THE CREEPING IVIES/SHANNON AND THE CLAMS. Oslo, Hackney. 11th November 2015.

24 11 2015

shannon-too-late

 

A week or so (okay maybe 2 now)after a gig is the perfect time to write a review, obviously. I’m good at being disorganised. The Creeping Ivies and Shannon played a venue near my house the day before my birthday (I’m now 29, and everything still feels the same. For better and worse.)

I’ve been a fan of The Creeping Ivies for some time, and to be honest I was at the gig for them. To see a band you really love the day before your birthday, well you can’t say no. I’d spent the week seeing bands considering my desire to spend my birthday “celebrating” it seems to decrease by the year- it made perfect sense to see a band instead. Their set consisted of old and new gems. Becca’s voiced ripped through the crowd like a screaming banshee. It was bloody brilliant, and there was no better venue for them (okay there probably is but you know.) The venue made you feel like you were the outcast at a school prom that was designed for the weirdos. Why would you want to be around anyone else? The Creeping Ivies warmed the crowd up perfectly with their Rockabilly/Punk sound. The band initally started as two, but as a three-piece they work equally as well. The songs sound bigger and creepier when you see them play live, you sort of imagine them to be like that off stage. This isn’t the case. It was so good to finally meet Becca after years of writing about her band, and they’re just a solid bunch of people. Neither of us understood why Shannon’s rider had baby carrots but each to their own. The Creeping Ivies put on a set that made you want more. They made you feel as if you weren’t in the depths of Hackney watching them. It didn’t feel like 2015. I felt like I was on another planet. For the most part, I usually am. Anywhere but here. They were easily one of the best bands I’ve seen live this year, and I’d urge anyone in Scotland to go see them. And when they venture down here again, I’d urge you to go see them. They’re the kind of band that John Peel would play on his show- at first at the wrong speed, then he’d keep playing it just so you understood the band. The Creeping Ivies are from another world and they sure as hell take you there with their eerie sound.

It dawned on me that I had written about Shannon And The Clams before. I think I’ve probably gone on about their girl group style to someone, they probably weren’t listening. On record Shannon And The Clams have this massive sound- so how can they bring that to a dingy stage in Hackney? Quite easily. They make you forget you’d ever heard of them before now. I forgot how they sounded on record, and since then I’ve realised not much will compare to their live shows. Shannon’s voice could make the toughest of the tough stand to attention. She calls out some doofus in the crowd who shouts obscenties at her, she plays the bass like a wild animal who’s been let loose from their cage, she makes you feel like you can take on the world. They are a superb live band, and I think anyone who hasn’t seen them is missing out. Each member has such a gorgeous presence on stage and it is so nice and fucking refreshing to watch a band who love what they do and see the love they have for each other. The kids in the crowd were going nuts for them, I’ve not seen this kind of reaction in a long time and it is so good to see kids really get into music like this. Totally letting go and not giving a fuck about anyone/anything other than the music. That’s how it is supposed to be. You know, a lot of London crowds are slated as being pretentious- and to an extent that’s true. It can happen anywhere. I’ve seen it in this city, but I’ve also seen crowds go apeshit to the bands they love. This gig will always stick out for me, mainly because the crowd were brilliant and both bands fed off that. They ended their set with a Del Shannon cover. They covered Runaway, and it’s a song I used to make my mum play constantly when I was younger, and I probably tried to sing a long also. Not much has changed, I still can’t carry a tune.

They are bands for the outsiders, for the kids and adults who just don’t care what you think. I was watching the crowd, and all I could see was a sea of people in awe and in love with the band in front of them. The sounds that have influenced Shannon And The Clams really shines in their live shows, and I live in hope that these kids will go home and indulge in the likes of the Shangri-Las, The Girlfriends etc. They have essence of the past mixed with something, much like The Creeping Ivies, from another planet.

Both bands put on a remarkable show in their own way. The Creeping Ivies sent you to another galaxy and Shannon And The Clams made you feel like you had gatecrashed a prom out of protest. It was brutal, it was fun and it was the perfect way to dive into my 29th year on this planet.





THE CREEPING IVIES-The Witch House (EP)

20 06 2015

TCI15

Some of the bands I love manage to merge certain kinds of music together and make something incredible. Some of them make something truly weird and bloody wonderful, and I’m so happy to be writing about some new music from The Creeping Ivies. With a new line-up, Becca and co are back with a new 3 track EP which will unite weirdos all over. No good comes from falling for common practices and a settled way of life. The Creeping Ivies are a breath of fresh air and fun into our mundane and ritualistic lives.

Ghost World and Stay Wild are two phenomenal records by the band, and going from a duo to a trio- has anything really changed? Maybe, but the music is still bloody brilliant. The Creeping Ivies mix proper Rock & Roll with something quite similar to the Wall of Sound, and throw in a load of weirdness. When you throw all of this together you get something truly magical. It’s got the essence of Punk right within it. The guitar sounds as complex as Johnny Thunders, the backbone of The Cramps, the speed of the Ramones and the urgency of Patti Smith. They are the past mixed with something you’ve never heard before.

The Witch House consists of 3 perfect songs that are enough to ease the wait for their new record. Scotland is super lucky as the residents can easily go see The Creeping Ivies live. Us living in less fortunate places (such as the South of England) are unable to, as of yet, to see such an excellent band live and in all their glory. I can wait. I don’t really have much of a choice anyway, The Witch House is part Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and part the Ronettes. It’s proper bluesy Rock and Roll with a 60s girl group feel. It feels like a spell has been cast upon you, as if something is about to posses you. It’s Becca’s voice, and The Creeping Ivies are coming for your soul. Ignore the warning signs and just let it happen.

The Creeping Ivies, as lame as the word is, are one of the coolest bands around. They make you feel as if you’ve been thrown back to the 70s when music was more alive and so far from tame. Becca’s voice is so powerful and she makes you wish you could sing just so you could front your own musical gang. Instead you just shout the words loudly in the comfort of your own home.

The Creeping Ivies are loud, stylish and effortlessly wonderful. The Witch House is the perfect taster of what is to come from the band. Getting new music from The Creeping Ivies is like putting on your favourite jacket and feeling like you can take on the world. Their sound is fearless and unpredictable. It is to be played loud, and whatever you do during is entirely up to you.

The Witch House is out on the 16th August via Flowers In The Dustbin, and you can pre-order it here: https://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/





THE CREEPING IVIES- Ghost World.

17 03 2014

tci

 

I am so excited to finally write about the new record by The Creeping Ivies, which is out next Monday.

I first wrote about The Creeping Ivies in April 2012. I immediately loved their frightening sound. I loved how they mixed the backbone of Punk with a bit of Rockabilly; and also managed to scare you. Becca’s voice does some AMAZING things, when she wails on certain songs (she does it brilliantly on The Creeps) and Duncan just makes you want to play the drums. In fact, both of them make you want to be in a band. When a band can make you feel that way, you know you’ve found something to treasure.

Ghost World is another creepy installment from this fantastic Scottish duo. It features the hits (in my mind they are) What Would Joey Ramone Do? (this is pretty much my mantra for daily life), the Valentine’s hit- Love Kills and Ramona Wolf. They’re all here, and a hell of a lot more.

Dream Baby Dream has some incredible sax on it. My girlfriend can play the sax, she’s at work- I might go get it and try cover this song. Can you imagine? I’d only have some strange accident. Maybe I won’t bother. Dream Baby Dream sounds like it should have been on some really bad horror film from the 50s/60s. I mean that with utter respect, because those horror films were actually worth watching. What you get constantly when you listen to The Creeping Ivies is the sense that you’re in a film. Their music is destined to be in a film.

Their sound, especially on this new record is just a mixture of the kinds of music that I love. This is a much-needed distraction from the soul-destroying daily task I have of looking for a job. Trippin’ Out is the perfect song that sums up the feeling of going utterly mad. Seeing things that aren’t there and feeling things crawl upon you that aren’t there. This band makes beautifully creepy music; most try too hard to sound like this. For The Creeping Ivies it is simply effortless. Of course people are going to want to throw around as many comparisons as possible, but the thing is, they really sound like nothing else.

