Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

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I first saw Kiran Leonard back in 2018, just after he released Western Culture” I think it was at the Green man Festival, his first studio album and first with his backing band. The Manchester, U.K. singer/songwriter has been uploading music to Bandcamp since 2013, and he’s released three albums with Moshi Moshi Records—quietly becoming one of the most fascinating singer/songwriters and gifted artists of our time. His brand new release, “World Argument Live”, includes live recordings with his old band from 2016 and 2018, along with newly-recorded versions of previously-shared tracks. Leonard codes the song titles in abbreviated capitals, so it might be difficult to decipher for anyone unfamiliar with his music, but fear not, I can help—highlights include “Öndör Gongor” from 2016’s Grapefruit (“ÖN/GO”), “An Easel” (“EAS”) and “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” (“U/OUT”) from 2018’s Western Culture.

I first wrote about Kiran Leonard back in 2018, just after he released Western Culture, his first studio album and first with his backing band. The Manchester, based singer/songwriter has been uploading music to Bandcamp since 2013, and he’s released three albums with Moshi Moshi Records—quietly becoming one of the most fascinating singer/songwriters and gifted artists of our time. His brand new release, “World Argument Live”, includes live recordings with his old band from 2016 and 2018, along with newly-recorded versions of previously-shared tracks. Leonard codes the song titles in abbreviated capitals, so it might be difficult to decipher for anyone unfamiliar with his music, but fear not, I can help—highlights include “Öndör Gongor” from 2016’s Grapefruit (“ÖN/GO”), “An Easel” (“EAS”) and “The Universe Out There Knows No Smile” (“U/OUT”) from 2018’s Western Culture. By the bold titles, you can tell Leonard isn’t your average artist—he has a unique sonic and thematic imagination that becomes apparent immediately. This new release merges chaotic art rock jams with regal and pastoral compositions that border on chamber-pop and psych-folk. This combination of experimental clamour and pretty subtleties is precisely what makes Leonard such a dramatic force of nature. File World Argument Live under “albums so incredible that you have to pace around the room in deep thought.” Leonard is donating the funds from this release to The Music Venue Trust and the United Families & Friends Campaign, so please consider purchasing it on Bandcamp here.

By the bold titles, you can tell Leonard isn’t your average artist—he has a unique sonic and thematic imagination that becomes apparent immediately. This new release merges chaotic art rock jams with regal and pastoral compositions that border on chamber-pop and psych-folk. This combination of experimental clamour and pretty subtleties is precisely what makes Leonard such a dramatic force of nature.

Setlist: 0:35 Öndör Gongor 7:45 Secret Police 10:53 Don’t Make Friends with Good People 20:50 Geraldo’s Farm.

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Hello good people of the world! It comes with great pleasure we can FINALLY, FINALLY announce our second full LP. ‘Amanita Pantherina’ is out Friday 25th September on our very own brand spanking new label Brassica Records. The work has been completed for a number of months now but due to world events we’ve taken the steps to adapt and can now reveal it in all its Technicolor glory.

Manchester band Cabbage have released a wiry tribute to the nerve-jarring electricity of their home city, with new rack ‘Get Outta My Brain’. They’ve taken the release as an opportunity to also formally announce their second album, “Amanita Pantherina”.

The latest collection will be released on 25th September through their own label, Brassica Records. This is their second single of 2020 after ‘You’ve Made An Artform (From Falling To Pieces)’ and is paving the way for a new collection of “punk fuzz with the iconic dance attitude”.

‘Get Outta My Brain’ inhabits Cabbage’s post-punk sound, as it shows hints of early Nirvana, with vocals reminiscent of the late Sex Pistol’s frontman, John Lydon. However, the band credited a musician who is closer to home for the album’s inspiration in Shaun Ryder, particularly Black Grape’s late-90s era. The band have said that the song “pays tribute to our city, a torrid tale about the consequences of pressure and the way we choose to tackle some of our hardest endeavours in life.”

Co-Frontman, Lee Broadbent, says of the single: “The title of the track has two meanings and it’s about the balance of how the two meanings constantly fight each other – some people just want to run away and some people intoxicate themselves to run away. It’s an attempt to channel the spirit of Manchester and is purposely amped to become a choice cut when we get out to do it live.”

The phaser-sounding effect on the bass guitar drives the song, along with a variety of sounds on the electric guitars. Amanita Pantherina is the band’s first self-produced album, which is apparent in how creative Cabbage have been. After reaching the UK Top 30 with their debut album, ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’, Cabbage will want to follow in the footsteps of Irish post-punk band, Fontaines D.C, who achieved their highest album chart finish with their second album, ‘A Hero’s Death’.

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Born in Manchester and now based out of London, it’s not quite clear to us how Dunebug manages to write such wonderfully sun-kissed music! The brainchild of Chi Limpiroj, Dunebug started last year and marked a return to recording for Chi after a, “five year fall out with music”. The debut Dunebug EP emerged last year, and with plans for a new album underfoot, this week Chiara has shared her latest single, Impossible With You.

Citing influences from Beach House to Jay Som, Dunebug’s sound is delightfully dreamy, resplendent with warm guitar tones, lush layered backing vocals, and the magic lead vocal line that seems to hide its sadness in a wash of airy beauty. Nodding to the likes of Living Hour or Martha Ffion, this feels like a classic-pop song given a modern, jangling re-interpretation, as Chi sings of a relationship coming to an end, wistfully noting, “I’m close to giving up, you never gave a fuck, I never thought I’d walk away from love”. Let Dunebug sashay their way into your life, because this instantly feels like it could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

Impossible with You · Dunebug

Manchester’s The Slow Readers Club release their fourth album, “The Joy Of The Return”, out via Modern Sky UK. Opening to an energetic blend of driving drums and infectious guitar lines, the track builds through evocative verses and anthemic choruses, imbued with their idiosyncratic brand of insightful and confronting lyricism and set against relentlessly danceable and energy-provoking instrumentation. All I Hear is about a lack of agency and an inability to affect change. That there’s something happening, and you have no choice but to go along with it,” explains singer Aaron Starkie.

Throughout the album, the band explore a vast swathe of sonic territory, from the passionately delivered All The Idols, to the poppier tones of Jericho that power through with bright indie guitar lines and ethereally melodic choruses.

Recorded at Parr Street Studios in Liverpool and produced by long-standing collaborator Phil Bulleyment, The Joy Of The Return marks a significant change in the band’s process, with their extensive touring allowing them time to write and develop tracks and arrangements through soundchecks and back-of-van jams.

The dark power-pop that defined their previous releases holds a strong influence, with the brooding No Surprise providing a powerful dose of evocative lyricism amid immersive soundscapes, while the unsettling Paris is an undulating exploration of observational songwriting and eclectic musicality.

The swelling, arena-sized Zero Hour displays the enormity of The Slow Readers Club sound and sets the precedent for their incredibly exciting future, while The Wait closes the album with a beautifully absorptive combination of atmospheric synths flipping the pace of the record on its head to intoxicating effect.

The Slow Readers Club’s brand new single All I Hear, taken from the upcoming 4th studio album The Joy Of The Return out March 20th,

Ist Ist have built a cult following over the last six years, self-releasing singles and EPs, clawing their way into music fans’ consciousness the old-fashioned way by plying their dystopian lyrical wares and creating striking videos and light shows on the live circuit. With this debut LP, released via their own self-funded record label, the Manchester quartet have had total control over their brand – drawing on emotional turmoil, anxiousness and redemption, and executed through slicky-produced synth-and-guitar arrangements and monochromatic visuals.

Post-punk is a broad church, and while these chaps might wallow in the dour aesthetics that can be found in its antechambers, Architecture is built on accessible pop foundations – this is for fans of Interpol and fellow Mancunians The Slow Readers Club rather than PiL.

Lead single “Wolves” introduces the album with strafes of sinister early ‘80s sci-fi movie synth effects before a pair of electric guitars take over in a restrained interplay. Lead singer Adam Houghton’s fulsome baritone remains calm and controlled against the lupine existential threat; the song documents a woman’s descent into paranoia, her metaphorical nightmares fuelled by the fear of social services taking her child.

‘You’re Mine’ is the latest uncompromising post-punk offering from Ist Ist taken from their debut album ‘Architecture’Manchester post-punk quartet’s debut LP is dark and doomy, yet easy on the ear. You’re Mine’s driving pace, cantering hi-hat, gloaming synth sound beds and ominous guitar chords help raise the record’s pulse, especially when paired with Houghton’s semi-robotic delivery – the band’s most distinct watermark.

The music is aloof and a little pedestrian in both pace and imagination, and undersells the band’s talents, with stronger material elsewhere.

Elsewhere, Black opens with floaty, upbeat synths, joined by soaring chord progressions and backing singers that lift Houghton from the doldrums as he sings “What’s left is only black, black, black, black”. The current lockdown helps amplify the 1984-style overtones in Discipline, as Houghton delivers central line “What’s good for the mind is good for the body / What you need is some self-control”, echoed by a choir as fuzzed guitar and Bladerunner synths swirl around.

A New Love Song is arguably the most sinister listen, to these ears a stalker’s paean to their unwitting target, delivered slowly and deliberately with wrought guitar, stretched synths and stuttering drums. Ist Ist sure have doomy pretentions, but their use of accessible melodic foundations make Architecture a surprisingly good listen.

From the album ‘Architecture‘, released 1st May 2020

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The C33s are Punk/Garage/Surf tinged band from Manchester consisting of Judy Jones (drums, vocals), Cav Green (guitarvocals) and Ste Phillips (bass).
Their sound is an East coast meets West coast affair, ramped up Ramones pop fused with full on Dick Dale twang. If Pulp Fiction were set in a satellite town The C33s just wrote the soundtrack to their future.

Heading for a lockdown break-out?. Then this song is one for the soundtrack! ‘Harpurhey Hostility’ is an explosive mix of garage punk and raging northern discontent. Not quite like anything else but reminds you of such past iconic delights such as The B52s, The Ramones & the more recent sounds of Oh Sees and Amyl and The Sniffers etc.

An uneasy and uncompromising visceral portrait of a small town in North Manchester whose strong will and attitude can often spill over into the extreme and unruly. Tragedy and comedy are at the core of The C33s and ‘Harpurhey Hostility’ represents this duality in both sound and statement.

Drummer Judy Jones takes lead vocals on this one and snarls her way through 3 minutes of slick guitar, bass runs and tribal drums that have become now recognisable to The C33s’ sound. Recorded at Magic Garden Studios, Wolverhampton under the spiritual umbrella of Gavin Monaghan and Joseph Murray.

The C33s “Harpurhey Hostility” available through The Hatchery Records Released on: 29th June 2020,

It’s been more than a minute since we’ve gotten a full album from Manchester outfit Pins, but today they’ve revealed a May 29th release date for “Hot Slick”, their first since 2015’s brilliant Wild Nights. To go along with the news, the indie post-punk trio dropped the single “Ponytail,” .

“Ponytail” is glorious with its serpentine beat in front of singer Faith Vern cooing about being up all night with her hands in the air, high heels and guitar on while she whips her ponytail from side-to-side without a care in the world. The song is the third single from Hot Slick, following the record’s title track and exquisitely addictive “Bad Girls Forever,” both released last month.

“Have you ever had a bad day and instead of crawling into bed with a bucket of ice cream, you swipe your mouth with some lipstick, put your high heels on and go out to dance?” asks Vern. “That’s what ‘Ponytail’ is about.”

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Though they’ve not released a full length in sometime, PINS haven’t been out of the spotlight entirely, dropping an EP here and single featuring Iggy Pop there, but have also been adjusting to the departure of their original rhythm section. Singer/guitarist Vern, along with guitarist Lois MacDonald and bassist Kyoko Swan, have been joined by a rotating cast of collaborators in the studio, including The Kills Jamie Hince and Nathan Saoudi of Fat White Family. The result is a bevy of strutting synth nods on Hot Slick to everyone from Soulwax and Suicide to New Order.

 

One of this year’s most talked-up new outfits, it’s easy to see why on the catchy single “Taking You With Me” which has recently been receiving praise in all the right places.  Having already amassed plenty of support in their hometown (their fanbase includes Brix & The Extricated and Clint Boon), it should only be a matter of time before Blanketman’s glorious post-punk racket connects with a mass audience.

They are also a band with a great logo, get one of their t-shirts before they become a much sought after collector’s item. With the intuition of the rhythm, believable lyrics and the tasteful guitar work, the band’s ability to keep it to the point, without tacked on self indulgence clouding the pathway, permits them to continually develop into a strong, entertaining live act that all elements of the masses can enjoy.

Suffice to say, they will not be unknown for long. Blanketman and their new double A side single has confirmed them as one of the brightest talents to come out of Manchester in a very long time

That's My Ego / Big Cat by Faux Pas / Uncle Buzzard

We’ve been lucky enough to catch these live twice already, supporting Life at Liverpool’s Phase One and as the opening act for IDLES . On both occasions, it was obvious that these are stars in the making, just one listen to their single That’s My Ego is sure-fire proof of that.

“That’s My Ego” is available on a limited edition vinyl: and was released via Come Play With Me. To find out more about the label, their singles club + the artists they’re supporting, head to https://www.cpwm.co

Akin to PlaceboFaux Pas are a wrecking ball of energy.

The new singles by Manchester-based indie punks Faux Pas and Leeds-based psych-po 5-piece Uncle Buzzard, come together as a double A-sided 7”. That’s My Ego shows Faux Pas maturing as songwriters as they discuss the pursuit of perfection, whilst Big Cat sees Uncle Buzzard’s shimmering sound shrouding some heavy subject matter.

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DUTCH UNCLES Live at Old Granada Studios was recorded in 2017 at Low Four Studio, also Our label Memphis Industries has made all our releases available digitally for pay what you like across this weekend. If there are any gaps missing in your Dutch Uncles collection Now Is Your Chance!

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A live set, recorded at Old Granada Studios for Low Four, in front of a live studio audience in February 2017. It includes our cover of Stay by our faves The Blue Nile
released April 30th, 2020