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Album Review: Benji Lewis – Together Apart EP

 
By on Monday, 10th September 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Benji Lewis Together Apart EP album coverMelbourne, Australia’s Benji Lewis now calls Los Angeles home. No matter where the electronic artist hangs his hat, I think it’s safe to say that his newest EP ‘Together Apart’ feels like it was created in the big city whilst contemplating lost love and looking forlornly out over the nighttime skyline. Even at its short length of less than 15 minutes in total, this record exhibits a special kind of emotional grace, through its delicate, minimalist electronic instrumentation and Lewis’ disarming vocals. The EP was produced by Brisbane’s Golden Vessel, who I caught live at BIGSOUND 2017 this time last year.

As the title of the record suggests, this is a collection of songs that examine the highs and lows of relationships. Beguiling beats drive the poppiest track here, ‘Us Again’, on which Lewis wistfully recalls a lost love and his journey back to return to that place of bliss. The EP’s standout is the downtempo ‘Came Back’ that continues the story. ‘I came back to you, I’m here, won’t go”, sings Lewis in a peerless falsetto. The instrumentation is sparse with programmed beats and a simple synth melody, and the feel of Lewis’ vocals is reminiscent of fellow Aussie Darren Hayes’ own in his Savage Garden days, but without the ‘90s schmaltz.

Moving into ‘Deep Blue’, Lewis goes into more soulful territory, almost Glass Animals-esque with falsetto and twinkly synths but without the fanciful storylines. His words feel less like lyrics and more like a sensual poem set to music: “Touch is right / Skin to skin / We all want, felt within / Tides are high / Further sure / Deep blue, with you”. Incredibly, it’s only been 10 minutes or so, and we’re already at the end of the EP with ‘Push’. The lyrics suggest conflict between our lovers but should you choose to focus on the sweeping vocals and dreamy melody, you sense there’s more than a glimmer of positivity for these two. Yes, life isn’t always perfect, but optimism in our difficult world is more than welcome.

Describing the record, Lewis says, “…here are some different stories of love, strength, moving on and also appreciating who is around. Also sneaky moments of hope for new love and what it can be like.” ‘Together Apart’ as a whole is a chill, blissed-out set of songs, leaving you wanting more and hoping that a debut album from the Aussie is just around the bend.

9/10

‘Together Apart’, Aussie Benji Lewis’ new EP, is out now. You can stream the entire release below. To read my review of his official SXSW 2018 performance at St. David’s Historic Sanctuary, which described to Run the Trap as “a stand out favourite” and “Everything about that night, loved it.”, go here.

 

Video of the Moment #2891: Calvin Harris feat. Sam Smith

 
By on Thursday, 6th September 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Scottish dance giant Calvin Harris‘s latest new tune stars fellow hitmaker Sam Smith on vocals. The song in question, ‘Promises’, now has its own music video. It was directed by Harris’ longtime collaborator Emil Nava and was filmed “in a gritty downtown warehouse-turned-dancing-paradise”. As one might expect for a dance floor banger, it gets the dancing-inclined out on the floor, specifically in this promo some prime voguers. You know, those people who you see at clubs, oozing with so much charisma you just can’t look away when they take all of the attention in the room. In this video, we even get a few twirls from and closeups of Smith himself! Watch it below. ‘Promises’ is out now on from Columbia Records. Catch our past coverage on Calvin Harris and Sam Smith here on TGTF through this and this link, respectively.

 

Album Review: Teleman – Family of Aliens

 
By on Thursday, 6th September 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Teleman Family of Aliens album cover“Push the spikes in deep / the pain is going to set you free!” Thomas Sanders declares on Teleman single ‘Cactus’, released back in May. It’s a pronouncement that also stands as a neat summation of the Teleman story so far. It’s an ongoing saga where the connected topics of love and lust, along with loneliness, escapism and depression, are given conveyed in vivid, unusual wordplay against a bouncy, synth- and drumbeat-led backdrop. Now at album #3, Teleman’s wonky, oddly catchy tunes should no longer be a surprise but an expectation to be fulfilled at first listen.

Produced by Boxed In’s Oli Bayston, their Moshi Moshi labelmate, ‘Family of Aliens’ follows in the heady footsteps of 2014’s ‘Breakfast’ and 2016’s ‘Brilliant Sanity’. It manages to add another wigged-out, yet enjoyable chapter to Teleman’s musical history. Early taster single ‘Submarine Life’ went old school, utilising ‘80s style vocoder, making everyone think that the third Teleman album was going to sound robotic, at least initially. Turns out they were just teasing us. Phew.

The new LP is front-loaded with two other early previews, placed well for maximum pop dancing possibilities. ‘Cactus’ delves into the world of the pretty people, those that put themselves on a pedestal of no fixed meaning or influence. In reality, they’re in their own little bubble and can’t relate to anyone else, which is their true tragedy. Sanders asks rhetorically, “What’s the point of looking good if no-one ever gets near you?” It’s a bit of a warning to young people, that what material and physical occupations consume them in youth turn out to be devoid of substance by the time you’re older. The band spends a good minute and a half on an instrumental jam to close out the song, providing more than ample opportunity for us watching them at the Great Escape 2018 to cut shapes at the Paginini Ballroom.

Buoyed by a sweet and springy rhythm and ‘80s feel good synth chords, ‘Song for a Seagull’ pulls things back from the shadowy dance floor. Sanders sings of a different kind of but equally tragic character: like in the Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, the girl across the room you’ve fallen for but in this case, she’s mentally miles away and there’s no way to get through to her. A seagull flying high above the sea might not be the greatest parallel to a human woman on earth. It certainly captures the idea of escaping to a better, beautiful place where you’re unable to be touched or hurt, though (“it’s not hard to see how someone you love is going to mess you up”). For the fans, there are nods to ‘Brilliant Sanity’ in here, from “a little bell that rings” from ‘English Architecture’ (signaling something magical has happened, like falling in love) and a guitar note progression in the outro bearing resemblance to that which closes out ‘Fall in Time’. Contrast ‘…Seagull’ to the chaotic machinations of ‘Twisted Heart’, exploring “the feeling twisted in a world so straight”, of feeling like a square peg in a round-hole world.

Not fitting in is a recurrent theme in on this album: whether it’s given a frenetic treatment on title track ‘Family of Aliens’ or a gentler one on ‘Always Dreaming’, the topic is handled with empathy by Sanders. On ‘Fun Destruction’ and ‘Sea of Wine’, reliance on alcohol is given much consideration, described by Sanders in the preview material I was given as “our English way of using alcohol to deal with problems, lose inhibitions, meet lovers”. With alcoholism comes losing touch and at its worst, self-loathing and the realisation that something’s going terribly wrong. A synth wail joins the chaos on the former, while on the latter, ‘Sea of Wine’ floats away in a piano- and beat-driven reverie befitting our fast-paced lives.

A potentially overlooked song for its comparative simplicity instrumentally is ‘Between the Rain’. The jaunty piano backing is less important than Sanders’ storytelling: partnering with someone who isn’t fazed by anything leads to your own anxiety coming roaring to the forefront like a sore thumb. Initial exasperation (“I can tell myself it’s a plastic heart / impossible to break it / melt it down!”) eventually leads to appreciation for the peace and maybe even acceptance? Whether it’s this song or another or several others in the collection, it isn’t hard to find yourself in here. Joyously quotable and easily accessible, ‘Family of Aliens’ might just be Teleman’s most mainstream popular album yet.

8/10

‘Family of Aliens’, the third album from London-based Teleman, is out tomorrow, Friday, the 7th of September on Moshi Moshi Records. The band are on tour in the UK in September and October; tickets are on sale now except for the sold-out at Bristol Thekla on the 27th of September and Leeds Brudenell Social Club on the 4th of October. Want to flip through our past coverage on Teleman here on TGTF? Come through.

 

SG Lewis / December 2018 English and Irish Tour

 
By on Thursday, 6th September 2018 at 9:00 am
 

English DJ and producer SG Lewis has announced he’ll perform at a few live dates in December in England and Ireland in early December. These dates follow a week’s worth of live gigs on the Continent. Tickets go on sale for the below dates tomorrow, Friday, the 7th of September, at 10 AM. Catch the newest video from SG Lewis for ‘Hurting’ featuring Alunageorge under the tour dates below. Watch and listen to Lewis’ most recent music video, ‘Better’ featuring the vocals of Bostonian YouTube sensation Clairo, through this link.

Monday 3rd December 2018 – Bristol Thekla
Tuesday 4th December 2018 – Manchester Club Academy
Wednesday 5th December 2018 – Dublin Academy Green Room
Friday 7th December 2018 – London Printworks

 

Video(s) of the Moment #2890: Ten Tonnes

 
By on Wednesday, 5th September 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

So far, all of Ten Tonnes‘ promo videos have be unique and unlike anyone else’s. The latest in his series is the one for recent single ‘G.I.V.E.’, starring loads of fluffy friends of the canine persuasion. This time last month, dogs also appeared in the lyric video for the single, albeit animated ones. Both are adorable and worth your viewing time, so I’ve included both in this post. If you prefer live action or not, we’ve got you covered. Watch the version(s) of ‘G.I.V.E.’ below. To catch up on all of our coverage on Ten Tonnes here on TGTF, follow us through here.

 

John Grant / October and November 2018 and January and February 2019 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 5th September 2018 at 9:00 am
 

John Grant will be releasing a new album next month, so naturally, he’s got plenty of live appearances lined up in the coming months. So far, a date in November at Manchester Albert Hall has already sold out, so if you’re wanting to see him, best to book the appropriate live date for you as listed below, and as soon as possible. To meet the demand in Manchester, another date there has been added for the 10th of February 2019.

Tickets to the 2018 UK tour dates are on sale now; the 2019 dates go on sale this Friday, the 7th of September. Grant’s new album ‘Love is Magic’ will be released on the 12th of October on Bella Union. Below the tour date listing, enjoy two preview tracks from the LP, ‘He’s Got His Mother’s Hips’ and ‘Touch & Go’. Catch up on our past coverage on John Grant through this link.

Monday 29th October 2018 – Brighton Dome
Tuesday 30th October 2018 – London Brixton Academy
Wednesday 31st October 2018 – Bath Forum
Friday 2nd November 2018 – Sheffield Octagon Centre
Saturday 3rd November 2018 – Manchester Albert Hall (sold out)
Wednesday 30th January 2019 – Leeds Academy
Thursday 31st January 2019 – Gateshead Sage
Friday 1st February 2019 – Glasgow Kings Theatre (Celtic Connections)
Sunday 3rd February 2019 – Hull Bonus Area
Monday 4th February 2019 – Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Tuesday 5th February 2019 – Nottingham Rock City
Thursday 7th February 2019 – Cambridge Corn Exchange
Friday 8th February 2019 – Southampton Guildhall
Sunday 10th February 2019 – Manchester Albert Hall
Monday 11th February 2019 – Cardiff St. David’s Hall

 
 
 

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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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