Leeds quartet Fun Adults have formed a harmonious marriage between acoustic and electronic sound, with all four band members- Dan Jacobs, Kyle Molleson, Declan Pleydell-Pearce and Huw Thomas contributing to the writing and forming of their tracks, giving their music an indulgent and diverse feel. Huw Thomas’ intoxicating vocals wail over ambient electronic loops interspersed with acoustic guitar and mellowing beats, create a chilled, musical atmosphere that Thom Yorke would be proud of creating.
It appears Fun Adults like to stay away from predictability and conventionality, if their surreal sound and vaguely ironic name aren’t enough, they’ve recently converted a 200 year-old barn as a recording studio where they have written, recorded and produced their first single, out earlier this month on Tough Love. ‘Sap Solid’ is a fine window into the world of Fun Adults, a perfect blend of vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar and electronic backings that create a wall of sound, a ghostly atmosphere that leaves you feeling mellow. The band are all excited to get their debut album, so watch this space until then!
2012 Mercury Prize
So last night saw Alt-J claim the prestigious 2012 Mercury Prize. The winning album was ‘An Awesome Wave’ which is a refreshingly innovative and artistic record, full of creativity, experimentalism and bringing a whole new edge to current music. Alt-J have crafted an exceptional album which demands respect from any music fan for its sheer quality and individuality. After all, who else can pen the lyric, ‘deep, greedy and googling every corner’?
From the offset, the bookies tip was our favourite triangle-lovers, Alt-J, who performed for us earlier this year at The Great Escape. The boys were already considered the buzz band of 2012 and destined for massive success. The word had obviously spread as the Alt-J filled the Blind Tiger wall-to-wall with gig-goers desperate to catch their extraordinary live set.
On that very same evening, Scottish four-piece Django Django were next on the bill to follow Alt-J’s mesmerising set and give the crowd one hefty dose of truly exciting, breaking music. Their self-titled album is a groundbreaking example of alt-pop tunes with elements of psychedelia, dance and electro thrown in and was a popular favourite to bag the prize this year.
Time will tell what Alt-J use the £20,000 prize money for but we can speculate that it will be invested back into their music’s progression. In 2010 The XX took the title for their incredible debut album, ‘XX’, and built their own studio with their winnings.
London lady Lianne La Havas, played at The Great Escape for us this year and wowed the crowd with her effortless, soul-filled vocals. Her debut album ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ was also in the running for this year’s award. Another nominee that The Great Escape had on its 2011 line-up was singer/songwriter, Ben Howard. His album ‘Every Kingdom’ charted in the UK Top 10 on its release last September, just four months after putting on a captivating show for us at the festival. The other artists up for the 2012 award included Jessie Ware, Richard Hawley, The Maccabees, Field Music, Plan B, Michael Kiwanuka, Roller Trio and Sam Lee.
‘I went to see him play and signed him to my label straight away,’ and it’s not only Lily Rose Cooper (that’s Lily Allen to me and you) that is transfixed by singer/songwriter Tom Odell. At the bright, young age of 20, he has burst into the spotlight with the help of Burberry who featured his track ‘Another Love’ as the soundtrack to their spring/summer show. Now your music has to be cool to make it onto the catwalk right? Armed with a piano and a voice that ranges from a soft, hushed whisper to a booming, emotional cry, it’s impossible not to let his delicately powerful lyrics affect you as he tells tales of intimacy and personal experience.
With a whole range of influences from Elton John to Beach House, Tom Odell creates a haunting and harrowing sound, at times touched by hints of jazz, blues and even rock, but his intimate style and engaging live performances have given him a name, one we will be hearing more and more of in the coming weeks. You can catch him on tour with the Mystery Jets and Jake Bugg this November, don’t miss out!
It’s feeling undeniably chilly here in the UK as winter’s icy fingers begin to reach out and grip us once again, the accompanying flu spreads through the sneezes and splutters of passers-by in the street and everyone just seems a little down. Well don’t bother with a Lemsip, we have Slow Magic to fight those wintery blues.
Self-dubbed, unknown imaginary friend, Slow Magic is a masked DJ/Producer from the states who creates a dreamy and mesmeric heat-wave through ambient electronica. His repertoire rich with whispering samples and echoing melodies on top of smooth, electronic beats creates a shimmering mirage that will hang above even the coldest of streets back home.
His musical vibrancy and perfect production values have given Slow Magic a pioneering name in the dream-pop world and gained him commercial success with his remixes of Cuushe and Bon Iver tracks, whilst his album, ▲, brings together a cocktail of glimmering, summery beats and blends of sound that are fused together so perfectly that the electronic, synthetic manner of Slow Magic’s music appears luxuriously organic and natural, as if it’s emanating from the depths of some humid rainforest or surfing on top of a wave as it crashes down on some tropical island. So if you don’t want to face the impending doom and gloom of winter or you’re just a fan of luscious and chilled electronic music, head to Slow Magic’s Bandcamp to bag yourself a copy of his album before the temperatures drop even more!
Karen Marie Ørsted is the Copenhagen-based electro-pop artist known as MØ. Her ice cool, downbeat, electropop somehow transcends to emplace great warmth on her sound which sits somewhere between AlunaGeorge and Grimes.
Word has reached us that MØ is currently hard at work on her debut album, but aside from that we know very little else. Her biography on facebook states “The snow nation is eating your brain and your young heart – dark as the apocalypse. So just go perish in the snøw. mø mø mø MØ MØ MØ“, which intrigues and mystifies us even further. If she continues to produce tracks as good “Pilgrim” and “Maiden” then we will are more then willing to have our brain and hearts eaten by the snow nation.
Brolin has been attracting growing attention over the past year since the emergence of the debut track ‘NYC’. As to exactly who is behind 'Brolin' we are unable to confirm or establish currently. The only information we have to go by is what’s on Brolin’s soundcloud which simply states "I am a bedroom producer, self-taught, self-analysing, into beats, space, and melody".
We would imagine that Brolin’s anonymity won’t remain for to much longer with ‘NYC’ receiving a number of spins on 6music alongside Annie Mac’s show over the last week. There are also forthcoming shows with Twin Shadow later this week in both Manchester and London, which suggests it’s only a matter time until this mystery is solved!
Brooklyn based duo, Starred, first EP ‘Prison to Prison’ is due for release in a matter of weeks and they’ve already spawned quite a stir in the waters with their atmospheric, heavily stripped down nouveau sound. The band consists of Liza Thorn, who once played in a band with the former frontman of Girls, and producer Matthew Koshak.
Their music is mesmeric, listening to the track ‘Cemetery’, you are taken to a strange world, rough, clangy guitar and omnipotent synths juxtapose as Thorn’s melancholy vocals hang eerily above the track, reminiscent of Julee Cruise’s music in Twin Peaks. The accompanying video is well worth a watch too, fans of Lynch will draw noticeable comparisons with his surrealistic style. With a number of gigs lined up in Brooklyn with the likes of Tamaryn and Von Haze, it’s an exciting time for Starred who’s EP is released 20th November on Pendu Records.
Copenhagen’s Reptile Youth’s shocking, manic sounds have run through Denmark and out across the rest of Europe like some maniacal surge of lightning that won’t stop until it has electrified everything in its path. And I promise, after experiencing Reptile Youth’s concentrated energy and raw power, you would forgive me for using such cliché imagery as a ‘maniacal surge of lightning’ when talking about their music. Their intense post pop/punk guitar driven sound packs such a punch it’s like you’ve entered one of those ‘DANGER DO NOT ENTER 10,000 VOLTS’ boxes armed with a fully loaded super soaker.
The band was formed back in 2009 when Mads Damsgaard Kristiansen met Esben Valløe at an electronic one-man concert in a squatted building in Denmark and things haven’t got any tamer since. In fact the inclusion of drummer Emil Vissing Christiensen and guitarist Mads Bergland has not only given them a madder, heavier sound, but more importantly given singer, Damsgaard a whole load more stage diving and crowd surfing time.
After touring excessively and hitting a load of festivals worldwide all without a single release, it quickly became clear that Reptile Youth were a band to catch live. We are now lucky enough to bring them into our homes with the release of their self-titled first LP, the deluxe edition boasting a full 17 tracks of high-energy punk and pop.
They play a variety of dates across the UK starting this October with a FREE gig at our very own club night this Friday at The Green Door Store before heading back across the seas to hit the rest of Europe with more of their electrically charged live shows.
Chicago band, Scattered Trees, parted ways with two of their members earlier this year which left the three remaining members with a hefty question mark hanging over their future. We’re pleased to say that they saddled up and continued on under the new name and direction of ON AN ON.
The newly formed band are in their early stages following the re-jig but they’ve got themselves up and running and recently posted the new video for their debut track ‘Ghosts’. Not to mention the band’s Facebook page has a whopping 25k likes!
‘Ghosts’ is all a bit Beach House sounding (a very positive thing) all mesmerizing drums and slow paced guitars with an overriding chilled-out, dreamy vibe. It’s the kind of track you can’t help but replay as soon as it finishes. Also, is it just me or does the guitar riff holds a definite resemblance to Noah and the Whale’s track Blue Skies?
On An On release their debut album entitled ‘Give In’ on 29th January next year.
Little Green Cars have crafted a great little video for their single ‘The John Wayne’ which proves that sometimes a simple idea can prove to be the best. The track was released in July and picked up support from Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne. It’s a classic tale of unrequited love in which our protagonist fails to win the heart of an American girl after getting kicked out of the club where she’ll be for one night only. Nooo! The best thing to do? Go home and write a cracking little pop song about it.
And so he did. Stevie Appleby fronts the five-piece who have been together for five years since they were just 15 and the fruits of their labour are certainly showing. The band have recently played gigs in America including a set in New York for the CMJ Music Marathon. Markus Dravs, who’s worked with names like Arcade Fire, Mumford & Sons and Coldplay, was called in to produce their debut album which is due for release early in 2013.
With only two tracks out, FEWS lie shrouded in the haze that blankets such emerging bands. Little more is known other than they’re a duo from Sweden who, so far, have brought a new instalment of ambient, guitar-pop. Imagine The Drums on valium, moody vocals echo and linger, full of reverb that resonates soothingly over catchy, summery guitar riffs and bass lines.
Already drawing comparisons with DIIV and Wild Nothing, it appears the unsigned FEWS would fit in nicely with the prolific, dream-pop label Captured Tracks. As it stands however, their Soundcloud is the window into their world. Their most recent track ‘If Things Go On Like This’ is available as a free download here.
New Releases This Week // Monday 22nd
So this week we see the long-awaited release of Egyptian Hip Hop's 'Good Don't Sleep'. Exciting débuts from Gabriel Bruce with ‘Love In Arms’ and Halls with ‘Ark’. The big chart-busters come from the likes of Dappy, Drake and Taylor Swift.
Albums Out Today:
Akon - Koncrete Jungle
And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead - Lost Songs
Andy Burrows - Company
Benjamin Gibbard- Former Lives
Brasstronaut - Mean Sun
Dappy - Bad Intentions
Deaf Havana - Fools and Worthless Liars
Drake - Yolo
Egyptian Hip Hop - Good Don’t Sleep
Fossil Collective - On And On EP
Gabriel Bruce - Love In Arms
Halls - Ark
Heaven 17 - The Luxury Gap
Jeff The Brotherhood - Hypnotic Nights
Lawson - Chapman Square
Manowar - Lord Of Steel
Paul Banks - Banks
Richard Marx- Christmas Spirit
Shiny Toy Guns - III
Swedish House Mafia- Until Now
Taylor Swift - Redh
The Miracles - Miracles
So we can’t ignore the elephant in the room, that’s right folks, this week Steps release ‘Light Up The World’. Exciting new singles come from the likes of the raucous Palma Violets, Mercury-nominated Jessie Ware, TGE artist Bastille and the ever-brilliant The Joy formidable.
Singles Out Today:
Axewound - Exorchrist
Amy McDonald - 4th Of July
Bastille - Flaws
Gabriel Bruce - Perfect Weather
Gaz Coombes -White Noise
Jessie Ware - Night Light
JLS- Hottest Girl In The World
Julia Stone- Justine
Madness - My Girl 2
Naughty Boy Feat Emeli Sande - Wonder
Nero - You Won’t (Be There)
Palma Violets - Best of Friends/Last Of The Summer Wine
Peace - Bloodshake
Pure Love - Riot Song
Soul Survivor -Kingdom Come
Spector - Friday Night (Don’t Let It End)
Steps -Light Up The World
The Joy Formidable -Cholla
Tyga Feat Chris Brown -For the Fame
Villagers -The Waves
While She Sleeps -Our Courage, Our Cancer
You Me At Six -Reckless