Pale Waves- The Gems From Manchester


Pale Waves are a four-piece indie pop band from Manchester. They remind me of the 90’s when Indie/Brit Pop was at it’s peak with Oasis, The Stone Roses, Blur, Suede and Pulp. They are drenched in reverb and glitter. Everyone loves a bit of glitter even if it’s messy.

If you have listened or heard of them then you will agree that the songs they have released so far are quite frankly stunning. They give me a burst of feel good factor and I just want to dance around my room to them.

They are also great with their small fan base by tweeting and also snapchatting which can be fun. I enjoy their stories as I can see new material they are working on and I can tell you now I am too excited for new songs. I have a feeling when they release new songs then 2016 will be a big year for them.

When I listen to ‘Heavenly’ I feel like getting up and boogying around my fairy lit room. It’s one of those songs you fall in love with instantly.

‘The Tide’ is one of those songs that can be an anthem when they play it live. The riffs are to die for. Heather’s voice is just powerful and beautiful.

If you want to catch these guys live then they are supporting Sundara Karma on a part of their UK tour. It’s a no brainer you shouldn’t miss out because it is going to be a cracker. One day though I will be able to see Pale Waves in Cardiff.

Give them a listen on Soundcloud. You will fall in love instantly!!





Independent Venue Week- Undertone

IVW-logo-large.jpgDid any of you know it was Independent Venue Week in the UK this week? If so have any of you supported a venue yet?

Anyway Last night me and my mates supported the Undertone which had an incredible night put on by Luckyman Records and The Albion Club. These guys have done a lot over the last couple of years by supporting upcoming talent and they have also helped me a lot with my blog.

I am putting this out there I have been ill over the last 3 days which is a massive shame and I was filled up on painkillers and so a lot of it was a blur. But my photographer managed to take incredible pictures which will be uploaded onto The Albion Club site, blog’s Twitter and Instagram.

I managed to catch the first 3 bands but had a lot of fun with my good friends and also blog members.

Himalayas kicked off the night with a smashing performance. The crowd seemed to get involved and there seemed to be a good buzz surrounding them. I need to see them more. I am loving them. Guys check them out further because they might be knocking on your local venue one day. Twitter:

Wetpainttt were the second band to play. Now these guys are sounding incredible live. Over the last couple of months I have been checking these out. It was a brilliant decision because these local Welsh talents from Cardiff are going somewhere in the right direction. They possess a lot of power and I would gladly see them over and over again. Can’t wait to see what things they have up their sleeves. Twitter:

The last band I managed to see and was hyped the most for were Breeze from Birmingham. Now this is what you call raw talent. A perfect blend of Indie pop/rock which is a blooming genre at the moment in the Midlands and North England. I have a feeling these are the next band to emerge from Brum. They have a fan base which is getting bigger and they are also friends with Jaws and Swim Deep which is a big plus for them. The rawness just hit me. They played an incredible set which had songs from the new ep and also old songs. ‘Sellotape’ and ‘Bleach’ are sounding powerful and if you get the chance to see them live I beg you before they get big. Fingers crossed I can get up to Birmingham to catch their show in the institute. Follow Breeze on Twitter:

I thank Sam Hoy and The Albion Club for putting on an incredible night filled with good local talent and also a bit of Birmingham’s music scene that we all love.

I can’t wait for the next time they put on a gig night. I am trying to go to as many as I can. Check out the small bands before they breakthrough.

Support your local venues. They are the bloodline to the music scene and without them we wouldn’t have the bands we have today. They are the heart and soul to use music fans.

Follow The Albion Club on Twitter for more gig news :

Follow: on Instagram for photos from the night.

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The World According To Pulp

Known for their Britpop anthems and undeniably sexual frontman, Jarvis Cocker, Pulp became the imagealternative band of the 1990s. Where we had Oasis on one side battling Blur on the other, Pulp were on the other side of town, creating songs which will never loose their context, purpose or relevance. But unlike Oasis and Blur, Pulp weren’t formed in the 1990s, neither were they formed in the 1980s, but instead, formed in 1978 by then 15 year old Jarvis Cocker. The band were music revolutionaries. The mistakes, misshapes, misfits of music in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. They changed the way that music could have direct relevance with day to day life, for whereas Oasis were singing about cigarettes and alcohol, Pulp were singing about E’s, Whizz and the affair you wish you were having with your next-door neighbour. With stand out LP’s such as His’N’Hers and Different Class, they proved that the unpopular life can be an interesting one, how sleaze can be listenable, how a band can be capable of giving your brain an orgasm as well as the rest. Pulp only released seven LPs over a three decade period, but with such seemingly scarce material they incorporated so many styles. From Indie Folk-to an LP somewhat resembling the equivalent of a video nasty. Then with the exploration of Acid House before finding their feet with the sexy alternative rock sound that Jarvis encapsulated so beautifully. Before soon enough, ending with two LPs, one holding a candle to mental health and sex worker sleaziness and the other on the complete opposite page, presented to the listener not as an object of affairs and aesthetics, but as an object of nature. Pulp’s discography cannot be summed up with one word or with one genre, with one album or with one song. To many people, Pulp are merely the group who sung about the Common People, but to the fans, they’re revolutionaries. They are the appeal to the bedsit adolescents with the handed down jackets and worn out trainers. For the teens who either stay in or get chased out of town, for the self labelled misfits, Pulp writes about their world with such clarity, you have no doubt that they too lived it themselves.

imageThe band’s beginnings may lie in 1978, but It wasn’t until 5 years later, in April 1983 where they released their debut album, the Mini-LP (and only limited to 2000 copies) It. It, is notable for being a fairly forgettable album for Pulp, being critically panned and lasting only 25 minutes. It’s only interesting feature is that the line up features Simon Hinkler, who went on to be the lead guitarist of the Sheffield-Gothic Rock band, The Mission. I feel that Pulp’s It is a demonstration of the lyrical qualities the band had rather than to the instrumental. The ‘indie-folk’ aspect Pulp fantasised within this LP isn’t seen again in their discography until around 2001’s We Love Life, yet the writing style of Jarvis Cocker is definitely starting to blossom with tracks such as: My Lighthouse, Blue Girls, and Joking Aside. The environment given to us with Blue Girls I feel is definitely continued through Pulp’s career yet the style of songs such as Love Love is happily left behind, which I wouldn’t call an exact shame. What is a shame however, is the lack of recognition this album received at the time of release and at the time of Pulp’s successful period. Even though It was rereleased in 2012 with bonus tracks and a new cover, it’s still easy to ignore and to step on.

1985 saw the band starting to get a foothold of what’s soon to come, after several line up changes Pulp finally welcomes the joining of permanent keyboardist, Candida Doyle (who’s brother, Angus, was the drummer at the time) and Guitarist/Violinist Russell Senior, the band were soon signed to Fire Records. Not too soon after this signing, Jarvis was hospitalised following a Spider-man impersonation led him from trying to impress a girl to falling out of a window and leaving himself to perform in a wheelchair for the next few gigs. It was also not until 1985 where the band had their next release, Little Girl (With Blue Eyes), a 12″ single which offered the listener 4 tracks. Senior was beginning to prove himself as a key player in developing Pulp’s sound. Senior also leads the vocals on the final track, The Will To Power. While the line up starts to take gravity, the music however, is still distant from what the band is recognised for. With the addition of Russell Senior to the line up, he brings in a much more darker presence. This is encapsulated in the band’s second album, Freaks, released in 1987. It features ten tracks, labelled on the cover as ‘Ten stories about power, claustrophobia, suffocation and holding hands.’ The album is just about the most claustrophobic work Pulp have provided us with.

The music is frightening to say the least, starting with the track Fairground, which is led by Senior with the distant calls of Cocker. The song sets the listener up to what they’re to expect to experience from the album. To question whether it’s a good album is unnecessary knowing how the band were only given one week by Fire to record it. It’s tricky to know where to stand on the LP, I feel that some songs, musically have pieces missing, for instance, Anorexic Beauty starts with this awkward keyboard and drum set but soon takes off, and songs like Being Followed Home and They Suffocate At Night, are examples of how materially rich the tracks can be. This album is one for the experienced fans, and definitely not one to start your recognition of Pulp with. Not to be mistaken, Freaks and the 12″, non-album singles; Little Girl (with blue eyes) and Dogs Are Everywhere are worthwhile but I feel it’s something that is heavily overshadowed by Pulp’s musical capabilities which were proven in the 1990s.