Sure I’ve exposed my ears many times to the ghoulish sounds of The Cramps and the haunting tones of Siouxsie And The Banshees, but The Creeping Ivies are really something else. Their ability to take you to a different time with their music is something others should be envious of, better yet- it is something that they should take note of. They have this wonderful way of making you forget what year you are living in. They make you feel as if you are constantly in some old black and white film full of whirlwind romances wearing your best leather jacket.

I’m not just saying this because I’m a huge fan of The Creeping Ivies, but they are truly one of the most exciting and brilliant bands I’ve ever heard. Yes they are a duo, but that’s not just why I love their music. Their music has a of freaking you out yet makes you want to hear more and more. If I had the ability to find the word to use to describe their sound, I’d have done it by now. But I guess that’s what makes them stand out from others. Ghost World may only be their second full length record, but they just make you feel like you’ve been listening to them your whole life.

The Creeping Ivies make music for ghouls, punks and misfits- everything right in the world. The kind of music to have playing in the background as you read something by Poe with a candle flickering. Go on, have a romantic moment by yourself.

Ghost World is out next Monday (24th) and will be self released digitally on Jet Black Records. You can listen to Ghost World here: https://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/album/ghost-world





“I don’t have the time for a graveyard of the mind that they call shame.”

7 03 2014

 

 

“Sometimes I fantasise
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars they burn below me
Don’t these times fill your eyes
When the streets are cold and lonely
And the cars, they burn below me.”

 

People will always want to change you. They can be people who are insignificant to you (in the long run) or they can be people who claim to “know” you. They will want to change the way you cut your hair to the way you are. At what age does this stop? Does it ever stop?

Self-acceptance is hard for most people. We all have things we cannot stand about ourselves, and they are usually the things we cannot change. The things we can change, we put off because we know we can deal with it “later.” It is always later isn’t it. Not today, but tomorrow. I’m not criticising those who do this, I do it myself. I probably do it more times than I should. I should wear more colour, but I won’t. I should probably not just wear band t-shirts and jeans, but I know I always will. I’m comfortable in the clothes I wear. The person I am? That’s not for here. People can make you feel utterly terrible about yourself, and something happened a few weeks ago that, with me being too sensitive for my own good- I took it to heart.

I had a job interview a few weeks ago, it was my second one for the same job. I was good enough for a second interview. That’s a positive right? I take my piercings out (I took my lip piercing out for good a month ago so all I have is a nose piercing) and I cover up my tattoos. I wear smart (and clean) clothes to interviews. We live in a world where we pretend things are accepted, but they rarely are. A lot of people still do think those with tattoos and piercings are bad people. Hitler didn’t have his nose pierced. Myra Hindley didn’t have her lip pierced. They are bad people; without piercings. You see my point right?

So I went for my second interview. I thought it was going well, until  was asked a question that made me feel so uncomfortable and so small, I just wanted to go home. I was asked, “If I gave you the job- could you change how you look and would you?” I know I’m a sensitive person, and I know I’m not attractive at all- but does it need pointing out in a job interview of all places? Job interviews are terrifying enough, but come on now.

I’ve been trying to work out what made them ask such a question, and I really don’t understand. I didn’t think they could. If you must know, I went against everything I stand for and said yes to their question.  I said yes because I really really need a fucking job. I said yes because every day I am sat at home applying for a job is another day of self-loathing. I have friends, if I can call them that, who refer to people as being on Job Seekers as “scum” amongst other things. I’m scum, apparently. To me, scum are those who harm children, those who rape and those who kill. Not people who need help with getting by. I’m aware there are people who play the system, I’m not totally stupid. But everyone has their own struggle- so don’t judge.

