Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Pr0files | Forgive

As the accessibility in to music production becomes easier than ever before, the amount of emails I receive corresponds exactly as one could imagine. Sifting through them, hundreds at a time, can be pretty dreary on the best of days. But somewhere, hidden amongst all the dirt, is a real diamond that makes everything worthwhile. Pr0files being a case in point. Standing out from the recently emerging synth-pop duo scene, longtime friends Lauren Pardini and Danny Sternbaum from an unstoppable force to be reckoned with. Their latest single Forgive going to show just what the pair are capable of as slinky basslines drive power in to futuristic synths and pulsating percussion - all neatly weaved together with Pardini's angelic vocals. Taking cue from the sophisticated pop sounds of the late 80s the LA twosome's cinematic widescreen sounds epitomize everything from an era that was once so rich in harmonizing melody. Here they look set on bringing it all back to life. Indulge yourself above.

f: www.facebook.com/pr0files

Video: Flyte - Light Me Up

Following on from Flyte sharing a stream to their latest single 'Light Me Up', the band return with an official video to coincide with its forthcoming release. Whilst this one doesn't feature frontman Will Taylor sat in his pants on a busy London street, its candid-shot approach with shaky panned cameras from afar provide an engaging watch. Add to the fact it was shot on 16mm film (don't get me started on why analogue anything is better than digital because you will most certainly lose) the Ryan Goodman directed clip nails the band's warm huggable sounds to a tee! Speaking on its conception the band went on to say:  
"The Light Me Up video is set amongst the 'Brutalist Architecture' of the city of London, it has a touch of Pop Art, it's a little bit tongue in cheek and ultimately, it's very British. It was also shot on 16mm film which helped evoke the mood of so many of the Mike Leigh films we love so much. We decided not make this one ourselves and we were quite nervous about handing it over at first, but Ryan totally got our aesthetic and with virtually no money, he's made a fantastic video".
'Light Me Up' will be released 17th November through Turned Out Nice / Island Records. You can catch the band out on the road this Autumn as they play the ‘DIY Presents Tour 2014’ all kicking off tomorrow evening in Bristol along with a string of headline shows. Check out the full list of shows below.

21st Brighton, The Hope, Headline show
 Bristol, Start The Bus, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature
23rd Reading, Oakford Social Club, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature
24th Bournemouth, Sixty Million Postcards, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature
25th Birmingham, Alfie Birds, Headline show
26th Manchester, Gullivers, Headline show
28th Edinburgh, Electric Circus, Headline show
29th Leeds, Nation of Shopkeepers, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature
30th Nottingham, Spanky Van Dykes, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature
31st Banbury, Also Known As, DIY Presents Tour w. Shy Nature

1st London, The Laundry, DIY All-Dayer w. Shy Nature, Telegram, Blessa & Menace Beach
4th London, Oslo, Headline show
5th Leicester, Academy 3, Headline show
6th Sheffield, Bungalows and Bears, Headline show
7th Liverpool, Shipping Forecast, Headline show

HUNTAR | Bitter

Whilst Huntar's press shot doesn't say reveal too much, except maybe a love for smoky silhouettes, the South-East London native's music covers more than enough ground. First piquing my interests with All That I Want back in September, the rather ambiguous 21 year old returns once more with another pristine downtemp jam. With his unique take on RnB tinged pop Huntar manages to excel once more as luscious basslines bubble beneath his floaty almost falsetto vocals. 'Bitter' is taken from his debut EP due for release on the 8th December. You can download the track for free right now when pre-ordering the EP from iTunes.

f: www.facebook.com/pages/HUNTAR

Monday, 20 October 2014

Jack Garratt | I Couldn't Want You Anyway (Son Lux Remix)

Remember when E4's Skins was actually good (and realistic)? Nope, me neither. It would seem the out of hand parties and reckless drug taking made the so-called gritty drama series about as far-fetched as me winning the lotto. Now before I get too sidetracked, the show did have a kick-ass soundtrack and was to be my pathway in to discovering Son Lux. His unique take on songwriting being as engaging today as it was when first hearing 2008's 'At War With Walls And Mazes' - here he returns to remix Jack Garrat's 'I Couldn't Want You Anyway' to gorgeous effect. Retaining the crisp falsetto vocals seems to be paramount yet opening up the track to ambiguous depths offers stunning results. It's still ever so Jack Garratt but with a distinct Son Lux touch through experimental percussion and glitchy backing vox an already impressive release is taken to even higher ground. Take a listen above for yourselves. The original can be streamed below.

I Couldn't Want You Anyway (Son Lux Remix) is taken from Remnants Remix EP due out October 28th.

1. Water 2. I Couldn't Want you Anyway 3. Worry 4. Remnants  

1. Water - Jesse & The Wolf Remix 2. I Couldn't Want You Anyway - Son Lux Remix 
3. Worry - IYES Remix 4. Remnants - Carassius Gold Remix

Live Dates
November 29 - Brundenell Social Club (Leeds)
November 30 - Castle Hotel (Manchester)
December 2 - Prince Albert (Brighton)
December 3 - Hare & Hounds (Birmingham)
December 4 - Cargo (London)
December 6 - The Arches (Glasgow - Suporting Prides)
December 8 - The Louisiana (Bristol)
December 9 - The Bodega Social Club (Nottingham)

f: www.facebook.com/jackgarrattmusic

Talos | Bloom

If you haven't yet heard of Irish wunderkind Talos you seriously need to get his debut single Tethered Bones in your life. Appearing from almost nowhere back in March this year Eoin French delivered one of, if not most stunning single's of 2014. The emotive blend of RnB tinged melodies and glitchy synth notes, coupled with his painstaking falsetto hit with the greatest of force. Now he's back with its follow up, Bloom, taking on a whole new angle as things get downtempo and dark. Still present - the ever crystalline vocals, yet here we're treated to a sparser landscape as delicate piano keys strike uncharted territory. It doesn't take long though to break in to sinister rumbling synths and skippy percussion, demonstrating just how diverse the talents be that French possesses. Indulge yourself above.

Tethered Bones/‘Bloom’ is released on 12"/digital through Feel Good Lost on December 1st set to feature remixes from WIFE (Tri-Angle), Eomac (The Trilogy Tapes/R+S) and Slow Magic (Downtown Records.) 

f: www.facebook.com/TalosTalosTalos

Kid Wave | Gloom

With it being Monday, and Kid Wave entitling their latest single 'Gloom', you'd expect this to be a pretty foreboding post. Thankfully it's not to be the case as the London-based band elicit the slicked back vibes of summer evening's spent laid upon golden sands - their jangly, fuzzy guitars setting off sparks in Lea Emmery's glazed vocals. Have a watch of the Raquel Aly directed clip above. Gloom will be released through Heavenly Recordings on Monday 24th November 2014. The band will be support TOY at The Garage, London on Thursday 30 October.

f: www.facebook.com/kidwavemusic

Friday, 17 October 2014

Album Review: Ben Howard | I Forget Where We Were

 'I Forget Where We Were' Tracklisting
1. Small Things 2. Rivers In Your Mouth 3. I Forget Where We Were 4. In Dreams  5. She Treats Me Well 
6. Time Is Dancing 7. Evergreen 8. End Of The Affair 9. Conrad 10. All Is Now Harmed

Whenever I think of Ben Howard, I'll always be reminded of his 2013 Glastonbury performance. Taking on the Pyramid stage is no easy feat, yet the overwhelming joy in his face spoke more than a thousand words as he fought back smiles to deliver his enthralling emotive prowess. Already a double Brit-winner, the 27 year old Devonshire songwriter looks ready to tear up the rule book as he sets fire to any pre-conceived image we have from his debut 'Every Kingdom'. Creating new depths within his expansive ways Howard manages to once more form a unique take on the intricate folk-rock ballads he delivers. With the average song length here being 5+ minutes 'I Forget Where We Were' acts as a stirring journey rather than a simple go-to-pleasure with plentiful heart-on-sleeve bearing pain.

Structurally, it borrows a lot from its predecessor, yet from the first few notes of its opening track, Small Things, there's no denying a grandeur vision here. Gone are the warm surrounding melodies, to be replaced by a vastly open landscape where the clang of guitars do their best to stay afloat amongst its murky backdrop. Rivers In My Mouth offers a similar theme as racing percussion carries Ben's fraught vocals over its dainty guitar strikes and surrounding layers of shadowing darkness. Already released title track I Forgot Where We Were and End of The Affair both in their own-right go to show just how far Ben's come since his Mercury Music Prize nominated debut. His songwriting excelling as he strains "I was stung by all of us, the blind leading out the bored. And as per usual, You were skipping and laughing eyes at the bedroom door". With an unnerving charm, ghostly to the touch, you're stripped from your innermost thoughts, if only for a moment allowing in some much needed clarity as your mind stops racing.

