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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:

Ulrich Schnauss live at Mama Roux’s Birmingham

June 12, 2017 in News

At once uplifting and otherworldly, the music of Ulrich Schnauss combines multi-layered synthesizers with beats and ethereal vocals, serving as an aural escape route from the trappings of reality. As Schnauss explains, “I’ve always used making and listening to music as a way to escape – putting on headphones is a great way to leave reality behind for a while, reminding yourself why it still makes sense to carry on.”

Today, his work expresses a renewed interest in more direct electronic sounds, and aims to substitute traditional verse-chorus-verse structures for more freeform atmospherics. Schnauss is also a talented remixer who has produced re-workings for the likes of Depeche ModePet Shop BoysTodd TerjeBryan Ferry and Matryoshka.

The live show is a live collaboration with Nat Urazmetova, a London-based visual artist who integrates the cross-disciplinary approach and lens media in her work. Nat is a University of the Arts BA Photography and Goldsmiths MA Digital Media graduate.

Ulrich Schnauss Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter 

Ulrich Schnauss plays Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Thurs 26th October 2017 featuring a live collaboration with Nat Urazmetova. Tickets available here.

Watch Ulrich Schnauss perform at Norwich Sound & Vision Festival below:

Wesley Gonzalez announces Birmingham show

June 12, 2017 in News

Wesley Gonzalez has announced details of his debut solo record Excellent Musician, which will be released 30th June 2017 on Moshi Moshi Records.

To coincide, Gonzalez has shared new track ‘Exhibition Song’; an ode to the lethargy and laziness felt during the beginnings of a romantic relationship. With a close melodic harmony and an anguished vocal arrangement, which evokes early Todd Rundgren, the song melds delicate lyricism with punchy ferocity.

Gonzalez made a name for himself at an early age as the petulant frontman and creative force behind guitar-shredding pop-punk band Let’s Wrestle. The band, formed in 2005 when Gonzalez was only 15, was lauded for their no-fi DIY sound.

Wesley Gonzalez Links: Facebook | Twitter

Wesley Gonzalez plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sat 28th October 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Come Through And See Me’ below:

Tom Speight announces Birmingham show

June 9, 2017 in News

London-based artist Tom Speight recently released ‘The River’, the first single from Tom Speight’s new EP My My My.

Speaking on the track, Tom says: ‘I’ve always wanted to record ‘The River’ with Chris Bond. I knew that he would capture the mood of the song and layered atmospheric texture of it. The production uses a similar palette as ‘Willow Tree’ with its strings, female vocals and double bass. I’ve got fond memories of recording this track because we would always work on it at night because of its chilled nature. I was lucky enough to have Allie Moss feature on guest vocals, she has such a beautiful tone to her voice. I remember the first time I heard her on the BT TV advert I Shazam’d the song and messaged her on Twitter, asking if she would be up for singing on one of my tracks, thankfully she said yes.’

Having released 4 EP’s over the last year, Tom is set to release another quartet of EP’s in 2017 & 2018, the first of which ‘Willow Tree’ was released in Jan ‘17. The 2nd EP My My My follows in July, the 3rd and 4th in the Autumn of 2017 and early 2018.

2017 has also seen Tom signed to Kobalt (recording) and Cooking Vinyl (publishing). Radio 2 playlist support continues and Tom has reached an amazing 10m streams on Spotify.

Tom Speight Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tom Speight plays The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Sun 19th November 2017. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘The River’ below:

Kyla La Grange to play Mama Roux’s Birmingham

June 9, 2017 in News

Kyla La Grange isn’t new to the game. The Cambridge graduated, self-taught singer-songwriter-producer already has two critically acclaimed albums, a worldwide hit with Kygo and a burgeoning global fan-base under her belt and she’s now back with a series of singles that showcase her constantly evolving sound.

Much more than just a vocalist, Kyla represents a new generation of smart, strong-minded, innovative female pop artists who self-produce much of their music, speak out passionately about the issues close to their heart and captivate all they encounter.

Since the success of her first two albums Ashes, 2012 and Cut Your Teeth, 2014 Kyla has collaborated with JakwobBen Pearce and The Artful Dodger amongst others and released a series of distinguished electronic pop singles, cementing her position as a darling of the blogosphere.

Her next releases showcase influences from a wide range of genres, from garage, to pop, to trap and electronica, and reveal an artist willing to constantly explore and move with whatever inspires her at the time. Having recently completed two global tours with dance music pioneers Faithless, and a series of exciting releases lined up, Kyla is poised to introduce her sound to a whole new audience and galvanise on support among those who are already fans on her own headline run throughout June.

Kyla La Grange Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Kyla La Grange plays Mama Roux’s Birmingham on Mon 12th June 2017, with support from FOURS. Tickets available here.

Listen to ‘Justify’ below:

Bry announces Birmingham show

June 9, 2017 in News

The standout album track ‘Disarm’ is featured on Bry’s eponymous debut album, and the new single edit compacts all of its punch into a sharp 3:30 running time. The video for ‘Disarm’ features the actress Evanna Lynch (“Luna Lovegood” in the Harry Potter series).

Bry’s story begins in down at heel Dublin pubs and clubs where he performed in a succession of bands before taking a notion to travel to every single country in the world. Setting up a YouTube channel (BriBryontour) to let family and friends know how he was getting on in his travels, one late night abroad he uploaded a video of himself playing one of his own songs – and everything changed.

In late 2014, a word-of-mouth recommendation from a friend led Jonny Quinn, Snow Patrol drummer and co-founder of Polar Patrol Publishing, to check out the singer-songwriter’s YouTube channel. In early 2015, Bry duly joined Belle and SebastianJohnny McDaid and more as the newest addition to the Polar Patrol stable, with 13 Artists signing up to represent the singer for live bookings and Mondo Management at the helm.

In late 2016, Bry toured Europe with Twenty-One Pilots, and then continued on to headline his own shows in Europe and the UK throughout December, February, April, and May, selling out many venues along the way. In November of this year, he embarks on another headline Europe and UK tour.

Bry Links: Youtube | Facebook | Twitter

Bry plays O2 Academy3 Birmingham on Wed 22nd November 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘You’re Alright’ below:

Skinny Living live at Hare & Hounds Birmingham

June 7, 2017 in News

Neither the Belfast-born singer nor the West Yorkshire-based band he fronts have had much time for glancing backwards. Skinny Living sold out venues across the country, landed a plum support slot with Jake Bugg at Leeds Arena (after a search for local talent) played festivals from The Secret Garden Party to the legendary Isle Of Wight and now landed a contract with RCA Victor, the label synonymous with David Bowie. In recent months, they’ve toured in the Philippines (where the locals had taken photos of the band from the internet and made them into huge posters), worked with some of the UK’s top producers and songwriters and are about to play to 65,000 Justin Bieber fans when they support the US star in Hyde Park.

However, their story isn’t one of rags to riches so much as one of grinding poverty, troubling situations and relentless hard graft. It’s also one of synchronicity, chance meetings, and unflinching belief that their glorious acoustic soul – with its echoes of Bill Withers, the Isley Brothers and Paolo Nutini – will out. As it is doing, with a timeless, gentle beauty and lyrical wisdom far beyond the band’s years.

New single ‘Why’ – which lead singer Ryan describes as “a really heartfelt ballad about a time in my personal life” has been given a more contemporary sheen by in demand producer/electronic artist LostBoy, who was able to recapture the “special feeling” of the band’s initial demo but make the song sound huge and modern. Another potential single, ‘Fade’, was co-written with and produced by Ivor Novello/Brit Award winner Steve Robson, whose lengthy track record of pop hits stretches from Cher to Busted to Westlife to One Direction to Olly Murs and Ed Sheeran.

Skinny Living Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Skinny Living play Hare & Hounds Venue 2 Birmingham on Wed 25th October 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Only I’ below:

Dead Pretties to play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham

June 7, 2017 in News

Beginning as the result of a chance, shoeless acid-trip chance meeting, Dead Pretties were soon to gravitate around their one common interest of making music. Dropping out of their respective musical colleges at 17 and instead adopting London’s smaller, more ramshackle venues as their musical institutions of choice, the three-piece soon set about making noise together wherever and whenever possible.

Clambering on to any stage that would have them, The Windmill in Brixton being somewhat unsurprisingly the most welcoming, the band soon enough began pricking (or perhaps perforating) the ears of soon-to-be-converted audiences with their volatile, guttural performances.

Support slots to the likes of DrengeHMLTD and The Orwells were soon offered, with the band showing they were more than capable of stirring larger audiences when called upon, and regular exhilarating performances alongside their South London contemporaries Goat GirlShame and Fish, proving the live setting is where the band truly thrive.

Whilst pulling inspiration from an assortment of artists, not exclusive to The CrampsJoni Mitchell, and The White Stripes – it’s the band’s essential biting of the fabric of contemporary culture that really isolates them as one of London’s most important and exciting new bands.

Dead Pretties Links: Soundcloud | Facebook

Dead Pretties play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 4th October 2017. Tickets available here.

Watch the video for ‘Social Experiment’ below: