Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Superego

Midlands based four-piece Superego have made an immediate impact on the British indie-rock scene through their grunge-tinged debut single “Sleep.” Not ones to be left behind, we’re giddily climbing aboard the Superego bandwagon and are delighted to name them our UK Artist of The Week.

Having already toured with industry darlings such as Black Honey, and supported Pale Waves, The Big Moon, and Dead!, Superego were always destined for great things. “Sleep” is a thunderous opening salvo from a talented young band who have combined the heavy distortion of ’90s grunge with shimmering, shoegaze-inflected soundscapes.

Juxtaposing angular, in your face guitars with a hazy, dream-like vocal expertly delivered by singer Cam Potts, “Sleep” sounds like the bastard child of Mudhoney having a playground fight with The Smashing Pumpkins while Lush watch on like disapproving parents.

Now, with a well of Billy Ryder-Jones (The Coral) produced material already in the bag, and a slot confirmed at DIY’s Big Indie Big Nights showcase on June 13th, we don’t think this’ll be the last you’ll be hearing of Superego.

“Sleep” is available to stream on Spotify. Free tickets for Superego’s Big Indie Big Nights showcase are available here.

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TVD Premiere: Desert Clouds, “Under Tons”

We are extremely pleased today to be able to premiere alt-rockers Desert Clouds’ new single, “Under Tons,” exclusively here at TVD.

“Under Tons” builds slowly with lead singer David Land going full Bowie with his eccentric vocals. As the chorus comes into swing, the song turns 360 degrees and bursts into one serious, unapologetic classic rock anthem.

Huge distorted guitar riffs sounding akin to Queens of The Stone Age take over before the second verse comes in and then effortlessly transforms into beautiful blues-infused licks. Desert Clouds are a band who are hard to pinpoint, but one thing’s for sure—you won’t get bored.

Formed in London in 2008, Desert Clouds have been honing their sound for the past decade and if “Under Tons” is anything to go by, they show no signs of slowing down.

“Under Tons” arrives in stores on 4th May 2018 via Jiffybag Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Scott Swain

Our Artist of the Week this week is none other than the truly mesmerizing singer-songwriter Scott Swain.

Scott’s latest single “It’s Too Late,” taken from his forthcoming debut EP, “Goodbye Country, Goodbye Home,” clearly reflects Swain’s love for major influence The National, as his powerful lead vocal takes centre stage. The single is also inspired by Swain’s other passion in life—film—and is based on the French movie Irreversible.

Each song on the EP is about a certain film that has inspired Swain’s life, however the main aspect of the EP is about that dreaded word: Brexit. To keep things light, Swain decided to add an alternative dimension to the EP, and quite rightly so! “It’s Too Late” feels beautifully anthemic from the offset, combining indie rock with cinematic soundscapes to create something immensely captivating.

“Goodbye Country, Goodbye Home” is in stores on 20th May 2018 via Resonating Wood Recordings.

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UK Artist of the Week: Ivan Moult

Today’s Artist of the Week is confessional lyricist Ivan Moult. His music is beautifully simple and poignant from start to finish, easily making him a worthy contender for this week’s top spot.

Ivan’s latest single “Carried Over Water,” taken from his upcoming album Longest Shadow, is a gorgeous folk ballad where Moult uses his smooth, velvet like vocal to soar over his intricate guitar picking, creating something both captivating and moving. Like the rest of the album, “Carried Over Water” was written as the result of a break up.

This song in particular focuses on the difficulties of a long distance relationship. Throughout the album, it’s Moult’s effortless ability to express his deepest emotions that really catches you off guard. It takes a very brave person to be this honest and expressive on wax, and you can clearly hear Moult channelling his inner Nick Drake or Jeff Buckley.

Now based in Cardiff, Moult has been making waves on the Welsh music scene for some time now. He has also supported artists such as Willy Mason and This Is The Kit and has a number of UK live dates in the pipeline over the summer. Watch this space, Ivan Moult is ready for you.

Longest Shadow arrives in stores on 20th April 2018 via Bubblewrap Collective.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Violet Kind

For some, it’s more important than ever to create music with poignancy, and Scottish rockers The Violet Kind do just that. Their debut EP “OXTR” tackles sexual violence head-on, and is yet another example of the current generation standing up for themselves and making noise.

The Violet Kind are a trio from Glasgow who create truly moving and emotional indie rock sounds, akin to that of Paramore and Foals. Lead singer Katya Mansell’s haunting voice mirrors that of Hayley Williams all the while giving her own unique spin on things. Each song on their concept EP “OXTR” battles sexual violence, acting as a reminder of the reality of rape culture that is unfortunately still so prominent in the world we’re living in. The trio tackle the difficult subject with dignity and grace—and their musicality is second to none.

Despite the current line up having only been together for over a year, they have already received critical acclaim in Glasgow, and 2018 is looking brighter than bright for the young trio.

“OXTR” is in stores now via Kindness Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Alberteen

Experimental alt-rockers Alberteen have put down the guitars that they’re known for and instead have embraced analogue synths, flutes, clarinets, and samples for their latest release. Its their utterly unique sound and ability to create something very much “out there,” which makes them our Artist of The Week this week.

Their latest single, “The Son’s Room” is a truly quirky yet mesmerizing song from start to finish. Its multiple layers of electronica are matched perfectly with the band’s choral singing to create something not far from Metronomy’s early eccentric sound. The single is inspired by lead singer Phil Shaw’s relationship with his father, a bittersweet reflection on memory and loss.

Having already released two critically acclaimed albums, Alberteen are no strangers to hard work. They have performed with artists such as Primal Scream and Field Music to name but a few and show no sign of slowly down as they make their 2018 debut with “The Son’s Room.”

“The Son’s Room” is in stores now via Rhythm and Noir Recordings.

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TVD Premiere:
David Ford, “Why
Don’t You Answer
Your Telephone?”

“You could call this a murder ballad.As part of a collection of songs about economics, this one is the most abstract of the bunch. Its ties to the theme are more tonal than literal, more ethereal than material.”

“I found myself preoccupied with something I had read about brokers in the midst of a financial meltdown, paralysed by fear, refusing to answer the telephone calls of clients as their investments melted away. This feeling of helplessness is universal. I wanted to translate that emotion and apply it to matters of the heart, in a place more fittingly cold, dark, and swampy. This song is all about what we don’t know, don’t see.

In economics, a perfect market can only exist when all parties have complete and accurate information. I would suggest this to be a rare or even impossible situation in any human interaction and I wanted this story to be about a world falling apart as a result of the not knowing. I don’t know the character in the song, where he is, what he’s done, just that he’s in trouble. This could be a murder ballad but I don’t even know if there’s been a murder, and I wrote the damn thing. I wanted to suggest a large and complicated canvas viewed only in short flashes by the narrow beam of a flashlight. The harsh reality of imperfect information.

Or maybe it’s just a sweet song with a badass guitar solo, it works for me either way.”
David Ford

Read More »

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TVD Video Premiere:
RIPL, “EMA”

Today we have the pleasure of premiering multi-instrumentalist RIPL’s video for his latest single “EMA.”

“EMA” is undeniably catchy from the offset, filled with captivating folk-pop sensibilities and RIPL’s rich, eclectic vocal taking centre stage. He’s been regularly compared to the likes of Frank Turner, and its easy to see why in “EMA” as his vocal soars over the uplifting, feel-good instrumentation. The video features various pieces of imagery related to the song’s theme of “reflecting on those times in life when you try desperately to make yourself heard.”

“The video was done by Glaswegian artist called Alan Graham. He drew all the images and animated them as well,” RIPL says. “This project was one of the best and most professional experiences for me as an artist, to work with another artist.”

RIPL now lives in Scotland but is originally from Germany where he taught himself to play guitar at the tender age of just six years old.

“EMA” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Vive La Rose

So, January is officially over and February seems to be whizzing by faster than the speed of light, which means… we can finally start getting excited for Spring! And what better way to kick things off than to treat your ears with some uplifting new music from Vive La Rose.

Vive La Rose, aka David Lexicon-Herbert, is originally from Edinburgh but now resides in London where he has played under his own name and in different bands for a number of years. His latest single “Rio Grande” instantly draws you in with its cinematic soundscapes and mesmerizing string sections throughout. David’s vocal itself adds a layer of grit to the track as his husky tone soars over the sun-soaked musicality to create something indisputably delightful.

Co-produced by The Duke Spirit’s Oliver Betts, “Rio Grande” is taken from David’s forthcoming album For She Who Hangs The Moon. The album also features guest appearances from the likes of Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley/Slow Club), The Up North Orchestra, and Nicky Francis (Mono Club).

“Rio Grande” is in stores now via Gestation Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Liv Austen

This week’s Artist of The Week is country-pop princess Liv Austen. Her new single “Don’t Regret A Single One” is guaranteed to shake away those January blues.

Liv has been making waves in the UK country scene for quite some time now. Her previous single “The Next Time” was picked up by both country and pop fans, including the acclaimed UK radio station Chris Country who popped her on the A list in excess of 12 weeks, with Liv the only UK artist to make the cut.

With “Don’t Regret A Single One,” Liv continues to blur the lines between the two genres, however her latest cut is possibly straying closer toward the country world, sounding akin to an early Taylor Swift or Carrie Underwood. Liv’s latest single is a feel-good anthem about learning from your romantic mistakes in a more positive way. Its undeniably catchy from start to finish and is guaranteed to stay in your head for days (sorry!).

“Don’t Regret A Single One” is in stores now via NUA.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dream Estate

2018 looks like its going to be a promising year for indie-pop newcomers Dream Estate. Their latest single “You” was re-released at the end of last year and its ethereal beauty is second to none.

“You” opens with lead singer William Tse’s celestial vocals carrying the song effortlessly as the rest of the stylistic musicianship comes into play. From start to finish, this single is swarming with sultry electronics, dazzling harmonies, and twinkling guitar strums. Dream Estate are following in the footsteps of The Japanese House who have been paving the way for a fresh, new ambient pop sound.

William formed Dream Estate in Leeds in 2015 as a solo project but he was later joined by Dan Hvorostovsky (bass, backing vocals), Dan Noble (lead guitar, backings vocals), and Joe Dawson (drums). With a debut EP already under their belt, we can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for the lads.

“You” is in stores now.

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Needle Drop: East of My Youth, “Go Home”

We’ve previously featured East of My Youth as our Artist of the Week and it’ll be no surprise why after you hear their latest corker of a tune. “Go Home” is another stunning slice of electro-pop underscoring that the Nordics really do do it best.

East of My Youth’s “Go Home” opens slowly with Thelma Marín Jónsdóttir’s smooth, sultry vocals leading the way. Underneath are Herdís Stefánsdóttir’s percolating MicroKorg synth sounds, a funky bass line, and mellow electronic beats that carry the track. This may be a bit of a slow burner but trust us, roll with it. As the layers within the track reveal themselves, the listener is transported into another world where only these pulsating, mesmerizing beats matter.

Thelma and Herdís are without a doubt, a force to be reckoned with. Not only do these Icelandic talents have unique style, their music feels extremely personal, yet completely current and relatable at once. 2018 may well be a big year for them, so watch this space…

“Go Home” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week:
The Little Kicks

This week’s Artist of the Week are Scottish indie rockers The Little Kicks. The band released their latest album, Shake Off Your Troubles, earlier this year and they’re back with a fourth single from said release, “Bang The Drum Slowly.”

At first listen you’d be forgiven for thinking this is just another noughties indie rock remake, but we urge you to listen closer and enjoy. The Little Kicks definitely have an element of fellow Scots Franz Ferdinand about them, but they also incorporate glitchy electronic beats and fuzzy guitar that separate them from the masses.

“Bang The Drum Slowly” is brilliantly catchy from the offset with lead singer Steven Milne’s crisp, sharp vocal taking full control. Milne explains, “The themes of the record would be a feeling of happiness, gratitude, and to be thankful with what you have and not take things for granted. Furthermore, not to let others get you down or let anyone put you in your place.”

The Little Kicks have been core players in the Scottish music scene for some time and have already supported a number of huge bands including The Maccabees and Maximo Park. With “Bang The Drum Slowly,” The Little Kicks hope the rest of the UK (and beyond) will take note of their eclectic indie pop sound.

“Bang The Drum Slowly” is in stores now via Loosen Up Records.

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Needle Drop: Fuzzystar, “Superhero”

Having only released his debut album Telegraphing a mere six months ago, Fuzzystar has returned with another catchy slice of fizzy pop. His single “Superhero” brings back the nostalgic feels of the ’90s whilst incorporating a modern twist into his upbeat indie sound.

The track commences with an vibrant guitar line that exhales exuberance and delivers the buoyancy that makes the track so cheerful. However, when Andy’s vocals enter the song, a wave of contrasting emotions are revealed. His soft, effortless, yet articulate voice chimes in and brings the proceedings back down to earth. The track doesn’t expand much more from there, but it lifts you up and eventually floats the listener back down—a most chilled roller coaster ride.

“Superhero” was written during a tough time for Andy, not knowing what the future held. The songwriter explains, “It’s about trying to make the best of bad times and just getting through it, whilst being aware of your own flaws and failings. Making this into a superhero story added a bit of distance to be able to write about it, rather than trying to tell it directly. ”

“Superhero” and debut album Telegraphing are both in stores now via Satellite Sounds.

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UK Artist of the Week: Reema

Over the past year the UK has introduced us to some amazing new folk artists and singer-songwriter Reema is no exception. Her latest single “What The Whisper Said” is taken from her new vinyl release The LowSwing Sessions, which is a collaboration with composer and arranger Guy Sternberg.

“What The Whisper Said” is a stunning piece of traditional folk, filled with a gorgeous array of instruments that gradually creep in behind Reema’s distinctive vocal. Somewhat akin to Beth Orton or Lisa Hanningan, there’s no denying the folk influences. Reema combines these traditional elements to tell the story of an old man who kept a dark secret that has died with his former lover. It’s her ability to tell this story as an old folk tale while Sternberg’s avant-guarde, jazz influences intermingle that really make this track a stand out.

As mentioned earlier, the single is taken from Reema’s latest vinyl release which was recorded live and analog, reflecting Reema’s honest, brave, and utterly, utterly beautiful songcraft.

The LowSwing Sessions arrives in stores on 8th December 2017 via LowSwing Records—on vinyl.

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  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


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