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Single Review: Dutch Uncles – Fragrant

 
By on Monday, 6th September 2010 at 2:00 pm
 

Dutch Uncles (or ‘Duncles’ as fellow Mancunian and proud band supporter Mike Joyce likes to call them) have a unique, intriguing sound. They’re unlike anything I’ve heard over here in America lately. Really, go over to their MySpace and check them out, because me trying to explain their sound to you is as unlikely successful as Gok Wan trying to describe the more esoteric wrinkles of footy. Maths pop? I think that oversimplifies things.

You see, Dutch Uncles are a band that prides themselves on being different. And you wouldn’t expect anything less from a band that counts such disparate bands as XTC and King Crimson as influences. I personally don’t hear the prog influence in their music; what I have heard of the band makes me want to jump up and shimmy, which isn’t really in the prog rock code of decorum, is it? (Then again, the first thing that pops in my mind when someone says ‘prog’ is Geddy Lee whining on Rush’s ‘Limelight’.)

‘Fragrant’ is the band’s forthcoming single, to be released 11 October digitally on Memphis Industries. It features engaging guitars (I’m a fan of the funky bass line in particular) and the always quirky vocals of frontman Duncan Wallis, who has admitted the salacious subject of the song is incest but is quick to point out that the origin of the lyrics was watching a film on the subject (stay tuned for my interview with him coming soon on TGTF). Straightforward topics like love and heartbreak may be the domain of the average pop band but not for Dutch Uncles. And I like a band that makes me think.

The b-side, ‘Lovebone’, is not as immediately poppy as ‘Fragrant’. Beginning with space age droning, the track then dives headfirst into an instrumental maelstrom before Wallis’s voice comes in. But it’s unmistakably Dutch Uncles. And definitely a grower.

8.5/10

‘Fragrant’ will be released digitally on 11 October by Memphis Industries, with a physical release to follow on 1 November. Catch Dutch Uncles as support on Sky Larkin’s UK tour this month, starting on Tuesday 14 September in Aberdeen.

Header photo by Katie Dervin

 

In the Post #65: Dutch Uncles

 
By on Thursday, 22nd July 2010 at 12:00 pm
 

Forget London. Manchester and all its surrounding environs is where everything is happening now – Delphic, Egyptian Hip Hop, Everything Everything…and this band, Dutch Uncles.

As one can imagine, if you live in Manchester and are a musician, the desire to escape from the ghosts of your city’s celebrated musical past are a constant preoccupation. But hearing Dutch Uncles, I don’t think anyone can accuse this quintet of copying anyone, past or present. Huw Stephens of Radio1 had them round at Maida Vale last week for his ‘BBC Introducing…’ segment and I was really impressed with two tracks the band considers ‘old’ – ‘Face In’ and ‘Fragrant’. But best of all was their new single released on 31 May, ‘the Ink’.

The only band whose sound I draw a comparison with regards to this single is Field Music – and even then the comparison is tenuous (uh, prominent jangly piano sequence?). Lead singer Duncan Wallis’s voice is filled with innocence, in stark contrast to the up-tempo guitars, but somehow it all makes sense. ‘The Ink’ single is backed by an even more instrumentally frenetic track, ‘Creature’. I’m imagining they must be a fun band to watch live – I can’t be there but you can catch them on tour as support for Sky Larkin in September (tour dates here). If you go, let us know what you think.

Below you can watch a video of interview, live performance and promo clips of the band from early June.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PepWo_oD6Bw[/youtube]

You can purchase ‘The Ink’ single from 7digital here. The single includes ‘Creature’ and 3 remixes of ‘The Ink’.

 

Sky Larkin / September 2010 UK Tour

 
By on Friday, 16th July 2010 at 3:09 pm
 

The fabulous Sky Larkin has announced a tour of the UK for September. Support on some of the dates will be provided by Dutch Uncles (see starred dates), who Jess introduced us to last November and you the readers voted #7 on our 10 for 2010 poll. Tickets for this tour are on sale now.

