u m e “I lov beca le ‘At sic! So ew sing love mu on with my n )’, I’ve made u ti c o Y n t re bou conju Think A y ears a Night (I of the stuff m the ‘At Night t ll s a li c y I a pla now g right enjoyin ylist.“ la p ’ z Jam

One of my favourite songs in a while. I loved the 90s R&B choir of vocals around it with this really sensual lead male vocal almost being the conductor of the song. MNEK’s single ‘At Night (I Think About You)’ is out now.

They write... “Dearest Dork, Today we arrived in Edinburgh, which it turns out you say like “Bra”. Like, “Come at me, Edinbra!” Tonight we play at Pete’s, who is sneaky. Really sneaky. Anyway, this hairy cow needs a haircut. And a job. Miss you lots, xx KC” You’ll also notice a nice drawing too. It’s of Sneaky Pete. Obv. “Apparently Sneaky Pete is a cheeky bottle in a paper bag. Who knew?” So there we go. Big Deal’s ace new album ‘Say Yes’ is out now.

MNEK’s At Night Jamz Grammy-nominated MNEK takes time out from working with some of pop’s biggest super stars (Beyonce? Craig David? LITTLE MIX?!!) to curate a playlist of his favourite jamz. You can hear it in full at now.


There’s a new album from Moose Blood out in August called ‘Blush’ and it’s Really Very Good. Thought you should know. Okay, ta. 13







14th - 17th July With last year’s tenth birthday celebrations out of the way, this year Latitude isn’t letting up one bit. Long since leaving the B-list behind, the Suffolk based long-weekender has firmly joined the top leagues of the festival season. Headlined this year by New Order, The Maccabees and The National - it could well be one of the first places we get a chance to hear new material from the latter, while anointing a new British headliner too. A sub-headlining appearance from CHVRCHES looks set to mark things to come for the Scottish electro-poppers, while elsewhere there’s all kinds of treats, both in music and beyond. Here are just a few of our must see picks from the weekend.

Do not miss... Courtney Barnett


Mura Masa

Friday, Obelisk Arena

Saturday, Lake Stage

Sunday, BBC 6 Music Stage

Big stages are where Courtney Barnett belongs these days, and honestly, it’s pretty hard to think of a better fit for her scuzzy, nonchalantly brilliant guitar pop than Latitude. 14


These Danes are going places fast. With a debut EP from the very top of the pile, chances are that getting to see them play Huw Stephens’ Lake Stage will be a one shot deal.

The Buzz-with-a-capital-B around Mura Masa is only going to get louder and, y’know, buzzier. The 6 Music Stage is no tiny backwater with a small crowd to please, but he’ll smash it.

Friday BBC 6 Music Stage The Maccabees may be headliners, and they may be a Great British Band, but there’s little doubt that, in the interest stakes, Grimes will hold her own on the Friday night. Possibly THE hot ticket of any festival she shows up to, there’s no one who can touch Claire Boucher right now.

On tour Some dates for your diary.

Twin on tour With a new album on the way, Twin Atlantic are hitting the road for a tiny run. Twin Atlantic have announced a UK club tour for July off the back of the reveal of their new album ‘GLA’. “This album is our reflection of what it’s like to come from a city at the forefront of multiculturalism,” explains frontman Sam McTrusty. “Both forward thinking and with a real sense of community, but also with a dark and rough history. We have changed our approach to writing and recording; we turned the idea of a rock band upside down, conforming only to this one idea – to take back rock and roll. To give people something real again.”

“We have finally made the album we wanted to make,” he adds. So it better not be rubbish now, or it’s going to be proper awks. With the record set for release on 9th September, band will play shows in Liverpool, Nottingham, London, Selkirk and Edinburgh this month. JULY 9 Arts Club, Liverpool 10 Rescue Rooms, Nottingham 12 Scala, London 14 Victoria Hall, Selkirk 15 La Belle Angele, Edinburgh

Martha UK tour 1st-23rd July

What are you excited about for July, Will from Creeper? “We’re going to America. We can’t wait. It’s the first time we’ve ever gone over to America and if eel like it’s going to be like starting all over again. It’s literally like entering another world and putting, starting, luckily this time around we’ve got a load of songs. When we started over here, we had five songs, so this time around we’re going over there and we’ve got a bit of an advantage on our side. It’s going to be fun to begin again and have really gelled and all this growth we’ve had over those two years, to go over there and give them something a bit more together than what we gave the UK the first few months we toured.“

Leefest presents: The Neverland This year’s LeeFest will take place in what was up until recently a top secret location, but has now been revealed as John Darlings Farm near Tunbridge Wells. The perfect place for a Neverland theme - as some of the acts playing can attest. 28th - 30th July

BST Hyde Park Festival 1st-10th July

Band of Horses London, Manchester 5th-7th July

2000trees Festival 7th-9th July

T in the Park Festival 7th-9th July

Youth Man UK tour 7th-16th July

The Last Shadow Puppets UK tour 10th-16th July

FIDLAR Brixton Electric, London 12th July

Truck Festival 15th-17th July

Deap Vally UK tour 23rd-29th July

Spector Manchester, London 26th-29th July

Circa Waves If you didn’t have to grow up, what age would you want to stay? 21. Its the perfect age. Older than the teenagers but still young enough to go out all the time. Where’s the worst place you’ve been lost? Hotel bathroom. I was a bit too drunk. The light went out and I forgot where I was. I couldn’t see anything and thought I may have died. After ten minutes of bewilderment I found a door handle, opened it and remembered I was in a Travelodge.


Will Joseph Cook

If you didn’t have to grow up, what age would you want to stay? Definitely 25. You’re out of the craziness of early 20s and know who you are, but you’re still allowed to misbehave!

If you didn’t have to grow up, what age would you want to stay? I’m gonna say nine. It’s around the age where you could still believe in Santa and magic but you’re not a complete spud.

Where’s the worst place you’ve been lost? Glastonbury Shangri La at 6am...

Where’s the worst place you’ve been lost? I got lost in Surrey Quays shopping centre once. That was pretty terrifying.

What would you do if you had hooks for hands? Tickle chins?

What would you do if you had hooks for hands? Be in Circa Waves, but I’d just be well cooler because I had hooks for hands.

Which happy thought – with the aid of pixie dust – could make you fly? The thought of holding our album in my hands on vinyl. And Penelope Cruz.

If you could take one thing to Neverland, what would it be? After Eight mints...

If you could take one thing to Neverand, what would it be? Hallucinogenics.

The Wonder Years UK tour 28th-31st July

What would you do if you had hooks for hands? I mean, I’ve seen people with hook hands and they get pretty good with them. I’d probably just really upgrade them, precious gems etc. Which happy thought – with the aid of pixie dust – could make you fly? Taking socks off whilst already in bed under the duvet. Try it. 15


Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of Let’s Eat Grandma: a place where things may not be quite as they seem.


Words: Jessica Goodman.

eleasing a debut album before they’re old enough to legally buy a pint, the two musicians that make up Let’s Eat Grandma are well ahead of the game, and it’s one they’re playing to nobody’s rules but their own. Switching from haunting vocal harmonies to gritty rap breakdowns, incorporating recorder solos and pop hooks played on glockenspiel, their approach is at once characteristically unconventional and completely enthralling.

Let’s Eat Grandma 16

17 year old Jenny Hollingworth and 16 year old Rosa Walton have been best friends since they were 4 years old. Growing up together, the pair have developed a kinship as strong as any fraternal bond. In fact, the two seem to exist on a wavelength of their own. Dipping in and out of each others sentences, drifting off on tangents that only they understand, and referring to each other in the third person rather than make direct comments about themselves, it’s as if they’re on a plane of existence that no one else can quite reach. “I think quite a lot of the songs have references to food,” Jenny exclaims, matter of factly. “I think that’s because

we were both really into cooking at the time. We used to make up recipes,” Rosa adds, with a smirk. “We’d do things like we’d put them in the microwave then we’d put them in the oven and then we’d put them in the freezer,” Jenny laughs. “Obviously it didn’t work.”

women are abuzz with excitement – which comes as no surprise considering the hype that’s surrounding them at the moment. Not that either of them are phased by the sudden attention. They barely seem to notice it, happy to continue indulging in their favourite project together.

Establishing that a stint on The Great British Bake Off wasn’t likely to be in their future, Jenny and Rosa turned to music. Much like their affinity for cooking, they describe their band as “just one of those projects” they created for themselves to pass the time. Sure, their approach to song writing might be just as off the wall as their approach to baking, but the results are entirely more gratifying. With debut album ‘I, Gemini’, the pair are quick to celebrate how this project “kind of expanded.”

Though the recognition may be sudden, the two friends have been making music together for years. “We wrote the album when we were thirteen or fourteen,” Jenny conveys, “so it’s almost like our lives as kids back then. It’s like a time capsule!” Making music that’s showered with references to fairy tales and fantasy, featuring child-like chants alongside raucously juvenile outbursts, and demonstrating the often erratic trains of thought that adolescent minds race with, the duo are quick to attribute a lot of their sound to what they felt like when they were kids.

Announcing they’d signed to Transgressive in February, Let’s Eat Grandma recorded their debut in the former nuclear bunker that now homes Old School Studios. “It was absolutely surreal,” the duo squeal, scrambling to describe the eerie encounters that happened there. “I felt this cold thing rushing through me, and then I felt myself floating above my own body, and I could look down onto myself…” they trail off, muttering to each other. “I was so freaked out.” Now, with their debut album in tow, Let’s Eat Grandma are ready for whatever may happen next. Sat next to the markets in their hometown of Norwich, the two young

“It gets a bit boring when you listen to an album and every track is the same genre,” Jenny shrugs. Their solution? Play every genre at once. “We’re a bit into


“Quite a lot of the songs have references

“We’re the sort of people who when we listen to music we both see things,” the pair assert. “We associate all music with images. It’s kind of a bit of a synaesthesia thing. We hear music and we associate it with this imagery.” Beginning to label each day of the week with a different colour (“Monday is red!”), the two are once again in their own world.

It’s a world they’re very much at home in. Though everyone else can only glimpse it through their music, the two-piece are eager to speculate what it would be like to really live there. “Well, there wouldn’t be any men in it,” they laugh. “It would be a feminist world. Everybody would be treated equally.” Giggling between themselves as they list what they’d furnish a world of their own with (“apple trees!”), Jenny and Rosa are back on their own plane of existence. It’s an unbreakable bond the pair share. Hidden behind identical hair styles, loosing themselves in the shadowy music they make,

am “ S o d re

to food…”

Pausing to let their words sink in, the duo experience a certain amount of glee in keeping the rest of the world questioning. Is anything they say real? Who knows! From the songs written in childhood through to their identical image, this whole band could be one huge inside joke. With a debut as compelling as ‘I, Gemini,’ long may the laughs keep on coming. P


Dream Wife

On the grapevine Black Honey reveal live video for ‘All My Pride’ Snarling dreamers Black Honey have proven just why they may be the coolest band going, with a smacking live video of ‘All My Pride’. Watch on

Crows reveal UK there’s a mystery and a peculiarity in everything Let’s Eat Grandma do – and that’s part of the fun. “We quite like to create the preconceptions ourselves,” the pair earnestly agree. “By the way you behave, the things you say and the things you do, you can manipulate how people perceive you,” Jenny cautiously explains. “For example, if we said something in this interview, that would get out. Then other journalists might read the interview and write about it…”

tour details One of the most brutal live acts of recent times, Crows have announced their biggest UK tour to date - find details on They follow debut EP ‘Unwelcome Light’, which was released earlier this year.

Joel from Wolf Alice has remixed Let’s Eat Grandma Joel Amey from Wolf Alice has remixed Let’s Eat Grandma’s ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’. “Let’s Eat Grandma are my kind of band,” Joel reveals. “Weird in the most wonderful way. They exist in their own league, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.” Listen on



C h e c k o u t .. FISH

“When you’re that age you have really vivid imaginations,” Jenny illustrates. And “vivid” is exactly what their music is. Emanating from the space between consciousness and dreams, ‘I, Gemini’ is an innate nature given form. Dark in places, euphoric in others, and at all times playful, the record carries itself with all the energy and intensity of barely teenage minds gone wild.

everything,” the pair chuckle. Switching from harmonica melodies to saxophone solos in anyone else’s hands could be a complete train wreck, but Let’s Eat Grandma manage to craft their mayhem into magic.

The Parrots announce debut album With their music in short supply online, seeing FISH live is the only way to truly experience their intensely evocative melodic grunge. Luckily for you, the Camden four-piece embark on their first headline tour this month. Oh, and they’ve already supported Wolf Alice.

With the confident strut of The Runaways and the scuffed beauty of The Clash, Dream Wife are the sucker-punch punk trio we’ve been waiting for. Latest EP ‘EPO1’ is a brash and infectious introduction, one that’ll cause riots at their run of UK dates with Black Honey later this year.

LANY may be the perfect evening companion. The LA trio’s potent pop-noir has been grabbing attention for a while now. From a dodgy Dell computer in a bedroom to 12 million Spotify plays and a support run around UK arenas with Ellie Goulding, LANY can definitely be our friends.

Madrid band The Parrots have announced details of their debut album. ‘Los Niños Sin Miedo’ is due on 26th August through Heavenly Recordings, preceded by the track ‘Jame Gumb’.


HYPE Toothless x Marika Hackman



Bombay Bicycle Club’s Ed Nash is making waves with his brand new solo project. For latest single, ‘Palm’s Backside’, he’s teamed up with the equally awesome Marika Hackman with predictably awesome results. Hear it now on

Getting to know...


Declan McKenna He’s barely out of the traps, and already he’s ripping it up on US telly. Declan McKenna is

Pop is not a dirty word. That’s good news for rising London newcomers Anteros, who sail perfectly between the lines. Take recent single ‘Breakfast’, sounding both familiar and fresh in the same breath. It sets a marker on a band hitting all the right notes. Time to get to know the band a bit better. After all, if they’re inviting us round for Crunchy Nut Cornflakes, it’d be rude not to. Who’s in the band? Laura Hayden (vocals), Joshua Rumble (bass), Charles Monneraud (guitar) & Harry Balazs (drums) How long have you been together? We’ve been playing together for a year.

going places fast. Words: Martyn Young.


here’s so many crazy opportunities that have come up for me in the last year. I’ve been very lucky.” Declan Mckenna is a man in a hurry. The 16-year-old songwriter has had the kind of whirlwind start to his career that most artists can only dream of. Just last month he was in the middle of playing a UK tour before being whisked away for the small matter of appearing on the late night US Conan talk show. All before he’s even released his first album.

Deckers on the tellybox

Where are you from? Spain (Laura), London (Joshua + Harry), & France (Charles) What musical pigeon-hole can we shoehorn you into? Bitter Dream Pop.


How many other acts appear on US telly when they’re only just starting out? It’s a trick question – that’s what our Declan did when he appeared on Conan out in LA. But he didn’t leave it there. He jumped straight back on a plane to the UK to play Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter.

“I’ve never been

When asked what the most exciting thing happening to him right now is, the hugely exuberant and talkative kid from Hertfordshire is almost overwhelmed by choices. “There’s loads of exciting things!” he exclaims. “There’s the music video that I’ve literally just released a minute ago [for ‘Bethlehem’], Glastonbury, I’ve announced a big American tour. I’m all over the place.” It’s this infectious enthusiasm coupled with whip smart pop nous and incisive song writing that have so many people excited about Declan McKenna. Beginning with his success in the Glastonbury emerging talent competition in 2015 and continuing through the topical earworm singles ‘Brazil’ and ‘Paracetamol’, Declan’s skyrocketing career trajectory has been on warp speed. Nothing is too daunting for the young songwriter though. “I’m always changing things about how I’m making music,” he says confidently. “I think that’s the thing about being so young and having a short attention span. I kind of take on any challenges that I feel might be cool.” “Everything that I’ve released so far has been slightly different,” he continues. “It’s all been developing. I enjoy for now being able to experiment with sounds and not worrying too much about sounding like this or that because once I do I’m only just going to get compared to other acts. I’d like to eventually spend time on refining a sound but now I’m content just trying things out.” Following his previous singles, Declan has gained a reputation as something of a social commentator.

one to censor what I think.” He is not afraid to tackle any subject no matter how sensitive. His latest song ‘Bethlehem’ is a perfect example. “It’s a criticism of the negatives that religion has created in the world,” he explains. “I think at the time and even more so now, there was a lot of news coverage about people using religion as a justification for hate, war and so on and restricting people’s lives. “In music and the world in general people are scared to criticise religion because it might offend people and cut down the amount of people who will listen to their music. If you are criticising things that need to be criticised in order to change and develop for the better then it can only be a good thing.” “I’ve never really been one to censor what I think about things and that’s the same for any topic,” he adds. It’s a brilliantly refreshing attitude. If he can avoid the ire of religious zealots then the next pressing task on the agenda for Declan is the recording of his debut album, which will feature production by esteemed indie legend James Ford. Right now, he doesn’t quite know how it will sound but it will definitely be exciting. “I’ve only recorded five songs and going to finish it this summer, but I’m hoping it’s going to be a quite eclectic album with a lot more psychedelic stuff and some baroque pop sounds, which will be cool. It’s going to be happy sounding but kind of sad as well. I’m probably more excited to see how it turns out than anyone else.” P

On the grapevine Sundara Karma hit the road this autumn The Reading bunch will kick off their jaunt at London’s Heaven on 16th September, with dates over the following two weeks in Oxford, Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham, Norwich and Brighton. Phew. The timing fits in with when we’d expect the band’s debut album to drop, too. That’s all very convenient.

Weaves Jasmyn Burke sits down with a cup of tea (and some coconut yogurt with almonds, fyi) to tell us all about her band’s self-titled debut. Words: Sam Taylor. Your debut album has just come out has it been a long time in the works? We have been working on the record since our EP came out, so for about two years. Did you have an idea of what you wanted to create before you started? Are there any over-arching themes? I’m not sure there was a clear idea, but I guess the goal is to be honest and open. With regards to themes, I love jean jackets and they made an appearance on both our EP and the LP. When you put on a jean jacket it just feels good. Easier conversations, more laughter and maybe a nice cold beer.

What do you hope listeners will take away from the album? I hope they enjoy the songs and feel like we created something that feels truthful and from our hearts to theirs. Are there any other sides to the band you hope to explore on future releases? I really hope that a few years down the line we write a country record. The Carter Sisters made beautiful music and I’d love to explore how we might make a country record. Anything else we should know? We all love Vaseline. We use it daily. That and we all started taking a Papaya/Pineapple pill daily and oil of oregano weekly on the road to keep us healthy. Oils are key on the road. Jajoba oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil. Tough to store and easy to spill but if you can bring them they’ll do wonders. P

WALL plan first ever UK dates

Factfile Who’s in the band? Jasmyn, Morgan, Spencer, Zach How long have you been together? We’ve been playing together for two years. Where are you from? Toronto, Canada What musical pigeon-hole can we shoehorn you into? I am terrified of pigeons so I guess I’m afraid of pigeon-holing too.

Nao you’re talking...

Rat Boy schedules UK headline tour September’s looking busy already with Rat Boy also announcing a headline tour that starts on the 16th, with a show at Sheffield Leadmill. His tendate run includes a stop at the O2 Forum in London.

Palace debut due in November For those who really like forward planning, good news! Palace will release their debut

Is there anything in particular on the record that means a lot to you? Every single song.

album ‘So Long Forever’ on

Do you think you’ve managed to achieve everything on the record that you intended? I mean who knows, it feels right, but I guess I’m always trying to look forward and what I can create next. So I am very happy with the record, but I’m excited about the next one!

summary of where Palace are

4th November through Fiction Records. “Our album is a great as a band,” they say. “We wanted NYC’s WALL are making their debut trip over here this winter, in the midst of a European tour. They’ll play not only their own headline show at the Old Blue Last, London on 1st November, but Headrow House in Leeds for Beacons Metro the following day.

Nao is bringing out her debut album. The east Londoner, who was included on the BBC Sound of 2016 list and appeared on Disclosure’s ‘Caracal’ album, puts out her first full-length ‘For All We Know’ on 29th July through Little Tokyo/RCA.

an album that takes you on a journey through different emotions and ups and downs.” Hear single ‘Break The Silence’ now on


H ey !



ou t

ton i g ht


( A lr ig h t !)

We live in glorious times. Brill, exciting, special bands and artists are cropping

From the minute Spring King found themselves as

up around the

the first band played on ‘a

planet. Over the

thingy’, they’ve been

next few pages we’ll introduce you to some of our faves. Down with boring.


certain online radio heading for the big time. Now, with their debut album out, they’re aiming even higher. Words: Ali Shutler. Photos: Sarah Louise Bennett.

Sp r i n g Wa t c h




ome people just have a way with words. Since the release of single ‘Mumma’ at the start of 2014, Spring King have been publicly toying with their diction, quickly becoming a voice of sanity, comfort and excitement. There’s a reason why when Apple Music’s online radio station Beats 1 launched, they used the band’s ‘City’ as an introduction. There’s a reason why their new home of Island Records didn’t change a single thing about their debut album before releasing it. And there’s a reason why they’re on the cover of the very first Dork. Spring King know their voice, so listen up. “We just want to smash it, basically,” starts Tarek Musa on a rare day off from tour. It’s the start of a long summer of festivals and the band are just finishing off a headline run that’s been “a real eye-opener. We played Guildford last night and it was just non-stop circle pits and people going wild. I just wasn’t expecting it. None of us were.” Visiting cities they’ve never been, let alone played a show in, Pete Darlington, Andy Morton, James Green and Tarek are finding it all a bit crazy. “It’s just nonstop at the moment,” grins Tarek, with Pete adding: “It’s slowly dawning on us that people are hearing our music, which is great.” With the release of album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’, it’s an idea Spring King are going to have to get used to. And fast. Full of character and sure of itself, the debut full-length from Springers is an exercise in conviction. Taking the scrappy energy and hunger from their two EPs (2014’s ‘Demons’ and 2015’s ‘They’re Coming After You’) onto a bigger stage and cutting it with an assertive direction, the record captures a band who know what they want.

l l a s i d n a “This b g n i m a e r about sc ” . o g g n i t t and le 22

As with all the best stories though, it wasn’t always that way. Starting off as a solo project that wasn’t going to leave the studio, Tarek “never wanted to get a band together.” However, once he was a few tracks deep, Pete heard them and thought otherwise. “I forced him to. They were that good.” What followed was a revolving line up until they poached their childhood friend Andy from another band and found James through a Facebook request for a bass player. “He didn’t even play bass but he responded, he came to our first rehearsal and was really into it. Now we’re solid as hell.” The group has always had a belief in Spring King. “When I heard those first demos, straight away I thought that this was going to be a good band,” explains Pete. “I hate watching videos of us playing, but I

was watching old videos of us and even two and a half years ago, we were really taking it quite seriously.” There was a sense that “this can go places”, and the band put everything into making it work. Plus a little extra. Supporting Courtney Barnett on tour at the start of last year, Tarek came down with a chest infection but refused to quit. “We still had to play because it was such a great opportunity,” he explains. “We were all getting really sick because we were in my mum’s car. We borrowed her car, we could barely fit any of the equipment in and we’d just hope that the other bands there would lend us their drums. There was a genuine fear.” Upgrading to a hired van a few months later for a more expansive run supporting Slaves and Spector, because it was the only way to make it work, the band swapped health concerns for money ones. “We took the financial hit. We had to if we were going to carry on and keep going. It’s better to keep going and get in debt than it is to just stop and turn down a really amazing opportunity, because you can cover it somehow. In the past we’ve all had jobs or I had a credit card that we would slam a lot of costs onto. We found our way. Deal with the struggle, the backlash and the financial burden later.” That gruelling trial quickly forged Spring King’s conviction into something permanent and tangible. Ignoring the growing sea of eyes watching them, the band went into the record with one goal in mind. “I try and ignore the pressure because I think it would be debilitating for me. I would freeze like a rabbit in headlights. I know there is an expectation but I think, as long as we’re happy with it, that’s all that matters.” It’s why their eclectic debut album manages to be so cohesive. “When we started making the record it’s the first time that, for me, I really knew what this band was,” admits Pete. “It was the first time I really knew what we were trying to do, because in the past there’s been quite a lot of experimentation.” The band may have started with songs like ‘Avocado City’, full of strange drum grooves, and the left-field ‘Sticks’, but they’ve slowly “turned into this slightly different thing. With the record we’ve

finally captured what we wanted to do. It just took us a little while to get there.” Not only did ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ see the band lock down their intentions, it also saw them leaving their home studio (a converted bathroom in Tarek’s home) for something a little more professional. Spring King had three weeks to record their debut album because that’s all they could afford. Going into the Chapel Studios at the tail end of last year with a bunch of songs ready to go, the band quickly found inspiration from their new-found surroundings and started writing other songs. “Those took precedent over the songs we thought we were going to put on the album. It was a bit unexpected,” which has led to “a few unexpected numbers on the album.” Together with a year’s worth of demos, committed to an iPhone and left to simmer, the band set about systematically compiling ‘Tell Me If You Like To’. “It’s a quick process, we try and not spend too much time perfecting each part.” Working bit-by-bit from the ground up as the band juggled day jobs, Spring King recorded everything in two or three takes and in a deliberate order. “Financially, recording in a studio was a big thing. We got a grant for a couple of grand from the PRS for Music Foundations and we knew this was our only shot with money. We had to make the most of the time.” While some bands have the funds to take their time and experiment, Spring King simply didn’t. Coming off one tour, playing a show with Mac DeMarco and then heading into the studio, the band had these few weeks to get it done, before giving themselves a single day off and then heading back out for two months of solid touring. “Oh god, that was insane,” says Pete, looking back. “We’re idiots.” “Whenever I hear that album or I look at pictures we took from the sessions, I’ll always remember it for what it was and that’s great. The nI “Ca t h e next album will probably r ow ? ” r o b 8 be different. And the one rt m shi

after that will be different as well. For me, I always want to keep it as cheap as possible but as good as it can be,” says Tarek, relishing a challenge. “When you’ve got limitations, you always do weird things to try and get that sound you want. I’m used to that. Of course you have to try out different things, but you’ve got to commit. You have to say ‘Yeah, we’re going this way.’” True to their word, the band controlled the sessions and even turned one of the upstairs rooms of the residential studio into a place to record. Why? Because it’s where they felt comfortable. “But you’ve

“There’s still a lot of old material. There are a lot of songs that never made the album that are great tracks, that we’ll probably put out at some point. Just do some specials, maybe for some shows. If you come to a show, there’s vinyl on sale that you can only get at the show, stuff like that. We don’t have these crazy strategies, there are no rules which is interesting for a major because I thought there’d be loads of rules. Put out whatever we want. It might fail.”

“ Yr b e tte r o ff w it h Osca r on p age 46 t b h .”

got £50,000 worth of mics downstairs?” came the confused cry of the studio’s owner. It was met with little more than a shrug from the band. Spring King do what they want, and they do it well. “That sense of conviction is important, especially in bands,” grins James. “The best bands have always just given so much and that sense of conviction, they almost force you to believe in what they’re doing and proper grab you by the haunches. I like that. I like that about the record. Really aggressive vocal takes and cut up guitar sounds.” “I like to think it’ll inspire them to want to do music themselves,” suggests Andy of the album’s impact, while Tarek expands: “I want people to read the lyrics and, if they go away thinking ‘I’m not the only one who thinks like that’, then that’s brilliant. A lot of the record is about exploring the self. There’s a lot of coming of age, figuring out what you want to be and what you want to do with your life. When I was 16, I was so uncertain of myself and I wanted to write something that basically says it’s alright. You can be whatever you want to be. I want people to go away and think I’m not alone in having these kind of anxieties. But also, I want them to thrash about to it in their bedroom. Put it up to ten.” That realisation of finding your voice is something the band know well. Tarek was brought up on a diet of Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison, Pete was exposed to jazz from an early age and subsequently rebelled, finding solace in Nirvana and a cassette Tarek gave him on the first day of secondary school with NOFX on one side and At The Drive-In on the other - “I remember going home, putting it on and my mind was literally blown. Ever since then, music’s been pretty much everything,” he says. James, on the other hand, started learning piano at the age of six and fell asleep every night with his dad blaring old punk records downstairs before (begrudgingly, at first) finding the likes of Pavement, American Football and The Avalanches through friends at school. And for Andy, the blame falls entirely on Pete and Tarek. “I wouldn’t have played any tunes if it wasn’t for those two. One day Pete asked me to join the first band they were in, just play some rhythm


Get Inuit

Members: Jamie, Ollie, James & Rob From: Kent, UK It’s safe to safe Get Inuit have made an impression on Spring King. Not only are they wearing their t-shirts in photo shoots, they’ve just taken them on a UK tour and have already signed them up for another later this year. Packing their own arsenal of “dirty indie guitar pop” (their description, not ours), it’s easy to see why they’re such a perfect fit. Listen: guitar for a laugh and I said yes. A week later he booked a gig. I went in at the deep end, but I managed to do that. And the clarinet solo as well,” he adds with a smirk. “I can’t play clarinet either.” “It was this experimental noise thing,” explains Tarek, trying to offer some clarity to the situation. “We were 16. I don’t know what people thought it was like though.” “I thought it was incredible at the time,” smiles Pete. “We’ve all got these weird tastes and this band is all about screaming and letting go,” reasons Tarek, with Pete adding: “The one thing that ties it all together is the love of good melodies and good songs. Different sounds but always a good melody, always a hook.” And from the start, despite the experimentation and the discovery, that’s always been the goal. “I’m a big fan of the Beach Boys and that’s one of the main reasons I started Spring King,” says Tarek. “I heard their music and thought it was insane because it’s got all these poppy backing tracks, It’s really up-tempo and you can dance to it but what you don’t realise is that Brian Wilson is singing about depression and a lot of challenging subjects, especially later on with ‘Pet Sounds’. I wanted to have an element of that, where you can dance to it but it’s also lyrically moving and accessible.

through quite a journey of different identity questions, that song had to be the end. We felt the lyric ‘heaven is when you know yourself’ was the right way to finish the record.” “Pete didn’t want to put that song on the record, he was quite unsure of it,” starts Tarek, before Pete takes the lead. “It’s a very old song, I wrote that song five years ago, I was living in New York, I was absolutely battered and I got home at four in the morning,” he pauses as the group’s laughter swells. “At the time I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor and I remember just lying down, spinning out, and that came into my head. I felt like, at that point, I was content with who I was. I used to keep a journal every single night, I wrote that and that was the beginning of the song.” “It’s this struggle the whole way through and then at the end, there’s a sense of relief. It’s the perfect ending for the album,” ventures Tarek who, on the flip side was unsure if his Beach Boysmeets-Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Dancing In The Dark’ ode to summer (‘The Summer’) was right for the record until Pete convinced him otherwise. From the very beginning, Spring King have pushed each other to trust in themselves. Their debut sees that self-belief come to life.

