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Video of the Moment #1319: Islet

 
By on Saturday, 14th September 2013 at 10:00 am
 

Welsh band Islet will be releasing their next album ‘Released By the Movement’, the follow-up to 2012’s ‘Illuminated People’, on Shape Records on the 7th of October. Ahead of that, they’ve just released the promo video for ‘Tripping Through the Blue Room (Part II)’, described in its press release as a “bold collaboration with ice-painter Casper White exemplifies Islet’s intimacy with experimental approaches and their continued exploration of visual art”. Watch it below.

Catch Islet on tour in the UK in October; all the dates are here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tweta5nvFyk[/youtube]

 

Islet / October 2013 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 20th August 2013 at 9:00 am
 

Welsh group Islet will be releasing their second album ‘Released By the Movement’ on the 7th of October on Shape Records. They will also be going on tour on the UK that month too. Tickets are on sale now.

Saturday 5th October 2013 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Back
Saturday 12th October 2013 – Bristol Simple Things Festival @ Colston Hall 2
Sunday 13th October 2013 – Sheffield Audacious Art Experiment
Monday 14th October 2013 – Manchester Ruby Lounge
Tuesday 15th October 2013 – Glasgow Nice N Sleazy’s
Wednesday 16th October 2013 – London Birthdays
Thursday 17th October 2013 – Brighton Hope
Friday 18th October 2013 – Oxford Modern Art Oxford
Saturday 19th October 2013 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club – Octernal Festival
Friday 25th October 2013 – Liverpool Shipping Forcast
Saturday 26th October 2013 – Sunderland Independent
Sunday 27th October 2013 – Cambridge Portland Arms   

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013: Pop and pop hybrid UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 8th January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

It may be hard to believe, but the start of South by Southwest 2013 is a mere 9 weeks away! We’ll be bringing you special features here on TGTF all the way until and through the week of the music portion of SXSW on the 12th to the 17th of March 2013, so keep it here for some great stuff your way. Please note: all information we bring you is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change.

For example, starting this month, on each Tuesday in January, we’ll be bringing you the genre section of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013, profiling all the UK artists that have already been announced to perform at this year’s event as of 5 December 2012. It’s a handy resource if you’re wondering which acts to catch at this year’s marathon week of showcases, parties and secret shows. But I hope it’ll also introduce you to the solo artists and bands you haven’t heard of, because that’s the most exciting thing about SXSW: at any one moment, you could walk into a bar, a club, a hotel, a warehouse, wherever…and you might just discover the next big thing in music.

Today’s genre? Pop and pop hybrid acts. How are we defining pop? That’s often a tough question, since pop can pull elements from other genres of music including urban, dance, rock, folk and country. And it made my work harder, as sometimes I had to question, “is this band pop? Or rock? Or should I put him/her with the singer/songwriters?” I detected a prevailing pop sensibility in all the acts you will read about below.

(alt-J) – do they really a write-up? Probably not. It’s bothering me more than necessary that they’re playing 9:30 Club in the spring, but if nasal vocals are what DC wants, they will get them…

Read our previous coverage including the 2012 Mercury Prize nomination and win of alt-J, here.

Syd Arthur – not a single singer/songwriter but rather a psychedelic pop band calling Canterbury home. As you might expect, they all have long, unkempt hair but have incredible attention to detail. “Greatly inspired by the sonic pioneers of the late 60s and early 70s, they have patiently learned how to engineer, produce and mix themselves, using an innovative hybrid of analogue and digital techniques.” I’m sold.

Sounds like: exactly how I’d think the Alan Parsons Project would sound in the 21st Century.

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/51432880[/vimeo]

Bastille – I’m not going to write a blurb here since Cheryl had done a very nice one here for Dan Smith and co.’s profile as #2 on our 10 for 2013 poll.

Catch all our previous coverage of Bastille here.

Cave Painting – expansive dream pop from Brighton with touches of Friendly Fires-like escapism and occasional xx-like minimalism.

Catch our previous coverage on the band here.

