Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week: Hana Piranha

Today’s Artist of The Week is packed with power, as well as some unexpected twists and turns just to keep you on your toes. Hana Piranha are a goth-rock quartet with a difference and razor-sharp violin licks are just the beginning.

Their latest single “Naked Flame,” released last Friday, is the first single taken from their explosive new album, Waiting To Burn, out on 22nd March 2019 via Fourglove Records. It’s instantly reminiscent of Evanescence with its fierce energy and raucous guitar riffs having no trouble holding the fort.

However, these guys mean business and they’re ready to stand out from the crowd. Front woman Hana Piranha has a hidden talent up her sleeve—her ferociously phenomenal violin skills, especially apparent in the incredible violin solo during the middle eight. Hana Piranha manage to combine classical instrumentation with a hard rock setting seamlessly, and for that we are undeniably impressed. If “Naked Flame” is anything to go by, we can expect plenty more ferocity and dangerous beauty where that came from.

Waiting To Burn is out on 22nd March 2019 via Fourglove Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Ulysses Wells

What happens when you combine blues, psychedelia, and electronica? Ulysses Wells happens, and we can’t get enough. His latest single “Back with the People” is a raucous rock anthem and its oozing with a double dose of attitude.

From the offset, the blues-infused, distortion heavy guitar licks are instantly reminiscent of The Black Keys or Jack White, which is certainly not a bad thing. However, Ulysses also manages to blend psychedelic and electronic elements to create a sound that is undeniably impressive. If Jack White and Kevin Parker were to join forces with The Black Keys, it would probably sound something likes Ulysses Wells and that’s not a poor boat to be in by any means.

“Back with the People” has been released by the fine folk at Big Indie Records as part of their Big Indie Big Nights event. If you’re not aware of them yet, get to know them as they’ve got offices in both London and Austin ready to blast you with all kinds of exciting, emerging new music. Catch Ulysses Wells live at Two Tribes Brewery on 13th February 2019 in association with Big Indie Records—and he’s also currently supporting Bastille on their UK/EU tour, so quite the busy bee!

“Back with the People” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: ACRYLIC

Already making massive waves in their Scottish hometown of Glasgow, indie-rockers ACRYLIC now prepare to take on the rest of the world with their new single, “I’ve Got Too Many Friends.”

The single begins soft and smoothly, with jangling guitar chords at the forefront, reminding us of the early noughties instantly. As lead singer Andreas Chrsitodoulidis comes in for the first verse, his brooding baritone feels absolutely mesmerising, reminding us of The National’s Matthew Berninger’s distinctively smouldering sound. Some gorgeous harmonies from the rest of the band follow, revealing just how tight and connected these five guys really are.

Despite the slightly arrogant sounding title, the single is actually about feeling as though you’ve found yourself in an ideal situation and knowing that you’re still going to mess it up, something we can all relate to surely.

ACRYLIC have already achieved a great deal up in Scotland. They’ve supported a whole bunch of established artists including The View, Demob Happy, Palace, and The Ninth Wave, as well as selling out Glasgow’s prestigious King Tut’s music venue—so not too shabby! We can’t wait to see what 2019 has up its sleeve for these guys. Watch this space.

“I’ve Got Too Many Friends” is in stores now via Scottish Fiction.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jackie Venson

A firm favourite here at TVD HQ, this week we are extremely proud to feature the hugely talented Jackie Venson as our latest Artist of the Week.

Jackie’s most recent single, “A Million Moments” is the first to be released alongside Big Indie Records, a label based in London and Austin who are also the masterminds behind Big Indie Big Nights, a recurring event that showcases their brightest talents completely free of charge. Jackie was proudly part of their US debut at Antone’s in Austin last month where she received rave reviews.

Alas, we digress, back to the single. “A Million Moments” is certainly poppier than Jackie’s previous singles, but it nevertheless showcases Jackie’s incredible guitar skills throughout. The guitar solo at the end in particular feeling instantly reminiscent of one of Jackie’s biggest influences, Gary Clark Jr., of course.

