Tagged: Indie

Alvvays – In Undertow

Canadian indie-pop outfit Alvvays marked the announcement of their second album with this beauty of a first track. In Undertow is taken from the forthcoming LP Antisocialites which is out on 9 August.

The Toronto-based five-piece create a wonderful wall of sound, topped off with the sublime vocals of singer Molly Rankin and we can’t wait to hear more from the follow up to their self-titled debut album.

Alvvays – In Undertow

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Everything Everything – Can’t Do

Everything-Everything-June-2017-1-1500x1000Manchester-based art-pop foursome Everything Everything have dropped the first track from their forthcoming fourth album, and it’s an absolute banger.

Just as they made a big impact with the start of the campaign for their previous album with Distant Past setting the tone for a more urgent, feisty Get To Heaven than its predecessor LP Arc, Can’t Do certainly bodes well for what’s to come when A Fever Dream is released on 18 August.

The Sync-favourites are currently previewing a large slice of the new material at a series of intimate dates around the UK. They then perform a support slot for Foals at Cornwall’s Eden Project before hitting several festivals over the summer including Reading and Leeds and By The Sea in Margate. A full tour in support of A Fever Dream is expected in the Autumn.

Everything Everything – Can’t Do

Tigercub – By Design

Following appearances at The Great Escape Festival in their hometown of Brighton and two support slots on European dates with Royal Blood, Tigercub have launched new single By Design.

The video for the latest track taken from their 2016 album Abstract Figures In The Dark, features visuals made up of footage taken from pioneering American photographer Ralph Steiner’s 1930 film Mechanical Principles and live footage from the band’s recent European headline tour.

The band will be making a string of festival appearances over the summer, including 2000 Trees, TRUCK Festival and Y Not Festival.

Tigercub – By Design

LIVE: Sundara Karma, o2 Academy, Bristol (27/5/17)

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Sundara Karma, Bristol, 27/5/17 (© Sync Music Blog)

We caught Sundara Karma‘s headline set at the Bristol leg of the Dot To Dot Festival the other week and they certainly justified top billing. Frontman Oscar Pollock brought his usual formidable stage presence to proceedings which, as well as all the hits from their album Youth Is Only Fun In Retrospect, also featured all the mess you might expect from the firing of two huge confetti cannons.

LIVE: Marsicans, The Joiners, Southampton (29/5/17)

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Marsicans, Southampton (photo: Phoebe Reeks)

Up-and-coming Leeds four-piece Marsicans brought their indie-pop vibe to Southampton for the first time ever, to play at The Joiners.

Their set opened with Arms of Another, a massive track which instantly got the crowd interacting with the band, singing and dancing along. They went on to play a few newer songs including Wake Up Freya – a more stripped back song compared with their more typically dancey tunes – as well as their most recent single, Friends, which was released earlier this year.

The set concluded with popular songs Far Away, Swimming and Absence which were guaranteed to make you move with their infectious guitar and drum beats.

You could tell that the band were truly enjoying themselves from the moment they stepped on stage, and that positive energy spread to the crowd. It’s hard not to get swept along with it all, with songs that are full of hooks and which most certainly transfer well to the live stage.

The group formed in 2014, and are slowly but surely beginning to get the recognition they deserve. There’s no doubt about the future looking positive for the band, and hopefully we’ll be hearing more tunes from them in the coming months.

Marsicans will be joining Natives on their upcoming tour this month. Tickets here.

Words and photos: Phoebe Reeks

LIVE: The Big Moon, SWX, Bristol (27/5/17)

Performing as part of the Bristol leg of the Dot To Dot Festival, The Big Moon brought their spiky, vibrant indie-rock to a full capacity SWX. It was unsurprising that they drew such a crowd – the group has been earning high praise while extensively touring debut album Love In The 4th Dimension. But the considerable hype surrounding Juliette Jackson’s band is not unjustified; their live proposition is particularly impressive.

As is always the case with festival sets, their show was all too short and sweet, but they crammed the favourites into their half hour timeslot, including Formidable, Cupid and ending with the superb Sucker. There was also a brilliant cover of Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger – a great song, given a cracking twist by the London four-piece.

LIVE: Flyte, The Railway Inn, Winchester (19/5/17)

DSC_4259Flyte returned to Winchester to perform their dreamy indie-pop to a packed Railway Inn. This was essentially a hometown show for the lads, with the room being filled with family and friends as well as fans.

The show opened with the band performing a stripped back cover of Archie, Marry Me, by Alvvays. They then went on to play an old favourite, Closer Together before performing a string of unreleased material due to be featured on their upcoming debut album. The crowd listened intently and danced along to these songs they’d never heard, and sang along to more recent singles Echoes and Victoria Falls and old song Harley Street.

The band also performed their own rendition of Wings of Love in which their bassist, Nick Hill and drummer, Jon Supran switched their instruments for lead guitar. I felt this, mixed with the band’s harmonising vocals throughout the night, really highlighted their talent.

Their set finished with the first song they wrote together, Faithless, which the crowd went wild for. After three years together, the band announced they have recently recorded their debut album in Australia, which we should hear more about next month.

Words and photos: Phoebe Reeks

LIVE: The Magic Gang, Heaven, London (12/5/17)

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Upcoming indie four-piece, The Magic Gang proved that they are very much ones to watch at a lively show at London venue Heaven.

After the release of their third EP – the imaginatively titled EP Three – the group ended their UK tour by playing to an enthusiastic crowd in the capital. Opening with song Lady, Please, fans were already alive with energy in the pit. This continued through old song She Won’t Ghost and single All This Way as the crowd swayed back and forth in time to the melodic guitar riffs.

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The Magic Gang, London, 12/5/17 (Photo: Tabetha Parrick)

Who said guitar music was dead? Certainly not these four, as they play indie anthem after indie anthem with the full heart and soul of the crowd accompanying them. Feeling Better and new single How Can I Compete provoked an enthusiastic response from the fans, as some took to crowd surfing in a desperate attempt to get closer to the front. Lead vocals were shared by members Kristian Smith and Jack Kaye as they sang bittersweet lyrics like ‘And I really wanna know if it’s alright because it’s getting really hard to tell’ from single Alright – words that speak to any heartbroken teenager.

The Magic Gang – How Can I Compete

It shows that these four are destined for greatness as the energy from both the fans and the band could barely be contained in the small London venue. Hopefully looking to release an album sometime in 2017, The Magic Gang have big things ahead of them.

Words and photos: Tabetha Parrick

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The Magic Gang, London, 12/5/17 (Photo: Tabetha Parrick)

ALBUM: The Amazons – The Amazons

Amazons AlbumAlready one of the most talked about new artists in 2017, The Amazons release their debut album later this week (26/5/17). Containing all of the singles released earlier this year, this album has been highly anticipated by fans and is likely to create a whole lot of new followers for the band.

It opens with lively single Stay With Me which was released in early 2016 – a song that speaks about the fear of being left alone. It becomes clear in the next few songs, including single In My Mind, that longing and loneliness are the themes of this album. Particularly fifth song, Raindrops, which is slower and lighter than the previous four tracks, speaks the language of a broken heart. Being mixed with some killer guitar solos, this album creates an image of being lost and confused but still managing to have a good time.

It has to be said that single Black Magic is one of the strongest tracks on the album – there is a reason it’s the song that everyone’s talking about. Placed right in the centre of the track list, it may be one of the most played songs on the radio at the moment, but it still sends shivers down your spine when you hear those opening notes before the drums come in.

The Amazons – Black Magic

The next four songs have similar structures to the rest – heavy on the drums and guitar solos that leave you wishing you were seeing it live. Holy Roller has a particularly catchy chorus that you can imagine crowds of teenagers singing their hearts out to. There is also something mysterious and ominous about single Little Something, with its slower tempo and low notes.

However, it’s the final song on the album that will leave you reaching for the ‘play on repeat’ button. It’s a stark contrast to the rest, with the main focus being on beautiful piano chords and vocals, along with lyrics that speak to any lovesick teenager’s soul. Palace is the kind of song that haunts you until you inevitably play it again and again, the essence of the track being perfectly summed up in its lyrics – ‘but you love it when he makes you cry’.

Overall the strong contrast of this album, in its tragic lyrics that speak of heartbreak and desperation mixed with the upbeat tempos from the drums and guitar, make you want to cry your eyes out while singing at the top of your lungs. It’s one that captures the spirit and soul of a live performance right in your headphones.

