Wednesday, 30 March 2016

What I'm Listening To... (30/03/16)

1. Tick Tock - Walking On Cars
Irish alternative rock five-piece, Walking On Cars, released their debut album 'Everything This Way' earlier this year and I've (annoyingly) only recently come across it in the last month or so. However, I bought it the other day and have had it on repeat ever since; this is my favourite song from the album, closely followed by 'Flying High, Falling Low'. It's a brilliant album from start to finish and there one of my current favourite bands.



2. Paraffin - Meadowlark

Meadowlark are back with their latest and title track from their forthcoming EP 'Paraffin', which features the single, another new track, an acoustic version of 'Paraffin' and a remix. Their sound and music has surpassed itself with each release, and that is still continuing to be proved. This is likely to be the last EP before their album, so sit tight, hold on, enjoy this release and get ready for their debut album by teasing your ears with this!



3. Knife Edge - Matt Corby

After a fairly long wait for new music, Matt Corby returned with his debut album 'Telluric', known for his smooth vocals, incredible voice control and harmonies, honest and beautifully heartbreaking lyrics; this release doesn't disappoint. This is easily my favourite track from the album, his sound has definitely evolved with each of his previous releases, and I think this track captures that really well...



4. Wild Horses - Birdy

Another that has returned and released new music to the world so far this year, is Birdy. The 19 year old just released her third studio album 'Beautiful Lies', which is faster paced and has a fuller sound with less of an acoustic feel. There are obviously some 'classic Birdy track' in there too, with beautiful vocals and ballads, and of course stunning lyrics woven throughout. This is the latest single to be released from the album.



5. Maybe We're Home - Lewis Watson

I'm pretty sure I included this track in a check it out post a couple of weeks ago, but I'm going to mention it again here, because it's just that great. This first taste of Lewis Watson's second album is one that I've listened to at least 50 times since it was released. With it's catchy chorus and wonderful verses, the song comes together as one of Lewis' brilliant songs to add to the list of brilliant songs previously released. Another album I'm excited to hear even more of!



6. Lovedrug - Frank Hamilton

Frank's back too! This is the first teaser from his forthcoming album 'Songs To Make Life Slightly Less Awkward'. It's infectious indie pop / rock and a 'singer / songwriter' song combined and balanced perfectly. I really love this single for it's fantastic guitar hook and catchy chorus, the perfect song to shout (or sing) along to, yet another album I'm looking forward to!



7. Sometime - Conan Gray

This appeared in my sub feed a few months ago and I've kept on going back to it. It's a beautifully written song and Conan's stunning vocals really bring the lyrics to life (as well as the wonderful video clips pieced together throughout the video). It's the perfect song to listen to whilst chilling with a blanket and a cup of tea - enjoy!


8. Cherry - Moose Blood

A slightly older track amongst all these new releases, 'Cherry' taken from Moose Blood's debut album 'I'll Keep You In Mind, From Time to Time', which was released back in October 2014. It's a beautifully written and performed song, it's also stunning acoustic in session. If you've heard of Moose Blood it's probably not through this track, but I've been re-spinning their album a lot recently and really love it, waiting patiently for their next release! 


9. The Sound - The 1975

The 1975's follow up from their incredibly successful debut album has been released; their second album 'I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It'. The album debuted at #1 in the UK and US, thanks to commercial success; it is a great album with a bigger focus on electronica and synths, honing in on a 70s / 80s influenced sound. This is my favourite single from the album (but I think that's just because I've overplayed 'Love Me' along with everyone else.)


10. Let's Dance To Joy Divison - The Wombats

The only throwback track for this month's WILT post, is a classic from the indie rock band, The Wombats. I've revisited The Wombats a fair bit recently and they've appeared in most of my playlists too. This particular track was released in 2007 (how is that nearly ten years ago?), it's one of those feel good tracks that you just have to shout and dance along to! 


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Monday, 28 March 2016

Feature: Love Hunt (28/03/16)


Love Hunt, the indie rock / funk band from the heart of Corona, California, shared their latest single earlier this year. The trio, comprised of Mark Krizsan, Marc McBean, and Noah Vergura have taken and released the first single 'Hilltops' from their second EP, 'It's Been Funk'. They've only been together a year and through their funk, rock and rap influences fusing together - they've created a catchy and memorable sound that's gaining interest around the world.

