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TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Singer/songwriter and folk UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 4th March 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Just 1 week off now from the official start of SXSW 2014 and we’ve arrived at the sixth part of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: the genre of singer/songwriters and folk artists. Whether they are single person artists with just a microphone and/or a guitar, or they’re a multi-person strong team of musicians, singer/songwriters have the ability to evoke feelings and emotions in us sometimes we didn’t even know we had. Read on…

Juliette Ashby
Carrie writes: “Fans of the late Amy Winehouse will be interested to hear up-and-coming pop diva Juliette Ashby. Though Ashby was reportedly close friends with Winehouse, her music bears only the slightest tinge of Winehouse’s gritty soul flavor, instead leaning more toward the sparkly dance pop of stars like Ellie Goulding or Lily Allen. Ashby’s debut album ‘Bittersweet’ will be available for preorder on the 3rd of March.

Liam Bailey
Self-described as “acoustic soul”, Nottingham-born Bailey brings a soulful, almost jazzy edge and a welcome difference to the singer/songwriter category.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCB6tg_6ntY[/youtube]

Cocos Lovers
Alt-folk collective Cocos Lovers formed in Kent in 2008 when its members decided to quit their day jobs and travel through Europe, busking and making music however and wherever they possibly could. Predictably, the influences on their style are widely varied, including English folk and choral music, American Southern gospel and Spanish flamenco, as well as the complex rhythms and tonalities of African and Eastern traditional music.

Read Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on Cocos Lovers here; two of their members also answered our SXSW 2014 flavoured Quickfire Questions, which you can read here.

Cousin Marnie
Carrie writes: Hackney native Cousin Marnie has the unique distinctions of claiming an Alfred Hitchcock heroine as the inspiration for her stage name and counting both Loretta Lynn and Kanye West among her main musical influences. Her single ‘Cain’ is an eerie combination of biblical text, stark instrumental texture, and delicate vocal timbres in the verses, juxtaposed with heavy bass and savage rhythm in the chorus. Watch the lyric video for ‘Cain’ below, and try not to think too much about what might have become of the little white bunny.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/KDIShBsd7HI[/youtube]

Honeyblood
Carrie writes: “Honeyblood’s twee grunge pop has drawn fully warranted comparisons to California groups Best Coast and Haim, not only for the female lead vocals, but for the laid-back vibe, fuzzy garage band tone and mildly rebellious lyrics.”

Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on Honeyblood is here.

Kieran Leonard
Carrie writes: “The hipster literati in Austin next spring will no doubt flock to see British singer-songwriter Kieran Leonard, whose esoteric and often politically-charged folk rock challenges both emotion and intellect. His intensity may be off-putting at first, especially to a casual listener, but his entrancing singing voice and cynically provocative lyrics are worth a bit of extra attention.”

Read Carrie’s Bands to Watch piece on Leonard here.

The Melodic
Carrie writes: “South London band The Melodic have just finished touring America with Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit in support of their debut full length album, ‘Effra Parade’. ‘Effra Parade’ is a light and jaunty mix of carefree melodic lines, casual vocal harmonies and diverse instrumental textures. While musically whimsical, the songs’ thoughtful lyrics often deal with larger intellectual topics, such as the Pinochet-era political turmoil in Chile in ‘Ode to Victor Jara’”.

Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on the band is here; frontman Huw Williams also answered our SXSW 2014 flavoured Quickfire Questions set here.

Nick Mulvey
Carrie writes: “Blurring the lines between jazz, classical, world music, and folk genres, this set of four songs reveals a wide array of musical influences, as well as a broad set of lyrical and compositional ideas. The songs hinge on minimalist grooves and the repetitive plucked rhythms of Mulvey’s acoustic guitar, but the unique harmonies and eclectic instrumentation generate surprising sonic variety.”

Rhodes
This Hitchin guitar-toting singer/songwriter with a penchant for sweeping, ethereal vocals has already been compared to the likes of Jeff Buckley and Antony and the Johnsons. Check out ‘Raise Your Love’, which showcases his expansive voice.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzcx0Oa7s2s[/youtube]

Sweet Baboo
Welsh singer/songwriter Stephen Black might have named himself after Linus Van Pelt’s (Peanuts) too cute nickname, but he does a good job bridging the heartfelt with the occasional squealing guitar jam.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMQ8h42HOJU[/youtube]

Tom the Lion
Cheryl writes: Tom Visser, performing under the moniker Tom the Lion, is splashing back onto the scene after a 3-year absence. Debut album ‘Sleep’ is poised to give this Londoner a career jolt. Blending low-fi, chamber pop and modified symphonics, ‘Sleep’ is a mysterious, masterful work. Previous release ‘The Adventures of Tom the Lion’ brought him under the radar commercial success even though it was an amalgam of live performance and limited edition vinyl-only EPs. Despite the difficulty in finding his music – currently available only via Rough Trade or his Web site, it is worth the hunt (hint: try Soundcloud). Both works hold gems that identify this singer as an endearing entry into the male singer/songwriter milieu.”

