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By Mary Chang
on Saturday, 25th July 2015 at 6:00 pm
I feel for bands who have had a massive hit somewhere in their back catalogue that most everyone remember and therefore associates with them. Such is the case with The Prodigy, who at least for here in America, are best known for their monster hit in 1996, ‘Firestarter’ (or as I knew it watching it on MTV back then, ‘the dance music video with the singing guy with horns’. Can you hope to match or really, go beyond the success of something so huge?
Recent summer festival appearances by the trio prove without a doubt that there’s still a market for their loud, unrelenting style of big beat, rave-type music, and ‘Get Your Fight On’ from their newest album ‘The Day is My Enemy’ is just the kind of anthem to get folks riled up. Time to rave!
By Mary Chang
on Saturday, 25th July 2015 at 10:00 am
Some people have not taken too kindly to Mumford and Sons’ decision to go banjo-less. To be honest, I haven’t paid them much mind since being disappointed by 2012’s ‘Babel’, so I wasn’t expecting much.
Their brand new promo video is for ‘Ditmas’, from their third album ‘Wilder Mind’, and I was actually quite surprised at what I heard. The anthemic undertones are still there, and it seems that in addition to getting rid of the banjoes and tweed, their attempt to rebrand as a more middle of the road indie rock band is quite successful. Between shots of a man and his horse running wild in the middle of the country are shots of the band giving it their all on this song, and you can’t fault them for a slick, if conventional video. Watch it below.
For all things Mumford and Sons on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 24th July 2015 at 6:00 pm
Sheffield rock stalwarts Bring Me the Horizon will be releasing their fifth album ‘That’s the Spirit’ on the 11th of September, and ahead of that, they’ve shared a teaser from the LP today. ‘Throne’ is a relentlessly hard number, and the promo plays with the light and dark, scary images of bodies in coffins and men in hoods, and generally comes across as all you’d want in a video if you’re a hard rock fan. Question though, have they always had a synthesiser? Watch ‘Throne’ below.
If you’re keen on seeing TGTF’s past coverage of Bring Me the Horizon, you can read it all here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 24th July 2015 at 4:00 pm
If you live in London (hell, if you’ve ever seen a gig in London or entertained the idea of doing so), it’s likely you’ve heard of the unique art and performance space Village Underground in Hackney. The famous venue is now in the midst of filming a series of live sessions outdoor to the venue, such as on its own rooftop. Last week, the musicians du jour to grace their open air stage were the bluesy, psychedelic and at times introspective rockers Smoke Fairies, whose performance of ‘Shadow Inversions’ from their 2014 self-titled, fourth album. Check out the reverb and echoes from the Southern duo on this video below.
For more on Smoke Fairies on TGTF, go here.
Header photo by Declan Gallen
Belfast-based Arborist is described as being “fueled by the lyrical and musical misadventures of Mark McCambridge and a cast of well-travelled musicians.” The Arborist moniker refers to McCambridge himself, who first performed under the name as a solo artist in the early part of 2013. The journeyman singer/songwriter has since gathered a bevy of band members including Richard Hill, James Heaney, Ben McAuley, Johnny Ashe and Luke Bannon, who accompanied him at the Great Escape 2015 back in May.
Arborist’s music is the kind of quiet, self-assured folk that steals your attention before you realize it, drawing you in with its thoughtful, evocative poetry and country-tinged instrumental charms. Behind McCambridge’s softly lilting lead vocals are slurred string melodies and lightly layered vocal harmonies, woven around gently rocking guitar and percussion rhythms. McCambridge’s singing voice has just a hint of roughness around the edges that strikes the balance between strength in the solo passages and a seamless blend with the backing harmonies.
In Arborist’s latest single ‘Twisted Arrow’, which was released on the 4th of May, backing harmonies are contributed by former Pixies bassist and Breeders lead singer Kim Deal, who agreed to the collaboration in an email exchange with McCambridge. The track was recently featured by BBC 6 Music, but if you missed it there, you can watch the accompanying video, directed by Stephen Agnew, just below.
‘Border Blood’ is even more unapologetically country-flavoured, with lyrics about guns and holsters, saddles and horses, and the striking chorus, “it’s either in your heart or in your belly / they’re gonna make it hard for you to choose / you didn’t come down here to lose.” But in this song, the country twang is mitigated by the addition of piano melodies and soaring jazz-tinged brass over the gently rocking rhythm and wailing steel guitar. The instrumental layers add depth and significance to the second verse lyrics, “revenge tastes bitter and strange / there’s something in the danger that keeps you on the dusty trail”, bringing the track to a bittersweet close, very much like a lonely cowboy riding off into the sunset.
Earlier single ‘Incalculable Things’ is Arborist’s most popular song on Spotify, with over 65,000 plays. It has a more immediately dramatic folk rock style, opening with a heartbeat-like drum rhythm and a haunting guitar melody as McCambridge intones the first vocal line, “well, I received nothing for putting nothing in / it seemed a just reward in truth, so you’d think I’d be content.” The instrumental outro hints at the country style of Arborist’s more recent songs, but it has a bit of a surprise ending in the piano part, perhaps illustrating McCambridge’s overarching lyrical idea that things are not as straightforward as they appear.
Though McCambridge’s sonic palette has clearly benefitted from the added talents of his bandmates and collaborators, the essence of Arborist’s music is in his deeply introspective songwriting and the stark melancholy of his vocal delivery. Those traits speak most effectively for themselves in the following live performance video of ‘The Force of Her Will’, recorded in January for Irish language television channel TG4.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 23rd July 2015 at 6:00 pm
London band Citizens! have a new video out now for ‘My Kind of Girl’, which figures on their current album ‘European Soul’, out now on Kitsune / Sony. Based on the title, you might think its accompanying video would be trite and conventional, showing a boy pining after an unattainable girl. This video runs along those lines, but somehow brings in the military into the story, as the disco beat-driven synth number soundtracks the visuals. (Men in uniform don’t do a thing for me, and I found myself laughing at the formations nearer to the end of this. You’ll see.) Intrigued? Does he get the girl? Watch Citizens!’s new video below.
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