Thursday 21 December 2017

LISTEN: Tracks of the year playlist!

What a year for new music! With new albums from big favourites of mine Everything Everything and Public Service Broadcasting, debuts from Flyte and Willie J Healey and a bunch of other brilliant EPs and singles in between, there's been a lot to enjoy across the year. I've whittled down my favourite releases to my top thirty tracks of the year, which you can listen to here or on the embedded player, and check out a few words on each track below!

BE GOOD - It's Cool but It Ain't You
My favourite tune from the Oxford band that have quickly become one of my favourite discoveries of the year!

Everything Everything - Run The Numbers
It was difficult to pick just one track from the record A Fever Dream which the band released over Summer and which I'm almost certain is my favourite record of the year...

Banfi - Rosedale House
Again, whittling down the Banfi repertoire to just one tune when I've fallen in love with every track they've released so far was tricky but this is a favourite of mine.

Flyte - Faithless
In the run up to the release of the band's debut album The Loved Ones back in August I stumbled across this stunning Sofar Sounds session of the opening track Faithless and was taken aback by the songwriting and beautiful harmonies.

Ady Suleiman - I Remember
I love Ady's unique vocals and the beautifully nostalgic lyrics of this track - he's recently announced that his debut album is due in March and I can't wait to hear it!

Evergreen - Aux Echos
With a subtle name change under their belt, Evergreen followed up their superb 2014 record Towards with a new EP of tunes a month or so ago - Aux Echos is the lead single and I'm totally loving it! 

Johnny Flynn - Barleycorn
The follow-up to 2013's Country Mile, new record Sillion is pretty brilliant and this tune quickly became one of my favourites of Johnny and his band The Sussex Wit!

Low Island - (Pause)
Unless you've avoided all of my blog posts and playlist updates for the year, it'll be pretty obvious to you that I'm quite fond of Low Island and believe that you all should be too. This is my favourite tune from their In This Room EP, released earlier this year.

Lewis Capaldi - Bruises
A beautifully raw track with an intensely powerful and emotive vocal, since the release of this stunning debut single back in March it seems that Lewis has been on an incredibly steep trajectory, selling out runs of UK shows in hours!

Brasstronaut - Raveshadow
I think that a lot of us owe Stornoway a great debt for getting these guys across from Vancouver to support them on their farewell tour earlier in the year - I instantly fell in love with their self-titled album which was released earlier in the year, particularly this tune!

Public Service Broadcasting - Progress
I distinctly remember my first listen of this tune while writing a section of my dissertation in my university kitchen, followed by replaying it several times for the rest of the day. It's taken from their recent record Every Valley which is one of my favourites of the year.

Sivu - Lonesome
Another exciting return this year from Sivu, following up his beautiful debut Something On High with Sweet Sweet Silent - well worth a listen!

Parcels - Overnight
I couldn't shake this song from my head once I'd make it our 'track of the week' over on the Tigmus blog back in June - it's produced by Daft Punk and is a total tune!

Seramic - Trying
Marcus Foster and co released the follow up to last year's Found EP in the shape of the I Got You EP this year - it's full of cracking tunes and I adore the closing track, which they performed in one of my favourite live sets of the year at Bushstock Festival (watch that here.)

Fleet Foxes - I Am All That I Need / Arroyo Seco / Thumbprint Scar
The band's show at O2 Brixton in November was nothing short of magical - this is the opening tune to their massively acclaimed new record Crack-Up.

Dan Croll - Tokyo
Following up the brilliant record Sweet Disarray, Dan Croll returned this Summer with Emerging Adulthood. I was torn between adding this track or Bad Boy to the playlist as I'm almost equally fond of them both, but remember completely loving this tune when I caught him at a Communion showcase earlier in the year.

Charlie Cunningham - Minimum
Another discovery I've made as a Stornoway support act (back in 2015) I was blown away by Charlie's skills with the guitar. Minimum is taken from his debut album which was released earlier in the year!

Get Inuit - Barbiturates
The first track to be added to my yearly playlist - love this fun Vevo Dscvr session from the Kent based band.

Willie J Healey - People and Their Dogs
Willie's show at Oxford's Modern Art gallery comes in as one of my favourites of the year as it marked the end of my three years at university, having handed in my final assignment earlier that day. Celebrations after the gig included hanging around with the band and Robin and Cat of Catgod at a pizza truck. Rock and roll.

Nick Mulvey - Mountain To Move
What a joy to have Nick Mulvey back in our lives and our headphones - his headline set at Bushstock Festival was a total joy to behold and one of my favourite crowds to be a part of this year!

Tempesst - Feel Better
Taken from their recent Adult Wonderland EP I love this smooth and summery tune from Tempesst - still gutted that I missed their recent headline shows!

Pale Seas - My Own Mind
Favourite tune from Stargazing for Beginners, the debut album from this Southampton four-piece!

FIL BO RIVA - Head Sonata (Love Control)
I was chuffed to catch Fil at The Great Escape back in May and can't wait for his debut album, set for a release early next year to coincide with a UK and Europe tour in April and May.

Catgod - I'm Innocent
From their Someone Love EP - I can't wait to be reunited with my Oxford pals Catgod at their London gig this week!

Park Hotel - Going West
I don't always find the time to check out tracks that are submitted to the blog for sharing/reviewing but was really glad I listened to this one which quickly became one of my favourite tunes of the year!

Lucy Rose - No Good At All
Taken from her record Something's Changing, for which Lucy Rose released an eye opening mini-documentary of the same name about her music, her fans and playing around the world to fans she's met online.

Dazy Crown - Peanut Butter Dreaming
A band I had the pleasure of working with on some shows back in 2016 for Tigmus, I love this tune from their I Don't Need a Jacket EP.

Cosmo Sheldrake - Come Along
Cosmo played what was probably my favourite support set of the year opening up for Johnny Flynn at the Roundhouse. His effortless control of the room and his introduction to various unique samples completely drew me in.

Charlie Fink - I Was Born to Be a Cowboy
After meeting the rest of the Noah & The Whale members several times over the last couple of years, I finally met Charlie this year as he released his solo record and performed it as a unique live music stage production at the Old Vic in London. 

Arcade Fire - Creature Comfort
I almost want to admit featuring this tune simply because the title makes me think of the hilarious Creature Comforts animated TV show - but it's also a cracking tune from the band's new record Everything Now.

Tuesday 19 December 2017

LISTEN: Geowulf - 'Hideaway'

Following a couple of live dates last Summer, beach pop duo Geowulf released their debut single Saltwater into the world. It was received incredibly well, and they've since played various shows and released a few more tracks, including the recent single Drink Too Much. With a few brilliant tracks under their belts, the band have recently announced that their debut album Great Big Blue is set for release on February 16th. The first tune from the record is the dreamy Hideaway which you can listen to below - if you like what you're hearing, be sure to catch them live at The Lexington in London on 28th Feb for their album launch show!

Follow Geowulf online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 11 December 2017

WATCH: Banfi - 'Caroline'

I didn't quite need the Spotify end of year playlist to tell me that I've listened to an awful lot of Banfi over the year - so much so that six of their songs made it into my top hundred for the year. They released the 'Christmas tinged' tune Caroline a couple of weeks back and have shared a beautiful video featuring found footage from a documentary filmed in Blackpool. Speaking about the video the band's artistic director (and all round legend) Jake Dypka writes that "we had the idea of finding forgotten footage and bringing it back to life. We found this old documentary of a summers day down at Blackpool. It seemed to fit perfectly with underlying themes of family, love and time." Have a watch of the video below, check out all the other brilliant Banfi tunes on Spotify here and if you like what you're hearing, catch them live on their Europe tour in March, including a London show at Oslo Hackney on 22nd March (tickets.)

