Saturday, 9 April 2016

Poet Palms - .the inzz and outzz of thoughts in my pocket, album review

With leaden arms and a woozy head I paused to survey the abundant musical landscape, I had come here I search of something 'experimental' and now I was taking stock of the surrounding area as my motor functions continued to float somewhere beyond the realm of normal practicality.

Skinny withered fingers flash across the touchscreen and dip in and out of new releases like some kind of malnourished Winnie The Pooh feverishly tasting from the honey pot using the sense of sight alone, discarding those that don't look right, those that don't appeal, with no real sense of why, but when I've found it, then I've found it.

And I've found it.

I've found the voice that speaks to me.

Speaks to me through poetry.  Speaks to me through brevity, and beauty.
Speaks to me through complexity and pretentiousness, because I love finding something that it can be a challenge to love, I love holding my head up and declaring that perhaps my taste is the emperor's new taste.

But above all that I love passion.

And I love the dizzying power of creation.

This dainty and lithe creation that was spawned of minds and now beams directly into mine. Words and sounds, definitely poetic, occasionally musical, purely avant garde and now a part of my life.  Fleeting glimpses into other lives exist here without boundaries or formulas, these are snapshots of genius fused to maverick productions, both feeding and solidifying each other in the symbiotic process.

I found this.

Or did it find me?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Whenyoung - See How They Run, single review

The debut self-released single by newcomers Whenyoung just landed in my inbox and swiftly wound it's way into my mind.

So far I've received very little information about the band, instead choosing to let the music do the talking, or to get closer to the truth, letting the music do the shouting, stomping, jumping around and teasing.

Whenyoung sound like a number of things and make a great first impression for themselves.  They sound brash, they sound like your favourite garage-rock band that you'd forgotten you'd loved, they sound slightly Scandinavian, they sound flirtatious, and they sound like fun. 

Within two minutes they cram monochromatic shades of PJ Harvey, The Kills and Ladytron into See How They Run, and I for one, am already hooked.

Self-released on 22nd April

in conversation with Eddie's Samband

After pleasantly surprising the band by reviewing their single last month, i decided to get in touch with Eddie's Samband to try and find out a little more about the fledgling act...

I'm sure it's the one question the whole musical world has been asking, but who are Eddie's Samband?

Sam1: We are Eddie, Sam and Sam or Sam and Eddie and Sam or Sam, Sam and Eddie, or just Eddie's Samband.  Three people from North London who enjoy spending far too infrequent amounts of time together making music, generally fuelled by cheap booze and bad jokes.
Sam2: Eddie’s Samband is a feeling, a movement, a way of life.
Eddie: Eddie's Samband is a chemical reaction of off brand Baileys and Tesco brand buck's fizz… fuck’s bizz.
Sam2: If you’ve ever had a feeling and not known what it was, how to deal with it or even if it’s in a ‘talent’ time signature, you are Eddie’s Samband.
Eddie: Sam and I were already mates before we started the “project” and he suggested we record some songs with his friend who is also called Sam. We stumbled into a rehearsal studio I was working in at the time and recorded a song about getting drunk. The rest is history

Do you think Stacey could be persuaded to listen to techno? What is she into?

Sam2: In a word, NAH. She loves a bit of Craig David played on her phone while she’s walking round the estate or reppin’ the back of the bus.
Sam1: I think that she doesn't even know what she likes, she generally has a hankering for top charts bangers and bargain bin Shiraz but that's only because her friends do, in private she probably prefers silent crying and the sound of her own heartbeat.
Eddie: I think I remember meeting Stacey in the smoking area of a run-down pub in Islington… The kind of pub that hadn’t changed the furniture or carpet since the smoking ban. We were talking about festivals and gigs we've been to. Well I was anyway... She was chucking her guts up because she took advantage of the cheap house wine.
Before she left, I slipped her a copy of Moby’s 2009 album “Wait For Me” and told her it would be a good listen for a hangover.
I’ve not had contact with her since.

I see you've been shouting out KT Tunstall and Adele on twitter, are these the strong female artists that you wish to emulate?

Sam1: Can one shout on a medium that doesn't have a volume control? I mean, you can be kind of aggressively visual using CAPS LOCK but it's not got the same power as a good ol' shout, does it?
Sam2: You could say we wish to emulate them. Or you could say we’re just horrific pests on social media.  I definitely want to be one of them when I’m a grown up.  Either or.  I’m not picky.
Eddie: Sam’s a very big fan of KT. I can’t say I’m a huge fan but I can appreciate a good singer/songwriter when I hear one. I wouldn’t say what we’re doing is emulating anyone, it’s just;
“Hey, we all play instruments. Let’s get together and make some noise.”
Sam1: I'm pretty sure we just want to go for a drink with them...
 Sam2: I think a night out with Eddie’s Samband, Adele and KT would be banging. Perhaps when they’re drawing up the table plans for next year’s BRIT Awards they could take this in to account?
Sam1: They would certainly be on the list of people we are influenced by - well the Sams are, I think Eddie's kind of KT-curious verging on A-DeleSexual...
Eddie: I’ve been A-DeleSexual for years pal.  I guess I’m more influenced by other artists we mutually like… Bowie, The Cure, Radiohead, Fleetwood Mac, The Raconteurs to name a few...

Delving deeper and listening to your debut #feelingsEP reveals that the band can show a slightly more serious and sensitive side... What is it that makes the band tick and what can we expect of any future releases?

Sam2: Feelings. If we ever experience any feelings, they’re in a song
Sam1: What makes us tick? Gin mostly.
Eddie: I think with #feelingsEP we were trying our hand at writing songs with meaningful lyrics and interesting chord progressions while still sounding okay while under the influence. It just seemed a bit boring to be so serious and feelsy all the time so we just decide to have fun and do whatever... even if it didn’t meet traditional songwriter standards
Sam2: Sometimes I just want to get drunk, and that’s a feeling. And that’s ok. Any future releases are guaranteed to have a wide array of mixed messages, mixed emotions and stains of gin and misery.

You've presented yourselves as 'Three drunks and a laptop'.... Any plans to take that set-up into the real world and perform live?

Sam2: We will only play anywhere that has free WiFi and free booze. If you know anywhere that meets that criteria, we’ll consult the Filofax and see if we can be bothered to rock up.
Sam1: That sounds like it would involve a lot of work.
Eddie: I think we’ve all played together at the same time a grand total of once and that’s when we had our first jam.
Sam1: You know, Sam and I tried a rehearsal for a live show we'd been offered (Eddie was busy with his real band or a funeral or something) and we couldn't even remember the chords to the songs. Needless to say we didn't do it.
Eddie: It does sound like a good idea but it would require a lot of planning, rehearsal and booze so I’m not sure we’re gonna be playing shows any time soon... I wouldn’t rule it out though!
Sam1: We'd definitely still be three drunks and a laptop on stage.  The intermittent pauses while waiting for the ageing macbook to reboot from yet another crash would be fun though, wouldn't they?

And lastly, who were your first cartoon crushes and do you think these have informed your later life choices?

Eddie: That’s a very interesting question
Sam1: This question is quite random, I kind of like it, what was the reasoning behind it?
Eddie: I think mine was probably Buttercup from the Powerpuff girls. I’m not sure why, it’s probably the tomboy-ish attitude and taste in music haha!
Sam1: Daria is deliciously morose and may be my spirit animal. But I wouldn't say I ever had romantic feelings for a drawing. I've had other feelings about drawings, but never lustful ones, I mean, never say never, but I haven't so far in my life...
Eddie: I can’t say a childhood crush on an anime inspired little girl with superpowers has affected my life choices.. I think meeting a woman with those characteristics is a bit far-fetched.
Sam2: I would probably say Simba. I just couldn’t wait to be queen at the time. I don’t think this has influenced any of my later life choices really other than the occasional Lion King sing-along in the office at work. Lions don’t form a part of my sexuality.

#feelingsEP and Stacey's Crying are both out now via bandcamp

Friday, 1 April 2016

Those Handsome Animals - Rant Wildly, single review

We are no longer hurtling towards the future, we overshot it, and now find ourselves floating helplessly in an entropy of Chris Morris-esque farce and self-loathing somewhere beyond the path we were meant to follow.

It's all noise and it's all meaningless, but somewhere in this raging 21st century chaos is a band that help me to retune my zen-like state and find my centre within frenetic three minute indie-pop songs.

Those Handsome Animals talk sense in their painfully aware lyrics, taking kitchen-sink dramas and everyday situations and cramming this social commentary into a track until it feels fit to burst, thrusting forth with brake-neck delivery.  Those Handsome Animals can knock out astute witticisms and still counter it all with a chorus that captures the imagination with no imagination needed at all, it's simple, it's forthcoming, just wait patiently and wail along.  And Those Handsome Animals make perfect sense to me, when the whole world appears to be changing quicker than I can keep up with, I love that they seem to stay the same, they wear their influences on their sleeves regardless of what fashion may dictate, and above all that, they make me want to dance.

I don't need phone upgrades and craft beers and tidal streaming exclusives, and I don't want beloved celebrities to keep dying and I don't want to worry about an ever-increasing retirement age or euro-exits.

I just want music to jump around to, and songs to sing along with loudly.

Is that too much too ask?

Out now and available to stream via Spotify