Saturday, 29 December 2012

Albums of 2012

It's almost 2013, which means that every writers inevitable 'end of' lists will be spamming left, right and centre; mine being no exception. You can read part one here, part two here and my final top five here- it was a ridiculously close call but ultimately  hats off to Tom Krell for making one of the most beautiful, spine-tingling records of the past twelve months, 'Total Loss', you are a work of art. Adios FS playlists, we had a great run! See y'all in 2013, I'm pretty sure it's gonna be a fucking great one already.
Words by Yours Truly X

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Feature // Manchester Reborn #2

Hello! My second column as Artrocker Magazine's Manchester reporter is now live here! I talk about Antwerp Mansion, how WuTang's GZA popped in and other amazing events that the people behind the project put on. Apart from that I've been in deadline hell and spending way too much time in South but more articles (Including my ~records of 2012~ list) coming soon, I promise! Oh and another thing; some fabulous friends of mine and other university students are curating and partaking in an art & design exhibition this Thursday (aka tomorrow!), showcasing numerous photography, graphics and other works over at the Bench Gallery in Northern Quarter- it's going to be fun, free and you can come along too if you just join this group to be on the guestlist. There is going to be booze, tunes, films and beautiful work to see all evening from 6pm-9pm, so come play out whilst I swoon over pieces and take your party pictures! 
Words by Yours Truly X

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Interview // Chad Valley

Newsday number 1; IN THE BAG! I celebrated early by going to Resident Advisor X WHP on Saturday (It was my last one of the year, pass the tissues :'( ), I had a rad time meeting the three up- for-a-rave Irish chaps we found in Room 1 during Apparat and a group of wonderful new Manchester faces' of whom made me feel very welcome indeed, never feeling so happy as I did during 90% of Orbital's set and bouncing off the walls on my own to Julio Bashmore! I also did philly cheese steaks and mulled cider with FreedomSpark Katie and went to see Passion Pit with my lovely Jadey who came to the city for the evening earlier on in the month; we swooned, caught up on life by being overly girly and drank too many pints before I had to go to work, ooops! But I did manage to Interview the  terrific Hugo Manuel of Chad Valley who also played. We talked "A&R vultures" and their attempts to wine and dine him along with one crazy night in Paris; it was great to speak to the man behind the falsetto as 'Equatorial Ultravox' is definitely up there in my fave EP's of 2011. Anyway, it's all over on Noisey here, ch-ch-ch-check it out!
Words by Yours Truly X

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Feature // Manchester Reborn

Good evening! I'm now a Manchester correspondent for Artrocker Magazine, isn't that nice? For my first feature, I wrote about how the city and more specifically, Salford in its own right (REPRESENT!) is providing itself as the perfect DIY hub for the creatives of Manchester today. I discussed the cult Fuhrer Bunker venue (pictured below) and Sways Records along with mini-reviews of Great Waves and M O N E Y's work- you can read it over here!
Words by Yours Truly / Image c/o Magnus Blikeng  X

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Interview // Fucked Up

I FINALLY treated myself to some r&r after a "few" post-shift staff drinks turned into the inevitable continuation of sharing a bottle of Morgans Spiced, a mass game of musical bumps and drunk Sunday morning breakfasts in Wetherspoons (I don't know either...). I've been hammering deadlines like my life depends on it and it is thankfully beginning to pay-off after gaining a first on my music journo assessment and a mostly-successful news day assessment this morning, yeah buddy! Anyway, enough of my humble brags, I interviewed the gentleman that is Damian Abraham of Fucked Up as we disturbed the bands three-course-dinner to talk Pot Noodles, Kendrick Lamar and why professional WWE wrestlers wouldn't return his emails. The wonderful Harriet accompanied me and bought me gin cocktails and ginger beers, what can I say, she knows your girl well! You can catch it all over here with a few of my shots from their show on Noisey- ciao for now!
Words and Images by Yours Truly X

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Interview // Adam J.Kurtz

Remember when I said November was going to be busy? So far I'm coping (I DON'T KNOW HOW), after infinite coffee-fueled essay sessions, catching Jessie Ware, Two Inch Punch, Lapalux, Flying Lotus, Jamie XX, Fucked Up, Lunice, Koreless and Haim live all in the past two weeks, I still have a lot of shifts to work (being a student sucks, sometimes) and reunions to squeeze in. I say that like it is a bad thing, it totally is not! Around all these (un)necessary outings, I also interviewed Brooklyn based graphics artist Adam J.Kurtz- his work is a hybrid of fun, awkward truths and bursts with relatable topics, you can read the whole thing in its entirety over here
Words by Yours Truly / Image by Adam J.Kurtz X

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // November

November, you're here! I've welcomed in the month by eating too much sushi (is there ever such a thing?), visiting a photobooth made famous by Jarvis Cocker, listening to the new Foals track repeatedly and extended cab rides in minus temperatures on bonfire night. This month is going to be quick, exciting, stressful and straight-up peachy continued by a Death Grips and Wet Nuns show tonight! Oh yeah, and my new (second to last ever, SOB) playlist is now up here on Freedom Spark featuring Jai Paul, Danny Brown, Churches, Metz, Holy Other and the return of Chad Valley...
Words by Yours Truly X

Friday, 2 November 2012

Recently...

The past two months of being back in the city and post-Summer debauchery have been fantastic. Onwards and upwards for deadline season and inevitable Winter snow!
  Images by Yours Truly X



Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Review // PEACE @Soup Kitchen

Peace have had a flourishing 2012, the facts say it clearly; what with signing to Columbia Records, forcing said label to purchase them a billboard in their home city and the release of their luxurious 'Delicous' EP, it was superb to finally catch them live and reunite with old colleagues at their sold-out Soup Kitchen gig. We ventured to Chinatown with the boys and their chums afterwards for awkward Karaoke resulting in Bonnie and I asking if we could sing Mario (the owners said no :( ) and gins all round. My review is live here - and remember guys #freeterry...
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 29 October 2012

Interview // Ted's Draws

Apologies for not posting in a while! I've been attending way too many gigs and spending dollar I don't have as per usual but fear not- I've been having a rad time whilst doing so! Ape @ WHP was uh-may-zing with Koala Kid's gifts of kazoos, Zane Lowe getting the horns going, Sub Focus's stage set-up looking like something taken from Star Wars, DOOM having the most creepy visuals of all time, forcing everyone to do the squirrel dance and shouting "Factory top floor!" when bouncing into room three. Inbetween following various bands around the country and an impromptu trip back home for the night, I interviewed t-shirt designer Ted Pearce about his cult illustrations, why "school is for losers" and his collaboration with Adidas this Summer. The whole thing is over on Don't Panic now- check it out!
Words by Yours Truly X

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // October

October's (belated) playlist for Freedom Spark is now up! I got a bit carried away and so there is seven songs this month (including, Death Grips, Kwes, Dan Deacon, Shigeto, Shinies, Swim Deep & How To Dress Well) of which are all corkers- enjoy! Speaking of which, Kwes whom I also included, is playing WHP tonight and, like, guess who is going?! Seriously, how fucking AMAZING is this line-up?! I think a sweaty rave in Room two whilst gidd-ily dancing to Pariah with some fantastic faces new and old sounds like a perfect Saturday to me! I'm off to drink all the Beechams in the flat in order to get on top form seeing as illness is well and truly still striking :( Have a rad weekend! Like I said in my last post, interviews' arriving soon!

Words by Yours Truly X

Saturday, 29 September 2012

In Photos // Dan Deacon @ Islington Mill

Don't worry guys, I'm alive- freshers week didn't quite kill me off (although I did gain my second facial injury of the year, UGH)! I've been reuniting with everyone via corndog catch-ups, visits to friends' wonderful new apartments and working even harder, so much so that I swear I'll be glad to finally get back to uni! Also, Wednesday's #VICElaunch for The Weird Science Issue was super fun thanks to Girls on Film playing non-stop Madonna and Prince along with Lil Silva dropping Zomby to a load of confused first-years- oh and shoutout to Bench for the free drinks and giveaways! Last night, I also finally caught Dan Deacon live (Dent May supported too and he even did the infamous tunnel into the streets of Salford ) at one of my favourite venues ever involving Budvar and dance-offs; it was beautiful, no-one rocks a show like this man- some snaps are below! It's bloody good to be back, interviews coming soon!
Words and Images by Yours Truly X

Friday, 14 September 2012

Review // How To Dress Well- 'Total Loss'

I'm finally back in my adopted city! Bramall has been renovated and is, for once, not looking like an abandoned mental asylum which was the best surprise ever. I've been reunited with my uni girls, scaring possible future flatmates off during a viewing by way of awkward introductions and blasting Death Grips throughout the flat (I'm the only person here at the moment!), receiving Reeses Pieces upon arrival and almost crying at the Katy Perry film where she is all depressed in Sao Paulo- don't judge me! I was also sent an advanced copy of the new How To Dress Well record this week which is beautifully fantastic, I reviewed it for Freedom Spark here and you can enjoy it below, too! The Guardian are also streaming it in advance here, isn't that nice? Happy 'lets all avoid the influx of Freshers' week! 
 How To Dress Well- 'Total Loss'
Tom Krell is a man inundated with emotions and a soft spot for hip-hop. There I said it- although you’d never expect it off the bat with a name like ‘How To Dress Well’ now, would you? These points were evident on the strikingly touching ‘Love Remains’ back in 2010 and it sure has been a long two-year wait for those in the know, now finally, follow-up ‘Total Loss’ is released on Weird World/ Ac├ęphale come September 18th. The questions upon everyone’s lips have been along the likes of “Will HTDW flounder from awful-second-album-syndrome?” and “Will he fail to capture what ‘Love Remains’ did so individually well?”. Shame on you ponderers’! Never doubt a man’s craft, especially when it’s as marvellously idiosyncratic as this release is.
 ‘When I was In Trouble’ commences with what appears to be samples of  train tracks underneath humble keys and Krell’s distinctive falsetto of ‘You were there for me when life was a struggle’, making for a straightforward yet desirable combination that fundamentally sets the affectional atmosphere for the rest of the record, although, it doesn’t really feel like an opener - which is precisely where ‘Cold Nites’ steps in. At first, Krell’s vocals come across more Andrew Wyatt back on Miike Snow’s debut rather than containing his so-called usual Bon Iver tones but either way, when lead up with enticing strings and simmering percussion, a whole other dimension is introduced. The track almost seems, well, sexy for a piece that is so based around (as the title evidently suggests) loss, specifically thanks to frets of  “Tell me what I wanna do/ Tell me what I gotta do, baby” sounding  deliciously slick. ‘Cold Nites’ above all presents to listeners old and new exactly why HTDW is one of the few electronic/ r&b crossover artists outriding the wave to the very end and beyond.
‘Say My Name Say Whatever’ delivers itself as a standout track thanks to an introduction taken from 80’s documentary ‘Streetwise’ and a pairing of soothingly gorgeous vocals underlaid by radiant keys, echoing a pattern throughout the album that less can definitely be more. ‘&it was u’ plays like a 90s R&B track that has been re-discovered and remixed to a modern day adaptation, except its recognisably original, as luscious layered vocals and instrumental additions in the form of various drum cadences reflect that this is the thing about HTDW; nothing is full-throttle and at break-neck speed, it is all about building layers of suspense, sentiment and brilliance.
 ‘World I need you, won’t be without you’ is an instrumental track of pianos, glockenspiels and literally the most heart-wrenching viola sections that I’ve heard by a modern day artist ion a long time; the piece literally sounds like it should have played on the titanic at moment of sinking, just incase you thought you were out of the red and into the black on the previous track, that is. Struggle’ is the first sign of anything that isn’t simplistic instrumental wise, as this remix of ‘When I Was In Trouble’ shows vocals becoming distorted and warped- piercings of electronica be carried on through bending overlaps of which should affect the quality of the track (as was the case on ‘Love Remains’) but, in fact, acts as a metaphorical aid for the struggles of which Krell delivers to us so profoundly. ‘Set It Right’ really is the tip of the stirringly despairing iceberg, as Krell sorrowfully lists fifteen people he has loved and lost before reaching a dazzlingly cataclysmic explosion at its peak.
‘Total Loss’ doesn’t make me want to jump out of my 12th floor flat window, it does the opposite of depress the listener and instead offers hope, renewal and also shows the audience a little segment of his inner-most workings. The only person who is also as bravely emotional in his music today would be that of Perfume Genius, plain and simple. After listening to this record non-stop for the past few days, there have been tears of condolence on my behalf and all I want to do is sit him down with a large glass of red and a shoulder to cry on- but it appears that he already has it all figured out- ‘Total Loss’ is his therapy to share with the world and a magnificent piece of art sure to stand the test of time.
9/10
Words by Yours Truly X

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // September

Evening! I'm back home after spending my 20th celebrations by the sea with a lot of black lace, killer heels and champers- Goodbye teenage angst! This week also involved: Fucking up my hand and ending up on codeine, crying with laughter at horror films thanks to said painkillers, chilli sauce dares, hunting down the only shop on the island that sold honey Jack Daniels, adopting the word "prinny", insisting on showing a completely empty bar how Scouse we were by spending stupid amounts of money on the jukebox and only playing 'Brothers & Sisters' on repeat, "Robinsons fruit van reversing" EVERY FUCKING MORNING, blueberry haze at 11am, "Why are you all dressed like you're off to prom?", hiding from beach patrol, the breaking of both a lawnmower and a strimmer in the space of five minutes, "If you don't cry, I'll give you some ham" bribes, yin yang nails, speeding down mountain roads whilst pre-drinking in the back and singing Willy Wonka songs to Grand Prix passers-by, being shocked that Manx gaelic is still even in use, "I own the Ferrari of all irons", sufficient trampoline injuries, Douglas having record temperatures and doing hangover breakfast the only way we know how- in matching tracksuits. It's all well and good though because I move back to Manchester on Monday! I can't wait, the Factory family, Bramall traditions, old faces, new faces, the works! A new month needs a new playlist (obviously) and my Freedom Spark playlist for September is now up HERE! It includes Kendrick Lamar, Sweet Valley, Tours, White Lung and a little nod to Pussy Riot, enjoy! X
Words by Yours Truly

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Review // Beacons Festival 2012


I'm back from Beacons! I've only just recovered after a thirteen-hour sleep, my Mother's amazing cooking and the sheer post-festival bliss of a shower and an ACTUAL DUVET. I don't even know where to begin and anything I write won't do it justice, it was one of the best weekends of the Summer thanks to: Emergency shopping trips into Skipton with people we didn't even know, the Hokey Kokey troupe, The Impossible Lecture Tent, Carrie-Anne The Merman, Kate Bush kareoke, Pendurance, introducing everyone to the celebrity name game but adding Merlot into the mix, the festival death rumour this year being Bruce Forsyth, taking fancy dress Friday way too far, watching Team America at 1:30am, nearly getting thrown out during a Jeremy Kyle theatre performance for laughing so hard, 'You Can Call Me Al', trying to explain to people what 'Going To The Store' was via interpretive dance, learning all the words to 'Ladies In The Back', King Krule always being sat next to toastie heaven, drunken renditions of 'I Am Woman', doing the Count Von Count mouth and the Usain pose everywhere, King of Bins, Trina loving life, the best sausage and mash ever, singing 'Wildest Moments' in epic fashion even when innapropriate, Willy Mason being 'totes emosh' on a hangover, the Niktionary discussion, singing 'Whiskey In My Whiskey' whilst doing the ho-down, the bro who scaled the side of the dales by jumping the fence during XXXY with about 100 people cheering him on before proceeding to hide in a lavender crop, the best Sunday sunset resulting in a tan for once, the "I just saw a shooting star!"/ "No you never, you're just high..." conversation, boys getting naked to Japandroids, a one-legged man spiking peoples' face-paints with acid and the fact that I survived the whole weekend without taking a sleeping bag. PHEW. My brain is fizzing, I could go on forever! Anyway, My review is further below along with a some film snaps. Enjoy!
Review // Beacons Festival 2012
After a cancelled event last year thanks to an unexpected bout of flash-flooding, the team behind Beacons Festival upped sticks and relocated to the Funkirk Estate in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales for 2012, complete with one of the best line-ups this summer, spanning from new favourites to past classics all for our musical enjoyment. Well, ‘How was it?!’ we hear you cry- and to be frank, for its first official year, it couldn’t have really gone much better. Aside from an unorganised accreditation cabin greeting us upon arrival and no ATMs’ available on site, the jam-packed weekend of music and arts came and went phenomenally, with only a few minor hitches. In the first instances of the musical entertainment, Friday was seen as one of my personal favourite days to look forward to and certainly deliver, it did indeed. The Stool Pigeon tent (adorned with a smattering of multi-coloured bunting and viewed as the ‘main stage’ of the weekend) saw Veronica Falls perform their surprisingly cleanly executed graveyard gothica (What did you expect with track titles such as ‘Found Love In a Graveyard’ and ‘Misery’?), infused with pop-driven female whispers and dare I say it, even twee undertones, which when juxtaposed with lo-fi rolling riffs did work in partnership for a hauntingly gorgeous set.
Sticking with The Stool Pigeon stage and having just released her debut full-length ‘Devotion’, the stunning Jessie Ware was up next, serenading her audience through tracks such as next single ‘Wildest Moments’  and fan-favourites ‘110%’ and ‘Running’. Although the album on record comes across with an extremely chilled, almost restrained vibe, her live set was a total treat which made past releases that I’d listened to digitally sound, well, underwhelming- everything that her live show was not. Fusing together proportionally epic vocals with 808 beats and a sprinkling of  R&B thanks to Julio Bashmore on production duty, Miss Ware is the latest London underground sweetheart who definitely can deliver to the surrounding ‘hype’, a term of which is often a death sentence for many emerging artists but of which I can assure you, not in this case. After running over to catch Disclosure bring their fantastic live set straight from the party isles of the Mediterranean, the teenage brothers opened with their latest smash ‘Control’, causing the crowd to vibrate into full pulsations of euphoria, however, after an (apparently) leaking big top tent and blowing a speaker, the boys unfortunately called it a day at risk of their equipment failing, which came as one of the biggest disappointments’ of the weekend, along with Julio Bashmore cancelling his after-dark set (One rumour was an ear infection, although despite continuing on with his Radio show, many mused that he’d left on a jet plane for Ibiza…). It appears that Yokrshire just isn't ready for some of the biggest sounds of 2012…
Turning things a lot more punk over on the Vice/ Noisey Stage was Salford-hailing PINS, whom played their thrashing set whilst sporting balaclavas in ode to Pussy Riot, a small yet significant touch as rumour got round the site about the breaking news in Russia (A move that the sharp-folksters of Wild Beasts would also later adopt within their headline set). Nevertheless, the quartet- having just signed to Bella Union the previous week- celebrated in style with droaning guitar lines, aggressive drums and moody murmurs all collectively flying the flag for female-fronted punk rock; think Vivian Girls meets Warpaint if they all grew up in a grim Northern city, then you may just get the idea. Moving on to Saturday (After being woken up by the fabulous Impossible Lecture Tent continuing on their 72-hour stint of live performance art, this time by a transvestite Merman only known as Carrie Anne…) and it was Japandroids turn to tear the roof off, as the Vancouver twosome played a rare British festival set combining tracks from both their freshman and sophomore releases. Bursting with rough energy, light-speed garage rock drumming and marathon sing-alongs; heck, a world tour into the year and its clear these boys can still put on a fucking classic rock show- and from the reaction of an ever-growing naked crowd, I’d say the fans would agree too.
Taking things down a notch as the perfect sunset soundtrack, Archy Marshall aka King Krule (Formerly known as Zoo Kid, still with me? Good!) played through a relatively unknown amalgamation of work, having only released a five-track EP back in 2011, Marshall still managed to draw in a packed-out horde of onlookers. Merging  together the cheeky attributes of Jamie T (If he were a full time stoner-crooner, that is…) with heart-wrenchingly poignant imagery and nothing less than a pure talent in forms of his unpredictably brilliant guitar playing, it’s hard to believe that this artist is still only a teenager. Romantic, lucid and ever so cheekily charming in leading the way for the next generation of young British musicians, we’re certainly on tenterhooks as to what is next up for this fiery gentleman. Also flying the flag for generation Y was the achingly handsome Swim Deep, having just signed a deal with RCA Sony only this month and making a whole host of friends amongst tour buddies with the likes of Spector and Pond- Austin, Higgy, Zack and Cavan take the often over-kneaded genre of “beach grunge” for Brits and plummet their own brand straight into the veins of it. Looking like they had raided a Saved By The Bell character’s wardrobe, the B-town boys combine texturally soft vocals and blisters of creeping synths with hypnotizing basslines, in order to submerge your mind, body and soul into a Sunshine haven that would help even the most Northern bloke escape from the muddy reality awaiting just ten feet outside the surrounding canvas shell.
The final day of Beacons saw not the most welcoming of environments as we shook off our hangovers below the ridiculously gloomy skyline and headed over to the arena to catch Willy Mason. Now, all truth be told, I genuinely had never listened to any of his previous work in the past but with a friend in tow urging us that it would be nothing less than beautiful, she was every statement in the clear as I was literally a note away from tears by the end. Drawing in one of the biggest crowds of the whole weekend as Mason and his selective band consisting all of two, performed tracks such as ‘Oxygen’ and ‘Hard Hand To Hold’, one could have heard a pin drop within the mesmerizingly respectful crowd- of whom, don’t get me wrong, the rapturous appreciation was certainly shown when required. Female vocal whispers and a Johnny Cash-serenades wove around his fragile, emotive chords that provided the perfect ease into the day and an extremely pleasant surprise for this new-found fan right here- and I’m sure I’m not the only one.
After an absolute biblical downpour mid-afternoon during XXXY (I couldn’t count on one hand the amount of times I got perpetually stuck in the mud…) the sunshine came out in full force for Star Slinger’s set, seeing a huge overflow outside the tent after dropping the likes of Bone Thugs N Harmony classics along with Nicki Minaj bangers and Gold Panda favourites; the Manchester-based producer wiped the floor with his swipe of the old and new, successfully banishing the blues for even the biggest party-poopers on site (Er, the security dishing out the evils next to the Greendales Stage, maybe?). To most passers-by who took notice of the throbbing, ever-expanding crowd evidently having one of those ‘moments of the weekend’, it appeared that from this view it would be difficult to comprehend that this performance was nothing but one man and his MacBook onstage. One. Singular. Guy. Oozing with slick mixes and euphoric inflation, it was clear to see as the sun set over Beacons that this was the highlight of the weekend- seriously- I can still feel the twerk cramp in my thighs now…
Thanks to everyone at Beacons / I Like Press and we will hopefully see you next year! 
Words and images by Yours Truly (Except image #3 which i stole from Harriet) X

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

LIFE

I'm sorry I'm the worlds shittest wannabe journo and I haven't posted anything on here in a while! I've been hiding away in Yorkshire attending a stupendous amount of Birthday gatherings involving debauchery along the lines of drinking my weight in Singapore Slings/ White Russians, smoking cigars in a treehouse whilst dressed as an air hostess and dying of hangover laughter over the fact that Carly Rae Jepson is older than Gaga (trust, we Wiki'd it...) along with the realisation that Mr. Big looks like The Count- time to reassess my Summer lifestyle choices? Probs but either way it is the Summer, so gigs are scarce but festivals are rife, so I'm off to cover Beacons this coming Weekend! The line-up is so fucking good I could literally burst, Japandroids and Disclosure in the Dales? YES PLEASE. Some time next week there will be a LOT of snaps up from that along with a nifty little review- if you're dancing around like a loon and I pap you/ your name is either Brian King or David Prowse and I run up to you screaming like a fangirl, just DEAL WITH IT. So, yeah, I've not fallen off the face of the earth and I'm currently planning my costume for Fancy Dress Friday- see y'all in the fields! X

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // August

My Freedom Spark Playlist for August is now up! I reviewed new tracks from Iggy Azalea, Crystal Castles, Karma Kid, Purity Ring and Baauer- AND, from the playlists' of which I usually celebrate (Aka the tracks I've chosen) , the first two artists mentioned above this month are more like "This-isn't-your-best-work-but-I-still-can't-help-but-listen-to-it-so-sort-it-out-in-future" kind of ponders. Whatever, they are all still rad and I can't help the Iggy-induced gun fingers (My bad) and non-stop dancing around to Karma Kid although the sun has disappeared now. Enough babbling, I'm off to do Twin Peaks style coffee and cherry pie whilst getting ridiculously stressed about party planning- enjoy it here
Words by Yours Truly X

Monday, 23 July 2012

Review // Purity Ring- 'Shrines'

Evening! I'm still in hibernation until Saturday (Apparently there is a heatwave back home? Say what?!) so until then, Purity Ring's debut record 'Shrines' is released today, so, I reviewed it for 4AD and I thought I'd paste it below as I havn't been really keeping things original on this blog as of late (sell-out?). When I first saw PR play Deaf Institute back in November, yes, they were pretty fucking good live but I honestly didn't believe they'd have the balls to make something so bursting with talent and individuality. Hell, the only thing I don't like about it is the artwork but I suppose I can't really hold that against them. Basically, read the kind words below, listen to a few tracks and most importantly, buy it. I hope you love it as much as I do! X
Purity Ring- 'Shrines' (4AD Records)
The words ‘Montreal’ and 4AD have both popped up onto our radar quite substantially this past year (Let’s not name names’ now...) and with the highly-anticipated debut full-length from Halifax/Montreal duo Purity Ring finally birthed into the world later this month, our Google+ notifications are spiralling out of control more than ever. Comprised of Corin Roddick and Megan James, both fundamental artists in their own right before channelling together for this project, create otherworldly “lullabies” for the dance generation and conduct experimental live shows- of which is all alluring in black and white for sure, but what exactly will release ‘Shrines’say to those listening?
For persons unfamiliar with the work of Purity Ring, one might conjure up a mentality of choral, clean-cut melodies and orderly compositions, oh how you should never judge a band by their name! Introducer, ‘Crawlersout’ showcases blissed, metallic whirrs married together with compelling keys and James’s seraphic tales to develop the track into a blissful state of equilibrium. Pulsations of resonating, twisted Male distortions- of which we can only presume is the alternative contribution on Roddick’s behalf- adds another depth to the darkened cosmos the duo have so beautifully created…not what you expected from a band named after a religious piece of chastity jewellery, eh? This is dance music done differently, one that challenges the listener to ponder themes and reach a point of empathy through James’s impressive allegory skills, rather than elation as usually anticipated from such a genre.
First official release, ‘Fine Shrine’, indicates the duo of sticking to their fool-proof formulae comprised of gloomy palpitations and angelic accounts coming across overtly Salem a la King Night on the instrumental front- yet lush anecdotal flutters throughout, help the track to reach an eerie level that reinstates their identity as a dance band, rather than being confined to short-lived tags of ‘witch-house’ or ‘drone-pop’. ‘Ungirthed’ uncovers itself as a showcase of what the couple do best, with James’s vocal range being reflected superbly (without being detracted from, unlike earlier tracks where production attributes, although executed well, do so) and suggesting that they’re not going to lie down and take labels, especially when it comes to that “lullaby” branding.
‘Amenamy’ continues on to exhibit dazzling ripples of metallophone and electronic vibrations before weaving into spacey working ‘Grandloves’, featuring a flavouring of male reverberations that add an unconventional element of complexity to not only the track but the whole collection, by flirting with hip-hop flairs and experimental concepts, of which the release is not exactly in need of but welcomingly embraces. ‘Lofticries’ incorporates a union of skewered soul undercurrents and flourishing stems of piquant stories throughout, a manner continued on (although under much more moving, stripped-back nostalgic terms) to closer ‘Shuck’, a certainly touching track that shimmers of its own accord, with impassioned lyrics of “I’ve shook all the light from my skin and I’ll light it in you” divulging a narrative of optimism and positivity to a truly empyrean level. Although experimental acts often find it difficult to execute a whole body of work seamlessly, without appearing brash or cacophonous, this is exactly what James and Roddick have managed to accomplish naturally whilst still retaining an air of immediacy and rapture.
An enigmatic collection of gorgeous, contrasting endeavors that not only presents itself as a universal piece of art but also cements Purity Ring as a limitless act with a bright future ahead of them. Exquisitely atmospheric and strikingly transcendental in more ways than one, listen for yourself when ‘Shrines’ is released July 24th and see why it is definitely commended as one of the albums of 2012 so far…
8/10

Words by Yours Truly

Friday, 20 July 2012

Interview // Cerebral Ballzy

Don't worry, I'm alive! I've been hiding from the world residing at my Dad's in the Isle Of Man (Who knew stupidly high roaming charges on my "international" number would be a god send of an excuse to switch off?), catching up with the family and spending all my time by the seaside- I guess everyone needs to get away once in a while. Before I came over here, I headed over to The Kazimier back home (One of my fave venues I missed SO BAD whilst I was away) to interview Cerebral Ballzy; they were late, overly arrogant and we ended up taking them to a Blink182 afterparty after missing our last train home and then ending the night in a Travelodge carpark at 4am...awks? You can read the piece over on Vice's music site Noisey here and to be honest, I'm feeling pretty proud to be contributing to one of the best new music blogs avaliable on the net now, their writers are innovative and completely not afraid to take risks with their angles and pieces, so if you don't already follow Noisey, sort it out and do the right thing. I won't be home and back up on my writing game until mid next week (I think) BUT I'll have a review of one of my favourite new albums of the year come Sunday/ Monday, so keep your eyes peeled!
Words by Yours truly X

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Interview // Idiot's Pasture

You may have noticed that a few weeks ago, the boring piece of text that used to head this blog up top ^ has now been replaced with a creepily rad logo- yes, my very own logo! Designed by the terrific Idiot's Pasture, a Yorkshire-based illustrator who has worked with the likes of Hookworms, Slowcoaches and even designed some ace posters for Hyde Park Picture House screenings, I caught up with the man behind the guise to talk about his inspirations, how art is often too high-brown and Justin Bieber-inspired artworks. You can read the interview over at Spindle Magazine here (HEY SPINDLE! Thanks for having me!) who I'll hopefully be contributing to a lot more in the future, so go check those wonderful new gems out!
In a more I-don't-think-anyone-really-cares-but-I'm-gonna-tell-you-all-anyway bulletin, I celebrated passing my first year of uni (I got a 1:1 in my law module, NO BIG DEAL!1!1!) by eating more space cakes than I should have, being convinced to watch Boogie Nights (A film I learnt that NO-ONE SHOULD EVER WATCH. EVER.) and thinking that my body, along with its unhealthy fondness of cookie dough and menthol cigarettes, could handle a run my 16-year-old self would've laughed at. I was wrong. OH and I literally just finished watching the whole first series of HBO's 'Girls' in one sitting. ONE SITTING. Don't even judge me, I have no words (Except, what the hell was that finale apart from pretty fucking weird?!), it is basically my generation's SATC and Lena Dunham, you are a cinematic power. I'm going to spend the rest of my Tuesday hiding from this biblical downpour by prepping for interviews later this week and listening to the new Purity Ring record that the babes of 4AD just hooked me up with- enjoy your Great British Summer, even if it is raining, its not like you're Andy Murray... X
Words by yours truly / Image c/o Idiot's Pasture

Monday, 2 July 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // July

Y'all know the drill by now, a new month= a new playlist! For July I wrote some nice words about Die Antwoord (You can watch their latest video below so do so, it blew my mind and ears for like, a week), Two Inch Punch, Para One, Splashh and the magnificent Frank Ocean. CLICKETY CLICK IT'S OVER HERE! I'm off to listen to 'Manifest!' repeatedly whilst wishing I was Samantha Urbani and swooning over how cute the new Summer Spin cover feature is- oh, incase you didn't get the memo, this morning's office and workload will be conducted live and direct straight from ones bed, where I think you will all agree, is definitely where every Monday in the history of the world should be spent. Hope you dig the tunes! X

Sunday, 1 July 2012

LDN

Sorry for the lack of posts boys and girls, I've been down South visiting my editor from Freedom Spark and learning how to DJ at LeeFest! I had so much fun finally catching Slow Club live, losing all feeling in my legs after watching Jakwob smash their headline set, calling into Rough Trade, eating bagels and drinking daiquiris' on Brick Lane, visiting a prostitutes graveyard (beautifully a million times better and less seedy than it sounds) AND going to watch AlunaGeorge play in the stunning gardens of the mega-posh Sanderson Hotel, £12 for a single and mixer, anyone? Apart from that I leant how to master the tube like a boss and realise that there really is no city like it- I hope you all had a great weekend, here are some shots I took and seriously, articles will be coming soon, I'm chasing things round like a madwoman X
Words and images by yours truly

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

HOME

I've done nothing since I've been back at home but draft copies, catch up with friends and hammer the shit out of the astounding new Para One record. Oh and I went from a practically albino shade of white blonde to lilac, of which I'm pretty much in love with. Articles are in the pipeline, hang in there! X

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

In photos // A$AP Rocky @ The Ritz

Last week, I went and caught A$AP Rocky's show at The Ritz along with some rowdy underagers who shouted "IGGY AZALEA!" at me (Pfft, I wish!) and some lads stage invaded whilst the A$AP Mob tried to grab people who were crowd surfing up to join in the fun. I also took some pictures for your viewing pleasure, so enjoy!
Words and images by yours truly X

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Freedom Spark Playlist // June

I had such a good weekend watching Mount Kimbie during the cutest sunset ever, along with eating my weight in veggie burgers and giving my Portugese babe Rita a right good Mancunian send off. I'm leaving the city for Summer to go back home come the weekend and my head is an absolute mess, love/hate some might say but to be honest I think I just need a cuddle and a few familiar faces. It is JUNE which means that my new monthly playlist is now up on FreedomSpark featuring Haim, Jessie Ware and Kahn, so give it a listen! I'm off to Watch The Throne tonight (on my own though, what a total lameo) and then onwards and upwards to say goodbye with the Factory family, Manchester, I love you X

Saturday, 9 June 2012

#LIFE

I have a million articles to write having just spent all my money on a new laptop charger (YAY) and a load of film that got destroyed over the weekend thanks to exploding cans in my bag :'( (NEIGH). I have some lovely friends staying over tonight for Parklife (and so does my flatmate, although none of us are going to be in, weird?), although I have to work later so hopefully a lunch reunion will be on the cards tomorrow! Here are the bits of film that survived!
All photos by yours truly (Unless I'm in them, silly) X

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Review // Dot 2 Dot Festival Manchester

As I mentioned in a previous post, I spent this years Jubilee Weekend also covering Dot2Dot Festival in Manchester. The line-up was SO rad, with getting to catch Pond and Wavves being ultimate treats (HELLO, have you even realised what this blog is named after? Educate yourselves!). Inbetween acts, we spent our time sneaking drinks into venues, trying (and failing) to find any piercing places open and after everything had finished, we bumped into Jay Watson from Tame Impala (who also plays in Pond, duh) and shared some weed whilst he told us how much he missed his girlfriend back in Australia and enquired when our non-existent band were off to his homeland, HA! I had the best weekend I've had in a long long time and now currently don't know what to do with myself, I'm literally typing this from my bed clutching a pack of M&M's onto my third cup of coffee chasing up contacts and writing emails, IT'S OK THOUGH GUYS, cos I'll be in the same room as A$AP tomorrow! If you wanna read how ace all the D2D  bands were (except for Cloud Nothings, they were totally overrated), you can check it here! Well and truly, what bank holidays were made for...
Words and Images by yours truly X