Thursday, 28 April 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: VICTORIA+JEAN - DIVINE LOVE

ARTIST: VICTORIA+JEAN
ALBUM: DIVINE LOVE
LABEL: FY RECORDS

'Divine Love' is the debut album from Victoria+Jean, an experimental pop duo from Stockholm, Sweden. The 12 track record is being released through FY Records and features the work of a host of well respected contributors.

The real life couple sent the album to their favourite producers and amazingly each one chose to work on the track the duo had hoped they would. Among those chosen were John Parish (PJ Harvey), Rob Kirwan (The Horrors), Ian Caple (Tricky), Joe Hirst (Stone Roses), and Lucas Chauviere (De La Soul).

The diversity between those names should tell you how varied Victoria+Jean and indeed this album are, with different styles and influences found throughout. Reference points could be artists such as St Vincent, Tune-Yards, or PJ Harvey, but really the album manages to traverse between those artists with it's own unique sound.

The vocals from Victoria are boundless, showing a great range and this is the driving force behind most of the tracks, however the guitars from Jean are riff heavy and this provides a nice base for the music, with our stand out track for this being 'Your Baby Don't Know Me'.

Thursday, 21 April 2016

LIVE: VODUN @ THE LEXINGTON


A few weeks ago we made Vodun's 'Possession' our Album Of The Week. We enjoyed the combination of soulful vocals with heavy drums and guitar, and luckily enough we were able to catch them recently at their sold out album launch night at The Lexington. Supports on the night came from Casual Nun, and Limb, with the latter particularly impressing us in what was the first gig we had managed to catch them at.

At this point we should mention the promoter for this show - Chaos Theory - an exciting independent promotion collective who have been putting on London shows since 2010, and are headed up by Kunal Singhal. It was a pleasure to be at a gig whereby everything flowed effortlessly, minimal time between bands, and even some on stage introductions from Kunal himself. It gave the evening a cooperative feeling between the whole room, from promoter, to the bands, and with the crowd, leaving a feeling of togetherness and a vindication for coming out on school night. Hands patted on backs everyone!

Image courtesy of Riff Rock Records
So to the evenings main event, London 3-piece Vodun. With the venue brimming and space a premium, the band appear on stage wearing some delightfully colourful attire and after a short vocal intro they launch into 'Loa's Kingdom' which happens to be the opening track from their aforementioned debut album. The band have a strong stage presence, with vocalist Oya commanding proceedings, backed up by some heavy riffs from Marassa and precise drums from Ogoun.

Their set has clearly been well worked out, with everything sounding tight and movement between tracks fluid, and they even have space for backing singers and a saxaphone player to appear at one point, and Ogoun sets her drums on fire. (Yes really!)

In total 10 tracks make up their set which finishes with 'Mawu', one of the lead tracks from Possession. We would highly recommend an evening with Vodun, and if their recent appearances in a well known magazine continue it won't be long before they're playing lots more shows! For a taster check out the video below, another gift from those lovelies at Chaos Theory.

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: GREYS - OUTER HEAVEN

ARTIST: GREYS
ALBUM: OUTER HEAVEN

Greys are a noise punk rock 4-piece from Toronto, Canada who this week will release their 2nd album 'Outer Heaven' through Carpark Records. It is the follow up to their 2014 debut album 'If Anything', and their 'Repulsion' EP from 2015. The band are comprised of Shehzaad Jiwani (vocals), Cam Graham (guitar), Colin Gillespie (bass), and Braeden Craig (drums).

The album has been produced by Mike 'De La' Rocha at the Hotel 2 Tango studio in Montreal, where the likes of Arcade Fire have recorded. There are 10 tracks which come in at just under 40 minutes, during which the band cover a wide range of styles and subject matters.

There's some straight up punk tracks, a couple of more rounded indie ones, some shoegaze, and some noise rock. It feels like Mike Rocha has really harnessed that raw dissonant sound the band had on their early work and combined that with moments of calm and space within the chaos.

The split between the two often occurs more than once during the tracks, keeping you on edge and eager to hear where the band take you, with one of the album's final tracks 'Strange World' aptly showing this. Overall Outer Heaven is a really strong body of work which clearly puts across the often ferocious but equally gentle nature of Greys, who must also be a delight to catch live.

Monday, 11 April 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: SKATING POLLY - THE BIG FIT

ARTIST: SKATING POLLY
ALBUM: THE BIG FIT
LABEL: CHAP STEREO
https://open.spotify.com/album/1ftNGgfss9CRGbSBhm3f2W

'The Big Fit' is the fourth album from Oklahoma stepsister duo Skating Polly (Peyton Bighorse / Kelli Mayo), and it's their first album to receive a UK release. The band toured over here last year with Babes In Toyland and since then have seemingly gathered an ever growing list of fans. It may be their fourth album but Peyton (20) and Kelli (15) are still in their teenage years and have already put together a strong musical CV in the 6 years since they starting making music together.

'The Big Fit' was produced by Kliph Scurlock and is being released through Chap Stereo. There are 12 tracks and the album length is just over 46 minutes (ED: another perfectly timed album in 2016!). Skating Polly's sound is a combination of delicate pop and scarring punk, mixing soft melodies with screechy yelps, piano licks with punchy guitar riffs.

It's an album of great variety, both in tempo and intensity, and it's a real testament to the two girls ear for a great pop song that goes far beyond their formative years. You can draw similarities with the likes of Courtney Barnett, Hole, and The Subways (the Charlotte Cooper bits) but Skating Polly are definitely their own band and this album is a striking portrayal of their thoughts, ideas, and intention.

Monday, 4 April 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: COVES - PEEL

 ARTIST: COVES
ALBUM: PEEL
LABEL: 1965 RECORDS
https://open.spotify.com/album/5xlCEithL28538zPhVRxza

'Peel' is the second album from Coves, a two piece (Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard) who are from Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, and have been together since 2011. The new album is released through 1965 Records and follows up their 2014 debut 'Soft Friday'.

The album was recorded and produced by Cam Blackwood (London Grammer) at Studio Voltaire in Clapham, South London, and features 10 tracks which come in at just over 36 minutes. Whilst Blackwood has been able to clean up Coves previously more gritty sound, he's still maintained that edge which has helped the band stand out. The style on this record is a mix of shoegaze, pop, and psych, with the vocals from Rebekah Wood being a real standout.

She's able to control the tracks with her voice by having a great range and variation, meaning the album flows along nicely. While she brings the pop element, John Ridgard brings the rock, with his drawn out, driving guitars providing a substantial base for the vocals to go over.

Coves will be playing the Great Escape Festival in Brighton, Dim Swn Festival in Cardiff, Field Day, as well as several London shows, so there's plenty of chances for you to check them out live, with 'Peel' surely going to transfer well into that arena.

Friday, 1 April 2016

MUSIC LIBERATION PODCAST - MARCH 2016

Here's the March 2016 edition of the Music Liberation Podcast

You can now listen and subscribe to the podcast via iTunes!

Tracklist:-

1. Big Ups - National Parks
2. Is Tropical - Lights On
3. Delta Will - We Were Born
4. Vodun - Loa's Kingdom

Monday, 28 March 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: VODUN - POSSESSION

ARTIST: VODUN
ALBUM: POSSESSION

Possession is the debut record from Vodun, a heavy psychedelic rock soul three-piece from London. We tipped the band at the start of the year as one of our Future Sounds Of 2016 so we've been eagerly waiting for the release date to arrive. The group is composed of Oya (vocals), Marassa (guitars), and Ogoun (drums) and have been together for a couple of years. The album is the first full release from the London based Riff Rock Records.

Possession has been mixed by Tom Dalgety (Royal Blood) and has already received high praise from the likes of Kerrang, and Classic Rock. The 11-track album comes in at 39 minutes and is available on CD as 6 panel digipak and on limited edition orange vinyl through Cargo Records.

The album contains much variation, with the distinctive vocals from Oya being soulful and otherworldly, whilst Ogoun and Marassa lay down a loud and frenetic bedrock of drums and guitars. It's difficult to not get drawn into the 'world of Vodun' as the band put it themselves, with the fact they don't take things too seriously meaning you can easily lose yourself amongst the songs and alternative dimension that Possession takes you into.

Vodun will be heading out on a UK tour with Limb in April, whilst you can catch them at The Lexington for the album release show on the 7th April, we'll see you there!

Monday, 21 March 2016

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: DELTA WILL - WEATHERING

ARTIST: DELTA WILL
ALBUM: WEATHERING
Delta Will are a self proclaimed 'existential pop' group from Toronto, Canada. The band are made up of Brandon Johns (keys, synth), Charles Tilden (vocals, guitars, samples), Milan Schramek (bass), and Lowell Whitty (drums). They began in 2011, since when they've put out two EPs with Transcendental Visits (2012) and It All Glows (2013), and this year sees the release of their debut full length record through Only Constant Records.

Titled Weathering the album has 11 tracks and comes in at the 36 minute mark, which is a great length for a pop record - take note other bands! It was recorded and mixed by Chris Stringer in Toronto, and the artwork is by Corey Isenor. There's a great range of styles and influences going on throughout the album, with psych rock, electronica, and folk all coming through, but if pushed you would still put Delta Will in the pop category.

Of course this is no bad thing at all, in fact its refreshing to hear a group being able to put together a wide range of styles into a cohesive body of work. Similarities could be drawn with the UK's Alt-J, or looking stateside there's Alabama Shakes, but others have also mentioned Radiohead and Gang Gang Dance that also have related sounds and we would tend to agree. Our favourite tracks would be 'We Were Born', 'Bugarach', 'A Dream', and the closing track 'I Will Receive It'.

Weathering is a beautiful patchwork of well thought out and purposeful pop songs.