Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: BARQ

Following 2016’s “Gentle Kind Of Lies” and last year’s “Optimus Prime,” Dublin band BARQ, who have previously received acclaim from The Irish Times and Hot Press, and are continuing to build a name for themselves with the release of attention-grabbing double A-side “Sassy Mouth” / “Earthquakes.”

Whilst each track is distinctive in its sound and subject matter, what remains consistent is the immense, overwhelming power of front woman Jess Kav’s vocals. Whereas “Earthquakes” is a thoughtful reflection on an explosive breakdown of a friendship and the sense of acceptance and renewal that follows, “Sassy Mouth” is a politically-influenced anthem, inspired by the courage and resilience of Ireland’s “Repeal The 8th” movement.

Flowing with funk-fused beats and booming bass lines, “Earthquakes” showcases BARQ’s self proclaimed “Agrosoul.” Oozing the soulful allure of Kav’s vocals alongside an infectious groove akin to Hiatus Kiayote or Erykah Badu, it’s a silky-smooth treat for the ears.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Video Premiere: Nonpareils, “Press Play”

Based in Berlin since 2015, ex-Liars member Aaron Hemphill, operating under Nonpareils, started working on his solo debut Scented Pictures by recording stacks of acoustic instruments while, in his words, “doing the silliest things.”

He played the drums without click tracks, encouraged his engineer to distract him, and played the piano while allowing poorly set-up microphones to fall away from the body of the instrument.

Ultimately the sound palette grew out further, taking in a vast array of virtual instrumentation too, all glitched and processed into off-kilter music. Having sought out new sources of inspiration following a long period of focusing solely on instrumental music, Scented Pictures sees Hemphill’s songwriting take on yet another new form, mutating into something woozier and increasingly abstract—without sacrificing the hooks in the process.

Scented Pictures arrives in stores today via Mute Records.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: The Violet Kind

For some, it’s more important than ever to create music with poignancy, and Scottish rockers The Violet Kind do just that. Their debut EP “OXTR” tackles sexual violence head-on, and is yet another example of the current generation standing up for themselves and making noise.

The Violet Kind are a trio from Glasgow who create truly moving and emotional indie rock sounds, akin to that of Paramore and Foals. Lead singer Katya Mansell’s haunting voice mirrors that of Hayley Williams all the while giving her own unique spin on things. Each song on their concept EP “OXTR” battles sexual violence, acting as a reminder of the reality of rape culture that is unfortunately still so prominent in the world we’re living in. The trio tackle the difficult subject with dignity and grace—and their musicality is second to none.

Despite the current line up having only been together for over a year, they have already received critical acclaim in Glasgow, and 2018 is looking brighter than bright for the young trio.

“OXTR” is in stores now via Kindness Records.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: Rebecca Lou

Having only begun writing songs in 2015, Danish artist Rebecca Lou has already been garnering a reputation for her energy-fuelled live shows across her homeland and has supported rising rockers Velvet Volume on tour. Now, she’s beginning to make her mark in the UK with her two latest singles “Bitch U Look Good” and “Under The Moon.”

A tribute to self-love and celebrating your own worth, “Bitch U Look Good” is a riotous offering, fuelled by a thrashing energy and force. With shades of Joan Jett or Riot Grrrl pioneers Bikini Kill, it’s an instantly infectious and undeniably raucous slice of stimulating rock ‘n’ roll.

“Under The Moon,” on the other hand, veers into a more indie-pop sound. Inspired by poems she wrote when she was just 16 years old, it showcases the sweeping power of Rebecca’s vocals beautifully, as whirring hooks flow with an emotion-strewn splendour and twinkling musicality.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: Alberteen

Experimental alt-rockers Alberteen have put down the guitars that they’re known for and instead have embraced analogue synths, flutes, clarinets, and samples for their latest release. Its their utterly unique sound and ability to create something very much “out there,” which makes them our Artist of The Week this week.

Their latest single, “The Son’s Room” is a truly quirky yet mesmerizing song from start to finish. Its multiple layers of electronica are matched perfectly with the band’s choral singing to create something not far from Metronomy’s early eccentric sound. The single is inspired by lead singer Phil Shaw’s relationship with his father, a bittersweet reflection on memory and loss.

Having already released two critically acclaimed albums, Alberteen are no strangers to hard work. They have performed with artists such as Primal Scream and Field Music to name but a few and show no sign of slowly down as they make their 2018 debut with “The Son’s Room.”

“The Son’s Room” is in stores now via Rhythm and Noir Recordings.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: At The Drive-In and Death From Above at the Brixton Academy, 3/9

At The Drive-In and Death From Above sharing the same stage? Is this reality?

That’s the first question that popped into my mind when I saw the show announcement for the legendary Brixton Academy in London. Two bands that paved their way through a crowded clusterfuck of terrible early to mid-2000s alt-rock radio staples—one of them redefined the post-punk genre, and the other stripping rock ‘n’ roll down to its absolute core. Both have influenced many over the years—one could argue that their legacy is locked in place with neither have anything left to prove—yet none of that mattered this particular evening.

First up was Death From Above. Having dropped the unnecessary 1979 identifier from their name, the duo of Jesse F. Keeler and Sebastian Granger are currently touring in support of their first new record in three years Outrage! Is Now. It’s a bit of a different sound for the band as this time they’ve enlisted hitmaker Eric Valentine (Queens of the Stone Age, Good Charlotte, Ride) to produce the record. The result is exactly what you would expect—slick production, big hooks, tight grooves, a bit of funk, and several options for keeping the band relevant for their core audience while introducing them to an entirely new one.

When most bands go this route, their live show tends to mimic their polished sound on record. I’m happy to report that this is not the case with Death From Above. In fact, they might have gone the opposite direction just to point out that they are a fucking heavy, heavy band live.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Insecure Men, Raf Rundell, and Pregoblin at Scala 3/8

Whoever is behind the marketing for Insecure Men deserves a prize.

I had never heard of these guys, but I’m a massive fan of The Moonlandinz and Fat White Family. In fact, The Moonlandinz 2017 release Interplanetary Class Classics was my favorite album of last year. Based on my love of that band I was targeted with Fat White Family and Moonlandingz guitarist Saul Adamczewski’s new project, Insecure Men. It was a beautiful campaign that not only turned me on to the band but also got me to pre-order the record, and finally get a ticket to the show. This is exactly how digital marketing is supposed to work, and thankfully someone in Saul’s camp gets it, or otherwise this would have slipped by me.

Insecure Men is a supergroup of sorts formed by Saul Adamczewski and Childhood’s frontman Ben Romans-Hopcraft. The record is all sorts of lo-fi brilliance rolled up in ’70s AM rock production. Remember what MGMT tried to do on their second and third records and failed miserably? Well, Saul and Ben fucking nail it. Even taking it up a notch. It’s the perfect soundtrack for mellowing out while taking a break from the world as it seems to be destroying itself.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: Monks In The Wood

Since forming back in 2015, South London band Monks In The Wood have received acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing and When The Horn Blows, and have now released a stirring new single.

“No Love” offers an emotion-strewn grandeur as impassioned vocals are perfectly interwoven with soaring guitar hooks and sweeping layers of instrumentation.

Reflecting on the contrasting feelings that can emerge within relationships, it’s a cinematic slice of indie-pop showcasing not only the admirable musicianship, but the thought-provoking lyrical storytelling of this upcoming band. With shades of Broken Bells, it’ll tug at the heartstrings whilst uplifting one’s spirits with its unique and infectious groove.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots: Imagine Dragons at the 3Arena in Dublin, 2/26

Finally, I get to see a band that is equally as big in Europe as they are in the US. In the case of Imagine Dragons, they may actually be bigger. The Las Vegas natives treated the sold-out 3Arena in Dublin to a spectacle of rock for the ages. It was exactly what the Irish capital needed before the snowstorm of the century known as the “Beast from the East” would bring the entire country to a standstill.

It’s refreshing to see a band of this magnitude lose the rock star mentality and use their platform for something bigger than just their music. During the show frontman Dan Reynolds shared an intimate moment with the capacity crowd detailing his struggles with depression and later rallied the fans around LGBT rights and the sad state of politics in the US. For those who say they don’t want a side of smart social commentary with their pop rock music, I’d ask what have you done to change anyone’s life? And by the way, there’s no line at the merch booth at the moment in case your bored in between songs.

It’s interesting to read the reviews from across the UK and Ireland. One critic called the band shallow (don’t bother the delicate genius), while others called it exhilarating. While not my exact cup of tea, one cannot deny that these guys can write some fucking massive hooks and fuse genres like no one else at the moment. At the end of the day critics should always take a back seat to the fans, and in this case I didn’t see or hear one disappointed fan out of the thousands who were there. Funny how that ratio doesn’t translate to many of the jaded critics.

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: Skylar Fri

Yet again, Scandinavians have treated us to another ethereal gem. This time, it’s from Danish chill-pop princess Skylar Fri.

Skylar Fri’s latest single “Gold Rush” builds slowly, yet there is no denying the celestial beauty of the track from the offset and throughout. Fri’s soft, tranquil vocal soars over stunning synths and moving melodies to create something perfect for late night drives or long train journeys. Fans of FKA Twigs and Sky Ferreira will feel at home here.

Having already received critical acclaim for her previous single “Better” last year, 2018 is looking to be a pretty great year for Skylar Fri already. Here’s hoping a tour is on the cards soon!

“Gold Rush” is in stores now via AntiFragile Music.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Premiere:
David Ford, “Why
Don’t You Answer
Your Telephone?”

“You could call this a murder ballad.As part of a collection of songs about economics, this one is the most abstract of the bunch. Its ties to the theme are more tonal than literal, more ethereal than material.”

“I found myself preoccupied with something I had read about brokers in the midst of a financial meltdown, paralysed by fear, refusing to answer the telephone calls of clients as their investments melted away. This feeling of helplessness is universal. I wanted to translate that emotion and apply it to matters of the heart, in a place more fittingly cold, dark, and swampy. This song is all about what we don’t know, don’t see.

In economics, a perfect market can only exist when all parties have complete and accurate information. I would suggest this to be a rare or even impossible situation in any human interaction and I wanted this story to be about a world falling apart as a result of the not knowing. I don’t know the character in the song, where he is, what he’s done, just that he’s in trouble. This could be a murder ballad but I don’t even know if there’s been a murder, and I wrote the damn thing. I wanted to suggest a large and complicated canvas viewed only in short flashes by the narrow beam of a flashlight. The harsh reality of imperfect information.

Or maybe it’s just a sweet song with a badass guitar solo, it works for me either way.”
David Ford

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: ARXX

Having supported the likes of PINS and Nova Twins on tour, Brighton duo ARXX are fast making a name for themselves as one of the most exciting live bands around. Now, having just released their debut EP, they’re blasting into our ears with their riotous new single.

Reflecting on the failed expectations of a relationship, “Tired Of You” races with gritty riffs and immense pounding beats as the seething power of Hannah Pidduck’s vocals soars with a raw passion. Combining catchy refrains with a fist-clenching force, it’s an instantly infectious slice of garage-rock with shades of The Coathangers or Deap Vally.

Influenced by the music that Pidduck was brought up with by her mother, “Daughters Of Daughters,” the new EP from ARXX, showcases an eclectic range of sounds with subject matter ranging from cats, misogyny, and addiction. From the intense, subversive power of “Intervention” to the country-pop romanticism of “Stuck On You,” it’s an impressive collection of tracks, making it impossible to pigeon-hole the duo by one single genre.

“Daughters Of Daughters,” the debut EP from ARXX, is in stores now.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Video Premiere:
RIPL, “EMA”

Today we have the pleasure of premiering multi-instrumentalist RIPL’s video for his latest single “EMA.”

“EMA” is undeniably catchy from the offset, filled with captivating folk-pop sensibilities and RIPL’s rich, eclectic vocal taking centre stage. He’s been regularly compared to the likes of Frank Turner, and its easy to see why in “EMA” as his vocal soars over the uplifting, feel-good instrumentation. The video features various pieces of imagery related to the song’s theme of “reflecting on those times in life when you try desperately to make yourself heard.”

“The video was done by Glaswegian artist called Alan Graham. He drew all the images and animated them as well,” RIPL says. “This project was one of the best and most professional experiences for me as an artist, to work with another artist.”

RIPL now lives in Scotland but is originally from Germany where he taught himself to play guitar at the tender age of just six years old.

“EMA” is in stores now.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

TVD Live Shots:
MGMT at the Electric Brixton, 2/6

The fact that it’s been a decade since MGMT’s debut album Oracular Spectacular was released is mind-blowing to me. I remember getting an advance copy of this album back when I was working at Sony Music and playing it for everyone I knew. The reception was the same universally; this record was an instant classic. It was one of the most unusual records I had ever come across during my time in the music business, but it was brilliant, and the label was incredibly excited to release this one as was I.

I saw MGMT about a dozen times that year. From SXSW to the relentless touring, it was really exciting to witness a band go from completely unknown to one of the biggest buzz bands on the planet. I had met the band numerous times through a couple of tours, various retail promotions, and a slew of SXSW events. Both Andrew and Ben were pretty quiet, Andrew seemingly more of an introvert than Ben, but they were really cool guys. I don’t think they ever expected to be thrust into the limelight so quickly, then again they did sign to one of the biggest records labels on the planet.

It’s interesting to me how an artist responds to the pressure of following up a hit debut record with their sophomore effort. When Congratulations was released, it was pretty much a giant middle finger to the entire music business. MGMT had abandoned the hooks and synth-pop from their debut and went total Syd Barrett. I had heard rumblings that the label was pretty baffled as to how to promote this one, but they couldn’t say no to their new crossover darlings of the hipster music scene. But then it got even more confusing with the release of 2012’s self-titled record which the band admitted to fans that they would be “laughing with them.”

Read More »

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment

UK Artist of the Week: Vive La Rose

So, January is officially over and February seems to be whizzing by faster than the speed of light, which means… we can finally start getting excited for Spring! And what better way to kick things off than to treat your ears with some uplifting new music from Vive La Rose.

Vive La Rose, aka David Lexicon-Herbert, is originally from Edinburgh but now resides in London where he has played under his own name and in different bands for a number of years. His latest single “Rio Grande” instantly draws you in with its cinematic soundscapes and mesmerizing string sections throughout. David’s vocal itself adds a layer of grit to the track as his husky tone soars over the sun-soaked musicality to create something indisputably delightful.

Co-produced by The Duke Spirit’s Oliver Betts, “Rio Grande” is taken from David’s forthcoming album For She Who Hangs The Moon. The album also features guest appearances from the likes of Colin Elliot (Richard Hawley/Slow Club), The Up North Orchestra, and Nicky Francis (Mono Club).

“Rio Grande” is in stores now via Gestation Records.

Posted in TVD UK | Leave a comment
  • SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL INDIE SHOPS SINCE 2007


  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text
  • Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text Alternative Text