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By Mary Chang
on Friday, 29th August 2014 at 1:00 pm
Seems like just yesterday we were writing about Dry the River like a brand new band. (It was actually 3 years ago.) This week, they released their second album ‘Alarms in the Heart’ on Transgressive Records, and in case you haven’t picked yourself up a copy or you want a have a listen first, they’ve made it available for streaming below.
The ‘and more’ part of this post? The band filmed a making-of documentary of their time in Iceland recording the new album. We’ve embedded the documentary below the album stream. Enjoy.
You can peruse TGTF’s archive on Dry the River through this link.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 29th August 2014 at 12:00 pm
Words by Jennifer Williams
Former My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and his crazy legs return to music with the shimmery Britpop influenced-single ‘No Shows’ from his forthcoming debut solo release ‘Hesitant Alien’.
For over a decade, Gerard Way helmed one of the most beloved and occasionally reviled bands of recent years. After the release of their fourth studio album ‘Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys’ in 2010, things started to go downhill for the group and Way pulled the plug. In an interview with NME, he had two choices: “Break the band or break me.” The release of’ No Shows’ follows on the heels of free download track ‘Action Cat’.
In ‘No Shows’,Way drops rock ‘n’ roll excess, returning to his art school roots. The video for the single sees Way and his backup band The Hormones performing on Pink Station Zero, which looks like Top of the Pops from outer space, with club kids from 1984 dropped in for good measure. It is as awesome as it sounds. Way, looking sharp in his suit and tie and Kool-Aid coloured hair, shows off incredibly spastic legs that you aren’t sure if he is trying to dance or having tremors.
I was pulled in straight away by its glam rock riff and airy harmonies, and all of a sudden it feels like 1994. Things shift a bit midway through the track, taking a detour into shoegaze country; the crisp guitars get the full fuzz pedal treatment. One thing that hasn’t changed is those epic one-liners when he sings coolly, “it’s not love if it’s just fucking”. Don’t know how well his plan to reboot Britpop in America is going to work out. I suppose we will find out in a month’s time.
New Gerard Way single ‘No Shows’ is out now. Way’s solo album ‘Hesitant Alien’ is out the 30th of September on Warner Brothers Records.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 29th August 2014 at 10:00 am
Irish artist James Vincent McMorrow released the critically acclaimed ‘Post Tropical’ album in January, but since then, no new music from the singer/songwriter had emerged. Until this week. The press sheet for one-off song ‘When I Leave’ says it was written by McMorrow during the summer months of traveling, “on the floors of festival dressing rooms, in hotels, and whilst James waited for everyone to fall asleep in the back of the bus”. McMorrow explains further: “”hen I was in college, I’d go out a lot, but I wasn’t the guy that was the centre of everyone’s attention. But just because you’re standing in the corner, it doesn’t mean that you don’t love to dance. That’s what ‘When I Leave’ is about, I guess – dance like no one’s watching.”
Have a listen to the new song in the Soundcloud widget below. Like it? It’s yours for the taking absolutely free through this link. Catch McMorrow live at Shepherds Bush Empire on the 5th of October; tickets are on sale now.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 28th August 2014 at 6:00 pm
Esben and the Witch are readying themselves for the release of their third full-length album ‘A New Nature’ on the 8th of September on Nostromo Records.
Ahead of that, they’ve unveiled the video for a taster from the new LP, filmed in one shot. The visuals in ‘Dig Your Fingers In’, directed by Sim Warren, are as stark and forlorn as we’ve come to know as the sound of this Brighton trio. Watch the video below.
London singer-songwriter Tom the Lion, aka Tom Visser, officially released his debut album ‘Sleep’ on the 11th of August on Wrasse Records. Initially an independent effort pursued by Visser and his manager, the album was picked up by Rough Trade earlier this year and garnered enough support on its own merits for a full release. We here at TGTF have already featured one of its tracks, ‘Silent Partner’, as well as the non-album track ‘Wasting Sunlight’.
Visser is a multi-faceted musician who writes, plays, and produces all of his own material. His early musical influences started at home, where his mother exposed him to classic singer/songwriters like Rickie Lee Jones and Bob Dylan and his jazz musician father introduced the likes of Miles Davis and Chet Baker. It does seem that having a background in jazz produces a particular willingness to experiment with sound, and Visser is no exception in that regard. On ‘Sleep’, he balances a strong sense of poetic lyricism and melody with a variety of instrumental textures and harmonic choices to shade the album’s fundamental melancholy tone with subtle degrees of emotion.
