The Fl aming Lips | peace | charli xcx | fidl aR
ffree ree || iissssue ue 117 6 | march apr i l 2 013 2 013
EDITOR’S LETTER The big bands have it all; the fans, the money, the success. It must be amazing to be in a big band, right? Be careful what you wish for. This month’s cover stars Fall Out Boy prove that, even as one of the biggest bands in the world, there are still problems - especially when your fans decide they don’t like your new record. Back together, they’re nothing if not candid about their sort-of-break-up. Love them or hate them, it’s a fascinating insight into life at the very top. Elsewhere this month Peace release their debut album ‘In Love’, so we thought we’d take them to B-Town. And, erm, Hove. It’s nicer by the sea anyway, right? Plus there are interviews with Charli XCX, Flaming Lips leader Wayne Coyne, FIDLAR and loads more. Oh yeah, and we’ve gone weekly too. Surprise!
GOOD: The Strokes and Bowie have proven that sometimes less is more. A bit of mystique around an album is quite nice, actually.
EVIL: Saying that, I’d quite like a Bowie interview. Dave, if you’re listening, call me?
GOODVSEVIL WHAT'S ON THE DIY TEAM'S RADAR
Victoria Sinden Deputy Editor GOOD: DIY’s February and March cover bands both achieved Number 1 albums. No pressure, Fall Out Boy. EVIL: Can I have another good? Robbie Williams’ blog on Britpop was amazing. Simone Scott Warren Features Editor GOOD: I met Wayne Coyne! He threatened to kill me! EVIL: I met Wayne Coyne. He threatened to kill me. Jamie Milton Neu Editor GOOD: Justin Timberlake’s SNL medley performance of all the pop triumphs I grew up with. EVIL: Watching the SXSW antics from a distance as many a lucky sod got to see JT in the flesh.
Sarah Jamieson News Editor GOOD: Brand New being announced for this year’s Reading & Leeds. All kinds of yes! EVIL: All it seemed to do in March was rain. I’ve heard of April showers, but come on. Louise Mason
Art Director GOOD: Throwing smoke
grenades at Fall Out Boy, and the subsequent tellings off by the teacher of the primary school next door. EVIL: Wayne Coyne’s Matrix-style death threats in a tiny lift. It’s been a dangerous month of photoshoots.
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NEWS DEAP VALLY
DEAP VALLY HIGH
LINDSEY AND JULIE ARE GETTING THAT DEBUT READY, JUST IN TIME FOR FESTIVAL SEASON.
krillex is headlining!” Lindsey Troy, one half of the brilliant Deap Vally cannot hide excitement from her voice, as she goes through the Reading and Leeds line up with us. “Oh my god, we’re huge Nine Inch Nails fans but they’re not on the same day as us, we’re gonna miss each other, which is a big bummer. And Tame Impala would also be awesome, but I think they’re on a different day to us too. And Haim, they’re friends of ours, so it’d be fun to see them. But they’re on a different day...” By the sounds of things, someone’s going to have to arrange a hole in the DV touring schedule, so they can stick around for the whole weekend. “Peace are good right?” They are, we agree. “I
keep hearing great things about them. Awesome, then I’m really excited, I’m excited to check them out.” Even before festival season starts up, Lindsey and Julie already have been keeping the Deap Vally tour bus busy. They’ve just taken in most of the UK with Drenge (“They’re awesome, a great band, and so sweet”) as well as assisting Muse - should they have needed it - in filling out some mammoth arenas. As we catch up with them, they’re in Bern, in Switzerland, with Mumford And Sons, playing slightly smaller venues. “They’re like, six thousand person venues.” Lindsey laughs, “I don’t know what that’s called, but it’s not quite an arena.” It’s making the headline date that they’ve just announced
“IT’S PRETTY MUCH A PERFORMANCE BASED ALBUM. REALLY RAW AND AWESOME.” at London’s Scala sound positively intimate – although they’ve not seen the venue itself before. “Oh my god, it’s insane,” she tells us. “It sounds really fancy! We’re thrilled, we’re really excited.” All this is, of course, ahead of the release of their debut album, ‘Sistrionix’, which is expected sometime this summer. “The latest is,” she confides, “that it’s coming out in June.” Recorded in their home city of LA, in San Pedro, the duo decided when it came to the production duties to once again enlist the services of Lars Stalfors. “He’s produced all our other tracks that you’ve heard. He’s worked with The Mars Volta and Cold War Kids, Matt And Kim, and he really gets us, so that’s great. ” And for a pair so often on the road, it’s not surprising that they decided to keep as close to a live aesthetic as they could for their debut. “It’s not over-produced at all,” Lindsey confirms, “And it’s pretty much a performancebased album. Really raw and awesome.” The last time we spoke with the pair, back in November, they were in the midst of penning new material for the record; although Lindsey was in London and Julie in LA. The distance, it seems, didn’t hinder the writing process. “It was the first time we’d ever done writing apart, where we were sending each other ideas, emailing
each other voice memos and stuff.” Lindsey reminisces, “And that was the start of some of the newer songs on the album, that we ended up finishing when I got back to LA. Songs always change anyway. One of us will have an idea, the other will have another idea... We definitely write most of our songs by jamming, flushing everything out until we complete it. Some of our songs are born out of a jam, but a lot of times we bring stuff, ideas that we already have to each other. So it wasn’t weird or anything like that. It worked out.” It’s understandable, with the amount of time that Deap Vally have spent out on the road, that the album has taken a while to get finished; something that they admit, has frustrated them a little. “It definitely feels like it’s been in the process for a while,” Lindsey muses, “A long time coming. And you know, we never wanted to obsess over our first album, or over think it. But I guess it’s been tricky, doing it in pieces, because we’ve been out on the road a lot. I can’t wait for it to be out.” Us neither, Lindsey, us neither. Deap Vally’s debut album ‘Sistrionix’ will be released this summer via Communion / Island Records. They play The Scala, London on 22nd May.
IN THE STUDIO CAMERA OBSCURA
FOUR YEARS ON FROM THEIR LAST FULL-LENGTH, CAMERA OBSCURA ARE BACK. WORDS: GARETH WARE PHOTOS: JASON QUIGLEY
t’s felt like a long time coming, but Glasgow pop starlets Camera Obscura have finally returned. Having made their last two records in Stockholm with Jari Haapalainen, the follow-up to 2009’s Top 40-troubling ‘My Maudlin Career’ took them to a whole other side of the world, recording with Tucker Martine in Portland.
Phoning up the band’s Tracyanne Campbell to chat about ‘Desire Lines’, we’re instantly curious to discover some of the reasons for moving. “We felt that as much as we enjoyed making ‘My Maudlin Career’ and ‘Let’s Get Out Of This Country’ in Sweden, we needed a change so that we didn’t just end up making the same sort of record again. We decided to make the new record in the States, where we feel very comfortable. We worked a lot with an American producer in an American studio, someone who came from a totally different background to the time before.”
“It was a difficult record to make.”
Has the change of landscape influenced the direction of the new record? “I don’t think you can go anywhere and not be influenced by your environment,” Campbell continues. “I think that’s part of the reason for getting out of Glasgow and not making records here. When you go away you’re focusing on that new environment and those songs at that particular time. I think that’s a positive and healthy way to do it.”
Following a tumultuous gestation period (“It’s taken two years to get to a point where we’ve been ready to record.”), the ensuing album, according to Campbell, has been far longer in the making than their earlier efforts. “Our last records have been pretty snappy in terms of tracking and have usually been done in about five or six days, whereas on this one we took about eight weeks in total, of which about four weeks was tracking. I guess this time around there was a lot more attention to detail rather than trying to capture the group live.” Campbell is also quick to praise producer Tucker Martine’s influence on both the record and its process. “He’s a very laid back Southern gentleman who’s very thoughtful and methodical,” she enthuses. “I don’t want to paint a boring old picture of him but I think he brought a certain calmness and clarity to the situation and he was very open to trying to get what we wanted. He was a great listener.” The result is a more expansive record, which is set to feature “a lot more space compared to the others.” Not too much, mind. “I’m not saying it’s a minimalist record by any means, but the songs do have an element of space to them and have been stripped of any unnecessary details.” A development which may also come as a surprise to some, will be guest appearances from Neko Case (The New Pornographers) and Jim James (My Morning Jacket). The excitement of the cameos is evident, as Campbell describes them as “two of my favourite singers.” Ending our conversation by describing what the album - set to feature ruminations on “mortality, commitment, loyalty, friendship, and love” - means to her, Campbell says she feels that ‘Desire Lines’ was “a difficult record to make, due to the personal things going out in the background over the past few years. I think the record’s something of an achievement for the band, because we’ve made it when there was a chance that we wouldn’t and I’m very glad that we managed it. I’m proud that we did it.” Camera Obscura’s new album ‘Desire Lines’ will be released on 3rd June via 4AD.
B R I E F ROLO TOMASSI have announced
a six-date tour of the UK this May. They’ll appear at London Electrowerkz (11), Leeds Brudenell Social Club (12), Newcastle Cluny 2 (13), Liverpool Blade Factory (14), Cardiff Undertone (15) and Southampton Joiners (16). Dallas Green’s CITY & COLOUR are
readying the release of their fourth album, and have unveiled a brand new track ahead of their UK tour with Biffy Clyro. Listen to ‘Of Space And Time’ at thisisfakediy.co.uk PHOENIX will be playing a date at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 22nd April. The gig will coincide with the release of ‘Bankrupt!’, the band’s fifth studio album. Somerset House’s Summer Series has confirmed its 2013 line up, which will features sets from the likes of RICHARD HAWLEY, BAND OF HORSES, JESSIE WARE, FIRST AID KIT and GOLDFRAPP.
EMPIRE OF THE SUN have announced that they will soon follow up their 2008 debut ‘Walking On A Dream’. The Australian producer duo plan to reveal their second album ‘Ice On The Dune’ this June.
heir debut came out almost ten years ago, but it was only in 2011 that letlive. really burst out of the underground with an Epitaph re-release of their third album, 2010’s ‘Fake History’. With it came a slew of critical appraisal, a whole new audience and a second lease of life for the band. Now they’re gearing up to do it all over again and, as they prepare to release record number four, we sit down with frontman Jason Butler to discuss what we can expect.
to continue throughout his career: “I think, personally, I’m only as good as the words I use. Because, in music, what I think that the foundation in essentially why you want to make music, is to have people listen to you. I would love to keep saying things that strike or are provocative. That make people think and feel things. I do admit that sometimes it can be uncomfortable or a little rash, but it’s the only way that I’ve been able to express myself recently.”
And with such an impressive “With this album, it’s by no reaction to their last record, means a dramatic departure there comes a certain amount from the last one, but the of pressure. Whilst it’s easy essence and the attitude and enough to block out the the idea of letlive. is all very, external, surely there were a very apparent,” he begins. handful of internal pressures to “Sonically, we tried to integrate LETLIVE. DIVULGE A FEW keep the band occupied? “It’s the things that we’ve been about pushing yourself; the SECRETS ABOUT THEIR pressures come from within listening to that we’ve enjoyed as a band, and as individuals. FORTHCOMING ALBUM. and I put them on myself. We It’s one thing to work as your all do. I think that’s really the own artist, or a solo artist, but only pressure that we felt. I feel we’re a band. We have to work as a unit. We’ve found ways like people understand letlive. close enough to, or well enough, to appease; we’ve found things that have attracted everyone to know that we will do our best. A lot of letlive. is, in fact, in the band, and put them in the songs. It definitely travels to the emotive quality alongside a very written story, sonically, different areas musically, but it’s as tastefully as we could do it.” so we’re just doing that same thing and writing new stories for the next record. That’s kinda what we did. We just wanted It’s not just an array of alternative influences that we should to make sure that they could all stand up next to each other.” be expecting. Following in ‘Fake History’’s footsteps, the album looks set to harness the cathartic energy that letlive.’s new album will be released this summer via Epitaph. personifies letlive.’s live shows. As a band infamous for Read more from the band in the 18th March edition of DIY their explosive performances, capturing that feeling was Weekly, available from Apple Newsstand. always going to be an important factor. “After we play, before we play or while we’re watching other bands, that feeling sparks. Some weird sort of synapse clicks in our brains and we take that and try to put it into songs. There’s just some sort of energy, it doesn’t even have to be a typically frenetic or kinetic feeling energy. More so, it can be anything; it could be a dark energy, a happy thing.”
One thing that won’t be changing too much, though, is Butler’s integral need to use his music to really say something. Throughout ‘Fake History’, his lyricism commented on all manner of social and personal issues; something he plans
“ I ’ M O N LY AS GOOD AS THE WORDS I USE.”
MO’ MONEY MO’ RECORDS Record Store Day itself is still a little way off, but already hundreds of super-exclusive releases have been announced. Here are a few of our favourites.
AT THE DRIVE-IN RELATIONSHIP OF COMMAND A gatefold double LP re-issue, complete with extra tracks.
BEST COAST FEAR OF MY IDENTITY / WHO HAVE I BECOME
7” featuring two brand new songs.
Frightened Rabbit’s Scot t Hutchison spills the beans on his c o l l a b o r at i o n w i t h M a n c h e s t e r O r c h e s t r a’ s A n dy H u l l .
ike a match made in heaven, Scott Hutchison and Andy Hull share all kinds of things: excellent facial hair, insatiable accents and a talent for songwriting. And that’s not all. The Frightened Rabbit frontman and forefront of Manchester Orchestra have teamed up for a Record Store Day single, ‘Architect’. Calling up Hutchison during his band’s recent trip to Los Angeles, he spills the beans on their forthcoming collaboration. The remarkable part? The two men haven’t even met yet. “I’ve yet to meet Andy!” reveals Scott, during our transatlantic call. “I knew that he’d been a fan, and I’d been a fan - more of his solo stuff. I really like Manchester Orchestra, but I love his solo records as Right Away! Great Captain. So, we got in touch. “We started emailing and texting and he was like, ‘Let’s do a song!’ We sent voice memos to each other over our phones, and emailed parts of songs and started to put something together. I wrote the basis of the song and he put a bunch of vocals on it and wrote
the second verse, and added so much to it. It was lovely.” And before we’ve even heard the track, we’re desperate to discover if this could continue. Surely, if the duo could work so successfully over email, something really special could happen when the pair finally do meet? “It’s just one song for now, for this Record Store release, and I believe he has done a song with the band Grouplove, as well, which is the other one on the double-A side. But, we’re talking about it and we’d both really like to continue the process; it was something that we both enjoyed. “I just actually would like to meet him! It would be good to sit down in a room together at some point in the future when we both have time, and throw together a few songs in a shorter space of time. Maybe it’s something if we could get enough material together, we could tour it.” Scott Hutchison and Andy Hull’s new single ‘Architect’ will be released on 20th April for Record Store Day.
BIFFY CLYRO BLACK CHANDELIER
7” on black and clear splatter vinyl, backed with a live version.
FOALS HOLY FIRE
LP with a bonus gold 7” single featuring ‘My Number (Friendly Fires Remix)’ / ‘Bluebird’.
SUB POP 1000
Coloured vinyl compilation of unreleased songs from Peaking Lights and more.
PULP AFTER YOU
12” single with both a Soulwax remix and dub version.
SURFER BLOOD DEMON DANCE
Tri-colour vinyl featuring tracks from the band’s forthcoming new album.
THE FLAMING LIPS ZAIREEKA Four LP boxset remastered with exclusive artwork. Try playing all the vinyl at once.
THE JOY FORMIDABLE A MINUTE’S SILENCE
12” featuring two unreleased songs.
THE WHITE STRIPES ELEPHANT
10th anniversary edition, double colour vinyl LP in gatefold sleeve.
TITUS ANDRONICUS RECORD STORE DAY Three-song 12” including one album track, and two previously unreleased songs.
NEWS TALL SHIPS
B R I E F METZ will be visiting the UK for
a second time this summer, when they support Mudhoney in June. The Canadian noise-punks have already been confirmed to open for Titus Andronicus and Fucked Up this May; find out more on thisisfakediy.co.uk. POLICA, DAUGHTER and NIK COLK VOID have all been confirmed to join SIGUR ROS as they headline this
year’s Live From Jodrell Bank event on 30th August.
LAURA MARLING has announced the follow-up to her 2011 album, ‘A Creature I Don’t Know’. Her fourth full-length, ‘Once I Was An Eagle’, is a sixteen-track effort and it’s due for release on 27th May. NEON NEON will make three live appearances in London this summer. The duo have already sold out three of four May shows at a ‘secret location’ in Cardiff, and will now hold a short residency at London’s Village Underground on 4th, 5th and 6th June, too. PORTUGAL. THE MAN have
confirmed plans to release their seventh album, ‘Evil Friends’ later this year. The follow-up to 2011’s ‘In the Mountain In The Cloud’ is due for release on 4th June, and was produced by Dangermouse. 12 thisisfakediy.co.uk
SAI L I N TO N E W T E R R I T O RY
RIC PH E T H E AN ’ S BAN D AR E AL R E ADY WO R K I N G O N N E W MAT E R IAL . Tall Ships have been rather busy recently. Not only have they just finished up a jaunt around the UK and a stint in the Texas sun for SXSW, but they’ve been in the studio too. It’s surprising news since the Brighton three-piece only released their debut album ‘Everything Touching’ late last year, and have been on what seems like a permanent touring cycle ever since. “Before we came on tour, we recorded five new demos,” explains guitarist Ric Phethean, when DIY drops him a line. “We’re just working on some new material which we’re really excited about; getting some ideas down.” Tell us more, tell us more! “Well, we were sat on our [first] album for nearly a year, so when it finally came out, those songs were all quite old to us. I mean, ‘Gallop’ was the most recent, and we added that to the album at a later date. The majority of those
songs are at least a year old, so we’ve already completely moved on from that point. “With the demos, it was just a case of having loads of new ideas for songs,” he explains, “but we’re really bad at finishing stuff. So, we have all of these ideas and riffs and parts, but to really shape them into solid songs, we really need to record them and lay them down. “Our friend has an amazing studio in Bow, called The House Of Strange, so we went in and laid down five tracks just to see how they sound. With our sound, we’ve got lots of different aspects and side to it, so we just wanted to see how they’re sounding together. We’re just really excited by them. It’s nice to play something fresh, finally!” Luckily for us, it sounds like it won’t be too much longer before we can hear the fruits of their musical labour. “At our next few UK shows I’m sure we’ll start playing them, to see how they work out live.” Excellent news! Tall Ships’ debut album ‘Everything Touching’ is out now via Big Scary Monsters / Blood & Biscuits.
t’s been a while since we’ve heard from Bring Me The Horizon, but now they’re back they’re not going to do things quietly. As the band release their fourth full-length, it marks their most accomplished and progressive work to date. Recording with Terry Date (Deftones, Slipknot), the fivepiece had a pretty firm idea of how they wanted to do things. “We spent loads of time making it perfect before we even went into the studio,” explains guitarist Lee Malia, when we meet ahead of ‘Sempiternal’’s release. “We put way too much effort into those demos, so we knew they were perfect for what we wanted.” With the band having such structured ideas, there was always the worry that a producer might interfere. That wasn’t the case with Terry. “I think if it had been someone really opinionated, it could’ve been hard work,” explains the
band’s newest member, Jordan Fish. “We needed someone who was willing to fit around what we had already established. Terry was really cool about that.”
“ None of us really even listen to metal.” As for the album itself, it’s not your average metalcore. ‘Sempiternal’ stands as a more progressive piece of modern metal. Their most accessible offering to date, it also further harnesses the band’s own influences, combining their heavy roots with more expansive musical soundscapes. “There’s a lot of the ambiance,” Malia tells us. “We used to think that if we wanted it go bigger and heavier, you’d have to go into a super breakdown, but with
this album we’ve gone heavier in a different way; more with the thickness of sounds. I think you can hear that in bands like Sigur Ros. They sound huge, but it’s not heavy.” “I reckon the major thing is that none of us really even listen to metal,” he continues, “so all of the songwriting ideas that we’ve got come from other genres. I think it’s works when we do a pop structure in our way.” Following the commercial success of their third album, which became one of the first majorly heavy albums to receive full support from Radio 1, their aim for this record is much more simple. As Fish says, “It would be cool if people were surprised by it.” BMTH’s new album ‘Sempiternal’ will be released on 1st April via Sony RCA. Read the full interview in the 1st April edition of DIY Weekly, available via Apple Newsstand.
BRING ME THE HORIZON SET OUT TO SURPRISE
all the world’s a s ta g e ( c o a c h )
“ T h e a l b u m ’ s a b i t o f a p l o t t e d h i s t o r y. ”
t’s like a massive climbing frame!” exclaims frontman Luke Barham. “You can climb on everything; everything’s got a ladder on it. You can go right up in the crow’s nest. Me and [drummer] Matt would be working up there on lyrics and it was so peaceful.” Believe it or not, we’re quizzing Stagecoach on what it was like to record their debut album, and their studio really sounds like a lot of fun. “We had barbecues on the top deck, went sunbathing...” Alright Luke, that’s enough. No doubt you’re wondering where on earth they set up camp to lay down their long-awaited full-length. Well, dispell your thoughts of exotic locations and Mediterranean climates; Stagecoach spent last September holed up in Lightship95 Studios: Rory Attwell’s boat, docked on the 14 thisisfakediy.co.uk
Thames. “Going to Rory was quite a big decision with making this record,” explains Nick Tanner, one half of the band’s founding members. “The songs on this album are quite different from our last EPs; it felt like it needed a slightly different approach.” Having begun as a more folky outlet for Tanner and Barham, the latter explains that the band has since developed into much more. “We worked out recently that it’s been nearly ten years since we started. It started off being quite delicate, acoustic-influenced, countryinfluenced music. Once we had the bass and drums, we added in the distorted guitars and we’re now a rock band. It feels kinda strange that it’s taken this long to get to an album. “I think everything had been moving forward in terms of the band growing
up until 2011. When it all started to slow down, we realised that, ‘Shit, we’ve had these singles, but there’s no album ready to go’. At that point, we stopped touring and we took a year to write fifteen or sixteen tracks.” The result is ‘Say Hi To The Band’; an eleven-track journey through their career so far. “It’s a bit of a plotted history,” clarifies Tanner. “You can definitely trace back to ten years ago, because you can feel a few of the country roots in places. It’s got this lineage to it; it feels like it’s the end of a fucking massive gestation.” “It’s still got a nucleus of pop songs though,” bassist John Harrington reassures us. “It’s got three or four classic Stagecoach songs.” Phew! Stagecoach’s debut album ‘Say Hi To The Band’ will be released on 13th May via Alcopop! Records.
DIYWeekly If you frequent DIY’s website, our social media channels, or, indeed, Apple Newsstand, you may have noticed something pretty exciting. DIY Weekly. Let’s say that again. DIY Weekly. We’ve launched a weekly tablet-only publication for iPads. Available every Monday, our first ever issue was released on 11th March featuring a rather special video cover of Wayne Coyne. Our second issue - released on, you guessed it, 18th March - celebrated The Cribs’ tenth anniversary; and the third, our favourite band-of-the-moment, Peace. The next edition will be released on 1st April. The magazine utilises everything you’ve come to expect from DIY, from interviews with up-andcomers to features on stuff that’s happening right now, from the latest reviews to exclusive news. It’s all there. We’ve a number of subscription offers too, including options to buy a single issue, a whole month, six months or a year. Do check it out; it’s all sorts of fun. For more information, visit thisisfakediy.co.uk/weekly.
LIVERPOOL SOUND CITY C O N F I R M BAS T I L L E & M O R E
Liverpool Sound City has confirmed a handful of new additions for the 2013 event, including chart topping DIY cover stars Bastille. The band released their debut album ‘Bad Blood’ earlier this year, and are still Top 5 in both the single and album charts. Also announced today, are: On An On, Temples, Tea Street Band, Duologue, Loved Ones, By The Sea, All We Are, Broken Men, Bird, Nadine Carina, Ady Suleiman, Concrete Knives, Sun Glitters, Mutiny On The Bounty, Afternaut and Silent Sleep. They’ll be joining the likes of DIY-favourites AlunaGeorge, TOY and Swim Deep, along with Everything Everything, Savages, Darwin Deez, Delphic, King Krule, Dutch Uncles, Stealing Sheep, Wave Machines and Melody’s Echo Chamber, amongst others. We’re also very pleased to announce that DIY will be hosting our very own stage at the event; the Shipping Forecast will host sets from Drenge, PINS, Loom, Likely Lads, Night Engine, Big Deal, with many more additions still to come. The multi-venue festival - which aims to showcase the best in emerging and acclaimed talent from across the globe - will take place from 2nd - 4th May. Tickets are on sale now, via liverpoolsoundcity.co.uk.
READING & LEEDS E X T E N D B I L L : G R E E N DAY, N I N E I N CH NAI L S & M O R E
We now know each of the three headliners for Reading & Leeds: Biffy Clyro (Sunday Reading, Friday Leeds), Eminem (Saturday Reading, Sunday Leeds), and - last but not least - Green Day (Friday Reading, Saturday Leeds). Newly revealed, there’s also DIY Class Of 2013 alumni Deap Vally, Haim, Bastille, Peace, Swim Deep and Palma Violets, along with the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Disclosure, Brand New, Editors and Phoenix. The festival will take place from 23rd - 25th August. Tickets are on sale now, via readingfestival.com and leedsfestival.com.
L IVE AT L E E D S MAK ES
S EC O N D L I N E UP AN N O UN C E M E N T
Live At Leeds has made a second line up announcement for their 2013 festival, which will take place in various venues across the city from 3rd - 6th May. The Walkmen are topping the new list, along with Savages, Sky Larkin, Dutch Uncles, MSMR, Splashh, Still Corners, Dinosaur Pile-Up and more. They’ll be joining AlunaGeorge, Darwin Deez, Everything Everything, Peace, King Krule, Laura Mvula, Swim Deep, The Neighbourhood and Dan Croll. Tickets are on sale now, via lunatickets.co.uk.
F E S T I VA L
N E W S in B R I E F The first wave of acts has been announced for this year’s PUKKELPOP, including Franz Ferdinand, Nine Inch Nails and Fall Out Boy. Leeds DJ Bonobo will be headline the Friday of BEACONS, whilst Ghostpoet has also been added to the bill. ALL TOMORROW’S PARTIES have
announced some additions to their May and June festivals, including Death Grips, Why? and Light Asylum.
HARD ROCK CALLING has confirmed a string of acts. Heading up the bill will be Kasabian and Bruce Springsteen. Elsewhere, you can see Paul Weller, The Cribs and Klaxons, amongst others.
T RU CK A N N O U N C E S P I R I T UA L I Z E D, T H E J OY F O R M I DA B L E & M O R E
Truck festival - which will be teaming up with DIY again for this year’s event - has another batch of bands joining their 2013 bill, including Spiritualized, who will be headlining alongside the Horrors. Elsewhere on the line up, they’ve also just announced The Joy Formidable, Frankie & The Heartstrings (who are currently working on a new album) and We Are The Ocean. The new additions are joining the likes of Ash, Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip, Dry The River, Gaz Coombes, Rolo Tomassi, TOY, The Bots, The Computers, Wet Nuns, Arcane Roots, Fight Like Apes and Max Raptor. The much-loved event - which celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2012 - returns to Hill Farm in Steventon on 19th - 20th July. Tickets are on sale now, via truckfestival.com.
WARPED TOUR will return to the UK this year, taking place at Alexandra Palace, London from 16th - 17th November.
The supports have been announced for Sigur Ros headlining LIVE FROM JODRELL BANK on 30th August: Polica, Daughter and Nik Colk Void. THE GREAT ESCAPE has unveiled
yet more bands, including Syron, DIIV, Jagwar Ma, London Grammar, Beach Fossils and Blue Hawaii. AlunaGeorge, Lucy Rose and Lulu James are amongst the first artists confirmed for this year’s BEACH BREAK LIVE.
Sunderland’s SPLIT FESTIVAL is not going to be held this year, instead taking a break until 2014 when it will return with “a bigger and even better event.” STANDON CALLING has confirmed
a bunch of new bands for the 2013 event, including Digitalism, The Joy Formidable and TOY.
F ES T I VA L S 2
WIRELESS PL ANS THIRD DAY WITH JUSTIN AND JAY-Z
A third day for 2013’s Wireless Festival has been announced, to be headlined by a collaboration from the previous two-days’ bill-toppers, Justin Timberlake and Jay Z. Timberlake will headline on Friday 12th July, Jay Z on Saturday 13th July, and now they’ll both play - previewing their forthcoming Legends Of The Summer tour - on Sunday 14th July. Wireless Festival will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, having moved from Hyde Park, from 12th - 14th July. Tickets are on sale now, via wirelessfestival.co.uk.
BILBAO BBK LIVE EXTENDS LINE UP
Mark Lanegan, Klaxons, and Billy Talent have joined the line up for this year’s Bilbao BBK Live, along with Soulwax, Twin Shadow, Spector, Little Boots, Benjamin Biolay with special guest Carl Barat, Arcane Roots and The Bots. The new additions join a bill that already includes headliners Depeche Mode, Kings Of Leon and Green Day, as well as Biffy Clyro, Editors and Two Door Cinema Club. The festival will run from 11th - 13th July, in Kobetamendi, Spain. Tickets are on sale now, via bilbaobbklive.com.
LATITUDE PL AN 2 01 3 E VE N T
Latitude festival has made their first line up announcement of the year: headlining will be Kraftwerk, Bloc Party and Foals, the latter of which will be performing off the back of their recently released third album, ‘Holy Fire’. Elsewhere on the bill the Yeah Yeah Yeahs - who also return this year with a new album, ‘Mosquito’ - have been confirmed, along with Modest Mouse, Hot Chip, James Blake, Jessie Ware, Alt J, Yo La Tengo and Efterklang. Latitude will take place from 18th 21st July at Henham Park in Suffolk; more announcements are expected shortly. Tickets are on sale now, via latitudefestival.com.
King Of Pop Punk meet Ben Ray, the founder of the UK’s biggest (and ever expanding) pop punk and rock festival, Slam Dunk. the same time that he stumbled across a new band that seemed to have some potential.
f there’s any one festival in the UK that truly embodies the spirit of pop punk, it’s Slam Dunk. Born in Leeds many years ago, the multi-stage event has evolved well; beginning life as an alldayer in Millenium Square boasting a line-up topped by Fall Out Boy, founder Ben Ray plans on creating an even bigger and better edition for 2013; it’s even going ‘international’. With humble roots, the birth of Slam Dunk itself incurred when Ray left his hometown of Birmingham – where he was already promoting gigs – and was quickly adopted by The Cockpit. Following on from the first ever UK Reel Big Fish show, he was quickly invited to become a part of the venue’s newest venture. “They asked me to get involved with a club night reflecting the ska punk thing that was coming through and we came up with Slam Dunk.” Having left university and picked up a job as Events Coordinator at Leeds Met, Ray went on to work for the primary promotion company in Leeds, Futuresounds. It was around
“It just so happened that I came across a new band called Fall Out Boy and I put them on for their first gig at The Cockpit, then at the Met, and then the University. Then, as they were coming around again, we didn’t have a venue big enough. We had just started doing some outdoor gigs at Millennium Square, so I suggested that we do it outside. It was a massive 7,000 capacity, and it was a little too big, so I said, ‘Why don’t I create a festival around it?’” Just like that, Slam Dunk was born. Since then, the event has billed a number of massive bands. From one of the first UK festival appearances of Paramore back in 2007, to the grand return of Taking Back Sunday last year, the last seven years has produced line-ups that fans want to be involved with. They even debuted some littleknown band called You Me At Six. This year, the festival is set to be more ambitious than ever. As opposed to the more recent two-day event – taking place in Leeds and Hatfield – this edition is including a third leg in Wolverhampton, with bands gracing seven stages. Alongside the main all-dayers, there’ll also be smaller roadshows taking place in Glasgow, Cardiff and Dublin, allowing for people around the country to get involved in at least one day of fun. “This year we decided to do another day. It took a while for us to find a venue that was big enough to host
it, as it had to have the seven stages. And I’m so happy to be going over to Ireland! The best thing with all of this is that you have to realise how good the bands are being to the festival. There are a lot of rooms there that are only 1,000 capacity and most of the bands would play that size room themselves, but, with this festival, because it’s such great fun, they’ll play; they just don’t care about things like that here.” Slam Dunk will take place in Leeds, Hatfield and Wolverhampton from 25th - 27th May.slamdunkmusic.com
All Time Low, Deaf Havana, Kids In Glass Houses, Four Year Strong, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Cancer Bats, The Skints, King Prawn, The Early November, Allister, Streetlight Manifesto, We Are The Ocean, The Wonder Years, Memphis May Fire, Andrew McMahon, Senses Fail, Bury Tomorrow, Polar Bear Club, Tonight Alive, Yashin, Mallory Knox, The Summer Set, Man Overboard, Fireworks, Transit, The Story So Far, Heights, Woe Is Me, Spunge, Jonny Craig, The Word Alive, MC Lars, Me Vs Hero, Hands Like Houses, Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Heart In Hand, Our Last Night, Handguns, Gnarwolves, The American Scene, Heroes For Hire, House Vs Hurricane
OUT-OF-BODY EXPERIENCES AND A BOTTLE OF HATE. JAMIE MILTON TALKS TO DRENGE. PHOTOS: EMMA SWANN
’ve had to think about what people want from us as a band…” Eoin Loveless is speaking against the backdrop of traffic sirens. He and his brother Rory are on tour with Deap Vally. The duo double-act are in the middle of going across the country; a far cry from when Drenge would catch a bus into Sheffield and play their show “as quickly as possible,” in order to make the return trip. “They want you to be good at music but they might also want you to have a quiff, or wear a leather jacket,” he adds. “There’s a growing acceptance that being in a band isn’t just playing music.” Clearly - hence this interview. He continues: “You kind of have an obligation when you sign a record deal and your goal is to sell records. But no-one’s heard of our band really. Say: this is a co-headline tour with Deap Vally - it’s very clear that the fans are there for those guys.” We’ve caught Eoin in the middle of a complex. Don’t get him wrong: He’s chuffed to be touring. He dropped out of uni midway through first term of second year when the band started “taking off ” and he’s getting his head around “doing music for a living.” The sidenote about Deap Vally being more popular might be true, at this current time, but if you consider Drenge’s recent mammoth rise, from lesser-known group sitting outside of Sheffield, to Radio 1 staple with some future-hits by their side, there are worse situations to be in.
Without chucking in the ‘living the dream’ cliche, let’s not be mistaken: Drenge are enjoying themselves. “There are people that wanna be in bands because they feel like there’s nothing else that suits them,” says Eoin. “It’s never been an obvious thing for us. And when you sign a record deal, you have an out-of-body experience - it’s something that all the kids at your school wanted to have… It’s like the Charlie Bucket syndrome. You never think you’re gonna get the golden ticket. But somehow you’ve ended up in this ridiculously privileged position.” What makes Drenge stand out, beyond all the other kids with Smiths posters lining their walls? In part it’s Eoin’s snarling tone, his spitting vocals, all amounting to song titles like ‘Dogmeat’ and ‘I Wanna Break You In Half.’ “I’m not that kind of person,” he affirms. “If you write a crime novel people don’t assume you’re a detective.” But the songs have at least some relation to Eoin’s own observations. “They’re more works of fiction or ways to express encountering the occasional, worst possible person in the world.” It’s clear that Drenge do have a basis to the grudging nature of their songs. Eoin cites blokes with crates of beer turning up to festivals to “throw up over their mate’s tent” as a lesser evil. Similarly, “city-wide festivals full of pouncing A&Rs.” ‘Dogmeat’’s video shows pissed-up weekenders on Sheffield’s West Street posing for the camera. That song’s about “people who are really, just lost in their own existence,” he tells us. The word Drenge is a mannerism in itself. It’s a word you can spit out in a frenzy of anger. “Ah Drenge! I’ve lost my car keys!” There’s form to the frustration, then. But Drenge are also Drenge - as in, a band going places - because they do things differently. Before being signed they’d produce ‘zines for every show, handing them out to punters for free. And all of this being-signed and touring with rockstars from the West Coast nonsense - it’s surreal. “It’s nice but at the same time it’s a bit of a bolt out the blue,” Eoin says, summing up the experience. “But it’s always been exciting, playing in a band.” Many a group of newcomers would give one of their limbs to be in Drenge’s position - so long as they could still play their respective instruments - but sympathy goes out to the Loveless brothers who, for better or worse, are getting their head around realising the dreams of every guitar-wielding teen.
