Monthly Archives: July 2012

Cloud Nothings Release Live Album

Cloud Nothings

Album artwork for Live at the Grog Shop

Cloud Nothings release their limited edition live album this week titled Live at the Grog Shop. Having recently performed at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago earlier this month, the live performance of Cut You from the set is available to watch online.


Live at the Grog Shop released 30 July will be limited to 500 copies and available on clear vinyl through Wichita Recordings. It is a 9 track record containing songs from the current album, Attack On Memory. The album was recorded at Cleveland’s Grog Shop on 5 April hence the name.

Cloud Nothings will be returning to the UK after their European festival circuit. You can catch them on the below dates:


19th: SKIPTON, Beacons Festival


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Introducing Marika Hackman

New folk artist Marika Hackman is due to release her double A-side single on September 3 through Transgressive Records’ imprint ParadYse. The single will be available as a digital download and on limited 7″.

With breathtaking lyrics and melodic peaceful vocals, she has already been claimed by Zane Lowe as his ‘next hype’ and has tours in place with Benjamin Francis Leftwich. Marika Hackman is the folk scene’s next big thing.

Marika Hackman

New folk artist Marika Hackman

The double A-side will consist of You Come Down and Mountain Spines. You Come Down is the epitome of folk music. With many references to nature, Marika captures the true essence of what folk music is about. Her angelic vocals mixed with the dramatic music makes the perfect combination and has a strong reminiscent tone. You will feel like you’re in a fairy land when you’ve listened to it. There is nothing to fault.

Mountain Spines is different in every respect to You Come Down which is refreshing. With less dramatic music and more harmonies and distinct levels to it, Mountain Spines will make you shiver as her angelic yet effortless voice runs through your ears. Both these songs show Marika’s potential as a successful yet under-appreciated folk artist. Under-appreciated in a good way. She will remain that small secret which is what makes her so great. This isn’t for the mainstream music industry.

Lyrically, Marika Hackman is complicated. Her lyrics will have you bemusing for hours just trying to figure out the story to the song. She doesn’t make anything easy for the listener which is what makes her so intriguing and deep. This is true folk music, something which is hard to come by now.

Listen to You Come Down and Mountain Spines.

Marika Hackman will be playing a launch show on Tuesday September 4 at London Servant Jazz Quarters. The tour dates where Marika will be supporting Benjamin Francis Leftwich are below:


1st: BRIGHTON, Concorde 2

2nd: BOURNEMOUTH, Old Fire Station

3rd: EXETER, The Phoenix

4th: FALMOUTH, Princess Pavillion

5th: SWANSEA, Sin City

6th: BRISTOL, O2 Academy

8th: OXFORD, Town Hall

9th: NEWCASTLE, Northumbria University

10th: EDINBURGH, Pleasance Theatre

11th: ABERDEEN, Lemon Tree

12th: INVERNESS, Ironworks

13th: GLASGOW, Oran Mor

15th: LEEDS, City Varieties

16th: SHEFFIELD, Plug

17th: BIRMINGHAM, Irish Centre

18th: CAMBRIDGE, Junction

19th: NORWICH, Waterfront

20th: NOTTINGHAM, Rescue Rooms

22nd: CARLISLE, Brickyard

23rd: LIVERPOOL, University (Stanley Theatre)



26th: STOKE, Sugarmill

27th: YORK, Duchess

29th: WREXHAM, Central Station

31st: GALWAY, Roisin Dubh (upstairs)


1st: CORK, Cyprus Avenue

2nd: BELFAST, Oh Yeah Music Centre/Limelight (two venues)

3rd: DUBLIN, Whelan’s

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Two Wounded Birds Announce First Headline UK Tour

Two Wounded Birds released the details of their first headline UK tour last week. With the release of their long-awaited debut album under their belts, Two Wounded Birds are now approaching the release of their next single To Be Young on August 5 alongside their October tour.


Two Wounded Birds

Two Wounded Birds

To Be Young is a blend of perfect pop 80s style vocals mixed with a diner ballad sound. It’s gentle, it’s thoughtful and just an all round good pop song (don’t worry not pop in the sense of Lady GaGa or Rihanna though). Two Wounded Birds have a sound that sounds vintage and reminiscent, something which is lacking in the music industry.

The band have also put together a promotional video for their UK tour. You can watch it below:

All their UK tour dates are below:




1st: PORTSMOUTH Southsea Festival


3RD: BRIGHTON Green Door

4th: MANCHESTER Night & Day

5th: DARLINGTON Inside Out (free)

7th: EDINBURGH Sneaky Pete’s

8th GLASGOW Captain’s Rest

10th: YORK Stereo

11th: NOTTINGHAM Rescue Rooms

12th: LONDON Lexington

Ticket are on sale now and available from and for Scotland.

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Errors Announce Mini-Album Planned For October

Three-piece Glaswegian band Errors have announced they will release a 8-track mini-album on Rock Action Records in October. They have also announced UK tour dates including a show at Heaven in London.


Glaswegian three-piece, Errors

The new album titled New Relics follows on from their critically acclaimed Have Some Faith In Magic released earlier this year. New Relics was recorded this Spring in their Glasgow studio and will be released on CD, 12″, digital download and on a limited VHS version. There will only be 200 copies of the VHS version available which will see them collaborating with Rachel Maclean who directed their Pleasure Palaces video. They can also be seen collaborating with other visual artists to provide a unique visual representation of their music.

To get the VHS version, you will have to visit selected stores or visit the band’s own website (

In order to give their fans a little taste of what’s to come, Errors have placed a sample track titled Relics on their soundcloud. It features guest vocals from Bek Oliva of Edinburgh based band, Magic Eye.

Listen to Relics here.

The October tour dates for Errors are below:

10th – Manchester – Soup Kitchen (TICKETS)
11th – Norwich – Sound & Vision Festival
12th – Newcastle – Hoults Yard (TICKETS)
13th – Edinburgh – Electric Circus (TICKETS)
17th – Nottingham – Bodega (TICKETS)
18th – London – Heaven (TICKETS)
19th – Bristol – The Cooler (TICKETS)
20th – Cardiff – SWN Festival

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Gaggle Invade Selfridges

Gaggle have finally released their long-awaited debut album From The Mouth Of The Cave on Transgressive Records and to coincide with the release they decided to do something else wacky.


21-strong female choir, Gaggle

The 21-piece female choir played their set at Rough Trade East and also staged what they called their ‘ninja gigs’ around London ranging from surprising commuters in St Pancras to scaring dogs in Westminster. Their most recent stunt was raising the eyebrows of the shoppers in Selfridges.

The short but sweet Youtube clip shows Gaggle at their best causing trouble and mischief while continuously challenging gender stereotypes. Filmed by Southampton-based film maker Jay Wennington, the video shows Gaggle entering Selfridges in rather odd make-up singing their world class song, Army of Birds.

Watch the video below:

Gaggle’s debut album From The Mouth Of The Cave is out now.

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The Calling Card – Everything You’re Not

Newport based band The Calling Card have recently released their debut album, Everything You’re Not. Defining themselves as not being part of a current trend, The Calling Card and their music can certainly be classed as original. With enough energy and attitude that could match bands such as You Me At Six, fellow Welsh band The Blackout and many others, they are definitely making an impression.

Having already supported the likes of Ian Watkins, Zebrahead, Attack! Attack! and Alkaline Trio since forming in 2009, they certainly have something to be proud of.

The Calling Card

The Calling Card Everything You’re Not album artwork

Everything You’re Not combines what this band is all about. It has the perfect blend of punchy rock guitar riffs and some slower more gentle, acoustic numbers which will have something for everyone’s taste. If any comparisons can be made, You Me At Six would spring to mind but even this link is weak. Some songs resemble YMAS’ sound when they first started out such as Don’t Let It Go and Everyone Gets One. This is a sound which will never get old.

The Calling Card balance this heavily rock influenced album with a few acoustic numbers such as Lost @ Sea and Why So Serious. Lost @ Sea is an emotional acoustic song followed by, perhaps the heaviest track on the album, Keep The Change. Why So Serious is a tribute to Heath Ledger despite you doubting if it was in fact a quote from the film. Lead singer and songwriter, Benj Squibbs said: “This is the earliest track written and was written just after Heath Ledger had died.  He was someone that seemed to be on the rise in Hollywood and then tragically was cut short. He really was this generations River Pheonix. I think it’s a great tribute to him anyways.”

The Welsh band praise themselves on being different. Lyrically, they say they do not focus on the normal subjects such as girls, love and parties. They say they “…would prefer to quote Friedrich Nietzsche or refer to The West Memphis Three in their tunes.” This can be seen to be true for tracks likes Everyone Gets One which focuses on depression and Weight of the World which is about the lack of confidence people have in the voting system and politicians. Lost @ Sea also has a hard subject matter as it tells the story of someone the lead singer knew who drowned at 13 years old.

By far though, Cross My Heart is the most interesting song on the album. With an Elvis Costella feel to it, Benj Squibbs describes the song as having “more of an angry lyric rather than a depressed sad state”. It has a pop feel to it but sounds a little vintage too. The melodies and rhythm in this song just sound perfect.

The Calling Card sure have produced an original and intriguing album full of ups and downs. There isn’t a track to dislike. Each song has something to offer. The Calling Card don’t claim to be lyrical geniuses and sometimes simple is just what you need.

The Calling Card are Benj Squibbs (vocals/songwriter), Simon Strickland (guitar), Stephen Parry (guitar), Kyle Jones (bass) and Lewys Hobden (drums). Visit their facebook page for more information.

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