Posts Tagged ‘Manchester’

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Pale Waves have just dropped ‘She’s My Religion’, another track to be released from their upcoming album “Who Am I?”.

A track following the story of a cynical girl and the speaker’s love for her, it fights against the usual stigma that darker characters are unlovable and Hollywood’s preference for positive love interests. This normalisation of unhappy characters still being necessary to our lives can be heard in the lyrics, “She helped me find a different kind of love, made me feel like I was finally enough / She’s cold, she’s dark, she’s cynical, she’s forever angry at the world / She’s no angel but she’s my religion”.

Opening with a soft solo guitar, Heather’s vocals join in a whispery tone and set the scene for the love story. Suddenly, the chorus of the song brings the power that we’re used to from Pale Waves. With blasted vocals that’ll be screamed by everyone who can relate, the verses go back to a slow paced track creating a nice balance between passion and sincerity. 

In an age where hetrosexual couples are still the focus of popular media unless being the feature of a dramatic and often overwhelming and exaggerated hollywood film, it’s refreshing to see Pale Waves talking about homosexuality in such a casual and accessible way. It allows young people to find themselves without being scared to ask questions or feeling isolated from a community because they haven’t felt the struggles of past generations. This accessibility along with the erasure of the usual clichés of over-sexualisation or experimentation is exactly why Pale Waves made the cover of Gay Times this year.

‘Who Am I?’ is the second album from indie-pop icons Pale Waves, due for release on February 12th 2021.

Recorded in Los Angeles over early 2020 with Rich Costey (muse, biffy clyro, sigur ros), and led by the unabashedly huge lead single ‘Change’, it finds the Manchester band stepping up once more, fulfilling the promise of that widely-lauded debut album and striding towards pop megastardom. 

From the new album ‘Who Am I?’, out February 12th – Dirty Hit Records.

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The Demo have perfectly captured the sunshine of Britpop, multi-part harmonies and all, in new single ‘Apart’. They pile on the summertime vibes elsewhere in their discography, drawing from the most melodic guitar licks of the 00s garage revival to create an altogether good vibe. ‘’Apart’ is arguably the band’s strongest release to date. Four minutes of soaring, shimmering guitars and suitably optimistic vocals, it’s a far cry from the grit and swagger of ‘How’ve We Ended Up (Here Again)’, and feels like The Demo taking a step in a more mature direction.’

It’s become increasingly clearer that Manchester needs a new breed of bands to look to. Thankfully, it being the city it is, there’s a plethora of acts vying for attention, and with acts like The Lathums shining a light onto Manchester’s grassroots, showing younger bands that is possible to make it, there couldn’t be a better time to be part of the city’s ever-burgeoning scene.

That’s where The Demo come in. A five-piece hailing from Middleton, The Demo peddle in an upbeat and ramshackle brand of indie-pop that feels equally as timely as it does timeless. Interestingly enough however, latest single ‘Apart’ is something of a departure from the rough and ready delivery of their earlier cuts, eschewing the colloquial indie-pop in favour of something that feels grander, more polished, and more transatlantic.

Indeed, sharing more in common with bands like REM than The Courteeners or The Pigeon Detectives, ‘Apart’ is arguably the band’s strongest release to date. More mature it may be, but ‘Apart’ still manages to harbour the youthful energy and exuberance that made their early recordings so appealing. And though it’s still early days for the five-piece, ‘Apart’ is very much another step closer to cracking it. A band you need to keep an eye on.

 

Upcoming single, ‘Apart’ out on Friday 27th November 2020.

Manchester’s teenage pals of the Goa Express have recently been swept up by Rough Trade for their fresh psych-infused garage rock. Although influences varying from 60s psychedelia to post-punk are obvious, their sound is distinct and compelling, with a sound that perfectly complements their fun-loving attitude and charm of the city of Manchester.

Hailing from Manchester, the group have been pals since they were teenagers, steadily making their name around the scene with their garage-rock sizzlers. Ludicrously-catchy garage rock from these NME 100 graduates. 

On recently released track ‘Be My Friend’, the group describe it as being about “taking a step away from those who’re always trying to get close to you and as both a shout out to individuality and an acceptance of rejection. It’s a dismissal of the modern world’s hyper-connectivity and a return to privacy, rather than the involvement of everyone knowing everyone’s business all of the time.”

With tons more exciting things on the horizon, based out of Todmorden/Burnley, UK, if you like : Spacemen 3, Ty Segall, Ending the who-knows-how-long Yorkshire vs. Lancashire feud with short and snappy Ramones-style hits. While their early influences ranged from Spacemen 3 to Brain Jonestown Massacre, James tells us the band now tries to “find influences in everything we see and in everywhere we go”. You’re going to love them: A precedent was set by The Goa Express when they formed in the wake of a wild, substance-heavy night seeing The Brian Jonestown Massacre – one that left them newly single and sleeping rough outside a Tesco. All about having a good time, the lads have already caught the eye of producer Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, Amyl & The Sniffers) and Fat White Family’s Nathan Saoudi (a fellow lover of chaos) with their jangly, loud-mouthed garage-psych.

The Goa Express are a band you need on your radar. Enjoying life under the wings of Rough Trade Management (Shame, black midi), the Manchester-based five-piece have wowed with singles The Day and Be My Friend. Their first single proper, The Day, saw them enlist the talents of Fat White Family’s Nathan Sauodi for production duties at their own Champ Zone studio in Sheffield, culminating in a 2-minute explosion of guitars, synths, and youthful energy.

The band’s tight-knit camaraderie – formed during their teenage years at school and playing intimate live shows above vintage shops – is captured in their self-produced video for Be My Friend; a lockdown-created clip pieced together using footage taken on nights out and day-to-day laughs filmed on a phone with no intention they’d ever be used in a music promo.

BBC 6 Music legend Steve Lamacq is an early champion, having invited the quintet to play their first radio session at London’s iconic Abbey Road Studios.

The Goa Express are riding the tracks to the top and rightfully find their place among the exciting charge of UK and Irish outfits tearing up the rule book.  The Goa Express are very, very good. They’re five mates from the north who are more of a brotherhood than a band. Their effortless gung-ho garage rock is causing a buzz, with singles The Day and Be My Friend prime examples of a band ready to smash down barriers and shake up the establishment.

The Goa Express are James Douglas Clarke, Joey Stein, Naham Muzaffar, Joe Clarke and Sam Launder

The release of Amanita Pantherina feels like a pivotal moment in the career of post-punk outfit, Cabbage. After the success of Young, Dumb and Full Of… and Nihilistic Glamour Shots, Only emerging once previously in 2020 to fuel second album rumours with the release of Coronation Street-inspired single, You’ve Made An Artform (From Falling To Pieces), just as the UK’s COVID-19 lockdown took effect, Cabbage now officially set the reels running on a technicolour sequel to the cracked-screen noir of their debut album which hit the UK Top 30 in 2018.

Appearing to fade out their first, epic chapter in brooding black and white, the five-piece finally turn the page with Amanita Pantherina, released in September 2020, finding themselves a cartoonish state of heightened, neon-hued consciousness, facing down the darkness of modern Britain with renewed, energetic abandon. Get Outta My Brain chases the shadows of Shaun Ryder and the fast burning focus of his late-90s Black Grape-era, cutting gonzo punk fuzz with sharp-focus lyrical intent to affect an intravenous dose of similarly streetwise intellectualism.

Older and wiser, yet unchanged in their mission, Cabbage – made up of Broadbent (vocals), Joe Martin (vocals/guitar), Eoghan Clifford (guitar), Paddy Neville (bass) and Asa Morley (drums) – bound from the studio having maintained the fizzing electricity of a band supercharged by the injustices they see in the world around them.

“Amarantha Pantherina” will be the first album entirely produced and recorded by Cabbage themselves, in their own Brassica Studios, whilst bringing on board long-term collaborator, Chris Stockton to assist with technical levers. Having deftly documented the turbulent times of modern Britain since 2017, machine-gunning wry takes on the banal, absurd and cruel – from the Brexit non-anthem of Raus! to the prescient, pharmaceutically-orientated, Medicine – the band aims to remain a vital voice of the times in which we live.

Amarantha Pantherina promises, according to the band, to “continue the ‘time capsule’ ideal of keeping albums current to reflect their philosophy at the time of recording.” Amarantha Pantherina is out now on Brassica Records. Including the singles ‘You’ve Made An Artform (From Falling To Pieces)’ and ‘Get Outta My Brain’.

The 6-track EP contains two superb new tracks, “Yours. To Be”, and “The Ascent Of The Ascended”, recorded soon after the album was finished, as well as four tracks recorded in New York City back in March as a live session for Paste magazine. Three of the tracks are from I Love The New Sky alongside a new version of The Charlatan’s classic ‘The Only One I Know’.

Of the lead track, “Yours. To Be”, Burgess says: “At the tail end of the glory of the night before – with all the hope and beauty that the following morning brings. Away from the glare of the party – like the calm after the storm has left town. It’s a feeling that’s so pure and uncluttered. It’s around a while, then real life starts to creep back in. It’s all about making the most of moments as they are happening .”

Following rave reviews for his recent solo album, “I Love The New Sky”, Tim Burgess today announces news of a new EP, Ascent Of The Ascended, released 27th November via Bella Union.  The 6-track EP contains two superb new tracks, “Yours. To Be”, and “The Ascent Of The Ascended”, recorded soon after the album was finished

Burgess goes on to say: “There was an energy that came from recording the album with such a brilliant band – I didn’t want it to end, I wanted to record a bit of a magnum opus, which is where Ascent of the Ascended came in. I’d always wanted to work with Charles Hayward from This Heat, so we have him a ring and he said yeah. With “Yours. To Be” being almost like an instant feeling you get in a moment, very rarely in your life – the two songs are so different but they somehow complement each other. So an EP was the perfect idea.”

“We had so many plans for playing live this year – from South by Southwest to Glastonbury and everything in between. But that wasn’t to be. We played four shows in New York before lockdown happened – so our session for Paste Magazine was such a rare event, we’ve included the songs to complete the EP.”

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“A gorgeous, summery slice of psych pop that’s peppered with nods to a who’s who of musical innovators. From the opening chords of Empathy for the Devil, which give a nod to The Cure’s Boys Don’t Cry, to the delightful Comme D-Habitude, which conjures up Sparks in their pomp, there’s not a bad note on the album.” Evening Standard – 5 stars *****

“Sunshine pop gently nudged and bustled off-centre by playful experimentation… There’s a lot going on here, yes, but with Burgess on such dynamic form, its all good.” MOJO – 4 stars ****

“Joyful and exuberant, it recalls the good cheer of post-Beatles Paul McCartney, while ‘Sweetheart Mercury’ has something of the sunshine pop of Super Furry Animals.” The Times – 4 stars ****

Releases November 27th, 2020

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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