soul

GRAPELL: SULTRY SOUL OF SWEDEN
October 10, 2016 8:22 am

Have you heard Love Chamber, the sexy (and sax-y) EP from Swedish duo Grapell? If your answer is no, scroll down a couple paragraphs and click play on that Spotify list. If your answer is yes, you (or your girlfriend) are probably already pregnant. Congratulations, and please don’t contact us for child support payments.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS shared some transatlantic correspondence with magic men Emil Erstrand and Nils Nygårdh, to find out how Love Chamber came to be.

You recently released your Love Chamber EP. What can you tell us about its creation?

Emil: We wanted the EP to have a real thread and to feel coherent, so all of the songs were written and recorded in a relatively short period of time. We used the same approach for all the songs and I think our vision was clearer this time compared to before. We also tried to keep things simple, to see the songs for what they are: quite straightforward love songs.

Is there anything you learned during the production of the EP that you wish you had known going into it?

Nils: One song got lost on the way due some technical problems, so we ended up not using that one. We couldn’t bother to record it again. But it did give us space for another track.

Emil: Since we do everything ourselves we learn things all the time. I hope and think we are getting better at what we’re doing with every release.

Do you have any music videos coming out for any of your new songs?

Emil: Yes, we do! We’ve got a really sweet video for our song Some Places coming out really soon. It’s directed and produced by the great Johan Stolpe.

How much input do you have on the creation of something like that?

Nils: This time we had an pretty clear idea about what we wanted the song to “look like”. So we gave the director our ideas of the setup from the start. And then he created his vision from that.

Can you explain the significance of using a photo of politician Gerda Antti for the cover of “Some Places”?

Emil: There really is no certain significance…We just like the picture of Gerda, especially combined with the picture of Walter (which is the cover of Arrow). I think they’ve got a really good vibe and an almost iconic feel. Alongside each other, the portraits somehow capture what the EP is about. Also, the pictures were taken by my grandfather.

walter gerda2

What are your favorite places in Stockholm for seeing live music?

Emil: I really don’t know. I don’t feel like there are too many obvious venues for live music in Stockholm these days. And very soon one of the better ones, called Debaser Medis, is closing. I do like a place called Cirkus – it would be really nice to play there in the future!

Nils: I recently found a new place actually. Its in the basement of the Scala Theatre and its called Lönnkrogen. Its a small venue and a feel of going back to the nightclubs in the 20s.

Are there any bands in Stockholm you feel deserve more attention?

Nils: Sonjagon is a Swedish band that had a lot of influence on us. The don’t play so much anymore unfortunately, once a year maybe. But their music is out there and should be listened to. Especially the debut album Arches.

Emil: Yes, and all of the bands signed to Strangers Candy of course.

 

To hear more of this amazing Swedish band, follow them on Facebook here,

IT’S IN LOVESPEAKE’S DNA
June 13, 2016 12:30 pm

If you like dancing, you’ll love Lovespeake. DNA, the Norwegian band’s debut album, seems tailor-made for listening to while swaying back and forth with a frozen margarita in your hand. Formed from members of angsty indie rock band Emma Eye Jedi, Lovespeake sounds like the night before the morning after.

ATYPICAL SOUNDS got to trade some emails with vocalist/guitarist Pav (Alexander Pavelich), and find out what’s good in the land of the midnight sun.

Congratulations on your debut album, DNA. Did you do anything special to celebrate?

Thanks! I actually went to London that week for some sessions and hung out with a bunch of friends from university. It was a blast!

Did you help come up with video ideas for the title track?

We worked closely with Ferdinand Film bouncing ideas back and forth. We really wanted to implement the colours and branding from our artwork. Our lead designer Jørn made the concept and created these giant painted boards that we used for our photoshoot, so we ended up using them in the video too. Rebecca, Christopher and the team over at Ferdinand Film did a great job coming up with the story and making it work with the music.

Do you prefer performing at large festivals, or in smaller (more intimate) clubs?

