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The Holloways burst onto my radar in early 2007 with “Generator“, their incredibly catchy hit single. They sort of fizzled from view after that before I got their second album, “No Smoke, No Mirrors”, through my letterbox late last week.
There’s a part of me that feels I should hate this bunch skinny-jeans / American Apparel-style too-cool-for-school lads from North London. However I wouldn’t be doing them any justice – their album is catchy, simple and honest. It’s not gonna win any critical acclaim, it’s not the next Beatles classic, but it’s simple and fun. Like the Ting Tings for Camden-ites. Yes, this will strike fear into many of your hearts, but I don’t care.
We have the great vocal arrangements that would have The Futureheads’ Hounds of Love bowing down to them (see lead single “Jukebox Sunshine”‘s chorus), we have social commentary of today’s delicate emo / chav / trendies equilibrium (“Why do all the rude boys on the bus find it fun to make a fuss / of anyone a little bit dissimilar / why can’t they just leave each to their own devices / even if they’re a bit unfamiliar” on “On the Bus”). We also have the great catchy Kooks-esque sing-alongs (see most tracks on the album, “Alcohol” in particular).
It’s the sort of thing you’ll probably love if you are a casual Kooks / Libertines / Pigeon Detectives / The Courteeners / Little Man Tate / Ting Tings fan. If however, any of those names strike fear into your heart don’t touch this album!
The Holloways – Jukebox Sunshine
The Holloways’ new album, “No Smoke, No Mirrors” is out today. Order it from Amazon here.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 5th October 2009 at 10:00 am
I really, really dig the Phenomenal Handclap Band. It started with hearing ’15 to 20′ and several other songs live on a Radcliffe/Maconie Radio2 session. The vocals and instrumentation in that little room at the BBC Oxford Road Studios in Manchester were stunning.
And I’ve been lucky to see this band 3 times in a span of less than 2 months in two different cities (New York and Washington) and even sat down with PHB founders Daniel Collás and Sean Marquand, who were exceedingly charming one on one. In case you are one of the poor souls who have yet to see them (they just finished a short tour of the UK), we here at TGTF are gifting you with a live version of ‘Testimony’, one of five tracks from a brand-spanking-new EP entitled ‘Live at Lime with the Phenomenal Handclap Band’. I’mma let you finish listening to it, but yeah, it’s – wait for it – phenomenal.
MP3: The Phenomenal Handclap Band – Testimony (Limewire live session)
‘Live at Lime with the Phenomenal Handclap Band’ is available now exclusively at the LimeWire Store.
Mercury prize nominee Lisa Hannigan has announced a string of tour dates for November and December around the UK and Ireland.
Catch her at:
Sunday 22nd November 2009 – Norwich Waterfront
Monday 23rd November 2009 – London Royal Festival Hall
Tuesday 24th November 2009 – Manchester Club Academy
Wednesday 25th November 2009 – Birmingham O2 Academy 2
Thursday 3rd December 2009 – Dublin Vicar Street
Sunday 6th December 2009 – Killarney INEC
Monday 7th December 2009 – Ennis Glór Theatre
Friday 11th December 2009 – Donegal Balor Arts Centre
Saturday 12th December 2009 – Derry Nerve Centre
Tuesday 15th December 2009 – Kildare River Bank Theatre
Thursday 17th December 2009 – Limerick Dolans Warehouse
By Phil Singer
on Saturday, 3rd October 2009 at 10:00 am
exlovers – You Forget So Easily
One of our favourites here at TGTF, exlovers have released their debut video, to the title song from their EP, You Forget so Easily (which Jess reviewed so well a few months ago). Watch and enjoy.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 2nd October 2009 at 6:00 pm
Last weekend I witnessed Phantogram, a electronic rock duo from upstate New York, as an opening act for School of Seven Bells. Turns out the bands were a good match for each other, with Phantogram having a harder rock edge that I really liked, paired with the contrast of Sarah Barthel‘s ethereal vs. Joshua Carter‘s grittier vocals. Below is what BBE Records calls the unofficial video for ‘Running from the Cops’, filmed on a street in Brooklyn. Watch it and enjoy the music.
Phantogram’s debut album ‘Eyelid Movies’ was released on 12 September in the UK on BBE Records.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 2nd October 2009 at 12:00 pm
You probably know Charlotte Hatherley best for wielding her guitar for and lending her vocals to alternative band Ash. (That Ash song ‘Grey Will Fade’? Yes, Hatherley wrote that.) What you may not know: she began her solo career in 2004 and is set to release her latest effort, ‘New Worlds’, later this month. The first track on the album, ‘White’, hit the British airwaves earlier this year and impressed me enough to do further research on Ms. Hatherley’s new music. With a sexy bass line and yearning vocals, it wraps you in a blanket of warmth, whether you’re with that special someone or you’re currently in a state of melancholy looking for that someone.
Then the album sweetly oozes into ‘Alexander’. This one should hit you like an arrow through the heart if you’ve ever fancied someone and thought if you knew more about this person, things would sort themselves out, but for reasons beyond your control, this was impossible. Everyone can relate to this longing for someone unattainable. Hatherley implores the subject of her song ‘take off your layers / and show me Alexander / what kind of dreaming you do behind your innocence‘. GULP. It’s an emotional lump-in-the-throat moment.
But thinking that these two mellow songs were representative of the whole album would be a mistake, because it moves into completely different territory from that point on. Variety rules this album. Title track ‘New Worlds’ is a ’80s-esque track that is poppy and boppy and might turn you off if you bought the album to find more lovey-dovey ballads like ‘White’ or ‘Alexander’, or if you were looking for a balls-to-the-wall kind of rock album. ‘Straight Lines’, ‘Full Circle’, and ‘Colours’ fit this bill, with their sultrier guitar and bass lines with sexy vocals from Hatherley – rocker girl chic, if you will.
Dancehall reminiscent ‘Firebird’ sounds almost otherworldly, as does the simplistic ‘Cinnabar’ – these were the only two songs on the album I felt were missteps, feeling oddly emotionless. Why? Hatherley’s voice is unique in that it’s melodious enough to be paired with nothing but an acoustic guitar and some soft instrumental backing but also strong enough to stand up against heavier rock stylings. You want to be able to feel Hatherley’s emotions coming through her vocals, you want to feel what she’s feeling.
Charlotte Hatherley’s third album, ‘New Worlds’, will be released on 19 October on Little Sister Records.