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

It was around our senior year in high school where we started to take music more seriously. We all played before that, but weren't too serious about it.

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
The most inspiring musical performance we've seen was Tame Impala at Coachella in 2015. Those guys know how to put you in the zone.

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Bear Hands, Private Island, Vulfpeck, Badbadnotgood, Hunny, and Nightair.

3 Qs for Love Hunt:

1. What process did you go through creating 'Hilltops' and how much did it differ to your previous releases?

The process for making this single involved more electronic instruments along with live instruments. It differs from our previous releases because our first EP had more of a live feel. Our next EP will sound more mature and still have the live punchy feel to it. We wanted to experiment with 'Hilltops' and see what we can do.

2. Which three countries would you most like to tour and why?
Europe, United Kingdom, and Japan; because we love the culture of those countries and would love to visit in general.

3. What does the rest of 2016 have in store for Love Hunt?
A lot more shows, more single releases leading up to the EP, music videos and touring.

Random Q:

First album you bought?

Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magic

'Hilltops' Single Review:
This is a great track, fusing indie pop, funk and hip hop together; creating a fantastically infectious sound. A catchy upbeat chorus with great melodic vocals, the verses led by well thought out and crafted rap - like tones. There are so many layers and brilliant guitar hooks; overall a fantastic track which stands out as a track that deserves to be gaining a lot more attention than it is, these guys are definitely a band to watch. 


Love Hunt's Links:

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Friday, 25 March 2016

Feature: Bitter's Kiss (25/03/16)


Bitter's Kiss is the current project for New Jersey singer / songwriter Chloe Baker, after launching her music career only a year ago, Bitter's Kiss, has already harnessed more than 800k plays on SoundCloud and over 100k likes on Facebook. Chloe garnered international attention for her emotional delivery of songs that deal with complex subjects, influences by the likes of Carole King and Sarah McLachlan and having been compared to Regina Spektor and Lorde, Bitter's Kiss is one to watch and listen out for... 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

I come from a musical family so I have always been surrounded by music. I have done musical theatre since I was 5 years old and have always loved to sing and write. I have a recording studio in my basement because my Dad sings as well. Two summers ago I recorded the first song from my first album. We put the first album on SoundCloud and then we took it from there.

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?

I saw Lorde play live when she went on tour. I think seeing a young girl up on stage performing and doing what she loves so well inspired me to do the same.


3. Who have you been listening to lately?

I listen to a very wide variety of music. Lately I have been listening to a lot of Tupac, Biggie, and old Kanye West songs as well as bands such as Milky Chance and Vampire Weekend.

3 Qs for Bitter's Kiss:


1. You cover some complex and poignant themes in your songs, what influences your lyrics? 

I draw inspiration from my own thoughts as well as things I see and hear about on the radio and in my daily life. For the most part I just write about anything I am passionate about or that makes me feel something.

2. If you could collaborate with anyone, dead or alive, who would you choose to work with and why?

I think that if I could work with anyone it would be The Beatles. I admire them for their honest lyrics and simple but impactful melodies.

3. What process did you go through creating 'No One Will', both musically and visually?

For writing 'No One Will' it started with a few chords on the guitar. I just wrote it on the spot as I was playing the chords. I started it by writing the beginning part that says 'No one will ever love me at all' after writing that verse I thought it would be cool to show the flip side of that idea saying 'No one will ever hurt me'. I thought it would be an interesting way to express the idea of taking precaution when it comes to love because of the damage love can do. For the video, I went to Cork, Ireland to film. We went to different parts of Cork to film it. I have had some experience with acting, so it was fun to use that to visualise my song.

Random Q:


Five songs for a road trip?

'Hometown' - Bruce Springsteen
'Landslide' - Dixie Chicks
'Country Roads' - John Denver
'Bohemian Rhapsody' - Queen
'Dear Mama' - Tupac

'No One Will' Review:
'No One Will' intertwines folk with pop and creates a wonderfully upbeat track, yet holds steady and solemn tones throughout. Chloe's stunning vocals shine through the song alongside the instrumentation. Listening to the song, you float along with the melody, much like a Regina Spektor track, Bitter's Kiss captures a brilliant sound in this song and I can't wait to hear even more from this project. 



