Thursday 26 May 2016

Lostboycrow - Thursday

Just a side note that I think a lot of people neglect when it comes to WIIHAMB; like the rest of the planet, this site revolves around me. (That's a joke.) Everything here is far more personal and opinion based than a lot of other blogs. Although I do receive far more press releases than I used to, more often than not I don't have any concrete info for tracks that I post here. Which sometimes makes for more interesting posts and sometimes just leads to incessant ramblings. So that's that.

It's Thursday!!!
This week has actually gone quite quickly considering how unproductive I've been. But I can't let another Thursday pass by without acknowledging this absolute BANGER.

I've been a fan of Lostboycrow (whose real name I did stumble across recently but neglected to note down so I've got no idea what it is/was/is) for what feels like ages now, although it's probably only been a year or so. With every new track the standard of his music increases exponentially and that is the absolute raddest. 'Thursday' is undoubtably the peak of his material thus far and I, for one, couldn't be more pleased.

This is proof that slow jams don't have to be ballady, why can't everyone make slow jams like this? The straight fire fuck me sideways line in the chorus as well though: "it wasn't my intention to be filthy rich, all you had to do was smile and I was the filthiest" OMG okay.

This is so great, so forever stoked on this guy's music.

Wednesday 25 May 2016

Nothing Is Low Key: Klyne, RKCB, Huntar

My mate Ross and I were talking at the weekend, over The Great Escape, about the term "low key" and essentially I decided it was really dumb because you can't low key anything on the internet and that's just not how the internet works. But also people on the internet are stupid, so I guess everything's relative. Anyway here are two duos and a human who my love for is anything but low key. Seriously, just search my Twitter profile for any mention of those three and it's pretty embarrassing really.

Klyne - Don't Stop

I never want Klyne to stop and that's the bottom line of this situation. I saw them at The Great Escape over the weekend and they were so good I could have cried. I didn't, but I probably could have done if I'd tried hard enough. But like, everything was so super tight and their vocals were nuts and I could gush forever. Their new single 'Don't Stop' is everything one could have expected from Klyne and then some. It's full of bassy vibes and packed to the brim with catchy vocal lines just like their debut track 'Paralysed' was. Also, the video is so artsy and off the wall and so perfect. Is everything that comes out of The Netherlands like this? I hope it is because that would be really cool. I'd love to tell you how many times I've listened to 'Don't Stop' since its inception but I lost count around the 30 plays mark. Can't. Wait. For. More.

RKCB - Elevated

After not being a massive fan of 'Open Arms', the duo's track with Demo Taped, I wasn't sure how I was going to feel about another new track from RKCB so soon. Rest assured, it's great and I love it. I don't know how they do it, but every RKCB song makes me want to cry. But like in a good way. Oh my god, this is the second time in one post I've talked about crying. I actually don't think I cry as much as I say I do in the slightest. BUT RKCB ARE JUST SO PAINFULLY PACKED FULL OF EMOTION. How? Why you do me like this? Can't wait for the Cali based pair to come to the UK for even just one show. That's an option, right? It is a possibility? If the answer is no, I quite simply don't want to hear it. God they're good.

Huntar - 4AM (In The Morning)

This uploading your music video directly to Facebook thing really isn't working for me. Apparently they're embeddable but it's been almost six months since the last time I faced this predicament and I still can't work out how the fuck to do it. The video for '4AM' (In The Morning) is here, you can watch it if you feel that way inclined. Anyway, anyone who has seen Huntar live (a fair few people) would have heard '4AM' (In The Morning) already but now you can hear a studio version which is nice, isn't it? This is good but after first hearing this song last summer, having to wait almost a year for it to come to fruition is a little... jarring. Like yeah sure, labels, other shit, blah blah blah, but it's just long. And the worst part is, if you think this is good, Huntar has stuff that's even more loads better, you'll just have to wait til circa 2021 to hear it. Can't have your cake and eat it too, I guess.

Tuesday 24 May 2016

Too Hot To Handle: Dua Lipa and George Maple

Dua Lipa - Hotter Than Hell

I'll tell you something funny about Dua Lipa and I; I love her covers/reworks but her original songs have always fallen a little flat for me... until now. Coming out with a single titled 'Hotter Than Hell' is a ballsy enough move when normal people (aka muggles aka me) are yet to hear it, so you probably need to be pretty confident in it. Obviously, once you have heard the track, everything falls into place as this is the slut drop jam of the summer. Although, you know what I would have wanted? A video more in the style of 'Cool For The Summer'. 'Hotter Than Hell's video is all a little tame for a song with the words "hotter" and "hell" in the title. But this does all fly out the window as we reach the middle eight and Lipa quite blatantly states  "maybe you should touch me right there". Don't mind if I do.

Also, whilst we're here, please can we take a moment to reflect on Dua's interview with Ebro Darden. If you have no idea what I'm talking about you can find all the info you need right here. Pray 4 Dua.

George Maple feat Goldlink - Sticks and Horses

Remember way back in September 2014 when George Maple released her debut single 'Talk Talk'? Oh how times have changed. 'Sticks and Horses' is so no holds barred that I absolutely love its garishness. And it's not even bad garish, it's garish in the most sophisticated of ways. Maple's written a little thing in the description of the YouTube video explaining her inspiration for this song, i.e. America, rap and strippers, but honestly I can't believe that you wouldn't have noticed that because every time I listen to this I have the urge to find a pole and work my way up and down it. Also, I can't believe I've made it this far without even mentioning one of my favourite rappers on the planet right now, Goldlink. I don't think anybody else on the planet could have put a verse this flawless together for a song as sleazy as 'Sticks and Horses'; it's quite the match made in heaven. His backing vocals on the choruses work so excellently too. This shows how diverse George Maple can be as an artist and I am crazy excited to hear whatever she has planned for us next.

Monday 23 May 2016

Omaha - Young Hearts

Right at the end of last month Omaha, a five piece rock outfit from the Midlands, released what they're referring to as an LP, and it's really good and I wanted to express that. It's funny actually that a couple months ago I was super irate about posting "rock" stuff in general on here but there's been a fair amount of it since then. First thing's first, yeah, vocalist/singer/frontman/human Jack Voss does quite frequently sound quite a bit like Josh Franceschi of You Me At Six fame, get over it. Glad we got that out of the way.

Young Hearts is the second release from Omaha, the first being their EP Chapters from early last year. This LP is without doubt still a rock record but is so much poppier in terms of vocal hooks, guitar lines and little production quirks. What's great about that is Omaha are exactly the type of band I would have listened to as a teenager, just a sleaker "new for 2016" edition. I'd assume the members of Omaha and I are of a similar age, which is cool because the first two tracks of this release, 'Lowest Of The Low' and 'I Wish' are so reminiscent of You Me At Six, pre-Mumford Deaf Havana and Kids In Glass Houses. What's even better is that apart from maybe the title track, none of these songs feel dated at all; they sound like fresh takes on what those bands were doing eight years or so ago. And that's rad because no one's first favourite band is going to be Gojira. These new UK "gateway bands" like Omaha and like The Gospel Youth are so important and it's cool that these bands exist and are actually good.

Omaha have released two videos recently, well, one was recently and one was not so recently but I guess it all depends on your definition of "recent" a bit, doesn't it? The first of the two, 'Remember' is a fully fledged proper single and although probably five of the seven tracks on here could have been singles, it's a worthy choice. 'Remember' has the pop hook that a lot of rock bands of Omaha's size could only dream of writing. Follow up track, is 'Grey' and it's the complete opposite in terms of... pretty much everything. But having two songs that sound so different yet follow one another so seamlessly is pretty rad. I'd be really stoked to see Omaha live too, because if they're as tight as this release sounds in real life, it's a no-brainer that these guys should be absolutely huge in the next few years.

Buy this and stuff, like I just bought both of the CDs, because CDs are cool and I think this band are well good. You can do the same here.

Wednesday 18 May 2016

The Great Escape Clashless Guide 2016 - Part Three: Saturday

You may/may not remember that last year I was a little lost for things to see/do on Saturday and taking this into account, I'd also planned to leave early-ish on in the evening too. Well, not this year folks, strap yourself in for a fun-packed final day at The Great Escape 2016.


[(1) Scroll to the bottom for clashfree schedule without all the chit chat]
[(2) Alternative Escape shows, free to all, (probably 18+), in pink]

Current weather report: Heavy rain, feels like 11 degrees

It's late kick off on Saturday afternoon and after the night I assume I've probably had on Friday, there are no complaints from me. It wouldn't be right to start anywhere other than a pub so that's exactly where we're heading as the Black Lion who host Emily Burns at 2:45pm. I fell in love with Burns at the end of 2014 but she's been very quiet on the musical front since early last year and all her music was removed from Soundcloud, which I'm hoping means a nice little re-launch in the very near future. She does acousti-pop stuff, similar to Jerry Williams a bit, I guess, and has such a lovely voice. Go watch her, it's free. If Alt Escape is your weapon of choice this weekend, definitely stick around the Black Lion to catch Asha straight after at 3:30pm. I believe, but I'm not sure I've been able to confirm, that Asha is from Croydon, which if that is the case, is really cool, if not then she's still cool and it doesn't really matter. Her songs have a super sleek RnB sound and I personally can't wait to see her live. However, I can't pass up the chance to see Shakka at Paganini Ballroom at 3:15pm. Shakka released one of the most interesting "concept" EPs I heard last year and having seen clips previous live performances, his vocals are mad for an artist erring on the hip hop side of RnB. Also he's playing an entire 45 set which sounds so dreamy.

Dinner suggestion: It's Saturday and I could murder a pizza. But I'm a pesky gluten free hoe and in light of that, I can't not point to Becky/Gluten Free Cuppa Tea's gluten free guide to Brighton. There's so much on here that's great for coeliacs and normal people. All praise Becky.

At 6:15pm my new favourite indie band (although to be quite honest, I don't have many favourite indie bands, but if I did, Vitamin would probably still be my new favourite one) are opening up DIY's night at the Corn Exchange. It's then back down to seafront venue Coalition for Muna at 7pm. I'm not so fussed about Muna, but other blogs and a fair few of my mates seem to be very into the all female three-piece so it feels wrong not to give their live show a chance. This is quickly followed up with Muncie Girls at The Haunt at 7:30pm. This is the first and only time I've included The Haunt this year, mostly because I'm not too bothered about anything going on there, but also because I always have a bout of bad luck when The Haunt and TGE collide. But hopefully you shouldn't have too much trouble making it inside for the Exeter based punk three-piece. And then make your way back down to Shoosh (*eyeroll* I know) to see Zak Abel at 8:30pm. If you haven't heard any of his solo stuff before, you've definitely heard him feature on various electronic/dance songs over the past couple of years. One to keep an eye on for sure.

There's a hell of a lot on on Saturday night but nothing that I'm majorly fussed about, so amuse yourselves and do some wandering for an hour or so and then definitely check out Kloe at Wagner Hall at 10:30pm. Wagner Hall plays host to Vevo's showcases all weekend at TGE and is always a very popular venue so it's hard to tell how busy it would be. I probably wouldn't advise getting there much later than 10pm if you want to catch Kloe. She's probably my favourite pop artiste in existence right now and she's both hilarious and sassy as hell live. After that, I'm conflicted, because following Kloe is SG Lewis at 11:30pm, and on a Saturday night, I reckon it's gonna be pretty rammed in there for him, so if you're already inside... it's probably best to stay there. (And Loyle Carner is on after him too.) BUT what you may want to do is see Ekkah at The Synergy Centre on West Street, also at 11:30pm. The female duo are so fun live and execute their 80s-esque pop music on stage in the most perfect of ways. The struggle here is simply venue capacity. If you leave Wagner Hall, the chances of you getting back in any time soon after are slim, but similarly, The Synergy Centre is only a 400 capacity venue. I can't help here I'm afraid folks. Final stop for the weekend, if you're still standing, is Kyko at Brighthelm at 1:30am. Kyko's summery indie pop, I'd imagine, will be quite the vibe to dance the night away to.

Saturday Clashless Recap
14:45 - Emily Burns - Black Lion
15:15 - Shakka - Paganini Ballroom
15:30 - Asha - Black Lion
18:15 - Vitamin - Corn Exchange
19:00 - Muna - Coalition
19:30 - Muncie Girls - The Haunt
20:30 - Zak Abel - Shoosh
22:30 - Kloe - Wagner Hall
23:30 - SG Lewis - Wagner Hall
23:30 - Ekkah - The Synergy Centre
01:30 - Kyko - Brighthelm

So there we have it, your almost foolproof clashless guide to The Great Escape 2016. See you in the pit... or probably at the bar.

Tuesday 17 May 2016

The Great Escape 2016 Clashless Guide - Part Two: Friday

I heard you were feeling hypothetically delicate after yesterday's antics. Don't worry, I've even factored that in. Let's get on with it then.


[(1) Scroll to the bottom for clashfree schedule without all the chit chat]
[(2) Alternative Escape shows, free to all, (probably 18+), in pink]

Current weather report: Light showers, feels like 10 degrees

We kick off day two with one of the acts I am by far the most excited about seeing this weekend and that is Klyne at 1:45pm at Komedia. Last year I fell so in love with Thomston when I saw him early in the afternoon that I went to see him again the same evening, and I fear that's going to happen this year with Klyne. Which although it would be ideal for me, wouldn't be ideal in terms of the rest of my schedule... Have you heard 'Don't Stop' though? Man, they're gonna be so good. This is where things get a little tricky because I'm at a bit of a loss for plans on Friday afternoon. At 3:30pm there's a late addition to my schedule, James TW, who'll be playing some chill acoustic (but definitely not boring) songs at Spiegelpub. This clashes however with this year's Vevo mystery act's acoustic slot at Wagner Hall... As far as I'm aware this is still yet to be revealed but I'm sure it won't be long until someone lets it slip. Also Stevie (formerly Steve) Appleton, you know off of should have been huge but for some reason unbeknown to anyone wasn't? Yeah, well he's playing at The Mesmerist at some point on Friday but their Facebook event doesn't seem sure when so naturally I haven't a bloody clue.

Dinner suggestion: The world is your oyster on Friday really, so why not head a little further afield, maybe up to Meat Liquor seeing as if you're going by my plans, you'll have ample time. Else, just sit in Spoons really.

Essentially you want to make your way back down to the seafront for 6.45pm to see Louis Mattrs open Coalition's evening proceedings but providing they're running on time I would advise hopping over to Shoosh (despite it being the most dreadful of places, we used to have one in Croydon, but it's gone now, thankfully) at 7pm for D/C. Both artists put their own fresh spin on RnB and are worth catching if running between venues is your style. If you're feeling risky, continue along the coast to Volks where Crawley based techy trio Press To Meco bring alt-rock harmonies to the stage at 7:50pm. I say this is risky because you really want to make it in to Patterns by 8:30pm to see rising RnB starlet Mabel. The thing is, a lot of other people are also probably going to want to see Mabel too so I'd definitely get there for 8pm at the latest. Then once you're in, get comfortable (but not too comfortable) because Lady Leshurr, a prominent figure in the UK's hip hop scene in at the moment, takes to the stage an hour later at 9:30pm.

Now, really, you want to go and see Samm Henshaw at Komedia at 10pm, but it's a little walk up and I can't vouch entirely for you getting in, so it might be worth stopping off at The Mesmerist on your way up instead, to see Lisbon, also on at 10pm. However this is an Alt Escape show and considering they're a pretty rad band on at a pretty peak time on a Friday night, I can't really guarantee you a spot there either. Anyway, at whichever point you so choose, head on up to Komedia regardless because Nimmo are on at 11:30pm and trust me, they're good enough when you're sober but once you've got some beers down you, not dancing will be impossible. From then on, I'm happy for you to let the beers guide you as long as you manage to stumble back through the doors of Coalition by 1:15am to catch Kudu Blue. They're my new faves and I'm hoping that watching them play a live show at this super ridiculous hour will be the most fun thing ever. I could be wrong, but I highly doubt it.

Friday Clashless Recap
13:45 - Klyne - Komedia
15:30 - Special Guest - Wagner Hall
15:30 - James TW - Spiegelpub
18:45 - Louis Mattrs - Coalition
19:00 - D/C - Shoosh
19:50 - Press To Meco - Volks
20:30 - Mabel - Patterns
21:30 - Lady Leshurr - Patterns
22:00 - Samm Henshaw - Komedia
22:00 - Lisbon - The Mesmerist
23:30 - Nimmo - Komedia
01:15 - Kudu Blue - Coalition

You know the score, check back tomorrow for your final instalment!

Monday 16 May 2016

The Great Escape 2016 Clashless Guide - Part One: Thursday

It's that time again, The mighty Great Escape is almost upon us. For late planners and unorganised humans akin to myself, I've planned your ultra super rad weekend for you! Taking into consideration stage times, popularity, venue capacity and distance between venues, here's the plan:


[(1) Scroll to the bottom for clashfree schedule without all the chit chat]
[(2) Alternative Escape shows, free to all, (probably 18+), in pink]

Current weather report: Overcast, feels like 9 degrees

Let us not waste a moment as we stroll into what's (as always) set to be a cloudy Thursday afternoon with Jerry Williams at 12:30pm at Marwood Coffee Shop as the first stop for the Alt Escape. Williams is my absolute fave south coast pop star to be and although she's halved her number of Great/Alt Escape performances since last year (i.e. she played four times in 2015, but is only scheduled for twice this year), her infectious indie-verging-on-folk-at-points-pop is worth checking out. This is quickly followed up by Rozelle up the road at The Hope (And Ruin) at 1pm. I saw Rozelle a couple of months ago with no background knowledge on them and was thoroughly intrigued, so it's definitely worth popping in to see this dual female fronted alt-rock/pop amalgamation.

The rest of your afternoon looks a little like this:
The internet's very own hype boy Coleman Hell performs at The Green Door Store at 2pm. Essentially he's like if a Canadian solo artist took Avicii's country/dance and ran with it into oblivion. But his single '2 Heads' has racked up over 13.5 million views on YouTube, so there must be something to see here. There's then half an hour for you to make your way from the northern most point on the TGE map right down to the end of the pier for Anna of the North in Horatio's at 3pm. Although Anna does play TGE three times this weekend, Horatio's is likely to be the quietest of the three shows, so it's worth ticking her whistful brand of Scandi-pop off your to do list on Thursday.  The final stop before dinner is Sam Wills at The New Road pop-up Stage at 4:30pm. This is a new stage for 2016 and I'm dubious about how it'll pan out with what's looking to be a pretty dismal three days weather-wise. Anyway, Sussex local Wills released his debut EP last week, with a helping hand from both Karma Kid and Tom Misch, Wills' electro/RnB stance is a worthy stop.

Dinner suggestion: Wahaca
Incredible Mexican street food, their new branch is right on the corner of the southern end of New Road and it would be stupid to eat anywhere else.

But make it snappy because you need to get all the way down to Concorde 2 for Lawrence Taylor at 6:15pm for powerful vocals and catchy as hell guitar lines, the trek east is most definitely worth it. On your way back into the city centre pop in to Volks at 7pm to catch Croydon rock trio Bad Sign open up Scuzz's Alt Escape event. Signed to Basick Records, they're just the band you need to amp up your evening. A stroll up to Komedia for 8pm will find you dancing along to 'Backbeat' banger Norwegian singer Dagny. Our second Norwegian of the day! All hail the Scandi-pop.

In a complete genre shift, you'll find Jack Bennett A.K.A. Grumble Bee up in the Prince Albert at 9:30pm. His single-handed approach to song-writing makes for powerful and heartfelt slabs of rock and some of the most impressive instrumentation you'll see/hear on Thursday at least. Frustratingly, Greywind at playing down on the seafront at The Hub at 10pm and if you watch the entirety of Grumble Bee's set, there's no way you'll catch more than the final 10 minutes of Greywind, unless The Hub are running behind schedule which definitely isn't unheard of at TGE. But, at 11:30pm Youth Club are on back up at Prince Albert and I swear you do not want to miss them, especially if you've had a couple of beers, they are THE party band and they're unbelievably tight live. For real. Don't miss them. So if the pub is looking busy after Grumble Bee's set, it might be best just to stay there. Finally, if you're as merry as can be expected at midnight on a Thursday night, and if it's on your way home, pop into Sticky Mike's Frog Bar to catch Charley Marley at 12:30am. He used to front Lonsdale Boys Club who put out this BANGER a few years ago, and now he does music guaranteed to get you dancing (and maybe cringing at the same time, but at this time of night, who really cares).

Thursday Clashless Recap
12:30 - Jerry Williams - Marwood Coffee Shop
13:00 - Rozelle - The Hope and Ruin
14:00 - Coleman Hell - Green Door Store
15:00 - Anna of the North - Horatio's
16:30 - Sam Wills - The New Road Stage
18:15 - Lawrence Taylor - Concorde 2
19:00 - Bad Sign - Volks
20:00 - Dagny - Komedia
21:30 - Grumble Bee - Prince Albert
22:00 - Greywind - The Hub
23:30 - Youth Club - Prince Albert
00:30 - Charley Marley - Stick Mike's Frog Bar

See you tomorrow, for your guide to Friday!

Thursday 12 May 2016

Hannah Jane Lewis - Why Start A War

Hannah Jane Lewis looks quite normal. She seems quite normal too, you know, from her Twitter and stuff. And that's cool. The unlikely future popstar is the most interesting of future popstars. But the long and short of it is, she comes across as the kind of human you could take down the pub and not be afraid to order a double vodka as your first drink in front of.

Anyway, YouTube is a strange place, I should know, FYI here is me doing a thing. (This is my day job, lolz.) So when little old me stumbles across little old Hannah's YouTube channel, I'm very "hold up, this chick has almost 6000 subs but only two videos? Something doesn't add up". But only twenty seconds of digging led me to Shaun Reynolds' channel who happens to be an 100k+ sub wielding human and also an associate of Lewis herself. Essentially, she's collabed on a load of his stuff and that's why she's big on the 'Tube.

One can only ride the covers train for so long though, and with that Hannah Jane Lewis has released her debut single 'Why Start A War' and you know what? It's really great. Although we are, as I've mentioned umpteen times, at a stage when even pre-debut single singles are absolutely outstanding. Whilst 'Why Start A War' may not be the most groundbreaking of pop songs ever, it still has all the vital signs that Lewis could make some serious waves in the UK's fairly saturated electro/pop market.

TL;DR: This is good; I want to hear more.

Wednesday 11 May 2016

Flume feat Tove Lo - Say It

Now when you see Flume featuring Tove Lo on paper, you'd be lying if you said that it didn't look like the song of the year, wouldn't you? Yes, you would.

Well, unfortunately, it may not be quite the song of the year but it's definitely a contender for the top 10. Tove Lo is undoubtedly one of the greatest pop stars on the planet right now with regards to songwriting and performing as well as general personality-wise. I'm also at a point with the Swede where I love absolutely everything that she comes out with. That Nick Jonas single? Didn't really like it. But did I appreciate it for the masterpiece that it was because Tove Lo is queen? Yeah, pretty much.

I'd underestimated Flume prior to the beginning of this new album campaign, however. I firmly believe that 'Holdin On' is one of the finest songs that this generation has seen regardless of genre but the rest of his self-titled debut album didn't really grab me. In hindsight it's probably something worth me revisiting. After 'Never Be Like You', the first single to be taken from the Australian's forthcoming album, and now following up with 'Say It', Skin is probably going to be one of this year's finest records. It's absolutely riddled with collaborations so if Tove Lo isn't enough (she obviously is, she always is), there's also Allan Kingdom, Alunageorge and Beck to name but a few.

'Say It' in particular is just as Tove Lo infected as anyone would expect. I'm really hoping that it gets a raunchy video to accompany it but... I'm not going to hold my breath. Also, sidenote, but Flume is headlining Alexandra Palace later this year which is quite frankly fucking insane. Tickets are on sale tomorrow if you're interested.

Tuesday 10 May 2016

If You're Blogging This It's Too Late Part 2: Mura Masa, Rae Sremmurd, Blonde

The blog post you've all been waiting for...

Mura Masa: What If I Go?

"Hold on Natalie, I thought you didn't like Mura Masa?" You'd be correct, I'm not a fan, but that is not about to stop me recognising how excellent this track, in particular, is. And I know it came out totally forever ago but I'm pretty "whatever" about that these days to be honest. I'm also at a point in my existence where I can appreciate that Mura Masa is probably going to be pretty huge in the grand scheme of things that sound a bit like this, isn't he? He also seems to have a right old knack for choosing other artists to collaborate with. Uncredited Bonzai sounds absolutely huge on this track and as "underground" artists who fit this bill go, I don't know who would or could have done a better job. It does however beg the question as to why Bonzai isn't officially credited with the vocals here but there's probably some long-arse label-fiddling reason that I don't really care for. This is good, but everyone already knows that.

Rae Sremmurd: Look Alive

Throwback to January 2015 where album releases were scarce and I didn't really know what to do with my time. I downloaded the Rae Sremmud album and absolutely fell in love with how shamelessly fun it was. Sure, the duo aren't the greatest rappers/singers/whatever on the planet but when you have the ability to create a feel-good dynamic album, who cares. 'Look Alive' is the third track we've heard from their forthcoming album SremmLife 2 and it's well good. No, it may not inspire the next generation of scientists or politicians but that chorus is such a mad hook, and to be quite honest "kill this cup, not my vibe."

Blonde and Craig David: Nothing Like This

Yayaya this has been around sixever, but it didn't have a video until just now and you know I don't link directly to Spotify etc because I don't even use Spotify so like, why would I do that? Anyway, so I included Blonde in my Ones To Watch for 2015 but then proceeded to like approximately one song they put out last year. I've also had my own personal qualms with this Craig David comeback, mostly rooted in the fact I don't think any of the new stuff he's done has been that good, until 'Nothing Like This' which I think is probably one of the greatest dance songs we'll receive this year. No for real, mathematically speaking I don't think electronic music gets more perfect than this in terms of verse to hooky/danceable chorus ratio. Absolutely stellar.

Wednesday 4 May 2016

If You're Blogging This It's Too Late, Part 1: Snakehips, Vitamin, Everyone Leaves

So, I have loads of stuff sitting in my drafts that's starting to get old but they're all songs I really want to post so I'm going to chuck them all out in a couple of posts this week. Wish me luck, please and thank you.

Snakehips feat Malika - Falling

Oh, Snakehips. The duo released a three track EP last month which saw features from both Anderson Paak and Tory Lanez. Personally, I know Anderson Paak is an incredible artist but he's just not for me, which is fine, but leads me to think the title track of the Money On Me EP featuring Paak is just alright. I also think the Tory Lanez track is pretty weak. However, 'Falling' is everything that I loved about Snakehips' 2015 EP Forever (Pt. II) and then some. It's cool that of the three songs, it's the one with a virtually unknown artist that's the absolute banger. I don't know what to describe this "sound" as, but it's what I want Snakehips to do for the rest of ever. It took me so long to get into 'All My Friends' just because I didn't feel like it was very "Snakehips", but 'Falling' is a bridge between that and the last EP and I'm so happy. Also, Malika's vocals are rad on this, like proper good, it's just a shame they're ruined by the fade out. You can't have it all though, can you?

Vitamin - Waterfall

I feel like Vitamin just fell into my life a couple of months ago from absolutely nowhere. It's possibly something to do with their bright and glossy artwork that's caught my eye; does that make me shallow? I'm gonna say no because alongside these pops of colour are really great indie-pop songs, the latest of which is called 'Waterfall'. In terms of cvrrent indie-type bands floating around at the moment, I feel Vitamin are being somewhat overlooked. Maybe they're not, but let's face it, they're better than The Hunna and sound far more interesting than Coasts. Maybe The North just does indie/pop/rock better than we do down here? That seems like quite a fair statement to make. 'Waterfall' is so catchy too. Like there are so many bits in this song that are catchy, not just the chorus. I'm sold. Vitamin are at The Great Escape, which is good, I'll probably watch them.

Everyone Leaves - Seasonal Affective

Yeah yeah yeah, there's nothing fun about having your finger on the pulse all the time, so here's a song from January. You know I wouldn't be posting it this "late" unless I thought it was really good though, right? The more I think about it, the less sense it makes posting a song called 'Seasonal Affective' on the first actual warm and sunny day the UK has seen in 2016, but what can you do? I'm not sure what sub-genre Everyone Leaves would place themselves in, but I'm usually quite picky and pedantic when it comes to bands that sound a bit like this, but I can't stress how impossible to dislike this song is. Both vocalists sound so good and work so well together which is one of my favourite things about this track. It's also just bordering on the right side of sad which is where I like my rock. So majorly stoked on this basically.

Tuesday 3 May 2016

Thrice - Blood On The Sand / Black Honey

It's May 2016 and we are a mere few weeks away from receiving a brand new album from Thrice. Yes, the Thrice. The Thrice who's second album Vheissu I purchased in Croydon's HMV for £18 after only hearing 'Image Of The Invisible'. It was one of the craziest things I did as a teenager but I don't think it's something that I regret. Thrice's new album is called To Be Everywhere Is To Be Nowhere which sounds super meta, but I'm sure it's all okay. I think that's maybe where Thrice start to lose people before they've even given them a chance, everything seems way more pretentious than it is, which it's not.

Anyway, we have two songs from this forthcoming album which is cool, and they're both really great which is even more cool because there is always apprehension with Thrice and new music, I feel. But there's nothing to worry about because this album seems to be shaping up to be a right good'un.

'Blood On The Sand' is a bit of a slow burner but as soon as that chorus hits, shit kicks off. I reckon this will be great live, especially with that call and response bit before the second chorus as well as the chorus itself. You know what's funny, We Are The Ocean have always cited Thrice as one of their influences but this song in particular really sounds like what WATO were doing on their second album, just executed in a far more polished way.

'Black Honey' is completely different and of the two, it's the one I was instantly drawn to more. There's something that sounds really dark and almost creepy about this track and it works so well. Frontman Dustin Kensrue sounds raw and emotional on 'Black Honey' which excites me about what else we're going to hear on the album because right now, it sounds like it's going to be incredible.

I'm also extremely hopeful for a one off UK show before Thrice play Reading & Leeds this summer.

Monday 2 May 2016

April 2016 - Things I Didn't Miss

April Playlists:  Spotify / Deezer

It's April and my life is still a mess, but here are some albums and things. I really don't want to actually write about these albums, this monthly post is starting to feel quite forced, but I want to say that I thought these were all good, so some things are much shorter than others.

Adam French - Face To Face EP

As singer-songwriters go, I think Adam French is pretty good at breaking the mould of what one may expect from an artist like him from the UK. For a reason I can't quite describe, I'm finding it really difficult to do words about this EP. Basically, French's vocals are really rad and his songs are pretty good too and the title track is my favourite, but it's all quite good and worth listening to really.

Gallant - Ology

I've been in and out of like with Gallant for the last couple of years but it's impossible to deny that his first full length album is nothing short of incredible. This is probably up there with the R'n'B albums of the year, to be quite honest. Gallant's vocals throughout are quite obviously second to none and all of the songs are just really good; 'Episode' is my favourite though, it's a proper pop song and it's proper good.

Giants - Break The Cycle

I've never really been a fan of Giants; I saw them right at the end of 2010 and shrugged them off in a "this band are not for me" way. It has been a lot of years since then and in April, Giants released their new album Break The Cycle. I do a lot of tidbits for New Roots magazine, and last month we featured Giants on the cover and they also had the main album feature too. After reading extensively about the album, I thought it was only fair to give it a spin and I was not expecting to like it even a fraction as much as I do. I think anyone into even slightly heavier rock would appreciate the quality of this album.

High Tyde - Safe EP

I have a really weird time with High Tyde. I find that I don't often like their songs as standalone entities but as soon as they're collated on an EP everything sounds so much better and I don't know why. When I heard 'Dark Love' as the single I felt very "meh" towards it, but it's actually great, as is 'Safe' and 'These Nights'. I'm really annoyed that I couldn't get to a date on the tour they just finished, basically.

Lucas Nord - Company - RELEASE OF THE MONTH

I have undoubtedly listened to this album more than any other this month because it's really great and I can not even begin to express that enough. 10/10 Scandi-pop and we are quite honestly not worthy. Despite only being seven songs long, I'm okay with referring to Company as an album just due to the sheer quality of the music on here. Every song is a certified banger I'm struggling to pick a favourite. God, it's good. Lucas Nord is also playing New Shapes this Wednesday, it's literally £4, you should probably go.

Lukas Graham - Lukas Graham

Here's the situation, I'm not really a fan of '7 Years' and I'm not sure I know that many people in real life who are, but don't let that dictate your attitude to Lukas Graham's debut album. I don't know if or how I would have done the campaign for this album differently in the wake of '7 Years' but I feel as though the general population probably wouldn't go for this record after just that single. Which is such a shame because this album is great. 'Drunk In The Morning', 'Take The World By Storm' and 'Strip No More' which is literally about losing your virginity to a stripper, are genuinely such good pop rock songs and it's a shame that I think a lot of people will never get around to hearing them.

Niki & The Dove - Everybody's Heart Is Broken Now

I need more time with this album but it definitely is really good in a genuinely intelligent pop music kind of way. I don't know if it's the kind of album I would personally put on just to listen to whenever, but I wish it was. This is all making very little sense, but if you like slightly less brash Scandi-pop, this is definitely for you.

Sam Sure - Catching Feelings EP

I wrote a little bit about Sam Sure a couple of months ago, I think most of it revolved around the artwork and aesthetic for this EP, but God, it does look very nice. Similarly to Adam French, but in a completely different way, Sure does being a solo artist in a super inventive way. And his vocals may not be for everyone but that's what really gives his music an edge especially on tracks like 'Catching Feelings' and 'Oh My God'. Stoked to hear a lengthier release from Sure at some point.

Skizzy Mars - Alone Together

So it's transpired that I haven't been as stoked on this album as a lot of people I know who are into it, which is a shame because I was genuinely really looking forward to hearing it. I do think that 'What It Look Like' and 'I'm Ready' are outstanding but for me the rest of the record is just kinda average. A lot of people I know are really into the JoJo collab on 'Recognize' but I don't feel as though it sounds definitively JoJo or Skizzy Mars, which is a shame. What is cool about Alone Together though is that it definitely isn't your typical hip hop album; there are a lot of influences here and it feels really easy to listen to, and any fan of music in general could almost definitely find something to like on this record.

The Summer Set - Stories For Monday

I think The Summer Set get a really bad rep that is completely unjustified. They are a band who have genuinely stayed true to the music they make over the past eight years or so. Are they a rock band? Maybe. Are they pop band? Definitely. And should that dictate their credibility? Absolutely not. Tracks like 'All In', 'Missin You' and 'All My Friends' should be hailed as pop rock classics and recognised for the excellent songs that they are. This is just such a feel good record and I really appreciate it for what it is, and I wish everybody else did too.

Sunset Sons - Very Rarely Say Die

I like Sunset Sons and I quite like this album too. This is probably up there with The Summer Set for non-offensive albums of the year. There's nothing that I could see anyone not liking about Very Rarely Say Die. My only qualm is probably that there are a fair few songs here that have featured on previous releases, but this is a thing that happens frequently with artists so I can't be mad. I imagine it'd be hard to be mad at Sunset Sons for anything. But yeah, this album is a nice little indicator that summer is on the horizon... a far off distant horizon, but it's coming... soon...ish.