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WIN / Bespoke jewellery from not-for-profit the guitarwrist, made from guitar strings donated by Pendulum

 
By on Wednesday, 13th December 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Every Tuesday morning without fail, there is a parade of blue bins standing attention on my street, filled to the brim with plastic and glass bottles, waiting to be picked up by the recycling truck on his weekly run. I have been a staunch supporter for recycling for years, and I still fish out the soda cans and plastic salad containers I spy in the kitchen bin at work so they will be recycled. While the wherewithal to recycle food and drink containers is a common thing on our minds every time we’re in a public space, something you probably have never considered, even if you are a musician yourself, is how much waste is generated from the binning of old guitar strings alone.

I was gobsmacked reading the figure: it’s estimated 1.5 million pounds of discarded strings are destined for the many maxed out landfills of our earth. A solution, and a good one at that, has been brought to fruition by the guitarwrist, a not-for-profit jewellery collection that is taking the used guitar string donations of some of your favourite artists and turning them into collectible, beautiful pieces of art. Ninety-five percent of the donated strings are used in the creations by Emma Hedley Jewellery. Musicians and bands who have already stepped up to the plate to make string donations include artists we’ve featured quite a bit here on TGTF like KT Tunstall, Duran Duran, Pendulum, Enter Shikari, You Me at Six, Twin Atlantic and Slaves.

And as if finding a new use for these guitar strings from your favourite artists wasn’t enough, 90% of the profits from sales of the pieces in this bespoke jewellery line are going towards Save The Children, CRUK, Teenage Cancer Trust, Help Refugees UK, Shelter, Dogs Trust, Centrepoint and many other worthy charities. Not only are you buying a one-of-a-kind piece of history that’s actually wearable, the money you spend on it is going towards good. As we get closer to Christmas and I’m sure there are plenty of procrastinators out there who haven’t even started shopping for loved ones, the guitarwrist offers a way to purchase that special person in your life something unique that simply with your purchase is allowing both of you to pay it forward!

If you live in London, I’ve got even better news: a pop-up store at 2 Newburgh Street in Soho is now open for your browsing and purchasing delight. We here at TGTF encourage you to pick up a beautifully crafted piece of art from the shop and dig deep to support charity. Pieces range from £40 to £500, to fit almost every budget. Are you a photography geek or just like to collect photos of your favourite guitarists? Photographer Scarlet Page (yes, Jimmy’s daughter) is exhibiting photos from her acclaimed coffee table book Resonators at the pop-up shop, and signed copies of her book will be available there, too.

To help us celebrate the holiday season, founder of the guitarist Ian Rendall has kindly donated a bespoke piece from their collection for us to giveaway. The prize is made from guitar strings donated by Peredur ap Gwynedd and Gareth McGrillen of electronic rock and drum ‘n’ bass group Pendulum, an estimated value of £150. Further, Ian has kindly agreed to ship this lovely prize worldwide to the winner, opening up this contest to anyone in the world.

So how do you win this awesome prize? What I would like to know from you is what you plan to do with your prize and why you want to be involved with a piece of jewellery from the guitarwrist. I want to ensure the prize gets a good home. I’ll also need your email address in the form below to contact you if you win. I will sort through all the entries received by this Friday, the 15th of December and select a winner. I’m hoping to get this prize out in good time so you’ll have in time for Christmas, either as a gift for yourself or for someone else. Also, this should go without saying, but please do not enter if you’re only entering to turn around and sell the prize, because that’s not what this contest is at all about. Let’s play fair and just a reminder, he sees you when you’re sleeping, you dig? GOOD LUCK!

 

Video of the Moment #2755: Bjork

 
By on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

I am not a Bjork fan. Never have been, never will be one. However, there is no denying her influence on popular music and the making of it. Her ability, or shall we say willingness to push boundaries has been pretty unrivalled over the years. This week, she shares the promo video for the title track of her newest album, ‘Utopia’, her ninth that dropped last month on One Little Indian. Directed by Nick Thornton Jones and Wareen Du Preez, it looks how you might imagine visuals for a song with a title like that might be conveyed. We’re introduced to a pretty, overly pink world looking idyllic, while flautists from the land play a bouncy melody along to Bjork’s own vocals. I think if you get Bjork, you’ll totally love this. Me? I am totally lost. Make up your own mind about it by watching it below. TGTF’s past coverage on the enigmatic Bjork is through this link.

 

Single Review: Laura Marling – Don’t Pass Me By

 
By on Tuesday, 12th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

It’s perhaps a bit unusual to write a single review for a song that we’ve already mentioned in a review of the full album. However, Laura Marling’s early 2017 LP ‘Semper Femina’ is well worth a second look. The album has been mentioned on several Best of 2017 lists (including this one from Noisey and this one from NME) and was recently nominated for a Grammy award in the category of Best Folk Album. On the strength of those accolades, Marling has released a new deluxe version of ‘Semper Femina’ and a new single from the album, ‘Don’t Pass Me By’, which is accompanied by an elegant and artistic lyric video.

The song itself is graceful and refined, its arrangement evolving slowly and hypnotically over the course of four wistful verses and a plaintive refrain. Marling’s vocal delivery is both sultry and soothing as she sings of an evolving relationship and the residual emotion that lingers between two people in the process of growing apart. The protagonist of her narrative seems to be of two minds, confessing, “I can’t get you off my mind”, before asking in the next breath, “can you love me if I put up a fight?”

