Thursday 16 May 2024

Live Review: Cola - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff 15/05/2024

Ahead of their forthcoming new album The Gloss, due for release via Fire Talk on June 14th, Montreal's Cola returned to the Welsh capital to deliver a thrilling blend of darkened post-punk amidst the UK/European leg of their tour. 

With a string of new single's teased so far, the band have turned a chapter in their sound where we've seen a looser more experimental construction come to head, and live that's delivered in impeccable detail. Although, with a prominent back catalogue, the band first wasted no time in churning out their debut LP hits as Water Table's jagged guitar strums and mesmerising percussion rolled out seamlessly alongside At Pace which showcased their more melodic side through catchy lyrics and swelling guitar patterns.

It was only inevitable their arrival would cause the temperature to rise above the already sweltering high. Tim Darcy hardly broke in to a sweat though as he took it in his stride only coming up for a breath between songs. Me on the other hand, a far different story as I stood positioned under the only working fan spluttering out small wisps of air.

On the cusp of their new LP the band were keen to bring forward their new sound and soon launched in to Albatross. A 3 minute 30 second head nodding anthem that ventures on its buzzy riffs and infectious choruses. Elsewhere Bitter Melon is brought to life in wondrous detail as its dizzying patterns journey in to their unnerving energy as it slowly quietened in to an off kilter mystifying finale. 

With a solid grounding from past projects and new endeavours, Cola's enchanting soundscapes enriched in post-punk vigour are delivered in brilliant kaleidoscopic fashion. What's on record is deconstructed to its bare bones and brought back as an entirely different beast. With their anticipated second album on the way, it'll certainly be interesting to see where it takes them.



Monday 13 May 2024

Roller Derby - Dreams (Official Video)

Photo: Johann Kressin

Following performances at Reeperbahn Festival, SXSW and a sold out London headline show earlier this year, Hamburg duo Roller Derby return with the effervescent Dreams. Set to be the first from a string of new single's due to be teased through the year, built over luscious synth pop melodies and glittering vocals comes another solid effort from the pair as they look to deliver on previous successes with their hot take on the emotional highs and lows of an intense relationship. Take a listen for yourselves below with the Stephanie von Beauvais directed clip.


Michael Gallagher - Out Of Time

Hartlepool's Michael Gallagher returned ahead of the weekend with his catchy new single Out of Time. Despite a break-up song of sorts, the track's upbeat juxtaposition of catchy vocals and its earworm melodies deliver a vibrant introduction to what the year has in store as he shares his first new music since acclaimed release ‘Rum & Raisin’. Drawing from personal experiences and observations, Gallagher shares, "Out of Time is a song that I wrote about the breakdown of a relationship. The song is an observation of how relationships break down and people try desperately to make things work, but, inevitably when the cracks appear there is not much that you can do." Take a listen for yourselves below. 


Paris Paloma - boys, bugs and men [Official Video]

Photo credit: Jennifer McCord

Returning with her latest single ahead of the weekend, Paris Paloma has unveiled the gorgeous new effort boys, bugs and men. Taken from her recently announced debut album ‘Cacophony’ which will be released on 30th August via Nettwerk, the track offers up a further teaser for what lays ahead with its intoxicating melodies and sharp vocal delivery. With the album title ‘Cacophony’ said to be inspired by Stephen Fry’s Mythos, ruminating on the creation myth, Paris goes on to explain, “From this chaotic cosmic yawn, creation sprang forth, so this is a collection that makes sense of the overwhelming space of my mind where my anxiety, my OCD, and trauma processing lives”. Take a listen for yourselves below.

‘Cacophony’ tracklisting:
1. my mind (now)
2. pleaser
3. his land
4. drywall
5. labour
6. boys, bugs and men
7. knitting song
8. as good a reason
9. triassic love song
10. escape pod
11. last woman on earth
12. bones on the beach
13. hunter
14. the warmth
15. yeti

June US headline tour:
Wed 12th – San Francisco, The Chapel – SOLD OUT
Fri 14th – Los Angeles, The Masonic Lodge – SOLD OUT
Tues 18th – Chicago, Lincoln Hall – SOLD OUT
Thurs 20th – Nashville, The Basement East – SOLD OUT
Sat 22nd – Boston, The Sinclair – SOLD OUT
Sun 23rd – Washington, The Atlantis – SOLD OUT
Wed 26th – New York, Bowery Ballroom – SOLD OUT

September European headline tour:
Fri 6th – Paris, Trabendo
Sat 7th – Brussels, Le Botanique, Orangerie
Mon 9th – Amsterdam, Paradiso
Wed 11th – Cologne, Gloria Theatre
Thurs 12th – Hamburg, Mojo Club
Sat 14th – Berlin, Heimathafen Neuk├Âlln
Sun 15th – Copenhagen, Small Vega
Tues 17th – Stockholm, Debaser Strand
Wed 18th – Oslo, Parktreatret

Sun 9th June – Netherlands - Best Kept Secret Festival
Fri 12th July – London – BST Hyde Park with Stevie Nicks
Fri 16th August - Oslo, Norway - Langs Akerselva Festival
Fri 23rd -Sun 25 th August – Reading & Leeds Festival


Sunday 12 May 2024

Live Review: English Teacher - Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 11 May 2024

Following the release of their debut album This Could Be Texas last month, Leeds-based outfit English Teacher returned to Cardiff to headline the Welsh Capital in celebration with a top-tier performance at the sold out venue. 

Arriving promptly on stage at 8.45pm the band wasted no time before launching straight in to The World’s Biggest Paving Slab, a track that offers a wake-up call in to the juxtaposition of landscapes and political outlets. Delivered with the frantic energy the record portrays it served as the perfect opener, setting the tone for the evening ahead as the band worked through their now healthy collection of track's.

From the almost spoken, punk-infused anthem, Broken Biscuits, with its jagged basslines and angular melodies, to the slow burning energy that's rooted in the album's title track which skittered in to life amongst a soft piano led intro before bursting in to motion, the band took fans on a journey through their vast musical influences. No two tracks are alike and that's the beauty instilled in their music. 

As guitarist Lewis Whiting made small talk about the weather whilst the band tuned up their guitars, Lily Fontaine gave insight in to their oldest track, R&B as she spoke about the single. "I haven't got the voice for R&B" she cried as its pulsing basslines and scattered percussion took hold. A debatable subject matter given her powerful and dynamic control. 

Sadly all good things must come to an end and as the night rounded up with the poignant and stirring ‘Albert Road’ its stark guitar melodies steadily built in to a cathartic energy that brought forth their rousing sound in explosive detail. Fontaines vocals truly put to the test here as she wailed the final notes in all their vigorous glory. 

With the lights momentarily lifted, a swathe of fans began to leave, but soon began the chant for one more song. And the band weren't about to leave the crowd empty handed. With a raucous applause they returned for a blistering rendition of LCD Soundsytem's New York I Love You But You're Brining Me Down. An A* ending to a brilliant night in the company of one the UK's most exciting break-through band's. 


Thursday 9 May 2024

MOULD - Cables

Photo: Kane Eagle

Following their recent signing to Nice Swan Records, Bristol newcomers MOULD have this week shared their energetic new single Cables. Packed with propulsive rhythm sections and a catchy chorus it picks up where their previous single Birdsong left off with another brilliant introduction to their high paced sound. Detailing their upcoming release, MOULD explained: “‘Cables’ was written after moving from Bristol to London without any plan and wondering what the hell to do. It’s kinda about not having any direction & feeling aimless but also how it was exciting to be directionless and aimless. It’s also about cables.” Take a listen/watch for yourselves below.

MOULD is Joe Sherrin (vocals, guitar), Kane Eagle (vocals, bass), James Luxton (drums)

Live Dates
13th May -The Louisiana, Bristol (w/Lip Critic)
14th May -The Deaf Institute, Manchester (w/Lip Critic)
15th May -The Windmill, Brixton (w/Lip Critic)
25th May -Dot to Dot Festival, Bristol
13th July -2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham
14th Sept -Strange Brew, Bristol
18th-19th Oct -Left of the Dial Festival, Rotterdam
16th Nov -Live at Leeds In The City


Kaeto - HERO (Official Video)

credit: Maisy Banks

This week sees Kaeto return to share her symbolic new single ‘HERO’ via Polydor Records. The London based artist is fast becoming a household name with her scintillating pop prowess and HERO is a clear indication why with its towering melodies and catchy hypnotising vocals. The track comes accompanied with an official video that sees Kaeto enlist the help of her talented friends. “I made the video with my long-time collaborators and best friends: Kyle McCarthy, Maisy Banks and Reuben Davies Lindley,” she explains. “We also made the Good Morning video and the Little Me music video. Maisy and I actually made the spikes for the Don’t Ask music video so we were super happy that they found a home in this video.” Take a listen for yourselves below.

Kaeto has just been announced as support for The Last Dinner Party on their UK tour in October. 


Radio Free Alice - 2010 (Official Music Video)

credit: Madeleine Purdy

Naarm/Melbourne-based outfit Radio Free Alice have today returned with their stellar new single entitled 2010. The new track comes ahead of their inaugural UK visit for a string of festival and headline dates, including two showcases at The Great Escape, Dot To Dot Festival, Live at Leeds and more. “We’ve been playing the song live for almost a year now,” the band say of the track. “Musically we were influenced by early The Cure and The Smiths. The song focuses on the instrumentation rather than the vocals more than any other track on the EP. It’s the first and only song we have with a pretty much totally instrumental chorus.” Take a listen for yourselves below. 

Catch Radio Free Alice live:
Thurs 16 May - Komedia Basement - 12:25pm
Thurs 16 May - Charles Street Tap - 8:15pm

Sat 11 May - YES (Mood Swings Festival) - Manchester, UK
Tue 14 May - Folklore (Crosstown Showcase) - London, UK
Sat 18 May - London Calling Festival - Amsterdam, NL
Wed 22 May - Paper Dress Vintage - London, UK
Thur 23 May - The Dome (w. HighSchool) - London, UK
Fri 24 May - The Shacklewell Arms (Wide Awake Festival) - London, UK
Sat 25 May - Live at Leeds In The Park - Leeds, UK
Sat 25 May - Dot To Dot Festival - Bristol, UK
Sun 26 May - Dot To Dot Festival - Nottingham, UK
Tue 28 May - The Social (So Young Magazine Party) - London, UK
Fri 7 June - Broadcast - Glasgow, UK
Sat 8 June - Sneaky Pete's - Edinburgh, UK
Wed 12 June - Bar L’Intermediarie - Marseille, FR
Thur 13 June - Supersonic - Paris, FR
Sat 15 June - Rock For People Festival - Hradec Klavove, CZ
Tue 18 June - The Social (Form Showcase Night) - London, UK
Thur 20 June - The Social (Communion Showcase) - London, UK


The Howl & The Hum - Same Mistake Twice

Credit: Stewart Baxter

Making their exceptional return following 2021's debut LP Human Contact, today sees Leeds based outfit The Howl & The Hum unveil the plans of a second album ‘Same Mistake Twice’, set to be released through Miserable Disco on the 6th September. Announcing the reveal with the record's title track we get a brilliant and exhilarating introduction in to what lays ahead as Sam Griffiths' whirlwind vocals carry forth a self reflection on whether given the chance we would strive to make the outcome any different, all whilst the backdrop slowly teeters towards its explosive finale. Speaking about Same Mistake Twice, Sam goes on to say. "This is an album about Dread. About a very real, everyday dread so many of us feel surrounded by screens showing us how we should be, what a good person is, what a bad person is. It’s about trying to have and handle and process big messy emotions in a world that wants things to be small, simple, and quickly decided. Every person is flawed, every person has baggage, shrapnel they take with them that makes the airport security beep. This album is about acknowledging that shrapnel, poking it, flipping it and seeing what lives under it, and learning to fall in love with the version of yourself full of holes and missing pieces.This is a breakup album mourning the loss of a band, and all that comes with it: ego trips, insecurities, lost friendships, fading love, rekindling old fires and a path to acceptance". Take a listen for yourselves below with the official video directed by Megan McClean & Danny Lavin.


Tuesday 7 May 2024

Lacuna Common - Needles and Threads

Photo: Theodora Barclay

Oxford-based outfit Lacuna Common have recently returned with their brand new single Needles and Threads. Following a pandemic-induced hiatus, the single marks the band's first new music in 3 years and serves as an exciting introduction for what lays ahead. Now as an expanded 5-piece, their latest effort is filled with jazzy guitars, infectious melodies and a refined maturity as we see them expand on their insatiable indie-pop sensibilities. Frontman Alfie Franks says of ‘Needles and Threads’ that “this is one of the first songs I have written where I really have my heart on my sleeve. It’s also a real step forward into what we'll be releasing more of in the future; a bigger, more rounded sound that we all believe in and feels like the sort of music we all want to create. A big sound, for bigger rooms.” Take a listen for yourselves below.

Lacuna Common are Alfie Franks (vocals, guitar), Tom Eveleigh (bass, vocals), James Evans (keys, percussion), Lewis Kimber (guitar) and Gabriel Blythe (drums).