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Honeyblood - Babes Never Die Seriously though. What an album. This one won’t be off the stereo for the rest of the year.

JAWS - Simplicity Less a step up, and more a whole staircase. [Maybe that’s who Frank Ocean was building one for? - Ed]



04. 0 7. 0 7. 08. 11.

20. B L AC K H O N EY & D RE A M WIFE 26. KE RO KE RO BO N ITO 2 8 . J A G WA R M A 3 0 . H A M I LT O N L E I T H A U S E R + R O S TA M 32. GIRLI



REVI E WS 34. 35. 36. 3 7.




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

Contributors: Ben Jolley, Corinne Cumming, Heather McDaid, Jamie Muir, Jasleen Dhindsa, Jessica Goodman, Josh Williams, Martyn Young, Poppy Waring, Rob Mesure, Sam Taylor, Sammy Maine, Sarah Louise Bennett, Steven Loftin 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



s e m Ga Masters

. Yet the cos t of guit ar-l ade n pop ban gers hea rts with two albu ms full ed seiz and ld wor the on Wit h Two Doo r Cine ma Club took tha t they cou ldn’ t get out of. gor trio hea d into an abyss Ban the saw ost alm hard ing so and rise of one of the mos t of pus hing , wor king and tour talk s thro ugh the stru ggle s mon th, bas sist Kev in Bair d this out ow’ esh ‘Gam m thei r thir d albu yea r. Wor ds: Jam ie Mui r. libe rati ng pop reco rds of the




think we’ve learnt our lesson the hard way on how not to do things,” explains Two Door Cinema Club’s Kevin Baird. “Even when things were at their worst in the past we’ve always found things that we’ve really loved and enjoyed, but I think this time around we’re much better at being in the moment and enjoying what we’re doing.”

The past has an uncanny ability to haunt anyone who is troubled by it. Whether it’s that decision to go left instead of right, about giving up on a dream or simply not attempting at all, the past continues to linger and it always will. For Two Door Cinema Club, that history has never been more important - it’s made them one of the most celebrated bands of the past decade, memories of sun-kissed festival fields and sweaty bars continue to live whenever their records come on - it’s everything they would have dreamed of when they started it all together in frontman Alex Trimble’s parents’ garage all those years ago.

“We were

and we were that band who were always in those ‘Hardest Working Bands List’ every year, and I think we liked that idea that we were the ones who worked harder than anyone else - it almost gave us a little chip on our shoulders. “At the same time it was our first experience at seeing loads of countries around the world, I guess we had the great curse of people liking our band all over the place which meant we had to go everywhere. That lead to some amazing opportunities and experiences. We’d be sitting there and think, ‘Right, we really need to write and record this new record’, or take some time off, and then we’d get an offer to play a string of shows in like South Africa - of course we want to then go and do it! “We were our own worst enemy at the time, and we were definitely addicted to it.” Since their debut ‘Tourist History’ landed in 2010, Two Door have barely had a moment to breathe. Seismic tours around the UK, Europe, Asia, the US and South America meant they were the most in-demand live act on the planet. As 19/20-year-olds, it was an extraordinary turn of events, one that well and truly swept them up - refusing to let them down until that day almost four years later.

our own worst


Kevin Baird, bassist and an integral head in the Two Door mix, is on his way to the airport. In 2016, the trio are back with their third studio album ‘Gameshow’, their first in over four years, and the international travelling is already in full swing. Two days ago, the band played their first headline show in London since they headlined the O2 Arena in 2013. Yesterday, they were in Amsterdam for a string of promotional appearances. Today they’ve done the same, but this time in Paris. It’s the sort of fairytale story that musicians daydream about all the time, but this reality was also the very thing that brought Two Door Cinema Club, and in particular the band members themselves, to an incredibly dark crossroads. 18th July 2014 was set to be a seismic moment for Two Door Cinema Club. After becoming feverishly adored around the world, delivering two albums of high-octane indie-pop bangers and one of the most in-demand live shows of their time - it was set to be the crowning moment where they headlined their very first UK festival and rounded out the ‘Beacon’ era with a bang. But it wasn’t to be. Almost six years of touring, recording, living and breathing on top of each other had finally taken its toll. Illness, tension and the inability to deal with everything that was happening to them meant that their headline slot never happened, and their future became unclear. “I think the majority of the pressure at the time was from ourselves,” details Kevin. “I think you get addicted to that momentum

Reflecting on that time, Kevin barely remembers a moment which wasn’t focused on the next step, and one ultimately gripped by the fear of losing it all.

“There wasn’t much opportunity to sit back and take stock of what we’d done. What we’d achieved and what we still wanted to do, what expectations we had for the band and what we wanted to do musically. We were almost scared to take a break because we thought that was going to mean the end of our careers, the band finishing and nobody caring anymore.” Backed into a corner, Two Door knew they had to take some time away from each other, and more-so, the life of ‘being’ in a rock band. Retreating from the spotlight, it was a pretty bold and life-altering step. No longer living life in the diary of the band, the three of them (Kevin, Alex and guitarist Sam Halliday) replaced the deafening cheers and transatlantic flights for the solitude of ordinary life, which posed its own conflicts for three young men who’d dedicated their entire lives to their craft. “It’s like being at work and thinking, ‘I can’t wait for this to be done’. You start thinking of all the things that you’re going to do at the weekend or in your week off, and then you get there and just don’t know what to do with yourself,” contemplates Kevin. “You’re so used to having a purpose, and it took a while to adjust to the simple things - going to the shop, buying food, cooking it and then having that ingredient still there in the fridge a week later that you could use - that was something we’d never



UPDATE experienced before. We were always away and would have no time for anything.” While the simple things may have thrown Kevin, there was a more personal and challenging issue in itself to confront. After being an integral part of a band that had fans in countries around the world, that sense of worth and value played heavy on his mind, now that exact reality was no longer present. “For me at least, it was very hard to adjust,” recalls Kevin. “I found it very difficult to feel like I had a value because I wasn’t doing anything. If I sat in my pyjamas and watched The Sopranos all day, then that didn’t matter. Even though there was things I probably should be getting on with, there wasn’t a deadline for it so that was quite hard to deal with at first - then it became really kind of liberating.” Kevin spent his time reconnecting with songwriting on his own terms, writing for the enjoyment of it all and primarily for himself. The results were vital in the future of Two Door Cinema Club, even if he didn’t know it at that stage.

Who’s this? “On ‘Gameshow’, we didn’t really feel like it was Two Door Cinema Club,” says Kevin. “It had been that long and it didn’t feel like we had an established way of doing things. Just because we’re in a band, it doesn’t mean we have to be the same, dress the same, think the same and have to like the same music. “There’s a bit of pressure to have that ‘gang mentality’ which we almost felt, not guilty, but like we were missing out on something because we didn’t have that, because we’re aware that we’re all very different. So this time we looked at it as our advantage, that we are all different, and I think that helped in the freedom to just do whatever we wanted with the record.”

“We always had felt a bit restricted, that anything that we did musically or wrote had to be shared with two other people and it had to be band property, should it be good enough to turn into a song. In the years where we didn’t do very much it was nice to spend time writing music just for myself or just for fun - and that was definitely important in the journey we went through in getting back together and writing songs as a band again.” With each band member overcoming their own personal conflicts, the actual entity of Two Door Cinema Club was still very much in the air. Would going back into that world throw each one of them off course again? Was it worth the physical and mental strains that forced them away from each other? Did the band still exist? For Kevin Baird, the break the guys took was momentous in more ways than one. “We’ve never been apart like that, I would say, since we’ve known each other. “We’re three best friends who went to school together. When we were at school our other friends would go out bowling or to the pub, and we would be writing songs or practicing - then meet our mates at the pub later, of course. “That’s just what we always did, we were always together. Then when we left school, we were on tour. Around each other, playing together, hanging out together and living together - so we’ve never had that experience of being apart. “Our whole adult lives up until two years ago, was spent together.” That bond, that drive that made them start playing together all those years ago and what took them around the world brought them back together again. From the outset, it was key that they simply could have each other back in their lives again, and what became clear was that all of them wanted to jump back into the Two Door Cinema Club world. All three of them wanted to write another chapter in the Two Door Cinema Club story. “It kinda happened quite quickly,”

“We were scared to take a


remembers Kevin. “We were meeting up and trying all these different techniques that we could think of to try and get back in a good place together, and that revolved around talking about stuff that we were too scared about to talk through before. “Talking about our lives and the things that were going on with each of us, and then once we felt comfortable around each other we started to talk about whether we would make another album. We all said ‘Yeah’.” Still enjoying their own lives outside of the Two Door bubble, the trio decided to start writing new music over email - with early demos laid out at a much more relaxed and approachable pace that gave all of them a sense of space and individuality in their own lives - a refreshing new way for the trio of best mates to work together and craft their ambitious comeback.

With the groundwork laid, Two Door were ready for the studio - the first time that they’d been in that sort of environment in years and the first time that the band had played together since early 2014. Understandably, things were a bit rusty to begin with. “The first day, we were all pretty nervous,” Kevin recalls. “We were thinking, ‘Oh shit, which end do we plug this lead in for this guitar?’ “Very quickly it connected - I think we’ve always had it, that connection. The three of us have been writing music together

since we were 14 years old, and that connection just exists. We can feel it when it feels wrong, but when it feels right it’s good - and that came back quite quickly.”

The result is ‘Gameshow’, an album completely free of the shackles and preconceptions of what a Two Door Cinema Club album should sound like, and full of daring experimentation into electric disco, synth-laden pop and soaring choruses that would make Kylie and Jason blush with shame. It’s a record full of life, energy and freedom - and finds Two Door sounding better than ever. From ‘Bad Vibrations’ sultry strut, to the hands in the air refrain of ‘Invincible’ and its mountain-sized chorus that’s destined to be blared out by love-lorn teens at the windows of their University crushes, it’s Two Door Cinema Club as you’ve never heard them before, but fulfilling that promise they’ve been teasing since they first burst onto the scene. After soundtracking indie discos, they’re now soundtracking the emotional highs and lows of life for a young person in 2016. It’s an album destined for the biggest stages, for the arena-filling masses that they dipped into on ‘Beacon’ and the festival headlining crowds that they were born to seize. As Kevin talks from that taxi on the way to the airport in Paris, he knows more than anyone, that this time around they’re ready for whatever life on the road has to throw at them. “We can definitely look after ourselves much better now, and we’re much better equipped with the issues and the problems - talking about things before they get bad,” notes Kevin. “We’ve got to be careful and understand that we’re not bulletproof. It’s not just a problem in our band, but a problem with young people around the world, especially males, where we don’t talk about things when they’re getting to you. So we really have to be on our guard, and careful about what we say yes to and what we say no to. “You tell yourself that you don’t want to do something, but that there’s a huge prize at the end and if you don’t do it then your career is over. Over time you start to realise that there’s no big prize at the end - and that kind of mentality means that you’re not living in the moment or enjoying what you’re doing because it’s all about some mysterious thing in the future. “I think we’ve realised that the prize or the gift is actually right now.” The ‘Gameshow’ is up and running, and the prizes are out for all to see. The anticipated sequel in the story of Two Door Cinema Club is up and screening, grab your popcorn. P Two Door Cinema Club’s album ‘Gameshow’ is out 14th October.



eel proud and excited for people to hear this record,” starts Connan Mockasin, psychpop experimenter and one half of Soft Hair on a project that has taken him and cohort Sam Dust almost a decade to unleash. “Even though it’s seven years old, I don’t feel embarrassed and shamed, which is a good sign.” These two minds have been collaborating and melding since first meeting in 2009, when Connan supported Sam’s previous band Late of The Pier on tour and the result is an exotic mixture of bastardised pop. “Hardly anybody has heard it so it feels a lot like releasing something we’ve only just made,” says Sam. ‘Soft Hair’ is a project that utilises what both he and Connan do best: compose music that is neither new nor old. It’s a fresh representation of whatever comes into their heads, and ultimately, how it comes out, nobody really knows. “You never know what kind of thing might be the next pop music, but you would hope it’s not going to be the same as the previous or current pop music, and if you carry on with that train of thought it can lead you anywhere musically.”

The relationship between the two is one that started with tension in 2007, after a fight between the pair’s respective bands at a music industry event, and it took two years to begin this formation. While the release of ‘Soft Hair’ has been a long time coming, there’s no real sense that this is a permanent fixture of each other’s life, as Connan admits: “We hadn’t changed anything or talked in many years except group emails with our record label when discussing the release.” Sam continues: “We’ve left it as it was, since it was finished a few years ago. We might have changed only a little, but not the record”. This doesn’t mean it was a forced partnership, quite the opposite in fact. “With Soft Hair I could record or write a more loose idea of something,” says Sam, “and know that if it wasn’t good enough, Connan could play or write something better. If it was good then it’d have a more natural feel to it because of there not being any pressure. “It would be like, I had a blurry idea of the song in my head from something that one of us had come up with, then you could imagine it on the record but you can sort of

Hair & Now Seven years ago Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust teamed up to create an album. Now it’s finally seeing the light of day. Words: Steven Loftin. hear all the parts. Then I think we’d both go off and one would go for a walk outside and the other would be sitting in a chair with a guitar for example, and just work it out bit by bit until we had something to play the other person. Do that a few times and then start recording it.” “I remember feeling bursts of excitement and eureka moments,” adds Connan. Neither has any idea if there is a future for Soft Hair, with the busy duo undertaking various filming projects, and Connan having an exhibition in Tokyo in 2017 too - but together they form a sound that’s both not been heard before, and likely never will be again. Soft Hair’s self-titled album is out 28th October.

New York trio Sunflower Bean released their debut earlier this year: and it’s all


up from here. Words: Martyn Young.

rooklyn four-piece Sunflower Bean have been one of the year’s understated success stories with their stirring debut album ‘Human Ceremony’, chock-full of evocative and gently mysterious indie rock. They’re a band who have found their own unique niche within the current wave of exciting young bands, but there’s more to Sunflower Bean than you might expect.


constantly trying to keep rock music rd.” a w r o f g n i mov

had never done before. That was a really new and special experience for us.”

own shows. That was a new experience and meant a lot to me.” Despite the buzz around them Sunflower Bean are smart enough to know that their fortunes could change from country to country and city to city. “In theory you do the same thing every night but in actuality every night is drastically different,” says Nick. “You’re constantly doing new things.”

At the heart of everything they do is a desire to relentlessly evolve. “We’re a three-piece rock band who give it our all,” says guitarist Nick Kivlen as the band trek from Brighton to London for the final leg of their sold out UK tour. “We’re constantly trying to progress, improve and keep rock music moving forward.”

While Sunflower Bean are distinctly a product of the swirling creative and artistic atmosphere that engulfs their home of Brooklyn, New York, the band have caught fire in the UK where they complement the likes of home-grown trailblazers Wolf Alice. As Nick explains, the UK’s feverish appetite for exciting indie rock music makes them very much a kindred spirit for our burgeoning scene. “I feel like in the UK it’s a lot more rock orientated,” he begins. “It’s more part of youth culture right now. In America, rock music is very underground. It’s less of a mainstream music in America. Coming to the UK is a lot of fun for us. Everyone is super excited and into it. In the US the people who come to see us are excited but on a smaller scale and takes longer.”

While Sunflower Bean have built a reputation on their powerful live shows, it’s in the studio with their debut and its bewitching charms that the band have shown their creative chops. “With making ‘Human Ceremony’ we grew a lot as a band,” explains bass player and singer Julia Cumming. “We’re from the city and we’ve been a part of the DIY scene for a while. Playing a show is something that we know how to do, but making a record we

Beginning with the release of their debut and countless thrilling shows 2016 has been a year of memories and new experiences for Sunflower Bean. “Just a few weeks ago we went to Japan and China. That was really special,” says Julia. The excitement levels at their shows are also ramping up and the band are responding in kind. Last night I crowd surfed for the first time with a mic,” laughs Julia. “I’ve crowd-surfed before but never at one of our

“It humbles you,” continues Julia. Tonight we’re going to play to 800 people in London but the next night you have no idea, sometimes you’re feeling really great about yourself and sometimes you’re like. ‘Oh, still got a long way to go!’ It’s good; it keeps you from getting a big head.” As the year draws to a close next thing on the agenda for Sunflower Bean is writing and recording their second album, a process that they haven’t even had time to begin yet. “We’re looking forward to having some time to write,” says Julia. “We’re going to start working in the winter.” The second Sunflower Bean album may be a little bit further off then but in the meantime, they’re riding the wave and enjoying their time as one of 2016’s triumphs. P Sunflower Bean’s album ‘Human Ceremony’ is out now.



s r e g n Ba


Black Honey Hello Today

Occasionally a band makes a step up. A move that doesn’t just change their own standing, but threatens to throw a lit match into the flammable pool of their peers too. It’s unlikely that ‘Hello Today’ will be the track the talking heads are crediting with some seismic cultural change twenty years from now, but it packs enough swagger that it might as well be. From the opening beat it’s that stratospheric makeover at the start of act three in a teen movie. We knew it was coming, but when Black Honey show us what they’ve got, our eyes are on nobody else. The occasional slip into French, the sassy-as-fuck drop into the chorus - a whole bunch of amazing new bands just felt the heat go up. Watch them burn.

Musically, I think I was probably listening to a lot of New Order and DIIV. I think I wrote this song on Boxing Day 2014? After we got home from a long touring spell, I just had all these ideas.

You’re self-releasing this one? Yes we are, we always get asked “Why aren’t you signed?” as if it’s a bad thing, I think we’ve done pretty well to say we’ve never been a signed band. What sparked ‘Right In Front Of Me’? The song is about pretending to be something you’re not, kind of that confusion between your day to day life and your online life. Everyone seems so happy on the internet.

And why did you choose it as one of the first to be released from the album? We all just love it, we love every song on the album it was actually a really hard but easy choice at the same time, every suggestion for a single we said “yes” to until every song had been suggested as a single. What do you think is key to making a proper banger of a track? I think if you don’t try to write in any particular style or genre then you’re song is going to feel real and more honest and have that real connection, I think that’s the key really… oh and some sweet, sweet vocal harmonies. P


Right In Front Of Me When JAWS claim ‘Right In Front Of Me’ - the first cut from second album ‘Simplicity’ - is influenced by New Order and DIIV, it’s easy to see what they’re getting at. Open space and shoegazy vibes mix with a chaser of dark pop sensibilities. Smart, deceptive and engaging, they may have recorded the full-length quickly, but the thought that went into that snappy execution is obvious. When coupled with last year’s preview ‘What We Haven’t Got Yet’, you’ve got the foundations of something really quite special to come.



Zara Larsson


It’d be a touch too far to say Pixx sounds like nothing else around, but with ‘Grip’ Hannah Rodgers certainly shows no sign of heading towards the tired or tested formula. With extra bite and immediacy, there’s a touch of Grimes’ inescapable genius to her latest cut. Finding hooks in hidden places, the ethereal is anchored by the slightest hint of good old fashioned fizzy pop smarts. Walking the line between genuine potential mainstream concern or buzzy blog darling, Pixx could yet come down on either side. Whichever way she chooses, at the very least it’ll be interesting. With a debut album due early next year, the potential is limitless.

The banger count leading into Honeyblood’s second album is already reading two for two. Following up on the breathless rampage of first cut ‘Ready For The Magic’, the fact that ‘Sea Hearts’ is down half a gear doesn’t make it a slow burner. Still frantic, still fantastic, it’s proof of a duo that do no wrong. “We’ll break hearts that get in our way” the lyrics threaten, no sense of irony apparent or required. The noise around some bands may be louder or shinier, but few, if any, are as consistently brilliant as this. With a record packed full of similarly amazing cuts, justice would see Scotland anointing another set of indie heroes before the year is out. Even if they don’t, don’t expect to escape alive.

For Zara Larsson, the next step is a pretty important one… thank fuck that ‘Ain’t My Fault’ takes no prisoners and picks up where ‘Lush Life’ left off. Weaving a tale of giveno-shits looks and confident struts down the high street (we all do it), ‘Ain’t My Fault’ is the national anthem that we’ve all been waiting for, full of heady drops and punchy beats – it’s the sound of Larsson owning the pop crown she seized off the others a long time ago. If there were any questions about Zara Larsson’s staying power, then they’ve been well and truly answered. It certainly ‘Ain’t My Fault’ that this banger will be living in your play queues for the next year or so either...

Girli had almost everything on point well before now. Personality, sass, an aura of someone going places fast - her output marked her out as one to watch. Eyes peeled, then, because this is where that potential starts to be fulfilled with interest. ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ is such a leap it happily shoulders comparisons to when Lily Allen felt like she might just be the most important pop star on the planet. Sharp, cutting and smart, often within the same sentence, it’s got more than attitude in its corner. A legitimate earworm chorus smashes up against instantly quotable verses perfectly. Girli might play it off, but she’s fast becoming the kind of icon 2017 will need.



Hey Connor from JAWS, what can you tell us about your new album ‘Simplicity’? We spent a lot of time writing it, I think there were nearly thirty songs for it in the end and we knew at least eleven were good enough to be the next record. With the first album it was all very rushed, the writing and recording. Saying that though, we recorded this album in a grand total of twelve days.

Sea Hearts

Ain’t My Fault

Girl I Met On The Internet

s d r a c t Pos From The



bands . T h ey t o u r, t g o o ff h ey n e on ve r r in g . We wo r r ie ’r e d abo ut the put ou m . To r m in d s a t re in s is t s t , we in g t h ’r e ey c h e c k in a ke e p u nd s upda te d f r ro ad . om th T h is m e onth: Ka m ik a z e G ir ls .


Kate Tempest confirms massive

A Day In he Life T Of

Brixton Academy show

Lande Hekt from Muncie Girls

Barely a day goes by without a massive show for 2017 being announced at the moment: including Kate Tempest, who’ll perform at London’s Brixton Academy on 27th May. It’s in support of new album, ‘Let The Eat Chaos’.

Two Door Cinema “Hey Dork! Greetings from Belgium! We’re currently on day 14 of an 80 day tour. We’re out with the band Austeros + today’s a day off. We’re say in a traditional ‘frituur’ in Antwerp eating frites! Wish you were here J Lucinda + Conor, KG x”

D O RK : AS K I N G N OSY Q U EST I O N S SO YO U D O N ’ T H AV E TO. 10A M This is probably the kind of time I wake up on a normal day. Most of the time, it takes me a while to first remember what city I’m in, and next whose house or which venue, and who else is in the room. I always have a brief panic that I’ve totally lost my voice and I won’t be able to sing but this is almost never the case. 10:30A M Commence the awkward glances around the room for who’s next in the invisible shower queue. It’s never me, because everyone can see that I haven’t brushed my hair or taken my make up off and it’d be ludicrous for me to commandeer the bathroom to do that.   1PM We should have left at 12 to get to the venue on time but no one wanted to leave wifi. It’s a terrifying thought being plunged into the back of a van somewhere in Germany without being able to refresh your newsfeed continuously.   1:15 P M One of us suggests a mega quick stop at a supermarket to pick up some houmous and a pretzel for the road.   2:15 P M We leave the supermarket with houmous, apples, carrots, cashews, baby kale, ice lollies, rare-in-Germany still water, toothbrushes and sometimes a watermelon. We’re going to have a van picnic and it’s going to be awesome. In

the van it’s kind of awesome, but we didn’t get cutlery and there’s rubbish literally everywhere. We feel overfull and ashamed. Once we start moving everyone falls asleep instantly like the big babies that we are.

Temple Run

Club announce 2017 UK tour Two Door have an extensive run of tour dates for early 2017. The Bangor trio will blitz themselves around the country, kicking things off in Birmingham on the 24th January; they’ve also a stop at London’s Alexandra Palace.

5 : 45 P M We get to the venue and load in. Eat all the same snacks that we thought were essential from the supermarket but now the promoter has kindly laid out for us. I sit on a sofa or floor and write in my diary. Next is just sound-checking, doors, the show, then pack down and load out. 11: 30 P M Around this time, I begin the search for red wine. Once located, the wine becomes the fuel of the party. Up until this point, most days are remarkably similar. After this point, it is rare that one night resembles another. For example, recently, after a show in France, I found myself leading a feminist discussion group with three teenage girls. The next night I became inseparable from our touring party because a guy working behind the bar at the venue we were staying in shouted at me and then took me aside and said that he knew where I was staying that night. A few nights later I rode down the riverside on the front of some guy’s delivery push-bike while he spoke to me in French and I don’t speak French. Obviously I go to bed at some point. Probably around 2am. Muncie Girls tour the UK from 25th November.

Bloc Party are playing the Temples have returned with a brand new song.

Roundhouse. Twice

The band have shared their track ‘Certainty’, the first to be taken from their next album, due out early 2017 via Heavenly Recordings. If you haven’t heard it already, you can check it out on now.

Bloc Party will play a second night at the Roundhouse in London on 11th February, after the first show they announced, for 10th February, sold out super quickly. They follow the release of stand-alone single ‘Stunt Queen’.

“When writing the melody for ‘Certainty’, I wanted to create something with almost an eerie, early Disney vibe, something playful and harmonious, but with a dark twist,” says frontman James Bagshaw. “Producing the song was as much about layering as it was about sparseness — the verses needed to reveal the thumping motion of the bass and the reflective lyrics, and the melody had to be paired with the right ambience. “The chorus was approached in an opposite way, layer after layer, thickening the sound. There’s a blend between moog bass, and actual bass, and the song switches between synthetic and analogue sounds throughout. The guitar mirrors the synth, and visa versa.” Thanks for that, James.

Hinds are releasing a deluxe version of ‘Leave Me Alone’ Hinds are set to release a deluxe version of their album ‘Leave Me Alone’ later this month. The new take on their debut record will drop on 28th October on double CD and vinyl, including b-sides, rarities and phone demos. Get more news and updates as they happen on, or via twitter @readdork.



“I once saw a ghost sitting on my friend’s bed.”

Charli XCX has been in the studio with David Guetta Charli “Queen of All Pop” XCX has been in the studio with David Guetta, apparently. Joined by A.G. Cook, it seems they may have been cooking something special up for our Chazza; and we may not have long to find out what’s on offer too…

Banks reveals European tour dates, including three UK shows Banks will head out on tour next February for a stint around Europe. Playing in support of second album ‘The Altar’, three dates are planned for the UK: in Manchester (10th March), Glasgow (11th) and London (13th).

Skepta wins the Mercury Prize 2016 David Bowie’s ‘Blackstar’ may have been the strong favourite, but it was Skepta who won the Mercury Prize for ‘Konnichiwa’. This year’s shortlist was the first to include an album voted for by the public, who picked The 1975.

Harris from Blaenavon has a tale that will cut you to the core.



t’s very nearly the scariest time of year. No, not visiting the dentist for an overdue check up; nor reading end of year lists that have David Brent selling more albums than indie’s finest: it’s Halloween. And while we start stashing sweets in preparation, some bands have gathered to tell us the spooooookiest thing that’s ever happened to them. Are you ready?

had an eerie vibe to it. I got woken up in the middle of the night to the sound of a hammer and chisel being used on stone in pitch darkness at 3am. I went down to investigate but as soon as I got to the door that separated us from the workshop it all just stopped. I absolutely shit it that night.” - MO, LONELY THE BRAVE

“I once saw a ghost sitting on my friend’s bed. Me and two friends were sharing a room about two years ago on holiday and I was sleeping on the floor. I woke up at like 3am and saw a figure sat on my friends bed looking at me. I put the duvet over my head and pretended I didn’t see it. The next day my friend Ed told me he saw the same thing, unprompted by me. It turns out the guy who owned the place had a brother who killed himself in the room. It was pretty dark. Good times!” - LEO, PALACE

“Finding an old mossy noose in the woods round Chillingham Castle on Halloween a few years ago. Some friends and I went there as it’s meant to be one of the most haunted places in Britain. “ - EAT FAST

“I used to live in this weird little Victorian flat above a Stonemason’s in central Cambridge. It was always freezing cold and just

“On the last tour we kept scaring each other by hiding round corners or in boxes etc. and jumping out which got pretty scary but then Simon and Jason (our guitar tech) upped the ante by hiding in our hotel room and waiting till we’d gone to sleep. Then they made that croaky noise the thingy from The Grudge + Jason is really good at this creepy little girl voice. It’s so high pitched and gentle

and freaks the fuck out of me. Anyway it woke me up so went to investigate and they were just standing there in the dark with these horse head animal masks they’d found. I totally shat myself.” - ROB, DON BROCO “I’ve yet to be spooked myself so I’ll regale you with my grandfather’s tale of horror instead. When he was a young boy he woke his parents as he was struggling to sleep. Apparently the quiet old man at the foot of his bed wouldn’t stop shaking the frame. That’s always a story that’s stayed with me. Out of the mouths of babes…” - RACHEL, ESBEN AND THE WITCH “When I was 10 I was sleeping over at a friend’s house and as I was about to go to bed I saw a figure standing at the top of the stairs and then it just disappeared, to this day I still believe it was a ghost!” - STEPH, GREYWIND “I used to wake up when I was young and think someone was standing in the corner of my room. That’s pretty spooky.” - JOHNNY, BABY STRANGE “Harris woke up in the middle of the night with someone stroking his face, turned out to be his own dead hand.” - BLAENAVON “When I was sleeping next to someone who had night terrors, I have literally never been so scared in all my life.” - DEAN, MUNCIE GIRLS “When I first moved into this attic room that I still live in, I was convinced it was haunted. I would come home and things i had put on the wall would be sideways or upside down. Almost every time. I freaked me the fuck out! I was so scared. I later learned it was all an elaborate prank executed very well by my boyfriend at the time.” - LELAH, TACOCAT “Last year on tour we were driving late at night and we hit some random drifter with our van. We got out and started to bury him in a shallow grave (that was the style back in 2015). We thought he was


dead but at this one super spooky moment he sat up looked me in the eyes and said my own name and home address back to me. Crazy! I am sure I never met this dude. We all looked at each other like “whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!”. It was that moment we knew we had to burn him alive. Also before you get all “I can’t believe you murdered a drifter, life is precious blah blah blah”, just know that your favourite band has done a lot worse! Ask Hop Along why they are no longer welcome at the San Diego zoo!” - ANDREW, FIELD MOUSE “I’ve actually had a few creepy experience because the pub that I work at when I’m home is supposedly haunted.. it was built in 1180 so I’m sure a lot of things have happened there over the years. One night when i was closing down the bar, my colleague was sorting out the tills upstairs and when she came back downstairs she kept asking me why I’d been standing in the kitchen doing nothing with my back to the security camera; she’d been watching me not do anything. I hadn’t actually been in the kitchen and it had been locked for the last hour. We went and checked and there was nobody in there. That was definitely a bit creepy.” - MATT, ROAM “When my sister was quite young, she saw the ghost of my deceased grandmother. But she was a fairly benevolent spirit, so even that’s not too creepy. We’ve played some supposedly haunted venues before, and while I’ve never encountered anything, they can still give me the heebie-jeebies. You can occasionally pick up on an energy that feels wrong. Bad vibes. Those aren’t my favourite venues to play. I will always choose not-haunted over haunted.” - DAVE, THE DIRTY NIL “I lived in an old, converted paper mill and so many odd things happened. One of which was leaving to take some bins out, coming back up to see a door closed which was open before I had left. The door opened on a hill so there was no way it could close without pulling on it hard.” - ANT, BLACK FOXXES

City Guides:

g n a on G c i g Ma Brighton




moved to Brighton around five years ago and haven’t for a minute thought about leaving. As a band, we love it here for many reasons (one of which being that you can walk everywhere in under 15 minutes). Aside from that, there’s obviously a lot going on musically, to the point where it can actually become a bit of a bubble and you forget that not every town or city in the country has the same qualities. Having grown up around an area, which doesn’t have many small venues or practice spaces, moving to Brighton was a really exciting thing for all of us. Personally the city has taught me a lot about, not just music, but art in general. At the moment we’re living together in an eight bed shared house in the middle of the city with a group of our friends, most of whom also make music. This can be a bit hectic at times but also makes for a fun and obviously creative environment. Here’s a few music related things that we like about Brighton: A BAT TO I R B LU ES : Our beloved housemates who write amazing music. Every song they produce takes your head clean off and is super melodic. EC H O C H A M P : A collective that Paeris started. It began mainly as a means of collating all of the music our friends and housemates were putting out so that it could be found in one place. Since then he’s started a bi monthly night at Old Blue Last (Shoreditch) showcasing new bands. FUOCO: James AKA Chivez AKA Will Benson from this band lives a couple doors down from us. I watched them play a few weeks ago and he’s the best front man I’ve seen. G RE E N D O O R STO RE : The first place we ever played as The Magic Gang when we supported Travis Bretzer from Canada who was, and still is, one of our favourite musicians. This venue is really great. It kind of looks like a horses stable and the

sound is really clear whether you’re watching a band or on a mad one at the house night. S U L K Y BOY : Songs of love by our good friend Dan who keeps the household together.

Really good friends who write really good tunes. O U R G I RL : A three-piece band started by Soph Nathan, who also plays in The Big Moon. So far they’ve put out three amazing songs, one of which is called “Level” and I really like it cos it sounds a bit like Olivia Newton John’s ballad in Grease (well I think so anyway) CA N N I BA L H Y M N S : A label started by Tim Hampson, who does loads of stuff for Brighton’s music scene. So far he’s put out some really great bands like Dream Wife and the aforementioned Our Girl and Abattoir Blues. B E N OT H I N G ( P RO M OT E R ): Every time a worth-seeing, touring band plays in Brighton, it’s for Be Nothing.

Vant Return

The run will follow their intimate support tour with You Me At Six this October, and precede their handful of dates with Nothing But Thieves in December. The new tour kicks off on 18th November in Bath, with support


We all kinda grew up with Ida Maria. Her music is a huge influence on our songwriting (and parties). Didn’t know which song to pick, so we just went with the most popular one. RE D H E A D E D S LU TS - STAT E O F J OY


Vant have announced a headline tour for November, which includes a stop at the Scala in London.

Sløtface’s Songs To Dance To

from up-and-comers Partybaby. The dates are: NOVEMBER 18 BATH Moles 20 LEICESTER Scholar 21 YORK Fibbers 23 EDINBURGH Electric Circus 24 GLASGOW King Tuts 25 HEBDEN BRIDGE Trades Club 26 COVENTRY Kasbah 28 BRIGHTON Haunt 29 LONDON Scala

Another super cool Norwegian band. Banger song, we’re all really excited about their upcoming releases... and their band name. W E EZ E R - U N D O N E - T H E SW E AT E R SO N G

The ultimate dance song of all time. Obviously. W E AV ES - T I C K

We just discovered this great band. The guitar sound is just mad. Their new record is sooo good and weird and cool. And dancy! T H E ROYA L C O N C E P T - FAS H I O N

Such a smooth song by Swedish act The Royal Concept. As we say in Norway; “If you don’t dance, you’re a rapist”. I S T RO P I C I A L - DA N C I N G A N Y M O RE

We played this festival in the middle of nowhere, with maybe 30 people attending, who had all consumed a great amount of drugs. It was pretty weird, but yeah, blasting this song in the car on the way home is a great festival memory. K . F L AY - SO FAST, SO M AY B E

Wikipedia says K.Flay graduated from Stanford University with degrees in psychology and sociology. That’s pretty cool. T H E R A P T U RE - N O S E X FO R B E N

We receive a lot of weird Facebook messages through our page. Probably the weirdest conversation ended with “No sex for Kyle”, and we never heard back from him. Poor bastard. F E M M E - F EV E R BOY

If this chorus don’t make you want to dance like your dad does it, you’re mad. Great song, great artist. O F M O N T RE A L - W R A I T H P I N N E D TO T H E M I ST

Such a nice disco vibe over this song, the bass line is just brilliant. Dare you to keep your foot still during this one.



“I want people to fucking adore it.”

Pumarosa - Honey


sabel Muñoz-Newsome, the enigmatic frontwoman of Pumarosa, is gushing about her band’s forthcoming debut. “It’s been a really amazing few weeks,” she begins, on her commute home from the recording studio. “The last day is tomorrow so it’s all getting a bit intense.”

And it’s not just putting the finishing touches to their record that’s ‘intense’, either. Just days later, they’re jetting off to America to support Glass Animals on tour, then it’s back to the UK for their first headline run before heading to Europe again with the Oxford art-pop group. Admittedly, the nerves are starting to kick in. “I thought to myself today, ‘I’m slightly nervous about that’. But then I just sat down and had a beer and the nerves went,” Isabel laughs. “I think you get nervous because everything’s pounding on your door at once, kind of rushing you along,” she ponders. “Whereas if you look it in the face and have a real think about it, it’s great, it’s brilliant - it’s what you’ve always wanted to do.” The London five-piece, uniting under their ‘industrial spiritual’ ethos, are one of this year’s most important bands; defying genres at every turn and mesmerising crowds up and down


the country with their bewitching blend of swirling guitars, sensual vocals and obscure compositions. Pumarosa’s early existence came while Isabel shared a yurt on the roof of a Tottenham warehouse with drummer Nick… and some chickens in the corner. “It was a beautiful, freeing - and pretty alternative - way to live in London. Apart from occasionally I’d get a bit scared,” Isabel confesses. “I could see the headlines: ‘Girl in Tent on Roof Dies a Horrible Death’. Soon after, Isabel met Pumarosa’s keys and saxophone player, a fully trained musician called Tamoya, when she was invited to The Jupiter Club as a songwriter. “It’s a really interesting night,” she begins. “They have a proper brass section and backing singers, and you rehearse with them a few times before doing a

On Tour OCTOBER 20 Brighton Green Door Store 21 Cardiff SWN Festival 22 Manchester White Hotel 23 Leeds Belgrave Music Hall 24 London Village Underground 27 Bristol Louisiana 31 Dublin Whelans

performance. It’s a sort of one-off big band version of a few of your songs… all in a weird punk pub.” Tamoya liked what he heard and approached Isabel, saying, “If you want to play more then give me a call.” The trio then met guitarist Neville at a private viewing under a railway arch gallery. “The floor was covered in water and we just started talking… And he’d heard of our band,” Isabel recalls, shocked at the time. “I was so flattered that I asked him to join,” she jokes. Bassist Henry joined not much later and Pumarosa – named after a ‘little pink tropical fruit’ and the mythical Puma – was formed and they haven’t looked back. But despite playing countless shows over the last year, hearing their music on daytime radio and racking up fans worldwide, Isabel remains humbly unaware of how big they’re becoming. “It’s quite an abstract thing for me that we’ve ‘broken through’,” she suggests. “I’m still doing the same thing, I just don’t get as much time to sit at home and play the piano. Instead I’m on a bus or a plane. It’s not glamorous enough yet to feel like we’ve broken through,” she laughs. As for the band’s releases so far, the songs are varied: in length, sound and style. Though they all have this “woozy thread” running through them, Isabel

Banger Alert!

touring with working on their debut. Coming soon to a venue near you: Pumaros a are juggling Words: Ben Jolley.

Few bands can bridge the gap between fun and assertively artistic. Then again, there’s nobody else quite like Pumarosa right now. ‘Honey’ has the slightest tinge of Savages’ awkward, uncompromising assault to its verses, but at no point does it feel like a challenge. Instead it soars high, delivering an anthemic chorus that’s never tied down. Whisper it quietly, but Pumarosa could well be the perfect band in waiting.

contemplates. “They’re all quite saturated in feeling; not necessarily tragedy or that kind of emotion but they’re definitely heavy.” Watching Isabel and the band perform live, their otherworldly creations are powerful and thrilling creatures, each one staring the audience dead in the eye. “I always hope people might be able to hear the words, because with certain sound-systems it all just turns into a wall of noise,” she reflects of shows passed. “It’s also quite nice, but when you’ve spent years thinking of these words...” she trails off. Studying their first three releases, Pumarosa’s creative thrill shines through. ‘Honey’ was inspired by Adam Curtis’ ‘Bitter Lake’. “It’s an incredible cross between an art piece and a documentary; it made me want to write and ‘Honey’ is what I wrote.”

‘Priestess’ is about “finding that strength to be free,” Isabel suggests; “especially in a city. And finding the space to be wild, be an animal and do what you want to do without being borne down upon by London...” Contemplating Pumarosa’s aim as a band, Isabel begins. “We want to move people, and for them to really listen and hear the words. Be a bit bewitched, perhaps.” That sort of ethereal aesthetic shone through during their mesmerising set at Latitude earlier this year. “That show was amazing,” she recalls, “I was like ‘why are you all here? It’s 12 in the afternoon’!” Another particularly memorable performance was playing in the midst of a gas leak. “It was our first little headline show and we did it in a sort of blown out house, with our friends, Sweat,” Isabel remembers. “We organised it to feel like a party or a rave; we wanted it to run late and we had a friend come and DJ. It was just really wild and actually quite dangerous. But I think, when there’s an edge, it makes it more exciting.

“It’s ridiculou s, funny and

brilliant time.” at the same

“The power cut just as we were about to start, then there was a gas leak. It was just ridiculous, and I smashed loads of equipment during the set and got up, carried on playing. “It got completely out of control, but somehow it carried on. We got to bed at ten in the morning - afterwards the guys from Sweat were so pumped... And we’re all still alive so that’s nice.” This time next year, Pumarosa’s debut album will have been out for some time. But where does Isabel see herself twelve months down the line? “The reality is, next summer we’ll play as many festivals as possible, so I’d like to be on holiday, relaxing somewhere nice. “In an ideal world I’d like to be in a strange, little house in the south of Spain with a piano in the room and no-one else,” she says, conjuring up a picturesque break away from band life. “I just want to keep writing; it’s quite hard when you’re always moving around.” Truthfully, though, Isabel’s got one goal in mind: “I want the album to come out and for people to fucking adore it!” Pumarosa tour the UK in October and Europe in November.

What’s going Sohn?


Buzzy live dates, a Milla Jovovich-directed video and an album release imminent - Sohn’s back with a bang.. Hello Sohn. You’re gearing up to release a new album, debuting material live - how’s it going? It’s been going incredibly well actually we’ve played Vienna and Berlin so far and the reaction to the new songs has been phenomenal. How finished is the album? It’s finished from my end and I’m just waiting for the final mixes, which I will get into once I get back to LA after these shows so I’m excited to get it done. You recently moved to LA - what’s it like? Is it a very different way of life? It’s been fantastic. California is a beautiful place to live and I have been very lucky to have been afforded the opportunity to live there. I feel like after living in Vienna for so long my brain has appreciated the shift back to English too, I feel totally relaxed and calm and healthy now I live in Los Angeles. Are you finding you’re presented with more opportunities for being out there? I guess, yeah - with the film and music industry really mainly in LA now, I guess the visibility of my work is growing as a result of being physically present and available there. Teaming up with Milla Jovovich for a video was unexpected. Yeah Milla commented on a few bits and bobs of mine online, and was recommending my music to her fans so I said thanks on Twitter. She hit me up straight away and we talked about what we were listening to etc, and I asked if

she’d like to hear a new song of mine. I sent her ‘Signal’ and she fell in love with it. We then jumped on the phone and it soon became apparent that we’d love to make this video together. She’s amazing to work with and considering she was both behind and in front of the camera she somehow was energising the whole crew and we ended up with something incredibly beautiful I think. I think it’s magic. Are there any other projects you’re currently working on? Right now I am working on not working for a few months as I am about to have two major releases in my life, one musical and one human, so I will dedicate a bit of time to my family while I can. P

Fall Out Boy’s new short film ‘Bloom’ has finally landed Fall Out Boy have been teasing their new ‘Bloom’ short film for a while now – and it’s finally here. “Sometimes you have to crack the pavement before you can BLOOM,” says Pete Wentz. Check it out on

Young Legionnaire announce new album, ‘Zero

Sohn - Signal

Banger Alert!

‘Cecile’, on the other hand, is less of a song – according to Isabel. “It’s more of a vibey track. It came out of a jam and it’s more about sensation, desire and sex. There’s a surreal landscape of desire... singing about the Black Lake, liquid and sex... and then there’s an explosion of energy at either end.”

With synths warm enough to heat a mid-sized caravan, and vibes smoother than silk sheets, Sohn’s comeback is nothing short of audio indulgence. All about the texture, ‘Signal’ isn’t a short, sharp dash for attention. Placing quality above quantity, it’s content with impressing in other ways. A late night slow burner, when it finally blooms into a soundscape of beats and pulses, the effect is nothing short of glorious. This is one ‘Signal’ that cuts through the noise.

Worship’ Paul Mullen and Gordon Moakes will follow up 2011’s ‘Crisis Works’ with ‘Zero Worship’, set to land on 25th November. “In a culture running out of ideas, the new Young Legionnaire album has something to say,” says Gordon, “even if it’s just goodbye.”

The Weeknd unveils new album ‘Starboy’ It’s been just over a year since The Weeknd unleashed his chartconquering third LP ‘Beauty Behind The Madness’, but he’s already back in the race again with new album ‘Starboy’. It’s set to land on 25th November.

Bon Iver is off on tour Bon Iver has a UK tour planned for February 2017, which features four dates in the capital: two at London’s Roundhouse, and a further two at the Eventim Apollo. The jaunt also visits Blackpool and Edinburgh. Get more news and updates as they happen on, or via twitter @readdork.






“We haven’t played anything like these shows before.” As Daughter wind up a year that saw them release their stunning second album ‘Not To Disappear’,


they’re celebrating with a few UK shows. Words: Jess Goodman.

am terrified,” Elena Tonra admits with a nervous laugh. “It’s going to be really quite insanely big. I almost can’t think about it.” About to play the biggest headline shows of their career this far, Daughter are certainly feeling the heat – but it’s a pressure they’re certain to thrive under. “It’s a weird thing,” the frontwoman describes. “Once you start playing, you almost lose the sense of the room. You can go out there and be absolutely terrified, but once you’re in the music, everything sort of fades. It just becomes the audience connecting.” With the release of ‘Not To Disappear’ in January, Daughter rose to dizzying new heights. Crafted from intricately woven layers of melody and sound, the lyrics echo hauntingly above, exposing intense emotion to chilling effect. “All of our songs tend to be very personal, they have been forever,” Elena states. “But weirdly, it’s not weird to sing these songs to a room full of people.” Performing to their biggest crowds yet, the ability to convey such sincere emotion so openly is part of what’s brought them to where they are today.


“There’s something to be said about your guts knowing what they’re doing,” Elena asserts. “I was editing out things that I thought were too personal, or too gross,” she recalls. Finding the confidence to create from their own truths, Daughter’s music obtained a new-found resonance. “After a while, I realised that, actually, it’s best just being honest – sometimes brutally honest. It’s scary, but it makes what you’re doing so much more personal and truthful.” Personal truth is something Daughter continue perpetuate in everything they do. It’s been nine months since the album was released, and the songs continue to resound with the same poignancy with which they were first written. “There are songs where at the time I wrote them, I felt one way about them, then on reflection you start to feel differently,” Elena considers. “I guess it’s because of how you come at life differently.” The times may have changed around them, but the underlying fervour of the tracks remains the same. “When you look back on it, it’s almost like you’re looking back on a different person,” she continues. “It still means something because it was you, but you’re just not in that place any more.”

It was evident right from the start that this record was something special. The nerves that the group felt on the run up to their first release were diminished, replaced for the most part by excitement. “The first few shows, straight after the record had come out, we could see that already people were singing along,” Elena recalls in amazement. “It was weird. People already knew the words!” she exclaims gleefully. Three seasons later and ‘Not To Disappear’ has embedded itself in the hearts of fans worldwide. The shows this month are a celebration of everything the record has come to mean to anyone who’s heard it. “We’re hoping to have a few more elements to the show – maybe we’ll make it a bit more of an event,” Elena teases. Refusing to divulge anything further other than “if we can organise everything in time, that would be awesome,” Daughter are keeping their cards close to their chest. “When we first started playing it was very minimal,” the frontwoman describes. “We didn’t have very much going on. Now I think we’ve become super obsessed with the sound, and with making the show sound really good.” Creating richer layers

On Tour OCTOBER 23 Glasgow O2 Academy 24 Manchester Academy 25 Bristol Colston Hall 27 London O2 Academy Brixton

of sound, using bolder instrumentation, and designing brighter lighting, the band have built their live show into a sensational experience. “We’re trying to create an atmosphere,” Elena expresses. With the shows almost upon them, Daughter might insist that there’s “no plan as of yet, obviously,” but they’re already starting to focus on what might follow. “I’ve got a few things jotted down that have been so neglected,” Elena reveals. “When we’re touring there’s just not enough space and time to really focus on writing. I would love to do that really, just go into hiding, get into a bit of a quiet space, and write.” Hoping for more dates in the new year (“if we could try and find the balance”), the future may be bright, but it’s the moment they’re in that matters. “We haven’t really played anything like these shows before,” Elena remarks. They might be headlining in front of their largest audiences yet, but all the group hope for from their shows is that “whether there’s twenty people, two hundred, or two thousand, it feels like a safe place after all.” P Daughter tour the UK from 23rd October.

Buzz bands, assemble!

O N TOU R B E AC H BA BY UK tour 7th - 21st October N E I G H BO U RH O O D F EST I VA L Manchester 8th October

Spring King are off on tour this October, and they’re taking a bunch of your new favourite bands with them - as the group explain. Tarek Musa: We’ve got The Big Moon, who we’ve known for a while; Kagoule, who we’ve seen at different shows; The Magic Gang, who supported us years ago and ever since, we’ve been growing together; and Get Inuit. They did our last tour with us and are legends, so fuck it. I don’t think it’s very common, you don’t always get the same band on for a support, but we really wanted them. James Green: We were blown away with them on our May tour, we’re happy to have them back. The other guys, we were praying one of them would say yes. Then they all said yes. It’s very nice to have a variety, and basically all our mates bands come and play. It’s a dream come true. Tarek: I hadn’t thought about that. Pete Darlington: I think they’ll push us. When you’re playing with bands of such a high quality, it pushes you to go even further, go even crazier. James: And the energy level, when

we played at Scala I watched The Magic Gang first and I was so happy just watching them coming off, so when we played the energy level was already so much higher because it was so good. Andy Morton: The Magic Gang, the harmonies are amazing. I know, James. We have to do really well now. James: We’ll just turn the guitars really loud and blame it on our sound guy. Pete: When I was growing up, I always felt so inspired by bands and scenes. I was really into American hardcore music - Black Flag and stuff like that felt so inspiring to me. The idea that bands would tour together, in that kinda way. I feel like we’ve tried to recreate that, just play with people we get along with. People we support, genuinely. There’s nothing more to it than that. We love what they do, so let’s just take them out on the road with us. James: We’ve not, geographically,

Big Willie style

MØ UK tour 11th - 22nd October D E AT H G RI PS UK tour 14th - 29th October JAGWA R M A UK tour 15th - 26th October B L AC K FOX X ES UK tour 16th - 30th October SW N F EST I VA L Cardiff 21st - 23rd October G L ASS A N I M A LS UK tour 21st - 28th October SIMPLE THINGS Bristol 22nd - 23rd October HONNE UK tour 23rd October - 1st November B E AC O N S M ET RO F EST I VA L Leeds 27th October - 7th November M I RRO RS F EST I VA L London 29th October

He’s just finished up a few dates with The Magic Gang, and the next

been from any scene. Even though we’re all from Manchester, we’ve never been part of it. To be able to recreate that while we’re out on tour is really cool. Andy: With a lot of bands we’ve developed with them over time, so to see it all come to fruition is really special, I think. P

On Tour OCTOBER 10 Edinburgh Electric Circus (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 11 Glasgow Stereo (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 12 Newcastle O2 Academy2 (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 14 Manchester O2 Academy2 (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 15 Sheffield Plug (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 16 Leeds Wardrobe (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 18 Birmingham O2 Institute 3 (w/ The Magic Gang + Get Inuit) 20 Stoke Sugarmill (w/ The Big Moon + Get Inuit) 21 Cardiff Swn Festival (w/ Kagoule + Get Inuit) 22 Nottingham Rescue Rooms (w/ Kagoule + Get Inuit) 23 Oxford O2 Academy2 (w/ The Big Moon + Get Inuit) 25 Portsmouth Wedgwood Rooms (w/ Kagoule) 26 Bristol Thekla (w/ Kagoule + Get Inuit) 27 Brighton Concorde2 (w/ Kagoule + Get Inuit) 28 London KOKO (w/ Kagoule + Get Inuit)

few weeks see him play with both Gengahr and Hinds. It’s all go for newcomer Willie J Healey. HELLO WILLIE J HEALEY. HOW ARE YOU TODAY?

Hi Dorks I’m doing well thanks. I’m currently in LA, have you been to Guitar Centre? It’s crazy. NO MATE. YOU’RE TOURING WITH A BUNCH OF GREAT BANDS AT THE MOMENT HAVE YOU PLAYED WITH ANY OF THEM PREVIOUSLY?

It’s a mixed bag. We’ve played with The Magic Gang once or twice but that’s it, I like Gengahr and Hinds though. I’m looking forward to seeing them both live!  DO YOU DO ANYTHING TO PREPARE BEFORE GOING ON STAGE, OR AWAY FOR TOUR?

Hmm. I tend to get my equipment checked before a run of dates, just for peace of mind. I wouldn’t say I have a pre gig routine. I just try to relax for a few minutes before we go on, just to slow things down a little. I’ve found that the gig just flies by so quickly when you’re tense and rushing!


We’re all pretty sensible. It’s tough to get up to hijinks when you’re driving between gigs & carrying equipment. I’m not really sure how rock stars do it? Mike once spilt some ice in a hotel room.  IS THERE A VENUE YOU’D ESPECIALLY LIKE TO PLAY IN FUTURE? ONE THAT’D MEAN YOU’D HAVE ‘MADE IT’?

