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SINGLE Review: 'Pretend'-Quails

Australian singer-songwriter and producer Quails has released new single 'Pretend' which is taken from her latest EP 'Remedy'. It is an electronic number featuring her incredible haunting vocals. "I was lonely in my reflection," she sings at the start of the track. 

It's a great track and stands out against recent releases with its dark pop/R'n'B sound.
[Photography Credit: Nick Pes]

Speaking on the release, Quails recalls "Pretend is one of the first songs I wrote more centred on mental health, and for me more intimately living with anxiety. Mental health is a topic we seem to hear a lot about more now, and that's such a great progression, but there is such a greyness, especially with anxiety - that experience is so personalised, and there are a myriad of ‘symptoms’ which manifest in different ways. I wanted to write from my own interior at a time I was trying to come to terms with being an anxious person, probably in some form for the rest of my life, and accepting the components of it as part of me. The good and the bad.”

NEWS: The Snuts Hit The Dance Floor In Video For New Single ‘Elephants’


Top 15 Charting 'Mixtape EP' Out Now 
Announce 13 Date UK Live Drive-In Tour Including London 8th August
Second Show Added in Edinburgh Due To Phenomenal Demand

One of the UK’s fastest rising new acts, The Snuts, have released the video for their charged new single ‘Elephants’. The track, which went straight in at number 1 on the iTunes chart, is the band’s first taste of new music since the release of their chart topping debut ‘Mixtape EP’. As part of the UK Live Drive-In Series, The Snuts will also play London on 8th August, venue TBC.

Directed by award winning filmmaker Aella Jordan-Edge (Whenyoung, The Sherlocks, Grace Davies) and filmed at Maryland Studios in Stratford, the video transports the viewer back to the 1960s with a retro TV show vibe. Speaking of the track Jack said, “Elephants is another twist on our ever growing diverse catalogue. The song in whole features a change in lyrical style leaning more towards referencing.” He continues, “The main theme of this track is about believing in your own ability in times of struggle and diversity.”

Watch the video for ‘Elephants’ HERE

Recorded at The Firepit in London with Tony Hoffer (Beck, Goldfrapp, M83), ‘Elephants’ sees The Snuts hit a new gear. The raw, rousing track sees the band continue their cross pollination of genres, with front man Jack Cochrane’s candid vocals becoming a staple of the band’s sound. 

The Snuts play the following UK dates this summer as part of the Live Drive-In series. Tickets for the tour are on sale
 HERE.

 

August
Sat 8th                         LONDON, Venue TBC
Sun 9th                        LINCOLN, Lincolnshire Showground 
Tues 11th                     TEESSIDE, Teesside International Airport
Weds 12th                    BOLTON, University of Bolton Stadium 
Thurs 13th                   EDINBURGH, The Royal Highland Centre                        Sold Out
Sat 15th                      CHELTENHAM, Cheltenham Racecourse
Sun 16th                      BRISTOL, Filton Airfield
Tues 18th                    LIVERPOOL, Central Docks Liverpool Waters
Weds 19th                    BIRMINGHAM, Resorts World Arena, NEC
Thurs 20th                   MILTON KEYNES, The National Bowl
Sat 22nd                      LEEDS, Leeds East Airport
Sun 23rd                      NEWMARKET, Newmarket Racecourse 
Tues 25th                      EDINBURGH, The Royal Highland Centre


With a sensational rise since the release of live favourite ‘Juan Belmonte’ in 2019 and an avid adoring fan base, The Snuts have been garnering a massive following in the UK with support from the likes of BBC 6 Music, Radio 1, Radio X, Absolute Radio, NME, Independent, Clash, Notion, Far Out Magazine and Dork Magazine. The band’s debut ‘Mixtape EP’, recorded with Inflo (Karen O / Danger Mouse, Michael Kiwanuka, Little Simz) and Tony Hoffer, reached number 1 in the Scottish and Vinyl Album charts and number 14 in the UK official charts. 

