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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: FOURS

FOURS have an epic, infectious pop sound to them. I reviewed their cover of 'Big Love' on here a little while ago. They have been away for a little while, but they've come back and announced a debut album which I'm super excited about! I spoke to the lovely Edith about their new album and how creating it felt like "being on a summer holiday". 



Can you tell us how FOURS was formed?
 FOURS: FOURS was formed after 6 months of trying different sounds and setups again and again until we eventually settled on something, losing a few members in the process. It’s just been us for the past 4 years now. It’s been a ride, and it’s an ever-changing beast.

Your single 'Late Replies' is fantastic. Can you tell us the story behind it?
FOURS: Thank you! 'Late Replies' is about a feeling I remember vividly, when I was miserable and a bit broken. About failing to acknowledge all the signs from friends, family and the person you’re perusing, that said person is not remotely interested in you. I have found with my pals, it’s a trait lots of us hold when we are feeling desperate and heartbroken. I think I’ve written more songs about this feeling than anything else ever. I still can’t seem to get over it, it totally controlled all aspects of my life.  

The music video is great too. What was the idea behind it?
FOURS: That was a total Alex Shipman creation, and she nailed it! She had the idea initially and we decided this song would be best for the concept. It has a kind of creepy intense vibe and I think it plays off the song well.  We were also thrilled when we didn’t have to be in it much as the thought of that fills me with dread.  If you want to check out more of her stuff, here’s her website, http://www.alexshipmanfilms.com/

I discovered you when you supported To Kill A King and CHILDCARE (in Islington), do you plan to collab with bands like these in future?
 FOURS: They are two of our very favourite bands, so that would be fantastic! I have been singing with Ralph for a long time so I imagine it’ll eventually happen again. CHILDCARE don’t have a need for a female singer as they have a superior one but there’s always hope they will need us for something!


Dan from Bastille tweeted support for your debut album announcement, what is it like having the support of fellow musicians?
FOURS: All our fellow musician friends have always been wonderful at showing support. The community is strong and the love is plentiful.


What was the experience of recording your debut album like?
 FOURS: It’s been a literal dream come true, we weren’t sure we’d ever get there! We ended up recording on some very hot days during the summer, it felt a bit like being on summer holiday, there was a sense of excitement and giddiness. We finished all 10 songs in 5 days, and worked really hard, I just hope people like it! It’s kind of terrifying putting it out.


What can we expect from the album?
FOURS: Well, there’s two pop bangers, because we couldn’t disappoint people and not have any ha! I think side A is very FOURS and side B is a bit new. I prefer the latter tracks as there are a bit more moody, with a slightly newer feel and have a bit more of an edge to them. There’s a love song, lots of heartbreak songs, a song about a stalker and a song dedicated to my family.


Which artists are you listening to at the moment?
FOURS: New Jordan Mackampa singles are dropping which I’ve been loving and I’m so excited for his debut album to arrive in March. We are both having our debut babies the same month!


What's next for FOURS?
FOURS: Well we will be announcing our Album launch show soon. We are so excited to play the new songs and have something new to give to our fans. It feels like a long time coming! Festivals, a big announcement and more dates to follow…

Check back for more info for latest show dates and announcements. 


SINGLE Review: 'New Me' - Ella Eyre

"Ella ain't here, it's a new me," Ella Eyre sings on her new single, 'New Me' and it's clear that she's moved on in her personal life, as well as her professional one. "I don't make time for your foolin'". 

I am loving this new, sassy vibe from Ella, who is well known from her collaboration on Rudimental's 'Waiting All Night' in 2013. 

She sounds really feisty in this relatable track. The track is really fun too and Ella's vocals sound on point. 

Make sure to check out the acoustic version too! 

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Rationale

Rationale's career is going from strength to strength. He released a strong, self-titled debut album in 2017, counts Elton John and Pharell among his fans and his next show is at London's Shepherd's Bush Empire. I've been to his shows and they are incredibly fun! I spoke to the artist about his passion for music and upcoming releases. 




