Death From Above - 'Outrage! is Now' / 'Never Swim Alone'

Death From Above's new single 'Never Swim Alone' is out now check it out here, Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler shot the video on a phone in a hotel room in London and it's the precursor to the new album 'Outrage! Is Now' which is out 8th September. 

Earlier this year Seb's side-band American Lips released 'Kiss The Void' debut album, there was a DFA single 'Freeze Me' back in June which all led up to their highly anticipated 3rd studio album, the first since 2014. Exciting times!

Lyrics: "Babies in biker jackets, Laptops and dark sunglasses, Cocaine brunch, no reservation, Pull up with my ceiling missing, Valet park my hump machine, Backseat conceive, so unclean, Plug it in like USB, Eighteen years, f*ck being free, Can you hold these scrolls for me? Useless masters and degrees, Scroll down to go for a ride, Comment section suicide, There’s got to be another one coming, Another generation, Ready for the revolution, Or a change of station, Never Swim Alone ... Pray to American Idol, YouTube haircut so in style, Sodastream spray ricochet, In your face like: “It’s Ok!”, It’s my party, I’ll cry all day, So in touch with Rinpoche, Climb the mountain, password saved, Satan is my user name, Never Swim Alone"

 

ESTRONS - New Single 'Glasgow Kisses'

Estrons new single ‘Glasgow Kisses’ which is the first release from double a-side 'Glasgow Kisses/Cold Wash' and follow up to the awesome 'Strobe Lights' check it out here:

Meaning “strangers” in the Welsh language, Estrons’ approach to songwriting is inspired by feelings of estrangement, both to themselves  and the communities they come from. Showcasing singer Taliesyn Kallstrom’s ability to wash alienating and tumultuous experiences clean through her lyrics, she describes the track as “a nursery rhyme about adult life. A bittersweet study of the fear of commitment and how people protect themselves by hiding their emotions.”

After their recent tours alongside Honeyblood, The Amazons and Slaves, Estrons lare off on a headline tour this Autumn (full dates below), alongside sold out dates supporting Paul Draper. We saw them back in May and highly recommend checking them out live, check out our review from that show here:

Tour dates

14 Sep        Leeds - Brudenell Social Club^
15 Sep        Manchester - Gorilla^
16 Sep        Glasgow - King Tut’s^
17 Sep        Edinburgh - Sneaky Pete’s
20 Sep        Brighton - The Hope & Ruin
21 Sep        London - Scala^
22 Sep        Bristol - Thekla^
23 Sep        Birmingham - O2 Institute 2^
27 Sep        Guildford - The Boileroom
28 Sep        Newcastle - Think Tank
29 Sep        Liverpool - Buyers Club
30 Sep        Cardiff - HOYfest
2 Oct        Leicester - The Cookie
3 Oct        London - Electrowerkz
6 Oct        Birmingham - The Sunflower Lounge
7 Oct        Manchester - Neighbourhood Festival
2 Dec        Barcelona - Razzclub

^ w/ Paul Draper

METZ - New Single 'Drained Lake'

The new METZ track, 'Drained Lake', is a propulsive, jagged thing; heavy 21st century post-post-punk, with an infectious sea-sick synth line added for good measure. Strange Peace is their highly-anticipated third full-length album and is out September 22nd on Sub Pop.
 
'Drained Lake' reflects “The constant struggle to know yourself and make sense of your life and surroundings. What is my purpose? Holding on to who you are while fending off pressure to bend to what other people want and expect from you,” says METZ frontman Alex Edkins.

Since releasing their self-titled debut record in 2012 the Toronto-based 3-piece have garnered international acclaim as one of the most electrifying and forceful live acts, touring widely and extensively, playing hundreds of shows each year around the world.
 
Now, Alex Edkins (guitar, vocals), along with Hayden Menzies (drums), and Chris Slorach (bass) are set to unleash their highly-anticipated third full-length album, Strange Peace, an emphatic but artful hammer swing to the status quo.
 
Strange Peace was recorded in Chicago, live off the floor to tape with Steve Albini. The result is a distinct artistic maturation into new and alarming territory, frantically pushing past where the band has gone before, while capturing the notorious intensity of their live show.
 
“Recording in Chicago was a blast. We tracked fourteen songs in four days. It was the first time we felt confident enough to just play live and roll tape,” Edkins said of the recording process. “Strange Peace is much more diverse and varied than anything we’ve done before, which was exhilarating, but terrifying, too. We took the tapes home to Toronto feeling like we’d made the record we wanted to make.”
 
From the ferocious opening track, “Mess of Wires,” we’re met by the sheer force and fierce musicianship we’ve come to expect from METZ. With the unhinged, post-punk fragments of “Drained Lake,” and the whirling, acerbic pop features of "Cellophane," the band's hectic progression becomes clear. But Strange Peace isn’t merely a collection of eleven uninhibited and urgent songs. It’s also a kind of sonic venting, a truculent social commentary that bludgeons and provokes, excites and unsettles.
 
“The songs on Strange Peace are about uncertainty," Edkins explains. "They're about recognizing that we're not always in control of our own fate, and about admitting our mistakes and fears. They're about finding some semblance of peace within the chaos."
 
With all the pleasurable tension and anxiety of a fever dream, Strange Peace is equal parts challenging and accessible. It is this implausible balancing act, moving from one end of the musical spectrum to the other, that only a band of METZ’s power and capacity can maintain: discordant and melodic, powerful and controlled, meticulous and instinctive, subtle and complex, precise and reckless, wholehearted and merciless, brutal and optimistic, terrifying and fun.
 
UK/EU Tour Dates:
Nov. 02 - Prague, Czech Republic - Futurum !
Nov. 03 -  Wroclaw, Poland - Klub Firlej !
Nov. 04 -  Warsaw, Poland - Klub Hydrozagadka !
Nov. 06 - Berlin, Germany - Bi Nuu !
Nov. 07 - Copenhagen, Denmark - Loppen !
Nov. 08 - Hamburg, Germany - Knust !
Nov. 09 - Zwolle, Netherlands - Poppodium Hedon  ^
Nov. 10 - Kortrijk, Belgium - De Kruen (Sonic City Festival)
Nov. 12 - Le Havre, France - Le Tetris %
Nov. 14 - Nimes, France - La Paloma %
Nov. 15 - Bordeaux, France - Theatre Barbey %
Nov. 16 - Toulouse, France - Club Metronum %
Nov. 17 - Barcelona, Spain - La (2) De Apolo %
Nov.  18 - Madrid, Spain - Moby Dick %
Nov. 20 - Nantes, France - Pole Etudiant %
Nov. 21 - Paris, France - Le Trabendo %
Nov. 22 - London, UK - The Garage %
Nov. 23 - Bristol, UK - The Fleece %
Nov. 24 - Leeds, UK - Brudenell Social Club %
Nov. 25 - Brighton, UK - The Haunt 

! with Protomartyr
^ with Brian Case
% with Drahla

Photo: Ebru Yildiz 

Photo: Ebru Yildiz 

Holy Fuck - Bird Brains EP

Toronto's Holy Fuck are set to release their new EP 'Bird Brains' on 21st July, check out the title track here:

Photo: Nick Walker

Photo: Nick Walker

Their bio describes them perfectly as "a hardcore thrift-store found-object punk band with a relentless commitment to rhythm and a sense for atmosphere better matched to a close encounter of the third kind than a simple rock concert".

Photo: Nick Walker

Photo: Nick Walker

From their eponymous debut their journey through the an extensive back-catalogue to the release of Congrats in 2016 after a hiatus, where they checked into a “proper” studio rather than the barn in rural Ontario where most of Holy Fuck’s records were made, their ad-hoc arsenal of low-budget hi-tech toys had been streamlined down and they really cemented their unapologetic intricate noise-laden sound.

Not since Girl Band's 'Paul' has there been an animal-headed based video along with a highly set-on-repeatable tune that has captivated us so much!

The EP will be out on Innovative Leisure Records and Last Gang Records, check out their UK / IRE tour dates below:

 

AUG 9 WED Jazz Cafe, London
AUG 10 THU The Hare And Hounds, Birmingham
AUG 11 FRI Soup Kitchen, Manchester
AUG 12 SAT Belgrave Music Hall, West Yorkshire
AUG 14 MON Roisn Dubh, Galway
AUG 15 TUE Cyrpus Avenue, Cork, Ireland
AUG 16 WED Dolan's Warehouse, Limerick, Ireland
AUG 17 THU Empire Music Hall, Belfast
AUG 19 SAT Doune the Rabbit Hole, Dumbarton
AUG 20 SUN Think Tank? Newcastle Upon Tyne
AUG 22 TUE Colston Hall 2, Bristol
AUG 23 WED Patterns, Brighton

 

Downtown Boys - New Single 'Lips That Bite'

Downtown Boys follow-up to the politically charged single 'A Wall' with their new track 'Lips That Bite' today - it's a strong single, we love the contrast of the disaffected vocals over the intricately weaved upbeat surf-indie leanings. Like 'A Wall' before it, there's a bit of everything in there with keys and even a sax solo towards the end - it works, it's a really well put together track check it out here:

'Cost of Living' will be Downtown Boys’ first record for Sub Pop, and is due for release 11th August.

The album is at once incendiary, cathartic, and fun, melding the band’s revolutionary ideals with boundless energy. Produced by Fugazi’s Guy Picciotto, 'Cost of Living' shows a sense of maturity without compromising the band’s righteous assault and captivating presence. 

