After a hiatus from releasing music, Swansea favourites Trampolene return with rousing spoken-word track ‘Come Join Me In Life’.
Fronted by Jack Jones, Trampolene are certainly not a band to shy away from. Boasting music that is unapologetically loud, outspoken, and bold. This 3-piece have garnered a reputation for packed-out, reckless, and brilliant live shows.
Quickly becoming infamous for their ability to combine raucous indie rock music and spoken word poetry, capable of intoxicating any chaos-hungry audience. Future crowd pleaser ‘Come Join Me In Life’ elevates Trampolene even further, as it delights with a no holds barred, gorgeously untamed approach. Definitely one that Jones will have fans reeling back to him at every upcoming Trampolene gig.
Stirring, and at times intentionally and purposefully unsettling. The singer-songwriter addresses us as though we are a boisterous crowd pouring down a flooded street. Jones at the forefront, demanding justice for each and every one of our lives.
A modern-day wordsmith, delivering poignantly punchy points and fiercely frank truths. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ is poetry that invades your mind and overtakes your voice. Etching itself upon your memory, with an eerily divine presence. “I belong in this poem and I belong in this pen. I belong in your head every now and then.” Through gloriously unrefined and powerful words, Jones has made clear impact, as the phrase “working-class hero” surely springs to mind. Aiming to empower and encourage, walking the line between rebellion and redemption, with glorious reckless abandon.
Heightening emotions, challenging thought processes, and demanding us to firmly grasp what we want out of life with both hands. ‘Come Join Me In Life’ fuels political fires and breaks from convention, as the track roars in solidarity with recent cultural and historical movements. Jones taking centre stage as that pillar so desperately needed, to prop up every single underrepresented voice. Giving much needed encouragement and support at a time where we must stand united to survive.
‘Come Join Me In Life’ is out now via Strap Originals
Horizons are set to embark on their Independent Venue Week Tour of Wales. Between the 25th-31st of January prepare to be enthralled by exciting sets from the incredible new Horizons prodigies, as well as performances by many other Welsh bands, including special appearances from HoldingAbsence and Junior. As sessions from the artists are streamed online, there is a focus on not just marvellous music talent, but also a spotlight on various venues across Wales.
The Horizons tour will celebrate and champion Independent Venues, in need of as much love and support as we can muster, following the unprecedentedly tough backlash of COVID-19. Although we won’t be attending these glorious Welsh venues in person for now, we can certainly be present in spirit, with Horizons streaming sets at 12pm each day for viewers to enjoy at home.
Immerse yourself in the best new musical talent Wales has to offer, right from the heart of our beloved independent venues. From mountain top Neuadd Ogwen in Bethesda, to the west coast’s Queen’s Hall in Narberth. We journey to the modern Galeri in Caernarfon, and flow into inner city hubs Sin City in Swansea and Le Pub in Newport. Across the upcoming days, Horizons Independent Venue Week Tour of Wales will explore some of our most cherished venues. Celebrating and showcasing their crucial role, fostering the next generation of Welsh music talent.
Bethan Elfyn, Project Manager of Horizons for BBC Wales said:
“We’ve been watching helplessly as Covid-19 has kept venues and theatres from opening, keeping communities that need each other apart, keeping us from watching, supporting and growing talent in Wales, and keeping us from the benefits of wellbeing and personal growth that music brings to life.”
“Independent Venue Week is a chance to celebrate everything about our map of venues around Wales, the maverick producers and promoters behind the venues, and the talent that would normally fill the empty buildings with life. The tour is a celebration of what we have, what we miss, and a nod to the future when we can get back to the community that we’ve missed.”
The line-up of musicians to perform, include hip hop artist Mace the Great, r&b singer Faith, rock band Those Damn Crows, urban siblings Leila McKenzie and K(e)nz, country vocalist Jodie Marie, alternative singer-songwriter and producer Rona Mac, low fi enigma Ennio The Little Brother, Gwilym frontman Ifan Pritchard, blues rock pair Alffa, female duo Body Water, and electro pop artist Malan.
In what will be a rather special but poignant week for music, Horizons are taking the opportunity to bring us closer together. Sharing sets from artists, your stories and our memories of music at its very greatest, as emerging talent has thrived through independent venues. Show your love for your favourite venues by streaming and sharing throughout the week, with Horizons.
Despite the unprecedented challenges that 2020 has brought upon music, I have been incredibly inspired by the continued efforts of musicians and the entire industry. Those who have dedicated so much of themselves to creating. Doing all that they can to bring joy, in the darkest of times.
To celebrate their unwavering determination, I am so pleased to share with you, a list of 5 of my favourite EPs from this year.
Rosehip Teahouse ‘Chillin in the Void’
Wrapped in serenity and sweetness, Rosehip Teahouse’s first EP of 2020 quite literally transports its listeners away to another realm. From the softest twinkles of synths, to dreamy lullaby vocals from lead singer Faye Rogers. ‘Chillin in the Void’ is a completely mesmerising offering from the Cardiff-quintet. In tune with both music and emotion, Rosehip Teahouse infuse gentle instruments against tender lyrics. Enabling them to create a blend of indie-pop, that is poignant, but oh so pleasant. Yet, if one EP wasn’t enough, swiftly following ‘Chillin in the Void’ was latest EP ‘Fine’, another gorgeous slice of music goodness from Rosehip Teahouse.
Bursting with all of the brilliant enthusiasm and flamboyance that we have grown to expect from Cardiff’s Buzzzard Buzzard Buzzard.‘The Non-Stop EP’ is home to seventies power struts and a cool retro vibe. Certainly a delight to discover during a rather desolate year. Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard have a keen sense of embracing music from the past, but ensure they bring it bang up to date, with their own unique twist. Dancing with modern-day politics and an unabashed jest. We groove from the fun Double Denim Hop to the satirical quips of Hollywood Actors. With ‘The Non Stop EP’ catapulting this rising band headfirst into the spotlight.
Hauntingly beautiful, Manchester musician Lindsay Munroe entrances through debut EP ‘Our Heaviness’. Set against the backdrop of a rigid religious past, Munroe bestows her anguish in gorgeous confession. Pairing eerily muted vocals with a beguiling soundscape, ‘Our Heaviness’ is an EP bearing tracks that latch onto their listeners, and resonate within our very core. With Munroe evoking such a bold honesty, her music is profoundly moving, particularly the track Split. There is a captivating literary-feel present throughout her songwriting, that implores us to pry deeper into her inner-psyche. Proving that Munroe is not only a wonderful musician, but a fascinating muse.
London-based Talk Show have been acquiring a stirring buzz around their music for some time now. From a reputation for fearsomely frantic live shows, to brooding new single releases. 2020 saw the band present their highly anticipated EP ‘These People’. Boasting brash anger and unwavering lyricism, ‘These People’ is in full grasp of its gritty sound. Frontman Harrison Swann, an intoxicating enigma, standing centre stage among a band who channel all of their energy into these fast-paced, unforgettable anthems – look no further than Petrol Head, if you need clarification. Dominating a sinister charm, Talk Show rouse an indescribable impulse, dragging listeners kicking and screaming toward their addictively fierce new breed of punk.
Bittersweet and bold, Phoebe Green portrays the delirious intimacies of a corroding relationship on latest EP ‘I Can’t Cry For You’. Taking the listener on a hypnotic thrill ride, Green rebounds from the hard-driven indie of Golden Girl, to the distorted psychedelia in Grit. Unhinging senses and pushing the boundaries of every comfort zone, on her lyrically bruising but brilliant EP. Awakening a new persona, Green glows with flame-orange hair and a witty humour. As ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ bares a musician not afraid to toy with our inner-most thoughts and feelings.
2020 has seen Phoebe Green literally “Reinvent” herself. From a striking new single in July, to her current EP release. The Manchester based singer-songwriter has awoken a new persona, and she is certainly not one to be messed with. Possessing flame orange hair, and a dark witty humour, Green is flourishing. All while raining a glorious revenge down on whoever wronged her. As her latest EP ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ stands bold, beautiful and brilliant. Green is turning heads, and it is clear to hear why.
Each track on the EP delivers an unwavering frank lyricism. Echoing a similar approach from her 2016 album ‘02:00am’, yet Green appears scorned on this latest release, and there is no denying the reflection of that within her music. ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ is a phenomenal depiction of a decaying relationship, captivating the listener throughout. On opening track Reinvent, Green adopts a dark and brooding vocal approach. Bittersweet as it meanders through a turbulent scenario, exploring the self-identity struggles that arise when this finally ends. Instruments are kept low and biting, adding to the moody ambience that builds throughout. We feel this intensity deepen further on Grit. With Green’s vocals descending to an almost delirious, hazy lull. The entire atmosphere becomes unnerving, conveying the deranged feelings that can often accompany a narcissistic relationship.
Switching the tempo back up on Golden Girl, Green’s familiar light-hearted vocals return. An upbeat, but direct track. Golden Girl snipes at its subject, as though Green is directly addressing a disgruntled ex-lover. With a fierce femme approach, Green asserts herself beautifully. Standing out as an ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ anthem for getting over someone. Closing the EP is final track A World I Forgot, another hypnotic psychedelic indulgence from the indie musician. Matching the vibrant orange and green splatters that adorn the EP’s cover art. Green sways between hardened indie power-pop and swirling psychedelia, instantaneously. Highlighting the emotional and psychological challenges, that can be inflicted by a chaotic lifestyle and undeserving lovers.
Whether it is through a satirical swirl of synth, or the clout of a full band. Green’s vocals shine, wherever she lends her voice. With an ever-growing confidence, ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ has seen Phoebe Green soar.
We wait with bated breath, to marvel at the heights a sophomore album will soon take her.
Stream ‘I Can’t Cry For You’ on all platforms now via Chess Club Records
Stepping out of the flamboyance and fun of previous release ‘Her Name Is Juniper’. For new double-A side ‘Fake Yourself’, Mr Bewlay takes on the far more somber role of an eccentric lone pianist, and the results are nothing short of sublime.
Stirring vocals and soft piano keys entrance, with Bewlay knowing just how to enchant our minds. The title-track explores self-identity and the pressures society can inflict. Bathed in an ebony and ivory soundscape, gorgeously quirky vocals are layered on top. Without the use of synths, the single allows us to hear those vocals in their entirety. As lyrics deepen in intensity so do they, and the peacock-feather display of pitch and range, is truly spectacular.
Treading into a softer sound, the single’s accompanying track ‘Lovelife’ tenderly touches upon rejection, heartbreak, and all of the emotions that manifest in-between. It is unflinchingly truthful, and cloaked again, in beautiful piano music. Showcasing Mr Bewlay’s talents as not only a keen vocalist, but a fine pianist. A fact that is prominent even more so, on bonus instrumental track ‘Stentorian’.
Described by Mr Bewlay as “retrospective and inwards looking”, ‘Fake Yourself’ is a brave expose from a confident individual, who admitted a slight nervousness in releasing such raw and unhindered music. Upon listening, we yearn that those nerves melt away, as ‘Fake Yourself’ is a mesmerising peek into the mind and talent of a fascinating musician.
Cradling tender emotion in the palm of their hands, is a skill that Cardiff indie-pop band Rosehip Teahouse have completely perfected. Boasting a back catalogue of gorgeously cathartic music. Latest EP ‘Fine’ merges old and new tracks, entwining memories, thoughts and feelings into just shy of a blissful 15 minutes.
Swooning vocals from lead singer Faye Rogers glide ever so delicately across a soundscape of lightly placed instruments. Twinkling keyboards shimmer among a subtle pop of synths. While guitars nip, and drums dance, adding just enough grandeur to collate that “full band” sound. Rosehip Teahouse carefully ensure their blend of instruments is not overpowering, but instead provide a sound that is wholesome and pleasant to the palate.
It is a delight to rediscover gems such as ‘No Gloom’ and ‘Summer Sleep’ from very early demo recordings, alongside new singles ‘I Meant What I Said’, ‘A Million Times’ and ‘I’m Not Whole’. We hear a progression in songwriting style as Rosehip Teahouse have grown, yet cherish the emotions forever present within their music. Embodying such poignant pleasure, from their very conception as a band.
Of Rosehip Teahouse’s latest EP, Faye expresses; “The fine EP is a collection of moments that span from 2016 to now. They cover love, losing love, fighting an eating disorder that wanted to take me over completely, my unregulated emotions, dreams (both literal and metaphorical) finding some sort of meaning amongst it all and coming out the other side, slightly stronger as a result of it. A lot of the songs are re-arrangements of the very earliest Rosehip demos and it’s been really cathartic and really special to let them free with the help of the rest of the band. I hope people can relate to the songs, give them a home for a bit and feel at least a little supported in the struggles we all have staying grounded in this overwhelming world.”
‘Fine’ is without doubt, another firm favourite, more than capable of capturing hearts and bottling heartbreak. Exquisite in its fragile delivery of unwavering lyrics, Rosehip Teahouse share a true depiction of our innermost self-doubts and worries. Swathed within the most beautiful music.
Stream ‘Fine’ on all platforms now via Big Indie Records
This year has seenHorizons’ most diverse selection to date, with a record number of female and black musicians awarded funding. Putting a spotlight on the exciting growth of MOBO (music of black origin) throughout Wales.
Musicians from a range of genres have received funding to aid their career development.
If you’re unfamiliar with Horizons and the work they do. Horizons are a Welsh music collective, formed from a partnership between BBC Cymru Wales and the Arts Council of Wales. Focused on supporting Welsh musicians, producers and record labels. Horizons have an active presence on social media, and are advocates for Welsh talent. Investing, supporting, and providing a platform for music in our country to grow.
The Horizons Launchpad established in 2014, has so far helped to support more than 200 Welsh artists, in over 60 towns. Providing £210,000 worth of funding, to pay for the for likes of studio time, music equipment, promotion of releases and a multitude of projects, for the musicians selected each year.
During an extremely tough year for music as a whole. Horizons Launchpad have awarded £40,000 in total, between a mix of musicians, taking the crucial next steps in their careers. Welsh record labels High Grade Grooves (Caernarfon), Recordiau Jingcal (Cardiff) and Something Out of Nothing (Cardiff) also received funding, as Horizons deepened its support of grassroots, who foster and provide a platform for emerging talent.
Deciding which lucky applicants are chosen to receive funding, is a panel of 25 experts from across the Welsh music industry. Made up of musicians, DJs, industry representatives, radio presenters, PR, bloggers, and many more!
This year, I was given the incredible opportunity to be a part of the Horizons Launchpad Panel
Being on the launchpad panel for 2020 has been such a rewarding experience. It was amazing to see a number of applicants that were so passionate about developing their music careers. Showcasing such an innovative flair, while remaining considerate of the implications of COVID-19.
I was moved by musicians who took the DIY approach in hand, and yearned to create something otherworldly. Whether it was recognising the importance of social media self-promotion, or thinking about utilising the skills of Welsh freelancers to help with their creations. Music from all genres are bursting out of Wales, and it is clear to hear the love for music, that every single person who applied has!
The most treasured part of the process for me, was seeing the sheer determination that everyone applying possessed. It’s no secret that 2020 has brought unprecedented challenges to music, but the passion and creativity of so many of YOU, is just completely inspiring.
I want to say a huge congratulations to every artist or label awarded funding, and also a massive well done to everyone who had taken the time to apply to the Horizons Launchpad. You’ve all done yourselves, and Welsh music, extremely proud!
Horizons will be celebrating this years Launchpad Results with a multi-platform virtual festival, highlighting the new artists!
Frosty nights, cosy firesides, mulled wine, and mistletoe. December is here, Christmas is fast approaching, and serenading us this festive season is the gorgeous new single ‘Something About Christmas’ from Welsh singer-songwriter Rebecca Hurn.
‘Something About Christmas’ is mesmerising in its entire composure. From tender emotive pangs, to cosy Christmas references.
With vocals as soft and soothing as a choral choir, Hurn has crafted an exceptionally stunning Christmas song. Lacing lovelorn lyrics, amongst delicate instruments. ‘Something About Christmas’ is mesmerising in its entire composure. From tender emotive pangs, to cosy Christmas references. Hurn pairs the comforting warmth of the festivities, to the bitterly cold sting of missing a loved one, ever so beautifully.
Hurn yet again proves to be a captivatingly relatable muse, and the perfect soulmate for any lost romantic.
Allowing us a peek into her own personal diary, as the countdown to Christmas draws only nearer. Hurn shares her innermost thoughts through music and opens her heart to the listener. As ‘Something About Christmas’ swells with emotions that swirl like the twinkle of fairy lights. To follow on from the release of previous single ‘Love Like This’, Hurn yet again proves to be a captivatingly relatable muse, and the perfect soulmate for any lost romantic.
Similar in sound and style, to rival vocal competitors such as Maisie Peters and Taylor Swift. Rebecca Hurn carefully cradles fragile feelings, and enchants with the glow of all that the festive season brings. Seeking influence from favourite films, and timeless Christmas tracks. Hurn gracefully portrays her very own meaning of yuletide, by telling her story through song and transfixing each and every listener upon her journey.
Reminiscent, breath-takingly beautiful, and filled to the brim with nostalgic Christmas notions. ‘Something About Christmas’ is sincerely sublime. Surely a song that we will yearn to listen to, even as Winter comes to an end. There is such charm in its intriguing honesty, a beautiful bond formed by Hurn’s personable delivery, and a majestic magic in the building music, that glides in tempo as though falling snowflakes adorning a winter night’s sky.
‘Something About Christmas’ is a gorgeous musical gift from Rebecca Hurn, that we can truly fall in love with this, and every December, that follows.
Stream ‘Something About Christmas’ on all platforms or purchase here!
Bold and charismatic, an intoxicating charm blazes from the flamboyant powerhouse and emerging talent, that is Mr Bewlay. If personality alone is not enough to draw you in, and I dare anyone not to swoon under the spell of this captivating young musician. Latest single ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the psychedelic spark that will ensure you fall head over heels for this intriguing “mista”.
Owning an eccentric Bowie-esque swagger, Mr Bewlay demands our attention from the very get-go and ‘Her Name is Juniper’ soars with effortless precision. Turning a sharp tongue to lyrics that drip in bubbly lovelorn lust, and pairing them with a melodic soundscape of synths. Showcased is a true showman, impeccably switched on to what sounds good and harnessing the electrifying capabilities of shooting to stardom, with both a driving talent and compelling alter-ego.
Oozing all of the makings of a musical muse, Mr Bewlay is mysterious, wickedly brilliant and devilishly fun. An enchanting character that dominates both their sound and style, ‘Her Name is Juniper’ is the catalyst that will surely send them to the stratosphere.
Having produced a single so strikingly catchy, Mr Bewlay can boast their intent of enchanting any and every listener they ensnare. There is no denying that ‘Her Name is Juniper’ will snake around your mind and invade your brain, nestling itself delightfully into your memory, until its firmly lodged at the top of every playlist and listened to on repeat. It is a chaotically fantastic funhouse, for all of our senses.
For fans of Adam Ant, Mr Bewlay is a musician that exudes such a delectable confidence. Something so inherently appealing is paraded by their utterly compelling uniqueness. A trait that makes them stand out and shine bright, above all others.
There is an overwhelming urge to shout loudly, that Mr Bewlay will soon become the next big thing we will all be talking about, listening to, and loving. Whether it is a result of the magically mesmerising ‘Her Name is Juniper’, or their vibrantly playful personality leading the charge. I for one, cannot wait to watch them skyrocket.
With a passion for supporting emerging musicians. The exciting South Wales based initiative Forté Project, have launched their new application process. Giving six lucky individuals, the chance to join their prestigious talent development project.
Previously only available to young musicians from South Wales. Following support from the PRS Foundation and the Arts Council of Wales. The Forté Project will now embark on an application process, spanning the length and breadth of Wales. Uncovering new voices that are currently under-represented in the music scene, and positively impacting upon the journeys of those successfully selected.
Supporting six acts between the ages of 16-25, in their early music careers. The 6-month programme the Forté Project have tailored, will offer professional industry support. Providing bespoke artistic and personal development, through a series of online industry masterclasses, 1-2-1 mentoring, business guidance, and professional well-being support.
Applications to join the Forté Project open Monday 9th November and close Sunday 29th November.
With a voice so soothing and tranquil, we find ourselves transported by the breathtaking beauty exuding from Welsh singer-songwriter Rebecca Hurn. Latest single ‘Love Like This’ pairs long, sweeping vocal pitches with an elegant cradle of instruments. Kept strikingly tender, through a subtle and soft musical composure. It is delicate yet daring, hereby its lyrical content.
A thrilling love story, the track proves to be a captivating listen. The tale of two star-crossed lovers, and a seemingly doomed fate. Yet their adoration for one another outshines all odds. ‘Love Like This’ is a whirlwind fairytale romance, embodied though music. Both enchanting and cathartic, the track swells with emotion and a loving grace.
Placing itself gently among the realms of indie-pop. The track straddles elegantly between a cool twinkling pop sound, and an immersion within the growing indie-folk/alternative scene. Echoing vocals reminiscent of both pop sensation Maisie Peters, and folk-queen Laura Marling. Rebecca Hurn’s capability of softly blending these two genres in such a gorgeous way, surely stems the roots for unrivalled future success.
Already making an impact, Rebecca Hurn received an award for earlier single ‘Waves’ at the Independent Music Awards in New York City, and was again nominated upon the release of ‘Homesick’. Making her the only Welsh artist to ever receive the prize, throughout the ceremonies 18 year history, and the only unsigned UK artist to be nominated in the same category consecutively.
Latest single ‘Love Like This’ was released as a result of Rebecca Hurn being one of twenty artists selected for the Re_Balance Programme; a pioneering initiative providing studio and recording space for emerging female musicians. At Old Castle Studios in Leeds, Rebecca Hurn teamed up with award-winning producer and sound engineer Rhiannon Mair, along with studio assistant Laura Williams. It was here, that her own original song ‘Love Like This’, was then recorded and mastered over five days.
A passionate and driven individual, Rebecca Hurn’s music is soothing and comforting, but also incredibly inspiring. With a global reach firmly in her sights. We wait with bated breath, to marvel as to where her voice will take her next.
Infusing tender romantic blues with light guitar work. Pascxl (pronounced Pascal) creates an atmospheric soundscape of acoustic pop, that simmers against deep vocal hues. Latest single ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’ is a woefully tender love song, that pairs longing lyrics with a soothing sound. Perhaps a subtle nod to baroque pop. The track dreams of crushing melancholy moments, with slight echoes of jazz adding a subtle jolt to wake us back up again.
Caressing and rousing in equal measures. Pascxl cleverly combines blushing indie-pop with a splash of lo-fi magic, to create music reminiscent of a canvass of stars, lighting up the nights sky. Both innovative and alluring, Pascxl self-records and produces tracks from a garden shed studio setup. With an inspiring DIY approach, met by a profound passion for music. There is such an indescribable charm, surrounding this mysterious musician.
Perfecting a delicate balance of heartbreak to self-assurance. On latest track ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’, Pascxl strings along lovelorn lyrics, to enchant any listener. Whilst remaining unwavering, bold and beautiful, rooted by an underlying vocal strength, as romantic notions glide effortlessly throughout the track.
Setting a sultry atmosphere, the song is a story, as much as it is sound. A captivating collaboration of music and lyrics, setting a scene to cradle us back to those memories of long lost lovers, that we had kept locked away in our hearts, until now.
Allow yourself to be transported away, within Pascxl’s otherworldly track ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’. Bathed in aching lyrical romance, gentle rhythmic acoustics and tantalising pops of percussion. It is a lo-fi gem, just yearning to shine. Crafted by the tender vocal and musical talent, of multi-instrumentalist Pascxl. A very promising muse, who is certain to capture the hearts of anyone who hears their music.
Stream ‘The Moon Is Not Enough’ on all platforms now
As Cardiff continues to produce an array of exciting and talented musicians. Meet Static Inc. A three-piece alternative rock group, who are crossing borders not only musically, but also where language is concerned.
Combining both English and native Welsh within their debut track. Latest single ‘Tangelo’ is enriched by its varied blend of tongue, adding an interesting perspective. Lines interchange their language seamlessly, meaning verses are coolly multi-lingual, in an effortless transition.
Often musicians sing in just one language during a track, but to hear two very different languages laced together in such a way, is a breath of fresh air. Despite drawing on lyrics that are solemn and moody. The gritty realness that exudes from this debut is refreshing, as Static Inc place heart and personal experience within their music.
Based on a bedrock of rumbling alt-rock. Static Inc build truly expansive music, as they progress through their multi-layered track. Standing at an impressive seven minutes, ‘Tangelo’ is segmented with upbeat, catchy guitar solos, that schmooze against fizzing drums. Musical correlations flow from one part to the next, and motions are fluid-like within this rock-operatic daydream.
Varying sections create a single that is digestible and easy to listen to. Even with its lengthy playtime, ‘Tangelo’ never falters. Faint hums of influence spark from Queen’s 6-minute ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’, with similar styles that only deepen in intensity as the minutes progress.
As a strong instrumental closure brings ‘Tangelo’ to its crescendo. Drums clash with an industrial fury and guitars pulse along in a medley of sound. Incorporating an entirely different style, when compared to the multi-lingual lyrical moodiness of the opening few minutes. These purely playful 4 minutes, allow for such a profound instrumental pitch, that charges the track with a new lease of energy.
Static Inc are clearly a budding new band, out to prove that language is certainly no barrier when it comes to music. All whilst harnessing a unique and intriguing sound. Capable of telling a story entirely its own, without the use of any words at all.
Music thuds through the walls, and the building shakes from the blaring pulse of the speakers. As doors fly open, and countless people weave in through the darkness. The packed-out gig is hot and humid. Filled with laughter and noise, beer and chanting. Livelier than any stadium, a wall-to-wall show at Fuel promises to please. The band on stage certainly do not disappoint. Gritty guitar work, blaring vocals, and clashing drums engulf the room, delighting the eagerly awaiting crowd.
An atmosphere that is surely engrained within heavy metal band SouthBound, who celebrated the release of their debut EP ‘Even Angels Sin’, to a packed-out show at Cardiff’s Fuel Nightclub in January. Determined not to let lockdown deter their spirits, the band have been working hard on creating their sophomore release. Proudly presenting, latest single ‘Bermuda’ to the world.
A gritty guitar anthem, you can really sink your teeth into. ‘Bermuda’ roars with feminine ferocity. Lead vocalist Megan Jenkins sets the tone, as ravaging guitars and drums whir around her. Choosing to keep pitches low and biting to begin with, the band allude to that sinister tension, building throughout their music.
