We'll be at SXSW the week of 10/03/14, so if it's more quiet than usual here, that's why! Check out our
‘Stitch Yourself Up’ is the debut single release from Little Matador, following on their ‘Liar Liar’ EP from last year. The song’s hard-hitting lyrics, pounding drums and grinding guitars fully achieve the gritty, edgy rock feel suggested on the EP. In terms of the sleaze factor, the video for ‘Stitch Yourself Up’ is a kind of a cross between Foals’ explicit ‘Late Night’ and Snow Patrol’s bleakly realistic ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ (though Connolly and Co. might not appreciate that particular comparison). It also puts a new spin on the recent “cougar” craze, and if you’re averse to public displays of affection, you should be warned that there is some serious tonsil tennis involved.
Little Matador’s self-titled LP is due for release on the 21st of April on Fiction Records and is available for pre-order on the band’s Web site.
Waylayers are like a cool ice bath in the searing heat of Austin, Texas. This London based synth-pop four-piece feel incredibly fresh, as they engulf you in their delightfully chipper electronica beats. Dripping with a subtle sense of euphoria their new track ‘Medicine’ has the kind of hook deserving of top chart billing – especially seeing as everyone is getting a bit bored of being told how bloody happy Pharrell is.
We get it, Pharrell – it’s the absolute tits being you – now fuck off, will you?
In a completely positive fashion, frontman Harry Lee’s vocals remind me of Chris Martin of Coldplay*, inoffensive and unobtrusive whilst wholly compelling in the same chords. The chorus of ‘Medicine’ feels extremely ‘80s and works as an atmosphere builder perfectly. The final 20 seconds of the single seems like it’s dragged directly from the end of a Rick Astley song.
Nostalgia aside, you can immediately imagine this pulsing from speakers as you wade through a sea of dry ice. In tandem with their earlier EP, Waylayers are certainly an interesting prospect for your perusal at SXSW. They’re the kind of cute British boys, ala Two Door Cinema Club (also three band members) who you can imagine the American population will adore.
With that in mind, Saturday the 15th of March at 9 in the evening at Icenhauer’s is a showcase sure to have the industry crawling with their grubby mitts all over this three-piece.
*I really like old Coldplay and I REALLY dislike new Coldplay.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 10th March 2014 at 11:00 am
TGTF are now in Austin! The music portion of SXSW 2014 goes into full swing tomorrow. We’ve been running a special version of the TGTF Quickfire Questions, served up SXSW style with an extra couple of questions to get inside bands’ heads so they would tell us what they really think of the event. Here we are, in the tenth of these, and I’m really pleased to be bringing you the Quickfire answers from singer and frontman Owen Lloyd of up and coming band Longfellow.
The Londoners will be releasing their second single ‘Kiss-Hug-Makeup’ with one of our favourite indie labels, Fierce Panda, on the 19th of May. This are exciting times for the group, who will be appearing at a very special BBC Introducing night compered by who else by the legend that is Steve Lamacq on Thursday evening (the 13th of March) here in Austin. Catch the broadcast live on 6music; more details will be here. But until then, whet your appetite with words from the ‘Siamese Lover’ singer…
What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
I just can’t wait to play the BBC Introducing show at Latitude 30 on the 13th; we’ve had an unbelievable show of support from the BBC the last few months and it feels like the perfect opportunity to do them proud. Also, it’s a terrible cliché but I’ve promised my sister some cowboy boots… I think Texan shopping is going to be one hell of an adventure. [Head south of the river to Allen Boots on South Congress - Ed.]
Are there any bands that you have as must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
The Crookes, I’m yet to have seen them but I’ve fallen in love with their new album after being introduced to it by our manager Simon (label boss at Fierce Panda Records). I think we’re lucky enough to be playing with Katie Herzig at some point too; she’s a songwriter who I’ve been dying to see for a while now.
Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
I’m trying to to finish off a degree at the University of Westminster whilst all this SXSW madness is going on so I’ll be taking a hoard of books on Autism and Music Therapy. There’s a real disparity between the thoroughly studious Owen and the one who’s fronting the band at the moment, I’m kind of enjoying it.
If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Now that depends on whether it’s before or after we’ve played a show… Before I’d probably be unenticingly boring and go for a lime and soda. Afterwards, the sky’s the limit, you choose…
(For bands who are SXSW newbies) What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I don’t think it’s quite sunk in yet. It’s our first proper festival, so we’re a bit oblivious and as a result quite levelheaded, but we’ve heard so many fabulous and exciting things about it it’s hard not to feel a little anxious. Plus, the BBC lineup is insane, so we’ve got to really pull our socks up to feel at home with the impressive company we’re keeping.
Let’s move on to the usual TGTF Quickfire Questions:
What song is your earliest musical memory?
My dad was a keen musician, and he immersed me in music from quite an early age. He used to sit in our living room and cover classics on his acoustic guitar like Toto – ‘Africa’, The Beatles – ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your love Away’ and Todd Rundgren – ‘I Saw the :ight’.
What was your favourite song as a child?
The Pointer Sisters – ‘Slow Hand’. Whenever we were going on a family holiday this always found its way into the travel playlist, I know it’s shamelessly ’80s, but I have so much nostalgia for it.
What song makes you laugh?
One Direction – ‘The Story of my Life’. I heard the shred version on YouTube and I can’t get it out of my head each time I hear the original.
What song makes you cry?
Nick Drake – ‘Northern Sky’. Nick had such an incredible talent and to die so tragically young was a terrible waste. This song is beautiful.
What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Rich’ My first love was a bit of vixen and she drove me to the point of insanity with this song as the soundtrack to it.
What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Patrick Watson – ‘Man Like You’. This song was the outro to a fairly destructive friendship I had a few years ago now, I can still listen to it but with an air of negative reminiscence and reflection.
Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
Joni Mitchell – ‘A Case of You’. Joni’s lyrics are a huge inspiration.
Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Sylvia Plath. [I think we might have been separated at birth... - Ed.]
If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I trained to be a dietician for two years before throwing myself into music so I’d probably still be deluding myself with something scientific and sensible. [Yup, definitely separated at birth. - Ed.]
If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
This is a tricky one and changes day to day but currently, Manchester Orchestra – ‘Mean Everything to Nothing’.
We wish Owen and the whole Longfellow crew best wishes as they make their maiden voyage to SXSW and we are prepared they will knock everyone’s socks off on Thursday night! Thank you Owen for answering our questions.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 7th March 2014 at 6:00 pm
It’s been a long week, and it’s time for something fun. What could be more bonkers than Franz Ferdinand‘s Nick McCarthy dressing up like a woman with a fur hat and lipstick cavorting around Bavaria? (I did a double take: was that really the same guitarist I met last October?) You just have to watch the hilarious video for ‘Erdbeer Mund’. You can thank us later.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 7th March 2014 at 12:00 pm
The meteorological start of spring is only 2 weeks off now, but Sheffield indie band High Hazels are already looking much further ahead. To summer. Last Friday, the group revealed new song ‘Summer Rain’, to feature on an upcoming EP with Heist or Hit Records, whom they signed with last summer.
Like previous single ‘Hearts Are Breaking’ (review here, video here), this new one features what might just become High Hazels’ trademark, guitars sounding echoey – and therefore plaintive in their loneliness – accompanied by frontman James Leesley’s melancholy yet surprising bright vocals. Yet the overall feel is noticeably softer. The lyrics this time were penned by bass guitarist Paul Barlow, and reading the words out as if poetry are as powerful as hearing them in the song. The refrain of “I was sleeping while you were letting our love slide / I was sleeping and I dreamt of you with another” comes across strong with Leesley’s buoyant vocal, yet the actual lyrics suggest the abject helplessness as the only outcome when your imagination runs wild with the thought of the one you love(d) belonging to someone else.
Imagination is a good word to use in describing ‘Summer Rain’, as the imagery Barlow takes you through is quite gorgeous despite the very real pain of the protagonist. The summer rain falls on a window pane, seemingly uncaring about the love that has “waned”, as the voice of the song is in disbelief, “love has waned / I never thought I’d see it change”. He imagines his lover swimming in a stream with another man, then recalls what how their love (or quite possibly also the woman herself) was so beautiful, “jewels are scattered all around / I’ve forgot just how they shined”, but he’s tortured by this faceless man who has taken his place.
The nail in the coffin? “I was sleeping and you walked away turned your back, lover.” So sad. How did our protagonist get here? I’m not entirely sure and I think that’s a question for Barlow in person one day, but getting here is a beautiful, beautiful journey.
The new release from Sheffield’s High Hazels, the ‘In the Half Light’ EP, will be released on the 7th of April on Heist or Hit Records and will be available on limited edition 10″ and also digitally. The group will be supporting The Crookes on their April UK tour and also at their homecoming show on the 31st of May.