Friday 29 June 2018

WATCH: Evergreen - 'Comme Si'

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

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

Check out Overseas by Evergreen on Spotify here.

Follow Evergreen online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 27 June 2018

WATCH: PD Liddle - 'Uncanny Valley'

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

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

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

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

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Monday 25 June 2018

LISTEN: Tempesst - 'A Little Bit Of Trouble'

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

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

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

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Friday 22 June 2018

LISTEN: Saltwater Sun - 'Hot Mess'

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

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

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Wednesday 20 June 2018

WATCH: Catgod - 'Let Go'

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

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Wednesday 13 June 2018

LISTEN: Hudson Scott - 'Lone Wolf'

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

Follow Hudson Scott - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 12 June 2018

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

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

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

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

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Monday 11 June 2018

LISTEN: Matthew & The Atlas - 'Cali' EP

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

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

Friday 8 June 2018

ALBUM NEWS: Evergreen - 'Overseas'

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

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

Follow Evergreen online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 6 June 2018

WATCH: Gengahr - 'I'll Be Waiting'

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

Follow Gengahr online - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 5 June 2018

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

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

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

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

Friday 1 June 2018

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

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

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