Follow Banfi online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 7 December 2017

WATCH: Low Island perform 'I Know You' for Mahogany

It's been just over a year since Low Island played their first ever headline show in London, writing about the show they explain that "Jamie and Carlos had never sung in public before, and we'd made a load of music in a bedroom/garage with no real idea of how it would translate in a venue. It's been a massive learning curve." They continue to impress and surprise me with each new release and latest tune I Know You is no different - it's the third tune to come from their upcoming third EP alongside the massive track The Lines and slow-burner Tomorrow and I know I'm not alone in saying that I absolutely can not wait for more! Check out the stunning session performance of the track for Mahogany below and fall in love with the band with me... (that falsetto!)  

If you're around in Oxford, the guys headline at The Cellar for Future Perfect on 27th January - sure to be a huge hometown show! Info and tickets here.

Follow Low Island online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

WATCH: Dan Croll - 'Tokyo' (two ways...)

The ever charming and incredibly talented Dan Croll released his second album Emerging Adulthood over the Summer. It's a wonderful follow up to his superb debut album Sweet Disarray and features a bunch of cracking tunes including the singles One Of Us, Bad Boy, Swim and Away From Today. My favourite tune from the record is the closing track Tokyo - so I'm chuffed that it's recently been given an EP release with remixes from the likes of Anna Of The North and Paul Frith alongside an official video created by animator Simon Landrein. Dan himself described the video as one of his favourites that he's released - get watching below!

If, like me, you're partial to a stripped back session then look no further as Dan and his band rearranged the tune for a three-piece performance in his hometown of Liverpool earlier in the year and it's brilliant! It's been several months since I last caught Dan live at a Communion showcase at Omeara and at The Great Escape Festival - watching this video over and over has made me pretty keen to get along to a show soon!

Follow Dan Croll online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Monday 4 December 2017

LISTEN: Catgod - 'Keep My Promises'

Fantastic news - my extremely talented friends Catgod are back with a crazy new tune entitled Keep My Promises. Hailing from Oxford, the band are a musical collective combining soul and trip-hop sounds with the beautiful vocal harmonies of brother and sister duo Robin and Cat. They released their debut record Ready When You Are around a year ago and have since followed it up with the Someone Love EP but this is their first new material for a few months - I'm loving the track (and especially the superb artwork from Oxford artist Iman Mahdy of the Young Women's Music Project.)

You can catch Catgod live in London in a couple of weeks at Surya in King's Cross, performing a co-headline with Holly Redford Jones for Tigmus. All the info and tickets on the Facebook event here.

Follow Catgod online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Friday 1 December 2017

VIDEO PREMIERE: Maiians - 'Wendigo'

It's been a few months since I graduated and moved back home from Oxford (though I still miss it tons and can't wait to get back there) but I'm constantly keeping an eye out on all of my favourite local bands - 31hours are currently smashing it with their recent debut album Tell Me What You See (which they played a successful Tigmus launch show for last weekend) and my pals Catgod have a new single released today which is all kinds of strange and funky.

Maiians are a local band I unfortunately never caught live during my time in the city - forming in 2013 they became an "elusive, incendiary presence on the Oxford music scene for two years, gracing countless venues with their double-drum propelled Balearic post-rock". They released their self-titled debut album in mid 2016, parting ways later in the year as the members headed to various countries. Good news however - they're back with some new music and a one-off show!

Realising that all five members would be in Oxford for Christmas this year, they decided that they couldn't pass up the chance to play together again, so they're making their live return at their home-from-home, The Cellar, as part of the Divine Schism Christmas Party on 22nd December. The venue was recently saved from the threat of redevelopment, a huge victory for the local music scene who really pulled together to protect the venue, so it's sure to be quite the celebration!

To celebrate this mini reunion, they're releasing a new EP entitled The Glasshouse EP, containing mixes of Maiians tunes by friends of the band, as well as two live recordings (with all the proceeds from the sale of the EP going to Oxford Homeless Pathways.) One of these tunes is brand new, entitled Wendigo and described as "a sparkling post-rock opus" and I'm incredibly pleased to be premiering the video for the tune on the blog today! The video and track were recorded at Glasshouse Studios in Cumnor before the band parted ways, and it's a bit of an atmospheric masterpiece, a seven minute slice of beautiful electronica.

Grab tickets for the band's one off live return here (they're selling fast!) and get following Maiians online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.