Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Jack Stark

We made it guys! 2020 is nearly over and we can honestly say we couldn’t be happier about it. We close the year with a very special release from Scottish newcomer Jack Stark, who’s new single “As Feathers” is a stunning slice of indie-folk that feels aptly fitting for the winter months. So get those fires burning, sit back, relax and enjoy…

“As Feathers” feels instantly reminiscent of the likes of Bon Iver and Fleet Foxes, as intricate guitar plucks compliment effortless harmonies throughout, creating a sound that is just otherworldly. Jack’s distinctive baritone soars magnificently, giving the song another level of intimacy and poignancy.

There’s something incredibly unique about Jack’s storytelling charm that will literally give you chills as you listen, and for that, we are extremely grateful. It’s been a tough year for all of us and sometimes a bit of ethereal indie-folk is all you need.

“As Feathers” is the first single to be taken from Jack’s upcoming album Echobounds, due for release in 2021.

“As Feathers” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Chris Short

You’d better have some tissues handy, because this week’s Artist of The Week is bound to to get those tear ducts working! Irish newcomer Chris Short recently shared his stunning new single “Higher” and it’s the perfect winter warmer to get those emotions flowing.

“Higher” is instantly reminiscent of the likes of Foy Vance or Newton Faulkner as he combines elements of folk and pop to create a sound that is powerfully poignant. The charming lyrics compliment Chris’ distinctively gritty vocal tone, allowing the intricate guitar twangs and lo-fi electronics to hum supportingly in the background.

“Higher” was written about Chris’ wife of ten years and his ongoing love for her. “Higher” is the first single to be taken from Chris’ forthcoming EP, “Somewhere,” due for release in May 2021.

“Higher” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Josh Thorpe

Get ready to get a little fuzzy this week with Josh Thorpe and his experimental new single “Manhattan,” out now.

Taken from his upcoming album Love & Weather, “Manhattan” is the perfect introduction to Josh’s unique blend of off-kilter alternative rock. Reminiscent of Velvet Underground and Kurt Vile, Josh combines colloquial lyricism with minimalist rock beats creating a sound that is undeniably adventurous and obscure.

Josh is originally from Canada but now resides in Glasgow where he continues to work as a visual artist who has made psychedelic installations of threads, balloons, and “a big public work of flags flying with stupid drawings on them.” If “Manhattan” is anything to go by, we’re excited to see what Love & Weather will bring. Watch this space…

Love & Weather is in stores on 5th February 2021 via Unusual Music Exchange.

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UK Artist of the Week: Camden Place

With the pandemic still running wild all over the world, it’s sometimes hard to feel optimistic about when things will be back to normal again. Now, more than ever, we need to look after our mental health and remind ourselves it’s ok to feel low or anxious in these unprecedented times. Collaborative dance project Camden Place remind us of just that on their ambient new single “Will I Make It To Springtime,” out now.

Blending woozy synths, transcendent drum beats, and singer-songwriter Grainne Hunt’s soft, celestial vocal, “Will I Make It To Springtime” is the perfect lo-fi slice of electronica to get you through the winter months. Grainne has teamed up with Irish songwriter Seán Silke, electronic producer Magician’s Assistant, and label Beardfire Music for this release and it certainly seems like the new found collective are onto something good if this debut is anything to go by. Fans of the likes of Bonobo and Four Tet will feel at home here.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is a song about facing your fears and accepting your anxieties, something that feels extremely relatable at the moment.

“Will I Make It To Springtime” is in stores now via Beardfire Music.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sans Soucis

PHOTO: CHIARA BRUSCHINI | As the UK goes back into lockdown for another month, it’s tough to not to get bogged down and forget about all the positives in your life, and that’s ok. Get lost instead in Sans Soucis’ hypnotic new single “Air,” a song about finding your focus and facing your fears.

London-based artist Sans Soucis has us entirely entranced, and we’re not complaining. Her new single “Air” showcases her haunting vocals and poignant lyricism perfectly. The richly textured electronic beat throughout is totally mesmerising as well, by the way.

Talking about the single, Sans explains, “I spent quite some time wallowing in my insecurities and fear of failure, that I almost forgot how much courage it takes in a time like this to be real, to still believe we can inspire each other, to believe we can support and help people around us by simply being a great example. It’s a tremendous responsibility that I can only actively do while I am alive. “Air” is vital for our survival, which is something that we’ve started reconsidering during this tough year. With this song, I am trying to talk to someone who has lost focus, their compass or purpose.”

“Air” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Roma Rose

Roma Rose embraces the high and lows of motherhood on her charming new single “In My Head,” out now. With all the negativity in the world at the moment, Roma Rose’s latest cut is a breath of fresh air.

The Scottish artist reminds us to be true to ourselves on her poignant new single “In My Head” and it’s just rather lovely in all honesty. Roma’s soulfully sweet vocal compliments the celestial musicality perfectly and her highly relatable lyrics reminds us instantly of the likes of fellow singer-songwriter Maisie Peters. The track has an added adorable surprise feature from Roma’s one year old daughter, so get ready to gush appropriately.

“Her interwoven, joyous sounds also speak to the inner child inside all of us, who we so often push down and don’t let burst through the surface,” Roma explains. “I love being a mum more than anything, but never felt I fitted the mould of who a mother should be. I wanted so badly to connect with other new mums at awkward baby groups (who were probably feeling similar things!) but didn’t know how to connect my real self with this new life and this new person I had become—a mother.”

“In My Head” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Collect Call

Ease your way into the working week with Collect Call and their stunningly intricate new single “Pretense,” out now.

Instantly reminiscent of the likes of Sufjan Stevens, Collect Call’s “Pretense” is the perfect indie-folk song to get your through the winter months. Lead singer Joe Thorpe’s beautifully fragile vocals are at the forefront, soaring effortlessly over gentle guitar strums and tentative drum beats to create a sound that is wonderfully poignant.

Talking about the single, Joe explains, “This song is love letter within the digital age. It’s hard to perceive what people are really thinking alongside the echo chamber of the internet exacerbating our frustrations. It’s important to leave your phone alone and care for the people who actually matter in your life and love them properly.”

Collect Call has developed from Joe’s solo project into a fully fledged band and Joe shows no signs of looking back.

“Pretense” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Little Suspicions

Alex Turner, is that you? No, but you’d be forgiven for assuming so if Little Suspicions’ “Wasting All My Time” is anything to go by. British new kids on the block, Little Suspicions have just released their debut single and it’s a symphonic delight from start to finish.

It’s no surprise that the rising quartet have referenced both The Last Shadow Puppets and Scott Walker as major influences. Their debut single “Wasting All My Time” is instantly reminiscent of both artists, taking us on a much needed trip down memory lane.

The finished product is slick, euphoric, and incredibly charming—as Alex Turner himself I’m sure would agree. Yes, it’s not groundbreaking, but it is an extremely impressive debut and an exciting start for the UK four-piece. Watch this space, we’re sure we’ll be seeing much more from them on the coming months…

“Wasting All My Time” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Marija Clara

Get ready for the ultra immersive experience in the form of UK artist Marija Clara and her celestial new single “Heavenly,” out now.

We know, we know, Tuesdays suck, so why not forgot all your weekly worries for a sec and get totally mesmerised by Marija Clara’s euphoric new single “Heavenly.” It is, well, heavenly and an ethereal gem from start to finish.

Talking about the single, Marija explains, “‘Heavenly’ is a song that celebrates self-empowerment. The message of  ‘just in case you wondered, my life without you has been heavenly’ is wrapped up in a slow R&B beat; a nod to the groove-fuelled ’90s R&B I grew up listening to.” We love it.

Marija Clara is is known for creating an alluring musical experience that encompasses the audience by exquisite melody and soft, multi-layered harmonies and rhythms. Currently based in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Marija was educated in the UK and is originally from Lithuania.

“Heavenly” is the lead single taken from Marija’s debut EP “Deep Dive,” which is also in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Versari

PHOTO: RENAUD de FOVILLE | We’ve ended up in France (theoretically) for this week’s AOTW, and the band’s new release is a post-punk marvel from start to finish. French trio Versari have recently announced the release of their forthcoming album Sous La Peau, due in stores on 16th November 2020 and we cannot wait.

Taken from the album is the powerful new single “Brûle,” out now. It’s a track oozing with abrasive edges and post-hardcore soundscapes that are bound to instantly wake you up from those mid-week slumbers—whether you like it or not. Jean-Charles Versari’s captivating vocal tone soars over the fuzz-filled guitar and pulsating drum beats, sounding reminiscent of The Fall and post-punk newcomers TV Priest as a result.

This dynamic trio formed in 2003 and they’ve not looked back since as their sound evolves once more with the release of Sous La Peau. If “Brûle” is anything to go by, we’re in for seductively melancholic treat.

Sous La Peau is in stores on 16th November 2020 via Good Deeds.

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UK Artist of the Week: A.S. Fanning

We are living in trying times right now and it’s so important—now more than ever—to look after each other and our own mental health. Irish artist A.S. Fanning reminds us of this with his powerfully poignant new single “You Should Go Mad,” out now.

Taken from his upcoming album of the same name, “You Should Go Mad” combines elements of goth-rock, psychedelia, and classic rock creating a sound that is wonderfully dark and richly resonant. Fans of The National and David Bowie will feel at home here. Talking about the single, A.S. Fanning, aka Stephen Fanning, elaborates, “’You Should Go Mad’ is a song about mental illness or ill-health, or more specifically about anxiety.”

“The title came from Moby Dick. There’s a section in it where Ahab is speaking with the blacksmith, Perth. Perth has had a lot of misfortune in his life but is a very stoic person. Ahab tells him ‘I am impatient of all misery in others that is not mad. Thou should’st go mad, blacksmith’. I suppose I found it a funny piece of advice, the idea that madness is somehow a beneficial choice, or preferential to internal turmoil.”

