Tuesday, 29 January 2013

WAVVES: Afraid Of Heights

I recently featured Wavves on our 'Sunday Mix' the other week as their raw, grunge, surf sound never gets boring. This week the band have revealed (very good news) that their next release will be an album due in March and have also put out a new track 'A Demon To Lean On' which you can listen to below.
With so many great bands releasing records, these next few months are set to be awesome.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Beach Fossils

I was doing my usual search for music, looking in all the usual places, and found this gem (or fossil?) of a band; once again affirming my love for all things surf-pop/lo-fi.
The two tracks below are from their forthcoming album 'Clash The Truth' which is due for release on February 19th.

Paloma Faith: Manchester 24/01/13

This week Paloma Faith performed two nights at the Apollo, Manchester. We were lucky enough to get tickets for the 2nd night and watch the amazing performance with highlights from both of her excellent albums. Watching her live it was easy to see why there was such a varied audience; her talent to write great songs and engage her fans is unquestionable.

The support came from the soulful Josephine. Playing to her home town her music was fantastic, much like a Motown record you heard as a child; it was instantly likable.

The single 'Portrait' as shown above is from the album of the same name, and is due for release February 25th.

Saturday, 26 January 2013


Late last year we posted the teaser video from BLOOM and now they're back with their debut single 'LORDS'.
The single is everything the teaser eluded to, only now the band reveal themselves musically with great grunge riffs and explosive chorus's.
Lords will be released on February 18th through Sways Records, available as a cassette tape and free digital download. You can pre order the release from the link below.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Tom Odell: Album Details

Today Tom Odell has revealed that 'Long Way Down', his debut album, will be released on April 15th through Columbia Records. Based on the (well deserved) hype that has followed this artist in the recent months, this will no doubt be a chart topping album.
If you want to see Tom, he is touring around the UK just before the album release at the following venues.

1st HMV Institute, Birmingham
2nd The Cockpit Leeds
 3rd King Tut's Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
5th Night & Day Café, Manchester
6th Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
8th Thekla, Bristol
10th The Haunt, Brighton
11th The Brook, Southampton
12th Dingwalls, London

23rd Electric Ballroom, London
28th Electric Ballroom, London

HMV: A Future In the Balance

After many years of battling with change, HMV fell into administration this month.

The music store has graced our high streets for nearly a century, but in recent years failed to compete with the download market (both legal and illegal) and big online competitors. With its future in the balance, its demise or rebirth could have a significant impact on the high street.

If HMV were to go, it would be nice to think that their custom would go to independent retailers who offer a more detailed and varied catalogue, compared to HMV's overview. However, I personally think that the people who want to shop at an independent store, already do, and the customers will almost all turn to an online outlet or their local supermarket chart shelf offerings. This would significantly impact the music industry as HMV is one of their biggest consumer points, so it is no doubt to hear that the big studios are backing potential buyouts.

If HMV gets the buyout it is hoping for, one thing is for certain; change is critical. In recent years the store has tried to adapt with the times and branched out into clothing, technology and literature. In doing so it was spread too thin; not really offering the best in any area. My suggestion? When faced with a huge problem, strip everything back to basics, deal with the essentials and tackle the problem at the core. HMV should be there to sell music and films. The technology is better sold by the tech stores; sure stock a few headphones, maybe some speakers, but not half a stores worth.

The next big step would be to invest in their staff. The staff at HMV can be helpful, but only as much as any other supermarket employee, or clothes store assistant. Last month I walked in and noticed they were playing 'Less Than Jake' but I wasn't sure what album/compilation. I walked up to the counter and asked the man standing there, to which he responded by showing me the CD case, and then continued labelling Cd's. There was a perfect chance to inform me (verbally) what the CD was, where I could find it, and if I liked that, what else I might like that the store stocked.

Finally I think the company should downsize. This may not seem logical as it could result in a smaller net profit for the company, but right now they are biting off more than they can chew, running huge stores filled with disappointing stock. It may be sensible to accept a smaller return for a more secure future.

So will HMV be gone and forgotten this time next year, or will it be back and striving in an ever changing market?
Only time will tell.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Wildlife: Born To Ruin

'Born To Ruin' is the new single from Wildlife and follows the success of their last album 'Strike Hard, Young Diamond'. The track has been released ahead of their next album 'On The Heart' which is due out February 26th.
If you like your indie rock then you have to check out the video below; the track is powerfully catchy and as soon as it finished I had to play it again.
Hopefully the band will be touring to coincide with the album release; details will be online as soon as I hear anything!


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Sunday Mixtape #1 : Surf Pop Wonder

Its Sunday and it's just started snowing, which makes this surf-pop mixtape seem rather inapropriate now. Still, here it is and hope you enjoy it too.

