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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #115: Ryan Ellis of The Vryll Society

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. The latest showcasing band to turn in their answers is Liverpool psych-rock five-piece The Vryll Society, who tapped guitarist Ryan Ellis to fill in the blanks. If you need a little background information on the band before diving in to his responses, our own Rebecca recently reviewed The Vryll Society’s new single ‘Sacred Flight’ right back here. Stay tuned also to our roundup of Northern English bands making the trek to SXSW 2017 here on TGTF next week.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky…)
Space Rock Sorcery?

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
I can’t wait to go and get lost in the night and then eventually find my way into a nice bar with a pool table. Also I’m gonna try some hot sauces, that’s right up my street.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
I’m hoping I get to go and see Temples, I’ve seen them once before they’re spot on. I’ve seen Nile Rodgers is doing a talk as well, so I’d love to go and wrap my ears around that.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
I think we’re cool on that topic, the weirdest thing is probably gonna be a pair of shorts with peacock patterns on them.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Oufff, I think it depends on the mood doesn’t it? Potentially a lovely cold beer that I haven’t tried and if I’ve already had a few then definitely a gin and tonic.

(If this will be your first time at SXSW) What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’m more excited than nervous, I’ve never been to the States before so overall I’m buzzing about the whole thing. I’ve heard the festival itself is pretty cool, so that’s just a bonus too.

What is your favourite album from the last year, and why?
I think it’d be The Coral – ‘Distance Inbetween’. You know what you’re getting with The Coral; it’s always going to be great isn’t it? Ferocious sounds everywhere, it’s fantastic.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
I don’t know about actual first memory but I remember very well listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival in the car with my Grandad, coming home after school. I love them now, that’s probably got a big part in why, to be fair.

What was your favourite song as a child?
When I was a child it was probably ‘Here Comes The Sun’ [by The Beatles] or ‘Morning Glory’ [by Oasis]. I used to sing “All your dreams are made when you’re chained to the mirror and a razor blaze”.

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What song makes you laugh?
A song that makes me laugh, James Brown – ‘Living In America’. It just reminds of that interview where he’s a bit worse for wear with those fantastic orange shades on.

What song makes you cry?
A song that makes me cry, ‘A Song With No Words’ performed by just David Crosby and Graham Nash. Unbelievable.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
A song that reminds me of falling in love. Ermmm, ‘I Believe In Miracles’ by Hot Chocolate.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
Listening to a lot of artists make me upset, especially when they aren’t here anymore and I won’t get the chance to meet them or see them.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
At the minute it would be ‘Suite: Judy Blue Eyes’ [by Crosby, Stills and Nash].

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Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
John Lennon, for now.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I don’t know, maybe something mad like a marine biologist or an astronaut, hopefully.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
I’d bring Jackie Gleason – ‘Music For Lovers Only’, maybe he’d let me bring some more in after that.

Thanks to Ryan of the Vryll Society for his considered replies, and to Matty for his kind assistance.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: London pop artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Wednesday, 22nd February 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

As you might imagine, London leads the charge with the largest number of artists one city in the UK is sending to SXSW 2017. In this post, we introduce you to the acts from London Town in the genre of pop who received a shout for SXSW this year. The summaries of acts below were written by Rebecca Clayton, Steven Loftin and David Wriglesworth; where noted, some acts have dropped out. 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.

ESKA
Zimbabwean-born ESKA is best described as an amalgamation of the psyche soul of Minnie Riperton, with the whimsical melodic twists of Kate Bush, arranged into an intoxicating meld for the post-digital age.

Throughout the 2000s, ESKA gained vocal credits on many independent releases, before releasing the ‘Gatekeeper’ EP on her own Earthling Recordings label in 2013. The EP attracted worldwide critical acclaim, with BBC Radio 6’s Giles Peterson describing ESKA as “one of the most important singers in the UK”. ESKA released her self-titled debut album in 2015, which received a nomination for the 2015 Mercury Music Prize. Fast forward 2 years, and ESKA is set to unveil new music from her hugely anticipated follow-up album. (David Wriglesworth) [As of 21/2, ESKA is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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IDER
Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville are better known as IDER. Since moving in together, the duo worked tirelessly on their project and emerged in April 2016 with their debut track, ‘Sorry’. Within minutes of the track going live on Soundcloud, Sorry received huge support from BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart, who labeled IDER as one of his “Future Firsts” on his weekly show. Two months later, IDER released their follow-up track, the vulnerable, yet beautifully balanced ‘Pulse’, which has since received over 1,000,000 streams on Spotify. This was followed by the release of ‘King Ruby’ and ‘Million’.

