Mar 12 2015

Conrad Vingoe: Interview + Free Download

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Because Conrad Vingoe is such a sterling chap, he’s also given us a free track to give away. Download ‘Hand on my Heart’ Ft. Sarah Howells (of Paper Aeroplanes fame) for free here. The interview follows:

Cougar Microbes: What time did you wake up today? Was it out of choice or necessity?

Conrad Vingoe: 8.30 due to the Elephant children that live upstairs, I went back to bed for another hour as I am exorcising the remnants of man flu

CM: Describe The band to the uninitiated?

CV: Retro Folk/Americana influenced songwriter

CM: How do you kill time on the road, hobbies?

CV: Take a notebook to write down stuff and also addicted to Angry Birds Star Wars and online Scrabble

CM: What have been your favourite venues to play? Any venues you hated?

CV: Something interesting always happens, even in the shittiest venues. Favourites have been Union Chapel (London) and Fotografiska (Sweden).

CM: What is the songwriting process like for you. Are you able to write on the road or do you do this in your off time?

CV: Bits of both, I keep diaries on the road which sometimes end up in songs. Phone recordings are great for remembering ideas. Generally I try to experience on the road, write about it at home.

CM: Favourite track of yours and why?

CV: Well, they’re all my babies but off this album, “Little Things”. All of the album was recorded live to tape by Phill (Brown) and this was a studio “moment” when everything came together instantly. The parts that John (Parker- double bass) and Martyn (Barker- drums) played really worked for me and it has a really cool atmosphere to it. I like the cyclical nature of the song, sounds like you’re eavesdropping on something happening.


CM: If you could record any cover what would it be?

CV: Too many choices but this week anything by Smokey Robinson, maybe “Second that Emotion” in Motown’s old room!

CM: Do your songs go through many revisions via demo recordings?

CV: Not so much , I record things onto a tape 4 track which is pretty unforgiving, either a song works or it doesn’t, no amount of Reverb will fix it. If it doesn’t work I ditch it. Generally I don’t put anything to tape until I have a whole song in my head and I’m happy. There’s notebooks full of crap that didn’t make it though.

CM: What came first, the lyrics or the melody?

CV: Mostly the melody and the syncopation. It’s often sounds of words without being actual words for a while, but sometimes music and words come together

CM: What are your views on auto tune?

CV: Don’t touch it unless you’re Cher

CM: Any other band/bands from your local scene we really should know about?

CV: Loads of great Brighton people – Sharon Lewis, House of Hats, my sometimes band mate Fiddes Smith, the Dials, Lloyd Williams, the list goes on and on

CM: Most flattering thing you’ve read about yourselves?

CV: I had a review once saying I was London’s answer to Neil Young, a ridiculous comparison but it made me feel great for the rest of that day

CM: What was the first record/tape/cd you ever bought?

CV: Actually it was cool, ‘Rock the Casbah‘ by the Clash, then followed by several years of very uncool albums

CM: What was the last song that got stuck in your head?

CV: The one I just said is now stuck in my head

CM: What was the last show you paid and queued up for?

CV: Cat Power in Brighton, no queue though

CM: If you had to bring on artist back from the dead in exchange for sending a living artist down ,which artists would it be and why?

CV: Oh that’s harsh , I wouldn’t wish death on anybody, is it temporary? I’d like to see Billie Holiday sing so let’s resurrect her in exchange for say…Simon Cowell , not technically an artist but I’m liking the swap. Actually let’s make that permanent, never met him but he’s got a lot to answer for.

CM: Lastly, is there any question I should have asked you that I didn’t? And if so what’s the answer?

CV: Answer – You can’t get rid of them, they always come back.

Question – up to you.

TRACKS:

doublecougar


Mar 11 2015

Introducing Conrad Vingoe

Tomorrow, then front cover lo

There’s this guy from Brighton, UK, and he’s a really good songwriter. We know this because Acoustic Magazine slapped an award on him for ‘best singer/songwriter’ – and I gather they take these things fairly seriously.

The guy is Conrad Vingoe, and he recently recorded his new album ‘Tomorrow, Then’ with producer Phill Brown (Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Bombay Bicycle Club) live to tape in two days. All sounds so cool, dunnit? Well, it is cool. And so is the first single ‘Fail’, “which just sort of fell out, I like the sense of urgency we captured on the recording. It’s possibly the most literal and autobiographical song on the album”.

We like it too, Conrad. We are putty in your fine-guitar-picking hands. Slaves to your stripped-back honesty, subtle folk-pop hooks and intelligent songwriting.

See the stop-motion video for ‘Fail’

His album ‘Tomorrow, Then’ is out in March. Go get it. Now. Quickly. #whatareyouwaitingfor? Chop chop.

Tune in tomorrow as we interview Conrad and offer a free download.

TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 25 2015

The Survival Code release free “Living A Lie” download single

TSC SINGLE COVER - LIVING A LIE
The Survival Code is an Irish-ish Alt-Rock outfit based in London. They’re new on our radar and we’re happy to stick em’ on yours. TSC present an intense, crisp, no-messin’, siddahn an shut yer face style of rock which if nothing else will avert your attention for 3 minutes and 32 seconds.

There’s a wave /raft /Noah’s Arc /shit-storm of ‘Alt-Bands’ around at the moment. Most are young black haired raven-types who’s tunes are permeated with laptops and the clitches of Chaos Pads. The Survival Code, have a slightly more ‘grown-up’ feel about them. Not sure if that’s a great thing in this day and age, but perhaps their music is going to appeal to the more ‘serious’ affectionados, rather than the achingly cool youngun’s who might flit from one buzz band to the next.

Fans of Mallory Knox and YMAS should also get stuck in to this…. Listen and download it for free below.

doublecougar


Jan 14 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Jungle – Jungle

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I’ve been waiting for a band as good as Jungle for about a decade. A band that’s 1 part concise and avante garde pop and 2 parts pure groove. It could be used as reference to a history of the best and sexiest basslines, whilst being one of the catchiest and slick of all pop packages.

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Words by T.R. Wicks
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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 13 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: FKA Twigs – LP1

FKA-twigs-LP1

FKA TwigsLP1‘ was probably the most intelligent and tender record of year. A smooth Delivery of avant-garde art as intimate as the recorded sound can get and heartbreakingly vunerable. This is a perfect modern record to which many artists could learn valuable lessons from. ‘Water Me‘ was so soul bearing it hurt.

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Words by T.R. Wicks

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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 11 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Wild Beasts – Present Tense

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Wild Beasts

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TRACKS:

doublecougar


Jan 9 2015

CM Top Albums of 2014: Alt – J – This Is All Yours

Alt - This Is All Yours

Alt-J

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TRACKS:

doublecougar

 


Oct 19 2014

Field Day 2014 Reviewed

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Victoria Park in London has its spots where, if only for a brief moment, you see no buildings, hear no cars and you can allow a gentle sense of escapism to creep into you. As 30,000 people descended on the east London park, the trick of Field Day is to make everybody feel miles away from the city, whilst being at the heart of the vibrant music culture it attracts. Field Day has found continued success in producing a line up which attracts people who know good music, rewards them with undiscovered treats and keeps them coming back by having a fresh, yet unpredictable mix of high calibre acts every year.
The day began with the synthesiser sorcerer Rizan Sa’id creating frantic dancing to the infectious dabke before Omar Souleyman graced the stage bringing an influence which appeared calm, yet it initiated swells of frenetic appreciation of the Syrian from the packed tent. At times I’m sure the vibrations felt on the floor were only half provided by the speakers, the rest coming from dancing feet as heart rates increased and shapes thrown became slightly overambitious.

Jamie xx drew a huge audience in the Bugged Out! tent as his technical prowess stitched together songs which really shouldn’t have worked. Throughout the set ran a continuing thread with an emphasis on listening to the understated intricacies of the tracks such as “Sleep Sound”, but still acknowledging the fact that in that moment, crowds will be vocal in their appreciation. The seeds of the songs had been sown in the crowds’ subconscious long before they found themselves belting out the lyrics to “I’ll Take Care Of You” or “You’ve Got The Love”.

From the distance, a pulsating, magnetic beat began drawing me towards it. The hypnotic repetitions and ever so subtle variations and nuances produced an allure which kept me taking great strides towards it. Time appeared to distort as giant orbs bouncing from the crowd into the sky travelled slowly and elegantly. A lone shuffling onstage figure offered contrast to the gliding spheres as Jon Hopkins’ continuously fine tuned his mesmerising techno to show off all the rich textures and delicate layers hidden behind the vivid beat. Despite the daylight detracting from the famous visuals, by way of an apology the sun covered the joyous crowd in a golden glow which gave a nod to the organic samples the distorted tracks found their origin in.

To close the day, Metronomy emerged in sharp white suits to begin a dazzling show full of glitzy hits, such as “Love Letters” and “The Look”, brooding undercurrents of “She Wants” and the disco ball illuminated the thousands during the pretty “Everything Goes My Way”. Closing on “You Could Easily Have Me” the driving, scuzzy riff topped with a shaky tiptoeing synth line from ‘Pip Paine’ showed the band being keenly proud of their past, a past which involved them humbly playing football in the very park they now were headlining their first ever festival in. A past which seems simultaneously distant, and yet inextricably intimately linked to the present, a contrast fitting of Field Day.

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Words by Sam
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doublecougar