Tag: BBC Radio 6

New Video: Psymon Spine Teams Up with MGMT’s Andrew VanWyngarden on a Glittery Club Banger

Rapidly rising Brooklyn-based psych pop/dance pop act Psymon Spine can trace its origins to when founding duo Noah Prebish and Peter Spears met while attending college. Bonding over mutual influences and common artistic aims, the duo went off to tour Europe with Prebish’s electronic act Karate. While in Paris, Spears and Prebish wrote their first song together and when they got to London, they were offered a record deal.

Upon returning to the states, Spears recruited Micheal “Brother Micheal” Rudinski and their Karate bandmates Devon Kilbern, Nathaniel Coffey to the band — and with that lineup they fleshed out the demos, which would eventually become their full-length debut, 2017’s You Are Coming to My Birthday. The members of the rising Brooklyn-based act then supported the album with immersive art and dance parties through their Secret Friend series across Brooklyn, as well as relentless touring.

Simultaneously, Prebish’s work with rising Brooklyn-based dream pop act Barrie began to receive quite a bit of attention across the blogosphere and elsewhere with a handful of buzz-worthy singles and their critically applauded full-length debut, last year’s Happy to Be Here. Interestingly, this led Prebish to meet his Barrie bandmate, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Sabine Holler, who then joined Psymon Spine.

“Milk,” a collaboration with their former bandmate Barrie was the first bit of new material by the Brooklyn-based act inn three years — and it’s the first recorded output with their newest member Sabine Holler. Since the single’s release, it has received airplay on BBC Radio 6 and earned praise from a number of media outlets including Vanyaland, High Clouds, Echowave Magazine, The Revue, Hype Machine and a list of others. The track also landed on a number of YouTube channels including David Dean Burkhart‘s. Nice Guys‘ and Birp.fm, as well as Spotify playlists like Undercurrents, All New Indie and Fresh Finds. Additionally, Apple Music’s Matt Wilkinson featured the track. None of this should be surprising: the track sonically recalls In Ghost Colours-era Cut Copy and Soft Metals‘ Lenses –but with a mischievously coquettish air that makes it a club friendly banger.

The Andrew VanWyngarden-produced and cowritten “Modmed” is a glittering and strutting disco-tinged track, centered around wobbling low end, glistening synth arpeggios and a sinuous bass line and a soaring hook. While drawing from 80s New Wave and classic house music, the track interestingly enough, is deceptively and ironically upbeat: the track actually captures the ambivalent and confusing mix of frustration, doubt and relief of a relationship that’s finally come to a conclusion. In particular, the song actually describes Prebish’s and Holler’s decision to leave Barrie and focus on Psymon Spine full-time.

“Psymon Spine invited me into the studio one winter’s day and we had a fun and funky time ripping Juno basslines and dialing in lush tones,” Andrew VanWyngarden recalls in press notes. “I like that their dj and record digging knowledge comes through distinctly on this track.”

Directed by the band and edited by Noah Prebish, the recently released video for “Modmed” is a delirious and playful lo-fi visual in which we see the members of the band goofing off and rocking out to the song in a variety of situations. This is split with footage of the members of the band actually performing the song. It’s all run through trippy filters and VHS-styled graininess, which also helps enhance the track’s retro-futuristic vibe.

New Audio: Acclaimed Norwegian Act Pom Poko Release an Exuberant and Breakneck New Single

Deriving their name from one of the more outre films ever released by Japanese animation studio Studio Ghibli, Pom Poko is a rising Norwegian quartet — Ragnhild Fangel (vocals), Martin Miguel Tonne (guitar), Jonas Krøvel (bass) and Ola Djupvik (drums) — that can trace their origins back to 2016 when the members of the band met while they were studying jazz at Trondheim Music Conservatory, and bonded over their desire to play punk rock at a jazz gig at a literature festival.

Interestingly, the individual members of the rising Norwegian act have publicly cited a wide and eclectic array of influences on their sound and approach, including Oumou Sangare, Ali Farka Toure, Vulfpeck, Palm, KNOWER, Hella, Death Grips, Jenny Hval and Nick Drake among others. And as a result, the act has managed to establish a sound and approach that defies easy description or categorization. “We’ve all done lots of improvised music in the past, and I think that shapes the way we play, even though the tunes are not improvised,” the band explained in press notes. “We like when new and strange things happen in an old song, and that music can change over time by being played live, because that removes predictability and the ‘recipe’ that some genres of music have.”

Last year’s full-length debut Birthday received praise from the likes of Interview Magazine, The Line of Best Fit, The Independent, Clash Magazine, DIY Magazine and NME, who picked the band as one of the acts to watch out for in 2019 — and with the breakneck “My Blood,” a track that possessed elements of math rock, punk rock and indie rock was a great example of their wildly inventive, exuberant sound. Adding to a breakthrough year, the band also received airplay on BBC Radio 6 while landing Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen) Award and Nordic Music Prize nods.

Building upon the momentum of last year, the Norwegian quartet’s highly-anticipated Marcus Forsgren-produced sophomore album Cheater is slated for a November 6, 2020 release through Bella Union Records. Written during the same period that produced one-off singles like “Leg Day” and “Praise,” Cheater finds the band further establishing the sound that has won them national and international acclaim — but the major difference between the two is that Cheater’s material wasn’t road-tested before the band went into the studio.”That meant we had to practice the songs in a more serious way, but it also meant the songs had more potential to change when we recorded them since we didn’t have such a clear image of what each song should/could be as the last time,” Pom Poko’s Ragnhild Fangel explains.

“I think it’s very accurate to say that we wanted to embrace our extremes a bit more. In the production process, I think we aimed more for some sort of contrast between the meticulously written and arranged songs and a more chaotic education and recording but also let ourselves explore the less frantic part of the Pom Poko universe,” Fangel says of the differences between Birthday and Cheater. “I think both in the more extreme and painful way, and in the sweet and lovely way, this album is kind of amplified.”

Cheater’s latest single “My Candidacy” finds the act managed to walk a tightrope between breakneck mosh pit friendly punk, centered around enormous power chords and saccharine sweet verses. Featuring the classic grunge rock alternating loud, quiet, loud song structure, the song explodes with an unpredictable, brash and girlish coquettishness while evoking the swooning rush of love. According to the band “the song itself is about the wish to be able to believe in unconditional love, even though you know that there probably is no such thing. We, at least, believe in unconditional love for riffy tunes with sing-song choruses.”

Throughout a significant portion of this site’s 10+ year history, I’ve managed to spill a lot of virtual ink covering the Umea, Sweden-born and based, singer/songwriter and cellist  Cajsa Siik. Since the release of her full-length debut, 2012’s Contra, the JOVM mainstay has released two more albums, including 2017’s DOMINO, an EP and a handful of attention-grabbing singles — and she’s released much of that work to critical praise from a number of internationally known media outlets including Q Magazine, The Line of Best Fit and NYLON, as well as airplay on BBC Radio 6. Building on a growing profile, Siik went on a European tour with Mitski to support DOMINO, which she followed up with headlining shows in Berlin and London.

Siik’s fourth full-length album will be released in two parts during Fall 2020 and Winter 2021. “Gate Keeper,” the album’s second single is a slow-burning and atmospheric track featuring whirring and wobbling synths and Siik’s plaintive vocals. And while seemingly easygoing, the song is centered around uneasy tension that feels familiar — particularly if you’ve been in love and have had to started anew.

“‘Gate Keeper’ is one of the key songs on the album. Like a little backbone,” the JOVM mainstay explains. “The melody wrote itself and has an ease about it, yet the lyrics is all about tension and resistance. I guess it’s about the art of trying to be there for someone else. Still be there for yourself. To be someone to count on in life and to trust, despite all your destructiveness and flaws. Maybe it’s when you dare to accept the shit that you carry around that you can fully be there and be loved? When you stop ignoring what scares you the most.”

