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Doldrums – Anomaly

Doldrums, AKA Airick Woodhead, is back with his brand new single Anomaly. After numerous EP releases on independent labels, eagerly devoured remixes for the likes of Peaking Lights, Grimes & Portishead and years developing his craft as a multi-talented musician trying his hand at DJing, producing and performing live, Anomaly precedes the release of 22 year old Woodhead’s debut album, Lesser Evil.

Lesser Evil comes out 25 February through Souterrain Transmissions in Europe (Arbutus in the US) and will be accompanied by a series of European release shows. The record was made between July 2011 & May 2012 through the cracked screen of a borrowed Macbook – a screen which was scanned and fittingly used as the album’s artwork.

Doldrums, Airick Woodhead

Toronto based band, Doldrums

Earlier Doldrums releases were constructed using solid samples of anything from 60s girl groups and Bollywood psychedelia to dial up modems and feedback. However, Lesser Evil is woven together from a more focused pallet of sounds; warped vocals through to analogue electronic gear.

Throughout all of it, the dance jams, the abused samples, the wildly swaying moods and tempos, Lesser Evil is sewn together by the distinctive tones in Woodhead’s voice, ranging from the tender femininity of Sunrise and Holographic Sandcastles, to full-blown, tripped out howling on She is the Wave. His voice can be mistaken on Anomaly for a female voice – just another original aspect to Woodhead’s music. It’s a more chilled out track compared to previous release, She is the Wave (which can be viewed below).

Doldrums is all about the use of electronic noises to make sophisticated,  modern and slightly unusual electro pop. It’s something you will either love or hate, there’s no in between here. Anomaly has a very 80s feel to it and the 80s were again something you either loved or hated. Anomaly, however reminiscent of the sounds in the 80s, does also feel very modern and is another step on from Egypt or Copper Girl. The great thing about Woodhead’s ability to make and produce music is that you can’t guess it’s the same person when you hear his range of tracks. Egypt sounds different from Jump On which again sounds entirely different from She is the Wave or brand new track, Anomaly. There’s no room to get bored.

Catch Doldrums live at the dates below:

20 February – London @ Corsica Studios (NME Awards Show)
21 February – Brighton @ Green Door Store
22 February – Paris @ Fireworks! Festival @ Point Ephémère
23 February – Amsterdam @ Nieuwe Anita

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Tall Poppies – All The Rave

Twins Susan and Catherine are the basis of Tall Poppies – a unique femme pop band with pitch perfect harmonies and an ear for memorable melodies.

Originating from Perth, Australia, the twins decided to grace England with their presence landing in London with a bass, a guitar and a broken PC. Having decided to leave Perth in fear that someone they know might see them perform, they flew to London to play gigs in the smokiest pubs, clubs and cafes. Finally, they scored a residency at a pub in Islington. To stop their set from becoming boring, they set themselves the challenge of writing a new song every week. Quite a hard challenge if you ask me.

After a while, Susan returned to Perth leaving Catherine alone in London. However, this didn’t stop the twins, who had been writing songs since they were nine, from writing together. Eventually, Catherine also flew back to Australia where the pair were reunited to find that their younger brother had become a drum extraordinaire. This led them to start jamming as a trio. Tall Poppies was officially formed.

Finally, the trio returned to London after recording their first album, Thursday. Now they are set to release their second album All The Rave and have been touring and recording in the UK, Germany and New York. Tall Poppies are now backed by German drummer  girl Milena and Irish violin maestro Dairmuid.

Tall Poppies

Australian twins, Susan and Catherine, of Tall Poppies

All The Rave is a great combination of easy pop tunes mixed with a few more unusual tracks. Title track, All The Rave, introduces the album with one of the twins singing “Love is just a big joke, honey, get yourself a new bloke” in the most soft and angelic vocals before the rest of the music kicks in, giving it a slightly folk feel. It’s like a funked up gypsy song.

No Reply, Anthony and George and Judy are some of the most intriguing tracks on this album. No Reply has a fantastic guitar riff right at the beginning which sets the song off to a perfect start. Upcoming single, Anthony, is a humorous song written about a gay man who one woman wishes would “swing the other way” so she could marry him. The twins sing some wonderful harmonies in this track which remain subtle and a real treat when you finally catch the ones you missed on the previous listen. The way they pronounce the words, “Anthony you are a dear friend to me/I would like to marry thee…” gives this song a satirical tone regarding the English language. This is what makes the song funny alongside the lyrics. It’s a well written, light-hearted track that will brighten your day, you just need to listen carefully.

George and Judy has a brilliant introductory bass riff before the guitar sweeps in gently to compliment it. George and Judy is probably one of the darker tracks on the record. Vocally, the twins sing slightly softer than in the other songs making it feel as if something seedy is taking place. It has a really catchy rhythm and melody which is bound to leave you humming it hours after you’ve heard it. It reminds me of The Police’s Roxanne in parts with its Latino influenced drum beat during the instrumental parts, especially at the beginning.

Tall Poppies sound like a band who have entered the future from the past. The vocals are pure yet powerful giving them that retro, natural and distinct sound. Some parts of the music feel psychedelic especially in George and Judy making this track sound as if it could easily fit into the 60s and 70s. This isn’t the only track that could easily slot into that era.

Tall Poppies seem to have a knack for blending a number of music genres making their songs more than interesting to listen to. There are influences from pop, folk and psychedelic rock just to name a few. All The Rave isn’t an album that instantly enters your top ten of all time but give it a few listens and you will be more than hooked.

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Wild Combination to Release ‘Pulses’ EP

The Indie/Electronic/Pop trio, Wild Combination, are set to release their nine track EP, Pulses. The Pulses EP is the debut full length release from the band and includes some favourite tracks from previous EP’s and five brand new tracks.

Wild Combinaton artwork, EP

Artwork for Pulses EP

Wild Combination stem from Essex and have been compared to bands like Two Door Cinema Club, Postal Service and Phoenix. If you like Two Door Cinema Club but are becoming a little tired of them, you’ll love Wild Combination. The video for their recent single Great Expectations can be watched below.

Wild Combination has received praise from Guardian journalist Paul Lester and BBC6 Music with plays from Steve Lamacq and Chris Hawkins. Their EP is being released through Pledge Music. Click here to find out more.

Releasing their EP through Pledge Music means they will be selling some exclusive things to their fans from guitar lessons with Dan, drum lessons with Terry or production lessons with Christian (who works at Abbey Road) to limited vinyl’s of the EP which come with a free download of the nine track EP. For more information, head to their Pledge Music page.

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Arc & Stones EP Release

Blues rock outfit Arc & Stones is set to release their debut EP in February 2013. Originating from Brooklyn, New York, Arc & Stones has been compared to bands like the Black Keys, Incubus and Kings of Leon so if you’re looking for something refreshing in the blues genre, Arc & Stones might be for you.

Arc & Stones

NY blues band, Arc & Stones

Arc & Stones is officially Dan Pellarin (lead vocals/rhythm guitar and keys) and Ben Cramer (lead guitar and vocals) but they do receive support from Eddy Bayes (bass and vocals) and Joe Doino (drums). With Pellarin and Cramer both only being in their early 20s, they are still eager to build a name for themselves on the NYC circuit as well as the international stage.

Their EP contains five tracks which are all totally different to one another. It is a perfect blend of blues, rock and ballads which is bound to please those of you who are into blues rock. Let Me Down has some extraordinarily passionate and emotional vocals while She’s Mine is probably the best track to perform live with its anthemic nature.

If you like the Black Keys, you’ll love Arc & Stones that’s the simplest way of describing this EP. The video for track one, Silence, is below and will give you an idea of what this band is about.

Arc & Stones debut EP will be released on February 12 2013.

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Among Brothers – I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe Single Release

Cardiff based chamber pop sextet Among Brothers have released their double A-side single I Am Certain/I Do Not Believe.

Among Brothers unleashed their debut EP Homes back in 2011 through their own label, Barely Regal Records, and have since gained more and more attention in the music scene especially from the likes of BBC Introducing. They followed their debut with single release Keep which was released through Kissability and released digitally through Young & Lost club.

Among Brothers

Chamber pop sextet, Among Brothers

I Am Certain was premiered online a couple of months ago on Soundcloud but the video for the track has just been unveiled and can be watched below. I Am Certain is a full bodied, punchy track with great sing-a-long melodic lyrics such as “Part the skin/touch the blade” and “Pursed your lips/kissed the wound/took the pain into your form”. It’s a track you can instantly fall in love with.

The titles to both songs were drawn from the novel ‘We’ by Zamyatin. With this in mind, the band have embarked upon a ‘concept single’ with a narrative theme running through the lyrics of both songs. Following the story of a boy falling in love with a cult member, the lyrics reveal his descent into her world in order to get closer to her.

‘I Am Certain’/‘I Do Not Believe’ was released physically on the 26 November 2012 through Too Pure Singles Club. The limited edition 7” vinyl will be available on the tour and can also be ordered from the following web sites:

Rough Trade

Jumbo Records

Piccadilly Records

See Among Brothers live on the following dates:

15th Dec London Assembly Hall, Islington (supporting Los Campesinos!)

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Mario Nardi – This Music is Organic EP

Sardinian born singer songwriter Mario Nardi has recently released his first EP which will leave you wanting to hear more.

Having been based in the UK since 2007, Mario Nardi is now signed to Gary Powell’s record label, 25 Hour Convenience Store. Originally a drummer, Mario decided to swap his drumsticks for a guitar and microphone which seems to have worked in his favour. Keeping a voice like his hidden is a sin.

Mario Nardi

Upcoming blues artist Mario Nardi

This Music is Organic is Mario Nardi’s first studio EP release. With husky vocals that sound like a blend of Kurt Cobain, Chad Kroeger and Brandon Boyd, Mario Nardi has produced five fantastic acoustic  blues tracks where every emotion can be felt through the notes he holds.

The Stranger Revenge is the best song on the EP. It’s a breath-taking song which will have you transfixed on the first listen. Nardi’s vocals are inspiring and refreshing. It’s great to hear a voice that has something original and unique in it. Although he can be easily compared to Cobain and Boyd, Nardi’s vocals still feel brand new. The song showcases Nardi’s vocals. It highlights his powerful voice as the most important instrument with only a faint guitar heard being played in the background. It takes a great singer to be able to pull off singing acoustically.

The Stranger Revenge is more folk than blues especially due to the storytelling nature of the lyrics. The last part of the track contains all the emotion with the best lyrics, “Should I quit you, baby? Should I lie or should I just keep waiting for it to come?” The whole song is very lyrical proving that Nardi isn’t just a good singer. His talent spreads much wider than just being a good vocalist.

Mario Nardi’s EP This Music is Organic is out now and can be downloaded through iTunes.

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The Wolfnotes – Upper Atmosphere

Back with a new strength, Kurran & the Wolfnotes are now known simply as The Wolfnotes and have announced the release of their brand new single, Upper Atmosphere.

Upper Atmosphere blends Beach Boys style harmonies with an uplifting melody making it one of their cheeriest releases yet. The single is taken from their forthcoming debut album. Upper Atmosphere is set for release on 7 January. Lucky for you, I have the soundcloud link for you to take a listen before you buy. Click here to hear the track.

The Wolfnotes

The Wolfnotes

The Wolfnotes have now also completed the work on their debut album which has been produced by Cam Blackwood (We Are Scientists, Viva Brother and CSS). The album was made available this month to those who had pledged on the band’s Pledge Music campaign. Full release details are to follow. To find out more about their Pledge Music campaign visit the Pledge Music website.

The band has also released a collection of session videos where you can see them perform the Beach Boys classic, I Get Around, with The Futureheads.

The Wolfnotes can be seen live at the following dates:

November 2012

28 Bristol Fleece & Firkin *
29 Birmingham Hare & Hounds *
30 Sheffield Leadmill *

December 2012

1 Kingston Cricketers
3 Leicester Soundhouse *
4 London Madame JoJo’s *
5 Manchester NQ Live *
6 Stirling Tolbooth *
7 Leeds The Wardrobe *

* Supporting Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly – solo acoustic tour

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