Witch Fever have today shared a new Salem witch trials meets cbeebies style music video for “Bully Boy”, a single of their new EP Reincarnate which was released at the end of Octover via Sony’s Music For Nations. A vinyl version of the EP will be released on Friday 3rd December, with a in-store performance at Rough Trade East this Saturday 4th December as well as signing. Pre-order HERE or tickets HERE which come with the vinyl.
On the single, singer Amy says,
“We wrote Bully Boy after we played a gig where the guitarist from one of the support bands shouted at us on stage to take our tops off. For us Bully Boy is our combined rage about these experiences funnelled into one track. The alternative music scene is still very much a ‘boys club’ leaving female and non-binary people vulnerable to misogynistic and sexist behaviour, and we are always challenging this. Bully Boy is cathartic, and empowering in its anger.”
She continues, “The video is different to anything we’ve done before! The lyrics are quite brutal so we thought it’d be fun to turn it on it’s head and create something that on the surface is colourful and fun but has a dark undercurrent. Sam O’Leary, the director and editor, did a sweet job and never fails to capture exactly what the song needs! Sam and Roma Allenby created the concept together and hit the nail on the head!”
Phoebe Bridgers has announced the creation of her own record label, Saddest Factory, which is a play on the word satisfactory, in partnership with her current label Dead Oceans. The label will serve as a home to Bridgers’ own signings.
Saddest Factory will sign acts across genres, based on the most pure criteria, said Bridgers in an interview with Billboard: The quality of their songs, an obvious requirement but one that isn’t always given the same weight as an artist’s social media following, co-signs and other indicators of hype. “If I like it and I listen to it for pleasure, then other people will like it and listen to it for pleasure,” she says. “I don’t think I have any ethos other than, ‘Am I jealous?'”
Speaking about wether she would stop making music to focus on the label she said: “I haven’t felt this yet, but maybe at some point I’ll want to take a step back from the every two years album cycle and want to do other shit, like produce or just put out records,” she says. “Music is always going to be in the forefront of my brain. I just want to explore.”
Bridgers has already signed her first act, which will be announced in the coming weeks.
Read our review of Phoebe Bridgers latest album Punisher here.
Molly Taylor aka Aphra Taylor has that raw talent that draws you in immediately and leaves you wondering where she came from, and how you haven’t heard of her already. She takes influence from some of the biggest names in indie, folk and pop, yet remains distinctive and true to her own sound. To describe it she’s got that crunchy, yet immersive sound the early Soccer Mommy tapes and the vocal stylings of Brooke Bentham. Taylor is at the dawn of her career, releasing her debut EP The Night Dances back in March but has already made a significant name for herself in the Oxford music scene, headlining at Truck Record Store for her EP release and playing alongside the areas biggest names. We spoke to Molly to get to know a bit more about the person behind the music.
What drew you to music and how did you get into it?
My family always played music around the house and when I was about 4 I would sing and dance a lot to whatever was playing. My parents bought me a microphone around that time so that me and my little brother could sing along to tracks and I still occasionally use the same microphone now to rehearse for gigs because it’s a pretty decent quality one. When I was 11, i started teaching myself to play guitar through youtube until my parents saw that I was serious about learning and they bought me my own guitar and lessons. Then I just had to work up the same courage that I had when I was little and sing in front of other people again!
How would you describe your sound?
Probably folky pop. I’m very lyrically focussed as I guess I feel I have to get stuff out through songwriting. I also have a heavier sound sometimes, a grungy indie type of feel.
What’s the creative process behind a song?
I write on guitar. I think about things that are troubling me and that I need to get out of my system. I then usually find a chord progression I like and mumble sing lots of weird things over the top of it until I find a line that I like. I most definitely look strange doing this from an outside perspective but it usually works quite well.
Sometimes I write lyrics before I write the music and I have to try and put them to music which is a lot harder.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
I like so much music so this is probably gonna be a long list… Elena Tonra (Daughter, Ex:Re) is one of my all time faves because I really love the rawness of her lyrics and vocals.
Courtney Barnett I’ve loved for a while as I saw her play Glastonbury in 2015 and she really inspired me to start playing shows and showing people what I had been writing.
Anohni (and the Johnsons) really inspires me lyrically as I feel like she just has this enhanced ability to pick apart the human condition and the subconscious. Also, Patti Smith in terms of lyrics and just the fact that she’s a strong female musician.
Folky stuff such as First Aid Kit, Natalie merchant, Aldous Harding. They’re all melodically strong and again, raw and experimental lyrically.
The The because they’re a really artsy 80s band and ‘Soul Mining’ is one of my fave albums.
I also like lots of alternative pop such as Lorde, Lana del rey, Billie Eilish etc. not that my music sounds like theirs at all but I guess it influences how I write as I listen to that sort of music a lot.
If you could be a support act for any artists who would it be and why?
I’ve been listening to georgia’s recent album a lot and I watched some of her interviews and she seems super fun/interesting so I feel like that would be cool.
Meeting Patti Smith, let alone playing a show with her is my dream. Joan Jett is also an icon.
Daughter I’ve never seen live and I would love to meet Elena Tonra as she has inspired me so much as an artist.
Favourite concert you’ve been to?
I’ve been to too many to choose from but I’ll tell ya my 2019 faves.
I went to Glastonbury last year and some of my highlights were Kate Tempest and Billie Eilish. I saw Kate Tempest again at the O2 in Oxford but I think that Glastonbury was definitely the best time I’ve seen her. Cassels were probably my favourite Oxford gig of last year, just the lyricism and dynamic between both of them made the show so personal. Aannnd seeing Lizzo at Brixton academy was definitely a self love turning point for me.
Favourite show you’ve played?
Oooh I played one at Christmas last year for Freak scene/snuggle dice (two Oxford promoters) that was super fun. I thought it went really well and I had a rare burst of confidence.
Another one is when I supported Richard Walters at New college chapel which was AMAZING because of the beautiful venue, acoustics, and it was also really busy.
What will it be like playing that first show once shows are allowed again?
I find gigs nerve wracking most of the time but before lockdown I had started to get into the swing of things and felt more comfortable playing in front of others. I think lockdown has made even socialising a bit of an odd, unnatural experience but I hope gigs are still enjoyable to play when things get back to normal. I really miss that whole atmosphere of soundchecking and meeting new people as well as the rush you get when finishing the set.
Any future musical plans?
I want to release new music sometime of course. I got lots of new equipment for my birthday so I’ve been slowly working on recording demos of the new songs I have written. I have a lot to learn but I guess I’ve improved writing/recording-wise. Depends on how many songs I get done but I’m definitely working towards getting new stuff out there.
Where would you like to be in a year’s time?
Musically, moving up line-ups and playing bigger shows. I hope to have released new music too and have a bigger following on social media/streaming platforms.
In life I want to be moving out and possibly going to university. I also want to be improving my writing and art.
If people want to find out more about you, where should they go?
In terms of my music Bandcamp, Spotify, Apple music etc. Just type in ‘Aphra Taylor’.
I’m mostly active on instagram (@aphrataylormusic) I also have an art/personal instagram (@mollyaphra).
My website is aphrataylor.com (which I really need to update haha) and my twitter is @aphra_taylor !!
The Night Dances is available to buy here on CD with a limited zine and available to stream everywhere.
King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have shared their third single of the year ‘Straws In The Wind’ and an accompanying music video directed by Jason Galea.
This comes after the band released ‘Honey’ and ‘Some Of Us’ earlier in the year.
On Instagram the band said about the new single “Amby and Stu collab on the tune and Jase is back on the tools for the video. Damn this was fun to make! We shot trash around the room with a leaf blower and pretended we were in a trash tornado. What has the world come too…”
Recently Eric Moore, drummer and manager of the band left after nearly 10 years with the group to focus on running Flightless Records, the label that releases King Gizzard’s music in Australia.
Southend-On-Sea trio In Earnest have released their third single ’29’. This follows on from the release of ‘put me under’ and ‘come upstairs’ which where released earlier in the year. They are set to release their debut self titled EP which will be released on October 7th and will contain the previously released singles.
In a statement songwriter Tom said this about the latest single “The song is a collage of true stories that have shaped me, involving punching my dad at an ice rink (and regretting it), Chester Bennington and a friendly ghost. It reflects on tedious adulthood and holding onto a childlike thirst for adventure.”
The track is built around the fateful realisation of growing older, built through honest storytelling. Backed by punchy intricate guitars, swooning violins and atmospheric synthesisers that blend together the folk and alternative sound of many of indies biggest names.
