BAND OF THE DAY #353 – Ratking

Wiki, Hak, Sporting Life and Ramon. No these aren’t new generation Pokemon, but in fact, the members of new Harlem rap-outfit Ratking. Independent record label, XL, who have worked with Prodigy, The xx and Tyler, the Creator have recently taken Ratking on and released their debut EP ‘Wiki93’ earlier this month.

Unlike Odd Future’s destructive and shocking vibe, Ratking bring a surreal and experimental vibe to the metaphorical ‘rap table’. Swirling, jarring electronic noises are cut over block-rocking beats all created and produced by Sporting Life and Ramon. MC Wiki aka Patrick Morales nasal and scratchy tone draws immediate comparisons to Eminem, and at the young age of 18, he has a long road ahead, let’s hope he sticks to his bizarre, experimental style of rap instead of going down the Marshall Mathers road of seemingly needless melodrama.

Having recently played the Electric Ballroom in Camden, Ratking have now returned to the East Coast. Those lucky enough to be in New York this December, head down to Webster Hall on the 18th to catch one of their energy-fuelled performances!

BAND OF THE DAY #352 – Clembutt

Clementine Creevy’s pop-infused grunge is one of the most recent sounds to travel across the seas from LA, hitting our ears with tidal waves of distortion and sweet, youthful vocals that seem to play with the rolling drums and guitar like an inquisitive child who’s just discovered a new toy. Creevy plays guitar and sings under the name Clembutt and seems to favour the rather more bizarre and unusual spectrum of things, both lyrically and when it comes to naming her tunes, take ‘Grilled Cheese’, a strangely seductive and lurid track about, well, grilled cheese.

Creevy also teams up with two other girls to form the band Cherry Glazerr, their Sub Pop sounding tracks can be heard under Clembutt’s personal Soundcloud. Have a listen here!

BAND OF THE DAY #351 – Lowell

Apparatjik, Scandinavian supergroup combining members of Mew, Coldplay and A-ha have recently formed a connection with Canadian singer/songwriter/visual artist and enchanting feminine, Lowell. She tells us her music is Alt Pop/Folk however her vast musical repertoire isn’t brought justice with so few words said. Her ethereal noises are made with synths and keyboards creating an electronic, fuzzy world where her voice can be heard echoing and calling from every corner.

The lead track, ‘Shake Him Off’ from her debut EP ‘If You Can, Solve This Jumble’, tells an intimate tale about her getting over someone- ‘I’m not going to let him hurt me anymore’ she sings over booming drums that, surprisingly, considering the sound quality, is actually the banging together of pots and pans from her kitchen. The song was recorded in Lowell’s bedroom in Toronto and amazingly, the whole EP was recorded in just four days and released into the world only weeks ago. There is still a shrouding sense of mystery and enchantment to Lowell and we can’t wait to see what she brings next.

BAND OF THE DAY #350 – Eaux

Eaux consists of three quarters of the deceased cult band Sian Alice Group. The threesome have delved into their electro passions and the consequences are quite outstanding.

For this band, improvisation is key. The experimental trio only half wrote the songs on their new EP in order to let them grow organically during their live sets. Using synths, drum pads, electronics, guitars and samplers, Eaux build atmospheric and ethereal beats which allow front woman, Sian Ahern’s, effortless and enchanting vocals to wash over. At many points, Ahern’s voice acts as another instrument with her yearning tone taking the tracks to another dimension.

Eaux released their debut EP, ‘i’, this week which hold five tracks of blissful intrigue. The band have also recently been supporting none other than the Mercury-nominated Django Django over their European tour dates.

New Releases This Week // Monday 26th

Released into the world this week, we have a bit of a girl fest. Alicia Keys returns with her comeback album ‘Girl On Fire’, which is up against competition from fellow females, Solange, Kelly Clarkson, Girls Aloud and Tulisa. Meanwhile, Born Blonde release their debut album ‘What the Desert Taught You’ featuring their stonking single ‘I Just Wanna Be’.

This week’s new album releases

Alicia Keys - Girl on Fire
Blood on the Dancefloor - The Anthem of The Outcast
Born Blonde - What the Desert Taught You
Carter Burwell - Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 Score
Cerys Matthews - Baby, It’s Cold Outside
Eberhard Weber - Resume
FM - Only Foolin’
Girls Aloud - Ten
Grateful Dead - Winterland
Katherine Jenkins - This Is Christmas
Keith Hudson - Torch of Freedom
Kelly Clarkson - Kelly Clarkson Greatest Hits
McFly - McFly Memory Lane - The Best of McFly
Olly Murs- Right Place Right Time
Prince - Rock & Roll Love Affair
Punch Brothers - Ahoy!
Saint Etienne - Casino Classics
Sean Price - Mic Tyson
Solange - TRUE
Sonic Youth - Smart Bar Chicago 1985 
The Blow Monkeys - Animal Magic
The Lovely Eggs - Wildlife
Tulisa - The Female Boss
Violet Bones - Decline of Vaudeville

Following their performance on Later… With Jools Holland, the ever-brilliant Band of Horses release ‘A Little Biblical' from their album 'Mirage Rock'. Colour the Atlas release their beautiful self-titled single and Yeasayer put out the incredibly danceable track ‘Reagan’s Skeleton’. This week’s new single releases

Band of Horses - A Little Biblical
Bullet For My Valentine - Temper Temper
Clement Marfo & the Frontline - Last Night
Colour the Atlas - Colour the Atlas
Cornershop Feat Sinhead O’Conner - Posing As An Angel
Delilah Feat Devlin - Never Be Another
Imagine Dragons - Hear Me
K. Koke Feat Maverick Sabre - Turn Back
Ke$ha - Die Young
Kelly Clarkson - Catch My Breath
Lower Than Atlantis - Go On Strike
M83  - Steve McQueen
My Chemical Romance - Ambulance/Gun
P!nk - Try
Yeasayer - Reagan’s Skeleton
Young Guns - You Are Not

BAND OF THE DAY #349 – San Cisco

Somebody order some bubbly indie pop? Well enter: San Cisco. The Aussie four-piece bring bundles of upbeat, jangley guitars, teamed with big sing-along choruses and boy/girl vocals - and probably some candy floss too.

The bubbly band met at school in Fremantle and were previously called King George. After deciding the name was too traditional for their pop-friendly sound, San Cisco was born.

Perhaps the name was a good omen for them, as San Cisco have recently bagged themselves a major label record deal with Columbia/Fat Possum. The band are currently touring in their native Australia and have recently released their ‘Beach' EP in the UK. It has four tracks including title track 'Beach’, ‘Golden Revolver’, ‘Reckless' and 'Lover’. We recommend giving it a listen to brighten up an chilly Autumnal morning.

BAND OF THE DAY #348 – Carousels

Boy/girl quartet Carousels met about 8 years ago in Cambridge and through no conscious decision, began to make music together. 8 years later, the duo have a collection of tracks that can be found online, existing somewhere in the internet’s virtual universe. Their music could be called shoegaze, it combines ambient layers of distorted feedback with massive, crunching riffs reminiscent of The Pumpkins when they were in their prime.

. With a few shows around London booked and a free gig at The Old Blue Last tonight with Die! Die! Die!, Carousels are certainly beginning to get recognition and with the prospects of a debut album out sometime in the near future, we look forward to hearing more from the pair.

BAND OF THE DAY #347 – Joey Bada$$

This seventeen-year-old is flying up the ranks in the world of hip hop and rap. Having started out rapping in high school as a member of the Pro Era project, the young star has become a global sensation. The video for his single ‘Survival Tactics' has already had over a million hits on YouTube and The Roots feature on one of the tracks from his ‘1999' mixtape, called 'Waves’.

The Brooklyn-born youngster played at the recent CMJ Music Marathon in New York and had his début television appearance earlier this month on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

The future is looking pretty bright for this young man and we reckon it won’t be long until he’s the name on everybody’s lips in the UK.

BAND OF THE DAY #346 – Chain of Flowers

This Cardiff-based band are something of an enigma,they’re a relatively new set-up and only played their début live show in May this year. The boys may be new to the live scene under the Chain of Flowers moniker, but their line-up includes members of punk rockers Brutality Will Prevail and metal-heads, Crossbreaker.

The band have two tracks up on their Soundcloud page, ‘Chained' and 'Spit’. They’re guitar-heavy, a bit 80s and a bit shoegazey. There’s elements of The Jesus and Mary Chain and a blunt nod to The Cure, which we assume is the reference in the band name.

Chain of Flowers have recently been supporting Pure Love and will be playing London’s Old Blue Last with Die! Die! Die! on 22nd November. It’s a free gig so there’s no excuses not to be there!

New Releases This Week // Monday 19th

Yikes it’s got chilly out there! So only five weeks to go until the big day, any of these you fancy in your stocking? Chad Valley’s debut album ‘Young Hunger’ is out this week which comes packed with guest appearances from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Twin Shadow, Glasser, El Perro Del Mar and Fixers frontman Jack Goldstein. There’s big chart contender albums from Little Mix, Example, Rihanna and Pitbull and some collectors gems from Amy Winehouse and Coldplay.

This week’s new album releases

Amy Winehouse - At The BBC
Angie Stone - Rich Girl
Armin Van Buuren - A State of Trance Classics Vol. 7
Bad Brains - Into the Future
Bjork - Bastards
Broken Links - Ways to Leave A Scene
Chad Valley - Young Hunger
Coldplay - Live 2012 
David Garrett - Music
Delerium - Music Box
Example - The Evolution of Man
Frank Zappa - Mothermania
Gogo Penguin - Fanfares
Lady Antebellum - On This Winter’s Night
Little Mix - DNA
Massive Attack - Blue Lines
Mogwai - A Wrenched Virile Lore
No Regular Play - Endangered Species
Papa Roach - Connection
Pitbull - Global Warming
Rihanna - Unapologetic
Roc Marciano - Reloaded
Zombie Zombie - Rituels D Un Noveau Monde

There’s a whole heap of big singles coming out this week. The brilliant Deap Vally release their stonking single ‘End of the World’. Alicia Keys is making her comeback with ‘Girl on Fire' along with Girls Aloud and 'Something New’. Other big tracks come from The Vaccines, Chris Brown and Ollie Murs.

This week’s new single releases

Alesso - Years
Alicia Keys -Girl On Fire
Chris Brown - Don’t Judge Me
Daley Feat Jessie J - Remember Me
Dan Deacon - Crash Jam
Deap Vally - End of the World
Don Broco - Hold On
Donald Fagen - I’m Not The Same Without You
Girls Aloud - Something New
Laure Mvula - She
Luli James - Be Safe
Matt Corby - Into The Flame
Mike Delinquent Project FT Donae’o, MZ Bratt and Kcat- Party’s Over Here
Noisettes - I Want You Back
Ollie Murs Feat Flo Rida - Troublemaker
Pure Bathing Club - Pure Bathing Club EP
Rudimental FT John Newman and Alex Clare - Not Giving In
Shields - Kaleidoscope EP
The Avett Brothers - Live & Die
The Dream - Dope Chick
The Good Natured -5-HT
The Vaccines - I Always Knew
Tom Odell - Another Love
Wild Belle - It’s Too Late For Love

BAND OF THE DAY #345 – The Yawns

Perhaps The Yawns were being ironic when they chose their band name, or maybe they were deliberately using a moniker that undersells their sound - either way, there’s nothing boring about this bunch. The four-piece are from “South Side G’gow” (which we take to mean South Side Glasgow) and they’ve been busy making some pretty sweet guitar pop.

There’s nothing radical or ground-breaking about this band, but they have certainly mastered the magic of melody. Their tracks ooze a mellow, easy vibe which is led by, and awoken with, catchy guitar riffs that have become the band’s signature sound.

Last month, The Yawns released their début self-titled album through Cath Records. The small-time, underground Scottish label has a growing reputation after releasing material from the likes of Paws, Bronto Skylift and Dolfinz.

The band are looking to be out gigging early in 2013 so keep your eyes open for this lot.

BAND OF THE DAY #344 – Foxes

This week saw the release of’ ‘Echo' by rapidly-rising star, Louisa Rose Allen, who goes by the name Foxes. The single has already been remixed left, right and centre by various artists, including Paper Crows and FIXYN.

The 23-year-old is from Southampton but now lives in London, after allegedly following her big sister to the city once she turned 18. There’s some big pop tunes coming from this girl, who wouldn’t be out of place on the shelf next to established artists like Ellie Goulding or Marina and the Diamonds. The singer, who’s been signed to Neon Gold, has been hanging out in the desert and living it up in LA this week in order to film her forthcoming videos.

Her previous single, Youth, has topped the one million hits mark on YouTube which gives an indication of how big Foxes is going to be. Heads up guys, looks like there’s a new pop princess in town…

BAND OF THE DAY #343 – Keebo

Hey little girl, don’t you worry about forever, you don’t have to look for something better,” sings Keebo’s frontwoman in her delicately soft voice. Her gentle and reassuring words sound as though they were penned in the midst of a soothing sibling advice session. The opening of ‘The World is Waiting' has a chant-like tribal sound to it which jumps into a dreampop infused, bouncy guitar riff and opens the track out. From there on it, it's floaty harmonies and catchy repetition all the way, making it a charming and captivating little number.

The London-based quartet have been gigging around the city across various venues including the Brixton Windmill, Camden’s Lock Tavern, The Old Queen’s Head in Islington and Catch in Shoreditch. On Saturday (24th November) Keebo are on the bill to play at the Stag’s Head in Hoxton.

The band have a whole heap of tracks up on their Soundcloud page and are certainly worth checking out, keep tabs on their Facebook for future gig announcements too.

BAND OF THE DAY #342 – Foxygen

Foxygen is the joint project of Sam France and Jonathan Rado. The two twenty-two-year-olds grew up together in LA but separated when they went to college. The pair now come out of New York and Olympia respectively and bring their love for classic rock with them in abundance.

Their tracks are overflowing with references and influences from their heroes like David Bowie, The Rolling Stones, and The Kinks. It’s as though the duo attempt to cram every single idea they have into each song, creating a disorientating and captivating sound.

This summer Foxygen put out a mini album called ‘Take The Kids Off Broadway' and next month (17th December) sees the release of the band's single, 'Shuggie' which is taken from their forthcoming album 'We Are The 21st Century Ambassadors Of Peace & Magic’.

The band recently played at New York’s CMJ Music Marathon and are scheduled to play their first UK show at London’s Sebright Arms on 26th November.

BAND OF THE DAY #341 – Hello Ocho

This Atlanta collective certainly know how to make a first impression. ‘Stickin’ to the Sheets' is bursting at the seams with energy and pulsating rhythms. In a midst of hazy guitars, excitable vocals and head-jerking drums, the tempo winds down and it's easy to imagine the band leaving the stage but, hey presto! before we know it, the pace is back up and we're off dancin' again.

The jangly, bouncy single is one of two offerings so far from Hello Ocho, who have a self-titled début album ready for release in early 2013. ‘Chili Cheese Connie' is the other available track up on Soundcloud currently. The band find themselves getting a lot of blog hype as well as attention from NME, Amazing Radio, Fake DIY and Artrocker - which can’t be bad going! We have a feeling this lot will be everywhere upon the release of the full-length record and will take us dancing into 2013 with them.



--Steve Lamacq BBC 6 Music