Niki & The Dove
Gold-Bears 8 Vondelpark
She Keeps Bees
We Promised breaks with tradition. In our musiczine we focus on the most interesting foreign bands of the moment. The ones that don’t get enough attention in Belgian media; bands who often don’t make it to the end of year lists but still produce music of high quality. With a fresh outlook on the music scene We Promised goes for the bands it believes in, not necessarily for the hyped ones. Two hundred and fifty unique copies of the magazine will be lying around at Café Video, Music Mania and the Democrazy gigs. In this summer edition you’ll find summery tunes for every occasion. Let the sunshine in! We Promised is Gerlin Heestermans (http://coincidentalhappenings.be) Kasper – Jan Raeman (http://ieatcrabfood.wordpress. com) A special thanks to Hermine (http://hermine.me) and Eno (http://flickr.com/ photos/enoswinnen & http://vimeo.com/enoswinnen) for the lay-out and illustrations.
to accompany a swim in the deep blue ocean...
Music has long been an
off with a pinch of experiment
export product of Sweden
and youâ€™ll get an inkling of
and in our opinion Niki & The
how Niki & The Dove sound.
Dove are the artist to keep
Frontwoman Malin looks like
an eye on right now. Add
a Eurovision Song contestant
together pop, extravagance
gone wild and has an
and colourfulness and top it
incredible voice. We like!
to soundtrack your rollerskating on the pier...
We would be lying if we said Copy Haho were a new band, but despite the fact that they’ve been around for a couple of years, their debut was only released this July. Perhaps you saw them supporting Los Campesinos! In March 2010? Fact is that they’ve grown a lot and have since become a part of the crop of British indie – due to their subtleness and intelligent lyrics. Copy Haho may be less in-your-face, beneath the surface there are just good songs to be found.
SUMMER JAM Richard (bass): I think it’s fair to say that my summer jam is - perhaps somewhat unconventionally - the newest Johann Johannsson album, The Miners’ Hymns. As you might expect from him, it’s really dramatic and captivating - I’m pleased that he’s returning to more organic sounds, too; the use of brass on this release is amazing. It’s not summery in the slightest, but it’s been soundtracking my reading in the garden, so that counts, right?
to kill mosquitos to...
Pump up the heat. The warmer the weather, the more productive Darren Williams – aka Star Slinger – gets. The best sampler and remixer in the UK (check his edits of Washed Out and Gold Panda) cuts and pastes R&B, hiphop and electronicatunes till they become absolute bangers. No lambada on the beach this summer. It’s all Slinga according to us! SUMMER JAM Probably Armand Van Helden’s ‘U Don’t Know Me’. It gets me all nostalgic. Been reliving that period in my life where I was too young to go to clubs but would hear these bangers on late nite radio and dream about it.
Give us your favourite beach destination where you always wanted to play! I popped champagne before playing on a beach in the south of France the other week for Midi Festival in Hyères. It was 30+ degrees but so windy I felt the need to put my barbour on! So I’d rule that out now. I would probably say I’d love to try somewhere like Hawaii!
to sing around the campfire... Indie as it should be: genuine with a touch of melancholy, catchy as hell and with a wink to the nineties of course. Main man Jeremy Underwood already earned his stripes by playing in several DIY bands but has now found a home in Gold-Bears. It seemed almost natural for them to be signed by iconic label Slumberland Records – founded by Mike from the equally legendary
because it reminds me of
someone who has been a close friend since high school.
We’d drive around aimlessly
Jeremy: My favorite song to
during summer break listening
jam in the summer is ‘I Don’t
to that song over and over. So
Know’ by The Blues Busters
to soundtrack the beachparty...
They came out of nowhere. Last year London trio Vondelpark made their debut with the most unruly popmusic to emerge in 2010. Phats & Small samples combined with minimal guitars that referred to British cultband Durutti Column? Exciting! Guys that squeezed a UK garage or techno sound out of their guitars. Damn, it just sounded... different! After the Sauna EP followed their second â€“ and a new highlight in their young career â€“ nyc stuff and nyc bags EP on the Belgian R&S
label. Once again full of slow 2-step rhythms, but now leaning more towards nineties R&B. The hype grows but they stay fickle: they hardly give any interviews and make no exception for We Promised, unfortunately. If they are treated with the same promo campaign labelmate James Blake had, they are about to conquer the world. Guaranteed. But let them be a little wayward first. SUMMERJAM No comment.
