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Video of the Moment #1083: Peace

 
By on Saturday, 5th January 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

I debated whether or not to post this Peace video for their single ‘Wraith’, out on the 31st of January. As a woman, I find 99% of the videos featuring exotic dancers demeaning and misogynistic. After further contemplation, I’ve decided to put it up here and let you decide whether or not you watch it.

The Brum band placed #5 on our 10 for 2013 readers’ poll; you can read Braden’s profile on the band here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI8vZfG7ILU[/youtube]

 

BBC Sound of 2013 – Yea or Nay?

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd January 2013 at 11:00 am
 

Editor’s note: The BBC Sound of 2013 longlist announcement garnered mixed reviews from our writers, which led me to commission this unusual interplay – between John, holed up on his home island of Guernsey, and Martin, holed up similarly at home in Gateshead – just about the merits – or lack of? – in this Sound of 2013 list. For an alternative list, check out the TGTF 10 for 2013 poll winners, as voted by our lovely readers. As I prep this post in WordPress New Year’s Day, Welsh electropoppers CHVRCHES and Laura Mvula have been announced as #5 and #4, respectively. Before we get ahead of ourselves, John and Martin get stuck in their discussion…

So what is the BBC Sound of 2013? Is it a jumped-up product placement list, or a true representation of the best innovation to come out of the UK in the next year? Can the tips from the 213 so-called ‘tastemakers’ truly gauge who is going to break boundaries and inspire us this coming calendar year, or is it just a script that each BBC Radio presenter needs to stick to? Martin Sharman and I will be discussing this over this transcript:

John: So Martin, the BBC Sound of 2013 list is out and I quite frankly, I am bored and uninterested in what they’ve thrown up, what do you think?

Martin: Well, John, it’s easy to be cynical about these things – people like you and me spend a lot of time seeking out and experiencing new music, and could well be able to come up with a list of our own that would be just as virtuous, and certainly more to our own tastes, as this one. But I think this list has a good stab at covering a lot of bases, and I’m sure a lot of the artists on the list are grateful for the increased exposure it will generate for them. Quite how and why the acts are chosen we will never know – I fantasise that a lot of PR puffery and not the odd glass of champagne have been involved in its genesis – but if one is prepared to give it the benefit of the doubt, I’m sure most people who look at the list will be able to find something that they like.

John: I will indulge that a lot of bases are covered here, you’ve got your British guitar bands (Palma Violets and Savages) so the tabloid media can pander their fantasy that institution of ‘the Great British Guitar Band’ lives on. You’ve got your ‘strong independent’ woman type in the form of Angel Haze who already stinks of Jessie J and even a Michael Kiwanuka 2.0 (this time a girl!) in Laura Mvula. It feels almost formulaic to me?

Martin: Formulaic? This is the BBC we’re talking about, of course it is! There have undoubtedly been umpteenth meetings, focus groups, and quotas developed to exactly proportion each aspect of this list: genre, gender, ethnicity, hair colour, shoe size. But that’s not the fault of the artists who ended up being picked. Indeed, if Angel Haze, oozing with street smarts from the wrong side of Detroit, who can properly rap like Azealia Banks leavened with Odd Future‘s blunt lyrical themes, was to know she was being compared with the over-privileged, under-talented, Brit school rent-a-common-denominator Jessie J, she’d just as likely head across the Atlantic and whup yo’ ass. And Laura Mvula’s ethereal vocal work, presumably influenced by her a capella background, appeals to me a lot more than Kiwanuka’s homely schtick, but that just reinforces the subjective nature of all of this. What does make me yawn is the aforementioned Palma Violets – if I see another archly lo-fi video again, I’ve seen too many. The Libertines happened: deal with it. Although they may make more sense live. But there must be something on the list that appeals, John?

John: As a BBC employee I better watch whose toes on which I tread, but formulaic probably is hitting the nail on the head there. RE: Palma Violets and another ‘archly lo-fi video’, you’re going to absolutely have kittens for the video for ‘Best of Friends’, which people for some bizarre reason are gushing over? Not me, nope, I’m not buying into this Vaccines-lite that they seem to be publicising themselves as. I can get at least get a bit giddy about Gary Barlow’s favourite Irish crooners, Kodaline. The music and video to ‘All I Want’ is tear-jerkingly beautiful, and with the backing of Mister Barlow, I just feel like they could do very well for themselves. [They’ve also gotten a shout for SXSW 2013. – Ed.] While if she’s finished whooping ma ass, I feel like Angel Haze could at least be something edgy, exciting and a little bit sexy. Which is what I feel this list is missing… Who stands out for you then, Martin?

Martin: I’m with you on Kodaline: a deceptively simple song is enhanced with a brilliant, and indeed rather moving, visual story. Little Green Cars have a similarly powerful marriage: the video is made with a photographer’s eye for composition, and the song adds a much-needed bitter twist to the usual romance narrative. AlunaGeorge deserve mention for their sultry, mature approach to the urban pop genre, and visuals which positively drip 2013 London cool. The jury’s out on Tom Odell: he’s certainly a talented chap, but it’s so early on in his career to say for sure whether he’s got genuine depth, or simply blessed with an approximation of Chris Martin’s voice and demeanour. Gary Barlow’s finely-coiffed head pops up again with his signing A*M*E, who I can’t decide whether is bringing a decent bit of synthpop back to the charts or is the most derivative thing I’ve heard for ages. Either way, her video is a jolly bit of pastel-coloured candyfloss to liven these dark nights. And of the highlights for me that just leaves Haim’s ’80s-revival New York soft-rock, and (#5 band on the 10 for 2013 poll) Peace’s very British widescreen guitar jollity, one of very few bands who can invoke Talking Heads – and that’s a very good thing. Both acts were doing fine before this nomination, but it’ll do their career no harm either. Just pondering the winner…

John: We can ponder and discuss all we want, but it just feels like the cards are already stacked in Mr. Odell’s favour, he’s been named Brits Critics’ Choice Winner 2013 and we all know what that means. The talent is there, undoubtedly so: the Chichester-born musician seems like exactly what the BBC will want from their winner. Someone who’ll look well-placed on Jools Holland, while also being able to make fangirls swoon at festivals in the summer. We’d obviously like it to be somebody like Fenech-Soler, or a TGTF backed band, but hey we can dream.

Martin: I suspect you may be right. If they go for a band, and with all the talk of bands being back in fashion they may decide to buck the Brits trend, then my money’s on Kodaline. Great connections, great hairdos, great cheekbones. And although it’s easy to get all snobby about their ability to generate crowd-pleasing ditties, pleasing the crowd is what it’s all about. My personal choice is AlunaGeorge, on the basis that they might just turn into the next big urban crossover – there’s hints of that Tricky / Martina Topley-Bird interplay that gets me all excited. Well, we’ll find out soon enough!

 

10 for 2013: #5 – Peace

 
By on Monday, 10th December 2012 at 11:00 am
 

With their EP ‘EP Delcious’ out earlier this year, Peace look to expand their watermelon-loving sounds in 2013 as they wind up to their debut album. If the Gallaghers had let loose once in a while instead of drifting into generic-ism, they might have produced something like Peace’s music over a decade ago. But they didn’t, and so the gauntlet has been taken up by a duo of brothers from Birmingham, Harrison and Sam Koisser.

Thrown through the arena-rock tunnel at a pace that’s already seen the smaller venues across the country filled to capacity with sweaty folk front to back, the sound of Peace crosses through almost all of the British icons of the last few decades and spins them through a delicate web of their own deciding. ‘Bloodshake’ wouldn’t feel out of place on a Foals record, while much of the rest of their music crosses between the grungier sides of shoegaze with the soaring vocals of Harrison Koisser over the top.

Debut single ‘Follow Baby’ pushed the band to the forefront of the summer. Their new track ‘Wraith’ (audio below) begs it to not be winter anymore, as its breakdown could easily be drenched in infinite amounts of sunshine. It’s not hard to picture Peace commanding any sized stage over the next year as it seems, with the hype that surrounds them and the song writing talents to create a sound that blends intricacy with accessibility; the only thing that holds the Columbia signings back is their own ambition.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q8W33shTHdI[/youtube]

 

NME Awards Tour / February 2013

 
By on Tuesday, 4th December 2012 at 9:30 am
 

The 2013 edition of the NME Awards Tour will be headlined by Django Django (pictured above). The supports will be Miles Kane, Palma Violets and Peace. Tickets are on sale now but going fast.

Thursday 7th February 2013 – Newcastle Academy
Friday 8th February 2013 – Manchester Academy
Saturday 9th February 2013 – Leeds Academy
Monday 11th February 2013 – Glasgow Academy
Tuesday 12th February 2013 – Nottingham Rock City
Wednesday13th February 2013 – Liverpool Academy
Friday 15th February 2013 – Norwich UEA
Saturday 16th February 2013 – Birmingham Academy
Sunday 17th February 2013 – Cardiff Uni Great Hall
Tuesday 19th February 2013 – Bristol Academy
Wednesday 20th February 2013 – Bournemouth Academy
Thursday 21st February 2013 – Brighton Dome
Sunday 23rd February 2013 – London Brixton Academy

 

Tramlines 2012: Day 2 Roundup

 
By on Monday, 20th August 2012 at 2:00 pm
 

As Saturday rises over Sheffield, the city is bustling as Tramlines becomes hotter than an extra hot peri-peri chicken; conveniently, placed within the heart of the city is the Nando’s New Music Stage and when TGTF arrives its none other than Mazes cooking up a storm. Well, I say storm, it’s a hot day and everyone’s sitting down in the square, but Mazes are enjoyable enough to set up the afternoon.

After this comes the pop vibes of Frankie Rose.  She’s got an almost Rose Elinor Dougall quality about her in that it’s bordering the indie line but her sound is still very much endearingly pop. Again, her unfamiliarity with many here washes over the crowd but she’ll have made some new friends this afternoon.

Alarm Bells come on next.  A band lost somewhere between their ex-Dananananaykroyd members and a sound similar to that of the likes of Young Legionnaire, they start well but are struck by an odd power cut mid-set. They try to play it off as drama but the communication of “we are Alarm Bells and this is called a public nightmare” says it all for the band. They need work, but once they’ve pinned the sound down, there’s definitely a future for the new band.

Before this has finished. TGTF pops up to the university arms to catch a few minutes of exciting new act Tip Yr Bartender but clashing set times means only a song or two are enjoyed before dashing back down the Sheffield grid once more to the Bowery. This Many Boyfriends are playing and they’re playing to a relatively crowded room, but when isn’t the Bowery crowded? It’s fuzzy, its fun and it’s fast, and the Leeds band have certainly done the right thing continuing after the tragic loss of their guitarist Peter Sykes last September. Of course due to running around only the latter part of their set is seen but you take what you can at a city festival; especially when it’s free.

Blessa follow but don’t quite have the same energy as just seen. I start to wonder if my plan of winging it this festival is proving to be the right choice and wander the city for a while before returning to the crowded room for Best Friends (above) and Peace (pictured at top). Best Friends continue to make me doubt even if they are a bit energetic with a moderate dollop of shoegaze whilst Peace rightfully fill the room with tracks from their as of yet limited catalogue and forthcoming EP.

And so, to end the night it’s across the streets of Sheffield to see local boys done good The Crookes. Fresh from the release of their second record, the band fill the upstairs room of the Shakespeare to an almost dangerous level. It’s hotter and sweatier than the most crowded of saunas and there appears to be no way of opening windows but as the band come on, for a while it stops mattering. They’ve got the same kind of buzz around them as Razorlight did around the ‘Up All Night’ era and quite frankly, with a performance like this, they deserve it.   It’s enjoyable to the point that even though it’s far too hot to move, many in the 100-sized room are doing so; someone’s even got a blow-up toy!

So it had been yet another mixed day of strange set times in a diverse set of rooms but on the most tiring set of the weekend so far it’s a positive home time tonight. The party continues through the night across the city but after that Crookes set, it seems fitting to stop there. Let’s see what Sunday brings.

 
 
 

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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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