Posts Tagged ‘Bristol’

Idles’ 2017 debut Brutalism proved to be a DIY breakthrough. The UK band’s intense, socially conscious yet frequently snarky first set spread quickly via word of mouth, on the strength of tracks like the powerful “Mother.” Their follow-up not only lives up to that outstanding debut but builds on it, expanding their sound while exploring topics ranging from the personal to the political. On the single “Danny Nedelko,” they shout-out a friend of the band in a pro-immigrant anthem, while “Colossus” is as imposing and intense as they’ve ever sounded, all with the promise of putting homophobes in coffins. Idles are the kind of band that can make heavy, loud sounds feel like a much-needed dose of comfort in troubled times, and Joy As An Act of Resistance has arrived just when we need it most.

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Joe Talbot, the frontman of the Bristol-based post-punk band Idles, isn’t interested in appointing himself a spokesperson of the people. The music that he and his band make a tense and explosive form of protest delivered with both absurdist humor and deeply personal vulnerability doesn’t exist to prop up political candidates. Which doesn’t mean that he’s not above taking the piss out of the political right; “The best way to scare a Tory is to read and get rich,” he chants on “Mother,” the standout single from the band’s debut album Brutalism.

For IDLES, the personal is very much political, and vice versa. The self-released Brutalism was a DIY success story, building up a cult fan-base through word of mouth and an accessible balance of aggressive music with wit and vulnerability. It’s an ass-kicker of a record, and one with its share of quotable one-liners—though some genuine grief lies at the heart of it. “Mother,” ostensibly a statement of feminism, was inspired by Talbot’s own mother, who died shortly before the album was released.

‘Great’ from ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ out 31st August 2018 on Partisan Records.

Idles’ new album, Joy as an Act of Resistance., likewise catalyzes lived experiences into occasionally acerbic and often hilarious statements about the world around them. Talbot, guitarists Mark Bowen and Lee Kiernan, bassist Adam Devonshire, and drummer Jon Beavis sound like they’re having the time of their lives, even when taking bigots to task or opening up about heavier, more heartbreaking experiences. The album title itself is a good summary of what drives IDLES—they’re not moralizing, but helping to win people over to a more open-minded way of thinking through compassionate yet furious anthems, spiked with a potent dose of biting humor.

“I just have an interest in life,” Talbot says over the phone from the UK’s Bestival. “I love music and I love playing music, so I’m not going to not have fun doing it. Humour is a very inclusive vehicle to have a discussion about savage issues. I’m not trying to lecture people I’m trying to open dialogues.”

Joy as an Act of Resistance. is as good-natured and warm-hearted as heavy, aggressive music gets, its twelve tracksputting a clever and fun spin on topics ranging from toxic male behavior (“Samaritans”) to immigration (“Danny Nedelko”). And Talbot’s never afraid to let absurdity take over, as when he indulges in a bit of chest-puffery in “Colossus”—“I put homophobes in coffins…I’m like Evel Knievel, I break bones for my people”—or the parade of insults in “Never Fight a Man with a Perm”: “You look like a walking thyroid, you’re not a man you’re a gland, you’re one big neck with sausage hands.”

Just as with the making of Brutalism, however, the shadows of some much heavier life experiences hang heavy over Joy. Both Kiernan and Talbot have been open about their experiences with addiction, with Talbot himself having stopped drinking cold turkey at the beginning of 2018. And during the process of making the album, Talbot and his partner were preparing to be parents. Their daughter died during childbirth, and that anguish is echoed in the heartbreaking track “June”: “Baby shoes for sale / Never worn.”

In order to move forward as a band as well as to become the people that they wanted to be, Idles needed to address their own personal struggles, whether that meant therapy or acknowledging their own addictive behaviors.

IDLES are a political band, but their politics seem to boil down to some pretty simple principles: 1) Self-improvement and 2) advocating to make life better for individuals in order to make life better for everyone. Which would explain why they’re not interested in getting wrapped up in campaigning or endorsing candidates. As Talbot puts it, empathy and compassion are ideas that shouldn’t be taken advantage of by people in power.