Elsewhere on the record, tracks like In Dreams and She Treats Me Well offer a more familiar ground to fans with plucked guitar leads soudning a conventional path to brighter and breezier tones. Through warming string sections and changing tempos, a moments breather is most certainly to be cherished before hurtling head first in to Time Is Dancing. Quite possibly my favourite on the LP with its swelling guitar intro, a deeper sense of hearfelt awakening's offered, Ben's ability in crafting sublimity in the darkest of places being nothing short of capturing - "And now she's caught between what to say and what she really means. And I am finally colouring inside the lines that I live between", each subtle layer dragging you further beneath its surface of haunting reprise.

Elegantly slipping in to Evergreen, each and every track fading from its last in such a seamless fashion, we get a taste of his most capacious yet. With airy vocals rushing to fill up any gaps left by the reverb drenched guitar lines and cascading percussion its the pure undiluted yearning in the simple lyrics leaving us with a devastating calm. Now in its penultimate stage, Conrad acts as even further evidence of the distilling template the album works toward, its singular swankering melody all but consumed amongst the vast palette of sweeping ambiance. Whilst its closer All Is Now Harmed acts as a slight dead weight to the rest of the record its slow rising crescendo offers something new amongst the ongoing affection.

Growing up near the picturesque market town of Totnes it's strange to think of 'I Forget Where We Were' as a sentiment to our lonely city lives. Yet its soundtracking to the late night streets, empty train station platforms and dimly lit carparks seems more fitting than ever - we're surrounded by people in life yet feel more alone than ever before. It's almost extremely idealistic. Yet with its rawness there's a distinct tangibility here. Granted some songs begin to get a little repetitive and it's far from radio-friendly aesthetic may seem like a limitation on the surface but 'I Forget Where We Were' is likely to reach far beyond the elemental folk-adorning melodies Howard's debut elicited. Much like his 'Burgh Island' EP this is a far darker journey, one that continues to give long after the final notes have chimed.

'I Forget Where We Were’ will be released on 20th October 2014 through Island Records. You can Pre-Order the record from the official store here.

Ben Howard Live (UK/Ireland)
03 December – The Apollo, Manchester  
04 December – Civic, Wolverhampton  
06 December – Usher Hall, Edinburgh  
07 December – Olympia, Dublin  
10 December – Brixton Academy, London  
11 December – Brixton Academy, London 

f: www.facebook.com/benhowardmusic

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Meanwhile | All For The Taking

With the fine line between electronic and analog thinner than ever before, it's no doubt we're seeing so many artists blend genres like second nature, each amassing their own unique take on popular music. No one seems to be doing this better than Meanwhile though, his latest effort being all the evidence needed as stylish glazed synths bubble over crisp percussion and grinding guitars. His vocal deliver second to none. Drawing comparisons to Prince from early on says it all. With a debut EP on its way, All For The Taking divulges his most uplifting efforts yet as the Home Counties residing artist, rather outstandingly, creates grandeur levels of noise from his very own bedroom. With dashings of small-town boredom, friendship and moving forward spread across the EP's influence it already looks set to be one of this year's more excitable releases. I for one can't wait! Be sure to stream the new single above.

All For The Taking is taken from Meanwhile's forthcoming 'The Element Yes' EP set for release December 1 through Fiction. You can check out the full list of tour dates below.

Live Dates
27th October, Sebright Arms, London*
5th November O2 ABC Glasgow //
7th November Leeds Met //
8th November The Institute Birmingham //
10th November O2 Academy Bristol //
12th November Shepherds Bush Empire London //
14th November UEA Norwich //
15th November O2 Academy Oxford //
16th November The Ritz Manchester //
28th Nov Nantes FR Stereolux //
29th Nov Paris FR Bataclan //
1st Dec Lille FR Stereolux //
3rd Dec Brussels BE Botanique //
4th Dec Berlin DE Berghain //
5th Dec Cologne DE Stollwerck //
7th Dec Frankfurt DE Gibson //
9th Dec Hamburg DE Mojo Club //
10th Dec Amsterdam NE Paradiso //

*Headline Show
// with La Roux 

f: www.facebook.com/meanwhileost