Category Archives: TVD UK

Needle Drop: Outblinker, “The Remains of Walter Peck” EP

Outblinker’s “The Remains of Walter Peck” EP is an abrasive and aggressive fusion of rock and electronic music recorded and co-written with Ben Power of Blanck Mass and Fuck Buttons. It’s a project with confident fuck you attitude and style.

Quoting from the press release, “Fame is just so fucking futile. That’s the thing about being an outsider. You accept your fate. You know that 50 years from now a bank won’t be butchering your work to flog mortgages to suckers. You make your noise and you watch it echo for a bit then dissipate. Like our protagonist, Walter Peck, your ashes are gradually diluted by a planet of dirt and your music even more rapidly subsumed by the white noise of the world…”

First track “Walter Peck” is an up tempo, industrial banger full of anguish, mystery, and volatility where dark synth tones are the focus. The second track, “Farrokh Bulsara,” generates its ambience with a more soothing approach, and the third, “Ernest Becker,” is the most sinister of the EP’s three songs—developing ominous tones throughout the intro, building with harmonies, and growing at its own pace toward an 11 minute crescendo.

“The Remains of Water Peck” EP is in stores now via Stabbed In The Back Records.

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Needle Drop: Mairearad Green, “The Island”

Mairearad Green has had a rather great year so far; her album Summer Isles has received universal critical acclaim and she’s recently announced she’ll be touring the UK and performing Summer Isles in its entirety. Mairearad has also just released her latest single “The Island,” which is taken from the album and available to purchase for a price of your choosing—splendid!

“The Island” immediately invites you in with its gorgeous blend of sounds—accordion, guitar, and Mairearad’s warm, soft vocals. Soon as a banjo arrives, one can’t help but feel as if you’re drifting off into a beautiful abyss. As the song reaches its peak, we are welcomed with a layering of backing vocals heralding summer.

The track of course is taken from Mairearad’s stunning latest album which speaks to the Summer Isles in Scotland and how they have affected Mairearad’s life and her music. The entire album is a mature progression from her previous work, filled with mesmerizing cinematic vignettes.

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UK Artist of the Week: Newtimers

Our artist of the week is Swedish alternative electro-pop duo Newtimers whose sensual pop melodies flow with ease and whose hooks perhaps even Justin Timberlake might struggle to compose.

Now, we may have been a little hasty comparing Newtimers to the likes of JT, but the boys aren’t too far off, creating hits that could easily be in Billboard’s Top 200. In fact a remix of their single “Best Of Me” featured on their EP entitled “EP One” was curated by the talented Monsieur Adi, known for creating official remixes for Ellie Goulding as well as Beyonce, Bastille, Lana Del Rey, and The Kooks.

The tracks featured on “EP One” were written during a time when both songwriters were suffering from broken hearts. “It’s full of who, what, wheres, and whys—seeing past, present, and future,” say the band. Although the songs were written under upsetting circumstances, there’s more hope here than melancholy.

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Needle Drop: The Van T’s, “Blood Orange”

Twin sisters Hannah and Chloe Van Thompson started writing songs at the young age of 17, decided to put a band together shortly thereafter, and despite the group still being in its infancy, The Van T’s have already played at major festivals across the UK showcasing their new single “Blood Orange,” as premiered on BBC Radio 1 with Huw Stephens.

The single demonstrates The Van T’s characteristics perfectly as electrifying guitar howls echo from the speakers, bridged beautifully by the twin sisters’ duel vocals, all neatly harnessed by the simple yet effective interplay between drums and bass—while the main hook in the chorus wedges itself into your memory.

Premiering on Noisey, the video sees the band go full ’90s inspired MTV2 with grainy, filtered visuals edited sharply befitting the high-octane nature of the song. “Blood Orange” is a contemporary, scuzz filled record that screams influences from the likes of The Smashing Pumpkins, the B-52’s, and Le Butcherettes.

“Blood Orange” by The Van T’s is in stores now via Bloc+Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Captain Casanova

The ’90s sound is definitely experiencing a successful revival among today’s alternative rock scene. In this case, it’s Danish rockers Captain Casanova and their new single “Futures,” which incorporates grunge filled scuzz, demonstrating similar characteristics to that of its predecessors in Nirvana, Pavement, and Dinosaur Jr.

The Aarhus based three-piece channel grunge-infused garage rock on their latest offering and whilst the chorus feels bright and uplifting, the message behind the song takes on a more sombre note. “The song is written as an explanation and a goodbye to the son of my former girlfriend,” explains guitarist and singer Rasmus Bredvig. “It’s also a song about the frustration of loosing and not wanting to loose that naïve point of view where you think something will last forever.”

The band’s new single “Futures” contains video footage taken from Rasmus’ childhood days, which are deliberately more uplifting than the message of the song itself. It’s a nostalgic look back into Rasmus’ past—keeping the feeling and those days vivid and alive in his memory.

“Futures” is in stores now via Tapetown Records.