This kind of duality is characteristic of ‘Semper Femina’, as Marling fluidly and unapologetically juxtaposes opposing emotions, gender pronouns, and musical styles. ‘Don’t Pass Me By’ is among the most elusive of the songs on the album, its poetry both consciously evocative and willfully vague. But despite the layers of thematic conflict, Marling’s musical treatment is calm and composed, its dynamic hushed and its tempo serene throughout. The visual representation in the lyric video streaming below conveys a similar sense of peace and tranquility, as its graphics continuously modulate and transform in much the same fashion as Marling herself over the past several years.

9/10

‘Don’t Pass Me By’ appears on the new deluxe version of ‘Semper Femina’, which is available now via More Alarming Records/Kobalt. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Laura Marling is collected here.

 

Video of the Moment #2754: Woodes

 
By on Monday, 11th December 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

This is definitely the year of the strong woman. The latest? Australian electronic pop artist Woodes, known to her mum as Elle Graham, released a new video late last week. ‘Dots’ is a lovely cinematic visual, with Graham playing a Wonder Woman, warrior princess type of traveller who traverses the brush, the desert, a snowy landscape, all over, day and night, in search of the truth. Who or what is she seeking? Will she be successful, victorious? Decide for yourself by watching the promo for single ‘Dots’ below. For much more here on TGTF on Woodes, go here.

 

Album Review: Belle and Sebastian – How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 1) EP

 
By on Monday, 11th December 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Belle and Sebastian How to Solve Our Human Problems Part 1 album coverTwo decades after forming, Glaswegian band Belle and Sebastian are still at it, and for their latest release, they’ve decided to turn things on its head. I should probably be referring not to release but to releases, plural. In their earliest years, Belle and Sebastian knocked out albums at a feverish pace: ‘Tigermilk’ and ‘If You’re Feeling Sinister’ were recorded and released in less than a year. While Stuart Murdoch says, “My capacity to be delighted by pop music has not waned”, his outlook on the music business has changed. This has led to their decision to release not an album in a traditional format but three EPs under the umbrella ‘How to Solve Our Human Problems’, each of them to be bolstered by a lead single.

In part 1 of the trilogy, ‘We Were Beautiful’ is that single, an upbeat number that continues the Scottish’s group trajectory towards synth-driven tuneage evidenced in ‘The Party Line’ from 2015’s ‘Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance’. In his semi-sung, semi-spoken words, Murdoch paints a picture of optimism and resilience despite obstacles, much needed in these downtrodden times: “I see you the way you are, I see you the scar… we were beautiful before this all went down”. ‘The Girl Doesn’t Get It’ begins simply and trite enough, with Murdoch’s pronouncement that women have been deceived by “a myth that they’re selling / that there’s one perfect fella”. The song quickly changes to a political direction, into discussion of state of fear and terror we’ve been pulled into in this uncertain world and, I guess for lack of a better parallel descriptor, Britain’s version of Make America Great Again. All the while, a bouncy, poppy, peppy synth-led rhythm reminiscent of OMD confounds.

But maybe that’s the point, to keep you off balance, to create a feeling of unease? ‘Dew Sweet Lee’, a near cloying duet between Murdoch and Stevie Jackson, opens this EP, sounding nothing like the two songs I just described. In it, Murdoch recalls a woman he once loved. But was it a fabulous love affair, or was it all in his mind and he daydreamed up the whole thing? It’s up to the listener to decide. Moving into even slower territory, ‘Fickle Season’ shines gently like stars in a night sky. A repeated tap in the backdrop sounds like the clicking of a clock or a metronome, which seems appropriate here. “Come the season, find a reason / home is anywhere you find me”, sings Sarah Martin, a honeyed yearning in her voice.

The five-track EP ends with an instrumental, ‘Everything is Now’. Sounding like a wonky Broken Bells with flute and like an attempt by a pop band who don’t really know how to jam, you’re left scratching your head after its 5 and a half minute conclusion. EPs are shorter than albums, so they’re usually easier to string together by a common theme, something that doesn’t seem to be obvious here. Maybe the other two EPs that follow will have better guidance towards the titular ‘How to Solve Our Human Problems’? Let’s hope so.

7/10

The ‘How to Solve Our Human Problems (Part 1) EP, the first of three from Belle and Sebastian, is out now on Matador Records. The Scottish group will be touring their newest music in Europe in February, the UK and Ireland in March and will even pop over to Australia in May; all their touring information current as of now is on their Facebook here. For our past coverage on Belle and Sebastian here on TGTF, come through.

 

MP3 of the Day #903: The Dunwells

 
By on Monday, 11th December 2017 at 10:00 am
 

Back when I first started here at TGTF in 2009, we gave out quite a bit of free music. Then RCRD LBL went away, and fewer people wanted to give away their tracks for free (I get it). But I do love it when we can give away free tracks now. Here’s a freebie to brighten your Monday morning. Leeds rockers The Dunwells just released a new EP on the 1st of December, ‘Colour My Mind’. Continuing with the momentum off the EP being available, they want to give away their song ‘I Need Your Love’ to you. How, you ask, can you grab this for your very own? Join their mailing list through here, follow all the directions and you’ll be directed to your free download of the track. Easy peasy, eh? To read more of our past coverage of The Dunwells here on TGTF, use this link.

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

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