New Audio: Australia’s Mildlife Releases a Shimmering Club Friendly Jam

With the release of 2017’s full-length debut Phase, the Aussie quartet Midlife — multi-instrumentalists Jim Rindfleish, Adam Halliwell, Kevin McDowell and Tom Shanahan — exploded into the national and international scene. Phase was released to critical acclaim from Resident AdvisorResident Advisor, Uncut, The Guardian and airplay from BBC Radio 6 — and the album helped the band garner several award nominations including Best Album at the 2018 Worldwide FM Awards,  Best Independent Jazz Album at the 2018 AIR Awards and Best Electronic Award nomination and win at the The Age Music Victoria Awards. 

Building upon a rapidly growing profile, the members of the Midlife have opened for the likes of Stereolab, JOVM mainstays King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and Harvey Sutherland. Their first national headlining tour was sold out, and the immediately followed up with a ten-date UK and European tour, which was culminated with a homecoming set at Meredith Music Festival. 

The rising Aussie act’s highly-anticipated sophomore album Automatic is slated for a September 18, 2020 release through Heavenly Recordings and the album reportedly is step-change from their debut with the material being much more disciplined, directional and more danceable but while continuing their unerring knack to let a track luxuriate and stretch out without ever being self-indulgent. “The recorded songs kind of become the new reference point for playing the songs live,” Midlife’s Kevin McDowell says. ““They both have different outcomes and we make our decisions for each based on that, but they’re symbiotic and they both influence each other. It’s usually a fairly natural flow from live to recorded back to live.”

“Vapour,” Automatic’s second and latest single is centered around a shimmering, cosmic groove featuring glistening synth arpeggios, a sinuous bass line, a fluttering and expressive flute solo, shuffling four-on-the-floor, a euphoria-inducing hook and McDowell’s plaintive falsetto.  While sonically the song brings Fear of Music and Remain in Light-era Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and DBFC to mind, it conjures memories of carefree dance floors of pre-COVID quarantines, lockdowns and isolation. “Vapour is a dance mantra with enough weight to blow the cobwebs off your tired mind and snap you out of your endless feed scrolling rituals,” the members of Midlife say of the song. 

New Video: Rising British Singer-Songwriter Freya Beer Releases Hazy Visuals for Brooding “Arms Wide Open”

Freya Beer is an emerging London-born, Southern England-based singer/songwriter and guitarist who has received attention for a distinctive sound that draws from Kate Bush, Cat Power, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and others paired with poetic lyrics. Interestingly, Beer can trace the origins of her career to her childhood: she began writing songs when she was 10 and by the time she turned 16, she was performing her own original material, accompanying herself on guitar. 

While studying Music Performance in college, Beer self-released her debut single “Bike Boy” in 2018 to critical applause from BBC Introducing and a number of music blogs. Building upon a growing profile, the emerging British singer/songwriter and guitarist released “Six Months,” which led to a BBC Introducing Solent Live Lounge Session, a featuring on Tom Robinson’s BBC Radio 6 and BBC Wales.

Earlier this year, Beer released “Dear Sweet Rosie.” Featuring I Am Kloot’s Andy Hargreaves on drums, the song lyrically draws from Allen Ginsberg’s “An Asphodel” and Anna Sewell’s “Black Beauty” and is structurally centered around a classic, grunge rock song structure featuring  fuzzy power chords John Bonham-like drumming, an enormous hook, Beer’s sultry vocals and a swaggering self-assuredness that belies the rising artist’s relative youth. The track wound up receiving airplay with BBC Radio 6’s Lauren Laverne and Marc Riley, who invited Beer in for a live session. Beer’s second single of this year, the Pete Hobbs-produced “Arms Wide Open” is a brooding and cinematic track that features forceful and tribal drumming with longtime collaborator Andy Hargreaves, shimmering guitars, chiming tubular bells and Beer’s gorgeous and expressive vocals. And while subtly recalling PJ Harvey, Chelsea Wolfe and The Cranberries, the song reveals some ambitious yet powerfully earnest songwriting. 

