Tag: Clash Magazine

New Audio: Rising British Pop Artist Jordan Mackampa Releases a Soulful and Radio Friendly Single

Mackampa’s work is inspired by his Congolese roots and his mother’s love of legendary soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield. And much like his influences, Mackampa has a developed a reputation for pairing an old school singer/songwriter soul-like vocal delivery with earnest songwriting and catchy melodies with a modern approach. Building upon that momentum, Mackampa’s highly-anticipated full-length debut Foreigner is slated for a March 13, 2020 release. Along with that the rising Congolese-British artist is currently on a North American tour opening for Amber Run that includes a stop tomorrow at Warsaw — and he has been confirmed to play at next year’s SXSW.

Jordan Mackampa is a rising London-born and-based Congolese-British singer/songwriter. With the release of “Under” earlier this year and 2016’s Physics EP, and 2017’s Tales From The Broken EP and Live from the Grand Cru EP, Mackampa has received critical praise from NME, The 405, The Line of Best Fit, Clash, Indie Shuffle, Wonderland and others — with all of his previously released material amassing over 50 million Spotify streams.

Mackampa’s latest single, “Parachutes” is a breezy yet deliberately crafted track centered around a radio friendly and loose arrangement of twinkling keys, shimmering guitars, a sinuous bass line and propulsive drumming. But the star of the show is Mackampa’s easygoing and expressive vocals — in this case, Mackampa’s voice evokes the soaring high of being in love and the embittering low of heartache and betrayal within the turn of a phrase.

“‘Parachutes’ encapsulates those situations with people you’ve come across in life; who aren’t who they pretend to be and the person they are with you, isn’t someone you want to be around,” Mackampa explains in press notes. “However because you love them, either platonically or romantically, you’re conflicted by your feelings for them until it gets to a point where you don’t want to be hurt anymore… Nobody is perfect, but if you were trapped in an airplane with them and they had a parachute but you didn’t you would jump out regardless, because any pain you would experience afterwards, won’t be as bad as what you’ve already gone through.”

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New Video: Hull’s bdrmm Releases a Trippy Visual for Arena Rock-Friendly Single “Shame”

Last year, I wrote about the up-and-coming Hull, UK-based indie rock act bdrmm. And as you may recall, the act which initially started as the bedroom recording project of singer/songwriter and guitarist Ryan Smith during the end of 2016 quickly became a full-fledged band when Smith recruited his brother Jordan (bass), Joe Vickers (guitar), Daniel Hull (synth, backing vocals) and Luke Irvin (drums) to complete the band’s lineup. 

The band went on to cut their teeth playing shows across Northern England before releasing their first two singles “kare” and “the way i want,” which quickly caught the attention of MTV, Clash Magazine and DORK, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1 and Amazing Radio. The Hull-based quintet has opened for Trudy & The Romance, Her’s, FEHM and Horsey — and as a result, they caught the attention of London-based indie label Permanent Creeps, who released the 4AD Records-like “C.U.” Since then, they’ve opened for JOVM mainstays pizzagirl and Amber Arcades, as well Gengahr. Additionally, they’ve played sets at a number of British festivals including Gold Sounds, Humber Street Sesh, and Live at Leeds, which have added to a rapidly growing national profile. 

Their highly-anticipated Alex Greaves-produced debut EP If Not When? is slated for an October 11, 2019 release through Sonic Cathedral Records — and the EP, which has seen physical pre-orders quickly sell out is largely influenced by the likes of DIIV, Slowdive and Beach House, as well as an up-and-coming crop of British post-punk acts including Squid, YOWL, Black Country and New Road. Interestingly, the EP’s first single “Shame” find the band retaining the shimmering post-punk tinged shoegazer sound of their previous releases — but with a forceful and propulsive groove and an ambitious arena rock-like feel, reminiscent of The Cure and others. 

“‘Shame’ is about the heartache of having to tell someone you can about the most that being together can’t work for whatever reason — having to be the person, who takes it upon themselves to do the right thing, even though it feels so wrong,” the band’s Ryan Smith explains in press notes. 

The recently released video by Jordan Smith is a dizzying visual that’s one part lyric video with some psychedelic imagery. 

New Video: Rising British Singer/Songwriter and Guitarist Lauran Hibberd Releases a Satirical Video for Grunge Rock-Inspired “Hootchie”

Lauran Hibberd is a rising Isle of Wight-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist, whose witty off-kilter lyricism has welcomed comparisons to the likes of Courtney Barnett and Phoebe Bridgers. And over the past year or so, Hibberd has received a growing national profile across the UK as a result of airplay on the BBC Radio 1 programs of Annie Mac, Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders, and praise across the blogosphere and elsewhere from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, The 405, Clash Magazine and Gigwise. 

Earlier this year, the Isle of Wight-born and-based singer/songwriter and guitarist tour the UK and EU with acclaimed indie act Hippo Campus — and adding to a big 2019 for the rising artist, she earned a slot on the BBC Introducing stage at this year’s Glastonbury Festival.  

Fresh off the heels of all of this big news, Hibberd’s latest single, “Hoochie” is a 90s alt-rock/grunge rock-inspired track centered around the rising British singer/songwriter and guitarist’s ironic delivery, rousingly anthemic hooks, fuzzy and jangling power chords and forceful drumming, Now, we’re all familiar with what the slang term actually means but what makes the song hilarious is that it finds Hibberd laughingly taking the piss out of the term. 

The recently released video emphasizes the song’s theme by satirizing phone sex line TV commercials, as we see Hibberd play very specific and very bland fantasy roles — the high school cheerleader, the girl with daddy issues, the dominatrix and so on. At one point her backing band joins her. “Hoochie is a 90’s slang term for a bit of a you know what,” Hibberd says of the video. “I wanted to embrace that in the only way I knew how. No fruit or vegetables were harmed in the making of this. Why don’t you text/ call and see what happens? Filmed by Skinny Mammoth in a dodgy garage on the Isle of Wight. Say what you will”.

 

Hannah Scott is an Ipswich, UK-born, London, UK-based singer/songwriter, whose work is heavily influenced by a year spent working on an olive press in rural Tuscany, Italy in her late teens.

Several years later, Scott met her collaborator, Italian-born multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Stefano Della Casa when they were both in London, but interestingly enough, they both recognized that they may have encountered each other years earlier, when she used to regularly pass through the train station that Della Casa worked in. When the duo began collaborating, they quickly recognized that they had an incredible connection despite coming from vastly different backgrounds: Della Casa had a difficult upbringing and troubled early adulthood while Scott had been lucky to have a supportive family and happy childhood — although as an adult, Scott was diagnosed with a form of arthritis, which causes severe joint pain and fatigue.

Both artists firmly believe that their musical collaboration has provided an outlet to support each other through difficult times, and the duo have received quite a bit of buzz over the past couple of years: they’ve been featured in MOJO, Songwriting Magazine , Clash Magazine and in The Guardian as a “New Band of The Day.” They’ve also received airplay on  Bob Harris’ and Dermot O’Leary’BBC Radio 2 shows and have been on  BBC Introducing’s “Track of the Week” three times. They’ve opened for  Seth Lakeman and 10cc , and played at Mondo.NYC Festival a couple of years ago.

Last year’s  Pieces of the Night quickly established Scott as one of her country’s emerging singer/songwriters with the album pairing emotive and heartfelt songwriting with a warm and effortless production that meshed organic instrumentation — primarily acoustic guitar, cello and vocals — with atmospheric electronics. Building upon a rapidly growing profile, both Scott and her collaborator Della Casa have signed publishing deals with Ultra Music Publishing and Chelsea Music Publishing respectively.

Scott kicks off 2019 with the gorgeous, Parachutes and A Rush of Blood to the Head-era Coldplay-like “Walk a Wire.” Centered around Scott’s plaintive vocals, a soaring hook and spectral arrangement of acoustic guitar and atmospheric electronics, the song is inspired by a friend of Scott’s, who had a disability and out of fear of rejection and heartbreak, closed herself away. And as a result, the song is a plea to the listener to take a chance and open up to life and possibility.

 

 

 

 

 

With the release of last year’s debut EP The Call, the Paris-based electro pop duo SACRE, which is comprised of Hawaii and Sukil, burst into the international scene, as the EP received praise from the likes of Billboard, The Line of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, Impose Magazine, Earmilk and others, as well as a co-sign from Pharrell Williams. Building upon a growing, buzz worthy profile, their follow-up single “Lemonade” reached #2 on the Hype Machine charts — and their debut EP received the remix treatment, featuring remixes from Gigamesh, the Victoires de la Musique-nominated Elephanz, Chopstick & JohnJon, JOVM mainstay Uppermost and NTEIBINT.

