Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Apr 17]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through ten of the best new music tracks this week. Izzie Gibbs ‘Snakey’If UK grime has one rapper a hairs’ breath away from…

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you through ten of the best new music tracks this week.

Izzie Gibbs ‘Snakey’
If UK grime has one rapper a hairs’ breath away from blowing up right now, it’s probably ShoeTown’s Izzie, who stands loud and proud on new single ‘Snakey’. He had a 2019 full of bangers, but not the press/live presence to truly capitalise on the tunes [understandable, considering his near-death experience of late 2018]. This feisty tirade against the conspirators surrounding him [“Why you so snakey?”] is wildly good, his assassins delivery perfectly matched to K1’s heavy beats. “I’m still in the hood/Everything’s good/I’m a survivor” is as good as a mantra as one can have right now in this crazy world. 2020 has to be the year the rest of the world sits up and takes notice.

Leadley ‘Nightmare’
If you don’t know: the 24 year-old London/Northampton alt-pop singer built her following as a teenager vlogger, and these days is a mature-sounding songwriter. Given the crisp beats, strong melodic talent, and visual attention to detail it’s no surprise to see a loyal fanbase lap up all her rolling content. This is probably her best song to date, a highly confessional ode to liberating oneself from past troubles that really hits the spot. If you want escapist pleasures right now…this is perfect playlist material!

The Lovely Eggs ‘Still Second Rate’
Holy backflips, new album I Am Moron has hit #1 on both the UK vinyl charts and the independent album charts! The Lancashire duo run a nice line in self-deprecating psych-punk, having snowballed in popularity album-by-album since their 2006 inception. This kickdrum-led kraut-dirge is them to a tee, a lyric mulling over insecurities whilst staring out the bus window. “I speak to my people” is their saving grace; indeed, rock’n’roll is safe in these hands. Turn it up to maximum volume for maximum effect.

Dutty Moonshine Big Band ‘Fianca’
Oxford’s 14-piece big band fuse 1930s jazz/samba sounds with modern bass culture. Their unique formula has made them firm festival favourites in the UK and beyond. New single ‘Fianca’, which precedes sophomore album City Of Sin [May 29th], is a heady mix of primal drums, Middle-Eastern snake charmer flutes, blasting horns, and a singer who mixes up her potent delivery in Spanish and English. It’s a beautiful pile-up to put your “no parties” lockdown life in serious jeopardy. If you fancy a rave in the NN vicinity the band are scheduled to play Northampton’s Roadmender on October 16th.

Katie Malco ‘Brooklyn’
A song about that time Malco went to see a friend that moved to start a new life in NYC, and realised how utterly she missed her. An [almost] proggy five minute slow-burner that bursts into life in the final third, ‘Brooklyn’ pulls at the heartstrings in that special way that she always, time after time, manages. A ‘taking basic rock elements and making a rocket ship’ sort of thing, it’s another preview song from the long-awaited debut album Failures [out June 5th].

Mio Flux ft. Nailbreaker ‘Adam Sandler’
Jacob and George, now here’s a dreamteam that came out of nowhere. The London/Northampton/Rushden Venn diagram in full effect here. Mio [aka one half of Krankhead] keeps it simple with some doomy beats, the bed on to which Nailbreaker can slay his demons. “I feel like Adam Sandler circa 2003” is a very specific, very funny expression of self loathing. You’d still run a mile for him. Beers all round for these two when covid’s over.

Weirdoe ‘Daydream’
Hot on the heels of ‘Try Again’, another Harlz collaboration, Aaron Weir is the 26 year-old man behind those furious lines about rising up and taking on a world that doesn’t give a damn about you. “Been blocked out by these grey clouds/But somehow I see sunshine” he spits over some sweet piano chimes and skitting beats. He doesn’t release a bad track, ever. Northampton’s best kept secret? You might be right. 

Tragic ‘Pig’
“Kingsley front on a Saturday night/A light bump turned into a fight”. We’ve waxed lyrical quite a lot about this trio of ShoeTown teenagers, and for good reason. This is hardcore with nods to Slaves/Idles but also the early ’90s pop variety. They are “the real deal”, as someone who saw the live show recently whispered in my ear. If you’re gonna lose your shit this is the soundtrack you’d choose. Manic energy expended about the shittyness of humanity? Load up here.

Rolling Thunder ‘Scenic Route’
The third track on their debut EP ‘The Nightshop’, from the band who have been no slouches since exploding onto the scene a little over a year ago. This number is more of an Editors/Interpol moody bludgeoner, a nice foil to their usual fast-paced indie jangle. There’s not a bad number amongst the six on the EP; ‘Paul Hollywood’ the sort of anthemic singalong that bands like The Sherlocks and Blossoms make their stock-in-trade. It closes with ‘Break In…’, the killer 2019 single which made everyone fall in love in the first place. Essential stuff.

