BANKS: Albert Hall, Manchester. 10th March 2017.

11 03 2017

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One of the best feelings you can experience is waiting years and years to see a band or singer you adore. Not only do you adore them, but they’ve undoubtedly saved your life and made it easy for you to face those days where getting out of bed seems damn near impossible. You’re not brave, but the music and words give you this strength that you never thought you could possess. You don’t know what to do with this strength, but when no one else is around at 3am when you wake yourself up from having a panic attack, the music keeps you safe. The music keeps you sane. You have a small support network but those people aren’t close by. You cling to what you can, when you can.

Since 2013 I’ve been obsessed with Banks. Her words got me through something that in some ways, I put myself through a few years before. A situation I was too immature and fucked up to handle. The songs on Goddess made me see how badly I had hurt someone I loved and adored. Fast forward a few years, and we’re together. The songs don’t hurt as much. We’ve both healed. Time can heal. Goddess is built on songs that ooze hurt and pain, but they give you strength. The Altar is a body of work that shows honesty and vulnerability in a way that again, gives strength. That’s what Banks embodies- strength and love for yourself. Her songs are a form of healing and clarity.

Her set opens with the chilling Poltergeist. Using two microphones to distort the vocals, Banks has this stage presence that hits you right away. The way she focuses on the dance routine during this song is nothing short of hypnotising. Your eyes are hooked on every mood she and her dancers make, and the songs suddenly take on a whole new meaning. Banks moves like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Her moves are so delicate and well thought out. She reminds me so much of Aaliyah with the way she carries herself and glides across the stage.

There are so many stand out moments from the show last night that made me realise that her songs are more than just words and music. To see them come to life like this was mind blowing. Every part of me just wanted to sing a long, but all I could do was gaze in awe. The person I’ve been using as a crutch for so long was right there. One of the most beautiful points of the show was her asking everyone to put their phones away, and she performed a fragile version of Better. This song performed this way just changed everything. It took the song elsewhere, and you just connected in a completely different way. Mother Earth was the song I feel broke and fixed hearts and minds. Lyrically, it is probably one of the best songs Banks has written so far. The way she is so open and so pure when she performs this song just melts your heart. I knew it would be the song to break me and make me cry, it just has this power but in the best way imaginable. You just feel when you hear it that you can possibly take anything on and that she is right there with you going through it all. She gives you so much hope with this song, and I cannot thank her enough for it.

This Is What It Feels Like is one of the songs I was massively looking forward to. It was one of the first songs I heard from her, and she dedicated it to all those who had been there from the start. The way she choreographed her hands as she sang This Is What It Feels Like is so captivating. Drowning also left me hypnotised. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the stage and it was sung with such determination and power. Beggin’ For Thread was just absolutely one of my favourite songs from the set, and it just made me so happy to see this song come to life like this. Her dancers add this eerie feeling to the whole set that just lures you in, deep into this world in the most comforting way.

A large part of the show was songs from The Altar which was easily one of the best and most underrated records of last year. Since September I’ve played it religiously. It’s been a record that has eased me out of a state after I’ve had a panic attack, and her voice just soothes my head. Trainwreck is performed with such attitude as is Gemini Feed and of course, Fuck With Myself. The way she performs these songs just gives you this belief that you’re as tough as her. Weaker Girl is again, another mind blowing performance. The way everyone shouts “I’ma need a bad motherfucker like me” is incredible. Every song is just screamed back at her, it makes you feel like you’re in an arena not an old church in the middle of Manchester. She has the crowd right where they should be, and none of us want to ever leave.

Judas and Haunt again bring out this bold and brave side. Judas especially is performed with this venom that makes you feel the hurt she’s experienced from whoever or whatever has hurt her. I know I’ve said it countless of times before about her, but when she does this you just truly connect to the music. She’s so easy to connect with and to feel, and believe in every single word. I don’t even know what I did before I had her music.

