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In the Post #148: Jamie Woon returns with sophomore album teaser ‘Sharpness’

 
By on Tuesday, 11th August 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Jamie Woon is back with a beard. But more importantly, he’s brought along with him the first taster of his upcoming album out later this year on PMR Records, the follow-up to his well-received debut ‘Mirrorwriting’ in 2011. I’m sure fans who have been waiting for something more than his brief stop-gap appearing as guest vocalist on ‘January’ appearing on Disclosure’s 2013 Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Settle’ are very excited. And from the word go, the coolness of his previous standout ‘Night Air’ is immediately evident on this track ‘Sharpness’, which is a great start.

But that’s really where the similarities between the two songs end. It’s almost if the percussion and hand claps are fighting with Woon’s voice in an effort to make the track more radio-friendly, and I reckon this was a massive mistake. The beauty of ‘Night Air’ was that it gave his voice room to breathe, and on ‘Sharpness’, because the instrumentation has been made too in your face, you can’t concentrate on anything else. If Woon is going to separate himself from the rest of the Radio 1 pack, he needs to stand out, and the style of this song minimises his singing talent that made him so special.

It’s lyrically where ‘Sharpness’ has its saving grace. Woon sings in the chorus, “every day is the day that you saved me / light into darkness cut on the sharpness of you”, which by itself deceives you on what the song is about. Loneliness. His lover has left him (perhaps it’s a friends with benefits situation?) and he’s contemplating who he was when he was with her; he existed and gave into something bigger than he was that was amazing, and he’s wondering what he’s done wrong (“is it written on my back?”), yet he seems desperate to have her back (or to get that feeling back) at any cost, even if she has to leave again (“take it back and then let it go”).

There are deep emotions on display here, and it’s a shame that the instrumentation couldn’t take a backseat to let Woon fully explore this.

5/10

‘Sharpness’, the new track from Jamie Woon, is slated to appear on his second album, expected later this year on PMR Records.

 

The Cribs / October 2015 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 11th August 2015 at 9:00 am
 

In addition to previously announced tour dates in Glasgow and London, The Cribs have announced many more dates to round out their tour campaign to support their 2015 album ‘For All My Sisters’ released back in March. The new live dates for the Jarman brothers will go on sale this Friday, the 14th of August, at 9 AM.

For more on the Cribs on TGTF, including my coverage of the trio closing out the VEVO-sponsored Wagner Hall Friday night at this year’s Great Escape, go here.

Monday 19th October 2015 – Newcastle Academy
Tuesday 20th October 2015 – Glasgow Barrowlands (already on sale)
Wednesday 21th October 2015 – Manchester Albert Hall
Saturday 24th October 2015 – Sheffield Academy
Sunday 25th October 2015 – Bristol Academy
Monday 26th October 2015 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday 28th October 2015 – London Roundhouse (already on sale)
Thursday 29th October 2015 – Oxford Academy
Friday 30th October 2015 – Portsmouth Pyramid Centre

 

Video of the Moment #1881: of Montreal

 
By on Monday, 10th August 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Kevin Barnes and of Montreal have a new video out for ‘Last Rites at the Jane Hotel’, off of the band’s 13th studio album ‘Aureate Gloom’ released in March on Polyvinyl Records. The animated video follows a coloured skeleton cycling around town, while a crying three- or four-eyed face provides commentary and a rabbit band soundtracks it all. There’s many others in this cast of characters, but I’m going to leave that there (I’ve never understood of Montreal myself, so I doubt I’ll get an epiphany now). Watch it below.

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Live Gig Video: The Twilight Sad unveil live performance of ‘It Was Never the Same’ from upcoming Oran Mor live album

 
By on Monday, 10th August 2015 at 4:00 pm
 

The Twilight Sad will be releasing a new live album in October. ‘The Oran Mor Sessions’ are exactly as they sound: the trio went home to Glasgow to record new, more reined in versions of tracks off their autumn 2014 album ‘Nobody Wants to Be Here and Nobody Wants to Leave’. To promote the upcoming release, they’ve unveiled this sombre black and white video filmed during the recording sessions for the live LP of ‘It Was Never the Same’. Watch it below.

‘The Oran Mor Sessions’, a new live album from the Twilight Sad, will be released on the 16th of October on FatCat Records. TGTF’s extensive coverage of the band is this way.

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Single Review: Neon Wolf – A Place to Call Home

 
By on Monday, 10th August 2015 at 12:00 pm
 

Neon Wolf - A Place to Call Home single coverSpritely, guitar heavy indie pop hailing from Ireland. Nope, I’m not talking about TGTF friends Two Door Cinema Club. This time it’s Neon Wolf, the five-piece from Kilkenny who have confidently touched upon their fellow Irishmen’s knack for an infectious guitar melody. Let’s be clear, then, that they are by no means rivals for the same crowd. Oh no, whilst there may be similarities, it’s their latest single ‘A Place to Call Home’ that has a jubilant, crowd-pleasing indie pop crunch that touches on a completely different set of influences. Take the euphoric, Prides-esque sensibilities in their euphoric drums, or a catchiness borrowed from Fickle Friends. It’s all there as vocalist Rob Grace flaunts, “it’s so hard to reach out again…”

It comes as little surprise then that production credit goes to Joe Cross, who is well versed in this breed of deft pop hooks and bouncing choruses, having worked with the likes of Chloe Howl, Kid Astray, and even Hurts. This might be Neon Wolf’s tale of having to let go and leave things behind, but they sure as heck give things a positive spin with Cross behind them. What to make then of the 3 gratifying minutes that your ears are about to be blessed with, then? Expect colourful synth outbursts and biting electric guitars through the verses, capped off by building harmonies of “higher love”. When the chorus fires up, they fizz with incandescent, tropical pop/rock attitude, sharpening their riffs as the bouncy energy continues.

The band’s pop-heavy assault is set to continue with a new EP coming soon, whilst their London debut also beckons at the 1,500 capacity theatre-turned venue Koko. It’s not exactly your average first gig in London, but a setting where their penchant for dazzling, stratospheric summer-pop will light up every corner of the room.

8/10

The ‘A Place to Call Home’ single by Irish band Neon Wolf is out now on Killing Moon Records.

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Video of the Moment #1880: Girl Band

 
By on Friday, 7th August 2015 at 6:00 pm
 

Dublin punk rock band Girl Band have a new promo for their single ‘Paul’. Preorder the ‘Paul’ 12″ now, and you’ll get a free download of the single instantly. The single is a taste off of the band’s highly anticipated debut album ‘Holding Hands with Jamie’ on the 25th of September on Rough Trade Records.

As you might expect from a bunch of punk rockers, the song itself is a punishing listen. Paradoxically, the actual video that accompanies the single chronicles a day in the life of a depressed man who wears an animal costume in a children’s tv show. The video’s director Bob Gallagher explains the premise:

“The idea came about from shooting an audition tape for my friend Kate for a kids TV show job. She’d curse if a take didn’t work out, which in the context I thought was hilarious. I’ve often watched kids TV with my Goddaughters, and every time I do I can’t help but wonder what it’s like for the actors behind the scenes. What the dynamics are like? There’s such a sheen on those shows of happiness that I thought it would be interesting to look at the flip side of that with a character who is full of self loathing but has to literally wear a big grin on his face. While I was researching I watched a documentary about Big Bird and there’s a line in where he Carol Spinney says that a woman was complimenting his performance but that she couldn’t see that inside the costume he was crying. It’s quite tragic. I think everyone has experiences of having to put on an outward expression and feeling trapped, so Paul’s costume is a visual extension of that. He’s inside the suit, at a distance from everybody around him, but wearing this absurd smile that’s totally false to what’s going on inside.

“When the pressure of living that life comes to a head he gets to be himself, and in a bizarre way he gets acceptance from his hero Big Rooster, so I see it as a bizarre but happy ending.”

Have a watch of the video below. Girl Band will be on tour in England and Ireland in November. For more on Girl Band on TGTF, go here.

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest tours, gigs, and music 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 idiots.

The blog is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington DC. She is joined by writers in the UK and America. It was started up by Phil Singer in Bristol, UK.

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