Tag: Portsmouth UK

New Video: Introducing the Breezy Sounds and Striking Visuals of Fast Trains

Announced earlier this month with a series of animated video shorts featuring strange, alien-like beings making their way across Brutalist landscapes, secret messages and a coded language set to ethereal vocals warped beyond recognition, Fast Trains, the solo recording project of Portsmouth, UK-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Tom Wells can actually trace its origins back to two years ago.  “I started writing the songs for Fast Trains just over two years ago. At that point, I was in a different band, and these songs just didn’t fit with what we were doing at the time,” Wells explains in press notes. “I loved the songs though and they’re deeply personal, so I couldn’t give up on them. Then at the start of 2018, I met Sam [Brandon] and everything snowballed. We hatched a crazy scheme to create an entire world based around these songs, with its own landscape, characters, even its own language. This led to ‘Measure by Measure.'” 

Referred to as ourWorld, this “virtual world” runs through everything within the Fast Trains universe, from cryptic social media posts to hidden messages deep within the music itself. And all of this is done with a DIY ethos and spirit with Wells playing almost every instrument and producing the music — with Brandon creating the animation himself, drawing everything frame-by-frame. This ensures that the project and its creative partners are as independent as humanly possible. As for the single, “Measure by Measure” is a breezy and infectious Death Cab for Cutie-like pop song centered around a shimmering and looped guitar line, wobbling and propulsive synths, twinkling keys and Wells’ ethereal vocals. But interesting, the song manages to be simultaneously radio friendly accessibility and adventurously forward-thinking.

The recently released video is a jaw-dropping visual delight and an awesome introduction to the entire world of Fast Trains — and with repeated views, there’s something that will capture your eyes. 

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With the release of “To Be Young” and “Radio Silence,” which received extensive radio airplay on BBC Radio X, Spanish radio station Radio 3 and Stateside on KCRW and KEXP, the Portsmouth, UK-based quintet Kassassin Street — comprised of Rowan Bastable (guitar, vocals), Tom Wells (bass, vocals), Andy Hurst (keys, samples), Ryan Hill (guitar, vocals) and Nathan Hill (drums) — quickly exploded onto the international scene last year. And as a result, the Portsmouth-based quintet had a busy summer playing the UK major festival circuit with appearances at Secret Garden Party, Bestival, Blissfields, Y Not, Great Escape, Beat-Herder and Isle of Wight, as well as a hometown slot at Victorious Festival — and they continued on that success with a successful UK tour, which included several sold out shows.

Building on a rather successful 2016, the members of Kassassin Street recently released their latest single “Hand In My Pocket,” a post-punk track which pairs an anthemic hook with a sinuous bass line, shimmering  and cascading synths, angular guitar chords and an uncanny sense of harmony in a shimmying, dance floor ready track that sounds indebted to Entertainment! and Solid Gold-era Gang of Four (in particular, I think of “Not Great Men” “He’d Send In The Army” and “Why Theory“), Kasabian‘s self-titled effort, Evil Heat-era Primal Scream (in particular “Detroit” and “Autobahn 66“) and New Order — but much like Gang of Four, the song possesses an underlying scathing sociopolitical message as the song focuses on social injustice and inequality in fiscal austerity-era UK.