Tag: ep

New Music Friday: EGO

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the…

Milton Keynes/Northampton trio EGO is the new brainchild of Sean Grant, the man behind growly rockers S.G. Wolfgang. Joined by Phill Andreas on guitar and Darren Stephens on drums, the band are on a mission to get down and dirty with your rock’n’roll desires. Their new eponymously-titled EP, featuring lead single ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’, is a real treat, and New Boots went and got all the background titbits from Mr Grant.

How did you guys get together?
EGO was born from a love of heavier music and boredom. It was an inbetweeny moment of having some free time and throwing together some music which I really enjoyed. Originally it was me and Mark, but it had no future unfortunately, so I recruited some mates that just so happened to play the required instruments. Three mates playing in a band having a laugh, just like when we all aspire to start our first band with starry eyes.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Angry sexy shouty punky rock. Definitely if Jamie Lenman had a gangbang with Idles and Frank Carter.

What was the reaction like to your ‘Social Media SUX’ single last year? It seems the social media backlash is in full effect these days…
Yeah it was good; I think people were digging it as it was a bit different. BBC Introducing gave it some love, which we’re always appreciative of. Ah social media, we all love and hate you. It’s still a great platform to reach a fan base, although now you mainly have to pay for advertising to reach that fan base. Although I can’t see it going anywhere.

Tell us everything about this new EP
It is mind blergh from my brain. Whatever’s in there comes out in my writing. It’s heavy, but it’s melodic and screamy – but hopefully in the right places. It’s angry and it’s cheeky, but it has its sombre moments. It’s the whole flipping spectrum in five tracks. It’s fundamentally EGO. It’s not taking itself too seriously, it’s having fun. It’s remembering why you want to make music, and loving it again. I fundamentally write all the tracks with embellishment from the lads, and in the same way I record and produce all of it too. It’s something that I’ve played at before, and with this project wanting to to have complete control it just made sense to to do it myself. That’s why we’ve birthed Alt:Disco Records too; it’s all our vehicle and we’re looking forward to being at the steering wheel. ‘Gurl Is Gunna Kill U’ was from Friday nights DJing the club night Alt:Disco [at The Craufurd Arms]. Seeing the endless pursuit by men of the women on the dancefloor, and thinking “man that girl is going to kill you”…or “that girl is literally going to kill you”. I love a play on words, a double-edged sword… And a song was born.

What are your live shows been like so far?
Amazing noisily horribly fun. It definitely has a more interesting stage dynamic with myself just screaming / singing, a guitarist guitaring and a drummer drumming. We have our own little bubble, and I’ve certainly enjoyed the freedom of just being a frontman.

What has been your favourite EGO moment of the past year?
Mark and I did a northern tour which was pretty cool and 100% laughs, and I’m just looking forward to this new release and unleashing the new live setup for the world to see!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northants/Bucks, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues you wanna give a shout out to?
Definitely; I’m always open to collaboration and helping each other out. Definitely The Craufurd Arms in Wolverton, and the most recent band who’ve jumped on the bill at our EP show Loose Tooth – SICK BAND.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m a big fan of local music, so it was actually the new release from Big Loss! Bloody lovely stuff by three lovely people. Apart from that then the new Crows album Silver Tongues is colossus.

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
All we aspire to is to be bigger than Ginger Snaps.

The EGO EP is out now on Alt:Disco Records via the usual download and streaming platforms

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New Music Friday: The Very Lazy Sundays

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan…

The Very Lazy Sundays is a misnomer, New Boots imagines, as there is nothing slack  concerning the logistics of having band members spread out between Northampton, Hertfordshire and Kent. Duncan McLaughlan aka Tramp D’Addy is a busy ShoeTown man, and he gets a moment to shine here with their new EP ‘Love…a Lot’. New Boots keeps the work rate up by asking them to tell us all about it.

Who is in the band?
We are:
Diyar Abdullah – guitar and lead vocals
George Harvey – guitars 
Pete White – Cajon and backing vocals
Duncan McLaughlan – bass and backing vocals

How did you guys get together?
Diyar and George founded The Lazy Sundays in 2010. The band went through a couple of incarnations before Pete and Dunk joined in 2017. George and Diyar have been the crux of the band since inception, turning Diyar’s poems and ideas into songs. Meanwhile, Pete and Dunk had been gigging together since 2013, and met George through mutual friends. He asked them to do some backing vocals on a few songs they were recording, which evolved into George and Diyar asking them to join them.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We’re often compared to having a similar sound to Paul Simon, Eels, Jack Johnson, and The Streets. Our songs cover a lot of different styles and influences, but the common thread is storytelling with groove, hooks, melody and harmonies

Tell us everything about this new EP.
The first EP, ‘Live…a Little’, from January 2018, was recorded and mixed in a day, and we’d recorded it exactly as we’d play it at gigs. Essentially a well-produced demo. We knew these new songs needed a little more panache in the production if we wanted to get them played on the radio, so we booked two days to record and another two days to mix. We were really lucky to have Mark McCann at The Lodge Studios in Northampton producing us. He spent a lot of time – even before we got into the studio – listening to our influences and sussing out how they got their sound. It was a real education watching him listen to Simon & Garfunkel and discovering how their sound on ‘The Boxer ‘was achieved – what mics they used, how the instruments and voices were blended. He was really excited about recreating classic analogue recording processes in the Lodge’s studio, and the results are fantastic.

We played everything live as a group – the guitars, cajon, bass and Diyar’s vocals, which gives the overall organic feel. No click tracks, no autotune, all mics and no DI – your standard recording setup for 1969! Mark had mic’d us up so perfectly we barely needed any post production to the core performance. We recorded the core tracks in a day at the Lodge, and spent the following day adding extra instrumentation – the piano and mandolin on ‘Sometimes A Broken Heart’, the B52’s-ish electric guitar lick at the end of ‘Higher Love’, and the eerie backward-backing-vocals on ‘Café de Paris’. We wanted to keep the vibe of a live performance, so were really careful not to overstretch or go too Pet Sounds with the overdubs. Essentially the sound of the EP is us playing live – if we had a budget for a mandolinist, pianist and a couple of extra backing singers.

As for the songs on ‘Love…a Lot’, we’d written nearly a dozen songs since the first EP, many of which had become part of our live set. However we’d opted for four songs we knew were good but hadn’t yet road-tested. ‘Blow Wind Blow’ is a lullaby we put together in an AirBnB we stayed in when we toured around the East Coast last Spring. ‘Higher Love’ reflects our love of soul and gospel, like a Stax rhythm section without the horns, documenting the beginnings of a love affair, whilst simultaneously lambasting London’s property prices (”Rare find/Circle Line/Two stops/Paid bucks/Bought yourself a bloody shoebox!”). But the track we really wanted to take our time with during the recording was ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’, about the healing process after a relationship ends. It’s probably our best group performance so far, and we’ll release it as a single once we’ve made a video for it.

What are your live shows like?
We absolutely love playing live. We’ve played to hundreds at festivals, we’ve played to tens at kebab houses, and there’s no difference to us; it’s the challenge of connecting with the audience. Though we probably gig a lot less than most bands, we try and make each show unique and special. We played a show last week with Space; our first big gig since we’d hit the studio. We played to hundreds of people, and it was just as raw and intimate as if we were playing in a tiny club. Diyar is a great frontman, and though he’s perched on a stool most of the time he actually stood up during the rap section of ‘Higher Love’, which was hilarious for us, and totally galvanised the crowd. We usually open our shows with an acapella song from the first EP: three-part harmony singing without a safety net is always daunting, but it’s a great attention-grabber.

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
Not yet! Dunk runs the monthly Open Mic’s at The Black Prince, and also the Sunday Acoustic sessions that run throughout the summer in the Black Prince garden. He always gets a mixture of poets, singer/songwriters, story-tellers and instrumentalists to play with us, and we’re looking forward to playing there over the summer on August 17th. We’re also really stoked to be involved with Kontra Roots, who put on some great live music events around Northamptonshire featuring local, national and international artists.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Recording at The Lodge the second time around was a real game changer for us. It was when we realised we’d come a long way as a band since our last visit. The first playback of ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ was a proper “Eureka!” moment!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
George: The Macabees – Marks to Prove It
Dunk: The Soft Boys – The John Peel Sessions
Diyar: Roxette – Don’t Bore Us, Get to the Chorus
Pete: The Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up the Girl

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
You mean aside from having Blue Plaques erected to each of us in Northampton, Tring, Reading and Ashford? Firstly we want to spread the word about our EP as widely as possible, make a video for ‘Sometimes a Broken Heart’ and release it as a single in the spring. We’ve got loads more songs in the pipeline, and can’t wait to get back to The Lodge again. We can’t wait to play to a ShoeTown crowd again, either!

Love…a Lot is out via BandCamp, or on CD from the band directly

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EP review: Duncan Bisatt

DUNCAN BISATT CAPTAINS AND KINGS [Massive Rodent Records] Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan…

DUNCAN BISATT
CAPTAINS AND KINGS
[Massive Rodent Records]

Duncan Bisatt is certainly a man who has his fingers in many guitar cases. Not only does he play the bass, Duncan is a classically trained guitarist. He is also a member of Northamptonian band Bushpigs, formed from the ashes of 1980s/90s era act Marabar Caves. Duncan is also a singer-songwriter in his own right and has his own solo venture. He has recently returned home from an extended week of musical shenanigans, whilst performing in Marburg, Germany – Northampton’s twinned town – for Manofest Musik Fest.

‘Captains and Kings’ is his latest EP, the title track released off his latest album, Reality and Abstraction. Made and produced in Northampton, the EP consists of four tracks; ‘Captains and Kings’, ‘White Shoes’, ‘My Mistakes’ and ‘Toc’. New Boots asked Duncan about writing this new material. “I write the music first, then I spend months and months agonising over lyrics. I have the music, the structure, perhaps a tune, a hook or a line in my head, but lyric writing and me is a constant battle really. I’m a man of lots of tunes and few words, which is strange as my job is all words. I’m a lawyer during the day. I’m incredibly self-critical. I’m working on something at the moment and I think I’m on set of lyrics number five. I have loads of half written notebooks, lying around in pockets, in bags. It’s just finding the bit you remember writing last year. That’s the tricky bit!”