Adrianne Lenker has announced 2 new albums songs and instrumentals which will both be released on October 23rd. This is the first new music from Lenker since 2018’s critically acclaimed abysskiss.
The lead singer of Big Thief also released two albums with the group last year U.F.O.F and Two Hands.
Label 4AD said this about the new releases: “songs and instrumentals are two distinct collections, both written and recorded in April after Big Thief’s March tour was abruptly cut short due to coronavirus. After returning to the states from Europe, Lenker decamped to a one room cabin in the mountains of western Massachusetts. “I grew really connected to the space itself,” says Lenker . “The one room cabin felt like the inside of an acoustic guitar — it was such a joy to hear the notes reverberate in the space.” With a hankering to capture the feel of the space, Lenker enlisted the help of engineer Philip Weinrobe, gathering a mass of tape machines, a binaural head, and a pile of XLR cables. “
Lenker also shared new song ‘anything’ which will appear on songs. Watch below.
01 two reverse 02 ingydar 03 anything 04 forwards beckon rebound 05 heavy focus 06 half return 07 come 08 zombie girl 09 not a lot, just forever 10 dragon eyes 11 my angel
What happens when a band revered for their high energy, chaos induced and passionately charged live shows descends on a studio that is one of the pinnacles of the music world? Pure cathartic magic.
It’s not like they’re not used to playing these iconic venues though. Last year headlining Alexandra Palace and selling out it’s 10,000 person capacity within an hour. And have recently announced a run of new UK shows for next year that sees them serve a four night residency at Brixton Academy. The difference here though is though the usual mosh pits and unify anthemic chorus’ were missing. But we know that thanks to the community IDLES have created around their music, everyone watching forgot where they were, at least for a time.
It has certainly been a strange year for live music. With the usual barage of summer festivals taken away for obvious reasons, and venues closed for the foreseeable future. Band have had to find new ways to connect with their fans. IDLES have always been a community band. The AF Gang Facebook group is a homage to the love and admiration that not only the fans have for the band but the band has for the fans.
Over the course of these 3 ‘lock-in’ sessions IDLES delivered one of the most raw and resounding live performances of the livestream age. With the setlists spanning their entire discography, including the four new singles from their forthcoming album Ultra Mono, due on September 25th. “It feels like we’re under the microscope” proclaims lead singer Joe Talbot and like most experiments under a laboratory, it’s fascinating to watch and will even throw up some surprises.
Blasting straight into action with ‘Heel/ Heal’, the sound is frantic, raw and yet consistently focused. It’s been quite some time since the band fully performed together, but they look and feel at home. Feeding off each others desire to get back into what they love, delivering thunderous live performances. And in true rock and roll fashion, Set 1 ended with a guitar smash from Bowen during ‘Rottweieller’. The lyrics do insist to “Smash it, ruin it, destroy the world”
It’s not just the fast popping punk riffs that show off their live prowess though, but some of the darker, moodier moments. The transition from ‘Gram Rock’ to ‘Date Night’ is ominous and boding, as the almost western film soundtrack like riff slowly chugs along. After viewing all these songs thrown together it’s easy to see how much the bands sound has grown over the years. Moving from the bouncing riffs of ‘Rachel Khoo ‘ to the marching beats and highly synthesised guitar riff of new single ‘Grounds’. But
Talbot has always been a passioned singer, he delivers the lines with conviction and intent. You can see what these songs and the messages he puts in them mean to him. Through his gritted teeth the anthems of a revolutionist and forward thinking generation are sung. “The best way to scare a tory is to read and get rich” he instructs on ‘Mother’.
There may not be an audience to react to but they still own the stage, keeping everyones digital eyes fully on them. Guitarist Mark Bowen still prancing about during riff breaks, he’s even suited himself up this time; usual attire is limited to just underwear. Talbot hops on the floor tom to help drummer Jon Beavis during ‘Rottweiler’. And Lee Kiernan, who’s usual approach is to take his guitar playing into the audience, still finds a wall to climb as he’s serenaded by Bowen with a medley of one line covers.
They even had time to throw in some devastatingly brutal but brilliant covers, with the highlight being The Beatles’ ‘Helter Skelter’, which I’m sure everyone is aware, but was in fact recorded at Abbey Road studios. A song that’s received its fair share of covers of the years, but none have ever sounded this empowered, haunting and beefed out.
