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m do r read 019 Jun e2

d e t _1 a c i d e D Pop emergency! Carly Rae Jepsen is back! Back!! Back!!!


“Mac’s masterpiece” Q magazine “Mac DeMarco’s “jizz jazz” continues to hit the sonic sweet spots” MOJO H H H H “Devastating songcraft” Uncut




June 2019 | | Down With Boring


Ø4 Update 24 Hype

ED’S LETTER THE AMAZONS It's back to the future as Reading's favourite sons unleash their second album.


The queen of critically acclaimed pop is back! Back!!! Back!!!



Rock stars aren't always born with that attitude but Yonaka are learning how to strut with style.

3Ø Features 5Ø Incoming



Yeah, we're a bit excited about that. HRH, the Queen of our Pop Dreams has blessed us with her presence as she prepares to drop one of our most anticipated albums in yonks, 'Dedicated'. That's the highlight of our 2019 sorted. No, we have no chill.

S tephen

The former Wild Beasts frontman has returned.



The hottest property in indie rock is announcing his debut album.


No, we don't need to talk about Netflix.

AMYL & THE SNIFFERS The must-see live act with the killer debut album.


He's a man in demand, but he's not trying to be famous.


WHENYOUNG With their debut album finally here, Whenyoung just want to keep busy.



Drugs & The Internet With a new album on the way (more on that later this issue - Ed), our Lauv's latest single sort of sums up Dork's modern condition. Apart from the drugs bit. Basically, we spend

too much time online, listening to this. Not sorry.


Keepsake We've told you Hatchie is very good at 'the pop music' before, so consider this a refresher ahead of a debut


Loyle Carner

Alfie Templeman


Lucy Lu




Mac DeMarco


Marika Hackman


Arlo Day






album due in the next magazine publishing window.


A Bath Full of Ecstasy We're not sure 'the Chip' have sounded this good since their initial breakthrough bangers. Which is nice.


Middle Kids




Nilufer Yanya

23 23

Better Oblivion Community Center


No Rome

Black Pumas


Panic! At The Disco


Penelope Isles





Calpurnia Carly Rae Jepsen


Alex Lahey

Amyl & The Sniffers 36, 54, 58


Dear Reader. I think there's only one thing to say this month.


30, 52

Cate Le Bon

7, 55

Charly Bliss

10, 51

Petrol Girls


Pip Blom


Rachel Chinouriri


Sacred Paws


Sam Fender



Sea Girls


City Calm Down



Courtney Barnett








Ezra Collective






Swim Deep


FKA Twigs


Swimming Tapes




Tame Impala


Childish Gambino

11, 52


The 1975

Hayden Thorpe

8, 55

Holly Herndon Honeyblood

51 16, 55



Just Mustard


King Princess

6 11


The Amazons

4, 54

The National


The Rhythm Method


Trudy and the Romance

22, 55

Two Door Cinema Club


Lewis Capaldi



48, 54




42, 56



RADIO TUNE IN 24/7/365




MAY 2019




Symbolic coats and retracted horns - the former Wild Beasts frontman is back! p8


Stepping out on her own for the first time, Stina Tweeddale is taking charge. p16


Put the elephant in the room back in its box Calpurnia are fucking brilliant. p20





seemingly inundated with solo artists, you might think being in a group in 2019 would be a bit of a struggle, or even feel like an uphill battle. “I fucking love it! I love it. I love what we do,” drummer Joe Emmett says animatedly. Singer and guitarist Matt Thomson quickly backs him up, while tucking into some pizza. “Because no one else does it. I’m like, ‘Fucking hell, listen to this - it’s a fucking solo!’ D’ya know what I mean? And it might be that people don’t like that, but I love it.” While the idea of ‘rock’n’roll’ might actually seem, well, a bit boring, what The Amazons are doing isn’t. Ever since their debut was let loose upon the world back in 2017, garnering positive critical support and more importantly, barging its way into the top 10 of the Album Chart, they managed to breathe fresh life into something that was turning stale. “I think the 80s, categorically, killed the guitar solo,” guitarist Chris Alderton says, with the whole table bursting into laughter. “Seriously, I was watching ‘Now 80s’. I feel like that’s when the horrible guitar solo started.” Matt chimes in: “It’s like guitar wanking. It completely changed everybody’s view, and they haven’t got over that yet!” Indeed, the showboating and glam-filled 80s are still paying reparations for their wildly inappropriate time, but The Amazons are here to fix that, more so than ever on their second album, ‘Future Dust’. “The first record felt like the end of something, I always felt like…” Matt pauses tentatively. “I said this to the boys. It was like the end of this; starting a band, doing all the things you do - getting a deal, writing all these songs, and it’s almost like they come in dribs and drabs over a four year period. Then you do the album, and it just felt like the end of a particular chapter - a process. After we toured it, we were like, ‘Okay, what do we want to do?’” “This album felt like a bit of a… not brick wall, but it was something we needed to get over,” he continues. “It was



almost that we needed to start again. This album is the start of a journey in terms of the band and in terms of us creatively; as a four piece and individually all that kind of stuff. We had to push through something and had to set the direction of what we wanted to do. So instead of it being this album on its own, it feels like the beginning of something.” ‘Future Dust’ sees The Amazons ready for the future, no matter what comes next. They are ready to keep on fighting their corner, and in doing so, they’ve uncovered a heavier element to their sound, one that digs deep into the pit of growling and snarling rock, with added banger elements such as hook-laden choruses and riffs-galore. But digging into the lyrical content, not to mention the album title itself, a much more conscious Amazons begins to appear. “It’s basically about my 2018,” Matt says. “Lots of weird stuff happened on a personal level; then I found a lot of the stuff I was talking about naturally fed into the slightly broader question. It was just about reflecting. I feel a lot of my personal life; I was confused and insecure, and it’s important for us to reflect that. So it is a bit of a dark record, lyrically at least. Sonically probably, as well.”

JUNE 2019


feeling behind a life online, an idea that seeps throughout ‘Future Dust’. On the symbolically depth-filled title, he offers. “I feel like we’re looking for something to hold on to, and the fact that we come from dust and will end in dust - we’re future dust! Even though it’s bleak, it’s an absolute in all of the chaos at the moment. And one thing is for certain; we will be future dust.” “Imagine trying to write a song about a huge thing like that?” he exclaims. “It started out personal - you’re right about it being introspective, but it’s definitely dealing with this broader aspect. But that’s just the time at the moment we’re in; it’s not about telling you what to do, it’s about reflecting because I don’t have answers, I don’t think anyone has answers. That’s why it’s an interesting time, and you totally distrust anyone who says they ‘do’ have answers because how can you?” A part of the dark reflection may stem from their status as a band in 2019. With an ever-hopeful outlook, Matt muses. “At some point in the future people will be less obsessed with individual personalities hopefully, and buy into ‘A Band’, and it’s so much richer and so much more depth when you get into a band.” “That’s an interesting point!” Joe adds on. “As you were saying that I was just thinking about Foo Fighters; do people buy into Foo Fighters because of Foo Fighters or do they buy into Foo Fighters because of Dave Grohl?” Divulging further, he continues: With the whole table animatedly “All our relationships are conducted talking about both their place in the on phones at the moment, like 50% world and the Schrödinger’s purpose of your relationship are done on the of Dave Grohl, Matt breaks away phone, and that’s your personal life from the noise to poignantly yet - that’s your life. The whole phone directly, summarise The Amazons thing is, ‘I feel shit, I’ve just been on outlook. my phone all day’, but that’s a thing “You cannot please everyone in that loads of people are experiencing. 2019; everything is so fragmented, “We’re at the we don’t have an beginning of such Ed Sullivan that a weird time with changed the world this stuff that like that,” he says, you don’t really referring to The know what’s Beatles’ landmark going to happen, debut US TV and we don’t performance that know what the set off a domino consequences effect of influence of this way still felt today we’re living, or across rock’n’roll. conducting a “We don’t have social life are. that, so instead Lyrically, that’s of trying to be Matt Thomson how I’m dressing everyone’s best everything - it friend, you might has to come from the heart.” as well fucking commit to something Just look at their returning single and believe in something, and just ‘Mother’. An allegory-filled howl fucking go for it and see where you that swirls around The Amazons’ end up. That’s what its all about, new gritted-teeth rock sound — finding your corner and fighting it.” while dealing with presenting Matt P The Amazons’ album ‘Future Dust’ as explaining his, and our, social is out 24th May. Find them on the consciousness toward the immortal cover of Dork’s Festival Guide 2019.

"Instead of trying to be everyone’s best friend, you might as well fucking commit to something"

'FYI' Blaenavon have rescheduled their UK and Irish tour. The band were set to hit the road with shows in Dublin, Belfast, Liverpool, Newcastle, Sheffield, Nottingham, Leicester, Oxford, Cardiff, Plymouth, Southampton, Brighton and Tunbridge Wells. Now, they’ll be moving those dates to later in the year. You can read a full statement on now.

Two Door Cinema Club have announced their new album, ‘False Alarm’, due on 14th June. “I love the pop thing,” says frontman Alex Trimble. “I love experimenting and going to different places, I love doing things that are a little bit wonky and I love the idea of doing something we haven’t done before, why can’t we do all of those things at once? It sounds like Two Door Cinema Club – not a Two Door Cinema Club there’d ever been before but that’s what I love. We can always do something new but it always feels like something we’ve done.”

King Princess has confirmed two new intimate UK headline shows. She’ll play Dublin Academy on 24th June, followed by London’s Heaven on 26th June, prior to her UK festival debut at Glastonbury. Currently working on new music, she’ll also perform at Reading & Leeds in August.




the company.” “I was consuming music differently,” she adds. “It was lovely not to be preoccupied with the other side of being a musician. I enjoy making music for myself. I enjoy listening to music that makes me feel something. Sometimes you get caught up in other things and end up denying yourself those simple pleasures. It was a lovely lesson in focusing on the important things and living a pared back and simple existence.” “You write a different type of song on the piano,” says Cate of the album’s primary instrument. “There were lots of nights when I’d allow myself to be quite grandiose and self-pitying. It lends itself to more personal songwriting. There’s no hiding with the piano.” While the record was born in the Cumbrian hills, it blossomed during recording in California with a group of previous collaborators including Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Josh Klinghoffer and H.Hawkline where they managed to retain the intimacy of the songs while adding some alluring musical flourishes. “I was working with people I had a lot of trust in and had fostered a close relationship,” says Cate. The resulting collection is an album full of playful humour, evocative imagery and heartbreaking tenderness. It’s a real emotional experience. “It deals with alienation,” she explains. “When you spend that much time by yourself in a secluded landscape, you have a bit of a reckoning with yourself. It’s about utter bewilderment with life.” That feeling of bewilderment and isolation permeates throughout the songs, from the tender elegy of ‘Sad Nudes’ to the febrile escapism of ‘Magnificent Gestures’. Ultimately though, it’s an album about a moment and a distinct period of awakening. “It was a strange album to make,” reflects Cate. “There are lots of twists and turns, and I think I’m still digesting it.” P Cate Le Bon’s album ‘Reward’ is out 24th May.

"It’s about utter bewilderment with life" Cate Le Bon


acclaimed artist for a decade now, racking up four studio albums of diverse and idiosyncratic songwriting as well as a number of side projects and collaborations. There comes the point though for any musician when they need to step off the treadmill and reflect, re-evaluate and refresh. For Cate, this period of tranquillity away from the daily grind resulted in ‘Reward’, her fifth and most compelling album yet. Following the touring cycle for her last album, 2016’s ‘Crab Day’, the Welsh singer took herself off for a retreat into a secluded Lake District cabin. It was there that the roots for ‘Reward’ were planted and Cate was able to regain her love for what she does. “It was nice taking some time off,” she begins. “It’s always good to check in on your reasons for doing something, whether it’s become a habit and you’re just caught on a train. It was nice to take some time off for music to become a hobby again. It’s been a bit of a revelation doing other stuff than music and finding it’s a lot more freeing and enjoyable.” The other stuff she talks about is a furniture making course she enrolled in that became almost all-encompassing and provided a different kind of creative stimulus to complement her songwriting. “It’s something I’ve been looking to do for years,” she explains. “You feel like you’re waiting for someone to grant you permission to do it. I realised that I could grant myself permission. It seemed like the perfect time to book it and prioritise everything around that. It’s a lovely thing. It’s the opposite of touring and making music. All of a sudden you have this routine and you’re working on something that’s tangible.” While it was always her intention to not just retire to the hills but to continue with her music career, Cate’s new found passion with furniture forced her to work in a different way that resulted in ‘Reward’s’ unique sound. Almost entirely written and composed on the piano it goes deeper into Cate’s psyche and is full of the warm and intimate pleasures of its environment. “It was always my intention to record an album by myself, but the furniture school was pretty intense,” she recalls. “I’d come home from a long day and get in the bath, and the last thing I wanted to do was sit and dick around with an 8-track or a computer. I would go to the piano though and just play for the joy of it and



The Hologram: the songs were all written when I was FEBRUARY 18TH, 2018. HAYDEN THORPE in a hologram phase of myself where my day job self awakes in a London hotel room as a newly-single was as the frontman of the band, donning the shades man. Wild Beasts, the band he’d been part of since and puffing out the chest. In the end, I had to ask why he was a teenager, played their final show the night I was removing myself from the actuality of what I before, and with the future stretching out before was making”), Hayden began to learn the hardest him, his next steps are unprecedented, left to the lesson of all: how to inhabit oneself. Creating the will of the Gods. record in near isolation, what results is something “The only sensation I can compare it to is the day that might surprise Wild Beasts fans. Where carnal after the last day of school, where you know there desire and flamboyant melody once stood, ‘Diviner’ is no going back,” he recalls. “I’ve always felt a little is something much more insular, seeking its strength allergic to nostalgia, and I was very reluctant to do not from companionship but from faith in the order a victory lap, in all honesty. In the end, there was of the universe. a feeling of such responsibility to turn up and do “I don’t think it was a conscious shift, but complete justice to all the work we’d done over the years, a solitude is pretty unsexy,” he tribute to the love and respect laughs. “The sexual energy that we had between us as men and emanated from Wild Beasts’ work as brothers, as fellow dreamers. was definitely the by-product of We just woke up from the men together, the ego dynamics dream. The way you wake up and the chemistry of four boys kind of defines your day, putting their position out to so we took care to make the world. The removal of that sure we all woke up in scenario definitely meant my horn our adulthood in as has retracted, as it were. There peaceful a way as we Hayden Thorpe is sexuality within ‘Diviner’, but could. I left the hotel it’s a far more vulnerable, gentler room as quickly as sexuality. I also think society’s climate is different – I I could, and it wasn’t until I got back to don’t know if the white heterosexual position is really my own house that I realised I’d left my an important one right now.” favourite coat behind. I had to decide if With intuition his strongest tool, Thorpe set I was going to go back to that room to about carving out a new kind of relationship, working get the coat, to go back to that place. I swiftly and stealthily to avoid the pitfalls of seconddecided not to – I decided that that coat guessing. The album’s title-track came first, along was something that the me before wore, with ‘In My Name’, a sparsely beautiful piano track and that felt kind of symbolic.” which he describes as ‘a process of archaeology’, The experience of donning a new coming to him right after the final shows. Work coat wasn’t one that came completely travelled with him through London, LA, Cornwall naturally. Having been part of one the and his childhood home in the Lake District, giving UK’s most critically championed acts, Diviner an intensely organic feel, free from the the desire to enter another musical overworked nature that often clouds creativity. orbit was one that had to be well “The great myth of western civilisation is that timed. “I didn’t really want any there’s virtue in suffering, but I’m a really fucking of the past to contaminate the lucky guy,” he smiles. “I get to make records – my day future.” He explains. “They were is based upon making beauty and if I don’t enjoy it, very distinct waters, and I was very who the fuck’s going to?” aware of not having my new work, An ‘unconventional’ tour is expected around whatever it was, feel like an the record, but future plans remain unclear. In the extension or a satellite of meantime, ‘Diviner’ marks an acceptance of forward the world I had created motion, the intermingling of past, present and before. The worst future. “To write songs is to write yourself into being, thing I could have to grant yourself what you need in that moment. done was to make Often, you need it,” he says. “All I’ve done for the past the Wild Beasts 16 years is choose songs – with every A or B decision, album that I’ve gone for songs. I do think more than talent, or never was.” at least as much as talent, is the robustness to keep Having choosing that, and all that does is erode the rockface temporarily of other ways of living. All of a sudden your pathway flirted with to songs is opened out. The 16-year-old in me is still the idea of a new choosing that, just as he did in his bedroom.” P pseudonym (“I Hayden Thorpe’s album ‘Diviner’ is out 24th May. was going to use


"I’ve always felt a little allergic to nostalgia"

MAY 2019







"It’s a magic power to turn something that is fucking you up into an explosion" Eva Hendricks


band, one EP of bubblegum perfection and one scrapped fulllength, in 2017 Charly Bliss finally released debut album ‘Guppy’. A pop record littered with nods to the alternative, it saw the band hold

JUNE 2019





high their love of catchy melodies, big choruses and that quiet but persistent voice in the back of their own minds filling them full of selfdoubt. There was darkness in the glittery shine. Uncertainty as the confetti rained down. And a fullbodied connection with the world that embraced it. “We had high hopes for what the album would accomplish,” starts Eva Hendricks. “But actually achieving any of those goals… It continues to blow my mind when I

think about it.” Not wasting any time, the band started writing for album two before the release of ‘Guppy’. They knew they wanted to dive further into the world of pop, “adding different textures and reaching different emotional moments,” she explains. “‘Guppy’ is high octane. It just goes, and it was right for that album, but with this one, we wanted songs that felt like they had more space to them. We wanted a more diverse range of emotions, and wanted to

challenge ourselves beyond just going 110%, 100% of the time.” Tuning out the noise of success, the band focused on themselves. “I feel lucky that we are all able to just write and write for ourselves and write to make ourselves proud. I think of us as a very ambitious group of people, but I don’t think we’re competitive with other bands. We’re very competitive with ourselves, and we hold ourselves to a super high standard. Going into this album, it wasn’t about making anyone else happy.” “I think of this album as about growing up, liking yourself more and more and trusting yourself more and more,” Eva explains. “That was the also the narrative for me writing this album as well. I’m always extremely hard on myself. I often default to being full of self-doubt and assuming I can’t do anything. For my whole career, I always felt like I was stumbling into doing this. ‘Oh, how did I end up in a band?’ ‘How did I write this song? I doubt I’ll be able to do it again’. “When ‘Guppy’ came out, it forced me to snap out of it and realise, I’m good at this. And that at some level, I’m built to be doing this, because its how I process everything that happens to me so I might as well just be confident in what I’m already doing instead of constantly finding ways to put myself down.” That self belief wrestles its way through the album. ‘Young Enough’ is a record that sparkles. From the end of summer loving explosion of ‘Blown To Bits’, through the twitching, twirling carousel of ‘Capacity’ and the jubilant snarl of ‘Chatroom’ until the slow-burning march of the title track, all deliberate vision and total control, Charly Bliss become the heroes they need to be. The record is surrounded by destruction, but there’s always something that follows. At times, it might feel like the end of the world, but it’s never the end. “I

Charly Bliss’s album ‘Young Enough’ is out now.





HE ISN’T AFRAID TO SPEAK UP ON STUFF THAT MATTERS We wouldn’t normally condone getting naked in public (it tends to attract the wrong kind of attention), but when Slowthai is stripping off on stage to make a statement about male vulnerability? We’re on board with that. Add in the video for ‘Ladies’, which is basically a massive critique of toxic masculinity, and you can’t deny he’s doing something positive with his platform.

HIS DEBUT ALBUM KNOCKS IT OUT OF THE PARK Political without being preachy, grimy without being grime, ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ is a masterclass in balance. It’s full of energy and bounces from topic to topic, but always keeps the underlying theme of working-class, council estate pride. Slowthai’s been tipped for big things for a while and his debut still manages to be better than expected, which is no mean feat.

If you’re in any way observant, Dear Reader, you’ll know that Dork is ‘rather a fan’ of the big pop banger. That’s why we’re delighted to get something new from Lauv, who has just dropped a brand new single. Titled ‘Drugs & The Internet’, it’s the first taster of his much anticipated debut album, ‘~how i’m feeling~’. His first offering since January’s Troye Sivan collab ‘i’m so tired’, Lauv explains: “I wrote “Drugs & The Internet” at a time I was struggling with feelings of extreme emptiness and depression. I wrote it as a sort of self-analysis for my obsession with the way I wanted to present myself to the world — a commentary on the world we live today. It is as much selfdeprecating as it is serious and sad. It flew out of me in an hour. It felt more therapeutic than any song I’d written before. As the first song off of my album ~how i’m feeling~, it is the perfect entrance into the next phase of my life and music. I am more proud of this song and video than anything i have ever created in my life, and I’m so excited that it’s yours now.” So there we go. We’ve no firm release date for ‘~how i’m feeling~’ yet, but there are two new shows at London’s O2 Kentish Town Forum on 4th and 5th November on the books.

HE’S NOT TIED TO ONE MUSICAL SCENE Slowthai isn’t afraid of playing the musical field – how many other artists can say they’ve supported Slaves and Dave on tour within a few months of one another? Hardly anyone spends all their time listening to just one genre, so the idea of artists ‘staying in their lane’ doesn’t make sense any more. Long live an artist willing to play to whichever crowd wants to see him, and maybe even a few that don’t.



think of ‘Young Enough’ as an album about growth. And about strength. And perspective.” “The lyrics and the story of an album always feel like a total mystery to me until I finish it,” Eva continues. “Then I look back on it, and it hits me like a ton of bricks. ‘Chatroom’ is a song that is about sexual assault and being in a very manipulative and abusive relationship. When I was writing it, I really didn’t give much thought to the fact that that’s what I was writing about, it just felt good to say those things. There was this powerful moment where I made the decision to get angry at the right person, instead of blaming myself. “I feel like I wrote about this stuff, not thinking about it. I didn’t realise what I was doing but looking back clearly I needed to do it. I wrote these songs before I was able to talk about with anyone. It felt like writing these songs taught me how I felt. I was working through something that I hadn’t even found the words or the courage to talk about with even my closest friends and family, and this was an exercise for me to purge all of this stuff clogging my thoughts.” “It feels like a magic power to turn something that is completely fucking you up into something that feels like an explosion, and a celebration and a massive release,” she continues. “Hearing other women talk about what they’ve been through and realising that so many women have been here and experienced this, has helped me so much. Shame comes from thinking you’re the only person that’s experienced something, or that it’s something you need to hide or that if people knew this about you, they’d think differently. “I’m just so blown away by other women who have come forward about this and been so brave. I know that it’s helped me and I feel really lucky that I’m growing up in a time where those sort of conversations are happening because it’s beautiful to see women coming together over something that used to be very isolating. If anyone hears our songs, and feels less alone or ashamed or embarrassed or it gives them the courage to talk to someone else about it instead of keeping it inside, then that is the best thing I could ever imagine our music accomplishing.” P






Light a scented candle, set the mood, and prepare to pick your jaw up off the floor - FKA Twigs is back (and quite possibly back!! and also back!!!)! She’s dropped new track, ‘Cellophane’ - and it’s mindblowingly good. Three and a half minutes of atmospheric brilliance, it’s the first taster of a second album we’re expecting later this year. She’s set to ‘support’ this ‘activity’ with a few tour dates - including a huge show at London’s Alexandra Palace that might well have already happened by the time you read this. We’re CKA (currently known as) hyped.

JUNE 2019



WE’RE HOOKING UP WITH LEEDS PROMOTERS PIZZA FOR THE PEOPLE FOR ANOTHER INDIE BANQUET ON 24TH MAY. WE ASKED THEM FOR THEIR TOP 5 TIPS FOR BEING A DIY PROMOTER. WHY NOT HAVE A GO YOURSELF, AND READ MORE FROM HEADLINERS TRUDY AND THE ROMANCE ON P22. RESPECT It sounds pretty common sense, but one thing we’re really mindful of is respecting those around you that have been doing it for years, listening to their opinions, taking on board their advice and learning from their experiences. That includes respecting your audience and those who play for you. Without them, you aren’t going to get far! Treat the bands that play for you well, pay them well, supply them with drinks and if you can afford to, feed them – it goes a long way! INNER VOICE Do your own thing and do it well, don’t worry about what others are doing around you. Find your thing, put all your effort, heart and soul into it and equally as important – prevail. (If it doesn’t at least you’ve had a great time doing it.) BE FEARLESS Don’t be afraid to learn. We learn things at every gig we do, both in the build-up to it and on the day. If you don’t learn from the mistakes you make and think about how to make them right next time, you won’t grow or continue to make the next gig bigger and better. IMMERSION Immerse yourself within your scene, support your friends & local bands, go to as many shows as you can, get to know people, make friends. The amount of people we have met and become good pals with since we started PFTP has been immense, and we find ourselves part of a very supportive DIY community. BE OPEN-MINDED It goes without saying that those looking to get into promoting will no doubt have a strong passion for music and experience that beautiful buzz when they discover a new band and watch their journey from the band’s inception. For that very reason, support the new ones, go to gigs to watch all the support acts, don’t limit your experience to the headliner or well-known bands on the line-up. The same applies to festivals and all-day events. The beauty is often in the unknown. We’ve definitely stumbled across some incredible acts this way. P Indie Banquet takes place at Wharf Chambers in Leeds on 24th May.


It’s all coming up Brendon




THEY PLAYED OUR LIVE AT LEEDS STAGE AND HAVE A NEW ALBUM ‘ON THE WAY’. WE ASKED OUR LONG-TERM FAVES WHAT TO EXPECT. Hey Ozzy, how’s it going? I’m great thanks, I’ve been excited since we mastered the record. I am sleeping so well because of it. So, you’re properly back then. Where have you been? Properly back and that! A lot has happened, a lot that I probably don’t need to go into, some really grim stuff but also some really life-affirming stuff. It’s kinda balanced. We’ve had to get our heads together and assess what this band is and what we need to do with it. Luckily we happened to come out of it all with much stronger hearts for it than ever; we’re all super buzzing. What’s up with your new record label, are you going to work with other bands and stuff? First things first, we’re gonna release our third LP and give the people what they want. THEN, yeah, there’s loadsa great stuff out there. We’ve always loved the idea of making the dream label, that makes it cheap for bands to rehearse and record. We never got that chance, we just got given loadsa money, and that’s bad for five stoner kids who have never seen money. So, we’d love to set up a base, a rehearsal space and demo-ing space, make it super easy for a band to become the tightest band with the big hits! New music’s coming imminently, right? What can you tell us about it? It’s a lot different than what we’ve done (surprise surprise!), I reckon though if you dig Swim Deep, you’re gonna love it. It’s very Swim Deep. P



having rather a good time of it of late. With Panic! At The Disco’s ‘High Hopes’ quickly becoming a bit of a legit megahit, he’s also just finished a Really Very Impressive UK arena tour. But is that enough? No. Obviously. Our Brendon, see, has been recruited to ‘feat’ on Taylor Swift’s huge comeback single ‘ME!’ (capitals AND exclamation mark, someone’s feeling shouty - Ed), where our hero obviously knocks it out of the park. The triple A list awaits.



Island life



WE BLOODY LOVE FESTIVALS. PINTS. TUNES. VIBES. ALL that. We love them so much we’ve even got our own little one (Etc. You’ve heard of it, right?). In that, we’re very much like Donald Glover. How, you ask? Well, his Hiro Muraidirected short film Guava Island is all about him putting on a festival to bring a fractured island together. It definitely looks nicer than Reading there as well. Getting its premiere at Coachella, and up on Amazon Prime now, it’s a glorious slice of island life with some properly brilliant songs. It’s basically an hour long Childish Gambino music video with some added Rihanna. And if that doesn’t get you hyped for festival season, we don’t know what will. Bust out your floral shirts and practice those Gambino dance moves.

WE GO AGAIN A YEAR ON SINCE THE HYPE STARTED ON ‘A BRIEF INQUIRY INTO ONLINE RELATIONSHIPS’, THE 1975 ARE AT IT AGAIN Writing in a printed publication about The 1975 at this time of year is a dangerous exercise. 2018 was dominated by issues of Dork where we said something was going on with our favourite hypesters, and then by the time we hit the streets, eight other more urgent things had been announced. So, it’s with the full knowledge that we expect this story to ‘move on’ that we report that Matthew Healy is ‘at it again’. With headline slots at mega US fest Coachella in April, our Matty took the opportunity to start sharing images relating to the band’s forthcoming second ‘Music For Cars’ installment ‘Notes On A Conditional Form’. Already having suggested we’ll get the first track in that ‘end of May, 1st of June’ window where ‘Give Yourself A Try’ landed last year, he’s also been playing expected ‘Notes...’ cut ‘jesus christ 2005 god bless america’ acoustically at various ‘events’ stateside’. The buzz commeth.

JUNE 2019



treasure, our man Stormzy has returned with a (sort of) brand new track. Fresh material was always expected to land before his big bill-topping appearance at Pilton Farm at the end of June, and those predictions are coming to pass. ‘Vossi Bop’ is a track that was first hinted at a few years back via some sneaky video previews online, but it’s finally here with a fun as all hell video in tow. Check it out at now.








JUNE 2019



"I guess I’m just a bit spooky"

out 24th May.


Hiya Dallon, how are you? I'm good; I'm so sorry I forgot! I actually went to see Avengers: Endgame. They gave me my list of interviews and I just completely forgot. I'm so sorry!

that we've done. Fans tend to dig up past projects, so I think a whole part of this will always be haunted by the ghost of The Broebecks, we'll always play a few songs.

That's okay! I owe you a sandwich.

What ideas have you had for the live show that you want to try to do in the future? We want to get to that point where we can finally play all of the songs that we have. Another goal that we've had is to build a bigger production around our set, like have more live musicians join us on stage because right now it's just a matter of keeping things inexpensive, and for the sake of our families if that makes sense? In the future when it becomes financially reasonable, we'll have a horn section on stage, which will be great, and some live guitar and keys. One thing Ryan and I have really enjoyed doing is improvising and having backing tracks makes that kind of tough to do, so we find little moments here and there where we're able to do that, but if we're able to incorporate live musicians in the future, I think that'll be great fun.

How are you both feeling for Slam Dunk? Apart from having to give us a sandwich. Yeah, we're excited man, it's gonna be fun! It's going to be good to be back. Have you done many festivals yet? We did Reading & Leeds last year. We haven't really hit Europe yet, but we're going to be tackling that shortly after Slam Dunk. We're so geared up for that. How is it translating the IDK world to a festival setting? It's always really fun, but the challenge is keeping some of the songs we've written and recorded close to the chest because we haven't released a full-length record yet. So there are songs that we have rehearsed that we just aren't going to play yet so that fans can have some surprises in the future when we do release a record. So in the meantime we're playing songs from the EP and a couple of covers - Ryan, and I also used to be in another band, The Broebecks a few years ago and over the past two years that band has built a cult following online just because of the other things

How's life now the ball is fully rolling for you guys? Oh it's crazy busy! It seems like its non-stop, it's hard to find a moment to you know, enjoy a movie, but it's been a good problem to have, being as busy as we are. P idkhow tour the UK from 25th May.



approach, there are still classic Honeyblood hallmarks throughout. Stina’s writing has always had an edge of playful creeping menace, and you can hear that again on the likes of thrilling opener ‘She’s a Nightmare’. “I said I wasn’t going to write another witchy album and now I’ve THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS HAVE written two,” laughs Stina. “It was been a period of upheaval and by coincidence that it was recorded regeneration for Honeyblood as over Halloween. I guess I’m just a they’ve morphed from a duo into the bit spooky. It’s definitely a common fully-fledged solo project of guitarist theme that runs through this record, and songwriter Stina Tweeddale. and the last one.” Stina has always been the focal A key player in pushing forward point, but now with the release of Honeyblood’s sound and bringing in third album ‘In Plain Sight’, her different ways of working was indie creative vision can be fully realised, super producer John Congleton heralding the start of an exciting new who has worked with the likes of St era for Honeyblood. Vincent, Wild Beasts and Future “It feels slightly daunting, but like Islands. the right thing to do,” begins Stina “I wanted to work with Jon because as she explains how she set off on he’s really good at making guitars her own. Following 2016’s storming not sound like guitars,” says Stina. ‘Babes Never Die’, Honeyblood “Sonically what he brought to my embarked on an songs was ideal. It’s arduous touring changed the sound cycle. “We were on of Honeyblood but tour for about two progressed it in a years. It was a very positive way. We long time. I took reached out to him, a year off to write but it was kind of a Stina Tweeddale this new record,” pipe dream really. she explains. He agreed to do it While Stina though, and it was a perfect feel for was taking some time out to reflect, me.” drummer Cat Myers took on some The album is full of subtle dirty other commitments that led to the electronics mixing with warped two-piece Honeyblood fragmenting, guitars meshing perfectly with the leaving Stina to write and record classic Honeyblood punky rush. Just on her own. It was a situation that like the debut, it’s bookended with a ultimately has had a massive benefit tender piano ballad. I really wanted to the band both creatively and to put 'Harmless' on the end,” says musically. Stina. “It’s a very sad song. A raw and “This record is very much me vulnerable end to the record.” trying to work out what the next The future looks bright for step was artistically and with my Honeyblood again after a period of songwriting,” says Stina. With plans uncertainty. With a new label, an to leave behind the two-piece live exciting and progressive new album format forever and employ a full live and a new live band that Stina is band behind, there emerged a strong preparing to take out on the road, a impetus behind the songs. “There stronger and more vital Honeyblood were a lot of constraints writing an has emerged. album for a two piece. There became “It means that there are new a point in the studio where it was possibilities for me to take obvious that I wouldn’t have those Honeyblood somewhere else now,” constraints anymore for the live says Stina hopefully. “My fear would show. There was a bit more freedom, be to just continue to do the same and it was liberating in that sense.” thing and stagnate. It feels like I While the sound of the album have a brand new lease of life.” P is sonically more diverse with a Honeyblood’s album ‘In Plain Sight’ is broader range of sounds and a fresh





far. He’s won the BRITs Critics’ Choice award, for a start off, putting himself in a lineage including the likes of legit AAA list festival bill toppers Adele and Florence & The Machine. That means there’s Quite A Lot of anticipation for his debut album. Well, that can all ramp up a level now, as our Sam has revealed all about his first full-length. ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ will be with us on 9th August. Written, recorded and produced in his own self-built warehouse studio in North Shields, it was created alongside his long-standing friend and producer Bramwell Bronte. Because we’ve been waiting for ‘this sort of announcement’ for a while, we got Sam on the phone to quiz him on what to expect. Why did you choose ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ as a title?

I could give you a really cool reason. I could say, it’s a piece of jargon from the world that we live in, and it’s crazy that we live in this world, and I want this album to be from the perspective from this kid from Newcastle. But honestly mate, the real answer’s just cos it sounds cool. Are you going to come up with an elaborate reason later?

Haha, no. Not everything on the record is about a heavy subject. Some of the songs I wrote five years ago when I was 19, very embryonic. You can tell because the lyrics are

JUNE 2019



shit. Well, they’re not shit (laughs) but they’re a lot simpler. My songwriting’s definitely gotten better. What can we expect from the newer ones?

"We’ve compiled old songs and new songs to make something that’s a good fucking experience"

A lawsuit (laughs). No, no. I’m kind of getting into that heartland rock thing, but also there will be stories Sam Fender about some Geordie radgies. I feel like that it comes from that classic British indie song, but then you’ve got ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ which is more like Springsteen. I’ve got stuff like that, and then stuff that’s classic singer-songwriter. Any surprises?

It’s a real mixed album, there are a couple of tracks that are quite poppy. One is called ‘Call Me Lover’, and it’s a song about infidelity and being 19. Loosely based on this lass who was married, and she got out of it and started knocking around with a young’ un. And that’s it, simple as that. Any other big themes? Some of it sounds quite brutal. ‘The Borders’ in particular, with lyrics about being held on the ground by someone with a replica gun.

Yeah, yeah. A lot of that is more modern. Instead of trying to hide things with melody, metaphor and motion, I’m trying to write

songs that are still upbeat in sound but very matter of fact. Songs like ‘The Border’ are very personal, because I’ve not really written about myself at all yet, a lot of my songs are looking outward at other people. Are many about people you know?

People I know, or people about my hometown. Now this album’s got a few songs that actually are directly about me, or are about the people around my life. There’s ‘Two People’, which is about domestic violence. But then you’ve got ‘Saturday’ which is about your zero-hour contract job and wanting to get smashed on a weekend. And then there’s ‘Call Me Lover’, which is a bit of a love song but about infidelity, and then there’s ‘Will We Talk In The Morning?’, a song about one-night stands. And assholes. We’ve compiled old songs and new songs to make something that’s a good fucking experience, and hopefully, showcases where I’ve come from and where I’ve got to. Have you already started album number two?

Oh fucking hell, yes. I’ve been dying to get an album out for a long time. The first half of this record is probably sonically how my second one will sound. P





Pinty Nightcrawler This is like UK Garage meets 2019. Such a massive tune, shout out to Reprezent, this is on their A-list and is an absolute banger.

Maverick Sabre ft Jorja Smith Slow Down This banger is special. Great album, and love to both Mav and Jorja - that’s Ezra Collective family right there. Koffee Toast This song is really special. I’m so excited about what teenagers are doing in music. Koffee’s like 17, so real, so raw, so authentic. I’m such a fan. Theon Cross Panda Village Some real UK jazz fire. This is like a marriage between jazz and grime. So aggressive and yet so delicate and intricate. Big fan. Love this track.


Billie Ellish Bad Guy Yooooo, I do not understand what Billie has done to me. I’m absolutely obsessed, she’s amazing. Her interviews, her lyrics, voice, production. Such a fan.

Eilish; I’m a super-fan!” Femi Koleoso, band-leader and drummer for North London jazz sensations Ezra Collective is giggling. “I don’t understand why I’m in so deep, but I can’t stop!” Cast your preconceptions aside: jazz is back, and it’s booming. No longer restrained to dusty shelves in forgotten record stores, there is a new generation of talented musicians taking jazz in an exciting, wholly new direction. At the forefront of this resurgence is Ezra Collective - comprised of Femi, his brother TJ, Dylan Jones, James Mollison and Joe Armon Jones. “Anything in music that I’ve felt excluded from, I’ve always ended up running away from it,” Femi explains. “I went to Channel One Sound System last night, and I’m dancing next to Jorja Smith’s drum tech - he’s a white guy from Reading, and also this woman that was probably older than my mum. You’ve got a Spanish guy with dreadlocks, and then an actual rastaman with dreads, and they’re all having the same experience. That’s what I’m trying to do with my music, y’know?” Formed nearly a decade ago, the band met at the famed Tomorrow’s Warriors an organisation committed to increasing diversity in the jazz world. The quintet soon progressed to playing together, and after winning a competition to play at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, (“Mad cool!” Femi laughs), the burgeoning band relationship soon became something altogether more serious. Two EPs helped to cement the live experience, but it’s full-length debut ‘You Can’t Steal My Joy’ that promises to elevate Ezra Collective into the mainstream. With guest features from Jorja Smith and Loyle Carner, it’s a pure delight that takes in a huge variety of genres and influences. “Throughout its history, jazz has always mixed things up,” says Femi. “In the 50s, Dizzy Gillespie mixed AfroCuban music in. You’ve got Miles Davis bringing in a MOBO influence. West African, classical, it’s all been thrown in over the years. For me, to keep it relevant, I’ve got to mix it with the things that I’m listening to and the things that I take Femi Koleoso inspiration from.” For Femi, an early love of grime fed into what comes next. “If you listen to an Ezra track and can’t hear any references to Skepta or J Hus, then that would be dishonest because it’s what

I’m listening to quite often. If you can’t hear Kamasi Washington, or that I love J Dilla and Billie Eilish then I would be lying. So we’re putting it all in, and we’re super unashamed about it.” So is Billie the dream next guest for Ezra? “I’ve heard from a few people that she’s a big Jorja fan, so I’m thinking that could be the way in, you know?” he laughs. The explosion of interest in the genre has led to many strange and wonderful opportunities for Femi and the band, helped in part by the Oscar-winning movie Whiplash. “That film was hilarious

"Jazz has always mixed things up"

man, but I got so much work because of that film; it saw me through uni!” Most recently, Femi appears in this season’s Champions League football marketing campaigns. “A dream come true, man!” shouts the fervent Arsenal fan. The rooms may have gotten a lot bigger very quickly, but some things haven’t been affected. “We’ve never really changed, but the exposure’s grown so much. It’s the same excitement for me, the same buzz. We play Rough Trade soon; the capacity is 200. But Roundhouse is 3 ,000. It’s going to be carnage; I can’t wait!” One thing is for sure: this collective is about to gain a whole new host of followers. P Ezra

Collective’s debut album ‘You Can’t Steal My Joy’ is out now.





band,” Finn Wolfhard enthuses. “That’s it. Ever since I was little, I’ve always wanted to have a rock band.” Whether it’s in a hairbrush karaoke routine worthy of Wembley, a slamming air guitar solo primed for a festival main stage, or even in getting together with instruments in a friend’s parents’ garage, being a rock star is a dream we’ve all entertained at some point. They might not yet be old enough to drink in the venues they’re playing in, but Calpurnia are already on the fast track to making their dream their reality. “I personally try to go into this with no expectations,” Ayla Tesler-Mabe expresses, “just because who knows how music is going to be received nowadays?” she speculates. “The music industry is always changing. It’s kind of hard to figure out what people are really responding to at a given time.” That might be true, but that didn’t stop the band – or indeed their fans – from feeling they were on to something special right from the start. “I think I always had an inkling that there would be at least some groups of people that were excited by us,” Ayla describes. “The fact that it’s four kids coming together and actually writing their own music and playing their own instruments and writing their own songs…” she describes, “but I had no idea that it would reach so many people from literally all the corners of the globe,” she marvels. “I think that’s the most incredible feeling.” It’s a feeling their audience revel in as much as the band do. A headline show at London’s KOKO last year saw fans queueing outside the venue from the early afternoon, glitter face paint at the ready, and nothing – not even broken amps – could stop that moment from feeling spectacular. “The night before we played in this little club in Manchester,” Finn recalls. “Going straight from that to this big show the next day…” he recalls. “It was probably our best show we’ve played so far.” “It was certainly super humbling for us,” Jack Anderson adds. “There were a lot of incredible things that people were saying about us. At that point was just crazy to us that we’d even be able to have an EP out by the age of 16/17,” he enthuses. “It’s a super crazy feeling for all of us.” Headlining venues half a world away from home, starring in a Weezer music video… Calpurnia’s rise under the spotlight has been nothing short of spectacular. “That’s been my favourite part of this whole experience, making connections with people and just talking to so many people,” Jack expresses. “I mean, if you’d told me three years ago I’d be in a Weezer video…” he trails off, laughing. “It’s a whole new crazy experience,” he conveys. “I think all of us are grateful and excited about all the support that surrounds us.” There’s a lot to take in – especially when you consider that the group released their first single just a little over a year ago. One thing’s for certain: Calpurnia are making the most of it – and they don’t plan on slowing down even for a moment. Latest single ‘Cell’ dropped earlier this year to a flurry of excitement, and it spells brighter

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UPDATE things than ever in the band’s burgeoning future. “We released it the day before the one-year anniversary of us releasing a song,” Jack laughs. “We squeezed one more in before our music turned one.” A flurry of riffs that rock as hard as they roll, with an instant sing-a-long chorus and a solo practically primed for the air guitar moment of your dreams, ‘Cell’ is Calpurnia at their most realised yet. “The single is kind of the next step for us as a band,” Ayla describes. Recorded with ‘Scout’ producers Cadien Lake James and R. Andrew Humphrey, the single showcases the band at their strongest yet. “It’s really cool working with the same people,” Ayla enthuses. “I think it made the growth that we’ve made as Finn Wolfhard a band even more clear. It was so much fun.” “We’re always writing stuff and developing stuff,” Finn expresses. “We’re really busy,” he adds. “These guys are graduating high school soon. I’m working a lot with the acting stuff,” he explains (we thought he looked familiar…). “It’s all about just finding the right time.” With a summer full of shows and festival appearances ahead of them to boot, sure, their schedules are looking pretty hectic, for Calpurnia it’s all systems go. “We’re writing right now,” Finn reveals. “We’re planning to record an album soon.” It’s a big moment in any band’s career, for sure, but the Vancouver outfit’s ambition doesn’t stop there. “I would love to get to a point in our music career where we have so many songs that we have songs to cut and things to save for the future,” Finn enthuses. “I feel like that’s when you feel most comfortable,” he explains. “When you’re writing so much that it’s like ‘we’ll save that for the next album...’” he conveys. “It feels really good to do that. I feel comfortable.” “We love releasing new stuff or doing sessions or whatever,” he adds. “It shows that we’re growing as a band. We have fun with all of that.” With a much-anticipated debut album in the works, Calpurnia have everything to play for – and they plan on enjoying every second. “We’re still trying to find out what we are and finding our purpose in music,” Finn describes. “It’s really cool to record the music we record and play these shows and see it happen in real time.” Writing, recording, and hitting the road: it’s all part of an experience that never wears thin, a rollercoaster of excitement and enthusiasm that’s marked the band as one of the hottest new acts around. “I think that’s probably one of the best parts by far,” Ayla asserts, “getting to experience so many people who might come from really different backgrounds and ways of living their lives coming together over music…” she expresses. “I think that’s what music does and it’s a wonderful thing.” P

"We’re still trying to find out what we are"





SANDMAN Hey Little Johnny of The Original Doo-Wop Spacemen, how’s it going?

I’m as good as the river, but as lost as the dolphin in it. Lover and fighter, early mornings and early nights when I’m out on the right track. Ok then. So your debut album, eh? How are you feeling now it’s almost out?

I feel like a lovable little cartoon devil, slashing its knife through the theatre screen. I hope that the record cuts down its own avenue of popular music; living in no particular time or place. It’s been a long road, but it’s no longer mine to treasure, it’s time to set it free into the worldwild. Take the knocks and good fortune as it comes. Have you been working on it for ages and ages?

It’s everything that has raced through the rock’n’roll blue, red and green since I was sixteen.


Where did you write and record, and how did your surroundings impact the music you were making?

I rock a Silvertone Danelectro guitar. She’s 60 years old and the all-time American grandmother of roll; my rock. Me and my Silvertone wrote the record in many many bedrooms with hundreds of films playing in

the corner of them. These were where I found structure, chords and melody. The lobby for everything I create; discovery into the exciting and scary unknown. The mysticism was found inside. My Silvertone was my gateway to larger soundscapes and musical worlds. We listened to the great ones, the timeless. After all, rock’n’roll is a search for immortality. You have so many extra musicians and guests on it, how did that pan out logistically? You guys must be really organised.

I’ve never had the guts to improvise; I’m more of a classical writer than jazz in that sense. Being a little organised has always been a knack of mine. It was an exciting trait to embrace for a much bigger picture than myself. How did you go about piecing together the tracklisting? Were there many iterations before you landed on the final running order, or tracks included?

I was never sure whether to go for a linear running story or dream-like muddled reflection. It’s a little bit of everything as I worked with songs I’ve had and new ideas too, I took what they meant to me and found them a place in the story that way. The Concept is like a dream that jumps from here to there.


Writing to a concept sounds really fun, is it something you’re likely to do for future records too do you think?

I’d like to be a one-man Disney, and go down the storyteller route. Through music, I want to create strong visuals, themes, stories and characters too. Things that are ambitious, hard-worked and a part of a bigger story. Collecting Disney videos is a cheap hobby of mine, it’s a cool thought to have a collection of my own stories under my belt. Have you played the album to many people yet? How have the reactions been?

Only the nearest and dearest. They bloody love it. What else have you got coming up over the next few months?

There will be sizzling hot shows in the UK late May. Grab some tickets and join the fun train, will be lovely to have you! Playing alongside rockers: Honey Moon, DYGL, Sunface and Them Sardines. P Trudy and the Romance’s debut album ‘Sandman’ is out 24th May. They’ll headline Indie Banquet at Wharf Chambers in Leeds on 24th May, too.

You’re headlining Indie Banquet soon. If you were hosting your own banquet, what food would you have? Sriracha sauce, chocolate milk, mango, black olives and king prawns. Who would you invite? Cleopatra, Holden Caulfield, Walt Disney, Minnie Mouse and Elvis. Would you book some entertainment? We can entertain ourselves. Are you guys good cooks? We cook with love! If Trudy and the Romance were a pizza topping, what would you be? Something big and beautiful that people can enjoy for years. With a BBQ base! P


'FYI' THE BEST NEW TRACKS Nilüfer Yanya has announced a new London show: she’ll perform at Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 19th November. The news follows the release of her debut album, ‘Miss Universe’, which arrived a few weeks ago.


Every time our Marika goes away, she comes back with something both shiny and new, yet reassuringly familiar. That’s the glow we get from her latest return to action. ‘I’m Not Where You Are’ is a solid gold banger - a track that flicks the loop button of its own accord and settles in for the long haul. Whatever she’s got planned, it’s gonna be awesome.

No Rome


With a new EP following his latest banger in quick smart time, No Rome isn’t giving us much warning on his rise to superstardom. He’s been locked in on the road with labelmates the 1975, and their mutual musical appreciation is evident on lead track ‘Cashmoney’. A smooth jam with pop edges, it’s another hint at a fearsome talent still growing at pace.


The second track of Kev and co’s big return, ‘Borderline’ is disco perfection. While at the time of press they’ve revealed little more than a pair of tracks, some live dates to come and a big Glastonbury slot later in June, that sky-high bar is only getting pushed further towards the stars.

Courtney Barnett


Released for this year’s Record Store Day, Courtney’s latest standalone effort is trademark lazy day brilliance. With the sun raising its sleepy post-winter head, it’s perfect timing for her woozy indie pop majesty.



The title track for Bastille’s third album, ‘Doom Days’


Get the latest bangers at or follow our Brand New Bangers playlist on Spotify. Check out all these tracks and more on Dork Radio now at radio

is as short as it is impactful. Lyrically playing with the modern condition, it hits home on everything from comment sections, phone addiction, climate change and filter bubbles. And yet, despite all this dark and brooding substance, there’s still a thumping beat of hope at its heart. Bastille are evolving, and it sounds like it's been worth the wait.



Beck and Pharrell Williams feels like the most perfect team up we never knew we needed. With perfectly interlocking styles, ‘Saw Lightning’ is the first taster of a new album, ‘Hyperspace’, which is set to drop ‘at some point in the future’. After last time round’s release date bingo, it’s a good job Mr Hansen isn’t setting himself any deadlines, but with songs as good as this, we’re happy for him to keep ‘em coming.

Sea Girls will play their biggest ever headline shows this autumn, including Kentish Town Forum. The newcomers will hit the road from 2nd October, visiting Bristol, Southampton, London’s O2 Forum Kentish Town on the 10th, then Leicester, Manchester, Liverpool and Stoke. You can also catch Sea Girls at Live at Leeds (4th May), Barn on the Farm (6th July), Truck (28th July), Reading & Leeds (23rd24th August) and loads more this summer.



Marika Hackman

Barn on the Farm has announced sixteen more acts, including Swim Deep, Indoor Pets and The Japanese House. Also new to the bill, are Anteros, Sea Girls, Ten Tonnes, Whenyoung, Maverick Sabre, Zak Abel, Gabrielle Aplin, Nina Nesbitt, Youngr, Fatherson, The Pale White, L Devine and Etham. They join headliners Sam Fender, former Dork cover star Maggie Rogers, and current Dork cover star Lewis Capaldi. Barn on the Farm will take place from 4th-7th July at Over Farm, Gloucester.







from the Croydon singer. WITH HER UNIQUE BLEND OF A "Over the last year or so, I've just down-to-earth London upbringing been writing, and I've explored a mixed with a rich African heritage, lot of styles and genres. I've started rising star Rachel Chinouriri to figure out what I like, and I'm has already pricked up ears with enjoying this vibe more. I'm just a series of heavenly tracks such enjoying playing about." Playing as ‘So My Darling' and ‘Riptide'. about or not, a follow-up EP will Now, with ‘Adrenaline' showing soon be with us. "All the songs on that she can do sassy just as well as it intertwine as a story, it's a big sadness, she stands on the edge of love story and is around some of a breakthrough. Even at half eight the emotions that I've felt. It can in the morning, an ungodly hour be related to by everybody because for most pop stars (and Dork to be it's all about love." fair), a giddy excitement surrounds For most people, their her every word as she brings us up introduction will have been the to speed with everything that's sublime ‘So My Darling', a classic been going on. bedroom track written while she "I love it. And I love that people was still at college. "I had a bad are loving it as much as I do." It's demo of it. I couldn't play guitar at clear that the adrenaline is still that point, so everything was out flowing for Rachel as she discusses of tune." As with all of her work, her recent head-turning release. she posted it on SoundCloud where "It came from a real situation, but it started to gather attention. I exaggerated it a bit. When I went "I was constantly writing in my into the studio, my headspace was bedroom at that point, that I was gonna posting everything just challenge this there, even the person in my head THE FACTS smallest one-minute and see where + From clips. That was pretty it goes." Where London, UK much me for two ‘Adrenaline' goes + For fans of years!" is wonderful Nilüfer Yanya, Miya After tweeting BBC indeed, an earFolick Introducing about worm of a chorus + Check out ‘The Weight of the peeking through ‘Riptide’ World', the Chinouriri the haze of a + Social snowball began. shimmering early@rachelchinourir "They kept playing summer bop. It's + See them live: it on the radio which very different to Find her at MOTH I couldn't believe! I Club, London on the more serene 5th June, and Field thought everything slow jams that Day too you heard on the radio we've got so far

JUNE 2019


was properly produced and mixed, upcoming new talents, Rachel but there I was with a song that was has found herself drawn to one done in my room!" particular north-east troubadour Since then, the rough edges may in particular. have been smoothed out but the "Sam Fender is the person momentum has only grown with I'm into the most right now. You two sold-out London shows soon expect some kind of heartbreak to be joined by her biggest yet, at songs, but hearing ‘Dead Boys' or Hackney's Moth Club. With that ‘Poundshop Kardashians' for the still-under-wraps EP to come at first time, it's just like… wow. His some point in the summer, these tone and style is really sick." are exciting Everything times. But it is exciting for is her family Rachel right origins as now. Getting much as ready to perform the recent at several past that festivals over have guided the summer, she her here. confesses that Her family she has never moved from been to one Zimbabwe to before. "It's a Rachel Chinouriri London before whole different Rachel was world; I've heard born, meaning that her musical so many stories, so I'm excited to upbringing contained the best of go and be there!" both worlds. Anyone stumbling across her in "I absorbed a lot of the UK a muddy field somewhere will be in culture growing up, getting into for a treat, and as each new release indie music, whereas my family arrives, it only highlights another listen to things like Ladysmith side to her. Usually a perfectionist Black Mambazo at home - my on stage, she is chilled about what parents' idea of music used to be is going to come this summer that if it doesn't make you dance, promising that, "People just wanna then it doesn't make sense. The feel a vibe, and I'm going to provide influence of both is quite special." that for them and just enjoy it as That set of influences, unique to much as possible." her but relatable to many others, With good vibes aplenty, blissed makes her one of a number of out tunes and the promise of more diverse voices arising in British to come very soon, the excitement pop music. Amidst a host of is only going to spread. P

"I absorbed a lot of the UK culture growing up, getting into indie music"







of the San Fernando Valley, California armed with a handful of riotous bangers and debut EP ‘I Can Fool Anybody In This Town’, Liily are ready to take on the world. With a punchy bite and fresh-faced feeling, they’ve just arrived in the UK for some live dates. Frontman Dylan Nash fills us in on what’s going down in the world of Liily. Hiya Liily, can you tell us a bit about yourselves?

We’re four guys from Los Angeles, California. We met at a music program that helped us develop a knack for performing; some of us also met through high school. Your tunes are fairly wild and unhinged, where does that stem from?

For this current EP, most of the energy is derived from the anxiousness to finally record songs that we’d been playing for a while. It’s our first record of any sort so to finally get it out was a great feeling. How did you find recording?

The process for recording the EP was pretty seamless. We had a great group of people in the studio every day making our lives a lot easier. Being our first time recording, we just tried to have fun, and I think that was conveyed

JUNE 2019



well while still being professional.

the feeling we had when wanting to record finally. It’s more rooted in the intensity of the guitars and drums rather than the lyrics. But with our writing now, the lyrics represent the reason for our songs to exist; subjects that matter and help provoke thought.

What are your musical influences?

What do you want to ultimately achieve with Liily?



Our influences are pretty different across the board; we like bands like Foals, Death Grips, Queen, and even some post-punk groups as well. We pretty much play stuff that we enjoy regardless of sounding like a particular influence. If it sounds good, then it’s going on the record.

I don’t think we have a specific end goal; I just know that we want to create art for as long as we can while maintaining our musical integrity. We understand it’s hard to navigate that, but I think we’ll just continue to make music we like and not get hung up in things that don’t matter.

How did growing up in California/ San Fernando impact you?

What have been your favourite moments as a band so far?

Going on tour for the first time In LA there’s art pretty much was the best experience we’ve had. everywhere you go, whether it’s We got substantially closer as a visual or performance. Growing group, and I think that helped us up around that was such a huge on a creative level as well. influence in the development of our sound, just You’re over in the UK living in the city for your debut shows you have access to THE FACTS soon, how are you so many different + From feeling for them? resources. It is San Fernando Any expectations? truly the perfect Valley, US We’re all super place to be for an + For fans of excited to play in artist. The Amazons, the UK, some of Royal Blood our favourite music Where do your + Check out cultivated there, lyrical ideas come ‘Toro’ and it’s gonna be from? + Social such an interesting We were ready to @Liilytheband experience facing a release music for + See them live: new crowd and seeing so long; I think the They’re on tour in how they interact lyrical intention the UK right now with us. P was just to enhance

OVER AT BARN on the Farm HQ, we’ve been waiting for a wave of authentic music to come back on top, and it seems the table has turned! It’s bloody exciting. Right, where do I begin? Everyone’s favourite Scotsman, Lewis Capaldi. We all know and love him for his hilarious Instagram stories, but more importantly, he’s showing that a vocal and an exceptional song can make us all feel again. Seven weeks at Number 1 is a pretty tidy start. We don’t have her on the BOTF bill, but I’m obsessed with Billie Eilish. Easy Life are a band you should go and see live asap, and Sea Girls understand a hooky chorus; we need more bands like this. It goes without saying that Sam Fender and Maggie Rogers (our headliners) are CRACKING. I manage artists at Closer Artists, so I’m a little biased here, but I think the music that’s coming from our roster is real quality – Lily Moore, Sam Johnson, Holly Humberstone, JC Stewart, Etham, Michaela. Without babbling on about all the new artists out there, here’s a little list of others to listen to: Maisie Peters, Hamzaa, Celeste, Charlotte, Aeris Roves, Winnie Raeder, Mathilda Homer, Delilah Montagu, Indoor Pets and Kawala. P Barn on the Farm takes place from 4th-7th July.




thoroughly-deserved buzz for their phenomenal live shows, Squid are now showing that they can capture their cephalopodic charm on record too with recent banger ‘Houseplants' riding high on everyone's playlists. With an exciting summer lined up, including new music, festival appearances and their first ever tour, it was high time Dork caught up with drummer and lead vocalist Ollie Judge as he did his household chores. The glamorous life of a rock and roll star! Morning Ollie, how's it going?


was literally just listening to them. It sounds wicked.

+ From Brighton, UK

Can you tell us what it's called?

+ For fans of Hotel Lux, LIFE, Sports Team + Check out ‘Houseplants’ + Social @squidbanduk + See them live: Loads of festivals: The Great Escape, Green Man, End of the Road and more

We haven't decided yet. All of the songs are about jobs, so me and Louis want to call it ‘Careering', but that's just a working title. Or ‘Careers Deluxe' maybe, it hasn't been decided yet. Which career would you be the worst at?

A stand-up comedian, I'd be awful at that.

"We are starting to think about an album..."

Best stick to the music then, Ollie. Can we expect more from the same post-punk vein that you've been delighting us with so far?

We have an EP coming out this summer! Some of the mixes just came through; I

Sounds cool. What was it like working with Dan Carey again? He's been smashing it with the likes of Fontaines D.C. recently.

God yeah, he's got his fingers in everything at the moment. It's great. He kind of feels like the sixth member now, he's done pretty much everything with us. He's great to work with, no frills. He's a nice guy as well. Any more new music to come?

We are starting to think about an album, but it might be a while yet; we're ready to make a big, bold move forwards. P

Alfie Templeman BEING A POP STAR IS A SERIOUS JOB. YOU CAN’T JUST WALK THROUGH THE DOOR AND GET STARTED. YOU NEED TO HAVE A PROPER INTERVIEW FIRST. THIS MONTH’S APPLICANT - ALFIE TEMPLEMAN. THE BOARD WILL SEE YOU NOW. What can you tell us about yourself? I’m a 16-year-old indie artist from Bedfordshire, UK. I’m currently studying for my GCSEs, which is just what you need when trying to make some great tunes! Why do you want to be a pop star? The phrase ‘pop star’ sounds appealing enough on its own but it’s just something about the life of recording, touring and having fun with people that makes it so interesting and eye-catching to me. How would your bandmates describe you? Well, my best mate Jos who plays guitar for my band says I look ill all the time. What are your best and worst qualities? Best - piecing together songs, basically writing and recording. I know what sounds good in a song, and how to make it sound great on the recording; that takes a lot of time. Worst - probably being a bit of a perfectionist and control freak. What is your biggest failure? Probably one of my old albums that I rushed into recording when I was about 13, but I don’t regret it at all; if I ever once doubted myself and listened to what other people said I wouldn’t even be here right now. What accomplishment are you most proud of? Playing O2 Brixton Academy at 16 years old. What is your salary expectation? Oh, who knows. P



Yeah. There are two Morning! I've just tracks, ‘Matchbet' and finished hanging up my ‘The Cleaner' which feel washing, so all is good. Ollie Judge like a follow on from ‘The Well, it's been mental Dial' and ‘Houseplants'. really - ‘Houseplants' is And then there are two other tracks still on the A-List at 6 Music, which is far which are really weird and out there; one beyond any of our expectations. Crazy! is just an instrumental ambient talk-y kind of jazz track. And there's ‘Like A Any tips on keeping houseplants Rodeo', which is just a drum machine alive? and quite like Spiritualized, very spacey. Speak to them, but don't ever I'm just looking forward to getting out look at them. something a bit wackier. Not one song ever sounds like the one before it, but I Fair enough. So tell think that makes it fun. us about your new EP which you have coming out this summer?

So you wanna be a pop star?






ARLO DAY Arlo Day is the 'professional persona' of Alice Barlow, a songwriter and guitarist from South-East London (obv) who has just signed to iconic indie label Domino. She's dropping her debut EP shortly, with lead single 'Bad Timing' streaming online now. “I recorded ‘Bad Timing’ at home last summer," she reveals. "It was a song I wrote after a break up when many things in my life seemed out of sync. I was aiming to capture the feeling of loss and how hindsight can really do a number on you sometimes.” Check out: 'Bad Timing'

LUCY LU Look, we'll be honest, Dear Reader, when someone starts trying to tell us about the South London Jazz scene, our eyes usually mist over with a cloud of tooty try hard nonsense. But that's not Lucy Lu. Yes, Luke Bower's solo project is has its fair share of honking about it, but it's also a future-focused pop tour de force - one which bashes through any pretension to

IT’S A GOOD TIME FOR debut album announcements - The Rhythm Method’s long-awaited first full-length ‘How Would You Know I Was Lonely’ will arrive on 21st June via Moshi Moshi. And that’s not all...


provoke a noticeable shuffle in even the most cynical of listeners. And no, he's not in Charlie's Angels. We checked. Check out: 'Crucial'


BLACK PUMAS Named by NPR as "the breakout band of 2019", and with a whole load of SXSW buzz behind them, Black Pumas are releasing a debut album on 21st June via ATO Records. Described as " equally indebted to East Coast hip-hop as it is to classic funk and soul", they won Best New Band at the 2019 Austin Music Awards. Probably worth a listen, then. Check out: 'Black Moon Rising'

JUST MUSTARD Ireland is doing quite


well at the 'new band' thing at the moment, but while Fontaines D.C. and The Murder Capital like to make a punk-edged din, Just Mustard are a fivepiece from a different sonic universe. With a blend of trip hop, electronic music and, yes, a healthy dollop of noise too, vocalist Katie Ball weaves an atmospheric tapestry that always feels on the edge of something big and doom-laden. They come highly recommended. Check out: 'Frank'



JUNE 2019


There are so many ace bands coming out of Australia 'of late' that we're not sure we can

continue to refer to them all as Wonders from Down Under. City Calm Down have great pedigree, though. Recording with Burke Reid (Courtney Barnett, Julia Jacklin), they might be on their third album now, but they're as fresh as daisies with it. They'll be hitting the UK this September for a headline tour before heading off to Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany. Get your homework in early. Check out: 'Television'

MYSIE Mysie - that's My-Zee, if you're gonna drop names in public - is 23 years of age, and the granddaughter of a renowned Ugandan jazz musician. Yep, this music thing is in her blood. But her influences come from all over the place from Mac DeMarco to Thundercat to N.E.R.D., she's copying from nobody on her debut single 'Rocking Chair', a track more thick and lush than whipped cream on a pecan tart. Is it lunch time yet? Check out: 'Rocking Chair'

FEET WILL DROP THEIR debut ‘What’s Inside Is More Than Just Ham’ (yes, that’s really the title) on 2nd August. “Going into a first album, you don’t have any prior intentions - if you’ve not been dropped by your management after a month, you’ve had a result,” the band say.

MABEL MEANWHILE HAS high expectations for her debut, erm, ‘High Expectations’. The album will be released on 12th July via Polydor Records. “It’s about the expectations I have of myself, other people’s expectations of me and vice versa,” she explains.

SEASIDE DWELLERS Penelope Isles have confirmed their aptly-named debut, ‘Until The Tide Creeps In’. Due on 12th July via Bella Union, the news comes alongside the Brighton band’s video for recent single ‘Chlorine’, which you can check out online now.

BROOKLYN’S CRUMB WILL share their debut album ‘Jinx’ on 14th June, following up on their previous two EPs, 2016’s self-titled ‘Crumb’ and 2017’s ‘Locket’. They’ll also hit the UK later this year when they’ll play End of the Road. Phew.





Hey guys, how’s it going? Was the tour with Lady Bird good?

Are you wellbehaved on tour, or do you get up to mischief?

Unfortunately, we found we couldn’t get that rat-arsed every night! We all came down with a pretty nasty cold by Birmingham and had to take it easy from there on out. Obviously, we had a good time, but it’s proper


busy every day you have a show so being hungover isn’t conducive to a fun car journey. Things got pretty messy in Glasgow though, where we had a day off. £11 for seven tequilas and a pint? Don’t mind if we do. How did you guys all meet and decide to form the band, then?

Tom and Kieran were friends for years in Maidstone, Kent, and moved to Brighton in late 2015. They met Simon on a hungover trip to The Breakfast Club and found out he played drums. Ferg then met Tom and Kieran at a party, where Tom bullied Ferg into listening to the (not very good) music he had recently been writing. After a few months of radio silence, Kieran randomly messaged Ferg asking if he knew any bassists. At the time all the bassists Ferg knew were already in bands, and he didn’t play. About a week later there was a cheap bass in a second-hand shop window which he bought on the spot and THE FACTS messaged Kieran asking + From if he still needed that Brighton, UK bass player. He did. + For fans of Idles, Shame + Check out ‘Fixation’ + Social @GURUBANDUK + See them live: Bermondsey Social Club, London (16th May), The Hope & Ruin, Brighton (18th)

Are you creative in non-musical ways too?

Ferg bakes and loves to cook, Si works in a gin distillery making scrumptious liquor, and Tom is, quite literally, right now, glued to his Playstation – that really is all he does when

he’s not scribbling down lyrics or working. Kieran, on the other hand, has recently acquired his hot air balloon license. We doubt we’ll be seeing him much over summer, apart from band commitments, of course. Did you grow up wanting to be musicians?

Yeah, we were constantly surrounded by good music as nippers. For Ferg, the tour with Lady Bird was his teenage dream come true – that is, to be part of a national, successful tour. Some of us dabbled with the idea of crunching numbers or the daily commute, but existence behind a desk is no existence for us, you know? What are your highlights from your time in Guru so far?

Paris. Paris was just, Jesus. We left accommodation to the last minute, so we ended up staying in a caravan club, one bed short. The roads are confusing; we misjudged when to fill the tank, but boy, oh boy, did we enjoy the (cheapest) Parisian wine we could get our mitts on. It was a good laugh, and one we won’t be forgetting any time soon. Also, a lot of other bands don’t mention how entertaining the time spent travelling can be. From chatting shit to pushing each other’s buttons (or sometimes both) the time we’ve spent in motors and trains has been some of the most enjoyable time we’ve been able to spend together

as mates. Aww. Tell us about your new single, ‘Fixation’.

It all came together real quick – for us, the best songs usually do. It’s a little bit of a departure from the last two songs we’ve released but by no means do we think that’s a bad thing. It’s still a Guru song; it’s just got more of a groove to it, you know? Where does the track rank in your ‘best songs we’ve ever written’ league table?

Third. What else are you working on right now?

Numbers one and two in the aforementioned league table. Wink wink. We jest. We’re always pushing on, trying to write new stuff and expand our sound. We’re always trying to play as much as we can around the country, and we’re ready to keep our foot firmly on the pedal. P



Hey Dork! It’s going well, ta! Buzzing to be showing everyone our new tune, especially one we’re super proud of. The tour was amazing thanks; each city had its own unique, undeniable charm and individuality which made the experience constantly fresh, especially for four ill-travelled Southerners such as ourselves. Shout out to Harry for driving us and exposing us to the Teesside delicacy of the legendary chicken parmo. What a dish. What a city. It was amazing to meet Witch Fever and Arxx, two wonderfully talented bands and of course, a debt of gratitude must be given to Lady Bird for having us along for the ride and just being so darn kind and supportive on what was truly an eye-opening and still very surreal experience. Serious.


THERE’S SMASHED GLASS everywhere, on stage and off. The band can’t hear each other, as the monitors that have been punished all day by a procession of punk and DIY bands have finally given up the ghost. And worst of all, an over-running show at a neighbouring venue mean that this headline show at Brighton’s The Prince Albert is kicking off in front of half a room. But none of this fazes Guru. The latest in a long line of Brighton bands to spring up from seaside suburbia, their mix of raucous punk anthems and wild live performances has just seen them complete a fully sold-out tour with fellow hype band Lady Bird amidst rave reviews. Tonight, snarling through the chaos, frontman Tom Cherrill is leaping and swinging around the stage as the band open with current single ‘Suntrap’. Alongside him, Kieran Hunter (guitar) and Fergus Bordoli (bass) are contorting wildly on this tiny stage. The room filling quickly, Guru possess that same electrifying ‘anything could happen’ vibe that turned IDLES into a wordof-mouth phenomenon - and the early signs are promising. Easily shrugging off any initial issues, the night becomes a triumph through sheer bloody-mindedness and some banging tunes.

In 2015, Carly Rae Jepsen released an album that quickly became the stuff of legend. It's not that before that point she hadn't made a significant impact, far from it, but 'E•MO•TION' picked up critical acclaim at every step, crowning a new queen on the pop throne. Now, four years, a b-side collection better than most of her peers' best endeavours and an earth shaking mega-hit later, she's finally back on her beat with the follow-up. 30


i de


d e t _1ic a



to perform. Her childhood was littered with high school musicals and chasing the spotlight. "I knew I wanted to be a singer, but I didn't have the full scope of what it was to be a performing artist," she reminisces. "The first time I started to dream beyond talent shows, musicals and the things that my hometown community had available to me was around the age of 17, when I started to write songs. That changed this little annoying showgirl quality that I had as a child, and it made me more introverted. "I love the idea of getting to take time with your feelings, to express them in a way that's more potent. I wanted to perform, but more than that, I wanted to write. It wasn't just to get attention but to connect." She dropped out of college, and poured her energies into this newly focused dream. Writing and performing around Vancouver, as well as working three jobs to cover her rent, Carly Rae chased her passion wherever it took her. At twentyone, she went on Canadian Idol at the insistence of an old high school teacher and came third. At twenty-six, she released ‘Call Me Maybe' and grabbed the attention of the globe. Fearless with a daydreamer's smile, ‘Call Me Maybe' swirls with wishing well hope, gut-led want and a heart that's fit to burst. Something about its no-nonsense romance and wildest dream escape struck a chord. A lot has changed for Carly Rae Jepsen in the years since, but that desire to connect has never wavered. Nor has her ability to. "It's always incredible to me. I'm not trying to say this in an overly humble way, but it really is a shock. It could have gone so many different ways. My grandmother's always humbling me by saying, ‘Hey, you take the good with the

"Trying to be cool is the epitome of uncoolness"

Carly Rae Jepsen

bad; you never know what's coming'." But it's been nothing but good so far, and her new album ‘Dedicated' sees the good get greater. "I'm always shocked and amazed when we play festivals, and people have learned the words and are singing with us. It makes me less nervous to be on stage. It's one thing to be a performer, hoping that people like you as you sing to them, it's another thing to completely forget that you're even there because the crowd's taking over and you're just a part of it. "I can't say that I know the answer to [why people connect with my music], but I'm very, very grateful that people take the time to listen. If it does do the amazing job of connecting in some way, then I feel extra, extra lucky to be a part of it." Following the inescapable might of ‘Call Me Maybe', and the album ‘Kiss' (2012) that stuck to its shadow, Carly Rae Jepsen felt like she had something to prove with whatever came next. "I know that's the wrong answer, but that's the truth. I struggled with that a lot because I knew that 'Call Me Maybe' wasn't the only side to who I was as a writer or what I like to do musically." Following a stressed out night in New York, she had a talk with guitarist, co-writer and friend Tavish Crowe. "I'll never forget him presenting it like, 'This is a dream come true. You finally have a stage for people to hear what I know you can do and what you know you can do. Now you just have to be brave enough to show it'. "It really changed my thinking about the whole project after that. I tried to change the ideas of 'pressure' and ‘proving something' into an opportunity to show the world something that I knew I had in my belly." The result was ‘Emotion' (2015). An album that fell in and out of love, there was plenty of pain, triumphant, uncertainty and glittering assurance. It saw Carly Rae shift from sugary pop idol to smart pop star. More than a guilty pleasure, Jeppers became cool. Not that she's so sure. "I don't know if anyone should answer yes to [thinking they're cool]. You immediately become uncool when you're like, 'I'm the coolest'. Trying to be cool is the epitome of uncoolness. It's an interesting idea, what cool means though. I think cool means not thinking too hard about if you're cool or not. "As I'm getting older, I'm realising that being a pop artist isn't defined by this one shape you have to fit into. It's about being authentic. It's being ok with what you can offer, and realising I

love pop - but maybe not in the same way that Britney Spears or Cyndi Lauper does. "As long as you are showing yourself to people as you are, and not having expectations of yourself that maybe you can't even meet, ‘cos God knows I can't dance, maybe that's the best chance you have of being quote-unquote cool." That, and making killer pop records that are strong, vulnerable, honest, exciting and true, probably helps. FOUR YEARS LATER, AND

Not so much anymore but I will not lie to you; there was a time in my life where it happened often. I had a boyfriend the entire time that I had been rolling with that song, so I was never really worried about pickup lines. When that relationship deteriorated, and I was newly single, I remember walking into a guy at the store. It wasn't meant flirtatiously, but he was trying to get my number. He walked me to the car, we had a moment, and he didn't say anything. He was super awkward. I ran into this same guy at a hockey game, and he explained, 'I'm so sorry about the other day. I really wanted to ask for your number, but I don't know how anyone does that with you, without making a joke'. That's when I reliased, 'Oh, I'm so fucked'. Luckily, it's kinda died down. It's only once in a while you get a stranger calling that out. Here's what I learnt: don't write your own pickup lines, because you'll never get to use them.

feel like music decides at the end of the day. And luckily, I do really enjoy the process of recording. I could quite happily be locked away in different studio settings, with different people, and make eighteen different albums before I chose one to release. "It did kind of take people at my label being, ‘Ok! We like a lot of these songs; you need to choose'. I forget how much I enjoy the other aspect of it though, which is wearing sparkly things and getting to go out and travel, so I'm glad someone put a stop to it otherwise it was just going to continue. I think I used every waking hour ‘til the last moment that that deadline arrived to rethink things and write new songs, just in case." In the everevolving pursuit of what would come next, Carly wrote around 200 songs. In that time, she also performed as

Frenchy in Grease: Live!, did voice acting work for the film Ballerina, toured America with Katy Perry and worked with Charli XCX on the everything-we-hoped-it-would-be-and-more ‘Backseat'. Every decision she made seems to be driven by the desire to have a good time. "You know me well," she laughs. "When it comes to performing, I make decisions based on ‘do I want to do this or not?' That should be the reason why you're making any artistic decision. Through all of that though, the main focus and the thing on my mind every time I'd go to sleep or wake up was definitely ‘what's right for this album?' "It sounds a little bit like I lost my marbles, and maybe I did to some extent. But for me, it takes a long time. Making a record does become my obsession for a while. I love being in that. To me, the album is so glorious." She knows the album, as a format, isn't as popular anymore but as a vessel for escape, storytelling and connection, it's still perfect. "It needs to have the right intro song, and the whole body of work needs to fit. That's why it was fun to have so many songs to choose from because it became about making a good playlist versus just picking good songs. It was about a bigger moment than that. "It's a big responsibility to release an album because it's just... out there! And it's gonna be there after you're gone. The weight of that bears heavy on me, of making something that at the very least you can be proud of. "Even when I was just exclusively releasing music in Canada, I understood the importance

"I thought I would make this ‘music to clean your house to' record, but then different experiences happened" Carly Rae Jepsen


Carly Rae is back on her beat with ‘Dedicated'. Diving deep, reaching far and delivered with those starry eyes twinkling in the adventure, it sees Jeppers continue to shock and delight as she tells fantastical tales of the everyday. "I've just kind of been experimenting and writing to figure out what it was that I wanted to do differently with this album. I wanted this to represent a different era of my life. It would have been wrong to try and do the same thing twice, and I was really curious about a lot of different flavours of music, from disco 70s jams to 90s influences. "Luckily I had a label who understood that my process was a long one with making an album and were willing to let me travel to figure that out. I went from Sweden to Nicaragua a couple of times to New York City before I started to make a collection of what I felt like was gonna be the album for me." "It was actually fun," she continues. "When I first went to Sweden, I came home with what I thought was the album. Then it kind of became this weird game of Tetris where I kept on replacing songs with something that felt better." The only song remaining from that initial batch is the handclapping haze of ‘For Sure'. "I always start off with mission statements. I was exploring these understated 70s disco rhythms, and I thought I would make this ‘music to clean your house to' record, but then different experiences happened." Instead of fear, "there was excitement about that. As an artist, you want to surprise and to be unexpected. I'm glad I got to go to those places. I always



of taking that walk on the beach, sitting with the song and making sure that, even though you might change your mind on something, it was a fair representation of your life in that moment in time. If it was, you could live with whatever came next." "With a theme like 'Dedicated', there's lots to explore," she explains. "There's the idea of love and commitment, adulthood and all the things that I'm bad at. It's not just about eternal love; it's about what it means to be dedicated to someone. "About two years ago, I met my current boyfriend, and we'd been friends for maybe a year and a half before that. He had been going through some heavy stuff in his life, and I'd written a song for him called ‘Dedicated'. It didn't make the album, but I was so hooked on that title." There were a lot of working titles, as you'd expect from someone who writes 200 songs for a fifteen track record, "but there's something I love about the simplicity of a oneword title," Carly says. "I always have. At the beginning, ‘Dedicated' just seemed like the theme of what I was going through in my adult 33-year-old mind, of what it is to commit to somebody, to choose what I want and all the confusion that goes along with the number of options we have in this day and age, but it's starting to mean more to me." The haunting insistence of ‘For Sure' "delves into the doubt, and the voice in your head that overthinks everything. I struggle with that voice a lot, so it was fun to include that song because it's a big part of 'Dedicated', but in the opposite way." The moonlit prowl of ‘I'll Be Your Girl' "was the first really angry song that I've had, that deals with jealousy and being a nighttime voyeur who's creeping out your ex on the internet. That's not really something I'd pushed myself to write about before, but it's a very human thing." While the bubbling ‘Too Much' "is another song where I explore the intensities of my feelings. I can be a lot for a new person to take on." "I've really found relationships, in general, to be such a thing of fascination for me, that I don't stop writing about love. Love doesn't get old for me, so ‘Dedicated' felt very fitting for that reason." And, as one of her friends commented when she saw Carly's board of 200 potential songs for this record - "'No one has been more dedicated to making a project come to life than you. You really put your blood, sweat and tears into it'. "I still have a desire to make pop songs like an old 40s song, where the words leave a lot to the imagination but for me, they're extremely honest." ‘Party For One' is a jubilant explosion of self-love, but "the story itself comes from a place of loneliness. I realised that recently, in my own life, there hadn't been a ton of one on one time. There's been a lot of crazy travel and a lot of one and a half year long relationships. When I was finally in a place to be alone, I wasn't really used to how to do it right. "This concept of enjoying time with yourself and really getting to know yourself, which I think you have to do at different stages and eras of your life. It's not like you get to know yourself at seven and you're good.

You have to relearn as you go. "We indulged further with the video, getting to show that this is a struggle for a lot of people but to not be ashamed of what you do alone in your room or how you celebrate what makes you feel good when you're spending time with your own self." CARLY RAE JEPSEN'S MUSIC CHAMPIONS

collaboration. From the way she writes songs with other people, through the lyrical content of exploring yourself alone and with others, to the way they connect with the world at large, ‘Dedicated' is a communal parade. "That's the joy of what this career has, this ability to go meet strangers, try to connect with them and then create something new that didn't exist the day before you met. It's magic and it never really gets old. "Listening to the songs that were cast away, I do have a craving to be able to do the journaltype album," she admits. "But the craving that I had with this album, and with ‘Emotion', is to let them be the listeners' song, allowing them to seep into your day and let it be what it means to you. "It's always something I'm thinking about when selecting songs. It's not that I'm afraid or ashamed to share my story, but to me, the key to pop music is connection. If a song can't be something that you hear and feel like it's narrating your own life in some way, then I haven't done my job."

"I wrote up a fake contract and stood in line to make Mickey Mouse sign it" Carly Rae Jepsen

No matter how many people are involved, or what story she's telling, Carly never loses her sense of self in her music. "Lyrics are such an opportunity for me to tell a story that is something hopefully universally understood or felt. That's one of my favourite parts of music. I'm also the type to come home after a session when everyone else thinks a song is fine and I'll rethink it and rewrite a new verse or just change a word around. That's my perfectionism kicking in." Carly still calls Tavish late at night when she's losing her head. "I do remember there was a moment when I had maybe two hundred songs that I was really married to for this album. I had label people and friends who all had different opinions. He knows me really well, and he allows me to share my own opinion in a way that no one else can." He flew from Canada to visit Carly in LA for a weekend. "We just went through them all. It was this beautiful process of listening to them all and saying goodbye to the ones that I was hooked on for maybe the wrong reasons. Maybe they meant something to you because the song was about a guy you had a crush on, but is this song really doing anything? He allowed me to talk it out. "It's great when you have somebody like that in your life, especially in this business where's it's really easy to just listen to louder voices than yours. It's a dangerous thing if you start to do that." Carly finds herself in other people, and people find themselves in her words - the dedication goes both ways.

"It sounds a little bit like a lost my marbles, and maybe I did" Carly Rae Jepsen

"I hope there's one song in particular that connects to the listener. What took me so long in writing this, is that I wanted there to be something for everyone. I don't know if it's possible or if that's too huge of a mission statement but that's what I was hoping to do, and I hope it's not the same song. "That's the thing I love. I love when the band comes, and they're passionately fighting about songs - one person hates one, the other person loves that exact same song. To me, that's when you have something." One of the most open-armed moments of ‘Dedicated' comes with the electro-skip of ‘Everything He Needs'. Full of self-belief, it sees Carly at the height of her power as she declares, "he needs me. Not just physically; emotionally, spiritually, intellectually. Always." However, getting it on the album saw Carly take on Disney. And if that's not proof of her dedication to each moment… "Do you know the Popeye film that had Robin Williams in?" she asks. "One of my favourite writing days was with CJ Baran and Ben Romans, two writers I worked on the most with, we have this absurd, musical theatre side to everything we do. "We were looking at old musicals, and I don't even know how we landed on Robin Williams doing Popeye, but Olive sings this song about how Popeye needs her because he doesn't have a woman, basically. We found the hook of that so creepy, catchy, confident and ballsy; we wrote a whole song around that idea. "We ended up taking that hook, and we changed little things, but we had to contact Disney for permission, which was a fight. It was the last song that made it onto the record. It's not an easy thing, to get Disney's permission. Every person at my publishing house told me it wasn't going to happen. "I was so heartbroken that I did this theatrical move, even though it was probably only going to make someone cackle when they got the email, but I went to Disneyland. I wrote up a fake contract that said ‘he needs me' and I stood in line to make Mickey Mouse sign it. Then sent it around to the publishers again asking 'Are you sure? Mickey Mouse, the big star boss, says it's ok'. Two weeks later,

someone said fine, go for it." And they did. "My dream is that we get to do a little Popeye video for it but who knows how far we can take things?" It's Carly Rae Jepsen. She can take things as far as she wants. On Carly's upcoming tour for ‘Dedicated', $1 for every ticket sold will go towards the Crisis Text Line (a charity that services anyone, in any type of crisis) while the San Francisco date is raising money for The Trevor Project (a national organisation providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ people under 25). "There's the obvious reason, which is we need to be giving back in every way that we can, and then there are personal reasons. This was an important foundation for me because one of my best friends growing up was kicked out of his house by his adopted family after he came out as gay. I know he's gone to places where he could have used help, and he could have used a friend, but there weren't many in sight at the time." The fact the money comes from ticket sales means her audience is aware and directly involved. "The idea of getting to be that friend for somebody makes me feel like we're moving in the right direction. All the audience get to feel like they're connected to that, which is a nice feeling. You can't feel bad about that." In a world, in a scene, that's lent towards darkness in recent years, Carly is a neverending beacon of positivity. Sure, her current playlist might be "super-depressing" full of Leonard Cohen deep cuts and Laura Mvula's ‘Show Me Love' on repeat, that makes her want to sit with a glass of wine and be alone for a minute but when she writes, that's something different entirely. When she was younger, the way Carly experienced music with her family was through living room dance parties. "They'd happen after dinner, my uncle would bring out a guitar, and my dad would be singing, and we'd all be hitting tambourines or taking over the dancefloor, and it became a really communal place." For a time, the album was called 'Music To Dance To In Your Living Room Versus The Club', because she "was hoping to create that sort of connection and joy." "I don't go in with the intention to have a joyful quality to my music," she continues. "In an almost fantastical way of escapism, it just feels like what I crave to do. I don't overthink it too much. Maybe what propels it is just getting to perform live, and what it feels like to have the ability to spread some joy in a moment." She's dedicated to giving it her all. "For me, I don't feel worthy having a job like this if you're not going to put it all in for your fans and show them that the love comes straight back." P Carly Rae Jepsen's album 'Dedicated' is out 17th May.


You’ll hear of other ‘must see’ live acts, sure. But - as they drop their debut album - Amyl & The Sniffers are more than just that. They’re a force of nature. WORDS + PHOTOS: JAMIE MACMILLAN


"I like songs that are fast and punchy, ones that make you wanna kick something" Amy Taylor


400 people are crammed into the basement of The Haunt, but any illusions that they are going to take it easy on a school night are soon put to rest. Melbourne’s punk sensations Amyl & The Sniffers are in town, and by the end of the first song their irrepressible singer Amy Taylor has thrown herself deep into the crowd - surfing perilously close to the lighting rigs just millimetres above her. Pinballing back, she crashes back to what should be the relative safety of the stage, landing awkwardly on her head. Cackling wildly, she bounces straight back to her feet and continues with a ferocious set of frenetic bangers that thrillingly merge punk and hardcore into one breathtaking concoction. This is their world, contained inside a whirlwind that is still only gathering speed. Their forthcoming self-titled debut album confirms what many have discovered over their startlingly rapid rise. Just three years after starting life as a band in their shared flat, Amyl & The Sniffers have lit a fire around the world. “Melbourne was always a pretty fun scene,” Amy explains en route to causing more chaos in Köln. “When we started, we thought we would just be playing house shows and stuff. We were listening to a lot of garage music, bands like Drunk Mums, Cosmic Psychos were a really big influence and AC/DC too. But we were heavily into the Sharpie scene (a 1970s Australian sub-culture similar to skinheads) as well, lots of raw and rough punk music.” As big now as it ever has been, the punk movement seems to be unstoppable once more. “I think there’s always been a bunch or people who loved punk, but it just comes in waves. Like low tide and high tide.” Those influences bled into the recordings.

"Angry songs are fun"

“Angry songs are fun to me,” Amy laughs. “I like songs that are fast and punchy, ones that make you wanna kick something.” Their debut contains plenty of moments like that, tracks like GFY and Gacked On Anger containing a savage intensity. On the latter, Amy roars in her distinctive drawl that “I’m working off my ass every single day for the minimum wage and I don’t get paid… I can’t pay my rent, I’m sleeping on the floor, in a car, in a tent.” Talking about the lyrics, she states that they come from a mixture of sources. “Some are a reaction to things; some are from specific experiences, or my habitat. Things I’ve been influenced by, just a bunch of random shit really but sometimes I write them down.” She may appear casual, flippant even, about her song-writing talents, but these are some big themes from life’s edges, all delivered with a high-intensity that takes the breath away. “When we wrote half the album, we were listening to a lot of The Brats, heavy rock, lots of Motörhead and shit like that, so that comes across. Declan’s really gotten better at guitar too, so he wants to be able to show that off,” she laughs. That burst of energy, so hard to capture on record for some legendary live bands, electrifies both the shows and the album itself. Bassist Gus Romer explains it, “I think that is mainly because we had been sitting on those songs for so long, we just wanted to get them out and done as quickly as possible so we could move on to other things!”


Amy Taylor

Recording in Sheffield with Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys), this was the first time that the band had even been in a studio - their former EPs being recorded at home. Recording a track a day, the band worked hard to translate their live power in

the studio. “Making sure it felt raw was definitely something we were conscious of, because our live shows are our favourite thing. Even just starting out, we only recorded stuff so we could have more things to play at the live shows. If it comes across as something weak or boring as a studio record, it wouldn’t really sit right because that’s not who we are,” explains Amy. All over in less than half an hour, that intensity is another deliberate decision. “Everyone’s got short attention spans, you get what you need from it quickly” states Amy, again sticking close to that live template. “Even if they’re my favourite fucking band in the world, I’d never wanna watch them play for an hour and a half or so.” Even so, there is time for some (relatively) slower moments - tracks like ‘Angel’ and ‘Got You’ add an emotional quality that hasn’t been seen before until now. One thing that this latest tour is confirming is that they’re on to a winner with the new songs everywhere they go, despite any language differences, Amyl & The Sniffers are kicking down the doors. So

what is the secret? “You’ve just got to be aware of Amy really,” laughs Gus. “She is all over the place, so you’ve just got to make sure you don’t accidentally hit her or anything. But I kind of just black out when I’m playing, and I don’t really pay much attention to anything else! But even in Europe, they’re just reacting to the energy and how we are as a band.” Every night is party night for this gang. “I think the wildest thing I’ve done so far is I drank breast milk, that was pretty weird,” admits Amy. “Not from the breast, out of a shot glass though!” she states as if that makes all the difference. Talk turns to the upcoming festival season and who the band are excited about seeing. “I don’t even know who’s playing at any of them,” admits Gus, while when asked to pick out his favourite moments on tour he shrugs. “It’s all a big blur; wild shit happens every night.” Rather than being evasive, it’s much simpler than that. If ever a band live in the now, it’s Amyl & The Sniffers. There seems to be a refreshing lack of corporate ‘strategy’, no attention paid to what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow. There is only now, only the next gig and the next awestruck audience losing their minds to one of the most exciting live bands on the planet. P Amyl &

The Sniffers’ self-titled debut album is out 10th May.


Loyle Carner is a man in demand, but he’s not trying to be famous.




WNED but not out


girlfriend this time. He opens the album with both of those themes on ‘Dear Jean’, a song to his mum about how he’s fallen in love. “The last song is a poem from my mum, which is cool. I wrote this poem to my mum about how I needed a hand, and I’d fallen in love blah blah blah, and she wrote one back, saying that it was okay, basically.” It’s far far more than her just saying it’s okay – the poem tugs on your heartstrings and your tear ducts as she tells him “I’ve gained a daughter; I’ve not lost a son.” It’s the kind of stuff that earned Ben the title of “the sentimental face of grime”, a title written by an out of touch Guardian journalist when he was first making a splash. “I miss the days when I was called a grime artist; it was quite funny. I used to love The Guardian, but they’ve Loyle Carner fucked me over so many times – they’re still cool, I don’t hate them – it’s just the guy that called me the sentimental face of grime has no idea what he’s on about. Sometimes I just think it’s weird that you’ve sent like a 50-year-old guy to review my gig, because what does he know? Do you know what I mean? So fuck that guy.” On his second album, it becomes clearer that Loyle Carner is a poet first; much of his music is rooted in his lyricism and writing something for himself or those dearest to him. He’s also heavily influenced by poetry, with both his mum and granddad contributing to that influence. The title of this record comes from a poem too, one that Ben found is a nice parallel to his own life. “It comes from a poem by Stevie Smith – my granddad also wrote a poem in response to that – and it’s about a boy who cries wolf and one day he dies at sea. He’s kinda waving to the people on the beach, and they’re all like, ‘look at that guy showing off’, and if he’d have put his hand out and said ‘guys I need your help’ he wouldn’t have died, but he was putting on a front. “I kind of thought that it was true in life – in my life in particular, like me, myself, if I’m struggling, I don’t put my hand out and ask for help, so things only get worse.” The poem is explained on track ten by its original author,

Stevie Smith, reiterating Ben’s own thoughts about it. There’s a bunch of familiar names on the record too. He’s joined by Rebel Kleff again on ‘You Don’t Know’ (he also writes ‘Krispy’ to him), Tom Misch, and Jorja Smith also feature, along with Sampha, who beat him to the Mercury in 2017, but obviously, there’s no beef about that. “The music I end up making is just music I make with friends. I’m lucky enough to have a few friends who are successful, but yeah they’re just friends of mine, so it’s good to be able to work with like Jorja or Sampha, because they’re just people who are cool with me.” Before the release of the Jorja Smith collaboration, Carner posted a video on his Instagram of the pair in the studio. In it, Jorja says “that’s the thing, I don’t want to do features with people I don’t know”, which he repeats in a fashion. It’s something that comes through on the record, how personal music is for him. Whether it’s the lyrics or the interludes of him watching football and ordering food, or the feature from his mother, or speaking about his nerves around this album cycle now, Loyle Carner is effortlessly relatable. His candid nature lends itself to his artistry in a way that makes him a real national treasure. “I’m not making music because I’m tryna be a superstar or anything,” he says. “At first I was kinda freaking out about it. I just wanted the album to be as good as the other one and to do as well as the other one, but you can’t think like that so I just had to start thinking about it in proper terms, like what I wanna do and how I wanna talk. So I think I found the balance which I’m proud of. I’m nervous for people to hear it. I hope they don’t think it’s shit. But I’m happy with it at least. If one person likes it – which is me.” At the end of the ‘Dear Ben’, he says to his mum, “it’s even better than the first one”. Maybe that’s true of the whole album. P Loyle

"I’m not making music because I’m tryna be a superstar or anything"

Carner’s album ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ is out now.


Carner. Not just because he’s maybe the nicest man in music, but because two years after his debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ introduced him to the world, he’s still one of the most exciting forces in British music. (We also know this because it took us a long, long time to pin down the bloke for a chat, but it’s all good because as we mentioned, he’s bloody lovely.) ICYMI, Loyle Carner – born Ben CoyleLarner, a stage name that plays on his dyslexia and ADHD – is the full package. He’s not only a Brit-nominated, Mercury-nominated, expectation-defying musician, he’s also a cooking enthusiast, who started a cooking school for kids with ADHD, and an actual YSL model. And yes, despite all of that, he’s still about as humble as you can get. We spoke to him a week before the release of his second record ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’, just before he heads out on the tour supporting it too, and it sounds like he’s quite honestly shitting himself. “I just didn’t know if anyone was gonna come,” he says of the tiny venues he’s playing on this tour. “I hadn’t put any songs out for like two years, so I played smaller venues so if they don’t sell out, it’s less embarrassing than tryna sell out a massive venue.” As if he’d have anything to worry about, he sold out Brixton on his debut (and the rest), but he’s having none of it. “You never know, the world changes, people can change how they feel about you in a heartbeat. Now that we’ve seen that people are still up for paying for tickets and still wanna come and see me live in support of whatever kind of weird shit I’m doing, we’re gonna try and do a bigger tour to cater to more people, because I don’t want people to miss out. I’m just surprised that so many people bought tickets so quickly.” To be fair, he probably could’ve toured that debut record for much longer than 18 months. It’s still being discovered by plenty and is well loved by the rest. But instead Ben headed back to the studio to write an even more intimate and personal record. ‘Not Waving, But Drowning’ is a familycentred record, much like ‘Yesterday’s Gone’, but Ben shifts his focus to thanking his mother and writing a literal love letter to his



d up 43

Rock stars aren’t always born that way, but as Yonaka debut their first album, they’ve finally reached their destination. WORDS: STEVEN LOFTIN.



minute since Brighton’s finest Yonaka first feverishly rioted and stomped their way into everyone’s lives. Since then, after the release of a couple of EPs and a handful of singles, the time has finally come for their eagerly-anticipated debut album, ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’, and no one’s more eager than Yonaka’s Theresa Jarvis. “Over the years we’ve just been growing and growing - it didn’t just happen at once,” the singer admits. “We weren’t like, ‘Oh this is what we want to say’ or ‘This is what we want to sound like’. You have to go through the motions and see what you do like and what you don’t like, what you like really are passionate about and what feels good. It’s been a nice journey creatively.” The basis for everything Yonaka have been up to resides deep in their want to just be ‘rock stars’. Not the overly-glorified concept that is as ‘erm’ as it is ‘wow’, no - what Theresa and co. want is that free feeling. The one that consumes you and turns into your way of life. And that is what the four-piece, completed by George Edwards (guitar), Alex Crosby (bass/keys) and Robert Mason (drums) have brewed up deep in the realms of their home studio. What they all realised is that people don’t wake up rock stars; it takes a whole lot of time and a whole heap of energy to get to that point. But stepping out on stage, however - that’s where natural abilities show themselves. It’s a feeling that immediately swept Theresa away, and brought her to a realm of new possibility. “You tap into this kind of ‘zone’,” she muses on the fervent environment in which they naturally thrive. “We all do, me and the boys, we all just click into this different thing because if you think about it, it’s quite a weird thing being on stage anyway, like performing and being ‘DO YOU LIKE THIS?!’” Is that a ‘zone’ that she taps into when concocting Yonaka’s howling, fiery jams? “Not when I’m writing. I’m completely myself when I’m writing, but when I’m on stage performing, I click into this possessed thing,” she says with a chuckle. “That’s how I can give the best performance I can because I’m quite a sweet person. I laugh fucking too much, and I’m really loud, but on stage, I change into this dark, possessed place, but I need that to give the performance of what I’m singing about, and it has to be powerful. You can’t go in half-arsing.”

Getting to this point for the Yonaka gang wasn’t as representative of their explosive tunes as you might think. In fact, it’s been a long ol’ process. “I feel like the journey’s been quite slow,” Theresa shrugs. “Because obviously we’re doing it every day and we only get to do shows and get to share things with everyone, like half a year or bloody whatever. No one gets to see as much as you’re doing when you’re working on it, apart from when you’re showing the final piece. It feels long and slow, sometimes I’m excited, and sometimes I’m like, what the fuck am I doing? But I think that’s all part of the process of like growing with it and building it. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘fuck it we’ve made a song, let’s just do it!’” Theresa suddenly sparks up. “Let’s get it out, but that’s not

"Sometimes I’m like, what the fuck am I doing?"

tunes that push and pull between genres, as

Tomorrow’ is out 31st May.


well as ‘that’ live show. Which is why ‘Don’t Wait 'Til Tomorrow’ is such an important step for them, it’s their moment to come alive and complete that first chapter, finally. A completely home-brewed effort, the album is the whole essence of Yonaka; unhinged, conscious, and most of all, free. It also does that rather unique thing of translating their rabid live shows and caging the feeling. Most of all though, it’s that rock star moment, which is rather handy given they’ve even penned a song relating to the dream. “It’s something every musician wants!” Theresa exclaims. But it’s not all about celebrating the life they want. It’s also taking notice of the world around them. Of the album’s title-track, Theresa says. “’Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’ is a huge song for me. It’s just saying that I feel like we’re constantly hearing these messages, and these news stories about mental health and how mental it’s getting. “I feel like people think they’re alone when they’re not. So many people are going through the same thing. Sometimes I’ll read something and be like, ‘Shit, they feel the same way that I do!’ and you feel a little bit better. It’s comforting to know that someone feels the same. The song’s just about reaching out and letting someone know you’re not okay and not leaving it until it’s too late and just, there’s help, you know?” how it works. Now It’s a heavy topic, but that’s just the kind of band you’ve written the that Yonaka are. They want to always be at the song; you’ve got to forefront helping, be it through snarling tunes that help you find some escape in the throng of a sweaty record the song, then club gig, or listening deep into produce Theresa’s lyrics on your own it, then at home during a particularly you’ve got to hard time. get it out… It’s “I feel like so many people a long process, have drowned in anxiety and but it’s one that depression, and I have been as I love because well, and so many of my friends there are so many and family, and people that elements. You’ve got I speak to every day, it’s just to create the art, visual Theresa Jarvis crazy. It’s actually just mental for it and stuff so… Don’t how many people it affects.” get me wrong, I love it, and And as for that big question about what’s the it’s fun, but you get really excited, and you’re most rock star moment Theresa has lived? Well, like, no no, it’s gotta go now! But it’s not going she doesn’t actually quite know on the phone, but to.” a text, later on, reveals: “Coming on stage with As are the perils of creating a buzz in such Fever333 during the Bring Me The Horizon tour.” throwaway times, Yonaka have always been So there we have it. Now that tomorrow is finally conscious of keeping themselves in the eye here, Yonaka are ready to be your new favourite of the music-conscious. Pushing themselves rock stars. P Yonaka’s debut album ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til to become a name synonymous with riotous


When Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers debuted their joint project Better Oblivion Community Center with a surprise drop and a late night TV performance of lead single ‘Dylan Thomas’, the collective swoon of sad indie fans could be heard around the globe. Their self-titled album mines the miraculous in the everyday, bringing together the best of both of their not inconsiderable talents. We spoke to Phoebe and Conor ahead of their European tour about their formation, GarageBand fails, and not sounding like The Replacements. WORDS: LIAM KONEMANN

You’ve been playing together in various forms since 2016. When did you decide to start your own project together? Conor Oberst: The first song

What was the writing process like? Conor: I’ve done projects

with other songwriters where everyone brings in kind of a finished song, and you maybe tweak it a little bit. Which is cool too, but for me, this is the first time I did a record with another songwriter where every song, top to bottom, was written together. We did it old school with notebooks and guitars; we weren’t exchanging stuff via email or anything like that. I feel like that’s why it felt so much more like a band. How did you find yourselves becoming influenced by the other in your writing? Phoebe: I don’t really realise it

until I’m writing by myself after writing with Conor. He has a better work ethic. One thing is Conor will write on one side of a notebook with lines, and then the other side is the alternate lyrics or better lyrics, or stuff he’s throwing around. I’d never done

You’ve purposefully avoided trading-off vocals on the album, and sing in unison most of the time. Did you have a clear idea of what you wanted to sound like when you began, or did you develop it as you went along? Phoebe: We wanted to get away

from what we’ve done before, and on my solo record Conor and I sing a duet, and we do duets on tour, so we were like, ‘What if we both front a band?’ Where there isn’t so much trading off, there are two people, and you think of them both as the lead singer. Conor: I love bands like that, with two people singing together all the time and when you think of the band you almost think of one voice, it just takes two people to make that one voice. I’ve always thought that was cool just in general with other bands. That’s something we talked about, avoiding the trope of cutesy duet stuff and trying to get away from folky sounds in general, and have it be a little more rock band feel. Your first single ‘Dylan Thomas’ made its TV debut hours after the album’s surprise drop. Where did that track come from? Phoebe: It was like the night

before we were gonna record, and y’know an album is anywhere from 8 to 15 songs, so we definitely had an album, but we thought it would be cool to go through and see if we had any more songs. There was a Dylan Thomas book sitting on the counter - and this is how a lot of the songs were written, it would start from a long-winded conversation and then turn into writing. We wrote it that way which I think is a testament to working with someone and

"I’m definitely up for making more music with Phoebe whenever the stars align" Conor Oberst

building a rapport. It was hard to write the first one because I was nervous or we didn’t know how to voice our opinions, and we would do small rewrites, and this one was the most fun. Conor: The first song took us weeks to write, and the last song took us like a day. We got better as we went along. There’s also a thread of anxiety running through the lyrics on that track, an throughout the album in general... Conor: I think that’s just

something that Phoebe and I both carry with ourselves on a daily basis. Phoebe: I don’t think it’s out of the park to be like, ‘Oh, are Conor Oberst and Phoebe Bridgers going to write a song about anxiety and existential crisis?’ Conor: We were still ourselves for this one, we weren’t putting on like, weird glam costumes Phoebe: Speak for yourself, dude. Conor: It’s where our particular Venn diagram intersects. You do take a bit of a left turn with ‘Exception to the Rule’, though. How did that one come about? Phoebe: We are both… Sorry

Conor, but we’re really bad engineers. And we were trying to demo a song on GarageBand, and it just sounded like fucking shit. It sounded like shit. We finished the song, and before we tried we were like, ‘Okay it’s going to be a dirty guitar’, and we just ended up plugging it into a computer, no amplification, then being like, ‘What amps are on GarageBand?’ It just didn’t sound good, so we kind of forgot about it, this weird fucked-up demo that we did. Then our friend Christian Lee Hutson, who’s the other writer in the band, was like, ‘Didn’t you guys have one more song?’ and we were like, ‘No’. Then Conor was like, ‘Oh wait, maybe it’s in this weird folder on my computer, maybe that actually does exist?’ We found it and were like, ‘Okay this sucks, we should just give full creative control to Andy [LeMaster, engineer and

co-producer]’, and he made this epic, synth-y track. Conor: We were like, ‘It needs to be different, it needs to have its own identity’ because it was like a shitty version of other stuff we were doing better on other songs. Andy came up with the whole keyboard thing, and it’s a nice moment in the record. It’s a little palette cleanser to the rest of the album, and there’s a little joke there with the title and how it fits into the record. Are there any other tracks on the record that stick out for you like that? Conor: ‘Chesapeake’ is another

one that stands a little bit apart because it’s so stripped down, and that’s one of the few times on the record that I’m singing harmony, which is really not my strong suit at all. Phoebe wrote the harmony and taught it to me, and it took forever for me to get it right. That song to me is another little moment in the record that feels like a breather from the other songs. A lot of friends say that’s their favourite one, cause it’s a little bit unique in the scope of the record. How have the shows been? Phoebe: The live thing, for me, is

a highlight which is pretty rare. I love recording. My live show is usually like a reminder of the record, but for this, the live show has been my favourite part. It’s been a blast. Conor: I think in a weird way the live show is more of an actualisation of what our concept for the band was. When we were starting the band we were like, ‘We wanna have a rock band!’ and ‘We wanna sound like The Replacements!’ Which obviously the record doesn’t at all, it ended up being more… whatever, experimental folk. When we play live you want to play stuff a little faster and a little louder, so it’s been really fun. It’s the same songs and the same arrangements, but they’re infused with a little more energy. So what’s next for Better Oblivion Community Center? Conor: Well… I’m about to sneak

into this coffee shop and try to use their restroom. [Laughs] I don’t know, speaking for myself I’m definitely open to making more music with Phoebe whenever the stars align. P Better Oblivion Community Center tour the UK from 10th May.


we wrote, which is the first song on the record, we kind of wrote as an experiment, not sure if it was going to be on my record or Phoebe’s record or for some other third party person. But we had a good time, and we really liked it, and then we wrote another song. I think it was after a couple that we realised it was its own thing and we wanted to make it into a different project and do it ourselves. When we started, we didn’t know it was going to be for a record. Phoebe Bridgers: There’s something that happens when you run into people out, or you’re at a party, and you run into someone you knew from like a year ago, and it’s like, ‘Hey we should get together and catch up’, and it’s like: ‘We’re together. Talking.’ Why is there a need to get together? It’s just something you say, and I think with music a lot of the time it’s ‘We should jam’ or ‘Show me what you’re working on!’ and it just doesn’t happen. Conor is a very lovely, friendly person and I had literally seen him say to other people, ‘We should get together and work on stuff’, so it was kind of a surprise to me halfway through the project like, oh wait, this is a real band. Cause it started as fun, and the promise of a band was like six months before we actually started writing anything.

that before, and now I feel like it’s something I’m really leaning on. Conor: For me, Phoebe’s a bit more of a perfectionist than I am. A lot of times I’ll finish something and be like, ‘Alright that’s good enough, on to the next thing’ and she was like, ‘Let’s go back’. That song that I thought was done she’s like, ‘There’s a couple of clunky lines in the second verse, we could make this line better, we could come up with a better hook or change the melody a little bit’. She’s taking multiple passes at songs I would’ve called good on before we were done. I think all of those made for stronger songs in the end and that’s definitely something I wanted to apply to my songs on my own.

Whenyoung’s debut album is about to arrive, but as Aoife Power explains, they’re a band who just want to keep busy. WORDS: JOSH WILLIAMS.



and people who are supposed to look after the citizens and the most vulnerable; it just seemed like a problem that exists in many countries. The same thing could happen in Ireland, it’s not necessarily exclusive to the UK, but it’s the government in power at the moment that makes it even more emphasised. “It’s awful that people should live in unsafe conditions, and so that’s where the song came from. People who aren’t contributing large sums of money to the economy are not looked after, and it shouldn’t be like that. The people who lived in that building were concerned about the safety in their block, and I’m sure that there are people living in London who are doing the same right now and it’s not being recognised because they’re not seen as important.” ‘Blow Up The World’ sees the trio explore their softer side after Aoife read a passage in a book “describing families coming together after the second world war,” she explains. “It was women and girlfriends sitting around, and they were being commiserated with roses and red wine. It was quite emotional, and I wrote a narrative based on that. A love story, it was someone like a mother or a lover who’s lost someone to something that is so futile. I guess it was kind of anti-war.” ‘Future’ tackles more heavy subject matter, telling the story of a close friend who took their own life, and Aoife admits that it was a bit difficult to settle on how the song should be. “It’s an older one, and it’s gone through many different arrangements. We’ve messed with that song because the subject matter was very close to us and that was difficult. We struggled with quite a bit, and I don’t know if that’s because of the subject matter because it’s a weird one.” The first single from the album, ‘Never Let Go’, was quite the banger, so what was the thinking behind making it the first single? “It was a bit of a shock from what we’d released before,” Aoife explains, “but it felt like the true representation of what we Aoife Power are about. On the album, there are the slower ones as well, but we were really excited about that track, and we wanted to get that message out. We wanted that positive mental health message.” Despite the political leanings of ‘The Others’ and ‘Blow Up The World’, Aoife insists that Whenyoung are not a political band. “That’s not our main message. Like, with ‘The Others’, that was just something that I happened to witness. If I’d never had that insight, I wouldn’t have written about that just from reading the newspaper. I would have been upset, but I don’t think I would have had an emotional basis to write that song.” Unlike many of their indie comrades, for their debut album release, the trio have signed to a major label in the form of Virgin EMI, home to heavyweights like Bastille, Lewis Capaldi and Slaves. It’s a “different world”, according to Aoife. “We’ve released singles with indie labels, and it’s different. At the same time, we’ve had

complete artistic control. Like, we got our best friend to do our album art, and we got to choose who produced our album. There are expectations, of course. It’s a huge machine, but they’ve been great to us, and they have really believed in who we have chosen to work with. It’s been good so far!” In March, the band played their first ever US shows, and they loved it. “We played in the Mercury Lounge in New York, and it was a special gig. Lots of people came, which we were super happy about because we didn’t know what to expect. We went to Austin for SXSW which was brilliant; we played 6 or 7 shows there, and the crowds are very optimistic. There’s a lot of industry there, a lot of people having a good time. “It’s a nice festival, but for us, the real feeling was from New York and LA. That Mercury Lounge show was special because we love The Strokes and they played there; that was a monumental gig for them. “LA was just mad. We arrived on Hollywood Boulevard or whatever, and there were stars on the street outside, then we went in and played this night called student night, and it was just fucking weird! We couldn’t believe it, we were totally in awe of all the tourist traps and stuff and very much, ‘oh my god, Jesus, I can’t believe we’re playing here!’” They’re a well-travelled bunch - despite being from Ireland, the band made their name in London. “It feels like we’ve been on holiday here for quite a while,” Aoife laughs. “Obviously a working holiday, like we’ve all had like other jobs with music until this started to take off. At some point, I feel like I’m gonna go back to Ireland, I miss it as well, but London is exciting, and as a band, it can be really good here. We’ve met lots of great people who have helped us. We feel very welcomed by London. Initially, when I got here, I felt very lonely. Although it was fun, I felt a bit homesick.” However, Aoife and the band don’t feel part of any particular music scene. “We’re outsiders; we have lots of friends in different scenes. I feel like we’ve always been doing different things, I dunno where we fit in? It’s not that we don’t fit in anywhere at all, that we’re totally obscure, it’s just maybe people just haven’t created a scene for us yet. Those scenes are coined by journalists, right? It’s like a selling point; that’s what it seems like to us.” It’s not a scene that she wants though; most of all, Aoife just hopes that ‘Reasons to Dream’ is received well. “That would mean that we could continue to tour the UK, Europe, and hopefully the US. For us, it’s a dream to keep playing to people and keep being able to share our music and be able to keep recording and building as artists, and being able to produce new work. We just wanna be busy; we hope it goes down well!” P

"People who aren’t contributing large sums of money to the economy are not looked after, and it shouldn’t be like that"

Whenyoung’s album ‘Reasons to Dream’ is out 24th May.


Irish trio’s long-awaited debut album ‘Reasons to Dream’ is a cornucopia of powerful indie bangers which starts with a new and improved bangerfied recording of early single ‘Pretty Pure’, but why did they re-record it? Frontwoman and bassist Aoife Power explains: “When we first recorded ‘Pretty Pure’ it was not exactly how we wanted it to sound. Not that it was awful or anything, but when you work with different producers, and you have different ideas. We knew after coming out with that song that we wanted it to sound a little less lo-fi. “We like that kind of music, but it’s got a pop melody, and we wanted it to be a little more euphoric. We wanted that song to be on the album, and we wanted all the songs on the album to sound like they were coming from the same place.” Just because ‘Pretty Pure’ made the cut doesn’t mean that earlier releases made the record, though. “We preferred our newer stuff! For example, ‘Actor’ felt different from the rest of what we’ve recorded and the stuff that we’re working on at the moment. We’re in a different headspace, and the sound had changed. We preferred the other songs, to be honest. “The ones that we put on the album are our favourite songs and the ones that felt like they belonged together as a collection or a story. All the songs on the album come from the same place I suppose.” Aoife insists that it was essential to get the flow of the album right. “We had an idea of the tracklisting and where we wanted to place everything. We wanted to make it into a journey, and the album is called ‘Reasons to Dream’ - it’s a lyric in the last song on the album ‘Something Sweet’, which was one of the later songs that we wrote. The lyrics were a realisation that summed up that whole collection of what we’re about: a longing for human connectivity, and relating to other people, and that desire, love and acceptance. “All the messages on the song, like love and reaching out, that humans are similar in lots of ways - they were things that we were going through on all of these songs. The flow comes from that. Like, ‘Pretty Pure’ is the start of that journey and other things come along. “We wanted it to have different moods, so it starts in one way, and it flows in and out to ‘Blow up the World’ when it gets a bit quieter and comes back and ends again on a quiet note. We wanted it to be an experience to listen to.” Standout track ‘The Others’ explores Aoife’s feelings about being close to Grenfell Tower on the day of the infamous fire. “I had been working as a gardener in that area, in very wealthy, safe homes. I was working for a lot of politicians at the time, and they were living in very close proximity to the tower; they were very powerful people. I would start early so when I went to work the tower was burning. I left my house, and I was like, ‘Shit, I saw this on the news. Fuck, I have to go to work!’ “I got there, and my boss is like, ‘We’re not gonna make it now because Grenfell Tower’s on fire, and the roads are completely blocked’. There were ambulances, fire brigade, and just being able to see the smoke - you could see what was going on from all the resources nearby. “These were my thoughts about me working in these insanely privileged politicians’ houses



10TH MAY 2019


HOW DOES INCOMING WORK? Unlike most monthly music mags, we split our reviews up by release week. That means you can work out what to listen to each New Music Friday at a glance, and never miss an essential release again*. Thank us later, yeah?

JUNE 2019


Mac DeMarco HERE COMES THE COWBOY Mac’s Record Label eeeee


the moment. It's not just the much publicised "honestly, I had no idea" coincidences that match Mac DeMarco's new album 'Here Comes The Cowboy' with Mitski's much-lauded 2018 record 'Be The Cowboy' either. Everywhere we turn, there's someone trying to whack on a Stetson and a sixshooter. But while so many of these things are a slavish following of trend, there's none of that to be found with Mac. This is a record that's 100% proof - true to itself and its creator at every step. In the most part, that's a positive thing. In others, it's a bitter sweet flaw. 'Here Comes The Cowboy'

may pack a strident title, but it's far more likely to be found relaxing on the ranch than calling the shots at high noon. While few would claim to listen to Mac DeMarco for the bangers, it makes for an album that's possibly slightly too easy to let fade into the background. At its best, like the woozy 'Heart to Heart' or magnificent 'All Our Yesterdays', it's as strong as ever. At others - like the baffling 'Choo Choo' - complete with train impressions and enthusiastic whistles - it's all rather Ralph Wiggum's Funk Oddessy. If that's a good or a bad thing it's hard to say. It's certainly something. Dan Harrison

* apart from when someone has put an embargo in place, because they don’t want you to know if their album is any good.


Holly Herndon PROTO 4AD eeeee

Charly Bliss


Lucky Number


Dillon Eastoe

Herndon is trying to get at, and why ‘PROTO’ exists. It’s her and her collaborators putting their influence on the future and making it so humans aren’t replaced by AIs when it comes to making music. Her stance seems to be that AIs should augment, not replace. Neither one taking the lead, rather each one reliant on the other to build these sounds. And it is building after all. Hearing the progression from one of the live training sessions to something like ‘Frontier’ is absolutely astonishing. It sounds like the Appalachian Sacred Harp music of Herndon’s rural Southern American roots, but there’s something slightly off. Things are slightly off pitch, then the voices begin to glitch and the beat comes in, transforming this spiritual sound into something eminently danceable. Unsettling. Remarkable. A din. Beautiful. You could use all these to describe ‘PROTO’, but just describing it that way would be doing it a disservice. It’s not a record you’d put on on a Sunday morning as you relax in the garden. It’s definitely not one you’d put on the office stereo. But, like a Luis Buñuel film, it’s an experience that almost transcends its medium. It’s something that needs time. That needs effort. And that might not be to everyone’s taste. But ‘PROTO’ is surely something to marvel at, even if it often doesn’t sound great. Chris Taylor


Ciara Beauty Marks Clinic Wheeltappers and Shunters Defeater Defeater Employed To Serve Eternal Forward Motion Hælos Any Random Kindness Maps Colours. Reflect. Time. Loss. Mavis Staples We Get By Nots 3 Rosie Lowe YU ShitKid [DETENTION] The Get Up Kids Problems Tim Hecker Anoyo Weatherstate Born A Cynic



Charly Bliss are back with their second full-length and if you’re looking for sickly sweet pop-punk bops with the emphasis heavily on pop, then you’ve come to the right place. ‘Blown to Bits’ kicks things off with a whirring synth carrying Eva Hendricks’ helium vocals, ‘Camera’ is a wonderful piece of songwriting, while the title-track hints at bigger things, nodding to The Killers’ stadium pomp. ‘Young Enough’ packs pop bangers and attitude to spare.


understand ‘PROTO’ takes about as much work as it does to listen to it. ‘PROTO’ feels less an album, and more a window into a future many of us can’t even begin to understand. As such, it’s not easy listening. At times, it comes across as the sonic equivalent of being forced into a dark room with the most technical thesis to have been published in the most technical journal. Especially if you’ve spent the last week listening to Lil Nas X’s ‘Old Town Road’. But, given time, it becomes an intriguing prospect. A collaboration between Holly Herndon and an Artificial Intelligence that she created with Matthew Dryhurst named Spawn, it takes the term “electronic

music” to its very extreme. Herndon has always been on the cutting edge of avant-pop, creating electronic music that drew inspiration as much from academic research as from the dancefloor. But ‘PROTO’ feels like something else entirely. Testing the limits of technology to pave a new path for pop music. Every week, Herndon would host learning sessions in which Spawn would listen to the sound of a choir and translate that into harmonies, rhythms, beats and general noises. Piecing together songs as it grew. ‘Godmother’ is a prime example of this process, which is an intensely disturbing track made of skittering beats, disjointed vocalisation and white noise. All written and produced by Spawn from the sounds it has been fed, it feels like an idea just starting to take shape. An illustrative look at the potential. Because AI is ultimately no substitute creatively for real people. Last year, Lexus released an ad for one of their cars written entirely by an AI. After feeding it hours worth of Cannes Lionwinning luxury car adverts, it created a 60-second spot that was…not that good. And ‘Godmother’ feels very similar to that. When Herndon and her vocalists get more involved in the process, however, there’s something oddly beautiful about it. Man and machine working together to create something unique. That’s what


17TH MAY 2019



Method Records


Slowthai is poised to become Really Quite a Big Deal this year, but with debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ dropping into a storm of hype, it’s a make or break moment for the Northampton MC. So how does he do? Pretty well, as it turns out. Previous singles like ‘Doorman’ and ‘Peace of Mind’ hit just as hard, and the majority of the new tracks reach the same quality without breaking a sweat. Verses from Jaykae and Skepta seem like they could be in danger of overshadowing Slowthai, but actually

do more to show how gifted he is as he goes toe-to-toe with artists at the top of their game and holds his own. If there’s one criticism of the album, it’s that it can feel a bit scrappy in places. There are points when songs fade out into chatting and messing around in the studio, but instead of lending the air of a mixtape, they just make it feel a bit frayed at the edges – like someone at a house party playing around with the aux cord. It’s a minor complaint, and one that’s no doubt an intentional choice, but it does grate on repeat listens. Scrappy or not, ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ is a triumph of a debut; genre-straddling, quick-witted and, most importantly, very fun to listen to. In it, Slowthai sticks two fingers up at the Britain of blue passports, the Royals and the Tory party, while simultaneously raising up the alternative Britain, one of family and working-class pride. Jake Hawkes

Lewis Capaldi


Virgin EMI


Carly Rae Jepsen


Lewis Capaldi to base level critical assessment somewhat misses the point. On the surface, his music may be emotional, mainstream-friendly fare, but there's much more to him than that. Even with that aside, there's a quality to 'Divinely Uninspired To A Hellish Extent' which connects on a level beyond his peers. There's no need for any lazy title based round-ups here. Dan Harrison


School Boy/Interscope Records


just have 'it'. A magic touch that gives everything they do a certain quality. That's the magic that Carly Rae Jepsen brings to her much anticipated new album, 'Dedicated'. Following up on the whirlwind acclaim of 2015's ' E•MO•TION' feels every bit the double-edged sword you'd imagine. On one hand, our Jeppo has been accepted into that tier of artists that can make shiny, accessible music without giving up the plaudits, but on the other those newly anointed gatekeepers still feel the need to prefix everything with a 'pop' disclaimer, as if there's a knowing irony to any positive statement made. Perhaps this is the point that finally stops. 'Dedicated' isn't a flawless record - far from it - but it's that which makes it such an enjoyable presence. From the smooth rave out of 'Real Love' to the textbook Carly magic of 'Want You In My Room', it's an album that could be nobody else. Stephen Ackroyd

JUNE 2019


The National




ALSO OUT THIS WEEK Baker Grace Girl, I Know (EP) Bloc Party Silent Alarm Live Interpol A Fine Mess (EP) Lil Kim 9

Rammstein Untitled Siskiyou Not Somewhere The Head and the Heart Living Mirage

latest effort clocks in at a lengthy 1 hour and 4 minutes and, while the songs are not bad by any stretch, there’s nothing that demands to be heard. The most interesting part is the number of guest vocalists giving way to Matt Berninger’s uninterested tones, particularly Mina Tindle on ‘Oblivions’ and Gail Ann Dorsey’s various contributions. An unusually dull affair, lacking any real charisma. Josh Williams


Alex Lahey


Dead Oceans



debut, Alex Lahey was an artist for whom you came for the hooks, and stayed for the heart. Two years later, she’s still seeking all the answers to life difficult questions. ‘The

Best of Luck Club’ may contain more complex riffs and high-end production, but it’s still pop-punk at heart, which sparkles in its moments of highest angst - ‘Interior Demeanour’ and ‘Misery Guts’ are amongst the best of her work to date , tapping into a heavier psyche. Not all of us get to be a rock star, but her work remains relatable in the face of what is surely impending superstardom. Jenessa Williams



touring and looking back and going, ‘Am I doing it right? Is this what I’m supposed to be doing?’” While Lahey’s lyrics deal with an element of self-doubt, the music they’re set to is growing in confidence, with producer Catherine Marks (St Vincent, The Big Moon) encouraging the Melbourne-born singer to shake up her usual formula. “I tried to deviate from things that I’d done before, find different song structures, tried to play in different keys, tunings, different styles. “For me, the bottom line is that song in its rawest form has to hold its own, and then the arrangement can kind of do what it wants. Because of that, it makes it way more fun.” With Marks also originating from Melbourne, it made sense for the two to convene there to lay down the record. During that time back at home between tours, Lahey also took the opportunity to Alex Lahey attend therapy after a painful breakup. “Everyone should invest in therapy at some point; it’s good to talk about shit. It got me thinking about the benefits of talking to other people and looking out for yourself.” Alex laughs, “I feel like the Headspace app should be give me some sort of fucking sponsorship because I’ve told so many people to use it.” It even gets a namecheck (kind of) in ‘Interior Demeanour’. “Just taking five minutes of your day to get out of the world and do a little bit of mental recovery, it goes a long way,” Lahey says of trying to practice self-care while on a hectic touring schedule. “Being conscious of it is the first step. Yeah, the job is weird, there’s such weird routines or lack thereof, and the first step is to be conscious of that. This isn’t a 24-hour party, nor should it be. How can I do my job right, make

myself feel worthwhile, good about what I’m doing and my sense of purpose, while also having a good time and being able to blow off steam? It’s this juggling act.” Marks’ encouragement to explore new sounds in the studio led to what is surely the album’s standout musical moment, a rip-roaring saxophone solo on the superb single ‘Don’t Be So Hard on Yourself’. “I have massive saxophone PTSD from playing at uni, because when you apply yourself to something and are continually told you’re never going to be good enough, that’s the nature of learning music at university. It would be pointless to go to uni and them be like, ‘You’ve done it! You’ve mastered the saxophone!’ So the messaging can be a bit harsh, and when I think of saxophone, I think of inadequacy or the need to always be better. “And at times I find that uninspiring,” Lahey confesses, “because who’s to tell you you’re not good at your instrument? I just happened to have it in the studio and Catherine was like, ‘Pull it out, what can you do?’ We recorded it as a bit of a gag, and then we were like, ‘It’s not too bad’, we sent it to a few people, and the response was unanimous ‘Keep the sax solo’.” A wise decision, that section transforms a solid punk-rocker into a transcendental moment of E-Street magnificence. While Lahey is fond of that solo, she doesn’t necessarily agree when we put it to her, that’s it’s best this century, “Fuck off, man! It’s ok; it’s not the best.” Either way, after years of touring her debut Lahey is ready to embark on a new chapter with a new band, new sounds and re-energised to take on the world. Here’s wishing you the best of luck, Alex. P

"This isn’t a 24hour party, nor should it be"



period between finishing it and it coming out is usually pretty long, especially when you’re pressing vinyl. You do what I call the ‘sine wave of self-doubt’, where you have these peaks and troughs of worrying whether it’s good, then occasionally that peters out and you just end up feeling excited. I’m so close to it coming out; I’m just at the excited phase right now.” Alex Lahey has good reason to be excited. Her second album ‘The Best of Luck Club’ is out this month, and it’s brimming full of earnest, punky, alternative rock. “The Best of Luck Club' is kind of like a pseudo-society that everyone is welcome to. It stemmed from the fact I was going back over the songs on the record and felt like there was a huge spectrum both sonically and emotionally,” Alex reveals, explaining the album title. “I wanted to find a common thread. The way that I did that was making them all part of this Best of Luck Club. “When you talk to a stranger about an experience you’re having, regardless of how good or bad that experience is, the phrase ‘best of luck’ as a response can normally apply. So that’s a way that I brought it all together in this little club, in which everyone can have a seat at the table.” The new album combines the urgent rock singalongs of Lahey’s earlier work with some new diversions, including the piano-led ‘Unspoken History’ and the tongue-in-cheek whimsy of ‘Isabella’. Single ‘Am I Doing It Right’ acts as a bridge, spanning where Alex has come from and where she’s heading, the punk roots of the song garnished in arena-rock guitars. “That song was written to myself,” she admits. “I wrote that song coming out of a long stint of touring and feeling tired. The thing about being an artist, especially under your own name is that you’re so hyper-conscious that you only get one go. And for me, coming out of a long period of


The Amazons 24TH MAY 2019


Fiction Records



second album? Yeah, right. If 2017’s self-titled debut laid everything that The Amazons had achieved neatly out on the table, then ‘Future Dust’ sweeps it all away. Eighty seconds of build-up leads into a propulsive burst into life on ‘Mother’, before shifting into the high velocity ‘Fuzzy Tree’. Showing early on what’s in store, there’s a confidence in the switching of gears in ‘Doubt It’, its dirty blues groove underpinning the scorched earth chorus. It’s simply electrifying at points. Showing a similar lack of fear when it comes to album topics, the band dive into themes of lust, depression and eating disorders - all adding to the overriding feeling that this is a band coming of age. ‘Future Dust’ feels like a potential defining moment for The Amazons. Where that future takes them from here could be very exciting indeed. Jamie MacMillan

Amyl & The Sniffers


Rough Trade


tours and a record deal with Rough Trade, Everyone’s favourite mullet-clad Aussie punks have finally dropped their debut album – and it’s about as subtle as a molotov cocktail through a car windscreen. Opener ‘Starfire 500’ starts with a two minute instrumental that’s straight out of a hair metal classic, before lead singer Amy’s vocals kick in with all the snarling fury you’ve come to expect. The rest of the album doesn’t let up, with all 11 tracks done and dusted in under half an hour. It’s a Blitzkreig approach which will leave you reeling

JUNE 2019


the first couple of times you listen to it, but did anyone really expect subtlety and nuance? What has changed is the production value, with one-take garage style classic ‘Cup of Destiny’ sounding much better (but just as loud) now that’s it’s been given a bit of a polish. Nothing’s been cleaned up too much though, the album’s still scrappy, sweaty, mosh pit material – perfect for throwing pints and leaping around to. ‘Amyl and the Sniffers’ doesn’t stray much from the tried and tested punk formula, and it isn’t exactly going to change anyone’s mind on the band, but with a track called ‘Go Fuck Yourself’, you get a sense that they don’t really care about reaching out to the non-believers. As it stands, it’s an album that does exactly what you’d expect and does it extremely well. Looks like it’s time to grow a mullet and start drinking VB, because this one’s a ripper. Jake Hawkes



Virgin EMI



debut album, Whenyoung are positively fizzing. After a build-up packed with indie bangers, their first full-length is certainly playing to the crowd. Live fave 'The Others' rattles along, while 'You're Grand' possesses both immediacy and edge. There's quality in the slower moments too, like 'Blow Up The World', based on a line by French anti-war philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. A more than impressive arrival from a band of genuine promise. Stephen Ackroyd


Cate Le Bon

Petrol Girls

Mexican Summer






artists go to make an album, they concentrate solely on the music. Not Cate Le Bon, though, who began work on her fifth full-length while working on wood furniture in the Cumbrian mountainside. That's not just an anecdote for the promo campaign, though. An organic, textured record, it's crafted with true care and attention. At times weird, and often wonderful, it's an album that's its own reward. Dan Harrison


Marathon Artists


Middle Kids




at their base level, all love songs are the same. The trick is to find a unique way to get those feelings across. In Australian trio Middle Kids’ case, they managed to do that with their anxieties and inadequacies and across one mini-album of six spectacular songs. These stories are told in something of a universal way, but you can hear how much they mean to the trio. Middle Kids have hit on a pretty solid seam and mined it for all it’s worth to reveal some real nuggets, each one shining as bright as the last. Chris Taylor


vocalist Ren Aldridge as "the most experimental record we've made so far", 'Cut & Stitch' opens with spoken word and deals with big issues. Abrasive and urgent, it's certainly not an easy listen, but then it clearly doesn't intend to be. Instead, it challenges and provokes at every step - sometimes through anger, sometimes through interspersed interludes of contemplation. Not your average album. Dan Harrison

Swimming Tapes


Hand In Hive


from their sun-drenched debut single ‘Souvenirs’, and Swimming Tapes have finally released their debut album ‘Morningside’; but it all feels a little too late, there are only so many times you can dip into the same pool of surf pop revival. Production is sharp, for sure, and the weaving melodies as woozy and tender as you might expect, but ‘Morningside’ doesn’t do much to stick with you after those closing seconds. Chris Taylor



eeeee “FEAR FOR US

got me here/I’m not giving up on fear/ I’m just giving up on us”. As frontman of Wild Beasts, Hayden Thorpe has spent the entirety of his young adult life exploring what it meant to be vulnerable, through delicate falsetto and lyrical challenges to the anthropology of man. For the first time, ‘Diviner’ sees him lose the armoury of his musical companions and step out under his own name, tackling the fear of a gang-less existence. What results is something that at first surprises - ten songs of delicate piano that rouses into other instrument very sparingly, it could be

considered a tentative effort, lacking in the complexity of his previous work. But with repeated listens, the true delights emerge - the smattering of funk at the conclusion of ’Straight Lines’, the key change that drives ‘Earthly Needs’ and the humble momentum of ‘Love Crimes’, growing in it’s own self assurance through a palindromic melody. And after all, who could deny that voice? A man used to singing about love in the most romantic of ways, he ups the intimacy by turning to the mirror. Sitting as his childhood piano, he explores the boy he has left behind and the man he must become, having spent as many years as a musician as he has not. Born of such symmetry, ‘Diviner’ is a satisfyingly rounded effort, one thick with faith in the idea of a set path. He’s been brave enough to walk along it this far, and the rewards are proving plentiful. Jenessa Williams


third album finds vocalist Stina Tweeddale stepping out on her own with a batch of scuzzy, fuzzy jams bubbling with attitude and menace. Single ‘The Third Degree’ is the most infectious song on show, a stop-start beat melting into a 50s vocal harmony that buzzes around your head like bees in a hive. Lyrically it’s a barb aimed at an ex but the sweet-ashoney delivery will make it a live favourite in future. Flying solo for the first time, Honeyblood aren’t letting up. Dillon Eastoe


Hayden Thorpe

Trudy and the Romance SANDMAN



Romance head to the movies for their debut album, the Merseyside miscreants soundtracking a most incredible story from space with their mutant 50s jangle pop. With a concept delving into love, loss and an evil Sandman beautifully illustrated by a psyched-up spin on those glory days of dance hall rockers, this is an LP crafted for listening in a diner on an asteroid racing on beyond Jupiter. Will the Sandman prevail? Will Little Johnny be the hero? Tune in next week to find out! Ciaran Steward


Black Mountain Destroyer Duncan Lloyd (of Maxïmo Park) Outside Notion Flying Lotus Flamagra Joan As Police Woman JOANTHOLOGY pronoun i’ll show you stronger Sebadoh Act Surprised



Pip Blom BOAT


31ST MAY 2019


real knack for building simple but infectious hooks. Cooler-than-cool, with an air of nonchalance rippling through the loose guitar riffs and Blom’s relaxed vocals, ‘Boat’ is rammed full of tracks that could soundtrack any indie party. The chemistry that drives them forward on stage fizzes through ‘Boat’ and is just as intoxicating. The back-andforths. The freewheeling guitars. It all adds up to some fuzzy-pop goodness that’s a blast to listen to.

Chris Taylor



Asylum Records



full-force dance rock swagger on their debut, ‘Don’t Wait ‘Til Tomorrow’. Even the album title itself is indicative of the hope the band evoke throughout, with lyrics delving deep into subjects like mental health, offering reassurance, guidance, and empowerment. Yonaka are executing with might stadiumsized rock despite being just at the start of their careers, fuelled by a yearning for truth and delivered with confidence and cleverness.

Jasleen Dhindsa


Frank Iero and the Future Violents Barriers ionnalee Remember the Future Mush The Induction Party EP Psychedelic Porn Crumpets And Now For The Whatchamacallit Sinkane Dépaysé Skepta Ignorance Is Bliss together PANGEA Dispassionate EP

JUNE 2019




wallow in the doom and gloom of a world full of relentless misery. Instead, they fill their guitar pop songs with a bright and infectious optimism that makes their second album ‘Run Around The Sun’ a glorious experience. “We write the music that we need to write to cheer ourselves up,” starts guitarist Rachel. “We have to have fun, otherwise we’d get bored.” You can hear the duo having fun as they rush through a collection of ear-worm like guitar lines flecked with brass and all manner of other musical adornments which give their sound its distinctive quality. “We’re an indie pop band, but we have a punk heart,” proclaims Rachel. Their first album was the product of years of gigging and collaborating within the Glasgow indie scene and beyond. With Rachel originally based in London, the duo had to find a way to create. Now though, Rachel has moved up to join drummer Eilidh, and the pair have been able to work more closely together. “The first album was stuff we had worked on over six years. We cobbled it together,” remembers Eilidh. Now that they could more often be in the same room the process felt a bit more natural. “We were able to get together and write songs more casually,” adds Rachel. “I don’t know how we did it before.” With the assurance gained from the first album’s success, the duo went into the process this time determined to push the boat out a bit more. “There are songs with chorus’ which we didn’t really do before,” laughs Eilidh. “When we recorded the first album it was slightly organic how we decided to just put a load of instruments on the record,” she goes on to explain. “This time we had certain things in mind that we imagined because we knew it was possible. We knew our label Rock Action were up for letting us do stuff. We were more open to doing things.” Songs like ‘The Conversation’ and the brass filled joy of ‘Almost Here’ highlight how Sacred

Paws have developed their sound but lost none of their exuberance, while the album also contains real moments of wistful beauty. Lyrically, they examine the themes central to all their work. “We were talking about time, growing up and looking back with nostalgia,” says Rachel. Ultimately though, their songs are organic moments of alchemy, a relationship between two vocalists and writers. There’s no grand plan or statement, just a desire to express themselves in a naturally tender way. “We never discuss between the two of us what our lyrics are about,” says Rachel. “We can be singing about two different things in one song, sometimes.” P

Sacred Paws


Rock Action Records


in frowning? With a signature style that brings firm weight to the argument of two voices outweighing one, Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers combine forces with all the thoroughly-planned beats of a classic Laurel and Hardy routine. These are melodies for the best of times; Sacred Paws have brought summer with them considerably earlier than the Met Office predicted. Ciaran Steward













How tall are you?

pure Victorian garb stroll past me. My heart started pounding, and I ran home. Never seen anything like that before or since.

I think I’m 6 foot 2, but I just say ‘above six foot’ to be on the safe side. What was the last thing you broke?

What strength Nandos sauce do you order?

Probably the heart of the nation with my boyish good looks and cheeky smile.

I’m not afraid to admit I’m a medium kind of guy. When I used to eat meat hot did the trick, but it doesn’t absorb as well into the veggie options.

What’s your biggest fear?

Spiders, them or my mum if I accidentally swear in front of her.


If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?

Probably one of those giant sloth things. Definitely not a dodo though, if you ever watched Primeval you know why. What is the best present you’ve ever been given?

My dog, Graham. Me and my siblings got him for Christmas, I got a dog bowl and was really confused, then our Graham ran in and sunk his teeth into my arm. It was love at first sight. If you won the lottery, what would you spend the cash on?

JUNE 2019


Scribblers Abigail Firth, Chris Taylor, Ciaran Steward, Dan Harrison, Dillon Eastoe, Jake Hawkes, Jamie MacMillan, Jasleen Dhindsa, Jenessa Williams, Jessica Goodman, Josh Williams, Liam Konemann, Sam Taylor, Steven Loftin Snappers Jamie MacMillan, Jennifer McCord, Markus&Koala, Pooneh Ghana, Sarah Louise Bennett Doodlers Russell Taysom


If you could have a super power of your choosing, what would it be?

Who’s your favourite pop star?

Johnny Quinn from SPINN. I used to want to be Austin from Swim Deep though, so maybe him too.


Editor Stephen Ackroyd Deputy Editor Victoria Sinden Associate Editor Ali Shutler Contributing Editors Jamie Muir, Martyn Young Events Liam James Ward

This month



Firstly I’d buy my mum and dad a house, obvs. I think a lot about urban planning for reasons unknown to me, so I’d sort out Liverpool’s city centre, make new parks and get bike lanes put in, that kinda stuff. I’d get some new clothes, too. Would you rather have a Number 1 single or a Number 1 album?

This is a tough choice. A Number 1 single could allow me the lifestyle of Hugh Grant in About a Boy, assuming it became

a Christmas classic, but I think a Number 1 album sounds better, so Number 1 album thanks. What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you?

Swimming pool. Cheap white trunks. Have you ever seen a ghost?

Yes. ‘Twas a moonlit night, just off Wavertree High Street in Liverpool, I was walking home from the pub, then I saw a man in

Does the Force count as a super power? What have you got in your pockets right now?

I have my phone (which is dead), £5.67 of change and a business card for a paper supply company based in Northern Liverpool. How punk are you out of ten?

I’m probably about 3/10 on the punk scale, only because I just handmade and painted like 200 album sleeves, which is probably within the boundaries of the punk ethos. I think Shame have some decent tunes, and I can play ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ on the guitar, so I’m going to push that up to a 10/10 actually. Why are you like this?

Honestly, I wish I knew. P

‘On street’ from Friday, 7th June 2019. PUBLISHED FROM


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Profile for Dork

Dork, June 2019  

Featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, The Amazons, Better Oblivion Community Center, Yonaka, Amyl & The Sniffers, Whenyoung and loads more.

Dork, June 2019  

Featuring Carly Rae Jepsen, The Amazons, Better Oblivion Community Center, Yonaka, Amyl & The Sniffers, Whenyoung and loads more.

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