So, what have you been up to?
Rationale: Basically creating 2 bodies of work. I've got two things this year. So one is like a mixtape and then I'm working on an album. So my debut album as Rationale came out at the end of 2018 and I've been just working hard just creating bits and bobs in between running what is,essentially, my business. So it's been hard work, if Im honest with you but I'm quite looking forward to seeing whether or not people take to the direction I'm going in. I think the mixtape is a bit of fun for me to be able to put out some stuff that perhaps wouldn't fit under my umbrella and the album is like the culmination of the past 2 years worth of work.

 
Can you tell me about your single with Billon, 'Release Me'?

Rationale: So basically I wrote that song ages ago and had no home for it, it wasn't in that line of production at all. It was never going to be a Rationale track. The main thing that I do is songwriting...So Billon is somebody that my manager knows who is a great producer in his own world and a great DJ. He was kind of like, "Would you mind if I used the song?" and I [was like], "Yeah, sure, give it a try" and this was probably like a year ago and he's just got to the point now where he released it on Friday so I'm kind of like, I take it easy with things that I feature on, especially when it's not in my world. [I] kind of see how it's going and try and develop it. Similar to the Big Wild thing. It became a bit bigger than we all expected it to be. I don't think it's done bits in the UK but in the US and across Europe, it's such a killer song. So who knows, maybe this song will end up doing the same thing, or not.

What was it like working with Ayelle?
Rationale: It was wicked. She's a proper sweetheart and it was the most organic thing as well, there was no label involved in between [in terms of] making relationships start to happen, which is really cool and important to me as well. I reached out to her and said, 'Hey, I think you're wicked. You should come down and do some music.' We worked on a bunch of ideas, a couple of ideas that will be coming out this year. And then I had a song that I'd started with a friend and I played it to her and it made her upset, because she was going through something at the time, maybe some of the lyrics touched her. Even then I didn't say to her 'Would you like to sing on it?'  It just occurred to me when I was in California one day, on my own, doing some of the Big Wild promotion and she was in Spain or something going through a bit of a hard time. In conversation, it came to me and I was like, "Would you like to sing on this song? That would be awesome" and she literally sent me back the file in about 3 hours. She sent me back the whole song sung. We connected back in the UK and just had fun. We're close. A lot of people were like, 'Are you guys going out?' and it's like 'That's like my little sister'. There's no way, she's a sweetheart and a creative, proper friend that I've made and never want to let go. That's Ayelle.

What was it like working with Bastille and James Arthur on 'Other People's Heartache 4'?
Rationale: Honestly, like when it comes to 'Flowers' it was wicked to know that the boys wanted to...It's nice to know that it's going to end up being listened to by a bunch of people. The idea was actually Dan's idea. He said, 'Oh, I really love this song...' so I sent it to him and like many things, these things takes a while to come together. A good year, I think. I didn't even know James was going to be on it until the last minute until I got sent a version and it sounded sick! I've not actually hung out with James in studio because we're always on different paths but we've spoken and he's a cool guy.

Who are your musical influences?
Rationale: Oh, so many. Too many to name. The main ones, the classic ones like Michael Jackson to me is creative genius and he always will be. I was listening to music earlier on and I love hip hop, I love the emergence of people like Eminem and that era of hip hop with Dr Dre. I love old school R n B and that kind of stuff is what's creeping up more and more in my music these days. R n B and luscious sort of feel good times even in a sad song.
But there are plenty that are probably not expected as well. I'm a massive Interpol fan. I come from guitar music. At one point, I was a massive emo. I used to walk around with straight hair and dark flipping makeup on. Anything that's live and in a creative environment is always gonna win, so Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder. In this day and age, I love Goldlink. I love Stormzy. I was listening to the J Hus album today going, 'Oh my God, if I wasn't who I am, I'd love to make an album like this'.  I think the New School [of] UK music is basically...It's not even New School, it's just that UK music is now being recognised for what it is. Fully. I was listening to Eminem earlier on and he was [using] a drill flow on his, on one of his songs. I couldn't believe it. That's how influential the Brits are. Not just Adele or your classic sort of, I don't know, Lewis Capaldi and stuff, but London and inner city, not even just London, youth are influencing music in America and that's a trip.

How has your music evolved since your debut album?
Rationale: Lots. I think I'm accepting a couple of things about music. I used to really worry about what people about what people thought a lot. I wouldn't have probably let 'Release Me' have my name attached to it before, for example. I would have worried about strategy. Now whenever I walk into the studio and I'm making music for myself it's just about what feels good. And I it's probably downtempo stuff. I'm not going for radio junk...
I've now realised that...what makes people enjoy music is honesty and sincerity and if you put tha into music, it desn't even matter what genre it is, it's just got to be good. And people just ahve to relate to it. At one point in my career, as Rationale, there was a point in which like, it was almost like you can try too hard to try and impress people as it were and you can try too hard to adhere to what you think [people expect]. And I think I've now learnt that you know, just by talking to friends, that they enjoy them and just to go back to that.

Are you excited for the Shepherd's Bush Empire show?
Rationale: Yeah, massively. It's going to be interesting because a lot of this stuff, putting on shows and stuff, is done by me. I've got a manager and all the rest of it and now I'm in a different position where there's no major record company pumping loads of cash into it. It's all derived from what people put [in] like tickets. It's like anything. If you can't [get to] work without having some money and to do that you need to go earn the money and you need to make sure that people are invested in you. It's scary business at the moment because Shepherd's Bush Empire is the biggest show I've ever done. So it's exciting to definitely play that massive venue but it's even more exciting because I know it's come from my hard work and the support of people buying tickets. 

Get tickets here: https://www.seetickets.com/event/rationale/o2-shepherds-bush-empire/1440196



NEWS: New Ayelle Show

Swedish-Iranian Ayelle has been songwriting ever since she learned how to write.

Known for her bittersweet, emotive vocals and compelling, vulnerable lyrics, she draws inspiration from own life experiences, exploring a range of topics such as self-worth, power dynamics within relationships and challenging the status quo.



Growing up in Sweden and Spain, she continued on to pursue music in London, where she garnered support from the likes of Billboard, Pitchfork, Complex, BBC 1Xtra, Majestic Casual, and Highsnobiety.

Ayelle has since continued on to receive the PRS Momentum Fund in early 2019 whilst releasing a single every month, performed at SXSW, signed publishing with UMPG US and relocated to New York City.

She’s set for a special, one-off show at Colours Hoxton in London, on Thursday 28th May. 
Tickets are on sale now, available from http://gigst.rs/AyellePR

NEWS: AMP London Second Wave Announcements

ANNIE MAC REVEALS FURTHER DETAILS FOR AMP LONDON CONFERENCE

SPEAKERS AND TOPICS CONFIRMED. ELLIE GOULDING, JAMIE OBORNE, OLLY ALEXANDER AND MORE



Britain’s premier music tastemaker Annie Mac has announced further details for this year’s AMP London Conference held on Friday 6th March at Camden House, with more names still to be announced. Buy tickets now from www.gigsandtours.com & https://www.anniemacpresents.com/london.


Attendees can expect an insight into today’s rapidly evolving industry through AMP’s conference as it aims to spotlight inspiring topics that will ignite conversations surrounding the landscape of the industry and highlight what’s going on behind the scenes that will shape the future. There is also the opportunity to ask questions and network with key music players throughout the day. 

On the conference day, Annie Mac explains:

“This music industry of ours is changing rapidly, artists are taking control of their careers. The independent path has proven viable and streaming has democratised the consumption process, making commercial success up for grabs to anyone who wants to give it a go. It’s a really exciting time. There are still, however, huge sticking points for me; the conservatism when it comes to gender representation; the lack of diversity through the top tiers of the industry; the lack of systematic procedure to protect artists when it comes to mental health; and the urgent need for action on the industry’s contribution to the environmental crisis. Come and join us, there is still much to discuss!”


AMP London are also delighted to announce that TikTok are one of their official partners and Head of Music Operations UK, Paul Hourican will be speaking at the conference. He states: “Annie’s commitment to music discovery and her support of emerging talent in the industry is inspiring; TikTok is proud to be partnering with and supporting AMP London. Music is a special part of TikTok's creative DNA and is an exciting vehicle for songs and emerging artists to gain exposure and connect with new audiences.”


The full list of topics and speakers are below:

BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS: HOW ARE WOMEN IN MUSIC TAKING CHARGE?
Moderated by Annie Mac
Amber Davis Head of A&R, Warner Chappell
Laura Davidson Festival Booker, All Points East / BST Hyde Park
Rebecca Allen President, Decca Records
Summer Marshall Agent, CAA
Tiffany Calver DJ / Broadcaster

SUSTAINABILITY IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: HOW CAN WE PUT THE ENVIRONMENT FIRST?
Moderated by Chiara Badiali Julie’s Bicycle, Music Declares Emergency, Powerful Thinking
Caius Pawson Founder, Young Turks / A&R Director, XL Recording
Fay Milton Savages, 180db, Music Declares Emergency
Melvin Benn MD, Festival Republic

TIKTOK TO THE TOP: HOW TO GET AHEAD IN DIGITAL TRENDS
Moderator TBC

Paul Hourican Head of Music Operations UK, TikTok

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY WITH DAVID JOSEPH: A KEYNOTE INTERVIEW WITH THE CHAIRMAN & CEO OF UNIVERSAL MUSIC UK
Moderated by Annie Mac

THE POWER OF INFLUENCE: EXPLORING THE GROWING IMPACT OF CULTURES FROM AFRICA IN UK MUSIC
Moderated by Aniefiok Ekpoudom Journalist, The Guardian
Alec Boateng Head of A&R, Atlantic Records UK
Fuse ODG Artist
Grace Ladoja Founder of Metallic Inc and Homecoming
Irene Agbontaen Fashion Designer & Cultural Consultant
Tunde Ogundipe Music Tech Executive

A CALL TO ACTION: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY FOR MENTAL HEALTH IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY
Moderated by Annie Mac
Ben Mawson Tap Management, Dua Lipa, Lana Del Rey & more
Ben Mortimer co-President, Polydor Records
Ellie Goulding Artist
Jordan Stephens Artist, Rizzle Kicks
Maya Jama TV / Radio Presenter

RESHAPING THE WORLD: HAS POPULAR CULTURE EMBRACED LGBTQ+ ARTISTS IN 2020?
Moderated by Zing Tsjeng Executive Editor, VICE UK
Jamie Ahye Atlantic Records / co-founder of Pride in Music
Jodie Harsh Artist / DJ
Olly Alexander Artist, Years & Years
Paula Akpan Journalist & co-founder of Black Girl Fest
Rina Sawayama Artist

THE STATE OF INDEPENDENCE: RELEASING RECORDS AND BUILDING ICONS IN 2020
Moderated by Ben Homewood Senior Staff Writer, Music Week
Jamie Oborne CEO & Founder, Dirty Hit
Kwame Kwaten Point Blank Recordings, Ferocious Management, Cre8ting Vision
Matt Riley VP A&R AWAL
Zena White MD, Partisan Records

ARTISTIC DIFFERENCES: THE ARTISTS PERSPECTIVES OF THE MUSIC INDSUTRY
Moderated by Annie Mac
Blaine Harrison Artist, Mystery Jets
Mahalia Artist
Raye Artist

EP Review: 'Low On A Wave'-Dom McAllister

Dom McAllister has released his debut EP, 'Low On A Wave' and it features the new single 'Intentions' (feat. Jords).

The  'Low On A Wave' EP is a soulful pop body of work.



Opening track 'Incense' is sensual and smooth.

'Intentions' has a subtle yet infectious bassline and emotive piano chords. In this track, Dom expresses his innermost thoughts.

Speaking about ‘Intentions’, the Scottish-Fillipino musician shares: “'Intentions' speaks on the hardships of our daily lives. In homage to London and the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. I collaborated with Jords who speaks on his story which cuts deep. During this crazy time we’re facing at the moment it’s easy to feel alone. I hope people feel less alone knowing we’re all going through hard times.”

Meanwhile, 'Camouflage' is another thoughtful song. Dom asks, "Do I have your attention?"

Summarising his debut Low On Wave EP, Dom says: “‘Low on a wave’ represents many things that we struggle with whilst trying to find ourselves. Sounds all extremely deep but with a little help from the mellow trap and hip hop beats I hope that listeners can still vibe to it. Even if there were no lyrics to these tracks, I feel the producers have captured sense of emotion with every chord change, beat and moody synth. Today we respond to a #mood or vibe we all want to feel, so I wanted to create something quite “wavey” yet still expressing how I felt at the time. If anyone is feeling alone for whatever reason, I hope this can sail anybody’s low on a wave to remember we’re all going through something.”

This is an EP showcasing a star in the making.




SINGLE REVIEW: 'Fatboy Slim'-The Snuts

The Snuts' 'Fatboy Slim' is a confident track from one of the UK's most exciting bands. It is a dance-pit anthem and is bound to become a summer anthem too. 

Photo credit: Charlie Cummings

The track is ridiculously catchy, with the chorus "Come and give it to me" guaranteed to get stuck in your mind. 

The video is quite trippy and surreal. It is set on Brighton Beach and pays homage to Brighton's own Fatboy Slim's legendary beach parties.



Their 'Mixtape EP' is due for release on March 13 and I can't wait to hear it!

The Snuts will be on tour soon too but you'll have to be quick if you want to nab tickets, they're going quick! 

Tour dates:


April
Mon 27th Dublin, Button Factory
Wed 29th Manchester, Academy
Thurs 30th London, Kentish Town forum


May
Tues 5th Cardiff, Globe
Wed 6th Leeds, Wardrobe
Sat 9th Edinburgh, Corn Exchange


Tracklisting For ‘Mixtape EP’
1. Fat Boy Slim
2. Interlude 1
3. Coffee & Cigarettes
4. Interlude 2
5. All Your Friends
6. Interlude 3
7. Boardwalk
8. Don’t Forget It (Punk) - Demo



NEWS: 'Pieces' - Navina Music Video

I recently wrote about Navina's new single here, Pieces, and she has now released an official music video to accompany it.

'Pieces' is an uplifting song about life's big jigsaw. Her voice is delightful.

The video sees Navina playing the piano and is lighthearted. She uses bright colours in the video and is playful. It's a helpful and necessary reminder that we don't always have to have everything figured out.




SINGLE Review: 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2) - Love Fame Tragedy

In January, Murph from The Wombats, a.k.a. Love Fame Tragedy, teased fans by tweeting, "Might f*ck around and release two new songs this month". And he has done just that. Well, he's released one new track for now. It's called 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2)' and it is fantastic. He's released yet another brilliant track. It's actually pretty genius.



It's the penultimate track from the upcoming EP 'Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void' which is due for release on March 20th. I can't wait to hear the EP, if these past releases are anything to go by. It's going to be amazing!

At only 1 minute and 21 seconds long, 'Please Don't Murder Me (Part 2)' is short yet sung so sweetly and sincerely ("You're the best I've ever had/You're all I need") as he pleads for his life.

It's a stripped back look at the anxiety-filled intensity felt during love.

Crystal Fighters' Eleanor Fletcher features on the track, harmonising perfectly with Murph over the gentle strum of a guitar.

The Wombats frontman Murph is bringing Love Fame Tragedy back home for an extensive UK tour in the spring. February and March will see him play dates in Newcastle, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Paris and London’s Heaven, before he plays Neighbourhood Weekender Festival on May 23rd. Full tour listing below.

The accompanying music video is animated and shows Murph as super worried (as you would be if you thought your other half had an ulterior motive). 

'Five Songs To Briefly Fill The Void' Tracklist:
 1. Riding A Wave
 2. Body Parts
 3. Hardcore
 4. Please Don’t Murder Me (Part 2)
 5. Multiply Love Fame Tragedy

Live Dates:


25th February
— The Cluny, Newcastle upon Tyne


26th February
 — King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow 


27th February
— Brudenell Social Club, Leeds


29th February
— Manchester Academy, Manchester


2nd March
— The O2 Institute, Birmingham

 3th March
— Heaven, London

 4th March
— Thekla, Bristol

 23 May
— Neighbourhood Weekender