Flowertoy ‘Forgotten Path’
Milton Keynes sludge duo [Harry Quinn, Alfie Glass] team up with guest vocalist Ben Reed to produce a near seven-minute sonic ordeal. If you’re into doom/stoner/post-rock sounds then this will give you the movement in your underwear you’re looking for. With it’s indecipherable lyrics and depths-of-hell fuzzed riff it’s too experimental to convert you to the dark side if you’re not already there. The playing and production is spot on, and this one certainly makes a change from your usual indie and metal fare!

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Step On: the week’s best new music tracks [Apr 24]

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you weekly through ten of the best new music tracks. Alfie Templeman ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’From rural Bedfordshire comes the 17 year-old bedroom-pop sensation….

New Boots editor Phil Moore takes you weekly through ten of the best new music tracks.

Alfie Templeman ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’
From rural Bedfordshire comes the 17 year-old bedroom-pop sensation. He clearly lives in a technicolour bubble; at least that’s the impression this song gives you. And right now that sounds like the best place to be. This puts those “lo-fi indie” tags to bed, as this widescreen, play-on-daytime radio wonky guitar-funk workout is going to produce some serious body-popping across the nation. Your at-home festival has itself a breakout star.

Happyness ‘Ouch [yup]’
The London duo are on the comeback trail, previewing tracks off their upcoming third LP. The 1990s alt-rock vibing guys are a joyous riot of brightly distorted guitar and artful lyrics about just about everything your furloughed brain could daydream about. That jittery guitar solo could be off of Generation Terrorists too, which is the icing on the cake.

Dream Wife ‘Hasta La Vista’
The London trio’s new single might be their best work yet. Hypnotic-pop that’s driven by singer Rakel Mjöll’s exquisite vocal, given plentiful space to soar and draw you in. Props to them also for making forthcoming sophomore album So When You Gonna… produced, engineered, and mixed by an all-female team. Action > Sentiment.

Superlove ‘Circles’
This Bristol fuzz-rock trio have touches of pop-punk and metal in them, and they also embrace all the trapping of modern electronica to add a new sheen to their well-crafted, expertly produced songs. This one’s a bit different – a Post Malone cover that takes the original and adds layers of dirty guitar filth on top to make it their own. The chorus is a weighty beast too. Work those neck muscles!

Empyre ‘Drive’
MTV Unplugged vibes from the [usually] hard rockers, with a nicely turned-in video filmed in Vintage Retreat‘s Retro Room. Their acoustic side allows them reinterpret, reimagine, rearrange their grungey tendencies into something more earthy, and it certainly highlights their vocal prowess. Alice In Chains fans will lap this up, as should everyone.

The Big Dirty ‘Dirty Rider’
“You’re just a love machine/I wanna ride you”. They’re back!! A couple of years on from when we last heard the sex rock doyens, and they sound louder, harder, and sexier than ever. Riffs by AC-DC, clothes designed by Joe Exotic – you’ll either love this care-free lot, or be dead inside. Your choice! There’s a nice UK-based resurgence at the moment for ‘real rock’, and these undesirables are rightly at the forefront. Become a dirty rider before society crumbles!

Andy Crofts and Le SuperHomard ‘Forevermore’
Le SuperHomard is Montepellier-based Christophe Vaillant, who specialises in lush ’60s-style orchestral-pop. Hopping into bed with The Moons/Weller man for this unique collaboration was a superb choice. Andy’s rich, melancholic tone perfectly suits the song’s romantic leanings. It will have you proposing marriage to your nearest and dearest before it’s even finished. If this is to resemble the sound of Andy’s solo career then I for one cannot wait for more.

Crawlspaces ‘Primrose’
Northants emo types have finally released their debut single, and it’s a strong beginning. ‘Pop-punk’ doesn’t feel enough of a definition to cover what’s going on here. It rises and falls like the best of them, with Sam Morrison’s voice giving it plenty of depth, whilst the lads bring the fireworks around him. The chorus is an absolute monster; untamable. An exciting future awaits.

Jay Orosz ‘Do It Better’
Another week, another Harlz production! Lot of vocoder used by this amorous Northampton rapper. As previously heard guesting on Weirdoe’s ‘Diana’ a few months back, its his time for the spotlight. A confident debut single, hopefully there’s more to come.

Props ‘Easy’
Wellingborough/London bedroom pop to finish off this week. The quiet bedroom beats of 2019 releases have been given the boot in favour of scratchy guitar verse and a dancefloor chorus. It as excellent as those previous numbers, endorphin-rush feel and all. It’s deserving of a much wider audience, so do check out all his wonky pop manoeuvres.

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New Music Friday: Basement League

South-East band Basement League are the pop-punkers fresh off the blocks with debut single ‘Juniper’. New Boots spoke to vocalist Cameron Percival for the story… Who is in the band,…

South-East band Basement League are the pop-punkers fresh off the blocks with debut single ‘Juniper’. New Boots spoke to vocalist Cameron Percival for the story…

Who is in the band, and where are you all based?
The band is all based in and around the South of England. The lineup consists of: myself on vocals, Izaak [rhythm guitar and vocals], James [bass], Nathan [drums], and new blood Ryan on lead guitar.

How/why/what/when did you guys get together?
So James and Nathan used to be in a band called Priests to Pilots, but their vocalist had to move back to Hong Kong – and that’s when they found Izaak and myself via JoinMyBand! We played as Priests to Pilots for about a year but then our lead guitarist left to do a doctorate in clinical psychology. At that time we figured we were due a revamp, and thus Basement League was born.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences?
We’ve got a big emphasis on big sounds. Huge guitar riffs, powerful vocals, big vocal arrangements. We probably sit somewhere between pop-punk and alt-rock. Our biggest influences are probably bands like Neck Deep, Boston Manor, Trophy Eyes and Trash Boat.

‘Juniper’

Tell us everything about this single release.
So “Juniper” is our debut single. We’ve been working on it for the last year now, and we’ve finally released it. We really wanted to hit the ground running with our releases, and ‘Juniper’ was probably our biggest, most in-your-face demo that we were working on and we think it best encapsulates the Basement League sound. We’ve got our second single ‘Youth of Today’ coming out very soon, and we’re heading back to studio as soon as all this crazy virus stuff is over!

What are your live shows like?
High energy. If you come to one of our shows expect to get sweaty. We’re all about movement, and getting the stresses of the week out in the crowd. It’s cathartic, loud and a lot of fun.

Are you part of the scene in Northamptonshire, playing with like-minded bands?
We’re mostly based in London, but I’m from Northampton. We actually played are first show there last summer when we played The Black Prince, which is just the most incredible venue! Wishing Wolf are a band from Kettering we’ve played with in the past, and those guys are sick!

What has been your favourite band moment of the past year?
Probably releasing ‘Juniper’. We’d worked so hard to bring it and record it to where it is now, and we’re incredible proud of it and how it’s been received. It’s our little baby.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
That’s a toughie because we all listen to loads of different music. We unanimously held a lot of love for the new Four Year Strong record though [Brain Pain].

The Future…

What is your burning desire for the band to do in the future?
We want to hit 2020 as hard as possible. If Coronavirus wasn’t a thing then we were hoping to get on a few festival bills. So I guess now the plan is to demo as much as we can, get in the studio and release our debut EP and take it as far as we can!

Juniper is out now on the usual digital platforms

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Step On: the week’s best new tracks [Apr 10]

New regular feature! Editor Phil Moore takes you through ten new releases worthy of your time. There’s a Spotify playlist below too; enjoy it and don’t forget to ‘follow’ it!…

New regular feature! Editor Phil Moore takes you through ten new releases worthy of your time. There’s a Spotify playlist below too; enjoy it and don’t forget to ‘follow’ it!

Jarvis Cocker ‘House Music All Night Long’
The return of Jarvis [or should that be ‘Jarv Is…’, his new moniker], this is the second single to be taken from his new, long-awaited album, Beyond the Pale [Sept 4]. It’s actually great; it still has all the breathy and nocturnal vibes of vintage Jarvis, but injected with a new nervous energy which his hot-shot band bring to the table. Led by a trill synth line [probably knocked up on an old Casio] and a primitive chorus, it succeeds where others similarly fail – probably down to the bucket-load of charm Cocker brings to proceedings.

Do Nothing ‘New Life’
From their new ‘Zero Dollar Bill’ EP, the Nottingham quartet has a singer that croons a verse like Kevin Rowland and then yells like Mark E Smith in the choruses. The inventive post-punk backing all ‘Fits’ in, creating a world of pulsating, merry weirdness. The EP has 2019 banger ‘Lebron James’ on it too. These lot might be the most exciting band of 2020; yes, really.

Garden ‘Sad Smile’
The Garden story is good ‘un. They emerged from Northampton in 2017 and quietly went about their ace business. Yet with horses definitively not scared, they disappeared for all of 2019, and with a slight line-up change emerged into the blinking light of 2020 promising a new single EVERY MONTH. The first one, ‘Love Me To Death’, was then played on Radio 1 by both Phil Taggart and Annie Mac, propelling them forward quicker than anticipated. This third release continues with their slow-building jam plan; a sleepy verse erupting into the goosebump-inducing chorus. Garden do a lot with very little wizardry, the hearts-worn-on-sleeves outlook and stellar melodies should mean this story will roll on and on. Bring the popcorn.

Anna Mae Kelly ‘I Want You To Be Here’
Hit the new artist klaxon! 17 year-old Kettering singer-songwriter has been building to this debut single moment after five years of bedroom practice. This Made-In-Sheffield song is unashamedly pop music for a wide audience, the endorphin rush piano-house backing keeps everything glued together and keeps the focus on that captivating voice. Don’t forget that name, we will be championing it regularly from now on.

Amaroun ‘Talk’
Hit the reinvention klaxon! Life developments has led Jay Brown – Northampton-born, former resident of London and Paris, and now back in the Shire – to create a new project that prioritises the search for personal truths accompanied by some nifty beats. The cascading, moody electronic motifs and wonderfully-layered vocals makes this alt-pop number an absolute winner. As both Bob Dylan and Reggie Perrin can attest, sometimes starting over is the best thing you can do. Get excited for more from this member of the famous Brown family.