1988, the second summer of love, but for Pulp it seemed like the end was nigh. Freaks was a commercial flop and Jarvis had started to get involved with further education in London. Yet it was in London where Cocker met Steve Mackey, who soon became the bassist Pulp needed to complete the equation. By mid-1989, and with a bigger budget, Pulp’s third album, Separations, was starting to come into shape. I find this album something of a musical marvel. Pulp seems to present us two very different sides of the same coin. On the first side of the record we’re presented with 5, somewhat average at the time, tracks. Listening to them, I can feel some sort of bridge between 1985-87 Pulp and 1990s Pulp. The dark undertones in tracks such as ‘She’s Dead’ and ‘Separations’ are reminiscent of Freaks but I feel comfortable in saying that this LP does have a life of it’s own and should definitely be recognised for that. I adored listening to this album, the tracks on the first side remind me of a Cobbled French Street Café style of music, especially represented in the track, Down By The River. However the second side comes as somewhat a surprise.

Steve Mackey’s influence on Jarvis is very evident in the second side of the LP. Mackey, being an enthusiast for Acid House had taken Jarvis to several raves and introduced him to the general scene. To put it simply, Pulp ventured into Acid House. Successfully? Well, the tracks aren’t exactly up to par with the biggies such as Voodoo Ray by A Guy Called Gerald. Instead Pulp mix things up, Jarvis still has his unique lyrics and baritone voice but instead of guitars and single violin suits, they are sung over electronic bass and arpeggio keyboards, especially recognisable in the song Death II. I adore this album by the fact it has some kind of overarching story but incorporated over two musical genres. And strangely enough, it works, it leaves the listener confused yet loving every second. On the first listen it may take some time to get well adjusted but if you love Pulp and you love Acid House then this is something representative of a bible for you. The album may have been recorded in 1989 but it wasn’t released until 1992, seeing out the end of the Acid House pantomime which was by now, no longer underground, but in the charts. In 1991 the NME even labeled their single of the week, Pulp’s My Legendary Girlfriend (12″) as “a throbbing ferment of nightclub soul and teen opera”. Pulp were speeding up, getting closer to the light, in this album Jarvis first incorporates his signature spoken word monologue, somewhat recognisable of John Cooper Clarke, with the track Love Is Blind. Another stepping stone for the band is the completion of the affirmed band, with drummer Nick Banks now in place, the circle was complete.

By 1993, the band had left Fire Records and released the single’s Babies, Razzamatazz and O.U (Gone, Gone) via Gift Records. The songs are, for me, where the new beginnings lay for Pulp, the keyboards work magically, creating an ever increasing atmosphere, the bass carries sensibly underneath each of the tracks, giving the lister a taste of Pulp’s new style, The crescendo of Jarvis’ lyrics during the chorus leaves the listener to buckle in an effort to believe if what they were listening to was real. By the end of 1993, the compilation album; Intro-The Gift Recordings, was released and I find this reminiscent of the Beatle’s Revolver, not in style but in preparation, these tracks are the quiet before the storm.

In these recordings I really feel Jarvis’ veneer start to shine through, the music is great and the production is great. It’s hard to describe but when listening you can always picture the situation, this is the beginning of the street-light, back alley night club, running from the popular kids sound Pulp fitted into so well. Within no time they were soon signed to Island Records, and this is where Pulp are given the recognition they were finally deserving of. Signing to Island Records was the boost Pulp needed to take over the alternative world. Under this record label they released their first top 40 chart scoring single, Do You Remember The First Time…? A song which sits in the mind of every one, from the socially distant 17 year old, to the mother of two, reminiscing of the days of her young adulthood. It’s with the songs such as there where Jarvis makes nights trundling around suburbia sound much more romantic than nights spent in fancy restaurants.

