Sunday, January 21, 2018

The Soft Moon shares new single 'Choke' ahead of forthcoming album and European tour

Words: Ellie Ward

Ahead of a mammoth European tour, and with his new album 'Criminal' set for release on February 2 via Sacred Bones, Berlin via Oakland artist The Soft Moon - aka Luis Vasquez - is sharing new single 'Choke' from the upcoming record.

Speaking about the track, Vasquez said: "I created 'Choke' as a theme song to my recurring corruptive behaviour. It’s emblematic of my sleepless nights, wandering the streets of Berlin like some paranoid animal, while capturing the unbearable sound of my pulsating heart deep inside my chest. Full of ego and full of fear at the same time."

‘Criminal’ is a confessional work. Through the stark lens of shame and guilt that has followed Vasquez since a violent childhood growing up within the humming ambient sprawl of 80s Mojave Desert, here he documents the gut-wrenching sound of going to war with himself. Battling with his own sanity, self-hatred, insecurity, self-entitlement and grappling with the risk of these things transforming him into a person he despises, Vasquez has laid his feelings bare with this: his confession and most self-reflective work to date.

Live EU/UK dates

02 Baden, CH - One of a Million Festival
03 Marghera, IT - C.S. Rivolta
06 Copenhagen, DK - Pumpehuset %
07 Gothenburg, SE - Pustervik %
08 Stockholm, SE - Slaktkyrkan %
09 Oslo, NO - Bla %
10 The Hague, NL - Grauzone Festival
11 Berlin, DE - Urban Spree
12 Berlin, DE - Urban Spree
13 Berlin, DE - Urban Spree #
14 Paris, FR - Le Trabendo #
15 Amsterdam, NL - Paradiso Noord #
16 London, UK - The Dome #
17 Brussels, BE - Orangerie (Botanique) #
18 Luxembourg, LU - De Gudde Wëllen #
20 Yverdon Les Bains, CH - L’Amalgame #
21 Milan, IT - Magnolia #
22 Rome, IT - Monk #
23 Napoli, IT - Lanificio #
24 Bologna, IT - Covo #
07 Munich, DE - Kranhalle §
08 Leipzig, DE - UT Connewitz §
09 Hamburg, DE - Hafenklang §
10 Cologne, DE - Gebaude 9 §
11 Saarbrucken, DE - Garage Club §
13 Nijmegen, NL - Doomroosje §
14 Lille, FR - Les Paradis Artificiels §
15 Nantes, FR - Stereolux §
16 Lyon, FR - Epicerie Moderne §

% w/ Matteo Vallicelli
# w/ Sarin
§ w/ Helm

New video from Sun Arcana for 'Everybody' with upcoming support dates with The Xcerts

Words: Ellie Ward

Essex band Sun Arcana - a Little Indie One To Watch 2018 - have revealed their new music video for 'Everybody'.

Directed by Rolling Vision, the clip showcases a softer side to the band, reflecting on personal struggles and emotional vulnerability.

“We came up with the foundations of ‘Everybody’ after I'd been through probably the hardest time in my life," says guitarist Harry Acreman. "I’d just spent five days in hospital following surgery and was really keen to go home. The first thing I did was pick up my guitar and play the chords. This song reminds me of that struggle, but also how friends and family really helped you get through it. The lyrics reflect this - letting someone you care about know that it’s okay to open up and ask for help."

Sun Arcana will support The Xcerts at Kingston’s Fighting Cocks on January 25.

The National release their government inspired video for 'Walk It Back'

From from last year's 'Sleep Well Beast' album, The National have shared a new video for 'Walk It Back'.

Directed by Casey Reas, the video features clips from various political broadcasts through the years such as Ronald Regan’s State of the Union address, and speeches from Newt Gingrich, Bill Clinton, Karl Rove.

“It captures the pomp and rituals of Congress and its vainglorious, televised culture,” says Reas of the video, released yesterday (January 20) on the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s inauguration. “The spoken text at the center of the song has been attributed to Karl Rove, George W. Bush’s advisor, but he has denied the association.”

Watch above.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Live Review :: YONAKA + Valeras + Method Actress :: Green Door Store, Brighton - Jan 17 2018


YONAKA + Valeras + Method Actress

Green Door Store, Brighton

January 17 2018

Words/Pictures: Steve Willcox

My first review of the year takes me to Brighton where money is riding on the main act becoming the next big thing. As I take my place to see local band Method Actress, I find myself surrounded by 70 people which is a good sign that I'm about to witness something special.

Their opening number ‘Private View’ sets the ball rolling with their distinct dreamy guitar-based pop sound. Vocalist and guitarist Milo McNulty’s voice has an upbeat Morrissey edge to it, and along with Max Wright’s synth and guitar riffs it works the room into a swaying audience. ‘Mistress’ their debut single from last November, has such a catchy hook to it that it keeps on playing on an endless loop in this reviewer's brain. Kit Wharton's bass and Ben Lippett's drums are strong throughout the set and perfectly in sync for ‘Point of View’.

Method Actress

Closing number ‘Fall’ is well received, and it's not suprising, coming as it does with great flamboyant lyrics, such as: "ripping up roses and tearing the seeds / and putting them back / to where they were meant to be." Since these guys moved away from the more grungey sound in Milo and Max's former incarnation as Morning Smoke, and introduced a more pop influenced vibe, it will hopefully see them attract the wider audience they deserve.

Next up are Valeras, a five-piece from Reading who mix an indie pop vibe with Americana and grunge-punk - all fused perfectly together. I found that were strangely recognisable and it wasn’t until I looked back into the Little Indie archives and found that I had reviewed them at Camden Rocks last year with much praise.

First song, the self titled ‘Valeras’, ramps up the evening along with Max’s continuous drumbeats and the band's fast paced delivery. This soon gets the crowd in from the bar and the floor starting to fill, as they watch Rose and her gang deliver some awesome tunes. Rose's voice is quite understated with that kind of bluesy quality to it that grabs the attention. This group is guitar heaven and has some good heady fretwork from Cat, George and Kate who also provide some nice backing harmonies.


‘Painkiller’ was probably my personal favourite of the set as it shows real depth and attitude from the band, along with deep hooks and beats. ‘Knives and Flowers’ (from their debut EP) has lost none of its magic played live, and along with Rose's angst-ridden lyrics, it blends well with Cat’s lead guitar as the perfect sparring partner. Last song ‘Colour Me’ perfectly sums up this band’s ability to connect with the crowd and to get them perfectly wound up for the main event.

Finally, it's time for headliners Yonaka to alight the stage and really get the room filled to capacity and the action started. Much has been said of them over the last 12 months and there can't be many 2018 Ones To Watch lists that they don't figure on.

YONAKA's Theresa Jarvis

They blast off with ‘Hurricane’, with Theresa Jarvis’s stunning sharp vocals playing against the heavy drums of Robert Mason, Alex Crosby’s superb bass lines, and the frenetic guitar work of George Edwards (who is sporting a massive black eye courtesy of an over eager Reading gig last week; Theresa claims it was her handywork due to a few missed chords.)

It’s a big setlist tonight for their homecoming gig, 11 songs of pure exhilarating joy all packed inside this railway shed under the railway station. Theresa certainly knows how to entertain the audience as she throws shapes, dances and struts across the stage like a cat on a proverbial hot tin roof. The crowd loves the energy this band provides and shows their adulation with plenty of spontaneous moshing and singing towards the stage. 2016 breakthrough song ‘Drongo’ sets the crowd appreciation up a further notch, as its dark guitars and thundering bass hit off the walls, before new song ‘Loner’, segues into the soulful and downbeat ‘All In My Head’ seamlessly.


‘Fucking With The Boss’ - brought out live for just the second time here - is a fun hip-hop, guitar-based song, ideal for the last part of the show, and brings the crowd surging forward with hands in the air, as the beats went down. Fellow Brighton locals The RPMs are also spied loving this, showing support tonight for their local brethren, before both head to Texas in March to play SXSW.

‘Bubblegum’, their latest single and taken from last year's 'Heavy' debut EP, is the closing song of the evening, so the band brought their biggest guns out onto the floor and totally ripped up the stage. I’ve seen energy before, but this is something in a different scale entirely; by the time the song finished I was already in the mosh area and along with people's arms round my shoulders, was to be found jumping up and down with the best of them. Phenomenal!

Live Review :: This Feeling Big In 2018 Showcase :: Nambucca, London - Jan 13 2018


This Feeling Big In 2018 Showcase

Nambucca, London

January 13 2018

Words: Georgia Murphy

Pictures: Alan Wells

Club promoters This Feeling have had more than a decade's experience in knowing a good emerging band when they see one, and this year’s Big In 2018 showcase proved yet again they have their finger on the pulse.