Downtown Boys are also on tour in the UK this October, check out the dates below:

11/10: Brighton, UK @ The Haunt (w/ Priests)
12/10: Leeds, UK @ Brudenell Social Club (w/ Priests)
13/10: Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Pete’s (w/ Priests)
14/10: Glasgow, UK @ Stereo (w/ Priests)
16/10: Dublin, Ireland @ The Workman’s Club (w/ Priests)
17/10: Liverpool, UK @ The Shipping Forecast (w/ Priests)
18/10: London, UK @ Dome Tufnell Park (w/ Priests)
19/10: Sheffield, UK @ Picture House Social Club (w/ Priests)
20/10: Manchester, UK @ Deaf Institute (w/ Priests)
21/10: Bristol, UK @ Simple Things Festival
22/10: Birmingham, UK @ All Years Leaving Festival

Photo Credit: Miguel Rosario

Photo Credit: Miguel Rosario

JOHN (×2) - New Album

Crystal Palace-based duo JOHN have announced the release of their new album 'God Speed In The National Limit' later this year. To celebrate the news, the pair have revealed a brand new video for ‘Ghost Printer’, which is the first single to be taken from the forthcoming album. ‘Ghost Printer’ takes aim at the everyday pressures of self-improvement, with the two Johns (that make up JOHN) channeling pent-up energy into both searing instrumentation and snarled - yet surprisingly poetic - vocals. “The track presents the story of a man haunted by his own technology,” explain the band “offering a darkly comic view of the common routines we find ourselves coerced into.”

It’s precisely this combination of incisive content and noise that has become JOHN’s signature, a signature that never fails to pay off in their celebrated live show. Taking the mundane spirit of their name as a manifesto, the two piece JOHN (both members aptly named John) offer a deadpan approach that has become the recognisable force of their live performance, with an almost mechanical solidity rare for only two bodies.

Alongside the rhythmic synchronisation of guitar and drums, introspective lyrics suggest that literature and spoken word are just as important influences as the punk, noise and rock genres they might otherwise comfortably fit into. This tight balance between content and volume is a sight for sore ears ... chjeck out their live dates below:

22nd June – Artrocker Presents – The Finsbury, London
15th July – Breakfast Records All-dayer – The White Rabbit, Bristol
5th August – Sunburn All-dayer – Brixton Windmill, London
9th September – DIE DAS DER Presents: Yr Welcome Lite, Wagon & Horses, Birmingham

EAT DIRT! Debut EP

Introducing: EAT DIRT ... A Pissed Off Punk Rock Collective From London, UK

Formed in late 2016, following the spiraling storm of political idiocy and rising tensions throughout the United Kingdom, EAT DIRT are angry. The members of EAT DIRT, previously of well established UK acts, put their frustrations with real life together and have created the bands debut 4 track EP 'EAT DIRT – I', a raging and viceral blast of aggressive punk rock. Their anger is unrelenting and they have lots to say.

“I'd given up on music. I wasn't really angry enough. I had nothing to sing about anymore. Then the whole Brexit thing happened. I'm mad at people. I'm mad at the world around me. As a group, we need to vent. EAT DIRT is that release.”

Musically, EAT DIRT build a fast, unrelenting punk rock sound of their very own. Apparently they have no interest in “making it”, don't care for industry politics and will not pander to anyone - they simply want to play punk rock, have fun and release that pent up aggression.

'EAT DIRT – I' clocks in at under 5 minutes, brought to life through the production skills of Justin Hill (ex-Sikth). The message is clear. These guys are frustrated and angry and don't hold back. They are set to play with Pears, Great Cynics and Darko at the New Cross Inn on 4th August and we hope to see them out on tour very soon.

It's honest and stripped back punk rock, at it's finest. 'EAT DIRT – I' is out now, for free on all digital platforms (oh yes, grab it now ... show your support and share these fine fellows about, or eat dirt!).

Check the video for the catchy as hell eponymous track 'Eat Dirt' here!

Wolf Alice - New Single 'Yuk Foo'

Wolf Alice's new single ‘Yuk Foo’ is taken from the band’s forthcoming second studio album, ‘Visions Of A Life’, which will be released on September 29 - check it out below. They have also announced a UK tour for November, dates below:

Wednesday 8 November - O2 Academy, Bristol

Thursday 9 November - O2 Apollo, Manchester

Saturday 11 November - Barrowlands, Glasgow

Monday 13 November - O2 Academy, Newcastle

Wednesday 15 November - Rock City, Nottingham

Thursday 16 November - O2 Academy, Birmingham

Friday 17 November - UEA, Norwich

Saturday 18 November - O2 Academy, Leed

Monday 20 November - Dome, Brighton

Tuesday 21 November - O2 Guildhall, Southampton

Friday 24 November - Alexandra Palace, London

Monday 27 November - Ulster Hall, Belfast

Tuesday 28 November - Olympia, Dublin

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Best Ex - 'Someday'

BEST EX (formerly Candy Hearts) have just released new single 'Someday'. Written in an introspective kick after seeing her friend's band play a great show, making her think of the struggle they’d all been through to make something of themselves, singer-songwriter Mariel Loveland called the song “a sort of anthem to the most insecure parts of myself -- the parts that felt like the best I could do was never really good enough.”

The chorus of “someday we’re gonna get it / someday we’re gonna get it right”, with the group vocals, harmonies, and upbeat synths surging and swirling, makes this an anthem for anyone working on getting through all the frustrations of life, and does so with the perfect mix of lo-fi grit and polished glitter. Demonstrating open-book lyricism coupled with dance arrangements, Best Ex is very much a reflection of Mariel’s coming into her own as both a person and musician.

The six-track EP is the first to be released under the band's new moniker and new indie/pop-leaning direction on Alcopop! Records which is out 14th July.

Speaking about the new EP, Mariel says: "Ice Cream Anti Social is sort of an ode to those moments where you're alone in your room and reflecting on your life. As a whole, it covers those sort of thoughts you can't kick when you're lying in bed about to fall asleep, or it's midnight and you're in your underwear, eating ice cream out of the carton, wondering what the heck happened to you."It wavers between that fine line where you aren't sure if you're actually killing it or a total mess. I don't know if this is a true fact about life or anything -- I'm sure those older than me will disagree -- but this EP was largely about coming to terms with the fact that no matter how many people are around you, you will always be sort of alone.” Ice Cream Anti Social is a glistening artistic re-imagination for Mariel, who has taken the heartfelt lyricism and hooks from her previous punk leaning work and brought them into looser, poppier arrangements.

'Girlfriend', the first single released under Best Ex, is more dancey and bass-laden than the Candy Hearts incarnation whilst still telling glittering tales of stolen kisses with delicious summery-pop.

Songs like 'February 4th' and 'See You Again' retain some of the more guitar-involved sound of past work, with the former a softer, string-backed ballad and the latter combining the more electronic-leaning sound of Best Ex with some of the rock influence that many associate with Mariel.

Closing track of the EP 'Jellyfish' fittingly features just Mariel singing over a ukelele, bringing a record that explores a lot of sound and emotion to a close with the most intimate spotlight on the words and music of the songwriter at the heart of it all.

Whilst the name change comes new tracks that sound more produced although still not commercial in that bad sell-out way ... like lovely glittering sugar-pop for the intelligent listener, rather than most of the drivel promoted by the mainstream media, Best Ex have their own kind of rebellion which has evolved along in the same spirit of their earlier songs.

Grandbrothers - New Single 'Bloodflow'

Düsseldorf duo Grandbrothers have signed to City Slang for the release of their second album, ‘Open’, which is to be released on October 20th 2017 ... check out the first taster here of what is almost 6 minutes of purely beautiful experimental and enchanting piano in the shape of new single 'Bloodflow':

Director Hugo Jenkins explains the video, saying: When I first heard the track I was really intrigued by how certain parts repeated yet kept evolving in a way that felt amazingly effortless. This made me reflect on different forms of spirituality and therapy that often involve repetitive tasks. I tried to let this repetition inform the way the film is structured, often returning to a particular idea but revealing a little more each time we see it.

The feel of the music is just so emotive I felt an abstract exploration of memory, family and the mother/daughter relationship made sense to me. The environment I chose to explore this in was drawn from a personal experience I had a few years ago.”

There’s a celebrated John Cage quote that’s always appealed to Erol Sarp, one half of Düsseldorf’s Grandbrothers: “I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones.” It’s a sentiment ideally suited to Sarp’s work with his musical partner, Lukas Vogel. The duo has consistently tried to find fresh ways, aesthetically and practically, to compose.

Grandbrothers are the sum of unique parts: Progressive Swiss engineer/mechanic/sofware designer Vogel and German-Turkish pianist Sarp. Their second album ‘Open' twins Sarp’s piano skills with Vogel’s talent for both building the formidably intricate mechanics with which he exploits his partner’s instrument and also designing its software. Sarp works at his ivory keyboard while, from behind his own computer keys, Vogel live-samples his partner’s notes, triggering further effects with the aid of homemade apparatus that physically manipulate the piano’s strings and body. “There are hammers I control,” he explains, “which hit different parts to make beats and percussive patterns. In the beginning, I just used an open circuit board I’d constructed without a proper case. It was very fragile and often didn't work. We always had a soldering-iron when we played live.”

Their ambitious second album ‘Open' explores dimensions at which their debut ‘Dilation' only hinted.  The greatest revelation for anyone hearing them the first time remains the element constant to everything they’ve recorded: every individual sound that Grandbrothers make stems from one single instrument, a piano. No wonder their music was once memorably described as “open heart surgery on a grand.”

Open represents a significant leap forward for the duo, both musically and technically. “The songs have progressed a lot,” Sarp argues. Part of this is down to Vogel’s constant fine-tuning, and restless reinvention, of the systems he builds. “The main mechanical element remains the same,” he elaborates, “but now I use more powerful effects, like distortion and bit-crushing, so everything’s become denser. The most interesting change is that we’ve built elements we call bows, which oscillate the strings, without touching them, with an electromagnetic field. It’s the same principle as an E-Bow, but it has to be far more powerful because the piano strings are much thicker and stiffer.” For Sarp, such innovation is now par for the course: “Lukas is always coming up with new stuff he’s developed,” he smiles. “As soon as our setup is stable, he seems to get bored and needs to have a new challenge to keep things exciting...!”

Suggestions that Grandbrothers are part of the burgeoning, so-called ‘neo-classical’ movement might seem reasonable, but, the duo argue, they’re also off the mark. As Sarp points out, “Just because we use the same instrument doesn’t mean that it’s the same music. We always think about what physical impact the songs can have on the audience, for instance whether they can dance to them. We don’t only make music for listening to, after all.As much as we enjoy playing concert halls with the audience seated we also love to play at sweaty clubs where people are standing and dancing around us”

“What makes things work,” Vogel concludes, “is that we are such different personalities, with different skills, which fit together so well.” Sarp concurs: “Our music comes from a mixture of really intense analysis and simply doing things. I can calm him down, and he can incite me. He’s not just a colleague, but one of my closest friends.” Such synergy – born of an innate understanding and intuition, personally and musically – can be heard throughout Grandbrothers’ technically innovative, thrillingly distinctive work: two ingenious minds, perfectly in tune, relentlessly exploring new ideas. There’s nothing to be afraid of. Keep your mind Open.

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

Photo: Tonje Thilesen

False Advertising - New Single 'Honest'

Manchester-based trio False Advertising have revealed another brilliant DIY video for their new single ‘Honest’, check out the video here:

In the new visuals the band poke fun at Hillary Clinton's overly presumptuous election campaign, sip ‘Diet Woke’ in a nod to Kendall Jenner’s flawed Pepsi Ad, showcase realistic looking fast food, hawk free money and showcase a potentially flawed music festival for privileged millennials in a shrewd look at modern advertising techniques.

"We all love to hate advertising," say the band "but the truth is that it persuades people every day to do all sorts of crazy stuff, like buying things they can’t afford, or doing things that are probably not actually very good or ethical.

"As much as we’d love to use these clever brainwashing techniques to trick you into buying our music, our new video instead sees us sit down to watch a very ‘real’ advert break. Real, in the sense that every advert is designed to cut through the typical smokescreen created by advertising, by focusing on the flaw in the message. You can almost always find that flaw if you look for it."

The trio recently launched ’False Advertising TV’ across their social media channels, which they used to debut the track live through four bespoke "False" Adverts, conceived and shot by the band themselves.

'Honest' is the second in a run of standalone releases the band are putting out throughout 2017 and builds on their caustic, fuzz-drenched approach to alternative rock. Check out their live dates below:

8th July - The Ferret, Preston
23rd July - Blackthorn Festival
5th August - Humber Street Sesh Festival, Hull
15th September - Head For The Hills Festival
22nd September - John Peel Centre, Stowmarket
23rd September - The Owl Sanctuary, Norwich
28th September - The Old Blue Last, London
29th September - Green Door Store, Brighton
13th October -  Empty Shop, Durham
14th October - Little Buildings, Newcastle
15th October - Independent, Sunderland

Foo Fighters - New Album '‘Concrete And Gold’ Set For Release Sept 15th

PHOTO: Brantley Gutierrez

PHOTO: Brantley Gutierrez

Dave Grohl describes the mission statement made manifest in Foo Fighters’ ninth epic “I wanted it to be the biggest sounding Foo Fighters record ever. To make a gigantic rock record but with Greg Kurstin’s sense of melody and arrangement… Motorhead’s version of Sgt. Pepper… or something like that.”

'Concrete and Gold' marries some of the most insanely heavy Foo Fighters riffs ever with lush harmonic complexities courtesy of a first time team-up with producer Greg Kurstin.

The unlikely alliance with Greg came about through a bizarre sequence of surprise musical obsessions and chance encounters: Listening to the radio during a drive roughly four years ago, Grohl first heard “Again and Again” by Kurstin’s band The Bird & The Bee—“It blew my mind… it was so much more sophisticated than anything I’d ever heard and I became obsessed.”

Some months later, Grohl would randomly spot and fanboy out over “the guy from The Bird & The Bee!”. The two became fast friends over common musical loves with Grohl learning that his new favourite band had been on hiatus due to Kurstin’s workload as a producer.

While Foo Fighters recorded and released Sonic Highways, broke some bones and packed stadiums and arenas on one of the top five grossing tours of 2015, and gifted fans with the St. Cecilia EP, "Greg was becoming one of the biggest producers in the world,” Grohl recalls.

With the writing and recording of the next Foo Fighters album on the horizon, Grohl was eager as always to find fresh challenges for the band: “So I think maybe Greg is the guy that we ask to be our producer because he’s never made a heavy rock record before and we’ve never worked with a pop producer.”
 
Darrel Thorp was soon enlisted to mix and engineer. This collective conceived a blueprint of the new record, secretly booking into Hollywood’s esteemed EastWest studios to consummate this marriage of extremes... or as Grohl puts it: “Our noise and Greg’s big brain and all of his sophisticated arrangements and composition.”

Esther Joy - New Single 'Samgel'

Emerging London-based artist Esther Joy releases her new EP Psychic Tears on August 11th. Check out the infectious, dark, electronic sounds of first single from the record Samgel' here:

Speaking about the single, Esther says “Samgel is the name I use for the dark presence I experience and write about a lot in my music. It is a part of me that has overwhelmed me so much in my life and been the root to most of my darkest moments. I named this track after it because as soon as I wrote that first synth line (the big intense one at the beginning), it was like I had found Samgel”

Esther Joy doesn't stay in one place for long. Born in Leeds, she grew up in Edinburgh, and has since lived in London, Sheffield, Coventry & is now again in London. 
Having started making music as a teenager on a computer DJ programme, Esther sees music as a way of expressing the things that caused her much distress in her formative years. "Most of my teenage years and early 20s were super dysfunctional and I did a great job of royally fucking up" she explains "The thing that pieced me back together was rediscovering making music. I realised that you could build worlds of sound and textures in a computer without ever having to leave your bedroom (which is kind of mind blowing). From then on I taught myself how to produce and began writing electronic music.”

The new EP Psychic Tears combines dynamic electronics, hard & heavy synth lines and bewitching lyrics, but somehow retains a certain feeling of weightlessness and ethereal emotion, showcasing a fresh sound that has clicked into place.

She concludes "I couldn’t express myself musically in the way I wanted to for such a long time, and I just wanted someone to swoop in and make it all easy. Never finding those people was the best thing that could have happened because it forced me to get better on my own and now I am now I am just starting to feel like I am sounding like me." 
 

Human Tooth - Debut Single

Weekend Denim announced the signing of Newcastle's Human Tooth last month, alongside their raucous first single 'Undo Drag'. Today, the Geordie quartet release 'TRAMM'. Twisting and turning with acidic vocals wrapped around helter-skelter guitars, 'TRAMM' provides a battering counterpart to 'Undo Drag's comparatively honeyed melodies.

Human Tooth began in the mind of Scott Harrison in a bedroom in Barcelona. Having moved to the Catalan capital to escape the grey skies and drudgery of Newcastle, it wasn’t long before inspiration had reared it’s head.

With dozens of songs written and an itch to show them to the world, Scott, bored with relentless sunshine, glorious beaches and big mountains, returned to Newcastle to start a band - in the city where friends and collaborators EAT FAST had already laid solid foundations with their bristling, haywire pop choruses. He recorded the first two singles in a cold and dingy asbestos-filled practice room and soon after formed the rest of the band with school friends Sam Megahy,Andrew Metcalfe and James King. Still only two tracks and one gig young, their blown out blend of fizzy punk and pop hooks make them ones to look out for.

L.A. Witch New Single 'Untitled'

Today L.A. Witch return with their reverb-heavy garage-punk sounds with new single 'Untitled' and news of their debut self-titled album. L.A. Witch is set for release Sept 8th via Suicide Squeeze.

In the dimly lit interior of a small nightclub, where the stale smell of a thousand extinguished cigarettes drowns out the smell of spilt beer and broken dreams, a band plays against a backdrop of cheap golden tinsel. Outside, palm trees line the night’s horizon. In the years to come, the streets will swell into highways and interstates, but for now Los Angeles is still a young city growing daily with transplants from across the United States, all looking for a new life. It’s still a city largely cut off from the rest of the country, and in the years before the Manson family forever tarnishes the infinite hope of the Western enclave and before the Hell’s Angels of Altamont interrupt rock n’ roll’s peaceful trajectory with unprecedented violence, there is still a dreamy California sound for those dark rooms suffused with neon light. The three women of L.A. Witch wouldn’t be born for several decades, but their sound transports you back to those warm Californian nights in smoky rooms.

The name is a partial misnomer. Though the band hails from Los Angeles, they do not partake in any sort of witchcraft. Yet their ability to conjure a specific time and place through their sound does suggest a kind of magic. On their eponymous debut album, L.A. Witch’s reverb-drenched guitar jangle and sultry vocals conjure the analog sound of a collector’s prized 45 from some short-lived footnote cult band. The melodies forgo the bubblegum pop for a druggy haze that straddles the line between seedy glory and ominous balladry; the production can’t afford Phil Spector’s wall-of-sound, but the instruments’ simple beauty provides an economic grace that renders studio trickery unnecessary; the lyrics seem more descendent of Johnny Cash’s first-person morality tales than the vacuous empty gestures of pre-fab pop bands. This isn’t music for the masses; it’s music for miscreants, burnouts, down-and-out dreamers, and obsessive historians.

Album opener 'Kill My Baby Tonight' is the perfect introduction to the band’s marriage of ‘60s girls-in-the-garage charm and David Lynch’s surreal exposés of Southern California’s underbelly. Sade Sanchez’s black velvet vocals disguise the malicious intent of this murder ballad, with the thumping pulse of bassist Irita Pai, the slow-burn build of drummer Ellie English, and Sanchez’s desert guitar twang helping beguile the listener into becoming a willing accomplice to the narrator’s crimes. 'Brian' follows the opening track with a similarly graceful, if not somewhat ominous, slow-mo take on a well-worn jukebox 7”. It’s a vibe that permeates the entire album, from the early psychedelic hue of 13th Floor Elevators on tracks like 'You Love Nothing', through the motorik beat and fuzzed-out licks of 'Drive Your Car', to the grittier permutation of Mazzy Star’s sleepy beauty on 'Baby In Blue Jeans'.

The band’s initial aspirations were humble. “We never really thought we would or could release an album,” the band says, "we were really just finding each other and finding our sound.” But after touring nearly non-stop for the last three years, L.A. Witch developed a singularly seductive, haunting, and wistful sound that enamored the garage rock, dream pop, psych, and broader indie communities.

L.A. Witch live in the UK:
18/9 - The Crofters Right, Bristol UK
19/9 - Sticky Mikes, Brighton UK
20/9 - Moth Club, London UK
21/9 - Mono, Glasgow UK
22/9 - Psych Festival, Liverpool UK

Photo credit: Marco Hernandez

Photo credit: Marco Hernandez

Sextile - 'One Of These' Video

Following the announcement of their second album. ‘Albeit Living’, to be released on July 14th via felte, LA-based trio SEXTILE have shared a new video for ‘One of These’The clip features camera work & projections by Cloaking and brings together the band’s infamous visceral live show with imagery capturing the vast industrial sound that underpins this striking new record. ‘One of These’, a tirade on the feelings frontman Brady Keehn experienced during his personal struggle with addiction and escapism, is empowered by these suitably impassioned & urgent visuals.

As a stable fixture in the Los Angeles underground over recent years, Sextile have been gaining a devout following since their inception in 2015. The band boldly throw convention out of the window to create and genre-bending imprint that combines the raw energy of 70’s punk with the intricate and sophisticated structural elements of 80’s post-punk and synth-wave.

Sextile’s first release, A Thousand Hands, marked a signature sound - a dark and primitive form of angry rock ‘n’ roll, blending surf-punk, early industrial, and post-punk against a backdrop of violent energy. The album caught steam with each flailing, chaotic, electrifying performance, including a standout run with The Soft Moon. Brady Keehn’s intense vocals and piercing guitar sounds bounce effortlessly off Eddie Wuebben’s hypnotic synth-lines and Melissa Scaduto’s commanding stand-up drumming style.

After hunkering down in a basement in Echo Park to record for a couple of weeks, Sextile is back with their sophomore LP, Albeit Living. The album title, inspired by a Circle X song, means in-spite of living and sets the tone for a politically charged, introspective album of impassioned observations on our world today. Musically, Albeit Living is a testament to the band’s growth in the songwriting department and effort spent fine-tuning their burgeoning compositional skills: the synth is in the forefront on this album, allowing it to shine through more powerfully than we saw on A ThousandHands. Despite its more sophisticated sound, the album manages to match and even intensify the seductive energy of their live shows and debut album.

SLØTFACE - New Single 'Nancy Drew'

Following the recent announcement of their much anticipated debut album Try Not To Freak Out — Norway's Sløtface recently shared new track ‘Nancy Drew’, which continues in their fiery footsteps, with vocalist Haley Shea reimagining the track’s teen detective namesake as the noble vanquisher of indie rock’s boys’ club. “My girl is wiping slates clear / And I long for the look / And a soundtrack of women who all know what’s up / I keep hearing their cherry bombs through the walls,” she seethes amid sneaky, plundering guitars.

Led by vocalist Haley Shea with guitarist Tor-Arne Vikingstad, bassist Lasse Lokøy and Halvard Skeie Wiencke on drums, with every move they make, Sløtface look to spin conventions on their head - with debut album Try Not To Freak Out (out September 15th on Propeller Recordings) set to follow suit. Haley’s forceful, firework-spitting punk slices through you with an immediacy and confidence of someone several records in. 

Speaking on how 'Nancy Drew' originally came about, the band said: "We wrote the big rock chords and electronica inspired bass hook first. Then for the lyrics - Haley wanted to take some of that power and make it about something really cool and slick. Nancy Drew in the song is basically a super hero version of the original teenage sleuth, who fights the patriarchy and indie music's boys' club."

"The song is about this super hero I tried to create that's based on Nancy Drew", Haley muses. “The album is full of things we're worrying about, so I wanted to put some positivity and strength in as well. For this song I wanted to create a kind of super hero saviour, so I drew inspiration from Nancy Drew and tried to imagine a bad-ass super hero who crushes the music industry's boys' club and the patriarchy with one punch."

"Ida came up with the idea to make the lyric video for Nancy Drew about all of the tinder cliches you come across online" the band explain, -- "guys petting an exotic animal, guys mountain climbing, and illustrating them all in cool clever ways. We loved the idea and just let her run with it, and are super pleased with the final product."

Theme band are set to play a whole host of European festivals over the summer. The band have also announced a full UK tour to coincide with album release kicking off in September, running throughout October. 

UK tour dates:

July 8th | 2000 Trees Festival, Cheltenham, UKJuly 14th | Latitude Festival, Suffolk

July 23rd | Truck Festival, Oxfordshire

Aug 25th | Leeds Festival, UK / Aug 27th | Reading Festival

Sep 28th | 60 Million Postcards, Bournemouth

Sep 29th | Actress & Bishop, Birmingham

Sep 30th | Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Oct 1st | Soup Kitchen, Manchester

Oct 3rd | The Basement, York

Oct 4th | The New Adelphi, Hull

Oct 5th | The Venue, Derby

Oct 6th | The Picture House Social, Sheffield

Oct 7th | Think Tank, Newcastle

Oct 9th | Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh

Oct 10th | The Broadcast, Glasgow

Oct 12th | The Magnet, Liverpool

Oct 13th | KU, Stockton

Oct 16th | The Bodega Social Club, Nottingham

Oct 17th | The Cookie, Leicester

Oct 18th | The Joiners, Southampton

Oct 19th | Plymouth, The Underground

Oct 20th | The Louisiana, Bristol

Oct 21st | The Purple Turtle, Reading

Oct 24th | The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

Oct 25th | Camden Assembly, London

Oct 26th | The Cellar, Oxford
 

Placebo - Life's What You Make It video / Tour Announcement

For a band with such a strong and unmistakable catalogue of original material, Placebo have always had an impeccable way with a cover version. Starting with a take on Syd Barrett’s Dark Globe, way back in 1996, they have freely interpreted the songs of others to complement the originals. Their choice of covers – from Nick Drake to Boney M; Serge Gainsbourg to Depeche Mode – demonstrates Brian Molko and Stefan Olsdal’s musical influences and heritage. Rather than keep their musical passions locked in an ivory tower, they approach each interpretation with an excitement to share what they love.

With its sledgehammer beat and Molko’s keening vocal, ‘Life’s What You Make It’ – the lead track from last year’s EP of the same name – instantly reminds you of all the reasons you fell in love with Placebo. There is a great deal in common with the work of Talk Talk (who sang the original in 1986) and Placebo: both remained true to their artistic vision, even if that has sometimes meant not taking the easy route. The song’s message of making the best of circumstances strikes a particular chord in the challenging era in which we live. “We covered Talk Talk's Life's What You Make It because it is a song from the 80s that we still liked, and wondered if we could replicate Gwen Stefani's global smash hit with her band's cover of 'It's My Life'. That remains to be seen…” Brian Molko says.

Molko wanted something different for the film to accompany their song. He had a concept in mind that was loosely based around the original 1986 Talk Talk video that was shot at night on London’s Wimbledon Common. It featured the band surrounded by nature, complete with, as Molko puts it, “little beasties crawling over leaves”. Brian felt that there could be an updated version, where “the band would be robots playing instruments and that e-waste would replace nature, as it appears to be doing only a few decades after the song’s original release”. The brief that the band put out to prospective directors was short, simple and open to interpretation: “e-waste, please!”

It’s not that Placebo were inundated with appropriate responses. Brian continues, “The only director who actually came back to us with a treatment about e-waste was Sasha Rainbow. I called her up to sound her out and discovered that I was speaking to a very brave and passionate woman.” Rainbow’s accompanying film for ‘Life’s What You Make It’ was shot in Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in the heart of Accra, in Ghana, which is home to one of the world's largest electronic waste dumps. It sets an apocalyptic backdrop of first-world waste against the daily lives of those who inhabit this thoroughly otherworldly space.

“I told her that she had balls of steel for actually daring to go film on location in Ghana and that, no, we would not be coming, since we were timid little souls,” Molko says. “The two boys in the film live in this extraordinary place,” Rainbow says. “Which for me, highlights a human’s ability to adapt with incredible strength, resilience, and humanity.” It is a compelling look into a world that few know exists: “I hoped to capture the environment in a dreamily meditative way that would at once juxtapose and yet synergise with the theme of the song, and glimpse at part of the repercussions of our current technological revolution. On the one hand, technology is enabling us to create things beyond our wildest imagination, and yet little discussion has been had about what to do with all our discarded e-waste.”“I think that it is important to stress that the video is not anti-technology,” Molko adds. “That would be ridiculous, considering how much it enriches our daily lives. To me, it is about the triumph of the human spirit in the face of adversity that has not been chosen. We do, however, hope that it will make the viewer think about the repercussions of just throwing away tech that doesn't work anymore. There are several new and ingenious ways to recycle tech these days. Some companies will even give you money for it. All it takes is a little more effort.”

One of songwriter Mark Hollis’ key phrases in ‘Life’s What You Make It’, “yesterday’s favourite”, is sung powerfully by Molko, and underlines the e-waste message strongly in the film; yet it is far from being downbeat – the boys are seen dancing and laughing, making the most of their circumstances.

Placebo have also announced today that they will be returning to the UK to play a run of dates in October.

Sat 7 | Edinburgh Usher Hall
Sun 8 | Dundee Caird Hall
Tue 10 | Doncaster Dome
Wed 11 | Blackpool Empress Ballroom
Fri 13 | Reading Rivermead
Sat 14 | Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Mon 16 | Portsmouth Guildhall
Tue 17 | Swindon Oasis
Fri 20 | Plymouth Pavilions
Sat 21 | Wolverhampton Civic Hall
Mon 23 | London O2 Brixton Academy

Moon Duo - 'Killing Time' Expanded Edition

Following the release of Moon Duo’s two-volume Occult Architecture suite, the Portland-based band are reissuing their 2009 'Killing Time' EP as a deluxe expanded edition with three extra bonus tracks. Those bonus tracks, 'Bopper’s Hat', 'Run Around,'and'Dead West Pt. II,' have never been widely available on vinyl before, the newly expanded release is also available digitally. Check out the video for Killing Time here:

'Killing Time' EP Expanded Edition Tracklisting:

1. Killing Time
2. Speed
3. Dead West
4. Ripples
5. Bopper’s Hat*
6. Run Around*
7. Dead West Pt. II*
* = bonus track