They’re all getting it Out Of Africa! The tribal rhythms from the heart of the continent, the Ethiopian desertblues or the hyperkinetic kudoro from Angola: African music influences all artists. Examples galore. Just think of Talking Heads or their contemporary variant Fool’s Gold. Africa’s cool, trendy and has a rich history filled with musical geniuses. That’s something Brian Shimkovitz realised as well when he was studying the Ghanese musicscene. The bespectacled ethnologist started rummaging through the cassette tapes (still the most important medium in Africa) at the local markets and found some true gems. Especially the R&B / house celebrity from the nineties Penny Penny – out of South-
Africa – is worth checking out. Back in New York, Shimkovitz digitalised his tapes when he had some time to kill and started putting the mp3’s on his blog Awesome Tapes From Africa. Fast forward six years and ATFA has become an extraordinary concept that gets worldwide recognition and is guaranteed to bring you the most surprising dj-sets – only using tapes of course. An amazing discovery! The same can be said of Group Doueh. The band led by Bamaar Salmou (Doueh for his followers) travel the world as nomads. Not with a tent but with guitar in hand! Somewhere in between the rhythms of Omar Souleyman and the overwhelming psychedelica of Jimi Hendrix, the best bluesfunk
is produced by these desert foxes. During the last edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties they were proudly posing amidst the greenery (a funny sight) on the domain, today in We Promised! This week in your playlist? Then don’t forget to add Congotronics vs. Rockers to the list as well! A mixture of musicians brought together by Crammed Discs
/ big boys Vincent Kenis and Marc Hollander. Two idealists who, out of love for African music, selected the cream of the crop with, among others, Konono N°1, a quarter Kasai Allstars, a bit of Deerhoof and some Skeletons and Juana Molina. Needless to say all of the concerts turned into one huge, global feast!
for when it rains...
Rain makes people depressed? The American Chelsea Wolfe only finds rest when the clouds protect her from the sun. In the burning LA she embraces the dark side of the world. Her second record Ἀποκάλυψις (simply Greek for Apocalypse) is the beginning of the end. Beware! Where does your obsession with darkness come from? Do you have a dark passenger (cf. Dexter)? The things that inspire me now are the same things that have always inspired me: the dark state of the world, the darkness of nature, the reality of things. Something about my childhood felt so foggy and mysterious - I always craved the true nature of things. And sometimes the truth is surreal. Sometimes
it’s clear-cut. But at least it is the truth and because it is the truth it makes sense. Your album is called Apokalypsis. How would you describe an Apocalpyse, and should God spin some of your music if it ever takes place? I would be honored... “Pale on Pale” might suit the end times. It’s about the moment of death, and how in that moment your mind finally and truly becomes open. An apocalypse can be the end of an era, the end of the world, the time of revelations. I chose the word Ἀποκάλυψις for the title because it has multiple meanings that sum up the feeling of the album “apocalypse”, lifting of the veil, revelations. For me, it carries a sense of epiphany.
to get a sunstroke to... And what if we tell you that you’ll get into big trouble if you don’t know this band yet? Big Troubles drop their second effort Romantic
SUMMER JAM Alex: ‘Perfect Way’ by Scritti Politti because it’s so infectious and bubblegum, but so much so that it’s a
Comedy in October and it’ll be a lot poppier than their debut. If you saw them at the AB or DOK in June then you know that their live shows are just as much of a party. Big Troubles was founded by Ian and Alex who’ve been best friends since highschool and you can tell: their music just oozes fun. And on top of that they’re just good musicians too. Need we say more? Didn’t think so.
little TOO sweet, in a sort of creepy way. The hypermechanical sequencing also aids that sort of unnerving feeling Ian (guitar & singing): ‘Girl in the Box” by Toshiki Kadomatsu. The Summer of desire. The brief and powerful pay-off of Kadomatsu’s builds and hooks perfectly parallel the nature of this seasons atmosphere of longing. (this might or might not be quoting a YouTube comment)
The Californian Lefse
are now ready to take the
Records is on a roll. After
world by storm. We Promised
amazing releases by How To
are big fans and spoke to
Dress Well, Ganglians and
founder Matt Halverson.
Woodsman, Dominant Legs
Could you describe Lefse
You’re probably interested
Records in two words?
in way more bands than
Lovely and aesthetic.
you’re able to sign, but which kind of band would
It isn’t easy peasy to start
you never sign? And why?
a record company today.
I never want to sign a band
What was your biggest
with an inflated ego. We love
fear when you started
working with artists who are
Lefse Records? And who
creative, humble and LOVE
supported you the most in
what they are doing.
the beginning? Our biggest fear was that we
You’re a priviliged man,
would not be able to provide
what kind of discount
the great artists with enough
should there be for every
press/support to have their
record company’s manager
records reach the masses.
in the world?
Pitchfork and Gorilla vs Bear
Buy one get one get one free
did a lot at the beginning
drinks at venues!
stages of Lefse to really jumpstart the activity.
Haha, let’s drink to that one!
In this word jumble, the names of bands found throughout the zine are hidden. Find them all!
