Ever since Alt-J dropped their brilliant debut ‘An Awesome Wave‘ on us back in 2012 we have been wondering what the Cambridge outfit’s next steps would be. Following the release of unofficial single “Hunger Of The Pine” (because that’s what bands do nowadays) we now have the first official single in the form of “Left Hand Free“.
Built on a quasi White Stripes riff “Hunger…” is a lo-fi slow burner that was apparently written in just 20 minutes but kind seems timeless. It sounds like nothing the band released before and raises the expectations for their sophomore album even higher.
‘This Is All Yours‘ ia suw on September 23rd via Canvasback/Infectious
We love the occasional rave-up here at CM Towers, especially when it’s in the form of nostalgic housey-garage reminiscent of the short-lived yet much loved glory days before the scene all got a little bit serious – too popular, too naughty… and kind of imploded a bit.
Step forward world-conquering DJ /producer Kissy Sell Out, with his new bangin’ EP ‘The Promise’ – which manages to draw on the unique ‘old skool’ atmosphere and vibe of the 90s and early 00s house and garage scene, whilst imbuing his own considerable talent and personality in to the tracks with a meticulous playfulness that absolutely works. – Kind of what you would expect from a producer who also blogs about astrophysics…
Lead track ‘The Promise’ from ‘The Promise EP’ features a familiar sounding female vocal, not completely dissimilar to ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S, ramped up with solid chunky house beats, claps, samples, loops and a bassline that follows the melody like a pilled-up loved-up puppy.
Also check the sampler mini-mix of the 4 track EP here (out 19th May):
Picking off the mud from last summers wellies, Cougar Microbes and are getting set yet again for Y Not festival. Set in the picturesque Peak District, the award-winning festival boasts a line-up as expansive as its surroundings.
We can’t wait to catch bursts of new talent like Nordic Giants’ thunderous soundscapes on display alongside the established acts. White Lies promise to bring their grandiose anthems to Derbyshire whilst wellies will certainly be re-muddied whilst going bonkers to Dizzee.
Check out the full line-up for yourself here Hope to see all your fancy-dressed, welly-wearing, smiling faces there.
Post by Sam
Manor House boys Bleach Blood, fronted by former King Blues man Jamie Jazz, are seemingly on a mission to keep music in London exciting and alive. last month BB released a four track EP titled “Darling Don’t Dive” and sat back as new and old fans alike downloaded the tracks with gusto. Having already featured their video for “Anything Anything” in the past I kind of knew what I was getting into but I have to admit the end product blew me away.
Drawing a clear and intentional line with everything the frontman has been involved with in the past, these tracks are not only unexpectedly upbeat for the most part but also pack a veritable punch and hooks galore. Inspired by a mix of the Buzzcocks‘ energy, TV On The Radio‘s eclecticism and LCD Soundsystem‘s warped pop sensibilities there is a real sense of potential about what is to come from this exciting outfit.
EP title track “Darling Don’t Dive Without Me” literally kicks off proceedings at full pace resembling Los Campesinos having an altercation with Art Brut at a speakeasy while James Murphy is doing chasers on the bar blissfully unaware. It all sounds effortlessly cool and full of confidence with a carnival chorus and multiple harmonies that will have even the most hardened cynic tapping along.
In case you were getting too comfortable “S.O.U.L” rears it’s head just to make sure you are still paying attention. Sounding like Refused playing an old The Strokes b-side the track is intentionally abrasive but scratch underneath the distortion and you will find a beautifully fucked up pop track. “S.O.U.L” shows BB has more than one weapon in it’s arsenal and more importantly have not entirely turned their backs on the British punk scene that served them so well in past endeavours.
Next up is the aforementioned “Anything, Anything” revisited for this release. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has changed in this new recording but it seems more bullish and ends up sounding fuller for it. Once again that chorus is worth shouting along to anytime of the day with Linda Harrison‘s guest spot proving to be a total delight.
It’s a sign of how good “Darling Don’t Dive” is that just 9 minutes in I hit the final track wishing there was a lot more left to hear. Fortunately what is possibly the best, or at the very least the most complex, track has been left for last. “The Circle And The Square” begins unassumingly enough before venturing into a stirring crescendo that culminates in a terrific chorus filled with haunting melodies and harmonies over one another. Back before the term emo became a negative slur bands like Braid and Jimmy Eat World were producing this kind of affair regularly and on “The Circle And The Square” Jamie Jazz and co show they can be just as ambitious and successful at it.
Just like it begun ‘Darling Don’t Dive‘ ends on a high note. Over the course of 4 tracks the band surpassed my already high expectations and I I can’t wait to hear more material.
Bleach Blood are currently on tour across the UK and Europe with Natives and Arches. Catch them at their homecoming show at The Borderline on the 3rd of April and get your free copy of “Darling Don’t Dive” here.
Disclosure were making the right moves on the British scene releasing an EP on hip label Greco-Roman and being championed by DJ Annie Mac along the way but even they couldn’t have been prepared for the massive success enjoyed by ‘Settle‘. Ultimately irrespective of genres brothers Guy and Howard released one of the albums of the year.
