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

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Live Gig Video: Lisa Hannigan and Luke Sital-Singh duet on ‘Prayer for the Dying’ for 7 Layers Sessions

 
By on Friday, 19th January 2018 at 4:00 pm
 

If someone were to ask me to name my “dream duet” vocal combination, singer/songwriters Lisa Hannigan and Luke Sital-Singh would surely be high on my list individually, but I’m not sure it would occur to me pair their voices together. Fortunately for all of us avid listeners, someone else did think of it, and the kind curators at 7 Layers have made the dream a reality. In the live video below, Hannigan and Sital-Singh harmonise on a stripped back acoustic guitar arrangement of Hannigan’s ‘Prayer for the Dying’, which appeared on her exquisite 2016 album ‘At Swim’. Read our review of the LP through here.

Filmed for 7 Layers Sessions by Johnny Marchetta, the spare, intimate quality of the imagery in this video reflects the deeply introspective beauty of the song’s sustained vocal melodies. But the true highlight of the performance is the way Hannigan and Sital-Singh blend their voices to stunning technical perfection in the simple yet emotionally evocative chorus. Sital-Singh’s new EP ‘Just a Song Before I Go’ is available now via Raygun Records. You can read TGTF’s past coverage of Luke Sital-Singh right back here. Our extensive previous coverage of Lisa Hannigan is collected through here.

 

Single Review: The Orielles – Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)

 
By on Friday, 19th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

In a few short weeks, Halifax friends The Orielles will be releasing their debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’. The name came from an incident yours truly actually witnessed. In May 2016, the band travelled to Toronto to play Canadian Music Week, during which time they were up an astonishing 36 hours straight and played two late night shows. The second, at the Silver Dollar Room on the famed Spadina Avenue, a north-south thoroughfare that cuts through the Canadian cultural hub, was at 2 AM. Despite having gone without sleep for so long, the late night appearance proved to be a career-defining moment, noted by the band as one of their best shows to date.

Since we discovered them at the city version of Liverpool Sound City in 2013 and under a different name, the three longtime mates have grown up, and so has their music. ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’ is the latest in their evolution, recorded as part of their debut album sessions at Eve Studio in Stockport. Singles we heard from them in 2017 like ‘I Only Bought It for the Bottle’ and ‘Let Your Dogtooth Grow’ had the psych, surfy feel that runs like a continuous thread through the band’s catalogue so far.

The Orielles 2018

This new single is also fun, but in a different way. Unexpectedly, as if out of the blue, ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’ sees the Orielles at their funkiest yet. Seventies’ style guitar, with plenty of wub wub wubs and reverb, is joined by disco beats, chimes and bongos. There’s a lot going on here, and more than the band’s usual guitar, bass and drums setup. Esme Hand-Halford’s vocals, as dreamy as ever, are layered on top to tie a psych feel back to their songs that have come before this one. While it’s not like their past songs wouldn’t have gotten toes tapping in a club, this is their first tune so far with an overtly danceable vibe. ‘Blue Suitcase’, then, has the potential to cross over and get played in dance clubs, something their alt-rock predecessors didn’t have going for them.

As for the inspiration for the song, it came out of an incident that seems quintessentially English. Unlike in the States, rail travel is not merely a romantic notion in blighty but often a necessity to get around the country. Spying an abandoned suitcase on a train platform, the trio questioned among themselves what was in there. Schrodinger’s cat? Perhaps a giant fruit to take adventures with? I guess we’ll never know. But let’s tip our hats off to the owner of this wayward piece of luggage. If he hadn’t left it, this song might not have been written at all. Let’s not think about that. Let’s look to the future and for The Orielles’ ‘Silver Dollar Moment’.

7.5/10

Single ‘Blue Suitcase (Disco Wrist)’ is taken from The Orielles’ debut album ‘Silver Dollar Moment’, expected to drop the 16th of February on Heavenly Recordings. They’ll be heading out on a UK tour in the middle of next month. For much more here on TGTF on The Orielles, go here.

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2770: Will Varley

 
By on Thursday, 18th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

As a preview for his forthcoming LP, Kent singer/songwriter Will Varley has released a self-designed promo video for his new single ‘Seven Days’. The track will appear on Varley’s album ‘Spirit of Minnie’, which is due for release on the 9th of February via Xtra Mile Recordings.

In addition to the new video, Varley has also shared a list of UK headline dates for the end of January and the first part of February. The nine-date tour will culminate with a show at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London to celebrate the official release of ‘Spirit of Minnie’. Tickets for the following shows are available now. Varley has also recently been announced as a showcasing artist for SXSW 2018 in Austin this March. You can read TGTF’s collected past coverage of Will Varley back through here.

Tuesday 30th January 2018 – Birmingham Institute 3
Wednesday 31st January 2018 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 1st February 2018 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Friday 2nd February 2018 – Edinburgh La Belle Angele
Saturday 3rd February 2018 – Manchester Club Academy
Tuesday 6th February 2018 – Southampton 1865
Wednesday 7th February 2018 – Cardiff Globe
Thursday 8th February 2018 – Bristol Trinity Centre
Friday 9th February 2018 – London Shepherd’s Bush Empire

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Album Review: The Lost Brothers – Halfway Towards a Healing

 
By on Thursday, 18th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

The Lost Brothers Halfway Towards a Healing album coverRarely is there a pair like folk maestros The Lost Brothers. Despite having met and formed in Liverpool and now being based in Dublin, the influence of Americana on the songwriting of Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland is undeniable. Like their 2008 debut album ‘Trails of the Lonely’ produced in Portland, the duo returned to the land they are so indebted to. They touched down in Tucson to work with Giant Sand’s Howe Gelb on their latest album. According to the press release for ‘Halfway Towards a Healing’, he had some unconventional production techniques. Gelb would pick up the duo in the morning for their day of work, then drop them off in the middle of the desert for a walk, presumably to get their creative juices flowing while being wholly inspired by the desolate environment.

Self-described as their “most forward-thinking record” and displaying “tiny slivers of hope” and less gloom than its predecessors, The Lost Brothers’ latest is a tidy collection of beautiful tunes worthy of inclusion in Leech and McCausland’s growing oeuvre. This album also sees the Lost Brothers collaborating with their friend, tourmate and fellow Irish troubadour Glen Hansard, who cowrote three songs on the LP. One of these, ‘More Than I Can Comprehend’, is a catchy little ditty does its best to describe the wonderment of love. In a span of just over 2 minutes, the song manages to be both tender and droll about the most powerful of human emotions: “Why draw a line through what matters most? / Darling, this love might just kill us both.” Another relatively uptempo number is ‘Cry for a Sparrow’, where the duo use the idea of a bird in flight, either soaring or diving, as a metaphor for the ups and downs of life.

But the slower, more pensive moments are where The Lost Brothers shine here. LP standout ‘Where the Shadows Go’ places you in a land created in the pair’s collective mind. Standing with them on a bluff, you can look over their beautiful domain while a forlorn horn section plays alongside their peerless harmonies. Previously revealed single ‘Echoes in the Wind’, reviewed by me here, brilliantly captures the ephemeral, yet beautiful nature of life.

Later in the tracklisting, the lyrics “I’ll get through somehow / slowing down on a poison ground” in ‘Nothing’s Going to Change Me Now’ seems tailor-made for these difficult times. A lonesome violin accompanies the words of a man jaded by his broken heart. The instrumental ‘Reigns of Ruin’ has a Mexican feel, no doubt a product of the location where they chose to create this record. Closing out the first half of the album if you’re partial to vinyl, it’s a truly evocative moment, transporting you to a different place and a different time. Things are slower here in the land of The Lost Brothers. And that’s quite all right.

The Lost Brothers only recently caught the ears of another songwriter well versed in beautiful vocals and equally beautiful songs, Richard Hawley, who compared their “tender close harmony singing” to that ‘50s legends The Everly Brothers. Given the mastery of their vocal and instrumental gifts, it’s only a matter of time for the rest of the world to catch up with this great Irish songwriting partnership.

8/10

‘Halfway Towards a Healing’, the new album from Irish folk duo The Lost Brothers, is scheduled for release on the 26th of January on Bird Dog Records. Watch the promo video for the title track below. The pair are one of several Irish acts to have been announced for SXSW 2018, taking place 13-18 March in Austin, Texas. Not going to Austin? No problem: catch them on their UK and Irish tour that will start on the 30th of January at London Lexington. To read more of our coverage on TGTF on The Lost Brothers, go here.

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #395: C. Macleod

 
By on Wednesday, 17th January 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Mike Guest

Scottish folk singer/songwriter C. Macleod is, by all appearances, a musician in the middle of a makeover. The Facebook and Twitter links on his SXSW 2018 bio page are both inactive, but his official Web site links to different, fully operational social media profiles that appear to have been fairly recently created. Notably, these active profiles refer to the artist by his full name, Colin Macleod, rather than simply using his first initial.

If Macleod is indeed transitioning between names, it wouldn’t be the first time. According to his SXSW bio, “Colin started his career as alt-folk artist The Boy Who Trapped the Sun, working the same vibrant Glasgow scene as Frightened Rabbit and Snow Patrol.” In fact, TGTF’s own coverage of Macleod as The Boy Who Trapped the Sun dates back to 2009; you can read it all by clicking here.

Whichever stage name he ultimately chooses, Macleod seems to be making a concentrated attempt to redefine and solidify his sound. In the past several years, he has sought a balance between family and work, returning home to the Isle of Lewis and allowing its physical space and close-knit community to influence his songwriting. His current single ‘Kicks In’ is an intense blend of folk and rock, with warm guitars and shuffling percussion underscoring anthemic lyrics and Macleod’s sweetly stirring vocal delivery. Ironically, the song’s yearning refrain expresses a latent desire to run away: “so let it be known / one day I will leave this place / with a hope for something wide and new / though hell is just a step away / wait until it kicks in”.

Macleod has gathered a strong group of collaborators for this new chapter in his career. Well-known producer Ethan Johns (Ryan Adams, Laura Marling) took the helm on the recording of Macleod’s debut full-length album ‘Bloodlines’, which is due for release this March on BMG. For assistance in live shows, Macleod has recruited within close proximity, calling on his brother Callum and fellow Lewis natives Scott Macleod and Murdo Mackenzie to join his band. The only relative outsider in the entourage is, coincidentally or not, former Frightened Rabbit member Gordon Skene, who can be seen playing the prominent keyboard riff in ‘Shake the Walls’, just below.

Macleod finished 2017 playing support for veteran singer/songwriter Chris Rea, whose tour ended rather abruptly on the 9th of December in Oxford. Ahead of his trip to America in March for SXSW 2018, Macleod is slated to play at Americana Fest UK in London on the 31st of January and at the Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow on the 1st of February.

As with all of the SXSW 2018 showcasing artists we feature here at TGTF, C. Macleod’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.

 

(SXSW 2018 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2768: Totally Mild

 
By on Tuesday, 16th January 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Totally Mild will be part of a very large (50 plus artists!) Australian and New Zealand contingent to touch down in Austin for SXSW 2018 in March. The Melbourne pop group will be releasing their second album ‘Her’ on the 23rd of February on Chapter Music. To preview that release while also giving those who are new to them a better idea about who they are and what they sound like, they’ve unveiled a video for ‘Lucky Number’ from the upcoming LP.

Part promo, part live video starring frontwoman Elizabeth Mitchell performing the song with a piano in the studio, ‘Lucky Number’ is described by the band as “an exercise in intimate voyeurism, a momentary glimpse into the world of this woman as she plays a love song and hopes someone will hear it.” Watch the unique video below. Stay tuned for more coverage of Totally Mild and artists like them who will be showcasing in Austin as we edge ever closer to SXSW 2018, taking place 13-18 March.

 
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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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