Providing sublime guitar pitches, substantial enough to satisfy any rock n’ roll fan. Classic influence from giants such as Slipknot, Slayer and Avenged Sevenfold are clear to be heard, and evoke this bands hungry desire. Resulting in the grungy, alternative soundscape that charges ‘Bermuda’.
Rooted within the heart of the Welsh Valleys, a passion for music runs deep in the veins of SouthBound. There is such resonating energy present, that rings clear through their music. Instruments are pushed to breaking-point, with a fearless style of playing. Vocals are steeped in Megan’s rich Welsh accent. It is these bold touches of home, that push SouthBound forward in Cardiff’s metal scene, and ‘Bermuda’ is certainly a promising catapult.
Living, rehearsing and recording amidst Tottenham’s bustling warehouse community. Musical-outlet World News have clear intentions of becoming an indie band on the rise. With latest single ‘Lend Me Your Brain’ pairing hooking basslines to rhythmic jangled guitars. Low-pitched vocal purrs provide the final ingredient, to create a sound that is blisteringly direct.
There is no denying that this band know exactly what they want, and there is a sense of certainty that they will soon achieve it. With such a bold style rooted to their music. We can feel the soul of its very core. Notes of nostalgia hum from lead vocalist Alex Evans, particularly in the subtle understatement to his voice, remnant of years gone by. While smooth basslines glide in close comparison to The National. Faster-paced segments hone the slightly unhinged approach of main inspiration, Squid. With just enough lo-fi distortion creating character, World News may have a sound that is direct, but it is far from monotonous.
Subtle tempo changes and moving rhythmic pitches, allow the track means of flow and direction. Matching in tempo, to its lyrics. Written during the breakdown of a relationship, ‘Lend Me Your Brain’ explores peaks and troughs of anxieties as they bubble away, whilst coincidingly battling painstaking doubt, and a reckless abandonment of one’s own self. Yet all the while, remaining eerily grounded. As the music flows, so do thoughts, feelings and emotions. Brushing against the grind of daily life. The bass rumbles on like the rattle of the underground tube, vocals simmer like the swirls of fumes that clog the air. Condensed in sound, as though packed into the claustrophobic warehouse confinements. Lyrics are brought to life by their music.
It is these pops of sheer genius, that set World News apart from anyone else. Runaway brooding segments, in which the bass takes over and rampages throughout the track, like an emotional train wreck. Vocal drones that demand attention, like a jilted lover needing to be heard. World News are taking control of their sound and style with brilliant assurance. As Debut EP ‘Job and Money’ is set for release on 18th September. Dominating the indie genre, is surely next on their agenda.
‘Lend Me Your Brain’ is available to stream on Soundcloud now
Streaming on Spotify from 18th September, along with their Debut EP ‘Job and Money’
Sultry and slow burning. Delve into the intoxicating confessions of Vienna-based musician Fleming, through latest single Guilt and Pleasure. Led by a seductive blend of electronic percussion, mixed by Grammy nominated producer ill Factor. Slinky piano keys glide against drawn-out guitars, to brood among ambient atmospheric vocal pitches. There is an undeniable sleek, professionalism present. So authoritative and impactful, we are swept off our feet.
Exploring the experience of a simultaneously playful and powerful relationship. Guilt and Pleasure mirrors its musical intensities, as exquisitely as its lyrical prowess. By style and sound, we are captivated within this rousing contemporary track. Submerging soft R&B with soulful, modern blues. Fleming exudes energy similar to the late-great Prince, with a slant in sound towards Childish Gambino or Steve Lacy.
Guilt and Pleasure is a soundscape that fizzes with a passionate, eloquent vibrance. Lyrically entangled in the reckless lust of youth, yet rooted in nostalgic 1970s notes. Fleming chimes “Just take me back to the hotel room, and let me love you” as lyrics swathe against a gorgeous, simmering retro-authenticity. Swaddled are woozy synths, with hazy distorted vocals. Adding considerable body and depth to a track that consciously balances the chaotic current day, with a homage to decades and genres past.
Dark romantic notions linger, as though Fleming is hunting the forbidden source of his desire. Under late-night hazy skies, that merge with crowded smoke-filled rooms. Wine glasses gleam under golden spotlights, where stolen glances are exchanged. Guilt and Pleasure teases at sentiment and hooks our attention. Certain are its demands that Fleming is one to watch, with a tender yet mischievous nature.
Through a pulsing guitar, we are hurtled into the fast-paced, loud and untamed music of South Wales’ Alternative Rock Band Feverjaw. Since bursting onto the scene last year, they are a band that have made an impact, and their music continues to be very well received by fans and the industry alike. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that they are planning to unveil their debut album very soon. With first single Bloodwork due to be released this Friday (4th September).
As boisterous guitars meet the clash of drums. Sparks fly on their tantalising latest track. With an opening riff that is strong and punchy, Feverjaw ensure we are hooked within the very first few seconds. Gritty rock music, delivered in a fresh and exciting new way. Bloodwork is fuelling and gloriously energetic.
Vocals from lead Dale Hawkins blaze through with bold ferocity. Providing that biting satisfaction, as this track roars to life. Exuding an undeniable air of confidence, Feverjaw are unflinching in the message they wish to convey. Brooding lyrics thrive over intense instrument playing, meandering between menacing and subtle melancholy. There is a definite ‘fight over flight’ fury that is uplifting and inspiring. The raucous music tearing throughout the track, ensures Feverjaw can be heard loud and clear. As Bloodwork shines to become an anthem of positivity.