The single is an exciting introduction for what jackie has in store for us in 2019 and we cannot wait. Her ability to combine alt-pop sensibilities with elements of blues, rock and soul is undeniably impressive and will hopefully encourage more artists to blur the lines between genres going forward. Expect big things from this one.

“A Million Moments” is out now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Bellhouse

Ethereal songstress Bellhouse is most certainly one to watch. Having already released a stream of acclaimed singles, we’re certain 2019 will bring the Swedish artist even more success, and we can’t wait to watch her glow.

Bellhouse’s latest single is the stunningly evocative “Coping.” The sparkling track feels instantly majestic, as gorgeous piano notes introduce the song, before Bellhouse—aka Emma-Lee Andersson’s—celestial vocals take over.

The single deals with the undeniably relatable subject of the hopelessness we can all feel sometimes, and the fact that, even if you can’t feel it right now, everything will work out in the end—something we all need to remember from time to time. These wise words from this young artist are yet another example of her mature musicality and poignancy. “Coping” is an absolute beauty to behold.

“Coping” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: The Hope State

This week we’re getting emotional with The Hope State’s Taylor Johnson, aka our latest Artist of The Week. He’s just released his wonderfully reflective new album Skeletons, a collection of truly heartfelt songs that deserve your undivided attention.

Canadian artist Taylor Johnson developed the moniker The Hope State originally in Saskatoon. He later moved to Los Angeles before deciding to reside back in Canada, but changing up the pace a bit in Toronto. All the while Taylor has been honing his skills, preparing to release his poignant debut album which he can now share with the world. The latest single to be taken from the album is the incredibly powerful “Butterflies.”

The track combines earthy elements of folk-rock with impressively honest lyricism to create something incredibly immersive and compelling. “Butterflies,” along with the rest of the album, deals with an array of intensely honest subject matters including depression, addiction, and hope. Taylor deals with each of these subjects with dignity and grace, all the while wearing his heart on his sleeve to create something beautifully introspective. Fans of Death Cab For Cutie and Iron & Wine will feel at home here.

Skeletons is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: CHILDCARE

This week’s Artist of The Week are the hotly tipped softcore-psych group CHILDCARE. They’ve already released a number of critically acclaimed tracks and are ending the year on a high with the release of their hugely infectious latest single “Bamboo,” out now via Big Indie Records.

Now, this is where things get interesting; the band is usually fronted by the extremely capable Ed Cares, however, for “Bamboo” the quartet decided to spice things up a bit and instead, bassist Emma Topolski takes centre stage. It’s a gamble that has certainly paid off. Emma’s stunningly majestic voice floats effortlessly over the heavy guitar riffs and pounding drums, creating something that falls between the likes of Everything Everything and The Japanese Breakfast.

The band is also renowned for their utterly flawless harmonies and this is certainly maintained on “Bamboo.” The rich and perfectly executed “ahs” throughout the track deserve your attention, that’s for sure.

CHILDCARE have already supported Bastille and regularly sell out shows in their London hometown, so we’re sure that 2019 will no doubt be a big year for these guys. Not to mention their debut album is tipped for release in February 2019. Its all happening and we can’t wait to hear it.

“Bamboo” is in stores now via Big Indie Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Koto Kill

Today’s Artist of The Week is a raucous one-man show whose latest project is blisteringly spectacular. Koto Kill—aka DJ and producer Gabriel Ralls—creates full-throttle electronic rock that is packed with a punch. His upcoming mini-LP “Fight Us All” arrives in stores this week, and we’re extremely proud to introduce him as this week’s UK Artist of The Week.

Every track on “Fight Us All” features a different female vocalist, and each one is just as ferocious as the next. Koto Kill’s most recent release is the delicately industrial “Fire Down” featuring smooth sultry vocals from the extremely talented Judith Haustein. Compared to other tracks on the EP, this one feels slightly less industrial but it’s still undeniably mesmerizing nonetheless.

Haustein’s slick, haunting vocals ooze delicately over the twinkling sounds of the sitar, whilst distortion-heavy guitar riffs give the track the urgency it deserves. Think Nine Inch Nails meets Little Dragon and you’re almost there. Also featured on this magnificent EP are B3NDU, Beatrice Bonnano, Anelise Kunz, Emily Magpie, and Dolly Daggerz—each woman using their own authenticity to their advantage, creating fierce sounds over Ralls’ electrifying soundscapes.

“Fight Us All” is in stores on 16th November via Dystopian Disco.

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UK Artist of the Week:
Jo Marches

Having just released their incredible new EP “Day In Day Out,” we are extremely pleased to announce this week’s Artist of the Week is Utrecht outfit Jo Marches.

Led by front woman Johanneke Kranendonk, Jo Marches are a force to be reckoned with. Their latest EP, which was released last Friday, is an undeniably infectious slice of synth-laden, alternative pop that undoubtedly deserves all the support its received so far, and then some.

Not only is each track filled with dynamic synths, pulsating electronic beats, and Johanneke’s gorgeously hazy vocals, it also covers a number of relatable topics. These include feminism, politics, and mental health to name but a few. Unsurprisingly, Jo Marches have already been deemed a “feminist Tame Impala” of sorts, and we can easily see why. Kevin Parker better watch his back, that’s all we’ll say.

So what are you waiting for? Jo Marches’ mesmerising EP “Day In Day Out” is in stores now and if poignant psychedelia is your bag, you definitely won’t be disappointed.

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UK Artist of the Week: Humble Braggers

Get ready to get ethereal with Humble Braggers. Our latest Artist of the Week’s new EP “Cycles” is all sorts of majestic and undeniably addictive, so prepare yourselves.

If you’re a fan of ’80s inspired synths, celestial vocals, and pulsating drum beats, then look no further, because Humble Braggers are the band for you. Their latest EP “Cycles” is absolutely oozing with addictive soundscapes from the offset.

Previously released single “Reckless” and “Am I Okay” are obviously stand out tracks, but this really is an EP you can enjoy from start to finish. Frontman Tom Burtless’ glistening vocals remind us instantly of Tame Impala’s Kevin Parker but with a poppier edge, making the sound completely his own. Fans of Empire of The Sun and Passion Pit will also feel at home here.

This Buffalo-based quartet are certainly making waves for all the right reasons and we can’t wait to see where they go from here.

“Cycle” is in stores now via Admirable Traits.

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TVD Video Premiere: Vive La Rose, “Schiehallion”

“Schiehallion is a mountain that overlooks a family home, and is Gaelic for “Fairy Mountain.” It was the site of an 18th-century experiment to determine the density of the Earth, using a pendulum to measure its gravitational pull. The song looks at the effects of being too close to or too far from family, the push and pull of that dynamic, and the wisdom of pulling on those threads.”David Luximon-Herbert

One of our favourite Edinburgh artists is back with a brand new video and it will give you all the feels. We are extremely pleased to premiere Vive La Rose’s wonderfully nostalgic video for “Schiehallion” right here at TVD. So sit back, relax and enjoy.

The video is delightfully simple, featuring old footage of Vive la Rose, aka David Luximon-Herbert, in which we are able to watch him grow from a wee Scottish lad into the man he is today. Apparently Schiehallion is one of Scotland’s best known mountains and if you give it a quick Google (as we just have), the views really do look exquisite and we can understand precisely why David has chosen to write a song about such beauty.

The song itself is equally stunning, filled with lush cinematic soundscapes and David’s signature rugged vocal style making it undeniably unique. This really is an absolutely delight to listen to—and watch.

“Schiehallion” is taken from Vive la Rose’s forthcoming album For She Who Hangs The Moon, out on 12th October 2018 via Gestation Records. Pre-order here.

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UK Artist of the Week: Harlea

Birmingham-born songstress Harlea has been receiving some serious attention recently for acclaimed singles “Miss Me” and “You Don’t Get It,” both of which received thousands of radio plays around the world. Well now, she’s back with a brand new single and a new sound and we can’t get enough. As such, she’s our Artist of the Week.

“Beautiful Mess” is certainly “poppier” than her previous singles, but don’t let that fool you. Harlea’s thunderous attitude is still at the forefront, her powerful lyricism and dynamic vocals leading the single every step of the way.

Regardless of genre, “Beautiful Mess” is undeniably catchy and fans of ’90s pop-rock master Alanis Morissette will certainly feel at home here.

“Beautiful Mess” is in stores now via Roxy Princess Records.

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TVD Premiere: Blossomer,

We are extremely proud to share with you an exclusive listen of Blossomer’s brand new single “PREACHER_LEARNER” right here on The Vinyl District.

The single is a gorgeous slice of psychedelic goodness, instantly reminding us of the likes of MGMT or Wild Beasts. As the track gradually builds, you are introduced to an incredible cocktail of celestial tones with frontman Alex Crabbe’s enchanting falsetto leading the way.

Talking about the track, Crabbe explains, “As religion has always been one of my common themes to sing about, this was based around the idea of striving to believe in something that isn’t quite there. A preacher teaching his pupil of something that doesn’t necessarily exist. I find it bizarre but it intrigues me.” Intriguing indeed.

‘PREACHER_LEARNER’ is the first single to be taken off the Sheffield group’s forthcoming EP “HLLW,” in stores on 11th January 2018 via Instant Karma Records. If this track is anything to go by, we certainly are in for a treat.

“PREACHER_LEARNER” arrives in stores on 21st September 2018.

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UK Artist of the Week: oh800

This week’s Artist of the Week is eccentric post-punk trio oh800. With the release of their debut album Character Building imminent, these three guys have been pulling out all the stops to make sure it gets the appreciation it deserves.

The band’s latest release from the album is the undeniably catchy “Melanin.” Filled with jangling guitars, fuzzy synth beats, and the trio’s killer harmonies throughout, this single is a sure-fire hit from the offset. Frontman Eoin Rooney’s vocal style has previously been compared to that of LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy and we can see why, however what Rooney uniquely manages to do is write poignant lyrics alongside his colloquial phrasing to create something that is highly relatable.

Of the track, Rooney elaborates “We had the music for this song kicking around for quite a while, but the lyrics came after a young black kid was killed by a police officer in our area of London. The officer thought he swallowed a suspicious package and chased him down. You know the rest… Meanwhile on the same streets, middle class white people walk around every weekend with suspicious packages in their pockets, suspicion free. That pisses me off. So I wrote a song about it.” Well said Rooney, well said.

Character Building is in stores on 12th October 2018 via Infinite Jest Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Twist Helix

Channelling some serious new wave vibes, this week’s artist of the week is the magnificent synth-pop trio Twist Helix.

Their latest single “Graphite” is percolating with ’80s inspired electronics, reminding us instantly of Depeche Mode or New Order. Leading lady, Bea Garcia’s powerfully distinctive lead vocal however, gives the single more of a vibrant ’90s feel, sounding akin to Peaches or Ladytron’s colloquial singing style. “Graphite” is undeniably catchy from start to finish and anyone wanting to hear some nostalgic, ’80s synth sounds–with a modern twist–will not be disappointed.

This dynamic trio met as a result of Garcia leaving her home country of Spain due to the economic crisis. She found herself in Newcastle where she met James Walker (drums) and shortly after Matthew “Baz” Baron (bass). Between them, their unique blend of intelligent, narrative driven alt-pop is second to none and we’re certain this won’t be that last we’re hearing from them.

“Graphite” is taken from Twist Helix’s forthcoming album Ouseburn, in stores on 5th October 2018 via Paul Black Music.

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