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Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Answer release a single that goes back to their cultural roots

 

 

Ireland’s The Answer are riding a wave. Last year they released an album, Solas, that was as ambitious as it was melodic. It contained the song In This Land, which has now been released as a single. It was about being in a band, getting local, then national success and moving away, returning. Althought the song is set in Ireland, it is full of the characters that anyone who has ever been involved in a local music scene will recognise. Some make you laugh, some make you cry and other will leave you thinking “Um, are they talking about me here”.

 

 

Singer Cormac Nesson describes it “The song is about growing up in Northern Ireland and the sense of cultural identity that such an upbringing spawns. It’s a very colourful and wonderful place, at times contradictory, at times tragic but always unique and oh so memorable. It’s something we’re all very proud of; our little land has been responsible for its fair share of heroes, criminals and stars!All of this come across through erudite lyrics, dextrous playing and a sense of arrangement that would make Van Morrison happy.

 

 

While The Answer might not be everyone’s cup of tea, they are excellent at what they do. At times you kind of want them to push the envelope, both sonically and musically, but In This Land is a great introduction to a band that have more to offer than a first listen might lead you to believe….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Django Django transform GULP into a delicious slice of woozy pop!

 

 

Wow! Just wow is the only real response after listening to Django Django’s remix of Gulp’s Search For Your Love. Gulp is made up of Lindsey Level, Guto Pryce and Gid Goundrey, but there is a rag-tag bunch that contribute when needed too, giving the project a free flowing vibe, which complements the music.

 

Search For Your Love is a continuation of Gulp’s 2014 album Season Sun, but instead of resting on their laurels, Gulp have pushing their musical boundaries. Everything have as cinematic essence to it that oozes danger and heartache. There is also a 1970’s sheen to the production, making it hard to know when the song was actually recorded. Is this is new band, or have the tapes been hidden in a studio, like The Dragons,? But it’s the remix that Django Django delivered that is the real show stopper. It sounds like Duane Eddy has collaborated with Goldfrapp in the early 1990’s while Andrew Weatherall produces. The sound of the past is present, but everything has a contemporary pop sheen.

 

 

Search For Your Love is out now through O

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another slab of gypsy swing majesty from Jorge’s Hot Club

 

 

Jorge’s Hot Club are a breath of fresh air. Their brand of gypsy swing is infectious. For those of you who haven’t yet had the pleasure of witnessing their barnstorming live sets Jorge’s Hot Club pilfer pop culture for its ripest musical apples to re-interrupt it to their DIY gypsy punk vibe. In the past Disney classics like King of the Swingers and Everybody Wants to Be a Cat have been put through Jorge’s musical mangle. Now they’ve turned their attention of pop music from the 1930’s.

 

 

Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen was originally a hit for the Andrew Sisters in 1938. Loosely translated to Mean That You’re Grand, the song is about trying to woe a partner by flattering them. The chorus sums this up “Bei mir bist du schon, you’ve heard it all before, but let me try to explain, Bei mir bist du schon means that you’re grand, Bei mir bist du schon, it’s such an old refrain, and yet I should explain, It means I am begging for your hand”, but it’s in the delivery that Jorge and co really sells its message.

 

 

2017 is looking like the year the gypsy swing really tries to crossover into the mainstream media, after bubbling along under the surface. Through the rise of the Post-Modern Jukebox the genre is starting to reach a bigger audience, but what separates Jorge’s Hot Club from their peers is their wild abandon, their ability to shred and their ability to turn even the most serious subject matter into something that makes you want to dance!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Coma Queens = short catchy lyrics + spiky melodies

 

 

A punk three piece works. It’s a fact. There is something about the mix of stripped down guitars, visceral vocals and a driving rhythm section that makes it hard to ignore. Michigan’s Coma Queens are the latest band to capitalise on this.  On their recent self-titled EP, they’ve recorded and released four songs that are full of vigour and passion.

 

 

The stand out track is It’s You. Its ninety seconds of pop-punk perfection. With lyrics like “I’d tell you that I love you but you wouldn’t believe me anyway, Even though I just wanna be with you all day, Believe me when I tell you I’ll always be true, I never thought I could fall in love with a girl like you. Honey it’s you. When I go to sleep baby I only dream about you, I hope you never leave me honey I don’t ever want you to. Believe me when I tell you I’ll always be true, I never thought I could fall in love with a girl like you. Honey it’s you”It’s hard not to fall under Coma Queens’ spell!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Laura White is a name you might want to remember…

 

 

Imagine the scene, your at a Northern Soul night, the dance floor is dark and hazy, and suddenly a thumping beat kicks in, you go through your memory banks and can’t place it, but you dance on. In fact you dance as if your life depended on it. At the end of the song you traverse your way through the dancefloor to the DJ booth and ask “Mate, what was the last record?” the DJ gives you a sly smile and says “Laura White-That Girl”. You blink and look bemused. “Who?” you ask “You’ll know her soon enough” he replies before playing another banger and you are drawn to the dancefloor. When you wake up the next day you remember Laura White and play this as loud as you can take, and it all comes back.

