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

Interview – Grapefruit

Hailing from Kent and bringing atmospheric indie tunes to the table, five piece Grapefruit release their enchanting new single into the world today. Get to know the band and take a listen to Soak below…

Give us a quick introduction to Grapefruit…

Grapefruit are a five piece band from all over Kent – we’re a bit of a clumsy mish-mash of old friends and strangers meeting online. Grace (guitar) and Angela (vocals) started Grapefruit a little while after finishing school and then met James (drums) through a desperate online search. Ollie (bass) was James’ best mate who came along to our first ever gig and joined us straight after that. We played like that for a year or so before Lew (guitar), a childhood friend of Ollie’s, came to see us audition for Pride in a drag bar and he’s been with us ever since.

It’s hard to describe what we aim for except to see what happens when we all come together with our vastly different music tastes to create music that isn’t what we are all used to hearing. Debating the value of country music can be helpful for creative flow it turns out.

Tell us about your new single Soak

Soak is the perfecting of the very first thing we started playing when Lew came along to his first practice with us. He instantly clicked with us and we love the music we are making with him now.

The song is about the feeling of dissociating, we live in a world that is so overwhelmingly chaotic and cluttered that you can lose yourself as life rushes past. The song is loud, intense and relentless, which is like the experiencing of dissociating sometimes.

There’s a fair amount of festival activity around Kent (By the Sea and Folkestone Psych Fest spring to mind), has it been a supportive environment for you growing as a band?

Maidstone’s been a bit of a hub for us; it’s Ange and Grace’s hometown and we’ve played Maidstone Fringe Fest a couple of times. Just this year we’ve been picking up a bit locally; we played the Fringe Festival and Hope Festival this year and we’ll also be playing the Faversham Beer and Music Festival in July. It’s exciting to get this support.

What’s been your favourite live show or venue that you’ve played to date?

Get in Her Ears are an incredible collective who promote women and femme people in music; we played for them at Notting Hill Arts Club and really enjoyed it. It was already a nostalgic place for us because it was one of our first ever gig venues back when the band had just started with three members, so it was really cool to come back with more members and more music and more experience, plus to play alongside other really talented female fronted bands. We also found out that night that our new single (Black and Blue) had gotten played by BBC Introducing!! We spent a lot of the night enjoying the really good vibes and dancing.

There seems to be a flurry of articles questioning whether streaming is killing or saving the music industry – what’s been your experience?

It’s a hard question. On the one hand, you could say streaming is killing the industry – 1,000 plays equates to no money for the artist whereas 1,000 single sales would’ve been £990 before. It’s somewhat harder to get somewhere and make a living making music. On the other hand, it is allowing small bands/artists to take control of their own music. Maybe it’s changed the music industry as opposed to killed it and it’s all about adapting to the times.

And what are you planning and hoping for during the rest of 2019?

We are writing and recording and releasing all year. It’s been really good to focus on new music and we’re trying to pick up the pace and spread the Grapefruit vibe.

You can listen to Soak now and keep up with the latest news from Grapefruit here

Interview by Siobhan
Header Photo © Jon Mo, B/W photo © fillm – both via Grapefruit

28th June 2019

 

New Music – Frankie Cosmos, Fast Trains (Ban Summers Remix), SadGirl

New releases – Frankie Cosmos, Fast Trains (Ban Summers Remix), SadGirl

A single, a remix and an album – if you’re looking for some fresh new music we have all bases covered. Take 10 minutes of your time to sit back and enjoy the enchanting sounds and visuals of this latest selection of new music…

Frankie Cosmos – Windows

Ahead of new album Close it Quietly due out on 6th September, Frankie Cosmos release lead track Windows, a charming showcase for the melodic vocals of Greta Kline and scene-setter for the album and tour dates later in the year. Greta explains ‘This song takes place during the waiting period of healing, not knowing how to proceed or how to find the path to forgiveness. The inner versus the outer – learning to see yourself as part of the whole.’ Reflective, winsome pop to lighten your day, take a look at the video for Windows here…

Frankie Cosmos on Facebook

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Fast Trains – Measure by Measure (Ban Summers Remix)

Many a kind word has been rightly spoken about Fast Trains, the new project from songwriter and producer Tom Wells. Taking a new twist on the soft psychedelia looped guitars and vocals of recent release Measure by Measure, Edward Perry, aka Ban Summers, has remixed the track, adding different layers and a hint of industrialisation. Whether we have a new Portsmouth supergroup in the making or this is a one off collaboration, it makes for a refreshing listen and is a solid introduction to both artists if you’re not familiar with them already…

Fast Trains on Facebook    Ban Summers on Facebook

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SadGirl – Water

The LA trio’s new album Water is out now, made up of a series of recording sessions from the last two years using a variety of tape machines in different environments including home and studio recordings. Released back in April, Chlorine offers an insight into the story-telling encompassed in the new tracks, with more than a leaning towards early Marc Bolan vocals and a video portraying the fine line between innocence and toxicity. Hazy, soulful tunes aplenty, get a taster by checking out the video for Chlorine here…

SadGirl on Facebook

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Words by Siobhan
Frankie Cosmos header photo © Jackie Lee Young

24th June 2019

 

Interview – Outer Spaces

From the heart of Baltimore, a city with music running through its veins, Cara Beth Satalino brings a new album from her indie-pop project Outer Spaces, drawing vocal comparisons with the likes of Stevie Nicks and Soccer Mommy. A collection of tracks full of clear melodies and reflective lyrics, the result is a cathartic and emollient body of work. We spoke to Cara Beth to find out more about the inspiration for her songs and the eclectic set of artists she listened to in the process of writing and recording.

Your new album Gazing Globe is out on 28th June – how long has it been in the making and who’s been involved?

It’s been quite a long process actually. I started writing some of these songs about three years ago. In 2017 I took a little break from playing shows to finish writing and I demo-ed everything myself at home before going into the studio, so I had a very good idea where I wanted things to go. I recorded the record at Tempo House in Baltimore, working with Chester Gwazda and Jared Paolini in March of 2018. My good friend and former band-mate Rob Dowler played drums on all of the tracks and Chester played the bass and keys.

In the process of making the album, you said that you were reflecting on a period where you were ‘obsessed with finding music from the past that has a cult following now, but never really ‘caught on’ at the time it was released, either because it was ahead of its time or simply because no-one had really heard it’. Which artists did you have in mind that you’d recommend?

One of my favourite albums is East and West by Anna Domino. It’s incredible, and so innovative. I listen to it weekly. Linda Perhacs’ record Parallelograms is another favourite. Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Vivien Goldman. It seemed to me that there were so many women making amazing music and going largely unnoticed. I also fell in love with the music of Francis Bebey, Ernie Graham and The Cleaners from Venus.

Tell us some more about Gazing Globe and what we can expect.

When I wrote a lot of the songs on Gazing Globe I was doing some exploration of my inner self, starting a daily meditation practice. A few of the songs reference another person, who is most likely myself. The title track came to me more like a vision. I liked the image of a gazing globe on a moonlit night. In the song, the character is compelled to explore the garden after dark, in a sleepy haze, further disoriented by the distorted reflection of themselves and their surroundings. They are looking for this person whose reflection they see, but it’s really just them all along. It’s kind of a metaphor for the trap of self-improvement. Basically, Gazing Globe is a record about learning to soften to yourself and really love yourself.

 

How does it differ from your past work and what’s influenced this?

People have told me since I was young that my songs were ‘sad’, which I’ve always hated. As if there are two feelings: happy and sad. What a boring and limiting way to experience the world. I think on my last two records I was trying to make the ‘sad’ songs more peppy, more upbeat, more poppy. With this record I was trying to get outside the box with my songwriting and guitar style. On Paper Flowers that meant letting go and deliberately choosing a very simplistic chord progression, losing that sense of ‘structure’ completely. On songs like I Slowly Close my Eyes I was really trying to make this windy guitar part that kind of pulls you along gently, but doesn’t feel complicated. I was just getting into meditation and I was trying to express my experience of it through music.

What’s your local music scene like in Baltimore at the moment?

After a bit of a slump, it seems like it’s really starting to come back. A few of my favourites have or are about to release new music this year. I’m especially into Abdu Ali’s new record. Baltimore is home to so many amazing artists so it’s nice to feel like the music scene is thriving again.

And what’s next for Outer Spaces?

I’ve already started writing for a new record, though I haven’t made my mind up yet about how it will sound. I’ve been working on stripping things down and doing more solo performances, so I’d imagine it will be a bit more sparse, but time will tell. In the meantime, we’ll be hitting the road and touring a bunch this summer.

Gazing Globe is released on 28th June via Western Vinyl; for a taste of what’s to come you can listen to latest single Album for Ghosts here and follow Outer Spaces for updates on future releases and live dates.

Interview by Siobhan
Header photo © Chester Gwazda

7th June 2019

Interview – Diving Station

Ever feel that things are spinning by too quickly and you’d like to just stop, contemplate and enjoy the moment? Then you’ll appreciate not just the sentiment behind Diving Station’s new single Film but also its soothing, multi-layered mix of emotive vocals, melodies and atmosphere. George and Sean tell us how it all came about, what’s coming next and give a shout out to some other great artists, venues and people who’ve helped them along the way…

Introduce us to Diving Station – who’s involved and how did you get together as a band?

George: Hello! We’re a band made up of Anna McLuckie on clàrsach and vocals, Sean Rogan on guitar, George Burrage on bass and Barney Kimberley on drums and vocals. We came up with the term ‘harp-driven dream pop’ and it seems to have stuck for now! Each member is originally from a different corner of the UK (Edinburgh, Manchester, Reading and the Isle of Man) but we all met whilst studying music in Manchester, bonding over similar influences such as Bon Iver, Radiohead and Bombay Bicycle Club. From then we started writing songs, doing gigs around Manchester and here we are 4 years later!

Your latest single Film has just been released – what’s it about and what’s the reaction to it been like so far?

Sean: Film is a story of struggle and frustration in a world that moves so fast we’ve no time to reflect on and deal with our own thoughts. The reaction to it has been wonderful, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support, especially from the likes of BBC 6 Music and Introducing, it means a lot! This is the quickest turnaround between writing and recording we’ve ever had, so it’s exciting that some of our fans that have watched us live haven’t even heard it yet, but they seem to like it so far!

You’re based in Manchester, much lauded for its music – what’s going on there currently that we should know about?

George: Manchester International Festival is happening again next month. The line-up of music and art is incredible so I’d encourage anyone to attend. Sounds From The Other City Festival in Salford is also fantastic, as well as Dot to Dot and Manchester Jazz Festival, all of which took place in May. There’s always so much music to see from a ridiculous amount of good venues like Band on the Wall, Gorilla, YES, Eagle Inn, Fuel Cafe, Deaf Institute, Dulcimer, Albert Hall and many more. Through studying together, we’ve met some great bands like Paige Kennedy, Cosmo Calling, HAZY, Sylvette, Darcie and Porij.

You’ve toured across the UK – any special venues or standout memories?

George: We recently played a gig in Leeds at the lovely Hyde Park Book Club. Our friends Heir organised the night, colourfully exhibiting local artists around the venue, and we were on the bill with Caro. They’re an exciting band and we were lucky enough to have them support us at our EP launch earlier that month.

Are You Listening? is a great charity festival in Reading. We were on early but there was a big crowd that seemed passionate about finding new music throughout the day. We also had some downtime and managed to sneak in a country walk which always helps.

What’s the hardest thing about trying to make your name in the music business and what or who has helped you on your way?

Sean: I think the hardest thing is simply making yourself heard by those that can help you move forward. To reflect on what we said about our latest single, the world moves so fast that we can release a song, get a super enthusiastic response from our audience, then feel like we don’t even exist a month later. Staying on people’s radars is tricky, and I think someone that’s helped us a lot with staying in people’s heads is our artist, Amrit Randhawa. The aesthetic he’s created across our recent releases is so distinctive, and he taught us a lot about building a visual world around our music, something which we’d probably have left behind.

George: Brighter Sound’s mentoring programme has given me so much invaluable advice on the music business from industry professionals and musicians I admire. Ryan Paul and the BBC Introducing in Manchester team have also been incredibly supportive since our last EP Feather Mouth was released.

And what are you up to for the rest of the year?

Sean: Festival season is just kicking in and we’re super excited to be off to Glastonbury to perform on the Toad Hall stage, as well as Bluedot, Tramlines Fringe and EskFest. After that, we’ll be releasing another single, along with a headline gig at YES in Manchester and a short UK tour surrounding it. Outside of that we’re still writing away, and forever trying to catch up with recording the backlog of songs we’d love to share with the world!

Listen to Film now and follow Diving Station here

Interview by Siobhan
Photos © Oliver Pringle 
Film artwork by Amrit Randhawa

5th June 2019

New Music – Treeboy & Arc, Cold Showers, The Howlers

New releases & live dates – Treeboy & Arc / Cold Showers / The Howlers

Treeboy & Arc: Concept

Delivering their strongest track so far, Concept is the new single from Leeds quintet Treeboy & Arc, produced by Speedy Wunderground’s Dan Carey. The band have been making a name for themselves on the live circuit playing in great company with the likes of Crows, Chest Pains, Yowl and Vulgarians. Their post-punk guitars take a darker twist here with spoken vocals challenging the concept of the flawed environment around us. Singer Ben Morgan notes, ‘The song is about being the only person alive and the entire world around me being a figment of my imagination. But then ultimately coming to the realisation that that’s not the case as, if I’d created everything around me, I’d have given myself a lot more beneficial features. It’s kind of an existential stream of consciousness.’

Concept is available digitally now and has a very limited vinyl release (250 copies) on Speedy Wunderground on 7th June. At the time of writing there are still some copies available but get your order in quickly, these won’t hang around.

The band have a few live dates booked in June (single launches in London and Leeds):

6th June – London, The Waiting Rooms
8th June – Bristol, Triptych Festival
13th June – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club

Treeboy & Arc © Bands on Film

Treeboy & Arc    Listen to Concept    Pre-order 7″ vinyl

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Cold Showers: Dismiss (single) Motionless (album)

Released today via Dais Records, new album Motionless moves towards warmer melodies and refrains while maintaining the darkwave, brooding backdrop that Cold Showers have become known for. Current single Dismiss offers a flavour of the LA trio’s new sound and comes with a lyric video directed by Ruinas Romanas.

The band explain, ‘Dismiss dates back to 2013 as an ode to broken relationships and still rings familiar which is why we decided to develop it further and re-record it.  As fans of (Romanas’) collage work, we linked via social media to create the visual companion to the song.’ Romanas adds that Dismiss is ‘a reverie about a relationship that ends at the darkest point. An inevitable farewell.’

Motionless is available on both CD and vinyl LP (with limited edition colored vinyl variants), as well as all digital formats.

Remaining UK tour dates with Tamaryn over the next few days below, after these the band head out across Europe playing multiple venues in France, Germany, Sweden, Czech Republic and Poland:

25th May – London, The Shacklewell Arms
27th May – Glasgow, Broadcast
28th May – Manchester, Night People
29th May – Bristol, The Lanes

Cold Showers © Shannon Cornett

Cold Showers    Watch the video for Dismiss    

You can buy Motionless digitally here – for vinyl purchases check your local record shop to avoid postage charges from the US

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The Howlers: La Dolce Vita

For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of seeing The Howlers live, they have a run of gigs across the UK throughout June and July – a highly recommended way to spend an evening. Also coming very soon, their new single La Dolce Vita is released into the world on 7th June on heavyweight vinyl (on These Bloody Thieves Records) and a limited run of just 50 sunburst orange cassettes (through Brutalist Records) plus the usual digital channels.

La Dolce Vita is a short, sharp burst of spaghetti western guitars attacked with frenetic drums, another step forward in the band’s assault against the mainstream – keep an eye and ear out for its release; The Howlers’ (fka Scrubs) recent EP Circus of Horrors will give you an insight into what to expect.

You can catch the band live on the upcoming tour dates below:

1st June – London, Camden Rocks Festival
2nd June – Manchester, The Peer Hat

21st June – Sheffield, Cafe Totem
22nd June – Liverpool, The Jacaranda
28th June – London, The Macbeth
29th June – Southampton, Heartbreakers
30th June – Brighton, The Hope & Ruin
5th July – Nottingham, Alberts
6th July – Manchester, The Castle Hotel
19th July – Sheffield, Tramlines Festival (Fringe)
20th July – Portsmouth, Edge of the Wedge

30th July – Hull, The Polar Bear

The Howlers © Rob Blackman

The Howlers    Pre-order cassette    Pre-order 7″ vinyl

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Words by Siobhan
Photos via One Beat PR / Brutalist Records and copyrighted as credited

24th May 2019