The more the merrier! I always find it easier to play for larger crowds, feeding off the energy they create… it’s the ultimate rush. The more energy we get from an audience, the better we play. But we go into every show with the same attitude: give those folks the time of their lives, and it doesn’t matter if it’s only 10 people! And even if 9 of those people are talking or not paying attention, you still need to give everything you’ve got to that one person who’s there to see YOU. I definitely like playing sweaty, intimate shows when there’s a passionate crowd, but there’s nothing like playing at a huge festival where you’re pretty much guaranteed a good audience.

What’s it like to be a band performing at a festival?

In our experience, artists usually have a nice area to hang out with sofas, snacks and drinks. Some festivals also arrange activities and excursions. It’s always fun to get to see the sights where you play…when you’re a broke musician the only time you really get to travel is when you’re on tour, haha! We’ve never toured on a bus before, but in any case we love meeting fellow artists and making new friends.

I think you’re the first band I’ve interviewed from Sandvika. What is the music scene like in Norway?

The Norwegian music scene is at an all-time high at the moment, thanks to the recent success from artists like Kygo, Aurora, Matoma, Alan Walker and Kvelertak. A lot of eyes are looking to Norway…There’s a lot of great new music emerging at the moment. I think actually Norway has the highest number of festivals per capita or something! There’s festivals everywhere, and my favorite festival has to be Malakoff.

What are your favorite local places to see live music?

In Oslo there are some great venues such as Parkteatret and Rockefeller. Good size and great sound.

Are there any Norwegian bands you feel deserve more attention?

Look out for up-and-coming artists like Ary, Carl Louis, Coucheron and Baya.

Your sound is often described as “psych pop.” Does that seem accurate to you?
I think there’s definitely some dreamy, psychedelic elements in the production and instrumentation to justify that term, but I’d say that a majority of the album’s emphasis lies more towards retro-electronic indie pop, blending in with feel-good disco and soul.

Do you listen to much disco, or music from the 70s?

Oh yeah! I grew up with that stuff.

Are there any albums from that time you can recommend to someone looking to expand their record collection?

I recently made a little Spotify-playlist with some of my favourite disco tracks! You can listen to it here:

Also, more 70s feel-good tracks that will definitely put you in a great mood for summer:

What are your plans for the rest of the year?

We’ll be releasing a few more singles, some music videos, and touring. First up is the UK in June, then a festival summer in Norway and booking a big album tour in the fall. We really hope to make it to the US soon. And I’ll also be writing some brand new music. Gotta keep going!

ANDREW COMBS: SONGS FROM THE SOUTHERN SOUL
May 25, 2016 12:16 pm

I was anti-country and folk for most of my life, but after a year of working at Longhorn Steakhouse, those country tunes start to grow on you. My heart still leans towards rock and electronic musicians, as it has for most of my life’s music intake, but country music (when it is good) has a place in my heart.

Andrew Combs is one of these amazingly talented country boys that makes me want to dive deeper into the sounds of the southern soul. His song “Long Gone Lately” was actually one of the songs that was on a constant repeat over those Longhorn speakers, a crafty tactic that accomplished its probable goal of making me enjoy country music. 

Combs was born in Dallas, TX but spent many years in Nashville, TN (and still resides there), so to say he has a musical background in country music is a real understatement. He has been breathing the country life since he was born. He loves songs that speak from the soul and you can hear that through his own music. He has this uncanny ability to make music that speaks to the heart. 

With his newest album All These Dreams, he explores his own music career, what it means to him and where it could take him. The album has a wonderful amount of diversity in sound and style. With darker and deeper spiritual tones in “Month of Bad Habits” and more chipper and thoughtful pieces like “Strange Bird,” Andrew is taking a lot of good risks in his style and it’s paying off. But it is more than just his sound that is unique. His lyrics and messages are quite deep and meaningful which both add a wonderful amount of flavor to his music.

If you aren’t into country, his music will reel you in with a lot of power, establishing the relationship between his experience and that of his listeners while staying true to his country roots. Taylor Swift will no longer suffice as the only country musician you enjoy. You need to try the real stuff. Give his stuff a serious listen through, let your inner cowboy or cowgirl be immersed in his fantastic sound.

