Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Army Of Bones

Already known for their engaging live shows, Brighton band Army Of Bones have received praise from the likes of The Revue and BBC Introducing and sold-out headline gigs across the UK. Now, with their debut album out next month, they are undoubtedly looking like Ones To Watch in 2017.

An album filled with songs of hope tinged with doubt, Army Of Bones’ eponymous debut is a creation inspired by the power of music to heal divisions. Filled with frontman Martin Smith’s soaring melancholic vocals and sweeping cinematic melodies, it’s a contemplative collection of powerful, emotion-strewn offerings.

From tracks such as the impassioned, anthemic “End Of Time,” to the more upbeat, driving electro-pop sound of “Batteries,” and the heart-wrenching emotion of “Ecclesiastes,” each track exudes a truly captivating, dramatic power. Filled with profound lyrical reflections that flow seamlessly alongside a rich musicality, this debut is sure to cement Army Of Bones firmly in our ears, and our hearts, for the long-term.

Army Of Bones, the eponymous debut album, is out 6 March via Bones Music Group.

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UK Artist of the Week:
The Nyx

PHOTO: KEIRA ANEE | London four-piece The Nyx are a band full of bite and raucous energy. Their debut self-titled EP is out on 21st April 2017 and they’ve already teased us with two undeniably powerful cuts to get you in the mood for their ferocious female rock.

Both “Home” and “Hideaway” feature front woman Simone Picknett’s authentic lead vocals which carry the song effortlessly. However, she is not the only band member graced with an undeniable ability to command a mic—The Nyx are blessed with not one but two front women, and Becky Wixon’s equally fierce vocals take centre stage in the second half of the EP with “Fire Breathing Lady” and “Myself.” These two vocalists merge brilliantly while also having their own completely different personalities.

Completing the quartet are Ruby Rose Lee (bass) and Collette Williams (drums) and we can’t help but notice that these ladies put on one hell of a live show. Fans of Hole and The Julie Ruin will be relieved to hear that riot grrrl rock is back—and thriving.

“The Nyx” is out on 21st April 2017 via Rumours Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Fuzzystar

Our Artist of The Week is Edinburgh’s own Fuzzystar, aka Andy Thomson. Andy started out as a solo artist under the same pseudonym before he recruited a team of revolving musicians to assist him on his way.

Fuzzystar’s forthcoming album Telegraphing arrives in stores on 28th April and he’s already shared two stunning cuts from the LP. The first of which, “High Friends” is a slow building, feel good track that compliments Thomson’s soft, colloquial vocals perfectly. As the full force of the song comes into play, you can feel elements from The Cribs and Sun Kil Moon heavily influencing Fuzzystar’s infectiously charming indie pop vibe.

Next up is the immediately upbeat “Angel Transported,” filled with some undeniably catchy guitar hooks. This song may be a bit too generic indie for some, but we urge you to dig a little deeper and enjoy the mesmerizing storytelling charm that Andy seems to easily evoke.

Telegraphing is on store shelves 28th April, 2017 via Satellite Sounds and “Angel Transported” is released on 24th February, 2017.

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TVD Live Shots: Meshuggah and The Haunted at the O2 Kentish Town Forum, 1/20

I’ve seen some metal shows in my time, but Meshuggah is by far the heaviest. They make Lamb of God sound like Air Supply. Their time signatures are so incredibly insane that even Stephen Hawking would have trouble deciphering them. It’s controlled chaos that’s orchestrated perfectly by one of the most forward-thinking bands on the planet—and it’s a fucking mind trip to watch live.

Meshuggah‘s name (almost) literally translates to “crazy” in Yiddish. It’s the perfect word for encapsulating the contribution this Swedish experimental death metal band has provided the genre over the past 25 plus years. The band’s eighth studio album, The Violent Sleep of Reason, continues to push forward and evolve their very complex sound.

Drummer Tomas Haake (named by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest drummers of all time) recently talked to Loudwire about the songwriting process which is equally as complicated as the song structures. Haake says, in a nutshell, that the band doesn’t write on tour because “they tend to compartmentalize their responsibilities and even a show three months out can disrupt the writing.”

The process of writing actually starts on a computer and later translates into a live setting. Rehearsals take months to perfect the mind-bending rhythms and time signatures, and the band has reported playing one song more than 50 times straight through in rehearsal with an additional 20 in order to nail the recording.

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UK Artist of the Week: Rainbrother

Danish songwriter Bjarke Bentsen has been making a splash across the globe for a while now—although you may not know it. Having previously released music under the name The Migrant, Bjarke is back with a new collective of musicians as psychedelic folk outfit Rainbrother.

Having supported well-established acts like Kurt Vile, Villagers, and Sharon Van Etton, Rainbrother have been receiving huge amounts of praise for their debut album Tales From The Drought. The first track taken from the album “Riverside” was premiered by the highly regarded UK label Fat Cat Records and the band have been flying higher and higher ever since. Their latest single “Blue” is a feel-good banger that will whisk those winter cobwebs away, feeling reminiscent of early Fleet Foxes as well as indie newcomers Whitney.

Bjarke formed Rainbrother after returning to Copenhagen and meeting up with a group of fellow Danish musicians who had previously performed with Bjarke while touring as The Migrant. The rest, as they say, is history and the band have been going from strength to strength ever since.

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TVD Live Shots: Sabaton, Accept, Twilight Force at the Brixton Academy, 1/14

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“We are Sabaton and we play heavy metal,” says Joakim Brodén singer and frontman of Sabaton. This Swedish power metal band are the masters in their niche of singing songs about war and historical battles. Make no mistake, Sabaton wear their influences on the sleeves, well more like on their (camouflage) pants, literally. Army helmets, cannons, fire, explosions, tanks—these guys are not f*cking around when it comes to putting on a full-blown metal show and the fans hang on every single note.

I’ve seen some metal shows in my life but never have I seen a crowd fist pump in unison so perfectly. The energy in the room was undeniable and the comradery that Sabaton orchestrated with their fans is absolutely remarkable. That crowd was losing their sh*t the ENTIRE time and it was contagious.

Touring in support of their 8th studio album, The Last Stand is a concept which takes inspiration from famous defensive “last stand” battles. Released in August of last year, The Last Stand debuted at number one in the Czech Republic, Finland, and of course their home country of Sweden. It’s a testament to the power of metal and the insanely large fanbase in Europe.

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UK Artist of the Week: Be Charlotte

Fronted by teenager Charlotte Brimner, Scottish three-piece Be Charlotte are set to release a brand new single later this month. I’ve no doubt that it’s going to take the world by storm.

“One Drop” showcases just why Brimner is already regarded as one of Scotland’s most cutting-edge songwriters. Skillfully fusing an eclectic range of genres, the track combines elements of hip-hop, electro, and pop, creating a truly infectious and hugely addictive dance-floor anthem.

As Brimner’s Scottish twang alternates between sweeping, impassioned vocal power and gritty beat-boxing loops, “One Drop” races with twinkling melodies alongside throbbing beats and glitchy electro vibes—a vibrant and innovative creation, bound to propel Be Charlotte into the mainstream in no time.

Having already received acclaim from BBC Radio 1 and Radio X, Be Charlotte have also been named as one of The Great Escape’s First Fifty for 2017, and are going to be playing SXSW in March. This year certainly looks set to be a big one for Be Charlotte.

“One Drop” is out 20 January via AWAL/Kobalt Label Service.

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UK Artist of the Week: DYVE

When we first heard Adam Cleaver here at TVD we were pretty impressed. He’s previously released two rather successful solo EPs that fall somewhere between Ben Howard’s chilled acoustic folk melodies and Thom Yorke’s flawless falsetto vibes. Well, fast forward to the present day and Cleaver has teamed up with a host of new musicians to create minimalist, electronic outfit DYVE.

Their debut single “Half Awake” is a real treat for the ears; filled with stunning electronic twists and turns, and of course Adam’s soaring vocal centre stage. It perhaps isn’t all that new to us in a world of James Blakes and RY Xs, but there is definitely some amazing talent here and it’s an exciting first release from the London collective.

Adam formed DYVE after travelling around Europe on his own and some might say “finding himself.” Well, whatever he found, it’s working—we say keep it up!

“Half Awake” is out on 20th January 2017 via Veta Records.

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Needle Drop: Crash Club, “C.C.101” EP

Glasgow’s Crash Club are giving the electro genre a bit of a shake up with their own unique brand of electro rock on their latest EP “C.C.101.”

“Pennydrop” is a track with hard edges and melodic grooves—there’s a touch of Prodigy about the first half but the vocal melody provides a tremendous “come down.” Meanwhile on “Chemicals,” the band opt for a more disjointed approach, but it’s the vocals that let the side down here. There’s something very masculine about the music that would most likely be elevated by more ethereal vocals, something which the band experiment with on “Last Dance,” which is by far the stand out.

There’s a frenetic energy about Crash Club’s music which will no doubt be felt live. However, with the sheer amount of sophisticated electro acts out there at the moment, Crash Club fall ever so slightly by the wayside. Somewhat dated in attack, the band would have no doubt hit it big in the mid ’90s, but unless they alter their approach to fit these more sophisticated times, it’s doubtful whether we’ll see them headlining a big festival anytime soon.

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Needle Drop: Melissa Bel, In the Light

Canadian born, ’50s inspired singer Melissa Bel recently released her latest album In the Light—a collection of flirtatious, feel-good pop songs filled with sass and emotion. Melissa now resides in the UK after she went to friend’s wedding in Las Vegas and met the love of her life, and In the Light was born.

Opening track “Real Tonight” is about that night in Vegas. It has an upbeat, fresh feeling, preparing you perfectly for what’s to come from the album, although title track “In the Light” almost flips this on its head and reveals Melissa’s more emotional side. Her soothing voice transcends the speakers creating a tranquil atmosphere.”In the Light” is followed by the effervescent “Stay Gone” which is a true ear-worm.

The album changes course again with “Dirty Word” which has an amusing, lively feel that seems anything but serious, barring the lyrics, “You say love, like it’s a dirty word…” “Big Boys Don’t Cry” follows in the same suit with melodies that are akin to some of Cee Lo’s wax.

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