Reviewed by Levi Tubman - June 20
This is only the third outing from this Spanish band, but despite that the sound is worlds apart and hardly recognisable from their previous releases. While their catchy Indie pop melodies are still as prevalent as ever gone has the slightly naïve production and sound, keeping a LoFi edge to the vocals the band has discovered synths and a whole new world of effects and production.
Opening the album with a powerful gated drum beat the rest of the song never fully lives up to this intro, never quite proving itself as an opening track. Despite that criticism its catchy and fresh showing just how well they can use their new sound, with the bass coming up in the mix when needed then sinking back down to allow a lead to punch through, sounding wide and full of energy it does showcase the band well.
The band have always had a poppy feel, especially so here, the music sounds light and almost bouncy, it gets toes tapping and heads nodding, it’s a happy place for your ears to be. In contrast to this the lyrics, while not depressingly dark, have a very real down to earth feel, talking about their lives, relationships which cant always be as light as a music sounds.
One of their standout tracks, Riding solo, sounding a lot like M.I.A’s Paper planes, Carlotta Cosials (vocals) talks about her own private jet lag, feeling alone while the world around her sleeps and missing home, expressing her feeling of isolation while in a group of people, but they obviously still like touring going by the sadly cancelled 2020 dates.
Coming from Madrid, this album features lines of Spanish mixed in with English, a chorus that’s half English half Spanish such as in Boy, or just 2 short lines of Spanish mixed like Play, its good to see artists showing their roots in a very English lead industry, and the lines don’t feel out of place even if they’re in a language you don’t speak.
Track 6, Burn, feels louder than it is, almost as if they turned their instruments up a notch, pushing everything slightly into distortion, with some vocal sections almost shouting, this take on a relationship of ruined hearts and tequila is a raw and emotional blinder, I kept finding myself coming back to it.
Rounding off the album is my personal favourite, This moment forever. I might not be 100% sure about their choice of opening track at times, when its coupled with this, bookending the album between them, it makes a lot more sense. Starting just like the first track with a simple drum beat, but this time you can almost hear the rattle of the kick drum pedal, with each hit smothered in reverb, it’s a the other side of the coin. Everything is easier and slower, words slightly drawn out with simple smooth chords, it even has a few harder peaks, mirroring the softer elements of the first song closing off the album nicely
As a fan of their earlier work I admit I stopped the album after the first track to check it was the same band, or that I’d somehow mixed them up with another band, but playing it through they are still that same band, just with a lot of growth, bringing their tales of life and the band in a happy melodic bubble. Stand out tracks for me are (3) Riding Solo, (6) Burn and (10) This moment forever
1.Good Bad Times
2. Just Like Kids (Miau)
3. Riding Solo
5. Come Back And Love Me <3
7. Take Me Back
8. The Play
9. Waiting For You
10. This Moment Forever
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - June 20
Four years on from the release of his debut album Phase back in 2016 Jack Garratt returns with his phenomenal follow up album Love Death & Dancing which is set for release on the 12th June 2020 and could well be a contender for album of the year.
The first half of this album may be familiar to fans that had followed Garratts recent work as the bulk of the tracks from the first half of the album have already been released through the two EP’s Garratt has released in the lead up to this album Love Death & Dancing volumes 1 and 2.
The opening track of this album is the first single that was released from this album ‘Time’. A track full of swirling synthesizers, echoing vocal samples and driving drum beats this is a track that builds and builds until in the final minute of the track it breaks into a fantastic dance tune that opens the album in style.
Amongst the many stand out tracks on this album the latest singe to be released ‘Better’ is perhaps one of the best. ‘Better’ kicks straight in with a thumping drum beat which is layers with electric guitars and synthesizers creating a brilliant dance track that really stands out on this album. Despite the upbeat nature of the track however it does in fact deal with a very serious issue which is mental health.
This can be heard through lyrics like as ‘somethings telling me to hurt myself’ and ‘if I can take something to make myself feel better than I’m feeling now’ making this a dance track full of substance.
Having attended his gig in Leeds back in February before lockdown started, Garratt said there that part of the reason he has had such a lengthy absence from the music scene was due to his own personal battles with mental health.
The theme of mental health can be seen on just about every track on the album. ‘Circles’ is a track seemingly about his battles with depression seen through lyrics such as ‘he’s been covering my lips so there’s no sound when I scream’ and ‘I don’t deserve love or wealth’. ‘Doctor Please’ again seems to be about Garratts experiences with therapy shown through lyrics like ‘it’s alright not to be ok’ and ‘I’m lying about my mental health’.
It seems that Love Death & Dancing is something of a cathartic album for Jack Garratt and the result is a phenomenally poignant album full of fantastic dance tracks that will surely go down a treat with fans. This is a return to the music scene with a bang and with Love Death & Dancing set for release on the 12th of June and it is surely an album that will be tipped for greatness.
Album is released 12th June
3. Return Them to The One
5. Get in My Way
6. Mend a Heart
9. Doctor Please
10. She Will Lay My Body on The Stone
11. Old Enough
12. Only The Bravest
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - June 20
Album released 12th June
The Grammy award nominated sister duo Larkin Poe comprising of Megan and Rebecca Lovell are set for the release of their fifth studio album Self Made Man on the 12th June 2020 and it is an album full of attitude from artists that are clearly very confident in their craft.
The album opens with the new single released from this album ‘She’s a Self Made Man’. This track opens the album in storming fashion with its driving, wailing guitars and thumping drums this is a fantastic rock track which brings the thunder from the start. This is followed up by ‘Holy Ghost Fire’ a track full of attitude with the vocals standing alone with just a drum beat under them and wailing guitars between this is one of the standout tracks from this album.
The sister duo originally from Atlanta are now based in Nashville and it is influence that can be felt through-out the album but gets stronger the further through the album you get. The Country feel is one that is felt in various ways on the album be it with the introduction of violins on ‘Tears of Blue to Gold’ or on tracks such as ‘Every Bird That Flies’ and ‘Danger Angel’ that could easily be the soundtracks to any great western film.
It seems that with Self Made Man Larkin Poe have produced another outstanding album full of country rock anthems that will surely delight fans once they can get their hands on the album on the 12th June 2020.
1. She’s a Self Made Man
2. Holy Ghost Fire
3. Keep Diggin’
4. Back Down South (feat. Tyler Bryant)
5. Tears of Blue to Gold
6. God Moves on The Water
7. Every Bird That Flies
9. Danger Angel
Reviewed by John McEvoy
Album released 12th June
Not many of you will have heard of Nick Corbin, and to be honest until I caught his set in Leeds last year supporting Acid Jazz exponents Corduroy, nether had I.
But after witnessing his 30-minute solo slot it was clear that this is someone special who knows how to write a catchy and great soulful tune, possesses a crystal-clear voice which reminded me of Jack Penate, and with a little luck could just be the next big thing.
Move forward a few months and now Nick Corbin is about to deliver his debut solo album ‘Sweetest Escape’ on an unsuspecting public, and this outing could be a strong contender for album of the summer.
Opening track ‘Sweetest Escape’ is a cool laid-back opening tune from its keyboard and acoustic opening bars and from the off it’s clear that the production is top notch. This album is very personal and with lyrics like ‘ever since you let me down, everyone knows the truth’ you may think this will be a dark brooding album.
This couldn’t be further from the truth and the overall tone is one of optimism and moving forward.
‘Long Long Gone’ continues the theme of relationships, all deftly delivered and it’s a genuine pleasure to hear the bands soul/funk style underpinning his vocals and some great harmonies.
‘Can We Do It Again’ is for this reviewer one of the real highlights of this album, and again the harmonies perfectly compliment his insistent call of ‘Do it again. Do it again’.
Several of the tracks on this album have already been released as singles since last year, and what struck me is that almost of the tracks were strong enough to be released as singles such is the quality of the song writing and musicianship on display.
‘Never did look like love’ was one such single released last year and is an instant era worm with its catchy chorus and insistent ‘Benny & The Jets’ style piano delivery.
Suffice to say, as a debut album, this is a release of genuine quality. High production values courtesy of Gavin Monaghan (Paolo Nutini, Robert Plant), a band that clearly knows how to play, all overlaid with soulful and distinctive vocals as well as lyrics that make you want to listen, is a sure sign of being on the right track.
Get this album on your playlist, play loud, forget about isolation and enjoy 45 minutes of innovative, soulful music.
I’m already looking forward to seeing Nick Corbin on tour with a full band when normality resumes.
· Sweetest Escape
· Long Long Gone
· Can We Do It Again
· Sunshine In
· Gotta Get Back To You
· Never Did Look Like Love
· Thought It Through
· Don’t Break The Mould
· It’s Alright To Change Your Mind
· I Need Reminding
· Can’t Say Goodbye
We had a chat with Nick ahead of the release of his new album and you can read the interview right here
Reviewed by John Seales - June 20
Album released 12th June
This is JJ Wilde’s first album. She has made a name for herself in Canada as an alt rocker with the single “The Rush” gaining some real success. But there is much more to her than just basic rock, as this album demonstrates.
First track “Knees” provides a strong opener with guitar, bass and drums powering solid rock, backed up by JJ’s gravelly voice.
Next up is “The Rush” and you can immediately understand why this was released as a single. There is the same rock foundation here but extra musical ingredients have been added into the mix – for example a repeating cross-band riff – that add some real flavour whilst keeping true to the underlying nature of the music.
“Wired” recounts JJ’s earlier years, holding down 4 jobs to pay her way “I wake up, same clothes, off I go to Hell again, Making money, sinking when I’m trying to swim” - a feeling many of us can empathise with.
So far into the album and I don’t think she’s going to need to be going back to those 4 jobs unless there’s no justice in this world. “Breakfast in Bed” does nothing to undermine this impression, and then “Gave It All” gives us a wonderful smooth ballad that shows us a more heart-on-the-sleeve fragile side of JJ, and this variety just adds to the consolidation of the realisation that this is an exceptionally strong debut album indeed.
“State of Mind” and “Home” deserve their place here, but to be honest I’m still enthralled by “Gave It All”.
But then “Funeral For a Lover” plays, and I am absolutely blown away by the emotion in this song. In her own words, “This song is very personal to me, writing it was like a therapy session…I wrote it as a way of dealing with a relationship that I had with somebody who struggled very severely with mental health issues.”. JJ’s voice is used to full effect here, along with some beautiful accompaniment.
Wow. Do yourself a favour and make sure you hear this one. Love, futility, fear and despair delicately captured.
“Cold Shoulder” returns us to a more staple rock diet, and here we are at the end of the album with “Feelings” which bows us out with a slow builder that incorporates a final gesture of farewell.
Some good solid rock here but there is much more than this. For a debut album this is very mature and rounded. Highly recommended.
Breakfast In Bed
Gave It All
State of Mind
Funeral For A Lover
If you like your music funky, then you have to check out the new album from Smoove & Turrell, the Gateshead boys who have delivered a stunning new album in the shape of 'Stratos Bleu' which is frankly the perfect antidote to being cooped up for weeks on end.
This is their 6th album and this finds a band who like fine wine, just seem to get better and better as time moves on. John Turrells distinctive vocals with its slightly raspy edge perfectly compliment the funky soundtrack provided by Jonathan Scott Watson (Smoove) and Mike Porter on keyboards and the result is a collection of soulful, funky tunes that can't fail to get you moving.
From opening track 'Do It' with its Shalamar', Kool and the Gang vibe right through to album closer 'Fade Away' this is joyously wonderful album which sees the Norther Funk boys in fine form, and we have absolutely no hesitation in saying that this album is deservedly our album of the week.
Now available in all formats, this is the perfect way to spend an hour dancing like no one is watching!
Check out our live review below when we were lucky enough to catch them on a recent tour.
It Ain't Working
Never Wanted You More
Still Don't Know
Talk About Nothing
The Northern Coal Experience
Reviewed by John Seales - June 20
Album released 19th June
Braids are a band from Canada, who released their first album in 2011; “Shadow Offering” is their fourth album and their first since 2015. A well known Internet reference site describes their style as “Art Rock”.
I’m not sure quite what this is, so let’s have a listen…
“Here 4 U” is a gentle, airy, folky introduction to the album, followed by “Young Buck”. These tracks set the scene for much of what is to follow – a synth driven spacious sound majoring in the midrange and treble and a clear and ethereal solo vocal, semi-spoken, semi-sung.
Although I’m still not quite sure what “Art Rock” is, this musical type certainly doesn’t fit with my understanding of rock, so I’m going to call it “Nouveau electro folk” - though call it what you will, these labels are at best a shorthand for describing a musical style and it can be too lazy and possibly misleading to over rely on them.
The third track, “Eclipse” has vocals reminiscent of later Joni Mitchell and this, coupled with the spacious but structured synth builds on the warm feeling evoked by the music, like floating on a marshmallow cloud. It’s a mellow and comfortable place to be.
“Upheaval ii” introduces a more edgy (and almost rocky!) element and this builds through the next few tracks, reaching a peak in “Snow Angel”, a 9 minute download of anger, frustration, guilt and despair at many of the big issues the world currently faces, recognising individual responsibility but being almost overwhelmed by the combined size of the problem(s).
Because this is presented from the first person perspective, it manages to avoid becoming preachy and there are heart touching moments where the singer’s instinctive desire to become a mother are played off against the guilt that adding to our overpopulation would mean.
With “Ocean”, a return to the gentler marshmallow cloud is forthcoming, and the final track “Note to Self” gives us a big finish.
Braids have given us a well formed album here, with much to praise. With any luck, they’ll be touring the UK later this year. Until then, give this a whirl.
1) Here 4 U
2) Young Buck
3) Eclipse (Ashley)
4) Just Let Me
5) Upheaval ii
6) Fear Of Men
7) Snow Angel
9) Note To Self
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - June 20
Album released 26th June
For those of you who may not know Pottery are a five-piece Montreal based outfit, consisting of guitarist and vocalist Jacob Shepansky, Keyboardist Peter Baylis, frontman Austin Boylan, Bassist Tom Gould and drummer Paul Jacobs, and the band are set for the release of their eclectic debut album ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ on the 26th June 2020.
Full of a variety of different styles and sounds this album has something for everyone and is surely one not to be missed.
The Band kick off their debut album with title track ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’. A track that starts the album at a frantic pace opening with a drum roll that seems to go at a hundred miles per hour before breaking into a psychedelic track with distorted, echoing vocals and instruments fading in and out giving the track a dream like feel and setting up the rest of the album in fine fashion.
‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ really is an eclectic mix of styles and genres. Whether it be the psychedelic feel of the opening track, the outright funk of ‘Bobby’s Forecast’ or the indi sounds of the six and a half minute long ‘Texas Drums Pt I & II’.
This album seems to have something for everyone, and Pottery have woven these styles together masterfully producing a debut album that is unique and takes the listener on a delightful journey.
Pottery are set to release this debut album ‘Welcome to Bobby’s Motel’ on the 26th June 2020 and given the wide array of different sounds and styles that are present on this record.
Pottery have produced an album that is sure to appeal to audiences everywhere.
1. Welcome to Bobby’s Motel
2. Hot Heater
3. Under the Wires
4. Bobby’s Forecast
5. Down in The Dumps
7. Texas Drums Pt I & II
8. NY Inn
9. What's in Fashion
10. Take Your Time
11. Hot Like Jungle
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - June 20
Released 3rd July
The London based trio Dream Wife consisting of Alice Go, Bella Podpadec and Rakel Mjöll return with their second studio album ‘So When You Gonna…’ set for release on the 3rd July 2020.
Having played nearly 200 live gigs throughout 2018 the band turned to playing sports whilst writing ‘So When You Gonna…’. This led to the inspiration for the lead single and opening track ‘Sports!’. This track opens the album in exceptional style with a guitar that canters along driving the whole track forward at its core. This is layered with more intricate guitar licks and lyrical skits all based around sports giving the perfect opening to the album.
Dream Wife have always used their music to empower other women and non-binary creatives and this album is no different. Dream Wife deal with a vast range of issues on this album whether it be gender equality on ‘Homesick’, miscarriage on ‘Temporary’ or abortion on ‘After the Rain’. Dream Wife are able to address these topics with a deft touch all whilst delivering fantastic Indi/rock tracks.
‘So When You Gonna…’is set for release on the 3rd July 2020and sees Dream Wife in exceptional form. This is an album that deals with a myriad of different topics and dream wife do this very delicately and unapologetically, creating an album that is well worth your time and attention.
2. Hasta La Vista
6. U Do U
7. RH RN
8. Old Flame
9. So When You Gonna…
10. Hold on Me
11. After THE Rain
Review by John McEvoy - June 20
Album released 3rd July
It’s impossible to underestimate the influence of Paul Weller since the first ventured out with The Jam back in 1976, the Style Council and then his solo outings starting with ‘Paul Weller’ in 1992.
2020 now sees him releasing his 15th solo album in the guise of ‘On Sunset’, originally set for release n the 12thJune, but due to the ongoing Covid issues, this was pushed back to 3rd July. Early reviews of this forthcoming album have already been glowing in their praise of the tracks delivered on his latest outing, and I can safely say that his reviewer heartily agrees with them.
He’s not known as the Changing Man for nothing, and this new album sees him once again heading into new avenues, experimenting with new sounds, and opening track ‘Mirror Ball’, all 7:35 of it is a perfect example of this, with it’s almost sci fi choral feel, including a touch of The Beatles ‘No. Nine’ loop style. All perfectly complimented by Wellers plaintiff vocals which sound as strong and vibrant as ever.
This it has to be said is one of the strongest opening tracks I’ve heard in a long time.
‘Baptiste’ finds him on familiar ground with a soulful funky sound and features his old mate and former Style Councillor Mick Talbot on the distinctive Hammond organ and ‘Old Father Tyme’ is a slice of soul perfection which will have you wanting to throw some talc on the floor, stick some ridiculously wide flares on and start throwing shapes.
‘More’ marks the midway of this album and is a mellow funk slow groove featuring the silky vocals of French singer Julie Gros, and this is quickly followed by title track ‘Sunset’ with an acoustic opening reminiscent of George Harrisons ‘My Sweet Lord, but quickly moves again into a sublime soul sound with lush strings and a little synth thrown in for good measure.
This album is heavy on guest contributions and Weller stalwart Steve Craddock (Ocean Colour Scene) features throughout with his distinctive guitar sound and Hannah Peels string arrangements give the whole set a quality finish throughout.
‘Equanimity’ features the one and only Jim Lea (Slade) on violin and has a good old sing song feel to it, with a Beatles vibe running throughout.
Throughout this album it seems clear that Weller has been good to his word in not wanting to musically repeat himself, but there are nods to the past especially in the return of Mick Talbot and ‘Old Father Tyme’ is probably as close as you’re going to get in terms of acknowledging the past.
Album closer ‘Rockets’ starts as a gentle acoustic track which slowly brings in strings and a brass section which perfectly complements his almost mournful vocal delivery.
Paul Weller is not one for standing still or resting on his musical laurels. Let’s face it, he has a back catalogue that bands would kill for. But once again he’s managed to break new ground whilst at the same time skilfully incorporating soul and electronica, and I can only commend him for this.
After repeated listening’s this week, ‘On Sunset’ is that rare thing in that the gets better with each play and is surely one of his finest solo outings to date, and in the opinion of this reviewer is a genuinely strong contender for album of the year.
And so, 44 years later after starting out as the front man of The Jam, his latest offering really is a sign that The Changing man slows absolutely no sign of sticking to past glories. And whilst he professes to not be interested in awards any more, he will I suspect be on the receiving end of a few, once this album is released out into the world.
There will be a tour at some point, once we all safely get past the current strange times, currently scheduled for early next year, you might want to get yourselves along to one of the dates, to see an artist still very much at the top of his game!
· Mirror Ball
· Old Father Tyme
· On Sunset
· Earth Beat
Review by Liam McEvoy - June 20
Album released 3rd July
Denai Moore returns with her fifth studio album ‘Modern Dread’ and is the follow up to her 2017 release ‘We Used to Bloom’. ‘Modern dread’ sees Moore hitting new heights with an album full of fantastic drumbeats and poignant song writing.
The album opens with ‘Too Close’ which with its swirling, throbbing keyboards and synthesisers gives the opening of the album an ominous feel, before breaking into a fantastic dance drumbeat kicking everything off in style. The ominous feeling is one that is felt throughout the album but can perhaps is felt most on the newest single from the album ‘Cascades’.
This is a single that Denai Moore describes as being “about feeling visceral sadness and being too caught up in your own headspace”. ‘Cascades’ is a track that uses distorted vocals, a driving drum beat and a swirling shifting background to create a feeling that runs throughout the track and descends further into the sadness described earlier. This culminates with a haunting, echoing acapella ending which encapsulates the feeling of despair beautifully.
There are many stand out tracks on Modern Dread. The first single released from the album ‘To the Brink’ is a brilliant tune that layers drumbeats and synthesisers to great effect. ‘Turn off The Radio’ is another track that builds and builds before dropping into an almost drum & bass beat and closing track ‘Wishing you Better’ is a slightly slower tempo track drawing the focus onto Denai Moore’s exceptional vocals.
Modern Dread is set for release on the 3rd July 2020 and it is an album that delivers on all levels.
Set for release both digitally and on Eco coloured vinyl it is certainly a release not to be missed.
1. Too Close
2. Don’t Close the Door
3. Fake Sorry
7. To the Brink
8. Motherless Child
9. Turn Off the Radio
12. Offer Me
13. Wishing You Better
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - July 20
Album rebased 10th July
The DMA’s return this July with their third ‘The Glow’. The Sydney based trio consisting of Tommy O’Dell, Mat Mason and Johnny Took return in fantastic form with an album that is full of variety and sees the band hitting some blistering new heights.
DMA’S have been compared very favourably in the past to The Stone Roses and Oasis, and it is very easy to see why. The opening track ‘Never Before’ is a fantastic opening track. The echoing vocals and whirring guitars are very reminiscent of The Stone Roses but has an edge that makes this track very much their own. It is a great opening track and sets the tone for the rest of the album.
Throughout ‘The Glow’ it is clear that the DMA’S have drawn influences from a wide range of sources. The title track ‘The Glow’ having a guitar rift that is very reminiscent of The Killers and ‘Life is a Game of Changing’ has a drum beat that feels very much as though it could be from a New Order Track. Whilst these influences are felt throughout the album,
DMA’S have taken these and made them their own, giving them a modern feel distinguishing themselves from these other artists and making an album that is a joy to listen to.
Given the vast array of influences felt on this album there is massive variety here. With the first half of the album is full of guitar filled rock, whilst the second half of this album takes a different approach. The use of piano on the intro to ‘Learning Alive’ and the acoustic guitar and pianos on ‘Appointment’ give these tracks in particular a different feel to the opening tracks, whilst the electric guitars are of course still there, these tracks in particular have a much slower more anthemic feel.
If you haven’t heard of the DMA’S before, then this is an album that you should definitely listen to. Its sound is that of the early nineties mancunian rock which is what this band is known for.
However, this time around the DMA’S have drawn influences not only from this style of music but have also taken elements of electronica and have done all of this whilst making this sound relevant to modern audiences.
This is an album that is truly unique given the variety of influences that the band have drawn this is a fantastically varied album that is well worth your time.
1. Never Before
2. The Glow
4. Life is a Game of Changing
7. Learning Alive
8. Hello Girlfriend
10. Round & Around
Ahead of the release of his new EP, WoS caught up with James for a chat, which you can read right here.
