DRAB MAJESTY: Modern Mirror.

14 06 2019

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One of the most exciting duos around, Drab Majesty are releasing a new record in July. A record that will reinforce our love for them, and get us excited over their UK tour in September. Deb Demure and Mona D make exquisite music together, and I’m going to explore that with my take on Modern Mirror.

The record opens with the haunting yet angelic A Dialogue. The song is highly atmospheric, and I cannot help but feel this could be a song that they open their sets with. It’s got something about it that is stoic and something that just grabs you. It starts with these strong vocals, then it all comes together and it is this huge sound. The kind of sound that you’d probably hear at the end of the night in a dingy, dark club as you make your way outside. There is something euphoric yet final about it. It’s the perfect song to start the record with.

 

 

 

Drab Majesty have been a band I have leant on for some time, like Cold Cave. There is something about the lyrics and the way the music eases any ugly feelings, and lord knows I’ve been at my worst recently. Music is powerful, and music can heal. It can be that thing that just holds you together, and I hold Drab Majesty so highly- purely because of what they mean to me. It goes beyond being a band that evoke escapism; they have something about them that just makes me fall in love with them every single time I listen to them.

The Other Side is 6 minutes of sheer heaven, and it makes you wish you were wandering the streets of L.A. taking this song in, and ignoring the world for a while. There’s a lot of Garage Rock bands I love that come from L.A. but Drab Majesty are on the other spectrum of the music I love, and it’s this dark and intense sound. Some may call it “Goth” or “Darkwave” but I really don’t have a name for it. All I know is that their lyrics, and songs are so powerful and so wonderful to get lost in.

Only a couple of songs on this record are under 5 minutes long, which I adore. I love songs that last over the 5 minute mark and have intense and euphoric build-ups. Drab Majesty are pros at this, and knowing that they will be playing my favourite venue in Manchester (Soup Kitchen) in a few months, just makes me super happy. It’s the perfect venue for them and I cannot wait to hear the new record here.

There’s this devotion and passion in these new songs that shows how they aren’t afraid of experimenting with new sounds and pushing their sound further. Careless and The Demonstration are two perfect records, and with their third they do something beyond what they’ve done before. The best way to experience this record is to listen to Careless, then The Demonstration; then allow yourself to immerse yourself in all that Modern Mirror is. You’ll hear this subtle growth, but the beautiful darkness is there. Ellipsis and Dolls in The Dark are for me, their biggest sounding songs on the record. They take you somewhere new on these songs, somewhere no other record or song ever has. If you’ve never listened to Drab Majesty before, please invest in their previous two records in time for the release of this gorgeous record that is, Modern Mirror.

Modern Mirror may only be 8 songs long (as a massive fan, I could quite happily listen to triple the amount!) but it is a record to truly cherish and keep close. It’s the kind of record that’ll keep nightmares at bay, and allow you to soak up the darkness in order to be less afraid. I needed this record more than I thought I did. There’s something about it that is so soothing, and I think a huge part of this is Deb’s voice. It is so comforting and easy to just fall in love with. The songs tell a story, and that just makes you connect even more so with this stunning record.

Modern Mirror shows us exactly why Drab Majesty are one of the best bands around. Their sound is heavy, eerie and sublime. There’s no denying just how phenomenal the new record is. Buy the record when it comes out in July, and please come see them on tour.

 

 

Modern Mirror will be released on 12th July via Dais Records.

Tour dates are:

18th Sept – Dingwalls, LONDON

19th Sept – Soup Kitchen, MANCHESTER

21st Sept – Wharf Chambers, LEEDS

22nd Sept – Clwb Ilfor Bach, CARDIFF

They will be joined by the equally beautiful, SRSQ.

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PINKY PINKY.

26 03 2019

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I’ve said it countless times that Los Angeles produces so much great music. So many bands I love come from the westcoast, and they are all to blame for my fantasy to run away there, lounge about on the beach and listen to music I love. Then at night-time, head to a basement bar and listen to even more music. Spend the rest of my days like that- my idea of bliss. Anyway, let’s talk about Pinky Pinky.