Review by Tabetha Parrick

The Amazons – In My Mind

LIVE: The Kooks, o2 Academy Bournemouth (6/5/17)

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The Kooks, Bournemouth, 6/5/17 (Photo: Phoebe Reeks)

The Kooks returned to the O2 Academy Bournemouth for a sold-out date on their The Best Of… So Far tour, a mammoth 17-date run of shows that concludes on 13 May at London’s Alexandra Palace.

They rattled through many of their best-known tracks from a back-catalogue of music stretching back over a decade, including Eddie’s Gun, She Moves In Her Own Way, Sofa Song, and Junk of the Heart (Happy), as well as newer material such as current single Be Who You Are.

The Kooks have forged a solid reputation for strong songwriting and engaging live shows over the years since forming in Brighton more than 10 years ago. Frontman Luke Pritchard was in great form, clearly enjoying this extensive return to the road.

Other highlights of the set included Seaside, Always Where I Need To Be and Ooh La ahead of an encore consisting of Around Town and Shine On before ending with signature song Naïve.

The release of a ‘best of’ album and tour can often signal the beginning of the end for a band – a precursor to winding down and fading away. But everything about this triumphant performance suggested that there’s still plenty more to come.

Review and Photos: Phoebe Reeks

TRACK OF THE WEEK: Haarm – Endangered Species

New from Liverpool-based band – and Sync favourites – Haarm is Endangered Species, an absolute beauty of a song that solved a dilemma for us this week. You see, we were stuck between a choice of two great songs for this week’s Track of the Week… then this one came along and blew both of them out of the water!

The band says: “Endangered Species is about how unforgiving a year 2016 was in terms of losing extremely talented people. It was talked about a lot at the time so it was obviously on our minds a great deal and it just seemed so relentless. I guess the song is about learning to treasure and appreciate those who are still with us and not taking anybody for granted.”

Haarm – Endangered Species

LIVE: Circa Waves, o2 Forum Kentish Town, London (31/3/17)

Circa Waves brought their UK tour to London, showcasing second album Different Creatures. Their largely sold-out 12-date run comes to an end this week with shows in Norwich (3 April) and Cambridge (4) before the four-piece from Liverpool set off across Europe for the next few weeks.

They will be figuring at festivals throughout the summer, as well as some massive support slots later this year with the likes of Radiohead, The xx and Eminem. So we thought we’d grab the chance to shoot them in action in North London…

Photos: Jessica Piochon

BLOXX – Your Boyfriend

Your Boyfriend is a great piece of laid-back indie from London four-piece BLOXX. The group have been honing their sound and working on their debut EP since forming just over a year ago and the hard work is paying off, not least with an upcoming support slot for The Wombats‘ sold out Brixton Academy show on 30 June.

You can also catch them supporting The Night Cafe on various dates in May, including Birmingham (1 May), Oxford (2), London (3), Norwich (4), and Glasgow (25). Ticket links here.

BLOXX – Your Boyfriend

Maximo Park – Get High (No, I Don’t)

With less than a month until the release of their much-anticipated sixth album (Risk To Exist – out 23 April) and just over two years on from previous album Too Much InformationMaximo Park have revealed another track from the forthcoming LP. Get High (No, I Don’t) fits what we’ve heard so far, in that it marks a notable notch up once again for the North East indie icons.

The guys also head back out on the road to tour the new album, with a string of UK dates kicking off on 5 May – tickets here.

Maximo Park – Get High (No, I Don’t)

And while we’re about it, we can’t resist including the album’s title track here a) because it was very remiss of us not to include this when it came out a couple of months ago, and b) we think it marks a return to their very best form. And fuck it, let’s add a c) because we’re also astounded how singer Paul Smith still manages to look exactly the same as he did when A Certain Trigger came out circa 13 years ago. How he do that?!

Maximo Park – Risk To Exist

Peaness – Same Place

We’ve been meaning to post this one for a while now. Not only does this all-female indie-pop three-piece deserve a prize for such a great band name – surely a radio DJ’s worst nightmare though – but this is a damn fine tune.

And you can catch Peaness live as they’re midway through a tour – dates are coming up in Manchester (7 March), Birmingham (11), Leicester (13) and their hometown Chester (23).

Peaness – Same Place