With only a few live shows under their belt, supporting Conner Youngblood, Tegan and Sara and Samaris in London, IDER have laid low, writing and recording their debut album, which is expected to be released later this year. (David Wriglesworth) [As of 21/2, IDER are no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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The Japanese House
Do you need some melancholic synth pop in your life? Of course you do, it gives life that edge. The Japanese House manages to own this as well as have you begging for me. The fact it’s produced by The 1975‘s Matt Healy should give you a hint as to exactly how good we’re talking here. You can check out the ‘Swim Against The Tide’ EP available now. (Steven Loftin)

Joel Sarakula
Joel Sarakula is an Australian-born, UK-based soulful pop producer and singer-songwriter, who has travelled the world in search of his muse, gazing through his vintage glasses at his ‘70s tinged world.

In 2013, Joel Sarakula released his debut album ‘The Golden Age’. Singles ‘Bohemian’ and ‘I Will Deliver’ received numerous plays across BBC 6 Music, BBC London, XFM, Q Radio and Absolute Radio. Fans didn’t have to wait long for his follow-up, ‘The Imposter’, which hit store shelves in November 2015. This latest album took him to London, Berlin and Sydney, with a host of his musical comrades appearing on the record.

Joel Sarakula is a regular fixture on the festival and club circuit in the UK, Europe and Australia, having made appearances at Latitude, Glastonbury, The Great Escape, V-ROX Vladivostok and Reeperbahn Festival Hamburg, among others. (David Wriglesworth)

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Kate Nash
Kate Nash is the Harrow-born indie pop singer/songwriter who rocketed to fame in 2007 with her punchy hit ‘Foundations’. Nash went on to release a bunch of other singles from the album ‘Made of Bricks’, including ‘Pumpkin Soup’ and ‘Mouthwash’, that cemented her as a cornerstone of quirky, bright indie pop. In 2013, she shared her third studio album ‘Girl Talk’, which she released independently, saw her head for a punkier direction. Always being outspoken about politics and women’s rights and issues, Nash also worked to prevent the Dakota Access Pipeline last year. She’ll be appearing at SXSW this March, with the follow-up intention of releasing a new album this summer, which she is recording in Los Angeles. Stay tuned… (Rebecca Clayton)

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Mt. Wolf
In 2011, an inexperienced Kate Sproule turned down her first-post college job to pursue a music career to form Mt. Wolf (pictured at top), alongside her childhood friend Stevie McMinn and his college mates. The risk paid off as, after only two EPs into their career, Mt. Wolf became established as a signature sound. However, the band announced their decision to split 2 years later, due to creative differences in the band.

After a year’s hiatus, Mt. Wolf reunited with a new line-up as pictured at top, consisting of Sebastian Fox (vocals/guitar), Stevie McMinn (guitar) and Alex Mitchell (drums). The band’s electronic and acoustic elements have earned them comparisons to the likes of London Grammar, Mogwai and Sigur Ros.

The future is looking promising for the band, having received funding from the BPI’s Music Exports Growth Scheme (MEGS), as well as a separate grant from the PRS Foundation. (David Wriglesworth)

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PIXX
Hannah Rodgers, better known as Pixx, is a young singer/songwriter from Chipstead on the outskirts of London. Born to a music-loving family, Pixx’s creative side was nurtured and encouraged from a young age, with her talent earning her a place at The BRIT School, which also counts Adele, Ella Eyre and the late Amy Winehouse among its alumni.

Inspired by the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Aphex Twin, Pixx – whose name is adopted from her grandmother’s nickname – released her recording debut ‘Fall In’ in August 2015. This was quickly followed by dreamy, synth-pop tracks ‘Baboo’ and ‘Grip’.

2016 was a busy year for Pixx, as she joined Daughter and Glass Animals on tour as a support act, played at a host of festivals including Latitude and performed at a 4AD showcase in the UK and the U.S. Pixx is currently in the process of finishing her debut album, which is due for release in early 2017. (David Wriglesworth) [As of 21/2, Pixx is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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Roses Gabor
Once upon a time, Roses Gabor was working at a bank while working on her music career on evenings and weekends. In 2005 she sang on the Gorillaz track ‘Dare’, and since then she has appeared at a number of the band’s shows and tours to provide vocals, and featured on a number of other artists’ tracks, including SBTRKT’s ‘Pharoahs’ released back in 2011. More recently she’s featured on Basstrack’s funk-inspired ‘Get Your Way’.

In 2012, she released the single ‘Stars’, before releasing a follow-up single ‘Rush’ 2 years later. Gabor’s music is tranquil electro-dance, and features shimmering synth rhythms that show off her svelte vocals. (Rebecca Clayton) [As of 21/2, Roses Gabor is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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Sykes
Sykes are a sparkly, electro alt-pop outfit from London, made up of lead singer Julia Sykes, lead guitar/ bass player Kristian Taylor and Will Grid Brown on drums. Unsigned, the band is yet to release an album but they have shared a bunch of singles/EPs since they started writing together. The band has been featured on Radio 1, and they have supported the likes of Bleachers and Charli XCX live, as well as appearing at a number of festivals including Glastonbury.

The band released the popular ‘Gold Dust’ in 2014, garnering attention for the trio. Title track ‘Gold Dust’ is joyful, with a glittering childhood sentimentality to it, and echoes the dreamy alt-pop quality of the band’s music. They also released an EP in 2016, ‘Younger Mind’. (Rebecca Clayton)

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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #114: Charlotte of The Fontaines

 
By on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. Today’s installment comes via Charlotte Fontaine, who with her brother Hank are Los Angeles ‘new-wop’ act The Fontaines.

I have a funny story about how I discovered them. As we all know, there have been some contentious battles over which band with a specific name came first, the American or the British one, and who gets to keep the name and who has to affix “US” or “UK” (or something similar) to their name or worse, legal action ensues (don’t forget Hinds almost getting sued by The Dears). I was Googling for “The Fontaines” for our Live at Leeds 2016 preview last year, and apparently there’s a British band with the same exact name. Unfortunately for them, I found the American Fontaines first and there’s really no contest between them. Charlotte’s singing style is influenced by her love of doo-wop and Motown, and anyone like me who grew up on those classics, their sound really hits the spot, accompanied by a funky pop backing. Charlotte was game to answer our SXSW 2017 flavoured Quickfire Questions, so read on for her answers below.

To catch The Fontaines performing at SXSW 2017, we’ve been advised they’ll be appearing at Burger Records’ afternoon snowcase at Spider House Cafe and Ballroom on Thursday 16 March, The Planetary Group’s nighttime showcase at Tellers on Thursday 16 March and the Grammy Museum showcase featuring L.A. bands at the Market and Tap Room on the evening of Friday 17 March. As always, we suggest you checking in with each individual SXSW 2017 showcasing artist’s Facebook and other social media accounts, along with the official SXSW schedule, to confirm appearances closer to the time.

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Describe your music / sound in three words.
Textured, temperamental, and taffy.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Eating! I keep hearing it’s one of the best food cities in the U.S.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Caddywhompus, what a name!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
A steamer for my voice. It looks like a very doctor-friendly bong.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I mean, if it’s a restaurant and bar, I’ll take the lobster. [A foodie…we’re going to be BFFs! – Ed.]

What was your favourite album of 2016, and why?
I’m so out of touch…what came out last year? I was listening to a lot of Nina Simone.

Will this be the first time you’ve played to American audiences? What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
It’s our first time playing SXSW, and so far we’ve heard it’s super crowded and a little insane. I can’t wait to perform in a new state!

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
‘You’re So Vain’ by Carly Simon.

What was your favourite song as a child?
I could not get enough of ‘Straight Up’ by Paula Abdul when I was in fifth grade. I made everyone who came over listen to it on my CD player.

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What song always makes you laugh?
‘New Mistake’ by Jellyfish makes me smile.

What song always makes you cry?
‘Stand By Me’ by Ben E. King.

