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By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 28th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
Esben and the Witch are readying themselves for the release of their third full-length album ‘A New Nature’ on the 8th of September on Nostromo Records.
Ahead of that, they’ve unveiled the video for a taster from the new LP, filmed in one shot. The visuals in ‘Dig Your Fingers In’, directed by Sim Warren, are as stark and forlorn as we’ve come to know as the sound of this Brighton trio. Watch the video below.
London singer-songwriter Tom the Lion, aka Tom Visser, officially released his debut album ‘Sleep’ on the 11th of August on Wrasse Records. Initially an independent effort pursued by Visser and his manager, the album was picked up by Rough Trade earlier this year and garnered enough support on its own merits for a full release. We here at TGTF have already featured one of its tracks, ‘Silent Partner’, as well as the non-album track ‘Wasting Sunlight’.
Visser is a multi-faceted musician who writes, plays, and produces all of his own material. His early musical influences started at home, where his mother exposed him to classic singer/songwriters like Rickie Lee Jones and Bob Dylan and his jazz musician father introduced the likes of Miles Davis and Chet Baker. It does seem that having a background in jazz produces a particular willingness to experiment with sound, and Visser is no exception in that regard. On ‘Sleep’, he balances a strong sense of poetic lyricism and melody with a variety of instrumental textures and harmonic choices to shade the album’s fundamental melancholy tone with subtle degrees of emotion.
‘Sleep’ feels like a break-up album, though it hasn’t been specifically billed as such. The obliquely evocative lyrics mingle sadness and regret with hope and optimism, beginning with the opening title track. Its anthemic chorus “you could wait a lifetime for this / strike my name off the list” is one of the album’s most uplifting moments, despite the later lyric, “you’re on your own with one last wish.” ‘Every Single Moment’ is a similarly straightforward track with an appealing chorus, “as if this is your last phone call / may I just hear your voice / as if this is your last power chord / can I just let you talk”, that builds to the climactic repeated ending line “I love every single moment.”
In contrast, tracks like ‘Oil Man’ and ‘November’s Beach’ are stark and edgy. ‘Oil Man’ has a thin, synthetic sound that emphasizes its strange, unsettling harmonies and eerie vocal tone. The machine-produced drums on ‘November’s Beach’ create a crisp chill under the diffuse shimmer of keyboards and guitars. ‘Winter’s Wool’ features a groovy bass line and guitar melody under its smooth instrumental sheen.
The album ends with a especially nice sequence of memorable tracks. The delicate texture and uneven rhythm of ‘Ragdoll’ adorn some of Visser’s most poignant lyrics, “you lost without a fight / just to be polite…you’re a ragdoll in my arms / with no charms / I’m a tyrant in this land / blood on my hands”. The persistent rhythm and and guitar line in ‘Heal’ lead into another inspiring chorus with the determined lyric “I choose now to heal”. ‘Come to Life’ ends the album with another tinge of sadness in the haunting lyric “The note you left behind / on the pillowcase I’ll find / I’m nothing but disguise / dressed as your lover might”. Its deliberately unresolved emotion is representative of the album as a whole, which is a series of vignettes left to speak for themselves rather than being painstakingly expanded or meticulously explored.
In that way, Tom the Lion distinguishes himself from artists to whom he is likely to be compared to, including inevitably Bon Iver. Visser’s songs are similarly impressionistic, with the same falsetto vocal that Justin Vernon and Thom Yorke fans adore, but their brevity gives them a greater sense of emotional urgency and allows the unique experimental aspects of the music to make a more powerful impression.
Tom the Lion’s debut album ‘Sleep’ is available now on Wrasse Records.
Alec and Becca King are better known as This Boy That Girl, a brother and sister pop/hip-hop duo from Los Angeles. The siblings are currently supporting Aaron Carter on his American dates and are a part of the Anti-Bullying Tour. They took some time out from their busy schedule to talk to There Goes The Fear.
This Boy That Girl was formed three years ago when Becca would play acoustic guitar and Alec would freestyle over it. Inspired by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Eminem and Ed Sheeran, the duo have recently released their first EP, ‘Breaking Bad’ (no relation to the crime drama television series of the same name).
‘Sweet Life’ is the lead single from the EP which, according to Becca, is about “hanging out with your friends and just having a good time”. She continued: “It’s not about having everything you could ever want, it’s about appreciating what you have and making your life a ‘Sweet Life’”. The music video for ‘Sweet Life’, which was directed by Sequoia B, shows This Boy That Girl dancing and partying in colourful environments. “It was so much fun,” said Becca, “It was our first legit video shoot so we were so excited. All our friends came out and it was fun.”
The duo are currently supporting Aaron Carter on his American tour. Becca described the experience as “really awesome! The fans are amazing and Aaron is super cool”. As well as the Aaron Carter tour, This Boy That Girl are also a part of the Anti-Bullying Tour – a 20 city tour spearheaded by Champions Against Bullying. “We’ve been sharing our story through our music with our audience,” the pair said, “Most of the fans are from high schools and middle schools. It’s been amazing.”
Siblings are well known for not getting on with each other, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with This Boy That Girl. “We’ve had small sibling rivalry things but nothing huge,” said Becca, “It’s all fun and we have each other’s back at the end of the day.” As for the future, This Boy That Girl are going to “keep writing and performing”. Becca added: “If you haven’t heard of us yet… you will.”
This Boy That Girl’s debut EP ‘Breaking Bad’ is out now on Big Dream Productions.
Header photo by Nic Schonfeld
Scottish rockers the Twilight Sad will release their fourth album ‘Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave’ on the 27th of October via FatCat Records. You can stream its harrowing lead track ‘There’s a Girl in The Corner’ at the bottom of this page, courtesy of Noisey.
Leading into the album release, the Twilight Sad have announced the following UK tour dates, as well as a North American tour with their labelmates We Were Promised Jetpacks. Full tour information can be found here. The Twilight Sad will also appear at Richmond Park in Glasgow with a host of other Scottish bands, including Mogwai and Honeyblood, on the 30th of August.
Thursday 11th September 2014 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Friday 12th September 2014 – Birnam Arts Centre
Saturday 13th September 2014 – Strathpeffer Pavillion
Sunday 5th October 2014 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Monday 6th October 2014 – London Boston Music Rooms
Tuesday 7th October 2014 – Nottingham Bodega
Thursday 9th October 2014 – Edinburgh Pleasance
Temples have announced a list of UK tour dates to accompany the release of their deluxe album ‘Sun Restructured’. Described as a “re-animation’ of their debut album ‘Sun Structures’ (reviewed by Martin here), the new release was created by Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve (aka Erol Alkan and Richard Norris) and is due out on the 10th of November on Heavenly Records. You can listen to the remix of ‘Move With The Season’ below the tour date listing. Tickets for the following Temples shows go on sale tomorrow, Friday the 29th of August, at 9 AM.
Saturday 29th November 2014 – Bristol Trinity Centre
Sunday 30th November 2014 – Brighton Concorde 2
Monday 1st December 2014 – Norwich Waterfront
Wednesday 3rd December 2014 – London Forum
Thursday 4th December 2014 – Sheffield Leadmill
Saturday 6th December 2014 – Manchester Ritz
Monday 8th December 2014 – Edinburgh Liquid Room
Tuesday 9th December 2014 – Aberdeen Lemon Tree
Wednesday 10th December 2014 – Glasgow Arches
Thursday 11th December 2014 – Newcastle Riverside
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 27th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
Electropop dance band Fenech-Soler are currently in America to support the release of their second album ‘Rituals’ just made available in the States this week. Naturally with this brand new effort behind an album that was released last year, they’ve filmed an alternate video for ‘Last Forever’.
The first version unveiled last year was a love letter to the sea and surfing, with the band conspicuously absent; this new one stars all four band members – brothers Ben and Ross Duffy, Daniel Soler and Andrew Lindsay – playing their instruments and playing around while you’re watching the scene move right in front of your eyes. I don’t think it was meant be as funny as it is, but the guys say it’s “The most fun we’ve had making a music video.” so just go with it! Watch the promo below.
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