Tagged: indie-pop

LIVE: London Grammar, o2 Apollo, Manchester (20/10/17)

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London Grammar, Manchester, 20/10/17 (Photo: Jonny Yates)

London Grammar return to Manchester’s O2 Apollo for a second sold out show this week and the atmosphere is already electric as the trio head on to stage.

Throughout their set they have a perfect balance of tracks from their debut and recent album Truth Is A Beautiful Thing. But judging by this crowd you wouldn’t think it was released just over four months ago, because they know every single world. Frontwoman Hannah Reid herself notes that Manchester has been the loudest of the tour so far and it’s believable.

They play a stunning version of the album’s title track which sees Reid head to the piano and showcase her huge vocal range in an emotional performance before playing fan favourite Hey Now, which sees the group visibly impressed by how loud the audience are. Continue reading

LIVE: The Hoosiers, The Old Fire Station, Bournemouth (4/10/17)

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The Hoosiers, Bournemouth, 4/10/17 (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

This year marks the 10th anniversary of The Hoosiers’ debut album The Trick to Life. They returned to Bournemouth to play at The Old Fire Station as part of their massive 27-date tour to mark the occasion.

Though the band’s line-up may have changed over the years – now the core being Irwin Sparkes (lead guitar) and Alan Sharland (drums) – this doesn’t stop their energetic performance or ability to interact with the crowd. The duo and their touring band took to the stage dressed in a range of bright colours with the crowd cheering in excitement, before opening with the classic Worried About Ray.

This was followed by Worst Case Scenario, where frontman Sparkes got the crowd involved, clapping along. The band rattled through their debut album in its entirety, with fans of all ages singing along to all the hits, including Goodbye Mr A and Cops & Robbers. Continue reading

Underwater Boys – Everyone You Know

There’s something very fresh about this debut track from Underwater Boys. With a falsetto vocal giving it a touch of Tame Impala, the song is the work of Tom and Nick Klar – two brothers who make dreamy, fuzzy pop music in Brighton.

Their sound is characterised by Tom’s sweet, otherworldly falsetto, and multi-instrumentalist Nick’s woozy, ethereal soundscapes, and although on the surface their songs might sound bright and blissed out, their music is also bubbling with anxiety and tension, with lyrical themes of mental illness, existential dread and malaise.

As well as releasing their debut single Everyone You Know, the band have also announced a number of live dates for those wanting to get in early and check these guys out. They can be seen in London (September 13), Brighton (20), and Southampton (30) supporting Our Girl, Estrons and Palm Honey respectively. They’ll then be headlining their own show at London’s Sebright Arms on 11 October – free tickets here.

Underwater Boys – Everyone You Know

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

The Modern Strangers – Hot Rain

Here’s an duo that are on our modest list of acts that can seemingly do no wrong. The Modern Strangers are brothers Max and Archie Davenport from Kent, and the pair have the Midas touch when it comes to creating ridiculously catchy tunes. Hot Rain is their latest effort and follows where our previous obsessions Margarita and Coco Hello left off.

Catch them live soon in London (5 October) and Brighton (6).

The Modern Strangers – Hot Rain

LIVE: Flyte, Sidmouth Fringe Sessions, Devon (9/8/17)

DSC_0140Heading up the final of four days of music at Sidmouth’s Fringe Sessions, Flyte had plenty of live up to. The standard across the whole programme had been extremely strong, with the likes of Bryde, Tors and Stone Roots among others setting the bar high. The band rose to the challenge superbly though, wrapping up this wonderfully initmate event in triumphant style.

The four-piece from Hampshire – comprising Will Taylor (lead vocals, guitar), Sam Berridge (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Jon Supran (drums, backing vocals) and Nick Hill (bass, backing vocals) – have been honing their considerably talents for a couple of years now, supporting the likes of Bombay Bicycle Club and being booked for festival slots at Reading & Leeds, and Wilderness Festival. Continue reading

SPINN – Notice Me

Liverpool dream pop four-piece SPINN have unveiled the video to their latest song Notice Me. The video is a fairly simple performance piece up until the end when the band become almost parodies of themselves, looking like Pale Waves in their There Is A Honey video, and really just having the same kind of fun that their music evokes.

Notice Me was first made to actually gain some radio play from SPINN’s local BBC Introducing host, Dave Monks. The idea was to write a song about wanting the attention of Monks. Of the track, singer Jonathon Quinn said: “Notice Me started out as a way to get some radio play. We used to say it was a homage to BBC Radio Merseyside because when we wrote it we couldn’t get any radio play, and wanted to be noticed by them. The lyrics are a bit more meaningful, it’s essentially us trying to portray the concept of hero worship in a pop song.”

SPINN – Notice Me

Everything Everything – Desire

The second single from the forthcoming fourth album from Manchester band Everything Everything (released 18 August) is Desire, a bold, brash and unashamedly loud statement about society’s ‘want it now’ culture.

The song represents a big contrast to Can’t Do, the first release from the new album A Fever Dream and a former Sync Track of the Week, employing a musical backdrop akin to glam-rock, mixed with the bands ever-developing harmonies and bringing the distinctive falsetto of frontman Jonathan Higgs very much to the forefront.

Everything Everything – Desire

Roche – Four Walls (ft. Liyv)

Simply beyond dreamy, this work of art comes from Reading-based producer Roche and features the flawless vocals of Sync favourite Liyv. Four Walls is a track taken from the new EP Pink Sounds which has been entirely written, produced and recorded by Nick Roche in his own bedroom.

The full EP – which also features collaborations with Siad Cole and Justin Richard – can be found on Spotify. Also, check out Liyv’s wonderful Hot Lights which features on the latest Sync List.

Roche – Four Walls (ft. Liyv)

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Marsicans – Too Good

There’s so much good stuff arriving into our inbox just at the moment so it’s no easy task picking this week’s TOTW. By virtue of our inability to get this tune out of our heads, this beauty from Marsicans is our big one however.

We’ve been banging on about the Leeds-based four-piece for a good long while now and its great to see them making some great progress and continuing to develop their sound. They also have a great support slot coming up in the autumn when they’re on the road with Clean Cut Kid during October which we can’t wait for.

Too Good is a strong piece of upbeat indie-pop which will doubtless have been sounding great on the band’s various festival appearances this summer – and there’s several more of those to come too including appearances at this weekend’s 110 Above, Greenbelt, Redcar Rocks and Manchester’s Neighbourhood Festival.

Marsicans – Too Good

LIVE: Declan McKenna, Rough Trade East, London, 27/7/17

DSC_0112Less than a week since releasing his debut album What Do You Think Of The Car?, it came as little surprise to find that Declan McKenna‘s fans knew all of the words to each of the songs he performed during this sold out in-store set at London’s Rough Trade.

Kicking off with Isombard, the 18-year-old singer-songwriter rattled through a host of songs from the new album, including singles Brazil, Bethlehem, ParacetamolThe Kids Don’t Wanna Go Home, and Humongous. In a generously long set for an in-store show, he included album tracks Make Me Your Queen and Listen To Your Friends, as well as earlier song Brew from the Stains EP.

He then showed no less enthusiasm during the course of an hour-long signing and photo session with fans. His on-stage persona is somehow both confident and slightly awkward at the same time but make no mistake, McKenna’s highly impressive debut album is backed up with his equally strong live showing, suggesting that this prodigious talent will be making waves for the long term.

ALBUM: Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About The Car?

DeclanMcKenna album coverCertain things in life can make you feel very old indeed… [cliché alert!!] like the seemingly ever-youthful police officers on the streets, or teachers that look young enough to still be at school themselves. The effect Declan McKenna can have on someone like me is on an altogether different scale however. It’s not just that the Hertfordshire-born singer-songwriter is a mere 18-years-old, it’s much more the fact that his songs are so full of depth and meaning that it’s hard to comprehend they are the handiwork of someone of such tender years.

Throughout, the album is full of great, catchy hooks, backed with polished arrangements and sung with consummate ease. Album opener Humongous sets the tone with its big, bold chorus. Brazil – a song about FIFA corruption around the World Cup in the South American country – then leads-in to a track that’s probably brought him more airplay than any other; the superb Kids Don’t Wanna Come Home, which packs arguably the best chorus of the album.  Continue reading

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Swimming Tapes – What’s On Your Mind

More wonderfully dreamy stuff from London band Swimming Tapes. Released today, What’s On Your Mind is characteristically breezy, and crafted with a real lightness of touch that gives their sound such a distinctive edge. The track is taken from the forthcoming EP The Soft Sea Blue, out on 15 September.

Don’t miss the chance to catch these guys live at London’s lovely Lexington on 20 September. Tickets here.

Swimming Tapes – What’s On Your Mind