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Birmingham indie pop quintet Swim Deep have announced a short run of UK tour dates ahead of their scheduled appearance at Live at Leeds this May, along with news of a new single titled ‘To My Brother’. Released via Chess Club Records, the song was recently premiered on Zane Lowe’s BBC Radio 1 show and is now available to purchase digitally, with a 7″ vinyl on the way. You can take the record for a virtual spin below the tour date listing.
For previous TGTF coverage of Swim Deep, click here. Tickets for the following live shows are on sale now.
Tuesday 31st March 2015 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Wednesday 1st April 2015 – London Electrowerkz
Thursday 2nd April 2015 – Birmingham Oobleck
Friday 3rd April 2015 – Glasgow King Tut’s
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 12th February 2015 at 6:00 pm
‘I Could Give You All That You Don’t Want’ is one of the standout cuts from The Twilight Sad‘s latest album, ‘Nobody Wants To Be Here & Nobody Wants To Leave’, out now on FatCat Records. The song now has a bleak, black and white-coloured video that strips back the visual to match the band’s usual sombre sound to the basics. Watch it below.
No doubt will the Twilight Sad be a prominent part of Scotland’s band contingent appearing at this year’s SXSW next month in Austin. All previous TGTF coverage on the band, including their appearance at SXSW 2012, is available through this link.
By Mary Chang
on Thursday, 12th February 2015 at 1:00 pm
Ghost Babes Records of Dalston was founded in late 2014 and with some rather unusual principles. The label will be releasing music from only certain genres: lo-fi, slacker, surf rock, beach pop and punk rock. They’ll only be putting out compilations, allowing them to put together best-of groupings of the best and brightest these genres have to offer. The compilations from Ghost Babes will all be released on only two formats, digital download and old school cassette tape.
But the really unexpected twist came as a complete surprise to this Yankee: only American bands will be featured on the compilations; the press sheets asserts, “Inspired by great US underground labels like Kanine and Exploding in Sound, Ghost Babes is here to bring the American DIY spirit back to the UK”. As an American, I always wondered what the big deal was about Best Coast and why they and other American guitar bands were so popular in Britain. Maybe too much familiarity towards the supposed next great British guitar band being splashed on the cover of NME really does breed contempt? With just one listen through this 12-track collection of blistering guitar brilliance, you might just want to turn in your Union Jack for the Stars and Stripes.
The line between lo-fi and punk can often be blurred, and this American compilation starts off strong with Boston’s Slothrust and ‘Cubicle’, which sees a disaffected lead vocal paired with hooks aplenty and runaway drums. Brooklyn’s The So So Glos are like the 21st Century Ramones, with lighter, more melodic guitars and an ever so slight pop edge evident on the cheekily-named ‘Diss Town’. Dances take the craziness up a notch with ‘Rats’, their brand of punk going into psych rock territory.
But it’s not just the Northeast of America that can kick up a big noise. Baby Ghosts (pictured at top), as they scream, shout and bash their guitars on ‘Ghost Boyfriend’, prove West Coasties (or at least folks from the Mormon stronghold of Salt Lake City, Utah) can rock out too. Jayson Gerycz, more famously known as the drummer for Cleveland band Cloud Nothings, has a side project Total Babes that makes music so fuzzy and lo-fi (as evidenced on ‘Tip of My Tongue’), you’re expecting them to be bratty and sticking their tongues out at you on the other side of the speakers.
There is also some nice female vocal stylings on display here, which I might not have expected from a collection of songs that begins so…loud. ’90s grunge era Courtney Love would be so proud. Philly natives Bleeding Rainbow have an affinity for psych, and having a female lead vocalist gives their ‘So You Know’ additional cachet. Brooklyn’s Beverly may only be a duo, but their huge guitar and drum sounds are paired with Drew Citron’s ethereal vocals for an unexpected treat of two extremes. Check out their official video for ‘Madora’ below. Another Brooklyn band, BOYTOY, favours even fuzzier guitars on their song ‘Blazed’, I suppose to act as a counterpoint to their singer’s echoey vocals.
On the lighter side of things, LVL UP have a band name that honestly sounds like the band members were reared on playing Super Mario on the original Nintendo consoles of the ’80s. Perhaps their lighter, sunnier sound, exemplified on ‘Stoned Alone’, is reflective of their Westchester County origin? Turning our attention back to Brooklyn, trio Painted Zeros‘ ‘Too Drunk’ sounds like you’ve been transported to a fun house party. You can enjoy the tunes on offer and not have to suffer the hangover the next morning: score! Fellow Brooklynites Bellows might share a part of New York but offer up a much more subtle take on pop, evocative of Eighties dream pop band The Dream Academy as demonstrated on ‘White Sheet’.
