Tagged: Alternative

LIVE: Meadowlark, Talking Heads, Southampton (12/10/17)

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Meadowlark, Southampton, 12/10/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Meadowlark returned to Southampton to play an intimate gig at The Talking Heads as part of their UK tour marking the release of debut album Postcards. The band – comprising Kate McGill and Dan Broadley – have been doing their thing for a few years now, steadily building a committed following along the way.

The audience were captivated by the duo throughout the night, listening intently and clearly enjoying themselves. In addition to the band’s enchanting performance, their clever lighting set-up made for a very atmospheric show, with the lights flashing in sync with the beat of the music. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: The Big Moon

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Juliette Jackson, The Big Moon (© Sync Music Blog)

The Big Moon‘s tour comes to a conclusion next week, with the intrepid foursome having been on the road for almost a month. Conor Giblin caught up with Juliette Jackson and Celia Archer from the band back at the start of their run of dates to chat about their Mercury Prize nomination, the experience of touring with Marika Hackman and plans for the future… Continue reading

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Avante Black – Acid Love

Steadily gaining profile, Avante Black have been on our radar for a good long while now. Former tracks Drug Money and Make A Mess have both featured on past Sync Lists and it’ll come as no surprise to know that latest single Acid Love will be appearing on the next one when our latest playlist is unleashed upon an unsuspecting world next week.

This four-piece London-based collective – fronted by Swede Ottilia Zimmerman Kjulsten – clearly have that knack when it comes to catchy yet slightly leftfield pop, and they’ve struck gold again with this one. It’s delicately and neatly produced, with smooth, confident vocals, and strong earworm-quality hooks.

Don’t miss the chance to catch them for an intimate show at London’s Servant Jazz Quarters on 11 December – tickets here.

Avante Black – Acid Love

LIVE: Tora, The Lexington, London (9/10/17)

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Tora, London, 9/10/17 (© Sync Music Blog)

Midway through a huge month-long European tour, Australian group Tora came to London’s Lexington for a sold-out show full of sublime tunes from start to finish.

The quartet from Byron Bay – Jo Loewenthal, Jai Piccone, Thorne Davis, Shaun Johnston – are entirely DIY in their approach, seamlessly blending electronic production with organic instrumentation to create an immersive and wholly engaging sound.

There’s a soulful groove to what they do – something that comes through loud and clear on listening to their debut album Take A Rest. But the live proposition elevates things further still, enabling you to feel as much as hear the music. Continue reading

Ardyn – Life Happens

The law of averages suggests that Ardyn eventually have to put out something we don’t absolutely love. Well, the Gloucestershire brother-sister duo are clearly not aware of any such rule, having today unveiled yet another beauty.

Finely-crafted pop tune Life Happens is just the latest addition to a wonderfully evolving, maturing sound that is seeing their material seemingly explore new directions on each new song. We initially heard it during their set at the Dot To Dot Festival back in May but the finished version is next level. Life affirming stuff.

Ardyn – Life Happens

LIVE: Seafret, The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (29/9/17)

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Seafret, Bournemouth, 29/9/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Acoustic duo Seafret returned to Bournemouth, this time to support Amber Run at the Old Fire Station as part of their current tour. Though it wasn’t a headline gig, they had a large number of dedicated fans singing along to songs including Give Me Something, Atlantis and Wildfire.

The majority of songs came from their debut album Tell Me It’s Real released in 2016. Their set also included unreleased track, Monsters which was well received by the audience. Continue reading

LIVE: Amber Run, The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (29/9/17)

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Amber Run, Bournemouth, 29/9/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

As part of their current tour, Amber Run took to the Old Fire Station for their first ever gig in Bournemouth. The band arrived on stage to a packed-out venue, full of committed fans who sang along to every song on the setlist.

The energetic and catchy Pilot opened the set, which got people pumped for the rest of the night. Following this was Spark, a clearly well-loved track from their debut album, with everyone screaming the lyrics. Fickle Game highlighted the musical bond between the band, as they performed together in what seemed their own little world. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Nick Mulvey

Nick Mulvey hits the road again next month. He spoke to Sync about latest album Wake Up Now, the pursuit of free expression, and how his new band has enabled him to open up a whole new set of possibilities…

NickMulvey-ApprovedTo say it has been a hectic year and a half for singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey would be something of an understatement. As if relocating from London to the countryside and becoming a father for the first time wasn’t enough, this month has seen the release of his second studio album – and a packed schedule of global tour dates in support of that album are about to kick off on 1 October.

But the 32-year-old has been energised by a wholly positive reaction to his latest set of songs. “It’s been really, really lovely,” he said. “On a personal level, I’ve lived with this album for a long time in terms of the writing of it. The build-up to releasing an album is a long one too, in this case all the way through May, June, July and then into August, and so the pressure ramps up a bit. It’s funny, I almost forgot during some of the more intense moments that the whole goal is to release an album.

“For me, it’s been a really lovely and necessary release in more ways than one. These songs are naturally a bit more provocative and maybe even a bit more divisive in terms of the subject matter, so there has been an interesting complexion to the response from people since it’s been out. But people have been letting me know they love it.” Continue reading

Tora – Entity (ft. Merryn Jeann)

We can’t get enough of the laidback vibe of Tora and latest tune Entity is one of their slickest yet. It’s taken from the Aussie band’s debut album Take A Rest which is out now and should be of great interest to any fans of the likes of SOHN or James Blake.

Catch them live in the UK next month at Neighbourhood Festival in Manchester (7 October), or their headline shows in London (9) and Brighton (10).

Tora – Entity (ft. Merryn Jeann)

LIVE: Alma, XOYO, London (30/8/17)

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Alma, XOYO, London, 30/8/17 (Photo: Becca Egerstrom)

Every now and then an artist comes along that just has that certain ability to create a real buzz. Finnish pop-punk singer Alma only has four songs on Spotify to her name but has already achieved top 10 tracks around Europe, and more than 56 million streams for single Chasing Highs.

For this London show, what she lacked in established material she made up for with an energetic performance and a host of unreleased songs which managed to catch the crowd’s imagination, with many of those present singing along to the choruses by the end of each song.

Her style is pop, but there is a ‘techno’ edge to Alma, added to by the robot-esque voice-over that introduced her and entertained the audience while she was off-stage for a costume change. And yet there is no aloofness here – at one point she took a beer from a fan and took a swig before handing it back, which got everyone laughing.

Among the set highlights were the tracks Dye My Hair and Chasing Highs, and things were further livened up on stage when Alma was accompanied by twin-sister Anna-Livia who also sported neon yellow hair… albeit significantly shorter than Alma’s.

With strong vocals and a high tempo throughout, Alma wrapped things up nicely by unexpectedly crowd-surfing, underlining the characterful one-off nature of a singer who is doubtless set for much bigger things in the very near future.

Review & Photos: Becca Egerstrom

Frankie Rose – Red Museum

We found this one by chance the other day and feel a moral obligation to share it. Red Museum is from US singer-songwriter Frankie Rose‘s fourth solo album Cage Tropical, which was released last month. The lo-fi sinister-tone of the video works well with this dreamy track which follows the similarly atmospheric Trouble, the lead single from the album.

Frankie Rose – Red Museum

LIVE: Alvvays, The Talking Heads, Southampton (29/8/17)

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Alvvays, Southampton, 29/8/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Toronto-based five-piece Alvvays returned to Southampton to perform their pleasant brand of indie-pop for a sold out show at The Talking Heads. The band drew a crowd of dedicated fans, with the venue packed with people of all ages.

The band opened their set with new song Saved by a Waif, followed by popular anthem Adult Diversion, which got the crowd moving. Alvvays’ set consisted of old favourites from their 2014 debut album including the bouncy tracks Atop a Cake and Next of Kin and the more chilled Ones Who Love You, as well as new material from upcoming album Antisocialites. Continue reading

TRACK OF THE WEEK: MMODE – Waiting in the Desert

Debut track from MMODE – sibling duo Lucy and Thomas Gaffney – is the superb Waiting in the Desert. The pair are from Belfast and their sound brings to mind a whole host of potential influences – not least Lucy’s vocals which remind us of The Cardigans‘ Nina Persson – and yet at the same time manages to capture a fresh and unique edge too. We’ve got it on repeat… and respectfully recommend you do too!

MMODE – Waiting In The Desert

Deeds – Faze

New from North London electronic duo Deeds is this beauty of a track. The work of Rollo Smallcombe and Kiri Inglis, Faze is a trippy, atmospheric piece accompanied by a similarly enveloping video.

The pair make their own visuals and have been seen playing live alongside the likes of Pantha Du Prince, The Orb and recently at Visions Festival in East London. Their debut EP, Disorder, was released in March.

Deeds – Faze