Slated for a December 2019 release, the duo’s highly-anticipated, full-length debut Love Revolution will further cement the duo’s reputation for being full-circle creators, who write, sing, produce design everything related to their musical project with the album reportedly finds the members of SACRE meshing music, photography and narrative storytelling with each track of the album telling the story of 12 different characters over the course of 12 hours. The album’s fourth and latest track “10:00PM FIRE IRAE (which translates into “fire wrath”) is a sultry and propulsive trance-inducing, house banger, centered around layers of shimmering and arpeggiated synths, thumping beats, tweeter and woofer rocking low end, sultrily delivered ethereal vocals and a soaring hook — and while bearing a resemblance to Giorgio Moroder, Daft Punk, and Kylie Minogue, the song is set at 10:00pm. Bebe, the star of the evening, appears on stage. The crowd cheers for a moment, then hushes, hypnotized by her fire dancing, with her performance ending with Bebe triumphantly setting the entire bar on fire. Show over, time to go home, now — with the crowd slack jawed and with that space cadet glow, as an old song says.

 

 

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New Video: Close Talker’s Cinematic and Eerily Visuals for “Half Past Nine”

Initially forming back in 2012, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada-based indie trio Close Talker, comprised of childhood friends Will Quiring, Matthew Kopperud and Christopher Morien have made some big career strides in a relatively short period of time — two critically applauded albums that have received attention from a number of well-regarded, internationally known blogs and publications, including NPR, Billboard, Clash, Spin, Q Magazine, and Consequence of Sound and a number of tours across North America, the European Union and the UK. After becoming a trio in 2015, the band has spent time honing their craft and sound, eventually developing a self-assured, atmospheric sound. 

Having recently won Alternative Artist of the Year at the Saskatchewan Music Awards, the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based trio hope that 2019 will be a breakthrough year for them. Building upon a growing profile, the trio’s latest single, the self-assured and atmospheric “Half Past Nine” is the first batch of new material from the band this year. Centered by shimmering guitars, propulsive beats, ethereal vocals and a soaring hook, the band’s latest single is a quietly ambitious and achingly wistful track that the band explains via email is “about a concert the three of us attended at our favourite summer festival. It’s about looking around at friends, at strangers, and seeing each person sing along to words that mean so much to them – words that have carried them through times only they know about. It’s about holding on to the moments that you never want to end, and then desperately trying to remember them after they are gone. It takes hindsight to recognize when something profound has happened, but every now and then, you’re able to sense it right in the moment.” The song as the band continues “is about those moments and attempting to cling to them.”  

“Wish we could say this was the first time we nearly got hyperthermia for a Close Talker video, but that would be a lie,” the members of the band say of the video treatment for “Half Past Nine.” “We shot the video on the beautiful coastline of Vancouver Island where we had been surfing the day before. The beach was vacant because it was too cold for the locals, so we thought we’d seize the moment and film a video that is cyclical in nature, beginning and ending in the freezing cold ocean. The video includes themes of chasing moments or feelings from the past, only to recognize that you’ll always be chasing if you don’t stop and enjoy the simple and often overlooked beauty around you. Filmed by the talented Ben Giesbrecht.”

Over the past few years I’ve written a bit about acclaimed Stockholm, Sweden-based indie rock act  Honeymilk, and as you may recall the act which was formed as a quartet featuring founding members Marcus Admund (vocals) and Albin Wesley (bass), along with Nikki Nyberg (guitar) and Erik Fritz (drums), could trace their origins to the formation and breakup of an earlier band Urmas Planet, which also featured several members of the band’s initial lineup.

With the release of the Linus Larsson-produced single  “It Might Be,” the band quickly received both praise across the blogosphere and radio airplay on several radio stations including Amazing Radio and Oxford College Radio. However, after “It Might Be,” the members of Honeymilk decided to go the DIY route, recording their critically applauded full-length debut effort Lean on the Sun. After the release of their Brit Pop meets classic psych rock-like “A Scene in Between,” and subsequent releases, the band went through a massive lineup change that resulted in the band becoming a duo featuring co-founder Admund and Nyberg. As a result of the lineup change, the band experienced a radical and perhaps necessary change in sonic direction, as you’d hear on the breezy,  Vampire Weekend-like synth-based single “Time Will Kill You,” which received attention across the blogosphere and amassed over 140,000 streams on Spotify.

Admund and Nyberg released I Want You To Be Very Happy, the highly-anticipated follow up to Lean on the Sun. The album which featured album singles “The Nothing New,” “Time Will Kill You,” and “Trip” managed to receive praise from a number of major media outlets including Clash Magazine, BBC Fresh On The Net and Jajaja Music as well as airplay on Sweden’s P3, Amazing Radio, Germany’s Flux FM, Norway’s NRK P13 and Finland’s YLE Soumi.

Interestingly, the band’s latest single “It’s All In My Hands” was written and recorded during the I Want You To Be Very Happy sessions but wasn’t finished and was subsequently cut from the album. Sonically speaking, the song will further cement the Swedish act’s reputation for crafting material that effortlessly meshes psych rock and Brit pop with rousingly anthemic hooks; but with subtle elements of 70s disco. As the band mentions in press notes, the song is actually one of their first politically charged songs. “We wanted to take ourselves seriously and write about the tiresome right-wing, life-coach cliché that everything is possible just as long as you give everything,” the  members of Honeymilk say in press notes. “Basically leaving them with no other responsibility for people’s lives except cashing their cheques. To take down the cynism a bit we added some disco-feel to it. It’s recorded a couple of years ago in our former studio at Odenplan,  Stockholm, from which we got kicked out threatened to be sued for 100 000 kronor. We never got to release ‘It’s All In My Hands.’ We forgot about [it]. And now – we happened to fall in love with it again.”

 

 

 

 

Deriving their name from the Icelandic explorer, believed to be the first Westerner to reach the shores of the Americas, the London-based indie rock quintet Leif Erikson, comprised of Sam Johnston, Oliver Wright, Tom Leader, Greg Austin and Giles Robinson, can trace their origins to the breakup and reunion (of sorts) of the band’s previous iteration, Flashguns. The band’s self-titled debut effort was released last year to critical praise from the likes of StereogumClash Magazine and The Line of Best Fit.

The British quintet’s latest single, the shimmering and atmospheric “Matter” is the first bit of new material since their self-titled effort, and is a bit of a taste of what to expect from a forthcoming EP slated for release early next year. Interestingly, the track is a bold step forward for the band as it finds them gently pushing their sound in a new direction, with the song nodding towards 70s AM radio rock while retaining a cinematic quality; thanks in part to an arrangement featuring dramatic piano arrangement, shimmering guitar lines, shuffling drumming and Johnston’s soulful crooning. But underneath the easy-going self-assuredness of the song, Johnston’s narrator find himself asking much larger questions about life and time, which he recognizes he won’t have easy answers for.

As the band’s Sam Johnston explains in press notes, the song was the band’s attempt “to capture something esoteric about life’s purpose, about making the right choices and following the path that is right for you. What it is to be human and be given this existence that is such a bizarre miracle, but can also be full of pain and struggles. Are there any clues within the infinite universe, a tiny blip of which we occupy or is everything simply the product of chaos? We were very inspired by Curtis Mayfield‘s album ‘Roots’ when thinking about ‘Matter’. He so effortlessly makes these incredible statements about life and society over these stunning, super funky musical arrangements.”

 

 

Formed initially as a solo, bedroom recording project of Hull, UK-based singer/songwriter and guitarist Ryan Smith during the end of 2016, the up-and-coming Hull-based indie rock quintet bdrmm became a full fledged band when Smith recruited his brother Jordan (bass), Joe Vickers (guitar), Daniel Hull (synth, backing vocals) and Luke Irvin (drums). The British quintet cut their teeth playing across Northern England before releasing their first two singles “kare” and “the way i want,” which quickly caught the attention of MTVClash Magazine and DORK, as well as airplay from BBC Radio 1 and Amazing Radio. Adding to a growing profile, the up-and-coming band has opened for Trudy & The Romance, Her’s, FEHM and Horsey — and as a result, they caught the attention of London-based indie label Permanent Creeps, who recently released the band’s latest single “C.U.”

Interestingly, the sprawling new single briefly nods at classic 4AD Records post-punk,  shoegaze and slacker rock as the song is centered around a morphing and shifting song structure which features an arrangement of shimmering, pedal effected guitars, thundering drumming, a propulsive bass line and soaring hook — and that’s paired with a swooning and emotionally urgent song rooted in deeply personal, lived-in experience. As the band’s Ryan Smith explains in press notes “I wrote ‘C.U.’ during a pretty ‘eventful’ time in my life — a lot of feelings hurt, vivid anxiety and thing lost, this track has been a long time coming . This is an ode to 2017.”