Thursday, 4 March 2021

Album Review: DMA's - Live At Brixton

A lot of things are taken for granted. Live music being one of the many. Describing the fervent atmosphere to anyone would be an almost unachievable task if they never frequent the pubs, halls, clubs, O2 Academies and arena's dotted around the country. From the sweat dripping walls, chanting crowds and hurled beer cups, to the moment of stomach twitching excitement when the lights finally dim ahead of the band walking out on stage next to deafening roars.

This week marks 12 months since my last live gig, and almost a year since DMA's took to London's Brixton Academy on 6th March 2020. As the goalposts constantly shift, with new rules, new criteria and new restrictions, it makes the dream of ever returning to the live environment that ever fading oasis on the horizon. Yet, it's where we're at. And if there's anyone best tasked to make us nostalgic of better times spent it would be Australia's DMA's.

Anyone who's been lucky enough to catch the band on tour in recent years will know all too well about their electrically charged energy and as far as live records go, this captures it perfectly. Opening with the rolling Feels Like 37, they take no prisoners as the low rumbling basslines and thumping percussion take us right back to our days spent with ringing ears and bruised skin due to raging amongst the mosh-pits. 

Whilst you'd expect the majority of the set-list to be made up of track's from their most recent album 'The Glow', the band almost preconceived the impending lockdown and gave fans a fitting send off with hits spread across their complete back-catalogue. The main bulk of the set-list is made up of tracks from their debut record 'The Hill' and prove to be the crowds biggest sing-along with Delete and Step Up the Morphine taking the noise to exponential levels. Other songs off previous albums also appear – In The Air and Tape Deck Sick from 2018's 'For now', whilst their buoyant, rarely played live single Your Low is another highlight.

Encapsulating your sound in a live environment is no easy feat, yet DMA's effortlessly breeze through their 17 track set-list in vivacious fashion leaving us all longing for the day we get to return to a venue. DMA’S commented: “Our first ever show in the UK was the opening slot at Brixton Academy so this is just totally emblematic of the support that has grown overseas we are ever grateful for. It’s still the greatest show we have ever played and we will never forget that night. See you all soon! Stay safe.

‘Live at Brixton’ will be released 5th March 2021 on a striking smoke-effect pink/orange limited edition double vinyl that also offers an essential souvenir of the event. Its design was inspired by a flare that was set off during the show. It will also be released digitally.

‘Live at Brixton’ tracklist:
‘Feels Like 37’
‘Too Soon’
‘Hello Girlfriend’
‘Time & Money’
‘The Glow’
‘The End’
‘Step Up The Morphine’
‘Life Is A Game of Changing’
‘In The Air’
‘Tape Deck Sick’
‘Play It Out’
‘Lay Down’
‘Your Low’


Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Margot share new video for 'Falling In Between Days'

Following on from their recent single, Falling In between Days, London's Margot return with an accompanying video to the track. On the video, the band say: "We approached Annie as a fan of the abstract scenes and visual worlds that she creates in her work. We gave her free reign creatively to make something that would complement the feeling of the music and reflect the current state of the world. We love the strange and indistinguishable images that she conjures. They contribute to the feeling of uncertainty and a loss of control." The director Annie van Noortwijk, provided the following quote "The duo dancing is something I long for, and you can hear it in the text. Talking through windows, being physically far apart while longing for better days. I am not really a party animal but I do love to dance. If anybody would have asked me if I would have missed dancing, chance encounters, unpredictable nights this much I would have laughed, but right now I can’t wait to get out and bounce around." Take a watch for yourselves below.


Bess Atwell - Co-op (Official Music Video)

English singer/songwriter Bess Atwell today returns with her elegant new single Co-op. Having recently signed to Lucy Rose’s Real Kind Records, the track marks an exciting start to a new chapter for the talented artist as we get a taste of her swooning folk-intrinsic pop. Speaking about her new single Bess says, "Flipping between past and present tense, I think of this song the same way I think of a memory that keeps interrupting the current moment. It's a snapshot of a time of refuge and routine. It's an illustration of mine and my partner's life together. The relationship seemed to provide me with some sort of permission to recuperate from family trauma, as if realising for the first time that there was a life outside of that chaos lulled me into an emotional slumber. Through the song I grapple with the desire for, and fear of, comfort. I used references to Virginia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway' to depict a vivid nostalgia and an affinity for trivialities that serve to calm when darker thoughts set in." Take a listen for yourselves below with the accompanying self-directed video.


Friday, 26 February 2021

Ben Howard Releases 'Far Out' and 'Follies Fixture'

In what is becoming a welcomed tradition, Ben Howard has returned today with not one but two brand new singles, taken from his forthcoming fourth studio album 'Collections From The Whiteout', due out 26th March 2021. Speaking about the two new track's Ben explained on Far Out: “The song is essentially a critique of how easily people are drawn to violence and animosity without reason, just to pass the time. And ultimately how there is perhaps a simpler, more fulfilling path. I wanted it to have a very British rhyming slang feel and a Roald Dahl sense of macabre humour.  I fear my tinkering with it has made it a little more plain and serious”. Turning to Follies he goes on to say “Follies Fixture is a love song. It deals with an apathetic period of my life searching for routine in Paris.” Coninciding with the news, Ben has also announced a run of London live dates at The Royal Festival Hall on 18th and 19th September. Tickets will go on general sale from Friday 5th March via, preceded by a fan access pre-sale from Wednesday 3rd March.Take a listen to the singles below. 

You can Pre-Order the album here.


Thursday, 25 February 2021

Wolf Alice - The Last Man On Earth

Following their most successful year to date in 2018, Wolf Alice return from hiatus where they decamped to an AirBnB in Somerset with news of their brand new single, The Last Man On Earth. Taken from the band's forthcoming third studio album the track offers an expansive insight in to what lays ahead as they unveiled their new effort on Radio 1 last night. Explaining the details behind the single, singer and guitarist for Wolf Alice Ellie Rowsell says, “It’s about the arrogance of humans. I’d just read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle and I had written the line ‘Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from god’ in my notes. But then I thought: ‘Uh, your peculiar travel suggestion isn’t a dancing lesson from god, it’s just a travel suggestion! Why does everything need to mean something more?’” Marking their powerful return, the single twists and turns through its soft piano intro before bursting in to life with rousing percussion and teetering on almost orchestral qualities. Take a listen for yourselves below. The new album 'Blue Weekend' will be released 11 June via Dirty Hit.

Photo: Jordan Hemingway


Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Kayla Grace - Bird in a Cage (Music Video)

"My last teenage years have been stolen from me" sings Kayla Grace. Even at 30, the Watford-born artist's new single Bird in a Cage still manages to resonate with me. Having spent the best part of a year 'locked up' at home, with every meaningful extracurricular activity stripped from beneath us, the track comes as a cathartic offering in these bitter empty times. Speaking more on the track, Kayla Shares: “‘Bird in A cage’ is, to put it simply, a song about lockdown. It’s painfully relatable but feels so personal and I think it’s something I needed to get out of my system to comprehend how much life has changed for everyone since coronavirus. It’s got this kind of irony because I’m complaining about my birthday being on a zoom call while people are literally dying, but I think it just shows the reality of the situation and how differently it's impacted, everyone. I’m in my final year of university and I’ve not really left my bedroom all year but I’m still putting this pressure on myself to be grateful that I’m even alive and healthy. I think a lot of people will resonate with the feeling of being isolated and trapped (like a bird in a cage) and all I’m hoping is that the song will help them realise they’re not truly alone. We’re all in this situation together and one day it’ll be okay again.” Take a listen for yourselves below. 


Monday, 22 February 2021

Flyte - Under The Skin

Flyte have recently shared news of their highly-anticipated second album 'This Is Really Going To Hurt', due April 9th 2021 via Island Records. To coincide with the release the band have unveiled their new single Under The Skin. The album is a loose documentation of a lamented breakup, told through the eyes of an impassioned Will Taylor and so their latest effort is the cathartic release of emotion you'd expect from the band. From their busking days to this climatic pinnacle, they stride towards perfection with another pristine offering. Under the skin is a build-up of tension. It warns of imminent chaos. An ode to a relationship that’s on the brink of destruction. I hope we never have to write a song like it again, it was a very dark time”  - says Taylor of its conception. In accompaniment to the release of the record, the band will also be releasing a pen album book. Will Taylor says of the book: “The book was our labour of love over lockdown. There are typewriter-written transcripts of phone conversations to our producer, chord charts, hand developed photographs, scans from early lyrics in old notebooks. It’s fair to say that as a band and as individuals, we tend to keep things fairly inconspicuous. Hopefully, this book will be an insight into our process that people haven’t seen before.” Take a listen for yourselves below. 

Photo: Jan Philipzen


Zachary Knowles - johnny & june

Fast rising Texan-based artist Zachary Knowles already knows a thing or too about writing a pop perfected masterpiece. It's no surprise then to learn that his latest cut johnny & june is another pristinely polished feel-good jam. Speaking about the track, Knowles explains "When I wrote johnny & june, I was in the midst of a lot of changes in my life. I think because I had so much going on at the time and because there were so many changes, it made me want to write about something steady, that being love. I wanted to make something that just felt good; something that felt real and authentic and honestly just happy. This song is a total love story, and it helped bring me peace during a time of uncertainty in my life. I can’t wait to share it with everyone, and I hope it can do the same for people that it’s done for me." Take a listen for yourselves below.