Check out our festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Video of the Moment #2744: alt-J

By on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 6:00 pm

alt-J have become known equally for their off-kilter music as well as their unusual videos. For the promo video for ‘Pleader’, the English band take on a saga from a Welsh mining town. The song appears at the end of ‘Relaxer’, their current album that was released this past summer. Read Carrie’s review of it through here. (In case you need a musical primer on the sacrifices Welsh miners and their families made in the 20th century, I recommend Public Service Broadcasting‘s ‘Every Valley’, which was released in February.) Watch the promo for ‘Pleader’ below. ‘Relaxer’ from alt-J is available now from Infectious Music / Atlantic Records. For more on alt-J here on TGTF, use this link.


Live Review: The Coronas with Rachel Levitin at DC9, Washington, DC – 12th November 2017

By on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 2:00 pm

As mentioned in my review on Monday of the Sherlocks gig there last week, DC9 has really come up in the world. It was previously one of my favourite places to see bands in Washington but after seeing The Coronas play there on Sunday night, I think DC9 has won the top prize. A near sold out show for the Irish rockers made for a rowdy but extremely fun and interactive show, as you will read below.

The opener for the night was local singer/songwriter Rachel Levitin, who was joined by Alex Touzinsky on fiddle. Whether it was planned or not, as soon as I saw the fiddle come out during the soundcheck, I couldn’t help thinking this was an act perfect to open for an Irish band, am I right? Though the bespectacled artist – and her adorable acoustic guitar, I might add – might be small in stature, Levitin makes up for it in sass. She seems equally at home between blues-inflected and more traditional singer/songwriter-y pop numbers.

Rachel Levitin

She explained that the story told in ‘Get Back Up’, her most recent single, was based on a real-life experience of walking and then falling on her face, which she then turned into an inspirational song. The recorded version of this song will remind you of angsty guitar rock/pop from the ‘90s. ‘Lucky Penny Blues’, which she noted was her grandfather’s favourite among all of her music so far, is on the sultrier side of things, showcasing her strong voice. No tentativeness here. Will some independent label please snap her up? Simon Raymonde, are you listening?

The Coronas

The Coronas are rather special to me, because I ‘found’ them and not because someone was pitching them to me. I had been trawling for new music to listen to from Ireland and impressed with ‘Tony Was an Ex-Con’ smoky ballad ‘Someone Else’s Hands’, I decided to write a Bands to Watch feature on them. This was back in November 2010, after they’d already released 2 albums. It probably also helped loads that my heart had just gotten stomped on by a two-timing musician and Danny O’Reilly’s melancholic thing was just the right thing for me to listen to while I bawled my eyes out. Genre-wise, The Coronas are a rock band primarily, but they also do the rock/pop mélange quite well too. We’ve written a fair bit on them since my discovery of them. I am honestly baffled why they aren’t as massive in the UK as they are in Ireland, where they regularly sell out large venues.

Given their track record back in Eire, it’s an exceptional treat to see them play in an intimate, 200-capacity venue. Judging from the booming accents lubricated by alcohol around me, I got the impression that quite a few fans came over from Ireland for this show. Impeccable thinking. Us Washingtonians hadn’t seen the Coronas in town in 6 years, at which time we were treated to a brand new, disco beat-led, yet to be titled song that turned into ‘Addicted to Progress’ on 2011’s ‘Closer to You’. Hearing it on this night, recalling when O’Reilly asked us for help to name it at the now long gone Red Palace on a cold March night in 2011, then thinking about their incredible ‘progress’ over the years in Ireland couldn’t have been sweeter.

The Coronas

Earlier this year, the Dublin quartet released their fifth album, ‘Trust the Wire’, so the set list was heavy with tunes from the LP. This included opening track ‘We Couldn’t Fake It’ and ‘A Bit Withdrawn’, explained by O’Reilly as that sweet spot you have with a partner where you can be sat with them and nothing has to be said between you two because it’s all understood. In case anyone forgot where the Coronas were from, O’Reilly jumped into the crowd with his acoustic guitar to lead a bare version of ‘Heroes and Ghosts’ to celebrate the 10th anniversary of their debut release, going into full Irish language mode on one of the verses. This surely must have wowed the youngest audience members, two boys under the age of 10 who were brought along to the show by their mother.

Then they were back to older favourites for the encore, which like nearly every song they played that evening in Washington, were met with raucous cheers. The crowd sung along to ‘San Diego Song’ and ‘Just Like That’ with gusto, at times allowing O’Reilly and band to take a breather, listening to the words being shouted back at them. It was one of many beautiful moments at this show. Yes, I know, some people just adore the 9:30 Club. But for my money, I’d rather come to DC9 and have an experience like this that won’t be duplicated anywhere else.

The Coronas

The Coronas have two more shows in North America (Friday at the Echo in Los Angeles and Saturday at Brick and Mortar in San Francisco) before they head down under for a series of club shows. They return to Dublin the first week of December for three shows at the Olympia, on the 5th, 7th and 10th of December.

After the cut: The Coronas’ set list.
Continue reading Live Review: The Coronas with Rachel Levitin at DC9, Washington, DC – 12th November 2017


Single Review: Charles Watson – No Fanfare

By on Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 12:00 pm

Singer and producer Charles Watson, best known until now as part of Sheffield alt-pop duo Slow Club, has just debuted his first solo material in the form of an atmospheric and synth-laden single titled ‘No Fanfare’. Watson gave some broad hints at the style of his solo work in Slow Club’s 2016 LP ‘One Day All This Won’t Matter Anymore’, which we reviewed right back here. The divide between his artistic leanings and those of his musical partner Rebecca Taylor was already beginning to surface on that record, and the two of them have apparently decided to follow their separate muses for the time being. (Taylor has also released solo work under the moniker Self Esteem.)

With light, ethereal instrumentation and Watson’s delicately introspective vocals, ‘No Fanfare’ doesn’t exactly soar, but instead gracefully floats through the listener’s sonic consciousness. That quality is surely intentional, and it seems remarkably appropriate to the song’s persistent lyrical examination of the ephemerality of relationships. “What chance have we got / when the flowerless sing of flooded orchards?”, Watson sings over a strummed acoustic guitar and a wash of amorphous synths.

His lyrics straddle the line between poetry and prose, often blending indistinctly into the soundscape. But musically, his idea still comes across. The synths adopt a mild wail of sorrow ahead of the pleading question “was it the cool mountain air / making your mind feel calm and empty / or was it the absence of myself?”. The addition of brass halfway through the song brings a hint of richness and warmth to the sonic texture, and a gorgeous electric guitar solo injects an air of poignant longing before the track comes around to close, as if at peace, back where it began.


‘No Fanfare’ is out now on Moshi Moshi; take a listen to it just below. You can read our past coverage of Charles Watson as part of Slow Club through this link.



Video of the Moment #2743: Dream Wife

By on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 6:00 pm

It’s hump day. So it’s perfect for a video for a song called ‘Let’s Make Out’, right? It’s the name of Dream Wife newest single, which we assume will preview their debut album, scheduled to drop at the start of the year. For this promo, the gals hailing from England and Iceland head back to the ’80s, acting as the talent onstage at a glammed out New Wave dance. Naturally, the kids in the crowd grooving to their music are trying to do exactly what their single instructs. Watch it below. ‘Dream Wife’ will be out on the 26th of January 2018 on Lucky Number Records. For more on Dream Wife here on TGTF, follow us this way.


Live Gig Video: Sylvan Esso premiere live performance of ‘Die Young’ from Shakori Hills Festival

By on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 4:00 pm

Back at the end of September, electro-folk duo Sylvan Esso played a special warm-up show ahead of the Shakori Hills Grassroots Music and Dance Festival in their home state of North Carolina. The bill for that evening’s show also included fellow indie rock duo Wye Oak and eclectic art-rock solo act tUnE-yArDs, but Sylvan Esso were clearly the hometown crowd favourites, taking top billing with tracks from their latest LP ‘What Now’.

The following video performance features the duo’s latest hit single ‘Die Young’, which has found a comfortable home on SiriusXM Alt-Nation since its release earlier this year. This live version finds singer Amelia Meath in a giddy mood, giggling as she thanks the large crowd and getting a little more down and dirty than usual with her vocals, while producer Nick Sanborn grooves along to his own electronic beats. The pair are currently on tour in the UK; you’ll find details of those live dates here and a full listing of Sylvan Esso’s upcoming worldwide shows on their official Facebook.
You can read more about Sylvan Esso on TGTF through this link.


Interview: Gill Landry (Part 2)

By on Wednesday, 15th November 2017 at 11:00 am

If you missed part 1 of TGTF’s interview with Gill Landry, you can find it back here.

After discussing the production of his new album ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’, Landry touches on the vocals, which were recorded quickly, once he had established the sound he wanted to achieve. “I have a pretty deep voice,” he tells me, in case I hadn’t already noticed. “For most of my career, I’ve keyed everything up as high as I can, for [the] immediacy and intensity that comes with that. But it also loses subtlety and it can definitely lose emotion. So with this one, I brought everything back so that it was closer to my speaking voice.

“I sang [each song] like maybe twice”, he continues. “And that was the take, because I was really feeling it, and [because] I feel like when I get too into re-recording again and again, I start to lose the essence of what I’m saying. Now I’m just worried about technicalities and over-perfection. You know, some of the most beautiful singers in the world bore me to tears. I’m unmoved and I start to think something’s broken in me when I listen, because I’m like, ‘Why do I not feel this? I mean, everything’s perfect.’ And that’s why I don’t feel it, because nothing’s really perfect.” “So”, I ask him, “is it safe for me to assume that when you sing these [songs] live, that’s the kind of take we’re going to get? Essentially, what we hear on the record is what you’ll sing?”