“IT’S LIKE THE C HA R L I E B U C K E T SY N D RO M E . YO U NEVER THINK YO U ’ R E G O N N A GET THE GOLDEN T I C K E T. ”
Drenge will play DIY’s stage at Liverpool Sound City this May, and a DIY Presents show in Reading on 13th April. 21
Wilsen’s greatest attribute is clearly, and distinctively, the voice of frontwoman Tamsin Wilson. However, that says far more about her caressive, alluring vocal than the rest of the band’s make-up, which is a wonderfully complex entity in itself. While ‘Anahita’ is being billed as the group’s debut single, they actually recorded and self-released a mini album, ‘Sirens’, early last year. It’s easy to see why that record has led them to greater things. ‘Anahita’ - which featured on ‘Sirens’ - is an elaborate and intricate track that grows from a fragile fourminutes of plaintive vocals and sparse instrumentation, into the kind of heart-racing build that would send Explosions In The Sky back to the drawing board. (Tom Johnson)
From the first listen it becomes clear that in contrast to their name, Skaters aren’t the new NoFx or P.O.D, but let’s face it: that’s no bad omen. Drawing in ex-members of the Dead Trees and Dirty Pretty Things, the Brooklyn-based trio formulate music rooted in the punk rush of previous, famed eras. They draw comparisons to The Clash from left, right and centre, topped with a sprinkling of The Strokes’ garage-rock grit. We’re not expecting to catch Skaters on the half-pipes, but we are expecting a whole heap of cult triumph. (Jonathan Hatchman)
3 W A X A H A T C H E E
23-year-old Alabama-born twin sisters Alison and Katie Crutchfield are forging two very distinct but fascinating paths through the US indie underground. While spending their teens entrenched in the rock scene in Birmingham, the sisters originally played together in low-budget ramshackle pop punk band P.S Eliot, which disbanded in 2011. While her sister Alison now fronts brilliantly noisy upstarts Swearin’, Katie has embarked on a more introspective and world-weary direction with the evocative, confessional sound of Waxahatchee. Her music is at times unbearably quiet and unassuming, full of nothing more than rickety acoustic guitar strums and sussurating vocal whispers, at other moments her voice swells with emotion and passion. Her second album, ‘Cerulean Salt’ sees Crutchfield deal with the pains of growing up, seeing the innocent promise of youth dulled by the relentless torpor of just gettin’ by. It is the sound of Waxahatchee becoming a vital and compelling new voice. (Martyn Young) 22 thisisfakediy.co.uk
I’m sure you know this already, because everyone you talk to’s muttering about the very fact, but everywhere you turn Australia’s got a new band to show us. The likes of Flume, Jagwar Ma, San Cisco and Alpine are proving that fun needn’t amount to something derivative. Alpine especially are experts in making glossy pop sound like it comes from some glorious, distant future. Recent track ‘Gasoline’ could just rattle on by, cheer us up a bit, get the chorus over and done with. But instead it’s enrapturing. It tugs at you and sways you from side to side, like you’re a puppet to their fresh, sparkly music. ( Jamie Milton)
There’s something about Sisters. The way a sound so forceful and immediate doesn’t overwhelm. The way the vocals overlap like they were born to sit against one another. It’s been done before, this fuzzy noisepop, but it’s never sounded so fresh and thrilling. The London three-piece - Andrew, Aoife, Nile - formed in spring 2012. Scattered dates across the capital and the band’s recording sessions are all documented in the videos for debut tracks ‘Sun Walk’ and ‘Shiny Things’. It’s the opposite of the anonymity approach so many bands retire themselves to. Instead we’re given vivid insights into their style, their sound and their evident friendships. It’s a togetherness that few bands seem to share that brings this lot out of the wilderness and towards a bright future. ( Jamie Milton)
London Grammar is a project that’s existed for just under a couple of years. Small showcase gigs and the odd live session gave us glimpses of the trio, but most turning their heads at the band did so in response to one solitary, impressive opening gambit. ‘Hey Now’’s muted guitar licks and sullen, soulful vocals, combined into one piece sound like the next step in a musical timeline, a presumed evolution from Jessie Ware’s remarkable, genre-bending pop; a projection of intimacy not too dissimilar from that which we hear on Rhye’s debut album. Hannah Reid stands centre stage, her voice - which isn’t conventionally pretty or soulful, even, but beautiful in its unconventional nature - reaches heights that the song’s brief and sombre opening section didn’t hint at. It’s the kind of song that kickstarts a career. ( Jamie Milton)
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE
“ I f p e o p l e s ay t h e y h a t e m e - w h a t e v e r . ”
FROM A BLACK CAB TO THE BIG STAGE, WALL IS ON HER WAY UP.
yla Foy - the brains behind WALL - is in Berlin and she’s just lost her bandmates. They’ve headed out for “cultural exploring,” while she nurses a hangover; the product of “buckets of wine”, we’re informed. One 24-hour-bar in a “luxurious hostel” and some recurring nerves about a support slot on the Local Natives tour has left her, oddly, in the ideal frame of mind before tonight’s show at The Comet Club: “If I’m hungover I get to think about not throwing up, rather than being terrified.” Despite the sore head, she’s in good spirits. And why wouldn’t she be? Signed to Black Cab Sessions’ newlyinaugurated label - minus the bad stage fright, she’s got it made. One listen to WALL and you’ll quickly draw a parallel between Black Cab’s, and her own, inherent ability to refine already existing styles - to do something well, essentially. Take a song like the recent ‘Shoestring’ - a track about “being your own person” - and you’ve a biting, intimate portrayal, all acoustic guitars and light,
lifting vocals. It’s been done before, but rarely as well. Lyla calls her music a series of “little accidents,” like picking up a new instrument for the first time and seeing what comes out. She never records a song more than once - “all my mistakes are there for the world to hear” - and when writing lyrics, she’ll mumble “nonsense” just to get an idea of the melody, and often those mumblings will develop into the final, “improvised” lyrics. Born and raised in London, she’s been writing songs onand-off for years, in previous band Oldwick, plus a solo guise. This current fixation isn’t entirely the opposite to Lyla’s former projects. “It doesn’t matter how you dress a song up, it’s just a song at the end of the day,” she affirms. But WALL seems to have given Foy something new; an extra step forwards. It’s the first time she’s written songs entirely on her own. “I do trust my instinct,” she tells us. “You know what’s best for you.” Assured and excitable, she concludes on the note, half-joking: “Ultimately, I believe in my songs and nothing will stop me from releasing them!” Then in steps a note of self-doubt. “If people say they hate me - whatever. It’s nice that some people like my songs.” Some people? It’s growing in numbers by the day. In ‘Shoestring’, she asks her subject to “put me in a league of my own.” Truth is she’s already there. ( Jamie Milton)
MASTERS OF THEIR CRAFT:
DAYJOBS, SLACKING AND PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
he footage used in Parquet Courts’ ‘Borrowed Time’ video isn’t groundbreaking. It shows a band playing a show, exchanging cash for vinyl and chatting to fans. So why does it make you feel so great? Our guess is because it’s become rare to speak to a rock band, to know little beyond the fact that they play music and you enjoy listening to it. It’s what makes Parquet Courts stand out. They’re a band playing shows and practicing every night in between dayjobs. It used to be tradition but it’s become unusual. “We don’t have the onslaught of internet presence that’s really prevalent in a lot of music,” agrees Austin Brown, the band’s guitarist. “I think that’s refreshing.” Many a career can come and go in
PARQUET COURTS the space of a few months. One headturning mp3, one veiled, semi-cryptic promo shot and there you have it: the wheels are in motion. Parquet Courts aren’t like that; they existed as a group two years before debut ‘Light Up Gold’ gained self-release on frontman Andrew Savage’s own label. “There are thousands of new bands that are fighting for your attention. And they all go through the same process; it’s kind of a joke at this point. It’s not really what being a band is about,” states Austin. “With Parquet Courts, we’d been doing shows around Brooklyn, playing for almost no-one. We can see from point A to point B how we got to where we are now.” “Where we are now” means touring the world, and being mentioned in some circles as the saviours of what’s been lost in music. The frustrated punk sound that so defines the group’s album is something that everyone reaching the end of their teens can relate to; this process of reaching adulthood and learning the ropes.
“I feel like I’m a sl acker.” The band don’t work full-time to fund their recordings anymore. That’s a bonus. Nowadays they deal with interviews, sleep deprivation and being called a bunch of “slackers”. “I’m almost like ‘how did you know?’ because I feel like I am a slacker, but it’s got nothing to do with the music at all,” jokes Brown. The misconceptions are merely petty distractions; Parquet Courts aren’t slackers. They’re just a group of no-bullshit guys with one hell of a record. You see: music fans the world over were looking for something. Something they couldn’t describe or put into words. Parquet Courts are the missing piece. ( Jamie Milton) Read the full interview in the 25th March edition of DIY Weekly, available from Apple Newsstand. 25
mixtapE NOT CONTENT WITH GIVING YOU A FREE MAGAZINE, WE’VE PUT TOGETHER A FREE MIXTAPE FULL OF OUR FAVOURITE NEW BANDS; DOWNLOAD FROM THISISFAKEDIY.CO.UK/MIXTAPE
CLEAN BANDIT Mozart’s House (Rudi Zygadlo Remix)
They have strings, they have beats. It’s an odd combination but Clean Bandit sure as hell spearhead something new and altogether spectacular.
XANDER THE GREAT Cold Skin
The Weeknd comparisons come in thick and fast when you listen to Xander The Great. The new London group spill soul into this sedated standalone track ‘Cold Skin’.
JUST HANDSHAKES London Bound
HOLY ESQUE Tear
Grand, anthemic and undoubtedly divisive. The sound of Holy Esque is hard to ignore, not least impossible to mistake for anybody else.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD Let It Go (Ghost Loft Remix)
LA producer Ghost Loft’s own material is enrapturing enough, but this remix of The Neighbourhood takes things one step further.
MOZART’S SISTER Single Status
Calia Thompson-Hannat’s new ‘Hello’ Several years in the making, the arrival EP is all about throwing every single of Just Handshakes’ debut album is aspect of her dynamic sound at the a thrilling prospect. ‘London Bound’ listener in one immersive burst. ‘Single suggests the endless work that’s gone in Status’ is the highlight. to it might just pay off.
LOVELIER OTHER Leave This Behind
FTSE VS. BIPOLAR SUNSHINE A Little Sumthin’
Good luck finding a more beautiful Adio Marchant and an enigmatic debut track than this. This mysterylaced introduction from Lovelier Other producer called FTSE combine in this is the kind of song that defines a career. huge, refreshing track. An indication of the best of what the UK has to offer.
Irish producer Eoghan Reid is the latest in a string of exciting electronic prospects emerging from the country, with Mmoths and Forrests being among the Neu favourites.
WAMPIRE The Hearse
Polyvinyl signings Wampire are Portland duo Rocky Tinder and Eric Phibbs. There’s a real hysteria simmering beneath their songs, particularly evident in ‘The Hearse’.
NEu n e w s
SHEFFIELD In Sounds From My City, Neu asks some of music’s creative talents to tell us all about the most exciting bands on their doorstep.
SAVAGES have announced their
James Levitt and Adam Zejma run the Tye Die Tapes label, a Sheffield based cassette project at the forefront of the UK’s garage-punk, DIY aesthetic. They’ve released the likes of Bos Angeles and Slowcoaches. If you’re a local, look out for their shows promoted under the name ‘Tye Die Tapes HQ’ tag.
CHLÖE HOWL has finished the trio of music videos she promised to unveil alongside her free download ‘Rumour’ EP; watch them all on thisisfakediy.co.uk.
RADICAL BOYare a
raucous indie rock two-piece. They played their first shows last year and have already become one of the best twosies in Sheffield (see also: pjaro). If you’re into loud guitars, teenage angst and big hooks then they’re worth checking out.
TOUCANS is the
ever-changing but consistently tasteful musical project of Adam Humphries (ex-Horses and some other bands). Toucans’ music is calm and composed but by no means basic, hinting at Joan of Arc, Pygmy Lush and the garage-rock stylings of Ty Seagall.
TEMPLE OF COKE
have established themselves as a one-stop shop for repetitive, aggressive riffing and All Saints covers. Equally impressive playing sweaty shows as playing on the beach in Grimsby.
debut album: ‘Silence Yourself ’ is set to be released on 6th May through Matador Records/ Pop Noire.
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD have
announced details of a debut LP. ‘I Love You’ will be released through Columbia on 22nd April.
SOHN has unveiled a new track;
listen to ’Bloodflows’ on thisisfakediy. co.uk.
HAIM have added three UK dates to their European tour, set to kick off next month. The newly announced shows will take place in Dublin, Glasgow and London this May. ECHOPARK has shared the clip for
his latest track ‘Teleportation’; watch it now on thisisfakediy.co.uk. SWIMMING have self-released
their debut LP ‘Yes, tonight.’ via Bandcamp.
TEMPLES will soon head out on
tour with The Vaccines. They’ve also upcoming dates with Drenge. Visit thisisfakediy.co.uk for details. 27
COVER FALL OUT BOY
COVER FALL OUT BOY
he story of Fall Out Boy has, at times, been a tumultuous one. Born in the early ‘00s into a Chicago hardcore scene that didn’t care, their roots lay in the heavy. Somewhere along the way though, they decided to go against the grain. The band’s story begins with half-full Knights Of Columbus halls, van accidents and suicidal overdoses, before a breakthrough that saw them pinned as the poster boys of a genre that would soon be ostracised and ridiculed. They were the kings of Livejournal, the ministers of MySpace, and soon, a real contender for the rulers of MTV. There were ‘those’ leaked photos, ‘that’ Hollywood marriage and a four-piece that were almost always celebrated as a duo; a singer who refused to be a frontman, a bassist who did so on his behalf, and the other two. Nevertheless, the band became a well-oiled fighting machine. Climbing the ranks, they tossed their hat into the chart ring and came out winning. Both their second and third albums were certified platinum, whilst the latter, 2007’s ‘Infinity On High’ sat pretty at the top of the US Billboard charts. They sold out shows around the world, including a stint at The O2 in London, and even broke world records in the process. Despite the hurdles, theirs was a true tale of the underdog done good. The wheels had to come off eventually.
f you had seen us around that time...” guitarist Joe Trohman offers. It’s quite evident that when the curtain finally closed on the fourpiece back in 2009, it had been a long time coming. After the release of Fall Out Boy’s fourth album ‘Folie A Deux’ came a backlash from fans and foes alike. It took little more than a year for the band to run out of steam and declare themselves on hiatus. “I think we were burnt out,” elaborates drummer Andy Hurley. “At times it felt like it was the end, but we talked about it as being a much needed break to explore other things and hopefully figure things out. To get back to it in a couple of years.” “Patrick and I both talked a lot, for probably a month prior,” adds Joe. “Kinda like, ‘Do you wanna stop doing this? Because I want to stop doing this.’ Patrick had wanted to work on his solo record for a long time…” The conversation moves to Patrick Stump, sat opposite his bandmate, hat perched on head and thick black glasses framing his face. “In between every record, I’d be like, ‘You know, I think I might put out some solo thing,’” he concedes, “And it’d always be like, ‘Ahhhh, now’s not a good time, you shouldn’t do that.’ It just became one of those things that got put off and put off. That was kinda frustrating, because I wasn’t really planning on doing anything serious. But of course, by the time I got the opportunity to, I just wanted to take some time to go record a record by myself.”
In contrast, Joe was beginning to feel like an outcast within the group. Having met a musical hero, he already had an offer to embark on a new project. “I was not getting to do enough creative things within the band,” he explains. “It was so frustrating. Not to put anyone down, but I think things just got put in a place and I felt a little pushed out. So, I get to go and do this band with fucking Scott Ian [Anthrax, Stormtroopers Of Death] and he likes my songs and wants to make this record! I was like, ‘Sorry guys, I’m miserable and I don’t want to bury Fall Out Boy into the ground because it’s important, but I’m going to go do this. I have to go.’ It actually did feel like, at the time, I had so many things creatively in my head that it physically hurt not to put them somewhere.” One thing quickly becomes clear from speaking to the band. Despite their unanimous exhaustion, the hiatus was regarded in different lights by each member. For Pete Wentz, the decision seemed to take the hardest toll. “I have a hard time sometimes putting a filter on. I see things as all in, or all out,” he begins. “Sometimes I felt like that [the hiatus] was it, you know? “When you first do something - like you play a show and the crowd sings along, or the first time your video is on MTV, or the first time you get a plaque - it’s all really special. But when you start doing special things every day, it becomes mundane. When your band determines a shareholder’s quarterly, no one wants you to focus on reality. Nobody expects you to man up. Everyone just wants to keep it going. I felt like I was a cog in the machine. When we took the break, it was by far the best thing for the band, and the best thing for me, personally. That’s when you should walk away. I just don’t think I was ready to acknowledge it at the time. Some of the magic had worn off. We’d been doing the trick for so long.” Part of the problem was, not everyone in the band believed that they could continue turning those tricks. With their third album becoming an instant success and scoring them their first ever US Number 1, Stump already had doubts that they could emulate the same with the follow up. Before recording even began for their fourth studio effort, a little over a year after the release of ‘Infinity On High’, the singer was trying to persuade those around him to be realistic. “I said to a lot of people, ‘We have done really great. We’ve done a lot of hard work. Careers ebb and flow; I think it would be unreasonable to expect our next record to be a hit. You don’t get struck by lightning three times. We’ll probably have a little bit of a dip. We should just create something that’s artistic and fun and just go and tour, whatever.’ With ‘Infinity’, we had done so many interviews and photoshoots. Every day would be work, work, work. So I thought that going into that record, we should maybe consider that. “There was a feeling of, ‘No, no, you have to work even harder.’ I said, ‘Okay, I don’t know that the cross-benefit ratio is going to be what you expect it to be.’ I was alone on this; there were a lot of people - it wasn’t just suits or 31
COVER FALL OUT BOY
whatever - that we really respected saying this. So I was like, ‘OK, but when that doesn’t work, when the record is not Number 1 and it doesn’t go platinum, and all of these things that we expect to happen don’t happen, we’re gonna take a break.’ That was not an idle threat, so sure enough, when the opportunity came...” Just as Patrick had predicted, ‘Folie à Deux’ barely bothered the charts. Landing a reasonable position at Number 8 in the US, it barely scraped the Top 40 in the UK, and neither country certified it platinum. It was about more than chart positioning though: this album stood as their most unsupported, and some were unwilling to let it go quietly. “Every time someone mentions ‘Folie à Deux’, I see this one kid,” Patrick remembers. “We were in Chicago opening for Blink 182, and there were about twenty kids right up front who knew all the words. Every time we played an older song, they sang along with every word, and every time we played anything newer, they would get angry. There was this one moment where Pete goes, ‘So, we’re gonna play a new song’ and this one kid is looking right at me, just flicking me off. He had this look on his face that was so angry.” It wasn’t the only example. Both Patrick and Joe recount tales of crowd members all over the world throwing their middle fingers in the air at the band whenever a song from their fourth album was played. “That was draining,” he continues. “The first time there’s that kid, I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK, whatever. I get it.’ The second time there’s that kid, you’re like, ‘Wanna know what? We’re happy. The four of us, we meant this and we’re proud of it.’ But, by the hundredth time, I just take it home. I don’t know how to shut it off. I want everyone to be happy, I want everyone to feel good, I don’t really want bad things to happen. I’m a wuss like that. The look on that guy’s face is just so 32 thisisfakediy.co.uk
haunting. Any time anyone says the name ‘Folie à Deux’, I remember that.”
