Wednesday 29 November 2023

Cosmic Strip - Another Day

Photo credit Bekky Calver

Founded as the solo project of French/English artist Camella Agabalyan, Cosmic Strip have carved out their niche, scuzzy sound since 2015, and return today with their latest single, Another Day. A real monster track, blending ethereal compositions with hazy guitars and auroral vocals the band's latest effort is a true show stopper as it culminates towards its soaring crescendo. Explaining in more detail, Agabalyan herself says "The track is a celebration of the friendships I had while hanging out in Hastings. It remembers the good times, reflects on how these friendships inevitably drift apart, and mourns those that we have lost along the way. The lyrics are me imagining what it would be like if I were no longer around, and about the memories that I hope we can hold onto.” Take a listen for yourselves below. 

Live Dates
Fri 1 December The Lexington, London - Co-Headline w/Anto Dust

Tuesday 28 November 2023

Katy Kirby - "Party of the Century"

Photo Tonje Thilesen

Taken from the forthcoming new album Blue Raspberry, out Jan 26th on ANTI-, Katy Kirby has returned today sharing the delicate new single Party of the Century. With soft percussion, elegant string sections and dainty guitar patterns, the track continues to cement her name as one of the brightest songwriters of our time. Speaking about the track she goes on to say, "I wrote 'Party of the Century' on FaceTime with my friend Christian Lee Hutson, just kinda haphazardly sending lyrics we’d saved in our respective notes,” Kirby said of the song’s creation. “It turned into a sort of slow-danceable, semi-sweet love song about seeking connection when it feels like the chaos is probably never going to stop. It’s kind of also about physics and anti-natalism, and climate change, and also how much we love our friends. When we recorded it, I asked my band to try to make it sound like an Ed Sheeran song, which they refused to do." Take a listen for yourselves below.


GOOD MORNING - 'Real I'm Told' / 'One Night'

Photo Credit: Pooneh Ghana

Australian pop duo consisting of best friends Stefan Blair and Liam Parsons have today shared their brand new singles ‘Real I’m Told’ and ‘One Night’ via Polyvinyl Records. Experimental in essence, Real I’m Told is a joyous 2 minute bop featuring heavy in soft percussion, intricate layering and playful sounds. Speaking about the single Stefan says: “’Real I’m Told’ was written in late 2020. I was living in a small town about an hour outside of Melbourne, and going through a pretty rough patch. I was drinking quite a bit and making some poor decisions that were definitely affecting the people around me. ‘Real I’m Told’ is about contending with the idea that if I consider myself a decent person who strives to do good things for myself and the people around me, how could I keep behaving in a way that was kind of heartless and irresponsible?”. On the flip side, One Night offers up further dynamics to their sound with sultry melodies and warming vocals. Explaining further, Liam goes on to say Liam: “Lyrically I’m not fully sure what it’s about yet, but I’m pretty sure it comes from dreams; both the wiggy ones during sleep and the aspirational ones during the day. The ‘yet another show about the Cold War’ is almost certainly The Americans, which I watched a season and a half of. Good reminder to go back and finish it, maybe?” Take a listen for yourselves below. 


Another Sky - Aimee Caught A Moth

Ahead of the band's forthcoming new album Beach Day, due out 1st March 2024 via Fiction (world excl North America) & Republic Records (North America), Another Sky have today shared their beautiful new bonus single Aimee Caught a Moth, a track that won't appear on the record itself. Explaining this decision, vocalist and lyricist Catrin Vincent says -“We weren't sure exactly how to announce the record. It felt like it needed more than words. And we've already released plenty of songs from it. So we gift to you a B-side, "Aimee Caught A Moth". This was one of the songs that fell through the net but one we still love.It's a very literal song written in the depths of lockdown, when my flatmate Aimee caught and released a moth from a cobweb. It felt incredibly significant and songworthy. Aimee is an incredible person and deserves a song.” In its pop perfected presence of 3 minutes, the track's soothing melodies and soft percussion showcase their blistering songwriting talents in fine detail as you' quickly get lost amongst it's spiralling layers. Continuing about the album Catrin adds, "We thought we'd finished our second record back in 2019 when we released I Slept On The Floor. But time is a complicated beast. And in the depths of lockdown, a completely new vision arose, one that we all knew we needed to follow instead.That vision was Beach Day. It's a story about moving through personal winters and finding the light. It's about acknowledging your whole self; your shadow side, your anger, your sadness… and learning to love those parts of yourself in order to move through it. We hope you can hear the beginnings of transformation in it." Take a listen for yourselves below.


Monday 27 November 2023

Live Review: Mellt, Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff 24 Novemeber 2023

For anyone none the wiser, it would have seemed like any other unassuming Friday night in Cardiff, but packed out in Clwb's upstairs space awaited a sprawled out crowd eager to relish in some of the best Welsh language music Wales has to offer. 

Following two excellent opening sets by Cyn Cwsg and Hyll, Aberystwyth, now Cardiff-based locals Mellt took to the stage to much applause. With their second album ‘Dim Dwywaith’ out in the world, their opening set was strongly filled with tracks from the LP that fill the warming air with their joyous melodies. From Marconi's catchy choruses and buoyant rhythms to Byth Bythol's soft palatable sounds and intricate guitar riffs, the band revel in the reception as the crowd lap it up eager for more, and well deserved too. 

Causing a real commotion on stage it soon becomes apparent that they've removed their outer layers to reveal some rather fetching crop top merchandised t-shirts, much to the crowds pleasure. I was suddenly very overly dressed for the occasion.

Beneath their humour and quick wit though lies a sound that's rich in dexterity as they build luscious layers of jangly guitar pop underpinned by their excellent songwriting talents. It's clear to see why they are former winners of the esteemed Welsh Language Album of the Year award in 2018, rounded up with a Welsh Music Prize nomination to boot.

Having played together since Secondary School there's a real camaraderie on display and it transcended in to the crowd as friends of the band are easy to spot dotted around the venue as the vehemently sang back each and every word. Whilst there's always been a strong community feel in the Welsh music scene, it feels tighter than ever right now and with showcase events such as Swn Festival and nights like tonight pushing the boundaries, it's great to see. 

With no encore things are neatly wrapped up and end on a high as the band look set to firmly put Welsh language indie pop on the map. Something they're well on their way to achieving. Be sure to catch them whilst you can!



Wednesday 22 November 2023

The K's - Heart On My Sleeve (Official Video)

Sharing news of their highly anticipated debut album I Wonder If The World Knows due out March 22nd, and with a new headline run of dates kicking off in April, The K's have today unveiled their latest single Heart On My Sleeve. A self reflective track that depicts pushing loved ones away when faced with vulnerabilities, the song's high strung guitars and coursing energy show testament to their anthemic and infectious stadium ready sound. Describing the new single, frontman Jamie Boyle adds: “Heart On My Sleeve is a reflection of my tendency to self-destruct or push people away whenever I have any feelings of insecurity or vulnerability, and how I hide behind a persona to try and distract from the fact that I feel this way. It’s the most honest song I’ve written to date, and I think most people will be able to relate to the honesty and the feelings that inspired it.” Take a listen for yourselves below.

November 2023
22nd - Sheffield, Leadmill
24th - Manchester, Manchester Academy
29th - Coventry, The Empire

December 2023
1st - Bristol, The Marble Factory

April 2024
12th - Cardiff, Tramshed
13th - Birmingham,O2 Institute
18th - Edinburgh, La Belle Angèle
19th - Newcastle Upon Tyne, NX
20th - Leeds, O2 Academy
26th - Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse
27th - Nottingham, Rock City

May 2024
2nd - London, Electric Ballroom
3rd - Brighton, Brighton Concorde 2

June 2024
20th-23rd June - Isle Of Wight Festival

August 2024
25th August 2024 - Wythenshawe Park - Blossoms Big Bank Holiday Weekend 


Radio Free Alice - Waste of Space (Official Music Video)

Melbourne-based 5 piece Radio Free Alice are pleased to mark their arrival with their self-titled EP, featuring an official UK release of ‘Look What You’ve Done’ and ‘Waste Of Space’. With funky basslines and a post punk edge, the band channel catchy guitar melodies and explosive energy all neatly bundled up in to their own unique sound. “The EP, in many ways, is a homage to our favourite artists,” the band say of the release. “It’s post-punky, but melodic. It’s a collection of some new and some older songs that we felt marked a good place to start.” The band is currently touring Australia with a series of launch shows, with their inaugural visit to the UK coming in May 2024. Take a listen to their single Waste Of Space with the Madeleine Purdy stop-motion directed clip below.

Tuesday 21 November 2023

Lucy McWilliams - Plastic

Photo credit Luvi Crezia
Emerging Irish singer and songwriter Lucy McWilliams unveiled her gorgeous new single Plastic ahead of the weekend. Blending soft palatable vocals with grungy guitars and powering percussion comes a blistering introduction to her euphoric all encapsulating sound. Adding about the new track, she said, “I wrote this song coming from a place where I was upset with myself for allowing a version of me to take over that I wasn’t comfortable with, wanting to be loved. I realised how easy it is to downplay your emotions to fit into a version of yourself that you think is more loveable. It’s exploring the desperation of love, and the anger you can have towards someone who holds it.” Take a listen for yourselves below.


Sunday 19 November 2023

Live Review: CMAT, SWX Bristol 18 November 2023

Following the release of her critically acclaimed second album 'Crazymad, for Me' in October, CMAT's sold out show at Bristol's SWX proved to be an eruption of pure joy and jubilation. 

Just about able to see over the crowd of cowboy hats and embroidered merchandised caps, Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson emerged to a roar of cheers as the band wasted no time in getting in to the swing of California before switching pace in knee-jerk fashion for the sultry new album track I... Hate Who I Am When I'm Horny

"You don't have to take your clothes off to enjoy a CMAT show, and I can't encourage it, but we do love it" Ciara explained as tops came off and were swung around in windmill fashion just 3 songs in to their set.

For anyone who's not been to a CMAT show before, you'll soon learn she spends a lot of time sprawling over the floor so anyone at the back of the room doesn't have much to witness, but that still doesn't stop her from hitting the high notes and belting out her lungs, received to rapturous applause. A feat in itself when you realise it's all done whilst swimming on her chest, air cycling upside down and mastering the splits.

With tales of buttering sandwiches the show is as wild as can be expected with a stage presence like no other and the music to match. From country twinged pop songs to 'fuck your ex' ballads, there's real depth to the songwriting and in the live environment the fun side is allowed out to play. And play it does. From synchronised dancing, air kicking guitar sections and a set design that was theatrical as a west end stage show, the dazzling display raised the bar of pop performance to astronomical levels.

But sadly all good things must come to an end, as the band returned for a hat-trick encore featuring Rent and I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!, which saw the whole crowd and balcony swaying in two-step rhythm before CMAT announced "I can't go just yet, I have to Stay for Something". A seamless segue.

Be sure to catch CMAT in these semi-intimate venues before it's too late on her trajectory.

Friday 17 November 2023

DIVORCE release 'Heady Metal' EP

Photo Credit: Alex Evans

Fast rising Nottingham indie outfit Divorce have release their second EP 'Heady Metal' today (November 17th) via Gravity/EMI Records. From the soaring single Birds, as they showcase their toned back aesthetic in fine detail as chugging guitars and spacious percussion give way to its slow burning crescendo, to the the snarling Right On Time, few bands can articulate such a varied style of music in such a short space of time. Yet the four-piece here further their diverse songwriting abilities in abundance. Speaking ahead of their EP release, co-vocalist/bassist Tiger Cohen-Towell and co-vocalist/guitarist Felix Mackenzie-Barrow explained: “The title, ‘Heady Metal’ reflects the tongue-in-cheek nature of much of our songwriting. The EP is a patchwork of different streams of consciousness, often exploring the extremes of our instincts or how far you can push a feeling. As dual songwriters there is always a duality to what we do, and we played a lot with those contrasts in these songs.” Take a listen for yourselves below.

Live Dates
21st Nov - Rough Trade, Bristol – SOLD OUT
22nd Nov - The Social, London – SOLD OUT
23rd Nov - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
25th Nov - Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
26th Nov - Headrow House, Leeds
27th Nov - YES (Basement), Manchester – SOLD OUT
16th Dec - Rescue Rooms, Nottingham

Feb 5th - O2 Institute, Birmingham^
Feb 6th - Manchester Academy, Manchester^
Feb 7th - Rock City, Nottingham^
Feb 10th - Troxy, London^
Feb 11th - Dreamland, Margate^
Feb 13th - Leas Cliff Hall, Folkestone^
Feb 14th - O2 Guildhall, Southampton^
Feb 15th - O2 Academy, Bristol^
Feb 17th - O2 Academy, Oxford^
Feb 18th - Brighton Dome, Brighton^
Feb 19th - O2 Academy, Sheffield^
Feb 21st - O2 Academy, Leeds^
Feb 22nd - Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow^
Feb 23rd - NX, Newcastle^

*supporting Willie J Healey
^supporting The Vaccines