This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #20

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show was a recap of the year and featured tracks from nearly all of the Vigils since the start of the show.

New music this week came from The Merks and Josh Robins. Josh will hopefully be dropping into the studio in the New Year so stay tuned for more info on that shortly. You can check out the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

Possibly the most exciting thing that happened on the show was the very first public airing of a new version of “Do They Know It’s Christmas” by a collective known as The Cinnamon Swirls. The group featured various listeners of the show all taking a line each and giving it their own spin. I can’t really describe it to you, but my initial response was “bloody nora”. And I’m one of the people singing on it! You’ll have to experience it for yourself, which you can at the end of the mixcloud linked above.

There was a special “Best Off a Best Off a Best Of” with Everything Indie Over 40) this week where the folks online were asked to choose a song out of all the Best Of songs that had previously been chosen. The winning song was “Shine On” by The House Of Love.

And now onto this week’s Vigil. It’s not only the final Vigil of 2015, but it’s also the last Vigil we’re doing. As Adam was the person who did the very first one back in August, we thought it was fitting that I actually did the last one myself. So, here’s a bit about me:

As well as being the person who does the weekly write up after each show I’m also the one doing the tweeting on the Indie Vigil Twitter account. It did take some folks a while to work this out (mentioning no names, Mark), but I can confirm, yes it is actually me.

I am originally from London, but now live in Nottingham and have been here for well over 10 years. Music is a massive part of my life and has been for a long time and I consider myself very lucky to be able to not only write about it, but also basically interact online with the artists I love in my record collection!

So, what did I pick? Let’s find out:

Something Old

Sugar – “If I Can’t Change Your Mind”

Back in around 1997 I was given a mixtape of indie type tracks by a bloke at work. He was a really good mate and we went to gigs together and it was him who basically gave me a bit of an education about music. This was the stand-out track for me on the tape and I fell in love with it as soon as I heard it. It still makes me smile now and I always enjoy listening to it as it’s not only a great song, but it also reminds me of him.

Something Borrowed

Mark Morriss – “Souvenir”

The Bluetones are an incredibly important band to me as I have been with them since the very beginning 20 years ago.  I’m sure most people expected me to choose one of their songs as my something old so I didn’t want to disappoint! I asked Mark himself what track I should play from his latest album The Taste of Mark Morriss and this was his suggestion. The album is a series of cover versions that have shaped his career in music and the direction it’s taken. I think this track showcases just how he can take a classic song and give it a little bit of Morriss magic to make it his own. Not that I’m biased or anything of course…

Something New

Tame Impala – “The Moment”

This was the most difficult track for me to pick. I nearly went with a song by Thee Cee Cees from their album Solution Songs which was released this year, but I couldn’t decide on which one to pick. I then almost chose a new song by Turin Brakes from their forthcoming new album Lost Property, but again I just couldn’t decide what to play. In the end I’ve plumped for a song from my top album of 2015: ‘Currents‘ by Australian band Tame Impala. It’s probably not really what would be considered indie, but I have not stopped playing the album since I got it and think its fab.

So that’s it for the Indie Vigil. I want to take this opportunity to thank all the people that have taken part over the last few months, it’s been my pleasure to tell all of your stories. There will no doubt be a new feature in the New Year so keep an eye on the Twitter and Facebook accounts to see what Adam has in store for you all.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.  See you in 2016!

RRP’s Favourite Albums of 2015

First, a confession: 2015 has been a strange and vaguely disconnected year. It began in Hungary, shifted back to England, and ended in the realisation that I didn’t have much of a clue about which new albums I’d actually managed to listen to since January. A severe income shortage resulted in missing out on (or not yet having enough time to quite figure out how I felt about) a host of releases that might otherwise have found their way into this final run-down. Some of those you might find pictured above, but not written about below.

That said, some elements of this list I knew all along: my #1 album, for example. It’s not an uplifting album, and in a personally not altogether uplifting year perhaps not an obvious choice of companion, but I struggle to think of another album that’s captivated and moved me in quite the same way in all my years of searching.

As for the rest? Well, you should give them all a go, but for the most part don’t get too hung up on the placement, relative or absolute. I’m sure you can’t believe I like A more than B, but you can be just as sure that to me this is not a very interesting observation: all these albums are wonderful in their own way. In my opinion, yes, but in my heart also, which is where this selection comes from. Please treat it kindly.

25 Marika Hackman – We Slept At Last

Released and listened to back in the first months of the year, We Slept At Last almost feels like something from a different lifetime altogether. Add to that its ghostly, ethereal atmosphere, symbolism, tragic heroines, tragic happenings, and you have a very unsettling beast, but one that you nonetheless can’t resist getting just close enough to in the hope of feeling the sweet pain of a glancing blow.

24 Static in Verona – Odd Anthem

Given that I managed to review less than a handful of albums in the whole of 2015, and this was one of them, and given how blown away I was at the time, there should be no surprise to see Odd Anthem pop up here. Your first thought should be: how have I not heard this before? Your second thought should be: how fortunate am I to live in an age where artists will let you download this sort of anthemic music for free? Your third thought should be: actually, if I like it, maybe I should pay for it, so Rob Merz feels like making another one.

23 The Leisure Society – The Fine Art of Hanging On

In a world of music critics falling over themselves to say something impressive about important music, is it a dereliction of my duty as a writer to retreat, once again, to familiar ground? Or is it enough that I find Nick Hemming’s way of combining a tune with its lyric so beguiling and exquisite that The Fine Art of Hanging On feels, to me at least, in my comfortable, white middle class western European environs, surrounded by wildlife and calm (as long as the neighbours have gone out), just as worthwhile, albeit for very different reasons.

Consider the birds…

22 Jemima Surrender – The Uninhabited World

Cheer up Jenny you’ll soon be dead
Can’t you make an effort for me dear?

Jemima Surrender -The Uninhabited WorldSmart and sharp, Jemima Surrender’s debut album The Uninhabited World revealed a band of wit with the songwriting and guitar-crunching chops (often in a 90s-indie style, if you’ll pardon the over-used comparison) to more than back up the threats. The tracklisting reads like a roll-call of characters up to no good (“Thomas Quick”, “Gentleman Jerk”), those having no good done unto them (“Sylvia”, “Jenny”), and generally inauspicious-sounding events (“Something Awful”, “The Cull”, “In Sickness”). The overall result is as dark as it is glorious.

21 The Maccabees – Marks To Prove It

The Maccabees - Marks To Prove ItEarning its place here as much as anything for the element of surprise, Marks To Prove It is a great example of how good things can happen to those with open minds. I’d previously associated The Maccabees with what is often (somewhat cruelly) known as “landfill indie” – a movement characterised by a dullness of tone, complexion and melody. Marks To Prove It, however, suffers from none of the above, rising from the morass with energy and verve.

20 C Duncan – Architect

C Duncan - ArchitectLet’s hear it for the Mercury Prize, shall we? OK, so it took a FIFA-esque amount of time for BBC 6 Music to announce the complete shortlist, and by the end there was the somewhat unpleasant stench of a list selected mostly on the basis that it would all be palatable enough for that station’s audience. Which is not a criticism of said audience – after all, I’m a proud member of the “6 Music is actually a pretty good station, all things considered” club. It was just a bit unexciting, is all.

It did, however, introduce me to C Duncan, for which I’m very grateful indeed. Architect is full of electro-acoustic atmosphere, all breathy vocals and gently undulating melodies. It’s as unassuming as it is entrancing.

19 Jennie Vee – Spying

Jennie Vee - SpyingAt the same time as playing bass for both Tamaryn and Courtney Love, Jennie Vee has assuredly been building a solo career. Early EPs and cover versions were followed in 2015 by her full length debut.

Spying – “inspired by love, heartbreak, NYC life and finding the light in the dark” – is the dream-pop-punk album you’ve probably forgotten you were waiting for these past 20 years or so. Hooks aplenty, and no excuse for not being carried along on the album’s sheer verve if you ask me.

18 Ezra Furman – Perpetual Motion People

Ezra Furman - Perpetual Motion PeopleWhat a perplexingly rewarding album we find in Perpetual Motion People! There are moments during “Hour of Deepest Need” when I’m reminded of listening to After The Gold Rush-era Neil Young for the first time, minus the divisive Young vocal. It’s an outlier on an album of outliers: irrepressible brass stabs pop up here and there; sax plays a surprisingly big role; doo-wop is occasionally deployed as a deterrent. It’s hard to know what to make of it, but perhaps the best advice you could ever give anyone listening to something for the first time comes in the opening lines of Ordinary Life:

I’m sick of this record already
let’s wreck all the preconceived notions we bring to it
check all the baggage or better yet burn it
and start all over again

17 Pinkshinyultrablast – Everything Else Matters

Pinkshinyultrablast - Everything Else MattersWhile listening to Everything Else Matters for this end of year review there was a moment near the beginning of “Metamorphosis” when my media played wigged out and embarked on an infinite loop of a few bars. Crescendo / fade / crescendo / fade… So beat-perfect was the cut it took me a surprisingly long time to remember that something was up. Now, that probably tells you something about my pre-lunch focus levels, but it’s also a mark of how Everything Else Matters is more about the flow between ethereal dream-pop and hard-hitting walls of guitar and the thrill of cutting between the two, than it is about hits and killer hooks. You can’t just dip a toe into this plunge pool and hope to be invigorated, but immerse yourself and you’ll be rewarded.

16 Torres – Sprinter

Torres - SprinterMackenzie Scott’s second album is (auto)biographical, intense, and utterly compelling. Just don’t call it confessional.

Sprinter hits you with quiet, devastating blows, as on “Ferris Wheel” and the laying bare of closing track “The Exchange”, but also fights with the beauty of rage and a 90s guitar on “New Skin” and the title track.

15 Annalibera – Nevermind I Love You

Annalibera - Nevermind I Love YouThat Nevermind I Love You contains a good deal of emotional and musical depth should not surprise: singer Anna Gebhardt grew up around folk music, studied classical, and for a time was in a relationship with guitarist Ryan Stier. Bloom is their post-breakup song, while “Black Cat White Cat” takes in homesickness and the corresponding guilt of being away. Proving once again the power of the personal connection, it came at a time when I was ready to return to England, ready to start again. I’ve carried it in my heart ever since.

It’s about how we say, “Let’s not deal with our bullshit. Let’s stay safe and keep doing this the wrong way because we’re scared, okay? Because I can just say I love you and we feel better for a second”.Anna Gebhardt

14 The Lonely Wild – Chasing White Light

The Lonely Wild - Chasing White LightYou can download “An Introduction to The Lonely Wild” from Noisetrade. There, it suggests the band as being:

For Fans Of: Arcade Fire, Lord Huron, Calexico, Fleet Foxes, Ennio Morricone

If you can imagine Arcade Fire without some of the Glee school theatrics, Calexico with hearts of darkness, and a tilting Ennio Morricone then you more or less have it. Recorded with John Vanderslice guiding the band through a more fluidly developing recording process than on debut album The Sun As It Comes, Chasing White Light is the americana your soul has been crying out for.

13 Hooton Tennis Club – Highest Point in Cliff Town

Hooton Tennis Club - Highest Point In Cliff TownI don’t really want to play “hey, d’ya know who this reminds me of?”, but let’s just agree on Pavement meets Teenage Fanclub for this one. Except the strange thing is, there isn’t one era of TFC that Highest Point in Cliff Town particularly feels like so much as a general feeling. Or perhaps it’s the sense that they’ve cut their sound from the same power-pop cloth, even if they’ve fashioned a more raucous, reckless garment from it.

12 Lisa Alma – Sweater

Lisa Alma - SweaterIf Club 8 (spoiler alert: see below…) are the party inside the white walls and glass of a modernist house overlooking the sea, Sweater is the grass in the wind and the swirling sand outside. Its beauty, eerily silent when observed from the home’s sleek interior, can only be felt by stepping outside and drinking in the sounds, the smells, the exfoliating feel of the grains.

Perhaps you feel that offers no true explanation of the album. Perhaps you should give it a go and report back.

11 Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter

Joanna Gruesome - Peanut ButterIf I missed this on its release it’s perhaps because when I’d listened to Joanna Gruesome in the past I hadn’t managed to get through the scuzz and the fuzz to the sweetness that lies beneath. Encouraged by a friend to give Peanut Butter a go, I heard instantly what I’d failed to spot before, namely a super-abundance of silver linings in the Joanna Gruesome clouds. Like Club 8’s Pleasure, Peanut Butter is short enough to be a lingering EP, but as an album its a short sharp indie-pop high.

10 Susanne Sundfør – Ten Love Songs

Susanne Sundfør - Ten Love SongsHalf way through Ten Love Songs, the ten-minute “Memorial” appears. It starts out all ballady, teetering between 80s power ballads you love and 80s power ballads you love, but only ironically. It then has a dangerously lingering glance over at musical theatre, and spends several minutes indulging in romanticism, before remembering what it came in for and closing out with more of its opening melody. It is the most unexpectedly brilliant delight of the year.

In its own way it encapsulates what makes Ten Love Songs so gloriously enriching, so completely enjoyable. This is pop done big, done right, never more so than on euroelectropop single of the year, “Fade Away”.

9 Stornoway – Bonxie

Stornoway - BonxieIf Club 8 are… if Lisa Alma is… (see below, see above…) then Bonxie is the naturalist striding with full-hearted joy through the landscape, charting the movements and patterns of the indigenous wildlife. Bucolic indie-folk with sweet lyrics, a knitted sweater and a penchant for David Attenborough homage, and what’s not to like about that? From opening track “Between The Saltmarsh And The Sea”, replete with foghorn into synth chord intro, all the way through to “Love Song Of The Beta Male”, Bonxie is pure delight.

8 Michael Price – Entanglement

Michael Price - EntanglementFile under: Modern Classical. Except don’t: file under transporting modern music, or don’t even file at all. Just keep it out front where you can see it, play regularly, and cherish every note. When your friends pop over for a soiree and enquire about it, tell them it’s by the bloke who did the Sherlock theme. How much of the rest you want to share is entirely up to you.

If my friends ask, I’ll tell them that the announcement you can just about make out at the beginning of “Budapest” was recorded one morning on Metro Line 1, at Bajcsy-Zsilinszky út station. It’s an announcement I’ve heard hundreds of times; knowing it was a part of the inspiration behind the music it prefaces adds so much personal resonance with the music and only makes me love Entanglement all the more.

7 The Unthanks – Mount The Air

The Unthanks - Mount The Air (single)Music serves many masters, performing a multitude of duties for them all: for some, rebellion; for others, validation. From the thrilling calm of The Unthanks there comes a tantalising glimpse of other worlds, of stories become real, legends transformed into fact. Above all, there’s the opportunity to listen to awe-inspiring harmonies and melodies, and exquisite story-telling and to never once have to feel guilty that you found it in the section marked “Folk”.

6 Courtney Barnett – Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just Sit

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I Sit And Think, And Sometimes I Just SitYou don’t “get” Courtney Barnett. I get that. You don’t see what the fuss is about. I get that, too. You don’t like her voice, and the music’s not all that, so why exactly is everyone going nuts for her?

That, I can’t say. I can say where my love comes from, though: it could be the lyrics, it could be the attitude, or even a combination of the two: smart and knowing, arch and self-deprecating, not so much a stream of consciousness as a carefully laid brick wall. Each barb, whether it’s directed in or out, pricks something or someone; each word plays games of its own design. It’s a document of sorts, written in the razor-sharp observations of a drifter’s mind.

Head on over to page 2 for my top five albums of 2015.

This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #19

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show had a Christmassy theme and our friend Rob Morgan of Goldfish Radio joined the proceedings and gave us some festive suggestions including tracks from The Cocteau Twins, Galaxie 500 and Run DMC.

Check out the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

Johny stopped by as usual while Adam nipped out to have a mince pie and listen to Shakin’ Stevens on his Sony Walkman and gave us his “Lost Indie Classics”. This week he chose “Distant Sun” by Crowded House and “The Trees” by Pulp. But what was the connection? It was of course the pagan festival of Yule!

And now onto this week’s Vigil. Our guest this week is Martin Fitzgerald. For those of you in the know Martin is the Martin in ‘Ruth and Martin’s Album Club’ which is a very popular website and twitter account. Each week a guest listens to a classic album that they haven’t heard before and then reviews it. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I highly recommend that you do as its fab. Also, Martin is a bit like me, a Londoner in the Midlands who likes to write, but I can safely say his writing is a lot better than mine!

Before we find out what tracks Martin has picked, let’s find out a bit more about him:

Hi, I’m Martin from Ruth and Martin’s album Club. We make people listen to great albums that they’ve previously ignored.

And so on to Martin’s three picks:

Something Old

Comet Gain – “Jack Nance Hair”

This is without doubt the best song about that bloke’s hair from Eraserhead. And Comet Gain are brilliant – they should have been massive. Always annoyed me a little bit that they’re not.

Something Borrowed

Bright Eyes – “Four Winds”

We started our album club because I came really late to Bright Eyes and Ruth was such a massive fan. I couldn’t understand why she had never strapped me to a chair and made me listen to them. And that was it. That was the idea for the album club – let’s make people listen to things (without strapping them to chairs though).

Something New

Father John Misty – “Bored in the USA”

Probably my album of 2015 if you forced me to do such a thing. He reminds me of early Elton John, but with considerably better hair.

And that’s it for this week’s Vigil. Thanks to Martin for sharing his song choices with us and why he’s picked them.

Next week it’s not only the end of the year, but it’s also the end of the Indie Vigil. And just to add to it, it’s actually me that’s taking part with my three tracks! Stay tuned for a new feature in 2016 which we’ll tell you more about soon.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.

Albums Of The Year – 2015

It’s been a big year for new music and I think I can safely say that I have bought more albums this year than in previous. So, when I considered how to approach my top albums of 2015, I decided to do a bit of reading of the big music magazines and websites first of all to see what they had to say for themselves. It was a varied bunch, including lots of albums I hadn’t even heard of, but there were also certain trends running throughout. Never one to stick with the norm though, I’ve gone for a slightly off-centre route to get to my favourites.

Looking back over this year’s music, what I’m compiling my list based on are the albums I bought and have listened to on a regular basis rather than just the once. I would prefer to try and give a more rounded opinion rather than just say that I bought the record cos everyone else did. And there have certainly been a fair few albums that I’ve purchased and only listened to once so far. I didn’t think it would be fair to just join the crowd and say “this is brilliant” because a review gave it 5 stars elsewhere. That’s just not me.

I am nothing if not honest, so my list focuses on the albums that have got well and truly under my skin. The ones I can’t stop playing and want other people to love too. Here goes…

5. Squeeze – Cradle to the Grave

squeeze-cradleIt may not be everyone’s choice of a top album of the year, but seeing as it had taken Squeeze 17 years since their last studio album to release some brand new material, I felt it should be on the list somewhere. Cradle to the Grave is a collection of new and original songs which was born out of the TV series of the same name. The wonderful song writing skills of Difford and Tilbrook are firmly found here and it’s quintessentially and most definitely Squeeze. Recommended.

Essential tracks: “Cradle to the Grave” | “Nirvana”

4. Mark Morriss – The Taste of Mark Morriss

Mark Morriss - The Taste Of Mark Morriss

In the same vain as my number 3 album, I’m sure those who know me would have predicted that Mr Morriss would make an appearance in my top albums list. His third studio release, The Taste of Mark Morriss is indeed just as the title suggests. It’s an album of cover versions based on the songs that have not only inspired him, but also those that have helped to shape the direction in which his career in music has taken. But it’s not just a plain and simple covers album, oh no. It’s something a little bit more than that and comes with the added instruction that it should be played loudly. On a yacht. Read a full review of the album here.

Essential tracks: “Souvenir” | “Lucretia (My Reflection)” | “Love Comes Quickly”

3. Thee Cee Cees – Solution Songs

Thee Cee Cees - Solution Songs

Being the massive fan of The Bluetones that I am, when I heard that guitarist Adam Devlin was part of a new band (and a political one to boot) I knew that I would probably like what they had to say. And I wasn’t wrong. With an amazing line up of great musicians such as Chris T-T and Billy Brentford, this is a gorgeous sounding album full of cracking tunes with a clear message. You can read a full review of the album here.

Essential tracks: “Soapbox” | “Have an Analysis”

2. Public Service Broadcasting – The Race for Space

Public Service Broadcasting - The Race For Space

Again this was another album that I picked up to see what all the hype was about. Someone had been trying to get me to listen to the band a few years ago, but their description was so bad that I thought “well that sounds like a load of old rubbish”, so I didn’t bother. Jump to this year and I decided to give it a listen and bought The Race for Space.

I have to say that on the first listen I wasn’t that taken in, but I gave it time and after a couple of listens I finally got it. The concept, the use of the broadcasts, the music, it all makes sense and I thoroughly enjoy listening to it. So much so, that I am off to see them in concert next year and am very much looking forward to experiencing this live.

Essential tracks: “Go!” | “Gagarin”

1. Tame Impala – Currents

Tame Impala - Currents

My top album of this year is Currents by Australian band Tame Impala. I wasn’t very aware of the previous releases and didn’t actually know that much about the band to be honest. I say band, it’s really just Kevin Parker who wrote, performed, recorded and produced the whole album himself.

I heard a lot of talk about the album when some of the tracks were made available before the actual album release so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. What I have found is basically an album that I cannot stop playing. And I mean cannot stop. In fact, I have it on in the background now while I’m writing this and it has been on constantly for the last few days on a loop. You could say I am mildly obsessed with it.

I think not having any sort of attachment to the previous albums has meant that I can listen to the record and just appreciate it for what it is. And what it is for me is the future. It’s a beautifully produced and constructed album and I can feel the labour of love that Kevin has put into making it. It’s probably what you would class as dance orientated music as it features a greater amount of synthesizers rather than guitars (which are on the previous albums) and for me this fits perfectly with the feel of the album and the themes that are running through it. Lyrically it’s spot on and although there are a couple of tracks that I don’t really get (“Nangs” and “Past Life”), it’s still an extremely strong piece of work and is highly, highly recommended.

Essentials tracks: “Let it Happen” | “The Moment” | “The Less I Know the Better”

Albums bubbling under

Gaz Coombes – Matador
Richard Hawley – Hollow Meadows
Frank Turner – Positive Songs for Negative People
Wilco – Star Wars
The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World

This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #18

This Is How It Feels To Be INDIE! – Broadcast 16/12/15 by Radio_Scarborough on Mixcloud

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show had all the usual great music from the likes of Saint Etienne, The Smiths and Midlake. There was also new music from Velettes and The Supersonic Jets.

Check out the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

The weekly feature of “The Best off a Best Of” (hosted in conjunction with Everything Indie Over 40) was back this week. The album in question was Carry On Up The Charts – The Best Of The Beautiful South and the top track chosen by the folks online was “Song For Whoever”. There was no t-shirt to be won this week as they have all been snapped up, but all those who picked the winning track were mentioned live on air. You can’t say fairer than that now, can you?

Johny stopped by as usual while Adam nipped out to have a mince pie and listen to Shakin’ Stevens on his Sony Walkman and gave us his “Lost Indie Classics”. This week he chose “Vicar in a Tutu” by The Smiths and “After The Rain” by The Railway Children. Did you get the connection? Yes, it was storm Desmond, which hit the UK and caused a lot of devastation. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the floods.

And now onto this week’s Vigil. This week’s guest is Tony Pearson. But before we find out what tracks Tony has picked, let’s find out a bit more about him:

I came to Scarborough 10 years ago and set up my own landscape gardening business. I recently became a qualified electrician. I’m married to Soph and have two children, Angus and India. I’ve been involved with a number of local bands (The Jawline of Julianne Moore/The East Coast Vagabonds/Grand Theft Audio/The Grand Urge) as a guitarist, bass player and singer. I’m interested in all types of music, especially anything that’s a bit different from the norm.

I was introduced to the show by fellow guest Paul Burnett. It’s a great show and a great station! Thanks to Adam for inviting me on!”

And now here are Tony’s choices:

Something Old

The Clash – “Clampdown”

My old boss was an avid punk, in fact he still is, he still dyes his hair, he still has nose rings and he still wears beaten up jeans and DMs. He absolutely refuses to conform or grow up and still has a healthy rebellious streak. A proper punk I suppose. He’s 55 this year. Our work vans were always full of old tapes by The Damned, New Model Army or The Clash. Listening to this music and specifically music by The Clash brings us to my “old” track. “Clampdown” was a musical epiphany when I first heard it, the feedback drenched beginning, the intro, like a train shooting past, the propulsive drumbeat going through the heart of the song and it’s discordant, out of sync ending, elevated it above the usual 3 chord simplicity of most of the early punk songs and I love it.

Something Borrowed

Beta Band – “Assessment”

My brother in law is a massive fan of this band and it’s him I have to thank for getting me into them properly. We were both lucky enough to catch them on their final tour before they broke up in 2004 and considering the complexity of the arrangements for a lot of their music, they were one of the only bands I’ve ever seen that sound “just like the record”. Although all the members have gone on to pursue other projects, nothing they’ve done since matches the oddness or genius of what they came up with in this band. This is the opening track from their final album Heroes to Zeroes. They’re very much missed.

Something New

Friendly Fires – “Hawaiian Air”

I first saw Friendly Fires on Jools Holland’s show four years ago when they released their last album Pala. Their music, like their performances, is infectious and full of energy, but without ever being annoying. “Hawaiian Air” was the song they played to end the show and it was mesmerising to watch. The bright colours, the rhythmic, tropical sound, the dancing, the bursts of confetti at the end, it was like a beach party and everyone was invited. Writing up beat, fun music that isn’t cheesy or forced is a difficult thing to do musically but they seem to manage it effortlessly. 

And that’s it for this week’s Vigil. Thanks to Tony for sharing his song choices with us and why he’s picked them.

Like the end of 2015, the final Vigil is approaching us fast. Only 2 more to go and then that’s it. There may well be a new feature in the New Year though, so stay tuned.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.

This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #17

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show had great music from the likes of Dodgy, Tindersticks and The Field Mice. There was also an exclusive play of the new track from Ground Pilots called “We Came From The Sun”.

Check out the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

There was much excitement in the studio last week as Adam was joined by a special guest for the duration of the show. It was none other than the man behind the online indie community that is Everything Indie Over 40 himself, the lovely Steve. This meant a slight change to the usual “Best Off Of a Best Of” and instead the online folks were asked to choose their favourite track from the compilation album Shine Too. The winning song was “Sparky’s Dream” by Teenage Fanclub which in my humble opinion was definitely the best!

Johny stopped by as usual while the boys had a cuppa and gave us his “Lost Indie Classics”. This week he chose The Go! Team with “Buy Nothing Day” and “Sale of the Century” by Sleeper. The connection was guessed online (and given away by Rob Morgan!) by a few people and also by Steve in the studio. It was of course the Black Friday fiasco!

Speaking of Rob Morgan, there was a special track called “Those Eyes” by a band called The Cloudminders played on the show. It had never been played on the radio before and made Rob very happy indeed as this was the band he was once part of. Hopefully there will now be a reunion on the cards. What do you say Rob?

And now onto this week’s Vigil. Joining us this week is Paula Tighe. Let’s find out a bit more about Paula before her three picks:

Hi! I’m Paula Tighe, a fairly new resident to Scarborough along with my husband Tony and daughter Lucy. I am also a new listener to the show. Born and raised a Yorkshire girl (in the soon to be City of Culture Hull, come to Hull, it’s not naff anymore!!). A buzzing city full of salt of the earth people who tell it like it is. I grew up with both feet firmly entrenched in the indie / electronica of the early 1980’s.

My tastes were heavily influenced by the then, “King of Cool” (well, as far as I and half the girls on the west side of the city were concerned anyway – my brother Dave!!!). Bands such as Bauhaus, the Bunnymen, The Cure and The Clash all played a part in moulding my musical preferences.

So a big thanks to Adam for letting me be a part of the show. Hope you enjoy my tracks”.

And now here are Paula’s choices:

Something Old

The Clash – “The Magnificent Seven”

So my “old” selection is a nod to my big brother. It’s taken from the 1980 triple album Sandinista by The Clash and the track is “The Magnificent Seven” as it evokes great memories of growing up in Hull.

Something Borrowed

Massive Attack – “Teardrop”

My “borrowed” selection is “Teardrop” from the excellent 1998 album Mezzanine by Massive Attack, with vocals by Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. A beautiful track made even better by her stunning and haunting voice. It’s also a very special track to me as it reminds me of the summer I met Tony, my husband.

Something New

Leftfield – “Storms End”

My “new” selection was the easiest. It’s from the Leftfield album Alternative Light Source which was released earlier this year.  The track is “Storms End” and I chose it just because, to me, it’s simply brilliant.


And that’s it for this week’s Vigil.  Big thanks to Paula for sharing her song choices with us and why she’s picked them.

Listen in to the show next week to see who will be on the Vigil and then come and join us for a debrief along with a replay of their chosen tracks.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.

Sennen – Autopilot

At this special time of year, the minds of music fans everywhere are taken up with the all-important, all-consuming task of coming up with the definitive account of the last twelve months in music (aka The End Of Year List Of Best Albums Bar None). Little room is left to take on new sounds, except those that would make their list even better than best.

It takes a momentary jolt, like seeing the name Sennen in your inbox and knowing you have no choice to find your way to the stream and hope it will be as layered and beautiful as you remember. And it’s worth the jolt, well worth the jolt. In fact, that’s part of song’s message. Singer Lawrence Holmes explains:

You can cruise through life surrounded by aspirational nonsense wherever you turn, losing yourself and falling asleep indefinitely. Those ultra-happy 60s airline ads seemed suitably mad and creepy to accompany this thought – especially when filtered through an extra layer of close-up television. But underneath, there’s always part of you trying to shake yourself awake.

Better than better than best: a new album is on the way next year: stick it on your Best of 2016 list already.

“Autopilot” is taken from Sennen’s new album First Light, released on February 26th, 2016 via Indelabel.

Follow Sennen | Facebook | Twitter

Blog Sound of 2016

The Blog Sound of 2016 is a poll of UK-based bloggers to determine the most popular and favourite emerging acts among those polled. As a UK-based blog, Record Rewind Play was invited to take part (well, it was an open invite, and we jumped at the opportunity) this year and we submitted the names of three artists we love and for whom we wish nothing more than success, riches and critical acclaim in 2016. Nothing more.

And the exciting news is that none of our picks made it onto the longlist. Ho-hum.

And so, on to the list anyway, with some introductory words from Robin @ Breaking More Waves, who created and runs the poll:

The aim of the Blog Sound of poll is identical to the BBC Sound Of list; it attempts to showcase new and emerging artists, but it differs in so far as many of the voting bloggers do not work in the music industry, they are simply fans who have a passion for writing about the music they love. In previous years the Blog Sound poll has identified a number of acts such as Alt-J and Bastille that didn’t feature on the BBC list, and has been slightly ahead of the game, featuring the likes of Wolf Alice a year before they appeared on the BBC Sound of list. Each year there is also some cross-over with the BBC list and this year is no exception. For the 2016 poll 58 music blogs each voted for their 3 favourite acts and the top 15 of those acts form the Blog Sound of 2015 longlist. To qualify for a vote any act chosen must not have had a UK top 20 single or album, either in their own right or as a named collaborator prior to 6th November 2015.

Here’s some of the data from the voting:

  • This year 142 acts received at least 1 vote from the 174 total votes cast, showing that the UK music blog scene has a wide range of taste.
  • This years voting was the closest and broadest ever – the winning act only received votes from 8.5% of the 58 voters.
  • The vast majority of acts chosen were UK based even although the bloggers could choose acts from any part of the world. There are no American acts on the list, although there are acts from other European countries.
  • One of the acts on this years longlist (Mt Wolf) already featured on the the Blog Sound of 2014 poll, but then promptly split up. Now reformed they find themselves once again on the Blog Sound of 2016 list.
  • 5 of the acts on the BBC Sound of 2016 also appear on the Blog Sound of poll, namely Billie Marten, Loyle Carner, Mabel, Mura Masa and Nao.
  • Jack Garratt, winner of the BBC Introducing Award, Brits Critics Choice Award and a nominee on the BBC Sound of Poll didn’t receive one vote from the voting blogs, even although he qualified. However, last year Garratt almost made the Blog Sound of 2015 poll, missing it by just one single vote and finishing in sixteenth position. This is probably because bloggers no longer consider Garratt as emerging.

You can listen to a track from each artist on the longlist above. To help you filter, we’ve appraised them all:

Aquilo – The kind of Oh Wonder-like downtempo electropop that we’re rather partial to, as it happens.

Aurora – Norwegian singer who you shouldn’t hate for being involved in the creeping John Lewis soppification of Christmas.

Billie Marten – Yorkshire based acoustic singer songwriter.

George Cosby – The next big “oh, you’re into this sort of thing, aren’t you?” thing.

Haelos – Remember Temptation by Heaven 17? This is that, millennialised. Not saying that’s a bad thing, you understand.

Liss – The bad thing. The song you always skipped on early Now! compilations.

Loyle Carner – Sweary spoken-word. Potty-mouthed poetry.

Mabel – Slick. Neneh Cherry’s daughter, doncha know.

Mura Masa – Sorry, I popped into the other room to make a coffee while this was on. There were bleeps and a violin, though, I’ll tell you that.

Mt. Wolf – featured on a previous poll, split up, reformed, and now have their second Blog Sound nomination. To my eternal shame I was supposed to cover this single recently, but time has not been my ally. Simultaneously my favourite on the list and the least likely to be headlining the O2 this time next year.

Nao – Capturing with perfect precision the twenty-first century penchant for writing and recording a perfectly decent song and then fucking with it until it’s more or less unlistenable if your ears are old enough to drive.

Pleasure Beach – When they first popped into my inbox they were described as Bastille vs The XX, which was enough for me to move on. I was right. See George Cosby, above.

The Big Moon – Proving that I’m a big fat hypocrite, this shares traits with acts I’m happy to be casually bitchy towards, and yet it reels me in. Maybe it’s a female vocal thing. Maybe it’s a gently understated undulating melody thing. Maybe it’s not a thing at all.

The Japanese House – For a moment I thought I was going crazy – so sure I’d posted about The Japanese House, but found nothing on the website. And then I remembered I’d included a track as an early newsletter exclusive (Sign up, by the way). The track featured here, Still, was Zane Lowe’s last ever “hottest track” before he left Radio 1. One for the fact fans, there.

Yak – Raucous pysch rock. The good stuff, even if it’s not something I’d reach for very often.

The most voted for and top 5 acts on this longlist will be revealed on the 5th January 2016.

So there you have it. Fifteen acts I didn’t vote for, none of which make me think I should have thought harder. But that’s my problem, not yours. And not The Blog Sound of 2016’s. Maybe I’m very far behind the curve. Maybe I’m very ahead of it. Or perhaps I’m just to the side of the curve, looking askance.

The most striking feature of the vote is this: the spread is very thin. 174 votes were cast, for 142 different acts. The winning artist received votes from 5 blogs. This is a very similar picture to last year, when 62 blogs cast 186 votes, and 148 artists picked up votes. In a draft post I wrote twelve months ago but never published, I crunched the numbers and decided:

It seems overwhelmingly possible, in fact, that some of the longlisted artists received just two nominations.

I even made a spreadsheet with a projection of how many votes each artist might have received.

I know.

This year, it’s a similar story. In the spirit of those books of logic problems you used to buy from WH Smith in railway stations, we know that 174 votes were cast, and 142 artists received votes. We also know the winning artist received 5 votes. This means that a maximum of 29 artists received more than one vote, and at least 113 received only one vote. That’s pretty diffuse – and this is no Ballon D’or either, it’s not like you have a potentially wide voting spread but a small number of obvious front-runners. On the plus-side: Breaking More Waves is no FIFA: a corruption scandal seems highly unlikely here.

It also means, I think, that at least two of the fifteen artists in the longlist received just two votes. What I’m saying is that there’s a cigarette paper between some of the names on the longlist and all of the top choices of the bloggers now sitting at home reading the longlist and wondering why their picks aren’t on it.

In a narrow sense, then, the Blog Sound of 2016 longlist doesn’t really represent the 58 blogs that voted. Last year I concluded that at least 23 blogs voted for artist no-one else voted for. The same is probably true this year. Going against my logical grain, and hazarding a guess, I’d suggest that no more than half of the voting blogs voted for one of the artists on the longlist.

But please don’t take this as a moany criticism. I’m certainly not suggesting the rest of us might as well have not bothered. In a wider sense, we are all represented by the poll. If not in the names on the longlist, then by the remarkable number of artists we all voted for. To me it doesn’t show that there’s a vast ocean of mediocrity out there, it shows that there’s a vast ocean of possibility: just as the Best Album Of The Year lists flooding the internet at this time of year represent a chance to discover albums you’ve overlooked or never heard of, the votes from all the blogs listed below, when they are published, will give everyone a chance to discover some new names. And, in the closing words of last year’s unpublished post, updated by a year:

You might like them, and want to write about them, and before you know it they’re getting a little bit more known, and maybe they’ll end up in the Blog Sound of 2017 longlist, in whatever form it happens to take.

The blogs that voted in this years poll were:

A Pocket Full Of Seeds, A World Of Music And Madness, Across The Kitchen Table, Alphabet Bands, Beat Surrender, Bratfaced LDN, Breaking More Waves, Brighton Music Blog, Buzz Unlimited, Cruel Rhythm, Chord Blossom, Daisy Digital, Dive, Details Of My Life, Dots And Dashes, Drunken Werewolf, Digital Shuffle, Echoes And Dust, Electronic Rumors, Encore Northern Island, Even The Stars, Faded Glamour, Get Into This, Get Some, God Is In The TV, I Love Pie, Just Music I Like, Kemptation, Killing Moon, Little Indie Blogs, Love Music: Love Life, Metaphorical Boat, Monkey Boxing, Music Liberation, Music Like Dirt, Music Umpire, Neon Filler, Not Many Experts, Popped Music, Pursuit Of Sound, Rave Child, Record Rewind Play, Scientists Of Sound, Some Of It Is True, Spectral Nights, Sweeping The Nation, Synth Glasgow, The Blue Walrus, The Devil Has The Best Tuna, The Electricity Club, The Evening’s Empire, The Mad Mackerel, The VPME, This Must Be Pop, Thoughts On Music, Too Many Blogs, What If I Had A Music Blog, When The Gramophone Rings

This Is How It Feels To Be Indie – The Indie Vigil #16

Welcome to your weekly catch up on the “This Is How It Feels To Be Indie” radio show hosted by Adam Jeffery on Radio Scarborough. Last week’s show had all the usual great artists including tracks from The Happy Mondays, Super Furry Animals and Talking Heads. New music this week came from Elephant Stone and Shiners.

Check out the full track listing on the Indie Radio Facebook page and give us a “like” and a share please! You can also listen again to the show in full on Mixcloud here.

The weekly feature of “The Best off a Best Of” (hosted in conjunction with Everything Indie Over 40) was The Best of The House of Love. Top track chosen by the folks online was Shine On and this week’s winner of that most sought after EIO40 t-shirt was Darren @daznixon1989. Good work Darren! Keep an eye out for next week’s competition and get your vote in as you’ve got to be in it to win it!

This week saw Adam undertake his first live interview on the show when he spoke to David from Ground Pilots about his music and what he’s currently up to. You can find out more about the band on their Facebook page here.

As usual Adam left the studio to go and get his iced latte so Johny popped by and gave us his “Lost Indie Classics”. This week he brought us “Three” by The Wedding Present and “21” by David Devant and His Spirit Wife. Did you guess the connection? It was of course the news that Adele’s third album 25 was released this week.

This week’s Vigil has gone global and we meet The Riverboat Captain who is residing in beautiful New Zealand. Let’s find out a bit more about the Captain before we find out what his choices were:

I’m originally from Halifax, and moved out here 10 years ago with my partner and daughter and my real name is Keith Shackleton. I became the Riverboat Captain when I started blogging years ago, and the name comes from a song lyric. It’s not very indie though – it’s from Bob Dylan’s “Absolutely Sweet Marie” off the classic Blonde on Blonde album. I was born when “Apache” by The Shadows was number one – from this you can work out my age 🙂

I was at university in Salford late 70s/early 80s, which was in my opinion the best time to be listening to music and going to see bands. My indie claim to fame is that I once shook the hand of William Reid (who was rather the worse for wear shall we say) following the JAMC gig at Coachella in 2007, and also on that trip I got to hang out in Los Angeles with David Newton of The Mighty Lemon Drops. That’s about as indie as it gets, isn’t it?!

And here are Keith’s choices:

Something Old

Bailter Space – “Splat”

Watch the backwards video below and find out more about Bailer Space on Keith’s blog here –

Something Borrowed

Able Tasmans – “Sour Queen”

From the first CD that my partner Anne ever gave me as a present when we got together. It’s from the album Songs from The Departure Lounge. If there was one song that could be called our song, it would be this one.

Something New

Salad Boys – “Dream Date”

Salad Boys are just making it on the scene and deserve a wider audience. You can stream the whole album for free on Bandcamp.

And that’s it for this week’s show. Thanks to Keith for sharing his song choices with us.

And finally, as always, don’t forget to tune in to on a Wednesday night to hear some great music and chat.