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MP3 of the Day #841: Polarsets

 
By on Tuesday, 8th July 2014 at 10:00 am
 

If you were wondering where Whitley Bay’s finest Polarsets had gone to, wonder no more. They have a new track, ‘Drive Over the River’, and they want to give it away to you for free. It’s still tropical but a little bit smoother. Have a listen below and if you like it, download it for your very own. Their debut album ‘Parasols’ will be released on the 21st of September. Hang tight too, as we hear that the first single from the album, ‘Madrid’, will be out later this month.

Our past coverage on the North East tropical band is this way and includes this chat I had with James and Mike from band at SXSW 2012.

 

MP3 of the Day (and more!) #565: Polarsets

 
By on Thursday, 21st June 2012 at 10:00 am
 

Whitley Bay’s Polarsets have just released their ‘Exotica’ EP, and this morning they’re treating us to their new video for ‘Distance’ (appearing on the EP), as well as a free download of the Mausi remix of the track. Both can be viewed/listened/enjoyed/partaked in below.

http://soundcloud.com/polarsets/distance-m-a-u-s-i-remix (Sorry, you have to visit the Soundcloud page to listen/download the track.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2lZSAjrC1ZE[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #784: Polarsets

 
By on Thursday, 3rd May 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

Polarsets have released the appropriately island-themed video for ‘Tropics’, featured on the band’s ‘Exotica’ EP to be released in June. Watch it below.

I did an interview with James and Mike from the band at SXSW; you can watch the video interview here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dW9RqJw3Nvo[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2012: Day 5 – Northern Day showcase at Latitude 30 – 17th March 2012

 
By on Friday, 6th April 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Saturday, St. Patrick’s Day, the 17th of March. The last full day of bands at SXSW, and I give myself the reward of a lie-in, however slight. Local friends ferry me to the best photography show in town, as something’s been wrong with my camera lens since Friday afternoon. Diagnosis isn’t good – there’s something wrong with the lens and the manufacturer needs to open it – but I rush back to Latitude 30 to catch the start of the Northern Day showcase. Ghosting Season from Manchester begins the showcase. As with D/R/U/G/S at the PRS brunch yesterday, I started out skeptical. But then Gavin Miller and Thomas Ragsdale broke out the guitars. How many electronica acts do you know who bring out the axes during a show?

Usually, I get bored with the regular run of the mill electronica artistes, lost in their own world, too busy fiddling around with switch and knobs to notice that the audience is there and indeed, they are there to equally entertain the audience as they are to entertain themselves. I didn’t expect to, but I loved these guys. You could tell by the way they moved their bodies – in front of their tables full of magical boxes and consoles – that they “got” the rhythm, that the rhythm moved them, that this wasn’t a phoned-in performance. Manchester, thanks for nurturing this duo of mad beats.

Next up was Polarsets, who I interviewed (well, the two-thirds of them with IDs) yesterday at B.D. Riley’s. What I found very interesting talking to James and Mike the day before was how they described their hometown at Whitley Bay as having a tropical atmosphere. Their song ‘Madrid’ is a great example of this. Below, watch them perform ‘Morning’.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gMygjMKseJA[/youtube]

Sadly, Benjamin Francis Leftwich’s visa was not approved in time for SXSW, so I did not get to catch him in Austin. I also had to book it from Latitude 30 to the convention centre to meet Zulu Winter, for what would be their final press engagement of SXSW 2012. (Watch the interview here.) After a drink break at a nearby sports bar and a very delayed hamburger delivery, I hiked it back to Latitude 30 to catch Dutch Uncles finish out the Northern Day showcase. ‘Cadenza’ was billed as “our most Irish sounding song” and the crowd was invited to jig along with the band. Watch their spirited performance of ‘Face-In’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pfv1PIHLwyU[/youtube]

What definitely was the strangest moment of the day (and perhaps my entire SXSW experience) was when Daniel Bedingfield came strolling down the alley behind the venue. He evidently had no idea who Dutch Uncles were and was not buying singer Duncan Wallis’s eloquent explanation of the origin of their band name. After making some lame jokes that cannot be repeated in a family newspaper, he went on his way. Shortly thereafter, flamboyant Semi Precious Weapons lead singer Justin Tranter pranced his way down the alley past us, on high heels. Whatever happens in Austin, stays in Austin…?

More high-res photos of the Northern Day showcase can be viewed on my Flickr.

 

SXSW 2012 Video Interview: James Rudd and Mike Smith of Polarsets

 
By on Friday, 30th March 2012 at 1:00 pm
 

Polarsets are another great band from the North East that’s making waves in the indie blogosphere. They were one of my 10 new bands to watch at SXSW and I did catch them play the British Music Embassy’s Northern Day at Latitude 30 on Saturday 17 March. But the day before, I was able to corner drummer James Rudd and keyboardist / synthesist Mike Smith for a chat in Irish pub B.D. Riley’s on Sixth Street. (Singer Rob Howe was unable to participate, as he had misplaced his ID and well, we met in a pub!)

I wanted to ask them some questions, like how they manage to sound tropical even though they’re from the ‘cold’ North, about their relationship with Neon Gold Records, and how they were enjoying themselves in Austin. Watch it below. [Editor’s note: our original shooting location of Buffalo Billiards across the street was thwarted because the place doesn’t open until 12 noon. I thought with the Irish breakfast promotion, people would be eating and chatting and that would be it, but suddenly a band started up at half past 11. The best laid plans…]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0DXP2fDH_c[/youtube]

 

Preview: SXSW 2012 – 10 Bands New to You

 
By on Thursday, 1st March 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Since the various laundry lists of bands that had been accepted for this year’s SXSW had been announced, I bided my time. I wanted to wait for the official venue announcements, carefully poring over what had been released through the 2012 SXSW Web site while also considering smaller, nonofficial events that bands have been posting on their Facebooks or official Web sites. The headliners have been briefly profiled in part 1 of my SXSW 2012 preview.

As you can imagine, there are so many bands playing at SXSW this year than we have written about here at TGTF, so for the sake of brevity, I had to cut down my “I’d love to see them at SXSW” list. This group of 10 bands, listed below in alphabetical order, are bands you likely have not heard of, or if you have, I imagine you don’t know much about them, since they’ve only just gotten tipped recently.

Django Django – They’ve written quite possibly *the* earworm of 2012, ‘Default’. Performing at the Scottish Music Industry Association showcase at Easy Tiger Bar at 12:00 AM on Wednesday 14 March and Huw Stephens / UK Trade Investment showcase at Latitude 30 at 10:00 PM on Saturday 17 March.

Drop the Lime – Luca Venezia is better known by his stage name and all the high-profile remixes he’s done. But he’s an artist in his own right, ready to drop some huge beats in parties across Austin. His ‘Shake Baby Shake’ track is streaming below. Performing at Club Create’s showcase at the Madison on Wednesday 14 March (time TBA) and at the Filter Magazine / Dickie’s party at the Lustre Pearl at 10:00 PM on Thursday 16 March.

Fiction – they opened for Dutch Uncles at their Christmas show in Manchester last December (review here) was impressive but this will be the first taste Americans get of the London band. Watch the video for the infectious as all hell ‘Big Things’ below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NbU-_sYA4X4[/youtube]

Grimes – Canadian Claire Boucher is making waves on the back of her third album ‘Visions’ released on 4AD. Lovers of electronic and eclectism need look no further for an spellbinding performance. Listen to ‘Genesis’, a free download we offered up previously in this MP3 of the Day post, below. Our previous coverage on her is here, including her support slot of Lykke Li last spring. Performing at Central Presbyterian Church at 11:30 PM on Thursday 15 March and Clive Bar at 11:30 PM on Friday 16 March.

Marit Larsen – I was impressed listening to her set supporting Teitur last Friday (review here), what an incredible voice. Listen to ‘Coming Home’ below. Performing at Beale Street Tavern at 10:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March.

Polarsets – I already knew last year with Little Comets‘ debut that Newcastle was the latest hotbed of activity in the North East, and this Geordie band further cements that region’s place in fantastic new music coming out of Britain. Listen to their appropriately sunny track ‘Morning’ below. Performing at the Karma Lounge at 1:00 AM on Friday 16 March as part of Neon Gold’s showcase.

Reptar – Not to be confused with a green dinosaur in the American children’s animated programme Rugrats, this Athens band mix bits of electronic and bits of tropical into a frenzy, which adds up to a lot of fun. Sound like Friendly Fires? ‘Sebastian’, the opening track to their debut album ‘Body Faucet’ out in May can be streamed below. Performing at the IFC Crossroads House at Vice presented by Paradigm at 8:00 PM on Thursday 15 March and at Buffalo Billiards at 11:00 PM on Friday 16 March.

The Wonder Villains – They sound a bit like General Fiasco (have a listen to ‘Ferrari’ below) so I was taken a bit aback by the fact the two bands share the same management. (Birds of a feather?) Tipped recently as a New Favourite Band of Steve Lamacq’s, the Derry quartet featuring a female lead singer sound Performing at the Tap Room at Six at 8:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March to kick off the Northern Ireland showcase that also features General Fiasco and Cashier No. 9.

Wonfu – The West might be cynical about it, but bubblegum pop is still alive and well in Asia. Enter this Taipei, Taiwan band that may end up being my guilty pleasure from this year’s festival, with cheeky lyrics (admittedly, in Taiwanese) sung in cutesy voices and incredibly catchy melodies. Have a listen to ‘Do-Re-Mi’ below. Performing at the Loft at 8:00 PM on Wednesday 14 March.

[audio:http://beforebigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Do-Re-Mi.mp3]

Zulu Winter – Despite my famous friends stumping for these chaps, I wasn’t sold until I heard ‘We Should Be Swimming’ (previous Video of the Moment post here, video below). Our previous coverage on Zulu Winter is here. Performing at Antone’s at 9:40 PM on Friday 16 March as part of the Billions Corporation showcase.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCVGxH5fEo0[/youtube]

 
 
 

About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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