King Purple ‘Twisted World’
Winners of our ‘Best Single 2019’ award for ‘Warning Signs’, this needed to be a strong follow-up. Thankfully it is. Recorded in Wolverhampton, ‘Twisted World’ is another slow-burning stoner-rock winner from the Corby quartet, with that clean, reverberating guitar sound that makes you openly weep with joy. “The elegance and beauty we see”, sings Callum Connachie. Amen to that.

Cousin Avi ‘No Plan’
Another infectious party-starter from the Northampton/London five-piece, and an ode to being a bit of a loser with no money [we can relate]. It’s a huge production number, a stone-solid funk-pop mover with a snappy chorus. Really they are the top boys at this sort of bludgeoning dancefloor thing. When the covid-19 shit-show is over make haste to one of their live shows.

Jimmy & The Moonlights ‘Modus Operandi [Forever 21]’
The “side-project” of Jordan Noon, this is the fantasy band that is giving life to his home recording projects. This fifth track of the last few months is the most noodly/Radioheady thing so far, and makes a warm and refreshing change from the usual harder fuzz-psych we’re become accustomed to. Now that his “old” band Parliaments are on the comeback trail [rejoice!!], we might not get much more of these studio beauties, so hold them close whilst you can.

Spring Park ‘In My Head’
Northampton’s premier punks never fail to disappoint with their live show, and their recorded output is under-rated. This pop-punker is perkier than a shaken can of jumping beans, and if you aren’t singing along to the chorus by the second time around I do worry for you. “Lifeless”? Nah, life-affirming.

Joel Harries ‘Bore’
The multi-directional Harries is always working on something, and his solo thing has come back with a bang this past year. This second of his recent EPs is another beautiful example of his conjuring abilities; his softly-hypnotic voice and an array of studio gadgetry helping to create immersive sonic landscapes that constantly reveal new sounds on each listen. You like Bon Iver and Thom Yorke? Load up on this then.

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New Music Friday: Napps

Napps is a Northampton rapper who has recently put out his debut EP, entitled ’22’. Its a smorgasbord of sounds and collaborations, and New Boots thinks it is probably time…

Napps is a Northampton rapper who has recently put out his debut EP, entitled ’22’. Its a smorgasbord of sounds and collaborations, and New Boots thinks it is probably time you tuned into his frequency. We wanted some more lowdown, so here’s a few minutes with the man himself.

How did you start on this musical journey?
I feel like I’ve always been on this musical journey, I just never knew how the opportunity would present itself. From a young age music has been a huge part of my life. Dancing came like second nature as a kid, taking me to perform in front of hundreds of people. I used to have the odd playground rap battle, but music-wise I used to be more of a singer. It wasn’t until after college I realised that I had some talent rapping. It started off as poem that I wrote for my grandfather after he died, then about three years ago I came across the Drake ‘Pound Cake’ instrumental. That was it; my mind instantly took off. I ended up making a sort of tribute rap for him, I recorded it on my phone and uploaded it to my Facebook. The reaction I got from friends and family was great, from that day I just wanted to keep writing and getting better.

How would you describe your sound? Who are your main influences in music?
If I had to describe my music that’s out there already, I’d call it hip-hop/trap/rap with a dash of grime but I’m still very much in the experimental process with my music. What people have seen from me so far is just the tip of the iceberg. Some of the ideas may work and some may not, but at the end of the day music is my passion and I’d rather make my own lane than follow the curve; less traffic.
As far as musical influences go, I come from a family with a lot of different backgrounds. My dad was American, a staff sergeant in the US air force when he met my mum. I cherish the long car journeys we used to have because he opened my eyes to everything from jazz like Boney James, Motown like James Brown, old school hip-hop like Kurtis Blow and Slick Rick, all the way up to the likes of Lil’ Wayne and Jay Z – and everything in between. One of my grandfathers was a Guyanese Rasta: family parties at his house introduced me to reggae like Bob Marley and Beres Hammond to Nyabinghi drumming. Whereas my other grandfather used to be in a swing band; he showed me music like Tom Jones and Frank Sinatra. I’ve always been around a diversity of music and it made me appreciate all sounds. I may not play them everyday but the love is there.

What was the reaction like to those early releases like ‘Whipping In The Kitchen’ and your first performances?
People loved ‘Whipping In The Kitchen’. It was crazy because it made the dream of becoming a rapper real, you know? That feeling of your first official release. I had a few songs on soundcloud, one of them called ‘Get Up Out My Way’ was my first music video on Mike’s channel but they didn’t get as much attention. I remember walking through the Sixfields tenpin car park and hearing it playing from one of the cars, I immediately ran over like “YO THAT’S ME!”, all mad like I’d just won the lottery or something. Was nice to see that It wasn’t just my people listening.
Someone told me at the last Lay It Down event that it was the first time they had seen me perform since the first show we did, and the improvement was amazing. So proud to be part of Lay It Down because it’s given me so many opportunities to hone my performances skills.Nowadays you have to drag me off stage – I love performing and interacting with the crowd, there just nothing like it.

Tell us everything about this new EP, ’22’.
If I told you I had some elaborate plan whilst creating this I’d be lying. It started off as a selfie – there was a little 22 stamp on the corner, I thought it looked like an EP cover which gave me the ideas to start building up tracks. I tried to bring a bit of something for everyone. It takes you on a journey through different vibes so whether it’s a late night cruise, working up a sweat in the gym [or at home in these circumstances], or just doing the cleaning I’m sure there’s something for you. Six tracks, six producers, most notably Nathaniel London. He produced the beat for ‘Natsu Freestyle’ [my personal favourite] and is behind some of the biggest bangers from people like Lil’ Baby, AJ Tracey and D Block Europe. I’m yet to find a producer to work with properly, but for now YouTube is doing me just fine. Eventually I would like to produce my own stuff. Some of the verses you hear you may recognise from my Instagram, a lot of the songs I make start as freestyles, like ‘Give It Some Love’. I never intended to make it a track when I uploaded the first verse, but when Elle [Delaney] messaged me about the hook she came up with, it fit so perfectly it had to make it happen. The track ‘How I Do This’ was a crowd favourite at the Lay It Down events, originally written to the ‘Boom’ instrumental by Royce Da 5’9. I wanted to make sure I kept that old-school feel with the new beat and my guy Scott Whitman did an incredible job. He also mixed and mastered four of the tracks  and the other two being mixed by Eli [who is also featured on ‘Flexing’].

You’ve got some quality guests on the EP. Is that a reflection of a supportive Northampton musical community?
Definitely. Northampton is full of amazing talent, we are all here to support and lift each other up, we are all in the same boat, trying to make a name for ourselves and fly the flag for Northampton.

Describe your live shows in five words or less.
Great vibes, even better music.

What has been your favourite Napps moment of the past year?
There was so many it’s hard to choose. I performed at some great events, but I think has to be my birthday/EP listening party. What started off as a very cold evening turned into a hot night! I was amazed at how many people came out to support and the love and feedback I got was brilliant; big shout out to all my guys that came and performed as well, everyone smashed it.

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
I’m pretty sure the last album I bought physically was Chip’s I Am Chipmunk back in the day! Last album I streamed was J Hus Big Conspiracy.

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for after this craziness all blows over?
I just want to succeed and be able to look after my family. As for 2020, in these times of uncertainty all I can hope is that I stay happy, healthy and focused, I pray the same for everyone else as well, stay safe out there.

The ’22’ EP is out now via the usual digital platforms

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Album review: Jordan Mackampa

JORDAN MACKAMPA Foreigner [AWAL] The debut album from University Of Northampton graduate/former ShoeTown resident Jordan Mackampa is finally here. Having begun playing shows around teyn circa 2014 it is heartwarming…

JORDAN MACKAMPA
Foreigner
[AWAL]

The debut album from University Of Northampton graduate/former ShoeTown resident Jordan Mackampa is finally here. Having begun playing shows around teyn circa 2014 it is heartwarming to see him reach this current level of success. The album title is a nod to his geographical journey creating a certain Otherness in him: born in the Democratic Republic Of Congo, his family moved to London, and then onto Coventry. As an adult he then enrolled for music at the Northampton uni, before finally relocating to the music biz central hub of London. 

His soulful-pop songwriting, enlivened by that wide gospel vocal that is his trademark, has been evident throughout his musical career, from the early acoustic bedroom pop recordings right through to most recent single, the R&B stomp of ‘Magic’. That song begins the album in fine fettle. His mother’s love of the great soul singers like Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Curtis Mayfield is transparent here, and he effortlessly joins the historical soul throng with a crystal clear number that does not need to reinvent the wheel. His pure pleasure in the love thing carries his message front and centre.

‘Love at First Sight’ immediately drops the mood down a notch, his joy at having “found myself an angel” an evocation of the memory of the energy of those first forays in a relationship. It’s a nice song that has drawn admirable comparisons to Michael Kiwanuka, and that is no bad thing. ‘Tight’ has him an awestruck balladeer, a woven jazz-folk song that shows off his yearning lilt beautifully. Indeed this projection of yearning is perhaps his greatest gift: his emotional honesty is such that one can often feel like he’s actually singing in the room with you, rather than via some ones and zeros travelling through a cable.

Foreigner is full of catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics; none more so than on his questioning single ‘What Am I’. A state-of-the-world ’70s Motown-y number that expresses a certain helplessness. “I watched the news this morning/Another town has fallen/The people still are fightin’/Their stories told in pictures”. It’s an anti-war song, but with a message that truly resonates in this Isolation Nation times. Another single is ‘Parachutes’, where Mackampa gently sounds like a seeker of spiritual truth within human relationships. This one, atypcially, has him regretting getting involved, his usual ‘love is all’ message taking a bit of a knock.

After a interlude conversation with his mother about his childhood development, the second half of the album begins with the title track. It’s bare bones beginning is almost Nick Drake-esque, with some delicate finger-picked guitar and solemn string quartet parts. The “I learnt the language/But I felt disconnected” musings reflecting his former unease with his place in the world. ‘Care for Your Mother’ has a Bill Withers/Al Green laidback feel; ‘Eventide’ a more contemporary minor-chord malaise. ‘Under’ is a snappy dancefloor banger that may not seen his natural territory, but let’s not forget he has a oak-strong voice that pretty much works in any context! The album closes with ‘Warning Signs’ [not the King Purple track!], and it’s an dusty, noir-indie lament that recalls Richard Hawley. In other words, stunning.

This album is such a triumph, all held together through its peaks and troughs by that indefatigable voice of Jordan’s that draws you into his [mostly] insular world. Obviously lots of people will put it on to get laid, and you can’t give much of a higher compliment than that. 

Phil Moore

Foreigner is out now via the usual digital platforms, or score a nice vinyl version from here or elsewhere

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New Music Friday: FFSYTHO

The next breakout artist from Northants is undoubtedly FFSYTHO. Strong of flow and with personality to spare, her new songs like ‘You Next’ and ‘Mad’ are not easily forgotten. There…

The next breakout artist from Northants is undoubtedly FFSYTHO. Strong of flow and with personality to spare, her new songs like ‘You Next’ and ‘Mad’ are not easily forgotten. There was no way New Boots was going to ignore this phenomenon, so we went knocking on her door!

What can you tell us about the lady behind the moniker?
4ft 11 giant, big energy, loud mouth, crazy style!

How did you start on this path? Did one particular moment or person help create the spark?
I’ve always been about my music, but never really broadcasted it. The power of the internet changed that. I dropped a freestyle for fun on Twitter, and it kinda went viral. I was called up by Terror Danjah, and within 24 hours I was in RedBull studios recording my debut single ‘FFSWHYTHOUGH?’ Ha, it was only right I called it that!

How do you describe your sound?
A raw, direct, tongue-twisted potty mouth!

You started releasing things about 18 months ago. What was the reaction like to that eponymous single in 2018? Did it give you a big confidence boost?
The reaction was crazy, it really put me on the map! I was actually [and still am] shocked at all the different types of people digging my music! From older to the younger generation, it’s actually pretty mad; amazing support and opportunities that have come from it. I’m just loving every moment!

What can you tell us about these new two for 2020 – ‘You Next’ and ‘Mad’? The energy in ‘You Next’ is off the scale…
Ha, I’m currently working on visuals for ‘You Next’, so watch out for that it’s going to be a MOVIE! I wrote that in the hype at the start of the year with almost everyone on the grime scene clashing each other, so I just thought I’d set the levels before anyone tried to send for me, haha!

What a big moment for you, you recently went to do 1Extra on the BBC. How was that?
Exciting! Man I was so nervous. TBH I still can’t believe I did that, and all in one take! I was literally having a practice round and air Spyro was like, BOOM THATS THE ONE!! I have another freestyle coming up for another major music platform, so stay tuned for that also.

Best/worst thing about Northampton?
What can I say, it’s my hometown! Born and bred, I’ve got a lot of love from the people here too, which is amazing! BBC introducing shown love. Just really cool that people know I’m an artist and rate it!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Blimey. I actually listen to a lot of old-school R&B mainly. I just stream a whole bunch of stuff from screw facing at listening to grime, to relaxing and blasting therapeutic stuff!

A hard question in these lockdown times, but what are your burning desires to do in 2020? What plans do you have?
Perform! Headline! Festivals! More visuals. More freestyles ! MORE MORE FFSYTHO TO THE WORLLLLLDDDD!!

 

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New Music Friday: No Music

No Music is the name for the output of Joss Carter, Joel Harries, Joshua Ryan, and Josh Green. These four J-men are Northampton musicians from various projects – including 72%…

No Music is the name for the output of Joss Carter, Joel Harries, Joshua Ryan, and Josh Green. These four J-men are Northampton musicians from various projects – including 72% and Blood-Visions – who have created something of an NN supergroup. They have just released their second EP of no-prisoners noisecore: it is misnomerically entitled ‘Unholy Disappointment’. New Boots asked Joel and Joss to spill some beans.

This has got to be one of the most organic band formations ever. Mates on the NN scene wanting to hop into musical bed with others, is that right?
Joel: I suppose so! Me & Josh Ryan are long-time collaborators. I have done a few projects with Josh Green also. Everyone just seemed like the right fit for the group, and it clicked when we got together for our first full rehearsal.
Joss: Thereʼs been no bed-hopping, Mr. Green is a married man! But, no, Iʼve got no idea how the other guys decided on forming, but I came on board once most of the first EP was written and just got to shouting. Iʼd mentioned to Josh and Joel I wanted to get involved with something harsher after doing guest vocals on a song on the last 72% record, and they were game. Very glad they were!

How would you describe your sound? Was their much discussion on direction at the beginning, or was it more “lets go in a room and see what happens”?
Joel: When people ask for a genre I normally say “Noise Punk”. Itʼs fast, discordant & angry. I wrote a few bass lines ages ago, and they formed the basis of the first two songs we wrote. The main intention was for it to be ugly and aggressive. Initially me and Josh were singing, but then we decided to ask Joss after he joined 72% in
the studio for a day and nailed it. From there it has just come naturally, normally starting with bass parts and then growing from there.
Joss: Again, no idea what the discussions were at the beginning, but I do know that Josh refers to his guitar parts as skroingers.

What was the reaction like to the first EP, ‘Unearned Bliss’?
Joel: People seemed to enjoy it! We had a lot of positive responses. I think people were maybe a little surprised to hear music so quickly after we formed the band.
Joss: We had a good reaction from what I can gather, Blood-Visions members have given me positive feedback for it and, ultimately, everything I do is for the approval of Harry Brooks. Weʼve also had a really great response at shows, so hoping that continues in the future.

Tell us everything about this new one, ‘Unholy Disappointment’.
Joel: The writing process was pretty quick. We recorded the drums for it at The Lodge with Rufus from Blood Visions & Marc Cann. The rest was tracked at home, and Josh painted the front cover. The songs feel a bit darker and more
intense than the first EP to me.
Joss: Lyrically Iʼve tried to continue in the vein I started to go down on the last record. I start by envisaging the worst corporate job piece-of-shit, ask myself what that personʼs world-view can be boiled down to, and then summarise from there. The record itself is a little bigger and more varied. The first one was fast and fucking loud, this is even louder in parts but occasionally pulls back to be a more subdued kind of loud.

Your live shows are pretty formidable. What’s your secret?
Joel: Just get up there and play the songs correctly? Ha! Iʼm not sure really. Just good energy and a lot of noise.
Joss: Practice! Also, nerves. I only recently managed to play a No Music show without following it with nerve-induced vomiting. We also try to write as often as possible to keep what weʼre playing fresh and interesting.

What has been your favourite No Music moment of the past year?
Joel: We played a show at The Garibaldi on Christmas Eve and despite not pulling out any festive tunes people seemed really up for it.
Joss: I loved playing Christmas Eve at the Garibaldi. Ridiculously packed, ridiculously energetic fun. Other than that, though, Iʼve mostly enjoyed hanging out with these guys – theyʼre bloody lovely people.

What was the last album you all bought/streamed?
Joel: I have been listening to a lot of Yautja.
Joss: Sail Away by Randy Newman. Itʼs comfort food listening.

What are your burning desires for No Music to do? What plans do you have after this EP?
Joel: I would like to tour later in the year and get another record out. Maybe a full-length? We will see where we are at after the pandemic!
Joss: Iʼve got no idea. The worldʼs in a pretty dark place at the minute, so Iʼll just be happy when we are able to get back in to a room and play riffs again.

‘Unholy Disappointment’ is out now via the usual digital sites, plus on cassette via the below BandCamp link. Band photo by David Jackson

 

 

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New Music Friday: Cassini Circles

Northampton/London electronica trio Cassini Circles are slowly emerging into the light, dropping their latest ‘Halfway’ with a great video. New Boots caught up with the ladies for the back story….

Northampton/London electronica trio Cassini Circles are slowly emerging into the light, dropping their latest ‘Halfway’ with a great video. New Boots caught up with the ladies for the back story.

Who is in the band?
Shannon Kait, Jo Burns-Russell and Yoshe Watson. Yoshe and Jo are our producers, with both of them using ableton live with various control devices. Yoshe also plays keys and flute, and Jo has a TR8 drum machine we use for some songs. Shannon is the lead vocalist, with both Yoshe and Jo on backing vocals too.

How did you guys get together?
Jo originally joined a band Shannon was previously in called Fugues as a DJ/Producer about 3 years ago. Over time this evolved to being just the two of them working with some of the other elements form previous members in a more sample-led way, evolving as we went. With Yoshe joining the project we felt it was time to give us our own new identity, although there are still some Fugues songs in our sets, we’ve adapted them and made them our own,

What has changed as you move to a trio from the original duo of Fugues?
We’re developing a heavier sound, more dancey and adding more live instruments too. The sound the three of us create works really well. It has its own unique feeling too it, and having three of us sing in unison is quite powerful. Oh yeah and also more space focus, bringing in actual Nasa samples and getting nerdy with it. Our live set tracks the journey of the Cassini Satellite on its epic mission to Saturn. The space concept is something you’ll see in our artwork and videos too. We’d eventually like to have a light show element to our live shows to incorporate this more one day.

Tell us about this new single and accompanying video, ‘Halfway’.
‘Halfway’ was recorded around the time of the first Extinction Rebellion, and this was a big influence on Shannon’s lyrics and the video. I think the song combines both the more drifty ambient style of some of our earlier songs, but then builds up to some really heavy-hitting drums which are more in line with our newer work so it’s a nice representation of our musical journey. For the video we wanted to bring in some of the areas around ER and the climate crisis – it became quite abstract in the end but we were projecting natural disaster scenes from the client crisis on to us in a studio where we all did some movement and dance, and this was then transformed into a space journey, reflecting both the Cassini theme and the lyric “why don’t you meet me halfway to the moon”, which is about the lack of response to the crisis from government and business. Yesh, lots of levels! We worked with local producer Chris Lowe on the video, and it was a marriage of ideas from us all.

What are your live shows like?
We’re still pretty new to playing live, but we’ve really found our feet recently, adding in three-part singing sections and the flute which has helped bring it to life. It’s hard as an electronica act to find that balance of not just pressing buttons and engaging the audience. But there are lots of buttons and lights, kind of like a spaceship (see a theme here!)

What has been your favourite moment of the past year?
It’s hard to choose; probably between getting the most beautiful pep talk ever from the legend that is Barry Ashworth [Dub Pistols] at the Craufurd Arms….. or when we first started directly sampling Nasa sounds – that excitement of turning moons and weird sounds from the Cassini mission into drums and basslines – ultimate nerdiness!

What was the last album you bought/streamed?
Yoshe: Grimes Miss Anthropocine
Jo: The Cinematic Orchestra To Believe

What is your burning desire to do in the future? What plans do you have for the rest of 2020?
We’ve got another single dropping really soon, we’re just finalising the mastering and hopefully we’ll get a video for that sorted too. Other than that we just wanna play loads of festivals tbh. Maybe a gig in space, that would be very ‘on brand’ for us. Maybe when Grimes and Elon Musk inevitably colonise Mars we can play the opening night.

‘Halfway’ is out now. The group play The Black Prince in Northampton on March 21st.

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It’s A Shoe In: Northants gig guide Mar 11th – Mar 17th

RUFUS GOODLOVE + RAVENRUST Thursday March 12th The King Billy, Northampton Banbury-based Goodlove write rock songs full of passion and anthemic energy. Support are a female-fronted five-piece gothic/dark rock experience….

RUFUS GOODLOVE + RAVENRUST
Thursday March 12th
The King Billy, Northampton
Banbury-based Goodlove write rock songs full of passion and anthemic energy. Support are a female-fronted five-piece gothic/dark rock experience. From 9pm, free entry

BEDLAM BREAKOUT
Friday March 13th -Sunday March 15th
The Roadmender, Northampton
The annual psychobilly and garage-trash festival. Marcel Bontempi with Ira Lea and the Tenessee Hotshots, The Hicksville Bombers, StageFrite, Kings Of Hong Kong, and El Camino play Friday, plus dozens more over the weekend. Tickets from https://www.bedlambreakout.com

KING PURPLE + DEAF TRAP + TORUS
Friday March 13th
The Garibaldi Hotel, Northampton
Corby’s KP mix psychedelia and grunge, grounded by undertones of indie rock. DT play racuous alt-rock and Torus do similar. Doors 7.30pm, free entry

EASTFIELD + STEGOSAURUS SEX PARTY
Friday March 13th
The Lab, Northampton
“Same three-chord punk rock with a catchy tune and a smile”. Support from Coventry trash-punks. Doors 8pm, £5 entry

WHALE + HANNAH FAULKNER + MALCOLM & MADDY + OAKLEAS RISE + RAY BECK
Friday March 13th
The Witch & Sow, Guilsborough
A Ni Ni acoustic singer-songwriter session. From 8.30pm, free entry

STEVE PILGRIM + KEIRON FARROW
Saturday March 14th
The Playhouse Theatre, Northampton
Pilgrim is a highly acclaimed drummer and singer-songwriter. Well-known as a musician with Paul Weller, Steve has written and recorded four studio albums: the latest, entitled ‘Morning Skies’, with musical support from the ModFather himself, and double-bass legend Danny Thompson [Pentangle/John Martyn]. Support from Nene Delta bluesman; the illegitimate progeny of Howlin’ Wolf, Jack Rose, Lee Mavers & Charles Mingus. Doors 7pm,  £9.50 tickets

THE MEE KATS
Saturday March 14th
St James Working Mens Club, Northampton
Rockabilly/rock n roll trio hailing from Newcastle. Doors 7pm, £9 entry

THEE TELEPATHS + FAMILY OF NOISE + THE ABRAHAMS
Saturday March 14th
The Prince of Wales, Kettering
Local psych-fuzz men, with 2019s magnificent album The Velvet Night now behind them, focus on the future and celebrate their 100th show together. Corby instrumental trio and Kettering folk-rockers in support. Doors 7pm, free entry

SYTERIA + THE MISPELT + THE FILTH HOUNDS + CORNERS OF SANCTUARY
Sunday March 15th
The King Billy, Northampton
Yorkshire-based headliners feature Jax Chambers from Girlschool, touring the new album Reflection. Plus ShoeTown punks, Newcastle metallers, and new wave metallers openers who are on tour from the USA. Doors 4pm, £5 entry

ROWAN GODEL + GREGG CAVE
Sunday March 15th
Albion Brewery Bar, Northampton
Former Oysterband and Levellers collaborator, singer-songwriter Godel brings her own unique music along with some traditional songs – not to mention two of the finest musicians on the UK folk scene today in Benji Kirkpatrick and Tim Cotterell. Local singer in support. Doors 7.30pm, £12.50 tickets

 

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