This feeling is felt throughout the entirety of the band’s first charting album, His’N’Hers, an album with so much musical presence and relevance it’s hard not to listen to it, over and over again. Joyriders, the opening track, with it’s lyrics and it’s music specifically sets the tone for the album, it’s fast, it’s slow, it’s sleazy, it’s lovely but most of all, it’ll make you smile. His’N’Hers is possibly Pulp’s best album, but what I find most fascinating are the B-sides to the singles and the EP, The Sisters, which lay down a much more materially rocketed set of numbers. It’s hard to put your finger on, but there’s a certain amplification of the atmosphere presented to us in His’N’Hers, mainly visible with songs such as Street Lites, Frightened and You’re A Nightmare, make for a much more gritty and interesting listen with orgasmic keyboard riffs and darkened lyrics, low and swinging bass and interesting guitar work, Pulp’s B-Sides encapsulate variety and show a more shadowy side to the band.

1995, Pulp may have had a taste for popularity the year before, some knew them, which was a lot more than what can be said for the band’s previous 17 years of existence. It was in May, in the year that marked the half way point of the decade. Common People, the working class anthem, elevated Pulp’s success to beyond measurable accounts. After 17 years of taking shit from record companies and running from riots, the band were now on all the music shows. Pulp, with ease, then released Disco 2000, a pub rock song with a rocking guitar lift and textured lyrics which can only leave the listener singing and dancing along. In November, the band’s first Number 1 album, Different Class was released to wide acclaim. It’s the album of all albums. It’s gospel.

The opening track just touches the indie kid with such a way you can’t help but fall in love with Cocker, whether you’re male or female. The music is well produced, it just works. This album works. Where Oasis and Blur were fighting the Battle of Britpop, Pulp were battling society. It was the way they dressed, the way they sounded, the way the lyrics were so detailed and dirty yet so relatable. Jarvis wasn’t afraid and he exchanges this fearlessness to his audience, with songs about cheap café romance in the form of Something Changed, and stories about desperate and haunting love in the song, F.E.E.L.I.N.G.C.A.L.L.E.D.L.O.V.E, it’s with tracks such as these where you seem to loose yourself. They vary so much but then again, it does has a tight grip upon itself. Pulp incorporate a sense of confidence to the fact that they’re misfits. Pulp represented charity shop culture and a Different Class just reasons with this idea. I don’t think this album can ever be matched by any other band. This is Pulp’s Sgt. Pepper, Pulp’s A Night At The Opera, Pulp’s The Queen Is Dead. And when listening to their previous LPs and singles it’s hard to believe that they could suddenly produce something with so much individuality. Jarvis is 32 years old when his is recorded and released, and he’s sharing the chart with a bunch of 20somethings and it feels like he is the one with the more accurate ideas of youth culture. I don’t think there are any bands out there who could make a song about Monday mornings sound good, bar the Boomtown Rats of course.

After achieving a last minute main stage spot at Glastonbury in 1995 the band welcomed 1996 with a plethora of awards. Winning the Mercury Prize Award for Different Class, the NME awards for best music video (Common People) and Best Live Act. Also, with Jarvis winning the prestigious NME award for both, Best Dressed and Worst Dressed person of the year. Pulp were riding along on the back of Different Class, their live shows still theatrical as ever and Britpop in full swing. However it’s in 1997 where the band slow down, they try to settle down to record a follow up to Different Class. But Jarvis has a mental breakdown. Russell Senior soon leaves the band after they make a U-Turn on releasing the track Cocaine Socialism in time of the ’97 election. After the Jarvis’ breakdown and the absence of Senior, leaving Mark Webber to be the only guitarist in the band, they recorded their penultimate record, This Is Hardcore. I feel this album is a lot more grown up in comparison to the band’s previous record. It isn’t sexy either in the attractive way the band had once portrayed sex. Instead contorting the idea of sex creating the image of fake fur coats and dirty needles.