The set ends with 27 Hours followed by This Is Not About Us. Of course there are other songs I would have loved to have heard but that’s just for my own personal sentimental value. The set was nothing short of perfect, and if anything, I’d have just wanted her to stay on stage for hours. Her dancers, her band, and her stage presence- just everything felt like something that came purely from the heart and soul. Wherever she goes when she performs these songs, she takes you with her.

It didn’t end just there. Before we went to the show, I wrote a letter to give her. The letter consisted of me telling her how much her music has helped and healed. How it still does, and how it gets me through my own hell. I handed the letter to her, and as we hugged, I had to tell her something I had needed to say for so long. I told her that she had saved my life. A bold and big statement that is entirely the truth. This was more than just a concert. It did something that no other show has ever done to me. I’ll keep its meaning close to me and go to it when it all seems too much. There is so much more I could say about the show last night, but if you were there or if you’ve seen her live- then you’ll understand exactly what it is that her music and her presence does.





FRANK’S DAUGHTER-WE WERE WAVES ONCE (sjöar remix)

26 01 2014

 

 

Frank’s Daughter make music that fully justifies my idea that duos make the best music. Of course not all duos are any good; I’m sure we can all think of some that are quite crap. But it’s all down to personal taste and I’m not someone who ever thinks they are right. I’m usually wrong, but it’s no big deal. I think I’m right with my opinion on Frank’s Daughter. Their debut LP, The Sound Of A Heart Unravelling came out in July last year and the dark, haunting feel of the record was something I instantly fell in love with.

The record opens with We Were Waves Once, and towards the end of last year they were giving away a free MP3 of the Sjöar remix of the song. I’m not someone who  goes out of their way to listen to remixes of songs, I guess I like to cling onto the original versions. Yet there are occasional remixes that stay true to the original. The remix and record version of We Were Waves Once both have a chilling feel to them; exposing just how vulnerable the vocals are. This is the kind of music to leave everything behind to, but I don’t know if you’re searching for anything. I guess we all are, deep down.

What I adore about Frank’s Daughter is their fragile sound that feels like a safety net. They sound as frail as you but something about them protects you. Maybe it’s the reassurance that someone else gets it, you know. Sometimes that’s the most comforting feeling, other times it is quite frightening.

For me, Frank’s Music make the kind of music that those like Burial, James Blake and Deptford Goth make- made for listening to in the dark. Whether you’re making your way home by foot or public transport or sat alone in the darkness. They are perfect for a state of solitude and clarity.

You can listen to the gorgeous remix here: https://soundcloud.com/franks-daughter/we-were-waves-once-sj-ar-remix and get a free copy of it here: http://www.franks-daughter.com/

Drift off to sleep to their music and have beautiful dreams.

Goodnight x





HELP THE VIRGIN TONGUES!

21 12 2013

A while ago I wrote about a band called The Virgin Tongues. A band that are quite dear to me; a band that make music I really really love. A band that RIGHT NOW do need your help. The Virgin Tongues have not had it easy; but aside from those who take the easy way out and go on talentless shows, no band ever really has I suppose. Work for your art.

Whilst recording their debut release in Iceland, singer Duncan fell 32 ft the night before a show. Sustaining multiple injuries including damage to internal organs; he survived. Nothing can stop this band. They are fighters. They are a band to be proud of; a band to back.

They recently launched a fundraising campaign to get the band back together and to finish their debut record. You can read more about it here:  http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-virgin-tongues–2

The band were kind enough to use the words I’d written about them previously, which is far too kind of them. But that’s the kind of guys they are. Hard-working and caring; there’s no better band to back.

On Christmas Day, Duncan will feature on Ola’s Kool Kitchen. If that isn’t a brilliant name for a radio show, then I have no idea what is. You can follow Ola on Twitter: https://twitter.com/OlasKoolKitchen for more information about times for Duncan’s interview. The show will be broadcasted on the following: Radio23, Rock XS Radio and Magic Monster Radio. The show will also feature Jason Holt from Spectrum. The show will be made up of 5 broadcasts over 3 stations with the first one on Christmas Day (Wednesday.)