Charli XCX – Hertfordshire-born, cookie cutter electropop princess. Not really what I think of going down well in Austin. Next…

Charlotte Church – To be honest, I was a little confused to see her name on the first SXSW list. But she’s been trying to shed her good girl, classical music-singing, teenage girl image with a proper pop one, though she runs no risk of sounding like any other UK pop starlet. No, her sound is an unusual blend of the operatic with the whimsy of Patrick Wolf? Not sure about this. Very interesting though to see her singing the praises of Lianne La Havas on Twitter. Future mates?

Now trying to sound like: an operatic Kate Bush (see ‘How Not To Be Surprised When You’re a Ghost’ below)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4IT3aJ90aA[/youtube]

Everything Everything – the Manchester band that defies any description, really, is ready to storm 2013 with a new album ‘Arc’ to be released in a short while, and it’s my hope that their SXSW turn will finally land them an American record deal. Mixing their disparate loves of pop, rock and hip hop to create a sound that can only be described as catchy and earworm-y, missing them at SXSW is not an option.

We’ve been following EE since Gwilym Gold (ex-Golden Silvers) first tipped them in 2009 on Twitter, so for everything (no pun intended) we’ve written on them, go here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TKKMfJ8cZoQ[/youtube]

Fear of Men – What a strange name for a band, especially since this group consists of two girls and two boys. (I would have thought it either would have been a girl group, or a bunch of gay men.) Brooklyn record label Kanine Records – aka the American home of Surfer Blood – will be putting out a compilation of the band’s early singles, which means a whole new generation of hipsters will be putting them on their iPods. Really. Hear their latest 7”, called ‘Mosaic’, here; Amazing Radio’s Shell Zenner interviewed the band in 2012 and I’ve embedded a stream of the interview below.

File next to: the Pains of Being Pure at Heart

Gross Magic – Brighton’s Sam McGarrigle makes kinda psychedelic rock, kinda pop. Kinda. Not my thing so I’ll leave it there.

Sounds like: a drugged out Marc Bolan if he discovered a synth (but we didn’t, and that’s why we have T. Rex)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ay-rsScKOmQ[/youtube]

The Heavy – they are a neo-soul band from Bath whose 2009 song ‘How Do You Like Me Now?’ has been popping up in all sorts of popular culture places, on tv shows and video games to…Barack Obama’s election night location in Chicago. (What?) And you know how the line goes, if Barry’s a fan, then…

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVzvRsl4rEM[/youtube]

Islet – noise pop quartet from Cardiff who have been blowing minds in the UK for a while now with their challenging blend of percussion driven, yet undanceable experimental rock.

Read our previous coverage of the band, including a review of their 2012 album ‘Illuminated People’, here.

Jetta – Liverpool singer Jetta croons soulfully to a minimalist backdrop the xx would be proud to call their own. Band-wise, we’ll have to see if this turns out to be more Florence and the Machine or No Doubt.

Sounds like: Diana Ross joined the xx and unilaterally blocked Romy and Oliver from singing

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xt1keKvhycY[/youtube]

Lianne La Havas – La Havas has already made a huge impression on an L.A. crowd in November at the Roxy; if the L.A. Times are to be believed, her voice can be favourably compared to those of Joni Mitchell, Sade, Alicia Keys, Meshell Ndgeocello, Jill Scott and, based on a cover on her 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’, even Leonard Cohen. Picked up by NPR, she will have no problem gathering fans to watch her sets at SXSW, even if they never heard that she won iTunes’ Best of 2012 Album honours or is a BBC Sound of 2012 longlist alum.

Read our previous coverage on La Havas here.

The Real Tuesday Weld – pop meets jazz cabaret style meets electronic. Founded by Stephen Coates, this band has been around since 1999 and have been involved in a number of high profile collaborations, including providing music for art museum installations, film soundtracks and television adverts.

Polly Scattergood – my first exposure to Polly was the quirky ‘Please Don’t Touch’, which exemplified her folk / pop /electronic style. I’m hoping she’ll fill in the void that’s been left since Little Boots and Ladyhawke have vacated in heading in their respective new directions. New material has a

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNUt3q8joAg[/youtube]

This Many Boyfriends – this Leeds band have already gotten the attention of a local celebrity: Ryan Jarman, who produced one of their recent singles. Pleasant and poppy but not exactly meaty.

Sounds like: they’ve been listening to too many Belle and Sebastian records

Wall. – not to be confused with the articled Wall, a punk band from Tyne, this Wall has an unGoogleable name that isn’t helping, so I’ll stop here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2xO4hC3dGk[/youtube]

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2013!