“I think I sing them better live”, he answers without hesitation. “Generally when I record an album, I wrote the songs not too long before. [But] the more you become familiar with them, the better they become and [the better] you become at putting it across. I feel like my singing live is better in many ways because the words, and the feel, and all that are now embedded in me.” I can almost hear him smile over the phone as he talks about a particular favourite. “‘Denver Girls’ is a song I feel like I could sing for years and not get bored of.”

I mention that my parents had liked ‘Denver Girls’ when they listened to it, and Landry laughs. “I just said this the other day, I don’t know if it’s true. But I make ‘adult music’ or I try. Like, there’s kids that dig what I do, but certainly there’s a lot of, I mean, up to octogenarians that are like, ‘Oh, that’s so great.’ I love that.” [I must note, for the record, that my parents are not octogenarians. Yet. -CC]

After talking about that generational shift, we naturally fall into mourning the demise of the album as a format, which seems a particular shame after hearing one as beautiful and cohesive as ‘Love Rides a Dark Horse’. “It’s definitely going away”, Landry says. “And we’ll probably have to change with it. Which I’m actually fine with, because there’s a lot of songs that you write that just don’t belong on albums. Like, I wrote half a dozen more that just don’t fit with these. And I’ve got piles from before, and a lot of them are good but they haven’t fit with any specific record.” “That will be your collection of b-sides someday,” I suggest.

“Yeah, I like those. I always loved b-sides. Actually, that’s kind of my favorite thing. I was never really a ‘hit’ guy, which actually says a lot about my writing. I always liked the hidden gems. They’re more subtle, but they’re really powerful. That’s my usual jam.” He laughs. “I just recently kind of realized that maybe that’s why I don’t write any hits. If I had been listening to nothing but hits my whole life, then I’d probably be a completely different writer.

“I’m a slow burner”, he explains. “That’s my game. I’m not here to make a million dollars next year and then quit. Up till I’m dead, I want to be doing this. All the people that I worship and love as artists, I mean, they had hits early in their career that probably helped them have a long career. But it’s the body of work that just doesn’t get old and continues to stay true to their life. That’s always been my aspiration. I would be happy if when I’m 50, I could have 300 people sitting down with me in a room, in any city in this country, enjoying what I’m doing.”

I’m not sure how close Landry is to 50 (and I didn’t ask!), but I suspect that 300 people in a room isn’t an unreasonable goal for him. His upcoming live schedule includes playing support slots in America, Scandinavia, and the UK, with the goal of getting his music out to people who aren’t already familiar. I ask how well that works for him, and he answers candidly: “I personally don’t know. You never can tell, until the next time you come through.”

He mentions the possibility of booking a headline tour next year, possibly with a full band. “It depends,” he says cautiously. “It’s really all about money. At this point, the people that I want to hire cost money, as opposed to, when you’re 21, and it’s your mates and you just go out and it’s all-for-one, Musketeers-style. That’s a great time. Once you’re past 30, you gotta start paying people. And if they’re not busy, they’re hopefully getting paid enough that they’re enjoying their life. So it really has to be worth it, they have to really love your music. There’s only so many tours you can go out and lose your savings on and keep going, period. So, it’s survival.”

Speaking of headline shows, I ask Landry how a solo headline show would be different for him than playing a support slot, as I saw him do back in January. “I talk a lot more,” he says with a laugh. “Which can sound boring, but hopefully it’s not. Since a lot of [my show] is narrative songwriting, there’s a lot of stories. I started this in Sweden, if you want the whole story …” 

Landry continues, “I was in Sweden and I was doing a tour, like 15 shows in these little towns, and I’d never been to Sweden. I did the first gig, and I played through the songs, and it was a good response. They dug it, I played well, all that. But at the end, the promoter was like, ‘Everybody here understands English pretty well, but sung, it’s a bit different. You should talk, tell them what the song [is about]. They’d like that.’ So that whole tour, I mean, I got to the point where I would be talking for like five minutes before I played a three minute song. And it seemed very engaging, and people started commenting on songs, like with some information [that] gave it more depth.

“So, it’s much more personal”, he says of his solo shows, “which I feel like, with these types of songs, because they’re not pop songs, because they are stories in their own way, actually enriches the experience [more] than if I just got up with a band and hit song after song after song. They’re both fine, but I really enjoy the intimacy of solo.” You can get a taste of Landry in a recent solo performance just below, courtesy of One on One Cellar Sessions.

At press time, Gill Landry is on tour in Europe, playing dates in Sweden and Norway supporting The Americans. Readers on the UK side of the pond can see Landry very soon, supporting his Loose Music label mate Ian Felice on a run of UK dates starting on the 22nd of November in Manchester. You can find a complete listing of Landry’s upcoming live shows on his official Web site. TGTF’s previous coverage of Gill Landry is collected through this link. Special thanks to Kevin, who helped to arrange this interview.

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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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