Monday, 22 August 2016

Jordan Allen : The Ruby Lounge Manchester 20/08/16

On Saturday Jordan Allen had their biggest headline show to date at The Ruby Lounge in Manchester.

Having spent a good few years as a solo artist, Jordan Allen recruited his fellow band members late 2015. Wasting no time this outfit have created a set of live songs to showcase their talent of writing exuberant indie wonders. Having received great reviews of their packed-out gig at this years Dot To Dot festival and being given  a slot on Radio-X's playlist, demand to see the band grows.

The Ruby Lounge is a great gig venue in Manchester; entering down off the street, you descend the steps into a basement bar and dark gig space. When I arrived Laura Esther was warming up the crowd with some really nice acoustic music, backed by a violinist and box drummer. The tracks I heard reminded me of Gogol Bordello with an almost Gypsy Punk feel. Saytr Play took to the stage next, taking things up a level with some lively Indie guitar tracks. The crowed filled in from the bar within the first song, and by the end the crowd were dancing along. Make sure you check out their track 'Rebound' on YouTube.

With the crowd eager for more music, front man Jordan Allen opened the set with some solo verses, an ode to one of his idols John Cooper Clarke. Quickly bursting into their set you can see why people are listening. The first song is 'Remembered', penned when Jordan performed solo. Its the bands 'I Wanna Be Adored' and naturally the perfect opener. It is the statement behind the headline gig with its memorable lyrics 'I wanna be remembered, I wanna be seen, not just another woulda, coulda, should have been'. Keen to share new music, the band also played 'Rosie' which had all the makings of an Indie hit.

The audience bounced as they played through their set, singing along to 'Helter Skelter' and 'White Lines' and crowd members climbing on each others shoulders to dance through the bands final song of the night 'Set In Stone'.

With an arsenal of great tacks that stick in your mind, coupled with a growing lively crowd; Jordan Allen are one to see live.

Listen to their single 'Too Much Too Soon' below.

Sunday, 21 August 2016


Photo by Diego Juarez

Alex bent is a self-produced instrumentalist/singer from Sakatoon, Canada. I first heard part of his latest track ‘Hold on To Me Forever’ on Instagram and instantly logged in to Soundcloud to hear the rest. Drawing on personal feelings, ‘Hold On To Me Forever’ is an open and honest plea, written at a time Alex was reclusive in fear of being hurt.

‘Hold On To Me Forever’ was released ahead of Alex’s debut album ‘Dead, In the Water’ which was released on his Soundcloud this week.

'Dead, In The Water' is glistening with same impeccable production you hear on 'Hold On To Me Forever'. A killer combination of stunning vocals and striking lyrics fit with the music seamlessly. Alex told me that his music is influenced by the ambiance of dreams; this is most evident when you listen to the album as a whole. Each track is like a new chapter of the night, changing as his mind processes the thoughts of loneliness and anxiety, that the album was born out of.

As stated above, this truly is an album to listen to from start to finish, but if I had to pick some favorites I would go with the aforementioned 'Hold On To Me Forever'. Its the obvious single to grab your attention and draw you to the album. I also love 'Interlude... For The Mood', it's like nothing I have heard for a long time and conceptualizes the album in its self. Split into clear sections you can feel the inner torment and need to express these different feelings through music. I hope this album will one day be as big as it feels.

I spoke to Alex earlier to find out more about the man behind this stunning music.

How did Alex Bent + The Emptiness start and who is involved?
I played in several bands throughout my teenage years up until around 3 years ago, since then I’ve been figuring out how to make music on my own, I feel a lot more comfortable doing things solo. My music is self-produced, but I work with engineer Matthew Facca who helps me record the vocals and add the finishing touches. I also occasionally work with a great singer songwriter Oliver Friesen, he provided backing vocals and additional song writing on two of the upcoming album tracks.

What & who influences your music?
I feel like dreams influence my music more than anything, I try to make fairly ambient sounding music to reflect that.

How does the music writing process work for you?
I write most of my music at home where I have a basic basement studio. Ill start most of the instrumentals there and then go to Matts studio and record the vocals and make general improvements.

What inspired you to write ‘Hold On To Me Forever’ and what does the track mean to you?
I was inspired by the idea of being stranded on a desert Island with the person you love the most. As I started working on it more, I dropped the whole desert island theme and it took on a bit of a different direction. My friend Oliver and I collaborated on some of the lyrics once I had the basic song demo ready. To me its probably the most accurate way I could describe what being in love feels like for me.

Are you signed and working with any record labels yet? Where can people hear and buy your music?
I'm unsigned and completely self funded, it can be difficult sometimes but I like the freedom that comes with it. I have some select songs on iTunes and other retailers/streaming services, but you can listen to and download most of my music for free through Soundcloud.

You can listen to 'Dead, In The Water' below and download the tracks HERE
Congratulations Alex, a truly great album.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Surf Cassette : Beach Vibes From Milan

This post was originally published for SAVAGE THRILLS, a great Australian site I work with. 

Surf Casette are Milan duo Dario Dell’Aversana & Luca Brunelli. After both being members of the same punk hardcore band which parted ways after a few shows; Dario introduced Luca to indie rock and in 2014, Surf Cassette was formed.

Inspired by the beach and its surrounding culture, a world away from what Luca describes as ‘Foggy Milan’ the duo wrote ‘Summers End’. ‘It’s a world we would like to live in but can’t due to our distance from the sea’. In their rehearsal space they take influence from bands like Harlem, Fidlar, the Burger Records catalogue and 60’s Italian summer songs.

Surf Cassette are currently working on their self-titled EP which should be up on their Soundcloud in about a month. If the imperturbable ‘Summers End’ is anything to go by, this EP will be a five track statement to cement their future success.

The EP will be available to download for free on their soundcloud.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Cool Ghouls : Animal Races / Spectator

Cool Ghouls have released 'Spectator' ahead of their latest album 'Animal Races', which will be available August 19th via Melodic Records.

'Spectator' is about the moment you see a past love with someone else for the first time; its a gut wrenching feeling most of us will encounter. When I first heard the track I was fascinated with what I was hearing, in awe of The Beach Boys-esque vocals with their choral layers, The Beatles infused psychedelic solos, The Stone Roses funky bass lines and Band of Horses style riffs. It was the memory of a song I was yet to hear, as if Cool Ghouls had tapped into the same winning formula.

You can pre-order their album Animal Races HERE and you can see them on thier upcoming European tour on the following dates:

01/09/16 Zagreb, Mochvara Club, Croatia
02/09/16 Ljubljana, Bizzarnica, Slovenia
03/09/16 Wien, Chelsea, Austria
04/09/16 Prague, Famu Club, Czech Republic
06/09/16 Gent, Cafè Video, Belgium
07/09/16 Groningen, De Spieghel, Netherlands
08/09/16 Lille, Le Biplan, France
09/09/16 Paris, Espace B, France
10/09/16 Chatillon sur Seiche, Rock On Noyal, France
11/09/16 Tilburg, Incubate Festival, Netherlands
12/09/16 Antwerp, TBA, Belgium
13/09/16 Bruxelles, Pin Pon, Belgium
14/09/16 Dortmund, Rekorder, Germany
15/09/16 Breda, Electron, Netherlands
16/09/16 Berlin, Humboldthain club, Germany
17/09/16 Dresden, Ostpol, Germant
20/09/16 Brighton, Sticky Mike’s Frog, UK
21/09/16 Northampton, The Black Prince, UK
22/09/16 London, Birthday’s Dalston, UK
23/09/16 Liverpool, Liverpool Psychfest Festival, UK
24/09/16 Sheffield, Picture House Social, UK
25/09/16 Manchester, The Eagle Inn, UK
27/09/16 Strasbourg, Mudd Club, France
28/09/16 Geneve, La Graviere, Switzerland
29/09/16 Heilbronn, TBA, Germany
30/09/16 Lausanne, Le Bourg, Switzerland
01/10/16 Firenze, Annibale Night, Italy

Thursday, 11 August 2016

The Parrots : ‘No Me Gustas, Te Quiero’ Video

The post below was my first contribution to SAVAGE THRILLS, an awesome concept magazine based in Australia. I am going to be working with these guys on a regular basis and will share my work on here too. Thanks!

The Parrots are a three piece band from Madrid, who met at university and formed in the city’s hot bed of culture. They recently signed to Heavenly Recordings at SXSW, signing their contract on a pool table in a bar.

Ahead of their much awaited debut album 'Los Ninos Sin Miedo' , translating to 'The Fearless Kids' The Parrots have shared the video for ‘No Me Gustas, Te Quiero’.  It’s a laid back rock and roll shout-a-long. The title translates to ‘I do not like you, I love you’, a half-baked apology with the verses requesting forgiveness for unknown mistakes.

'Los Ninos Sin Miedo' is due for release on August 26th.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Hoops : New Single 'Gemini'

Indiana four piece Hoops have released 'Gemini', the 2nd single from their self titled EP which will be released via Fat Possum records on August 26th.

'Gemini' follows the bands most recent release 'Cool 2' which also features on the EP. 'Cool 2' quickly gained traction, earning them a place in Spotify's 'Most Viral Tracks' top 5, along with the #1 artist spot on Hype Machine.

Their hazy sun-bleached Indie music is the perfect soundtrack for the summer months and you can pre-order the EP HERE on download, vinyl and CD.

Monday, 1 August 2016

The Velveteins : Hanging From The Ceiling

'Hanging From The Ceiling' is a great track by The Velveteins who hail from Edmonton, Alberta. It opens up with a really retro Doo-Wop vibe, but you soon feel the side of psychedelia as the guitars tremor and everything starts to feel like space-age optimism. The song builds and the drums and guitar are joined by a chorus of organ, piano and a myriad of effects.

By the end of this track I was looking for the repeat button. Its a sincere track that draws on the past to create but not emulate, adding amazing guitar solos alongside choral vocals. It brings the past to the future and the results are wonderful.

The band have recently finished a tour of North America and the UK ahead of thier debut album, which they hope to have out later this year.