Category Archives: TVD UK

UK Artist of the Week: Sleep Walking Animals

Get ready to immerse yourselves in the dreaminess that is Sleep Walking Animals and their stunning new single “Rossignol (සිප ගන්නා විට),” out now via Black Sea Music.

Inspired by the answer to a question on University Challenge, Rossignol is an unmeditated confession of idealistic love. Electronic textures are paired with their trademark folk sensibilities, English lyrics are interwoven with Sri Lankan Sinhala, and song form is challenged with a gratuitous rock finale. Fans of the likes of Bon Iver and Radiohead will feel at home here.

Talking about the single, keys player Nuwan Hugh Perera says, “We had collectively spoken about including Sinhala lyrics in one of the songs. I initially translated the whole song into Sinhala. Then I worked on just the chorus and broke it down to two lines to represent what it meant to me. You can hear that the melody too came from the lyric itself. This song was so beautiful and bare in its original conception. It’s come such a long way and has ended up somewhere we never thought it would.”

“Rossignol (සිප ගන්නා විට)” once again showcases Sleep Walking Animals’ unique ability to combine poetic lyricism with wistful, dream-folk sensibilities that are undeniably immersive.

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TVD Live Shots: Marc Bolan 45th Anniversary Concert at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, 9/15

Marc Bolan was not just a musician, he was a phenomenon. In the electric haze of the ’70s, he emerged as the glittering comet of glam rock, leaving a trail of stardust in his wake. Bolan’s artistry was an intoxicating cocktail of rock ‘n’ roll tenacity and dreamy, otherworldly charm. Every guitar riff, every sultry lyric, felt like an invitation to a universe where fantasy and reality beautifully intertwined.

The groundbreaking album Electric Warrior by T. Rex wasn’t just my introduction to their unique sound, it was also the first album I ever purchased with my own money at the tender age of 10. I can still vividly recall the day “Bang a Gong (Get it on)” resonated from my local rock radio in St. Louis, Missouri. Its alluring call drew me irresistibly into Bolan’s mesmerizing world. And while the cassette tape has since worn, its label faded from non-stop play, the thrill of that initial discovery and pride of ownership endures.

Bolan’s untimely departure from this world left a void, but his melodies, his spirit, and his influence have proven indelible. Although I never had the privilege of seeing Bolan perform live, there was no way I would miss the 45th-anniversary concert commemorating his legacy. Held at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London last week, the event boasted a stellar lineup: T. Rextasy, The Dirty Pretty Strings directed by Tony Visconti, Neal X, Dana Gillespie, Richard Barone, Andy Ellison, Boz Boorer, and the ever-dynamic Marc Almond.

The evening unfolded masterfully. Marc Almond took the helm as the evening’s magnetic MC, introducing T. Rex’s legendary producer Tony Visconti and the Dirty Pretty Strings, who added a depth of orchestral resonance to the performances. T.Rextasy, hailed as the ultimate tribute to Bolan, not only opened the show but seamlessly wove their presence throughout the evening as the house band. Under the dynamic leadership of Danielz, they resurrected Bolan’s mystique with electrifying finesse. Their renditions of classics such as “Jeepster” and “I Love to Boogie” stood as a testament to their unparalleled homage to the music legend.

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Needle Drop: A.S. Fanning, Mushroom Cloud

Irish multi-instrumentalist A.S. Fanning recently released his powerful new album Mushroom Cloud and it might make you feel a bit sad at first, but that’s okay.

The album takes us back to those dark, dreaded times we’re all a bit too scared to talk about—the pandemic. It was a tumultuous time for most to say this least and A.S. Fanning doesn’t sugarcoat this, in fact he embraces it. His most vulnerable release to date, Mushroom Cloud combines dark lyricism with soaring orchestration creating something that is beautifully melancholic.

Talking about the album, Fanning elaborates, “I wrote Mushroom Cloud at the beginning of the pandemic, when society had shut down and we had no real knowledge of when, or if, it would start again. As with most people at the time, I became quite isolated and my world grew very small… I haven’t really looked for any silver linings in this myself. I suppose the best I can do is to see it as a document of a low point. A sort of scorched earth that hopefully leads to a new beginning. I found myself laughing at some of the lyrics I had written, which I think is quite a healthy thing, to be able to take a step back from your darker thoughts and see the absurdity in them.”

