Friday, 28 February 2020

LISTEN: Dizzy - 'Sunflower'

Completely over the moon about this - Dizzy are back with their first new music of the year, Sunflower. The track follows up their recent Heavy / Twist EP and the 2018 debut album Baby Teeth which I absolutely adore. They were a random discovery for me as a friend took me to their set at a festival and I am so grateful for that introduction - I love them. The new track was produced by the band themselves and mixed by Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Florence & The Machine). With lyrics that see singer Katie Munshaw drifting between self-loathing and self-care, Katie describes the track as "a three and a half minute 'snap out of it!' to myself when I'm feeling low, unconfident or not myself." 

The band are about to head on a support tour in the UK and Europe with Oh Wonder but they've also just announced a London gig of their own at brand new venue Lafayette (sister venue, if you will, to Omeara) on November 18th. Tickets are on sale here today!

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

WATCH: Willie J Healey - 'Why You Gotta Do It'

Like a lot of people, I love me a Willie J Healey tune. His new track has been sat on my 'to write' list for a few weeks, but I didn't want it to miss out from getting a feature, so here it is... Why You Gotta Do It is the latest single from the Oxford legend, released by the lovely folk at Yala Records and with a video directed by Joe Wheatley. It's one of his best yet, I think.

If you like what you're hearing and would like a live WJH fix, you're in luck as he is touring the UK in April - tickets here!

20th April: Esquires, Bedford
21st: Lafayette, London
23rd: The Cookie, Leicester
24th: Phase One, Liverpool
25th: Central Library, Coventry
27th: Think Tank?, Newcastle
28th: The Crescent, York
29th: Deaf Institute, Manchester
1st May: Jericho, Oxford

Follow Willie J Healey - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

LISTEN: Ed The Dog - 'Everybody, I Love You'

Can't stop listening to this one. High Wycombe indie-rock band Ed The Dog may have passed you by with their debut album Shame back in 2018, but fear not - they're back with brand new track Everybody, I Love You and it is a certified tune. Frontman Ed (naturally) describes the track as being "about honesty. Total honesty really, and how accepting yourself as you are can have consequences on your relationships." It's a lovely little nostalgic tune with some cheery indie vibes that bring about memories of early Vampire Weekend and the like, juxtaposing with darker lyrics which explore themes of loneliness. Go forth and listen...

Follow Ed The Dog - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

VIDEO PREMIERE: White Tail Falls - 'Disintegrate'

Time for a sneaky early watch of something really rather exciting. I did the maths and it turns out that I've been listening to Irwin Sparkes' music, in its various guises, for over half of my life. Big commitment. So it's pretty wild to be asked to premiere the brand new music video for his track Disintegrate, released as part of his White Tail Falls project. The track is taken from the upcoming debut album Age Of Entitlement, due for release via Physical Education Records on 29th May - but first, the Fake News EP due next Friday!

Following in the footsteps of the Give It Up, Son, the new video is once again directed by Craig Young - the videos come together to form part of a short-film. Most exciting fact of all - it was entirely shot on an iPhone. Let that sink in. The new video was partly shot in Barcelona last year, and the footage recently added to with a chilly shoot in Berlin. As Irwin commented online "making these videos has been a sheer labour of love. Craig and Nēna have laboured and I've loved watching them. So proud of what we've (mainly "they've") done to make these #shotoniphone videos look a million rupees." I couldn't do the video justice by trying to explain - it's best if you just feast your eyes and ears, pronto. It's a gorgeous track.

A little more on the video from Irwin... "I learned a lot of things making this film: I have a low tolerance for being cold, pigeon faeces and working for free. The talented Mr Craig Young, who wrote, directed and shot it [...] pulled in a lot of favours to make this happen. This video is a testament to what you can accomplish with no budget, a little chutzpah, a lot of love and an iPhone. And a drone." 

I for one absolutely can not wait for the record - every press quote I see and every tweet that Irwin shares about the record or the process of making it just adds to the intrigue. He describes that "making this album has changed my life. It's forced me to confront what I'm made of. I still don't know how I feel about that." Elsewhere, he shared that "making music is a joy. Releasing it is another kettle of worms altogether. This record makes me feel vulnerable and even admitting that on social media is probably not advisable. I wish I could be so nonchalant as to say I don't care if you like it... but I hope it finds a home in your ears, and so do I. It's the closest I've come to documenting having come apart at the seams & being stitched back together. Some of you will know what that means. Some of you will find out." It feels such an honour to be allowed in for a listen to a record which is so clearly a deeply personal response to a difficult time. I'll treasure the record accordingly, I'm sure.

White Tail Falls head out on a UK headline tour through March and April, dates below & tickets here.

20th March: The Poetry Club, Glasgow
21st: Royal Park Cellars, Leeds
26th: St Pancras Old Church, London
27th: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
2nd: Night People, Manchester

Follow White Tail Falls - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 24 February 2020

WATCH: Samantha Crain - 'Garden Dove'

There's something pretty special about seeing people get the opportunity to do things that they love, and support things that they believe in. Time for some exciting news which I've been meaning to share for a few weeks - I was excited to learn that Lucy Rose has set up an independent label, Real Kind Records, as an imprint of Communion Records.  

Her first signing is Samantha Crain, an artist who Lucy has been a friend and fan of for a few years, and who she toured with last year. Listening to the new record which she had self-produced in her  US home, Lucy describes herself being struck by it as "one of the best albums I had heard in years, maybe ever" but finding that Samantha wasn't really sure how she would release it. Taking matters into her own hand, Lucy spoke to her label Communion, who have given her the opportunity to set up a label as an imprint of them, to release Samantha's record (and plenty more to come, I hope!) Lucy describes it as "one of the most exciting moments of my life [...] I have real ambition for Samantha and this album. It's a deeply personal album and one that I will continue to listen to and enjoy for all the years to come. I hope many, many more people will too." 

The record in question is A Small Death, due for release on 1st May. The first single An Echo was released a few weeks back, with the follow-up Garden Dove streaming now. Samantha explains that it is "about putting in the work on yourself, not only for yourself, but for someone you love too." 

About the record, Samantha describes that it was "written and recorded during and after some serious hardships in my life. I had lost use of my hands, sank into despair due to the apparent loss of my ability to perform on instruments. I was suffering from a mental and physical breakdown and when I eventually came out on the other side of it, with my capacities renewed, I found such joy and appreciation to be able to create again and put all of this into this record, because of this, in my eyes, it is the most important record I've made and I held it firmly in my arms and carried it through to completion. I saw this as my bonus round, my second chance, and a time to re-evaluate my principles as an artist and my objective as a person. The state of peace that I came to following this tumultuous time in my life allowed me a real clarity towards desires for this record."

Samantha tours the UK following the album release - tickets here.

6th May: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
7th: Omeara, London
10th: YES, Manchester
11th: Louisiana, Bristol
13th: Stereo, Glasgow
14th: Oporto, Leeds

Follow Samantha Crain - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

LISTEN: Rayowa - 'Chance'

I'm delighted to hear that Rayowa are back with the follow-up to their debut single Better Man, which they released back in November, and which I hailed as perfect for fans of Franc Moody and Jungle. Chance follows in those strong first steps that the brothers made with Better Man, delving further into the world of soul, funk and pop that the trio all love. Listening in direct comparison, the new track seems to have a level of confidence behind it, a level of euphoria, and an irresistible beat - you should probably get on your dancing shoes...

About the track, the band say that "'Chance' is about seizing an opportunity and not letting self-doubt take hold of you. It's a continuation on from 'Better Man' and the next part of a success story we want to tell and aim to live out. It's about having the confidence within yourself to go on and achieve all your dreams." 

Follow Rayowa - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

WATCH: The Magic Gang - 'Think'

With nearly two years having passes since their self-titled debut album, the return of The Magic Gang feels long awaited. Their 2018 record was such a pleasant surprise for me - I'd been vaguely aware of the band and a few of their tracks, and gave the record a listen when it was released. Very quickly I fell in love with it, sticking the CD into the work stereo when I got the chance. The band seems to have an innate capacity to create absolute tunes, tracks which are melodically brilliant - their debut album is full of tracks vying to be my favourite.

They smashed their way back onto the airwaves a couple of weeks back, premiering a brand new track as Annie Mac's Hottest Record feature on BBC Radio 1. The track - Think - is very recognisably The Magic Gang, but reflects the time that has passed since the record was released, with a strong Northern Soul influence and the introduction of some pretty wild horns in the track. The video is a carefree wonder to behold, too.

If you'd like to catch The Magic Gang live, they've announced a few festival appearances and will no doubt tour to promote their new record later in the year - but sooner, they're supporting Blossoms on their UK tour in March. Remaining tickets here.

Follow The Magic Gang - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 18 February 2020

LISTEN: MarthaGunn - 'We Don't Need Each Other'

I've got a lot of love for MarthaGunn and I just have to share their latest single - which is sublime, as ever. Arriving last week on Valentine's Day, We Don't Need Each Other is their song for the "happily single" (thanks!) Who needs a love song? As the band described when sharing the track online - "so many people are dependent on a partner or feel they can't cope without another person in their lives. I've been that person. People often think it's strange if you've been single for too long, but these are all outdated ideas. I wanted to write a song that stood up for choosing to be single or at least trying to stay single and resist temptation to fall into a comfortable relationship." Listen below...

MarthaGunn head out on a UK tour in March with a bunch of brilliant support acts across the tour, tickets here.

22nd March: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
24th: Broadcast, Glasgow
25th: Think Tank, Newcastle
27th: The Castle, Manchester
28th: Dead Wax, Birmingham
30th: Heartbreakers, Southampton
31st: Louisiana, Bristol
1st April: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
2nd: Courtyard Theatre, London

Follow MarthaGunn - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 17 February 2020

LISTEN: Ciaran Lavery - 'Can I Begin Again'

From an acoustic set opening up for Luke Sital-Singh a few years ago, I remember Ciaran Lavery's music as folky and unassuming... so I am absolutely loving his rebirth of sorts for the first single from his upcoming fourth record. Can I Begin Again sees Ciaran diverging into the gritty world of indie rock, with the main lyric of the track "I need to please myself" becoming the central message of a song about starting again.

Ciaran explains that the track "was written under the encouragement of my therapist to write everything down, whether it's rational or irrational, to just get it all on to paper. The song is for anyone, who either in their personal or professional life, have spent too long servicing the needs of others, putting their own thoughts and feelings second." 

Talking about the upcoming record, Ciaran explains that "I knew there needed an urgency in the songs that were being created in order to balance the nakedness of the lyrics [...] It's the Joy Division trick of making people dance while you punch them in the gut with the true message - which I love." 

Ciaran is touring the UK with Boy & Bear on UK dates this month - tickets here.

20th Feb: Gorilla, Manchester
21st: Arts School, Glasgow
22nd: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
24th: Institute 3, Birmingham
25th: Thekla, Bristol
26th: O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London

Follow Ciaran Lavery - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 14 February 2020

WATCH: Arlo Parks - 'Eugene'

"We've been best buds since thirteen, but that don't change the things I feel." 

I'm absolutely loving this. I caught onto Arlo Parks being a bit of a legend a month or so back with her feature on the Easy Life mixtape, where she sings a duet on Sangria. She's just shared new single and video Eugene via the ever lovely folks at Transgressive. In a beautifully choreographed and edited video from the Coyle Larner Brothers (musician Loyle Carner and his brother Ryan) the "complicated feelings and ambiguous relationships" of the track are brought to life by Arlo and her co-stars Theo and Amelia. Watch it!

Arlo plays some UK dates in March with Matilda Mann supporting - lots are selling out quickly, so get on tickets quickly here.

Follow Arlo Parks - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

WATCH: Jordan Mackampa - 'Magic'

The new Jordan Mackampa track made its way onto the blog playlist instantly when it was released recently - and I'm loving this joyous video for the track. Magic is sing-along, romantic (tis the season, after all) and just generally feel good. Produced by Dani Castelar (Paolo Nutini), the track arrives in advance of Jordan's debut album Foreigner, due for release on 13th March. Of the track, Jordan explains "this a bossa nova/samba infused feel good kinda track about when you can't get someone off your mind. You've had one taste and you want more!" 

After a successful year of gigs and festivals in 2019, Jordan has announced a tour to celebrate the album release - taking in North America, UK and Europe, with a date at London's Scala and an appearance at SXSW. Grab tickets and pre-order the record on the website here. UK dates below...

24th April: Joiners, Southampton
25th: Waterbeach Baptist Chapel, Cambridge
26th: Hope & Ruin, Brighton
29th: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
30th: The Mash House, Edinburgh
1st May: YES, Manchester
3rd: Westgarth SC, Middlesbrough
5th: Rough Trade, Bristol
6th: Scala, London

Follow Jordan Mackampa - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

WATCH: Red Moon - 'Dogma'

This one is a debut and a half. Norwegian-Swiss pop artist Red Moon has released her first single, Dogma. Sold to me as somewhere between Florence Welch and Aurora, my interest was instantly peaked and I'm enjoying the track. It is hypnotic in nature and her vocals are stunning... the track invites the listener close, creating a safe space reflective of that which Red Moon feels through her artistic name. She explains that "using a name that isn't a real name makes me feel there are endless possibilities, and a safe place, where I can show my vulnerable sides." 

The track revolves around the original meaning of the Greek word 'dogma', which translates as "that which one thinks is true" or "to seem good". Talking about the track, Red Moon asks "can we live an unfiltered life? One where we can be open. It seems pretty unthinkable that it would be possible or make sense, since without all the knowledge and experience from ourselves and our ancestors, who would we even be. Can we be better? And I am not talking about the advanced technology that will bring us to a different level, but the spiritual levels, shared bonds and knowledge and understanding for each human..."

Red Moon makes her live debut at London's Ja Ja Ja on 13th February. 

Follow RED MOON - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 11 February 2020

WATCH: Rhys Lewis - 'When Was The Last Time?'

"I can't sleep at night, knowing you're by my side, but so far away." 

If you're ever in need of a sad song, Rhys Lewis is usually a pretty safe pair of hands. He's just released his first track of the year, and it's yet another heartbreaker - tissues at the ready. In When Was The Last Time? Rhys' trademark vocals are on show as the track opens with piano chords, building throughout, adding different sounds to the fabric of the track, reflecting the content of the lyrics, with rising tension. The track charts the period directly before a break-up, as Rhys explains "you know, when she's leaving kisses off her texts or not saying goodnight when she goes to bed. Slowly you start to put those things together, and evidence arrives of a fatal prognosis." The track arrives with a video directed by Mike Baldwin (Anna Calvi, Frank Turner) which follows four couples in this scenario. Like his music, the video is heartwarming but heart-wrenching.

Follow Rhys Lewis - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 10 February 2020

WATCH: Archie Faulks - 'What For'

Videos like this one are surely the main source of blame for me constantly wandering around in public with headphones in, singing. Except there is absolutely no way that I look as effortlessly cool as Archie does here. The video is for What For, the latest single from Archie Faulks, and it features a cameo from a familiar looking busker... Isaac Gracie, anyone? The track is taken from the upcoming Longing for London EP, due for release on 14th February.

Talking about the meaning of the track, Archie explains that "when everything feels hopeless in life there will always be certain things that can provide an element of comfort. I am lucky that singing, writing and listening to music gives me that. So this song is about despite it seeming like my world was falling apart I still had a safe refuge in the history of recorded music and my own guitar." 

Follow Archie Faulks - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 7 February 2020

LISTEN: MF Tomlinson - 'Last Days of Rome'

In the latest in a flurry of exciting EP/album announcements (keep them coming, artists!) MF Tomlinson has announced news of his debut EP Last Days of Rome, due for release 13th March. The EP is his response to uncertain times, a mixture of humorous and hopeful, and the title track captures this mood, with relatable lyrics about our modern times, as he asks questions like "what is the point after the point of no return?" 

Talking about the track, MF explains that "the seed of this song was formed many years ago - sadly, it felt like the song only became more relevant as years went by. Now, in 2020 my homeland of Australia has been consumed by fire, Brexit looms and in the US the situation worsens with strikes in Iran. Yet somehow, our lives continue - this song is made up of all the thoughts that whirl around in the back of our minds as we go about our days, haunted by the knowledge that this might be the end."

To celebrate the launch of the EP, MF Tomlinson brings his incredibly dynamic and well loved performance back to London's The Lexington on 30th March - tickets here

Follow MF Tomlinson - Facebook | Instagram.

Thursday, 6 February 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Malena Zavala - 'La Yarará'

Almost exactly two years ago I had the pleasure of catching Malena Zavala at a show in London where she was opening for Sivu. It was my first time hearing her music and I was instantly mesmerised. She soon released debut album Aliso and toured around Europe and the UK with the likes of Lord Huron and Blanco White before heading to southern Spain to write her second album. The result is La Yarará, which is due for release via the lovely folk at Yucatan Records on April 17th.

La Yarará was recorded last Sepember at Urchin Studios, with Malena herself producing and Dani Bennett Spragg (Baxter DuryThe Amazons) engineering. Malena describes Urchin as "a really beautiful, all wooden studio, which was really important for the sound of this album [...] I wanted it to feel like Buena Vista Social Club. I wanted to play the room, to feel the walls and wooden floors." 

While the first record was about "expressing [her] emotions", Malena describes the new record as being "about exploring and overcoming my identity issues - about not knowing where I belong. That's something I've felt my whole life." Born in Argentina to parents with Italian passports, and raised in the UK, Malena's rich heritage feeds beautifully into her art, with elements of Latin music and culture throughout, and a mix of Spanish and English lyrics representing Malena's own fragmented identity.

While recent lead single En La Noche was sang in Spanish, latest single I'm Leaving Home is sung in English. Malena explains that "I don't make a conscious choice to sing in a particular language [but with this track] the rhythm isn't so Latino, plus it's about my parents and how I feel about home, so it feels like it should be in English." For me, the track evokes a sense of nostalgia, it's like a warm hug on a cold day. I'm excited to hear more from the record!

Malena Zavala headlines London's Courtyard Theatre to celebrate the album release on April 23rd - tickets available here.

Follow Malena Zavala - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

WATCH: Leif Vollebekk - 'Apalachee Plain'

It's been a couple of months since Leif Vollebekk did us all the favour of sharing his gorgeous record New Ways into the world. Closing up the record beautifully with sublime country sounds, Apalachee Plain features pedal steel from Cindy Cashdollar, vocals from Angie McMahon and some harmonica to finish it all off. As the latest single from the record, the track has been given a video treatment, with Leif himself seen against the backdrop of a black and white Icelandic landscape - the beauty of the video definitely matches the beauty of the track here.

The video's director Joe Connor explains that "I wanted to create a photographic video for this track which used mixed media, Icelandic landscapes and portrait photography to give an other-worldly vibe to the track, putting Leif and his voice at the centre of the visuals. 

Following an Australian tour, Leif soon heads to Europe and plays a run of UK dates in late April/early May. Remaining tickets here.

27th April: Bush Hall, London (sold out)
28th: Bush Hall, London (sold out)
29th: Exchange, Bristol
30th: Soup Kitchen, Manchester
1st May: Poetry Club, Glasgow
2nd: Soundhouse, Dublin

Follow Leif Vollebekk - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

LISTEN: APRE - 'Your Heart's Like A Jungle'

I love love love APRE. They'd been on my radar a little while with tracks falling into my playlists, the band playing at festivals I was at etc, but I hadn't taken too much notice until I caught them opening for Friendly Fires towards the end of 2019. They completely won me over with their energetic performance and a range of brilliant tracks. A true class act. They've just shared their first new music of the year, in the shape of Your Heart's Like A Jungle.

The band explain that the single is about "being lost in a relationship. It describes that frustrating feeling when you are trying your best to love someone, but you fail to understand their emotions and get lost in your feelings for them. It's about the dead ends that mean you will struggle to get along, and the hardships when trusting the person you really love not to break your heart." 

APRE take their superb live show on the road on the Go Somewhere tour this month - tickets here.

11th Feb: Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
12th: Record Junkee, Sheffield
13th: The Fulford Arms, York
14th: Think Tank, Newcastle
15th: Deaf Institute, Manchester
17th: Phase One, Liverpool
19th: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds
20th: Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
21st: The Bullingdon, Oxford
22nd: Louisiana, Bristol
23rd: Bodega, Nottingham
25th: The Cookie, Leicester
26th: Green Door Store, Brighton
27th: Scala, London

Follow APRE - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 3 February 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Siv Jakobsen - 'A Temporary Soothing'

Norwegian solo artist Siv Jakobsen has recently shared new single Fear the Fear and announced details of the follow-up to her debut album. New record A Temporary Soothing, due 24th April, was recorded with producer Chris Bond (Ben Howard, Nick Mulvey) and mixed by Zach Hanson (Bon Iver, Tallest Man on Earth). It's an exploration of 'fear, anxiety, change, and the struggle between being healthy and being productive', arriving at a time where these themes are more relevant than ever to the majority of us.

Siv explains that the new single Fear The Fear was "born from a spiralling worry that I wouldn't be able to create well if I was well, happy, content with myself and my life. It touches on my tendency to hang out in my own head and stay there, worrying about something in a constant, stressful loop. Fear is a big element in my general state of being, and I'm often run by it [...] writing this song helped me get that spiralling fearfulness out of my system." 

While Siv's debut album The Nordic Mellow was recorded in mere weeks, the second record is the result of almost a year of writing and recording. Working around a busy schedule for both Siv and producer Chris, the pair met in one and two week periods over this time, with the space between sessions allowing time for her to process the album, with freedom to develop her sound for this second record. She describes the record as "a way for me to look back and see what I have been going through, both the good and the bad [...] What I hope for is that people can take it and understand what they have been going through personally, too." 

Pre-order A Temporary Soothing here.

Follow Siv Jakobsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

WATCH: Dan Croll - 'Stay In L.A.'

I guess you could say I'm quite excited about this news - Dan Croll is back! He's recently shared not one, but two fab new tracks - Yesterday and Stay In L.A. They're the first pieces of new music from Dan since his super 2017 album Emerging Adulthood and it's a treat to have him back, albeit on the other side of the globe. But fear not! He's just announced some live shows to play the new material, and he'll be hopping across to London for a gig on 19th March. For now: enjoy this gorgeous live version of Stay In L.A. for The Wild Honey Pie. 

Ticket info here for the upcoming tour, which sees Dan play Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Paris, New York and Los Angeles.

Follow Dan Croll - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

LISTEN: Franc Moody - 'Skin On Skin'

You may have guessed by now that I'm quite a fan of Franc Moody. Since catching their support set at a Friendly Fires show a couple of years back I've been really enjoying their releases - their Dance Moves EP was a musical highlight of 2018, while She's Too Good For Me was one of my favourite tracks of 2019. They're most certainly incapable of releasing a track that isn't filled with infectious dance vibes and a whole lot of funk. So. Much. Funk. The time is finally upon us! With the release of brand new single Skin on Skin the band have just announced that their debut album Dream In Colour is due for release on 28th Feb. You can pre-order the album on vinyl via Rough Trade here.

Franc Moody head on their next UK & Ireland tour at the end of February for a couple of weeks before touring around Europe - tickets/dates here.

26th Feb: Button Factory, Dublin
28th: Stereo, Glasgow
29th: YES, Manchester
2nd March: Fleece, Bristol
3rd: Concorde 2, Brighton
4th: Bodega, Nottingham
5th: O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire, London
7th: Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds

Follow Franc Moody - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

WATCH: Brooke Bentham - ‘Control’

London singer-songwriter Brooke Bentham has shared brand new track Control, and I'm really digging it. The track is the third single to be taken from her upcoming debut album Everyday Nothing, due for release via AllPoints on 28th February.

The track examines the phenomenon of ghosting, Brooke explains that "it's about when someone cuts you off entirely. I got blocked out with absolutely no reason why, and it makes you question yourself and you just can't stop thinking about it. You're just talking to a wall; it's bouncing back and you end up with this mess in your head." The accompanying video is almost humorously relatable as Brooke overfills cups of milk and lies down in random places but it has overlying tones of loneliness and anxiety.

In Brooke's own words, the album is "in part an ode to the little moments in life, the frustration of being young and unaware of what you want, but getting older and realising you still don't know. It's an album I searched for myself in, filled with questions I asked myself." Much like coming of age stories in literature, Brooke is using her youth and experiences to catalogue the tensions of young adulthood, making the tracks extremely relatable. She adds that "there is so much frustration in being young and unsure of what you want, especially when your path is creative [...] you can only hope that it leads you to something fulfilling, so you cling on to the everyday details - burning candles in your bedroom at 3AM aged 16, or having a bath in the evening at 23, or watching your breath when you step outside in winter. I was reflecting a lot when I wrote these songs, romanticising those moments." 

