Posts Tagged ‘Wales’

Novo will be performing at SXSW 2019

Novo Amor, a.k.a. singer-songwriter Ali Lacey, pieces together his songs using only the finest and most fragile organic ingredients: lightly plucked acoustic guitars and banjos, tender bits of piano, subtle string sweeps. But most exquisite of all is Lacey’s own falsetto — imagine Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, but more straightforwardly angelic — Novo Amor sends the whole arrangement hurtling heavenward.

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The Welsh multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter whose 2018 album “Birthplace” is packed full of cinematic soundscapes undercut with more than a little melancholy.

Lifted from the ‘Bathing Beach’ EP out May 26th on vinyl and digital

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KIDSMOKE – ” Passenger “

Posted: March 9, 2019 in MUSIC
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Kidsmoke is performing at SXSW 2019.

The first sound to jump out from Kidsmoke’s “Passenger” is that clear, fluid guitar line — it could have been transplanted directly from a Cure album 30 years ago, and damned if it isn’t irresistible. From there, the Welsh pop-rock band cycles through an array of sweet and sunny hooks, each more glimmery than the one before. Imagine Real Estate with a bit more pep and a bit less nostalgic melancholy, and there you have it: a summery, shined-to-a-sheen jewel that’d elicit smiles in any era.

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Kidsmoke’s songs to-date are like exquisite, detail-rich pastoral-pop miniatures” – The Sunday Times

Kidsmoke are Lance (Vocals/Guitar), James (Bass/Vocals), Sophie (Guitar/Vocals) and Ash (Drums). Their shimmering brand of dreamy indie-pop has seen them make waves in their native North Wales.

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Already strong contenders for the best band to come out Carmarthen, Adwaith are the trio of Gwenllian, Hollie and Heledd. After a number of well received singles, the band are ramping up to release their debut album later this year, and have this week shared the latest taste of it, new single Gartref.

Translating as, At Home, Gartref is a song about“a longing for something which isn’t clear. What is home? Where is it?”With each new track, Adwaith seem to take the listener to some new musical landscape; in Gartref’s case, it’s a darker, gloomier place than before. The percussion sounds bright and driving, as pulses of bassy synth and muted, processed vocals create a dense engulfing wave of noise that drags you down into the darkness with it. Outspoken, creative and ludicrously talented, Adwaith aren’t just the future of Welsh music along with Gwenno,

Band Members
Hollie Singer,
Gwenllian Anthony,
Heledd Owen

Dream State have dropped one of the best dark pop punk songs of the year

If you haven’t heard of Dream State yet, get ready to ride on a serious hype train. Hailing from South-Wales, the five-piece and recently signed to UNFD and have announced the brand new Recovery EP, due out for a release on May 18th.

Ahead of the release of the EP, the band have dropped a blistering, dark pop punk banger ‘New Waves’. The track lends from pop punk’s heavier forefathers, A Day To Remember in delivering an onslaught of crushing yet melodic riffs, carried by vocalist CJ Gilpin’s powerhouse performance.

The track ebbs on the more nihilistic side of things, featuring kingdom vanquishing drums the drive it’s huge hooks – it’s a massively modern take on the output of mid-00s emo bands like Further Seems Forever and Hawthorne Heights, highly informed by the pop sensibilities of PVRIS.

Gilpin describes the EP as a “journey from internal chaos to calm, with each track relating to a stage in her personal recovery”, adding that ‘New Waves’ is about finally letting go of prodigal habits and ties and riding new waves, making fresh starts, releasing myself of the past and welcoming the future. Life is not easy for anyone but it’s good to remember how far you’ve come and no matter how dark life can appear, it can’t compete with the light that follows”

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Adwaith were one of 2017’s break-out acts, quickly charging to the forefront of both the Welsh-language and DIY scenes. Whatever 2018 has in store for this Carmarthen-trio is going to be well worth keeping an eye on, and it’s starting with the release of a new double-A single, Fel I Fod/Newid.

Fel I Fod was written at a time of great change in vocalist Hollie Singer’s life, as she explains, “everything was new and scary to me. This song is about being afraid. Afraid of being stuck. Afraid of being comfortable somewhere I don’t think I belong. It’s about realising you’ll be okay even if you don’t feel okay all the time.” Musically, Fel I Fod is astonishing, all muted gorgeous keyboard washes, bright melancholic guitars, and mind-blowingly tight vocal harmonies.

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If Fel I Fod, is a tender, inward glancing moment, Newid is an anthem for our modern world, and the next generation, “the generation who were deceived and ignored by the cold, selfish world of Brexit and Trump”. Yet it’s not entirely downbeat, in the clattering post-punk chords, and pulsating bass there’s a feeling of hope, as they sing, ‘Bu nhw byth yn torri ni’ – they never break us! Making Welsh-language music might often be seen as niche, but making it this beautiful, this accessible, this powerful: well that’s very interesting indeed.

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Band Members
Hollie Singer,
Gwenllian Anthony,
Heledd Owen,

King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard leads the second announcement of artists to perform at Green Man festival 2018.

King Gizzard’s reward for putting out a quite ridiculous five full studio albums in 2017 comes in the shape of their first ever festival headline slot for the band. The Aussie psych gods will join the likes of The War On Drugs, Fleet Foxes, John Grant, Grizzly Bear, Public Service Broadcasting, Dirty Projectors and Mount Kimbie who were previously announced by the festival.

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We hear far too little of Welsh indie-pop quartet Kidsmoke, though everything they do do is done with with care, attention and impeccable flair.

After last year’s ‘See The World’  they now return with another track taken from their ‘Save Your Sorrow’ EP, which came out in June.

Recorded at Orange Sound Recording Studio, Penmaenmawr with Russ Hayes (Catfish and the Bottlemen), ‘Seabirds’ is Kidsmoke’s most ambitious song to date – and not just in its 4 minutes and 25 seconds length. Lush, flowing melodies waft through layers of reverb and West Coast vibes, through which lyrics like “You cloud the sunset/It drags my heart down with it/Now I don’t feel at all/You are the tumbling rocks sent/To chase away this time spent” revolve.

“I think I was listening to a lot of War on Drugs’ ‘Lost In The Dream’ at the time,” says songwriter/bassist James Stickels. “Not sure that carries into the final version. I wanted a chorus that opened up like Radiohead’s 1996 version of ‘Lift’.”

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Are you excited yet? It’s just a few days until the Green Man Festival 2017 in the beautiful Brecon Beacons, and we can’t wait it could be the best Green Man yet . It’s their fifteen Anniversary this year, I have been lucky enough to have been to eleven over the past years .There’s some pretty impressive headliners this year with PJ Harvey, Ryan Adams and Future Islands and Ride.

But what about away from the main Mountain Stage? The Far Out Stage is maybe the place to be but in the Walled Garden and the comparatively new Rising Stage could throw up a few gems like last year. I thought I would share a few of those artists worth checking out, for no other reason than I like them. And there’s plenty more bands that I could have included. Needless to say, it doesn’t matter where you wander this year, you’re still going to find someone pretty impressive.

Thursday 17th August  Far Out Stage

H Hawkline –  Far Out Stage

We’ve got to start with a Welsh boy haven’t we? Huw Evans, otherwise known H Hawkline, is a Welsh singer/songwriter based in Cardiff. He’s also lived in LA, and does radio and tv presenting (including S4C’s Bandit with Huw Stephens. He’s supported Gruff Rhys on tour.

Anna Meredith – Far Out Stage

Anna Meredith is a composer, producer and performer of both acoustic and electronic music.  Her sound is frequently described as ‘uncategorisable’ and ‘genre-defying’ and straddles the different worlds of contemporary classical, art pop, electronica, ambient installations and experimental rock . In March 2017 the band went on their first US tour including performances at SXSW, which the New York Times reviewed as “sheer exhilaration”  while NPR’s Bob Boilen described the show as “a stormy, ecstatic, endlessly danceable thrill to behold…the best artist I’ve seen at SXSW and one of the most creative bands I’ve seen in years. Music for the head, the heart, the ass and the feet”.

Harleighblu  – Chai Wallahs

The 21-year-old from Nottingham takes inspiration from the likes of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, amongst others. Her voice sounds like a cross between Jill Scott and Amy Winehouse, and she oozes silky soul. She’s with the Chai Wallerahs on Thursday also.

Friday 18th August

Siobhan Wilson  – Mountain Stage

Siobhan Wilson is a singer songwriter from Glasgow. She cites Nina Simone, John Martyn and Perfume Genuis among her influences and has recently toured with Willy Mason. She recorded her debut album Glorified Demons in her home city and it features, among others, the super popular track All Dressed Up, which has been downloaded for free over 50,000 times!.

Happyness  – Mountain Stage

Happyness are a 3-piece alternative rock band from London, consisting of Jon EE Allan, Benji Compston and Ash Cooper. All 3 members write the songs and are known for swapping roles within the studio and live shows, Their new album ‘Write In’ shows that, beneath their more leftfield influences, Happyness have it in them to be classic songwriters of considerable skill.

Kikagaku Moya  – Far Out Stage

Kikagaku Moyo are a Japanese psychedelic rock band from Tokyo, The band was formed by Go Kurosawa (drums/vocals) and Tomo Katsurada (guitar/vocals) in the summer of 2012 .

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Chris Forsyth and the Solar Motel Band  – Far Out Stage

Chris Forsyth is a lauded guitarist, composer, and bandleader whose widescreen art-rock, fusing taut compositions and mercurial improvisations, has earned him a reputation as one of the most distinctive and critically acclaimed guitarists working today. In 2013, he assembled The Solar Motel Band, who quickly developed a reputation as an incredible live act, provoking ecstatic comparisons to visionary artists such as Television, The Grateful Dead, Popol Vuh, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, and Richard Thompson.

In 2016 he released the double LP The Rarity of Experience (No Quarter) to universal raves.  its “a near-perfect balance between ‘70s rock tradition and present day experimentation,” NPR Music named Forsyth “one of rock’s most lyrical improvisors,” and the New York Times called him “a scrappy and mystical historian.

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Angel Olsen  –  Far Out Stage 

Olsen’s songs have often occupied an internal landscape where thoughts weigh heavy and loners fret over how to say that thing they really need to say to someone. “Shut Up Kiss Me” is all action, hang the consequences and anguished rationale, and if there’s any distance between Olsen and what she’s projecting, she hides it consummately. She rocked out on 2014’s “Burn Your Fire For No Witness” but always from behind a thick curtain of murk. “Shut Up Kiss Me” is precise as her demands, illuminating every pyrotechnic reaction in Olsen’s throat. “We could still be having some sweet memories,” she sings towards the start of the track, her voice catching like a match against the striking strip. Eventually, she concedes, “It’s all over baby, but I’m still young,” like a volcano about to blow. It’s an appropriately apocalyptic note: “Shut Up Kiss Me” is a come-on for these times when the end of the world feels nigh, so what the hell are you waiting for?

Gill Landry – Walled Garden,

A founder member of The Kitchen Syncopators, Louisiana native, Gill Landry, is a singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and storyteller.he also played with Old Crow Medicine Show. The singer/songwriter makes the sort of sounds you expect to hear blowing through a old dust-bitten mid west town. The Walled Garden on Friday.

Nadia Reid  –  Walled Garden

Eighteen months on from Nadia Reid’s 2015 debut the 25-year-old New Zealander has delicately but decidedly upped the ante. Her ethereal, pensive vocals are cast against plangent folk-guitar shapes, but there is more dirt under her nails. The songs deal with empowerment through determination in the aftermath of love and loss, often in no uncertain terms. The transcendental title track finds her quietly informing someone that she stayed too long. Reach My Destination bids a more bitter farewell: “Two little words that I used … One was ‘fuck’, the other was ‘you’.” Such caustic undercurrents provide startling electric shocks amid what is mostly humbling, melancholy beauty, although the 10 songs cover a spectrum from Martha Wainwright/Laura Marling acoustica to Stevie Nicks-style spectral pop. However, with little more than her voice and guitars, and Hanson St. Pt 2, I Come Home to You and Ain’t Got You are quietly, perfectly crafted statements from a blossoming talent.

Kate Tempest  –  The Far Out Stage

Not just a singer but a poet, spoken-word performer and playwrite. pIn 2013, she won the Ted Hughes Award for her work Brand New Ancients. Her 2014 album Everybody Down (Big Dada) was nominated for a Mercury Prize. Far Out stage on Friday.

Pumarosa  –  Walled Garden

Pumarosa thrive under the influence of the unexpected. From chance encounters with mad-hatter characters, to 6AM strikes of inspiration on the rooftops of east London raves, their music is a patchwork history of happy accidents and hazy memories. The four-piece Pumarosa singer Isabel Muñoz-Newsom completed by Tomoya Suzuki, Nicholas Owen and Jamie Neville have sat outside the norm since day one. Releasing a slow-burning, eight-minute debut single like “Priestess” is a statement in and of itself, pushing back against a world we’re so often told is plagued by ever-shortening attention spans. Theirs is a constant tug-of-war between their abstract ambitions and more real-world practicalities – from having to chop and change their live line-up due to work commitments, to relying on freebie recordings from friends to get their first ideas off the ground.

Stevie Parker – Rising Stage

I’ve been a big fan of Stevie Parker since the first time I saw her, the debut album“The Cure”, is a real pleasure songs such as Blue, Without You, Prey and Stay. Songs that I’ve grown to love since the albums release and songs that I’ve yearned to see performed live. As Stevie only has her debut album and an EP but I thoroughly recommend going to see Stevie Parker if you get chance.

Nordic Giants – Cinedrone

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Famed for their engulfing live performances, Nordic Giants perform live soundtracks to beautiful award-winning short films. The mysterious duo are always hidden behind masks – surrounded by thick smoke, lights and projections screens – Its an experience for all the senses!