Now Playing: Soccer Mommy – 'yellow is the color of her eyes'

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Soccer Mommy, aka Sophie Allison, is back with a stirring new single, this time sharing 'yellow is the color of her eyes'. The track also features Mary Lattimore on harp. Soccer Mommy continues to grow as an artist, and 'yellow is the color of her eyes', and 'lucy', which was released back in September, are both impressive additions to her growing catalogue of exquisite tunes. 

In a statement, Allison notes that her new song is immensely important to her, "The song was inspired by a time when I was on the road constantly and I felt like I was losing time - specifically with my mother. It’s also a song that I feel really showcases my writing when it comes to instrumentation, so it’s one that makes me really proud."

The seven-minute masterpiece has also been released alongside a video that's as heart-wrenching as the song. Directed by the very talented Alex Ross Perry, the video is presented like a short-film and has been carefully constructed to represent the emotions brimming in 'yellow is the color of her eyes'. 

He said, "The challenge of creating a 7-minute piece was daunting and irresistible in equal measure. Having just completed a film for which the color-coded design of it's various acts was of the utmost importance, Sophie's idea of collaborating on a short-form film to compliment her similarly-conceived new music was irresistible."

Scroll down to watch 'yellow is the color of her eyes' by Soccer Mommy below. 

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Sports Team – 'The Races'

Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Photo by Lauren Maccabee

There's nothing more we want to see than witness Sports Team cause havoc on-stage in Australia, but until that happens, we'll keep on being in awe of every exhilarating tune they release, this time sharing their latest single 'The Races'. The release of 'The Races' comes amidst their UK tour, with their victory lap ending with their biggest headline show yet at the O2 Forum Kentish Town in London on December 5th.

'The Races' is yet another blazing effort from the energetic six-piece — you've got Alex Rice's signature vocals on full display, frantic riffs and observant lyrics about an average type of dude, including words like, "he'll never buy a drink but he'll let you know he can," and "wants to talk about his house, the way he's going you'd think he built it all himself." We can see 'The Races' being yet another action-packed addition to Sports Team's crazy live shows.

Check out 'The Races' by Sports Team below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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EP of the Week: Saint DX – SDX

Monday, November 18, 2019
Photo by Charlotte Krieger

After a mini-break, EP of the Week is back and better than ever, and this time our top pick for the week is SDX, which is the debut EP by French crooner Saint DX (Aurélien Hamm). The singer, writer and producer reflects on love, obsession and everything in-between across the EP's nine tracks.

On SDX, Saint DX draws upon various influences, including the soundtrack to The Big Blue, to the likes of Sade, Mylène Farmer and Better Person.

Throughout each of the tracks, he captures the intricacies of modern love and the various ways it can eat you up and consume you.

There's the groovy and enticing opener 'Prime of Your Life', which has an insatiable bassline. SDX also has sultry moments like his previous track 'Xphanie' — his first single singing in his mother tongue of French. As the EP progresses, we're met by Saint DX's tender and sensitive side with songs such as 'La même', his cover 'Take My Breath Away', 'First Fantasy' and 'Prince Is Dead', all tugging at your heartstrings. SDX ends as beautifully as it started with his fulfilling and satisfying closer 'Regrets'.

Head on a journey with Saint DX and his majestic debut EP SDX below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: DITZ – 'Total 90'

Photo by Jamie MacMillan
Fresh from their signing with Alcopop! Records, Brighton-based noise-rock band DITZ have shared another electrifying track with their latest tune 'Total 90'. The release of 'Total 90' is their first since signing with Alcopop! and comes after their sold-out show at London's Waiting Room with Dork Magazine. The track follows in the footsteps of their extraordinary single 'Gayboy', which was released back in February.

On the track, the band said, "This song touches on the general public’s reaction to LGBTQ+ individuals on a day to day basis, both positive and negative." The track's moving lyrical content has been partnered with mighty vocals, thrashing and intense drums, and swirling riffs, and the final result of all these components together is an explosive and unforgettable earworm.

It's exciting times for DITZ and we're predicting that big things will be coming their way in 2020.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: Breaking the Ice with Vaughan

English singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Vaughan is at his best on his mediative and self-reflective single 'Isabella', which is about the young artist's internal battle with sexuality and self-acceptance. On the newly released video for 'Isabella' (directed by Matt Dempsey of Masses Collective), he expands on the track's exploration of identity. Vaughan took some time out to answer some quick-fire questions for us below.

What have you been up to today?
Riding every transport link in London between music teaching, praying I can make rent this month.

Last song you listened to?
Deal Wiv It by Slowthai & Mura Masa

Best gift you've ever received?
A hoodie with my facebook profile picture on it.

Best book you've read?
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Dream holiday spot?
Svalbard to see the Northern Lights

What kind of secret society would you start?
Good manners appreciation society

Favourite dinosaur?

When you survive the apocalypse, what will be your first job?
The Ethicist, someone to remind us not to eat our leftover friends.

Last Youtube video you watched?
A tutorial on how to use a Teenage Engineering OP-1

Have you ever texted the wrong person?
I’ve been texting my number neighbour and they still haven’t replied </3

Favourite director?
Matt Dempsey who directed the music video for ‘Isabella’

Three pet peeves?
Bad manners.
People without good manners.
People who don’t know what manners are.

Last dream that you can remember?
I had a dream last night that I needed to be healed and the doctor was using this bowl of natural holistic remedies that I refused to take so they held me down and poured it on my head.

Favourite hiding spot?
Bed with candles lit and a vinyl playing

Favourite music video?
Cellophane by FKA Twigs

What ice cream flavour would you invent?
Coconut, Biscoff, Vanilla Bean = Ciscilla Queen Of The Vanilla

What planet would you move to?
Ideally, I’d want to live on one of Jupiter’s moons, but I’d probably end up on Uranus.

Favourite soundtrack?
Every soundtrack written by John Williams

Title of your future memoir?
Memoirs of a Gay-sha

Dream place to play a show?
The Royal Albert Hall

Check out 'Isabella' by Vaughan below:

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Now Playing: Lauran Hibberd – 'Sweat Patch'

Photo by Nathan Russell

After unleashing her debut EP Everything Is Dogs a few months ago, Isle Of Wight’s own Lauran Hibberd has shared yet another incredible single with 'Sweet Patch'. The release of her new track comes alongside her UK and Europe support tour with US punk rockers The Regrettes.

Her signature honest and observant lyrics are on full display on 'Sweet Patch'. Also featuring on the track are fuzzy and sporadic guitars, which alongside Hibberd's calm and collected vocals, make for yet another catchy slacker-pop gem. On the single, she said:

"Sweat Patch is arguably a song about drugs, but it’s not like I’m trying to be cool about it. I’m pretty much frigid with anything unprescribed. But because of that, this song is based on my idea of that world. There’s loads of songs about getting high, not as many songs about watching and I guess analysing other people do it. I guess this is me, soberly sat in a room watching all of my friends take drugs. I guess there’s also a nod to the elephant in the room, A DUDE. There’s always a dude! And I guess this song stemmed from me being into this guy, but he was pretty much into other things more."

Listen to 'Sweat Patch' by Lauran Hibberd below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: Ingredients of I Dream of Everything with Subculture

Sunday, November 17, 2019

London-based artist and producer Subculture recently unveiled his mixtape I Dream of Everything via his own label Twisted Heart Records. The release is home to twelve mesmerising tracks that encapsulates his fascinating sound that delicately blends elements of electronic music, jazz, hip-hop and more. I Dream of Everything also sees Subculture pair up with Tertia May, Desta French, Hemi Moore, Louis VI, Rachel Chinourini, Grand Pax, Goya Gumbani, Cold Callers and Stella Talpo. He takes us through the influences behind the release below. 

Miles Davis 
Many years ago, I read Miles Davis’ autobiography which musically changed my life. His approach to music was so inspiring. On every record, his intention was to completely change his sound through the selection of musicians he chose — many of which were pretty unknown at the time but went on to become the biggest names in Jazz (John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Freddie Hubbard etc). Many of my friends are artists and everyone has their own process. But at the end of the day, I don’t really think any of that shit is really relevant. What’s important really is how an artist progresses and whether they repel stagnation and for me, that was the defining factor that made Miles Davis so special. He wasn’t interested in sticking with one sound, he always wanted to push the genre further and challenge the status quo. 

My Technic 1210
About 6 years ago I realised streaming culture was destroying my romance with music. As a kid, I spent all my spare money on CDs and through my youth always digested music through albums. But once streaming became the thing, I found myself following artists, listening once and forgetting about them. If you’ve chosen to dedicate your life to music, feeling that music is disposable is so dangerous! So I decided to buy a turntable and start collecting vinyl. I do have Spotify and use it sometimes but pretty much 95% of my home listening is strictly vinyl and I’m really proud of my collection. I buy most of my favourite things and also searching for music in record stores leads you down very different paths than browsing on Spotify and my music creation is undoubtedly influenced by my collection. I still DJ regularly in clubs and have a pretty up to date knowledge of what’s going on with new releases, but my creative obsession now is basically about how to combine old analogue pre-80s sonics with beats that sound like they’re from the future.

Stormy Sunsets
About 3 years ago I decided to rent a house by a beach in Cornwall for most of the month. I headed out on my own with a car full of gear and spent the month making music on my own. The trip was so successful I now do the same trip every 3 months. Every day I’m out there I wake up early, have a shower and get to work. About an hour before sunset I export all the music I’ve made so far onto my phone, take it to the beach and listen back while watching the sunset. Spring and Summer are cool but my favourite time is during the dead of Winter! The Cornish coastline is so powerful and if you find the right cliff face to stand on the edge of when the wind is powerful enough, you really feel like you’re flying! I’d stand or sit feeling the energy of mother nature, listening back to my work and make notes on what I want to change or add. Most of the music on I DREAM OF EVERYTHING started out there and when I listen back it often reminds me of that coastline. I like to believe the energy from the sea informed a lot of my creative decisions on this record. 

Salty Snacks
Some years ago when I first decided to become a full-time producer, it was important to me to get out of my parents' house and create an environment for myself to work and where artists would feel chilled and inspired to create. The relationships I create with my artists is central to my output as I’m obsessed with the idea that a good song in some capacity has to come from a very personal place. I learnt that comfort and hospitality can play a big part in that and made it my policy to always have a solid supply of wine, weed, fruit and a constantly filled bowl of salty snacks on my coffee table normally filled with peanuts, almonds or those crunchy corn things. People sometimes laugh about it but I know they all love it!

Haruki Murakami
Murakami is one of my favourite authors and I’ve read so many of his books. They’re normally centred around Magical Realism and these Kafka-esque themes of alienation and loneliness. Probably (maybe) a coincidence but I DREAM OF EVERYTHING also follows similar themes. I’m obsessed with dreams (and extending the meaning of dreams to imagination, fears and ambitions) and how they relate to our perception of reality. In songwriting, I often enjoy taking an emotion or a feeling and create an extended metaphor from it to allow it to take shape as something entirely different.

Listen to I Dream of Everything by Subculture below:

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Interview: A Chat with W. H. Lung at Iceland Airwaves 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

It's not often that you hear a 'one more song' chant at a showcase festival, but that's exactly what UK band W. H. Lung got after their incredible set on the last day of Iceland Airwaves. With their album Incidental Music being heralded as one of the best debut releases of the year, it's been quite the year for them. Before they close out the year with a UK tour and make their way back into the studio, we spoke to Joseph E. and Tom S. of W. H. Lung on their time in Iceland, Incidental Music, and what they've got planned for their sophomore record.

How has your time in Iceland been so far?

Tom S: Rushed, brief. We only arrived today at about two, I think.

Joseph E: Yeah, probably about two.

Tom S: We got to the hotel, had a shower and then had a walk around...Have you seen the massive naval ship?

I had a look at it just before, it’s huge.

Tom S: We looked at that for a while – got some nice pictures. We also did a soundcheck, which was very strictly monitored.

Joseph E: It was a bit. They're still nice there, everyone's nicer at venues outside of the UK, it seems. The engineers and the reps, everyone's just more friendly, I think. The hotel is pretty decent too.

Tom S: The hotel is gorgeous. We've got sash windows with a view of the mountains. Everything looks so nice.

How long are you guys here for?

Joseph E: Until Tuesday.

Tom S: We'll get to have a bit of an explore.

Joseph E: Yeah, and probably finish some recording quite soon, so we're going to try and finish some ideas whilst we're here as well. And yeah, for sure try and get some of the touristy stuff in.

Tom S: We're going to sit in a lagoon and write some music. Naked from the neck down.

Joseph E: Just holding the laptops.

And you guys are from Manchester, which is a big music city. Would you say it's a competitive environment or that it can be overwhelming?

Tom S: We've actually moved very recently. It's still pretty close by though. It's sort of just on the boundary of Lancashire and Yorkshire and it's just a really small, old, market town. So we're still pretty close to Manchester, but I think we really wanted to move. Where we are now is a strange place because it is very much another working-class town, but then there are little pockets of stuff going on. There's a venue there where they'll have DJs like Andrew Weatherall. It's really random. We've got two people from our label over there too. But to grow up in Manchester, it was really good.

Joseph E: I feel the historical weight of the city rather than the current scene. Obviously growing up in Manchester, you know about bands like The Fall, The Smiths, Joy Division, New Order, etc. Big musical moments. It's a great place to live though. I love Manchester. But we moved into the countryside for some space, some walks too. I got a nice little flat for work. We just set up a little studio room because we're getting our hands down to write music

I read that for the first album you guys lived together when working on it, will you take that approach with the next one?

Joseph E: Me and Tom are living together now. It was previously three of us living together. We had moved around quite a lot with the last house, so the songs were written cumulatively in three houses. So we went to Leeds and then we were in Leeds for a year then we went back to Manchester.

Tom S: It will be similar in the sense that we write together. With the last album, we wrote everything before playing it with the band and that's how it sort of started. Whereas now we'll still write things completely at home to take into the studio. A song we've been working on this week, we've sort of taken that into the rehearsal room. I think our other members will play a much bigger role this time. There's three of us currently, but I think we're very much becoming a whole five-piece band now. Which is good I think, we need to make it different from the last one, but also not think about it too much. I think our two new members are really good musicians.

Joseph E: We might as well use the resources that we have at our disposal. A lot of the last one was written into the computer, wasn't it?

Tom S: Yeah.

Joseph E: Now we'll have an idea, let's say we've been working through it, we'll then take it into the studio and then into the live room to see if it makes sense.

Tom S: It's like with our drummer – there's quite a lot of electronics on the first album and that's why we're going more in that direction – but he'll be able to do a lot more than we would be able to come up with by ourselves. Number one is to just get them involved a lot more in the writing side of stuff.

What are you hoping to experiment with that you didn't do on Incidental Music?

Joseph E: I think with the last one, I think it'd be very easy to repeat that and I think what we're really pushing ourselves to do now is something that we haven't done before. I've been listening to more and more electronic music. We want to incorporate elements of that it into our sound without just using the same synths that we always use. Like Björk for instance, uses a lot of natural electronic sounds. It might sound familiar, but it isn't anything you've heard before as it's something she's taken the time to make. I think we want to incorporate that into our music more – spend much more time on the finer details. It's hard to get your head around how you want to make this one different. It also varies when you start writing another album, which is a process which is still new to us, it might be a natural instinct to do what you did last time.

Tom S: We had some pre-production days in the studio. When talking to the producer. there was a moment where he says, "Okay, so what do you actually want this album to be then?" It was at that point, after two days of being in the studio that we decided on an overarching direction. It's really helpful to have an overarching theme. Having that overarching idea helps you channel your own thoughts when writing, this direction is the way we're wanting to write now. It's quite hard to talk about it without referencing the songs. We slightly have more of a direction now where before we were working out our sound and now we're working on the sound.

Joseph E: Yeah, definitely. It's very different from the last single as well. It's a bit of a detour.

Tom S: A red herring if you will. We put 'Symmetry' out because It was in our live set and we wanted to release it, so we decided to do it for charity.

Your debut album was incredible, and the response I saw when it was released was amazing, especially with the reviews it got. Are you guys feeling any pressure from that positive response the first time around?

Tom S: I don't think so. I think we put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

Joseph E: People don't want you to make bad music. There's an expectation, but there's not anything in the way of negative pressure. It's about transferring the feeling you get from doing well from the first album into something good in the next one. I think we're in a good space. Writing the music is happening quickly, much quicker than the first time.

Tom S: The biggest thing is to just not repeat yourself. Keep it moving. I think it's one of those things where if you think too much about it you'll probably second guess yourself. But yeah, we definitely don't feel any pressure about how it would be received. As long as we like it and it's what we want to make, that's all that matters.

Joseph E: It was the first body of work we put out into the musical world and the process was new to us . So reading the really good reviews, it was interesting to figure out how to deal with that. Say you read a really good review and you find yourself saying, "I don't believe you, I don't believe you." And then you read a scathing review and you think, "Oh god, they're right, I'm awful." It was a lesson. I think it's best to ignore it, you know yourself if it's good.

Tom S: This British comedian, he was just saying on this podcast on how he deals with reviews, and it's kind of what you just said. If he knows it's good then he doesn't really care about the bad ones. He only gets affected by them if he knows deep down that it's not actually that good. And I think you do know if it isn't. We're feeling excited for people to hear the music.

After not being a band for very long, why did you decide to dive into an album first instead of an EP or something smaller?

Joseph E: I don't know. We didn't really discuss it. We were talking about this the other day actually, I think an EP is sort of...

Tom S: Oh yeah, we did discuss this, didn't we?

Joseph E: Yeah. But the EP that has a couple of singles is something artists do because they feel like they have to. We didn't want to create a few songs and stop, there were more songs to finish. So it was like, why would we stop now? But we were saying the other day, it feels like now you've released an album, that's what you do.

What's coming up for you guys when you finish up in Iceland?

Joseph E: Just writing, we'll be in the studio.

Tom S: We're going on tour.It's for five days. We're doing London and Manchester, also Newcastle, Brighton and Bath.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (folio)

Tour dates:
22nd November – Riverside, Newcastle
23rd November – Moles, Bath
24th November – Patterns, Brighton
25th November – Rich Mix, London
26th November – Academy 3, Manchester

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Now Playing: maye – 'Moody'

It's easy to fall in love with the enthralling sounds of Miami-based and Venezuela-born artist maye. Her spin on pop music is a sound that you instantly gravitate towards, and her latest cut 'Moody' is one that will leave listeners charmed.

Radiating sunshine and airy soundscapes, 'Moody' will make you feel euphoric and amongst clouds from the beginning. Her sweet vocals are accompanied by enchanting and swirling instrumentals, including an uplifting and shimmering keyboard solo towards the end of the track. Along with sounding absolutely delightful, 'Moody' is catchy and infectious, and we ensure you that the chorus will be glued in your head for hours on end.

Get lost in maye's latest single 'Moody' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Interview: A Chat With Pottery At Iceland Airwaves 2019

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

To say that Pottery's trip to Iceland Airwaves 2019 was a whirlwind would be an understatement — in Reykjavík for approximately 24 hours, the Montreal-based band went on to play an enthralling and memorable set at Gaukurinn that same night. Having spent a lot of 2019 on the road, including supporting fellow Partisan Records label-mates Fontaines D.C., the hectic nature of touring is something they've become accustomed to. Before their last show of 2019, we spoke to the band about their year, touring, Montreal and what they're planning for 2020.

So you guys have played a few showcase festivals now, like Great Escape and SXSW and now you’re at Iceland Airwaves – what do you enjoy about that grab-and-go nature of these type of festivals?

Austin: Not much (laughs).

Tom: That's not good (laughs). Well, I feel like we kind of prefer smaller sweaty shows. And so it's nice being able to do a bunch of shows in a row in one place.

Jacob: And that's what a lot of these festivals tend to end up being. Especially for a band of our size we just end up playing the smaller rooms and it's great because that's kind of where we're comfortable the most.

Austin: And it's good for small bands because there's like a lot of people just there, like industry people, so you’re always kind of guaranteed a crowd at least.

Jacob: And people usually dance because it's a small place and they have fun. Yeah, I guess you don't really get a soundcheck, so it kind of makes you deal with what you've got. Instead, of doing hour-long soundchecks all the time. It makes you used to that shit.

Since Iceland Airwaves is your last show of the year, what have been your favourite shows to play this year?

Jacob: I think The La Route du Rock.

Austin: Yeah, La Route du Rock in France is fucking amazing. End Of The Road was cool too.

Tom: End Of The Road was awesome.

Austin: Yeah, there was a big crowd and they were into it.

Paul: I liked the hospitality there too. I think Brooklyn I really liked as well.

Austin: The last show, we did on our US tour was in Brooklyn.

Tom: Oh that was crazy.

Austin: That was a fucking sick hotel too.

Paul: I just love playing on acid. That's always a highlight...when you get through your set on acid.

Austin: I did it (laughs).

Jacob: It's like fuck, I just climbed the mountain.

Paul: Yeah. It's like a different thing.

You’ve been to so many places now, especially this year, where else are you really keen to play?

Austin: Japan

Paul: Australia.

Tom: I'd love to go to Australia.

Austin: Definitely Australia.

Jacob: Oh I'd love to go to Australia.

Tom: I'd love to go to South America as well.

Austin: Actually Mexico City has always been one I've wanted to go to. There's a Black Lips video of them playing in Mexico. That's crazy. Like in Tijuana.

Paul: Get some drugs (laughs).

Jacob: Also in Spain, I'm really looking forward to playing in Spain. Maybe Portugal.

Austin: Columbia, I want to play in Columbia.

Tom: That's a lot of answers for you (laughs).

That’s a lot of places, that’s a full passport right there. I know you just got to Iceland and you’re leaving tomorrow, but usually, do you get to have much downtime on the road?

Paul: Not really.

Austin: Rarely, I think that the only time we had was in Atlanta, we had like two days off.

Tom: We had some time in Vancouver as well.

Paul: When you go to sites in a city, it's kind of all the same shit, sort of. If we get a chance to go out, I like to go to the woods or something like that.

Jacob: I like to at least walk around in the city, but it just all depends on where you are on tour. Or if it's like late in the tour and you probably don't really give a shit about walking around, you just kind of want to sleep. But now we have one day here I want to walk around.

Austin: I'm going to inspect the area for sure.

Jacob: Because we're going home tomorrow, we don't have like a long schedule or anything. So when we can, I think it's nice to look around.

Austin: It's kind of weird going to cities and just getting to know that city by the three or four-block radius. There’s pretty much no time to do anything.

Jacob: It's nice to break out of that mold though sometimes.

Austin: The sites can be all the same, though. They all do the same thing.

Tom: But I feel like it's easier in Europe just because where we're usually staying. Or we're staying super nearby at a hotel in town. So we can drop our gear off and go out and meet some people, and see some of the stuff. Whereas in the States, it's like load up, get in the van, drive 45 minutes, find a shitty motel. And so you never really get to see anything.

Austin: I really liked when we were in Luxembourg.

Paul: Yeah, that city was actually cool.

Austin: That place is really cool because it's tiny and the architecture is beautiful.

Paul: It's like a fairytale city.

Austin: Yeah it looks medieval. So, that was really cool. You can just walk around and see a bunch of shit, but it's like all right there. But I mean with metropolitan cities, we’ve already seen stuff like that, so there's nothing interesting to see.

From all the crowds you’ve played in front of, have you noticed a difference in crowds depending on where you are?

Paul: The French are the craziest.

Austin: Yeah. French crowds are so great. We did four tours this year and both the United States tours were opening for another band. So the crowd was pretty similar there because they have their own following.

Jacob: The French give the best response I think.

Austin: Yeah, the French are so good.

Jacob: Even in French Canada. They've got more energy or something, I don't know, they’re just so much more excited.

Paul: Yeah, they're more excited about the music.

Jacob: Actually a lot of European countries, even like the Netherlands was crazy.

Austin: Yeah the Netherlands and Belgium was crazy.

Jacob: So I guess we really love European crowds. The UK is a bit more tame.

Austin: Anyone that doesn't speak English.

Jacob: And Canada.

You’re from Montreal, and for outsiders, how would you describe the music climate over there?

Jacob: It's the best.

Austin: It's great. It's the best thing ever.

Jacob: Yeah. It's really affordable. You don't really have to work, you don't have to worry about money. So we just need to get by.

Austin: And we all live pretty close together.

Jacob: Canada's kind of like a curse – It's huge and hard to travel to different cities because they're so far away and it's expensive. Montreal is very laid back and it's easy if you want to like go out and find a jam space. It's really, really easy to find a practice space empty.

Tom: And people to play with.

Jacob: Yeah and find people to play with. You can go to a show and you can meet a ton of people.

Paul: Except for drummers. It’s easy to meet people to write music with and like work on shit. Which I don't think you could do in many other places, I've never seen that in any other city.

Austin: Yeah. And the layout of it is really cool. Cities like New York or even Vancouver has boroughs where there are creative people. And the boroughs are all like separate. But in Montreal, it's just a big city. It's really spread out. It's easy to communicate and connect with people.

Tom: And you can cycle anywhere in 20 minutes to someone's house.

Jacob: You see people all the time that you know on the street.

What I’ve always enjoyed with what you guys do with Pottery is that it’s hard to pinpoint your sound to one single sub-genre. Has that always been your approach since starting the band?

Austin: Definitely. When Jacob and I started out, we definitely had a theory of what sound we wanted to go for.

Paul: I remember when I joined we wanted it to be chilled out at the beginning.

Jacob: It always would end up being more intense than we wanted it to be back then. We wanted to play fun music. And playing the slower stuff just didn't end up being fun.

Austin: Our individual instincts are totally in different worlds. And then when we combine them it kind of just happens to make a good and varied blend.

Tom: We never had conversations being like "We want to sound like this,” or, "We want to write a song like that," it just happens.

Austin: Yeah. Even when we are writing we're not like, "Oh we want it to sound like this or have this vibe." It's kind of, however it comes out, we end up liking it eventually.

Jacob: Yeah, if we get excited we just take that and move forward with whatever sort of precursor idea we have and can build a song off of it.

When you wrap up here at Iceland Airwaves, what’s the plan for you guys in 2020?

Tom: We’ll be back touring.

Jacob: Oh we've got a new album that's ready to pop off.

Paul: Coming out 2020.

Austin: And then just tour after that. It’s all we want to do.

Jacob: All summer basically we're going to be touring and then home for a couple of weeks and then touring and then home for a couple of weeks again.

Austin: We have some time before all that happens to write more. And so that's what we're going to be doing until next spring or summer. That's another cool thing about Montreal is that in the winter it's so cold that you just want to stay inside and do whatever craft you want to do.

Jacob: Yeah. Nobody's distracted by going to the park.

Austin: Yeah. Unless you like skiing, we don't like skiing though.

Jacob: Skiing is too expensive.

Tom: Cross country skiing, that's something I think we should do.

Jacob: But that's exercise.

Tom: I want to get healthy, maybe I should do that. Look at me now, I'm eating fruit and shit, like I'm getting buff. I'm not even buying cigarettes anymore, I'm just taking them from Jacob.

Jacob: Bullshit (laughs).

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (folio)

Check out 'The Craft' by Pottery:

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Now Playing: Squirrel Flower – 'Red Shoulder'

Photo by Ally Schmaling

Squirrel Flower, which is the musical project of Ella Williams, late last month announced that she's set to unveil her highly anticipated debut album I Was Born Swimming in January 2020 via Polyvinyl. Before it's time to devour the album in its entirety, she's shared a preview of what's to come with the album's first single 'Red Shoulder'.

The pairing of her heartfelt lyrics and impassioned vocals is a mighty combination by Squirrel Flower. On the track, she said, "Red Shoulder’ is a song about destabilisation and dissociation... Something soft and tender becomes warped and sinister, turning into sensory overload and confusion. How can something so lovely turn painful and claustrophobic? The song ends with a heavy and visceral guitar solo, attempting to reground what went awry."

Mark January 31st down in your planners, the release of I Was Born Swimming is one you certainly don't want to miss.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Pray' with MAYAH

Monday, November 11, 2019

Last week, up-and-coming Brisbane-based artist MAYAH delivered her debut single 'Pray', which is also her first release via Island Records Australia. On her catchy single, she presents a fusion of R&B, hip hop and electronica, all of which inspired her when experimenting with music when she was younger and studying her craft. To celebrate the release of her single, MAYAH explores the story of 'Pray' for us below.

I wrote ‘Pray’… while on a flight to Melbourne for a studio sesh last year. I started writing a scramble of words then sentences and paired them with a melody that soon formed the chorus for 'Pray'. The next day I had my first proper writing session in a studio. It was with Rob Amoruso, an awesome producer I hadn’t met before and I think we were actually teed up as a bit of a creative experiment! I remember us getting stuck on one chord for about two hours and we were definitely getting deep into some weird melodies. For a good minute, I thought we were both gonna start charming some snakes but we figured it out. The rest was easy, organic and mad fun. I still absolutely love creating with Rob and 'Pray' has been such a cool start for us.
The story behind ‘Pray is… the idea of a ‘curated reality’ and social media culture. It talks about social pressures, comparison and the snippets of reality or ‘highlight reels’ from others that we see on the daily scroll. 'Pray' comes from a place of vulnerability and self-reflection, questioning why time spent on social media can often lead to feelings of discontentedness and self-doubt, or does it come down to a matter of perspective?

My favourite lyric is… “Maybe I just need that simple life. Not silly Billy with his Fyre lie”. I actually chucked that lyric in this year after I watched the Fyre documentary on Netflix. The doco was a massive lol and shows just how something can seem so legit on the outside but be totally wack behind the scenes.

It was made… to leave listeners with a fun track and something to think about.

My main inspiration was… ummm probably the life jacket under my seat during my flight but no definitely the beast that is social media and those thoughts around that.

It sounds best when… summer is just around the corner and you’re getting ready for chilled bevvies and a cheeky bop!

Check out 'Pray' by MAYAH:

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Now Watching: Arlo Parks – 'Sophie'

19-year-old Arlo Parks continues her takeover with her latest track 'Sophie'. Not only is the talented London-based artist a singer-songwriter, but she's also producer and poet as well — her poetry skills are something that you can hear in her poignant and narrative-like lyricism. 'Sophie' is also the title of her second EP, which is due for release on November 29th.

'Sophie' is a personal yet relatable track about feeling overwhelmed and anxious. On 'Sophie', she said it's about "crumbling under expectations and feeling helpless, but with a persistent, quiet sense of hope underpinning it." The track features relatable and expressive lyrics such as, "I'm still denying that I'm anxious as fuck / And I'm lacking in trust and I think my art sucks / I look inside my head with disgust."

Arlo Parks has also shared picturesque and remarkable visuals that amplify the emotions behind her words. The video was produced, directed and edited by Molly Burdette.

Step inside Arlo Park's mind with her most recent single 'Sophie'.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Margot – 'Taken by Age'

South London band Margot unveiled their brand new single 'Taken by Age' a few weeks ago, which follows in the footsteps of their previous singles 'Aries', 'Coffee Stained Scars', and 'Tired'.

'Taken by Age' is a tender and poignant exploration of dementia, including the emotional impact the illness has on not only the person suffering from the illness but how it also affects the people who love and care for them. The track's stirring and expressive lyrics discuss memories and savouring every moment — 'Taken by Age' features beautiful lyrics like, "Taken by age / do you remember me at all? / Taken by age / sit here with me at home."

There's something incredibly special about Margot's music and they showcase this once again on 'Taken by Age'.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Review: Iceland Airwaves 2019 Day Three – ft. Hatari & Hachiku

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Day three at Iceland Airwaves was freezing cold but that didn’t stop revellers in Reykjavík from filling up venues, with many main festival locations reaching capacity for most of the night. For those lucky enough to not be caught in a line, there’s was a lot on offer across the city. 

We were lucky enough to catch German-raised and Melbourne-based artist Hachiku play an enchanting daytime set at Hressingarakálinn for The Current. The stunning vocals of Anika Ostendorf left the room truly mesmerised. Along with a delightful cover of 'Dreams' by The Cranberries, Hachiku performed tracks such as 'Moon Face', which was the closer.

Iceland's anti-capitalist warriors and lords of Eurovision, Hatari set Reykjavík alight – literally – with their performance. Dressed head-to-toe in their BDSM-wear, they stormed the stage with their trance-like fusion of punk, electronica and everything in-between – Hatari's sound is something entirely its own. Early on, they played their Eurovision super-hit 'Hatrið mun sigra', with Hatari's Matthías appearing above the crowd. They also had special guests with them, including Palestinian artist Bashar Murad to perform their collaboration 'Klefi/Samed (صامد)'. Hatari's rave-like shows are a must-see and will give you an experience that you won’t forget.

 Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (folio)

Review: Iceland Airwaves 2019 Day Two – ft. Shame, Mac DeMarco & Georgia

Reykjavík might be approaching winter, but it’s easy to ignore the cold when you’ve got good tunes to keep you toasty warm. As we approach the midway point of Iceland Airwaves, the festival is heating up in a huge way. Night two in Iceland saw us witness Georgia, Mac DeMarco and Shame live-in-action.

After catching Georgia live, we’re convinced that she’s a wizard – it’s no easy task recreating the intricacy of her sound in a live setting, but she does it all whilst interacting with the crowd at a high level. Along with showcasing her masterful ability to multi-task, she was humble and thankful for the crowd's support, noting that she’s been dreaming of playing the Reykjavík Art Museum stage after appearing with Kwes a few years ago. Georgia’s enthralling set included her mega-single 'About Work The Dancefloor' and the lush sounds of 'Never Let You Go'.

Also appearing at Reykjavík Art Museum last night was the much loved Mac Demarco. Plagued by a couple of microphone issues before kicking things off, he bounced back very quickly treating the crowd to his sultry tune 'On The Level' and the incredibly catchy ‘Salad Days' early on. Along with sounding very close to perfect during his entire set, he brought his infectious trademark goofiness to the stage. His performance ended with 'Chamber of Reflection' and 'Still Together' who Mac dedicated to an Icelandic fan and his girlfriend. His fans are passionate, but justifiably so, he’s insanely talented and his live shows are a testament of this.

Backed by visuals of Reykjavík's city behind them, UK band Shame put on a roaring and high-powered display. Playing to a packed out room that was overflowing with revellers, the crowd were ready to let loose and Shame were just as keen to put on a memorable show. Their set was packed with frenzied moments and there’s no denying why they’re one of the best post-punk bands around right now.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (folio)

Album Review: Matt Maltese – Krystal

Friday, November 8, 2019
Photo by Sam Hiscox

On his second album Krystal, South London artist Matt Maltese turns the focus on himself — including capturing his romantic misadventures and the spiralling feeling of heartbreak. The album is far from a collection of cliche words on heartache. Across each of the album’s ten tracks, Maltese dives deep into the psyche of someone who is absorbed in their own thoughts. He captures the obvious feelings of hurt that are associated with a break-up, however, he also explores the intense patches of self-reflection that follows such an intense and isolating experience.

Though his previous writing from the perspective of characters was impressive on his debut album, Krystal’s personal and introspective songwriting presents a side we’ve yet to see from him. As evident on his enchanting debut album, Maltese is a master of infusing his music with charm and personality.

Though he has moved away from using characterisation in his lyrics, his sophomore album illustrates a self-portrait of someone navigating a break-up. It’s been impeccably curated to portray different stages of heartbreak, whether it’s the initial stages of shock, obsessing over old memories, or the lingering emptiness. Not only can this be heard lyrically, but also sonically — with the album becoming more downcast as you move through the tracks.

The album’s grand opening ‘Rom Com Gone Wrong’ explores the first initial stage of heartbreak. When listening to the track, it makes you feel like you’re laying on your bed and staring at your ceiling for hours on end. Like the rest of the album, it’s cinematic — it’s as if Maltese is trying to figure out if what has happened is indeed real life or a ‘rom com gone wrong’. I dare you to find more relatable lyrics than these words: “Long baths, podcasts / I’m crying when I’m smashed / Haha, welcome to grieving.”

In the beginning stages of Krystal, you might be mistaken that the album is an uplifting record — in many ways, these early songs on the album portray feelings of nostalgia for a love that once was there. ‘Tall Buildings’, ‘Tokyo’, ‘Wish You’d Ask Me’ and ‘Jupiter’ all represent overthinking in its many forms. The latter track, ‘Jupiter’ portrays the extent one might go to for love, even if it means attempting the impossible task of crossing the galaxy. The floating sounds of ‘Wish You’d Ask Me’ is about desperately wanting to be with someone  — his pleading words “I wish you’d ask me / If I want to be your baby” capture the essence of the track. ‘Intolewd’, which is placed in the middle of the album is a whimsical number full of fanciful thoughts. Though the track is short in duration, it’s long enough to have a lasting effect on you.

Feelings of heartache become even more prominent from the album’s title track. The words “I’m a mess and I’ll never love anyone else,” portray the mindset of someone who is struggling to imagine a future without that person in it. The album’s signature stirring number is his emotional piano-led ballad ‘Curl Up & Die’. The track is all-consuming and accurately portrays the powerful pull love has. Krystal concludes with the ever-so-tender ‘Human Remains’ and the raw and observant ‘When You Wash Your Hair’.

The aftermath of heartache is confusing and dispiriting, but Maltese has taken his experiences and inner-turmoil and converted them into an absorbing and charming collection of ten magnificent songs.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to 'Jupiter':

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Now Playing: Chloe Lilac – 'Special'

Photo by Jaspar Soloff

Brooklyn native Chloe Lilac last month unveiled her stunning single 'Special', which follows in the footsteps of her heavenly EP Manic Pixie Dream back in March. Her latest offering is set to appear on her forthcoming EP and we can't wait to hear it.

Chloe Lilac's latest slice of pop heaven is her take on womanizers who throw around terms like, 'you're not like other girls'. In a piece with When The Horn Blows, she notes that she was inspired to write the song after a break-up when she found out that the guy that she was dating was saying the same things to other girls (link). The track features words such as, "Yeah, I know you're one of those guys / The artistic time with them womanizer eyes," which are the song's opening lines. 'Special' is also home to mighty lyrics like, "Remember when I hated your guts? / Some stupid shit, guess that's what was up / Said, "You're so nice", just to get in my pants / Then leave me with no warnings in advance?"

Listen to 'Special' by Chloe Lilac below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Review: Iceland Airwaves 2019 Day One – ft. Orville Peck & Kælan Mikla

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Festivities officially kicked off in Reykjavík last night at Iceland Airwaves as venues around the city packed out with music lovers from around the world eager to capture a glimpse of the best musicians from across the globe. Last night, we were lucky enough to catch the action at Reykjavík Art Museum, where Canadian country crooner Orville Peck left the room in awe and local Icelandic band Kælan Mikla put on a hypnotic performance.

With his signature mask in tow, Canadian country artist Orville Peck made the room feel like they were in a desert in Nevada with his memorable and absorbing set. Accompanied by his four-piece band, he opened his show with the ever-so-soaring 'Big Sky', showcasing his vast and impressive vocal range. Early on was also met by 'Queen of the Rodeo', with Orville Peck noting that he wrote the song for a drag queen, also declaring drag as the "last subversive art form". Though his entire set was a feast of chills and goosebumps, the most spine-tingling moment of the night was his heartfelt performance of 'Nothing Fades Like the Light'. Orville Peck is an artist who only comes around once in a lifetime, and there’s no denying his magic.

Next year, Australians will be treated to an unforgettable performance when he tours our shores in January. You can catch him and his band at the below shows:

January 10th - Sydney Festival
January 14th - The Foundry, Fortitude Valley  
January 16th - Corner Hotel, Melbourne 
January 18th - Moma Foma, Launceston 
More information is available here

Icelandic post-punk warriors Kælan Mikla were the opening act of Reykjavík Art Museum last night and they absolutely delivered. If you’re a fan of Drab Majesty, Kælan Mikla is exactly what you need in your life. Adorning the stage with incense at the beginning of the show set the scene for their performance. The mix of their entrancing synths with Laufey Soffia's piercing vocals was an enticing combination. Their entire show was a highlight in itself, but it was their performances of 'Kalt' and 'Sýnir' that especially impressed. Having already toured America and currently on a European tour, huge things are coming their way.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)
Photos by Kristy Smolcic (folio)