The album ends with Dee Dee Mayo‘s ‘It’s Not Hard’, an experimental surf pop sound coming straight from Howler‘s Ian Nygaard. While there are lyrics, Nygaard mostly offers up an instrumental soundscape with a catchy beat that makes you imagine having a tropical drink in hand by Waikiki Beach rather than his hometown of Minneapolis. And that feeling best sums up this collection: it may be February, but armed with this compilation featuring tunes that range from frenetic shout-a-longs to dreamier, slacker anthems, you can feel like you’re driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in the middle of summer with the top of your convertible rolled down, all year long.
‘Ghost Babes Compilation, Vol. 1’ will be out on the 23rd of February on Ghost Babes Records. It will be available on limited edition white-coloured cassettes (with only 100 being made) and digital download. Purchase your copy through this link on Ghost Babes’ Bandcamp. You can also have a listen to the tracks in the player below.
Grace Ackerman, Phil Plested, Phil Leigh and Matt Holmes make up Chasing Grace – an indie-pop group who formed at Rickmansworth School in Hertfordshire. The four friends got their big break after performing at a “Battle of the Bands”-style competition at the school, where they impressed none other than Shahid Khan, better known as Naughty Boy.
With Naughty Boy’s guidance, Chasing Grace released the ‘Dinner Will Be Served’ EP in 2013, with tracks from the record receiving airplay on BBC Radio 1Xtra. On the back of the EP, the band had writing/mixing sessions with Emeli Sandé and supported the likes of Sam Smith, John Newman and Ellie Goulding, who said that the group had “guts and soul”. It was only a matter of time before Chasing Grace signed to Naughty Boy’s label Island Universal, a deal which was completed in 2012.
The newly-signed Chasing Grace joined Devlin on his UK tour and also provided some of the vocals on ‘A Gift & A Curse’, one of the tracks off the London-born rapper’s second studio album, ‘A Moving Picture’. The group have also collaborated with the likes of X Factor winner James Arthur (on ‘Certain Things’), singer/songwriter Angel (on ‘Sober’) and Naughty Boy himself (on ‘So Strong’).
Last month, Chasing Grace released their debut album ‘Nowhere Near Old Enough’. The album, which was produced by Naughty Boy and his associates, includes five tracks co-written with Emeli Sandé and one with Jimmy Napes, who recently won four Grammy awards for his contribution to Sam Smith’s ‘Stay With Me’. Despite being an upbeat album, ‘Nowhere Near Old Enough’ explores themes of childhood, nostalgia, loathing and regret. With an ever-growing fanbase that includes strong backing from some of pop’s biggest names and a solid debut album under their belt, the future is certainly looking bright for Chasing Grace.
By Mary Chang
on Wednesday, 11th February 2015 at 6:00 pm
Scottish band We Were Promised Jetpacks – now a five-piece – have released a new promo video this week for ‘Peaks and Troughs’. The tune appears on ‘Unravelling’, their third album for Fat Cat Records released last October. The song has an unsettling vibe to it, which starts off only mildly creepy, and just gets progressively weirder and weirder as the video goes on. Is that a benign comet or a more sinister asteroid in the distance? Watch the video below.
Past TGTF coverage on WWPJ is this way.
By Mary Chang
on Tuesday, 10th February 2015 at 6:00 pm
It’s not every day I get sent a video with a subject line including the words “beautifully awkward” (as described by FADER magazine). So I queued up CYMBALS‘ latest promo for ‘Talk to Me’ with some trepidation. Frontman Jack Cleverly explains the thought process behind the single:
“There’s something a little aggressive and direct in the phrase ‘Talk To Me’, it’s a demand made of the other, of the lover. There’s a parallel with the spirit of the chorus to our song ‘Natural World’ (“I don’t know enough about you to be kind to you”). The direction of the video meant that I had to stare directly on and kind of chant these words at the camera. It felt like the right way to portray these kinds of words, the right attitude in which to sing them.
“There are many images or phrases that came to me as part of a feeling related to this continuing theme (love and communication), that I cannot necessarily piece together easily. This theme of the failure of language and difficulty of communicating love or understanding in this way is in a lot of our songs.”
Channelling the spirit of ’80s New Wave brilliantly, it’s a corker of a track. Watch the lilac-shaded promo that accompanies it below. The single is now out on 7″ vinyl and digital download on Tough Love Records; past coverage on CYMBALS on TGTF is this way.