Originally hailing from Cavan, Ireland and with members now residing in the United States, Australia and Ireland, Sons of Southern Ulster return with their aptly named soul searching second album Sinners and Lost Souls.
Tuesday, 7 July 2020
Describing herself as "a mix of folk, pop and soul", Emily Mercer's new single Gallery is a gorgeous piano-driven track that hides a darker side lyrically that contrasts with the warmth and openness of the music.
Monday, 6 July 2020
Hooked On Your Mind is the debut single from Ruby Joy. The track tells the tale of a character who is obsessed with someone who has no interest in them and giving them firm and honest advice about how to deal with the situation.
Friday, 3 July 2020
Our friends SKIES have been one of the busiest bands around during lockdown, performing daily livestreams from their home in Kent, strengthening the bond between the band and their dedicated fanbase. They've released a live album, recorded with full kit in a bedroom, and a series of acoustic songs. Today they release their new single It's Alright and we caught up with Alie for a chat about the craziness of the past few months and their plans for the future.
Thursday, 2 July 2020
Hailing from Hull and Leeds, bdrmm have delivered their debut LP on the much loved and acclaimed Sonic Cathedral label. Stuart Ralston came across them late one night when his favourite 6 Music DJ Gideon Coe gave their track Happy a spin a few months ago.
Wednesday, 1 July 2020
The loosening of restrictions in their native Dublin allowed The Murder Capital to regroup and perform a social-distanced audience-free set from the Storehouse at the Guinness factory on Tuesday night with views over their home city and the streets on which the songs from their debut When I Have Fears were lived out.
I Can Be is the lead track from Bryony Williams' forthcoming third EP State I'm In. The single is the Wolverhampton singer-songwriter's first release on Beth Shalom Records and follows in the footsteps of her first two EPs Conscious and Wanderlust that got the attention of BBC Introducing and 6 Music.
Monday, 22 June 2020
The Maitlands return with their second single of the year - and their first with new keyboard player Wimmy - the brooding Where Did It All Go Wrong? Following up from their excellent January single Painting In Carlisle, The Maitlands have just released the equally impressive and somewhat prophetic Where Did It All Go Wrong?
Friday, 19 June 2020
Back in February Liam Frost announced his retirement as a solo artist with new projects promised rather than him disappearing from the scene altogether. In Chrysalis is the first track from the first of those projects - The Fountainhead - and Liam's voice is of course instantly recognisable, the musical direction has changed from his three solo albums. The Bandcamp exclusive version is an early "home version" mix of the forthcoming debut single.
Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Lockdown has decimated the music industry. For Michael Whalley, aka Double You (as one of many guises), backline work for the likes of DMAs and Echo And The Bunnymen stopped in its tracks. His response was to create - an album under the Elektrisch Nonne banner with Adam from Ist Ist has already seen the light of way and work continues on the debut Gravediggers Union album - but he's also created a solo project Double You and Where You Go is the second product of that following .
Monday, 15 June 2020
Due to never-ending requests for their early material to be made available following their debut album Architecture hitting number 3 in the Indie album charts, number 4 in the vinyl and 5 in the physical album charts, Ist Ist have announced the reissue of their back catalogue for download via Bandcamp.
The collection, which can be bought individually or a discounted pack, features both their EPs Spinning Rooms and Everything Is Different Now, their live Sessions EP, the Prologue compilation of their first five singles, three live "bootleg" recordings and their limited to 25 CDr B collection of early demos and rarities.
Friday, 12 June 2020
The Clockworks return today with their new single The Future Is Not What It Was, their third for Creation 23. With verses set to a repetitive beat, it allows front man James to reel off with increasing edginess a list of society's ills and how they cloud the future for all of us.
Thursday, 11 June 2020
Irish post-punk rockers Fontaines D.C. follow up their single A Hero’s Death (also the name of the hugely anticipated new album) with album opener I Don’t Belong giving us another taster of what to expect on the band’s second album.
Wednesday, 10 June 2020
In the time between his first solo LP (1989’s Spectrum) to this his second, the reputation, adulation and respect for Sonic Boom has grown exponentially. In the intervening years, he has recorded and released records under his Spectrum and E.A.R. aliases and enjoyed acclaim as a producer, most notably with MGMT. All Things Being Equal is one of Stuart Ralston’s most eagerly awaited albums of 2020 and it lives up to expectations.