0th November 2009: Fall Out Boy officially announce their indefinite hiatus. The four set off in entirely different directions. Patrick began to work on his soul-infused solo project, whilst Joe and Scott Ian began The Damned Things with Rob Caggiono (Anthrax), Keith Buckley (Every Time I Die), Josh Newton (ex-Every Time I Die), and Andy in tow. Meanwhile, Pete mixed DJing with new project Black Cards, which he felt was a refreshing change of scenery. “It was cool because it was noncathartic music,” he explains. “I got really into doing remixes and music that didn’t have words. It allowed me to explore a different side of myself, which felt less exposed.” “I think it was cool to explore different things, or go back to different things. Do some hardcore stuff,” adds Andy, who - even after The Damned Things - returned to his heavy roots a little more. “It was good to decompress.” Feeling exposed was definitely still a factor for Patrick, however, who put a lot on the line for his solo career. Having released his EP ‘Truant Wave’ in February 2011, he followed it up with a full-length, ‘Soul Punk’, later that year and began to tour. Despite admitting to having the time of his life, it didn’t take long for things to start going awry. “I had spent a lot of time putting together a group of musicians, and man, I love those guys. We would go have dinner
COVER FALL OUT BOY
together and hang out and all of these things that bands should do, but Fall Out Boy had kind of stopped doing. It was magical. I had such a blast. I’d be up there having the time of my life, and then there’d be some kid, like this...” He raises his middle finger. “My manager said to me when we started, ‘You know, solo projects are greater risk and greater reward. When someone says they like it, it feels a completely different way.’ And it does. There’s something that you own about it because it’s just you. But when someone says they hate it, that’s a whole other level. I thought it was bad on ‘Folie’? It was really bad on ‘Soul Punk’. It was like standing in front of the goal for a bunch of hockey pucks and just getting pelted in the chest.” At the other end of the spectrum, Joe’s time away seemed to go swimmingly. Whilst his band faced the obvious criticism from heavy music fans - after all, metal lovers tend to veer away from bands like Fall Out Boy - The Damned Things quickly garnered respect, and Joe finally began to stretch his legs as a songwriter. “I was surprised by the amount of positivity. I think that one of the most unfortunate things about that band was that we stopped doing it right when things were really kicking off. That was when Anthrax and Every Time I Die both wanted to do a new record.” Joe later turned his hand to a new project, With Knives. Focussing on a DIY aesthetic, it was, as he admits, “the epitome of selfish music. That was music we wanted to make, for ourselves and whatever the fuck you think, we don’t really care because we really like it.” Each member experienced a certain amount of success, but there was no eclipsing their former fame. With an entire lifetime of work behind them, there were inevitably dark days. “It institutionalises you in a way,” comments Andy, who recently admitted that the hiatus led him to suicidal thoughts. “That’s what you do; you’re with these people, you have this crazy schedule and then you have nothing. It’s hard to adjust. I wasn’t ready for it to end.” Wentz, who has openly struggled with depression in the past, mirrors some of Andy’s feelings. “There were dark
moments, but it wasn’t blackness. It helped me understand, and empathise with other people’s feelings. It forced me to look in the mirror and man up. I mean, I have a four-yearold kid, I felt like my life had purpose.” “With hindsight it was totally worth it,” Andy is quick to add. “It’s made everything better for everyone.”
here’s this notion that when you take a break from your band, you get frozen in ice, and they have to thaw you out,” jokes Pete. That’s not the case, just to clarify. “We were all people who had lives and were friends with each other. Me and Patrick would talk about stuff from time to time. We tried to write a couple of times, but it didn’t go anywhere...” “Pete and I never stopped writing,” Patrick offers. “But there were waves of thinking, ‘Yeah this is cool… Yeah, this isn’t cool.’ Us not really digging what we were doing. At some point, I thought that I should probably look into getting a proper job or something. Right after that, I was in this place where I was just ready for fun and I didn’t really care. There were a couple of songs that Pete really liked a lot, and he goes, ‘What do you think? Do we wanna bring this to the other guys?’ I was like, ‘Maybe, but there’s a lot of things that need to change if we’re gonna come back.’ Just like that, Fall Out Boy was back on the table. Granted, some negotiations had to take place; some things had to change. “Pretty much right away, I brought up Joe.” Patrick was adamant that both he and Andy needed larger roles in the band. With Joe having already proved his worth tenfold with both The Damned Things and With Knives, he saw no reason to waste his talent. “At this point, the four of us have grown into a strong enough bunch of dudes that we should probably integrate that, rather than keep this - quote end quote - ‘Pete and Patrick show’ going. That was my way of saying, ‘Okay, yes, I would love to come back, but I want Joe to be more in the band, I want Andy to sing. He sings great, I don’t see
COVER FALL OUT BOY
why at this point we’re a four piece band with no harmonies live; that’s kinda ridiculous as Andy’s got an excellent voice. I want to practice; we were so burned out that we never did that. Just basic things...” “We had a three hour conversation,” explains Joe. “I was the last guy that wanted to do it. It’s not that I hadn’t thought about it. When Patrick and I had our phone call, I had my list of stipulations, and he had thought so hard about it that he disarmed me by bringing up my entire list before I could. My biggest one was writing. I was like, ‘I can write. If I’m not writing in this band…’ I had this thought and he said it. ‘If you’re not writing in this band, then we should just let you go.’” It was a thought mirrored throughout the band, as Andy interjects: “Yeah, that was great for Joe, because we did The Damned Things and he was the main songwriter for that and then he did With Knives. It was really good for him to grow as a songwriter and come back into it as a much bigger piece of that puzzle.” Deals done, they secretly began work on their forthcoming fifth record, ‘Save Rock And Roll’; an album already markedly different thanks to the changes in their dynamic. “For all intents and purposes we were a new band in the studio. People had
different roles. It was an interesting process,” explains Pete. “I think the part that was really important was that we’re making a skeletal album. There’s not gonna be any fat. In the past, it’s always like, ‘Oh, this is one dude’s favourite song. I’m sure we’re never gonna play it, but we’ll put it on.’ It was a democratic process, but here, it was even more so. Now it’s like a representative democracy. If it’s not unanimous, it’s not on the album.”
With their new politics comes a rejuvenated respect for one another. Whilst some listeners might crave the band of old, their four year break has changed them in ways they might have never imagined possible. “I don’t want to lose Fall Out Boy,” states Joe. “I want to keep the essence of Fall Out Boy - I think we all do - but changes needed to be made for us to come back healthily and be happy about what we were making. Every day is positive. It sounds like such a happy ending, but it is. “A lot of people will ask, ‘Is it like it used to be? Is it like the old days?’
Fuck no! We fought like crazy in the old days!” laughs Stump, before Trohman pipes up: “In the old days I quit the band for two months once! We were all young, we were growing up, not being able to live in the moment and with ridiculously bad coping skills. We were completely emotionally immature. “While I can blame people within the band, or certain people, for making me feel pushed out, I can blame myself as well for not knowing how to assert myself, not having the skills. Now, growing up and going off and doing our own things in order to develop, I can objectively hear something, and go, ‘Maybe that’s not my thing, but I get why it’s a better thing.’” “We get to have our way. We have our places to do exactly our own thing,” offers Patrick. “This is our thing.” Joe is almost eager to continue his sentence, but Patrick stops him: “I think we should just end on that. It’s great. This is our thing.” Across the table, Stump offers his hand, and they shake in agreement, laughing at one another. Fall Out Boy may have had a tempestuous story up until now, but this is a whole new chapter. Fall Out Boy’s new album ‘Save Rock And Roll’ will be released on 15th April via Decaydance. Find a behind-thescenes gallery from their photo shoot in the 25th March edition of DIY Weekly, available from Apple Newsstand.
INTERVIEW CHARLI XCX
“IT’S KIND OF ONE BIG THERAPY SESSION.” 38 thisisfakediy.co.uk
QUEEN CHARLI X C X
THE FORMER R AV E KID’S F I N A L LY R E L E AS I N G H E R DE B U T. W O R D S : D AV I D Z A M M I T T
INTERVIEW CHARLI XCX
C more stuff.”
harlotte Aitchison, aka 20-year-old prodigy Charli XCX, is treating herself to a weekend in the country when we rudely interrupt her slumber. She’s on the cusp of the release of her debut full-length, ‘True Romance’, and her self-prescribed torpor is intended to preserve energy for a tour that will straddle both sides of the Atlantic. It doesn’t faze her in the slightest. “It’s gonna be dope, I can’t wait to go on tour. I played my first show in three months in Moscow and it was so weird and now I’m just freaking out – I want to go and play
When asked if there’s anywhere she’s looking forward to in particular, her lips curl into a smile. “Yes, I’m going to play in Miami on my headline tour in the US. I’m really excited about that because everyone I know says it’s amazing. I’m going to Florida as well, which is going to be crazy weird. We might have a day off in Orlando and go to Disneyland.” It’s a reminder of the precociousness of this talent, though it should be noted that she’s already a veteran of the London circuit, having broken on to the capital’s live scene in 2006. “I started playing shows when I was 14. I basically started travelling up from Bishops Stortford, where I lived with my parents, and playing these shows and raves. The first time I went to one I was told, ‘You’re gonna be on at 9’ so I got there for about 8 and realised that nothing really works like that; no one was there until 1, and I went on at 2. That world was alien to me. Then I got into that scene and I dabbled in putting on my own club nights and shows.” Since then she’s had the bit between her teeth, an abortive dalliance with art school surfacing in the interim. “I really didn’t enjoy art school. I didn’t leave because I wanted to pursue music, because I was already doing that. I don’t know – I was a very bad student. I know it’s an amazing place, and I did meet some amazing people there, but I just had this really weird disconnect.” Compromise doesn’t feature in Charli’s lexicon and identity forms the cornerstone of her approach
to both life and art. “I guess that’s why it’s this weird coming of age record for me. It’s kind of like a compilation of all my feelings and emotions. Every weird thing that goes on in my brain is in the record. It was a very emotional album to make because I feel that when you’re growing up – like 15 to 20 – that’s when you’re most like an insane person. Your life’s so dramatic in your own brain.” Given that two of ‘True Romance’’s singles, ‘Nuclear Seasons’ and ‘Stay Away’, date back to 2011, when she was just 18, you could assume its birth was an arduous process. Charli however, is keen to dispense with any notion of melodrama. “Making the record hasn’t been a tough process at all. I didn’t want to rush anything and I’m lucky that I have people around me who weren’t pushing me. I really wanted to take my time and make the record that I wanted to make.” It must be satisfying, however, to finally let it see the light of day. “Yeah, it is. It’s kind of a closed chapter in my
life, and when I was making the artwork I was like, ‘Wow, this is so weird, I’m holding this thing which is in this tiny case and it’s basically the inside of my heart.’ That sounds so cheesy but it is satisfying. It’s kind of one big therapy session.” The album is at its most striking when its poetry zooms in on the details of its scenes, deftly employing an imagistic sensibility, and her inspiration lies far beyond contemporaries within the industry. “When I write my lyrics I’m more inspired by movies or photographs or fashion than by other musicians or other songs. I always look at the film Carrie or photographs by Pierre et Gilles. I’m a very visual person and I want my music to feel visual, sumptuous, luscious and rich.” In terms of the sound, Charli has stated in no uncertain terms that the record is a pop album, and she’s careful to frame it as such. “Pop, for me, still is Britney and Christina and things like that, but right now it’s also a lot of cooler stuff - a lot of artists that just happen to be using pop melodies over much more interesting music. I don’t think of it as a bad word, I think of it as a really good word. My record doesn’t sound like a Britney Spears album – the production, the scenes, everything about it is different – but I still feel that the melodies are very pop.” Aitchison has vehemently championed female music, harking back to the chart suffragettes of the 1990s. “It was massive because of the Spice Girls, and Shampoo and stuff. It was a huge revelation. All of a sudden all of these kids were flicking up peace signs. I feel like what’s happening now is really cool, with Pussy Riot and these awesome girl artists that have come through. I think girls are making much more interesting music than guys at the moment. That’s just my opinion. It’s not just pretty, girl pop music. Everyone’s realising it’s ok to be a freak and I really like that.”
“GIRLS ARE MAKING MUCH MORE INTERESTING MUSIC THAN GUYS AT THE MOMENT.” Finally, we’re keen to discuss her collaborative bent. In her short career, Charli has already worked with alt-pop luminaries Starkey, Alex Metric, Icona Pop and Brooke Candy and her enthusiasm brims at their very mention. “I love collaborating because when you work with another artist you always get at something that you can’t on your own. There’s two brains and two different mindsets. My favourite that I’ve done is definitely Brooke. I think she’s the future. It was brilliant doing the song together. We hung out and there was this really good energy about it. I think she’s gonna blow up, so I’m glad I got to work with her before that! The Icona Pop thing was cool because that was my first part as a songwriter; writing ‘I Love It’ and then hearing them put their own spin on it. I’m really happy that it’s blown up a bit. I love all that shit and it’s fun, because being a loner, sometimes, is a bit boring.” With that, Aitchison goes off to relax before embarking upon the biggest adventure of her two short decades. Armed with exuberance and a steadfast conviction in her own ability, it sounds as though she’s ready to make the leap. Girl power, it seems, is in safe hands. Charli XCX’s debut album ‘True Romance’ will be released on 15th April via Asylum Records.
INTERVIEW THE FLAMING LIPS
F o u n t a i n s
W A Y N E
W AY N E
C OY N E
D E F I N I T E LY D O ES N O T H AV E ‘ T H E T E R R O R ’ . WO R D S : S I M O N E S C OT T WA R R E N P H OTO S : M I K E M AS S A RO
aiting for the Flaming Lips’ head honcho Wayne Coyne to arrive in one of those fancy ‘boutique’ hotels is a pretty nerve wracking experience; after all, with Coyne, anything can happen; and it often does. He doesn’t make it easy to settle the fear. He’s running late, the photo shoot ahead of our appointment hasn’t taken place, and when he decides to greet us first, his PR informs him that this isn’t happening yet. The receptionist stood filing her nails is unprepared for Coyne, it seems, as he imitates blowing us all away with a violent machine gun. “I could kill you all,” he grins, much to her (and our) consternation. This will be the first threat to our lives. Eventually we’re led by Wayne to his hotel room, ostensibly to discuss new album, ‘The Terror’, although as you’d expect, his conversation meanders way beyond that subject. He pours himself an orange juice and perches on a chair, and it feels a little strange to see him in this setting; not in his crisp linen suit, or the fur that he’s lately taken to wearing on stage, with no confetti gun or laser cannon in sight. Instead, he’s wrapped up from the London cold in a duffle coat, which he’s taken to asking everyone he meets if they like. You get the feeling he’s moments away from giving it to someone enthusiastic enough, although clearly he’s besotted by it himself. His grey suit is casually strewn across the bed, suitcases haphazardly left around the room. This trip, it seems he’s had no problems getting through customs, unlike the time when he accidentally set off airport security by forgetting he had a grenade in his luggage. “I was at a party, and I didn’t even really care about the grenade, it’s just the guy wanted me to have it.” Coyne is visibly riled by the memory. “So it got put into my bag. It’s empty, and really, the people there see them all the time. But the fact that it was
INTERVIEW THE FLAMING LIPS
“ I F YO U R ART SOUNDS LIKE IT’S MAD E BY A NARCISSISTIC ASSHOLE, T H AT ’ S P R O B A B LY W H O YO U ARE.”
me, and it was a Saturday, the TSA had to be called in. And it becomes a big deal.” “Part of me didn’t really feel like it was all my doing. I mean, it’s not against the law to carry those, just like you do a can of coke or whatever. I’m not trying to smuggle anything through, it was just a mistake. I wasn’t trying to hide anything. So the Transport Security Authority has to come in, has to shut everything down. I think everyone there knew, once we’ve pressed the button, we can’t go back in time. We’ve pressed the button, we have to go through the bureaucracy. To me, it’s just the nature of that kind of silly thing, where we know what it is, but bureaucracy demands we act a certain way. But in my life, I don’t live like that, I don’t live by laws that I think are stupid.” Stupid laws getting in the way of his fun is something that Wayne appears to get frequently pissed off over. In the UK, he tells us, their stage show has to be somewhat muted because of our Health And Safety regulations, and the Flaming Lips can’t get away with half the stuff here that they do elsewhere in Europe. “Fucking England is out of control... it’s too paranoid. Something must have happened here, everyone’s worried about fire codes.” But hang on, isn’t America the litigious nation? Aren’t you under the constant threat of being sued in your homeland? “People try but they don’t really get anywhere.” Coyne laughs. “The things that we can do around America and Europe, half the time we can never do them here. So yeah, you should change that.” We make a mental note to lobby parliament immediately. “It’s like any law though, they can make a law, and if you act accordingly and uphold it, who’s the worst? That’s the dilemma. In the early 1960s, where I live in Oklahoma City, there was segregation; black people had to go here, white people had to go there, black people had to go to these restaurants. And people accepted it. People would just say, well, that’s the law. And that’s not a law, that’s not a law that I would follow. Fuck you, I don’t agree, I’m not going to compromise. So you can make the law because you have more people on your side, but I’m not going to agree.” He looks us dead in the eye, before making the second death threat of the day. “You could say, I can kill you, but I’d say, I’ll kill you first.” He laughs, “You just wouldn’t live by those rules, and I just won’t follow someone’s laws that I don’t agree with. That’s my law. I make my own laws.” The idea of Coyne challenging the establishment isn’t a new one. In 2006, their ‘At War With The Mystics’ album shifted them beyond their beautiful brand of hippy psychedelia, into a far more political realm. America was at war with Iraq, and it didn’t take much delving to discern that The Flaming Lips were pissed off about the whole thing. Since then, they’ve moved in different territories, with their ‘Embryonic’ record evoking their old acid drenched freak outs, and ‘Heady Fwends’ featuring both brooding and batshit collaborations in equal measures. But ‘The Terror’ is all change again; choral chants mixing with occasionally ominous soundscapes. “I don’t know if
it’s dark,” he ponders, “Or it’s just not light. There is a difference.” We remind Wayne that over a year ago, he said that this album was going to be “very sombre songs that sound like they’re distorted transmissions from some religious cult from the future and they’ve found the answer. But the answer doesn’t work.” It’s turned out to be a fairly apt description. “It is!” He agrees, excitedly, “We were still making it then, but it sounds exactly like that! That’s great. I should write it down.” He takes out a pencil and begins scrawling on a scrap of paper. “Cool, I like that. It does sound like that. Yeah, yeah! Some of these songs, they feel like church songs, but they’re saying something different. Sometimes leaning that way, leaning that way...” That doesn’t mean that they knew what they wanted before they started recording ‘The Terror’ though, they were further into it than perhaps they were letting on at the time. “We’d already made most of it when I said that, most of it was already done in the first couple of weeks,” he admits,
“I DON’T KNOW IF IT’S DARK, OR IT’S JUST N OT L I G H T. T H E R E I S A DIFFERENCE.” “By then we’d decided, this would be the record. It’s almost a year since we’d finished it. People think that you write all the songs before you go into the studio. We don’t, we’ve never done that, we make up shit as we go. You can never really go in and say, that’s what we’re going to do. It isn’t that you know what you want, it’s just that you reject what you don’t want. By listening and... tasting, you know it’s not that. And what you haven’t rejected, is your record, is your art.” “With a group like us, we’ve made so much music, and we’re so open to whatever. I don’t think it’d be that difficult to think, by listening to our music that you know us. If you like our music, you probably like us.
