british

BLOOD ORANGE’S FREETOWN SOUND
August 23, 2016 11:26 am

 

Blood Orange is fucking awesome. Like his namesake citrus, Dev Hynes’ newest album Freetown Sound is a delicious mix of sweet and sour, oscillating between phat beats/enduring hooks and raw frustration/societal truth.

Dev Hynes began his musical career as a member of The Test Icicles, after moving to London from his home in Edinburgh, Scotland to attend art school. He released his first Blood Orange album, Coastal Grooves, in 2011 and has since worked as a songwriter for an increasingly impressive series of artists: Theophilus London, Florence + The Machine, Solange Knowles, Sky Ferreira, Foals, and Britney Spears, to name a few. His chillwave core has taken on 80’s and 90’s influences over time, and his message has become decidedly more political.

Sometimes refreshingly calm, sometimes painfully poignant, Freetown Sound has struck a keen balance between what people today want to hear and what they need to hear. It’s smooth, angry, sexy and frustrated, but never ambivalent or verbose. It’s cool and clear, crisp and modern, but also intense and passionate and vivid and timeless. It’s about racism. It’s about sexism. It’s about religion. It doesn’t mince words addressing these sensitive issues truly and directly, and it couldn’t possibly be more relevant to the modern zeitgeist. This is what we need to be talking about, and Blood Orange is doing it’s damnedest to get the conversation moving. All you have to do is go listen to the music.

Glad to see someone as awesome as he is addressing what really matters in the world today.

Life In Film Talks Rituals And Break-Up Prisons
September 9, 2015 8:56 am

After playing their first US tour with The Wombats earlier this year, Life in Film came back for round 2 bringing some British indie rock vibes to NYC. One of Manhattan’s finest venues, Mercury Lounge gave a really laid-back and intimate setting for the guys to play in. The 5 piece band played a good balance of both up-tempo and chill tunes off of their recent debut album Here It Comes, the perfect tunes to listen to after a long day at work.

I got to speak with the band members before their set. Just like their music, they were a tame group of guys who had lot to say about their musical experiences thus far.

So who came up with the name Life In Film?

Edward: I had a dream about watching a film and then becoming part of it. It was kind of a cool dream so when I woke up I thought, “that’d be a cool band name.” We still haven’t agreed on the name. It was basically the best name of a bad bunch.

What were some other potential names you came up with?

Micky: Shoes and Socks.

Dominic: To be honest, that’s still my favorite. It’s still in the hat.

Samuel: I think that’s going to be a solo project!

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You toured with The Wombats earlier this year, how was that?

Micky: We know of them, they’ve been around for a long time. I guess we were fans to an extent, and it was an amazing experience. It was our first time being in America, let alone touring.

And what impression has good ol’ America left on you thus far? 

Micky: The audience is pretty different. Things happen that wouldn’t happen at home, and everyone’s pretty enthusiastic.

Edward: Someone bought us a tray of shots last night, which doesn’t happen in England. We were playing in Albany and we were having a meal next door, and the waiter came up to us and were like “these people bought you drinks.” At first we were like “why are they buying us drinks?” and we didn’t connect the dots. And then realized “oh right, they know who we are!” That NEVER happens in Britain.

Dominic: It’s just something you see on the telly, like guys send you a round of drinks at the end of the bar.

Except we were sat at either side of this pane of glass so we were watching each other have dinner, waving at each other. we went over afterwards and had a chat with them.

Is there a particular song you want people to know about?

Micky: Besides from the single, “Anna, Please Don’t Go” which is somewhere on the album.

Edward: I’ve broken up with someone and I was sitting in a depressing room that I just rented out. I have a memory of sitting on the floor in this tiny little boxed room which was in a basement. It was damp and it had bars on the windows. It was the smallest room ever, you could just about fit a bed in it.

Dominic: It was basically in a breakup prison.

Edward: Yeah, and the girl I was living with, she’s called Anna and I just used that name because it was first hand and I thought “I hope this girl doesn’t think its about her” because that would be awkward.

life in filmDo you have any pre-show rituals?

Micky: We drink lots and lots of water.

Edward: And lots of beer [laughs]

We sometimes do this like – we put these little speakers out and do a dance. We invented it, it’s all about the hips.

Micky: It’s unpleasant for anybody else watching.

Samuel: We actually posted it on Instagram the other day, slightly disturbing though.

We do it in a line in that video, but we don’t usually do that and it makes it look really weird. It’s kind of like, me dancing at a wedding sort of you know….moving as little as possible. And badly, without rhythm and groove.

Micky: Yeah, I don’t know if people get it. I don’t think we get it either.

Lucy Rose: “Work It Out”
August 27, 2015 9:00 pm

Since her debut album in 2012, Lucy Rose came back with a bang on her second album Work It Out. Starting off her career as a backup singer for Bombay Bicycle Club, her first album was totally written on a whim and proved that she is indeed a prominent singer-songwriter who has the ability to showcase her own talent. Her latest album raised the bar, offering a bigger and bolder approach- confirming that she has developed her skills over the past few years and jumped outside her comfort zone.

Her transition from the first to second album was a pleasant surprise, strengthening her original sound with influences from pop, rock, and electronic music. She has created a great balance between her original tame acoustic sound and dancey pop tunes throughout her album, showing a very bold side of her. It’s definitely an album you would want to pop in your car when you’re on an adventurous road trip, whether by yourself or with a group of friends.

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Her opening track “For You” is a great introduction to her album which exposes a new side of her, combining elements of pop to make it her own. She explains in her commentary that “there are definitely elements in this record which are happier, and that song definitely portrayed that side of me which I don’t in the first record.”
She still sticks to her roots in “Into the Wild” with her calm melodies but adds an extra touch with the electric guitar, adding more depth. “Work It Out” and “She’ll Move” have a dreamy electronic sound with strong bass-lines that complement her breathy voice. “Our Eyes” and “Like an Arrow” are feel-good songs that left a great impression on me with powerful instrumentation that meshed well with her delicate voice without overpowering it. Overall she constructed a well thought out album that has transformed her sound by delving into other genres, allowing us to witness the sides of her that might have once been hidden. 

FOALS GET SET TO RELEASE “WHAT WENT DOWN”
July 8, 2015 8:32 pm

When British rockers, FOALS released their video for “What Went Down” in early June the BEASTS were left wanting more.  This is the bands first video since their epic album masterpiece, “Holy Fire” was released in 2013.

In a recent interview with NME, front man, Yannis Philippakis said, “Over the next month I think we’re going to start writing tentatively. We’ve already got some bits and bobs around some riffs and some vocal melodies. I think until May we’re gonna go back to Oxford and write in the ‘stinkbox’ and see what happens.”

FOALS WHAT WENT DOWN

Well the wait is over and we know what happened.  FOALS have a hot new record scheduled to be released on Warner Brothers in late August and we cannot wait to hear it in it’s entirety.

Palma Violets Rock Out at the Music Hall of Williamsburg
May 27, 2015 4:58 pm

With the release of their recent album “Danger in the Club,” Palma Violets have been traveling to bring their music to fans all over the globe. Having already played in the big apple back in March this year, they came back to the city to play a few more shows. I had the opportunity to chat with the drummer Will before their show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

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They kicked off their visit with an acoustic session at Rough Trade, which was the second acoustic session they’ve ever done.

“First successful one we’ve put on I think. It takes a while to get into, especially going from live to the acoustic ones. It took us a few times to get it right.”

So what is it that brings them back to the city?

“Most of it is the history when you’re playing here. You know you’re in good hands and there’s such a good music scene as well.”

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While queueing up for the show, I witnessed MANY underaged kids who got their fake ID’s taken by security who couldn’t get in the venue. “All of our shows at the moment are 21 and over here. The younger kids are allowed to come to the gigs in the UK. We probably have young fans here in the US, but we rarely meet them.”

The first time I got to see them was at Baby’s All Right two months ago, and they gave a show that was as wild as ever! Knowing that they have a tight schedule packed with shows almost everyday, I wasn’t sure if they’d be able to live up to those expectations. I clearly underestimated them, because they were rockin’ out like it was in their blood! The level of energy in the room was unbelievable.

A group of guys created a mosh pit in the center of the crowd, tossing their beers everywhere, unable to contain their excitement. Palma Violets were running back and forth on stage, sweating like crazy as if they just finished a 10k. It was clear that everyone came to have the time of their lives. 

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“I think it’s honest when you go on stage. There’s a little bit of showmanship in it, in a way. You wanna just move about. But even if there’s one or a thousand people, you still get the same thing. It has to be on that certain level.”

Palma Violets’ tunes have a very authentic British-Punk Rock sound that sort of remind you of The Clash or The Sex Pistols. A lot of heavy guitar and beating drums. As Will sums it up in one word, their sound is “ETHEREAL”.

You’d think that they’d listen to a bunch of punk rock songs and do all the things a ‘rock-star’ does, but they weren’t afraid to put their alter-ego out in the open.

“We’re all big fans of ABBA. I think anyone who says they’re not is in denial. Also, Pete’s writing a children’s book and he’s writing the music for it at the moment.”

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These British lads don’t have much time to go out and explore when they have shows booked back to back, but when they do, they love doing all things tourist.

“We went to Beacons. We went near Steve’s house and he took us near a waterfall and we went swimming and it was brilliant! We also went to this place that was on ‘Diners Drive-Ins and Dives’. We felt like real tourists. We got chicken sandwich and cornbread. It was super American and intense.”