Thursday, 31 October 2013

Sound Camp #2

Sound Camp this week is brought to you in the form of multiple single reviews from acts that are on Band Camp (and one that's a simple equation for why you should/will enjoy it.)
Sound Camp needn't be a rigidly structured feature in which we tell you exactly what to listen to and how it sounds and who dresses in what way, because at the end of the day, its your decision to get some new music; we're simply highlighting the platform.


Beach Skulls - http://beachskulls.bandcamp.com/
Eliot Humphreys talks about 'U Were Mine'
"a music video was usually the eyecatcher in the music industry when all the cool kiddies cared about was Kerrang!, MTV 2 and cheese nips; now that YouTube is where it's at, it can be a trial to wade through the sea of content, so sharing is the fair way of finding stuff." Beach Skulls' recent lift from their forming EP "A different kind of smooth", 'U Were Mine' throws a Japanese-Karaoke vibe over a lush and melodically climactic exercise in lounge surf and dream pop. Green screens; such possibility.


Julia Brown - www.cool.bandcamp.com Eliot Humphreys on 7"
Featuring ex-members of culty internet songwriter Sam Ray's (Ricky Eat Acid/Starry Cat/Heroin Party) former band Teen Suicide, Julia Brown's first vinyl release (out on Birdtapes) delivers a 3-track EP of lofi post-indie/emo gloom-pop, making waves in the blog-o-sphere. 'Library' rides through lusciously, its primary hook being a distinctive rival for any NME fodder. In a good way. Contrasting with the tender acoustic closer 'the way you want', a sad lullaby and nice way to close the release. I've been meaning to buy the release, but that shipping, man. Hey, it might be a cult classic in a few years, but, it morally pains me to part with that postage tax.




Courtyard - 
www.courtyard.bandcamp.com Elilot Humphreys on Demo 2013 in the current 'revival' or re-popularising (if you will) of emo has brought us to 2013 and a young band from London called Courtyard, embracing post-American Football style indie rock. The 3-track EP implements horns and atmospheric build ups, and gives a relaxing feel to the whole thing. The subtle and easing self-titled introduction, the melancholic and wailing horn almost emotionally providing replacement for the lack of vocals. the quality of the other two tracks is quiet astounding, despite how young the trio are, all under the age of 18. Their intelligent understanding of their medium is delicately distinct. Definitely a favourite for 2013 and one to watch for 2014.


Cofun - www.cofun.bandcamp.com
Eliot Humpreys on We Practice Our Songs.
Along with the re-cooling of emo, screamo has had a lot more attention placed on it also, provoking young angsty punx to spazz-out (the PC term) again with dissonan and storming intensity in front of rooms of sparse attendance. Hitting the shores of internet-Japan, young band Cofun have been creating no-rules, Iwrotehaikusaboutcannibalisminyouryearbook /jeromes dream style screamo, forging emo-violence blasts with heart wrenching guitar hooks and intense vocals. A band like this really do demonstrate the versatility of the genre and how all a band like this needs to create something cool (to the key of screamo) is the intention and passion behind it. And like with Courtyard, it's great to see in such a young age.

Squareheadhttp://squarehead.bandcamp.com/
RESPECT as looked at in depth by Rob Bramhill

Weezer + Titus Andronicus + Ireland = Squarehead




That's Sound Camp!
See you next time.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Sebastian Grainger – Yours To Discover


Believe it or not, there was once a time before The Ting Tings made two-piece bands a must for every major label roster. Now they’re ten a penny. Not all bad, but they are appearing in record numbers. The recent increase in popularity has probably got something to do with Japandroids ‘Album Of The Year 2012’ and the upsurge of positive exposure that soon followed.
However, back in the early 2000s, whilst Anastasia was explaining that she’s ‘Not That Kind Of Girl’ and we all wished Crazy Town had stayed in their cocoon, a Toronto-based noise punk band were starting to emerge that would ignite the upsurge of the duo.
Death From Above (the 1979 was added later) came and went faster than one of their furiously fuzzy riffs, and in the blink of an eye, with only one incredible full-length release, the band announced a hiatus. They didn’t resurfaced again until 2011.
Their eventual return was coupled with the exciting announcement of a new album; so how surprising it was to discover that Sebastian Grainger (the bands energetic drummer) was planning to release a record on his own. And more unexpectedly, it would be packed full of guilt free, fresh-faced pop songs.
Yours To Discover introduces a new element of musical expression for Grainger, and to be fair, it is most welcome. His seemingly effortless approach to producing an enticing pop song, without the need to lie to yourself about how much you enjoy it, proves to be very refreshing for the ears.
The hook-filled, 80s-esc powerhouse, ‘Going With You’ sounds delightfully glossy compared to Grainger’s past. But his distinctive grainy voice, coupled with a dishing of flirty, over-produced guitar solos and elegant pulsing synths forms a brilliant structure for the albums highpoint. There are moments that feel slightly disjointed, presenting a trivial unease (see ‘Waking Up Dead’), but those feeling are instantly overturned by tracks such as ‘The Streets Are Still A Mess’ and ‘Some People Are Ghosts Too Soon’. Which in comparison are constructed like the Shard, as appose to the Indian Commonwealth Games of 2010.
It’s clear that Grainger isn’t going to get a whiff of mainstream success from this album, despite its gratifying approach to the world of pop. But we are ok with that. Because what he has produced is something that is much more worth while for society; a pop record that holds firmly onto its own integrity, whilst providing an honest and genuinely enjoyable listening experience. Go forth and discover people. 
7/10

Rob Bramhill

Monday, 28 October 2013

The Sound Influx Playlist: 28.10.13


It's only ruddy week three! One day we'll look back on this with fondness, remembering the time we had a feature that lasted for three whole consecutive weeks. How we'll drink.
This week, we've had a host of curators of the playlist from across the site; great to see a team come together to collaborate on this project.
In this, the third installment of The Playlist; our three featured artists are MO, Findlay and Swearin'.

Let's get straight to it then!




Mø - XXX ft Diplo

This is, in classic mø style, a chopped -up track with layers of samples and beats and her pretty laid-back delivery. It also includes the almost obligatory trumpet samples which have come to make mø's sound so distinctive. Diplo also plays a part, although this is Mø's moment.
Holly Read-Challen

Swearin' - Dust in the Gold Sack

You'd be forgiven for confusing Swearin' with their tour-buddies Waxahatchee; mostly because lead singer Allison Crutchfield is Katie's twin sister. Where Waxahatchee deal in refined sounds though, Swearin', as their name may suggest, take it a bit more FIDLAR. There's a definite cross between this and many of Wichita's post-grunge releases from the last year and we can't quite get enough of it.
Braden Fletcher


Findlay - Greasy Love

Bursts of static and Natalie Findlay's sexy yelp usher in another cracking single from the young Manchester songwriter. "I know it feels good when he sucks on my blood" she shrieks as her backing band leap from popping bass to strident garage rock riffs that channel The Kills on a three day bender. It's short, sharp, sleazy and seductive. What more could you want?
Max Sefton

That's all for this playlist, enjoy.

Los Campesinos! - No Blues


They’ve changed their line-up multiple times and still headlined Shepherd’s Bush Empire and played festivals across the world. They’ve skirted with fame whilst existing exclusively outside of the top 40 and they’ve hidden from success whilst providing the soundtrack to not only a huge Budweiser commercial, but also the soundtracks to literally thousands of (mostly teenage) noughties’ lives.

So as Los Campesinos!’ fifth record No Blues fades in with For Flotsam then, its easy to think that this is it; maybe this is the moment that the occasionally crude but rarely cheap wordplay of Gareth Campesinos! mixed with the increasingly rich and full sound of the rest of the band, finally gets that break their output deserves. In just the opening track, depression, love, football, politics and maritime wreckage are all taken on and passed upon with ease before the natural lead single of the record What DeathLeaves Behind trounces through with the kind of definitive ‘recent’ LC! sound.

That sound however, has changed over time. It’s difficult to hear the band that created the chaos that ensued in parts of Hold On Now, Youngster in the refined build-up of Cemetery Gaits nor As Lucerne/The Low; although the slight touch of heartbroken pretence “There is no blues that can sound quite as heartfelt as mine” still remains.
Of course, when you mix this with the tongue-in-cheek footballing references of “Ex boyfriend, give us a song; ex boyfriend, boyfriend give us a song” in the album’s centrepiece Glue Me, and the name check of LC!’s repeated Doe Eyes in Avocado Baby, means that you remember the band they’ve been as well as the formidable force they’re becoming.

Gone is the filler that the predecessor to No Blues’ sound, Hello Sadness displayed in its second half (although, Let it Spill and the disappointingly un-M83 The Time Before The Last Time leave you somewhat bored before Selling Rope does little to appease). Gone is the identity crisis that made parts of Romance Is Boring feeling somewhat sonically schizophrenic, and gone is the somewhat juvenile charm that led the first years of their not-twee days.

It’ll hardly be their finest hour, if only because in individual tracks they’ve had multiple standout moments, but in terms of standing up on their many feet and declaring themselves a band to be reckoned with, Los Campesinos!’ No Blues exactly what it needs to be; them.



8/10

Braden Fletcher

Monday, 21 October 2013

The Sound Influx Playlist: 21.10.13



Week two has arrived! A feature with real longevity has finally made its way to the site. You just watch, this will be our most prolific yet.
This week of course brings ten new tracks for your listening pleasure and quite a lot for ours as well. We've been graced with huge variety of music in 2013 that we've not always been able to cover, so to put a few older tracks in here is a must. As such, you'll find tracks from Lewis Watson and Embers in here as well as tracks from Polly Scattergood's new album and our most recent Band to Look Out For, Caandides.

We also have three featured tracks in there as well, which this week come from Tycho, Blood Orange and KXNGS.



Tycho - Awake

Not ten hours after we launched the debut playlist last monday, LA act Tycho aka Scott Hansen delivered the newest piece of beauty to come out of his breed of dreamy electronic music. It's entitled Awake and it's to come from his third record; it's what ambience sounds like when you live in synth heaven.
Braden Fletcher


Blood Orange - Chamakay

Super-producer and musician/uber-hipster extraordinaire Dev Haynes is back with electronic solo project Blood Orange. Forget Barry White, this is what baby-making music will sound like in the future.
Rob Bramhill

KXNGS - I'm Looking For Love

There’s a wealth of great r&b infused pop around the UK at present, most notably popularised by AlunaGeorge, but perfected here by Kxngs. ‘I’m Looking For Love’ carries glorious, shimmering production and precision cut-up vocal samples creating a terrifically exciting pop hybrid. The almost trap-inspired bounce to the track is hypnotising and entirely necessary right now in the cold corporate world of pop.
Toby McCarron

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Band To Look Out For #25: Caandides


Heads up. The band are Caandides. They hail from Paris, but the sounds they make could come from Mars. Their music brings to mind the joyous, jubilant freak folk of early Animal Collective records, pinning down ethereal and unusual sounds with simple, sumptuous melodies. The lead singer’s voice has the soulful gravel of Guillemots’ Fyfe Dangerfield.

But that is where any useful comparisons with those bands, or any other bands, end. Their sound is communal, welcoming and cosy, but at the same time somehow alien and peculiar. Everyone sings, everyone swaps instruments (including a steel drum), like they were in a hippy commune campfire meet. Their music is filled with whoops, repetition and ecstatic noise. Dismantling pop music, stealing the bits they like and fashioning them into wonderfully weird shapes. They communicate a joy and an energy so bright and buoyant that at times it feels like the music is being barely stopped from flying away, spinning off to another world.

As yet unsigned, they already have several EPs on Spotify and on their Bandcamp page, and if you do one thing today, watch the video for their song ‘Before The Art’, a video which complements their wilfully weird aesthetic. Their other videos are equally inventive and bizarre. Give them a listen. If you’re a fan of dance-leaning left field indie bands Animal Collective, and Cults, we think you’ll fall in love with them.



Josh Barfoot

Saturday, 19 October 2013

No Age @ Jericho Tavern, Oxford




In keeping with the tradition of punk, experimental L.A. noise rock duo NO AGE are a band that that work best in small, sweaty places. So when I heard they were playing in a tiny room above a pub round the corner, I knew I had to see them. The fact that the pokey room was packed is testament to D.I.Y. band conduct, having cultivated an audience that seeks them out, wherever they might be and however little advertisement they put out. ( Oddly, there was no notice outside the pub whatsoever.) This mutual relationship is something that the band are more than aware of. ‘This is our first time playing to you in Oxford’ said drummer Dean Spunt, adding jokily, ‘and it’s also the first time you’ve seen us playing in Oxford.’

In true punk tradition, this event was people and place coming together seamlessly. Old setlists with the forgotten songs of anonymous bands were plastered on the walls. The people drinking in the pub downstairs had no idea what the almighty noise from above them was. And that’s just what it was. Noise at its most essential, vital, and pounding. Blocks of noise, vibration. This was music that you felt, made with a deliberation and feeling that overwhelmed sense. For those unacquainted with their music, the fundamental thing to understand is their dedication to dynamics. The attention they pay to ‘loud’ is turned equally to quiet and soft, often turning the tail ends of songs and the gaps in between songs into quasi-ambient soundscapes. Dean Spunt hacks at his drums, almost willing them to split and create new sounds. Randy Randall plays the guitar, but the sound that comes out of the guitar isn’t a tone. It isn’t melodic. It is purely rhythmic, instinctual. His vast sprawl of pedals are constantly nudged and twisted, morphing the sounds mid song, between songs, and after songs. In their musical utopia, virtuosity loses all importance.

All that mattered in that space was a transferral of air, a joined movement. Words were sung, but were smothered, defying intelligibility. Looking at its component parts, this music is cold, repetitive, jarring and incongruous. But, altogether, the friction between these elements creates a genuine warmth, and demanded the entire attention of the audience, if it needed to be demanded in the first place. Set standouts included a powerful rendition of their most visceral, catchy song ‘Fever Dreaming’ and cuts off their new album, An Object, but it didn’t really matter what songs they played at this point. They could’ve improvised the whole set and wouldn’t have lost any momentum. If you get the chance, we urge you to see them, but be prepared for A LOT of noise.

Josh Barfoot

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Sound Camp #1

See what we did there? We're called Sound Influx and we're doing a series of features on BandCamp. What's that? We're not witty and our wordplay leaves much to be desired? Oh, well, in that case; let's get right to it shall we?

We'll be bringing this feature to you once or twice a month depending on how prolific and how great the acts we hear on our Bandcamping adventures are. For now though, here's three to get started with!

Luke Godwin

You remember that show we were going to put on to celebrate our birthday that got cancelled due to a series of cock ups that were beyond our control? Well this chap was going to open. He's the godsend of the playlist maker, bridging acoustic music with rock'n'roll in brilliant fashion with his husky voice and super acoustic guitar skills and he's also one of the most hard working solo artists around playing shows across London and the rest of the UK on a regular basis. Fortunately for him, his debut album Brand New Lands is a brilliant culmination of all of that.

Whilst we'd happily talk about his journeyman songs of standard journeyman genre but exceptional lyricism and catchiness for another hundred words, it's much simpler for us to simply embed the album; plus you'll enjoy that much more.



Observer Drift 

Heralding from Minneapolis can have its benefits; the big city life whilst maintaining the ability to sleep has certainly done the trick for Observer Drift. His second album, Fjords is the ultimate in chill-wave/ dream-pop music. Taking from all of the beauty of his debut album Corridors last year; Fjords was released in May and in the months since its release has remained as beautiful as it was on first listen. What's more, now it's getting wintery, you'll want to stay in a bit more right? We can testify that it sounds just as good with a mug of hot chocolate as it did whilst recovering from Margarita's.



Trent Everywhere 

Name us a producer that can sample Brand New and Sigur Ros and still make both feel like their own? Viewers, we present to you Trent Everywhere.
His debut-EP-proper Summer Dreams (Summer Nights Remastered) came out at the beginning of the year and is full of wonderful sounding tracks produced to the highest quality. It's chilled and intense at the same time and features some of the most interesting beats we've heard in a while. Definitely give Summer Dreams a download (it's free after all) and search on Soundcloud for In The Ocean (here.)




So there you have it. Week one of our Bandcamp discoveries.
We'll have more to you very soon, providing music continues to be amazing and BandCamp continues to host it.

Braden Fletcher

Monday, 14 October 2013

The Sound Influx Playlist: 14.10.13



Whilst we endeavour to bring you music to listen to inside our reviews and general posting activity; there's obstacles everywhere as to what we can bring you and how. Granted, most of those obstacles revolve around our quantity of content, but when it came to creating a playlist for you we had a few problems at root level.
What platform do we use? How many tracks do we include? How popular can a band be before we're definitely playing tracks you're already very familiar with? How old can a track be before we can't put it in the playlist? Most importantly though, how do we present it to you?

In creating this 10-track Soundcloud Playlist on a weekly basis, we hope to have laid as many of those questions to rest as is possible. It's concise, available on mobile, bandwidth friendly and gives us the opportunity to keep it all pretty fresh.
We've also got three featured tracks each week to give you a little insight into our collective minds. We don't have a Sound Influx HQ, we don't have an office, never-mind an office stereo, but what we lack in hardwood flooring we make up for in collective knowledge across the web.
So, without further ado, here's the first Sound Influx Playlist.




Featured Tracks

Hoodlem - Firing Line

This mysterious Melbourne-based electronic pop act caused a wave of interest with their debut track, 'Through'. This second release however shows off a much more dynamic and interesting side to their songwriting that is equally as impressive.
Rob Bramhill

Jungle - The Heat

Gaining a steady traction of hype from some well chosen viral friendly youtube videos (the breakdancing child showcased in the 'platoon' video is a highlight) UK duo Jungle look set to make quite a splash. Signed to Chess Club Records, original home to pop prospects Chvrches and MO, 'This Heat' showcases some serious groove and subtle dance undertones that deserve to reach a broader dance-floor audience.
Toby McCarron

Katie Malco - September

With her newest EP, Tearing Ventricles; Alcopop's finest solo artist Katie Malco has created a live, piano driven selection of tracks that are guaranteed to pull on your heartstrings. September is possibly the most beautiful of the lot. It can often be difficult justifying listening to music on the sad-side, but there's almost never a need to justify spending some time listening to Katie Malco. She'd be as big as the Ben Howard's and Laura Marling's of the world if she recorded a proper record.
Braden Fletcher

Friday, 11 October 2013

Acts to Look Out For: #19-24.


We've neglected our Bands/Acts to Look Out For section for quite some time now; which is strange considering how much music our editorial consumes recently. By way of an apology for neglecting our primary function as a new music site, Braden's decided to do a bumper post of four, stretching from acoustic acts through to some solid pop via post-rock and indie.

#19: KHUSHI

We saw Khushi for the first time at the Great Escape back in May after a tip off from Faded Glamour in March. Since then, singer songwriter Kalim Patel and his band have finally gotten around to releasing their/his debut single Magpie. It's out on a gorgeous clear 7" vinyl from the Laissez Faire Record Club and should see the Londoner rise up billings across the country very soon.

If you're a fan of anything from The National through to Ben Howard, you'll find KHUSI to be one of the most enjoyable new acts this year.
Facebook



#20: Dan Croll

First emerging almost a year ago now, Dan Croll's Vampire Weekend come Lucy Rose sound has earnt him a host of high profile support slots (Stornoway, Bastille, Imagine Dragons) as well as a Radio One Live Lounge session and an appearance on the new FIFA 14.

The Liverpudlian, backed with his own band has an array of singles now, all sounding somewhat different from one another; which we can only assume is going to lead to quite the debut album if he can pin it all down. This busy year sees him embark on a few more headline shows in the UK before he creates that all important record though, so whilst we can still call him new, we thought it best to feature the very talnted Dan Croll. Hear his new single (and our favourite to date), Home below.
Facebook



#21: Nordic Giants


We've seen Nordic Giants a few times now so you may have noticed them crop up every now and then, but it's been 18 months since they first entered our ears and they've created a host of new material since then including their new single, Violent Lights (below) which may well be their most beautiful yet.

Fans of Sigur Ros and all things of similar beauty will find Nordic Giants to be possibly the most exciting new post-rock act coming through the ranks at the moment. The Brighton duo like to shroud themselves in mystery as well as clad themselves in a selection of rather flamboyant feathered outfits to perform live, and that only adds to their already hugely visual stage setup. Their selection of videos project onto screens around them and create films to which their music triumphantly and often darkly accompanies. Few bands breaking through right now are as interesting as the Giants.
Facebook // New EP Bandcamp



#22: 1984

The Subways were accused of having their thunder stolen by Blood Red Shoes after taking too long a break between records to create their third; but in terms of keeping the scene of '07 alive, BRS may have shot themselves in the foot as well as taking the British glass from Franz Ferdinand's latest record and The Sunshine Underground's more listenable tracks by producing the 1984's latest record Influenza. Whilst on record, they sound not too dissimilar to their predecessors; live they have the shy persona of their fellow Frenchmen Phoenix but mixed with the power that rides through Alex Kapranos and Damon Albarn. They've most definitely been through the British school of what makes a grit rock band, but they've come out without the pretence or bravado so unbearable. Laura Mary Carter and Steve Ansell, give yourselves a pat on the back.
Facebook // New Album Bandcamp





#23. The IC1s



When you think about bands like Editors and The Enemy, you often get lost in references to the 90's and end up in a crowd surrounded by a bunch of self professed 'LADS' who'll spill their £4.50 pint on you and say something about their missus being somewhere infront of you as they push past. They'll later say something about 'banter' and make you wonder why you bothered listening to this music.
Rarely however, do bands come around that sound like this whilst shrugging off the stereotypes with a shed-load of passion and heart.
The persona of a Gallagher is still there, but with the kind of love for music that Noel showed, not the swagshite of Liam. They've even got the backing of Libertine's drummer Gary Powell.
Facebook



#24. Swiss Lips

Oh yes, we've finally got round to formally introducing these wonderful Mancunian gentlemen. It's looking like they're going to finally kick off in the coming few months as they'll be releasing an actual EP entitled YEAH. What we've already learnt about the band is that they're one of the most exciting new pop acts coming through the ranks, hot on the tails of tour buddies Bastille and friends with the likes of The Horrors. We know that Amazing Radio had their debut single U Got The Power at #1 in their charts and we know that they're capable of creating both a month long party on Brick Lane as well as a video game for another single.
Swiss Lips, in their own words are pop-sorcerors that make music to dance to; and we're inclined to agree. 
Facebook


So there you have it! Six acts of varying new-ness to add to your listening pile. Hopefully you made it through the whole thing and have a variety of new music to enjoy.
We'll be launching our New Music Playlist next week and will have a new Bandcamp feature coming up soon as well. New acts, prepare to get featured, providing you're smashing!

Braden Fletcher


Thursday, 10 October 2013

Sound InPhotos: Yearbook, I Saved Latin and Luke Godwin @ CATCH


The mighty Yearbook took on Shoreditch's CATCH bar in north east London last week with support from I Saved Latin and Luke Gowdin. Promoting their new single I Could Be Anyone (below), they were fresb, tight and loud in true rock'n'roll style. Having supported a host of incredible acts over the last year including Scottish rockers The Xcerts, Yearbook are finally ready to step into the limelight themselves and that time can't come soon enough.
Here's the photoset, taken by Braden




Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Problem With... HAIM

Now this column's taken a bit of a break, but let's be honest. so has the site. We've had a bit of a reshuffle in terms of editorial and we're optimistic about how this is going to affect the site and the quality of content you'll be receiving from us.
Anyway, you won't have failed to notice the rise of HAIM recently; so Braden questioned the problem with them.



Regardless of whether you consider a band to be the real deal, a genuine article or a label constructed act; HAIM are the new family band on the block. The Fleetwood Mac comparisons are too simple whereas the Osmond’s created music just a bit too on the cheesy side to be these three sisters.
In the same month as CHVRCHES, the 1975 and London Grammar released their debut records, HAIM follow on the wave of new acts releasing their ‘hyped first’ and proved to be one of the only acts capable of maintaining the wave of adoration though its release. The1975 were accused of being too shiny, London Grammar featured just a bit too much fat surrounding the meaty singles on the record and CHVRCHES’ corner of niche proved to be a Marmite of a record which mostly hung on whether you found tracks that didn’t have Lauren singing on them to be as entertaining as the likes of the insanely catchy Gun and The Mother We Share.

Haim though, they stuck to the formula; perhaps too tightly. Putting 2/3 of the tracks from their debut EP felt a lot on the lazy side whilst the little leaks of music in between in the form of singles Falling, Don’t Save Me and The Wire and in the form of Spotify/iTunes sessions etc  Honey & I and even Let Me Go feel somewhat familiar. That left almost none of the remaining tracks to be a surprise. Days Are Gone was always going to be a #1 album because we, the audience already knew what it sounded like. It doesn’t diminish the quality of the record, but it sure as heck takes away the entertainment of putting on an album and hearing a host of tracks for the first time. In fact, just four of the eleven were new to many upon first play and whilst I may be an old romantic fart on the topic; that took away some of the romance. That said, the remaining four tracks were co-written by Simian’s James Ford, Jessie Ware and Ariel Rechtshaid of Usher, Vampire Weekend and Major Lazer production fame so the only surprise really is that these are possibly the worst tracks on the record.


Days Are Gone then is an Up To Now. A collection of tracks that Haim knew would be successful based on their history as an act. I mean, they had relative success as Valli Girls and the Forever EP was insanely popular. The family band have the formula for success, and whilst album two must seem like quite a while away considering how much they’ll tour Days Are Gone, at least they didn’t have to do much writing to complete this record.


Braden Fletcher

Sound InPhotos: The Front Bottoms @ Dingwalls


Incase you haven't already heard, allow us to update you. The Front Bottoms are one of the most incredible bands still channelling punk rock and roll through semi acoustic songs about heartbreak and home, on the planet.

So when they decided to tour the UK and play Camden's sweaty Dingwalls venue; the place sold out. They open with a series of singles (both current and forthcoming) from their second record Talon of the Hawk and play through a hugely energetic set to a crowd that more than welcomes them in; even if frontman Brian Sella is wearing a Millwall shirt (blame his parents, and their parents, apparently.)
Highlights come in the form of TotH opener Au Revoir (Adios), and lead single and set-closer Twin Sized Mattress. Never before outside a rock/hardcore show have we seen such dedication from fans screaming lyrics back at an artist.
Of course the highlights of their debut record, Maps and Flashlight see the most singalongs with huge amounts of passion. For a group of people who've probably not travelled as much as Sella, nor experienced East Coast America; the amount they relate to his heartache on the topics is astounding.
We sent Braden along to the show with a camera and we suppose we should show you the results?

NB.
This show was as good as any festival set or gig I've been to in 2013 so far, and I go to quite a few.
Braden 





Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Los Campesinos! - Avocado, Baby



Los Campesinos!; everyone's favourite not so twee indie-pop-rock band have just released their new track, Avocado, Baby. It features the kind of catchy, dark and intelligent lyricism we've come to expect from the Cardiff formed band;
"Oh it won’t get better, that doesn’t mean it’s gonna get any worse. You’re final draft’a life-long love letter, signed to the man who will be driving your hearse.
As well as an 80's style shout-along that you'd expect to come in a version of LC! Footloose. It's hard to say wether this is going to prove to be a good thing, but it's pretty likely that in a live scenario, people shouting "A heart of stone, rind so tough it’s crazy, that’s why they call me the avocado, baby" is going to be pretty damn fun.
Avocado, Baby is taken from Los Camp's fifth record NO BLUES which is out later this year.



Braden Fletcher