Album Review | Our Girl – ‘Stranger Today’

Our Girl - Stranger Today

Our Girl deliver with their Beautiful Debut Album ‘Stranger Today’

Since revealing their plans for the debut album, Our Girl has had me going through their musical catalogue trying to get ideas of what their first full length album would be like. Of course all the prepping and brushing up on their old material couldn’t prepare me for what I was going to hear on release day when Stranger Today hit my ears for the first time.

It was like a huge wave hitting me one after another throughout the album, as the band effortlessly throw you around from song to song. Take the opener ‘Our Girl’, soft and delicate verses with light angelic vocals until the thundering chorus where the guitars make the sounds of the world crumbling around you. ‘Being Around’ follows which is certainly a contender for song of the album, as you realise this album is special you hear vocalist Soph Nathan sing “I can feel it taking shape”,  as if she’s a mind reader.

I Really Like It’ (Single of the Weekwas released prior to this album, yet it felt fresh sitting around these new songs. No matter how long the song has been out for, it still is one of the most touching songs to be heard. From lyrics to musicality it’s wonderful to listen to and is a real highlight. All of these songs set up a strong start to the album, which was a sign of things to come.

Josephine’ has a really slow build to the break down where Nathan sings “Lets make up/ I’m Fed Up”. The eerie, screeching guitars are haunting at points, especially as it works its way down the neck of the guitar. The laid back style the vocals are delivered could be conceived as lack luster, but its that style which provide a perfect contrast to the chaos which the instruments provide behind this track.

The second half of the album is slightly slower in pace with songs like ‘Level’ and ‘Sub Rosa’ as the manic instruments take a step back and let the vocals do the work. These songs sound somewhat isolated at times, but perfectly placed on the record.

I Wish It Was Sunday’ is a highlight of the second half of the record. Lyrically it’s one of the best on here with the quick lines and subtle storytelling of a broken relationship: “Feeling sick of feeling fine / It’s not worth it all the time / It doesn’t break me but it shakes meI’ve been alone before/ Just for a minute / I’ll admit I like being yours” .

Our Girl have an ability to build you up and feel safe, then rip it right from under your feet when the guitars hit you out of nowhere. Their sound has a grungy undertone, as it grumbles at you with melody – which is a joy to listen to. This is best heard in the album closer ‘Boring’, as the instruments run complete riot and surely the band lost all control at this point.

This is seriously one of the best albums that I’ve heard so far this year, because I know I’m not finished with it, there’s things still to learn from the record. The album has that quality where you’ll find yourself going back to songs you perhaps ignored first time around, only to discover something intriguing about it. With four months of the year left, there’s a strong feeling which says this will be in the end of year top 10 list. Our Girl can be proud of this debut, and look forward to sharing it with everyone around the world. As much as I want more from the band, this album will most definitely keep me occupied until then.


Words By Alex Wise

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Album Review | Slaves – ‘Acts of Fear and Love’

Slaves Acts of Fear and Love

Slaves Deliver with their Third Album as their Originality Takes Over Again!

Every orifice of Slaves sweats the punk fever: wild eyes; knuckles white; words dripping in malice spat through clenched teeth, it’s an unmistakable diagnosis. The rapid release of their LPs Are You Satisfied? and Take Control firmly established their reputation as rabble rousers, with their vitriolic instrumentals and lyrics that – at the surface – scorned at the suburban status quo. The fundamental ingredients for the punk genre were there. These boxes ticked, Slaves were making punk palatable. Their catchiness, with earworm tracks that sounded nasty while still being something you wouldn’t be too ashamed to show your mother, had us blindly content that this was punk in its purest, sterling form. Slaves are not punk musicians – not punk, in that there is no provocation, nothing that can deeply disturb you to the point where every cell in your body wants to revolt against it, or revolt with it. They are pseudo-punk, warping the genre to their own ends. The spirit of punk felt absent. Their latest album ‘Acts of Fear and Love’ is the fulfilment of their statement of intent. Finally, it feels as if Slaves are not being angry for anger’s sake, but have produced a valid critique of the modern times. This time, they mean it.

The album opens with ‘The Lives They Wished They Had’, a tannoy-wielding mockery of the vapidity of today’s generation: “When you put your latest purchases on public display? / Is it praise you’re after? Or is it something more? / Like a desperate need for acceptance that you just can’t ignore?”. The guitarwork is sneering, culminating in a flare up of noise and fury, with Issac screaming “SLAVES! SLAVES!” over and over as the instrumental is in its death throes. This, you’ll think, this is what I came for.

Cut and Run’, the single that garnered the most interest before the release of the album, is sonically inferior. There is a very conscious stride away from their usual tantrum trope in this track, but it’s clear that their darts are missing the board. The sing-song bridges, cacophonous screeching and repetition of ‘Cut and Run’ is, quite frankly, exhausting to listen to. ‘Bugs’ is cut from the same cloth. “Another let-down generation”, Isaac complains; another let-down stock punk phrase.

For ‘Magnolia’, Slaves sharpen their knives for an attack on conformity: “Did you know, that 65% of UK homes contain at least one magnolia wall?” The magnolia wall is a metaphor for the nightmarish, bourgeois status quo. They force the image down your throat until the sight of a magnolia wall is enough to make you wretch. Their aptitude for taking something mundane and distorting it into a horror is one of the greatest merits of Acts of Fear and Love.

Midway through the album is perhaps the most disconcerting track on it, ‘Daddy’ – but not for the reason you might expect. It’s the furthest thing from the typical stream of bile jetting out of the depths of their guts. It’s quiet; more than that, it’s deeply sad, causing you to jolt not from wrath, but from how utterly off-guard it catches you because it is so unlike anything you’d come to expect from Slaves. The guitar is still recognisable as the one you heard only a few tracks before, the medium for thrashing, youthful rebellion, yet here it is, tamed. It’s as if someone sat them down, and asked “Why are you so angry? Where did this come from?”. It’s a deep breath out; it’s a sigh of relief. A short lamentation of a father through the eyes of a child: “Wasted again on these late nights with strange men / Spending like it’s nothing ‘cause he don’t know how to make friends / But he’s trying so hard”.

Photo Opportunity’ is similarly out-of-kilter for their conventional repertoire. An acoustic guitar, playing an uncomfortable vaudevillian rhythm accompanies Isaac, bashfully stepping forward, asking quietly, “Hello, what are you trying to do to me?” It’s the obligatory attack on the media vultures that encircle the famous; every artist, beyond a certain point, feels the need to retaliate against them. Like a macabre carousel, round and round you go, until the chorus hits like a torrential downpour, the speed throws you from your horse, and Slaves, the ringmaster of this circus, is screaming bloody murder in your face.

Just when you think you’ve got Slaves pinned down, in Acts of Fear and Love, they’ve stripped themselves of their platitudes and run brazenly in the opposite direction. A bitter pill to swallow, perhaps, for fans who worship their previously anthemic, but conceptually stunted work; what Acts of Fear and Love lacks in catchiness, it compensates with original design. The final track of the same name profits from Slaves’ innate menace, with spoken-word verses charged with a stealth that is effective two-fold without the need for noise. This record is demonstrative of the fact that Slaves are more than one-trick ponies. They show glorious inconsistency, with almost every track illuminating a new side to the duo that is jarring in just the right way. ‘All talk, no trousers; all bark, no bite’: a perception Slaves have more than seen off – but until their versatility on Acts of Fear and Love melds with the snap of their previous albums, Slaves are far from done.

Words by Sophie Walker

20 EP’s In 2018 That You NEED To Listen to (So Far)…

Before I start this list I want you to know that these are in no particular order, each of these EP’s are great listens and this is simply to showcase which ones I feel have really stood out. It was incredibly hard making this list as I have listened to a lot EP’s this first half of the year, so there are ones that have unfortunately been left out! So, without further ado.

Sea Girls – ‘Adored’

Sea Girls - AdoredSea Girls have been on my radar for quite some time, and I thoroughly enjoyed their ‘Call Me Out’’ EP which they released last year. However, ‘Adored’ really was a 3 hit banger, as each song has so much about it. Their big sound could easily fill out big venues, just listen to the hook on ‘Eat Me Whole’ and you can easily hear what they’ve got to offer. Along with this, their live performances have been highly praised which only adds to the bands aura.



Listen to the EPSea Girls – ‘Adored’

Youth Man – ‘Five Songs

Youth Man - Five SongsSince announcing their return to music, two-piece Birmingham band Youth Man have been highly anticipated. Their song style draw similarities from Drenge, another two piece band which carry a lot of angst and pace in their songs. Five Songs definitely is a flag in the ground to say that the band are back and hungrier than ever. The aggression that features on the EP makes the songs so intense, and ‘Constantly’ showcases this perfectly. Welcome back Youth Man.


Listen to the EPYouth Man – ‘Five Songs


Spinn EPComing across SPINN this Year has been a delight, as their floaty rhythms and hooks have helped me along many of my car journeys. Their EP featured four great songs which really put them in the front of people. Most notably ‘After Dark’ which is arguably the band’s best song to date as you feel like you’re diving into the unknown when the songs first hits you. The bands also catered to the lighter side with happier songs like’ She Takes Her Time’  which really is an indie disco anthem at heart. Full Review.


Listen to the EPSPINN – ‘SPINN EP’

Adam French – ‘You From The Rest’

Adam French - You From the Rest EPUpon first hearing Adam French I was astonished that I never had the joy of listening to his music before, simply because of how good it was, it felt like he should’ve been getting regular plays on radio 1 already. This EP is a rich masterclass in songwriting, as he delivers 4 of the best tracks to feature on a single EP. His acoustic tendencies are enhanced with great instrumentals. Normally this is because of the lack in vocals, but that’s not the case with Adam as his warm voice puts a firm trademark on his songs.

Listen to the EPAdam French – ‘You From The Rest’

Gender Roles – ‘Lazer Rush’

Gender Roles - Lazer Rush EPSince listening to this EP Gender Roles have become one of my favourite bands whom I haven’t had the chance to see live yet. Their brash punk roots and insane guitars show tints of The Cribs, which is why I initially gravitated towards them. Yet the band have their own style with tracks like ‘About Her’ and ‘Gills’ are fast and fun tracks with wall sticking chorus’, which I’ve come to learn is their forte. Cannot speak more highly of this EP, listen to it. Full Review.


Listen to the EP  – Gender Roles – ‘Lazer Rush’

Rascalton – ‘C S C’

Rascalton - CSCSticking with the theme of punky sounds I will slide on over to Glasgow punk band Rascalton who released a gem of an EP earlier this year. The frantic pace at which they move through this EP is invigorating, and gives you an uncontrollable buzz. ‘Told You So’ throws you into what Rascalton are all about, angsty vocals and mad riffs. It’s refreshing to hear 4 songs which finish under the 3 minute mark, because you never feel like it’s going on to long, and are always left wanting more.


Listen to the EPRascalton – ‘C S C’

Peach Club – ‘Cherry Baby EP’

Peach ClubThis was the first EP that I had the pleasure of listening to this Year, and I still find myself coming back to it wanting to hear more. Peach Club really do the the Riottt Grrrl Sound justice as it is all over this EP, and the vocal performance across all five songs are incredible. They were even more incredible live. ‘Cherry Baby’ is the epitome of what Peach Club are all about, the story telling, the in-your-face guitars and impeccable vocals. Full Review and Live Review



Listen to the EPPeach Club – ‘Cherry Baby EP’

Bryony Williams – ‘Conscious’

Bryony Williams - Concious EPThis EP caught me by surprise as I saw it being shared around twitter by my followers, and how glad I am to have found it. Bryony Williams creates her own world on this EP with it’s complete full sound and the far out vocals. It’s clear that her influences bleed into her music with Kim Gordon and PJ Harvey being her shining light of examples, but Bryony takes this on without turning into a cheap rip-off. With the beautiful sound of ‘Conscious’ really is Bryony’s best work to date, with her having so much more to offer.


Listen to the EP Bryony Williams – ‘Conscious

No Hot Ashes – ‘Skint Kids Disco’

No Hot Ashes Skint Kids Disco EPI’ve known No Hot Ashes for quite some time now which is a testament to the bands quality, as they’ve always produced a high standard of  songs. This came to light when the band released their 3 track EP Skint Kids Disco which premiered everything that is good about No Hot Ashes. Their attitude comes through in every song, especially in the EP’s title track. What is most unique about the Stockport outfit is the vocals as Isaac Taylor delivers some rough vocals which brand their songs with the bands mark. Looking forward to seeing the band live later this year. Full Review and Interview.

Listen to the EPNo Hot Ashes – ‘Skint Kids Disco’

I Feel Fine – ‘Long Distance Celebration’

I Feel Fine - Long Distance Celebration EP.jpgI first came across I Feel Fine when I heard ‘Everyday Safari’ which I completely fell into because of their quality punk rock sound, which had something about it. Their shout down the door approach to songs work so well, and they knew that going into this EP. Each song shares that noise punk-rock combined with the shouting vocals. ‘Lifer’ really is the stand out on the 5 song track list, as it has a great building intro and breakdown. Also the band is from Brighton, which seems to be a breeding ground for great music at the moment – along with everywhere else.


Listen to the EPI Feel Fine – ‘Long Distance Celebration’

The Modern Strangers – ‘Meltdown Mechanics’

The Modern Strangers - Meltdown MechanicsI was always taught to reference my sources so I have to give a shout out to Robbie Warren for letting The Modern Strangers come into my musical life. Meltdown Mechanics is a talented piece of work which is reminiscent to some of the material the band HURTS put out some years ago. The slick looking band delivered a suave debut EP which featured some great synthesizers and vocal performances. ‘One Of My Mistakes’ has all the qualities of a summer tune, which is a contrast to the bands darker songs like ‘She’s So Cold’.

Listen to the EPThe Modern Strangers – ‘Meltdown Mechanics’

Remo Drive – ‘Pop Music’

Remo Drive - Pop Music EPAfter becoming a keen fan when they released their debut album ‘Greatest Hits’ last year, I was interested to see what Remo Drive had to offer with this EP. Pop Music is a 3 song hit-and-run which still elements of their pop punk flavour which they delved into on their debut. It was refreshing to hear Remo Drive release something like this, as it done the band a favour and kept them at the forefront of their fans minds. ‘Heartstrings’ really stands out on this one as a favourite and is deserved to be on this list.


Listen to the EPRemo Drive – ‘Pop Music’


Pale Waves - All The Things I never Said EPAt the end of last year I said that it’s a really big year in 2018 for Pale Waves as they have a lot to prove to the World, as it seems they’ve been pushed some influential people in music. This EP ofr me was their first hurdle, and they leapt over it with ease as they back it up with the songs. It’s completely doused in productions with an extra coating of sugar, but the songs hold up. ‘The Tide’ is easily a floor filler and will resonate with a lot of young people, as well as ‘New Years Eve’. You can’t argue with good pop music. Full Review.

Listen to the EPPale Waves – ‘ALL THE THINGS I NEVER SAID’

Fangclub – ‘True Love’

FangClub - True Love EPAfter their impressive debut album last Year I was hoping Fangclub wouldn’t rest, but instead continue their momentum by releasing more music Luckily they released True Love which has been another shot to the arm for the band as their grunge sound is perfect when it’s packed into 5 songs. ‘Knife’ is a solid opening track, and when you have punchy rock songs like ‘Smother’ and ‘High’ to follow it’s a winner. All of these songs could’ve feature on the album they’re that good – which shows they’re not resting on the laurels.

Listen to the EPFangclub – ‘True Love’

Michael Cera Palin – ‘I Don’t Know How to Explain It’

Michael Cera Palin - I dont know how to explain it EP.jpgWhen I type that this was stumbled upon, it was genuinely stumbled upon. It was a night where I was just listening to all sorts of music just trying to find something new to cling to and there I found Michael Cera Palin. Released back in February the band unleashed five bursting tracks full of life that would engrain themselves in my brain. The standout track is ‘Portrait of a Man on a Couch with Cats’, not only because of it’s great name but because of it’s pop punk tendencies and heavy guitars – and the whole EP is like this.


Listen to the EPMichael Cera Palin – ‘I Don’t Know How to Explain It’

Cassia – ‘Movers and Shapers’

Cassia Movers and ShapersAt the start of the Year Cassia released ‘Come & Talk’ which won Single of the Week here at WFM – Read here. Since then the band have been breaking down doors at their live shows while continuing to release great music. Their EP release came at a great time, much like Fangclub they’ve built on their momentum. The tropical and upbeat sound which Cassia have adopted is all over the EP, from the moment ‘Sink’ hits you’re dropped on a mythical island to enjoy yourself.


Listen to the EPCassia – ‘Movers and Shapers’

Fuzzy Sun – ‘Want Love’

Fuzzy Sun - Want Love EP.jpgInitially it was the EP’s title track which gravitated me towards Fuzzy Sun, however it was the EP which made me become a fan of the band. Their elecrto-emotions on the title song is so good that it was whirling around my head for months “So tell me you want love!”. The EP very much builds a room of sadness for the band filled with desperation and a yearning for love and it’s a unique electronic universe.