Because all art is you. And if your art sounds like it’s made by a narcissistic asshole, that’s probably who you are.” He grins broadly, as a knock at the bedroom door dictates that our time in his world is over. We all shuffle into a small red lift, lit up by the neon glow of the green buttons, to head back downstairs. It’s just like being in The Matrix, we comment, unaware that we’ve given him the opening to leave us where we started; with a final death threat. “In that case,” he chuckles, “I can kill you now and no one will ever know.” The Flaming Lips’ new album ‘The Terror’ will be released on 1st April via Bella Union.
INTERVIEW BRITISH SEA POWER
BACK BASICS to
B R I T I S H S E A P O W E R A R E TA K I N G I T D OWN A NOTCH FOR T H E I R F I F T H L O N G - P L AY E R . W O R D S : G A R E T H WA R E
n the past we’ve gone to great lengths to try and do something adventurous, like going off to Poland or Montreal in the middle of winter. On this one I think we’ve tried to almost keep it quite domestic.” British Sea Power’s Yan (né Scott Wilkinson) is telling us all about their new record, ‘Machineries Of Joy’, and considering the influence that writing it in the Berwyn mountains in north east Wales may have had. “We recorded it in Brighton, where most of us live,” he continues. “There was almost a mindset of normality, of getting up, going to work, and then coming home again. I suppose it could’ve influenced it, but only in a sort of everyday, normal way.” The band’s fifth album comes after the dual, gargantuan offerings of ‘Do You Believe In Rock Music’ and ‘Valhalla Dancehall’. Speaking of a change in direction that puts the new record more in line with the dignified reflection of their second album, Yan opines that; “‘Open Season’ was recorded when we were all really tired after having been on the road for ages, so we were probably excited by normal things then as well. Maybe that’s some sort of a link.” He begins to expand on the record’s conception, detailing the processes of working alongside Dan Smith and Ken Thomas (David Bowie, Sigur Ros). “We got in a good sound engineer and used the local studio, which is decent but it’s not extravagant. We had a very simple approach this time, which came after spending two weeks in Wales, spent sitting around. Playing the songs together in order to see how they were coming along and which ones were working out best, and which were most fun to play and generated a warm feeling between us. There was less of a masterplan with this one, I guess.” Following the grandiosity of the likes of ‘Valhalla Dancefloor’’s ‘Cleaning Out The Rooms’ or ‘Once More Now’, the new record takes a simpler, though no less effective, route. Asked about the differing processes used to make the two records, Yan responds candidly. “I’d say it’s almost at different ends of the spectrum in terms of how we’ve done this one. ‘Valhalla Dancehall’ took a long time and we created these huge, very dense tracks with loads of atmospherics and loads of guitar and then tried to sculpt something out of these heavy, dense compositions. You’d spend ages working on a track and reach a point where you thought it was alright and then someone would come along and put on twenty tracks of distorted animals or whatever... “It was very experimental, you just kept going and kept
adding things and in the end just tried to make sense of what you’d done. With this one we rehearsed the songs a lot, then went into the studio and recorded them fairly quickly in a sort of old-fashioned way, I suppose. I wouldn’t say ‘Valhalla Dancehall’ was a mistake as such, but we definitely learned from it and didn’t want to do a record in that way again. Perhaps it was a reaction against that., to an extent.” Aside from their experiences in making their last longplayer and the reactive change of methods as a result, Yan is quick to acknowledge their recent involvement with the hypnotic archive collage of Penny Woolcock’s film ‘From The Sea To The Land Beyond’ had some bearing on their latest offering in terms of processes. “We tested out a few methods when doing the film, which mostly consisted of taking old songs and slowing them down and removing the vocals to fit in with the film better. We did it in the same way as the new record - we all went away for a couple of weeks and just played it musically together. We recorded it in the same place as we did the album, quite quickly and as a live band. We enjoyed it a lot - if it had gone wrong badly we’d have maybe had a rethink, but “SOMEONE as it seemed to go quite well we stuck with the WOULD plan! In a way it acted as COME a prototype for working methods and ideas.” ALONG AND
PUT ON TWENTY TRACKS OF DISTORTED ANIMALS.”
With comments angling towards a desire to make a warm, restorative record, that acts as an antidote to the trials of the current day-to-day climate, do the band think they’ve achieved their goal? “I was hoping to make a record that’d make a person feel better about their day - or lunch, or whatever time they were listening to it, rather than for it to challenge too much. It’s a bit more accessible, it’s not trying to tell you what’s wrong with your life – there’s enough shit going on with the world without wanting or trying to bring out more negativity. “There’s a few strange things going on in the background but I’d say it’s a bit like when you listen to ‘Walk On The Wild Side’ – without thinking about it, it’s just a pleasant song you know? If you think about what the actual subject is it’s quite weird, but it’s under the surface. You’re looking at all these weird people but in a sort of friendly way and seeing what’s beautiful about them rather than ‘Oh look, scary freaks!’ or whatever! So yeah, maybe it’s a bit like that...” British Sea Power’s new album ‘Machineries Of Joy’ will be released on 1st April via Rough Trade. 47
FIGHT RIGHT PA R T Y FOR
YO U R
LA SKATE PUNKS FIDLAR ARE RIPPING UP VENUES AROUND THE WORLD. WORDS: SIMONE SCOTT WARREN PHOTOS: CAITLIN MO GRID GE
he morning after the night before. And what a night before it was for LA quartet FIDLAR. You can see the tiredness in the slightly bloodshot eyes of guitarist / vocalist Elvis, who’s clearly feeling worse for wear. He sits quietly, head in hands, looking down at the table of the Italian restaurant where we’re gathered for a very civilised lunch. “What time did you party until last night?” Zac asks him. A mumbled reply suggests about three am, but the grateful reception our offer of painkillers receives, suggests it could be a little later. If at all. The restaurant they’ve picked out for our lunch date today is directly opposite the scene of the crime if, by crime, we mean FIDLAR’s blistering, frenetic show (and of course, we do). Having filled London’s Garage to capacity, the punk rock kids proceeded to cause their own particular brand of mayhem, with bodies and beer flying across the heads of the audience in almost equal measure. Which is, for them, all in a day’s – or rather night’s – work. “That was pretty mental,” Zac tells us, “but the night before in Bristol, that was even crazier. The power blew in the middle of the set! Everybody came up on stage, and when the power came back, everyone got off the stage, but all of our booze was gone. All the whiskey and beer.” He seems fairly okay with having their rider nicked, mind you. “Usually we’d be pissed off, but I thought that was kind of awesome. We would’ve done the same thing, you know, if we were in the crowd.” Bassist Brandon laughs, before telling us that the bloke who’d walked off with some of it, came to apologise later. Affecting a pretty decent English accent, he mimics the hammered FIDLARite, “‘I’m sorry guys, but I stole your drink.’,” he chuckles, “And he bought us the bottle back. Empty. And we were like, ‘Fuck you!’ That was good.”
They’re at pains to point out though, that despite songs about cheap beer and the reputation for partying hard, they’re definitely not beholden to the demon liquor. “When we play a show, we like to have fun.” Drummer Max, and russet haired sibling to the currently broken Elvis, interjects. “It’s not like, every day we’re in the van, pounding beers.” “Yeah, we’re not alcoholics,” Zac agrees, “but we party a lot.” The reality is, if they’re partying hard, they’re equally working just as hard. With a live set that appears to come with a pre-requisite memo to all audience members to get as rowdy as humanly possible, since the release of their self-titled debut they’ve been tearing up venues around the world. Last night’s moshing crowd is standard when the FIDLAR tour bus rolls into town. “I think it’s something about our shows,” Max considers, “People come expecting it to be wild. They read about it, listen to the music, know that we’re gonna have lots of energy so they come expecting it to be crazy. Which is cool.” It doesn’t seem to matter where in the world they are, the reaction is always the same; although when they’re overseas, they’re not quite sure what to expect. “Over here, it’s totally brand new to us.” Zac tells us,
“PEOPLE COME EXPECTING IT TO B E W I L D. ” “We go to a city and we don’t know anybody. Seeing these kids go crazy, it blows my mind. Because in the States, every city we go to, we know someone, you know. But this is like a
“SEEING THESE KIDS G O C R A Z Y, IT BLOWS M Y M I N D. ”
totally new thing over here. It’s pretty rad. And it’s been like that since the first show we played in London, it was crazy.” That first London show was at the relatively tiny Lexington, essentially the upstairs room in a pub. They joke about the venues getting bigger each time they come back, and the likelihood that if this keeps up, pretty soon they’ll be playing soulless enormodomes like The O2. “Especially in England, every time we play here, it’s like, bigger and bigger venues.” Zac looks slightly aghast at the thought. “We like playing small places. In Bristol, the capacity was 175, we like that. If it was up to me, I would like to stay doing shows like that. Just stay in the same city and play three shows.” There could be an upside. Because when you’ve written a song called ‘Cheap Beer’, a larger venue would potentially make it much harder for the audience to take proper aim when they throw their pints stageward. Currently, they’re beer-soaked nightly. With another, more highly strung band, you’d expect an element of regret that they end up drenched in ales on account of that particular track, but these boys are too laid back to care. “It works out, on the flipside, because people buy us beer all the time.” Elvis suddenly perks up a little, possibly aided by the arrival of his crostini, or maybe it’s the thought of a bit of a hair of the dog that makes him a little more chipper. “They’re like, ‘cheap beer, here you go!’” Next album, we suggest, they should include a song about the pricier beer. It’d be less likely to be get lobbed and more palatable all round. “We’re cool with any beer.” Brandon would like to make that point clear. “Yeah, we’re not snobs about only drinking cheap beer,” Zac clarifies. “We’ll drink expensive ones too.” They’re definitely preparing to sample the best brewskis the world has to offer, as they continue their slightly mammoth tour. “We’re doing a European tour, so we go to Amsterdam and Sweden, Milan...” Max says. Amsterdam? We can’t help but arch an eyebrow at the band, 51
“WE’RE NOT SNOBS A B O U T O N LY D R I N K I N G CHEAP BEER.” 52 thisisfakediy.co.uk
who’ve been known to dabble a little (cough) in a certain something that coffee shops in that city are noted for. “Yeah,” Zac laughs, “Scared.” Max laughs before deciding (wisely) to gloss over that point. “And then we fly straight to the US and do a US tour. Basically touring for like... the whole year.” “People think we just sit at home all day and do nothing, I think,” Brandon interjects. “I wish that is what we we’re doing.” “We’re fucking busy as shit all the time.” Zac points out, “We recorded our record, we make our own videos. The label helps us out... but instead of the label like, hooking us up with people, we do everything ourselves. A lot of bands don’t do that. Most bands don’t do that.” As they start to tell us about how they get everything done, it’s clear that, despite all outward appearances of the most laid back band in the world, they’re keeping staunchly in control of everything around them. “We call it worm making.” Elvis explains, “I mean, [Zac’s] brother in law makes all our videos. We’re in them. Sometimes. Or like, Zac will make those other videos that are on YouTube, that have pieces of other videos. We try to keep it, have our friends and family do stuff, rather than hiring outside people to do something creative.” Between his mouthfuls of pasta, Zac explains why it’s so important to them. “It’s like, sometimes outside people are like, ‘I wanna do this video for you’, ‘look at this poster I made’, and it’s cool that people do that. But sometimes people think that we’re a little different than we are, you know? It’s nice having our friends who are just like us, we all hang out together, and they understand.” “We have a crew back home,” Brandon picks up, “it’s like ten, fifteen people; they’ve been to every show since we started playing.” The foursome begin to detail the many jobs that their crew has undertaken for them over the last couple of years, before Max comes to a sudden realisation; “Essentially it’s a FIDLAR sweatshop!” And it seems as though there’s no lengths that their friends won’t go to for them.
“The first show we ever played,” Zac grins at the memory, “It was at mine and Brandon’s house, and our friend Milo went to Target... which is like, a big chain store, and stole 70 white t-shirts, and made band t-shirts out of them. He just came in with like a bag of shirts... and was like, ‘hey, I just made you guys shirts!’” Oh my. Things are more legit, now, right? It is, they assure us, although their light fingered friend is clearly still very influential. “He made the logo that we use. He makes the show posters.” It’s hard to reconcile the worse-forwear boys sat around the table with those who keep such a tight control over their imagery. But it’d be entirely wrong to suggest that they’re control freaks in any way, that they have their future wrapped up in some kind of seven point plan. Question them over when they think they’ll be back in the studio, and things get typically vague. “We haven’t really started thinking about it yet.” Brandon tells us, “I mean, we have a lot of songs that are recorded and stuff, we have tons of demos.” Zac pauses for a minute, as though trying to work out when they’ll have a break in their schedule. “I think we’ll be recording a lot of stuff in May. We’re gonna record a new song for the summer.” “We’re trying to get Dr Dre to produce our next record. I think that’d be pretty interesting.” Brandon deadpans. “He’s gonna produce our hip hop album. Think of the dollar signs. Follow the money...” Zac laughs. “I’d be down. That’s the next thing, we’re going hip hop, we’re going Beastie Boys on everybody. First record is a punk record...” Go on then, we goad them, give us a freestyle. Brandon refuses immediately. “I’m a lyricist, I’m an author. I think about what I’m doing. It’s flow-etry.” The entire band (even the soreheaded Elvis) collapse around the table laughing. Zac waves a fork at his bandmate. “You’re the fucking lyrist of a generation.” FIDLAR’s self-titled debut album is out now via Wichita.
B INTERVIEW PEACE
IS FOR... BRIGHTON?
PEACE SAMPLE THE DELIGHTS OF B-TOWN & HOVE. WORDS: EL HUNT P H O T O S E M M A S WA N N 54 thisisfakediy.co.uk
ON TOUR PALMA VIOLETS
hen the sun shows even the faintest sign of putting its hat on, we’re all prone to getting a bit over-excited. Packing up our buckets and spades, eagerly heading off to B-Town for sun, sea and sand, arcade games on the… What do you mean B-town isn’t Brighton? Are you sure? Uh oh. As sheer luck would have it, Birmingham’s Peace suffer the same geographical misplacement. We discover the slightly wind-battered foursome, huddled like penguins around the back entrance to Brighton Dome, but soon lure them to the seafront with the promise of slot machines. “What the fuck is this thing?” asks guitarist Doug, squinting blearyeyed as we pass the Royal Pavilion and its somewhat misplaced Persian architecture. The others all shrug nonchalantly in response, more interested in the nearby whiskey vendors. Peace are slightly fragile after a drinking session with tour mates Palma Violets, frontman Harrison 56 thisisfakediy.co.uk
explains, seeming extraordinarily bouncy in comparison. “I’m on a health-kick, ” he announces triumphantly, with a hint of superiority, “Giving up the drink. It’s bad for my voice,” conveniently ignoring the cigarette he’s mid-way through smoking. We arrive at the pier and present a gleeful Peace with plastic tubs, which they waste no time whatsoever cramming full with coppers. Mayhem ensues. “I want a toy!” shouts bassist Sam, lunging for the nearest Claw Machine, fixated on the illustrious prize of Papa Smurf. Meanwhile Dom, Doug and Harry have made a bee-line for the penny pushers, and are proceeding to gamble away everything, desperately shaking out their wallets to glean every last copper. A mere ten minutes later Peace are penniless. “I should’ve quit while I was still ahead,” tuts Doug, walking back down the pier a broken man. Having inadvertently turned our interviewees into possible gambling addicts, we quickly buy some appeasing lollipops as compensation, and bundle into the top deck of a nearby pub-cum-ship. Peace quickly forget their earlier arcade-based woes. Harry, too, seems to have forgotten
“ PEO PL E MAK E G R AN D S TAT E M E N T S , T H E Y L I K E C O M PA R I S O N S . ” about his health drive, wasting no time in ordering mulled wine. “Looks like we ended in the wrong B-town,” he says, shaking his head and gazing around at the port holes and flags. It’s certainly a far cry from Birmingham. Although Peace are enjoying touring all the other B-towns (“Bournemouth, Bristol, and then Brixton in a few days. Cardiff bloody ruined our combo.”) they still have a clear allegiance to their hometown, and the bands they share the scene with. “When we have banter with each other, there’s no rivalry,” says Harry on Peace’s friendship with Swim Deep. “We’ve known each other for so fucking long.” There’s been no bravado on tour, drummer Dominic tells us, and certainly no diva behaviour either. “We asked for 5 micro-scooters,” laughs Doug, “but we never got them, so we’re pretty pissed off.” Harry shrugs with feigned resignation; “At least we tried.” Peace are unsurprisingly having a great time on tour, terrorising various localities with the Palmas, and perhaps slightly more surprisingly, enjoying time off in the spa. “Miles Kane and his band like to go and be pampered and stuff, legends. We went to the spa as well...” discloses Dom. “We just sat in the pool
though,” interjects Sam, “not, like, massages or saunas or any of that shit.” Harry is quick to exclude himself too. “I actually stayed in my room and wrote two songs,” he laughs, “boring!” Being on the road, they tell us, is hugely important, and they really get into life on tour. “It’s a really genuine way of manifesting your sound, playing it live,” says Harry. The idea of honesty seems to be central to their debut too, and the band are proud of the finished result. “I’m looking forward to people hearing [‘In Love’], I hope they’ll connect with it,” Harry adds. “It’s definitely more about songwriting, saying something rather than dressing it up. It’s very straightforward, quite honest, it makes sense to be a bit more honest as a band.” Harry is equally open when we ask him about the transition from improvised lyrics to the more structured writing of the album. It was, he confesses, something of a learning curve. “It was something I really wanted to do, I wanted to learn how to write a song, properly. You know, an actual song, rather than just letting a song come from 57
nowhere, like I did before. It seemed it’d be way more fulfilling; otherwise it doesn’t mean as much, at all.” The help of producer Jim Abbiss was invaluable, he hastens to add, in getting the best out of the band. “He’s a great producer because he gets the best record out of you. He had the knowledge to fill in the gaps, especially recording-wise. The piano sound in ‘Wraith’; I wanted this really 90’s house feel, and he was like, ‘I have a piano module from the 90’s that you’re trying to sound like’. It was exactly the real deal, as soon as I dialled it in.” Despite feeling very comfortable in the studio, Harry is yet to find his ideal place to write, though. “I’ve always written on the road or in the studio. I imagine [my ideal place] would be some kind of lovely beach hut or a castle with wine and swords, but I’m yet to find the right place to write. Somewhere marvellous, I’m sure.” Meanwhile Dom appears to be suffering slightly across the table, and looks in a state of utter repulsion. “I’m sorry to interrupt, but this is horrible! Try it!” he says, thrusting the offending mulled wine our way. It tastes like a spice factory. “It’s repulsive isn’t it?” says Dom, finding our poorly veiled attempts at politeness hilarious. Harry is more willing to persevere. “I need some sugar in mine - it’s a bit mouldy. It’s just too much mulled, not enough wine. You can’t taste the wine. I can’t even taste the spice actually. It just tastes like, I dunno...” he pauses for a moment. “Shit. It tastes like fucking shit.”
