Tom Odell, Can’t Pretend

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I’m afraid I’m a bit late to jump on the bandwagon with this one, as music enthusiasts have been raving about Tom Odell for a while now. And for good reason!
The singer-songwriter – who has just been revealed as the 2013 winner of the Brit’s Critic’s Choice award – has a clear, powerful voice. Mixed with a haunting piano part and ghostly background vocals in Can’t Pretend, this has the effect of creating a very atmospheric, dark-folk kind of song.
In a similar vein are the other three songs on Odell’s Songs From Another Love EP – the lead single from which, Another Love, is arguably even stronger than Can’t Pretend.
Having also been named as one of the artists on the BBC Sound of 2013 longlist, Odell is tipped for big things next year!

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Featured Artist: PartyClub; an interview and a review of their brand new single Sparks!

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The purveyors of “indiebounce”, loved by bloggers and industry experts alike, have unveiled their new single Sparks. It’s brilliantly catchy, like all of their singles, and aptly named for this firework-laden time of year!

Mixing electronic sounds with drums and bouncy guitar riffs, PartyClub have a big sound and are already well on their way to great things. They’ve been championed by the likes of NME and Radio 1, and have had their music featured by fashion brands such ASOS and Hollister – not to mention the fact that they’ve opened for Twin Atlantic and DJ Fresh.

The duo from York kindly agreed to an exclusive chat, which you can read below:

So, how long have PartyClub been together and how did you meet?
I (Tom) had a bunch of songs I’d written over the course of a couple of years of soul searching and heartache. In about January 2012 I asked Alex if he wanted to join forces with me, and he duly obliged. We’d been friends since freshers week at University and have never looked back. We’re like brothers minus the DNA part.

You define your music as “indiebounce”, a name which is certainly fitting! Who came up with it?
The indiebounce thing came about from a lonely night in my bedroom with me, the laptop and the keyboard. I was sat putting the final touches to ‘young and free’ and I was doing some bits with the breakdown which has conga drums, marimbas and whatnot. I thought to myself – “I want this to be bouncy as possible”. Thus, indiebounce was duly created that evening. It seemed to fit, people seem to like it, and one of our fans came to a show with #indiebounce on a shirt, so there’s an idea for some merchandise/money making plot.

You’ve been gaining popularity through BBC Introducing; how does it feel to know that people like Huw Stephens are liking and playing your songs?
Yeh the BBC Introducing concept is awesome. It’s such a good platform for bands and gives you the opportunity to get crucial radio play, be it locally or nationally. We were lucky enough to get the Introducing playlist slot which got us airplay every day over the course of a week. It was an amazing feeling to hear people like Greg James skip back through our song picking out bits he loved and Huw and co. enjoying it as you mentioned. There’s obviously other radio stations out there (don’t want to ruin our chances of any XFM/Amazing Radio plays….ha.)

And finally, what’s coming up for PartyClub in 2013? Any plans for a tour or an album?
2013 is going to be amazing for us. We’re going to be on the road bringing our electronic drums, catchy synths and funky basslines to every city that’ll take us. We’re releasing ‘sparks’ as a single at the end of January (preliminarily 28th Jan is the date) and then gigging on the 31st Jan in York, and 14th Feb in London at New Cross Inn. We’re also planning on a few more dates that we’ll hopefully be able to announce ASAP, including Cardiff I’m reliably informed!

Ellen And The Escapades, By The Fireside

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I couldn’t resist sharing this gorgeous Christmas single from Ellen And The Escapades, an acoustic/alternative folk band from Leeds.

The band have been together since 2008, but have really started to gain popularity in the past year or so, with their fantastic debut album – All The Crooked Scenes -having been released last April. They’ve also got a great back catalogue of EPs and singles prior to the album.

This single was first released in 2010 as By The Fireside With You, and was re-released this Christmas (With You has been dropped from the title).

What I’m listening to this week – 16/12/2012

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Lover of the Light – Mumford & Sons
Can’t Pretend – Tom Odell
Don’t Save Me – Haim
Latch – Disclosure featuring Sam Smith
In The Open – Benjamin Francis Leftwich
Kemosabe – Everything Everything
Black Chandelier – Biffy Clyro
Knees – Peter & Kerry

The Vaccines Interview for CUTV

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I recently had the unbelievable opportunity of interviewing Freddie and Pete from The Vaccines for CUTV, my university’s TV station. Needless to say, I was extremely excited (and nervous), but they were really lovely guys and made for brilliant interviewees. It was so great to meet two members of one of my favourite bands!

You can find more interviews, sessions and reviews, plus lots of other fantastic shows and features, on the CUTV website – just click here.

 

Darwin Deez, Free (The Editorial Me)

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I can’t adequately describe to you just how excited I’ve been to hear Darwin Deez’s new material. When I noticed that Free (The Editorial Me), the first single from their forthcoming album, Songs for Imaginative People, had gone up online I stopped what I was doing and played it through about five times.

Free (The Editorial Me) definitely sounds quite different to anything on Darwin Deez’s self-titled first album, but I’m sure that this won’t come as too much of a shock to fans as the band are known for being quirky and experimental. Rest assured, front man Darwin Smith’s off-beat vocals are still going strong, and the lyrics are in the same oddly philosophical vein as some of the songs on the first album. Overall, this single is considerably rockier than – and perhaps not quite as catchy as – the likes of  Radar Detector, Bad Day or Constellations. I reckon it’s a grower, though.

Palma Violets Interview for CUTV at Sŵn 2012

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I’m a bit late uploading this, but during Sŵn Festival in October I was lucky enough to interview the brilliant Palma Violets for CUTV. This was the first interview I’d ever done infront of a camera, so I was thankful not to be doing it alone!

For those who don’t know, Sŵn is an annual music and arts festival that is held in a number of different venues around Cardiff. Every year Sŵn features a variety of fantastic bands and musicians – it’s well worth checking out!

Featured Artist: Get Cubs

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With a happy-go-lucky, indie-pop sound, Get Cubs’ debut album “To The Mountains” packs a punch.

It’s the kind of blend of guitar music and electronica that’s been popularised by the likes of Two Door Cinema Club and Everything Everything. Catchy riffs and boy-next-door lyrics give their music a playful, energetic vibe.

Stand-out tracks on the album are “Delilah”, with its Futureheads-worthy woah-oh-ay-oh’s, and the brilliant “Plastic Parade” which showcases Get Cub’s ability to write hilariously relatable and truthful lyrics.

The four piece band from Staffordshire have already been playlisted by BBC Wales and are planning a UK headline tour in early 2013.

Jake Mattison, Sorrow

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It’s been a while since I last posted, but I’ve been SO busy since being back at university. No excuse, I know, but don’t judge me too harshly!

Anyway, Jake Mattison is worth the wait. I was lucky enough to see him at Swn Festival a few weeks ago, and his was definitely one of the stand-out performances of the whole weekend. He held the whole room captivated with his brilliant voice and his own brand of folk-meets-Americana.

Sorrow is Mattison’s first single, and it is surely a sign of great things to come. Although there are a lot of singer-songwriters out there trying to breathe new life into the folk scene at the moment, there’s something quite different and refreshing about this single. Perhaps it’s the honesty of the lyrics, or the fact that it is so unashamedly stripped-back.

Bastille, Bad Blood

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I’m really liking this new single from Bastille.
It’s catchy, it’s punchy, and what strikes me most is how overwhelmingly different it is. How do you classify a song like this? I mean, it’s definitely some kind of alternative rock, but it’s catchy enough to be a pop song. There are even elements of dance music in it – there will almost certainly be some club-worthy remixes floating around somewhere.
As far as I can tell, Bad Blood is Bastille’s second single, although it’s actually very hard to find out anything about them! No wikipedia page, no “about” page on their website… I had to trail through reviews and interviews to find out anything about them. The good news is that the rest of Bastille’s songs seem to be just as good as Bad Blood! They were recently in session for Huw Stephens, you can listen to that session here. Dan from the band said that their debut album is on the way!