Interview: Lewis Capaldi is still the same lad, just with better moves

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Lewis Capaldi has been conquering the world, and there's no stopping him now. Last week, he unveiled his highly anticipated debut album Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent, which features twelve tracks that will tug at your heartstrings. Along with being an incredible songwriter, the world has fallen in love with his infectious sense of humour and humble nature. We had the chance to chat with him about rumours, working non-stop and whether his life has changed since climbing the charts.

Hey Lewis, how are you?

I'm very well. Thank you for talking to me. How’s things?

Very good thanks. I saw on Instagram that you literally just played on stage with James Bay. How was it?

It was incredible, yeah. I'm actually still sitting in his dressing room having a beer. Yeah, it was cool, man. It just so happened that I had a day off in London. I'm actually a huge James Bay fan. It was cool. And it is cool to get to be up there and sing with someone who you’ve come to see live. Do you know what I mean? It's very surreal.

That's awesome. And congrats on releasing the album. Has the last week felt like a whirlwind?

Yeah, a bit. I'm just kind of kicking about doing my usual thing. Every day, we get these crazy updates about how the album is doing and how it's doing in all the other countries. So, it's a bit mad. I'm just trying to keep my head down and I haven't really looked up since Friday. But yeah, I'm just trying to keep working and try and see what happens. Really looking forward to the weekend.

And how do you go about reading online stuff about you or the album? Do you like to do it or you'd rather not look at that stuff?

Oh, I fucking love it. I love reading good reviews, bad reviews, good tweets, bad tweets, anything. I fucking love it, I think you can't keep yourself insulated in the same way that you can't let criticism get you down or really dampen whatever you're doing or it'll just damage your mood. You cannot allow praise to fucking get to you too, you know what I mean? You can't allow praise to take you too far the other way. I think it is important to have balance. So, I like reading it. The ones that are nice they're always lovely, or even if it's just like a tweet or something. I think that's the major thing, to be able to talk to people. I think what's funny about the negative comments is that it's just a laugh, isn't it? I've grown up in a family where we get to slag one another or we take the piss out of each other as a sign of affection. So, I quite enjoy any kind of negative tweets I get too. It's a balancing act on both sides. I think you can't take any of it seriously, that's all.

What's the weirdest thing that you've read about yourself online that was a lie or total bullshit?

There was one thing that was going around — I don't know if you have Love Island but there was one going around about Celebrity Love Island, which is like this TV show in the UK. It's on Netflix. But yeah, there was that. The best thing that I've heard is a story that my label has hired a comedy writer to run my social media because I post stories, stupid videos and I talk about going to the bathroom and yeah, just basically I'm a child. So, apparently they've hired a comedy writer to write jokes for me or write tweets, or write stuff for me to say on Instagram. And I was thinking, if I was going to have a comedy writer, I'd definitely have them writing better jokes than I just took a poo (laughs). Do you know what I mean? Like fucking hell, but yeah, that was pretty good.

You should do Love Island (laughs).

I mean, if the money's good, I'll do it, why not. Any way I can promote the album I'll do it (laughs).

I saw a really good story the other day where a farmer named their cow after you because your face appeared on its body. Did you hear that one?

I did see the story, yeah. I kind of question the validity a bit. Do you know what I mean? I don't know. It's quite coincidental that it showed up the same day that my album came out (laughs). I mean it's cool if it's true that I'm on livestock somewhere, but yeah, it's funny. There's been loads of stuff like that. People were saying I'm on a dog spray for dogs and there's this thing called the Capaldi breakfast. So, it's been quite funny just seeing people really get on board with the fucking stupidity of my whole career.

I loved your billboards in the London Underground. I mean, you've got the vocals to match Beyoncé and you've got the moves according to the video for 'Grace', but do you have a Sasha Fierce side?

My Sasha Fierce side is Lewis Calamari. That's my Sasha Fierce. The thing is, Lewis Calamari is a bit similar to Lewis Capaldi, except I just have a different second name and I thrust, I can really... Lewis Calamari can thrust his hips on a stripper pole a lot better than Lewis Capaldi can.

Have you tested out the moves on-stage yet?

We did, yeah. We did a show in London last year and there was 2,000 people there. And then for 'Grace', we had all these topless male dancers come out on-stage, and we all redid the routine. It's on my Instagram. You should definitely go look at that if you fancy it and get yourself a look at perfection (laughs). No, it was a good laugh and it was brilliant.

I'll have to check it out (laughs).

Excellent. Please do it.

Things seem crazy for you at the moment. Has life changed much?

I'm a lot busier. And I definitely wasn't doing all this like three years ago. So that's been great. And you know, just busier and travelling a lot more. Nothing much else really. I still live with my parents at home. My mum still washes all my underwear and that. It's all good. Yeah, so I’m still a little chubby loser from Glasgow (laughs). There's not very much that's gone on except people now ask me for pictures sometimes in the street which is lovely, so that's nice. I like meeting people like that. And then sometimes there's people who film me from a distance while I'm eating my dinner, which I'm not as much of a fan of that. But it's all good. More people seem to care than they did before.

You're working really hard, will there be any room for a holiday or is it just nonstop?

