Posts Tagged ‘Dana Margolin’

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‘Let’s Not Fight!’ and ‘Strong Enough’ are the two new singles from Porridge Radio. A collaboration with Irish songwriter/producer Piglet, the duo of songs will appear on a Deluxe Edition of the Mercury-nominated “Every Bad”.

A member of Great Dad, Piglet is Charlie Loane. Here, he helps take ‘Let’s Not Fight!’ and ‘Strong Enough’ to eerie and dissonant yet deeply satisfying listens that add yet more oomph to an already-excellent album. I’m so happy they’re finally out properly for everyone to hear.

“Something that Charlie really gets is emotional intensity and I am so glad we could be intense as hell together on these tracks” Dana Margolin said of the collaboration. Piglet is one of my favourite artists. I remember the first time I saw Charlie fronting his other band, Great Dad, and just being completely blown away and entranced by his songs and the way he was performing them. I feel very lucky that he likes my music. This collaboration felt like it was coming for a while, and luckily lockdown gave us a chance to make these songs last summer. I really loved the whole process of writing together. Something that Charlie really gets is emotional intensity and I am so glad we could be intense as hell together on these tracks.

“Let’s Not Fight !” the new song by Porridge Radio x Piglet, out February 16th on Secretly Canadian.

Dana Margolin really has a way with words. She likes to roll them ’round and ’round until the meaning flakes off and there’s nothing but feeling left. With their debut record five years in the making, the Brighton collective provided us with an unusual take on somewhat-anachronistic indie, shaped by Dana Margolin’s quaking, often unpredictable vocal delivery. All the memorable peaks on “Every Bad” are characterized by Margolin’s unreliable insistence that, say, “everything’s fine,” while the jarring opener climaxes and ebbs with the repeated, impossibly tense line “Thank you for making me happy.” I don’t think you could possibly adapt the “This is fine.” meme more fluently into song writing.

As many of us have followed them around for years, we predicted big things for these Brighton locals but we never suspected they had something quite this special in them.

Songwriter Dana Margolin’s vulnerability has been her constant strength and despite the nuanced and difficult subjects she takes on in her songs, she’s always had some level of lo-fi production or guitar fuzz to shield her, thanks to the bedroom pop genesis of most of these tracks. however, on ‘every bad’, she unabashedly centres herself and the result is astounding. That’s not to say that the guitar fuzz and lo-fi production have vanished – far from it in fact. ‘Every Bad’ takes cues from nirvana, who mastered underpinning anxiety with abrasion, raincoats in their tendency to twist, turn and change a song without warning and pixies in their ability to turn the aggression of grunge into a diverse and supple sound. so yes, they are clearly inspired by the bands of their youth but on these familiar foundations, something uniquely dynamic has been built. the jagged instrumentation complements dana’s rugged vocals and authentic lyrics perfectly, matching the mood of each song and manoeuvring effortlessly to enhance a lyricist who tackles sensitive, esoteric and existential subjects.

On opener “Born Confused” the singer chants “Thank you for making me happy” for a minute and a half. It starts off a little wistful, then genuine. With about 40 seconds left the edges start to wobble and the mantra becomes a frenzied wash of anguish. By the time the song cuts out, mid-sentence, it sounds like an accusation, if not an attack.

She told Apple Music that the track “captures the feeling of frustration and trying to figure things out”, which is maybe the core of Every Bad. It’s full of direct contradictions, cocksure one second and confused the next. It does an incredible job of transmitting the anxiety of being in your mid-20s. I’m an adult, why am I still adrift? “Oh, I don’t know what I want/But I know what I want/Oh, I don’t know what I want/But…”. Despite this vulnerability, dana never softens her edges or compromises in her lyrics. her pronounced and very forthright uncertainty and confusion comes across as defined and unflinching – the only thing she can be certain of is that confusion. this is not music that moralises or offers answers to life’s big questions – it is here to express raw emotional response with no interest in resolution.
That refusal to offer an easy way out is what makes it both so personal and so relatable. we may not have experienced the same situations, but we’ve felt those same nameless, onerous emotions. these guttural anthems amass into a defining album that’s burst them out of their established Brighton bubble, got them mercury nominated and has firmly planted them in hearts everywhere.

‘Sweet’ by Porridge Radio, taken from their forthcoming album Every Bad released in March . The DIY Brighton outfit were called ‘slacker indie’ when they released their first full album. “Every Bad” shows that description had more to do with the garage they recorded it in than their motivation.

Mercury Music Prize nominated Brighton band Porridge Radio have covered Leonard Cohen’s ‘Who by Fire’, which comes from his ‘New Skin for the Old Ceremony’ album. 

“I’ve loved Leonard Cohen since I was a teenager, and when he died we learnt this song in tribute to him,” says vocalist Dana Margolin. “It’s always been a favourite of ours so we were really happy to record it for our session at St Giles’ Church, Camberwell. The lyrics are from the Jewish liturgy for the new year (Rosh Hashana), and this was filmed the same week as Rosh Hashana this year.”  Porridge Radio grew out of Dana Margolin’s bedroom, where she started making music in private. Living in the seaside town of Brighton.

Porridge Radio cover “Who By Fire” by Leonard Cohen, live at St Giles’ Camberwell. Porridge Radio album ‘Every Bad’ out now everywhere

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Porridge Radio have the ultimate band trajectory. Step one: Start a band even though you haven’t figured out how to play your instruments yet. Step two: Book your own shows and build up your reputation as a must-see live band. Step three: Spend years perfecting every tiny detail of the songs that will comprise your eventual first studio album. Step four: Release that album to overwhelming critical acclaim and chuckle at how long it took people to realize what you knew from the beginning—that you’re the best band in the world. This Brighton, U.K. foursome recently released their debut studio full-length Every Bad, which follows their 2016 self-recorded first album Rice, Pasta And Other Fillers. After signing to Secretly Canadian last year, it was clear they were going to lose their title as the best-kept secret of their British seaside town. Porridge Radio, led by their entrancing singer Dana Margolin, are headed for the big time.

They put out three of the most incredible singles (“Lilac,” “Sweet” and “Circling”) to kick off an album campaign in a very long time and planned a U.S. tour with noticeable anticipation building for their SXSW debut (the festival was later cancelled). Margolin is glad people have finally caught up with the band, especially now that they’ve unleashed the grand, dynamic rock songs they’ve always wanted to make after years of uploading experimental, lo-fi recordings to Bandcamp.

“Born Confused” has existed in some iteration for at least four years now, both in demo form and as a live staple accessible via YouTube, but the version that appears as the intro to the Brighton ensemble’s Secretly Canadian debut is significantly more three-dimensional. Shaved down a minute, and with its shitgaze production value swapped for pristine strings, accordion, and layered vocals, the intro manages to lean into the same emotive repetition as its demo, setting the listener up for plenty more peaks and valleys over the record’s ten additional tracks.

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Porridge Radio grew out of Dana Margolin’s bedroom, where she started making music in private. Living in the seaside town of Brighton, she recorded songs and slowly started playing them at open mic nights to rooms of old men who stared at her quietly as she screamed in their faces.

Though she eventually grew out of them, for Margolin these open mic nights unlocked a love of performing and songwriting, as well as a new way to express herself. She decided to form a band through which to channel it all, and be noisier while she was at it – so Porridge Radio was born.

Inspired by interpersonal relationships, her environment – in particular the sea – and her growing friendships with her new bandmates (bassist Maddie Ryall, keyboardist Georgie Stott, and drummer Sam Yardley) Margolin’s distinctive, indie-pop-but make-it-existentialist style soon started to crystallise. Quickly, the band self-released a load of demos and a garden-shed-recorded collection on Memorials of Distinction, while tireless touring cemented their firm reputation as one of UK DIY’s most beloved and compelling live bands.

As the band’s sound – bright pop-rock instrumentation blended with Margolin’s tender, open-ended lyrics – has developed and refined, Porridge Radio have also received enthusiastic radio airplay on the BBC, Radio X and more. Now, they are taking that development a step further, as they put out their label debut, “Every Bad”.

Official video for ‘Circling’ by Porridge Radio, taken from their forthcoming album ‘Every Bad’ due 13th March.

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Birthed from open mic nights around the seaside town, Dana Margolin initially performed bedroom-recorded songs to rooms of polite, unassuming audiences who stared at her quietly while she screamed in their faces. She soon decided to form a band through which to channel her new love of performing and songwriting – and be noisier while she was at it – so Porridge Radio was born.

While the band have self-released numerous demos and a garden-shed-recorded album (2016’s Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers) on Memorials of Distinction, Every Bad is a culmination of what has been in their head for some time; the record they have been waiting for the means to record.

It arrives full of grand, sweeping ambition – with vocals so urgent that it often feels like it is moved by compulsion rather than choice, with all the rawness of early Karen O, and influences as disparate as Charli XCX and The Cranberries.

New single “Sweet” is a creeping self-examination, striking in its minutely observed details, while December release “Lilac” is dominated by a repeated, anxiety-quelling mantra: “I don’t want to get bitter / I want us to get better.”

These mantras and repetitions are something of a signature and nowhere is it more deftly put to work than on Every Bad’s closer “Homecoming Song,” with its decisive, self-awarely poppy percussion, and howling final cry: “There’s nothing inside.”

Though these songs are deeply personal explorations, expressed via a weird, beautiful musical language all Porridge Radio’s own, they extend a hand to every listener who has felt conflicted, held two feelings in their hearts at once, or flailed around the depths of their own choices and relationships. For those of us who know how that feels, Every Bad is a funny, profound little comfort.

Official video for ‘Sweet’ by Porridge Radio, taken from their forthcoming album “Every Bad” due 13th March

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“Lilac” is a surrender to the uncertainty of love, and a reaffirmation that its messy realities are worth trying to parse. Against warbled guitars, ascendant strings and marching drums, Dana Margolin screams into the void, “I can never seem to find it,” with the kind of passionate exhaustion that sounds like she’s ready to throw herself into the sea. Despite feeling stuck, she ultimately reaches the conclusion that if kindness and love aren’t noble causes, then nothing is noble. “I don’t want to get bitter, I want us to get better,” Margoli sings as she sides with humans’ better nature and delivers one of the most intense vocal performances of the year. The strings and guitars cry out and match Margoli’s existential urgency, resulting in a late song of the year contender.

The album documents struggles with life, love and boredom – spelt out with sticky fingers by five idiot savants. The lyrics, title and artwork, as well as the group’s name, brings to mind a certain scrapbook absurdism at the core of Porridge Radio’s work. Faced with the dark abyss of existence, the band scrapes together some value from the nonsensical and the pointless, and then cling to it, giggling, for dear life.

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Brighton via London four-piece Porridge Radio have shared their first new music since their 2016 debut LP Rice, Pasta and Other Fillers. “Give/Take” is the kind of poignant, lo-fi guitar pop that makes bedroom pop doubters look silly. Alongside bittersweet ’80s synths and a subtle, silvery bass line, Dana Margolin’s heart-rending vocals yearn with believable affection as she sings of the warring mindsets that make life so confusing, yet visceral. With all the cynicism in today’s cultural and political discourse, sometimes earnest conviction is the best medicine, and “Give/Take” is the type of chaotic good that’s worth celebrating.

This is our first release in a long time and our first real studio recording and I’m so pleased to share it. We’ve been working hard on lots of new things and I’m so ready for you all to hear what we’ve been up to because guess what. I’m proud of us. Come see us on tour next week

“Give / Take” · Porridge Radio