Thursday, 26 May 2016

Album Review: Arthur Beatrice - Keeping The Peace

'Arthur Beatrice - Keeping The Peace' Tracklist
01. Real Life   02. Healing   03. Who Returned   04. All I Ask   05. I Left You   
06. Since We Were Kids   07. Every Cell   08. Worry   09. I Don't Get That Chill   
10. Brother

Released 27th May 2016 through Open Assembly Recordings/Polydor Records.

Marking a triumphant comeback last November with the pulsating, appropriately titled single Who Returned, Arthur Beatrice are back to show us all just why they're light-years ahead of anyone else making euphoric pop of the sort. It takes a lot of work and finite detail to make an album of such timeless worth as their debut 'Working Out' proved and still proves to be, and it goes without doubt 'Keeping The Peace' shares in abundance its continuing themes. Two years in the making the band aren't shy to admit the hardships they struggled with along the way. Working in such close confinement can never be an easy task to master over a prolonged duration yet pushing each other's boundaries has proved a fruition worthy of time and effort.

What better way to kick things off than Real Life, a turbulent and choppy percussive opener keen to set its mark on what lays ahead. The beauty of Arthur Beatrice from an early day has been their indigenous way for creating stunning backdrops with the bare minimum. Stripping back all instrumentation on Healing except for a rousing string section to accompany singer Ella Girardot's operatic vocals shows testament to these undying talents. 

Already shared single Who Returned brings back the bounding arpeggiated synths we've become accustomed to as its chorus rises to dizzying heights. As its relentless pulsating ceases you get a sense that amongst the band's added sounds they're more alleviated than ever before driving home an unrivalled buoyancy. Having shared news that they'd be working with London's Children of Kingdom Gospel Choir, it's been an excitable few months wondering how it'd fit amidst their sound. All I Ask gives us our first proper taste. With a real prominence played on its vocals, a stunning realisation of the crisp beauty within its swelling notions and added brass sections comes to light. Elsewhere on the record I Left You and Worry bring together the band's excellent use of space as each track fills us with an expansive backdrop of pure indulgence, the latter containing one of the most beautiful and emotive piano breakdowns I've heard.

As the album begins to wind down with I Don't Get That Chill, we get a stimulating showcase of the band's subtle ability in building a crescendo from its rather unassuming intro of softly plucked guitar and whispered vocals. The calm before the storm if you will in the lead up to album closer Brother. Saving their most chaotic for last Arthur Beatrice battle with thrashing percussion and jagged guitars, its convulsing melodies momentarily refraining for composure as we come up for air, only to be thrown headfirst in to its warped mind-state-altering finale.

Try as you might, you won't ever find a band with more soulful and boundless energy as London's Arthur Beatrice. A true coming of age record that shows the band in their most honest and raw state yet. Laying such emotions bare can be a terrifying concept to most but thankfully Orlando Leopard, Ella Girardot, Hamish Barnes and Elliot Barnes mustered the courage to produce a record of such strength and determination.



Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Video: VITAMIN - Waterfall

Produced by Rich Turvey (Blossoms, Clean Cut Kid, The Coral) with additional production and mixing by Lewis Gardiner (Prides, KLOË, Fatherson) Vitamin return with their brand new video to latest single Waterfall. Making some fun use of the green screen effects watch on as the band get transported to a tropical paradise from the rather less than appealing British seaside resort. "Waterfall is all about the emotions you face in the situations where you feel you could drown but simultaneously the ultimate feeling of resolution you gain from not letting those fears control you." explains frontman Jared. Take a watch for yourselves below.

Live Dates
29th May – Lost Village Festival, Lincolnshire
2nd June - Notion Magazine night, Leeds
3rd June – Brothers and Sisters (VITAMIN’s club night), Studio 24, Leeds
24th June – Brothers and Sisters (VITAMIN’s club night), Studio 24, Leeds


RALPH - Cold To The Touch

"I taught myself the only way to vaguely get along in love is to like the other slightly less than you get in return". A line from Los Campesinos! that continues to play true time and time again. Raffa Weyman aka RALPH seems to know what's up too. "'Cold to the touch' is about the imbalance that often exists between two people in a casual fling." she explains. "He wants more, she isn't looking for anything serious". I'm sure we've all been there whether it's on the giving or receiving end, so why not soundtrack it with some silk smooth 80's influenced synth-pop. Take a listen for yourselves below.


Palace - Break The Silence

Almost 2 years since I first wrote about Palace the London based 4-piece return with their latest single Break The Silence. Having grown their sound through expansive melodies and drastic chord changes, the band sound more focused than ever before as they gear towards releasing their much anticipated debut album. Take a listen to their latest cut below along with a list of upcoming tour dates.

Live Dates
14th June            London, ICA – SOLD OUT
18th June          London, Bushtock
23rd November     London, Brixton Electric


Tuesday, 24 May 2016

The Lapelles - Grab Life By

At just 19, The Lapelles expel a sound light-years ahead of themselves as they come firing out the blocks with their new jaunty single Grab Life By. Filled with resplendent guitar lines and infectious hooks, the Glasgow based outfit sure know a thing or two about articulated songwriting and they don't shy away from that fact. Filled with an airy confidence the band look set to cause quite the storm as they gear up their campaign. Take a listen for yourselves below along with a full list of upcoming tour dates.

Live Dates
27th May - Ku Bar, Stockton
28th May - Surf Cafe, Tynemouth w/Lisbon
30th May - Town Hall, Newcastle w/The Last Shadow Puppets
31st May - De Montford Hall, Leicester w/The Last Shadow Puppets
1st Jun - The Venue, Dumfries w/The View
2nd Jun - The Venue, Dumfries w/The View
3rd Jun - Rothes Hall, Glenrothes w/The View
4th Jun - FuBar, Stirling w/The View
9th Jun - The Rocking Chair, Sheffield
10th Jun - Brudenell Games Room, Leeds
11th Jun - Fruit, Hull
15th Jun - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
16th Jun - Reading Rooms, Dundee
17th Jun - Mad Hatters, Inverness
18th Jun - Tunnels, Aberdeen
1st Jul - Magnet, Liverpool
2nd Jul - Fallow Cafe, Manchester
16th Jul - King Tuts, Glasgow


Monday, 23 May 2016

Oxen - Luck

4 months since I first wrote about Oxen they return with their latest single, Luck. I'm not sure much of that plays in to their music, just pure undying talent, the Swedish trio once more showcase a soaring dignified effort. From its daintily picked guitar intro right through to its thundering choruses, the juxtaposition of soft and loud melodies leave us yearning for more. Take a listen for yourselves below.

Oxen are Erik Hases (vocals, bass), Stefan Söderqvist (guitar) and Dennis Filatov (drums).


Swimming Tapes - Set The Fire

If you're anything like me then you'll love a Monday. Chances are though that's probably not the case and today has been nothing but a drag. Good news for you then. Swimming Tapes have returned with a new single, or rather soundtrack to ease away your troubles and welcome in the sunshine to great applause. Filled with playfully quaint guitar lines all neatly weaved together amongst the track's skittering percussion and sun-resplendent melodies, Set The Fire is a gorgeously laid back pop masterpiece that'll make you instantaneously forget about the uphill climb to the weekend ahead. Dive right in for yourselves below.


Thursday, 19 May 2016

Johnny Lloyd - Pilgrims

Former Tribes frontman Johnny Lloyd returns with his new single Pilgrims. Whilst it looks like the single was already released as part of a previous EP back in 2014, it is the first time it's come to my attention so it's all good news to me. Take a listen to its swaggering guitars and soulful drive below.

Live Dates
Thu 19th         LONDON, Electric Ballroom (support Band Of Skulls)
Sat 21st         BRIGHTON, The Great Escape
Sat 28th         MANCHESTER, Dot To Dot Festival @ Gullivers
Sun 29th         BRISTOL, Dot To Dot @ Academy 2
Mon 30th        NOTTINGHAM, Dot To Dot @ Rock City Basement

Sun 12th         LONDON, Field Day

Sun 3rd        SWANAGE, Smoked & Uncut @ Pig On The Beach
Fri 8th         CHELTENHAM, 2000 Trees Festival