HOORSEES: A Superior Athlete

I am SO excited to write about the new record by the finest band in Paris; Hoorsees. Their second record, A Superior Athlete comes out on the 22nd April via Kanine Records and if you’re looking for a record that is going to play a vital role in the music you listen to during the summer- then this is the one for you.

I really enjoyed writing about their debut record last year, and it’s still a record I love listening to. There is something really gentle about this band and their sound. They have a sound so precious and unique to theirs, and there’s no one else out there who sounds even remotely like them- and that’s what lures you in and keeps you there.

The record opens with the beautifully relaxing, Week-End At Bernie’s and it is such a soothing song. It’s the perfect opener to the record and really sets the mood for the record. Alex’s vocals on this really have you hooked, and what is so easy to love about this band is that they have a lot of soul in their sound. They make you feel like you’re on holiday or they make you feel like you need to just sack off every responsibility you have, and just enjoy this record. The first song really does grab you and before you know it, you’ve fallen deep into the world they’ve created on this record. That’s just with one song! The gorgeous and oddball lyrics hit you right again on the song Cream & Onion (I don’t know why this title makes me feel a bit like I’m going to puke, but the song does the opposite!) This song feels like the sun hitting you on your back as you spend the day lazily wandering round. Again, that’s just something I love about this band- they make you feel completely fine with doing nothing at all!

Around this time of year bands will contend to make a record that rules your summer. I think it’s safe to say that Hoorsees may have beaten them all on this one. There’s innocence to the lyrics that go beautifully with the slight dream-pop/shoegaze sounds. It is a gentle record, and shows us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around. Songs like Jansport and Drama Kings will be stuck in your head for days- you’ll be humming the song constantly. There’s no better song to have stuck in your head. With so much shit going on in the world, a band like Hoorsees are here to just lighten the burden of it all for a little while.

I love the heaviness on Memory’s Knife towards the end of it; it fits so well with the gentle tones of it. I just think with this record, they have showed us exactly why they are one of the most exciting bands around and how fearless they are with their sound. This record was written in two weeks, and for some that may be way too rushed but what I hear on this record is a band that are so sure of their sound and know exactly what they want to create. The band left the city and stayed at Alex’s grandmother’s house, and maybe that’s part of why the record sounds so care-free and light. You can play this record, and everything just feels okay you know? It’s that reassurance you need and it’s that friend you need to just hang out with and do nothing with. They are also a band that aren’t afraid to talk about the frustrations of daily life and how restless we become through boredom. I don’t even know if it’s boredom. Maybe it’s a touch of frustration that we can never shake. Either way, Hoorsees have created something truly beautiful with this record.

A Superior Athlete is everything you could want from the record of the summer, and so much more. You;ll play this on the coldest day in December, and it’ll take you back to warmer times. It is a comforting record and one that really does show us what Hoorsees are made of and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. It’s a divine record from start to finish.

A Superior Athlete is out this Friday (22nd April) via Kanine Records

BULLET GIRL: Talking Pony EP.

Good Friday has now taken on a whole new meaning because the debut EP from Bullet Girl is FINALLY here. It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for this. And yes, as that old saying goes- good things come to those who wait. I mean I was pretty impatient for this one, but I stayed up well past my bedtime last night/this morning and at midnight, I played the EP. I’ve been playing it all day (I’ve taken a break from listening to CROWS for the time being.) Good Friday? More like a BRILLIANT Friday. If you’re looking for something that is powerful, will burst your eardrums, give you a swift kick up the arse and make you feel something- then I URGE you to check out this EP. It’s incredible.

In 4 songs, Bullet Girl show us exactly what they are made of. They are a political, honest, focused and a poetic bunch. The songs are insanely brilliant. It opens with The Hunt, then we go right into Paper Guns which is just a treat for the ears. The whole record is. Of course, you want more, but what they’ve given us is a work of art that oozes passion, dedication and determination. You can truly feel the hard-work that has gone into this record. Everything about Talking Pony just screams every fury you possibly feel right now. Paper Guns nails this more than most. The despair and hurt on this are so raw, and you’ll probably be made of stone if you don’t connect even a tiny bit to this one.

With one EP they have firmly put their sound out there. There’s nothing like this around and thank God because no one can do it like Bullet Girl. They make you want to cast aside your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour or something equally fun. They’ve got this energy to the songs that just makes you punch the air in agreement and yell the songs out. Nothing will hit as hard as the into to McViolence. That intro just gets me every single time. Pretty sure I could be having the worst day possible, and within seconds of that intro being blasted out- I’ll feel better. I love the sheer rage in the song. The whole record has this brutality to it that just makes you really connect to the band and what they are about. Again, it’s all about picking up on that drive and determination in this EP- it’s wild. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when listening to the record. Like, I knew it was going to be great of course, but I didn’t know how the songs were going to hit and how it’d feel to finally hear this body of work that they’ve worked so hard on.

The love and drive gone into this EP is evident on every single song. If you want music that will make you feel like you are being thrown about or if you want lyrics that are just an accurate social commentary that are sung with such vulnerability and urgency- then this is the record for you. These 4 songs were made to be heard by the world and to be treasured. The record ends beautifully on Parasites but it doesn’t have to end there. Simply play it over and over again. It’s the only way. The last 20 seconds or so on this one is just incredible. The screaming of “Better days will come” just hits you right in the soul.

Talking Pony calls out everything shit with the world, but it’s delivered in a way that givers you hope. Hope that it’ll get better. It has to, right? With bands like Bullet Girl telling it like it is, it’s a sure fire way of making us all feel less alone and less helpless.

Tour dates for May are:

7th May: Retro, Manchester (R-Fest)

8th May: Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds

9th May: The Washington, Sheffield

10th May: The Old Blue Last, London

11th May: Bedford Esquires, Bedford (supporting Personal Trainer

14th May: The Black Lion, Brighton

BEAT IN MY BONES: Episode 3

This week there is music from: CROWS, METZ, GHUM, Hoorsees, The Battery Farm and the new one from Sextile!

I think I spend most of the show talking about CROWS and their show in Manchester from last Friday. Bloody incredible it was!

Right, I’m off to play FIFA x

CROWS @YES Manchester 8th April 2022.

Friday night. The end of one of the most stressful and mentally challenging weeks of my life. Nothing bad, just a lot. A release of sorts was needed. I’m not a drinker, so that’s not my preferred route. Too exhausted to go to the gym. Too mentally alert to try go to sleep. My only option was to go see a band who I’ve dying to see for so long. A band that are just divine to watch, to listen to.

Crows played the Pink Room at YES on Friday night. An upgrade from last time, where they played the basement. I hear Wembley is next. Has to be. Anyway, I won’t get ahead of myself just yet. I want you to really imagine being at this gig because it was truly one of the most healing and ethereal experiences ever (live music wise.) Now, I’ve been obsessing over their new record Beware Believers over the past week or so, and their debut record Silver Tongues for me, was one of the best records of 2019. They’re just such a fantastic band and their live shows are like a religious experience/outer body experience. It definitely wasn’t from this planet at all!

I think like everyone else in the room, we could have happily watched Crows play for hours. The around an hour set wasn’t enough. It’s never enough! But my god that band give everything they have on more on stage. On record you can feel the urgency in James’ vocals, but put the band on stage and everything comes together and it is delivered with this ferociousness that just makes you questions everything around you. His vocals live are phenomenal. The words are screamed and sung with such passion; as if his life depends on it. As if YOUR life depends on it. The words hit harder when you see the band live, and the song for me that made me feel like I had been baptised or whatever was definitely Healing. That song has been on repeat since the record came out, and I’ve got not intention of changing that right now. The lyrics are heartbreaking because they are true, and when you witness this song live it just changes everything for you. Maybe that’s part of the healing?

When the band unleash the old gem that is The Itch (I’m not doing this in order of the setlist) I’m pretty sure I am just covered in goosebumps at this point. It’s out of this world. On the same level of this intensity, we’ve got Garden of England- which is sang back at the band in the most beautiful way. Then you’ve got the likes of Slowly Separate and Room 156 that just shatter your heart but they fix this part of you that you didn’t know you needed. I just think that Crows are the most intense and euphoric bands around and I cannot urge you enough to go see them live. We all end up finding a band that we just have to always see live whenever we can, and I can confirm that Crows are 100% one of those bands.

There’s just something about the atmosphere they create and the way it all just really hits you in the gut. Steve and Jith both have this way of using the guitar and bass to add this unearthly loudness to the show that makes you feel like you are being carried out into the deep unknown. Sam beats the shit out of the drums which fit perfectly with the way James delivers the poetic and intense lyrics/songs. For me, they just capture everything I love about music. Seeing them live has made me appreciate and love their music more than I already do, and I honestly didn’t think that was possible. An absolute joy and honour to see Crows live.

Also, something I want to mention was that Safe Gigs For Women were at the show. It’s a shame that we need them, but thank God they exist. The work they do is remarkable. If you’re able to donate or volunteer with them, please do: https://sgfw.org.uk/

And of course, if you have the chance to see Crows live- take it. Grab that chance; it’ll be the best thing you ever do.

CROWS: Beware Believers.

In 2019 I wrote about the debut record from Crows. It was full of love and admiration. I was in awe of what I was listening to, and I found it hard to believe that it was only their debut record. Crows are a band that I’m constantly in awe of, and I love how they make me feel like I’m discovering the likes of The Birthday Party for the first time. They are loud, they are raw and they are criminally underrated. Their second record Beware Believers was released last Friday, and trust me- it’s unreal.

11 songs make up this record. 11 heavenly songs that will send you off into some odd dystopian dream/nightmare (I mean you could just take a look outside for this, but let me be a bit dramatic here.) There’s nothing more annoying than someone mentioning the second record curse when writing about a bands second release. Ease off the pressure and stop assuming everyone will release a shit second record. Crows are a band that do not make bad songs nor do they put fillers on their record at all. They make the kind of music to completely let loose to. If something is stressing you out or if you’re carrying some frustrations you just do not need- play this record as loud as you can stand. I’m not playing it as loud as I normally would due to being a little deaf from seeing METZ last night, but I’m brave. I can do this.

This year is clearly the year for exceptional records, and Crows can add their name to the list of bands contributing to this. I don’t think we’re going to hear a record as driven as this one. I don’t think it’s possible for anything to even come close to this record. Crows have been around for ages, and yes, it’s hard to get your heard around the fact that this is only their second record but what’s more difficult is that they haven’t taken over the world yet. Come on now! This needs sorting. I’ve listened to the record a lot the past few days, and I love the way every song flows perfectly into the next. I love how Only Times goes right into Slowly Separate. For me, that’s one of my favourite moments on the record; I love how beautifully chaotic this record, and I love that every song is delivered with such importance. These songs are vital, and you can tell just how much it means to the band.

I’m so excited to see them this week, and to see these songs live. I love when you hear a record, then you finally get to witness it live. You can really feel what the songs mean to the band and you can be part of how they are meant to be heard. Every song on this record, much like their debut, will make you want to trash any room you step into. Do it. Live a little. Throw some shit around, go wild. 

There’s a song on the record call Healing, and there’s a line that goes “I know that everything hurts, and I know that everything can heal” and it probably one of the most important lyrics I’ve heard in a while. Something so simple, but is projected in a way that really gets you right in the gut. I think Healing might be THE song for me on this record. I think it’ll probably be one of the most vital songs I hear all year. I love the vulnerability in the song and I love James’ vocals on this. I feel I could write an essay on this song and why it’s just so important. If they play this on Friday, I’ll probably have a bit of a cry or I’ll be too in awe of what’s happening and just stand there like a gormless twat! I cannot tell you how euphoric the song Room 156 is. This again is one I am so excited to see live (hopefully they play it!) For me, this record has this strong sense of urgency. It feels like the band just HAD to get this record out. Every word, every note played had to be released into the world. Thank God it finally has been.

Every song on this record shows us exactly why Crows are thrilling and a joy to listen to. The darkness but hopefulness in the songs will leave you feeling fragile but okay. There’s something about this record that makes you feel like maybe, maybe, it’ll all be okay. The record ends on Sad Lad which has this beautiful yet eerie feel to it. It’ll break you but by the end of it, you will feel healed. I really hope Crows know how important they are, and how important their songs are. There’s a lot of healing in the lyrics, and the way the it all comes together and just soothes your head and soul is divine. I’m just in awe of how loud and gentle this record is. Sometimes, you just don’t know how much you needed to hear something until it hits you right between the eyes.

Crows start their UK tour tomorrow, and you can get yourself tickets here: https://www.ents24.com/uk/tour-dates/crows-1-1

Go see them and let the healing begin.

METZ @ YES, Manchester 3rd April 2022.

Sunday. The perfect day to see one of the loudest bands around live. Even better when you have the Monday off to make sure you fully recover and can hear properly. I think the last time I saw METZ live was at YES, and it was such a great show. How was last nights show? Just as great- if not better.

The bands and fans have waited around 2 years for this tour, and it was absolutely worth the wait. METZ are a band that you listen to, and just let everything go to. I didn’t realise how badly I needed to see a band this loud, and when it happened- it was sheer euphoria. I wasn’t brave enough to get right into the crowd, but I had the time of my life on my lonesome at the back. The Pink Room at YES is probably one of the finest venues in this beautiful city. I’d put it up there with the likes of the Moth Club in London. It’s got this feel to it that just makes you feel like you are where you are supposed to be at that time. Anyway, profound shit aside- let’s talk the setlist.

METZ tear the roof off with Pulse- a proper smack in the face jam. A perfect way to open the set. Now, for some this 11 song set may have been too short (I mean I agree- I could happily watch them play for hours and still want more.) but the energy these 3 have on stage is insane. I just want to touch on how phenomenal a drummer Hayden is. On record, you know he’s great but bloody hell when you see METZ live, you truly get to witness how talented they are. Hayden’s drumming is unlike anything else I’ve seen- I can’t even give you a reference of who to liken him to but I promise you- he’s one of those drummers that will go on to influence so many. METZ are just a delight to watch, and the second their show starts you know it’s going to be something that stays with you. Alex’s vocals whilst annihilating the shit out the guitar are a sight to behold. He’s truly something else, and accompanying this you’ve got Chris making the bass sound like a lethal weapon. If you’ve never seen METZ live, then you’re missing out.

The setlist was perfect- cannot fault it. Not like I’d want to anyway! We were treated to Hail Taxi, The Swimmer, Eraser, new song Demolition Row, obviously Get Off (which was dedicated to the support Psychic Graveyard) and ended on A Boat To Drown In. There’s hardly any small talk here (and I’m all for that- bloody hate small talk) and they just keep the songs coming, and getting louder and louder with each song. YES is the perfect venue for a band like METZ. The sound there is great, and it’s a Pink room- what more could you want!

I think their show last night truly showed why METZ are not just one of the best band around full stop, but one of the most thrilling bands to see live. I know they aren’t to everyone’s taste and some may shy away from music as loud as this, but there’s no denying how talented METZ are. Canada’s finest for sure. Every record is a progression in sound, and is a masterpiece, and when you see them live you can’t help but wonder how the hell do only 3 people make this much noise? I’d put the show from last night as being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to. Top 3 with Melvins and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Easily.

The show last night was truly worth the wait, and everything you could possibly want from seeing a band that you adore. If annual leave and money wasn’t an issue- I’d happily follow METZ on tour. They are a joy to watch- lets hope we don;t have to wait so long for the next tour!

GHUM: Some People.

I feel like I have waited FOREVER to write this, but I am SO excited to write that GHUM’s debut record, Bitter will be out THIS YEAR. I am so so excited about this. I can’t put into words. I’m just stupidly excited to hear this record from a band I’ve loved for so long. There’s really no better feeling is there? When a band you adore get to finally put their debut full length record out

Bitter is made up of 9 phenomenal songs; I am confident in saying this because I love this band and going by what they’ve already released so far- it’s a pretty fair statement to make. Today they have also released their new song, Some People which is also accompanied with a pretty great video too. The new song is heavy, but the video is the polar opposite of it and it works so well. The video is directed by the wonderful Lydia Garnett who has blessed the world some wonderfully Queer art. When you take that and mix it with a song from a band you just love- it creates something that just makes your heart burst with utter joy!

There are some bands that when you listen to them, the impact just stays with you. Just this morning I was listening to the band on my way to work, and I felt like I was listening to them for the first time all over again. I’ve got a handful of bands that make me feel like that, and GHUM are easily one of them. I know that their debut record is going to blow our minds and from 17th June onwards- I probably won’t listen to anything but that record. I cannot wait!

The band got together about 6 years ago, so this full length record has been a long time coming. Their two EPs (self-titled and The Coldest Fire) are works of art and you know, it’s a fair call to make to say that Bitter will too be a masterpiece. I’m just so excited to listen to the record.

Check out the artwork here for Bitter:

For me it kind of gives you a hint to how the record will sound; a bit spooky, a bit dark but with tender moments. The band are made up of the best musicians around, and with this strong and distinctive sound they have- they will probably take over the world. Let’s dream big! They deserve it.

It’s an honour to write about a band like GHUM and to see how their sound has strengthened, and also how fearless they are with what they do. This morning I finished reading the book In The Miso Soup, and there’s part of the song that reminds me a little bit of the book: “We’re just ‘some people.’ But I want you to know; there’s some evil in me.” Really makes me think about the book and the ending of it. The book will mess with your head, and so will GHUM’s music to be honest- but all the best art does, right?! The magic in this song is all the way through. You’ve got the sheer intensity of Laura’s vocals that go right into Vicki’s drumming. Then you’ve got MJ and Jojo on bass and guitar creating this eerie atmosphere that pulls you in. You just can’t get enough of this song, of this band.

You can pre-order Bitter here: https://ghum.bandcamp.com/ and the record is out 17th June via Everything Sucks.

GHUM will also be playing a headline show in London at the Sebright Arms on the 22nd April.

ZOLA JESUS: Lost

That feeling when one of the singers you adore so much comes back with new music; there’s truly nothing quite like it. The first time I heard Zola Jesus, was actually the song she did as Nika + Rory. The song was I’m Not Going Anywhere. I played it almost religiously. I then heard Nika’s work as Zola Jesus when brought out The Spoils, and that was it. My obsession was blooming and I didn’t want it any other way.

There are a few bands/singers that just stick with you, and the any announcement of new music from them just immediately hits you right in the heart and you feel alive again. Since 2009 I’ve had this admiration and love for Nika and all she creates. I cannot think of anyone else who does what she does, who makes the sounds she does, who has a mind like hers. She’s the only one, and let’s be honest- there won’t ever be anyone else like her ever again. Her voice is so haunting and so comforting. I’m not ashamed to say I’ve bawled my eyes out to some of her songs, but my god there are songs that just give you this euphoric feeling and nothing can come close to it.

Lost is the new single, and is taken from Nika’s new record Arkhon which is out 20th May via one of the best labels ever- Sacred Bones. If you’re a fan of Nika/Zola Jesus, you know exactly what to expect but at the same time you are ready to be thrown into the deep unknown. Lost is such a beautiful and open song, and so easy to connect with. We all feel lost. Some of us feel it more than others, some of us are just constantly lost. For some, it may be all we know. But it’s a feeling that so many can connect with; and the way Nika writes about it here is just divine and right to the core.

The percussion, the sound of breathing (at the start- I think) it’s got this reassuring feel to it. The start sounds like a panic attack coming on (something I know far too well) but then everything calms down, and you are centred. Everything is okay, and you feel reassured again. There’s something about that chaotic feeling of being lost that allows you to just go at your own pace and eventually find what you need. I think that’s something we probably need to cling on to more than we care to admit.

The video for Lost is stunning. It will leave you breathless and just in awe of this magnificent creation. It sums up the feel of the song so well, and it is shot in the most gorgeous way imaginable. I don’t want to write too much about the video; I want you to take some time out of your day to watch the video. Maybe a couple of times in a row, and just take it all in. The song is a masterpiece and if the whole record has this feel to it, then I think we may have found the most beautifully put together record of the year.

Beat In My Bones podcast!

Oh dear.

What have I done? Why have I done this?! Will it be the first and last? Who knows. Who cares!

Anyway, I’ve done it.

45 minutes of your life that you won’t get back.

Songs from: L.A. Witch, Bullet Girl, Crocodiles and The Gun Club, and many more!