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album Indie News Song

Indie-rock band Tempesst announce new album

London-based indie-rock quintet Tempesst have announced their debut album Must Be A Dream will be released September 30th, via Pony Recordings. Along with the album announcement, the band are also releasing the album’s first single “On The Run”, out today alongside a candid studio video directed by the band’s very own Andy Banjanin.

A vivid, expansive sample of the band’s upcoming full length; “On The Run” and the forthcoming album follow Tempesst’s two previously released EP’s ‘Adult Wonderland’ and ‘Doomsday’, both widely lauded for their ’60s and ’70s influenced indie-psych fusion.

On new single “On The Run” the band layer vocal harmonies on top of reverb heavy instrumentation orchestrated far and wide into a massive psychedelic pop exploration.  It’s all brought back to earth by Tempesst vocalist Toma Banjanin’s slithering baritone and stories of death, substance abuse and the loss of innocence forever.

Speaking on the new single, singer Toma shared: “‘On The Run’ was written about a close friend who disappeared for a decade and returned as someone completely different, and it’s an ongoing trauma. When I connected the music to the lyrics to try and finish the song, it felt like it had a rolling rhythm, so the chorus fell into place from there. For me, this song carries a lot more emotional weight.”

Consisting of Sunshine Coast, Australia born twin brothers Toma (vocals, guitars) and Andy Banjanin (drums); the band is rounded out by fellow Australian’s Kane Reynolds (keys) and Blake Misipeka (bass), and Swiss/American guitarist Eric Weber. Now all residing in London where upcoming debut album Must Be A Dream was written and recorded, Tempesst have become well known for their sweeping, psych-touched indie rock.

Produced by longstanding collaborator Elliot Heinrich, and mixed by Claudius Mittendorfer (known for his work with Parquet Courts, Temples, Yak, and Sorry), Must Be A Dream came together at the band’s very own Pony Studios, a studio space that Tempesst built themselves in Hackney, East London. A massive step forward from their previous short format releases, Must Be A Dream is a wide-eyed excursion of folk-tinged psychedelia with nods to Spiritualized, Galaxie 500, the Flaming Lips and the Beach Boys.

Ten tracks of psychedelic pop grandiosity, combining the classic teachings of Laurel Canyon-esque folk harmonization with bombastic sensibilities found in the works of Love, ELO, Pink Floyd, Wings and more. Must Be A Dream is a paradox of complexity and musical prowess shrouded beneath deceivingly simple pop melodies, producing a dense, sun-kissed record that explores themes of identity, purpose, ageing, love, loss, substance abuse, the death of loved ones and remembering the beauty beneath it all.

Tempesst’s new single “On The Run” is out now, released June 17th. Debut album Must Be A Dream is released September 30th, via Pony Recordings.

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album News Rock

Band Delta Spirit announce new album after six-year hiatus

Delta Spirit have announced their first new album in six years, What Is There, out on September 11th via New West Records.

Their New West Records debut follows their acclaimed 2014 studio album Into The Wide, of which Uncut said the band “… progressively unleash waves of measured ferocity… toward payoffs that are staggering in their intensity.” What Is There was recorded at Sonic Ranch outside of El Paso, TX, produced by the band and mixed by Tchad Blake (U2, Black Keys), and is dedicated to the memory of their friend and musical inspiration, Richard Swift.

The powerful, cinematic video was directed by Michael Parks Randa and shot during the Covid-19 pandemic at over 30 locations throughout North America. After speaking with roughly 70 cinematographers to learn about their particular circumstances, Randa directed 30 individuals across the country to safely document an intimate portrait of Americans in isolation. Randa said “The result is a celebration of the collaborative spirit of filmmaking, a successful experiment in safely navigating production during the pandemic, and a mosaic of America during this time.”

Formed in Southern California in 2005, Delta Spirit took an extended break after supporting their acclaimed effort Into The Wide. “In 2015, we were getting along like family gets along,” admits frontman Matthew Logan Vasquez. “That means sometimes we didn’t like each other too much. We were just growing apart. When we took a break and the band stopped, the friendships got an opportunity to come back.” He offers, “Personality-wise, our band is five contrarians trying to agree on an idea. When your similarity is that you’re contrarian, it’s tough. But when things work out, it’s incredible.”

Over the past six years, Matthew Logan Vasquez has released and toured behind three celebrated solo albums, multi-instrumentalist Kelly Winrich launched a career as a producer (Nathaniel Rateliff), while bassist Jonathan Jameson, guitarist Will McLaren, and drummer Brandon Young collaborated and toured with Sam Outlaw, Mikky Ekko, the Los Angeles band Muna, among others. The band members now call Manhattan, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Austin, and Montreal home, and reconvened in Brooklyn, NY for a jam session in 2018. Vasquez says, “When we played together, we found the same joy and took it deeper.”

Delta Spirit not only return, but move forward together on What Is There. They wrote and recorded from a new place informed by maturity gained by their journey, break, and reunion. They locked into the process together and eventually found the sweet spot where they were all on the same page. Vasquez says, “I’m really proud of our body of work, but especially proud of where everybody has gotten to now. I have a lot of hope for us. I’m grateful for everyone in this band. There’s a lot of raw honesty in the music. It’s a record for right now, instead of pandering to the past. It’s the next step.” As much as What Is There reflects their journey thus far, it also ushers them into new territory as both musicians and, most importantly, friends.

What Is There will be available across digital platforms, on compact disc, and standard black vinyl. A limited to 500 Clear with Black Marble Vinyl Edition will be available at Independent Retailers, a limited to 350 Coke Bottle Clear & White, Hand-Poured Color Vinyl Edition will be available exclusively through the Magnolia Record Club, while an exclusive Opaque Yellow & Black Marble Vinyl edition is available for Pre-Order NOW via NEW WEST RECORDS.

What Is There Track Listing
1. The Pressure
2. It Ain’t Easy
3. How Bout It
4. Can You Ever Forgive Me?
5. Better Now
6. Home Again
7. Making Sense
8. Lover’s Heart
9. Just the Same
10. What Is There

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Alternative Indie Music News Music Video Premiere

[PREMIERE] Mechner shares the moody, cinematic video for new single ‘Do It Again and Again’




June 11th saw Mechner follow up from their exciting first single ‘Do you wanna go?’, from upcoming mini-LP Club Idem, with ‘Do it Again and Again’. We are pleased to present the premiere of the new single’s dramatic music video.

The video is a continuation of where ‘Do you wanna go?’ left off, though it’s not immediately apparent how they tie together, maybe some eagle eyed viewers will spot an advert for “Club Idem” and ponder what it all means, the video shows a young couple going through a tough patch, financially speaking, living in relative squaller like much of the youth of today, when one of them discovers an interesting opportunity in a local paper, work at “Club Idem”, will this be the salvation they are looking for?

See below to find out:





The song is about repetition, the feeling of being trapped in the mundane loop of life, always living for the weekend and not much else, 

“modern life is so bleak… it gets worse by the week…”

Mechner says:

 “The song is relatively old, having been written in 2013, while I was still in college, it started off as a much more “pop” sounding tune, with a faster tempo, in the vein of ‘Thudthumping’ by Chumbawumba. The original version of the track actually featured in some student film, that I never got to see and know nothing about, but it never officially released.” 

Interesting coincidence considering Mechner’s heavy interest in cinema.

“It wasn’t until last year when I slowed the tempo of the track down considerably, found the right chord arrangement for the intro and came up with a much more interesting bass line for the verse. Slowly I started to really see it, as something “Mechner” could do. Whilst recording it I kept layering the guitars, I believe there is at least 10 or 15 separate guitar tracks all with heavy fuzz that give it an overwhelming wall of noise when it kicks in.”


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EP Indie Interview New Music Singer-Songwriter single

Q&A with Singer-Songwriter JJ Draper ahead of his New EP “The Theft and The Flight”

After working with Ed Tullett (Novo Amor, Hailaker) on his previous Silhouettes EP, garnering praise from Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and opening for Rhye at London’s KOKO, JJ returns with a delicate and emotional selection of tracks.

JJ’s new single ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ and the upcoming EP “The Theft and The Flight” has all the tenderness and artistry of Sufjan Stevens, Nick Mulvey and Bon Iver while also capturing its own voice and tone. Acoustic guitar-led with soft falsetto vocals, incorporating subtle, dappled sampling, electronics and piano, the new work is an exploration of JJ’s rich and intense, emotional soundscapes.

Following his first EP, JJ went back into the studio to arrange a new body of work. Having spent the early years of his career as a top-liner and collaborator, he thought it time to take a considerable catalogue of songs to his band and work with singular vision to create the sound he wanted.

Speaking on ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ and the new EP JJ said:

“Returning home in March last year to a police cordon around the car park of my flat, I turned on the news to discover that a young man had been brutally murdered on my doorstep. Not having a real insight into the growing culture of gang violence in London, I wrote ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ to chronicle the surreal experience of those who come inadvertently into contact with a troubling world they don’t understand.

I wanted all my new music to be honest and grounded, both lyrically and in the way it was recorded. I spent months experimenting at Natural Habitat Studios working with many great musicians to make something I hope feels homespun, authentic and vivid.”

Listen to JJ Draper’s new single “…if you’re awake in the night” here below and read on to get to know the mind behind the music.



Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

My earliest memories of loving music are in the family car, probably. I’ve got 3 older brothers and we had this enormous space wagon (Toyota Previa RIP) that took us all down to Wales for holidays. We listened to loads of Travelling Wilburys, Bob Marley and Jimi Hendrix.

When I first started to think about music making more deeply-focusing on HOW it was made – I was in my early teens. My brother had introduced me to Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright, Elliott Smith, Nick Drake and it set the wheels in motion toward an obsessive listening period where I absorbed every influence I could.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

It’s a very loose process but is consistently the way I write best so I suppose it’s a formula! I improvise on a guitar (and sometimes piano), often in deranged tunings, and find a progression or part that excites me. Then I’ll begin making melodies and improvised lyrics over that. At that point, the melody and mood start to determine how the progression develops from section to section. I’ll record all this in voice notes until a whole structure is complete and only after that do I sit down and write a structured lyric, often incorporating the nice parts of any improvised moments of attitude and creativity. I write prolifically ‘til I have a load of stuff to record then lose interest in it ‘til I’ve cleared the decks in the studio.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Difficult to say. I have an internal motor that is always running and a restless energy. My friends and family will do impressions of me “flapping” which is a collective term for all the various pacing, arm waving, hand twitching stuff I get up to when I’m visualising. I sort of black out and have these intense periods of focus and creativity and move around a lot. It’s odd. Although I write honestly about things that happen to me or around me, I think the inspiration is more from the feel and sound of the arrangement I’m imagining. The desire to reach that “goosebump” feeling, that moving unique ambiguous feeling that great musicians have given me my whole life. The song can really be about anything but I’m looking to initiate that ecstatic release for myself and for others.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Where to start? There’s a lot I’d change about myself, society, humanity, people! Nah, to be honest, I understand the things I find frustrating in the music industry – there’s a lot of fear and a lack of ambition. For instance, an example of what I deem to be bad business, is the pop industry’s obsession with trying to replicate the success of another artist by finding soundalikes. It’s astonishing to me that a lot of money (and there still is a lot of money out there, no matter what people hear) gets poured into artists who are the “next Adele” etc. It’s a sure fire way of getting a quick, decent return on an investment but shortsighted, lacking in ambition and real creativity. I hate the thought of great singers or songwriters being forced to mould themselves around something that has already been. The audience wants new things. Of course you have to trust in the development and packaging of a new thing, but that’s what the industry should be investing in. I don’t mean everyone needs to be a radical, but an honest perspective will always be “new” in some sense, have a unique sound and voice. That and the fact that labels etc are so risk averse that artists often have to be at the stage of self-sufficiency to attract them – like “hmmm, there’s a captive audience that we can jump in on and take a cut of” rather than giving talented people the infrastructure to succeed.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

Impossible question! I’ve been performing since I was 4, was an actor predominantly til I was 21 and the “golden glow” of being on stage, the charged silences and the roar of applause is heaven. I love making people laugh, too, there’s no better feeling. BUT, it does have a tendency to leave you hollow and on a downer, like any drug. The studio and writing, however, is a much more lasting pleasure. The songs continue to make me proud and excited to share, and there are definitely some real moments of ecstasy when you start to realise a sound and it’s just as good as you imagined. I can’t say. I think I prefer performing, JUST.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I love hearing people have had shivers or tears because that’s always how I’ve judged how much I love something. I have to say, though, at one of our last headline shows at The Grace – having an entire audience belting out the chorus of Gwythian so loud I stopped singing, and turning to my band who were all grinning, was incredibly special. It just felt such a positive thing to share with people.

What’s on your current playlist?

Big Thief UFOF, Wilco Ode to Joy, Todd Rundgren Can We Still Be Friends? I should say I tend to listen obsessively to a few things and not go through reams and reams.

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

I’ve got an EP out on 3rd July which includes two new tracks and the two singles I’ve released in the past month. I’m so proud of it, particularly excited to share one of the songs which I think is my favourite piece of production/arrangement that Joey Walker and I have done. After that I’ve got what I hope is a bit of a belting single which is a deliberate and violent diversion in style and then another 4 songs to release whilst recording a full album. At some point, I shall get back to gigging with the band and make 2 videos that were in planning before COVID 19.

Famous last words?

“I told you I was ill” – Spike Milligan got there first unfortunately…

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