GROSS NET: Gross Net Means Gross Net.

13 10 2019

GN

 

I’ve said countless times that music is a form of escapism for so many, but sometimes you need something to keep you right where you are- even if it is daunting, or terrible. I’ve always admired Gross Net (or Philip if you want to be proper) and how his mind works. He is one of the most expressive souls out there, and he takes you on this futuristic journey every single time. His newest record, Gross Net Means Gross Net is one of the most experimental records I’ve heard in a long time. It’s got this Scandinavian Noir feel to it; it could easily be played in some Thriller TV series as something truly gruesome and barbaric is about to happen. It is a creepy record, and it is nothing short of exceptional. I’m going to do my best to explain why this is one of the most out there records of the year.

There’s been a few years in between this record, and Philip’s last Gross Net record. This is a totally different sound, and as someone who is influenced by what they see- Philip has truly taken the state of the world (mainly the UK) and given us this tense breakdown of the shitshows that are occurring daily. Think a really political version of Einstürzende Neubauten with hints of Psychic TV. Basically, two of the greatest bands ever rolled in one. But, as we know, Philip is his own creation and a bloody genius. What this record gives you is something so eerie and captivating.

 

 

The best time to listen to this record is when it starts to get dark. This is not a daytime listen- this is dead of the night listen. I mean, it’s only 18:47 but it’s pretty dark out now so, and it works. You cannot help but be absolutely consumed by these songs and how remarkable the production is. It is, for me, the best produced record of the year. Shedding Skin is probably one of the most gloriously composed songs of the year. These aren’t just sounds, these are synth-based symphonies that will take over your soul in the most beautiful way. I love everything about Shedding Skin. It’s just over 6 minutes, and the lyrics are sure to hit you in the gut- they are explicit to the core (I mean in an exposing of the soul kind of way) and it isn’t hard to truly connect with this one. You can just imagine it being performed live in a basement bar, almost pitch black with a smoke machine creating this eerie mood, and a tense atmosphere crashing over.

Every song on this record serves the sole purpose to ignite the listener, and to get them to a place where no other piece of music could. The music alone on this record is so spooky and is comforting at the same time. Although there’s a song on the record named after a terrible person (Theresa May) it is actually one of the most gorgeous pieces of music you’ll hear. There is no need for words on this one, you can create your own story to this beautiful instrumental. In a way on this one, you get a glimpse into how Philip’s mind works- you can hear the care and feel the thought in this piece so much. Then it slides into Gentrification which almost feels like it could be played at a rave at 4am somewhere. He can make you flitter between several emotions on this record, and that just makes me admire him even more. He’s easily one of my favourite musicians around (and I think he knows this!)

 I love how the songs can touch on subjects you don’t really hear in modern music (how we’re all prone to consuming too much and not being aware of the consequence, thus turning a blind eye to our future) which can really be felt on Of Late Capitalism. Gentrification leads into Of Late Capitalism in such a succinct way, again it is another moment on the record where you can really pick up on the thought and care that has gone into this perfect record. Philip has massively pushed himself on this record, when you listen to his previous records you can hear something on this record that you haven’t quite heard him do before. It’s a cross between very early Scott Walker meets Suicide (the best duo ever), with hints of the future. It’s such a stunning record to lose yourself in. Dust To Dust is heart-breaking but my god it is the most beautiful song that Philip has ever done. To date, this song is the best thing he has done. Obviously, that’s just my personal view, and maybe I’ll change my mind but lyrically and the composure of this song is nothing short of mind-blowing. It just shows us how much of a genius he is, and how unafraid he is in his approach to creating such powerful music.

 

 

Gross Net Is Gross Net is one of the most thought-provoking records of the year. Sure, Philip will take you to a different world with the sounds, but the lyrics will bring you right back to Earth. This record is made up of 10 songs to truly hit you in the soul. One person, just one person has made this absolutely vital record. It doesn’t tell a story; it tells the truth. It is a truth to really, really listen to.





BAD FIT: Strong Forever.

11 06 2016

 

Glad I made it to the shop to get a packet of Monster Munch before the monsoon started. Sometimes you need a band to fit the mood of a rainy summer, and I think I’ve got the band for you.

Bad Fit are 4 pals from Belfast. They’re one of the many bands proving that Belfast is the home to some great music, and could easily take on a band from here in London. I’d back Bad Fit even if it was because they once played as an Always Sunny In Philadelphia tribute band called Chemical Toilet. I knew I would love them just from reading that about them. All I have to tell you about is their debut single, Strong Forever. Just one song. One song to make you fall irresponsibly in love with them. You can do it. I already have.

Strong Forever has the upbeat tones of the first Best Coast record. It’s got a beautiful summer feel to it with this hidden charm. The kind of charm that you wouldn’t find anywhere else but here, in Bad Fit. They’ve only been together as a band since 2015, but Strong Forever leaves you excited for what’s to come from them. They sound like a band who have been together for decades, and to pull off such a strong sound with just one song is something to admire.

Strong Forever is the song that should rightfully any summer playlists that are made. And when summer is done, it’ll fall into the soundtracks that have us longing for a warm day of lounging around doing a load of nothing. A lot of bands can try too hard possibly when trying to capture this sound that comes so effortlessly easy to Bad Fit. They’re influenced by the likes of Wavves, Best Coast, Weezer and Alvvays, and there’s really nothing stopping them from being as great as any of those bands. It is so obvious that they have the potential to do so.

The video to Strong Forever was rain free and fun-filled. It is beautifully shot, and when you watch it you feel as if you’re about to go on your holidays. The gorgeous countryside and the tranquility of the sea makes me miss home a bit. I might bash it at times, but the Isle of Man does have some truly stunning places and the video to Strong Forever makes me think of that. It’s such a feel good video, and if it doesn’t make you smile then you’re far too cold to function. Lighten up!

After listening to this song solidly for the past half hour or so, I can see that it might possibly stop raining? That could be wishful thinking. In some ways, Strong Forever reminds me a little bit of Bedroom Eyes by Dum Dum Girls. It’s got that same relaxing yet hypnotic groove to

Bad Fit will be playing their debut show at McHughs in Belfast on 23rd June, and the release date for Strong Forever is 27th June. Go see them (if you can) and buy the single (there’s no excuses for that one.)

Bad Fit are for life, not just for your summertime kicks.





GROSS NET- Outstanding Debt.

28 05 2016

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The right kind of noise can leave etchings of bite marks on your brain and slowly trickle to the outside. These are the kind of song that sweat out of you at 3am when you’ve vowed to sleep or when you need something beyond what you have. The songs fall out of your headphones and into you. It doesn’t matter how you take something in but how you let it out.

I saw Phil/Gross Net this year whilst he was on tour with his other band, Girls Names. Completely different sounds but equally brilliant sounds. Gross Net have this possessive and dark sound that makes you feel as if you’ve gone somewhere you shouldn’t. Like a sordid dark alley in Berlin. If you can’t have fun there, then where can you? The songs on Outstanding Debt are that vicious noise in your head keeping you up at night. But it’s also the one that you can’t help but turn to. The sounds will torment you and instill something inside you. There’s this loudness to the songs that would be overbearing in others, but Phil does it in a way that grabs you passionately by the throat. And my god you don’t want it to ever soften its grip.

Outstanding Debt has the rage of Psychocandy with the underlying feeling of Seventeen Seconds. A rare, raw darkness spills out in each song which leaves you being utterly faithful to the repeat button. I always seem to dive into songs I can listen to on the night bus when all is quite- a little chaos blasting in between my ears. The songs are the result of releases that never saw the light of day, until now. The time is now right for them. The instant fury, the disdain and distance of modern life is felt in every song. This is something I really connected with when I saw Phil perform as Gross Net. There is something in this body of work that HAS to be heard.

Adverts 4 Suicide is probably the one I’m going to call as my favourite, but that could change after several more listens. Like all great records, you notice different things to love about this record with each listen. The pleading in the vocals on How Can I are really gut-wrenching, you really do feel the song in the core of you. There is inner torment in these songs that aren’t for those with weak hearts. Or maybe they are, and will make them tougher. It’s a tough collection of songs to digest if you go deep into it, and I really think that’s the only way to approach them. This isn’t the kind of record you stick on and relax to. It’s the kind that smacks you in the face with solutions and truths.

As someone who really really loves music that’s a bit twisted, messed up and not about how the world is all sunshine and rainbows, Outstanding Debt is one of those releases that explores and expresses every niggling feeling possible. Sometimes music just takes you where you need to go. There’s a wealth of passion in these songs that just steadily blows your mind, and when it’s all over you find yourself crawling back for more. It has you fixated on daily dread, your own demons, lust, despair and everything else that seeps into you. It’s a fascinating listen that grips you every single time.

Writing as a fan, this record delves into everything I look for in music. The atmosphere created in each song is something that isn’t always easy to find. Phil makes it sound so so easy. It’s a stunning collection of songs, and you can buy the limited cassette/stream it here: https://austeritydrive.bandcamp.com/album/outstanding-debt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





GROSS NET/GIRLS NAMES. The Lexington. 19th February 2016.

20 02 2016

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I shouldn’t have gone out last night. I’m ill, I guess. But not in a conventional “I have a cold” kind of way but in a “no one knows what’s wrong with me, I’m in pain and I want to cry” kind of me. Apparently it’s the nerves in my neck. I’m a clumsy fucker at the best of times, but I know I’ve not done anything recently to warrant doing such damage. Although, I have a slight disregard for my general well-being so who knows! Standing for a few hours was the dumbest thing I could have done, and I’ve only just managed to get out of bed. I’ve got my own playlist sorted for my MRI scan next week/week after, and as someone who can’t sit still I’ve most definitely picked the wrong kind of songs to listen to. Moving on and pain aside. Gross Net. Girls Names. Last night.

Gross Net is Phil from Girls Names making a lot of noise and probably terrifying the crowd. In certain places, I’m sure they wouldn’t “get” it. Places like London and Manchester would and did. As Gross Net, Phil pretty much seems like a young Nick Cave circa Boys Next Door/The Birthday Party. When he’s not holding his guitar, he grips the mic and flails it around as if his life depends on it. Seeing a band or singer expose themselves like this what makes them believable and it is what makes them so easy to relate to. To make his set even better, I got a song dedication. If I was in a band, I’d probably pick people out and aim songs at them. Be fruity kids, it’s fine. With a knowing point and my name spoken through the mic, Phil rips into a song that I was pretty pleased to have dedicated to me. He closed his set with a song for those on the dole. I’m fairly sure most weren’t expecting this kind of declaration on a Friday night, but who cares. I loved every minute of it, and I was immediately back in 2010-2011 when I spent too much time on the dole and having my soul crushed by the job centre every Friday for £70 a week. I coped, just about. Time changes everything to an extent. Phil ends this song screaming into the mic in the crowd, as the end of the song draws near he places the mic around the neck of a bewildered person in the crowd and walks off. The guy had no idea what to do, gave it a few minutes and removed the mic from his neck and placed it on the ground. Far too polite.

I’ve been a fan of Girls Names for ages but this was the first time seeing them live. I was immediately drawn to bassist, Claire and how she is probably one of the best bassist I’ve ever seen. Now, if I was going to list my favourite live bands I would easily put Girls Names in the top 5. Maybe it’s because they were playing one of the best venues in the country or maybe, maybe it’s because they are just so fucking(sorry) good. I firmly believe that when you go to a gig, you should leave wanting to start a band. Girls Names did more than this. I felt like I was watching The Fall or The Jesus And Mary Chain for the first time. I felt like I had gone back in time and I was anywhere but in London. Maybe I was in the depths of Berlin or maybe I was in an alleyway in Manchester; I don’t know. But I do know that gigs like this just stick in my mind for a long, long time.

What I loved about their show last night was that each person in the band got their chance to show us all what they’re made of. I loved during the encore Phil was going into Claire’s bass as if he was telling her to get out of his space. It was in a sibling kind of way- a gentle shove and neither was going to back down. Cathal was ramming his guitar into the speaker behind him giving off this excess feedback which just made you wish the show wasn’t about to end. Gib was beating the crap out of the drums with such fury. These Belfast bruisers make enough noise for anyone to go slightly deaf, and that’s part of the charm. If a band is wonderfully and obnoxiously loud, I’ll probably love them. Girls Names last night easily cemented why they are probably one of the best bands around. I could go on for ages about how great they were and hope they just sum up everything I love about music. They have a sound that I’m always looking for. They remind me of bands I love such as Bauhaus and Cold Cave but they also sound like nothing else. They are a band to be treasured and seen at any chance one gets.

On record they are noisy but I firmly believe that Girls Names are one of those bands that you just have to see, and sometimes London crowds have a rep of being a bunch of stale dicks but in this case, they really weren’t. This was one of the best crowds I’ve seen and I’m fairly sure that’s part of what made the show last night nothing short of perfect. Their dark but entirely comforting sound may be a turn off for those who want conventional and tame sounds- don’t surround yourself with people who want that. Go find those who aren’t afraid to be engulfed by sounds so dark, creepy and loud. Let the sounds rip through you and let the lyrics make you question everything, and everyone. They’re the kind of band I wish I was in. I’ve said it loads but this is the kind of music I’d probably make if I had any musical talent.

Go see them, let them deafen you and buy one of Phil’s “reasonably priced tapes.”





GIRLS NAMES- Arms Around A Vision.

