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By Mary Chang
on Monday, 13th January 2014 at 6:00 pm
Nashville-based rockers Mona seem to have turned the corner from their hard-rocking roots, if their new promo is anything to go by. The video is for ‘Like You Do’, and frontman Nick Brown has a great interview with Flaunt Magazine here that explains the video more.
Visually, its stark black and white presentation is more the 1975, while the song’s sound is more introspective and less about their better known, wilder rock persona, as Brown says in the interview, “I really wanted to push, not just for MONA and myself but I wanted to push the bookends a little wider for artists in general. Even if you get stereotyped as something, even if it’s good, it’s pushing beyond that.” Watch it below.
By Mary Chang
on Friday, 10th January 2014 at 6:00 pm
The Orielles from Halifax placed #3 on the TGTF 10 for 2014 poll at the end of last year, and now we’re pleased to bring you their latest video for upcoming single ‘Hindering Waves’, to be released on the 20th of February on Cacti Recordings.
We were struck dumb by their talent at Liverpool Sound City in 2013, and this new one, driven by a bright melody and paired nicely with lead singer / bassist Esme Hand-Halford’s gorgeous vocals, is more evidence on what we knew all along: they might be young but they’ve got more talent in their pinkies than most manufactured bands have in their entire bodies. Watch the psychedelically inspired video below.
Alt-folk collective Cocos Lovers formed in Kent in 2008 when its members decided to quit their day jobs and travel through Europe, busking and making music however and wherever they possibly could. Predictably, the influences on their style are widely varied, including English folk and choral music, American Southern gospel and Spanish flamenco, as well as the complex rhythms and tonalities of African and Eastern traditional music.
The band fluctuates from six to eight members, presumably as dictated by circumstance and musical requirements, and all of the members take part in the songwriting and arranging process. Their eclectic instrumental orchestrations include flute, mandolin, banjo, trumpet and varied percussion in addition to the typical guitar, bass, and drums. Those unique instrumental timbres are particularly effective in accenting the rhythmic virtuosity and melodic craftsmanship of the songs. Also notable are the band’s flawless vocal harmonies, which shift from solo voice to multiple parts and vary among the vocal combinations of the band members, alternately mixing and separating male and female voices.
With all the complexity in their music, it’s easy to overlook the poetic beauty and simplicity of Cocos Lovers’ lyrics. For example, the bluesy, haunting ‘Emily’, from the band’s most recent album, ‘Gold and Dust’, is at once sad and hopeful, with a mournful guitar melody and an ethereal flute descant framing the chorus: ‘Emily oh don’t you weep / When I am gone it’s time to sleep / Spark the flame that never dies / The ghost a shadow by your side’.
Cocos Lovers have released all three of their albums through their own co-operative label, Smugglers Records, which has expanded to include 12 artists and 15 records since its inception in 2008. The record label has also sponsored three yearly Smugglers Festivals, showcasing underground roots music, art and theatrical performance in the Kentish countryside.
Cocos Lovers have earned a reputation as fantastic live performers at larger festivals including Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Green Man Festival and Sidmouth Folk Week, as well as touring in support of Mumford and Sons. They recently sold out their Christmas show at the Lighthouse in Kent, and after taking some time for writing and recording, they will appear at SXSW in Austin this March.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 9th January 2014 at 6:00 pm
American indie rockers We Are Augustines ditched the first two words in their name recently, now to be known by the leaner, meaner moniker Augustines. Despite the change in identity, we are pleased to announce they have by no means changed their sound. (Thank god.) ‘Nothing to Lose But Your Head’ is the first single from their forthcoming second album to be released on the 3rd of February on Votiv/Caroline International. Anthemic? Check. Sweeping in its grandeur? Check. Watch the promo for the single below.
Augustines play a sold out (sorry) show at London Lexington on the 21st of January. But if you still fancy seeing them, catch them at London Koko on the 14th of April.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 9th January 2014 at 4:00 pm
Kodaline had an amazing 2013 and lucky for us, they documented a hell lot of their touring days last year. Enter this collection of tour memories set to the new version of ‘One Day’, which will be released on the 17th of February (the Monday after Valentine’s Day, but who’s keeping track?) as a single in its own right. Get prepared to smile and watch the video below.
About 2 weeks ago, we were treated to the anything but a ‘Sweet Sour’ follow-up to Band of Skulls’ aforementioned 2011 record, bonus single, ‘Be Mine’. It hardly starts in true, chug-a-lug-ing Band of Skulls format, with a lingering guitar solo from Russell Marsden building in to the twin harmonies of Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson, underscored by an old school piano melody. The song builds like the back drop to a love scene from a an old western, and I felt the first time that I was walking into an old saloon bar, as the two harmonised, “hit me with your love, be mine / all our future’s in the balance”.
The time signature smacks of an old school waltz for the first 2 minutes, floating aimlessly around an empty saloon bar.
Then BOOM. “Hit me with your love babe!” And the Band of Skulls, we’ve grown to love over the past four and a half years pumps in to action, shredding an insatiable riff underneath the franticness of Marsden and Richardson’s vocals. Suddenly, it’s a jolt of life into the slow burning track, which will be appearing on the band’s next full-length album as an iTunes exclusive bonus track for the 31st of March release of ‘Himalaya’. As a taster of the alt-folky goodness we’re in store for, ‘Be Mine’ is a nice build up, as we see in the video a hint of the studio playfulness that has gone in to the new album.
I, for one, can’t wait.
Watch the video for ‘Be Mine’, the latest from Southampton band Band of Skulls, below.