Comprised of Robin French (Cuckoo) and Antonia Thomas (Misfits, Lovesick), these two creatives write seductive bossa nova music paired with calypso pop sensibilities that would fit well on the soundtrack of ‘The End of the F***ing World’.
On the motivation behind Bethnal Green Blues, Robin states,
“Sometimes you write a sad song from a happy moment. This came to me while I was flying to South America to see a girl I’d fallen for. It’s about the emotional ice age after a romance fails, but it was written as that ice melted under the Argentine sun..”
We love an indie anthem, so thank you to five-piece pop-rock, Dancing On Tables.
The band, school friends from school in Dunfermline, a small town just outside Edinburgh, have released ‘Colour Me Good’ – a groove-laced, vintage indie-pop track that encapsulates sun-drenched, dance-able songwriting with a distinct Scottish charm.
Sounds like: Sea Girls, Biffy Clyro, Circa Waves, The 1975
Slenderbodies is a California-bred duo who write forward-thinking, dreamy synth-pop.
Their new single ‘The One’ is intricately subtle musical medication, shared in preparation of their upcoming EP, ‘SORAYA’, to be released through Los Angeles indie label Avant Garden, which is also home to Emotional Oranges.
From summer season to ‘Sad Season’ with former professional cyclist Gavin Haley‘s latest single.
While competing with the national cycling team, Haley suffered an injury that resulted in a collapsed lung, setting back his travel by several months. During his recovery, he explored and found inspiration in Europe’s underground music scene, becoming enamored with energetic live performances filled with a grit and energy.
Starting with a simple West Coast-inspired guitar riff, ‘Sad Season’ soon picks up and exposes determined pop and R&B.
Canadian songstress ROYAL debuts with ‘Vessel’, the first of six new tracks that appear on her upcoming album, ‘Heart of Shadows’.
Covering the topic of heartbreak, loss of identity and raw self-reflection, this is electro-pop at its finest in 2018.
Speaking about ‘Vessel,’ ROYAL says,
“This song is about heartbreak – having to let go of someone you love, and then realizing the emptiness and loss of identity that ensues. I wrote this song it while trying to find myself after getting lost within a relationship for many years and then feeling shattered by the loss of a love I thought would last a lifetime.”
Sounds like: VÉRITÉ, Lana Del Rey, Evvy, Noosa, Dominique, The xx
Last but not least, our favourite breakthrough act – self-taught producer, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Von Sell.
After a bout of vocal pain and subsequent treatment, we are pleased to say that Von Sell is on the mend and returning to our stereos with ‘Scene OF A Crime’.
Taken from his forthcoming sophomore EP, ‘Digital Sleep’, the song reflects on unrequited love, but, due to its uptempo nature, it will ultimately leave a taste of confusion in your mouth because you can’t help but dance despite the disconcerting subject matter.
Sounds like: Summer Heart, Hazel English, Teen Daze, Peter Gabriel, Alt-J, Thomas Azier
We do like a good festival, and after hearing that NOS Alive in Lisbon, Portugal is up there as one the world’s best music festivals, we decided to plan a trip in July to find out what all the fuss is about!
In the mean time, buckle up and check out our ones to watch within the indietronica genres (looks like we’ll mainly see you at the Sagres Stage then!).
THURSDAY 12 JULY
Friendly Fires, Sagres Stage
Energetic Brit boys Friendly Fires return to the festival circuit after a hiatus.
Having already had massive success with hits such as ‘Paris’, ‘Jump In The Pool’ and ‘Skeleton Boy’, their new single ‘Love Like Waves’ doesn’t disappoint and continues the theme of tropical-tinged synth sounds.
Expect a highly fun and bold performance at NOS Alive.
One artist we are super stoked to check out live is Khalid.
The American singer/songwriter originally started writing music during his college years, where he was also declared prom king. Amalgamating an array of sounds from classical, pop to hip hop, Khalid shows a real sense of urgency in his music.
We can’t get enough of his track with Billie Eilish, and can’t wait to see him perform at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Kendrick Lamar, A$AP Rocky, Father John Misty, Frank Ocean, Chance the Rapper, Lorde, James Blake, Billie Eilish
Indie rockers Wolf Alice have been our firm favourites from the UK for some time now. They never disappoint at a live show, fronted by a fresh-faced Ellie Rowsell’s seemingly blasé but endearingly nervous attitude.
Expect a set full of their most brilliant tunes…so that’s all of them then!
Sounds like: Black Honey, Peace, Superfood, Foals, Circa Waves, Harry
Sampha is to be one of the UK’s best musical exports in 2018.
He has a knack for writing songs with deep and personal lyrics of pain and reflection, some of which have unfortunately has stemmed from health hardships suffered with his family at home, and we can’t help but think we are supporting him on this journey.
Truly thought-provoking stuff, definitely worthy of a slot at NOS Alive.
Sounds like: Jessie Ware, Frank Ocean, Solange, Moses Sumney, James Blake, Chet Faker, SBTRKT, Dallas Green
Future Islands‘ front man Samuel T Herring’s dancing is reason enough to go watch these guys at NOS Alive. And of course, the US synthpop band are wildly brilliant in as many unique, refreshing and inspiration ways possible.
Kicking off Saturday’s ones to watch are Lisbon natives, Lotus Fever.
They fit somewhere in-between Alt-J and Pink Floyd and it’s really refreshing to hear. We are expecting a super tight performance, thanks to their longstanding stint together since 2011 and it being their local city.
Their music has tendencies to sway in the 60’s, psychedelic market – imagine riding on a surfboard in space. However, we expect their set at NOS Alive to be a relaxed affair, where you can chill out and have a cider…or ride a surfboard in space, whatever takes your fancy!
It’s a shout out to everyone who struggles with anxieties of daily life, a supportive song that urges you to maintain your passion and drive, something that LOVE SICK are very much doing within the music industry.
Vintage keys and delicate vocals highlight ‘Eventually’ by Me Not You as a short and sweet song that is straight to the point.
Speaking of the track, “…it’s a personal song for me… a sort of hyping up of myself to the idea of squashing the beef with someone. the baggage of relationships can linger, and it does no one any good to keep that shit around.”
London quartet ISLAND share ‘Come With Me’; the second part of their AA single, alongside the recently released ‘Spotless Mind’.
Swaggering guitar riffs and smooth, folk-esque vocals, and having already performed some pretty decent gigs in Europe, ISLAND are starting to pave their own way into the mainstream.
Jul-03, Smoked & Uncut, Dorset
Jul-08, British Summer Time – Hyde Park
Jul-15, Pete The Monkey, France
Jul-17, Citadel, London
Jul-24, Secret Garden Party
Sep-23, Reeperbahn, Hamburg, Germany
Sep-24, Kornern Festival, Germany
Nov-02, Scala, London
Sounds like: Foals, The Libertines, Mystery Jets, The Lapelles, Circa Waves, Nick Mulvey
Sundara Karma return with the Romeo & Juliet inspired video for ‘Loveblood’.
The boys have been busy, having toured with Wolf Alice and Nothing But Thieves, and are about to embark on a UK headline tour at the end of May, as well as playing a load of big festival dates, including Glastonbury and the Main Stage and Reading & Leeds.
‘Loveblood’ is out now via Sony Music. Order on iTunes.
Sounds like: The Wombats, Circa Waves, Biffy Clyro, CHAPPO, Arcade Fire, Editors, CHAPPO
Anteros, a four-piece from London, share the seemingly self-indulgent video for ‘Breakfast’.
Speaking about the video, lead singer Laura Hayden said:
“Our aim was so depict situations women get themselves into on the road to finding love & happiness. There’s still pressure for us to be perfect in every aspect, like we’re constantly having to to modify ourselves in order to find our “happily every after”. Our relationships, careers, body, lifestyle, etc. We spend our whole lives focusing on what we don’t have & need to change – instead of enjoying the present. Each character in the video has been inspired by loads of different females: from Charlotte in Lost in Translation (played by Scarlett Johansson) and Beyoncé in Why Don’t You Love Me, to a Barbie Doll.”
‘Breakfast’ is Anteros’s first release on Kissability (Circa Waves, DZ Deathrays), out now.
Sounds like: Of Monsters and Men, Montoya, Bastille, Temper Trap, Garbage, The Cardigans, Actor
Hertfordshire four-piece The Hunna is causing quite a stir in the music world.
We caught up with the guys following their recent tour with Coasts, and discussed hip hop and rock influences, as well as what it was like working with Tim Larcombe (Lana Del Rey, Halsey) and Dan Grech (Wolf Alice, Circa Waves).
How did you meet and why did you start making music together?
We’ve all been close friends and brothers for a while now. Daniel Dorney (Bandana Dan) and Ryan Potter (Valentino) met in music college 6 years ago pursuing the goal of making great music. Jack Metcalfe (Insta King) also went to the same college a few years before. Jermaine Angin (The Prince) has known Bandana Dan since primary school and learnt how to play the guitar together since secondary school. There’s always been a connection between us even though we all met at different times in our lives. After our first rehearsal together 2 years ago we all knew that this was something really special and almost like it was meant to be. Our love and appreciation for music is something that we can’t put into words, the feeling that we have when playing together is the reason why we started and why we will continue making music together!
Where did the name The Hunna come from?
We all have a big hip hop / rap influence so it originated from that. We believe in keeping it 1hunna in everything we do.
Describe your sound in three words.
Turn Up Rock.
You worked with Tim Larcombe and Dan Grech on ‘Bonfire’. What was it like working with them?
It was a privilege to work with Tim Larcombe. He understood our vision and got to know us on a personal level really quickly which helped in the work environment and was a big reason why ‘Bonfire’ sounds like it does. We can safely say that Tim is a 1hunna guy and a true professional at what he does. He’s a true Hunna squad member! We admire Dan Grech’s roster and the work that he has produced. He was a pleasure to work with and brought a unique element to the track
Where do you cite your musical influences from?
Kings Of Leon
We love new music at Indietronica. What new music are you listening to?
Willow and Jaden Smith
‘Vivienne’ is the first single from Sundara Karma‘s second EP – ‘EP II’.
The track is comprised of big vocals over addictive guitar hooks, which echoes the escapist feel of the track.
Oscar Lulu from the band describes the track:
“It’s a love song sure, but more to do with the escapism that love can offer than love itself. The world is pretty fucked, not that this is a revelation, nor am I saying anything new. I’m just singing about a type of love that blocks out all the noise.”
Their ‘EP II’ is set to be released on 6 November, through Chess Club Records.
21st October Manchester Apollo w/ The Wombats
22nd October Oporto, Leeds
23rd October Liverpool Guild of Students w/ The Wombats
24th October Soup Kitchen, Manchester
26th October Bodega, Nottingham
27th October Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
28th October The Horn, St Albans
31st October Sticky Mikes, Brighton
1st November Joiners, Southampton
2nd November Louisiana, Bristol
3rd November Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
4th November The Magnet, Liverpool
5th November Community, London
7th November Thirsty @ Readipop, Reading
Sounds like: The Wombats, Circa Waves, Biffy Clyro, CHAPPO, Arcade Fire
Liverpool-based Circa Waves released their full-length album, ‘Young Chasers’, on 18 September via Virgin Records. The British indie-rockers’ debut includes the wonderfully blissful summer anthem, ‘T-Shirt Weather‘, and ‘Stuck in My Teeth‘, described by Apple Music’s award-winning DJ and producer Zane Lowe as his “Hottest Record in the World.”
Of the compliment, bassist Sam Rourke has said, “It’s great getting the thumbs up from someone like Zane Lowe, he’s been such an important figure in British music for so long. Now that he’s leaving [Radio 1], we’re working out a way to sweet talk Annie Mac — we’re sending her a basket of kittens every day this week.”
Read on as Sam and frontman Kieran Shudall answer my questions about musical influences, the touring experience, and what songs they are jamming to these days.
In a DIY interview, you mention Joni Mitchell, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and Arcade Fire as favorites out of your own vinyl collection. Could you throw us a couple more gems from your record arsenal? What have you been listening to lately?
Kieran: I have a little old record player by my kitchen and love to cook ‘n listen to old records. Sgt. Pepper’s [Lonely Hearts Club Band] get a lot of use (cliche, me being from Liverpool, I know.) Graceland gets a lot of attention also. I’ve been listening to Michael Head and the Magical World of the Strands vinyl reissue. It’s underrated and totally beautiful songwriting. It must be heard by more people.
You say you write “loads of mediocre material” for every hit you write. I am quite sure this is the case for most bands. The hits you do have have really taken off. Are there any personal favorite songs you think could have been singles, but weren’t?
Kieran: I wrote a lot for the first record, including a lot more laidback songs which got pushed to the side to make a more explosive first album. There is a track called “Lost It” on the album which Is one of my favourites lyrically and has a chorus that competes with any of the singles we released.
Sam — You mention being fired, just before the band took off, from a job at a cathedral’s visitor center café and described it as “fucking terrible.” Intrigued and being nosy — why were you fired?
Sam: To be honest, I was a terrible employee. I was late all the time, left early, and was rude to customers. I’m surprised I lasted as long as I did.
You came from humble indie beginnings and blew up as a fairly young band with a lot of buzz. How has this experience changed you?
Kieran: Coming from playing in bands for 8 years previous to Circa, you get knocked down over that time and don’t believe it’s ever going to happen to you. When the band started taking off it was surreal and an almost outer body experience, like I was watching someone else do well. Over recent months I’ve started to really feel like we have earned everything that has come to us. The experience has showed me that we give any band out there a run for their money.
You have toured with some pretty big names, such as Phoenix and The Libertines. How has it been working with such legendary bands?
Kieran: Much like listening to music is good homework for writing songs, I think touring with great bands is amazing for learning from them and their performance. Every successful band has something you can learn from them, be it the energy they put into the show or just how they treat their crew. You need to have your eyes open as a young band and take it all in.
You once mentioned wanting to meet Noel Gallagher, expecting to be called “shit” by him, as he is a well-known sourpuss. You seem to see this as kind of a rock ‘n roll christening. Have you met him since?
Kieran: Ha. I’ve not yet had the pleasure. He has a very similar outlook to writing songs as me and talks about how some songs mean nothing and are just great pop songs and how some tracks mean a lot. I love that way and think it encourages great songs to pour out of you. I’m sure our paths will cross one day.
How has it been touring/meeting bands you admire? (e.g., Arctic Monkeys, to whom you are often compared).
Kieran: [Have] not met the Arctics yet. I hear they are lovely. People say don’t meet your heroes, but that is utter bullshit. The Libertines were so warm and welcoming. They bought Joe a birthday cake! Phoenix invited us for beers and talked about pop music with us. I played ping pong with Interpol. They are just normal people that you meet. The only difference being that you’ve been listening to their records for years and maybe been air-guitaring to their tracks in your bedroom as a kid.
To what extent has the press played a role in your success?
Kieran: We’ve only recently started getting some. We have had bits since the start, but never a lot. Radio 1 and constant touring has been our foundation for building a fanbase in the UK.
What is something you’ve struggled with as a musician. Is it something you’ve overcome?
Kieran: I miss home. Family and my girlfriend are a huge part of my life and I see them a few weeks a year now due to touring. It’s a big sacrifice but luckily I have huge support from them.
You get to kick back, relax, and have a beer with anyone in the world (past or present). Who is it and why?
Kieran: Dave Grohl. He’s someone I’ve been so inspired by since my brother brought home Nirvana Unplugged. I later bought every Foo Fighters record and studied his songwriting. He’s a man who has become so well-known but still maintains this approachable vibe. He seems like someone who would actually have a beer with me one day as well! I’d just have to try and not sweat so much as to drop my pint.
Many thanks to Kieran and Sam, and congrats on Circa Waves’ new album!
Listen to Circa Waves’ latest track on Soundcloud below!