Lancaster rockersMassive Wagons are set to soar, with their latest album House of Noise debuting at an impressive NUMBER 1 on the iTunesUK Rock Chart. With a can-do attitude and an unapologetically loud lust for life. Massive Wagons have won over the hearts of fans (including myself) up and down the country. That is before we even mention the fact, they are bloody brilliant musicians.
With shredding guitar riffs and scorching vocals from frontman Baz (Barry Mills). House of Noise hurtles us head-first into exactly what Massive Wagons are all about. Crazily energetic live performances, a dedicated love for their fanbase and a heap of good old-fashioned rock n’ roll. All embodied within this firecracker of an album. Which, as the title suggests, needs to be played loud and proud.
Through tongue-in-cheek lyrics (I’m looking at you The Curry Song), laced with an underlying ferocity at heartbreak, politics, and any act of being kicked while you’re down. Massive Wagons swoop in on those mighty rockin’ horses and pick us straight back up. House of Noise will have you chanting, singing, and head-banging until your heart’s content.
Undeniably a band for the people. Massive Wagons take what we are all thinking, and project it from a stage with force. Stand up and shout anthems that reverberate with so many, are just one of the reasons this band are so good at what they do. Several superb crowd-pleasers on their latest album, including Bangin’ in Your Stereo and title-track House of Noise, actually gave me goosebumps at the thought of witnessing live music again.
Baz’s distinguishable vocals and infectious energy are equally matched by hard-hitting instrument playing. You only need to listen to the gorgeously gritty intro of Hero to gather that. So much is driving this album on towards greatness. Really holding its own, House of Noise is an album that kicks everything we’ve known already about Massive Wagons, up a gear. Song after song, we’re met with music as bold as it is brilliant. Even in the woozy comedown of Matter of Time, I caught my breath, and listened in awe.
Watching Baz completely own a stage before was mesmerising enough, NOW I can only dream of the onslaught Massive Wagons will parade with when they take House of Noise on the road next March.
House of Noise is OUT NOW via Earache Records
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Through a happy-go-lucky swirl of sound, we are swept away by latest single This Side of Luv from Cardiff-based band KEYS. Honing inspiration from psychedelic pop of the 60s and 70s, their music is a glorious clash of instruments with the grooviest lovelorn vocals from lead Matthew Evans. Bedroom recording at its best, the track is a glowing example of plug in and play. In no way overthought or finely tuned. Instead This Side of Luv took shape during the recording process and came to life using cassette four-track machines during lockdown.
Reflecting on Britain in the early 70s, KEYS recall how joyous music emerged from bleak moments. Pondering over its effect on history, they express how music has the power to lift the spirit, and hope to achieve this with their very own modern-retro sound in 2020. Without any shadow of a doubt, This Side of Luv is a song capable of boosting any glum mood. Seeking beauty in heartbreak, the track radiates fun and happiness in the brightest of technicolour. I long for the moment I can dance around to a spinning KEYS vinyl.
With an unmistakable early Beatles vibe, KEYS provide a perfect nod of nostalgia, but shake things up with a new-age bang. Rhythmic drums and guitar hooks flow marvellously throughout the track. Yet without drawing on any formalities, it is safe to say that this is simply a great piece of music.
KEYS have blown me away with a brilliant blend of vintage vibrance for This Side of Luv, that commanded my attention from start to finish.
This Side of Luv is out now via Libertino Records
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Fun, flamboyant and wearing the best 70s fashion you could ever behold. Cardiff’s very own Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have strutted their way through 2020, with a string of singles in tow. The grand finale is the welcomed release of their highly anticipated The Non-Stop EP.
Culminated over several years. The Non-Stop EP is the epitome of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard. Containing classics from their colourful catalogue, that date back to their formation. Taking time and effort to carefully curate this EP, has undoubtedly been worthwhile. Spellbindingly professional, without curbing any of that wonderful spirit and energy that Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard are so cherished for. Songs fans have adored at shows, are now presented in a glistening new light. Meaning that we will all be doing the Double Denim Hop around our living rooms before we know it.
Keeping old classics company on the EP, are numerous brand-new singles, such as What Is Hate? and Sugarloaf Mountain Crucify Me. Charged with as much exuberant energy as I had dreamed. Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have blazed through with guitar-driven anthems, fuelled by lyrics equally as passionate from lead singer-songwriter Tom Rees. Creativity has spanned from politics and history, to love and life. With a sound so unique and exciting, their musical capabilities seem endless.
There is no denying that asides from being in the same room as them; every morsel of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard’s chaotic brilliance is encapsulated within this EP. Late Night City can be turned up loud for a dance, or we can have a little cry to Long Day/Free Day. With a whopping ten tracks in total to listen to, this extended play is nothing shy of album quality.
The Non-Stop EP is available to stream and purchase now via Communion Records
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Upbeat swirls of indie-pop flutter amongst emotive lyrics. Yet again, Rosehip Teahouse swoon with latest sad bop Regretting It. Gorgeously distressed acoustic guitars marry beautifully against lead vocalist Faye Rodgers’ lovelorn lyrics, as we drift along in this dizzy daydream.
A wonderfully intricate songwriter, Faye is able to wrap sincerity and truths within her music. Yet there is undeniably such a wholesome care to her craft. With lyrics so unwavering and pertinent; carefully and delicately delivered. Such sweetness is derived from a conscientious nature, resulting in the glorious music we are led to behold from Rosehip Teahouse.
The ability to convey sadness with uplifting music is no easy task, certainly if you want to do it well. However, Rosehip Teahouse have balanced this to perfection. In one hand cradling the emotional weight of the track, and in the other ensuring the track remains bubbly, by nurturing its musical sound to light acoustics and a pop of synths.
Little whistles and claps provide Regretting It with a kind-hearted lift. Helping soothe an affirmation in my mind, that despite the majority of us continuing to experience difficult feelings and struggles at the moment. If we try our best to hold onto a little positivity and happiness in our lives, then somehow we can get through this. However small and gentle these little pieces of happiness may be.
Regretting It is available to stream on all platforms now via Sad Club Records
You can follow Rosehip Teahouse on their socials below
Since the acclaimed success of Moonshine Freeze in 2017. A further album from mesmerising folk band This Is The Kit has been highly anticipated. Having teased fans with new songs during shows for over a year now. Today, our first real glimpse into This Is The Kit’s 6th studio album Off Off On was given. Exclusively through BBC6Music, the band debuted the upcoming albums lead single This Is What You Did.
Unmistakably folk music at its best, the single bursts to life with gorgeous banjo playing, before the sweet vocals of Kate Stables weave through. A song embodying entrancing thoughts and excess time to ponder. Lyrics depict being trapped within yourself and the deprecating thoughts that accompany those feelings of isolation. Swirling rumination, paranoia and a cycle that repeats itself, in a saga of sleepless nights and endless days. More prominent now than ever for many of us.
Described by Kate Stables herself as a panic attack within a song. The message and lyrics are both incredibly emotive. Yet, the song is just so beautifully delivered, you can’t help but reach for that play button over and over again.
A stunning introduction to what is set to be an incredibly beautiful album. I am so eagerly excited for any future releases to come.
Off Off On is scheduled to be released on 23rd October 2020 via Rough Trade Records
Spirited and sassy, Welsh rockers Chroma are back with their latest single Head in Transit. Since hearing the powerhouse that is Girls Talk, I have eagerly anticipated and devoured each single released. Head in Transit has certainly not disappointed, in fact I am yearning for more, as my adoration of this band only grows.
Filled with as much fire as I expected. The single begins with a shredding guitar riff, before powerful vocals from front woman Katie Hall scorch their way through. Embodied with all of the richness of her glorious Welsh accent, Katie projects an impressive vocal range, at every possible altitude. Lullaby softness quickly breaks into furious, heartfelt vocals. Screaming through with as much passion as fans had longed for.
Unapologetically loud, Chroma have such a way of clashing together rampant guitars with gorgeous pragmatic vocals. Energetic, with just the right amount of chaos thrown in for good measure. Lead vocalist Katie is surely set to become a fiercely talented icon of female-fronted rock, for the next generation.
Even more admirably so, what really gives Head in Transit the most clout, is the deeply emotional message it conveys. Having written from her own personal experience, Katie has shared in an open letter that the context of Head in Transit surrounds a very poignant time in her life, when she worked in a Call Centre. Emotional phone calls, difficulties of work pressure, cruel bosses, and various other aspects all culminated to have a detrimental impact on her mental health.
In our current time of crisis, Katie has shared Head in Transit in the hopes it will urge people to be more empathetic towards those who are continuing to work hard, ultimately to help us. Treating these individuals as though they are nothing more than just cogs in a machine, is selfish and wrong.
Head in Transit showcases Chroma in all their glory. I applaud Katie for having the courage to share this deeply personal track.
It is undeniable that musically, Head in Transit is brilliant; vocally sublime, rooted and charged by heavy, ‘rock n’ roll’ instrument playing. However, it is ultimately the moving lyrics and fundamental message behind the track that have resonated with me, and I hope others, the most.
Head in Transit is available to stream on all platforms now
As affirming, as it is agonising. The Debut EP Our Heaviness from Manchester Based singer-songwriter Lindsay Munroe is completely entrancing. With an ability to openly evoke a stirring sense of emotion. Each song conveys such a deep personal outpouring of herself, that one cannot help but explore their own traits, reflected through her.
An anti-spiritual awakening. Our Heaviness exudes itself upon us with prelude Opening. An eerily soothing piece of music that washes over the listener, Lindsay invites us in to her soul with strengthened yet calmed vocals, planting the seed for the heights vocally possible. Opening is unnerving in its welcomed truths and rhetorical questions. Lindsay does not shy away from smudging out the whimsicalities of any delicate notions. As we proceed to understand, Our Heaviness is in no way delicate.
My personal favourite of the EP is Split. Hauntingly beautiful, it sends shivers down my spine every time I indulge in listening, by how agonisingly raw it is. Beginning with soft strums of a guitar. Split bestows a portrait of how Lindsay perceives herself upon us. Painful in capturing almost despised parts of herself, rooted within her past. Lindsay shares her shame, her fears, her anxieties; and divulges them so beautifully. Split really affirmed in my mind, that Lindsay is a fiercely brave songwriter, as well as a singer. I keenly admire her capabilities to explore every fragment, so boldly.
By exposing herself so openly, through tracks such as Split and River. Possibly without even realising, Lindsay has harnessed a strength from her very bones, by stripping out of her previous skin. Denouncing the shackles of her past and welcoming a whole new being. Her music provides the listener with a rousing sense of self-belief. Yet also cradles the need to explore those hidden, painful parts of ourselves, by allowing us to realise that owning them is in no way wrong.
These softer songs are moving and bold in their sentiments. Laced amongst them are tracks Mirror and Easieron You which build the tempo of Our Heaviness. Without knocking the sound off-balance, instead the two heavier tracks compliment the overall tenderness as the guitars are low pitched and rhythmic, providing a woozy rush. Closing the EP, Mirror exhorts a rush of strength and clarity, that Our Heaviness whispers throughout.
A Debut EP that is beyond the beauty of what I could ever put into words. Our Heaviness breathes life into the most shameful dust-ridden corners of our mind, and rejuvenates them. Lindsay Munroe’s vocals possess a gorgeous newness, and any flaw or break found within them, only adds to the earnest honesty of her music.
Our Heaviness is out now
Stream on all platforms or purchase directly below:
Unflinching honesty exposed bare, through the gorgeously soft, yet fiercely brave vocals of Ailsa Tully.
By a brooding bass line, we are drawn into the world of Ailsa Tully. Husky musings pry open latest single Edge as we learn an unexpected truth. On a hazy, glowing twilight of London’s riverbank, an evening full of laughter and life; painstaking anxiety is all that consumes her inner monologue.
As though the river flows calmly, Edge carries the listener along in delicate ripples and waves that never break. Despite the swell of emotive depth conveyed within the track, the music remains soothing and soft. Purposefully evoking a sense of numbness, against racing thoughts and a quickened heartbeat. When a mind cannot stop thinking, there eventually exists an odd state of tranquillity in the confusion, where one is simply lost amongst the chaos. As the brooding bass line plays on and the lull of the nightlife hums steadily in the background. Set against Ailsa’s stunning vocals, the music is reflective of that peculiar state where we feel everything, yet nothing. The surrounding world is meaningless, as our thoughts are all that exist.
The deliberate stark contrast between the music and lyrics is staggeringly beautiful. Creating a dreamlike, lullaby nightmare in Edge, that is nothing short of captivating. As we meander through the song, musical traction is picked up towards the end as the bass heavies and a drumbeat ensues, but an overall eerie sense of calm remains.
Vocally Ailsa heightens her range in parts, as peaks in her worries amplify in reflection of her lyrics. Edge is such a raw, honest, and brave expression of herself, that presents gorgeous vocal capabilities. Ensuring we behold Ailsa Tully as a hauntingly brilliant singer and songwriter.
A deep level of empathy and reflection exists within her music. As listeners, we too feel as though we are wandering the streets of London’s nightlife. Woefully lost amongst the ‘normality’, whilst consumed by our own thoughts and a desperate search for clarity. Yet somehow, we are swallowed by a soft heady calmness that could be our outer appearance to the world. I am completely in awe of the fascinating vocal delivery and backstory of Edge. I cannot wait to hear more from Ailsa Tully.
Following on from their previous release True Secret to a Happy Life, TJ Roberts are back with yet another slice of indie-rock goodness. Latest single Sinceridipity makes no apologies for its bold entrance, as shredding guitars hurtle us full force into the track. Brooding vocals from front man Tom tear through in the first verse, but there is no hiding from that biting guitar lurking underneath, as the track builds to break in its charged chorus.
Blazing to life, Sinceridipity brands its mark, easily becoming one of the finest indie tracks of the year to date. Instruments stampede in a glorious frenzy but complement one another exquisitely well. The track features Zac White of Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard on guitar. A musical collaboration of dreams, with fellow BBB member Tom Rees having produced the track. The close-knit South Wales Music Community proving yet again, just why it is so good.
Demanding your attention from start to finish. Sinceridipity is undoubtedly a track that needs to be turned up loud. Especially if you really want to enjoy that minute-long guitar solo that powers through to the end. Hushed thought-provoking verses intertwine with the triumphant chorus; showing off impressive combinations of vocal and instrumental prowess that are driving this band to the forefront.
Lyrically Sinceridipity encapsulates adolescence, and those moments of embarrassment, when we somehow find ourselves looking back over an array of fake, but often misinformed, personalities that developed. A time-honoured tradition of barely comprehensible nonsense. Musical inspiration has been sought from the dark-eyed Lou Reed and Eels’ Mark Everett, as well as the rambunctious energy of Dinosaur Jr. and Fugazi.
The track is available to stream on all platforms via Libertino Records.
Lindsay Munroe is a brave a bold lyricist, baring her soul through music. Her previous singles ‘Mirror’ and ‘Split’ resonated with my very core, and I have been eagerly anticipating her next release.
‘River’ washes over the listener instantly, and is breathtakingly stunning. From its very source, the track is deeply emotive but the vocal delivery from Lindsay is so soothing and tranquil. The most quiet and gentle of her songs to date. The melancholy and heartfelt, ‘River’ finds a way to nestle into your mind and make its home there.
With a heavy emphasis on repeating lyrics, Lindsay is brooding over her pain. The song is slow and winding, allowing us to ponder over our emotions, as well as her own. It is a soulful but soft track. The quiet nature of it is nurturing and not harsh or cutting, despite its emotional heaviness. Instead Lindsay’s vocals convey enough emotion through their almost muted tones, as though they are whispering a secret. It is just enough to invite the listener in.
A songwriter who carves out a part of her heart and places it into the soul of her song.
The lyrics themselves are haunting, as Lindsay conveys such yearning through the depth of her words. Exposing so much of her inner most thoughts and feelings, is once again, admirably brave. Lindsay has such an ability of providing fleeting glimpses into her past, and slight reflections of what may have been, divulging just enough to provoke thought and create in many ways, a story for the listener.
Her self-expression is captivating and certainly makes for a fascinating muse. What I hope I am conveying to you, is that ‘River’ is more than just music and lyrics. It is raw and real, and a slice of Lindsay herself. A songwriter who carves out a part of her heart and places it into the soul of her song. Lindsay’s lyrics are vulnerable and open, however, rather than be deterred by her sheer honesty, Lindsay Munroe is helping it build her.
‘River’ begins with awash of subtle guitar strings and moody vocals. As the song progresses, it also incorporates more elements musically, as drums emerge, and guitars are played a little heavier. Synths and pedals are also used. Although the track is in no way crowded and cluttered with a clash of jarring instruments. Instead instruments simply blend in to complement one another. Lindsay’s vocals and the overall tension of the track heightens in its chorus, but ‘River’ remains to be so soft and delicate; the music carries it along beautifully.
My adoration for Lindsay Munroe is deepening with each song I have the pleasure of hearing, and I am waiting earnestly for her debut EP release. I just know that it is going to provide the most beautiful emotional journey.
Lindsay Munroe’s Debut EP ‘Our Heaviness’ has been rescheduled for release on 19th June.
I could not love Panic Shack any more if I tried. Their fierce bad girl attitude, tongue in cheek humour and adoration for chaos, all creates an impressively powerful emerging punk band. How close they are means they are more like sisters than friends, and they are quickly becoming the band that everyone wants to know. Causing carnage with raucous live shows, and acquiring a cult following. Panic Shack have already supported infamous punks Amyl and the Sniffers, and are tearing up Cardiff’s live music scene as they go. Once you have seen Panic Shack perform at a gig, you certainly won’t forget them. A band that were born to break the rules. Combine crazily good music with an infectious amount of energy, and they are able to command a crowd and deliver a gig like no other.
Panic Shack’s debut single ‘Who’s Got My Lighter?’ was a roaring success. The band are renowned for playing a number of unreleased songs at their gigs, so fans already knew what to expect from their loud and untamed debut, and its popularity has continued to soar ever since. At Panic Shack’s headline gig in March the track had its first live outing since its release. A boisterous crowd and a night fuelled with frenzy, meant their debut hit went down a storm, and blew the roof off Cardiff’s Clwb Ifor Bach. Since its release, the single has received airplay on a number of radio stations, including BBC Radio 1. YouTube views are racing up by the day, and streams are continuing to spiral. A lockdown is not going to reckon with the force of Panic Shack.
Today the band are releasing their latest single ‘Jiu Jits You‘. An unapologetic anthem that is as bold as its title suggests. The track tells the tale of a night out, and the idiots encountered along the way. Not shy in speaking their mind, Panic Shack do not hold back on this brilliant spoken-word story and express in no uncertain terms what they would like to do to anyone causing them trouble. In true Panic Shack style it’s all delivered in good humour, proving they are as fun as they are fierce, but you’d still be a fool to think you could mess with them. Especially if they really do know Jiu-Jitsu!
Their ability to blend spoken word stories with rebellious punk music, provides Panic Shack with a unique edge that certainly makes them memorable. Many punk bands can spit out their lyrics with a harshness and throw themselves around a stage, but Panic Shack have a different appeal. Although rebellious and wild, they also bring in a girlish charm and there is a bubble gum pink theme surrounding them. A female-fronted punk rock band with two personalities, that clash gloriously together.
Bringing in an added element of fun with the song’s catchy chorus and shout-out chants, ensures that ‘Jiu Jits You’ really sparks to become a hit that you can sing along to. It is not for the faint hearted, but is fun and fiery, and I love that they make no apologies for that. Guitars blare, and vocals shout out to pack a punch on this screamer of an anthem.
‘Jiu Jits You’ will plant itself firmly in your mind and knock you out by how good it is. It is a very strong follow-up to Panic Shack’s debut single, that shows listeners exactly what they are all about.
You can follow Panic Shack on their socials below:
Forever entwined in some way or another, Wales’ chaotic but lovable indie rock band Trampolene and music-heavyweight Pete Doherty are certainly no strangers. With Pete initially having taken an interest in the bands front man Jack Jones for his poetic flair way back in 2015. The two formed a firm friendship after Jack became the resident tour poet for The Libertines on their 2016 Arena Tour. Jack and Pete have only grown closer every day since, with the pair working continuously together on a number of musical projects.
Pete Doherty is now a family figure to Jack and the band as a whole, almost acting as a mentor for their musical journey. With immense experience fronting one of the most successful UK bands of all time. For a young indie band like Trampolene with stars in their eyes, he’s certainly a very good connection to have.
Over their five year friendship, Trampolene have supported The Libertines across several tour dates already. Front man Jack is also a guitarist and occasional vocalist within Pete Doherty’s new gypsy-punk band The Puta Madres, and Trampolene drummer Jay Bone is also a member of Carl Barat & The Jackals, which is another band of The Libertine’s co-founder Carl Barat.
It is evident to see that within just a short period of time, their ties run pretty deep. Therefore for Trampolene and Pete Doherty alike, it must have been an exciting and engaging prospect to collaborate on a song with one another. Surely a means of cementing their bond, for all to hear. Asides from Jack’s participation in The Puta Madres, for us fans this will be the first time we have the pleasure of listening to Trampolene and Pete performing together on one track.
It is an adoring ode to how close they all are.
It almost feels as though it is full circle from where they began, with Jack’s poetry being that initial spark to ignite their relationship…
Written and performed entirely in isolation. ‘Uncle Brian’s Abattoir’ was given its first spin on BBC Radio 6 this morning. Radio Presenter Chris Hawkins explained how the track consists of poetry recorded by Jack on his phone in Swansea, which was then forwarded on to their producer Mike Moore in London, and finally over to Pete Doherty in Normandy, who added vocals for the chorus and backing. Jack’s poetry is the main focus of the track, so it almost feels as though it is full circle from where they began, with Jack’s poetry being that initial spark to ignite their relationship way back when. It is a glorious and touching sentiment.
To anyone unfamiliar with the works of Pete Doherty and Trampolene, the track may seem a little eccentric. However, to fans its charm will remain undisputed. Jacks existing poems have grown to become so popular amongst followers of Trampolene and The Libertines, they are chanted out at gigs and recited word for word as though they are anthems. I do not doubt that in time, this song will be no different.
Hailing from Swansea in South Wales. Jack’s Welsh accent always shines beautifully throughout his spoken-word poetry. This is no exception for ‘Uncle Brian’s Abattoir’. There is a delightful rhaspiness to Jack’s vocals on this track, which emphasises the songs emotive lyrical content, whilst rightfully demanding the attention of the listener. Contrasting exquisitely with the high pitched and warped vocals that emerge from Pete Doherty during the chorus. Pete’s vocals somehow pour through, and add a light hearted aspect to the track. The giddy oddness of the style in which they’re delivered allows for this, and showcases that unique spirit and personality that runs between the two joyous and loving individuals that are Jack Jones and Pete Doherty.
The idea behind the new track was curated by the marvellous mind of Jack Jones, who was inspired by a painting created by his young cousin. The little artist had depicted a world where animals and humans live as one in harmony, but as is the innocence of a child, had mistakenly called her “farm” painting an “abattoir”.
Being the keen lyricist he is, it wasn’t long before Jack’s mind pondered over those thoughts and ‘Uncle Brian’s Abattoir’ was born. As Jack’s inspiration wound to seek out the skewed aspects from the painting, in its innocent error. The finished track expresses a harmonious existence inspired by the child’s idea on one hand, but also a caged one on another, due to the harsh truths we know to exist within the title. Additional inspiration was sought from the current UK lockdown.
‘Uncle Brian’s Abattoir’ is being released on Friday 22nd May, as a means of celebrating the creation of new record label, Strap Originals
New music, I hear you rejoice! It is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to your new favourite band, Tales In The Shade.
A wonderfully eclectic mix of individuals, with an incredibly expansive and exciting take on music. Hailing from Wales and the South West, Tales In The Shade have performed on and off together locally since 2018, so you may have caught them at a gig or two already. However 2020 will see them release their debut single ‘Elephant’ and I cannot even begin to express to you how great it is.
I’m sure you’re curious to know a little more about them, right?
Well, each band member brings their own unique diverse sound and style to the band, having been a part of numerous other musical outlets over the years. From an ELO tribute band to a heavy metal mash up, Tales In The Shade have the full-colour spectrum of musical influences. Such a rich variance of experience, combined with a can-do attitude and ability to perform so well together, means that Tales In The Shade have created a band of friends, as well as musicians.
The band do not label themselves as being a part of a particular genre, but would rather describe their sound as an abstract, underlying concept. Their varying thought processes and ideas collide gorgeously, to allow them to create songs that they write collaboratively through an initial brainstorming process.
Tales In The Shade breathe more life into their lyrics than your average songwriter.
Before their songs even materialise, Tales In The Shade create their own back-stories, worlds and universes for their songs to be set in. These stories give Tales In The Shade their very own dimension from which they can source characters, and an array of fantastic plot lines, as a basis for their music. Similar in a sense to the works of Creeper and Green Day, where recurring characters and storylines entwine throughout multiple songs. Who knows in the future, Tales In The Shade could have their very own Rock Opera on the way! Move over American Idiot.
The bands front man Sam Griffiths (pictured above) explains their creative approach in more detail;
“We like the idea of not telling a story in a verbatim and obvious way, but to just tell a fragment of a story, an ambiguous hint of a bigger picture. If we were to write a song set in a world of superheroes, we wouldn’t be writing about Batman, we’d be writing about the perspective of the unassuming janitor cleaning away in the next room. ‘Show and don’t tell’ can have tremendous power lyrically.”
Being a writer myself, their creative means of devising song lyrics really appeals to me, and has made the prospect of future releases incredibly intriguing. Recording their music on the brink of lockdown, Sam expressed to me how finessing their debut single within those last few precious hours was “a very profound and memorable way to experience such a devastating event.” The band have had zero human contact with one another since, but are eagerly awaiting the chance to be back in the recording studio as soon as they are able.
Twin Stranger are back with yet another incredibly catchy single. You may recall my adoration for them, following the release of their debut single ‘Tears Of Joy’ back in February. ‘Crushed’ has arrived with as much bold enthusiasm, and more. It’s fantastic.
‘Crushed’ has the huge capability of becoming an instantly recognisable hit, and I am beyond excited about it.
Fuelled by an amazing energy and sound that fires throughout the track. ‘Crushed’ begins by captivating the listener instantly, delivering such a glorious intensity as it bursts into life. Lead Vocalist Alex McConnachie sweep us off our feet, possessing an overwhelming confidence. I continue to be enthralled by his distinct energy. You just know that when a song hooks you within the first 10 seconds of listening, that it’s going to be special. It is clear to me that ‘Crushed’ has the huge capability of becoming an instantly recognisable hit, and I am beyond excited about it.
The track oozes vibes of sunshine, summer-time parties and dancing. It is a proper feel good song and yes, I am just a little bit in love with it already. Bringing joy in strange times, ‘Crushed’ is a song you can turn up loud, and drown out the rest of the world with. Twin Stranger have produced a gorgeously fun track that fizzes with so much life, and I honestly cannot stop listening to it.
I would describe ‘Crushed’ as an alternative type of pop-rock. It has all the power, punch and fun of a blaring pop-rock number, but is in no way overworked, or too full on. Instead its homegrown powerful presence creates something that shines. ‘Crushed’ is certainly impressive, and it’s clear to hear that every element incorporated, from vocals to melodic guitars and drums, collide perfectly together. Personally, I feel the tracks popularity will only grow the more it is heard, and it’s a song that anyone can enjoy listening to.
Despite the upbeat nature and carefree charm of ‘Crushed’, the lyrics are actually an underlying jab at the vane and egotistical sides of humanity; which you’d be forgiven for not noticing straight away. Speaking of the track Alex McConnachie expresses; “Crushed is about realising that some people you know just love listening to the sound of their own voice, and other people’s troubles and feelings only really enter their mind for a split second, then they’re gone again. On a more positive note it’s also about summer time when you’re a teenager, the days blend into one and you’re just hanging out with your friends without a care in the world, just living in the moment.”
From its vibrant sound to its sniping lyrics, ‘Crushed’ is a track that certainly makes an impact. It’s definitely a firm favourite of mine already, so you now know what I’ll be listening to non-stop this summer.
I can’t wait to hear what Twin Stranger bring us next!
Twin Stranger are a Welsh 5 piece power-pop project led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Alex McConnachie. The band’s sound is a mix of hooky bass-driven pop melodies, synth freak-outs and dreamy guitar soundscapes.
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2020 has become a completely different year to what we expected, when it began in January. Plans were in place, and headliners were being confirmed for major UK festivals such as Glastonbury, and Reading and Leeds. With the outbreak of Coronavirus in March affecting the world as we know it, of course festivals made the sensible decision to pull the plug following government guidelines to abolish mass gatherings. Musicians and concert venues alike began to cancel shows, and live music as we knew it, ceased to exist.
With no live performances likely to take place until at least August or September, and even that remaining dubious for the time being, with the UK having remained in a form of lockdown since late March. Due to flurrying anxieties that were swirling regarding the global pandemic, the future of healthcare resources, our economies and the survival of many local businesses. With lockdown looming over us, we as individuals had no choice but to adapt to the strange changes in our existence. Despite all of this taking its toll, we continued to progress, and all hope for live music was not lost.
It wasn’t long before musicians, being the natural creatives and entertainers that they are, came up with an innovative way to still engage with their audiences and bring joy by providing a heartfelt distraction. Thus, what was an occasional treat for fans, such as a livestream Q&A, or an intimate at home gig, became the norm. Almost every artist I can put my mind to, has now hosted a live stream session on a social media platform of some form. Music fans are rejoicing, and the trend is really skyrocketing at a time when live music feels so lost to us all, and we feel so lost ourselves.
By musicians hosting their own live stream gigs, and so many thousands of fans tuning in. It wasn’t long before blogs, music publications and websites began tapping into this, and the livestream festival was born. Often spanning over the course of a weekend, Livestream Festivals such as DIY Magazine’s DIYsolation Festival, or more recently Dork’sHomeschool Festival, have given a platform to hundreds of emerging indie and alternative artists. Bills have included the likes of rising Welsh band Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard, Manchester’s Phoebe Green, Brighton-based Porridge Radio and Cambridge’s Cavetown.
Livestream Festivals such as DIY’s DIYsolation Festival, or more recently Dork’sHomeschool Festival, have given a platform to hundreds of emerging indie and alternative artists.
With these festivals doing so well for emerging artists, whilst also helping contribute donations to our NHS and key workers. The phenomenon is only growing. Why would this not be something huge stars would want to be a part of too? It’s left me wondering, with summer soon arriving and major festivals not set to go ahead, will we be watching our Glastonbury Headliners via a livestream performance instead?
Just imagine the help and funding, events on this scale, could provide for research charities, food banks, the NHS, and many more. It would be groundbreaking.
If UK festivals opted for a not for profit approach, as so many magazines and music websites have already done successfully. Just imagine the help and funding, events on this scale, could provide for research charities, food banks, the NHS, and many more. It would be groundbreaking. With live streams becoming such a popular form of entertainment, surely this could be an idea worth investing in?
There would be obvious hurdles and festival organisers would have to treat those who had bought tickets to the physical festivals with care and consideration, however if refunds are already issued for festivals not going ahead this year, or if ticket-holders are offered a place for next years festival instead. If live streams were billed as taking place and shared with us all, surely that would be an amazing uplifting experience for everyone.
Major festivals would have the social media knowledge, marketing tools and funding to hopefully deliver a polished and professional livestream experience. Drawing on inspiration from those festivals I have mentioned previously, created by music magazines DIY and Dork. Both festivals to the viewing eye ran without so much as hiccup. Granted I do not know what had gone on behind the scenes, but I avidly watched both and they were fantastic. DIY chose Instagram as their provider, and acts had hour long slots on Instagram live to perform. Dork continue to host their festival on their own website, instead opting to harness a mixture of live and recently pre-recorded content, to showcase acts over a number of different stages with varying slot times. As well as performances, both festivals also had different angles such as artist radio shows, story telling, comedy and so on. This worked wonderfully well for both events, and I for one thoroughly enjoyed. Very generously the publications also donated all funds raised to charity or the NHS.
Let’s hope I’ve predicted the next big thing here, and this is already something the likes of Glastonbury, Reading and Leeds, Download and many more are keenly looking into. Imagine the varying genres each could offer, the donations just one festival alone could drum up. Live streams are proving to be immensely popular and personally I feel it would be a trend our innovative and ever-changing festivals could certainly build into something stratospheric .
Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours.
Whilst the world is in lockdown, it may seem as though gigs and live music are a distant memory for many of us. However, even in these strange times, there is one shining beacon that is continuing to bring joy to music lovers, and it is a phenomenon that is sweeping across the music scene.
Live stream sessions, are becoming increasingly popular, with hundreds if not thousands tuning in to watch their favourite artists performing on social media platforms, such as Instagram.
Musicians are providing us with an intimate live performance, from their home to ours. We are given possibly the closest insight into their lives, that we may ever have. Combined with the fact that these performances are so beautifully DIY, there is just something so raw and real about them, that makes them wonderfully special.
We see first-hand those little swirls of nervousness, chit-chat with fans, nods to watching family members, stumbles in their performances and laughter. The songs we love are stripped back to their bones, often we can be gifted to an acoustic rendition we may never have heard before. Personally, I feel as though we’re experiencing music in what could be its purest form. It is as though we are hearing the songs we love, in their original demo format, and there is just something so blissfully rewarding about that.
Even though these shows are being brought to us over our phone, tablet, or laptop screens. So far, I have yet to notice any terribly bad sound quality or severe lagging issues. I guess it is a little nod to how good our modern-day technology really is; often taken for granted, but it is in times like these we realise how important it is.
During a period of isolation, live stream gigs are creating a sense of togetherness. Music fans are interacting over live chats, sharing their favourite songs, moments, and memories together. All whilst enjoying a unique performance from their favourite musicians.
Album Listening Parties, Social Media Account Take-Overs, Q&As… the list goes on. It is remarkable how many wonderful, innovative ways we as humans are finding, to enable us to still hold on to that sense of community we share, by continuing to discover and create.
Their existence is bringing so much joy and happiness to our new found world, whilst also helping to combat those feelings of loneliness that many are incurring. High praise is certainly deserving to the artists contributing. Despite this being a period which will certainly go down in the history books as something terrible, in an obscure way it is also helping me to see how much goodness there really is in this world, solely from our overwhelming love for one another and that sense of community we still strongly share, even though we’re apart.
Rory Wynne is the next shining star to burst out of Manchester’s flourishing music scene. Showcasing a unique blend of indie-pop, Rory is not shy in taking charge of his own music career. You’re saying hello to the writer, performer, recorder and producer of his own music, which is certainly impressive.
Already championed by the likes of Radio 1 and NME, Rory is making a bold impact, and his music speaks for itself. Upon embarking on his headline UK tour, Rory wowed avid gig goers. Since then he has secured a string of residency nights in Manchester, as well as playing a show at iconic venue, Jimmy’s.
Echoes of summer nights, and carefree fun scorch through Rory’s whimsical tracks. His latest single ‘Roses’, is another undeniable indie hit. Dusky vocals scatter like petals throughout, but Rory’s sharp lyrical capabilities soon scar us with their thorns, as the track embodies that peculiar sting from lust for love, and ghosts of mistakes that are capable of entrancing us all, especially when they relate to that one person we adore most.
Driven by want and desire, ‘Roses’ is as lyrically dreamy, as it is catchy. Rory’s passion for music is clear to hear; the track is so brilliantly put together. Each verse, chorus, and even the song’s breakdown, are meticulously crafted to grow a truly beautiful track. 80s synth and modern indie clash, as Rory presents us with a singalong hit you’ll be blasting through your speakers in no time.
Rose-tinted by name and by nature, ‘Roses’ really does bloom. Lustful lyrics and vocals are charged by captivating music, that really emphasises the charm of this track. Lyrically and musically, Rory has got it spot on here, and I’m very excited to hear more from him in the future.
‘Roses’ is out now on Very Clever Records, and is available to stream through all platforms
If you like your music loud and untamed, Saytr Play certainly pack a punch.
Following on from the release of singles ‘Future’ and ‘VCR’, I am overjoyed to share that Saytr Play have released their debut EP ‘In Truth I Fear For The Heart’ today. Saytr Play are a chaotic, brilliant burst of energy, hailing from Manchester. My passion for their music rung clear in my recent review of their single ‘VCR’, and I cannot emphasise to you enough how brilliant this band are. Their sound is a modern twist on rock and roll. Influence is sought from classics of the past but Saytr Play are definitely bold in placing their own unique stamp, bringing in that added swagger of indie rock music gloriously.
If you like your music loud and untamed, Saytr Play certainly pack a punch. Their debut EP is full to the brim with songs to sing your heart out to; from the anthem of ‘Everyday Since’ to the fast-paced fun of ‘VCR’. This EP grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go. As an added bonus for the acoustic lovers, there is also a gorgeous acoustic version of ‘Future’ to close the EP. The 4 tracks shine marvellously together and showcase that beautiful array of sound that Saytr Play capture so well.
This band are undoubtedly ones to watch. Their music has blossomed incredibly over the years, and this EP is surely that spark to ignite them. Already renowned for their frantic live performances, fans of Saytr Play are obsessed, and if you listen to this EP I am sure you will understand why. Guitars blare out, and front man Fred Farrell’s vocals are fantastic. Combine this with such an incredible stage presence, and I’m certain we’ve struck gold.
You can stream Saytr Play’s Debut EP ‘In Truth I Fear For The Heart’ on all platforms now, or you can purchase a copy directly from Saytr Play at www.saytrplay.com
Saytr Play are expected to tour via This Feeling later in the year, new tour dates are to be confirmed.
Rosehip Teahouse are back with a beautiful, woozy track written in isolation by lead vocalist Faye Rogers. Always sharing messages of positivity and kindness, Faye is a movingly brave lyricist who sings openly of our innermost human emotions and fragile experiences. Her latest track is a glowing beacon in dark times. Her vocals soar on the DIY single, and it is a delight to listen to.
A slice of indie goodness, soothing and soft. It highlights a tender, delicate subject and wraps it in sweetness.
Faye of Rosehip Teahouse has a gorgeous gift of comforting listeners through her music. ‘It’s The Wrong Time’ is about those self-destructive thoughts that often invade our minds when we are on our own, and linger. Faye has written and performed the song to raise awareness that we are not alone in encountering these frightening feelings, despite feeling like we might be, and to help those who may be struggling during such a strange period of our lives.
Everything about this song is beautiful; its vocals, its meaning, the subtle backing music. The track is simply made, but truly glows. A slice of indie goodness, soothing and soft. It highlights a tender, delicate subject and wraps it in sweetness. Faye’s voice is set against twinkling sounds from a keyboard, which compliments the serenity of her latest single, and swirls us around in a lullaby haven. Although ‘It’s The Wrong Time’ does have lyrics relating to unnerving thoughts, worry and fear woven within it, the song is subtle and so caringly delivered by Faye, it is a beautiful safety net rather than a trigger. Personally, I believe a lot of listeners will find solitude and peace within this blissfully blended track.
I commend Faye for once again having the boldness and bravery to record such a touching, emotional song and perform it with such wonderful composure.
If you enjoy listening to Rosehip Teahouse’s latest single, please do go and listen to their other singles on Spotify, and tune into any livestream sessions Faye is performing on Instagram. Often, you will be able to hear unreleased music that the band are working on, and I assure you these are equally as stunning. The band hail from Cardiff, and have performed a string of gigs locally and further afield over the years. Next time they are playing near you, it would be wonderful if you would go out and see them live. Their shows are completely mesmerising. I featured them as one on the best, emerging Welsh bands that you need to know about, back when I first started my blog in December 2019. You can read that here if you like.
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‘It’s The Wrong Time’ is out now exclusively on Bandcamp.
I always have and always will hold a soft spot for Matt Maltese. His music is melancholy but strangely comforting and it has been a huge part of my life over the last few years. I keep both of his albums, ‘Bad Contestant’ and ‘Krystal’ dear to my heart, so I was delighted to discover that he has shared a new track with us all today.
I need not explain much about the single, for it is entitled Ballad of a Pandemic, and given our current global climate I’m sure you can all guess what it is in relation to. Matt Maltese however somehow breathes joy into our world, with his gorgeously woeful vocal delivery and oddly comedic suggestions; “Help your neighbour even if they’re not nice. Help your neighbour even if they’re hostile” he pleads. The lyrical content of the song is serious, of course it is, and it is without doubt that it sends a very strong message of love and hope for us all to stay safe in these uncertain times, however, I do love Matt for those little elements of madness he incorporates so beautifully; “Sit tight on your couch like a soldier in a dressing gown.”
I have cried to this man’s songs over my lifetime, and I have laughed. Often during the same track, which I know is slightly concerning. However, because of that ability he harnesses to so carefully balance emotion with wit, I believe that he is the only musician able to write a song about this horrific situation we’re all in, and somehow get it right. As I have said before, he is the king of wounded lovers, he guards hearts and he is a bizarre type of comfort blanket to me. I adore him, and I admire his bravery and boldness in releasing this song.
What is most kind-hearted about the release is that Matt is donating any profit made from the single to The Trussell Trust. An organisation which supports a network of food banks across the UK, and provides emergency food and support to people in poverty. A very worthy cause, and it has actually touched me how much of a lovely gesture this is.
Let’s please all help support Matt and this wonderful organisation by streaming and purchasing his latest single ‘Ballad of a Pandemic’