NITE FIELDS: A Voyeur Makes No Mark.

23 02 2020

 

NF

 

Where do I even start with writing about the new Nite Fields record? It’s spooky one, and one that I’m honoured to listen to let alone write about. A little different to what I normally write about, but there’s no better way of celebrating 12 years of this site than by writing about an incredible record.

 That’s right, 12 years ago I set this site up whilst in my second year of university. I didn’t think I would carry on with it, let alone let it go on for over a decade! So, with that in mind I’m going to tell you all about the exceptional new record by Nite Fields. If you’re obsessed with the likes of Cold Cave (Wes Eisold is a God/Genius) or Psychic TV or Autumns (Derry’s finest) or even Drab Majesty- chances are you will fall in love with A Voyeur Makes No Mark by Nite Fields. It is this glorious Industrial sounding record that has mind-blowing sounds flowing all the way through. It is made up of 8 tracks that will leave you in awe. When I listen to it, I am reminded of The Vacant Lots- my love for TVL is pretty obvious, and songs like Not Your Time remind me of some of TVL’s songs. I bloody love it, and it is such an exciting record to listen to. I adore the distorted and eerie vocals. Sure, I’m a massive Punk fan, but whatever you want to call this- this is what really gets me in the gut too.

 The new record is a 10/10 for production. Yeah, I never ever mark records because I am not that kind of person, but I really want to point out just how fascinating every element of this record is, and the production is really something else. The new record is essentially a solo project now, and Danny did the record in Moscow. You can hear the coldness in this record, and it is such a great listen.  Invitation and Voyeur are such powerful songs, and they have a grander feel to them than what we have previously heard by Danny/Nite Fields. You can truly hear the devotion and connect with the creative process on this record, and in a world where everyone wants everything immediately and has to annoyingly share it online immediately; I love how Danny has made something truly worthwhile and deserving of treasuring. Honestly, the production on this record is flawless.

 

 

 

A Voyeur Makes No Mark is a really stunning record, and I love how Danny takes you on this highly intense, and euphoric journey. It’s like you’ve stepped into this decadent underworld that not many are aware of, and the possibly shy away from. It’s full of songs that will make you move in ways no other could. It is full of songs to really lose yourself in. It is just a phenomenal record, and I’m pretty sure that amongst fans, this will become an instant classic. It’s a record ahead of its time, and I sure hope it causes enough demand for a UK tour. Depersonalisation came out 5 years ago, and the leap in the sound, arrangement and production is so great. It’s such a joy to listen to and although it is only 8 songs long, it is enough to make you realise that Danny is truly making something special here. I mean it was obvious 5 years ago, but there’s something about this record that is really beyond anyone’s expectations of what was going to come next from Nite Fields.

 The record ends with the mind-fuckery that is Do It In Reverse. Everything about this song feels like it was made to mess with the listener’s head, and I love that. I love music that takes a listener out of their comfort zone and makes them feel a bit on edge. Danny does this all through the record, but the final song really, really does this in a different way. I can’t really explain but what I can tell you is that every ounce of his talent truly comes through on this song (obviously on the whole record too, but you know what I mean!)

I only write about what I love and will always do so. I’ll never ever find fault, and I will always do my best to get across just how great a record is. I really hope I have done this with the new Nite Fields record because it is such a great listen, and the whole experience of listening to it is just perfect. Bands/artists like Autumns, The Vacant Lots, Drab Majesty- they are really making a difference with their sound and take listeners to some place sacred with their art. Danny/Nite Fields does exactly that too.

 The record is out in April and will be released via Lost Race (if you want the vinyl version) and Perfect Aesthetics (if you want it on tape.)





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.





KOLOSSUS DÄÄCHT: Lipstick Love.

17 02 2020

lipstickloverecord

Right out of Germany we have the exquisite KOLOSSUS DÄÄCHT; a tougher than leather Garage Rock band who will be releasing their debut record at the end of March.

 I’ve heard the record, and even though I don’t really like promises- I promise you that this record is going to blow your mind and will burst your eardrums in the most decadent way possible. Germany knows how to do this kind of music, but there’s something about KOLOSSUS DÄÄCHT that stands out. They have this huge sound that you’d probably find in bands who have been doing this for decades, but instead we have been blessed with this fresh new band that will just ruin you in the most magical way possible.

 

 

The name of the record is Lipstick Love, with the first single having the same name. The second single will be Cold Soup, but singles aside- the whole record is killer track after killer track. This record was made to be heard as loud as possible for sure. I love how they make you feel like you’re hanging out with them as they blitz through the songs in some cramped rehearsal space. Of course, in a sweaty, dingy bar is probably the best place to witness what they have to offer.

 There’s this proper Punk sound all through the record, and it’s more prominent on songs like Hypochondria and Do Your Job; there’s a lot of attitude on this record, with singer Clement having this Johnny Rotten like snarl to his voice. It’s a delight to listen to, and there’s no way anyone could listen to this record once and be done with it. It’s the kind of record that finds its way into your system and festers there forever. It’s always there, and you cannot help but crave it. It’s a brilliant debut record, and it’s just a little taste of what is to come.

Some of the songs have a Psychedelic feel to them, and this is really clear on The Armor. Clement’s vocals on this sound like something from a 60s Psych band, but you’ve got Stefan (drums) beating the shit out of the drums in a true Punk style. Dennis has a Johnny Ramone kind of style to his guitar playing and this is beautifully put together with Benedäächt’s bass. The whole Punk feel just smacks you right in the face on A Mess. The record consists of 14 exceptionally produced songs that will just leave you in awe; it is one of the most exciting records of the year, and I can only hope someone brings this band to the UK because I’d love to see them. I love how they make you feel the same way you did when you first heard the likes of The Cramps, The Stooges and the Ramones- they just hit you with this feeling, right in the gut. That’s when you know you’ve found something to truly treasure.

 

 

Lipstick Love is an incredible debut record; these 14 songs will blow your mind. Nothing will sound the same once you’ve heard this record, trust me. It’s a record to completely and utterly fall in love with. When it comes out, take the day off work to do nothing but listen to this record. Take a walk round the park, or head to the beach or wherever and just play this record over and over. Get lost in songs like Bad Cough, Home Alone and Courage. The whole record. Just let it consume you, that’s all you can do.

 The record comes out 28th March via Micro Wave Music.





BAMBARA: Stray.

16 02 2020

 

bambara

 

My love for Bambara is something else. I practically live in my Bambara shirt, and I still think about their show from last year at the Soup Kitchen. I had no expectations from what I was going to witness, but I knew that from their records I was going to witness something that would blow my mind.

 Stray was released on Valentine’s Day- the perfect date for this record. Stray is made up of dark, deathly and romantic songs that totally justify my belief that Reid Bateh is one of the best songwriters around. For me he possesses that same genius that Nick Cave has. A fearless approach with unconventional romantic tones. Think Rimbaud, think Baudelaire and mix it with William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg- then you’ll get it. My point is this- Reid is an exceptional writer, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if one day, he writes a novel and that novel gets turned into a film with the band creating the score for it. Can you imagine?! It would be insane.

 

 

 

There’s a fair amount of references to death on this record, and you know, it’s something we cannot avoid at all. My enjoyment for things has dipped a bit since losing my Grandma in August, but I’ve found comfort in music. Bambara have reinforced everything I love about music on this record. They just nail everything I love about dark music that is unafraid to expose the things that we try to shy away from. Everything from the production to the order the songs are in on this record is so carefully done, and you can truly hear the growth in the band on Stray. If you’ve seen them live, you’ll know exactly how intense their shows are. Reid is one of the most captivating front men I’ve ever seen. Blaze is up there as one of my favourite drummers of all time and William is so effortlessly laid-back and cool. You wish you could do what each of them do, and not only do they have this presence live but they also have it on record. Stray shows us all why they are one of, if not THE most vital band around.

 I can’t possibly pick a favourite song on this record; it’s one of those records that you go back to and with every listen, something else just blows your mind. The record is like one euphoric story that builds and builds. I adore the intense sounds on this record and maybe it has this feel due to Reid and Blaze being twins and having this bond but with William he adds this feel to the band that sort of calms the storm slightly. The way Blaze annihilates the drums and how Reid has this snarl-like feel to his vocals is beautifully wrapped up in how soothing William unleashes his inspiring bass playing, and beyond. All three of them are exceptional musicians, and for me, they do justify this on all of their records, but Stray takes you some place else. It’s another world, and a world you never ever want to escape from. It is such a comforting and powerful record, and the production is out of this world.

 Ben & Lily is a prime example of Reid’s songwriting, and how brilliant it is. The way the song flows reminds me a bit of The Bad Seeds’ Thirsty Dog. It also sounds like something you’d hear in an old cowboy film- it’s got a great Spaghetti Western feel to it. Play it loud, and maybe have it on repeat for your next few listens. It feels like a short story, but one you don’t want to end. I just adore the places that Bambara take you and how they can just take you on this ride with them; their music is so soothing and comforting. To others maybe it is too ferocious, but that’s where I find comfort the most.

 There is one part of the record from one song in particular that I keep getting drawn to. This is taken from Made For Me: “Lit cigarettes will rain. On a field where horses roam untamed. See you running with them through the flames. Wild flowers in their manes as you lead the stampede my way.” There is something about this that just hits me in the gut. I mean the whole song does, but this part really hits me. I don’t know why, but it’s just so powerful and beautiful. However, if you’re looking for a song to truly break your heart- then listen to Sweat and I mean REALLY listen to it. It’s fucking brutal, and really heavy.

 

 

 

Stray is magnificent, but what else do you expect from a band as powerful as Bambara? Stray is probably going to end up being my most played record of the year. I cannot get enough of it, nor do I want to. I’m happy to have this record on repeat for the foreseeable now. I felt this way about Shadow On Everything, and they’ve done it again with Stray. I feel I could write about this record forever, and ever. Until words become pointless and no longer carry any meaning. An absolute honour to listen to.

 





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.





FOOTBALL FC.

14 12 2019

football fc

 

Bristol. Home to many amazing bands. You know who they are; I’ve mentioned my favourite ones many times. It’s evidently a city that is home to amazing talent, and there is a lot more brewing. One band in particular have caught my attention. They only have a handful of songs out, but it is enough for me to fall in love with their sound. 2020 will belong to them, it’s only right that it does.

Football FC are unlike anything else you’ve ever heard. They are the band that I need, that YOU need, and everyone needs. Their sound is rowdy, vital and a joy to listen to. It’s something that you cannot get enough of, and before you know it- one listen has turned into hundreds.

 

 

Big Time came out in August and there’s something about the song, and their sound in general that reminds me a bit of The Fall. There’s this urgency within the vocals and music that just makes you feel like you’re listening to The Fall for the first time- that sheer excitement in your belly and consumes your brain. They’ve got that Mark E. Smith attitude nailed- just listen to Apartment and you’ll hear the King of the North flowing through. It’s brilliant. I know some try to get this sound and end up sounding like a blatant rip off; that is not the case with Football FC at all. The influence may be there but everything else is their own. I love them. I absolutely love them, and all you can do is take in the songs and let them take over your brain and body.

I know nothing about the band, but I do know that they are the most exciting bands around. Based on the three songs I’ve been obsessing over; they do make it so easy to praise them and become an instant fan. Apartment is a fantastic song and sits just under 7 minutes long (video below is shorter.)  It is a euphoric song that stays with you, and you just want to wrap yourself up in the comfort of this masterpiece. If you’re looking for a song to start with- make it this one. It’ll cancel out all you’ve ever known; it really is one of the year’s most beautiful and powerful songs. Everything about it just sums up why I believe in this band, and why they are just phenomenal.

Football FC are one of those bands that you just know are going to put on an insane show. You can sense and feel the passion in their songs on record, and I reckon they will go beyond this in their live shows. No Lover Like A Luger is a dark and captivating song- hugely obsessed with it. I love the way it sounds so intense and poetic, you cannot help but play it over and over. It just has you hooked, and it’s another reason as to why Football FC are going to be massive, they truly deserve to be. Besides, they’ve signed to Permanent Creeps so you know they are going to be huge!

 

 

Alright, I’m saving the rest for when they take over the world with their debut record (hopefully next year!) or their show in Manchester in March. Get behind this band, they are one of the most exciting bands around. Bristol has done it yet again!