screams, whispers and songs from planet earth

Tag: London UK

Pretty Music and an Ugly Video from James Edge and the Mindstep

Up for a little adventure? Meet James Edge and the Mindstep. It’s an appropriately named band, as this music definitely has an uneasy edge, and when you listen, if you fully trust and let the music transport you, that first step your mind will take is mighty steep. But it’s well worth the journey. This is experimental chamber folk, taken to the extreme. Edge (that’s James Edge, not to be confused with the Edge) has gathered together a room full of skilled instrumentalists and provided them with just enough musical notation to give them a rough idea of the song’s structure. And… GO! What you hear is spontaneous composition and experimentation in its purest form. As for the video, that’s something else entirely. If you think the music is completely unhinged, you’ll definitely want to buckle up for the video. It was a collaboration with animation genius Ross Butter, and let me just say, this dude is one sick bastard. And I say that with great respect.

Based in London, James Edge has a background in composition, studying with Joe Duddell (arranger for Elbow and New Order). In 2010, he formed James Edge and the Mindstep, they recorded their debut In The Hills, The Cities, and have worked with engineer and sometimes co-producer Tom Aitkenhead (Bloc Party, Laura Marling). The jazz-folk trio — Edge, double bassist Andy Waterworth and drummer Avvon Chambers — borrows from modern classical, jazz, folk and punk, to create music that’s compelling, raw and more than a little unnerving.

Their On A Red Horse EP will be released on April 15th on award winning Folkstock Records.

web | facebook | twitter | youtube | soundcloud | folkstock records

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Aloric

It begins and soft, minimalist and ethereal and travels on a long journey, arriving at something driving, theatrical and epic. It seems this is just the second song from new London-based band, Aloric, which is really quite remarkable, given its sophistication. Apparently, this quiet, wistful song is a tribute to the late Jeff Buckley. It tells the story of his meeting with his estranged father, told from the artist’s perspective. “Grace” is available as a free download on Bandcamp.

Their debut track, released back in the summer, was titled “Who?” and it was completely different in style, moving from heavy industrial to sparsely beautiful piano ballad. I don’t whether or not to call their music “experimental,” “avant-garde classical” or what have you, but with the otherworldly free-spirit vocals and changing orchestration that combines acoustic and electronic, discordance and peace, it certainly is beautiful.

web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | instagram | youtube | band merch

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… The Sticklers

Ready for some feisty folk music? That might sound like a contradiction, but it isn’t at all for London quintet The Sticklers. There’s a spunky, defiant enthusiasm in the vocals of Gabi Garbutt, who is a guitarist and a published poet. Her fire is nimbly matched by Lee Milward’s spirited violin and Chris Brambley’s melodic guitar lines. Propelling it along is the rhythm section of Tom Newis and Lorenzo Levrini. While the music is decidedly upbeat, lyrically it’s a bit more complicated.

Garbutt’s inspiration comes from literary musicians such as Leonard Cohen and Patti Smith. To hear her gutsy British accent on “Down By The Waterside” (the B-side of the new single, inspired by Malcolm Lowry’s novella Lunar Caustic) is heartwarming and for me, it adds power to her storytelling prowess. According to the band, “Breakfast In Hell” is a “magical portrait of two lowers in a damned republic.” In the official video, they bring to life a mystical (and to my eyes, kinda creepy) puppet party in the woods in the dead of night.

It’s quite a cohesive, sophisticated sound for such a new band. The Sticklers came into being in 2013 with the release of their Hold It Up To The Light EP. A series of shows around London was followed by the single Mr Need Love, with accompanying video filmed on a barge. Back in August, they released the song “Unhappy Family” and here we are with Breakfast In Hell. Need love, unhappy family, breakfast in hell — sounds like a troubling theme, but if you end up feeling a little sad, just listen to that fiddle and kick up your heels! It’s early days yet, so unless you’re living in or around London, you might have to wait a little while to see these kids in action. Follow them on Facebook and keep an eye out!

web | facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Lou Sinergy

Yes, I’ll admit it. On the rare occasions that we cover a rapper here, you can count on it being someone special. What I find impressive about 22-year-old Lou Sinergy is the hyper-literacy of his edgy alternative rap and the incredibly smooth phrasing around the slow burn of the music. What blew me away was “Wandering The Digital Age Ft Ali Ingle.” His poetry is interspersed with the soulful sounds of London-based singer-songwriter Ali Ingle, quite impressive in his own right. Together they conjure a bit of musical magic. They’re an inspired pairing, with Sinergy’s social commentary and stories of personal struggle in the modern age and Ingle’s emotional narrative of life and love, hope and despair.

“Supernova winters, Bipolar rainstorms making grey sweatshirts distinguished, Leaving slipper marks on arses redder than fire extinguishers, And burning like your left ear when somebody is doing behind the back linguistics, Sign language is my mother tongue, what is this? Mein Kampf is my toilet paper when my fit list is diminished, Louis Connor Gregory, occupation, relinquished, And I have unfinished business with businesses who need to mind their own business, ‘Cause I can turn into recession in an instant, And give the bone idol CEO’s a gargantuan dose of tickets, LIFE, isn’t rich dinners, LIFE, Is shin splinters and split sphincter’s, Analytical of the timber, That provides my lungs and helps my lion heart beat the blood around my reincarnation of Simba.

So sit with me, And I will spill all the stories of the nomad, Who connected wifi to his notepad, And wrote rumours about the digital age, Planting the paranoia seed and ruining the romance, Roberto Duran’s stone hands got thrown when I sat with him, And redrew his road map.”
– Wandering The Digital Age

Just released is a video for a new track, “Destabilised.” It was filmed by Ian Lewis and edited by Killer Robot Productions, with beat produced by Blizzard.

Lou Sinergy’s latest EP is A Late AfternoonFind it on Spotify. Ali Ingle’s EP is called The Great Romantic Drought. It’s due for release this month.

facebook | twitter | soundcloud | bandcamp | youtube

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Introducing… Silver Shields

“And there at the edge of the periphery lies Virgil strung out with a murder of crows, licking at his furrow — eaming of his warmth. The words etched out of his chest read: ‘Highest Five’. The spell casts a paranoid stare, compelling symmetry to consume itself whole — and the doors of the void open out and in, over and over again for infinity. Any one will do. Through.”

Huh? OK, maybe I’m not esoteric or well-read enough to be able to make any sense of this, but I do know good music when I hear it. Hailing from North London, the trio released their debut 6-track EP in 2013, and they released their single, “I Wonder If You’re Thinking Of Me Now” back in August.

Dreamy and shoegazy with fuzzy guitars, swirling synth, ’60s-style psychedelic sensibilities and vocals and an incomprehensible press release. What’s not to like about London’s Silver Shields?

In poking around on their Soundcloud page, I came across something extremely pretty called “Blue.” Have a listen.

And here’s that debut EP, from 2013. I don’t see any indication of shows coming up or if this is the first single from an upcoming album, so if you like what you hear, follow them on Facebook to keep apprised of their plans. Wow, I see they only have 138 likes, so get in on this early, folks, and give this fine band your support!

facebook | twitter | soundcloud

share this: Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén