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Isaac Gracie / October 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 4th July 2017 at 9:00 am
 

London singer/songwriter Isaac Gracie has announced a list of UK tour dates for this October. The new live shows follow Gracie’s mid-June opening slot with Nick Mulvey and a recent appearance at Glastonbury Festival. Speaking of festival appearances, Gracie will make another one in the middle of his October tour, at Manchester’s Neighbourhood Festival on Saturday the 7th of October.

Tickets for the following live dates are available now. A complete listing of Gracie’s upcoming shows can be found on his official Web site. TGTF’s previous coverage of Isaac Gracie, including a live review from SXSW 2016 is right through this link.

Monday 2nd October 2017 – Liverpool Shipping Forecast
Wednesday 4th October 2017 – Glasgow King Tut’s
Thursday 5th October 2017 – Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
Monday 9th October 2017 – Oxford Cellar
Tuesday 10th October 2017 – Birmingham Hare and Hounds
Wednesday 11th October 2017 – London Omeara

 

Single Review: Isaac Gracie – All in My Mind

 
By on Friday, 30th June 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo by Charlotte Patmore

Isaac_Gracie-All_In_My_Mind-single-2017-artworkSinger/songwriter Isaac Gracie has been busy so far this summer, having recently played the support slot for a handful of shows with Nick Mulvey as well as appearing at Worthy Farm for Glastonbury Festival last weekend. Just before that flurry of live activity, Gracie released an already familiar song, ‘All in My Mind’, as his latest single, accompanied by a brand new promo video.

‘All in My Mind’ is the lead track from Gracie’s 2016 live EP ‘Songs in Black and White’, recorded at London’s Waiting Room last July. The EP was released last September, but this new video features a studio recording of ‘All in My Mind’, and the official single release seemed like a good occasion to take a closer listen to the song.

The layered vocals in the track’s opening moments are surprising, but positively so, setting a tone of hazy psychedelia that feels very appropriate to the song’s title. Breaking through the haze is Gracie’s remarkable solo vocal, which flows seamlessly between raw emotional stridency and gentle, expertly-executed vibrato.

The song itself is as poignant and packed with feeling as we’ve come to expect from Gracie, exploring a tempestuous romantic relationship. Alternating moments of clarity and uncertainty play out both in the kaleidoscopic musical arrangement and in the visual representation below. The instrumental bridge at 2:50, ahead of Gracie’s whispered final lines, is nothing short of exquisite.

I’ve been eagerly awaiting a substantial release of music from Isaac Gracie since I first encountered him at SXSW 2016. Though Gracie himself seems to be in no hurry, his singles and EP releases have certainly whetted appetites for a full-length album. This beautiful and sensitively-produced studio version of ‘All in My Mind’ might just indicate a step in that direction.

8/10

‘All in My Mind’ is out now on Buried Crowns / Virgin EMI. Isaac Gracie will play a list of live dates in the UK this October; you can find the details here. TGTF’s previous coverage of Isaac Gracie is back through here.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/uUyZHgiVOsg[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #2346: Isaac Gracie

 
By on Friday, 21st April 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

So, if you’re like me, you’ve been wondering what Isaac Gracie has been up to. Last month, a year on from his appearance at the BBC Introducing evening showcase at SXSW 2016, he unveiled a new single. ‘Reverie’, a 6-minute opus allowing the London singer/songwriter to fully indulge in his emotions, now has an accompanying promo video. It tells a story about a love but ultimately, it’s also about enduring friendship. Watch the video for ‘Reverie’ below; it’s out now on Buried Crowns / Virgin EMI. To catch up all of TGTF’s past coverage on Isaac Gracie, check out the archive here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TME8EQrifgc[/youtube]

 

Single Review: Isaac Gracie – Terrified

 
By on Tuesday, 24th May 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

West London singer/songwriter Isaac Gracie released his debut EP ‘Songs from My Bedroom’ at the end of March, just after his appearance at SXSW 2016. Gracie impressed me in Austin with the tender vulnerability of his singing voice and the insightful emotional honesty of his song lyrics. As you might expect, songs like Gracie’s are most effectively presented in their raw acoustic form, and that is exactly the presentation Gracie has arranged for them on ‘Songs from My Bedroom’.

