Author Archives: Katie Moore

UK Artist of the Week: Starry Skies

Recorded at Belle And Sebastian’s rehearsal rooms, Be Kind—the sophomore album from Glasgow’s Starry Skies—follows the band’s debut Ask The Animals and countless not-for-profit events that they have organized to give all kinds of bands a stage to play on.

Reflecting their preoccupation with helping others, the new album, as the title would suggest, reflects on the need for more kindness in the world, and will uplift the soul with its refreshing, positive spirit that runs throughout.

Combining a smorgasbord of genres, Be Kind is a treat for the ears as well as the mood. With elements of blues, folk, Americana, and indie rock, each track oozes its own unique energy. From the twinkling, jangly guitars and sweeping sense of romanticism of album opener and title track, to the driving, blues-ridden riffs of “Sugar Cane,” and the angelic, shimmering emotion of “I’ll Be There,” the album as a whole percolates with a sunny, heartwarming zest.

Layering delicate melodies with catchy, uptempo beats, there’s shades of all sorts to be found; from the gritty passion of the likes of Nathaniel Rateliff, to the infectious indie anthems of Teenage Fanclub, and even a hint of Bob Dylan. And tying it all together, the distinctive, raw emotion of front-man Warren McIntyre’s vocals, delivering thought-provoking and inspired lyrics.

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Needle Drop: BUNGALOW,
“Loving It”

PHOTO: RAYMOND VAN MIL | Having received acclaim from Noisey and Indietronica, Thomas Harmsen and Camille van de Pavert—aka BUNGALOW—create genre-defying sounds from an underground studio along the canals of Amsterdam. Support slots with big names like Public Service Broadcasting already under their belts, they have now released an utterly infectious new single.

An immense slice of glitchy indie-pop,”Loving It” races with soaring ‘80s-inspired hooks, building to a whirring electro anthem interweaving intergalactic layers of sound. A perfect summer dance-floor anthem, this latest offering will have you grooving all night long to its catchy, synth-filled sonic waves.

So, if it’s sumptuous, danceable earworms you’re after, then BUNGALOW are your guys. Just one listen of “Loving It” and you’ll be doing just that…

“Loving It” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: KOSCHKA

PHOTO: TOM ROELOFS | What an absolutely stunning find we have for you today. KOSCHKA’s “The Flood” is an absolutely exquisite piece of music from start to finish. Get ready to be mesmerised.

Despite being over 6 minutes long, this really is a track that just keep on giving. It was recorded in one take and combines KOSCHKA’s love of experimental and classical music wonderfully. It’s dark, it’s brooding, its emotional. KOSCHKA’s powerful vibrato soars beautifully over the captivating piano-pop melodies, creating something both haunting and dreamy.

It’s clear to see that KOSCHKA is a fan of PJ Harvey with this track, but her love of classical composers also comes through, making this track wholly unique in a world of modern electronic sounds.

“The Flood” is in stores now via Part Du Decor Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Nova Twins

Having received acclaim from The Guardian, Clash, Afropunk and even Rage Against The Machine’s own Tom Morello, London duo Nova Twins have been wowing crowds across the world with their explosive live shows for a couple of years now. With support slots for Prophets of Rage, Willow Smith, Ho9909, and Die Antwoord already under their belts, they’ve now blasted back into our ears with new single “Lose Your Head.”

Propelled by a dark intensity, “Lose Your Head” builds to an immense, frenzied climax as the gritty power of Amy Love’s vocals soar alongside Georgia South’s thrashing bass hooks. With this unique riotous energy and fierce spirit that has contributed to their ever-growing reputation as one of the most exciting live bands around, Nova Twins fuse elements of hip-hop, punk, and an eerie industrial force to create something truly spectacular.

Of the track, the duo explain, “Flipping punk rock on its head, ‘Lose Your Head’ is a rejection of off the peg opinions, a rallying cry and a celebration of difference, an invitation to walk your own path. We want to open people’s minds and invite them to the wild side.”

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UK Artist of the Week: Thee MVPS

Having already supported the likes of Flat Worms, The Parrots, and Ty Segall, Thee MVPS are fast building a reputation as one of the most exciting live bands around. And now, with new single “American Dreamin’,” they’re set to wow listeners once more with their immense, energy-fuelled offerings.

Emitting a raw, reverb-strewn scuzz alongside impassioned, riotous vocals and blues-infused riffs, “American Dreamin'” races with a thrashing energy—a perfect slice of snarling garage rock with shades of MC5 or The Hives. Fusing good old-fashioned rock ‘n’ roll with a unique, gritty edge, Thee MVPS is a band that deserves to be on your radar right now.

Set to blow away crowds at DIY’s Big Indie Big Nights this Wednesday, 11th July, Thee MVPS are the exciting dose of new music that your summer warrants.

“American Dreamin’” is in stores now. Catch Thee MVPS live, 11th July, at Two Tribes Brewery, London. Book free tickets here.

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UK Artist of the Week: Megan Airlie

This week’s artist of the week, Megan Airlie, transports us back in time with her absolutely stunning new single “Honey,” and it will give you all the feels.

Every now and again a truly unique artist comes along, and Airlie is one of these artists. Her voice is second to none, regularly drawing comparisons to the likes of Billie Holiday, and its clear why from the first 30 seconds of “Honey.”

She manages to combine her love of jazz and blues to create something that feels both modern and old school at the same time, and the latest single is yet another example of this, reminding us of cool summer evenings and forgetting the world around us. Think Holiday and Etta James as well as more modern Joanna Newsom, and you’re almost there.

Airlie first gained attention after releasing her debut single “After River” earlier this year, and it’s no surprise why. There really is no one doing what this Scottish songwriter is doing right now—and we can’t wait to see what she gets up to next.

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Needle Drop: Kid Cupid, “Unholy Ceremony” EP

Following the success of last year’s cinematic single “Easy,” London’s Kid Cupid have now shared their impressive and immersive debut EP, “Unholy Ceremony.”

A euphoric fusion of sounds based around conversations you’d have with a friend in pain, the EP kicks off with the whirring hooks and tribal beats of “Low.” Addressing the theme of codependency and the effect this can have on someone, the track flows with a majestic, sweeping emotion.

Continuing the blissful atmospherics, “Better” is an instantly catchy, feel-good anthem. Celebrating all the qualities we love about someone we care about, it exudes a twinkling grace; showcasing front-woman Laura Shaw’s vocals at their richest, as they soar with a subtle, soulful power.

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UK Artist of the Week: Aaron Ward

Sometimes, all you need from a song is simplicity—remove all the bells and whistles and let the lyrics carry the moment, creating something truly moving and poignant in the process. This is what UK newcomer Aaron Ward has managed to do so exquisitely with his debut solo single “I Don’t Mind.”

The track falls somewhere between the realms of electronica and folk, and Ward himself has been already compared to Vance Joy and Bon Iver—not a bad start if you ask us! But what Ward uniquely manages to portray here is a genuine sense of emotion which flows from “I Don’t Mind” by the bucket-load. Ward’s colloquial vocal style renders the lyrics all the more relatable, as does the clever video released in tandem with the single, set in a typical English pub where many a worry can be shared over a pint or two.

“I Don’t Mind” tackles a subject that is more important now than ever, highlighting the importance of friendship and the need to be more open. In a world with so much awfulness at the moment, we think it’s a message that needs to be sung from the rooftops. So sit back, grab a drink, and go have a chat with one of your oldest pals about their problems. You’ll be surprised what comes out.

“I Don’t Mind” is in stores now via Speak Right Records.

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Needle Drop: Sabatta, Misfit Music

With praise from Afropunk, BBC 6Music, and The Punk Site under their belts, London duo Sabatta have just released their immense new album. An epic, energy-fuelled ride from start to finish, Misfit Music defies genres and expectations in all the best ways.

Kicking off with the racing riffs and fierce rap of “Rock Star Shit,” a tongue-in-cheek take on what it means to be a modern-day rock star, the album continues with one intense sonic blast after another. Propelled by riotous riffs and the ferocious power of front-man Yinka’s vocals, “Wicked Right Now” fuses elements of funk, soul, and rock, creating a powerful barrage of sound that grabs you by the ears and doesn’t let go.

Whilst the playful interplay of Debbie Dee and Yinka’s vocals stands out on “Always,” “Feel It Too” slows down the tempo a notch, oozing a mellow, ska-punk groove before “Scream Of Consciousness” blasts into your soul with its thrashing hooks and impassioned whirlwind of fury, as the potent force of Yinka’s vocals rages alongside funk-fuelled bass lines. A perfectly angst-driven take on modern life.

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UK Artist of the Week: Catgod

Oxford band Catgod have previously charmed crowds at Truck Festival and Sofar Sounds, and received acclaim from BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson, Clash, and The Line Of Best Fit. Lead by sibling duo Robin Christensen-Marriott and Catherine Marriott, they’re now ready to release their debut EP “Heartbeat In My Hand.”

Taken from the EP, lead single ‘Keep My Promises’ is a beautiful fusion of sounds interwoven to create something truly majestic. As Robin’s John Martyn-reminiscent languid vocals glide throughout, the track oozes a twinkling musicality as luscious harmonies float across an epic, cinematic soundscape.

Throughout the EP, Catgod fuse together an eclectic range of influences—from folk to trip hop—as each track flows with a sweeping, spellbinding grandeur. From the delicate, emotion-strewn splendour of title-track “Heartbeat In My Hand” and the effervescent grace of “Let Go,” to the more abstract musicality and shimmering harmonies of closer “Owing You,” the EP showcases the band’s ability to create inspired, genre-defying offerings. It’s an innovative debut collection that captivates on first listen.

“Heartbeat In My Hand,” the debut EP from Catgod, is in stores 22nd June.

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UK Artist of the Week: Nausica

Since forming back in 2013, German/Dutch group Nausica have been writing and producing all of their own material, honing their unique, spellbinding sound.

Symbolically describing two different mindsets in the form of an ongoing flashback, new single “Black & White” combines innovative layers of sound with the soaring, majestic vocals of Edita Karkoschka. Flowing with a swirling musicality, sparkling hooks, and throbbing, glitchy beats, a captivating soundscape is created, making it impossible not to be swept away by the track’s sweeping, effervescent splendour.

Of the track, the band expand: “…conscious choices are made with clear memories, in contradiction to the typical grey area, where everything you feel and do seems blurry. The chorus could be perceived as the deep, powerful, and colourful output of emotions, almost losing the feeling for reality.”

“Black & White” is out now via Knight Rider Records, and we cannot wait to hear more from this intriguing band.

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UK Artist of the Week and Video Premiere: Tuesday Syndicate

Following their last single “Hourglass,” Devon band Tuesday Syndicate have returned with a brand new video for latest offering, “173.”

An instantly infectious uptempo slice of vibrant indie-pop, “173” races with catchy hooks and impassioned, pop-inspired vocals. With a chorus that’ll stick in your ears on first listen, the track offers an immense outpouring of emotion alongside a hurtling upbeat energy; the perfect combination for that reviving summer anthem you’ve been waiting for.

Having formed five years ago, Tuesday Syndicate have wowed crowds at Isle Of Wight Festival and Shepherd’s Bush Empire, and are now set to continue charming fans with this rousing new single.

Watch the new video for “173” above.

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UK Artist of the Week: Raleigh

Initially formed when Clea Anaïs was drawn to Brock Geiger’s voice at a festival in Calgary, Canadian band Raleigh have wowed crowds at Islington’s Union Chapel and have supported indie greats Unknown Mortal Orchestra. Now, set to return to the UK for The Great Escape Festival later this month, they’ve shared an utterly infectious new single.

Taken from their latest album Powerhouse Bloom and featuring Broken Social Scene’s Brendan Canning on guitar, “Smoke In Our Eyes” is a truly dreamy slice of atmospheric alt-rock that demands multiple listens. As catchy, twinkling hooks are interwoven with luscious harmonies, oozing a captivating, otherworldly splendour.

Treating listeners to a sweeping, psychedelic haze with shades of Bombay Bicycle Club, Raleigh have created something quite wonderful. It’s impossible not to fall in love with “Smoke In Our Eyes” rich, majestic layers of sound.

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UK Artist of the Week: Leisure Tank

If catchy, nostalgic alt-rock is what you’re after, then look no further: power duo Leisure Tank have just what you need. Since forming in 2014, their debut album Wetsuit has received widespread acclaim and they’ve charmed crowds at of Camp Bestival, Mellow Festival, and London’s Borderline.

Now, back with new single “Higher.” they’re set to continue their success. Inspired by “the twisted feeling one gets when someone tells a one-sided, self-pitying break up story,” it’s filled with catchy hooks and front woman K C McKanzie’s impassioned, soaring vocals, with shades of nineties legends Elastica.

Propelled by drummer Budi’s racing beats and an infectious groove, it’s a track that’ll pack a punch on first listen, leaving you hungry for more of Leisure Tank’s dynamic alt-rock offerings.

Be prepared to hit repeat and be taken higher by the seductive sounds of Leisure Tank; aka your new favourite band. And be sure to feast your eyes on their sparkling new video.

“Higher” is in stores now via Goddamn Records.

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Needle Drop: The Magic Lantern, “Lydia”

Having previously received acclaim from The Guardian, BBC 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne, BBC Radio 2’s Jamie Cullum and Bob Harris, and BBC Radio 3, Jamie Doe—aka The Magic Lantern—has returned with a spellbinding new single.

The second single taken from his upcoming album To The Islands, “Lydia” is a truly stirring creation. Written during a tumultuous return to his childhood home of Australia, it flows with intricate finger-picking and Doe’s beautiful sweeping vocals, oozing a delicate emotive power.

Filled with a folk-inspired musicality and intimate grace, it’s an exquisite offering showcasing The Magic Lantern’s talent for writing truly heartfelt, musically rich songs.

“Lydia” is in stores now via Hectic Eclectic Records.

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