Friday 10th September 2010 – Brighton Audio
Saturday 11th September 2010 – Bristol Cooler
Sunday 12th September 2010 – Leicester Musician
Tuesday 14th September 2010 – Aberdeen Cafe Drummonds*
Wednesday 15th September 2010 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest*
Thursday 16th September 2010 – Manchester Night And Day*
Friday 17th September 2010 – Nottingham Bodega*
Saturday 18th September 2010 – Aldershot West End Centre*
Monday 20th September 2010 – London Lexington*
Tuesday 21st September 2010 – Cambridge Haymakers*
Wednesday 22nd September 2010 – York Fibbers*
Thursday 23rd September 2010 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club*

 

Love and Disaster 1: New tracks from new Manchester artists

 
By on Wednesday, 16th December 2009 at 2:00 pm
 

Love & Disaster (side)If you’re a regular reader of the There Goes The Fear, you’ll be down with how exciting Manchester is for us right now. It’s a hub of musical amazement, knocking out soon-to-be-huge bands like tasty hot cakes. So, I guess you’ll understand how thrilled we were this week when we got an e-mail telling us about an E.P which is set to showcase this mass of awesomeness upon an upcoming sparkly 10″ vinyl next January.

Titled Love and Disaster 1, the E.P, which shall also be released digitally, is said to be a “collaborative effort by the people and artists that are going to make Manchester a focal point for new music in 2010”. Featuring Airship, Dutch Uncles, Jo Rose, Delphic and Everything Everything, this is one HELL of compilation – in fact this shiny treasure of a record is practically here to shed light on Britain’s undoubtedly Mancunian-led musical future.

From the tender, Grizzly Bear-esque ballads of Jo Rose, to the jerked-up indie of Dutch Uncles (‘OCDUC’, the band’s song which is featured on the E.P, showcases a piano riff which I swear is ripped from Tay Zonday’s Chocolate Rain), to the epic summer riffs of Airship and finally, the digitally suave hit that is Delphic remixed by Everything Everything (I know I know what a combination), this E.P is pretty set on blowing your ears off with it’s brilliance. MINT!

You can pre-order the ‘Love and Disaster 1’ 10″ vinyl now. The E.P is released January 11th.

 

10 for 2010: #7 – Dutch Uncles

 
By on Friday, 4th December 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

A couple of weeks back, we asked you to vote for your top 10 artists for 2010. We had almost 600 votes, and we’re now going to countdown the top 10 over the next 10 days, finishing with our number 1 on 10th December at midday. Today, at number 7, are Manchester’s Dutch Uncles.

Dutch Uncles (side)Dutch Uncles are (we think) the only band in our 10 of 2010 who have already released a full-length album. However, it’s only now that they’re starting to gain a rising profile. They’ve already gone all Art-Brut on us and signed to a huge German record label and started making waves on the other side of the channel, so it’s only right that we start to take notice here.

Making “Alternative guitar music with a pinch of new wave and post punk”, they formed in sixth form and have gone from strength to strength, with their album being released in Austria, Germany and Switzerland before it was even considered here in the UK. Expect many comparisons to Foals and the like here with their fast, angular tunes that will have everyone singing their praises within no time.

Jess introduced them properly the other week, and you can catch them on the road supporting Bombay Bicycle Club later this month. You can watch the video for their single “Face In” below.

[vimeo]http://www.vimeo.com/2859436[/vimeo]

Buy Dutch Uncles’ debut album now from Amazon.

 

Bands to Watch #146: Dutch Uncles

 
By on Wednesday, 18th November 2009 at 12:00 pm
 

Dutch Uncles (side)Last week, I introduced you to Delphic – a trance quartet hailing from Manchester. It would appear that Mancunians are very much on the ball musically of late, since Dutch Uncles, the indie stars I’d like to introduce to you today, similarly spawn from the Northern city.

Dutch Uncles are signed, rather intriguingly, to Germany’s biggest label, Tapete Records, and have already released themselves a full-length album back in February. However, it’s just these past few months the quintet have truly started to set tounges-a-wagging.

Dutch Uncles skilfully fuse fuzz pop-riffs and new wave synths with fizzed-up vocals – ala an edgy Vampire Weekend. The sometimes jagged, asymmetric melodies, can often lead the band into shiny prog territory (listen to Feargoo – hear the hints of Mew?). The Uncles even layer on, quite fearlessly, a more crunchy, sinister sound (check out Doppelganger, for example), yet, whatever musical face they do choose to wear, Dutch Uncles never fail in dropping unbeatable hooks which enjoy playing around in your mind far too much, quite frankly.

Wanna hear more? Check out the band’s official video to ‘Face In’, below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKiP3lqBlZE[/youtube]

If you think Dutch Uncles are going to be big in the coming year, why not go ahead and vote for them in our poll – ‘10 for 2010′ – which is set on finding the biggest bands of 2010.

 
 
 

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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