This Is Hardcore comes across as a much more melancholic album, with songs reminiscent of Disco 2000 in the form of Party Hard and also touching upon the likeliness of Joyriders with the song I’m A Man. There are links to the old Pulp but there is no doubt they’ve grown up, Jarvis has changed and expected by his age, now in his mid-30s, they were not the young band they once were. Musically and lyrically the album is greatly present, but it’s hard to listen and think about how it has come off the back of Different Class. But maybe the real issue is that too much was expected from this LP, there’s no question to whether or not Jarvis and the rest of the band were under pressure to create a record with the same quality Different Class. An even tougher concept was the dawning realisation that Britpop was beginning to see it’s ending. And in 1998, with the release of This Is Hardcore, the critics say, that was the last testament of Britpop. The movement had lost it’s momentum, Oasis and Blur were past their best, Britpop had gotten two big and under the pressure, just fizzled out.

A new decade, a new century, a new millennium. The year is 2001 and Pulp finish their career off withtheir final LP, We Love Life. There isn’t much to say about this album, besides the fact, it should experience more praise than it does flack. The song writing is excellent, tracks such as Bad Cover Version and The Night That Minnie Timperley Died shine the light on the style Pulp once had, and the lyrics are still meaningful. However, it’s a tangent, a definite change, Pulp aren’t as frisky as they once were, instead of E’s they’re singing about Trees and Weeds. Pulp ended as they began, with a record which is simply forgotten or stood on. It’s a great shame to know that this is how things ended but it had to happen some time. Jarvis was now coming on 40 years old. This album is much more relaxed, much more of a retirement album. Settling down and less focus on clubs, and more focus on the Sunrise.

In 2002 the band dissolved, Jarvis has since released two solo albums, in 2006 and 2009, with Candida Doyle and Steve Mackey taking up instrumental roles. The band reunited, with Russell Senior in 2011 for a tour, and released the finally finished single, After You, in 2013. However, since then, nothing has been revived. But what counts is the music, that’s what we are left with, the stories, written so beautifully through the pen and told so beautifully through the microphone of Jarvis Cocker.

Pulp is Jarvis’ life work, and this work is a key demonstration of determination, of working class spirit, for you’ll get out what you put in. It took a while but Pulp got there. With so many genres and so many, completely different, albums, one can only comprehend the idea of how much relevance Pulp has to everybody’s lives. That’s the beauty of the band, the beauty of Jarvis’ song writing skills, he can whisper anything in your ear, and all you can do is smile, because you know just how right he is. No matter how sordid or deprived it is, the music makes you smile, because it sounds perfect musically and lyrically, the band is brilliant, Pulp worked and still work today.

by Sam Johns

David Bowie-Blackstar

David Bowie-Blackstar (released Jan.8th 2016)

It’s hard to write about a recently released album by a recently deceased artist, especially one so close to my heart. I find that Bowie’s death can alter and warp the mind around the otherworldly potential this album has, but I feel it’s important to look at this album as a listener on the 8th of January; the day of Bowie’s 69th birthday and the day in which this LP was released to the world. While also, looking at the album in hindsight, not even a week on from when it was released to evaluate what exactly it means or what it is meant to represent.
Musically, this album is an undoubtable tangent for Bowie. His incorporation of a jazz band on this LP compared to the rock band he had assembled for his previous record, The Next Day (2013), is what the casual listener of Bowie wouldn’t expect; but surely, isn’t that what Bowie is all about? This album opens up a new paradigm for Bowie to expose to us. On the first listen, I felt sceptical to whether he could pull off the ‘Avant-Garde Jazz’ dynamics I knew he was going to subject us to. Having listened to the single Blackstar a week after it was released in November 2015, I didn’t feel the same excitement I felt when first listening to the debut single of The Next Day just under 3 years previously.
In all truth, I didn’t expect a masterpiece out of this album, I had spent the last 4 years listening to Bowie’s entire discography, from glam rock extravaganzas in the form of Aladdin Sane and Diamond Dogs, to the sudden jump to Plastic Soul with the albums Young Americans and Station To Station. Only last year did I first listen to the ambient works of Brian Eno dripfed in to the unforgettable Berlin Trilogy and also Bowie’s unexpected venture into Drum and Bass on Earthling. Having listened to The Next Day profusely, I thought that Bowie’s creative capabilities would have, naturally, started to dwindle. But as shown with this album, I was thoroughly mistaken.
The tracks are an interesting listen to say the least, the title track and leading single is the first the audience is given in this seemingly experimental journey Bowie wants to let us experience. The track, being near on 10 minutes is quite the listen, and on first approach is very hard to get your head around. It’s a dark track, feeling almost demonic and satanic. The jazz aspect works well under this guise, an energetic and juxtaposing drum track is laid next to Bowie’s waning voice making the music very trance like. The track feels as if it’s split into two parts, meeting a crescendo in the moddle before welcoming a quieter and more on beat drum track with the jazz ensemble playing a more melodic and later jazzy collection. There is something about this track in hindsight which makes it feel less peculiar, when first listening I could only think about how this song has something which I can’t put my finger on. Now, knowing what this song suggests and the anguish Bowie was feeling during the recording of this LP, I can feel the pain coming across through his voice, compared to the next day, his voice isn’t as distinctive or punctual, it’s fading because that’s what he was doing. Fading.
Blackstar is followed by the track ‘Tis a Pity She Was a Whore, a song which had been released in 2014 as the B-side to the single Sue (or in a season of crime). This track especially jazz orientated starts with Bowie’s quivering breath before the solid drum beat and subsequent jazz piano/brad ensemble slowing kick into life. The song’s title has links to the 1630 poem, ‘Tis a Pity She’s A Whore by John Ford. One wondered whether the lyrics were from this poem but doubts the line ‘oh she punches like a dude’ was something Ford would have written in the 17th century. I find this track to be very progressive, a much lighter song compared to Blackstar but there are still dark undertones and the music still has a back street feel to it. The song is followed by Lazarus, a song which was released as a single and subsequent music video, prior to Bowie’s death. Although the video is haunting, the song is different in that department to say the least. It has a very prominent bass line with eerie violin parts played over. Following on from the first line of the song, ‘look up here, I’m in heaven’, a three chord distorted guitar part is played variably after each line in the verse there forth. I can’t say I paid too much attention to the lyrics when I first listened to it prior to his death, but listening back, it gives an idea that he knew what he was doing and that he was doing it his way. One must take solace in that idea. Lazarus is followed on by 4 tracks: Sue (or in a season of a crime), a song which was originally recorded in 2014 and released as a promotional single for the compilation Nothing Has Changed. The song was rerecorded for the Blackstar record and has had 3 minutes shaven off of the timing it originally was. A more dramatic song which is more guitar led although the jazz undertones are still existent. Girl Loves Me is the track to follow and from the first listen of the LP, I’ve felt it’s been a stand out track. The one thing I can say about this track is that the jazz influence is very well incorporated with Bowie’s lyrics extensively repeated over it. The prominent line being ‘Where the fuck did Monday go?’ And on the day of Bowie’s death being announced (Monday 11th January) I found it slightly haunting when recounting and re-listening this lyric, having he died on the Sunday. This demonstrates how his passing has changed this album for me, and for many other fans and listeners.

David Bowie (taken by Jimmy King Dec.2015)
David Bowie (taken by Jimmy King Dec.2015)

The album ends with the two songs, Dollar Days and I Can’t Give Everything Away. Dollar Days starts very melancholic, the writing on of paper followed by an over pining piano part added to by a slow and cheerless saxophone solo. Once Bowie’s voice hits your eardrums you’re welcomed to a full band playing behind his genius. The instrumentation for me is similar to that of Pulp’s 1998 album, This Is Hardcore. Once again, the lyrics are thoroughly poignant. Singing of running to the English evergreen, inciting the memory of the cover to his 1997 album, Earthling. Not to only mention the line ‘I’m dying too’, which somewhat makes his sudden passing more comprehendible days before it happened. The album ends with I Can’t Give Everything Away, a much more electronic song but with the jazz aspect still sitting in place. A sad song, to which Bowie’s voice feels old, still managing to hit the notes but one can only notice how the weakness is there and that’s what makes it so unique, so special, he’s continuing, he can’t give everything but he is trying. This song is the best way to end the album which, in gradual hindsight, is hard to describe.
On the 8th of January, when I first sat down to give my time to this album, I thought of it just as another record to add to the depending discography of David Bowie, the music was good, but then again, it was guaranteed, a Bowie seal of approval almost. However now listening back, knowing it’s his final work, his final masterpiece, one must question, how could we never have expected this?
In terms of music, this album is very David Bowie, not because it’s jazzy but because it’s different, it’s unexpected, it’s the final genre which needed to have the Bowie treatment. Not only does it sound jazzy but it also sound modern, it sounds real, it sounds soulful. One could say that maybe, that’s what it is, Bowie’s soul, wrapped up in a final LP and presented as his parting gift to us. It would have been easy for him to have given up, and leave us with The Next Day, but he knew there was more, and my goodness, wasn’t there just. A man, who’s mortal life has ended has given us the final album, the final chapter to be continually played through out his immortal life, because with this album, Bowie never dies, Bowie lives.