The EP’s lead track ‘Terrified’ was released as a single on the 13th of May on Virgin EMI, and it epitomises the overall sound of ‘Songs from My Bedroom’. The lo-fi recording (which actually took place in Gracie’s bedroom, according to the man himself in my interview with him at SXSW) results in a warm but distant quality, almost as if Gracie were singing to himself. His sweet voice is backed at first only by a single guitar, and the slight warble in his tone only emphasises the stark melancholy of his opening lines, “well, I sleep all day / drink all night / just give me one reason / and I’ll turn off my light”.

The song expands with the addition of backing vocals as it moves into the refrain, and Gracie displays the full strength of his own lead vocal in its opening line “I don’t wanna be your boy, I wanna be a man” before he executes a graceful decrescendo into the key lyric “I’m terrified that maybe I wasn’t cut out for this”. The recording style emphasises simplicity and spontaneous musicality over technical precision, and as a result there are a few rough vocal moments in the performance. But rather than distracting from the overall mood or effect, these only serve to enhance the genuine emotional quality of the song.

8.5/10

The five-song tracklisting for the UK version of ‘Songs from My Bedroom’ contains ‘Terrified’, along with ‘Hollow Crown’, ‘We’re So Very Lost’, ‘All The Burning Lovers’ and ‘Darkness Of The Day’. The American version has only four songs, starting with Gracie’s early single ‘Last Words’ and includes ‘Terrified’, ‘Hollow Crown’ and ‘Darkness of the Day’. Both are available now on Buried Crowns / Virgin EMI.

Isaac Gracie is scheduled to appear at the Dot to Dot Festival in Manchester, Bristol and Nottingham over the upcoming second May bank holiday weekend. He has just announced an American tour for June, after which he’ll return to the UK for more festival appearances at Barn on the Farm, Latitude, and Reading and Leeds. You can find a full listing of Isaac Gracie’s upcoming live dates on his official Facebook. TGTF’s previous coverage of Isaac Gracie is back this way.

 

Live at Leeds 2016 Preview: editor Mary’s best band bets

 
By on Monday, 18th April 2016 at 11:00 am
 

Please note: as we recommend with all of our festival previews, the information we post here on TGTF on Live at Leeds is current at the time of posting, but we encourage you to check in at the Live at Leeds 2016 official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Wristbands for the event in Leeds on Saturday the 30th of April are still available at the bargain price of £32.50. This year for the price of £45.00, a VIP option is also available; it will allow you to jump queues at venues (subject to capacity), entry to the VIP bar at the First Direct Arena and free entry to the afterparty at the Wardrobe. More information on where you can purchase your tickets in person or online is available here.

SXSW 2016 alums: I’d be remiss not to give a shoutout to the artists we saw in Austin that we enjoyed and we think you will too (in order of appearance):
Barns Courtney (5:30 PM, Leeds College of Music)
The Sherlocks (5:30 PM, Leeds Uni Union Refectory)
Declan McKenna (6 PM, Brudenell Social Club main stage)
Clean Cut Kid (6:15 PM, Leeds Uni Union Stylus)
Autobahn (6:30 PM, Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 1)
DMA’s (6:45 PM, Leeds Uni Union Refectory)
Blaenavon (7:00 PM, Oporto)
Isaac Gracie (7:15 PM, Holy Trinity Church)
Pumarosa (8:00 PM, Wardrobe)
Haelos (10:00 PM, Belgrave Music Hall)

In addition to those acts, here are 10 more acts recommended from the amazing Live at Leeds 2016 schedule:

Atlantic Shore

In the mood for sparkling, upbeat synth rock? This quartet with ties to nearly all of the great Northern towns (Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester) will start your day at Live at Leeds on an energetic note. Check out Atlantic Shore’s latest single, ‘The Comedown’, which was released last month.

Atlantic Shore are set to perform at the Faversham at 12:30 PM.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTOwNGC_aPo[/youtube]

The Jackobins

Staying in th’ North (this festival is in Yorkshire, am I right?), turn your attention to music of a harder edge. Forget Manchester for a moment: The Jackobins’ ‘Waiting on the Sun’ will remind you of Oasis in the brashness of their anthemic rock.

The Jackobins perform at Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 2 at 1 PM. (Incidentally, Plaitum – who Rebecca introduced you all to when they received a shout for SXSW 2016 – will be playing at the same time of day at Headrow House.)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hb1STNc3D6o[/youtube]

The Velveteens

Let’s not kid ourselves, surf rock came back, so what’s to stop the other trends of past decades returning? Co-ed group from Leeds The Velveteens will be leading the charge when the revolution comes. ‘Simply Plain Mary Jane’? Hardly!

The Velveteens play at the Brudenell Social Club’s Games Room at 2:30 PM.

Demob Happy

From Leeds, you can either go north to Newcastle or south all the way to the coast to Brighton for Demob Happy. As a science boffin by (day) trade, I am more than a little amused they’ve got a song called ‘Junk DNA’. “Gene Manipulator” should have been my nickname in uni. Make of that what you will… And we could all use a little bliss, eh?

Demob Happy are scheduled to play at the Brudenell Social Club’s main stage at 3:00 PM, which make them a nice follow-up after The Velveteens.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f6QEpLGoEc[/youtube]

Xylaroo

Cover me, folks, I’m going into Carrie’s usual bailiwick and into the singer/songwriter den. A girl duo signed to Rob da Bank’s Sunday Best label, Xylaroo have done a fantastic acoustic treatment to cover of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’, turning a song I don’t even like to a palatable one (!), so suffice to say, I’m looking forward to their debut album ‘Sweetooth’ (not a typo) out the 3rd of June, which includes ‘Sunshine’.

So if singer/songwriter-y, harmonising type music is more your thing, you can catch Xylaroo at Leeds College of Music Recital Room at 3 PM.

Girl Friend

Okay, I’m outta there and back to my specialty and having gone on to another duo. Girl Friend, a girl/boy pair from Manchester (seriously, where else would they have been from? ha), do clean, crisp electropop that’s music to my ears and heart, not to mention my feet. Check out the fab ‘Nocturnal’.

Girl Friend will play the Belgrave Music Hall at 4 PM.

Jones

Jones has the kind of voice music producers clamour over: soulful, rich, strong. Her voice lend well to both electronic/urban pop and acoustic treatments. Judging from her collaboration with TGTF friends Honne on their track ‘No Place Like Home’, she’ll be a sought-after vocal talent for years to come.

Jones is set to perform at the Wardrobe at 7:00 PM.

Catholic Action

Ready to do some hand clapping in my favourite venue in all of Leeds? Then you’re definitely ready to have some fun with Catholic Action and fall in ‘L.U.V.’ with this band from Glasgow. We have!

Catholic Action will appear at Nation of Shopkeepers at 8:00 PM.

Anteros

Staying in the pop realm, we arrive at London’s Anteros. Their sci-fi name makes them sound like they’re from another planet. However, to our benefit, they’re just writing really great pop songs. Have some ‘Breakfast’ with them below.

Anteros perform at the Brudenell Social Club’s Games Room at 9:30 PM.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MdENOdnxPkc[/youtube]

Fatherson

I’ve been a fan of these Scots and their uplifting, swooning anthems since I saw them in Edinburgh 2 years ago. And it’s a great time for them to appear at Live at Leeds, as they’ve just released their newest single, ‘Just the Point of Breaking’.

Fatherson appear at Leeds Beckett Uni Union Stage 2 at 9:30 PM.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GT1NE2hPdLg[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2016: Wednesday night at the first half of BBC Introducing and second half of Ground Control Touring showcases – 16th March 2016

 
By on Thursday, 31st March 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

The Wednesday night of SXSW 2016 turned out to be quite a busy one, with no shortage of interesting showcases to choose from, including stages hosted by Music from Ireland, Austin record label Modern Outsider, Paradigm Talent Agency, Simon Raymonde’s Bella Union Records, Dine Alone Records, and Communion Music, just to name a few. Mary and I had conferred at length about how to use our time most wisely, and it transpired that I spent my Wednesday evening at two venues, our beloved British Music Embassy for the BBC Introducing / PRS for Music Foundation showcase, and the Sidewinder (formerly Red Eyed Fly), a new-to-me location playing host to the Ground Control Touring stage.

BBC 6 Music presenter and indie artist champion Steve Lamacq was left with the rather daunting task of leading into the BBC Introducing showcase with a tribute to Warrington indie pop band Viola Beach, who were tragically killed in an automobile accident while touring in Sweden in February. Viola Beach had been scheduled to play the BBC Introducing stage on this Wednesday night; instead, Lamacq opened with a very brief eulogy emphasising the band’s promise and potential.

