Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Summus Peak : What We Could Be

The Summus Peak are an Alternative Hardcore band from Wigan in the UK and consists of 4 friends, James Sheppard, Lucci Ormrod, Chris Jones and Andy McGrail. Each member was working on their own thing when the band came together to collaborate on material wrote by James, started as a side project from his band Cale Lane. In contrast to the firmly 'Metal' Cale Lane, their music is more melodic with a cleaner sound; drawing influence from bands like Alexisonfire and other post hardcore bands.

Below is their latest offering 'What We Could Be', a track of epic proportions that firmly claims their place and creates intrigue and interest in what will follow.

I spoke to Chris from the band to find out more about this emerging force.

How did you decide on the band name and what's the meaning behind it?
James already had the band name for his project when it all first started; Summus means highest in Latin so it basically means the highest peak. He chose it because he writes positive lyrics and has a love for the outdoors and nature. It pays homage to his favorite pastime - mountaineering.

Who and what influences your music?
We drew our initial sound from European post-hardcore bands such as viva Belgrado and the tidal sleep. We are really inspired by their large atmospheric passionate sounds and wanted to bring that to the music we make.

How does the writing process work for you? Do you work separately and come together with ideas or is it a jamming session and seeing what comes out of it?
Originally James had a lot of material written as the band began so we just worked on it together in the practice room, but in the most recent months everyone has been bringing chords and ideas to the table. The lyrics to our newest song was written by Luci from her own inspiration. She also decided the structure, but the chords where written by Chris and Andy, so we're getting input from everyone really.

There are some long time friendships in the band, does this help when working on new songs and writing parts for each other?
Andy and Luci worked together as a wedding band where they would cover bands such as fleet foxes and first aid kit so they have a really good idea of how to create harmonies. They're both multi instrumentalist too so they can write for most instruments and help structure and arrange the songs. James and myself have played in different bands together for years now and both have a very similar music taste. We both know what each other wants to achieve musically from this band so that really helps. 

What inspired your track ‘What We Could Be’ and what does it mean to the band?
What We Could Be was written as we approached a stage in life where people around us are dropping hobbies/musical projects and changing life direction or "growing up". The song is questioning whether there is a right time to drop a passion that has been your life as well as encouraging doing what you love. I don't have this answer.

What’s the bands plan for the near future? Can we expect any releases?
Yeah we're currently working hard to get a solid set of songs together so we can record an EP, and we are aiming to be in the studio early next year.

Finally, if you could do a split 7” vinyl release with ANY band… who would it be and why?
Alexisonfire.....because they are the only band ever.

You can hear their music on Spotify and Bandcamp and follow their facebook page for updates of new releases and shows.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Meals : Come Clean

I heard this track late last night and loved it instantly. A second of fuzz and the distorted guitar crackles in; you know as the riff repeats that this is something good. It's soon confirmed as the lead and drums drop in, followed by some nice vocals. Make sure you check out their other tracks 'Running Out' and 'Dig You Up' on their Soundcloud page.

'Come Clean' by Meals is being released via Major Leagues Records on tape cassette and download September 2nd. The track features on the six track cassette 'Sour Coast Vol. 1; limited to 80 translucent red copies and you can buy this HERE from their bandcamp page. I hope to hear more from both Meals and MLR in the future.

If you like the track above you should also check out 'I Quit Girls', a Japandroids cover by Be Forest. It shares the same feel as 'Come Clean' and with its looping riffs and LoFi qualities it hits you in the same way. I love the beautiful vocals on this track, along with the build of this song. It will never last long enough, I need a six hour version.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Guadalupe Plata : First UK tour!

Guadalupe Plata have a sound so refined and pure it conjures images of of the Mississippi Delta, their dirty riffs transporting you there. The first sign that this is something different hits you with the first vocal and the origins of the sound soon become ambiguous. 

Our name comes from our hometown’s patron, the virgin of Guadalupe, so she protects us as we play the devil’s music,” they say. “Our music inhabits that place in our collective imagination where the demonic force straddles the blues and cante jondo.”

Hailing from the Spanish town of Ubeda, made famous for Spaghetti Western films, the trio are bringing their music to the UK in their first UK tour this September. Having received great acclaim from numerous critics, coupled with prizes won at the Impala Awards and Independent Music Awards, these are not ones to miss. Their lives sets are an experience beyond most, playing out tunes on cigar box guitars, coffee can percussion and even an electrified washtub bass!

The tour follows the release of their latest 'Red Album' which was released earlier this year on Everlasting.