I’d like to play Glastonbury next, I think it’s doable. I don’t think that playing Glasto means you’ve made it but it’s still a cool thing to do.  WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE KEY TO PUTTING ON A GREAT LIVE SHOW?

I think it’s key to be honest with the people who are coming to watch, let them know what you’re really about. I also think you need to keep things fresh and fun from night to night otherwise you tend to go

through the motions... Ohh, the other thing is for each band member to play through at least two amps. That’s cray cray. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT PLAYING LIVE?

I enjoy everything about playing live! Especially if I’ve been locked away working on new material. I feel like I’m getting cabin fever after awhile so gigs are a way of keeping things fresh & getting a feel for what works & what doesn’t.  WHICH OF YOUR SONGS GOES DOWN BEST LIVE, DO YOU THINK?

Toughy… It really does change from place to place! I’d say that people tend to like ‘Subterraneans’, I’m not sure why though.


I’d probably do a ZZ Top and get the stage custom made into the shape of Carterton. We’d also need some livestock animal props if we were serious about doing the sharp dressed men proud.  WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO BETWEEN NOW AND THE END OF THE YEAR?

I’m recording some new songs at the mo, I can’t wait to show people once they’re finished. P

On Tour OCTOBER 14 Oxford What Became of Us fest (w/ Gengahr) 15 Leicester What Became of Us fest (w/ Gengahr) 17 London Groucho NOVEMBER 26 Manchester Academy 2 (w/ Hinds) 27 Glasgow Saint Luke’s (w/ Hinds)





was really uncool. Sorry!”

Glaswegian pop star in waiting, KLOE, is apologising for the confession that she’s about to make. “I loved whatever was in the Top 40: Ed Sheeran, the Jonas Brothers, Avril Lavigne and P!nk,” she says of her music icons as a teenager. Gradually, though, as she started getting a bit older, The Weeknd, Drake, Passion Pit and The 1975 - “Matthew Healy is just a fucking genius” – helped to form a cooler iPod shuffle [Oi, Avril is super cool - Ed]. Seeing Drake and J. Cole at the 02 Academy in her hometown, however, was “fucking lifechanging. It just made me fall in love with rap, hip-hop and R&B; I love the honesty,” says the 19-year-old. “I love pretty much everything that hits me right in the feels.” Now, having been described as one of the coolest teenagers on the planet, KLOE is making some of the most honest and addictive pop music around – or ‘Pop AF’ as she describes it. “I feel like I’ve just blagged my way in so far,” she jokes humbly, adding that on her days off “I literally just stuff my face and watch Netflix all day… I think if I was a serious pop star I’d go insane. I take my music seriously, but I don’t take myself seriously. I kind of just take the piss!” On ‘UDSM’, KLOE sings “heard that you’ve been fucking that girl Emily” - she doesn’t mince her words. “I thought I was being very



clever and a la Taylor Swift the day I wrote it. I remember thinking, ‘you’re gonna get in so much shit for that’.” It’s this type of frank and open lyricism that’s enabled her to build such a loyal and trusting fan base; “a girl travelled all the way from Slovakia just to see me in Berlin. I honestly could have cried!” she gushes. “I think because I do put myself out there in a very unapologetic way it’s easier for people to understand and bite into.” ‘UDSM’ is about when KLOE got pied by a guy she really fancied in a bar in London. “We’re actually friends now and he finds it funny, bless him. He must have been mortified,” she confesses. “Everybody knew it was about him!” ‘Liability’, on the other hand, is “me being, well, a liability - a full blown crazy bitch! It’s really upbeat, aggressive and even a little arrogant when you listen to it.” Underneath the energetic beats, however, is one of KLOE’s most personal songs. “I wrote it at a time where I was well and truly fucked; I don’t think people knew how bad it was. I was living up to being that crazy girl who’s the last one standing at parties,” she recalls. “It was me saying, ‘If you want me to be that girl then I’ll fucking be her x10000’. It was a weird time.” It’s those tracks, as well as early muchhyped single ‘Teenage Craze’, that have seen her perform all around the world. “Fucking weird,” is how she describes the experience over the last year… after a long pause. “I’ve

become more travelled than my mum and dad put together; it’s so crazy,” she reflects. In the last twelve months, KLOE has visited LA, New York, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and the Netherlands – easily more places than most people get the chance to see in an entire lifetime. The trip that stands out most, though, is Milan Fashion Week. “It was incredible. I played a show for Diesel Black Gold and they gave us all this free shit. I honestly felt like Kim Kardashian the whole time; we had our own driver, got taken for fancy dinners… Then you go back home and you find yourself sitting in your flat not knowing how you’re going to afford to eat the next day. Life is mental. I’m very lucky.” That kind of pop star lifestyle is something that KLOE will have to become familiar with very quickly - especially as she’s already working on her debut record. “My entire album is a love letter to Glasgow,” she gushes of her hometown. “It’s the city where I fell in love, and the city where I had my heart broken. I owe everything to Glasgow. If you were to slice me open I’d bleed Glasgow.” In November, she’ll perform a homecoming show at St Luke’s, and it’s safe to say KLOE is excited. “I cannot fucking wait,” she enthuses, sounding like she’s just woken up on Christmas morning. “I honestly can’t. It’s one of my fans’ 18th birthdays the same night - so he’s coming up from Manchester to celebrate it at my gig! I think that’s so cool. I want to make it a big party, and, of

I KIND OF JUST TA K E T H E P I S S ! ” course, it’s a total dream come true to be headlining a show in my favourite city in the whole world.” But how does KLOE want her music to make people feel? “Like they’re out with me on a mental night out in Glasgow,” she enthuses. “Maybe there are a few tears along the way, and maybe one of us is sick onto our shoes - but we had a fucking great night and we’ll remember it forever!” P

KLOE’s fave places in Scotland

KING TUTS: “I practically lived there from when I was about 15. Whenever I go back home to Glasgow I still go there and catch whatever gigs are on. That place feels like home to me.” BROADCAST: “Broadcast on Sauchiehall Street is where you’ll find me and my friends at the weekend - and probably weekdays, too. It’s really dark - almost too dark - but it’s just always such a good atmosphere. I love the people who work there too. They’re like my drunken Saturday night pals.”






ead by the effervescent duo of Sarah Nimmo and Riva Gauntlett, Nimmo was born out of a desire to play euphoric live shows and create something distinctively of their own, capturing the unadulterated bliss of late-night city life, the dazzling highs that are crammed full of gritty realities - transformed into pulsating pop anthems. It all began when the duo met at their induction day at secondary school, a meeting of minds and personalities that were destined to be together. “Riva was the first tomboy that I’d ever seen and I just thought, ‘Oh wow, there’s someone else out there like me and I’m not just an alien that landed on earth’,” remembers Sarah. “Yeah, now there are TWO aliens!” laughs Riva. “We both were really passionate about music, that was one of the first things that we realised we had in common. We were about 15 when we started really writing songs together and that was the main inspiration for starting a band. It was just to write songs.” After studying together at university in Brighton, Sarah and Riva returned to London determined to make it big, full of self-belief and a confidence that they were onto something special. Their dedication was fuelled by an independent spirit of putting on their own nights in pubs up and down Camden, constantly creating and ultimately honing the live pop spectacle that now sees them steal shows wherever they go. Whether that’s festival stages, support slots or another night down the pub, Nimmo turn venues into unique communes of celebration and freedom. “It comes from a very DIY place,” explains Riva. “We were about in Camden when everyone was doing that, putting on shows and making your own t-shirts, so it comes very naturally from that. It would be me and Sarah in a room doing some like screen printing or some shit, selling things on a weird website that we’d set up and asking our mums to lend us money to make like 100 badges or something.”

“I still owe so much money.” The stories continue to flow from their exploits, determined to make every show bigger and better than the one before. There’s the one where Sarah’s mum came home to find her holding a chainsaw in the back-garden, carving up a huge MDF board to hold up the spray painted banner they’d made on old bedsheets (“It was terrible,” recalls Sarah). There’s the many shows they held at the pub where they would book other bands to play alongside them (“I actually bumped into someone we booked at a wedding recently”). Yet ultimately, that passion for the live stage is where Nimmo well and truly breathe, inspiring not only the shows but the music they write too. “Growing up in London and going out, experiencing more, being a bit naughty that’s what always has stimulated us,” says Sarah. “We’re night-owl people, that’s just who we are. It’s slowly happened like that.” “And so the sound started to take that direction more, because that’s what we’re living and experiencing,” picks up Riva. “To marry the songs with that feeling of being grabbed by the shoulders and thrown around is just the fucking best thing ever.” That sound resonates through the singles Nimmo have put out so far, with ‘My Only Friend’ and ‘UnYoung’ full of hypnotic beats and catchy hooks that could turn any crowd into putty in their hands. ‘Dilute This’ is an ode to the waning stages of love in a relationship, bursting out of their core pop/ songwriting hearts made up of Fleetwood Mac and Carole King emotions with a layered electro kick. While inspired by those evenings of rapturous dance out in the city, it’s a tag that ultimately sells Nimmo short of what an exciting proposition they are. “It’s funny because we don’t think we make dance music, it’s more that we’ve taken those feelings that come with dance and worked them into our own music,” notes Sarah. “It’s very live and we don’t use any tracks - we quite like the clatter that comes along with playing live!” “Like, we’re a bit more aggy, if you get what I mean?” asks Riva. “There’s a real aggyness when we play live that I haven’t really


On tour

With the album done, Nimmo can now look ahead to their largest UK tour to date in October, returning to the live stage which they’ve called their second home for years now. It’s back doing what they love, in their natural habitat. “The tour signifies a lot,” explains Riva. “The album is done, we can get those tracks out to play them live. It’s taken a while to let go of the record, because you can always tweak this or that, but the next month is going to be the one.” “We have so much fun when we tour,” chimes in Sarah. “It’s just like being a kid again, and it’s okay to be like that.” “I was out with my friends last night and we were talking about how if we’ve been through something, it’s so lucky that we can then go into the studio or on the stage and jump around, sing it out. It’s really healthy and lucky to be able to do that, and we don’t take for granted just how cleansing it is.”

seen with anyone else. If anything, growing up with grime and hip-hop gives us that, getting that energy of people throwing themselves around the stage and just kicking off basically.” “Dance music can sometimes be quite tame, but it’s the grime mentality that lives through everything we do on stage. So it’s more an amalgamation of influences rather than a singular band or moment.” 2016 has already been a ridiculously busy year. Nimmo have been hard at work balancing a string of festival appearances alongside work in the studio on their debut album, transferring what they’ve learnt from living in the live world for years into a studio environment. Riva remembers the struggles and process well. “We’ve done it backwards really, as we were always the band who did it DIY and fucking making it up as we went along, but then we had to learn how to be a studio band. A lot of bands nail what its like to be in the studio and then have to work out how to do it all live, we’re the opposite - we didn’t know how to be a studio artist but

T H E G RE AT ESCA P E A N N O U N C E F I RST F I F T Y S E RI ES The Great Escape is holding a special, new event this year. Titled First Fifty, it will take place across five East London venues from 22nd-24th November – showcasing bands who will go on to play the main event next May, including Drones Club, Cabbage and Eat Fast.

VA M P I RE W E E K E N D D RU M M E R C H RI S TO M SO N A N N O U N C ES N E W P ROJ ECT Chris Tomson has announced a new solo project. Titled Dams of the West, he’ll release his debut solo album ‘Youngish American’ later this year. It was coproduced with the Black Keys’ Patrick Carney and Roger Moutnot.

H E A R ‘SW E ET D RE A M E R’, T H E N E W O N E F RO M W I L L J OS E P H C O O K The guy behind some of the sweetest pop hooks of the summer, Will Joseph Cook has laid out another undeniable groover in new single ‘Sweet Dreamer’. Check it out now on

A N T E ROS S H A RE N E W V I D EO FO R ‘ RI N G RI N G ’ ‘Ring Ring’ is the latest track to get the video treatment from Anteros’ new EP ‘Breakfast’. The new clip follows the band on the road over the summer, both on stage and in fields setting up tents. Watch on

knew how to fling ourselves around on stage and jump into it.” “Performing a track in a certain way was hard too,” continues Sarah. “We can change how we play a song every night when playing live. Like, when we were doing vocals we ended up just shouting, as we were used to doing that live!” “Yeah, shouting away as if we were in the pub in Camden all over again!” says Riva, immediately triggering a string of flashbacks. “We were listening back like, ‘Oh shit what is this?! We can’t put that on a CD!’” “It’s weird, we seem to have done it all in reverse like playing the pub circuit and doing it live - like before we’d write a song in ten minutes and play it that very night. It would be horse shit, out of key, strings falling off the guitar but we’d play it - and sell a t-shirt afterwards!” P


HYPE right now and I think because these have all been written in this past year, it’s created a continuity within the music. How have things changed since the release of ‘River’? It all began in this little studio where I met Mark Jackson and Ian Brendon Scott. Although we are on the road, we are still writing every day and when we are back in LA, we are back in those four walls. I think your mentality has to always stay in the place where you created and no one knew about it. My favourite part about the release of ‘River’ is the amazing people that have come along on this journey with me and shown their support.  Were you expecting the reaction you got? Never.



utting delicate heartsink with a horizon-grabbing delivery and backed by a rabbit warren of twisting musical theatre, Bishop Briggs puts soul and spirit into powerful pop wonder. Born in London to a couple from Bishopbriggs (see what she did there?) in Scotland before moving to Tokyo, then Hong Kong and currently residing in Los Angeles (though she’s also spending a lot of time in New York), Sarah McLaughlin has


spent most of her life on the move. Since the release of ‘Wild Horses’ in 2015 that ever-changing backdrop has been rushing past even faster. Even today she’s on a flight from London heading back to Los Angeles - but despite the acceleration, she’s making sure to capture every moment. Hey, how are things today? Tour going well? It’s a pretty long stretch on the road. Things are awesome! My favourite part about all of this is performing so the longer the tour the better for me.


rones Club are pushing boundaries like few others. The unique London collective functions as “an ever-expanding organisation that’s very living.” Varying between three and six members, their electronic-infused compositions are just as melodic and upbeat as they are haunting and eerie. Their ‘Rasa’ EP has just been released and, expectedly, ‘core’ members Charlie Dobney and Rory Cottam are happy it’s out. “It feels really good for that point to have

And did that ramp up the pressure when it came to releasing new material? I put a lot of pressure on myself and it wasn’t to necessarily release new material as much as it was to create it and put into our set! That’s the fun part!


You’ve lived all over the world, has that constant travelling affected the music you make? It’s all I’ve ever known so I can’t really know how it’s affected me, but I can say I am thankful to have grown up in cities that have a distinct energy to them that can only enhance your creativity. You’re five brilliant songs in, all very confident and assured. Do you think you’ve found your “sound”? Thank you so much. I think your “sound” is really up to interpretation of the audience and yourself. I am really enjoying creating

protruded into the world,” Rory begins. “We see it as the crystallisation of an aesthetic that we’ve been working on for quite a while,” Charlie continues. Since starting out little over a year ago, the ethos of Drones Club has been clear. “It came together very organically; the coming together of a few people, discussing similar things and deciding that there was something, an organisation that we could make to be an honest, sincere vessel for these ideas,” Charlie suggests. The ideas that bought them together focus on the belief that “people have become numbed and alienated, and more like drones: the Drones Club is a method for people to reconnect with one another.” This type of analytical approach comes from making observations in everyday life. “It’s a natural by-product of living in this society and this environment,” Charlie adds. “It’s not necessarily a negative reaction or fall-back - it’s more a desire to move forward.” Drones Club like to stay covered up: their faces concealed behind balaclavas and bodies hidden under boiler suits. “It’s an old idea of not wanting ego to get in the way” is the reason they give for that air of mystery. One band in particular that has been a major influence on the Drones Club aesthetic is the Slovenian avant-garde group Laibach. “We really respect what they did; how big they created their world and their ambition of how important they

Everything you’ve released so far has been really distinctive, where do you take it from here? All I can do is keep writing and be authentic. You seem like someone who won’t just tie together a group of songs and release them as a record, there’ll be an art or a vision behind it. Have you started thinking debut album yet? Yes. I think albums should be a combination of art, vision and sweat! It’s the final paper you have to hand in after you’ve put in the work. It’s my goal to create an album that I am proud of and I can’t wait for everyone to hear the music! What’s next for Bishop Briggs? Next I’m going on tour with Kaleo and I will be releasing new music very soon! P

wanted that world to be.” With their own music, though, Drones Club aim to show “there will always be more than one facet”. ‘Soul of a Spaceman’, for example, is heartfelt pop fuelled by genuine emotion and Tallulah’s gospelesque vocal. Comparatively, the ‘Rasa’ EP treads new ground, crossing multiple genres. Fusing elements of techno, pop and electro together, Charlie suggests: “It should be a broader, holistic approach to making noise. Using elements of genre and noise almost like colour in a palette to produce a sensation of potential familiarity that represents our own ideologies.” Moving from transcendental house to low-slung machine funk via meditative Balearic pop, they describe lead single ‘Shining Path’ as “a beam of light through the shadow”. The idea of ‘Feel No Pain’, meanwhile, is that “if people come together the pain that we experience will be lessened through the value of sharing it”. ‘Hissing Song’, additionally, boasts themes of enlightenment, religion and salvation – something the group want to convey. As for the future of Drones Club: “What we’re looking to do is keep expanding this aesthetic and organisation to a point where we genuinely alter the way people perceive music, and what a band can or should be,” they agree with clear ambition. “We want to make a genuine cultural impact.” P




ondon-based, Hastings-born artist and producer Emily Underhill is currently holed up working on her debut album (well, technically she’s in an Apple Store waiting for her Mac to get fixed, but tomatoes tomatoes [There’s a saying that doesn’t work on paper - Ed]). It’s due next year, following on from her captivating new EP ‘False’. How’s the album going? Man it’s intense! I think it’s about 70% done which is exciting - it’s been a really crazy couple of months trying to get it written and recorded in time but I’m excited to get it finished and released.




