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By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 19th January 2017 at 6:00 pm
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t spend more than a passing thought in TGTF Towers guessing who the surprise artists will be for the next installment of SXSW. As Omaha is one of a few unlikely points of focus on the music conference side of things for SXSW 2017, one has to wonder if Saddle Creek Records and/or Conor Oberst is set to make an appearance in Austin. The reclusive singer/songwriter has a new album, ‘Salutations’, set for release on the 17th of March on Nonesuch Records, just before SXSW 2017 calls it a wrap. You can check out an early taster from the upcoming LP, ‘A Little Uncanny’, in the video below. Oberst has a handful of live dates in the UK and Ireland at the start of February, all the details are this way. Read more on Oberst here on TGTF through this link.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 18th January 2017 at 6:00 pm
Cloud Nothings, led by Dylan Baldi, are getting ready to release a new album at the end of this month. ‘Life Without Sound’ by the Cleveland band will be available from Carpark Records (US) / Wichita Recordings (UK) on the 27th of January. As shown in the video for LP cut ‘Modern Act’ unveiled in November and featured previously on TGTF as this Video of the Moment a few weeks before Thanksgiving, their latest promo video shows the humourous side of the Midwest group.
‘Internal World’ was the first single to be revealed from the new Cloud Nothings album 2 months ago. Its music video reads like a PSA of how to take care of your body, meant I suppose for someone who doesn’t have a clue about successful human life. There’s a menacing robot hand and plenty of moments of droll hilarity. Of course, Cloud Nothings are in the background to provide a feel good indie rock soundtrack. Watch it below. Keep an eye and ear out for ‘Life Without Sound’ in just over 2 weeks’ time. For more on Cloud Nothings on TGTF, go here.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 18th January 2017 at 4:00 pm
Blaenavon shared with us some good news last autumn. The East Hampshire trio who have been building on well-deserved live hype announced that they had signed to Canvasback / Atlantic Records. To usher in 2017, they have even more good news! Their debut album,’That’s Your Lot’, will be out on the 7th of April.
To celebrate this great news, they’ve shared a travel diary of sorts by director Francesca Consarino of their time last autumn in New York City, where they played two packed out shows to new, adoring American fans. It’s set to ‘Orthodox Man’, the first single announced from the upcoming LP out this spring. Watch the video below. For more of TGTF’s coverage on Blaenavon, who appeared at SXSW 2016, use this link.
With what could be their best record yet, You Me At Six have returned all guns blazing. ‘Night People’ is everything a fifth album should be: a throwback to earlier times whilst making sure the growth is evident. The first glimpse came in the form of the lead single and title track, which opens the album. With its pounding and pulsating drumbeat, it feels quite different from the classic You Me at Six sound. This peek into the new age of You Me at Six symbolises not only their growth but their insatiable prowling of the top spot in British rock.
The band had such confidence in the new record, they’ve admitted they’re not even releasing the strongest songs. This set of songs are a treat for those who check out the album, and a treat they are indeed. All across the board, this record stands in a league of its own when compared to the rest of the past You Me at Six discography. After the aforementioned first and title track, things get kicked up another notch with ‘Plus One’, a fast and furious number that takes no prisoners. This then leads us nicely into ‘Heavy Soul’, a perfectly melodic track that makes use of the band’s ability to write catchy and powerful choruses.
Somewhat of a break in the onslaught of melody and tempo, ‘Take on the World’ is a vastly different beast. It builds gently over restrained finger-picking on guitar, while frontman Josh Franceschi gives a completely wholehearted performance, even down to the tensing of voice during the chorus. As the track falls away after its epic crescendo, another slow start greets us in the form of ‘Brand New’. As the album’s highlight, it has absolutely everything: a rampaging melodic chorus, heartfelt lyrics and a perfect performance all round from the band. If you don’t like this track, then what hope is there?
The rest of the album has a lot to live up to after this. While ‘Night People’ knocks it out of the park other songs don’t replicate the ‘Brand New’ magic, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself going back and repeating it, maybe a hundred times or so. ‘Swear’ kicks back in a rollicking drum attack, a nod back to their previous album ‘Cavalier Youth’ and proving their sound is still. ‘Make Your Move’ brings some more of that viciousness we first saw in ‘Plus One’, and takes it up yet another notch, just as ‘Can’t Hold Back’ does. What we’re seeing here is certainly You Me at Six finding the ground upon which they can finally build the mainstream recognition they deserve.
‘Spell It Out’ repeats the restrained introduction used on prior tracks, but does so in a darker manner. It’s almost the antithesis to ‘Take On The World’ in its execution: still slow and building, but instead of leading to a melodic and positive crescendo, it takes us to an aggressive world that the band aren’t afraid to enter. Finale ‘Give’ does what all good finales should do. Not only does it complete the album, but it also leaves you with a sense that you’ve been emotionally tested. Through Franceschi’s cries of “I’ve been wasting all this time / trying to keep you off mind / you off my mind”, and the euphoric musical accompaniment, ‘Give’ is quite literally You Me at Six giving it their all.
The most interesting aspect of this entire record is the thought of where they’ll go from here. They’ve created what is their best album thus far, filled with exploration and deviation from the standard You Me at Six formula. The future’s going to be tough, but with ideas like these in their arsenal, they’ll surely own it.
‘Night People’, the sixth studio album from You Me at Six, is out now on Infectious Music / BMG. You can look back at TGTF’s previous coverage of You Me at Six through here.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 17th January 2017 at 6:00 pm
Header photo by Jo Bongard
Ahmed Gallab, better known as Sinkane, will be releasing a new album next month. ‘Life & Livin’ It’ follows his acclaimed 2015 album ‘Mean Love’, which spawned a series of excellent singles and took Gallab around the world on a dizzying set of live dates. Back in November, he unveiled the funky ‘U’Huh’, featured here on TGTF as a previous Video of the Moment.
Tonight, we’ve got another cut from the upcoming LP, ‘Telephone’, in the form of its promo video. It was filmed in a single shot in Lisbon, Portugal flat and stars classically-trained ballerina Kelly Nakamura and Sinkane himself. As you might imagine for a promo with a professional dancer, as well as how everyone was dressed in the promo for ‘U’Huh’, this is the kind of music to get you on your feet. Watch the music video below. Stay tuned for ‘Life & Livin’ It’, which will be released on the 10th of February on City Slang.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 17th January 2017 at 4:00 pm
London via Newcastle protest band VANT are just chomping at the bit for their opportunity to wow punters at SXSW 2017 in March. Don’t believe me? Read my interview with their frontman Mattie Vant from November through here. For those of you (and myself) who have not have the wonderful opportunity to see the group perform live, either at a regular headline show, or at their homecoming show back at Newcastle Cluny in early November for last autumn’s edition of Dr. Martens’ #STANDFORSOMETHING tour, they’ve got something special for us.
In December, they performed at London Scala in the north of the city. It’s a pretty cool venue to start out with, so any live video shared from the place would look very cool anyway. However, they didn’t stop there. Through stylised editing of the actual performance as if a moving scrapbook, as well as coverage of their fans queueing outside and enjoying the show once inside, this video comes across as high-energy documentation of the band’s blistering live performance experience. Watch it below. Stay tuned of our coverage of VANT when we’re out in Austin. To read through our growing back catalogue of coverage on VANT, follow this link.
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