You can pre-order Everyday Nothing before release on 28th February here.

Follow Brooke Bentham - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Richard Walters - 'Golden Veins'

It is always a joy to write about artists based in Oxford who I discovered when I was first setting up the blog, heading to as many gigs as possible and soaking up the local music scene. One of my favourite local artists at the time was songwriter Richard Walters, who I think first came to my attention through his band Liu Bei. I was lucky to run the door for the album launch show for his last record A.M. back in 2016 - it feels like a lifetime ago and I'm really excited to hear that Richard has just announced his fifth studio album, Golden Veins, due for release on May 8th via Cooking Vinyl (pre-order here.)

Lead single Kintsugi is slightly psychedelic, an exciting first taste of the upcoming record. It uses the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery (hence the golden veins of the album title) as a metaphor for a few things - his relationship with his wife, the very nature of being human and his newfound sense of creativity and inspiration. He explains "when she and I got together ten years ago, I was a mess; I was taking too many drugs, drinking too much, not living as well as I should, and as a result I felt very fragmented. I was broken and she put me back together. But it's also about rediscovering the joy in life and music again. Kintsugi is an artform that highlights imperfections and for me, when I meet new people, I'm always relieved to find out that they've got flaws too. Those small cracks make us more interesting and stronger." 

Having experienced "something of a writer's roadblock" before the release of his previous album, the news that he and his wife were expecting a baby came as something of a push to create - "I just had to do what I knew, what I hoped I was good at. I went slightly mad around that time, pushing myself to write more, record more, network more and make it all line up. And it did; that was the start of a truly creatively fulfilling time in my life." Advice from Trent Dabbs on a writing trip to Nashville served as equally important - to make something that you'd love to listen to. Richard explains that "that idea of shutting out the potential audience or music supervisor or critic and just writing a record that makes your heart beat a little faster hit me hard." 

Returning to the UK, he considered the albums in his collections that had been formative for him, beginning to formulate ideas. Track ideas went back and forth with producer Patrick J Pearson (of Dry The River) and the result is Golden Veins.

You can catch Richard Walters on a mini UK tour to celebrate the album release - tickets here.

19th May: Castle, Manchester
20th: Jericho, Oxford
22nd: Louisiana, Bristol

Follow Richard Walters - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 24 January 2020

WATCH: Sam Lee - 'Lay This Body Down'

A press release that cites Cosmo Sheldrake as appearing on the track? Consider me sold already. This is about as good as folk gets. Nest Collective founder, Mercury Prize nominee and renowned song collector Sam Lee is set to release the brand new album Old Wow on January 31st via Cooking Vinyl. He's just shared the single Lay This Body Down, the video for which features choreography from London's Ballet Rambert.

Talking about the origins of the track, Sam explains that "themes of death and renewal are central [...] it has been adapted from the singing of an old ferry boatman in the 1860s, who rowed the collector of this song across the water in Port Royal, a set of islands in South Carolina. It was described in the notes as being in the dead of night, with one hooded oarsmen guided only by a small oil lamp chanting this song as he rowed. The similarity to Charon the ferryman of Hades carrying the dead souls across the Styx in greek mythology was not lost on the collector. This song touches deep into that sense of parting from the realm of the living. It speaks of final journeys, our returning to the soil and the eventual confrontation and acceptance of death that we all one day make." 

The new album was recorded at RAK Studios and Studio 355, produced by Suede's Bernard Butler. Alongside Butler's electric guitar, somewhat a first for a Sam Lee record, the album features vocals from Elizabeth Frazer (Cocteau Twins), Cosmo Sheldrake, Dizraeli and Caoimhin O Raghallaigh (The Gloaming). The record is devoted to the natural world - Sam has extended this dedication to many years as a passionate conservationist and environmental campaigner, having recently collaborated with Extinction Rebellion and Music Declares Emergency, including a contribution to the recent climate anthology Letters To The Earth.

Sam heads out on a UK tour in just over a week, dates below, tickets here!

31st Jan: Cluny, Newcastle
1st Feb: Night and Day Café, Manchester
3rd: Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
4th: City Varieties, Leeds
5th: Glee, Birmingham
6th: Phoenix, Exeter
7th: St Petroc's Church, Bodmin
8th: Marine Theatre, Lyme Regis
10th: Junction 2, Cambridge
13th: St George's, Brighton
15th: Gulbenkian Theatre, Canterbury
16th: Open, Norwich
17th: EartH, London
19th: St George's, Bristol
21st: The Gate, Cardiff

Follow Sam Lee - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday, 23 January 2020

LISTEN: Bad Sounds - 'Escaping from a Violent Time Vol.1'

I'm making a bit of an effort to check out more EPs this year, and I'm very much enjoying the brand new one from Bristol five-piece Bad Sounds. It's pretty ace. The EP comes as the first instalment of a trilogy of releases, this one written and recorded underground in a former prison cell in central Bristol, close to the band's home of Bath. With the aim of creating a true representation of where they're currently at as a band, the EP was produced by frontmen and brothers Callum and Ewan themselves - "we wanted [the EP] to feel more visceral, and of this moment." 

The band's first major release since their debut record Get Better in 2018, the EP features recent singles Sympathetic Vibrations (love love love that one) and Breathe, alongside the new single Permanent. On the new track, the band state that "it's primarily about acceptance - learning how to accept your own shortcomings, and your own personality. Sometimes I feel like I just mirror the people around me in social situations, and started to worry that I didn't even really have a personality of my own." They add that "with Permanent we tried to imagine how it would be to be one of those lucky people who appear to be themselves regardless of the situation, and learn to be proud of who we are. It's good to celebrate who we are every now and then... unless you're a dickhead!"

The band are heading out for some shows in the UK in May, tickets available here.

1st May: Deaf Institute, Manchester
12th: Lafayette, London
13th: The Fleece, Bristol

Follow Bad Sounds - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

LISTEN: Chloe Foy - 'Callous Copper'

Something lovely and chilled to share with you today... I added this to my secondary 'acoustic/folk/chilled' Spotify playlist this week, which you can check out hereCallous Copper is the  gorgeously bewitching new single from Chloe Foy, the title track of her upcoming EP, due 21st February via AntiFragile. As is perfectly displayed in the track, the EP is a collection of tracks both old and new that have been re-imagined with a string quartet in tow. I'm always a fan of strings, and the addition of violin, viola and cello really elevate the track, making it appear vast, while Chloe's vocals contrast, drawing you in close.

Discussing the EP, Chloe explains that "I adore string music and think so much can be brought out in a song with the addition of a violin, viola and cello. So that's what I've aimed for here - a collection of songs, old and new and a cover of one of my favourites by Neil Young. All about birth, love, death and everything in between. The intricate complexities of life and living."

Chloe heads out on a UK tour celebrate the release of the EP in March, dates below - tickets for sale here!

4th March: The Islington, London
5th: The Brunswick, Brighton
6th: Cafe Kino, Bristol
7th: Purple Turtle, Reading
8th: Boiler Room, Guildford
10th: Studio 2, Liverpool
12th: Laundrette, Durham
14th: Kings Arms, Salford

Follow Chloe Foy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

ALBUM NEWS: Luke De-Sciscio - 'Good Bye Folk Boy'

At last count, I'm getting around 130 submissions to the blog weekly. Tracks, EPs, albums, gigs and tour news to write about. It's a lot to sift through and as you can tell by the amount of posts I actually share each week, not a lot of it gets through, so it can be really rewarding when I find something in those emails which I genuinely adore, especially when the artist is new to me. Last week: in walks Luke De-Sciscio. His brand new track R.O.B.Y.N (an ode to his partner) arrives with news of his new record Good Bye Folk Boy, due on the 14th March. I really took to the track from the first listen, but have completely fallen for the accompanying live video from BBC Introducing In The West. Seriously, watch below and tell me you don't love it too. His vocal range and the intricacy with which he plays the guitar have seriously impressed me.

Hailing from Swindon, Luke spent his youth daydreaming, fishing and writing songs. On writing from his teenage years, he comments "my theory was that I knew what I wanted to do, so I just got on with it." He moved to Bath, where he met his partner Robyn. The couple lived on a 100-year-old canal boat for a time, with Luke using the space to explore his guitar-playing and songwriting away from the confines of everyday life... "we neglected everything but the boat and each other for that first year. It was so slow and so pure." Moving to dry land to facilitate recording his music, Luke found his productivity grinding to a halt - "songs suffered from not being written in the same environmental head space." While his songwriting may have slowed, I'd say he's got plenty to be working with, having written (at least) an album's worth of songs every year since he was 16. "It was never about releasing them or 'making it' - my belief is that if you're creating something you love, you have already made it. And I just knew that I would go crazy if I wasn't writing. [...] For me, it was the creation, and the belief that if people needed my music, it would find them." 

You can catch Luke live at SET in Dalston on 2nd April - tickets here. 

Follow Luke De-Sciscio - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 17 January 2020

LISTEN: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'Everything Else Has Gone Wrong'

"This is an album for anyone who's ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. It's about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music when everything else in your life or the world has gone wrong. It's about finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations." 

Well, this is up there with the coolest perks of running this blog to date. I've had an early stream of the brand new Bombay Bicycle Club album Everything Else Has Gone Wrong in my inbox for a couple of weeks. I have so much love for the band and their music and it has been utter joy to have an early listen, or two, or twenty... It's finally out in the world now, so go and listen. And then come back here. Or read on, and then listen. But do listen - it's an incredibly triumphant return for the band and I simply adore it.

Let's rewind first. Back in 2014, just after I'd first moved to Oxford to study, I finally got to see Bombay live. The last ever show at London's Earls Court, with Peace and Sivu supporting and appearances from Dave Gilmour, Rae Morris and Lucy Rose. The band were touring So Long, See You Tomorrow which had just earned them their first number one, and the show was their biggest to date - it was euphoric. A few months later, they decided to break up. Frontman Jack Steadman reflects that it felt like the right moment to step back and pursue other projects, saying that "it's so much easier to stop when you can call it quits and know you were at the top [...] I think if we had gone any longer, we may have broken up in such a way that we might not have ever been able to return to it." In the few years that followed, Jack released a collaborative album as mr jukes, bassist Ed Nash released a record as Toothless, drummer Suren de Saram hit the road as a session drummer, and guitarist Jamie MacColl went to university, getting himself a BA and a masters. Then, as the ten year anniversary of debut album I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose started to loom, the band spoke about playing some shows to celebrate. Jack recalls thinking "we can't come back and play an old album and disappear again." And so, plans began to form.

Almost exactly a year ago, seemingly out of nowhere, and to much joy from me and fans all over the world, Bombay shared a time-lapse video in the studio to social media. The video came alongside this message: "since late last year, we've been getting back into the swing of playing music together. We were initially a little rusty but also nostalgic playing songs that have been around since we were teenagers. More than anything it just felt great to be in the same room playing again. It made us realise what a good thing we have and has given us renewed energy and enthusiasm for the future. The joy we were getting out of playing the old songs seemed to naturally lead us onto working on new material, so we're becoming immersed in that as we speak. Hopefully it won't be too long before we have something new for you guys to hear. [...] We've missed you." 

Hold the phone.

Suddenly, everything felt a little better with the world. Even the idea of just one new track or some one-off shows was ridiculously exciting. Bombay were back and all was good with the world, even if it wasn't. So an entire album? They're spoiling us.

Last Summer, before the album had been announced, I was lucky to score tickets to see the band play one of their first shows back in Islington's 900 (ish) capacity Assembly Hall. It was the sweatiest, most joyous evening of live music that I've experienced in a while. Almost transcendent. The band tore through a setlist with tracks from their entire back catalogue, and you'd hardly know that they'd been away. The best part was seeing the utter joy on the band member's faces - they'd had some time out, and it was certainly the right thing to do, but they were back playing live with their best pals and it felt brilliant.

To kick off the album process, Jack and Ed took themselves to a friend's house in Cornwall, spending a week there each month for the first half of 2019, working on demos separately and coming together to go through them. This time around there was an exciting first for the band - two tracks on the record were written or co-written by Ed. Jack explains that "I think that's a nice example of things being different [...] of how us all going and doing own own thing has benefitted the band [...] because I think Ed probably had songs up his sleeve all this time, but doing a solo album has given him the confidence to share them." It is worth mentioning that both tracks, Good Day and People People, are brilliant. The latter was co-written with the band's long-time collaborator and touring member Liz Lawrence, who sings on the track. Elsewhere, singer/songwriter Billie Marten lends her gorgeous vocals to closing track Racing Stripes.

From the beginning, the band were certain that they didn't want to produce the new record themselves. "Having someone else come in was a way of pushing us slightly out of our comfort zone", Jack explains. On Nash's suggestion they brought in John Congleton (Wild Beasts, St Vincent) and spent just three weeks in LA recording the album with him, often recording tracks in just one or two takes, new territory for the band. Jack describes it as "the least sanitised record we've ever made [...] the album sounds a lot looser, in a good way, than our other albums, which can be very machine-like. I feel like I've relaxed, and chilled out a bit. There was less time spent on the computer. We recorded Good Day, which Ed wrote, all playing together in the room. I was looking around being like, ah, it's us four again. It was a sweet moment." 

The result is a record which is a true return to form. It's Bombay as we love them, yet fresh and new, with the experiences of the last few years, both musically and personally, feeding directly into the record in the lyrics and sound. They're back and they're still just as brilliant and this record is worth the six year wait. The album's theme is perhaps best found in the title track, the last to be written for the album. A track about hope and renewal and finding safety in what brings you comfort while everything is falling apart, the chorus repeats "keep the stereo on, everything else has gone wrong." Jack explains that "for my whole life, I haven't been very good at expressing myself with words. The irony is that the song is about not wanting to write lyrics, but it has lyrics I'm really proud of. And after that, we realised a lot of the other songs had that theme, of music as a cathartic refuge." I for one will be clinging to this record this year to deliver me hope in the moments when it is needed.

While they were often writing about relationships and about being teenagers the first time time around, Jamie explains that the new record is lyrically quite a departure. "The songs are quite direct and personal [...] about companionship, about trying to find your place in the world, all these things we never really touched upon before. All of our friends are struggling with that next stage in life" (some sweet synchronicity with Liz Lawrence's track None Of My Friends there.)

As the first track to be shared after the hiatus, single Eat, Sleep, Wake (Nothing But You) has to remain one of the highlights of the record for me. It's the track you arrive at if you squish everything you love about Bombay into 3 minutes and 40 seconds. Classic Bombay, but new. Suren recalls a moment where he was "playing the demo to a mate of mine, in my car, and as soon as it came on, he had a big smile on his face. It felt like we were back. [...] There was an element of not knowing what you've got til it's gone, and taking things for granted, which we definitely were. Having spent some time apart, we realised how special and meaningful it was to all of us, in our own way. We're much more appreciative now." The message is echoed in the humorous video for the track, directed by ex touring member Louis Bhose.

Elsewhere on the record, from the first listen to the (alright... I've lost count already), favourite parts for me are the passionate conclusion of Let You Go, the catchy interludes in I Worry Bout You (I've been humming that one at work for the past couple of weeks) and how glorious and majestic Do You Feel Loved? is. The latter's writing is a rarity for Jack, a track on contemporary culture: "it is about technology, and how we're all desperate for affirmation, refreshing our phones to look for people to love us and to get likes." 

Lyrically, Good Day stuck out to me from the first listen. The chorus repeats "I just wanna have a good day, and it's only me that's standing in my way" and is followed by the heartbreaking "first my looks and now my friends, day by day I'm losing them." It is one of the darker parts of the record, with the harmonies and guitar riff creating a bit of contrast. Written by Ed, he describes that "it perfectly summed up how I'd been feeling for the year or two prior to that. I was having a hard time on a day to day basis, and I'd be like, fuck this, why am I doing music, I should get a real job. I realised there were bigger problems than the ones that were surmountable. You're in charge. If you want to have a good day, you're the master of your destiny." 

After the punchy conclusion of Let You Go the album comes to a peaceful close with Racing Stripes. It represents a writing breakthrough, arriving after a brief period in Cornwall when Jack was finding it difficult to write. Jamie describes it as the first song we've done where I feel you could have a lighter in the air and sing along to it." On the record more generally, he adds "I find this album to be so much more positive than anything we've done before. It is inherently optimistic about what's next." 

What's next? A huge string of tour dates around the UK, Europe, the US and Canada, that's what. Remaining tickets available here.

That's it. I'll stop rambling now - well done if you made it this far. Now, go and listen to the magnificent new record, buy it, tell Bombay just how brilliant they are. Enjoy.

Follow Bombay Bicycle Club - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Thursday, 16 January 2020

WATCH: Wilsen - 'Feeling Fancy'

Late night submission inbox trawling led me to this brilliant new track from Wilsen. The Brooklyn-based trio release their upcoming album Ruiner via Dalliance Recordings on 21st February. Feeling Fancy is the second single to be taken from the record, and while they frankly had me at the use of a green screen in the video (easily pleased) I'm actually finding the lyrical content of the track is really resonating with me.

Vocalist Tamsin Wilson describes it as "a song for the soft-spoken [...] quietness can be mistaken for insecurity while it's often the opposite - it's being comfortably in your own presence without needing to be heard at every moment." About the album more generally, she adds that "making this record was somewhat of a coming of age process [...] we're getting older and becoming more deliberate, less precious, less measured. Overthinking less and trusting instincts more."

Follow Wilsen - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

LISTEN: Easy Life - 'Junk Food'

Unless you've been hiding somewhere without access to new music for a couple of years, you'll have surely come across Leicester five-piece Easy Life. Releasing big tune after big tune from the get-go they've been getting the (deserved) attention of all sorts of tastemakers, performing to a packed out tend at last year's Glastonbury, appearing on Later... with Jools Holland and most recently narrowly missing out on the BBC Music Sound of 2020 accolade to Celeste. They're kicking off 2020 with your new favourite mixtape, Junk Food. It's seriously really really brilliant - acquaint yourself below.

When I took my first listen to the mixtape on Friday I had an instant favourite from the previously unheard tracks. Having stalked their social media a little bit since, it's become clear that the track has actually been released since November (my bad) BUT I'm still adoring it. Sangria features Arlo Parks, who I've been seeing on lots of 2020 lists (she was nominated in the BBC Music Sound of 2020 alongside the band) and have been meaning to check out. Arlo and frontman Murray's vocals blend together beautifully on this one and I'm loving the simple video for the track. I loved the track so much that it went straight on my 2020 playlist alongside Gengahr, White Tail Falls and more on Friday...

Follow Easy Life - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

LISTEN: Everything Everything - 'Live with The No​.​6 Orchestra' EP

With their superb latest album A Fever Dream released back in August 2017, Everything Everything have been teasing us a new record via a series of studio photos on Instagram for the past few weeks. I absolutely can't wait to hear what they've been working on, but consider my huge need for new music from the band met - for the moment - with a stunning stripped back EP that they've recently shared online. Featuring rarely performed tracks from across their catalogue, the EP was recorded live in Portmerion at Festival No.6 in September 2018, a special collaboration with arranger and composer Joe Duddell and the No.6 Ensemble. Alongside the rarer tunes, the EP finishes up with one of my favourite songs the band have released, No Reptiles, taken from the record Get To Heaven. It's basically a big old stunner and you should all listen pronto.

You can listen to the Live with The No.6 Orchestra EP and download (for free or as much as you want to pay) via Bandcamp here.

Follow Everything Everything - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 13 January 2020

WATCH: Beach Bunny - 'Cloud 9'

With their last single sitting amongst my list of tracks to write about at the end of last year and falling victim to my 2020 inbox refresh (much needed) I was delighted to see a brand new Beach Bunny track fall into my inbox recently. Cloud 9 is the third single taken from the US four-piece's upcoming debut record Honeymoon, due for release on 14th Feb (romantic, eh?!) via Mom+Pop. There's a heartwarming animated video created by Margaret Bialis to watch too.

Lili Trifilio explains of the new track that she "sought out to write a true, gushy, genuine love song [...] at the time I was at a questionable point in my relationship and I was reflecting on the last few years and how despite the ups and downs, love held us together. I hope that anyone who listens to this song can feel the love in the lyrics and give love a chance, as well as remember to always love themselves first and foremost."

Beach Bunny just announced their first ever European dates, with shows in Glasgow (The Hug and Pint, 7th June), Manchester (YES, 8th) and London (Boston Music Room, 10th) - tickets available here.

Follow Beach Bunny - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday, 10 January 2020

LISTEN: White Tail Falls - 'Disintegrate'

Time for a premiere, kind of... this one's been out in the world all day, but if you've not had the pleasure of listening to it yet, let me introduce you. White Tail Falls is an exciting new and slightly mysterious project from one of my favourite humans. Having released debut single Give It Up, Son towards the end of 2019, he's today shared brand new track Disintegrate and it's absolutely sublime. It's a gorgeously ambient track, with Irwin's vocals sitting atop a delicate and pulsing blend of strings, guitar and piano, with drum beats and synths building throughout.

In its various guises, Irwin's music has soundtracked much of my life so a brand new project is all kinds of exciting and I genuinely can't wait to hear more - luckily, he's announced details of debut album Age Of Entitlement, which is due for release on March 6th via Physical Education Records.

With his epic songwriting skills on show with this one, talking about the track, Irwin explains that "I was thinking about bloodlines and procreation and how we think we've got power over it when the decision is ultimately out of our hands [...] over-thinking about the family I'm from and the family I hadn't started and the implications of having kids or not and remembering the love I do have in my life, to go skipping into the apocalypse with. It became a bit of an existential love song." 

What's that? You want tour dates. That's lucky - White Tail Falls head out on a UK headline tour through March and April, dates below. I hear that if you save the track on Spotify here, you'll be entered with a chance to win two tickets to a show of your choice. Who doesn't love a freebie.

19th March: Head Of Steam, Newcastle
20th: The Poetry Club, Glasgow
21st: Royal Park Cellars, Leeds
26th: St Pancras Old Church, London
27th: The Hope & Ruin, Brighton
1st April: Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
2nd: Night People, Manchester
3rd: The Bodega, Nottingham

Follow White Tail Falls - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

LISTEN: Gengahr - 'Never A Low'

Following on seamlessly from my Bombay Bicycle Club post earlier in the week (since then I've been sent an early stream of their album and I'll share a review soon but... a clue: it's very good) this next post is a new tune from their recent tour buds Gengahr. They're releasing their third studio album Sanctuary on 31st January and I'm really excited for it. From what we've heard with the recent singles Heavenly Maybe, Everything & More and Atlas Please the band are at their best, exploring creatively with the confidence and freedom that a third record brings. New track Never A Low is a bit of a departure... a little moodier in sound than normal but still with the elements that make up an ace Gengahr track - perhaps most notably Felix's gorgeous falsetto.

Talking about the track, the band explain that "experimentation, collaboration and pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones is at the core of this album [...] our sound and the way we work together has really evolved, and 'Never A Low' is the track which for us best represents the results of this change." 

Alongside the new track, they've just announced support acts for the upcoming UK and EU tour - with Fake Laugh and Bessie Turner joining them for the UK shows. Tickets and album pre-order is here on their site.

13th Feb: Band on the Wall, Manchester
14th: Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
16th: King Tuts, Glasgow
17th: The Sound House, Dublin
19th: Fleece, Bristol
20th: Patterns, Brighton
21st: EartH, London

Follow Gengahr - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday, 6 January 2020

LISTEN: Bombay Bicycle Club - 'I Can Hardly Speak'

So it looks as if 2020 arrived. I've given myself a couple of weeks off to help recover from a busy festive period working in retail but I'm back and really excited to get back into the swing of regular posts, with lots of brilliant new music just around the corner. Considering our current political and environmental situation, this track, from a very soon to be released album, seems a fitting return. The track is about struggling to express yourself with words, and it is taken from an album which the band describe as being "for anyone who's ever turned to music in a time of crisis, whether personal or political. It's about the solace one can get from listening to music or playing music when everything else in your life or the world has gone wrong. It's about finding kernels of hope and renewal in dire situations." As someone who is a real believer of the power of music to get through difficult situations, whether they be personal or on a larger scale, I'm loving this message.

The band is Bombay Bicycle Club and the track is I Can Hardly Speak - they dropped it at midnight on New Years, a festive treat for us all, a reward for staying up until midnight (by myself, at home) I felt. When sharing it online they added that it was one of the first songs to be written for the album, with it actually being written on the tour for the previous record in 2014. It's been given a lovely lyric video from Jonny Sanders / Prehuman, inspired by the art of Maria Medem, who is creating all of the artwork for the album - check the single covers out, they're gorgeous. Listen below!

Everything Else Has Gone Wrong is released on 17th January - pre-order it here.

Follow Bombay Bicycle Club - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram