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icona pop Poliça Sleigh Bells Los Campesinos! yuck




free / issue 23 / o ctober 2013






What’S on the DIY team’S raDar? Victoria Sinden Deputy Editor GOOD Halloween. Christmas. Bonfire Night. Christmas. EVIL Trying to whittle down our bands of the year.

eDItor’S Letter

As I write the DIY bunker is trying desperately to working out who our band of the year is (it’s for a thing, more on that next month). One name, amongst your Foals and Arctic Monkeys that keeps coming up - Paramore. They’ve had one hell of a 2013. From two bodies down and a promised new direction, to an album so bombastic it’s knocked the doubters for six, they’ve earned this cover. Someone get me a gospel choir. Hallelujah! Stephen Ackroyd

GOOD Paramore are finally on the cover of DIY. This. Is. Amazing.

EVIL @yelyahwilliams doesn’t follow me on Twitter yet. This sucks.

this month IN numbers

6 1 717 5 56

Various b-town band members spotted watching Peace in the Old Blue Last.

Fireworks our cover band wandered off with after our shoot.

James Murphy x Arcade Fire collaborations we’d be willing to listen to.

People who agree Jamie looks like a gnome in his new hat.

Minutes Kanye West talked over Zane Lowe in his infamous BBC interview.

Louise Mason Art Director GOOD Playing with fireworks on the cover shoot EVIL The tiny hurricane at Festival Number 6. Jamie Milton Online Editor GOOD Putting together the first pieces for DIY and Neu’s ‘Hello 2014’ gigs at London’s Old Blue Last. It’s my version of Christmas. EVIL Being photographed interviewing Peace while trying out a new “beanie phase” and regretting everything Sarah Jamieson News Editor GOOD I am a little bit in love with the dress that Hayley Williams donned for our cover shoot this month. EVIL I cannot get my head around the fact that it’s October. Do not want such dark nights already.

LISTENING poST what’s on the diy stereo this month? Swearin’ Surfing Strange

Second fuzzy album in two months from Waxahatchee’s sister Allison Crutchfield. Cut Copy Free Your Mind

Dancing shoes at the ready Melbourne’s finest are back.









22 27



3 0 YO U N G FAT H E R S




What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

42 ICONA POP “It’s like a pop war!”


“We’re very angry people.”

Editor Stephen Ackroyd Deputy Editor Victoria Sinden Reviews Editor Emma Swann News Editor Sarah Jamieson Staff Writer Gareth Ware Art Director Louise Mason Head Of Marketing & Events Jack Clothier Online Editor Jamie Milton Assistant Online Editor El Hunt Contributors Andrew Backhouse, Bevis Man, Coral Williamson, Danny Wright, Huw Oliver, Jay Platt, Kyle MacNeill, Laura Eley, Martyn Young, Nathan Standlee, Neil Wood, Samuel Cornforth, Shefali Srivastava, Tim Lee, Tom Baker, Tom Doyle, Tom Morris Photographers Abi Dainton, Carolina Faruolo, Matt Richardson, Mike Massaro, Sinéad Grainger For DIY editorial For DIY sales tel: +44 (0)20 76130555 For DIY online sales tel: +44 (0)20 76130555 DIY is published by Sonic

50 SLEIGH BELLS “We can sound however we want.”

Media Group. All material copyright (c). All rights reserved. This publication may not be

50 56 4



“The point of this record was to stay excited the whole time.”

reproduced or transmitted in any form, in whole or in part, without the express written permission of DIY. 25p where sold.


“There was some weird shit going on.”

Disclaimer: While every effort is made to ensure the information

60 LOS CAMPESINOS! Let It spill

rEviEWs 64


in this magazine is correct, changes can occur which affect the accuracy of copy, for which Sonic Media Group holds no responsibility. The opinions of the contributors do not necessarily bear a relation to those of DIY or its staff and we disclaim liability for those impressions. Distributed nationally.


Q 8/10 UNCUT

LEAF presents

plus special guests

Sunday 10 November LONDON Oval Space 0844 811 0051 5



It’S HaIm TImE



his fucking road!” huffs Alana Haim, amid a commotion of button-bashing and scuffling on the line as she searches about, unsuccessfully, for somewhere quieter. Haim are in London for the final countdown to their long-awaited debut ‘Days Are Gone’, and the band have just left Radio One’s Live Lounge after covering Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’. Despite cursing the “busy-ass streets”, the band are pleased to be back in London. “I actually consider London as my second home,” Alana says, “because it’s the only place that I’ve landed that’s not LA, that I’m just like, ahh! Usually we stay in hotels, but this time we had the best idea, we got a flat. Me, Este, Danielle and Dash [the band’s touring drummer] are renting a place in Shoreditch. We feel like Londoners, we wake up here in the morning, we go and get coffee, we have our little flat.” The feeling in the UK is mutual. From the top spot in the BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, to the Pyramid Stage set at Glastonbury this summer, Haim have more or less been adopted as honorary Brits. It’s rubbing off on Alana, apparently. “We haven’t done high tea yet, but I’m definitely taking on some of the British slang words like ‘jumper’ and ‘the loo’. I’ll be talking to my friends in LA, and I’ll be like, oh that’s such a nice jumper! They’ll be like, ok, Alana, you’re back in LA now can you please stop.” After months of hard work, the final wait before Haim’s record comes out is proving a challenge. “The waiting game is the worst,” Alana exclaims. “We turned it in a couple of months ago, and now it’s like, holy shit! Now I want everyone to hear it and party and have fun with it. I hope everyone likes it because we spent so much time on it. When we turned it in we knew it was ready because we actually couldn’t listen to it any more.” This summer has been massive for Haim, the pinnacle, for Alana, being Glastonbury. “I feel like every band dreams about playing Glastonbury, and the fact it was our first time playing it, we didn’t have a record out, and they put us on the Pyramid 7


“BecaUSe YoU’re HaImazIng...”

After performing on The Andrew Marr Show in front of Prime Minister David Cameron (you what? - Ed), it seems the trio have a new fan. “Great to meet @HAIMtheband on Marr,” Call-Me-Dave tweeted afterwards, “looking forward to listening to the album they gave me.” Drenge have reportedly sent a promo to Barack Obama in retaliation.

Stage, was huge. We got a call, so we were like, oh shit, that’s amazing! Then they said ‘you’re playing the Pyramid Stage,’” she pauses for effect. “You’re fucking kidding me, right?! We were so honoured to play, there’s nothing like Glasto.” She’s quite right. It’s a huge achievement captivating crowds that colossal for any band, let alone a band with just one EP, ‘Forever’ to their name. This summer they managed it in effortless style, over and over. Part of them can’t quite believe it. “I always think only my mum and dad are going

was awesome.” It certainly didn’t show that Haim weren’t on top form in an over-brimming tent that wooped with joy every time one member in particular came up on the big screens. There are two words that have become irrevocably associated with Este; bass face. Alana finds it difficult to describe the full magnificence of bass face. “It’s hard to explain. It’s not like a thing, it’s a feeling, it’s philosophical. I always get bass-face when I listen to Earth, Wind

Alana’s horror they used to sit on stools, in a sort of Von Trapp family meets Westlife scenario. “The stools?!” Alana shrieks when asked if they’ll be making a comeback any time soon. “Oh my god, I hope not, the stools haunt my dreams. My dad made special pillows to make the stools more comfortable!” Dorky stools aside, Haim’s mum and dad have apparently gained a somewhat legendary status amongst the ranks of the band’s old tourmates, Mumford & Sons, Florence and the Machine and Julian Casablancas. “All the bands loved my parents,” she hoots. “When you’re on tour you kind of miss mum hugs. They became parents to all the bands. There would be times where I wouldn’t see my dad for an hour, and he’d come back all sweaty like, ‘oh yeah, I just played soccer with Marcus, no big deal, me and Marcus Mumford are just chilling, he

“THE waITING GamE IS THE worST.” to be in the audience. Honestly, it’s not a fear, though, I’m not scared. If there’s one person in the crowd I am fucking pumped!” Reading & Leeds was another big moment, marking the end of Haim’s relentless festival hopping. “I was so mad because we were so sick,” says Alana, “We gave every last ounce of voice, and sweat, and energy. But it


and Fire. The bassline is just so good, and nasty and spunky, you can’t make a pretty face listening to it. I love Este’s bass, without the bass face there is no Este.” Haim’s energetic live show with syncopated drum-offs and face-pulling galore is a far cry from where they started out – the band Rockenhaim that they shared with their parents. To

was goalie.’” Growing up surrounded by “awesome taste in music,” in a house filled with classic rock is a great foundation, but Alana insists that despite Haim’s enviable array of sunglasses and leather jackets, they weren’t always this cool. “Did we have an awkward phase?” she laughs, “Oh my god are you kidding? The only one of us that didn’t have an awkward phase I think was Danielle, she always had her shit on lock. By the time she got to middle school she was obsessed with Annie Hall, so she had that whole thing going on. Me and Este look to her for inspiration.” Alana’s getting nostalgic now; she misses a couple of things from LA. “I miss [my parents] all the time, it’s sad. When I go home my mum makes me food.” Otherwise, she misses burgers. “There’s this burger place called In and Out,” she says, “it’s only in the West Coast, and it’s the best burger you’ll ever have in your life.” Alana’s got controversial views about the slew of pop-up burger joints across London too; she’s just too loyal to LA. “I personally think In and Out is better than

Shake Shack. People would shoot me in the face for saying that. You guys have burgers here a lot, but they’re more gourmet. I like fast food burgers. In and Out is the vibe.” Haim are focused on launching their new record, but in the meantime Alana is dreaming big for her next tour’s rider. Food requests are a dilemma, but luckily her love of a Marks & Spencer’s cult sweet should fill the gap. “I want five English bulldogs,” she specifies without hesitation. “Then I want a huge ball of Percy Pigs, as many as I can have, so let’s say 35 bags. I want an Alfa Romeo, that would be dope. That’s a good rider.” Alana has got to run to continue Haim’s hectic promotion schedule, but before that she unexpectedly leaves us with her world philosophy. “I think those are my three favourite things in the world, vintage cars, Percy Pigs and puppies.”

“If THErE’S oNE pErSoN IN THE crowd I am fuckING pumpEd!”

Haim’s debut album ‘Days Are Gone’ is out now via Polydor. DIY

“...and then I said, that’s not my bass face.”



TOUR 2013

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU, SOnIC BOOM SIX? “It was amazing! I foolishly was showing off for the cameras today and thought, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll get my lip pierced for the camera, that’ll be so good’. I didn’t realise that getting your lip pierced and singing is quite difficult, but I loved it! Everyone that’s come up to us has had a great night, everyone’s just really happy and buzzing.” Laila K

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU, SAVE YOUR BREATH? “It was great! It was our first show back since three or four months ago, so it was a bit nerve-wracking, but it was really cool. It was really nice to play a new set with some new songs. It was refreshing!” Kris Richards

HOW WAS IT FOR YOU, lTnT? “Good venue, good crowd, good night. Nice to be out of London and into some clean shoes for a change. Cheers to Strummerville for hooking it up and looking forward to next time. See you soon Manchester.” Liam Lever




ags packed, trains boarded and Manchester-bound, it’s time for the first show of DIY and Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING tour. Hosted in one of the musical capitals of the world, things might be getting under way while a United match plays out down the road, but there’s no deterring this lot of bands - even if two rogue members of Save Your Breath do disappear to Old Trafford for a while. Have no fear though, they’re still prepped and ready for a very special – and remarkably intimate – acoustic performance at Manchester’s Dr. Martens store. Transforming three tracks – including a new cut from their forthcoming album ‘There Used To Be A Place For Us’ - it’s a wonderful way to begin live proceedings. Across town, Sonic Boom Six are busy cramming themselves into the DMs van to get up close and personal with a bunch of lucky fans, one of which, allegedly, came all the way from Thailand. Once the Deaf Institute opens its doors, drinks

are flowing and people are already hungry and waiting for their dose of musical offerings. First up, we’re treated to our first taste of Strummerville in the form of LTNT, who have no qualms with making an unmeasurable amount of noise. Next up, it’s those cheeky Newport boys again. The last time they played live proper was back in April, and they waste no time in reacquainting themselves with the crowd as they bound through a set of both old and new material. Airing some tracks for the very first time, there’s a decidedly new and considered feel to their forthcoming songs. Coupled beautifully with the youthful bounce of their previously more-straightforward pop

punk, it makes for a great reintroduction to a band that are more than deserving of such a spotlight. Rounding off the evening, Sonic Boom Six ignite the hearts of their home town. Within one song, the dancing has begun. Running through songs from all eras of SB6, they even squeeze in a special acoustic dedication to our visitor from Thailand. By the time they catch their breaths – the vocalist duo spit lyrics at each other with an intense speed - their final tracks are upon us, and there’s no better way to end things than with a good dose of circle-pitting, and an encore of ‘Sunny Side Of The Street’. Bristol, we’re coming for you. DIY

THE DETAIlS --------12TH OCT


W/ Canterbury + Armchair Committee



W/ Jaws + Gaoler’s Daughter



W/ The Minx + Natural Tendency



W/ Paper Aeroplanes + Huevo And The Giant




fINdING INNEr pEacE Words: Sarah Jamieson photo:emma swann


ith the release of their last album, Kids In Glass Houses faced a fork in the road. Despite having produced what was arguably their most creatively fulfilling record to date, it also seemed to confuse listeners, and saw them - to some extent - lose the momentum gained with their previous chart-bothering effort, ‘Dirt’. “We’re kind of like our own worst enemies sometimes,” starts frontman Aled Phillips. There’s an importance in their previous album that’s echoed in the life of their brand new full-length. “I don’t think we’d have been able to make a concise, poppy, accessible record unless we’d gone in the other direction, to refresh ourselves and remind ourselves that we’re good at that.” By the time the band came to make ‘In


Gold Blood’, back in 2011, time on the pop circuit had taken its toll. With the release of ‘Dirt’, they’d been plunged in at the deep end. Frankie Sandford of The Saturdays featured on one track, and they were slowly being moulded as chart fodder of a more ‘alternative’ degree. “I think we were kind of sick of it,” he continues. “By the time we had released ‘Undercover Lover’ - which we didn’t really want to do – we’d gotten into the bracket. We did loads of weird stuff off the back of it like T4 On The Beach. They were cool experiences but we were just fish out of water. I think ‘In Gold Blood’ was a reaction to that, and us wanting to be considered as a band, rather than a throwaway pop band.” The next step, then, was obviously to make a concept album about the end of

the world, influenced by the artists who actually meant something to the band. The project was ambitious and, at times, difficult, but it was a set of muscles that they needed to flex. “It takes work and time to get in to ‘In Gold Blood’. I think it’s a really rewarding album if you give it the chance, but - and I don’t want to criticise the fans - a lot of the people that we had just picked up through radio, and having a song with ‘Frankie from The Saturdays’, are not into music in that kind of way. They don’t really pore over records and give a lot of time to them; they just listen and want instant gratification from them. That album was more a slow-burner.” It was, however, exactly the album they needed to make, in order to create their newest effort. “I think ‘Peace’ just sounds like the album we probably would


Guitarist Iain Mahanty DISCUSSES his favourite tracks from ‘Peace’.

Drive This was the first tune we wrote for the album. It set the tone and gave us the idea of incorporating a bit more of a synth undertone to the whole record. We’d been writing a lot up to this point, but this song really tipped the balance. It basically gave us a boot up the arse to write another pop record.

Set Me Free


This song was a lot of fun to write and record. I like to kitchen sink a lot of my ideas, so I figured that as we were having an electro vibe on a lot of the songs, why not try and write a full-on electro tune. We wound our necks in and decided to put some guitars on there, thank god. It came together really quickly.


naturally have made after ‘Dirt’, had we not decided to go and make something against the grain. I think ‘In Gold Blood’ was the record where it was like, ‘Shit, they’ve gone and done something completely different’.

“I think that was good for us creatively and we got to push ourselves, and buck people’s expectations. That was something we kinda wanted to do, because I think we felt like we’d been

good at as a band. I think this album is an exercise in us playing to our strengths.” Four albums in, the band have finally decided to play things to their advantage, and so the title of their newest album was born. “The reason we used [‘Peace’] as the album title was because we found peace with it, for the band we are. “We’ve always had some kind of identity crisis bubbling on somewhere,” he laughs,

“wE’rE our owN worST ENEmIES SomETImES.” backed into a corner and pigeonholed as a certain kind of band. We wanted to show people that we were capable of more than that.

“but I think this captures all that’s good about our band. We’re finally comfortable doing that, rather than constantly trying to prove ourselves.”

“With this one, after making three records and the more time you spend in a studio writing, you get to learn what you’re

Kids In Glass Houses’ new album ‘Peace’ is out now via Transmission Recordings. DIY

We’ve never written a song like this before, where it’s almost driven by the acoustics. Aled had the initial idea for the song and it’s one of the few ideas that went through a couple of incarnations. Ideas like that are always good but tricky to work on, but we love that sort of challenge.

Storm Chasers [Bassist] Shay sent over the initial idea, on a day myself and Aled were together and spending more time on FIFA looking for ideas than playing guitar. As soon as we heard it we knew it was going to be good. Aled has a great knack for knocking out melodies off the cuff that are all brilliant.

Nightcrawlers I picked this song because we haven’t written anything like it. We spent ages on synths and sounds and FX, which is always fun. We’d been jamming it out in practice and it was sounding good but not quite right. We all had the faith that when we went into the studio it would come to life and it really did. Took a while to get everything to sit in its right place, but the hard work paid off.

13 13

aNd THE NomINEES arE...


his year has been remarkable. We’ve seen artists make triumphant comebacks, witnessed bands take on the next level, and been introduced to more aweinspiring new acts than you could possibly imagine, never mind remember. The list of albums that could’ve been nominated for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2013 was staggering.

8 – 9 NOVEMBER 2013


TICKETS 0844 482 8008 Supported by the Embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.



So, the shortlist. This year we’ll witness indie-boyheroes-gone-huge Foals take on the swaggering cockiness of Arctic Monkeys, while the fiercely brilliant Savages go head-to-head with the intricate beauty of Laura Marling. Elsewhere, the legendary David Bowie’s surprise album ‘The Next Day’ will face off against Disclosure’s dancefloor-igniting

debut ‘Settle’. That’s only a handful of the contenders, too. The full list is as follows: Arctic Monkeys Am David Bowie The Next Day Disclosure Settle Foals Holy Fire Jake Bugg Jake Bugg James Blake Overgrown Jon Hopkins Immunity Laura Marling Once I Was An Eagle Laura Mvula Sing To The Moon Rudimental Home Savages Silence Yourself Villagers {Awayland} The winner will be announced on Wednesday 30th October.


To celebrate this year’s Mercury Prize, DIY has teamed up with Bose to give away a pair of AE2 (Black) Audio Headphones, along with a copy of each of the albums nominated. To be in with a chance of winning, visit mercuryprizecomp



eace played one of their most intimate shows of the year at London venue The Old Blue Last’s 313th birthday party. Running through highlights from their debut ‘In Love’, they also had time to discuss their plans for a quick follow-up. “We were looking at studios earlier today. We’ll probably start recording it in November,” frontman Harrison Koisser revealed backstage, ahead of the band’s triumphant set. “We’ve come to that step now. We never really stopped, to be fair. Writing-wise we’ve always been geared up to do the second one.” Peace didn’t showcase any new tracks that night, but fans can expect to hear some - if not all - of the new record on a massive UK tour this winter. “I was trying to think about doing five new ones every night. But it’d be good to have played the whole record live, split up across the shows,” Harry explained. Peace’s UK tour will start on 29th November at Nottingham’s Rock City. DIY




went to drama school and I wanted to be an actress, but then I had six months of sort-of-trying to be an actress but I couldn’t handle it, the auditions and everything. I don’t have the emotional capacity to deal with that much rejection! So, I knew a really fantastic guy called Blaise Bellville, who now does Boiler Room, who had just started an online magazine called Platform, and so I wrote a few things for him and ended up working there, and then became Editor. Then, I got an email from Emily Mackay, who used to be the Reviews Editor at NME and she said, would I want to write for NME? So, I wrote a few things. It was funny how it happened because I was writing for them at the time that Summer Camp started. We weren’t planning to start a band, but suddenly I was in the position that I could pitch to write about Summer Camp! I actually got asked to do the Radar on us, but I turned it

down because they didn’t know. When I had a meeting about it, I was like, ‘I can’t do this because it’s my band.’ I was still working at Platform and NME when the band started, and then I started to think I didn’t want to do it anymore. I was still writing a little bit, but I never felt that comfortable as a music journalist, so it was quite nice to move away from it. Now, I like that I can do it a bit more on my terms. I’m currently writing for Noisey in America which is really nice because Platform was quite blatantly aping Vice. I like the fact that we’ve all moved on and they’re okay with me writing for them! I like being able to try and do more funny things: I’m doing one at the minute on Justin Timberlake’s style evolution. I’m happy to go back to it now, and I really enjoyed doing it, but I like that I can do it a bit more on my terms. I’d never be comfortable, now I’m in a band just writing straight reviews! I don’t think I’m qualified for that really. DIY 15


Listen to ‘Blush’ on now.



itting in the dwindling sun around a table outside a pub in Camden, Wolf Alice are in good form. It’s a sign of their irresistible forward momentum that when asked about their brilliant new ‘Blush’ EP they’re more interested in talking about the newer material they’ve written. “It’s weird, those songs feel old to us now,” explains guitarist Joff. “We’ve written a whole bunch of new stuff since then.” “People should probably realise when they’re listening to the EP that that’s from the beginning of the year,” says drummer Joel. Singer Ellie concurs. “I can’t imagine writing songs like those now.” Theo, the bassist, adds: “We’ve got a lot more


choruses. We figured out when we were on tour that songs like ‘Bros’ didn’t have any choruses so we wrote some. Those aren’t on the EP though...” The fact that things are going to get even better is pretty damn exciting news because, although they’re downplaying it, the ‘Blush’ EP showcases a band giving warning that they’re about to be huge. “It’ll be nice for our sound to be more understandable to people,” laughs Joff. Joel agrees: “Yeah, and it’ll stop people asking us if we’re being wilfully eclectic as if we’re trying to do something weird. It’s not like that.” It’s true. In their short careers they have been compared to everyone

from The xx to Hole. Yet it’s equally true they’re a band who draw inspiration from many different places. Even now they mention Captain Beefheart, Black Lips, Kurt Vile, Fryars, Mac DeMarco and Aphex Twin. To Joel it makes sense: “We’re at an age where we’ve always had the internet so we’ve never had to go to record shops to source material. There’s absolutely no reason for anyone our age to say, ‘I just like indie music and that’s all I listen to’.” That the four of them create such unique music means their star is on the rise. Do they notice their popularity growing? “You only notice the popularity growing when you go back on tour for a bit,” says Theo.

“When you’re in London you’re just in London and everyone’s famous. When you go back on tour it’s pretty humbling. We played a working men’s club in Middlesbrough – it was packed and there was a real selection of people who came down from 12 year old kids to 40 year old men.” As you read this they’ll be on another tour, this time with Swim Deep. Then attention will turn to their debut album. “I’d like to record it before the end of this year,” Ellie states. “So I reckon you’ll see it in 2020 or something,” jokes Joel. Guys, we can’t wait that long. Wolf Alice’s new EP ‘Blush’ will be released on 7th October via Chess Club. DIY

SouNd THE arcadE fIrE aLarm! Since last month’s issue the world’s favourite Canadians have done... just about everything.

YEEZuS TaLkS Kanye West isn’t one for going public and talking about his music, usually because interviews tend to put him in a right pickle. Beyond a chat on the Kris Jenner show, where he acted as a reasonable, grounded family man (by his standards), he’s remained shy of speaking out since the release of his ‘Yeezus’ album. Turns out he’s been saving up all his energy, probably penning motivational quotes while changing North West’s nappies. His hour-long chat with BBC Radio One’s Zane Lowe stands out as one of the most surreal radio interviews in an age. Poor Zane tried his best to prevent Kanye from getting into “his zone”, but Yeezy couldn’t be stopped. Here are some of the standout quotes from what was essentially a 60 minute monologue, rated on a scale of 0-100, 1 being completely sane, 100 being completely Kanye.

kaNYEmETEr “I don’t expect to be understood at all.”


“Look at Gaga, she’s the creative director of Polaroid. I like some of the Gaga songs. What the f**k does she know about cameras.”


“To be a visionary, all you have to do is make decisions based off of your eyes instead of your ears and your memory.”


“They will play this interview in five years. They will play this interview in ten years and say ‘he called that, and that, and that.”


“When someone comes up and says something like, ‘I am a god,’ somebody says, ‘Who does he think he is?’ I just told you who I thought I was! A god!”


“I brought ten years of product that’s been added to humanity.”


“If you’re a Kanye West fan, you’re not a fan of me. You’re a fan of yourself.”

KANYEMETER RATING: 92 “I’m just the espresso.”



aTTack of THE k’S. Kanye’s called this one hour interview “the first piece of honest media in years,” which therefore means it’s not suitable for taking the piss out of (sorry Kanye). US TV host Jimmy Kimmel was foolish enough to take the bait, getting two child actors to re-enact an intense ‘discussion’ between Kanye and Zane about the creation of “leather jogging pants.” It was pretty funny - maybe not as unintentionally hilarious as the original statement - but Yeezy didn’t take well to the spoof. Instead of calming down and talking it over with a close friend (Zane?), he called Kimmel, before taking to Twitter to state: “You don’t have scum bags hopping over fences trying to take pictures of your daughter.” The knockout blow to keep Kimmel quiet? “SHOULD I DO A SPOOF ABOUT YOUR FACE OR YOU FUCKING BEN AFFLECK… #NODISRESPECTTOBENAFFLECK #ALLDISRESPECTTOJIMMYKIMMEL.” Hashtag of the year.

WE HEARD REFLEKTOR! It was a 9/9/9pm emergency as the disco-tastic track was unveiled proper following a Saturday night fever (leak). IT HAD DAVID BOWIE ON IT FOR REAL! It just might be the best moment in music, ever. THERE WAS A VIDEO, TOO! Ace photographer/ videographer Anton Corbjin worked his monochrome magic with broken mirrors and giant papier mache heads. DRENGE DID A COVER The noisy brothers took on the ‘Fire’s own ‘Ready to Start’. THEY PLAYED SOME LITTLE GIGS! The band premiered new material in a couple of tiny Montreal venues. AND A QUITE BIG ONE As well as Saturday Night Live, the band paired up with clever Creators Project types for the 30-minute ‘Here Comes The Night Time’ special featuring THREE brand new tracks, and many special guests. Watch on thisisfakediy. now.






e’re older now. I don’t know about wiser,” guitarist Owen laughs, sleepily. Apparently this morning he woke up, ate some peanut butter (crunchy, of course) and promptly fell asleep again. His band, Joanna Gruesome’s name grows on you. An awful play on words, their music is (thankfully) good enough that you overlook it after a while. They formed when the members were still teenagers, having met in anger management. They’re older now, not that they seem it. “When we first started - I


would’ve been 19, and one of us would’ve been 17 - every article would be like, ‘rocking teenagers’ and stuff like that. We must’ve looked incredibly young.”

concept album. There’s lot of little references to different bands, certain melodies, comics I’ve been reading… There’s one about burning your clothes.”

At this point, he is clearly eating. Not peanut butter though; he’s moved on to grapes. Kids, eh? Through mouthfuls he goes through the themes of their debut, ‘Weird Sister’: “It’s all a bit jumbled really. There’s a lot of stuff about comic books. And zombie movies. Arson. Anxiety and stuff like that. There’s not a particularly consistent concept, it’s not a

On the theme of anxiety, Owen isn’t sure why it seems more apparent in his generation. “When you’re always on Twitter, you get such a small attention span, and that makes you anxious. There’s a constant source of information and things to think about, and insecurities that come from that probably make people anxious. Seemingly, most

of the people I know are either depressed or anxious or both. I don’t know if it’s a generational thing, or we just notice because we’re that age. Maybe people are more open about that kind of stuff as well now. You always see people talking on Facebook about it.” Also affected by social networks is the DIY ‘scene’ Joanna Gruesome are a bit part of. Owen’s full of praise for it: “The internet has been huge for it. It’s exciting to be involved in DIY at this time, because it sets up so many networks and communities.


JOANNA GRUESOME & AND FRIENDS. PLAYLOUNGE Fear and Records signings who excel on the stage, Playlounge have spent a good chunk of 2013 touring with their self-professed heroes Johnny Foreigner.

KING OF CATS Putting together a recent splitsingle with Joanna Gruesome’s own Lan McArdle and her Ides project, Max Levy excels with a signature, crackling vocal.

BIRDSKULLS So DIY they produce their own brand of beanies (impressive ones at that), Birdskulls are the scuzziest of this ear-bending bunch.

YRRS Releasing a recent Cassette Store Day split alongside Playlounge and Birdskulls, this YRRS duo are far more forceful than the sum of their parts.

GOLDEN GRRRLS Putting the RRR in Do-ItYourrrself, these Glaswegians are detached from the South Coast’s scene, but they’re no less influential on all the goings on.


And makes setting a tour up on your own way easier. In the 80s you’d have to send people letters or phone them, and that would’ve been hell. I genuinely think right now is the most vibrant time for DIY bands in the UK. Probably the

“moST of THE pEopLE I kNow arE EITHEr dEprESSEd or aNxIouS or BoTH.”

US as well. It’s a really good time to be involved in DIY I think.” It would be rude to point out that Owen wouldn’t really know how people communicated in the 80s, being so young, and pointless to note that phoning people isn’t really that daunting – unless you have a form of social anxiety. What’s more fun to talk about are the other bands Joanna Gruesome run with. “Bands like Playlounge, King of Cats, Birdskulls, Yrrs, and other bands we know more loosely, like Golden Grrrls. When we started, we were

A Nottingham hardcore group naming their EPs after spaceships and football? Look no further.

pretty straightforward, an 80s sounding twee band like The Field Mice,” he explains. “Before that, I was playing with a lot of hardcore bands from Cardiff. So I was like, ‘I want to play in a pop band.’ Then we started playing with all those bands, and gradually got more dissonant, and weirder, I guess.” For a band whose debut is called ‘Weird Sister’, it would probably be odd if they weren’t weird themselves. The future’s looking pretty busy for Joanna Gruesome,

with a second album already underfoot. “We’re sorting out a split with Gold-Bears, who are on [US record label] Slumberland as well. I think that will be coming out on our bassist’s label, Reeks of Effort, so that will be happening. And writing the second album, I guess. I’m kind of like halfway through doing that, so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long.” Joanna Gruesome’s debut album ‘Weird Sister’ is out now via Fortuna Pop! DIY


LETTErS Dear DIY, Why is Jake Bugg up for the Mercury Prize, and why aren’t Biffy Clyro? Sam, Norwich We’ve all heard of equal opportunities, right? There’s no reason purveyors of ‘totes emotes’ lad rock should be left out. Even if their new single sounds like someone asked The View to cover Milburn. Badly.

That’s mean, Leila. Meat is a lovely bloke who deserves your respect. Everyone knows he’s a downhill slalom man.

Dear DIY, First off, I’d just like to congratulate you on predicting the return of Dido at this year’s Reading Festival (September 2013). I’m still a bit shocked that it actually happened. Anyway, my main Dear DIY, concern was with that henna Re: Instagreading tattoo that El Hunt designed (September 2013). Letting for herself. What exactly bands take over your happened with it in the end? instagram in the same month It came off, didn’t it?! (or so) that Wayne Coyne gets Stephanie, Oxford his taken off his for nudity? You know those people that Are you crazy? go over the top with the fake Harry, Glasgow tan. Not just a bit orange - they If Gnarwolves can’t send us to a actually turn themselves into phallus-y grave, nobody can. a fine antique wardrobe. Well - that. On one arm. For two Dear DIY, weeks. What a trooper. In the last issue (September 2013), Deap Vally talked Dear DIY, about how they’d like to try I ordered a ‘Palma Violet’ out some Olympic figure cocktail, as recommended skating. I think it’d be fun by the band themselves in to watch a band Olympics. the September 2013 issue, Doesn’t have to be winterand was promptly thrown based. I’d personally love to out of my local drinking see Meat Loaf attempting the establishment. high-jump. Can you make it Tom, Cardiff happen? We see what happened here. Leila, London Does, by any chance, your Dear DIY, Having waited around this long, and still nothing definite in sight, will Azealia Banks have any fans left by the time she finally decides to release an album? Laura, London Dear DIY, Is anyone else a bit bored of Azealia Banks and her never-ending Twitter feed of moaning? Every other day she’s laying into another musician. I know Disclosure probably shouldn’t


landlord run a buzz blog? You should have asked for a Jai Paul. You’re sure they’ll kick in eventually. Dear DIY, I was looking at your coverage of Reading Festival (September 2013) and I couldn’t help noticing how little Simon Neil has aged. But I was a little concerned about the trousers. They kept looking like they were going to fall down when I was watching on the tele. How do you think he managed to keep the threads on? Steve, Bournemouth Steve. If you want to spend your evenings watching TV hoping Simon Neil’s kecks fall down, that’s entirely your own business. We were too busy looking into his dreamy eyes, obv.

have mentioned their collaboration with her, but it seems a bit unreasonable of her to go and bin it. Thomas, Hull 212. Less a song, more a prediction of albums sold? Poor Azealia. She’s just misunderstood and a bit shy of publicity, we’re sure (ahem).

Dear DIY, The Kanye interview with Zane Lowe got me thinking. Is Kanye actually the biggest rock star on the planet? Is being a rock star today the same as being a rock star 20 years ago? Is Kanye just a delusional ego or are leather jogging pants actually something I’ll be seeing in the ASOS catalogue in five years’ time? Are leather jogging pants the status symbol of today’s rock stars? So many questions. Ollie, Manchester Kanye is 100% the biggest rock star on the planet. He’s the marble kitchen worktop of music. Robust, forthright and wilfully extravagant - it’s almost impossible to put a dent in it. But the leather jogging pants? If you need your clothes to be wipe clean, well…

We asked Twitter: If Kanye’s kidding himself, who is actually the biggest rock star on the planet? Here are a few of our favourite answers. “He’s not, everyone else is just beige. At least he’s elaborate and does what he wants.” - @C00pasaurus “How does he know the number of TV’s, other people have smashed?” - @ BlushingPanda “Who’s the biggest rock star on the planet? Simple [amazing picture of Fred Durst we can’t reproduce].” @TomxDoyle

commENTS from the SIte

From: Charlie Re: NIN rant If you checked out Rob Sheridan’s twitter, it seems half of their set wasn’t there due to some issues with the promoter at Reading, and they felt it didn’t show the band at the best they could be. You can’t blame the guy for wanting his band to look their best. From: Jordan McCollough ‘Wooden Souvenir’ might be my favorite Biffy song of all time. I have listened to Only Revolutions and Opposites multiple times through. I wish I had time to listen to all their older songs before their shows in DC and Philly. From: Spotlight Ali I still can’t believe Kings of Leon called their album Mechanical Bull. It might as well be called Shit By Numbers. From: Olivier Gras Just listening to ‘Rewind The Film’ right now, for the second time today, and… it’s a masterpiece. Beautiful, inspiring, as always the Manics deliver to us a “grand” album. I already love it. From: Hester Re: The Strypes review I bet you enjoy kicking puppies too.

comING up

Come say hi at an upcoming DIY gig. This month, you’ll find us at:


04 Phoria, Cargo, London 12 Young Guns, Louisiana, Bristol 18 Sŵn Festival 26 Spector, Birthdays, London Visit for listings.




Los Porcos: Not lacking in chops



Manchester band Wu Lyf Were Loved and hated in equaL aMounts. since spLitting, the projects it spaWned are More incLusive, happy and above anything eLse, exciting. WORDS: JAMIE MILTON. PHOTOS: EMMA SWANN

LoS porcoS

Hip-shaking, dodgy attire and a love for disco? It’s a Los Porcos thing.


os Porcos are testament to the fact that there’s Lyf after death.

This afterlife - a collection of names from controversialists Wu Lyf, who split in strange circumstances, and London group FAMY - consists of short shorts, discoballs and ice-cold cocktails. The band themselves are a striking set of tanned individuals when they arrive in London. It’s rare that they’re all in the same place. It’s probably happened on half a dozen occasions since they first met while sipping tequilas and inadvertently forming the band in a South London bar. Roles within the band are a little foggy. Arthur Yates (the de-facto short shorts repper), calls himself a “player manager… the Ruud Gullit of bands.” Evans Kati is strictly speaking the band’s guitarist. He wrote a comic based on the band getting together - though details remain scarce beyond the “tequilas” (plural). “I made them show me their IDs,” claims Joe Manning, recalling the night in Corsica Studios where Los Porcos “fell in love for the first time.” Stiff drinks? Security

checks? It’s hardly a romantic tale, which makes the music these guys produce even more baffling. Consider the individual parts, for a second. Evans is completely spot on in stating “this is a thing on its own.” But it’s still worth bearing in mind: Manning, Kati and Tom ‘Lung’ McClung come from Wu Lyf. Press-shy, notorious in some circles, they were gamechangers. But they sounded nothing like this. FAMY, too (the project of Arthur & Bruce Yates, plus Tom Edwards), who shot to relative prominence with one sold out single and barely anything beyond that, might’ve found themselves lumped in as something tropical. But they were hardly the audible equivalent of a coconut milkshake. Somehow when they combine, Los Porcos dive into disco. Head-first, with no fear of the consequences. “I don’t think we sat down and said ‘hey let’s have fun now’,” quips Arthur, dismissing the band as some calculated resistance. Still, it feels like they’re acting against something. The target? Furrowed brows

read the Live Review: page 80

and serious faces. Considered responses and ‘it’s art not music’ prophecies. Musicians who don’t realise that being in a band, playing music on stage, is a ridiculous thing in itself. “When we’re on stage we’re just having a good time. And people aren’t used to that, which seems quite sad,” says Arthur. “I think people get freaked out by us a little bit.” “A lot of bands take themselves very seriously. We wanted to be a ‘serious joke’,” adds brother Bruce. “Los Porcos came from last summer,” continues Arthur. “It came from being on the beach and not having any music that really fitted with what I wanted to listen to… It’s nice to have music you can dance to that isn’t some aggressive angry dubstep.” Beyond these brief, initial goals, Los Porcos isn’t strictly an allconsuming band. They didn’t form to make records and subsequent riches. No cabin fevered songwriting sessions define their early singles. When hints of Talking Heads crop up in the studio sheen of debut song ‘Do You Wanna Live?’, it’s not contrived and it’s not

the BanD


Vocalist, formerly of FAMY.

ARTHUR YATES Also of FAMY. Keyboardist. Wearer of a sailor’s hat and dressing gown.

JOE MANNING Drummer. Formerly of WU LYF, also of Menage a Trois.

TOM EDWARDS Bongo basher. Also of FAMY. Tried to be conference called into the interview.

IAN ENDFIELD Guitarist that goes under the “Profondo” guise. Had involvement in WU LYF and FAMY.

TOM ‘LUNG’ MCCLUNG Bassist. Formerly of WU LYF, now recording as Francis Lung.

EVANS KATI Guitarist, comic penner, formerly of WU LYF.



performance. There’s up to seven guys in a room all at once. They’re bound to be intoxicated at some stage. The songs do the rest of the work. “We don’t sit around listening to disco, dressing up in disco suits the whole time,” Arthur jokes. “2% of our time is spent playing that kind of music. We’re just a group of friends. It’s a Los Porcos thing. It doesn’t define us as people.” It’s a Los Porcos thing. It’s casual clothing, dodgy dad dancing and why not, a pair of maracas. It’s summertime escape without the usual cliches of finding love in some idyllic paradise, or taking road trips with a stranger. “We wanted to make something that was inclusive,” runs the motto. “The non-seriousness makes it more relaxed,” affirms Ian. If Wu Lyf’s had an impact on this project at all, it’s only in the sense that Los Porcos aren’t taking any course but their own. Talk moves to an album but it stops short pretty quickly. They’re thinking about releasing white label singles - “we’d like to get it into the dance musicsphere, rather than get it put in the indie section,” says Manning - which Kati backs up as being “going against blogs and mp3’s.” That’s as far as the disco fever goes. If it’s a “Los Porcos thing”, it’s theirs entirely. Shameless - and all the better for it - they’re grinning goons who’ve landed on a sound that’s barely been hinted at in previous years, not least when you consider the members’ previous projects. “I think having other projects takes the pressure off. We’re not putting any weight on it,” claims Bruce. Weightless and carefree - if this is the secret to a Los Porcos way, others ought to consider taking it up. DIY 24


Porcos’ Tom ‘Lung’ McClung also shadows as ‘Francis Lung’. His only song to date sounds like ‘Bends’-era Radiohead gone full circle. Have you always had the urge to do something like this, even while Wu Lyf was still happening? I kind of forgot/discarded the possibility of ever having a solo career when I was in the band. I was always writing, but for practice so I could get better at arranging. Faced with the reality of the [band splitting] I had no choice but to try as hard as I could to make something that resembled a solo artist out of myself. I did relish the opportunity but I’m still scared by the whole thing. It’s also very different from your involvement in Los Porcos. How do the mindsets change between the two projects? Writing by myself, I’m faced with a ton of variables; different genres, instrumentation, and no real quality control. Writing in Porcos we limit ourselves to one, maybe two genres, the instrumentation is pretty much a constant. If something sucks we all just laugh at whoever made it up.

MÉNAGE À TROIS Consisting of Porcos’ Joe Manning and two others, these “Bogans of Death” sing like Michael Jackson and profess a love for the Bee Gees. It’s Wu Lyf’s mysterious side re-appearing. There’s a real romantic side to your music - where does that stem from? The romance comes from the fact that we are all in love with each other, hence the three sisters in love, “Ménage à Trois”. We are very romantic people outside of the bogans of death too. How do you go about separating this from other projects you’re involved in? The initial intention of this project was to be a trio along the lines of Destiny’s Child and TLC. It’s not supposed to be a “band” in the way that Los Porcos is.

Hey Sailor: Los Porcos




Only Real’s London ode of a new EP is a turning point for the cheeky Jamie T-type.

Only Real is a project that keeps things sweet and fresh. At times, he’s just like the giddy kid who’s on a rampage after too many bowls of Frosties. But there’s wisdom under the youthful sheen and it’s showing its face in new EP ‘Days In The City’, released on Universal imprint Luv Luv Luv. “I’m 22 now, so over the last, probably 10 years, it’s been about being old enough to experience independence in London,” says Niall Galvin about the thinking behind his debut EP. His love for the city could be linked to fellow bright-eyed redhead, King Krule. But where Archy Marshall might dive into garish, urban nightmares, Niall’s more about the escapism, the crux of youth: “Without sounding too corny… No matter how old you get, you need to have a free spirit.” His second release holds no punches. Free spirit is evident at the very core. A song like ‘Lemonade’ - which throws a term like “merk” in the lyrics, just for the hell of it - is enough to alienate any old fogey. Maybe that’s the point. It’s difficult to imagine someone who’s seen the undercurrent of a city like London being able to subscribe to this EP. Only Real is all about the sun, the skyline views, the charms of a big, scary place. ‘Days In The City’ feels like an ultimate mission statement. “This is who I am - take it or leave it,” it might as well be shouting from its damp West London rooftop. Only Real’s new EP ‘Days In The City’ is out now via Luv Luv Luv. DIY


NEwS In BrIef

NoT So IckY THump London’s Thumpers have inked a deal with legendary US label Sub Pop records. They’ll release their debut Stateside in February 2014.

BEaTS oN Tour

Exciting producer Will Philips aka Tourist has announced a new ‘Patterns’ EP, it’s available in November on Method Records.


Glasweigan thrashers Honeyblood have shared their first material in over a year with ‘Bud’ (listen on - it’s taken from a new single release.

poINTING forwardS

Joel Compass is getting increasingly prolific. Days after his ‘Astronaut’ EP gained release he unveiled the new ‘Run’ single. It’s his best song to date, streaming on

BodY mØSIc Danish Diplocollaborator MØ is set to support AlunaGeorge on their big October UK tour, staring on the 12th at Norwich Waterfront. After that she’s off around Europe with Major Lazer.

“Little MØ”



THE orwELLS Chicago teens promise booze, sweat and chaos. They deliver on an in-demand London headline debut.

The Orwells’ blood-andguts, nightmarish thrills are fast reaching out of their early mythology. Chicago’s youngest and most hungry newcomers arrive in London with a reputation. They duly deliver in one of the stuffiest, most chaotic headline shows from any new band in 2013. These guys give the impression of a group bored of their suburban US lifestyle, rooted to a cause of finding solace in fuzzy rock‘n’roll. Frontman Mario Cuomo seems different, though. He could front any band in the world and it’d still be the same exciting prospect. Golden locks rest on a tasteless, see-through blouse, combined with some

dodgy leather trousers. He’s here to stand out. The devilish eyes and sweat-covered brow point to a guy intent on raising hell. The rest of the youngsters promptly follow suit. “Who here’s been suspended from high school?” goes guitarist Matt O’Keefe, midway through the set, by which point all inhibitions are set to one side from audience and band alike. There’s a semimuted response. A fair few onlookers pretend to be as rebellious as the guys they’re watching. “Well, we did,” O’Keefe affirms, as if anyone needed telling. Cue an Iggy Pop cover and the limb-swinging ‘Who Needs You’ bringing London’s Sebright Arms into a steady state of mosh-centric chaos. The Orwells are brats with a whole load of talent. A set like this could grate, rest on


its laurels, fall flat to a more considered audience. Tonight the five-piece avoid all of these things, and they embrace their newly-fledged rep as hell-raising guys on a mission to destroy. DIY

“It makes you want to try harder. I find myself doing 360 spins and shit. You hear a lot about London being kinda stiff, like New York City crowds. But London’s been great to us, last night we had kids moshing and stuff.” THE ORWELLS, ON PRESHOW RITUALS:

“I like to give [guitarist, Dominic Corso] a good blowjob.”

Goldilocks on tour




TAKING RISKS? IT’S IN THE NAME FOR MATTHEW SISKIN. HE’S HERE TO PROVE HE’S ANYTHING BUT SOME ‘SAFE’ DYLAN-OBSESSIVE. WORDS: NEIL WOOD. sound of Siskin looking at himself in the mirror. “I didn’t wanna be Matthew Daniel Siskin” he contests. “When I become this character I just let go – even the mind state I was in five minutes before this conversation was me running to meetings – but then I just stop. This is my heart.” There’s part of his character that assumes a double life. “Sometimes I refer to myself in the third person and, like, that’s not a good sign man!” he larks, “but there’s this Jekyll v Jekyl thing - one of us has to win eventually.”


striking aesthetic likened to Bob Dylan, a Leonard Cohen laced vocal style and a gory, up close and personal debut album on the way; it’s tricky to figure out the man behind this Gambles guise. Based on the timeless troubadour nuances of his music and the overly romantic figures he draws on for songs, you’d be forgiven for picturing a whiskey on the rocks alongside New Yorker Matthew Siskin. For starters: Siskin is the creative director of an interactive studio that has, amongst others, formed a


working partnership with Beyoncé. The Olsen twins have been the recipients of his work too. He keeps busy, there’s no hiding it. Gambles itself began on a beach in Costa Rica, after the breakup of a marriage and years of trying to write songs that, for some reason, just didn’t seem to work. “I just had that moment of realisation,” Matthew claims. “I stopped trying to sound like something and was actually trying to say something. Then all of these songs just happened.” What’s striking about this debut is it’s clearly, unequivocally the

His music is already evolving. He concerns himself with gritty topics like wider instrumentation and how to progress. He’s quick to quash any suspicion that Gambles is limited to being an acoustic singer-songwriter – “I’m not that. The stereotypical guy with an acoustic guitar is a nightmare.” Siskin has put just about everything into his debut and left it there for all to see. Passers by will no doubt be warded off if they’re desiring something kinder to the soul. That won’t stop Matthew from doing what he’s doing, though. ‘Trust’ suggests he’s in it for the long run. DIY

NEEd To kNow f Debut album ‘Trust’ is out now via own label GMBLS

f He’s a man about town. Celeb activities include hanging out with The Maccabees and going fancydress shopping with Florence Welch.

BrEakING BIG & BrEakING up These fellow Neu favourites have a habit of putting relationships at the forefront.


Lucy Taylor’s ‘Time To Say Goodbye’ stands out as one of 2013’s stand-out tearjerkers. Her work as a onetime MGMT flute player and Kele from Bloc Party collaborator pales into insignificance when she deals with subjects such as these.


He isn’t necessarily the recipient of breakups, but masked newcomer Brolin puts romance in pointed terms. 2012’s ‘Another Year’ was essentially sung at candlelight, all comforting talk putting the average listener under the Yorkshire producer’s spell. And to think: We haven’t even seen his face yet.



Bringing fuzz to the fore the do-it-yourself way.

Imagine a stereotypical, picture-perfect garage rock star and you’ll probably be quite close to figuring out Theo Verney. He has long strands of hair that perfectly obscure his face and a Gibson SG that sits menacingly around his neck. Songs are founded out of “boredom and frustration”, something that’s nagged him since February of this year, evidently. That’s when the project started. His secret? “I normally write songs when I’m hungover for some reason. I think it’s because I can concentrate more.” On ‘Don’t Care’ he drags the listener into a swamp of exhilarating and sludgy noise, whilst ‘Moving Forever’ is a hypnotising beast with jaded psychedelic twists. It becomes even more impressive when you learn that his recent ‘T.V EP’ was recorded, played and produced entirely by himself. Clever sod. (Samuel Cornforth)


FOR FANS OF: The Horrors, television static, bruises.




Tobias Jesso Jr promises a great deal.

Bit-part in Jessie Ware’s backing band, set for stardom.

Former Paramore tribute act turned disco revivalists.

After sending a demo to former Girls man Chet ‘JR’ White, he’s been holed up in a LA studio working on his debut album. It’s not just ‘JR’ that has fallen head over heels for Tobias either; members of Foxygen, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Smith Westerns are all smitten with the Vancouver singer-songwriter. So you’d be right to presume that he’s something just a little bit special. Tobias Jesso Jr is a raw talent who’ll be a sure-fire success. (Samuel Cornforth)

A harsh, croaking noise commences the first split-second of ‘Something About You’. It’s like a creaking door, only instead of making you want to claw your eyes out, it sounds like something sent from above. “I’m just hoping you feel the way that I do,” runs the lustedup mantra. Experience in Jessie Ware’s live band has evidently given Leigh an added exposure to his sensual side. It’s the ultimate in otherworldly pleasures. (Jamie Milton)

From the upbeat dance-pop of MAUSI’s floor fillers, it’s evident that this quartet are producing a sound that they’re completely happy with. Let’s call it overtly buoyant pop music, not only reflecting their happy-golucky nature, but also exuding pure giddiness, fun and creativity. Think Icona Pop-esque vocals over Passion Pit percussion, remixed for a Kitsuné Maison compilation. It’s only a matter of time before MAUSI bring disco back. (Laura Eley)

FOR FANS OF: Cuddles, romantic holidays, weeping.

FOR FANS OF: Mojitos, poolside getaways, other kinds of cocktails.

FOR FANS OF: Alphabeat, ice cream buffets, fun.





oung Fathers can’t dodge accusations that they’re trying to put the fear in the listener. A trio from Edinburgh, consisting of Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham ‘G’ Hastings, they’ve spent the best part of the last five years going to and fro between promising hip-hop act to downright terrifying haunts. So much so, it’s almost gone overboard. “A girl came up to me after a show and said ‘I thought that was lovely’,” begins Hastings. “But she was absolutely terrified. She said to me, ‘If we were alone, would you stab me? Would you attack me?’.” As reactions towards the band go, this one’s pretty extreme. The two ‘Tapes’ Young Fathers have released to date on Anticon are purposefully freakish, but not


in the conventional sense. It’s more a determination to be different that gives Young Fathers their fear-factor. “We’re not straightforward - there’s no black-andwhite,” says Graham. “I’d be worried if people were just accepting us and saying ‘you fit over there’. I think it’s better to bend things.” A mission statement (which adopts Graham’s Scottish dialect) is, in his own words: “Trying to take anything that’s traditional and get it tae fuck.” So far they’re succeeding. It hasn’t always been plain sailing. The band formed when each member was aged 14. They flirted with major label success, played festivals like T In The Park and Creamfields, on the back of what was technically their debut album ‘Inconceivable Child… Conceived.’ “There

was just fucking bullshit happening; listening to voices we shouldn’t have listened to,” states Graham on the band’s early days. “Stuff got kept back, never saw the light of day. We were left in this space.” The Young Fathers we see today are completely different. This 2008 debut is essentially something made from a different band. “People who talk to us today; they almost can’t believe the change.” Change will always be on the agenda for Young Fathers. A (second) debut album’s readied for early 2014. “When we go into recording, it’s always like ‘We’ve done that, so we need to do this’. Noone really speaks about it but it just happens.” Whether it’ll scare the living daylights out of every casual listener remains to be seen. Don’t bet against it. DIY


S h o c k ! H o r r o r ! A S c ot t i s h t r i o w i t h a ‘h i p - h o p b oy b a n d’ pa s t, n ow i n t e n t o n fo r c i n g t h r o u g h t h e f e a r fac to r . Wo r d s : Ja m i e M i lto n ‘G’ Hastings also produces fellow Neu favourite LAW. She played one of her very first shows for a London ‘How June Is Now’ showcase in 2013. “We’re so involved that I thought we’d be used to it, seeing her on stage. But every time she performs she brings things out the bag. It’s like she keeps it a secret. She does stuff that’s off the cuff, it’s just unbelievable.”

SouNdS from mY cItY

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.

empt y

po ols


Bristol’s in bloom. Local labels like Howling Owl and local bands like these guys, Empty Pools, are making it one of the go-to cities for exciting musicians trying (whisper it) dangerous things. Empty Pools’ tactic involves producing mind-bending, fidgety tracks that owe more to early Radiohead than anything remotely local. Still, it’s good to see they’re keeping their Bristolian fingers on the pulse. They’ve decided to recommend SJ Esau and Thought Forms:

S J E S au Keep Bristol weird! The most recent time I saw SJ Esau play was back in March. I feel like he was using Fisher Price drum loops before this, but these have now been effortlessly replaced by sick polyrhythmic noise rock pounding from a human drummer. It’s heavy. It’s cosmic! Sam epitomises the music scene here in that he kind of is the music scene, collaborating all over the shop, making weird videos for the likes of TF, Gravenhurst, The Liftmen, whilst still also finding time to write. We’ve heard some of the new album and it’s great. Particularly if you like songs with hooks like, “who isn’t trying to get off?”

THouGHT formS If you want a band who can name and date at least twenty Sonic Youth records, look no further. I say that because one, it’s probably true (maybe), but two, this lot span the SY sonic universe in that they do the strange eccentric droney noisy stuff and also the stirring riffy quasi-pophitty stuff and everything in the middle and all so well. On their new album ‘Ghost Mountain’ they have taken some goddamn beautiful sounding rackets and carved them into the gutsiest of gems. A true power trio.


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10


Mt. Wolf’s atmospheric bursts are destined for huge things.

CHELA Romanticise (Gold Fields Remix) ’Romanticise’ is one of the snappiest, downright ridiculous singles of the year.

BIG UPS Goes Black

New rude boys by way of Brooklyn Big Ups sport a much-needed ferocity on ‘Goes Black’.

HALF LOON Swearword

Coventry four-piece give their city everything The Enemy took away.

KHUSHI Never Never

In-demand Londoner Khushi is a sweet dose of loveliness.


Lenny Kravitz’s daughter makes BRILLIANT night-wave songs that sound like Chromatics.

TRUST FUND We’ll Both Apologise Spinning misery into something complex and beautiful, like a more saddened Waxahatchee.

GENT MASON Eden (Mmoths Remix) London producer Gent Mason sends standard electronic skywards.

TEMPLE SONGS Passed Caring Temple Songs should be playing arenas. ‘Passed Caring’ is another step in the right direction.

MIDNIGHT DAVIS Midnight Manifesto Oddball-pop Londoner Midnight Davis takes huge leaps with his self-penned ‘Manifesto’.


