Stars and Rabbit may seem relatively unknown to us on this side of the pond, but in Indonesia they’ve been building up a fan base for quite some time. Now, Elda Suryani and Adi Widodo embark on their first UK tour and are making mesmerizing waves everywhere they go.
As an introduction to their sound, the folk pop duo will be releasing their latest single ‘Man Upon The Hill’ on November 11th, but for now the pair have teased us with a free download of their beguiling album track “The House.” “The House” is a stunning piece of work which shows off lead singer Elda’s undeniably unique vocal throughout. Adi’s gorgeous musical arrangement fits in perfectly as well, making the track complete.
The duo formed in 2011 in Yogyakarta after Elda asked Ami for some songwriting advice. Needless to say, their musical relationship didn’t stop there and Stars and Rabbit was born. Having created names for themselves in their home country, they now hope to do the same in the UK and beyond by introducing us to their incredible sounds.
“Man Upon The Hill” is out on November 11 via Green Island Music, and the band play The Dublin Castle in London on October 20.
The return of Feeder to London was everything it should have been and more. Big, bold, brave, theatrical, nostalgic, monumental; it was fucking epic. Feeder frontmen Grant Nicholas and Taka Hirose treated a capacity crowd at London’s famed Roundhouse to a night filled with stellar performances backed by some of the best songwriting of the past two decades. It was a bombastic 90-minute journey that left the crowd pinching each other after the last song in an effort to convince themselves that was they just saw was real.
Touring in support of their critically acclaimed brilliant new record All Bright Electric, it’s hard to believe that these Welsh natives have been driving the scene forward since 1992. With each record, the band continues to evolve both sonically and lyrically with a slight pivot in direction on each. It’s just enough to keep their core sound while comfortably moving into new territory. All Bright Electric is clearly the band’s most forward thinking album.
Standout tracks from the latest are of course the lead single “Universe of Life,” which is quite remarkable. For the first time in their colorful twenty-five year career, these guys have finally managed to combine each element that makes them unique and distil it down to arguably their finest moment on record. The follow-up single “Eskimo” sees Feeder going a bit tribal and atmospheric which works beautifully as it sets up a wall-of-sound chorus that would make Phil Spector proud.
Singer-songwriters are inspired individuals who’ve honed their craft meticulously. Nottingham’s Gallery 47, aka Jack Peachey, is a prime example of a songwriter who creates every musical element among his recordings whilst embracing heartfelt, melancholic melodies revealing his personality and songcraft.
Peachey is set to release his third studio album, Clean, along with singles “Free Range,” “It’s Been A Long Day,” and “Some of You Don’t Get It.” Clean is a departure from hiss previous release All Will Be Well, as Jack was experiencing relationship and health issues at the time, yet managed to set off on tour with the Paul Weller across Europe and signed a publishing deal with BMG Berlin shortly afterward. (All did become well in the end as Jack and his ex reunited—and got married.)
Clean finds Jack with a new found peace—tracks “Dream Real” and “Never Alone” expressing his love for where he is in life and how he got there. Jack’s ability to reflect on personal experience draws upon Bob Dylan in tandem with Iron and Wine’s soft, bittersweet sound.
Clean from Gallery 47 is in stores 11th November 2016 via AWAL / Bad Production Records.
Scottish indie-pop band Rebel Westerns have released their exhilarating new single “Atomic Blonde”—and it’s a track that grabs your attention immediately.
“Atomic Blonde” keeps giving from the very start. The synth filled intro lets the song breathe and throughout the pop-like structure, there isn’t a dull moment. “You know that I’m no goodbye / but I can’t shake this feeling,” sings Dominic Thomson, his thought process exuding both infatuation and disloyalty.
There are certain melodies within the track that scream The 1975, but the band bring their own individuality to the music, retaining “indie pop” leanings that are far from generic. And while the band may not be on critics’ radar just yet, their potential is exploding having garnered support from Dermot O’Leary on BBC Radio 2, Amazing Radio, and Jim Gellatly. It will be interesting to see what Rebel Westerns have in store for us over the upcoming months.
Rebel Westerns’ “Atomic Blonde” is out now via Depot Records.
Our UK Artist of the Week are alternative rock twins Daniel and Graeme Ross, aka Gallery Circus. They’re set to release their latest riff-infused single “Club House Killer,” and there are many promising prospects on the horizon for the duo.
It’s hard to pin Gallery Circus down to a specific category. Their songs have elements of blues, alternative rock, pop punk, and indie—but this eclectic duo do not stick to the “norm.” Their raw energy akin to Royal Blood and Cold War Kids oozes from bar to bar, with Daniel’s undeniably infectious pop-rock vocals before the distortion-heavy guitar comes into play and turns everything up side down.
Daniel explains, “‘Club House Killer’ is a brutal story that depicts some of the characters we met when hanging out with a punk gang in Logan Square, Chicago. These guys swore by the punk rock motto: ‘Live fast, die young’—It was a crazy situation, so we grabbed a few bottles of whiskey and joined in for a little taste!”
Set to release her debut EP on 28th September, Amsterdam-based singer-songwriter Pip Blom writes, records, and releases all her own material, and has already received acclaim from 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens. “Are We There Yet?” is a short but sweet collection of three powerful tracks. Combining driving riffs with sweet, catchy melodies—it’s a true treat.
First track “Taxi Driver” immediately hits you with its uptempo indie-pop goodness. Undeniably catchy, its infectious lo-fi fuzz and jangly melodies will no doubt stick in your head upon first listen. Flowing with Blom’s honey-sweet vocals, it’s a track wonderful in its simplicity.
“Honey” is grittier than its predecessor; filled with grunge-inspired, languid riffs, it oozes a raw power showcasing this young songwriter’s skill for creating her own impressive indie sound. Reminiscent of some pioneering ‘90s female Brit Pop bands such as Sleeper or Elastica, “Alone” closes the EP in a gentler, more reflective tone. With acoustic twangs of guitar and Blom’s stripped-back vocals, it exudes a refreshing, honest vulnerability and emotion-strewn openness. A contemplative and delicately beautiful end to an inspired debut.
Although Pip Blom’s influences are clear on “Are We There Yet?”—most notably Aussie songwriter Courtney Barnett—that’s no bad thing in my book. I can’t get enough of these scuzzy, raw indie anthems.
“Are We There Yet?” is out 28th September via Toaster Records.
Post-punk rockers John Alcabean have released their excellent debut EP, “Real Time Fiction,” which is laced with stunning melodies and electrifying guitars that carry a certain melancholic twist creating depth within the wall of noise.
John Alcabean are still a relatively new band (in the vein of Drenge, Wolf Alice, and Royal Blood) with brand new songs, an unfinished line up, and have yet to break out of Europe to play shows. This being said, their potential is through the roof. While the band is still relatively unknown, they’ve recently had their second single “Fire” premiered by Clash, who stated that track is a “taut, energised piece of noise rock bluster…”
The song that introduces the “Real Time Fiction” EP is also the band’s first single “Need Comfort,” its initial riff swelling in anticipation of the drums and bass taking complete control. “I’ll close my eyes when you’re fine,” is the line that resonates, producing much-needed depth within the wall of guitars. “Fire” is introduced with “Slow” and is an stellar choice for a single that showcases a mix of ’90s guitar drenched effects with melodies that linger.
Denmark has seen its underground alternative music scene thrive over the past few years, with bands such as Captain Casanova and John Alcabean emerging and making statements with their even mix of post punk and ’90s influenced grunge, thrashing guitars, and melancholic vocals. Federal Unicorn is another band to make Denmark’s alternative scene proud—and this one is a beauty.
Early this year Federal Unicorn released their EP “Substances” via Tapetown Records and are well renowned for touring all over Europe, the UK, and Canada. The three-piece—Robert Jancewicz (guitar, vocals), Kuba Sypniewski (bass), and Kristian Nielsen (drums, backing vocals)—have been making music together since 2010. Their 2014 album Come Again, featured a broader sound which they’ve now honed into the edgier, modern grunge heard on “Substances.”
The EP is about “facing your demons, telling good from bad, finding beauty in ugly, and trusting your own mind and flesh,” say the band. “A lot of it is a product of taking really long walks in search of unidentified treasures. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don’t, sometimes you end up with poison on your tongue and your mind in an abyss and all the while you observe and contemplate.”
Tanners Pool are bringing back classic rock ‘n’ roll with their debut EP “Out of Line” out now via Alt/Logic.
The EP kicks off with the punchy, guitar driven “Bad Advice’” where lead guitarist Jess Ashdale immediately makes a name for herself with her insane guitar solo taking center stage. Funk-rock number “I’m Long Gone” feels more akin to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and shifts my initial thoughts on the EP quite drastically in the process. The track feels completely different to “Bad Advice”—it has a distinct edge that’s quite memorable.
Given latter tracks “Nothing and Nobody” and “Plastic Wings” I can’t help but feel a bit disappointed that their funk-rock edge seems to have disappeared into the abyss and we’re back to the more generic classic rock sound. Are they missing a trick here?
Regardless, this debut EP from the Oxford quartet is definitely worth a listen and this band could be something very special. In a world filled with fresh new indie bands, it would be nice to see something a bit unique come out of the woodwork, and with a bit of tweaking, perhaps these guys could be it.
Having received acclaim from Amazing Radio’s Jim Gellatly, BBC Radio Scotland, and Clash, Edinburgh four-piece SHVLLOWS are currently enjoying the rise in attention and seek to continue the streak with their latest offering.
New single “Zurich” is an anthemic slice of indie-pop with catchy synth-laden melodies and subtle cinematic power. Oozing uptempo ‘80s vibes, it’s an infectious track that explores themes of anxiety and self-doubt.
Juxtaposing insightful, lyrical storytelling and melodies, “Zurich” is an atmospheric offering strewn with sweeping emotion and positive energy—a real treat for fans of light-hearted electro-pop. (You can certainly hear why Made In Chelsea featured the track in one of their undoubtedly dramatic and emotion-filled episodes.)
“Zurich,” the new single from SHVLLOWS is in stores 16th September via Choose Rude Records.