Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Futureheads – Rant

So the a cappella album that everyone has been talking about is nearly here…

The Futureheads decided a little while ago to do something completely out of the blue and extraordinary leading them to release a fully a cappella album in less than a weeks time.

Rant is a record which only uses the four magnificent voices found in The Futureheads and it is definitely not an album to be missed. Not only have they recorded traditional songs a cappella but they’ve also re-worked some of their own songs such as Robots and Meantime in ways you would have never heard them before. The best re-working of a song has to be their a cappella version of Meet Me Halfway, originally by the Black-Eyed Peas, where they actually make it sound like a decent song.

Futureheads Rant

Album artwork for The Futureheads' record

Some other gems on the record include the traditional song The Keeper. The harmonies on this track are spot on, the rhythm is kept perfect and everything just clicks together making it a breath-taking track. It’s the sort of song that can make your skin crawl in a good way. You are bound to be singing the chorus of “Jackie boy (Master) Sing ye well (Very well)/Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down/Among the leaves so green-o” after the first listen.

The Old Dun Cow is another fantastic track. Being another traditional song, it has a great rather funny story which The Futureheads perform with enough humour and energy. The Futureheads has always been focused around harmonies but hearing them sing without any music at all really shows how good they are at them. They make it look so easy. The traditional songs seem to work better as a cappella especially with all their northern accents shining through.

By the end of the first listen there will be a part of you that will be screaming “Ditch the instruments!” They definitely sound more unique and interesting without all that indie music accompanying their already strong voices and harmonies. Hearing them stripped back gives a fresh approach to their band as well as a cappella music.

Rant will be released on Monday 2 April through Nul Records. Here’s a snippet from the album, The Keeper performed live in a pub:

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The I.D – Age Anti Age

Indie/post-punk band The I.D stem from London and are set to release their debut single Age Anti Age on April 2 through Duchamp Records.

After being asked to perform at Gary Powell’s (Libertines) club earlier this month,  The I.D are surely heading for big things.

 

The I.D

The I.D

Age Anti Age is similar in style, musically and vocally, to Interpol yet at times a glimpse of the Arctic Monkeys’ guitar work sneaks in. With a very catchy chorus of, “You can say we don’t think alike/And who cares if it’s wrong or right/Because you’re getting older…” and incredibly talented musicians, Age Anti Age is a fantastic sing-along indie single.

Age Anti Age has wonderfully deep and smooth vocals blended with great musicianship making it such an easy and enjoyable track to listen to. Vocally, there is something in this track that hints towards influences from Robert Smith (The Cure). The song itself focuses on the issues of age; the regrets of not grasping opportunities in your youth when you have the chance and hating age when it creeps up on you as you refuse to let it tell you you’re getting old. It tells the story of a man who wants to “make up for the sobriety” of his youth while the chorus screams out “…You’re getting older/and I’m growing younger”.

Age Anti Age has a story to tell with a good and interesting message with lyrics that slowly unravel the more you listen to it. Sometimes indie songs have little in the way of a message but this track is certainly different in that respect. It’s quite refreshing to hear indie music in this way.

The I.D release Age Anti Age on Monday 2 April through Duchamp Records. It will be available for free download and on iTunes.

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The Futureheads Reveal Tour Preview Video

With The Futureheads’ acoustic and a cappella tour creeping up on us fast, it feels only right to share with you all a tour preview video of what’s to come.

The Futureheads Rant

The Futureheads

 

The UK tour kicks start on April 2 in Brighton which coincides with the release of their a cappella album, Rant. As Barry Hyde has said to stop any pre-misconceptions:

“Just because this is an a cappella album doesn’t mean to say that the songs are slow or passive. They’re still in-your-face, slightly mad, aggressive. They’re still The Futureheads.”

The Futureheads will be playing the following UK shows:

 APRIL

2nd: BRIGHTON, Komedia

3rd: BRISTOL, Colston Hall

4th: LONDON, Union Chapel

5th: LEEDS, Wardrobe

6th: STOCKTON, Georgian Theatre

8th: GATESHEAD, Sage

9th: GLASGOW, Oran Mor

10th: BIRMINGHAM, Glee Club

12th: NOTTINGHAM, Glee Club

13th: MANCHESTER, Royal Northern College of Music

Rant will be released April 2 through Nul Records alongside double A-side single, Meet Me Halfway/The No.1 Song in Heaven.

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Halfway to New York – Treading Water

Halfway to New York

Halfway to New York

New band Halfway to New York made their appearance in the British music scene last autumn with their debut single, Out of Time. After gaining critical media acclaim, they are back with an EP titled Treading Water set for release on May 21.

With vocals that are similar to Snow Patrol’s Gary Lightbody and music which is just as anthemic as the Irish indie rock band, Halfway to New York are set for big things. Having recently returned from America where they’ve spent two weeks having meetings with record labels and agencies out there, things are certainly moving forward for this group.

Treading Water is the first song to be revealed from the EP. It’s a great, strong indie rock song filled with dramatic lyrics and even more dramatic guitar riffs. Take a listen here.

If you like Snow Patrol then it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll love these guys.

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Laura Gibson – The Fire

Laura Gibson

Folk musician Laura Gibson

Laura Gibson’s next single The Fire is set for release on April 9 to coincide with her UK tour. To celebrate this news, she is giving away a free download of the track on Soundcloud.

The Fire is taken from Laura Gibson’s critically acclaimed album, La Grande. It’s a song full of bluesy, folk tones that instantly transport you to a time long forgotten. Her unique voice echoes through your ears at the beginning while it’s accompanied by the folk guitar before the song picks up more energy. Being one of the more upbeat tracks on La Grande, The Fire produces happy images of peaceful summer days.

Click here for your free download of The Fire.

Laura Gibson will be playing the following shows:

MARCH

14th: The Portland Party @ Grackle, SXSW 7:15pm

15th: Barsuk showcase @ The Red Eyed Fly, SXSW 10:15pm

17th: Kevchino Party, SXSW (Time & Location TBA)

APRIL

8th: DEVON, Totnes Studio Lounge

10th: LONDON, Lexington

11th: LIVERPOOL, Leaf

12th: LEEDS, Brudenell Social Club

13th: BRIGHTON, Komedia Bar

14th: BRISTOL, Louisiana

Fans can also be in with the chance of winning an exclusive show in their own home from Laura Gibson herself. For more information, visit City Slang’s Facebook page here.

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Portasound – The Second Renaissance EP

Portasound

Portasound

Brand new band Portasound are releasing their debut EP, The Second Renaissance, on May 14.

The London-based group fuse melodies, rhythms and unusual riffs to create a genre all their own. Taking influence from folk legends, classic literature and film narratives, their songs ooze filmic purpose.

The Second Renaissance EP is Portasound’s way of combining all these things and bringing them to life. It tells the story of a battle between light and dark forces, the creation of a rebellion and the birth of a hero.

Opening track Dreadnought is a fusion of electronic beats, rock drums and heavily used synth. It would be what Angels and Airwaves might have sounded like if they had been around in the 80s.

Portasound have already played shows with Metromony, The XX, Friendly Fires and Three Trapped Tigers. They will also be supporting Three Trapped Tigers on March 14 at London’s Village Underground.

The Second Renaissance will be available on limited edition handmade cut-cover slipcases by packaging designer, ACDSleeve.

Check out the video for Dreadnought below:

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Seth Lakeman Live Review

Folk artist Seth Lakeman has pushed folk music into the limelight in recent years. With the likes of Mumford and Sons exploding into the folk music scene, Seth Lakeman is a refreshing reminder that sometimes things are best kept simple. Lakeman keeps true to the genre by writing interesting and heart felt stories and placing these into traditionally layered folk songs which people can’t help but fall in love with.

The best thing about Seth Lakeman is that these songs come across particularly well when performed live. Their rawness and edginess are captured perfectly when heard live.

Seth Lakeman live Bristol

Seth Lakeman performing live at Trinity Church, Bristol

And what better place to perform such music than in a converted church. Trinity Church in Bristol’s recently rejuvenated Old Market was an immaculate place for Seth Lakeman and his band to take to the stage with songs from the newest recording, Tales From The Barrel House.

As the church began to fill with people, everyone started shuffling around eager for Seth Lakeman to make his appearance after a prolonged wait outside. After his superb support act, Sam Carter, who recently won the Horizon Award for Best Newcomer at the 2010 BBC Folk Awards, Seth Lakeman finally blessed the audience with his presence.

Recent singles More Than Money and Blacksmith’s Prayer were the first numbers to be played and instantly livened up the varied crowd. Having been originally recorded using tools and objects found in a barrel house in Morwellham Quay in Devon, the songs were rearranged to be performed live and nothing felt like it was missing. Lakeman apologised for bombarding his fans straight away with songs from the newest recording before he began to slip in a few older tracks such as John Lomas, Changes and Take No Rogues.

Within the first few songs, Lakeman began to show off his abilities by playing the ukulele, banjo, mandolin and fiddle all of which he played superbly well with enough passion to get his audience swaying, singing and generally ecstatic.

His live version of Kitty Jay was mind-blowing. Seth Lakeman held the audience in awe while he played his fiddle with vigour. The simplicity of the venue, the empty stage and intense surroundings made Kitty Jay the highlight of the night.

Lakeman also performed tracks Soloman Browne, the traditional west country folk song Setting of the Sun and some songs from the newest album, Hard Road and Artisan, among others from his previous recordings.

Seth Lakeman is currently touring the UK. For more details visit www.sethlakeman.co.uk.

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