The Snuts are: Jack Cochrane (vocals/guitar), Joe McGillveray (guitar), Callum ‘29’ Wilson (bass) and Jordan ‘Joko’ Mackay (drums).

EXCLUSIVE Interview: Charlie Barnes

Multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter and Bastille touring member, Charlie Barnes has released his new single 'Last Night's Glitter' and his upcoming album of the same name will be out July 3rd. I spoke to him about his new releases. 


How are you?

Hullo! I'm doing reasonably well thanks. Very much enjoying some time at home and trying to shut out the panic about the future of live music while I water the vegetable patch and whatnot.

Congrats on your new single. What is 'Last Night's Glitter' about?

Thank you! It feels great to have put something new out into the world after what feels like so long. For once, with me, I feel like this song is reasonably self-explanatory. I haven't hidden what I'm really talking about behind a load of what I think of as 'literary' metaphors. I feel like as I get older I'm growing more and more comfortable with dropping some of the flowery language in favour of being more direct with my thoughts. It's a growing up song, a taking stock song, an everything song. It was written shortly after releasing 'Oceanography' and doing a handful of tours in support of it, some to next to nobody, some to sold out prestigious concert halls. The 'Oceanography' album is, for the most part, about somebody in their early to mid-twenties grappling with the concept of success (and lack thereof), this song is mostly about trying to put some of those concerns to bed and focus on the things that really matter in life. After some fairly bleak moments, I think I’d managed to get to a place where I felt comfortable with where my creative career had ended up. 

What can you tell us about your new album? Are you excited to be releasing it?

I'm over the moon to be putting it out. It's taken me so infuriatingly long to get finished. It was supposed to be a quickly chucked together EP of stripped back versions of my songs, capturing the arrangements I played on a brief tour of Germany and Austria with my mates Ben (The Society Pages) and Ed (Ed the Dog), but a fairly relentless schedule with Bastille, and my hideous ineptitude when it comes to actually getting on with doing something productive, pushed it back and back and back. I think I went through about four self-imposed deadlines on this album, spanning at least a year. The original plan was for it to be an EP, but then I bought a beautiful new acoustic guitar and started playing around with loads of the material from my two previous releases and enjoyed playing so many of the songs in that stripped back way that it ended up being a full album. 

What made you decide to rework some of your previous songs and how did you decide which ones would be reworked?

Fundamentally the decision is down to two factors. Firstly, as part of a record contract you're often obliged to provide the label with bonus material outside of the main album for use as b-sides or additional songs on a deluxe edition release or whatever. Given that the 'Oceanography' album was 10 minutes longer than the minimum amount of material I have to provide for an album, I felt that some acoustic versions would suffice. Of course, originally the idea was literally me, a guitar and a couple of microphones, but it developed somewhat. 

Secondly, in spite of most of my recorded output being pretty full on in terms of arrangement, the majority of my live performances over the years have been me on my own with either an acoustic guitar or a keyboard, so part of me wanted to release something to show how a lot of the songs tend to be brought down to the bare bones for most of my audiences.

As for deciding which songs to record, that was a long process of just trying out a load of songs on acoustic guitar and seeing which ones were the most interesting in that form. It was also really nice to take some of the songs that were written on piano and translate them onto the guitar. I can't really remember when I thought of it, but I was on tour with Bastille around Europe when I spent a day working out how to play 'The Weather' on guitar backstage for a laugh, and that went immediately into the yes pile. 'The Weather' is probably the song I am the most proud of, and it always slightly irked me that to be able to play it I needed to have a piano or keyboard (I saw it as something of a glaring omission from the setlist at my show with To Kill a King at Omeara) so essentially the acoustic version started life as a practical concern!

Was it difficult to find the time to work on your solo music?