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TVD Live Shots: Better Noise Records Showcase at The Garage, 6/8

Photographed by Jason Miller-18

My first gig in London since moving here 10 days ago comes in the form of a proper record label showcase. To be honest, I didn’t think they really did these things anymore as the last one I attended was many moons ago when I worked at Sony Music. It was quite refreshing to see a label dedicate an entire evening to three of their most promising artists.

The label is called Better Noise Records and it’s an imprint of Eleven Seven Music (Motley Crue, Sixx AM (which I’m hoping to shoot soon as I got denied last time in SF (hint hint)), Five Finger Death Punch, Papa Roach—you get the picture. Better Noise was created to support the new blood while Eleven Seven stays focused on the heritage acts. It makes perfect sense and it looks and sounds to me like they are off to a pretty good start.

Photographed by Jason Miller-2

First up that evening was  Anavae, a female fronted rock band from London. Not really my cup of tea per-se, but I think this band could very easily find an audience. Falling somewhere between Paramore and Flyleaf—more towards the Flyleaf side as they definitely had the soaring choruses over substantially heavy riffs —the live show was solid. I took a listen to the band on Spotify the morning after and it’s pretty polished stuff ready for the masses. Again, not my bag but certainly there’s an audience out there waiting to jump all over this band.

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UK Artist of the Week: Cadence Kid

These days it seems like it’s pretty hard to come by a genuinely summer-infused, indie-pop song with a matching video to boot. But that is exactly what Jason Turbin, aka Cadence Kid, has effortlessly managed with his latest single “Hold On Me,” and just one of the reasons why he is our Artist of The Week.

Turbin describes himself as “naturally introverted”—hard to believe based upon “Hold On Me” which feels flawlessly open and easygoing from the first bar. The track is filled with upbeat, breezy vibes that remind you of what summer is really about. The instrumentation is exacting throughout—and Jason performs it all himself (excluding drums constructed by Grammy award-winning producer and brother, Cassidy Turbin). If you’re a fan of Foster The People and Peter Bjorn and John, you’re in for a real treat.

Despite his relatively unknown status, Jason is not at all new to the music industry; he’s orchestrated and composed music for many films, as well as Dream Theater’s number one album The Astonishing. Jason is definitely not one to enjoy sitting down and twiddling his thumbs, and we hope for this reason he’s going to keep the summer sizzlers coming.

“Hold On Me” is in stores now via My Music Mind.

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UK Artist of the Week: Lessons

Our Artist of the Week this week is Lessons—a synth pop trio from Germany and Finland respectively, who are bringing the ’80s back with a vengeance.

Now, we say synth pop, but its difficult to really pin down a genre for these guys. The title track from their latest EP “Tempest” oozes a wide range of authentic ’80s sounds but is also filled with shoegaze snippets and a whole lot of bass. Fans of SOHN, Deluxe, and Cocteau Twins will not be disappointed.

The trio met after brothers Samu and Ville Kuuka left their hometown of Helsinki for Berlin and soon met Patrick Sudarski (vocals), and despite each of them eventually moving away from Helsinki, they all stayed in touch and were soon to form Lessons.

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The TVD First Date

“Vinyl records were always a mysterious thing to me. When I was growing up everyone had cassettes and then CDs. I remember going round to my parents’ friends’ houses and being fascinated by their vinyl collections.”

“I distinctly recall picking up a pristine copy of Michael Jackson’s Bad album and opening up this thing of beauty with the giant sleeve pictures and notes. It felt like it was something very special to behold. Putting on the record made the music sound even better with that indescribable vinyl tone…miles away from cassette sound. I also loved sifting through my parents old vinyl singles collection—there were some amazing covers in there! I kept hold of Blondie’s “Atomic” and put it on my wall!

Later on in my teens I had an extensive CD collection and loved those great bands who really made an effort to emulate the vinyl experience on their CD releases through elaborate sleeves and track sequencing. Bands like Pearl Jam and Radiohead have some notable examples of the vinyl influence—particularly their albums Vitalogy and Hail to the Thief. I would love it (like many would) when bands printed the lyrics in their sleeves, so the whole process of listening to the album became ‘an experience.’

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UK Artist of the Week: Yvonne McDonnell

We’re living in a time when the struggle for recognition between male and female performers is constantly shrinking—although it took a while—and it’s become increasingly exciting to hear the talent that’s burgeoning among young singer-songwriters—of both sexes.

Yvonne McDonnell is one of these young singer-songwriters. She’s new to the game but already seems to be making waves, which is why she’s our Artist of the Week this week.

Her latest single “I’m Not This Layer Of Skin” is taken from her forthcoming EP “Not Her Own.” The track, along with the EP, speaks to female empowerment and the ability to face daily struggles with strength and with support. Yvonne’s vocal is extremely unique but perfect for the folk world—filled with vibrato and sincere emotion and the same story-telling charms akin to Laura Marling and Kate Rusby.

Although Yvonne has already released her debut EP “Endless Soul,” we think it will be “Not Her Own” that really puts her on the map and will invite an escape from London’s increasingly oversaturated music market. Yvonne’s voice is one that deserves to be heard—loud and proud.

“Not Her Own” is out on Friday 17th June 2016 via Reality Is Over.

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