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Banfi live at The Sunflower Lounge

June 19, 2017 in News

Making spiky, dramatic pop music, Banfi’s first official shot across the bows ‘Where We Part’ was posted on Soundcloud in April 2015, which led to the band signing with Communion Records. 2016 was spent in the studio recording their debut album with producer Richard Wilkinson (Bombay Bicycle ClubHonneKaiser Chiefs) and the first release from these sessions, ‘Happy When You Go’.

‘Happy When You Go’ is a delicious earworm of a debut single, with its layers of guitar-inflected pop blending with bittersweet straight-talking lyrics. Banfi’s irresistible hooks and choruses take influence from left-field pop acts including Alt-J and The Knife as well as the minimal mathletics of Foals and the huge stagecraft of The Police. “The energy of The Police that is found in their live performance it’s something we want to try and put across.” said Joe.

Joe first came to the attention of Communion in 2012 off the back of an unsolicited solo demo. He released two EPs in 2013 – championed by Zane LoweJohn Kennedy and Mary Anne Hobbs, these acclaimed EPs were a distinctive hybrid of Joe’s influences from Nick Drake to the Deftones. Emboldened by critical acclaim, Joe went away to write and develop as an artist, and along with bandmates Aaron and Chris, Banfi was born.

Banfi have performed support slots with Bear’s DenNathaniel Rateliff and Amber Run, as well as numerous festival appearances including CitadelGreat Escape and Bushstock.

Banfi Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Banfi play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sat 16th September 2017, with support from Bryde. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘Rosedale House’ below:

LISTEN: Ed Geater – ‘Found A Place’ feat. Lady Sanity

June 19, 2017 in News

Ed Geater and Lady Sanity, two of Birmingham’s finest up-and-coming talents, join forces to produce this piece of cerebral and powerful hip-hop as the first release on new Birmingham record label, Brox Records.

The track has received radio support, from that of Brum Radio, and a highlight coming from the legend that is Tom Robinson selecting it for his BBC Introducing Mixtape show on BBC Radio 6 Music.

For Birmingham born singer-songwriter and beatboxer Ed Geater, rhythmical dexterity is complemented by lyrical prowess. Growing up on a staple musical diet of alternative rock, folk and electronica, equally matching his love of classical music, Ed switched his primary childhood instrument from violin to guitar and pursued his love of song-writing, whilst harnessing his metronomic skills as a beatboxer.

Influenced by his obsession with ambient electronic artists such as Bonobo, Boards of Canada and Four Tet – Ed set out to create the same vivid and textural musical landscapes, but only using his organic vocal beats, acoustic guitar and loop station. The resulting sound is an electronic infused, pop-laden and folk inspired tapestry, with clear nods to revered songwriters such as Jeff Buckley and Ben Howard.

Ed Geater Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Listen to ‘Found A Place’ below:

Denai Moore announces Birmingham show

June 16, 2017 in News

Denai Moore is pleased to share with you her exceptional and healing sophomore record We Used To Bloom, through Because Music. The album is a declaration of growth, a break-up letter to her demons and a love letter to the liberated self.

We Used To Bloom features acclaimed singles; ‘Trickle’ and ‘Does It Get Easier?’ plus the recently unveiled album track ‘All The Way’ feat. Kwabs. The album also features a sumptuous cover of Elliott Smith’s ‘Twilight’ within which Denai reveals a new depth to the song, through spacious production and the fragile strength of her voice.

The last couple of years have provided an intense and sometimes painful period of growth for Moore — an experience that she documents now with unflinching openness. The album reveals a young woman figuring out the world and her place in it, while also charting Moore’s evolving relationship with herself — with self-esteem, self-image and the crippling anxiety she once suffered and is now challenging head on through her songwriting. “I’ve never written about this before and it was a massive weight off my shoulders,” she says. “I’ve always wanted to write about it, and I think a lot of people can relate to it because people are more open now about mental health issues. I think it is empowering.” But she sings too of the triumph of this experience. On the sublime album opener ‘Let It Happen’ she’s revelling in “a celebration of myself” calling the song “a self-love anthem”.

Denai Moore Link: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Denai Moore plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Mon 2nd Oct 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Does It Get Easier?’ below:

Meadowlark announce show at The Sunflower Lounge

June 15, 2017 in News

Delicate, emotional, yet powerful songs, delivered beautifully from the minds of two incredible songwriters. Meadowlarkare nothing short of outstanding. Spine tingling live performances, not to be missed!

Meadowlark’s debut single ‘Eyes Wide’ in 2015 was added to BBC Radio 1’s Introducing playlist, XFM’s evening playlist and featured on Hype Machine’s Top 20. This lead to sessions on Dermot O’Leary’s BBC Radio 2 show, playing Glastonbury’s Introducing stage, as well as the Great EscapeMAMA festival in Paris, Dot to Dot (to name but a few!) This song also appeared on episodes of Vampire Diaries and Made in Chelsea.