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What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
I’ve never been in love.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
‘Fireflies’ by Owl City reminds me of my unrequited 9th grade crush. I cried to that song for a full school-week!

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World’ by James Brown.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Charles Bukowski and Charlotte Bronte are at the top of my list.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
Professional basketball player. At 5 feet tall, my body was just meant for that path.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
‘Tapestry’ by Carole King. Gotta have a little bit of heartbreak in heaven.

Many thanks to Charlotte of The Fontaines for answering these questions!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: London electronic artists and DJs showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

As you might imagine, London leads the charge with the largest number of artists one city in the UK is sending to SXSW 2017. In this post, we introduce you to 11 acts from London Town specialising in electronic music and DJaying. The summaries of acts below were written by Mary Chang, Rebecca Clayton, Steven Loftin and David Wriglesworth. 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.

Anna Meredith
Composing isn’t usually the most orthodox starting point for someone wanting to venture into a career in pop, but that’s exactly where Anna Meredith started her foray into music, and to great success. Before releasing her debut album, Meredith spent time as composer in residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, composed for the Proms, and gained a Masters at the Royal College of Music, amongst many other accolades.

In 2016, Meredith released her debut album ‘Varmints’. Her music draws on her classical history, combing grand electronic sounds with synth strings. Meredith’s LP is as unusual as it is impressive, and creates an immersive musical experience for the listener. ‘Nautilus’ is a must listen. (Rebecca Clayton)

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Aquilo
Deeply emotional and airy synthpop, fit for a darkened, heartbroken night: that’s Aquilo (pictured at top). They don’t just have their heart on their sleeve, they’re grabbing it and shoving it in your face. Starting off with a couple of Soundcloud singles in 2013 that were picked up by various outlets, they then went on to play only their fourth show ever at Glastonbury 2014. Not a bad start for the duo, not bad at all. 2017 sees them finally releasing their debut album ‘Silhouettes’ and an opportunity to make waves at SXSW. (Steven Loftin)

DJ Yoda
Duncan Beiny, better known as DJ Yoda, is a multi-award-winning hip-hop DJ and producer, who has worked with pretty much everyone, from classical composers to neuroscientists. In recent years, DJ Yoda was asked by Dr Dre to record a guest mix on his inaugural Beats 1 show for Apple Music, and he was one of the artists to perform at Banksy’s pop-up bemusement park Dismaland.

DJ Yoda pioneers new forms of audiovisual entertainment, chopping and splicing classic movies with the hands-in-the-air clubbing vibe. In 2014, DJ Yoda was commissioned to rescore classic films as part of BFI’s sonic cinema event, and he produced a mash-up of BBC Radio 4’s entire station, remixing The Archers, the shipping forecast, John Humphries and more.

In 2017, DJ Yoda is taking his ever-evolving DJ sets, which take in a diverse array of styles, genres, decades and continents, all over the world, with shows at SXSW, Snowbombing (Austria) and Hideout Festival (Croatia). (David Wriglesworth)

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Draper
Producer James Draper has been around a while: he’s already released a whole host of EPs, including his eighth, ‘Luminous’ (out now on M:UK), which Steven reviewed for us on TGTF last month. Lest you think Draper is a one-trick pony, think again. Not only is the Kent professional highly sought out producer, he has collaborated with and written pop bangers for big names like Ellie Goulding, Twin Atlantic and Rita Ora. It won’t be his first rodeo – Draper has been to SXSW before – so perhaps past experience will make his performances stand out from all the newbies? (Mary Chang)

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Fifi Rong
Fifi Rong is London-based, but lived in China until she was 16 when she was enrolled in a boarding school in Bristol. She self-released her debut album ‘Wrong’ in 2013, and since then has worked with the likes of Skepta, featuring on his 2016 album ‘Konnichiwa’. In 2016, she released an EP, ‘Forbidden Desire’, which she funded through Pledgemusic.

Fifi Rong’s voice is husky and distinctive, and her tracks involve beautiful and unearthly electronic sounds, which focus on love and relationships. (Rebecca Clayton)

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Jamie Isaac
Croydon-born and bred, Jamie Isaac released his debut album ‘Couch Baby’ last year, a following two EPs released back in 2013 and 2014. Isaac attended BRIT School along with contemporary and sometime collaborator King Krule, but rather than following in the footsteps of the likes of Adele and Jessie J, Isaac is carving out a much different path.

Isaac focuses on pared-back, dreamy electronic rhythms and a gentle tempo that is both captivating and seriously chilled. ‘Couch Baby’ is an album that can only be described as easy listening, the type of album that you can put on in the background and relax to. (Rebecca Clayton)

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Reeps One
Of the many young artists coming out to SXSW 2017, few can say they’ve already been nominated for an award, let alone won one. Harry Yeff, better known under his stage name Reeps One, is thus special because he’s a prize-winning beatboxer.

Even though the only instrument he uses is his own voice box, I’ve put him under the electronic category because SXSW has and I would venture to say they consider his voice as peerless an instrument like a synthesiser. Lest you think that his musical style is reminiscent of those spitting dudes in the ‘hood back in the ‘80s, I’ve included a more melodic example of his beatboxing below. (Mary Chang)

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Rude Kid
London-based producer and DJ Rude Kid is heavily entrenched in the grime scene, being able to cite the likes of Skepta, Wiley and Shy FX amongst his collaborators. Passionate about music, Rude Kid, who at one time was signed to Sony Music, released and experimental EP ‘One Week’ in 2012 which he created in just a week, before sharing as a free download.

He’s released a fair bit of music in his career so far, and spent much of 2016 showing his prowess as a DJ, and even started hosting his own grime radio show on Kiss FM. Rude Kid’s music features darker elements of grime, when compared to AJ Tracey mentioned in our review of the pop acts from London headed to SXSW. His 2015 EP ‘653’ in collaboration with Ghetts features the popular ‘One Take’, which has racked up millions of listens on Spotify. (Rebecca Clayton)

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SOHN
Christopher Taylor is the enigmatic producer and electronic singer/songwriter, who I suspected could be a hooded, yet groovy polar bear live in concert 3 years ago in DC. A lot had changed for Taylor following his well-received debut album ‘Tremors’ in 2014, and the extensive touring to promote the LP took its toll on him as well. Decamping temporarily to a house in sleepy Northern California to write and record follow-up ‘Rennen’ did him good: read my album review from last month for more details. How will a producer who favours dark clubs fare in sunny Austin? We’ll have to wait to find out. (Mary Chang)

SWEAT
Electronic in all the right places and all the right ways, SWEAT are one of the brightest stars in the upcoming UK music scene right now. Filled with crisp beats and youthful romantic tales, they’re onto a real winner. ‘Stay’, for example, features a beautiful composition that trundles along, disappears and then returns with even more grace and melody. (Steven Loftin)

Tender
Life-long friends Dan Cobb and James Cullen comprise electronic duo Tender. From the basement of their North London home, they’ve produced three EPs, ‘Armour’, ‘Tender EP II’ and ‘Tender EP III’. To coincide with the duo signing with Brooklyn-based label Partisan Records in July 2016, Tender released ‘Outside’, the first single to be taken from their third EP. Since its release, the single has been streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify.

For the year ahead, Tender look set to embark on a number of live dates, including shows at SXSW and a headline show at Oslo Hackney in London, before finishing off and releasing their debut album. (David Wriglesworth) [As of 21/2, Tender are no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

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Youngr
Dario Darnell is no stranger to the electronic scene, having previously been in Picture Book with his brother Lorne Ashley. While Picture Book appears to be on hiatus at the moment, Darnell has struck out on his own as a one man multi-instrumentalist under the moniker Youngr. You could say that his career in music was pretty much assured: his father is none other than August Darnell, aka Kid Creole of Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ fame.

Darnell has taken a page from his father in writing and performing catchy pop tunes with a soulful r&b vocal, though in his case, he also takes advantage of a full synth setup and plenty of electronics in the absence of a backing band. He’s in the middle of a European tour at the moment and will be touring North America around his week in Austin. (Mary Chang)

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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Video of the Moment #2231: Jealous of the Birds and Ryan Vail

 
By on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at 10:00 am
 

unnamedTwo Northern Irish artists, singer/songwriter Jealous of the Birds (aka Naomi Hamilton) and electronic musician Ryan Vail, have teamed up on a new collaboration titled ‘Love is a Crow’. Aptly enough, a human crow character, clad all in black, figures prominently in the song’s ‘Donnie Darko’-inspired promo video. He is intended to represent the ever-present spectre of uncertainty in romantic relationships, as Hamilton explains in the track’s press release:

‘Love Is A Crow’ touches on how sometimes, regardless of how passionate and fulfilling a relationship between two people is initially, one person’s doubt and vulnerability can self-sabotage it. In light of that, something about this love becomes damaged and almost sinister, which I think comes across beautifully in the song’s music video.

