Friday, 20 July 2018

LISTEN: Swimming Girls - 'Asking For It'

Bursting onto the scene with the absolute tune Tastes Like Money last year, it was instantly clear that Swimming Girls were a band to watch out for. The total ear worm Back Of Your Car cemented that thought, and I made sure to catch the band live when the opportunity arose at The Great Escape back in May. Despite playing an early evening set on the opening day of the festival, the room was completely crammed, and deservedly so. The group are back with Asking For It, which lead singer Vanessa describes as a "blunt break up song - written at the bitter end of a relationship, it explores the distinct lack of sympathy you feel after being hurt over and over again" (DIY premiere.)



Follow Swimming Girls - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'Doomsday'

"It's the first time in my life that I've felt so aware of my mortality and it probably doesn't help that the Facebook and Netflix algorithms have cottoned on and keep feeding me shit on the topic." 

Tempesst have shared the title track from their upcoming EP Doomsday, following up recent single A Little Bit Of Trouble. The track is described as a reflection on the current state of the world and how our addiction to social media and the internet have turned us into mindless creatures - incredibly contemporary themes which lead singer Toma predicts will re-occur in their future releases. My favourite thing about the tune personally is some pretty beautiful strings towards the end. I can't wait to hear the full EP - it's due on the 27th, keep an ear out!



Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

LISTEN: Pale Seas - Someday (Everything Everything remix)

After blowing my mind with their remix of Rae Morris' Someone Out There earlier this year, Manchester's Everything Everything have done it again, this time with the Pale Seas single Someday. I'm not often one for remixes, but they've taken the track, flipped it on its head and given it a pretty magical reworking, with lead singer Jacob's original vocals shining through a pop beat and otherwise almost robotic vocals. The track is going to be available in a limited run of 7" vinyl through the band's app and at shows - you can catch them live in London on September 2nd at The Five Bells - info here!


Follow Pale Seas - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Everything Everything - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

LISTEN: Hazey Jane - 'Lifeboat' EP

Tigmus and Sofar Sounds alum Hazey Jane shared their Lifeboat EP a few weeks back - it pools together recent singles from the last year or so, including the title track Lifeboat, Mirror View and Mother's Lie, for which I was really proud to premiere the video last year (check out that post here.) Taking influence from the likes of Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and Neil Young, the tracks showcase a passion for songwriting and some beautiful harmonies, and are a perfect acoustic accompaniment for the Summer evenings!


Follow Hazey Jane - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 16 July 2018

WATCH: Boy Azooga - 'Face Behind Her Cigarette'

I featured the debut record from Boy Azooga in my recent "albums of the year (so far)" feature, and felt like sharing another track from it on the blog because I'm enjoying the record so much. It's a really refreshing debut from the Cardiff musician, and one that, despite playing it in full several times already, I'm not tiring of in the slightest! The instrumental sections in the tune below, Face Behind Her Cigarette, are a really cracking introduction to his music and the record more specifically. If you like what you're hearing I strongly urge you to check out 1, 2, Kung Fu! here.


As well as plenty of festival appearances over the next couple of months, Boy Azooga headlines Scala in London on 17th October - info here.

Follow Boy Azooga online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 12 July 2018

LISTEN: Catgod - 'Heartbeat in My Hand' EP

It's been out for a couple of weeks now, but just in case the latest release from my pals Catgod passed you by, here it is! They're following up 2017 EP Someone Love with their utterly sublime Heartbeat In My Hand EP. The collection of four tracks opens with the title track, instantly showering us in those beautiful vocal harmonies of brother and sister duo Robin and Cat. Recent addition Patrick Bolton, on keys, takes centre stage for a moment in the almost understated opener, which gravitates around the instrument. While the first track lures us in gently, Keep My Promises is it's musical opposite, a much wilder track, lyrically and musically. Flute solos included. The pace is taken down a notch for tearjerker Let Go, before Robin takes over lead vocal responsibilities for closing track Owing You. 

As a band that I've been friends with from their early days, I'm incredibly proud of the evolution their sound has taken on. From their beginnings as Roberto y Juan with the Monster Love EP in early 2016, the band became a collective, working with musicians from across the Oxford music scene and beyond to try out different styles, organically becoming Catgod as it is now. Pretty wonderful they are, too.



Follow Catgod - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 11 July 2018

WATCH: Francobollo - 'We're Dead'

Francobollo have given recent single We're Dead a pretty comical (but also fairly hard-hitting) video treatment, courtesy of animator Samuel Lewis. They're tackling the incredibly important and contemporary issue of our insane plastic usage, highlighting things such as plastic straws, coffee cups, bottles and the insane overuse of packaging in online deliveries. The band have committed to support the Plastic Soup Foundation and their #StartPlasticDiet campaign, raising awareness of how to lower our plastic use so that less ends up in our oceans. It's an issue that's become really important to me over the last year or so, and it's so encouraging to see so many people taking even small steps to reduce their personal use of plastic. Simply acknowledging the problem and trying to be a little more aware of the plastic you're using can make a difference. 


Some facts from the Plastic Soup Foundation website, (find out more here):

- Every year, about eight million tons of plastic ends up in sea.
- It's estimated that millions of animals in the sea die every year because of plastic waste. Animals such as fish, sea birds, sea turtles, dolphins and whales.
- Plastic particles in the sea attract toxic substances. These plastic particles enter the food chain because birds and fish think they are food.
- All the plastic that was ever produced in the world is still on earth in one way or another. Plastic that enters the ocean never disappears.
- Every year we produce more than 300 million tons of plastic. About half of this is used just once and is then thrown away. If we don’t do anything about it, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean by 2050!
- About one billion plastic bags are used around the world every year. This is more than one million bags every minute!

Follow Francobollo - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

TOUR NEWS: Nick Mulvey (Sep/Oct 2018)

His sold out show at the Royal Albert Hall was a total joy to behold earlier this year, so I'm really glad to hear of the news that Nick Mulvey is heading out on tour again across the UK this September and October. Giving the fans what they want, Nick is heading out with his gutiar to play a run of eighteen solo shows, taking in the likes of Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, Bristol and Nottingham, with a show at London's Hackney Arts Centre on 26th September. The venues are intimate - and speaking from personal experience, I can highly recommend catching Nick playing solo, it's truly something special. 


Full dates for the In Your Hands solo tour are below, for which tickets go on sale this Friday!

The Empire Music Hall, Belfast (19th Sep); Whelan’s, Dublin (20th); Live At St. Luke’s, Cork (22nd); Corn Exchange, Cambridge (24th); Town Hall, Oxford (25th); Hackney Arts Centre, London (26th); Phoenix, Exeter (29th); Tram Shed, Cardiff (30th); Guildhall, Gloucester (2nd Oct); St George’s Church, Brighton (3rd); St George’s, Bristol (5th); Opera House, Buxton (6th); Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal (7th); Pocklington Arts Club, Pocklington (9th); Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow (10th); Arts Club, Liverpool (12th); Trades Club, Hebden Bridge (13th); Rescue Rooms, Nottingham (14th).

Follow Nick Mulvey online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Saturday, 7 July 2018

LISTEN: Fil Bo Riva - 'Time Is Your Gun'

It's always a joy to have a new Fil Bo Riva track to review! Since first finding Like Eye Did in my inbox a couple of years ago, I've been fairly smitten with his unique vocals, and new track Time Is Your Gun shows them off beautifully. It follows recent singles Head Sonata (Love Control) and Blindmaker but reminds a little more of earlier EP If You're Right, It's Alright in it's style, a more stripped back folk tune. Most importantly, the track gets us just a little bit closer (I hope!) to a FBR record!

Writing of the track, Fil shares that it "is a song that somehow became a bridge between the EP and the upcoming debut album. I wrote the lyrics sometime after the EP was recorded and those lyrics felt like the last lines I had to write about the person most of the EP songs were written for", adding that the track came to life when he first met Felix, now band-mate, "one day we found ourselves jamming in the rehearsal room... somehow after a few hours we had this song done without knowing we were writing one. I don't wanna sound too romantic, but I remember that the first chord we ever played were these ones [....] we usually open our concerts with this track - the energy we get from it is unique." 


With the release of it's third single, the FBR album is in its finishing touches - expect more new music before its release! He's also heading out on tour, playing various festivals across Summer as well as a run of European dates later in the year, including London's Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on 3rd October.

Follow Fil Bo Riva online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 6 July 2018

LISTEN: Little Brother Eli - 'Wait For You'

Following up 2018 singles Tooth and Our Kind Of Love, Oxford's Little Brother Eli are keeping up the tempo with their latest release, Wait For You. The track has been premiered live at recent shows, including a Sofar Sounds Oxford show in a primary school gym (honestly one of the coolest venues I've seen a gig in, with previous Sofars while I was in Oxford for university!) from which you can watch a video of the track here. Led by vocalist Alex Grew's powerful vocals, the track has everything you'd want from the group... gorgeous harmonies (particularly in the acoustic version for Sofar), infectious lyrics and, in a fairly wild departure from their waistcoat and tie early days, a rather lovely guitar solo towards the end!


Follow Little Brother Eli online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Albums of the year (so far)

Between working in a music store, curating a playlist and generally making more time to listen to new music, I've been really impressed by lots of incredible albums so far this year. As we've passed the half way point of 2018 I've decided to do a post bringing together ten of my favourite records of the year so far. It's difficult to narrow them down, and the likes of Dawes, Ben Howard, Christof van der Ven, Geowulf, George Ezra, Nathaniel Rateliff and Django Django just missed out, but their recent records are all certainly worth checking out! (The list is in order of release, rather than preference.) 

Rae Morris - Someone Out There

Probably my most listened to record of the year so far, it very quickly became a favourite and an early shout for my album of the year, a title that it would be pretty difficult to lose. I have so much love for this record. What first really struck me about the record was the lyrics, it felt as if Rae was really opening up to the audience, the songs are incredibly personal but at the same time relatable. The progression in the sound from her first record Unguarded is another huge plus for me. Favourite track: Dip My Toe.


The Wombats Beautiful People Will Ruin Your Life

It's always exciting when a favourite band of several years releases a new record, and this was the case for the new Wombats record earlier this year, as I've been a fan of the band through much of secondary school and university. Back at it with the inventive and often quite amusing lyrics, my favourite is probably "You could give an aspirin the headache of it's life." Genius. Favourite track: Turn.



Superorganism Superorganism

Aside from the radio hit Everybody Wants To Be Famous, I hadn't listened to anything from this group until we tried the album in the store I work in, and I really liked what I was hearing. Many, many listens later and I caught them at The Great Escape, where they brought everything fun and inventive that I loved from the record into the live environment. Favourite track: Night Time.


Gengahr Where Wildness Grows

One of my favourite things about this record from Gengahr is the fact that you received a pack of seeds if you pre-ordered the album through the band's site. Lead singer Felix's beautiful falsetto beautifully compliments the music and the record is a strong follow-up to their 2015 release A Dream Outside. Favourite track: Before Sunrise.


Ady Suleiman Memories

Since catching him live at my first Bushstock back in 2015 I've been eagerly awaiting a record from Nottingham's Ady Suleiman. Memories is a mix of singles from the past few years and some new tracks and it's a brilliant collection, showing off his incredible voice. If you ever get the chance to see him play live, take it. Favourite track: Serious.


The Magic Gang The Magic Gang

I adore this record from start to finish. I've been aware of the band for years but didn't get around to taking a listen until I saw that they had released their debut record earlier in the year. It's been in my headphones a lot since, and their set at The Great Escape was a big highlight of the weekend. Favourite track: Getting Along.


The Vaccines Combat Sports

Similarly to The Wombats, it's always a total joy to hear a new The Vaccines album, as they've been a favourite band of mine since the release of What Did You Expect back in 2011. Those riffs. Mmm. They're another band whose clever lyrics can often be quite amusing, with a couple of highlights from this record being: "How many lightbulbs does it take to change the mood? If that's how many, dude I think I'm screwed." and"I wanna fly you to the moon but I don't wanna pay for gas." Favourite track: Your Love Is My Favourite Band.


Cosmo Sheldrake The Much Much How How & I

From the moment I caught him supporting Johnny Flynn towards the end of 2017 I've been fairly mesmerised by Cosmo's work, and just in time, as he's released his debut record this year. In it's sound and musical process it's quite unique from the rest of the albums on the list - a whimsical, utterly joyful piece of work pulling together sounds from various areas of the natural world, sampled together alongside his vocals. Favourite track: Wriggle.


Boy Azooga 1, 2, Kung Fu!

It's only been out for a few weeks, but the debut record from Cardiff's Boy Azooga has quickly become a big favourite of mine for the year, and I've been listening to it almost daily. My first introduction was to Jerry, a track about a dog from the local dog rescue centre - consider some major brownie points earned for that. If you like the records from Gengahr and The Magic Gang, this is worth a listen. Favourite track: Loner Boogie.


Evergreen Overseas

Last up, I've been waiting for the follow-up to the band's debut album Towards for what feels like an age (I managed to get a degree in the time between records...) but Overseas is proving to be entirely worth the wait. A little more electro than it's predecessor, the album feels almost grown up, and makes use of the band's native tongue, French, far more. I'm really enjoying The Foreigner, Gemini and Bloom. Favourite track: Aux Echos.


Be sure to follow my 2018 playlist on Spotify to keep up to date with all the new music I'm listening to and enjoying. Recent additions come from the likes of Seramic, Florence + The Machine, PD Liddle, Dawes and Panic! At The Disco.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

LISTEN: Seramic - 'Strange Magic'

It was a total joy to volunteer at the Communion Music festival Bushstock towards the end of June. My highlight of the festival last year was a stunning stripped back secret set from Seramic in a tiny wine bar, and their set at the Courtyard stage this year was my festival highlight this year! You could say I've got quite a bit of love for this project. Following up the I Got You and Found EPs, Seramic are back with new music, the first in a year, with single Strange Magic.

I'm really excited to share here that with Tigmus, I've helped to handpick a few bands for this year's WOMAD Festival line-up. Seramic are one of them, alongside MarthaGunn and Low Island -  what a trio! You can find the full line-up and ticket information for the festival here. Check out Strange Magic below, and keep an eye out on the Tigmus blog for an interview I've done with Seramic about their appearance at the festival very soon!


Follow Seramic online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 29 June 2018

WATCH: Evergreen - 'Comme Si'

One of my favourite gig memories is back in 2012, when I saw King Charles playing live for the first time. For the encore, his cover of We Didn't Start The Fire, he pulled me up onto the stage alongside the support acts Giovanna and We Were Evergreen and (though slightly terrifying) it's stayed with me as a really special early gig memory. I loved catching We Were Evergreen a couple of years later in the same venue in Cambridge, on the launch tour for their debut record Towards, which I still adore a few years later. A couple of weeks back, the band returned with Overseas, their second record, under the new band name, Evergreen

As the name suggests, they're a trio in full bloom with the release of this record - it's quickly becoming one of my favourite albums of the year so far alongside the likes of Rae Morris, The Magic Gang, Boy Azooga and Superorganism (I'm planning a post on my albums of the year so far if I get time, keep an eye out for that!) It's a collection of songs that flit successfully between vocals in English and the band's first language French and make use of various synths and electronics, a glorious step forward from the first record. For me, highlights include Gemini (pretty relatable as I am one!), Bloom and the incredibly relevant The Foreigner - but as a whole, the record is incredibly strong. If you're new to the band, single Comme Si is a pretty good place to start, and they've recently shared a brilliant (and colourful) video for the track which you can watch below - their music videos have always been a joy to watch!


Check out Overseas by Evergreen on Spotify here.

Follow Evergreen online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

WATCH: PD Liddle - 'Uncanny Valley'

It's somehow already over two and a half years since one of my favourite bands, Dry The River, decided to call it a day after two brilliant records. Their music continues to mean a lot and I've kept an eye on and an ear out for the various side projects they're involved in, and perhaps the most exciting is reaching its peak as lead singer Peter Liddle, under the name PD Liddle, has just unveiled another solo track Uncanny Valley and announced that his debut solo record Casual Labour is due out in two weeks time via Xtra Mile Recordings.

The record is a treat for loyal Dry The River fans, filled with those beautifully distinct vocals of Liddle, and featuring guest appearances and contributions from members of DtR including Scott Miller on bass, Patrick Pearson on keys, Will Harvey arranging and performing strings and Matthew Reynolds on guitar. The record itself, produced by Peter Miles (Eliza & The Bear, Lonely The Brave) was completed in just 5 days and written gradually over the years since DtR disbanded, coming together in Liddle's spare time while he turned his attention to a new career and began to study law.

Writing of the record, Peter said that “When I was younger, I thought you wrote about the big events and huge milestones in your life - that you need emotional peaks and troughs to inspire you, but just participating in daily life is much more inspiring for me… The ethos of this record was if it’s really difficult, you’re not doing it right. If you’re having to push hard against something it’s probably not working. It was finding the path of least resistance… It's been a nice journey, discovering that.”


Pre-order Casual Labour here - it's due for release on 13th July.

Follow PD Liddle online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, 25 June 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'A Little Bit Of Trouble'

They're one of my favourite discoveries of the last few years, and I've had their Adult Wonderland EP in my headphones a lot since it's release last year - I'm very happy to share that Tempesst have released a new tune, A Little Bit Of Trouble. Having seen them play a show in Summer 2016, for me the band, their look, videos, and most importantly their tunes, encapsulate the season and this new cut is certainly no different. The quintet, based around brothers Toma and Andy Banjanin alongside Eric Weber, Kane Reynolds and Blake Misipeka, originated in Queensland, Australia before moving across the globe and basing themselves in London. In the past couple of years they've supported the likes of Temper Trap and Albert Hammond Jr. and played showcases at The Great Escape (which I'm gutted to have missed...), NME Awards and Live At Leeds. Things are looking pretty sunny for the band.

The new single, with their trademark psychedelic rock vibes in tow, is the first from forthcoming EP Doomsday, of which Toma wrote that "we wanted the tracks to sound quite classic, with 60s/70s influence but also very current/relevant, with nods to psych, folk, indie and alternative bands around now." The EP was recorded in just a few days earlier this year, an in-the-moment and raw process highlighting the band's prowess in the live format, preferring not to work too heavily on tracks in pre-production.



If you enjoy the new tune (who wouldn't?!) then be sure to catch the band live in London on the 2nd August - info here!

Follow Tempesst - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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.

Follow Saltwater Sun - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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!


Follow Catgod - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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.



Follow Hudson Scott - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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.



Follow Premium Leisure - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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!


Follow Evergreen online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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!


Follow Gengahr online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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.)


Follow Public Service Broadcasting online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

WATCH: Rhys Lewis - 'No Right To Love You'

Rhys Lewis has shared a new acoustic tune, entitled No Right To Love You, and it's pretty darn flawless. A quick listen makes it pretty clear just how personal this track is to Rhys - an extension of his recent (and beautiful) Bad Timing EP, the lyrics across all of these tunes show him to be an artist who isn't afraid of wearing his heart on his sleeve musically. His voice is just as captivating as the lyrics, and the acoustic performance below is completely flawless.

Writing of the tune, Rhys explains that "this song is about a really difficult break-up and I would say it's definitely the most personal song I've ever written [...] I knew that it was for the best, but you can't just turn off your feelings for someone overnight. It was so difficult for me I had to actually leave London because everything around me reminded me of her. I went to stay with a friend and that's when I wrong the song. I hope the song does justice to how I felt waking up and living that first day apart from her, it's a painful process whatever side of the break-up you're on." 


Follow Rhys Lewis online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 28 May 2018

WATCH: Ferris & Sylvester - 'Waterloo Sunset'

It was a joy to finally catch Ferris & Sylvester live last week as my first act of The Great Escape Festival - they were playing out on the main festival street with tons of people passing by (and lots stopping) during the set, and it was one of the highlights of the weekend! They're a really quality duo and I love their Made In Streatham EP, particularly the total tune Better In Yellow which it was also great to see them recording in a session for The Independent during one of my volunteering shifts!

Following the theme of the EP's name of sticking to their London roots, they've released a cover of The Kinks' classic Waterloo Sunset, itself an ode to London. Talking about their choice to cover the track originally on Radio 2 the duo said that "we think it absolutely encapsulates what it means to be young, lost and living in London. It ties in with all the themes behind our 'Made In Streatham' EP and pays homage to truly amazing, timeless songwriting." After the cover went down a storm on the radio, they've released it to Spotify with a live video filmed in The Streatham Space Project which you can check out below. Ray Davies himself (!) has complimented the cover, saying that "I like the way they approach the song [...] It makes me feel as though I could write for this band. Well done."


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Thursday, 24 May 2018

LIVE: Nick Mulvey at Royal Albert Hall (22/5/18)

It's no secret that I adore (and in a way, idolise) the work of the wonderful folk at Communion Music (the record label, promoter and publisher), and seeing their Nick Mulvey headline show at the rather huge Royal Albert Hall in London earlier this week was a total joy. Not least because back in 2014 his show at O2 Academy Oxford (with my fave Sivu in support) was both my first Communion gig and the first gig I ever went to by myself - the start of something brilliant!

I've seen Nick play a couple of times since then at Bushstock Festival (he headlined gloriously last year) but this was by far the biggest and most ambitious show so far, the closing evening of his UK tour promoting second record Wake Up Now. After a set from TT (AKA Warpaint's guitarist Theresa Wayman) warmed up the crowd rather brilliantly, Nick took to the stage alone, casually strolling out and surveying the crowd to rounds of raucous applause. There was an almost palpable and mutual level of respect between himself and the audience, as applause turned to silence (from, I can only assume, sheer amazement) as he began to play We Are Never Apart


Gazing out at the crowd a few songs in and asking "Shall we have a good night?" before declaring that "this is the coolest thing" it was clear that Nick was pretty astounded by the evening, but he oozed confidence and seemed completely at home on the stage. Mirroring this, his tunes felt like they belonged in such a venue. Last week, he shared part of a short film online where he talked about the pressure that a London gig could bring and feeling liberated from it, and in the same vein, from the idea of making music for anybody else, concluding that "there is a kind of uncertain but definitely satisfying future out there if you just do what you wanna do in the way you wanna do it" - something that I think a lot of us could take something from.

The performance ventured through songs old and new and while the quieter tunes, encouraging a level of silent wonderment from the audience, were great, it was the powerful sing-alongs that became highlights for me. Cucurucu was given a repeated first verse and closing tune Mountain To Move had everybody up on their feet but the stand out for me was perhaps Nick's biggest tune Fever To The Form, which had everybody holding their phone torches aloft and made for a bit of a tearjerker. As the first few notes rang around the venue, a slight murmur of applause erupted from the more seasoned fans, to which Nick reacted "I love this song" before describing his first time playing the tune in his old house in Clapton, and telling us that "I really fucking cried my eyes out you know." Glad to know I'm not the only one!


A refreshing part of the show was to note differences from the studio recordings... very often you go to a concert only for the band to perfectly replicate their album live, which isn't necessarily a bad thing if you enjoy the recorded music, but changing it up is always welcome and helps to keep the live experience worthwhile. This difference was particularly obvious in the opening of Remembering, a track where the studio version features some fairly prominent female vocals. For this tour, Nick's set up was notably simple for such large venues with just himself, Dan See on drums and Nick Pini on bass and keys, but the band managed to fill the space beautifully, with Nick's soulful vocals carrying around the room. It would've been nice to have some female vocals though - but that's about as far as I can go with criticising the show, because in every other aspect it was a complete joy to witness. 

During the show, Nick informed us that "this is a folk gig by the way" as if checking that we were all aware of exactly what we'd signed up for, before covering Bob Dylan's I Was Young When I Left Home. While some covers can be a little throwaway, it was clear that the track meant something to him, and he dedicated it to friends at the show who he hadn't seen enough while busy touring over the past few years. The show itself was huge but felt intimate with Nick talking of his friends, dedicating the beautiful tune Unconditional to his wife Isadora and with him speaking of his spiritual beliefs and of the difficult experiences his family have faced over the last year. All of this seemed to feed into genuine appreciation and gratitude towards each and every one of the audience as he gazed around the room at the end of the show, as well as to his band and crew, and he was paid back in powerful rounds of applause. I'd say that this wasn't a show that Nick and his team, or the audience, will be forgetting in a while.

If you missed it - check out Nick's new Dancing For The Answers EP here

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Wednesday, 23 May 2018

INTERVIEW: Hazey Jane

It was a joy to catch up with the wonderful Hazey Jane chaps this weekend at The Great Escape. They're launching their new Lifeboat EP with a show at The George Tavern this Friday (last few tickets for that here) - I'm loving the title track which they released last week, especially the acoustic video I've embedded below! Check out my interview with the band below and keep an ear out for the EP this Friday. 


Hello! First up, introductions. Who are Hazey Jane and how did the band first form?

Hello! We are Bobby, Laurent, Connor and Paul. When in the same room, we make harmony driven, indie-folk tunes and work out. None of us work out. The band met at University in Southampton although Bob and Laurent started crafting Green Day enthused post-punk hits when they were 14.

From the name it’s clear that the likes of Nick Drake may have an influence on you - who else influences you as a band?

Nick Drake was indeed the greatest influence on our songwriting growing up. We emerged into our twenties from the particularly melancholy but inspiring haze he cast over so many Folksters of our generation. We place John Martyn, Joni Mitchell, John Prine, Judee Sill, CSNY (the list goes on) on the same pedestal, but Hazeyjane-Solidair-Blue just wasn’t snappy enough. Recently, the careers of Ben Howard, Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling have offered a lot of motivation and insight. Seeing bands like Bon Iver & War On Drugs live has certainly steered us too.


I was honoured to premiere the video for your brilliant tune Mother’s Lie back in November (and it proved quite the hit on the blog - it’s the fourth most viewed post on there!) What’s been happening in the world of Hazey Jane since then?

Fourth? Who’re those other three punks? Thank you for helping us get it out there! Hearing that people respond to any of our songs is a massive privilege and keeps us plugging away. Since November, HJ released Mirror View (our second single) - we played a sold out launch show for that one which was incredible. We recently got our mitts on a keyboard so have been writing a bunch of new tunes on that. Otherwise we’ve been keeping it real, preparing for our EP release and looking forward to a busy old Summer.

Your new Lifeboat EP is due for release this Friday - how does it feel to finally get it out into the world? How did the writing and recording process for this EP compare to that of your 2016 EP Us On A Wire?

Really quite good yeah. This collection of songs means a huge amount to us and we can’t wait to get them out there in the open. Us On A Wire was a folk EP. We recorded each song live with the help of two phenomenal engineers and mixed using analogue gear that we had no right to access. Lifeboat is our first step towards a bigger sound. We organically went for bolder chorus’s during the writing process and Jamie Dodd at The Animal Farm did a sublime job making the best of those in the studio. We owe him alot for the soundscape on the first three tracks. Rees Broomfield and Edd Thomas worked wonders on Grow and Losing My Mind respectively. We’re very fortunate to be working with such talented people throughout the production process.

You’re launching the new EP with a launch show at London’s George Tavern this Friday - what can people expect from the gig? (Beyond the brilliant support acts Me and the Moon and Dessie Magee!)

We couldn’t have hoped for stronger openers than Me and the Moon and Dessie, they’re both doing brilliantly at the moment and we can’t wait for their sets on Friday. We’ll be playing tunes from our acoustic, harmony driven catalogue before delving into heftier instrumentals and of course all the tracks from the new EP! The keys will be in tow so everyone will get a taste of the music we’ve been piecing together very recently … there might even be a couple of surprises in there.


What else do you have planned for Summer beyond this gig - any exciting festival appearances?!

We’ve got a couple of great festival opportunities this Summer. The absolute cream of the crop will be our headline set on The Den stage at Cambridge Folk Festival, where we’ll be sharing the bill with John Prine, First Aid Kit and Patti Smith. It’s always been an important festival for British Folk music and we’re very fortunate to be invited in. We’ll be at Greenbelt Festival in August too, another huge weekend with a couple of stonking headliners. Principally Pussy Riot! In terms of the very near future, we’re really excited to be at Hope Festival on Sunday 27th May! These are all firsts for us so we’re genuinely happy to be playing.

Talking of festivals… it was lovely to catch you for the first time in almost a year at The Great Escape last week in Brighton. What else did you get up to down at the seaside? Tell me some Hazey Jane go-to things to do when you’re playing shows out of town!

What a weekend. TGE was so much fun on Saturday, we played East Street Tap where we discovered top band after top band. Great to see our label mates Little Brother Eli live for the first time, they were sublime. We also played at The Brighton Fringe the following day, Dessie Magee was running a stage there so it was great to catch up with him. We stayed in Hastings overnight, classic fish and chips on the beach Sunday morning (Pam’s Chippy, represent). Fell asleep by the sea, woke up beetroot red. Plenty of beer garden action … I’m afraid the rest of the bands activities were far too moronic to elaborate here.

Finally, who’s in your headphones at the minute, who should I be listening to? If I could recommend you one EP at the moment it would be Franc Moody with ‘Dance Moves’ - 31 minutes of pure funk.

Too right, that is 31 mins of pure funk. You aren't lying! Right now we’re gladly accepting each installment of the new Ben Howard album as it comes. Three gorgeous songs so far, cannot wait to hear the whole thing.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

WATCH: Banfi - 'Future' live at RAK Studios

New Banfi content is always a treat - this time it comes in the shape of the first clip from a live session for Communion at RAK Studios. The track is Future, taken from the recent (and of course brilliant) The Jack Powell EP which I wholeheartedly recommend checking out if you haven't yet. You can listen to that here. The live session is below, and fairly wonderful, as I've come to expect from the Banfi chaps!


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Monday, 21 May 2018

LISTEN: Nick Mulvey releases 'Dancing For The Answers' EP

The total star Nick Mulvey is back with Dancing For The Answers, a collection of four new tracks, his first release since last year's second studio album Wake Up Now. The release coincide with Nick's current UK tour, which finishes up with a show at the rather momentous Royal Albert Hall tomorrow evening (22nd May) - the last few tickets for that are here. Despite being a four track EP, the tracks are pretty epic and stretch to twenty four beautiful minutes of everything you've come to expect from Nick... those stunning lyrics, vocals and intricate guitar patterns, but there are some surprises thrown in for good measure too (listen out at around 7:30 in the title track of the EP.)



The first two tracks were recorded with Nick's long-standing collaborator and producer Dan Carey, in a week's work at his South London studio last May, where, Nick describes "we abandoned our planned schedule in favour of voyages into jams unknown [...] the results surprised us both and are two of the most precious tracks either of us feel we've ever made. A significant detail for me was the setting aside of my usual acoustic guitar in favour of a Mya-Moe baritone ukulele that I play on both tracks." 

The title track appears on the record Wake Up Now lyrically as Transform Your Game but has here itself been transformed musically, and Give It To Kali samples one of Nick's heroes, Ram Dass. Nick details that "Ram Dass' words about offering your struggles to the goddess Kali (who feeds from our impurities and our negativity) spoke to me powerfully and I'm honoured to use them in this track." 

The EPs other two tracks emerged from the Wake Up Now album sessions of October 2016 at the legendary Real World Studios in Wiltshire with Ethan Johns in the production seat. They're far more reminiscent of the second record in their style, with Nick describing"collaborative playing from the group of musicians and friends I assembled there at the time" but all four tracks come together to make a beautiful EP. 

Follow Nick Mulvey online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

LISTEN: Little Brother Eli - 'Our Kind Of Love'

At the risk of repeating myself, it's worth mentioning again that Little Brother Eli are one of my favourite musical discoveries from the last few years, and one of the loveliest bands I've had the pleasure of making friends with through my time in Oxford for university. I've just had the most incredible few days at The Great Escape volunteering and seeing the likes of Superorganism, The Magic Gang, Gengahr and tons more - I'll write about it in a separate post soon - and the LBE chaps closed out the festival brilliantly (much like last year when they were headlining our Tigmus stage). They've just shared their new track Our Kind Of Love, check it out below, and check out my interview with the band about the track and their plans for the Summer here!


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Friday, 18 May 2018

LISTEN: Gizmo Varillas - 'One People'

I discovered Gizmo Varillas a couple of years back as he shares the same management as Jack Savoretti and has played various support slots alongside him. Though now based in London, Gizmo is a Spanish singer-songwriter who released his debut record El Dorado last year. Not one to shy away from the musical spotlight, however, he's back with second record Dreaming Of Better Days due for release on 6th July (pre-order the record here.)



Check out the latest single from the album, One People, below - I'm hoping to catch Gizmo this evening as he's playing at The Great Escape! He's got some more UK shows coming up, including a London headline show this Monday - find all the dates and ticket info here.

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Thursday, 17 May 2018

LISTEN: Greta Isaac - 'Undone'

Exploring the boundary between percussive and electronic, Undone is Greta Isaac's first single of the year, a strong return following recent tunes Tied and Comfortable. Though I recognise her name from years back when Greta performed with fellow Welsh musicians The People The Poet, this new single is my first introduction to Greta's solo music and I'm really enjoying it. Writing of the track in a premiere for Earmilk, Greta writes that "'Undone' is a character who adores to be adored and sees people as fun challenges to be pursued, where the goal is to make them fall in love with you where the feelings will never be reciprocated."



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Wednesday, 16 May 2018

WATCH: Nick Mulvey - 'In Your Hands'

Nick Mulvey returning to the live stage as a headliner at Bushstock Festival last year, premiering some beautiful new tunes and just being his generally wonderful self was a highlight of the year for me. It was a total joy to be part of the crowd, and the atmosphere was incredible. He released his second record Wake Up Now back in September, somehow matching the beauty of first record First Mind. A highlight of the record is In Your Hands and the track has recently been given a beautifully simple music video - writing of it, Nick explains that "I wanted something raw and playful and intimate. Loosey goosey, lo-fi mixed media and fun to make." Check it out!


If you like what you're hearing, Nick Mulvey heads out on tour in the UK this month. All dates except the Royal Albert Hall are sold out - grab tickets for that show (which I predict to be pretty magnificent) here.

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Tuesday, 15 May 2018

WATCH: Jungle - 'Happy Man'

I was a little late to the Jungle party, discovering them a few months back when I heard the single Busy Earnin' on an advert. I raced to Shazam to find out what I was listening to and checked out their self-titled record which was released back in 2014, and really enjoyed it. They've just completed a UK tour with my favourite Rae Morris (all kinds of gutted that I didn't manage to get along to a show) and recently shared two brand new tunes. Both tracks are incredibly strong, a really positive sign of what's to come from the duo's upcoming second album - my personal preference is the upbeat Happy Man (likely as it's the closest of the two to Busy Earnin') which you can listen to below, while House In LA is the slower of the two, almost cinematic, a showcase of their falsetto vocals.

You can also check out Happy Man on the blog's 2018 Spotify playlist here - get following for my favourite tunes through the year!


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LISTEN: Dawes - 'Living In The Future / Crack The Case'

I've been a big fan of Dawes since I caught them supporting Mumford & Sons back in 2012 in Nottingham - their first two records had me hooked instantly with tunes like When My Times Comes, A Little Bit Of Everything and Fire Away and I adored their set at the show. Since then, they've released three more incredible records and I've been lucky to see them play live four more times in London, three of which were across one slightly whirlwind weekend in 2016 (which I wrote about here at the time) where I made a friend in the audience of a show at Islington Assembly Hall, and attended two acoustic shows with her the following day. I met the band that weekend and my love for them was well and truly cemented if it hadn't been already, and so the wait for the next UK shows started...

It seems that the wait may soon be over (once the band get through a US tour supporting the mighty Electric Light Orchestra, no less...) as they've recently announced the follow up to 2016 record We're All Gonna Die. Their sixth studio album Passwords is due for release on June 22nd (my birthday week - what a treat!) and it's lead single is the punchy Living In The Future, which you can check out below... the music video features a dog at the end, which is always a good thing!


It's a cracking music video and I'm enjoying the track - one of the best things about the band is that they're continually evolving, bringing changes to their sound between records, keeping it fresh, exciting and usually completely brilliant. If Crack The Case, the track shared alongside the single is anything to go by, the record is going to be just as great as everything that has come before. While less of a song and dance has been made about second track it is in my opinion the better of the two, a laid back ballad showcasing the sublime songwriting skills of Taylor Goldsmith, that I believe make him one of the best lyricists of our generation.


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Thursday, 10 May 2018

WATCH: Parcels - 'Tieduprightnow'

While the sunny weather returns for a couple of days, I'm hoping that if I wish hard enough, it'll stick around for The Great Escape - I'll be down in Brighton volunteering at the festival in a week's time, and I'm really excited for it! What better to do in the Sun than to watch Summery videos and listen to Summery tunes - and this new track from Berlin/Byron Bay based indie chaps Parcels certainly fits the bill. I adore this, and the accompanying 80s style video. Check out their latest tour announcement here!


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Wednesday, 9 May 2018

VIDEO PREMIERE: The Cooling Pearls - 'Black Elizabeth'

Almost a year since leaving Oxford, I'm still keeping an eye (and an ear or two) on the local music scene, and long to get back to the beautiful community of artists. It is an incredibly supportive and collaborative environment for musicians, artists and fans alike, and a key member of the local scene is Aiden Canaday, who I met while volunteering at Oxjam a couple of years ago - he's an artist, promoter with Divine Schism and is a member of local band The Cooling Pearls.

Take yourself to the band's Facebook page and you'll note their fairly self-explanatory biography... "Aiden Canaday, Alex Pratchett & Sian Lloyd Williams wrote and recorded the album 'The Honoured Meal of the Stranger' in 2010 with no intention of playing live as a band. They have just started recording the follow up." 

8 years since their debut record, which they describe as "quite folky, lo-fi and weird", the band, who have had an evolving line-up with fifteen different members over the years (including members of Maiians, BE GOOD, Flights of Helios and Cat Matador) are back with a cracking new single, and I'm delighted to be premiering its video! For context, I hadn't even been to my first proper gig when these guys were last releasing music, so this is a pretty exciting return - watch the video below...


The song, entitled Black Elizabeth, was written on Aiden's Mum's old piano in Wales "after a dream involving floating food delivering the mantra "you are the Black Elizabeth" over and over to me as I lay on my kitchen floor". It's pretty abstract and presents a musical montage of various instruments and sounds. The video was filmed by Maiians member Sam King in Tokyo last year, while Aiden was visiting - it serves as a 'day in the life' style clip, offering an insight into the local area and culture, beautifully soundtracked by the soothing tune. It even comes complete with Japanese subtitles!

If you're in Oxford (lucky you!) and like what you're hearing, The Cooling Pearls play a Divine Schism show at Oxford's The Wheatsheaf tomorrow evening (11th May) supporting Radiator Hospital - find more info and grab advance tickets here!

Follow The Cooling Pearls online - Facebook | Twitter.

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

INTERVIEW: Little Brother Eli

Alongside the likes of Catgod who I interviewed recently (read that one here) Little Brother Eli are one of my favourite local musical discoveries to emerge from my time in Oxford over the past few years. They've got a new song coming out on the 18th May as well as a bunch of festivals this Summer so I interviewed them to catch up with everything LBE, check it out below and keep an ear out for the single!


First things first, introductions! Who are Little Brother Eli and how long has the band been going?

We are a 4 piece disco rock outfit originating from Oxford. We started the band wayyy back in 2013 (back when we all still had hair…)

You’ve got a brand new tune called Our Kind Of Love coming out on the 18th May. Tell us a little about the story behind the tune… was the writing and recording process any different to your previous releases?

We really just wanted to try something totally new this year. We’d done the blues rock thing to death and it was time for us to be more of ourselves in a recording. The song was originally a piano ballard, but Josh funked it up on the bass, Adam added the chorus harmonies and all of a sudden it turned into a real dance track. We went into the studio and recorded it just as we played it at rehearsal - we’re really excited about showing the world this one.

This is the second new single of 2018, following up Tooth which seemed to be received really well with a sold out hometown launch gig and lots of positive reviews from blogs and fans alike. Do you have an EP or album in the pipeline? I certainly hope so!

We don’t have any album plans yet, but we have recorded a heap of singles and deciding which ones to put out is hard. The reasoning behind why we don’t want to put out an album quite yet is purely creative - there is often a long gap between recording and releasing an album because it’s such a large body of work. We wanted to keep things fresh by recording the music we’re into right now and releasing it quickly (not what we were into 8 months ago).


I’m really enjoying the video of you performing the track live at a Sofar Sounds show in Bath earlier this year. (For those who don’t know, Sofar Sounds is a series of gigs in spaces you wouldn’t usually expect to hear live music, where the audience signs up without knowing which artists they’re going to see.) You guys seem to get around to lots of Sofar shows - what do you enjoy about playing them? Personally, I think that in comparison with a traditional gig the more relaxed environment really helps to highlight Alex’s incredible vocal range and the beautiful harmonies you guys have!

Why thank you! You’re not fighting the sound in the venue at a Sofar Sounds show and you get a intimate atmosphere with the audience - so yeah we love them! However, there’s nothing like having Benji on the drums at an electric gig driving us forward.


Talking of gigs - what festivals plans do you have for the next few months?

A fair few: Truck Festival. The Great Escape. Lechlade. Woodstock Live. Smithdown Festival. Greenbelt Festival. There are a few still in the pipeline as well.

I know just as well as you guys that Oxford is a wonderful place to be, for many reasons and perhaps especially for its fantastically rich music and art scene. Which are your favourite local artists at the moment?

We’re super lucky to be where we are. Check out Chris Barker & The Premium Leisure! They played one of our monthly Eli Nights at The Monarch in Camden and were fantastic. Willie J Healey was on bass too (another Oxford monster musician).

Finally - what’s in your headphones at the minute? If I could recommend you one record at the moment it would probably be Empty Handed from Christof van der Ven - it’s beautiful!

Last rehearsal we were digging Superorganism’s self titled album. There are some pretty huge songs on there.

Follow Little Brother Eli online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.