Your favourite band is about to play a gig but you have to find your way through the maze before you can reach the venueâ€Ś
to accompany a game of beach volleyball...
live experience, as Eddy, Matt and Joe always play barefoot. Before you know it you’ll find yourself improvising tribal dance moves.
to accompany a game of beach volleyball... Started out as a hardcoreband in 2009 and slowly but steadily transformed into the most tropical band on this side of the planet. Forget about Vampire Weekend, Fair Ohs are really punk! See them live for the complete
SUMMER JAM Matt (bass): ‘Powerful Lovin’’ by Fergus & Geronimo. In fact it’s just my total jam for this year. It’s the kind of song I wish I could write and that voice, holy shit, he can really belt out some sweet soulful vibes. Joe (drums): ‘Brighter Tomorrow’ by Tom Browne. I think this song encapsulates the optimism of summer that is mixed with a strange sense of melancholy. “Lift your spirits and sail into success. Don’t settle for anything less. Or your soul will never rest... It will be brighter tomorrow”. And I just love the sound of the keyboard stabs too!
to accompany a game of pétanque... Jonathan Clancy was born in Canada but moved to Bologna, Italy with his family in his teenage years – where he still resides now. His one man project His Clancyness was founded a whole while ago but in our opinion he’s not yet received the attention he deserves. And so we decided to change that! His Clancyness is dream pop at its purest. Sparse instrumentation and the warm voice Jonathan possesses take you to a divine universe where you can linger endlessly. His lyrics are both evocative and vague and his songs are
at other times uplifting. His Clancyness has it all, basically. Jonathan’s girlfriend Giulia Mazza is a photographer and has shot him pretty much everywhere so on the following pages you can admire a couple of them. His Clancyness around the world, basically.
sometimes melancholic and
Our biggest tip for the second half of the year:
‘Hoop of Love’, ‘About My Girls’, ‘Clawing Out At The Walls’, ... Dominant Legs only writes world hits! A little bit of Bowie, a little bit of Springsteen but most of all: a lot of songwriter’s talent. The little genius Ryan Lynch works almost continuously it seems. He used to jam with Girls – another great band, as I’m sure you know – and these days he occupies himself by scribbling melancholic ballads. His debut drops on the 27th of September (on Lefse Records). We Promised couldn’t wait and started stalking Ryan. Ryan, you started Dominant Legs alone, now you have Hannah and the band backing you up. You also play in Girls. Is it important for you to be surrounded by
other musicians to play your music? Why? Well, I had a wonderful time playing with Girls, but we have since gone separate ways. It is extremely important for me to play along with other musicians. When someone hears an album, they don’t necessarily get a sense of exactly what went into the writing and recording. It should be known that everyone in our band contributes in ways that are absolutely essential to our sound. Songs like ‘About My Girls’ or ‘Hoop Of Love’ are reminiscent of the swingin’ guitar groups of the 80’s (Orange Juice,The Smiths), but when you just pay attention to the lyrics and vocals you can hear a
heartwarming crooner. Do you have a favourite? Funny that you mention this because at first glance a song like ‘About My Girls’ can seem like a simple electronic based pop song. Which it is. But when I wrote the lyrics I had Frank Sinatra in mind. It’s an honest song, but I am also making my self out to be a playboy. Part of it is having fun and playing pretend. If I had to reincarnate into a crooner, I’d go with Scott Walker. There is so much power and heartbreak in his voice!
If you’re playing SingStar, what song do you always pick? Would you cover it when playing live? Err, is SingStar some sort of karaoke? I definitely always sing Bruce Springsteen. After Clarence Clemons passed I really wanted to cover ‘Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out’ or one of the other tracks that Mr. C is known for, but we didn’t have any shows at the time. I felt like the sentiment would be lost if we did it now. I’m sure we’ll do it somewhere down the line and he’ll know.
You should already know about:
Obviously not just writing tunes, but recording them, designing the record sleeves, getting them pressed and out to the people, hussling to get shows and all the other stuff that a lot of musicians don’t bother to sort out.
Through the eyes of Eoin O’Ruainigh, who’s part of She Keeps Bees this summer and who’s own band Oh Ruin is definitely worth checking out too! So without further ado: “She Keeps Bees are a band that epitomise the notion that you gotta get up off your ass and go and do it for yourself.
When you listen to their music you can hear all the passion and pain and life that went into creating it. A very raw and real sound and at the same time appealing to your ear for swampy blues riffs and the kind of head-nodding beats that make you want to play music yourself! If you haven’t heard of these dudes by now, you should get listenin’ and realise what you’ve been missin’ all this time!”
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Published on Aug 15, 2011
We Promised breaks with tradition. In our musiczine we focus on the most interesting foreign bands of the moment. The ones that don’t get en...