Make sure you tune in; support radio and your new soon-to-be favourite band.

Thank you.





RECORDS OF 2013.

21 12 2013

I thought I had 10 solid records to list as my favourite this year. My utter favourite has not changed; that was the only one I was 100% sure on. I change my mind a lot, about most things. What I like today, I may dislike tomorrow. Or in 10 minutes. It keeps things interesting to an extent, then it just gets confusing. I don’t like order or structure. Music is my favourite sound. People bragging about how much they drank the night before is my least favourite. If only there was a mute button for conversation.

With it being close to the end of the year, everyone thinks their opinion is better than other people’s when talking about their favourite record, songs, books etc of the year that has passed. My opinion isn’t made for counting or even worth acknowledging. To the one person who’ll read this; I hope you own at least one of the records I mention here. Of course, you don’t have to own it but you know..buy yourself something nice. Anyway. This isn’t in order, but the last record I mention is my favourite of the year.

Dirty Beaches- Love Is The Devil/Drifters. Anything Alex does always blows me away. He’s someone who, when you listen to his music, you can tell is truly in an untouchable zone when he makes music. You can sense that nothing distracted him in the process, and when you listen to his music nothing distracts you from that intimate moment you have listening to his music. To an extent music is pretty voyeuristic. We are listening in on other people’s thoughts and feelings. They know someone is listening; they just don’t know who. I’ve read vile criticism of this record from those who wanted Badlands part 2. It’s rally unfair to Alex because he’s one of the most passionate musicians out there; and to assume he’s going to make the same record over and over is just wrong. Same goes for many more, I know. But Alex’s music just stands out. I finally got to see him live this year, and watching him felt like you were witnessing someone unleash every demon that their body posses. It was a truly beautiful show. I interviewed him, and although it was done via email I could easily sense just how much music means to him. He’s not someone who’s had success come easy to him, and that hunger is firmly within him to keep making music. When I heard the song, Love Is The Devil it just broke my heart because it had this raw beauty to it, but pain also. It was overwhelming at times to listen to this record because of the rawness of it. The honesty in this record just makes you proud to be a fan of his music. Alex’s music makes you want to everything behind and fall in love with a gloomy European city that has history of romantic and haunting literature, with locals telling stories in dingy cafes.

Ezra Furman- Day Of The Dog. The hot pink cover did it for me. Ezra is an incredible song-writer; Day Of The Dog showcases this better than before. The songs are full of lust, self-doubt, hate (directed at the self and others) and is done in a way that doesn’t seem like it is self-pitying bullshit. So far from it. The philosophical lyrics with the delightful sax playing just makes this record a pleasure to listen to. For me, Tell ‘Em All To Go To Hell is a brilliant “fuck you” and is the perfect soundtrack to those pissed off moods we are all prone to. Ezra has this way of touching on dark subjects in a way that disguises just how dark the feeling is. It’s the kind of music you speed off into the sunset too, where night-time is all you crave. His song-writing skills are enviable. He’s not afraid to pour his heart out for all to hear; for me that’s what makes this record wonderful.

Deptford Goth- Life After Defo. For the most part, what I listen to is some kind of take on Garage rock. However, sometimes something in music happens and I just fall for it. I have no idea what genre Deptford Goth’s music falls into. I don’t really care. There’s only two kinds of music for me- music I listen to and music I don’t listen to. Why waste your time on pointless sub-genres that feed those pretentious idiots out there. Deptford Goth’s debut record is one I have played constantly on train/tube journeys as everything is dark and the odd flickering street-light is all I see. I’ve walked country roads listening to this when I was living at my mum’s- when the evenings were light. His music fits the night-time perfectly. His gentle voice makes you feel as if you have something like a best friend walking with you to guide you through anything and everything. This is the kind of music that just stays locked in the heart. I’ve tried listening to Life After Defo when it is light out, but when you start to feel tired when on a long journey as the day fades- his music becomes so apt. I advise getting on a train just as it’s getting dark, head into your nearest city and walk around listening to this record. It just makes everything feel alright and secure.

SISU-Blood Tears. Fronted by Dum Dum Girls’ drummer Sandra (she’s also the best drummer I’ve ever seen live) SISU make hypnotic music to lose your mind to. Blood Tears has an eerie feel to it, as if it should be in some insanely fucked up horror film. Th best songs usually have this feel to them don’t they. Yet Sandra’s delicate voice makes you feel at ease. It’s the kind of record you play when the sky is covered in a haunting mist; the sounds will direct you where you want to go. You get lost in the beautiful moments that Blood Tears creates. Blood Tears posses this attitude that makes you think you can pretty much take anything and anyone on. Think, Garbage’s debut record- that kind of powerful. Dominant but not obnoxious in the slightest. It’s a powerful record that pretty much merges everything I love and adore about music.

PINS-Girls Like Us. Debut record of the year; no questions about it. This ferocious and dark debut record from the finest band in Manchester is one I’ve been playing on constant repeat since it came out. Every song is addictive. My love for PINS started last year when I heard the anthemic LuvU4Lyf. If you’ve seen PINS live, you will know just how pleasurable this song is to witness live. It is like a battle cry for hearts that are full of love; all bouts of lust have faded, and it has become something tougher. Speaking of tough, Girls Like Us has a gang-like feel to it. All too often I’ve seen PINS be described as a “girl band.” If only people defined music by what it sounds like rather than the gender of those making it. PINS are pretty much the most exciting band in the UK and I honestly cannot praise this record enough. It is, in my mind, a debut masterpiece. I’m so excited about how their sound is going to grow; I just bloody adore them. You get that, right?!

POP. 1280-Imps Of Perversion. The only person I know who really loves this band aside from myself is my uncle. We both share a mutual love for all things weird and loud. POP.1280 are one of the best bands on the brilliant Sacred Bones label. You see, Sacred Bones have never released a shit record. Some labels do have questionable moments; but Sacred Bones do take risks, and they do it in a way that means the listener is going to experience some of the best music imaginable. By no means are POP.1280 easy to listen to. This isn’t a record to woo a lover to or to play to your Gran at a family gathering. Oh no. Imps Of Perversion is a collective of perverse songs that you should play in your bedroom as loud as you want to. Feel as free as you want. Let the music fuck you up and over. It’ll go through your bones, smash your skull and leave you wondering why this isn’t played on commercial radio. Let them have your noise; you’ve got your own. Imps Of Perversion is as noisy and as brutal as it gets. This is one record I’d love to have witnessed the recording process for. It is brilliantly weird and wired.

The Long Wives- A Collection Of Demonstrations And Demons. I’ve been writing about Brandy for some time now, and since accidentally finding her music there’s not been a day where I’ve not listened to her haunting voice. Her voice is scary and powerful. Her songs show that she is one of the best song-writers around; the way she tells stories enables you to feel the fury she feels in her songs. This is her debut record, but it’s pretty much a collection of old songs and demos on there. It does have my favourite, Judas Hex on. It’s one of my favourite songs by Brandy, but to pin point what it is that I love about her music would take an eternity; I simply cannot justify my love for her music. If I ever had the money and was okay with being on a plane for 8 hours, I’d fly to LA and hang out with her in a graveyard and discuss life in general with her. She’s like a stripped back version of Zola Jesus; by this I mean her music makes you think. And I mean REALLY think about everything around you. Her music to me, is romantic and can cure the heart of any illness that is surrounding it. Her lyrics are vulnerable and the way she sings is just breathtaking. She’s an inspiration for sure.

Willis Earl Beal- Nobody Knows. From one musical genius to another; Willis is the man who is putting some much-needed soul into music right now. He appeals to the loner in me, which as I get older, becomes more and more obvious. I like my own company more than I used to, which  guess is an adjustment to getting older. I hate being in large groups of people, I just really hate it. Willis’ voice has a lot of soul to it, and his debut record had a lot of pain surrounding it. Read his background story, and you’ll see why. Nobody Knows has bouts of hope and strength in it. His song with the gorgeous Chan Marshall (Cat Power) just makes you feel as if everything is going to be alright again. It also makes you want them to make a full length record together. Followed by a tour is dingy, intimate venues. I can picture it now. Perfectly. Nobody Knows is the perfect middle finger to those who think most fall victim to that “second record” beast. It is obvious for the most part that it is a myth. Willis stamps all over it. His voice is extremely powerful; just look up videos of him singing without any music and you’ll quickly realise that he’s one of the greatest.

Savage Sister-Savage Sister. Savage Sister; with a name like that you’d think they’d be making menacing goth style music. They’re pretty much the opposite of that. They’re as gentle as Youth Lagoon, Beach House and Tamaryn combined. Basically, they are ideal. Their dream-like debut release is just ethereal from start to finish. Of course it is like you are floating amongst the clouds with your eyes shut as everything just passes you by. You don’t need to take notice of anything around you, because with this record, Savage Sister create moments for you that stay lodged in your brain and etched upon your heart forever. This debut release was one I’d been hugely excited for last year, and when I was emailed a copy I was so excited to finally hear it. There is something magical about this band; and they are much more than a sacred listen. Everyone should listen to them because they could possibly be the soundtrack to those memorable moments in your life. Savage Sister make music to float away and dream to. Listen and dream away.

CROCODILES- CRIMES OF PASSION. So this was pretty much an easy one. It was my record of the year before it was released; before I even heard it. I just knew it was going to blow my mind. I heard it a few months before it came out, and I was trembling with excitement as I listened to it. I get the same excitement now when I listen to it. I notice something different about each song with every listen. I initially thought I could pick one song that I loved the most, but I realised this wasn’t going to happen for me. I love She Splits Me Up but I love the lyrics to I Like It In The Dark (“I don’t have the time for a graveyard of the mind that they call shame.”) But I adore the whole romantic feel throughout the record. I was beyond excited to finally meet the band in the summer and to be able to see them live a couple of times; when I interviewed them about this record, I started picking up on different things about it. Songs that influenced by poets such as Baudelaire to Patti Smith. I’ve loved Crocodiles since the start and to hear them go from the likes of Neon Jesus to Marquis De Sade is just amazing. Live they are on a different level. Their fans really feel the music, and know they are part of something unruly and unconventional; that’s why I love them. If I was in a band, I’d want to have the same approach to music as Crocodiles do. There are so many reasons as to why Crimes Of Passion is my record of the year; but for the most part, the meanings are sentimental and close to my heart. VIVA CROCODILES!

In





Bands I Fell In Love With In 2013.

13 12 2013

I had a lot of bands in mind with this, but there was one person in particular I was excited to write about here with pure respect and admiration. I read this evening that this person, The Child Of Lov had died. I’m a sentimental person, and for the most part I think it probably does more harm than good. The heart is still torn over Lou Reed’s passing; that’s something I don’t think I’ll ever get my head around. Anyway, this is dedicated t0 The Child Of Lov- with love and honesty, this one is for him.

There have been so many bands and singers that truly blew my mind this year. I don’t like to listen to one style of music, I find that to be pretty dull. I’ve never enjoyed the company of anyone who just listens to one kind of music. Yes my heart is in Punk, but I’m open to all kinds of music (aside from dance, I don’t enjoy dance music.)

I’ve attempted to shorten this to 10 bands/singers that really meant something to me this year. Some I found accidentally, and some found me. You’d have to ask them if it was an accident or not.

VIRALS- I saw them live twice this year, both times supporting Crocodiles. Shaun is an excellent frontman. He doesn’t speak much to the crowd, and I like that. I’m not one for bands talking a lot to the crowd, I’m not really sure why. Virals are a brilliant band who just have this massive thrashing feel to their sound. Their sound is the harsher side of summer. The side where you’re bored with everything and you roam the streets kicking other people’s rubbish along the way as you walk somewhere. Anywhere. So long as it is away from where you are. They were an absolute joy to watch live, one of the few bands that you just couldn’t get tired of watching.

Mikey & The Drags- I adore Garage Rock. I love how for me, it has that same brutality and passion as Punk had. Mikey & The Drags captivate everything that Garage Rock means to me. Their sensual grooves and a bite to their sound that just makes them tower above the rest, they make you wish you were in a band. In my dreams I am, ha. For me, this band are enough to make anyone who doubts the current state of music a firm believer again. Their songs are short (think Ramones) and make you want to thrash your body about- into walls, into people, deep into the music. They’re a band that need to be played louder than most just so they can set your body free.

Frank’s Daughter- Reinforcing my love for duos, Frank’s Daughter are spectacular. They formed in Brooklyn over whisky and wine, so it is no surprise that they were destined to make gorgeous music. Frank’s Daughter make music that is full of nostalgia, but not wanting to hold onto the past. They make you recall certain life events with a small grin on your face- content with moving on in your life and as a person. It is like they are guiding you through, holding your hand through it all when everyone and everything else has turned its back on you.

Savage Sister- I think I first wrote about them this year? All I know is that I adore their ethereal sound that glows in bands such as Tamaryn and Beach House. Savage Sister are that band you play late at night with the lights off. It doesn’t matter what is floating around your head- they just make it alright. Their name may sound a bit aggressive but their sound is anything but. They calm the soul in ways nothing else has really come close to. Savage Sister make music that is the soundtrack to those pleasant dreams that you never want to end. You could live in your head if you want; that way the dreams will never end.

Ancient Times- One guy making his own kind of noise. Another exceptional talent on the exquisite Soft Power Records. This Brighton wonder-kid is truly making his own scene, leaving a trail of baffled yet mesmerised listeners in his path. I likened George’s vocals to Morrissey’s this year when I wrote about him. I guess this would put small-minded buffoons off him, but I’m sure there are more that are attracted to this, fortunately! His vulnerable voice is what did it for me. When you can hear every word sung with pure emotion, that’s when you know you have found something truly special. Again, I hope 2014 is just as good to him as 2013 has been. He really does deserve it.

Roses- Another band from LA that cause me to occasionally be bored with England are Roses. However, Roses have that 80s Manchester feel to their music. Romance mixed with cynicism, best way to be at times. Maybe most of the time. When I listen to them, I try to figure out why I love them, but I just can’t. I think that’s part of why I love them. Roses have something about them that just makes you want to keep on listening. They make you forget all the bands you are currently into, and you just cast all your attention over to them. Although they are from LA, they don’t posses a “typical” LA sound, and for me, I think is part of the attraction. Roses are a band I’m excited to hear more from next year and beyond.

Girl Tears- Again, another excellent band from the Westcoast that blew my mind this year. I said they sounded like the Ramones and The Cramps having it off with each other. I still stand by that. They smack you in the face with their rambunctious and infectious sound, whilst freaking you out at the same time. Some bands try to do this, but they seem to be lacking something. I don’t know what, I just write about music I love. I stay away from music I don’t like. There’s no point wasting thousands of words on something I don’t like. Girl Tears aren’t afraid to be different, and their sound is so natural and bold. They make you want to throw stuff about. Throw your limbs about if you want, just to be safe. Yeah they are brutal but in a way that isn’t too “shocking.” They’re just a loud band that are extremely talented. Easily one of my favourites this year, no doubt.

The #1s- Playing with a sense of urgency that makes the listeners ears prick up immediately, The #1s are an exceptional band who are just a joy to listen to. When you listen to them, you straight away pick up on just how exciting they must be to see live. Their songs are fast and punchy. Hit repeat so it never ends; creating new moments each time. You scream the words back them until you feel your throat is beaten and scratched. They make music that is easy to relate to- for all those everyday frustrations that you just need to pour out of yourself; The #1s do it for you in a way you wish you could. Maybe one day you will, but for now you’ve got bands like this doing it for you. But hey, one day we must stop being lazy with our emotions.

Woman’s Hour- With all the brutal sounds I seem to enjoy listening to, I must balance it out. Woman’s Hour are another exciting band on Luv Luv Luv Records (listen to Only Real- he’s exceptional too.)Woman’s Hour are an exceptionally delicate band. They are fragile with their words and sounds. They carefully craft music that can break and mend the heart. They of course, do something to the soul too. Fiona’s voice is like Jessie Ware met Sade and went into the afterlife to bring Aaliyah back to us. Everything about them is so precious, and I think it is obvious that 2014 is going to be very good to them.

The Child Of Lov-  It’s hard to write about someone who’s music really blew you away, only to find out you’ll never hear anything from them again. The Child Of Lov made music to loosen your limbs to. He had that genius quality to his music that is found in the likes of Burial, Jai Paul and Kindness. He was just a joy to listen to. It’s hard to get your head around something like this. I listen to Fly, and it’s hard to imagine that nothing like this is going to come from him again. Of course what we have is beautiful, and of course notion of what could have been does come kicking in. We’ve got the music. It may only be one record, but it was one record that truly blew my mind this year. He had an alluring mystery to his music. You were (and still are) left with a sense of wonder and thousands of questions when you listen to his music. Obviously other questions now arise, but like I said- at least we have the music. He’s at peace now, and I guess that’s something we can take comfort in.





GIRL TEARS.

17 11 2013

 

 

I have to be up at 4am because I’m off to Paris in the morning, and although I wish I was asleep right now I thought it’d be a great idea to listen to one of the most rowdy bands I’ve heard in a long long time.

Girl Tears are another West Coast band that I’ve been enjoying lately. Their songs are ridiculously short, and really do feel like a smack in the face- but in a pleasant way. They have a song on their debut release called Dream Baby and it only lasts 21 seconds. Cynics or fools would probably regard this by thinking the band just don’t care. They make noise for a few seconds, then move on. That’s really not the case. Not everything needs to last 5 minutes sending you off into a dream world. Sure I love music like that, but sometimes I want to listen to music that carries on the Ramones legacy. And that is short and brutal songs that pretty much melt your face and burst your ear drums. Girl Tears are more aggressive than the Ramones; I don’t think any of the Ramones were aggressive guys. Joey was a gentle giant. Besides, just because someone makes music like this doesn’t mean they are going to start a fight at any chance they get.

Girl Tears debut record has only been out a month, and I have no idea how many people have heard it. But sadly, I can guess how many have missed out on it. Alright so not everyone is going to like Girl Tears but for those who want something that has bite to it and isn’t all soppy; then Girls Tears are for YOU. They are for EVERYBODY. The West Coast has produced some amazing bands, and Girl Tears are another name to add to that growing list.

Their debut records is like the Ramones having it off with The Cramps. Creepy and unlike anything else around. As I listen to them, I don’t feel like I’m listening to a new band. They take you back in time where music wasn’t afraid to be extreme or out there. Wearing a meat dress or popping out of an egg at an awards show doesn’t make you different. Sticking your tongue out constantly doesn’t make you a rebel- because you’re not rebelling against anything. Bands like Girl Tears are taking a stand against all this. They’re not afraid of standing out or making music that may not be to everyone’s taste. Thank fuck we’re all different!

I’ve played their record about 4 times as I’ve written this, and it’s one of those records that I’m going to remember for a long time. They’re everything I want in a band, and that 4am alarm is becoming less dreadful as I listen to them. If I’m going to stay awake for a while, it might as well be for a good reason.

VIVA GIRL TEARS!!

Buy/listen to the record here: http://girltears.bandcamp.com/





SAY LOU LOU. Concrete, London. 13th November 2013.

14 11 2013

So yesterday, I finally..FINALLY saw Say Lou Lou. When I saw they were playing London the day after my birthday, I knew I had to see them. I didn’t care that getting home would be a pain in various areas. I just HAD to see them. They immediately became an important band to me from when I first heard Maybe You ages ago, when they were known as Saint Lou Lou. I played Maybe You to death. I was (and still am) obsessed with. I love their single with Goodnight Keaton (Sweetness Alive.) Fool Of Me (with Chet Faker) is the perfect tale of when love takes a turn for the worst. Their sound is dramatic yet soothing. Can a band who don’t even have a full length record out yet convey all these feelings live? Basically, yes. YES.

Just before Say Lou Lou took to the stage a young chap just behind me kept yelling his love for the band and how excited he was. I firmly understood his love and excitement, but I’m not someone who likes to shout my feelings out to a bunch of strangers in a basement bar. Of course he did this numerous times when Say Lou Lou were on stage, and of course you did have someone yell back “Shut up, you’re embarrassing yourself.” Hey East Londoners, lighten the hell up! This person was having a good time and he was really happy to be there. You stand with your stone faced expressions and folded arms just wishing you could allow yourself to feel a fragment of joy. Maybe his yelling annoyed the band, but he was having a nice time. They felt the love, we all did.

Say Lou Lou played some new songs, and I think one of them was called Sky Lights..or Lines. I could be wrong. Regardless of what the song is called, it is bloody brilliant. Their sounds echo beautifully in this gorgeous venue; it was made for bands like Say Lou Lou. Better In The Dark sounds like a cult anthem for misfits who have their own vision of what love and lust is. Beloved breaks my heart instantly. The song is so painfully true, and one point in your life you will have related to the song. A release seems to ripple through the crowd from the band as they sing this song. Beloved is dark but has an essence of purity to it which is what makes Say Lou Lou so brilliant. They aren’t afraid to show a vulnerable side to love and such things. Beloved contains a line that is probably one of the most honest lyrics I’ve heard in a long long time, “Love is a facade for hate.” Goes right through you.

As they sing Julian any piece of you that is dented has been mended. You want to be the Julian that they are singing about. You feel as if you’ve been saved, briefly. Carry that feeling home with you. The drums on Julian are magnificent. The drums feel like your heartbeat becoming more steady and secure; Julian after seeing it live, somehow managed to mean more to me. Of course they play their cover of Tame Impala’s Feels Like We Only Go Backwards which is undeniably ethereal and wholeheartedly perfect. You feel that, whenever you feel hopeless, their version of this song will make you feel less of a coward for feeling so low. But surely you’re not a coward if you can admit to feeling low? I have no idea.

Fool Of Me sounded haunting and sinister. You could feel a wealth of hurt pour out of Elektra and Miranda. Elektra sang Chet Faker’s part, and this added the eerie tone to the song. Again, the drums on this add such a dramatic feel to the song. They emphasise the demanding nature song, how dare one person make another feel like that. We’ve all done it and we’ve all had it done to us.

Elektra and Miranda don’t speak too much to the crowd, but their smiles let it be known that they are in awe of what they’ve accomplished and how much they mean to their fans. The honesty in their music is what the fans really connect with. The dark atmosphere and honest lyrics just makes them stand out above the rest. They aren’t afraid to be so open with their feelings and to create such beautiful yet sometimes sad songs. The sad songs are the ones that our heart remembers. To heal, to hold and to treasure.

Say Lou Lou end their set, of course, with Maybe You. I can’t really put into eloquent and coherent words as to what this song means to me. Just know, it means a hell of a lot. And to finally see it live felt good. When you get to witness the song that introduced you to a band that is important to you, it just evokes a lot of emotion that words simply aren’t enough for.

After seeing them live, I really really cannot wait for their debut record. I was in awe of how brilliant they are live. I knew they’d be bloody good anyway, and maybe it is the fact they are twins and do have a deeper connection than most. Whatever it is, it was just an honour to watch and to be part of something that will be remembered for a long time (I’ve got a shit memory, but I’ll remember this night for sure.) Their sad songs soothe the soul and mend you. To have this kind if presence without even having a full length record out is evidently a sign that Say Lou Lou are going to just blow us all away when the record arrives.

Live or on record, Say Lou Lou have a presence that cannot be compared to. They are enigmatic and hypnotic to watch. Their music swirls around your heart giving you room to feel something you have never felt before.