POST-SXSW ARNDTERVIEW
March 29, 2016 11:11 am

Sibling rock stars Jocelyn & Chris Arndt took their soulful, hook-laden blues/rock sound to this year’s SXSW. I caught up with them at Austin’s Handlebar and discussed Harvard, Ocean’s Eleven and life on the road.


arndtSo is this your first SXSW?

Jocelyn: Yes, yes it is.

How do you like it so far?

J: It’s crazy but awesome. Crazy awesome.

How many shows have you had?

J: We had one yesterday…

Chris: We had three yesterday, then one today and one tomorrow.

Damn, not too bad for your first time.

C: [laughter] No no, not at all

Well that’s just fantastic. Now, you guys are from New York, right?

J: Upstate New York. We’re from Fort Plain which is an hour west of Albany.

Okay, so right in the middle of nowhere.

J: [laughter] Yep, right there.

That’s awesome. And you just released an album about a month ago, right? Are you happy with it?

J: Yes, very much so. It’s called Edges, and it’s our first full length, which is a big deal. We’re freaking out.

Well of course. How many… “half lengths” have you had?

C: Just one.

J: We did an EP, but yeah this time we really got to sink our teeth in.

And you got some momentum going into SXSW. Are you on tour? Is this a stop on a tour?

C: Yeah, we came down from New York, we were in Cleveland, and then Chattanooga and Nashville, then Arkansas and then Houston. Actually Dallas, not Houston.

Somewhere in Texas. It all runs together.

C: …and then we’re gonna work our way back up next week.

Back up to… upstate?

C: Yeah.

What’s your favorite part of touring?

J: [thinks for a moment] I like knowing that every night we’re gonna be somewhere different, which is weird because I feel like some people would be like ‘oh my god another 8 hours in the car,’ but it’s kinda nice to be able to travel with the music and know that no matter where you are you get to play a set but then you get to go somewhere else.

So you get that time to explore, that’s cool. What do you do on the road? Who drives?

J: Our drummer, who’s also our producer…

C: And our manager…

Oh, multitalented.

J: Yeah he does most of–well, all of the driving.

Yeah I was gonna say, it’s not just you two. How does that work? Who writes the songs?

J: We both write together.

Which is good because you have that family bond, you work off each other. Who’s older? I can’t really tell.

C: [laughter] She is.

No way!

C: [shows x’s on hands] I’m not even 21.

Get the fuck outta here!

J: …and I just turned 21.

Oh wow, well welcome to adulthood–or something. Whatever that means. Do you have a favorite city that you’ve been to on tour?

J: I really really like Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Wow, that’s random but cool.

J: It’s random. We stopped there once, I think we had played in Nashville and then they were like ‘oh this seems like a good place to do another show.’ We stopped there and now every time we’re down south we make sure we go there because people come out and really really support us.

C: The music scene there is amazing.

Screen Shot 2016-03-29 at 1.20.35 PM

And then they know you now kind of. Do you have a good following up in Albany?

C: Yeah we do well in Albany.

J: We play the city (NYC) a lot too

Of course, that makes sense. Where in the city?

J: We played the Bitter End, we played the Slipper Room…

C: We played Rockwood a lot.

Rockwood is where it’s at. They don’t fuck around–if you’re bad they don’t invite you back.

C: Yeah they’re awesome.

So you guys write together? How does that work?

J: I do the lyrics and melody, and then Chris does the chords the rhythm.

Who goes first? Do you start with the chords and then build off that, or…

C: Depends on the song, really. Sometimes she’ll come up with something and might be like ‘I need chords,’ other times I’ll go to her with a chord pattern I really like and she’ll have lyrics and we’ll sort of fit them together.

But it’s just you two, not the drummer/producer/manager.

J: Nope, just us.

And you have a bassist?

J: We have a bassist as well, Eric.

But he’s just a random dude.

J: Yeah I mean we met him in Albany.

C: He’s a student and an awesome dude.

How do you meet these people? School?

J: Through our manager, he’s the one with the contact.

How did you meet him? How’d you get started, you just started playing?