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IDLES have confirmed details for the follow up to last year’s excellent debut album Brutalism. The much anticipated record is titled Joy as an Act of Resistance, and will be out August 31st via Partisan Records. It takes aim at everything from toxic masculinity, nationalism, immigration, and class inequality – all the while maintaining a visceral, infectious positivity.

The Bristol band have also shared the album’s first single, a brilliant pro-immigration, punk anthem entitled Danny Nedelko, which takes its name from one of the band’s close friends (and Ukrainian immigrant). The song is accompanied by a self-directed video that features Danny himself.

Singer Joe Talbot summarizes: “This album is an attempt to be vulnerable to our audience and to encourage vulnerability; a brave naked smile in this shitty new world. We have stripped back the songs and lyrics to our bare flesh to allow each other to breathe, to celebrate our differences, and act as an ode to communities and the individuals that forge them. Because without our community, we’d be nothing.”

‘Joy as an Act of Resistance.’ out 31st August 2018

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Lice have been one of the most exciting, noisy and nasty bands in Bristol for a while now, and this week set their sights firmly on the rest of the world with the announcement of new double EP ‘It All Worked Out Great’, released via fellow noisy/nasty Bristol boys Idles’ new imprint Balley Records. ‘Stammering Bill’ is the first taste of the new EP, and boy oh boy it doesn’t disappoint. The pummelling bass and unhinged guitar are forceful enough, but throw in Alastair Shuttleworth’s chaotic vocal, and the track is a true assault on all senses.

The official video for ‘Stammering Bill’ by LICE, from the forthcoming EP ‘It All Worked Out Great Vol.1’ (out April 5th on Balley Records

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We are incredibly excited to announce the lineup for the third edition of The Downs Bristol on 1st September featuring Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Paul Weller, Orbital (Live), The Heavy, Goldie & The Ensemble (Live), Basement Jaxx (Dj Set), Khruangbin, Nadine Shah, Channel One, Laid Blak, Dream Wife + Many More

Alongside an amazing line-up of bands we will be welcoming the return of The Information Stage, with thought-provoking speakers from around the world invited to talk and take part in panel discussions.

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Bath based dark dreampoppers with their third single due out early 2018, following 2017’s  ‘Tastes Like Money’ and ‘2 Kids‘ alt-pop gems. The vocals glide over walls of sonic bliss and cut through abstraction – gifting ‘Like a Prayer’ anthracene and ‘To Here Knows When’ sugar-cane within the same breath.

Dream-weavers Swimming Girls, being randomly fused together, and simply instructed to “write a song”, birthed a world of high-aiming melancholy that is as unashamedly confident as it is imaginative. Mixed by Marta Salogni, who has collaborated with such artists as Shura, M.I.A. and Sampha, the band’s first offering was “Tastes Like Money’ is a celebration of 80’s, night-drive nostalgia – kissing sheets of Lynchian romance and pandering to the ache and obsession found in the thought of yesterday.

Self-described as ‘Dark Dream-Pop’, Swimming Girls stop to smell the roses, while pressing thorns against a blushed cheek.

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We’ve been pretty spoilt by massively promising debut singles this year – from the polished introduction from Pale Waves to the Warpaint and Blood Orange-channeling Londoners ALASKALASKA – but ‘Tastes Like Money’, the first offering from Swimming Girls, might just take the biscuit.

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Band Members
Vanessa, Jay, Roo and Max

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The band element in ‘Three Oh Nine’ came from it being written when I was feeling small, so I knew it needed to be recorded big,” explains Lily. “I wanted to sound less alone.”

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This new track follows a handful of standalone, self-released cuts and collaborations with local pals Oliver Wilde, Slonk, ThisisDA, and Tamu Massif. Lily also teamed up with New Zealand’s Aldous Harding for her recent record Party, which was recorded in Lily’s home city.

Lily is due to tour with Siv Jakobsen, Sivu, and Paul Thomas Sanders from next month across “some of the UK’s most beautiful venues”