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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 30th October 2015 at 6:00 pm
I wrote about Manchester band Multiplier back in the summer, when I reviewed their self-titled EP. As might be rightly expected for a band based in Manchester, I heard whispers of Doves in their music, which is a good thing, since Jimi Goodwin is off and running with his solo career and the Williams brothers have been keeping themselves busy with Black Rivers, leaving a Doves-shaped hole in the Manchester music scene.
Multiplier’s latest release is a double-A-sided single, which includes the tracks ‘Wait By the Gate’ and ‘Chasing Shadows’, dropped this past Monday. The kaleidoscopic promo that goes with the former – including some of Manchester’s famous red buildings, I see – fits nicely with Andy Gardner’s sweeping vocals, though it’s the thoughtful guitar work and solos that take centre stage on this track more so than any of the songs on the ‘Multiplier’ EP. Watch the video below.
The double-A-sided single ‘Wait By the Gate’ / ‘Chasing Shadows’ can be purchased from Multiplier’s Bandcamp.
Header photo by David Fathi
Really distinctive female singing voices are hard to come by of late, with mainstream singers all trying to affect the artfully hoarse quality of Adele or the girlishly singsong tones of Taylor Swift, while garage rock girl bands seem to have adopted a collective monotonous drone. Even outside the mainstream pop realm, it’s quite rare to hear a female vocalist with the authentic emotionality and unique vocal timbre of Australian blues rock singer/songwriter Suzie Stapleton. Her low, sensual alto alternates between a brittle whisper and raw throaty power, finding every dynamic shade in between to articulate the meanings between the lines of her starkly realistic lyrics.
The five songs on Stapleton’s 2012 EP ‘Obladi Diablo’ are of the tough, gritty traditional blues rock variety and like her singing voice, Stapleton’s guitar style is unscathed by the current mainstream trend of watered down blues rock. The EP’s lead single ‘My Cons are Making a Cripple Out of Me’ is shadowy and evocative, with the wail of overdriven guitars matching the rough-hewn quality of Stapleton’s vocal delivery. Later track ‘Hit’ is similarly dark, both musically and lyrically, the guitars creating a murky background as Stapleton sings the dazed lines “take me down where the air is like wine / the dive is divine / drag me down / I’m hanging on the line”. The repeated refrain “I get hit” grows into a scorching guitar bridge ahead of the intensely bitter closing line “I take the bait every time”.
Stapleton channels fire and brimstone in standout track ‘Song of the Artesian Water’, whose lyrics are adapted from a poem by Australian writer Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson: “if the Lord won’t send us water / oh, we’ll get it from the devil / yes, we’ll get it from the devil deeper down”. Stapleton chooses to focus her lyrical interpretation on the repeated phrase “deeper down” as she digs into her own emotional wellspring for a gut-wrenching vocal delivery.
While touring in support of ‘Obladi Diablo’ in 2013, Stapleton garnered the attention of roots musician and producer Cypress Grove, who asked her to perform on the third installment of his Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project titled ‘Axels & Sockets’. That album was released in May of 2014 and included established artists Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Mick Harvey and Debbie Harry, among others. Stapleton contributed her signature husky vocals on two tracks from the record, including first single ‘Constant Limbo (Constant Rain)’; listen for her around the 4-minute mark.
This year has found Stapleton on tour throughout Europe and in the UK, including summer support slots for Mick Harvey and more recent autumn dates opening for Jim Jones and the Righteous Mind. She has recently relocated to London to begin work on her debut full length recording. Her EP ‘Obladi Diablo’ was released via French label Beast Records and is available digitally on iTunes, Amazon and Spotify.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 6:00 pm
Canadian Claire Boucher, far more famous as her artist moniker Grimes, is getting ready to release her newest album ‘Art Angels’ on the 8th of November, which isn’t far off at all now. After polarising her fanbase with ‘REALiTi’ and ‘Go’, the latter of which was collaboration between her and Blood Diamonds, then decided to pitch an entire completed album after getting disillusioned with it, we had no idea what direction she was going to go in for her next record.
Her newest video release this week teases with two tracks from the upcoming ‘Art Angels’, and the actual visuals were directed by Grimes herself. ‘Flesh Without Blood’, and ‘Life in the Vivid Dream’ to a lesser extent, seem to suggest the new album has Boucher going in a far more pop direction than she did on 2012’s ‘Visions’, which I included in my top albums of that year. I’m very curious to hear what everyone thinks of this new material. Have a watch of the mental video in which Boucher herself stars as several different characters including a Victorian vampire and that yes, as YouTube commenters have already pointed out, contains a particularly noisome pink cowboy hat.
Keen on reading what else we’ve got here at TGTF on Grimes? Right this way.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 11:00 am
Jesper Lidang, frontman and songwriter of Danish band The Rumour Said Fire, is tooling around these days as a solo artist, going by the name of HÔN. Earlier this month, one of our new contributors Steven wrote this Bands to Watch profile on Lidang’s new project. Lidang was kind enough to indulge us by answering the TGTF Quickfire Questions so we could have a peek into his musical history. I suppose it might be expected that for a Scandinavian artist, his earliest memory would be the biggest pop hit to come out of that region in the ’80s. Or not? Read on…
What song is your earliest musical memory?
I think the earliest memory must be when I as a 4 to 5-year old kid sat with my small tape recorder and headphones and listened to a-ha’s ‘Take on Me’ over and over again. My older sister was a huge fan of the band and that song just gave me the chills every time she listened to it. So I got my own copy.
What was your favourite song as a child?
That’s easy, I guess: a-ha ‘Take on Me’, and maybe also different kinds of ‘60s pop compilations. My father had a large record collection.
What song makes you laugh?
Don’t think that laughter is what I combine with music. Maybe when I’m drunk and put on a really perfect written song like Michael Jackson’s ‘Stranger in Moscow’ or something, maybe then we laugh ‘cause it’s so perfect. [I’d never heard this song before, so thanks very much to Jesper to turning me on to it! – Ed.]
What song makes you cry?
This Mortal Coil – ‘Song to the Siren’. That interpretation of Tim Buckley’s song is so beautiful and hits me every time I hear it.
What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
I fell in love and my heart was broken for the first time in 6th grade, I think I was 12 or 13. She always listened to Tracy Chapman – ‘Fast Car’. I get this weird feeling every time I hear that song.
What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
I often listen to Burzum – ‘Filosofem’ or Mayhem – ‘Deathcrush’ when I’m in a really bad mood. It often soothes. [Going to trust you on these, Jesper… -Ed.]
Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
That’s really hard. I guess my feelings about that changes as I go. Right. Now I wish I’d written Kelela – ‘Rewind’, ‘cause it’s awesome.
Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
I just bought Michel Houllebecq’s new novel (Submission), I’m guessing it’s going to fuck up my brain. I generally like literature to do that. I’m way more pop when it comes to music. For the period being, that is. Right now I really like the way I’m writing myself.
If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Writing poetry. Or maybe I’d just have some random job and being miserable about it. Not saying that everyone working 9 to 5 is miserable, but I know I would be.
If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
It would have to be a compilation of the greatest pop songs ever written, I think. Or maybe the opposite, Miles Davis – ‘Bitches Brew’ or something? Impossible question, I would get bored with every album at some point. I like to listen to all kinds of stuff all the time. It would be torture with one album. Like sending me to hell.
Many thanks to Jesper for answering these questions for us and Jordan for helping sort this out for us.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 9:00 am
On the back of an amazing 2015 (and the year isn’t even out yet!), Stockport’s Blossoms have announced another UK tour for February and March 2016 and also live dates in Ireland. The band release the ‘Charlemagne’ EP tomorrow on their new label home, Virgin EMI. Watch the promo video for the catchy EP title track in this previous Video of the Moment post.
Tickets to this tour go on sale tomorrow (the 30th of October) at 9 AM. Be quick, as I expect these will go as quickly as the tickets did for their just completed tour of the UK this month. That campaign ended with a hometown show at the Manchester Ritz; for a flavour of what went down, you can watch a video put together by Charlie Watts below the tour dates. For all past coverage of Blossoms on TGTF, follow this link.
Friday 5th February 2016 – Dublin Academy Green Room
Saturday 6th February 2016 – Belfast Voodoo
Thursday 18th February 2016 – Bournemouth Old Firestation
Friday 19th February 2016 – Brighton Concorde 2
Saturday 20th February 2016 – Oxford Bullingdon
Wednesday 24th February 2016 – Hull Welly
Friday 26th February 2016 – Leicester Academy 2
Saturday 27th February 2016 – Manchester Albert Hall
Wednesday 2nd March 2016 – Aberdeen Tunnels
Thursday 3rd March 2016 – Edinburgh Liquid Room
Friday 4th March 2016 – Coventry Kasbah
Saturday 5th March 2016 – Stoke Sugarmill
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 29th October 2015 at 8:00 am
Following on from their well-received debut album ‘My Love is Cool’, released back in June on Dirty Hit Records, Wolf Alice have announced a brand new tour for March 2016 that will traverse the UK, as well as stop in Belfast and Dublin. Tickets to this tour are available now.
To read more on Wolf Alice on TGTF, go here.
Friday 4th March 2016 – Belfast Mandela Hall
Saturday 5th March 2016 – Dublin Olympia
Monday 7th March 2016 – Stoke Keele Uni Students Union
Thursday 10th March 2016 – Manchester Academy
Friday 11th March 2016 – Norwich UEA
Sunday 13th March 2016 – Oxford Academy
Monday 14th March 2016 – Portsmouth Pyramids
Wednesday 16th March 2016 – Glasgow Barrowlands
Friday 17th March 2016 – York Barbican
Sunday 19th March 2016 – Leeds Academy
Monday 21st March 2016 – Folkstone Leas Cliff Hall
Tuesday 22nd March 2016 – Brighton Dome
Wednesday 23rd March 2016 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 24th March 2016 – Cardiff Great Hall
Sunday 27th March 2016 – London Forum
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