CLOUD FACTORY: Cloud Factory #1.

20 06 2020

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In a few weeks’ time, the finest Garage Rock band from Toulouse will be releasing their debut EP. The EP is being out by the reliably great, Howlin’ Banana Records who have put out a lot of records that I love, and they’ve done it yet again with Cloud Factory.

The band are made up of formers members of Noir City and Cathedrale; and if you know your French music, you’ll know that this is a pretty cool thing to happen. They’ve com together to create some feel-good music, and right now we need that. There’s a lot of joy in their music, and this carefree sound is really what gets you hooked.

The EP, Cloud Factory #1 is a perfect glimpse into what is to come from this band and how this new sound will blow us all away. It’s a really refreshing listen and the band have so much promise. If live music were something we could indulge in right now, there’s no telling just how great their shows would be. But for now, we wait. Whilst we wait, we can cling onto the EP.

Amnesia opens up the EP and is their current single, but don’t let it make you think it is the highlight of the EP. Oh no! You see, the EP is made up of beautiful moments; and one of my favourites has to be Alice’s vocals on Dead Bodies. For some it’s a pretty morbid name for a song, but her vocals have this Bjork like fragility to it. However, Cloud Factory aren’t a band that you can link another to, they are effortlessly quirky and cool, and it really shines through on this EP. The sound is so new and just a delight to revel in. I know I usually listen to music that’s a bit heavier, but this is such an enjoyable listen. If you’ve got a lot on your mind, you can definitely take a load off whilst listening to this record.

My one gripe? There’s only 5 songs! I want more, but I always want more when it comes to music but like I’ve mentioned, it is such a strong introduction to the band and even if you are familiar with their previous bands, you don’t pick up on that at all on this record. They are exceptional musicians, and I really like the way Ben’s bass sounds alongside Bruno’s drums. Sometimes it can feel like one is competing to be louder than the other, but this doesn’t happen at all on this record. They are all equally heard and enjoyed. There’s a lot of rage on the song No Data, which might be why it’s my favourite for now. I’ll change my mind of course!

Talk Too Much and Try are excellent too, and the joyful noise that Cloud Factory give us with this record and on those two songs in particular is just a delight to listen to. As someone who does tend to sway towards more louder sounds, I can safely say that this EP is a great listen and is the perfect introduction to a band that deserve to be heard, and to be huge. It’s a real feel good record, and ideal for those long summer evenings. Even if we have to stay indoors for now. Also, this record is another that fully backs up my idea that French Garage Rock bands are sublime.

Cloud Factory #1 will be released via Howlin’ Banana Records on 3rd July.





L.A. WITCH: I Wanna Lose.

18 06 2020

Find joy wherever you can, and hold onto for however long you wish. For example, L.A. Witch have just put out a brand new song and announced a new record coming in August. That fills me with joy, excitement and sheer happiness. I’ve written about them countless of times, starting from when the band sort of started out. When they announced their first ever UK tour a few years ago, it felt like all my Christmas’ and birthdays had hit me at once, but better. I absolutely LOVE this band, and I will make it known whenever I can.

So, what’s the new song like? Well, if you’ve ever listened to their music you will know just how phenomenal they are and as musicians, they are nothing short of mind-blowing. They are at their peak on this song, and it is a beautiful taster for the new record. I Wanna Lose shows us exactly why L.A. Witch are the best around. This song also shows how great they are as musicians- both individually and together.

You need to play close attention to Irita’s bass on this one. She’s turned it up to beyond 11 and you can sense the determination in her playing on this that she wants to annihilate your eardrums. Let her. Let all three of them totally deafen you with their glorious sound. With Irita’s slick sounds and effortlessly cool tempo, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better bass player around. If you think she’s unreal on record, just wait until you see the band live. Everything you loved about them will become heightened and nothing will ever be the same again. Live music, remember that? Remember going to shows and seeing your favourite bands? We need that. We need it soon. Urgently.

Now let’s get into how Ellie thumps at your chest and ribcage, and skull with the pounding of the drums. How she sends your brain into a different universe, almost ripping you apart from your body and catapulting your soul into space. She comes in right after Sade’s intro and just keeps up the pace for the next 4 minutes, and makes you wonder, “How the hell does she do that?!” She plays like she’s got a point to prove, and you can really sense that hunger in her drumming. And again, like Irita you get this heightened at their live shows. If this is what we are getting from just one song, imagine how the whole record will be. I don’t know if I can wait until August! Honestly, they have never sounded so good and so loud. Take everything you heard by them before and let yourself soak this one up good and proper. From around 2 minutes and 20 seconds or so, Ellie’s drumming builds up and up into this really gnarly Punk sound. I love it so much, and she keeps that going right until the end.

Alright, now it’s Sade’s turn. She has one of the most distinctive voices around, and I love how she makes you feel like your listening to something from decades past but also something really futuristic. As a guitarist, she’s up there with the best of them. To be honest, if you were looking for musicians to create a supergroup, then L.A. Witch would be the band. They are just out of this world. Sade’s guitar on this is heavy, fuzzy and loud. They seem to have cranked the volume up more on this song and I hope the whole record has that feeling. I know people like to compare a bands new record to their last, but with bands like L.A. Witch and with this sound, there is absolutely no way you can do it. The only comparison is that they both are amazing. That’s it really. Her vocals mixed with how brutal Irita has become with her bass and how Ellie too has become more brutal with the drums, compliments everything so beautifully. Layer this with Sade’s guitar and of course, you’ve got one of the best songs you will hear all year.

There you have it. Another declaration of love from me to L.A. Witch. It’ll happen again no doubt before the record comes out. They’re set to tour the UK in November, and I really hope it happens (mainly because I love them, I love their shows, the Manchester show is a few days after my birthday and is at one of my favourite venues in Manchester.)

I Wanna Lose is a song that needs to be played loud. As loud as you can.

Play With Fire is due to be released on 21st August 2020 via the always great, Suicide Squeeze Records. You can pre-order the record here: https://lawitches.bandcamp.com/





JEHNNY BETH: To Love Is To Live.

13 06 2020

Do you remember the first time you heard the voice of a singer where it totally consumed you? Do you remember that feeling that grabbed you? You may not have experienced it yet, or you may have experienced it a few times. It doesn’t matter how many times, but when you find someone who’s voice just grips you completely and their words also have a hold on you, you don’t let it go. You can’t let it go. They don’t let you go. It’s such a beautiful and vulnerable feeling, and that is why I can safely say that Jehnny Beth has one of the most hypnotising voices I have ever heard. Yesterday her debut solo record came out. I’ve not read anyone else’s take on the record, and I hope no one has compared it to the previous records with Savages because this is totally different. This is something I have never ever heard before, and my god it is nothing short of beautiful and poetic honesty.

To Love Is To Live is the name of the record, and it’s a pretty solid mantra to have. The record explores so much around lust, love, sex, intimacy, innocence and decadence. The things most would shy away from, Jehnny confronts it in the most ferocious and wonderful way possible. She has made the record with her partner Johnny Hostile (they have made amazing music in the past together and I urge you to delve into that.) The darkness on this record is so moving, and there is so much hope on the record. Given what we are all going through, we need that hope so badly.

The 11 songs on the record are carefully crafted, and you can hear the sheer dedication on every song. Of course, my favourite right now is her song with Joe from IDLES, titled How Could You but I want to talk about the song Flower first. This song is so sexual in ways you never thought a song could. It is a perfect dedication to a lover, someone who may be far from your reach but there’s that physical side that brings you both together and binds you together. The exploration of sexuality on this song is so vital. The way gender is thrown out of the window (thank god!) and sexuality is explored is just beautiful. For every queer person out there, take and make this song yours. It’s a masterpiece. The trembling in Jehnny’s voice on this really make you connect with the song and put you in her position. If like me you’ve been tuning into her readings from her book, which comes out next month, then you will have heard just how exceptional she is when it comes to describing feelings and thoughts regarding love and relationships, and all forms of intimacy that flow in between. I feel like this record could soundtrack the book.

We Will Sin Together is another glorious masterpiece on the record, and it features the always incredible Stella Mozgawa (one of the best drummers ever) and Romy Madley Croft. It’s the holy trinity of music on this one, and it is such a vulnerable declaration and also offers reassurance that you and the person will head into this together, no matter what. I could say it is one of the highlights on the record, but truth be told, the whole record is a masterpiece and every moment stands out in its own right. Just absolutely perfect. You feel as if with this song, it is just you and Jehnny in the room and she is aiming the song right at you.

What I adore about To Love Is To Live is the production and how raw it sounds. You can hear the care and passion in every single song, and there’s the beautiful raw sound that at times is bold and tall but there are times where the songs are gentle and frail. The balance is beautiful and THAT is how you put out a masterpiece. I honestly don’t feel my words can do this record justice at all. Is anyone else wishing tattoo parlors were open so we could get To Love Is To Live tattooed on them?! I’d get it done in a heartbeat. The Rooms is one of the more tender moments on the record, and Jehnny’s vocals on this are so exposed and so serene. For as long as I’ve loved Savages, I have been in love with Jehnny’s voice, her way with words and all she does. This record fully justifies my love and I absolutely wish I could sit with her, and discuss this record and the way she approaches her art. She’s just out of this world.

There is a strong Punk feel to this record, and the way she is unapologetically herself, unapologetically honest and ferocious on the record just makes you not only fall in love with her even more- but the level of respect just accelerates. I honestly can’t think of a record that has given such a wide range of emotions in a hell of a long time. Heroine is the perfect example of this (and Jehnny, if you see this please know that you truly ARE a heroine.) The romanticism in her words reminds me of Patti Smith to Baudelaire, with hints of Marquis de Sade. There’s this dark poetry on the record that lures you in. I don’t think we are made to get out of it to be honest. Why would you even want to?

How Could You is the loudest song on the record, and it feels like a riot in the ears. Jehnny and Joe’s vocals together is just simply divine. Two of the most powerful and vital vocals in music together, making something that is nothing short of an anthem. My god this is a powerful. I hope, when we can go to gigs together, she brings Joe out at a few shows and does this with him. Can you picture how wild it would be? I hope they make a music video for this, because I reckon it would be a mind-blowing and chaotic piece of art.

For me, this is one of the most incredible records of the decade and one of the most gorgeously put together records I have ever, ever heard. French Countryside shows us another side of Jehnny, and this side is the calming side of dedication and love. The gentle side of love and lust. The whole record oozes intimacy on all levels, and at times lack of it. This is such a heartbreaking song, and you can hear something truly painful in her vocals and that just makes you connect with her so much. I love how Jehnny has this ability to be tough, brave and in your face. But there is another side of her that is so fragile, almost child-like innocence and open. These sides to her are so wonderfully put across on the record, and I honestly cannot put into words how effortless she makes it. Some spend their whole career trying to master it, but Jehnny seems like she always had it in her and unleashed it right away.

The record ends on Human. It is 6 minutes and 2 seconds of important words, that NEED to be heard. It is the perfect way to end the record. The tension is so captivating, and just before we hit the 2-minute mark it smacks you right in the face. This is where she brings everything together and just messes with your head in the best way possible. I’m not going to say too much about this one because I want YOU to listen to it and soak up the song. The whole record oozes power, sensuality, lust, sexuality, decadence and all those glorious experiences that come with it. It’s nothing short of perfect.

Listen to the record in order, take it all in. Let the record take you over. Let it consume every single part of you and beyond. Explore everything and anything, and let this record be your guide.

To Love Is To Live is out right now, and you can pre-order Jehnny’s book here: http://hyperurl.co/CALMJehnnyBeth ffff





PINS: Hot Slick.

30 05 2020
Pins: Hot Slick review - Manchester trio trade indie for anodyne ...

Everything I’ve ever written about PINS is probably going to come out again as I write about their gorgeous new record, Hot Slick. With all the rubbish going on in the world- we need something to make us feel better. You can find that in Hot Slick, and that’s a promise.

PINS have been a band that I’ve been in awe of since the start. I found them by accident, and never looked back since. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen them live and again, I promise you that their live shows are amazing. They were due to play an album launch show tomorrow night here in Manchester, but that will now (hopefully) happen in October. It’ll be my first time seeing them in the city I am proud to call home. I’d only ever seen them play in London, so this show will be extra special when it happens.

Something you really get from PINS is that their songs are made to be witnessed in a live setting. They are a band that really show you what they are made of when you go to their shows, and what they have done on Hot Slick is not only show us that this record will be incredible live, but they have laid it all out on record. Forget what you heard on Girls Like Us and Wild Nights- Hot Slick is a different level. I love both records a hell of a lot, but that new sound is so strong and a real joy to listen to.

The only downside is that the record lasts about half an hour, but we can get round that by playing it over and over! There is so much to love about this record, and one thing I love the most is that Jamie Hince from The Kills produced the titled track. If you’ve read anything I’ve ever written, you’ll know just how much I fucking LOVE The Kills so this is a pretty huge thing! PINS have worked with Iggy Pop and Jamie Hince- that’s pretty incredible. PINS don’t have a distinctive sound, and that’s really clear on this record.

They aren’t afraid to experiment with their sound and to push what they can do. They are truly one of the most hard-working bands around, and that dedication comes right through on all they do, and Hot Slick is a raw declaration of this. I love the title track so much; it’s got a strong mix of Punk mixed with Donna Summer. It’s the trashing guitar with electrifying Disco feel. It’s pure magic and is such a powerful start to the record.

Hot Slick consists of 10 songs that will stay in your head all day. These songs will play on your mind. You’ll want to live out Love You To Death (Mark from Leather Party/a bunch of other great bands, and is married to Faith, features on this) and Ponytail will just make you feel like you can take on the world. I started writing this yesterday but wanted to keep on listening to the record in order to try but something coherent together, and to obviously just keep on playing the record. Daisies is the ideal song to listen to if you’re looking to self-isolate in the park with the sun hitting your back. The whole record has a Summer feel to it, and although the world is strange and uncertain right now- we are still lucky to have bands like PINS give us music to keep on going. I adore how different Hot Slick is, and how they have made this destined leap into this sound. I love the sheer dedication and passion in this record. It’s a proper labour of love and hard-work, and that just makes you treasure it even more.

Well, now it’s the 30th May and it would have been their album release party at YES tonight here in Manchester. I’m not the only one who is just itching to go to a live show, and the uncertainty of not knowing when it will be is brutal. But we will get there. In the meantime, we can blast out songs like Read My Lips, which is the ultimate anthem on this record, and just ignore all that’s troubling us for a little while. This is such a fantastic record, and you cannot help but be massively proud of PINS for what they have created here. I know the whole point of a “review” is to be constructive, but by no means would I write about something I didn’t like or could find fault in. The world is already full of negativity, what’s the point in adding to it? If what I’ve written makes just one person listen to the band/record I’ve written about, then I’ve done what I wanted to do. It’s not a review, it’s a declaration of appreciation for a bloody brilliant record.

Set Me Off has an AMAZING Talking Heads (I’m getting a Burning Down The House feel from it) feel to it mixed with something I can’t really think of right now, but it’s easily one of my favourites on the record. I love how every song on this record feels like it could be in an off the wall indie film, that’s a bit decadent in places. It is such a bright and care-free record, and I probably wouldn’t trust anyone who sees any bad in it to be honest!

There are so many thing that make this record a sheer joy to listen to, and there are so many moments on this record that make you realise why you bloody love this band, and music in general. Love You To Death needs to be a single, just because I reckon the video could be wild. PINS are one of the best bands to ever have come from Manchester, and Hot Slick fully justifies that. If you’re looking for something to really get into your soul, take over your mind and make your record collection look cooler- pick up a copy of Hot Slick from your local record shop, and play it LOUD.

There are still some tickets left for their rescheduled tour, which you can grab here:

https://www.songkick.com/artists/410582-pins

They are also auctioning some really cool items right here too:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/wearepins





BEST COAST: Always Tomorrow.

21 02 2020

best-coast-always-tomorrow

For the past decade or so, I have been in love with Best Coast. I think this is the band that may have started my obsession with bands from California and becoming obsessed with the way they made me feel like I was right there rather than where I currently was. Always seeking some form of escapism, and I always find it in music. Best Coast released their new record, Always Tomorrow today and I’m so excited to listen to it and write about why I love it. Maybe it’ll bore you, maybe you’ll feel the same way as me.

 Today in Manchester it has rained pretty much all day. This week has given us the kind of weather that makes you want to stay at home and not go anywhere, even if like me, you love your job- you still don’t want to get out of bed. But that’s probably part of me having depression too but whatever. The sun has again come from Best Coast. This record is totally different; it is not like Crazy For You (the baby) or California Nights, and all in between. The thing I have always adored about Best Coast is the growth. What we got from Crazy For You and the journey from there to here is fucking insane. You feel like you’ve grown with Bethany and Bobb. You feel part of the journey. Always Tomorrow is such a mellow record, lyrically. Musically it is their heaviest and still has that beautiful honesty in the lyrics. I love how Bethany doesn’t need to be over the top with her words- she is so relatable, and personally, I think the band are criminally underrated.

 I’ve got a lot of sentimental value attached to Best Coast. When I met my girlfriend 10 years ago (we’ve not been together that long because back then I was a dick to her) and I would always bang on about Best Coast to her. She loves them too, and during our weird friendship (which was me being too much of an idiot to say how I felt) Our Deal was the song, THE SONG. This is why I feel like I’ve grown up with the band, and songs like Different Light and For The First Time are the songs that make you realise just how far the band have come, and how strong Bethany is. She’s just an exceptional writer, and I love the emotion she pours into the songs. I think For The First Time is a polite fuck you, and I love that.

 

 

Always Tomorrow is full of hope and growth; like I said it’s a heavier record, and it’s still got that typical Best Coast anthemic feel- this is apparent on songs like Graceless Kids. I’d play this stupidly loud right now if it wasn’t 11pm. I think this will be the one that is screamed by Bethany, and by the crowd back to her on tour. There is something so powerful about this song, and honestly, listen to it through headphones so you can soak up every single word. I just love her so much, and her words have got me through a hell of a lot and beyond. Make It Last is one of those songs that just make you feel something other songs haven’t quite done yet. It’s such a perfect song.

 Rollercoaster is one of my favourite songs on the record; I love the slick sound on this record, and I love everything about this song. It is hard to pick a solid favourite, and I know I don’t need to, but I feel like this might be the one I end up going back to. There is something about this record that reminds me slightly of Courtney Barnett, and that’s always a great thing, you know. They’ve both got this beautiful way with words that makes you feel like they are telling your story and spilling out everything you are thinking and feeling.

 This record will tug at your heartstrings and it will stay with you, just like all their records do. Best Coast have been doing this for a decade or so now, and I love how every record is different and a step up from what they did before. I love how well Bethany and Bobb work together, and I love what they create together.

 For when you feel hopeless, hopeful, lost, lonely or found- this record will be such a comfort. Songs like Rollercoaster, Wreckage and Master Of My Own Mind will get you right in the gut, and again are prime moments of growth on this record. Bethany’s voice has never sounded so strong, and you can feel every single word that she sings. She has such a distinctive voice, and I love how her voice and Bobb’s musicianship are just a perfect combination. They are both brilliant musicians, and Bethany’s voice is so soothing.  True is Bethany’s 60s Girl Group moment; it reminds me of the Wall of Sound era. You could imagine Ronnie Spector belting this one out, it is a gorgeous love song. It has this innocence and wonder to it that just makes you really proud of what the band have achieved and make you so proud to be a fan.

 

 

 These 11 songs will be all you need; they will comfort you, and they will be your crutch. It is such a beautifully honest record; just play it loud and let everything out. Let songs like Seeing Red be your release. Then fall into the world that Best Coast have given us for the past 10 years or so. It’s a stunning record, and just what I needed. Even the cover to the record fills you with hope; there’s something about the cover that makes you want to stare at it whilst playing the record. You can also sense the creative urgency on this record and given that it’s their first full length record in 5 years, it’s like they were never gone.

That wonderful lo-fi sound is there, it will always be there, and they do it in their own way. They make their own rules, and it’s just one of the many reasons as to why I love and will always love Best Coast.





VHS DEATH.

11 01 2020

 

VHSDEATH

 

I’ve said it many times before, there is something really special about Bristol. I don’t need to give you names of the bands I love from there- you already know. There is something about the music scene there that is so diverse, so special and just a joy to listen to. It’s just a haven of exceptional talent, which leads me onto VHS Death.

 VHS Death is the solo project of Natalie Wardle (previously of Returning Videotapes) who is based in Bristol. VHS Death is this beautifully haunting project that is full of these dark and eerie Industrial sounds. Natalie’s debut release as VHS Death consists of seven songs that will hit you in the soul and will be swarming round your head for days. Hawkmoth (Death Head) is just shy of seven minutes long, and it is such an incredibly open song. The lyrics are so brutally honest, and the way Natalie speaks and sings them over this heavy Industrial sound will just blow your mind.

 

 

Although the record came out in November, we can say that this song is one of the heaviest and most honest songs we will get this year. It is heavy in many ways, and I know some of us don’t want deep and meaningful- we want music to be an escape, but with this-it brings you into the reality. It’s nothing short of perfect.

 These seven songs on Llorona are brilliant insight into Natalie’s mind, and these songs are just a masterpiece. They are this captivating journey into the world of VHS Death. I love sounds like this. Sure, at heart, I’m a Punk but I love this sound. Bands like Psychic TV, Cold Cave, Drab Majesty- I bloody love them. VHS Death is up there for bands that will move you, for me. Easily. This is all Natalie’s work, and you can truly hear the passion and devotion to this project in the songs.  I adored Returning Videotapes, but VHS Death is a different direction- and that’s what we need. There are bits of the song DMT that remind me a little bit of A Forest by The Cure. It’s the atmospheric background sound that feels like a grey mist clouding your surroundings. It is wonderful, and just a real joy to listen to.

 Each song is so easy to become obsessed with, and I think when you first listen to this record you see it as this eerie and slightly dangerous body of work. But the more you listen and let yourself mentally dissect the songs- you see it as something completely different. There is so much going on but that doesn’t mean it is a difficult listen at all, far from it. You can truly imagine these songs in a live setting and songs like Prey and Nothing are probably the ones that’ll blow us all away when we see a VHS Death show.

 Something that is just beyond incredible is that Natalie will be taking this project to LA in October as part of the Deathwave Records Festival. If I had a hell of a lot of money, I’d fly Business Class and go out there for it. I say Business Class because I want to be able to sleep in a bed and forget the fact I am up in the sky and cannot roam round freely or get off at the next stop. Maybe one day.

 

 

Broken Glass is a heavenly seven minute euphoric delight, and after it we a treated to the gentle and ethereal Elara. These two songs together are something to really treasure. The way they flow into each other really shows how exceptional Natalie is, and how with just one record as VHS Death has made something you want more and more of. I really cannot wait to see what happens next with this project.

 You can stay up to date with all the VHS Death information you need here: https://www.facebook.com/pg/VHSxDEATH





THE LONG WIVES: Feel It All Wrong.

19 12 2019

Image result for the long wives

 

“Someday we’ll be brand new again
Someday we’ll be reborn.”

 

If there’s one person I vow to always write about, it will always be The Long Wives aka Brandy St.John. Her music means the world to me. Beyond the world. I remember when I first discovered her music many years ago, and I get that same feeling every time I listen to her. She seems to release a song just when I need it, and right now I do.

This time of year has now become a time of year I loathe. With the loss of my Grandma 4 months ago, everything and anything has felt wrong. I’ve been in a whirlwind of feelings I’m not sure of what to do with, but I have them so there’s that. Brandy St.John recently released the gorgeous and haunting Feel It All Wrong, and I can honestly say it is one of her most moving songs to date. She has this way with words that just makes you feel a little less alone, and a little less ashamed of what you carry on your shoulders.

The power she has in her has always left me in awe, and on this song it’s the combination of lyrics that hit you in the soul and her voice combined that really hit you. Brandy has this way with words that would make most envious, she has this gorgeous way of just putting you in these scenarios and really testing your strength by accepting your weaknesses. For me, that’s the sign of someone who goes above and beyond a musician. She is truly something else; I think she’s a superhero.

 

 

There are many parts to this song that I cherish, but this section of lyrics will break and mend your heart:

“I am the child again
and I feel it all wrong
Don’t spend your nights
Lost in the years it was all wrong
All that you’ve known is broken will, broken bone
Don’t give your nights to those who will steal it all before you go on.”

There is something about the above that you just connect to. I hope one day she puts her lyrics into a book because they truly read like poetry. I’d probably buy every copy to be honest. Whilst I’ve resigned myself to the fact that she may never tour the UK, we’ve got songs like this to carry us through.

For me, there is quite simply no one else like her and there never will be. Artists like Brandy are rare and so vital. Her music has been and continues to be such a huge part of my life because there is such beauty and hope in her words. I have no idea if anyone has tried to label her music but to be honest, I highly doubt you could. It’s out of this world- just like Patti Smith, Nick Cave and Townes Van Zandt.

Once you’ve listened to Feel It All Wrong, I encourage you to go and listen to her previous work. The darkness in the sound and the beauty in all she creates on this song, and the rest of her work stays with you and personally- it’s artists like Brandy that reinforce my love for music and writing about it. She is truly one of a kind.





HATE MOSS.

2 12 2019

HATEMOSS

 

There is so much that I love about Hate Moss that I have no idea where to begin. The name of the band alone should make you love them. This Brazilian/Italian duo are based in London, and I think if I still lived in London, they would be THAT band that I constantly go see. They have something about them that just makes you really want to invest in them. As far as duos go, they’re up there with the best of them. They take elements of bands I love and make something of their own which is beautifully dark and creepy.

I think the best time to listen to Hate Moss is, well, all the time! But aside from that, listening to them in the dark when nothing and no one is around is an ideal setting. I’ve got a few bands that I listen to like this, and there’s something so sacred about listening to music in this vulnerable setting. I guess in a way, it makes you really soak up everything that’s going on in a more heightened manner.

 

 

Hate Moss don’t make sounds for those wanting sickly delicate emotions and thoughts. They’re for those who aren’t afraid to stay on the edge of something that could probably terrify someone else. Their songs have this euphoric glow to them, and it is really brought to life on songs such as The Time Your Remake which is 8 minutes of sheer heaven. Their synth-based sounds remind me of the likes of Drab Majesty and my all-time love, Cold Cave. They give you this atmosphere that gets you right in the gut.

Hate Moss totally stop you in your tracks when you listen to them. You simply can’t do anything when you listen to them apart from just that- listen to them. The vocals will send shivers right through you, and the music alone will increase everything you could possibly feel when listening to them. Two people are doing this- just two people. The incredible thing is that they don’t have that many songs, but every song feels like this ethereal cloak of darkness that you want to constantly cover you. They are such a special band, and you can really hear where they want to go when you stop and listen to their music.

Songs like Evil and Honey were made for you to just play really, loud. They’re the kind of songs you can see yourself screaming back at the band. Sometimes you just find a band or a song that you absolutely cling to, and these songs because your everything for that specific moment in your life.

 

 

I could quite happily switch off from the world and listen to Hate Moss on a loop. I could also sleep for a few days because I am so tired. But anyway, Hate Moss have something about them that just makes you feel like their live shows are really something else. This duo really knows how to get the listener right in the gut, and with just a handful of songs- they have mastered this perfectly.





FANTAZMAZ: Better In My Head.

1 12 2019

fantamaz

 

This isn’t going to be long, because I’m not well and I’m not happy that I had to pass on seeing Amyl & The Sniffers tonight. I saw them earlier in the year, and I was SO excited about seeing them tonight. But it’s not meant to be. Instead, I made myself pizza and watched a film. I’m mad at myself for getting ill. I eat vegetables, I take vitamins and I do my best to look after myself (and the planet by not eating animals!) but it happens. I just wish it happened earlier or not at all! Anyway, you’re not here for that and neither am I.

Fantazmaz have just one song out, and that one song is powerful enough to write about. With the world evidently on its tits at the moment and lies being spat at us by pretty much every politician, it’s pretty easy to cling onto bands or a song that let out our frustrations, and Fantazmaz do exactly that. They are fronted by Thamila who has such fury in her vocals, and just reels you in immediately. I can only liken her to Amy from Amyl & The Sniffers, and I mean that because when I first heard Amy I thought “OH SHIT! WHAT IS THIS!?” And I was hooked, Thamila has done exactly the same. Raf and Chokis keep this fury up with their guitar and bass, then you have Edgar on the drums and it feels like he is the one sort of pushing the band to be louder and unapologetically ferocious. They may just have one song for now, but this one song is enough to make you really believe in this band.

 

 

I love how this song feels like you’re escaping everything around you and opting for living in your head. I wouldn’t recommend living in mine, but when you can create a world to escape from it gives you this comfort and to be honest, we all need that. It is such a vital Punk song, and once you hear it- it really stays with you. You have the chorus repeating in your head like a mantra, and it’s a pretty cool one to take on.

You can stream/buy the song on their Bandcamp page, and you can keep up to date with the band right here. I cannot wait to hear more from them because two minutes and nineteen seconds just isn’t enough!

Play it loud!





BANKS: O2 Ritz, Manchester. 1st November 2019.

2 11 2019

BANKS

 

Last night was only my third time seeing BANKS, but to see her perform the songs from her new record III was a completely different experience from the past two shows.

Her voice is stronger than ever, her confidence has grown, and she is easily one of the best performers you’ll ever see. I can safely say this morning that my voice is a bit fucked. I sang my little heart out last night, something which I rarely do. I guess I felt I needed to get everything out. Her music is soothing, it is healing and just makes everything alright. She’s is nothing short of phenomenal.

 She opens her set with Til Now, which is a powerful anthem. It’s a solid ‘fuck you’ and BANKS does this so well. On stage all she needs is Derek, Ben, Nadine and Allison. Nadine and Alison, along with BANKS move in ways that make you feel like you are at something that is more than just a concert. There is something so ethereal and magical about watching the three of them move together. Of course, I lose my mind when Stroke starts. I told my girlfriend we should have brought red bandanas or something to recreate the moves but luckily, we improvised (nearly smacking each other!) During the set I was stood near a guy who was absolutely having the time of his life; moving in ways we all should at shows and screaming every word back at Jillian. That’s how you do it. I think I spent more time watching him! Something I love seeing at BANKS’ shows is just how passionate her fans are. Everyone just screams the words back, as if we have been waiting our whole lives to just get this all out. She is a phenomenal writer, and like I mentioned above her vocals have become even stronger.

 

 

There are so many perfect moments during the show, but for me it came from the most tender and vulnerable part- when she recited her poem, Ode To The Grey Zone, that’s when it all fell into place for me. I was one of them who filmed the whole thing- I just had to. It is such a gorgeous and vulnerable piece of art, and it is something that is so comforting. I needed it. There are so many highlights from her new record that came to life last night. One of the most important ones was If We Were Made Of Water. Did I expect to hear it? Hell no. I lost my mind. It is such a strong song, and on record her vocals on this are insane but when you witness it live, you take on a different meaning. That’s what I love about Jillian- when you see her perform these songs after religiously playing them at home, they really do take on a different meaning. They become a bigger part of you, and that’s the part you cling to. Always.

 Seeing everyone lose their mind to Gimme was brilliant. I think this, and Underdog are the ones that caused me and my girlfriend to absolutely ruin our voice and wake up with sore throats this morning. Completely worth it. Drowning and Waiting Game were as always, a joy to witness. I love that she’s switched up the set, and even though I wanted to see This Is What It Feels Like again- seeing If We Were Made Of Water just completed it all for me. Poltergeist was ridiculous. I love the choreography to this. I think for me, the best part of the show choreography wise was Contaminated. It is such a heartbreaking song, but when you see it performed it takes on a new life almost. The way it is performed is so heartbreaking, and you feel slightly voyeuristic watching it- seeing something so fragile. But even in BANKS’ tender moments, there is so much strength and I love that about her so much. Alaska caused everyone to lose their mind as did Underdog. The whole set was a delight, and I’m just so excited to watch her keep evolving as a performer and writer. She truly is a Goddess. Also, the songs playing before she came on stage made me love her even more. My girlfriend, who is a huge Lil’ Kim fan left her place in the drinks queue to run up to me and recite the lyrics. I fucking love her. Before BANKS came on stage Where My Girls At by 702 was playing- pretty sure I was treating everyone to a nice rendition of that. She played so much Missy too, which is a given!

As someone who has been a fan right from the start, seeing Jillian grow and become the performer she is now is truly beautiful. The chapter of III is her showing us how she has grown and blossomed into this confident performer. I’ve always loved how you can see how much she loves playing shows on her face. When she performs Beggin’ For Thread, and hands the mic to the crowd this beautiful smile takes her over and the dimples shows us just how much it means to her. Maybe because she sees how much it means to us too. Seeing Godless and Propaganda live were out of this world too. Definitely a highlight for sure.

With just three records she has become this vital part of music, and so many people’s lives. I loved seeing so many people from our LGBTQ+  community in the crowd. It felt like home, it felt like a safe space and given the state of the world right now- this is what we need. Her music is a safety net, her shows make you feel like you finally belong and being who you are is enough. The world puts us down enough, we don’t need to do it to ourselves.

 

 

Last night was the first night of the UK/EU III tour; so, if you are lucky enough to be going, you are in for a real treat. If you’ve never seen BANKS live before, prepare to have your mind blown. If you’ve seen her before, you’ll truly see how she has grown, and you’ll just be so proud of her.