A comforting constant throughout this album is Fanning’s beast of a baritone quelling a gloomy symphony of instruments, harnessing them into something strangely hopeful.

Mushroom Cloud is in stores now via K&F Records/Proper Octopus Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Coolgirl

You may already be aware of Irish trio Bitch Falcon, but what you may not know is that their front person Lizzie Fitzpatrick also makes synth-soaked songs that pack a punch. Her latest release “High Altar” is out now, taken from her upcoming EP “Failed Reboot,” out on 8th November 2023 via Veta Records.

The EP will also be released on cassette, harping back to dungeon sci-fi collector tapes. A warped and deep sound that delves deep into reverb while bouncing back to a steady dance beat, the tracks melt into each other with an extra ambience that can only appear on cassette.

Talking about “High Altar,” Lizzie says, “‘High Altar’ was created by sampling the sound of knocking a radiator. The synth sounds are a mix of analogue synths in my bedroom studio and some modellers. It was written to demonstrate the emotional aspect of dance music and how an upturned bass melody and rolling cutoffs can display an intense sadness.”

”Failed Reboot” is in stores on 8th November 2023 via Veta Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Erica Nockalls

PHOTO: JEAN CHARLES VERSARI | Vocalist and violinist Erica Nockalls has released the brooding visuals to her ethereal alt-pop song “Build Me a Ship.” The video was unveiled as part of the France-based artist‘s announcement that she will be touring the UK alongside iconic band Echo And The Bunnymen. We were so excited here at TVD HQ, we couldn’t resist naming Erica our UK Artist of The Week.

Erica Nockalls has been a mainstay on the UK music scene having made a name for herself playing and performing with renowned bands such as The Wonder Stuff, Echo And The Bunnymen, and The Proclaimers. Her distinctive style of off-kilter pop music is more akin to the likes of Cocteau Twins and Lykke Li, with Erica’s use of gritty drum machines and shimmering synths coming to the fore.

“Build Me a Ship” is a blissful slice of electronica, with its reflective, dreamy sonics matching the cinematic visuals. As well as the video, Erica has unveiled a stellar reworking of Roxy Music’s “In Every Dream Home a Heartache (feat. Jean-Charles Versari).”

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UK Artist of the Week: HUNNY BUZZ

Bristol newcomers HUNNY BUZZ are back and they’re slowing down the pace with their latest indie-pop tinged single “Deli Man,” out now.

Speaking on the essence of the track, HUNNY BUZZ express that “”Deli Man’ is a song about strength and acceptance of the little things in life. It reflects on mental health and dealing with people who don’t thoroughly understand, or at least try to. Its motivating and powerful chorus is captivating with comforting and heartfelt lyricism.” “Deli Man” continues to incorporate those classic British indie influences which have shaped them, whilst taking it a step further by experimenting with a flavor of country folk on the track.

The past two years have been packed with writing, performing, and recording. They are in their early stages as a group, yet already have a loyal fanbase of individuals in the local area and southwest. These guys are definitely ones to watch.

“Deli Man” is in stores now.

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TVD Live Shots: Bloodstock Open Air at Catton Park, 8/11–8/14

From growling vocals to shredding solos, Bloodstock 2023 proved to be an unmissable event for metal enthusiasts. With thousands flocking to the arena, the festival was a testament to the undying spirit of metal. Here’s a breakdown of the performances that left the crowd headbanging for more.


Megadeth | A standout amongst an ensemble of legends, Megadeth stormed the stage with undeniable fury. Their set was a vivid reminder of why they occupy the coveted position in metal’s big four. With a sound uniquely theirs and an approach to music that few can emulate, they proved their mettle, quite literally. Seeing them revel in the joy of performing was a cherry on top. A metal masterclass, indeed!

Meshuggah (at top) | Meshuggah’s headline set on Saturday night was a mind-blowing display of technical skill and musical intensity. The band’s complex, polyrhythmic compositions and heavy, percussive sound left fans stunned.

Skynd | This electronic-industrial duo took everyone by surprise. Known for exploring dark themes and true crime events in their music, Skynd weaved haunting narratives, often based on real-life criminal events.

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UK Artist of the Week: Gold Fever

Get ready to groove with dance-rock quartet Gold Fever and their sun soaked new single “Leather (Wish I Felt The Same),” out now via HUBB Records.

Oozing with synth-infused goodness, this vibrant new single with have those toes tapping in no time. Frontman Oscar JD Sault’s undisputed lyrical prowess and the band’s feel good sound brings an instant classic to the emerging band’s catalog.

Talking about the single, Oscar elaborates, “it’s about transition and how that was applicable to many aspects of my life at the time of writing. I felt stagnant while things around me changed. My perspective on my home city of Bristol became suffocatingly melancholic. Ultimately, I realised it was me who was losing myself. That kind of nostalgia is intoxicating, it’s surreal and numbing and almost feels sentient. ‘Leather’ is a song about forgetting who you are.”

“Leather (Wish I Felt The Same)” is in stores now via HUBB Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Sonotto

Get ready to immerse yourselves in Sonotto’s weird and wonderful world. His kaleidoscopic new single “Casual Sex” is out now via HUBB Records.

Sonotto—aka Otto Neckel’s—latest cut is a five minute slice of experimental electronica at its best. He’s been hailed as “Bristol’s answer to Ziggy Stardust” and it’s not hard to see why when it comes to “Casual Sex.” Otto’s unique falsetto soars effortlessly over sensual synths, creating a celestial splendour.

The single was created as a result of Sonotto creating sounds for an upcoming short film and resonating in a moment with one of the loops. Sonotto elaborates, “the element of ‘Casual Sex’ that started it, was the intro bleeps and bloops that I made using a DX7 Synth emulator. I knew what was happening felt right because all of a sudden, I wasn’t doing it. I became a channel for creative energy that wanted to express through me in that moment”.

“Casual Sex” is in stores now via HUBB Records.

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UK Artist of the Week: Derilicked

Get ready to have your heads bouncing as genre-bending wizard Derilicked brings the summer heat on his new 160 jungle tune “Honey,” out now and featuring the smooth and melodic vocals of Mai.

Featuring a combination of speaker rattling bass, crunchy amens, and the smooth and melodic vocals of Mai, “Honey” is the perfect summer sizzler. Speaking about the single, Derilicked says, “As summer started to close in, I felt more creative and wanted to make a composition that would fit the time of year. Something bouncy, catchy, a summer vibe if you will… I had no intention of this song getting far but a couple studio sessions later with my vocalist and BOOM!”

Bristol-based artist Derilicked is originally from Hereford and attributes his musical talents to his diverse musical upbringing and takes inspiration from artists such as The Prodigy and Pendulum. This diversity continues to be reflected in Deri’s own work. Derilicked’s unique style spans across all UK underground music, making his productions and DJ sets stand out as a diverse experience in dark, deep, and euphoric soundscapes.

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TVD Radar: Bloodstock Open Air 2023: A Heavy Metal Utopia Awaits You!

As the summer heat rages on, the metal community is gearing up for the most anticipated festival of the year, Bloodstock Open Air 2023. Nestled in the heart of Derbyshire, in the picturesque setting of Walton on Trent, Bloodstock once again promises a celebration of all things heavy and metallic.

As the UK’s largest independent metal festival, Bloodstock has carved a niche for itself in the hearts of metal aficionados for presenting a consistently robust lineup of metal royalty. This year, the festival’s roster is set to explode with names like Megadeth, Killswitch Engage, and In Flames gracing the stage as headliners. Expect sparks to fly and the ground to shake as these titans of metal weave their magic.

Heavy rock enthusiasts can look forward to the onslaught of brutality brought on by Sepultura, Meshuggah, and Whitechapel. On the other hand, the Sophie Lancaster Stage will reverberate with the pulsating performances from Abbath, Crowbar, and Employed to Serve.

A treasure trove of talent awaits you at the New Blood Stage, where emerging bands like Casket Feeder, Skin Failure, and Dakesis will test their mettle. Devotees of death metal can mosh to their heart’s content at the Jagermeister Stage, featuring Fit for an Autopsy, Biohazard, and King 810.

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Needle Drop: Ch’Lu,
The Goddess Within

We could all do with slowing down a bit in life, right? Well perhaps Ch’Lu’s enchanting new album, The Goddess Within, in this case is for you.