The new single is due for official release this Friday, the 24th of February, via Quiet Arch. The full release will include this version of the track, plus an instrumental version and remixes by The Cyclist and Die Hexen. The video was filmed in various East Berlin locations by director Joseph White.

Vail and Hamilton were excited to cross-breed their individual talents, each speaking highly of the other. Vail says, “After seeing her perform countless times, I started to discover this edge to her music that reveals itself the more you’re exposed to her. The sounds I developed were inspired by these findings.” Hamilton echoes his sentiment: “Ryan has this great quality of approaching this work with a kind of thoughtfulness that never gets in the way of productivity. He gets things done, which just made the collaboration simple and fun.”

Perhaps not entirely by coincidence, Ryan Vail and Jealous of the Birds are both scheduled to appear at SXSW 2017 next month in Austin, Texas. For up-to-date information about SXSW, keep following TGTF’s ongoing festival preview coverage, or check out the official SXSW schedule of artist showcases here.

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(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #113: Silences

 
By on Monday, 20th February 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions.

TGTF got a sneak preview of Northern Irish five-piece Silences at SXSW 2016, when their frontman Conchúr White had a last-minute opportunity to make the trip to Austin. We caught White for this interview during his initial SXSW foray, and he mentioned looking forward to having his bandmates join him for SXSW 2017. (In case you missed it, our full coverage of Silences at last year’s festival can be found right back here.)

Describe your music / sound in three words.
Passionate, Real, Diverse??

(If this will be your first time at SXSW) What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I was invited to play at a few unofficial solo shows last year and it was eye opener. It was probably one of the biggest turning points for me as a musician, There is just so much out there and if you don’t nail it, no one cares because there is probably an act on next door is killing it. It made me want to get better and come back with the group this year and here we are. Most of the group haven’t been to the USA so they’re very excited.

(If you’ve been to SXSW before) What advice would you give other bands who have never played at SXSW before?
Do as much as you can. Austin is beautiful, enjoy that. Enjoy the people and the atmosphere. I’ve never experienced anything like SXSW before.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
There are countless acts but I’ll give you two. Agnes Obel for the simple fact that she and her group are stunning. They performed at a festival we were at a few years ago and it was just one of the most special things I have witnessed. The other is Jealous Of The Birds. We have the same management but I recommend seeing her without any bias. Her songs are beautiful and people are really starting to take notice. Her band have come on leaps and bounds and I think they’re going to have a great SXSW.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Just being there, appreciating the city and not being sick (hopefully). I had the flu last year so it kinda killed my buzz.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
I’m boring, you should ask our keyboardist though. He’s very unusual.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
Please don’t we’ll probably be outrageously drunk already. Jokes, let’s get a shot.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Dancing to Michael Jackson’s ‘Earth Song’.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Something by Oasis, maybe ‘Rock n Roll Star’.

What song always makes you laugh?
‘Monto’ – Dubliners. My dad used to sing it to me and it reminds me of being very young and laughing uncontrollably at the rude parts.

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What song always makes you cry?
So many, I’m such a baby. I was very hungover recently and burst out in to tears when ‘Fast Car’ [by Tracy Chapman] came on the radio…I know.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
‘Becoming A Jackal’ – Villagers.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
‘Poke’ by Frightened Rabbit.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
There are so many but right now, let’s say Death Cab for Cutie – the entire ‘Transatlanticism’ album.

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
My favourite books are by Charles Bukowski. Favourite lyrics by Leonard Cohen.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I’d probably have worked in business (unsuccessfully).

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
Something I have never listened to before. Maybe ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ [by Pink Floyd]. I know, I know. I’m a fraud.

Many thanks to Conchúr for answering these questions, and to Sarah and Declan for their kind assistance.

 
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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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