Author Archives: Zara Hoffman

UK Artist of the Week:
I am HER

Feeling a bit angsty? Well, so are I am HER and they’re definitely not about to apologise for it. Get ready for some ferocious female-fronted alt-rock at its finest for this week’s Artist of The Week.

I am HER’s latest single “Big Monster” kicks off simply enough with just lead singer Julie Riley and an acoustic guitar aggressively strumming at the forefront. As the chorus kicks in however, so does the electric guitar and it means business. This is the first time I am HER have added an electric guitar to their post-punk sound, in the process creating something electrifying and fresh. Fans of PJ Harvey or The Kills will feel at home here.

Julie is no stranger to the music industry, having previously fronted ’90s cult band Rosa Mota and is now breaking away into something vibrant and new, bringing drummer Jeff Townsin along with her. Together the are creating fierce post-punk soundscapes that mean business—and we can’t get enough.

“Big Monster” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Brendon

This week’s Artist of the Week is an oldie but a goodie. Brendon Dunning aka Brendon returns to his first love of folk-rock with his infectious new single “The Hats” leading the way.

Taken from his upcoming album Hold My Hand, “The Hats” perfectly introduces us to Brendon’s full-bodied, folk-rock sound. Brendon’s warm, vibrant lead vocal soars effortlessly over the twinkling guitar strums and pulsating drum beats to create a sound that feels both nostalgic and refreshing at the same time. Think Cat Stevens with a hint of Tom Petty.

You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a debut of a relatively unknown singer-songwriter, but Brendon has actually been in the music industry for many moons. Brendon worked alongside UK Records producer Jonathan King throughout the ’70s, making a huge impact with his hit single “Gimme Some” in 1977. This success came at a cost however, and forced Brendon into the “disco” genre, which was never his true calling. “At the time of this release, which I had been unaware of, I was in talks with CBS about recording a new folk rock album but in the circumstances it never happened. I never was the pop/glam rock singer as described in Wikipedia,” Brendon explains.

Thankfully, Brendon has found his footing again and if “The Hats” is anything to go by, 2020 in looking like an exciting year for the ’70s star.

“The Hats” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: CHERITON

Counting down the minutes until summer? Well fear not because with CHERITON’s “Parallel” you’ll feel instantly transported into a shimmeringly sunny universe that is guaranteed to warm you up.

The emerging artist—known to his friends as Nick and hailing from the not-so sunny Kent—has made his official debut with the hugely infectious single “Parallel” and its bloomin’ marvelous. Swarming with jangly guitars, twinkling synths, and Nick’s gorgeously uplifting lead vocal, “Parallel” is an instantly infectious ear worm that is bound to get you in the mood for summertime.

Unsurprisingly this indie-pop gem sparks resemblances to a number of fellow feel-good musicians including Fickle Friends and Bastille, who the song’s producer Andy Hall Hall has also coincidentally worked with in the past. Bravo. Keep your ears peeled for more new music from CHERITON as he plans to release his debut EP later this year.

“Parallel” is in stores now via So Good So Good.

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UK Artist of the Week: Approachable Members of Your Local Community

Our hearts and thoughts have, of course, been going out to Australia recently whilst they continue to deal with the catastrophic bushfires that are eating away at their homes. It’s times like these that we all need to put aside our differences and come together, which is exactly what Approachable Members of Your Local Community are asking for in their vibrant new single “Small Change.”

Taken from their upcoming debut EP “Love Thy Neighbour,” “Small Change” is a feel-good slice of colourful indie-pop, filled with anthemic hooks and insatiably addictive melodies. Fans of Vampire Weekend and Ra Ra Riot will feel at home here.

The story behind the track itself however, has a much more poignant meaning, especially in the light of Australia’s ongoing bush fire tragedies. “‘Small Change’ is ultimately about empathy—for places, for each other, and for our environment. It’s about our generation’s hope and optimism to create a better future. This summer has been challenging for so many we know and love, and especially for many whose experiences have been unimaginably traumatic and devastating,” bassist Micky Fisher tells us. “In the face of a national crisis, the country has galvanised to take back tomorrow. With an outpouring of support for our firefighters and affected communities, it’s clear that small change can have a big impact.”

Approachable Members will be raising funds for the bushfire relief efforts at all shows. “Love Thy Neighbour” is out on 14th February 2020 via AntiFragile.

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UK Artist of the Week: Chloe Foy

We’ve got the perfect winter warmer for you this week so sit back, grab a blanket, perhaps mug of hot chocolate and get comfortable. Singer-songwriter Chloe Foy has just shared her poignant new single “Callous Copper” and its bloomin’ gorgeous.

Taken from her upcoming EP of the same name, “Callous Copper” is a mesmerisingly impressive slice of indie-folk from the offset. Swirling with a continuous beauty, the single also features a stunning string quartet that is undeniably breathtaking. Paired with Chloe’s soft, warm, velvet-like vocal, “Callous Copper” feels like the perfect ballad to get us through these cold winter months.

Talking about the single, Chloe elaborates, “‘Callous Copper’ is an unabashed love song. It’s not common for me to be quite so open in my imagery, so I surprised myself with how I laid myself out quite so openly. It has imagery of love in all its seasons. Taken from simple acoustic guitar beginnings and composed with Joni’s Both Sides Now orchestral version in mind, it’s the softer side of me.”

Chloe’s EP “Callous Copper” is in stores on 21st February 2020 via AntiFragile and if this single is anything to go by, we’re in for a treat. Fans of Julia Jacklin and Laura Marling, take note.

Chloe Foy’s single “Callous Copper” is out now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Redolent

We’re back in Scotland for this week’s AOTW and if you’re a fan of brooding, experimental soundscapes then you’re in for a treat. Redolent’s latest single “I Thought They Were Just Fireworks” is out now, so go listen!

Since the release of their brilliant debut Dantercepies, Redolent have gone from strength to strength. Their combination of experimental alt-rock and aggressive electronica is second to none. These guys are making sounds that continuously push boundaries and break the mould—something more bands really ought to sit up and take note of, just FYI.

Their latest single “I Thought They Were Just Fireworks” is a prime example of their magnificent songwriting and performance abilities. Robin Herbert’s Thom Yorke-esque vocal steals the show in the song’s second half, but the dark, brooding build up from the rest of the band before that is also hugely impressive.

Talking about the single, Robin elaborates, “I think sonically the song is influenced by the heavier bands we like—Glassjaw in particular. “Lyrically it’s inspired by nightmares about non-fiction horror from the news. Specifically American mass murdering ghouls with guns. I used to have a really vivid one when I was younger, in which my sleeping brain gave the faces of the perpetrators I’d seen on TV bodies, which broke into my house, cackling and marauding, and shot me. It recurred for a while. I felt like they were as close to ‘ghosts’ as you could maybe really find, and I was a wee bit haunted by these dead guys from across the world.”

“I Thought They Were Just Fireworks” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kendama

It’s a new year, a new decade, and what better way to kick-start 2020 than with some undeniably infectious electro-pop to warm ourselves up with. This week’s Artist of The Week—Kendama—hail from not-so sunny Scotland and they’re about to shake your January up, so get ready.

The duo’s latest single “Closure” is a fully flourished blast of energy from the offset, filled with shimmering synth soundscapes, pulsating drum beats, and gorgeously infectious melodies—complete with a cheeky bit of autotune, Kendama prove they are no stranger to creating perfectly polished pop music.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that these lads were from the States though, as lead singer Stuart Edgar certainly has a bit of an American twang to his voice, which matches wonderfully with the flamboyant and fun nature of the single in our opinion. If AWOLNATION and Passion Pit had a baby, it might sound something like this corker, and if that doesn’t convince you, nothing will.

Having just embarked on a Scottish tour last November, here’s hoping they’ll hop over to the USA in the not-so distant future to share their undeniably catchy blend of sparkling alt-pop.

“Closure” is in stores now.

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TVD Premiere: Generation Dude,
“Radio Pills”

The great thing about rock and roll is that it never goes out of style—it’s absolutely timeless. Artists may come and go, but rock music will always remain one way or another. The newest band on the block are Generation Dude and we are proudly premiering their debut single “Radio Pills” right here at TVD today.

“Radio Pills” is a fun-filled, vibrant classic rock track that will get your toes tapping instantly. Band members Terence Schoshinski (lead vocals and guitars) and Steve Refling’s (drums, guitars, and backing vocals) effortless harmonies are flawless throughout—instantly reminiscent of The Who or The Hollies, but with added blues-infused goodness for extra bite.

“‘Radio Pills’ is a song about reaching a turning point in life where a bonifide personal declaration of independence is made,” Schoshinski explains. “In the tune, the hero wakes up and begins breaking free from the spiderweb of cookie-cutter corporate jive which, up to that point, he’s been participating in and profiting from. Graced with enough clarity and humility to be able to get honest, he is then empowered with the real business of identifying and stomping out the evasive wizard arachnids.”

Generation Dude’s debut EP “Crimes Against Yourself” arrives in stores on 21st February 2019.

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UK Artist of the Week: SUN

Hold onto your hats because this week’s Artist of The Week is taking no prisoners. Franco-German outfit SUN have returned with a blistering new EP, “Brutal Pop”—and it’s certainly not for the faint hearted.

SUN combine elements of metal, rock, and even pop to create a sound that is unapologetically unique. Founder and sole member Karoline Rose’s fabulously distinctive vocal is full of fire from the offset as she swaps regularly on the EP from a melodically gorgeous “pop” singer to intimidating and furious “screamo” singer and back again.

Each track on the EP will appeal to whole range of demographics but be warned, these tracks are packed with a punch and Karoline is not an artist we’d want to mess with. If you’re a fan of pop-infused metal, SUN are definitely the band for you.

Check out the stunning visuals for their latest single “I Killed Your Man” above. “Brutal Pop” is also in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: MeMe Detroit

If ferocious, female-fronted alternative rock is your kinda thing, then look no further, MeMe Detroit is back and she means business. We featured MeMe a while back when she released energy-fueled EP “Life In The Now” and now she’s back with another raucous release to feast your ears on.

“Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind” is a single that is swarming with attitude from the offset. MeMe—aka Maria Rodriguez—creates fuzz-filled formidable soundscapes throughout, feeling instantly reminiscent of the likes of Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Wolf Alice. Distorted guitar twangs are matched with pulsating drumbeats and powerful lead vocals from Maria herself to create a sound that is unapologetic and undeniably powerful.

As far as break up anthems go, this one takes no prisoners, so we recommend turning this one up to full blast and screaming it from the top of your lungs. Trust us, you’ll feel far better afterwards and that heartbreak will soon feel like a walk in the park.

With plans for an album already in the works, 2020 is shaping up to be an exciting year for MeMe and her newly recruited team of musicians, so watch this space.

“Can’t Get You Out of My Mind” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dictator

Like it or lump it, there will always be a place for a bit of good old-fashioned indie music here at TVD HQ. Our latest discovery are none other than Scottish newcomers Dictator who have just released their addictive debut single “Anthem For A Doomed Youth.”

If you’re a fan of the likes of The Courteeners and Kasabian, then you are in for a treat. “Anthem For A Doomed Youth” (we’re assuming they’re Libertines fans?) combines elements of both indie and electronica to create a sonic soundscape that will instantly mesmerize.

Despite having only just released a single, Dictator are no strangers to the Scottish live circuit and they will be playing next on 29th November at Dreadnought Rock, supporting Luke La Volpe. Indie rock may not everyone’s cup of tea but if you’re into it, Dictator are definitely a band for you.

“Anthem For A Doomed Youth” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week:
St. Bishop

This week’s Artist of the Week comes all the way from Dublin, Ireland and he’s a humdinger, if we do say so ourselves. St. Bishop—aka Stephen Bishop—has just released his shiny new single “Sleep It Off” and its undeniably addictive in all the right ways.

Making his 2019 debut, it seems St. Bishop has been a busy bee this past year, collaborating with a number of exciting new producers in order to hone his sound. For the release of “Sleep It Off’” he has teamed up with the Veta Music (who we are firm favourites of here at TVD).

It seems the latest collaboration has paid off because “Sleep It Off” is all sorts of majestic from the offset. Think Years & Years mixed with Troye Sivan and a bit of Aquilo thrown in for good measure and you’re nearly there. It’s atmospheric, cinematic. and ridiculously infectious.

“Sleep It Off” is out now via Veta Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: tameBERSERK

Prepare to enter the odd-pop world of London-based multi-instrumentalist tameBERSERK who takes up the mantle of our UK Artist of the Week.

Initially started as solo project by James Pain with the aim of working with a multitude of singers and performers in the London music scene, tameBERSERK grew into a two-man operation with singer Dominic Rose taking up a more permanent role. The result of their collaboration is a debut album, Super Thinking, that ranges from psychedelia to the experimental as tameBERSERK play with sound, samples, and genre, taking an organic, unorthodox approach to songwriting in the process.

One of the album highlights is current single “Favourite Years.” A quirky, lo-fi indie-pop gem that is both challenging and playful, “Favourite Years” is a hallucinogenic, wistful piece of music transporting the listener into a sonic daydream. Accented by Pain’s cerebral, often bizarre, lyrics centered around a maniacal doctor experimenting on someone with supernatural powers, tameBERSERK enter a territory that favourably recalls artists such as Why? and Animal Collective.

Read More »

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UK Artist of the Week: LUNIR

There’s a lot of forward-thinking electronica on the scene at the moment, thank goodness, and a prime example of this is German-Scottish duo LUNIR. They may have only released two singles officially, but its clear to see from both “Wadidi” and “Cubs” that they will be around for a while.

“Cubs” is a wonderfully addictive slice of alt-pop from the offset. Vibrant electronic beats are combined with melodic guitar twangs to create a sound that is entirely their own. Becky Sikasa’s soulful vocal tone is instantly reminiscent of the likes of Solange but with David’s flawless production expertise, the song takes on a life of its own. Get ready to have this song played on repeat because it’s a hugely infectious ear worm, mark our words.

Having recently played Scotland’s Tenement Trail festival and Cologne Music Week along with a whole bunch of other Summer festivals, its seems clear to us that 2020 could be an even bigger year for the elusive duo. Watch this space.

“Cubs” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Eliza Shaddad

PHOTO: MEL TJOENG | Autumn is well and truly upon us and what better way to get us in the mood for fall than with a dark, brooding track from a very talented Brit. Eliza Shaddad has been making waves both here and across the pond for a while now and her latest single “Girls” looks sure to break boundaries even further.

Instantly reminiscent of the likes of Julia Jacklin or Daughter’s Elena Tonra, “Girls” soars with rich layers of musicality throughout. Starting slowly with Eliza’s smooth, sultry vocals taking centre stage, the chorus then kicks in with all its dream-pop goodness, creating an undeniably atmospheric sound that can’t help but draw you in. Known for her confessional songwriting, “Girls” is no exception as it tackles what its like to grow up at an all girls school and the relationships you can create—and break—while you’re there.

Having already supported Kate Tempest, Oh Wonder, Lucy Rose, and James Bay to name a few, it looks as though 2020 could very well be Eliza Shaddad’s year, so watch this space.

Catch Eliza live next at Pop Brixton, London on 6th November 2019 in association with TVD fave label Big Indie Records.

“Girls,” taken from Eliza’s new EP, due for release early next year, is in stores on 23rd October 2019 via Big Indie Records.

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