 

 

That Girl is one of the best Northern Soul tracks to come out in recent years. The opening salvo break beats could have been recorded in any of the major production powerhouses over the past 50 years. White’s vocals have a classic vibe, but are grounded in 2017. And the backing track is to be embraced and adored. There are hints of Winehouse, but doesn’t do either artist any justice. White has her own thing going on, but there is that Winehouse ‘classic’ vibe to it. Basically White is that girl!

 

 

The Painted Door will be released 10th February through iluvlive Records

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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L.A. Witch ooze cool. As corny as that sounds it’s true. Before even hearing their music, they look like girls you would want to hang out with. Their thrift stool vibes and ‘take no prisoners attitude’ is enough to tell you that they mean business. And then you hear them…. The world starts to skew horizontally, everything goes into slow motion and you are captivated. The elegant ragged beauty of their songs belies their collective power at melody and hooks.

 

 

Latest single Brain sounds like Donita Sparks and Wanda Jackson rolled into one covering the Velvet Underground at the Brown Derby on a Thursday night. But their music is much larger in scope. L.A. Witch conquer up the feeling of early evening sound checks, hazy sunlight drifting through dusty windows, a drink in the sun after finishing work, an stolen laugh as you cycle past a couple, catching the eye of someone special in a crowded room, the threat of violence during a incendiary gig, and all of it being captured in beautiful Kodachrome.

 

 

Brain appears in L.A. Witch’s debut album, which has all the hallmarks of being the must have slow burning psych album of the year.

 

Here are L.A. Witch’s upcoming fixtures:
See L.A. Witch live:

13th Feb – BE Bruxelles, Le Chaff
14th Feb – UK Manchester, Night and Day
15th Feb – UK Bristol, Crofters Right
16th Feb – UK Glasgow, Broadcast
17th Feb – UK Leeds, Temple of Boom
18th Feb – UK London, The Lexington
19th Feb – UK Brighton, Hope & Ruin
20th Feb – FR Le Havre, Mac Daid’s
21st Feb – DE Köln, Sonic Ballroom
22nd Feb – DE Berlin, Kantine am Berghain
23rd Feb – DK Copenhagen, Stengade
24th Feb – SE Gothenburg, Skjulet
25th Feb – SE Malmö, Grand Öl & Mat
26th Feb – DE Hamburg, Hafenklang
27th Feb – DE Frankfurt, TBA
28th Feb – DE Tübingen, Epplehaus
1st Mar – FR Lyon, Le Sonic
2nd Mar – FR Strasbourg, Laiterie
3rd Mar – FR Rennes, Ubu
4th Mar – FR Paris, Paris Psych Fest
5th Mar – CH Vevey, Studio 603
6th Mar – CH St. Gallen, Schwarzer Engel
7th Mar – CH Lugano, Il Casotto
8th Mar – IT Torino, Blah Blah
9th Mar – IT Roma, Monk
10th Mar – IT Firenze, Tender
11th Mar – IT Carpi, Mattatoio

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Young Fathers are the band, on the Trainspotting 2 soundtrack and firing on all cylinders!

 

 

Back when I was at school a film came out that, basically, shook everything up. That film was Trainspotting. A stories about junkies in Scotland was about a million miles away from my live in Dorset, but there was something about those characters, that film and its soundtrack that really connected with a teenage me. Now there is a sequel, T2, and its looking like all those old emotions could be re-awoken.

 

 

The lead single from the soundtrack is Only God Knows by Young Fathers. When this Hip-Hop trio exploded onto the music scene in 2010 they were a breath of fresh air, but little did we know that their 2014 debut, Dead, was going to win the Mercury Music Prize and birth their genre shifting follow up White Men Are Black Me Too. Only God Knows follows on from this, but blurs the boundaries of what Hip-Hop is/could be to the point that by the half way mark you don’t know what you’re listen to.

 

 

Only God Knows opens with a throbbing church organ and the Leith Congregational Choir delivering some soul saving vibes, before Young Fathers join the party with a pounding drum beat, subtle basslines and evangelical lyrics. Halfway the song breaks down to faux acapella revelations before everything it build up again.

 

 

The real power of Only God Knows is how it mixes Hip-Hop, gospel, a DIY recording ethos and the lyrically fervour that Young Fathers are praised for. In a nutshell, its gospel-punk sounds like nothing else around at the moment. But the stand out moment is whenever the Leith Congregational Choir join. At firs their inclusion was jarring and felt out of place, but after a few listens they anchor and ground the song together. Why did Young Fathers want to work with them? Because “There’s nothing like singing with your Aunties” the band exult. And who doesn’t like singing with family? Only God Knowns…

 

 

Only God Knows is released now through Big Dada, physical release in March

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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