I've got July 14 to July 18 off, which I'm quite looking forward to and then another four days at the end of July. So yeah, I think that for the time being, any time I get off, I'm always just like 'oh, I want to be out touring and I want to be out playing shows'. I'm young so why not just try and put as much effort in as possible?

Sounds awesome. Well, thanks so much for talking to me.

Thank you so much for taking the time, I really appreciate it.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Listen to Divinely Uninspired to a Hellish Extent:

Premiere: Oli Hannaford – 'If You Wanna' ft. Only Girl

Today, we're very excited to share 'If You Wanna', which is the newest single by UK up-and-comer Oli Hannaford (featuring Only Girl). The track is set to appear on his forthcoming EP, due for release at the end of June.

'If You Wanna' is what you want to play on-repeat at the end of the week and right through the weekend. The track features an array of smooth and intoxicating grooves, as well as a wonderland of entrancing beats. The vocals are just as stunning — the catchy words and the track's chorus will be in your head for hours.

Until it's time to enjoy the EP next month, you can devour 'If You Wanna' below.

Listen to Oli Hannaford's new single 'If You Wanna' (ft. Only Girl):

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Feature: The Anatomy of 'Rumours' with Archy Stranger

Melbourne-based producer, vocalist and songwriter Archy Stranger recently shared his debut single 'Rumours'. After spending a number of years collaborating and working with others, he's ready to showcase what he can do. He recently took some time out to share the story behind the single for us.

I wrote ‘Rumours'... probably about 3 years ago. It changed a lot through that time and went through quite a few different versions and a few alternative hooks. But I got the final version with the help of producer Ross James.

The story behind ‘Rumours’ is…  kind of about not believing everything you hear and not taking everything at face value. I think this can apply to so many different things and situations.

My favourite lyric is… “the truth’s divine”

It was made… predominantly in my bedroom studio at home on my laptop. But I recorded the vocals and few extra synth parts at Ross James’ studio.

My main inspiration… Musically, the song started while I was playing an upright piano I have at home. I used my iPhone to make some recordings of a few chords and those same recordings ended up being used in the final track. The lyrics came, later on, I was really interested in the concept of how a rumour starts, and the distortion of a message going from person to person.

It sounds best when… listening through headphones. There’s a lot of layers and small details instrumentally and to pick them all up, headphones are the best bet.

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Now Playing: Samia – 'Ode To Artifice'

New York singer-songwriter Samia continues to dazzle the world with her charming brand of songwriting, and her latest single 'Ode To Artifice' is another beautiful addition to her growing collection of singles.

'Ode To Artifice' is about the struggle between juggling different versions of yourself and wanting them to stop battling and instead become one. The words, "You're fillin' me with jealousy, it's killin' me / I give myself up willingly", are an ode to these different personas and are relatable to anyone who faces the same internal battles. The video for the single stars Golden Globe-winning actress Mary-Louise Parker, and sees Samia appearing as a nervous teen who is getting ready for her prom.

We're excited to hear what Samia serves up next, and we're certain it's going to be just as good.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Interview: Annabel Allum on writing from the heart

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Photo by Stephanie Carral

Up-and-comer Annabel Allum knows how to create music that hits you straight to the core — her newly released single 'You Got It Good' is a stirring release inspired by her friend's experience with mental illness. We had the chance to ask her about the single, songwriting and what she has planned for her new EP.

What are you currently up to?

Presently, I'm sitting in my garden drinking coffee. I've just been on tour with Alex Lahey for the past week, which has been really good fun, kind of just up and down the UK, and playing some solo shows. But yeah, I just released a single last week as well, which is good.

Congrats on 'You Got It Good'. It's such a stunning and moving single. What was the catalyst that led to you creating it?

I wrote 'You Got It Good' when my friend came to me, she was in a really low state and depressed, and she didn't really know what to do. I just said to her, "Don't worry, this will pass." It's a song that I've always wanted to write because I have a lot of friends that suffer from mental health and I've always wanted to be able to write about it and encourage people to talk to people and don't keep everything bottled up inside.

Does it ever make you nervous writing about a situation that's close to you, or something that a friend's gone through?

All my songs are all incredibly personal and they're all based on personal experiences or things that I've gone through, and I think I find that easier because it's me at my most honest state. I can be honest with my songwriting, whereas perhaps I can't in the real world. I wouldn't say I get nervous about it, I'd say I find it a relief and I find it a pure and natural thing to do.

So would you say it's easier to write about your own experiences or the experiences of those close to you, as opposed to crafting a narrative?

Yeah, I'd say so. Because it's something that I know the most about. I think it's much easier because I can relate to it a lot more, whereas if I was writing about people that I didn't know, I wouldn't be able to talk about them as I am with you now. It's more real, I guess.

Where are some of the other places you like to draw inspiration from when you're writing?

Day-to-day life. I've always picked up my guitar when I'm feeling something really deeply, something that I want to get together because I find it very hard to express my feelings, so the way that I do that is through writing. That's how I come to terms with how I'm feeling, is through writing. Other things I write about...occasionally I'll write about political situations. I've got a song called 'Rich Backgrounds', which I wrote about three years ago, and that song's about rich kids that buy themselves into the music industry and that sort of thing. Occasionally I write about them too (laughs).