Pinky Pinky are three best friends who make the kind of music to make you dance like an idiot to. They make you forget your troubles, and they just have this gorgeous carefree sound that once you hear, it leaves you addicted. You don’t just listen to them once and carry on with your day. Oh no! You become entirely consumed with what they give you. They have absolutely perfected a sound that is so ethereal but nothing to mess with. It’s a one of a kind sound, and it’s one that when you hear it, you know you’ve been in need of it for a hell of a long time.

They’ve been best friends forever, and this unity they have really comes out in their sound. You really get a sense of their passion for music, and the way they work together. The music just makes you feel good, and maybe it’s because they are unleashing their insecurities and anxious feelings. For me, that’s a good thing. The less of us that feel alone, the better. Music is a safety net for so many of us, and you can add Pinky Pinky in there as a band who truly make you feel comforted.

 

They’ve got a couple of EPs already released, and their debut record is due out this year (June, I think) and going by the single, Do Me Dirty (Charlie), I think it is pretty obvious that it is going to be a flawless record and will be the soundtrack to the summer for so many of us.

For three people, they make a lot of noise. The kind of noise you get lost in and want to be part of. I’m pretty sure that their live shows are as great as their records. I can imagine the songs really coming alive, and you being able to take more from the songs. Hot Tears is one of my favourite song of theirs right now. I love the heaviness in it, and I’m pretty sure this is one song in particular that becomes totally different live. It’s got such a raw Bluesy feel to it, and it’s something I hope the band dive into further on. It’s such a great song and a brilliant sound, but they also have this way of hitting you with smoother, and more delicate songs. Everything about Pinky Pinky’s music is worthy of your time and attention. They’re truly doing something we’ve not heard before, I can’t get enough of it.

There’s no one else you can compare Pinky Pinky too, so obviously there’s no point in even trying to do so. Their earlier songs have this raw Bluesy sound, but it’s mixed with that 60s Wall of Sound feel. They pretty much take everything I love about music, and make something totally unreal. They’re just a brilliant band, and exceptional musicians.

If you’re wanting to check out their live shows, they are heading to the UK soon:

May 17 – Glasgow, Scotland @ Mono*
May 18 – Edinburgh, UK @ Sneaky Petes*
May 20 – Manchester, UK @ Soup Kitchen*
May 21 – Birmingham, UK @ Sunflower Lounge*
May 22 – London, UK @ Seabright Arms
May 24 – Manchester, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 25 – Bristol, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival
May 26 – Nottingham, UK @ Dot to Dot Festival

*17th May to 21st May are dates with The Nude Party.

Their debut EP is a dream. I’ve had it on repeat this evening, and I cannot get enough of it. They have a song called Hot Under The Habit which is going up there in my favourite songs by them. Sure I love them all, but this one is right on up there. I love the gnarly guitar, and I love how it has this real raw feel to it. You blast it out loud, and it just moves you. This is the song I keep on going back to. This is my one, I’ve decided. It’s a brilliant EP, and I’d be happy to have it on repeat for the foreseeable. It’s so, so good!

Anyway, I’ve rambled enough. Listen to them, and come see Pinky Pinky on tour!





WALLOWS: Nothing Happens.

23 03 2019

 

Wallows record

“It’s not a crime if you take what’s given
It’s just a crime if you’re payin’ for it
What’s the fun if you know what’s comin’?”

 

A debut record holds so much weight for a band- they can either fuck it up, or make you listen. Listen obsessively or disregard after one listen. Wallows truly have nothing at all to worry about with their debut record, Nothing Happens. It’s a record that’ll make you feel like everything is alright amongst that inner chaos that boils inside of you. It’ll be that friend you need when everyone else has turned their light off and gone to bed. It’ll be everything you need to get you through.

The record opens with the gorgeous, Only Friend. Dylan’s vocals on this song remind me so much of Julian Casablancas. They both have this beautiful, relaxed sound in their voice that just eases you and makes you hold onto the lyrics even more. I love how as this song fades, it goes gently into Treacherous Doctor which is one of the many moments where Braeden and Dylan’s vocals are in sync of each other, and just show us how great they are as singers. Each song flows gently and effortlessly into the next. The way in which Treacherous Doctor has this powerful instrumental moment which is delicately eased into the Sidelines.

 

Nothing Happens has been the only thing I’ve been listening to solidly since yesterday. It’s 38 minutes of sheer joy and genius. It is such a beautifully put together record, and although they’ve been a band for a number of years now- there is definitely a grown sound in this debut record. It is such a joy to listen to, and the way in which it takes you away from where you are and into their world, I really cannot praise it enough. Are You Bored Yet? is great to hear on this record, and how it slots between Sidelines and Scrawny. There is something about their songwriting that just really hits you. Are You Bored Yet? and Scrawny are two of my favourite songs of the year, and lyrically too. I really don’t have the words to do those two songs justice with how great they are.

As someone who is prone to panic attacks and the like, I seek comfort in music. I take the tablets because I have to. But for me, music is the one thing I rely on the most to ease me out of certain places. I’ve taken a lot of comfort from this record, and it is songs like What You Like and Do Not Wait that really ease the mind and body. But, let’s not dwell on that side. You just need to know about how great this record.

I think some have probably made the comparisons to The Strokes. Normally I shy away from comparisons and the like, but for me, Nothing Happens has something about it that Is This It had when I first heard it. There’s this wonderful laid-back sound on this record that is found on Is This It. But, the bands aren’t the same. Wallows make you feel like you’re in this blissed-out summer mood, and I think Ice Cold Pool probably has my favourite chorus. Just throwing that one out there. I adore Braeden’s vocals so much on this song, and it’s definitely my favourite song that he sings on, on this record.

Now to turn my focus on Cole; Worlds Apart is his moment. I’d say Scrawny is too, but I’m going with Worlds Apart, because I just love how he keeps up the pace of the song, and gives it this brilliant rhythm. It’s a sad song, but there is something so innocent about it, and what I love so much about Wallows is that they keep you guessing on what decade they are from. Worlds Apart has a 60s psychedelic feel to it, but songs like Scrawny sound like they from now.

What You Like is again another one of the songs I keep obsessively going back to. I just love everything about this song. I love the vocals, I love the production, I adore the lyrics a hell of a lot and the sound is just perfect. It’s another song where Cole’s drumming just leaves you in awe. Something you cannot help but treasure about this record is how well produced it is. Not in an over-produced way, far from it. You just hear that Wallows know exactly what they want their record to sound like, and how they want the record to flow. It flows perfectly. I know I’ve already mentioned it, but the way in which each song flows into the other is just brilliant. I can’t help but really focus on that. John Congleton has truly produced a phenomenal record here.

 

Everything I love about music is in this record. I loved the excitement surrounding the release of this record, and finally being able to listen to it. Listening to it over and over again, it just makes me love Wallows all over again. It’s such a brilliant record, and every single song fits perfectly. The record ends on Do Not Wait- a 6 and a half-minute masterpiece. If you’re looking for a band that’ll surprise you with their sound, and never give you anything typical- then Wallows are for you, Nothing Happens is the record for you. Do Not Wait is a wonderful song to end the record on, and it’s definitely a song that you turn to. Just listen to it closely, and you’ll get what I mean. Dylan’s outro on this is another stand-out moment on this record. For me, they all shine on this record- but this song just shows us all how bloody brilliant they all are.

Start to finish, Nothing Happens is an effortlessly brilliant record. Obviously as a huge fan of the band I’m going to say this, but in all honestly- it’s one of the best debut records I’ve heard in a long time. Listen to the record, and just fall into a state of escapism. Just be. Let the songs carry you. Cling to them if you want; you won’t be alone in that, trust me.





WALLOWS.

1 03 2019

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I’ve laid off writing because I’ve torn the tendon in my shoulder, and I’m in pain. A lot of pain but I’ve put this one off for far too long. I’ve been in need of writing about Wallows for the past two years. First listen back then, I knew I was listening to something gorgeous. Now they’re fast approaching the release of their debut record, I guess now is a good time to unleash my love and admiration for them.

I love Wallows because every song I’ve heard so far is just perfect. They make you feel like you’re on holiday, they make feel so carefree and alright. This band makes me really happy, and I’ve only got a few bands that give me this feeling. I love Dylan and Braeden’s vocals so much. I love how they are both delicate yet tough. Wallows have been together for quite some time, and I really like how you can pick up on this because their sound is so together. You can really how focused they are, and how they have this passion in their sound that just makes you fall in love with them.

Their lyrics have this sadness in some of their songs- it’ll remind you of The Cure in a way, and they do it in such a poetic way. Their songs are so captivating, and so easy to relate to. They make you want to waste your days watching the sunset at the beach, with their beautiful music playing. Recently I’ve been solidly listening to Wallows. They just give me this calm feeling that I guess most would get from meditation. Wallows make you zone out and feel like you’re in a constant state of euphoria.

I need to get my love for their newest song, Scrawny out there. The lyrics are easily my favourite of the year. I know it’s only March but my god these lyrics are every level of perfect. Dylan’s vocals on this one are my favourite to date. He hits certain notes, and it goes so well with the way Cole carries the rhythm along with Braeden- all three of them have this ability to just make you zone out with what they do, and just soothe the mind. Scrawny just may be my favourite song of the year. The lyrics are incredible, and I absolutely adore the line, “I can still have wisdom and look like a child.”  As someone who looks like they could pass for a teen still, I can wholeheartedly relate to this line. It’s the kind of lyric you’d want tattooed on you. It sounds simple, but there is so much in that line that makes you see just how brilliant the band are. Much like Morrissey, they have this way of hitting you with one-liners that just stick with you. As someone who is obsessed with lyrics, Scrawny just gives me everything I want. It’s straight-up poetry.

Let The Sun In shows us just how gentle Braeden’s voice is. What I love about Dylan and Braeden’s vocals  is that they are so distinctive. Wallows sound like no one else I’ve ever heard, but they have this wonderful L.A. feel to their sound. They just have that gorgeous summer feel flowing throughout their songs- even the slightly sadder ones. The trumpets on Let The Sun In make you so happy. For me, Braeden’s vocals have a 60s feel to it, and they are beautifully married with Dylan’s contemporary sound. I know what I mean by this, I just how it comes across the way I want. Basically, their vocals are totally different and go so well together. It’s Only Right is a perfect example of this also. Wallows make beautiful music that you can’t help but sing a long to.

There’s a verse on It’s Only Right that just hits you pretty hard; “I hear you talk, when you’re not there. It comes at me from everywhere. Can you lose the rest of me, and take my mind away?” The song is nothing short of divine, but this part for some reason gets me every single time. This song does, and I have no idea why. It has this heightened instrumental ending that reminds me slightly of Beach House. I could write about Wallows forever and not get bored. I’d always find something new to say, and something different to love.

Aside from writing perfect songs; Cole, Braeden and Dylan have this brilliant way of taking you back in time and also catapulting you way into the future. I’m so confident that their debut record is going to be nothing short of incredible. I just really, really love Wallows. I love their dreamy sound, I love their poignant lyrics, I love how they make you feel they wrote the songs for you. I love how Cole has this relaxed drum style. I love Braeden’s calming vocals. I love the way Dylan delivers certain lines on songs. Together, they just make the kind of music I am always looking for. They ease every terror in my mind, they ease the panic attacks and calm down the aftermath. You want to live inside these songs. They wrap you up, and make you feel safe.

Before I conclude this, I need to talk about the purity of Are You Bored Yet? which features the wonderful, Clairo. Her voice with Dylan’s is just a pleasure to listen to. The song is full of sadness, but also hope. The hope in this song is so pure and innocent. I adore the line, “Will you tell the truth so I don’t have to lie?” Instrumentally, it is definitely one of their finest songs. It shows a different side to the band, but also gives you that sensitive side that you cannot help but fall in love with.

Their debut record, Nothing Happens is released on 22nd March.

Also, check out their covers of This Charming Man:

 

And, Boys Don’t Cry:





SPELLLING.

8 01 2019

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One of my favourite record labels are releasing a record in February which I am pretty sure is going to be one of the year’s greatest records.

Spellling is an extremely talented musician from the California. She makes music to zone out to, she makes music that gives you a better world and makes you feel like you’re floating. There is something so soothing and so pure in her music, and her voice is out of this world. If you’re a fan of Zola Jesus or Banks- then you’ll love Spellling. Her sound is wonderfully off the wall and beautifully strange.

