This week’s new discoveries

Alex Rushfirth-I Live It

We land in experimental pop beats which makes us remember early Alt-J or Everything Everything. We love the hooks and the vocal harmonizing bops. It’s mellow and addictive. I Live It is out now on HA! Recordings!

Swimming Girls-Back Of Your Car

Let’s hopping back to the 80’s with Cure-esque guitars mixed with synth lines that getting us dancing all night long. The Bristol outfit is bringing us a little bit of nostalgia and we cannot get enough of the magical touch of the track. Back of your car is really dreamy, and just so perfect for late night clubbing tales.

 

Farida-You

Hailing from Scandinavia, we can’t get enough of the soulful deep beats of this brand new track from Farida.  We can easily find some similarities to Jessie Ware or FKA Twigs in her production and we definitely feel good vibes while listening to the harmonies and high notes.

The Orielles-Silver Dollar Moment

This North-Western band just proved melodic britpop is at it again. The Orielles just released an heavenly album (no wordplay intended with their label!). This first record is a mix of folk, psychedelia and experimental pop. We feel a little bit of Belle and Sebastian on a bit more personal and original way.  The more we listen the more it grows on us, we even have some disco feelings on some tracks. Keep rockin’!

 

Advertisements

Interview: Enter Shikari

Since more than ten years, Enter Shikari are rocking the experimental post-hardcore scene. The band released last year their fifth album, The Spark. From the beginning of 2018 they are touring North America, promoting their constantly evolving sound. We caught up briefly with the leader of the St-Albans’ quartet, Rou Reynolds.

LC: The Spark is your 5th studio album and you worked on it with David Kosten as a producer. Was he the one who bring a little more experimental electronics in your sound or it came naturally?

R: “David Kosten is a fruitcake. And I like to have him with whipped cream. He certainly helped us realise and create the sound that I had in my head for this album. He had a wealth of knowledge about electronica and many of the influences that shaped this album from post punk to synth pop. I immediately knew he was the man for the job after we met him. I had a definitive vision of how I wanted this album to sound, and vintage hardware synths were a big part of that, and luckily David also had an amazing collection of synths to fulfil that dream!”

LC: On the album there is a track called  Take My Country Back, we guess the actual political Brexit situation inspired you on this?

R: “Yes, absolutely but also about the broader swing to the right on a global scale. Nationalism seems to have become a driving force behind peoples worldview again, and we’ve forgotten what a dangerous and cowardly mindset that is. Retreating back behind perceived borders pointing a finger outwards and calling every else ‘the other’, the foreigner. It also analyses political debate in our modern era where most peoples views are made and cemented via social media, which is essentially a very divided maze of echo chambers. So everyone only see’s stuff that they already agree with that solidifies their current views and therefor emboldens them in debate and decreases their willingness to actually listen and understand other points of view.”

LC: Your videos for the album are quite in a futuristic universe or space-inspired. Who find the concept?

R: “We decided to put the album in a retro-futurist aesthetic inspired by minimalism and brutalism. The videos themselves were developed from these basic visual palettes by producer Bob Gallagher who had some great ideas to further build a real theme around the music.”

LC: If you have one favorite track from the album, which one will it be? Why?

R: “It changes a lot. At the moment I’m really loving playing The Sights live, it’s the song we open the set with and always fills me with energy.”

LC:You formed back in 2003. How would you describe your evolution in the music industry of today. Since there is new platforms to promote, do you think it’s helpful for a band like yours?

R:”The landscape has obviously changed vastly since the onset of social media. I think it’s a double edged sword really. In many ways it’s far easier to promote your band with the many sites that people frequent. But at the same time so many people use it they’re completely over saturated so I often ask myself is it any easier now for a new band to rise it’s head above the onslaught of mediocrity?”

LC: You are going to tour North America in the next days. You are doing shows in small or medium venues, is it a way to be closer to your fan crowds? Do you prefer this from big UK arenas?

R: “I love all size of shows to be honest. The thrill of walking out to thousands of people in arenas is an incredible feeling but the intensity of the smaller venues is just as satisfying. I feel lucky to be a band at different levels around the world so we get to experience both of those set ups.”

LC:Will the set list will be more focused on the brand new album or you will consider to play some old classics on your tour?

R:”We always play a mix of stuff, with material from every era of our band. We’re proud of our whole back catalogue so it’s nice to represent it all as much as we can.”

LC: You are currently touring with Milk Teeth and Single Mothers which are pretty new on the scene. Do you consider yourself as a mentor?

R: “Yes, they are my young padawans, my apprentices and I am the Jedi master. It’s great to have them out with us, both really exciting bands and a pleasure to watch every night.”

LC: Finally, your album The Spark was top 5 in the UK charts, it should have been quite a great feeling?

R:”It’s always good to have independent and interesting music infiltrate the mainstream, yeh. But we were still behind Ed Sheeran and his latest atrocity that the radio tries to convince us is the pinnacle of pop music… so that kind of renders the charts meaningless doesn’t it?”

The Spark is out now on Ambush Reality Records.

There is also only a few remaining dates to the current tour which you will find below.

2/2 – Brooklyn, NY @ Music Hall of Williamsburg

2/3 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer

2/5 – Montreal, QC @ Theatre Fairmount

2/6 – Toronto, ON @ Lee’s Palace

2/8 – Columbus, OH @ A&R Music Hall

2/9 – Chicago, IL @ Metro

2/10 – St Paul, MN @ Amsterdam Hall

2/11 – Winnipeg, MB @ The Pyramid Cabaret

Groovy beats

Here’s some of the new sounds (albums and tracks) that got us groovy this week.

Django Django-Marble Skies

The band is back with their third album. Psychedelia is omnipresent and we also feel some electronic 80s ramblings through an heavy listen. Django Django made some interesting fusion of jazz and soul instrumentation, reminiscing of old 60s nuggets. We also loved the dreamy fuzz of Surface To Air featuring Rebecca Taylor from Slow Club.

John MOuse-Gladiator/Contender

15 years after being known as the project JT Mouse, John MOuse is back with a brand new album out Replica Figures on February 19th through Keep Me In Your Heart Records. A first single, Gladiator/Contender is already up for listen. This is a pure piece of pop with some poetic melodies with catchy background atmosphere. We love the children lullaby sound perfectly blended with the experimentation through the use of different instruments. If you like the Hefner band’s genre, you’re gonna fall in love with the track and the album to be released soon.

Cpt Smith-I Hate Nights Out

The Welsh outfit offers us a raw piece of punk with heavy guitars. I Hate Nights Out is delivering all the frustrating emotions we can have in one day and we just let it all out while listening to that short track. We just can’t get enough of the violent staccatos and this song is a tight piece of rock’n’roll brawl. We’ll hear from them in the future, we swear!

The Spook School-Could It Be Different?

Indie pop is not dead! The Spook School, despite their frightening name, are giving us some great melodic rock. We just want to go to the pub and stomp our feet to the infectious beats influenced by the likes of Los Campesinos or early Wannadies.  Dreams, high schoolers, love, we all have that in that wonderful album.

Ginger Snaps-Anorak (feat Vo Williams)

We love this kinda Beck sounding track. Anorak maybe a word associated with freezing cold winter but we kinda like the refreshing summerish pop sound that the Northampton project is getting us. We are just grooving to the beatbox backgrounds and the falsettos in the chorus are just fitting perfectly the mood!

Pop singles of the year

Yeah of course we are more an indie radio but British pop culture is still in good shape and there was some gems out this year. We loved some tracks from mainstream singers and bands too. Here’s our picks in no particular order.

Harry Styles- Sign of the times

Harry Styles went solo in 2017 with his first self-titled album. The first track Sign of the times was a great piece of classic pop rock reminiscent of Bowie and Marc Bolan glam vibes. We felt into a rollercoaster of emotions through the song.

Dua Lipa-New Rules

Freshly released at the beginning of 2017, Dua Lipa, with her deep powerful voice made a wonderful debut. New rules is girl power aesthetic at its best. She’s one of the best new queens of British pop!

Liam Payne-Strip That Down

A huge bop, a hit! Featuring Quavo we just wanna have fun and get happy on the dancefloor with the lit choreography. Already multiplatinum all around the world, it was the first of many success for Liam. Followed by the dance grooves of Get Low and the Bedroom Floor falsettos it’s just the beginning of a great solo career for him

Ed Sheeran-Shape of You

A powerful hit from Mr Sheeran taken from his third album Divide. All summer long we couldn’t get enough of that song. The chorus is infectious and catchy. Amazing work again from this great singer-songwriter.

Niall Horan-Slow Hands

Follower to the emotional This Town, Slow Hands is a sure bluesy bopping track. Always stomping our feet when the intro is starting, we loved jamming to that tune this year . The guitar riffs and drums are beautifully addictive.

Louis Tomlinson- Miss You

Rebellious punkish pop track within influences like Weezer, a little bit Greenday or Wheatus. Louis Tomlinson voice fits perfectly with that style. It’s great and fun to cheer us up.

Little Mix-No More Sad Songs

Now considered the biggest girl group in the UK since the Spice Girls, Little Mix have versatile voices and they proved it again on this tropical vibe song. From their album Glory Days, it’s easy to get on the dancefloor with this pop gem. Check out also their CNCO collab called Reggaeton Lento and you won’t be deceived.

Zayn ft Sia-Dusk Till Dawn

The blend of both voices made it magical. Emotion, high notes, that’s all we need. I’ll be with you from Dusk till dawn is such a hooked chorus. The melody is beautifully penned and Zayn and Sia voices are mixing perfectly in the video story. Beautiful work of art.

Top Singles of the year

It’s that time of the year! Here’s the indie songs that made our year. You can enjoy the tracks here

Peaness-Seafoam Islands

Seazoo-Roy’s World

Bad Sounds –Wages

Superfood-Need A Little Spider

Formation-A Friend

Sugarmen-Sold

Rainbow Maniac-crack Rock’n’roll

La bete Blooms-lost And found

alt-J – In Cold Blood – Relaxer – Infectious/Atlantic

Royal Blood – Lights Out

The Amazons – Ultraviolet

Airways-Mate

Ten Fé – Born Slippy (Underworld cover)

Babe – Wisteria

Teleman – Bone China Face

Hicari-You Lost Me

St Jude The Obscure-Ruins

Coquin Migale-Plans

Focus Wales 2018: a journey to Welsh music

Image may contain: 2 people, people on stage and people playing musical instrumentsLet’s prepare for another big edition this coming May. Fresh from prizes and awards for promoting the Welsh music and arts culture, the Focus Wales festival will be back from May 10th to May 12th 2018.

A first wave of acts were announced recently. Of course, local bands will take a huge part of the bill again. From rock to electro to folk, we’ll get some regular festival acts like Campfire Social, Kidsmoke, Baby Brave, Lovers Open Fire.

Some big figures from the Welsh culture and beyond will be performing as well. Euros Childs and John Lawrence, formerly from Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci will fill the stage with their experimental folkish pop melodies as well as Mancunian songstress, Jane Weaver, indie dream popper Genghar and The Coral’s  singer songwriter Bill Ryder Jones.

For newbies or just if you wanna know what’s going on in the industry, don’t forget to attend the conferences held by people from labels, festivals, music platforms and various medias. This coming year, you will be able to hear Martin Elbourne from Glastonbury festival, Rich Walker from 4AD,Feedy Frizzi from Moshi Moshi Management amongst many other prestigious people.

Three days of guaranteed fun and discoveries. You can head to www.focuswales.com
for further info on the festival

Airways/Nothing But Thieves @ Le Belmont

Heavy rain was pouring in Montreal like on  a typical London night but it didn’t kept us away from enjoying great rock’n’roll.

In such a tiny place, it was jam-packed for the first band Airways, a rock outfit now based in Peterborough, England. This was a short sweet rock’n’rollish set as the band just have an EP out now oairwaysn Itunes, Starting To Spin. Energetic basslines, Arctic Monkey’s alike attitude, no wonder why they are really influenced by them musically, Airways proved British rock is alive and well.

For their first time in Montreal, Canada, the band dropped their shyness and interacted perfectly with the crowd who seemed really pleased with the music played. Rock’n’roll was vibing loads in the place.

Then, Nothing But Thieves came on, fresh from the release of their brand new album Broken Machine.  Heavy drum and guitar riffs were filling the small venue from downtown Montreal with the crowd singing along to the melancholic and Muse-like driven songs.

nothing but thieves

Image may contain: 2 people, people playing musical instruments, people on stage and nightImage may contain: 2 people, people playing musical instruments, people on stage and nightFrom the contagious beats of Live Like Animals to their rocking deep tracks Trip Switch  and  Hostage passing by the post-punkish I Was Just A Kid , the London band showed us that one day they’ll hit a bigger stage. Nothing But Thieves delivered it all with a boost of energy like never before. We also saw a little bit of their softer side with some solo acoustic performance by Conor.  Sweet ballads entertwined with more upbeat tunes made the perfect blend.

We can’t wait for the return of both bands around! Right now, they’re on a UK tour if you want to catch them on!