Fanning is originally from Dublin but now lives in Berlin. His upcoming album You Should Go Mad is due for release on 13th November 2020 via Proper Octopus Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Dan Sumner

Brighton-based artist Dan Sumner is being celebrated today as this week’s Artist of The Week and we have no doubt you’ll understand why after listening to his poignant new single “Let The Light In,” out now.

With an impassioned baritone vocal that even The National’s Matt Berninger would envy, Dan Sumner is quickly becoming known in his seaside hometown as one to watch. His latest single “Let The Light In” blends the genres of rock, folk, and blues to create a sound that is entirely his own and filled with captivating, textured moments that are bound to warm your heart—no matter how cold it is.

“Let The Light In” is a song about someone locking themselves away from the world and needing to look outside and see that there are people who love them out there and not to suffer alone, something we are all guilty of at times. “Let The Light In” is the second single to be taken from Dan’s upcoming album Ebb and Flow, due for release in November 2020.

“Let The Light In” is in stores now via AWAL.

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TVD Live Shots: The
Glen Matlock Band at the Electric Ballroom, 9/10

It was the first proper concert in London in more than six months, and likely one of the only live music events held in a proper club across the world. The last time I saw a gig was on March 14th as Wembley Arena. Morrissey had been known to cancel gigs at the last minute, but this one actually went on and was the last night of the tour. London would shut down the following day, and live music would cease to exist for the foreseeable future. The live music scene has been decimated to the point where the government finally stepped in to help. But of course, that’s not enough.

Over the past few weeks, there has been a glimmer of hope with limited socially distanced gigs at outdoor venues and a failed attempt at the Clapham Grand in London. Frank Carter played to a minimal number of the actual capacity. It was a test by the government, and while Carter was great, the prospect of making it worth everyone’s time was not. So I was quite surprised to see the Electric Ballroom announce a special one night only gig with one of my favorite musicians, Glen Matlock of the Sex Pistols.

I immediately bought two tickets online and was excited to get back to what I love: live music in an actual club. I’ve seen Matlock several times since moving to the UK four years ago, and he never disappoints. His band is always top-notch, and this evening would be no exception. His usual partner in crime, Bowie sideman Earl Slick, was unfortunately stuck in New York, but post-punk legend Neal X stepped in and performed flawlessly, even taking it up a notch among certain songs. (Neal X played with Matlock during the Rich Kids reunion at the Vive Le Rock Awards last year, and it was spectacular.)

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UK Artist of the Week: Fanny Andersen

Norway’s Fanny Andersen returns with her infectious new single “Complicated,” out now. This is a piercing slice of alt-pop that is packed with a punch from the offset, so get ready cos she’s this week’s Artist of The Week.

The Scandinavian music scene is quite literally popping at the moment and we’re are very much on board. Emerging artist Fanny Andersen has just shared her infectious new single “Complicated” and it’s the perfect slice of electro-pop to get your hips moving in no time. Fans of the likes of Sigrid and Dagny will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, Fanny explains “I was inspired to write about the complexities of love and life. This song is about falling for someone who’s really not right for you, and how this can make life feel very complex along with everything else that life throws your way.”

Fanny is is currently in the studio working with a new line of collaborators including Olly Burden (The Prodigy), Steve Weston (Skrillex / Rudimental), and Jamie Reynolds (Klaxons), so watch this space…

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Needle Drop: Mark Lanegan Band & IYEARA, Another Knock At The Door (IYEARA Remixes)

The remix album can be a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand the idea of reimagining another artist’s work in your own unique style can be a hard sell. Especially when the original body of work is critically lauded. On the other hand there are exceptions with the likes of Goldfrapp’s 2006 remix album We Are Glitter or Depeche Mode’s Remixes 81–04 turning this theory on its head.

Over the past 12 months London trio IYEARA have stepped into the role of remixers-in-chief having made their name through a cover of “Shout” by Tears For Fears featuring The Duke Spirit’s Liela Moss. Indeed, the group, containing The Duke Spirit guitarist Toby Butler, have gone on to collaborate with Laura Marling’s LUMP project, UNKLE, Humanist ft. Dave Gahan, The Prodigy, The Boxer Rebellion and many more. Their most recent release is a collaboration with Mark Lanegan who gave his blessing for the band to remix his entire 2019 album Somebody’s Knocking—neatly retitled as Another Knock At The Door.

Akin to Depeche Mode’s Remixes 81–04, IYEARA have created a throbbing, industrial take on what was a critically acclaimed record, altering the atmosphere entirely, and forcing the listener to absorb Lanegan’s rasping, distinctive lyrics through an alternative vision. Considering his prolific nature, as well as a penchant for remix collaborations, Another Knock At The Door is the first time Mark Lanegan has allowed another artist to remix a whole record from start to finish.

That IYEARA have done so with such aplomb is testament to their ability to tap into, and understand, the artists they work with. First single “Playing Nero” offers an added layer of darkness. Soundscapes envelop Lanegan’s words in a way that offers a fresh, ominous meaning to his acerbic lyrics. “She Loved You” shimmers with atmospheric sonics and trademark pulsating synths, as IYEARA create a score befitting any John Carpenter film.

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