by Sam Johns


Last night on Huw Stephens’ show on Radio 1, one of the brightest and best new bands, Sunflower Bean, revealed their exquisite Maida Vale session previewing tracks from their upcoming debut album, ‘Human Ceremony’.

Their first UK appearance was at the Great Escape in May 2015 and they were immediately noticed as a band that had the potential to be massive. Their sound has influences of psychedelic bands such as Tame Impala and 80s pop elements such as The Cure and The Smiths – not to mention a huge influence from fellow New York legends, The Velvet Underground. All this put together in their sound has created a swirling horizon of dreamy psych rock that takes you onto an infinite journey.

Sunflower Bean’s first EP, ‘Show Me Your Seven Secrets’, was an incredible first effort that blended searing riffs with drifting into an incredible other-world of their own command. Their next 7″ single, ‘I Hear Voices’, was an obvious example of their heavy live sound that they have been constantly gigging to create.

The debut album ‘Human Ceremony’ was recorded last summer as is a conscious effort to do something less heavy and more stripped back compared to their previous works. On the Maida Vale session, they played heavier ‘Wall Watcher’, the dreamy ‘Easier Said’ and an exclusive preview of title track ‘Human Ceremony’, a lyrical mist of sounds that gives a lot of clues as to what the album is going to be like as a whole.

2016 is going to be a rollercoaster for Sunflower Bean – they have a UK tour in February and hopefully UK festival dates will also be revealed.

Everybody had better prepare themselves for what’s in store from this New York powerhouse – my bet is that we can expect great, great things.


Holiday Home- Greetings from EP

Sun-Kissed lazy slack-pop is a perfect description for Harry and Tim. I get a lot of Mac Demarco vibes whilst listening to the new ep. I am in love with it. My personal favourite is ‘So Fresh, So Easy’ as it reminds me of a dreamy summer day driving around Greece with sun raises on the back of my neck with the cool breeze hitting my face.

There are 5 gorgeous tunes on this ever so brilliant ep. It starts off with ‘Holiday Home’ which is a perfect introduction for these guys.

Then you have ‘So Fresh, So Easy’ my personal favourite just for the whole feeling and vibe of the song.

We then move onto ‘ Wish You Were Here’ which brings out the Mac Demarco vibe a lot. That is a very good thing because he is a genius and I feel as though they got some influence from him. I would love more songs like this by the dreamy duo.

‘Clueless’ is beautiful. To me it is a song in which you are with a group of close mates around a camp fire during the summer with the warm air brushing your skin looking up to the open dark space. It also reminds me of a love song as it goes ‘you and I’ and the use of acoustic guitar does usually hint at a love song.  That’s my opinion. Who knows maybe you think it’s about something else…

‘ A Little Place In The Sun (Imagine, Don’t Even)’ is the song that will want you to get up and dance wherever you are. At the start it sounds like a calmer version of The Wytches with the sound of the microphone. This is the feel good song of the EP and is a mesmerizing ending.

Basically it is an EP you will have to listen to over and over in the summer when the sun is shining and the temperatures are soaring. They will be featuring numerous times on our soundcloud summer playlists so make sure you keep an eye out.

