Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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Holly is an emerging singer-songwriter who grew up in the moors of the Durham Dales. Her debut EP ‘Ilex’ has seen radio play from Radio 6 Music, a feature on Tom Robinson’s BBC Introducing Mixtape listening to the music of Holly Rees, we’re instantly transported back to a simpler time. With acts like Laura Marling, Emmy The Great  were at the forefront of a folk-led movement, acoustic guitars and beautiful words ruled the roost and it felt like the start of a quiet revolution. but Holly Rees reminds us folk is not a dirty word in the pantheon of pop.

Holly also released her excellent EP, Slow Down, a few months back, and now this week shared a brand new single, “Stick Around”. Holly’s music has that certain wide-eyed rural sheen that only a sky full of stars without the distraction of cars and street lights can bring. “What’s this thing in my chest skipping in circles”, Holly sings with a beautiful simplicity and raw honesty; this is music that makes a connection with no bells and whistles, just a personal truth laid bare for all to see.

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Stick Around is available now.

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Mighty Kids describe their music as “melancholic uke-pop”thankfully they’re much more interesting than that sounds. After a brief hiatus to work on other projects, including Grawl!x and the excellent, and un-googleable in a work scenario, Sex Jokes, the Derbyshire based trio re-convened, and finally got around to putting some music into the world, in the shape of their four-track EP, Wont You Reconsider?

Released on the excellent Reckless Yes label, Wont You Reconsider? covers an impressive amount of ground in its short run, as moments of melancholic bedroom pop collide with dance floor worthy bangers. The title track, Window is a wonderfully jaunty track about sleeping around until you realise the one you always wanted was already there; Fire And Moon is a joyous blast of chip-tune playfulness, while Hey Baby manages to be simultaneously strong and sad, as singer Shelley Jane Newman declares, “I remember the fights and how I could never be right, I looked for the answer in myself but it was not there to find, because it was just the me and you that wasn’t right”. They’ll break your heart, they’ll make you dance, those Mighty Kids made a mighty good record.

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Released July 27th, 2018
Recorded by Mighty Kids at Snug Recording Co, Derby

Band Members
Shelley Jane Newman,
Kristian Podhorodecki,
Rob Newman,

CRAKE – ” The Politics of Lonely “

Posted: December 7, 2018 in ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Crake is the project of singer/songwriter Rowan Sandle who sings of ‘flora, fauna and the tough stuff’, backed up byestablished veterans of the Leeds indie scene (members from Mi Mye, The Spills and Fig by Four). ‘By the Slime Mould’ was Crake’s debut EP 

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Released May 25th, 2018

All songs written by Rowan Sandle.
Performed by Rowan Sandle (guitar, vocals), Sarah Statham (bass guitar, backing vocals), Rob Slater (drums, backing vocals), Emily Ingham (keys, brass, backing vocals).

Hull’s artistic renaissance continues apace. Last year saw it taking on the mantle of UK City of Culture and drawing three-and-a-half million visitors in the process; Now, they can add Night Flowers to the admittedly humble list of Humber hometown heroes, albeit ones that have done something that most provincial bands can’t afford to these days and moved to the capital. If they hadn’t, though, there would be no Night Flowers, or certainly not the iteration that’s made this charming debut record; it was in London that the group recruited their singer, Sophia Pettit, who hails from Boston (not the one in Lincolnshire, whilst we’re on the topic of the regional United Kingdom).

This transatlantic lineup of the band toured the country with The Pains of Being Pure at Heart last May and it’s not difficult to understand why somebody thought the two groups would complement each other; Pettit’s vocals are as clear as a bell and very much in the same vein as The Pains’ revolving lineup of female singers, A Sunny Day in Glasgow’s Jen Goma and Fear of Men’s Jess Weiss among them.

Pettit’s warm tones are front and centre on Wild Notion and provide the record with its primary sonic and emotional throughlines, although that isn’t to say that you get the impression that the rest of the band were waiting for the right vocalist to come along to act as an anchor for their instrumental impulses. Night Flowers nod to dream-pop and psych at points on Wild Notion but they never get lost in them; the soundscapes are carefully controlled, with handsome, chiming guitars ringing out over undulating beds of synth.

There’s nothing musically or thematically ground-breaking about this collection of songs and it leaves a slightly sour taste in the mouth that, in the album’s press release, somebody felt it necessary to note that the Hackney studio that the record was cut at is about to be bulldozed ‘to make way for luxury apartments as the gentrification of London continues’. Wild Notion does a good line in endearing melancholy but it’s of the timeless variety; this isn’t a political record and it’s all the better for it.

“Wild Notion” is at the soft end of the collection, but really nice. The female fronted indie rock reminds me on Rough Trade bands from the 90s,

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Released April 13th, 2018

Written and performed by Night Flowers 

Four-piece Teleman are something of a strange proposition in 2018: an English art-pop band, formed in their early thirties, who have built up a keen fanbase and substantial critical acclaim across their last two albums without any gimmicks, just great songs and excellent live gigs.

After rising from the ashes of Reading’s underrated Pete & The Pirates in 2012, the quartet of vocalist Thomas Sanders, bassist Pete Cattermoul, synth/keys player Jonny Sanders and drummer Hiro Amamiya added metronomic Krautrock rhythms and cosmic synths to the indie-garage of their former work. Bernard Butler produced their debut, Breakfast, so it was naturally a glossy, sleek thing – yet Family Of Aliens, this their third album, produced by Boxed In’s Oli Bayston, is, if anything, even more electronic. Submarine Life is driven by aquatic Vocodered vocals, while the synth-pop of Cactus sounds like prime Ladytron or Hot Chip at their most relaxed. Starlight, conversely, is a loping six-minute ballad driven by woozy synths, like something from Gorillaz’s debut album, while Sea Of Wine springs from rippling piano and a vocal melody that recalls Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci or Robert Wyatt.

The band’s musical progression works throughout, though, highlighting Thomas Sanders’ wry, subdued vocals and enigmatic lyrics. “Use your imagination,” he mutters in the opening title track, and it’s almost a key to understanding his bookish lyrics. Family Of Aliens itself is a propulsive delight with an almost motorik beat, but this isn’t the Autobahn – instead Sanders is “driving along the M1… I saw the lights calling me onwards…”

Somebody’s Island looks at love and support: “I could have just left you dancing on your own/I could have just run but I didn’t know where to go…” Teleman clearly have no such problem – for those who haven’t heard them yet, it may be time to turn on and tune in.

Armed with a freer, more collaborative approach to both writing and recording, Teleman’s new 11-track album “Family of Aliens”, is a fluid collection of glorious pop-songs fluent with new electronic textures and united by the sharp lyricism, buoyant guitars and instantaneous melodies that are synonymous with Teleman.

“We want to keep evolving and keep discovering. This band is one long journey for us, and we never want to stop developing and finding new ways of creating music. I’m always wanting to better what we’ve done before. To go deeper, to find something more beautiful, more catchy, more challenging, more interesting … just more.”

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It’s evident the much-loved quartet have evolved, cultivating and honing their sound as a very-welcome and anticipated proposition for 2018.

Released September 7th, 2018

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Lock up your saplings, Snapped Ankles are BACK!

The woodwose have left the woods. They find themselves in the tree-lined cul-de-sacs of the suburbs that surround the concrete forest of the citadel. Amongst the trees here, are wooden posts with “For Sale” and “To Let” written in bold type. A new forest. Promises, promises.

They glimpse the sportswear-clad inhabitants busying themselves in their quest for physical and mental fitness, only to obliterate their senses at every opportunity. ‘Drink and Glide’ into this fast-paced living: the once revolutionary 1960s counter-cultural ideals now co-opted into lifestyle classes to enhance one’s sense of “betterness”.‘Drink and Glide’ now in preparation for Snaps II early next year.

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PIP HALL – ” The Perfect Life “

Posted: November 6, 2018 in MUSIC
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On ‘The Perfect Life’, the stunning final single taken from this record, we find the Preston-native lamenting to a life of “allowing yourself to be controlled by the people around you and thinking they’re so much higher up than you” and the challenge of breaking free from that cycle. A beautifully crafted piece of dark-pop it lushly pairs lofi, chunky guitars with Hall’s soaring vocal.

With the record written, recorded and produced by Pip this is the deeply personal sound of an artist navigating the impending doom of adulthood with gloriously universal wit, charm and beauty.

“6ft 2 and I’m walking with you I’ll catch my breath when you tell me to
And all my efforts and all my time were wasted on you with the perfect life

And I’ll tell you now what I told you then, I’m alright on the sub bench
take a look in my eyes and what do you see, your world is too much for me

6ft 2 and I’m talking to you I’ll hold my breath till you want me to
‘cause all my blessings and all my crimes will be wasted on you with the perfect life

Now I’m breaking from the cycle ‘cause I’ll make it all on my own
I won’t break my pride and I won’t waste your time anymore.”

Released June 11th, 2018

ILL – ” Bears (Tiiva Remix) “

Posted: November 6, 2018 in MUSIC
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ILL present a new reworking of their menacing and atmospheric slow-burner ‘Bears’ by electronic artist Tiiva. It’s the perfect soundtrack for a dark winter’s night.
ILL is a genre-evading band which believes in the power of disobedient noise. With a repertoire of precarious pop songs and frequent improvised departures, ILL revel in the right to be weird, exploring the borders between the funny and the sinister, the personal and the political, the mundane and the surreal.

Tiiva enjoys stretching the boundaries of organic and synthetic, fusing sampled vocals with intricately crafted rhythms – a real nod to the darker edges of pop. After a debut album this year, Tiiva is now remixing other artists, relishing in chopping up vocals, applying growling bass lines and unique drum samples to create a whole new picture from the music that inspires them.

Released November 6, 2018

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Following a recalibration and consolidation with their recent electronics-inflected album, 2018’s U.E.F., The Oscillation is back with their sixth and most ambitious album to date, Wasted Space. A meditation on the nature of existence in the face of what can be insurmountable odds, Wasted Space finds The Oscillation painting from the darker shades of the kaleidoscopic scale.

“The origins of Wasted Space go back to Monographic in 2016,” muses Demian Castellanos – the mastermind behind The Oscillation. “That was a very bleak and heavy record and I really needed to move out of that mindset. Making U.E.F freed me up to write a coherent collection of narrative songs and compositions. Wasted Space is a partial continuation of a journey started with U.E.F., but one that re-incorporates more song-based ideas again.”

What’s immediately apparent is that Wasted Space sets it stall well away from the prosaic third-eye tropes that have become orthodoxy. Album opener ‘Entity’ establishes the pace with a focus on the dancefloor as much as on the navigation of existence. Fusing muscular grooves with an industrial wall of sound, these are bold steps into wholly new territories. “There’s an irony at play here,” considers Castellanos. “It’s a twisted party song, albeit a party for one.” But what a party it is. The mutant disco is bolstered by the rhythmic call-and-response of ‘Drop’, a track that eschews conventional methods of dance sensibility for more instinctive and primal urges. This is music that calls out to the suitably attuned. “We’re reaching out on an innate level,” says Castellanos. “It’s a form of wordless communication that transcends the limitations of verbal language and thought processes.”

Wasted Space’s more somatic moments are tempered and balanced by episodes of contemplation and reflection. Fuelled by dreamy, orchestral sweeps and mournful, sustained notes, ‘The Human Shell’ is a deceptive yet redemptive piece that at first glance appears to be resigned to the futility of existence. But look once again and there you’ll find hope. “People will be able to relate to this song,” states Castellanos. “There’s a lot of love and empathy in there and it reaches out to say that we’re not alone, that we don’t have to exist independently of each other.”

Bringing Wasted Space to an emphatic conclusion is the epic instrumental ‘Luminous Being’. Ambitious in scope and delivery, it methodically and unequivocally slow releases repressed emotions to throw the wider world into sharper focus. Hedonistic yet reflective, Wasted Space is an album that moves purposely along a high wire as it finds the perfect balance between dealing with life and escaping it. The Oscillation’s finest album yet, Wasted Space is the area to which you’ll return to again and again. 
Wasted Space is due for release September 21st.
released September 21st, 2018

Scream Thy Last Scream” is a song by Pink Floyd, written by frontman Syd Barrett and scheduled to be the band’s next single after “See Emily Play” , Its first official release was on The Early Years 1965-1972 box set in November 2016. The song features several changes in tempo, a sped-up double-tracked vocal part by Barrett, while drummer Nick Mason simultaneously sings the normal part (one of only 4 moments he ever sang on a Floyd record),a range of bells, crowd noises, an instrumental section that continually increases in speed featuring wah-wah guitar solos and keyboards, and surreal lyrics. Barrett is only clearly audible on one line in the song, “she’ll be scrubbing bubbles on all fours”

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“Scream Thy Last Scream’ has lead vocals by Nick Mason,” noted David Gilmour in 2002. “We did actually perform that one a few times in my very early years with Pink Floyd. I don’t know if they ‘Scream Thy Last Scream’ and ‘Vegetable Man’ were ever finally mixed.

  • Nick Mason – lead vocals, drums
  • Syd Barrett – guitar, sped-up double-tracked vocals, vocals (one line)
  • Richard Wright – keyboards
  • Roger Waters – bass guitar