5 Tracks You Need To Hear This Week (23/01/17)

First of 2017, we had a quiet 2016 but I’m determined to get this blog back up to standard and bringing you even more exciting music and features than ever before. So if you’re still with us or you’re checking us out again, thanks! Here’s to a great year for new music and here are the tracks you need to hear this week.





Grim Streaker – Guts

Kicking off 2017 with a sucker punch to your ears, Guts is a two minuets, twenty seconds of hard-hitting, pulse racing heaven. Dredged in fuzz and noise with punk roots and noise pop values, imagine a modern Joan Jett with a little more killer instinct, it’s got a hook that you can’t pull out.




Los Campesinos! – 5 Flucloxacillin

Taken from their up coming 6th studio album, Sick Scenes, the latest track to tease us is a lot more Los Campesinos! than the pop-punk vibes of ‘Broke Up In Amarante’, like an album track from No Blues it’s a softer feel, more chord based but still packed with a passion that only LC! can bring.  I find myself wondering how this band always write lyrics that lyrics that seem to sit with you at any time in your life as Gareth sings, ‘Depression is a young mans game’.





The Shimmer Band – Jackknife and the Death Call

The Bristol troops latest single is a hell of a way to start 2017, a masterclass in slick rock & roll it’s driving vocal and hypnotic riffs are something and new band would dream of crafting for an early sing while The Shimmer Band seem to have thrown it together seamlessly. Catch them supporting Cabbage this February.



Healyum – Three Months

Following up from last years ‘Fools Eyes’, the latest single from sibling membered Healyum is equally as heavenly in a way that draws you in like a siren only to break you at with the encapsulating voice of 16 year old singer-songwriter Jeaná Healy. Melodic and electrifying, it’ll be an exciting year for Healyum.



TIGERCUB – Control

It’s kinda like a sinking spiralling drone that runs over your body and controls you before spitting you out again as it hits the chorus, addictive and charismatic, I can’t take it off repeat. The Brighton alt-pop trio’s latest sing is out next month and you can catch them in the U.K and Europe January and February.




5 Releases We’re Looking Forward to in 2017

Author: Jake McGloin

Welcome to 2017! So far no major celebrity deaths, political election ripping apart the country, just the continued sense of anguish and terror for the future within us all, right? Well at least we’ll have something to look forward to with a wealth of talent announcing new albums and EPs for this year. Here’s a look at five of this years upcoming release that we can’t wait for.




Scheduled for March 17th, Beauty and Sadness will be the third albums from Manchester’s princes of jangley surf sadness. Following up from 2015’s ‘II’, we’re expecting the same dreamy, wavy pop tunes perhaps with a hint of extra melancholy. Never a band to disappoint, Horsebeach’s next album is set to be as stunning, if their recent live shows are anything to go by.



February 3rd will see the debut of Norwegian fuzz maestros Beachheads. Built on a love of fuzzy guitars and strong melody, two former members of ‘Kvelertak’ formed the basics of Beachheads, now in full form, the bands sound must be everything they dreamed of, packed with hard-hitting drums and awesome riffs their debut promises to be an album full of twists, turns and stunning tunes.


Amber Run

“For A Moment, I Was Lost” will be the sophomore album from Amber Run. The Nottingham band don’t see album number two as a departure from their other work, more an evolution and so far they’re evolving quite nicely with tracks Haze and Stranger evoking feelings of a harder time in life though beautiful melody and spine tingling almost ambient noise at times. The album is set to be released February 10th with their tour starting in Norwich on the 8th.



Los Campesinos

My love for Los Campesinos is no big secret, for me they’ve been one of the most consistently underrated bands in the U.K for the past 10 years, so with album number six, ‘Sick Scenes’, on the way I couldn’t leave them off this list. So far the only taster we’ve had over the past few months is some pretty sweet art work and the first single ‘Broke Up in Amarante’. It’s a great track that seems to encapsulate every single part of the Cardiff based bands career so far but also feels like a departure from anything they’ve done before, with a little less melancholy and a smidgen of added pop punk. Out February the 24th it’s sure to be interesting experience.




With out a doubt one of Hulls best bands and a band we said a couple of years back would be one of their finest show cases as, now, city of culture, LIFE have just recorded debut album from what we hear and it’ll hopefully be dropping at some point this year. Indie-Punk with shouty vocals and fast pace guitars is always a great combo so this album is guaranteed to be one of the years best debuts.

Meadowlark -Live Review (30/09/16)

Charlotte Smith headed down to Manchesters Fallow Cafe to experience the stunningly beautiful Meadowlark encapsulate an audience with their heavenly sound. With support from O>L>A. 


Photograph: George Heaton


Author: Charlotte Smith


Salford to Fallowfield – it’s not an easy journey to make on a Friday night at rush hour but alas I arrive at Fallow Café just in time to see the second support act take to the stage before headliners Meadowlark.

One Little Atlas, possibly better known as O>L>A are a band I’m familiar with already after seeing them support a local band sometime last year so I knew what to expect when they stepped into the taped off section of the room I’d then identified as the stage. The duo, who are based in Manchester, are comfortable on stage, they give off a vibe that makes you feel like you’re stood in one of their bedrooms watching them jam. They are typically northern and interact well with crowd firstly asking who’s here to see the main act. A few muted cheers creep out of the crowd to which O>L>A respond with an accusational “fucking hell come on you aren’t all here to see us!” The crowd livens up as they wade into both old and new material, which leave the growing audience transfixed by the uplifting experimental percussion and vocals worthy of a church procession. The band finish their support slot with a huge ballad which is received well by the dispersing crowd (probably rushing off to get to the bar or toilet first), it climaxes and a huge thankful sigh is expressed. A swig of cheap wine later, O>L>A leave the stage and enter a crowd of old fans and definitely a few new ones.


Fallow Gig -1.jpg
Photograph: George Heaton

I manage to wiggle my way towards the back of the attic space at Fallow Café and into the smoking area to reconvene with the photographer for this piece and quickly find myself rushing back inside in order to get a good spot for the headliners. There’s a definite buzz in the air, one that I didn’t expect as I’ll be honest, I’d never heard of Meadowlark until a few weeks ago when I was assigned the gig. I googled their name and two top results appeared; the band (thank god) and the bird. I had it in my mind that Meadowlark were sweet and tranquil, much like the bird suggested. I listened to a few of their tracks and it certainly felt that way. Their live shows, on the other hand, are far from tranquil.

The band open with recent release ‘Headlights’ and the electronic drum kit claims the tiny space around it. Kate McGill’s vocals are beautiful. They are innocent but full of emotion. Daniel Broadley is the quite opposite, he is animated and full of energy and the contrast works so incredibly well that you could almost forget where you are through pure captivation of what is happening on stage.


Fallow Gig -2.jpg
Photograph: George Heaton

The band don’t say much, not until after their third track when McGill asks how the crowd are doing after noting their quietness. The crowd recognise this quietness but each member of that audience knows that this is not through lack of enthusiasm, more like complete awe. The fifth track of the set invites Broadley to address the crowd. He tells the story of ‘Quicksand’ and how the song was inspired by a Humans of New York post he had seen on Facebook. The words of the track emanate the stranger’s story of working in the Pakistani brick kilns and you can see the passion Broadley feels for the track through his facial expressions during the performance.

The next 10 minutes are filled with more upbeat tracks with the band playing ‘Sunlight’ and ‘Satellite’, both of which receive a big “WOO” from an overly manly man somewhere behind me. An acoustic version of ‘Postcards’ follows of which McGill claims as her favourite track off the forthcoming album and as an ode to an ex-lover. The crowd are deathly silent during this performance and as interesting as Broadley is to watch, his talent for playing a range of instruments and dancing whilst doing so, it is extremely difficult to focus on anything else other than McGill. The audience is completely lost in her voice.

The roller coaster set is brought to a close with an acoustic version of ‘Fly’ much to the crowd’s approval. Everyone seems to know this one and the band invite them to sing along to the chorus. The room is filled with varying tones all singing the hook over and over again. Complete elation can be seen on both of McGill and Broadley’s faces as a number of balloons aptly appear over the crowd. It’s super cheesy and I can’t work out whether it was done by the band or a fan but either way, it’s just enough cheese to be acceptable. “One more time Manchester” remarks McGill as the song and evening draws to a close. The crowd lap this up and the last chorus is louder than before and a huge round of applause begins to precede over the singing. By the looks of the crowd, Meadowlark killed it tonight in this tiny venue in the depths of Manchester’s studentville. They finish with a thank you, an invitation to buy merch and promising “we’ll see you again very soon”.

5 Albums That Shaped Us – Xylaroo

London based sisters Xylaroo talk us through the albums that shaped their emotional folk pop sound and themselves. Compare with their track ‘Sunshine’ (Below) and hear how the ages have devloped who Xylaroo are.


1.The Execution of All things – ­ Rilo Kiley

Rilo Kiley is a band we both grew up with. They continue to be a staple in both of our musical diets and though everyone of their albums has certainly shaped us, “The Execution of All Things” is, in our minds, the best of a fine bunch. It’s one of their earliest albums and like so many other bands in their infancy they suggest in it a willingness to be peculiar and to experiment, to be raw and to be intimate. One thing that draws us so closely towards Rilo Kiley is their lyrics. They are dark yet hopeful, always thoughtful and tinged with sadness. They taste bitter sweet and yet accompany in such stark contrast simple, joyous, blissful and even cheerful melodies. ‘A Better Son/Daughter’, which both of us agree to be one of the most hopeful and uplifting songs that we know, is pretty much an anthem to us. It is, in our opinion, a must listen to; especially when you’re having one of those particularly bad days for no good reason at all. Actually, Rilo Kiley is one of the reasons I (Holly) started writing music. I wanted to write songs and to tell stories that resembled the weaving narratives and shifting moods and subject matters of this album. It moves so effortlessly amongst the personal, even mundane observations of the daily grind and yet also rises above it towards the profound and the philosophical.

2.The Con – ­ Tegan & Sara

Although we don’t listen to Tegan & Sarah as much now ‘The Con’ was definitely an album that I (Coco) remember listening to as a teenager on repeat and it certainly influenced our early sound. Being sisters and singing such synchronized harmonies Tegan & Sara inspired us to incorporate more harmonies into our own music, as initially I (Coco) was a little hesitant and shy about singing. It did not come as naturally to me as it seemed to do for my sister. Listening to their sound inspired us to make the most of the similarities of our voices. I think what was really cool about Tegan and Sara and what I love about this album is their piercing and I would say androgynous vocals and also their angsty lyrics. It was cool to hear female singers who were so distinct and different to other female artists I was listening to at the time and that I could relate to. Tegan & Sara was one of the first big concerts I went to, actually on their U.K tour of The Con in 2008, and I remember thinking to myself after the show ­ wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to do that.

3.Pastel Blues – Nina Simone

There is no disputing that Nina Simone is one of the greatest musicians of all time. Everything about her ­ her voice, the way she played the keys, her lyricism and the way she interpreted covers was beautiful. Easily, I (Holly) could have picked any of her albums but decided to stick with Pastel Blues, as it includes some of my favorites and probably her most iconic renditions; “Strange fruit”, “Sinnerman” & “Nobody knows you when you’re down and out”. What I love most about this album and all of her music is her soulfulness ­ you can feel the passion pouring out of her. Her songs have a sense of grandeur about them; she commands your attention and guides you through her songs with a firm and almost tidal urgency. Musicians like her don’t exist anymore, at least not in our generation, she exudes an emotional honesty and intensity which seems to have been lost in this time. ‘Strange Fruit’ is by far the most intense, an amazing song in it’s own right. I’ve never been drawn to Billie Holiday’s version as much. Nina’s is so much darker, so much more understated and so soaked in injustice and pain and anger. If you haven’t already listened to it you should…it’ll send shivers down your spine.

4. ­ Elliot Smith – Either/Or

Between the Bars is definitely one of my (Coco) favorite songs ever and to be honest one of my go to songs when I’m drowning my sorrows; which is probably true in terms of my relationship with Elliott Smith’s music in general and for that I am extremely grateful. What I love about this album and Elliot’s music is the understated unapologetic raw production of it. What I really respect about Elliot Smith is his music, at least to me, doesn’t feel like entertainment or a performance but an outpouring and even sometimes a rambling therapy. His music is sincere and humble and seemed like it was for him more than it was for anyone else’s sake.

5.Tracy Chapman – ­ Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman is an another artist that we grew up with as her debut album was a routine pick from our parents CD collection. I (Holly) remember listening to the songs on that album over and over again. I loved every one of them and still do today. Tracy Chapman is the kind of musician that is not afraid to be serious and political or to tackle controversial and somber subject matter. She tells human stories with an unromantic realism delving hard into domestic violence in “Behind the wall” or the racial tensions and segregation that still pervades the “Backstreets of America.” In this album she shows how she is not afraid to make her audience feel uncomfortable or to make them think. I reckon her music influenced the subject matter of our songs quite a bit, especially her serious tone. However, despite this seriousness her music is also uplifting and empowering, it is earthy, humble and raw. There is a whole lot of hope and love in songs such as “Talkin bout a revolution” or “Baby can I hold you Tonight.” Her voice is also incredibly distinct and somewhat androgynous. The uniqueness of her voice makes a Tracy Chapman song instantly recognisable. Like her voice, this album is certainly one of a kind, a diamond in the rough.