SXSW 2016 | 2015
| 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012
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Brianna Price, who is better known by her stage name B.Traits, is a DJ, record producer and radio presenter from Nelson, British Columbia, Canada.
At 18 years old, B.Traits made a name for herself at drum & bass club nights across Canada, having been taught to DJ by a friend. This led to regular bookings throughout North American and Europe. During her travels, she met Shy FX (best known for his re-edit of DJ Fresh’s ‘Gold Dust’), who signed B.Traits to his Digital Soundboy label in 2007, making her the first female artist on his roster.
Nevertheless, we had to wait 5 years for the release of the Canadian’s debut single ‘Fever’, which featured vocals from Elisabeth Troy, who recently featured on Clean Bandit’s cover of the house classic ‘Show Me Love’. ‘Fever’ charted at #36 in the Official UK Charts to give B.Traits her first top 40 UK single.
In April 2012, B.Traits hosted the “In New DJs We Trust” show on BBC Radio 1, appearing as part of a 4-week rotation. She later secured her own weekly slot as part of the Friday night line-up, broadcasting underground dance music to wee hour ravers from 1 to 4 AM. Her work for the radio station was recognised when the 28-year-old Canadian was nominated for Best DJ at the 2014 Bass Music Awards.
Most recently, B.Traits turned her efforts to television presenting, as she fronted a BBC Three documentary entitled “How Safe Are My Drugs?” The programme, which was broadcast in December 2014, explored the reasons why drug-related deaths in the UK had suddenly increased, and how much of that was down to the rapid growth of legal highs.
Looking ahead to later this year, B.Traits has more singles and a debut album in the pipeline. She is also appearing at a number of music festivals throughout the year, including SXSW 2015 in Austin.
If you’re interested in experimental folk, Norfolk’s Reuben Hollebon might be an artist to keep an eye (or an ear) out for in the coming year. Hollebon came across our radar at TGTF when he was announced as part of the lineup for SXSW 2015, and a quick Internet search revealed that he is working on a full-length album, also expected for release this year.
Hollebon’s first EP ‘Clutch’ was released on Akira Records in December 2012. Combining tremulous, echoing vocals with stark, often discordant instrumental parts, the seven tracks on the EP are instantly reminiscent of Bon Iver. Standout track ‘Skin Addict’ features a minimal arrangement of piano, percussion and ethereal layered vocals along with equally minimal, bluntly emotional lyrics, including the relentlessly repeated chorus “get out of my head, get out of my bed / get out of my mind, give me back my time / get out of my skin, my blood needs thinning”. Hollebon shows a deeper, more soulful side on ‘Home’, where the solidly grounded bass line and more traditional acoustic guitar melody contrast his pervasive and unique falsetto vocal style.
In August 2013, Hollebon released his latest single ‘Faces’, which continues in the same gracefully refined yet slightly bizarre musical vein. Hollebon’s vocal effects here remind me of Eddie Vedder, not in the actual vocal sound but in their ability to convey the idea and emotion of a person balancing just on the edge of sanity. The video for ‘Faces’, directed by Emma Rozanski, visually captures the anxious tension of the percussion-driven musical arrangement.
The end of 2013 saw Hollebon playing live shows and sharing stages with TGTF favorites Cocos Lovers and Nathaniel Rateliff, among others. In February 2014, he was invited to play a solo show for Sofar Sounds in London, where he recorded the exquisitely haunting performance of ‘Fields for Fields’ featured below. A glance through Hollebon’s Facebook page reveals that he and his bandmates Jacob Hollebon and Jake Wheeler spent much of 2014 in the recording studio, interspersing their studio time with a few one-off live shows. Their scheduled appearance at SXSW this March will likely provide a sneak peek at what to expect from Hollebon’s anticipated album release later in the year. In the meantime, you can stream Reuben Hollebon’s currently released songs on his Bandcamp page.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 19th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
At the first music festival I ever covered was a then little-known folk band from London called Mumford and Sons. I missed them because I was on a tour bus interviewing another band, but a journo’s gotta do what a journo’s gotta do. And we all know what happened to them, don’t we? I have been pondering what Mumford have been up to lately, seeing that their third album has yet to materialise after nearly a year from the time they said they’d be working on new songs. In the meantime though, I have been poring over the SXSW 2015 band list and considering who might sneak into their nu-folk while the tweedy Londoners have their backs turned. Perhaps The Lonely Wild will be just the people to do it.
Hailing now from the band-heavy and musically productive area of Silver Lake, Los Angeles, California, the Lonely Wild’s humble start was back in 2010, when lead singer and guitarist Andrew Carroll moved to the area to study music, meeting band mates Ryan Ross (multiple instruments) and Andrew Schneider (guitar) in school. After some line-up changes following the release of their 2011 debut EP ‘Dead End’, they’re now a five-piece, with the addition of multi-instrumentalist and backing vocalist Jessi Williams and drummer Dave Farina.
In April 2013, they released their debut album ‘The Sun As It Comes’ on their astrologically named own label Ursa Major Recordings, which benefitted from circulation through Sony’s RED Distribution. ‘Everything You Need’ has the folk plus horns sound reminiscent of ‘Winter Winds’; ‘Keep Us Whole’ could be an outtake from Husky‘s ‘Forever So’. At seemingly the opposite side of the sound spectrum, Carroll favours a twang in his voice in the first half of the contemplative ballad ‘Buried in the Murder’. But there’s a twist: he then brings out a raspy vocal while a rock guitar squeals to usher out the track. (What? Where did Jimi Hendrix come from? I know! I was surprised about that as you were.)
It’s this combination of indie folk vs. indie rock that just might endear them to mainstream radio: their sound is not hugely edgy (thus playable to the masses), but edgy and interesting enough to be hip. extremely hilarious, judging by the Thanks to their fans, their second album (name yet to be revealed) has already passed its PledgeMusic goal. Interesting, its release date is not until April 7, 2015, some 3 weeks after SXSW 2015. Guess the Lonely Wild will be using Austin as the new LP’s training ground, and with the expectation that Communion will host a showcase or two in March, I’m looking forward to see what punters will think about them. Something else they have going for them: they’re extremely funny, going by the video they filmed to encourage fans to donate towards the making of their album (watch below).
Header photo by TGTF Editor-in-Chief Mary Chang at Edinburgh Potterrow, October 2014
Fatherson are Scottish, and they’re not afraid to show it. Singer Ross Leighton has a beautiful, broad Scots twang which, along with the chunky four-piece instrumentation, immediately gives the music a personality: a windswept, weatherbeaten one, evocative of grand vistas of freshwater and granite, flavoured with the tang of freshly-trampled heather. Nowhere is this effect more apparent than on ‘Hometown’, from debut LP ‘I Am An Island’. Check out the “we have it all figured out” refrain for ample proof.
Fatherson deliver a more straight-ahead guitar rock experience than their Celtic peers such as Admiral Fallow; while their music falls broadly into the vast folk-rock canon, there’s a great deal more rock than folk here. Which is not to say that they lack subtlety – their aforementioned ability to conjure up the musical equivalent of a burly kilted man throwing a tree trunk is testament to that, as are the vocal harmonies and the string arrangements that pop up unexpectedly from time to time – but they pack a punch when they really put their minds to it. Which is to say, most of the time. Imagine Travis with overdriven guitars, or perhaps Foo Fighters if Dave Grohl was from a Kilmarnock council estate, and you’re not far off.
2014 was the year that Fatherson moved into the big league. A UK and European tour, a spot in the King Tut’s tent at T in the Park, support from Zane Lowe: all points to a band gaining momentum. Appropriately, then, that they should be looking forward to a SXSW 2015 slot in March. Their sole celebratory homecoming show post-Austin is at the Head of Steam in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which will surely turn out to be one of those “see-them-just-before-they’re-massive” shows that the HoS is so good at. I’ll see you there.
Header photo by TGTF Head Photographer Martin Sharman at Live at Leeds 2014
With the success ginger-haired maestro Ed Sheeran has seen over the last year in the States, coupled with the rise to prominence of the next in a long-list of warbly voiced singer/songwriters like George Ezra, I can only see the now London-based Coasts career going in one direction. The band sound and look like they’ve been genetically engineered to be an A&R rep’s wet dream. The lead singer’s voice has the same inherent likeability which has seen Ezra and Sheeran do so well in the last year. Whilst the tunes wouldn’t sound out of place in a club, in a bar or on Radio 1 or 6Music, they’re intrinsically mass-marketable. And I’ve struggled to find what *not* to like about the four-piece.
OK, I’m jealous seeing as they’re destined to be incredibly successful and they’re four good-looking lads who say they spent most of their time whilst recording sessions playing Call of Duty and FIFA. I mean, their music is sounds effortless, so you can probably believe that they are dossing off on video games. But still, the melodies on ‘Wallow’ are reminiscent of the kind of multi-million selling grooves which Coldplay did quite well off of on 2011’s ‘Mylo Xyloto’. ‘Oceans’ has a chorus which demands to be remembered and a beat which refuses to be anything but toe-tappingly brilliant.
They’ve already got a pretty substantial following on social media, with more than 30,000 Facebook likes and almost 45,000 followers on Twitter, so it’s safe to say these guys are no secret. In fact with around many dates in the States announced for this year already, some of them already selling out, Coasts are going to no doubt be hot property at SXSW, with every big label, blog, Web site and agency running after tickets to their appearances.
This four-piece are sure to be one of the breakout hit bands of 2015. If their live performances can live up to what they’ve laid down digitally, then I’m positive we’ll not be able to turn a radio on for half an hour without getting blasted with Coasts.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 12th January 2015 at 12:00 pm
The UK music scene is littered with bands and artists chipping away at the coalface of rock, essentially unwavering at the kind of music they believe is their strength, putting in the hard work of songwriting and gigging. While this approach does eventually pay off for some, it seems for most fledging bands, they’ll not had the luck to be discovered by an A&R bod who just happens to stumble into the pub where they’ve set up to play for the evening. So they continue on as they were. Yet every now and again, you hear a success story in which an artist realised he was going about it all wrong, was able to switch gears and head in an entirely different direction that ultimately paid off.
William Doyle, who now goes by the stage name East India Youth, has such a tale that led to his debut album ‘Total Strife Forever’ to be nominated for the 2014 Mercury Prize. There can’t be much higher praise for a release I have to assume is a friendly poke at Foals‘ similarly titled LP ‘Total Life Forever’, which was also up for a Mercury gong 4 years prior. But the Bournemouth artist’s career in music didn’t start with the electronic music he’s now known for. Doyle previously fronted Doyle and the Fourfathers, a Smiths-esque indie band from Southampton who were championed early on by BBC 6music presenter Marc Riley.
Though the band seemed poised on the edge of breaking into the mainstream, Doyle himself found himself disillusioned by the touring and “playing with hundreds of Oasis-y, laddy, pubby rock bands”. Somewhere along the way, electronica and ambient sounds proved to be Doyle’s saviour, and Doyle re-emerged under the moniker East India Youth, christened after the East India Docks area in east London where he laid his head during his songwriting days for ‘Total Strife Forever’. It was John Doran, founder of The Quietus, who decided to take a chance on Doyle’s new venture, releasing his ‘Hostel’ EP as the Quietus Phonographic Corporation’s first ever issue.
Judging from the kind of attention East India Youth has garnered since the Mercury nom of Doyle’s debut album with the project, Doran had incredible foresight. From the iciness of opening instrumental track ‘Glitter Recession’ to the remarkably soothing vocals of LP standout ‘Heaven, How Long’, from the dancey abandonment of ‘Dripping Down’ and the freneticism of ‘Hinterland’ to the unearthly, quasi-religious tones of ‘Songs for a Granular Piano’, ‘Total Strife Forever’ is a richly textured effort. How Doyle will pull off the many facets of his acclaimed debut in Austin in March at SXSW 2015 remains to be seen but I, for one, am quite interested to see how he’s received.