“There’s not a lot of challenging lyrics but if you dig through it, it’s talking about things like anxieties and depression because I know a lot of people who, growing up, had a really tough time and I wanted to channel all these experiences into the album. I’m totally cool with letting it be out there because it shouldn’t be a taboo.”

“The album’s got songs on it that are better than anything that’s been out before,” starts Pete. “We’ll always have a song like ‘City’ which was a breakthrough track and that’s great. ‘Who Are You?’ did a similar thing. We were unsure about ‘Rectifier’ being the first single off the album but the response has been crazy. The album’s really strong and ‘City’ is an important song for us, but there are other songs on there that I think people will connect with equally as well.”

And after nine tracks asking questions about where they fit in, Spring King’s debut album ends with the stark realisation of ‘Heaven’. “After going

Following the relentless recording of the album, Spring King agrees. “We can do this. We can do a good job of it and we’re inspired for what the future holds,”


“ I wa n t e d t o w r it e s o m e t h in g t h a t b a s ic a ll y s a ys it ’s a lr ig h t . Yo u c a n b e w h a t eve r yo u wa n t t o b e .” reasons Pete. “There was some really interesting, creative moments in the studio which would be great to build on.” Sharing feelings of open doors, Spring King don’t know what the future holds exactly, but they’re looking towards it. “I don’t know what successful is anymore,” starts Pete as the band, sat in their van driving around East London, discuss sales, venue sizes and online reactions. “All I know is when you’ve got more people coming to the shows, that’s the real signifier of how well it’s going.” “We don’t want to let anyone down, so we take it seriously when we’re on stage,” admits Tarek. “People are paying to come and watch us four fuck ups make music. We’re not a serious band onstage but we have a huge respect for people coming out of their way. We gave it all we had last night. And the night before. And the night before that. That’s part of our role, I wouldn’t call it a job or work, it’s just part of what we do. We have to give back the respect that fans are giving to us. If someone’s going to part ways with money for a vinyl, or a t-shirt, if they’re paying for a ticket. “When I was a kid that’s all I did. You go to shows and you’d be so excited to see the bands. I loved it when the band gave it the best you had because I’ve never forgotten it. I can’t forget the original Sum 41 shows I went to. Or Papa Roach. Or Alien Ant Farm. Or the

Mars Volta. Dead Kennedys. All that stuff. I used to leave so buzzing for weeks, it’s inspirational,” he reflects, before Pete asks him about an RX Bandits show they went to and off they go down memory lane. “You’d go home and you’d just want to play music. You’d want to be in that band. We’re not the most rock’n’roll band, but we just like playing hard and hanging out with people.” “It really is the greatest joy being on stage. I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true,” adds Andy. Spring King “don’t want to own a mansion”, in fact they’re moving at such a pace it’s easier for them to add things to their bucket list after they’ve happened. Playing New York’s CMJ, tick. Playing Germany, tick. (Both of which were meant to come with tattoos to celebrate the achievement.) Playing Jools Holland, tick. “As long as we played a rocking show, I’m happy,” grins Tarek. “It’s a weird one because our aspirations are just to play better, play better shows and just see more and more people smiling. I’m content. I’m content just playing shows. Things like Jools Holland are the cherry on the cake, but there’s going to be a million more cherries.” He pauses. “Hopefully there’ll be so many I’m not going to be able to eat any more cherries.” P Spring King’s debut album ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ is out now.


The Big Moon They might be Big now, but pretty soon they’ll be massive. Words: Jamie Muir “We should really have practised this kind of thing by now.” There’s something effortlessly wonderful about The Big Moon. Whether it’s the fact their music is a delectable blend of Pixiesesque garage pop, that they appeared out of nowhere with a bang or their infectious love for being in a band and all that it entails, they’re pretty fucking special. And we definitely want to be in their gang. “When you start being in a band it’s very much ‘Ahh cool - people like this. Ahh wow - people are coming along to see us! And then this other cool thing happened, and then this!” It’s a pattern that the Mooners are sure to experience more

“Having strangers turn up and want to see you it’s mental.”

and more of, after bursting onto the scene early last year with a true ‘Eureka Moment’ and following that with a number of acclaimed releases, it’s the seeds of a blossoming garden that’s been confirmed with latest single ‘Cupid’. They’re definitely not just another guitar band. Coming together in London after lead singer and lyricist Juliette “Jules” Jackson put up an advert for similarlyminded musicians, it’s resulted in one of the most exciting and instantly relatable bands of recent times, morphing a down-toearth grittiness that’s both polished and packed full of sweet harmonious hits. “We could only come from London - it’s hard for bands if you’re from anywhere else in the UK, which a lot of interesting bands are, as everyone goes through the city and naturally it seems to be the big show everyone talks about, even though maybe it shouldn’t be.” Bassist Celia Archer looks back on their formation as a real moment of fate, and one that saw everyone connect in perfect harmony with the music that influences them. “When I started playing I could kind of tell what music we all like - but I don’t think we consciously look to sound a certain way. Knowing what she likes, the songs makes sense, but it’s never derivative. We all like totally different music, so

there’s a huge range to the venn diagram of our music taste, it all feeds into how it comes out on stage” It’s perfectly encapsulated in ‘The Road’, their debut and only EP so far, packed full of menacing charm, swagger, sweet pop hooks-a-plenty and a real statement of intent as to who The Big Moon really are. Naturally it has set the internet alive with comparisons galore. “We have a lot of random comparisons which I don’t often agree with,” adds lead guitarist Soph Nathan. “We get compared to a lot of female bands which we don’t really sound like, so we’re never really worried about it as people will say what they’re going to say. If it makes people come and listen to us, then that’s great! I always struggle when people want to ask, and I end up saying ‘Well, come and see what you think!’ Like, do tell me!” And come they have. Early 2016 saw the band head out on their very first UK Headline tour, a momentous landmark that wasn’t lost on Celia. “It was so scary, like it’s throwing your own party and you’re thinking PLEASE, IS ANYONE GOING TO COME!? but playing places likes Newcastle and Glasgow, where we know absolutely nobody - having genuine strangers turn up and want to see you - it’s mental.” For Soph, the realisation

hit at the very last moment. “I only realised just before that first show as we were about to go on, that all these people were here because they mainly wanted to see us. It’s really nice to go to these different places and see that there’s actually people there who enjoy our music.” Not for the first time, The Big Moon have taken on the biggest stages, with huge recent support slots for bands such as The Vaccines and The Maccabees, the latter really striking a chord with the Londoners. “You play with bands like The Maccabees, who’ve been going now for like ten years, and you’re in these incredible venues with people yelling along to songs that have been out for such a period of time, with huge emotional moments. You can’t help but want that.” In a twist of fate, The Big Moon now find themselves family with the Elephant And Castle heroes, having recently signed to Fiction Records who’ve been “incredibly supportive” with their mission to the stars. “It gives us that support to do the kind of stuff that we haven’t been able to do up to now, there’s so much stuff you have to do aside from turning up to play a gig, it spreads the load about a bit,” notes Soph, while Celia sees the influential label as that reassurance which can take them to the next level.

Members: Søren, Villads, Vilhelm & Tobias From: Aarhus, Denmark When a new band is signed to XL Recordings, it’s usually enough to make people sit up and pay attention. Where “It’s good to ask these Liss are concerned, the people what they think is justified. of interest certain things - not Their EP ‘First’ marks out a band with because we’re suddenly going just jump andplaces the to potential to go dofast, whatwith everyone plentysays, of room still but it’s when someone to grow. Expect to hear a lot says something and more,had very soon. you’ve that feeling in Listen: your for ages and if they’re saying it and they’re someone we respect and admire then it tells us to listen to that feeling in our gut more!” It’s all building towards their highly anticipated debut album, which they’d ideally like to have out by this time next year. “We want to have it out and touring it - hopefully getting over to America too, really want to go there,” enthuses Celia. To satisfy our taste-buds before then is a string of summer festival appearances and another UK tour in the pipeline for later in the year, including a huge night at London’s Scala. “If in ten years people still want to come and see us and want to sing along, that would be unbelievable,” notes Celia. “As long as they’re having a good time and we are too.” “We won’t be having our own individual tour buses,” clarifies Soph. “That’d be horrible.” Bad news for tour bus operators is welcome news to us. The Big Moon are on a planet of their own. P





Diet Cig They may have the attention of all the cool kids, but Diet Cig just want to have fun. Words: Ali Shutler.


iet Cig are excited. Constantly, completely and wholeheartedly excited about everything they do, whether it’s posing for photos underneath a train station, bouncing about their stage to a ‘sloppop’ soundtrack of their own making or just being given some strawberry bubblegum, they’re here for a good time. And it’s infectious. “Just be yourself, have fun and dance like a stupid idiot ‘cause it makes you feel good,” beams Alex Luciano. “That’s what we’re doing. We hope if we’re having fun and dancing around then that energy will be contagious. Maybe people will forget about all the stupid shit that’s happening to them for half an hour.” Instead of worrying, Diet Cig are proof that “you can be exciting, you can have fun and you can say your own feelings. You don’t have to hide behind any sort of mask or pretend


to be someone you’re not.” And most importantly, you don’t have to care if your dances moves are cool or not. “I don’t want to be considered one of the cool bands,” continues Noah Bowman. “I don’t want to be cool. We won’t be wearing like, crazy outfits unless there’s a cause for it.” “I like wearing crazy outfits,” interrupts Alex with a smirk. “We’re just normal people having fun. There’s not a wall between the stage and the crowd, we do all the things they do, we just have a way to share what we’re feeling and hopefully people are listening.” And they are. Since the release of their ‘Over Easy’ EP at the start of last year, it’s been non-stop for Diet Cig. They’ve found time to put together the ‘Sleep Talk’ single but apart from that, it’s all systems go. “Performing is so fun. It’s just such a rush,” starts Alex before briefly adopting a hyper-American accent. “Oh my god, I’m on stage and everyone’s looking at me for thirty minutes. It’s my show,” she sings. “I’m slowly learning how to play guitar more and it’s so satisfying when you learn a new part. It’s like painting but you don’t see it, you hear it. I didn’t grow up as a musician so I’m just finding the joy of it now.” By comparison Noah is a seasoned pro. “It’s definitely cool starting this because playing in bands before, everyone’s been a musician their

whole life and they get bitter ‘cause they’ve been doing it for so long. When we started this, Alex was so wide-eyed. I could see that she was going to be so into this. Other people I’ve played with were only doing music ‘cause it’s all they knew how to do. We’re doing this because we enjoy doing it.”

“I don’t want to be considered

If you needed further proof of just how different their musical upbringings were, turn to their earliest memory of making music. Noah’s is joining his twin brother in his dad’s studio aged four, singing the jingle that the monkeys in the first Rugrats Movie chant (‘Witch Doctor’ by The Cartoonz, if you’re curious). “I can’t remember the song or I’d sing it to you,” he promises, as Alex beams: “that’s so cute though.” Alex’s is learning guitar aged 15. A guy that worked with her step-dad would come over once a week to teach her to play little songs, “but it would just turn into everyone hanging out. It’s really cool how it started this better friendship, they’re now best friends with our family.” Regardless of when they were introduced to music, both Alex and Noah have grown up with it breeding connections that last a lifetime. Diet Cig sees that blossom.

one of the cool bands.” “At shows we’ve been getting fans excited to see us. That fuels us because it means something to somebody. When you’re driving for eight hours to the next show, you can forget why you’re doing it but then you get to a show and see all these people and realise ‘oh, you guys like it too’. We’re all on the same page,” offers Noah, as Alex adds: “I feel like we’re starting to realise we’re making something that’s bigger than us. And it’s so crazy. Holy cow, our stupid little songs resonate with so many people and it’s such an amazing, validating, driving force to keep making music. We have so many feelings and so much to share, and to get that response from so many awesome, amazing kids who can relate too… holy hell what we say matters. People want to hear us shout about boys and stupid shit like that, it’s really exciting to have those feelings and have those feelings validated by loads of people.” Pouring fuel on the fire sees Diet Cig getting excited for what comes next.

“As we progress, there’s different levels of success that we’re seeing and I want that. As any proud, motivated people would, it just encourages us to work harder and keep doing our thing in an honest, passionate way.” With a gap forced into their schedule, Alex is stoked, “to get home and just lock myself in the studio and write some more songs. I’ve got so many pieces floating around my head after this whole year of touring. I’m so ready to get in there and start pumping out some awesome songs.” “We’re just going to write, record and have something done. That is our mission, that is our goal,” declares Noah. With a couple of new ’uns already sneaking into the set that talk about sleeping with someone with the same name and how “it’s hard to be a punk while wearing a skirt”, the band aren’t losing their unabashed honesty. “We just want to keep having fun. The more we keep having fun and are genuine with it, the more successful we’ll get anyway. We’re just dancing around like idiots,” laughs Alex. “We’re just so eternally grateful, everyone’s been so generous with their love. It’s so overwhelming. I just want to throw a party for everyone and say, ‘Thank you for letting Diet Cig be a thing’,” she shouts, arms aloft. “I don’t want to come over here and mope around,” reasons Noah, before he turns to Alex and grins. “I’m excited, are you excited?” P


Creeper Creeper aren’t

aback, all of us have been.”

just a band.

“My life’s completely transformed. I’m getting to do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do. All I’ve ever wanted to do is make records but now, someone’s paying me to make records and I am getting to tour the world with my best friends. I feel really blessed and as hippy-ish and stupid as it sounds, it’s a dream come true. I’m absolutely over the moon with what people have been allowing us to do.”

They’re a cult. Words: Ali

O Shutler.

nce again Creeper’s Will Gould is in disbelief. Since the start of last year, the band has been steadily getting bigger and bigger. Through relentless touring and a trio of theatrical, heart-driven EPs, Creeper have fast become the darlings of the punk world and they’re now on the cusp of spilling over. “It’s getting beyond what we could have ever imagine it to be. I’ve been really taken

Through their music, Creeper have quickly established a sense of community. “Having a place to go that’s not your bedroom and having a place that you can feel at home was really important to me

Black Foxxes

when I was younger. So, the ability to provide a show and an environment that’s safe for those kids to go to, I’m really proud of that accomplishment. I’m really glad people have allowed us to be that band for them.” Beyond the shows though, the Creeper Cult still exists. “When we started with ‘The Callous Heart’ [the band’s second EP and the name of that logo that you’ve probably seen on the back of jackets and tattooed on skin], the idea was that it was an invented street gang and now, life is imitating art because they exist. People patch up, go to town and hang out in groups together. That’s so rad.” Despite the band’s jackets falling apart (and smelling


terrible - thanks for sharing that Will), The Callous Heart isn’t going anywhere for a while. “We’ll have this for a long time but when it’s right to move on from it, I suppose we would. But I don’t see us doing that anytime soon because we love it all.” However, change is afoot. Annoyed he can’t say more, Will does explain: “Creeper are working on a project at the moment that is very top secret. I’m not in a position to let you know the ins and outs and what’s having a direct effect on it but there’s a lot of things we’re digesting all the time. Yes, it’s much bigger than music. It’s very ambitious and I’m very excited about it.” You can bet he’s not the only one. P

Sunflower Bean

Members: Haley, Lasse, Halvard &

Members: Mark, Tristan & Ant

Members: Max & Julien

Members: Jacob, Julia & Nick


From: Exeter, UK

From: Chicago, US

From: Long Island/Manhattan, US

From: Stavanger, Norway

With a debut album to come later this

One part ex-Smith Western, one part

Shimmering guitar rock doesn’t often

The artists formally known as Slutface

summer, Black Foxxes already look set

former Unknown Mortal Orchestra,

find its way into the more populist

may have changed their name, but

to join a UK underground rock elite

Whitney’s buzz has built to the point

parts of music town, but when

they’re sure as heck not going to swap

that’s starting to make serious waves.

their debut album already has some

National BBC Radio 1 started playing

up their infectious, in-your-face sound.

With an aim to play what comes

talking about their end of year lists.

out Sunflower Bean’s immediate

A sugar rush packed with fishing

naturally, as loud as possible and with

It’s no huge surprise, either. ‘Light

fuzz rush ‘Come On’ during daytime

hooks and razor blades, they’re both

absolutely no gimmicks involved,

Upon The Lake’ already sounds like a

broadcasts earlier this year, it made

sharp and oh-so-sweet.

expect big things.

modern classic in waiting.

perfect sense. Infectious and ace.






Shura Shot With Shura’s debut album

about to drop, a proper pop


star is born. t’s the internet age. Everything is available at the click of a button, or tap of a screen, and everything is instant. So what happens when you post a YouTube video and, frankly, the response is mad? People expect more.

The year is 2014. Shura has posted ‘Touch’, a song and video so well crafted that the natural expectation was that it was the first snippet of a bigger picture. At the very least, it was so enjoyable that people at least hoped there was more ready to be unveiled. But there wasn’t an album, there wasn’t more than a few bits and bobs that Shura had been working on. But now there was a real want. “People thought that because it was so fully formed and perfect in its own rough way, they were expecting an album announcement to be around the corner,” explains Shura, “or that I already had recorded it, or had a record deal. It wasn’t these things, it was just a demo that I had put out and I wasn’t prepared for the expectation or the attention that it got. All I had was a couple of other songs that I was happy with but even they weren’t finished - they were still in the middle of being produced. “I could recognise that there was more attention and there probably was more pressure [in making an album] but I don’t think I felt it


emotionally, because I was like they’re just going to have to wait. I haven’t finished it, haven’t got a record deal or a publishing deal so they’re just going to have to chill.” So, without fear or worry, Shura took a step back. Where many could have rushed an album out in the shadow of a hit, she worked on her album as she pleased, using it as an opportunity to learn along the way. “I had never played a synthesiser until played one on ‘Touch’,” she notes, “so, I went from being someone who had never touched a synthesiser to being able to programme one [during the writing and recording process]. “I think I have definitely got better and you can hear it in the record. There are songs which if you played them to me two years ago and said you will produce that, I would have been like no way. I really have pushed myself to learn as much as possible and experiment with sound, and be that person who will spend a whole day making sure the guitar sounds how I wanted it to sound in my brain. That’s a difficult thing: you can have an idea of how you want things to sound in your mind but making that happen is a totally different thing. A lot of the time, invariably you fail but you fail in a really interesting way so that you find something you didn’t realise you wanted, but actually you prefer. So it’s just about me exploring my boundaries and, I guess, my capabilities. “For me, this record is the best that I can do at this point in my life. Maybe my second record will be better or maybe it will be 100 times worse. Got to sell a few of the first record before we realise what the second one will

Words: Heather McDaid. sound like!” ‘Touch’ caused a lot of things to fall into place. On top of an album, people sought gigs, and that she could do with a few more songs in tow. Some songs were written in her bedroom, others tested early on in that live setting and formed further for the album later. “People were like, ‘Well when are you gigging?’. Well, let me write three more songs and maybe I can do a cover as well, and then I can sort of charge people £7 for the shortest show ever. “At the end of the record-making process I wrote with Greg Kurstin, which was mental because he is probably one of the most prolific and successful songwriters of the moment. In a sense I’ve made a bedroom pop record but in places I’ve worked with one of the most famous pop writers in the world. I don’t know how I’ve managed to do both at the same time, but I have.” From bedroom jams to collaborating with the best in the world, Shura keeps it relatable. Title track ‘Nothing’s Real’ is a particularly important song for her about a panic attack that she had. “It was the first one I’ve ever had and it’s about a big change in my life, coming to terms with that I have anxiety, but it’s sort of a disco number so I guess that that’s sort of my personality.” One half more serious “but also a massive joker. It kind of works because it’s such a serious subject but it’s also really happy.” She has always written about herself - it was a no brainer that the bad or scary makes it in there with the good, even when it’s a subject that can still feel too sensitive to touch for many. “Whatever you experience in life is fodder for what your write about, whether it’s a traumatic break

up or having a really, really massive crush on someone and not being sure whether they like you back... it was really exciting for me to have something to write about that wasn’t me fancying someone and them not liking me! That’s what most of my songs are about - that was an exciting moment for me to delve into something that is maybe a bit different. “[Anxiety is] not something everyone writes about because not everyone experiences it, and people don’t really like to talk about being vulnerable in that way. It’s fine to vulnerable, I guess, sexually, vulnerable in a relationship. But to feel fragile mentally is still something that people find difficult to talk about. It definitely is changing. I think postAmy Winehouse, the music industry has realised that it has to look at an artist holistically - it can’t be like we need you to write hits and sell records. All people can be fragile and becoming a musician is personal to you. They have all the attention on them for no real reason other than they are doing something they like doing. These are strange things for a person to go through and the tides are turning.” Shura is an artist who won’t be pigeon-holed. She wants to do something different on every record because artists like Madonna, who evolve from one record to the next, are her kind of artists. “For me, I wanted make a pop record that sounded incredibly personal but still had universal ideas and emotions and can speak for everyone. That was the challenge - stuff that’s very specific to me and could only have been written by me, but somebody who’s in the middle of Mexico or the Philippines or America can relate to as well.” While she looks to evolve, for now this snapshot showcases personal pop. Though the world hoped for instantaneous new music, even she herself was surprised by having to wait further between her album’s completion and release. “I spent January just finishing off the record, then realised I had to wait another four months before I could actually put it out, which I hadn’t anticipated. “I hadn’t anticipated how weird that would feel. It’s like handing in your homework and waiting to be marked - you want to know whether you’ve got an A, B or C, and you’re like, ‘Come on now’.” does at last say **YES**, and more so, it’s fair to say that she should expect a fairly high grade from this piece of homework, one that simply says: “Hi, I’m Shura. I’ve made what I think and I hope is a good pop record from my bedroom, and I hope people like it.” P Shura’s debut album ’Nothing’s Real’ is out 8th July.


“It’s like handing your homework in and waiting to be marked.” 29

Global rule and shows in space Black Honey have it all nailed down. Words: Ali Shutler


o say Black Honey are having an alright time is a bit of an understatement. “It’s a dream,” starts frontwoman Izzy B. Phillips. “Life at the moment is absolutely crazy, and it feels like we’re living some weird, really badly written film.” “Like if we tried to write a film,” offers bassist Tommy Taylor. The pair are sat in their local, sharing a vegetarian platter ahead of another hectic Great Escape weekend in their hometown, Brighton.

But the band, rounded off by guitarist Chris Ostler and drummer Tom Dewhurst, are used to hectic. It’s all they’ve known for the past twelve months. “It’s quite a lot to take in when you think how many years we’ve been locked away in a studio, writing songs, being on the dole or whatever and it’s gone from nothing to touring constantly,” explains Izzy. “Busy busy busy. It’s everything we’ve ever dreamt of but it’s so fast, you almost forget that. It’s mayhem. We’ve been to Europe like, seven times, we went to Dubai, we played Milan fashion week, we made an EP, we’ve all been doing our jobs as well.” The whirlwind has left the band feeling “like anything can happen now and we’ll be fine,” but from the off, Black Honey has felt different.

a gig on the

“It’s the only coherent thing we’ve ever done together. The bands we were in before, me and Izz just pissed about. It’s about finding yourself and what you want to do but when we started Black Honey, it just naturally grew into this thing that four people have this shared vision for.”


And as for what’s next: “We’re working that out at

“We want to take over the world and play

the moment,” admits Tommy. “We’ve been writing a load recently. We’ve got loads of stuff half-recorded so we’ve got this half-finished backlog. We’re working out what to put out next. Hopefully we’ll be putting music out in early autumn. That’s the plan, but knowing us… we don’t do very well with plans. We’ve got one eye on an album as well. We’ve always wanted to take our time with it, it’s that cliche but you only get one shot at your first record. It’s your first big impression.” “It’s an evolving idea, our album. Every time we think we know what it’s going to be, we’ll write a few more songs and it takes another turn.” The band want to enjoy their festival-heavy summer and see what they write off the back of that. There’s a trip to Japan the band are particularly looking forward to (“it seems the most alien. We’ve never been anywhere like that.”) with their hearts set on experiencing cat cafes, robot toilets, Hello Kitty and Manga: “I’m not sure how much cat cafes and robot toilets will influence our songs, but you never know.” The band are being tentative with locking down an outline with their debut


The Magic Gang

A band in control,

full-length, because “we want to make it the best thing we ever make so if we die the day the album is released, it doesn’t matter ‘cause we gave it absolutely everything.” “Well, our mums would be sad,” replies Tommy, but Izzy’s mind isn’t for changing: “It’s what they can remember us by,” she says with a wicked grin. “We want to take over the world and play a gig on the moon.” P

Black Honey

The Magic Gang are having fun. Words: Ali Shutler. “The Magic Gang feels a bit like The Avengers,” starts frontman Jack Kaye. “Four superheroes working together to make super music.” And while guitarist Kris Smith, bassist Gus Taylor, drummer Paeris Giles and Jack may not technically have super powers (or costumes), they do form a formidable team. “This band feels like more of a shared thing. It’s a democracy,” he continues. And that sense of unity runs rampant throughout The Magic Gang’s music. Melodic, captivating and swirling, the band are four pendulums swinging in perfect symmetry. Starting life with Jack and Kris writing a song together, recruiting Paeris and convincing Gus to pick up a bass for the first time, The Magic Gang put a song on YouTube. People loved it, and the four “figured we should probably do this more often.” A handful of singles and ‘The Magic Gang’ EP soon followed and now, after figuring things out, the band have a clearer idea of their next attack plan. Despite the audience’s reaction driving their decision to chase this band, The Magic Gang aren’t here to pander. “We’re trying to stay one step ahead of what people expect. It’s important


With all their bouncing around, The Magic Gang have quickly discovered what feels right for them. “We’re doing an EP at the moment, which we can hopefully put out this year but I imagine when we do our album, it’ll sound more like this EP than anything else. It won’t be something else again. We’ve gone from 90s influences to 70s and now we’re going back to the 60s again. You go on this massive journey of sounds and you end up back where you started. That’s a necessary journey though,” explains Chris. Despite their ever-growing backlog of songs, the band are careful with what they share. “We have total creative freedom,” offers Gus. “We can do whatever we want. We could put out a song tomorrow if we wanted but it’s about playing it smart and being selective. Everything we put out, we want people to pay attention to.” “Everything we do is so exposing. Every song is belted out because we’ve got a bit of confidence in what we’re writing,” adds Jack, with Chris venturing: “The songs are catchy. People can just take it. It’s there, just have it.” With music that’s “escapist and euphoric”, the band just want people to have fun. “You put our songs on and they put you in a good mood; that’s what we listen to music for. I don’t think any of us are very indulgent. We love Elliott Smith but 99% of the time we stick a tune on ‘cause it’s sick or it’s got a great chorus.” Amongst wanting to become a tighter live act, write lyrics with more meaning and visit more amazing places, The Magic Gang want to make music that they’d like if they weren’t in the band. “Direct and straight to the point, there’s no hiding.” That’s how The Magic Gang sound. That’s what The Magic Gang are. It’s truly something to marvel at. P

Milk Teeth Making the world a better place. Through rock, obv. Words: Ali

J Shutler.

anuary saw Milk Teeth lose a member and release their debut album. “It was like starting over,” as Billy Hutton joined Becky Blomfield, Chris Webb and Oli Holbrook for a tour that lasted ninety days and took them around Europe, North America and the UK. They’ve been home less than a week, Billy is now an official member (“you can have the exclusive”) and they’re already itching to show off what’s next. “Everything felt right when Billy joined,” continues Becky. ”It felt like how it always should have done but maybe didn’t.” With Milk

“We’re a fun band. We like having fun.”