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What DoeSn’ t kILL YoU makeS YoU Stronger. for a WhILe theIr fUt Ure SeemeD UncertaIn, BUt jUSt Look at them noW: theIr hUge SeLf tItLeD aLBUm IS L aY Ing WaS t e t o t he hat er S. thIS ISn’t jUSt a BanD...


par amorE WorDS:Sarah jamIeSon PhotoS: mIke maSSaro LIVe PhotoS: SInéaD graInger


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or Paramore, the last decade has been far from easy. Born into a world of pop rock and Fueled By Ramen, the Nashville fivepiece started their careers young and in the spotlight. From that point on, things only got bigger. In fact, by the time frontwoman Hayley Williams turned 21 they’d already released three albums, two of which went on to be certified platinum across the world. Having spent the majority of their teenage years on the road, their youth was well documented with reviews, interviews and photoshoots recording their every move. Each step was broadcast across the internet, written about in magazines and shinily packaged on shelves in record stores. Most of the time it was everything they could’ve hoped for, but then – somewhere along the line it began to unravel. The thing about Paramore though, is that they’re no strangers to change. They’ve been forced to grow up, and had already lost three members (granted, bassist Jeremy Davis wasn’t gone for long) to the temptation of the ‘real life’ they missed out on. For a while they were able to prevail, but as 2010 drew to a close things looked to be crashing down around them. What followed was a (probably too) well documented split from guitarist Josh Farro and his drumming brother Zac that publicly tried to undo Williams’ constant reassurance that ‘Paramore is a band’, not a vehicle for her own ambitions. Rather than strike them down, it made them stronger, granting the freedom to start afresh. The result; one of the finest albums of this


year. “With every record you know that there has to be a shift,” guitarist Taylor York begins. Having been friends with the band for years – he actually bears writing credits for debut cut ‘Conspiracy’ – he finally joined the line-up as an additional guitarist in 2007. It wasn’t until now though that the process became more collaborative. “There has to be a change and a progression, and especially in our situation, we couldn’t replicate what we’d done in the past. In a lot of ways, we were forced into new territory. “At first, we were definitely reluctant to do that. We saw success from the kind of style that we had always done, but we realised that we had to push the limits and explore some other sides. That was really scary but also really freeing. We were writing songs that we really believed in. It was a terrifying and liberating experience all at the same time.” Throwing out the rulebook, the band - now a three piece - started work with Beck bassist and M83 producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen, who encouraged them to try new things. Abandoning their more traditional structure, and following a serious bout of writer’s block, Williams finally found the confidence to do just that, and gained comfort in embracing writing music that she, y’know, liked. “With ‘Still Into You’, I scared myself when we were writing and I came up with the melody and the lyrics for the chorus,” she laughs. “The verse didn’t scare me; the verse excited me. It was bouncy enough that it kinda sounded a bit new wave, but it was still poppy and

Do you ever feel like a plastic bag….

“We haD to PUSh the LImItS, anD that WaS reaLLY ScarY.” taYLor York


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catchy, but the chorus… I was like, ‘This is really straightforward for a Paramore song. That’s really poppy!’ And Taylor was like, ‘Well, do you like it?’ ‘I love it.’ That was it. That’s where you stop worrying about it. You don’t question it. Once that happened one or two times, I realised, yeah I’m questioning this when I shouldn’t be. I think that was part of our growing up. “Over the last few years, it was about realising we love what we love. Yeah, I grew up with N*Sync and Britney Spears, and I don’t really care! I still ended up in a band that I think is rad. All those things just made me this unique person, the only person I can be. And the things that Jeremy listened to - he grew up listening to a lot of hip hop - but I don’t think either one of us grew up listening to punk rock. No one is in the womb listening to Black Flag. I think we get older and we realise that; ‘Oh, okay, it’s dumb to be pretentious about music.’ You just like what you like, and if you love it, who cares?” That’s something echoed by York: when able to finally accept

what they were influenced by, they were able to use it to broaden their own horizons. “It was weird to finish a song and think, ‘That’s really poppy. It’s funky and Jeremy’s playing slap bass, but we love it’. At the end of the day, all we can do is write songs that we believe in. When we’re on stage, people either believe it or they don’t, so we had to make something that we could stand behind. That was really refreshing, and I think we all gained a lot more confidence knowing that we could do other things. We could draw on influences that we’ve always had, but never been able to really show people.” With such a dramatic shift in the mechanics of the group, there were always worries that things wouldn’t quite be the same in the studio. But that wasn’t all they had to contend with; going through a break up is difficult, and for the first time in their careers, they decided they needed to slow down. “The time we spent off was more for our sanity,” offers Williams. After the news broke in late 2010, the band headed home. It was then almost a year until they began work on their self-titled effort. “I mean, it was hard. You had to be with yourself for the first time.” “We had to learn how to be normal people,” adds bassist Jeremy Davis, “to hang out with ourselves and be okay with who we are. That’s something that we all really needed at the time. We’re moving constantly and to slow it down was pretty important.” “We put a lot of pressure on ourselves,” confirms York, “and felt pressure from the outside too. It’s weird, we needed time off, but at the same time, you start thinking about your career. ‘We’re taking too much time off. Are people gonna forget about us?’”


It was this distance that sparked a realisation in Williams, about her own growth over the past few years. “I know that we’re not ‘older’ older, but we’re not 16, 17, 18 anymore. I have an 18 year old sister and I feel like she’s really coming in to who she is as a person, and starting to realise what she wants out of life. I’m thinking about me at 18. We had ‘Riot!’ which was a successful record, but when I think back on who I was at 18, I don’t think I had a clue what I wanted, or the things that I really cared about, as much as even some 18, 19 year old kid that’s just graduating high school and going into the real world for the first time. “I think that sometimes being out here can be such a bubble, and it popped. When we were home, it was like, ‘Well… I don’t know what I’m gonna do with this…’, but we needed it. It was important. We spent enough time before we started making the record that we got to live at home and be normal, but also work really hard. It sort of felt like we were making our first record all over again.” Their time away from life on the road was a blessing in disguise. While their previous musical efforts have been rooted in what can sometimes be the monotonous rigmarole of touring, ‘Paramore’ stands as an album that Williams claims is about just ‘living’. “It’s hard to tour! I mean, it’s fun, but as a kid, growing up and wanting to be in a band, the only reason I wanted to be in a band, even beyond making music, was hanging out with my friends all of the time. You don’t think about the boring, in-between moments. It gets tough. “We wrote a whole album about what it’s like to be in a band, tour the world and freak out on each other. That record’s called ‘Brand New Eyes’ and you can buy that in the store. But it’s in our past. I don’t want to make a ‘Brand New Eyes: Part 2’. I don’t ever want to

“I Don’t Want to make ‘BranD neW eYeS: Part 2’. I Don’t eVer Want to Be that BanD agaIn.” haYLeY WILLIamS


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oN THE road “We’ve been to Europe a lot this year, but it was all for festivals. It was a lot of playing for people that we really had to fight to win over, which is fun for us. We like to do that, but this tour has been really nice because it’s been the first time since 2010 that we’ve really played to big rooms full of Paramore fans, so it’s exciting.” Hayley Williams


Regardless of new musical directions, a line-up change, or rifts with ex-members, the band’s fourth record has undoubtedly been their most successful yet, landing straight in the Number 1 slot across album charts all over the world, bringing a whole new fanbase with it. “That’s always something that we’ve wanted: to have a more diverse audience,” confirms Davis, “We want everyone at the show to be having a blast, have good music to listen to and make friends in line. I feel like our fans are like that, but there’s a new side. A more diverse audience, older people - literally people from everywhere - that are coming to these shows and I think it’s really cool. A lot of times when that happens, the old fans go, but our fans aren’t really like that. They’re opening their arms to bring them in. Maybe with part of this new record - if they’re not into our old records - there’s a bit of everything for everyone. I think

that’s what we try to bring.” Regardless of the hardships, growth and change in their own lives, one thing has been clear to the band. If their entire journey up until now has taught them anything, it’s the importance of their fans. Hayley spent the majority of their early career scrawling the words ‘Paramore is a band’ across the front of her shirts. When the trio were left to pick up the pieces in the wake of the Farro’s departure, she went further with a new motto of ‘Paramore is still a band’. It’s not just that, though. After all of this, they’re so much more.

wE arE paramorE

be that band again. The record that we made this time is about living. Anyone can relate to that: you don’t have to be in a band, you just have to have a pulse to understand it. I think going home, waking up and trying to redefine your purpose in life, that’s what everyone is doing every single day. Growing up, letting go of things that hurt, and letting go of some things that don’t hurt, but you know that you just gotta let go of them. That’s the stuff I want to write about forever.”

“We’re really proud of that,” begins Williams. “I think it’s the weirdest thing to go back and think about. Obviously, we started touring in the States. I remember the first time we went to California, it was such a huge deal. We drove all the way from Tennessee to San Diego or somewhere. Those same people that were at that show, they still come. I talk to them on email now. They’re close to us because we wouldn’t be where we are if they hadn’t bought a ticket to that first show. “I think about that all the time. We were in Manchester and I saw this picture from the very back of the room - this huge arena - and the people look like ants in this photo! The stage looks even smaller! Then, I was thinking that the first time we played Manchester, this girl named Ellen, she was in the front row in some tiny room, yelling, ‘Heeeeeyyyyy! I work at HMV!’ She was yelling at me, trying to get my attention and I was like, ‘What?!’ So, she was like, ‘I work at HMV and I tell people to

“thIS ISn’t aBoUt US, thIS IS aBoUt oUr fanS.” taYLor York

kIm: Paramore are quite

important for me because I’m in a band myself, so seeing a female fronted band doing so well is nice. This is my third time seeing them, their stage presence is incredible.

StaceY: I like the music, the

style, the clothes they wear and the different types of music they do. It’s not all heavy or pop, the different genres are awesome. I’m really excited, it’s my first concert.


Paramore have been one of my favourite bands since I was 12, 13 years old. I look up to them, they’re good role models. The new album is one of my favourites.


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lyrics and sound. The new album has more of a pop twist on it and I like that. It’s my first concert I’m really looking forward to it.

DanIeL john: How do I

express my love for Paramore? I don’t think I can. I can’t not see them, it’s like illegal. I have to go otherwise I’ll suffocate and die. I just love them!


wE arE paramorE

georgIa: I really like their

buy your record every day.’ I talked to her after the show and for the next three years, every time we were in town, she would take us out to like, Afflecks, or somewhere just to shop and eat. So, when we were in Manchester, I wondered where Ellen was. After all the time we took off, I haven’t heard from her or seen her, but we don’t forget those people.” Even after all the hardships and hurt, Paramore fans have stuck around, and together they put the broken pieces back together. Why? Because they’re all Paramore. “That’s

something that,” interjects York, “even on this tour, I think all of us have just been reminded of. This isn’t even about us. So often, just the way that the culture works - you do interviews and photoshoots and stuff - we’re tricked into thinking that this is about us, but it’s been really cool to be reminded that this is about our fans. This is about other people. This is about a connection that our music has with people, that it can speak to them in some sort of way. Whether it’s through our record, or at the show. Our fans honestly mean more to us now.

They’ve always meant a lot to us, but as we’re getting older, we’re starting to see the bigger picture more. It’s so fun to play music with your friends, but right now, we feel like there’s more of a purpose

than ever.” Paramore’s selftitled new album is out now via Fueled By Ramen / Atlantic. DIY

“It’S DUmB to Be PretentIoUS. If YoU LoVe It Who careS?” haYLeY WILLIamS

ParahoY! Paramore are taking touring to the next level: they’re hijacking their very own cruise ship and spending four days playing shows and hanging out on the top deck.

How’d that idea come about then? Hayley: Our booking agents are always coming up with crazy ideas, but if I think back, even when they came to us, and said, ‘We want to put you on your first headlining tour’ we thought they were crazy. We were like, ‘No one’s coming to that’. They’ve always had really good instincts as far as where we should head. They listen to us, as well, which we appreciate. We just wanted to do something different and this is gonna be very different...” Jeremy: I imagine that it’s on a boat! Hayley: I’m gonna stage dive off the boat. Jeremy: Woman overboard! What do you expect to get out of it all, except, you know, hanging out on your own private island at the end of it? Hayley: That’s a good question! It’s gonna be a lot like Shutter Island, where we’re all locked up in mad houses at the end. It just depends on how crazy people go... Jeremy: I’m just hoping the power doesn’t go out, like on one of those carnival boats. All I know is that it takes a lot of power… Hayley: Let’s just not mention the Titantic anywhere…

Jeremy: We’ll bring some acoustics as well, how about that! Taylor: I think we just wanna have fun. I think that literally is it. They brought the idea to us and we were like, that’s crazy but that sounds like a blast. Plus, we’re gonna be on a cruise ship, we’re gonna play shows on a boat, with a bunch of fans that we love and are our friends, and have some great bands. We’re gonna go to this island in the Bahamas, and it’s all around music. I think it really just sounds like a blast for everyone. There are quite a few people planning on joining in the fun? Jeremy: We just saw where a lot of people are coming from - that have already got tickets - and they’re from everywhere. Australia, Brazil, all over Europe, a lot of UK. There’s literally [people from] everywhere, and I feel like that’s cool because our fans have always been able to connect. Hayley: They get to vacation together! Taylor: Para-romances! There’s actually a rumour that someone is going to be Honeymoon-ing... Hayley: : Oh reeeeallly! I love that! Jeremy: Para-honeymoon. Hayley: If it’s a girl, I hope they name it Hayley! You know there’s gonna be some magic happening. Parahoy! sets sail from Miami on 7th March 2014. 41

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rEadY To ( IcoNa)




“comE aNd

daNcE wITH uS!” For Aino Jawo and Caroline Hjelt, that’s the M.O. No look-at-me poses, obscure enigmas or knotty references to decode here: it’s all about good-time party-pop for Sweden’s second best pop group. As the album states, quite simply, ‘This is... Icona Pop’. “I see our album as very bittersweet,” ponders Caroline Hjelt, one half of the Swedish duo. When asked to describe the album as a painting, Caroline rises to the challenge with vigour and style. “It’s a splash of different colours and emotions, then – at the bottom of the painting – it would be darker. You could see the pain and the heartbreaks we’ve been through, but also the light that shines through and all the great stuff that we have. It’s like a pop war!”

hyperspace. This summer, it was up there with ‘White Noise’ and ‘Get Lucky’ as the soundtrack to the festivals. But - as the album’s name states - this is Icona Pop’s full introduction. Both geographically and musically, their quicksilver sound means they never stay in one place long. Recorded throughout a jam-packed schedule of international tours, ‘This is… Icona Pop’ has been a long time in the works. Surely it must feel a relief to have the album out? “Absolutely!” sighs an energetic and excited Caroline. “We’ve been travelling - working like crazy and trying to write on the road. With some songs, we’d be recording them in a few different countries. We always have a microphone, so we’d record in the backseat of a car, or in a hotel room, and I remember, when I listen to the songs, ‘oh yes – we were in Paris!’ or

Whichever side of the battlefield they’re on – with their debut album now finally on the horizon – the winner takes it all for the duo. If their alliance with Neon Gold and Kitsuné for the release of debut single ‘Manners’ was a hot and flustered beginning, luring crowds to the dancefloor, ‘I Love It’ took things up to


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Caroline reveals that if you were lucky enough to catch one of their pivotal shows at SXSW, you may in fact feature on the record, on the latest addition and new single, ‘All Night’. “We actually made the crowd sing ‘All Night! All night!’, then we took that recording and put it into the song. We’ve been trying to do stuff like that – putting in little memories and fun stuff – so it feels alive.” So will the ‘This Is… Icona Pop’ be the Icona Pop we fell in love with back in the golden days of ‘Manners’, or the Icona Pop that carpet-bombed the nation’s radio playlists, TV adverts and clubs? The answer is neither – and both. Icona Pop don’t design their music to please major label executives, or the Katy Perry fans - or even for us. They’re making music for the thrill of it, which is why it

works on every level. “It’s a very honest album,” insists Caroline, “and it’s like a diary for us. We started playing around with different things, but then thought, no - this is us; this is Icona Pop. It’s the perfect name for our first album!” Their passion for pop is genuine and shameless. From raving of pop giants like Will.I.Am and Taylor Swift (both in return have declared themselves Icona Pop fans), to enthusing about the first concert for a young Caroline and a key influence: “The Spice Girls. I thought they were super cool. You know when you’re watching a band on MTV? It used to be a religion! You were watching a lot of music videos, but then – to actually see the artists live – that’s a very cool feeling!” Has Caroline realised she’s swapped roles with her musical heroes? Out there at their gigs, behind the party-goers, are

kids who will forever remember their first concert from Icona Pop. “That’s just crazy,” gushes Caroline, radiant at the thought. “If we can make them feel like that, that’s the best feeling in the world. We really have the best fans in the world. Now that we’ve been playing a lot of shows, they just sing along to every song, and we try to make time to go out and talk to them before or after and talk to them. They are so cool! They give us so much. When you’re standing on stage, it’s a collaboration between us and the audience. We’re playing the show together. “For us, playing live, it’s the best thing in the world. To be able to express yourself, and do it together with the audience. We really try to bring people into our little world.” So much so that the duo have gone to a big extreme to make their live show the biggest spectacular it can be. You could say it’s out of this

‘we recorded that chorus in Australia’.”

IT’S LIkE a pop war! 44

If, in the rehearsals for their live shows, Aino and Caroline accidentally stumbled on the ability for their spaceship to take them backwards and forwards to anywhere in time and space - where would they go? Caroline struggles, spoilt for choice. “Maybe start with the sixties - and then the seventies.” There’s a pause, then a burst of laughter. “And of course - we’d go back to the nineties!” Forget the nineties – for Icona Pop, the time is now. Icona Pop’s debut album ‘This Is… Icona Pop’ will be released on 4th November via Atlantic. DIY

THE maNY STaGES of IcoNa pop

world. “Now we have a very cool spaceship that we have between us on stage, where we control everything. It’s our little spaceship!”

THEY’VE TakEN THEIr TImE... źƢijııĺ Carolina and Aino meet at a party. They form Icona Pop, and quickly sign to Swedish record label TEN. źƢ>¼â¶„ÈƢijıIJı Their track ‘Manners’ features on the Kitsuné Maison 10 compilation, along with contributions from Two Door Cinema Club, Clock Opera, Guards and more. źƢyÈ°éƢijıIJIJ They sign a deal with major label, Mercury, in the UK. źƢ3Ø°éƢijıIJIJ Hip hop duo Chiddy Bang release ‘Mind Your Manners’, a single sampling ‘Manners’. It does well on ‘the blogs’. źƢC…Ò¼„ÈƢijıIJIJ Their ‘Nights Like This’ EP is released, featuring ‘Manners’. źƢ=yéƢ 2012 The video is released for ‘I Love It’, though it’s not yet a single proper; there’s no sign of a proper release date. źƢ3Ø°éƢijıIJij They feature on the cover of DIY, with the declaration that ‘I Love It’ is the song of the summer. We were only a little early. źƢØÒض·ƢijıIJijƢ Having been dropped

by Mercury, they sign a deal with Atlantic Records. źƢ>¼â¶„ÈƢijıIJij ‘Icona Pop’, their debut album, is released in Sweden. It peaks at Number 55 in the Swedish Albums Chart. źƢ3y·ØyÈéƢijıIJĴ ‘I Love It’ is featured on an episode of HBO show, Girls. źƢ=yéƢijıIJĴ ‘I Love It’ is covered on Glee. źƢ=yéƢijıIJĴ ‘I Love It’ goes to Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart. It becomes one of the songs of summer 2013. źƢ3Ø°éƢijıIJĴƢ Icona Pop pick up two Teen Choice awards, for Choice Music Breakout Group and Choice Single: Group. źƢ؛ØÌÒƢ 2013 A Sesame Street parody of ‘I Love It’ is released, featuring the Cookie Monster on main vocal. źƢ>Câ= OƢijıIJĴ Their debut album, ‘This Is… Icona Pop’ is released in the UK.


