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Browsing: Music

Weyes Blood – Front Row Seat To Earth Natalie Mering leaves the door to her soul wide open in a tentative chamber-pop record that’s decorated in a flourish of grand brass and antique folk intricacy. At points, Front Row Seat To Earth plunges into ambiguity through complex and, often obscured instrumentation, only to coil back in a gust of flowing ballad-like chorale. The latter stages of Do You Need My Love epitomise this. Chaotic phrases of tangled strings and haphazard piano build towards harmonies that border on angelic. Undoubtedly, what drives this album is an accomplished vocal performance. Mering balances dominance with…

Be wistfully transported to Nordic landscapes through the immersive harmonies of I See Rivers – a Liverpool-based trio with their roots firmly planted in Norwegian folk. A trinity of elegant voices mesh together to produce a charming sound, peppered with infectious melodies. I spoke to one of those voices, Lill Scheie, about the origins of the band, their summer performances, the upcoming EP and their infatuation with Wales. So how did three Norwegians end up in Liverpool? First of all, we didn’t know each other before we moved here. We are all from such different parts of Norway that we never would have…

Looking into the beams of sunlight piercing through the Far Out tent towards the frothy, cumbersome clouds nestling up against the picturesque Brecon Beacons. Kevin Morby remarked: “It’s like playing inside a womb!” A peculiar statement, but I couldn’t help but feel some of its sentiment was rather apt. The whole festival is rife with a sweeping brotherly comradery. A profound aura of acceptance that swallows festival veterans, families and millennial neo-hippies alike in the grandeur of the Welsh countryside. Dissimilar to the likes of Latitude Festival – where the family emphasis is glaring – Green Man falls just on…

Night Owls are a Leeds duo drilling a distinctive edge into the stereotypical Grunge sound. A sound that, for me, has been begging for an alternative perspective to freshen up the entire genre. I think Night Owls offer that. It’s still abrasive, it’s still gritty, it still screams Grunge. It just feels more colourful, spirited, and, most importantly, ridiculously catchy. I spoke to drummer and singer Will about grunge, their upcoming EP and the personality within the band. How did the Night Owls duo come about? Basically, me and Liam have been in bands since we were about fourteen and people…

Skepta – Konnichiwa Konnichiwa is a genuine hijack on our fixed musical perceptions. No longer is grime a peripheral bellow of urban discontentment. Grime represents an active resistance to convention, a yearning for realism and an organic social commentary of British struggle. Skepta is flying the flag for the every-man. Regardless of genre, Konnichiwa is what Britain needed: music at its most uncompromised. An album assembled from the fundamental mainstays of rap music. Authentic bars. Raw beats. Konnichiwa delivers on both fronts, especially beat wise. As always, Skepta affirms his position as one of the wittiest lyricists in grime, dishing…

In a stellar collision of post-punk melancholy and scintillating synth-pop, Affairs offer a crisper, more introspective indie experience. Thoughtful, elaborate, but – make no mistake – resoundingly catchy. It’s a sound that ticks all the boxes. I spoke to the band’s guitarist Liam about constructing the sound of Affairs, their new EP, and the possibility of an album. How did Affairs all start? Affairs all started back in Hull on the East Coast of England. I already met up with a guitarist (Dan) before everything really kicked off. At first it was just me and him trying to do something a…

It’s been a decade since The Enemy sprung into prominence with UK Number 1 record We’ll Live And Die In These Towns. Three albums, a handful of awards and a trip to Wembley – in support of Oasis – later, and the Coventry trio are ready to bow out. I talked to bassist Andy about the end of The Enemy, the radio industry and the future of bands. How difficult was the process of everyone knowing The Enemy was going to have to be brought to an end? Difficult, definitely. Not a nice conversation, but maybe a sensible conversation. We don’t…

Familiar fragments of Busted, Fightstar, Union Sound Set and More Dangerous Animals unify to form a sound that is utterly unexpected. Once Upon a Dead Man’s debut EP, Concepts and Phenomena, sees the Simpson brothers – plus an old friend – venture into the dusky underpass of musical uncertainty, only to come out the other side gleaming in a blitz of silk-lined electro-pop. Concepts and Phenomena is instrumentally impressive. No doubt. However, striking more immediately, is a resounding sense of liberation. Each track pours with the kind of expression often found absent in conventional pop music. This isn’t just the…

Many fans were left worried when it was publicised that singer Ellie Goulding was going to be quitting the music business. However, Ellie’s fans shouldn’t panic because the lady herself has taken to twitter to clear up the matter. She has stated that she isn’t quitting, just taking a long overdue break from music. She tweeted: “I am not quitting music; I’ve come too far for that! Just having a break. It’s been seven years since I had time off… love you all”. The Herefordshire born singer has had a busy career so far. In between her endless recording sessions…

First the Oscars, and now the Brits. Once more, concerns have been raised for the lack of diversity at the Brit Awards which took place on 24th February in London’s O2 Arena. All the winners were white and the only nominated non-white artists fell into the International Artists sector. In a similar backlash to the Oscars, people took to Twitter with the hashtag #BritsSoWhite to express their concerns with this year’s nominees. I have never personally been a fan of the Brits anyway so this doesn’t come as a shock to me. However, these allegations have caused a divide in opinions.…

There’s no justifiable excuse thinkable. How did you miss Golden Fable at the Teras Lounge last Saturday? It didn’t cost a penny to get in. It didn’t plunge you into nausea. And, notably, it didn’t make you leave with an overwhelming sense of regret. In fact, it probably would have been the most morally correct decision of your life. I first saw Golden Fable three years ago at Bestival. They had me sold. Despite the grating raucous of the festival environment – where I was cold, muddy and cold – the Welsh duo’s elegance blossomed through the very noise that…

This is certainly a difficult question to answer. It isn’t something you think about often. But when you do, it’s always the same songs that spring to mind. Those classics such as Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’, and Elvis Presley’s ‘Love Me Tender’. Or perhaps more modern models such as Plain White T’s ‘Hey There Delilah’, and Jason Mraz’s ‘I’m Yours’. Love songs have the appearance of being ageless, they constantly evolve with time. Although often mundane and monotonous, the subjects of love songs are not simply restricted to significant others and relationships. So, is it really fair…

Miles Davis – Kind Of Blue The best Miles Davis record of all time. The best jazz record of all time. One of THE records of all time. If it’s a sinuous onslaught of smooth horns you want, this is the LP for you. Your romantic night in and Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue aren’t too dissimilar when you think about it. They’re both improvised for a start (be honest with yourself). On a serious note, no jazz album grips me with performance like Kind Of Blue does. Each melody is ingrained with allure, each transition is graceful; every second feels…

Sunday evening, Ffriddoedd village. Music resonates around one of the many building of the student accommodation. Students are staying in their  room but, as the singer begins to sing, some of them, out of curiosity, decide to leave their room to follow the sound and figure out what is going on. Surprisingly enough, they will end up in a small, over-crowded kitchen. In between the Christmassy decoration and the dishes laying around, there is a guy with his guitar only. The dozen of people seated are enthusiastically moving their heads as if they knew the song already. Some clap, some…

15. Hudson Mohawke – Lantern This latest instalment from Glaswegian producer Hudson Mohawke has had unanimously mixed reviews. It’s no surprise. With fourteen tracks and a handful of features, you’re never going to win over everyone… although it did win over me. I’ve heard an assortment of electronic albums this year, and Lanterns, for me, is immeasurably bracing, probably because a sizeable portion of these tracks feature that orchestral synth that was in the DJ’s 2014 single, Chimes, which sports more of a club-banger quality. However, in Lanterns, it’s all different. Hudson seamlessly weaves these almost cavernous harmonies all the…

It’s undeniable that streaming has taken the music industry by storm. There are roughly 500 million audio streams each week in the UK alone. Large streaming firms such as Spotify and, more recently, TIDAL and Apple Music with a combined total of 27.5 million paid users are revolutionising the way in which people find and listen to music. Streaming services are everywhere and are hard to ignore, but the question is, how effective are they really? The way in which money is divided in the music industry is changing, and artists are not making money from record sales like they…

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