Tag: Sheffield UK

Born in Beirut, Lebanon to an Irish-American father and a British mother, who was of Arabic and Italian origin, singer/songwriter and actor Michael Malarkey grew up in Yellow Springs, OH. He  eventually relocated to London, where he studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. As the story goes, while studying acting and drama, Malarkey began to immerse himself in music and songwriting, which he found to be a form of poetic journalism and an endless journey of self-discovery.  Interestingly, although Malarkey may be best known for playing Enzo in CW‘s The Vampire Diaries and Captain Michael Quinn in the History Channel‘s Robert Zemeckis-executive produced Project Blue Bookhe has managed to simultaneously carve out a separate career as a singer/songwriter.

Malarkey’s full-length debut 2017’s Mongrels was released through Cap on Cat Records to critical applause from MetroBillboard, Classic Rock, and The Guardian. The album’s material thematically explored the duality of his nature and that of human nature in general. Recorded by Malarkey along with Tom Tapley and Brandon Bush in Atlanta, and from album title track “Mongrel,” the material possesses a subtle old-school Nashville/country vibe that further emphasizes the introspective nature of the song and of the album’s material.

Malarkey’s sophomore full-length album Graveracer is slated for a February 10, 2020 release through Cap on Cat Records/Kartel Music Group.  The album’s material was written in 2018 in Puerto Rico and Vancouver while the singer/songwriter and actor was working on the 50 Cent-produced crime drama The Oath and Project Blue Booth. That period was one of a physical and emotional turbulence: Malarkey, along with the cast and crew were evacuated from Puerto Rico during the build up of Hurricane Maria. And understandably, that experience has reportedly bled into the material’s lyrical imagery. “During the time I was working on the record, I escaped two hurricanes – as well as a third, I suppose, my own personal one. This record is my Odyssey in a way. It’s the journey back home after being ravaged in the seas of your own mind and finding the strength to carry on after the storm. I was left with a feeling of freedom and I found it through these songs,” the singer/songwriter and actor says in press notes.

Recorded at Sheffield, UK-based Tesla Studios and co-produced by Michael Malarkey and singer/songwriter A.A. WilliamsGraveracer is reportedly centered around a straightforward, heartfelt honesty in its songwriting and tone with the material being reflective without leaning on nostalgia and forward-thinking without being urgent; in fact, it’s rooted in the present, as a portrait of one complex and flawed person, as a work in progress — as we all are.

“Shake the Shiver,” Graveracer‘s latest single is a sparse and brooding single, centered around Malarkey’s sonorous baritone,  atmospheric synths, a simple yet propulsive backbeat, a sinuous bass line, strummed guitar and a razor sharp hook. And while recalling Daughn Gibson and Jace Everett, the track manages to be seductive yet full of a dark and creeping, existential dread.

 

 

Featuring primary and founding members Ryan Needham and Liza Violet, along with a rotating cast of friends, collaborators and others, the Leeds, UK-based indie rock band Menace Beach received both national and international attention with the release of their full-length debut Ratworld and its follow-up Super Transporterreum EP — both of which were praised for an off-kilter, buzzing and fucked up take on 90s rock. Now, if you had been frequenting this site last year, you may recall that I wrote about “Ghoul Power,” the first single off Super Transporterreum EP, a song that tales a story about a pocket-sized, alien thou, who soaks up your darkness and anxieties –but after hanging out with the members of Menace Beach, who take him to way too many parties and shows, the alien winds up as a pale, sweaty  mess. Sonically, the song seemed to draw from PixiesThe Breeders and L7 while evoking a lurching fucked up, nauseating haze.

Written while in Ibiza and recorded in Sheffield, UK with Russ Orton, who’s worked with M.I.A., Arctic Monkeys and The Fall, the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort Lemon Memory was partially written as a way to lift a citrus-based curse that the band’s primary duo believe was placed on their house and as a way for them to forge their own sound and identity. The album’s latest single “Give Blood” begins with a couple of false starts before noisily chugging along in earnest with layers of scuzzy power chords fed through effects pedals and tons of feedback, propulsive and thundering drumming and an anthemic hook in which Needham and Violet sing about death — all while sounding as though the song were inspired by Blur and psych rock.

 

 

 

 

At the end of last month, I wrote about the Leeds, UK-based indie rock/post-punk trio Cowtown. Comprised of David Michale Shields (drums), Hilary Knott (bass, keys and vocals) and Johnathan Nash (guitar,vocals), the British trio have over the course of three full-length albums have developed a reputation for  angular, super caffeinated post-punk that draws from Gang of Four, DEVO, Talking Heads, much like “Motivational Speaker,” the first single off the band’s forthcoming album Paranormal Romance slated for an August 19, 2016 release through Athens, GA-based HHBTM Records in the US and Sheffield, UK-based label Audacious Art Experiment.

Clocking in at 92 seconds, Paranormal Romance‘s second and latest single “Tweak” sounds as though it were indebted to the Ramones and 90s alt rock, as the the trio pairs propulsive and thundering drumming with blistering power chords and an anthemic and infectious “oh oh oh” at the hook that you can imagine a crowded and sweaty bunch of kids yelling lustily while moshing — and with a youthful abandon.