Do you like to write constantly?

I feel really good afterwards when I write. I feel like I've achieved something. In fact, even if I just write something tiny every day, then I feel really good about it and it's kind of thinking about the bigger picture and just trying to progress as a songwriter as well and just try and hone in on my craft and get better at it. I'd say I try to write more than I don't try to write, even if it's just a shitty little song about the supermarket or something.

You've got a new EP coming this year, which is very exciting. How's it all going?

Really good. We finished up recording about two weeks ago, and we started recording in January, so it's kind of been on-and-off. In between playing shows, I've been hiding away in the studio, but yeah, I'm really, really happy with how it. These new songs are all, I feel like they're a new venture. They're the most thought-out songs I've ever written. Before, I would kind of go into the studio with just my guitar and kind of write lyrics, but this time around I've really thought about the drums and the basslines and the different parts before going into the studio. There was a lot of pre-production with these songs, which therefore I think allowed me to be a lot more creative once I was actually in that space. Yeah, it's been going really well, I'm really excited for it.

Has it been a more enjoyable process comparing to anything else you've done previously?

I'd say a different process. More pleasing for me I think, more satisfying. I've enjoyed really getting into the nitty-gritty of structures and musicality and parts. I think it's the most me it's ever been and the most me my songs have ever been.

What's coming up next up?

We've got another show on Thursday with Alex, and then it's festival season, so just touring, touring, touring really. Music video coming out, just kind of rolling through this campaign I guess.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to 'You Got It Good' below:

Live dates:
23rd May - Oslo Hackney - London (supporting Alex Lahey)
2nd June - Camden Rocks Festival, London
8th July - Mouth of the Tyne Festival, Tynemouth
13th July - HiddenHerd Festival, Brighton
26th July - Standon Calling Festival, Standon
28th July - Truck Festival Performance, Oxford

Follow Annabel Allum:

Playlist: On the Road with BAYNK

New Zealand producer and songwriter BAYNK has just unveiled his brand new EP Someone's EP II.  2019 is a big year of huge shows for BAYNK, who played Coachella recently, and has upcoming performances at Lollapalooza in Chicago, HARD in Southern California, and Life Is Beautiful in Las Vegas. His upcoming tour will see him visit five countries, including shows in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and Malaysia. To celebrate the release of the EP and his upcoming tour dates, BAYNK takes us through some of the songs he likes to hit on-repeat when he's on the road.

I feel music whilst on the road is so important to maintain sanity and happiness. It’s generally hard for me to listen to music whilst I’m writing because I over analyze and forget to enjoy it for what it is. On that note, touring tends to be when I find myself obsessing over songs again because I’m not writing and what else is there to do when you’re in a car for 8 hours a day.

Rex Orange County - 'Loving Is Easy' (ft. Benny Sings)
This is the last song I put on before I go on stage. It’s so simple & carefree it lulls me into a sense of higher confidence and security. It’s also perfectly in my range so it’s a good vocal warm-up.

Tourist – 'Apollo'
More of a slow-burning 4 to the floor house track. The sound design in this is incredible and was the backing track to many of my interstate journeys across the US.

Octavian - 'Party Here'
One of my best mates and frequent tour managers Ollie is a dirty Londoner and is constantly introducing me to stuff that’s happening there so a lot of the music on here is coming out of Europe. Octavian’s more of an after show play when everyone’s a little foggy and feeling like kicking on. All of my crew I tour with currently are mates from college and no one really knows what they’re doing. A lot of the time it just feels like I’m on holiday and we’re just kids again.

No Rome - 'Seventeen'
The nostalgia in this song is very real. Generally played when coming down after a show, emotional and reminiscing on the past.

The Weeknd - 'Wasted Times'
Another pre-show song. I think the brutal honesty in his lyrics forces more confidence. Never have I felt more from a song that I couldn’t relate less to.

The 1975 - 'Sincerity Is Scary'
Feel-good jam. Usually, the first song put on in the tour bus on any one day. Sets the tone for what will hopefully be a breakdown and blizzard-free trip. About an 80% success rate on that last one.

Check out Someone's EP II by BAYNK below:

Catch BAYNK on tour:
July 4th - Melbourne - Howler
July 5th - Brisbane - The Brightside
July 6th - Sydney - The Lansdowne
July 10th - Auckland - Powerstation
July 11th - Wellington - Meow
July 12th - Christchurch - The Foundry
July 13th - Dunedin - Union Hall
Tickets and more information here

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Feature: Breaking the Ice with Golden Vessel

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

It's been a busy year for Golden Vessel — along with releasing his highly anticipated debut album SLOWSHINE last week, he played SXSW back in March, toured the US, and is now heading back on the road in a few months. To celebrate the release of the album, Golden Vessel took some time to answer a couple of quick questions for us.

What have you been up to today?
Coffee with a friend, registered my car, bought some glasses and now making music with Akurei.

Last song you listened to?
Tyler the creator - 'GONE, GONE / THANK YOU'

Best gift you've ever received?
Haha can't remember tbh but I prefer just seeing my friends than receiving stuff

Best book you've read?
Murakami - Norwegian Wood

Dream holiday spot?
American road trip

What kind of secret society would you start?
I'm not very good at secrets

Favourite dinosaur?

When you survive the apocalypse, what will be your first job?
Haha gathering food I guess

Last Youtube video you watched?
Do The Right Thing (1989) - Official Trailer

Have you ever texted the wrong person?
Yeah I did it yesterday

Introvert or extrovert?

Favourite director?
Yorgos Lanthimos

Three pet peeves?
Wedding hashtags, the word vibe, and commenting "literally crying rn"

Last dream that you can remember?
Writing country songs with my friend Caroline

Favourite hiding spot?
My car

What ice cream flavour would you invent?
Choc mint already exists

What planet would you move to?
Mars cause seems like there's gonna be infrastructure there soon

Favourite soundtrack?
Call Me By Your Name

Title of your future memoir?
Just Get Me Home

Dream place to play a show?

Listen to SLOWSHINE by Golden Vessel below:

Follow Golden Vessel:

Find out more information about his upcoming US tour here

Video Premiere: DRMNGNOW – 'Indigenous Land' (Live at PBS)

Photo by Naomi Lee Beveridge

Community radio remains at the heart of local music, and Melbourne’s PBS 106.7FM continue to share their passion with music fans. As part of the PBS Radio Festival membership drive, we're thrilled to share with you a live performance of DRMNGNOW's 'Indigenous Land'.

'Indigenous Land' explores ideas centred around Indigenous Sovereignty and the continuous impact colonial settler occupation has had on this country.

DRMNGNOW's Neil Morris said of community radio:

"Community radio is a crucial avenue for many artists that don't fit the specifications of commercial and other extremely aesthetic driven realms of music distribution. As an independent artist who explores what can be quite challenging content, community radio has been a valuable asset in growing an audience base to get my work out to which is invaluable. That said, community radio will continue to offer this to Indigenous artists as we so often and will continue to create music with strong often cultural and politically challenging narratives that are not made with a strong commercial intent. In many ways this works for alot of Indigenous artists as this keeps our music in grassroots circles which works hand-in-hand with the community development and wholistic approach that is the pulse of much indigenous music. The beautiful thing is this is some of the most relevant music in tuis land right now in the critical times we are most with. And in community radio there is so often a place for this! As community radio recognises more and the responsibility to have indigenous and peoples of colour broadcasting, community radio can remain at the forefront of the music world in providing culturally safe spaces for the content of indigenous artists..this is crucial work that has a vital role in the now.” 

Learn more about PBS 106.7FM and the PBS Radio Festival here.

Watch DRMNGNOW perform 'Indigenous Land' below:

Now Playing: Egyptian Blue – 'Collateral'

Monday, May 20, 2019

Fresh from announcing their debut EP Collateral Damage, Brighton four-piece Egyptian Blue have shared their brand new single 'Collateral'. Mark it down in your calendars, the EP is set to be released on June 21st via Yala! Records.

The band's charged up new single features sharp guitars, a tantalising rhythm and relentless energy that can't be contained — and we wouldn't have it any other way.  'Collateral' was written by frontman Andy Buss, and was inspired by a friend with social anxiety, "He told me he’d fallen in love with someone he met online. But he was coming to terms with the realisation that they’d never be able to meet the person due to his anxiety. It broke my heart."

Hit play on Egyptian Blue's exhilarating new single 'Collateral' below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic 

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Now Playing: The Beaches – 'Snake Tongue'

Photo by Felice Trinidad

Canadian group The Beaches last week shared their brand new EP The Professional. Featuring on the EP is their fierce and empowering single 'Snake Tongue' and we're absolutely obsessed with what they've unleashed on the track and the rest of the EP.

Originally released around a month ago, the fiery track is about fighting back against unwanted advances. On the single, lead singer Jordan Miller said, "At the risk of sounding like a marketing campaign that targets women, I wrote ‘Snake Tongue’ about our own experiences, but hope that it empowers women who are constantly on the receiving end of unwanted attention to take back some control in small but meaningful ways." 'Snake Tongue' channels the frustration and bullshit many women have to deal with regularly and it's absolutely powerful.

If you love 'Snake Tongue' as much as we do, be sure to check out the rest of the EP, we promise that it's just as good.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

Listen to 'Snake Tongue' below:

Listen to The Professional:

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Feature: The Ingredients of III with The Gooch Palms

Local faves The Gooch Palms unveiled their new LP III a few weeks ago via Ratbag Records/BMG. The duo, who bring the party to garage-rock, have been touring overseas quite a bit in 2019 — gaining a whole heap of new fans across the world in the process. To celebrate the release of their third album, Leroy takes us through the inspiration behind it.

Batman Forever
If you don’t think Val Kilmer is the best Batman then we can’t be mates. Batman Forever has the best soundtrack ever and boy did I play the shit out of it!! The best song U2 ever made in my opinion is on this soundtrack. It’s called "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me” and of course there’s Seal's 'Kiss From A Rose', what a banger. The chord progression on both of these songs inspired me to write the last song on our album called 'I Get Out'. I tried to write it as if it was going to be on that soundtrack. I’m really happy with how it turned out!

Touring as much as we do, we get to see a lot of stuff. From beautiful beaches, forests and wide open roads. We also get to see the ugly side of humanity and all of that helps motivate us when it comes to writing lyrics. Our songs 'Coast to Coast' and 'Hi-Rise Lo-Times' are good examples of that!

Small Hot American Summer
It was about 45 degrees in LA and I decided to go into our bedroom (but don’t think bedroom, think more like walk-in-wardrobe) to write some music. It must have been at least 50 degrees in that goddamn room. But despite the heat I started making an 808 drum loop then came up with 3 chords, followed by a vocal melody. It all happened so fast because I wanted to get out of that room. That song became 'Marfa Lights'. The version you hear on the album is the version made on that hot day.

Each Other
We are so lucky to be a couple and in the band together. This might sound gross but we love being around each other 24/7. It makes it easy with songwriting because at any moment we could spring into action and smash out a new song. We are also in no way passive aggressive and we say it like it is. Yes, sometimes that results in a screaming match, but after we are done its back to normal and sometimes we have a new song!

Fuck we live in some dark times but the only way we can get through it is if we all rally together and stand for what we believe in. For us we are sick of seeing beautiful old buildings being torn down to make way for a multi-story cheap ass apartments. It's so bad in Newcastle right now. There are going to be apartments and nothing else. No culture, no character, no history. I fucking hate all theses out of town developers coming into our city and fucking it! We got to air our frustration about it in our song 'Hi-rise Lo-Ttimes'.

Listen to III by The Gooch Palms below:

Watch the video for 'Are We Wasted':

Follow The Gooch Palms:

Now Playing: Timi Afilaka – 'Need Me'

Photo by Tiffany N. (@TSIVITCA.ART) via Timi Afilaka's IG

Johannesburg-based artist Timi Afilaka has just shared his enchanting new single 'Need Me'. Though he's only officially released a couple of tracks via his Soundcloud, he's a name to look out for in 2019.

Timi Afilaka, who creates music from his bedroom studio according to his Soundcloud page, has delivered a reflective track that you'll have on repeat all day. Featuring warm guitar lines and calming vocals, 'Need Me' is a captivating offering by the up-and-comer. His contemplative and raw words are also another highlight of the track. There's something about 'Need Me' that reminds us of warm summer days and long nights and it feels so good.

Listen to Timi Afilaka's new single 'Need Me' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic 

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Now Watching: Haiku Hands – 'Dare You Not To Dance'

Photo by Meredith Wohl

You can always be certain that Haiku Hands will serve up the fun, and they've done it again with the video for 'Dare You Not To Dance'. They're having a massive year, including absolutely killin' it at SXSW, touring with fellow badass group CHAI in the US, as well as an upcoming tour abroad.

The music video represents everything the track is supposed to make you feel. Throughout the video for 'Dare You Not To Dance', there are scenes of people expressing themselves through the art of dance in an array of situations — including at a car wash, at work, on the street and more. The exhilarating single (and now video) is exactly what you need in your life on a dreary Monday.

Let Haiku Hands take you to another world with 'Dare You Not To Dance' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: DRESS CODE – 'Caffeine'

Saturday, May 18, 2019
Photo by fenj via DRESS CODE's FB

A deep dive through triple j Unearthed this morning led us towards Adelaide four-piece DRESS CODE and their impressive single 'Caffeine'. Released a few months ago, we might be a little late to the party, but we're here and excited about what DRESS CODE is serving up. The band have also just released the music clip for the track.

It's early days for the band, but it certainly doesn't sound like it — their sound is incredibly polished and refined. 'Caffeine' is dreamy, but it's also the type of song that makes you pay attention to every word. The lyrics on 'Caffeine' are heavy and strike a chord with anyone who has ever felt isolated or alone.

The band are heading in the right direction, and with an EP in the works, 2019 is set to be a big year for them.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)


Feature: The Ingredients of You with Nemi

Friday, May 17, 2019

South-London alt-pop artist Nemi last month unveiled her brand new EP You. Spanning four dazzling tracks, the EP features stunning lyricism, with each song appearing as a conversation between a protagonist and their estranged lover. To celebrate its release, Nemi reflects on some of the things that inspired her when working on EP.

Songwriting has always been my primary focus. When I began, I was far too embarrassed to tell anyone I wanted to be a musician. So as time progressed there was something that became deeply personal about the process, something quite therapeutic about not having to answer to anyone else’s standards but my own. It gave me the freedom to take time over one line, without the worry that ‘so and so’ would get bored and frustrated with my irrationally obsessive behaviours.

Exmoor Emperor
The producers behind this project consist of the wonderful duo, Exmoor Emporer aka Henry and Nathan. When we began work, they were incredibly set on ensuring that the tracks would end up how we’d discussed, 80’s inspired, heartfelt, but most importantly, uplifting. The process of collaborating is a very big gamble. You never really know what you’re gonna get. It can be both incredibly rewarding and exciting, as well as draining and discomforting. Luckily, I ended up with two individuals that really understood the vision, and above all, were equally as encouraging, passionate, and determined. They went above and beyond.

Direct Conversation
A while back I attended an artist development course. During this period we had a couple of incredibly talented teachers. One was a seasoned songwriter (who’d co-written with the likes of Charli XCX.) No overreaction when I say that he enlightened ALL of us with a humongous batch of songwriting techniques. As well as opening our eyes to the power of the Zeitgeist, colours, and places etc. when used effectively in lyrics. He mentioned that for some reason, the most effective songs are usually written in the format of direct conversation. Something which I went on to experiment with throughout this EP.

Betty Blue
Every summer since I can remember I’d end up in Mem Martins. A flat on the outskirts of Lisbon, where my aunts and mother had spent portions of their late teens and early adulthood. I’d go through all the closets, filled with 80’s throwbacks, unable to fit into anything. Passing this exact film poster that to this day, still graces one of the bedroom walls. I had an admiration for the woman who I assumed to be Betty Blue, even before I knew what it was all about. The last time I stayed there, I’d finally grown enough to fill the vintage gowns I’d once drowned in. And I’d finally got the chance to watch this film. 'Can’t Get Through To You' came to me at a time where I was feeling particularly out of control. Betty is a beautiful, fiery, suffering soul, that captured a certain essence that coincidently suited the next single. I love her more than any film character I’ve ever seen before.

To me, there is nothing more perfect than the marriage between a specific scene in a movie, paired with the utmost complimentary song. It’s the way I discovered Joni Mitchell’s 'A Case Of You' (from the film Practical Magic) and 'The Chain' by Fleetwood Mac (featured in an episode of Heroes lol.) It’s been a dream of mine to create heavily emotive inducing music, that could potentially tie up a film's epic climax like David Bowie had done for The Breakfast Club. Something that I’m still striving for and that will forevermore inspire the direction of my sound.

Listen to You below:

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Now Playing: The Modern Strangers – 'Magic Hour'

Photo by Caitlin Mogridge

The Modern Strangers are on a mission to make you groove with their bewitching new single 'Magic Hour'. The band worked on new material in Los Angeles and are set to release their upcoming EP soon.

The disco-infused track draws you in with its luring rhythm and infectious grooves. 'Magic Hour' is also home to dreamy vocals and vivacious instrumentals.

On the track, the band said, "We wrote the song whilst on a trip to L.A. It was the day England played Columbia in the World Cup and after that tense penalty shoot out we took the adrenaline into a home studio in Silver Lake and recorded 'Magic Hour'. It was also our lead singer (Max's) birthday. The combination of so much excitement resulted in one of our favourite songs to date! We feel it really captures our trip and the emotions we had during that time. We wrote the entire song that day, and finished it off in the UK."

Listen to 'Magic Hour' by The Modern Strangers below.

Written by Kristy Smolcic

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Now Playing: Walt Disco – 'Strange To Know Nothing'

Photo by Dougy Hill

Glasgow is home to some of the best bands making waves right now, and Walt Disco is another name that needs to be on your radar ASAP. Today, they have unveiled their brand new single 'Strange To Know Nothing' (via IHC 1NFINITY). It's busy times for the band, who recently wrapped The Great Escape and Live At Leeds, and have an upcoming show supporting Interpol.

Their explosive new single is the moody goth anthem we all desperately need. On the track, the band said, "Strange To Know Nothing' is about the conflict many people have had when they feel stuck in a relationship. The feeling that they should seek excitement from someone else. But there is still something about the love that you already have that makes you feel sexy, freaky and strange..."

Walt Disco has come through with a tune you'll have on repeat all weekend with 'Strange To Know Nothing'.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Live dates:
May 26th - Glasgow, SWG3 Galvanizers Yard (supporting Interpol)
June 14th - Isle of Wight
June 15th - Southampton @ Heartbreakers
July 3rd - 4th - Xpo North
July 27th - Deer Shed
August 2nd - Neverworld Festival
August 3rd - Belladrum Festival

Now Playing: Haybaby – 'Get Down'

Last week, Brooklyn-based trio Haybaby shared their brand new song 'Get Down', which will be appearing on their forthcoming album. The album, They Get There, is due on June 7th via Tiny Engines. Also appearing on the album will be their previously released single 'Total Bore'.

The band have endured a lot of pain during the past few years, including singer/guitarist Leslie Hong's dad being diagnosed with cancer, heartache and the band's tour van being burnt down. The challenges that have been thrown at the band have been channelled on 'Get Down' through Hong's impassioned vocals and Jeremy Duvall's striking drums. The words are also honest and unfiltered, "I get down on, I get down on myself / I don’t need your, I don’t need your help / I’ll take care of, I’ll take care of myself."

Listen to Haybaby's raw new single 'Get Down' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Premiere: Lupine – ’1800-MUM-DAD'

Photo by Tai Denzel Truong

Today, we're stoked to bring you a sneaky glimpse of Lupine's enthralling new single ’1800-MUM-DAD'.  The track is the second to be lifted from their upcoming EP, due for release later this year.

’1800-MUM-DAD' features striking drums and dizzying guitars that will draw you in instantly. Inspired by life in the suburbs, the song sees the band paint a picture of their surroundings in a way that's riveting and storylike. On the track, frontman Thomas James said that ’1800-MUM-DAD' is "an unabashed love letter to the suburb that we grew up in and all of the characters and memories it holds for us. It's a song about the beauty and folly of young, reckless love and the lengths we go to for it."

Along with the track, they've also shared the music video. Directed by Andre Sawenko, the video was shot over the course of one night in Greensborough, which is the suburb that inspired the single.

’1800-MUM-DAD' is yet another impressive offering by one of Melbourne's most exciting up-and-coming bands

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Company Ink – 'Young Milk'

Thursday, May 16, 2019
Photo by Eline Kjøl Berg

Trondheim-based punk duo Company Ink have shared a fresh cut off of their upcoming EP Blah Blah with 'Young Milk'. Released via Propeller Recordings, the EP is due for release on May 31st.

Their thunderous new single follows in the footsteps of their previous track 'The Flip'. Starring sharp vocals and ruthless instrumentals, 'Young Milk' oozes attitude from the duo. In true Company Ink style, they said that "It’s about how I always loved to bake as a kid even though I sucked at it; and later coming to terms with the fact that I’ll never ever be a pastry chef."

Company Ink cooks up a storm on their raging new track 'Young Milk' — devour what they serve-up below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Watching: Two Door Cinema Club – 'Satellite'

Two Door Cinema Club have today shared the video for their latest single 'Satellite', which is set to appear on their forthcoming album False Alarm (via Prolifica Inc/[PIAS]). Due for release next month, 'Satellite' is the second single to be lifted from the album.

Directed by Eion Glaister, the video sees the band recreate something that's in-between Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica. The sci-fi inspired video sees frontman Alex Trimble playing the role of the captain. On the video, the band said, "We had a wonderful script to work with and the luck of working with Eoin Glaister on this video. It was great fun shooting aliens and licking their heads."

Hop onboard and groove with Two Door Cinema Club and 'Satellite' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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EP Review: Emerson Snowe – That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll

Brisbane's Emerson Snowe (the moniker of Jarrod Mahon) reflects on love and self-doubt on his impressive debut EP That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll. Written between 2015 and 2017, the EP spans seven tracks that are expressive and personal. Good for the soul, the EP's radiance will send you into a state of pure euphoria.

The EP opens up with 'Human', which was recently released as a single. The catchy track has a gravitating presence and you'll instantly latch onto its catchy chorus. Despite the buoyancy of 'Human', it's a reflective track about his relationship with his parents. Next up, 'Our Home', opens with the words, "When I walk around there's a beating drum in the back of my mind and it's you // it doesn't sound bad and it keeps me going cause I know I'm gonna meet you soon." Full of warmth, 'Our Home' features passionate strumming, which only elevates the emotional impact of his words. 'If I Die, Then I Die' is the oldest track on the EP. The bittersweet and stirring number explores acceptance and self-realisation.

'Boy In Control' sees him contrast summery instrumentals with words about losing grip. The track is about feeling excited to see someone that you haven't seen in a little while but you're also battling internal battles. 'Could You Love Me?' sounds quiet and meditative like a lullaby. Raw and honest, on this song he sings words such as, "I'll introduce you to my room and I'll show you all my favourite things / I'll tell you stories from my past and how I was drinking." Despite the beaming nature of 'Sunlight', his words portray a feeling of being overwhelmed by the ways of the world, as well as the acknowledgement that things can get better. That’s Rock ‘n’ Roll ends with 'You Say', which evokes a sense of freedom and release.

Emerson Snowe's debut EP allows listeners to step inside his mind and connect with the very real internal battles he reflects on. Cathartic and poignant, it's a complete project that will strike a chord with anyone who has been left bewildered by life and its many twists and turns.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Live dates:
May 16th - The Hug and Pint, Glasgow
May 22nd - The Islington, London
May 24th - La Boule Noire, Paris
May 25th - London Calling, Amsterdam
July 4th - Oxford Art Factory, Sydney
July 5th - Cambridge Hotel, Newcastle
July 7th - North Gong, Wollongong
July 11th - Upstairs @ The Tote, Melbourne
July 13th - The Bearded Lady, Brisbane

Watch the video for 'Our Home':

Video Premiere: Ah Trees – ’Shark Bait’ // 'How Long Must We Wait’ (Live)

Today, it's our pleasure to bring you two live recordings by Perth-based quintet Ah Trees. The group have been turning heads with their impressive releases, including 'How Long Must We Wait' and most recent single 'Shark Bait'.  The group's polished sound features doses of psych-pop, new-wave and post-punk.

Later this month on May 31st, Ah Trees will be playing a headline show The Bird in Northbridge. If their live videos are anything to go off, let's hope they have other dates coming up around the rest of the country soon.

You can watch their live videos for 'Shark Bait' and 'How Long Must We Wait' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Dizzy – 'Twist'

Canadian band Dizzy have returned with 'Twist', which is their first single since the release of their highly acclaimed debut album Baby Teeth in 2018. 'Twist' is set to appear on the band's upcoming EP, which you can expect this year.

Self-produced by the band, 'Twist' is a soaring track partnered with lifting instrumentals and a mighty vocal delivery by Katie Munshaw. Featuring glowing synths, a thumping bass drum and passionate lyrics, 'Dizzy' is designed to be blasted aloud. Munshaw said in a conversation with Stereogum that the initial part of 'Twist' was written in the shower, "I wrote the first bit of 'Twist' in a hotel shower in Amarillo, Texas last fall. It's about the hold someone can have over you even after they've left your life."

Listen to 'Twist' by Dizzy below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Now Playing: Yoke Lore – 'Safe And Sound'

Wednesday, May 15, 2019
By Wes and Alex

New York's Yoke Lore has revealed his brand new single 'Safe And Sound', which is the second single to be lifted from his forthcoming EP Meditations. Also including previous single 'Chin Up', the EP is due for release on June 14th. 

'Safe And Sound' is an arresting track that highlights his compelling vocals and expressive songwriting. On the track, he said, "I think there are different times throughout history where relationships have meant different things. In the Stone Age, they meant survival. In the Victorian era, they meant politics. And I think part of what they mean in our era is refuge. A bright spot of intimacy in an otherwise intricate web of depersonalization and the mass casual insincerity among daily interactions. Olly Olly Oxen Free."

Yoke Lore has delivered an unforgettable single with 'Safe And Sound' — Listen to it below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Live dates:
May 21st - Santa Ana - Constellation Room
May 22nd - San Luis Obispo - SLO Brew Rock
May 24th - Napa - BottleRock Music Festival
May 31st - Las Vegas - EMERGE
June 12th - Amsterdam - Upstairs at Paradiso
June 15th - London UK - Bushstock
June 16th - Leeds - Headrow House (with Litany)
June 17th - Manchester - The Deaf Institute (with Litany)
June 18th - London - Camden Assembly (with ROE)
June 22nd - Dover - Firefly Music Festival

Now Playing: Younghusband – 'Modern Lie'

British trio Younghusband have shared their brand new single 'Modern Lie', which is set to appear on their upcoming album. The album, Swimmers, is due for release on June 7th via Opposite Number. If 'Modern Lie' is anything to go off, the album is set to be an absolute treat. 

According to the band, "It's about giving into fallacies, internal and external, without too much resistance. Believing things about yourself and others that just aren’t true, like you no longer know where the start or end point of anything is. And then realising you probably shouldn’t take things so seriously all the time, and just be a bit lighter of thought." Listening to 'Modern Lie' feels like being lost amidst a daydream, and every second is pure bliss.

Listen to 'Modern Lie' by Younghusband below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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Live dates:
June 14th - Rough Trade East, London
June 15th - Soup Kitchen, Manchester

Feature: The Anatomy of 'EX' with Ojikae

Melbourne's Ojikae recently shared 'EX', which is a song about lust and heartbreak. The track was originally released as a demo called 'Existentiality' in 2017 and was then reworked alongside Grammy award nominee Uno Stereo. Learn more about 'EX' with Ojikae below.

I wrote ‘EX'… when I was 17 and super infatuated with a girl. Had my wisdom teeth taken out a weekend after we were at a house party together, so I was full of endones and emotions. Wrote 'EX' ( the demo ) in 30 minutes. And after all this time and some refining and revision, we've come to what 'EX' is now.

The story behind ‘EX'... After I wrote 'EX' and released it, I had a lot of positive feedback from everyone on Soundcloud, locally and even got on Isaiah Rashad's Soulection episode. After this, I signed to my current management / Record label Outpost which opened a lot up for me. After 2 years of building and growing, they put me in a session with Nic ( Uno Stereo ) and we finished the original demo.

My favourite lyric is… I can't let you own me. Just really sums up how you feel when your feelings for a certain someone consume your whole being haha.

It was made… when I stumbled across an Ableton project with a G major 7 on a Rhodes patch and nothing else, finished the chords in midi ( normally I write them on piano but I was tired and on endones). Produced a quick beat for it and wrote and sung the melodies right after. Released that and then reproduced it and finished the structure with UNO STEREO (Nic Martin).

My main inspiration was… At the time, I was listening to a lot of Jamie Foxx's stand up specials where he sings on a piano, a lot of Jodeci and Frank Ocean's Nostalgia Ultra was on repeat. Probably my early Donny Hathaway days too.

It sounds best when… you are in your bedroom with someone you want to express certain feelings and emotions with...

Listen to 'EX' by Ojikae Below:

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Now Playing: Sunfruits – 'All I Want'

Though we may be a couple of months late to the party, we're glad we finally stumbled across Sunfruits' single 'All I Want'. Officially released back in March on the Melbourne band's triple j Unearthed page & Bandcamp, 'All I Want' is their first ever single, and what a start.

'All I Want' is packed full of vibrant grooves, buoyant guitar lines, and an enticing rhythm. The track is about the world's obsession with materialism and their dismissal of the serious consequences. Through a series of stimulating visuals, the music video, which was directed by Tom Lewis, captures the glowing energy of the track in a way that's organic and natural.

Dive into Sunfruits' debut single 'All I Want' below.

Written by Amy Smolcic (@amysmolcic)

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