Title track ‘Captains and Kings’ is of a dream-like, folk sound; a bitter sweet reminiscence. The beautifully shot, minimalist music video that accompanies the single was produced by Tramp D Addy [those dancing guitars, swaying and merging, is a particularly nice touch]. Bisatt’s prog rock influences show through in the melancholic, more visceral sound of ‘My Mistakes’, whilst ‘Toc’ provides something of a musical interlude. Its rhythmic beat replicates a clock ticking. Both demonstrate entrancing layers and panoramic depth.

The upbeat, acoustic rendition of ‘White Shoes’, recorded at Northampton’s legendary small venue The Lab, is a finishing flourish to the EP. “A friend asked me why don’t you write any happy songs, so I wrote a happy song. This is a tale of going to discos in the 1980s”. Despite Duncan’s own self-criticism, ‘White Shoes’ is an impeccably well-written track, drenched with nostalgic references intricately interwoven into the lyrics. A favourite line is “And I found your Tainted Love/Fitted me just like a glove/Almost drowned out by Japan/You hit upon This Charming Man”. See if you can spot them all…

You can catch Duncan performing at various open mic nights and festivals, as well as performing with the Bushpigs at various venues throughout the summer.

Rachel Thomas

‘Captains and Kings’ is released on Duncan’s own label Massive Rodent Records, and is available on all good streaming and download sites

Useful Links:
facebook.com/duncanbisattmusic
duncanbisatt.bandcamp.com

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New Music Friday: Nailbreaker

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first…

Digital hardcore artist George Hammond aka Nailbreaker has set the cat amongst the pigeons a little with his early recordings and performances. The Acolytes singer has just released his first EP, entitled Spectrum Songs. New Boots locked him in a basement for a thorough interrogation.

How did you start this project?
I started playing around with the idea of doing something more electronic-centric around August-September 2018, in the downtime of my other band Acolytes not really doing anything. I don’t think there was anything particular in my listening habits that inspired me to start this project. I had just come out of a really difficult period in my personal life, I didn’t have anything interesting to say in Acolytes, I just wanted to make something different and unique and not look back. I put out my first single, ‘Shawn Michaels Circa 1999’, and the reaction was way more positive than I was expecting, so I just kept moving.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
Generally I find it difficult citing main influences for my music; I have a pretty broad taste in music and film so I pick up lots of different things from different places. I think my music fits most accurately under subgenres like digital hardcore or cyberpunk, so I reckon there’s some inherent influence from bands in those styles; bands like Atari Teenage Riot, Death Grips, Machine Girl, Deli Girls, etc. It’s the energy and ethos of hardcore punk put through a filter of industrial, harsh noise, breakcore, power electronics, maybe some rap. I don’t know, it’s very impulsive.

What has the reaction been like to your singles so far? Great to see BBC Introducing behind ‘Friday Aesthetics’.
Yeah it was well weird seeing BBC Introducing be so positive about it. In a good way obviously, it just wasn’t something I expected. I’m really grateful for all the support I’ve received so far from everyone; sometimes I have a hard time viewing my music in a context outside of ‘me dicking around and maybe some people might like it’. So seeing people say all this positive stuff, and seeing how many people have reacted well, has been really reassuring. Had a dude in America send me some anime fan art, which was wild for a project where I mostly work on my phone. But it’s shit like that that’s so cool about doing this project; that people feel inspired to create after hearing this stuff. That’s why I’ve also been really grateful for receiving requests for collabs and remixes and stuff. If I want people to take away one thing from my music, it’s to create their own art and creatively push themselves as much as possible.

Tell us everything about this ‘Spectrum Songs’ EP
I recorded, mixed, and mastered the EP in my house over an eleven day period. I didn’t leave the house, drink, smoke, use social media, or listen to other music until it was finished. As much as those things can help fuel creativity, I thought it was important [especially with a self-imposed deadline] to not put any kind of filter on my ideas so I could be as artistically raw as possible. That probably sounds bare pretentious, but it worked for me.
I wanted to make sure that every song on the EP had its own distinct sound and style, without sounding out of place in the context of an overall piece. When I put out ‘Friday Aesthetics’ as a single, I didn’t want people to take it as a teaser track because [other than being aggressive and noisey] none of the other tracks sound like that. Lyrically I didn’t want to be as message-orientated as I am in Acolytes; I think there are a lot of social and personal things that aren’t addressed in that band that I wanted to address here. On the EP I wrote about internet culture, sexuality, personal issues I face, whatever else. The lyrics are available to read on my Bandcamp page. I’d encourage anyone interested to read them themselves and come away with their own interpretation.

What are your live shows like?
I don’t really put a lot of thought into gigs in terms of things like, I don’t know, particular movements or whatever, I don’t want it be choreographed. I see bands do that kind of thing and it completely takes me out of it. The only thing I think I stay aware of is interacting with other people. I try to talk as little as possible during my sets, so making people feel personally involved in what’s going on is important to me, so physically I’m always as upfront and confrontational with the people there as possible. Other than that I like to climb and jump off of stuff. I bleed quite a lot during my shows. I normally have a drummer playing along live as well, either Marcus [from Acolytes] or Dan [from La Folivora]. I don’t know. Every single set I play is different so describing them is difficult; if anyone wants a better idea of what my shows are like then they should come join the party themselves.

Tell us a bit more about the NN10 Noise Club? Is Acolytes likely to come back at some point?
I’ve been asked the Acolytes question a lot recently and I’ve not really been able to give a proper answer. Right now none of us really have any desire to do anything Acolytes related. That doesn’t mean we’re not gonna play more shows or release more music at some point, but right now we’re all more interested in doing other things. Bewlay’s releasing music under the name Dylon Dean, Marcus has just started releasing his own solo material, Tom is playing bass in his brother band, Dan Pigeon.
NN10 Noise Club was an inside joke that got out of hand. Now it’s a collective of Rushden-based musicians. We use that name to put on shows, as a label name for releases, to shitpost on social media. We’ll figure out what it is eventually.

What has been your favourite Nailbreaker moment so far?
My second ever gig was a highlight. It was a house show in Bournemouth and was probably the most intimate space I’ve ever played in [the address of the house is also the title of the closing track on ‘Spectrum Songs’]. I also played a show at The Library in Oxford last month which was probably one of my favourite shows ever. Honestly I don’t reflect on things a lot, I just keep moving. I think I probably should reflect on things more often but it’s always more important to me to think about the present and the future. Maybe I’d call myself a futurist if I wasn’t so pessimistic.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I bought was a cassette copy of Veteran by JPEGMAFIA, it’s my favourite album from 2018 and I’d been meaning to get a physical copy of it for a while. The last album I streamed was We Choose Pretty Names by Kermes, another one of my favourites from last year. Can’t recommend either of those albums enough. I think Kermes have some new material on the way from what I can tell, so keep an eye out for that.

What is your burning desire for Nailbreaker to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Play as many shows as I possibly can, I wanna bleed in as many venues and houses as possible before the year’s up [so if you’re reading this and you put on shows, contact me via social media. I would call that a shameless plug but this is an interview about my EP anyway, so fuck it]. Other than that, I’m recording new music but it’s not gonna be out for a while. I might be involved with another project this year, but I can’t talk about it yet. I’ll probably keep posting stuff on Acolytes’ Instagram account without having any plans to play or record music. Maybe there’ll be some collabs in the works, who knows.
All I’ll say is keeping watching. I said it was impulsive music and I wasn’t lying.

Spectrum Songs is out now on BandCamp and the usual digital platforms. Feature photo by David Jackson

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New Music Friday: Beth Munroe

Wellingborough-raised, Northampton College [and BIMM] graduate Beth Munroe is back with her second EP of intensely personal indietronica. New Boots couldn’t wait to hear it, nor the story behind the…

Wellingborough-raised, Northampton College [and BIMM] graduate Beth Munroe is back with her second EP of intensely personal indietronica. New Boots couldn’t wait to hear it, nor the story behind the artist. So here’s a little history and more from our conversation.

How did you first begin writing songs and performing?
I remember writing songs as soon as I picked up the guitar, before I could even play, honestly. I pressured myself to get better every day, but as soon as I would touch the neck my first instinct always was to just muck about and write and sing. I wrote heavier stuff and performed in rock bands when I was 18, searching for the right band members who were dedicated enough. When I realised I was going to have to go it alone I rethought my sound, and took my rock influences into a darker pop/indietronica sound.

How would you describe your current sound? Who are your main influences?
Someone called my music “indietronica” and I’ve been rolling with that ever since. I took my early guitar influences of Muse, Radiohead and Biffy Clyro and pushed into a more modern electronic dark-pop sound – more influenced by CHVRCHES, Billie Eilish or Tash Sultana.

You moved to Brighton for a while to continue your artistic pursuits, was that a useful learning curve?
Yes. I studied guitar and songwriting for four years, but I think I learned my most useful lessons just as a human being. When I came back I had a whole new world of experiences to write about; I wasn’t a naive nerdy kid holed up in my room anymore. I had my heart broken, I sank a boat, I was homeless for a while, I was fired, I made lifelong friends, I pissed other people off, I grew up, and I messed up so many times the ego-driven perfectionist in me was hammered out, failure by failure.

What was the reaction like last year’s University of Northampton-assisted debut EP, ‘The Euphoria Of Losing Everything’?
It’s nearly a year on and I’m still overwhelmed by the response. Especially at gigs: when I played the EP live there was such an incredible reaction. I remember the first time I came offstage and people were queuing to buy the EP I had to fight so hard not to cry. It meant to much, and still does.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ‘i amok’.
This couldn’t have been done more differently than the ‘Euphoria’ EP. Everything you hear was recorded in a different place. Some of it was recorded in my home; the backing vocals were recorded lying down in bed under the duvet! Some stuff was recorded in different studios, some at friends houses. It was absolute chaos. I produced and mixed some parts, other parts were done by three different talented friends of mine. The songs themselves changed constantly, and entire songs were scrapped and replaced twice. Each song ended up being about something completely different, meaning running themes and cohesion went out the window. It was all over the place and an absolute nightmare to keep on top of, and keep the momentum going. It was supposed to be released last September!
My personal life couldn’t have been more chaotic either, punctuated by an awful few weeks when my mum became so critically ill we really thought we were going to lose her. Of course everything else was dropped, and when finally I came back to the EP it was with the addition of the song ‘Brave’, in honour of her, and the moments that I absolutely begged the universe to let her live.
The feeling of absolute hopeless, endless chaos ended up being quite an inspiration for the name, artwork, and overall vibe of the EP. Ambitious projects can get messy very quickly, and life is messy enough as it is. More than anything else it just becomes a test of character to just carry on, even though everything’s imperfect and feels wrong and frustrating, and there’s just endless setbacks and obstacles. That’s how life just is, and in the end I absolutely love the fight this EP has been, and the fact that it represents standing in a hurricane inferno of complete mess and know that everything is OK. I am OK.

How are your live shows going in London and around the UK?
They’re incredible; every gig feels like the best night of my life, and they keep getting bigger and better and more terrifying. Not going to lie: touring the UK as a solo artist is exhausting, especially working a full-time job as well. I remember playing Eastbourne one night, Edinburgh the next night and then rushing back to London for work at 7am (poor tour management on my part). The feedback and support from the tour was more than anything I could have asked. I can’t explain how grateful I am to everybody who came, and everybody who bought an EP to support this.

Any favourite Northamptonshire acts and/or venues to you wanna give a shout out to?
I’ve been keeping an eye on Kilamojo for a long time. I love that they’re unique, and I’m super honoured to be playing with them at the end of this month. [sane] are another; a beautiful Northampton ambient-electro act that deserve more recognition. I went to college and university with Ashe O’Hara from Voices from the Fuselage, so I root for them as a friend but I’m also blown away by them as a fan. Their new album [Odyssey: The Founder Of Dreams] came out last year and it’s just stunning.
I’ve had a lot of help from people in Northampton, and for that I’m super grateful. Particularly SBD Promotions, Northampton University, WMTH Records, Audio Works and NLive Radio for all their help getting me where I am now.

What has been your favourite musical moment of the past year?
I would say one of the tour dates, but I’m not sure which one! Otherwise probably when my single ‘Masochist’ was played on BBC Introducing. That was a really surreal moment to hear myself on the same radio station I listen to every day on the way to work – till the day I die I won’t forget that night.

What was the last album/EP you bought/streamed?
Been listening to Paradise by [Canadian punk band] White Lung the last couple of days. They’re such unique and talented songwriters, they deserve so much more recognition.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have?
I do my best to run everything on my own but I do really need help, whether it’s a manager, record label, or another musician. I need to keep climbing the ladder and get to a point where I can earn a living as an artist and musician. If I have to do it on my own I will, I just need to reach the biggest audience possible so I can carry on doing what I’m made to do. I pour so much of myself into this, I have no doubt I can get a lot further, with the right people.

Beth’s UK tour runs from March 27th to June 6th, and the EU leg June 8th-22nd.

https://www.bethmunroemusic.co.uk

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New Music Friday: Mundays

Mundays are a new Corby-based three-piece, playing lo-fi psychedelic garage rock. Their debut EP The Best Day Of The Week, Friday has just been released. Hear it below, after reading this…

Mundays are a new Corby-based three-piece, playing lo-fi psychedelic garage rock. Their debut EP The Best Day Of The Week, Friday has just been released. Hear it below, after reading this engaging interview with singer/guitarist Beb Reed.

How did you guys get together?
Jack and I are brothers, Josh is our cousin! Me and Josh are in Drinsipa, and we were really interested in the idea of playing some softer, more “songy” songs. In late 2017 we started writing some stuff and it sounded cool so we decided to book some gigs as a two-piece. It worked, but it didn’t sound as full as we would have liked it to, especially with the happy chords and such, so we decided to look for a bass player! We like the idea of being in a band with our mates so although my little brother didn’t play bass we decided we’d try teach him, and it’s been going great so far! Jack doesn’t play a lot of music, but like us is a huge fan of listening to music, and I think being able to work with someone who has no previous experience is quite interesting as you get a fresh set of ears when you’re writing songs, especially when you’re writing songs for the sake of writing songs, and that being the main focus of the band. He listens to a song and says whether it’s good or not, as apposed to picking it apart and trying to make something “original” or “clever”.

How would you describe your sound?
We go for quite a lo-fi, fuzzy and simplistic sound, having only bass, guitar and drums. We use a lot of guitar sounds to make the songs sound more characteristic than they may sound on their own. If the songs were played on acoustic guitar, they may sound quite basic and what a lot of people might describe as “poppy”. Drench it in phasers, attack it with fuzz and throw a couple of happy sounding harmonies in there, and you get something close to Munday’s sound.

Who are your main influences?
For our actual sound we take a lot of influence from the bands in the California psych circle. Anything Ty Segal has graced with his musical genius. Wand. Meatbodies. As far as songwriting goes we take influence from whatever pops out at the time, or whatever subject we think would suit the instruments. Me and Josh are big fans of MGMT too because the lyrics are brill, so I take a lot of inspiration from them. Our first single ‘Phoan’ has been compared to Oasis which is a weird one because we had no intention of that; nonetheless, cool.

Tell us everything about the EP.
Single ‘Phoan’ is the first track we’ve released from our debut EP. We recorded the song with a couple of microphones in my dads house, and it turned out well! We’ve had a really good response so far, and were even more buzzing that Jay Russell has mixed and mastered the EP for us. The title and lyrics are quite self explanatory. It’s about waiting around by your phone for a call or text from a special someone, and no I don’t mean a girlfriend or boyfriend or anything…some people may understand what we are talking about…

What are your live shows like?
We play a lot with storytelling in our live shows, often having some weird robot voice going through the front of house, and some ambient or sometimes nightmarish pedals being played around with. We like to think of each song as a chapter or section in the set, and the voices roughly tell a story, or at least provide a basic theme for the performance. We like to improvise a lot too! We dedicate sections of songs to playing about on pedals, interacting with the audience, or more story telling! We like to try have fun with it!

Are you part of a wider scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands? Any favourite bands/venues to play with?
As of yet we’ve only played a few local shows, but I can definitely see us being tied in with certain bands. Skirt, King Purple, Deaf Trap, Toucan are just a few names off the top of my head that we have/love playing shows with. We played The Hut recently after it being desolate for a while, that was cool.

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
I think we all love playing shows and putting on a performance. For me, the best part of being in the band is the planning, rehearsal and finally playing the gigs. There’s something very rewarding about preparing an actual performance instead of just playing songs in an order. When you finish playing and you’ve done a good job, it feels like you’ve put the best version of your band and yourself out there, and it’s really exciting to hear feedback and to plan the next.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
The last album I listened to was This Town Needs Guns – 13.0.0.0
Josh: The Fall Of Troy – Manipulator
Jack: Burbank – Rose Water

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
Obviously the burning desire for the band would be to be in a position where this is how we could make a living or at least be able to do this the majority of the time. A particular dream for mine is to be able to tour somewhere really hot and sunny with some cool like-minded bands, somewhere like California, or Spain. Lovely weather over there… We just enjoy playing music together and hopefully one day something will come of it, but if not, this is just as rewarding.

The Best Day Of The Week, Friday is out now on Bandcamp [see below]

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New Music Friday: Lunaxis

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots…

Northampton folk-rockers Lunaxis, fronted by Carly Loasby, have had a busy first year and celebrate the milestone with the release of their debut EP, What Good Is Their Love. New Boots caught up with Loasby for the lowdown.

How would you describe your sound to the uninitiated?
This is a question we always struggle to answer! We like to think our music is perfect for big festivals – hence us overusing the phrase ‘festival sound’! Because of all our different influences, we are a mash up of indie-pop, blues, folk and country. We love big vocals with lots of harmonies, and memorable bluesy guitar solos.

Who are your main influences?
As mentioned, we all have our own individual tastes in music. Lunaxis as a whole are influenced by artists such as Arcade Fire, Fleetwood Mac, Lucius and Lorde when it comes to creating the large festival feel we are all about. I am very much into lyrical giants like Bob Dylan, Tracy Chapman and Patti Smith. I enjoy telling a story and using personal experiences as inspiration.

Tell us about the What Good Is Their Love EP.
The EP is a story based on the stages of being the victim of narcissistic abuse in a relationship. It begins with the track ‘Big Love’, which is all about falling very quickly, and deeply in love, so much so that you believe you wouldn’t be anything without that person. As the EP progresses, it reveals more about the reality of that feeling, and how vulnerable it can make you. It describes how the mask slowly slips from the romantic partner, and how the victim keeps trying to put it back into place. Eventually, something so catastrophic happens that there is no coming back from it. The EP ends with the title track, ‘What Good is Their Love’, which is all about the epiphany of realising the person you love is only ever going to keep you in a circle of toxicity. The last poignant lyric is “the only way to win this game is not to play”.

What are your live shows like? Any favourite places to play?
Our live shows are awesome! We have a great time on stage and gel really well with each other. As a new band we are currently building our name in the Northamptonshire area, and are looking to expand from there. There are a few smaller venues we have coming up over the next month, but now it’s festival season. The next festival we have is actually my favourite local event of the year, which is Woodfest at Irchester Country Park. We will be playing on the main stage on Saturday August 12th.

What has been your favourite band moment of this first year?
This has to be at our EP launch [last week] when we finished the set. The crowd cheered and rushed to the stage to buy CDs, it was manic! After six months of hard work with the EP it was such a great feeling to see the positive response we had. It was by far one of our favourite band moments!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Howlin’ Wolf – The Absolutely Essential

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want to carry on making great, authentic music. The big dream is to eventually to be playing alongside our hero’s at all the big festivals. Headlining Glastonbury maybe?! Until then we will be putting in the hard work to perfect our art, and focus on getting our name out there. We believe in Lunaxis, and are looking forward to the future!

What Good is Their Love is out now: stream/buy from the usual platforms, or purchase a CD from the band at a show.

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New Music Friday: Thrift Street

This week Northampton pop-punkers Thrift Street release their latest EP ‘These Kids’ on all major platforms. The EP contains ‘Nocturnal Behaviour’, ‘Quite Frankly (You’re A Prick)’, ‘Wayne’s Hurled’, ‘Classic Grayley’…

This week Northampton pop-punkers Thrift Street release their latest EP ‘These Kids’ on all major platforms. The EP contains ‘Nocturnal Behaviour’, ‘Quite Frankly (You’re A Prick)’, ‘Wayne’s Hurled’, ‘Classic Grayley’ and ‘Stay’.  New Boots spoke to guitarist/vocalist Callan for the lowdown.

How did you guys get together?
Jack and I went to school together and played in bands since we were young. On the way back from a show in Birmingham in March 2017 we were talking about how we missed playing in bands together. We joked about starting a pop-punk band because we both love it, and Jack said ‘only if we have a song called ‘Wayne’s Hurled'”. I got back that night and wrote ‘Coming Home Heroes’.

I was playing bass in another band at the time, and Harvey was the drummer. He was always wearing a Neck Deep top, so I low-key asked if he wanted to join. The three of us clicked together naturally and it feels like Thrift Street was supposed to happen. We have become the cliché we dreamed of becoming.

How would you describe your sound?
This is the hardest question to answer – we really just try to write songs that we’d want to listen to, but we listen to a lot of different music. I guess we’d say we’re edgy but relevant, emotional, and ambitious – just ya classic pop punk bois. We’re still trapped in 2003!

Who are your main influences?
We have a lot of different influences which I really hope comes across in our music. We listen to a fair amount between us, but to name a few:
Callan – Boston Manor, Gnarwolves, Seaway, Microwave, Basement
Jack – Sorority Noise, Creeper, A Day To Remember, Seaway, Modern Baseball
Harvey – Green Day, Neck Deep, The Story So Far

It sounds like the words reflect everyday battles/moments, would that be fair?
I write music about things that I feel at the time that I write them. Generally I try and write as accurately and true to what’s going on in my head as possible, which I guess means that a lot of what I write is based on everyday struggles like meeting people, relationships, drinking. Things that I hope will relate to a lot of people, and the things they go through and feel on a day-to-day basis. Just trying to connect, yo!

Tell us everything about the EP.
The EP is kind of a parody of ourselves. We know we’re a cliché, and we can’t help but embrace it. We decided to call the EP ‘These Kids’ because it’s something we said a lot to ourselves, when we saw someone doing something funny or silly (including us), we’d just kind of look at each other and say ‘These Kids’. It kinda made sense that we kept it as something personal to us! Our band is named after a street we’ve spent a lot of amazing times on, and we’re just trying to carry the sentimentality over!

The EP opens on ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, which is about too many bad nights in a club in Northampton. The chorus in the song is basically about getting your hopes up, it’s nothing specific – just a catchy tune that’s fun to play.

‘Quite Frankly (You’re a Prick)’ is a bit more anthemic. The song is a bit heavier than ‘Nocturnal Behaviours’, and to me is a bit more meaningful. I think that it’s about wanting to spend time with someone but only for their validation, like you need them to you that everything is ok, all the time. When we wrote the song it didn’t have a name, but then someone got a message from their ex, about two months after they split, that opened with “Quite Frankly, You’re a Prick”. We found it funny. It stuck.

So earlier on we mentioned ‘Wayne’s Hurled’ was always going to be a Thrift Street song, even before we were a band. It was the second song we ever wrote – we did actually record it already but thought we could do with making it sound like the other recordings we’d done with Jon at Stalkers Studio. In all fairness, we just really love Wayne’s World – the song itself is just an emo anthem for being indecisive.

‘Classic Graley’ is our favourite of the EP – it’s a stereotypical song about being forgotten after a breakup. It features our close friend Will (Unlit Bones, Iridescence). He and Jack used to play in a band called Persona together, which we referenced just before his verse: “A different Persona today/I lost my Will to carry on, anyway”.

The song comes from Thrift Street’s most important member, Jordie Graley. She does our artwork, takes our photos, comes to all our shows and is an all round angel. Again, we started calling the song ‘Classic Graley’ as a joke – Jordie used to get annoyed whenever we’d say it to her. But we thought we’d immortalise it by naming our song ‘Classic Graley’.

The final song on the EP, ‘Stay’, is probably the most emotional. It’s about a family friend who passed a way about a year and a half ago. It was painful to experience, let alone for her to live through it, and the only way I knew how to deal with it was write a song. It’s one of my favourites to perform live.

What are your live shows like? Who are your favourite bands to play with?
Our live shows tend to be really energetic. We’re only a three-piece, but we don’t let that stop us. I like to have a laugh, joke about a bit with Harvey, and Jack just runs around and starts mosh pits. We really get into it – we love performing and I think it shows. The live community is amazing in Northampton. We are part of a larger network and everyone is amazing. We’ve played with so many amazing bands it’s unfair to pick just a few! Some honourable mentions are Tigerstyle, Safest Spaces, Iridescence, Wishing Wolf, and (though not quite Northampton) Sharkbait and Last Hounds. We’d really love to play a show with Young and Reckless and Wax Lyrical Sound at some point too!

What has been your favourite band moments in the past year?
There have been a couple moments over the last year that make us proud of what we do. We’re all super close, which I guess you can expect after a year of playing shows and writing music together. What stands out to us is our first EP launch – we filled the back room of the Black Prince, which really showed us that people actually like our music. It’s surreal watching a room full of people sing the words to songs we’ve made. We also won the battle of the bands there a couple of months ago, which was an amazing experience, and it just makes us proud to do what we do.

Another moment that will stick with us is after a Doncaster show, we had a three hour drive home. We were all tired and started singing along to ‘Sex in the City’ by Hobo Johnson in a really growly troll voice, it’s something that still makes us laugh and just sums Thrift Street up really.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Callan – Either Deadweight by Wage War, or Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
Jack – x (Mwah) by Hellions is my banger at the minute. Just really enjoy it. Might have also been Hobo Johnson’s Peach Scones, or the Devil Wears Prada Space
Harvey – Don Broco Technology (still on a high from seeing these at The Roadmender), or What You Don’t See by The Story So Far

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future? What plans do you have?
We want exactly what you’d expect; we want to be the next big thing! Our passion is music – we try our best to put everything we have into it. Ultimately we just want to help and inspire people to be their best self. We want people to relate with us, to sing with us and to just have a laugh with us. We want people to get in on our inside jokes and just for everyone to feel part of Thrift Street. We’d be nothing without the people who listen to us!

We haven’t got any major plans yet – we have a few gigs lined up dotted around the country. I guess the next step for us to really focus on direction and song writing, and maybe throw a little tour together. Just waiting for our big break!

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EP preview: Ellie McCann

Ellie McCann is an acoustic folk artist from Bedfordshire, working with third year students at the University of Northampton to record and release her first EP, entitled Long Way From…

Ellie McCann is an acoustic folk artist from Bedfordshire, working with third year students at the University of Northampton to record and release her first EP, entitled Long Way From Home. Her EP is being released in April, including songs ‘Elephant In The Room’ and ‘Long Way From Home’, both with hauntingly brilliant vocals. Some of her inspirations include Kate Rusby, Show of Hands, Fleet Foxes, Joni Mitchell, Crosby Stills &  Nash, and Hunter Hayes.

The first track on the EP, ‘Elephant In The Room’, has superb vocals, beautifully played guitar, and peaceful calming tones throughout. The lyrics are truly remarkable. ‘Ghost Train’ has a certain twang to her vocals bringing a real folk vibe to the song, with some breathtaking backing vocals [also performed by McCann]. ‘Long Way From Home’ includes palm-muting, giving it a real ‘get your lighters out and sway’ vibe. This track also includes powerful, relatable lyrics. The last track is ‘Pickup Truck’, a catchy love song, is sung in such a passionate way you almost feel as if it were you.

She is now in the finals of a competition called New Roots, showcasing young folk artists, and then will go on to perform at folk venues around the UK. She is also participating in Royston Folk clubs showcase.

The Long Way From Home EP is out on Spotify next month; in the meantime you can find her music on her Facebook page.

Report: Katie Montford

 

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New Music Friday: Parliaments, Blood-Visions, Puppet Rebellion

The shops might be heaving right about now, but these bangers are the only presents you need to concern yourselves with. A-grade fuzzy, hypnotic rock from Parliaments, courtesy of their…

The shops might be heaving right about now, but these bangers are the only presents you need to concern yourselves with.

A-grade fuzzy, hypnotic rock from Parliaments, courtesy of their new single ‘Red Sun, Dead Moon’. The video was directed by Northampton film-maker Jacob Austin-Lavelle and gets quite unsettling as it unfolds over its dark and brooding six and a half minutes. Anyone who enjoys Ty Segall, Thee Oh Sees, or King Gizzard and The Lizard Wizard should hit play right about now. The song is out now on the usual streaming/purchase music sites. There’s a launch gig at The Roadmender on the 15th too.

Not to be outdone in the growly stakes anytime soon are Blood-Visions. Their new EP is out now on Bandcamp and on CD directly from the band at their shows (like The Garibaldi one this evening). One of the tracks is this lovely raucous blaster, ‘Ed Reckless’.

Finally a shout out for Puppet Rebellion, the Manchester band who include Northamptonian guitarist Craig Gibson. The new single/video ‘Dark Thoughts’ is a track from their just released debut album Chemical Friends.

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