Bristol-based indie-pop duo Firewoodisland have released their powerful and moving take on the classic song ‘Forever Young’ originally by iconic group Alphaville. The duo has been making waves with their music, featured in a number of renowned publications (Earmilk, Clash Magazine), radio support from BBC Radio as well as having their song’s featured on Netflix’s Shadowhunters and Global TV’s NURSES.
Firewoodisland explains what the song means to them, “We’ve always wanted to do our own take on a well-known song. ‘Forever Young’ was one of the most played road trips tunes from Stian’s childhood memories. Talking about a time of real uncertainty, the Cold War, it mirrors the time we are going through in 2020. Our hope was to make a beautiful and heartfelt Firewoodisland rendition, while still respecting the original melodies and lyrics. Hopefully, we’ve done it justice.”
Chill Music shares their thoughts on the new single, “ Poignant and reverend, the cover will awake long-forgotten memories in all who hear it.”
Firewoodisland’s rendition of the beloved classic will draw more people from the captivating delivery by the talented duo.
Released on the 14 August via Alan McGee’sCreation 23 label, the Galway four-piece serve up an incisive and incensed cut of agitated alt-rock on their latest outing.
Written in 2018 while the band were still living in their hometown of Galway, The Clockworks’ James McGregor found himself taking refuge from the drudgery of his 9-5 in a number of café’s and pubs during his lunch break. Infuriated by the plastic world around him and nauseous with the monotony of a rat-run routine, his paranoid thoughts and pent-up rage spilled into a song that dares to point out the failings of an ailing society.
Inspired by the straight-up social commentary of lyrical icons like John Cooper Clarke, Mike Skinner, and Ray Davies of The Kinks, ‘Can I Speak To Manager?’ sees McGregor exercising his songwriting abilities with a similar no-nonsense and observational approach.
Frenzied in its vivid frustration and littered with references of the everyday, ‘Can I Speak…’ is a bile spattered monologue that spirals out of control and ignited by the purchase of a faulty laptop. From the exasperating experience of telephone customer service, to the financial pressures and propaganda of living in a broken system, McGregor let’s it all out on a tirade that is at once relatable and relentless, humorous and hard-hitting.
“Musically I think it is one of the starkest and darkest tracks that we have” says McGregor. “In essence it’s a simple story of getting a dodgy laptop and having no luck on the phone to the company who sold it. Without the “fast-food distraction” factor I hoped the laptop would provide, I looked around for something else to do and found nothing. Nothing on TV, nothing in the fridge, showering for some purpose….Spending money to try and buy some purpose just makes me more cynical…I wanted to sort of drill in the phrase “Can I speak to a Manager?” to get a feeling that everywhere I look, that question is there.”
Matched with an insistent, infectious score in the vein of The Cribs, Idles or Shame, its barbed art-punk riffs and pneumatic rhythms coalesce into a single that smacks between the eyes with exhilarating intent.
Written & produced by The Clockworks, ‘Can I Speak To A Manager?’ was recorded by Paul Tipler at Unit 13 Studios, London. It was mixed by Rocky O’Reilly at Start Together Studios in Belfast, with final mastering undertaken by Nick Watson at Fluid Mastering.
Pairing snarling kitchen-sink commentary with insuppressible sonic tenacity, The Clockworks are a band to savour in these dark days. Formed in Galway and drawn together by a mutual appreciation of post-punk’s darkest corners, The Clockworks are a four-piece comprising James McGregor on Vocals/Guitar, Sean Connelly on Guitar, Damian Greaney on Drums and Tom Freeman on bass.
Relocating to London in 2019, the quartet signed to Alan McGee’s new record label ‘Creation23’ almost overnight. They have since impressed audiences across Europe with live performances at festivals including Eurosonic and Electric Picnic, performing to a huge crowd at Sefton Park in Liverpool in support of Kings of Leon, as well as a head-turning televised appearance on Sky 1’s Soccer AM. And the media have been quick to show their support too, with Louder Than War Magazine praising their: “devilish eccentricity and high energy. They look as sharp as they sound”, and CLASH effusing their ‘ferocious sense of purpose, with the careering post-punk guitar lines’.
Previous single ‘The Future Is Not What It Was’ was praised at radio by BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac on her “New Names” showcase, BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq on his ‘Recommends’ show, receive day-time radio play on RTÉ 2FM, and even impress the legendary Rodney Bingenheimer show in the States on Sirius XM. Encapsulating those same existential feelings of isolation, paranoia, and helplessness, that previous single ‘The Future Is Not What It Was’ channelled so acutely, ‘Can I Speak to A Manager’ finds them continuing that narrative and truly hitting their stride.
A quartet with immense promise and plenty more to say, the time is now for The Clockworks.
Delta Spirit have announced their first new album in six years, What Is There, out on September 11th via New West Records.
Their New West Records debut follows their acclaimed 2014 studio album Into The Wide, of which Uncut said the band “… progressively unleash waves of measured ferocity… toward payoffs that are staggering in their intensity.” What Is There was recorded at Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, TX, produced by the band and mixed by Tchad Blake (U2, Black Keys), and is dedicated to the memory of their friend and musical inspiration, Richard Swift.
The powerful, cinematic video was directed by Michael Parks Randa and shot during the Covid-19 pandemic at over 30 locations throughout North America. After speaking with roughly 70 cinematographers to learn about their particular circumstances, Randa directed 30 individuals across the country to safely document an intimate portrait of Americans in isolation. Randa said “The result is a celebration of the collaborative spirit of filmmaking, a successful experiment in safely navigating production during the pandemic, and a mosaic of America during this time.”
Formed in Southern California in 2005, Delta Spirit took an extended break after supporting their acclaimed effort Into The Wide. “In 2015, we were getting along like family gets along,” admits frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez. “That means sometimes we didn’t like each other too much. We were just growing apart. When we took a break and the band stopped, the friendships got an opportunity to come back.” He offers, “Personality-wise, our band is five contrarians trying to agree on an idea. When your similarity is that you’re contrarian, it’s tough. But when things work out, it’s incredible.”
Over the past six years, Matthew Logan Vasquez has released and toured behind three celebrated solo albums, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich launched a career as a producer (Nathaniel Rateliff), while bassist Jonathan Jameson, guitarist Will McLaren, and drummer Brandon Young collaborated and toured with Sam Outlaw, Mikky Ekko, the Los Angeles band Muna, among others. The band members now call Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Austin, and Montreal home, and reconvened in Brooklyn, NY for a jam session in 2018. Vasquez says, “When we played together, we found the same joy and took it deeper.”
Delta Spirit not only return, but move forward together on What Is There. They wrote and recorded from a new place informed by maturity gained by their journey, break, and reunion. They locked into the process together and eventually found the sweet spot where they were all on the same page. Vasquez says, “I’m really proud of our body of work, but especially proud of where everybody has gotten to now. I have a lot of hope for us. I’m grateful for everyone in this band. There’s a lot of raw honesty in the music. It’s a record for right now, instead of pandering to the past. It’s the next step.” As much as What Is There reflects their journey thus far, it also ushers them into new territory as both musicians and, most importantly, friends.
What Is There will be available across digital platforms, on compact disc, and standard black vinyl. A limited to 500 Clear with Black Marble Vinyl Edition will be available at Independent Retailers, a limited to 350 Coke Bottle Clear & White, Hand-Poured Color Vinyl Edition will be available exclusively through the Magnolia Record Club, while an exclusive Opaque Yellow & Black Marble Vinyl edition is available for Pre-Order NOW via NEW WEST RECORDS.
What Is There Track Listing 1. The Pressure 2. It Ain’t Easy 3. How Bout It 4. Can You Ever Forgive Me? 5. Better Now 6. Home Again 7. Making Sense 8. Lover’s Heart 9. Just the Same 10. What Is There
London-based indie-rock quintet Tempesst have announced their debut album Must Be A Dream will be released September 30th, via Pony Recordings. Along with the album announcement, the band are also releasing the album’s first single “On The Run”, out today alongside a candid studio video directed by the band’s very own Andy Banjanin.
A vivid, expansive sample of the band’s upcoming full length; “On The Run” and the forthcoming album follow Tempesst’s two previously released EP’s ‘Adult Wonderland’ and ‘Doomsday’, both widely lauded for their ’60s and ’70s influenced indie-psych fusion.
On new single “On The Run” the band layer vocal harmonies on top of reverb heavy instrumentation orchestrated far and wide into a massive psychedelic pop exploration. It’s all brought back to earth by Tempesst vocalist Toma Banjanin’s slithering baritone and stories of death, substance abuse and the loss of innocence forever.
Speaking on the new single, singer Toma shared: “‘On The Run’ was written about a close friend who disappeared for a decade and returned as someone completely different, and it’s an ongoing trauma. When I connected the music to the lyrics to try and finish the song, it felt like it had a rolling rhythm, so the chorus fell into place from there. For me, this song carries a lot more emotional weight.”
Consisting of Sunshine Coast, Australia born twin brothers Toma (vocals, guitars) and Andy Banjanin (drums); the band is rounded out by fellow Australian’s Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass), and Swiss/American guitarist Eric Weber. Now all residing in London where upcoming debut album Must Be A Dream was written and recorded, Tempesst have become well known for their sweeping, psych-touched indie rock.
Produced by longstanding collaborator Elliot Heinrich, and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (known for his work with Parquet Courts, Temples, Yak, and Sorry), Must Be A Dream came together at the band’s very own Pony Studios, a studio space that Tempesst built themselves in Hackney, East London. A massive step forward from their previous short format releases, Must Be A Dream is a wide-eyed excursion of folk-tinged psychedelia with nods to Spiritualized, Galaxie 500, the Flaming Lips and the Beach Boys.
Ten tracks of psychedelic pop grandiosity, combining the classic teachings of Laurel Canyon-esque folk harmonization with bombastic sensibilities found in the works of Love, ELO, Pink Floyd, Wings and more. Must Be A Dream is a paradox of complexity and musical prowess shrouded beneath deceivingly simple pop melodies, producing a dense, sun-kissed record that explores themes of identity, purpose, ageing, love, loss, substance abuse, the death of loved ones and remembering the beauty beneath it all.
Tempesst’s new single “On The Run” is out now, released June 17th. Debut album Must Be A Dream is released September 30th, via Pony Recordings.
The Blinders have shared their new track ‘Black Glass’, the latest and final track to be taken from their upcoming album Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath ahead of its release on July 17th via Modern Sky UK.
A constantly evolving journey, which builds from a sparse and foreboding blend of bass, drums and ruminative vocals into a powerful frenzy of distorted guitars, ‘Black Glass’ is a powerfully free-formed dose of infectious instrumentation and thought-provoking lyricism. The track is accompanied by an absorbing lyric video, with a surreal and hypnotic montage of historic footage serving to capture the existential dread that the world faces today.
“This song is about a disturbed introvert’s conversation between him and himself, whose need for isolation has reached its peak,” explain the band. “No longer does he simply keep the blinds drawn to appease his twisted and paranoid appetite, for slowly he begins to talk through his methods in order to reassure himself that his actions are completely sane.
“As the monologue unravels, his words become more and more deranged and unhinged until finally his nerve implodes. He is left alone with his cyclone of self-righteous, existential rambling thoughts around his mind.”
The new track follows the release of ‘Mule Track’ – which premiered with Steve Lamacq on 6Music and was featured in Spotify’s New Music Friday, Punk List, All New Rock, New Noise and The Rock list playlists – ‘Lunatic (With A Loaded Gun)’, a fiery anthem of defiance against political and social injustices, and ‘40 Days And Forty Nights’, which like their debut single ‘Circle Song’, was playlisted at BBC 6Music in addition to receiving extensive support from Huw Stephens and Jack Saunders at Radio 1 and John Kennedy at Radio X.
The band also shared the latest episode of their Fantasies Of A Stay At Home Psychopath series recently, which takes a deeper look into their minds, day-to-day lives, and how they are remaining creative during this challenging time. Titled ‘South Of Reality’, you can watch it here.
Lead singer and guitarist Thomas Haywood has also been busy recording sessions from home. Showcasing their eclectic influences, they include performances of Tom Waits’ ‘Martha’, Oasis’ ‘Half The World Away’ and a beautifully moving cover of the 19th Century American folk song ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’, as well as live stream shows as part of Liverpool Sound City’s Stay At Home Festival and Dork’s Homeschool Festival.
The follow-up to their critically acclaimed debut album, Columbia, released in 2018, Fantasies of A Stay At Home Psychopath explores existential despair, mental health and society’s ills in a time of planetary crisis. The album was recorded at Manchester’s Eve Studios alongside producer Rob Ellis (PJ Harvey, Anna Calvi), and mixed by Adrian Bushby (Foo Fighters, Muse).
In the shadow of Brexit, the climate crisis and the global pandemic, The Blinders deliver their unique brand of outspoken anthemicism in a sensational album, designed to rouse awareness and inject vital energy into a bleak 2020. Combined with their blistering live energy, get ready for The Blinders to accelerate furiously into the limelight.
UK-born alternative singer-songwriter Leanne Tennant recently released her latest album, Happiness Is via LT Records. Available on limited edition Green Vinyl, CD, and digital, the album was produced by KonstantinKersting (Tones and I) and features singer-drummer of Australian alternative rock band Spiderbait, Kram.
Carrying a gentle tone, ‘Overthinker’ is an ode to critical self-analysis, portraying the complex inner thoughts Leanne Tennant battles with. Taking a step away from her usually light tone, the songstress provides some honest and personal insight into a difficult situation.
“As a sufferer of anxiety, I have a tendency to overthink things. I started writing this song when I was feeling a little fragile however what came out was quite powerful. Even though the lyrics are about my overactive mind, I wanted this song to be a song of strength. A reminder that I am strong.”
The Cat Magic are an alternative band, formed in Bristol around 2018. The impetus behind forming the group comes from two childhood friends, Laurence Matone and Alexei Hnatiw and a hard drive full of demos that Laurence had written over the years.
Devotees of bands like Tame Impala, The War On Drugs and Radiohead, the pair soon recruited Alexei’s brother, Stefan and work could start turning a bedroom project into a fully functional, multi instrumentalist driven, live outfit.
Their debut EP was released late in 2018 and would soon be followed by two new singles, ‘Colouriser’ and ‘Maths Club’ which both received radio play on the BBC.
After playing a slew of shows and securing several headline slots in their native Bristol throughout 2019, The Cat Magic returned to the studio early in 2020 to record their most exciting set of releases yet.
Six piece East London indie rock outfit Harriet Comfort will release their debut single, ‘Time Is Now’, on Friday July 10.
Recorded and produced behind closed doors during the COVID-19 London lockdown in each of the band members’ individual homes, mixed by Ryan Pinson (RML studio) and mastered by Pete Maher (U2, The Killers, The Rolling Stones, Noel Gallagher, Pixies, Jack White, NIN), ‘Time Is Now’ is the first track to officially be released by the energetic newcomers.
Full of passion, ‘Time Is Now’ aptly encapsulates the global consciousness. Lyrically jam packed with powerful messages, encouraging the listener to stand up and take action. Inspired by the state of the world, Harriet Comfort challenge their audience to consider today to make a change for the future.
Propelled by strong, sultry vocal melodies, tied with constant eclectic guitar growls, flanked by thick bass sounds, droning synth key moments, and all driven by a robust rolling drum line, ‘Time Is Now’ kicks the door down, grabs your attention, lures you in and knocks your heart off beat.
Fresh on the indie rock scene, Harriet Comfort, are zealously working on follow up tracks to be released at the end of 2020.
Indie-alternative artist, Milo Gore shares food for thought, with his new single ‘Noise Gone Dancing’. The song features on his upcoming album How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living? which releases this August 2020.
Milo Gore talks about the single, “‘Noise Gone Dancing’ is a song about two people who chose to love one another, rather than finding a love for themselves. Leading on from my single ‘Green Eyes’, a song about learning to dance on your own again, this next single felt incredibly fitting. There was so much untamed, unmanaged madness from us both, yet at the time, this erratic relationship was everything to me. Hindsight is such a beautifully cruel thing. The main thing I hope people take from this song is the importance of learning to accept yourself, before you look to love another. A line I learnt while in rehab… ‘A drowning man cannot save another man from drowning’.
Sound Lab adds, ‘Noise Gone Dancing’ is a sincere cry for help before the fall. Singer-songwriter Milo shares a relevant message of struggling to shake off an addiction, which does not happen overnight (realistically speaking). Milo’s shaky vocals carry the weight of his lyrics in this single.
Singer Milo is an open book, disclosing his struggle with his mental health beginning with song ‘Green Eyes’ and continues with the important and underlying message of self-love in the new song ‘Noise Gone Dancing’.
How Do You Cope While Grieving For The Living? Tracklist:
June 11th saw Mechner follow up from their exciting first single ‘Do you wanna go?’, from upcoming mini-LP Club Idem, with ‘Do it Again and Again’. We are pleased to present the premiere of the new single’s dramatic music video.
The video is a continuation of where ‘Do you wanna go?’ left off, though it’s not immediately apparent how they tie together, maybe some eagle eyed viewers will spot an advert for “Club Idem” and ponder what it all means, the video shows a young couple going through a tough patch, financially speaking, living in relative squaller like much of the youth of today, when one of them discovers an interesting opportunity in a local paper, work at “Club Idem”, will this be the salvation they are looking for?
See below to find out:
The song is about repetition, the feeling of being trapped in the mundane loop of life, always living for the weekend and not much else,
“modern life is so bleak… it gets worse by the week…”
“The song is relatively old, having been written in 2013, while I was still in college, it started off as a much more “pop” sounding tune, with a faster tempo, in the vein of ‘Thudthumping’ by Chumbawumba. The original version of the track actually featured in some student film, that I never got to see and know nothing about, but it never officially released.”
Interesting coincidence considering Mechner’s heavy interest in cinema.
“It wasn’t until last year when I slowed the tempo of the track down considerably, found the right chord arrangement for the intro and came up with a much more interesting bass line for the verse. Slowly I started to really see it, as something “Mechner” could do. Whilst recording it I kept layering the guitars, I believe there is at least 10 or 15 separate guitar tracks all with heavy fuzz that give it an overwhelming wall of noise when it kicks in.”