Friday, 15 July 2011

The Drums new album "Portamento" and Live Dates

Like a bolt from the blue, The Drums return with their second album, ‘Portamento’ to be released on September 12th through Moshi Moshi / Island Records. ‘Portamento’ - released just over a year since their debut - reveals a band tugging lightly at the boundaries of their sound while still retaining their recognizable sonic signatures. Sweet rushes of melody and brittle synthesizer sheens colliding with wiry Spector-esque guitar lines are still very much present, but singer, Jonny Pierce’s lyrics have assumed a deeper, personal tone and coupled with the band’s own more expansive production, ‘Portamento’ is a more complex, but ultimately more rewarding listen than their debut. Emerging from Brooklyn via Florida in 2010, The Drums initially caught the ear of the indie world with their ‘Summertime!’ EP - an escapist collection of beach pop fantasies – which preceded their self-titled debut album, released in June 2010. ‘The Drums’ has gone on to sell 200,000 albums world-wide, reflecting the universal appeal of a band that toured the globe: playing everywhere from Japan, Chile, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, Brazil, Europe, a six week US tour and culminating in the UK with two sold-out nights at The Forum, London. The band sidestepped the pitfalls of the often ‘difficult second album’ by recording it quickly, often laying down tracks spontaneously in Pierce’s kitchen. Following the departure of guitarist Adam Kessler, drummer Connor Hanwick switched to guitar, and guitarist Jacob Graham picked up his more natural instrument of synthesizers. Of the LP’s almost autobiographical lyrical contents, Pierce says, “This new album touches on everything from my extreme religious roots to transgenderism to violence, and of course there’s plenty of heartbreak stuff, which I couldn’t get away from even if I tried.” To accommodate the record’s sonic expansiveness, the band has swollen to a quintet live, augmented by two auxiliary members including good friend Myles Matheny on guitar and bass. Also gone are the backing tracks used for the bulk of their live shows to date, thus lending their performances a more visceral, spontaneous feel, in line with the aesthetic of the new album. Portamento is a 17th century Italian term that denotes a vocal slide between two pitches. For Pierce, it takes on an additional, personal meaning: “Jacob and I meeting as young boys with a shared love for Kraftwerk, Anything Box and Wendy Carlos - these were all synth pioneers, and a common feature on old analog systems was ‘Portamento.’ It dictates the travel time from one note to another, and we have always thought it was a beautiful word. It seems to come in to play with how we have transitioned in the last year, losing a guitarist, reforming the band, our personal lives, and the actual sound of the album travelling from one thing to the next.”
The Drums: Jonny Pierce - vocals, guitars : Jacob Graham - synths :Conor Hanwick – drums
Tracks: Book Of Revelation / Days / What You Were / Money / Hard To Love / I Don’t Know How To Love / Searching For Heaven / Please Don’t Leave / If He Likes It Let Him Do It / I Need A Doctor / In The Cold / How It Ended
July 16 Lovebox Festival London
Sept 05 London Hoxton Bar & Kitchen
Sept 06 London Lexington
Sept 07 London XOYO
Sept 08 Bestival Isle of Wight
Sept 17 SPLIT Festival Sunderland
The Drums - Release second album ‘Portamento’ on September 12th through Moshi Moshi / Island Records - New single ‘Money’ out September 5th  - Band announce three tiny London shows in September to preview the album

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Ben Howard Single: ‘The Wolves’ & Live Events

It’s been an explosive introduction for young West Country singer-songwriter Ben Howard. Having only signed his record deal with Island Records at the beginning of the year, Ben had already accrued a hefty fanbase across the UK and Europe through sheer persistent touring, and the word of mouth support that followed. With the release of his debut EP, ‘Old Pine’ this Spring, that fanbase is still growing by the day, and raced into the Top 20 iTunes chart within a few hours of its release. Old Pine’s success was predominantly buoyed by the incredibly supportive surf community that nurtured Ben in Devon and Cornwall and now across the whole UK over the past couple of years, but also by the support from national and regional radio stations across the UK. Old Pine was playlisted at 6Music and XFM, and received repeat rotation and celebrated sessions at Radio 1 (Zane Lowe, Fearne Cotton) and Radio 2 (Jo Whiley, Dermot O’Leary, Janice Long) which has since garnered further acclaim at press, both online and off it. It resulted in another sold-out tour of the Highlands and UK, with a spate of European shows also all sold-out well in advance. There has been something very natural in Old Pine’s appeal to a wider audience, and that natural vibe resonates throughout his music too, all recorded within a crumbling, creaking barn in rural Devonshire, and nestled between the moors and the sea. Debut single, and firm live favourite, ‘The Wolves’, is another spellbinding example of Ben’s progressive acoustic guitar playing. Six strings all carefully finger-plucked to dramatic effect, and aided by both Ben’s otherworldly vocal cries and the gentle harmonies of his band. It’s another fascinating step in the right direction towards Ben’s forthcoming debut album, currently due for release in September. Dark and alluring on tape, and creating this unique live story before the story’s truly yet begun, Ben Howard harks back to a classic and comforting time of old, albeit with a forward-thinking method of guitar performance.
Ben Howard Live:
5th August – Fieldview Festival, Somerset
13th August – Boardmasters, Cornwall
19th August – Greenman Festival, Brecon Beacons
“Full of hard-won wisdom that belie his age. Go and see him. He’ll make listening to acoustic folk-tinged music feel like the first time.” – The Guardian  
The Wolves - Single - Ben Howard The Wolves - Single - Ben Howard
Ben Howard releases his debut single, ‘The Wolves’ on the 18th July through Island Records.

Monday, 11 July 2011

James Morrison "The Awakening". First album for Island Records

James Morrison releases his incredible third album “The Awakening” on Island Records on September 26. The album, his first for the label, was produced by Bernard Butler and was recorded at Konk studios in London. It follows the huge global success of James’s previous two albums which, together, have sold more than 4.5 million copies worldwide. His 2006 debut album “Undiscovered” topped the UK album chart whilst the 2008 follow-up album “Songs For You, Truths For Me” included “Broken Strings”, the collaboration with Nelly Furtado which sold in excess of 1.5 million copies. “The Awakening” also includes an amazing collaboration, this time with Jessie J on the track “Up”. This, and one other track, was produced by Mark Taylor. All other tracks were produced by Bernard Butler. James Morrison said; “Working with Bernard Butler on this album has brought a whole new dimension to the songs. For me this album combines influences stemming from my deep love for classic soul – Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding – with a sound that is contemporary. Making the album coincided with some very big changes in my life and I think it’s very evident from the music that this is the album I not only wanted to make but that I actually had to make right now”. James, whose last UK tour was a sold out arena tour following his second album, will play a show at London’s Roundhouse on July 30 as part of the iTunes festival. A UK tour will follow later in the year.


D.A.I.S.Y. Age. The concept first introduced by the legendary De La Soul, it stands for “Da inner sound ya’ll”. Welcome to the sound of Rizzle Kicks, the duo that are here to provide 2011’s “inner sound”. At 19 years-old, Jordan and Harley are two of the UK’s most exciting young talents. Having known each other since they were little kids, they’ve grown up together, shared the same friends, same experiences, same schools and above all a passion and taste for music that’s taken over both their lives. Having already turned heads (and made many a crowd bounce) with the recently released ‘Prophet’ – a track that was instantly embraced by Radio 1 who booked the duo to play at the Big Weekender as soon as they heard it – Jordan and Harley are now ready to drop their summer “anvil”, the brilliant ‘Down With The Trumpets’. With the single already a huge favourite with their fanbase – the original version was first posted on their ever-active YouTube profile last year – it’s now getting it’s full release. “Add quote here on how exciting it is to have developed the track to what it is now” It’s this dynamic D-I-Y approach to making music and getting it heard, as well working alongside up-and-coming video director friend Tony Lockerbie that has been so impressive. Taking the “beg, borrow, steal” approach to getting beats to rhyme over and combining them with Lockerbie’s clear talent for encapsulating their vibe has won them many friends. It’s also won them over 500,000 YouTube views, a record deal with Island Records and admiration from the likes of Jessie J and Norman Cook – two artists they’ve now gone on to work with.
What do they sound like? Think 90’s golden-era Hip-Hop meets forward thinking Pop. Similar to Lily Allen’s breakthrough LP, the duo reference everything from Soul, Funk, Hip-Hop, Indie and Ska to straight up pop chord progressions with ridiculously catchy choruses. Sonically the comparisons with De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest are unsurprising but this is 2011 baby, and this is fresh material that gives a nod to the likes of Dizzee and Mike Skinner just as much. It’s time to ask yourself – are you down? /
Live Dates coming up
15th July First days of freedom festival, Port Lympne, Kent
5th August Underage Festival, London
22nd August Edge Festival, Picture House , Edinburgh Fringe Festival Wiz Khalifa support
Down With the Trumpets - Single - Rizzle Kicks Down With the Trumpets - Single - Rizzle Kicks
RIZZLE KICKS DOWN WITH THE TRUMPETS released July 11th 2011 Island Records

CocknBullKid's Yellow + Covered Off videos & festival dates

After such brilliant across the board reactions to her first ever full length album, Miss Blay has undoubtedly proved her worth and cemented her status as one of this year’s most talented and refreshing UK pop prospects. ‘Yellow’ is the next single to be released on August 8 and is the perfect soundtrack to the summer as Anita embarks on her festival appearances at Glastonbury, headlining the Lake Stage at Latitude, Underage, Field Day and Reading & Leeds. CocknBullKid has also been busying herself with her inspired Covered Off series of videos in which she joins forces with fellow musicians to record their version of a favourite track. The first Covered Off saw Clare Maguire singing Plan B’s She Said over a cuppa, the second was with Anita’s part collaborator on the album Gonzales, and the third sees Eliza Doolittle and Anita smashing Destiny’s Child’s Bills Bills Bills in a hair salon. 
WHAT'S THE WORD “We are obsessed!!! Easily the best and most exciting new artist we've discovered this year!” Perez Hilton
See all three videos here:
Forthcoming CocknBullKid shows:
16/7 Lake Stage @ Latitude – HEADLINE Saturday night
05/8 Underage Festival
06/8 Field Day Festival
26/8 Reading & Leeds