Wednesday 25 October 2023

WATCH: BE GOOD - 'Donuts'

Good news alert! Oxford (via Berlin, nowadays) sweethearts BE GOOD are back with an absolute banger. In the kinda, indie bedroom-pop sense of the word, of course. I've loved these guys an obscene amount since I lived in Oxford and Donuts is their first new track since last April. No pressure then... Luckily, it's a beaut. Obviously. It's late, and I'm struggling to formulate words to just tell you how much I love this band: I'll let the music speak for itself.

The good news keeps coming: if you like what you're hearing here (and why wouldn't you?!) you're in luck, as BE GOOD headline The Lexington in a few weeks, on 16th November. See you at the front? Tickets available here.

Follow BE GOOD - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Wednesday 18 October 2023

LISTEN: Chartreuse - 'Whippet'

"I'm grasping the neck of all of my friends singing I deserve the same as you do."

Chartreuse never disappoint, and I'm a little in love with this one. I should probably be heading to sleep, but I feel compelled to write as I've just listened to their new single a few times in a row and then fallen into a little Chartreuse shaped rabbit hole. Love them and love this one a lot! They recently announced their debut album Morning Ritual, which is due for release via Communion Music on 10th November - Whippet is the latest single to be taken from it. 

With Hattie on lead vocals on this one, she describes how the track was inspired by a conversation she had with a friend at the pub about life plans and 'settling down.' "She was asking me what my plans were, and I said I didn't know. A lot of our friends have serious careers, and we're in a band. I felt bitter about having to have the conversation, so the line "left like a whippet" is me wanting to leave and stop talking about it."

If you like what you hear - they're heading on tour across November: dates and tickets here. They've also just announced a few instore shows, tickets here.

Pre-order/pre-save Morning Ritual here.

Follow Chartreuse - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Sunday 15 October 2023

ALBUM NEWS: Johnny Flynn & Robert Macfarlane - 'The Moon Also Rises'

For a bunch of reasons, I've been pretty bad at blogging lately. My head is in a bit of a weird place at the moment and being back to full time at work is exhausting - it's hard to find the time around everything, to be honest. I think that I've also perhaps felt a little distant from music/the blog in general lately... I haven't been to many gigs since lockdown, and writing about artists I'd seen live when I was living in Oxford was how the blog really started to take off in the first place. 

Recently, however, I've had a whirlwind couple of weeks of gigs in London: first up, three Stornoway album release shows for their record Dig The Mountain! which came out last week, and just hit #7 in the album sales chart. Incredible! They played beautiful sets at Banquet Records and Rough Trade East and the launch event at WWT London Wetland Centre was such a special afternoon. Next, my forever favourites The Hoosiers playing one of the best shows I've seen them play at London's KOKO (enough said). And earlier this week, Christof van der Ven headlining in London for the first time in a few years and me getting to rub shoulders with blog favourites Bear's Den and The Staves. I'm eyeing up some more gigs soon... music is pretty great, huh? 

I'm feeling a teeny bit inspired by it all, so I'm making a tentative return to trying to ramble about music - and where better to start than the return of one of my absolute favourite musical pairings, Johnny Flynn and Robert Macfarlane. Separately, they're one of my favourite musicians and one of my favourite writers, and together they make art that I adore. Lost In The Cedar Wood is a favourite album and the accompanying performance was stunning, and I loved getting the chance to chat to Rob about it earlier this year at Cambridge Folk Festival, where he told me exactly what I wanted to hear, that they'd been working on more music, and it was imminent...

A few weeks ago, the pair officially announced that they'd made a new record. Hallelujah! The Moon Also Rises is releasing via the beautiful label Transgressive on 10th November, and it features the first single Uncanny Valley: 

In his announcement of the record, Rob wrote: 

It’s about darkness and light, winter & spring, burial and revelation, stories, weather and seasons, ghosts and paths and love and rivers, and other bits and bobs and pots and pans.

We sort of just kept on writing songs after finishing Lost In The Cedar Wood; some of them we found by walking tracks & rainy woods & streams together, & some by noodling in notebooks, & some in poems & stories, & almost all by laughing a lot.

Working & making with Johnny is just one of the great joys of my life. He’s a quiet, gentle, generous genius with a huge gift for making collaborative, creative connections between people. He’s also very funny. 

Charlie Andrew is on producing duties, and the album features much of Johnny's Sussex Wit band as well as the Sheldrakes, Cosmo and Merlin. You basically couldn't imagine a lovelier and more wholesome bunch of creatives to make music together, and the results are unsurprisingly gorgeous. Second single No Matter The Weight is out now. Almost frustratingly brilliant. 

Pre-order/pre-save the new record here.

Follow Johnny Flynn - Facebook | Twitter | Instagram.

Follow Robert MacfarlaneTwitter | Instagram.