Listen to the EPFuzzy Sun – ‘Want Love’

Sick Joy – ‘Amateurs’

Sick Joy Amateurs.png

Sick Joy delivered a very thick and heavy debut EP, which completely does the band justice. For a band with only two members that make some amazing noise, ‘Smiling Shame’ has a manic switch from singing to shouting and it’s a joy to listen to. The band show some real promise with this EP, and you can see the songs being big winners at a live show because they have a rawness about them.



Listen to the EPSick Joy – ‘Amateurs’

Sports Team – ‘Winter Nets’

Sports Team - Winter Nets EPWinter Nets’ is a very different to other EP’s on this list because of how unique the vocals are, as the lead singer delivers them in such a different style. The musicality on the EP is also interesting to listen to as it has some cool breakdowns as the guitars are just punchy and so poignant. Sports Team do everything they can to separate themselves from the pack, and they do in spectacular fashion, also with the recent release of ‘Kutcher’ you can be sure that you will hear off them before the end of the Year.


Listen to the EP –  Sports Team – ‘Winter Nets’

Glass Caves – ‘I Do’

GLass Caves - I Do EPGlass Caves have a very classy sound, from their vocals to their smart guitars they’re sound very tight and clean cut. The polished sounds come off very well in the EP, from the start with ‘I Do’ you already get the feel for what you’re in for. On this list they are one of the most oldest acts having released an album back in 2014, but this EP definitely feels like a fresh coat of paint for the band. The final track ‘Swim’ has to be the highlight with the angelic reverb and slow build it has a magnificent ending which is fitting for the EP.


Listen to the EPGlass Caves – ‘I Do’

That’s the end of the list I encourage you to take the time out and listen to all the EP’s listed as they are well worth your time. As I already expressed, unfortunately I couldn’t put more on the list but I wanted to stick to 20 so it didn’t become overcrowded! It’s only half way through the year so there’s another big 6 months ahead for more music to be released, really enjoyed making this list so I will be doing one again at the end of the year as I know there will be even more mind-blowing EP’s to be released!

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

Would love to know your thoughts on the choices, so please leave your comments below!

June 2018 | Top 5 Albums of the Month

Matt Maltese and Boy Azooga burst into the Top 5 for the Month of June!

5) Boy Azooga – ‘1, 2 Kung Fu’

Boy Azooga 1 2 Kung FuThis is another debut album to make the top 5 and it comes from Cardiff band Boy Azooga, who have been gaining some heavy recognition from this release. As soon as the album opens up with ‘Breakfast Epiphany’ you’re thrown into the Azooga universe and you find it very hard to leave. The stoner/Tame Impala sounds that the album inhibits brings a fresh type sound to the indie scene that they’ve been lumped into, but they are very much a stand out act in that category.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Breakfast Epiphany’ , ‘Taxi In Your Head’ and ‘Hangover Square’

4) Florence and the Machine – ‘High As Hope

Florence and the Machine High as HopeFlorence has an innate ability of churning out consistently good albums, and this one doesn’t break the streak as it’s another gem. Her albums always have serious depth to them lyrically and melodically, just hearing ‘South London Forever’ can send shivers down your spine. Instrumentally Florence stays well within her wheelhouse as she once again opts for the floaty and atmospheric tones which blend so well with her vocal style. Thoroughly enjoyed this album, and can see a lot of Florence fans falling head over heels for it. Of course it doesn’t hit the heights of her earlier work in ‘Lungs’ but it definitely hold its own.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘South London Forever’ , ‘Grace’ and ‘Sky Full of Song’

3) Ben Howard – ‘Noonday Dream

Ben Howard - Noonday Dream 1Since Ben landed onto the music scene he’s drawn attention from people who listen to all types of music, really opening the door for everyone to enjoy his music, especially with his debut ‘Every Kingdom’. However since then he’s stepped further and further away from his debut, and really created some new and inventive material. ‘Noonday Daydream’ is the album which showcases this best as Ben immerses himself in the weird and wonderful, crafting some beautiful lengthy tracks which proves Howard’s genius. Read Full review here.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Nica Libres At Dusk’ , ‘The Defeat’ and ‘There’s Your Man’

2) Matt Maltese – ‘Bad Contestant’

Matt Maltese.jpgThis is the debut for Matt Maltese however you wouldn’t have guessed it from listening to this album as he sounds like a seasoned veteran. The lyrical depth in this album is something to behold, as each songs paints a wondrous picture direct from Matt’s mind. His sarcastic and quirky lyrics provide the brightest moments on the album, which play off so well to the sound of his piano-’Nightclub Love’ being the perfect example. Although this is only the beginning of Matt’s career it seems that he’s already has a firm grasp on songwriting, which means we’re in for something special moving forward.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Greatest Comedian’ , ‘Nightclub Love’ and ‘Mortals’

1) Father John Misty – ‘God’s Favourite Customer

FMJ - Gods Favourite CustomerAfter a short year since he dropped ‘Pure Comedy’, FJM delivered his follow up album ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ at the start of the Month. The album was a short and snappy ride with plenty of highlights as he reflects on his life while delivering some of his most cutting edge lyrics. This was a complete contrast to his lengthy last album, but it was a welcome change. This album lit up the start of Month and there’s a strong chance it will be in the memory come the end of the year. Read full review here.

Top 3 Tracks : ‘Please Don’t Die’, ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ and ‘Mr.Tillman’

Album Review | Ben Howard – ‘Noonday Dream’

Ben Howard - Noonday Dream 1

Ben Howard once again evolves his music on ‘Noonday Dream’

Ben Howard is back with his third album Noonday Dream.  I’ve crowned him the king of mournful optimism.  Not something I would pick up from my local record store, I was generally whelmed at being given the task to review his latest album.  Scarred by my many years on the local live music scene, I’ve had my fill of blokes playing acoustic guitars whilst straining something, something, broken heart, something, something, too late…down the mic.  So, perhaps because my expectations of this album were lowered, it has ended up far exceeding my expectations. Dear lord, this is my favourite album of the year so far. Noonday Dream is beautifully crafted, multi-layered, interesting, thoughtful, melodic, catchy yet brooding, accessible, yet unpretentious.  

Opening track ‘Nica Libres at Dusk’ sounds remarkably influenced by Radiohead’s A Moon Shaped Pool.  Not to say that it’s purely derivative.  A compliment in fact. This is one of the stand out tracks of the album, starting with bare percussions, dancing with monotonous, syncopated lyrics.  Howard has a real knack for writing the most beautiful and complimentary choruses. They’re a real stab of warmth and comfort nestled between quite adventurous verses.  By the time the track has built up its layers of instruments it gives me that sunny Morcheeba vibe. Connan Mockasin, he ain’t but you do get more than you expect for with this male solo-artist with a guitar.  The corresponding music video encapsulates the sound perfectly: dusty, arid, hot. Steel brushes on the drums swirl like the wind whipping up some tumbleweed.

‘Towing The Line’ has a river cruise vibe, reminds me of The Doozer.  Abstract lyrics, a deceptively simple track. ‘A Boat To An Island On The Wall’ is the first single to be released from this album.  It carries with the water theme. Moaning synths ebb and flow from ear to ear behind quiet sounds.  Out of the noise, comes chugging the verse like a river boat approaching. Close your eyes and you could be the Lady of Shalott floating through marshes.  Vocals pitch around like a lighthouse lamp revolving over a hazy sea.

‘What The Moon Does’ sounds like Nick Drake has been resurrected.  The guitar provides the percussion. Echoing from a wall under Howard’s voice.  By the end, it sounds like a dream you’d have whilst asleep in a car. It’s an ethereal and acceptably bizarre experience.  ‘Someone In The Doorway’ has that ambient rock vibe, a scantily clad verse contrasts against one of those lovely choruses he’s so good at.  It’s like jumping into a bed of feathers, feels good.

‘Defeat’ is another track which I absolutely adore on this album.  I promise, it’s going to be your latest earworm. It’s a perfect marriage of that ambient, rock, folk sound he has come to make his own.  It encapsulated the whole album in one. It’s simultaneously discordant yet satisfying. It’s probably down to the alternative tunings he uses and being a left-handed guitarist.  He’s a mirror image of the conventional dude-with-guitar, but the flip has somehow made him the right way up. It all sounds like it shouldn’t work, but it does.  Forget your traditional chord structures, this is a lesson in how to be the other.


