Alice Phoebe Lou's fiercely independent approach to her music has given the singer songwriter a creative confidence that shines through in her captivating vocals and stripped back music. Having developed her bluesy, folk sound busking on the streets of Berlin, Alice has caught the ears of a community of music lovers the world over with her honest storytelling and raw, beautiful voice.
Friday 22/09/2017 21:20
St. Michaelis Kirche
Alice grew up on a mountainside in South Africa listening to her parent's records and indulging her love of theatre, arts and music at a local Waldorf school; a formative time that nurtured her independence and desire to experience music of all styles. This multi-faceted creative upbringing mixed with Alice's natural wanderlust and in 2010, 16-year-old Alice made her first journey to Europe during her summer break from school. Inspired by watching fire dancers in Paris, she began to perform likewise to get enough money to fund her travelling.
That summer Alice roamed between Paris and Amsterdam; experiencing the highs and lows of street performances' underbelly. This vagabond lifestyle was a creative inspiration and gave Alice an enduring taste for the immediacy of street crowds. After returning to South Africa to complete her studies, Alice's path led her back to Europe and she made her way to the German capital - Berlin. The freedom of the city was intoxicating and she immersed herself in the creative world there.
Alice began busking across Berlin with just her guitar, a small amplifier on a trolley and her mesmerising voice. Her natural talent and captivating delivery started to garner a cult street following with people coming to see her busk and buy her records. The uncompromising creative community of Berlin also helped Alice grow musically and she collaborated with acoustic, jazz and electronic musicians; including multi-instrumentalist Matteo who quickly became Alice's live performance companion. Soon Alice self-released her first body of work - the Momentum EP - her first collaborative effort recorded between Berlin and Cape Town with five different producers. Although by now interest was sparked with several major labels, Alice's desire to maintain the creative freedom she had fostered kept her focus on growing her digital community of loyal fans and imagining ever more interesting settings for her intimate live shows
Now having spent two years playing intimate gigs across Europe and South Africa, and supporting established like-minded artists like Rodriguez, April 2016 will see Alice releasing her first full length studio album. Orbit comprises nine jazz-influenced, eclectic tracks recorded between Cape Town and Berlin that encapsulate the freshness of her live style, vagabond spirit and showcase her distinctive, soprano voice. Produced by Matteo and Kyson, the album is a testament to Alice's collaborative way of writing and features musicians from South Africa and Europe lending their musical skills and different visual artists producing art works to match each track. The result is an intricately woven pattern of soul, blues and jazz: scattered with retro, beatnik melodies; soothing vocal harmonies and sleazy brass flourishes.
"A subtle, refreshing twist on pop music." Pigeons and Planes
"intimate harmonies and hushed synths harness tales of unrequited love" The Telegraph
"bursting with an upbeat pop sound and heavenly Eastern melodies" Wonderland Magazine
Thursday 21/09/2017 23:50
IDER are Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville, two friends based in North London whose blend of soaring pop and delicate electronics took 2016 by storm. Emerging first with their smoky R&B tinted debut ‘Sorry’, IDER quickly enticed fans such as stellar songwriter and producer Shura and Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens. The duo followed up ‘Sorry’ with a vulnerable, perfectly poised second cut called ‘Pulse’, drawing comparisons to London Grammar and FKA twigs.
The summer months came and went with IDER performing a handful of acclaimed support slots with Tegan and Sara amongst others whilst writing and recording new material. IDER capped a thrilling first year as a fully functioning band with the Eastern influenced ‘King Ruby’ and the emotionally charged ‘Million’. Support rained in from Wonderland, DIY and The Line of Best Fit - and the pair bagged a “Track of the Week” from Huw Stephens in the process.
Now, with almost two million streams on the board, IDER are on the verge of breaking exciting new ground with the announcement of their debut EP on Aesop - a label renowned for launching a handful of the most forward-facing and celebrated electronic and pop artists of this decade, including SOHN and TALA.
The record Gut Me Like An Animal features four entirely new compositions; including today's polished-pop release 'Face On', future live favourite 'Nevermind', the soaring 'Does She Even Know' and the EP's beautifully fragile a'cappella title track. The record will be released digitally on 31 March.
Having stunned audiences to silence throughout the course of last year with their inseparable harmonies and exceptional multi-instrumentalism, IDER will play their debut headline show at Bermondsey Social Club on 6 April. Tickets sold out within four days of going on-sale.
The LaFontaines are the most exciting force in music since a bunch of guys in caves figured out that rhythmically banging on stuff and dancing about was fun.
Wednesday 20/09/2017 22:30
The quintet - Kerr Okan, John Gerard, Darren McCaughey, Jamie Keenan and Iain Findlay - grew up in the gritty reality of contemporary smalltown Scotland but they are about to shake up the music industry and the whole social structure of the UK with their quite astonishing debut album, ‘Class’.
A diverse array of musical influences is mixed and melded together to produce a sound that is characteristically, unmistakably theirs. Rock, Hip-Hop, Pop, Drum and Bass.. pretty much everything but country, swirling around the Fonts music machine and emerging as an entirely new beast with a bad attitude, a strong Scottish accent and a healthy dose of rage.
Rapper and Font-in-chief Kerr Okan is understandably thrilled to unleash the first Fonts long player on an unsuspecting world. He said: “Our debut album Class is a culmination of everything we have managed to achieve, everything we have worked on and worked for. A band like this, we are sort of first through the door, there’s never been anything to gauge it against, there’s never been anything like this before.”
It’s often been said that The LaFontaines shouldn’t work - no-one should be able to pull off the insane blend of styles that they do. Yet when you see them play, it’s seamless, it’s natural, and it’s mind-blowing.
“It works because we are five completely different guys so we fire it all into a big melting pot. We have played so much live and honed the live set so much, without ever trying to consciously think about it, that it just comes together, all the influences, all the ideas. It just works!
“We don’t feel the need to be confined to any set genre. We just go in the studio, and make whatever comes naturally. It comes through time, being a band together every single day, playing for so many years developing our sound. It’s why it’s unique.
His own harshest critic, it’s clear Kerr is delighted with the record his band have produced - and no wonder. “I couldn’t be happier with this project, I think the album is a fantastic record. There’s maturity in the songwriting, the instrumentation is at a very good example of where we are, lyrically I am happy with the level. Look at Class, the title. The album is called Class because it IS fucking class, but also is about social class. We’ve been dealing with that our whole lives and of course there’s that undertone through the writing, all the boys have that sort of background so it comes through. I am very proud of what we have managed to achieve, and of how we have managed to convey what we do and what we are about. There are different levels through it all, there are many connotations and things there to find if you look into the songs a little more deeply. I am delighted with what we have done.”
Stylistically, the album does well to cover all the elements of TheLaFontaines sound. While there’s an overarching thread uniting those elements, the album veers into different waters, exploring their different extremes. There’s the raw, aggressive but groove-driven rap of King and Slow Elvis, the breezy pop with an angry undercurrent of Class and Castles, the rockier edge of Window Seat and Junior Dragon and the blissed out pop wondrousness of All She Knows... yet even here, on their most sublimely gentle of moments, there’s a blade hidden beneath the velvet. As their anthem Shark In The Water says, with this band, there’s always something deadly lurking beneath seemingly calm waters.
Kerr said: “The album is a selection of what we think are our best songs but nothing is ever cut and dried. Look at King, it’s never gonna be a commercial pop song, the lyrical content is very serious but the groove is powerful. Same applies with Slow Elvis. Then there’s the song Class which really comes from the heart, addressing a lot of anger for all of us at times about the class system - but it’s a really upbeat poppy song.”
While the album is essential listening for the coming summer, to really understand what makes The LaFontaines such an exceptional proposition, you need to see them live. Long universally and justifiably hailed the best live band in their home country, their forthcoming UK headline tour will see that reputation spread like an especially addictive musical opiate. Once you see them, you’re hooked. And there’s no methadone to wean you off the Fonts.
Kerr said: “We have this reputation as a great live band because we love it, for us that is what it is all about so it’s what we have spent the last five years doing. People listen to music differently but that’s fine by me. As far as I am concerned music is just a form of promotion to get people to our shows to see us kill it live. That is why we are a band. You can do tricks in the studio but live there’s no hiding, if you are good you’re good, if you’re fucking shit then that’s what people will see. Come see us and judge us for yourself. No falseness, no hiding, we are there on the stage having a party and baring our souls. We have grown up and grown into it, we know what we are as a band. And we know we’re happy with that.
“This is our first headline tour ever through the UK. We have done bigger one off gigs and things but this is our first time going out through the whole UK on our own. It’s daunting, not in terms of us carrying the shows but just hoping people show up and we sell them out. We know that if we get the people to the shows it will be all good. We’re confident in our show. So come see it.”
And then, of course, there’s the small matter of the Fonts opening the Main Stage on Saturday at T in the Park this year, a slot any band, signed or otherwise, would kill for. Yet it is absolutely deserved and from all corners, there’s nothing but confidence that the band will absolutely kill it.
Kerr grinned: “T in the Park Main Stage, it’s funny to think how far we have come. It’s going to be incredible. In a strange way, it is phenomenal but I don’t feel like it isn’t what we deserve. We are ready and we’ll fucking smash it. We belong on that Main Stage and we are gonna show that.”
Shining through everything he says, just as it screams from every moment of the album, is the unerring, utterly deserved confidence in everything The LaFontaines do. A band who have no plan B, no half-arsed “giving it a go”. This is their life, their only option. And it shows.
“By the end of the year I want the album out and well-received and to have done a second bigger UK tour, do Europe, the States, but the key is I want our music to be listened to the way it should be. I want people to understand what we have spent the last few years doing, which is creating a body of work that properly represents our band.
“This band is going to be fucking huge. It WILL be huge. It has to be. All we care about is this band, it’s what I have worked towards since I was 15 and it is going to happen. Try and fucking stop us.”
The Danish girl with the bruised knees jumping down from stage swinging the chord of the microphone like a whip while she sings as much of sex and drugs as emotions and far away places. At times it can seem like the Danish singer Lydmor is everywhere at once. One moment she is standing on the top of a bar in a venue in Sao Paolo singing her heart out while the beat is pumping over her sweaty dancing audience.
Friday 22/09/2017 23:00
Sankt Pauli Museum (Hamburg Haus)
Saturday 23/09/2017 23:15
Next she playfully co-produces a track with j-pop legend Takeshi Kobayashi, or composes a soundtrack for an animated fantasy series. In between her myriad of creative collaborations (including critically acclaimed "Lydmor & Bon Homme")the young producer and singer has managed to tour most of the world several times, playing from the biggest festivals and venues to at times in the homes, in tiny living rooms, of her biggest fans.
The eccentric Scandinavian girl balances always on the tip of a knifes edge between light and dark. Between loving and cold. Order and chaos. If you manage to catch one of her shows, she will flirt, dance, cry, scream and hug her way into your heart with a brutal honesty that comes across both in her pumping rhythmical electro sounds as well as her emotional dreamy side. Multiple media has compared the quirky voice to the likes of Grimes, Kate Bush or Björk but inevitably the comparisons fall short. Lydmor is quite her own and since she returned from a mysterious stay in Shanghai in China she has been working on her coming album to be released in 2018.
Inside a Redwood tree off the coast of California; within a tunnel by Snoqualmie Pass; on an airstrip in Marble, Colorado; in a wild daisy field near Crested Butte—these are just a few of the places Los Angeles trio, Magic Giant, recorded its debut album, aptly titled, In the Wind (Washington Square/Razor & Tie). Austin Bisnow (lead vocals), Zambricki Li (banjo, violin, harmonica), and Zang (acoustic guitar, cello) welcomed nature into the fold as their unofficial fourth member. “It was fate,” recalls Zambricki.
Saturday 23/09/2017 20:50
Häkken (Klubhaus St. Pauli)
Saturday 23/09/2017 23:20
“We were scheduled to play all these festivals—Electric Forest, Wanderlust, Lightning in a Bottle—that just so happened to be in really beautiful parts of the country.” During Spring 2016, the boys bought a shuttle bus, converted it into a solar-powered mobile recording studio, added a California King on hydraulics, and fondly named her Queen Elizabeth. “There were spaces of time between shows where we could get creative,” explains Zang. “Using the bus to power microphones, we recorded outside—literally In The Wind—across North America.”
“Living in the city, it’s easy to forget how enchanting the road can be,” Zang adds. “We recorded anywhere and everywhere. There were no ceilings or limits to what we could capture.”
Just before Magic Giant hit the road, their single “Set on Fire” began heating up. Independently released, it went from their studio to #4 on Spotify’s US Viral 50, eventually amassing nearly 4 million streams in less than a year. It became a favorite on Los Angeles radio, hitting #1 on KROQ’s Locals Only. It was after this success that the three-piece landed a deal with Washington Square. Billboard claimed, “With a joyful live show the band is inspiring mass dance-alongs,” while NPR wrote, “Magic Giant captures the energy and spirit of the past few waves of upbeat, passionate indie-folk.”
Magic Giant represents the union of three distinct, dynamic, and diverse artistic voices. Since his childhood in Washington, D.C., Austin obsessively pursued his love of songwriting. He studied classical composition and then went on to write songs with artists ranging from John Legend to David Guetta. New Jersey native Zambricki got hit by a car in junior high, fell into a coma, and once he woke, miraculously learned violin in 4 days through a rare brain trauma reorganization now known as Acquired Savant Syndrome: “If I could go back, I’d throw myself in front of the car,” Zambricki chuckles. Later on he began writing and one of his first songs was featured in the Sundance-awarded film Paper Heart. Born and raised in Los Angeles to Persian immigrants, Zang learned upright bass in grade school before picking up guitar and studying dance. He caught the attention of Austin and Zambricki when they came across online videos of him salsa dancing and were instantly hooked.
The three are an unlikely match, but their magnetic chemistry can get any crowd moving, from a sold out show at the legendary Troubadour to a sunset music or yoga festival audience. The group has recently toured with bands such as Beats Antique, The Revivalists, and Mike Posner.
In The Wind threads together a musical cartography of alternative, pop, and folk. The instrumentation includes (get ready…) orchestral drums, banjo, trumpet, saxophone, harmonica, synthesizers, electric bass, cello, viola, violin, dobro, lap steel, mandolin, and more as the musical and lyrical palettes prove equally vibrant.
“We use whatever instruments are best for the song,” says Austin. “Lyrically, when we get together to write,” adds Zang, “it’s different from what we would have imagined individually. That’s the beauty of co-writing—we become one unique voice we may never have found on our own."
The road eventually took the band to Atlanta, where they met up with producer Ben Allen to help glue the body of work together. Returning home to their converted 1940’s bomb-shelter studio, The Bunker, Magic Giant put the finishing touches on their debut record. Austin leaves us with, “When people hear our music or experience a show, we want to bring out the most uninhibited version of themselves.”
A mixture of endorphin, dopamine, adrenaline and a small dose of testosterone. Raw but catchy, overwhelming and accessible at the same time, disturbed but pleasing. And above all with an unbounded passion for Rockmusic.
Following a period of writing and recording abroad, multi-platinum singer-songwriter and local favourite Vance Joy has today unveiled a brand new single, ‘Lay It On Me’, with an accompanying video. In a further treat for fans, the Melbourne musician has also announced two headline shows for this November, in both his hometown and Sydney.
Friday 22/09/2017 19:45
Friday 22/09/2017 21:40
‘Lay It On Me’ received its worldwide premiere this morning via triple j’s breakfast team, and is the first taste of new music from Vance Joy since 2014’s hugely successful, ARIA #1 debut album, Dream Your Life Away. The album is certified platinum in Australia with 115,000 sales and includes the singles ‘Riptide’ (8x platinum) ‘Fire and the Flood’ (3x platinum), Georgia (2x platinum) and Mess Is Mine (2x platinum).
I had this guitar riff I had been playing for ages but had never found a home for. When it was glued together with a lyric I had in my phone, "everything starts at your skin", the song started to make sense. – Vance Joy
The stunning, cinematic video, directed by acclaimed US director Mimi Cave, sees Vance Joy performing alongside US actress Angela Sarafyan of the HBO series ‘Westworld’.
The homecoming shows, presented by Frontier Touring, will take place at The Forum Theatre in Melbourne on November 22 and the Enmore Theatre in Sydney on November 23 and mark his first headline performances in Australia since last April’s sold-out ‘Fire and the Flood’ Tour. Joining Vance Joy will be Gretta Ray who burst onto the scene last year after winning triple j’s Unearthed High competition with her single ‘Drive’. She has followed up with the gorgeous track ‘Towers’.
In addition to the Melbourne and Sydney dates, Vance Joy is also set to perform at this year’s Splendour in the Grass Festival in Byron Bay and Spilt Milk in Canberra. Fans can expect to hear favourites from Dream Your Life Away, in addition to a handful of new songs.
In between the Australian touring, Vance Joy will resume his globe-trotting ways, with a bunch of major festival dates already confirmed for the US and Canada including New York City’s Panorama, Chicago’s Lollapalooza, San Francisco’s Outside Lands, Austin’s City Limits Music Festival and Montreal’s Osheaga Festival.
The success of Dream Your Life Away has been global. The album has now sold over 1.7 million copies worldwide including over a million in the US alone. In addition to its platinum status in Australia, the album is 4x platinum in Sweden, 3x platinum in Ireland, 2x in Colombia, Italy and the Netherlands and platinum in France, Norway and Switzerland. Single sales in the US now exceed 6 million, with global Spotify streams totalling more than a whopping, one billion. To add to 2013’s Hottest 100 crown, ‘Riptide’ was also awarded 2014’s APRA Song of the Year and this year’s Most Played Australian Work Overseas. Globally, Vance Joy was named the recipient of the International Songwriting Competition’s Grand Prize with perfect scores (2014) and ASCAP’s ‘Pop Work of the Year’ (2016) also for ‘Riptide’ and the #1 Most Played Artist at Alternative radio in the US for 2015 The very same year, he served as direct support on Taylor Swift’s ‘1989 World Tour’ and scooped an ARIA Award for Best Male Artist. His headline ‘Fire and the Flood’ tour saw him sell more than 170,000 tickets worldwide.
Abusing, evading and obliterating 20 years of whimsical pop trends, Jane Weaver’s experience as a truly independent and resilient female experimental songwriter / sound-carrier commands respect and inspiration in equal measures.
Friday 22/09/2017 00:00
Häkken (Klubhaus St. Pauli)
Dashing through northern pastures unsaddled and un-blinkered Jane's journey so-far, from teenage Liverpudlian shoe-gazer to conceptual-pop mistress, has seen her graze with pocket-punk, Synth-pop, acid folk, indie-schmindie, dark-ambient drones, Hollywood soundtracks and girl-group psych.
Raised on the enthusiasm and inspiration of Factory records founder Rob Gretton and counting Doves and Elbow as her early backing bands Jane’s desire to cultivate and promote Manchester's lesser-documented Female musicians lead to her long-running Bird records imprint (releasing the earliest recordings of Cate Le Bon, Beth Jeans Houghton and Maxine Peake) housed in the anti-office of Andy Votel’s Twisted Nerve label.
Having recorded 6 critically acclaimed self-penned solo albums Jane has also written and recorded with a wide range of multi-disciplined artists featuring pioneering ‘lost’ musicians (Wendy & Bonnie, Suzanne Ciani, Cybotron and Suzanne Christie) as well as non-conformists (Demdike Stare, Dave Tyack and The Focus Group) and high-profile friends and supporters (David Holmes, Damon Gough, Dave Brock).
Jane’s lesser known creative endeavours have seen her contribute sound-installation projects to labels via Manchester's Boomkat experimental imprint, various international theatrical institutes as a film re-composer, as a compiler for Finders Keepers records, and as an author of children’s books based on her visual collaborations with Klunkclick (Yo Gabba Gabba / Bobby Conn).
Meanwhile her presence as a live performer has been requested by the likes of Jarvis Cocker, Guy Garvey (Meltdown), Laetitia Sadier, Richard Hawley, Josephine Foster and Gruff Rhys and has flexed her knowledge in the DJ booth as a one-time member of Sean Rowley’s Guilty Pleasures DJ team. Jane’s music has appeared in fashion campaigns for Chanel and Chloe plus a wide-range of TV and Cinematic productions such as the soundtrack to ‘Kiss Of The Damned’ directed by John Cassevetes daughter Xan. Jane’s voice was also sampled by the band Coldplay, on the track ‘Another’s Arms’.
Jane’s last album ‘The Silver Globe’ was, in Jane’s own opinion, her most complete and realised commitment to vinyl to date and was released via her own Bird Records imprint in late 2014 garnering the instant accolade on Piccadilly Records Album Of The Year a notion shared with many music fans and blogs. Gilles Peterson gave the first single ‘Don't Take My Soul’ a Top Ten place in his best tracks of the year adding to the unanimous support of radio DJs like Jarvis Cocker, Marc Riley, Stuart Maconie, Lauren Laverne and Mary Anne Hobbs. Early DJ mix encouragement has also come from the likes of Andrew Weatherall and Beyond The Wizards Sleeve. Having debuted songs to a proud list of sold-out headline gigs, and as a key artist at last years Festival Number 6, beneath the rays of The Silver Globe anything is possible.
2017 will see the release of new music, yet to be announced, with a busy live schedule expected later in the year through 2018.