Opening proceedings tonight was the groovy Lucie Barât, who wooed the crowd with soulful and intelligent blues-rock. She sashayed around the stage and definitely left the already busy crowd wanting more.

Birmingham band The Surrenders manage to charm their way into everybody’s heart with their brand of psych-tinged, Led Zep-esque riff and roll. Instilling a warming sense of nostalgia while nimbly sidestepping the retro sound, the band possess a delicious ability to rock the hell out of an audience, while unleashing astute songwriting dynamite from every available string.

A brilliant discovery for many is London-based three-piece Calva Louise, a marriage of punky ferociousness and sonic hooks perfectly in line with the escapist zeitgeist that This Feeling encapsulates, and a frontwoman in Jessica Allanic to keep make them definitely ones to watch.

Regularly touted as one of the best live bands currently on offer, Avalanche Party certainly did not fail to impress with a sumptuous and rambunctious wall of sound. Spirit in buckets, the turbulence of their stage presence was infectious as hell as the crowd went wild to ‘I’m So Wet’.

The grunge cheerleader trio, Lauren, Lizz and Sophie - aka Hey Charlie - were hotly tipped, having recently returned from an enormous tour with All Time Low. Swinging their trademark blonde hair in unision as they served head banging slices of fuzz and distortion, the set was a hypnotic party.

Himalayas are certainly going places, with a string of This Feeling dates lined up and an invitation to perform at SXSW in March. Their very distinctive sound instills an electric combination of soul-warming nostalgia and anthemic sing-along-ability.

Gold in the rock 'n' roll Olympics has to be awarded to Sheffield's Sheafs, a band fast becoming legends for the lawless deviance in their live set. It saw a beer soaked crowd erupt into an anarchic regression of civilisation, ending with multiple mosh pit casualties crawling wide eyed to the side of the room, yet still managing to shout along to ‘This Is Not A Protest’. This band have to be seen to be believed.

The band on everybody’s lips are of course, the Bowie-princess fronted Anteros, who distributed their cosmic anthems to a heart eyed audience. Injecting a huge syringe of happiness into everybody present, their standout tracks ‘Breakfast’, ’Drunk’ and closer ‘Anteros’, turned the room into a glittering love-in of the highest order.

The leather jacket clad gang that make up Judas closed the show, with the crowd up for anything at this point. The Kings Of Leon-esque indie with a massive sound was strung out with fervour and impeccable tightness to a bouncing crowd.

With Nambucca rammed to capacity, all nine bands fed the crowd a big bowl of rock 'n'roll, and This Feeling showed they know their stuff, with the galactic level of talent on stage all indeed, big.

Best new tracks coming up from Down Under #3

With the vibrant indie music scene in Australia and New Zealand constantly outshining much of the output from their British and American cousins, Little Indie picks our weekly bunch of some of the best new tracks on offer.


While the name is perhaps not the most inspirational, the music from this Melbourne electronic pop duo - Mitch (vocals, guitars, keys) and Dan (drums, programming) - is well worth a listen. This single - released January 15 - is all kinds of mellow and atmospheric.


A return to Little Indie for Wellington, NZ electronic duo Bright Music (Nik Brinkman of Physical and Bevan Smith of Introverted Dancefloor) after we featured them last month as a Track Of The Day with debut single 'Splash'. This follow up sees them a little more beat-driven, with accompanying piano - plus a few squawks here and there.


A new name to us is Canberra's Zack Jenkin, trading as Powder Blue. This lo-fi, dreampop minimalist track appears to be his first offering - and the alternate side to 'Strawberries & Cream', released on January 18.


Adelaide rock four-piece who formed late 2017 when they released first EP 'Thoughts', now drop this emotional yet powerful rock ballad single; written, recorded, produced, mixed and mastered by singer and guitarist, Paul Bakker, in his home studio/bedroom.


Sydney's Jono Ma, of synth-rock trio Jagwar Ma, has teamed up with fellow Aussie, dance producer Dreems, for a new EP 'The Dreemas', released January 19, from which this rather fine shimmering techno/synthpop number of looped vocal and burbling bass comes.


The Brisbane quartet released their debut album ‘This Is Our Vice’ in 2016, with breakout single 'Come On Mess Me Up' impressing The 1975's Matty Healy enough to see Cub Sport join them on their Australian tour the same year. This pop-ballad track, recorded and produced at home by lead singer/songwriter Tim Nelson, shows the band's emerging soul and R&B influences coming to the fore. On tour in Oz through February/March, they head to the UK in May.