Cheryl’s full Bands to Watch feature on Tom the Lion can be found here.

Alex Vargas
Though he’s based in London, singer/songwriter was born in Denmark and is of English and Uruguayan ancestry. Looking for a bit of 21st century blue-eyed soul in Austin? You’ve found him.

Wildflowers
Carrie writes: “Brighton-based four-piece Wildflowers center their folk rock sound around the vocal harmonies of sisters Siddy and Kit Bennett. Siblings almost always have a unique ability to perfectly match their vocal diction for seamless harmonies, but the sisters also share a love of rebellious female songs, citing Alanis Morrisette as an early musical influence. Hints of Morrisette certainly appear in Wildflowers’ lyrics and Siddy Bennett’s vocal delivery, but the overall sound leans more toward the bluesy country of Patsy Cline. The Bennett sisters cite their nomadic, bohemian upbringing as an influence on their music as well, with American bands like The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac informing the full-scale vocal harmonies they share with band members James Ashbury and Kendal Sant.”

Want to read Carrie’s Bands to Watch feature on Wildflowers? Right this way.

Withered Hand
Carrie writes: “Withered Hand is the stage name of Scottish folk singer/songwriter Dan Willson, whose second full length album, ‘New Gods’, is due for release in mid-March (the 10th of March, just in time for SXSW!) by Fortuna Pop! Records. According to the label’s press release for ‘New Gods’, Willson took up songwriting around age 30 when a series of life events sparked “a period of reflection” that led to the creation of his deeply introspective first album ‘Good News’. ‘New Gods’ is a variation on that theme of self-examination, equally perceptive and evocative, but with a mellow touch of wry humor to soften its blunt honesty.”

To read Carrie’s review of Withered Hand’s upcoming album ‘New Gods’, go here.

Gabby Young and Other Animals
Carrie writes: Gabby Young is a classically trained opera singer turned ‘Circus Swing’ songwriter whose globally-influenced brand of folk music has been grouped into an eccentric genre all its own. Her singing voice is indeed glorious, but even more spectacular are the energetically jazzy rhythms provided by her 8-piece backing band, Other Animals. This lively showcase is sure to inspire dancing and debauchery in Austin. For a quick teaser, watch the video for ‘I’ve Improved’, from the group’s Kickstarter-funded third album ‘One Foot in Front of the Other’.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/3TEon8cQI_g [/youtube]

More of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014 to come this week. Stay tuned!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Pop and pop hybrid UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Monday, 3rd March 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Starting off the week in our continuing preview coverage SXSW 2014, in this fifth installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014 are what we call the pop and pop hybrid artists. Pop has become increasingly difficult to put in a box, with many artists incorporating urban, soul, r&b, dance, rock, folk and country into their own brand of pop. So in today’s post, we bring your attention to the bands whose music has a decided pop sensibility in their sound.

In case you missed any of our TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014 so far, including the two-part guide to UK rock acts and the two-part guide to UK electronic acts and DJs appearing at this year’s SXSW, get it all here.

Arthur Beatrice
Carrie writes: “The moniker of elusive London quartet Arthur Beatrice was “formed from the notion of opposites coming together to complete perfect wholes,” according to the press release for their new album, ‘Working Out’, due for release next Monday. The bisexual band name seems singularly appropriate given the band’s juxtaposition of male and female lead vocals, alternated seamlessly between the velvety singing voices of Ella Girardot and Orlando Leopard. The instrumental sound is a cross between smooth jazz and electro dance with moments of uptempo rhythmic pacing provided by brothers Elliott and Hamish Barnes on drums and bass, respectively. Hamish Barnes’ pulsing bass is a major element of Arthur Beatrice’s sound, maintaining a constant groove throughout ‘Working Out’.

Read Carrie’s full review of the band’s debut album ‘Working Out’, released just last month, here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cpCVIg6h_Zo[/youtube]

Cairn String Quartet
Carrie writes: “The Cairn String Quartet specialises in creating instrumental arrangements of rock and pop songs, spanning across subgenres to cover songs by Aerosmith, Beyoncé, Daft Punk and Mumford and Sons, to name just a few. Their most recent EP release, titled ‘#Quartetquickies’ includes a version of ‘The Mother We Share’ by CHVRCHES, and their last full-length album, ‘One’, features arrangements of Lana Del Rey’s ‘Video Games’ and ‘Everybody’s On The Run’ by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.

Read the rest of Carrie’s Bands to Watch on the group here.

Charli XCX
Most of Charlotte Aitchison’s music is what pop on Radio 1 sounds like these days, but it’s the more interesting tracks of hers like ‘Allergic to Love’ that don’t fit into any other box that deserve more attention. A little punk, a little swagger, and less of that purely manufactured pop, please.

Daley
In the post-Justin Timberlake ‘Sexy Back’ world, it’s not a huge surprise to see an artist like blue eyed soul and r&b singer Daley doing well on the back of a couple of EPs, even without a debut album to his name. The young Mancunian has already collaborated with rapper and BBC Sound of and MTV Brand New for 2011 alum Wretch 32, been picked up for play by BBC presenters like MistaJam and Jo Whiley and sports a strong look: ha massive beehive-like hairdo that probably needs its own postal code and faux Buddy Holly spectacles (I say faux, because they’re almost comically 3-D square glasses). What’s not to love…well, if you’re a devoted, young Radio 1 listener?

[vimeo]http://vimeo.com/51674258[/vimeo]

Dems
Cheryl writes: “Evocative of the trance-like melodies of The xx, London-based three-piece Dems tantalize us with their new single ‘Canvas World’. Dan Moss, David Gardener and Duncan Mann typically lay Moss’ vocals over complex pieces of artistry, but the latest single adds a guest lead vocal from guest singer Claudie. Strong and clear, she adds a depth to the melancholy Dems sound anchoring it.”

Cheryl’s Bands to Watch feature on Dems is here. You can also read the band’s answers to our Quickfire Questions – including some SXSW flavoured ones too! – here.

Glass Animals
Martin writes: “Glass Animals are experts at downtempo, atmospheric, bass-heavy songs – think Portishead having coffee with Morcheeba – while the coffee’s a tangy roast by James Blake.

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch feature on Glass Animals here.

Glitches
Sweeping soulful vocals on top of an underlying pop sensibility. It’s unusual to see a trio of guys who have the DIY aesthetic but who aren’t in the indie rock genre (Hot Club de Paris, Little Comets, the Crookes), but this will make them stand out from the pack.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VP8Y_Z-wysA[/youtube]

Gulp
Gulp is a kinda sorta supergroup starring Guto Pryce (Super Furry Animals) and Lindsey Leven, with Gid Goundrey providing guitar and Gwion Llewelyn (Race Horses) on drums. Their sound? Dream pop vocals on top of whimsical, layered instrumentation. Interesting.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jBMAPx_Pdo[/youtube]

Holy Esque (confirmed on SXSW schedule 23 Feb)
Cheryl writes: “Pat Hynes’ heavy vibrato wrangles above the rapid fire drumming and ringing guitars giving it an otherworldly feel. It tints the tone of all they produce, driving the lyrics to a strange and mysterious place, irrespective of the actual sentiment in the song. This continual quavering is the natural way he sings and not an affectation to add interest, so it permeates every song. That’s fine, but it still sounds quite unusual.”

Cheryl wrote a Bands to Watch on them, and you can read the feature here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrB4Sfra8NE[/youtube]

Chloe Howl
In her synth poppier moments such as on ‘No Strings’, Howl seems to be assuming the mantle of La Roux‘s Elly Jackson. Says it all, really. She even has really awesome hair too.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om7zg-M0rZM[/youtube]

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.

Jungle
Martin writes: “Jungle are purveyors of sun-drenched downtempo electro-soul, a facsimile of which can often be heard playing on the radio of, say, a 1965 Chevy Malibu SS whilst cruising the vice-ridden streets of a simulated Los Angeles.”

Martin’s Bands to Watch on Jungle is here.

London Grammar
We refrained from doing a bands to watch feature on London Grammar because…well, everyone else had already covered them, and judging from their early popularity on the back of their debut album ‘If You Wait’ released in September 2013, it seems like their history has already been written. They sound eerily like the xx, though Hannah Reid’s angelic voice makes their tunes feel like they should be on The Lord of the Rings soundtrack.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6drfp_3823I[/youtube]

The Magic Numbers
Two pairs of brothers and sisters who have somehow soldiered on for over a decade making near twee pop and have sold millions of records. Come now, you’ve heard ‘Forever Lost’, haven’t you?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8P40WfRELU[/youtube]

Only Real
Martin writes: At first listen of something like ‘Punks And Potions’, the lead-off track of 2013’s ‘Days In The City’ EP now out on LuvLuvLuv Records, the almost out-of-tune electric guitars overlaid with a heavy dose of lo-fi chorusing are the kind of thing any number of bedroom crooners (and surely this *was* recorded in a bedroom) would put out. The arrangement is in no particular hurry, or of any particular convention for that matter, the second verse lazily arriving at the two-minute mark. But Only Real’s talent is to hide within these inauspicious strictures some impressively ambitious and thoughtful work.… Overall, the combination of a naïf approach to arrangement and production, combined with a decent ear for a melody and lyrics, make Only Real a great prospect. One wonders what he’ll be capable of when he finally emerges from that bedroom…”

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch on Only Real here.

