New Music – Mint Julep, Peaness, Bandaid Brigade

New releases and tour dates: Mint Julep, Peaness, Bandaid Brigade

Mint Julep – Stray Fantasies (album)

With the release of their new album pending, Mint Julep have shared its title track, a hypnotic layered synth-pop piece that evokes the past whilst bringing the production bang up to date.

Speaking about the track, Keith (one half of the couple who make up the ambient duo) says, ‘Stray Fantasies is a song about the confusion and inner struggle of a relationship at a crossroads. Musically, since the lyrics were so heavy we wanted to balance that with something bright, but with some imperfection and edge; even though there’s a lot of instruments layered throughout it feels tenuous with various textures coming in and out, lots of dynamic shifts and moments of tension and release.’

Stray Fantasies is released on 31st January via Western Records

You can pre-order the album here

Mint Julep

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Peaness – Kaizen (single)

Ahead of their UK tour, Peaness have released their first new material in a long while. Fans of the band will be happy to hear that new track Kaizen is every inch the perfect fuzzy indie-pop tune you would expect and hope for.

Bassist / vocalist Jess explains, ‘It’s a song to remind myself that with every act of kindness and every crime, we affect the future, and that those choices go on to shape others, and our beautiful planet, long after we’re gone. The word ‘Kaizen’ is a Japanese word that literally translates to ‘change for the good’, and that’s what we’re hoping for.’

Following live dates in January and February, Peaness will play a headline set at The Lexington in London on 6th May

January
27th – Leicester, Firebug
28th – Birmingham, the Hare & Hounds
29th – Guildford, the Boileroom
30th – Brighton, The Prince Albert
31st – Southampton, Heartbreakers

February
1st – Oxford, The Wheatsheaf
7th – Manchester, Soup Kitchen
8th – Leeds, The Lending Room

Peaness

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Bandaid Brigade – I’m Separate (album)

Bandaid Brigade is the musical project of Zach Quinn (PEARS), Brian Wahlstrom (Scorpios, Gods of Mount Olympus) and friends Paul Rucker (Armchair Martian, Street Dogs, Drag The River) and Chris Fogal (The Gamits). With the imminent release of their debut album, they have shared a taster in the form of Travel Light, a foray into an, at times, unlikely genre mix. The track kicks off sounding undeniably like it’s dipped into Odyssey’s Native New Yorker before heading into their more traditional punk / rock territory.

Bandaid Brigade say, ‘It’s quite possible that this is the best album ever made. We hope you like it as much as we think you think we think we do.’

The band play the following UK dates before heading out across Europe:

January
29th – Staines, The London Stone
30th – Leeds, Wharf Chambers
31st – Edinburgh, Banshee Labyrinth

February
1st – Dundee, Rad Apples
2nd – Stafford, Red Rum
3rd – Exeter, The Cavern
4th – London, New Cross Inn
5th – Canterbury, Lady Luck Bar

I’m Separate is released into the world on 21st January

Bandaid Brigade

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Words by Siobhan

Photos via One Beat PR and Wall of Sound PR

10th January 2020

Interview – Gork

If you were a garage-psych band from another planet with a predilection for cabbages, where else would you make your Earth home other than in Bristol? In a fortuitous turn of events, local labels Breakfast Records and Leisure Records have taken sextet Gork under their wings to release the band’s latest EP Class. You may find out more about the band here; at the very least you’ll find out more about tea towels and dressing up…

You’ve got a new EP out called Class, what’s the thinking behind the title?

It’s because it’s class mate.

The lead single That’s Plastic Mate is an ode to recycling, was it written with consideration of the climate change protests seen over the past year?

We live in a plastic world and it’s hard to avoid. The last year has seen an increased awareness of these issues and people are starting to change their habits but, if you’re not careful, you too could become a Evian bottle.

You’ve released Class on cassette and on a tea towel. Tea towels aren’t commonly used to distribute music, what made you opt for that particular washing up aid?

Not everyone has a deck or a cassette or CD player but pretty much everyone has a kitchen. We don’t want anyone to be left out, ya know?

You seem to enjoy playing around with a variety of sounds and instruments. Can you reveal some of the inspirations behind your creativity, perhaps those that are a little unexpected or unusual?

Recorders are a firm favourite, they can just sound so frantic when blasted. Also a selection of old Casio keyboards, the worse the sound the better they are.

I’ve heard that you enjoy raiding the dressing up box before performing, what’s been a personal favourite item that’s been worn on stage?

Our go to is the over-sized suit, but I recently enjoyed wearing a bin-man’s overalls found at a Sheffield market for £2. But perhaps the favourite is the chef outfit complete with Toque (big tall chef hat).

Much of what Gork produces seems to have a distinct sense of surreal humour – how do audiences usually respond to this, and what would be ideal Gork audience response?

People usually just don’t have a clue what’s going on which is great, the more freaked out the better. An audience that is up for it , and goes along with everything we throw at them, cabbage included, is super!

In your Bandcamp description you mention the inner small clown in all of us, and how your band has set it free and made it king – is there anyone of note in the public eye whose ‘inner clown’ you’d like to see freed?

100% Nicki Minaj ,she’s been papped a few times wearing a red nose but has always been shy to take the next step – I think she can do it.

And what can people expect to see from Gork in 2020?

New recordings, new faces, new videos, new instruments, new shoes…

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Class is out now on Breakfast Records/Leisure Records – you can watch the video for That’s Plastic Mate below and order the cassette or, more likely, the tea towel here.

 

Interview by Ryan Bell

5th December 2019

New Music – Rosie Alena, Kill Your Boyfriend, CULTDREAMS, Hotel Lux

New releases and tour dates – Rosie Alena, Kill Your Boyfriend, CULTDREAMS, Hotel Lux

Rosie Alena – Mixed Messages (single)

With a touch of the Lana Del Reys about her vocal, Rosie Alena adds a soft, trippy musical backdrop; the combination of the two resulting in a hypnotic dose of mournful psych-folk for your pleasure. Although their sounds are streets apart, the track features members of Mercury nominated pals Black Midi. Based on this astutely produced debut, it seems likely that Rosie may soon be following in their increasingly successful footsteps. Mixed Messages was released via Strong Island Recordings yesterday.

You can catch Rosie live on a string of London dates, as below:
1st December – The Windmill, Brixton
4th December – Rye Wax, Peckham (Single Launch)
8th December – Sister Midnight Records, Deptford
14th December – Lion Coffee Records, Clapton
25th January – The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston (Strong Island Recordings All-Dayer)

Rosie Alena

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Kill Your Boyfriend – Elizabeth (inc Preoccupations remix – single)

Moving on to heavier psych with attitude, Kill Your Boyfriend release their new single Elizabeth today; an impressive first release for new London label Depth Records. Hailing from Italy, the band take this track to a place where the Mary Chain meet industrialisation at its fiercest. Calling on their friend and contemporary Daniel Christiansen from Preoccupations to remix the B side, this is a furious mixing and melting of minds. If you were looking for something sinister and loud to shake things up you’re in luck. Elizabeth is available to stream and on limited red vinyl (300 copies) via this link. Kill Your Boyfriend have live dates in Italy in December and play in Manchester in January:

4th December – Rome, Klang
5th December – Avila, Humus
6th December – Palermo, PunkFunk
31st January – Manchester, The Peer Hat

Kill Your Boyfriend

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CULTDREAMS – Live dates to promote Things that Hurt 

After releasing their second album Things that Hurt on Big Scary Monsters in August, CULTDREAMS have enjoyed positive reviews for their no holds barred post-punk shoegaze songs, delivered with a sense of urgency that suggests you should sit up and take notice. Building on their live performances touring with Nervus and Milk Teeth, the duo have announced their biggest UK headline tour so far. Dates are set for early next year and look set to be as frenetic as you would hope for whilst offering a chance to catch the new songs live. Tickets for the dates below go on sale today.

February 2020
21st – Manchester, YES
22nd – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
23rd – Glasgow, Poetry Club
24th – Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge
25th – Bristol, Exchange Basement 
26th – London, Boston Music Room
27th – Brighton, The Prince Albert 

CULTDREAMS

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Hotel Lux – Tabloid Newspaper (single)

Alive in the world since midnight, the new track from Hotel Lux, Tabloid Newspaper, is available to stream now and will be released via New Swan Records in the new year. With a deep punchy bass-line and their customary spit-spoken vocals, it’s like a meeting in a dark alley between The Fall’s Totally Wired and a modern day Park Life for the politically aware (I mean more politically aware than being upset at the binmen waking you up on a Wednesday). Far from the music factory approach to churning out songs of love and heartbreak, Hotel Lux paint a picture with their lyrics that puts the truth on a plate, this time throwing the ethics of the tabloid press onto the fire. It’s timely, accurate and a prodigious listen. Tour dates for 2020 will doubtless sell out quickly; you’d be wise to get your tickets soon as this band are a treat live and are playing some of the best independent venues around, dates below.

February 2020
2st – Newcastle, Think Tank
22nd – Glasgow, Broadcast
23rd – Leeds, Oporto
24th – Manchester, YES
25th – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
26th – Nottingham, Bodega
27th – Bristol, Exchange
28th – Leicester, the Cookie
29th – Bedford, Esquires
March
1st – Southampton, Joiners
2nd – Brighton, The Prince Albert
3rd – London, Waiting Room

Hotel Lux

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Words by Siobhan

29th November 2019

New Music – Hanya, Adwaith, TELGATE, Italia 90

New releases and live dates – Hanya, Adwaith, TELGATE, Italia 90

Hanya – Dream Wife (single)

With a vocal reminiscent of a pensive Long Blondes and musical references to every era from the 60s through to the current day, Brighton’s Hanya bring you new single  Dream Wife, a hazy few minutes of celestial delight to shut out the cold and rain of the winter. A solid track that will rouse your curiousity to hear more.

Fresh from supporting Honeyblood and LA Peach, Hanya play the dates below this week:
27th Nov – Brighton, The Richmond
30th Nov – Chelmsford, Hot Box

Hanya

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Adwaith – Orange Sofa / Byd Ffug (single)

Carmarthen three piece Adwaith release this double A side amidst much media interest and a nomination for this year’s Welsh Music Prize for their debut album Melyn. If you’re a fan of Warpaint or have been around long enough to recall the esteemed Throwing Muses then this could be right up your street. Keep an eye on Adwaith, their potential is huge.

Live dates in the pipeline:
13th December – Carmarthen, Plan B
10th January – 12th – Bognor Regis, Rockaway Beach Butlin’s

Adwaith

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TELGATE – Cherrytight (single)

More from the currently bursting with talent Welsh scene – get ready for Cardiff based TELGATE to blow the cobwebs away with this tightly knit glam-punk anthem. The band’s Casper James says of the track, ‘Cherrytight is a metaphor for the backlash and social reaction to the AIDS crisis in the 1980s. The song is a poetic discussion of how the crisis which grieved the LGBTQ community was twisted to promote fear-mongering of homosexual and bisexual people and laid blame on our community… Amongst the catchy bassline and powerful flange is a protest for those queer lives who died in the shadows and those who are emerging from them today.”

Check the band’s Facebook page for news on upcoming live dates, link below.

TELGATE

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Italia 90 – Road to Hell (single)

This was meant to be a three song feature until we heard the latest offering from the excellent Italia 90. If you haven’t caught this band yet don’t delay any further; their spiky, bass driven sound evokes the best of early 80s’ new wave with the likes of Magazine and Gang of Four springing to mind. Latest single Road to Hell sees them continue to produce quality material to match their charismatic live performance. Italia 90 are touring in the new year, catch them if you can.

Dates for January and February 2020:
January
23rd – London, The Lexington
24th – Guildford – The Boileroom
25th – Cardiff – The Moon
30th – Birmingham – The Sunflower Lounge
31st – Brighton – Latest Music Bar
February
7th – Glasgow, Broadcast
8th – Edinburgh, Sneaky Pete’s
21st – Manchester – Gullivers

Listen here

Italia 90

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Words by Siobhan

26th November 2019

Interview – Health&Beauty

With songs full of powerful, turbulent tunes and chilled, floating melodies, Health&Beauty’s new album Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure is released into the world today. The Chicago band, led by founder Brian J Sulpizio, has featured a cast of acclaimed musicians over the years. We asked how things have changed and what to expect from their latest offering…

Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure will be your 7th studio album – how has your approach to making music changed over the years?

Well I’ve gotten better, haha. I’ve been working on all the aspects of music I’m engaged in at the same time, more or less. My approach changes with pretty much every record; I’m usually not interested in saying the same thing twice. I’m mostly a guitar player but I’m not like a big ‘guitar’ ‘guy’, you know? That is to say, the thing that is most interesting about music to me has very little to do with guitars. That just happens to be the world we live in – guitars everywhere, raining from the sky, choking you to death. They’re making more guitars every day- can you believe it? I’m sorry, I appear to be having a hard time answering this question.

I try lots of ways to trick myself into making something I haven’t made before. I guess my approach hasn’t really changed, because I’ve never had one, haha. I just write something whenever I have something to say, or maybe something to learn.

The first 2 tracks shared from the album, Rat Shack and Recourse, are musically fairly emotive and intense – is there a thread that links all the songs?

Recourse almost didn’t make the album. It seemed to me that it didn’t really fit with the other songs. But I sort of imagine the trajectory of the record as moving from a sense of hopelessness to a sense of hope. And Recourse fits in that sense. I think of this record as more of a document of a period of personal devastation, growth and development, more than a record with some kind of tight objective to present to listeners. Other records I’ve made I’ve wanted to say something specific… maybe this one is more like trying to listen to myself, to gain some kind of perspective.

A few of the tracks hit the 10 minute mark – how do you know when each piece of music is finished?

Well in Saturday Night and Love Can Be Kind we see the band stretching out a bit. We all get space to define ourselves there as we would like to be. Those songs can be performed in 4 minutes or 40. (Don’t worry we won’t ever do 40, haha.) Clown is 10 minutes because that’s how long it took to say the thing I needed to say with that song.

Tell us about the Chicago music scene…

Chicago’s great. Lots of excellent performers and writers. It’s a major market so almost any US tour will stop in Chicago, so you get stuff from all over the world and a great pool of people to play with in town. There’s a bit of a self-hating element to the city but I think even that is changing as new generations come on the scene.

Who else have you been listening to lately that you’d recommend?

Kendra Amalie’s new record on Beyond Beyond Is Beyond is fantastic. Her older record Thankful is also great. I’ve loved her music for a long time; glad others are starting to hear. I’m on tour right now with JR Bohannon, his new one is a ripper. Low’s record from last year really hit me hard; love it! Lina Tullgren is up to cool things and is fantastic to see perform, solo or with a band. My partner Whitney Johnson, who does the Matchess project, is in a duo project with Natalie Chami called Damiana; their record should be out soon and it will blow your mind. The end-of-year holidays are coming soon so definitely also check out the Blowfly Christmas record.

Aside from the album what’s been noteworthy in 2019 for you?

My favourite thing about 2019 has been identifying some cultural artefact or trend from the 20th century and saying “twenty” and then whatever that year was. For example, we might be impeaching our president soon, and they did that before in 1998, so you might say “twenty nineteen ninety-eight!” Or like I have a friend who thought Lack sounded like the late 1960s, so he goes, “Twenty nineteen sixty-eight!”

Something very noteworthy for me this year has been the remission of a lot of negative feelings I had for a long time. I attribute this to being in talk therapy and would encourage basically anyone to get into therapy.

And what’s next for Health&Beauty?

Not playing many shows in Chicago next year, but we’re going to get started recording again right away while also touring periodically. I’m fooling around with Ableton a bit. Maybe I will trade in my guitar for a faster computer for Ableton. I also really enjoy recording and/or mixing other people’s records so I hope to continue doing that.