Whilst I'm sure I will regularly pretend that my usually hectic schedule of travelling for work with Bastille can be a barrier between me and getting on with being creative, that would be utter bullshit. I have loads, and loads, and loads of time to be able to make use of everything that's around me to create music on a very regular basis, the problem has always been (well, since leaving University at least) and will always be (I'm sure) my own self-consciousness and fear of any persecution or failure. It's all too easy for me to excuse myself from getting on with making music, that's why in my new studio at home I've tried to make it so that pretty much everything is always set up and ready to go, so there aren't any barriers between me and getting something done. It's certainly helped, and there are a bunch of little bits and pieces I've done for friends in there, and work I've done on this new album, that would have taken me so much longer had I not made the path to productivity so free of clutter. Getting this album done under my own steam has certainly given me a little nugget of confidence, and I'm excited to take that into the making of my next album. 

How was your guest appearance on Ralph Pelleymounter's Slow Sunday Sessions last week?

A total pleasure, in spite of my realisation that in not testing my new streaming audio setup in the context of being a guest on somebody else's stream, I had somewhat scuppered my plans for half decent audio for my first performance to people in months. Nevermind eh? It still felt like an altogether positive experience, and my wife tells me there was lots of nice stuff in the comments section. I think it's great that Ralph has been inviting people onto his weekly streams, it's such a good idea to try and keep a sense of community going through all of this. I was unbelievably nervous though. More nervous than I'd been for any show in absolutely ages!

Tell me about your upcoming Instagram Live sessions.

Well, as previous alluded to, I have done quite a lot of work in trying to ensure some half decent audio in spite of Instagram's fairly limited options where that's concerned. I'll be doing a short concert each Monday evening after the album comes out, and I'll be switching instruments for the first three weeks. Week one will be acoustic guitar, week two electric, and for week three I'll transfer to the other end of my studio and play some songs on the piano. Week four I'm yet to decide on, I guess we'll just see how things go and what people like. I'm going to try and lean towards playing things I've never played before, or played very rarely, and will be throwing in a different cover each week. I'm really excited about the first week's cover, it's one of my favourite songs from the last few years by fucking miles. 

Are there any plans for live shows?

I wish. I had a series of nights booked in at my local venue in Lichfield, The Hub at St Mary's, where I was going to be welcoming some of my best musical mates along to show off their skills, and maybe even play the odd song together. I had Ralph Pelleymounter, Jake Morley and Kyle D. Evans all booked in. The events are being rescheduled, but obviously everything has to be very flexible at the moment. As soon as I have them confirmed, I'll be making loads of noise about them of course. 

Obviously I would ordinarily be drumming up my usual list of contacts for putting together a couple of little tours to promote this album, but that can't happen right now. The first of my Instagram Live shows is going to be in support of the Save Our Venues scheme for my favourite spot in Leeds, 'Oporto'. Having played their weekly Gaslight Club so many times, and done shows of my own as well as appearing as Bruno Merz's keyboard player, I must be knocking on the Top Ten list for most appearances on that stage over the years!

What's next for you?

Well…Ben and I finished The Society Pages album just around the start of the lockdown. It's probably high time we put that out into the world. For saying it was an album written in the first 6 months of 2017, exasperatedly watching the world go to fucking bits over Brexit, Donald Trump and an ever-growing list of dying legends, it oddly seems to get more and more relevant as time goes by, rather than less. It's definitely a really fun album though, so we're super excited to get it out there. 

Then I'll crack on with my next solo album. Got loads of stuff written. It's well sad.

NEWS: Orla Gartland Releases New Single And Announces Debut VInyl


Orla Gartland Releases New Digital acoustic version of Figure It Out TODAY & Announces debut vinyl release out 24th July

Read my recent interview with Orla here.



“London-based frontwoman takes her cues from St. Vincent.” –Mystic Sons 
"The dry wit and irreverent style that saw Regina Spektor become a star." - Hot Press 
“Drawing many a comparison to the queen of angst-ridden rock Stevie Nicks.” – TMRW Magazine

 Orla Gartland returns with an acoustic version of her much loved song 'Figure It Out' and announces the release of her debut vinyl; on one side, her 2019 EP ‘Why Am I Like This?’ and on the other her 2020 EP ‘Freckle Season’, alongside ‘Don’t Fall In Love With A Musician’, a vinyl exclusive. 

Today's release, the stripped-back take on 'Figure It Out' is a reflective, beautiful reimagining of the fiery original taken from Gartland’s EP 'Freckle Season', released in February of this year and co-produced by Orla. Both versions of the song appear on the 12” vinyl, available to pre-order from today and available in stores from July 24th. The last two years have solidified Gartland as one to watch and seen the release of two acclaimed EPs; 2019’s Why Am I Like This? and the follow up 'Freckle Season', which was originally released in February this year. 

With over 40 million streams to date and over 750,000 monthly Spotify listeners, now feels like the perfect time for Orla to release her first ever 12”: "This is my first ever vinyl release and personally - I would buy it. I would buy 10. I'm proud of this thing - I think as a collection of songs it speaks to where I am as an artist right now" says Gartland. 

This is Orla's first release since 'Did It To Myself' prominently featured in BBC & Hulu's wildly successful 'Normal People', leading to a 400% jump in streams on the song almost overnight. Reflecting on the opportunity Gartland says: “It's a pretty amazing feeling to have my first sync in a series I consider to be the best television to have come out of Ireland in my lifetime. To have my song 'Did It To Myself' in the soundtrack and & 'Heavy' in the trailer was so cool to me - and the spike in love for those songs since the series aired has been so much more tangible than I expected.” 

Orla’s last headline UK and European tour saw her sell out every venue, including a triumphant final night at London’s legendary Scala. Orla has previously supported dodie, James Vincent McMorrow & Sigrid. Covid-19 led to the cancellation of Orla's next tour supporting Cavetown across Europe, so instead Gartland has spent lockdown writing her debut album and performing for her fans via YouTube (250k subscribers), making up for missed sets headlining a stage at TRNSMT and other cancelled summer festivals. 2019 EP 'Why Am I Like This?' makes up side A of the forthcoming vinyl release - aptly coined “existential pop", the 4-track release has amassed over 12 million streams with the title track becoming Orla's fastest-growing song to date. “Why Am I Like This?” discusses social anxiety, delivered in Gartland’s conversational and confessionary style that has seen her compared to iconic artists such as Stevie Nicks. 

The EP saw her universally relatable lyrics juxtaposed with a colorful alt-pop soundscape – drawing comparisons to artists such as St. Vincent, Regina Spektor and HAIM. 2020 EP 'Freckle Season' makes up side B of the vinyl, Gartland's proudest work to date. “Each track explores a different emotion I cycled through in getting over someone I thought I'd be with forever.” Every song on the EP feels real, visceral and unique - and when they come together they chart a journey of healing that so many can relate to. A perfect and striking playlist of feelings that will inevitably move you. 

This summer Orla turns her focus to writing her debut album, due for release in 2021. 

Why Am I Like This / Freckle Season 12” tracklisting:
Side 1:
1. Why Am I Like This?
2. Flatline
3. Inevitable
4. Overthinking (demo)
5. Vinyl Exclusive: Don't Fall In Love With A Musician 

Side 2. 
1. Did It To Myself
2. Figure It Out
3. Heavy
4. oh GOD
5. New Friends
6. Figure It Out (acoustic)

NEWS: TOM GRENNAN ANNOUNCES ‘LIVE FROM THE DRIVE-IN’ UK TOUR


12 DATES ACROSS THE UK BEGIN AUGUST 2020

TICKETS ON SALE FROM FRIDAY JUNE 26TH HERE

LISTEN TO NEW SINGLE ‘OH PLEASE’ HERE


Tom Grennan has announced 12 ‘Live From The Drive-In’ shows to take place across the UK in August 2020.


Tom said: “This is gonna be different but there is a light, and there will be music! I’ve missed performing so much and cannot wait to sing with you all again.”


The Drive-In tour follows the release of Tom’s latest single ‘Oh Please’, currently on the BBC Radio 1 playlist, described as a “smooth gem” by Dork Magazine and “a soulful piece of introspection” by Clash. Watch the new music video, filmed under social distancing measures from Tom’s east-London home HERE.


Fans attending Tom’s Drive-In shows can also expect to hear new track ‘This Is The Place’, described as “an epic comeback” by the NME and debuted as Annie Mac’s ‘Hottest Record’ on BBC Radio 1. Both are set to feature on Tom’s soon to be announced second album, due for release in early 2021.


Since the Government lockdown Tom’s taken to social media sharing a much needed virtual message of hope and fun. Performing live lock down sessions for LADBible, headlining Dork Magazine’s Homeschool Festival, and taking fans inside his childhood home in Bedfordshire for a very special appearance on MTV Cribs.


Despite a spell battling Covid-19 symptoms himself, Tom is now fighting fit. Recently teaming with the likes of Zara Larson, Ray Blk and Emeli Sande for a special rendition of Clean Bandit’s ‘Symphony’ for Comic Relief, representing his beloved Manchester United in the virtual Premier League FIFA tournament, and joining Tim Burgess' Twitter Listening Party for a track-by-track look back at breakthrough UK Top Five album, ‘Lighting Matches’.


An undoubted heavyweight in the live arena, Tom has headlined sold-out shows at London’s Brixton Academy and the Royal Albert Hall, won over thousands of fans on festival stages including Reading & Leeds, Isle Of Wight Festival, TRNSMT, Neighbourhood Weekender, Latitude and a host of other events.


Tickets for Tom’s ‘Live From The Drive-In’ UK tour dates are on sale from Friday June 26th HERE.


August 2020 Tour Dates


5 - Leeds, East Airport

6 - Teesside, International Airport

8 - Bolton, University Stadium

9 - Edinburgh, Royal Highland Centre

11 - Lincoln, Lincolnshire Showground

13 - Milton Keynes, National Bowl

14 - London, TBA

15 - Bristol, Filton Airfield

18 - Newmarket, Racecourse

20 - Cheltenham, Racecourse

21 - Birmingham, Resorts World Arena

22 - Liverpool, Central Docks

(Photo credit: Mark Mattock)

NEWS: Saint Clair Covers 'My Guy'

Watch below to see Saint Clair perform a live cover of Mr B.J. Jackson's 'My Guy'.

SINGLE Review: 'Monday'-Crystal Tides

'Monday' is the confident new track from Crystal Tides. It's a feel good indie-pop track with a soaring chorus and catchy hooks. It's energetic and loads of fun. "Work on Monday's always in the back of my mind," frontman Billy Gregory sings. 

There's nothing not to like about this track! The band have a playful nature, as you can see on their video.

When discussing the new track, frontman Billy Gregory said “‘Monday’ is about the turning point in life where the band is starting to realise we are not as young as we used to be. We can't keep going out like we used to but there’s an internal battle you have of 'Am I told old for this?' or 'You only live once, why not?!'. Ultimately it’s about pushing aside the responsibilities of real life and having fun". 

Crystal Tides have supported The Snuts, Larkins and The Sherlocks recently.

EXCLUSIVE Interview: Zuzu

Liverpool's Zuzu is a singer-songwriter who really pours her heart and soul into her music. I had a chat with her about writing very personal songs and who she's listening to at the moment.

Ones To Watch 2020: Zuzu | IndieCentralMusic

How are you?
I'm good, I'm good. 

Was there a specific moment in your life that made you want to be a musician?
Not particularly. I mean there was a point in my life when I thought, 'Ooh, I want to do that' and that was when I saw my first ever gig which was Blink 182 at the MEN Arena. And I remember thinking then, 'Woah, I wanna be playing guitar on stage' but, to be honest, for as long as I can remember, I've always just been writing songs and wanting to sing. There wasn't really a specific moment in my life that made me want to pick up a guitar or play music.

What is your new single 'Skin and Bone' about?
It's about domestic abuse. It's about what that's like from a kid's point of view. That's what the songs about. It's about being scared and experiencing horrible stuff when you're a kid. And not being able to deal with it. You imagine things around you and that's what the song is about. The trauma. 

What was it like making the music video for 'Skin and Bone'?
It was cool. We were in this super 70s house in London somewhere. It was such a crazy gaff but it was good. I worked with a lady called Alexandra Green and she's amazing. She helped me get in the head space of being vulnerable and stuff. If was quite difficult when obviously you've got a lot of people watching you and filming you, so it's difficult to get into that head space but it was much easier with her around to help me. 

What was it like making your latest EP 'How It Feels'?
It was good. It's been [recorded] in a lot of places. I kind of made the EP all over the place but it was really nice to be able to put those songs on a vinyl and make it a body of work, and put them in an order and out them out together so it was cool. Making the EP, it took a while cos at the time when I was recording some of those songs, I didn't always have the intention of it going on an EP. When I was recording it, I wasn't really thinking about how it was going to go out. I was just recording them. And yeah, that was cool. It was a different experience with every song. It felt good to put them altogether and that was fun.

What's your favourite track from the EP?
Probably 'Skin and Bone' because it's my most vulnerable song and I was the most scared to put it out. I was the most scared I've ever been about putting a song out but I got so much back in return. So many people messaged me, telling me of similar experience they've had and it made me feel less alone. 

Who are your musical influences?
They range so much. I love guitar bands. I've always been obsessed with The Libertines, but I'm also really inspired by pop artists like Taylor Swift, Lizzo, Cardi B but I'm also into Motown too. I kind of like to think I'm somewhere in between all three of those.

Which bands and artists are you listening to at the moment?
Ooh good question, who have I been listening to? I'll just check my Spotify so I can tell you honestly. Recently, I've been listening to Elli Ingram. She's great, she's amazing. She's got this really soulful voice and her music's really fun. I'm obsessed with that at the moment. I have been listening back to a lot of old Supremes records as well, just because it's been sunny and the right atmosphere for me. I've been listening to the new Lady Gaga record. That's amazing. I'm still obsessed with the Dua Lipa record. That's amazing. Lizzo. Still obsessed with Lizzo. So yeah, loads of stuff.

What inspires your songwriting?
Just everyday stuff. The people around me. The relationships I have in my life: my parents, my boyfriend, my cat, my cousin. I write songs about the dramas in my life but also the dramas in theirs. You know, the people that you love the most, whatever happens to them kind of happens to you because you are so fully involved with their lives. 

What's next for you?
I am recording a lot of music. I'm going to put out a lot of new music. 

EP Review: 'Real Life'-Deco

Deco are Max Kendall (vocals) and John Dell (guitar). 'Real Life' is the indie pop band's debut EP. I actually saw them perform at Isle of Wight Festival last year. They've also supported Jess Glynne and Casey Lowry. 

All profits from the EP on iTunes will be donated to UK charity Homeless Link.

Real Life Cover Art.jpg

The 4-track EP 'Real Life' is a joyous affair with its glorious 80s-inspired synth pop sound. Opening number 'I Don't Wanna Go Out' immediately immerses you in this sound (which I love). 'I Don't Wanna Go Out' was the first single to be taken from the EP earlier this year and tackles anxiety and societal pressures to go out. 'Make Up Your Mind' is an equally infectious track.  

The title track is really upbeat, as you come to expect with Deco. It's a track about how living in the moment exceeds our dependence on technology every time. Nothing compares. The track uses the example of meeting someone for the first time and how it beats meeting someone on a dating app. 

'Beaches' is a bit of a smushy, romantic track and doesn't seem to fit the vibe of the rest of the tracks on ;Real Life'. It;s the only only one I'm not crazy about. 

'Real Life' is a great example of modern pop at its finest. 

UPCOMING SHOWS:

Bang Bang Romeo Support:

Oct 1 – Mash House – Edinburgh

Oct 2 – Leadmill – Sheffield

Marsicans Support:

Oct 14 – Tunnels – Aberdeen

Oct 15 – King Tuts – Glasgow

Oct 17 – Gorilla – Manchester

Oct 18 – Hit the North Festival – Newcastle

Oct 21 – Thekla – Bristol

Oct 22 – Scala – London

Oct 24 – Beckett University – Leeds