Monday, 25 March 2013

EP REVIEW: MT. WOLF - HYPOLIGHT

London four-piece Mt Wolf will be no stranger to those who frequent the music blogging world on a consistent basis, with their EP from last year 'Life Size Ghosts' featuring favourably on many sites across the board. Our friends over at Faded Glamour said that "the band have recently been compared to the now Mercury Music Prize winning Alt-J - (and) it's perfectly conceivable that Mt. Wolf will reach such equally great heights.

High praise and expectation then for a band who only came together at the start of 2012, which is only heightened when names such as James Blake, Sigur Ros, and The XX are thrown in by others as similar acts. But upon listening to their new EP 'Hypolight' it's actually quite easy to see where all the hype and fuss is justifiably from. Describing themselves as 'dream folk' on their facebook, it's instantly clear that the rather ambiguous new fangled genre is probably about right for them. Beginning with the title track 'Hypolight' we have the floaty acoustic guitars intertwined with electronic synths, before the star of the show/ep/album/record steps up the mic in the form of vocalist Kate Sproule. With a voice that seemingly has a multitude of ranges, she controls everything almost effortlessly, which seemingly does put you in a dream like state, so its 'dream folk' then, obviously. 

'Veins' carries on in a similar style, the music sounding like it's being stretched like a time lapse video, with Sproule again leading things with her powerful vocals. This time around the music has bit more leadtime, with the Alt-J references becoming more apparent as the guitar/electronic combination is played out well, with that feeling of genres clashing against and then with each other hard to ignore. 

Lead single 'Shapeshift' is perhaps the most complete song on the record, featuring a glorious throbbing beat throughout over which Sproule again impresses with her great depth, with the delicate yet commanding vocals leaving a lasting impression. The accompanying video is also worth a look with the simple black and white shots and slow motion effects working to great effect. The EP closes with a cover of Usher's 'Climax', which is a more stripped backed approach, which only goes to further enhance the vocal delights of that lady again (Kate Sproule if you didn't know), who has such temperament with her voice it's quite astonishing. She can effect a range of feelings with only the slightest of changes, which you can hardly pick up on during the songs its all done so naturally and seamlessly. 

Hypolight is a strong, dominant record that suggests greater things are indeed ahead for this young four-piece from London. We will certainly watch and listen to their development with keen interest over the time to come.

Hypolight is available through Two Sisters Records on April 8th. Mt. Wolf // Pre-Order 'Hypolight' on iTunes

Monday, 18 March 2013

NEW MUSIC: BLOODY MAMMALS - MADAM

Bloody Mammals are a post hardcore 4 piece from London, who in May will release their debut mini-album 'Eventually Your House Will Burn Down' through 49s Vs Dolphins and Flatpack Recordings

Taken from said album is 'Madam', a frenetic two and a half minutes of controlled mayhem - you could think Comeback Kid, La Dispute and Touche Amore, but with a quintessentially British vibe emanating throughout.

It's refreshing to hear such aptitude for their craft from a band this side of the pond - it's fair to say we are expecting big things from the mini record when that drops later this year! 

Pre-order 'Eventually Your Horse Will Burn' through Bandcamp // Bloody Mammals
   
 

Monday, 11 March 2013

INTERVIEW: SUNSHINE

We recently reviewed the debut self titled album from our favourite Canadian band of 2013 - Sunshine. We thought it would be a great idea to catch up with the guys to discuss them, their album, and whatever else comes to mind.

Many thanks to Gillian Damborg, Trevor Risk, Tyler Quarles, Ian Urbanski, and Sean Tyson aka the Yamaha RX5 (just watch the video to understand that one), for giving us their time, thoughts, and a large sprinkling of laughs.

It is also a Music Liberation first, as we bring you their answers in the form of images and sound combined, a video interview no less! (It's only taken us the 6 years to get there...)

Questions: Sarah Rayner
Editor: Jon Sidwell
Filmed: March 2013 by Owen Ellis and Sunshine

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

ALBUM: FIDLAR - FIDLAR

Let’s get this out of the way first: Fidlar's name is an acronym for 'Fuck It Dog, Life's a Risk’. Make of that what you will, but it’s certainly a good indicator of the band’s eccentric fratboy approach to their craft. 

Chaotic self-titled debut 'FIDLAR' is one long ode to partying and over consumption. This unique brand of scrappy surf-punk noise makes them sound like the raucous younger siblings of The Vaccines or a very drunk Japandroids; but these guys aren’t nostalgic about the times they've had, they’re living them, right here, right now and you’re going to hear about it whether you want to or not.

I DRINK CHEAP BEER SO WHAT FUCK YOU” bellows the chorus of opening track and lead single ‘Cheap Beer’. ‘There’s nothing wrong living like this, all my friends are pieces of shit’ they declare on ‘Stoked and Broke’. Only two songs in and the band have already firmly nailed their colours to the mast of over indulgence and self destruction.

Whilst FIDLAR pull no punches in who they are and what they do, they’re representing a lifestyle that is nothing new. In fact the live fast die young attitude is a monstrous cliche that most discerning new bands try to avoid. Yet there is a certain gleeful stupidity to this LA foursome’s reckless abandon. They fly in the face of the bookish introspection of today’s indie rock. Each song is an unpretentious slice of shouty power punk that exists for the sake of existing. There’s no deeper meaning other than a hat-tip to the joys of excess.

FIDLAR’s debut is a simple and surprisingly catchy record that becomes more than the sum of its individual songs by unwittingly representing a sense of fun that has been all but weeded out of new guitar music today. And for that alone, this record is well worth a listen. 

It is out now through Mom and Pop Records // Fidlar

Monday, 4 March 2013

INTERVIEW: VOICES

Another of the acts we recently nominated for the Glastonbury Emerging Talent stage (alongside Esper Scout and Moats) were Voices. The melodic post-hardcore band from Hertfordshire were kind enough to answer some of our probing, and some of our not so probing, interview questions.

To view the full long-list of 120 acts that made it through to the next stage of the competition, as well as all the blogs that took part in the voting process, head over here.

Q1. Congratulations on getting through to the next stage of the Glastonbury Emerging Talent stage! What made you apply for this competition? How do you feel about making it through? 

"Even though we're not necessarily suited to the normal Glastonbury scene of bands we will hopefully be trying to bring something new and different to the table, it'll be interesting to find out the response to our tracks and therefore we're incredibly happy that we managed to get through to the long-list, its a great opportunity and a brilliant competition."

Q2. Where are you guys from? How did you meet? 

"We are from St. Albans, Hertfordshire, homes of bands such as Enter Shikari, Your Demise and Friendly Fires. We met through secondary school and decided to make a band, and from then on we passed through phases of death metal in which we wrote about the devil and the ascension of a demon from hell, to writing post-hardcore style music, which allowed us to wrote more heartfelt music. We have been together for five years now and despite changes in our line up we have carried on strong."

Q3. Describe your music in three words? 

"Dissonant, melodic, meaningful."

Q4. Who are your musical and non-musical influences? 

"Between us we're pretty heavily influenced by Every Time I Die, Bring Me The Horizon, Letlive, and La Dispute. There are also lots of electronica/atmospheric elements too! Non-musical influences are pretty broad; we like to think we have something to say in our music so in that sense we're interested in exploring certain elements of the world we live in...or think we live in. *init*"

Q5. What's on your agenda for 2013? 

"We've got a load of stuff on the horizon which we're very very excited about. We've got our second self-recorded album (Sleepers and Dreamers) on its way in Summer and with it a video! Plus we're currently sorting out merchandise orders... all pretty stressful, but well worth it! (All details on the facebook!)"

Q6. Any new bands/artists you recommend us checking out? 

"Really liking a band called Shields at the moment, you can find them on facebook, and Change Of Plan are our boys from back home. Also, if you haven't heard of them already I'd recommend checking out both CityLightThief and La Dispute. Neither are 'new' but neither are hugely well known."

Q7. If you could tour with any two artists, past or present, who would they be and why?

"At The Drive In and The Cat Empire! At The Drive In for the destructive action, and The Cat Empire for the trumpets! Although, to be fair, I doubt the latter would have us!"

Q8. What 3 things would you have on your perfect tour rider? 

1. Kale - A Superfood that Max and Osh are heavily addicted to 
2. Blender - To blend the Kale to a pulp 
3. Ginger & Fruits - To put in the Kale shake 

Q9. Aside from the world of music, what do you get up to?

"Well some of us are at university so that's obviously time consuming! We come from a background of skateboarding and gig-going so lots of that still happens. Osh and Rob are in a little acoustic outfit known as Sparrow Prince, and Laurie produces electronic music under the alias Clamblem. Max is also a professional hand model. Matty isn't."

Q10. How can we find out more about you? 

We're all over the regular social media sites - twitter, facebook, soundcloud, or you could come to a show, all of our dates can be found on our Facebook page! Or just shoot us an email: voicesuk@live.comvoicesuk@live.com

Many thanks to the guys in Voices for answering our questions! Best of luck to them in the next stage of the competition!