Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

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(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2767: Lo Moon

 
By on Friday, 12th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Elusive alt-rock trio Lo Moon are crawling slowly out of their self-created shell, cleverly prolonging the anxious anticipation of their forthcoming debut LP release. The band’s latest teaser for the album is a new promo video for ‘Real Love’, designed by visual artist Lizzie Nanut. Nanut’s visual representation of ‘Real Love’ is in perfect synchrony with the song itself, contrasting a sharply graphic base layer with subtle changes in tone and colour. Sonically, vocalist Matt Lowell’s cool, distant verse melodies are underlaid by a deeply resonating bass groove. Slick guitar and keyboard lines add dynamic and dramatic overtones to the song’s chorus: “when it’s real, real love, you try to fix it but it’s never enough.”

Lo Moon will be releasing their self-titled debut album on the 23rd of February on Columbia Records. The Los Angeles based trio is scheduled to appear in Austin this March at SXSW 2018. You can read TGTF’s previous coverage of Lo Moon, including a live review from SXSW 2017, by clicking here.

 

Video of the Moment #2766: Adam French

 
By on Friday, 12th January 2018 at 10:00 am
 

Singer/songwriter Adam French finished 2017 on a strong note with a new EP titled ‘Weightless’, released on the 8th of November. This week, he starts the new year by offering up a new promo video for the EP’s second single ‘My Addiction’. If you missed it, you can read editor Mary’s review of the eponymous first single ‘Weightless’ right back here.

French describes ‘My Addiction’ as “a song about temptation and withdrawal.” His lyrics draw a very clear parallel between the physical nature of chemical dependency and the perhaps unhealthy fixation of a tumultuous romance: “Lying to the ones I love / don’t know what I’m thinking of / God, you hold me like a drug / my body’s shaking, I can’t breathe / this could be the death of me.” The visual treatment of ‘My Addiction’ illustrates the sense of disorientation such a relationship can generate by dramatically juxtaposing images of boundless euphoria with those of dark and brooding introspection. “Often raw emotion is too powerful to ignore”, he concludes in the video’s press release, “and at some point you have to come to terms with the inevitable, whether right or wrong. Such is life.”

French will play a sold out show at London Bermondsey Social Club on the 1st of February, followed by a second headline show, for which tickets are still available, at the Manchester Deaf Institute on the 9th of February. His ‘Weightless’ EP is available now on Virgin EMI. TGTF’s full past coverage of Adam French is back through here.

 

Sam Fender / February and March 2018 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 12th January 2018 at 9:00 am
 

Newcastle up-and-comer Sam Fender has announced a list of UK headline dates ahead of his scheduled trip to America for SXSW 2018. In case you missed it, we highlighted Fender’s indie rock stylings earlier this week in our (SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #394. Under the tour date listing below, you can watch Fender perform his recent hit single ‘Play God’ in session at Maida Vale for BBC Music Introducing.

Tickets for the following shows are available now, except for the sold out show in Manchester on the 23rd of February. In addition to the following UK live dates, Fender is also slated to play at the inaugural This Is Tomorrow Festival in his hometown of Newcastle on Friday, the 25th of May. You can find a full listing of Sam Fender’s upcoming live shows on his official Web site.

Friday 23rd February 2018 – Manchester Jimmy’s (sold out)
Saturday 24th February 2018 – Nottingham Bodega
Sunday 25th February 2018 – Glasgow Attic Bar
Tuesday 27th February 2018 – Cardiff Big Top
Wednesday 28th February 2018 – London Electrowerkz
Friday 2nd March 2018 – Truro Old Bakery
Saturday 3rd March 2018 – Exeter Cavern
Monday 5th March 2018 – Birmingham Sunflower Lounge
Tuesday 6th March 2018 – Bristol Louisiana

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #394: Sam Fender

 
By on Thursday, 11th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Jack Whitefield

Newcastle rock singer/songwriter Sam Fender is surely one of the safest bets for success at SXSW 2018. As stated in his SXSW bio, Fender has already laid the groundwork for a big break in the UK, playing support slots at home for Hozier and Catfish and the Bottlemen, as well as travelling to Europe with TGTF alums Bear’s Den and Declan McKenna. Fender has only released a handful of singles for public consumption, but they have been uniformly well-received, particularly debut track ‘Play God’, which has garnered air time on BBC Radio 1 and reached viral status on both iTunes and Spotify.

Thematically, ‘Play God’ isn’t exactly tailor-made to be a breakout hit, but it makes a strong introductory statement. There’s nothing “feel good” about Fender’s pessimistic lyrical forecast, which imagines an oppressive and perhaps not-so-distant future for Western society. “It’s all the same down in the capital / all the suits in cladded feet,” Fender intones darkly in the second verse, “sewer rats will shower the underground / in a race to make ends meet”.