“This album captures the essence of where house, indie, and hip-hop are converging these days. A stellar debut that is clearly more than just a “dance” album, but actually provides surprises in it depth, as well as some killer features. Like ‘Channel Orange‘ last year, the variety of different songs that have been listed by publications and listeners as their favorites of the year shows how the density of this LP’s impact” – Daniel Benny
“Not quite sure if living in London influenced me on this one, but I felt like Disclosure deserved a well earned spot in my top ten this year for the simple reason that their debut album was the perfect soundtrack to this summer. For ‘Settle‘, the Lawrence brothers collaborated with some of the hottest names in the British music scene right now including ‘AlunaGeorge‘, ‘Jessie Ware‘, ‘London Grammar‘ and this results in what I think to be best dance record of the year” - Olivia
“I can’t believe these brothers are only twenty or so years old. ‘Settle‘ draws on so many influences and genres, some far older than they are: 90s R&B, old school and acid house, garage, dubstep, 80s synth pop, soul music, etc… The result is an instant classic dance record that is as forward thinking as it is an homage to the past. Their DJ sets are ace, they put on a killer live show, and they even rock In-N-Out Burger t-shirts when they tour through Los Angeles. They can do no wrong!” - Roger Jao
“Disclosure’s ‘Settle‘ arrives on the scene as one of the best dance albums of the year. Leave it to two British 20-year-olds to make a deep house album poppy and effortlessly spoon feed it to mainstream America. With guest spots up the wazoo, the vocals alone help make this album the pop sensation it is – most notably, the seductive tenor Sam Smith on “Latch.” Their exceptional electronica beats, on tracks such as “Stimulation” are what keep their sound fresher than anything you’ll find right now” – Jabes
“Jamz for party time, jamz for sexy time, jamz for home time. straight jamz” – Ledewitt ”
“By far one of the biggest debut’s of the year, this pair of brothers brought house music to the masses with their breakout single, “Latch” featuring silky, smooth vocalist Sam Smith. A bonafide hit brigade, nearly every track could be a single. High-profile collaborations with fellow of-the-moment artists (Jessie Ware, Alunageorge, Flume) catapulted this record to the forefront of electronica and into American audiences“. – Nicole
In a refreshing twist from the up and coming band throwing out a cover of their favorite 80′s track Tears For Fears have been gearing up for the release of their first album since 2004 ‘Everybody Loves A Happy Ending‘ with a series of well curated covers.
By selecting tracks by the likes of Arcade Fire, Animal Collective and Hot Chip The New Wave pioneers place themselves side by side with some of the bands they’ve undoubtedly inspired.
Arctic Monkeys swung through Milan for the only Italian date on the ‘AM‘ tour playing to an excitable Milan Forum crowd. The fact that half of the audience were barely in their teens when the Sheffield lads released “Whatever People Say I Am…” was further evidence that this outfit are as relevant as ever.
As soon as the band hit the stage, opening with an epic rendition of this summer’s first single “Do I Wanna Know?“, two massive AM letters lit up behind offering a glorious technicolor backdrop and literally taking center stage for the duration of the show.
With a multitude of highlights populating their already impressive body of work this really took all the semblance of a greatest hits show with early airings of “Dancing Shoes“, “Brainstorm” and “Teddy Picker” deserving a particularly rousing receptions.
Sporting his new demi-Elvis look Alex Turner finally took a bow a few numbers in and introduced himself in talk show host fashion: “Hello Milan! We are Arctic Monkeys and my name is Alex Turner”. He would be taking particular joy throughout the night introducing the rest of the band in similar fashion and this new suave stage persona showcased a man brimming in confidence. As such, even the tracks where he temporarily abandoned his guitar possessed enviable amounts of energy.
Once he did return to his instrument the frontman showed he could shred with the best of them reeling off solos with the greatest of ease. This is particularly evident on “Arabella” where a casual switch to the chorus from Sabbath‘s “War Pigs” is featured without missing a blink . Newbies “Fireside“, which Turner dedicates to “the ladies“, and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High” get offered on a plate to much adulation. Meanwhile the underrated “Cornerstone” spearheads this decades equivalent of lighters in the air with thousands of smartphones being waved in the air.
Closing with their the powerful trio of “Snap Out Of It”, the classic “Mardy Bum” and stormer “R U Mine?” , it is clear that the 2013 version of the Arctic Monkeys is a band comfortable within the confines of mega arenas and the likes. It’s been a long time since these four shy teenagers from the North of England were finding their feeting but in Alex Turner, now like then, they possess one of our generation’s great lyricists.
In Roo Panes‘ aptly titled music video “Open Road”, some of his close friends decided to take a tuk tuk around the world. Throughout the perma-sunshine which only exists when you are constantly chasing the horizon, the joyous faces they see on their travels compliment the wonderful anthemic, optimistic soundtrack.
This video was released seven months ago yet the intrepid explorers continued their travels much further to the extent where just last week they passed the world record for ‘the longest journey around the world in a tuk tuk’ albeit having to push their motorised vehicle for 70 km through Peru to achieve the record. The grand mission of their goal, which has taken them through 37 countries and over 23000 miles, is to raise money for children in poverty and to promote development through education. To be officially awarded the record they must make it to Rio de Janeiro.
Closer to their original home, Roo Panes will be releasing his new EP ‘Land of the Living’ on December the 2nd which is one that Cougar are certainly looking forward to.
Post by Sam