Bristol based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist JAMES HUMPHRYS will release his second EP, ‘Memory Palace’ on 10th July.
Consisting of four tracks written and created off the coast of Alaska while working on a cruise ship, the EP includes recent singles, ‘Colour and ‘All The Same’, and pays testament to James’s ability to create multi-layered, genre-bending indie anthems brimming with optimism and energy. Speaking about his time at sea, James explains, “It was a surreal experience.
The ocean and the scenery which we experienced every day for the best part of a year was expansive and freeing but the monotony and regimental tendencies of ship life would conflict with this; you could very easily feel confined and trapped at times.” The result of said experiences is a richly textured, infectious and uplifting offering loaded with everything from funk fuelled rhythms to jazz inspired horn sections and trumpet solos; lyrically exploring James’s positive and optimistic outlook on life and the struggles and anxieties of modern life.
In ‘All The Same’ Humphrys provides a reminder that it’s okay to feel good about things; a call to us all to believe in something when it feels right and not to always look for reasons why it might be wrong; while on ‘Better Now’ he seeks comfort whilst feeling out of his own depth.
He explains, “It’s a song about the importance of friendship and the fact that although you may often feel that things are out of control, even people who seem like they’ve got it together have the same sort of days when they’re just trying to keep their heads above water. Remembering that you’re not alone in your feelings can help make even the worst day better.
” Elsewhere ‘Colour’ delves into the thoughts which surround the uncomfortable feeling you get when you catch a friend displaying a false persona in group situations, and ‘Lost In You’, written with his girlfriend Bethany details the beginning of a relationship and the uplifting feeling of being completely lost in a partner.
About James Humphrys:
Taking influences from bands like Foals, Parcels, Bombay Bicycle Club and Real Estate, James’s music is a unique concoction of upbeat funk-filled dream pop with often surprisingly melancholic lyrics.
James has played venues ranging from Bristol’s Thekla to the Royal Albert Hall, and supported bands including San Cisco, Shortstraw and Cassia. In addition to multiple sets with London's Sofar Sounds, James has also joined the line-up at 2000 Trees Festival, Bristol Harbour Side Festival and Dot to Dot Festival.
In 2018 James fulfilled an ambition by performing at Glastonbury Festival. 2019 saw James expanding his horizons, securing two short-term performing contracts in the Pacific. He used the time away to concentrate on his writing and his next single ‘Lay It All Down’ featured on Spotify’s Transistor playlist.
Reviewed by Liam McEvoy - July 20
Album released 17th July
Having released their critically acclaimed debut album Columbia back in 2018, The Blinders return with the exceptional ‘Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath.
This is an album filled with anthemic hits that are sure to have live audiences rocking just as soon as we can get back to live gigs.
The album opens with the fantastic ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’. This is a guaranteed stadium rocker with a slow marching start this track soon morphs into a guitar shredding anthem that is sure to have audiences rocking.
The anthemic feel is in fact present throughout the album, and it really feels as though this album was put together with the thought of playing it live.
The first half of this album with tracks such as ‘Lunatic (With a Loaded Gun)’ which drives forward with hammering guitars and has lyrics that beg to be shouted, and ‘I Want Gold’ which similarly to the album opener starts slow but then builds into another anthemic track that is guaranteed to be a highlight of a gig.
After a brief slowdown with ‘Interlude’ ‘Fantasies of a Stay at Home Psychopath’ kicks on again, and delivers yet more outstanding stadium filling tracks whether it be the guitar shredding ‘Rage at The Dying of The Light’, or the almost six and a half minute epic ‘Black Glass’ the second half of this album packs just as much punch as the first half.
The Blinders have produced a brilliant album full of anthemic stadium rockers that will surely go down a treat with fans and deserves to be played in front of a non-socially distanced audience.
1. Something Wicked This Way Comes
2. Forty Days & Forty Nights
3. Lunatic (With A Loaded Gun)
4. Circle Song
5. I Want Gold
7. Mule Track
8. Rage at The Dying of The Light
9. From Nothing to Abundance
10. Black Glass
11. In This Decade
Declan McKenna is very pleased to share a new single, Daniel, You’re Still A Child, and details of a huge UK/European Spring tour that takes in 22 headline shows.
With a new album, Zeros, out on 21st August through Columbia Records, Declan unveils the next timely example of what to expect from it, and Daniel, You’re Still A Child is the 21 year old musician’s most fully realised single to date. Sonically adventurous and full of bombast and colour, it’s an imaginative, inventive pop song, that orbits a world several galaxies away from his peers and suggests Bowie offering a socially-distanced fist bump with Wayne Coyne. A technicolour tale.
Daniel, You’re Still A Child raises the anticipation for Declan’s eventual LP next month, and the bar for what he is capable of. It premiered this evening on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show.
Trailing the narrative of the record so far Daniel, You’re Still A Child continues that voyage, catching up with dystopia and realising that we live at a time where nightmares become a ‘new reality’ and a life stuck on social media is the only life you might ever truly know. Reality blurred beyond distinction. Existential questions unanswered. Define ‘society’.
Daniel, a name that appears on two tracks on Zeros, feels like an innocent victim, lost and pushed to the periphery within this desolate, destructive world the album has created. Declan: “You know, Daniel, You’re Still A Child because he’s lost in the aftermath, whether it’s lost in the sauce, stoned, lost in some existential fear or lost his way in some VR game. Daniel is this kid who has so much to prove, he has so much in him but he’s just continually being led astray because the world’s telling him that he’s not ‘normal’.”
Daniel, it seems, exists as more of an idea than a person, an emotive floating figure, equipped with a laser-beam synth line and funkadelic, bassline- a cheeky wink at those cheesy 70s TV shows set in outer space, all oversized collars and hairy chests. “Social media isn’t this alien spaceship, it’s the reality in which young people are living in. And I found myself living in this reality. I’m not trying to create a story that’s like ‘bleep bloop isn’t the future mad’ we’re living in that madness now!”
Declan will head out across the UK and Europe from March 2021 in support of the record, taking in 22 shows throughout the Spring. Tickets hit pre-sale on Wednesday 15th July @ 9:00am BST, and on general sale from Friday 17th July @ 9:00am BST from Declan’s website – www.declanmckenna.net
Declan McKenna Live:
26th March – The Waterfront, Norwich
27th March – The Junction, Cambridge
28th March – O2 Academy, Bristol
30th March – Tramshed, Cardiff
1st April – O2 Academy Brixton, London
3rd April – O2 Academy, Birmingham
5th April – Rock City, Nottingham
6th April – O2 Academy, Newcastle
8th April – O2 Academy, Leeds
9th April – Albert Hall, Manchester
12th April – SWG3 The Galvanizers, Glasgow
23rd April – Le Stereolux, Nantes
24th April – Le Trabendo, Paris
26th April – Le Grand Mix, Tourcoing
27th April – Trix, Antwerp
29th April – Melkweg – MAX, Amsterdam
30th April – Maassilo, Rotterdam
1st May – Heimathafen Neukolln, Berlin
3rd May – The Roxy, Prague
4th May – Proxima, Warsaw
6th May – Mojo, Hamburg
7th May – Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld, Cologne
Album reviewed by Liam McEvoy - July 20
Album released 17th July
The Asylums return with their third studio album, the follow up to their critically acclaimed 2018 release ‘Alien Human Emotions’ with ‘Genetic Cabaret’. Having recently been recipients of the PRS Momentum fund, Asylums third offering sees them deliver a phenomenal album full of guitar thrashing anthems for the modern age.
Their first single ‘Catalogue Kids’ kicks off the album. It opens up proceedings in spectacular style with its shredding guitar riffs and driving drums is a perfect track to set up the rest of the album.
Frontman and guitarist Luke Branch explained that ‘Genetic Cabaret’ was written during the most turbulent time I’ve ever experienced socially and politically in the UK’. It is clear that this has influenced the writing of ‘Genetic Cabaret’.
Just taking a cursory look at the track list shows that these influences are ingrained throughout the album. With tracks such a ‘A Town Full of Boarded up Windows which has an anthemic feel and is quickly followed by ‘Who Writes Tomorrows Headlines?’ a track all about how the news has now become subjective with lines such as ‘Nuances fill the surface, but language has become a mystery’.
‘The Distance Between the Left and Right again shows the political nature of the album and is another track full of hammering guitars, pounding drums and shouted lyrics that feels almost like Asylums call to arms.
Asylums have produced a phenomenal third album full of anthems for the modern era. Set for release on the 17th July 2020 this is on to keep an eye out for as it is well worth your time.
1. Catalogue Kids
3. A Perfect Life in a Perfect World
4. A Town Full of Boarded Up Windows
5. Clean Money
6. Who Writes Tomorrows Headlines?
7. The Distance Between Left & Right
8. The Miracle Age
9. Adrenaline Culture
10. Yuppie Germs
11. Genetic Cabaret
12. Dull Days
Reviewed by Levi Tubman
Album released 24th July
Hauntingly beautiful, and so very very cliché but I could quite happily leave the review there as the two words that sum this album up for me.
Thomas has worked with and produced dozens of artists over his career, and released 4 solo albums under the moniker Doveman, but this is his first solo release under his own name. Before talking about this solo album I have to mention some of his previous work, producing for artists such as Martha Wainright, Norah jones and Bell X1, and playing with Eminem, David Byrne, Florence and the machine and Ed Sheeran. That’s just a small sample, the full list of people he’s worked with is remarkable.
