Festival Preview: What To Expect From All Points East

The festival market is HUGE. There are hundreds to choose from in the UK alone. So, taking a huge leap and starting a brand new one in the current landscape is a risky decision. How do you stand out?

Well, it helps to be backed by the organisers of Coachella, and to slot in at a venue that’s been part of the scene for a while. All Points East will take place in London’s Victoria Park this weekend, and it’s being pitched as a fest for discerning music fans.

It arrives complete with claims of the best sound the park has ever heard, along with the obligatory fairground rides and hipster street food vans. But the real answer to standing out? Same as it ever was. Get the right line up.

On paper, the All Points East bill is forward-thinking, eclectic, and most of all cool. Just like you, right? First up, comeback kings LCD Soundsystem take over the East Stage on Friday night. Last September saw the release of their critically acclaimed comeback ‘American Dream’, the first new material from the Brooklyn dance-punks since their 2011 Madison Square Garden sign off.

Frontman James Murphy will be hitting the decks throughout the weekend too, with his side project Despacio – a collaboration with David and Stephen Dewaele of Soulwax and 2manydjs.

The Saturday night headliners showcase smooth laid back beats, distinctive vocals, flawless productions skills and even a Mercury Prize – it could only be the XX. The idea will very much be to lose yourself in a concoction of Jamie XX, Romy Madley Croft and Oliver Sim’s vocal plaits, delicate reverb and ambient backgrounds.

Sunday’s headliner might be one of the most eclectic singers of a generation, and one of the few genuine legends we have left. Björk will draw a line under things with colourful art-pop and avant-garde everything. There’s a decent gender balance on the bill – no, it ain’t a 50/50 split, we’re a long way off that yet – but it is far more diverse than some.

Across the weekend, expect to see performances from genre-spanning giants like Sampha, the international-pop-band-of-the-moment Superorganism, the returning shimmering indie band Friendly Fires, as well as the hugely popular Lorde, Father John Misty, Glass Animals, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Stefflon Don, Soulwax… you get the picture.

Thankfully, there isn’t too much overlap in terms of stage clashes – a sticking point often met with disappointment from die-hard festival-goers. On this bill, the most difficult decision you’ll make will be between Flying Lotus 3D and Father John, or Rex Orange County and Laura Misch.  

Possibly one of the most interesting parts of All Points East is the accompanying side shows. They make the festival feel like more of a sprawl, with an eclectic list of big names set to step in. On June 1, indie types Catfish and the Bottlemen like will be joined by fellow indie types Blossoms and the Hunna, while the National take over on Saturday June 2 with their biggest headline show to date.

Support there comes from from the War On Drugs, Public Service Broadcasting, This Is The Kit and loads more, while Nick Cave and some particular Bad Seeds close the entire event – after sets from none other than Patti Smith, St. Vincent and Courtney Barnett – on June 3.

All Points East is an interesting proposition. It could be big, judging from the organisers and stellar line up. By the time Björk is done with us, it might be one of those events that elicits a response of jealousy and awe from your mates.

But it if it sounds like an overload of great bands all in one go, you’re also possibly on the money. Like most festivals it’ll likely be chaotic, expensive, and difficult to see past the tall guy in front of you while Matt Berninger does his thing or the many colours of Beck pass you by.

These are the risks, but early suggestions are that All Points East will hand you some of the best around on a historical-park-shaped platter.

 

When? May 25 – June 3

Where? Victoria Park, London

How much? £39.95 – £169.95

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Things We Love This Week: Snail Mail, Mourn, Tunng, Bully

It feels like summer. I bought new sunglasses and wore shorts for the first time all year this week. My jeans aren’t making another appearance until September. Feel just as summery as me with some great, shiny new tracks.

Snail Mail – Let’s Find An Out

This is the second time Snail Mail has featured in an edition of this column, and are we surprised? Not at all. Lindsey Jordan, the 18-year-old (!) singer-songwriter-fabulous-guitarist has released the third cut from her upcoming album, ‘Lush’. And it’s the best so far.

This track reels you in straight off with a brilliant guitar pattern that you’ll immediately want to learn to play yourself (how do you think I’m spending the weekend?). Although it’s pretty short, this song has an unusual structure, with no chorus as such, and more of a rolling verse carried on top of that mesmerising picking. It ends with an imperfect cadence, which is a little technique that I’ve always loved. Makes you wanna hear more, right? Right.