Yes there were a couple of restarts and missed cues, but this just added to the emphasis that this was a show for the fans; it had to sound right. They even brought out the enlarged lyrics sheets at points. “Reminding me what a terrible singer I am” jokes Talbot before they kicked into action on the high paced ‘Mr. Motivator’.
There were also a plethora of dedications on the third set, one to a fan who sadly passed away of cancer and one to “The NHS and all our key workers who’ve kept us afloat, long live open minded, down with tory scum”.
“I miss this so fucking much” proclaimed Talbot during the third set. So do we Joe, so do we.
Growth and change is inevitable for any artist. In the fast paced and ever evolving world we find ourselves in, change is the paradox that stays constant. Over the course of the last ten years Angel Olsen has expanded and amplified her sound to greater feats than any listening to Strange Cacti way back in 2010 would have ever have thought. From the stripped back acoustic folk ballads of Half Way Home, to the crunchy Indie rock banger of My Woman, all the way to last years cinematic and orchestral All Mirrors Olsen’s sound has always sought to be bigger and bolder. All whilst maintaining her signature flair of heartbreak and stories that transcend time. On Whole New Mess, Olsen has come full circle. “The primer and precursor to All Mirrors” is what the hype sticker upon the album states and its pretty accurate. With nine out of these eleven songs appearing on last years standout album, except this time the searing synthesisers and crooning orchestras have been dropped in favour of the dynamic duo of Olsen and her guitar.
Don’t be fooled however, these aren’t the demos, “They all have different feelings” as Olsen puts it. The recording quality may not be as crystal clean, with a plethora of distortion throughout, but the vibrancy of the songs has never been stronger. This raw sound is a testament to the raw talent of Olsen herself. A lot of the prowess of the sound of All Mirrors came from the searing violin and synthesiser melodies, the dancing lead line of the title track being prime example. This time however the melody is solely delivered by Olsen’s intimate vocals that parade through a pool of reverb with the ‘Unfucktheworld’ style guitars chugging along. This is one of only two tracks that does feature some organs from Michael Harris, but as a form of backing instrumentation rather than taking the lead; the soundscapes are missing but they aren’t necessarily missed.
With the tracks that appeared on All Mirrors, it’s hard not to hum the various instrumental movements as the songs play their course. The two new tracks however stand as markers of the albums intimate sound. They don’t need the bravado and it’s hard to imagine where the sparkling synthesisers would place themselves. Title track ‘Whole New Mess’ is a slow burning, grungy moment of self evaluation. Without reading into it the lyrics could be mistaken for the usual heartbreak tell tales, however look closer and you realise Olsen is referencing herself and the struggle she puts herself through due to her constant state of flux; a life of touring will never leave you grounded. “Take a photo for the press again, It won’t be long before it’s really showing, It’s every season where it is I’m going”. Through its off-beat strumming and baritone vocals it sets in motion the movement of this album, slow but with a lot to say. And there’s the soft and serene plucked ballad of ‘Waving, Smiling’. A story of lost love, but not regret. Olsen looks back on her former self with warmth, a feeling of content rather than resent. “All my fears, cried out all of those years, Now baby I’m lying, Laid out and smilin’, Look out my window, The sun is shining”.
There are moments on this album that feel a bit too familiar to their All Mirrors counterparts. ‘Chance (Forever Love)’ or just ‘Chance’ as it was known is one of the more intimate moments of All Mirrors, with it mainly being just Olsen and a piano throughout. It does glide through the familiar stringed crescendo, but it’s the sparsest sound on the album. It’s a gleaming closer and elegant end to a more than elegant album.And whilst the newer/ older version, depending on how you look at things still delivers an incredible vocal performance, there’s just not a huge amount of variation in terms of structure and feel. Perhaps thats why Olsen chose to close the album this time with ‘What It Is’ instead.
In a time where every artist imaginable are delivering stripped back versions of their songs, with the prospect of full band shows a long way off, it takes something special to really stand out. Yes this album was conceived and recorded a long time before any notion of this nightmare year unfolded, but if anyone was going to steal the crown for doing the most with the least, it would always be Angel Olsen.
Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet has released of Tame Impala’s ‘Is It True’ from his latest album ‘The Slow Rush’ which was released back in February. Tame Impala also recently released a music video for ‘Is It True’ which you can watch here.
‘Wavey Davey’, as lead singer Dave Bayley proclaims himself to be on ‘Tokyo Drifting’, and co. are back after nearly 4 years with the follow up to 2016′ ‘How To Be A Human Being’. A psych-pop delve into the understanding of modern day life that saw the Oxford originating four piece earn a nomination for the coveted Mercury Prize. And now they’ve returned with what an album that Bayley describes as “incredibly honest and indcredibly us“.
Throughout this album the band take more of a lean into the afflictions of hip-hop and trap than they ever have before. It’s not uncommon for a psychedelic based outfit to take their sound in a more hip-hop direction, were looking at you Tame Impala. The difference with the direction Kevin Parker took on ‘Currents’ was that he allowed elements of the sparkly production of hip-hop and R&B to expand his sound palette and let his sonic journeys into psychedelia flourish with this new found wave of expanse. However on ‘Dreamlands’ these influences almost feel like parodies. Through the basic beats, gimmicky rap styles and pitched down vocals it takes all the elements of an interesting sound and tries to boil it down to its most basic elements; almost reaching the level of royalty free music. There is a moment of redemption that comes in the form of Denzel Curry’s feature on ‘Tokyo Drifting’, his bars are as flawless as you could expect from one of his performances; delivered with grit, intent and prowess. However just moments later you’re thrown back into the grating high falsetto verses from Bayley that almost feel like a YouTube parody rap. I guess in most cases YouTube rap is parodic, even if not attempting to be.
Opening this album is something reminiscent of a video game opening sound, with it’s slow building violins and dancing piano melody. It leaves you excited for whats to come as Bayley’s vocal melody brings a sense of dreaminess with it; apt for the song title. It talks of the journey this album is about to take you on in its own meta way “You float in the pool where the soundtrack is Can, You go ask your questions like what makes a man, Oh, it’s 2020 so it’s time to change that, So you go make an album and call it Dreamland”. Sonically it’s perhaps its the most expansive song on the album, which although brings promise for the rest of the album, the hype is never quite lived up to. The melodies of ‘Dreamland’ do make a reappearance at the end of closer ‘Helium’, forming a nice tie up to the album. Except it would be if the track didn’t then add in a new tripped out synth passage and ‘home movie’ sample. Thrown in throughout the album these samples slowly get more ambient as the album progresses but never really add much in the way thematically, just seeming to extend the tracklist, perhaps to match with streamings desire for longer albums.
What allowed ‘How To Be A Human Being’ to really thrive was its vibrant production and dynamic soundscapes. On ‘Dreamland’ these often seem to watered down to the bare minimum of some soft electronic drum beats and vaporwave style synthesisers. There’s numerous occasions on which the four chord melody that starts the songs carries through until the end. Like the twanging guitars of ‘Heat Waves’, ‘Waterfalls Coming Out Of Your Mouth’ or the 90’s hip-hop snyth samples on ‘Your Love (Déjà Vu). And once you’ve sat through a few of these one after another it becomes hard to distinguish any real dynamic between them; each getting lost in the almost off the cuff ramblings thrown on top. “How did this all go so Pete Tong? ” Bayley asks on ‘The Melon And The Coconut’ and wether intentionally or not ‘It’s All So Incredibly Loud’ does in fact go very Pete Tong. Gliding through a big synth build up throughout, with added flourishes of stringed instruments. The main difference with a Pete Tong song is that the build usually pays off, the problem here is after this almost four minute ascent you’re left feeling underwhelmed as the song just fizzles out to the woodwind melody and clunking beat.
It’s not as if the stories within this album don’t feel personal or disingenuous, but the presentation of them with multitudes of clichés come across as like a caption on an Instagram post. “As cold as an old ice cream sandwich, as focused as Mr. Miyagi, You poke at your phone posting aerial photos of you and your smoothie, I can’t keep on making you happy ’cause you got issues with your daddy” Bayley sings on ‘Tangerine’. A track that explores themes of not recognising a person you once admired, yet still seeing glints of their former self within them. And some of the bars on the rapped verses read as an attempted Tinder conversation start. ” I’m going to read your mind, Big dicks and big ol’ titties on the sly, Say I got Aries eyes, Fuck no, I’m a bonafide Aquemini”
Much like a dream this album comes off as messy, confused and never really nailing what it sets out to be. It has glimpses of ideas and movements that show artistic exploration but presents them in such a way that after coming away from it you’re not really quite sure what happened along the way.