8 10 2015

With it finally getting colder, it’s important to find music that makes it easier to deal with dark mornings that make you question why you’re leaving the house. I like my job, so for me it’s just the effort of having to deal with rude people on the tube every morning. Stop pushing people out the way and PLEASE brush your teeth before you leave the house, or have a mint. Coffee breath just makes me want to vomit. Awful. Gentle rage aside, I’m now going to write about a band who I love (obviously) and why their new record is (again,obviously) a stroke of genius.

Girls Names are one of those bands that managed to merge everything I love and look for in music into one. They sound like Mark E Smith in a fight with Edwyn Collins, with a bit of Josef K thrown in. For me it is music heaven. I’m not really sure what anyone else thinks, but I’m not fussed. Arms Around A Vision is a record that much like what I’ve written about recently, doesn’t make me feel like I am in 2015. Which let’s be honest, isn’t really a bad thing. Everything now revolves around how many people “know” you via social media sites rather than who actually gives a fuck about you. We’re all deathly scared of being lonely or being unlike our peers that we try too hard to be like them and losing any sense of a personality we once had. In short, Girls Names make me forget how awful everything is and how I feel like I am always on the outside looking in. I’ve never felt part of anything or like I “belonged.” This isn’t in a “woe is me” way. It’s just my interests don’t revolve around being drunk or taking a photo of myself whilst making everyone believe I am having a nice time. I’m sat in bed, listening to a band I love. Occasionally I look out the window, and I can see the lights of planes above my house. For me, that’s a nice time. I’m a bore to most. To myself? It doesn’t matter. Girls Names have this power in their new record to make you see things for how they are and taking you away from it.

Arms Around A Vision is made up of brilliant moments that show you exactly how great Girls Names are. I’m fully aware that’s a mundane statement. but it is entirely true. It’s a record to really gush about. It’s a record to fall in love with, and tell all your pals about. It’s like meeting someone who changes your life in a way no one else will understand, but you still want to tell everyone about. You get that instantly with the record, and records like that are hard to find. Some may struggle to “get” this record and dismiss it for what it isn’t. But as someone who absolutely adores this magnificent Belfast band, it is fair to say that it is a massive music highlight of the year. The songs make you feel like you’re in dark pub watching characters go about their business as you tuck into a stale bag of crisps. This is a record to listen to as you let the day pass you by. It’s a record to vent your frustrations out to. Sometimes I struggle with writing about music because the words don’t seem to want to come out, but Arms Around A Vision has triggered something.

What I love about Girls Names is their poetic and industrial atmosphere in their music. It feels like a grey day, for some that’s an insult but it’s so far from that. It is one of those records that you have to listen to when it is either night-time or the sky is a menacing grey. It’s the kind of record that sounds mighty fine now as it would in the 70s/80s. It’s got the guts of Punk and twinges of others. It’s like Suicide messed around with The Fall. I’m sure they’ve had every comparison under the sun lobbed at them, but I’m just mentioning bands I love and picking up on possible influences. It’s a hypnotic record from start to finish. Each song follows the other in a careful manner, and this effortlessly brilliant record should be high on everyone’s lists come the end of the year. I don’t like lists, but it’d be in my top 5 easily. It feels like you’ve been gripped by some unknown yet magnetic force. It doesn’t let you go, like a chokehold and as you gasp for air you start to struggle less and fall under the spell of Girls Names. Stunning.

I’ve been listening to Arms Around A Vision most evenings for the past week, and I’m trying to pick a song out as my favourite. It’s impossible. Each song fits perfectly into the other, creating something quite poetic in the mind. It has this haunting feeling of The Cure’s Seventeen Seconds. That’s a record I’ve used a reference for so many. What I mean is, if a record or song moves me in the same way that Seventeen Seconds does, then I know I’ve found something I’ll be listening to for a long long time. Girls Names have easily created something influential with this record. They make you want to make your own noise, on your own terms. The dark and eerie atmosphere on this record is heavenly and it is quite easy to shut everything off around you and just play this over and over. Lose your mind over this record.

UK tour starts next week:

15/10 – Liverpool – The Shipping Forecast
16/10 – Leeds – Beacons Festival Headrow House
17/10 – Leicester – The Musician Pub
18/10 – Bristol – START THE BUS
19/10 – London – The 100 Club
21/10 – Brighton – The Hope & Ruin

Followed by European dates. If I had the £££ I’d LOVE to see them in Brussels. I adore Brussels and I’m pretty sure they are a band that would sound perfect there.

Arms Around A Vision is out now. Buy it.