Things We Love This Week: Tom King, Mealtime, Free Gigs For NHS Staff

Hello again! This week, like many others, I have been trying to thrive (and concentrate) while working in quarantine. In and amongst all of the extra snacks, burnt out candles and Tiger King binge-watching, I can safely say that I have achieved only one good thing; I have finally cleared out all of the press releases in my inbox!

I am going to put my hands up and admit that I am prone to swiftly deleting most press releases that I receive. As a former freelancer, I can receive well over a hundred singles, album streams and music videos in a day, though this number is probably pale in comparison to many renowned editors and journalists! This week, however, I decided to challenge myself to listen to every single thing that cropped up in my inbox, and it turns out that I had let a fair few gems slip under the radar. And what is the point of this procedure, you may ask? Well, I wanted to source out the best of the bunch for your listening pleasure, and you can now find my picks below. Enjoy, and don’t forget to thank me later!


Now, just when I thought I’d managed to start working at an acceptable, productive speed, I discovered singer-songwriter Tom King. Unlike some of us (me), the 18-year-old artist has actually put his newfound free time to good use. Following the cancellation of his final A-Level exams, King decided to invest the time in his music, and pulled forward the release date of his latest single, the emotive No Mans Land.

Tom King – No Mans Land

With a music video directed by Pedro Romhanyi, the brains behind the visuals for Blur’s Parklife and Pulp’s Common People, Tom King’s No Mans Land is a real slow-burner. Lyrically, it details the tidal waves of emotions that come with a broken relationship, atop a spectral, acoustic guitar lead. King’s haunting vocals are the draw here, though he is particularly doleful at points. “When you’re gone, I don’t want to think about you”, he husks over its delicate chorus.

The simple clip adds a whole new depth to the break-up ballad; it sees King confined in self-isolation while he sings to his laptop, lamenting over a former lover. If anything, it beautifully captures an individual’s disconnection in this current climate, where we are desperate to engage not only with others, but with the outside world again. 


Recently, I transitioned from working as a freelance music journalist to a full time staff writer. Working from home and navigating a new job amidst a global pandemic has been challenging to say the least, but if anything, it has reminded me how lucky I am to be working with new music every single day. Mealtime’s Rain Like This is a shining example of why my work can be so special, and it was just what I needed to get me through a lethargy-ridden Monday morning.

Mealtime – Rain Like This

Right, sit yourself down and chuck a pair of headphones on. May I present to you the most exciting up-and-coming act I have heard all year, Mealtime, who have just dished out a rather delicious slice of industrial tinted noise pop.

Earlier this week, the Manchester six-piece released their latest single, Rain Like This. The surreal track hammers out tense, yet precise blasts of breathy vocals through a fog of electro synths, a pattern that is redolent of the woozy title track of St Vincent’s 2017 LP ‘Masseduction’, but on steroids, perhaps. Rain Like This ceaselessly shunts its territory of neon alt-pop into Mealtime’s eccentric style and in doing so, proves itself to be a ridiculously confident track that is more than worthy of your time.

Even better is the retro-esque video, which follows the band inside an arcade-style car race, complete with wacky character names and brightly coloured costumes. Game on!


Over the past fortnight, it has become increasingly disheartening to see hundreds of tours being forcibly postponed and in some cases, entirely cancelled in response to the COVID-19 global crisis. Obviously, live events should be the least of our worries at the moment, but I haven’t been to a gig since March 14, which is the longest I have been without hearing live music since the age of 14. For now, though, the news of proposed free gigs for our frontline NHS workers has truly softened this blow and has given us hope for a healthier, safer future.

Free Gigs For NHS Staff

Earlier this week, quiff experimentalist and all round legend Rick Astley confirmed details of a free concert for all eligible NHS frontline staff, primary care workers and emergency services staff. The gig is set to take place on October 28 at Manchester Arena, in hopes that the current coronavirus pandemic will be under control by then.

Astley is offering a career-spanning set for specified healthcare professionals and emergency service staff as a thank to you to those striving to keep the country together throughout this challenging, uncertain time. In a press release, Astley said:

“Our NHS and emergency services are amazing. This concert is a thank you to all those fantastic frontline staff. I promise my band and I will give it everything to give you a great night out.”

The news follows a similar announcement from the Beautiful South duo Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbott, who are set to play free concerts at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena on October 13 and London’s SSE Arena, Wembley on October 15. Once again, these gigs are exclusively for all eligible NHS frontline staff, primary care workers and emergency services staff.

Those who secure tickets for any of these free gigs will be required to present an original copy of their staff ID at the doors. The name on their ID must match the name of the person who made the original booking. Head to Stereoboard.com for more information.

 

 

 

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Thundercat, All Time Low And Purity Ring

There are some highly anticipated releases for your listening pleasure this week. Thundercat has dropped his star-studded new record, featuring Steve Lacy, Steve Arrington, Childish Gambino, Ty Dolla $ign and Lil B, among others. All Time Low have dropped of LP #8 and Purity Ring have finally followed up 2015’s ‘Another Eternity’.

In the mood for some more new music? Fill your boots below.

All Time Low – ‘Wake Up, Sunshine’ (Fueled By Ramen)

Anna Burch – ‘If You’re Dreaming’ (Heavenly)

Born Ruffians – ‘Juice’ (Yep Roc)

CMON – ‘Confusing Mix of Nations’ (Mexican Summer)

Crisman – ‘Crisman’ (Topshelf Records)

Ellis – ‘Born Again’ (Fat Possum Records)

Empress Of – ‘I’m Your Empress Of’ (Terrible Records)

Hollow Ship – ‘Future Remains’ (PNKSLM)

Irma Vep – ‘Embarrassed Landscape’ (Gringo Records)

James Elkington – ‘Ever-Roving Eye’ (Paradise of Bachelors)

Locate S,1 – ‘Personalia’ (Captured Tracks)

M. Ward – ‘Migration Stories’ (Anti-)

Mystery Jets – ‘A Billion Heartbeats’ (Caroline)

Nathan Fake – ‘Blizzards’ (Cambria Instruments)

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – ‘Viscerals’ (Rocket Recordings)

Purity Ring – ‘Womb’ (4AD)

Ren Harvieu – ‘Revel In The Drama’ (Bella Union)

Sun Araw – ‘Rock Sutra’ (Sun Ark)

Tētēma – ‘Necroscape’ (Ipecac Recordings)

Thundercat – ‘It Is What It Is’ (Brainfeeder)

Tops – ‘I Feel Alive’ (House Arrest)

Read More

Things We Love This Week: 5 Seconds Of Summer, Dua Lipa, Father John Misty

Hello one and all! My name’s Sophie Williams and I am now in charge of Things We Love This Week, the lovely little section of Stereoboard that you are viewing right about now. It’s here where I am free to wax lyrical about the best musical releases of the week, and if all else fails, natter on about upcoming artists that I’ve been keeping an eagle eye (and pair of ears) on — lucky me!


Well, to start, it has been quite the week, hasn’t it? With the country now under lockdown for at least three weeks, music may be acting as a refuge for a lot of us in this current state of crisis. I, for one, have been finding some comfort via the boy band that I grew up with: 5 Seconds Of Summer. Throughout my early teenage years, 5 Seconds Of Summer (or 5SOS, as I still affectionately call them) became the grid by which I learned music fandom, social networking and the ways of a subculture. Given my personal history with the band, you could call this comfort listening, perhaps, but if 5 Seconds Of Summer have sonically matured into a watertight pop-rock crossover outfit, should I even be ashamed? Let me elaborate…

5 Seconds Of Summer – ‘C A L M’

Okay, so hear me out — *clears throat* — 5 SECONDS OF SUMMER ARE A GOOD BAND. A very good band, in fact. Now that they have parted ways with their questionable pastiche of post-adolescent, angsty pop-punk in favour of sleek, synth-laden power pop stompers, 5 Seconds Of Summer in 2020 are a band renewed.

Today (March 27), the Aussie rockers have released ‘C A L M’. It stands out as their most polished work to date, complete with syncopated drumbeats, flourishes of flashy synths and psychedelic guitar leads. The album’s fourth single, No Shame, marks a particular highlight; lyrically, it satirises self-obsession and toxic fame chasers atop a thumping bassline and falsetto-laced vocals, which work together to make a memorable, yet addictive chorus. Elsewhere, Wildflower offers a fun, choose-your-own adventure style refrain and the echoic Easier plays up to the band’s newfound penchant for dark, gothic synth-pop.

‘C A L M’ is a confident step forward for 5 Seconds Of Summer, and it begs for the attention of their many naysayers. Go on, give them another try. You know you want to.

5 Seconds Of Summer will support ‘C A L M’ with their No Shame World Tour, which is set to hit UK arenas in May 2020. Tickets are on sale now.


Now, if 5 Seconds Of Summer are (still) not quite your cup of tea, here is something that we can both agree on: Dua Lipa has just set the benchmark for pop music in 2020. Actually, scrap that. Dua Lipa has just set the benchmark for pop music this DECADE. 

Dua Lipa – Break My Heart

If you haven’t heard already, Dua Lipa’s second studio LP, ‘Future Nostalgia’, dropped earlier today. Prior to its official release, Lipa had already enjoyed great chart success via a string of disco-inflected singles, including the chart-topping Don’t Start Now. The cream of that crop, though, is relatively easy to identify; Break My Heart is the fourth single to be taken from ‘Future Nostalgia’ and it recently arrived in a blaze of pink neon.

Break My Heart works tirelessly to prove that it owns the dance floor, sneaking in a sample of INXS’s 1987 smash-hit single, Need You Tonight, on the way. Over streamlined, slinky synth breaks and bursts of disco shimmy, Lipa delivers punchy vocals as she demands answers from a potential lover. “‘Cause now there ain’t no letting you go, Am I falling in love with the one that could break my heart?”, she questions, marking out a party-ready, anthemic chorus. The track oozes euphoric confidence of the highest order, and quite frankly, is the best thing that Lipa has released to date.

After listening to Break My Heart at least 30 times on loop, I’m about to get my teeth stuck right into the rest of ‘Future Nostalgia’. I suggest that you do the same, even if it is the only thing that you achieve in quarantine today.

Dua Lipa is set to tour the UK and Ireland in January 2021 as part of her Future Nostalgia World Tour. Tickets are on sale now.


Throughout the week, I have found myself going back to Father John Misty’s ‘Pure Comedy’ many times as I’ve been working from home. If you haven’t given it the time of day prior to reading this, I urge you to do so. Revel in all 75 glorious minutes of it. I mean, given the current situation, you know you’ve got enough time to spare…

Father John Misty – ‘Off-Key In Hamburg’

Earlier this week, Father John Misty dropped the transfixing ‘Off-Key In Hamburg’, a surprise 20-track live album. Recorded last August in Hamburg, Germany with his band and the widely acclaimed Neue Philharmonie Frankfurt orchestra, the career-spanning tracklist traverses through the finest cuts from all four of Josh Tillman’s studio albums. The best part? He manages to squeeze in his magnum opus, the 13-minute Leaving LA, taken from the seminal ‘Pure Comedy’.

‘Off-Key In Hamburg’ may leave us wishing for the times where we were able to safely attend gigs, but in this current climate, it works as a balm to help these days pass by even quicker.

It must be noted, however, that some of the tracks here, particularly those taken from ‘Pure Comedy’, feel more apt than ever during this global pandemic. Though the record was unveiled in all its glory back in 2017, when listening in 2020, its prophetic and intricate premonitions about the human condition translate to insightful reflections on the current crisis that is taking place all around us. To leave you in the words of Mr. Tillman: “I hate to say it, But each other’s all we’ve got…”

‘Off-Key In Hamburg’ is available to stream or purchase via Bandcamp. All proceeds will be donated to the MusiCares COVID-19 fund, which aims to provide relief to those in the music industry that have been drastically affected by the coronavirus pandemic.


 

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Pearl Jam, Dua Lipa And Waxahatchee

As the craziness around the world continues, the new releases are still rolling in and giving us some respite. Pearl Jam have finally followed up 2013’s ‘Lightning Bolt’, Dua Lipa has dropped her highly anticipated sophomore LP and Waxahatchee has put out her fifth.

Fancy some more new music? Head due south.

5 Seconds Of Summer – ‘C A L M’ (Interscope)

Basia Bulat – ‘Are You In Love?’ (Secret City)

Bon Iver – ‘Blood Bank’ EP (10th Anniversary Edition) (Jagjaguwar)

Brian Fallon – ‘Local Honey’ (Lesser Known Records)

The Chats – ‘High Risk Behaviour’ (Bargain Bin Records/Cooking Vinyl Australia)

Deeper – ‘Auto-pain’ (Fire Talk Records)

Dua Lipa – ‘Future Nostalgia’ (Warner Records)

Half Waif – ‘The Caretaker’ (Anti)

In This Moment – ‘Mother’ (Atlantic)

Lilly Hiatt – ‘Walking Proof’ (New West)

Little Dragon – ‘New Me, Same Us’ (Ninja Tune)

Lizzy Farrall – ‘Bruise’ (Pure Noise Records)

Lukas Nelson and Promise of the Real – ‘Naked Garden’ (Concord Records)

Melt Yourself Down – ‘100% Yes’ (Decca)

Milk Teeth – ‘Milk Teeth’ (Music For Nations)

Nap Eyes – ‘Snapshot of a Beginner’ (Jagjaguwar)

The Orb – ‘Abolition Of The Royal Familia’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Parkway Drive – ‘Viva The Underdogs’ (Epitaph)

PARTYNEXTDOOR – ‘PARTYMOBILE’ (OVO Sound)

Pearl Jam – ‘Gigaton’ (Monkeywrench/Republic)

Roddy Woomble – ‘Everyday Sun’ EP (A Modern Way)

Sarah Peacock – ‘Burn The Witch’ (Road Dog Enterprises)

Skepta, Chipz and Young Adz – ‘Insomnia’ (SKC M29)

Solomon Grey – ‘Music For Picture: Vol. I (Parallels)’ EP (Solomon Grey)

Sorry – ‘925’ (Domino)

Sufjan Stevens and Lowell Brams – ‘Aporia’ (Asthmatic Kitty)

Waxahatchee – ‘Saint Cloud’ (Merge Records)

Windy and Carl – ‘Allegiance and Conviction’ (Kranky)

Read More

Top Tickets This Week: Enter Shikari And Scott Stapp

Enter Shikari


Photo: Derek Ridgers

As part of a wider European tour, the St. Albans genre-busting quartet will be joined by Dinosaur Pile-Up for November shows in Southampton, Manchester, Cardiff, London, Middlesbrough, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Nottingham, where they’ll play two nights at Rock City. New album, ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’, is out on April 17 via their new label home, So Recordings. Tickets for the gigs go on general sale at 10am on March 27. Head here for pre-sale tickets.

Compare and Buy Tickets


Scott Stapp

The lead vocalist of defunct rock band Creed will perform at London’s O2 Academy Islington, The Mill in Birmingham and The Warehouse in Leeds on October 26, 27 and 28, respectively. The shows are part of the singer’s European Survivor Tour, which takes its name from Survivor, the latest single from his 2019 album ‘The Space Between the Shadows’. Tickets are on sale now.

Compare and Buy Tickets


Also announced this week:

  • Dua Lipa has rescheduled her recently postponed UK and European arena shows.
  • Harry Styles has rescheduled the UK and European leg of his Love On Tour to 2021.
  • Paul Heaton and Jacqui Abbot will perform a free show for NHS workers.
  • Bon Iver have rescheduled their upcoming UK and European tour.

Head here for a full list and to find your tickets.

Read More

Pre-Sale Tickets: Enter Shikari Announce November UK Tour


Photo: Derek Ridgers

Enter Shikari

The St. Albans genre-splicing quartet will tour the UK in November, calling in Southampton, Manchester, Cardiff, London, Middlesbrough, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Nottingham, where they’ll play two nights at Rock City.

Their follow-up to 2017’s ‘The Spark’, ‘Nothing Is True & Everything Is Possible’, is due out on April 17 via their new label home, So Recordings.

Pre-sale opens at 10am on March 26, prior to general sale at 10am on March 27.

Buy Pre-Sale Tickets at Gigantic


Check back for further pre-sale ticket offers.

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: The Weeknd, Adam Lambert And J Balvin

It’s not very often we say this, but it’s time to take Spinal Tap’s advice. Spin some new records and crank the dial up to eleven to take a break from the craziness that is the world at the moment.

The Weeknd has followed up 2016’s ‘Starboy’, we’ve got a new full-length from Adam Lambert and J Balvin has finally decided to drop his new record. It’s a mixed bag for sure!

Head below for the rest of this week’s new releases.

Adam Lambert – ‘Velvet’ (Empire)

Arbouretum – ‘Let It All In’ (Thrill Jockey)

Baxter Dury – ‘The Night Chancers’ (Heavenly/PIAS)

Conan Gray – ‘Kid Krow’ (Republic Records)

Eliza and the Delusionals – ‘A State Of Living In An Objective Reality’ EP (Cooking Vinyl)

Eye Flys – ‘Tub Of Lard’ (Thrill Jockey)

Helen Money – ‘Atomic’ (Thrill Jockey)

J Balvin – ‘Colores’ (Universal Music Latino/UMG)

Kelsea Ballerini – ‘Kelsea’ (Black River)

Låpsley – ‘Through Water’ (XL Recordings)

Love Fame Tragedy – ‘Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void’ EP (Good Soldier Records)

Lucifer – ‘Lucifer III’ (Century Media)

Mapache – ‘From Liberty Street’ (Yep Roc)

Moaning – ‘Uneasy Laughter’ (Sub Pop)

Morrissey – ‘I Am Not A Dog On A Chain’ (BMG)

Mykur – ‘Folkesange’ (Relapse Records)

Nick Griffith – ‘7am’ (Dinosaur City Records)

Peter Straker – ‘This One’s On Me (Deluxe)’ (Cherry Red)

Ratgrave – ‘Rock’ (Black Focus)

Roger Eno and Brian Eno – ‘Mixing Colours’ (Deutsche Grammophon)

Sada Baby -‘Skuba Sada 2’ (Asylum Worldwide LLC)

The Slow Readers Club – ‘The Joy Of The Return’ (Modern Sky)

The Weeknd – ‘After Hours’ (Republic/XO)

William Wild – ‘Push Ups’ (Sony)

Young T and Bugsey – ‘Plead The 5th’ (BLack Butter)

Read More

Things We Love This Week: Sufjan Stevens, Girlpool, Glastonbury

The time has come young (and young at heart) music lovers, for this is the final instalment of Things We Love This Week by me, your trusty and silly provider of musical news and fun, as I am moving on to the faraway shores of the Bristol music scene. Maybe I’ll see you at a gig there?  But fear not! The lovely Sophie Williams will be taking over the reins from here on in, so you’ll be in good hands.

Sufjan Stevens

Oh Sufjan, can you do no wrong? His latest work, ‘Aporia’ is due to arrive on March 27 via his own label Asthmatic Kitty. It’s a collaboration with his stepfather, Lowell Brams, the eponymous latter half of Steven’s 2015 LP, ‘Carrie and Lowell’.

The latest cut arrived this week in the form of Climb That Mountain, a truly magnificent instrumental with mountainous highs and needle-thin lows. The duo put it best themselves when they said: “‘Aporia’ approximates a rich soundtrack from an imagined sci-fi epic brimming with moody, hooky, gauzy synthesizer soundscapes.”

Girlpool

Girlpool have dropped a new single! But it’s not like their normal output. Like I’m Winning It is a little darker than what we’re used to, with layered, breathy vocals and some meditative guitar lines. Its video is a bit of a wacky one too. Set in a nightclub, everyone is dressed in Renaissance-inspired outfits, before Avery Tucker heads out into the spooky, smoky abyss outside.

Girlpool’s latest record was last years ‘What Chaos Is Imaginary’, and they don’t have any tour dates lined up for 2020 (yet!). That’s probably a good thing for now, what with all the coronavirus cancellations going on. Fingers crossed we get some more soon!

Glastonbury

Despite seemingly every event around the world being cancelled because of this inescapable coronavirus, Glastonbury, at the moment, is going ahead. The legendary festival is celebrating its 50th anniversary (yes, 50!) with some massive names this year. Emily Eavis said:No one has a crystal ball to see exactly where we will all be 15 weeks from now, but we are keeping our fingers firmly crossed that it will be here at Worthy Farm for the greatest show on Earth!”

And what a show it will be, with some top names having joined the bill only yesterday. Aside from your mahoosive headliners and mainstream stars like Kendrick Lamar, Camila Cabello and Dua Lipa, we also will be treated to the likes of Phoebe Bridgers, Brittany Howard, Big Thief, Laura Marling, Caribou, Confidence Man, Metronomy, Nadine Shah and Thundercat, among many, many more. Check out the full line up here, and Bridgers’ latest single, Garden Song, below.

Over and out, FOR GOOD!

**Silently weeps**

Read More

This Week’s New Releases: Niall Horan, Code Orange And Dead Lips

With all the craziness that’s going on across the world this week, let’s take some time out to celebrate new music and the escapism it offers, however temporary.

Former One Direction member Niall Horan has dropped his second solo LP, Code Orange have released the long-awaited follow-up to 2017’s Forever, and Deap Vally and the Flaming Lips have released their collaborative album under the moniker Dead Lips.

Head below for the rest of this week’s new releases.

The Boomtown Rats – ‘Citizens of Boomtown’ (BMG)

Broken Witt Rebels – ‘Ok Hotel’ (Snakefarm)

Circa Waves – ‘Sad Happy’ (Prolifica/PIAS)

CocoRosie – ‘Put The Shine On’ (Marathon)

Code Orange – ‘Underneath’ (Roadrunner)

Dead Lips, Deap Vally & the Flaming Lips – ‘Dead Lips’ (Cooking Vinyl)

The Districts – ‘ You Know I’m Not Going Anywhere’ (Fat Possum)

Four Tet – ‘Sixteen Oceans’ (Text Records)

The Garden – ‘Kiss My Super Bowl Ring’ (Epitaph)

Grouplove – ‘Healer’ (Canvasback/Parlophone)

Haggard Cat – ‘Common Sense Holiday’ (Earache Records)

Human Impact – ‘Human Impact’ (Ipecac)

Jay Electronica – ‘A Written Testimony’ (Roc Nation)

Niall Horan – ‘Heartbreak Weather’ (Capitol)

Orchards – ‘Lovecore’ (Big Scary Monsters)

Peter Bjorn and John – ‘Endless Dream’ (PBJ)

Porches – ‘Ricky Music’ (Domino)

Rich The Kid – ‘Boss Man’ (Republic Records)

Seafret – ‘Most Of Us Are Strangers’ (Seafret)

The Shires – ‘Good Years’ (BMG)

Two Feet – ‘Pink’ (Republic Records)

Ultraísta – ‘Sister’ (Partisan)

Various Artists – Trolls World Tour Soundtrack (RCA)

Read More

Pre-Sale Tickets: UB40 Announce Winter UK Tour

UB40

The reggae legends — James Brown, Duncan Campbell, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Martin Meredith, Tony Mullings, Laurence Parry and Brian Travers — will embark on a 17-date UK tour this winter. Stops include Portsmouth, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Norwich, Cardiff and London, where they’ll play the SSE Arena Wembley on December 17.

Pre-sale tickets are available right now, prior to general sale at 9am on March 16.

Buy Pre-Sale Tickets at Gigantic


Check back for further pre-sale tickets offers.

Read More