Teeth all back on the same page, “We’re a fun band. We have our serious side, we have our serious songs but at the end of the day, we like having fun and Bill, he gets that,” they’re a fiercely united force. “We’re not about being trendy or cool. We’re about having fun,” explains Chris. “You don’t sit down to write music in a format. If we write a song and we like it, we’ll play it. It doesn’t matter what people categorises it as, and Bill really understands that. I feel like this is how it was meant to sound,” he adds before pausing. “I just wish he was on the album.” “Album two is going to be so great,” interjects Oli with a grin. Not that the band are done with ‘Vile Child’ just yet. After all, they’ve only just got their head around the fact people like the record thanks to a UK headline tour that was “chaos every night.” “When we get reviews, it doesn’t sink in. I’m like, ‘Who are they paying to say that?’ The headline tour for me confirmed we did something good because seeing that reaction, people give a shit. People have gone and listened to this album. People are interested and that really hit it home for


to maintain the elements that people like, but do something that’s fresh and unexpected with them. In an exciting way, not an alienating way.”


me,” offers Becky. “We’ve progressed so much,” reflects Chris as the band reel off a seemingly never-ending stream of highlights from the past three months. “We’ve set the bar really fucking high for ourselves.” The band already have too many songs, a bunch of riffs and some more ideas for album two and they “can’t wait to show people a better album. We’re excited to show what we can do now. We all love ‘Vile Child’ but for us, we can do better than that,” promises Chris. “What else have we got? What else can we bring?” smiles Becky, looking forward to new challenges. It’s a view she’s grown accustomed to this year. Now the band’s de facto frontperson (a role she used to share), she’s quickly stepped up to the plate as a leader and a role model, with the rest of the band firmly behind her. “I feel like I have more of a voice since I’ve been thrust into the middle.” Talking openly and candidly about issues of mental health and self-acceptance, she “just wants to look after everybody and I never want anybody to feel as alone as I have before.” Milk Teeth don’t want the world, they just want to help make it a better place. There’s a simple rule they now live by: “Be fun, but have a conscious.” Sign us up. P

Members: Tom, Charlie, Josh, Joe & Myles From: Stockport, UK There aren’t that many ‘traditional British indie bands’ around in 2016, but that’s exactly Blossoms’ MO. Finding themselves catapulted onto the start of year tip lists, the Northern five piece don’t reinvent the wheel, they’re on the very inside edges of counter culture with heady pop ambition. Listen:


Members: Will & Matt From: London, UK When Formation first crossed the ears of tastemakers and pulse-feelers, the comparison was immediate. There’s more than just a touch of the dearly resurrected LCD Soundsystem to the Londoners’ sound, but this is far from some simple, slavish attempt to copy greatness. Twin brothers Will and Matt Ritson have a groove of their own. As they’ve developed, that DNA has remained just as strong, but increasingly playful too. Sure, you may listen to last year’s ‘All The Rest In Noise’ and hear ‘Dance Yrself Clean’, but that doesn’t make it any less fun. Linking back to the influences that inspired their influences, they’ve remixed everyone from Shura to Tobias Jesso Jr and can, seemingly find a groove in everything. Listen:




Tipped for the top, Frances is on a charge. Words: Ali Shutler.

INHEAVEN From: London, UK Oscar Sheller’s debut couldn’t be better named. ‘Cut And Paste’ is a pop magpie act, chopping up a hook from here, a melody for there, then scuzzily sticking them to a canvas of his own making. Just one listen to highlight ‘Sometimes’ is enough to win even the hardest heart. Listen:

Mura Masa

From: Guernsey, UK Taking his name infamous Japanese sword-smith Muramasa Sengo, it’s little shock that singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Alex Crossan knows how to cut through the endless noise. Chances are, if you’ve had your ear anywhere remotely in proximity to ground zero over recent months, you’ll have heard his ridiculously infectious mega-banger ‘What If I Go?’. Still ridiculously young for one so assured, it’s only a few years ago he turned his talents from indie to bedroom electronic music, inspired by the likes of Hudson Mohawke and James Blake. Just last year he started to upload his work to SoundCloud, and it wasn’t long before it all took off. With Bieber, Diplo and Skrillex fans of his work, and collaborations with 2016 likely-lasses Shura (‘Love For That’ and NAO (‘Firefly’) also under his belt, the pedigree is assured. Listen:


A digital band taking cues from an analogue age. Words: Jamie Muir. “We’re classic rock’s mutant son,” declares INHEAVEN frontman and all round rock revivalist James Taylor. “That’s a real ‘drop the mic’ moment isn’t it?” Mutation and evolution is definitely the right way to picture INHEAVEN, but their impact could be far greater than any mic drop could ever comprehend. Their birth out of South London really masks a true origin - as an offspring of influences, styles and observations of the modern world. It’s an amalgamation and product of the musical landscape of the 21st century. “Our story definitely wouldn’t of happened ten years ago,” ponders James. A true digital revelation, INHEAVEN are a gang who have a clear vision for the stages they want to fill. Forming with the pure ambition to create the band they’ve all been waiting for, it’s a refreshing blend of energetic post-punk, 90s Seattle grunge and a euphoric Joshua Tree-esque penchant for anthemic choruses. Yeah that’s right, not shit U2 - but fucking great U2. “We try and keep a classic element of the bands we grew up loving, incorporating everything we love into one place and ensuring it’s all something we like,” James explains, and it’s this smorgasbord serving that has erupted a true connection with an array of young music fans, whose musical discovery network can now jump from an African jazz musician all the way to late 70s Louisiana blues in one click. “It was quite hard to find bands before, like you’d have to read about one band to find out what bands they like and go from there, but now you can find out anything

“We really are a band of this era, a band of in like two seconds,” points out co-vocalist and bassist Chloe Little.


Speaking in the midst of a mammoth run of tour dates that has seen them jump from festival appearances, to support runs alongside Yak and Circa Waves as well as their own headline shows - the band have a clear vision for the type of shows and sounds they want to seize, and a firm grasp as to the scenes and shakers around them. “The bands that are doing well right now are the bands that have a load of songs and have a really strong identity,” observes James. “They’re the ones that break through now - I think the ones who come together and get a load of money chucked at them don’t work so well.”

Hey Frances. Since the release of ‘Grow’ last July, it’s been really full on for you. Have you been having a nice time? It’s really fun. I’ve done some really cool things, I’ve travelled a lot and I’ve done some stuff that I didn’t think I’d ever get to do. Did you expect people to react to your music like they have? No. Not ever. I just thought I’d record them and then see what happens. You can never really predict anything in music because everything changes so quickly but I’m really happy that people have decided they like it. You’ve won a BRIT Award and been part of the BBC’s Sound Of Poll, do things like that put you under more pressure? There’s pressure from all angles, but never more than what you put on yourself. As a songwriter and a singer you always want to do better and make sure you’re delivering all the time. Things like that, they’re just encouraging more than anything. Any nerves? Yeah, but I think you have to employ a fake confidence, which is what I do. If you’re really nervous, then just go ‘oh no, I’m an artist’. You’ve just got to try and get on with it, which seems to work. People tend to believe me. Does this level of success change how you approach writing new material? Sitting down and writing a song is what I’ve always wanted to do. It’s a very natural thing. I’ve tried to maintain the reason why I started writing songs when I was twelve,

Thankfully, INHEAVEN have got that identity well and truly pinned down. A real original force for the internet age. The rest of the year will see them continue touring around the world, before a debut album tentatively aimed for “early next year”. As they jump off their tour bus, a particular line of James’s sticks: “I think we really are a band of this era. A band of now.” P


which was because I quite liked it. What do you want people to take from your music? The aim has just been to move people. The main aim is just to give them something they can enjoy, share, cry to, laugh to or whatever it does. It’s all about sharing and moving people. What inspires you? All sorts. Everything around me really. I’m quite an observant person. I’m a big people watcher. I write about a lot of my own personal experiences, but also experiences of people around me or people I’ve seen on the bus. I’m interested in people and what’s behind the eyes. Traveling is great for it... Sitting in airports, brilliant. What’s the rest of the year got in store for you? My album will be released towards the end of the year and there’ll loads of playing live and travelling. Album, you say? How’s that coming along? It’s nearly finished. I think it’s sounding good. I’ve been working on it for quite a long time. I finished the studio block and then there was months and months of mixing and tweaking bits. I’m so picky, so it’s never ending but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now. What can you tell us about it? It has a running theme that is suggested by the title, but I can’t tell anyone that yet which is annoying. It’s not a concept album but there is a theme that carries through. I just wanted to keep it all about the songs and make sure they’re coming across. Production varies from song to song, a couple I’ve made sure are kept to just me and piano, some of them are more built up in terms of electronic sounds and then I’ve got a full band behind some of them. I wanted to make sure it was varied. I could have happily written an album of ballads, but that could get pretty boring. Are there still things you want to achieve with your music? Of course, I think any artist who says they don’t want to win a Grammy is lying because that’s ridiculous. I want all of those things, but at the same time I’m really happy with how things have gone so far. It’s easy to get used to where you are and not get excited, to let it become normal, but I haven’t. I still get very excited. P

VANT It’s just VANTer.


Words: Steven Loftin.

ur manager used to be in a band in the 80s called Kane Gang, and he used to say, you’d do interviews and two thirds of it would be about politics and left wing mentality. Now it’s just about how many fucking followers you have on Twitter, it’s ridiculous.” Mattie Vant has something to say. And he wants others to join him, too. He wants that voice back, one for the new generation, and he’s not afraid to be it. “It’s all very well, you know, when you see bands retweeting someone else or whatever,” he says, exasperated. “But you’re not actually saying anything yourself. You can regurgitate other people’s opinions as much as you want because it’s not dangerous. People are too afraid of being criticised for it. If you use the voice of someone else, it’s easy to use them as a scapegoat and to not take the fall.” If you’ve listened to any of VANT’s early offerings, you’ll definitely have heard some form of political statement - but most of all you’ll notice how the lyricism comes from a place of worry and drive. “There’s so many subjects that we can talk about,” Mattie explains.

“People are way too lazy in general with their lyricism. There’s so much bythe-numbers formulaic nonsense out there at the moment. You read some lines from bands and there’s nothing behind it at all.” “It’s something that we really need to address,” he adds. “I guess we’re just doing what we do because it’s what we love. Because it’s more than just a band to us. The music’s obviously important, but we also stand for something. We want to be one of those bands that represents our generation for what it is and encapsulates the moment. I think the debut album will be a real mark of where we are in 2017.” For Mattie, the current generational voice is different to the sound his band are aiming for. “I think you’ve got to look to hip hop and grime to see any sort of political statements at all,” he ponders. “I make this music because I don’t really relate to that style of politicism, although I’m interested. I’m concerned with world-wide politics and the future of humans as a species. I don’t think there’s many people maybe looking at the way we act and we are as society.” Of course, these days genres are almost worthless. Artists are taking inspiration from all over the place and using them to create more interesting and approachable sounds. Nowadays you can as easily find the same person at a Wolf Alice gig as you would a Stormzy show.

Still, for all the good it does, the easy come, easy go, throw away culture of 2016 isn’t necessarily something Mattie’s a fan of. “People just get bored of stuff,” he sighs. “That’s the problem. One minute, punk and revolution and all that sort of stuff is the new thing and then all of a sudden mobile phones come out or Twitter or the selfie is invented, and there’s something else to occupy people’s time. Yeah do it, but also try and make sure that life as a species isn’t fucked.”

“We want to be one of those bands that represents our generation.” “The [album’s] lead single is actually probably the most philosophical song we’ve released so far,” he concludes. “It concentrates more on our mentality and it questions the meaning of life. It’s called ‘Karma Seeker’ and it’s about people trying to rush their own life, constantly looking towards the future instead of enjoying the present. You miss so much.” Not that that’s a problem for VANT. Their future is now.P


Hey, Honne! Sit down. Books out.

Words: Martyn Young.

Honne are here to teach us a lesson.


ands can be difficult beasts: sometimes, the fewer people involved the stronger the foundation on which the whole process is built. For London soul pop duo Honne, this is true. Theirs is a relationship based on a close partnership that’s made them one of UK pop’s most exciting, fresh talents. Perhaps the secret to producer James Hatcher and producer/singer Andy Clutterbuck’s burgeoning success has been the strength of their personal and musical bond: one that was formed long before Honne started making waves with their intimate soul pop charms. “We met seven years ago so it’s quite a while,” begins Andy. “We were at uni and James was the first person I met and vice-versa. We started writing songs pretty quickly after that. Obviously, it was just a bit of fun and nothing really serious. “As time went on, we spent the years just learning how to do things, like production and getting better at songwriting. I think there became a point in time where we thought we wanted to do music, why don’t we actually try it and take it a bit more seriously and see if we can make something of it?” In terms of their early desire to simply write music and make it into some sort of career, the duo have wildly


exceeded their expectations. There is a tantalising buzz around Honne that has been present since their first EP releases in 2014, ahead of debut album ‘Warm On A Cold Night’. “The idea was always to let it grow organically, slowly and steadily,” says Andy. “Before we put out our first songs, we already had about 15 of them. So I guess that took off a lot of the pressure. We had a lot of songs ready for the first couple of EPs. That gave us time in between when we were releasing and gigging so we were just writing all the time. The album was not a rushed process.” Like any successful duo, Honne are built around two distinct, yet similar characters. Both musicians work in the same fashion. “We both have a set up in our own houses,” explains Andy. “We live very close to each other and we’ve got identical studio set ups. It’s modest but it does the trick. That allows us to each be working on something.” With both members so close, it allows Honne to experiment in ways that perhaps other bands may find more difficult. “Being in a band is a lot of fun and there’s more people to bounce off, but I think it can be quite a big hindrance,” says James. “Obviously there are a lot of successful bands out there, but in our experience trying to get ideas past four people rather than one other person is difficult and it wears you down.” “When Andy and I are really on

the same page with things we like, in terms of music, visually and artistically it’s just so much easier,” adds James. “If we disagree we know each other well enough to talk it through and not want to kill each other.” Fortunately that level headedness has not only resulted in no fatalities, it’s also allowed them to resolutely focus on developing their sound as Honne and honing it to find tuned perfection on their debut album. Perhaps their background as teachers, James as a guitar teacher and Andy as a music technician, helped to instil that working discipline within them. “It does give you patience,” says Andy. “It gave us time to write music without having to worry about money all the time. It does help in being organised. It makes you not lazy and not be the person who gets up at 11 in the morning. That gives you more time to write music and get on with stuff.” The downtime involved in their favourable working hours also allowed Honne to develop - and the unreliability of those pesky kids helped as well. “Some of our tracks were written at school when kids didn’t turn up,” laughs James. “I wrote the chords and rhythm to ‘All In The Value’ on guitar when a kid in Peckham didn’t turn up. We’re gonna give that kid a writing royalty!” The after school working pattern also established the album’s main theme and sound: the beauty and

stillness of the night. “We wanted it to be nocturnal. The two main themes are built around the night-time and romance,” says Andy. You can hear that dark, evocative city vibe in the album’s deep soul songs and warm atmospherics. It’s a wonderfully lucid collection of songs that sees the duo forgo production tricks and gimmicks. “Like all the soul music that we love,” begins James. “Our goal with Honne was to always be able to strip everything back to basics, just piano and voice and for it still to be a great song. Hopefully we have achieved that.” Throughout Honne’s work and on their debut album there’s a wide eyed charm and naivety to them that makes them instantly relatable. As Andy explains, Honne are two guys that have came from a normal background and are now striving to achieve something extraordinary: “There’s a song on the album called ‘One at a time please’. James and I both grew up in the countryside and we’re both from the south west of England. That song is about us, these two guys from a small town, trying not to be affected by what can happen to you when you become successful in the city.” “I think we’re really proud of that collection of songs and how they work together,” concludes James. “They all sound like Honne. The album means a lot to us.” P Honne’s debut album ’Warm On A Cold Night’ is out 22nd July.

’m t h e “ Ra r g h ! I nster!” o m y e n Hon

“Some of our tracks o. “Mate. N op.” Please st

were written at school when kids didn’t turn up.”


Muncie Girls An underground sensation in waiting, Muncie Girls are a band that matters. Words: Ali Shutler.


don’t even know what I was doing with it,” admits Lande Hekt as talk turns to Muncie Girls’ debut album. “I didn’t have any expectations at all. All we wanted to do was make an album that we liked. I know everyone says that but it’s genuinely true.” Self-aware and honest to a fault, the band’s ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ is instantly loveable yet consistently intriguing. Talking politics, education, self-doubt and insecurity, it’s a record that offers hope and opposition in equal measures as Luke Ellis, Dean McMullen and Lande set about making something they believed in. “People totally got it, sometimes more than even I got it. It’s been really cool, and there’s been a couple of younger girls who have got in touch, saying that they really liked it and that’s really choked me up. That’s my absolute

“We’re trying not to be gimmicky because that’s not what being in a band is about.”


dream, to have teenage girls who are going through the things that I went through relate to it in some way. Obviously it’s amazing that anyone likes it, but that’s really special.” After years of playing to their own circle, Muncie Girls have branched out. “We didn’t think that would happen and it’s been so great.” The reaction to ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ was “definitely a step-up from previous releases,” she explains. “Certain people will relate to some of the lyrics and if they don’t, they’re basically not going to like the songs that much, or the songs won’t speak to them. You get some bands where everything just sounds great, the songs are so well put together that you don’t have to relate to them to like them, but I don’t think our songs are like that. The songs weren’t made for everyone, they were made because we wanted to make ‘em.” Normally bands don’t critique a record until they’ve got a newer version to promote, but Muncie Girls aren’t one for games. “I’m not going to say all the songs are brilliant because they’re not fucking brilliant. We’re just normal people and we’ve got some songs. They’re not great songs, they’re just alright songs and we’re not going to pretend they’re anything else. Nevertheless, we’re still really proud of them and we enjoy playing them.” As doom and gloom as Lande sounds (trust us, their debut is brilliant, Album Of The Year-type stuff) this selfcritique is actually “a really positive thing,” she says. “Looking back and wanting to do lots of different things and getting more imaginative is just going to help the new record that we’re already writing. We’ve got a bunch of songs for it and it’s really helpful to have a bar that we’ve set

Catholic Action L I ST TO T E N BA N H I S D ‘ ELS OR E’ for ourselves and to try and raise it for next time.” And try they are. “We’ve practiced four songs but I’ve got a bunch more. It’s really hard to find time to practice new stuff because every time we get together, we’ve got this show or that show that we need to rehearse for. There’s never really time to just mess around like we used to, which is sad.” Making sure they don’t get carried away with touring and wake up twelve months from now, completely burnt out, the band are setting aside time over the next few months to just hang out, and write for fun. It’s the whole reason they started the band in the first place. That said, there are still plenty of tours “We’re not really one of those live bands that people talk about like, ‘oh the singer threw the amp over and broke her leg’ or ‘something really wild happened’, ‘cause really we’re just playing pop songs and we just love playing those songs. I can’t stand that sort of shit and that’s not really what we’re about. We’re trying not to be gimmicky because to me, that’s not what being in a band is about. People have said I don’t really jump around that much on stage but it’s one of those things where, I’m not a rock star and I’ve never thought of myself in that way. I just like being a really normal person who’s just onstage. “And also, being onstage is scary so doing anything wild onstage isn’t really in the sphere of what I’m capable of. I think it’s wild enough to get up and do it because it is a scary thing. Our live show is an honest thing for me. I let out a lot in my songs and it’s a big deal to be singing things I would never talk about. Hopefully the fact we’re playing songs that we hold dear comes across.” And you don’t need anything else but that. P

They don’t know where they’re going, but it’ll be exciting. Words: Ali Shutler. We fell in ‘LUV’ with Catholic Action’s debut single, but it turns out there’s a whole bunch of released music floating around their Glasgow hometown - not that we can get to it. “We put out eleven tracks over the year before ‘LUV’ via limited edition cassette, no downloads just 50-100 cassettes at a time. They’re all sold out. They’re all gone,” starts frontman Chris McCrory. There’s still hope though. “If you come to one of our houses, we can play them for you,” offers drummer Ryan Clark. And while the band are hoping to pull together a compilation of those tracks for release through FUZZKILL Records at some point in the future, they aren’t spending much time dwelling on the past. Following the sold-out run of cassettes and a string of cobbled together Scottish tours that saw people standing on whatever they could to get a glimpse of the action, Catholic Action realised they were onto something. “After that, it started to get more serious. It’s just been a total surprise though. I’ve just been making these records in my bedroom because we

wanted to mess about and see what happened.” And while their loftiest ambition used to be releasing a vinyl for their mates in Glasgow, now it’s much more open. Currently in the midst of recording with Margo Broom, the band are looking to get an EP out this September, with an album to follow. “She’s so much more rock’n’roll than we are,” explains Chris. “She pushed us so much, I was in tears in front of her. She actually bought me to tears but the stuff she’s got out of us has been really worth it. When you get a song back and you play it ten times in a row, you know you’ve nailed it.” As much as the band are pushing forward in every direction imaginable. “It still feels like Catholic Action. We’re still at that stage where we’re discovering ourselves but it’s starting to define itself. We never say exactly where we want to go, it just tends to happen. We just follow what excites us.” P


Members: Isabel, Henry, Tomoya, Neville & Nicholas From: London, UK Pumarosa are as fruity a proposition as their moniker suggests. Releasing their first single ‘Priestess’ back in September of 2015, with worldwide play from Beats 1’s Zane Lowe, within three days they had the second most blogged about track worldwide. Not that that’s a ceiling for them. Since then, they’ve only headed further into the stratosphere with the brilliant ‘Cecile’ proving they’re anything but a one track wonder. With a smattering of festivals across the summer, they’re ones to watch very closely indeed. Listen:

Fickle Friends A veritable banger factory, Fickle Friends are gearing up fast. Words: Sam Taylor. You recently signed to Polydor for your debut album - how far are you into the process of creating it? So we’ve recorded only one single so far (which is coming out next) and we’re flying back next weekend to crack on with a big chunk of it. So I guess my answer is… we’re not very far into the process at all, ha. Ask me again after the summer! How have you found putting it together so far? Will it see you rerecord much of your earlier material? There are a few key old tracks that we’re going to re-record and rework a little bit. We just want this album the be the best it can be and we’ve been writing so much is kinda proven quite difficult choosing what actually makes the cut song-wise, y’know? It feels like we could get to the last two days of tracking and write something wild and throw it on there. That’s the vibe of this record. Lots of freedom… and chaos, ha. What do you think is most key to making a good album? A combination of things including but not limited to: red wine, coffee (in our case something called ‘jet fuel’ which I think speaks for itself), mad ideas… nothing is ever stupid or too ‘out there’, and a willingness to experiment and give up some control (which is something we’re not used to, having always done everything ourselves).

What was the catalyst behind finally signing to a label, was there a point where you thought ‘yes, we’re ready’? It was playing that sold out Dingwalls show in London. It really felt like a moment and definitely a game-changer. I was talking about gut feelings and after that show I think all of us knew that things were going to change. Our now-publisher was at the show and said to me that very night, ‘I want to chat about publishing you’ and me being the cynic I have become just thought ‘ah another throw away comment’, but we received an email the next day and the deal was done within two weeks. It feels like everything happened so quickly after that gig. The two years of being the ‘DIY band’ paid off and we definitely felt ready for that next step. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt from your first two years as a band? Not to J walk in America. Ha, nahhhh I’m joking. We’ve learnt many things. I guess it’s probably to trust your instincts. It’s very easy to take people’s comments and opinions to heart when you’re in this line of work and sometimes it has proven counterproductive. We had to trust our gut on a lot of things, especially this last year where we found ourselves self-managing for a bit and we were going round in circles with visits to the same labels who were asking us to do things and then expecting us to jump through similar hoops ‘next time’. It felt like we had plateaued and it really made me consider how long I could keep doing that for. So eventually we were like ‘fuck it, let’s just do this how we want to and if people want us or

want to get involved they can’, but really everything we do is for our fans and I think once we sold out Dingwalls people kind of looked at us differently. From where do you take most inspiration lyrically? Does writing come easily to you? I write about all sorts of things… mostly in a relationship context and using other experiences and painting them in a similar way so people can identify with the topics in their own way. Our next single is about anxiety and not recognising the person you are at that time. A lot of what I write about has been inspired by our time on the road which has certainly had its ups and downs, as I’m sure it does for many other acts. Is there anything you’re especially looking forward to doing over the summer? We just got announced for Reading & Leeds. We’re playing the NME/ Radio 1 stage which is just nuts. That and the fact that we’re recording our album with our dream producer in LA. It really doesn’t get much better than that. Feel like the luckiest people in the world. (My lamest moment in this interview, I apologise.) If you could recommend one of your tracks to potential new fans, which would you pick and why? Probably ‘SWIM’. It kinda encapsulates everything we’re about, and it’s the first song we wrote together as a band. Musically and lyrically I think it’s one of our songs which we will go back to in a few years and still think it’s cool, y’know? P




Beach Baby Summer’s here, apparently. Time to head to the beach.


Words: Jamie Muir.

ropical vibes, cocktails at sunset and palm trees a plenty. When it’s these sort of images that come to mind when listening to a band then you know it’s going to be happy days from here on out. For that, Beach Baby have become true pop purveyors, riding enough waves of melody that make the Atlantic seem like toilet residue. Anchored by co-frontmen Lawrence Pumfrey and Ollie Pash, the pair met while both were at Bristol University before expanding their outfit with the help of bassist Iraklis Theocharopoulos and drummer Josh ‘Shep’ Hodgson. The result is one of the most infectious British guitar bands of the past decade, full of potent pop hooks. It’s a sound many have found tricky to pin down. “We listen to music from the 60s,

“We’ve kind of found our voice.” 38

70s, 80s, 90s as well as the 00s - so naturally it all comes together in our own music,” muses Lawrence. “It’s good that you’re not going to be pigeonholed into a certain decade of music.” That pot of influences has been particularly evident over the past twelve months, from the breakthrough refrain of ‘Ladybird’ that kick-started their rapid ascent, to the post-punk drive of ‘Limousine’, it’s seen Beach Baby refine and focus their method of attack for the summer ahead. Latest cut ‘Lost Soul’ is an amalgamation of the two, full of propulsive fire yet still dripping in catchy pop candy. “I think like every band, the sound develops and you find out what works and what doesn’t.” For Ollie, that creativity and ability to morph between styles is exactly what makes Beach Baby so exciting. It’s a natural development that came from his own early forays as a classically trained musician and chorister. “I think we’d get bored if the conversation was like, ‘Naah we’ve always got to sound like this’.” “There’s a collective understanding as to what works for our band,” summarises Lawrence. “But it’s not naturally talked about or is a particular mandate when we write.” “We’ve kind of found our voice, and if as a band you don’t find that then it’s probably time to… you know… knock it on the head!” Acclaim for the smooth crooners themselves has been bubbling for a while now, recently signing to Island Records and touring around the country in support of bands such as Hooton Tennis Club and Sundara Karma. Lawrence sees it as the right people coming on board at the right time. “With our band it’s just naturally come along, like we’ve had great support from the beginning, but…”

“It’s never been insane!” interjects Ollie.

Members: Taliesyn & Rhodri From: Cardiff, UK Estrons have no time for your drippy, murky sounding blog pop. Stickier than pop Velcro and as sharp as broken glass, ‘Drop’ cuts deep then keeps slashing hard. A glorious sweet release. Listen:


“Or zeitgeist level hype,” continues Lawrence. “It’s been gradual and for a band of our kind it’s the sort of thing you’d want.” That gradual rise is set to take a drastic leap in the next year, with the band already soundtracking Netflix shows, a summer of festival appearances in the books and successive tours seeing the band play their biggest shows to date. “The headline tours have definitely been the biggest moments so far,” reflects drummer Shep. “Suddenly you have to sell the tickets and everyone is coming down because of you, but those have been great.” The steady stream of tracks is about to get bigger with a debut album completed and ready. And it may not even end there. “We’re sitting with it completed and done.” Kanye done? “Not Kanye done, but done,” confirms Ollie.

From: Glasgow, UK Scotland seems to have the market cornered for electro-pop sensations at the moment. Where CHVRCHES lead, it’s fair to assume KLOË could follow. A self-confessed pop enthusiast, she’s got an ear for a hook - as proved by the brilliant ‘Teenage Craze’. Listen:


“We’re writing new material all the time,” elaborates Lawrence. “So we’ve got that first album all done and ready, with new material in the works too.” Forecasting a huge 2016, Beach Baby are finally turning that bright light into a full blown spotlight, and if you’re expecting a quick dash to fame academy and a debut clothing range, you may be waiting a while… “With music it’s just about doing it because you love doing it,” says Ollie. “If you want anything else out of it you’re probably in the wrong game.” “And it’s probably just going to go to shit really isn’t it?” No shit here, it’s time to get those swimming trunks out. The Beach (Baby) is calling. P

Members: James, Steve, Jith & Laurence From: London, UK With tracks dropped before a debut EP, ‘Unwelcome Light’, earlier this year, many will have come across the four piece’s ferocious assault playing alongside scene-leaders Wolf Alice. Listen:

Sundara Karma

Blaenavon Don’t get too settled. Blaenavon want to shake things up.


Words: Jamie Muir.

verything we’ve said so far isn’t allowed to be printed” is the perfect way to sum up a chat with Blaenavon. The full throttle trio are well and truly enjoying their moment to shine, like there ever was any doubt it was going to come. How many bands can say that they were signed by an influential label at the humble ages of 15? It definitely makes a GCSE look insignificant. Yet that’s exactly what happened to Blaenavon, scooped up at the tender age by Transgressive Records and thrown straight into the critical limelight with debut single ‘Into The Night’ sending music writers into a frenzy they were only able to calm by expressing just how young these guys really were. Almost five years later, and it’s something the trio are still picked up on to this day. “I think we’ve tricked people into thinking that we’re still young,” observes frontman Ben Gregory. Joined by bassist Frank Wright and drummer Harris McMillan, it all came together covering Muse tracks in the early years of their fabled education, something that’s evolved and mutated into a haunting indiepocalypse sound, summed up by ‘I Will Be The World’, a driving descent into chaos that shifts from melancholic breezes to unhinged fury in a second. “Yeah, up to a year ago, all of our press said that we were still 16 and ‘hotly tipped’,” interject Harris. “That we’re

still doing our GCSEs and recording in half term when in reality we’ve been living at home for two years!” This definitely isn’t the “staying at home watching Jeremy Kyle” type of reality that may be pictured, this is a band fully jumping into their sound - working on unrelenting, melodic anthems that both pull you closer and punch you in the gut at the same time. Ben sums it up in a manner nobody else possibly can. “Our sound is like a Year 6 jazz band playing ‘Under The Sea’ being fronted by like… Damon Albarn.” The similarities are (kind of) there, but it does match a true originality of sound, blurring a variety of influences together into an ever so potent cocktail. Last year’s ‘Miss World’ EP was a fast-track introduction to Blaenavon in fully-fledged rock star mode, embracing the sights and stages they’ve taken to over the past eighteen months including shows with Foals, Bloc Party and Warpaint. It’s these experiences that have helped to unconsciously influence their upcoming record. “When we toured with Warpaint we just thought, oh this is so fucking good and we came home and just listened to their second album for a month solid,” notes Frank. That record in question sees them team up with one of the most acclaimed guitar producers of the modern era in Jim Abbiss, only the guy who’s single handedly had a role to play in defining collections from Arctic Monkeys, Kasabian and Placebo among others. Aside from his questionable Indian takeaway decisions, his influence has been huge for the young band in pulling together that first statement of intent. “We were having difficulty recording,” recalls Harris. “And we all went out for a beer and a curry or something, and

then in the next three weeks it all just happened and came together.” For Ben, he was vital to focusing their sound. “He’s amazing to work with and it wasn’t just the curry, he’s an absolute legend.” “He pushed our sound in a fantastic direction, as you see some bands that get some over-indulgent producer in which kind of tarnishes it all. He was brilliant.” 2016 has already seen Blaenavon take their sound across the pond, with a rapturously received set at SXSW that saw them convert industry-lovers into die-hard fans. It’s that feeling of a band finally reaching that moment of greatness, when it all clips into place and the world finally starts taking notice as to how momentous this band could truly become. “Blaenavon is like a snowball rolling down the hill, collecting snow as we go and we’re very nearly at the bottom of that hill as a fully formed snowman,” explains Harris “But some snowmen have three separate sections, like a head, second section and a huge body ready to burst?” questions Ben, bringing together an impressive knowledge of snow-based individuals. “This ain’t no fancy snowman, we don’t fuck around.” If there’s one certainly, it’s definitely that. The album is completed and lined up to drop before the end of the year. In the meantime, the rollicking trio have some friendly advice for all looking to dip into the Blaenavon world. “Just sit back, relax and prepare to get blasted by some fresh new rhythms. All I’m saying is, don’t get comfy.” P

Members: Oscar, Haydn, Ally & Dom From: Reading, UK They come from Reading, and that’s exactly where you’d expect Sundara Karma to end up too. Driving, direct, upbeat guitar pop, they’re the sound of teenage rebellion too sensitive for the heavy stuff, but still looking for the saccharine rush all the same. This isn’t music for the old guard to recall lost youth, but rather for a new generation of upstarts to discover it all for themselves. With that in mind, in an era where perhaps the riskiest thing of all is to be - y’know - an indie band, Sundara Karma may just have loaded the dice in their favour. Next stop; home. Listen:


Members: Oliver, Andy & Elliot From: Wolverhampton, UK Yak’s live show is already the thing of legend and wonder, but unlike most bands who thrive on the stage, the Midlands three piece can translate their raucous energy just as well to record too. One listen to debut album ‘Alas Salvation’ proves it. A scuzzy, dirty din, it’s a muscle car of a record, overpowered and punching through the gears with demonic determination. The pulsing, claustrophobic bass line and ceaseless, thumping beat of ‘Harbour The Feeling’ tells it best. Joined by all kinds of various bells and whistles, nobody is stopping Yak’s ascent. Listen:





Spring King

Tell Me If You Like To eeeee


Do you wanna be in our gang?

n 2016, we’ve got a lot to be thankful for when it comes to our ‘modern’ music scene. Everything on demand, more new acts and fresh meat than we know what to do with, an endless supply of bite-sized tracks to consume or throw away. Any preference or niche concern can be catered for and brought together with a tap of a touch-screen. It’s an exciting digital party bus full of opportunity and wonder. But amongst all this never ending train of sound, it’s easy to miss a vital ingredient. When everything moves so fast - each opinion dragged down to a black or white, amazing or awful choice, judgements made on the basis of a single track time after time - sometimes we lose the greatest joy of all. The magic of a band. Because really, if we think the reason we fall in love with music is all about the sounds, we’re kidding ourselves. Being a fan is more than that. It’s personality, belonging, something to believe in. An


indescribable connection that makes us root for the underdog, elevating strangers on a stage to surrogate mates we’ve never met, weird in-jokes and all. More than most of their peers, Spring King are that kind of band. Like the very best of them, there’s an infectious energy that radiates from leader Tarek Musa, saturating ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ with the kind of sugar-rush lovability that only the really special ones possess. From the word go, it’s obvious. When Zane Lowe plucked them out of the relative left-field as the first band to be played on Apple’s Beats 1 station, there was a damn good reason. Opener ‘City’ doesn’t just kick the door down, it levels the whole block. Both massive and claustrophobically intense, it’s a pocket rocket screaming with frenzied excitement. Get up, we’re here, this is happening. From there, it’s all going off. From ‘Detroit’ through to ‘Who Are You?’, the flurry of light-speed punches come in thick and fast. Where others would over-think, Spring King are all about the immediate. To release a gigantic indie album as a debut has long since ceased to be a safe move - in fact, it could well be one of the riskiest on the table - but

this is a band who know exactly what they are. To pretend anything else simply wouldn’t work. It’s that steelyeyed confidence which makes being recruited to their gang so damn alluring. Twenty years ago, after a youthful debut full of wide-eyed pep and vigour, Supergrass began to tag themselves as ‘everyone’s second favourite band’. Spring King already have that one nailed - in fact, there’s every chance they’ll go one better. Across ten tracks there’s barely a moment - never mind a whole song - that doesn’t demand to be chanted back. ‘Demons’, ‘Rectifier’, ‘The Summer’; there are more stand-outs than not. ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ is a raw, exposed, sadistic nerve demanding overstimulation. Neither brains nor brawn lead its thoughts, every move made on raw instinct. There’s no awkward first steps. Like every band worth a damn, it’s a debut statement. They’ll earn those fence sitting, guardedly positive write ups from the tired establishment who don’t quite remember what it’s all about, but they’ll catch on eventually. This is Spring King. Are you in? Stephen Ackroyd

‘Tell Me If You Like To’ Tracklist: ‘City’ ‘Detroit’ ‘Who Are You?’ ‘It’s So Dark’ ‘Take Me Away’ ‘Demons’ ‘Rectifier’ ‘Tell Me If You Like To’ ‘The Summer’ ‘Heaven’

The Best 5 Bands From

The wait is over.


Nothing’s Real eeee

The Great Escape 2016 Brighton eeee Milk Teeth Milk Teeth are brilliant and somehow, they keep going from strength to strength.



2 0 1A L S 6

Dilly Dally Dilly Dally are great at taking vitriol and making it shine. Throwing their all into every scratched vocal and snarling melody, tracks from ‘Sore’ are more powerful than ever.


Diet Cig It doesn’t matter if it’s the back room of The Green Door Store as the sun sets outside or a basement in the early hours of the morning, Diet Cig are always a whole bunch of fun. Infectious and inescapable, they’re the perfect cure for the blues.


t’s been a few years since Shura made her big mark with ‘Touch’, which to date has racked up over 26 million Youtube views. It set tongues wagging back then: when would there be more? When would there be an album? Well, she took a step back, did the work, and now we the world has an answer in the form of ‘Nothing’s Real’. Well-versed ‘Touch’ and ‘2Shy’ make the cut for her full length debut, a dreamlike haze of a pop album that takes you through the inner tracks of her mind, with relationships and love taking the fore. ‘What’s It Gonna Be’ bounces sweetly in a tale of confusion over feelings, where ‘Kidz & Stuff’ cuts to the core of a break-up story, the pain that comes with picturing one life with someone and it not going that way. Title-track ‘Nothing’s Real’ side-steps these themes with a funk-edge tackles experiences with panic attacks, the feeling that you’ll die versus being told that you’re a-okay and how it doesn’t match up. Some tracks can be fuzzy to separate the further you delve in, but all tread that line of being delightfully catchy and easy-listening all at once. “No, I’m no child but I don’t feel grown up,” Shura muses on ‘What Happened To Us’, taking the relatable and wrapping it up in a hazy package, so free flowing, but with lyrics that hook your own memories. It might have taken a year or two to get the answer once she made that first mark, but it’s an answer that was worth waiting for. Heather McDaid

Black Honey Last year Black Honey were still a mystery. A few great tracks and rumours aplenty, the shows felt like you were being let in on a huge secret via a side door. Following twelve months of heavy touring and their excellent ‘Headspin’ EP, the secret’s out. Black Honey are ace. And they don’t care who knows it.

Partybaby With a set full to the brim of joyful party-ragers, a fully-realised chemistry and a presence screaming out for bigger things, Partybaby aren’t a band just feeling things out. They know exactly what’s next and (with an album finished) we don’t wanna wait either.

A deeper level of brilliant.


ot content with just being one of the bestconnected men in pop, Dev Hynes is serious about establishing his own musical legacy. He struck gold with 2013’s second Blood Orange album ‘Cupid Deluxe’ but follow up ‘Freetown Sound’ is an altogether more expansive, intimate and personal work. The album is a record aware of its own importance. Hynes’ soul bearing, heart felt honesty gives the music a quality that’s both endearing and compelling. You want to hear what he’s got to say. The fact it’s set against

wonderfully luxurious soul and funk jams is a bonus. Dealing in big themes and big issues, Hynes appropriately steps up his game as a songwriter and lyricist, particularly on the deeply affecting ‘Hands Up’ and the inspiring ‘But You’.There might not be as many dance floor fillers or solid gold bangers here but this isn’t an album of quick thrills. Offering up everything about himself, this the first Blood Orange album that is essential listening. Martyn Young

Blood Orange Freetown Sound eeee


Big Deal




FatCat Records

FatCat Records

Memphis Industries

Last Gang Records

Say Yes

No Grace






Big Deal must of thought there was a higher power against them. In the time since 2013’s ‘June Gloom’ the band have seen the unprecedented high of touring with those mercurial synthbrooders Depeche Mode balanced with a stolen laptop of demos, relationships falling apart and a break-up of their very own with their previous record label. As unhinged as their two previous studio efforts were, ‘Say Yes’ finds a band with a clear point to prove. What follows is an expansive journey through infectious guitar-pop, stemmed with a greater sense of confidence and efficiency than ever before. Banged out over a 10 day window last year, there’s a natural gelling of sounds that delivers delectable slices of grungy goodness. ‘Hold Your Fire’, ‘Avalanche’ and ‘Say Yes’ are packed with instant punch, whilst ‘Saccharine’ and ‘Kitty Pride’ sound like the lost files of golden 90s alt-rock. Even their more electronic flourishes, ‘Lux’ and ‘V.I.T.R.I.O.L’, are oozing with uncanny pop sensibilities. Many counted them out, but Big Deal have returned with their best record to date, and one of the most enjoyable releases of the year. Say no, and you’re a proper plonker. Jamie Muir

It takes less than 20 secons of ‘No Grace’’s title track to feel the influence of PAWS’ all-star producer take hold. With Blink182’s Mark Hoppus behind the desk, pop-punk runs thick through the veins of the Scots’ third album, but it’s not the only influence. Yes, that iconic bass styling does appear, but elsewhere the influences are more subtle and varied. For a band who themselves decided it was time to “go big or go home”, PAWS sound ginormous. Stephen Ackroyd

Good bands master one art form. Great bands master everything. Weaves’ self-titled debut puts them far nearer the latter. From criminally infectious opener ‘Tick’, they prove they can do the kooky, catchy thing better than most of their peers. Next up ‘Birds and Bees’ pulls the perfect slacker-pop card, before ‘Candy’ lets rip a meaner, post-punk razor-sharpener. And that’s just the first three tracks. Weaves have it all. Stephen Ackroyd

Though they’ve been around for over ten years, Canadian duo MSTRKRFT are only now releasing their third album. Throughout the sound goes from energised to terrifying at times, particularly on ‘Morning Of The Hunt’ where a sense of doom is brought forth by the intermittent strike of synthesiser. A very mixed bag of sounds and noises that come together to form an album that is certainly like no other out there. Steven Loftin

Hot Hot Heat


The Julie Ruin

Kaw-Liga Records


Hardly Art




The Vancouver genrebenders who’s electric indie storm erupted in the early 00s but never seemed to reach the commercial peaks of their British contemporaries, Hot Hot Heat have returned after a six year gap with the self-titled ‘final’ album, calling a day on classic indie-pop revelry with their most infectious and relevant release since their defining early days. There’s been way too many goodbyes this year. But none are as joyous and carefree as this. Jamie Muir

Drowners’ 2014 selftitled debut LP was formulaic – there’s no getting away from that. Any worries that they were one trick ponies, however, are laid to rest the moment ‘On Desire’ sparks into life with ‘Troublemaker’. Just about as invigorating an opener as you could wish for, it’s an emphatic statement of the New Yorkers’ wide-screen ambitions for album two. The result is a band which sounds more sure of itself than it ever has. Tom Hancock

Fierce. Biting. Witty. Fun. When it comes to The Julie Ruin, these descriptions go hand in hand with the band, and ‘Hit Reset’ cranks all that’s good about them up that little bit further. On one hand, they’re more infectious than ever as they dodge a sophomore slump. On the other, it’s bearing the soul a little bit more on Kathleen Hanna’s part, a sign of her comfort with her bandmates that pierces through with honest lyricism and risk-taking. Heather McDaid

Hot Hot Heat

On Desire

No band. No touring. For Metronomy’s new album, Joseph Mount is out to do it all by himself.

S Metronomy Summer 08 eee



ummer, it’s a wonderful time of year isn’t it? (Mostly) delightfully hot and full of things to do and places to see. It’s a feeling that Metronomy have managed to encapsulate almost perfectly on their new record ‘Summer 08’. Despite the title placing it firmly in 2008, the album’s 80s vibe is just right for the summer. The first album since their debut to be recorded solely by frontman Joseph Mount, he wastes very little time in showing the considerable Prince influence on the music with second track ‘Miami Logic’ sounding as if it could have come straight from the dearly beloved purple one’s back catalogue. Despite pledging not to tour this new record, it sounds ready-made for festivals with single ‘Old Skool’

Hit Reset

leading with a disco influenced hypnotic beat which is undoubtedly going to go down a treat live if/ when the band decide to play it. It’s almost a shame that these songs won’t be played live just yet as they are brilliant pop songs, with ‘Hang Me Out To Dry’ (featuring Swedish pop star Robyn) leading with a bass-line so simple yet fantastic that it’ll truly be a shame if it doesn’t end up as a single. The album’s low points come on ‘Mick Slow’ and ‘My House’ which whilst they aspire to reach the album’s earlier apexes, don’t quite cut it. This is somewhat short lived as ‘Night Owl’ and ‘Love’s Not An Obstacle’ perfect for those night time drives through the countryside with their chilled out vibes channelling balmy summer nights perfectly especially with the latter’s refrain of “I spent 14 weeks with 14 lovers” sure to sneak into your head when you least expect it. Finishing with the disappointing ‘Summer Jam’, the album is not bad by any means – quite the opposite, it is a great record that is let down at points by some bang average songs. Josh Williams

Biffy Clyro Ellipsis


14th Floor



Innovative Leisure

There was once a time, long ago, that Biffy Clyro were the underdogs. Ever since they set foot on Reading festival’s Main Stage as legitimate headliners, though, the boot has been firmly on the other foot. ‘Ellipsis’ sees them kicking back hard. For all the talk of Death Grips and left-field influences, mostly we’re on familiar ground. Bar one dash into country (yes, country), Biffy go for the throat. From the pleas to do better of ‘On A Bang’ to the raw bite of ‘Animal Style’, their reign isn’t over yet. Stephen Ackroyd

eee If your only exposure to jazz is through Lisa Simpson’s saxophone you might have missed that it’s had a renaissance in the last few years. No one makes bold and exciting jazz beats like Canadians BADBADNOTGOOD. ’IV’ finds them further honing their perfectly crafted sound. Depending on your tolerance for instrumental jazz you’ll either find this album dazzling or maddeningly indulgent. It’s a gimme that BADBADNOTGOOD will have future collaborators knocking on their door for a good while yet. Martyn Young

C la s s ic a lb u m


Bat For Lashes The Bride Parlophone

eeee Weddings are stressful occasions. Someone might forget the rings, or the cake might not be delivered. Inconvenient perhaps, but most don’t turn into the sinister, darkhearted odyssey that Natasha Khan describes on her fourth Bat For Lashes album, ‘The Bride’. Telling the story of a jilted bride on her wedding day, Natasha Khan has always been an artist adept at telling stories and creating affecting imagery, but here she ramps it up to the next level. Subtle, brooding and intense



Elastica (1995) Sure, Elastica’s debut album might be 21 years old this year. It might have more rings through it’s metaphorical musical trunk than most of you, Dear Readers. But that doesn’t make it washed up, old or irrelevant. In fact, it’s probably one of the most exciting debut albums ever. Full stop. As more and more fun, exciting new bands start to pop up,

Elastica’s debut could be a blueprint to follow. Not so much the drug fuelled haze that left follow up ‘The Menace’ arriving five years later, but the infectious buzz of ‘Line Up’’s opening stabs, the quick thrash throughs of ‘Annie’ and ‘Vaseline’ or the held-back explosion of ‘Blue’. With another Elastica, we could take on the world.

Warm On A Cold Night Atlantic Records

eeee Honne are a band who know exactly what sound they are going for. The production duo’s debut ‘Warm On A Cold Night’ is subtle, deep and evocative in a way that suggests they’ve been doing this pop production game all their lives. It’s an album that offers repeated charms and provokes different feelings with every listen. It might not sound quite so alluring while waiting for the bus home on a rainy Wednesday night after work but give it the right mood and it’s an album that comes to life. Martyn Young

throughout, it’s frequently beautiful and a confidence rings out in both the songs and the performance. As the album progresses things take on a weirder tone, encompassing everything from extra terrestrial relations, spiritual awakenings and intense relationship reflections. It all adds up to be the most ambitious Bat For Lashes album yet. There isn’t much here that could be considered a pop hit, aside from the airy and upbeat ‘Sunday Love’. This is an album that doesn’t need to fall back on bangers though. Natasha Khan has never shied away from tackling big ideas, and her reflection on marriage is a rich, developed work that befits the grand theme of the concept. Martyn Young

Blink-182 California BMG

eeee There’s one BIG question surrounding ‘California’. Are Blink-182 any good in 2016? Well, against the odds, yes. The band have knuckled down after the soap opera, creating a cohesive, unified album. It feels exciting because it is exciting. ‘Los Angeles’ is bigger and darker than Blink have ever dared to tread, ‘Cynical’ is drenched in unease and ‘Brohemian Rhapsody’ is self-aware, with a tongue lodged firmly in its cheek. If Blink-182 were looking for a reason to carry on, ‘California’ is the answer. Ali Shutler


Stuff I Like...

Kristin Kontrol Kristin Welchez - FKA Dee Dee of Dum Dum Girls - is back with a new project, Kristin Kontrol. She recommends a few other things that mean a lot to her.

Last good records you heard

On My One

Let’s Eat Grandma





Jake Bugg Virgin EMI

Across his first two albums, Jake Bugg was the sole writer on only seven out of twenty-six tracks. It’s all too easy to take that and burn it as fuel for criticism, but it’s arguably harsh to direct it all exclusively at the artist when they’ve been so heavily assisted in the songwriting department. This time around, he’s penned the entire LP himself. Now he’s fully exposed. As much as second LP ‘Shangri La’ was a flat-falling rushed release, it had at least some identity. ‘On My One’ displays little semblance of one, awkwardly stumbling from one pseudo-form of a genre to another. It’s hard to know what Bugg wanted this album to be. He dabbles unconvincingly in country (‘Livin’ Up Country’), blues (‘Hold On You’) and, in what proves to be a big mistake, rap. “This ain’t no rhyme / This ain’t no rhyme / This ain’t no rhyme / This ain’t no rhyme,” he insists like a broken record on – wait for it – ‘Ain’t No Rhyme’. As for ‘Gimme The Love’, we’ve all heard the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Can’t Stop’, haven’t we? Enough said. Tom Hancock

I, Gemini eeee

Singing songs they wrote when they were just thirteen, Let’s Eat Grandma’s music is rooted in childlike imagination. Jumping between styles as if it were as happenstance as dropping a hat, the duo thread together sounds and ideas that probably should never touch. Yet somehow, it works a treat. ‘I, Gemini’ is wide eyed wonder given form, placing magic in mundanity and twisting the sensational into the sinister. “Tell me something interesting,” the pair entice, singing amidst enchanting harmonicas and daydreaming vocals as they blunder abruptly into a brazen saxophone solo. Characteristically unconventional, ‘Sax In The City’ has all the components of a potent pop hit. Crafted from unusual ingredients, Let’s Eat Grandma’s music is a challenge against convention. ‘Eat Shiitake Mushrooms’ is the album’s defining moment: glimmering chimes meet heavy set synths as smoothly sailing vocals collide into a rap verse. Lost in their own fantasy, it can be hard to follow where the two band members are leading, but accept the unexpected and there isn’t a majesty quite like it. Jess Goodman

Conscious Capitol Records

“Pop’s cool again,” Broods’ Caleb Nott told us when chatting about new album ‘Conscious’, “and that’s awesome.” It doesn’t take a genius to work out why the New Zealand duo might be delighted that the Real Authentic Music With An Acoustic Guitar And The Sincerity Of A Baked Potato crew have been chased out of town. Conscious is an album designed for one reason. From the a capella opening of first track ‘Free’, Broods are going for it good and proper. While they may not have the iconic, singular sound of fellow sibling duo Tegan & Sara, Broods certainly sound like a band comfortable going big. Lorde co-write ‘Heartlines’ stands out as you’d expect - struck through the middle with that smoky, subtle DNA. Elsewhere, the ballads outnumber the bangers, but Broods have more than a passing talent for the former. When they do go for the hook, like the chorus to ‘Couldn’t Believe’, they rarely miss their mark. More immediacy might shoot their star even higher, but one thing’s for sure; pop is only getting cooler. Stephen Ackroyd

C o m in g u p ...

Chairlift’s ‘Moth’, Anohni’s ‘Hopelessness’.

Favourite ever book It used to be Paul Bowles’ The Sheltering Sky but I’m not sure what it is now.

TV show I couldn’t live without Six Feet Under was strangely powerful for me.

Best purchase of this year A very well-loved, black leather, mid-century modern lounge chair.

Anything else you’d recommend? Two hour walks. Kristin Kontrol’s debut album ‘X-Communicate’ is out now.


Glass Animals

How To Be A Human Being The four-piece are levelling up for album two.


lass animals are set to drop their second full-length next month. Titled ‘How To Be A Human Being’, the album will be released on 26th August and includes the Officially Certified Banger ‘Life Itself’ [see p10 - Ed].

Described as a scrapbook of the band’s time spent on the road, the record gathers memories and perceptions of different types of people from all around the world, apparently. Many of lead singer Dave’s lyrical ideas came from live recordings of people he’s saved on his phone. “I try to sneakily record people,” he laughs. “I have hours and hours of these amazing rants from taxi drivers, strange people we met outside of shows, people at parties. People say the strangest

shit when they don’t think they’re ever gonna see you again. I’d obsess over what they ate, where they lived, what their furniture looked like, what they wore.” What they wore? Okay Dave. What you want to dream about in the comfort of your own studio is totally up to you. Glass Animals’ new album ‘How To Be A Human Being’ is out 26th August.

Academy Events present ACADEMY EVENTS, BAND ON THE WALL & CLUB.THE.MAMMOTH. presents




plus special guests





FA R E WELL TOU R OCTOBER WED 05 THU 06 FRI 07 SAT 08 WED 12 THU 13 FRI 14 SAT 15 WED 19 THU 20 FRI 21 SAT 22 WED 26 THU 27 FRI 28 SAT 29












03 06 07 08 09 10









Yes. We know this isn’t how 20 questions really works, but STFU, OK? This month, Oscar runs the gauntlet of our random, stupid queries. 1. HELLO. HOW ARE YOU? Good. I’m in Toronto looking for Drake. 2. WHAT HAVE YOU BEEN UP TO TODAY? Today I wondered around Queens Street West (the hip bit) looking at records (found my own), going through thrift stores to find stage outfits and buying cool socks for people I know! 3. TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOURSELF. I’m very empathetic, so much so when I was young I used to cry about stories I’d heard and worry about how waitresses would live if no one gave them tips. I once found an umbrella whilst I was out with my parents and my mum picked it up and I started crying and told her she had to put it back in-case it was someone’s favourite umbrella and they came back to look for it. She did. 4. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN? Being able to express myself and have creative freedom with that. Singing and dancing for a living is a pretty good occupation don’t ya think? 5. WHAT SIZE SHOES DO YOU WEAR? I wear a size 11-12. I’m pretty sure my left foot is slightly bigger than the other though. 6. WHAT DID YOU LAST DREAM ABOUT? I dreamt about an Earthquake that happened in someone’s house in LA. I was saved from it by my tour manager telling me to lie underneath a table, but strange things were happening. Trains were ploughing through each corner of the building and the world was shaking like jelly. 7. YOU HAVE TO SUPPORT EITHER U2 OR RED HOT CHILI PEPPERS ON TOUR. WHO DO YOU PICK? Red Hot Chilli Peppers by MILES! My best friend growing up was obsessed


with them and I think it would be a teenage rite of passage to tour with them. They have some pretty wild stories!! And to hear ‘Under The Bridge’ played live every night would be dreamy. 8. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE SMELL? Freshly washed clothes. 9. WHAT’S THE BEST SONG YOU’VE WRITTEN OR PLAYED ON? Hard to say for myself. I do really like ‘Daffodil Days’. I have got songs that I’m really pleased with but they’re not out yet! 10. TEA OR COFFEE? Tea. The last time I drank coffee was in 2015. It was a flat white in Brixton Market, and shortly after that I went into TX Maxx and bought three scarves (that I’ve never worn) and lots of underwear. Coffee does weird things to me and so I can’t drink it. It’s like speed or something. 11. HOW MUCH SLEEP DO YOU NEED? Max 4-5 hours. I can operate on that (and often do). I find myself staying awake sometimes just because I’m bursting with creative energy. But I do love to sleep to. Pretty sure as a teenager I grew 6 inches in a year from all that sleep so I got my fill back then. 12. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU BROKE? A pair of really nice Sennheiser headphones. They had this little microphone on them which I got such a great vocal sound from and they were actually my Mum’s. I felt really bad about that. I tweeted about it and then someone sent me free new ones! 13. WHAT’S THE BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL IN THE WORLD?

I’ve probably never been. People rave about Primavera. I’m not really a festival man. I love performing at them but when it comes to camping I feel a bit in over my head. Gimme a caravan any day. 14. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Complacency. 15. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF PIE? Lemon Meringue Pie has been my go to for a good few years now. Before that it would have been something ridiculously chocolatey. 16. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST ACCOMPLISHMENT? Putting a record out! 17. WHO’S YOUR FAVOURITE NEW BAND? Frankie Cosmos. Her lyrics are so poetic and her melodies are so unique. 18. HAVE YOU EVER WON ANYTHING? Yes, when I was younger I won The North London Music Festival two years running. 19. WHICH STRENGTH NANDOS SAUCE DO YOU ORDER? LOVE THIS QUESTION! I’ve got some flack for it but I believe honesty is the best policy, and after sampling every sauce I stuck with ‘Lemon and Herb’. I feel that it compliments all the flavours much more and actually has a hidden more subtle kick. 20. HOW ‘PUNK’ ARE YOU OUT OF TEN? 8/10. My mum was and still is a punk and I have that engrained in me. I hate institutions and I really hate to be told what to do, and don’t do it anyway. I’ll never do it your way.

Q 20

“ Ta r e page k on 23 w as r ig h t ! T h is ja c k e t is far more m e .”

S N O I T U ES ar .. Osc with.

As k a

quest stupid


Dork, July 2016  

Issue one! Featuring loads of amazing, exciting bands including Spring King, Shura, Honne, The Big Moon, Black Honey, VANT, INHEAVEN and loa...

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