‘Sleep’ feels like a break-up album, though it hasn’t been specifically billed as such. The obliquely evocative lyrics mingle sadness and regret with hope and optimism, beginning with the opening title track. Its anthemic chorus “you could wait a lifetime for this / strike my name off the list” is one of the album’s most uplifting moments, despite the later lyric, “you’re on your own with one last wish.” ‘Every Single Moment’ is a similarly straightforward track with an appealing chorus, “as if this is your last phone call / may I just hear your voice / as if this is your last power chord / can I just let you talk”, that builds to the climactic repeated ending line “I love every single moment.”
In contrast, tracks like ‘Oil Man’ and ‘November’s Beach’ are stark and edgy. ‘Oil Man’ has a thin, synthetic sound that emphasizes its strange, unsettling harmonies and eerie vocal tone. The machine-produced drums on ‘November’s Beach’ create a crisp chill under the diffuse shimmer of keyboards and guitars. ‘Winter’s Wool’ features a groovy bass line and guitar melody under its smooth instrumental sheen.
The album ends with a especially nice sequence of memorable tracks. The delicate texture and uneven rhythm of ‘Ragdoll’ adorn some of Visser’s most poignant lyrics, “you lost without a fight / just to be polite…you’re a ragdoll in my arms / with no charms / I’m a tyrant in this land / blood on my hands”. The persistent rhythm and and guitar line in ‘Heal’ lead into another inspiring chorus with the determined lyric “I choose now to heal”. ‘Come to Life’ ends the album with another tinge of sadness in the haunting lyric “The note you left behind / on the pillowcase I’ll find / I’m nothing but disguise / dressed as your lover might”. Its deliberately unresolved emotion is representative of the album as a whole, which is a series of vignettes left to speak for themselves rather than being painstakingly expanded or meticulously explored.
In that way, Tom the Lion distinguishes himself from artists to whom he is likely to be compared to, including inevitably Bon Iver. Visser’s songs are similarly impressionistic, with the same falsetto vocal that Justin Vernon and Thom Yorke fans adore, but their brevity gives them a greater sense of emotional urgency and allows the unique experimental aspects of the music to make a more powerful impression.
Tom the Lion’s debut album ‘Sleep’ is available now on Wrasse Records.
Alec and Becca King are better known as This Boy That Girl, a brother and sister pop/hip-hop duo from Los Angeles. The siblings are currently supporting Aaron Carter on his American dates and are a part of the Anti-Bullying Tour. They took some time out from their busy schedule to talk to There Goes The Fear.
This Boy That Girl was formed three years ago when Becca would play acoustic guitar and Alec would freestyle over it. Inspired by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Eminem and Ed Sheeran, the duo have recently released their first EP, ‘Breaking Bad’ (no relation to the crime drama television series of the same name).
‘Sweet Life’ is the lead single from the EP which, according to Becca, is about “hanging out with your friends and just having a good time”. She continued: “It’s not about having everything you could ever want, it’s about appreciating what you have and making your life a ‘Sweet Life’”. The music video for ‘Sweet Life’, which was directed by Sequoia B, shows This Boy That Girl dancing and partying in colourful environments. “It was so much fun,” said Becca, “It was our first legit video shoot so we were so excited. All our friends came out and it was fun.”
The duo are currently supporting Aaron Carter on his American tour. Becca described the experience as “really awesome! The fans are amazing and Aaron is super cool”. As well as the Aaron Carter tour, This Boy That Girl are also a part of the Anti-Bullying Tour – a 20 city tour spearheaded by Champions Against Bullying. “We’ve been sharing our story through our music with our audience,” the pair said, “Most of the fans are from high schools and middle schools. It’s been amazing.”
Siblings are well known for not getting on with each other, but this doesn’t seem to be the case with This Boy That Girl. “We’ve had small sibling rivalry things but nothing huge,” said Becca, “It’s all fun and we have each other’s back at the end of the day.” As for the future, This Boy That Girl are going to “keep writing and performing”. Becca added: “If you haven’t heard of us yet… you will.”
This Boy That Girl’s debut EP ‘Breaking Bad’ is out now on Big Dream Productions.
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