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BeaUtIfUL anD the BrUtaL



ou can have an image of a woman, blood running down her feet in a bathtub, painted nails… It’s at once the beauty and brutality of the woman. It could be bloody because it happens naturally once a month, or it could be she’s gotten hurt, or she’s just washing out her hair dye because she’s trying to look prettier. But it looks really brutal, right?” Poliça ringleader Channy Leaneagh is waxing lyrical about her rather offputting new album artwork, shot by


fellow Minneapolite Isaac Gale. It’s hard not to wince. “It looks really brutal. And I think that’s Poliça in general, right from the beginning,” she claims. “We’re all people that are walking that line between brutal and beautiful all the time, very nice people but very angry people. We’re living in that dichotomy constantly.” Exhausted after a summer of non-stop touring, it’s sunny, early September and Channy is sipping tea in hard-to-find, little-bit-posh members’ club Soho House. Relaxed and smiling, brutality

seems like a far-flung reality, but she seems well at home talking about it. Yes, the enigmatic musician is as softspoken as ever (audibility is a problem), but her confidence has obviously boomed. After all, this past year has changed her life completely. Following what seemed like an incendiary rise out of nowhere, 2012’s breakthrough ‘Give Up The Ghost’ was universally acclaimed as one of the best albums of the year. The band’s unique sound was hailed as originality itself with autotune finally put to good use and melodies to die for.


Everyone, from Jay-Z to The xx, jumped on the bandwagon and they’ve just played some dates with Sigur Rós, including a gig at the “beautiful and inspiring” Jodrell Bank Observatory. So, who wouldn’t have gained a little more verbal gumption? A year and a half ago, Channy told of her surprise at being able to fly over to the UK and play a tiny headline show at the capital’s CAMP Basement, but when quizzed about playing in front of nearly 2,000 fans at Shepherd’s Bush Empire earlier this year, she dismisses any notion of nervousness with a thwack. “It doesn’t really matter how big the crowd is,” she says now. “It’s more about the vibe and the feeling of the crowd, and the venue. Every night, it just kind of depends on how

you’re doing as a person.” Eighteen months of vertiginous hype since that brilliant debut and the band are releasing follow-up ‘Shulamith’, named after the feminine form of the Hebrew name Solomon, also meaning ‘peace’. In fact, the title pays homage to trailblazing feminist thinker Shulamith Firestone, who Channy considers a “muse and mentor”, and whose themes run throughout. Notably, the band has personally commissioned a lithograph from local artist Michael Gaughan to go alongside special editions of the album. It depicts a half-woman half-taurus hybrid reaching down to a man, which says it all.  

Canadian-born Shulamith cofounded radical feminist groups Redstockings and New York Radical Feminists, the latter of which notably protested the 1968 Miss America pageant with Women’s Liberation banners. A “Freedom Trash Can” was also placed on the Atlantic City Boardwalk and filled with “instruments of female torture”: high-heeled shoes, false eyelashes, curlers, hairspray, makeup, Playboy magazines, corsets, girdles, and bras. Around the same time, Shulamith published a number of essays and books, including The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution (1970).


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Accordingly, this is an album that sinks its claws deep into the listener’s skin, exhilarating and thought-provoking from start to finish. “Drums. Bass. Synths. Me, Women,” in Channy’s own words. Not to begin lightly, opening number ‘Chain My Name’ reflects another change in Channy’s character. Whereas last time around she was in the midst of a divorce and that was one of the key motifs of the all-pervasive gloom, this time around she’s singing about how she doesn’t want to feel “too chained down”. Or as she laughs out loud, “it’s an anti-marriage song, I guess.” But is it a truly happy song? “I think so. I enjoy not being married,” she confirms. “Maybe I have a weird version of happiness, but I think happiness is knowing yourself and getting yourself out of bad situations, finding freedom and you know, not being tied down to bad things.”   If that’s what she classes as their upbeat material, then lead single ‘Tiff’, featuring Bon Iver mastermind Justin Vernon, is Poliça’s darkest moment yet. Over a lilting beat and sinister bass groove, the two singers swap vocal duties in shakily sketching “a portrait of a woman as her own worst enemy.” The whole song is brought to life by the promo video, with remarkable acting from Channy, repeated writhing and self-inflicted waterboarding, but it’s the words that blow your mind. Lines like “I’m a pawn in the hype machine / you’re a pawn in the caring scheme” are as impactful as they get.   Previously, Channy has described the songwriting process as entirely collaborative with bandmate Ryan Olson, a prolific musician and producer who she first met at a birthday party in a club, before he asked asking her to join shortlived Minneapolis collective Gayngs. Back then, she stated, “I was just trying to emulate a mood and paint a picture of what the music Ryan was playing made me feel.” But would she say that still holds now? “Yes. I had more time with each song this time, but the lyrics and melodies are


“HappINESS IS kNowING YourSELf, aNd GETTING ouT of Bad SITuaTIoNS.”

still based on that first reaction to the mood of what he plays me, when we first meet up.” This said, Ryan spent a lot of time in Brazil during the making of ‘Shulamith’. “I had time during tours and things,” Channy explains, “to develop the songs a bit more and spend some time with them. He would email me the tracks he was working on, so we didn’t always have that initial time together, but I would just try to do it immediately in order to record my first instincts.”   As for the live show, her songwriting partner never plays with the band; his synth parts are prerecorded. Instead, the spectacle consists of two mind-meltingly fast drummers, Drew Christopherson and Ben Ivascu, who are also members of Ryan’s noise rock venture Marujuana Deathsquads (one of Channy’s “biggest influences”). Lastly, they’re joined by jazzy bassist and backing vocalist Chris Bierden, who is often spotted zoning out on-stage, providing the lower octave counterpoint to Channy’s zorbing, otherworldly R&B vocals.   But all this begs the question, how does one get a Poliça song underway? The manifold harmonies seem incredibly, impossibly crafted, the drum parts too well intertwined, the whole thing too fluid. It seems chance and in-built beat-making have played a role. “I think rhythm is super important, which is probably why I write a lot when I’m walking because there’s movement in your body,” she posits. “And then I just start thinking of a melody. I don’t have a formula. Even right now I’m a little concerned that I won’t be able to write any more songs. But it does help a lot that I react to rhythm and so on. I can just get a beat in my head and I can walk along. It’s all about moving to the beat. And that’s it, I guess.” Poliça’s new album ‘Shulamith’ will be released on 21st October via Memphis Industries. DIY


f e at u r e : s l e i g h b e l l s

rIng LEADERS _____ are not a band to pull punches. They’re here to t h r o w t h e m . Wo r d s : Em m a S wa n n .



Sleigh Bells


f e at u r e : s l e i g h b e l l s


he video for ‘Bitter Rivals’, the first single from and title track of Sleigh Bells’ third record, shows vocalist Alexis Krauss clad in silk boxing gown and gloves, aiming at the camera. It’s not just an act – the duo – completed by guitarist and producer Derek E Miller – took up the sport while writing and recording the new album. “We box at least three or four days each week,” Alexis reveals ahead of the record’s release. “We’re not sparring,” she’s quick to point out before anyone envisages interband punch-ups on a grand scale, “we’re not in the ring, but we’re working with a trainer. “I thought it’d be a fun opportunity to showcase some of my combinations and my punches,” she laughs. “The video is really fun, and to me it’s most representative of the music. It works pretty seamlessly with the song and definitely represents the song accurately.” She’s not wrong. Where debut ‘Treats’ acted as some kind of musical defibrillator amid the chillwave washout of 2010, follow-up ‘Reign of Terror’ seemed somewhat sedate in comparison – possibly partly due to Derek’s personal troubles (“that record was his catharsis,” Alexis explains, “it was very close to his story of losing his father and his mother’s cancer”). ‘Bitter Rivals’ takes the abrasiveness of the duo’s debut – the slamming synths of ‘Sing Like A Wire’, for instance – and presents it with a more immediate, crisp edge. Think Pharrell’s clicks and beats. Then there’s Alexis’ vocals – ‘Minnie’ has her sounding more girlish than ever – yet with a brilliant sneer. “There will always be that abrasive, pugnacious, aggressive quality to it,” she says of her vocal. “That’s just something we’re attracted to, and I love the interplay between a very feminine, sweet element and a very tough, masculine, punk-metal aggressiveness. I think that juxtaposition is really interesting. “I don’t think the fierceness or shouting or that intensity will ever disappear from our music. And I think it’s fun, as a vocalist, to be able to represent those two seemingly disparate worlds and bring them together in a way that hopefully works.” ‘Bitter Rivals’ has Alexis having more control over how she uses her voice, as she explains the writing process was “much more collaborative” than for the two previous records. “It was really the first time that we’d worked as equal collaborators,” she says. “When Derek and I started working together, he had a lot of material already written and a lot of very clear ideas about the direction of the band. “This record was sort of inspired by ‘Comeback Kid’, which was the last song we recorded for ‘Reign of Terror’, and was the first time Derek and I had worked that closely, where he worked on the track and he’d give me ideas for lyrics, and I’d go home and record all of my vocal arrangements and harmonies and we’d then go and record it all officially the next day. “And that’s what we did for all of the songs on this record. It


was really exciting for me to have that type of role in the process, and I think... at least I personally think that our music is better for it.” She laughs. “We’ll just see what everyone else thinks!” Alexis’ increased role does explain at least one shift – it’s like there’s more of her previous, girl-band self in there. More R&B vocal tics; more sassiness. “I grew up singing R&B and soul,” she says, “and so that’s the way I’m used to naturally using my voice. When I started singing in Sleigh Bells I was singing in a way that was, honestly, kind of foreign to me.

“But the singing on this record, you know, because I was writing the melodies, that’s just the way my brain works. The singing is more R&B influenced, and the melodies have that kind of winding, soul quality to them, there’s a fluidity to them that I don’t think we had on the other records.” It marries up with another change – both literal and metaphorical. They’ve stopped layering sounds quite so much – both Alexis’ vocals and those multiple guitar and synth riffs – stopped hiding. And Derek’s stopped wearing sunglasses.

“wE caN SouNd HowEVEr wE waNT.” Yeah, that’s a rock star without sunglasses. Alexis laughs. “I know! And the fact he talks about it, like ‘I’m actually not wearing sunglasses because a lot of people were like ‘What is the deal with this dude always wearing sunglasses?’ “You hear a lot of bands talk about how they’ve changed their ways, stopped partying as hard, becoming clearer. And it sounds like a cliché, but it really isn’t. After ‘Reign Of Terror’ and getting all that negativity off his back, he really changed his day to day routine. I’ve never seen him so clear and so focused and

so confident.” “Clarity”, “focus”, “confidence” are all important this time around, in both reference to Derek’s new routine – he’s up at 7am, boxing almost every day, not hungover – and the music. “It’s definitely clearer, sharper,” Alexis agrees. “‘Reign of Terror’ was a really dense record, there was lots of layering, there was a lot going on, and ‘Treats’ was completely blown-out, overdriven; we’d take one idea and just completely destroy it,” she says, laughing, “just beat it to death.

“So this record, it has the charm of ‘Treats’, and it has the melodic moments that ‘Reign of Terror’ has, but it’s much leaner than both of those past records. Most of the guitars are singletracked, there are kick snares, snaps, claps. It’s cleaner and simpler and still more inyour-face. “We worked with a new mixing engineer, Andrew Dawson, and he was really able to create a lot of space and separation in our music, which there’s never been before. There’s enough space to hear all the different elements.”

Which is again back to confidence. “Oh yes,” she agrees. “There were times when we’d record a song, like with ‘You Don’t Get Me Twice’, we actually looked at each other and said ‘Did we just do that?’, ‘How did we do that?’, ‘Is that our band?’ ‘Are we allowed to sound that way?’, and we ultimately decided that yeah, fuck it. We can sound however we want.” DIY Sleigh Bells’ new album ‘Bitter Rivals’ will be released on 7th October via Lucky Number.


feature: Pan ic! At The Disc o


merging as Fueled By Ramen darlings of the finest pedigree, Panic! At The Disco’s debut album was an ambitious melding of genres doused in theatrical social satire. By the time their sophomore record rolled around, they had transformed once more: this time, a woozy brand of Beatles-esque psychedelic rock bubbled from under the surface of ‘Pretty. Odd.’ Then, with two members departing the group – the main songwriter amongst that number – in 2009, frontman Brendon Urie was faced with a whole new challenge: keep the band going. “I think I was still trying to find my voice.” Urie sounds just the right mix of confident and passionate across the transatlantic phone line. He’s somewhere in Connecticut, a few hours away from taking to the stage on the first date of his band’s tour with Fall Out Boy. It’s an occasion that neither act could’ve really have foreseen a handful of years ago. “It was like, ‘Okay, I’m gonna be the lead songwriter now,’” he continues. “Two guys had just left and I was going to put it on me. I really wanted to as I always wanted to become better as a songwriter and a producer.” Working with regular collaborators Butch Walker and Jake Sinclair, Urie took on the primary songwriter role that Ryan Ross had left behind. Through that, himself and remaining original member Spencer Smith created the band’s third album ‘Vices & Virtues’ – a hark back to their dramatic but playful musical roots – as a duo. Along the way, Urie was taken under the producers’ collective wing, and shown the ropes. Then, with that experience still fresh in his mind, he was able to use album number four to convey exactly what he wanted. “When this record came around, I felt a lot more confident with my abilities. I was able to hear something in my head and put it down in a much more forward fashion. It came out a little cleaner than I thought; there’s still always the struggle when you’re songwriting or creating any piece of art, but yeah, I had a lot more fun this time. Lyrically, it was a lot more honest and confessional, and musically, it was just figuring out which genres I wanted to steal from. This record’s very, very eclectic and I’m very proud of it.” Brendon was finally able to relax a little.


paNIc! aT THE dISco arE fINaLLY fEELING aT HomE. WorDS: Sarah jamIeSon.

Resulting in what he’s eager to describe as a “party” record, ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’ is also the band’s most personal. Laced with references to their hometown – even the title is recognisable from Hunter S. Thompson that’s not hard to believe, but it was only thanks to the frontman finally feeling at home with the place he grew up. “I was travelling back and forth to Vegas a lot more often than the past few years, mostly to see family, but also, me and my wife, before we were married, were going back to just have some nice vacation time. I was doing things that I hadn’t normally done, like going

to clubs and watching people. I had a different view of it all and I wanted to create a record that made me feel the way I felt when I was experiencing all of these things. When I went to a club and saw people from a different perspective, I dropped my cynicism and realised that they were just having a good night, dancing like no one was watching, in a sea of people. I wanted to recreate that vibe with this record. “Personally – and I know everyone has a different experience of growing up in Vegas - when we left town to make our first record, we were seventeen years old and we were pretty bitter, and pretty

“THE poINT of THIS rEcord waS To STaY ExcITEd THE wHoLE TImE.”

angsty. We couldn’t really play shows because all of the venues were 21 and over, so that was kind of a bummer. We were just really mad, and really bitter about it. Then, as we got older, we kinda forgot that cynicism. I went back and kept visiting and I started having a great time, seeing it in a new way and experiencing new things.” It’s easy, then, to imagine that this record would boast the band’s biggest achievement yet. ‘Too Weird To Live...’ seems to have acted as a means for Urie to grow confident in his new role, make peace with his past and face his future. “The point of this record, for me, was to just stay excited the whole time. There’s always moments during a record where you think, ‘Oh, we’re not doing it

right, we’ve got to keep going and keep writing’ which happened a couple times. But, at the end of the recording process, I was really excited about it and it sounded like a party record - just a good time - musically, sonically and I hope that’s what people pull from it; that they feel the excitement that I did. I think it’s difficult to keep that feeling going, but I feel like we definitely did it this time. It’s so hard. We’ve done four albums and this one, I feel even more proud of. I’m still proud of things we’ve done in the past, but this one, yeah, especially proud.” Panic! At The Disco’s new album ‘Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die!’ will be released on 7th October via Fueled By Ramen. DIY

Brendon Urie gives more of an insight into the hearts of a few songs on the band’s most personal album to date. THIS IS GOSPEL “I decided to put ‘This Is Gospel’ on the record, even though it was an older song that I didn’t actually want to show anybody, because it was so honest. I wasn’t sure if anyone would like it, but then I stopped doubting myself and said, ‘No, I do like this song’ and it ended up as one of my favourites.” THE VEGAS LIGHTS “There’s a song called ‘The Vegas Lights’ which is an homage to the town that I grew up in: the way that I saw it growing up. That whole experience of seeing it as this debaucherous town, but being jealous because I wanted to be a part of that. It’s this celebratory song to the town that I love.” THE END OF ALL THINGS “On ‘The End Of All Things’, I almost started tearing up. As sappy as that may sound, I started to cry a little bit, just thinking about how happy I was at that moment in my life with my wife and just enjoying how lucky I am. I wanted to celebrate that.” 55

f e at u r e : y u c k


S WA P S A N D C H A N G E S , G H O S T S A N D H O R R O R F L I C K S , Y U C K A R E N ’ T A B A N D TA K I N G L I F E T O O S E R I O U S LY. P H O T O S E M M A S WA N N . W O R D S : E L H U N T .


hat separates any old flash-inthe-pan band from a lasting one is an ability to evolve, even in less than ideal circumstances. Music can be bit like Pokémon, except fights in the wild grass usually end in less than amiable break-ups, and picking out new members isn’t quite as easy as popping along to see Professor Oak to pick up a new Charmander. Following the departure of former frontman Daniel Blumberg, Yuck have in a sense been forced to evolve after releasing just one album, their self-titled debut of 2011. It would be natural to expect a few teething problems

during this transition, with Max Bloom taking up microphone duties, and new guitarist Ed Hayes still finding his feet in the band. You’d think so, anyway. Yuck’s main problem in the process, though, has been a pesky case of haunting. Yes, really. Max swears blind that the latest record features a ghostly homunculus helping him out on vocals. “It was a ghost taking the piss out of the way I sing!” exclaims Max, as his bandmates Mariko Doi and Jonny Rogoff howl with laughter. “Can I just say, I was listening back to ‘Rebirth’, and on the isolated drum track, there was some weird shit going on. A faint shouting, like a ghost impersonating my voice.” Mariko is beside herself. “It was Jonny!” “Max,” asks Jonny incredulously, “have you not listened to drum tracks, isolated, before? Drummers make weird noises, it helps

them count. They make noises.” Max looks disappointed. were recording in, like, the American horror movie set,” they must bury people under

hum, or almost “We quintessential he proffers. “I swear the Church.”

“I thought I heard a ghost,” ponders Mariko quietly, once the initial hubbub has receded. “I was in the shower,” says Jonny, “and Riko came upstairs, and she’s like ‘There’s a guy outside, looking in the window!’ I came down naked, with just a towel on, and she pointed over there, like…” Mariko steps in with dramatic embellishment “It’s moving, it’s moving!” “Anyway,” continues Jonny, “It turned out to be a sign. A crossroad sign.” Visitations from poltergeists aside, Yuck seem more relaxed and natural than ever before, and their new album ‘Glow & Behold’ is starry-eyed and expansive, at times spiralling to the heights of nirvana reserved for musicians who gaze upon their footwear whilst unraveling shimmering laces of guitar housed in an endless wall of reverb. It feels thoroughly self-assured, too. While Max is the first to admit that taking up the role of frontman wasn’t all plain sailing, there’s little focus on glancing backward. “It does feel like things are sort of back to normal, in the sense that we’re moving forwards. I can’t really put my finger on what’s changed, though, there’s nothing to compare it to. It feels very new.” “It hasn’t been easy…” falters Max, before Mariko interjects. “I feel like I quickly got used to the new line-up,” she says firmly and supportively. Yuck seem to have a clear consensus that looks towards the future, and it’s evident that it’s this momentum and continuing excitement that has enabled them to write an album like ‘Glow & Behold’. The addition of long-standing friend Ed Hayes as the band’s new guitarist has only added to the general sense of ‘newness’ surrounding Yuck. “He really does have three


f e at u r e : y u c k

“there WaS Some WeIrD ShIt goIng on.” 58

arms he can play guitar with,” laughs Jonny, referring to the ‘Audition Video’ the band recently put out, supposedly documenting Ed’s recruitment. “And he can light a cigarette whilst he plays. That’s exactly how it happened. Verbatim!”

pauses for dramatic effect, and his bandmates look on, trying not to smirk. “I want to do a stoner movie where this band are recording in the modern day, and they start experiencing weird static on the tapes, ghostly shit, and then they hold a séance in the library.”

Jonny shakes his head and gives a sly grin, “I slapped Ed for hours [for that video]. We only used one slap.”

The rest of the band are doubled over laughing, and a never-ending stream of sirens adds to the chaos, pealing by outside. “They’re looking for me!” says Jonny. Max admirably tries to calm things by fetching everyone a drink. As he hands Jonny his glass of water, Yuck’s drummer goes off on another blinding tangent, with the unassuming air of somebody making small talk and discussing the weather.

Talking to Mariko, Jonny and Max, they often move off on amusing, unpredictable tangents. It’s fitting really, given that their band has the same almost brazen approach to picking up various nostalgic sounds and influences before hulking them together into one great, well, Yucky mass. Max’s favourite expression seems to be “segue,” in fact – a word which he uses several times with great relish when the conversation turns to the IKEA horse meat scandal, the original Sugababes MKS, Buzzfeed (“I fucking love Buzzfeed,” he adds) and one of his bizarre film ideas. “The film is set in the Avatar Studios, in New York,” he begins. “The engineer who did our record was talking about how when he was interning he’d lock up at, like, 4am, and he was the only person there and would experience paranormal things. That gave me my idea.” He

“I got slapped in the face by a rat the other day…” Everybody is dumbfounded but Jonny. “I was cleaning out my clothes in this storage place, and I was pulling out my old jackets for the winter, and this huge rat comes flying out and smacks me on the face. I didn’t know how to react, so I just started yelling. The part I feel worst about of this whole ordeal is that I hope I didn’t make this company lose business. I’m glad I had this experience. I’ve been trained to be hit in the face with a rat.” Max giggles. “Now you can book a colonoscopy.”

annoy me.” Yuck seem to have a healthy attitude towards the inevitable speculation that will orbit the newly assembled band. “You can’t be completely oblivious to the fact that people will be listening to your album,” reasons Max, “but if you’re too aware, it’s quite detrimental. Recording this album, for me, was very introverted. I don’t really consider that there will be people stood in front of me when I’m in the studio. This time we had the time and space to consider every step, and recording in a studio, with a producer, meant we could discuss things without worrying about the recording side, go in there, experiment.”

Attempting to steer proceedings back to ‘Glow & Behold’ is straight-forward enough, by way of another massive segue involving peanut sushi and Max’s apparently food preferences –“I like my food to be homogenised, laid out in front of me. I don’t like to crack open limbs and scoop out the food.” Yuck’s music, after all, is anything but homogeneous. “With this record particularly there were a few set bands [that influenced us] but I don’t want to pick out names,” says Max. “I sort of want people to listen withou et that comparison because of the guitar work,” agrees Max, “Kevin Shields is a big guitarist in my life and I really love his work. The fact people are discussing it is great, and they are comparing us to a great band. It could never

“It sometimes destroys me a bit, reading things people write online,” admits Max, “because there you’re in a cage, you don’t need to take responsibility for what you say. But,” he adds with a grin, “the devil on my shoulder can’t resist, I feel drawn to it. It’s a bit masochistic in a way, but there’s always that curiosity.” He needn’t worry. With a hugely in-demand three day residency at The Macbeth in London – where new guitarist Ed works (“they’re threatening to close it down, and I guess we don’t want Ed to be unemployed”) fast-approaching next week – and a fine second album waiting up Max’s splendid purple-paisley shirt sleeves for deployment, the future for a newly rejuvenated Yuck looks far from unsavoury. Yuck’s new album ‘Glow And Behold’ is out now via Pharmacy / Fat Possum. DIY

A packet of inconspicuous jelly beans, some yummy, some absolutely rancid. Several tense rounds of lucky dip. Three band members and a DIY Staffer play...

YuckY rouLETTE ROUND 1: Max

“This is like a nice Christmas game,” comments Max optimistically, before wincing. “Ergh, what is this?! It tastes like soap!” Close, it was baby wipe.


DIY’s go. We’re quite scared, and tentatively eat a bright green bean. To our relief it’s really nice. Tastes like apple…. YAY, we got apple. Promise we didn’t cheat!

ROUND 3: Mariko

Mariko’s up next, peering suspiciously at a speckled brown bean. She perseveres with it for two seconds before spitting it out. “What the fuck! Was that puke or something?” Correct, vomit flavour.

ROUND 4: Jonny Jonny is the bravest of the bunch, knocking back a few beans in quick succession. Toothpaste is a breeze, and he says he likes baby wipes. Even centipede and dog food don’t thwart him. The final stumbling block however, is rotten egg flavour. Jonny looks pained by how disgusting it is, but to his credit manages to eat the whole thing. Outright winner and Yuck champion: Jonny Rogoff

- “If you are what you eat, Jonny is a rotten egg.”


feature: Los Campesinos



here’s a line in ‘Baby I Got the Death Rattle’, one of the tracks from Los Campesinos!’ last album: “On the walk back to your house in the cold from City Arms.” A Cardiff pub not too far from the station, City Arms, it turns out, has quite a history with the band. “In recent years, City Arms has become a good place in Cardiff to come to because it’s got a good beer selection, and it’s not full of screaming teenagers,” frontman Gareth explains fondly. “When we recorded our first ever demos, of ‘Death to...’ – known as ‘Track One’ in those days – ‘It Started With a Mixx’, ‘Sweetcheeks’, ‘You! Me! Dancing!’, we did it for two days at a youth centre. “There used to be a DJ booth just there,” he points. “Our friend Gary DJ’d. We bounded in, like puppies or something, and asked him to play our record. He did, and we danced to it, shamelessly. Nobody else knew what was going on. He played ‘You! Me! Dancing!’, and for better or for worse - for better - that is the song that has underpinned our quoteunquote career.” Gareth says it almost sarcastically, but Los Campesinos! have a career a lot of bands would love. “We’ll take compliments for working hard any time. It suits us.” Guitarist Tom joins in: “It’s all we’ve got really, isn’t it?”

fEw BaNdS rEacH aLBum NumBEr fIVE uNScaTHEd, aNd IT’S NoT BEEN wITHouT ITS HurdLES for LoS campESINoS! “wE fEEL VErY LuckY To HaVE a BaNd To BE IN,” THEY TELL coraL wILLIamSoN.

Well, no. They are a hardworking band, of course. Reluctant to go too long without touring, they’ve wedged a short run of gigs in at the end of the year, with a full tour for new album ‘No Blues’ coming in 2014. But their work ethic isn’t the only thing they’ve got. Los Campesinos! fans can be… enthusiastic. It’s a fact they’re grateful for, as Gareth notes: “Now, more than ever, we feel very lucky to have a band


feature: Los Campesinos

to be in. And that makes me think, it is what it is, whatever happens, happens, and don’t stress about it too much,” but it’s also slightly the reason Gareth doesn’t like reading press about the band. “I’m not as bad as I used to be; that’s probably still pretty bad,” he admits. “The one thing that’s changed with my reading of press, and comments from people, is that I find the ones that are really hyperbolic and worship us as ridiculous as the ones that say we’re absolute dog shit. I’ve kind of reconciled myself to decide everyone’s stupid; for every person who thinks you’re amazing, there’s another who thinks you’re shit. We’re not the best band in the world, and we’re not the shittest.” ‘What Death Leaves Behind’, the first track to be revealed from the album, is however, very, very good. On why they chose to put it out first, Tom gives a fairly simple, but powerful statement: “I thought it was a really good pop song, and I thought it would surprise people after ‘Hello Sadness’, and there’s a part of me that likes that reaction. I think we’ve realised we just like making pop music. The lyrics ended up being a good statement to put out there first; ‘we will flower again’.” It’s almost strange that the band might not have expected the positive reception the song’s received, but Gareth explains: “This, five albums in - even people who’ve been a fan of us for six years or whatever, they’re six years older now. They might’ve been 16 years old and we were singing these songs from [debut album] ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’ that they really connected with. And now they’re 22 and there’s no reason they should still like us. Because I don’t like all the same things I liked six years ago; none of us do.”

accurate metaphor of my songwriting,” Gareth grins. As with previous albums, the lyrical lines of ‘No Blues’ were written after everything else. “The vocal is the centrepiece of most pop songs, and having that last…” Tom pauses. “There are advantages and disadvantages to it. Sometimes I get too close and want it to just follow a guitar riff, and it doesn’t always work. But sometimes Gareth will come up with something brilliant, and I’d never have come up with it. You just have to try different options out, and we had time to do that this time.” Gareth adds: “This record was the one where we had the most time to work with the lyrics and vocal melodies. With ‘Hello Sadness’ especially, it was pretty much last minute.” ‘No Blues’ was recorded in Bethesda, a small town in north Wales. And according to Gareth, it was “perfect”. “For the last two records, when there’s been talk of where to record, there has been mention of doing it in Cardiff, because there’s a couple of good studios in Cardiff. For a little bit of time we’ve gone along with it, but in reality, we need to be taken away from what we know, and put together the six of us in a house. You live together, so you have to get along with each other. There’s a shop down there... that’s it. And that works well for us. It’s a working holiday. To go away to record and be in each other’s pockets for that time is a really nice thing to do, on a friendship level as much as anything else.”


Of course, what he’s forgetting is that the band themselves have changed; grown up, even. “The thing about maturity,” Tom muses, “is that every year you’re like, ‘Now I’m mature. I thought I was mature last year, but this year, now I’m mature’. I’ve kind of learnt the lesson that in 10 years’ time, I’ll think ‘Wow. You thought you’d matured then, but you’re still a dick’.” The two bandmates continuously bounce ideas off each other, often resulting in some less than savoury metaphors. “I think the first time was after ‘We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed’,” Gareth starts, broaching his occasional writer’s block. “It’d be like, ‘I literally cannot write any more songs. Can’t think of anything else that I could possibly write about’. And then ‘Romance is Boring’ comes around and it’s like, ‘Okay’. And then afterwards, ‘That’s it’. It happens after every record.” “You make it sound like when you’re puking up,” laughs Tom, “and that final retch, there’s nothing else. Then you’re like, ‘Oh wait, there’s more’.” “That’s probably the most


Of course, there’s a slightly darker element to this as well. “It was especially important for this record,” Tom reveals, “because – well, not because, but with [bassist] Ellen leaving, and trying to work out if it was even possible to carry on doing the band – me and Gareth had to come for a drink in Cardiff and say, ‘Should we still be doing this?’ We all said we wanted to do it, and that was reason enough. But having those six weeks recording really hammered home that it is what we wanted to be doing. We’ll make it work, whatever. But it was pretty dark leading up to that.”

Both of them are pragmatic about it; after all, Ellen isn’t the first to leave Los Campesinos!, and she may not be the last. “There are only three founding members of the band, four people have... ‘passed on’, left, since we’ve been together,” Gareth points out. “I think we’re expected to be really emotional about it, and it can sometimes seem cold. I think it’s natural to be a bit defensive, because we’re still doing this. But you do kind of get used to it. It’s still horrible, you’d rather your friend didn’t leave the band.” “We have longer to digest it,” Tom continues, “before people hear about it, we’ve probably known for six months. If you look on Wikipedia, it looks like one fatality after another. It’s happens over a long time.” For the upcoming tour, Matt from Among Brothers – a band who supported them at their Christmas show last year – will be joining them on bass. There aren’t really any signs of

nervousness, despite the fact they haven’t played this year at all. They’re both just excited, to play the new songs as much as the old ones. And they’re armed with a backing track. “We’ve made mistakes in the past of worrying about how to do things live before you record them, to the point where you don’t record them,” says Tom. “Come up with the ideas, record them, then worry about live later.” One of the tracks on ‘No Blues’, the brilliantly titled ‘Avocado, Baby’, features vocals from the Cardiff Cougars Allstar Cheerleading Squad. It’s not the easiest thing to recreate live, but as Gareth points out: “It turned out great, and it served exactly the purpose that we wanted. It’s a good texture within the record, and it’s kind of amazing that we’ve not done cheerleaders before to be honest.” No sniggering at the back there. With hindsight, they might not be in a hurry to repeat the experience, or ‘do cheerleaders’ again. “We felt a million years old, because they looked at us like we were absolute idiots. They were lovely girls and boys, but we might as well’ve been their parents,” Gareth admits. Not quite the excited ‘we’re going to be on a record’ you’d expect, then. What’s crazy is that ‘Avocado, Baby’ nearly didn’t even make it onto the record. Gareth reminds Tom that it was the one he was least sure of. “Oh yeah, it nearly didn’t make it, did it? It’s quite weird, there’s a lot of strange sections.” Tom thinks. “It’s easy to over think it. Instinctive reactions are really important in that sense.” Elsewhere on ‘No Blues’ is ‘Let it Spill’, a track Gareth considers to be quite an underdog. “No-one knows this, but do you know when I came up with the initial idea for that song?” Tom asks. “It was when we were recording [2007 single] ‘Tweexcore’. It’s that old. It’s totally different to the initial idea now; I record any idea I come up with, and I just listen back to them. I changed it enough that it’s barely noticeable, but it’s funny that it’s from that period.” “We’ve always been true to ourselves; we’ve never tried to mature too quickly,” Gareth claims, “or pretend to be something that we’re not. Equally, when people say, ‘Oh, I wish they’d sound like they did on ‘Hold On Now, Youngster’, there’s never been even the slight temptation to be like, ‘Okay, let’s record a song really badly and put glockenspiel on it’.” There isn’t even a slight chance of hearing any glockenspiel on ‘Let It Spill’, but it’s still amusing to think that an older part of Los Campesinos! lives on in ‘No Blues’. Perhaps it’s because the band have got their wink back. Tom points out that the album title is taken from a lyric: “The title is taken out of context, and we like that.” Gareth expands: “The lyric is: ‘There is no blues that can sound quite as heartfelt as mine’. So it’s the notion that my blues, my sadness, is the saddest.” “Which is what every person thinks,” Tom adds. “But it’s done so knowingly,” Gareth says. “I think ‘Hello Sadness’ might’ve been missing a bit of a wink, which ‘Romance is Boring’ had and ‘No Blues’ has.” Tom distils ‘No Blues’ into one final statement: “This album is the embodiment of an idealistic conversation, four or five pints into a night; it’s not practical or pragmatic, but there’s this sense of belief that’s detached from the everyday.” Los Campesinos!’s new album ‘No Blues’ will be released on 28th October via Heart Swells / Turnstile / Wichita Recordings. DIY

kIck It In the g aL

Los Campesinos! are football fans. There are references - some of them pretty obscure - in their lyrics, interviews, all over Twitter… It’s safe to say, the sport has played an important role in making the band what they are today. Gareth and Tom ponder their love of the beautiful game. Gareth With football, there is a re-intellectualising of it at the moment, isn’t there? It’s a lot more scholarly than it’s been. Tom It’s acceptable to be nerdy about it again, isn’t it? Gareth I’m more embarrassed of the trite, conventional, predictable lyrics that I’ve thrown into a song at the last minute because I’ve needed to fill a gap in a verse, than I am of the over-thought, hamfisted metaphors. At least with those, I was trying. Tom Sometimes, when you come up with football stuff I’m like, ‘Come on man, you can’t get that in there’. But then, with songs like ‘Glue Me’, there’s a lot of very earnest, sincere lyrics mixed in with the football stuff’. Makes such a good a combination. Gareth As a band, we attract an eclectic audience of people. There’ll be middle-age men in football shirts with beer guts and three days’ in need of a shave stood at the back of the gigs. And in the front row, there’ll be 14-year-old girls at their first concert, in awe of the fact that they’re that close to a band they like. There’ll be people on the other side of the world on their tumblrs, watching anime and writing about Los Campesinos!. And there’s a reference in the background to some football - soccer - player that they’e never heard of, and

they would probably never have heard of if they hadn’t been listening to that song. I think that’s part of that ability to attract different... uh...’target markets’, to put it really callously. But attracting different types of people has been to the band’s strength. We can say we understand if they don’t like it because they felt excluded by the lyrics. As a lyricist, I don’t want everything to be taken at face value. Look at a song like ‘What Death Leaves Behind’. The reaction was amazing, and you’ve got people enjoying that for the sheer pop exhilaration that it has. You can enjoy that over and over again, but then, you can listen to the lyrics and there’s a bit more there. You might google it and see what it’s talking about, and that’s an extra layer to it. Tom That’s what I liked about your lyrics this time. I don’t know if obtuse is the right word; there was more mythical stuff. You made it about the everyday, but in a mythical way. Even the football stuff is so obscure. Gareth If any lyrics are a little bit obscure or obtuse, it’s never for obscurity’s sake. It’s because in my head, that’s literally the only way I was able to put what I was trying to say across. That’s not me trying to be clever; that’s me being stupid.


H a I m / I c o N a p o p / L o r d E / S L E I G H B E L L S / S k Y L a r k I N / Y u c k / p o L I ç a / pa N I c ! aT T H E d I S c o / a N d T H E d u S T / S a N c I S c o / G a m B L E S / m a Z E S / o f m o N T r E a L / L a N T E r N S o N T H E L a k E / H o LY



Days Are Gone (Polydor)

Even when their ‘Forever’ EP was a wee glint flickering and barely registering on transatlantic radars, it wasn’t mere speculation to picture big things. Indeed, just one year later, Haim are occupying double-


page review spreads, and hanging out with Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne and urm, Philip Green during London Fashion Week. Danielle, Este and Alana Haim spent the summer performing headline-worthy sets, the pinnacle being their overbrimming tent at Reading Festival. ‘Better Off’ can be heard playing everywhere from Radio 1 to the local shops. All this doesn’t really come as a surprise. Haim have always generated

a giddy excitement, and amid a landscape that so frequently complains of repetition, derivation and even boredom, here is a band worth undivided attention and boundless hysteria. Why, exactly? Because Haim look, feel, and sound like a proper band - with an inimitable, unmistakable something energising everything they touch. Haim are the sort of band that kids looking for rock idols

wielding guitars and droves of attitude want to paste amongst tattered posters on bedroom walls. It’s the kind of music that prompts frenzied queuing round the block, and handmade gifts hurled onto stages. Equally, though, ‘Days Are Gone’ is the kind of album that could be piped unannounced at the nearest branch of Lakeland, and customers would still be dancing round the aisles waving non-stick silicone cupcake trays and going wild.

BEST coaST / aNNa caLVI / pINS / fENEcH-SoLEr / kIdS IN GLaSS HouSES / SwEarIN’ / LEE raNaLdo GHoST / daLE EarNHardT Jr Jr / fuTurE of THE LEfT / caGE THE ELEpHaNT / NYpc / fraNkIE roSE

A FAMILY AFFAIR Some other sibling bands swapping family ties for guitar strings… THE CRIBS Sure, the Jarman trio diluted the gene pool a while back while they flirted with honorary Uncle Johnny Marr, but they do contain the most successful musical twins since the Proclaimers (probably). DRENGE Not only is their self-titled debuts one of the most rockin’ albums of 2013, the boys literally had Kanye West in a Loveless sandwich the other week. That’s Kanye-effingWest, kids. territory of ‘girl band’, either. Haim meld a sassy, glossy R&B sheen with powerhouse folk melody on ‘Go Slow’, and they conjure glimmering pop foundations on ‘Forever’ that spiral upwards in strange geometric structures, built upon gasping, fragmented delivery and plunking bass. They do a lot of other things too, but in truth, the Haim sisters resist any attempts to be neatly folded up and placed in boxes. ‘Nu-folk’? What a load of old cobblers. And don’t dare consign them to the

‘Days Are Gone’ confirms what everybody already knew in fabulous style; that Haim are the band to shout about. Este’s bass-face is already a staple of popular culture, and their frantic live sets are already the hot ticket. Off the back of this debut album, all this is only the beginning. Change your clocks accordingly, everyone, because it’s Haim time. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Go Slow’, ‘The Wire’

DISCLOSURE The chart-topping Lawrence brothers have, single-handedly (well, four-handedly) changed the look of Britain’s dancefloors. Everyone’s scrawling strange linedrawings over their faces… HANSON With their flowing locks, they were almost literally the 90s Haim. And yet they’re almost as old as Alana ‘Baby’ Haim themselves, having decided to be a band proper in 1992. Woah.




FRANKIE ROSE Herein Wild (Fat Possum)

Frankie’s third album ‘Herein Wild’ draws very much on a well-worn formula; there’s the vaguely post-punk, lo-fi stylings of the bands she’s previously played a part in (that’s Crystal Stilts, Dum Dum Girls, Vivian Girls) and her own delicate, sugary-sweet vocal. That voice mostly floats lightly over swirling guitars, and it all sounds nice enough, but does tend to teeter towards the uninteresting at times. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘The Depths’





SCANDO POP STARS COME SO NEAR, YET SO FAR. By rights, ‘This Is... Icona Pop’ should be a triumph. A home run hit right out of the park, a shot rocketed into an open goal. With a Number One single behind them, high expectations and a couple of years turning out the best pop on the planet, the throne should be Caroline and Aino’s for the taking. And yet it isn’t. As an album, ‘This Is...’ just isn’t. The hits, ‘I Love It’ and ‘Ready For The Weekend’, remain as effectively brilliant as ever, but


- as with their Sweden-only release last year - there’s something missing. Icona Pop are best when they’re being less than blindingly obvious in the most direct way possible. They’re a duo capable of being unique, absent and independent. Yet here there are moments where it seems like the songs, if not the band, are simply going through the motions. When they hook it up - on the ear worm ‘On A Roll’ or brilliantly off-centre closer ‘Then We Kiss’, their attitude shines through. When they don’t, we’re left pining for the conspicuously abscent ‘Manners’. ‘This Is...’ isn’t a bad album. It isn’t even an average one. Far from it - it’s more than good, but it could have been great. (Stephen Ackroyd) LISTEN: ‘On A Roll’

She’s Gone (Don Giovanni) To any girl who spent her formative years watching 90s Nickelodeon series there’s a specific kind of band they’ll have wanted to form. Upset are that band. And not just ‘cause they’ve nabbed former Hole drummer Patty Schemel. The trio – the line-up completed by ex-Best Coast and Vivian Girls drummer Ali Koehler on vocals and guitarist Jenn Prince of La Sera – are Ramones-indebted bubblegum punk all the way. Debut ‘She’s Gone’ takes the age-old themes (boys, cool girls, mean girls, school, more boys) and doesn’t need to change the formula. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Never Wanna’


ANNA CALVI One Breath (Domino)

A beautiful, atmospheric triumph Anna Calvi’s second album pulls off a none-too-easy trick, managing to be instantly familiar while demonstrating enough differences to avoid the suggestion of its maker being a horse with a paucity of manoeuvres. And while ‘One Breath’ still has some up-and-downs, it succeeds in mixing them up with a bunch of side-to-side bits. Calvi has maintained the theatricality and the exaggerated, torch singer flounces of passion, but has allowed it to become slightly frayed around the edges. It makes for a noisier, odder and more interesting experience. Teaming her dark, sultry torch-singer side with something more personal has worked wonders. ‘One Breath’ is a beautiful, atmospheric triumph. (Tim Lee) LISTEN: ‘Love Of My Life’

When did you start work on ‘One Breath’? I was thinking about ideas when I was on tour. When I finished touring I took a month off and then I just started working again. It was ideas that were mulling around from the end of the last record’s tour. By that point was it already a distinct vision? I had ideas for it musically. I was interested in exploring having both a sense of beauty and ugliness on the record;


how they can coexist even in the space of one song. There’s a fight between the two. Ideas like these seemed to subconsciously come through. I think the record is based around the moment before everything changes. That moment can be full of hope because the possibilities are limitless because nothing’s yet changed. That idea is something I kept coming back to. Is change something you’ve been subject to

as a musician, something that’s out of your control? In a way you have more control as a musician, in a way you have less. When no-one knows about you, you feel like you have more control over how people perceive you. The more people hear, the less you can control the aspects about how people judge you. In the end you just have to let it go. I have a strong vision of what I want to do. As long as I’m happy with my work, that’s all I can really ask for. 67



LORDE Pure Heroine (Virgin EMI)

All very here, all very now. What we’ve come to expect from Lorde is catchy blog-pop with hit potential. And this whiffs all over ‘Pure Heroine’. Kicking things off with ‘Tennis Court’, we get sugar-sweet, smoky production and ballsy, opinionated lyrics. Where stateside chart-dominator ‘Royals’ and its avalanching choral chant of “I’ll rule” shows confidence, ‘Ribs’ with its dreamlike choes and clubby drum kicks, focuses on the dankness of fame. Here, she claims she’s being driven crazy by adolescence, using minimalism and her trademark blend of fluttery vocals and faster quasi-talking to her full advantage. The diversity continues as breathy, subdued ‘Buzzcut Season’ offers restraint, but latest single ‘Team’ edges closer to A-list pop. ‘Glory and Gore’ is all arms-on-hips sass, with a call of “Victory’s contagious”, but nothing tops ‘A World Alone’, a fuck-you to the gossipers and naysayers. A closing, deadpanned “Let them talk” is wry and defiant, and appropriate for a debut album by a lady doing it all her own way. (Huw Oliver) LISTEN: ‘400 Lux‘, ‘Ribs’



Lousy With Sylvianbriar (Polyvinyl)

Will the real Kevin Barnes please stand up? The name of Montreal have made for themselves – of which Barnes is very much central – is based around weirdness. Oddities. A strange yet clever turn of phrase, the song never going quite where expected. Which is why ‘Lousy With Sylvianbriar’ is so disappointing. Opener ‘Fugitive Air’ is, at best, a mobile phone company’s impression of Beck. At worst, it’s just one “sunshiiiiine” away from being made for Liam Gallagher. Sixties-style guitar sounds and Seventies soft-rock with neither glam nor sleaze might be fine for mid-American road trips, but for a group usually teetering on the edge, it’s just... boring. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘She Ain’t Speaking Now’




How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident (Prescriptions)

“You have confused excitement,” rants infamously angry (not so) young man and main Future of the Left protagonist Andy Falkous in ‘Singing Of The Bonesaws’, “with the fear of missing out”. Yes, Falco’s as pissed off with the ‘Industry’ as ever. Unfortunately, through much of the 14-track beast that is ‘How To Stop Your Brain In An Accident’, there’s not quite enough venom seeping through: even the heavier-sounding riffs of ‘Future Child Embarrasment Matrix’ are a little tempered here. It’s almost like it’s all a bit... clean? (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Johnny Borrell Afterlife’ (best song title of the year - surely?!)


JOHNNY FLYNN Country Mile (Transgressive)

For better or worse, Johnny Flynn’s always seemed a little different to his folky peers – a little more reverent of the past of folk music, without the need for tweed – and the difference has never been more obvious than on ‘Country Mile’. It’s stuffed not only with the requisite nu-folk sounds, but the vocabulary too: it’s all “singing of a lark” this and “Fol-De-Rol” that. Flynn and band are happy to be a little old-fashioned, but it can be fun to join them. (Tom Baker) LISTEN: ‘Murmuration’


SLEIGH BELLS Bitter Rivals (Lucky Number)



Girls Like Us (Bella Union)

The clue’s in the name. PINS’ cutting, jagged approach to riotous rock‘n’roll isn’t anything game-changing, but the way the Manchester four-piece approach it most definitely is. If what came before was a blunt breadknife, this is a piercing dagger. Since they emerged PINS have been blowing the socks off anyone who’s dared cross their path. ‘Girls Like Us’ gives indication that this is only just the beginning. (Jamie Milton) LISTEN: ’Lost Lost Lost’


Alexis Krauss, Sleigh Bells JANELLE MONÁE The Electric Lady

“I really enjoy her, she’s an incredibly captivating artist. When she’s on point she’s super super on.”

Sleigh Bells are not just back with a bang. They’re back with a bang, kick, stamp, scream, punch and a KA-POW. There’s no doubt that Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller are at their blistering best when everything’s turned up to eleven. And fear not – just seconds in to opener, lead single and title track ‘Bitter Rivals’, it’s all there: the slamming synths, overdriven guitars and Alexis’ unrivalled scream. It’s no surprise, then, that the finest moments on the record are when both are going full pelt – ‘Sing Like A Wire’, with its Michael Jackson-referencing synths, ‘Minnie’’s chorus and vocal taunts, the use of what appears to be a cow (!) next to a mean-sounding acoustic riff (!!). Krauss is on delicious vocal form throughout, sounding both as fierce and feminine as ever, matching cutting lyrics with sounds so girlish they almost risk being cutesy. They’re not – thankfully – and even on the record’s quieter moments – ‘To Hell With You’ and the hip-hop esque ‘You Don’t Get Me Twice’, there’s still enough venom to keep the badassery going. Derek’s new-found healthy lifestyle, Alexis’ increased role in the duo – the pair’s decision to take up boxing. Whatever it is that’s made ‘Bitter Rivals’ take this form, it’s worked. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Sing Like A Wire’, ‘Minnie’ 69




Swearin’ (Wichita)

Having been out Stateside since the summer of last year, the UK release of the Philadelphians’ self-titled debut is little more than a precursor for new LP ‘Surfing Strange’. But it is still a mightily impressive introduction. Alternating lead vocals between Allison Crutchfield and Kyle Gilbride keep things from ever becoming samey, and there’s not so much fuzz their pop gems get lost. It’s a seamless mesh of ramshackle indie, 90s grunge and angsty college rock in a deliciously lo-fi package. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Shrinking Violet’


LEE RANALDO AND THE DUST Last Night On Earth (Matador)

Since Sonic Youth’s split, both Kim and Thurston have gone on to successfully do their own thing, and it looks like original co-founder and guitarist Lee Ranaldo is following suit. ‘Last Night


On Earth’ is filled with guitar licks that manage to sound ferocious and friendly at the same time, marrying a slightly avant-garde persuasion and tight focused songwriting with something instantly warming. Albums like this are wonderful because they show a separate facet to a musician, and the view here largely consists of sprawling, dizzying hills of pop-tinged melody, charged with a dark lyrical undertone. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Ambulancer’


KIDS IN GLASS HOUSES Peace (Transmission Recordings)

‘Peace’ is an unabashed pop album. Listen past the driving riffs and roaring chorus of the punchy title track that might suggest rock – the massive hook says otherwise. Likewise, the pulsing synths and catchy sing-a-long of ‘Set Me Free’ make it as likely a dancefloor filler as a stadium yeller. There are subtler moments mixed in with the overwhelming PARTY FUN that’s at work here, but the guys don’t always pull it off. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. What’s not to like? (Shefali Srivastava) LISTEN: ‘Novocaine‘



Fade Away (Jewel City / Kobalt)

Bethany opens her heart. Like a door. An EP – or mini-album, as interchangeable as the terms may be – is, by default, a transitional release. It’s no surprise that the songs on ‘Fade Away’ are on such a release: these are transitional songs. Musically it’s very much as you were, country-tinged alt-rock, a little punkier in places, a little less scared of making a racket. ‘Who Have I Become’, Bethany’s asking in the song of the same name. By the next Best Coast album proper, it’s pretty clear she’ll have a much better idea. (Emma Swann) LISTEN: ‘Baby I’m Crying‘



Forget frivolity. ‘Trust’, the debut album from Gambles is a remarkably real record not least because of its harrowing subject matter. ‘Rooftops’ flows out in such an organic and untampered way, you imagine he sat crossed legged gripping his battered Dreadnought, before allowing his immediate reactions to pour onto the timeline. Then there’s ‘Animal’, which is as bittersweetly lifeaffirming and cinematic as anything off Noah And The Whale’s magnificent ‘The First Days Of Spring’. Amateurish, but defiantly unperturbed, this is a grave and momentous listen. (James West) LISTEN: ‘So I Cry Out’


LANTERNS ON THE LAKE Until The Colours Run (Bella Union)

As an album that is purposefully more entrenched in politics than its predecessor, singer and lyricist Hazel Wilde paints huge canvasses of a bleak and unforgiving England, all along ‘Until The Colours Run’. There’s much beauty and soul within the record’s nine tracks. Carefully crafted and frequently heart-breaking such as the piano led ‘Green and Gold’ and the soundtrack to going through old photo albums that is the delectable ‘Picture Show’, it’s hard to imagine that the supposed fractious process of making the album during the band’s state of flux could result in something that sounds so complete and diligently crafted. For every moment of devastating weariness, there are several moments of chilling beauty and it is this which keeps the band from being overly oppressive in its sound. (Bevis Man) LISTEN: ‘The Ghost That Sleeps In Me‘



Too Weird To Live, Too Rare To Die (Atlantic)

Brendon Urie knows where the party’s at. As the Hunter S Thompson pilfering title might warn of, there’s plenty of Gambling City inspired glitz on show here as well as a little grime and grit. Opener ‘This is Gospel’ is a thumping, turbocharged anthem whose chorus smashes you in the face like an irate Bellagio bouncer. This is the sound of a band who have re-discovered the party (the good bits, the bad bits, the seedy bits) and the result is that ‘Too Weird...’ is an album that pops and fizzes with excitement, vim and intent. (Tom Doyle) LISTEN: ‘Nicotine’ ,‘Girls Girls Boys’




DALE EARNHARDT JR JR The Speed of Things (warner)

There’s nothing wrong with writing generic, radiofriendly pop and leaving at that. A memo that doesn’t seem to have reached Detroit natives Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. as second album ‘The Speed Of Things’ has them trying all kinds of tricks (see the synths on ‘Run’, guitar samples on ‘Hiding’) to mask their MOR guitar pop as something more ‘interesting’. Think frat boys (say, Foster The People) doing their best Phoenix impression – especially with the Beatles-aping vocal harmonies of ‘Knock Louder’ and you’d be about halfway there. (Emma Swann)

LISTEN: ‘Gloria‘

hipsters – but instead to illustrate that if their music fails to bring a smile to one’s face, it’s probably a good idea to try face yoga. Take ‘Fred Astaire’ – an exuberant mix of chirpy guitar, funky bass and drums bouncier than Kelis on a spacehopper – all toppedoff with a keyboard solo that’s a call to throw some mean jazz-hands. It might not break any musical boundaries, but who cares when it’s this much of a Dopamine injection? (Kyle MacNeill) LISTEN: No Friends


GLASSER Interiors (True Panther Sounds)

Title-wise, forget ‘Landscape’, ‘Design’, Window’ and all its three parts. Pretend for a moment that this isn’t some musical equivalent of an Ikea catalogue. If there’s an obsession with objects on ‘Interiors’ eeee they’re static beings that Cameron leans on, or on the odd Shulamith (Memphis Industries) occasion smashes A next-level second record. into pieces. Despite Poliça’s debut of last year was an exquisite offering opener ‘Shape’ of darkly polyrhythmic pop-weirdness, fused with being a colossal auto-tuned vocals that permeated into the entire Björk channelling blend. This time round, Mary Berry would’ve asked beauty that comes for Poliça to scribble down the recipe, because close to breaking ‘Shulamith’ carries forward all those cohesive point, the bulk of elements, and manages to take them to the next level. ‘Interiors’ is restless The drums sound more physical and alive against all but unassuming. those synthisised elements, and it’s this change that’s More like a integral to this record’s appeal. It sounds far less like cluttered room an album that could’ve been made on a laptop, and full of unfinished far more gritty, hard-hitting, exciting. ‘Shulamith’ is objects, rather than full of life and energy, and it’s more or less impossible a bright art deco not to get propelled along with it. This band is still masterpiece that’d very young, but ‘Shulamith’ is their second excellent send architects into record. That’s no mean feat. If Poliça can produce a frenzy. (Jamie output of this quality in two years, then the future is Milton) looking exciting. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Shape’ LISTEN: ‘Warrior Lord‘, ‘Very Cruel’



SAN CISCO San Cisco (sony)

San Cisco are fun. Who else describes their vibe as if describing a hunk of salmon stir-fried by a hipster-werewolf (“squelchy, crispy, streamlined, hairy, indie”)? Nor do many bands have videos as quirky as San Cisco’s five-million viewed ‘Awkward’, featuring drummer Scarlett Stevens looking more deadpan than a smashed-up wok. This isn’t some sort of pathetic attempt to single them out as ultimate



Max Bloom, Yuck JEFF BUCKLEY Grace “I guess it was one of those albums that I just looked over. I love it on first listen, I think it’s a really beautiful album.”

eeee eee

FENECH SOLER Rituals (Warner)

Fenech-Soler’s second album is surely the summeriest one this September. From abstract noun album-opener ‘Youth’ to verby album-closer ‘Glow’, this is an LP wholly designed for the unthinking warm waves of sun, sea and synths. ‘Rituals’ is from start to finish an absolutely joyous piece of indulgent craft. ‘Somebody’, for example, combines Ben Duffy’s airy vocals, some gentle bass frequencies and shimmery percussive loops to produce a series of hair-raising pull-andrelease moments that thankfully never lead to the increasingly commonplace drop. Instead, it gently buffets you along on eddies of goodwill and enjoyment without ever seeming tedious or vacant. Joyful synth-pop that declares “now that we’re here, we feel so alive, we can make this last forever, we can waste time together” is hardly going to win Nobel prizes for literature. But who cares? (Tom Morris) LISTEN: ‘Somebody’


Glow & Behold (Fat Possum)

The fuzzy trio are reborn There’s no sweeping it under the rug; changing a band’s lead singer is like swapping the central cog in a complicated Caractacus Potts invention. Whatever goes in the place of the original will inevitably spiral out in domino effect. Sometimes this can render the machine useless. Sometimes it can be endlessly exciting, and make the whole contraption operate in ways that never seemed possible. The latter is certainly true in the case of Yuck’s second album, ‘Glow & Behold’. The band still have that deliciously fuzzy aesthetic, but they sound more delicate, expansive, and sometimes all-enveloping, too. And while the band feed off all manner of nostalgic sounds, they don’t seem to offer a simple recreation or rehashing at any point. This is a wonderful record, showing new exciting nuances to Yuck, and also thoroughly in awe of the music that inspires them. (El Hunt) LISTEN: ‘Nothing New’





These guys are our labelmates and tourmates and watching how their sound has developed has been endlessly inspiring. Such a good example of how smart equals heavy.


I’ve never heard a live record that sounds so ALIVE. Definitely a vocal influence in terms of attitude, this sounds like trapping lightning in a jar and making the present feel present forever.


We’d play this in our rented apartment in Seattle most mornings. Michael of TK lent us his drums to record on and he’s a jewel in the Emerald City’s crown.


When I toured the US with Wild Beasts these guys from Vermont were the support band. A really expansive record that I got lost in all tour. It’s broad and leafy, with, to my ears, a dash of Welsh psychedelic pop.



SKY LARKIN Motto (Wichita)

Three albums in they’re stronger than ever before. The idea of undiscovered gems in this era of infinite choice seems somewhat perverse. That any band - especially one on their third album, with a fair amount of critical, if not commercial, acclaim - could be described as a hidden talent is obviously slightly squiffy, but Sky Larkin’s star has always burned that much brighter than even their list of plaudits gained. This is, to offer no exaggeration at all, one of our most brilliant bands. There’s an increased steel running through ‘Motto’ - an extra thump, a stronger arm - but never played in a way that disrupts the chemistry. An evolution, rather than a revolution, ‘Carve It Out’, ‘Newsworthy’ and the album’s title track all find themselves comfortably in the top tiers of whatever hyperbolic rankings you wish to mention. Wake up, world - eight years in, Sky Larkin are demanding your attention. Deny them at your own risk. (Stephen Ackroyd) LISTEN: ‘Loom’


HOLY GHOST! Dynamics (DFA)

Never mind long distance runners. Forget all about tower crane drivers. Instead ponder the loneliness of the ageing clubber. The one thinking that maybe, just maybe that pounding, punishing beat is the source of that pounding, punishing headache. Holy Ghost! are there. ‘Dynamics’ is an album which, on the surface, sounds like it’s having a fucking amazing time doing the running man to the Human League and New Order and Kraftwerk, but underneath is a swarming mass of insecurities. Of doubt and worry and ennui and sufficient existential burdens to make a French philosopher carefully place down their Gauloise, grasp them by the shoulders and demand they lighten up. DFA have previous in the area, what with LCD Soundsystem having more or less invented this sort of thing. But here on ‘Dynamics’, Holy Ghost! seem to have a found a generation in between the kids throwing the house parties and the fat guys in t-shirts doing all the singing. For those who like their light-hearted empty-headed fun to contain a certain amount of concealed depth, ‘Dynamics’ certainly does the trick. (Tim Lee) Listen: ‘Dance A Little Closer’



fuzz (In The Red)


DELTRON 3030 Event II (Caroline Int.)

For a group based 3000 years in the future, a 13-year gap between LPs is a drop in the ocean. With plenty of guest stars on ‘Event II’, the best turns are uprovided by the biggest personalities. See Zack de la Rocha on the dynamic ‘Melding of the Minds’. Elsewhere, Damon Albarn’s melancholy sigh on ’What Is This Loneliness?’ is sweet and ineffably affecting. Not everything works, but there’s a pleasing sense of ambition tinged with the old school flavour. (Martyn Young) LISTEN: ‘What Is This Loneliness?’


NYPC NYPC (The Number)

No longer new, no longer young. No longer ponies, no longer a club. Singer Tahita Bulmer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Spence are now the entirety of NYPC. This selftitled album is a reasonable return; it’s polished, sleek and there’s a definite pleasure to be derived from admiring its stark, modern lines. But while classy, it lacks stand out moments. The songs are admirable, but ultimately there’s a bit of a lack of personality. (Tim Lee) Listen: ‘L.O.V.E.‘

There have been some rumblings amongst Ty Segall’s followers about his move from guitar to drums; even as respected as Charlie Moonhart is, could he come close to commanding the guitar in a comparable way? ‘FUZZ’ quickly destroys any hints of doubt. Just like Ty, he knows exactly what noise he wants his axe to make, and achieves it effortlessly - as best demonstrated on ‘Loose Sutres’. This is a thirty-five minute blast of garage rock of the highest calibre. Consider all boxes ticked: carefree, angry, passionate, loud, relentless, and fun. (Jay Platt) LISTEN: ‘Raise‘



Better Ghosts (fatcat)

A peek inside Mazes’ inner sanctum. Given the extent to which Mazes transformed themselves with this year’s ‘Ores and Minerals’, eavesdropping into their rehearsal room seems a fascinating proposition. And, as if by magic, they’ve invited us in (well almost). ‘Better Ghosts’ is a collection of ‘experimental recordings’. And during ‘Notes Between From F&E’ Jack Cooper perfectly summarises his band’s development, singing “I know all the cool notes, riffs, hooks and the good chords.” He’s not wrong. (Samuel Cornforth) LISTEN: ‘Hayfever Wristband‘


live BeStIVaL / the crIBS / LorDe / LoS PorcoS / SmIth WeSternS / I WaS a cUB ScoUt

BESTIVAL photos: mat t richardson

Robin Hill Country Park, Isle of Wight

H E L L o , S a I L o r : T H E f L a m I N G L I p S , S N o o p d o G G a N d E LT o N S E T S a I L o N T H E I S L E o f w I G H T.


.I.A is the main draw on Thursday night, providing a stunning barrage of visuals – at odds with a set that quickly loses the Big Top’s attention. Once ‘Boyz’, ‘Paper Planes’ and ‘Galang’ boom out later in the set, though, Maya Arulpragasam is back on top of her game.

It’s the sight of Wayne Coyne, atop a glam-rock pedestal festooned with LEDs, cradling a baby doll (yes, really), and brandishing all manner of hand-held light-up gadgets that steals the show on Friday night.

Wu Tang Clan are exceptionally good the next day – even though some of their members apparently didn’t make it through customs. The skies are blue, and the crowd is equally sunny in disposition.

Warming us up for a night of wild dancing, Lulu James graces the Replay stage, donning an impressive piece of millinery modelled on a ship. She’s great fun, as are Swim Deep, who follow her lead with a cover of ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’, and an energetic set for a bustling tent.

Later on, The Flaming Lips haul their giant props chest to Bestival, and make grown men weep with ‘Do You Realize??’.

It’s Snoop Dogg that owns Saturday with his caricaturelike presence. ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’ surely causes a few


WAYNE COYNE AND A BABY (DOLL) Apparently it’s a doll. Though it doesn’t look like anyone’s told our Wayne that just yet.

aHoY, THErE! It wasn’t just the crowds taking on the Bestival party spirit - some of the weekend’s performers were also dressed up.

JESSIE WARE That’s Captain Ware to you, as Jessie’s nautical get-up has her taking control of the crowd on Friday evening.

BASTILLE What else but a nod to a film from Dan Smith and co as they take on Wes Anderson’s Team Zissou on Saturday.

strained muscles – the whole festival has turned up for the occasion. Snoop also plays collaborations ‘Signs’ and ‘California Girls’ – it’s a set that caters for the hip-hop dabblers as well as the dedicated obsessive. The Knife wrap up Saturday with a visual spectacle of dance and watercolour lights. Sunday may as well be Elton John Night. Fresh off the back of casually picking up the first ever Brit Icon award, he’s back onstage in his glittery suit, for his first English festival appearance since ‘69. Every single Elton classic is catered for, along with a rare rendition of ‘Candle In The Wind’. It’s a massively emotional set, it’s finale being ‘Your Song’, and a sky lit with endless fireworks. James Blake draws Sunday to a triumphant close – ‘Overgrown’ from his latest album sends shivers down everyone’s wildly dancing spines. It’s ‘Limit To Your Love’ that puts the final flag atop HMS Bestival. Fitting really, because there probably is no limit to our love for this festival. (El Hunt)

FRANZ FERDINAND True to form as indie’s elder statesmen, Alex Kapranos and gang go nautical chic proper with Breton shirts.




H E Y, S c E N E S T E r S ! T H E J a r m a N S Ta k E o N a S w E aT Y da L S T o N B a S E m E N T.



feel like The Beatles at the Cavern,” says Gary Jarman, surveying the heaving mass of bodies packed into the concrete basement of Birthdays. “And as long as we don’t influence Britpop and Mods I’m alright with that.” We’re halfway through a typically high-octane and sweat-fuelled performance from the Wakefield band. But tonight feels even more special than usual. In a venue this small, for a band who have been creating their joyously messy racket for over for ten years, this is as intimate as it’s possible to see them. In many ways it feels like a chaotic celebration of their career as they play many songs from their early albums including some they haven’t played in years. The crowd are uncontrollable from the start; there’s a bouncer standing on stage just to glare. One person is even thrown out during opener, ‘Major’s Titling Victory’, but before you know it they’re straight into ‘Hey Scenesters’ and there’s no let up. There are high fives and flags in the crowd. Ryan Jarman is a mass


of sweat, long, lank black hair and a leather jacket which is soon discarded while Ross keeps standing on his drum kit to start off tracks. There’s a freewheeling, ramshackle feel to the whole gig. They even throw in a cover: The Replacements’ ‘Bastards of the Young’. They bash out the absurdly catchy ‘Mirror Kisses’ and Men’s Needs’ and it’s so easy to forget just how many pogoing anti-hero anthems they have. They even have time to feel nostalgic. “We may never have been the biggest band”, admits Gary, “but at least the people who like The Cribs believed in The Cribs,”. But before it starts to sound like a sudden and unexpected farewell he quickly adds “There’s still life in the old dog yet.” You better believe it. This is as vital a show as you’ll see all year. (Danny Wright) SETLIST: Major’s Titling Victory / Hey Scenesters! / Come On, Be A No-One / You’re Gonna Lose Us / I’m A Realist / Glitters Like Gold / Martell / Anna / Cheat On Me / The Watch Trick / Direction / The Lights Went Out / Leather Jacket Love Song / Another Number / Mirror Kissers / Men’s Needs / City Of Bugs / Third Outing

photos: Carolina Faruolo

THE CRIBS Birthdays,

SoHo GIVES a muTEd rESpoNSE To aN oVErdoSE of ‘purE HEroINE’

LORDE Madame JoJo’s, London


Forget the ‘potential’ bollocks. Lorde’s already a fully-fledged superstar, and she’s making sure people damn well know about it. Everything about this show feels rehearsed, and while this could work as a double-edged sword, by the time ‘A World Alone’ filters out and Ella semi-storms off stage with not so much as a second glance, it simply confirms that she’s 100% cut out for the big time. ‘Ribs’ is a gorgeously lifting single in waiting, while ‘Royals’ receives at least three rounds of applause, each one more hysteric than the last. If a good chunk of the crowd are merely holding out for an ‘I was there’ moment, Lorde provides it. With grace, good intentions and goodness knows how much confidence, there’s pretty much nothing that’ll stop this newcomer from outgrowing the ridiculous hype. (Jamie Milton)

photos: Abi Dainton

eople will talk, yeah, people will talk”. The timing of the closing line in Lorde’s final song seems pretty calculated. This is the New Zealand chart-topper’s debut UK show. There’s a strange occasion filtering around Madame JoJo’s, from fevered fans at the front to folded arms at the very back. The constant “whoops” can’t hide the fact that ahead of her debut album release, this feels like some kind of fucked-up audition. But what does Lorde have to prove, exactly? She’s hit the heights of every chart in sight with ‘The Love Club’, ‘Tennis Court’ and latest single ‘Royals’. She strides on stage in all-black with the kind of all-conquering confidence that shuns the chatter, the furrowed brows that cram into this stuffy London venue. “Why aren’t you dancing? This is bullshit,” she quips at one stage.



THE NEwcomErS GET aLL dISco INfErNo. Spector bringing nostalgic pop to the forefront. Madame JoJo’s, London Everyone’s in on it, from smirking frontman Bruce hen did dance-offs Yates to the packed-out become exciting again? When did acting like a Madame JoJo’s crowd. Hoards of onlookers bound loon and sporting the worst dad dancing in existence start onto the stage by the time the seven-piece launch into being cool? To be perfectly closing track ‘Talkin’ Bout blunt, it never has been and it never will be. But somehow Makin’ Love’. Los Porcos Los Porcos (a band consisting represent something that everyone subconsciously of members from Wu Lyf, FAMY and Profondo) invite an wants to latch onto, even if atmosphere that embraces all it’s tasteless, stupid, hilarious. these ridiculous oddities. For Take a step back from the arms aloft, frenzied reception starters, consider that every to new single ‘Sunshine’ and member of the band is in allwhite. The scene plays out like it’s shocking just how damn a bunch of sinners embracing smooth the band’s sound is. It’s nigh on free of flaws. The a heavenly afterlife in the fact that it encourages this form of tasteless disco kind of furore makes barely classics. Sunglasses, bongo any sense. Few other bands drums, two guitarists, could pull this off. Tongues beaming smiles. It’s firmly in cheek, this feels like ridiculous. Los Porcos is an the beginning of something inside joke, essentially. It’s exciting. (Jamie Milton) like CSS circa-2008 with disco revivalism. It’s like Fred



photos: emma swann

G o w E S T L o N d o N , a S T H E c H I c a G o a N S r E T u r N T o T H E c a p I Ta L .

SMITH WESTERNS 100 Club, London


onight the legendary basement hidden beneath Oxford Street is all Smith Westerns’. It’s a long overdue return to London for the band, who were forced to cancel their last headline show back in the hazy past of 2011. It seems somewhat unbelievable that it is still possible to see a band as outstanding as this on a stage that reaches halfway up the crowd’s shins – but it’s that intimacy that makes tonight feel so special. “If you don’t like our band then you’re in for a long night,” quips frontman Cullen Omori. He needn’t worry because the entire room is quietly smitten from the off. Omori’s vocals have never sounded better, and ‘Foolproof’ kicks the show off to a flawless start. ‘Only One’ and ‘Best


Friend’ follow, with Max Kakacek juggling glimmering synth lines with sparkling guitar solos. The room is unfortunately quite static in response – whether that’s down to the obtrusive pillars breaking up the front row, or the fact that they’re just completely awed remains to be seen. “You who started the clap,” says Omori between songs, “It didn’t work, but I admire you.” Technical catastrophe strikes later on in way of a snapped e-string; before ‘3am Spiritual’ has a chance to unfurl to full breathtaking potential. Kakacek visibly winces as he tries to continue with his now knackered guitar. But absence makes the heart grow fonder, and returning to a captivated London after three long years, it’s like Smith Westerns never left it. (El Hunt)

photos: Carolina Faruolo

Photos: Sinéad Grainger

S aV E Yo u r w I S H E S - T H E d u o r E T u r N f o r o N E N I G H T o N LY.

I WAS A CUB SCOUT The Borderline, London


here’s a peculiar atmosphere inside the Borderline this evening. Tonight we’re set to witness, for one night only, the return of I Was A Cub Scout. Having split in the least of amicable ways back in 2008, the duo – consisting of Todd Marriot and Will Bowerman – infamously went all out cold turkey when it came to the end. In fact, we’re led to believe that this time on stage is one of the longest periods that they’ve spent in each other’s company since then. With time, though, all wounds heal, and tonight’s set is reserved to give the band the last farewell that it so deserved, but missed out on that first time around. Opening with ‘Save Your Wishes’, the crowd is washed over with waves of comforting nostalgia, as the familiar sounds of their only album’s opener sounds out. As the set continues, it’s increasingly evident that the mark they made – however short their career, or young they once were

– on their audience is remarkable. The lyrics still roll off the tongues of a packed room, and the smiles widen with every turn of the setlist. Granted, Marriot claims his voice isn’t quite what it used to be (“Well, my balls finally dropped”) but no one really even notices. In between songs, both members exchange everything from memories of bad interviews to gratitude to the loved ones who didn’t even know that this part of their lives existed. Throughout the evening, there’s that overwhelming feeling that this night will be one remembered for a long time to come, and, as they return to the stage to play “the hit”, ‘Pink Squares’, it’s clear this is a perfect closing chapter. (Sarah Jamieson) SETLIST: Save Your Wishes / Echoes / Part II / Part III / Our Smallest Adventures / Recommendations / Lucean / Hunters Daughter / A Step Too Far Behind / Pink Squares


WILL BOWERMAN, DRUMS How was it for you? The show was everything I could have hoped for. So much positive energy in the room and no one was afraid to sing along. It felt a lot like “This is Your Life” seeing faces that I had not seen for a good 6 or 7 years along side new friends from my new life. Is that definitely it? That’s definitely it. The atmosphere was so perfect in that room and it has allowed us to be at peace with the past. After all this time, it is a beautiful feeling to be able to close the book with a smile.





HarrY koISSEr, Peace

With his luxurious hair and his ‘GSOH’, Harry is a true leader. Good with words and quick of wit, this singer/coat magnate is sure to make us lovesick.


t(PUPJUFNPGDMPUIJOH“These comfortable, forest green trousers. I wear these on a flight or down the street. They’re kind of flared, but not really.� t.PTUVTFEDIBUVQMJOF“’How many letters are in the alphabet? 20, no?’ They reply, ‘It’s 26’. You go ‘Oh, I forgot U R A Q T’. They go ‘Wait, that’s only 25’. And you go ‘I’ll give you the D later!’ It’s a conversation.� t'BWPVSJUF'SBHSBODF “Tom Ford, Tobacco Vanille.� t5IPVHIUTPO3ZBO(PTMJOH “I think he’s just hyped enough. Everyone loves Gosling, he’s a good guy.�




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Profile for DIY Magazine

DIY, October 2013  

THIS! IS! PARAMORE! Also, in our new look magazine - HAIM, Los Campesinos, Yuck, Icona Pop, Sleigh Bells and loads more! Pick it up in prin...

DIY, October 2013  

THIS! IS! PARAMORE! Also, in our new look magazine - HAIM, Los Campesinos, Yuck, Icona Pop, Sleigh Bells and loads more! Pick it up in prin...