SXSW 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Don't forget to like There Goes the Fear on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Single Review: Augustines – When Things Fall Apart

 
By on Thursday, 12th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

If you’ve never heard an Augustines track before, the quintessential components usually consist of lyrics that are born straight from the heart of William McCarthy, soundtracked by rapturous choruses that can echo for miles. On this new outing from the Brooklyn-based band, we find the majority of the instrumentation has been replaced with large, assertive synthesisers, but worry not, the old foundations are still there: larger drums that plough through the electronic underbelly and the backbone of rapid guitar placed lovingly in the mix so as to be present but not to draw away from the array of its electronic counterpart. Synthesis has been a feature for Augustines before, but it appears they’re opting more and more toward this faction, which is certainly not a negative. Rather, it adds to the powerful dynamic that gives Augustines that draw to their fans.

“We’ll go someplace, we’ll get a new start, you gotta move on, when things fall apart.” It’s words like these that bring the immediacy and heart-on-sleeve attraction to Augustines. Their upcoming album, ‘This Is Your Life’ is built around the many tales that the band and particularly McCarthy have amassed over their many years together and during the breaks when McCarthy would embark on cross-country motorbike journeys. You can imagine that the lyrics to this song in particular have been conversations he’s had numerous times with different faces in different places. He has the draw of being heartfelt while remaining strong and taking his wisdom from life and his own personal journey. His voice has an extreme power that settles nicely on top of the higher end found in the synthesis.

Bringing the accessibility and anthemic touch to the kind of music that U2 once developed, Augustines are exposing it to a new audience and a new age. The rousing capabilities that this song has are almost absurd, particularly when twinned with the appropriate synonymous criteria such as a glorious, sun-filled day. It’s almost impossible not to walk away from this track wondering if you just packed a bag and hit the road, would it be the worst thing ever? With McCarthy and company as your soundtrack, you can’t lose.

8/10

Augustines’ new album ‘This is Your Life’ is due for release on the 10th of June via Caroline International in the UK and PIAS America in America. TGTF’s archive of coverage on Augustines (who were for a time known as We Are Augustines) is right back this way.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/DMCIHvyYWG8[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Multiplier – Love You to Death

 
By on Wednesday, 27th April 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Multiplier Love You To Death single coverMancunian band Multiplier, not to be confused with the electronic producer of the same name, have returned with a new single which is big, bold and loud, just like their home city. Now signed to North West indie label Playing with Sound, the heft of even an indie label is clear on this song, recorded at Liverpool’s storied Parr Street Studios. Starting with reasonably restrained guitar, it’s not long before drums which can only be described as thunderous kick in. Driving things along, slowly more components gather, till we’re met with the vocals and this is where the song gathers its dynamic. Singer Andy Gardner has a yowl that is reminiscent of Nick Cave, which only increases over the track’s duration.

When compared to their previous releases, it fits perfectly in tandem. They’re building upon the groundwork they’ve laid previously with ‘Heart of Gold’ and ‘Choice’, opening themselves up to develop into a crushing behemoth that could potentially rival Elbow in delivery and The Bad Seeds in haunting melody. It’s truly when the chorus kicks in that this rings true. The addition of strings creates an incredibly rousing and monumental moment that just adds to the weight behind the words “and I love you to death”.

Of course, the trouble with having such rousing choruses so early on is it kind of loses the impact toward the end of the song, which is where you really want the pick-up and resolution. It’s a double-edged sword: you’ll find the first chorus will definitely attract the listener and immediately grip them but to ensure the impact remains you shouldn’t give it all at once.

Don’t let this refrain you from listening at all. In fact, such powerful choruses are a pleasure to listen to. The bridge in the middle creates an antidote to all this, with its mellowed change and chord structure, and its wandering and escalating guitar solo that leads into the finale that drives everything home. By the time the song reaches its equilibrium, you feel as if you’ve been well and truly wooed.

Multiplier are certainly trying to take things to the next level with ‘Love You to Death’, and this is something they’ve certainly achieved. If they continue on this trend the future certainly looks bright, and there’s definitely a following out there waiting to be called home.

8/10

‘Love You to Death’, Multiplier’s new single, is out now on Playing with Sound.

 

Single Review: Thomas Cohen – Hazy Shades

 
By on Tuesday, 19th April 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Thomas Cohen, probably most famous for being the former lead singer of S.C.U.M., is set to release his debut solo album in early May. Back in 2011, S.C.U.M. released their first and only full-length studio album, ‘Again Into Eyes’. The Southeast London art-rock band underwent a lengthy hiatus around a year following its release, before officially announcing their split in January 2013. Since the members of S.C.U.M. went their separate ways, Cohen has been working on his debut, ‘Bloom Forever’; his newest single ‘Hazy Shades’ has been released ahead of the LP.

Cohen’s life has been presented with both joy and tragedy since he started writing the album, from the birth of two sons to the sudden death of his wife Peaches Geldof in 2014. Following the tragedy, Cohen made the decision to return to writing and recording music, working on the rest of ‘Bloom Forever’ in Iceland. ‘Hazy Shades’ was the last song to be written before Cohen travelled to Reykjavik to complete the writing of the album. The single is just one piece of the story that makes up the forthcoming album, as the tracks in ‘Bloom Forever’ will be presented in chronological order of when they were written.

The video for ‘Hazy Shades’ was filmed in San Francisco, with Cohen decked out in vintage cowboy glory: seemingly a nod to the country-inspired sound of the single itself. Influenced by the likes of Townes Van Zandt, Judee Sill, Van Morrison and Jim Sullivan, Cohen taps into a musical legacy that might seem unusual for a 25-year-old bloke from London. It’s a departure for Cohen from S.C.U.M.’s shoegaze/synth sound; he seems to have branched out into new territory, and to his advantage. Whilst his unconventional influences do not stand out in an overwhelmingly obvious way, you can hear moments of country in the track, from the sliding drawl of guitars, to the soft, almost lazy drumbeat that can be heard in parts. But there are heavier, more intense moments too, with a thundering, echo of a guitar riff overlaid with Cohen’s melancholy vocals towards the end of the track.

The lyrics are stark in their simplicity, speaking to the range of emotions and feelings that can encompass one at any given moment: “even though the sun is coming out / hazy shades all come home”. Nothing is ever really black or white in Cohen’s world, and the song seems to argue instead that even though there are moments that seem bright, the darker moments will always appear again. Remarkably, the song is neither maudlin nor gloomy: there’s a sense of lightness to the track itself. Perhaps it’s the gentle lull of the percussion throughout most of the song, paired with the tender croon of Cohen’s vocals and the murmur of piano, but the music itself belies the potentially darker meaning behind the lyrics.

I didn’t think that I’d like this song, but ended up enjoying it more than expected, and found myself thinking less about the singer’s circumstances, and more about what it might mean in relation to my own life. As Cohen himself puts it, “I would hate for somebody to listen to the record and just think about me, you know? That’s not why you really make music. You’re making music for somebody else to emotionally respond to.“

7/10

‘Hazy Shades’ is out now, and Cohen’s forthcoming debut solo album ‘Bloom Forever’ will be out on the 6th of May on Stolen Recordings. Cohen has a number of tour dates set for next month, including a scheduled appearance at The Great Escape 2016 in Brighton.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=29xEfJLXfEo[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Bell X1 – The Upswing

 
By on Monday, 7th March 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Irish indie rockers Bell X1 have just unveiled a new single, the first from their upcoming LP ‘Arms’. The album is slated for release later this year, but new track ‘The Upswing’ follows in the footsteps of Bell X1’s previous album ‘Chop Chop’. Frontman Paul Noonan referenced a sort of “split album” concept around the writing of ‘Chop Chop’ in an earlier interview, and from the sound of the new song, ‘Arms’ may represent the second half of that endeavour.

In looking back on ‘Chop Chop’, a friend of mine described Bell X1’s recent songwriting as “subdued” and I think that’s an accurate interpretation of ‘The Upswing’ as well. The songs seem to be feeling their way around some deeply felt emotional experiences, and there is a slight uncertainty in both the music and the lyrics as the band works to find its footing.

On the surface, ’The Upswing’ is an attempt at reaffirming a relationship, a commitment to sticking together through thick and thin. Its lyrics are an engaging combination of sauciness (“one day we’ll meet trouble halfway / and she’ll say just a taste and I’ll be on my way”) and tender intimacy (“on the table I’m squeezing your hand / and it’s giving me steel / to say now this is how it’s gonna be”), though its most memorable line is probably the quirky Star Wars reference at the end of the first verse.

Those little lyrical peculiarities have become Bell X1’s trademark over the years, and they are matched in the musical arrangement of ‘The Upswing’. The song’s chorus line, “baby, one little push from you, got me on the upswing”, is smooth and instantly catchy, with soothing, seductive vocal harmonies whispering in the background. But it’s worth that Noonan hasn’t been given to affectionate appellations like “baby” in his past songwriting, and it does feel slightly awkward at first. Likewise, the synth and brass instrumentation behind the chorus is subtle, but also slightly off-kilter, giving the song an edge that keeps the intimacy at arms’ length.

Which brings us back to the title of the forthcoming new album, ‘Arms’. It’s hard to say whether Bell X1 had the idea of “intimacy at arm’s length” in mind during the writing process, but it certainly seems to fit, at least as far as this first single is concerned.

8/10

Stay tuned to TGTF for more information about Bell X1’s new LP ‘Arms’ as it nears its anticipated release. In the meantime, you can read our archive of Bell X1 coverage right back here.

 

Single Review: Frightened Rabbit – Death Dream

 
By on Tuesday, 23rd February 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Scottish alt-rockers Frightened Rabbit have just unveiled the first track from their upcoming new album ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’. Titled ‘Death Dream’, the new song does indeed have a hazy, indistinct quality about it, one that almost immediately (and somewhat to my dismay) reminded me of Bon Iver. But although frontman Scott Hutchison’s vocals are markedly lighter here than what we usually hear from him, he doesn’t mimic Justin Vernon’s unintelligible falsetto. Instead, he opts for a soft, even-keeled dynamic throughout the song, while distant backing vocals and a delicately layered instrumental arrangement create depth without becoming heavy or unwieldy, as we often heard on Frightened Rabbit’s previous LP ‘Pedestrian Verse’.

In contrast to its airy musical arrangement, the lyrics to ‘Death Dream’ are, true to Hutchison’s signature form, both starkly illustrative and emotionally weighty. The lines “a still life / is the last I will see of you / my painting of a panic attack” give the album its title, and Hutchison himself says that “the title, as with the song, is intended as a beautiful depiction of something horrific”. But some of the song’s other lyrics stand out as more horrifying in terms of their imagery. Poetic descriptions such as “an open mouth / a scream that makes no sound” and “blood seems black / against the skin on your porcelain back” pierce through the sheer and shadowy soundscape laid out behind them in a startlingly vivid fashion.

‘Death Dream’ isn’t as immediate or powerful as I might have expected from Frightened Rabbit, especially since their album has been almost 2 years in the making. However, the subtle interplay between the music and the lyrics is intriguing enough to arouse my curiosity about what else might be in store on the full LP.

8/10

Frightened Rabbit’s upcoming new album ‘Painting of a Panic Attack’ was recorded in Brooklyn with producer Aaron Dessner of The National and is due out on the 8th of April via Canvasback / Atlantic. The band haven’t yet announced UK tour dates in support of the new album, but you can find a full listing of North American tour dates on their official Facebook.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/YYLZrCuhu_0[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Ben Abraham – You and Me

 
By on Wednesday, 17th February 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

Australian singer/songwriter Ben Abraham is a new face and name. He’s someone you won’t have heard of or seen before. But, on the cusp of releasing his debut record ‘Sirens’ comes his second single ‘You and Me’. It’s an acoustic ballad that is full of deep emotion and raw, unbridled heartbreak. After the initial verse ends, when everything just stops and the piano comes into the mix in solitude, completely alone, a piece of perfect symbolism for the emotion Abraham conveys. You get the sense of the level of heartbreak Abraham is conveying. The majority of his material was written while working in a hospital, and you can feel this in the way he performs. Everything is calm and collected, even when you feel you yourself would lose control.

The musical composition of the track is crafted to develop distinct emotional responses. The rhythm section gives the song body, while the twinkling percussion and piano lightens the entire track. What results forms a perfect meld of audible distinction between hope and loss. You’re hard pressed to find a new artist who can perform with such beautiful abandon and bring new meaning to the term “songwriter”. What Abraham crafts aren’t just songs. They’re raw and heart on your sleeve confessions that happen to be backed by compositions that hold your mind firmly in his grasp.

Abraham has been championed by Zane Lowe on his Beats 1 radio show, an indication of the level of attention he’s been garnering. and If this second release is anything to go by, the future is going to be bright for Abraham, and it’s going to be an emotional ride.

7.5/10

‘Sirens’, Ben Abraham’s debut album on which this single ‘You and Me’ appears, will be released on the 4th of March on Secretly Canadian.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3eu43A4JECU[/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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

E-mail us  |  RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us