Tuesday, 28 July 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: GWENNO - Y DYDD OLAF

ARTIST: GWENNO
ALBUM: Y DYDD OLAF

Originally released last year through Peski Records, 'Y Dydd Olaf' is the debut album from former Pipettes member Gwenno, which last week saw a re-release through Heavenly Recordings. The 10-track record is sung entirely in Welsh, apart from the final song which is in Cornish, and is based upon a 1970's sci-fi novel by Owain Owain from which the album title is taken.

Despite being a pop record at heart, Y Dydd Olaf takes on electronic and folk influences, whilst those of you who are au fait with the Welsh language will be aware that the album is both politically charged and culturally aware. (if like me you're not up to speed on your Welsh, here's a nice track by track translation). Gwenno will be touring in September, check here for dates.

https://open.spotify.com/album/5kd6acku2NP3Axf5kCjJmv

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: RACHEL SERMANNI - TIED TO THE MOON

ARTIST: RACHEL SERMANNI
ALBUM: TIED TO THE MOON
LABEL: MIDDLE OF NOWHERE RECORDINGS

It feels like Rachel Sermanni has been around for a fair while, indeed this month sees the release of her second album 'Tied To The Moon', the follow up to her 2012 debut 'Under Mountains'. Yet she is still only 23 years old, making her achievement's to date even more impressive. She's toured the world with a whole host of household names (Elvis Costello, The Staves, Mumford & Sons, Stornoway), as well as numerous trips between her native Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The basis of 'Tied To The Moon', which is available through 'Middle Of Nowhere Recordings', was developed last year when Sermanni secluded herself in a makeshift studio in Nova Scotia, Canada. Then with a little help from Jennifer Austin (piano, organ, backing vocal), Gordon Skene (bass and cello), and Louis Linklater (drums), she recorded all 10 tracks of the album live with Colin Macleod in his living room in the Scottish Highlands.

The result is a brooding, powerful body of work where Sermanni is able to offer her listeners an insight into her dark and often melancholy poetry, whilst the music itself is almost a juxtaposition to that at times, as it's full of groove and panache, alongside the more tender softer parts. Of course we've also got to mention her vocals, which by our ears are some of the finest we've heard for quite some time! An album that rewards on repeat listens, 'Tied To The Moon' comes highly recommended.


https://open.spotify.com/album/1mvYi0bGz0wlpGLvQOH1Zp

Sunday, 19 July 2015

EVENT: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2015 REVIEW

This year saw our second visit to the 2000trees festival, the 3-day event which takes place at Upcote Farm in Cheltenham. We made our first trip to the award winning independent festival in 2014, and after having such a fantastic time we had to return again this year.

We were glad to arrive on the Thursday with the rest of early entry folk (especially happy to see the back of London after the morning's tube strike chaos), and after finding our spot in Camp Marwood (other camp sites - Turner and Reuben - are available) we cracked open a cider and set off to explore the site. Which for those of you who have been to 2000trees before will know takes all of 30 minutes end to end, from the The Croft at the top of the site down to the Main Stage, with The Cave and The Axiom in between both. This scale is perfect for those who like a quick clothing change, a nap, some snacks, and/or a re-stock on alcohol.

Dom Meason
Our music schedule began with catching the end of &U&I's set, before watching one of our favourite acts from last year - The Computers. We took a brief break to catch some comedy up at the Croft and took a wander into the trees to check out the locations for Forest Sessions (including a little go in the hammocks!). A quick march back to The Cave and we were ready to witness the spectacle that is Bristol's Turbowolf, after which we got our position set at front for Thursday's headliners - The Subways, who provided a set full of sing-alongs just right for the opening night vibe.

Awaking on Friday morning a little groggy we were soon back in the swing of things after we paid a visit (and it wasn't our last) to the Smokin' Hot Tamales hut, sampling their truly excellent Breakfast Burritos. After sun cream was applied and a beer was in hand we headed down to the main stage, firstly seeing Bite The Buffalo, followed by Ghouls. After which we headed up to The Croft to see the delightful Hannah Lou Clark (who had a unfortunate defeat with her drum machine) as well as The Lion And The Wolf. Back down to the main stage to see a rescheduled performance from Cleft, before a personal highlight of mine seeing Future Of The Left who increased anticipation ahead of a reformed Mclusky* set to come later.


Our main stage action finished for the day with Young Guns, who really surprised us with the confidence and quality of their show. Heading over to The Cave we were suitably ready for Pulled Apart By Horses who certainly didn't disappoint, with the Leeds 4-piece delivering a set of new and old songs which really hit the spot. We chose New Orleans singer-songwriter Benjamin Booker for our final act of the night at the Axiom, with the American playing songs from his well received self titled debut album. Our evening finished with the almost now legendary 2000trees silent disco, which is spread out across the entire site, and encompasses all of your rock and pop desires!

Saturday began with a breakfast burrito (standard), and the interesting 20 odd member Scottish act Human Pyramids. Cardiff's Samoans showed some nice crowd banter over at the Axiom, before we checked out Black Peaks in the Cave. The ever reliable The Xcerts put on an uplifting performance on the main stage, after which Defeater changed the mood after destroying the cave with their hardcore punk. And So I Watch You From Afar restored some parity, and this was further extended with the reggae/ska 4-piece The Skints. A day that went far too quickly ended with heroes Mclusky*, who appeased the rammed Cave stage many of whom thought they would never again see the seminal post-hardcore group.

2000trees is not just about the music though, as there's a huge games area to the side of the stage - with giant jenga, swing-ball, twister, and a whole host of other games which when you've had a lemonade or two can become a little competitive (ahem!). Alongside the silent disco there was also a silent cinema, we took a respite in the early hours to relive childhood worries to watch Labyrinth. There's also the aforementioned spot in the woods where you can hide from the sun and relax in a hammock.

When it comes down to it though, 2000trees is a music festival at it's core, and it's this focus which makes it one of the best independent festivals we've been to. The combination of new music and an appreciation for established acts who have completed their formative years, leads to an event which is nigh on perfect as far as we're concerned. Next year sees the festival reach it's 10th birthday and we're sure the guys behind it have some exciting things planned, so we're already putting it into our diaries again. See you there! // 2000trees

Monday, 13 July 2015

ALBUM: JOYWAVE - HOW DO YOU FEEL NOW?

ARTIST : JOYWAVE
ALBUM : HOW DO YOU FEEL?
LABEL : POLYDOR RECORDS

'How Do You Feel?' is the debut album from Joywave, a 5-piece from Rochester, New York. The 11-track LP, which is out now on Polydor Records, is an emphatic journey across genres ranging from pop, rock, and electronica. Make sure you check out the video for lead single 'Somebody New', which is influenced by the Tony Hawks Pro Skater video game and is directed by Keith Schofield.

Joywave // Buy 'How Do You Feel?'

https://open.spotify.com/album/13cW14Rr54GfniPJ91KsyL

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

ALBUM REVIEW : AXIS OF - THE MID BRAE INN

https://www.facebook.com/Axisof
ARTIST: AXIS OF
ALBUM: THE MID BRAE INN

Formed in 2007 and hailing from the small Northern Ireland town of Portstewart, Axis Of are a three piece punk band who are slowly but surely rising to fame. The band, composed of members Ewen Friars {bass and vocals}, Ethan Harman {Drums and vocals} and Niall Lawlar {guitar and vocals} were signed by Smalltown America Records in 2012, which led to the release of their debut album ‘Finding St Kilda’. Axis Of have been on a few headline tours within small venues in both the UK and The Republic Of Ireland, their most recent being in May this year; they have also done a few Maida Vale BBC sessions.

The Mid Brae Inn’ is their second album released earlier this year. The record consists of 12 songs with titles such as ‘All My Bones’ and ‘The Harsh Winds Of Rathlin’ leading the listener to see Mid Brae Inn as a tribute to the band’s lives and past, as well as to Ireland itself.

'All My Bones' is a gritty, beat filled single depicting the landscape of Ireland, and the weariness with which the band look at it. 'The Harsh Winds Of Rathlin' would appear to be a song of memory, an image of the band’s childhood adventures on Rathlin Island, just off the coast of Northern Ireland. The introduction to the song is that of a quick repetitive guitar riff, and a foot tapping drum beat, leading into to a loud and powerful first verse.

Overall, 'The Mid Brae Inn' has a punk outlook and is based entirely around the band members lives in Ireland. It makes for an album one can simply sit and listen to with the occasional foot tap, head bop and with catchy lyrics that one can sing along to, I would highly recommend this album to any punk rock fan.

https://open.spotify.com/album/5IHnnBTYe3XaMISQL8wP3B

Monday, 6 July 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: BULLY - FEELS LIKE

ARTIST : BULLY
ALBUM : FEELS LIKE
LABEL : STARTIME INTERNATIONAL/COLUMBIA

Nashville 4-piece Bully recently released their debut album, 'Feels Like', through Startime International / Columbia, with the record being recorded at Steve Albini's Electrical Audio studios in Chicago.

The 10 track record has a real energy and snarl to it, helped in no small part to vocalist Alicia Bognanno's gritty vocals, whilst the music her and the rest of the band create (Stewart Copeland, Clayton Parker, and Reece Lazarus) is a glorious patchwork of shoegaze, grunge, surfer rock, and any other 90's tinged alt-rock you might like to think of.

It could sound dated, but it actually it doesn't, with the band layering fresh ideas over a tried and tested soundbed, much like stateside contemporaries Best Coast, and the UK's Pins and Wolf Alice.


https://open.spotify.com/album/76CR7xZkAElmSDZF5NF3Bo

Monday, 29 June 2015

EVENT: 2000TREES FESTIVAL 2015

With less than 10 days to go until this years 2000trees festival, we are excited to announce some extra special guest sets and events have been added to this years bill.

Hidden away from the main site of the festival amongst the woods is where the Forest acoustic sets take place, and we can reveal the following bands will all be performing some intimate sets:-


http://www.twothousandtreesfestival.co.uk/
2000trees captain Andy Rea said, "This is an incredible line-up! We cannot wait to see these intimate, soulful, acoustic performances rock our beautiful little Forest Sessions stage, while we kick back with a cool cider on the hammocks!

Alongside the forest acoustic sets and the main stages (full line up here), there's also going to all of this lot going on!

- BBC Introducing – Den sessions in the Forest 

- Silent disco - Self explanatory messiness! :) 

- Silent Cinema - Busk Stops - There are five Busk Stops – Wristband Exchange, Camp Marwood, Camp Reuben, Room no. 7 and Camp Turner.

- Fancy dress competition Saturday - The theme is literal representations of band names 

- Games! - Look out for human size hungry hippos, a straw bale maze and everyone’s favourite, Swing Ball!

We're super excited for all of the above and would urge you all to buy a ticket if you haven't got one yet!

See you there!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

ALBUM OF THE WEEK: HEYROCCO - TEENAGE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

ARTIST: HEYROCCO
ALBUM: TEENAGE MOVIE SOUNDTRACK

We first covered US 3-piece Heyrocco earlier this year when we named their song 'Elsewhere' as a track of the week in February, and we've turned our attention back to them again for the release of their album - 'Teenage Movie Soundtrack' which is out now.

The band are comprised of Nathan Merli (Guitarist/Vocalist), Christopher Cool (Bassist), and Tanner Cooper (Drums). The ten track album is released through Vital Music Group (Old Flame Records in the states), and it sees the band put together a highly energetic, well-constructed, and ultimately well received debut record. There are pop hooks aplenty throughout the album but there's also some rather meaty guitar parts which allow for an appreciation of both elements.

The band were on tour with The Xcerts back in April of this year, and you can see the links between those bands certainly, but we've also seen Heyrocco linked with the likes of Blur, Pavement, Nirvana, The Cure, and Mudhoney, and you can indeed hear all of those influences on Teenage Movie Soundtrack. But that's in no way a bad thing, and you get the sense that a generation of new ears might hear this album and go absolutely nuts for it, as well as reeling us nostalgic old guys in!

https://open.spotify.com/album/5nq90M1isWuZSMm10VuiPv