Growing up in the 90’s has left one or two lasting impressions on Peace, though, although maybe not as you might expect. “I used to wear my sister’s clothes,” says Doug when we bring up our own childhood experience of jelly shoes and leggings. The rest of the band are besides themselves, hooting with laughter. “Not like dresses and stuff,” he protests, ”Leggings!” “He wears push up bras!” howls Harry, almost spilling the remainder of the mulled wine. Doug tries to retain composure. “Blouses, too. I quite like blouses.” Last time we met Peace, they famously brought along suitcases rammed full of glorious, enviable jackets for their Class Of 2013 photo shoot. As we admire the impressive array of textures and fringing out in force today, something is troubling us. Surely you can’t sweat it out in the summer in leather, we comment. Harry arches his eyebrow as if he is used to dealing with such clueless amateurs. “Ah, ah ah, but you can!” Doug rolls his eyes; “He claims not to feel the temperature.” Harry continues, unfazed. “Summer is a difficult time for everybody. You always need a jacket. I actually find leather keeps you at a good temperature in winter and summer. It doesn’t keep you especially warm or cool. I stick by leather.” Or stick to leather, perhaps, we laugh. “Maybe this summer will be the summer of robes,” he concludes.
“WE ASKED FOR 5 MICROSCOOTERS.”
With the brief trauma of cinnamon overload safely behind, we get onto the far more serious topic of expectation. After the release of Peace’s EP ‘Delicious’, critics started to bandy around comparisons to Foals and WU LYF, tag-lines like ‘the future of indie’, and ridiculous claims about guitar music began to surround them. “People make grand statements, they like comparisons,” reasons an ever measured Doug. Those comparisons, adds Harry, “made sense at the time based on one song, and it was flattering... but now I don’t think anyone could straightfaced make those statements.” Harry ponders for a moment, studying the lemon bobbing in his wine. “I don’t really think we took that much notice.” Far from bringing early, and perhaps slightly hasty comparisons to mind, ‘In Love’ seems far more rooted in 90’s nostalgia; we venture a comparison to Oasis’ ‘Definitely, Maybe’ instead. “My dad used to listen to Oasis a lot in the car,” laughs Doug. ”Kula Shaker too and Supergrass - all bands that I wouldn’t have thought would have influenced us at all when we started, but who knows.” Harry is keen to expand: “I think with our influences, we’re quite unconscious about them.”
Leaving behind empty wine glasses full of spicy sediment, we head back towards Brighton Dome, only pausing on our journey to look around a very strange armoury in a back-street, full of samurai swords and World War II shells. They point and laugh at the red military jackets made popular by a certain other four-piece. “We should wear those,” Harry jokes, “That’s not been done before.” “We should do war reenactments!” suggests Doug. We point out the conceptual difficulty, given the band’s rather anti-violence name. “War and Peace,” laughs Sam, “there’s your tagline right there.” Before we bid them farewell, we ask them what the plan is. To be a “real band,” says Harry “who put in a lot of work and make fucking good music, who aren’t boring. A boy can dream.” Thing is, watching them up on stage later, fronted by Harry wearing his Dad’s leather jacket, Peace are already the genuine article. Although despite the guitars, cigarettes and whiskey-swigging, they’re refreshing, upfront, and secretly, we suspect, complete softies at heart. But whatever else, Peace are certainly in no danger of being boring. Peace’s debut album ‘In Love’ is out now via Columbia. Read a Track By Track run through on thisisfakediy.co.uk.
“WE’VE A L W AY S B E E N U S , T H AT ’ S THE MOST I M P O R TA N T THING.”
YEAH YEAH YEAHS Mosquito (Fiction)
Are Yeah Yeah Yeahs the perfect band? Certainly you’d be hard-pressed to find someone – anyone, dead, alive, fictional – better-suited to front-centre stage than Karen O. It’s her showboating which allows the quiet genius of Nick Zinner to take hold, while the steady presence of Brian Chase keeps the pair, well, grounded. The trio’s self-titled debut EP, released back in 2001, set the scene. There was the coarse punk stomp of ‘Bang’; the brutal screaming and self-parodying wit of ‘Art Star’; the delicate, romantic coos of ‘Our Time’. Here was a band capable of being all things to all people – simultaneously. While never sounding remotely confused as a consequence. It’s a theme which continued throughout the threesome’s subsequent releases. 2003 debut full-length, ‘Fever To Tell’, gave us both the dancefloor-conquering breakthrough romp ‘Date With The Night’ and the majestically epic blub-fest 60 thisisfakediy.co.uk
(and, pre-smoking ban, lighter-friendly) ‘Maps’. ‘Show Your Bones’, which followed in 2006, offered up the pounding percussion of ‘Gold Lion’ alongside the sweet ‘Cheated Hearts’. Put ‘Rockers To Swallow’ from 2007’s ‘Is Is’ EP against anything from the synth stylings of 2009 album ‘It’s Blitz’. They all sound different. They all sound exactly like Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This is why ‘Mosquito’ shines so brightly. “We’re excited to share the good vibes,” says Karen O of the record. There’s enough “good vibes” within opener – and lead single – ‘Sacrilege’ to fuel ten albums at least. It’s not just upbeat, it’s massive. It’s not just massive; with the gospel choir joining in about two-and-a-half minutes in, it’s positively cathedral-sized. It’s a statement of intent: ‘Mosquito’ isn’t aiming small. Yet it’s largely a quiet record. ‘Subway’, with both its lyrical and musical references to the New Yorkers’ transport of choice (the percussive element here appears to be a sample of a subway train itself ) is slow and delicate; ‘Always’ is subtle and dream-like. ‘Under The Earth’ makes use of Eastern-influenced organs and layered percussion to take
TRACKLISTING Sacrilege Subway Mosquito Under The Earth Slave These Paths Area 52 Buried Alive Always Despair Wedding Song
hold. ‘These Paths’ is another to put Karen’s vocals firmly at the centre, their vulnerable side shown off by the deft use of samples. The band are arguably at their most powerful when they make use of layered sounds; ‘Maps’, their musical high point, took time to build, and it’s similar moments here which show the trio’s skill off best. ‘Despair’, perhaps the most ‘Maps’-like moment on this record, takes the repeated (though slightly altered) lyric “my son is your son” and carnival-esque melodies to kick in fully towards the end. Closer ‘Wedding Song’ is quietly epic, Karen’s cooing vocals placed alongside piano, the song growing and growing, building and building until it’s gone and the record ends open-mouthed. But it’s not all subtleties. Undoubtedly the most immediately brilliant song is the title track. ‘Mosquito’, with its simple repetitive refrain and ‘Psycho Killer’ bass line is nothing short of genius. “I’ll suck your blood!” Karen repeats throughout, equal parts spite and silliness. ‘Area 52’ is even less serious. As the title hints, it’s a crunchy, sci-fi themed punk romp. “I wanna be an alien”, goes the refrain, with more than a wink to the Ramones, a
cheerleader-style chant among space-age effects. And yet that’s not the strangest point of the record. ‘Buried Alive’ is, at some points, classically Yeah Yeah Yeahs; the chanting chorus is backed by disco-esque pulsating beats. Then there’s the rap. Which, despite on first listen (and without a tracklist to hand to pre-warn), causing shrieks of “HUH!”, makes complete and total sense. Without going in to the complex, chequered history of rap, rock and disco; this is a track which suits Karen’s vocals at their most confident, dancefloors, and the guest slot from Dr Octagon – the sometime alter ego of New York rapper, Kool Keith. Like Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ discography, it’s a mixed bag: perhaps slower than many were hoping after the synthheavy ‘It’s Blitz’; the talk of a return to guitars had many a fan digging out their copy of ‘Fever To Tell’ with hopeful ears. But no less brilliant; the magic here is less visceral than their debut, but far more accomplished than many may have given the trio credit for. Sounds layered upon sounds; the intricacies may hint towards ‘Mosquito’ being more of a grower than its older siblings, but it proves that Yeah Yeah Yeahs are a band to cherish. (Emma Swann) 61
BRITISH SEA POWER Machineries Of Joy (Rough Trade) Written in the Berwyn mountains in north Wales and recorded in Brighton, ‘Machineries Of Joy’ draws together the disparate styles that British Sea Power have touched upon previously and ties them together with their own idiosyncratic signature. Whether it’s the krautrock of the title-track opener, the dead-eyed thunder of ‘Loving Animals’ or the touchingly esoteric ‘Hail Holy Mary’, each song is engrained with BSP’s unique and eccentric identity that’s shot though with Yan’s angelic, distinctively androgynous voice. The scope of their imagination, not to mention the vast array of the projects they’ve taken on, only serves to highlight the band’s vaulting ambition. We need more bands like British Sea Power. (Danny Wright)
Seabed (R&S) Vondelpark blend influences as disparate as The Cure and Portishead into the template laid out by acts like The xx and R&S label-mate James Blake. Led by the band’s creative driving force, 21-year-old Lewis Rainsbury, they’ve managed to make an album that is, by turns, melancholic, hypnotic and dream-like. While the vocals are often unintelligible, emerging from the haze and then receding again before taking on any clear form, they often serve a more rhythmic and atmospheric function, as on title-track, ‘Seabed’. It results in a fine album of rich, smooth, sunset-songs. ( Johnny Owen)
Light Up Gold (What’s Your Rupture / Mom + Pop)
The appeal of ‘Light Up Gold’ is hard to define. But every time you play it, you feel like it’s filling some kind of a void. Any diehard fan of punk staples will enjoy the maddening, abrupt flow of it all. Tracks spanning below the two minute mark are a constant thrill - no doubt about it. But that extra step, that missing piece illuminates when you find yourself, midway through a quiet walk, perhaps, feeling like you’re a part of the band. You shout words in unison with Andrew Savage’s bold chants. It’s an album about encountering everyday boundaries, like the price of a ticket home or a messed up sleeping pattern. It’s punk unbounded, both structurally and emotionally. When you hear this record, and no doubt when you see Parquet Courts, everything lets loose. ( Jamie Milton) 62 thisisfakediy.co.uk
Here’s Willy Moon (Island) ‘Here’s Willy Moon’, the singer’s debut album, is pretty good. The strings that begin opener ‘Get Up (What You Need)’ are joined by a clever hip-hop beat, but there’s even more to it than that. Moon’s sound, and just about everything else, takes a lot of influence from 50s rock and roll; he’s found his niche, but it needs honing. Still, for a debut this is a brave attempt. ‘Fire’, with just the right tinge of darkness and minimal fanfare, is a real treat. Lyrically, with mentions of Midas and Dionysis, it’s very smart; there should be more of this, instead of references about wanting to get the girl. It’s hit and miss, but ‘Here’s Willy Moon’ kind of does what it says on the tin, and you can’t really ask for more. (Coral Williamson)
Each track bears its own merits, but as a whole, the album feels a little confusing. Jumps from sharp tongued, rhythmic tracks like ‘Now’ in to lively pop ditties such as ‘Still Into You’ are strangely pulled off, but not without leaving the listener wondering quite how they manage it. Some tracks lie firmly in the realm of mainstream pop, whilst others boast influences from the funk and soul projects that litter two of their pasts.
PARAMORE Paramore (Atlantic)
The last three years have been fairly turbulent for Paramore. Having lost two founding members and had their laundry aired in front of the world at the height of their popularity, many would’ve crumbled under the pressure. Not this band though, not this time. Slimming down to a three-piece, they’re out to prove the haters wrong. Digging into a studio in Los Angeles with former Beck bassist and M83 producer Justin MeldalJohnsen, they’ve spent the majority of the last eighteen months perfecting the follow-up to 2010’s ‘Brand New Eyes’. The result is maybe not what you’d expect. For Paramore, this album is more about flexing their creative muscles than fitting in with their legacy. Moving away from the oh-so-very “Paramore-y” hooks and guitar lines of past, this time around, the trio choose to explore all manner of musical journeys.
Meldal-Johnsen also makes good on his promise to synth the band up; in fact, only a handful of its seventeen tracks don’t bear some electronic work. Juxtaposed with three interludes that stand as ukelele-infused confessions, this feels like a group lost. Strip back the layers though, and some the band of old is still under there. This fourth record sees Hayley Williams truly test her vocal range, while Jeremy Davis and Taylor Yorke really step into the spotlight with heavy basslines and intricate guitar parts. Tracks like ‘Proof ’ and ‘Be Alone’ pack an almighty punch. Most notable of all though, are ‘Part II’ – a re-imagining of ‘Riot!’ album track ‘Let The Flames Begin’ which includes their infamous live outro – and closer ‘Future’; a raw and intimate intro that leads into a crescendofuelled post-rock soundscape. This may not be what we were expecting, and it may not be the Paramore that we’ve come to know and love. But, here are a band still discovering who they are, and this album stands as an important step on that path. (Sarah Jamieson)
Fast In My Car Now Grow Up Daydreaming Interlude: Moving On Ain’t It Fun Part II Last Hope Still Into You Anklebiters Interlude: Holiday Proof Hate To See Your Heart Break (One Of Those) Crazy Girls Interlude: I’m Not Angry Anymore Be Alone Future
THE KNIFE Shaking The Habitual
(Brille) Listening to this album is like closing the door and turning the lights off: you have no choice but to give in to it. Paranoid and uncertain, ‘Shaking The Habitual’ is 13 tracks and 98 minutes long with six songs over eight minutes and one clocking in at 19. You’ll have heard ‘Full Of Fire’, a bracing fusion of jarring synthesisers and pounding drum loops, Karin singing over what sounds like the laugh of a possessed baby. It’s expansive, full of textures and spaces between sounds; tone is often as important as structure. Of course, it asks as many questions as it answers. But that seems exactly the point. Is it too long? Probably. Is it worth investing your time in? Undoubtedly. Both heavy and cumbersome and light and uncertain, it will prove difficult for some to find an entrance to it, but once you’re inside you’ll find yourself enveloped by its bold experimentation and the stunning way they execute it. Karin Dreijer Andersson and Olof Dreijer still sound like no one else around. (Danny Wright)
THE FLAMING LIPS
True Romance (Asylum)
As the opening notes of ‘Nuclear Seasons’ seep through the speakers, it becomes apparent that Charli XCX is an artist much more mature than her years. Her songs of heartache come across as genuine and honest. It doesn’t always work, but ‘So Far Away’, ‘What I Like’ and single ‘Stay Away’ are great examples of what she is capable of. But all too often the standards let slip. ‘Take My Hand’ and ‘Set Me Free’ don’t do her ability any justice at all. She has the ability to carve out some gorgeous pop songs, but seems to be trying to cover too many bases. Still, ‘True Romance’ is a commendable first release, and despite some of the low points, makes an enjoyable listen. ( Jack McKenna)
(Polydor) You get the distinct impression that James Blake believes in space. Not in the great dark expanse which hangs overhead, but the thing which no one can now afford in London. Because ‘Overgrown’ sounds vast. The songs on it are gaping, echoing caverns, something that is exaggerated by the fact that Blake often chooses to put very little in them. Even more so than on Blake’s debut, they’re engineered with an almost inhuman precision. But the problem with it is you find yourself admiring it, not falling in love with it: for all the vast amounts of atmosphere it creates, nothing much happens, too much of it doesn’t engage. ‘Life Round Here’ squelches, sighs and at the three-quarter mark starts to pulsate in such an excited fashion such that you think it’s going to explode. But it never does. Always subtle, usually elegant and generally very easy to appreciate, but never implanting itself onto your mind with red-hot intent. ‘Overgrown’ demonstrates that for all Blake’s myriad talents as a producer he still isn’t able to carve a great song out of a simple idea. (Tim Lee) 64 thisisfakediy.co.uk
The Terror (Bella Union) Wilfully bleak, wilfully obtuse, wilfully awkward and wilfully ugly. ‘The Terror’ is all questions, and that might be the most unsettling thing about it. The Flaming Lips are a band that have always seemed so convinced by their truths, a band that had the answers to the big questions. But this is so abstract, so removed from fact or conviction. What they seem to be aiming for; this absolute bleakness, this slab of discomfort, has definitely been achieved. ‘The Terror’ is the sound of the seriously strung-out, the feeling of being so sleep-deprived your mind plays tricks. It’s a flashlight shining in your eyes. It’s dystopian. It’s somnambulance. It’s all those things, and those things are impressively realised. (Dave Rowlinson)
A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart (Domino)
Life can be pretty tough for members of indie bands who decide to go it alone. Just ask John Squire. Every Stone Roses is a Seahorses waiting to happen. Former Coral guitarist Bill Ryder-Jones’ first album, 2011’s ‘If ’, thankfully cast aside any doubts concerning his skill. ‘A Bad Wind...’ continues in the same vein, residing in singer-songwriter territory. His vocal delivery sounds as though he’s forcing each word out through cracked lips, and the accompanying music fits perfectly, whether it’s building mournfully on ‘He Took You In His Arms’ or the Nick Drake-ish ‘By Morning I’. ( Johnny Owen)
BORN RUFFIANS Birthmarks (Yep Roc)
From the very first notes of opener ‘Needles’, it is plainly clear that ‘Birthmarks’ is unlike anything Born Ruffians have produced thus far. The vocal calmness and delivery that Luke Lalonde musters here is more in keeping with that of Ryan Pecknold’s than his own traditionally raw yelping style. Lyrically, the distinctly laconic reflections that were so aggressively spat out on previous outings remain, only now they are more poignant than before, forcing their way to the fore of every track. This is the sound of a band that have not only rediscovered themselves, but have relished in the process of doing so. Whilst not necessarily as endearing as their previous records, ‘Birthmarks’ may in fact be better. (Ben Ross)
BLEACHED Ride Your Heart
(Dead Oceans) Bleached is the new project of sisters Jessica and Jennifer Clavin, both former members of the now defunct LA garage punk group Mika Miko. Compared with their previous band, here the Clavins seem to have taken a step back in time. There are elements of surf rock that give the record a bit more of a California vibe, although often it feels like whole tracks have been fed through some sort of Instagram filter to achieve a grainy, retro effect. Perhaps this a record that works better under the summer sun, but right now ‘Ride Your Heart’ doesn’t sound much more than a showcase for surfy style and lo-fi charm.(Digby Bodenham)
SWEET BABOO Ships (Moshi Moshi)
‘Ships’ presents the classic indie dichotomy; Sweet Baboo is heartbroken. That seems pretty clear from listening to the lyrics. But the music makes you feel the opposite: its relentlessly upbeat feel is as though he’s only just fallen in love. It’s a mélange of brass and giddy rhythm sections. It gets so helter-skelter at times it can feel a little too sweet but it’s clever enough to not go that far very often. In parts exuberant and giddy, in parts dejected and heartbroken, this is a quintessentially British record – think The Kinks and Gorkys, think tender witticisms, think seaside waltzes. It’s a record to raise a smile and shed a tear to. A record to keep you company and let you know eveything’s (hopefully) going to be ok. (Danny Wright)
29/4/13 !!! THR!!!ER NEON NEON Praxis Makes Perfect SEASICK STEVE Hubcap Music
6/5/13 LITTLE BOOTS Nocturnes NOAH AND THE WHALE Heart of Nowhere PRIMAL SCREAM More Light STILL CORNERS Strange Pleasures THE CHILD OF LOV The Child Of Lov SAVAGES Silence Yourself 13/5/13 LITTLE GREEN CARS Absolute Zero MARK LANEGAN & DUKE GARWOOD Black Pudding MARQUES TOLIVER Land of CanaAn MS MR Second Hand Rapture PURE X Crawling Up The Stairs SHE AND HIM Volume 3 WAMPIRE Curiosity 20/5/13 THE BAPTIST GENERALS Jackleg Devotional To The Heart TRIBES Wish To Scream 27/5/13 LAURA MARLING Once I Was An Eagle 65
Comedown Machine (Rough Trade) There are many important artists, but very few worldchanging ones. The Strokes, it’s easy to forget after the near-universal dismissal of 2011’s ‘Angles’, are definitively in the second category. One minute the suburbs were all baggy skater jeans, bulky trainers and baseball caps. The next, skinny jeans, Converse, and messy shirt-and-tie getups. The difference? They’d seen a Strokes video. It’s hardly surprising, then, that everything the band have done – will ever do – is, and will be compared almost universally unfavourably to 2001’s ‘Is This It’. 2003’s ‘Room On Fire’ gave us the brilliant ‘Reptilia’, ‘12:51’ and ‘The End Has No End’. ‘First Impressions Of Earth’, which followed three years later, offered ‘Juicebox’, ‘Heart In A Cage’ and ‘You Only Live Once’. These are hardly forgettable singles; but they weren’t ‘Last Nite’ or ‘Hard To Explain’. ‘Comedown Machine’ has done the best thing The Strokes could have done. Ignored The Strokes.
On initial listens, ‘One Way Trigger’, the first of the album’s eleven tracks to be put ‘out there’, sounded batshit: an AHa-aping synth line with falsetto vocals, as if Julian Casablancas had taken to ‘doing Whitney’ on karaoke. A few more plays and it couldn’t be anyone else; the unmistakeable chord changes, the foreboding sense of ennui. Nobody does boredom like The Strokes. It’s just shifted from dive bar boredom to swanky hotel bedroom boredom. “What kind of asshole drives a Lotus?” Julian ponders on standout ‘Welcome To Japan’, as angular post-punk guitars and an ominous bassline pound around him. It’s all very 80s. Opener ‘Tap Out’ introduces us right away to – yes – the broadening of Julian’s vocal range, alongside guitars right out of ‘Too Many Broken Hearts’ (this is not, one might add, a bad thing). ‘Slow Animals’ takes things further, almost whispering at times, and by ‘Chances’, with its laid-back synth backing, he’s channelling Prince. Elsewhere, ‘80s Comedown Machine’ is tired-sounding organs and Ultravox’s ‘Vienna’ (both positives), and ‘Partners In Crime’ sounds like Phoenix taking on show tunes: it’s
almost happy. Closer, ‘Call It Fate’, meanwhile, is prettily jazz-like; think ‘Ask Me Anything’ from ‘First Impressions Of Earth’ reinterpreted as dream sequence. ‘Comedown Machine’ is not, then, the most straightforward of albums. But it’s a clever one. The Strokes could’ve dusted off their baseball boots, partied like it’s 2001 and re-created their debut. It would’ve been an easier move. Instead, it seems, they’ve played around, tested themselves – unburdened themselves of anyone’s expectations other than their own – and won. (Emma Swann)
Tap Out All The Time One Way Trigger Welcome To Japan 80’s Comedown Machine 50/50 Slow Animals Partners In Crime Chances Happy Endings Call It Fate, Call it Karma
Afraid Of Heights
(Mom + Pop) ‘Afraid Of Heights’ soars above the scuzz of 2010’s ‘King Of The Beach’. The riffs of ‘Demon To Lean On’ are seasoned with the elements of grunge first touched upon in the 2011 ‘Life Sux’ EP, and elsewhere has a distinctive pop-punk nuance drawing similarities to 90s staples Green Day and Weezer. ‘Lunge Forward’ and ‘Beat Me Up’ incorporate a raw insouciance, yet still manage to uphold the West Coast lo-fi element that’s been present on every Wavves release so far. ‘Cop’ and the title-track, however, present something new: have Wavves - gasp - grown up? Maybe not, but there’s something here that begins to verify that ‘slacker-pop’ isn’t the only weapon stored within the band’s musical armoury. It’s a far stronger and much more accomplished effort, sounding more like an apposite album than any of Wavves’ back catalogue. It’s the most perfect thing to have emanated from the San Diego outfit; themes of anxiety and depression may not have sounded this promising since the height of Nirvana’s success. ( Jonathan Hatchman)
ALBUMS FROM THE LAST 3 MONTHS
BIFFY CLYRO Opposites
Angular, interesting and delivered in that trademark Scottish drawl, ‘Opposites’ doesn’t let up for a second. And when they do slow down, Biffy show their ear for a pop song better than ever. (Stephen Ackroyd)
The Still Life (Bella Union)
The last time we heard from her, Alessi Laurent-Marke was lending her soft vocals to the tactile soundscape of Orlando Weeks’ side-project Young Colossus. It seems she’s taken detailed notes from that experience on new album ‘The Still Life’. Gone are the understated melodies of previous record ‘Time Travel’, replaced by more elaborate arrangements instead. That’s not to say she’s completely abandoned the lullaby folk demeanour: ‘The Good Song’ and ‘Hands In The Sink’ see Alessi return to the form we’re used to, with delicate plucks of guitar and fragile, enchanting vocals to match. But it’s definitely a progression from her last album into a more profound and polished sound. (Hannah Phillips)
Vanishing Point (Sub Pop)
Let’s face it, ‘Vanishing Point’ was never going to re-invent the wheel; there will be few people buying picking up this record out of anything other than nostalgia. For the most part it feels languid and laboured, weighed down with history and a seeming reluctance to push beyond the path of least resistance. Gone is the rawness that characterised their youth, swiftly replaced with the velvet jackets and cigar psuedo-loungeband stylings of tracks like ‘What To Do With The Neutral’. A once powerful urgency has waned and the garage-y production that once served their style so well now feels paper thin when married to meandering and deeply unfocussed sketches of songs. They should probably know a little better. (Tom Doyle)
Imagine if Nickelodeon had made Skins: baseball caps, skateboards, ripped stonewash jeans. Never has the putrid stench of house parties – stale lager, weed, sweat – smelled so exciting. (Emma Swann)
Clash The Truth
This is Beach Fossils taken to a new level. There’s a sharply-defined clarity offered here on ‘Clash The Truth’, an accomplished album that should see Beach Fossils leave behind lo-fi slacker pop’s balmy evenings. (Martyn Young)
KURT VILE TALKS TO DIY’S SAMUEL CORNFORTH ABOUT ‘WAKIN ON A PRETTY DAZE’. Where did the title come from? It’s just a play on words. The tone-setter for the record is ‘Wakin on a Pretty Day’ the song, and I wanted to focus on that. And also the word ‘daze’ is a daydream sort of affair. So it smears that across the whole record. How did the Steve Powers artwork come about? We had a mutual friend. He got in touch with me about something else, I needed a cover and it just worked out perfectly. I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s got really cool pop-art vibes, lots of colour, on epic proportions. And it’s a change from the last record, which was so grey.
(Glassnote) In many ways ‘Bankrupt!’ ditches the pop overtones and immediacy of its predecessor for something more textured and restrained. It’s not as immediately potent as ‘Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix’. Where that was the swaggering, bon vivant Parisian, this is slightly coyer and more cynical about things – and all dressed up in an 80s suit. It makes it a record that takes a little longer to sink in, and indeed on the first few listens it seems a little undercooked. It’s slightly more reserved and it’s only after a few listens that ‘Bankrupt!’ really gets under your skin, as repeat listens reveal the charms of the more understated tracks. The almost slowed down R&B of ‘Chloroform’ is struttingly great, “I don’t always tell the truth,” Mars almost winks, while ‘Trying To Be Cool’ is all smooth bass, handclaps and twinkling synth. After the immediacy of ‘Wolfgang...’, this could seem like a sidestep. But delve deeper and it reveals itself as a gem; one which mixes their crowd-pleasing hooks with an inventive shift in sound. (Danny Wright)
KURT VILE Wakin On A Pretty Daze
(Matador) ‘Wakin’ On A Pretty Daze’ is something akin to letting Kurt Vile take you on an impromptu road trip, finding yourself a passenger to the album; the scenery rushing by without definition is relaxing if not entirely fulfilling. It’s easy-going and charming, without ever having the focus or intensity to be insightful, definitely not a life-changing album, but potentially a life-affirming one. It’s not desperately grasping for the listener’s engagement but nevertheless has just enough changes of pace and instrumentation to reward whoever lets Vile’s ambling rock songs wash over them. In this respect it is perfectly encapsulating its title, an album you wake up on, confused and optimistic, that comes to life with you. Its meandering ways may endear or annoy in equal measure, but it’s hard to argue that there is a consistency or pure quality to see this album rank alongside its illustrious predecessor. (Matthew Davies)
THE BEST OF
TRACKS TOMORROW’S WORLD Tomorrow’s World
(Naïve) Air’s Jean-Benoit Dunckel and Lou Hayter of New Young Pony Club together as Tomorrow’s World make dark, cinematic pop. It’s dreamy, but not necessarily happy. The lazy ‘A Heart That Beats For Me’ opens proceedings, wallowing in luxury with sparse but well-placed vocals. ‘Think Of Me’ carries things on; it’s the simultaneous feelings of post-coital bliss and being loved from afar, in sonic form. The vocal pairing is absolutely perfect, and as a collaboration, it’s an interesting listen. But it never really goes anywhere, and feels almost too complete as a collection of cinematic love songs. (Coral Williamson)
LAURA MARLING Where Can I Go?
Marling’s blossoming in to one of our finest songwriters has been a real joy and, ahead of her fourth album ‘Once I Was An Eagle’, she now finds herself very much established as a writer of rare quality. A continuation from the intimate hushed blues of previous album, there’s a lightness and ebullient spirit to ‘Where Can I Go?’, with a soaring organ that belies the dark lyrics and gives it a truly lovely quality. (Martyn Young)
VAMPIRE WEEKEND Diane Young
‘‘Diane Young’ places Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig’s vocal theatrics firmly front-centre. It’s the jumping, part-sampled, part-shifted, crazy frog-like gulps that - surprisingly - form the song’s strongest hook. Elsewhere it’s a game of what haven’t the New Yorkers thrown in the mix: backing vocals weave in and out of a horn section, the middle eight is a glorious cacophony of noisy guitars, crunching beats and if that’s not odd enough - the track’s final notes sound suspiciously like beatboxing. (Emma Swann)
SAVAGES She Will
COLD WAR KIDS Dear Miss Lonelyhearts
(Downtown) Cold War Kids’ fourth album, ‘Dear Miss Lonelyhearts’ faces a similar struggle to the band’s previous effort, in so far as it doesn’t quite achieve what you so hoped it would. It’s a decidedly mixed affair, treading ground that bounces between confident streams of electro-fizz at its start, and sparse plodding material that occupies much of its middle. Forget any references to blues-rock, if anything, tracks like ‘Lost That Easy’ and the power-pop of ‘Jailbirds’ place the band firmly in Killers territory. As a whole, it feels slightly temporary and detached, largely thanks to its uneven pacing and experimental streak, which after similar grievances with ‘Mine Is Yours’ comes as a bit of a let down. (Bevis Man)
‘She Will’, from its opening rush of krautrock-style noise, right up to singer Jehn’s concluding shriek, is an experience. It’s the closest Savages have come to replicating their live set up, where drums pound through the stage floor and into your chest, where Jehn cuts a manic figure, unrelenting in movement and frustration. No question: Savages have something spectacular up their sleeves. ( Jamie Milton)
SMITH WESTERNS Varsity
On first listen, it seems Smith Westerns have stuck to what they know and do so well: ‘Varsity’ is ace, with its sugary sweet vocals and glossy chords. However, after closer inspection the true brilliance is revealed. The dreamy surges of synths are layered with a feeling of optimism, Cullen’s charming delivery of ”oohs” makes your heart race and knees weak, it’s the sensation of falling in love. This is - by miles - the most complete pop song they have produced. (Samuel Cornforth) 69
photo: fraser stephen
CHVRCHES T H E ARCH ES , G L AS G OW
o witness CHVRCHES’ biggest headline show to date, in their home city of Glasgow, is to experience a kind of sonic alchemy. With all the dynamic and vigour of an anthemic rock concert combined with some of the best electronic pop melodies and hooks you’re ever likely to hear, the trio have swiftly grown in to an arresting live proposition. They are yet to release a physical single, but here tonight, every song is met with a rapturous reception. Something special is happening. It’s clearly a thrill for the band to be playing The Arches. Vocalist Lauren Mayberry is almost aghast
with delight as she thanks the crowd for making the show a sell-out. The threesome cleverly foster that collective bond between band and audience that makes it a closely intimate affair, each bouncing off the other. From the first booming drum beats of ‘Lies’, it is clear that CHVRCHES’ live show has been beefed up to another level; a startling light show gives the performance a sensory power that stimulates throughout. More importantly, though, the band sound massive. A hefty throbbing pulse of beats and synths runs through almost every song. The joyous, twinkling melodies of ‘Lungs’
and ‘We Sink’ may immediately stand out, but it’s a number of deeper and darker songs which really excel. ‘Science/Vision’ is the best of these, a startling piece of foreboding, intense, techno, the enveloping red hue of the lights a fitting companion to the music’s dystopian grandeur. The addition of a new song with lead vocals from keyboardist Martin provides a welcome change of dynamic before the final one-two punch of ‘Recover’ and ‘The Mother We Share’, the latter providing a suitably stirring moment for a band who are becoming ever more compelling with every performance. (Martyn Young)
60 SECONDS WITH
So, here we are in Glasgow on a Saturday night and it’s the final date of the tour. How has it gone so far? It’s been incredible. I’m blown away on every level. The responses, considering people have only had the chance to digest three tunes to an extent, is staggering. This is the first headlining tour, we’ve peppered a few headlining shows when we were first on the scene but this is the first legitimate run of shows and it’s been really exciting. I’m right up for tonight actually. It kind of feels like a proper hometown moment. A special one for the band. Do you have a lot of friends and family coming along tonight? Yeah, I guess that’s the difficult thing about the hometown shows. When you go and play a show in London it’s a different kind of pressure, I don’t really bother about that sort of thing. It’s much worse if you fuck up in front of your Mum and Dad or the people you drink with, “look at the state of him,” they’ll say! Do you have any special moments of attending gigs or club nights at The Arches?
Over the years I guess more often than not when I’m in the Arches I’ve had a few too many drinks and it’s dancing until three in the morning. It’s got such a rich heritage especially within the dance scene in the city and it’s a perfect venue to wrap up the tour. I think this may be the last chance to hang out before the madness starts. Are the new songs that you are integrating into the set connecting straight away? Yeah, it’s a good way to judge based on how they go down live, how strong the tune is, where it fits in the set and whether it should be on the album.
photo: mike massaro
SOUND CITY PLAYERS
THE FORUM, LONDON
s an experiment, tonight’s Sound City Players show at The Forum in Kentish Town would have even the nerds of The Big Bang Theory scratching their heads at the muddled results. Is it a success? Some would think so, but many leave not entirely sure if they have witnessed something sublime or a self-indulgent curio. A collective of musicians that feature in Dave Grohl’s Sound City documentary; the Sound City Players - backed by most of the Foo Fighters as a kind of house band - they have all recorded significant albums at the legendary studio. Here in lies one of the problems of tonight’s show. All the good will in the world can’t hide the fact that the selection of musicians who’ve made the trip to London have made very little impact on British soil, and - most tellingly - on the assembled and mostly youthful Foo Fighters fans that pack out The Forum. If you can’t get the whole crowd to sing along to classic Eighties hit ‘Jessie’s Girl’ then you’re fighting one hell of a losing battle. The Foos’ charismatic drummer Taylor Hawkins later takes over singing duties and is joined by Nirvana’s most welcome,
tall and imposing bassist, Krist Novoselic and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen on guitar. Cue the audience finally going bananas. Cheap Trick classics ‘I Want You To Want Me’ and ‘Surrender’ get people in the party mood and the crowd are showered with a multitude of guitar picks. With high hopes for who the special guests would be it begins to feel as if London has been ‘diddled’ in comparison to the handful of dates played in the US: they got the likes of Stevie Nicks and John Fogerty. But this is to cheapen the whole point of the evening which, if you see past the slightly muted audience and the lack of stadium-filling names bar the Foo Fighters themselves, is a rare and glorious chance to essentially witness a relatively intimate jamming session with some truly great musicians who are clearly having a blast. (Christa Ktorides)
SWIM DEEP XOYO, L O N D O N
rom tonight’s show, it’s clear to see the Birmingham circuit isn’t the only one Swim Deep are taking by storm, having managed to sell out Shoreditch’s XOYO, bringing their grunge-pop and positive vibes-laden sound to the capital for an intimate showcase. Boasting a crowd concocted of hipster sovereignty, members of Peace and Spector’s Fred Macpherson in attendance alongside a herd of fans, they’ve filled the venue to capacity. “I don’t take requests,” beams frontman Austin Williams, “but if I did…”, he continues, before warbling in to the first four bars of Oasis’ ‘Wonderwall’. It’s just one of the moments which pinpoint the band’s playful side. Then comes uplifting new single ‘The Sea’ with its crystal-clear soundscape, after having unleashed predecessor ‘Honey’ pretty early on in the set - long before arguably the most exciting fixture in their scarce back catalogue, ‘King City’, which guides the crowd in to a buoyant frenzy followed by stage dives from almost all band members to bring a triumphant show to an enigmatic close. Tonight proves Swim Deep are a true reckoning force. ( Jonathan Hatchman)
photo: Sarah Doone photo: Michael Gallacher
S T E R EO, G L AS G OW
n a musical universe where, instead of Elvis, the Beatles or the Stones, the brightest shining stars are Bo Diddley, Kraftwerk and Sun Ra, Liverpudlian quartet Clinic find their orbit. Since their first EP in 1999, Clinic have established their own paradigm and finely honed their singular sound. Green-lit dry ice like a cloud of poison gas envelops the room and the lively crowd greet Clinic’s trademark surgeon’s scrubs and masks as if there’s nothing remotely sinister about them. ‘You’, from seventh LP ‘Free Reign’, dispenses with drums in favour of programming but retains a time-honoured melodica riff. Hypnotic, metronomic, absorbing, at times downright Dadaist, Clinic can turn their hands to almost any genre and still sound distinctly themselves. “IPC”, says frontman Ade Blackburn, his interjections polite yet minimal from behind his torn mask. He’s referring to debut single ‘IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth’ – wherein Clinic’s template was established early on – clever titles, heavy beats and enigmatic vocals. Within the space of a few songs they’ve invoked trip hop, heavy psych, baggy, surf and happy hardcore, all without ever really sounding like anything other than 100% Clinic. For all their strange trips, stylistic ticks and rhythmic repetition, they never become self indulgent and remain one of the most peculiarly distinctive bands around. (Lucy Brouwer) 73
photo: Richard Isaac
EARLS C O UR T, LO N D O N
loc Party are one hell of a confident band, whatever their quiet disposition might suggest. The four-piece have chosen Earls Court as their London venue of choice - a 19,000-capacity monster, where an artist will either go down in history or suffer humiliation at the hands of a half-filled arena. It’s no wonder, then, that Kele Okereke takes to stage with the words: “This is a very emotional time. Please bear with us.” As the coloured ring from the cover of latest album ‘Four’ illuminates the stage, the packed venue roars when the opening bars of ‘3x3’ fills the air. The set showcases the changes the band has undergone over the past few years. Not so long ago, the four-piece, dressed in skinny jeans and motif T-shirts, were friendly but reserved onstage, offering little in the way of crowd interaction. It’s refreshing to see that a few album releases and one musical separation later, they’ve embraced the adoration, consistently telling us throughout how pleased they are to be playing to such a crowd and that they’re glad to be “back”. Oh guys, we’re glad to have you back. They spend the majority of their stage time blasting through latest album ‘Four’, but it’s tracks from 2005 debut, ‘Silent Alarm’ that really get the fans going: as the opening bars of ‘Helicopter’ pummel the air, there’s beer thrown everywhere. (Wendy Davies) 74 thisisfakediy.co.uk
HAMMERSMITH AP O L LO, LO N D O N
emind me again who’s the original super-fly? And I got love for Hov but I ain’t fucking with that ‘Suit & Tie’.” It’s hard to tell whether this is a carefully choreographed diatribe to court controversy or whether we’re witnessing a nervous breakdown live in West London. Whichever it is, one thing is clear: it’s not surprising. This type of rant is standard fare for Kanye now. You’re kind of expecting it – the hypocrisy of it all, the self-awareness and the humour. He knows we’re expecting it. The only thing you hope is that it doesn’t detract from the show. Because it’s extraordinary. It highlights, if it needed highlighting, what a superstar Kanye West is. The Apollo is an intimate gig for him now and tonight it seems to scarcely contain his ego; he’s pulled out all the stops. Yet, all the ridiculousness of everything else, tonight Yeezy manages to pull off intimate and grandiose at the same time very well. It is just him on stage and at times it feels very stripped back; an incredibly hard dynamic to pull off. The rants, the diamond masks, the stadium-sized screens crammed into a tiny venue and the fake snow. This is undoubtedly the most bizarre, crazy, entertaining Saturday night out in a while. (Danny Wright)
Spring may have sprung, but the year’s fourth month isn’t traditionally linked to wet weather for nothing. So this month’s collection of must-haves and would-likes has a distinctly wet-weather flavour.
opposite page Duckhead auto-open umbrella, Sky Blue £16, americanapparel.co.uk Skullcandy Navigators, blue £84.99, uk.skullcandy.com Peregrine Fisherman Cagoule, £169 peregrineclothing.co.uk Hunter Original Gloss boots, Cornflower £85, hunter-boot.com this page DEAF HAVANA ‘RAIN’ T-SHIRT £15 DEAFHAVANA.FIREBRANDSTORE.COM Fallen Craft Jacket £58 fallenfootwear.com Kanken Classic backpack, Ice Blue £55 ilovemykanken.com Pantone mug, Printers Blue £10 heals.co.uk ASOS Blue beanie with Anchor £10 asos.com Farah Vintage George Polo £45 farah.co.uk Bucketfeet Cloudwalker shoes £45 exclusively via office.co.uk 77
Upcoming projects, a n d F i lt h A n d X - M e n : D ay s o f F u t u r e Pa s t.
y the time you’re reading this, cinemagoers would have spent March enjoying James McAvoy in two very different but equally electrifying London-based films. We meet McAvoy in a London hotel to talk about Welcome To The Punch, the slick crime thriller from Shifty director Eran Creevy, and a couple of days later am pummeled by Danny Boyle’s mindbending Trance, in which he plays a corrupt art auctioneer forced to undergo hypnosis when a heist goes wrong - think a steamy, shocking Inception. One thing you can never say about McAvoy is that he gets typecast. From Shameless to Narnia, from The Last King Of Scotland to X-Men: First Class, from Atonement to Wanted, there’s no guessing what the Glasgow-bred talent will do next. We ask if the fact there’s no such thing as a typical James McAvoy role is deliberate. “I’m really glad you say that, because that is a conscious decision,” he admits. “To begin with you just take whatever parts you get offered and then you take the best of the work that’s offered, but as you get more experience... you start to make some decisions. The only decision I’ve ever really made is that I want to keep doing different things.” With the actor also playing the despicable Edinburgh detective in the suitably outrageous and deliciously vile adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Filth this year, he’s making up for being absent from our screens in 2012. “You do a film like X-Men and you think, well, I could keep going and going, or you know, think I’m lucky enough to get in X-Men so let’s use it. I know there’s going to be another one in a couple of years so I can take a bit of a break. And also the main reason there’s a break, is that Welcome To The Punch and Trance both were filmed two years ago but held back for later release, so this is a nightmare that they both decide to come out the month I open in the West End! There’s no sleep in my house. After X-Men we’re going on holiday.” McAvoy is sporting his Macbeth beard, grown for Jamie Lloyd’s visceral, dystopian and very much Scottish production at Trafalgar Transformed. With X-Men: Days Of Future Past set to film this summer, will he be comparing Macbeth stories with Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart? “Yes,” he laughs, before revealing it looks like Nightcrawler himself Alan Cumming will also be back. “He’s also currently doing a splendid Macbeth, apparently. He’s got the toughest job of any of us as he’s doing a one man version. So yeah, I’m quite looking forward to a bit of a Macbeth-off. I’ll be like, c’mon, Gandalf, bring it!” (Becky Reed)
PLACE BEYOND THE 9 THE PINES RELEASED: 12/04/13
Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance presents an engrossing, cascading story in this tough and beautifully acted drama, best enjoyed cold, so don’t seek plot specifics beforehand. The film explores the effect a series of characters have on each other in a rippling narrative. Cianfrance always gets the best out of his actors, and Ryan Gosling steals the show here as a dangerous enigma of a man. It’s a magnetic performance from the star, while Bradley Cooper also gives a great account of a conflicted man struggling with integrity in more ways than one. Dane DeHaan arrives towards the end as a troubled teen, but is sadly a less interesting character than the rest in the angsty final act. An articulate, ambitious film and a fascinating piece of storytelling. (Sam Faulkner)
ABCS OF DEATH 7 THE RELEASED: 26/04/13
26 letters, 26 ways to die. That’s the premise of this two-hour collection of shorts from the most promising directors in the genre, who expose their warped psyches. The results are hilarious, troubling, juvenile and shocking, but there’s never enough time for things to get scary. Xavier Gens, Adam Wingard and Srdjan Spasojevic impress, the Japanese pieces go too far, and Ti West should just hang his head in shame. Look out for ‘T is for Toilet’ by ace claymation YouTube hero Lee Hardcastle. (Becky Reed)
8 SIMON KILLER RELEASED: 12/04/13
The underrated Brady Corbet gets the standout role he deserves in this slow-burning study of a handsome young American sociopath holidaying in Paris. Afterschool director Antonio Campos creates a feeling of disorientating dread in this chilling, sordid portrayal of manipulation, as Simon befriends a friendly prostitute (a brilliant Mati Diop). Despite the title, this is more Talented Mr Ripley than Maniac, and that Martha Marcy May Marlene director Sean Durkin produced is apparent. (Becky Reed)
AND SONS 7 PAPADOPOULOS RELEASED: 05/04/13
Stephen Dillane stars as a widowed British Greek entrepreneur about to lose his fortune after an unfortunate market crash who re-opens the family chippy with estranged larger-than-life brother Spiros (an energetic George Corraface). Learning to reconnect with his children and embrace his past, Dillane stars alongside his reallife son Frank, who displays some of his father’s onscreen presence. Writer/ director Marcus Markou’s labour of love is a slight but charming tale. (Christa Ktorides) 79
R E T RO GAME OF THE MONTH
INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US
(Warner Bros) Xbox 360, PS3, Wii RELEASE DATE: 19/04/13 Jump into the capes of some of the most iconic heroes and villains of the DC Universe in this brand new fighting title in which the lines between good and evil are blurred. More importantly, you’ll get to see if Batman can beat up Superman, the perennial question of our childhoods finally answered.
METRO: LAST LIGHT
(Deep Silver) Xbox 360, PS3, PC RELEASE DATE: 17/05/13 The underground-dwelling sequel to the ‘flawed masterpiece’ Metro 2033 takes place in a post-apocalyptic Moscow and finally arrives next month. Gamers are thrown into a desperate civil war for control over a doomsday device that threatens to destroy humanity, mixing elements of survival horror with tense first-person shooting.
OUT NOW AND COMING SOON
PAINKILLER: HELL & DAMNATION
(The Farm 51) Xbox 360, PS3, PC RELEASE DATE: 05/04/13 Although released on Halloween last year for PC and branded as ‘too evil’ for Germany’s markets, this demon-slaying FPS remake slithers on to consoles for the first time. As Daniel Garner, you must blast your way through the grotesque underworld on the hunt for a final soul in a pact with Death.
(NAMCO BANDAI) Xbox 360, PS3, PC RELEASE DATE: 26/04/13 We’re not going to make any ‘final frontier’ or ‘boldly going’ references here, but we will boldly go on to say that this third-person action adventure is the final frontier when it comes to the story of Kirk and Spock. Based on the 2009 film, you and a bud can take on the two iconic characters, blasting and nerve pinching your way through a new Vulcan colony.
D U N E (Cryo Interactive) Commodore Amiga, 1992
I must not fear. Fear is the mindkiller. Fear is remembering Cryo’s 2001 Dune video game stinker. But this one – this is as precious as the spice Melange. Before the universally praised RTS granddaddy Dune II: Battle For Arrakis there was this partiallyfaithful homage to Frank Herbert’s complicated sci-fi saga and David Lynch’s incoherent movie. It mixes graphic adventure with basic strategy as you discover the secrets of the sand-coated planet of Arrakis in the role of Paul Atreides. To cut a very long story short – you have to mine the planet for its most precious substance, the spice, while fending off the Harkonnens, utilising the help of the planet’s indigenous sand-dwellers, the Fremen. It’s an immersive, slow-burning adventure that builds from operating a small mining campaign to fully fledged assaults on fortresses and changing the planet’s ecosystem. Without prior knowledge of the story, Dune can be bewildering, but Cryo do a great job of building Paul Atreides’ character. Sadly, it’s marred by slow-paced repetitive jobs like sending spice to the Emperor and individually commanding troops across the map. That aside, Dune is a curious game worthy of exploration to discover hidden villages and Fremen sietches it won’t otherwise present. Dune II did a fantastic job of developing the strategy, but 1992’s Dune focused more on the important story of the sci-fi series, and is well worth revisiting. Plus, you get to play as Kyle MacLachlan. Unfortunately, it also features Sting.
WITH BIOSHOCK INFINITE LAUNCHED IN MARCH, WE GOT SOME TIME WITH CREATIVE DIRECTOR KEN LEVINE TO CHAT ABOUT THE GAME’S DEVELOPMENT, THE RICHNESS OF ITS THEMES AND CREATING AN ALL-NEW SETTING – THE FLOATING CITY OF COLUMBIA.
“We thought one of the great joys of BioShock was that sense of discovery. You only really get that once, so for us to do a new BioShock game we thought it was really important that it should be in a space that feels as fresh and unique as the first. Unfortunately for us, that meant having to create all that!” “We had done two games, System Shock 2 and BioShock where you’re served a silent protagonist, and thought there’s only so many times you can play that trick. So we thought, let’s go in the opposite direction, and let’s make a character with a real background and a real personality, then make a
companion for him to be with.” And that companion turned out to be Elizabeth, a fully AI character who accompanies you throughout the story. But Ken was adamant to point out her purpose in the narrative. “We didn’t want her to be someone you had to protect – you never have to do that. She’s a huge part of the narrative, but she’s also a huge part in combat in the sense that she doesn’t shoot, but can toss you resupplies, or look under the cushions on a couch if you’re low on money.” Speaking of its real-world influences, Ken went on to explain the BioShock universe’s technological leaps.
“You get the best of both worlds; all that cultural, scientific stuff, architecture, art, silent movies, but you can also just say ‘Hey, let’s add floating cities’. We are careful with what we add though. We try to limit the amount of leaps we take, because the greater the leap the greater chance of someone saying ‘hmm, I dunno’. We try to unify the technological leaps we make as much as possible. All this history is just there to be played with and explored.”(Sam Faulkner) BioShock Infinite is available now for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. Read the full interview on thisisfakediy.co.uk/games
(Mimicry Games) iOS
This definitely won’t be for everyone. Mimicry Games specialise in ‘experiential’ titles, and here we have to go through the muted, emotional turmoil of traversing through an airport, saying goodbye to loved ones, checking-in and - finally - leaving. Where? Fuck knows. Doesn’t matter. Leaving is a brave, brief and odd embodiment of a ‘moment’ – a crossroads - featuring no story, exposition and barely any input. Think of it like an interactive poem. Fortunately, its heavy-handed sentimentalism never tips over into melodrama. It simply underlines a subtlety and artistry that can often get lost under yelping marines and complicated load-outs. Although, if that’s your bag, Leaving will likely make you want to shoot a yelping marine via a complicated load-out. If you thought Heavy Rain was a dull-em-up, stay away from this – it’ll either resonate with you, or leave you cold. But if you like games about leaving in which you leave and do nothing else but leave, then Leaving is spot on. 81
BACK PAGE UNCLE EDDIE
E D D I E A R G O S I S H E R E T O H E L P W I T H A L L YO U R P R O B L E M S . Why is it that older Englishmen have such bad breath? - Mr Wayne Coyne, Oklahoma City Before I answer this question let me just clarify two points. Firstly I did not solicit this question from Mr Wayne Coyne in person, my oral hygiene is very good. My breath smells like a combination of cherry blossom and Vimto, a beautiful smell I think you will agree. Secondly this is supposed to be an advice column and the only practical advice I am able to offer to Mr Wayne Coyne here is that he should stop sticking his nose into the mouths of elderly english gentlemen. Now that is cleared up let me address his question. Mr Wayne Coyne I’m very sorry that your underdeveloped sense of smell is unable to appreciate the fine aged musky wheeze often exhaled by my elder English countrymen, I find this is a problem common in many Americans. May I suggest perhaps going on a course to get a broader understanding of the varieties of exhalation that exist. With time I promise your senses will mature. There are many interest82 thisisfakediy.co.uk
ing smells to enjoy, especially on the continent but please remember there is no such thing as good and bad breath, just different breath. Soon a whole new world will be open to you. ---------------------------------I complain more than the guys in the band. On a minor level, if my back hurts or whatever I probably shouldn’t say anything. How do I go about internalising it? I don’t internalise anything - I just put it out there. But I’m with a bunch of men who internalise everything. How do I internalise? Tell me HOW! - Miss Marnie Stern, New York Dear Miss Marnie Stern. I’m afraid you have come to the wrong person with this problem unfortunately I share a similar affliction. Lead singers often find it hard to discern the difference between sharing fascinating insights into our lives and complaining about our bad backs. I think you will agree it is a fine line dividing the two.
Consequently my advice would be to not give a fuck about what your band think and do what you want. I decided a long time ago to stop internalising anything whatsoever and now I say every single thought that enters my head aloud, sometimes very loud. I reckon about 75% of what I say is interesting and luckily people tend to forget the other 25% as it is boring, so I’m always remembered as being a very open fascinating person. I recommend that you try the same. Internalising is for losers. However if you do feel the need to give the impression to your band that you have learnt to internalise (when in fact you haven’t) may I suggest starting a secret twitter feed called @ MarnieSternFindsItImpossibleToInternalise where you post all of your gripes and moans out into the world. You will feel like you’ve told someone even if the only person that has found the twitter feed is a mad fan or a relative and the act of typing the problem out and sharing it publicly may stop you feeling the need to unburden yourself to your band. Hope I’ve helped, Eddie Argos X
Fainting By Numbers– Watching the Wheels/ A Stone In The Ground Limited Edition 12” Vinyl | Download
“delicate, romantic bleeps and pulses designed to move your prefontal cortex in the same way Hot Chip move your feet. Downbeat but delicious” NME “wistful, synth-pop sound and slow, synth-driven beat” Pitchfork
FAINTING BY NUMBERS is Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor and nu-German compu-soul maestro Justus Kohncke. Their debut single is a sublime cover of John Lennon’s classic Watching the Wheels and an original track A Stone In The Ground Available on 15th April
Sunless ‘97– Aurora EP
Casual Sex– Stroh80
Limited Edition 12” Vinyl | Download
Limited Edition 7” Vinyl | Download
“sweet synth gem, as blissful as its first namesake” NME
“recalls Bowie’s Berlin melodrama best” This Is Fake DIY
“the secret sweetest pop song I’ve heard this year” The Fader
London trio SUNLESS ‘97 release their new 4-track Aurora EP on Not Even Out Now www.facebook.com/sunless97
“the best Scottish indie band since Franz Ferdinand” The Guardian
CASUAL SEX release their debut single Stroh 80 on the Moshi Moshi Singles Club Available on 1st April
London show at The Social on 9th April www.facebook.com/casualsexmusic
Sweet Baboo– Ships Limited Edition 12” Vinyl | CD | Download
“irresistible pop melodies” The Line Of Best Fit “Sweet Baboo sits in that great Welsh psychedelic folk lineage. One to file alongside Gruff Rhys, H. Hawkline and Gorky’s” Clash
SWEET BABOO’s fourth studio album–Ships is released on 22nd April. Features the singles Let’s Go Swimming Wild and If I Died...
FULL UK TOUR IN APRIL
22 - Leicester (The Firebug) 23 - London (The Lexington) 24 - Oxford (Academy 2) 25 - Stroud (The Prince Albert) 26 - Northampton (The Lamplighter) 27 - Nottingham (Chameleon Arts Centre) 28 - Birmingham (Yardbird) 29 - York (The Basement) 30 - Chester (Telfords Warehouse)
1 - Hull (Fruit) 3 - Halifax (The Doghouse) 4 - Leeds (Live at Leeds) 7 - Glasgow (King Tuts) 8 - Newcastle (Heartattack & Vine) 9 - Manchester (Irish Centre) 10 - Sheffield (The Bowery) 11 - Cardiff (Clwb Ifor Bach) 17 - Rochester (Royal Function Rooms) www.sweetbaboo.co.uk 83
Featuring Fall Out Boy, The Flaming Lips, Peace, Charli XCX, FIDLAR and more.