‘Lush’ is due on June 8 via Matador, and Snail Mail tours the UK next week. See you at the Bristol show, fans.

Mourn – Fun at the Geysers

Aren’t you glad we caught this single in the press inbox! Despite June seeing the release of their third LP, the Catalan punk band Mourn aren’t a band I’ve come across before.

Their new single, Fun at the Geysers, is about having fun, surprisingly, at the geysers – hot springs that intermittently spout water, like a more benign, tiny volcano. It all started with their trip to Reykjavík to play at the Iceland Airwaves festival in 2015, and the that which stopped them from touring for over a year and a half.

Having spent about 11 hours without eating, the band stated:

“The people from the label that came with us [to Reykjavik] were telling us that through the years we’d learn how to endure being hungry. They didn’t really care about us at that point. We arrived to the city, ate something and went to sleep right away. The next day we woke up and found ourselves alone in Reykjavík without money or food. The people from the record label had taken a taxi to visit the geysers without telling us. We found out because one of them posted a photo on Instagram. They payed for their excursion with the money the festival was paying us, as usual, counting it as ‘expenses’.”

Brutal! So, taking suitably punk revenge, Mourn went off on a day trip to play in the hot springs. They documented an awesome record of their experiences in the form of the song’s accompanying video. Super fun and a great track.

Tunng – ABOP

Honesty alert: I actually only heard of this band because of the recent LUMP project, created by Tunng’s co-founder and producer Mike Lindsay and the ineffable Laura Marling. Colour me intrigued. A quick Internet scroll reveals they’ve had loads of albums, are relatively big, and began back in 2003. Now I feel a fool – but I was eight at the time of their formation. What’s your excuse?

Not my usual approach when discovering new music, but I decided to start with their brand new single. ABOP begins with an electro-pop feel, and a simple vocal sample “Oh, it felt so marvellous!”, which is pretty much on the money with this track.

It’s refreshing to hear an English accent, having spent much of today listening to American singers, furthered when Lindsay’s vocals creep in. It’s neat, precise, and addictive. The only thing that annoys me is that I can’t find out what ABOP stands for.

Their sixth album, ‘Songs You Make At Night’ is due for release on the August 24.

Bully

We saw Bully on their current UK tour on Sunday. They were ACE, despite us having to lug around bellies full to the brim of pre-gig cocktails and Caribbean food. Alicia Bognanno, frontwoman, took over with her searing, raspy vocals as they stormed through songs from ‘Losing’ and ‘Feels Like’, including highlights Kills To Be Resistant and I Remember.

Tune in next time for more waffling from me.

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Things We Love This Week: Jungle, LUMP, Pip Blom

Instead of mentioning the new Arctic Monkeys album, which at this point on release day seems inescapable, here are some opinions about good music, and topics that matter just a little bit more.

Enjoy!

Jungle – Happy Man & House In LA

Neo-soul is back, and I’d quite like it to stay, if that’s alright with you. There’s been very little from Jungle since 2014’s self titled release, but this week they hit back by dropping two new tracks.Happy Man is classic Jungle (#YouDoYou) with smooth, soulful, effects-laden vocals and a simple yet undoubtedly catchy bassline. “Buy yourself a car, and a house to live in,” Tom McFarland, the vocalist, tells us. I truly would if only I could, Tom.

The second track is far more laid back, perhaps an unexpected move from the band. It could be a really interesting watch as an organic live performance from the seven-piece backing band. Take a listen. There’s just one date left on their UK tour – but if you live in Birmingham you should definitely try and go.

Lump: Late To The Flight

I’m SO excited for the new LUMP album to be released (June 1). You should do anything you can to get your hands on tickets to their upcoming live shows. I’m not authorising breaking into a ticket office, hacking a website or becoming a 21st century Artful Dodger in pick-pocketing tickets from other fans, but sometimes needs must.

Late to the Flight is the second track from the duo – Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay – and it takes a really different direction from Curse of the Contemporary. It’s long. Coming in at just over an atmospheric six minutes, it could easily have started at the 3.50 mark for those more radio friendly vibes. However, I kind of love that it doesn’t. The song explores the ideas of lucid dreaming and the hyper reality of being trapped in a public persona. So interesting, and the layering of the vocal harmonies is extraordinary. What a singer. Check it out.

Pip Blom: Pussycat

I’ve been waiting for a new single by this band for a little while. Aside from members having the best first name collection of any band ever (Pip, Tender, Casper and Gini), they also make some really cool, lo-fi alt-rock jams. Following on from School and Babies Are A Lie (one of my faves from 2017), they’ve finally got a new track. Pussycat features all the scraping guitar riffs and repeated catchy melodies that you’d expect from Pip and the gang. It’s good.

They’re supporting The Breeders on their upcoming UK and EU dates, and head to Brighton for the Great Escape Festival this month.

In a new addition to the blog for one week only is a temporary segment that we’ll call…

Things That Suck This Week

This comes about from heartbreaking news that Scott Hutchison, the lead singer from the indie band Frightened Rabbit, has died. It is tragic news, and has draped the week in a dark, dark cloud. Frightened Rabbit’s music, and specifically Scott’s lyrics, brought so much hope and comfort to people who needed it, helping a huge number of fans through dark times. He was a well-loved man by thousands and will be truly missed.

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Things We Love This Week: Big Thief, Bodega, Melanie Faye ft. Mac Demarco, Drahla

Last night I had a dream that Matt Berninger from the National invited me on stage to play the guitar solo for Turtleneck with them. Matt went to the loo mid-set, and then I stole a t-shirt from the merch stand. It was the best dream ever. In other news, here are some releases from this week that you might actually care about…

Big Thief – ‘Wide Winged Bird’

With their influences cited as “riverboats, late night train rumbling, Alanis Morisette, Nina Simone and Billie Holiday”, Big Thief are an indie-rock band tinged with that flavour of vulnerable dark folk that seems to be going around at the moment. Following the release of their sophomore LP, ‘Capacity’, in June last year, they have now released an experimental EP – a collage of tour field recordings, unreleased songs, poetry and more.

For the first two minutes, all the listener hears is animal noises. I can make out a pig, a goat, and some birds. The snuffles and snorts somehow mesh into synths, and a story is born out of the menagerie of farmyard creatures: a soothing deep voice melding into a duo of younger voices narrating a poem. This certainly is experimental – and that’s only the first track.

Listen to the rest and decide for yourself.

Just 200 physical copies of ‘Wide Winged Bird’ will be available at Big Thief’s US shows with the National in the coming days.

Bodega – Jack in Titanic

Here in the Stereoboard office, we love Bodega’s debut single, How Did This Happen, and sing it all the time. So what better to include in Things We Love This Week than a new single by them? A lot less raucous than its predecessor, Jack in Titanic has a more aesthetic quality to it, with a pleasant chord progression and a rolling, walking-pace rhythm section the whole way through.

It’s about the unspoken internal values and nostalgia for learned male behaviour, and what it means to “be a man”, according to the band’s Ben Hoize. I haven’t quite decided where my feminism stands on this yet. Will let you know in due course. Catchy song though.

Melanie Faye ft. Mac Demarco – Eternally 12

Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party. The attendees are cool, intellectual artsy types, who will most probably have the vegan option, please. What do you play as background music to such an occasion? This.

Within the first few bars you get the entirety of the song – and while there isn’t much variety going on within its four minutes, Eternally 12 is as groovy as fuck, and makes for those swanky-and-slightly-pretentious dinner party vibes. It’s so smooth, you could probably play it on repeat for an hour or so and no one would notice.

Drahla

Drahla are a post-punk band based in Wakefield and this week they signed to Captured Tracks! Their debut EP ‘Third Article’ came out in November, which features the awesome song Form of Luxury. To celebrate the signing, they’ve also announced a headline tour of the UK, with stops around the country (but nowhere near Cardiff, unfortunately). Check out the tour dates here.

Have a fabulous bank holiday (three day weekend, woohoo!). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have an excellent dream to get back to…

Photo taken from the National’s Facebook page at their recent Homecoming concert in Cincinnati. It perfectly encapsulates my dream. *fan-girl sigh*

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Things We Love This Week: Gengahr, Snail Mail, Kele Okereke

Good afternoon, music lovers. Happy almost-weekend to you! Fancy some new things to love? Me too. Let’s jump right in.

Gengahr – ‘I’ll Be Waiting’

I love it when bands do things by surprise. After the release of their second LP ‘Where Wildness Grows’ last month, we weren’t expecting much from Gengahr for a while. Surprise! Merry Christmas! Here’s an acoustic EP, especially for your lovely ears.

As a band already pretty cutesy in their production – impossibly high pitched ghostly vocals and matching soft, catchy guitar riffs – the indie band manage to go one step further and have created even more adorable versions of four tracks taken from their recent release. Take a listen.

As a side note, I always love Gengahr’s artwork. Painted by bassist Hugh Schulte, he has a certain style that suits the records perfectly with similar palette hues and bold brush strokes. ‘’I’ll Be Waiting’ is no different.

They’re on tour at the moment, too. Be sure to check out the upcoming dates here.

Snail Mail – Heat Wave

This song is beautiful. Immediately, we’re met with a trilling guitar pattern and the delicate vocals of Lindsey Jordan, until she surprises you with a richer full band dynamic that completes the verse, before heading into a Phoebe Bridgers-esque melodic chorus. It’s vibrant while still maintaining some form of melancholy.

As far as the video for Heat Wave goes – how does she manage to play an electric guitar in the middle of an ice hockey rink? She must have a really long lead.

Snail Mail tours the UK next month, and her debut album, ‘Lush’, is out on June 8 via Matador. I will listen to it.

Kele Okereke – ‘Fatherland’ Tour

After the release of his third solo record, Kele Okereke is touring ‘Fatherland’ in the UK this week, up until Sunday. Last night, I headed to Clwb Ifor Bach to watch him play an intimate acoustic set.

Wearing a startling all-white outfit and wielding the shiniest Fender in existence, Okereke graced us with his humorous presence. In between perfect renditions of his new songs, based around the realities of newfound parenthood, he giggled at bum notes, restarted a couple of songs, got distracted by crowd members nipping to the loo and generally made a comfortable and familiar atmosphere for the seated crowd of about 30 people, making us feel like we were witnessing something pretty special.

You can listen to my review of ‘Fatherland’, which dropped back in October, here. Upon seeing him play it live, I stand by not fathoming the cabaret-style Capers and the lacklustre lyrical content, but I was pleasantly surprised and taken aback at how well Yamaya, Road to Ibidan, Versions of Us and The New Year Party came across in such an intimate (and lovely) setting.

Highlights: A slowed-down, re-worked cover of that old-school garage track Flowers by Sweet Female Attitude, followed by “a song by a well known British rock band”… a hair-raising, breath-taking, silence-inducing version of This Modern Love.

Enjoy the rainy weekend!

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Things We Love This Week: Big Scary Monsters Pop-Up, Nervus, Father John Misty

Following the fun of our Work Day Out on Sunday, it’s been a fairly quiet week here at Stereoboard…we have listened to a lot of things and have eaten a lot of cake. Head below to check out a few cool things that arrived in our inbox this week. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

Big Scary Monsters Pop-Up Event

Laura, Huw and I headed down to Cardiff’s Duke Street Arcade on Sunday to catch a pop-up event run by the indie-punk label Big Scary Monsters. It was awesome.

We caught Lauren playing Worriers songs first, before they hot-footed it off to Bristol to support Tigers Jaw on their UK tour. Then, on came Em from Nervus, who filled the room with renditions of our favourite pop-punk songs from their latest album. Despite the nerves of playing in such an intimate fashion to a crowd of perhaps 20, both musicians built up nicely for Slaughter Beach, Dog (ex-Modern Baseball co-frontman Jake Ewald), whose quiet, heartfelt performance of narrative lyrics and finger-picked guitar we watched sat cross-legged on the wooden floor. Magical.

Nervus – Fall Apart

To continue in a similar vein, Nervus have also shared a new video. Fresh off last month’s bleakly-titled sophomore album ‘Everything Dies’, the video for Fall Apart dropped on Wednesday, created by the film company Theatre on Wax.

The video narrates the Flight Of Icarus tale in stop-motion light-box form. The DIY style gives it a humble and endearing quality as we follow the little cut-out fellow on his endeavours. The director of the company, Mark Crane, said of Theatre on Wax’s work: ”Desire, dereliction and a sense of just being outside, on the fringe of something beautiful or dark that echoes in our lives… Sometimes we peek through the crack, and sometimes we dive in”

There’s something alluring about this sentiment that really strikes a chord within the video.

Father John Misty’s Self-Deprecating Meme

First of all, a disclaimer: I don’t think I could ever enjoy the music of a man who describes his genre as a “post-modern self-reflexive semi-ironic renunciation of originality”. Father John Misty announced a new album, ‘God’s Favorite Customer’ on Wednesday morning, which was previewed by two brand new tracks and an accidental album leak by Apple Music. The whole record was briefly available to stream by fans until being removed by the proper authorities. The sardonic singer-songwriter responded by changing his Facebook profile picture to a meme. Lol.

‘God’s Favorite Customer’ is actually due for release on  June 1 through Sub Pop/Bella Union.

Morrissey’s Cat

I could flesh this out with some context about the controversial Morrissey interview that exploded onto our interweb earlier this week, but I won’t bore you with him. Instead, here’s a lovely image of his cat. What a cutie.

As always, thanks for the attention of your eyes and ears. See ya next week.

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Things We Love This Week: LUMP, Calpurnia, Arcade Fire, LANZ

Here’s a neat list of things that happened this week that I loved, excluding the new (and frankly ridiculous) look sported by Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys. With each press photo that drops in the inbox, he begins to look more and more like a down-and-out from Coronation Street, about to get banned from the corner shop for raising his voice at an old lady. Goatees are awful. 

I digress.

LUMP – Curse of the Contemporary

LUMP is a brand new project from Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay. The pair discovered their mutual appreciation of each other’s music after meeting at one of Marling’s shows – supporting Neil Young. Lindsay needed a vocalist, Marling was hungry for a new project. And it all worked out pretty well.

The first track shared from ‘LUMP’ the album (due May 11), sees the Lump – a furry, yeti-like creature – in all his hairy beauty, flopping around with some, ahem, interpretive dance. The song is great: the verses’ combination of Marling’s glistening, high pitched vocals with the twang of effects-laden guitars works perfectly, followed by staccato lyrics in the chorus that complement the bassline. Check it out.

The duo are taking LUMP on tour, too, with in-store performances confirmed for London and Bristol’s Rough Trades, and two shows per night at London’s Oslo, Manchester’s Band on the Wall and Hebden Bridge Trades Club. They’re also set for a performance in Cardiff as part of the Festival of Voice. I’ll be at the merch stand, searching for a cuddly toy version of the Lump. How many times can you fit the word LUMP into a paragraph? Lump. Lump!

Calpurnia – Louie

Stranger Things The Band have released their second single!

Not really (although that would be fantastic). I like to think Calpurnia would get as big a following as they have (74k Twitter followers, 16k likes on Facebook) without their singer, Finn Wolfhard, being one of the lead roles of the Netflix TV show, but to be honest, I doubt it. They’re utilising their situation, and I admire that. You go guys.

The best thing about these kids (despite the fact they’re so young and adorable) is that they have an awesome FEMALE guitarist (Ayla Tesler-Mabe) in a male-led band. So refreshing.

Calpurnia’s garage-rock debut EP ‘Scout’ is scheduled for release on June 15.

Arcade Fire Interview on BBC 6 Music

The band totally dupe interviewer Tom Ravenscroft, in between playing their “fifteen thousandth” show in London on the Infinite Content Tour.

Win Butler deliberately ignores the big question asked.

“How do you feel about the reaction to your campaign?”

“I’m sorry I didn’t hear that.”

The band laugh in the background.

“I was just talking about the fake news campaign you did surrounding the release of ‘Everything Now’, were you surprised by the reaction?”

“I think there must be a bad wire or something…”

Aside from the little prank, fans really would like to know what that whole thing was. Butler said in an interview with the Guardian that “people have lost the ability to even know what a joke is.” So we know they were just tricking us the whole time. What? “Part of me hopes that this record is our stinker, our horrible record, because if it is, then we may be the greatest band of all time.” I am worried Win has gone mad with power.

Going back to what they actually do best, the full band played beautiful stripped back renditions of Put Your Money On Me and We Don’t Deserve Love at Maida Vale, which are worth listening to purely for an intricate look at how they layer their songs. It’s so clever and well put together, despite their marketing campaign being the opposite.

LANZ – Hoferlanz II

Ben Lanz is a multi-instrumentalist in all your favourite indie bands. Primarily a trombonist, he tours with the National and Sufjan Stevens. He’s in Beirut, as well as the Devendorf brothers’ krautrock collab LNZNDRF. Everywhere! Today marks the release of ‘Hoferlanz II’, the second album from his solo experimental art-pop-alt-rock project. Wrap your ears around this for some fun – including an 10 minute conquest at the end. Enjoy.

Au revoir, mes amis. But not you, Alex. We need to talk.

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Things We Love This Week: Loma, Orchards, Bodega, Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Happy April! It’s finally spring and you can feel it in the air. I even saw a bumble bee today. Think happy thoughts and listen to some great music with us right here at Things We Love This Week HQ.

Loma – Dark Oscillations

Fine, you got me. This was released last week. But I only found it yesterday, and couldn’t not include it.

If you haven’t found the time to listen to Loma’s self-titled debut yet, you need to have a long hard look at yourself and ask what you’ve been doing with your time. Featuring Emily Cross and Dan Duszynski of Cross Record and Shearwater’s Jonathan Meiburg, the trio merge to form an amalgam of echoes, beats, and experimentation.

They recently released the video for Dark Oscillations, and like the song itself, it is beguiling. We watch Cross in bed, in her jammies, tossing and turning, flicking through TV channels in a haze of restlessness. The camera angle is weirdly voyeuristic, and we get an extremely intimate look into the monotony and helplessness that comes with how we act in private settings.

Orchards – Luv You 2

Genres are tricky things. Where does one place a band with complex rhythms, time signatures that constantly catch you out, numerous glittery pop hooks, relatable lyrics, and driving, heavy guitars? Alt-pop? Indie? Math-rock? Orchards encompass all of these things and more.

Vocalist Lucy Evers mentioned the lyrics came from bumping into an old acquaintance.

“We both fell in love with the same person, unbeknownst to each other at the time. I felt so inadequate in comparison to the other girls that this person was very obviously attracted to, but after a pep talk with my best friend I realised it wasn’t worth my energy and that if they didn’t want me well it was their loss, that I should rise above it and carry on regardless. I’d totally forgotten about those emotions and how they made me feel because I was too busy trying to be a boss-ass bitch (I’m definitely not cool enough to say that)”

The sentiment evoked is particularly poignant – patience, understanding, never giving up and “just continuing to grow”.

Bodega – ‘Endless Scrolls’

You can’t just ignore a band who use ice creams for microphones. Even if it is as an on-the-nose critique of capitalism.

Can’t Knock The Hustle is short but sweet, and, accompanying the announcement of their debut album, delves into the questions and trials of kids being paid five dollars an hour.

‘Endless Scrolls’ is scheduled for release on June 1 via What’s Your Rupture?.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Sex and Food’

I’ve been obsessed with this band since discovering the hugely entertaining ‘Multi-Love’ back in 2015, which brought a psychedelic-funk disco right to the polyamorous listener’s ears. Today the group dropped their fourth record.

‘Sex and Food’ brings sweet guitar riffs at every turn, laid-back grooves on Ministry of Alienation, sharp, aggressive angles on American Guilt, and running through the whole album, the broad and varied production skills and rusty vocal tones of UMO’s brainchild Ruben Nielson. The record is silky smooth wherever you dip in, so give it a go.

I hope that gave you all a spring in your step.

‘Til next time 🐝

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Things We Love This Week: Bloc Party, Alex Lahey, The Go! Team, P.D. Liddle

Hola, music amigos. Hope you’re having a good day. It is so close to the weekend I can almost smell it. And it smells damn delicious.

Bloc Party

So here we are. It’s happened. The miracle we were hoping for. I am full of positive tension. Our 2005-infested dreams have been answered. Bloc Party are touring their seminal debut, ‘Silent Alarm’, in full on a handful of upcoming UK and European dates. YES.

‘Silent Alarm’ remains a vital ingredient on any ’00s indie-kid’s musical diet, and Helicopter is still a permanent fixture at any indie club night. Fans seemed to have mixed feelings about the announcement of this tour though, and the question surrounds the line-up.

What with the original bassist Gordon Moakes and drummer Matt Tong being replaced by Justin Harris and Louise Bartle back in 2015, everyone is wondering whether this different rhythm section will be up to the exceptionally tight standards of these energetic and intricate songs. They’ve had three years and ‘Hymns’ to work it out, so I guess time (or a massive show at Ally Pally) will tell.

Tickets went on sale this morning. I’m definitely going to get one, anyway.

Alex Lahey – Love You Like A Brother

Here at the Stereoboard office, we loved Alex’s Lahey’s debut album. We even gave it a big old five stars. So, if she does anything new, we’re gonna be all over it. The Australian pop-punk songwriter released a video for the record’s title track, I Love You Like a Brother, on Monday, and it is adorable.

Take a dash of “the finest peanut butter toast-based” old home videos from when Lahey and her brother, Will, were kids and add a sprinkling of newer footage directed by Giulia McGauran and their mother, Vicki, and you get a video that couldn’t be more wholesome and loving if it tried.

Lahey said of the video: “If you’re going to do anything after watching this clip, give your little brother or your big sister a call just to say hi.”

Luckily for him, it was my brother’s birthday yesterday, so he’s already had his allowance of sibling chit-chat for this month.

The Go! Team – The Only Thing New Is U Finding Out About It

I genuinely think this band can do nothing wrong. Inspired by a “high school marching band gone rogue”, their upbeat melodies and school-kid style vocals never fail to create a lovable track, and this new song isn’t about to buck the trend. They only released ‘SEMICIRCLE’ in January, but Ian Parton and co. are already hitting out again with this more instrumental banger.

The Mike Watt-inspired sentiment holds: “It’s up to you to go out and track down the good shit that’s out there”. This is that good shit. Take a listen.

P.D. Liddle – You Shouldn’t Have Called

The dude from that awesome folk-rock band Dry The River has gone off on a solo career.

If you listen to Dry The River’s debut album, ‘Shallow Bed’, you will undoubtedly fall in love with them. After seven years together musing gently on religious symbolism and the concept of home, they managed to accumulate working with producer Peter Katis (The National, Interpol), a BBC Sound of 2012 shortlisting and a string of sold out headline shows and festival slots under their belts. It was time for a change in 2015 however, when they parted ways and gave us the ‘Hooves of Doubt’ EP.

After exploring their own paths for a while, the lead singer, Peter Liddle, has finally released some solo music this week, and announced his debut headline show. Along with the expansive, cohesive instrumentation, it was always Liddle’s rasping, soft vocals that stole the show for Dry The River, so it’s great news that he’s back at it. If I lived in London I would attend. You can find tickets here.

That’s it for this week, kids. I’m off to Spain for a bit. Adios!

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Things We Love This Week: Arcade Fire, Breakfast Muff, Sohn

Happy Friday to you, dear reader! If you’ve come for a steaming hot latte and a buttery crumpet, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead, go and get your snacks, then come back for a nice read about what happened in the music world this week.

Arcade Fire – Money + Love

Let’s face it. ‘Everything Now’ was a bit of a flop. Arcade Fire are playing half-full arenas, and their die-hard fans (hi) are desperately hoping they’ll pull it all back. We’ll grab onto anything at this point. Might their new short film, Money + Love, be the answer?

Probably not. Although this on-the-nose attempt to blame last year’s bizarre ‘Infinite Content’ marketing strategy on money-hungry corporations instead of the band at least gives me some hope that they haven’t gone completely mad with power.

Additionally – doesn’t that 100% marshmallow cereal look delicious? Maybe that whole product placement thing is working…

Breakfast Muff – Crocodile

From cereal, to breakfast, to Breakfast Muff. I had never listened to these Glaswegian pop-rockers until today, but I will from now on. And you should too. Their latest single, Crocodile, hits all the right notes: call-and-response vocals and marching rhythms make for a short, simple and great song. Once you know that mixing duties landed with MJ of Hookworms, it’s easy to see the clarity of his work on the instrumental layering. It’s really well done.

Check out the video, too, which features the band playing around with cardboard sea creatures. Such fun. PLEASE can I join the band?

Sohn – Hue

Now for something a little different.

If you’re not already familiar with Sohn, then you should be. The producer is signed to 4AD – home to some pretty awesome bands like the National, Tune-Yards, the Breeders, Deerhunter, Beirut, et al – and put out two new songs this week. You’ll be hooked by the initial piano melody on Hue, which is alternatively fed through the left and right stereo channels in a see-saw of melancholic echoes. Then there’s this guy’s voice. Reminiscent of maybe Chet Faker/Nick Murphy or a softer Sampha, it has that slightly raspy tone that makes me weak at the knees. *swoons*

He’s off on a European tour soon, including a stop at the Roundhouse in London.

That’s all for this week, folks. See you next week!

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