Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Track of the Day: Night Beds - Head for the Hills

Night Beds were arguably my favorite new musical discovery of 2013. The band's indie-americana tones fronted by Yellen's lamented lyrics made for truly compulsive listening on their debut LP, Country Sleep. Their live performance at The Borderline was one of my favorite shows of the year too, showcasing the haunting beauty of their enigmatic frontman's vocals.

I'm delighted to hear new material from the band with their new single 'Head for the Hills'. Once more, a stunning piece of alt-indie songwriting, built around their signature loose guitar tone, simple, climaxing percussion and Yellen's vulnerable melodies; rounding of the Tennessee outfit's alluring sound.

There's no information on a new album or EP, so for now the below will have to do. And do, it does.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Track of the Day: S. Carey - Fire-Scene

Jagjaguwar, is a label who's output consistently stops me in my tracks. Whether it's Bon Iver's (and more recently Volcano Choir's) seminal debut and self-titled sophomore effort, Sharon Van Etten 2012 masterpiece 'Tramp' or anything from Okkervil River's incredible back catalogue - this label has been responsible for some of my favourite records of the past decade. So when I open an email concerning a new track from Jagjaguwar label-mate S. Carey, I do it with an air of expectation....once more, I am stunned.

Based in Wisconsin, the multi-instrumentalist S. Carey (Sean Carey) gained a name for himself for his work with Justin Vernon - providing thundering percussion and the lush harmonies which gave Bon Iver it's signature sound - however, on new track 'Fire-scene' he makes a statement of intent, illustrating the formidable songwriting talent which he himself poses. Centring around Carey's gorgeous, lofty melodies, delicate finger-picked acoustic guitar, rolling double bass and minimalist piano. There's a panoramic natural beauty to the track. Ambient sounds resembling footsteps through a field of tall grass, and the spaces that stand between, take you away to somewhere truly special.

The track is taken from Range of Light (out March 31st), the songsmith's follow up to his 2010 debut All We Grow. Expect big things.

Range of Light tracklist:
1. Glass/Film
2. Creaking
3. Crown The Pines
4. Fire-Scene
5. Radiant 
6. Alpenglow
7. Fleeting Light
8. The Dome 
9. Neverending Fountain  

The city's fire
Trapped behind the earth
Digging in your deepest dirt
The reddest hue
Reminds you of you
Clinging love and falling true
On and On
All I want is honesty
Tree has snapped
Sparks are flying everywhere
Cables burnt and lines flare
And when the all in all
Comes falling down
It was just an accident
Something you can't help
On and On
All I want is hone.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Track of the Day: Rae Morris - Skin

Rae Morris, simply put, has all the making of one of 2014's most exciting talents. 

At just 18 years old, she's managed to cram an impressive amount into her fledgling career; her track 'Don't Go' was used in the final ever scene of Skins, she supported the likes of Lianne La Havas & Noah and the Whale, Appeared on material from Bombay Bicycle Club, put out three EP's of her own AND managed to get herself signed to Atlantic Records. Not bad from the Blackpool-native.

With the release of her new track, 'Skin', taken from her upcoming debut album (details to be announced) due out this summer, there's clearly no sign of her her slowing down in 2014. The track received it's first play from Zane Lowe, a man who clearly values the maturity and depth she wields to create beautifully simple left field pop. Here's what the girl herself had to say about 'Skin':

'Skin is so simple and honest. There's nothing over complicated about human instincts and emotion. Recording it with Ariel Rechtshaid, and making the whole album, was very similar to Skin; a natural and uncomplicated process around amazing people and super talented musicians. I think after recording this song, the sound for the rest of the record became really clear.' 

The track is available to download for free here

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Lemonfest Announces 2014 Headliners

Following a hugely successful 2013, the gem of the UK’s one-day festival crown is back at Newton Abbot Racecourse, on Saturday 31st May, for its 5th year – and is set to be bigger & better than ever.

Exciting Leeds 9-piece Gentleman’s Dub Club, will be bringing their exhilarating live performance to Lemonfest’s Main Stage; alongside a showcase of established acts and the most promising up-and-coming artists, both locally and nationally.

Our first wave of artists also includes an array of talent, such as Bristol electronica quintet The Other Tribe, UK festival favourites Mad Dog Mcrea, plus Will and the People, Owen Penrice, and Moriaty, to name a few - with many more acts & stages to be announced, including some very special guests…

Tickets – Earlybird General Admission Tickets are just £16. Available here.



‘A little slice of musical madness in South Devon.’ – Topman [Lemonfest was named in Topman’s ‘Top 25 Festivals of 2013]

‘A temptingly cheap but tasty one-dayer’ The Telegraph

‘South Devon's biggest music festival’ 24/7 Magazine

Lemonfest is a one-day music festival taking place every summer in Newton Abbot, with live music & DJs across 5 stages, from midday until 11pm. Now celebrating its 5th year, Lemonfest has established itself as South Devon’s premier live music event.

Previous acts at the festival have included LUCY ROSE, BEN HOWARD, HARD-FI, REEF, TOPLOADER, THE SKINTS, COSMO JARVIS, LUKE FRIEND and many more; providing an array of local and national talent to keep everyone entertained.

It’s not all about the main stage however, with live music and DJs performing across the different arenas: including the Lemonfest Locally Grown stage – a showcase for up and coming local talent, The Big Top Dance Tent – with house & electronic DJs until late, and the Rinse:Out Drum and Bass / Dubstep Arena – which has previously featured the likes of NICKY BLACKMARKET, SUB ZERO, and MC HARRY SHOTTA.

With tickets starting out at just £16, it’s unbelievable value for unbelievable talent.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Track of the Day: Patch and the Giant - Daniel

Today's TOTD comes courtesy of London six-piece Patch and the Giant. The indie-folk stalwarts have been building momentum with the release of their debut EP, 'The Boatswain's Refuge', this time last year; with BBC airplay, impressive festival sets (including Green Man), and an upcoming national tour with Keston Cobblers Club.

The band have now unveiled their official video for, 'Daniel', taken from their debut. Filmed at The Grange in Ealing, it features the behaviour of an out-of-control, hedonist wreaking havoc on the inhabitants of the North London drinking hole. Enjoy!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Track of the Day: Small Houses - I Saw Santa Fe

Whenever people question why a music blogger does what they do (essentially give up a lot of their free time to promote other people's work, for no financial reward) - I explain that the reward is in the music.

Admittedly this sometimes feels a long way off, but then a song like this comes out of nowhere and just knocks you off your feet.....

'I Saw Santa Fe' is a truly stunning track taken off Small Houses upcoming album Exactly Where You Wanted To Be; out February 26th on Yer Bird Records.

The 8-track record is the creation of Michigan native Jeremy Quentin and shows this hugely talented and understated songwriter's indie-folk craft. On 'I Saw Santa Fe' his delicate and wounded vocals sit above a bed of simple isolated piano, building to emotional climaxes before gently subsiding. It's nostalgia drenched, but timeless...

If you listen to nothing else on my blog, make it this.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Track of the Day: Fickle Friends - Swim

2013 was an incredible year for pop music, with the synth-pop powerhouses Chvrches & Haim, as well as the R&B tinged sounds of London Grammar setting the year alight. Well, only a few days into 2014 and we have a statement of intent that this will be their year from Brighton five-piece Fickle Friends.

Their new single Swim is a gorgeously upbeat pop track full of bright instrumentation; bringing together the best of 80's pop sounds, complimented by delicious guitar licks. Jumpy melodic hooks and rolling bass-lines round out the track, giving it a truly summer feel.

The perfect antidote to those winter blues...