Carmody Interview

Interviews, Uncategorized
Carmody FB Profile; Create Often (copyright)

Carmody (photo credit: Create Often)

When we’re in conversation with musicians, instead of chasing that ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse, we go ‘beyond the surface’ allowing you and us, as readers, writers, fans and musicians alike, achieve a familiarity and reassurance that we’re all in this together! 

Sharing and opening up more will continue to create a more accepting world, and within the music industry particularly, progression in this direction hasn’t been more imminent. Getting to the root of everything universal, London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Carmody, discusses matters of mental health, feminism and the language of the heart.

Rachael: I think it’s really important, particularly as of late, where growing concerns of treatment within the music industry have been brought under spotlight – what are your thoughts on the support available to musicians? If you don’t mind sharing – what support, maybe a network or community initiative helps you creatively and socially. And financially, are there any trusts or bursaries that are worth knowing about for any musicians reading? 

Carmody: I think mental health awareness, particularly in the music industry, is really improving, Help Musicians UK have recently set up a 24/7 helpline just for artists. Personally, I find that when I speak to other artists in sessions about how I’ve been feeling, they are usually having similar experiences and it’s nice to speak openly about it. I also find that the women involved in the ‘Time of the Month’ Podcast are like a lifeline to me and, when we do manage to organise a meet up, it feels very therapeutic. 

Financially I’ve had funding support from The Arts Council when I supported Tom Misch on tour in 2016, PRS also have some incredible funding options available. Digital distributors, like AWAL and Believe Digital, will also support some record projects, so it’s worth contacting them too. 

How do you keep that momentum going during dark days, maybe you’re under pressure writing, recording even booking shows? We all experience moments of self-doubt – what gives you the fuel to bypass it all?

I don’t think I ever manage to bypass those feelings. The music industry is a really tough place and I sometimes question why I put myself through it, as it takes a type of strength I don’t always feel that I have. But, when I am feeling low, I often reach out to others, or do something else creative, my friend recently bought me a ‘vagina colouring book’ and I’m finding that really entertaining and calming at the moment. Failing all these, there is always Pinot. 

Do you find your style of delivery, because of it’s very raw, heart-on-the-sleeve material, that it connects and unites people? In particular, has any connection provided you the motivation to write a song?

I think all my songs are motivated by connections and relationships. They nearly always stems from something I’ve experienced. Songs are like diaries to songwriters, they catalogue our lives, I’m always motivated by what I’m currently living through. 

At the moment I’m in a place where I’m writing about my family a lot, but previously it’s been mainly about past lovers, in an attempt to get over them. 

Funnily enough, a few people have messaged me saying that they got married to ‘Skin’ or ‘The Ways of Your Love’, neither of these are love songs in my eyes, but I think it’s beautiful that they have found new meaning with others.

What drew me personally to your music, was not only your vocal talents, but the way you write about love – like Kate Bush and love experienced through a woman’s eyes – you touch on unrequited, lost and never quite made it love. You have a very intimate songwriting style – how do you judge what to release to the public? Are there any moments of vulnerability in the face of an audience and how best do you conquer these?

Thank you, that’s really nice of you to say, and it’s much appreciated. I’ve generally always been an open person and I think this comes across in my lyrics. I don’t think I’ve ever kept anything back, there’s a great Nayyirah Waheed quote, ‘the thing you are most afraid to write, write that’, I try to keep that as my mantra. 

When I’m performing my technique is to expose myself even more, telling anecdotes about each song, which I guess makes me more vulnerable, but it feels like it helps in a way.

Women’s perspective in music is really important to express, especially when the industry is so male dominated. It’s also unique to look to the male as a muse and objectify men for a change, tell us more…

Are we talking ‘Singing Your Love’ here? Ha! I guess that song came from a conversation I had with the ‘Are We Live’ guys in their podcast. I was speaking to Barney about how men are never objectified in songs and they’re never (to my knowledge) washing cars in videos. So I wanted to appreciate the male form, because some men are beautiful and they’re just not mused-over enough, but also flip things around and objectify them for a change. It was a fun exercise, one that I don’t think I managed for the whole song, but I’m proud of the first line.

Which female musicians do you admire, maybe ones you’re been lucky enough to collaborate with? And who would you like to work with in the future?

Laura Misch and Marie Dahlstrom have both been big inspirations to me, their dedication to their craft is incredible, they release beautiful music and we all support each other along the way, it feels like a good team. A dream collaboration would be with someone like Grimes, or possibly M.I.A, after seeing her incredible documentary.

What music are you currently listening to and who should we go check out?

Yes! I’m really loving Hayley Heynderickx, she has an incredible called ‘I Need to Start a Garden’. Also really into Big Thief’s record ‘Capacity’. I’ve also always been a big fan of Charlotte Day Wilson and a band called IDER. I’ve got a playlist of songs I love on my Spotify profile called ‘Carmody Loves’ (cheeky plug) if you do feel like checking anything else out, I’m proud of that playlist.