Two Up



WO RDS: JASL E E N DHI N DSA. ew York-based duo PWR BTTM - drummer Liv Bruce and guitarist Ben Hopkins - are riding high on the success of debut ‘Ugly Cherries’, which was officially released in 2015, but is only just getting its UK outing. It’s an album about life, be it everyday musings or more prominently, love and identity - things we all experience. The band are part of a generation where queer communities have never been so prominent; they “don’t try and speak for anyone else’s problems but our own,” Ben explains. “[But] PWR BTTM has always been a really queer project, the name itself is one that couldn’t be mistaken for anything else, and that was a very deliberate choice. “As a teenager, I was aware of a lot of queer artists who were semi-out, and a lot of queer artists who were out, but refused to let their work be described as that. I understand their reasoning, but it just felt like - all the straight people got this music that was so unabashedly straight, and then I was stuck with this half-gay thing in music, because they didn’t want to get pigeon-holed.” It’s something they’re attracted to in other acts, too. “I’ve really got back into The Mars Volta,” says Liv, “they were my favourite band ages 12 to 15, and the thing I connected to last night about them was how campy they are. [Also] I think that when I look back, I used to and still do, love Muse. Muse is so campy.”

While Ben continues: “I really like every indie band from 2005 to 2011, any band. The Shins were my favourite band around the time that Liv really liked The Mars Volta, which is funny. I just love great pop songs. I collect bands like Pokémon cards. I feel like I just like every band.” Their focus may be on battling cisheteronormative ideals, but PWR BTTM also reference disharmony within the community itself. “One type of discrimination that happens is when gay men are dismissive of other gay men who are more feminine than them,” Liv explains. “And there’s this like, prizing of masculinity. “I felt like that was something I was channelling when I sing, ‘I want a boy who doesn’t like to go out shopping’ and I love to go out shopping. I mean, I didn’t then because I hated myself, and now I hate myself slightly less because I go shopping all the time. But I think there’s plenty of other discrimination that happens within the queer community.” “The album title ‘Ugly Cherries’ is about that,” Ben adds. “It’s this thing from my childhood about being a bad fruit, not being enough. There are these ideas of these types, these things that you’re supposed to conform to, archetypes of being a queer person. It’s easy to feel like you’re not enough.” That feeling of insecurity is something the band have battled with humour. “The funniest person in the room is usually the one who’s the saddest or terrified, or both,” they posit. “But also within the history of queer culture, there’s always

PWR BTTM added two new tracks to the UK release of ‘Ugly Cherries’: ‘New Hampshire’ and ‘Projection’. “They were kind of older songs that we wrote in the ‘Ugly Cherries’ period of time,” Ben reflects. “‘New Hampshire’ was a song I wrote before the song ‘Ugly Cherries’, probably in November 2014. ‘Projection’ was kind of the same case, but it kind of felt like we loved and played it live, but it didn’t feel like part of the new project we’re working on.” “Basically it was a funny coincidence that I think is familiar to anyone that makes art with other people,” Liv continues. “’New Hampshire’ specifically wasn’t magic, wasn’t whatever you call it that makes something really exciting to listen to. When we went back into the studio this time around, we weren’t really planning to record it, and there was a certain point where we remembered it. A lot of the musical choices we made were very similar to what we were doing last year, there was just a slight shift that made it work this time.”

What prompted you to relocate to France to work on it? We wanted to find a big detached barn to record in and it actually worked out the same price to go to France and rent one there than to rent one in England. Have you been able to try anything new that you’ve not previously attempted? We recorded me singing into my guitar pick ups through an amp with loads of reverb on which was cool – there’s also loads of cello thanks to the incredible Jack Sugden. What’s been the highlight of your time as a musician so far? I think getting signed to One Little Indian has been the highlight. Supporting one of my favourite bands, Submotion Orchestra on some of their tour dates was pretty amazing too. Do you have any specific goals for Tusks? Any achievements you’re keen to hit? I just want to enjoy it all as much as possible - I think overall that’s the most important thing - and release music that I’m proud of. But touring the world wouldn’t be too bad I guess! What’s the most exciting thing you have planned for over the next few months? Finishing the album and playing my first headline show! Anything else we should know? There’s a tasty vinyl of ‘False’ coming out soon, with some even tastier remixes on the B-side. P

been these court jesters, who because they’re so disenfranchised by the way things work, it all looks ridiculous to them; that’s Oscar Wilde. “What’s amazing about [his play] The Importance Of Being Earnest is that it’s this outside perspective on how ridiculous aristocratic traditional family structures are, and how funny they are. That perspective, the outsider perspective, definitely writes itself. Everything looks funny.” P PWR BTTM’s album ‘Ugly Cherries’ is out now.


u o ble u l ro b e




lickering with static, Black Honey make cinematic anthems of love, lust and heartbreak. Dream Wife find a theatre for the romance, all glitter and grit. Between them, the bands are flying a handcrafted flag for bucking expectation, living a life without limits and embracing the power that comes with it. Neither band have self-imposed rules and it’s been a long time since anyone else tried to box them in. “It’s just two cool bands going on tour together,” starts Black Honey leader Izzy B. Phillips as Dork rounds up the members of the two groups ahead of their UK jaunt together. Despite both bands forming in Brighton they’ve only met each other in passing before today so, in front of camera lenses and microphones, this is first contact. Black Honey drummer Tom Dewhurst quickly finds out the The Magic Gang have a poster of Dream Wife in their recording studio, and so spends the whole day trying to join the band. The closest he gets is being told he can be their Bez. Elsewhere, there’s talk of daily tarot card readings from Dream Wife bassist Bella Podpadec to get the vibe of the shows as well as yoga, pizza birthday parties and tape. Turns out Dream Wife and Black Honey guitarist Chris Ostler love tape. There’s a Black Honey tour initiation ceremony of the flaming pinky which involves fire and Sambuca but don’t expect the cheesy final night group song. “I don’t think we’ll be exchanging fans as much as sharing them,” Izzy continues. “They’re getting a double hit. Here you go, here are two really great bands.” “We’re just big fans of Dream Wife,” explains Black Honey bassist Tommy Taylor. It’s a feeling that’s reciprocated (luckily) with Dream Wife vocalist Rakel Mjöll pointing out: “It doesn’t make sense if you’re touring with someone you don’t like. What’s the point if you don’t like the music?”


Despite touring a lot, Dream Wife have always done it alone and via public transport. “We’ve missed a lot of coaches and spent many nights on a Megabus.” Black Honey are more versed in sharing the journey. They either tour with bands they’re already friends with or that they respect. It doesn’t matter how you set out though, “We’re now best friends with every band we’ve been on tour together with,” smiles Izzy. “So, we’re becoming best friends now,” asks Rakel. “It’ll be exciting to make some new best friends,” adds Bella. That invitation isn’t just reserved for those on stage though. More than just a run of excellent evenings up and down the country, the tour is set to capture a moment in time. Despite the relative infancy of both projects, Black Honey and Dream Wife have been a long time coming. There’s a lifetime of influence, experience, trial and error behind every layer of their already-assured vision. Neither band has committed more than four tracks to a release but there’s an art behind everything they do. They know exactly what they want and they embrace that ever-evolving idea of what they are.


or Dream Wife, it started as an art project while the three members - Rakel, Bella and guitarist Alice Go - were at art school in Brighton. “It was about dreaming big and making stuff happen in a conceptual way, having an idea and seeing it through,” starts Bella, as Alice adds: ”and realising things in quite a realistic way.” However, two years on from the band returning from a DIY tour of Canada and realising it had become more than just a project, how the band first formed is now almost irrelevant. Dream Wife are very much The Real Thing - and have been for a long time. The band released their first record this spring, the to-thepoint titled ‘EP01’, that tied together four distinctive but darling songs that announced to the world what the band had been building during their live shows (no, we’re not talking about human pyramids, let it go). “We had tried other things going into the studio but it

wasn’t the same as the live show,” offers Rakel. “That raw freshness, that was the sound we wanted. And that’s why it was great to release this EP and to have something that was our live show and that was our sound out in the world. We ended up recording it off of the back of a two month DIY tour last autumn and we recorded it in Alice’s parents house.” “My dad’s playing drums on that record,” grins Alice. “Having the EP out was a major moment. People could finally understand what Dream Wife was about. People didn’t take it seriously, maybe because the aesthetic is a major consideration people assume the music’s not good, but it’s not just three girls dressing up. People’s impression of the band has been a lot more genuine since the release.” All four songs “went on journeys and it was really pivotal to understand what those journeys were and what we

GET TWO BANDS WHO ARE GOING ON TOUR TOGETHER, BUT HAVEN’T MET EACH OTHER PROPERLY. MAKE THEM TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER, IN FRONT OF EACH OTHER. ENJOY. BLACK HONEY ON DREAM WIFE Izzy: “A lot of it speaks to my love of riot grrl stuff but instead of it being typical, riot grrl is so dated. Bands now, if you’ve got strong women telling a story, it needs to be modernised and you guys are doing it the right way. There are two sides to that fence where it could land. It’s got a pop sensibility, the tone of your voice feels nostalgic and the art scene side of it, I guess is where you get the direction and the depth. I like the themes. ‘Lolita’ is a wicked idea for a song. DREAM WIFE ON BLACK HONEY Rakel: I think, lyrically, there are a lot of stories with the songs and a nostalgic looking back. Your song ‘Corrine’, looking back at a friendship and times you had together, which is the same idea as our song ‘Kids’. Both bands tell a story. Bella: I think they’re really classic songs that are very melodic with a rough and raw edge.


‘ s t “I a double hit

- I Z Z Y, B L A C K H O N E Y

wanted from them. It’s the same as the new songs,” teases Alice. “That journey is so important.” Oh yeah, turns out Dream Wife have written their debut album. Dream Wife took a break from the road this summer and locked themselves away in a windowless room in Peckham to write the songs that will become their debut album. With nothing but scheduled breaks to go to the park and making summertime friends with the children dragged to work with their parents at the tailoring shop opposite to distract them, the past few months have been really creative for the band. “We’re going to be playing a lot in the next year, so it’s been great to have a summer where we can just write and not have to play a million shows,” says Rakel. Before 2017 rolls around and carries Dream Wife away though, there’s the tour with Black Honey. “That tour is so exciting for us because that is where we’re going to road-test the songs,” beams Bella. “That is where we’re going to learn to play them live. Then we’re going to come back from this tour and record them. This tour is a big deal for us because we’re going to learn how to play our debut album. We are a live band at the crux of it and we want an album that is representative of an experience, that is a snapshot of something that happened.” “When you play a song live, you understand its truth,” explains Alice. “That’s the truest form it can be, sharing it with people in that moment. That’s what we want to get on our record with those songs.” The band’s manager originally asked Dream Wife for twenty songs to help work out the direction they could go. The band, knowing their own mind, “wrote twelve really good songs” instead. There’s already an unwavering confidence to Dream Wife. Keep up or don’t. It’s the same idea that the band held dear when they first started, “You have this idea and you go for it. That’s the fun part about this band. We know when we’re not ready and we know when we are ready.” Instead of playing around with direction and experimentation and, in the process, taking forever, Dream Wife know what they want. “After recording the EP, we know how we work. We’re going to take that education and we’re going to record our debut album,” promises Rakel. The band, in between stealing Black Honey’s Haribo (though you didn’t hear that from us) are quick to explain that it’s too early to talk about specific influence on the record. “When


we write, it just comes out,” ventures Alice, with Bella carrying on: “It’s a whole lifetime of absorbing stuff. There are so many levels of processing stuff. We could throw some names around but that would be giving too much weight to anything specific.” Currently meeting up with producers, a process that feels a lot like going on a date, the band do know how they want the record to feel and that’s thanks to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “because we are very much individuals in our music. The drums, the bass, the guitar, the vocals, its all got a very strong personality and then they come together in a really beautiful way. That’s what the dynamic is with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, this beautiful space and beautiful collision of all these beautiful personalities.” “Just when we’ve been writing, it has been fun and that’s a really relevant reference,” adds Alice. Still hiding away as demos and ideas, Dream Wife’s debut already has its own fierce identity. “It’s been a really long process in terms of us settling into it,” starts Alice. “This is what we want from this project when we set out.” “I’m so happy we didn’t record right away,” admits Rakel. “We had a few attempts and it was terrible,” says Bella. “It just didn’t feel right, but I think what’s interesting about this is, when we started out, because we weren’t trying to do the band thing it was a much more free form thing. We were just having a good time and liking music.” Rakel, Alice and Bella are all from musical backgrounds and they’ve been in bands for pretty much their entire lives. Between them, Dream Wife is around group number twenty. And while playing music was never something the band had never done before, with Dream Wife “we didn’t have any expectations. Without expectations, there were no limitations. We were aiming at big, ridiculous things and I think a lot of stuff happened that wouldn’t have happened if you were trying to follow a particular path.” “We just did things,” the band say, almost in unison. “We just did things because we’re all makers and we’re doers.” “That’s the thing, it’s a really active project,” states Alice. “Things get figured out by doing them.” Despite the multi-layered vision, “It’s not like we’re sat around conceptualising stuff. It’s really natural that way.”

o j ‘ t s “ It n ust e s e l h i t r gr dress ing up




e live in a movie that no one else will ever see,” sing Black Honey on their ode to friendship ‘Corrine’. They, like Dream Wife, are a band who know what they are, what they can do and what they want to say. They’re eager to show that to the world. Having spent most of the year on the road and at festivals, the band have noticed more people taking an interest. The crowds have been bigger, the voices louder, but Black Honey themselves don’t feel any different. “I feel like I haven’t improved in any of my playing in about three years,” admits Izzy. “If I stop playing every day, I’ll probably forget what a guitar is.” “It’s weird, isn’t it,” questions Tommy. “We have people who say we’re so tight, it’s one of those things that when you’re in it, it’s a retrospective, outsiders thing. We’re so in our own little world I feel like we’ve never improved but I’m sure we have. Confidence wise, we’re so comfortable being on stage and I think that shows.” Tom and Izzy grew up wanting to perform: “I did the really classic thing of hairbrush, mirror and, for the really dramatic points, I would wipe everything off of the front of my dresser in a flourish,” reflects Izzy. “You must have been so annoying,” pokes Tom. “It’s what I’ve done my whole life,” she continues. “There are films of me putting on plays in the garden and singing to my imaginary friends when I was a kid. It was not a surprise to anyone when it turns out I’m a musician.” Chris and Tommy, however, grew up wanting to make music. For Chris, it was his yearly pilgrimage to Reading Festival with Izzy and seeing his favourite bands on stage that lit the fire (“We got to play their last year, so we must be doing something right”), while Tommy remembers a long

BOTH DREAM WIFE AND BLACK HONEY HAVE AN ART ABOUT THEM. IT’S BIGGER THAN JUST GREAT MUSIC, BUT DOES THAT MAKE IT HARD TO WRITE SONGS THAT RELATE TO OTHER PEOPLE AS WELL AS BEING CREATIVELY SATISFYING? “When I write, I don’t really think about other people,” explains Izzy. “I want people to identify with it, but because I’m writing about something that’s sincere rather than hoping everyone else feels this way. If I write something true to myself, I know that people will relate. It’s easier. It’s not tough. People are way more astute with if you’re bullshitting or not than you realise.” “It’s not trying to be something that you’re not,” adds Bella. “People connect to honesty. You’ve got to do what you do, the best you can do it and hope people connect to that. They seem to both be the same thing, which is alright.” “I think it’s the opposite. If you’re trying to be something that you’re not, then it’s going to come across fake and it won’t connect. It’s like trying to fit a square into a triangle.” WHEN DOES THE ART COME INTO THE MUSIC? DO THEY HAPPEN AT THE SAME TIME OR

car journey, a blue Walkman and his only tape, a copy of Oasis’ ‘Definitely Maybe’. “I listened to that for fucking hours. I’ve never wanted to be a performer or be on stage, that sounds kinda weird to me but I always wanted to play music.” Somewhere in the middle of those related but distant desires sits Black Honey. Music and theatre, intimacy and mass-engagement.

stuff and I wanted something that had a bit of depth to it. In a weird way, it was a rejection of the way people were expecting us to go about things. There’s an undertone of a punk ethos to it, doing something that felt like we’re not going to be the stereotypical grunge band from Brighton. We’re going to do this instead, which is quite out there but we loved it.”

The anniversary of when Black Honey first played together is lost to history - “We tried to figure it out the other day, but we got bored” - but once upon a time, the long standing partnership of Chris and Izzy featured Tommy on drums before bassist number three left. Tommy stepped out from behind the kit and their housemateslash-best friend, who once told Izzy “I’m so happy I’m not in your band because all you do is argue”, offered to play drums as a favour. That was about five years ago. The band still argue, mock and tease but it’s a sibling affection in all its comfortable glory. That tension and that ease around one another bleeds into the music of Black Honey. There’s no pretence, there’s nowhere to hide.

And as sure and certain as the band are in their identity, this isn’t it. “It evolves,” offers Izzy, with Tommy adding: “and I don’t think it will ever stop.”

“We did this behind the scenes mutating thing, building it for ages,” explains Izzy. “We tried loads of stupid things that didn’t work and we went through phases where for a year, we only played motorik beats with a Krautrock vibes.” “I’d still do that if we could,” shrugs Chris. There was a year where the band experimented with pop, then they were a movie-themed band for a while. They have songs from when they invented another band entirely and now, “all the songs that we’ve got, they’re little cherries from all of these weird experiments we’ve been doing for god knows how long.” “It just fell into place,” smiles Chris. The band have spent most of their lives in and out of bands but as soon as they did Black Honey, “we just knew,” says Izzy. “We knew we had something different. I felt a bit bored as well with generic rock

DOES ONE INFORM THE OTHER? “It’s always been hand in hand,” starts Rakel. “I don’t think they’re always linked in the creative process but it’s in consideration,” adds Alice. “It’s always on your mind, but it’s not necessarily linked directly to the music at first.” “It makes it more fun for us to create a world around something that is already a world in our sound and in our heads,” Rakel continues. “After we release this album, I can’t wait to do the videos. But you got to do one thing at a time.” “It’s hard to not get carried away,” smiles Bella. “We’ve got our first ever video coming out,” explains Izzy. “The song’s called ‘Hello Today’ and we filmed the video in the Joshua Tree desert in LA. It’s based around the idea of your heart. This character, her heart follows her around and she can’t escape it so she goes out into the desert, she takes out her heart and she buries it underneath the desert sky. You’ll see it pretty soon. We’re super excited about that because it’s the first time we’ve been able to make the video we wanted to make; I’ve been waiting my whole life to make this video. The world’s probably not ready for what we have in store.”