J: We had a high school band. We’ve been doing this for a long time. This was our high school job–a great job, better than most high school jobs. We had a band called The Dependents, and we’d play, like, fairs and stuff, and we were playing at the beer tent at the local fair and this guy came up and slipped us a card and said ‘Hey I like your sound.’

And you were like ‘thanks me too’?

J: [laughter] Yeah, and he turned out to be David. You never know who’s listening.

You never know! That’s why you just gotta play everywhere, see everyone, expand your audience and shit. That’s awesome. That was in high school, like five years ago?

J: Three or four.

Oh right you’re young as fuck, I forgot. Well okay. And you’ve been slowly building since then?

C: It was kind of slow for the first couple years.

J: Well first you gotta build a foundation.

C: We were working on a sound and stuff, and then this past like year and a half things have been ramping up super fast, so it’s pretty awesome.

What’s the best part of that so far?

C: Oh man.

J: I like the fact that we have a new CD, that’s a huge plus for me.

C: That’s pretty exciting. I honestly like just…

Just being a rock star?

C: Yeah it’s cool. When I was in high school it never even occurred to me that because of our music we would get to travel to California and Texas and Nashville and Michigan or wherever, and now we’re going all over the country and probably going to Canada and maybe the UK all with our music.

Whoa, whoa, slow down there!

J: It would be cool. You gotta have goals.

Well that’s fantastic. Do you guys have day jobs? Or is this it?

C: Just this.

LADYGUNN-160318_JOCELYN-CHRIS-ARNDT_SXSW_001You save up and then go on tour and stuff….

J: Well we also go to College.

Oh really? Where?

J: We both go to Harvard.

Fuck you guys! No way! [laughter] I’ve heard of it, I’ve heard of it.

J: But this is definitely our job, job.

Holy shit. Okay, so you’re both at Harvard. Currently.

J: [gestures to self] Junior, [gestures to Chris] sophomore.

What are you studying? Music?

C: I’m joint music and computer science.

J: I’m English but these days it’s mostly music, so…

Well that helps with lyrics too, right? Do you find you draw inspiration from your studies?

J: Yeah, a little bit definitely. And people. Everybody around us. You know, basically everything.

There are some smart people there. What do you think of Harvard?

J: It’s fun. I’ll tell you– SXSW is probably a little more fun. [laughter]

Yeah maybe a little. And the weather is nicer. What are you, on spring break right now?

J: Yeah.

Do you go on tour during the school year?

C: We do. We go weekends, we skip Monday and Friday–not every Monday and Friday but…

How do you…. I mean you go to Harvard, shouldn’t you be focused on Harvard?

C: That’s what some people say but, like, I kinda like music, you know? [laughter]

J: The other thing is, as long as we can do both we’re gonna do both. But if it comes down to Harvard or music, Harvard’s not going anywhere. Music is our thing, so…

How do you like the Cambridge/Boston area?

C: It’s a cool place to live. It’s pretty awesome.

J: Yeah it’s like New York’s friendlier, shorter cousin.

Friendlier… sometimes.

C: It feels less aggressive when you’re there. New York is a very “kill or be killed” vibe.

J: New York also literally never sleeps, as they say. Nothing ever turns off. Boston is like ‘midnight, better get on the last T or else you’re stuck.’

Do you play around Boston? Or around campus?

J: We haven’t a ton.

C: We honestly haven’t that much, we’re gonna start doing so more and more, but we’ve been really focused on New York, Nashville and LA for the past year.

jocelyn+&+chris+arndt-3
How do you like LA?

C: LA is awesome, the music scene is so great. We played The Viper Room, which was insane. But yeah, we’re starting to do pretty well in those three cities so we’re gonna branch out. But this is our first time in Texas.

And you like it?

J: Yeah we like it. We’re gonna come back.

Do you have any plans for today or tonight?

J: We don’t have a show tonight, not ’til tomorrow. So we’re still weighing our options.

Do you run into trouble playing venues underage?

C: Most of the time they’re just like ‘you can’t hang out beforehand, you can’t hang out afterwards, wait by the door while I get a marker to mark your hands.’ So it’s a little annoying. Vegas is kind of… [laughter] It was fun playing Vegas but they were like ‘you’re allowed to be on the casino floor as long as you don’t stand still.’

J: You can’t look at anything, you obviously can’t drink anything. I felt bad for the little bro.

C: But they let us play music, which is the most important thing.

Where did you play in Vegas?

J: We played this place the Sand Dollar

C: And then a place called… 

J: We did an open mic thing at the Beat Coffeehouse.

C: Yeah that was cool, it’s like a coffee house slash wine bar slash brewery slash record store.

J: Which is basically all the bases to cover.

Yeah that’s everything you need. Plus it’s Vegas, so…

J: Yeah we got to walk around, see the Bellagio, pretend we’re in Ocean’s Eleven.

C: Except, you know, we hadn’t just stolen a hundred and sixty four million dollars.

You can tell me if you have, I won’t tell anyone.

C: No, I mean I wish we had [laughter].

Anything else you would like to tell me/the world?

J: Check out the new album, it’s called Edges, it’s online, out now, bandcamp, iTunes, the works.

And you guys are continuing your tour?

J: Yeah this one wasn’t super long, we’re going… where are we going? Alabama on Saturday, then Cleveland…

C: Saturday morning we wake up early, Alabama, Cleveland and then we’re back.

J: We just pushed to radio, so the next couple weeks we’ll be doing that.

Playing at stations and shit?

C: We’re doing that, we’re playing a festival in Roanoke, and then the Florida Music Festival, and then between those it’s like every weekend we can we’re gonna be playing. And then a lot of radio stations.

Well that’s awesome, we’ll tune in to all those things. One last thing–can I get a selfie with you guys?

J: Yeah, sure!

C: Can we get one with you?

photo (2)

FREE EVENTS IN BROOKLYN FEATURING SUNDAY SOUNDS
November 24, 2015 8:19 am

Sundays don’t have to be reserved for watching football, doing laundry and nursing your pre-Monday blues. Enter Sunday Sounds: a FREE bi-weekly concert series held at 61 Local in the heart of one of Brooklyn’s coziest neighborhoods, Cobble Hill.

61 Local is a fabulous gastropub with delicious food, craft beers and a welcoming communal vibe. The location also boasts an intimate yet beautiful DIY event space right upstairs from the main dining area. Every other Sunday, this event space is home to Sunday Sounds.

sounds

Photo by Phillis Kwentoh & Jo Chiang

Sunday Sounds was started as a joint venture between producer/musician Jessica Best and Dave Liatti, the owner of 61 Local. Best had been working at 61 local as a part of their food service team. Frustrated after playing a number of shows at the various loud local bars, Jessica partnered with Dave to, as she says, “develop the ideal creative space for performance – a place that is intimate, focused on listening, and really fostering a community between performers and audience.”

Each event is carefully curated by Jessica to showcase up-and-coming musicians in a space where audiences can listen to and discover new music. Past acts have included: Singer-Songwriter Henry Hall, Soul-Rock four-tet Trot Fox, Improvisational Drummer Walker Adams, Vocalist Elysse, Experimental Extraordinaire Jake Sherman, and Indie-Electro darlings Overcoats. Sunday Sounds has also played host to a number of special events including Art Girl Army’s fall kick off. Each event is cohesive yet eclectic, making for an excellent way to mix it up and discover new music for free without sitting on your couch surfing Spotify.

As for the purpose of it all, Jessica says her goal is “for the space to be a meeting place for musicians and audiences – for people to want to come out because they know they’ll make some sort of connection.” Fostering a connection between artist and community through kick-ass music, now that sounds like an ethos us BEASTS can get behind!

If you are interested in playing at future events hosted by Sunday Sounds at 61 Local, please email Jessica Best at jessbestmusic@gmail.com.

sounds

METHYL ETHYL WORKS UPON YOUR CHEMISTRY
November 5, 2015 10:41 am

Strait off the CMJ circuit and coming to you all the way from Perth, Australia are indie dream-popers Methyl Ethyl. With their 60’s tinged mellow psychedelic sounds, this rising act has a chemistry that works directly upon the soul.a3364250038_16

It seems to be a ripe time for our friends south of the equator, as some of the most defining indie music of this decade has been pouring out of these Australian cities. Perhaps it is the reflection of our own alter egos that we Americans see, or maybe it’s just something in the Oceania air. While Methyl Ethyl will undoubtedly draw comparisons to bands like Tame Impala and Chet Faker, their overall sound is actually quite distinguishable from these more popular Australian acts. And quite honestly, the intrigue is in the anonymity. Methyl Ethyl is still a relatively obscure band. Their budget surely doesn’t meet the heights of some of the more mainstream artists within the indie world. This sonic rawness comes across in their debut LP Oh Inhuman Spectaclereleased June of this year, which ironically parallels albums such as 2001 indie classic Oh Inverted World by The Shins.

The Band formed in 2013, releasing two EPs respectably that year. However their effects heavy experimental sound truly comes to fruition in their most recent release. Oh Inhuman Spectacle is full of delicate arpeggios, fat contrasting bass lines and expertly executed synth tones. The Album begins in a sort of eerie dissociative state which progresses into the soul filled nostalgia of “Twighlight Driving,” eventually ending with “Everything as it Should Be,” which eases you out of the psychedelic trip that was Oh Inhuman Spectacle.

With just under four thousand Facebook followers, Methyl Ethyl has clearly just begun their musical journey. Make sure to listen to their new album and hop on board while they’re still young. The Beasts will be putting this one on repeat and we hope to see them stateside soon!

 

SAY GIRL SAY SPEAKS AT CMJ
November 2, 2015 4:46 pm

Who knew there’d be a whole showcase dedicated to bands from Texas? CMJ was packed with delightful bands playing around the city, but the “Texas Takeover” at The Delancey was something that was worth checking out and helped me discover some bands outside of the local scene I’ve been stuck in lately. Even if you missed it, no worries! We got to speak to one of the talented bands, Say Girl Say, and hear what they had to say about music, tacos, and their bond to mother nature.
photo

How’s CMJ so far?

Suzan: SO COOL. We started off with the kick-off party at Pianos on Tuesday and then we played a private dinner party at the Chef Club.

Was it part of CMJ?

Suzan: No, not really, but it was really cool. It was like a Houston by New York mixer. So it was like Houston culture being introduced to New York. It was just us. There were a couple of chefs there from Houston that are pretty well known and got some really awesome food down there.

What’s your favorite food?

TACOOOOOOS(in unison). Straight up!

I thought you’d say BBQ!

Suzan: We’re known for that, but we’re vegetarian. But tacos…Breakfast tacos, lunch tacos. Put eggs, veggies, mushrooms, spinach, avocado, onion, red pepper, green pepper, jalapeno, sriracha!

So have you discovered any good taco places around New York?

Suzan: We stay away from that food when we’re here because we can have it when we go back home. We’ve had pizza and bagels- The food’s great here.

How did you guys get together as a band?

Suzan: Bridget and I worked at an environmental non-profit and we immediately clicked once we found out we love music and at the time I just learned how to play the ukulele and later on Bridget bought a ukulele and started playing infront of friends at open mics. There’s a local bar called the Avant Garden that we play at on Tuesday nights and that’s where Luke met us!

Luke: They were actually on stage when we walked in. I immediately flored at their voices and performance. Both these girls were singing into one microphone and they both had ukuleles and were playing it into the other microphone. It was funny, but I loved what I was hearing.

Bridget: It’s pretty DIY

And how many years ago was this?

photo 2

Luke: This was on October 10th, 2011.

Suzan: Wow, Luke remembers the date!

All this face paint- Tell me all about this tribal look you guys portray!

Suzan: So we have a lot of tribal rhythms in our music. Luke uses a lot of different instruments- jambes, tables, steel drums, so there’s a wide range of influences globally to our music. So yeah, the African beat man. We have a connection to mother nature, so we really like to look like we’re coming out of the dirt sometimes, like we’re growing out of the earth. And so the more face paint, the more raw it looks and closer we are to ourselves.

How would you describe your sound in one sentence?

Suzan: Let’s make it a long sentence. Indeginous free folk soul R&B world awesome. Everything we do is very organic. The way that we write music, so it’s really cool that technically we’re all just friends, and it’s awesome that brought us together. So we like to just sit down and mess around, constant jam sessions. That’s how we write music so we just produce what comes out in the moment. We channel our productivity. We feed off each other very well, very naturally.

A Heaping Helping of Heaps n Heaps
September 10, 2015 9:00 am

Indie grooves, Cali vibes, and tight, soothing harmonies? Yes please! Pile it on and come back for seconds! Drizzle some Heaps n Heaps onto your afternoon and get lost in the LA foursome’s casually epic sound. Check this out and thank me later:

Heaps n Heaps (Alisa Fedele, Zach Moon, John Pruitt and Dan Dowsett) began in 2013 and have been on the rise ever since. I mean just look at them: these people take their fun seriously. Are they high-energy indie rockers? Perhaps a soulful, southern blues outfit? Mix in some folk and you’re starting to get the idea, but definitive categorization is elusive. Heaps n Heaps is an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, an eclectic combination of food-groups designed to sustain you all day. Save room for seconds!

Heaps n Heaps starts their September tour today (9/10), stopping in LA, Utah, and Colorado. Catch them as they venture east, and be sure to check out their new album “Live at the Village” releasing October 9th!

Artist of the Month: Years & Years
July 1, 2015 1:43 pm

Years and Years will be your ultimate band crush of 2015. This British trio composed of Olly Alexander, Mikey Goldsworth, and Emre Turkmen have been rapidly climbing the music charts with their indie-pop sound ever since their song “Real” emerged. It’s quite hard to put a genre on them since they have hints of electronic, pop, soul, and R&B that somehow captures a wide range of young peoples attention. They’ve been given the 2015 Woodie Award for Artist to Watch and have also won BBC Sound of 2015 Award. Within the past year their careers have skyrocketed and have been on tour non-stop.

I first stumbled upon their music last fall when I was browsing through a Spotify playlist and got instantly hooked with “Real.” The more I binged on them, the more I fell in love. When I found out that their U.S. debut show was in January, I immediately jumped on it since I was dying to go to as many shows as possible during the winter season instead of being cooped up in my cozy comforter. I didn’t expect them to wow me since they were a fresh band who only had a few songs released here and there. I also didn’t know how well they would transcribe their electronic sounds in a live setting.

years and years

Their set blew my mind. You could tell that they were genuinely nervous to play in front of an American crowd for the first time. Olly says in one Nylon interview “It’s crazy coming to a place you’ve never been to and people know your songs. I’ll never get over that.”

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Years and Years performing live on stage at the 2014 Great Escape in Brighton, UK

Surprisingly Olly is also a talented actor who starred in God Help The Girl, but “it’s always been the dream” (Noisey) for him to become a singer. You’d think that with such talent he’d be confident enough to flaunt his vocal chords, but he always seems to be pretty shy on stage! Their recordings are great as it is, but seeing their raw talent on stage is a whole other magical experience.

Years and Years’ music have been described as ‘dance music with heart’ which the band members seem to agree. “I’m not interested in writing songs about nothing. I’m writing personal songs, which is like therapy in a way. Those are the kind of songs I really loved when I was growing up — singer-songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Jeff Buckley and Bob Dylan — and I’ve always written that way. But I love dance music and I love electronic music; it really affects you physically, so I’ve found a way to marry the two. Dance music is really emotional, but it often gets used in a very banal, middle-of-the-road kind of way, and that’s a shame. I would not be making music if I couldn’t make it personal to me.” (HungerTV)

I was reluctant for their set at Rough Trade to end, since I wasn’t sure when the next time I’d be able to experience them would be. But soon enough, they came back to the U.S. in March and I had a chance to see them in Boston again. They’ve also release some new music and videos, as well as announce their debut album (finally!) which comes out on July 10th in the U.S.! “Thematically, a lot of the songs I’ve written—at least 6 or 8—are breakup songs. It’s going to be a whiny breakup album. I’m most creative when I’m feeling a bit shit and lonely. I use music as therapy. A lot of the songs come from painful rejection [laughs].” (Noisey)

years and years

main-show-3-alt

 

yearsandyearsnew