Sunday, 17 October 2021

Live Review: The Howl & The Hum, Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff 14/10/2021

With their innate ability in creating show-stopping moments through their breathtaking sound, York based outfit The Howl & The Hum made their very welcomed return to Cardiff for a debut headline show that would certainly pause time momentarily. Having been postponed last year, fans finally got the chance to experience the band's scintillatingly powering sound in the flesh, in addition to Sam Griffiths' flamboyant dancing that certainly got the crowd moving as he swayed about with flailing hands and arms aplenty. 

Opening with their album's title track Human Contact, with its huge grinding synth notes and outpouring vocals, the scene was set for what was to be an energised evening. From A Hotel Song's impassioned delivery to the soaring choruses in Hostages, a touching depiction of a relationship breakdown, each song's articulated performance lifted the energy inside that little bit higher.

If there was one thing to leave its mark, it was Griffiths' empowering vocals and sensational dynamic ability and tonight showcased that talent in all its glory. Evidently The Only Boy Racer Left On The Island showed real ambition here as its driving percussion and pitch perfect vocals culminated towards its explosive crescendo.

The beauty within The Howl & The Hum and their music is the way they can so readily switch the timbre of their sound from a firework delivery to soft and tender and it's exactly what they cultivated in their set list. At the nights halfway point Hall of Fame got an almost acoustic delivery with just Sam and his guitar alongside new single Thumbs Up getting similar treatment as its stripped back delivery got a warming reception.

Smiling ear to ear it's clear just how much this night meant to Sam and the band and being back centre stage was a welcomed sight for all. "we've been told there's a strict 10pm curfew, so who's up for a karaoke bar" he shouted. I think everyone could agree they didn't want the night to end. Although, sadly all good things must as they rounded up with the impassioned Godmanchester Chinese Bridge, the crowd singing back each and every word. 

From their euphoric energy, studio-like delivery and heart wrenching poetic lyricism, The Howl & The Hum have only up to fall and having released their debut record during lockdown, it's sure to be an exciting few months ahead as they unleash it out on the road. The band continue their tour at the following dates below: 

15th Oct - Hope & Run, Brighton
16th Oct - Joiners, Southampton
17th Oct - The Exchange, Bristol
19th Oct - King Tut's, Glasgow
21st Oct - The Sugarmill, Stoke
25th Oct - Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
27th Oct - Jericho Tavern, Oxford
30th Oct - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
31st Oct - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Alix Page - 25

Photo Credit: Dillon Matthew

Taken from her forthcoming debut EP, Southern Californian-born Alix Page has this week unveiled her powerful new single & music video, 25. Depicting a past relationship, take a listen for yourselves below as the track's heartfelt and emotionally driven energy comes to fruition in explosive style through its energising guitars and intricate songwriting. “25 is about reminiscing on a past relationship - going down the rabbit hole of wondering what could have been different and where you’ll both end up later in life.” tells Page. “I wrote it at a time where romanticising the future was the best way to escape everything I was feeling being stuck at home in quarantine. This one is definitely a favourite; in terms of writing and production, I don’t think I've ever been prouder of a song.” 


Harvey Jay Dodgson - Caroline

Caroline serves as an excelling introduction to 19 year old Harvey Jay Dodgson and his compelling new sound. Having built up a sizeable reputation in his hometown of Portsmouth, he finally releases his highly anticipated debut single that's a powerhouse in driving guitars and anthemic choruses. Take a listen for yourselves below. Harvey has also announced a London show to mark the debut release and showcase the new material live playing The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington on 20th October joined by fellow South Coast band on the rise, FLOWVERS.


DMA'S - Junk Truck Head Fuck (Official Video)

Taken form their recently shared surprise EP 'I Love You Unconditionally, Sure Am Going To Miss You', DMA's have today unveiled an official video to its latest single Junk Truck Head Fuck. The video comes ahead of the bands upcoming UK tour that kicks off on Sunday 17th October. Take a watch for yourselves below.

17th - Greenock, Town Hall  
18th - Edinburgh, Corn Exchange (SOLD OUT)  
19th - Edinburgh, Corn Exchange (SOLD OUT)  
21st - Norwich, UEA  
22nd - Hull, Bonus Arena  
23rd - Newcastle, Hit The North Festival  
25th - Southampton, O2 Guildhall (SOLD OUT)  
27th - Bath, Pavilion (SOLD OUT)  
29th - London, Alexandra Palace  
30th - Liverpool, M&S Bank Arena     

1st - Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse  
2nd - Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse (SOLD OUT)  
3rd - Manchester, O2 Victoria Warehouse (SOLD OUT)  
5th - Portsmouth, Guildhall  
6th - Cardiff, The Great Hall  
7th - Sheffield, O2 Academy  
8th - Birmingham, O2 Academy  
10th - Leeds, O2 Academy (SOLD OUT)  
11th - Leeds, O2 Academy (SOLD OUT)  
13th - Dublin, Academy (SOLD OUT)  
14th - Dublin, Academy (SOLD OUT)  
16th - Belfast, Limelight  
17th - Belfast, Limelight


emie nathan - white light (lyric video)

Building on her previous single's successes, newcomer emie nathan has returned with her stunning new effort, white light. Unveiled as the title track from her forthcoming new EP of the same name, set for release on November 26th, we get a glistening insight in to what lays ahead with soaring pop sensibilities backed up with an insatiable vocal delivery. “I was inspired by the concept of “starting over” to write an irreligious song about reconciling with one’s own shortcomings and choosing to be a better version of themselves moving forward,” she explains. “Separating the religious ideology for a moment, atonement and reconciliation are two very real and widely applicable actions we as humans face all the time. I wanted to write something that encourages improvement in whatever way that manifests. When I try to envision an image of sorts that best represents self-reflection and working to right wrongs, I visualise the brightest light you could possibly imagine. It doesn’t really take shape or assume a form, it is just ever present and forceful in its shine. If we can embody this image of goodness and take it with us into our daily choices, I think we as people can do a lot better for each other and for ourselves going through the day to day motions" Take a listen for yourselves below. 


Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Banji - Chills

Photo Credit: Benjamin Srijindarat

Utrecht quartet Banji return today revealing their brand new single ‘Chills’ via [PIAS] Recordings. Renown for their super fun pop-infused melodies, the outfit waste no time in out-spilling infectious synth notes and catchy vocal lines aplenty. “Chills is about being in a rut. That feeling of how everything around you goes too fast to keep up with. It's something everybody struggles with now and then, looking for grip. But when you can't find that, you tend to give up and it feels like you're stuck. Sometimes I get really tied up with myself, and it feels like my brain can't really process what I'm trying to deal with. Being okay with that, acknowledging it, and taking a step back has helped me a lot.” Take a listen for yourselves below ahead of the band's upcoming tour later this month.

Tour Dates
14.10.2021      The Victoria Dalston, London (UK)
15.10.2021       Wild Paths Festival, Norwich (UK)
18.10.2021       Scruff of the Neck TV, Manchester
20.10.2021       Gullivers, Manchester (UK)
27.11.2021       Supersonic, Paris (FR)


Sunday, 10 October 2021

The Howl & The Hum - Thumbs Up

Photo: Stewart Baxter

Ahead of their upcoming long awaited UK tour, The Howl & The Hum have recently returned sharing new single Thumbs Up. Having spent almost 2 years away, their emotive tenancies and heart-wrenching crescendos have once more found their place amongst the band's sound as they set about stopping time momentarily. Released as a stand-alone track, their songwriting prowess shows no boundaries as they touch on toxic masculinity and tokenistic gestures to great effect. Said to be written as singer Sam Griffiths tried to find silver linings in the darkest of days, he reflects: “”Thumbs Up” is the confession that us men don’t know how to talk to other men about important shit. This song was written in the silence after suicides of friends, during depressive episodes, and over non-existent conversations about how we communicate our feelings: our highs, our lows, our loves and losses. It also references 80s movie icons Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, a brief admittance of vulnerability in the face of what we call masculinity.” Take a listen for yourselves below. 

 Live Dates
10th Oct - Gorilla, Manchester
12th Oct - Islington Assembly, London
14th Oct - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
15th Oct - Hope & Run, Brighton
16th Oct - Joiners, Southampton
17th Oct - The Exchange, Bristol
19th Oct - King Tut's, Glasgow
21st Oct - The Sugarmill, Stoke
25th Oct - Hare & Hounds, Birmingham
27th Oct - Jericho Tavern, Oxford
30th Oct - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
31st Oct - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds


Thursday, 7 October 2021

Album Review: Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under

'Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under' Tracklisting
1. ‘Seventeen Going Under’ 2. ‘Getting Started’ 3. ‘Aye’
4. ‘Get You Down’ 5. ‘Long Way Off’ 6. ‘Spit Of You’ 7. ‘Last To Make It Home’
8. ‘The Leveller’ 9. ‘Mantra’ 10. ‘Paradigms’ 11. ‘The Dying Light’

It's no secret that Sam Fender has a natural ability in story telling, so I suppose it only made sense that his second LP would see the songwriter turn in on himself, returning with his most personal work to date. The result? A poignant yet brightened backdrop of the gritty North-East, depicted through Fender's brilliant delivery. 

"If you like the Boarders then you're going to love the new record" proclaimed Sam at a recent live show as he likened it the best he could. And he's certainly not wrong. Already triumphing in Springsteen territory, the album rings throughout with his distinct guitar strumming and jazzy sax notes. It's a prominent and bold step that leaves its lasting mark paying in abundance. 

From its roaring title track that builds and builds to the aspirant Getting Started and his thumping call to arms single Aye, the album tackles an all manner of hard hitting topics from the polarity between the left and the right wing to contemplating shifting gear to support family life. It's not one for the faint hearted. 

Elsewhere on the record there's the cathartic Get You Down, a recent single that has taken his live set by storm that sees him at his liveliest. 

As a true dynamic there's a softer side to Sam too with his latest single Spit Of You that sees him heartfelt and emotional as he faces his dad amidst a trauma. Filled with intricate guitar playing and slick percussive changes it's a real mood setter that impacts far deep beyond the surface. 

Hitting raw emotions adequately, there's plenty of soul searching to be had on his second outing. From Last To Make It Home, a piano key driven epic that swells with its out bursting choruses to the orchestral The Dying Light with its monstrous crescendo.

Despite only a short time span between his debut Hypersonic Missiles to now, there's a refined maturity in his sound and this is a stunning coming of age record that sees Sam take on his own image head on, a side he's skipped over tentatively before. He's certainly become one of our generations greatest songwriters and this truly cements his name with the greats.

Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under is out October 8th via Polydor Records.