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Indie/Indie Rock Pop/Indie Pop Reviews Uncategorized

Looking Back: This Modern Glitch

God, I can’t believe I’m writing this but, a whole ass DECADE has passed to the day since Matthew Murphy (Love Fame Tragedy), Dan Haggis (Dan The Man), and Tord Øverland Knudsen, better known together as the iconic indie band The Wombats released their second full-length LP; This Modern Glitch. To this day one of the most interesting drops of an indie band who rose to fame in the late 00’s because of the left turn it took. Now I’m not saying it’s as sharp a turn as something like Radiohead’s Kid A was to OK Computer, but This Modern Glitch completely reinvented The Wombats sound at one of the strangest periods for modern music. It was 2011, around the time where pop music was changing completely, four on the floor beats, synth-ridden hooks, and the age of the pop ‘band’ was on its way out. So what does a Liverpudlian three-piece do for their next outing? Drop one of the coolest follow-up records of all time, that’s what.

This Modern Glitch takes that raw indie rock outfit from the band’s debut album, and polishes it off, wraps a layer of divinely played synths, and just dial up the wow factor to 11. Kicking off with Our Perfect Disease, slapping you straight in the face with this new synth focused style right off the bat, in fact, there’s no guitar until about 44 seconds in, and further yet there are no LOUD guitars until after a minute of playtime. It’s there with the vocal hooks and spunky guitars that the resonant Wombats sound comes out to play, and as the song progresses the signature twangy Bass tone from Knudsen gets thicker and heavier, and Murph’s guitar gets thrown about in your face more. Somehow it’s the perfect evolution from A Guide To Love Loss And Desperation, and as soon as it’s done the absolute anthem that is Tokyo (Vampires And Wolves) kicks off.

Tokyo is the perfect track for any party, lord knows any piss up I’ve been to hasn’t been complete without blasting this on full singing along to our heart’s content. The intro synth riff, the pulsating bass and the thumping drums carry this song straight into the aether. If you’re new to the sound of The Wombats, Tokyo is a brilliant starting point to get you hooked.

Jump Into The Fog slides right in next and acts as this slower but still effortlessly gorgeous power trip. Again combining the sounds of synth-led pop with the indie structure we’d already grown to love since the marsupials debut album back in 2007. Jump Into The Fog leaves you in a trance for 3 minutes and my god is it wonderful. It manages to pull off this wonderous mixture of texture and dynamics and is only heightened in a stripped-back setting like so. After being an epic synth led song, and now working as an acoustic rendition, swapping lead synths and guitars for cellos and pianos and reinventing the vibe to their own song? Absolutely majestic.

1996 is a weighty synth thumping beast of a tune, acting as the physicality of the themes within the track talking about the horrors of the modern world, longing to go back to the days of 1996 after not being “cut out for the modern life”. It’s the kind of song you just wanna drink and dance to and not have a single care in the world. The Wombats have perfected the danceable sad song and they make no exceptions here. You may feel like you’ve slowed down time, but if you’re soundtracked to The Wombats, you don’t have to worry about a thing.

This Modern Glitch is filled with delightful surprises such as the U-Turn that is Anti-D. A softer sentimental track, proposing the idea that this person could be your anti-depressant. Twinkled with violins that take you back to the days of brit-pop, but with synth under roots that ground you back to The Modern Glitch of life you’re in. Other brilliant tracks I have to gloss over sadly otherwise we really would be here all day, are the sparkly spotlights of Last Night I Dreamt… No no not The Smiths song. This track talks about someone having an epiphany after having a dream that they very bluntly, died alone. Which is fair enough, to be honest, hope you’re good Murph.

Girls / Fast Cars is a brilliant no-nonsense song, brilliant for any sort of workout or when you need to run for a train. I’ve tried it with both and it works, just try not to sing it out loud and look like a lemon at a knife fight in the bowels of Blackfriars station… Definitely more one of the more traditionally rocky songs of the album, but still matched with the synth-tastic sounds of 2011 and feeling right at home among the tracks of This Modern Glitch.

Techno Fan is a song I think everybody relates to at some point in their life. You stay away from something your whole life convinced it’s “not for me darling”, only to find yourself slap bang in the middle of a club moshing to something you’d never heard of before, or you know whatever it is you’ve avoided… It’s a cheerful, bright and spanky song that asks you to “move with me or get out of my face”. This song gets going and if you’re not on board it will sail on without you, and you’ll have to catch it again from the start because it’s got a motive that requires you to pay attention. It’s a phenomenal feeling and you just have to ride this train.

There’s so much identity within this album and so much nostalgia I associate with it and with this band. This Modern Glitch did the hard thing of adapting an indie band to the turn of the new decade, but it blended the two perfectly and without it, we surely wouldn’t have got any of the brilliant work from Murph, Dan, and Tord throughout The Wombats’ musical career and their own solo discographies.

The perfect summer album to play when the world feels wrong, and after the year we’ve had, with things looking up on the uncertain horizon, perhaps This Modern Glitch is what we need all over again.

Listen to This Modern Glitch (10th Anniversary Edition) on Spotify now. Presented proudly, 10 years running.

Categories
Punk/Rock Reviews Uncategorized

Trashmouth Records: 10 Years Still Not Dead!

Trashmouth Records, an independent label run by brothers Liam and Luke May, is the New Malden equivalent of Muscle Shoals’ Fame Studios.

The Mays recorded, engineered and produced the debut albums of bands such as Madonnatron, Warmduscher and the Fat White Family. “Trashmouth produced and released records by bands that no one else would touch with a 10-foot pole and not only lived to tell the tale but proved to have been visionary in their blind faith.”

As scouts of raw talent and miners of sonic gold Trashmouth Records are unequalled by any in their contribution to recording some of the best music of our era…

Clams Baker, the inimitable front man of Warmduscher (the best boogie band in London, and that bass, my God) spoke lovingly of Trashmouth: “When I think of the South London music scene, I immediately think Windmill, Fat White Family, and Trashmouth Records, then I forget what I was thinking about thanks to the last 10 years they are celebrating! Very blessed and honored to be a part of it. Long live the hustle, I can’t wait to see what they think of next.”

Clams Baker III, Benjamin Romans-Hopcraft and Saul Adamczewski of Warmduscher (and friends) at the Windmill. Photo by Lou Smith @lousmithphoto.

The label is soon to release a celebratory album of remixes. “Trashmouth Records – 10 Years Still Not Dead” marks the 10th Anniversary of the inception of the Trashmouth Experiment & features remixes of some of the label’s favourite tracks and artists…”

Thus far one remix has been dropped, a Trashmouth redux of “Yolk Buns USA,” from Warmduscher’s infamous debut album Khaki Tears (an album which was recorded in a mere three days if the rumors are true.) 

Other remixes which will be included on the album are a Trashmouth redux of “Heaven on Earth,” a sonically schizophrenic rocker from Fat White Family’s scorching debut, Champagne Holocaust, and other auditory delights from Madonnatron and Meatraffle among others. 

Brothers Luke and and Liam May, who founded and continue to operate Trashmouth Records.

In the label’s own words: “The LP will…encompass a visual history of the label within its artwork, featuring photographs of the now legendary Trashmouth nights at the Brixton Windmill, where bands bitched and bonded, where blood, booze and tears were spilled in almost equal measure and where the seeds of a small corner of modern musical history were inadvertently sewn.”

Join the infamous label in celebrating ten years of “Blood, Booze and Tears in Equal Measure…” by purchasing their 10th anniversary record featuring remixes from their top artists, available May 17th on Bandcamp and beyond.

Categories
Pop/Indie Pop Reviews

Looking Back: Made of Bricks

Released in 2007, Made of Bricks by Kate Nash holds a space in my memories like no other album. Unknowingly I have known this album since it came out. Bit by bit and song by song, I have been rediscovering it since starting university. 

This album was a commercial success. I still remember watching the ‘Pumpkin Soup’ music video on MTV when I was 7. Transfixed, I would sit on the carpet waiting for it to come on every day. Although at the time it was my personal favourite, it was actually ‘Foundations’ off Made of Bricks that made it to 2nd place in the UK Singles Chart. With its story-like manner and the mastering of melody, you can’t help but be drawn in. Into the bargain, it becomes a welcomed challenge to remember all the lyrics. The chorus is the most memorable part of it, as choruses usually are. Though it’s hard to have a favourite part of this song.

Another single off the album is ‘Mouthwash’, a relatable song about imperfections. Although the lyrics are simple, they are to the point and say everything they need to. I enjoy the fact that in revealing this list of things about her, Kate Nash is showing us that she is just as human as we are. Building up to the bridge, it has a very 2000s feeling to it, one that feels familiar and comfortable to me. Overall this song speaks for itself and is probably more convincing to listen to than to read about.

