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By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 26th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
Glaswegian synthpop band Prides have a new video for “I Should Know You Better’. According to the promo, the yeti of our nightmares is actually a pretty cool dude. Sadly, as happens too often, humankind becomes scared of things it knows nothing about. Watch the video below.
Catch Prides on tour this October; all the details are this way.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 26th August 2014 at 4:00 pm
Johanna and Klara Soderberg, better known as First Aid Kit, are riding high these days on their success. Who would have ever guessed a couple years ago that two sisters from a suburb of Stockholm would be able to capture the imagination of folk music lovers around the world? This summer, they released their third album but their first for a major (Columbia), ‘Stay Gold’.
In this live video, the sisters perform an acoustic version of ‘Master Pretender’, one of the standout tracks from their latest album. In it, while they look like they’ve been filmed in a time gone by, their unmistakable harmonies are beautiful as they ever were. Watch it below.
After playing a summer full of festivals including Glastonbury and the Green Man Festival, The Pictish Trail (otherwise known by the name Johnny Lynch) has just released a new single to follow the April release of ‘Wait Until’. Called ‘Long in the Tooth’, the new track is also taken from his double album ‘Secret Soundz Vol. 1 & 2’, which was released in June on Moshi Moshi Records.
Directed by Cardiff-based photographer and filmmaker Ryan Owen Eddleston, the video for ‘Long in the Tooth’ was filmed on the Isle of Eigg in the Scottish Inner Hebrides as Lynch hosted the first ever Howlin’ Fling Festival. While the song itself seems to discuss a dwindling friendship, the video sees a grinning Lynch in the back of a truck, picking up an assortment of friends as he rides through the scenic landscape. Lynch’s raw, rocky vocal style matches the scenery quite nicely, but the jangling and jaunty instrumental sounds, along with the mildly incongruous electronic sound effects, are an interesting contrast to the glum and gloomy lyrics about having “lost what we had so long so completely now”. At the end of the video, Lynch and his mates are dropped out of the truck, presumably to make happy memories on a camping adventure. The unseen truck driver leaves them in the distance as the song trails off in its repeated refrain.
‘Long in the Tooth’ was officially released this past Monday, the 18th of August, by Moshi Moshi. Along with the single release and its accompanying video, Lynch is also debuting his new Web site and blog at www.thepictishtrail.com.
The Pictish Trail is scheduled to appear at the Stirling Fringe Festival in September before embarking on a co-headline tour with labelmate Sweet Baboo at the end of November. Details on those shared dates can be found in our earlier feature here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 26th August 2014 at 11:00 am
This Boy That Girl are a brother / sister, pop / hip hop duo from Los Angeles that recently came to our attention. While they may still be very young, they’re already showing their professional chops, having been chosen to support Aaron Carter on his current, major North American tour. Between performing, travelling and whatever else the siblings have on their plate at the moment, we asked them if they could answer our Quickfire Questions, and they kindly obliged. Have a read of their answers below.
What song is your earliest musical memory?
Becca: ‘Baby Girl’ by Sugarland.
What was your favourite song as a child?
Becca: The Coyote Ugly soundtrack.
Alec: “Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey.
What song makes you laugh?
Becca: ‘Lazy Song’ by Bruno Mars’
What song makes you cry?
Becca: It’s always different depending on what I’m going through. The last song that made me cry was ‘The Middle’ by Jimmy Eat World.
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…?
Becca: I’ll let you know when it happens.
Alec: ‘First Time’ by Lifehouse.
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.)
Becca: ‘Skyscraper’ by Demi Lovato.
Alec: ‘Like I Can’ – Sam Smith.
Which song (any song written in the last century) do you wish you’d written yourself?
Becca: ‘Happy Birthday’.
Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Becca: Diane Warren.
Alec: Ryan Tedder.
If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Becca: When I was younger I wanted to be an orthodontist. Haha.
Alec: Sports analyst, I love sports.
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.)
Becca: ‘Symphony Soldier’ by The Cab.
Alec: ‘Breaking Bad’ by This Boy That Girl.
Many thanks to Becca and Alec for answering these, and also to Jade and Rachel for sorting this out for us.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 25th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
Time is ticking down to when I get to see Tom Vek perform live for the first time. This new promo video for ‘Pushing Your Luck’ from his latest album ‘Luck’ (read my review here) is just exponentially increasing my excitement!
In a Vegas-style fruit machine type format with three windows that flip downwards, showing in Vek is various modes of too cool for school in a pair of shades, sometimes playing various instruments, sometimes appearing in front of way too brightly coloured backdrops, it’s visual genius to accompany the rhythmically engaging track. Watch the video below.
All the TGTF Tom Vek-flavoured goodness is this way. He’ll be touring the UK in October.
Sitting in a bizarre juxtaposition to early Black Sabbath and the Indian subcontinent are The Wytches. It’s an odd place to be, but this three-piece are relishing the company – not in the way Bombay Bicycle Club did, mind – but more in a “look, here’s a snake charmer, OK? We’re done now, let’s melt your face off” kind of way.
‘Annabel Dream Reader’ is the band’s debut album and from the start, it grabs your attention with its ambition. We’ve got a vocalist in Kristian Bell who’s a mix between Eoin Loveless at his most lyrically scathing and Steven Ansell at his most lovelorn, spinning guttural, powerful yarns about his dejected heart-broken existence. Song number two ‘Wide at Midnight’ introduces you to the underlying concept of the record, dejection. Prior to that and almost through the entire first half of the record you’re transported to a grungy Mumbai market, as a snake-charming tune underlies the melody.
‘Fragile Male for Sale’ is a plundering tub-thumper of a track with some thudding, juddering drum pelts and a booming bass line. The entire record reeks of this DIY nu-grunge revolution that seems to be gathering force under the banner of bands like Drenge, Slaves and, to a lesser extent, Royal Blood. I’m steering away from the term Great British Guitar Band Revolution, because firstly it doesn’t fucking exist and secondly because it’s a figment of NME’s imagination.
The Wytches are most definitely the new poster boys then, as they tick all the right boxes in their debut outing. I mean, even in their promo shot they look effortlessly cool, whilst still managing to pull of the faux-grunge look by having questionable hair styles. The record spins between remarkably heavy going, in both melody and prose: Dan Rumsey and Gianni Honey are an indomitable engine room behind the musings of Kell. Some of the heavier tracks almost merge into the territory of doom rock; however, the subject matter veers away from the bloody and dismembered, which I’d most certainly count as a positive development.
If you’re a guitar purist, you may be perturbed by the sheer quantity of reverb on most of the songs. But if you like your riffs unrefined and dirty as the floor of your car, then ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ is the place for you. There are hints of The Melvins and The Scientists, in their noise-punky sound, but it’s got a far more 21st century edge, the kind which will undoubtedly see them compared to Nirvana.
As frontmen of this nu-grunge revolution, this Brighton born triumvirate will be waving their tricolore abroad as they are one of the chosen few bands, alongside acts like The Wombats, Dry the River, Fenech-Soler, Hadouken, Imogen Heap and Waylayers, in receipt of a share of £1,750,000 over the next two years. Why you ask? So the UK government can encourage them to promote their music around the world as part of the Music Export Growth Scheme.
With the 47-minute belter that ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ is in The Wytches arsenal, I doubt audiences in America and afar will struggle to become as enamoured with the band as I have. The record is effortlessly powerful and manages to show a real heart in ‘Summer Again’ and ‘Weights and Ties’, showing that the boys can play it tough, but can also connect with an audience through some overwhelmingly powerful narratives.
Viva La Revolution, then?
The Wytches‘ debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’ is out today on Heavenly Recordings. Catch the band live as they traverse the UK in the last 3 months of 2014; all their touring plans are here.