Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Album Review: Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles

Album Review: Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles

Sam Fender - Hypersonic Missiles Tracklist
01. Hypersonic Missiles / 02. The Borders / 03. White Privilege / 04. Dead Boys / 05. You’re Not The Only One / 06. Play God / 
07. That Sound / 08. Saturday / 09. Will We Talk? / 10. Two People / 11. Call Me Lover / 12. Leave Fast / 13. Use (live)

Released September 13th via Polydor Records

Swansea. Dubbed an an ugly, lovely town by Dylan Thomas, later better phrased as a pretty shitty city by cult Welsh film Twin Town, is where I've found myself living out most of my 29 years. Whilst not completely in the middle of nowhere (though, I'd rightfully disagree), when Sam Fender crossed my path in 2018 I found myself relating all too well to his small-town-syndrome music and vital need for an escape. That feeling of claustrophobia got dictated too perfectly through his disconsolate vocals and echoing guitar strings and I knew I'd be hooked. Fast-forward and he's gone from a name relatively unheard of to winning a BRITs Critics Choice award and making BBC's well renowned Sound of 2018 Longlist in an astonishingly short time, joining an alumni of big named artist's such as Adele, Florence & The Machine and Sam Smith.

As he unveils his debut album offering, lead single, and title track Hypersonic Missiles is as potent as its namesake would suggest. Having long taken a stab at the negativity in the world, building his angst in to a towering, stadium-read pop song, it comes as a much needed cathartic release. "This song started out when I saw the term ‘Hypersonic Missiles’ in a newspaper" he explains. "In many ways, Hypersonic Missiles is an unorthodox love song. Amongst all the chaos is love and celebration, there is this glimmer of hope that runs through the song, a little notion that no matter what happens, these two people are gonna have a fucking good time regardless of the tyrants that run their world, and regardless of the imminent doom from these ‘Hypersonic Missiles’". A statement I'm sure many of us could do good by taking on board.

Second track The Boarders, and possibly my favourite on the record, tells the tale of two friends growing up, falling out and then going their separate ways. His songwriting is so systematically perfect. The delivery is second to none as he cries out in despair through heavy emotion. Who'd have thought a song about regret and time's once spent could be so refined with such heartfelt energy. In the constrained White Privilege, he strips back on its instrumentation, just Sam's guitar and swelling, brutal lyricism to take forwards his deafening message. "Don't wanna hear about Brexit, them old cunts fucked up our exit. My generation was doomed, the youthful left out the loop. Lies on both sides of the fence left me completely bereft" he sings commandingly. It doesn't get any more hopeful from a topical sense on Dead Boys either, the delicate matter of male suicide so sensitively addressed. Not an easy subject to tackle, but one that must be talked about, Fender effortlessly delivers in poignant fashion and leaves us all with a lump in our throat.

Not one shy of a monstrous pop effort, You're Not The Only One is about as indulgent as they come with its sax outro. It's no secret Sam's hero is Bruce Springsteen and his influence flourishes here in infinite detail. Elsewhere Play God sets straight the indifferences of power as he dives in to a dystopian world, his observational, provoking and socially-charged lyrics carried over angular guitars and punchy melodies. It's the perfect set up for That Sound, a track that Sam's described as a song that "loosely talks about how susceptible you can become to negativity and jealousy, even when you’re at your happiest and most confident". It's essentially about sticking it to the man and doing whatever the hell you want to regardless

Just past its halfway point, Saturday swings in to action with its swanky melodies and polished percussion, dedicating its time to longing for the weekend as we drag ourselves through the mundane reality of weekday living. That's all before Will We Talk?'s euphoric and ambitious guitar line deals with the subject matter of one-night stands. Ironically, or rather in his marvellous fashion, the album's next track is entitled Two People. It's also the first real taste we get of Sam tracing back to his roots as he plays a softly plucked guitar telling a heartbreaking tale of domestic violence.

As the journey enters its final stage we get the provocative Call Me Lover, a track with a twist in its tale as the love itself comes not from trust but infidelity, before the penultimate effort, Leave Fast. This was the first track I ever heard by Sam and one that remains as close to me now as it did back then. Described as an archetypal song about growing up in a small town, and the frustrations that go with it, it's a song that I'm reminded of daily with my surroundings.

Whether it's his belted out, falsetto vocals sung in blissful harmony to their electrifying instrumentation, or the hushed tones and devastating wake-up calls he enlists in his music, Sam Fender has gripped the nation and has world at his feet. Few artists are as literate and socially aware as the 25-year old working class Newcastle musician. And this looks likely all that hard work is about to finally pay off.

Sam Fender's Hypersonic Missiles will be released Friday 13th September.



Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Blending their fast paced electronics and pulsing melodies with the tenderest of touches, enigmatic duo TEME today return with their latest single, D R I V E. Taken from their forthcoming double EP, each with its own singular mood; SOLAR and LUNAR, the track chugs in to life before dispersing its immediate energy through each melodic shift. It's a bold statement but one that pays off. Take a listen for yourselves below.


Monday, 9 September 2019

Jake Bugg announces November UK tour

Set to road test some of his brand new material, alongside fan favourites from his first four albums, Nottingham's Jake Bugg will return to the live circuit this Autumn. Following on from his hit feature on ‘Be Someone’ by Camelphat, Jake has recently signed a new record deal with RCA, and has been writing his new album and working with producer Andrew Watt (Post Malone, Lana Del Ray) in Los Angeles. With new music imminent find below details of his upcoming dates.

Sat 16th NOTTINGHAM, Rock City
Sun 17th GLASGOW, Barrowland Ballroom
Tue 19th LEEDS, O2 Academy
Wed 20th MANCHESTER, Academy
Thu 21st LONDON, Roundhouse


ADMT - River

Following on from his recent single Demons, newcomer ADMT returns with his latest effort entitled River. Building on his previous successes with his silk smooth production comes another delectable slice of alt-pop infused with prominent RnB tendencies. Check it out for yourselves below.


Swn Festival announce full 2019 line-up

Whether you like to meticulously plan your weekend's activities or rock up on the day traipsing from bar to club, Swn Festival is now just 🚨five weeks away 🚨, and today the organisers have announced the final wave of acts. In addition to the music, 2019 will also see the much favourited return of Swn's highly informative music conferences where they look to support young people looking to make it in the music industry, providing invaluable tips and advice. For 2019, the festival has partnered with University of South Wales to deliver a two-day industry event curated by Complete Music Update (CMU) on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 October at the Atrium Campus.

Set to play, with some exciting additions accopmanying the likes of already announced Bloxx, Kidsmoke and We Were Promised Jetpacks, joining the final 142 strong line-up are: Asha Jane, audiobooks, Bambara, Brand New Friend, Casi, Conchúr White, Creatures, Devon, Dylan Cartlidge, Emma McGrath, Elsa Hewitt, Foxxglove, Free Love, Ghostlawns, Grace Lightman, HMLTD, Honest Thieves, Hyll, John MOuse, Josiah Konder, Krush Puppies, Lauran Hibberd, Lazarus Kane, Liz Lawrence, Look Mum No Computer, Macy, Modern Habits, Natty Paynter, Obey Cobra, Owain Felstead, Patawawa, Plastic Estate, Pozi, Raf Rundell, Rainbow Maniac, Ritual Cloak, Ruthie, Sam Calver, Scavengers, Shadowlark, Slagheap, Sonny Winnebago, Stats, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, Super Marine, Tacet, Telgate.
Adam Williams, Live Manager at Clwb Ifor Bach, who run the festival said: “We’re so pleased to see how far the festival has come since we took over last year. This year has so many exciting artists and even more events that we hope will strengthen the music scene in Cardiff and help those that want to be part of the industry.

“It feels really good to build on the success of the past 12 years of Sŵn festival and continue to unite people in so many different creative ways. We’re looking forward to seeing it all come to life in five weeks.”
The festival will take place on the 18th, 19th and 20th October 2019. Second release Weekend Tickets are priced at £65 with Friday Tickets £22.50 (2nd Release), Saturday £27.50 (2nd Release) and Sunday £22.50 (2nd Release). For more information and to get your tickets, head to

This year's venues list is as follows: Clwb Ifor Bach, Fuel, The Moon, Kongs, Beelzebubs, Old Market Tavern, 10 Feet Tall, O’Neills, Tramshed, and Jacob’s Market. Keen festival goers can find out who is playing where on the website from Friday 13th September.

Full 142 band line up for 2019:

3 Hwr Doeth, Alffa, Alien Tango, Amber Arcades, Ani Glass, Asha Jane, audiobooks, Bambara, Bess Atwell, Big Joanie, Big Thing, Bilge Pump, Bill Ryder-Jones, Black Country New Road, Bloxx, Bodyhacker, Brand New Friend, Bryde, Campfire Social, Casi, Charlotte Adigery, Chastity Belt, CHROMA, The Claque, Clwb Fuzz, The Comet Is Coming, Conchúr White, County Line Runner, Creatures, Cruelty, Darren Eedens & The Slim Pickin’s, Dehd, Denuo, Devon, Do Nothing, Dry Cleaning, Dylan Cartlidge, Eädyth, Easy Life, Egyptian Blue, Elis Derby, Elsa Hewitt, Emma McGrath, False Hope For The Savage, Far Caspian, Fatherson, FEET, Flamingods, Foxxglove, Francis Lung, Free Love, Gaffa Tape Sandy, Ghostlawns, Grace Lightman, Gruff Rhys, Gwilym, Haze, Heavy Lungs, Himalayas, HMLTD, Honest Thieves, Hotel Lux, Housewives, The Howl & The Hum, Hyll, Indian Queens, Jack Perrett, Jerskin Fendrix, Jockstrap, John MOuse, Josiah Konder, Just Mustard, Katy J Pearson, Kidsmoke, Kim Hon, Krush Puppies, Lauran Hibberd, Lazarus Kane, Lice, Liz Lawrence, Look Mum No Computer, Lunar Bird, Macy, Melin Melyn, Modern Habits, MR, The Murder Capital, Natty Paynter, Nilüfer Yanya, Obey Cobra, Orchards, Owain Felstead, Pagan Wanderer Lu, Papur Wal, Patawawa, Pengshui, Pigs x7, Plastic Estate, Porridge Radio, Pozi, Raf Rundell, Rainbow Maniac, Ritual Cloak, Rosehip Teahouse, Rosie Lowe, Rozi Plain, Ruthie, Saint Agnes, Sam Calver, Scalping, Scavengers, Seazoo, Self Esteem, Shadowlark, She Drew The Gun, She Makes War, Sick Joy, Silverbacks, Skating Polly, Skinny Pelembe, Slagheap, Social Contract, Sonny Winnebego, Squid, Stats, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam, Super Marine, Swimming Tapes, Tacet, Telgate, Threatmantics, Thyla, Tiny Deaths, Tom Ravenscroft (DJ Set), Trudy & The Romance, Twin Peaks, Vistas, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Working Men’s Club, Wych Elm, Ynys, Zooni.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Skip Curtis - Push & Shove

Welsh singer-songwriter Skip Curtis today returns with his official second single, Push & Shove. Demonstrating a vast shift in dynamics from the upbeat Messed Up, his latest effort creates a depth like no other through its vast open space and emotive-prowess. "The first version of this song was catharsis after a break-up", he goes on to explain. "I wasn’t an artist then, didn’t release any of my own material and the song felt too personal to give to another artist to use so it just sat there in one of my songbooks for almost a decade". Recorded on his first ever guitar and as a live vocal take, the track gets a sense of poetic justice as he revisits a demo he wrote almost 10 years previous. "It felt right to record the song with the guitar I wrote it on. I have better guitars that probably would have sounded fuller on the recording, but there would have been nothing poetic about using them.It’s a song about a certain time in my life, written, played and recorded on the guitar from that same time in my life." Take a listen for yourselves below. Push & Shove is the second single taken from Skip’s debut album ‘Culture Violet’ planned for release in 2020.


Thursday, 5 September 2019

Editors announce Best of album 'Black Gold'

Editors - Black Gold

With a career spanning over 15 years, it feels only right that Editors can celebrate and commemorate their successes with a 'best of' album. Set to feature 13 tracks from their 6 studio albums, alongside 3 brand new offerings: ‘Upside Down’, ‘Frankenstein and the dramatic title track ‘Black Gold, the band will in addition embark on a 27 date European and UK Greatest Hits tour in early 2020. "To still be doing this is something I’m very proud of",” says Smith. “"These days longevity might not be seen as cool, but I think it is. We’'ve solidified what this new version of the band is, and I think the new songs show that the band are hungry. We’'ve always felt like outsiders, but wanted to write songs that connect with people emotionally, and resonate in a deeper way. That can sound pretentious and contrived, but there are people out there that our band mean a lot to. That’s what I always wanted". Check out the new single and title track Black Gold for yourselves.

Black Gold Track Listing:
Disc 1
1. Frankenstein
2. Papillon
3. Munich
4. Sugar
5. Hallelujah (So low)
6. An End Has A Start
7. Upside Down
9. Ocean Of Night
10. No Harm
11. Smokers Outside Hospital Doors
12.A Ton Of Love
13. Magazine
14. The Racing Rats
15. Black Gold
16. No Sound But The Wind

Disc 2 (Deluxe Version only)
1. Violence (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
2. Walk The Fleet Road (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
3. Blood (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
4. Let Your Good Heart Lead You Home (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
5. Smokers Outside The Hospital Door (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
6. Fall (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
7. Two Hearted Spider (Distance: The Acoustic Recordings)
8. Distance (Distance: The Acoustic Recordi

Thu 30 Jan France, Paris - Salle Pleyel
Fri 31 Jan Germany, Dusseldorf - Mitsubishi Electric Halle
Sat 1 Feb Belgium, Antwerp - Sportpaleis
Mon 3 Feb Germany, Berlin - Velodrom
Tue 4 Feb Poland, Krakow -Studio
Wed 5 Feb Poland, Warsaw -Torwar
Fri 7 Feb Austria, Vienna -Gasometer
Sat 8 Feb Croatia, Zagreb - Dom Sportova Zagreb
Mon 10 Feb Italy, Rome - Atlantico
Tue 11 Feb Italy, Milan - Alcatraz
Wed 12 Feb Italy, Milan - Alcatraz
Fri 14 Feb Switzerland, Zurich - Komplex 457
Sat 15 Feb Switzerland, Fribourg - Fri-Son
Mon 17 Feb Spain, Madrid - The Box (Wizink Center)
Tue 18 Feb Spain, Barcelona – Razzmatazz

Thu 27 Feb UK, Birmingham - Arena Birmingham
Fri 28 Feb UK, London - The SSE Arena Wembley
Sat 29 Feb UK, Manchester - O2 Apollo
Mon 2 Mar Ireland, Dublin - Vicar Street
Tue 3 Mar UK, Glasgow - Barrowland

Fri 27 Mar Greece, Thessaloniki - Principal Theatre
Sat 28 Mar Greece, Athens - Tae Kwan Do Arena
Wed 1 Apr Ukraine, Kiev - StereoPlaza
Fri 3 Apr Russia, Moscow - GlavClub
Sat 4 Apr Russia, St. Petersburg - Morze

Mon 22 June Germany, Hamburg - Stadtpark
Sat 27 June Netherlands, The Hague – Zuiderpark

Ticket details for all shows here:


FEVA - We're Not Defective

Photo: Daniel Stark

FEVA - We're Not Defective

A lot of people can make loud, guitar heavy music. Few can make it sound as melodic as FEVA. Last week the band returned with their latest single We're Not Defective, a stomping 3 minutes thirty six seconds of hell-bent character defining rock. "The song is meant to empower people and we sincerely hope it does. We’re all navigating our way through life, one shitstorm, one pipe-dream at a time and just because you take a different path or never quite make it to your end, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you, it doesn’t mean you’re defective". Take a listen for yourselves below.

Live Dates
31 Aug –Lindisfarne Festival (BBC Introducing stage)
07 Sept –Riverside, Newcastle
18 Oct –Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
25 Oct –Café Totem, Sheffield
26 Oct –Jimmy’s, Manchester