Words by Jasmine Robinson @halopygian

Album Review | Father John Misty – ‘God’s Favourite Customer’

FMJ - Gods Favourite Customer

FJM follows up on Pure Comedy with one of his best albums yet

After Father John Misty’s wondrous release of Pure Comedy last year I became a devoted fan of the solo act. His cynical twist on the World being backed by some glamorous instrumentals the album had everything, since then he has fast become one of the most talked about people in music.

Just a little over a year later and Josh Tillman has already released a follow up album to that masterpiece, and with the critical acclaim he got for Pure Comedy the expectations were pretty high for this one. On the road to releasing the album he dropped 3 very different track, the slow and calculated ‘Just Dumb Enough to Try’, the anecdotal, hook gifted ‘Mr.Tillman’ and the piano driven ‘Disappointed Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All’. One thing was for certain after these releases – it was going to be different.

God’s Favourite Customer is exactly that, with it clocking in under 40 minutes, it’s a lot less of a task to get through as each tack just breezes by giving the album a great flow.

Compared to Pure Comedy this album is more stripped down with the guitar and piano having a much bigger part to play throughout. This can be heard straight from the off with ‘Hangout at the Gallows’. With it’s Beatles-Vibe it starts the album off strong, and with a lyric like “I’m treading water as I’m bleeding to Death’ it’s a joy to sing along to.

The album plays through with ‘Mr.Tillman’ and  ‘Date Night’ which continues its overall consistent quality. ‘Please Don’t Die’ is a typical FJM track with it’s beautiful morbidity he preys for his love not to die as she is all he has, which is a unique way of looking at love.

Throughout it Tillman is draws on himself as inspiration for the songs, making it one of his most introspective album so far with tracks like ‘The Songwriter’ and ‘The Palace’ both providing a deeper look into what it’s like being Father John Misty.

‘Disappointed Diamonds are the Rarest of Them All’ is really a shining light on the album, it’s bright vocals in the chorus are pleasure to listen to, leaving you desiring more. The slow pondering in ‘God’s Favourite Customer’ is the longest track on the album and it feels it after breezing through the most part of it, however it sits well on the album regardless of it not being a highlight of the tracklist.  

The vocal performance on the album is probably one of the best he’s recorded, with him hitting some great notes taking the track to another level. Also the line “I’m In Over My Head’ that’s delivered on ‘The Palace’ is hauntingly alluring.

This is a step away from what Tillman has done so far with this being his darkest piece of work yet, however the quality of his material hasn’t suffered as his wit and way round a tune is still as sharp as ever. Personally I don’t see it as being as influential as Pure Comedy as that left a real mark, however it’s definitely a close second. With another great release this only strengthens FJM’s position as a songwriter in everyone’s mind, even though he can be dreary, he does it with a crooning swagger and this album is a perfect representation of this.


Words by Alex Wise @AJWise


Album Review | Colour Me Wednesday – ‘Counting Pennies In The Afterlife’

Colour Me Wednesday Counting Pennies in the Afterlife

Colour Me Wednesday Impress with their Third Album Release


After being a band for over ten years (Since 2007) the band have released their third album, and it’s safe to say the band are still sticking to their honest indie/Punk roots. Since releasing their debut album I Thought it Was Morning in 2013, the band have gained themselves a strong following, it’s easy to see why when you listen to this latest album.

From the opening track ‘Sunriser’ you enter into a Worlds full of upbeat guitars and lyrics that everyone can related to with lines like “I Don’t wanna tempt fate but I’m surviving”, The tight guitars and drum beats that occur in this track are a staple of the entire album as each song has this manner of precise execution.

The album sways from pace to pace, and it’s encouraging to hear the band slow down in ‘Exposure’ where the acoustic guitar comes to the forefront and tangos with the vocals so well. It’s innocent sound is great, and the twinkle at the end of the track is a sweet touch.

Upbeat punchy tracks stick out throughout the tracklisting with ‘Heathers Left for Dead’ and  ‘Tinfoil’ are perfect examples, and have the quintessential of great indie songs. Even in ‘Entrepreneur’ has these sugar coated qualities that serve well in the hot summer sun.

Another feature which really lies in the bands favour is the exquisite harmonies which they nail every single time, complementing one anothers voices perfectly while telling tell-tale stories. A perfect example of this is the track ‘Disown’, showcasing all of their talents off perfectly.

