And if that’s not enough to wet your appetite, the band have also received incredible reviews from the likes of Metro, PopMatters, Earmilk and BBC Introducing who love the single “more and more with every listen” – us too!
Written collectively by all four band members, the new album, under the same name as the hit single, Monsters, captures the very essence of the current world zeitgeist and features the stunning title track which is accompanied by a video directed by the award-winning Calum Macdiarmid, which has been nominated for this year’s Berlin Music Video Awards.
No news yet on the exact release date of the album but we suggest you follow the guys on social to be the first to know when they do!
Modiwo are a Romanian band, though are more like a solo project with lots of musical helpers. Their figurehead, singer Oxana Gherghel, is eminently likeable, just like the band’s music – it’s traditional europop on one very basic level but clings to your brain far more than flotsam you might watch on Eurovision. Perhaps it’s the combined musical prowess; perhaps the slightly ethereal vocals with their subtly exotic twang; perhaps it’s the super-trippy video which accompanies it, leagues ahead of anything else we’ve seen recently. Maybe it’s the exotic folklore which continues to flow from their Transylvania base. So, what to gently sip whilst drifting off to their honeyed pop?
We’ve opted for a couple of shot of palincă, a spirit brewed in the Carpathian basin, in the shadow of Dracula’s castle. Made from plums, apricots, apples, pears, or cherries, it originated in Hungary, though it has a very similar variant in Romania.
Steampunk Record Label tour is now fully underway and there’s still chance to catch a huge array of cyber Victorian talent near you. Drawing on influences as varied as cabaret, classical, punk and, most especially, the exploding Steampunk scene, their live shows are a maelstrom of sonic and visual drama, with audiences as likely to be turning heads as much as the band themselves.
Headliners (and indeed, featuring the label head honcho) BB Blackdog has over 600 gigs, 76 original songs, showcases at everywhere from Berlin to Los Angeles to London and countless festival appearances, including, Bearded Theory, Sonic Rock Solstice, Whitby Goth festival, under their collective belt. BB BlackDog have become a live band not to miss – determinedly using no overdubs, they thrive on playing simple catchy music whilst remaining fiercely independent
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Feline and Strange
Feline & Strange has embraced the Victorian/Futuristic fashion ethic and infused it into not only their appearance but also their sound. The alien troubadours, masquerading as dapper Berliners to human eyes, combine ear-chilling vocals with an electronic collapsible cello to deliver dizzying supernatural sounds and otherworldly goings-on. Having toured extensively around the world, including, inevitably, the Steampunk World Fair. Their latest album, Out, will be accompanied by a UK-exclusive box-set in September.
Skeletal gutter-blues three-piece The Wattingers take their inspiration from the American Gothic simmer of films like Texas Chain Saw Massacre and Night of the Hunter; the surreal and oozing worlds of Alejandro Jodorowsky; and the unhinged brutality of bands like The Birthday Party and The Butthole Surfers, whilst retaining the wry humour of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
The Dark Design
The Dark Design occupy a musical space somewhere between Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds and the Sisters of Mercy, combing rock-opera, theatre and murky secret societies, though that still tells only part of the story. Many of the Dark Design’s members are actually fully-functioning automata including the self-propelled autoglock, and their robotic drum-kit. They also play a variety of weird and esoteric instruments including hurdy-gurdy and the tubitar – yep, that’s a hybrid of a guitar and a tuba.
…and not forgetting, the vivacious compère, Jezebel Steele
Encouraging their fans to dress in similar Steampunk attire to themselves, this is the first glimpse of the Steampunk musical onslaught. Remember to raid their merchandise stall for musical treats too!
Also appearing on the tour will be: Sweet liquorice; The Big Fibbers; Automotone;
; Return to Chaos
What to drink with this EP? I’m feeling a Red Bull with Hennesey and a spot of Rose’s lime Juice. Something fun and bubbly, and equally sophisticated.
That is after all how I would sum up this new EP from Italian artist 1Of Us. The instrumentation is fun and bubbly, a backdrop of glossy electro that’ll get you putting your dancing shoes on. But the lyrics are very much sophisticated – the singer drawing influence from his life’s experiences and world topics such as the 2015 Paris Bombings (listen to track ‘Home’ below).
Previously signed to Warner, 1 of Us was forced to abandon his dreams of a music career 20 years ago. He has since poured his creative energy into a career in architecture. Now returning to his original passion, the artist shows us that he is still oozing with musical talent, but with a newfound maturity.
Rustle yourself up a Harvey Wallbanger or some other fancy cocktail that all those perm-loving partygoers used to drink – we’re going back to the eighties!
Punky New Wave revivalists, Big Zero, are into retro in a big way. Not only is their new EP recorded entirely on an 8-track cassette, their music videos are all recorded in VHS quality.
As for the music, it’s a mix of groovy guitars and fluorescent synths. The lyrics meanwhile are politically-charged but charmingly so, underpinned by a sense of humour. The vocals meanwhile borrow from an array of eighties band including New Order, Killing Joke and even a bit of The Police.
Overall , Big Zero meld their old skool influences into something creatively fresh and new.
Watch the video for ‘Tear It Up And Start Again’ below:
For this track I would suggest a nice fruity cider (preferably cold with a summer breeze and the heat of a BBQ)
The brainchild and alter-ego of James Machin, Derbyshire-based Grawl!x has announced the forthcoming release of his brand new album, Aye! (out May 28th) and shared mesmerising new single, ‘Pando’. ‘Pando‘ is an explosion of sun-drenched colour – with layered guitars, jumping pop beats and yearning vocals, the track was written as an ode to an elusive person that Machin had not heard from in a long time.
Recorded over months of disjointed sessions in various bedrooms and spaces, and featuring vocals and instrumentation by Haiku Salut, Grawl!x’s hypnotic experimental dream-pop album recalls Dan Deacon and Animal Collective at their finest.
Truly captivating; swells of psychedelic guitars accompany layers of distant voices, and hazy, hypnotic drums – stylistically reminiscent of Panda Bear and, in parts, Alt-J. The album theme was derived from a concept taken from the Kubler-Ross model of the five stages of dealing with grief, with Aye! (the third album in a trilogy) exploring the final stage – acceptance.
Aye! was written over the course of a number of months in an almost abandoned church on a hill in the Derbyshire countryside. Machin would walk to the church in all weathers, never encountering another soul there. Machin explains: “Inside that rather foreboding structure is an old upright piano, displaying a laminated sheet of paper with the words ‘This Piano was Meant to be Played’. So he did, regularly.
This inspired the concept of an entire church tour – with a full band, Grawl!x played numerous tour dates in some of the UK’s most beautiful churches, bringing audiences Machin’s melodic creations as they were originally intended.
The record’s lyrical themes centre around an unfortunate incident involving a mysterious ‘friend’ of the ex-My Psychoanalyst singer and guitarist. Speaking about these themes, Machin said: “Whereas my response to that would have been to mope around, his was to say ‘YES’ to whatever came his way. An affirmative attitude, that I admired.”
Hence whilst reflections on such dark subjects might in other hands have produced something grim and mawkish, out of grief Machin has wrought songs of beauty and wonder. The multi-instrumentalist played and recorded all of the instruments on Aye!, keen to create an album of two parts – a dream-pop A side and a slicker, electronic B side. Experimental soundscape ‘Compliance’ serves to mark this divide, and signpost a turning point in the album. This is a record about coping with the aftermath of grief – and how life goes on. It’s there in the haunting ‘Destination’ and the cyclical ‘Circadian Riddim’, laden as they are with drum machines and spacey synths.
Final track ‘Gumption’ features instrumentation by acclaimed Derbyshire band Haiku Salut woven around Machin’s carefully constructed soundscapes, these are compositions that tastefully blend acoustic and electronic elements that grow deeper with each listen.
The music James Machin makes as Grawl!x (pronounced ‘Grawlix’- a term used in comic book circles to refer to the ampersands and hash-tags used when a character is using profane language) is gentle and spacious, but with a deep well of feeling that often rises up out of nowhere to take over. This can be joyous, riveting, sometimes even terrifying.
Aye! starts out with simple piano and a string quartet arrangement, a gentle opening that acts as a sort of ‘reset’ button on your world, readying you for the 9 tracks that follow.
Machin will be touring with Grawl!x – full band – in June. Details to follow.
Having already released a 12” on Ambivalent’s new Valence imprint and featured on the latest Innervisions ‘Secret Weapons’ compilation this year, GoldFFinch now return to Tiga’s Turbo Recordings with their new EP, ‘Unworthy’.
Three tracks of tight, lean Techno that ranges from the ominous title track, all pulsing tones and drones and swirling arpeggios, through to the claustrophobic sub-aquatic Techno of ‘Brother’ and onto the martial kick drums and discordant bleeps of ‘Layers’. Meanwhile on the remix front, Sunju Hargun, fresh off his collab with Forrest on Twin Turbo, and Crosstown’s Fur Coat provide the big room reinforcements with new versions of ‘Unworthy’.
Having released critically acclaimed music on some of the best underground House and Techno labels around, including Numbers, Dirtybird, Black Butter, Innervisions and Turbo, GoldFFinch have proven themselves to be more than worthy to carry on the torch of Belgium’s rich history of electronic music.
“Why are Swedish female pop stars always so brilliant?…” – The Guardian
“Thrilling” – NYLON Magazine
“Massive, pumped full of space-age electronica & soaring synthesizers…” – MTV Buzzworthy
Stockholm melody master Vanbot has announced her return with upcoming albumPerfect Storm, the electro-pop purist’s follow-up album to her 2011 debut. Riding on the acclaim from the likes of Nylon, The Guardian, Pop Justice, Interview Magazine and MTV, the Johannes Berglund (The Knife, I Break Horses) produced & mixed record sees Vanbot embark on a darker and more evocative spectrum than previous outings.
Shelving a virtually complete album in 2013 after a creative breakdown, Vanbot (real name Ester Ideskog) began anew and vowed to lean away from musical norm in search of a greater bite and growl. Despite the change in direction, Vanbot still thrives on the same DIY spirit and never ending enthusiasm for crafting unstoppable pop. The result is one of the strongest pop albums of the year so far, where every song has great single potential, whilst the complete listen takes one one a unique journey.
Perfect Storm is shadowy and dangerous and will rub soldiers with the likes of Lykke Li’s 2014 release I Never Learn and Robyn’s Body Talk series. Vanbot’s trademark melody perfection from previous releases remains but it has been made slicker and more pliable, now part of the wider conversation and not the sole focus. Driving beats and tense compositions now take precedence, with Vanbot now leaner, edgier and gloriously confident in her freedom to create exactly what she wants with part co-writers Jan Kask and Adam Olenius (Say Lou Lou, Tove Styrke, Shout Out Louds).
Perfect Storm will be released 15th May via Lisch Recordings and Sony Music Sweden, with Vanbot appearing in a number of European performances including London’s Hoxton Bar & Grill on 8th May.