“I tried to convey a ritual style sound accompanied by a tribal drumming beat which drives the track forward,” Beer says. “The tubular bells helped contribute towards the overall ceremonial atmosphere of the song. Lyrically, I’ve experimented with exploring the subject of talking about the darker undertones of a relationship.”

Directed by Paul Johnson, the recently released video is centered around a concept by Hevx that follows the rising British singer/songwriter through a series of kaleidoscopic filters and hazy effects. 

Beginning his professional life with working in finance and as a co-owner of London‘s The Society Club, the Norwegian-born, London-based singer/songwriter, composer and multi-instrumentalist Erik Brudvik left both to pursue a career with his solo recording project Brudini. Slated for a May 15, 2020 release, Brudvik’s forthcoming self-recorded and self-produced Brudini debut From Darkness, Light is a conceptual album that draws from his own personal experience traversing between two seemingly contradictory worlds before finding his creative voice — and of a life spent as a sort of itinerant traveler.

From Darkness, Light is reportedly a soul searching effort that thematically and narratively weaves an abstract, wandering tale through feelings of loss and longing, anger, lust and despair, towards cosmic consolation as the album features Brudvik’s lyrics and the poems of California-based poet Chip Martin paired with old-timey and atmospheric arrangements featuring creaky pianos, analog synths, syncopated jazz-inspired lyrics and occasional blasts of distorted guitar. The end result is a contemplation of the various transitions, compromises and dashed dreams of adulthood.

The album’s first three singles — “Reflections,” ‘Emotional Outlaw” and “Pale Gold” — were released to widespread critical praise in the UK with Louder Than War referring to the rising singer/songwriter as “an indescribable talent,” as well as praise from NYC music legend Danny Fields. Each of the album’s first singles have received airplay on Radio X, BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 2 personality Frank Skinner‘s program. Building upon a growing profile, Brudvik has developed a reputation as a must-see live act, collaborating with Lulu Gainsbourg, Lanah P, and Erasure‘s Andy Bell.

“Radiant Man,” From Darkness, Light‘s fourth and latest single finds the rising Norwegian-born, British-based singer/songwriting crafting a song that balances a thoughtful and earnest intimacy with a widescreen, cinematic quality that subtly recalls Harvest-era Neil YoungOK Computer-era Radiohead and The Invisible Band-era Travis — thanks, in part to an arrangement centered around strummed guitar, atmospheric synths, twinkling piano, shuffling jazz-like rhythms and Brudvik’s plaintive vocals.

Thematically, the song is centered around a narrative that’s older than time, and yet strangely relevant and contemporary: it follows a well-meaning protagonist, full of good intentions who fights onward despite being slowly crushed by a tidal wave of enormous forces beyond his control.  The human spirit can be indefatigable — and in these very dark and uncertain times, we’ll need to dig deep, perhaps deeper than ever before to make it to whatever awaits us on the other side.

“‘Radiant Man’ is the story of a person fighting against a tidal wave. In the midst of a crisis, I find there is something about the enduring human spirit that emerges and brings us closer. ‘Radiant Man’ is an homage to this human radiance, echoed today in streets everywhere from Wuhan and New York to Sao Paolo and Milan.” 

The rapidly rising Newcastle, UK-based indie act FEVA — Sam Reynolds (vocals/guitar), Danny Castro (drums), James Gibbons (guitar) and Thomas Errington (Bass) — had a breakthrough year last year, that saw them open for Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, The Vaccines, Pip Blom, Inhaler, and Lauran Hibberd. Although currently, things are bleak and uncertain, the band hopes that they’ll be able to continue the momentum of last year with the release of new material throughout the course of this year, and hopefully live dates during the fall.

Centered around enormous, power chord-driven riffage, thunderous drumming, rousingly anthemic hooks, Sam Reynolds powerhouse vocals,  and a remarkably self-assured delivery, the Newcastle indie quartet’s latest single “I Wanna Know” may arguably be the most ambitious and arena rock friendly song they’ve released to date. To that end, it shouldn’t be surprising that the song has already received praise from the likes of The Line of Best FitClash Magazine and Dork, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6.

Interestingly, although the song is an arena rock friendly anthem, the band explains in press notes that the song is actually about reflection — or more specifically self-reflection, “As we make our way through life, it’s easy to lose ourselves and get caught up in things that in time, we realise never ever mattered,” the members of FEVA say in press notes. “This song is about taking a step back and remembering who you are and who you were, when life took its tool on you.”

 

 

With the release of their first two EPs, which have received airplay on BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6, the Belfast, Northern Ireland-based indie act Junk Drawer — Stevie Lennox (guitar, synth, vocals), Jake Lennox (guitar, synths ass, drums, vocals), Brian Coney (guitar, bass) and Rory Dee (drums, bass, guitar, synths, piano, backing vocals) —  have firmly established a unique sound that draws from Krautrock, post-punk and psych rock while earning quite a bit of acclaim in their native Northern Ireland: they’re the first DIY act to ever win a Northern Ireland Music Prize for Best Single with last year’s critically applauded “Year of the Sofa.” They’re also responsible for spearheading the independent Northern Irish music community with the acclaimed Litany of Failures compilations, which have become something of an institution. And adding to a growing national and regional profile, the act have toured across the UK and Ireland, opening for the likes of Mclusky, Built to Spill, Jeffrey Lewis and And So I Watch You From Afar.

The Belfast-based quartet’s highly-anticipated Chris Ryan-produced full-length debut Ready For The House is slated for an April 24, 2020 release through Art for the Blind Records reportedly finds the rising act channeling Pavement, Silver Jews and Beak> with the album’s material veering between slacker rock, post-punk, kraurock and psych across seven songs that thematically touch upon malaise, self-worth, the transience of mental illness and the fragmented and distorted narrative that it brings with it.

The album’s first single “Temporary Day” is a decidedly krautrock-inspired track, centered around an off-kilter and propulsive motorik groove, droning synths, blasts of fuzzy guitars and Jake Lennox’s ironically detached vocals. And while nodding at Pavement, the song chronicles a struggle with sexual identity and eating disorders and the string of the constant internalization of these issues on mental health. “‘Temporary Day’ is about having a temporary day of relief from all the horrible feelings I usually have.” the band’s Jake Lennox says in press notes. “The fog ascends briefly & I can think clearly for a time. Also about my face not being puffy from burst blood vessels because I hadn’t thrown up in a day or two.”

 

NANCY is a rapidly rising, enigmatic and rather mysterious Brighton, UK-based indie artist, who quickly received attention across the blogosphere from StereogumNME and DIY and airplay on BBC Radio 1 from personalities like Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders and BBC Radio 6 personalities Iggy Pop, Lauren Laverne and Steve Lamacq.

Earlier this year, the Brighton-based artist re-emerged from a brief creative hiatus, he re-emerged with the release of the attention-grabbing single “When I’m With You (I Feel Love).” Building upon the success of that single and a growing profile in his native England, the Brighton-based artist released “Clic Clac,” a breakneck ripper — and self-described ode to anxiety —  that seemed to draw equally from ’77 era punk and glam rock. Nancy closes out 2020 with the warped and dryly ironic “The World’s About to Blow (Thank God, It’s Christmas)” Centered around heavy distorted and fuzzy power chords, layers of whirring feedback and handclap-led percussion, the Brighton-based artist’s latest single is a holiday song for the exhausted and defeated — and anyone else, who has accepted the fact that everything is fucked up. We live in a hellish dystopia and it’s only getting worse.

“No matter what side you’re on, there’s one thing we can surely all agree on: everything has gone wrong and we’re going to hell in a hand basket . . . so let’s join together and find strength in the consensus that we’re all fucked, and that it’s okay to cover your eyes and ears and just get mortal to celebrate the birth of our lord and saviour: Santa Claus,” NANCY says of his latest single.

 

 

 

New Video: JOVM Mainstays Thyla Releases a Bold and Brightly Colored Visual for Anthemic “Lenox Hill”

Over the past year, I’ve written a bit about the rapidly rising Brighton, UK-based indie rock band Thyla. The act can trace its origins back to when its founding trio — Millie Duthie, Danny Southwell and Dan Hole — met while attending college. Bonding over shared musical interests, the band’s founding trio started writing material together. But with the addition of Mitch Dutch, the band began to reimagine their sound and aesthetic, centered around a general distaste of what they felt was the stale and boring state of the British recording industry.

Interestingly, during that same period of time, the members of Thyla have helped establish and cement their hometown’s reputation for production a music scene that features some of England’s hottest emerging acts — while playing shows with the likes of Dream Wife, Luxury Death, Matt Maltese, Yonaka, Husky Loops and Lazy Day. They’ve also shared bills with  Sunflower Bean, INHEAVEN and Fickle Friends while being spotlighted alongside Pale Waves, Nilüfer Yanya, and Sorry in NME‘s 100 Essential Acts for 2018.

They’ve continued on the remarkable momentum of last year with their debut EP What’s On Your Mind, which was released earlier this year to reviews from Pitchfork, Stereogum, NME, The Line of Best Fit and Dork. The EP also received airplay from BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, Radio X and KCRW. Building upon a growing national and international profile, the band has spent a portion of this year on the road opening for Rolling Blackouts Costal Fever, played attention-grabbing sets at The Great Escape, Live At Leeds and Hit The North. And adding to a massive year for the band, they also went on their first national UK tour, which included their biggest show to date, at  London’s Electrowerkz.

And while it’s been an extraordinarily busy year for the band, they’ve managed to work on new material, which will compose their highly-anticipated sophomore EP slated for release early next year. Now, as you may recall, earlier this year, I wrote about the EP’s first, official single, the boldly ambitious “Two Sense,” a single centered around a rousingly anthemic, arena rock friendly hook, explosive power chords, thunderous drumming, earnest vocals and a slick, modern production that emphasizes a band that has grown more confident and self-assured. But along with that the song, featured a purposeful and defiant message about claiming your right to self-determination.

The EP’s second and latest single “Lenox Hill” continues in the same sonic vein as its immediate predecessor, as it features a driving groove, shimmering and angular guitar lines and a rousing hook. And while continuing a run of remarkably self-assured and ambitious songs — it may arguably be the most personal song they’ve written in some time, as it’s an honest and triumphant coming-of-age story that touches upon finding oneself again to figure out where you need to be and need to go.

“Lenox Hill is the hospital I was born in, with the track inspired by my early years as a kid living in New York City. It’s an honest and emotional coming-of-age tale,” the band’s Millie Duthie explains in press notes. “Life can take so many turns and you can forget where you came from and what makes you you. The important stuff like family can get set aside in the pursuit of whatever it is that drives you. ‘Lenox Hill’ is about realising you’re lost and deciding to go back to your roots to find the way again.” 

Directed and shot by the members of the rapidly rising Brighton-based band, the recently released video for “Lenox Hill” was filmed in the band’s hometown and stars the band’s Duthie in a series of brightly colored outfits. We follow her as she dances and runs around town. And while firmly following a DIY spirit, the video manages to capture the song’s immense and triumphant air. 

“The urge to put ‘Lenox Hill’ to video was too strong to ignore, so we decided to try and shoot something essentially for free,” Thyla’s Millie Duthie reveals in press notes. We bought a gimbal stabiliser off Amazon and used Danny’s iPhone to shoot the whole thing, turns out all you need is some outfits, a willingness to look a bit silly to passers by and a whole load of patience for editing in iMovie and you’ve got yourself a music video! We had a lot of fun making it and we hope it sheds some light on the song and how it makes us feel.”