Editor Mary is in Toronto for CMW 2016 this week.
Ongoing coverage of the event will be on our Twitter and on the site this way.
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Now that we’re into 2016, it’s time to get excited for the year’s festival season. We’d already seen a few of the lineup revealed for Live at Leeds (read this previous preview post), but now we’ve been not as much teased but inundated with over 65 new acts.
Joining the already stellar lineup of Circa Waves, We Are Scientists and Jess Glynne, we have a nice variety of genres being represented, from the small and unsigned to those acts who are well established in the festival circuit.
First of the major players is Ghostpoet (picture at top), who you may remember had his 2015 album ‘Shedding Skin’ nominated for the Mercury Music Prize. His is pretty much the name on the tip of the tongue of anyone involved in the industry at the moment. On playing the festival, Ghostpoet says, “It’s nice to be returning to Live at Leeds after playing it for the first time a few years back. Should be fun!”
Another name everyone should be familiar with is Mystery Jets, who over the past 13 years have been unrelenting in their output. Flirting with a mixture of genres has ensured they always have a fresh sound that’s apt for the time. They’ll no doubt be playing tunes from their latest album effort, ‘Curve of the Earth’, which was released last month.
There’s also Stockport’s Blossoms, who return after a triumphant show at Leeds Uni Stylus last year, as well as coming fourth in BBC’s Sound of 2016 list. They are certainly going to be a crowd pleaser and not to be missed.
Milk Teeth are another band that have been gathering a lot of attention of the past few months. Their style is reminiscent of early 90’s pop-punk with a twinge of grunge, a sound that is slowly making its way back into the mainstream consciousness. Their debut record ‘Vile Child’ is out now on Hopeless Records and will no doubt leave a massive impression on those who manage to catch their show.
Live at Leeds is fast becoming a staple in the festival season and is going from strength to strength. The way this lineup is shaping up, along with announcements for other festivals slowly creeping out into the daylight, 2016 could turn out to be one of the strongest festival seasons yet.
The entire plethora of announced acts can be found on the Live at Leeds Web site. Tickets are still available at http://lunatickets.co.uk/live-at-leeds-2016.html.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 10th December 2015 at 6:00 pm
‘Be Right Back, Moving House’ is the latest Ghostpoet track from his 2015 Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Shedding Skin’ to get its own music video. The man has always struck me as an intelligent, forward-thinking chap, so I’m not surprised this new promo is thought-provoking. Using stairwells, landings and lifts as metaphors for the difficult climbs in life, some of them that leave us stumbling and gasping for air, ‘Be Right Back, Moving House’ is a compelling watch. You can view the video below.
Read Carrie’s review of ‘Shedding Skin’ here. Our archive of articles on Ghostpoet can be found this way.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 16th November 2015 at 10:00 am
It’s good to be Ghostpoet. He has three studio albums to his name – 2011’s ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’, 2013’s ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’, and this year’s ‘Shedding Skin’, released in March – and now two of them have been nominated for a Mercury Prize.
We won’t know who has won the gong until next Friday, the 20th of November, but in the meantime, he and his ‘people’ have been kind enough to make his newest single from ‘Shedding Skin’, ‘Be Right Back, Moving House’ free. Yes, this is not a drill! Follow the link below to get it for your very own.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 17th June 2015 at 6:00 pm
2011 Mercury Prize-nominated artist Ghostpoet released his third album ‘Shedding Skin’ back in March. (Read Carrie’s review of the LP here.) He’ll be releasing his next single ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’ on the 31st of July on PIAS, described in the press release as “A reflective narrative sees Ghostpoet weave tales of a one-night stand, articulating the awkwardness, hand in hand with wanting something more meaningful.”
The song features guest vocals from singer/songwriter Lucy Rose. Ahead of the release, he’s revealed a black and white promo for the single. Watch the video below.
London-based Ghostpoet has just announced a new single from his recent album ‘Shedding Skin’. Titled ‘X Marks the Spot’, the new song features vocals from Nadine Shah, and the accompanying video is the result of an Open Shoot collaboration between Ghostpoet and men’s fashion company Topman in which participants were invited via social media to contribute photographs, videos or sketches to the project.
If you’re intrigued by ‘X Marks the Spot’, you can hear the project collaborators discussing the project further in the additional video beneath. For past coverage on Ghostpoet, go here.
‘Shedding Skin’ is the title of a new LP released by Ghostpoet, the London-based vocalist and electro producer whose debut album ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’ was nominated for the 2011 Mercury Prize. His second studio attempt, 2013’s ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’, seemed to fall victim to the all-but-inevitable sophomore slump, but Ghostpoet has regained some lost momentum with this third album, perhaps as a result of shedding the heavy expectations set forth early in his career.
Throughout ‘Shedding Skin’, Ghostpoet (aka Obaro Ejimiwe) matches the smooth groove of the bass with his languid baritone, setting a mood that manages to be at once blissfully chill and delightfully sensual. The slightly warmer feel in comparison to the earlier albums is undoubtedly down to the instrumental arrangements in the recording, which for the first time in Ghostpoet’s studio repertoire include live musicians from his touring band (Joe Newman on guitar, John Calvert on bass and John Blease on drums). The self-produced album also features cameo vocal appearances from Nadine Shah, Etta Bond, Melanie De Biasio, Lucy Rose and Paul Smith of Maximo Park.
‘Shedding Skin’ is perhaps less brash than ‘Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam’ and less darkly morose than ‘Some Say I So I Say Light’, but it is more emotionally mature, both in its subject matter and its musical expression. One of the more extended tracks on the album ‘Be Right Back, Moving House’ contains several lyrical phrases that seem to get to the heart of what the album is all about, particularly the lines “my heart wants to be free / back flip and somersault / be careless of me / but life gets in the way / my past won’t let go of me / I’m frightened away”.
Opening track ‘Off Beat Dreams’ features Ghostpoet’s trippy beat poetry vocal delivery over stacked piano chords and a softly wailing guitar riff that develops into a fully-realised solo by the end of the track. Title track ‘Shedding Skin’ is more ominously bass-oriented, the foundational groove providing depth under the duet vocals in the chorus “you think you know me / you never know me / simmer down”.
In the grittier musical context of ‘That Ring Down the Drain Kind of Feeling’, the raspy female vocal intones the phrase “I’m back where I started / I’m back where I started again / left broken-hearted / but maybe my heart’s on the mend / then again…”, which leads into the quicker tempo and sharper-tongued lyrics of the next track ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’. Ghostpoet ratchets up the raw sensuality near the end of the album in the alliterative ‘The Pleasure in Pleather’.
The soaring instrumental arrangement behind final track ‘Nothing in the Way’ leaves the listener with a serene sense of warmth and optimism, which perhaps best captures the underlying tone of ‘Shedding Skin’. Even in the album’s faster paced and more strident moments, the songs have an air of calm self-assurance that comes from experience, both personal and professional. Having shed the skin of early expectation, Ghostpoet has here evolved toward the full potential of his songwriting talent.
Ghostpoet‘s third LP ‘Shedding Skin’ is out now on PIAS. He will support the album release with an April tour of the UK and Ireland; find all those live dates here.