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Mustachioed Northern Irish songsmith Foy Vance has just unveiled a live acoustic video for his smouldering new track ‘She Burns’. Recorded at Blackbird Studios in Nashville with producer Jacquire King (James Bay, Of Monsters and Men), the song is slated to appear on Vance’s highly anticipated next album, which is due out early next year. Vance has recently signed to pop superstar Ed Sheeran‘s label Gingerbread Man Records, which launched back in August with the signing of singer/songwriter Jamie Lawson.
Vance and Sheeran are longtime friends and collaborators, having toured together back in 2013 as well as contributing to each other’s recent studio work, Vance supplying vocals and songwriting assistance on Sheeran’s Grammy-nominated album ‘X’ and Sheeran appearing on Vance’s previous album ‘Joy of Nothing’. Vance previews his follow-up to that album with the video for ‘She Burns’, which he also performed live on his most recent tour of America.
The acoustic version of ‘She Burns’ featured in the video below is a slow-burning ode to the feminine mystique, presented here in a bare arrangement for two voices and guitar. Though this rendition of the song is far more restrained than what I might have expected from Vance, he still bares his very soul in the vocal delivery, especially the chorus lyric “I’m burning, I’m burning so deeply just breathing hurts.’
If you like what you hear in the video, you can download the acoustic version of ‘She Burns’ on Foy Vance’s official Web site, in exchange for adding your e-mail address to his mailing list. While you’re on Vance’s Web site, you can also find a list of live dates and ticket information for Vance’s current Australian tour, where he is opening for Ed Sheeran and Elton John. TGTF’s full archive of coverage on Foy Vance can be found right back here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 1st December 2015 at 4:00 pm
Editors‘ latest music video, like those for ‘No Harm’, ‘Marching Orders’ and ‘Life is a Fear’ that precede it, was conceived, directed and edited by Iranian-born photographer Rahi Rezvani. It was also filmed in black and white. Unlike those past promos, however, ‘Ocean of Night’ stars scenes of fans in the 1,600-capacity Dublin Olympia Theatre on Dame Street in the Irish capital, as well as pensive moments pre-show of Tom Smith and the band in the opulent red velvet covered and gilded venue when the band performed there in October. (It’s truly a beautiful sight to behold in person in full Technicolor, as I had the pleasure to when I saw the Staves perform there back in May.)
While the video lacks the physical presence of Slowdive’s Rachel Goswell (notably the first time an Editors track has featured a voice of someone from outside the band), her ethereal harmonising vocals that appear on this song and several others on Editors’ current album ‘In Dream’ (Carrie’s review here) still manage to be evocative, despite this minimalist treatment. Watch the new video for ‘Ocean of Night’ below. ‘Ocean of Night’ will be released as a single on the 11th of December on PIAS; ‘In Dream’ is available now. For past coverage of Editors on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Monday, 30th November 2015 at 4:00 pm
Brighton band The Wytches stopped by the small and sweaty Corporation club in Sheffield 2 Saturdays ago for a show on the current Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING tour that has been taking place this autumn across the UK. During their visit to Steel City, they stopped long enough for a brief chat backstage at the venue with Dr. Martens in this video, which also includes clips of the trio performing for their excited fans and stage-diving (of course). Watch the video from Sheffield below.
This date in Sheffield is in the middle of the The Wytches’ massive UK tour going on now. For all of TGTF’s past coverage on the Wytches, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 20th November 2015 at 4:00 pm
Currently buzzed about Dublin punks Girl Band should need no introduction. But just in case you’ve been living in a convent / under a rock / in a cave / take your pick, you should know that their debut album ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’, released at the end of September on Rough Trade Records, has continued to stoke the fires of hype that has surrounded the band since they appeared in Austin for SXSW 2015.
If you have so far been not lucky enough to catch them live or perhaps you are just curious what all the fuss is about, they have released this video from a recent Rough Trade session, a performance of ‘Baloo’ from their debut LP. Capturing the band’s anarchic style and featuring lead singer Dara Kiely’s hopelessly rough all over vocals, this is definitely for the lot of you who call yourselves punk fans. Watch the eye-opening performance film below.
Hungry for more on Girl Band? You can catch our entire archive so far on the Irish group here.
After the tragic events in Paris last weekend, which struck close to home with an attack on the Eagles of Death Metal concert at Le Bataclan on Friday night, even the hardiest of gig-goers might find themselves hesitating to venture out for a show. Such was my situation on Sunday night, when I headed to downtown Phoenix’s Valley Bar to see Brooklyn indie pop band Here We Go Magic. It was unusually cold and rainy in Phoenix that night (a recurring theme with my recent trips to Valley Bar, as you’ll know if you read my review of David Ramirez’s show last week), and I had half a mind to stay safely and snugly tucked away on my sofa at home rather than making the 2-hour drive. However, I felt pulled to make a show of resistance against the fear inspired by the Paris attacks, if only in a small way. Since I already had the ticket in hand, off to Phoenix I went.
I arrived a little after the announced time for doors at the Valley Bar, but it turned out that the bands, Here We Go Magic and support act Big Thief, were running a bit late as well. When Big Thief took the stage about half an hour behind schedule, there were only a handful of people in the venue, mostly hanging back near the bar area. Undeterred, lead singer Adrianne Lenker and company drew the small crowd in with their alt-rock style songs. The hesitant punters slowly crept nearer to the stage during their set, and by the end, the band were receiving enthusiastic applause and genuine shouts of approval.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Big Thief weren’t just another one on the rapidly growing list of female-led garage bands. So often, those bands come off sounding a bit feckless or somehow apologetic for making a loud noise. Not Big Thief. Lenker’s songwriting does have that self-conscious introspection in its lyrics, and the breathy tone quality of her singing voice falls somewhere between Patsy Cline and Chrissy Hynde, but the band’s folk rock style musical arrangements lean more toward the rock end of the spectrum and are anything but frail and delicate.
Their brash sound was displayed to full advantage in the instrumental interludes, when Lenker stepped away from the mic and led her male bandmates through a series of screeching guitar solos. That being said, one of the most memorable moments in Big Thief’s set came when guitarist Buck Meek performed a contrasting a capella version of his solo song ‘Sam Bridges’, which immediately called to mind the folk roots of Bruce Springsteen or Bob Dylan.
Meek and Lenker are both a solo artists aside from their work with Big Thief, and when I stepped out to the merch table after the show, Lenker was selling copies of her own solo CD ‘Hours Were the Birds’ as well as Big Thief’s latest offering (recorded as Adrianne Lenker and Buck Meek, and titled ‘A-sides’). She mentioned that most of the songs on their current set list were new and will appear on their upcoming album, to be released sometime next year. In fact, Big Thief’s recent single ‘Masterpiece’ was just released at the end of October, as a prelude to their tour with Here We Go Magic.
Luke Temple and his Here We Go Magic colleagues opened their headline set without preliminary chatter, starting with a pair of new songs from their recent LP ‘Be Small’. As it turned out, ‘Ordinary Feeling’ and ‘Stella’ served as a nice warm up for the more energetic ‘Make Up Your Mind’ and an extended version of ‘Hibernation’. I was immediately surprised by how much more vibrant Here We Go Magic sounded in live performance, as I’d always heard their studio recordings as being very muted and mellow, more atmosphere than tangible presence. But on this night, they played through the new tracks and the older ones alike with the smooth, spellbinding grace of a jazz combo, each band member watching and responding naturally to the others, the main focus always at stage right on frontman Temple.
The centerpiece of Here We Go Magic’s set was clearly the infectiously quirky lead single from ‘Be Small’, ‘Tokyo London U.S. Korea’, whose catchy title line inspired a bit of singing along among the tiny Valley Bar crowd. That’s not to imply that the audience wasn’t engaged with the performance; on the contrary, the vibe in the room was one of captivated attention and appreciation for the musicianship on display. It’s just that most of Here We Go Magic’s songs aren’t particularly of the singalong variety. Despite that reputation, I’m willing to bet that very few could walk away from ‘Tokyo London U.S. Korea’ without catching the earworm. Find out for yourself below.
While Here We Go Magic’s setlist was predictably slanted toward the new album, the band did touch on each of their older recordings. Songs from their self-titled debut album and their excellent 2012 record ‘A Different Ship’ made notable appearances in the first half of the set, and a pair of tracks from 2010’s ‘Pigeon’, the mildly hypnotic ‘Land of Feelings’ and the psychedelic coda of ‘Collector’, came nearer to the end. The band wrapped up the set proper with brand new single ‘Falling’, and finally, the small audience’s reward for braving both the weather and weekend’s earlier events came in the form of a brief encore, featuring my own favourite Here We Go Magic tune, ‘How Do I Know’.
Here We Go Magic’s latest album ‘Be Small’ is available now via Secretly Canadian. They will play a single UK show at XOYO in London on the 22nd of February as part of a 2016 European tour, which is also currently scheduled to include several dates in France.
Folk-pop duo Lewis & Leigh combine the musical heritage of their two geographically divergent backgrounds to create a sound that is broadly accessible, yet still somehow feels personal and intimate. Vivid lyrical portraits and widely varying musical influences ranging from Americana to Motown, from traditional British folk to edgy London pop, blend effortlessly in the angelic singing voices of Alva Leigh and Al Lewis, who are well-respected songwriters individually, but who have found a sweetly sensitive fusion in their collaboration with one another.
The pair’s illustrative track ‘Rubble’, from their EP ‘Missing Years’, draws comparisons between the American Deep South where Leigh was born, and the Welsh countryside that Lewis calls home. First depicted is the coastal town of Gulfport, MS, which has been levelled by several hurricanes in recorded history, most recently Hurricane Katrina in 2005. (It’s hard to tell which hurricane is referenced in the video below, possibly 1979 Hurricane Frederic or 1985 Hurricane Elena). The song’s second verse refers to the struggles surrounding the Welsh Mining Strike of 1984, with the chorus making the connection between the two seemingly disparate locations, observing how each was reduced to rubble in the aftermath of those disastrous events. The final verse talks about having roots in those places, and being drawn to them, each sympathizing with the other’s toil and trouble. It’s a haunting and thought-provoking song whose musical setting is elegantly sensitive to the musical style and cultural spirit of each region.
Lewis & Leigh’s debut EP ‘Night Drives’ won attention from BBC Radio 2, with lead single ‘What Is There To Do’ spending four weeks on that station’s playlist back in 2014. The duo subsequently performed live sessions with Dermot O’Leary and BBC Radio Scotland’s Ricky Ross. Their latest single, a soulful jazz pop tune called ‘Heart Don’t Want’, has already received well-deserved attention in America from the likes of Rolling Stone and NPR, as well as a Twitter endorsement from veteran singer/songwriter Ryan Adams. The song was recorded as part of their latest EP ‘Hidden Truths’ and produced at Urchin Studios by Matt Ingram and Dan Cox, who also helmed Laura Marling‘s latest album ‘Short Movie’.
Lewis & Leigh’s current EP ‘Hidden Truths’ is available now. The pair are currently touring the new EP throughout the UK. Their final live dates for the season are listed below.
Thursday 12th November 2015 – Sheffield Cafe No. 9
Friday 13th November 2015 – Kirton-in-Lindsey Town Hall
Saturday 14th November 2015 – Leeds High & Lonesome Festival
Friday 11th December 2015 – Cardiff St. John the Evangelist’s Church, Canton