Lamacq closed his remarks with possibly the most appropriate commentary he could have made, reminding us that it’s not too late to listen to the brilliant music Viola Beach made before their untimely passing, and that our finest tribute to the band would be in doing so. Following Lamacq’s short speech, we were treated to a skillfully crafted video montage featuring live clips of Viola Beach, including their November 2015 studio session at Maida Vale, which you can view in part just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/LrhRlCf_NJM[/youtube]

The night’s first live set was then left to up-and-coming singer/songwriter Isaac Gracie, who was introduced to the British Music Embassy stage by BBC Radio 1 presenter Huw Stephens. Gracie took advantage of his audience’s somewhat sombre mood, opening his set with an as-yet-unreleased song called ‘Down and Out’ before proceeding into the heartfelt ‘Terrified’. He saved his more upbeat tracks for the end of his brief set list, in particular ’Running on Empty’ and ‘Last Words’, which I had the chance to discuss with him in this brief interview before he hurried off to his next engagement.

Isaac Gracie at British Music Embassy Latitude 30 SXSW 2016

Next on the docket, BBC Radio 2 host Jo Whiley shepherded the youthful and somewhat shy singer/songwriter Billie Marten, who played a lovely handful of songs and impressed me with the sweetness of her singing voice and her delicate touch on the guitar, despite having to work through a bit of a battle with her own nerves. Marten played tracks from her 2014 EP ‘Ribbon’ before switching to last November’s EP release ‘As Long As’, which includes the female-centric track ‘Bird’ and the eponymous title track. Steeling her nerve, she also played a remarkably effective cover of Royal Blood‘s ‘Out of the Black’ before diving into two new tracks, ‘Milk & Honey’ and ‘La Lune’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/iJx8dGYbGBc[/youtube]

After Billie Marten’s set, Mary and I swapped places, as she came over to the British Music Embassy for the end of the BBC Introducing show, which would feature Sheffield indie pop quartet The Sherlocks, Oxford songstress Frances and Welsh punks ESTRONS. Meanwhile, I headed down East 7th Street to the Sidewinder to catch three American bands on the Ground Control Touring showcase.

Your Friend at Sidewinder SXSW 2016

I arrived just in time to catch the end of avant-experimental act Your Friend, who I wrote about in my preview of the Savannah Stopover Festival back in December of last year. Your Friend, aka Taryn Miller, hails from Lawrence, Kansas and released her debut LP ‘Gumption’ in January on Domino Records. Miller was accompanied on the small and dimly lit Sidewinder stage by a full band, notably including a flautist, who helped her to realise the drones, loops and thick textures of the songs on the album.

Big Thief at Sidewinder SXSW 2016

Following Your Friend was a band I’d seen before in Phoenix, Brooklyn-based quartet Big Thief. Led by frontwoman Adrianne Lenker and guitarist Buck Meek, the band played almost exactly the same set I’d heard from them on that previous occasion, when they had opened for fellow Brooklynites Here We Go Magic. Lenker hadn’t been particularly chatty with her audience on that evening at Phoenix’s Valley Bar, concentrating her energy instead on the songs, but on this night at the Sidewinder, she was even more subdued, playing through the set in a pair of large headphones. As I found out later, Lenker had burst an eardrum just before playing the aforementioned Savannah Stopover festival prior to SXSW. Despite the obvious difficulty, Lenker and company made it through their set without any major problems, and their latest singles ‘Masterpiece’ and ‘Real Love’ were among the highlights of the night.

The final act of the evening on the Sidewinder stage was the much-hyped, Chicago-based indie pop band Whitney, who had come up in conversation earlier in the day during my interview with singer/songwriter Roo Panes. Despite their billing as a duo comprising Julien Ehrlich and Max Kakacek (both formerly of the Smith Westerns), Whitney somehow managed to cram no less than six band members onto the Sidewinder stage, with Ehrlich’s drum kit shoved to the front so he could double as drummer and lead singer.

Whitney at Sidewinder SXSW 2016

This might normally have been an engaging setup, but on this particular occasion it opened Ehrlich up to a bevy of proffered beverages from the female audience members at the front of the stage, and he appeared to have had plenty to drink already. Not that the band weren’t tight on stage – guitarist Kakacek seemed especially sharp – but they trudged through their 1 AM set in a rather uninspired manner, and I have to admit that to my own ear the songs were largely indistinguishable from one another. Nevertheless, the crowd inside the Sidewinder were eager to hear them, grooving along from the first notes of the set through to the final strains of Wednesday night.

 
 
 

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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