In 2016 Meadowlark were embraced into the UK touring circuit to support the release of their 2nd EP Paraffin, and then later with their incredibly well received most recent single ‘Headlights’. Alongside this the band had another successful festival season which we are excited to build upon in 2017. Their summer Bushstock performance received a glowing review from Popped Music who said “their vocals never ever miss a note and you could hear a pin drop”.

With their debut album set for release later this year through Believe Records campaign, 2017 is already shaping up to be the best yet for Meadowlark.

Meadowlark Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Meadowlark play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sat 30th September 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Headlights’ below:

Beans on Toast & Skinny Lister Double Trouble Tour

June 14, 2017 in News

This coming winter Beans on Toast and Skinny Lister will head out on a co-headline tour of the UK.

Label mates, touring buddies and drinking companions they make a perfect match. Both bands are hardworking, fun loving, heavy touring acts that bring a unique and modern take on the age old tradition of English folk music. Together they are given the opportunity to play on bigger stages and bring their shows to larger audiences. Both bands will be playing full sets. It’s going to be one hell of a party.

For Skinny Lister, this tour will wrap up the worldwide campaign of their third and critically acclaimed album The Devil, The Heart & The Fight. Following up on a fully sold out UK tour in May after another in October ‘16, extensive tours of Europe and The USA and a summer ram packed with festivals including a prestigious slot on Glastonbury‘s Avalon stage on Sunday night.

This tour will also act as the UK album tour for Beans on Toast’s 9th album, released slap bang in the middle of the tour on 1st December. He’ll be bringing a full live band with him with fiddle, accordion and honky-tonk piano playing a mix of brand new tunes from the forthcoming album and old classics from his huge back catalogue.

Both acts release music on Xtra Mile Recordings, home to Frank TurnerAgainst Me! and Will Varley to name just a few. The label prides itself on community and family values as well as punk rock attitude and incredibly good music. All of these aspects will shine through in this awesome collaboration of a tour.

Beans on Toast Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Skinny Lister Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Beans on Toast & Skinny Lister play The Glee Club Birmingham on Tues 28th November 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for Beans on Toast’s ‘I’m Home When You Hold Me’ below:

Watch the video for Skinny Lister’s ‘Geordie Lad’ below:

Charly Bliss announce Birmingham show

June 13, 2017 in News

If it’s true that listening to just the right record at just the right moment can psychically transport you to some other time and place, then Charly Bliss—an NYC band responsible for having crafted some of the finest guitar-crunched power pop this side of an old Weezer record with a blue cover—can pretty much turn any space into an adult-friendly version of your old teenage bedroom, a candy-scented safe space for extreme fits of happiness and angsty teen-level explosions of romantic ennui.

Though Charly Bliss has been a band for over half a decade, the path that led to their first full-length record, Guppy, has been anything but straightforward. As the story goes, the band officially started when frontwoman Eva Hendricks and guitarist Spencer Fox, both just 15, crossed paths at a Tokyo Police Club show in New York City, but the ties within the band go much deeper than that. “It’s kind of insane and hilarious,” says Eva, “Sam is my older brother, so obviously we’ve known each other our whole lives, but all of us have been connected to each other since we were little kids.”

After spending years playing shows in and around New York City, the band eventually released an EP (2014’s Soft Serve) and scored opening gigs for the likes of Glass AnimalsDarwin Deez, Tokyo Police Club, Sleater-Kinney, as well as a touring spot for their own musical forebears, Veruca Salt.

Charly Bliss Links: Bandcamp | Facebook | Twitter

Charly Bliss play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 20th September 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Percolator’ below:

Dr. Dog announce show at Mama Roux’s Birmingham

June 12, 2017 in News

Philadelphia-based folk-rock/Americana six-piece Dr. Dog are part of a long tradition of D.I.Y. pop oddballs who blend unapologetic ’60s pop worship with lo-fi recording techniques and an apparent disregard for current trends.

The group began as a part-time offshoot of the more traditional indie rock act Raccoon. Over the course of several years, guitarist Toby Leaman and drummer Scott McMicken found enough free time to record the casual, sprawling, 35-track set The Psychedelic Swamp in a basement rehearsal space, finally self-releasing it in 2001. As Raccoon ended, McMicken and Leaman transformed Dr. Dog into a proper band, with McMicken on guitar and Leaman on bass (the two shared songwriting and vocals), as well as guitarist Doug O’Donnell, keyboard player Zach Miller, and drummer Juston Stens.

