Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Tanners Pool

“Alternative rock” music is an incredibly broad description for hundreds of musical sub-genres. Tanners Pool are set to broaden the horizons of this tag however with the release of their debut EP, “Out of Line,” by adding certain dimensions to their sound that others may shy away from.

In keeping with the EP’s title, the record explores themes of pushing against the grain rather than following mainstream trends we are force-fed. Opening track “Bad Advice” kicks off with Jess Ashdale’s thrashing, distorted guitar which mirrors the Arctic Monkeys’ punchy, electric sound. While on “I’m Long Gone,” the band click into a funk rock groove akin to the Red Hot Chili Peppers with an expertly delivered wah-wah laden guitar solo.

The band revert back to their rock ’n’ roll roots in “Nothing and Nobody” and “Plastic Wings,” both songs filled with fuzzy guitar riffs and pounding drums. Each track on “Out of Line” offers something different as you work through the EP as Tanners Pool impressively traverse the lines between indie rock, funk, and classic rock.

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UK Artist of the Week: Fiona Soe Paing

With her debut album out next month, innovative artist Fiona Soe Paing has already been receiving acclaim from the likes of Mary Ann Hobbes and Tom Robinson, and wowing crowds with her unique live performances. On the new album Alien Lullabies, the half-Burmese, half-Scottish electronic producer and vocalist creates utterly unique soundscapes.

Influenced by artists such as Bjork and The Knife, Soe Paing creates beguiling tracks filled with off-kilter vocals and haunting electro vibes. Actually a soundtrack to a fantastical live performance consisting of 3D animation and cinematic scenes, Alien Lullabies is an eerie cacophony of strangely beautiful, intensely intriguing music.

With previous releases including a track sung in Burmese for the Sound Of The World compilation by the late, legendary musicologist Charlie Gillet, Fiona’s hoping to captivate the ears of many with her latest offering.

Alien Lullabies, the upcoming album from Fiona Soe Paing, is out 12th September 2016 via Colliderscope.

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Needle Drop: yllwshrk, “yllwshrk” EP

Classically trained, multi-instrumentalists yllwshrk have just released their self-titled, debut EP—a beautifully crafted fairytale of ups and downs. Fronted by composer Ian Anderson who recently worked on Radiohead’s new album along with bassist Dave Brown, the EP is a perfect representation of the potential of this newly minted combo.

There are similarities to Radiohead’s latest within the complex rhythms and harmonies scattered throughout the EP in conjunction with the majestic vocals of Sam West which are quite reminiscent of Jeff Buckley. All three of the tracks on the EP showcase West’s vocals with the band giving a clear nod to the singer on the ode, “Pull Me Under (In Memory of Jeff Buckley).”

“Northern Soul” showcases beautiful and intricate guitar work blended with technically impressive drums, and “Into Her Sleep With Envy” highlights yet another incredible vocal performance from West, reminiscent of Brooklyn’s finest, Grizzly Bear.

yllwshrk’s self-titled debut EP is out now via Oramic Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Melissa Bel

When Toronto-bred Melissa Bel met the love of her life at a wedding in Las Vegas, little did she know that it would mean uprooting her life forever. Her upcoming album Into The Light tells the story of how a girl from Canada followed her heart, and has now found herself based in rural Devon.

Filled with infectious beats and twinkling melodies, the album showcases Bel’s talent for writing emotive pop ballads, as well as her impassioned, powerful vocals. From the uptempo opener “Real Tonight” to catchy, heartfelt single “Stay Gone,” each track is strong in its lyrical storytelling and emotion-strewn sensibilities.

Inspired by legends such as Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder, and with a sound reminiscent of pop songstresses such as Taylor Swift or Meghan Trainor, Melissa Bel has the ability to captivate with her infectious, heartwarming pop offerings.

Having now released six albums over the last three years and played live dates including Montreal’s Festiblues and supporting Matthew Good, Bel will surely be receiving widespread acclaim with the release of  Into The Light.

Into The Light is out 4th November on Belhop Records.

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Needle Drop: Yvonne McDonnell, “Endless Soul” EP

Originally from East London, folk singer-songwriter Yvonne McDonnell started performing acoustically back in 2012. Since then, she has enjoyed playing alongside other musicians and has performed live sessions for Sofar Sounds in London and Cambridge. Delivering emotion-strewn tracks filled with charming violin melodies and the unique vibrato of her vocals, McDonnell has re-released her debut EP, “Endless Soul.”

Running consistently throughout the EP is the theme of being hurt by someone with deep insecurities, the emotions that go with this, and how we learn to empathize with others.

Opening track “I Didn’t Know” flows smoothly as McDonnell’s beautifully clear vocals run gently alongside lilting melodies with a subtle emotive power. Reminiscent of the likes of Tracy Chapman or Kate Rusby, yet with her own utterly unique sound, McDonnell has created something truly charming.

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Needle Drop: Bugeye, “Never Let You Go” EP

London-based electro-trash riot grrrls Bugeye have just released their wonderfully crafted EP “Never Let You Go”—and boy does it pack a pensive punch.

The band have reappeared after a decade out of action with an EP full of offbeat and quirky tracks that whisk you away with an honest, almost melancholic feel via their dark undertones and vocalist Angela Martin’s lyrics. The video for the single which was directed by Emma Nathan (who directed “Suddenly” for Anna Calvi) explores themes of domestic abuse. “Disco Dancer” and “Helga” also carry the same dreary undertones whilst somehow keeping the music upbeat.

The “Never Let You Go” EP not only hints at what could have been a decade ago but clears the path for the talented three-piece to fulfil their potential. Bugeye have created a beautifully unapologetic record that is both notable for its contemporary sound as much as it is for its vintage aesthetics.

Bugeye’s “Never Let You Go” EP is in stores now via Repeat Records/ Badger Recording Co.

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Needle Drop: HOMES, “Black Gold”

Welsh band HOMES formed in Cardiff last year and have since garnered support from BBC Wales and Buzz magazine. Now ready to take the rest of the UK (and beyond!) by storm, the band have shared a brand new single.

“Black Gold” is filled with fuzzy riffs, catchy hooks, and uptempo melodies. Oozing smooth, languid vocals, reminiscent of the likes of Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos, it’s an addictive slice of indie-pop.

Describing “Black Gold” as “Monday’s blues and Friday’s booze all mixed into one sentimental pint of coffee,” HOMES founder Dylan Morgan has explained that the track was inspired by the tale of an aspiring musician who refuses to give up despite all the odds being against him. This feeling of hope and determination flows from the track alongside its upbeat, catchy charm. As the twang of guitars races alongside Morgan’s deep drawl and undeniable charisma, “Black Gold” is an utterly infectious offering.

‘Black Gold’ is out now via Outback Recordings.

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Needle Drop: GANGS, “Thieves”

Scottish four piece GANGS are here to inject some rock ‘n’ roll back into the veins of the music industry with their new single “Thieves.” GANGS’ ballsy attitude, both in the studio and on stage, recall American garage rock bands of yesteryear.

Their single “Thieves” is a rugged, fast paced punk rock record, with an anthemic chorus combining elements of American garage rock—reminiscent of The Stooges—with the modern swagger of bands such as Slaves and Royal Blood. GANGS obviously has attitude to burn.

GANGS was formed in 2016 when Steven Young (vocals, guitar), Stevie McLaren (guitar), Marc MacCallum (bass, vocals), and Stephen Forbes (drums) came together through their mutual love of all things rock ‘n’ roll. Refreshingly, the band are forthright that they are content writing songs they believe in, and if “Thieves” is anything to go by, GANGS is certainly enjoying the music they make.

GANGS’ new single “Thieves” is out now via Smooth Action Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Schnarff Schnarff

This week’s AOTW is Scottish alternative rock band Schnarff Schnarff who marry sounds from a wide range of different influences producing their own unmistakable and memorable hybrid.

The Glasgow based rock quintet have recorded their first full-length album with renowned Scottish producer Paul Savage (Mogwai, The Twilight Sad, We Were Promised Jetpacks) which melds a variety of styles ranging from metal to pop-punk, grunge to emo. The band’s new single “Cadavers” is a prime example of how Schnarff Schnarff have adapted genres to create their own unique sound.

BBC Radio Scotland’s Vic Galloway described the band as “staccato grunge pop” as tracks “Flip The Cross” and “This Is How We Get Some” are delivered with the impetus and snarl of bands like Biffy Clyro, Saves The Day, and Taking Back Sunday. However, as becomes apparent, the band’s music has a deeper complexity to it with the grunge-heavy leanings of Nirvana inviting a dissonance and grit (especially on “Cadavers”) while on “Mario 1-2” they pull on the post-hardcore offerings of Bluetip.

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Needle Drop: Lessons, “Tempest” EP

Finland’s Lessons have released their debut EP “Tempest,” out now via Sinnbus. The EP touches upon near death experiences, addiction, and oppressive regimes via the eyes of an imagined, fictional character.

The trio have created their own electro-gloomgaze sound, channeling the synth pop of Devo and Suicide with a hint of ’90s shoegaze akin to the Cocteau Twins. They join an array of darker electro artists like SOHN and James Blake who have added an intimacy and reflective shade to the genre. However, Lessons display their own intensity that’s both seductive and intriguing.

The “Tempest” EP kicks off with the title-track, setting the standard with stunning synth tones, a delicate vocal, and a bass line that just won’t quit. “Laughter in the Dark” and “Double or Nothing” are strong pop songs, whilst “Glory” and “Secret Knowledge” are more emotive, displaying Lessons’ signature sounds.

Lessons’ “Tempest” EP is in stores now via Sinnbus.

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