Posts Tagged ‘UK’
By: Rob Brayl
It’s been almost three years since Cher Lloyd released her rambunctious debut album and regardless of sales or chart positions, her brand new sophomore release, Sorry I’m Late, is no fall from grace. In fact, this is a more polished, mature Lloyd, and the album is a solid piece of popography from an artist whose talent is apparent and evolving.
This is an album you want to buy. The track Human alone is worth the money. It sits on top of the heap as one of the best pop tracks released in 2014 and certainly the best in Lloyd’s career. Yes, I said it.
By: Caitlin Hoffman
I just got back from the UK, and I’m already missing it. I was missing it soon as the plane landed. Okay, before that.
It’ll be a while before I can afford another plane ticket. So what better way to “get back” than through my speakers?
When someone resonates with a particular culture, nation or location, their music feeds off the spirit in their blood. Then you can listen, and tap in to where you wanna be.
But enough yammering! Let’s steer the spotlight where it belongs: on Mangoseed, a Brixton-based band thriving in reggae, ska, and funky rock n’ roll. (I hardly saw any of Brixton when I was in London, but the lil’ bit I saw was wonderful. Sad and rough, but gorgeous.)
On paper, Mangoseed are a traditional four-piece suite: vocals, guitar, bass, drums. But they take so much from so many influences, stirring that into their own magical brew. Their lyrics are saturated with all the pain and brilliance of history. An area like Brixton is rife with human struggle and human triumph, dangers, dreams, delicacies. The uniqueness of Southern London combines with their Jamaican, Australian, Irish and Trinidadian roots. The reggae melts the rock; together they fizz with electricity. It’s an intelligent, bracing, spiritual current, and it hits hard!
I can’t believe Basquiat is their debut. How long were they stacking this talent?! Lioness is a shocking opener, Careful smooths the curves but “keeps it movin”, and on. And on. And on.
I love music that teaches me something about my limbs. Mangoseed makes me move in ways I wouldn’t expect. I’ll catch a glance of myself in the mirror and think, “WHAT are my legs DOING?” This album makes me twitch and flail like a giddy freak.
What more could I ask for?
By: Rob Brayl
Hailing from London and Lisbon, Poeticat is an experimental band who has successfully created a genre all their own. With comparisons ranging from Tool to The Slits, Siouxsie, Pussy Riot, Super Furry Animals, Lightning Bolt, Kate Nash, Plan B, Future of the Left, Art Brut, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Scroobius Pip – Poeticat’s sound is weird, eclectic and one of a kind.
The group recently released their debut EP, Smash The Floor.
Honestly, I’m not sure what to make of their sound. It’s different. It’s interesting. And it’s new.
Listen to the EP below and decide for yourself.
By: Rob Brayl
Kylie Minogue is a goddess. This is not up for debate. Not only does she look better than most of her younger contemporaries, she has consistently delivered quality dance-pop since the late 80s. And on top of that, her taste level is unbeatable, delivering visual goods without pretense.
If you’re looking for a great new pop record, Kylie’s new album (Kiss Me Once) is mandatory.
Check out the video treatment for the lead single, Into The Blue, below.
By: Rob Brayl
Move over Lorde!
19-year-old singer/songwriter Kate Miller is a hidden gem waiting to burst. Like cotton candy, the broodingly infectious Collar Up was instantly satisfying when I discovered it a few hours ago.
I’ve literally played this song on a loop ever since.
Listen to the kick ass Collar Up by Kate Miller below.
By: Maria Ciezak
MARIA CIEZAK: For those who are unfamiliar with Terminal Gods, can you give us a brief backstory?
ROBERT MAISEY of TERMINAL GODS: Rob Cowlin and I have a firm policy of not talking about how we met in the queue outside the London Astoria, both going to watch a Leeds drum machine rock band that shall remain unnamed.
Josh and I knew each other from school and have lived together for a few years, so we formed the guitar section. Jonno plays in a disgustingly brilliant electro punk two-piece called HotGothic, who we gigged with many times, especially in the early days. When our original bass player left, we poached him. He’s dead good.
MC: Also, the name, some may think of as somewhat controversial. Is there a specific meaning?