 

Islet / May and June 2012 UK Tour

 
By on Tuesday, 31st January 2012 at 9:00 am
 

Welsh noise pop band Islet will be touring the UK in late May into early June, right before festival time kicks into high gear.

‘Illuminated People’, their debut album, came out last week and my review of it can be read here.

Friday 25th May 2012 – Liverpool Kazimier
Saturday 26th May 2012 – Glasgow Captain’s Rest
Sunday 27th May 2012 – Newcastle Cluny 2
Monday 28th May 2012 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 29th May 2012 – Sheffield Harley
Wednesday 30th May 2012 – London Cargo
Thursday 31st May 2012 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
Friday 1st June 2012 – Birmingham Rainbow

 

Album Review: Islet – Illuminated People

 
By on Tuesday, 24th January 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

Though they’ve released two EPs previously ‘Celebrate This Place’ and ‘Wimmy’, this week sees Cardiff band Islet (Emma Daman and brothers John and Mark Freeman) releasing their proper debut album. As should be expected, most of the tracks on ‘Illuminated People’ take full advantage of what has been considered Islet’s strength from the beginning: their ability to channel their talents into rhythmically eclectic tunes.

What I found completely unexpected was that despite their reputation as being known as a “rhythmic” band, they can sound, scarily, like a loud rock band brandishing their best two finger gestures, and they don’t make dance music, as I had incorrectly assumed. There’s also snatches of psych rock (‘A Bear on His Own’ – its equally psychedelic video is below) and folk (the Simon and Garfunkel-y ‘We Bow’).

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Fi76ldbBSY[/youtube]

‘Illuminated People’ begins with the lengthy ‘Libra Man’. Disappointingly, despite the astrologically minded title, the only mention of anything star related are the words in the chorus that go, “you’ve got the lion’s share” (comparison to Mr. Leo?) and you are given a further indication that the person being sung about is too cocksure. After an instrumental bridge, another verse comes round with “you’re a Rome-e-o / programmed for love”: maybe there is something astrological after all, just that whoever wrote this is not at all impressed by this bloke puffing out his chest. Maybe he’s getting the lion’s share…of women? Of conquests? At over 9 minutes, it does all start to feel a bit self-indulgent. Kind of like Cut Copy’s ‘Sun God’ closing out last year’s ‘Zonoscope’ album. Some people adore that track; personally, I feel like that’s the sort of thing a band should edit.

Beyond this first track, there are varied approaches with melody and vocals. Sometimes, the trio’s experiments go wrong. ‘This Fortune’ has effects laden, screechy, female, Yoko Ono-like vocals; ‘Funicular’ is great except for its schizophrenic Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde megaphone moments at one-third and two-thirds through the song. What is this? You experience similar situations with ‘Filia’ and ‘Shores’: it’s easier to give the band points on the obviously well thought out instrumentation than question their vocal choices. Anything too out there is not my bag, so listening to this album was like putting my brain into a blender.

On the more harmonious end of the vocal spectrum, ‘Entwined Pines’ has a sweet lead vocal and driving layered backing, and ‘What We Done Wrong’ is the anti-‘Giving Up on Love’ (Slow Club). These are the standouts on the album and probably have the best chance of doing well on radio and at this year’s festivals. But despite these two songs, I’m apt to file ‘Illuminated People’ under weird and maybe wonderful to a select, wigged out few.

6/10

‘Illuminated People’, the debut album from Islet, is out now on Shape Records. For a limited time, you can stream the album below.

 

Islet / November 2011 English Tour

 
By on Friday, 7th October 2011 at 9:30 am
 

Welsh noise poppers Islet will be touring England in November. They will also play Leeds Constellation Festival on the 12th of November. Tickets are on sale now.

Friday 11th November 2011 – Manchester Deaf Institute
Saturday 12th November 2011 – Leeds Constellations Festival
Sunday 13th November 2011 – Nottingham Bodega Social
Monday 14th November 2011 – Norwich Arts Centre
Tuesday 15th November 2011 – Brighton Green Door Store
Wednesday 16th November 2011 – London Lexington
Thursday 17th November 2011 – Cambridge Portland Arms

 
 
 

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.

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