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Tilapia School EP artwork

Tilapia School EP artwork

Disorder Recordings is set to release the new EP from London based band Tilapia today, 7 April, entitled School.

Disorder Recordings rises from the promoters behind the popular Old Blue Last club night. Tilapia produce Weezer-esque power pop and sandpaper-scuffed indie a la The Cribs.

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The Twilight Sad To Play At This Year’s T In The Park

Scottish trio The Twilight Sad have confirmed they will be playing at this year’s T In The Park festival on Sunday 13 July. The news follows the announcement that the band will be reissuing their exhilarating debut album Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters for Record Store Day on Saturday 19 April through FatCat Records.

Tickets are now on sale and can be bought here.

The deluxe double vinyl edition of Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters contains the remastered debut in full, unseen artwork and never-before-heard tracks from the original recordings that provided the emotional building blocks of what would prove to be a phenomenal debut. The vinyl, limited to 500 copies in the UK, will be available from participating independent record shops on Record Store Day. Stream Untitled #4 from the album on Soundcloud now.

You can catch The Twilight Sad live on the following dates:
Tue 29th Apr @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds*
Wed 30th Apr @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London*
Thu 1st May @ Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London*
Fri 2nd May @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester*
Sat 3rd May @ Exchange, Bristol*
Fri 30th May @ Primavera Sound, Barcelona
Sun 13th July @ T In The Park, Kinross-shire
*Playing Fourteen Autumns & Fifteen Winters in full – tickets here.

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FatCat has recently revealed Tongues, the first glimpse of Paws’ second album, Youth Culture Forever, which saw the band decamp to a studio in the woods just outside New York to hone and expand on the sound that saw their debut Cokefloat! acclaimed by the likes of Pitchfork, BBC music and nominated for the Scottish Album of the Year Awards.

Tongues, premiering now on Pitchfork, combines the elements of Cokefloat! that made it such a thrilling debut; an expert use of dynamics, an anthemic chorus and painfully honest lyrics while incorporating an increased use of texture and expanded instrumentation. Piano and Glockenspiel appear at points, adding richness and atmosphere while hinting at the fuller production values that are found throughout the album.

Recording at Adam Pierce’s (Mice Parade/Swirlies) studio in the woods outside of New York City, Paws produced the album themselves in an attempt to strive for the sound that they had always imagined for the band. As Phillip Taylor from the band said: “It feels like everybody considers our debut LP to be ‘lo-fi’ which really bothered us as we felt it was the complete opposite by comparison to our early releases”. He states that he wanted Youth Culture Forever to be “bigger and louder, softer and quieter” and to “present the potential of our dynamic range more accurately than the first album”.

Of the album’s title Taylor explained that it came to the band when he and Josh Swinney, Paws’ drummer were watching an episode of the cartoon, Adventure Time: “One of the main characters screams “Youth Culture Forever!” jubilantly in an act of defiance towards an older character who was telling him that his new-fangled youthful ways of thinking and acting were silly and naïve. We just thought that it was a really great message. Life is forever changing and the problems we face as human beings are forever changing. The youth will always hold the potential to make change.”

Expanding on the theme, Taylor stated that: “Youth culture is forever changing but always retaining the same unmeasurable energy generation after generation. I want that energy to stay with me until I’m an old man, if I get that far.” His chances of doing so appeared slim at one point during the making of the album thanks to a terrifying run-in with a bear that had come out of the woods but the band survived to make a thrilling album that captures that youthful energy and exuberance, distilling it into a coherent album that cements Paws’ standing as a vital young band.

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The Machine Room Release New Single, Chances/Your Head On The Floor Next Door

Scottish skygazers The Machine Room are set to release their new single Chances/Your Head On The Floor Next Door via Disorder Recordings on March 3, followed by the Sweden EP two weeks later on March 17.

The Machine Room

The Machine Room

New label Disorder Recordings is set to release new material from The Machine Room next month. Disorder Recordings rises from the promoters behind the popular Old Blue Last club night. The Machine Room packed out many venues throughout 2013 including The Shacklewell Arms, Birthdays and The Bull & Gate as well as appearing at festivals such as T In The Park. It’s 2014 and they’re back ready to release new material that was only previously heard at their enthralling live shows.

Chances is the second single to be released from their forthcoming EP  after last year’s single, Sweden, was released via Fierce Panda/Label Fandango. Sweden attracted a whole load of positive press including being made Track Of The Week by The 405, described as “…melodic finesse with a knack for a sky-scraping chorus”. Chances is backed up by Your Head On The Floor Next Door, a hypnotic rhythm filled tune that packs a punch, sure to fill dance floors across the country upon its release. Released alongside will be a re-mix of Chances by Telfort.

The Machine Room  from Edinburgh consist of songwriter and multi-instrumentalist John Bryden backed up by Adie Emanuel (drums), Cecilia Stamp (synths, keys, guitar, backing vocals), Ryan Marinello (guitar, backing vocals) and Scott Hitchings (bass), exist in their own swirling world of heavyweight rhythms and featherweight melodies. Chances will be released on March 3 2014 and picks up where the mildly electro-fied dreamers left off with Sweden last year. It’s catchy, dreamy guitars swoon between haunting vocals and complex beats making this new offering every bit as epic and enthralling as their previous release.

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The Hosts – Softly, Softly Album Review

The Hosts are from Sheffield. They are five smartly-attired gentlemen from the North and they have been smoldering away in the musical margins, waiting in their waistcoats for their moment to shine. Signing to Fierce Panda Records, they announce the release of their debut album Softly, Softly on CD and digitally on Monday 10 February 2014, with their single September Song following a week later. It is one of two tracks on the album recorded by local compatriot, Richard Hawley.

The Hosts consist of Tom Hogg (vocals, guitar), Jim Fisher (keyboards), Jamie Shipley (guitar), David Glover (bass) and Adam Crofts (drums).

Earlier in 2013, the quintet tickled the underbelly of the mainstream beast with September Song (a self release) and Give Your Love To Her (on Label Fandango), two raffish slabs of retro alternative pop which represented the missing link between Roy Orbison and Richard Hawley and which waltzed all over BBC 6 Music and Radio 2.

September Song – itself reissued as a Fierce Panda single on 17 February – and Give Your Love To Her appear on Softly, Softly, alongside another eight slabs of melody-powered melancholy. Fittingly, a couple of these songs – tracks one and two – were actually produced by local compatriot Hawley while another of them is a version of The Big O’s In Dreams.

In The Hosts’ world no chorus can be big enough. No sentiment can be bitter sweet enough. No emotion can be a deep enough shade of blue. All of which befits a band whose wall-of-soundscape has been known to take in Buddy Holly, Phil Spector, The Velvet Underground, The Beach Boys and Jonathan Fire*Eater.

Tellingly, Softly, Softly is released on the week of Valentine’s Day, for as the band themselves say: “With its euphoric highs and sentimental lows Softly, Softly paints a picture of modern romance in vivid Techno-colour. It is a journey that mirrors the band’s own highs and lows and one which finds them waiting, now ready to catch their monkey.”

The Hosts make quite the perfect live guests too: they’ve toured with Paul Weller, The Walkmen and Cold War Kids and played their broken hearts out with Mr Hawley, Cherry Ghost and other such sombre cats. Because out of that darkness and out of those shadows comes light and so it is that The Hosts are preparing for the launch of Softly, Softly.

The Hosts

Sheffield’s retro pop band, The Hosts

Track one Would You Be Blue allows this record to snap straight into action. The song resembles a romantic Christmas number with its dramatic melodies and passionate lyrics, “When I said I’d be true/When I said only you/Why on Earth would you be blue?” It’s a retro pop song full of dramatic beats, chiming bells and rhythms you can click your fingers to which, when added together, creates an atmospheric 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll feel.

September Song feels like a Green Day song when it starts (that’s if Green Day were an alternative retro pop band). The vocals are very Billie Joe Armstrong sounding and rightly so, seeing as Billie Joe and Norah Jones released a tribute album to the Everly Brothers last November.

The One is a very 1950s Rock ‘n’ Roll inspired track with clear influences from Roy Orbison being heard in this track. The verse, “Remember all the suitors in your dreams/It’s funny how they all looked just like me/You were holding out for something that can’t be/Do you remember?/How you danced away that starry, starry night/Hoping for those feelings you can’t fight/I told you in the end you would be mine/Do you remember?” is very sweetly written and sung. It tugs at the heart and allows you to go a little bit teary eyed. The chorus then helps to emphasise the love that inspired this song even more, “I’ll be the one who will know you/The one who will hold you/The one you will run to/In the night/I’ll be the one who will love you/This time I will show you/The one who will make you remember”. Add these gooey lyrics to the swayable, finger clicking melodies and you have the perfect pop love song.

The Hosts Softly, Softly

The Hosts Softly, Softly album artwork

In Dreams starts with deeper vocals and the simple strum of a guitar before those 50s inspired rhythms set in. You can’t help but enjoy The Hosts’ music – it’s catchy, loving, affectionate, fun, emotional and tuneful. The Hosts won’t fail to get your feet moving, your head bobbing and your body swaying in time to their delightful melodies. In Dreams instantly sounds vintage – it’s a classic, love-me-do pop song.

With You is quite a sad number on Softly, Softly compared to the other tracks which, although some may be sad in terms of subject, generally have happy or uplifting sounding melodies. With You is a lot darker and more sinister with the lyrics, “As I lay here in fields of snow I’ll wait my turn when the whistle blows/I’ll climb to the stars/But I’m cold/I’m so cold/These tears travel dry as my mind flashes by/When I sit at home one winters night/And see the kids and watch them fight/Those moments pass so slow/With you/With you…” illustrating the love loss and heartache felt. It’s a really deep song that won’t fail to get your eyes welling up with tears.

The Hosts produce brilliant, vintage pop which is refreshing to hear. There’s none of the cheesy boy band rubbish – they are taking pop back to how it used to be known; The Monkees, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison. They are taking pop back to something to be proud of, not embarrassed by. Softly, Softly is an explosion of drama, emotion, swinging pop melodies and wonderfully silky vocals. It’s an album to get in 2014.

Softly, Softly will be released on February 10 through Fierce Panda Records.

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Felt Tip Release Second Single, Milk & Honey

Felt Tip are set to release their second single Milk & Honey on 24 February via Fierce Panda/Giant Haystacks.

Felt Tip are a band who have spent the past six months foregoing the perilous delights of the facebook and twitter world and therefore floating around the indie ether in a fug of mystery. What we know is that Felt Tip has three members and that English bassist and drummer duo James Tyler and Tom Rapanakis met volatile French guitarist Anton Trampon in London after he left an ad in their studio listing Television, Ennio Morricone and “everything at DFA Records” as influences.

The London indie/new wave popsters follow up their debut single Love or Pity with 6Music-infiltrating second outing, Milk & Honey.

Milk & Honey features vocals that resemble those of Brandon Flowers, making this a song that Killers’ fans may well like. While Love Or Pity showcased vocals similar to Julian Casablanca meeting Jeff Buckley, Milk & Honey has another sound altogether – it’s slightly darker and more sincere. In fact, it almost feels like an insult to call this band indie – their style is much more advanced than this.

Milk & Honey will be released on 24 February via Fierce Panda/Giant Haystacks.

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Department M Release Live Video Of Forthcoming Single, Miscellany

Department M are to closely follow up their self-titled album with single, Miscellany, out digitally via Fierce Panda on January 20. Led by ex-Grammatics main man Owen Brinley, the band have posted a lovingly-filmed live video version of the song.

Miscellany begins with classical compositions introducing a completely sombre side to the band but this soon changes. The odd drum beat kicks in against the melodic vocals – at first it sounds like nothing on this song compliments each other but eventually it all sinks in together building a fantastic song for releasing as a single. It’s a quirky song. It’s completely chaotic but not unlikeable. Brinley’s vocals during the chorus are particularly clever – he uses his voice’s capacity as much as he can to create another layer to this song.

Department M play a special free entry launch party this Friday 10 January, headlining The Old Blue Last in Shoreditch (stage time 10.30pm). They’re also playing Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on 24 January. Visit their website for more details.

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