Stirring and vibrant, Feverjaw are undoubtedly giving us a little more than just rousing rock music alone. With lyrics laced in thoughts and feeling, this sense of self and empathy that burns throughout their music, adds a layer of depth to your typical rock n’ roll façade. As we discover a band capable of becoming a beacon of hope. Feverjaw grasp rock music with all of its chaotic energy, and channel this to confront chaotic emotions head on.
Bloodwork is out on 4th September via Tone Burn Records
Combining cool, crisp vocals with a mellow soundscape. Welcome to the gloriously creative world of musician Matthew Barton. The release of EP Queen of England on a limited run of cassettes, affirms a spark of eccentricity, whilst a gorgeous vintage nostalgia flows through his music.
With simple bass hooks and tender guitar strums. Music is chilled yet quirky, basking in subtle looped-rhythms and tantalising pops of synth. DIY percussion patters throughout, and we are instantly transported to hazy days in Laurel Canyon. Sat around a smoky campfire sunset, ready for this roaring retro-trip. Just visualise that washed out sepia grain in your favourite old photograph. It is clear to see that Barton creates music as though it is a cherished snapshot in time, reincarnated in 2020.
Opening the EP with Cruising. Barton utilises varying vocal and guitar pitches, to create a mysterious ambience. Laced with lyrics of jealousy, longing and lust. The track introduces us to an ingenious aspect of musical experimentation, as Barton combines sinister high points with delirious ‘crooner’ vocal lows. As the tape flows through to second track Queen of England, we propel forward with a prominent percussion beat and an upbeat charm. Marrying oddly well with Barton’s jesting lyrics, that take a jab at the monarchy and state of the world. An impressive vocal range is once again displayed in majestic fashion, along with that undeniable flair for self-production. Showcasing numerous instruments played and recorded. Barton charges forward with a kaleidoscope of musical influence, ranging from the grunge of PJ Harvey to Spector 60s surf-pop.
Next track Lady Jane Days is a short interlude, at just over a minute long. It cools us down, and delves into the delectable laid back sound that dominates the overall style of this EP. Stripping the soundscape back to crunching guitars and subtle piano keys, Barton crafts a tender yet biting track, reminiscent of TheDoors, as track Barb bursts with 60s Rock Revolution. So rooted is this gritty vocal delivery,Bartonshines as a captivating muse, through rousing lyrics and a suave musical style.
Signature ballad of the EP Alcatraz, has a lyrical slant towards memories and ‘the grass is always greener’ concept. It’s a white picket fence nightmare, cradling what we have in one hand, with what we desire in the other. Barton’s vocals are serenely soft and almost chilling, brooding over this thought-provoking tune. We feel the turn of the key, as he unlocks himself from those shackles of day-to-day constraint, spilling secrets and thoughts, in harmony with his detuned guitar. The longest track of the EP, Alcatraz flows so fluidly in its tender format, with simple beginnings in gentle playing, building to become raucous and rampant as the track deepens.
Penultimate track Judy Garland perfects its fizz of 60s pop. With radio crackles and vintage vibrance to boot. Lo-fi beauty displayed in all its ambience. The track has an abundance of lovelorn groovy vocals and melodious harmonies. Gifting that brilliant Beatlesque sound, one could only dream of! Guitar and drum pitches are repetitive and rhythmic, creating a song that is catchy and charming. As the EP comes to a close through final track When I Was Young. Tempos glide by in a yearning lullaby, to cast our minds out to the horizon and drift away on a gentle breeze. Melancholy, vintage blues wash over our consciousness. Caressed by Barton’s soothing soundscape. The beautiful lead-single of the EP, praised by BBC Introducing for its “Stevie Nicks-style” sound.
There is no denying that Queen of England sets a striking musical scene. A culmination of stories, moments and memories, embodied through rich vocals steeped in nostalgia and a sun-kissed charm. The variety of instruments used only enhance the gorgeous eccentricity, with a self-produced realness captured on the lo-fi four track recording.
Through Barton’s self-confessed “postcard from quarantine” we are swept away to another place and another time. A clever musical escape, that will surely resonate with many.
Queen of England is available to stream and purchase now via Knifepunch Records
Exploring emotion and self-expression in such a profoundly beautiful way. Discover the latest EP from Rosehip TeahouseChillin in the Void. Led by the breathtaking vocals of Faye Rogers, Rosehip Teahouse hold our hand through their wonderous journey. Gifting music that swells with woozy love songs, earnest daydreams and intense emotion.
Gorgeously soft vocals set against twinkling synths and instruments, to create the loveliest blend of indie-pop. Emotive lyrics are woven with care, resulting in music that is tender and nurturing. Ensuring a comforting warmth wraps around us like a hug. No strangers to addressing fragile subjects; Rosehip Teahouse strip emotions bare, presenting them in their rawest and most vulnerable state. With an honesty so stark, their music is undoubtedly tinged with sadness. However, the resounding amount of empathy overwhelms any other disposition.
Chillin in the Void contains three previously released singles; It’s The Wrong Time,Regretting It and Thought Number 3. Alongside two brand new tracks; Space to Think and Lightfooted, for Once. Each exquisitely written, is home to its own unique message, meaning or purpose. Such sincerity sparks from their unflinching honesty in harnessing everyday thoughts, feelings, and struggles. Alluding that the ordinary is indeed rather extraordinary.
Magic found from within nostalgia and pondering, when thoughts are turned into lyrics.
You can stream or purchase Chillin in the Void via Sad Club Records
Ahead of the release of their debut single Key Largo. I caught up with Cardiff-based indie pop band Angel Hotel, to find out how life has been for them since lockdown and what their plans are for the future!
Hi Guys! So first of all, I have to ask how are you all coping during lockdown? I hope you’re alright and staying safe and well!
Hiya Becky! We’re great thanks and thank you so much for including us in your blog!
How have you found the current situation? Has it impacted your music and how you all create as a band? Or have you managed to find a way to make it work?
Like a lot of bands dealing with the current state of the world – we’ve been doing our very best to make the most out of a bad situation. Not being able rehearse as a full band, let alone play live shows, has been detrimental to so many of us but on the plus we’ve been using this opportunity to write as much new material and refine our live set to the best of our ability given the bizarre restrictions. Simply put, we are VERY excited to start playing live again!
Eagle-eyed music lovers would have noticed that you have recently made the decision to change your band name! Formerly known as Apostle, you are now the newly formed Angel Hotel!
What were your reasons behind this? Can we expect an exciting new sound from Angel Hotel?
The change in name primarily came from an evolution in sound. The initial concept of Apostle would be a solo project, but as the music developed – and so did the band – we no longer felt that it was a suitable name to call the outfit. In addition to this we felt that the name Angel Hotel was a better representation of our sound, branding and artistic vision. As well as it being our new name, Angel Hotel is also a famous Cardiff landmark that’s housed a litany of international artist. It’s a Welsh icon, and is as Welsh as Bara brith! We’re inspired by our city and we’re proud to represent it.
Who would you say are your biggest influences in music, both previously and going forward?
The writing process behind Angel Hotel songs have always been inspired and in part influenced by existing films soundtracks, while also adding our contemporary twist to a classic sound. We love 80s films! We are trying to encapsulate the way they make you feel rather than the way they are sonically – It’s the sound of nostalgia. It’s the sound of hearing something for the first time as a kid and falling in love the way it made you feel. The easiest way to categorise our genre would be under the umbrella of power pop, with the audience likening us to that of alternative pop and even grunge. Others have said that we have a sound reminiscent Bruce Springsteen crossed with the high energy Blink-182. Whatever the comparison, we hope people enjoy it.
Your debut single as Angel Hotel ‘Key Largo’ will be out very soon!I’d love to hear all about your ideas behind writing it, and what fans can expect to hear from your new single?
It’s a contemporary love letter littered with introspective reflections and a poignant hindsight, combined with a drinking sesh haha. The song isn’t our most energetic recording recently, however I think it showed a coherency that was more representative of our overall direction.
With the release of a new single, a new sound, and a new band name to go with it! Are you hoping to record your debut EP soon?
Our EP has actually already been recorded! We are beyond excited with the results and it was an absolute honour to be able to record at the legendary Long Wave Studios earlier in the year. We’re just so happy that we not only got to work with producer Tim Woodcroft but we also managed to finish the whole thing in two days, long before lock down restrictions were enforced so we are undoubtedly counting our blessings. The plan so far is to release the EP as individual singles – possibly three our four – and then release another full EP a little later down the line. Artists tend to release one song at a time because of how Spotify has taken over! Wish we could go back to the old days of releasing a full album! We’re chuffed nonetheless.
As well as being the lead vocalist of Angel Hotel, Sion has also just released a brilliant single as a part of Taf Rapids Stringband, and his own solo music! How are you finding juggling different musical projects with being in a band? It must be a lot of fun, but a lot of hard work too!
I [Sion] have found it a lot easier with the introduction of lock down to be honest. Since I lost all of my gigs I have found time to write. Taf Rapids Stringband is a blue grass venture completely different to my other projects but a style of music I’ve always loved playing. There hasn’t being a huge amount of other stuff to get on with so it’s been a fantastic excuse to get stuck in with as much music related work as possible.
It is clear to see how much love and passion you all have for music! Looking back over just a short space of time, you’ve had your own tour, have supported the likes of Dan Bettridge and most recently performed for free in aid of flood relief in our South Wales valleys, which was extremely kind hearted of you! What would you say has been your favourite show to date?
To be honest we’ve only had four gigs! We had a lot more planned this year with festival season looming. But sadly due to the virus all the festival plans were inevitably cancelled. Sad times! However, back in February we were fortunate enough to play a headline slot at The Moon on Womanby Street [In Cardiff]. It was great to see so many faces in attendance and gave us a taste of what’s to come and a great motivator to focus on the band going forward. We’ve definitely put all of our energy into writing the past few months and have managed to put together a library of new potential tunes, hot and ready to record.
It was also great to see so many local bands coming together for a great cause during the flood fundraiser. Cardiff is host to a plethora of fantastic bands and the Moon Club has always been one of the best places in the city to discover new grass roots bands.
What are your ideas for Angel Hotel after lockdown? Can you share with us any hints of your dream album in the works, or any future tour plans?
We’d love to work more with Tim [Woodcroft] and it would be an honour to do loads more recording at Longwave Studios. We plan for making up for lost time, and we intend on doing this by booking as many gigs as we can as soon as lock down is lifted. The long-term plan is to continue to produced music of a high quality and live performances of an exciting nature. We are looking to forward to catching up with as much live music as we can as soon as restrictions lift. With so incredible local bands to pick on, we’re spoilt for choice! We’re willing to bet there’ll be plenty of shows in the pipeline.
The Debut Single from Angel Hotel Key Largo will be out on 14th August
Follow Angel Hotel on their socials below
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