Prides
Sounding like the love child of early ‘Oracular Spectacular’-era MGMT and bombastic ‘80s power pop, this Glasgow trio will make you yearn for the days when every band didn’t have to have a synthesiser player, just the ones who did pop right.

You can read frontman Stuart Brock’s answers to our Quickfire Questions (the SXSW flavoured ones too!) over here.

Woman’s Hour
In the post-xx world, a woman singing over dreamy, sometimes minimal instrumentation isn’t actually that groundbreaking. Or is it? Fiona Burgess’ vocals sound distant, and maybe that’s the point of this London via Kendal band: don’t think, just get lost in the music.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4x1OzVibsOo[/youtube]

Keep it here, as we roll on with more of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014 tomorrow!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Electronic and DJ UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (R-Y)

 
By on Friday, 28th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Continuing our coverage of the electronic artists and DJs gracing SXSW 2014‘s fine stages next month, we get down and dirty with the second half of the UK showcasing acts of these genres in this fourth installment of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014. In case you missed the first half of the list, you can read all about those previously featured acts here.

Raffertie
In the mood for music with an r&b flavour with soul and a good beat? Benjamin Stefanski has got you covered. Stripped back, he exhibits James Blake-esque composure, but he’s equally at home dropping the eclectic electronic fuzz.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsQlOE4vl5w[/youtube]

Sivu
I wrote: “Let’s face it: there a lot of men out there trying to negotiate the choppy waters of electronic music as solo artists, with varying levels of success. The trick seems to be finding your own special niche in the already overcrowded electro market, something that this act has done well. And seemingly so quickly too.”

Read more of my Bands to Watch on Sivu here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_964dqQxQwY[/youtube]

Snow Ghosts
London duo Snow Ghosts sound exactly the way their name does: folky vocals overlaid on top of brooding electronica. Intriguing!

Southern Hospitality DJs
DJs Rob Breezy and Superix founded the now infamous Hip Hop Karaoke London, the first of its kind in the UK and an event that has been a road-block every single month at the Social in central London. Recognised for this and many other dance nights their group put on by tonnes of tv and radio stations, newspapers and other media outlets in Britain, they’ve become a DJ force to be reckoned with and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. Just shut up and dance!

THUMPERS
Ben writes: “Dreamy and ethereal, alt pop duo THUMPERS are seasoned veterans of the UK sound scene from their time as two-thirds of indie rockers Pull Tiger Tail. Drummer Hamson went on to beat skins for the likes of Friendly Fires and Noah & The Whale before reuniting with Marcus Pepperell and a fresh, sunny and delicately layered approach in 2012. Ever productive, there’re plenty of freebies to brush up on via the band’s Soundcloud account, or you could just hold out until SXSW for the full fat experience.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbAKwTS-1LI[/youtube]

To Be Frank
Martin writes: “To Be Frank is the pseudonym of multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Frank Pescod, who, after a period writing contract music for TV and film, and brands as prestigious as Louis Vuitton, found the desire for the limelight was too strong; To Be Frank was created as a platform to spread his music to a wider audience. Things kicked off with single ‘If You Love Her’, a tender piece of whimsical electronica that showcased Pescod’s delicate, soulful voice and neat way with a minimalist arrangement, but didn’t really go much further. Sophomore release ‘Nothing’ introduced glitchy beats and a more insistent groove, playing on urban r‘n’b stylings but still remaining resolutely downtempo… It’s clear that this is a project in its early stages; the benefit of which is that every release tells us something new about the artist concerned. And with such an intriguing combination of chartbait and esoterica at his fingertips, To Be Frank really is one to keep an eye on.”

Read Martin’s full Bands to Watch on To Be Frank here.

Tourist
I wrote: “How to describe the music? While title track ‘Placid Acid’ on his debut EP is exactly as advertised – a gorgeously chill slow build-up of epicness – the otherworldly charms of ‘Jupiter’ and head boppiness of ‘Forgive’ prove he’s not a one-trick pony. The ‘Tonight’ EP sees Will Phillips taking a turn to more upbeat (handclaps!) and sounding more industrial than the debut, though for sure based on these releases alone, the kind of dancing I’m thinking you’re likely to see at Tourist shows is of the languid, fluid, beautiful creature variety. Then again, track ‘Together’ revealed from upcoming EP ‘Patterns’ seems to indicate for his next release, he’s going into higher octane, faster tempo territory. Either way, you’re in for a good show if you see him when he stops in your town. Or, if you’re lucky like us to be going to SXSW, if you have the good fortune to catch him in Texas in March.”

Read the rest of my Bands to Watch on Tourist here.

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

Until the Ribbon Breaks
Cardiff artist Peter Lawrie-Winfield makes music like sombre, claustrophobic Massive Attack: there is something vaguely sinister, vaguely apocalyptic, and yet the beats are stirring and the emphatic lyrics are strangely hypnotic. Already garnering attention from Pitchfork, Lawrie’s sets are likely to be rammed by the young hipster set.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd_-JY3yq9w[/youtube]

Waylayers
Martin writes: “Theirs is the sound of guitar songwriting meeting Balearic beats and synths as on the anthemic ‘S.O.S.’, which is dancefloor-worthy even without needing a remix. Harry Lee has enormous physical presence, dominating both the stage and the little keyboard from which he generates any number of uplifting synth lines. His vocals are often the spit of Diagrams’ Sam Genders, while the music treads a similar path to other practitioners of the dance crossover genre such as Friendly Fires; the fact that ‘Fires’ was produced by Ewan Pearson of TGTF former faves Delphic is surely no coincidence.”

Young Fathers
“Ol’ Dirty chose his moniker because there was no father to his bastard style. Young Fathers earn theirs by making something so fresh it doesn’t yet have a name. These are three fellas from Edinburgh who’ve been working together since they were 14, who have an elastic mind meld that mimics their fused sensibility of sound, who one day locked themselves in a dingy Scottish basement and came out with something that’d never been done — a fearless combination of beat, rap and song that smells not only of its dark and dank birthplace, but of discovery and of communion.”

Time to take a breather – we’ll back back next week with more of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Electronic and DJ UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (A-M)

 
By on Thursday, 27th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

So what exactly does a group need to be called an electronic band? For the purposes of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, a UK band or act showcasing at SXSW 2014 gets this distinction if the primary instrument – or what we discern as the primary maker of sound – in a band is a synthesiser or something similar. Britain has given the world so many heavy hitters in both electronic music and on the DJ dance circuit, so it makes sense that Austin will be abuzz next month with a whole host of trailblazing innovators.

Anushka
The Brighton duo made up of producer Max Wheeler and singer/songwriter Victoria Port create a nice melding of American soul with bass heavy, electronic heavy backing. Signed to Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings and ready to release their debut album soon, this could be the pair’s break into the big time.

Battle Lines
Cheryl writes: “Four piece Battle Lines out of Leeds is starting to get some traction with shows around England. Excitingly, they are headed to America for the first time, a pretty big deal for this small northern band. With just a 7” out there, it may be hard to get a good feel for their music, but Carly Humphries’ vocals, surrounded by an electronic backbone has a CHVRCHES flavour, could see this band easily take a commanding position in the female-fronted band scene. Alternating between raw strength and enticing breathiness, Humphries leads the remaining three with her presence. A bit trippy but with some real oomph underneath, Battle Lines bridges rock and electronic and could make for some very nice live performances.”

Bipolar Sunshine
Kid British’s singer Adio Marchant has now struck out on his own, mixing up soul, funk and dance and overlaying it all with a dream pop vocal. No wonder Manchester’s all hot and bothered over his new project.

Cloud Boat
I wrote: “Tom Clarke and Sam Ricketts are the brains behind London duo Cloud Boat. The soulful vocal stylings of Clarke, Ricketts’ fanciful guitar and the seemingly omnipresent synths of today’s pop music are a winning combination in creating Cloud Boat’s poignant sound. Lest you think this is some kind of dreary, dirge-like music, you need look no further than the label that first took a chance on the pair in 2011 to put out their first singles, ‘Bastion’ and ‘Lions on the Beach’: legendary Belgian indie label R&S Records, whose storied release history include albums by Aphex Twin and Delphic’s first single ‘Counterpoint’.”

Read the rest of my Bands to Watch on Cloud Boat here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vLuPpmquNQ[/youtube]

CYMBALS
Carrie writes: “Standout track ‘This City’ returns somewhat to that earlier sound, depending more on guitars and organic percussion as it ponders “the whole ‘serious earnest-singer-songwriter thing’” that Cleverly has deliberately tried to avoid on ‘The Age of Fracture’. His boredom with the idea has, ironically, inspired some of the best lyrics on the album, including the opening hook, “ink-covered fingers, you’ve been hiding at your desk too long / hand over mouth, brandy in your tea / the afternoon’s all emptiness, the morning possibility.”

‘The Age of Fracture’ is, both lyrically and musically, centered around contradiction and fragmentation, but it manages to hold together as a cohesive and thought-provoking unit. The physical sensuality of the dance element is balanced by the “elegance and love in the language” of the vocal lines. (Have a listen below to the carnal pièce de résistance ‘Like An Animal’ for that lyrical gem.)”

Read Carrie’s review of the band’s new album ‘The Age of Fracture’ here.

Gorgon City
London producers Matt and Kye worked with MNEK for their most recent single, the incredibly infectious ‘Ready for Your Love’ released in January. Expect them to be laying down some serious beats at a hot dance party or five in Austin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8B93tgRxMuE[/youtube]

The Heatwave
To be honest, I was a little concerned about the lack of decent DJ acts from Britain bringing the atmosphere over to Austin. Then I saw that the Heatwave got a shout. London dancehall, as shown heating the dance floor at Koko last December. ‘nuff said.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMxSse_1hu0[/youtube]

Annie Mac
Radio 1 DJ who really needs no introduction, does she?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bOSN099HYU[/youtube]

Maribou State
Chris Davids and Liam Ivory’s smooth yet eclectic sounds are perfect less for bumping and grinding but for gliding. And sometimes, some of us dance heads prefer something more cerebral.

Much more is in store for you in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014. Stay tuned!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Rock UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (N-W)

 
By on Wednesday, 26th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

British rock and its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In the second installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we turn to the UK bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, alphabetically N through W. (In case you were wondering, there weren’t any Y or Z bands announced, we weren’t leaving anyone out on purpose!) The first half of the rock list, in case you missed it, is here.

Natives
How many UK bands do you know of have already gone on tour in Asia even before their debut album has been released? Not many. Even less when you’ve never heard of said band. So there must be something more about Natives from the New Forest that deserves your attention. They sound entirely unpretentious and (gasp!) just like they’re having a lot of fun too. We don’t know much about them, but we’re guessing there’ll be plenty to say post-SXSW.

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

New Desert Blues
John writes: “With no sense of pretence, no dramatic unveiling, New Desert Blues have snuck up on my psyche, with the immense track that is ‘Adam’. The five impeccably dressed lads who sounded raw, and ebbed with potential at The Great Escape at The Fishbowl have created something really special with their debut effort.

Refined, and delightfully genuine, New Desert Blues aren’t bursting with youthful exuberance as you’d expect from a group of five less-than-likely lads. They instead emanate a dastardly sense of cool: whether that is in lead singer James Cullen’s ability to pull of the most pretentious of turtlenecks in Brighton sunshine at this year’s Great Escape, is yet to be uncovered.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIE6pE-3xSk[/youtube]

PINS
All girl group PINS sound more Brooklyn than Manchester in their raucous, fuzzy rock delivery. Admittedly, their complete lack of Y chromosomes sets them apart from all the other UK rock acts at SXSW 2014, but will this – along with their Christmas song getting an exclusive on Urban Outfitters’ Web site – work in their favour, or will they merely be a curiosity?

Public Service Broadcasting
Martin writes: “They take as their inspiration and sampling material that rich vein of mid-century film footage which gloried in the wonder of British achievements, celebrating the majesty of heavy engineering, the valour of daring explorers, and the gritty triumph of war. The band themselves mirror the tone of their subject matter by dressing in tweeds and having names like Wriglesworth; one half-expects the other band members to be called Ginger and Algy, and for them to fly off in Sopwith Camels after the show is over.

Each piece brings to life a particular microcosm of history via clips from vintage newsreels, spanning about 20 years from the early 1940s to the advent of practical colour television in the 1960s. Wartime propaganda is invoked in ‘Dig for Victory’, the distinctive iconography exhorting the populace to self-reliance via growing their own food is writ large across several vintage television sets adapted for digital projection. ‘Spitfire’ uses copious footage from the 1942 film The First Of The Few to honour the achievements of RJ Mitchell, the designer of arguably the most famous aircraft ever built.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u4Md_aXVJE[/youtube]

Royal Blood
The lone true rock band on the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist, the Brighton duo’s is the UK’s answer to, well, both the Black Keys and Queens of the Stone Age. And they’re ready to unleash their punishing bluesy rock on Austin come March.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_3mNCaJgNM[/youtube]

Saor Patrol
Cheryl writes: “Playing what they have dubbed ‘medieval Scottish rock’, Saor Patrol – which translates as ‘freedom guard’ in Scottish Gaelic – kicks up the amperage on other traditional folk music. Not content to stick with the 100% traditional sound, these guys add a grinding guitar to pull it just this side of modern. Completely instrumental, the combination of this driving guitar overlaid with a bagpipe melody is just different enough from traditional bagpipe bands to turn heads.”

Read the rest of Cheryl’s Band to Watch on Saor Patrol here.

Save Your Breath
Cheryl writes: “There probably wasn’t a lot to do on a Saturday night in the port city of Newport in the south of Wales. Friends Ben Griffiths and Tom Owens solved the boredom by forming a band that eventually was fleshed out to become Save Your Breath. Taking their pop punk sensibilities from the likes of Green Day and their ilk, they forged their sound from the grit of the life around them. What must have started out as a lark between school chums, titles like ‘Not in the Mood for Kiwi’ and ‘Holy Shit, Fortune Teller Miracle Fish!’ show up on their first album, they have matured enough to temper their weird song titles but still have energetic, aggressive tunes worthy of a listen.”

For more on Save Your Breath, read the rest of Cheryl’s Band to Watch on them here.

Slaves
Garage punky duo from Kent have already made a big noise in London and on tour with fellow SXSW 2014-ers Drenge for their punishing live set. Not much else to say except if you like punk, you better start planning your SXSW schedule around these guys, because I think it’s pretty assured their sets will be rammed.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vOVfdTjdNY[/youtube]

Splashh
Kind of poppy, kind of rocky, kind of surf-y. Not terribly cerebral, but hey, this is the kind of music I expect Best Coast fans to enjoy (and there are a lot of those).

[youtube] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_a42mz5fhc[/youtube]

Syd Arthur
Syd Arthur – there is no man named “Syd Arthur”. No, they’re a psych rock band with a wink wink, nudge nudge hippie name, and the players all with long, unkempt hair. “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.”

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BsuB4IXEJz8[/youtube]

Teeth of the Sea
Instrumental proggy guitars plus synths band with their latest album, ‘Master’ (2013), receiving rave reviews across the board for its inventiveness. Their live shows have received similar plaudits, so if you’re into this kind of music, they’re unmissable in Austin.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBjs-9u158k[/youtube]

Traams
Like your punk as well as your melodies? Described often as “noisy”, “happy” and “joyous”, Chichester’s Traams, then, are for you.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fk8paPdc9Y[/youtube]

We Were Promised Jetpacks
The Scottish band’s cult popularity in the States was on a high in 2012 when the band appeared at SXSW last, but after being off the radar for quite a while, they’ve just released a live album ‘E Rey Live In Philadelphia’ and will be looking to solidify their standing stateside.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03FwNhwI7OI[/youtube]

Wolf Alice
Carrie writes: London alt-rockers Wolf Alice are likely to bring in new fans from all corners at their SXSW shows. Their sound is a hybrid of styles, a slightly unsettling middle ground among cerebral indie folk, bright garage pop, and murky grunge rock…The band’s own lyric, from the title track ‘Blush’ might actually be the best description of their overall sound: “Punch drunk, dumbstruck, potluck, happy, happy.”

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

The Wytches
Ben writes: “These Brighton based psych surfers take a battered base of shoegazing garage rock, douses it with B-movie psychedelia, throws on a lighter and watches it blacken into a ghastly yet basely expressive lump of carbon. The far out three piece had a degree of success with two singles on Hate Hate Hate Records, before announcing their switch to Heavenly Recordings with the release of Afree digital download ‘Gravedweller'”.

Keep it here on TGTF for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming soon!

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014: Rock UK artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW (A-M)

 
By on Tuesday, 25th February 2014 at 1:00 pm
 

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2014 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts, and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite band is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the band’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Oh, British rock. Its many facets will be on display at SXSW 2014, judging by the variety of acts been given a shout by the festival this year. In this first installment of the exclusive TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, we take a closer look at bands that play rock, punk, metal and everything in between, starting alphabetically A through M. And away we go…

Band of Skulls
John writes of their latest single: “…we were treated to the anything but a ‘Sweet Sour’ follow-up to Band of Skulls’ aforementioned 2011 record, bonus single, ‘Be Mine’. It hardly starts in true, chug-a-lug-ing Band of Skulls format, with a lingering guitar solo from Russell Marsden building in to the twin harmonies of Marsden and bassist Emma Richardson, underscored by an old school piano melody. The song builds like the back drop to a love scene from a an old western, and I felt the first time that I was walking into an old saloon bar, as the two harmonised, ‘hit me with your love, be mine / all our future’s in the balance'”.

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

Bring Me the Horizon
John writes: “Their fourth album is undeniably the moment where BMTH came of age. It’s such a clichéd phrase, but it’s obvious Sykes and co. have a found a sound that truly epitomizes where they are as a band on this record. On ‘Antivist’, we have a trademark display of BMTH bile and vitriol, as Sykes does his best to use the F and C bombs as frequently as he can in one song. Meanwhile, ‘Shadow Moses’ is a beast of a different order, showcasing a BMTH embracing a spot of synth, while still remaining fierce in their breakdowns.”

Read more from John here.

Cage the Gods
Leather, check. Tats, check. Long hair like they just don’t care, check. Yes, this London-based band fits the stereotype of hard rockers out of Britain but here’s something you don’t hear every day: a band that has English, Irish, Scottish and Welsh members playing in perfect harmony. Or maybe the better description is rocking out in thunderous, bluesy accord. ‘Favourite Sin’? Check it out below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjr2dkyBwmw[/youtube]

Casual Sex
John writes: “Anybody looking for quintessential British indie boys will be pretty delighted by what this four-piece have to offer, as Casual Sex appear to be an indie offering cultivated from a mix of what’s doing the rounds at the moment, a la Franz Ferdinand, Royal Blood, The 1975 and Night Engine. There’s a broody, almost sullen vocalist in Smith, backed by Edward Wood providing the dreampop guitar elements, Peter Masson on bass and Chris McCrory tapping away on drums. Mixed in with some pre-1970s goodness for proper measure, they’re a taste of all things British in four-good looking blokes. Marketable and sure to be gobbled right up by the A&Rs at SXSW.”

Read more in his Bands to Watch piece here. Singer Sam Smith also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions.

The Crookes
The Sheffield based band were recently bestowed a generous grant from the UK government for the purpose of making a go of breaking America, but there is much more this group has to be proud of. For one, they’re only the second band after Death Cab for Cutie have released three albums on their London indie label Fierce Panda, with ‘Soapbox’ due out in mid April. With a steadily harder edge since their humbler 2010 ‘Dreaming of Another Day’ beginnings, they’ll be ones to watch this year.

Read my glowing review of ‘Soapbox’ here. The band also answered our SXSW flavoured Quickfire Questions as a team here.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zmn9F9vKxzU[/youtube]

Drenge
Martin writes: “…opportunistic recommendations from politicians aside, what’s all the fuss about Drenge? With a slender lineup consisting of brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless and nobody else, the Sheffield pair conjure a mighty brick wall of distorted guitars and scarily thrashed drums.”

Read the rest of Martin’s Bands to Watch piece on Drenge here.

Et Tu Brucé
What would have happened if the Byrds got together with Stuart Murdoch? They’d probably be rocking out and sounding like Et Tu Brucé. The guitars and harmonies are effortless, and if they’re really touring with the Zombies as it says on their Web site, sorry, I think they’ll give those grandpas a run for their money. And clearly from the video below, they have a sense of humour. (Yes!)

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

Evans the Death
This band already has a Rolling Stone description (huh?): “This London band mixes post–Smiths jangle and early–grunge sludge, as Katherine Whitaker explores varying shades of bad romance. Her raw emotion blends with slashing, whirling guitars to inject paralysis with weird power.” When you see they’ve been signed to Slumberland Records here in America (‘Allo Darlin’ and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart‘s American home), it all seems to make sense…

Fat White Family
Ben writes: “Anarchic South London six piece Fat White Family might well be as well known for unveiling a “bitch is dead” banner at their Brixton bolthole in the immediate aftermath of Margaret Thatcher’s (debatably) tragic passing, as for their debut album ‘Champagne Holocaust’. Gloriously menacing and wildly off-kilter, their unique brand of noise can be heard at British Music Embassy’s parting blow on the Saturday night of SXSW 2014.”


This London duo brings a little bit of everything: grooves, psych rock, lounge club sleaze. As such and with little out on the internet about them, they’re virtually impossible to describe. However, Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan have been quite active, and following on from two self releases in 2013, they’re releasing single ‘Turn Your Light On’ is part of a AA side to be released by fine North East folks and friends of ours Generator in March.

The Kooks
“Are the Kooks still going?” An actual question from a musician friend of mine who asked me who I was most keen on seeing at SXSW. Having nearly as long of a history as one of my standouts from SXSW 2012, Kaiser Chiefs, the Brighton indie rockers do have something to prove: that even though it’s been over 2 years the release of 2011’s ‘Junk of the Heart’, they’re still a viable export. Having at least two showcases at SXSW at high-profile venues (the Parish and Stubb’s), let’s see if they make the most of their opportunity.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pvHZ4ddR-4[/youtube]

Morning Parade
The Harlow boys have been around quite a while now and command big audiences back home, but they’ve yet to make a real splash stateside. Is it time for limelight beyond the UK? The dazzling indie splendour of ‘Alienation’, the title track of their 2013 Parlophone-released EP, seems tailor made for mainstream MTV in America.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcm5fJS8jZE[/youtube]

Stay tuned for more in the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2014, coming atcha soon!

 
 
 

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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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