The band’s latest album Abandoned Mansion was released in December 2016, with 100% of the proceeds from the first month of sales going to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Dr. Dog Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Dr. Dog play Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Tues 27th June 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Bring My Baby Back’ below:

WATCH: Stevie Parker – ‘Prey’

June 12, 2017 in News

As her eagerly-anticipated debut album The Cure is about to be unleashed, Stevie Parker presents a final preview for it in the shape of a brand new video for her current track ‘Prey’.

Directed by Bisbon (winner of Best Alternative Video at the UK MVAs for London Grammar’s ‘Wasting My Younger Years’) for the London production company Friend, the ‘Prey’ video symbolically charts an escape from the claustrophobia of a city and deep into woodland. Its dreamlike imagery contrasts an unnamed figure depicted in thermographic-styled colours with the stark monochrome of the backdrop.

“I really wanted something visually ambiguous and intriguing to accompany this song,” says Stevie Parker. “It was amazing to get Bisbon on board as I’m a big fan of his work and his style was such that the final product captures that stressful yet aesthetically beautiful look I was hoping for.”

“After listening to ‘Prey’, I took away this theme of revenge or retribution and wanted to really twist it,” adds Bisbon. “I showed Stevie this technique I had been working on using something called ‘Depth Maps’. They are a tool used in post-production and are never seen, but I thought they had their own inherent beauty. Everyone seemed to really like them so we created this little story of an abstract honey trap where Stevie lures this other girl to her before destroying her and everything around her. I had to ask for a lot of trust on this one as the final effect was so very different to what we were filming but Stevie was very brave and just let me crack on with it.”

The track utilises plaintive acoustic guitar and the full-range of Parker’s sublime vocal gift. Its breezy sound contrasts the dark heart of its subject matter – a howl of conflicting pleas and threats delivered in an impassioned attempt to stop a romantic connection drifting towards nothingness. Clash stated: “Languid, undulating synths underpins that pointed, visceral vocal, with ‘Prey’ seizing hold of you from the very first note.”

Stevie Parker Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Stevie Parker plays The Flapper Birmingham on Tues 3rd October 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Prey’ below:

Bootleg Rascal announce Birmingham show

June 12, 2017 in News

Ghetto-Dubsters Bootleg Rascal, from Sydney and Gold Coast, are masters of hip-hop infused jams and sonic brews: blending infectious alternative rhythms with exquisitely raspy vocals. The reprobates that make up Bootleg Rascal, as dodgy as the name suggests, include Carlos, Jimmy, and Jack.

The band have been touring since they formed in mid-2013 when the group of misfits first met in the back room of a seedy Sydney gig, bonding over their love of music and tacos and spreading/sharing tales of childish escapades (still to this day). Last year Bootleg Rascal toured Europe with their brothers in arms Sticky Fingers, playing to sell-out crowds in France, UK, Holland and Germany. Bootleg Rascal jetted off to North America with Sticky Fingers in April 2016 to join them on a month long tour.

With a couple of months down time back on home soil, the band are currently working on their second album. Their first single ‘Love Her Like I Love You’ is the first taste of what’s to come from their forthcoming second LP. A record that emphasizes their melodic knack, unique use of loops and explores a recent obsession for 80’s sounds and drum pads taking cues from Happy MondaysBowie and Peter Gabriel.

Bootleg Rascal Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Bootleg Rascal play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Thurs 31st August 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Love Her Like I Love You’ below:

Trailer Trash Tracys to play Actress & Bishop

June 12, 2017 in News

Over the course of their lush, strange, defiantly unclassifiable sophomore album Althaea, London duo Trailer Trash Tracys condense a number of disparate styles into music that thrillingly broaches the void between figuration and abstraction. While undeniably beautiful and quite often infectious in parts, this is certainly not pop music by any traditional definition; rather, it appeals to the more intuitive of mind and wild at heart. More than simply becoming a philosophical exercise however, the result is their most ambitious and idiosyncratic body of work to date, one which operates at the very limits of what pop music can be.

Their debut, Ester, released in 2012, manifested the band’s approach to making music as a fine balance between chaos and order, laying out a dense and dreamlike ecosystem of Sufi poetry, Solfeggio scales and, floating above it all, Susanne Aztoria’s otherworldly yet emotionally charged vocals.

Initially conceived as a soundtrack for a film by esteemed cult Filipino director Raya Martin, Althaea, sees the band continue their investigations into the farther flung reaches of pop music, with stunning results. If their debut 2012 album Ester was adventurous and exploratory in nature, Althaea is its grown up and sophisticated older sister: having embarked on their singular artistic course, with the new album Trailer Trash Tracys consolidate their strikingly unique language and tonal style.

Trailer Trash Tracys Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Trailer Trash Tracys play Actress & Bishop Birmingham on Fri 22nd September 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Eden Machine’ below: