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Creators Monthly Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock

Creators Monthly: June

As the world starts to feel a bit more normal again, we’re slowly but surely getting a peek at some of the fantastic music that’s been written over the past year. With an influx of new artists, debut records and video premiers, it’s got us excited for all the fabulous live music to come.

It’s been another phenomenal month yet again for music submitted to us by our readers, so hit that play button and discover some of the most sensational tunes we’ve found.

Witch Fever

As a new era of superlative British punk-rock beckons, with the arrival of bands such as Savages, IDLES and Dream Wife onto the scene, comes the next bullet out of the gun. WITCH FEVER are Manchester’s very own screaming sensations and most definitely a force to be reckoned with. With their explosive attitude and dirty, Black-Sabbath-style licks, Witch Fever could be well on their way to seeing some of Europe’s biggest crowds come to witness.

The band have released tour dates across Europe starting early next year playing alongside IDLES, where you can be sure the unmissable lineup of Amy, Alisha, Alex and Annabelle will be kicking it where it hurts. One thing’s for sure, Witch Fever have enough attitude, talent and fetish-wear between them to make even Syd and Nancy blush.

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dwi

Are you Freak N Out yet? We are at the first tantalizing single from dwi. When not playing bass with Canadian Rock band The Zolas, Vancouver-based dwi (Dwight Abell) is creating magnificent psychedelic tunes of his own for you to melt away into this summer. This new single is just the first enticing peek into what lies in store from dwi’s upcoming EP ‘Mild Fantasy Violence,’ set for release this coming September and promises even more fantastically warped and wonderful soundscapes along with otherworldly synth sounds.

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Dany Laj and the Looks

The second track from their third official album, Dany Laj and the Looks take the best elements of rock, country, and pop and serve up a fruit cocktail of delectable sounds. Their quirky new single You & Me is matched equally in peculiarity by its excellent video and is a track sure to make all music fans wonder, ‘What was in that last rum punch?’ It is, in our opinion, the perfect form of introduction to the wild and wacky world of Dany Laj and the Looks. So, why not stick around and see what sonic delights the band is cooking up in their brand new album ‘Ten Easy Pieces?’

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Hot Plastic Poets

Back on our list once again, and one band who has certainly become our go-to on a hot sunny day, Hot Plastic Poets from North Carolina are essential listening. The band are back with another brilliant melt-in-your-mouth single. So grab your trunks, your towels, and your sandals, because every day spent listening to this new track is like a day at the beach. Hot Plastic Poets are helping us feel the sun on our backs, even here in rainy London.

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Palace Cats

The talent behind the wonderfully enchanting Palace Cats, Joe Doris and James Bowden, are two friends who have seen their fair share of challenges this past year with the pressures of the pandemic. Fortunately, it’s nothing the two musicians haven’t been able to transform into their beautifully dreamy soundscapes, which have won over listeners from around the world. Silky and self-produced, Sea Island Cotton features an array of soothing sounds tied together with a fabulous TR-808 groove, sure to bring a nostalgic feel wherever it goes. So, take a trip down the rabbit hole of Palace Cats, filled with friends, lovers, and polaroid pictures.

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Paris Youth Foundation

You didn’t think we could let you leave without mentioning that the astonishing Paris Youth Foundation are releasing their debut album on the 9th of July, did you? Save the date! ‘How To Ruin Your Life’ is an unmissable ensemble of hits from Liverpool’s most exciting new Indie group. The album surely delivers on all of the bits we’ve come to love about the band’s sound and more. Oh boy – you’re in for a real treat.

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That’s all we’ve got time for now, folks. Be sure to check back next month and follow our Instagram so you never miss a beat.

In a band yourself? Write music? Send us your tracks to be featured.

If you can’t wait for more, be sure to check out even more great artists in last months edition.

Stay safe out there x

Categories
Indie/Indie Rock Punk/Rock Why We Love

Why We Love: Courtney Barnett

With albums like IDLES ‘Ultra Mono’ and so many other spectacular artists from the same vain currently dominating the UK charts, it’s safe to say we could be on the very edge of a new era for music and the true revival period for 80’s grunge. If hearing this makes you jump for joy, then the songs of guitarist Courtney Barnett from Melbourn are certainly ‘must-haves’ on your playlists.

After first hitting big on the underground rock scene in 2012 with her self released EP, ‘I’ve Got a Friend Called Emily Ferris’, Courtney Barnett has since grown to become one of the most talked-about rising modern rock stars of today. After two studio albums and a host of incredible singles, Courtney has earnt phenomenal praise and worldwide recognition for her garage rock sound and muddy ’90s style. This is an artist who certainly never disappoints and a woman who truly embodies the spirit of ’90s MTV Nostalgia – talented AF, cool as hell, she might just be the Kurt Cobain of her generation.

Home-made and humorous, not only does Courtney Barnett produce smashing tune after smashing tune, she continues to amaze us with her terrific funny music videos.

Along with her neutral wit and creative humour, Courtney has brought something we love about music back to the world; a feeling on authenticity, high-school DIY band vibes and a persona inspired by her classic rock influences. Commonly pictured with a Fender guitar around her, the attributes of Barnett’s grunge pioneer predecessors Johnny Marr, John Squire and Thurston Moore are not lost on this extraordinary talent.

Her early experience in music as a guitarist in several garage and psych-country bands still shines through in her music today, both in the melodies and production of her songs and through the southern twang in her slumberous vocal style.

Old school and modern at the same time, one of her more recent tunes ‘Nameless, Faceless’ from her 2018 album ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’, along with the songs animated video, is very much in the spirit of ’90s MTV and also reminds us of Franz Ferdinand’s ‘Take Me Out’ music video from 2004.

Since the release of her last single ‘Everybody Here Hates You’ in 2019, Courtney has been quiet about any new material she may be working on since Woodstock 50 festival had to be cancelled at the start of the year, but we have seen a great cover of Kev Carmondy’s ‘Just for you’ as well as many great new songs emerging from artists signed to her self-founded record label, Milk! Records.

Courtney has been known to collaborate frequently with other artists, this week she appeared in Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy’s creative lockdown music video for his new single ‘Gwendolyn.’

We’re dead excited to hear Courtney Barnett come blasting back onto the scene with new material soon, but for now at least we can rest assured that artists like Courtney exist in the world. We can sleep easy knowing that grunge is not truly dead.

Courtney Barnett is on tour in the UK with Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds from April 13th. Get your tickets here.

Listen to Courtney Barnett’s most recent single Everybody Here Hates You on YouTube and Spotify now.

Categories
Punk/Rock Reviews

Review: IDLES – Ultra Mono

Direct, divisive and darkly humorous, if you’re looking for an album that packs all of these qualities as well as a major punch then look no further than Ultra Mono, the third studio album from Bristol rockers IDLES.

Since receiving critical acclaim upon the release of their aptly named debut album ‘Brutalism’ in 2017 the band have consistently stayed true to themselves in speaking the truth- no matter how harsh. Frontman Joe Talbot refuses to be defined by genre and continually denies claims that they fit under the ‘punk’ umbrella despite comparisons to likes of Shame and even Fontaines D.C. a band at the current forefront of the genre. One thing there’s no denying though is that they’ve truly developed their own distinct sound. A belligerent beat creates a mechanical feel that ticks along at the heart of their music; more so on this album than ever before, helping to seamlessly transition between tracks and allow Talbot to fire off his often frenzied but equally thoughtful lyrics.

Blunt political statements are a prominent driving force behind both their music and in recruiting steady support from many however, the same proclamations also result in severance from others who feel they’re too judgemental. They recognise the irony in these opinions though and in no way care that it repels, continuing to speak their mind and confronting any hate in witty lyrics with examples including “there’s nothing brave and nothing useful, you scrawling your aggro shit on the walls of the cubicle” dominating second track ‘Grounds’. There’s no shying away from other charged topics either with passion filled songs on the likes of white privilege, toxic masculinity and feminism; even bringing onboard Savages Jehnny Beth to practice what they preach by featuring some defiant female vocals on ‘Ne Touché Pas Moi’ further driving home their beliefs of equality.

Ultra Mono encapsulates a feeling of doom simmering inside most listeners given the current climate. A sense of terror looms throughout but unlike many that internalise this, they break through the surface to address the sense of urgency and need for action by exploding in exciting anger with raging riffs and aggressive vocals. This, combined with the military coherence created by their rhythm section leaves you steadily riled up throughout the record, resulting in a sense of unity against the common enemy, building the “strength in numbers” referenced again in Grounds. There’s plenty more to the record than anger though; from the surprisingly tender ‘A Hymn’- a melancholic vessel for channeling their emotions and delivering opinions in a softer way, to the comically propelled Model Village, with a sinister undertone that that feels so familiar you can’t help but laugh. All tracks combined, you’re left submerged in an oppressive atmosphere, ready and raring to escape the constraints of the everyday and confront whatever darkness is on the horizon.

The main concern on the run-up to this third release was that the band wouldn’t channel the boldness they exude in their songs when it comes to exploring new grounds (no pun intended). To a certain point, this worry has been addressed as the band worked with producer Kenny Beats, infusing a touch of his hip hop background right into the record’s veins and also collaborated with jazz-pop pianist Jamie Cullum on ‘Kill Them With Kindness’ for a further twist. Despite this, they don’t venture too far from previous material but it’s clear to see that they’ve sustained a real direction and are more focused on upholding their own belief in what they should be, delivering something for existing fans rather than pleasing everyone and converting anyone that opposes.

As a whole, Ultra Mono is a strong follow up to their previous Mercury Prize nominated album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ that couldn’t have come at a more apt time. The driving feeling evoked in their tunes looks set to continue, helping to thrust them forward and prove that when it comes to speaking up about what they believe in, Idles wont be staying idle.

Listen to Ultra Mono on Spotify now.