Categories
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.

Follow Tempest:

 Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Spotify
Categories
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.”


Follow Mechner


Categories
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…

Follow JJ Draper
Facebook SoundCloudSpotifyInstagram – Website
Categories
Indie Music Video News Rock

Oxen share creative music video under social distancing

We’ve seen a few inventive music videos come our way in the last few months as a result of current circumstances. Some of them are wonderfully creative and others shine with simplicity. One of our favourites so far is the music video for ‘Dark and Depressive’ from Indie-rock duo Oxen, who filmed theirs in an old gym.

“It was somewhat hard finding a film crew, or the money to pay them, when there was a raging pandemic going on. But there’s this kind of old school gym in the same building I live in and although neither of us got a lot of experience lifting heavy stuff, there was a certain vibe and smell that went well together with our visual goal for this video.” – Oxen share the story behind the video.

One can only imagine the smell the pair had to contend with while shooting the video. However, the stoic attitude maintained throughout provides a twisted sense of humour that appeals to us right now. We think it will probably appeal to you too. Check it out below:

Follow Oxen:
FacebookTwitterSoundcloud  – InstagramYoutube Spotify

Categories
Band Indie Music New Song

Indie band Reme releases new song ‘Gaga’

Spanish-Brit quartet Reme come back with a second single – and a charmingly disturbing video – after its previous release, Royal Cape, was named one of the best new songs so far in 2020 by Spain’s Radio 3 RNE.

Alongside comparisons to the latest album from Arctic Monkeys, their music has also been linked to other contemporaries such as Foxygen, The Divine Comedy, Once and Future Band, and Halloweens. Among the classics, names like T. Rex, Wings, Elton John or George Harrison have also been mentioned.

Following Royal Cape – a bold, no-radio edit, one-minute-guitar-solo-intro, over-five-minutes-long debut release – Reme return with Gaga, a short, melodic and dreamy ballad, accompanied by a colourful, other-worldly, Lynch-esque video.

The clip explores, through the eyes of an eerie, jester-looking character, the idea of what happens to potential realities that shouldn’t exist in the material universe.

Follow Reme online 

Facebook | YouTube | Instagram | Spotify

Categories
Indie Music News Singer Song

Singer LÉON releases new song ‘Who You Lovin’

Building off the success of her self-titled debut album, LÉON delivers her second single of the year ‘Who You Lovin’- a contemporary track that evokes elements of the 70’s mixed with her signature sad girl indie vibe. With a more assertive sound, LÉON gets candid about feeling haunted by a lost relationship and unapologetically wondering who they are lovin’. It’s the type of heart break hit you’ll keep on repeat after a breakup, right before the glow up.

“‘Who You Lovin’ is a song that I wrote a while back ago with my close friend and producer, Martin Stilling,” LÉON explains of how the song came about. “I recall feeling kind of frustrated over a certain situation when we wrote it and that the lyrics came out right away, pretty much. It was as if i felt a mixture of being mad and really tired of someone, but also a strong need to be seen and feeling wanted at the same time. So all of those emotions ended up in this song. It feels like I’ve waited for the right moment to release ‘Who You Lovin’ so i’m really happy that I get to share it with everybody now. I hope people will like it.”

The critically acclaimed Swedish artist also plans to release her sophomore full-length studio album later this year through LÉON Recordings, her imprint partnership with BMG.

Since releasing her career debut single in 2015, LÉON has consistently delivered with every release, demonstrates her knack for crafting emotive, tender, and unforgettable pop songs. The songstress has amassed over 440 million total global streams and is a regular critic’s favourite in the press, racking up praise from the likes of Vogue, Glamour, In-Style, The Fader, and more. In addition to making her late-night television debut on The Late Late Show with James Corden, she has sold out many headline shows worldwide and performed at U.S. festival staples including Coachella, Bonnaroo, and Lollapalooza.

Follow LÉON online 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Categories
Indie Music Video News Rock Song

Travel to Switzerland with Saint Mars and their latest music video

Saint Mars have been a band on our radar for some time now, specifically since they released their single, ‘Help’ via Grá Mór Phonic Records last year. As such, we definitely took note when they released their latest single, ‘Pacific State’ via their new label, AntiFragile Music and, to our joy, an accompanying music video. You can read our feature on their previous single here.

Lead singer, Tryzdin shares his thoughts on the making of the music video, “This video means a lot to me. I was 13 and was making my first ever trip to Switzerland. I will never forget the nerves and the anxious emotions I felt on the way there and the rest of the trip. Pacific State is a video that will give you post-apocalyptic vibes. I see it as a world after WW3 and they are all trying to survive as well as find survivors that may have been lost in all the wreckage.  We come across a girl on the side of the mountain and Marc sends me to follow her as he heads back to tell the others about our discovery. But as I follow her, I notice she has a map that is leading her right to us. I head back to the base to tell the others. We hear the castle doors creak open…. and we realize that it is the same girl we had seen on the mountain, we stand guard but not for long as we realize that the girl that we had been following was just a little girl trying to find a safe place to call home all along.”

We can see why this music video would make the young singer proud. Between scenic landscapes most musicians can only dream of, a Herculean storyline and the appearance of Jethro “Alonestar” Sheeran to provide his unique twist, the video marks itself as one for the books. In an additional twist, Saint Mars have begun a competition on their Youtube page, inviting viewers to comment and like their video in return for the chance to win 100$ and 50$ in online store vouchers.

Follow Saint Mars:
WebsiteFacebook –  Twitter  – Soundcloud YoutubeInstagramSpotify
Categories
Indie Interview Music Pop Song

Q&A with Bristol-based pop music duo Yard Arms

Bristol-based jangle-pop powerhouse duo Yard Arms return with their promisingly melancholic new single ‘Mantra’. The single was described by lyricist and frontman Villeneuve as a ‘triumphant love letter to the anxious’.

The track exudes the playful exuberance of Psychedelic Furs and INXS combined with the romantically morose lyricism ala Ben Gibbard or Paul Buchanan. Think John Hughes movies if they were soundtracked by Tim Burton. A pulsating stadium-sized emo-anthem to soundtrack your summertime.

See our exclusive interview with them below:


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

I think for both of us, some of our earliest musical memories come from the television, whether it be Match of the Day highlight reel soundtracking, or the amount of time we spent glued to watching MTV2, Kerrang, Q, VH1, Kiss and The Box. Very importantly, the impact of certain artists’ imagery that still lasts with us now like The Prodigy, Marilyn Manson, Nirvana, Blink 182, 50 Cent, Weezer, Eminem, Red Hot Chill Peppers, Spice Girls, Sean Paul, the list goes on. Our appreciation for music production came a little later, I think it started to make more sense when we found ourselves being a lot more hands-on with the way our songs and sonics were being handled in the studio. Certainly for myself, I became more engaged with the importance of production in my late teens when I found myself listening to a lot of projects involving Daniel Lanois, Nigel Godrich, Brian Eno, Karl Hyde and Vince Clark. My eyes and ears became open to how you can create complete musical landscapes and environments for albums and carve out a ‘sound’ for artists rather than just a voiceless vehicle for radio or streaming.

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

We try not to stick to the same formula every time for the sake of creativity, I believe that comfort or routine doesn’t always provide the best results musically. Music does tend to be the starting point for us, followed by melodies and lyrics later. I will usually have some version of a song shape and colour to bring to Billy and we mould it into something more tangible in the rehearsal room, sometimes ideas will take half an hour to flesh out, sometimes they’ll take a year, there’s no real pattern for us and we like it that way.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Human connections, romance, grief, guilt, happiness, sadness, life, death. I find the art in all its manifestations to be inspiring, something as pure as a change in the skyline’s colour can trigger my emotions to create.

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?

There’s a point in every artist’s career where they need to try and learn how to divide their brain into artist mode and business mode, it’s not pretty and it’s not cool, but it’s the truth. I don’t think we’re an artist with business ideas above our station, we’re not approaching this project with any secret plans to overhaul the way in which this beast functions. Every industry has parts that will be agreeable and disagreeable to all individuals within it, we can all choose to involve ourselves as much or as little as we want or think we need. There will always be the game changers in music who we have the utmost respect for, however, we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, we’re just happy to be here and have our creative freedom.

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

It’s such a chicken-egg situation for us, both feed into the other but they are such completely different beasts. Both are important for such different reasons. We pride ourselves on our live performances, this is definitely where we feel more of a powerful synergy with our fans, where our music has an instant impact that is so incredibly palpable.

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

We’ve had a lot of beautiful reactions to our music in the last couple of years in a variety of fashions so hard to pinpoint a most memorable. However, we played a show to Michael Eavis at the start of this year, and for him to shake our hands and compliment us on the performance was very special and dear to our hearts.

What’s on your current playlist?

Childish Gambino, Caribou, Yves Tumor, Soccer Mommy, Sufjan Stevens, Pool Cosby, Phoxjaw, Chatham County Line, Girlpool, Scout Niblett, Wilco, Heatmiser, China Bears, Teenage Fanclub, Lauran Hibberd, The Lemon Twigs, When In Rome, The Hotelier.

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

We’re so excited to kick off this campaign with our next single ‘Mantra’, that is out on May 8th. Following that up we have our isolation anthem coming out early June followed by a full EP at the end of June, more details to follow, eyes peeled. Lots of exciting live announcements in support of this record for the last quarter of 2020 too!

Famous last words?

I’m coming up so you better get this party started.

Follow Yard Arms online 

Soundcloud | Spotify | Facebook | Twitter

Categories
Folk Indie Premiere Singer Song

Premiere: Indie-folk singer Cormac Russell announces new song ‘Yankee Fool’

Indie-folk singer Cormac Russell has just announced a brand new song ‘Yankee Fool’ which is set to be released on the 1st of May.

Cormac Russell has taken his music across the globe, including England and China. He released his second album titled ‘Nately’s Whore’ in September of last year. Playing all the instruments himself, he draws from a diverse range of influences; from contemporaries like Mac DeMarco and Nick Cave to literary giants like Walt Whitman.

indie_grøund · [PREMIERE] Cormac Russell – ‘Yankee Fool’

Follow Cormac Russell online 

Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Instagram | Facebook