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Shame Engine / Blood Pleasure is out today on Wichita Recordings. You can catch up with Health&Beauty here and watch the video for Recourse below.

Interview by Siobhan
Photos via One Beat PR, band shot © Alexa Viscius

22nd November 2019 

Interview – The Howlers

Perfectly fusing the haunting refrains of the Wild West with guitar and drum laden desert rock, The Howlers release their latest single Matador today. We caught up with vocalist Adam to find out what’s been happening for the band and what’s in store…

For anyone not familiar with The Howlers, give us a quick introduction – who’s in the band and how did you all get together?

So the band is just myself (Adam), Cam on the pots and pans and Guus on the big guitar, we all met in London whilst at university and it just clicked. Myself and Guus had been knocking about since day 1 jamming tunes I was writing and trying to find a bass player as Guus was originally on the kit, and then I met up with Cam in Shepherds Bush and the rest, as they say, is history – a very short history, but history nonetheless.

Since you formed you’ve established a great live reputation – is that important to you and what’s the best thing about playing live?

From the very first time we got in a room together and started practising and writing, it was always about being the best live band in the capital. We gigged so much over the first year as a band that we didn’t rehearse for 8 months and perfected our stage presence that way making sure we were loud and intense on stage as we are only a 3 piece but, after all the ferocity on stage, we are really quiet chilled out. Beforehand, its all about enjoying what we do, we give each other a big hug before and a big hug after each show, we are really self-critical and can sometimes be overly harsh on ourselves but I guess that just shows what it means to each of us up there.

Tell us about your new single Matador…

I’ve been describing it as Clint Eastwood’s Fila tracksuit and I think that’s all that needs to be said; its a natural progression from La Dolce Vita.

Any plans for an album?

We do but not quite yet,  We’ve got a lot we want to achieve before we retreat back out to the Midlands’ countryside and start grafting on our debut LP.

You’ve been getting a fair amount of airplay from well respected DJs and stations – what’s it like hearing yourselves on the radio, does it spark lots of new interest?

To be honest, most of the time we never hear ourselves on the radio. The first few times it was a bit surreal especially the R1 debut; me and Guus sat in the garden of the Shacklewell Arms in London just after a Sheafs’ gig with a pint and a headphone in each listening to it. I’ve had 1 or 2 times I’ve been driving and heard us come on the radio but in all honesty I tend to change the channel, I think it’s really self indulgent if you enjoy listening to yourself. It defo has pricked a lot of ears up and made people sit up and go, ‘Oh right, these boys mean business then’, especially in London where it’s so competitive and cliquey.

If you could choose anyone at all who would you like to hear covering one of your songs?

William Onyeabor 100% – could you imagine that cover?

And what’s next for you, what are your plans till the end of the year and into 2020?

More releases, more writing, more gigs, what more do you want from a band? We’ve been writing some of the best stuff we have ever written recently so we are really excited to get it out there, we are currently trialling and debuting new tunes as well so if you’re catching us over the rest of this year you’ll hear them…

Released via These Bloody Thieves Records today – you can listen to Matador now and get the latest news and live dates from The Howlers here

Interview and live photos by Siobhan
Header shot © Rob Blackham via The Howlers

1st November 2019

Interview – Hot Shorts

Combining the finest slacker rock with lyrical wit and impressively droll song titles, Manchester four piece Hot Shorts released their new album I Understand and I Wish to Continue on Friday. Intrigued by their tunes and party hats, we had a chat with  Chris from the band to find out more…

For anyone who doesn’t know the band, can you give us a quick intro…

Hi, we are the band Hot Shorts from Manchester, England and consist of Peet (bass and vocals), Lara (drums), Joel (guitar and vocals) and myself, Chris (also guitar and vocals). We started in 2014 and while not exactly a 100% ‘comedy band’ we’re still often motivated by doing things that we find funny (even if nobody else does). Self-sabotage seems to be a recurring theme. Also ‘the internet’.

Tell us about your new album I Understand & I Wish to Continue – how long has it been in the making and what have been the highs and lows of the process?

It’s actually taken quite a while! I’m really bad at working stuff like this out but, according to Bandcamp, our last album came out in November 2016, so yeah, three years?! (Although we only practice like once a week; it wasn’t three years of gruelling twelve-hour days).

I guess the high point was actually recording it in a real studio. Up until this point, we’d just recorded everything ourselves in practice rooms but this time around we booked in five days with Michael Whalley at a studio in Bury called Big City Jacks. He was so lovely and made the whole thing really fun and painless, and yeah, it was such a great time.

I think the low point was probably when I got a sore throat the day before I did my vocals and panicked that I just wouldn’t be able to sing all my bits. (I managed to sing all my bits).

Have to ask about Dorothy, the unassuming star of your recent single My Cat is Gonna Live Forever – how is she coping with the fame and expectations of eternal life?

She seems okay so far. She’s already had a taste of ‘fame’ what with her being the cover star of our first self-titled album too (back when she was a kitten). Cool fact: the LP cover photo of her is pretty much 1:1 scale. But yeah, she’s taking it all in her stride, seemingly. (I haven’t broken it to her that she’s going to the vets for a check up next week though).

You’ve got a few live dates booked in London and Manchester, what can people expect from your shows and when might we see you elsewhere?

We’re hoping to play more gigs in 2020, especially in places that aren’t Manchester. We kind of tried to book a small tour to coincide with the release of the album, but it turns out that booking gigs in new cities is really hard and confusing. But yeah, gonna try again really soon!

Which two artists would you love to tour with, no restrictions?

If I’m allowed to say Nirvana, then I’ll say Nirvana please. If I’m not allowed to say Nirvana, I guess … a holographic Nirvana? And also Mitski who is my favourite artist who is still actually active/alive/etc. So Nirvana and Mitski, supported by the comedy band Hot Shorts. What a confusing and wonderful imaginary tour that would be.

Apart from your upcoming shows, what else is happening on the Manchester music scene that we should look out for?

There’s tons of really great bands in Manchester doing interesting stuff. Off the top of my head I would recommend: Butcher the Bar, Chew Magna, Locean, Playacting, Claw the Thin Ice, Patty Hearst, ILL, Secret Admirer, False Advertising… oh and there’s this band called Grotbags who are alright, I guess?

Plans and hopes for the future?

This is just supposed to be a fun thing really, so the fact that we’ve managed to do anything at all – been asked to play gigs, put out two albums – feels like a bonus to me. That said, I’ve got some riffs and song ideas for a possible third album, so I guess we’ll start working on those? Plus trying to play some more gigs outside of Manchester. And waiting on that call from Mitski’s people…

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I Understand and I Wish to Continue was released on Friday via Icecapades Records

There’s a link to the video for My Cat is Gonna Live Forever in our previous new music feature and you can watch the video for Who Brings a Guitar to a Party? below

More from Hot Shorts right here

Interview by Siobhan
Photos via One Beat PR

29th October 2019

 

Interview – Los Blancos

Steadily creeping out from under the musical radar, Los Blancos released their debut album last month; an impressive collection of songs spanning different genres and past references. Definitely ones to watch, get to know the band a little better here…

For anyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of hearing you yet, tell us a little about Los Blancos…

We’re a 4 piece band from West Wales, we play slacker rock with influences from punk, country and shoegaze

Your album Sbwriel Gwyn was released last month – what’s the story behind it and who deserves a shout out for helping you complete it?

Sbwriel Gwyn is Welsh for ‘white trash’, which is what we often refer to each other as affectionately. It encompasses all sorts of our experiences in recent years from heartache, rural isolation, friendship, alcohol and a love song to a dog. Couldn’t have done it without Gruff from Libertino and Krissy Jenkins, our producer.

There’s a bit of a resurgence in contemporary artists singing in regional languages and accents, how important is it to you to write and sing in Welsh?

It is important but it was also never a conscious decision, it’s not like we were looking to make a political statement. Welsh is what we speak to each other so when we started jamming and writing together the lyrics were just naturally written in Welsh, it would be insincere to try and translate them and they’d lose meaning.


(From the band’s Facebook page)

It feels like there’s a huge range of musical influences on the album, who did you all listen to growing up and what’s the last album you each bought?

We all have different tastes but have common ground in Pavement, Brian Jonestown, Ty Segall… these are artists we were listening a lot to when we started Los Blancos

Last albums:
Dewi – Bodega, Shiny New Model 
Osian – Cage the Elephant, Happy Birthday 
Gwyn – John Prine, Prime Prine 
Emyr – Allah-las, LAHS

What’s your local music scene like – any other artists you’d recommend we should look out for?

Papur Wal, Sybs and Hyll are shit hot

If you could put a copy of Sbwriel Gwyn into any one person’s hands and guarantee they would listen to it, who would you choose?

Idris Elba

And where can we see you live, what are your touring plans for the coming months?

We’ll be playing a tour around Wales, in Cardiff, Cardigan, Wrexham and Caernarfon. We’ve also got a few more gigs in and around Wales as well.

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Sbwriel Gwyn is available now on Libertino Records – there’s a link to the video for the title track in our previous new music feature and you can watch the video for opening single Dilyn Iesu Grist below

More from Los Blancos here

Interview by Siobhan
Header photo © The Shoot via One Beat PR

28th October 2019

 

 

 

 

Interview – Tempers

On their new album Private Life, New York based electronica duo Tempers (Jasmine Golestaneh and Eddie Cooper) step towards darker territory, fusing elements of post-punk, dream pop and industrial music, resulting in what the band have described as a  ‘a successful progression of their cinematic aesthetic into a  moodier and more introspective landscape’. We spoke to them about the inspiration behind the record and its tonal shift, as well as the advantages of being in a two piece…

Your new record Private Life is released today – how does the album process initiate for you? Is it a conscious decision to sit down and start writing, or does it happen more free-flowing and unexpectedly?

Eddie: It’s been different for all three of our albums – Services was so exploratory in the beginning, as we were initially just developing our sound and sense of what we wanted Tempers to be. Then Junkspace was an entirely intentional and defined conceptual project, start to finish. Private Life feels like something in between – the album came from us just continuously writing and recording, our intentions not explicitly stated but with our aesthetic already clearly defined.

You’re releasing the album through Dais Records, what was it that drew you to the label, and how supportive have they been in the production of Private Life?

Eddie: It feels like the diversity of Dais’ roster mirrors the energy spectrum contained within our own music; there’s a vision and coherence to their choices, even though the releases vary quite a bit. That’s something we’ve always cared about within our own sound. The label’s been incredibly supportive – we finished the album before signing with them, and they’ve been on board with all our ideas and choices.

To me, both the first two singles, Capital Pains and Peace of Mind evoke feelings of isolation, envy and dejection. Is there an overarching lyrical ‘theme’ to the album, and musically, what led you to edge towards a darker, more atmospheric sound?

Jasmine: While it is an album exploring intimate and shadowy emotions – there is an over arching political theme to the album, isolation, envy and dejection are all symptoms of the dehumanising aspects of our age. A society that is built on greed, competition and injustice will evoke those feelings collectively. There is a reason why mental illness is such a prevalent issue. I think creating an empathetic space for those emotions is healing and unifying. I don’t think of it as ‘dark’, just reckoning with challenging human emotions we all share, and taking the shame out of it.

Being New York based, I imagine you don’t have to look far for inspiration and motivation. Was that the case for this record? Were there any of your local music contemporaries or geographical factors in New York that assisted in the creation of the album?

Jasmine: It is true that I am constantly fed creative stimulation living in New York city, even walking down the street is a high octave event, and there are fast trends for what is new and innovative, which may or may not be that important in the grand scheme of things. In order to make the most out of it, and not get too distracted or swayed by it all, I’ve created a fortress around my internal space, that I feel a strong need to maintain. It’s like an internal city where I can swim through feelings I can’t put into words, fantasies I would never share with anyone, and where my imagination feels uninhibited. My defense and curiosity for this private space must be a psychic response to my hectic environment – so shaped by the imposition of the city itself. I am very inspired by visual art when writing music, so I spend a lot of time in galleries.

I really like the cover art for Private Life, how did you end up working with the artist Elsa Bleda and what was it about the cover image that made you feel it was the right choice?

Jasmine: We found that image while writing the album, and used it as a kind of visual cue as it said a lot about the themes we were working with. What’s happening in that room, behind the mysterious curtain? We imagined the songs taking place within the privacy of that blue room.

What are some of the positives and negatives about creating music as a duo?

Eddie: Creating music as a duo seems ideal to me, but I guess of course I would say that – we’re so used to working this way that it’s hard at this point for me to imagine being with four other people standing around in a studio working through songs together. Over time we’ve really internalised what each other’s instincts and orientations are, such that we can kind of channel each other during the times when we’re working on sections on our own. The challenge, and this isn’t actually a negative, is that there’s no way to hide – if something’s not working or you’re not feeling it creatively, it’s not really possible to coast along.

Are there any plans to tour in support of the album and, if so, will you be visiting Europe and the UK?

We’ll be in Europe and the UK a lot this winter, putting our tour together as we speak. We’re also playing a few shows in Mexico this fall, which should be really fun…

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You can purchase Private Life and keep an eye on tour dates for Tempers here

Listen to the audio for Peace of Mind below

Interview by Ryan Bell
Photos via One Beat PR, header shot by Sebastian Mlynarski 

25th October 2019

New Music – MNNQNS, Lazybones, Hot Shorts

New releases and live dates: MNNQNS / Lazybones / Hot Shorts

MNNQNS – Body Negative (album)

Meet MNNQNS from Rouen in France, a band producing some excellent post punk tunes that really are worth writing home about. Vocalist Adrian D’Epinay attributes a French/Welsh fusion in their music to the time he spent studying in Cardiff saying, ‘Many of the things I like in music now come from bands I saw there at that time. There were many psych and pop bands, experimental acts, and weird punk music. It impacted on me both musically and visually.’ Their album Body Negative was released through FatCat Records on Friday and comes packed with riff ridden indie gems; fans of Hooton Tennis Club come on over…

MNNQNS play some UK dates later this week:

October

17th – London, Thousand Island
18th – Brighton, Latest Music Bar

Video for recent single Fall Down below

MNNQNS

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Lazybones – Trash Talk (single)

Out now, the new single from Brighton trio Lazybones is about ‘That moment when you know you’re about to say something you’ll regret, when you’re right on the edge and you just can’t stop it’, vocalist Candi Underwood explains. It pulls no punches, launching straight into Vice Squad style vocals amidst a triptych clattering of bass, drums and organ. With a sense of suitably DIY urgency, Trash Talk hurtles at speed from start to finish. If you want to hear more, you can catch Lazybones on the road very soon, dates below:

October

24th – Nottingham, Albert’s
25th – London, The Waiting Rooms
27th – Liverpool, Jacaranda

November

1st – Cardiff, The Moon
2nd – Birmingham, The Flapper
3rd – Milton Keynes, Craufurd Arms
21st – Brighton, Latest Music Bar

Listen to Trash Talk here

Lazybones

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Hot Shorts – My Cat is Gonna Live Forever (single)

Cat lovers of the internet, this one’s for you. In advance of their impending LP release, Manchester’s Hot Shorts have shared the impossibly heartwarming My Cat is Gonna Live Forever. Like a feline loving hybrid of Young Knives and New Young Pony Club, the track doesn’t take itself too seriously but the accomplished undertones of slacker rock bode well for the album – I Understand and I Wish to Continue is out on Icecapades Records on 25th October.

A handful of live dates are planned; hopefully more will be added:

30th October – London, Venue MOT Unit 18
9th November – Manchester, Soup Kitchen (album launch)
17th December – Manchester, The Peer Hat (Grotbags & Friends Xmas Fundraiser)

Lyric video for My Cat is Gonna Live Forever below

Hot Shorts

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Words by Siobhan

14th October 2019

New Music – Los Blancos, Sunflower Thieves, Lazarus Kane

New releases and tour dates: Los Blancos / Sunflower Thieves / Lazarus Kane  

Los Blancos – Sbwriel Gwyn 

Friday saw the release of the new album by Welsh psych-punks Los Blancos, an adrenaline fuelled long-player packed with untamed guitars and beautifully chaotic tunes. Its title track has a feel of early Velvet Underground; the rest of the album a mix of jangly riffs and heavier gnarly tracks. Based on this collection of songs, the future for Los Blancos looks very promising. The band will be promoting Sbwriel Gwyn during their Welsh tour this autumn and will announce wider UK dates for 2020 later this year – keep your fingers crossed that they’ll be playing somewhere near you.

18th October – Cardigan, Bar Seler
1st November – Caernarfon, Clwb Canol Dre
2nd November – Wrexham, Ty Pawb

Video for Sbwriel Gwyn below:

Los Blancos

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Sunflower Thieves – Heavy Weight 

Leeds-based pop-folk band Sunflower Thieves are made up of long time friends Amy and Lily. Their new stripped back single Heavy Weight is released into the world today and offers ‘ethereal vocal harmonies and honest lyrics to soothe the mind’. A song to play as you watch the sun go down on the summer for another year, its stripped back melodies are both reflective and relaxing. As yet unsigned, take your chance to catch the band live while they’re still playing intimate venues – they’re out on the road soon, dates below.

November

1st – Middlesbrough, Secret Show
3rd – Tynemouth, Surf Cafe 
9th – York, FortyFive Vinyl Cafe
10th – Sheffield, Cafe #9
11th – Nottingham, Jamcafe
12th – Leeds, Oporto
14th – London, Sofar Sounds
15th – Coventry, The Big Comfy Bookshop
28th – Liverpool, We Want Women

Listen to Heavy Weight (Stripped) here

Sunflower Thieves

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Lazarus Kane – Narcissus 

Well, the Speedy Wunderground team have only gone and done it again with their newest release; if you can trust any label to consistently produce quality goods time after time this is the one. Latest offering, Lazarus Kane’s Narcissus stomps straight into the drumbeat of Talking Heads’ Psychokiller with vocals that will draw in fans of Lux Interior and Kristen Hersch. On the first few listens this is one of my favourite releases this year; look forward to hearing more from both the artist and the label – audio link and pending live dates below. Narcissus was released digitally on Friday and there is a limited run of 7” vinyl (250 copies) out on 1st Nov, pre-orders available here while stocks last.

October

19th – Oxford, Ritual Union
20th – Cardiff, Swn
24th – London, XOYO (w/ HMLTD)
31st – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club (w/ Warmduscher)

November

1st – London, Brixton Windmill (single launch)
2nd – Manchester, The White Hotel (w/ Warmduscher)
3rd – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds 2 (w/ Warmduscher)
4th – Bristol, The Fleece (w/ Warmduscher)
5th – Southampton, The Joiners (w/ Warmduscher)
7th – Margate, Elsewhere (w/ Warmduscher)
8th – Brighton, The Haunt (w/ Warmduscher)
13th – London, Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen (TGE First Fifty)
23rd – London, The Dome (w/ The Magic Gang)

Audio for Narcissus:

Lazarus Kane

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Words by Siobhan

30th September 2019

New Music – Omni, Drusila, Mermaidens

New releases – Omni, Drusila, Mermaidens

Omni – Sincerely Yours

Set for the release of their album Networker with the mighty Sub Pop Records on 1st November, Atlanta’s Omni share new track Sincerely Yours. The album takes the familiarity of the band’s experimental post punk and adds softer harmonies, giving a fresh twist on their older work. To promote Networker, Omni will be bringing their tour to the UK in late November stopping off in Brighton, Bristol, Manchester, Glasgow, Leeds and London. Take a listen to Sincerely Yours here.

Omni

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Drusila – Single Life

Giving the 80s a run for their synth-pop money, Portsmouth duo Drusila released their new track Single Life on Friday. The song takes a perhaps unexpected melancholic turn but retains the catchy electronic backbeat that has become their trademark; it’s an accomplished sound for a band so new. Drusila have been busy on the live circuit this year and proved to be a stand out act on the urban festival scene. Look out for more from the two piece in due course and listen to Single Life here.

Drusila

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Mermaidens – Millennia 

New Zealand trio Mermaidens bring new track Millennia to the table, full of dreamy vocals and indie pop hooks. The band’s Lily West describes the song as ‘A deadpan dig at the masks we wear. I wanted us to explore the mess of feelings around that twisted meeting of media and identity and how it can create such a warped sense of reality. There’s an implication that we can’t be successful without this system, despite it not being that much good for anybody.’ The album Look Me In The Eye is due for release via Flying Nun Records on 6th September and Mermaidens will be playing live dates in Margate, Oxford, Glasgow, Sheffield and London also in September. You can hear lead track Millennia here.

Mermaidens

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Words by Siobhan

14th August 2019

 

New Music – Kid Kapichi, Dilettante, Grey Hairs

New releases and live dates – Kid Kapichi, Dilettante, Grey Hairs

Kid Kapichi – Sugar Tax (EP)

Released last week, Hastings’ Kid Kapichi bring a heady mix of gritty tunes (think Arctic Monkeys kicked into touch by The Ruts) on their new EP Sugar Tax. Kicking off with recent single Glitterati, the 5 track EP offers a great introduction to the band, who manage to melt accessibility and musical edge together with apparent simplicity. Their songs and live performances are definitely worth looking out for. Fast accumulating a dedicated fan base, get to see them if you can before the venues become bigger and bigger.

The band will be playing at Neverland, Hever on 1st August and The Victoria, London on 8th August before heading out on tour in October.

Watch the video for Death Dips below

Kid Kapichi

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Dilettante: Hatesongs (album)

Set for release tomorrow, Dilettante bring a mini album in the form of Hatesongs, a collection of tracks that ponder the pressures of modern life while musically referencing different eras from the past. Should you be searching out an act that blends the vocals of Kate Bush and Portishead and drops them into a 50s’ cabaret club show, then Dilettante may be just what you’re looking for. The album feels as though it could easily form the soundtrack to an undiscovered Lynch film; art pop with  a pleasantly haunting aftertaste.

Hatesongs’ launch parties are happening tonight (25th June) at YES, Manchester and tomorrow (26th June) at Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds. Dilettante will also be performing at Handyman Pub, Liverpool on 7th August.

Listen to Shopfront for a taster now

Dilettante

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Grey Hairs: Health & Social Care (album)

Out next week on 2nd August comes the third album from Nottingham punks Grey Hairs. The release follows a year of touring with Sleaford Mods, Hey Colossus and SAVAK and addresses ‘a scorching reflection on balancing your creative impulses against the commitments of impending middle age’. It’s an angry but relatable look at the state of current political affairs and addresses subjects that many will empathise with. And after all, punk plays best when it has something to react against.

Live dates in August are at Albert’s, Nottingham on 9th, Pilgrim’s Pit, Stoke on Trent on 16th, Hatch, Sheffield on 17th and Paper Dress Vintage, London on 23rd.

Watch the newly released video for Piss Transgressor here

Grey Hairs

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Words by Siobhan

25th July 2019

Interview – Dog of Man

Brighton’s Dog of Man have something special going on with their upcoming album and you can all get involved by doing much more than just streaming the tracks… find out more about the interactive release and the band behind it here…

You’ve been described as ‘great gritty DIY’ (Citizen Fish), ‘accordion driven acid punk’ (Viva Magazine) and ‘dream headliners for an end of the world party‘ (Brighton Source) – how would you describe your music and each other?

I would describe our music as a mishmash of punk rock and psychedelia with gypsy influences. Comes with the territory of an accordion. We come from a variety of musical backgrounds and influences, bluegrass, klezmer, breakcore and punk rock so the result is the freak out music that we make. We wanted to steer rock music away from the slow melodic towards the exciting and hectic.

Brighton’s a continuous hub of activity and creativity – where are your favourite places to go around the city?

Love to go to the Bee’s Mouth for a pint and chat with Superhans, or pop over to The Albert for a good show. During the day, Marwood cafe doth provide. Inevitably we all end up at the nudist beach anyway.

You’re part way through the process of putting out an interactive album Dogmatic Manual – how does that work and where did the concept come from?

The concept came from the fighting fantasy novels like The Warlock of Firetop Mountain in which you choose where to go for the next part of the story (turn to page x to go left). This concept was recently revitalised by Charlie Brooker’s Bandersnatch. The album works like this: each week a song comes out with a video on Facebook. Embedded within the video is a poll with two options. Whatever the majority of people choose decides what the next song (and video) will be and the definitive track listing of the album which will be available at our launch party and online after the 7 weeks are up.

What’s the reaction been like to the tracks you’ve shared so far and are things going the way you expected?

Great! More and more people are getting involved with the polls and the views are getting more traction every week. We have been getting well over a thousand views on the release days and we expect that number to keep rising with each weekly submission.

The videos accompanying the songs have a great old home movie feel to them but have clearly been shot with a lot more skills than the average old home movie maker – who’s behind the camera and the ideas?

There’s a variety of talent behind the lens. Opiate – the first release was shot by James Van Vliet. This shoot involved a crew of 4 people, with incredible costume and design by Laura Byrom and her enthusiastic team. It was a high concept piece of work which involved a lot of planning and preparation and we were very pleased with the end result.

We have also utilised the gonzo skills of Babak Roshan, who is a veteran photographer and world traveller with years of experience behind a camera capturing ad hoc footage in any kind of environment. All videos aside from Opiate are edited by the accordion player Mike and the concepts for the videos are created by the band collectively to suit the theme of the song with essentially zero budget.

And what can we expect from your upcoming live dates and album launch?

Expect a raucous show! You’ve probably never seen an electric accordion psych punk band and the performances are always packed with frenetic energy. We are an excitable bunch, which is why it’s an honour to play alongside Town of Cats and Buffos Wake who know how to get the party moving!

Pending live dates:

19th July – London, The Finsbury
8th August – London, Dublin Castle
16th August – Brighton, The Hope & Ruin (album launch)

Check out the tracks released so far and have your say in future weeks on the Dog of Man Facebook page – you can also find them on Instagram and Twitter

Interview by Siobhan, photos via Dog of Man

12th July 2019