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.)



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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!



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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!


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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.



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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!

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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.