Wednesday 28 June 2023

WATCH: Seramic - 'Ride or Die'

You know the drill - I'm writing a blog post when I should be sleeping. Surprise! But. Big news. Did I mention how much I love Seramic? Just a few times, huh? Well. HE'S BACK!!!!!!! 

Seramic's music delivers absolute joy (I dare you to see him live or listen to a track like Greg's Love and not get on your feet and grin from ear to ear). There's an infectious energy in the music, and he's long been a favourite of mine. So of course I'm a little over-excited that Marcus just came back with his first new single in a while. 

Ride or Die is a delight - and the music video features dancing AND dogs. Like I said: pure joy. Bottle it up! Get watching this one below, and then take a deep dive into his EPs... you won't regret it. 

With Marcus having recently moved to the US, there are sadly no UK dates to report on just yet.. but as soon as something is announced, I'm there. It's somehow been five years since I saw a proper Seramic set at Bushstock 2018. Dreamy days. 

Follow Seramic - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Tuesday 27 June 2023

WATCH: Divorce - 'Birds'

It's a Monday night in June and (in the words of Stornoway) I should be sleeping... but I feel compelled to write a little something as I haven't posted to the blog in a week or two. I had the last week off work so had a little holiday from the blog too - we headed to Norfolk, wandered around some of my favourite nature reserves, saw some cool wildlife (I've got a lil nature Instagram account here, btw) and ate lots. The dream.

Back to work, and blogging. This one came out a couple of weeks ago and is a stunner. It's the first release from Divorce this year and... they're just SO good, right?! Obsessed with basically everything they've put out so far. Naturally, I'm drawn in by a track called Birds, even if it has very little to do with our feathered pals. Still brilliant.  

Talking about the track, co-vocalist/guitarist Felix Mackenzie-Barrow explains "I was carrying a lot of insecurity that felt like it was piling in on me from all angles but this song was an attempt to reshape those feelings into something positive. I wanted to remind myself and all of us in the band how much belief we have in each other and in the truth of what we're doing together."  

Follow Divorce - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 15 June 2023

WATCH: Dizzy - 'Close'

The new Dizzy album drops in a couple of months on 18th August, and I'm aaaaall kinds of excited. I've been busy with work lately, spending the time I'd like to have been writing blog posts writing a big ol performance review, so I haven't had much chance to pop up here but I really wanted to share this one. Like most of the band's releases, I've had it on repeat since I first heard it. Love love love this band. If they're a new name for you, you've got a LOT to look forward to, with two previous brilliant records and what is looking to be a superb third arriving soon!

Speaking about new track 'Close', singer Katie shares: "back in 2019 we were on tour in Eau Claire, Wisconsin when the wheel bearing on our van went kaputz on American thanksgiving. It was a hard day but the only thing I can really remember about it is laughing in the mechanic's waiting room and then finding our way back to a hotel with a bottle of green room whiskey. We've been through a lot as a band but we always manage to reconnect on itchy hotel beds between episodes of Family Guy. 'Close' is about a lot of things but mainly it's about the comfort Mack, Charlie and Alex bring me." 

Follow Dizzy - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 7 June 2023

LISTEN: Stornoway - 'Bag In The Wind'

It's a Monday night in June as I write this, and that can mean only one thing... Watching Birds by Stornoway on repeat. If you know, you know. (It's a tune - get listening!) What better way to spend my Monday night than writing a post about the band's new music? 

ICYMI, Stornoway (Brian, Jon and Oli) returned last month with the brilliant new single Trouble With The Green and the best news; they've got an album - Dig The Mountain! - arriving on 8th September. It's been quite a while since their previous record Bonxie (which came out way back in 2015... when I was first discovering the band) and I am counting down the days until this new record. It arrives a week before the new record from The Hoosiers (also their first studio album since 2015) and I may as well tell you now that I will be completely insufferable for all of September... sorry not sorry!

In case you hadn't guessed, I am so so soooooo delighted to have them back making, releasing and performing new music and excited to have a couple of shows lined up later this year (read my review of my last Storno gig, the last night of their farewell show in Oxford back in 2017.) Naturally, I'm delighted to have another new single to repeat over and over in the shape of Bag In The Wind. Classic Stornoway, this. I love it. 

On the track, Brian shares: "people are a bit like bags, weighed down with worries and endless jobs, hoping for someone to take us by the handle and tip the gravity out of us... The song was born from just noodling around on the guitar, playing muted chords with all my fingertips just resting gently on the strings. I recorded two guitars and panned them fully in stereo which gave the close-up effect you hear in the verses. The vocal melody was partly inspired by the recording of the Agisanang Choir you can hear at the beginning and end of the song, singing 'Tschelane' in the Tswana language. I found the song on a favourite compilation of mine called 'African Renaissance Sampler, Music from the South African Broadcasting Corporation Archives."

You can pre-order/save the new record Dig The Mountain! here.

Get your live Stornoway fix with a festival or on their UK tour across October and November - dates and tickets here.

Follow Stornoway - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Thursday 1 June 2023

LISTEN: Matthew And The Atlas - 'Nineteen'

A number of my favourite artists have returned with new music lately - each one filling my heart and bringing me alllll of the joy. The prospect of live shows, browsing for vinyl, commutes spent devouring new albums and playing singles on repeat. Big yes. One of these artists is Matthew And The Atlas, who came back with the gorgeous Folding Unfolding back in March, a teaser of things to come. Luckily, we didn't have to wait *too* long - he's just shared new track Nineteen, alongside news of brand new album This Place We Live, due on October 13th. 

Excitingly, Matt is re-joining the Communion Records roster for this album - having been their first ever signing way back in 2010 with the release of his debut EP. Love me a bit of Communion history. (And anything to do with Communion, to be honest.) With previous record Morning Dancer having just celebrated its fourth birthday (they grow up so fast...!) I know I'm not the only one who will be eagerly awaiting this one! 

More on the record in due course (you've got a few months of me ramping up the obsession over its arrival... you lucky things) but for now, I'm loving Nineteen, and glad to have something other than On A Midnight Street, Pyres and Temple to listen to on repeat. (All are big ol tunes. Promise.)

On Nineteen, Matt shares: "I wrote 'Nineteen' during a period when I was making music but struggling to focus on a clear direction to take it in, and I began to feel like I was losing my way creatively. This led me to reminiscing on how I felt about music when I was younger. I used to run an off-licence in my early twenties and a friend of mine would always drop by. We would stand out at the front of the shop, talking about bands we loved from America, what it would be like to tour there and if we'd ever be able to do music full time. The shop was in a little Hampshire town, next to a railway line which seemed very far away from that world, but it all seemed possible still. 'Nineteen' is trying to recapture that feeling of excitement and possibility I had back then when we were kids." 

To celebrate the release of the record, Matthew And The Atlas heads on a mammoth 30-date tour across the UK and Europe in October and November. Dates and ticket info here

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