Composed, performed, recorded, mixed, and produced by Ch’Lu in her home studio, this immersive, expansive, and uplifting album is a fusion of binaural field-recordings, hypnotic Sanskrit vocals, classical guitar arpeggiation, and underscored electronic soundscapes. Throughout the album, the listener is taken on a journey of inner peace and sanctity.

Singles “The Sound of Waking” and “Dreaming” showcase Ch’Lu’s perhaps most radio friendly tracks, but in a world that is increasingly becoming more experimental in terms of production, it could be argued that this album falls short slightly. Certainly if you’re a fan of organica or world music, this album could well be for you, but Ch’Lu may struggle to introduce new listeners to her atmospheric world.

Ch’Lu—aka Camilla Mathias—trained as a classical guitarist, singer, and actress and has been picking up languages since she learned to speak. She has been studying Sanskrit for the last thirteen years, alongside her teaching and practice of Vedic meditation.

The Goddess Within is out now and has been funded by Arts Council of England and Help Musicians.

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UK Artist of the Week: Jazmyn

Jazmyn are the jazz-pop newcomers that are taking the scene by storm. Their new single “Mirror Mirror” is a celebration of female empowerment, and it promises to leave you inspired to discover your own self-worth.

The narrative tells the listener of a strong independent woman who fully knows her own worth, which alongside the catchy melodies and jazz-filled musicality is sure to get you moving. Front-woman Laura says about the track, “It was a throw away idea that Ava (lead guitarist) had composed and sent to me, never thinking it would get to where it is now.

It is about someone who knows their worth and is very particular when choosing a partner. They’ve tried to be laid back with someone and it hasn’t worked. They’re singing about reminding themselves that they’re not the reason it didn’t work, remembering their self-worth.”

With roots in Wales and now making moves in the Bristol live scene, recently rebranded Jazmyn combine jazz, indie, and pop sensibilities to produce a truly unique sound.

“Mirror Mirror” is in stores now.

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UK Artist of the Week: Kasia Konstance

Prepare to be mesmerised by Kasia Konstance and her euphoric debut EP “Different Skies,” out now. This London based singer-songwriter is definitely one to watch.

Taken from the EP is lead single “Every Time,” a soul-tinged wonder oozing with jazzy goodness and lo-fi electronics. The Polish born newcomer blends jazz with soul creating something that feels both classic and modern at the same time.

Talking about the EP, Kasia says, “‘Different Skies’ is a short compilation that portrays different moods. Life is never as simple as we would like it to be, and things can change rapidly, much like the weather. The final track of the EP, ‘Every Time,’ discusses the importance of setting boundaries and how miscommunication can affect relationships.”

Kasia finds inspiration from an eclectic mix of artists both old and new, crediting Ella Fitzgerald, Erykah Badu, as well as Mndsgn and SiR to name a few. Kasia was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis five years ago, and despite her ongoing battle with the condition, she credits music for helping her to relax and stimulate her thinking through the difficult moments.

“Different Skies” is in stores now.

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Needle Drop: Tina Boonstra, Circle back, start again.

Prepare to immerse yourselves in Tina Boonstra’s stunning debut album Circle back, start again. Oozing with emotion, passion and poignancy, this album proves Tina is definitely one to watch and very much worthy of a sonic deep dive.

At its heart, this album tells the story of women from all walks of life; they are rebuilding from the ruins, and forging new paths when life hasn’t gone to plan. Tina is clearly an exceptionally talented songwriter and storyteller. Throughout this album, Tina takes the listener on a journey that is both lyrically impressive and sonically rich and emphatic. Personal favourites include “Martha, “Why do good times fly?” And “Call me Thomas.” Tina combines elements of indie-pop, rock, and folk creating a sound akin to the likes of Sorcha Richardson and Julien Baker.

Talking about the release, Tina elaborates, “As I started writing this album these stories just wouldn’t leave me alone, and I resisted them, cause, well you’re not supposed to write an indie pop album about middle-aged women. Yes there’s love, and heartbreak and beauty, but also this sense of time rolling out over us and all around us. Lives woven together in ways that we can’t really control or fully understand. Joy and freedom to love, but also searing pain, heartbreak and loss.”

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