Side by side on the album, the songs that stand out to me most are ‘Dickhead’ – for quite obvious reasons – and ‘Birds’. ‘Dickhead’ is the kind of song you put on when you’re drunk. Somehow knowing all the lyrics, you scream them at that special someone. The guitar riff is simple but effective, slow but resounding and repetitive but groovy. The anaphoric nature of the song makes it easy to get wrapped up in the lyrics straight away. On the other hand, ‘Birds’ is quite a contrast, a love ballad of a song. Right from the start, we’re introduced to two characters who appear to be in the midst of a blooming relationship. He declares his love through a quirky comparison to birds. It’s very endearing and has the added benefactor of being funny and loveable. 

Though I could write positively about the rest of the songs on the album, I think it’s best if I leave you to discover it on your own. Enjoy!

Categories
Reviews Uncategorized

notes from the trenches

It’s been a whirlwind month for the poor suckers out on of the frontlines of the music industry, myself included. Like everybody else, I have been glued to my laptop for livestreams, during which I have broken two Bose speakers and possibly also ruptured my roommate’s left eardrum, but I’m chalking that up to her allergies and not to the volume at which I was blasting MISTY MILLER’s livestream with Easycome Acoustic Club. 

Speaking of recent noteworthy streams, Glasgow’s own indie goth-pop darlings, THE NINTH WAVE (rock n’ roll social workers if ever any did exist) played a livestream show at Leith Theatre with Lucia and the Best Boys, and I hope to hell you blessed your ears and eyes with it—it was the first time the songs from their sophomore album Happy Days! were played live, and thus a red-letter day…

Glaswegian indie rock outfit the Ninth Wave. Photo credit: @olierskine

If you are of the festival going-persuasion, LUCIA AND THE BEST BOYS announced that, come September, they will headline the River Stage at TRNSMT Festival. (Other headliners include Lil Simz—be still, my beating heart!—Sports Team and Walt Disco.) A word of advice, preorder your tickets, plan your wardrobes and sort your granola out NOW. It’ll give you something to live for. And don’t bring a tent if you really want to have fun; tents just get in the way. So does complicated eye makeup, which only summons rain. Just wear some big earrings. Searing the lead singer’s retinas with reflective bling is a far better way to get their attention than looking like a raccoon having an existential crisis.

Lucia of Lucia and the Best Boys. Photo credit @neelastica

The Best Band in all the World, GOAT GIRL, are headlining Wide Awake Fest on Friday, September 3rd where they are billed above Idles. This suggests that there is indeed justice in the Universe. Black Country New Road, black midi, and Tropical F Storm (Iggy Pop’s BBC 6 show turned me on to these freaks, go give their tune “Brain Drops,” a listen, it’ll melt your synapses) will also perform. 

The magnificent South London indie rock band Goat Girl. Photo credit: @hollyemmw

If you like GOAT GIRL then saunter on over to Bandcamp and check out The Most Underrated Band in all the World, MADONNATRON, who are once again flying under the radar. I’m over here chewing my acrylics in anticipation of what fresh sonic delights they are possibly preparing to unleash upon us unworthy listeners. Musica Alla Puttanesca was released nearly 2 years ago and I’m hungry for more…

Speaking of bands rumored to be releasing new albums in the near(ish) future, FAT WHITE FAMILY released their firstborn film, a gonzo digital diary entry romantically dubbed Moonbathing in February. I’m sure the sight of Alex White’s lovely mullet in a bubble bath was enough for many of you to give the film a five-star rating but hearing the Fat Whites revert to their country roots—with Lias on guitar, Nathan on keyboards, and Alex on flute and sax–was melancholy bliss beyond belief.

(Lias Saoudi and Saul Adamczewski of Fat White Family. Photo credit: the incredible @lousmithphoto)

Yours in solidarity and Bandcamp Fridays, 

xxx

Annie 

Header Photo Credit: Goat Girl by @hollyemmw

Categories
Soul/R&B Why We Love

Why We Love: Black Pumas

Psychedelic-soul band Black Pumas captured my full attention with their transcendent GRAMMYs performance just a few weeks ago. My mouth hung open throughout the duration of their stage time and, accompanied by several colorfully encouraging words, I couldn’t stop shouting, “Oh my god!” 

I didn’t need any more convincing whatsoever; I grabbed my phone, saved their music, and followed them on social media. They very quickly had me in the palms of their hands, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. This group hailing from Austin, Texas serves as the definition of a powerhouse, and I have a good feeling that they will be the catalysts of a much-needed musical revolution. If you missed their performance or are simply entirely new to Black Pumas, I implore you to watch it immediately

Bandmates Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada, through the help of a friend, united in 2018. Shortly after the release of two singles (“Fire” and “Black Moon Rising”), Black Pumas dropped their fiery self-titled album on June 21, 2019. That same year, the GRAMMYs nominated them for the “Best New Artist” category. With a total of four Grammy nominations now under their belt, it’s absolutely criminal that they walked away empty-handed. To the GRAMMYs (and any other awards ceremony, for that matter): Do better. 

With sold-out tours, numerous television performances, and a recent achievement of taking the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Emerging Artists Chart, this is merely the beginning of a prosperous career for Black Pumas. This immense, ground-breaking talent that they possess is awe-inspiring. Everybody, and I mean everybody, needs to put this band on their radar. No ifs, ands, or buts.

The entirety of their discography is unmatched, despite it being just the beginning. Coated in a dizzying richness that provides a similar feeling to taking a sip of warm coffee on a cold morning, their music fully envelopes you. I am completely and entirely bewitched; whether I am just listening to their record (original, deluxe, and expanded deluxe!) or watching videos of their performances, I find myself falling more in love as the minutes go by.

Every single aspect of each song, whether it be the heavenly, euphonic vocals or the electrifying instrumentations, is expertly crafted. I cannot stress enough how one-of-a-kind this band is. Seriously, stop whatever it is you’re doing and listen to Black Pumas. Go on then; go!


To stay in the know, follow Black Pumas on Instagram, Twitter, and Spotify.

(Cover photo by: JACKIE LEE YOUNG)

Categories
Pop/Indie Pop Why We Love

Why We Love: chloe moriondo

If you’ve heard of Frances Forever, or read Why We Love: Frances Forever, you may already be familiar with chloe moriondo (stylised in lower case). The reason being, Frances Forever re-released ‘Space Girl’ to feature chloe moriondo. The change in lyrics in the verse that chloe sings adds an extra dimension to the catchiness that was already there. 

In essence, chloe moriondo is an 18 year old singer-songwriter from Detroit, Michigan. I discovered her a couple years ago, back when ‘Lemon Boy’ by cavetown was big in my world. He helped produce her debut album that she released at 16. I envisage them to have quite a fraternal relationship, with older brother Robbie seeing success blooming in chloe and striving to help her achieve it. Back then, she was a shy closeted ukulele girl on YouTube. Famous for her red cheeks, button nose, round glasses and yellow walls, she was the embodiment of cute and sweet. Her voice seemed effortless and accompanied her shyness like sugar in a cup of tea.

Since then, she seems to have developed her musical style. What started off as covers became original content, which continues to mature. She has briefly spoken about her issues when it comes to the duality and dichotomy of being famous whilst still in full-time education. However, I would argue that this has improved the strength and honesty of her music. Nowadays, her innocence has been replaced with outward subtle neediness. She screams to be seen, heard and understood. Teenage angst bleeds out of her single ‘Girl on TV’. The music video depicts the insecurity exaggerated by social media and her wish to be what she sees everyone else be. 

There’s undoubtedly a certain nostalgia listening to music written by a teenager. Her content is relatable in a far-off sense for most, but remains convincing. This includes her latest song ‘I Eat Boys’, released today, which will be played on Annie Mac’s Future Sounds at 6p.m. Yet another angsty bop filled with feminist hope mixed with lesbian sympathy. It has potential to become one of those songs that you play on repeat until you are sick of them. Personally, I will definitely be listening to it until I know all the lyrics.

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Creators Monthly

Creators Monthly: March

It’s that time of the month again when we take a look at the brilliant tracks submitted to us by our readers. Like always, it was another corker of a month for new music with some smashing new tunes from the likes of The Vaccines and Hayley Williams. The infectious flair for creating lockdown beats doesn’t just stop there – no-no.

Our inbox was full to the brim yet again with some fantastic tracks written by artists from all over the world, so let’s dive in and take a look at our picks – you might just discover someone who’ll change your playlists forever.

Vice Beats & Ellie Harris

A spectacular ensemble of talent, producer Vice Beats combines his deep nostalgic grooves with singer Ellie Harris’ timeless vocals. If you didn’t think that sounded like enough talent packed into one single, ‘Lost Time’ also featured rapper KinKai and the soothing sax of musician Thalassic. A collaboration spanning four cities across the world, this tune is a perfect representation of artists defying all odds and making some seriously cool sh*t. For these singers, musicians and producers, nothing is getting in their way of giving us a funky and enchanting single to vibe to. Their creative talent has already taken Vice Beats and Ellie Harris from Oxford Uni to The BRIT School; so there’s no telling what heights they’ll reach next. They’re only just getting started.

urbanparcs

He looks like a young Thurston Moore and sounds like the next one-man Blossoms – ‘Show Me Love’ is the electrifying debut single from emerging artist Ed Fisher, known professionally as urbanparcs. Based in Liverpool and at only 17 years old, the future looks blindingly bright for this young talent whose laptop-made tunes have already gained him airtime on BBC Introducing. Of all the creative lockdown music videos we’ve seen so far, the video for ‘Show Me Love’ is simply superb, just like his tunes.

Fin Cliff

An artist we’ve featured before, but if you heard his last single you won’t believe it’s even possible – the latest single from Fin Cliff, WAITING FOR YOU, has been a career-changing factor for this one-in-a-thousand bedroom indie-rock artist. For any fans of Catfish and The Bottlemen or The Maccabees, Fin is an artist whose music you won’t be able to stop listening to. Now being played on BBC Radio 1, Fin’s music just keeps going from strength to strength.

Laurre

An artist from Cincinnati, Ohio, supporting all other queer creatives out there in music – Laurre’s new single ‘Don’t Ask’ delves deep into the emotions behind a failed relationship – which Laurre describes as a weird juxtaposed of sentiments. With vibrant, moving instrumentals and a voice tinged with melancholy, Laurre perfectly captures that strange in-between limbo of total sadness and pure bliss. Their creative lyrics go hand in hand with the single’s deeply thought out melodies. With this great track just the first release in a new project by multi-instrumentalist Lauren Wachenfeld, the same poetry is sure to tug at our heartstrings yet again with the upcoming release of EP ‘Paper Blue’ produced by Mike of the Nashville pop-rock band Mike Mains & The Branches.

Monroe Moon

A single which takes the atmosphere of Joy Division and fused it perfectly with the soft nostalgic nature of modern indie-rock. There’s no better way to describe the new single by Monroe Moon than the way they do it themselves; Deep, Dark & Familiar. The Peter Hook inspired bass line of Shadowplay weaves perfectly through the bands foot-tapping rhythms. The music video for the band’s new song hits those qualities right on the head with a compilation of family videos they picked up from a garage sale. This band is one we can’t get enough of.

The Velvet Rage

Sticking with our ‘90s filled nostalgia dream, The Velvet Rage are a queer anarchist project from Kentucky U.S.A. ‘Eschewing genre and gender is our thing.’ They’re too right about that – now two albums in, band members Lukas Lake-Bullock and Bradford Wilburn constantly veer outside the boundaries of ‘normal’ and keep on surprising us in the most amazing way. Their single ‘Trip’ is taken from their most recent album ‘You Can’t Do This to Us’, released at the end of last year.

Bernardo

PJ Harvey, Talking Heads, just some of the inspirations behind singer/songwriter Sonia Bernardo’s musical project BERNARDO. The alt-soul inspired producer born in London and raised in a Portuguese Village honed in her skill as a producer and guitarist before returning to London to take on the Indie music scene. Her new single, ‘Almost A Mother’, is the latest exciting tune from an artist whose musical talent has no end. Her sweet soul voice and genres which have travelled the world have been her guiding force throughout her journey so far. Bernardo’s enchanting voice and unmissable style continues to excite an army of growing fans.


Thanks once again to all the musicians who submitted their music this month! Make sure to keep an eye out for more brilliant artists on the way by signing up to our newsletter. We’ll see you next time!

– The TWM Team x

Make music? In a band? We want to hear from you! Submit here for a chance to be featured in next month’s Creators Monthly.

Can’t wait for more? Read last month’s issue here.

Picture Credit: Bernardo // Phil Manzanera