Friday, 5 June 2020
Living The Stream is the name SKIES gave to their series of live acoustic streams they've been holding daily six days a week from their Folkestone home for the past eleven weeks since lockdown began. When their tour got cancelled in May they responded by setting up drums and the rest of the kit in Jericho's bedroom and playing full on live sets on their own and the venue's social media - with the option of buying tickets to support the venues. They've compiled fourteen songs, every one they've released plus one as unreleased, recorded as part of those shows for a digital and very limited physical release.
Elektrisch Nonne is the collaborative project of Ist Ist front man Adam Houghton and producer Michael Whalley. Out of the frustration of lockdown they've created an album called Winter - we caught up with Adam for a chat about the recording process, his myriad of other creative projects and where the lines get drawn between band and other projects.
Wednesday saw the release of To The Boats, a collaboration with singer-songwriter Sophie Kilburn, the second track to be taken from Asthmatic Harp's Things We Learned To Live With, due later this year. We caught up with Hannah for a chat about the new single, how she fell in love with the harp, the history of her project and the differences between working solo and collaborating.
Wednesday, 3 June 2020
Nicole Atkins' fifth album Italian Ice saw her decamp to Muscle Shoals in Alabama with a crack team of musicians from The Bad Seeds, Midlake and the Dap Kings to create a record that pays homage to the legacy of the music she grew up loving, but one that has her own personality scrawled large across it.
Saturday, 30 May 2020
LOAstate have quietly been making their mark around Manchester with little fanfare but packing out venues since they made their live debut at Neighbourhood Festival last year. Their new single Blue Skies seems set to take them up a notch higher and thrust them into the limelight. Julia Grantham takes a listen and finds out more.
Friday, 29 May 2020
Hot Slick is PINS' first album for five years, a period where they've undergone a line-up change, losing original members before regrouping as a three-piece. Crunching guitars are replaced by bright synths and drum machines as the music's distinctive characteristic, mirrored by the bold, colourful artwork that represents both the album itself and its accompanying singles.
Loose Articles have released a lockdown video with a difference for Snake, one of the tracks from last year's Orchid Lounge EP that features them making the most of the strange times we find ourselves living in.
Today sees the release of The Panglossian Momentum, Thousand Yard Stare's third studio album, released twenty-seven years after its predecessor Mappamundi. We caught up with front man Stephen Barnes to find out why a one-off reunion has turned into a fully-fledged one with a live album and double EP already under their belt and chatted about the album's writing and recording process and how their sound has changed over time.
Tuesday, 26 May 2020
Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Same Old Story is the debut EP from Barnsley four-piece Machine. The follow-up to debut single Machine raw in its delivery and production, but shows an immense amount of potential for a band in its formative stages, having only formed in November 2019.
Tuesday, 19 May 2020
Ever evolving Section 25 follow up last year’s excellent Always Now 5 LP box set with an exciting new live album – Duette is their 16th full length record. Now in their 42nd year, Section 25 concluded 2019 by announcing a new phase under the moniker Section 25 Industrial Unit, with the band stripped back to a core duo of founder Vin Cassidy and long-time member Steve Stringer. Embarking on a short run of shows, Vin and Steve recorded their Vienna show last October and the results are issued here. Stuart Ralston has a listen.
Monday, 18 May 2020
Tim Burgess releases his fifth solo album I Love The New Sky via Bella Union on Friday. Recorded over a year, it's Tim's first fully self-written album and features contributions from Grumbling Fur, Factory Floor and the Echo Collective string section. It's a record teeming with ideas, observations about life and friendship delivered with charm and an intuitive intelligence wrapped in a warm comforting musical blanket that reveals many complexities under its top layers as they push boundaries, drift off the beaten track yet remain focused on their destination.
Friday, 15 May 2020
For some musicians, living in lockdown has seen them busier, more productive, more creative and increasingly active on social media, engaging with their fans in many different ways. We chatted to James Holt, who has been known and keenly followed by Even The Stars for some time now, and who was kind enough to speak to us ahead of the release of his new single Pendulum, which dropped today and was produced by James Skelly (The Coral) at Parr Street Studios, to find out what life has been like for him during these unprecedented times. Here, in a unique and in depth interview, we discovered much about the history and background to James’ musical journey thus far, as well as what’s he been up to since being forced to stay indoors, and cancel his gigs.
Monday, 11 May 2020
Left With You is the debut single from Stockport-based duo Glue who comprise of vocalist and lyricist Liv and producer and guitarist Mary. Confident, packing a punch with gravelly blues influenced vocals fighting against the drum beats and guitars, it's an impressive first offering.
Sunday, 10 May 2020
Funkytown is the new album from The Ryne Experience released via US label Under The Counter Records. It's described as " a conceptual psychedelic alt-country record following the story of Paul Mashake, a man who has his name, lover, and identity stolen from him by Nameless Sam. As he forms new experiences as a blank slate, he begins to see the world with new eyes, and when he eventually reclaims his past life, he feels like an impostor in his own skin and disillusioned with modern societal life. As Nameless Sam returns to take the one thing that tethered him to his old identity, he snaps and descends into madness." Ryne walks us through the album.
Friday, 8 May 2020
Something Good is the first new material from Ellysse Mason since 2018's Hunt Me Down EP. Accompanied by an home-made isolation video, the single shows her moving away from her folk roots to a more electronic sound without distilling any of the emotional qualities of her vocals or her words.
Wednesday, 6 May 2020
The Murder Capital today release their Live At Maida Vale EP recorded shortly before the lockdown at the legendary BBC Studios. As well as featuring Green And Blue and Don't Cling To Life from their debut album When I Have Fears, it also sees them cover FKA Twigs' Cellophane and they've released a video to accompany that track. Jason Wynne takes a closer listen.
Monday, 4 May 2020
Pink Tears is the debut album from Jamie from Blackley M9 (he has a thing with postcodes) who describes himself as "Goff soul // Pop tart // Laptop // Geetar" in his bio. From the park shot of the album's cover through ten songs, he takes you on a twisting, winding journey through the deepest recesses of his creative mind, moments of dark reflection contrasting with those of shiny pop tones, often next to each other. Out of potential chaos comes surprising beauty.
Friday, 1 May 2020
Ist Ist today release their debut album Architecture, five years in the making for one of Manchester's most independent and committed bands who've built a strong dedicated following at home and further afield through an uncompromising approach to their music and their art that accompanies it whilst being ignored by large sections of the new music community. Architecture is an impressive calling card that reflects exactly what Ist Ist are about - from the detail in the songs, their desire to work with a Grammy-winning mastering engineer, the novel approach to releasing each song with accompanying visuals and their choice to continue with the release whilst most of their contemporaries are delaying their albums. We caught up with bass player Andy Keating to talk about all of this and more.
Wendy is the second single to be released by Helsinki duo Rules via the Soliti label. The song forms part of their debut album Rules due for release in August, where all but ones track tell the tales of characters in world literature. Wendy takes up the story of J M Barrie's female protagonist from Peter Pan. It does so with a shining glimmering synth-led track underneath it that feels irresistibly poppy.
Thursday, 30 April 2020
Reason Why : Inspiral Carpets Look Back At Their Five Albums And Reveal Unreleased Track For 24 Hours Only
One of the unexpected highlights of the lockdown and the subsequent closure of pretty much everything we've come to know and love about the music scene has been the emergence of the listening party - as devised by Tim Burgess of The Charlatans. One of our favourite bands of all time, Inspiral Carpets, have embraced this more than most with a run of five events alongside Shine On Festival featuring their studio albums - Life, The Beast Inside, Revenge Of The Goldfish, Devil Hopping and Inspiral Carpets. To celebrate the final album in the quintet, the band have decided to release, for twenty-four hours only, Reason Why, an unreleased track from the sessions from the eponymous album.
Rory Wynne returns with his new single, his first of 2020, entitled Roses. Once again it's been written, recorded, produced and mixed in his own studios (entitled RR Studios) and showcases a songwriter confident in his own ability to create big shiny pop songs without losing sight of the indie scene that he came from.
Wednesday, 29 April 2020
Forming in Camden in 1989, Flowered Up famously graced the music papers Melody Maker and NME, before releasing a record. This was no mean feat. Thirty years on, and fan Matt Mead has assembled a colourful visual history of the band in his new book, compiled with Dave Hewitson. Stuart Ralston has a read.
Friday, 24 April 2020
It's four years since Bea Sanjust charmed us with her debut album Larosa, one of those stunning albums that come from an out-of-the-blue recommendation and become one of your most listened records of the time and one you go back to regularly. Since then Bea has been at work with her band on a new set of songs and Songs On The Home Volume 1 (not about the coronavirus we hasten to add) is the first product of those sessions and has a similar impact to the first record.
The Red Stains are one of the most hotly-tipped new bands around and today they release their debut single Mannequin. Ferociously independent, vocal and visually striking on stage and on toilet walls around Manchester, they've captured the attention of the likes of Tim Burgess and Kendal Calling before even releasing a single on the back of some grainy demos and live tracks. We caught up with Natalie, Sterling and Ella for a chat about their origins, the graffiti, their uncompromising attitude and the pressures of expectation being placed on their shoulders.
Thursday, 23 April 2020
In April 1990 the sun was shining and Britain had just finished rioting in response to Thatcher’s hated Poll Tax. Meanwhile in Manchester, prisoners took to the roof of Strangeways to protest at the state of the Victorian prison they were housed in and local lads Inspiral Carpets released their classic debut into the world. Stuart Ralston reflects on one of his favourite records as it reaches its 30th birthday.
Monday, 20 April 2020
Hailed by many of our Irish friends as a hot prospect the energetic Galway based five-piece Turnstiles return with a fourth track titled I.D.C. that matches the breathtaking previous releases of Moving Forward, Wasting Away and Tantrum.
Friday, 17 April 2020
Aligners' debut single Sixties Hearse is released today. The Warrington four-piece met at college studying music and have built a strong live reputation locally, but their debut single sees them stepping out into the wider world and Sixties Hearse is an impressive first offering.
Wednesday, 15 April 2020
In five years Ist Ist have slowly built an incredibly loyal following off the back of word-of-mouth, limited edition single and live bootleg releases and two EPs, developing a reputation for exhilarating and uncompromising live shows, first in Manchester and now further afield. On May 1st they self-release their debut album Architecture into a uncertain world - a record to immerse yourself in and let it reveal its deep intertwining yet contrasting layers of beauty and a brutal dark side as we live through these strangest of days.
Thursday, 9 April 2020
Body Of Itch is Egyptian Blue's second EP, the follow-up to last year's Collateral Damage and, fresh off the back of a successful tour with their mates The Murder Capital, it once again marks them out as a band with something to say and a sound and an anger coursing through their music that stands them out from the crowd across the EP's three tracks.
Friday, 3 April 2020
With three singles under their belt in 2019, Venus release their debut EP Wicked Things featuring three brand new tracks which show them blossoming out, exploring new avenues to their sound at times whilst at others retaining their direct targeted punk anger at whoever crosses into their line of sight.
Wednesday, 1 April 2020
Liverpool-based singer-songwriter Natalie McCool released her latest single Closure last week taken from her forthcoming third album that's close to completion and slated for a 2021 release. We talk to her about the single, her embrace of a number of different styles in the recording of her album, disappointment at missing out on the SXSW experience this year and what other exciting projects she's currently working on.
Tuesday, 31 March 2020
Shape is the first track to be taken from Hannah Scott's forthcoming second album, the follow-up to 2018's Pieces Of The Night. Like many of the tracks on that album, Shape is a very personal track, detailing her non-existent relationship with one of her grandmothers due to a family feud and looking at it from the perspective of what stubbornness can cause you to miss out on.
Document were due to play their biggest headline show last week to celebrate the launch of their five-track EP A Camera Wanders All Night. We caught up with them for a chat about how they came together as band, the creation of the EP and how they are developing as a band and plans for the rest of the year.
Monday, 30 March 2020
Harry Stafford might be known to some of you as lead singer and guitarist of cult Manchester 80s band Inca Babies. He's continued to make music, most recently under his own name and last Friday he released his latest album Gothic Urban Blues made with his band Guitar-Shaped Hammers. Harry took time out from isolation to walk us through the ten tracks that make up the record.