The real drama, though, is in the song’s musical arrangement, which elucidates the pervasive thematic anxiety in its deeply resonating rhythm section and persistent electric guitar riffs. The production quality is stunning, slick and clean, but with a cutting edge, particularly in the vocal sound. The slight stridency in Fender’s voice conveys both cynicism and urgency, and his concise lyrical phrases slice sharply through the thick instrumentation. Added brass layers in the bridge section are another a surprisingly expert touch, adding harmonic texture and further ratcheting up the dramatic tension.

Fender’s recent single release, ‘Greasy Spoon’, explores a different kind of social oppression. His lyrics here imagine the female perspective on sexual harassment: “cat call and white van patrol / in the streets as she walks from work / grip hard and jeer from afar / as he sits with a drooling smirk.” He even goes so far as to declare “I am a woman” in the song’s bridge section, though whether ths is an expression of solidarity or an obscure metaphor remains unclear. Regardless, ‘Greasy Spoon’ continues where ‘Play God’ left off in terms of establishing Sam Fender’s presence on the international indie rock scene.

As with all of the SXSW 2018 showcasing artists we feature here at TGTF, Sam Fender’s appearance in Austin is subject to change. We recommend that you consult the official SXSW Music Festival schedule for the latest information and updates.

 

Video of the Moment #2765: Franz Ferdinand

 
By on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

The day of the release of Franz Ferdinand‘s latest album is getting ever closer. ‘Always Ascending’, the Glaswegians’ fifth studio album, is scheduled to drop on the 9th of February on Domino Records. The band, now five members strong following the departure of guitarist Nick McCarthy and the addition of new members Julian Corrie and Dino Bardot, previously announced this series of live tour dates in the UK and Ireland, following the release of the new LP, last October. They’re now ratcheting up the anticipation by unveiling another single from ‘Always Ascending’, the decidedly dancey ‘Feel the Love Go’, which is available for purchase now. Liking the cacophonous saxophone in the background? Have a listen and watch to the promo video for the single below. For more on Franz Ferdinand right here on TGTF, follow us this way.

 

(Charity!) Single Review: Frightened Rabbit – No Real Life

 
By on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Over their five studio albums to date, Scottish indie band Frightened Rabbit and their emotionally-charged music, described by Ryan Leas of Stereogum as “the kind of music that demands a fair amount of emotional investment from the listener,” have wowed fans all over the world. In his impassioned vocals, Scott Hutchison lays out raw, painful emotions for all to hear. It isn’t surprising, and sadly so, to learn that someone who can pour that much feeling and sorrow himself suffers from mental illness, something that has spilled out of Hutchison on social media. He admitted in this illuminating interview with Luke Ottenhof of On the A Side last spring, “Sometimes I wish I had a better mode of communication for when I’m feeling depressed, anxious, any of those things, but it tends to just work itself out into a song. That’s the way it’s always been for me.”

Knowing his personal history, it is wonderfully inspiring that Hutchison is willing to speak publicly about his struggles and has gotten involved with raising awareness and money for mental health causes. In 2011, along with James Graham of The Twilight Sad, Emma Pollock of The Delgados and other local musicians, Hutchison was part of The Fruit Tree Foundation, a Scottish music project that released the album ‘First Edition’, written and recorded during an intensive collaborative workshop in Perthshire. Fifty percent of the album’s proceeds go towards Scottish charity The Mental Health Foundation.

This past holiday season, Frightened Rabbit revealed a new single, also to raise money for a mental illness charity. ‘No Real Life’ premiered on Christmas Day, its words chronicling the thoughts that can go on inside the confused mind of a patient with dementia, often caused by the chronic, progressive neurodegenerative Alzheimer’s disease. Hutchison’s vocals of “I see light in the crack of the doorway / that extra-terrestrial glow / so cocoon my body, transport me / I don’t care to live in this world anymore” document the quiet desperation of a sufferer for the pain and confusion to end.

The gentle instrumental folk rock feel throughout the song marries well with the sombre subject matter. When Hutchison’s voice is joined by those of his bandmates in an ethereal harmony, a sense of peace and calm is achieved. ‘No Real Life’ is a moving, respectful acknowledgement to those in the grip of dementia, a disease we must keep fighting to cure.

8/10

Frightened Rabbit have encouraged their fans to donate to Alzheimer Scotland, who offer services to assist people with dementia, their carers and their families. Like cancer, dementia is an illness that has touched virtually everyone and their loved ones. Particularly around the holidays, it can be a difficult time when someone you love is suffering from a condition for which there is yet no cure. We encourage all to consider this worthy charity and to donate what you can to ensuring in the band’s words, “With your help, their aim is to make sure that nobody in this country faces dementia alone.” To read more of TGTF’s past coverage on Frightened Rabbit, go here.

 
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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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