You often put pages of poetry up on your Instagram stories – what particular writers have inspired and encouraged you to take a leaf out of their book?

My three favourites are – Kim Addonizio, Mary Oliver and Leonard Cohen. They’ve inspired my work so much and constantly encourage me to push myself to the edges of my lyrical abilities. 

Have you considered publishing a book of poems one day – do you have any sideline projects we can look forward to?

Funnily enough I am working with my friend Alicia Mitchell, who was responsible for a great deal of the artwork on my previous records, to create a book of poems and songs for my next project, I think I’m going to call it ‘Flotsam’.

Currently enjoying your latest single: ‘Summer Rain’, which looks to the first stages of falling in love coinciding with a love of rain – which I discovered the other day is a pluviophile! 🙂 (love words, haha) – all I can picture right now is that Breakfast At Tiffany’s end scene… 

Thank you! LOVE that word. I am a word fiend too, I think we should be friends ha!

There’s a very sensual, distinctly unafraid and empowering quality to your music. What did you learn about yourself when writing this upcoming EP?

I guess the most important thing I learnt about myself was that I could write about more than love, although I realise these last two singles are about love, I’ve covered a lot of new ground, subjects that I never imagined I would be singing about. Such as dementia, depression and the way we struggle to talk to each other about death. It’s actually pretty dark, but was a very therapeutic lyrical challenge. 

Outside of music what hobbies help you to unwind? You’ve been part of a monthly podcast series (up on Soundcloud) – Time Of The Month, which I’ve been enjoying a lot recently – for those who don’t know, could you go into a little detail about the project? 

I enjoy writing poetry and go to a poetry course in London. I’ve also just started getting into photography, and I’m on the lookout for a dance class, after trying out some moves in my video for ‘Summer Rain’.  

The Time of the Month podcast is one of my favourite things I’ve been involved in to date. It started because we wanted to create a counter group to the ‘Are We Live?’ guys. Everytime we manage to record a podcast I leave feeling cleansed, but everyone is so busy at the moment it’s been tricky to find the time, but we’ll get there soon. 

Before you go, what gigs can we look forward to from you in the near future and when can we expect your EP?

I’m still hoping that the EP will emerge before the end of this year, it’s very nearly there. I have a gig on the 21st October at the Sebright Arms alongside some other very talented, female performers and it’s free, so come down if you fancy!

Follow Carmody on: Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

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Jeremy Tuplin Interview

Interviews, Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

Jeremy Tuplin Profle ShotThere’s a lot to be said for good humour – and Somerset born singer-songwriter Jeremy Tuplin certainly hits the spot with a balance of poignant delivery on his latest single: ‘Long Hot Summer’.

Perhaps it’s the upbeat melody supporting his dark lyrics, but parallels can definitely be drawn with the legends, Belle and Sebastian.

Intrigued to learn more about the great initiative of partnering and sharing all proceeds of his latest single with the environmental charity; Friends of the Earth, we caught up with Jeremy to discover more.

Your new single hits on global warming, an issue that universally affects us, but in all reality, not enough of us are actively resolving – do you think many convince themselves almost into believing our damage to the planet is unrepairable and don’t consider beyond their lifetime? — What are your thoughts on the issue? 

I don’t see the downside in taking measures to be kind to the planet. No matter what school of thought you adopt on the issue – why take the risk in not being environmentally considerate? It doesn’t impinge on your freedoms as it’s a choice, but it will make you feel more connected to nature and therefore better about yourself. Seems ok to me. Plus Earth is by far the best planet out of all the planets we’ve come across. The idea of living on Mars might sound cool but the reality would be s**t. Kepler 452b could be ok, but that’s quite far away.

The charity you’re collaborating with: Friends of the Earth is a great initiative – how did this come about? — Do you work/volunteer with them or an Environmental charity? 

I think it’s a good thing to be a friend of Earth, and because the song touches on that in its own way I thought it would make me feel good about myself to donate some of the proceeds to that cause. All purchases of the track on Bandcamp will go to that.

Having a good sense of humour sure is an asset to life – your style of delivery, particularly on this track, has poignant humour — what books, films, plays or comedies do you enjoy? 

I like a lot of different stuff… a lot of absurdist humour of late, Toast Of London recently for example. Most things seem fairly absurd and ridiculous to me so I tend to be drawn to art that emphasises that. I’m reading The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath at the moment and I like her style.

Would it be fair to say that space and science fuel your musical inspiration – so you watched a lot of space documentaries during the production of your debut album: ‘I Dreamt I Was An Astronaut’ — tell us more…

It’s fair to say that I went through a space phase when writing and recording that album. I guess with the new stuff I’m going through more of an Earth phase. I will definitely return to space at some point though, creatively speaking.

How has country and city life compared as a musician – do you ever find London is so saturated with music that it’s maybe difficult to gain enough support – how is the music scene back home in Somerset?

I’ve been living in London for coming up to 9 years I think, so my only experience of the music scene in Somerset was when I was just starting out at open mic nights and small folk clubs. Haven’t really played there since but I would like to – if any Somerset promoters want to book me then please get in touch. I play a lot of gigs in London though, there are loads of good venues and gig nights. Possibly true that people are more receptive and up for buying merch in other towns and on the continent, but London is still pretty great.

Jeremy Tuplin’s latest single, Long Hot Summer is out now and available on all platforms.

Join us at their next full band gig on 20th September at The Victoria, Dalston – a double headliner with Jemma Freeman & The Cosmic Something, full details here!

Jeremy TuplinWebsite // Twitter // Facebook // Spotify

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Introducing // Shaky Shack

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized
Shaky Shack; Josh Byrne (copyright)

Shaky Shack (Alex Winter & Mateusz Kosnik) – Photo credit: Josh Byrne

You cannot beat the feeling of discovering new artists with incredible potential. The instant we discovered Dublin duo, Shaky Shack, we were mesmerised. Their home-recorded and produced debut single: “Selfish Fever” is a shimmery slice of electronica-jazz paired with harmonies that would melt butter, and lyrics of palatable sweetness.

The track is a perfect lead into their smooth and super-chilled genre-bending aesthetic. Having only emerged officially as a band a few months ago, everything is still very fresh.

We spoke to one half of the band, Alex Winter, who went onto explain: “We’ve been together the last year, but we wanted to get things right before we put ourselves out there. We met through friends involved in the Dublin music scene over a year ago and have been writing together ever since. We have a strangely unique creative chemistry that works so well and we both instantly felt that creative click. We definitely bring the best out of each other.”

They are currently rehearsing ahead of gigging across Ireland: “We are mainly focusing on the release of our upcoming single ‘Pavement’ from our upcoming E.P ‘Flaked’ that is set for release in the next 2 months.”

We could definitely see their acoustics thriving in a Sofar Sounds setting!

Their debut single: “Selfish Fever” is out now and available on all platforms.

Shaky Shack: Spotify // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

The Great Escape 2018 Review

Live Reviews, The Great Escape 2018, Uncategorized

Brighton 2; Spiral Magazine

The UK’s biggest and brightest showcase of new alternative music was enhanced this year by the irrepressible rays of sunshine – Brighton was grinning from ear-to-ear; everyone was glowing, rooms were gold emblazoned and the streets were so chilled you had to pinch yourself to remind yourself of the time.

Meandering in and around the sun-kissed seaside streets to over 30 venues, from pubs, nightclubs, street stages and beach marquees to catch a glimpse of as many of the 450 bands across 3 days where there were natural challenges in deciding who not to miss and the unavoidable gamble of clashes.

By the Saturday afternoon we felt we let in as much magic as we could manage and set-off on the long voyage home, as to recover from pre-festival (ill-timed) viruses. Our highs however, were unforgettable and without doubt Ireland found it’s way to everyone’s heart by it’s peoples innate charisma, wry wit and warm spirits.

THURSDAY’S highlights…

Moncrieff 

Moncrieff 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This Irish Singer-Songwriter took the theatre by storm. It’s no exaggeration that his raw and commanding stadium-sized vocals never mind filled, but could be heard outside, the Sallis Benney Theatre, and without a microphone on many occasions to boot too! We were drawn in from the first powerful note; with bluesy and effortless vocal ranges certainly giving Hozier a run for his money!

His heart- wrenching lyrics were delivered with so much punch, we felt the pangs to our gut, particularly on standout tracks: ‘Symptoms’ and ‘Serial Killer’. Suffice to say this Dublin artist is an emerging soul-pop artist to watch, in fact, you’ve got to join us in seeing him headline London in July!

George Taylor 

George Taylor; Elizabeth Andrade; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

This was one of those most tender and sensitive sets that you needed in-between some sketchy shows that afternoon. George’s soulful delivery was effortlessly supported by the tight band. The emotive energy combined was palpable in Jubilee Square – the frontman called to mind Tom Odell, particularly on ‘Come Follow Me Down’. Their set garnered the attention of every passing punter, we reckon these are serious contenders to watch in the upcoming months!

Riley Pearce 

Riley Pearce 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)This talented Perth-based singer-songwriter from the Melbourne-based management: Lemon Tree Music (which already boasts the likes of Tash Sultana, and Pierce Brothers) was everything we hoped for live – the guitar work was impressive to watch, let alone listen – picture Ben Howard in his early days!

He harnessed calming ambiance and had the ability to silence One Church very casually through voice and guitar alone. A slow burning musician that draws parallels to Jose Gonzalez. Playing his latest dreamy single ‘Elephants’ not forgetting his classic ‘Brave’ and ‘Misplaced’ that was every bit as moving in person.

Blanco White 

Blanco White; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgThere was no disguising the momentum behind this gig, genuine panic was in the winding queues eyes around Unitarian Church that it was to much relief we were admitted a pew seat. Effortless sensitivity oozed from the strings of the guitars, violin and soft percussion. Every musician’s precision within the five piece intrigued and sent us to goosebumps.

All that was needed was the lead vocalist to provide us with the passionate literary lyrics to give us moments of reflection: “We’re confined to be apart, To take sides in divided cells. We collide when we depart, Don’t ask me what’s the cost, I don’t know myself”. It’s music to make you feel as though you’re the leading role in a romantic drama.

Frontman, Josh Edwards began as London-based solo musician before studying guitar in Spain and the Andean (mini-classical guitar) in Bolivia to bring home together authentic influences and elements of Andalusian and Latin music and is every bit the entrancing artist you imagine he would be live.

FRIDAY’S highlights…

Ten Fé 

Ten Fe 05; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Generating an epic wave at TGE was the alternative London via Birmingham five-piece, Ten Fé, who have really come into their own and hinted to even greater things with their very subtle teases of new music – we cannot wait for them to drop their second album! At a capacity, Black Lion, these brought colour to everyones cheeks.

 

Clearly meant for bigger stages and with only a snapshot of set, it was moments like these where you could feel impressions were being made; turning heads as they glided from song-to-song seamlessly and between lead vocalists, framing their varied influences and styles, with hints of Americana (‘Elodie’), Gospel (‘Twist Your Arm’) even a Middle Eastern vibe (‘Make Me Better’).

Ten Fe 03; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Get familiar with Ten Fé’s debut album: ‘Hit The Light’ this summer before you plunge into their much anticipated follow-up album released ahead of their biggest ever headlining UK tour this autumn.

Gengahr 

Gengahr 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

To see out the evening we caught the ‘special guests’ Gengahr steal the hearts of The Haunt. Everyone was webbed into a lair of dreamlike haziness of their sunshine soaked guitar-rock enhanced by Felix Bushe’s haunting falsetto vocals.

Their garage-rock anthems from 2014 album, The Dream Outside such as ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’ and ‘Heroine’ felt nostalgic and no doubt got the crowds joining in harmony. It was soothing lo-fuzz guitar-rock that reminded us of forgotten gems – their latest album of which, we’re currently tuning into!

Gengahr 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

SATURDAY’S highlights…

Marsicans 

Marscians 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpg

 

Never mind adjusting to the darkness of Komedia as the Marsicans were beaming, attracting the crowds with their vibrancy. This Leeds four-piece radiated with relentless energy and were so genuinely elated, bouncing about the stage that no-one could keep themselves from smiling and basking in this indoor sunshine. The kind of festival band that are aware of their power in projecting their buoyant chemistry onto crowds.

 

Marscians 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

Fontaines D.C 

Fontaines 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpg

The gnarly wit of this Dublin quintet livened everyones soul with their ferocious set at Marlborough Theatre! Their strong Dublin dialect and ode to the city ensures everything Irish runs through your blood (if it doesn’t already) twinned with the perfect amount of nonchalance akin to Shane MacGowan and Mark E.Smith.

Fontaines 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpg

The edgy, gritty drawl from lead-singer Grian provides hypnotic rhythm up against the kraut-rock influenced guitars and manic drumming creates infectious iridescence.

Having garnered early support from Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music) and being the feature of every major Irish publication these have picked up real momentum in their very early days. News came in last week (24/05/18) that they have signed to Partisan Recordings – everyone can see these lads are on the up!

 

 

Joshua Burnside

Joshua Burnside 02; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)
The Belfast musician who recently released his debut album, Ephrata which sits somewhere between, as Joshua told the Irish Times: “…somewhere from Belfast to Chicago via Bogota” is able to transcend this interesting suffusion of styles live.

Burnside knows exactly how to constantly keep the listener on their toes with incredible textures and experimental folk paths with elements of Irish Country and Latin Folk. It was delicately dark and romantic, touching on deeper questions about time, love and death up against the modern age. Tipping on the poetic on our favourite track ‘Hologram’: “So love glows, like the moon, Swinging low above the Atlantic, Sparkles on the choppy days, I don’t care what they say, If I have to dance alone I will”.

Joshua Burnside 03; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright)

 

David Keenan 

David Keenan 01; Rachael Crabtree; Spiral Magazine (copyright).jpgChurches are synominous with an serenity and when paired with the acoustic artists, whether that be solo or band, there is always a distinct feeling of privilege.

I hasten to use this hackneyed turn of phrase, but this very unassuming singer-songwriter from Dundalk, Ireland, is the finest example of a chap wiser beyond his years. We were completely taken in by Keenan’s worldly and poetic storytelling. His Dylan inspired socio-political commentary was no doubt enhanced by the lilt of his Irish tongue. So much maturity was expressed through the way Dublin was referenced, new and old, standing testament to his wisdom, hinting also towards a character born in another era altogther. The rising singer-songwriter shared with us a quiet understanding of the world, navigating us through the streets of Ireland’s capital “…meeting underneath the GPO tower at sunset”.

When Keenan entered the stage he began with a humble reference to that day’s gigs across Brighton’s churches; “I’m not sure what He’s trying to tell me up there..” glancing up wistfully to the heavens. Everything was very natural and wry, not least mature; referencing his travels across on the boat to live in Liverpool for some years, that taught him a lot; stories gained from busking shaped the man he inevitably is, whilst remaining distinctly and proudly Irish; “…Sorry there, just had me passport sticking in my backside…” as he patriotically hit it to the floor the golden harp gave him his spotlight.

Words: Rachael Crabtree (@eccentric_eejit)

Photography: Rachael Crabtree and Elizabeth Andrade (@LizzyEA)

 

The Great Escape // Ones To Watch

The Great Escape 2018, Uncategorized

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AND IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN — THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL — THURSDAY 17th to SATURDAY 19th MAY 2018! — NOW INTO IT’S 13TH YEAR, WITH WELL OVER 400 ACTS IN SHOWCASE, SCATTERED ABOUT THE CITY OF BRIGHTON, THIS FESTIVAL CONSISTENTLY OFFERS YOU A PRIME OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER NEW MUSIC!

WE’VE PUT TOGETHER OUR FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS TO GET YOU FESTIVAL READY…ADD THESE TO TGE APP NOW TO GET AHEAD OF THE GAME!

Ten Fé

It’s only a matter of time become this London-based five-piece attain mainstream success! The singer-songwriter busking duo Ben Moorhouse and Leo Duncan are joined with mates Rob (bassist) Johnny (keyboardist) and Alex (drummer) hail from London and Birmingham. We have been following these legends for little over a year, and seen their 2017 debut ‘Hit The Light’ reach a wider audience, connecting deeply with, from touring extensively around, America. Many bands promise, create this hype and fade; very few stand true to themselves and are content from standing devoid from ‘coolness’ and ‘scenes’. Ten Fé, however remain timeless. With two very distinctly different lead singer-songwriters these have grown from a busking duo to a five-piece band that have just recorded their second album in Norway and are currently rehearsing their new deep and upbeat songs every night in bunker below Oxford Circus!

When: Prince Albert, 11:15pm Saturday  

 

Breathe Panel

Fun fact of the day: our very own Will Steadman once briefly shared a house with Nick, singer from Brighton’s Breathe Panel. Apparently, Nick is a thoroughly nice bloke and so laid back he’s almost permanently horizontal. We narrowly missed them at last year’s Great Escape so we can’t wait to lose ourselves in their shimmering shoegaze on a Saturday afternoon. Check out that urgent drum intro on Carmine…so good.

When: One Church, 2:15pm Saturday

 

Fontaines D.C

Everything about this garage-rock band garnered our attention, never mind BBC 6Music’s Steve Lamacq of September last – what with their colloquial rock’n’roll, swaggering punk and strong (and gorgeous) Dublin accent. The quintet bonded over mutual love of poetry and artists, very much inspired by the spirit of The Pogues, their words are rooted in the society/politics that is influenced from pub talk and poetry. Frontman Grain Chatten’s spoken vocals and unassuming poetic delivering channels Mark E.Smith – insistent and connecting – what’s not love!

When: Prince Albert, 2pm Thursday 

Joshua Burnside

Rising out of Belfast’s burgeoning music scene, Joshua Burnside is taking the UK and Ireland by storm. Powerful and poignantly poetic, his music ebbs and flows with the echoes of folk’s anti-heroes. 2017’s Blood Drive takes you on a wonderfully soothing journey…reminiscent of a train chugging slowly through a distant meadow. Black Dog Sin on the other hand, engulfs you in a pounding microcosm of light and dark. And EPHRATA is just sublime. He has talent leaking out his ears and you’ve two chances to see him, so there’s no excuse!

When: Old Courtroom 9:15pm Thursday; Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar 1:30pm Friday

Durand Jones and the Indications

Durand Jones and the Indications are bursting at the seams with soul – musicians that definitely wear their heart on their sleeves. The saxophones, trumpet, guitar and drums collectively combine, enhancing their natural gift! Some of our favourite songs are ‘Make a Change’ with relatable lyrics and a sound you can’t help but move with. ‘Is it any wonder’ delivered vocally by the drummer, is a stand out! A classic song, almost throw back 1950’s. In fact, their sound is reminiscent of the late Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley; Durand Jones and the Indications have taken over where their idols have left off. Soul music is here to stay!

When: Latest Music Bar, 11:15pm Thursday 

Boy Azooga 

You can hear The Beach Boys running strong with these Welsh lads, on the basis of their adventurous arrangements and strong melodies. The Cardiff-based outfit who emerged and signed to Heavenly Recordings towards the end of last year are already very much on the radar and are currently extensively touring the UK! A band who think in drums; the vice behind creating the ‘groove’ in their songs, the unwavering precision running through their hit single “Face Behind a Cigarette” is a psych-funk jam that runs deep…

When: Latest Music Bar, 12pm; Dr Martens Stage, 2pm; Patterns, 9:15pm Thursday

Self-Esteem

Rebecca Lucy Taylor emerged from Slow Club last year as Self-Esteem with killer track Your Wife, which we’ve had on repeat pretty much ever since. She writes, sings, strums and drums. To be honest we’re slightly in awe. A must-see.

When: Prince Albert 8:15pm Saturday

Nao

Nao has been on the scene for a while, an east Londoner with her album released in 2016.  Since then this undeniable talent has played shows around the world. She is gradually gaining the popularity she deserves. Having witnessed her top-notch songwriting skills and sublime soulful voice recently at London’s Village Underground, we can certainly agree how well her sound translates live, she can’t be missed!

When: Beach Club 10pm Friday 

Marsicans

‘Upbeat indie meets dirty pop from the north of England’. Sounds top notch to us. Catchy as hell, lush harmonies abound and some serious youthful energy. Their new track Too Good is, well…too good.

When: Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar 10:30pm Thursday; Komedia 3:15pm Saturday

The Tesky Brothers

Ready for our wild card? Well this old-school bunch of siblings from down under are it. Soulful magic, pure and simple. Pain and Misery is the first single from their debut album Half Mile Harvest and has had us in tears quite literally.

When: Komedia 2:10pm Thursday; Coalition 7:30pm Saturday

Blanco White 

The effortless depths this singer-songwriter attains through voice and guitar is entirely absorbing. Having started out as a solo project of Londoner Josh Edwards in 2014 ahead of learning classical guitar in Spain. You can only begin to imagine the chills down your spine as the beautiful blends of Andalusian and Latin American guitar tones are twinned with the string textures and enriched by the haunting vocals. This quickly-rising star is signed to Yucatan Records.

When: Unitarian Church, 10:30pm Thursday 

Zuzu

With guitar riffs crunchier and tastier than Kellogg’s nuttiest cereal Zuzu ooze confidence and swagger. Originally from Liverpool and now based in London this female-fronted four piece are apparently obsessed with Courtney Barnett, which we can kind of understand to be honest.

When: Marine Room (Harbour Hotel) 8.15pm Saturday

Carmody

Carmody, a very talented artist hailing from London has strong vocals and simple, yet beautiful guitar arrangements. She has collaborated with Tom Misch, going on to produce great songs, ‘Release You’ and ‘The Last Song’ are just a two examples of their work together. ‘Skin’ is a recent hit single showcasing Carmody’s varying vocal range and backing synthesiser, whilst ‘Before You Knew Me’ is our firm favourite, with infectious rhythms and mesmerising vocals. Festival fresh with a new album (released 29/04/18) Carmody is one to watch!

When: One Church, 10:15pm Saturday 

Blessed

We can’t get enough of this South London duo effervescent blend of R’n’B, electro-pop and dancehall, summer perfect, let alone festival perfect! The upbeat sound of ‘Howling’ which is also the name if their EP is a perfect festival song as is ‘Pride’. It won’t be long until these are a household name. The fun loving dance tune ‘My Yute’ with a dancehall infusion is another stand out, seriously, it won’t be long until popular recognition!

When: Beach House, 6:30pm Saturday 

Aine Cahill

Just wait until you hear this Irish singer-songwriter’s darkly mesmerising vocals live – a cross between Lana Del Ray and Lorde! Hailing from County Cavan, Ireland, this diva draws on her love of 50s jazz and her contemporaries, bringing to the table classics of her own making, check out the sublime singles: “Plastic” and “Blood Diamonds”.

When: The Hope and Ruin, 8:45pm Thursday

Devarrow 

With a 2015 album aptly named The Great Escape, we think this singer songwriter from Halifax, Nova Scotia will go down a treat at TGE18. Blending simple folk with sophisticated pop to create music which reflect his roots in rural Canada, Devarrow (Graham Ereaux) has a powerful and distinctive voice.

When: Green Door Store 1:30pm Friday; Latest Music Bar 12:15am Friday

Riley Pearce

We interviewed this Singer-Songwriter who was, at the time (Septemeber 2017) a hotly tipped artist in his home country of Australia – we knew then it was only a matter of time until he would become big over here! Pearce measures his true success through the people he is able to reach and their connection to his music as we discussed; busking plays a huge role, as much, if not more, than maintaining a digital presence to both gain new followers of his music and push him on creatively.

When: Komedia Studio Bar, 1:30pm, One Church 9:30pm Thursday 

Jealous of the Birds 

Jealous of the birds, a.k.a Naomi Hamilton, also hails from Northern Ireland and has gone through a bit of transformation visually and musically since we last saw her live in November 2016; coming into her own as a credible force in alternative folk. We loved her debut album Parma Violets. Go bask in her understated glory.

When: Bau Wow 9:15pm Thursday; Jubilee Square 2:00pm Friday

Rews

Singer/guitarist Shauna Tohill and vocalising beat-maker Collette Williams make up Rews, who clearly aren’t afraid of cranking the amp up to 11.  This duo gives Royal Blood a run for their money. Bring ear plugs.

When: Beach House 9:15pm Friday

Teleman 

Intelligent, infectious indie-pop. What’s not to like? Dance and sing the night away to London four-piece Teleman and you’ll go to bed happy (that’s if you go to bed at all). Are they a bit like MGMT? Yes. Are they better? Probably.

When: Paganini Ballroom (The Old Ship) 11:15pm Saturday

Superorganism

These pop legends have a real edge, catchy and wry with an individual experimental approach. Distinctive electro-pop is the vibrant backdrop to front woman Orono’s angsty deadpan delivery. The international eight-piece, from all corners of the world, met in New Zealand, before moving over to London to form their collective. Their first single: ‘Something For Your Mind’ had them signed to Domino within months – no one can get enough of their technicolour pop paradise right now!

When: The Old Market, 10:15pm Friday 

Writers: Rachael Crabtree (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT) Will Steadman: (@STEADMAN_WILL) And Elizabeth Andrade (@LIZZYYEA)

The Noise Figures // Telepath Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

The Noise Figures; Photo Credit; Fotis Milionis.jpg

If you’re chasing down a new Psych-Blues band to add to your playlist then we recommend checking out The Noise Figures and their slow burning offering of a third album: ‘Telepath’. The Greek two-piece, George Nikas (vocals, drums) and Stamos Bamparis (guitar, vocals) combine intoxicating guitar riffs and tribal drumming that dapples in the bluesy grittiness, echoing the brilliance of Drenge.

You are destined to enjoy their fuzzy vertigo running through the album which has paved way to a heavier album than their previous two – their manically satisfying guitar work, shifting in its patterns are best highlighted on tracks: Telepath, Taste Like Time and Lethargy. Like me, you might even detect a slight 90’s edge, circa Madchester, running through some of their tracks, at times vocally (though I might be alone on this one) I definitely detect a reminiscence of The Charlatans.

All the while, you will be quickly taken in by the dark and primitive spirit of their raw guitar and drums, sitting somewhere between The Black Angels and BRMC, giving this two-piece not only an addictive edge but essentially flagging The Noise Figures as a band to watch!

The Athens-based rock duo released their third album on March 2nd via Inner Ear Records – tune into Telepath below…

THE NOISE FIGURES: WEBSITE // FACEBOOK// TWITTER //

INSTAGRAM

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Hanging Valleys // Fortaleza Single Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized
polaroid_Hanging Valleys_copyright

Heart warming ambient trio, Hanging Valleys

There is something altogether calming and comforting about Hanging Valleys – one song lends itself to the next seamlessly. The London-based three-piece first caught our ear a little over a year ago at the beginning of their formation in 2016 and have since gone on to release a successful debut EP (10th March 2017) and attain an unprecedented 1.2 million streams on Spotify – that pools in fans of Bon Iver and Sigor Ros to James Vincent McMorrow, continues to grow.

Thom Byles, began as a solo artist but quickly realised the ambitious project at stake needed more than one musician and subsequently recruited Mike Phillips (guitar, vocals) and Alexis Meridol (beats, synthesiser) to produce his complete work of art.

Their choice of geographical reference follows through from their band name, Hanging Valleys (an erosional landform) to their style of playing, which in itself, mirrors nature; it is serene, delicate and enduring, swelling and shifting in it’s ambient patterns and a reassuring accompaniment to your minds path as you journey through day-to-day life.

Just as a river runs through Hanging Valleys, leading to a tremendous waterfall – the band’s music is a voyage that opens your mind to adventurous opportunities – you feel genuinely motivated to abandon plans and instead, go travelling – even it that means a long hike across dense woodland and the moors!

Fortaleza (or fortitude, as it translates from Spanish) is the first single to be lifted from Hanging Valleys’ forthcoming second EP. The song is about staying strong, weathering storms and having courage in the face of adversity. You cannot resist pairing their filmic sound with a moving picture of cliffs and costal plains – their layered harmonies surround you in a protective aura, just like the sun as it hits your closed eyes, instant warmth and positivity rivers through your veins.

Check out their accompanying video for their latest single released today (9th February 2018), below…live dates to follow!

HANGING VALLEYS // WEBSITE // TWITTER // FACEBOOK //

INSTAGRAM

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Tango With Lions // The Light // Album Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

THE LIGHT_DIGITAL; Tango With Lions; copyright

Nailing the mystical, and often minimal, is the Greek Singer-Songwriter, Katerina Papachristou and her band, Tango With Lions. Since we first heard their recent single: ‘Proof of Desire’ (lifted from their latest album: ‘The Light’) we were eagerly anticipating the records release. One of Greece’s biggest indie/folk bands mark their return with this third studio album, and on first listen the variation of styles strikes you as altogether madly intriguing and absolutely one of a kind.

The sparseness intensifies the records nine short stories of introspection. Darkness and light coexist steadily, sometimes more excessively than the other, better still, they are never alone, and that, is what gives it beauty – the acceptance of this reflects life itself, opposites cannot live without one another and nor can a decent record! By recognising the value and power of each other (dark and light) the listener attunes, and subsequently, bonds more closely to the music.

Tango With Lions; Press Shot; Eftychia Vlachou, copyright

Katerina Papachristou, the master-mind behind, Tango With Lions. Photographer: Eftychia Vlachou

Nine songs, each different in style, reaffirm that Tango With Lions’ music hinges on atmosphere, created through imagery and poetry. Tipping slowly on the albums eerily unsettling second track: ‘Proof of Desire’ and fully realised on the penultimate track, ‘The Go-Betweens’ is the symmetry with PJ Harvey – similarities lie within the eccentric art form of creating short stories through song craft and experimental instrumentalism.

The timing of this records release could not have arrived at a more apt time either – the light of New Year light nearly shadowed by the mid-winter bleakness until the irrepressible enthusiasm for the year ahead conquers all doubts of uncertainty: “…hush now between Winter and Spring…” Papachristou whispers on the penultimate track.

Concluding, with what sounds like, a cassette of French poetry playing alongside an accordion busker, alluring in it’s warnings and wisdom – this record grows on you as your intrigue unconsciously hits replay.

‘The Light’ was released via Inner Ear Records on 19th January 2018.

Tango With Lions // Website // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

Bazooka Zougla EP Review

Single, EP and Album Reviews, Uncategorized

BAZOOKA_COVER by Ben Fuog

We reckon the flourishing Athens alternative music scene is something you need to keep an eye on this year. Two acts that caught our attention in particular are Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka (both psych-punk outfits) who have been producing a constant flow of material, alongside delivering consistently excellent shows across Europe leading to significant (well deserved) recognition.

Bazooka were formed in 2008, in Volos, (native to Centaurs) and consist of singer/guitarist Xanthos Papanikolaou, guitarist Bill Tzelepis, drummer John Vulgaris, Keyboardist Panos Papanikolaou and bassist, Aris Rammos. Within the same year they moved to Athens, the Greek capital underwent a severe economic crisis. Fortuitously, a multitude of DIY squat venues had given birth to an underground musical renaissance paving way to the city’s best punk and psych-rock bands, Acid Baby Jesus and Bazooka.

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One of Athen’s best psychedelic bands, Bazooka (Photo credit: Ben Fuog).

In follow up to their second LP: Useless Generation Bazooka have returned with a 4-track EP, Zougla (Jungle). And it’s exactly what you need for January – a truly fast, psychedelic and very raw record to lift those overcast skies and inject energy into your veins. Chaotic and passionate punk rhythms suffuse with acidic rifts, tipping on the tribal, accompanied by a fiery edged delivery of Greek verse which is, all in all, manically satisfying.

The opening title track (‘Zougla’) begins with a distant animal noise as distinctive as Plant’s wailing cry on Immigrant Song, and when the exceptional progressive guitar riffs kick in, it is suffice to consider this a psych-garage cousin to Led Zeppelin’s classic. Just as the second track (‘Exailosou’) outlines a filmic terrain; atypical desert acoustic guitar with distancing whistling and brass, we are led to the dizzy heady pang of the third track (‘I Diki Sou I Sira’) where subtle parallels are to be had with equal legends, Acid Baby Jesus’ single, ‘You Had It Coming’ (off their 2014 self-titled LP)!

The record is seen out by ‘Thelo Fisi’ a pending drum solo and returning bird noises that meet their mother tongue, culminating in a turbulence of distorted spaced out guitar – let Bazooka tap into your mind here, it’s a voyage through time and space!

“Zougla” [Inner Ear Records] is out now: Inner Ear Records, iTunes, BandCamp

BAZOOKA // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram 

Words: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)

 

Introducing // Flare Voyant

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Flare Voyant Press Photo

Psychedelic revivalists, Flare Voyant

There is something so completely timeless about the sound (and aesthetic) of the late 60s, early 70s, that it’s no wonder it’s been the inspiration for so many contemporary musicians. A new band that we discovered just before Christmas is the London-based four-piece, Flare Voyant, who rekindle vibes akin to both The Rolling Stones and The Doors. Their early demos caught the ear of legendary producer, Chris Kemsey (who is recognised for his work with the Stones) who recently went on to produce Flare Voyant’s debut EP (released November 2017).

They saw in the New Year by selling out Dalston’s Rocksteady (a gig we were sorry to miss out on) and are currently preparing videos for their EP tracks (due for release in the coming months). Here’s their most iconic single, Ephemeral Romance, lifted from their self titled EP:

Having realised their potential as a four-piece in early 2015, their effervescent blend of nationalities; Brazilian drummer Lucas Roxo, Greco-Italian-Brazilian guitarist Rod Bourganos, French singer Thomas Baignères and British bassist, George Hudson, have paved way for an iconic style, throwback yet distinctly their own. Their infectious EP effortlessly merges Psychedelia, Blues and Rock n’ Roll, with instrumental progressive jamming and the lead singer’s raspy bluesy overtones drawing them close in comparison at times, to not only The Doors, but to their contemporaries, White Denim – Flare Voyant have a strong alliance with 2018’s cosmos; we’re predicting big things from these!

Join us, by kicking back to their EP and by keeping your eyes peeled for 2018’s gig dates here!

Flare Voyant: Soundcloud // Instagram // Facebook

WORDS: RACHAEL CRABTREE (@ECCENTRIC_EEJIT)