Bitter's Kiss' Links:

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Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Check It Out #17 (23/03/16)

1. Seven Mountains - 77 Bombay Street
MTV Award nominated, double platinum-selling band, 77 Bombay Street, are set to release their new single 'Seven Mountains' on 25th March. They've shared stages with The Cure, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and Imagine Dragons. The quartet comprised of brothers Matt, Joe, Simri-Ramon and Esra Buchli create brilliant folk / rock music and after hearing this fantastic track, I'm looking forward to their forthcoming EP...


2. Call Me - Fantastic Fantastic
Amsterdam based duo, Fantastic Fantastic, are about to release their EP 'Fan Club' comprising of 4 tracks written over the summer while travelling and recording around Europe. The EP is part one of a 2 EP set, with Part 2 to be released towards the summer. The Swedish / Australian duo, Kris & Micke  released their debut single 'Houses' in 2014, which gained support from BBC Radio 1 and Hype Machine. This is their latest single, 'Call Me' taken from the forthcoming EP - enjoy!


3. Nothing Without You - The Big Moon
London alternative quartet, The Big Moon, are setting out on a UK Headline tour next week. Juliette, Soph, Celia and Fern kicked off 2016 with a full UK tour alongside The Maccabees, which included three nights at Brixton Academy. Their live history, as well as their neat indie pop releases are reason enough for catching them at one of their twelve dates... (dates and tickets here)


4. Mr. Haines - Smooth Ends
Smooth Ends are a four-piece alternative band based in South East London, formed in 2013 by Kevin Erlicher (vocals/guitar) and Luca Oliva (guitar), and later joined by Benjamin Vallejos (bass) and Nico Ariza (drums). After releasing their first EP 'Magic Johnson' last year, touring Spain during Summer, hosting events and playing many shows in London, they've now released their first single of 2016. 'Mr. Haines' is a groovy, brit pop track that clear influences of South London and the band's homes of South America...


5. Duas Caras - Deltino Guerreiro
Mozambique's Deltino Guerreiro, crosses genres from Africa with soul and R&B and adds lyrics in Portuguese, English and Macua. This is a brilliantly vibrant track, with hints of house and reflects Deltino's influences and inspirations. His forthcoming album 'Eparaka' (from the language Macua, translates to blessing or blessed), is set for release in the UK on April 8th (2016). Be sure to have a listen and enjoy!

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Monday, 21 March 2016

Feature: Novah (21/03/16)


Swedish based group, Novah, consists of Simon Hagstrom Rennerstedt (vocals/keyboard/guitar), Filip Hagstrom Rennerstedt (bass), Paul Strand (drums), Oskar Karlstrom (guitar) and David Tranberg (vocals / guitar). After releasing the internationally well-received 'Robot' last year - a track that has now surpassed 100k streams on Spotify - they immediately started focusing their minds on a debut EP, which will be released this Spring. They have teased what's to come with their latest single 'Revolution'.

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
We were about 10 years old when we started playing in different bands. At that time we had no idea how to play any instruments but we thought we were the biggest rockstars ever. 

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
A Swedish artist called Moto Boy performed a few years ago at a small venue in Stockholm. That was incredible. And of course seeing U2 live is a godlike experience. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Rhodes, The Killers, Amanda Bergman, Novah, Aquilo. 

3 Qs for Novah:

1. Which three countries would you most like to tour and why?
Touring USA is a dream of course. Brazil would be fantastic too! And we have to say Germany as well. They have a great scene for our kind of music. Probably the best in Europe. 

2. Who influences you musically and what inspires you lyrically?
Artists like Arcade Fire, Glasvegas & Kent have been a huge influence for us musically. But also more dreamy music like Brian Eno and Sigur Ros inspires us a lot. We love big sounds. It's hard to say what inspires us lyrically. It can be anything from very simple and honest lyrics to more deep and metaphoric. 

3. What process did you go through writing 'Revolution' and how did it differ from the rest of the tracks on your debut EP 'Alaska'?
The funny thing is that we usually struggle with having a great verse but no chorus. With 'Revolution' it was the complete opposite. We wrote the chorus back in 2014 and when we picked it up again last summer it took us maybe 20 minutes to complete the whole song. 

Random Q:

First song you remember hearing?
Maybe 'The Look' by Roxette or 'Billie Jean' with Michael Jackson.

'Revolution' Review:
'Revolution' is a beautifully atmospheric track, the honesty in the lyrics and emotiveness really shines through in the vocals and the melody. The layered instruments come together brilliantly and grow into a fantastic chorus, impossible to not to hum along to. There's a really energy and rawness to this song, easily one of the best indie rock tracks so far this year! Looking forward to hearing what's to come on their EP. 


Novah's Links:

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Friday, 18 March 2016

Feature: The Mining Co. (18/03/16)


The Mining Co. is led by enigmatic London-based musician Michael Gallagher's voice and songwriting at the forefront. Creating a sound which brings the genres of americana, country and folk together. They've recently released their debut album 'Burning Sun & The Atomic Powers Within', combining the rustic shuffle of Gallagher's Irish roots and a subtle European heat having co-produced in Spain with Paco Loco. We caught up with Michael for a quick Q&A... 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
15, started a short-lived heavy metal band, it was more about having big hair and wearing tons of makeup. 

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
There have been three; Bruce Springsteen 1985 at Wembley, The Waterboys at Glastonbury 1986, At The Drive-In at the Astoria. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Nadia Reid, Benji Hughes, Joan Shelley, Jake Xerxes Fussell, The Righteous Brothers. 

3 Qs for The Mining Co:

1. If you could tour any three countries, where would you choose and why?
Ireland - becucase of my Irish roots and in Irish culture, music comes first. 
Japan - I always saw it on heavy metal albums as a kid and I love Bob Dylan's at Budokan (live) album. 
America - always loved American culture from TV, films, clothes, music. 

2. Do you feel that influences for your music comes from just experiences or do you find them in broader mediums of art too?
My influences are from art and music and when I'm feeling happy - that's when I write best, not when I'm blue. 

3. Which track from your album 'Burning Sun & The Atomic Powers Within', did you enjoy creating the most and why?
Ballad of the Mining Company because I tried it upbeat with a big marching bass drum and cellos which sounded great, but preferred the quiet ambient version. I always wanted to write a protest song, and this is it. 

Random Q:

Whose record collection would you most like to listen to?
My best friend John, who has everything from jazz, trad Irish, rock, pop, world, you name it, he has it. Ultra diverse and eclectic, and all on vinyl. 

'Country Heart' Review:
'Country Heart' is a wonderful song; a steady lullaby-esque track with solemn and sultry tones. The guitars are underlined by strings, allowing the song to flow beautifully alongside Michael's sincere vocals and lyrics. This is one of those songs you can truly sit back and lose yourself in, a possibility which is carried onwards throughout the album. 


The Mining Co.'s Links:
'Burning Sun & The Atomic Powers Within' (Bandcamp): http://theminingco.bandcamp.com/releases
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theminingcoband
Twitter: https://twitter.com/themining_co
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/the-mining-company

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Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Feature: Palms & Pelicans (16/03/16)


Since early 2015 the dream-pop quartet, Palms and Pelicans, have been shaking up the UK underground scene. Jack Lawrence (guitar/vocals), Mattea McKinnon (guitar/vocals), Daryl McCabe (bass) and Darren Barrett (drums) have gained eager support from the likes of BBC Introducing and BBC Radio 6. after a hugely positive response from their 2015 EP 'Sungaze', they're now back with their latest single 'Comfortable', taken from their new EP set for release this spring. They're heading for a fantastic 2016, packed with releases and touring the UK as frequently as possible; we caught up with Mattea for a Q&A... 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
I always loved music growing up but I think I was about 9 or 10 when I really started expressing an interest in learning how to play guitar. Bands like Blink and The Offspring were huge back then and I always wanted to learn how to play their songs so I pestered my family for an electric guitar. I got one for Christmas in 2000 I think... and became absolutely obsessed with learning. Not too long after I started trying to write songs with Jack and I guess it stemmed from there really! 

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
Really tough question! I saw The Stone Roses comeback show at Heaton Park in Manchester a few years ago - that was a special moment for me as I never imagined I would ever get to see them play live. Their songs are just timeless and I remember there were people of all generations at that gig - they all seem to relate to their music and that's pretty inspiring in itself. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately? 
I've still got the Wolf Alice debut, 'My Love Is Cool', on repeat. It's incredible and seems to get better over time. The 1975's new album is also a cracker. Stuff like The Cranberries, Chapterhouse, The Velvet Underground... these are CD's knocking around at the moment. I have no iPod cable in my car so scratched up CD's it is at the moment! 

3 Qs for Palms & Pelicans:

1. You're heading out on tour as much as possible this year, but where would be your dream place to perform and who would you have as your support?
We'd all love to play Brixton Academy one day. It'd be sound to have someone musically really different to play with us - like The Streets. Mike Skinner would warm everyone up a treat! 

2. Who influences you musically and what inspires you lyrically?
Musically we don't consciously try to sound like anything but we do all listen to a huge range of genres, which must have an influence on the sound. Shoegaze,  pop, grunge, rock, ambient, house, folk, garage... you name it. 
Lyrically - a lot of our writing comes from personal experiences. 

3. What process did you go through creating 'Comfortable' and how much did it differ from the tracks on your previous EP?
To be honest the recording process took a while for 'Comfortable' as we took some time to experiment. Jack and I produced the track and recorded each section in stages. We paid a lot of attention to recording guitars and finding the best sounds. Lots of new pedals came out. We didn't necessarily want it to sound as clean and accessible as our other EP - people seem to be getting that too which is cool! 

Random Q:

Song you wish you'd written?
This is a hard question but right now in this moment - 'Walk On The Wild Side' by Lou Reed. What a tune! 

'Comfortable' Review:
'Comfortable' sits comfortably (sorry), with the previous release from Palms and Pelicans, it follows up their previous single 'Sungaze' perfectly and shows they know their sound. This track is full of energy and pieced together brilliantly; Jack and Mattea's vocals compliment each other perfectly and also manage to highlight the bass and guitars riffs and hooks throughout. The infectiously memorable bridge and chorus builds and forces this to be underground indie pop at it's best. Be prepared to see more of this band in the next 12 months... 



See Palms & Pelicans Live:
21st April: O2 Academy 2, Sheffield
21st May: Joiners, Southampton
22nd May: Rainbow (Courtyard), Birmingham
23rd May: Aatma, Manchester
24th May: Surya, London

Palms & Pelicans' Links:

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Monday, 14 March 2016

Feature: Halfloves (14/03/16)


Indie rock five-piece, Halfloves, are beginning a new chapter with their new self-titled album. The Iowa City based group have spent the past two years working on the album with renowned producer Brandon Darner (Imagine Dragons). Jeff (guitar / vocals), Nate (bass), Trevor (keys), Noel (drums) and Lucas (lead guitar) have played with Manchester Orchestra, Foxygen, We The Kings and many more, having grown a strong following over several years, this unsigned band are making sound waves bound to pick anyone's ears up.

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

All of us started music at different times and in different ways. Trevor (keys) was classically trained from a young age and Noel (drums) also started drumming at a young age. Nate (bass), Jeff (guitar, vocals) and Lucas (guitar) all started playing music further into their adolescence after being inspired by more modern rock and indie music.

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
We've played with the band Rubblebucket a couple of times and each time has been a treat - such great energy and colours in their set and top of the line musicianship to match. Their music has definitely influenced us. Also, lots of Christian hardcore bands from the early - md 2000's come from the opposite end of the spectrum of influences in our music. Having seen awesome performances from the group Underoath inspires us to include emotionally and sonically heavy aspects to songs that often are shrouded with pop sensibilities.

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Trevor listens to a lot of podcasts and his musical tastes are all over the place from classical music to european house to hardcore. One of Noel and Nate's favourite records of this past year was Kendrick Lamar's 'To Pimp A Butterfly'. Jeff listens to a lot of Arctic Monkeys and modern indie rock bands and Lucas just listens to the voices in his own head cause he's a sick boy.

3 Qs for Halfloves:

1. If you could invite any three people, dead or alive, to one of your gigs, who would you choose?

1) Tim Heidecker + Eric Wareheim (they count as 1 person). Our band has seriously bonded on several occasions over their movie Tim and Eric's Billion Dollar Movie. They are comedic geniuses and we love them.
2) Michael Jordan. We love us some b ball and Jordan is THE king (suck it LeBron).
3) Jesus Christ of Nazareth because he is God.

2. Which track from your forthcoming self-titled album are you most excited for people to hear and why?
Probably 'Not Too Keen'. It's a good representation of the album's feeling and sentiment as well as the overall energy. Those are the main reasons we wanted to bring it to life with a music video.

3. What process did you go through creating 'Not Too Keen', both musically and visually?
The songs stems from the disillusionment of the allure of young love and how, although it can be great sometimes, there's far more cases where your perspective on love and life is opened up after your first big break up. Our good friend and director Max Moore is someone who we've worked with in past music videos and after working out some basic ideas with him to adapt a visual accompaniment to the song, we threw around lots of specific inspirations from photos, other videos, Greek myth and strains of our personal lives.

Random Q:

Five songs for a road trip?

Not sure about five songs but we definitely have 2 very special songs that we play (sometimes more than once) every time we're in the van for the better part of a year now. One of those songs is 'Choices (Yup)' by E-40. It's catchy and infectious and similar to our comedic love for Tim and Eric, E-40 somehow managed to make a song filled overloaded with nonsensical goofs that epitomise a feel-good hip hop tune. It never gets old. The other song we listen to along with 'Choices (Yup)' is 'Don't Know Much (live version)' by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. This song is also jam-packed with emotion and way too much vibrato. At one point during a harmony they sing different words on accident which is great cause you feel the (sexual?) tension. To cap it off, Aaron throws in this ridiculous vocal run at the very end, the TV host makes a comment about his biceps as it all comes to a close. Hard to top either of those.

'Not Too Keen' Review:
Brilliant drums and stuttered guitars combined bring this track in, growing with intensity and darkness throughout. 'Not Too Keen' builds with layers of bass and keys, underlining the fantastic vocals, creating Halflove's well known and loved sound, their unique dark pop / rock trademark. This single is along similar lines of one of their previous tracks 'Who Are You?' and yet differs from their last track 'It's Easy To Love'; this shows even though they've found their sound, Halfloves are not becoming a 'one-style of track' group. This is a great track that leads the way for the rest of their self-titled album and is an infectious indie rock track, bound to get you tapping your foot and humming along!



See Halfloves Live:
25th March: Octopus, Cedar Falls, IA
31st March: *Reverb Lounge, Omaha, NE
1st April: *7th Street Entry, Minneapolis
2nd April: *The Frequency, Madison, WI
4th April: Rozz Tox, Rock Island, IL
13th April: Iowa Memorial Union, Iowa City
22nd April: Zoo Bar, Lincoln, NE
23rd April: Milk Run, Omaha, NE
29th April: Arbor Bar, Fairfield, IA
20th May: The Slowdown, Omaha, NE
27th May: Gas Lamp, Des Moines, IA
28th May: DG's Taphouse, Ames, IA
* = supporting Quilt

Halfloves' Links:
'Halfloves' Album (iTunes): https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/halfloves/id1085122257
Website: http://halfloves.com

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Feature: Tim Halperin (11/03/16)


After a successful run on American Idol in 2011, singer-songwriter Tim Halperin, released his debut album 'Rise and Fall', which debuted at #1 on iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart and his follow up release 'Heart Tells Your Head' (2014) debuted at #2 on the same iTunes chart. Ever since his first release he's built a reputation for consistently releasing songs that draw the listener in due to his ability to capture the full range of emotion. Tim has steadily toured I'm the Southeast and Midwest of America, supporting the likes of The Fray, Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and many more. You may have heard his music on a variety of TV shows including Grey's Anatomy and Gotham amongst others, he's really one to listen to and enjoy! 

General Questions:


1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

I was 6 years old when I started taking piano lessons. That was my first involvement with music.

2. What is the most inspiring inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?

Probably all three of the Coldplay concerts I've been to. In particular, the first one I went to, which was my sophomore year of high school. It was my first major concert and I was captured by the experience of it. The way the band carried the audience through the concert was wonderful.

3. Who have you been listening to lately?

Lately I've been listening to synths pop. Walk The Moon, The 1975, Troye Sivan. I've also been digging Twenty One Pilots, James Bay, Jon Foreman... a real variety as usual.

3 Qs for Tim:


1. What has been your personal highlight of your musical career so far and why has it stuck with you? 

There are several highlights that stick with me. Anytime a crowd sings along with one of my songs is memorable for me. There was a concert I played in the fall in Columbus, Ohio that was a blast. It seemed like everyone in the venue knew every word to every one of my songs. I can't even begin to explain how good that makes me feel. I write in hopes of other people connecting with my songs, and so my greatest joy comes when that happens.

2. You've gained recent success with your 'Hungry Like A Wolf' cover for the Gotham Season 2 trailer; if you could choose any TV show / film to create a soundtrack for, which would you choose and why?

Lately, I've been watching a lot of TV. My wife and I got really into the show Homeland. The honest truth is 'Friends'. I just love the show and it never gets old. Recently I played the theme song at a concert. How can you be sad after watching 'Friends'?

3. As well as your fantastic original music, you've shared a fair few covers in the past, how do you choose which songs to cover?

I try to cover songs that aren't in my genre and put my own twist on them. Recently I covered 'Lean On' by Major Lazer. It's such a well-written song and I wanted to do a version that brought out the lyrics with minimal production. I think a cover song should be a unique version of a song.

Random Q:


Which album would be the soundtrack to your life so far?

If it's an album I've released, probably 'Heart Tells Your Head' because it has the ups, the downs, the in-betweens. A big piece of my heart went into that record. If it's an album that I didn't write, I would choose 'Continuum' by John Mayer. That album never gets old to me because I resonate so much with the songs. Isn't it funny how the most defining moments of our life often are a result of heartbreak or sadness? The majority of the songs on that record are songs of love lost... but there's a beauty in the brokenness that defines us.



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Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Feature: Inspired & The Sleep (09/03/16)


Inspired and the Sleep is a dream-pop band based in San Diego, California; consisting of a revolving line up surrounding singer-songwriter Max Greenhalgh and multi-instrumentalist Bryce Outcault. Determined on continuous reinvention, the band is moving towards a more refined and darker approach to arranging with polished production while retaining hints of Greenhalgh's previous lo-fi ponderings. The duo released their last track (and video) from their EP 'Eyelid Kid' back in January, after a year of directing from Australian filmmaker Robert Crispe, the stop-motion video for 'Die Slow' was shared with the world. They're an independent band that functions on pure DIY steam and they've got even more exciting stuff on the horizon!

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?

I picked up the bass in middle school, wasn't really sure what it was just thought I'd stand out from all the guitar players. I played in bands for years through high school until I started singing and writing / arranging my own tunes. I started to pick up more instruments as time went on. Bryce was a metal head in his young years. He was very focused on Black Metal for a while. And here we are now.

2. What is the most inspiring musical performance you've ever seen?
I got a chance to see one of my favourite artists Patrick Watson and his band at a small intimate venue in San Diego called the Loft. Bryce would probably say Cut Copy or something.

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
I have been rather obsessed with the Elliott Moss record that came out last year. And this band called Night Beds who were a folk band that turned electronic pop thing really interesting stuff.

3 Qs for Inspired & The Sleep:

1. Why / how did your name 'Inspired & The Sleep' come about?

In essence it's about polarity. 'Inspired' represents the light, energy, joy, but also anxiety. And 'Sleep' represents darkness, relaxation, depression. With both positives and negatives to each side. I was having a great deal of insomnia when the project started and I just noticed these two sides of my mental state. The 'and the' kinda puts your classic band name spin on it: Bruce Springsteen 'and the' E Street Band.

2. What process did you go through creating 'Die Slow' and how much did it differ from other tracks on your EP 'Eyelid Kid'?
'Die Slow' is rather different from the rest of the EP because the tune stayed very true to the original demo that I recorded one late night in our practice studio. The flutes on the final recording were the scratch tracks I put down. I like the imaginative story line to the lyrics. Two young childhood friends who were at one point very close and then something happened to cause one to murder the other. It's basically a metaphor to any kind of relationship gone bad.

3. The stop-motion animation music video for 'Die Slow' was a year long process, why did you choose this method for a music video and what was it like working with Australian director, Robert Crispe?
That's all Robert. I think the imagery is so inherently beautiful that it had to have take so long for him. He was living in London when I first reached out to him and over the next year he ket bouncing ideas my way, until one day it was done!

Random Q:

Whose record collection would you most like to listen to and why?

Frank Zappa. I can't even imagine what kinda jams that looney was bumping.

'Die Slow' Review:
'Die Slow' is a track that is fantastically easy to listen to, the contrast of bold bass and drums to light guitars and vocals is brilliantly put together. It holds a sleepy summer vibe and the music video is beautifully crafted to hone in on the imaginative and creative side of this track and project. I really love this song and have listened to it MANY times since it was released, along with the rest of the EP, which has some funk tinged tracks and more indie dream pop style songs. Mixes of upbeat, slower, but all wonderfully crafted tracks, musically and lyrically - there's also a really neat focus on bass throughout, which is a pleasant difference between a lot of the other music in the world right now. If you like Bombay Bicycle Club or Foster The People etc. - you will probably more than likely love this release...



Inspired & The Sleep's Links:
'Eyelid Kid' (Bandcamp): https://inspiredandthesleep.bandcamp.com

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Monday, 7 March 2016

Feature: John Parry (07/03/16)


East London singer-songwriter, John Parry, has just released his self-produced EP 'Enough'. This marks the debut EP release from the 18-year-old, a former winner of the XLP Arts Showcase. He's performed at London's Lovebox and supported Fismoll at The Garage (London). These live performances and previously released tracks 'Dirty', 'Love Drunk Punch' and 'Druggie', have paved the way for his continuing ascent into the limelight as his fanbase also continues to grow. John Parry will only build upon that momentum, he's a brilliantly charismatic and incredibly talented young musician and a definite one to watch! 

General Questions:

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
Compared to a lot of people I found music quite late. When I was 14, I started playing guitar and wanted to be in some Green Day or Slip Knot mash-up band, but then I decided I wasn't about that life, at about 16, and I haven't looked back. 

2. What is the most inspiring musical performances you've ever seen?
My good friend Charlie, at the time a 13 year old girl, had spinal surgery and got up on stage and performed one of her own songs - standing. Nothing will beat that. 

3. Who have you been listening to lately?
Oasis, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber is writing some bangers at the moment, and The Vamps... Only joking. I listen to music totally the opposite of mine for inspiration such as Slaves, Foals, Tame Impala and always have to throw some Arctic Monkeys and The Streets into the mix to be safe. 

3 Qs for John:

1. Where do you look to find influences and inspiration in the world?
Girls, alcohol and nights out. That's about it. But honestly though, the past couple of months I've been having some new experiences and I'm writing some more 'honest' music. I'm opening up my mind to other things and am able to be critical of myself rather than just writing songs about the girl who used to see her ex-boyfriend when we were going out at 17. Yeah, I haven't forgot. It still hurts. 

2. Which track from your EP 'Enough', were you most excited / apprehensive for people to hear and why?
With 'Do' you can jump to conclusions when it's not put into context. If you hear 'Do' and you're shocked and jump to conclusions, message me on Facebook, 'John Parry', and I'll happily provide context. 

3. What process did you go through writing 'Enough' and how did it differ to your previous releases? 
I often write songs in ten minutes - without writing it down. If I remember it, it's catchy, so it's a good song. I wrote 'Enough' and forgot about it but luckily I recorded it. I lent my phone to someone and about six months later they sent me the recording I had done on my phone, saying it's the best song they had heard of mine. I listened to it and thought 'shit, how did I forget this'. I rewrote some of the lyrics and it was done. 

Random Q:

Who would be your dream artist / band to collaborate with?
ABBA. 

'Enough' EP Review:
'Enough' starts atmospheric and builds throughout into an energetic and erratic track; with steady paced drums, I really enjoy the use of snare, which is often overlooked and not used to this extent, and the guitar rounds off the song and compliments the other layers well. John's vocals are soulful highlighting his well crafted and to the point lyrics, the video is edited to work perfectly alongside the song, not only musically but also lyrically, helping bring the diary-like lyrics come to life. John Parry has created a unique sound which reverberates throughout all of his tracks and further into the world of music. If you like the style of The Streets and the music of Ben Howard or Jack Garratt, you're bound to love this guy. This is his debut release, which makes us excited for his future - he's another one to watch! 


John's Links:

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