The Best Of 2013 / Ones To Watch 2014
We can remember this time last year with an alarming degree of clarity. In fact, we’re pretty sure we were sat in this exact same seat at our parent’s house; facing the exact same angle in front of the exact same massive 3D telly (it IS good to be home). We’re being as antisocial as we have ever been whilst our family are gathered round the living room table remarking at the sheer amount of thrills and high jinx and conceptual irregularities that occur within The Hulk. The only thing that is different is that we are wearing a festive jumper indoors despite the near tropical-standards of central heating that our parents have opted for. This is because we recently got ourselves a tattoo of the Killing Moon logo (the circular M one, not the delightfully put-together Microsoft Paint image above…although there’s always next year and/or room for more right?), and given our sibling’s reaction to it when we showed it to him this afternoon we’re now pretty convinced our parents will not approve. Maybe after Christmas, when they are hanging out of their balls and thus unable to muster the strength by way of any sort of emotional reaction, we will show them. We will show them all. It’s hilarious, no? That we’re coming to the close of our 20’s, and yet we are still terrified of what our parents might think of us. Which again gives credence to possibly one of our most pointless mutterings to-date: that the more things change, the more they stay the same. This is applicable to Killing Moon’s relatively short lifespan, we guess. The last year has been about expansion and consolidation. We’ve not so much changed the way we do things since we made this whole thing up about 2-and-a-bit-years ago. We just do a fucking shitload more of it. A lot of the time, due to the sheer frequency of occurances of things like record releases, artist managementy-thingies, blog posts, club nights, repping it at festivals, shit like that, we have this great tendency to lose ourselves and skip past some of the things that we’re proudest of. That’s why this blog is pretty much essential to everything we do. It is the hub of all our activity; the open journal of our daily happy-haps; the soundtrack to our lives; our Achilles’ heel; our fucking fortress. We’ve very recently come to the realisation that we are always happier looking forward to the things we’ve yet to experience and acheive rather than reminisce in a rather backwards fashion and simultaneously concentrating on the things we feel we have lost. While we’re gonna do our very best to stick to that sentiment – and hence why we’re about to bleat on about some of our very favourite bits of new shit that have come to our attention this side of 2014 – we feel it’s important for us to recognise some of the biggest personal highlights for us over the last 12 months. Skip over em straight to the tunes if you want, or soak it up. Either way, this is for us:
– We released our first album, for digi-rock badmans Duologue. We’ve never done that before. We’ve also never had a band that we’re working with play at Reading Festival, which was a kinda big deal.
– All in all we have either released, facilitated, or otherwise been intimitely involved in 23 record releases this year in some shape or form. That’s a lot of hooch. Big thanks to the following for allowing us to do so: Carnival Kids, Malpas, Laurel, Duologue, Verses, VV Brown, Dan Croll, Dems, The Vestals, Leon Else, LULS (rip), Thomas J Speight, Holland, Embers and anyone else we should be mentioning but stupidly haven’t.
– We saw Draper sign his publishing deal after what felt like a lifetime of ball-ache, as well as witnessing him join The Invisible Men. The boy has become a man, and his best music to date is gonna hit you in the botty-hole throughout next year.
– We witnessed our new-ish guy Rogue play in front of damn-near 10,000 French kids. It reminded us of why we need to do all this shit when we absolutely needed it the most.
– Killing Moon now has staff. This entire operation is now very much a “we”, as opposed to the royal “we” that, um, we’ve been rinsing for a while. People now depend on Killing Moon for their livelihood; which is just incredible. Add to this the discovery that this thing that we made up in our parent’s loft for some reason actually makes money, and you might see why we’re pretty happy to mouth-off about this. None of this would be possible without our family at Turn First Artists, who we are proud as shit to be a part of.
– Settling in and feeling comfortable in our own skin once more. This hasn’t happened for a long, long time. We should probably attend to the skeletons in our personal closet and tell them where to fuck off to more often. Props to Tim, Sam, Cara, Jamie, Sarah S, Chloe R, the twinship and a bunch of others for their help in this. We owe ya.
– Racing Glaciers. We could probably get away by saying that one of the annual highlights has simply been meeting and befriending 5 of the most talented fun-loving criminals that we ever have; but we’ll extend this to say that we’re incredibly proud of their development into a real band; one of the the brightest prospects that you’re likely to see, in fact. This is largely thanks to their manager and one of our closest friends Sam Faulkner, who in our mind is equally one of the brightest prospects in this line of work generally-speaking.
– Observing Niteflights write the most addictive cray-pop music you can think of. You will finally be able to hear some new shit next year. Which is pretty soon.
– Getting on with our first compilation series. We love compilations. Turns out our buddy Ally McCrae does too. Sure is sweet as a proverbial nut to be buddying up with him on this.
Here’s the track that we feel suitably sums up all of this shit. What we’ve done, and where we are heading. Draper got this accolade last year, so it’s really only fair that Rogue steps up this time round. Who knows who it will be this time next year.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngE9nAt-ggk]
And finally – which, yes, was supposed to be the entire point of this now-stupidly long write up, but allow us – here’s the 27 tracks (not sure why 27. We just tallied that shit up and it happened to be 27) featured on the blog by artists that we really want to see crushing 2014 and the foreseeable future. We want them to succeed, rather than be big (although being big would be pretty nice). From our own personal experience, success can be a measure of several things. It can mean having lots of money. It can mean having other people think you’re mega-fit. It can mean figuring out how to deal with shit when you really don’t have everything working in your favour. It can mean writing the perfect song that only a handful of people will ever hear. Whatever it means to them, we hope they get it.
Have a great festive break and stay cool forever, you bloody guys.
1. Royal Blood
What We Were Doing That Day: Cabin fever is starting to settling in, kids. We’ve spent the vast majority of the day sprawled on the sofa doing our sodding expenses. The main reason we are crap at doing our expenses is because, well, we’ve never really had expenses before, let alone encountered the need to “do” them. Such is the transition from basically pissing our money away on, well, all sorts to somehow forming an actual business around doing said-all sorts. Let this be a lesson to you all that you cannot go around acting like you’re still operating on a pocket money-based mode of personal economics well into your mid-twenties and expect to just get away with it forever.
What We Said About Them: Sentiments of bewilderment as to just what the fuck we’ve been spending our money on in this timeframe (admittedly it does look like a lot) coupled with the fact that we seem to have forgotten how to count are two excellent contexts for featuring duo Royal Blood and their current double-whammy Track Of The Day Hole and Figure It Out respectively – other than they’ve lobbed two fucking cool songs over the mile-high fortress wall that now surrounds our inbox…bluesy-tinged rock and/or roll appears to be the main trade of our protagonists here – in our minds this may well rival the tunage of our other favourite break-outers in this musical vein, who of course are The Family Rain. Nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, as usually you get amazing music like this as a result. Comparisons in our mind therefore include The White Stripes, Cold War Kids, Band Of Skulls and The Black Keys. A fiver says that these guys will do something incredible on the indie-rock scene before the year is out – we’re not even gonna expense that either. Because we won’t remember.
What We Were Doing That Day: We had a meeting with one of our favourite Scottish people (or people in general, this one just happens to be a tower of Scottish enthusiasm for everything and anything) about yet another thing we may have chatted about on here in a somewhat typically cryptic tone recently, but the honest true-say is that we cannot wait to unveil this little bugger to you which we’re hoping to very shortly. Just dotting them I’s and smashing those T’s, so to speak. Anyway, what else happened? Oh yeah, Duologue had a blast’n’ball opening up Shepherds Bush Empire last night for Fenech Soler, shortly following which we had to dart off to catch our chumley V V Brown do a pretty spesh show at the Camden Barfly; at both of which we found ourselves slow-dancing and body-grooving pretty much on our lonesome.
What We Said About Them: Speaking of dancing and/or grooving, how about this empassioned slice of sonic excellence from new guys EXROYALE, the sensually-entitled Track Of The Day Give It Up? Yeah, how about that. This lot, assuming it is indeed a lot or at least not a solitary individual, are doing a fine job of tearing up the blogs over the last 2-3 days with most of those tastemakery heavyweights that you (probably) know and (in all likelihood) love all throwing their two cents in to culminate in about, like, 20 cents worth of props at this early stage. And who can argue with that? Not us. So we won’t. Instead we will through our own spare change into the mix which will add similar-sounding plaudits along the lines of Prince, Fine Young Cannibals (SURELY someone other than us remembers them?), and a weird combination of Jack Garrett toplining over a Swiss Lips track.
What We Were Doing That Day: Fucking slip-slided our way into the office today with about as much finesse as a pubic louse. You’d have thought that the mums-with-prams patrol that usually take it upon themselves to make our lives just that little bit more difficult than it needs to be when it comes to dealing with public transport (in case you didn’t know, it turns out that you can in fact use a pram and/or tiny human still in infancy as a weapon, designed not only to ram right in between the bone of your shins, but also to leave you emotional distraught that you would ever dare do anything to impinge on the world of mums-with-prams, which it turns out is actually theirs and we’re just simply living it in it) would give us a bit of a break seeing as we have to waddle along like an actual penguin.
What We Said About Them: Appropriateness in sonic format comes from a bloke called Fyfe, with a track called Solace. We know stuff about this guy, but in all likelihood PR guy Rob Chute will get ticked off with us if we share that with you (of course we are not under the naive impression that we are the only ones aware of certain things; indeed this track premiered on Disco Naivite the other day, so we don’t wanna look stupid) just yet. Let’s just say for now that the devil is in the detail, and in terms of details we can share with you what we reckon this vibes like. There are The Neighbourhood vibes. Vibes of Dan Croll. And, perhaps, a mish-mash of vibes that might be resultant between a vibe convention hosted by David’s Lyre and Turin Breaks.
4. Broken Men
What We Were Doing That Day: Maaaaaaaaaaaay have stayed out a litttttttttttttttttle bit too late last night. Sure, we bossed it on down to the Alcopop/Big Scary Monsters NBA Jam tournament – for everyone’s information, this did not involve any real basketball, but rather real men playing Sega Megadrive – in some sort of arcade thingy-turned-cake shop-turn-shooter bar in Soho. It was great. We got knocked out pretty much straight away, and we feel strongly this was the intention of Jack Clothier all along. Mug us off in front of all his pals. Pushing us around. Make us feel belittled, that kinda shit. Well, it worked… we’re maybe operating at 95-99% today as opposed to our usual 110%, because, alas, we drank some beers and stuff.
What We Said About Them: So, here’s Broken Men and their quite frankly game-changing Track Of The Day Five Star. These guys look like punx. We can dig that. Good for us is that this reminds us more than a tad of Night Engine; to differentiate from their Bowie-vibes, here you’re getting stuff like Arctic Monkeys doing Talking Heads doing The Maccabees doing The Killers. Clark has more or less put his fucking foot in it by saying that he has definitely heard of this lot ages ago, however we have gone ahead and told him that he is lying on the basis that he has absolutely no proof to back this up and even if he did, then he is a terrible A&R for not telling us about this sooner.
5. God Damn
What We Were Doing That Day: After a relatively dry week – albeit still thudding brilliant, as per yesterday’s latest boasting episode dressed up as a Track Of The Day post – we hit it pretty hard yesterday. Despite the near-pointlessness of trapsing around looking at
shitholes flats for a sizable proportion of the week including a bit of Friday evening, we took great pride in drinking an awful lot of, well, Pride (, London) to reward ourselves for basically owning shit this week just gone. This led to complications later on; later in the evening as we were turfed out of the Ealing boozery circa midnight, we found ourselves in a bar near Ealing Broadway station having arguements with people for no particular reason, apparently to do with child adoption.
What We Said About Them: Sore heads, dry eyes and foggy memories are all very good reasons to big up new Track Of The Day’ers God Damn, but an even better reason is that their tune I’m A Lazer, You’re A Radar is very much the adrenaline shot we need to get us through the rest of this cold-ass day. This lot claim blues/grunge is the name of their particular game, and they could be right. It’s certainly good enough for metal, however, in the more inventive end of the spectrum. Personally, we’re getting the same groovy crunchiness that we’d otherwise assume to be derived from the likes of Death From Above 1979, Pulled Apart By Horses, Eagles Of Death Metal and DZ Deathrays. Yep, this has pretty much sorted us right out today.
What We Were Doing That Day: Let it never be said that we aren’t shit at replying to emails. There’s just too many. Solicited, unsolicited, junk, punk, funk, legit, shit, basically all sorts. Right now we have around 21, 056 unread emails in our inbox. Actually, that’s just one of our inboxes. We often get whinged at by feckless passer-by types who think it’s alright to glance at our massive fuck-off computer screen when we’re not around for not dealing with our alleged unopened email problem. Well, fuck you. It doesn’t really affect you and that’s literally what Gmail is for anyway; stacking endless wads of pointless emails that you are never going to read.
What We Said About Them: All that being said, we’re feeling a little bit sheepish when it comes to rising new guys Honours and their sugar-coated pop-rocks-and-coke Track Of The Day Ready To Run. You know why you can’t seem to escape people like The 1975 and Sons & Lovers at the moment (in regards to the latter, we live with the guitarist, and therefore have no wish to escape our bestest buddy boy Tim because he looks after us real good and knows how to make coffee)? Well, that’s because they’ve nailed the indie aesthetic being perfectly matched with a staunchly pop mentality. Pop music, with guitars. So in reference to days of yore, we shall cite the likes of U2, Coldplay and the distinctive vocals of, say, Starsailor…Hell, the songwriting is pure Gary Barlow shit.
Honours – Ready To Run
What We Were Doing That Day: Not sure. By the sounds of things, losing our shit to heavy music.
What We Said About Them: Carrying us through to a practical state of total calm, in arguably the most ironic way possible, are Toronto-based fuckyayers Greys. Loud and heavy are in fact the very two words that we will never be able to dissociate from these dudes having given Carjack up to 17 consecutive spins just now. If anything, it’s just not long enough. Guys, you need to loop this shit several times over to keep us satisfiiiiyyyyyyyeeeed (or don’t, as clearly we’re quite happy to do that ourselves). This draws on pretty much everything we love about scuzzed-out hardcore and/or heavy rock. Think along the lines of Blood Brothers, The Bronx, Amen, DZ Deathrays, Million Dead and Japandroids and then we may well invite you to the ongoing party that recommences in our head every time we hit the play button on this crunchy groove.
8. Weak Nerves
What We Were Doing That Day: Every so often – like once every six months or so – our body turns around to us and says “you know what? Fuck you man. We’re not dealing with any more of your bullshit. You’ve been playing silly buggers for, like, ages now and we need you to give it a fucking rest. So you know those potentially zillions of illnesses that we’ve been up 24/7 trying to deal with while you’re fucking with this beautiful gift of an immune system that you just happen to be so lucky to have, but are quite happy to carry on annihilating as if you’re a university student booming it up at Manic Mondays when Apple Sourz are three for a quid and snakebite is cheaper than the recycled toilet paper that you like to buy from LIDL’s? We’re going on strike. Shutting down for a day. See how you like that, prick. Enjoy this cold.
What We Said About Them: You can see why it is more than appropriate in terms of nomenclature that Weak Nerves are purveyors of today’s Track Of The Day. That, and because they are radder than…rad. We like their creative use of neck elongation in their artwork, as well as the spooky green font for their chosen name. We like the fact that we don’t know where they’re from. We’re not so into how they don’t have a soundcloud that we can dig our mitts into. We are very into tunes Cheapskates and Bedroom Rot, which gives us a whiffy of 90′s scuzz-merchants Lemonheads and Llama Farmers mixed with the melodies and guitar tones of Texas Is The Reason.
What We Were Doing That Day: Again, we dunno. Hungover, emotionally distraught, hyped-up, thugged-out, take your pick.
What We Said About Them: Anyway, let’s talk about Nymph. We’ve known about, fraternised with, and played silly buggers with (not in that way) Nymph for longer than we can remember…they’ve been bum-chumming around with Test Icicle guy-turned-producer-bloke Rory Bratwell too, who presumably helped them churn out this effort. Influence-wise, this solid tune lends itself nicely and simultaneously to the best bits of Muse, Nirvana, first-album Foo Fighters (well, DUH), and perhaps a little bit of Aussie rockers of yesteryear The Vines.
Lyger – Stroke
10. San Mei
What We Were Doing That Day: We’re getting the distinct impression that we’re pissing certain people off. Which admittedly is nothing new.
What We Said About Them: San Mei is a girl. Her real name is Emily. She’s from the Gold Cost in Queensland, Australia, which we’re sure we can all agree sounds like a paradise based on name alone. She is releasing Brigher on 16th September via Tidal Wave. We think it sounds like a lethal dreamy-pop mix encompassing the best bits of Cyndi Lauper, Aluna George, Spark (remember her? She’s back apparently) and Pawws. We’ll round this off by saying this sounds like a way-poppier Grimes. Cool. Listen to it. It’s certainly, uh, brightened up our day (wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeyyyyyyy).
San Mei – Brighter
11. Wax Idols
What We Were Doing That Day: We’re back. In the country. We’ve lost our fucking voice, conscience and mind all in one go. SXSW lived up to its reputation as an intense rollercoaster of, just, stuff. So much stuff happened. We can’t remember it all right now though. The reason we can’t remember diddly-squat right now is because we’re basically not very human at this point in time. We’re beached. This is the end-result of staying up far too bloody late getting all chummy with Modestep, who are real nice guys and let us hang out with them in their green room and drink all their booze and
marry all their women allow us to chat utter shash to them until the wee hours of the morning.
What We Said About Them: If memory serves (bearing in mind the above), we saw Wax Idols at a particularly far-out venue with a hilarious logo that went by the name of The Iron Bear. It later transpired that this was/is, during non-SXSW hours, in fact one of Austin’s few gay bars. Cool. Anyway, in we went, and them we saw. Sound Of A Void is entirely symptomatic of Wax Idols‘ dark, dreaded, and impossibly cool take on shoegaze-via-post punk stylings. There were doomy sprogs of Echo & The Bunnymen spliced with strongly-apparent stoic vibes of Joy Division mixed with the dark aesthetic of yore of The Horrors.
Wax Idols – When It Happens
What We Were Doing That Day: Will this fucking cold ever fucking fuck the fuck off? Granted by most people’s personal accounts (those we trust anyway) we seem to permanently have a problem with our nasals to the extent that it is in fact very rare for us to sound like we don’t have some sort of blockage going on in that particular region of our anatomy. Yeah, have a think about blockages in our anatomy for a sec. Cool.
What We Said About Them: Change by way of calendar month documentation – hey, guess what, it’s only bloody September – seems to be at the core of what mystery person(s) Olympia is/are about. If you hadn’t noticed, it’s now cold as shit outside. Stop kidding yourselves. Summer is over. Autumn won. Get over it and wear a fucking coat. Current Track Of The Day Olympia came a-whopping into our inbox just this morning and grabbed our attention faster than a heavily discounted menu at an American-themed BBQ/burger restaurant. Doubtless this has been emailed to all and sundry, and even more doubtless is that you will see this cropping up on various online outlets over, say, the next couple of weeks. Perhaps even now. That, kids, is called trying to get a buzz going. Thing is, you need to substantiate such things with a strong-ass song. Olympia has that down. Having canvassed opinions around the office, votes are in and we’re counting Oberhoffer, Battles, Yaysayer, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah amongst the forerunners by way of influences, with the frantic songwriting construct of Everything Everything coupled with the huge electronica-governed synth nature of MGMT thrown in. Listen up.
Olympia – September
13. Pixie Carnation
What We Were Doing That Day: Starting on Friday evening which saw a long-overdue catch up with our long-standing Disney Prince of a film directing chum James Hall (it actually was an entire year since we last shot the shit. We bloody love James Hall), Saturday saw us clambering aboard the good-times express train to Brighton (or a First Great Western or whatever it was) with buddies Jen, James (see, you got a mention), Clancy, other-James (he’s our new mate) and of course Christine for work and pleasure purposes. We rendezvoused with our other-buddy Mike of The Recommender-fame so that he might plot some Great Escape action with us and Jen for this year, and in tandem with this large degree of organisation – the dude had a notepad and everything – he generally sorted our lives out in preparation for South By South West 2013. We still can’t believe we’re actually going. There will be BBQ. There will be beer.
What We Said About Them: As we might have mentioned already, Pixie Carnation are from Sweden, or indeed the south thereof. Based on photographic and social networking-based evidence, they have played at least one show in London before in years gone by. They have since been picked up by a management company of discernable standing; more relevantly, they appear to be on the verge of releasing an album from which we can assume this bad-boy is lifted from. We wish we had Shazam within our own heads; there is a song that we’re sure everybody knows (primarily drawing on the almost-crescendo style build of the string section in Keep It Coming) that this really reminds us of, but we’re too tired to attempt to remember it. Lending itself more to the singery-songwritery side of the band spectrum, we’ll just go ahead and say enthusiasts of the Mumford & Sons; the Kodalines; the Dan Crolls; the Band Of Horses; and the Fleet Foxes of this world may well want to get involved with this outfit
14. Get Inuit
What We Were Doing That Day: Observe the heavily pixilated image. It is a picture of a dog on some grass with a triangle in the bottom-left hand corner (the latter of which we will go into in a sec). The reason this image is blurry as shit is because we just had to make it bigger in Microsoft Paint. The reason we take such a rudimentary approach to our graphic-designery-rendery skills is because we don’t have the time to become fucking experts in stuff like Photoshop, mainly because we’re running around like a prick trying to lube up some deals and get people paid and shit.
What We Said About Them: Anyway, apologies to current Track Of The Day’ers Get Inuit (which is a word that Eskimos don’t like being called – we think – so additional apologies to anyone from the far-reaches of the North American continent. Rest assured, no one from this camp is going to directly call you that, or, y’know, “get” you in any untoward sense of the word) for salting up their imagery with our poor editing skills. That triangular thingy is their logo, we’re guessing. Triangles are great. The greater news is that the music is, to our knowledge, relatively untampered by ourselves, although given the sheer amount we’ve been tucking into Cutie Pie, I’m Bloated you might be forgiven for thinking that we have had our ruddy way with it. We just asked Intern Tom what he thought this sounded like. He stuttered. He stalled. He choked. He sent us an invoice with his travel and lunch expenses. He failed this particular A&R task. In the time it took him to do all that, we jotted down stuff like The Cribs, (super fucking early) Green Day, The Thermals and whiffies of The Futureheads if they decided they really, in fact, enjoy surfing and beach-bumming an awful lot all of a sudden. Fun fucking indie-pop is what this is.
What We Were Doing That Day: Unbelievably, we’re still a bit fucked from Friday.
What We Said About Them: Tell you what is helping though – new Glasgow dudes Prides and their game-changing new Track Of The Day Out Of The Blue (which is pretty much how we discovered them – our mate Ally just whipped them out of nowhere last night, and was all like “check out these dudes”. That bloody guy. And WHAT a guy). Within about the first, dunno, 2 or so seconds of hearing the breaking moments of Out Of The Blue, you just know that this is going to rival Bastille in terms of indie-pop prominence in the years to come – we can also detect a bit of Sir Sly and Sons & Lovers in the mix, and there ain’t nothing wrong with that at all. Additional plaudits come in the form of Chvrches actively bigging these guys up when the clip for this track surfaced mere days ago.
16. The Acid
What We Were Doing That Day: Was going to Liverpool a brilliant idea? Of course it damn well was. In a way. The the way that we had a real blast seeing dude merchants Racing Glaciers and Dan Croll truly in their respective elements. As for our merry men of the Racing Glaciers, they played possibly the best set that we’ve borne witness to thus far. The word cathartic was used by Sam Faulkner, not only because it really was that remarkable, but also because he’s been working ever so hard and was a bit tired/incidenting on the emo (welcome to our world buddy).
What We Said About Them: So we’re back on that calm-core vibe that seems to be a necessity week-on-week in recent times. Good thing The Acid are about to help us out in this respect. How much do we know about them? Not much. We suspect they want it that way, at least for the time being. What is important is to take note of just how much better a mood Fame has put us in since perusing through The Acid‘s EP for the last 30 minutes. We feel floaty; atop a digital sea that courses through our regularly-troubled mind that goes from pretty-fucking-stormy to calm-as-a-hindu-cow open pressing play. It’s really something; something like Yeasayer doing Bonobo doing Dems doing The Eraser.
The Acid – Fame
17. Shy Nature
What We Were Doing That Day: Today seems to be full of spontaneous occurences. We uncharacteristically decided not to wear a coat today (which we obviously paid for later, because it turns out its still a bit fucking cold at night). We had no fewer than 3 spontaneous heated debates and/or arguments at our place of work today. The thing going on in Boston right now is obviously a bit mental, and to a lot of people probably not at all expected.
What We Said About Them: And then we’ve got new guys Shy Nature who just tipped up and surfaced out of nowhere like the bloody guys that they are. Perhaps we should have listened that one time not-too-long-ago when Matt Paisley turned up to what would later prove to be one of the last Club Killing Moons to take place at The Bull & Gate. He was drinking whisky. Martyn of Fierce Panda and Club Fandango fame joined in. We were whining about something for a long time, we remember, most likely about a girl. We’re 99% sure Matt Paisley mentioned the words Shy Nature in the aforementioned scenario, but we honestly thought the next day he was more describing us as a person rather than an actual band. It turns out we couldn’t be more wrong. In that they are a band. A band that likes to make upbeatish and sparkly guitar music that sounds like The Walkmen doing Dan Croll doing The Strokes doing Beach Boys, and in tandem with that they pen lyrics about growing up in your twenties. It sounds like the kinda shit that Matt Paisley would be involved in.
18. Violent Soho
What We Were Doing That Day: It’s our own personal version of Christmas Eve. Or New Years Eve. Some kinda eve. For tomorrow we clamber into our cushy and somewhat family-friendly Renault Megane, with Draper and Sam Faulkner aboard as crew members, and we will set course for Planet Reading Festival for three whole days of booming it hard and
fucking shit up behaving at all times. It’s gonna be just great.
What We Said About Them: While you have a think about that, check out Australian men Violent Soho. They like to rock the party. They like to rock in general, given what we’ve heard and been told thus far. Dope Calypso is the first track on what forms the Brisbane 4-piece’s second long-player offering, which is in turn entitled Hungry Ghost; which, according to this-here press release that Chris Fraser sent over, sums them up in terms of “the urgency, the want, the search for [their music]“. Cool. Basically that means they like to rock out. The video was premiered by the ever-on-it Clash site today and is well worth a watch as a perfect supplement to the incendiary guitar explosion this lot seem hell-bent on ramming down your earholes so far down that it sticks out of your bum like a little musical tongue; we’re talking Smashing Pumpkins, early Biffy Clyro, Placebo and our personal-favourite-underdogs-of-the-century The Once Over Twice.
19. Ballet School
What We Were Doing That Day: We are in a strange place right now. Well, literally we’re in bed. Yeah, you heard. It was the last-ish night of Primavera yesterday/this morning and Chris Duncan forced us to power through our 4am energy slump whilst we were watching Hot Chip and pretty much dancing some of the freshest moves you ever did see and simultaneously falling asleep on our feet Jeremy Lloyd-style. Chris accomplished this feat through a combination of scathing insults that did some pretty serious damage to our already-bruised egos (the word “puss-boy” was used. He called us a fucking puss-boy) and the promise of one of the most incredible things we were ever likely to see.
What We Said About Them: Getting us in the mood by making us feel a lot better than we did about three hours ago – and representing our first step back into the world of what we would refer to as normal by getting our Track Of The Day back on – is a three piece called Ballet School. They are from Berlin, or are at least based out there right now. They are the second band of late that we’ve written up about that involves ballet and/or ballerinas in the name, suggesting that we’re quite into that sort of thing. Jonathan Garrett gave us a nudge about these guys and he is never wrong when he tells us to check out a band in terms of them being pretty great. Guttingly we weren’t around to get a dose of this Don Henley via Rilo Kiley via The Cure via Fleetwood Mac kinda awesome in the live context when they played Birthdays in Dalston this week just gone.
Ballet School – Ghost
20. Last Heir
What We Were Doing That Day: Guess WUT. We’re back in the game. We alive. You alive. We slept like an absolute fucking king last night, and leading up to said sleep-of-a-lifetime involved an evening largely populated by a rather special dressing gown, Just Eat and some well co-ordinated Star Trek episode screenings. There were a few other things but we probably shouldn’t mention them via the written word. It was heaven. Now that we’re back to full battle strength, we’re exploring the whole annually-occuring idea of doing shit during the day. We’ve nailed emails, taken phone calls, cleaned up after ourselves – shit, we even went to Tesco and bought literally all kinds of stuff including these blue discus thingies that you plonk in the top bit of your toilet to make the flush-water go really blue.
What We Said About Them: Of course, we are now entering a more pensive state prior to heading out and booming it up with our man-buds this evening (fruity cocktails have been discussed and decided upon in advance), and so here’s Brighton boys Last Heir with their pretty-new tune Monkey Heart to help us remember the good times and stop being so damn emo all the time. Apparently these guys played Great Escape in their nativedom back in May but as you all know we didn’t actually get out to see that many bands that weren’t playing our own showcase because quite frankly we spent way too much of the remaining time having the same conversations with about 50 different people that we see on a semi-regular basis anyway. Good one. Anyway, this could well be the feel-good end-of-summer anthem that we’ve been looking for this whole time – simple, sun-drenched power-pop. Indeed, somewhat unapologetically, the band have opted for a live performance vid that sees them shaking their asses, shredding the guitar, slapping the bass and banging them drums half submerged in what we imagine to be the Brighton seafront, all perfectly in sync to the Feeder (let’s ignore that video for Seven Days In The Sun for now) via Noel Gallagher via The Caesars via Harvey Danger-style tracking that Monkey Heart exudes all over the shop.
What We Were Doing That Day: Working Sunday y’all. As previously mentioned, we are home alone. We’re gonna put this time to good use. Sleeping, for example, has been a big feature this weekend. We had a cheeky sleep before our fraternal brothers-in-arms Jezzers and C-Dunk popped over for a bro-hang the likes of which haven’t been witnessed for at least a year or so. In that we basically sat around a bit, drank the fuck outta some beers, listened to some Bring Me The Horizon (obviously), had a Pizza Hut (of course), plotted the shit out of Primavera (right on), watched Chris attempt to play drums (he wouldn’t let us show him how to play a pretty standard 4/4 beat all Demi-Moore-doing-pottery-with-Patrick-Swayze-Ghost-style).
What We Said About Them: Here is some music by a pretty cool dude called Astronomyy. Already we are drawn in on more personally-superficial terms owing to the brilliance of this guy’s chosen nomenclature (we will happily file this name next to sci-fi-esque personal favourites, such as Eye Emma Jedi, Wonderman and Boy Of Destiny – the latter two of which aren’t real, to our knowledge, so don’t bother googling for that shash), mainly as we just have a lot of time for that kind of stuff. But, you ask, is the music actually any good? You betcha. From what we know this guy combines elements of bedroom production that at first appears rudimental, then after about 5 seconds of getting stuck into current Track Of The Day Hypontise (Part I & II) you can just tell there are the signs of something inredible stirring up. How so? Because this guy is clearly a gifted songwriter. We’re talking the indie credibility along the lines of Postal Service and Get Cape Wear Cape Fly and ramming it into the stomach of Radio 1-style currentness vis-a-vis Owl City and Bastille.
Astronomyy – Drivin Me Crazy
What We Were Doing That Day: Ugh. Beerfest. Or the annual Ealing Beer and Real Ale Festival to you lot. We’ve now hit that shit up two nights on the trot. That’s just how we are. We live a life of courage. And meat. And beer. It was particularly pleasant out yesterday evening, save for Draper‘s presence at Beerfest along with his novice-style approach to ale in general (it’s okay, we were young at one point as well – and we’re just kidding buddy, chill out), meaning that average Beerfest consumption was steadily increasing evening-on-evening, and we also turned our attention to focus on the more fruity-end of the ale-drinking spectrum.
What We Said About Them: We find ourselves embedded within the comforting sonic duvets of mysterion (or mysterions, for all we know – there could be HUNDREDS of em) Hockeysmith, who of course we know absolute fuck-all about. Nor would we attempt any sort of in-depth analysis at this stage, given our current ailment, because we would probably screw that up and no one needs that on a nice day like this. All we know is that current Track Of The Day Now I Want To has been online for just under/over 96 hours and is already picking up some online love. Although we’re not even sure where that’s coming from anywhere. Got. A. Headache. The cure is this wonderfully-blended-together concoction of Grimes doing Beach House doing Wu Lyf. Play it again and again and again and then just fade out already.
Hockeysmith – Now I Want To
23. Baby In Vain
What We Were Doing That Day: So, Norway was a blast. The festival is called Sørveiv, and being in it’s third expansive year in terms of musical output and, um, incisive panel-based “what’s it all about” style music biz discussion about, well, how great we all are/how stupid everyone else is and stuff we can honestly say that we’ll be back next year, whether as a delegate or as a punter (but yeah, invite us back guys. Shit/beer is expensive) and that we are very grateful to our friends Espen, Stein and Kjetil for having us down. There was the added bonus of meeting several cool people who we will definitely want to hang out with again on the general basis that they are rad dudes who help remind us to see working in music as a privilege and not a chore.
What We Said About Them: So over the next couple of days we’ll try to reel off some artists who we can actually remember (we say the beer was expensive, however this didn’t actually stop us from buying it or sponging from other people. Of course it fucking didn’t), and the first of these very much has to go to riot-starting threesome Baby In Vain. We suppose we should remark on how this band is composite of three young girls averaging an age of 17; not so much to insinuate that it could be a sordid marketing point in itself, but mainly because based on what we saw and heard we could be forgiven for thinking that this lot could be a lot older than given the intensity and downright hard-crushing delivery of their brand of Be Your Own Pet meets Black Keys meets Father John Misty bluesy-style rock music.
24. Night Flowers
What We Were Doing That Day: An ever-increasing and very frequent occurance for us on Saturday mornings is that we don’t know what the fuck we’re doing. This is a marginal step up from our previous disposition of the whole not-knowing-what-the-fuck thing being applicable to life. We have an idea, most of the time. However, the new coupling of the standard mode of sleep deprivation with the added modern spicy twist of actually drinking Red Bull (work gave us a mini-fridge for our office, you see. Finally, we get the respect we deserve. You’re not a real label/music company/anything in fact, until they give you a mini fridge.
What We Said About Them: Enter London’s Night Flowers who fulfil that very same legacy that has cropped up in the last 10-15 minutes pretty much like the perfect-fitting fresh pair of shorts that we bought from some place in Westfield last weekend when we were at a sort-of similar loose end with our waking moments last Saturday. This music is pretty much perfect; so it seems more than fitting that double-whammy Track Of The Day Single Beds and North doth arriveth to our ears on the same day that it is released as a double A-side, and, even better, for gratis via their bandcamp. BONUS. We mentioned movie soundtracks right now. We mean an 80′s movie soundtrack, really, like Breakfast Club or something like that. Or, for your more modern contemporaries given that we are becoming increasingly more aware that the people we hang out with – and as consequence are more likely to read our crappy blog – are born in the 90′s (is that why they show Jurassiac Park and Back To The Future on the telly ALL. THE. TIME now?), we’ll go ahead and say that this sounds like constituent members of The Cure (somewhere between Just Like Heaven and Friday I’m In Love), Ride, Teenage Fanclub and Silversun Pickups all buddying up and rewriting the Drive soundtrack.
Night Flowers – North
What We Were Doing That Day: Well, spank our asses and call us…whatever the hey you wanna call us. There’s not a lot going on in the world that could really dampen our spicy mood this afternoon. In stark contrast to our overtly and outspoken sense of emo-ism that went on the other day whereby we were literally were so stressed to the point that our incompetence reached the dizzying heights of literally not being able to tell our head from our farty butthole (let us tell you, shit ain’t pretty no matter which way you’re looking at it); right now we’ve a head full of serotonin (and non-artificially as well), ears full of sweet tunes (which we’ll go into in a sec) and eyes full of excitement for pretty much everything that lays ahead.
What We Said About Them: Suitably happy moods require suitably happy music; and that, of course, ladies and gentlemen, is the rock music. Enter Alpha Male Tea Party and their fucking excellently-named dual Track(s) Of The Day Jason Fucked The Argonauts and Depressingly Shit Lunchtime Sandwich. They make us wanna punch the air and say YEAYUH a fucktonne, which is alright. Sam Faulkner found these dudes and sent them onto us because he knew that it would make us happy. And how right he is – this is a ridiculously cool combination of some of our favourite intrumental-turned-proggy-turned-heavy-shit along the lines of Biffy Clyro, 65 Days Of Static, Emperors, Tall Ships, Tubelord and all that sort of thing.
Alpha Male Tea Party – Depressingly Shit Lunchtime Sandwich
26. Alma Elste
What We Were Doing That Day: S’up. We got back from Latitude yesterday. It was good. We boomed it up and had a real hoot watching Duologue, Dems and a whole bunch o’ other good shit. We did not really sleep. Part of the reason for this is because we just like to party so fuckin’ hard sometimes.
What We Said About Them: Owing to work catch-up commitments (i.e. emails) we are annoyed that we only got round to writing this up at the end of today, which has seen Ms. Alma Elste get propped up by The Guardian and The 405 in the last 24 hours. We have been bested yet again. But that’s okay. In the time it’s taken us to actually perform said-write up, we have listened to Virtualism another dozen or so times, primarily by virtue of its Beach House via James Blake via Phoenix glowingness that makes us all funny on the inside (it’s definitely not dodgy festival-burger either, although admittedly we smashed a fair number of those), but also due to the influx of hazy 3-in-the-morning vividness that this will likely remind us of until we truly lose our minds.
Alma Elste – Virtualism
27. No Middle Name
What We Were Doing That Day: We found ourselves with some unexpected free time on our hands today. That’s nice, isn’t it? Following an evening that saw us tag along with kid Draper and his mate Stu to the Drop Dead store on Carnaby Street – to drink their booze, look at their clothes, fight their men, marry their women, etc – followed by linking up with our mate Ralph who is back from Ethiopia for the summer holibobs (and other mates who are resident in West London and it is a bit embarrasing/frustrating that we only get to see them on occassions such as these), and then missing the last tube, we woke up at the ungodly hour of 6am for no reason in particular.
What We Said About Them: Soundtracking the sunshine and the boozing-up-of-it-therein is current Track Of The Day by newish-guy No Middle Name (real name David Bailey, so he’s not kidding – and we’re relieved to discover we’re not the only ones who got screwed out of this intermedite form of identity by our respective namesake providers), which just so happens to be called Another Season, which in turn is out on 8th July via Molusc Records. This is the solo project offshooting from another band David appears in called The Title Sequence. We shall commit indie-cool heresy by saying we don’t know who the other band is. But that’s okay. This is cool and we can see ourselves enjoying this slice of dreamy guitar indie-pop for the long haul. It sounds like a computer game. It also sounds like Delorean, Jimmy Eat World, The Postal Service and Telekinesis. Come on, Primavera. Book this guy. Book him hard.