 You can catch Guadalupe Plata at the following dates and venues:

WED 14 – Norwich, Jug Jaws @ The Crypt

THU 15 – BBC 6 Music, Marc Riley Session

THU 15 – Manchester, The Castle

FRI   16 – Birmingham, Rainbow

SAT  17 – London, Stowfest

SUN 18 – Exeter, The Phoenix

TUE  20 – Bristol, Start The Bus

WED 21 – Glasgow, Broadcast

THU  22 – Newcastle, Cluny

FRI   23 – Cardiff, The Moon

SAT  24 – Liverpool Festival Of Psychedelia

SUN 25 – Brighton, The Hope & Ruin

Hooton Tennis Club share new track 'Katy-Anne Bellis'

Ahead of their second album 'Big Box Of Chocolates', Hooton Tennis Club have shared 'Katy-Anne Bellis'. The track is about band member Ryan's ex flat-mate Katy and keeping in touch after 15 months of living together. Its a nice slice of indie with some catchy lyrics and melodies. The album tracks reveal stories about characters (both fictional and real) like Katy and even BBC6's Lauren Laverne, turning vocalists Ryan Murphy and James Madden into album narrators.

Hooton Tennis Club have played at numerous festivals including Glastonbury and Greenman, along with a string of gigs at SXSW and CMJ New York. Its no surprise then the day after 'Big Box Of Chocolates' is released on October 21st, the band take to the road to spread their music on an extensive tour of the UK and Europe.

You can pre-order their upcoming album HERE which is released by the awesome Heavenly Recordings. To see the band live, tickets are available for the following dates:

22nd Birmingham, All Years Leaving
24th Dublin, Grand Social
26th Leeds, Wardrobe
27th Norwich, Waterfront Studio
29th Glasgow, Hug & Pint
30th Edinburgh, Electric Circus
31st Newcastle, Think Tank

1st Sheffield, Leadmill
3rd Cambridge, Portland Arms
5th Cardiff, Globe
6th Manchester, Deaf Institute
7th Bristol, Thekla
8th Guildford, Boileroom
9th Milton Keynes, Crauford Arms
10th Brighton, Bleach
12th St Albans, Horn
13th Southampton, The Joiners
15th Nottingham, Bodega
16th London, The Garage
17th Tunbridge Wells, The Forum
19th Brussels, Botanique Witloofbar
21st Amsterdam, Paradiso
22nd Hamburg, Molotow
23rd Cologne, MTC
24th Berlin, Cassiopeia
25th Vienna, Chelsea
26th Bologne, Covo Club
28th Zurich, Neo
29th Paris, Supersonic

9th Liverpool, Invisible Wind Factory

Friday, 26 August 2016

Honey Spider : Safe Haven (New Band You Need To Hear)

Today I heard Honey Spider for the first time, a new band with one track online. I guess its good for them that 'Safe Haven' is an instant draw. Queued in by drums, the sound is full speed in seconds with the melody full flow. I got a really nice Jimmy Eat World vibe from it, which can only be good.

As yet I can only tell you the band are Andy, John, Matt & Dave, coming from the UK. Emerging with a track on Soundcloud and Bandcamp, a post was uploaded to Facebook with the status 'Hello good people of the Internet, We are fresh meat and here's our first offering. FFO: Citizen, Basement, Title Fight, Turnover, Smashing Pumpkins.' 

If you like the sound these guys make then you can catch them at the following dates and venues; I might pop down the A6 for Preston or Chorley.

Friday 26th August - 12 Bar Cafe, Colne - 10pm
Sunday 28th August - Suff Studio, Colne
Saturday 24th Sept - Brock n Broll Studio, Chorley
Saturday 15th Oct - The Ferret, Preston

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.


Saturday, 30 July 2016

Public Access TV : Sudden Emotion

New York band, Public Access TV, have released the video to their forthcoming single 'Sudden Emotion'.

PATV spent the best part of 2015 in a state of perpetual tour. Not out of choice, but because they were made homeless when their Manhattan apartment building infamously collapsed in March that year. Everything was lost when the gas explosion went off; their home and recording space reduced to rubble. 

Unable to face the reality, the band toured and booked all the gigs they could and kept themselves on the road. This need to tour was their silver lining and led them to playing European festivals, UK house parties and playing dates with The Stokes, FIDLAR, Palma Violets and Hinds. 

Sudden Emotion is released ahead of their debut album Never Enough, which is due September 30th this year. 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Lets Eat Grandma : Sax In The City

Since first hearing what this duo had to offer everyone has been gripped, waiting to see what would follow. We have not been let down.

'Sax In The City' is the next single from their debut album 'I, Gemini'. The track starts with a beautiful organ and soft vocals before dropping into a dirty beat, glistening with hooks that lock you in and make you move. The vocals (as always) are amazing, I love equally the choral and solo parts, the way Rosa and Jenny bounce off each other to embellish the surreal scenes they paint with their music.

The duo are touring later this year and I am going to try and catch them at the 'Now Wave all dayer' in Salford. You can see them live at the following:

Sat 23 Jul - Blue Dot Festival, UK
Sat 06 Aug – Visions Festival, London, UK
Wed 17 – Sat 20 Aug – Hasselt, Pukkelpop Festival, Belgium
Tue 20 Sep - Brooklyn, Rough Trade NYC, NYC, US
Wed 21 Sep – New York, Berlin, NY, US
Sat 01 Oct – Margate, By The Sea, UK
Sat 22 Oct - Salford - Now Wave All DayerThe White Hotel, UK
Sun 23 Oct - Cardiff - Swn Festival, UK
Mon 24 Oct - Bristol - The Old Bookshop, UK
Wed 26 Oct - Birmingham - Sunflower Lounge, UK
Thu 27 Oct - Newcastle - Think Tank?, UK
Fri 28 Oct - Glasgow - Broadcast, UK
Mon 31 Oct - Nottingham - Bodega, UK
Tue 01 Nov - Leeds - Beacons Presents / Belgrave Music Hall, UK (Supporting Anna Meredith)
Wed 02 Nov - London - Illuminations at Oval Space, UK
Thurs 3 – Sun 6 Nov – Iceland Airwaves, Iceland
Sat 19 Nov – Paris, Festival Les Inrocks, France
Sun 20 Nov - Nantes, Festival Les Inrocks, France

Thursday, 21 July 2016

Isolation Party: New band you need to hear

Today I've been listening to Isolation Party, a punk/grunge band who navigate the depths of Lo-Fi with great hooks and distinctive vocals.

The band was originally a solo project for Rob Brake but later expanded to include Josh A. Apart from that I can only tell you they are based in London, Ontario. 

Going through their tracks on Bandcamp you instantly hear they aren't trying to stick to conventional expectations. This is raw and explosive DIY punk.  Of the 4 tracks online my favorite is 'Be Easy'. The infectious melody has had me listening on repeat, entranced by the chord choices and keys that grace the background of the chorus.

I worked these into a playlist with greats like Placebo, Weezer, Reggi and The Full Effect and the Smashing Pumpkins. They fit in perfectly. It's going to be good seeing these guys get more listeners and taking their music on the road, right now it seems like they're just making their first steps so hopefully enough people will feel it and support them.

Their music is available at www.isolationparty.bandcamp.com/

Saturday, 9 July 2016

False Advertising : Give It Your Worst

False Advertising are a grunge noise-pop trio formed in Manchester in 2013 and have gained repeated praise from some of the best voices on new music; making them selves a act to follow closely. Last month they released their single 'Give it your worst' with 'Scars' as the B side; via Too Pure's singles club.

Its a lo-fi riff packed shout-a-long, with just enough production to take it to the masses and gain them the airplay they deserve. I particularly like the middle 8 where everything mellows and then comes back to smash out the outro.


This week I heard Asylums for the first time and instantly got it. Their sound hits you like a sledgehammer; its massive, throwing your senses and transporting you to a chaotic pit at the front of a gig.

Their latest offering is 'Second Class Sex' comes ahead of thier new album 'Killer Brain Waves', due for release on the 29th July, through their own label 'Cool Thing Records'


Saturday, 14 May 2016

Stone Roses : All For One

This week Manchester has been awash with Lemons. This had nothing to do with Beyonce, but rather the resurgence of a legendary band who's impact on music, culture and style, still resonates today.

The Stone Roses released their first new song since 1994 and it is instantly recognisable, a great first look at what a new album could sound like. If 'All For One' is anything to go by, the band wont stray too far from the sound that gave them prominence in the 90's, but instead give it a fresh feel appealing to old and new fans. 

Hopefully the new album will be released to coincide with the bands upcoming tour, which I am looking forward to seeing in Manchester. 

Saturday, 2 April 2016

Some tracks I like at the moment...

March was a busy month but I still managed to hear some great new tracks. 
Here are some of my favourites.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Weezer & Swim Deep : New Videos

Weezer have gone full circle with their latest track 'LA Girlz'. It sounds like a number from their 90's catalogue, a lost track uncovered and found at the perfect time; just as the world is in a haze of 90's nostalgia. As this is kind of their thing, they naturally nailed it.

Swim Deep have recently released a video for 'Grand Affection', one of my favourite tracks from their latest album. Taking a more theatrical role than the rest of their videos, the band educate/brainwash youth in a typical secondary school. The song is about embracing and really enjoying the normal, which I suppose in our cynical age could be seen as odd and cult-like, so the video works well.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

Wolf Alice : Silk

Wolf Alice are a band that continue to impress with every move they make. One of my favourite songs is 'Silk'. I was sat listening to 'My Love Is Cool' with my wife and needed to post it. I am sure you have heard it and are aware, but this is for me and needs to be documented. From start to finish the track resonates deeply. The opening has the drama and cinematic beauty of a Lana Del Rey hit, coupled with the vibrant score of Drive. The song then sidesteps into a marching anthem of agony and loss. A track I will enjoy forever.

Saturday, 20 February 2016


Dream Wife are a London based 3 piece making unadulterated Alt-pop, filled with raw guitar hooks, sweeping vocals and a beat that doesn't quit.

'Hey Heartbreaker' is the bands debut single and I really like it. I love how the track opens, a few rattles on the snare and then you are dropped into the thick of it. I could see this working perfectly to open a film, like 'Empire Records' or 'High Fidelity'; something cool, something that needs an all killer no filler soundtrack. That's why this song works, it has a timeless quality that brings an instant likeability and fits seamlessly with the best of your music.

'Hey Heartbreaker' is the opening track from their self titled EP, due for release March 11th via Cannibal Hymns.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Ellé : My Favourite Records

About a year ago, I began a musical pilgrimage. Curious as to where most of my favourite acts get their influences, I decided to listen to the back catalogues of some of the worlds greatest artists. 

Already a huge fan of The Beatles and David Bowie, I began re-listening to what were already some of my favourite albums. From there I moved on to the likes of T-Rex, The Rolling Stones, to Pink Floyd, The Smiths, and even relatively modern day acts such as Coldplay. 

For my first post on Perfect Mixtape, I decided to write up a list of my favourite 5.

5 : The Beatles - Revolver

This Album metaphorically fell into my lap. 
Me and my husband often spend some of our time watching music videos on YouTube, and the final track from this record, 'Tomorrow Never Knows' popped up as a suggested track. From there I rediscovered the brilliance of this album, in a way I wouldn't have understood back when I was 13. 
The euphoric, unpredictable and trippy tendencies of this album have led it to become my favourite by The Beatles. You can find a song for any mood and situation, but it ultimately works best to listen from beginning to end.

Favourite Track : Tomorrow Never Knows

4 : Pulp - Different Class

I think at some point over the years I've heard most of the songs from this album, but only recently heard them as intended, and discovered how brilliant the record is as a whole. 
Some of Pulps most iconic singles are on the album, such as 90's anthem 'Common People', and some tracks that really surprise you. I particularly liked the unusual 'I Spy', a song I felt had taken influence from Pet Shop Boys.

Favourite Track : Sorted For E's & Wizz

3 : The Velvet Underground & Nico

Arguably the most influential record ever released, The Velvet Underground & Nico has the ability to transport you in time. The avant-garde 1960's New York is felt in every track, be it the glamour of 'Femme Fatale' or the morbid but perceptual 'Heroin'.
I first heard of the record at a friends birthday, when she recieved a copy of the vinyl as a gift. Since then I have fallen for every single track. It has an indefinable sound that I seek out in music, and the magic doesn't stop with time travel, it has the ability to make you feel narcotized.

Favourite Track : Venus In Furs

2 : David Bowie - Hunky Dory

I debated for quite some time on which order to put the next two records. This may seem like a futile thing to debate, but I'm a sucker for properly conducted lists. 
Hunky Dory is in my opinion, the coolest album of all time. With songs like 'Andy Warhol' it isn't hard to see why; The Velvet Undergrounds influence is evident. To me it sounds like a 'how to' on being strange but chic. I adore the song 'Kooks' which I feel is a song I needed age 14. It's Bowie telling you that being weird is fine; inviting you to his party. 

Favourite Song : Life On Mars (obviously)

3 : David Bowie - The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars

The reason Ziggy is my number one is that it fills me with so much emotion. It was the first Bowie album I really fell for, and still has the ability to make me weep within the first verse of 'Five Years'.
You can also feel Bowie's fascination with astronomy in this record, with songs such as 'Moonage Daydream' and 'Starman'. Astronomy is something my curious mind has begun to delve into, and this is just the perfect soundtrack. 

Favourite Song : Moonage Daydream

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Rina Mushonga

Yesterday saw the release of 'Bullet', the new EP from Rina Mushonga. Recorded in Rotterdam with Frans Verburg (producer), the 4 tacks were performed and produced by the pair in Fran's basement. The EP is not only a showcase for the pure talent Rina possesses, but the exceptional music skills the pair hold, giving them the ability to fully create the sound they envisaged.

Having recenly moved to London and signed to PIAS Recordings the future is looking bright for Rina. You can see her perform live this month at the Queens Head in Islington on Feb 23rd and at the Queen Of Hoxton on feb 25th. If you're reading from Amsterdam, you can catch her supporting Bloc Party at the end of the month (what a gig!).

Be sure to listen to the EP below in its entirety, each track is masterful. 

NTS Radio : Dont Assume

With an ever growing appetite for new music, there becomes a need to stray from the conventional sources and embrace an outlet that is broadcasting truly creative and diverse music.

I could spend 2 hours on Google and develop a palate of other peoples opinions and feed them back on here, but the truth is I am just stepping into this. My wife and I describe it as 'Amsterdam' because we first heard such eclectic music like this there; the feel the music creates gels so well with the wonderful city. Now while I am sure the stations sounds provide a great vibe to chill to, they also driven by the same liberal and innovative passion that embraces difference and shows how it can be done if you break from the norm.

I look forward to lots of future listening and hope to share many great tracks on here with you.

Monday, 8 February 2016

The Front Bottoms

Naturally I talk music at work, and recently a colleague recommended 'The Front Bottoms' to me as her family really like them. Each time we discussed the band I intended to have a listen when I got home, but always forgot for whatever reason. 

Tonight I remembered and thankfully so. They have a nice sound that reminds me of some Death Cab, Polar Bear Club, Frank Turner and Motion City Sound Track; which therefore means they sound awesome. 

Have a listen to these tracks below:

Twin Size Mattress

Funny You Should Ask

Thanks Jo & Aaron!

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Radio Days

Sundays are radio days, and I guarantee I hear a great track every week. Something I've never heard, something that just pops out and grabs you and makes you need to know what it is, who its by, its age, era, style, genre, influences, scene, culture and history. 

The track below is (so far as I'm listening as I type) today stand out. There's just something cool about it, I felt drawn in and carried along as it ebbed and flowed to its conclusion.

Monday, 25 January 2016

a=f/m : Body Collide

A while back I was thinking about the number of bands there are and the fact that each of these bands strives for a name to make them stand out; 'a=f/m' is about as different as you can get really. 
They win.

This duo are more than a name though, they also make some really nice songs. I really like 'Body Collide' (listen below); it is a great synth track with so many layers to explore and enjoy. I particularity like the vocals on this record and how they sit nicely and sometimes blend with the music. 

You can check out more of their music and more about the band at www.alphalpha.ch


Last night Ellé (My Wife) and I were listening to the radio and came across a few good songs we hadn't heard before.
Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Soon Come : Shy FX Feat, Liam Bailey

Planet Sizes : Steve Mason

Saturday, 23 January 2016

The KVB : In Deep

The fantastic track below is from UK (Berlin based) duo 'The KVB' and is from their upcoming album release 'Of Desire' on Invada Records, which is out on March 11th.

Starting big, its hard not to be into this track! I love the apparent simple nature, the chugging baseline, but beneath it a myriad of sounds sweeping in and out to build the huge finished product you hear. Really, really cool track.

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Grimes : Kill V. Maim Video

Today saw the release of self directed video for 'Kill V. Maim', a great track off Art Angles, the latest album from Grimes.

Another great slice of pop with a side of blood, guts and the occult.

David Bowie
January 8th 1947 - January 10th 2016

It's been over a week now since David Bowie passed away at home in New York, two days after releasing his 25th album. I was raised listening to his music, taught that he was someone to be respected and idolised, just as my parents had grew up listening to his music. 

A true performer, Bowie took artistic inspiration from everywhere he could. In an interview I heard him say it was because when he was growing up in Britain the charts consisted of big hits from around the world, irrespective of genre. He loved folk as equally as rock and roll and saw no reason why these and other genres couldn't blur and be explored in equal measure. 

In his later years of his career his sound altered and became somewhat more introverted as he now drew inspiration from bands who were inspired by himself. Until his last days Bowie explored and enjoyed music in all forms, sought everything it had to offer and everything it was a gateway to.

Like a lot of people, my favourite track is 'Life On Mars?' It is a beautiful piece of music that will no doubt be played long after we are all gone.