I’m sick of being asked “what jobs have you applied for? Maybe you should aim lower.” I’m 27 years old; shouldn’t I have a career by now? I’ll never be paid to write, and I find myself compromising myself when I apply for jobs. I disregard the fact that writing and music make me happy. I lie and lie just to get somewhere. I’m getting nowhere. And I am so tired. I am so fucking tired.

I have no point with this, I really don’t. I don’t want to be a fraud. I can’t keep going back and forth with having a job to being on JSA again. I really can’t.

But then again, maybe I’m just too sensitive.

Have some songs:





6 Years.

21 02 2014

“If you ever get lonely, just got to the record store and visit your friends.”

Six years ago in a classroom at University I set up this blog as part of an Online Journalism module I had to take. As someone who cares far too much about writing and music, I decided to keep at this for longer than I probably should have. There have been times where I am supposed to have done something “important” but decided to write about a band instead. I’ll always do that, and I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Over the past six years I have done the ridiculous (met Patti Smith) and the relatively sane (standard record reviews.) I don’t find writing about music I love exhausting, but Writer’s Block can sometimes smack me in the face leaving me feeling entirely frustrated and annoyed with my abilities, or in that case- a lack of. Everyone has something that they truly care about, something that forces them to wake up in the morning and to keep going.

I decided to keep this blog up because I was annoyed with typical Music Journalists who seem to enjoy slagging off bands in their writing. Sure I dislike boring bands such as Coldplay, Mumford & Sons and the dull sounds of that guy with the poor quiff, Bastille but I’m not going to waste my time writing a thousand words as to why I dislike them. I’d rather write about a band/singer/song/record that has truly moved me because it makes me feel like I’ve done something worthwhile I guess. My words won’t change the world, they won’t make someone else go out and buy a record and they won’t make a band I love become huge. They’re just words. Words some will skim over. Words that may not go read. Words that most won’t agree with. But seeking approval is the worst thing a person can do to themselves because they will lose sight of who they are.

Maybe I’ve got another year in this or maybe I’ll be 90 years old dribbling on the keyboard writing about “that time I saw….” I have no idea. All I know is that you cannot put a price on doing what you love. I’ve never received money for writing about a band.

I wish I could name every single band that has sent me their music, but I can’t. I’ve got a rubbish memory, but everything I’m sent gets written about.

However, I would like to specially thank the following for being exceptionally generous with their music and time:

-Royal Chant

-Savage Sister

-Soft Power Records

-Nita Keeler

-Little Death Machine

-Autumns

-Hana Piranha

-Birdeatsbaby

-The #1s

-The Creeping Ivies

-L.A Witch

-The Long Wives

There’s many more, but as I’ve mentioned I don’t really have the best memory.

Any email or comment left about anything I’ve written means a hell of a lot. I remember when I posted my Warpaint interview and reading the emails I got sent-I felt proud and that maybe someone got the point I was trying to make.

Thank you! xx

The Smiths debut record came out 30 years ago. There’s no other reason really.





THE CREEPING IVIES- Love Kills.

17 02 2014

 

 

If I really wanted to get back at my neighbour right now I’d be playing something truly awful like Cradle Of Filth super loud, or I could treat the inconsiderate swine to something like The Creeping Ivies. Instead I am being thoughtful and selfless and playing them through headphones. See sometimes, I can be alright.

As you know I’m big on duos. Two people can change their own world and influence those around them. Don’t change the world, change your own. Duos to me are just perfect. They hit the drums harder, they scream a little louder, they turn their guitar amps a bit more, the bass-line makes you move a bit more. There’s something about duos that make you feel as if you are part of something.

A duo that I absolutely adore are The Creeping Ivies. I’ve written about them so many times, and even if they stopped making music (I don’t want to think about that) I’d probably still write about them. Their sound is everything I love about music. It is a mixture of bands I’ve grown up listening to and with something else I can’t really define. Becca and Duncan are stylish folks who play with the passion that a lot lack.

Love Kills is taken from their new record Ghost World which is out this year. Becca’s vocals are egged on by Duncan’s ferocious drum thumping. They’ve made a sound that is found in no one else around, which is why I truly adore them. Most fawn over shitty folk bands crying into their banjos (sounds worse written down) but why buy into something so trivial when bands like The Creeping Ivies exist. Sure they may not be to everyone’s taste (cut those people out of your life, they probably wear crocs or chinos) but they are keeping alive one of if not THE most important genre of music of all time- Punk. They’ve got the attitude of Patti and the Ramones mixed with the raw sound of say, The Cramps. Basically, they sound like everything I love which is why of course, I am a fan.

They sound like the band I’ve been waiting for. That’s the only way I can describe them. They are what you’ve been waiting for.

Play loudly.





THE CREEPING IVIES-What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf.

19 10 2013

 

 

The Creeping Ivies have been a band I have cherished for some time. I remember when I first heard them I immediately wished I was slightly musically gifted because they made the kind of music I wish I could make. If I was in a band, this is EXACTLY how I’d want them to sound. I’d probably be slightly more aggressive just to be obnoxious for the hell of it. Why not! Music is freedom and is also a way of putting on an act. Maybe it wouldn’t be an act.

I love Becca and Duncan because they are two of the best musicians I’ve heard in quite some time. Becca is a stunning guitar player who has this control in her vocals that is found in the likes of Patti Smith. Then you have Duncan who reminds me of a young Bobby Gillespie in The Jesus And Mary Chain; playing with fury and the desire to make your body move in the most outrageous way possible. The Creeping Ivies make you want to turn your back on everything society expects from you, everything your family, friends, lovers, peers and the like too. They make you turn into the person you want to be by creating such freedom in their music.

The Creeping Ivies have a new double A-side single out very soon, What Would Joey Ramone Do?/Ramona Wolf.

What Would Joey Ramone Do? Is probably one of the things I say to myself when something baffles me. Sometimes I substitute Joey Ramone for Morrissey. What Would Joey Ramone Do? is The Creeping Ivies at their creepy best. It reminds me ever so slightly of their song, Ghost Train. Mainly for the brilliant trembling you can hear in Becca’s voice, she seriously has one of the most distinctive voices I’ve heard in a very long time. When I listen to The Creeping Ivies, it just makes me wish they were playing London some time soon. Stupid commitments got in the way last time. Always the way. What Would Joey Ramone Do? is an excellent punch in the gut kind of song. It makes you want to leap about the way Joey used to do whilst wearing your battered leather (fake leather for me) jacket until every ounce of frustration falls out of you.

 

 

Ramona Wolf sounds like the soundtrack to the most pleasurable nightmare you’ll ever have. You can imagine being hunted down in a desolate and murky forest by the most stunning vixen; you run and run, but you don’t care if she catches up with you because you are in awe of her beauty. You probably start caring once she rips you to shreds though, always the way isn’t it. Ramona Wolf sends chills down your spine, as you immediately feel as if you are trapped in the woods with no way out. The feral beast called Ramona will get you, you might as well let her.

The Creeping Ivies are one of the very very few bands who take their influence of Punk and Garage rock and use it in a way that doesn’t seem like a blatant rip-off. What they have done is, taken bits of both and created something that I do hope in years to come will be influencing other bands to make this kind of music. If you cannot scare the shit out of those listening at least once, you’re probably doing something wrong.

Becca and Duncan will be releasing their second record, Ghost World early next year via Dead Beat Records. I have every faith in them that they will create something equally as mind-blowing as their debut, Stay Wild. When I wear a t-shirt of The Creeping Ivies, it feels the same as wearing a (fake) leather jacket. It is like armor/protection. It makes me feel like nothing can touch me; their music has the same effect. Except, I don’t wear the shirt as much as I’d like because I’ve ripped it. Most of my clothes are ripped, but it’s okay. I’ll probably just get a new one.

Anyway.

The double A-side single is out 16th November (4 days after my birthday) on Holy Smoke Records. You can stream the single right here: http://thecreepingivies.bandcamp.com/





THE CREEPING IVIES-Spinning(video.)

17 04 2013

IdonM-CREEPING IVIES-front

 

I’ve backed The Creeping Ivies for some time now. When I saw they finally had some merch out, I had to buy a shirt. I wear it with complete pride; proud that I’m a fan of such an incredible band. A band that have the backbone of a genre I hold very close to my heart (Punk) mixed with this insanely good lo-fi/Garage Rock feel. It is just perfect. Becca and Duncan are perfect; and they completely and utterly reinforce my love for duos, and why I love duos.

This evening they put out the video Spinning which is taken from their stunning debut record, Stay Wild. The video sees them stomping around mixed with a live performance. To be honest though, they could have made a video and done nothing at all and I’d think it was wonderful. I just absolutely love them a hell of a lot.

If you like music that shakes up your soul and leaves you feeling a bit sinister; then The Creeping Ivies are for you.





Arousing Sounds: Songs of 2012.

25 11 2012

You have good years and bad years with music, well life in general. Last year was alright but this year was pretty damn good. I bought more records this year than I did last year. I never have any money, but the money I do have spare goes on music. Rather on stuff I need. Such as clothes, as most of mine are a bit worn out. Or some new boots as my Docs are hanging on for dear life. They’ve been through a lot, but I think I can drag them through hell a bit longer.

This year for all reasons possible was rather good. Ignore all the crisis in the world and how society at times is fucked, then you’re okay. It’s been alright. And there have been some rather wonderful songs to go with it. Now, if this was a list of SONGS THAT MADE OLIVIA HAD A HERNIA WHEN PLAYED IN A VEHICLE, then Call Me Maybe would be my number 1 choice. Quite possibly one of the best pop songs to have been released in a long time. But did it come out last year? I’m not sure. But that song makes me happy, and I don’t even care. We’ve all made our own versions of it. Probably full of smut, but who cares.

So, here’s my list of songs that brought all kinds of joy and various emotions into my ears; and everywhere else. There are so many songs I know I have missed out, but I’ve got a really bad memory and I’ll want to change my mind after writing this. As always.

10. The Creeping Ivies- Ghost Train.Music should have elements that just freak you out. It should make you feel as if spirits are haunting you (I don’t mean a bad glass of whiskey.) It should fill you with sinister vibes that you just cannot shake, but the thing is- part of you doesn’t want to get rid of them. The haunting chills you get from Ghost Train are just stunning. My love for Becca and Duncan is ridiculous. They make me feel I am anywhere but in this time. That’s something that is entirely rare. I have woken up many a mornings where this song is in my head, and stays there for the duration of the day. That’s when I have my good days. The Creeping Ivies just make perfect eerie music that just reinforces my love for music.

9. Swim Deep-King City. I know I could have picked Honey, but King City mentions Jenny Lee Lindberg from Warpaint. That alone makes this song brilliant. It gives you a Summertime feeling, even if we are in the murky depths of November. I remember first hearing it and just being blown away. They have this gentle, euphoric tone to their music that just soothes you. It is like your being swayed. Your worries and troubles mean nothing when you listen to Swim Deep.

8. Jack White-Love Interruption. Anything Jack White does is just a piece of musical heaven. A stroke of genius. He has this way of creating something so insane yet pure. The lyrics to Love Interruption are mighty strange, yet you relate to them. You won’t let love corrupt you in any way, anymore. The music is so simple and stripped back but you can hear such frustration in his voice. A hint of longing just purifies the song. Ruby’s delicate and quivering vocals makes the song a lot more honest and vulnerable than it would be without. It’s just a gorgeous song that sums up everything love should be, and all you won’t let it be.

7. Ellie Goulding-Figure 8. This song pleasantly smacks you in the chops. I wanted to pick Only You, but that’s because I’m obsessed with the drums in it. A tribal feel to it, but I’ve gone with Figure 8 because there is something about this song that makes you feel a bit alive, yet sad at the same time. I think you can take the “And lovers hold on, to everything” in many ways I suppose. In a way, it is like Ellie is telling lovers to hold onto anything and everything. Or maybe she is saying lovers cling onto anything because they do not want to be without. Her second record is nothing like her debut, and that’s why I adore it and why I adore Ellie’s music. She still has such honesty to her songs, and the lyrics are darker; which is probably why I love them.

6. Beach House-New Year. Very nearly picked Wild, but I’ve gone with New Year because it means a lot to me. So does Myth. Myth just breaks my heart. New Year is 5 minutes of hope. In fact, the Bloom record is just a collection of songs that give you hope. It is like Victoria and Alex are giving you life lessons. Words to provide comfort and hope to those who listen. Everything about their music makes you feel as if they are cradling your soul. Soothing and swaying you as you face things you wish you could turn from. It is hard to turn away from some things and some people. Sometimes we can bring ourselves to do so; sometimes we can’t. I make life so difficult for myself (and probably others) but when I listen to Beach House, especially New Year, it is almost as if nothing really matters for that moment. New Year just makes you think about everything in a way you’ve never done before. It opens up your eyes and soul. It heals your heart.

5. Tamaryn-Heavenly Bodies. As Warpaint didn’t release anything this year, I’m declaring Tamaryn responsible for making the most ethereal song of the year, and the most tranquil record of the year also. Heavenly Bodies makes you feel as if you are drifting towards the most perfect and relaxed place possible. It makes you feel alive, even as your eyes become sleepy as you listen to this gorgeous song. You fall in love with everything surrounding it. You notice different layers to Heavenly Bodies as you listen to it through headphones. It is like a magical journey to something so divine as you listen to it. I adore the line, “She’s a fool but time is a thief.” I cannot explain why, but I just do. The song brings out a true sense of inner peace, and guides those gently, who feel slightly lost.

4. Crocodiles-Endless Flowers. The perfect opener to my favourite record of the year. I hold this song, this band and this record very dear to my heart. Their lyrics are romantic. Even when dark, they still have a romantic feel to it. No Black Clouds For Dee Dee is my favourite love song of the year. Yes, it reminds me of the one I love and adore. Endless Flowers is another song that gives you hope. I love the line, “I’ll bide my time swimming in your eyes, on some faraway screen.” It is easy to lose yourself in the one you love, and their eyes. Endless Flowers is a taste of devotion. A wonderful song that makes you wish you could create your own kind of ode to love.

3. Dum Dum Girls-Lord Knows. I’m going to try keep my ramble about this song as brief as I can. Lord Knows offers redemption and comfort in those who have hurt others. “I want to live a pure life” is such a vulnerable line. What I adore about Dee Dee is her vulnerable lyrics. She isn’t afraid to be so open with her words. That takes courage and strength that most shy away from. The intro to the song feels like the sun rising, giving you hope for another day. A chance to be better. The repetition of the chorus is like a chant, a mantra to stop you from hurting those you love. I love love love the line, ” ‘Cause every time you think of me, the black covers what might be.” Lord Knows offers so much solace, much like most of their songs. It is pure and truthful. It oozes out everything you wish you could. I guess next time you mess up, play this song. You’ll be alright. You always are.

2. The Long Wives-Judas Hex. I play this song nearly every day. I listen to The Long Wives a lot. Brandy’s voice is easily one of the best around. Discovering her music this year made everything a bit easier. We all have shit days, and how we get through them should make us tougher. I try to be tough, but I don’t think I have it in me. I don’t see it as a bad thing anymore. I’d rather be sure of how I feel rather than be emotionally numb. Judas Hex is so dark and simple. Just her voice and a guitar. Her voice is so so haunting. It isn’t overpowering at all. You don’t need a grand voice to be heard. Her voice is quietly powerful. I know it sounds like a contradiction, but she has something that no other will ever have. Or has ever had. Judas Hex evokes such devilish imagery in your mind, but they aren’t enough to scare you. You just embrace it, go with it. There’s no harm in it at all. Brandy’s voice lures you in, and once you are there- no part of you can leave. You just don’t want to. She is easily my favourite solo artist of the year. She’s just beautiful in all ways possible.

1. Saint Lou Lou-Maybe You. This song breaks my heart. This song makes me happy. This song is the best song of the year. It is gentle, it is delicate and utterly sad. I do like sad songs, but I don’t like obviously sad songs. Only when you pay close attention to the lyrics do you notice how heartbreaking this song is. What drew me in at first was the music. It felt like being on a bed of water, floating towards a state of bliss. Then I listened very closely to the lyrics and such sadness crept up on me. Since I first heard Maybe You, I have played it every day. I just have to always hear it. I have no idea what their record will sound life, but if it has the same elements as Maybe You (dreamy, blissed-out with shades of sadness) then they will probably become responsible for creating a sound that hasn’t been done before, and is of course, much-needed. I’ve mentioned before in previous posts the line I love the most in this song, but I adore “And if you’ve got an emptiness inside, you should let our worlds recollide.” The song offers reassurance and reconciliation. It’s just beautiful. There’s nothing else I can say about this song that I haven’t already said to anyone who may listen to me.

 

*I’d also like to add that Inhaler by Foals is bloody brilliant and I reckon their new record will be a massive highlight of 2013.





The Creeping Ivies- Stay Wild.

14 11 2012

 

Some may regard Christmas as the highlight of December, personally I’m not a fan. The music addict in me always looks forward to the end of year releases that creep up on you, unexpected but much-needed. It happens every year, and it is the perfect end to the year. You’ve just got to seek it out.

My love for The Creeping Ivies is out of my hands, and deeply rooted in my head. It is ever-growing and cements my love for Scottish bands more than I even knew. Scottish bands just offer you something entirely more powerful and passionate than most.

With their previous EP releases, The Creeping Ivies have always left me wanting more and more. Frequently hitting repeat and knowing the words by heart after the third listen. You take the passion they play with and it fuels your love for them. Stay Wild is evidently going to be this year’s hidden treasure. With so much manufactured tripe around, bands like The Creeping Ivies offer you hope that out there are bands making music with such heart, and more importantly; making their own unique sound.

Stay Wild makes you want to dance as if you have no control over your limbs. It makes you want to lose your mind and no longer care for your current surroundings. Nothing matters as Duncan and Becca take you on an insane and dark journey. This journey will freak you out and it will make you feel as if your soul has been cleansed. The aftermath will of course leave you wanting more; that repeat button is going to get abused. Trust me. The title track is the kind of song you’d imagine to hear at the end of the night with everyone chanting back. Covered in sweat, various spirits being spilled over their leather jackets and their boots. It’s a pure record that deserves to be heard.

You are going to hear comparisons such as “They are just like The Cramps” and such. Becca’s voice is obviously going to be compared to the likes of Siouxsie, but she has the power of Patti Smith in her vocals. I’m not a fan of comparing bands to others, but on this fantastic debut record, Becca’s vocals truly have the strength of Patti Smith. Duncan is Duncan Destruction for a reason. He absolutely slays and beats the shit out of the drums. As much as I adore their EPs, this debut full length record is nothing short of perfection. The sound much more powerful and a hell of a lot more eerie. They have the power to freak you the fuck out and make you want to dance all at once.

Listening to this wonderful record, you can truly picture it being played in dark, basement bars with people looking a bit like zombies, shaking their limbs and staring deep into the underworld. Possibly coming for your soul. The Creeping Ivies are one of the very few bands that manage to stay true to the essence of Garage Rock, yet merge something wonderfully strange with it. Everything about Stay Wild is just a delight to listen to. The production is amazing.

Bands such as The Creeping Ivies fully justify my love for duos. Duos make more noise and work harder for your affections. The Creeping Ivies are rowdy and bold. The Creeping Ivies take you on a whirlwind trip that you don’t ever want to come back from. The songs are played in a frenzy sending you off into another world. Utterly divine. I think my world was far too boring without these guys. The Creeping Ivies make you want to lurk about in places such as desolate buildings or cemeteries. Finding sacred things, seeing things no one else would ever believe Part mind-altering, part mind-blowing.

Stay Wild is out 1oth December on US label, Dead Beat Records.