Ibibio Sound Machine are a pulsating eight piece band that is made up of Eno Williams (vocals), Alfred Kari Bannerman (guitar), Anselmo Netto (percussion), Jose Joyette (drums), John McKenzie (bass), Tony Hayden (trombone, synth), Scott Baylis (trumpet, synth), and Max Grunhard (saxophone, synth). Since their 2014 self-titled debut the band have toured extensively, but they have managed to find time to record a follow up Uyai. “Uyai is a continuation of Ibibio Sound Machine’s story in which the worlds of West African highlife and electronic London collide via the storytelling lyrical thread of Eno’s vocals in the Ibibio language of Nigeria,” the band explains. “There is a darker, edgier quality to the sound that maybe reflects the difficult journey the band took from making the first album to completing the second one. The songs are based more around themes of empowerment, freedom, and the liberation of dance for women, and people in general.”
With an ever-changing discography and lineup, Dirty Projectors is back with its first full studio album since 2012. The album is a soulful exploration of vocalist David Longstreth’s break-up with now ex band-mate Amber Coffman, with diverse melodies evolving into an adventurous and challenging experience.
Dirty Projectors, the decade-plus-long recording pursuit of producer and vocalist David Longstreth, is back with its eighth studio album, almost two years after the project’s last EP. Unlike previous releases, this particular self-titled album sees Longstreth with a host of new contributors including Tyondai Braxton, Mauro Refosco (Atoms For Peace, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Dawn Richard (D?WN). At a glance, this isn’t a lineup to be sniffed at, but with Dirty Projectors being renowned for a wildly diverse discography it’s hard to say what can be expected from the album.
Under the banner of pulsating motorik rhythms, delicate shoegaze, prominent soundscapes and dreamy vocals, Outside (Briefly) is an early contender for album of the year. Froth’s third LP is the sound of a band finding its voice in what is a refined studio effort and the group’s most unified work to date. Gone are the days of the catchy psych-pop, to be replaced by far more experimental arrangements which bring the intricate melodies and compositions to the core.
With the band this week announcing a UK tour, which kicks off at The Great Escape festival in May, I had a chat with frontman/guitarist JooJoo Ashworth and bassist Jeremy Katz about the new record and what the future holds for the LA-based four-piece.
There was a blonde haired, Northern European standing aloft the stage monitors, peering menacingly into the packed crowd. A mean and moody bassist, like an extra from some obscure spaghetti western. A lank, vaguely malnourished drummer, long, Brian Connolly 70s glam hair swishing around as he sets about his drum kit with serious intent. And a rather hidden guitarist/keyboardist, obviously the musical mastermind of the band, having to deal with a broken guitar strap hinge as the roadie comes on and applies layer after layer of gaffer tape in a bid to keep the game flowing. This was Fufanu, the Icelandic post-punk-inspired band, who played a fearsome set at last year’s The Great Escape. Walking that fine line between exhilirating emotional intensity and gloomily meditative contemplation, Fufanu add plenty of techno and electronic textures and sounds, as well as a predilection for Neu!-like grooves and mildly psychedelic flourishes in sculpturing a sound that builds gently but remorsefully, and without indulging in over-the-top pyrotechnics nor needless breakdowns. There’s an understated pop sensibility to the band, but ultimately it’s definitely music to get lost into, especially on the live stage where they deliver a mean, moody and exciting show. We caught up with lead singer Kaktus Einarsson, on the back of the new album Sports and an upcoming UK tour.
Female-fronted Brighton foursome WILLOH are a band in the early stages of formation, but already they are crashing their way onto the Brighton music scene. Gentle vocals, contrasted with riotous 90s grunge pop makes them a unique and endlessly entertaining group who we’ll definitely be seeing more of.
Brighton foursome WILLOH are bringing grungy pop-rock to Brighton in a femme fatale whirlwind. Likened to Honeyblood and Wolf Alice, frontwomen Sammy Nottage and Hattie Upton-Dance met at University and started jamming straight away. With a few great songs under their belt and a whole lot of attitude, the girls expanded into the foursome that exists today. Already making impressive gains, they’ve got several UK festival appearances lined up for this summer and have just released their debut single ‘Haircut’ which features gentle vocals and riotous guitar riffs. We caught up with all four of them to learn a bit more about the band.
Happyness have made a compelling and equally charming mark on slacker rock since their rise to fame in 2014. The trio produce idiosyncratic US college rock with a British twinge that likens itself to Sparklehorse and Wilco all the while maintaining dark, grungey undertones.
South London’s Melancholic slacker rock trio Happyness made their way onto NME’s Best Newcomer’s list in 2014 and have been making tracks ever since. The band have garnered an impressive reputation for their lazy vocals, dreamy guitars and eccentric lyricism.
One thing I adore about writing reviews is that every now and again you come across a band who you just ‘get’, my newest discovery in this respect? The Hundredth Anniversary. The local Brighton three-piece specialise in bringing some incredibly soothing sounds which are more than sure to help you enter a state of musical euphoria. Their debut album Sea State Pictures is a truly stunning record and really makes The Hundredth Anniversary shine out a lot from the majority of upcoming bands.
Montreal based slacker rocker and ally of Mac DeMarco, Homeshake is back with his third release Fresh Air and all is not as lighthearted as it seems. Fresh Air is a funky but thoughtful progression from his last release with comments on technology and love sewn into R’n’B synth-pop and drum machines.
Up until fairly recently, Peter Sagar, or Homeshake as we know him now, was best known for his long stint in his childhood friend’s band – Mac DeMarco. DeMarco’s huge success was not something anticipated by the friends, and it wasn’t long before Sagar found life on the road wasn’t for him. After a long stint of touring, Homeshake produced his last album Midnight Snack in 2015. The album established Homeshake for his distinctive style. Speckled with warped takes on indie pop structures and falsetto vocals, the album appeared as a late night contemplation on the loneliness of touring.
You might have heard of Submariner on the Brighton music scene – during their short time together as a band they have certainly made their mark, playing alongside notable up and coming acts such as Fatherson, Bleanavon, The Wholls, and Raglans. They’re ravaging the south coast with an ambient indie revolution and are even making tracks in the London scene too. With an EP under their belt and a new single ‘Closer’ there’s no telling where they might end up next, there is one thing for certain about Submariner though – they live and breathe their music. We caught up with frontman James ahead of their video release for single ‘Closer’ to find out more about Submariner.
Big Balloon thumps and thuds, flexes and stretches. Dutch Uncles have clearly made a conscious effort to produce a hard hitting guitar record that packs a punch and boasts a singular identity. Whilst there are many great moments, Big Balloon ultimately lacks the charm and imagination of previous releases. If this was a debut or sophomore release, it would be hugely impressive, but it’s not unfair to expect more from a band who are now five albums into a ten year career. Surely this is the point to take bold new steps?