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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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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.

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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.

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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.

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News Singer-Songwriter Song

Indie-folk singer/songwriter Simon Alexander released new song ‘Then, Maybe’

Swedish singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Simon Alexander emerged in 2017 with the self-released debut EP Won’t Be Found, breathing new air into the modern folk scene. By continuously releasing several self-recorded acoustic tracks he quickly gained recognition for his profound lyrics and heartfelt vocal melodies, getting comparisons to Matt Corby and Dylan LeBlanc.

After a collaboration with producer Tobias Ekqvist, from Hurricane Love, two singles, Slide and Last Dance, was born and later released in 2018 after a signing with Swedish record label Rehn Music Group.

The new singles showed a wider range of songwriting, venturing into a more pop-infused direction, and was featured on Spotify curated playlists such as New Music Friday in several countries.

After touring various parts of Scandinavia, with prominent shows on SPOT Festival 2019 and Live At Heart, Simon went in the studio to record the upcoming release, resulting in EP ‘In The Rust’ which will be released later this year. The first single – ‘Move Steady’ – is due release September 13th.

With fans from all over the world, an eye-catching live act, and songs featured in all kinds of media ranging from video games, radio, to larger YouTube channels, Simon Alexander is destined to take a huge leap this year on becoming a household name on the indie/folk scene.

Simon Alexander appeared in a feature on Exit Through Sound

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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.

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Categories
Interview Music New Song

Q&A with Cork-based music producer Mechner

Cork based artist Jack Ahern, described as “Radiohead meets David Lynch”, completely self-funded and self-produced, he had great success with debut single “Surfacing”, notable for it’s music video which garnered over 25k views and was included in Indiecork Film Festival to a great crowd reaction.

Apt considering Mechner’s debut launch show, it was held in an old converted Art-house cinema.

See our exclusive view with him below:

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

My earliest memories of music appreciation are of my mother singing and playing guitar to me, of me and my sister learning the violin, though I hated the violin, and still kind of do.

I do remember singing to myself constantly and making up songs about my toy cars and other such things, there was a lot of watching and listening to “Disney renaissance” and other animated musicals, being introduced to The Beatles in my dad’s car, and watching Marty Mcfly rip a hole in my mind with his rendition of Johnny B. Goode… I appreciated it all, but I was too young to really get anything from it.

For many years I actually found music boring, I just wanted to play with video games and toys… when all my friends started talking about their favourite bands and artists… I actually found their interest in music annoying, which is incredibly ironic to anyone who knows me.

I didn’t truly appreciate music and production until I started to learn the guitar at 10 or 11, I have a tremendous obsessive streak with music that I like and I tend to live and breathe that artist or song for months on end, much to the dismay of those around me. The positive is that my ear for picking apart arrangements and individual parts of a song is well tuned.

My first real appreciation for music and production was when I first heard a song called “Bad Penny” by Rory Gallagher, it changed the course of my life.

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

My process is always evolving and forever changing, I can go through months and in the past years without writing a single thing, though not due to writers block (I don’t believe in writer’s block), then I can sit down and say to myself, “everyday this week 9am to 2pm I will write and complete one song”, and I do. Other times it is very fruitful and creativity flows well as songs fall out of me regularly.

Sometimes it exclusively starts with the melody, sometimes just a riff or a chord progression, or even a dream.

Sometimes it’s a development of an idea that has sat with me for years.

One step that seems to happen nearly every time is I will strive to complete a first draft of a song from start to finish, even if I have dummy lyrics or don’t quite like the structure or something. Then I will pick away at the lyrics and melody in particular, trying to find more eloquent ways of saying a line or to give to my melody a more interesting harmonic structure behind it.

It’s similar to an artist doing a sketch or rough outlines, then filling in the detail after. It’s helpful in actually getting songs done, for me.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

Late night driving, the monotony of the road markings spinning under the car, the numbers on the dashboard mechanically ticking over, the headlights struggling to reveal the black river of tar in front of the car and the relative quiet and empty roads open my mind to many thoughts and lets my brain gestate ideas. There is something so appealing to me about driving at night time… something mysterious, forbidden and sexy. It feels like being in another world.

Also creativity itself gets me going, watching others around me falling for their passion of ideas and concepts.

Finally “work” itself gets me flowing. Once I can get over the hump of actually sitting down to do the “work”, the “work” itself ends up feeding the “work”, and then I feel unstoppable as I tick the boxes and move on to the next project to complete.

The problem is mustering up the courage to actually sit down and do it all.

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?

I am not sure I fully agree with that statement… as there is an “art” to certain aspects of business.

For example, I used to be all doom and gloom about things like social media, everyone told me “you have to be on this platform”, “you have to post 7 times a day” and “you have to have that platform to be successful”. I just really felt it did not represent me in any truthful way. Then luckily after much internal searching, I found a way to approach things like marketing, updates and posts artistically, to make it all part of the “art”, if you will, to add layers to what I am trying to say to the world.

As for something “about the music scene I would personally change”… I would love to see more variety of music pushed to the masses, I do feel that the majority of music these days that is pushed hard on media platforms and favoured by the algorithm is all based around 3 or 4 different sounds, it’s all too homogeneous. It would be wonderful to have more variety pushed on the radio and other platforms. Open others to new sounds and different ways of thinking. Music is powerful and never meant to just fade into the background and blend all together into a forgettable mush

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

Whilst nothing “quite” beats a live show where the audience knows your music and is fully engaged with your performance.

I have to say I think I prefer the “quiet” contemplation of studio work and creation, it feels like a calm before the storm.

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

Still to this day the most memorable response to my music is when I had the opportunity to play live in front of none other than Morrissey in The Workman’s Club in Dublin.

It was a showcase gig and absolutely no one was there, until after our first song 3 people walked in and sat down at a table right in the middle of the venue, the lights on the stage blocked my vision from seeing who these individuals were, but we continued unfazed. Afterwards as we sat down in the green room, when the gig organiser entered and said there was someone upstairs who wanted to talk to us, and that we shouldn’t miss the opportunity.

I felt tired and didn’t really want to go upstairs, though after some cryptic coaxing from the organiser, I came upstairs and was introduced to Morrissey, his manager and his friend.

I would be lying if I said I was “impressed” or “blown away”, as at the time I had little to no interest in “The Smiths” or Morrissey’s music. I remember we sat down with him and his entourage and I was seated next to him off to the side, he was wearing a simple tweed suit and he looked me dead in the eye and said my song was “Simply Brilliant”.

What’s on your current playlist?

I don’t tend to listen to playlists or much music on my phone per se, I generally listen to a lot of vinyl, I have a reasonably sized collection of maybe around 70 or 80.

This makes me really sit down and give the album my full attention, this morning I was listening to the 1979 Joy Division classic “Unknown Pleasures”. Shadow Play is powerful. I have a real taste for older music in production and songwriting, in fact the majority of music I listen to regularly is pre-1970’s.

Other vinyls that currently are getting revolutions on my deck are:

“Grace” – Jeff Buckley
“Odeysse and Oracle” – The Zombies (Yes, that is the way Odeysse is spelt on the album)
“The Doors” – The Doors
“Pet Sounds” – The Beach Boys
“This Old Dog” – Mac Demarco
“0” – Low Roar

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

This year is big for me, it’s kind of do or die, I am aiming to release 4 more singles all with music videos, following “Do you wanna go?” over the summer months, before releasing my conceptual mini-LP “Club Idem” sometime near autumn, the music videos are integral to the body of work as a whole. This is extremely exciting for me to finally see all this work go out to the world after working on it in (ironically) complete isolation and near complete secrecy till now!

Famous last words?

OK, That’s it, Turn off your computer and do something constructive.

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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’

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Alt-Rock News Song

London alt-rock soloist Drew Davies shares song ‘X and Y’

Rock soloist Drew Davies has released his single, ‘X and Y’ on 1 May via AD1. ‘X and Y’ is lifted from his upcoming self-titled album, which will release on the 15th of May 2020. The album was mixed by Steve Honest (Oasis, Eurythmics) and mastered by John Webber (David Bowie, Super Furry Animals). Davies has been featured by publications, including Clash Magazine, Atwood Magazine, Music Week, Music News, and Pure Grain Audio to name a few. He has also recieved radio play from BBC Introducing London with Gary Crowley, BBC Radio York’s Introducing with Jericho Keys, BBC Wales, Radio X, Planet Rock. Davies cites the sounds of The National, Scott Walker, Vangelis, and Tom Petty as highly influential to his music.

Drew Davies talks about the release, “I wrote ‘X and Y’ on women’s day a few years ago. It’s a song that on one hand calls for equality for all people, no matter their age, sex or orientation; whilst on the other hand calling out hypocrisy stemming from the kinds of people who say one thing publicly and another behind closed doors. It was originally written on piano but for the single and album we decided to add a pseudo-Tarantino vibe with vintage guitars and synthesizers.”

Sound Labyrinth adds,”Lyrically Davies shines a light on modern society, in the hopes to engage and create discourse around the topic of gender normalities.”

Indie Music carries a similar sentiment, “Davies creates retro rock nostalgia in his soundscape on ‘X and Y’, but his message is of modern thinking about gender norms that constrict us from being our true selves.”


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Categories
Band Interview Music News Song

Interview with five piece alternative rock band Ruby Dutch

Five piece alternative rock band Ruby Dutch has created a ferocious sound, culminated with prominent bass and drum lines to groove to. This band have embodied a harmonic relationship between two guitars that are complemented by flowing use of vocals and synthesiser.

The perfect mix between indie and alternative that delights any musical appetite, generated through compatible and organic songwriting that results in a compelling and engaging sound. A sound distilled by influences such as Nothing But Thieves, Foals and Everything Everything.

How has your musical background helped shaped your sound?

The majority of us have done a fair degree of classical tuition growing up, which has helped us to be open to various influences (not just the usual contemporary sounds.) We all met at music uni, each with something contrasting to offer – which kind of blended together into this weird, and hopefully unique sound we’re bringing to the table now!

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

It’s a real natural way of writing, each of us respectively has come up with an idea, whether it’s a hooky riff or melody line, or even a simple harmony, and we progress from there. It’s almost always in a rehearsal environment when we’re all together. Occasionally, we spark an idea at home individually (usually a fuck up when we’re practising) which can also be thrown in the mix. Jess (vocals) establishes a theme from the sound of the instrumental parts to base her lyrics around.

We’re very much a band that are gripped by the idea of rising and fall in music. Take Muse as a primary example. We love to build momentum progressively by chucking stuff in and pulling back on parts at the appropriate times – Jess builds the energy of the lyrics as the music ebbs and flows.

What are or were some of the challenges for you in producing or performing while keeping true to your vision of your music.

We’re trying to tackle a heavily saturated area of music, by instilling powerful, female-fronted vocals, with the catchy indie rock that has made bands like Foals and Everything Everything so prevalent. It’s not always been easy to achieve this – we’re set in the ways that we want to do all of the above but with more atmospherics, however, we have learnt to adapt the preliminary ideas. Not being too attached to the initial ‘finished product’ of the music! We allow a producer with a different ear to adapt a track where needed, for the sake of the overall quality.

I don’t think the energy that is portrayed in the music itself can be questioned. Some of us have had personal issues over our time playing together, that has impacted our level at gigs. Translating that anger and negative energy into delivering a peak performance on stage has actually really helped to deliver what Ruby Dutch are striving for.

Who are three musicians you think the world needs to hear right now?

Franc Moody, Kid Kapichi and Kudu Blue. All bloody brilliant in their own way

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

Performing, 100%. The recording side of things is great fun and instils the ability to nail respective parts down, but nothing will beat the adrenaline rush of playing to a crazy crowd. We matured on stage, not in the studio!

Any “strange tales” or things that may have happened during a show that seemed too weird to be true?

Playing an entire set as the Mystery Gang for a Halloween gig, and our drummer sweated half his body weight out in a full Scooby-Doo outfit…

Do you find that social media and keeping up with your fans has become overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?

Victor takes care of all things social media and the whole ‘branding’ side of things, acting in a manager capacity. It does take its toll at times, more so because there are always 100 different ideas he has at once to enhance exposure than just doing the simple tasks! It has been an around the clock job, keeping on top of things.. we hope to have more manpower on that front as we progress.

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

One person who came to our first ever London gig, said after our performance, that she runs a bar in Utah, and would love nothing more than to put us on when we hit the states! A distant dream yet, but it’s all about building those contacts 😉

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

Naturally, with the whole pandemic, it’s halted all our plans for festival slots and a lot of recording this year. However, we are aiming to have 4 singles out this year, and a massive 2021.

Famous last words?

2020 is OUR year !!!

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