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Single Review: Low Island – In Person

 
By on Wednesday, 6th February 2019 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo of Low Island by Dan Kendall

In the South of England, the lofty spires of University of Oxford loom above a city that consistently punches above its weight in the production of quality bands. You know them: Radiohead, Swervedriver, Foals, Stornoway, Glass Animals. Are Low Island next? They have named themselves after the geological term for a land mass surrounded by water but of the most unusual origin. You see, a low island is formed not from the activity of volcanoes (think Hawaii, Indonesia, etc.) but instead from the dirt and rocks that build up on top of a coral reef.

The band’s moniker is quite on the humble foundations on which they began: Jamie Jay and Carlos Posada used to DJ in Leeds back in the day and they’ve taken their first-hand knowledge of how to get people on the dance floor to influence their electronic-driven dance pop. The childhood friends’ music follows in the great tradition of Friendly Fires and Holy Ghost! and has been already been compared to the xx and Caribou. Last week, Low Island released their latest single, ‘In Person’, and it’s super.

The tune begins with 3 seconds of a sci-fi arc of sound, followed by a sexy, swaggery drum beat. Posada’s voice, as well as a bouncy synth line, come in to provide additional catchiness. It’s the kind of song with so many things going on at the same time, you know it would be amazing to watch live. That is, if you can stand still long enough not to groove along with them; I don’t think I could hold myself back. Lyrically, ‘In Person’ takes on the paradox of social media:. Despite our theoretical ability to keep in touch with each and every one of our friends on a multitude of platforms, and from a piece of metal in the palm of your hand to boot, keeping in touch as we get older doesn’t seem to get any easier. Technology has wreaked havoc on our ability to communicate and interact with each other. What’s the take home message? I think Low Island just want us to dance. I won’t argue with them. Check them out on their UK tour in March and April.

 

Video of the Moment #2919: The Killers

 
By on Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 6:00 pm
 

It’s been a spell since we’ve had new music from The Killers. ‘Wonderful Wonderful’, the Las Vegas band’s fifth album, made its debut in autumn 2017. Brandon Flowers and co.’s latest offering is wholly welcome while sadly unsurprising, given the political turmoil America has been going through in the last few years. The words in the title of this one-off song from the Killers, ‘Land of the Free’, is of course taken from our national anthem, ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. To drive home Flowers’ primary point in this song, that the meaning of our freedom, as far as we understood it as children learning our national anthem, has been impinged on, the promo video was filmed by Academy Award-winning filmmaker Spike Lee at the American / Mexican border. Watch the video for ‘Land of the Free’ below. For more on TGTF on The Killers, go here.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Live Gig Video: The Ninth Wave share short film for single ‘Half Pure’

 
By on Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

Post-punks The Ninth Wave is part of a small but strong contingent of Scottish bands scheduled to showcase next month at SXSW 2019. Last May, I previewed their band ahead of their appearances at the 2019 editions of Live at Leeds and The Great Escape. As they’ve gone on, they have steadily building up a catalogue of short films designed to go beyond the conventional promo video and provide an appropriate visual counterpart to their music. The latest installment in the film series is the video for single ‘Half Pure’, which is now available from Distiller Records. Their synth-driven rock sound, as performed live, is joined here with their interpretation of a runway show, albeit one that’s gory and subversive, described in the press release as “incorporating elements of classic ’90s anti-fur campaigns and Alexander McQueen’s iconic runways. The concept is inspired by deploration of the consumerist, superficial nature of modern society and how overwhelming it can be to live in a “plastic World War III.”” Check it out below. For more on The Ninth Wave here on TGTF, follow this link.

 

(SXSW 2019 flavoured!) Bands to Watch #411: APRE

 
By on Tuesday, 5th February 2019 at 12:00 pm
 

In case you somehow missed the meteoric rise of Brighton’s Royal Blood and Tunbridge Wells’ Slaves, musical duos have proven you can make it in the UK music world without having what we used to consider a necessary full band. Ahead of their scheduled appearance Austin, I’d like you to meet another talented pair, APRE. Legend has it that Charlie Brown (yes, really) and Jules Konieczny first met durng a chance meeting at Ealing Chess Club. You’ll have to wait until I meet them one day for us to find out who’s head is better in the game. Maybe they’ll teach me?

My first impression of their sound was how similar it is to another London duo we introduced you all to last year, Kawala. I’m not the only one to have noticed this sameness: late last year, the two acts were tapped for the Hopscotch tour powered by Utilita, an extension of Radio 1’s Jack Saunders’ club night. A feather in APRE’s cap that I don’t think Kawala have managed is to have a #1 single on Hype Machine. This fateful event occurred in spring 2018, and the song that got them there was ‘All Yours’, which also appeared on their later EP ‘The Movement of Time’. A jaunty guitar line plays over a smooth backdrop of keyboards on ‘All Yours’, and the syncopated vocals live in that sweet spot between pop and hip-hop. The vocals are echoey, too, and along with its accompanying video that must have been shot from high up by a drone. The overall effect brings you to the lazy days of summer. And who doesn’t love that in the middle of winter as I write this?

A more pronounced r&b edge has been introduced in their latest single, ‘Backstreet’. With an insistent tropical beat making the song super catchy, this sure ain’t your momma’s Backstreet Boys. This is also where APRE diverge from Kawala. The falsetto vocals and r&b groove are reminiscent of that of Jungle’s, but how the keyboards are employed here will remind you of the feel good moments of Hurts. Ultimately, APRE are the kind of act you’d expect to find in 2019, having taken the best bits from those who came before and having seen what works in today’s pop and what doesn’t. While their red jackets and sunglasses may get them confused for Nancy Pelosi in Austin, I reckon as soon as their music begins, any potential mix-up should soon fade away.

 

Live Gig Video: Lucy Rose shares shadowy promo for single ‘Conversation’ from upcoming fourth album

 
By on Wednesday, 16th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

The uncompromising Lucy Rose will be releasing a new album this March. The follow-up to 2017’s ‘Something’s Changing’ and its associated 2018 remix album, ‘No Words Left’ will be with us in March. (I wonder if she’ll be appearing at SXSW 2019 to promote the new LP?) Speaking about the upcoming release, she said, “…sincerity really is the key to this record. It’s my truth. Sincerity is the truth of a person, not just the good but the bad: the flaws, the realness, which can never be ‘perfect’. This album reflects the reality of my life, the toughness life throws at you, and for a period of time it did become too much for me to handle alone.”

An early taster, the single ‘Conversation’ is a song about – yup, you guessed it – the words you longed to say to someone but couldn’t. She goes through the conflicting feelings of love and hate for someone she clearly adores but who has also hurt her deeply. (I’m so intrigued by Lucy’s word choices here, I’m considering doing a full analysis over on my other site Music in Notes.) The treatment given to the song, with her emotive voice and acoustic guitar, augmented by a sweetly gentle orchestration in the background, is sheer perfection. If this is Lucy Rose being honest and beautifully so, then ‘No Words Left’ should be an incredible record indeed. Watch the monochromatic, beguilingly shadowy performance video for ‘Conversation’ below. It’s scheduled for release on the 22nd of March on Communion Records. She has announced UK tour dates for mid-April and Continental ones for early May. Past coverage on TGTF on Lucy Rose can be read through here.

 

Live Gig Video: The Twilight Sad perform single ‘VTr’ from upcoming fifth album and some other places

 
By on Tuesday, 15th January 2019 at 4:00 pm
 

In case you’ve somehow missed this, Friday sees the release of The Twilight Sad‘s fifth album. The band have previewed several tracks from ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ as singles in their own right and in session, notably for Seattle’s KEXP during their North American tour in October, then BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway in December. In the official video for single ‘VTr’, the Scottish band rock out in what has become their characteristic sombre color tones. Then I thought, why the heck would I not post the BBC Scotland live session for the song, as well as KEXP’s full performance recording in all its glory? You can never have *too* much Twilight Sad, am I right? Enjoy all of the tuneage in visual form below.

Stay tuned for ‘It Won/t Be Like This All the Time’ to be released on Rock Action Records this very Friday, the 18th of January. The group will be making live appearances this week and next in record shops; actual full gigs in the UK will be taking place in Edinburgh (29th of January), Manchester (27th of February), London (28th of February) and Glasgow (2nd of March). Details of all their scheduled live appearances can be viewed on the band’s official Web site. All of our past coverage of The Twilight Sad, including my review of their autumn 2018 North American tour-closing gig in Washington, DC, can be read through here.

 
 
 

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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