TG: It’s pure ego and (justified) arrogance. It’s also a fitting description. It’s part of the name of a really cool Aubrey Beardsley painting (Venus Between Terminal Gods). It doesn’t have anything to do with any pseudo-religious Lovecraftian mumbo jumbo (although I do like a bit of Lovecraft, for personal use only mind you).
MC: Let’s chat about the release of your debut EP, Machine Beat Messiah (released November 25th). I’ve had the chance to listen and I’m totally digging the sound. How did the whole process go? Did the writing come first or the music?
TG: In a nutshell, the songs tend to start life with just me, a drum machine and a 12-string telecaster, usually at about 4 am. We then flesh them out all together in the rehearsal rooms and, if they pass the quality control, Cowlin will write some words and melody.
I wrote the basic music for The Resurrection Man because I had a new 12-string acoustic with butterflies on it and wanted a song that sounded like it’d been written on a guitar with butterflies on it. I failed.
The rest of the songs are just jazzed up Stooges tracks. Seriously. All of them.
MC: Maybe I’m jumping ahead of myself, or it’s wishful thinking, or both (laughs) — but any chance of a full-length in the near future?
TG: We have enough material for a full-length record, which we’ll make when someone gives us enough money and promotion to make it worth releasing.
In the meantime, we’re quite content putting out singles and EPs. This is something more bands should do. If you’re going to spend all of your money on releasing a chunk of vinyl with only a few songs on it, you’d better make damn sure those songs are worth releasing. This is called quality control. We kind of envisage our first album being a kind of best of with all our best singles redone in a really expensive studio, maybe with Steve Albini on guest drum machines. I’m totally sick of bands discovering a sound they kinda like and jumping straight into an album before they have actually written enough good songs to justify it.
I do like the idea of doing a live album though – this is something we’re talking about at the moment. It means we can put out a decent amount of songs on one record without actually committing to a “debut LP”. If it’s really really good, we can just claim it’s our Kick Out The Jams and was meant to be an album all along.
At the moment, we sell small runs of limited edition records to a passionate, but relatively small audience. This is great, but we’re not going to fire all of our guns at once (by releasing an album) before we’ve even got ourselves off the ground.
MC: I also love the video for King Hell. On a personal note, it makes me want to attend a show, for I feel like I’m at a concert when watching. Was that the whole vibe you were going for?
TG: We’re a live band, it’s where the best (and worst) of rock and roll really happens. We also wanted to save the money for studio rental for the video for The Wheels Of Love.
Originally we planned to film the video for King Hell from the back seat of a huge Dodge Challenger while cruising into the oil-smeared sunset of The Badlands, but we scrapped the idea when we realised everyone had already seen Mad Max.
All our videos are made by Andy Oxley of Screen 3 productions. He knows us, we know him. It’s nice to have loyalty to the people you work with, and it gives you a chance to grow as artists together. In my opinion, the main reason our videos tend to look pretty cool, despite shoestring budgets, is because Andy has spent a lot of time getting to know us and our music.
MC: You guys are doing so well in London right now — any chance of coming over to the states in the near future?
TG: Hopefully. We’ll just phone our huge record company and ask them to charter a jet.
But seriously, there are some awesome Americans that have really put their names behind us. A guy called Jason Ledyard who runs a club called Absolution in New York has been our constant champion. Another guy called Ken McIntyre who has an amazing radio show called Advanced Demonology wrote a lovely bit about us in Classic Rock magazine. If more Americans like the record and are willing to go out and tell lots of other Americans what nice guys we are, then I see no reason why we won’t eventually end up in the States. It worked with the Germans.
MC: What are some bands you guys are into right now?
TG: For me, it’s mostly bands rocking the London alt circuit. There’s so much new music out there, I tend to go for stuff I can go and watch live regularly. The new Vuvuvultures LP is pretty swinging and the new Purson album is like a psychedelic sex dream cut to record. I also liked the new White Lies album a lot, but White Lies albums always sound wonderful.
Josh has a huge hard-on for a Sheffield blues rock/stoner doom two-piece called Wet Nuns. Josh is into a lot of Doom right now. We do a live night called Club Roadkill which is dedicated to putting on garage bands of this nature. The next band we’re putting on are called LOOM. They’re an awesome dark punk anger management case making big waves in London right now.
Cowlin runs a night called A New Dusk, which is dedicated to playing vaguely foreign sounding coldwave/darkwave/coolwave two-piece guitar/drum machine bands with loads of reverb on everything. They all sound like Suicide meets Siouxsie and the Banshees and they all claim allude to being from New York, although I’m pretty sure most of them are actually from the suburbs of London.
Cowlin and I are always listening to James Rays Gangwar. I know you’ve never heard of them, no one has. But the fact that they’re one of the most overlooked treasures of rock and roll is one of the only things we can agree on.
As I write this, I’m sitting with our tour manager listening to a Red Lorry Yellow Lorry LP called Blow. It’s really really good.
MC: Sum up in five words why people should listen to Terminal Gods.
TG: Like goth, but not shit.
By: Rob Brayl
Major props to The Walking Dead for playing this killer track (#YayPuns) from Ben Howard — a UK-based artist that we promoted earlier this year. (See related link below.)
This song is flawless + Ben’s melancholy delivery certainly brings the post-apocalyptic chills.
Listen to the haunting Oats In The Water below.
By: Caitlin Hoffman
Hypnosis is a sign of good music. When a musician echoes so loud and long in your skull they become one with your brain, you know they’ve got good stuff going. After all, isn’t music one of the purest forms of connection, liberation, meditation? Some of the best songs only wake you up after they’ve put you to sleep.
Stoney is the UK’s latest snake charmer. He made some bloody fine burrows in Sheffield’s underground before crawling his way up to the surface.
Musically speaking, Stoney’s a connoisseur. His obviously keen ear allows for dabbles in pop, rock, indie and trance, lashing out with tiger’s claws only to slip into a kitten’s coat. His haunting, porcelain voice reminds me of Rob Smith (that accent always helps…), the sweet slush backing it a milkshake of Pulp and The Kinks.
I’ll often argue that an artist is better off releasing an EP, so as to ensure that all songs reap serious quality and leave out the fucking filler. However, Stoney has given us an entire album worthy of replay. More Than Animals is a mountain landscape, rolling from crushing peaks to gentle valleys. More valleys than I’d prefer, but I know most people need kisses between their punches. I like it best when he lets the reigns snap and shows some alternative attitude, like in Devil On My Back or The Score. You know me: I need music sharper than my boyfriend’s shaving kit. If such slicing, sweaty tunes can make me dance, even better.
Despite making ripples in the scene, Stoney’s striking far away from conformity. He’s settled down in Texas, to work on more music while basking in sunshine. This has lead to him picking up other projects (including Bobby Jealousy, a dirty pop-punk band that sounds ready for its own review), keeping a balanced focus between his solo and group works. I guess the best artists need more than one outlet!
The only song from More Than Animals with a vid so far is We Belonged, one of the gentler tracks that I feel falls beneath his full potential. Regardless, the visuals are beautiful, and the emotions real.
By: Rob Brayl
This track is sick!
Altrego is London-based artist Jasper Erkens (21, singer, songwriter, producer) and close collaborator Andre Fisher (19, drums & beats) who joins Jasper on stage and for additional recordings in the studio.
Love Is Flawless is part of a forthcoming EP release that will be out before the end of 2013 but gets an early release as a single on 10/31.
The track was produced by Jasper himself and mixed by Valgeir Sigurdsson who has worked with the likes of Feist, Bjork and Sigur Ros.
Video introduction below + Love Is Flawless following.
By: Rob Brayl
17-year-old pop crooner Liam Horne is creating waves with his single The Truth Is. The young Scottish singer/songwriter has a seasoned sound for his age, one that most likely is the result of his difficult past.
Horne grew up in the projects in Aberdeen, Scotland, which would explain his depth and overall mature vibe: “I grew up around violence, drugs, alcohol and murder. Coming to Los Angeles was like taking a burden off my shoulders.”
Luckily for Horne, his talent was noticed by Grammy-winning producer Graham Edwards, who also happens to be his uncle.
To give Horne a foot in the door and to work on his songwriting craft, Edwards worked with Horne to co-write tracks for Justin Bieber, Neon Hitch and Pixie Lott.
Really diggin’ this kid!
Check out the official video for The Truth Is below.
By: Caitlin Hoffman
CVRCHES: worth a listen, on and off the stage.
Formed in Glasgow, this stunning synthpop isn’t the sound you’d expect to find in my speakers. I’ve had such a love-hate relationship with “newer” forms of music, particularly when they’re enhanced or even defined by computerized samples and digital instruments. Yet I’m finding SO MANY acts within those realms who are intelligent, socially-conscious, and truly talented. All the more reason to press play before you judge!
CVRCHES have a lush trance not to be messed with. Lauren, Iain and Martin have teamed up to create three EPs and one full-length album (The Bones of What You Believe, 2013). It’s always so exciting to see new bands at the start. You wonder where their music is going to take them.
Most recently CVRCHES came into the cyber-spotlight when Lauren spoke out against online misogyny in a blog post. A treat for the temporal AND frontal lobes? Yes please!
By: Rob Brayl
John Newman is f**kin’ rad. Period. Point blank. The soulful newcomer is quite possibly the next big thing to come from the UK, and we couldn’t be more stoked. His fantastically crafted mixture of pop and soul with an indie rock edge is fresh and instantly addictive. Love Me Again is pure gold, and one can only imagine what the rest of his debut will deliver – will the States be lucky enough to have this talent crossover permanently? Only time will tell!
Newman is set to release his debut album, Tribute, on October 14th in the UK, and a day later, he’ll make his US debut via Republic Records with his four-track Love Me Again EP.
Repeat! Repeat! Repeat!
Watch the official Love Me Again clip + his album sampler following.
By: Rob Brayl
Cher Lloyd is about to make a few wishes come true.
The multi-platinum British songstress returns with her brand new single I Wish featuring hip-hop icon T.I. This past weekend, the song made its worldwide radio debut on Saturday Night Online – Live With Romeo, and the rising star just premiered a lyric video for the track.
I Wish delivers more than Lloyd’s infectious swagger; it also comes threaded with a thoughtful message.
Says Lloyd: “I think a lot of girls struggle with body image or get pissed off because the prettier girl with everything gets the guy. You want all of the things you think that other girl has. That’s not fair, and I think I should challenge that with the song. My favorite line of the song is, ‘I wish I woke up with a butt and a rack’. That’s exactly how I feel, and I think a lot of girls feel like that. That’s what I really want my fans to connect with. I’ve always said, ‘If you can’t take me as I am, don’t take me at all, because I will not change for anyone’.”
With that audience in mind, Lloyd has launched the “Cher Grants 100 Wishes to Her Fans” campaign in tandem with the song release. Listeners can enter to win prizes through a genie-style app culled from the single art. Just visit her official Facebook page to make a wish! Five prizes will be granted each day over the course of 20 days. Each prize will be a surprise though, and winners won’t find out what they’ve won until they’re contacted. Potential prizes include a voicemail from the singer, autographed poster, $50 Top Shop gift card, a pair of concert tickets, a pair of Nikes, and #CHERS100Wishes iPhone Cases.
I Wish is available on iTunes now!
Check out the official lyric video below.
By: Rob Brayl
Currently on heavy rotation!
Los Waves are an indie act formed in early 2012 in London by Jean River + José Tornada. Coming from an ethnic and psychedelic soundscape, their music is an intricate and harmonious meltdown of their own experiences, from months living in a tent on deserted beaches, long drifts through South America and the Indian Ocean, to the modern pace and flavor of one the world’s most music-loaded and trendsetting world capitals.
Got A Feeling is the first EP being released via indie label Summer Filth Records. The record drifts between sunshiny fuzzy guitar riffs and melodies with ethnic electronics and a more timeless (even existential) feel. Got A Feeling lyrically and sonically hails from a nostalgic hunger for epic purposes and great questions, with the past and future blurring into one.
Got A Feeling is set to drop on September 23rd.
By: Rob Brayl
Sick cover alert!
Up-and-coming London-based girl group Neon Trees have taken on Miley’s skankfest of a single, We Can’t Stop, and totally rocked it.
It’s smooth, less bitter, and more sweet.
Check out the rendition below + the infamous original clip following.
Twerk! Twerk! Twerk!