Friday, 24 April 2015

Live Review: Amber Run, Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff 23/4/15

"I'm quite a depressive person" exclaims frontman Joe Keogh to an adorning sea of wide-eyed faces. I guess that's partly the reason why Amber Run have become so accessible in recent months. With such heart-on-sleeve worn lyricism there's always going to be a relatable degree to some extend, yet the London via Nottinghamshire based group really seem to hit home with the majority of fans. It's with no surprise then to learn they've sold out their first ever headline show in the Welsh capital. And whilst not technically their first visit to Cardiff having supported Lewis Watson here last year, this was defintiely to be their most personal yet and they weren't going to disappoint.

With temperatures quickly nearing boiling, packed out long before their arrival on stage, the flutter of eager conversation amongst fans ramped up the discerning atmosphere inside. Thankfully it's not long before the blinding of lights from all the girls taking selfies in front die out as the room was sunk into darkness. The regret of leaving my ear plugs sat at home on the bedside table was becoming all the more apparent as the sound of deafening screams filled out any sparsely remaining space amongst the band's emergence. Accelerating to much acclaim over the last few years, Amber Run have seen a continual rise in popularity as they've tentatively teased us with their in-depth cinematic embellished clips and immaculately turned out EP's, all in the lead up to their debut album '5am'. Tonight was to be a true showcase of ultimate triumph.

Getting things underway, with no guitar to hide behind, Keoh awkwardly fiddles with his hands in front of the mic, the emotive strains on his face clearly say it all though as the band kicked things off with a blinding performance of 5am. From the off-set, their emotive trajectories speedily created a commandeering sway in the audience. Transposing from the studio to live setting can sometimes be a difficult feat to master but there seemed to be no trouble here as their rousing delivery transfixed the crowd in to early amazement with a setlsit made up predominantly of tracks from their recently released LP.  

Any hesitation or edginess quickly dissipates as Joe shouts "I'm so up for this", the biggest of grins radiating from his face. Right through from Hurricane's bubbling swells of feel-good notions to the tear-jerking lamentations on I Found, the energy inside hits a transcendental peak and never backs off, not even when the honest and raw delivery of Shiver makes a heavy-hearted appearance.

Throughout, the band's three-part vocal harmonies deliver on all their worth showcasing an incredible amount of talent, glazed faces from front to back hang on to each and every word - the biggest singalong of the evening coming with the crowd shouting back Noah's intro with the utmost of force before its rip-roaring percussion and guitars took ahold. On record, their songs have a unique dynamic juxtaposition with a driving energy meeting heart-rending sublimity head on. Let loose in a live environment though, these feelings only intensify further, effortlessly demonstrated as Spark, a track described about leaving their hometown in search of greener pastures, burst in to life. 

As the band slink off stage, only to return with echoing chants of “We want more", they seem only happy to oblige. Vastly taken aback by such a warmly received reception Felix, Will, Joe, Tom and Henry can't shake the smiles from their faces as they thank the crowd profusely.

A masterclass in ambition and self-control from beginning to end, there are few artists around that can translate with the transparency of Amber Run. Demonstrating unblemished vocal control alongside the band's precision in switching from heavy and loud to soft and subtle within an instant, the night comes to a faultless climax. I say it here, catch Amber Run whilst you still can at these smaller sized venues because It won't be long before their selling out Academy sized venues up and down the country!

Support for the evening came in the form of Hitchin based artist Rhodes who slots in nicely amongst the band's encapsulating sounds. Not shy to a post here since first getting introduced to his music almost two years ago back in 2013, the sheer advancement in quality has been nothing short of mesmeric. Breathing ethereal life in to his recordings his almost falsetto breaking vocals quickly got the crowd standing to attention as the band rattled together an aspiring backdrop of fervorous percussion and joyous guitar work. Add in some strings and dizzying keywork and Rhodes' integral unmitigated talent really begins to shine. Tapping in to a vast Colosseum of stadium ready pop yet still clinging on to the intamcy of his early work, it's no mean feat to say I'm consistently blown away by his efforts. Let's hope an album isn't too far off.

Amber Run continue their tour at the following dates

24-Apr Liverpool O2 Academy 2 
26-Apr Oxford O2 Academy 2 
27-Apr York Fibbers 
28-Apr Nottingham Rescue Rooms 
29-Apr London Scala 
30-Apr Manchester Sound Control 
02-May Newcastle Think Tank 
05-May Belfast Oh Yeah 
06-May Dublin Academy 2


Thursday, 23 April 2015

EMBRZ - Silent ft. Amy Rose

It's be a while since I last posted anything EMBRZ related. Almost a year to the day in fact when I first shared his glistening electronic remix of The 1975's Settle Down. Renown for some seriously cool remixes over the years, Silent serves as his first original work to surface and really goes to show the inherent skills he possesses. With a talent for crafting some beautifully chilled compositions, Jack Casey returns with another gleaming effort filled with elegantly swoonful synths and his unique choppy percussion. Enlisting the gracious vocal aid of Amy Rose, Silent really comes to life in the most wondrous of ways. "I finished writing Silent just before Christmas. The last step was getting an amazing vocal down, and Amy was perfect” explains Casey. "There is a story behind the track, but I like the idea of leaving listeners to their own interpretation. Whatever it means to someone is what it means to someone." Take a listen below for yourselves.

Live Dates
16th May - Savoy, Cork w/ Young Wonder
22nd May - Whelans w/ Young Wonder


Hazel English - Never Going Home

Whilst the spring warmth takes a turn towards the more typical British climate with a cold breeze weaving its way inland, new artist Hazel English emerges on to the scene just in time to keep things ticking over until our sun returns. Oozing with a candescent charm, her softly hummed harmonies and hazily driven melodies bring a glimmering shard of hope to our quite often turbulent weather system. "The song is about moving overseas, the feeling of being drawn to California, and really finding myself here" explains Hazel. Take a listen below for yourselves. Never Going Home serves as the title track to her debut EP, set for release later this summer.


Video: Seafret - Atlantis

Probably the saddest part about growing old is that we're often forced to leave behind our imaginary world's, the kind of places where we can be anything we want to be and anything's a possibility. The dreams we create to escape the boredom of youth and mundanity as kids, if only for a temproary departure, were some of the best we'll ever have. Following on from sharing their unequivocally expansive new single Atlantis last month, Bridlington duo Seafret return with an official video to coincide with its relase. Shot in multiple locations across Ireland, watch on above as the Brendan Canty (Hozier - Take Me To Church) directed clip follows the story of a young boy and his imaginary new best friend set amongst his paracosm world.

'Altantis' will be released May 25th. 

Live Dates
Sat 02 May 2015 - Leeds - Live At Leeds
Fri 15 May 2015 - Brighton - Komedia - The Great Escape
Wed 20 May 2015 - London - Red Gallery
Sat 23 May 2015 Bristol - Dot to Dot
Sun 24 May 2015 Nottingham - Dot to Dot
Sun 26 Jul 2015 - Baldersby Park, Yorks - Deer Shed Festival
Fri 31 Jul 2015 - Cambridge - Cambridge Folk Festival - The Den
Sat 01 Aug 2015 - Nr Penrith - Kendal Calling festival - Calling Out stage
Fri 07 Aug 2015 - Newquay Boardmasters 
Sun 06 2015 - Festival #6
Fri 11 Sep 2015 - Isle of Wight, Bestival 


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Urban Cone - Weekends

I've never really understood the hatred Monday's receive. If you're anything like me, you'll have spent your Sunday hungover so to wake up feeling slightly more fresh than the night before, and with a whole lot less self-pity for having not wasted a full day doing absolutely nothing, then that's always going to be welcomed. No, for me, Wednesday's are the killer. The midweek of no man's land. That feeling of knowing you're exactly halfway between the start and end of the seven day grind. Thankfully, bands like Sweden's Urban Cone exist to help melt away our woes. With an adrenalin shot to the system, ready to pick you up, carrying you forth in to the weekend ahead, their rather appropriately titled new single does just so as they return on fine form. Taken from the band's forthcoming album 'Polaroid Memories', Weekends is the epitome of feelgood as the five-piece splash colourful rays of light on to their jangly guitar rattling canvas. If you're not totally awash in a freeing ecstasy, then something's gone seriously wrong. Indulge yourself below.

'Polaroid Memories' will be released May 4th 2015. Fans can Pre-Order the record from iTunes here.


Young Wonder - Sweet Dreaming

Steadily leading us towards their long awaited debut album, 'Birth', set for release through Feel Good Lost on May 18, the Irish electro-pop duo return with their dazzling new single, Sweet Dreaming. Picking up where their previous effort Enchanted left off, the pair once more present their indigenous craftsmanship in grandeur style as Rachel Koeman’s glacial vocals swoon to the forefront of its elegant synth laden backdrop.

Sweet Dreaming is taken from Young Wonder's forthcoming debut album. 'Birth' will be available on download and on limited, 300-only, white 12” vinyl. Seventy-five copies are available with an A5 art print signed by the band. Pre-orders are now available on Itunes and the Feel Good Lost webstore


Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Teddy - Happy Tim

In a tripped out bubble of experimental greatness, French newcomers Teddy make a huge splash in the ocean with their debut single, Happy Tim. Said to be "fuelled by a love of London’s rough glamour and bubbling subcultures", the trio's unique tropically infused rhythms, note perfect vocals and tribal percussion make for an incredibly engaging listen. Flamboyant in nature, Happy Tim is about as exciting as debut's come. My appetite's most certainly whet. Check it out for yourselves below.

Teddy will play London's The Islington on May 28th. Tickets available here:


Korallreven - Limitless

Thinking back to my very early days as a blog, Korallreven were one of the first acts I ever wrote about here back in 2010. Although, when I say wrote, I basically just uploaded an mp3 to the site. My days as a thoughtful writer back then were shady to say the least. Things have moved on a hell of a lot since then, not least to mention my ability to string a sentence or two together but Korallreven have seen a colossal advancement in sound. Directed by André Jofré, the Swedish duo return with their latest video to coincide with new single Limitless. Almost perfectly capturing the track's perpetuated synths and distinct Nordic feel, watch on as a chance hitchhike journey materialises in to euphoric night on the tiles. "It's a dark story about having too much fun." explains Jofré. "The story also really depends on the viewer, something I really like. Aesthetically, we've essentially taken Drive and swapped out Gosling with Willy Wonka". Take a watch below.

Limitless is taken from Korallreven's second album, 'Second Comin', recently out via Cascine/Sony Music.