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Video of the Moment #2180: Xylaroo

 
By on Thursday, 8th September 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Intrepid sister duo Holly and Coco Chant, better known as the quirky London-based folk act Xylaroo, have just shared the video for their latest single ‘Track A Lackin”. The promo starts with a campy TV cowboy attempting to give video instruction for how to play the song, but his progress is quickly impeded by the interference of a black devil figure, whose presence symbolically represents the sinister undertones of what is musically a light and trippy tune. While the throwback-style video imagery is perhaps less than subtle, the song’s lyrics have a bit more depth. Younger sister Holly expands upon their meaning:

‘Track A’ Lackin” is about growing old, it’s about fears and regrets and finding yourself alone in the end. It is the sound of life rolling on with or without you, much like a train passing you by. If you sit there waiting for it you, just might miss it.

‘Track A Lackin” is taken from Xylaroo’s debut LP ‘Sweetooth’, which was released back in June via Sunday Best/PIAS. We at TGTF previewed the enchanting Chant sisters as part of our Live at Leeds 2016 coverage earlier this year, then featured them as our Bands to Watch #390 in July.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/MVWeM82zyqg[/youtube]

 

Bands to Watch #390: Xylaroo

 
By on Tuesday, 5th July 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

2015 was the year of XL Recordings rising stars and sisters Ibeyi. 2016 boasts a new sister act destined for greatness, and we have Rob Da Bank to thank in bringing them to our attention. Holly and Coco Chant, who are now better known under their whimsical act name Xylaroo, released their debut album ‘Sweetooth’ on Da Bank’s Sunday Best label. Prior to its release, they racked up support from Radio X’s John Kennedy on BBC 6 Music’s indie champion Steve Lamacq. No small feat indeed. One thing you should be aware of from the get-go with Xylaroo: prepare to be surprised.

But what made me stand up and notice the pair was an acoustic (dubbed ‘Home Sessions’) version they did of Arctic Monkeys’ ‘I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor’. The stripped-back approach Xylaroo took to one of the Sheffield band’s biggest hits added an unexpected fragility through their expressive voices. The sisters tapped into an entirely new facet to an otherwise one-dimensional, annoyingly frenetic tune I never warmed up to. It was a conversation starter, if there ever was one.

Their first single, ‘Sunshine’, may come as a shock after you learn about their globetrotting upbringing. The song features a quote from Dolly Parton, yet after being bounced around the world to follow the career of their civil engineer father, the sisters started gigging in Maidstone, Kent. They spent 10 of their nearly 25 years of life there, “around the Medway scene where all the bands were doing ska”. Not exactly where you’d imagine the beginning of a duo more aligned with the dulcet, harmonious tones of fellow sisters First Aid Kit than The Specials. The sisters are quick to point out that it was during their time living and going to school in Sri Lanka that they picked up a simpler way of performing, watching locals sing and play the guitar.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfwckI21jLI[/youtube]

The sweet sound of ‘On My Way’ is jarred by the mention of black magic practitioner Aleister Crowley, drug use, a 2-day drinking binge and the gaily sung lyrics “I’m on my way to hell”. If this is the way to the River Styx, it couldn’t be any more enticing. Same goes for minor key masterpiece ‘Consume Me’, with its references to cannabis, coke and lust. The title of ‘Set Me on Fire and Send Me to Canada’ seems oddly prescient of the minds of some Remain voters post-Brexit, but it’s actually a saxophone-tinged, upbeat yet wistful number. If the Chant sisters were locked in a room with the Soderbergs, would they get along famously? Or would there be dead silence? Until that meeting happens, we’ll just delight in the wonderful melodies and harmonies Xylaroo have gifted us.

‘Sweetooth’, the debut album by Xylaroo, is available now from Sunday Best / PIAS.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fo2x0__qpUw[/youtube]

 

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]

 
 
 

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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