Mazy Fly will be her second release, and for Sacred Bones to pick this is up is just incredible. That label is home to most of the bands I love, and they’ve never ever put a bad record out. Sacred Bones are so great at finding musicians that have this way to just hit you in the soul, and take you some place truly magical. And sometimes strange.

Pantheon of Me came out late 2017, and it’s one of those records that just freak you out. Not in a bad way, but in a way that leaves you wondering how you made it this far without hearing something so incredible, and just absolutely perfect. I’m fairly sure she does everything herself. This record was produced by her, and she’s just everything you want from a musician. She isn’t afraid to take a sound and completely tear it apart, and create something so different and so wild. Check the song, Choke Cherry Horse- it’s got this riff in it that is so heavy, but her vocals are so gentle and soft. It’s a captivating contridiction and it’s what just leaves you constantly hooked.

She’s got the genius in her that resembles Dorothy Ashby. She has this effortlessly cool sound that’s in the likes of Erykah Badu and Banks. There is something so interesting about her sound, and the way she just makes her vocals do some amazing things. Vocally and musically, there is no denying how brilliant she is. I’ll call her a genius, and I’ll stick to that. Hopefully you will to come February when her second record comes out.

I love music that completely and utterly goes beyond what you’ve expected or does something to your imagination. I love how Spellling just has this calming sound, but at the same time freaks you out with the things her vocals can do. The production on her records are incredible. If I had any musical talented, she’d be someone I’d want to produce my music and work with all the time. The calming sound in her music is so beautiful, and it just eases the brain. Sometimes you just need that.

Bolt From The Blue is my favourite song by Spellling so far. I love the heaviness. I love how she has this big sound which is eased with her gentle voice. The song makes you feel like you’re underwater, and everything is just still and relaxing. Her voice is nothing short of perfect. I love the sheer soul in her voice, and I love how utterly fearless she is. I cannot wait to hear the new record in February, and I’m just super sure that it’s going to be one of the best things I’ll hear. I’ve already put it in my Top 3 (if I was going to make a list.)

Higher Ground is also a song worth becoming infatuated with- there’s so much going on in this song,  but it doesn’t overwhelm you. It just leaves you in awe. Every single song leaves you in awe. Spellling has this beautiful way of creating something truly remarkable with her words, vocals and music.

Wherever she may take you when you listen, you’re sure as hell aren’t going to want to come back from it for a while. Her music is gentle, brave and comforting. Her sound is unlike anything else, and I really cannot wait to hear more from this beautiful soul.





L.A. WITCH: Octubre

2 11 2018

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Writing about L.A. Witch for me, is just as great as listening to them. If I ever made a list of my favourite bands of all time, they’d be in my Top 5. I love how they take every type of music I love, take every element of music I love and make something that blows my mind every single time. There isn’t a song by them that I am not obsessed with. Every single song is like sweet poetry to my ears. I just absolutely love them, and I love how they have grown. I first wrote about them in 2012 and I’ve seen them become the stars they deserve to be. When they played their first ever London show- I was there, and I knew it was a love I would have for life. Get this- they’ve supported The Kills AND The Distillers. How cool is that? I’m just so proud of them. Anyway, we’ve got a new EP from them and it’s incredible. Obviously.

These five songs are vintage and typical L.A. Witch. They don’t really play these songs live anymore, but the band have let us know that these five songs need to be put into the world. Something extra cool about the record- Gregg Foreman produced it. Gregg is one of the greatest musicians you’ll ever hear and see. Him working with the band is everything I could ever hope for. The EP is just a pleasure to listen to, and the heavy moments will have you moving in no time. It’s just the coolest EP you’ll ever hear.

Hearing the songs in a new setting is so great, and my god Sleep is one of those songs you cannot get enough of. Ellie has this style of drumming that throws you way back to the 60s Girl Group era, Irita has this slick bass style that sends you off into a trance. Then Sade comes in and smacks you upside the head with her guitar. Each of them are nothing short of brilliant. Let it be known that they are some of the best musicians you’ll ever listen to. If you’ve ever seen them live, then you’ll know just how insanely amazing they are. The way they craft these songs just leaves you in awe. I can’t pin point one thing in particular that I adore about them. Each of them have something that just makes you want to pick up and instrument, and make your own noise.

BB’s Momma is my favorite right now. I love Sade’s vocals on this, and how Ellie and Irita give us this aggression in their drums and bass. Then the keys kick in (is this Gregg playing? It sounds like it) and the keys just add something to this whirlwind, and Sade’s guitar encourages the madness towards the end of the song. The instrumental break just makes you lose your shit.

Heart of Darkness has always been a song I’ve adored, and to hear it in a new way is so beautiful. There is an extra dose of darkness added to these songs on the EP, and I think Heart of Darkness is the song that possess the most. I love the eeriness in Outro. No words are needed on this one; it feels like you’re wandering round a California wasteland with the hot and unforgiving Autumn sun beating on your skin, and the warm breeze directing sand into your hair and eyes. The sun blinds you, but the heat is on your bones. You can’t help but zone out when listening to this gorgeous instrumental song, but as soon as it is over- you start the EP up all over again.

With every single song I’ve heard by L.A. Witch, I can safely say each one just shows why I love them so much, and why I can’t get enough of their sound. There are a few bands that I always have this constant need to write about, listen to and buy all their music- L.A. Witch are definitely one of them.

If you’re looking for something to still give you the heebie jeebies, then listen to this EP. If like me, you’re an old fan- hearing the songs like this will just fill you will unfiltered joy. If you’ve never heard their music before, then be prepared- you’re in for a lifetime of love, respect and admiration.

Buy the record, go to their shows and let the music completely and utterly take you over.

Stay weird x





SAFETY PINS.

24 10 2018

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Los Angeles is home to some of the best bands in the world. A lot of bands I am obsessed with come from this side of the world. Safety Pins, if you’re interested are only in double figures for ‘likes’ on their Facebook page. However, this is to do with music- it isn’t a popularity contest so just take my word for it that these guys are great.

If you ever wondered what Ritchie Valens would sound like if he was in a Punk band, then consider yourself lucky because Safety Pins are here to give you that experience. You’re welcome.

Their songs have this gorgeous high school sorrow- you know the kind. You could imagine hearing this band play as a form of protest against prom because the person they wanted to go with went with some idiot instead. You let go of that feeling as you get older, but Safety Pins really take you there and keep you right there with them. It’s really apparent in the song, Love.

Safety Pins have songs that are brutally fast and effortlessly cool. They’re the kind of band you’d want to be friends with. Lounge about in their garage as they practised these songs, and ate a ton of pizza between songs. They have this youthful sound that is found in say, Wavves perhaps. They don’t have that surfer feel in their music, which is totally fine by me. I just love how Safety Pins don’t sound like a new band. They sound like they’ve been doing this for decades. They take everything I love about music, and everything that draws me to Los Angeles based bands it seems. They give you that constant summer mood, but also have this beautiful melancholy within the sound. For me, they are perfect.

I’m all for finding Punk bands that make you want to play their music loud enough to piss off your neighbours. Safety Pins are a pleasure to listen to insanely loud. I love how you can really hear that addictive fuzziness in the guitar, and how the reverb trickles throughout the vocals. This is pretty great on the song, Bad Brains. Which for now, I’m calling it as my favourite. It’s a condensed version of everything I love about music. The vocals are layered in this brilliant way that adds something quite haunting to it. It sounds like it should be in some straight to DVD horror film. Maybe play it at a Halloween party, if you dare.

Safety Pins aren’t a band that fall into any genre. They aren’t a band that you can easily compare to anyone else. That’s what makes them really enjoyable to listen to. I have no idea what their live shows are like, but I reckon they are a band that in time are definitely going to be making a hell of a lot of noise beyond their local town- if they aren’t already.

As I mentioned earlier, they have this summer feel to their music but there it also this sadness that is some of the songs. The vocals have this sense of sorrow and longing, but not in a “get over it” kind of way. It is done in such a tender and cautious way, and that’s just part of the appeal for me. I love how they are unafraid to show vulnerability in their songs but also be really, really loud when they want to be. Which thankfully, is often.

They may only be a small band right now, but they most certainly have the makings of being everyone’s favourite band. They’re definitely one of my favourite new bands of the year for sure.

This band are coming for you.