Intertwine – We Are Fools For Singing This Song

“We Are Fools For Singing This Song”, released on June 26th, is the debut single from Intertwine, the project of Norwegian artist and architect Tarjei Zakarias Ekelund. It is, as Ekelund explains, “an anxious song about distance -the kind of distance that slowly tears a relationship to pieces”. On this occasion the knife that tears is subtle; Ekelund’s sweet vocals and the soft cries, together with the softly undulating synths and rhythmic bass, provide such warm comfort that you could be forgiven for missing the song’s crushing message.

“We Are Fools For Singing This Song” is the first release from Intertwine’s debut album Goraikoo. The name derives from a Japanese term meaning “coming of light”, specifically the light of the sunrise over Mount Fuji that would be your reward after a night climb. Goraikoo will be released on November 6th, via Brilliance Records.

Official
Facebook

Beach Baby – U R

Some bands start off so strong that their early B-sides are later treated with reverence among fans. Perhaps with one eye on this, with “U R” Beach Baby have taken it one step further with the release of a double A-side that is outstanding whichever way you look at or listen to it. With “No Mind No Money” on the other side, “U R” is another example of the sinisterly mellow Beach Baby style – on the one hand bouncy, full of delicate guitar lines and chimes, on the other threatening to subside at any moment into darkness. Here, only the backing ‘woo-ooh’s work to keep U R from falling, but tied with slender strings as it is, off it floats…

Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Kins – Little Dancer

Another track taken from Kins’ debut EP, Cyclical, “Little Dancer” is an eight and a half-minute epic. Part menacing rumble, part falsetto, it builds and drops before building again to a savage conclusion of swirls and scrapes. Not so much a song as a sensory experience, “Little Dancer” is the last track on the EP, closing it out in impressive style.

Kins are: Thomas Savage (lead vocals & guitar), Rob Walters (bass), Alex Crosby (guitar & keyboards) & Alex Knight (drums)

Cyclical will be released digitally via East City Records on 6th July.

Kins play the following headline live dates this July:

Monday 6th July – Door Store, Brighton
Tuesday 7th July – Servants Jazz Quarters, London

Facebook
Twitter

The Good Life – The Troubadour’s Green Room

August 25th: The Good Life have released a beautiful animated video for The Troubadour’s Green Room, which you can watch right here!

All aboard for jangly, echoey guitar work and innately melancholy vocals! If you like Real Estate and The Go-Betweens (and a hearty congratulations if you do) then you should find much to love in “The Troubadour’s Green Room”, the latest track to be released from Everybody’s Coming Down, the forthcoming fifth album from The Good Life, and the first since Help Wanted Nights in 2007.

The Good Life are Tim Kasher, Stefanie Drootin-Senseney, Ryan Fox, and Roger L. Lewis. Everybody’s Coming Down is out on August 14, 2015 via Saddle Creek. You can pre-order the album HERE.

AUG. 15 OMAHA, NE MAHA MUSIC FESTIVAL
AUG. 17 SIOUX FALLS, SD ICON*
AUG. 18 ST. PAUL, MN TURF CLUB*
AUG. 19 CHICAGO, IL LINCOLN HALL*
AUG. 20 FERNDALE, MI LOVING TOUCH*
AUG. 21 CLEVELAND, OH GROG SHOP*
AUG. 22 WASHINGTON, DC ROCK & ROLL HOTEL*
AUG. 23 PHILADELPHIA, PA BOOT & SADDLE* (SOLD-OUT)
AUG. 25 HAMDEN, CT THE BALLROOM @ THE OUTER SPACE*
AUG. 26 BOSTON, MA THE SINCLAIR*
AUG. 27 NEW YORK, NY BOWERY BALLROOM*
AUG. 28 RICHMOND, VA STRANGE MATTER*
AUG. 29 CARRBORO, NC CAT’S CRADLE – BACK ROOM*
AUG. 30 ATLANTA, GA THE EARL*
SEPT. 1 ORLANDO, FL THE SOCIAL*
SEPT. 2 TALLAHASSEE, FL CLUB DOWNUNDER*
SEPT. 4 NASHVILLE, TN HIGH WATT*
SEPT. 5 ST. LOUIS, MO OFF BROADWAY*
SEPT. 6 IOWA CITY, IA GABES*
*Big Harp supports

Official
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Bang Gang – My Special One

“My Special One” is the new single from Iceland’s Bang Gang, the recording project of composer Bardi Johannsson. Directed by photographer and film-maker Taki Bibelas, the song’s video soaks “My Special One”‘s lush sound in the warming sun, nostalgia-inducing lens flare and super-8; the visuals combine with the melody and piano and orchestral accompaniment to produce a satisfying whole.

Official
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

The Separators – Shooting Star

Based in Lancaster PA, The Separators formed (this is fairly rock n’ roll right here) when Alex Abel met Colin Deery in maths class about three years ago. Alex’s younger brother Matt was drafted in on drums and the trio started playing and performing together. Starting out playing Led Zeppelin and Van Helan tracks, they then worked on their own material, influenced by bands like The Strokes, The Arctic Monkeys and The Cure.

“Shooting Star” is taken from their debut EP, Sixes & Sevens. The Separators may be young (18, 19 and 20) but there’s an impressive assurance to their sound, and the way they’re not afraid to let the song develop through different phases, keeping the hooks memorable but throwing in a few subtle variations. On “Shooting Star” they capture the youthful enthusiasm and exuberance of the early post-punk and bedroom indie scenes and polish it up a bit for the twenty-first century.

Official
Facebook
Twitter

New Turin Brakes Album – Interview with Olly Knights

Turin Brakes went back into the studio earlier this year which caused much excitement for us fans as it meant that hopefully a new album was in production.  They teased us mercilessly on Twitter by uploading Vines of what they were up to and have pretty much kept us in suspense ever since.

Their last album We Were Here was released in late 2013 to good reviews and was their sixth studio outing.  Signed to Cooking Vinyl, the album was recorded at Rockfield Studios and engineered and mixed by Ali Staton.  One of their Twitter posts showed that they had returned once more to Rockfield, so clearly something was afoot.

Deciding to use this as an opportunity to find out more about what was happening, I spoke to Olly Knights and asked him if he would answer some questions about the possible new album.  He was kind enough to do so, and he also updated me on the current situation with the production.

Turin Brakes 1Firstly, the good news.  There is a new album in the pipeline!  But secondly, the bad news is that it’s not ready for release yet and it probably won’t be until next year.  I’m sure other fans like myself were hoping that some new material would be available this year, but it seems we will have to wait just a bit longer.  I wouldn’t be too disappointed though as it just means that we have a lot to look forward to in 2016, and I for one am still very excited.

As the interview I did with Olly is mainly around the new album, I have decided that I won’t be posting it in full until the album is due for release.  See, something else for you to look forward to!  I am, however going to give you a little pre-empt of the full interview by posting six choice questions and answers now.  Hopefully this will whet your appetite and keep you intrigued and excited about what’s to come.


So, how did it feel to be back in the studio and at Rockfield of all places?

It was actually great, we worried it would feel too similar to the “We Were Here” sessions, but as always it took on its own identity as did the music.

Has the creation of the new album been a labour of love or did you find it an easy task?

We’ve done more pre-recording work than ever this time. We spent about three months in my little garden studio playing and playing and playing all the new ideas until we knew what really felt great to play together, so important! Once we de-camped to Rockfield we had barely enough time to get through all the epic material, but somehow we did it by the skin of our teeth.  Ali Staton our co-producer/engineer virtually gave up sleeping to get it done!

What can we expect this time as you have something of a reputation as a band that sounds different on every record?  It this likely to be a return to your folk roots or a side step into pastures new?

I’d say it’s more of a pastures new type of record, but with all the experience of what happens when we leave our comfort zone thrown in.  It’s unmistakably TB, but with some new twists and turns both sonically but also deep down in the roots of the songwriting.  We wanted to go straight for the jugular on many songs, so working out what the real point the song was trying to make was either lyrically or musically and then making damn sure it makes it!

What are your hopes for this album?

I’d love to see the music reach a wider audience again, it’s been a while. I’m not embarrassed about the idea of making music that resonates with lots of people, just as long as it’s bloody great…. It’s nice to feel your building something rather than just cruising I guess.

From a solo point of view, do you have any plans to write and record a second album?

I do, but it keeps not happening.  We were quite busy co-writing even during “down time”, but at some point new ideas will saturate my being and I will have to get them out before they evaporate, because they do.

And finally, just out of interest, what other artists are you enjoying listening to at the moment?  Any recommendations?

I have a stack of vinyl from Laura Marling, Jessica Pratt, The Staves, burning a hole in my conscious at the moment.  It’s safe to say my leaning towards strong female artists hasn’t lost its drive… Still looking for the next Joni Mitchell I guess.

And that’s it.  But only for now!  Hopefully this has given a little bit of insight into what we can expect with the upcoming new album.  The full interview will be posted in due course when we hear more on the release date.  So stay tuned as trust me, there is still a lot more to come.

Why We Run – Ignites

“Ignites” is a second track from Sydney band Why We Run. Following their impressive debut “Comfortable Lie”, with its inventive camera obscura video, and despite its title, “Ignites” lives in a soothing dream-world that it shares with that debut. Nothing here is too hurried; every instrument finds its own musical space – apart from, but tessellating with, every other. The lyrics speak of another world, the melody takes you there.

I dreamed of a land with no sound
and the shimmer of the night reflected in your eyes

“Ignites” was released on 22nd June.

Twitter
Facebook

Radiohead – The Bends

I’ve read quite a lot of articles recently as The Bends by Radiohead is 20 years old this year.  It has always been an album that I’ve loved and it was the one that got me into listening to them as a band in the first place.  I didn’t think too much about it (apart from how old it made me feel), but a friend of mine sent me a message this week which said the following:

Just listening to 6 music breakfast show and Sean played The Bends and said it was 20 years old!!!  Made me think of you as it was lovely you who introduced me to Radiohead back in the old days and introduced my 20 year relationship with them.  Thank you!  The mantle has been passed onto my daughter who is probably the same age you were when you lent me that CD!

I thought it was such a lovely thing to hear, but more so I was amazed that I had any musical influence all that time ago!  I would’ve been around 18 then so still learning what my own taste was, let alone trying to share it with other people.  It clearly worked though so I guess even back then I must have had an inkling as to what was good.  Or else I was just a lot better at forcing someone to listen to something!

Anyway, I decided to use this as an opportunity to revisit The Bends and write about it as a rediscovered album.  A few facts to start with then.  It was released in March 1995 and was Radiohead’s second studio album.  It was a shift in sound from their debut Pablo Honey, which was a bit more grunge – I guess due to the time that it came out (1993).  The Bends features more multi-layering and has an overall bigger, experimental feel to it with heavier guitar and sprawling instrumentals.

Radiohead - My Iron Lung

Five singles were released from the album starting with “My Iron Lung” as an EP in October 1994 followed by “High and Dry” as an A Side with “Planet Telex” as the B side in February 1995.  “Fake Plastic Trees” followed in May 1995, with the mighty “Just” appearing in August that year.  Finally “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” which is also the last track on the album made it as the final single release in January 1996.  This track made it into the charts and became the bands’ first top five UK hit.

I can remember when “Just” was released as it has the most amazing, if not slightly strange video with it.  You know the one.  Where the man is lying on the street and refuses to move or tell people why he’s actually lying there.  It brought a lot of conversation with it as people were trying to work out what the man says at the very end of the video as they took the subtitles off and left it to your own interpretation.  This was totally the point and I don’t think we’re actually meant to know.  Great video though and a brilliant song.

The album regularly appears in various charts or polls as one of the all-time best albums ever both by critics and listeners and I can see why.  It’s an album that you need to repeatedly listen to as I think you gain something each time that you may have missed previously.  I remember reading some comments earlier this year where you were asked to name your favourite song from the album as part of a poll.  I struggled with this and actually commented that I don’t think there is a bad track on this album at all.  It’s very rare that you find an album where every single song is worthy of a listen and you don’t skip over any, and with The Bends you listen to it from start to finish.

Radiohead - Planet TelexThis album was the one that introduced the band to a lot of people (myself included) as in the era of Britpop it was something completely different to the other music we were hearing at the time.  There was a lot of talk about Thom York’s lyrics being a sure sign of his alleged depression which I think was pretty unfounded.  His writing turned from being overtly personal to more social/global with this album and this continues from then on with the themes in their later work.

Their follow up album OK Computer was more successful reaching number one in the UK charts whereas The Bends only made it to number four.  It did however, stay in the charts for an incredible 203 weeks while OK Computer managed just 100.  When I talk to people about the band most people rate OK Computer as their favourite album, possibly because of the direction they took with it or maybe because the themes they explored with it, I’m not sure.

Radiohead - OK Computer

For me, The Bends is an album which sits as one of my all-time favourites and I have many of the tracks on my iPod and in playlists.  It brought the band to my attention and allowed me to experience something new in terms of music, song-writing and meaning.  I have remained a fan of the band, although I don’t own their very recent albums I must confess, but I might delve into that at some point in the future.  I was lucky enough to see them live in 1997 (with my friend who sent me the message above and started me writing this piece) and I recall that it was a great gig for many reasons.  The fact that they were supported by Teenage Fanclub was wonderful for me as they are another band I love, but it was a shared experience between friends and something we would not have had if I hadn’t waved a CD at her over 20 years ago.  A wonderful memory and all thanks to this fabulous album.

So I guess I should finish by telling you why you should listen to this record then.  Actually, I think the question should probably be why wouldn’t you listen to it?

Once a Tree – Take Me

Smooth, sexy, sultry, a sound flows into another, a chord collides with the next, and a wall of bass rolls away, and is crashed over by a wave of synths.

I fall asleep at night
counting the teardrops by my side
thinking about you

A brief respite, then a second wave, bigger than the last. Such bittersweet pain…

“Take Me” is, in a nutshell, high class electro-R&B.

Once a Tree are Husband and wife duo Jayli Wolf (singer) and Hayden John Wolf (producer and husband), who grew up on the rural West Coast of Canada, some way from their current Toronto home. “Take Me” is their second release from their Thousand Lives EP, out on July 10th.

Official
Facebook
Twitter

Philco Fiction – June 17

Don’t judge a book by its cover, as the saying goes. Nonsense, of course, but not the point. Do, however, always listen to Norwegian duos dressed in white, holding a cat.

“This is not the summer of 1992”, sings Turid Alida on “June 17”, the new single by Philco Fiction, wishing for days gone by, days of better weather, better raves, deep house and good times. And while we would caution against romanticising the past, it’s impossible not to get swept up in the moment:

To me, it’s bright, big and beautiful. The music, the preachers, the wars, the vibrations, the illusions, the summers were different. I try to remember one single rainy day from my childhood, but I just can’t. Summer never cheated on the 90s, I promise. Like I would ever lie about such things as the weather.

I’m sure it must have rained at some point in the ’90s, even if only on Fran Healy, Shirley Manson and unjust fellows everywhere. Again, not the point.

The real point here is that “June 17” is a magnificent slow-burning electropop song – lazy verses interrupted by brief military drum rolls, choruses punctuated by stabs of brass, in its entirety a slowly melting ice-cube under a cocktail umbrella on a freshly sprinklered lawn.

Facebook
Twitter

Flyte – Closer Together

After six months holed up in their rehearsal space and recording studio, Flyte are back with a first taste of their forthcoming debut album. “Closer Together” showcases Flyte’s unerring sense of sparkly indie-pop, this time with added bite. “Maybe moments apart keep us closer together”, sings Will Taylor over an easy bass and funk-pop guitar, and at this point they’re pinging balloons off their quiffs on Top of the Pops. As “Closer Together” ramps up they show that maybe they picked up a trick or two during their time on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club, as bubbling electronica gives way to a euphoric guitar outro,

The video for “Closer Together” documents a life in a day. As the band themselves explain:

We wanted to make a portrait of the band living out a normal day. So our friend Katie Craik came round early one morning with a sack of disposable cameras and just snapped away until late that night. Will and Katie then cut the photographs to the music and there it was! A day in the life of Flyte. Special thanks to Kyra Wood and Johnny Seymour.

“Closer Together” is out on July 31st, on Island Records.

BURYFields Festival, Chesham 20th June
Nibley Festival, Gloucestershire 4th July
Camden Lock Festival, London 10th July
Lubstock Festival, Leicestershire 17th July
Curious Arts Festival, Lymington 18th July
Secret Garden Party, Abbots Ripton 24th July
Kendal Calling Festival, Penrith 31st July
Victorious Festival, Portsmouth 29th Aug

Official
Facebook
Twitter