Would be incredible if you guys could check it out. Amazing and lovely guys who have done an eye opening job. I am literally in love with them. Would mean a lot if you could share them around.

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The Magic Gang-“EP”

The first EP from the Brighton quartet, The Magic Gang, has proved to be a joy to listen to. Simply entitled ‘EP’, the 5 tracks included perfectly demonstrate the band’s unique sound and sure fire, next step to wider known success, following on from their previous singles Jasmine and No Fun, the EP gives the listener a view of a much wider path. In a fairly recent interview with the NME, the band’s singer and guitarist, Jack Kaye promised the EP would consist of “50s and 60s influenced traditional pop songs’ and with which, one has to question, has he delivered?

Well, the EP gives us five tracks: opening with Lady Please, which welcomes the listener in perfectly on what they are to expect. A rough and tumble example of strong bass and drums fitted in with high end and barely distorted guitar riffs which open the mind up to what is still to come. This is followed by the tracks She Doesn’t See and Jasmine, Jasmine being the band’s previous single and of which ultimately sits comfortably in the middle of the EP. She Doesn’t Know provides the listener with a more, I feel, heated up example of the band. Being a much more guitar led outfit, with riffs reminiscent of Blur’s latest LP (The Magic Whip) perfectly incorporated into the track. The EP finishes with the songs Feeling Better (which has also seemed to take the place of Lady, Please on the Spotify upload of the EP, an error which seemingly needs to be adjusted) and All That I Want Is You. Both of which give a justified exit of the EP which makes it even more re-listenable.

One can undoubtedly agree that this EP is a tremendous way to kick off the greater things which are clearly due for the band. Gus Taylor’s bass lines prove so hypnotic and sit hand in hand with the drum track, so that when the mostly melodic guitar is placed over it, completed by Kaye’s vocals, it leaves the listener transfixed to the product that is created.

In my opinion, The Magic Gang have succeeded in delivering an EP which is more pop orientated, with no song exceeding the 4 minute mark. Being well produced, with the indie tinge and the capabilities to end up behind a dreamscape, this EP is crucial listening, you’d be a fool not to check it out.

Review by Sam Johns

Girls Against

Girls Against (@girlsagainst on Twitter) are an inter-sectional feminist group who are campaigning for a very important thing. They are raising awareness and standing up to groping at gigs.

The group formed as there were many reports from girls that they were being groped by boys at Peace gigs. This is disgusting. These boys obviously thought that they could get away with this because the girls were wearing skirts, which is wrong in every way. A girl’s clothing is not a gateway for you to harass her and it is crucial that everyone understands this.

The important concerns were raised to the members of the band at first. Upon seeing these concerns, members of Peace Harry and Sam Koisser responded like this;

Sam Koisser (Peace’s bass player has also shown clear support for the Girls Against campaign, which is amazing and hugely important. He tweeted;

These horrible incidents are not just present at Peace gigs. They have happened at a scary number of gigs, and this needs to change. Girls should be able to enjoy gigs without having to worry about their safety.

It’s very important that everyone supports this campaign, and raises awareness for this.


A band which I am absolutely loving at the moment is Trash, in particular their EP ‘Urban Glow’. Cheeky and charming four-piece from Derbyshire, Trash are quickly becoming one of my favourite bands.

Contrary to what their name may suggest, Trash are really bloody brilliant and are having amazing response from fans too. They have recently played shows supporting the likes of JAWS and RATBOY and I reckon that if you’re a fan of those guys, you’ll probably like Trash too. In fact, you’ll definitely like Trash, just have a listen – alright?
At the moment, my favourite track on ‘Urban Glow’ is probably ‘Drift’. For me, this EP has proved one of my favourites of this year, a fabulous mix of indie and pop with rocky undertones. Their record’s really well balanced and there’s definitely something in there for everyone.
If you’ve never heard of Trash before, then stop here and have a listen to them, explore their funky sound and, who knows, maybe you’ll come out with a new favourite band! You move on without Trash, but as they would say – “I wouldn’t wanna live my life that way, yeah”, and I for one, would certainly agree.
(ps. they always reply to their facebook messages which is pretty sweet, even though they’re big time and verified now!)