Tag: Liverpool UK

New Audio: Liverpool’s Courting Shares Acerbic “Tennis”

Liverpool-based post-punk quarter Courting — Sean Murphy-O’Neill (vocals, guitar), Sean Thomas (drums, vocals), Josh Cope (guitar) and Connor McCann (bass) — exploded into the the national scene with last year’s Grand National EP, a critically applauded effort that led to coverage from the likes The Needle Drop, CRACK, Dork, NME, Clash and London Evening Standard — and landed on a number of end of year lists, including NME‘s 100, Dork‘s Hype List 2022, Daily Stars Ones to Watch 2021 and DIY‘s Hello 2021. Adding to a rapidly growing national profile, the act landed two singles on BBC Radio 6′s playlist.

Building upon last year’s incredible momentum, the Liverpool-based post-punk outfit recently signed to [PIAS] and they announced a run of UK tour dates slated for September and October. Along with that, they released a new single “Tennis,” the first bit of new material from the band since the release of last year’s Grand National.

The James Dring-produced “Tennis” sees the members of Courting expanding upon their sound with smatterings of electronic fuzz, bloops, bleeps and feedback that explodes into cacophony paired with angular guitar lines, a driving bass line, forceful rhythms and an enormous, shout-along worthy hook-driven chorus paired with Murphy-O’Neill’s sardonic lyrics delivered with vocals, which vacillate between a restrained monologue and a bristling and acerbic spittle and bile-fueled singing. The song captures the push and pull, and the bitter and endless back and forth within a dysfunctional, transactional relationship with an uncanny sense of realism.

“‘Tennis’ is a paypig’s personal redemption narrative, set in ‘the city’, and told in two parts. A twisted tale of two lovers’ back and forth, bound by cricket, bodybuilding, and money. A story as old as time,” the members of Courting explain. “We named the song ‘Tennis’ as a logical (but unrelated) sequel to our two previously released sports-related songs. To us, this felt like a natural ending to that idea. Dynamically, the second part of the song is supposed to represent a shift in tone for the character in which they realise their own worth and leave the situation that is set within the first part of the song.”

New Video: Liverpool’s Monitors Release a Trippy and Mind-Bending Visual for Dance Floor Banger “The Drill”

Liverpool-based indie trio Monitors is centered around the friendship of three men from completely different cultures — a Brit, a Frenchman and a Bosnian. With the release of 2019’s Notes from the Aftermath EP, the trio established an overall aesthetic that pairs lyrics inspired by the works of William S. Burroughs, J.G. Ballard and Edgar Allan Poe with a sound that meshes elements of punk, pop and electronica.

Released earlier this month, the Liverpool trio’s sophomore EP The War Office derives its title from a room in Liverpool- based pub Ye Cracke, known as The War Office. Famously, The War Office was where pubgoers had heated discussions about The Second Boer War and British Colonialism. In the 50s, John Lennon and painter Stu Sutcliffe were regulars. Perhaps inspired by The War Office, the EP continues and expands upon the themes that 2019’s Notes from the Aftermath — in particular isolation, addiction, political corruption and ecology. But the EP finds the act addressing those thematic concerns with a much more confrontational and direct approach than its predecessor, paired with a richer melodic sensibility.

The EP’s first single “The Drill” is a propulsive, dance punk banger centered around fuzzy yet funky bass lines, four-on-the-floor, punchily delivered lyrics and enormous hook. Sonically, the song reminds me of Echoes-era The Rapture and LCD Soundsystem. But the song’s inspiration and thematic concerns come from a far darker place — August Natterer’s descent into madness. “He had a hallucination of 10,000 images in 30 minutes,” the band’s Chris explains, ““to the point where after committal he believed he was the illegitimate child of Napoleon and a ‘redeemer of the world’. This song deals with the instability of the mind and its power over the body to inspire, enlighten but potentially to also destroy.”

The recently released video for the song finds the trio in a mental health ward, treating each other — while hallucinating and in the throes of complete madness. Who’s the patient? Who’s the doctor? Are they all insane? That I’ll leave to you. But it’s an appropriately trippy and mind-bending take.

Liam Brown is a Liverpool-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, electro pop artist and producer, best known as the creative mastermind behind the applauded, 80s synth pop-inspired, JOVM mainstay act pizzagirl. Since exploding into the blogosphere in 2018 with Brown has released two EPs, 2018’s an extended play and season 2 and his full length debut, 2019’s first timer — all of which have been championed by a handful of BBC personalities including Huw StephensAnnie Mac and Lauren Laverne, Gemma Bradley, Shaun Keaveny and Radcliffe and Maconie, as well as KCRW’s Travis Holcombe, The Guardian, The Sunday Times, NME, DIYHighsnobietyWonderlandThe Line of Best Fit and a growing list of others.

Brown’s sophomore album, Softcore Mourn is slated for a July 16, 2021 release through Heist or Hit Records. Reportedly, the album will further establish his critically applauded aesthetic, in which he actively pits maximalist pop sounds against claustrophobic production but while delving deeper into the emotional hard-drive in a way that may remind some sonically and thematically of LCD Soundsystem and The Postal Service. But at parts, the album’s material can be seen as a return to form with the album drawing a bit from the sonic palette from an extended play.

“Bullet Train,” Softcore Mourn‘s second and latest single is a high octane banger featuring a chugging synth bass line, twinkling synth arpeggios, Brown’s plaintive vocals paired with a rousingly anthemic hook that sonically recalls mid 80s New Order — i.e. “Bizarre Love Triangle” and others. But despite the uptempo thump and neon colors, the song is ironically rather downbeat, with the song detailing the bitter and uneasy feelings of a nasty breakup.

“Here’s my second single ‘Bullet Train’, another breakup song I think,” Brown says, “but this time, at 200mph. I sound really bitter on this, and for good reason I’d say, my screen time is high, my battery is low and there’s no 5g at the end of this tunnel; haha ;)” 


Howie Payne is aLiverpool-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. And although his music career started in earnest in the early 1990s when he played in a number of local bands including The Magic Clock, The Windmills, Telephone, Blueseed (who, released their debut single “The Only Ones” in 1997 and their debut EP, 1998’s Special Care and Spare Change through Ultimate Records) and The Big Kids, Payne is best known for his solo project-cum-full-fledged band The Stands, an act that was both critically applauded and championed by the likes of The Stone Roses, Spiritualized, Jack White, Noel Gallagher and Bill Ryder-Jones.

The band supported their two albums together, 2004’s All Years Leaving and 2005’s Horse Fabulous, with tours opening for Paul Weller, The Libertines, The Coral and Oasis before Payne ended the project in late 2005. Since then Payne has developed a reputation as a critically applauded solo artist releasing two albums 2009’s Bright Light Ballads and 2017’s Mountain. Payne is gearing up to release his highly-anticipated third, full-length later this year. But in the meantime, his latest single, the self-produced and self-engineered “Into Daylight” is the first bit of new material from the acclaimed Liverpool-born and-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer since Mountain. Clocking in at a little over 2 minutes, the track is a breakneck, Brit Pop take on psych rock that’s a decided change in direction from Payne’s previously released solo work, as the track is centered around fuzzy and darting power chords, a motorik-like groove, a bluesy and expressive guitar solo and an enormous hook before a sudden fade out.

“The first person I played it [the song] to said, ‘It sounds like if Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac and early Pink Floyd were in the same band’ . . . I’m having that thank you very much,” Payne says of the song inn which he plays all the instrumental parts. “It’s the first full on electric rock and roll tune I’ve put out since I was doing The Stands, definitely the most psychedelic and the first guitar solo I’ve cut in a while. I’ve been listening to a lot of rock and roll and rediscovered my love of playing the electric guitar and of volume and it sent me off in a new, heavier direction. ‘Into Daylight’ is a pure rock and roll song. It’s loud, fast and exciting to play live. I can see us  absolutely jamming the shit out of it at the shows down the line.”



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. 

Liam Brown, an up-and-coming, Liverpool, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and electro pop artist, best known as pizzagirl has become one of this site’s latest mainstays over the couple of months. Now, as you may recall, with the release of the An Extended Play EP earlier this year, Brown was quickly championed by Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and Lauren Laverne, and received praise from DIY, Highsnobiety, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit and others for an 80s synth pop inspired sound. And adding to a growing profile, Brown opened for acclaimed British act Her’s during their most recent UK tour.

With the release of singles like “highschool,” “gymnasium,” “body part,” off Brown’s soon-to-be released sophomore pizzagirl EP season 2, the Liverpool-based artist further cements a growing national and international reputation for crafting swooningly heartfelt, shimmering synth pop that draws from several decades simultaneously, giving it a decidedly anachronistic sound and feel. “blossom at my feet, flower,” season 2‘s latest single is a classic 80s-inspired power ballad, centered around thumping beats, shimmering synths, chiming guitars, and an anthemic hook. Unsurprisingly, Brown’s latest continues a run of cinematic singles — but unlike its predecessors, it’s the most prom-like, evoking teenaged hopes, desires and dreams with a novelistic detail to psychology and the psychological state of his narrators.


Earlier this month, I wrote about Liam Brown, an up-and-coming Liverpool, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and electro pop artist, best known as Pizzagirl, and with the release of his debut EP An Extended Play earlier this year, Brown was championed by the likes of Huw StephensAnnie Mac and Lauren Laverne, and received praise from DIYHighsnobietyWonderlandThe Line of Best Fit and others for an 80s synth pop inspired sound. And adding to a growing profile, Brown opened for acclaimed British act Her’s during their most recent UK tour.

Building upon the growing buzz surrounding him, Brown’s sophomore Pizzagirl effort season 2 is slated for a November release, and as you may recall EP single “highschool” was an achingly wistful and pensive synth pop track centered around arpeggiated synths, thumping beats and a sinuous hook that immediately brought Washed OutSt. Lucia and classic 80s synth pop to mind. “gymnasium,” season 2‘s latest single continues on a similar vein — swooningly heartfelt and oversized teenaged sentiment paired with a breezy yet decidedly DIY production featuring twinkling keys, thumping beats, Brown’s plaintive vocals, a Tears for Fears-like bridge and incredibly infectious hooks. Just as important, Brown manages to accurately capture and evoke what it feels like to be a high schooler and desperately in love.



Liam Brown is an up-and-coming, Liverpool, UK-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, producer and electro pop artist, best known as Pizzagirl — and with the release of his debut EP An Extended Play earlier this year, Brown was championed by the likes of Huw Stephens, Annie Mac and Lauren Laverne, and received praise from DIY, Highsnobiety, Wonderland, The Line of Best Fit and others for an 80s synth pop inspired sound. And adding to a growing profile, Brown opened for acclaimed British act Her’s during their most recent UK tour.

Building upon a growing profile, Brown’s sophomore Pizzagirl effort season 2 is slated for a November release, and the EP’s latest single “highschool,” will further cement Brown’s reputation for crafting achingly wistful and pensive, synth pop centered around shimmering, arpeggiated synths, thumping beats and sinuous hooks — while recalling Washed Out, St. Lucia and classic 80s synth pop, complete with enormous, painfully sincere teenaged sentiment, as the song’s narrator is worried about losing his cool over someone he digs immensely.



Comprised of singer/songwriter Aluna Francis and producer George Reid, the renowned London-based electronic music duo AlunaGeorge can trace their origins back to 2009 when Reid remixed My Toys Like Me‘s  “Sweetheart“. And since their official formation in 2012, the duo have developed a reputation for a sound that slickly meshes 90s and 00s R&B, synth pop, house music and EDM inspired by the likes of Flying Lotus, Chris Clark, Hudson Mohawke, Destiny’s Child, Aaliyah and Mariah Carey among others.

The duo has spent most of the past year working on new material — but in the meantime, AlunaGeorge’s Aluna Francis teamed up with young, up-and-coming Liverpool-based electronic music producer, songwriter and electronic music artist SG Lewis on the house music club banger “Hurting,” a track centered around shimmering arpeggiated synths, tweeter and woofer rocking beats and Francis’ sultry vocals singing about the raw, sexual yearnings of the post-breakup blues. Sonically speaking, the song is a slick and modern take on the classic house music sound, while revealing a careful attention to craft.

As Lewis says of the track, “Aluna and I met for the first time in LA earlier this year, and I was talking to her about the album concept, and in particular, Dark. Aluna has been a part of so many dance records that I love, so I knew I wanted to make a club track with her! After we ate burritos and hung out, we made ‘Hurting’ super quickly – the whole process was super natural between the two of us, and she has such an amazing ear for production.”