Friday, 22 June 2018

LISTEN: Saltwater Sun - 'Hot Mess'

With support slots for the likes of Gengahr and Black Honey under their belts over the last couple of years, Reading's guitar pop exports Saltwater Sun are firmly putting their stamp on the indie landscape with latest cut Hot Mess. The quintet have already gained support from the likes of Huw Stephens, who gave the track its first play on Radio 1 on Monday evening. The track is an "impassioned plea to let go of any shackles and never take yourself too seriously" with front woman Jen Stearnes' strong vocal performance complimenting some pretty wild guitar riffs - for fans of Black Honey and Swimming Girls.

If you're digging the tune, catch the band on tour this September, including a night at London's Sebright Arms on the 27th.

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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

WATCH: Catgod - 'Let Go'

My beautiful and incredibly talented friends Catgod (fronted by siblings Robin and Cat who I'm fairly sure I'm a long lost sibling of...) have recently shared this beautiful live video of Let Go, filmed alongside the Thames outside their Oxford studio. The track is the third from their upcoming Heartbeat In My Hand EP (out this Friday!) and, in contrast to the likes of Keep My Promises, also on the upcoming EP, and earlier single Someone Love, it is far more delicate, with its slower pace allowing the vocal harmonies of Robin and Cat to completely shine through and become a highlight of the track. Catch Catgod live in Oxford this Saturday at The Cellar (it's a free gig, no excuses) - info here!

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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

LISTEN: Hudson Scott - 'Lone Wolf'

He's a long time collaborator with Foals and has recently been touring the UK with Chad Valley - Hudson Scott is back with brand new single Lone Wolf. Following in the incredibly groovy steps of his previous singles Clay, Gone and Triangle the track is overflowing with synths and brass solos. With the track focused around repeated lyric "did you expect to know anybody there?", talking about the tune in its premiere for The Beat, Scott explains that the track is "about social anxiety, about when you feel great with a person one-on-one but how it all goes to shit with their friends." Relatable.

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Tuesday, 12 June 2018

LISTEN: Premium Leisure - 'Plug The Leads In' EP

It's no great secret that Willie J Healey is one of the best musical exports from Oxford of recent years, and I'm really excited to see that his guitarist Chris Barker has a new band Premium Leisure. With the band (for performances, at least) comprising of the total dream team of Willie J, WJH drummer Mike Monaghan and BE GOOD frontman Ash Cooke there's no surprises that the brand new EP, Plug The Leads In, is a wonderful collection of tunes.

While incredibly fresh, the use of analogue recording techniques and vintage equipment in Chris's Oxfordshire home studio give the EP a fairly tangible 60s psychedelic rock vibe. Opening with the below single Water Pistol, you instantly know that you're onto a good one, but the highlight for me is second track Gold Tunes - check out that instrumental section two minutes into the tune...

Listen to the whole EP on Spotify here. It's being released through Oxford tape label (that's a thing in 2018 - how exciting?!) and you can grab a copy here, or at The Library in Oxford where the band are playing a three show residency, with gigs coming up on the 14th and 21st of June - head to the event for more info here.

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Monday, 11 June 2018

LISTEN: Matthew & The Atlas - 'Cali' EP

Matthew & The Atlas's recent EP in a word? Dreamy. The talented ensemble are fronted by Matt Hegarty, whose beautifully smooth vocals are just the tip of the iceberg on this release. Cali has been out in the world for a couple of weeks, and while it's soothing sounds might more closely suit a winter release (I can totally picture listening to the EP next to a fire with a hot chocolate... just me?) it's a stunning collection of tracks, whatever the weather. The single Seventeen is a highlight for me, and I'm crossing everything that I can get to this year's Bushstock in a couple of weeks and catch the band, alongside the likes of Seramic, Peace and Flyte (last few tickets for that are on sale at the moment - grab yours now!)

Follow Matthew And The Atlas online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify.

Friday, 8 June 2018

ALBUM NEWS: Evergreen - 'Overseas'

Exciting news! French trio Evergreen have followed up new tune Comme Si with the news that their second record Overseas is due for release in just a week, on June 15th. The album is the follow up to 2014 record Towards (released under their previous name, We Were Evergreen) - easily one of my favourite releases of the last few years, full of some brilliant singles including Best Thing, False Start and Daughters. I first started to listen to the band when I caught them supporting King Charles back in 2012, and I'm really looking forward to hearing this new record and seeing how their sound has progressed, and particularly to any future live dates!

If you want some more recent tunes from the trio to whet your appetite, check out their Aux Echos EP from 2017 here, and take a listen to the new track below!

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Wednesday, 6 June 2018

WATCH: Gengahr - 'I'll Be Waiting'

I'll Be Waiting is one of my favourite tracks from Gengahr's Where Wildness Grows, released earlier this year. The track has just been given a beautiful video, courtesy of Jamie Whitby, the creative mind behind their video for Before Sunrise (which I absolutely adore). This one's for you if you're in a long distance relationship, or if you're just a fan of great music - Gengahr can certainly deliver on that front! Oxford folks - catch them at Truck Festival this Summer!

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

GIG NEWS: Public Service Broadcasting at the Royal Albert Hall (1st Nov)

I haven't shared a gig announcement on the blog in a while, but this show is most certainly worthy of a mention! The mighty Public Service Broadcasting head to London's Royal Albert Hall for a show on 1st November - tickets go on sale this Friday (8th June), with a pre-sale through the band's mailing list on Wednesday. I remember pretty clearly a friend introducing me to the band through their first studio record Inform, Educate, Entertain almost four years ago - two records and two chances to see them live later, and I'm very much a huge fan of their work.

A couple of weekends ago they played at the Biggest Weekend for BBC 6 Music in Belfast, opening the set with four brand new tracks commissioned by the BBC, about the Titanic, performed on the ship's slipways. As always, they're an incredibly moving set of tracks and exquisite in their quality. If you can get along to the RAH show, be sure to grab a ticket this week - their live shows are really something to behold (especially if last year's Hammersmith Apollo gig was anything to go by - read my review of that here.)

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Friday, 1 June 2018

WATCH: Christof van der Ven - 'Never Never' for Sofar Sounds

A lot of my favourite acoustic videos come from the lovely folks of Sofar Sounds all over the world - not least because they book tons of brilliant artists. The nature of the shows - with an intimate audience watching the artists with talking to a minimum - means that they can produce videos in the style of acoustic sessions, with a live audience feeding into the performance and affecting the artist on this level, making it all a little more authentic. The latest Sofar session that I've fallen in love with is from Christof van der Ven (guitar/banjo/vocals for Bear's Den) who played for Sofar in London just days after releasing his beautiful debut album Empty Handed back in April. Check out the video below and if you like what you're hearing - his album is here!

Follow Christof van der Ven online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 31 May 2018

LISTEN: Charlie Fink - 'Anywhere / My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm'

Coinciding with the release of the first two Noah & The Whale records on vinyl for the first time a couple of weeks back (hooray!) frontman Charlie Fink has released a double A-side single. Anywhere is an upbeat reworking of the acoustic number Anywhere You're Going Is On My Way from his musical theatre show Cover My Tracks (a show with him performing tracks from the album of the same name) of last year. Writing on Anywhere, Fink explains that "I had written and recorded the album before we started rehearsals and as the show evolved, so did this song". It's folk origins have been re-imagined and replaced with electronic beats and synth lines in an 80s style.

Second tune My Heartbeat Lost Its Rhythm was previously shared online but never officially as a single - I adore this one and I'm glad that it's finally seen the light of day! Here's hoping that there's more where these two tracks came from...

Follow Charlie Fink online - Facebook.