Thursday, 2 August 2018

Team Picture - I Want Your Life Hack

Team Picture are an indie pop/rock band from Leeds. They sound like Ed The Dog, The Blinders or Clean Cut Kid.Team Picture have been playing together since 2016. (I Want Your) Life Hack (March’18) is off the mini-album Recital (June’18). (I Want Your) Life Hack was inspired by the Talking Heads but the band have six members with wildly differing tastes in music. Life Hack features fuzzy guitars and a stomping beat.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Ed The Dog - Yes Men

1.    Who is Ed The Dog?  

Ed The Dog are an indie pop/rock band from High Wycombe, England. They are fronted by Ed Wetenhall and have been at it since 2018. Yes Men (May’18) is the second single from their debut album Shame (July’18). 

2. What kind of tune is Yes Men? 

Yes Men is catchy indie pop with a quintessentially English bent. Bass heavy, self-deprecating and quirky fun. Reminiscent of Blur's better moments and Rat Boy's more recent ones while bursting from the packet with freshness.

3. Who do Ed The Dog sound like?  

Blur, Marsicans, and Team Picture.  

4. What have the press said about Yes Men?
“Ed The Dog’s signature alt-pop sound has us all tied up in knots” – Sound Sphere.

“A fervent, bass heavy track that is cram full of soul” – One Stop Record Shop.

“Analog fuzz and warm melodies” – The Line Of Best Fit.  

5. Which bands have influenced Ed The Dog?
The Strokes, Dirty Projectors, Darwin Deez, Randy Newman, The Beatles, and LCD Soundsystem. 

6. Why should I give Yes Men a spin? 
For the bass fat fucking bass and the rock outs.

7. Do Ed The Dog have any more bangers? 
Television Era is on the mark. 

8. Any more guff? 
Ed Wetenhall was the front man for Fish Tank from 2011 – 2016. 

Thursday, 5 July 2018

James - Better Than That

James are an iconic indie pop/rock band from Manchester, England. They have sold over 25 millions albums worldwide. James are most famous for the songs Laid (1993), Sit Down (1991) and Come Home (1989). James are similar to The Smiths and Travis. Their main influences are Joy Division and The Fall. Better Than That (April'18) is from the E.P. of the same name and can be found on their fifteenth album Living In Extraordinary Times (August'18). Better Than That is the sound of a band that, not content to rest on it's laurels, is constantly striving to evolve their sound to sound relevant and exciting.

Ruler - Petrified

1.    Who?

Ruler is Matt Batey, an indie rock musician from Seattle, Washington.  Matt Batey has spent over a decade playing in other bands. Petrified (Feb’18) is the lead single from his debut album Winning Star Champion (May’18). 

2. What kind of tune is Petrified? 

Petrified is a proto-typical hard-charging indie rock song about anxiety. But what seems 'hey-diddle-diddle-straight-down-the-middle' indie rock carries hints of god-honest angry desperation that propels this flower out of the bunch.

3. Who does Ruler sound like? 

Ruler has been compared to Nada Surf, Superchunk, and Death Cab For Cutie. 

4. What have the press said about Ruler's music? 

“Catchy and grown-up indie rock” – MagnetMagazine.

“Bright and unpretentious guitar rock” – Seattle Weekly.

“Bouncy power-pop” – Pitchfork. 

5. Which bands have influenced Ruler?

Matt Bately has some love for Nada Surf, David Bazan, Charly Bliss, Chris Staples, and Sloucher.

6. Why should I have a listen to Petrified

Because here is a man immersed in the Seattle rock indie scene who has struck out on his own with ten years worth of songs in his back catalogue, and made his first album (a labor of love). All of that is packed into a catchy song.

7. Does Ruler have any other crackers?

Easy Life is more of the same.

8. Anything else?

Erik Howk the guitarist from Portugal. The Man plays on the album. 

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Dan Mangan - Troubled Mind

Dan Mangan is an indie rock/folk musician from Vancouver, Canada. His music is similar to Great Lake Swimmers, Arkells, and Wintersleep. Dan Mangan's main influences are Nick Drake, Van Morrison and The Beatles. Troubled Mind (June'18) is the second single from an as yet unannounced fifth album. He said that Trouble Mind might be his most upbeat and danceable song yet. Trouble Mind is fast-paced, but melancholic; a synth-led, indie pop song about struggling to deal with the 24/7 bombardment of news. It was produced by Simone Felice (Bat For Lashes, The Lumineers).

“Are we the beautiful future?
I can’t figure it out”

Grasscourt - Come Alive

1.    Who? 

Grasscourt are an indie-pop duo from Stroud, England. Come Alive (June'18) is their second release from the double  A-side Come Alive/Stones Upon My Chest (June'18).

2. What kind of tune is it? 

Come Alive lays down a cute, whimsical, acoustic melody reminiscent of the Violent Femmes straight out of the gate. And that's your whack. It's enough to go on with.

3. Who do Grasscourt sound like?

 Violent Femmes, You Won't, and Django Django.

4. What is the word from the press? 

“Ramshackle charm” – Clash. 

“Wonky pop” – Clash. 

“Deft acoustic stylings” – Clash. 

5. Which bands have influenced Grasscourt? 
Grasscourts influences are too numerous and varied to share with me. That old dodge. They did say Violent Femmes and The Pixies influenced Come Alive. 

6. Why should I give Come Alive a listen? 
Because you're not in the mood for bombastic choruses, fist-pumping anthems, or 'bound to be a festival favorite' songs. 

7. Is the other song any good? 
Stone Upon My Chest has the 60's, Django Django, hippie vibes. 

8. Anything else? 

Saturday, 30 June 2018

The Beths - Happy Unhappy

1.    Who?

The Beths are an alternative pop band from Auckland, New Zealand, who bring together influences from 90’s guitar music, 2000’s pop punk and mix it together with 60’s pop harmonies. Happy Unhappy (June'18) is the third single from their debut album Future Me Hates Me (Aug'18).

2. What kind of tune is Happy Unhappy? 

An irrepressibly bright and bubbly alternative pop song led by a captivating vocal soaring lightly above bittersweet lyrics and with delicious phrasing. A little guitar noise, especially in the coda, keeps the song grounded and juxtaposes well with the cute harmonies. A great mood maker.

3. Who do The Beths sound like?

Sixpence None The Richer, Alvvays, and Loose Tooth. 

4. What have the press said about Happy Unhappy?

“The Beth’s ‘Happy Unhappy’ is the song of summer” – Rolling Stone. 

“It’s really good” – Noisey Vice.

“Brilliant slice of sunshine filled alternative pop” – It’s Too Loud. 

5. Which bands have influenced The Beths? 

A few of their influences are Death Cab For Cutie, Rilo Kiley, Bright Eyes, Courtney Barnett, Alvvays, The Cars, Weezer, The Modern Lovers, and Cole Porter. 

6. Why should I listen to Happy Unhappy? 

For the phrasing in the verses and the wry lyrics. 

7. Do The Beths have any other good tunes? 

Whatever brings a harder alternative rock sound to play. 

8. Any more words? 

All four band members studied jazz at university. 

Alvvays are an indie pop band from Toronto, Canada. They started playing together in 2011 and have recorded two albums. Alvvays sound similar to The Primitives, Best Coast, and Camera Obscura. They are influenced by Teenage Fanclub, Magnetic Fields, and The Smiths. Plimsol Punks (Aug'17) is the third single from their second album Anitsocialites (Sept'17). River Front Times thought Plimsol Punks is, “irresistibly catchy with a sugar filled chorus.” It's also a song, that is, as the title suggests, about pretentious cunts.