23 Apr 2018

[FESTIVAL PREVIEW] Southside Festival 2018

As you have probably seen on our blog and social media channels we have an active team based in Germany covering bands, gigs and festivals from the European mainland. One of our upcoming festivals has been amongst our favourites for a number of years now - if you're looking for a festival in Central Europe look no further!

Photo: Tobias Stoffels

Germany's Southside Festival transforms Neuhausen Ob Eck's former military air-base into a frenzy of 60.000 festival-goers from all over Europe. This year's event will see bands such as Arcade FireArctic MonkeysThe Kooks, Two Door Cinema Club, Biffy Clyro, Franz Ferdinand and many more perform alongside some of our German-speaking favourites such as Kraftklub, Wanda and Drangsal.

It is undoubtedly our favourite major festival in Germany! You can check our review from last year here: Southside REVIEW

Photo: Tobias Stoffels

This list contains all bands performing at this year's Southside Festival.

Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, Beginner, Biffy Clyro, Billy Talent, Broilers, Franz Ferdinand, James Bay, Justice, Kraftklub, London Grammar, Marteria, The Offspring, Two Door Cinema Club, Wanda, Adam Angst, Amy Shark, Anchors & Hearts, Angus & Julia Stone, Basement, Benjamin Clementine, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Bonaparte, Bonez Mc & Raf Camora, Booka Shade, Boysetsfire, Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather, Brkn, Chefket, Chvrches, Coasts, Creeper, Culture Abuse, Deap Vally, Dendemann, Dermot Kennedy, Dma's, Donots, Drangsal, Egotronic, Emil Bulls, Eskei83, Feine Sahne Fischfilet, Fjørt, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Gang Of Youths, Ganz, Gavin James, George Ezra, Haiyti, Jain, Jeremy Loops, Johnossi, Jungle, Juse Ju, Kolari, Madsen, Marmozets, Martin Jensen, Massendefekt, Meute, Mhd, Mighty Oaks, Mike Perry, Moonbootica, Mø, Neck Deep, Nofx, Pale Waves, Parcels, Pennywise, Portugal. The Man, Prinz Pi, Red City Radio, Rin, Romano, Samy Deluxe, Sascha Braemer, Schlaraffenlandung, Stick To Your Guns, Swiss Und Die Andern, Sxtn, Talco, The Glorious Sons, The Hunna, The Kooks, The Vaccines, Thrice, Tom Grennan, Tommy Haug, Tom Walker, Tonbandgerät ,Touché Amoré, Underøath, Valentino Khan, X Ambassadors, Yonaka

Tickets for the three-day festival are still available and can be purchased online: www.southside.de/en/

[TRACK OF THE WEEK] Suzi Island & BOA - Show Me

Now when you hear the word 'Brighton' and 'debut' my hairs stand on end, the city has a great reputation for producing some great talent, and duo Suzi Island is no exception!

The duo comprised of Hugh Reilly-Smith and Matthew Carter have been writing and making music together all their lives, Suzi Island however is their brand new project and their debut song was produced and written with Pete from the Vaccines and is currently out now via London label Jump The Plane.

"Show Me The Way" is an upbeat track ready for the summer, and what BOA have done to the track is put some more electronics on, re-mix it a bit and add their own style to it, a smattering of euphoria. With Hugh being the vocalist for BOA too it sounds like a BOA track in it's own right with a bit more oomph with it's driven synths and powerful backline. be sure to listen to it below, if you want to listen to it on Spotify be sure to click the link below!

Left Boy releases heartfelt single 'Kid' from second album, 'Ferdinand'

Singer, rapper and producer, Left Boy has forged a wicked and vibrant new sound in his second album, that fans may be made surprised with but yet made to feel at home.

A DJ, a creator, rapper and an artist, new track ‘Kid’ is the third release taken from Left Boy’s second LP ‘Ferdinand’, unlike upbeat singles ‘Sweet Goodbye’ and ‘Father Of God’, ‘Kid’ is a poignant song that was written and recorded at a time when a friend of Left Boy sadly passed away.

Speaking on the album, Left Boy comments: “'Ferdinand' is the album I’ve been working on for the past four years. The album includes 16 alternate versions and demos, if you have time I really recommend listening to the bonus tracks. It helps illustrate the amount of work that went into this project, I appreciate you taking the time to check this project out. For all the trouble it went into making the album, I hope it brings people some joy!”

Hailing from Austria, Left Boy aka Ferdinand Sarnitz moved to New York City aged 18-years-old to study audio engineering at the Institute of Audio Research, whilst there he worked hard teaching himself how to create beats, lyrics and videos. Now based back in Vienna, Left Boy has built his reputation online, accumulating millions of plays on Soundcloud, Spotify and views on YouTube.

Stream the poignant video for 'Kid' below

See the full tracklisting of 'Ferdinand' below:

1. Father Of God
2. Sweet Goodbye
3. Got Damn
4. Rose Garden
5. Kid
6. Gold Chain
7. 17
8 .Dance With The Devil
9. Book Club
10. Chemistry
11. Superstar


New music from The 1975 is due soon!

After deleting a load of social media posts back in March the band are set to be coming back very soon, and on Twitter the band's manager has replied to a fan with good news. In a reply to a fan's Tweet commenting about The 1975's second album "I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It" - the fan said "evening, the iliwys era is still here" - to which he replies... see below.

The Rolling Stones announce massive tour supports

The Rolling Stones announced some huge acts for the under-card of their latest tour. It'll see Liam Gallagher, Florence + the Machine, The Vaccines, The Specials, Richard Ashcroft, Elbow and James Bay support them over the course of their UK-wide tour.

Florence + The Machine said - "We are so excited to be supporting the Rolling Stones, it is a huge honour to be playing with one of our biggest influences."

Monico Blonde unveil shimmering new track "When Girls Cry"

Monico Blond have recently revealed their brilliant new track, "When Girls Cry", via BBC Radio 1 late on last week. The accompanying music video, directed by Hamish Kay, showcases the dating scene and modern love in the social media age, embraced with one another but still on their smartphones.

The new single combines Johnny Marr riffs with a chorus to make Fleetwood Mac blush, all wrapped in the irresistible pop shine of producer Gethin Pearson (who has worked with the likes of Charli XCX, Kele Okereke, To Kill A King). It sounds like Monico Blonde are looking to go far, by the sounds of it they are onto a winner.

The track is also on out new Spotify playlist - where you can find it amongst other great tracks!

Timi Temple shares new track "Coming Home"

Timi Temple has shared his latest single with us on SubmitHub, "Coming Home" a celebration of a year since he launched the project, the song itself is an upbeat affair, Timi says "it's about travelling the world to find where the grass is greener... only to be pulled home by the comfort of family and friends."

The song features his full immediate family as they all sing on the chorus of this track, including his three sisters, Father and Girlfriend. The track is officially out now and you can listen to it below. We've also added it to our Spotify playlist, so head there for more great music daily.

22 Apr 2018

Listen to Alabaster's stunning debut single "Modern World"

Bristol's music scene is thriving, the yearly Dot to Dot Festival drawing in loads of people and musicians alike. Alabaster are a new band to eek out of the woodwork in Bristol and they are an atmospheric outfit who take their influences from the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, Jeff Buckley and David Bowie, with a possible nod towards Foals (their bandname...).

The band combine driving guitars and pounding drums with haunting vocals to which holds you into the song all of the way through. Now the reason why you're here, this is their debut single - "Modern World", it was produced by Lee Slater - who has worked with the likes of The Vaccines, Peace, Lana Del Rey et - and the track is out NOW

During 2018 they will work under the guidance of Lee Slater and will hopefully be following up their single with an EP later on in the year.

Izaak Opatz unveils "Got To Me Since" video

Izaak Opatz is a mountain man (from Montana), and a little backstory about him reveals that he works in National Parks, cutting trails through the woods, probably wearing a vest or a funny hat and crapping in holes in the ground that he digs with an antique little folding shovel (maybe).

He’ll go weeks on end without seeing another single person. When he does finally wander into town, he usually brings with him a pack-mule-donkey-satchel-thing, chock full of songs about women that he’s been dreaming of, places where he used to be happy, situations he screwed up. Now with all that time with himself he really does have time to craft his talent and write some catchy tunes.

His latest video is for his track "Got To Me Since", which you can check out below.

Island Club reveal lyric video for "Submarine"

We always bang on about the quality of bands in Brighton, and Island Club are no different, the quintet are back with a shimmering new track, "Submarine", and perfectly in time as the weather really does suit it! Having already amassed nearly 3 million streams on Spotify with upbeat indie bangers "Paper Kiss" and "Irresistible".

With comparisons being made to Sundara Karma and LANY and a number of high profile live dates under their belt including a huge hometown show supporting Fickle Friends at Brighton’s Concorde 2, Island Club have fast become the indie-pop act you need to know.

Possible Oceans share new single "Deceiver"

Possible Oceans is an Los Angeles based indie rock outfit led by singer/guitarist Trevor O’Neill and long-time songwriting partner singer/guitarist Daniel Berkman. Their sound is reminiscent of The National, White Lies and Gang of Youth Their first single, "Deceiver" is simultaneously a grief ridden remembrance of those whose demons won, and a cry of hopeful resistance for those who are still fighting.

It's got a driving chorus laden with brilliant vocal harmonies, shimmering guitars and a powerful backline. "Deceiver" is out everywhere now and you can listen to it below via Spotify. We've also added it to our Spotify playlist, so head there to listen to it amongst a plethora of great new tracks!

21 Apr 2018

[INTERVIEW] with... The Velvet Hands

The Velvet Hands L-R Toby Mithcell, Sam Hilder and Dan Able     Photo: moodfoto photogging
"I think the one thing that keeps this band together is good songwriting, that is what we are all attracted to really. You can listen to one song and get really excited and then have enough ideas to make and record a whole album. That is what we have done" says Toby from The Velvet Hands.

There is no doubt good songs look set to continue to play a key part in The Velvet Hands' career. Still super young, the band are finding themselves right at the core of the underground guitar music scene in London and they are making an incredible contribution to it. While the band originally came out of what the NME saw as the "Kernow Wave", signifying the emergence of garage rock scene in Cornwall, The Velvet Hands definitely see themselves as a London band.

On a gradual rise, the combination of their thrillingly explosive live performances and recognisable punchy guitar riffs means that the band have been receiving praise from enthusiastic fans. There has also been a range of airplay from some of the UKs leading radio hosts including the likes of John Kennedy of Radio X and the BBC’s Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens, Radcliffe & Maconie, Phil Taggart and Tom Robinson. 

Definitely destined for more great things this year, the last 18 months have seen The Velvet Hands release a string of garage punk hits including the likes of Only Blame Myself, Sick Of Living and Habit. The band were also part of This Feeling: Big in 2018 lineup.

Released through through Zen10 and Easy Action Records, today, on Record Store Day, the band are dropping vinyl copies of their debut album Party's Over. 
 Photo: @jonmophotography
Singer and guitarist Toby Mitchell, guitarist Dan Able and bassist Sam Hilder from Cornwall have  musical knowledge and understanding which probably equals a lot of older bands who have been around for a lot longer. 

While the band may well have moved on, writing and working on their second album, It's All Indie are of course super keen to hear their thoughts on Party's Over

Dan: I am really glad we recorded it when we did. Looking back at it now there is probably some stuff we would have done differently when we worked on it but as a debut we are really happy with it. It is nice to have that kind of moment in time being recorded there and then. Maybe we would have sat on it longer if we could but then I would imagine you are always feel that way about an album.

Dan: Originally, we planned to release it last summer but then things worked out better than we expected. It is definitely great to have it coming out now and having 500 of the vinyl copies available for sale on record store day seems a good way to do things. 

Party's Over is recorded by Ben Woods and mixed and produced by Ben Woods and Jules Able from JamX at Troubadour Studios in Falmouth. Jules also manages the band. 

Producer influence seems to bear some resemblance to Gordon Raphael and The Strokes' Is This It

Toby: Our producer Ben is super inspired by that kind of sound. I think the thing to bear in mind is that when we first started chatting to Ben we were about 18 and we had just started being in this band. We knew that we loved The Strokes and we sort of went 'we wanna sound like The Strokes' and to be fair on Ben, we do sound a lot like them on the debut. But what we will be doing on our second album is slightly different to what we are doing here.

But what a sound, it is not exactly the worst inspiration to have, let alone build on. Ben is a very young producer, what else can you tell me about his background and experience? 

Sam: Ben is from Falmouth but he is living in London, he is still just in his twenties and that is kind of like how we started out and got to work with him because there was like a bit of a Falmouth scene going on a the time when we were living in Cornwall. Ben had produced quite a few of the local bands on that scene including the likes of The Black Tambourines.

Tell me about the bands you enjoy listening to?

Toby: The kind of bands I grew up with when I was 14 and 15 years old, of course I kept getting into new bands and discover new music, but like for me it is always the same bands I go back, so the likes of The Strokes, The Stones and similar bands.

Dan: I am a big fan of Johnny Thunders and The Heartbreakers, they only made one album but I really like it. It is very raw, you could quite happily sit and listen to The Velvet Underground but then it is like 'OK this is pop compared to that'.

Dan: When you are feeling a bit sad or lonely you can always put on an album by Voidz, I am quite a big fan of raw power when it comes to music. And there is always The Band as well, we are all big fans of them. We are also into real punk and then we like country rock too.

Sam: If there is a really good song with a great melody but it also has an edge to it, that kind of takes it to the next level for us. We were always really interested in that. A good example of this is a band like The Buzzcocks.

Tell me a bit about what you are looking to achieve and any plans you have

Toby: I remember when I was about 16 and 17 when Dan I first writing songs together I would say things like as long as we are able to go on tour and live off music then we would be quite happy and now we are not too far from that really.

Dan: We would quite like to make it as big as we can with our integrity still intact, so we are not like some bands, be successful and then give it all up. It would be great to be able to be in a position where we could experiment, try out new things, add different instruments when we want to do so. At the moment we are not always able to do that.

Aware you are already recording demos for your second album. What are you able to tell us about it at this stage and how would you say things compare so far?

Toby: The new songs just started demoing and there is of course the whole thing about the difficult second album but because we are in a position where we are kind of doing it from the ground up. Obviously, being signed to an indie label we kind of want to put the record out and work from there. We have got quite a lot of time to write the second one which is a great position to be in.

Dan: The newer stuff has a bit more of a groove to it and will be something very strong we can continue to build on. I think we are just wanting to build on it making it sound like we are moving up a level in terms of the production. We still want to keep a 'live' sound but we hope to have enough money to be able to perhaps achieve an even clearer and better sound and be able to spend a little more time on it, our first album was recorded and mixed in less than a week.

Sam: I would say it has a stronger rock'n'roll sound and is probably a bit more Rolling Stones but it is still garage rock and is a natural progression from this first album that we are about to release.

And as if we did not already know that any out of touch perceptions about guitar music being 'dead' can safely be put to rest and The Velvet Hands are definitely shaking up live music and keeping it fresh

Toby: Assuming that guitar music in fact did go actually away for a while because it is definitely coming back and it is here to stay. I don't know if that necessarily means it is going to make a triumphant Top 10 entry or it is just gonna get a bit bigger than it is and my point is that people are always going to want guitar music, there is a certain vibe to it that you don't get in other types of music.

Dan: When people say that guitar music is dead that is probably the best time to be in a guitar band because those leading the music mainstream are behind, not seeing what is actually going on. As an example, just before The Beatles changed music forever someone had told them guitar music was on its way out. 

Dan: John Kennedy (Radio X) has said to me that actually becomes a really great moment as it means guitar music is becoming the 'new' underground.

Joining and celebrating the new underground is definitely something that we should all continue to do and be part of. Enjoying The Velvet Hands' music is a pretty good place to start and the band just keep getting better

Sam: It is nice to see how the songwriting has matured and progressed and the next record release will probably show that.

 Photo: @jonmophotography

The Velvet Hands - dates

Release dates 
Party's Over - debut album:
21 April - digital + limited edition Record Store Day vinyl
4 May CD + vinyl 

On tour with The Bluetones
2 May, Portsmouth, Wedgewood Rooms
4 May, Exeter, The Lemon Grove
5 May, Bristol, SWX 
7 May, Oxford, O2 Academy

Other live dates
21 April, Manchester, Jimmy's - This Feeling
27 April, Paris, Truskel -Parisian High

11 May, The Studio Bar, Penzance
17 May, Manchester, Night People - Bring It On Down: Northern Exposure 
19 May, Brighton, The Black Lion - The Great Escape
25 May, Nottinghill Arts Club, London - IndieEssence 
26 May, Plymouth, The Underground - Creative Events @ The Underground

14 June, London, The Finsbury 

20 Apr 2018

Watch Daughter's one-take video for "All I Wanted"

Daughter have revealed their live version of "All I Wanted", which sees frontwoman Elena Tonra joined by string and vocal quartets in the Asylum Chapel in Peckham, London. The video was shot in one take by Simon Lane and composed by Josephine Stephenson.

Josephine Stephenson says: "I was really lucky that Elena basically gave me free rein. We knew we wanted an intimate setting, and because of the nature of the original song, which has as sole accompaniment multiple layers of bass and guitar, it felt right to go with a string quartet. I quickly decided to forgo one of the violins and replace it with a second cello, to keep the attractive 'low-end heavy’-ness of the track. Once those decisions were made, it all came very naturally: I stayed close to the original material while also enriching it with what those instruments have to offer in terms of expression and timbre, and extending the song’s harmony ever so slightly here and there to fit this new version. The arrangement also features a mini-choir of four providing the song’s backing vocals. I feel very fortunate to have been joined by excellent musicians on this project. It was a good day."

Only Shadows drop video for latest track "We Are Machines"

The Indie-Rock quartet from the East Midlands are back with an astonishing new track, "We Are Machines". This track is also the first one from the band since signing to High Time (The Hunna, Coasts and Kovic) - so expect to see them everywhere soon!

The track isn't a new direction for the band, rather a refinement of something the band have been doing for the past 5 years - it's great to see a young band mature into something beautiful. And if you like that be sure to see them on the COASTS UK tour which they are the main support.

Real Lies unveil new track "The Checks"

Real Lies are back and they've unveiled a brand new track in the shape of "The Checks". It's the London band's first slice of new music since releasing "Real Life" back in 2015.

The band say on their socials- "It's been too long 🌹 Here's the video for our new track The Checks, by the imperious Natalia Stuyk 🌹 It's for everyone who's spent the last two and a half years hassling us for new music"

Blossoms reveal another Indie hit with "There's A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)"

Blossoms latest offering is a mouthful, "There's A Reason Why (I Never Returned Your Calls)" is the latest track to be lifted from the Stockport quartet's second album "Cool Like You".

The new track sounds mighty and really does remind us of synthy The Killers crossed with some simplistic Swedish pop, ABBA anyone? Their second album is released next Friday on the 27th of April via Universal.

The Coral announce new album "Move Through The Dawn" + unveil "Sweet Release"

Arguably one of the most under-rated bands in the UK, The Coral return with their brand new track "Sweet Release". It's lifted off their ninth studio album, which is out on the 17th of August via Ignition Records.

It was recorded at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios and was produced by The Coral and Rich Turvey - so why not check out their latest effort below!

Emma McGrath unveils wondrous EP, 'Silent Minds'

A name we have already championed in the past for her wicked songwriting, Emma McGrath releases her highly anticipated sophomore six-track EP ‘Silent Minds’.

An EP perfected with immaculate songwriting. Tentative and surprising, there's a never a dull moment in Emma's musical delivery.

Whether it be a rollercoaster ride full of relationship conflict in ‘Off The Wall’, the moral high ground in ‘Butterfly’, getting lost in the quirky structure of ‘Silent Minds’, or becoming enveloped in nostalgia about a carefree childhood in ‘White Lines’, Emma always manages to present both sides of the story, and as a result, the ‘Silent Minds’ EP is full of thought-provoking lyrics and seriously well put together catchy pop gems for her constantly growing and passionate fan-base.

Check out the full EP below.

Keep up to date with all the latest from Emma McGrath

19 Apr 2018

Courts unveil video for slick new track "Tonight"

It's been far too long since the Essex four piece released their 2017 smash "Any of Us", but they're back with a slick new track - "Tonight". With some inspiration taken from none other than Nile Rodgers with the guitar riffs they outfit are back on form here with a bouncy funk-pop track which is above and beyond the rest in the genre at the moment.

Speaking to Clash Mag the band say - "[The track is about] Spirituality, love, and the connection we feel to the universe. Everyone is painting false perceptions online, not many people are being real. It’s about tapping into the positive amongst all the negative..."

WALK THE MOON reveal stunning video for 'Kamikaze'

WALK THE MOON are back on form with their latest video for 'Kamikaze', jolting infectious indie-pop hooks, punchy drums and guitars, the band has nothing to hide in their latest released work.

With a video that showcases a choreographed piece illustrating the emotive lyrics of the track, with two dancers involved in a passionate dance and the band performing together on a stage surrounded by water. The visuals are directed by Tobias Nathan and produced and choreographed by Amy Gardner 'Kamikaze'.

(photo credit: Brian Ziff)

WALK THE MOON continue their massive run of live shows as they embark on a huge North American tour supporting Thirty Second To Mars, as well as playing Lollapalooza in Chicago, U.S. and Summer Sonic Festival in Osaka, Japan.

Check the video out below

"Kamikaze" comes from Walk the Moon's third studio album, What If Nothing