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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Tom Chaplin / December 2017 English Christmas Tour

 
By on Monday, 16th October 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Last Thursday on Jo Whiley’s evening Radio 2 programme, Tom Chaplin premiered ‘Under a Million Lights’. As he explained, the song will appear on a new Christmas album he has in the works. ‘Twelve Tales of Christmas’ drops over a month ahead of the big day, so from the 17th of November on, you’ll be able to get this in plenty of time as a stocking stuffer for your Keane and Tom Chaplin-loving loved ones from Island Records. This yuletide-themed collection follows ‘The Wave’, Chaplin’s debut solo record that was released in October 2016, reviewed by me here. If you somehow missed it, I posted a two-part interview feature with the man back then, too. To promote the Christmas album, Chaplin has announced a trio of English gigs in December. Tickets are on sale this Friday, the 20th of October, at 10 AM. For more on what Tom Chaplin has been up to as a solo artist since the hiatus of Keane, check out our coverage of him here on TGTF through here.

Sunday 10th December 2017 – Manchester Palace Theatre
Monday 11th December 2017 – Bath Forum
Tuesday 12th December 2017 – London Royal Festival Hall

 

Video of the Moment #2451: Barns Courtney

 
By on Friday, 13th October 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

ICYMI, fiery Anglo-American alt-rocker Barns Courtney released his bombastic debut LP ‘The Attractions of Youth’ at the end of last month. Simultaneously with the album release, Courtney also unveiled a new promo video for his new album’s latest single, titled ‘Kicks’. Less anthemic than many of the other tracks on the album, ‘Kicks’ instead takes on a darker and more distinctly ominous tone.

As you might well imagine, its video comprises bawdy images of drinking, dancing, sex and fistfights as Courtney gets his eponymous “kicks”, but there is also a vaguely menacing plotline underlying this visual representation. To that end, video director Paul Capra employs grainy, lo-fi cinematography that matches the gritty, distorted guitar sound in the track, and shots of Courtney’s own dazed and sweaty face match the frenzied anxiety pulsing through the song’s rhythmic foundation. Surprisingly enough, very few actual kicks are executed in the video’s action sequence; watch for yourself below. ‘Kicks’ features on Barns Courtney’s new LP ‘The Attraction of Youth’, out now on Virgin EMI. TGTF’s complete previous coverage of Barns Courtney is back through here.

 

Live Gig Video: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds share visuals for lead single ‘Holy Mountain’ of upcoming album

 
By on Friday, 13th October 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

Header photo by Lawrence Watson

Incredibly, it’s been 2 years since the release of ‘Chasing Yesterday’, the platinum-selling previous album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds. The first taster of the group’s new material comes in the form of single ‘Holy Mountain’, a collaboration between the ornery Gallagher and none other than the Modfather himself, Paul Weller. Described by many as Noel’s psychedelic album, it should be interesting to hear the rest of it and how it stands up against the other Britpop elder statesman who dared to go in a psych direction, Richard Hawley on 2012’s ‘Standing on the Sky’s Edge’. The video for ‘Holy Mountain’ waffles between shots of Gallagher himself singing and playing guitar, stylised views of his profile and other cartoons, with plenty of colours and blinking lights to give you that psychedelic feel without actually being under the influence of, er, something…

The ex-Oasis songwriter and cofrontman seems to be playing a bit of a game of chicken with his younger brother Liam, who released his solo album ‘As You Were’ last week. Older brother will be unveiling ‘Who Built the Moon?’ on the 24th of November. ‘Holy Mountain’ is out now on digital and 12″ vinyl formats from Sour Mash. To read more on Noel Gallagher’s continuing project with his High Flying Birds, use this link.

 

Video of the Moment #2450: The Spook School

 
By on Thursday, 12th October 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Scottish alt-pop quartet The Spook School have unveiled a brand new single as a preview of their upcoming third LP, which is due out at the beginning of next year. The album, titled ‘Could It Be Different?’, is expected to be released on the 26th of January 2018 via Alcopop! / Slumberland Records, and the first song to be released from it is called ‘Still Alive’.

The Spook School’s infectiously upbeat alt-pop sound has perhaps a slight bit more edge to it in ‘Still Alive’ than what we’ve heard from them in the past, especially in its mischievously gleeful chorus line “fuck you, I’m still alive”. The new video is deliberately kitschy and facetious, but lead singer Nye Todd describes the song itself to DIY as being “a pretty angry song, with with that anger being directed at people that carry out abusive behaviours towards others.”

The Spook School will spend most of October on tour in Europe and the UK with American alt-rock duo Diet Cig; you can find the details on their official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of The Spook School, including an interview from SXSW 2016, is collected right back here.

 

Album Review: A.S. Fanning – Second Life

 
By on Thursday, 12th October 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

AS Fanning Second Life coverIrish singer/songwriter A.S. Fanning is making a ‘Second Life’ for himself, with a new solo LP of that particularly apropos title. The former frontman of Dublin-based bands Porn Trauma and The Last Tycoons, Fanning relocated to Berlin several years ago. Finding it to be more affordable than Dublin for his practical and musical purposes, he decided to stay on, and he finished recording the self-produced album ‘Second Life’ there earlier this year. Just after wrapping up the record, Fanning made his American debut at SXSW 2017, which is where TGTF happened to make his acquaintance.

As is often the case with carefully crafted pieces of music, the collection of songs on ‘Second Life’ have evolved over a lengthy songwriting process, and some of them have already made the rounds as early single releases. ‘Carmelita’, for example, dates back to the end of 2015, and it has stood the test of time for inclusion on the full LP. Indeed, the ironic religious imagery in its poetry and the desperately yearning quality of its refrain distinguish it straightaway as one of the album’s strongest tracks.

Appearing later in the album, ‘Dark Star’ has also been part of Fanning’s live repertoire for at least the better part of a year. Fanning’s dramatic baritone delivery of its darkly brooding lyrics “you met a sweet boy in that stupid bar with no name / he was so kind and helpful, apologised when he came” were a memorable part of his setlist at SXSW, and the song makes a similarly striking impact in the tracklisting of ‘Second Life’. Current single ‘Never Been Gone’ is slightly more uptempo in its shuffling rhythm, and distinctly warmer in tone than many of the tracks on the LP. Its light instrumental interludes and gently wistful lyrics, “soft summer sun, memory so strong, nothing needs explaining, just a feeling that you’d never been gone”, are a welcome glimpse of sunshine amongst the figurative shadows where Fanning more typically dwells.

Midway through the album, Fanning takes on a deliberately artistic aesthetic with instrumental piece ’The Heron’. Purely instrumental tracks are often more difficult to interpret than songs with words, but this one comprises musical gestures that are angular, delicate and tranquil, like the graceful bird mentioned in the title. Penultimate track ‘Empty Suitcase’ isn’t strictly instrumental, but its brief and distant vocal lines are clearly secondary in focus to the deftly constructed instrumental layers that make up its rich harmonic and textural soundscape.

‘That’s Where They’ll Find You’ is similarly expansive and dynamic in its instrumental arrangement, but much more ominous in tone. Its throbbing heartbeat pulse and heavy keyboard structure frame sinister lyrical references to places of “sickness and plain despair and all that is unjust / where raving madmen find their bliss and stiff john lust.” Here again, Fanning’s deep baritone plays to its greatest effect, with its unique combination of dry humour and utter solemnity.

Final track ‘Louis Armstrong’ is shaped as an old-fashioned jazz ballad with prominent brass in the backing arrangement, inspired by the famed American jazz musician who evidently factored into Fanning’s musical upbringing. Its lyrics have a mildly pessimistic bent, which keeps the song from feeling entirely out of place on the record. “I can only pray the joy outweighs the sadness in the end”, Fanning sings, and closing the album on this clever and surprising note ultimately brings that lyrical wish to fruition. A.S. Fanning’s ‘Second Life’ as a solo artist may be just beginning, but the wide range of his musical and lyrical ability has set him off to a very promising start.

8/10

A.S. Fanning’s debut LP ‘Second Life’ is due out tomorrow, Friday the 13th of October, via Proper Octopus Records. Tomorrow night, Fanning will play an album launch show at Dublin Whelan’s. TGTF’s previous coverage of A.S. Fanning, including live reviews from SXSW 2017, is right back this way.

 

Video of the Moment #2449: Lo Moon

 
By on Wednesday, 11th October 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Marcus Haney

Los Angeles atmospheric alt-rock trio Lo Moon have just released a new video for their recent single ‘This Is It’. The track follows up the band’s previous sleeper hit single ‘Loveless’, which we had the pleasure of hearing them play live earlier this year on the Pandora showcase at SXSW 2017.

Directed by Kevin Slack, the close-up cinematography in the video for ‘This is It’ is well-suited to singer Matt Lowell’s intimate whisper in the song’s verses, while the black-and-white color scheme fits with the sharply contrasting dynamic of the shimmering keyboards and angular guitar riffs in the chorus. Slack’s rotating internal viewpoint features bright, backlit views of Lowell at the piano, along with artfully dexterous action shots of band members Crisanta Baker (bass/keys), Sam Stewart (guitar) and touring drummer Sterling Laws.

‘This is It’ is only Lo Moon’s second official single release, but they are said to be wrapping up work on their debut LP with producers Chris Walla (Death Cab for Cutie) and Francois Tetaz (Gotye). The L.A. trio will continue making waves this fall on tour with Phoenix in North America and with London Grammar in the UK and Continental Europe. You can find a full listing of Lo Moon’s upcoming live dates on their official Facebook. ‘Loveless’ and ‘This is It’ are both out now on Columbia Records.

 
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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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it. If you want a track removed, email us and we'll sort it ASAP.

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