Opening the album is one of my favourite tracks on the album, Lucidia, you get the feeling of a Taxi ride through the streets of Manhattan in a movie, the lead looking out of the window as life passes by. It isn’t depressing itself, but carries a lot of sombre emotion, it’s a post breakup ride, isolated and a little raw, and as it turns out Manhattan is exactly where this record was made.
2 days before lockdown, Thomas’s English girlfriend had to return home, leaving him suddenly quite alone in the city. Walking the streets to his studio where he would have once been jostled by the millions of inhabitants, he saw half a dozen people on the 5 mile walk. Not only was he alone at home, like most of the world he was alone out on the streets, and alone in his studio, just himself, his piano and time. 4 months the world was locked down, but he made this album in just 2 days.
The sound has a warm rounded tone, none of the notes are harsh and outstanding, even when played louder they still feel slightly subdued and muted, with a slightly unpolished production, although produced to a high standard, it sounds as a home studio album should made in just 2 days.
Music aside, my favourite part of this album comes from listening with headphones, you can hear the creak of the piano stool, slight noise of the pedals and the occasional rubbing key. This doesn’t distract from the album in the slightest, it adds to it, it makes you feel like you’re there in the room like an intimate gig, it adds life.
This is an album that is full of heart and soul, shaped by his life and surroundings locked down in the big apple, and this has to be the best modern piano album I’ve heard. You can feel a common thread throughout, connecting each track like a story.
At times the tracks become more like film soundscapes, that their purpose is to help shape a wider narrative on a screen, sealing in the emotion of what you’re watching. This is a perfect album to put on and sit back and relax at home. I really can’t recommend this enough!
Stand out tracks for me have to be ‘Lucidia’, it’s just beautiful. ‘Multiflora’, slightly more up tempo than the rest, and ‘Rugosa’, with tones of Jeff Buckley’s cover of Hallelujah, it sounds like an ending.
(Mini) review by John McEvoy - July 20
Manchester band The Covasettes have their new single 'Be Mine' out this Friday 24th July and here at Wall of Sound Towers, we have to say that we are mightily impressed with what we've just heard.
'Be Mine' is a classic piece of Indie Rock with a driving guitars and pounding drums all overlaid with the distinctive vocals of Chris Buxton.
This is a genuine 'hook worm' of a tune with a Kasabian style delivery, and is sure to be a highlight of their live sets.
The Covasettes in our opinion are certainly a band to watch and with a bit of luck could be in the big league very soon.
‘It is inarguable that The Covasettes are destined for big things, they’re a proper hearty indie-rock band that provide promise for what’s to come in their career; you should certainly keep your eyes and ears on these lads’ - Indie Central Music
Exhilarating Manchester indie-rock band The Covasettes will release their brand new single, ‘Be Mine’ on Friday 24th July.
Firm favourites on any indie music fan’s playlists, the four-piece have totted up an impressive 1 million streams on Spotify alone, after being added to ‘The Indie List’ and ‘Summer Indie’ playlists.
The Covasettes have already had a game-changing start to the year - previous single ‘Spin’ buzzed through the airwaves in February, attracting the attention of Indie Buddie and IndieCentralMusic, and in April they made the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition longlist. Neon Filler said this about them: “The Covasettes pack a punch, drawing you immediately into their catchy melodies and unique take on guitar pop.”
New single ‘Be Mine’ is four minutes of anthemic choruses, driving beats and chart-worthy melodies, destined for those summers spent in fields with your mates. Channelling the energy of Vistas, Circa Waves and Inhaler, it’s another step in the right direction for The Covasettes, who are quickly asserting themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting indie-rock outfits.
QUOTE FROM THE BAND:
“Be Mine is one of our favourite tracks ever. As soon as we’d written it, we couldn’t wait to play it live and get it recorded in the studio.
Every time we play Be Mine at gigs, it gets such a lively reaction and creates a real buzz in the room, so when it came to deciding our next single, Be Mine was the clear favourite. We think it follows on really well from Spin as it has a raw, gritty sound that is more rock driven than some of our previous releases.
We’ve had Be Mine ready to go for a long time now and we can’t wait to get it out there for everyone to hear. We hope that people get behind it like they have with our other releases and come and sing it back to us at the live shows.”
THE COVASETTES ARE:
Chris Buxton - Lead Vocals/Guitar
Matt Hewlett - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Jamie McIntyre - Bass/Vocals
Matt Buckley - Drums/Percussion
THE COVASETTES TOUR DATES:
Wednesday 3rd February - The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Thursday 4th February - Heartbreakers, Southampton
Saturday 6th February - Camden Assembly, London
Thursday 11th February - Oporto, Leeds
Friday 12th February - Deaf Institute, Manchester
Saturday 13th February - Think Tank Underground, Newcastle
Sunday 14th February - Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh