Tag: Glasgow Scotland UK

Born to Welsh and Polish parents in Stoke-On-Trent, the rising British singer/songwriter and guitarist Benjamin Belinska relocated to Newcastle when he turned 17. He didn’t settle in Newcastle for very long; eventually he drifted around Europe, spending stints in Glasgow, Berlin, and Paris, supporting himself through a series of menial jobs, ranging from museum cleaner to estate gardener. During that period. he wrote music on borrowed guitars and stolen notebooks, garnering praise from the French press and the BBC along the way.

While in Paris, Belinska met E.A.R. and the duo started the band Paris, Texas, which released two Kramer-produced albums before deciding to relocate to Newcastle together. Two things happened to Belinksa, which may have altered the course of his life:

“Rushing to get a connection, I left a suitcase in York station. It was never recovered. Most of the early songs disappeared,” Belinska says in press notes. “Some months later, I was walking from home work and was randomly assaulted by a gang of four in broad daylight. During the recovery, I decided to stop drifting once and for all. As a first gesture, I would record a new album.”

The new album Belinska recorded, his solo, full-length debut Lost Illusions was released earlier this year, and the album’s first single, the Palace Winter-like “Young in Baltimore” reveals a songwriter, who can pair breezy and shimmering radio friendly soft rock, earnest, lived-in songwriting and an unerring knack for crafting an infectious, pop-leaning hook. But underneath the song’s breezy radio friendliness, is an achingly bittersweet lament evoking the inevitable and unstoppable passage of time, of nostalgia for seemingly simpler times, the uneasy compromises that every adult has to make and live with, the forced upon conformity to make a living and survive.

“The song is about regret, nostalgia and conformity,” Belinska said in an email. “It was inspired by Robert Frank’s photo-book The Americans and The Magnetic Fields. I played and recorded it myself and it was mixed and mastered by Giles Barrett and Simon Trought at Soup Studio, London.

Dead Pony · Everything Is Easy

In their relatively short time together, the up-and-coming Glasgow-based post-punk quartet Dead Pony — Anna Shields (vocals, guitar), Blair Crichton (guitar, backing vocals), Liam Adams (bass) and Aidan McAllister (drums) — have developed a reputation for a high-octane live set that has earned them opening slots for Courtney Barnett, Black Honey, and The Mysterines.

Centered around slashing power chords, thunderous drumming, blasts of jagged synth arpeggios and a rousingly anthemic hook, the Scottish quartet’s latest single “Everything Is Easy” is a bold and self-assured introduction to the band that manages to sound indebted to Elastica — “Connection” and “Car Song” in particular come to mind.

“‘Everything is Easy’ is a take on how simple childhood experiences can be soured as you grow older,” the band’s Anna Shields explains in press notes. “Lyrically, we tried to capture that feeling of betrayal you feel as a young, naïve child when you find out Santa isn’t real or that your conception wasn’t via your Dad finding a snotter on the wall and raising it to become you. We came up with this idea after having discussed how ridiculous the things were we believed as children.”

New Video: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets Releases an Explosive and Trippy Visual Romp for “Hymn For A Droid”

Comprised of Jack McEwan, Luke Parish, Danny Caddy and Luke Reynolds, the Perth, Australia-based quartet Psychedelic Porn Crumpets quickly developed a reputation in their native Australia for crafting enormous riff-based psych rock. Earlier this year, the members of the Perth-based psych rock outfit made their Stateside debut — and they managed to kick ass and take names with a series of acclaimed SXSW sets.

Building upon a rapidly growing international profile, Psychedelic Porn Crumpets’ latest album And Now For The Whatchamacalit was released earlier this year, and the album which was recorded between Jack McEwan’s bedroom and Perth, Australia-based Tone City Studios finds the band with a huge, arena rock-like sound, which also manages to represent their loftier ambitions.  “The original concept was to take a 1930’s carnival that had been re-imagined for future generations, a collage of Punch and Judy, carousels and coconut shy’s that progresses in musical concepts and travels with the listener,” the band says of the album’s concept. “Then as we started traveling I was swept off into my own kind of circus, the odyssey of touring life. Large nights out, larger characters, drunken recollections of foreign cities and rabbit hole-ing into insanity.” 

The album’s latest single “Hymn For A Droid” will further cement the band’s growing reputation for crafting riff-based psych rock, as the song is centered around enormous, arena rock friendly, power chord riffs and a motorik groove within an expansive song structure. Play this one as loud as possible and rock the fuck out, y’all. 

“This track reminds me of a Rhino at full charge,” the band’s Jack McEwan explains in press notes. “I was absolutely cranking it while recording. Pretty sure my housemates didn’t get a lot of sleep the week this was being crafted. The lyrics were based on the end of a relationship, those months you’re questioning where your life will end up and if you’re making the right decisions. You’re almost robotic, ticking along like a drone that repeats the same lines over and over in your head, and then you go out with your mates for the first time in ages, take a bunch of thought juice and everything makes more sense. . I wanted the chorus to come out of nowhere like an instant realisation, confusing at first and then the next time you hear it all becomes way clearer.”

Directed by Ashley Rommelrath and Oliver Jones and filmed by Rommelrath and Gareth Goodlad, the recently released video for “Hymn For A Droid” was filmed during the band’s recent UK and European tour and features live footage from sets in Glasgow, Liverpool and All Points East Festival. And while being a display of a band that has become a force of nature that destroys stages and enraptures fans, it’s a lysergic romp, thanks to animation from Oliver Jones that turns guitars into beasts, moshing fans into skeletons and so on. Live shows can be a furious, sweaty and joyous endeavor and this video accurately captures that. 

New Video: Up-and-Coming Scottish Indie Rock Act Sister John Releases a Self-Assured Classic Rock-Like Single

Led by Amanda McKeown, the up-and-coming Glasgow, Scotland-based indie rock act Sister John can trace its origins to when its members met while singing in The Parsonage Choir. McKeown cajoled her then-future bandmates into helping her perform some original material at a one-off event, and as the story goes, the members of the band immediately recognized an intrinsic simpatico that quickly made them inseparable.  

Quickly developing new material and their own sound, the Glasgow, Scotland indie rock act signed to Last Night From Glasgow Records in December 2016 with the label releasing their first single, “He Came Down,” an original, alternative Christmas song, which they followed up with a set at the LNFG/TeenCanteen Christmas Effect charity showcase. Their second single “Sweetest Moment” was released the following June and was named BBC Radio Scotland’s Single of the Week, while receiving airplay on the Roddy Hart Show. Within a year of signing to Last Night From Glasgow Records, Sister John wrote, recorded and released their critically full-length debut, Returned From Sea, which they followed up with a series of sold out shows across the UK, as well as a showcase at Glasgow’s winter music festival Celtic Connections. 

Building upon a growing profile and growing confidence from the positive reception of their full-length debut, the band released “Friends” in early 2018 before heading to the studio to begin work on their self-titled sophomore album, which is slated for release later this week. Reportedly, the soon-to-be released album finds the band squeezing more out of their sound on some tracks while filtering and minimizing on others — with some points, the material taking on a darker sound and vibe. Interestingly, the album’s first single “I’m The One” has been compared to post-Nico Velvet Underground — and that shouldn’t be surprising as the incredible self-assured its centered around a looping and twangy guitar line, a propulsive rhythm section and a sing-songy vocal delivery. The result is a song with a sleazy, bar room strut with a vulnerable, longing underbelly. 

Directed and filmed by Brian Sweeney and Fabio Rebelo, the recently released video features the band performing the song at a tiny, local club with the Whitburn Northern Soul Dancers dancing along. It’s a delightful and mischievously anachronistic visual. 

New Video: Franz Ferdinand Releases Surreal and Mischievous Visuals for Re-worked Version of “Glimpse of Love”

Over the past few months, I’ve written quite a bit about the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand, and as you may recall, the Scottish band, which is currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and the recently added Dino Bardot (guitar) can trace their origins back to 2002. With the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Franz Ferdinand quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, helping the Scottish indie rockers to establish themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post-punk revival movement.

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album with album single “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tilted album in 2015. Franz Ferdinand’s fifth, full-length album Always Ascending was released earlier this year and with album singles “Feel The Love Go,” and “Lazy Boy,” the band continued forward with the quirky, disco-like take on  the Gang of Four-inspired sound that first won them international attention but with a loose, adventurous vibe; in fact, the album’s latest single “Glimpse of Love,” finds the band subtly nodding at house music, thanks to the use of twinkling and arpeggiated keys — but within an expansive, groove-friendly song structure. Interestingly, the version of the song that accompanies the recently released video is a re-working of the album track, re-corded as live and mixed by Serban Ghenea, who has worked with the likes of Rihanna and Lorde.

Directed by Alice Kunisue, the hilarious and surreal visuals for “Glimpse of Love” was shot just outside of Paris and features the members of the band primping, brooding and flat out being ridiculous.

Live Footage: Franz Ferdinand Perform “Always Ascending” on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”

Currently comprised of founding trio Alex Kapranos (lead vocals, guitar), Bob Hardy (bass) and Paul Thomson (drums, percussion and backing vocals), along with newest members Julian Corrie (keys, synths, guitar and backing band), who joined last year, replacing founding member Nick McCarthy and the recently added Dino Bardot (guitar), the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based indie rock/post punk act Franz Ferdinand formed back in 2002.  And with the release of their first two singles “Darts of Pleasure” and “Take Me Out” the members of the Glasgow-based indie rock act quickly saw commercial and critical success — with “Take Me Out,” becoming the band’s signature song, as it eventually peaked at #1 the UK Singles Chart, and earning a Grammy nomination for Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. Additionally, their eponymous, 2004 full-length debut received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album and won the Mercury Prize, helping the Scottish indie rockers to establish themselves at the forefront of the early 2000s post-punk revival movement. 

Their 2005 Rich Costey-produced sophomore effort, You Could Have It So Much Better was released to critical and commercial success with the album peaking within the Top Ten Charts in multiple countries, and as a result, the album received a Grammy nomination for Best Alternative Album with album single “Do You Want To” receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Performance by Duo or Group with Vocal. However, with 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the members of the Scottish indie act moved away from the post-punk sound that first won them international attention to a much more dance floor oriented sound — all while continuing an impressive run of commercial and critical success. They promptly followed that up with a remix album of Tonight, titled Blood, which was released that summer.

2013 saw the release of Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action but they managed to follow that effort up by teaming up with Sparks to form indie supergroup FFS, which released their self-tiltled album in 2015. Now, you may recall that Franz Ferdinand’s fifth album Always Ascending was released on Friday, and from the album single “Feel The Love Go,” the band has continued with a disco-leaning take on the Gang of Four-like post punk that first won them international attention — but with warm blasts of Hall and Oates/blue-eyed soul era saxophone that gives the song a quirky quality. “Lazy Boy,” much like its predecessor is a sleek, dance floor friendly track with a funky, disco-inspired bass line, four-on-the-floor drumming and a slick hook; but interestingly enough, the song finds the quintet at their most adventurous and mischievous, as the song also features twinkling synths and a loose, Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue”-like vibe.

Recently, the renowned Glasgow-based post-punk act was on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to perform album title track Always Ascending, a sleek, dance floor friendly song that in some way seems to nod at Talking Heads’ cover of “Take Me to the River” — but with surprisingly soaring and infectious hook. 

Comprised of  founding duo Albert Kawmi and Calum Muir, along with four other collaborators, the Glasgow, Scotland, UK-based electro pop act Sun Rose, which specializes in what the act has dubbed “maximalist, melodramatic, funk-pop” can trace their origins back to about 2008 when they formed under the name Nevada Base. And during the period of roughly 2008 – 2013, the band, along with Gus Wemyss had been extremely active in Glasgow’s music scene, until the act’s founding duo got sidetracked with serious life issues — jobs and raising families.

As the story goes, the duo had begun recording an album in 2014 and the recordings had sat dormant for over year, until the act’s former member Wemyss returned to Glasgow and began to finalized many of the album’s arrangements and flesh out the material. When the act’s founding duo heard the completed album, they were so impressed that it needed to be released. As the band explained in an email to me, the completed album re-focused the members of the band to start over with a new name — Sun Rose. But despite the change in name, the band’s latest album, The Essential Luxury Album will further cement their reputation for crafting slickly produced, dance floor friendly synth pop; in fact, the album’s first single “Smirk,” will remind some listeners of mid 80s New Order, Cut Copy and No Zu, as a propulsive and sinuous bass line, shimmering synths and call and response vocals are paired with layers of percussion and enormous hooks. And while also subtly leaning at house music, the song manages to be arguably one of the most dance floor friendly songs I’ve come across this year.

Filmed by James Vincent Gillespie and Brian Sweeney on location in Sweeney’s kitchen and in the homes of many of the Last Night from Glasgow crew, the video employs fittingly 80s-inspired graphics and animations in a creepily psychedelic fashion.

 

 

 

 

 

New Video: Upcoming Scottish Indie Act Releases a Gorgeous and Atmospheric Cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Over You”

Comprised of Mairi Fenella Whittle (vocals) and Jack Boyce (guitar, piano), the Glasgow, Scotland-based indie rock/indie pop duo Fenella can trace their origins to when they were both studying and discovered a mutual love for Elektra Records’ mid-late 1960s releases, which included the work of Nico, The Doors, Love, Tim Buckley, as well as The Velvet Underground, Neil Young’s doom trilogy and jazz. After working and building upon Whittle’s song ideas, the duo made their live debut last year, and with some sporadic shows across their hometown, began to see growing local attention; in fact, the duo played at Glasgow’s King Tuts Wah Wah Hut for the venue’s New Year’s Revolution Festival earlier this year.

Signed to new indie label, Little Tiger Records, run by Riverside Music Business students, under the aegis of lecturer and Creeping Bent Records’ Douglas MacIntyre, the young duo have released a number of singles, including their latest single, an eerily atmospheric and haunting gorgeous, Scott Walker-esque/Mazzy Star-esque cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Over You,” that features Whittle’s aching, torch burning vocals paired with a simple and sparse arrangement of strummed guitar and piano.

Directed by Neil Mckenzie, the video employs a relatively simple concept — a close up of Whittle, as she’s staring directly into the camera, and at us with a pensive yet feral longing and eyes glassy from tears. At one point, we see her wipe tears from her eyes, and it further emphasizes the heartbreak at the core of the song.

New Video: Introducing Scotland’s Acrylic and Their Soaring and Anthemic Single “Coast”

Initially formed in Edinburgh, Scotland, UK and comprised of Andreas Christodoulidis, Ross Patrizio, Ruairidh Smith, Lewis Doig and Jack Lyall, the Glasgow-based indie rock quintet Acrylic specialize in an atmospheric and intricate psych rock — and with the release of singles like “Awake,” and “Overrun,” airplay on XFM Scotland, Amazing Radio and BBC Scotland and a sold-out, headline show at Glasgow’s Hug and Pint last month, the quintet have seen a rapidly growing national profile. And building upon the buzz that the band has been receiving, the band’s lated single “Coast,” produced by Paul Savage will further cement their burgeoning reputation for crafting brooding and atmospheric psych rock with anthemic hooks — although it possesses an unusual song structure in which there’s a short and dreamy introduction, a couple of short verses, a repeated refrain/chorus that brings in a series of dreamily atmospheric and soaring hooks in a fashion reminiscent to the likes of Foals and others.

Interestingly, as the band’s Ross Patrizio explains in press notes “‘Coast’ is Acrylic’s oldest song. We’ve had it in some form pretty much since the band started. Andreas [Christodoulidis] and I used to write songs separately, then bring them to the band, but this was the first we wore together, and so it’s always been on elf our favorites. It has a weird structure, and we don’t have any other songs like it. it’s definitely one of the most upbeat Acrylic song; it’s fun to play live.”

The recently released video begins with a man, presumably one of the band members bathing in one of the most gorgeous settings you can set your eyes in time elapsed footage, before cutting to the band performing the song in a studio/rehearsal space and ending with a time elapsed footage of the beach we were introduced to at the beginning of the video.