Swin Deep - The Sea
Generationals - Spinoza
Wavves - Hippies is punks
The Vestals - Perect Pain
Best Coast - The Only Place

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Theme Park: Single and Album

Theme Park, the band that everyone seems to love, are releasing their debut album on February 25th through Transgressive Records. Ahead of the album, the band have released 'Tonight' which is available now.
Best of all, on Friday you can buy tickets to see the band perform live in March. Having already seen the band perform as support for Bloc Party, I can't recommend enough that you buy tickets. They really are a great live band and even if you do not know a single track you will soon find yourself moving along to their amazing indie pop.
 11th Bristol Louisiana
12th Southampton Joiners
13th Brighton The Haunt
14th London Heaven
15th Manchester Ruby Lounge
16th Newcastle The Cluny
18th Glasgow King Tuts
19th Sheffield The Harley
20th Norwich Waterfront Studio
21st Birmingham Temple Rooms
22nd Nottingham Spankys

Dutch Uncles: Out Of Touch In The Wild

I've been a fan of this band ever since I first heard them; captivated by the eccentric stage presence of lead vocalist Duncan Wallis in Manchester's Night and Day Cafe . A lot has happened for the band since then. Dutch Uncles are now currently teetering on the edge of the mainstream and are due to release their third album 'Out Of Touch In The Wild' on January 14th. Both of the tracks below are featured on the album.
Dutch Uncles - Fester
Dutch Uncles - Flexxin
You can catch the band touring their new album at the following venues in February:
 5th - Newcastle Cluny
6th – Glasgow Art School
7th – Leeds Brundenell Social Club
8th – Liverpool Kazimer
9th – Sheffield Leadmill
12th – Cardiff Moon Club
13th – Brighton Green Door Store
14th – London Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
15th – Birmingham Hare & Hounds
16th – Manchester Gorilla

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

David Bowie: Where Are We Now

On the day of his 66th birthday David Bowie has unveiled his first single in over a decade.
'Where Are We Now' and the album that is set to follow next month, has excited and surprised everyone. Normally comebacks are scrutinised and mocked; but this is David Bowie and his return is being welcomed with both arms, everyone eager for what else he has to offer.
Where Are We Now is a dark track with a very melancholy feel as Bowie sings about 'the walking dead' and 'a man lost in time' but ends on a more uplifting 'As long as there's me, as long as theres you'. Unlike many Bowie tracks, with their hidden meanings and theatric themes, Where Are We Now is elegantly simple and to me is about growing old.
Hopefully with a new album on the way, a new generation will get to see this great musician perform live again.

Monday, 7 January 2013

Hearts Of Black Science

The other week I was sent the video teaser for upcoming EP 'We Saw The Moon' from Hearts Of Black Science, an Electronica/post rock band hailing from Stockholm, Sweden.
When I first listend to the teaser I thought I was hearing unheard White Lies tracks, which is awesome as I personally don't think there are enough bands playing this sort of music! As soon as the video starts you instantly notice the quality of the production; it is flawless and gives their music the same epic quality which gives 30 Seconds To Mars their grandeur and orchestrated heights.
To get this sound, Hearts Of Black Science have been honing their talent by performing and recording together for well over 5 years, with a back catalogue of material on their Bandcamp page as shown below.
The new EP is due sometime around the end of this month and I am genuinely excited to hear the results. I only wish I had heard this band sooner.

Friday, 4 January 2013

And the winner is...

Haim, three sisters from LA, have been announced as the top spot on the BBC's sound of 2013 list.
Haims recognition affirms that guitar pop is back and in the mainstream again. Hopefully many others will follow in their wake and pop music will take a shift again to a better direction.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Dan Croll: From Nowhere

Dan Croll is a singer/songwriter living in Liverpool and his 2012 single "From Nowhere" is making quite an impression. It's hard not to like this track with its catchy keys, slick bass and punchy drum riffs; oh... and not to forget the vocals from Dan.

Hopefully Dan will be following up with an album sometime soon!

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Ultravox Honorary Number One

Today, after a national poll conducted by BBC Radio Two, Ultravox have received a honorary number one for their 1981 single Vienna.The poll was conducted to find the greatest number two, that should have been a number one and featured tracks such as Strawberry Fields, Wonderwall, Hound Dog.
A true electropop classic that will have undoubtedly inspired may of the artists we listen to today, Vienna is a well deserving winner.
The final placing was as follows, with the song that was number one in brackets:

1. Ultravox - Vienna, 1981 (Shaddup You Face - Joe Dolce)
2. The Pogues feat. Kirsty MacColl - Fairytale Of New York, 1987 (Always On My Mind - Pet Shop Boys)
3. Don McLean - American Pie, 1972 (Son Of My Father - Chicory Tip, Without You - Nilsson)
4. James - Sit Down, 1991 (The One And Only - Chesney Hawkes)
5. The Stranglers - Golden Brown, 1982 (Town Called Malice - The Jam)
6. The Kinks - Waterloo Sunset, 1967 (Silence Is Golden, The Tremeloes)
7. The Beatles - Penny Lane/Strawberry Fields Forever, 1967 (Release Me, Engelbert Humperdinck) 8. Queen - We Are The Champions, 1977 (The Name Of The Game - Abba, Mull Of Kintyre/Girls' School - Wings)
9. The Beach Boys - God Only Knows, 1966 (Yellow Submarine/Eleanor Rigby - The Beatles)
10. A-ha - Take On Me, 1985 (The Power Of Love, Jennifer Rush) 


Glasgow trio Chvrches are number five on the BBC sound of 2013 long list, and are currently working on their debut album which is due this year.
Playing euphoric electropop with dark undertones, each track is a beautiful synth overdose that quickly spreads through your veins delivering the perfect hit.
I encourage you to indulge; here are just a few of their tracks.