Talking about Gabriella Cohen requires a new adjective: when she tells you about a guitar tone she likes, an organ sound she’s looking for, or the opening bars of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I Found a Reason’, she might tell you these things sound ‘pink’. She’s not describing a synesthetic or aesthetic connection with the colour — instead, it’s an adjective she’s coined. Luckily, after a spin through Cohen’s debut album Full Closure and No Details, we’ll all know what ‘pink’ sounds like: it sounds like this. It sounds like heartbreak and reckless abandon, like quiet reflection and raucous teamwork.
Following supports for Warpaint, Wooden Shjips, and a US tour with Foxygen, the Melbourne-based singer-songwriter and the frontwoman of garage band the Furrs, embarks on her first UK headline tour in May, calling at The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on the 22nd.
Full Closure and No Details is available via Captured Tracks on 3rd March 2017.
“A beautiful record – one of the albums of the year” – Lauren Laverne, BBC 6 Music “Rich, detailed and beguiling’ – The Irish Times **** “A great singer and a latter day Delia Derbyshire” – The Observer
The Northern Irish artist, singer and electronic composer and member of the The Magnetic North, Hannah Peel released her new solo album Awake But Always Dreaming to great acclaim at the end of 2016, with Q Magazine describing the album as a ‘sublime electronic opus’ in their 4 star review.
Peel first came to recognition with her mesmerizing, hand-punched ‘music box’ EP Rebox, featuring covers of ‘80s bands Cocteau Twins, Soft Cell, & New Order. Having released her critically lauded solo debut album The Broken Wave, Peel then formed The Magnetic North, a highly praised and expansive collaborative project with Simon Tong(The Verve, Gorillaz) and Erland Cooper (Erland & The Carnival).
2016 was Peel’s busiest year to date: in addition to her solo album, she collaborated with Beyond The Wizard’s Sleeve (aka Erol Alkan & Richard Norris) on the singles ‘Diagram Girl’ and ‘Creation’ and her band The Magnetic North released their widely praised second album, Prospect Of Skelmersdale in March ’16.
The Good Water release their new single ‘Mansaid’ on Friday 10th February.
The new single from Birmingham based garage psych-rockers showcases psych-pop harmonies alongside frantic riffs and comes hot on the heels of their previous single ‘See Your Light’. This received airplay from Steve Lamacq, Mary-Anne Hobbes and Shaun Keaveny at BBC 6Music, as well as tastemakers at Amazing Radio and influential LA stations KROQ and Indie 1031.
Since forming in early 2015, The Good Water have been busy. The boys quickly picked up loyal support from Brum Radio with their drone-rock debut single ‘Everything Is’, gained new fans at raucous shows around the Midlands and blew away audiences supporting Mercury Rev, Super Furry Animals and Bill Ryder-Jones at Lunar Festival. The duo’s brand of psychedelic rock grooves, obscure lyrics and nimble riffs is streamlined into tight garage-pop frameworks. The press have been quick to spot their talents, with rave reviews from Soundsphere Magazine, Ear To The Ground Music, Slap Magazine, Diamond Deposits, Born Music Online and Mytacism Music amongst many others.
Stevie Parker has launched her stunning new single ‘Without You’ today, directed by Tom Ralph. The track was premiered on Huw Stephens’ Radio 1 show last night.
Stevie Parker established herself as a striking new talent at the end of 2016 with her introductory tracks ‘Never Be’, ‘The Cure’ and her more recent debut EP Blue. Drawing comparisons with London Grammar and The xx, many critics praised the tender emotion of her inimitable vocal as well as her ability to craft tracks rich in both ambient atmosphere, haunting heartbreak and carefully nuanced touches.
Now the 24-year-old Bristol-based musician takes another bold step forward with the release of a brand new track ‘Without You’. The single sees Parker’s expressive vocal range exploring a cavalcade of emotions from yearning to spirited independence, while the track’s relentless rhythmic march gains in intensity before exploding into a dramatic crescendo. People will relate their own experiences to its central rallying cry “I’m doing alright with you”, but early line “Won’t take a breath boy if I’m breathing for you” expresses both pain and pride with poetic precision.
“With this video I really wanted to convey a sense of isolation, which is at odds with the theme of strength and independence evident in the lyrics.” Says Parker, adding “Kind of makes you wonder what the actual message is and I like that ambiguity! The variety in the locations and the number of them only furthers that, a sense of being just as lost in a sea of people as you are on your own.”
Directed by Thomas Ralph with Caviar Productions, the video for ‘Without You’ juxtaposes Parker’s femininity with a series of settings traditionally viewed as masculine, and also contrasts her solitude in places rammed with crowds. The video features many London locations including the recent Women’s March in Trafalgar Square, Billingsgate Fish Market, the Wansted Flats Sunday league football pitches and Hampstead Lido. The video’s memorable opening aerial tracking scene echoes the introduction to Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 classic The Conversation.
Stevie has just finished touring with Mercury Prize-nominated artist C Duncan, and embarks on her own headline tour this February.
Coming up in Birmingham this week we have The Head and the Heart at the O2 Institute on Monday, following the release of their album Signs of Light. Wednesday sees singer-songwriter Tom Walker play a sold out show at The Sunflower Lounge. And after supporting the likes of Ryan Adams, Father John Misty and Beck, Kieran Leonard returns with his new band Saint Leonard’s Horses on Saturday at The Sunflower Lounge. Check out the full details below:
The Head And The Heart‘s new release Signs Of Light,recorded in Nashville, crackles with the upbeat, sing-a-long energy of the the band’s finest work. Throughout, the colors are brighter, the electric guitars are louder and the musical touchstones more universal, with nods to classic Fleetwood Mac. Support comes from Cattle & Cane with their finely crafted indie-pop and mesmerising harmonies.
Watch the video for ‘All We Ever Knew’ below:
WEDNESDAY 1ST FEBRUARY
Tom Walker + Grafton Ash + Ryan Sparrow @ The Sunflower Lounge MORE INFO • SOLD OUT
Recently signed to Sony’s Relentless Records, Tom Walker was born in Scotland and raised in Manchester on his father’s extensive record collection – drawn to artists like Ray Charles, The Police and Bob Marley. His song ‘Play Dead’ immediately conjures comparisons with some of the UK’s brightest crossover singer-songwriters such as Finley Quaye, Hozier, and Paulo Nutini. Support comes from 4 piece pop/folk band Grafton Ash and Birmingham singer-songwriter Ryan Sparrow.
Listen to ‘Play Dead’ below:
SATURDAY 4TH FEBRUARY
Saint Leonard’s Horses + Joseph Hicklin + Jack Cooper And The Offshore @ The Sunflower Lounge MORE INFO • BUY TICKETS
After supporting the likes of Ryan Adams, Father John Misty and Beck, Kieran Leonard returns with his new band Saint Leonard’s Horses. Born out of a visit to Stanley Kubrick’s family estate in St Albans, Hertfordshire, the intention was to harness the creative forces at work in the Kubrick house and record new material as ‘live’ as possible with the five-piece band playing together in the same room, and even lead vocals being laid down live with each track. Support comes from singer-songwriter Joseph Hicklin, and Bob Dylan and Ben Howard inspired Jack Cooper And The Offshore.
In the past few years Kieran Leonard has toured the UK and USA supporting and playing shows with Ryan Adams, Father John Misty, Bob Dylan, The Strokes, Beck, The Libertines, Billy Bragg and Wolfmother, to name a few. Then, early last year he was invited to work on music at Stanley Kubrick’s family estate in St Albans, Hertfordshire. The intention was to harness the creative forces at work in the Kubrick house and record new material as ‘live’ as possible with the five-piece band playing together in the same room and even lead vocals being laid down live with each track.
They then further honed their skills and the songs through extensive touring and festival appearances (including Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds, The Great Escape, SXSWand British Summer Time in Hyde Park). This marks the start of Saint Leonard, a culmination of two years work in search of a new recorded sound, citing the experience of the Kubrick estate, and several bizarre episodes in the isolation of stays on the Yorkshire moors and the Californian desert, as the grounds for this shift in artistic identity.
RedFaces are a brand new guitar band snapped up by a major label RCA. With a debut single – the incendiary ‘Kerosene’ – due on February 3, 2017, RedFaces are four lads from Sheffield treading what was once a well-worn path, these days the road less travelled.
The journey started at 2Fly studios in Sheffield, recording demos with Alan Smyth, the man behind the Arctic Monkeys‘ first ventures.
Out of these sessions came the band’s first release ‘Katie Come Home’ in early 2015 – championed by BBC Introducing it also attracted the attention of the London A&R fraternity. An early gig in Sheffield saw representatives from every major label through the door.
Belfast duo Exmagician released Scan The Blue on Bella Union earlier this year showcasing a heady mix of guitars meeting synths and spiraling threads of psychedelia from the latest musical incarnation of longtime collaborators Danny Todd and James Smith.
As the songwriting partnership behind Cashier No. 9, the band released the David Holmes produced album To The Death Of Fun in 2011 to widespread critical acclaim. Their new venture is propelled by a love of adventurous, psychedelic sounds, apparent from the opening bars of lead track ‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’. Steaming in with a filthy riff that’s the product of a guitar and a synth melding together making one sound indecipherable from the other.
After a succession of radio hits in Ireland with ‘Kiss That Wealth Goodbye’, ‘Job Done’ and ‘Bend With The Wind’, exmagican were nominated for the Northern Irish Music Prize, the band spent Summer touring festivals and doing German dates with July Talk.
Exmagician play The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham on Wed 25th January 2017 as part of Independent Venue Week #IVW17, with support from Callum Pickard & The Third Look and Jump The Shark. Tickets available here.
BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq is touring some of the UK’s iconic independent music venues to support the IVW initiative, where he will be stopping off at Birmingham’s own Sunflower Lounge. Steve says that “Now, more than ever, it’s important to support small, grassroots venues around the country, because, while a lot of them continue to thrive, we’ve seen many of them shut down and many still under threat”.
So to celebrate, Heavenly Records’ The Wytches will be bringing their psychedelic rock to The Sunflower Lounge on Tuesday 24th February in support of Independent Venue Week courtesy of independent promoters Surprise You’re Dead Music and Birmingham Promoters. You may have seen them on the road with The Cribs, Blood Red Shoes, Pulled Apart By Horses, at the UK’s major festivals, and more recently headlining O2 Institute2. Thanks to IVW you’ll get the chance to see them in one of the UK’s smallest indie music venues for a completely intimate one off show!
“We wanted to shine a light on these great little places, which nurture new talent and act as a meeting place for music fans. I’ve had some of the best moments of musical life in these little venues, watching all kinds of bands, including several who’ve gone on to huge success. But there’s nothing like seeing a group at its most raw and engaging when they’re first starting out, even if they’re only playing to 100 people.”
Cosmo Pyke (that’s his real name) is an 18-year-old songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Peckham. Raised on a diet of blues, jazz, hip hop, and neo-soul, he writes warm, lo-fi songs that he describes as “spacey, beautiful, and lazy”.
His songs draw less on other music and more on his everyday experiences growing up in south east London: reading books, going to pubs, playing football, and other simple pleasures in life.
Cosmo Pyke has a lot of strings to his bow. As well as being a singer and multi-instrumentalist, he’s a skateboarder, spray paint artist, and a model — spot him in Frank Ocean’s ’Nikes’ video. It’s not surprising, then, that he doesn’t have a lot of time for sitting online, as he makes clear in the stoner-friendly acoustic pop of his debut single ‘Social Sites’, a song about an ex-girlfriend and social media’s role in a relationship.
After supporting JAWS at their huge headline show at The Rainbow Warehouse back in December, Cosmo now announces his own headline show at The Sunflower Lounge this March.