Festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, can be read through here.

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

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Sløtface – September and October 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 20th September 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Norwegian pop punk band Sløtface will play a lengthy string of live dates in the UK this autumn, supporting their newly released debut album ‘Try Not to Freak Out’, which our own Steven recently reviewed. Sløtface’s UK dates will follow a run of live shows in Germany and the Netherlands and will precede the band’s show in Paris on the 27th of October.

Tickets for the following shows are available now. A full listing of Sløtface’s upcoming live gigs can be found on their official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of Sløtface is right back this way.

Thursday 28th September 2017 – Bournemouth 60 Million Postcards
Friday 29th September 2017 – Birmingham Actress & Bishop
Saturday 30th September 2017 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club Games Room
Sunday 1st October 2017 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Tuesday 3rd October 2017 – York Basement
Wednesday 4th October 2017 – Hull Adelphi
Thursday 5th October 2017 – Derby Venue
Friday 6th October 2017 – Sheffield Picture House Social
Saturday 7th October 2017 – Newcastle Think Tank
Monday 9th October 2017 – Edinburgh Sneaky Pete’s
Tuesday 10th October 2017 – Glasgow Broadcast
Thursday 12th October 2017 – Liverpool Magnet
Friday 13th October 2017 – Stockton-on-Tees Ku Bar
Monday 16th October 2017 – Nottingham Bodega
Tuesday 17th October 2017 – Leicester Cookie
Wednesday 18th October 2017 – Southampton Joiners
Thursday 19th October 2017 – Plymouth Underground

 

Album Review: Sløtface – Try Not to Freak Out

 
By on Monday, 18th September 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Slotface album coverAfter releasing a pretty damn good arsenal of EPs and singles, it seemed as if Sløtface could do no wrong. That thought continues onwards with their first full length. The debut from Norway’s finest new punk band has a sound that you need to wrap your ears around as soon as possible because with hooks this catchy, and lyrics this quotable, there’s no reason they can’t take over the world. A brand new arsenal of tracks ready to earworm their way into your head and heart, ‘Try Not to Freak Out’ is pop punk in its newest form.

The best part about Sløtface is that they’re not afraid of ruffling a few feathers. They kick straight in with ‘Magazine’ and a rapturous chorus of “Patti Smith never put up with this shit”. Being compared to similarly aged models on magazine covers doesn’t sit right with lead singer Haley Shea, and quite rightly so. The euphoric and downright catchy refrain makes sure her message remains engrained. Follow-up ‘Galaxies’ stays away from societal righting and instead plays to its strength, the impossibly hooky chorus, proving that you don’t always need to be attacking to be punk. The same happens with ‘Pitted’, which celebrates partying with your friends over all else. It’s rather apt that Sløtface sing about partying with your friends when all you want to do once you hear the track is grab a couple of drinks and have a good time.

‘Sunbleached’ once again refers to social gathering, but with a more reminiscent mode, a staple of pop punk. The chorus nod to Ryan Adams with “Come pick me up, ‘Heartbreaker’ on repeat” just about had this writer in complete fangirl mode. Sløtface have a gift for bringing popular culture to a relatable level where you find yourself more involved than the melodies already have you.

If you’re a fan of pop punk, right now you’re having a great time. Having less targeted motives, the tracks are more celebratory of life, and just having fun such as continued on ‘Pools’. Continuing this trend ‘Night Guilt’ has a ferocious funk to it that’s heightened by the repetitive riff throughout and lyrics about owing money to people. Not on a loan shark level; they’re kids, after all. If you’re a fan of Sløtface’s previous output, you might be wondering where the statements against sexism et al. are, which is a fair question, but sometimes music can just be about a good time.

One of the harder cuts off the album, ‘Nancy Drew’, holds an immediate urgency, quite fitting considering it appears to concern taking down the male-dominated songwriter world with the aptitude of Nancy Drew (the protagonist of a detective boardgame, for those of you out of the loop just as I was). Filled with the spit that you know and love of Sløtface. (Note: As Editor Mary previously noted, Nancy Drew is the famed protagonist of an eponymous youth detective book series. -CC)

The final three tracks are a change in pace from the rest of the album. ‘Slumber’ holds an innocence just like sleeping in those cold Norwegian nights with your friends, soundtracked by the longest cut on the record. The song culminates in a beautiful crescendo that laments friendship and life, and you can’t help but fall a little but more in love with Sløtface. ‘It’s Coming to a Point’ may be studio talk for 19 seconds, but its inclusion refers to far more. Almost literally just the title spoken by frontwoman Shea, it feels daggered toward the world rather than studio play, though I may be reading far more into this than necessary. Either way, it brings Sløtface to a human end before the finale, the rebellion-filled ‘Backyard’. Another celebratory tune filled with references to exploring places you shouldn’t, it perfectly sums up ‘Try Not to Freak Out’.

The message here is simple, but straightforward: take the time to listen to your favourite songs with your friends because you don’t know when this shitty world could take it from you. If you want the more targeted Sløtface, head back to their earlier releases. This time around it’s about celebrating, because life is all too short, and celebrating never sounded so good.

9/10

‘Try Not To Freak Out’ the debut album from Sløtface is out now on Propeller Recordings. You can read previous coverage of Sløtface on There Goes The Fear here.

Contributor Carrie Clancy edited this review.

 

Live “Gig” Video: Sløtface clown around on tour in the promo for single ‘Pitted’

 
By on Thursday, 10th August 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Okay, so there must be another definition for the word ‘pitted’ beyond its use with describing olives. Why? Because Slotface have written a single with the name. The Norwegian punks also have a promo video to go with it, which appears to be pieces of tour footage put together to show what they really get up to late at night after playing a show or in the daytime when, you know, normal people are awake. Yes, as you might imagine for an indie band, there’s quite a bit of drunken shenanigans and stupid stuff happening.

The release of this video is all in anticipation of the band’s debut album being released next month. ‘Try Not to Freak Out’ will be out on the 15th of September on Propeller Recordings / Nettwerk Music Group. For now, try to live vicariously as if you’re on tour with Slotface with the video for ‘Pitted’ below. For more on Slotface here on TGTF, come down this yellow brick road.

 

Video of the Moment #2376: Sløtface

 
By on Thursday, 8th June 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Norwegian troublemakers Slotface – stylised Sløtface because their original name engendered much controversy – are one of the most hyped bands around at the moment. The Nordic group have recently announced their debut album, ‘Try Not to Freak Out’, will be out on the 15th of September on Propeller Recordings. To preview their new record, they’ve premiered album single ‘Nancy Drew’, which now has its own promo video.

I seriously wondered, what on earth would a bunch of ragtag Norwegians would have to say about a detective heroine beloved to many American children? Uh, so, you’re going to be disappointed if you were a devotee of the Nancy Drew books but to their credit, Slotface has moved the now outdated heroine into the 21st century. And dare I say it, made her hip. Watch and listen to the ‘Nancy Drew’ video below. Stay tuned for ‘Try Not to Freak Out’ in just a few months.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: best bets of Scandinavian artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 28th February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

There’s an embarrassment of riches in the form of the Scandinavian artists scheduled to descend on SXSW 2017 next month. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland collectively will be sending over 30 acts to Austin, an amazing critical mass of acts for a combined population on the same order of the number of people in the state of Texas. Maybe we shouldn’t be so surprised about the musicians from a region known for their long winters? You know what they say about Manchester and Seattle bands: when the weather outside is awful, more time indoors to perfect your art, am I right?

There are some established, or at least famous names that will be familiar to most readers. Prolific Danish singer/songwriter Agnes Obel, who now calls Berlin home, released her latest album ‘Citizen of Glass’ last autumn and will be making the trip to Austin. You can read my review of her latest single ‘Stretch Your Eyes’ here. No strangers to either controversy or media attention for their previous provocative moniker, Norwegian feminist-leaning pop punks Sløtface are sure to be another hot ticket during the week, having already laid waste to the UK on their own short headline tour earlier this month. Jakob Bjørn-Hansen, better known as Norwegian electronic artist and producer Bearson, has been poking around for a few years now with his own brand of tropical house, as well as his remix talents.

Shows by Swedish alt-pop band Simian Ghost, who already have three albums to their name and are working on their fourth, are sure to attract plenty of punters. The EP-only synthpop band Kite have enjoyed enormous success in their home country of Sweden and graced industrial nights around the world. Satellite Stories are the true epitome of the Nordic success story, as in Europe, they’re the best known indie band from Finland.

In today’s installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, I introduce you to the acts I think are the best representatives of their part of the world. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances. As of today’s writing, we know of Music Norway’s plans to put on a Sounds from Norway showcase on Thursday 16 March at Lucille on Rainey Street, if that floats your boat.

Anna von Hausswolf – goth pop / rock / Gothenburg, Sweden
Is the world ready for a Swedish Kate Bush? Too late, she’s already here. With her operatic, far-reaching vocals and the shadowy but pounding chords of her organ, the sound of Anna von Hausswolf and her band is arresting. This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for those looking for something a bit darker in a sunny clime like Austin’s, step into these shadows.

Ask Carol – punk / Oslo
With a name that sounds more like the title of an advice column than the hard rock act they are, Ask Carol make an emphatic case, urging listeners to be assertive. Influenced by acts as disparate as Wilco to Lauryn Hill, but bolstered by the hard edginess of The Clash and Led Zeppelin, they’ll be a fun, high octane proposition live.

Chain Wallet – pop / rock / Bergen, Norway
Stian Iversen, Christian Line and Frode Boris are the principal members of Chain Wallet (pictured at top), occupying that nebulous area between lo-fi psych, dream pop and dance. Already drawing comparisons to Twin Shadow and DIIV, the lightness of their sound is sure to go over well among the chill crowds at SXSW.

CHINAH – pop / r&b / electronic / Copenhagen
Fine Glindvad fronts CHINAH, a Copenhagen trio specialising in that now-popular smooth blend of minimalist beat, upbeat guitar-filled, soulful xx-type sound. Hard to believe that in their current incarnation where they sound reminiscent of London Grammar that they were previously a folk outfit.

Darling West – folk / Oslo
We’re not taking anything away from them, but it’s time to take those blinders off that the only folks from the Nordic countries who can do country well are First Aid Kit. Darling West, a tight-knit trio led by the dulcet tones of Mari Sandvær Kreken, are about to get the Soderburg sisters a run for their money. Simple, yet stunning harmonies and instrumentation.

One Week Wonder – electronic / dream pop / Reykjavik
One Week Wonder comprises keyboardists Árni Guðjónsson and Magnús Benedikt Sigurðsson and Helgi Kristjánsson on drums. Despite a clear leaning towards today’s technology in their choice of instruments, Guðjónsson says he favours what he considers the more natural way of recording on tape, which is unusual for electronic artists. The surprising result: a remarkably smoother, less cluttered recording and a gorgeous, unparalleled atmosphere.

Rainbrother – folk rock / Copenhagen
While we’re waiting on the supposed return of Fleet Foxes, we can occupy ourselves with Danes Rainbrother, who just released their debut album at the start of February. On ‘Tales from the Drought’, Bjarke Bendtsen’s latest rock group conjure up the folky, hazy side of Bon Iver with the lonesome mountain sound of Robin Pecknold’s hugely popular band. Why bother waiting on either of them to release new material if you can catch Rainbrother in the flesh in Austin?

Tuvaband – lo-fi / dream pop / singer/songwriter / Oslo, Norway
Can SXSW take another lo-fi band? Of course. Named for singer/songwriter Tuva Hellum Marschhäuser, the ethereal, dream pop quality of Tuvaband is sure to win you over. And forget about those unwashed lo-fi dudes with long hair…

 
 
 

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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