“It feels like it’s growing, especially with what we have in the pipeline for you. With what we’ve made over the last three months, I just feel like the bubble is becoming bigger. The monster that we’ve made and we’re feeding, it’s growing and it’s becoming more fierce. It’s this unstoppable force.” That no limits future, “that’s the best bit,” explains Chris. “There’s this point in your head that you want to reach and you’re never going to quite hit it. You’ve just got to keep clawing at it, getting closer and closer, and keep evolving and one day, you think you’ll hit it.” Spoiler alert, “no one ever reaches that point but that’s what I think is so beautiful about it. You just keep trying and keep getting better and better. That’s the freedom of it.” “And there are no rules.” grins Izzy. “You can change it. You might be wondering down one route, exploring it but if you feel like you want to change it and do something different, you can do. I think that’s the nature of what we’ve created. Black Honey is such an open idea. It’s such a loose term for so many things. Right now it feels very specific but we can go down any avenue we want to.” Once shrouded in mystery to ensure nothing distracted from the music, it’s now at the point where nothing could detract from what Black Honey are creating. They believed in their music, “it’s the other people we don’t believe in.” Second guessing assumptions of gender, art direction and major label involvement, the band put the music forward. “That was us being, ‘Just fucking listen to what we’ve made because we actually write songs and we’re good at writing them’. The songs speak for themselves, the kids are screaming along. We don’t need to do anything, we’ve got nothing to prove. It’s speaking for itself.”


ream Wife and Black Honey are two very individual bands. There’s no one else around like either of them. That’s not by design, it’s just a strong individuality finding a voice. They do share common themes and common appreciations though. And they adore toying with your expectations.

disco track,” starts Rakel. “That always happens when you say you wrote the sad song,” smiles Bella. “It’s the turning it around,” offers Alice. “I’m not heartbroken, fuck you. I’m going to have fun tonight.” “It’s like crying at the disco,” offers Rakel. “There’s no shame in crying at the disco. There’s no shame in feeling any nostalgic feelings or anything like that. It was funny that this really sad song has became our main party song though.” That twist is also used by Dream Wife in their colour scheme. From press shots to Lazy clothing, “who take feminine colours, or colours that people say are feminine or are soft and turn it around and empower it. I really like that. Flipping the script. That’s something we do. You think we’re one thing, you see us live and we’re something totally different. Then we play with that.” Sure, both band’s emerged with an idea and allowed it to grow without losing their identity but sharing it with other people, that’s really fuelled them to push against every wall and every ceiling. “I think it’s amazing that people can feel like they can be a part of it,” offers Alice. “For me, that’s the most enjoyable part of taking it out there, it’s people. It surprises me the amount of people who don’t feel like they can just do this. Seeing us, they feel like they could. They feel like they could start a band now, that surprises me and it makes it all the more important doing this actually, in terms of a purpose. I didn’t realise that to start with. I think we’ve been lucky in feeling like we can just do this. We’re privileged in that sense, I suppose.” “I adore the community of people going to shows,” explains Rakel. “We’ve all been teenagers going to our first shows, I still see bands that I’m freaking out over and I love that whole community of audience and stage becoming one. We don’t put up a front. I’m not going to walk past you and pretend I’m more important because I’m slightly raised. That’s what I like about Dream Wife as a project. It’s a weird thing to say it, but we’re all in this together. If you’re having a good time, we’re having a good time. If you were to have a crap time, I’d have a crap time. We’re all just somewhat friends for tonight and maybe the next day. Maybe. Let’s find out.” “I think it’s interesting about what you say about putting up a front, and we don’t. We try and break that down. Once you’ve broken that down, people feel freer and there’s no pressure or an expectation. At our shows, that’s really important that people can feel like they can just have fun, freak out or whatever. But they can do it with us, We’ll all do it together.”

Black Honey love writing about love. “It’s because it’s a universal thing but also, I’m just a bit of a fucking hopeless romantic, really,” says Izzy. “I’m always managing to ruin or sabotage things and there’s always something to say about it. There’s never a dull moment in romance. ‘Hello Today’ is an interesting one because it’s not a sad romantic song, it’s like, ‘Yeah, shit happened, let’s move on’. It’s about looking to the future in an empowering way rather than dwelling on this shit being bad. ‘Yeah, it might have been bad but look to tomorrow’.”

It’s the movie element of it, isn’t it,” explains Izzy. “When you listen to music, it feels like you’re in your own movie in your head anyway, so we always try to use that as a rough blueprint. How’s it going to make someone feel when they’re in their movie moment. I’m on another planet most of the time anyway, I’m in my own little world so I am a bit further removed from what is actually happening around. We want to share that moment together though. It just means you relate to each other. If they’re at a show, it means they’ve listened to a song and it means they relate to you and you can share that moment even more. You feel like that too? Cool, we’re going to have this together. This moment is just for us. I like that.” P

“I wrote a really sad song and that changed into, we call it the disco track. The Italian

Black Honey and Dream Wife are currently touring the UK.


“THIS GENERATION IS SPOKEN ABOUT THE MOST, BUT LISTENED TO THE LEAST.” Kero Kero Bonito are here to change the world. Words: Ben Jolley.



us Lobban, one third of London-based electronicpop trio Kero Kero Bonito, is addressing the state of the country post-Brexit. “That’s the most important thing right now: forming bands and singing songs - actually saying shit. “Don’t just sit around watching Facebook, scrolling through the same shit your mate posted two days ago. What the fuck is going on?!” the producer continues, sounding genuinely impassioned and somewhat concerned. Gus and KKB’s second producer Jamie

Bulled have been friends since school days. Growing up together in the suburbs of South London, they’ve been in various incarnations of “weird and slightly successful bands,” Jamie chips in, from their London studio. Realising they wanted to do something new and work with “someone cool”, the pair put an advert up on MixB - an online bulletin board for Japanese expatriates. Sarah Midori Perry, now the band’s vocalist, responded to it and the three of them met up in early 2013 - and the rest is history. While spending time in an art studio painting and “drawing on toiler paper,” as well as playing saxophone outside of it, the Japanese singer saw the ad for the band and “just went for it. Something made me want to apply and I guess now it’s meant to be. It was fate…” Together, Kero Kero Bonito make futuristic pop that’s seen them play shows all over the world. Taking their name from the onomatopoeic Japanese words for frog croaks and a “Bonito” type of fish, they fuse J-pop and video game music to create undeniably catchy tunes: they describe ‘Flamingo’ as body-positive cartoon flute R&B and ‘Sick Beat’ as gamer girl power rap bass. Confessing that their musical influences are all over the place, Jamie cites early-2000 British pop music before Gus - who has released with PC Music as Kane West - recalls some favourites. “We love everything in that lineage, from Richard X to The Neptunes, Timbaland to Teddy Riley and Nile Rodgers.” For Sarah, it’s Die Antwoord. “I love the whole aesthetic,” she enthuses. Jamie, though, says he’s become obsessed with one band in particular: Death Grips.

“Recently I’ve devoted my whole life to them. They’re actually the anti-KKB, although we’re similar in a lot of ways…” When asked about their creative process, Gus leads the response to laughs from Sarah and Jamie. “None of us are in charge of anything, we’re a democratic empire. The songs normally just come from us hanging out; we just think, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if someone wrote a song about waking up?’; whatever it is.” More than three years down the line, KKB are preparing to release their debut album, ‘Bonito Generation’. “You know when you listen to one of your favourite pop records - maybe a Michael Jackson song – it’s just the best feeling in the world when you put it on,” Gus offers, detailing the sensations that the band wants listeners to experience. “You just get that glowing, warm feeling: that’s the feeling we want people to have.” From the bombastic synth drums and school bell that introduce ‘Waking Up’ to the simple yet ridiculously catchy lyricism of ‘Graduation’ via the unexpected swirling guitars of ‘Fish Bowl’ and still smiling ‘Break’, Kero Kero Bonito make pop music for this generation. Incomparably upbeat and impossible not to sing-along to, the London trio’s blend of sing-what-you-see pop couldn’t come at a better time. “We got home, sat down and kept going hard on it,” says Gus of recording the album after their 2015 US tour. “We basically did everything ourselves; we enlisted the help of British club super-producer Dreamtrak and a great mastering engineer, but apart from that it’s all KKB.” As for the album title, there’s a slightly more serious meaning behind it. “I feel like this generation is being spoken about the most but listened to the least,” Gus suggests. “It’s funny, because people have a lot to say about generations right now, especially the generation that we find ourselves in. You read all these articles, like, ’10 Ways To Tell You’re A Millennial’, so this is an album for the KKB generation.” Over the last year or so, and without an album to their name, they’ve toured the UK, America, Europe and virtually everywhere in between. “It’s been a big journey,” they agree. “Japan was quite important to us, especially Sarah. I think we’ve learnt more in the last year or two than ever before in our lives,” Gus suggests. The others agree. “It’s this weird combination of travelling, and intensely not travelling trying to finish something,” they cite of the recording process. While Sarah jokes that she’s enjoyed all the time to read and take advantage of the free Wifi, Gus says that being able to travel to so many places is the best part. “We’ve met so many people from everywhere. The best thing about travelling, and perhaps the year that’s just passed, is all the amazing people we’ve met, played with and the fans. We’ve been to Moscow, Nagoya, Seattle... there are really fantastic people everywhere. It’s beautiful that our fans are spread out so far.” And what is a Kero Kero Bonito fan like? “There are definitely local vibes, but I

KKB on... . . .T H E S TAT E O F LONDON “London is in a really interesting, bizarre place right now. I think that a lot of people feel very threatened about it, but at the same time people can’t leave it – they love it. It’s this very British cultural scenario we find ourselves in, where we’re so used to complaining and creating – and KKB is a very British band in that sense. We’re in the same boat as everyone else.” ...LIFE AFTER BREXIT “I think what’s even sadder than Brexit itself is the massive fuck up around it. Why were we even voting on it now and why was the debate about it so whack? The more worrying part is what Brexit actually represents and symbolises…”

feel like KKB fans are quite united in the way that a fan from Brazil would get on with a fan from Norway,” Gus ponders. Though they do like to go hard in certain places; “Eastern European and Polish crowds start mosh pits,” Sarah adds excitedly. Having played shows at taste-making festival SXSW as well as in an old people’s home, there is no ‘typical’ KKB fan. “It varies; it’s the best of all worlds,” Jamie enthuses. “There are kids younger than us whose first game was Pokemon Sapphire and they’re like, ‘Yeah, I get this!’ It’s amazing that, even across the spectrum, they find something in it,” Gus continues: “That’s the beautiful thing.” Their live shows, Gus jokes, are “really solemn and acoustic”, before teasing their upcoming headline show at Scala, London. “We’re going to do stuff we’ve never done before. We want to put on a show… For anymore than that, you’ve got to buy a ticket.” Before the gig – on Wednesday 9th November – rolls around, ‘Bonito Generation’ will be out in the open. But where do they want their debut to take them? “Ideally into the ears of everybody in the whole world, but the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury would be cool… movie cinemas around the globe would be nice,” Gus says half-serious. Though he sounds like he’s joking, with tunes as catchy as theirs Kero Kero Bonito could be on course for (pop) world domination. P Kero Kero Bonito’s album ‘Bonito Generation’ is out 21st October.








t’s the middle of a busy festival season, their second album is about to see release, and Jagwar Ma are in unshakeably high spirits.

“Would that it were so simple,” Jono Ma mulls in an attempt to describe the group’s new record. “That’s it! He’s done it there, you don’t need to elaborate,” Jack Freeman laughs. “It’s complicated,” Jono elaborates. “Can the band have a relationship status on Facebook?” Gabriel Winterfield questions. “We can have ‘It’s complicated.’” “Would that it were so simple,” Jono reaffirms. Recovering from a festival in France the weekend before, and readying for another couple of festival performances in Austria and Wales over the following weekend, the trio are certainly no strangers to the jet setting lifestyle. For the Sydneyformed, London-based outfit, returned from their studio in central France, every step is an adventure, and they’re determined to take it all in their stride. “It’s a nomadic lifestyle, for sure,” Gabriel states. “We want to do this, and we want to do it as best we can, so we just make it work.” In the three years since the release of debut album ‘Howlin’’, Jagwar Ma have travelled all around the world, bringing their baggy beats and psychedelic dance anthems to the masses. “We all love it,” the frontman expresses. “You’ve got to love it. How could you not? You’d be crazy not to.” Their lifestyle might seem like an endless adventure now, but three years ago, the outfit had barely performed together outside of a studio setting. “We started playing shows during the lead up to the first album release,” Jack recalls, “just to see how it would go. And it went alright!” Having spent the best part of their time since on the road, the group might still describe themselves as being “a studio band first,” but their live show has become an integral part of their identity. While the release of their debut album was what prompted the band to first take to the stage, the release of their second is “directly influenced” by the time they’ve spent there since. “One of the starting points for this record was basically a

catalogue of sketches that I’d made while we were on tour,” Jono describes. “Each beat or sketch was named after the place where it was made.” Drawing on their ever-changing surroundings as they travelled city to city, country to country, and continent to continent, the result is nothing short of stratospheric. Steadily amassing a body of work, when they were ready, the group decamped to a studio in rural France – the same studio that birthed their debut album. “It’s a studio that I’ve helped piece together,” Jono depicts. “It just made sense to go out there and do it at a place that kind of feels like ours.” “We had a pretty good routine there,” Gabriel adds. “It was fun to be fairly isolated. It was kind of a leisurely set up.” “The commercial studio route has really clearly defined steps for timing reasons and financial reasons,” Jono explains. Jagwar Ma have always created things their own way. “Our process is more free-flowing than that.” Set up in their own studio, the group had the freedom to blur the lines between writing, demoing, recording, and producing, and make new music in a self-sufficient way. “It’s a constant rotation of Jono and I working separately and then working together, and then splitting up and then working together,” Gabriel describes of their writing process. “You collect a body of work, so once you’ve got enough to look at, then you work out what works together, and where the groups of ideas are.” Continuing to compose as they filtered through the material they’d written on the road, the pair lay down the groundwork for what is now their second album. “I think our process is actually more akin to the way a lot of hip-hop is made than the way a lot of bands write,” Jono deliberates. “A lot of the band has come out of a product of us being sick of that world,” Gabriel agrees. The genres might be a fair distance apart, but taking on a set up that’s more similar to a producer and singer than a full band, the influence is evident in everything Jagwar Ma create. “Jono will be sat at the desk with the console, playing stuff, and I’ll stand at a mic with headphones on,” the frontman portrays. “We’ll riff on an idea for a while and it’ll either stick or it won’t.” With their new material taking shape, the group began to air some of the tracks while on tour with Tame Impala. “That definitely didn’t make things easy, but we

did it anyway,” Gabriel laughs. Debuting the songs in front of large audiences, the band were able to put their newly established live influence to the test. “New songs don’t have the privilege of familiarity,” Jono alludes, “but you can feel when you play them when it’s working and when it isn’t. You can feel awkwardness in the air.” “It stings,” Gabriel winces. “It almost stings, when you know what you’re doing is fucked.” Ever aware of the “dialogue between the two worlds,” it’s not just the music that was influenced by the bands time spent on stages. Sentiments of escapism flood the lyrics, running hand in hand with the album’s constant driving motion. “It takes a bit of courage, knowing that there’s a very high chance that a lot of people are going to hear that, but you’ve just got to be as honest as possible,” Gabriel states. “That’s something that I always aspire to. I don’t want to pretend that I’m something else, and I don’t want to lie. You’ve got to put that foot forwards.” “When Gab says ‘do the amoeba’ [on ‘Give Me A Reason’] he really feels like he is an amoeba,” Jono offers as an example. “I want to be an amoeba,” Gabriel responds. “I want to be a jellyfish and just float through the cosmos.” Sure, what Jagwar Ma sing about isn’t complex or particularly profound, but through sentiments of adoration, yearning, and downright ridiculous dance movements,

SHROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT Secluded in rural France, the group found their own unique methods of entertainment. “We did a lot of foraging for mushrooms,” Jono recounts. “The edible kind, not poisonous or the psychedelic.” “Dinner,” Gabriel clarifies. “There’s so many different types of mushrooms, and the only thing that we had to tell us whether you could eat them or not was this book where all the colours were just watercolours.” “The difference between life and death was an artist’s interpretation of what a deadly mushroom is and what an edible mushroom is,” Jono laughs. “I guess that’s just how you get your kicks in the French countryside,” Gabriel grins.

their words are open to whoever hears them. The ability to shift into a shape-changing organism might be slightly out of reach for the moment, but through their new record, Jagwar Ma have created the next best thing. With its characteristically contagious grooves, ‘Every Now & Then’ is an immediate escape along deep-set grooves into euphoric highs. “The working title was actually ‘Twelve Silver Dragons’, if I’m not mistaken,” Gabriel smirks. “Hey! We might need that one later…” Jack exclaims. “Keep it in the box.” Taken from the lyrics of ‘Loose Ends’, the album title is embedding the band firmly into social consciousness. “I remember someone was telling me about how Portishead adopted the ‘P’ for their logo, and the idea of every time someone sees a sign for ‘parking’ it then reminds them of Portishead,” the frontman enthuses. “I kind of liked the idea of people hearing the expression ‘every now and then’ and thinking of the record – if they know about the record.” The product of six months spent recording, picking mushrooms, and once driving up to Mick Jagger’s house “just because [they] found out where it was” (“we were with a photographer – she had this massive camera and we were in this small car just giggling, we looked like creeps”), the album is finally upon us. “I really don’t want to say it, because it’s a cliché, but sometimes the last few years do almost feel like this blur,” Gabriel summarises of everything that’s brought them here. “I just want as many people to hear it as possible,” he continues. “I don’t care about anything else. I just want the music to be heard.” Playing to bigger and bigger crowds on a regular basis, and with imminent plans to “tour as far as the eye can see,” Jagwar Ma aren’t going to rest until they’ve taken their music to as many people and places as possible. The future is an open road. Driven by their craft and fuelled by their passion, the adventure is only just beginning. “I reckon Jack’s going to be in a movie or something,” Gabriel speculates. “Jono will write a book about the history of production from 1950 onwards, and I’ll write some shit poetry book that no one will want to buy, and maybe a short play.” P Jagwar Ma’s album ‘Every Now & Then’ is out 14th October.







t all sounds incredibly simple. Two prominent members of two of the most successful modern indie rock bands of the last decade meet up and start making an album together just because they both love each other’s bands and their music. Essentially, that’s the story behind the partnership between The Walkmen singer Hamilton Leithauser and ex-Vampire Weekend producer extraordinaire Rostam Batmanglij and their inspiring collaborative album ‘I Had A Dream That You Were Mine’ “I was just a fan,” begins Rostam, as he tells of a musical connection that has blossomed over the last four years. “I loved all The Walkman albums. I don’t feel that way about many artists. He was on a shortlist of people I really wanted to work with for about eight years of my life. When I heard that he was working on some new music, I reached out to him. We had a pretty good vibe in the studio from day one.” To hear Rostam tell it, it was a case of instant musical chemistry. However, for the more reserved Hamilton there were a few social kinks to iron out as he got used to a new environment. “We had met before in 2008 but we didn’t get to be friends,” says the singer. “I had met him again over the years through mutual friends and I liked him but I didn’t know him until he found out I was doing a solo record in 2012. He wrote to me and said, ‘Hey, do you want to try working together?’ I went over


and he was really a stranger. I was right there in his living room, where he has his recording stuff so we had to get to know each other.”

a whole record where we wrote the songs together, it just made sense to put both out names on it and preserve our two identities.”

Very quickly, it became apparent though that the two Washington DC natives had a lot in common, and a quick smart musical intuition was beginning to form. “We clicked quickly as personalities,” adds Hamilton. “There was a lot of familiarity and easy conversation.” It didn’t take long before the convivial vibe turned into musical inspiration with Rostam offering up a piece of music for him to sing. “I’m in a room with this guy I’ve only known for 30 minutes and I’ve got the headphones on and I’m going to sing on this thing,” laughs Hamilton. “It is a funny moment when you get together with your friends and just start singing, but I liked the thing he played me. We came up with something really quickly and the song we wrote on the first day we ever met became ‘1959’, the last song on this record.”

Both musicians used the album to explore different ways of working. “I felt very free making this record,” says Rostam. “Both Hamilton and I have spoken of having a feeling from when we first started working together, that we were able to make music that we had always wanted to make but were incapable of making on our own.”

The album the duo have created is a record that complements both musicians’ characters and represents each artist challenging themselves and doing something different. Originally, they thought it would be another Hamilton solo album, like his 2012 solo debut, which Rostam worked on. However, it made perfect sense for a record in which they both worked so closely together and were attuned to each others process to bear both their names, as Rostam explains. “At first we didn’t know what we were doing, [but] after we had six or seven songs it felt like we were finishing a record that was both of our babies.” “The majority of the work we did came from being two people in a room together,” he continues. “For Hamilton and I to make

For Hamilton the album allowed him to make a cohesive record telling a lyrical story. “It sounds like a person who’s trying to get in touch with someone and is having trouble with that and maybe dealing with a lot of changes in their life and in their city,” he says. “It’s about trying to deal with that and trying to get used to it. It’s one character’s thought that goes through the whole record. That’s the story.” While the album mines some classic sounds and styles with elements of baroque pop, country and folk, it’s all wrapped up in a supremely modern, fresh and vibrant production that makes it a compelling listen. Both Hamilton and Rostam were completely switched on during the making of the album to the dangers of making something too overly reverential. “I wouldn’t feel happy making music that referenced nothing and I wouldn’t feel happy making music that was just revivalism,” asserts the producer. “For me the ideal is music that does both and that was in the back of my mind when working on this album.” It’s easy to understand why the album works so well when you listen to both men talk about each other. They’re musical kindred spirits. “There’s a lot of diversity

in Hamilton’s voice and there’s a narrative in his songwriting. Those were the two things I loved about him,” says Rostam. “I wanted him to sing in all the different ways that he’s capable of singing. He can do Frank Sinatra vibrato and crooning. Few people can sing like that. He can also scream and howl.” Even more than his voice, it was Hamilton’s song writing skills that he admired. “The Walkmen songs that I loved were ones that had more narrative than impressionism. The ones that I connected most with where the ones that had a story that was pretty clear. I wanted to pursue that on this record.” For Hamilton the relationship was built on admiration and trust. “He’s really good at what he does and we get along personally,” he says. “We have this shared aesthetic and knowledge of each other’s music and history. It works because I liked Vampire Weekend and he liked The Walkmen. There was this trust. When you start doing something that’s very different, which this record turned out to be, you have to trust that this guy’s done it before so I’ll try singing on his thing even though this sounds a little funny right now.” It might have initially sounded a little funny and a little weird, but the partnership between Rostam and Hamilton has endured and ultimately flourished. Both men will no doubt go on to do even bigger things, but you can imagine them reconnecting this special musical partnership years and even decades down the line, like David Byrne and Brian Eno have done so successfully. These are two men born to make music with each other. P Hamilton Leithauser + Rostam’s album ‘I Had A Dream That You Were Mine’ is out now.




ell, when I get back from L.A…” Girli starts laughing at how ridiculous that sentence sounds. “That’s such a pop star thing to say,” she mocks, putting on a cartoonish voice and, for a fleeting moment, she becomes the two-dimensional character she’s often reduced to. Bubblegum pink, throwing tampons and courting controversy with a determined glare, Girli is larger than life. But only just. Amongst the politics and the protests stands Milly Toomey, grinning and well aware of how ridiculous it’s all become. From the tongue-very-much-in-cheek flourish of “I’m a pop princess, a sassy songstress, we’re all very impressed. My, what a revealing dress,” on ‘Girls Get Angry Too’ to the, “You thought I was going to do a ballad? Fuck of,” welcome of ‘So You Think You Can Fuck With Me Do Ya?’ Girli has quickly established herself as an artist who says exactly what she’s thinking. She can tell what you’re thinking too, and dances with that power. Constantly one step ahead, ACME weight on the cliff above, she’s ready to hit. “It’s so fucking typical,“ she mock-sighs. “I never went out and was like ‘I’m going to be controversial’. It just happened.” It all started age 14 after Milly went to a Tegan and Sara gig. Her dad dropped her off at the venue so she could queue early and she spent the rest of the evening “fangirling so hard. It was the first time I’d properly seen women on stage in a gig setting. I remember being blown away and thinking, ‘Shit, they’ve made a room full of people feel happy. I want to do that.’” And from that moment on, Milly chased it. First came a handful of “quite shit” indie pop bands where she “played Electric guitar really badly and sang. I found some YouTube videos the other day of one of the first gigs I did with my first band. It was me and these two other girls who were a bit older and now, looking at their eyes in this video, I can see that they were thinking ‘this is shit’ but for me, it was the best band that ever existed.“

The rest of the gang might have quit to go to uni, but Milly remained firm. “Good riddance. Funnily enough I came out to LA to visit family a few years ago and I ended up jamming with some musicians, producers and people out here. Then, when I went back to London I started doing stuff on my own and realised that this is fun. If I have a weird idea, I don’t have to explain it to anyone but myself. Suddenly anything’s possible.” Since the release of ‘ASBOys’ last year, it’s a belief that’s come real. For every one person hailing her the saviour of pop though, there’s another writing her off. “I like it that people are shocked,” she smiles. “There are definitely people that hate Girli. The thing that I think is healthy is that as I get older and make more music, I separate Girli from me. That’s good because if people are hating on Girli, it’s okay, suckers. We can take that right now. I think it’s funny. I never set out to divide opinions, it’s just because I’m a girl who’s more outspoken than perhaps other women in the industry. If you talk about things that people may be uncomfortable hearing about, you get controversy. It’s always healthy to have some sort of awareness to the fact that some people don’t like what you’re doing, and that’s okay.“

promises. “It’s a funny mix of being really strongly opinionated and having loads of things to say about shit but also writing about the things everyone knows about, like having crushes on people or feeling like you want a boyfriend. I write political songs and then write songs that are meant to be about really normal things. That’s all part of the human psyche. It’s good to write about all of it.” New single, ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ is “about being a teenager and all of your confusion, sadness, anger and all the shit that sucks about your life. You have that illusion that it can all be solved by finding The One, finding that girl or a boy to go out with and they’ll make you happy and then everything’s going to be okay. It’s also about seeing your friends in relationships and feeling really jealous of that. I kinda created a story about meeting a girl on Tinder or Twitter and falling in love with the idea of her. Believing that if we were together it would be so great, but really, all your problems are going to be solved by you and not someone else.”


There’s a reckless abandon to everything Girli has put her name to so far. A search for freedom at any cost and that devilmay-care attitude isn’t just an act. “I like that I can sing about the fact I don’t care, because in a way, certain aspects of me really don’t. I’m not going to not say things just because some people might not like it but it’s also a really human emotion to really care about what people think. I like involving that in the songs. A lot of the new stuff, it’s not out yet but it will be,” she

Challenging pop and something more, Milly never planned to start something. “It was just a normal thing. I just talk about being a woman making music or gender or political stuff with my friends,” so when it came to writing lyrics, “it just came naturally. If I’m going to make songs about my life, because they are just me talking about shit that’s actually happening, none of it’s made up but that’s what going on with my life. I’m being told I don’t get angry because I’m a girl or I’m being told I should dress like this because I’m this or that” - she hold up two fingers. “Well, maybe I’m going to write a song about it.” “Everyone expects certain things to happen with my music,” Milly admits. “And I want that too. I feel pressure but good

pressure, it’s just me telling myself ‘come on, you can do this. You’re aware you’re not making music just for you. You want to make people feel the same way, that they get as excited by your new songs as they did your other stuff’. I think that’s a good pressure. You want to be the best and make the best songs you can make. You want people to enjoy it. “I remember the first time I did a gig and people started singing back my own lyrics, ‘this is fucking crazy’. Until then my music had only been listened when I played it or made it, so for it to be involved in other peoples lives is such a crazy though,” she pauses for a moment. “You know what, if people listen to my music and think yeah, that made me feel good for three minutes, then that’s my job done.” Five dynamite tracks in and Girli has defied classification at every turn. “I think I really like it being eclectic,” she ventures, deciding in that moment. “I think that reflects my personality. I don’t think as an artist you should make one sort of music. A lot of artists choose to only release one style but then make loads of different stuff on the side but me, I make it and want people to hear it all.” And it’s all coming. There’s almost definitely an album coming next year and, before that, there’s a fire mixtape and a handful of singles ready to go. Drawing inspiration from films and books like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (“It’s the most insane book. I recommend anyone read it who hasn’t”), as well as the world around her, Girli is so much more than a caricature. “I’m constantly inspired by people and my friends. At the moment I’m writing a lot about how people deal with growing up and all the shit that comes with being on the cusp of adulthood, as well as writing about the same old fucking sexism and shit like that which always seems to be relevant. “I definitely want to be seen as who I am and that’s not just the whole ‘I’m political’ thing. I also want to kiss that person, that kind of thing. It’s all just human. Even though Girli is in some ways a larger than life character, I also want people to be able to relate to it. It is just me and I’m just a normal person.” P Girli’s single ‘Girl I Met On The Internet’ is out now.




Rocket Recordings

eeee ‘Reqiuem’ is a joyous celebration. ‘Union of Sun And Moon’ opens in a wonderfully tribal fashion – doing that entirely Goat thing, blending coherent lyrics with that of the other, making for something that seems far more like a mystic chant. It’s a pattern that runs throughout, and it never ceases to impress that Goat have carved out a unique sound like the folk music of some outwardly, out of time nation. ‘Requiem’ is not just an incredible album, it’s an exercise in world creation. Poppy Waring

Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos

The Lemon Twigs Do Hollywood eeeee


reposterously clothed, preposterously young and apparently preposterously talented, ‘Do Hollywood’ is a fitting title for Brian and Michael D’Addario’s 4AD debut, and not just because they’ve both already acted. It suggests they’ve travelled from Long Island to LA, possibly in a time machine, and won’t go back till they’ve taken it all.

With production from Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, the brothers split vocals, guitars, drums, keys, horns, strings and a fair bit of xylophone between them, and the results are a gleefully chaotic, tartan-trousered and sequinned joy. ‘I Wanna Prove To You’ rattles in, shifting from an ELO-esque vamp through swooning, echoey hints of ‘Pet Sounds’ to finger-clicking doo-wop in about a minute: they’re cramming ideas in, doing something, anything to grab our attention. And grabbed it is, only to be dragged away by the screwball skiffle of ‘Those Days Is Comin’ Soon’ and the chaotic, galloping carousel organ of ‘Haroomata’. As with ‘Hi+Lo’, it might trip over itself, piling on overdubs, but only out of enthusiastic experimentation. The scatter-shot, playful pastiche might not

be for everyone, but if you’re with them, you’ll forgive them anything, and the best moments here are stunning. ‘These Words’ and ‘As Long As We’re Together’ are two. The first switches from squelching synths via a plaintive verse to a huge, harmony-laden chorus and xylophone breakdown, while the second mashes ‘All The Young Dudes’ and baroque synths into cracked, swirling psychedelia. ‘How Lucky Am I?’, too, is unabashedly gorgeous, with lush piano chords and a chorus cooked up in some heavenly pop laboratory. “I have enough previous worlds, to know which one I’m in,” Brian sings on ‘These Words’, and we’re definitely in a previous one here. But the D’Addarios’ time sounds like now, and ‘Do Hollywood’ is a blast. Rob Mesure

Jagwar Ma Every Now & Then

Marathon Artists / Mom + Pop / Future Classic

eeee In the three years since they released their debut, Jagwar Ma have made the world their oyster. The Sydney outfit have brought their infectious dance floor fillers to life on seemingly every side of the world. Second album ‘Every Now & Then’ is a crowning document of that. It’s a vibrant, varied, and intensely textured tapestry Jagwar Ma weave through their music, a vehicle ready to transport them to brand new heights – along with anyone else who wants to cling on for the ride. Jess Goodman


Fiction Records

eee e Kate Tempest has a way of creating vivid stories that broach realism with such ease, all the more apparent when her voice is the only thing to be heard. The nature of her art is to comment upon life as she sees it; from politics to more societal points. The recurring line of “It’s 4:18 am”, that appears in several songs is a connector that brings the album into its own universe. ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is a record that serves as a good documenter of life in the modern age. Steven Loftin

The Dillinger Escape Plan Dissociation

Party Smasher Inc / Cooking Vinyl

eeee Bands like Dillinger don’t come along every day, and that’s why when they say that dreaded word, “hiatus”, you know without doubt, that even if it might not be forever, it’s a potential farewell that comes with a blaze of bloody glory. Dillinger are one of a kind, and ‘Dissociation’ pummels every ounce of their energy, guts and ambition in, with surprises to boot. They’re vicious, sharp, and untouchable. Heather McDaid

White Lies Friends BMG

ee ee White Lies are a gloomy band. Or rather – they used to be. New album ‘Friends’ sees them depart from their Joy Division-like gloom and add shimmering synths. However, this doesn’t work as well as they might have hoped. Ultimately, ‘Friends’ sounds like a band running out of steam. It lacks cohesion and feels like a compilation of songs rather than an album – indeed it also lacks the indie anthems the band are known for. Josh Williams

The Radio Dept

Running Out Of Love Labrador Records

ee e The new effort from Sweden’s The Radio Dept., ‘Running Out Of Love’ is filled with sweeping electronic sounds, determined beats and emotive vocals that complement the arrangements perfectly. Creating soundscapes that encapsulate the genre that saw the 90s weird kids given an outlet, the magic lies in the intricacy of what they compose. ‘Thieves Of State’ uses samples to fuel the atmosphere; the pounding beat found in ‘Occupied’ is reminiscent of New Order; the title-track offers an instrumental moment, setting the framework for finale ‘Teach Me To Forget’ which builds and swirls to its climactic ending. There’s even a spot of Britpop within ‘Committed To The Cause’. ‘Running Out Of Love’ is nice throwback to a much loved era. Steven Loftin

Daniel Woolhouse What’s That Sound? 37 Adventures

ee e e ‘What’s That Sound?, the first album by songwriter and producer Daniel Woolhouse without his Deptford Goth persona, is a thing of subtle wonder. Setting aside his previous established tropes in favour of a wider and more expansive musical palette, the album finds Daniel blossoming as a singer, musician and lyricist. There’s an affecting honesty as he imbues his carefully layered musical patters into a graceful tapestry. You can immediately get a feeling of warmth and hidden depths on the gently exultant opening track ‘Crazy Water’, featuring backing vocals from Rebecca Taylor of Slow Club. ‘What’s That Sound’ is the work of an artist at peace with himself and his talent. Martyn Young

Seasick Steve

Keepin’ The Horse Between Me And The Ground

There’s A Dead Skunk Records

ee e No small effort, ‘Keepin’ The Horse...’ is a double album with one disc stripped-back, and the other full of dirty and vicious electric blues. The first half may feel like a long walk, but Seasick Steve shines is his ability to tell a story and there’s no better platform for this than a bare, acoustic guitar. There’s even a cover of the Harry Nilsson classic ‘Everybody’s Talkin’’. Disc two opens with the vicious title track; the savageness continuing through until ‘Bullseye’, which is a lot more reserved in its delivery. It’s perfect release for Seasick Steve to release ten years on from his UK breakthrough. Steven Loftin

Naked & Famous Simple Forms

Somewhat Damaged / Kobalt

eeeee ‘Simple Forms’ is an intriguing listen. ‘The Water Beneath You’ embraces EDM with a monstrous drop but feels distinctly indistinct. This is a problem which runs throughout, it doesn’t feel remotely unique. There are hundreds of different musicians that could have written these songs. The spark that gave rise to the Naked & Famous in the first place seems to have extinguished. Much of the album feels awkwardly put together – particularly ‘My Energy’ and ‘Laid Low’. It’s not a bad record by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s not going to shatter the world either. Josh Williams

Hooton Tennis Club Big Box Of Chocolates

Heavenly Recordings

eeee Hooton Tennis Club’s debut record ‘Highest Point In Cliff Town’ was a ramshackle, unadulterated ride through garage indie’s glorious roots. It jumped around like a box of frogs, so you can imagine what their ‘Big Box Of Chocolates’ holds - a matured and smooth record full of sweet highs and refined bursts of frantic energy that builds and rejigs ‘Highest Point’s’ most fruitful moments. It’s a vital release. Jamie Muir

Kaiser Chiefs

Empire Of The Sun

Fiction / Caroline

Virgin EMI

Stay Together

Two Vines


eee ee

Kaiser Chiefs and Xenomania may feel like an odd hook up, but really it makes perfect sense. Working with the production team behind chart royalty Girls Aloud, the combination reignites the same sharpand-shiny sparkle in the eyes that made the Leeds five-piece such an impressive prospect a decade or more ago. The tone may be slightly different, but stand out ‘Press Rewind’ proves that - however tastes and attitudes change - underneath it all Kaiser Chiefs know their way around a pop song. Stephen Ackroyd

When Empire of the Sun first arrived back in 2008, they seemed to be surfing the ripples of the zeitgeist as it bashed against the walls of the far future. Eight years on, and there’s little doubt they’re playing catch up. Since ‘Walking on a Dream’ - at least on the surface - little seems to have changed for the duo, but the world around them has. That’s not to say ‘Two Vines’ is a total dud it’s not. There’s more than enough within to occasionally pierce the fog of cynicism, but time waits for no man, even one dressed like a space lord. Stephen Ackroyd

Jimmy Eat World Integrity Blues Sony

eee There’s no denying that Jimmy Eat World have always been a little bit cheesy. On ‘Integrity Blues’, there are nostalgic moments from the likes of ‘It Matters’ and ‘Get Right’, which see the band hone in on their tried-and-trusted anthemic tendencies. Elsewhere, ‘Pass The Baby’ is a strange, stark electronic-focused track, while ‘Pretty Grids’ follows the same kind of formula, and ‘You Are Free’ which is straight-up classic JEW. Sammy Maine

Kero Kero Bonito Bonito Generation Double Denim

eee e Some things split opinion down the middle. Even that is probably too much for Kero Kero Bonito to hope for. Sitting on the bleeding edge of pop thinking, until PC Music have sewn up the charts it’s doubtful the masses will be catching up with them soon. Those that dig their brand of MIDI powered, cross-continental charm will find loads to love, though. Sugar sweet and packed with hooks, whether it’s genuine love or inquisitive wonder that draws you in, Kero Kero Bonito’s new generation could change it all. Stephen Ackroyd

A SHORT Q+A WITH HOOTON TENNIS CLUB Hello Hooton Tennis Club. Who are we speaking to? Hello Dork. You’re speaking to the collected and collated thoughts of Hooton Tennis Club. Written and edited in our Gmail drafts. That’s a bit strange, lads. What led you to record your second album with Edwyn Collins, and how was it? When we first started talking about the second album Jeff [from Heavenly Recordings] mentioned that he thought Edwyn would be a good fit. His new studio is set upon a hill in a small remote village in Scotland named Helmsdale which has a population of about 200 people. When we had free time from recording, Edwyn’s wife Grace would take us out in the car to explore these lands where we saw herds of 300+ deer! Their passion for the place is huge and made us feel very welcome. Was there anything specific you set out to achieve with this record? We collectively wanted it to sound more ‘pop’ and more coherent than our last record. Edwyn’s pop sensibility and mass of vintage / analog equipment really did lend a lot to this record. He kept things relatively minimal and kept us from leaning towards sounding too sloppy. Other than that, ticking the boxes of a minimum of 10 songs, 35 minutes all together. Oh, and don’t just add synths for no reason! Have you looked to any new influences, compared to your debut? We listened to A LOT of Beatles albums. We also really honed in on Americana country rock too; like The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Band, Lee Hazlewood, etc. Are there any songs on the release that you’re particularly proud of? Oh man, all of them. They’re like children, there’s no favourites (not officially anyway). Which do you think will go down best on your upcoming tour? Maybe the faster ones like ‘Statue Of The Greatest Woman I Know’ and ‘Lazers Linda’? They’re all going to go down really well because we are ‘going pro’. When you’re labelled as a sloppy ‘slacker’ band it’s too easy to keep things loose and lazy. So we’re putting in the effort this time! We’re actually practicing our instruments, we’ve bought good equipment, we’re turning up on time, we’re going to have change ready for the merch table, we’re going to eat fruit and veg, we are going pro. We’re coming to get you, Coldplay! P



Big Scary Monsters

eee e “We can be nice or we can be mean,” PWR BTTM ring out on their track ‘Dairy Queen’, which is pretty much the perfect way to describe ‘Ugly Cherries’. It’s an album that punches you in the face and then strokes your hair, ready to pick up the pieces. It’s full of fuck you’s – see “Bitch, I might be” on ‘All the Boys’ – but with a very human vulnerability that spins a poetic stance on the insecurities of being young, uncertain and tired of all the crap you have to deal with. ‘Nu 1’ in particular is the band at their most stripped-back, as the tagline of 2016 “God damn, everyone’s dumb / I’m too old for being young” is uttered over a simple, melodic strum. PWR BTTM are a breath of fresh air. Sammy Maine

A (VERY) SHORT Q+A WITH THE GROWLERS Hello Brooks. How are you today? Just woke up in Sin City. Feeling good. Your new album ‘City Club’ was coproduced by Julian Casablancas, how did you come to hook up with him and what was he like to work with? Through my wife, I hope that was innocent. The sessions were very normal, down to earth hang, no show biz. To what extent did you know what you wanted to achieve with the record before you went into the studio? Did the album change much along the way? Never plan and never know. We just want to out do our previous go at it. The main difference was having more time then we’ve ever been allowed. What are you most proud of with ‘City Club’? Proud of Matt [Taylor, guitar]. Guy stepped it up. Musical changes we needed to grow with our ageing souls. You’ve said this album is inspired a bit by Afropunk and 70s punk - anything in particular? Nope. I think it’s all subconscious. Do you have a favourite place from which to draw inspiration? My inner circle. Friends and family. Inner turmoil. Hangovers and day dreams. What do you think is the key to creating a good album? I’m not sure we’ve made one yet, but I’m gonna guess it’s a combination of hard work, talent and luck. Going on feeling and capturing moments. What excites you most about being a musician right now? Being loved.

The Growlers City Club Cult Records

eeee There was no need for The Growlers to tell the world their new album was co-produced by their label boss Julian Casablancas. It takes but a few seconds of the opening title-track to make his influence obvious, and it’s glorious. Even better, it’s only an opening salvo. Switching between sub-genres at will, there’s a bit of Afrofunk, a touch of disco and a bit of reggae on the side. Pinning it down to just one would be boring. “The Growlers may be the most interesting band in the world,” Casablancas muses, “certainly one of the coolest. Not gypsy, nor goth, nor surfer, nor punk, yet somehow all of them.” He should write the reviews too. Stephen Ackroyd


Sum 41

13 Voices

Hopeless Records

American Football American Football


Wichita Records

Despite ‘13 Voices’ jangling slowly to life with a string section in tow, the moment ‘Goddamn I’m Dead Again’ storms to life, it’s clear: Sum 41 are recharged. Deryck Whibley calls out how quickly he was abandoned as things spiralled (‘You’re Dead to Me’) and ‘Fake My Own Death’ ferociously handles the band’s perceived rebirth, with ‘Break My Chains’ an optimistically spat declaration of new starts. A lot has happened in five years, and while there are some moments on the album that mill around and fall by the wayside, Sum 41 sound like good ol’ Sum 41, but older and louder, angrier and with a hell of a fire under them once again. Welcome back. Heather McDaid

“We’ve been here before but I don’t remember a lock on the door,” Mike Kinsella sings on album opener ‘Where Are We Now?’ Returning to the suburban Illinois home featured on the cover of their first record seventeen years on and venturing inside, American Football breathe fresh life into everything they’ve always known. These are unequivocally the same voices that questioned “all my teenage feelings and their meanings” back in 1999. There’s the same intricately woven textures and the same kind of echoing introspection. ‘American Football’ resonates outwards with characteristic emotion, raw and ready to be experienced by anyone who seeks it. Jess Goodman

eee e

Bon Iver

22, A Million Jagjaguwar

eee e Ahh Bon Iver. Even saying those two words sends people into a mesmeric daze. Yet that’s the exact power and importance of a Bon Iver record. It’s been five years since the release of their self-titled second record, which brought into colour the flourishes and future of a project that initially formed as a way to overcome the heartache and sheer loneliness hiding in the abyss after love has been lost. It’s been a method of communication for Justin Vernon to expel his darkest fears, and through that has found an audience that’s been longing for such honesty and bravery. How to then follow that? Why try and distil human emotion into ten tracks when you’ve already done it so well? It’s that question which has preyed heavy on the mind of Justin. When it’s your experiences that so many draw towards, that pressure to not only deliver but survive can become unbearable. From that, comes ’22, A Million’. At just over 35 minutes long, it’s a succinct record of compressed and distorted ventures into folk, atmospheric electronica and blues - all coated with a digitalised sense of the modern world but always packed with emotion and soul, the emotion and soul that’s made Bon Iver what it is today. More than just a person or a band - but its own entity. Gurgling to stay above water, it captures humanity in 2016 and pulls you in to see it more clearly - examining love, fear and our own existence through the lens of pain and brutal self-evaluation. .Jamie Muir

Two Door Cinema Club Gameshow Parlophone

eee e ‘Gameshow’ is a record that doesn’t hold any boundaries, a stream of extravagance and outlandish sounds that come together into a record that’s sure of itself and knows it’s fucking good. Guiding through synth-laden disco highs, it’s in the strutting swagger of ‘Bad Decisions’, the cocktail-croon of ‘Ordinary’ and the effortless energy of ‘Fever’ - a palpable sense of the shackles being thrown off in favour of unabashed pop perfection. Even then, there are moments which when written down should never work, but take on a new life when delivered with such freedom. ‘Invincible’ hits like a long-lost Kylie & Jason anthem, ‘Je Viens De La’ is prime Justice-styled Parisian electro, while the title track itself is the most ferocious the Bangor trio have ever sounded. Two Door have hit the jackpot on this one. Jamie Muir

Joyce Manor


Soft Hair


Zoo Music

Weird World



eee e

‘Cody’ sees Joyce Manor kick things up a notch, revelling in creating catchy pop punk that has a distinct edge. Coming in at just under twenty five minutes, it’s a runthrough of the band’s best work; ‘Fake ID’ and ‘Stairs’ are two of the strongest cuts, though most surprising is how well ‘Do You Really Want To Not Get Better’ - a slow acoustic number, and the shortest track on the album - works. ‘Cody’ is a very strong release. Steven Loftin

Born out of troubled relationships, financial worries, career crises, and health strains, Crocodiles’ sixth record occupies the sometimes delirious space between wake and slumber. The first half of the record is mired in its own hypnosis; it’s with the second side of the record that things start to get really interesting. Sometimes lost in its own illusion, but always a vibrant ride, ‘Dreamless’ is every bit a product of its own fantasy. Jess Goodman

Soft Hair is the bonkers partnership between New Zealander Connan Mockasin and Sam Dust, ex of Late Of The Pier and latterly LA Priest. Befitting of two of the more idiosyncratic pop experimentalists their debut album together is frequently baffling but brilliantly compelling. A sense of freedom and expression runs rapid throughout, giving everything a joyous quality; Soft Hair have had their fun and certainly left an impression. Martyn Young



COMING SOON NOVEMBER 4TH TOY - Clear Shot Honeyblood - Babes Never Die JAWS - Simplicity Palace - So Long Forever Esben and the Witch - Older Terrors


NOVEMBER 11TH Sad13 - Slugger Sleigh Bells - Jessica Rabbit Tigercub - Abstract Figures in the Dark The Men - Devil Music NOVEMBER 18TH Justice - Woman Petrol Girls - Talk of Violence Sløtface - Empire Records EP

Soft Hair

Green Day Revolution Radio

Reprise Records

eee e For the first time in their career, Green Day may actually have something to prove. Sure - there have been points where pulling a good album out of the bag would be beneficial, but they’ve always managed it. Not since ‘American Idiot’ - back in 2004 - have they really delivered the goods. Since then we’ve had the lukewarm ‘21st Century Breakdown’ and 2012’s frankly forgettable trilogy of ‘¡Uno!’, ‘¡Dos!’ and ¡Tré!’. With a scene increasingly packed with pretenders, the crown kings of pop punk need to justify that throne. They sort of manage it. ‘Revolution Radio’ isn’t a bad album - which at this point feels like progress. It’s not a great one either, though. If you’re looking for a direct comparison, 2000’s ‘Warning’ may be the best place to head. From the machine gun melodies of lead single ‘Bang Bang’, it’s solid. Further to the sincere end of the Green Day spectrum, rooted in surface level politics; the likes of ‘Still Breathing’ and ‘Bouncing Off The Walls’ may be enough to keep the trio at the top of the pile, but they’re unlikely to spark anything new either. A collection of songs that couldn’t be more modern Green Day if they tried, ‘Revolution Radio’ is a perfectly fine album, just not one to upset the status quo. Stephen Ackroyd

S O M E S T U F F. LAST GOOD R E C O R D YO U HEARD: ‘Channel Orange’ by Frank Ocean. I figured I should check it out before the new album, and it’s really good. Should have checked it out sooner. F AV O U R I T E E V E R BOOK: Tough question. I love The Metamorphosis by Kafka and Wind-up Bird Chronicles by Murakami.   T V S H OW YO U COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT: The Sopranos. Best show of all time.  BEST PURCHASE OF THIS YEAR: My JCM 800. Been wanting one for a few years and finally got one. The darn thing rips.  ANYTHING E L S E YO U ’ D RECOMMEND? Yoga. Been doing it for a few weeks and I feel awesome.


Q 20

I always make.

UESTIONS with... Spring King

Yes. We know this isn’t how 20 questions really works, but STFU, OK? This month,

Ask a stupid question... ABOUT?

James: In the last dream I really remember I robbed a car with some random guy I met on the street, the whole city we were in had this mean yellowish glow, it was really sinister...


Pete: Besides music, I’ve always loved history. The past is weird.


Pete: I don’t own any, but I’d really like a pair of baggy trousers.


Tarek: 11.

Andy: I was chucking some cold tea out of a mug in my back garden when the mug flew off the handle and into my neighbour’s garden. Kinda felt weird going round to ask for my mug back like I’d kicked a football back there, and they didn’t find the funny side for some reason. Pete: A guitar string. I always break the D string. Strange.

Pete: I woke up on the floor this morning then went to rehearsal in Manchester. All the other guys are ill with a cold so it was pretty sluggish. I then got a train home whilst eating a bagel.




Tarek: Keying my parents’ brand new car. I went outside with a key and scratched the whole thing, and then scratched my brother’s name on the car. Sorry about that…

Spring King run the gauntlet of our random, stupid queries.

1. HELLO. HOW ARE YOU? Pete: Good thank you. You?


Pete: Playing songs I love with my friends. Andy: Seems obvious but the playing music bit is the best. Playing music as a unit when it’s locked and watching each other lose they’re shit is a triumphant feeling (the riders aren’t bad either).



Pete: Get Inuit.


8. WHAT’S THE MOST IMPRESSIVE THING YOU CAN COOK? James: I make a pretty mean mac and cheese - although I’m always suffering after eating because of the sheer volume

James: I like coffee! There, I said it!

13. WHAT’S YOUR BIGGEST FEAR? Pete: Forgetting who I am.

14. WHICH DEFUNCT BAND WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO REFORM? Pete: I would have said At The Drive In, but they just got together. We watched them from side of stage in Australia this year. It was wild seeing my favourite band ever from so close. I’ll go with Destiny’s Child. Andy: So, so many. Just seeing the word defunct reminded me of a sick funk band called Defunkt. But recreating David

Axelrod’s band would be the most mind blowing.

15. HOW PUNK ARE YOU OUT OF TEN? Tarek: 3.8 at a push.


James: Always the Chili Peppers! They have an unbelievable amount of tunes and seem very lovely (no disrespect to Bono).


Pete: With the band I’d have to say playing on Jools Holland. Personally, training my old dog felt pretty good.


Pete: I wanted to play guitar in a band. Or be a writer. Things are going okay. Andy: Marine Biologist, definitely. I’ve always loved the ocean. I’ve even got a scuba license!


Tarek: Me and Andy tend to gamble at service stations from time to time, we always win. Okay not always… we’re suckers for the ‘Rainbow Riches - Fields of Gold’ one.


James: Medium, because I’m a big massive wuss!

Don’t look dumb. OUT NOW. THE F RE E ROC K MAGAZ I NE.




Dork, October 2016  

Featuring… Black Honey, Dream Wife, Jagwar Ma, Two Door Cinema Club, Daughter, Girli, Spring King, Pumarosa, Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam, K...

Dork, October 2016  

Featuring… Black Honey, Dream Wife, Jagwar Ma, Two Door Cinema Club, Daughter, Girli, Spring King, Pumarosa, Hamilton Leithauser & Rostam, K...