Not My Turf’ is worthy of closing the album out as it clocks in just under 6 minutes, as the band present to you the longest track on the album. The slow build gets it’s glorious pay off at the end with guitars playing us out into distortion. At the end of the track we’re treated to hearing a child sing a song without a care in the World, which is a perfect way to end the album.

A great release from the band which they can be happy with, a solid indie album with a lot of tracks that will be a cornerstone to peoples Summers. If you’re in the mood to listen to some guilt free indie pop that will cheer you up look no further than this album.

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

EP Review | The Calamity – ‘The Calamity EP’

Wolverhampton Band The Calamity Release Debut EP

After releasing ‘I Fell Asleep‘ earlier this year, the band have been teasing their EP, and here it is.’ I Fell Asleep’ opens the it up, and with a slow and subtle pace it’s sets a laid back feel for the EP filled with insightful lyrics and thoughtful guitars.

Lifestyle Express‘ brings some vibrant light to the collection, with the funky bass and punchy guitars giving off some vibrant 00’s indie tones. At times you hear subtle remnants of The Libertines, especially with the way the lyrics are delivered.

The pace is taken back down slightly with EP favourite ‘Pagens‘ as it comes across as a sing along, especially with the distorted piano and guitar in the background. The storytelling in the song is a feature, making it really stand out.

The EP ends with ‘Rag and Bone‘ which sticks to that more methodical slow pace which The Calamity favour, giving the vocals more room making them prominent. The use of some brass in the instrumentals is a sweet touch, to a beautiful song.

This is a solid first release for the Midlands Band, one where they fully cement their sound and deliver some great songs. Of course there’s some growing left to do as a band, but this is a great way to start off your music portfolio.

EP Launch Show – 2nd June – Asylum Art Gallery, Wolverhampton

Words by Alex Wise @AJWise

Album Review | Courtney Barnett – ‘Tell Me How You Really Feel’

Courtney Barnett - Tell Me How You Really Feel

18th May saw the release of Courtney Barnett’s second solo album Tell Me How You Really Feel, and after the triumph of her debut there were a lot people looking out for her sophomore album. She released some great songs on the lead up to this album including ‘Nameless, Faceless’ and ‘City Looks Pretty’, both of which heightened the anticipation for the release.

The album delivers on all fronts, from it’s more shadowed songs like ‘Help Your Self’ and ‘Walking on Eggshells’ , to the more aggressive and upfront tracks such as ‘I’m Not Your Mother, I’m Not Your Bitch’. Barnett walks both of these lines incredibly well, as both ends of the spectrum have emotion attached to it.

The flow of the album is a key feature as you’re never left bored at any point, as Barnett does a great job of taking you through ups and downs, which helps you stay hooked and interested.

The lyrical content throughout the album is fine piece of work with lines like, “You got a lot on your mind/ You know that half the time/It’s only half as true/Don’t let it swallow you, and “Shave your head to see how it feels/Emotionally it’s not that different/But to the hand it’s beautiful.” However it’s guitars which really grabbed me, whether it’s the ripping solo in ‘Nameless, Faceless’ or the slow drone which lingers throughout ‘Sunday Roast’.

This is a great addition to Barnett’s ever growing music portfolio, as she has yet to release something below par. This album could easily be spoken about in the next 20 years as one of the indie favourites, along with her debut album. It was great to hear that she didn’t step out of her wheelhouse because it’s quite clear there’s so much more she can do in there, and hopefully she will be doing that for many years to come.


Words by Alex Wise @AJWise


Album Review | Parquet Courts – ‘Wide Awake’

Parquet Courts- Wide Awake!

Parquet Courts provide further evidence that they’re still one of the most exciting bands today with ‘Wide Awake


Since their sophomore album Light Up Gold, Parquet Courts have always been a band to keep note of, due to their erratic punk/indie music style which is exclusive to them. Over the years they’ve developed and established their sound to the point where it’s obvious when a Parquet Courts song has just hit the speakers.

This is the bands’ sixth studio album since releasing their debut American Specialties back in 2011. Since then they have grown and refined their sound while keeping their core musical features at the heart of everything they do.

Wide Awake is glowing evidence that the band have managed to keep their sound relatively the same, while also making it incredibly interesting and poignant as ever. Straight from the off with ‘Total Football’ you’re thrown into the mix with a very pointy riff which is inherently catchy and only develops as  the tempo swiftly speeds up.

The punches don’t stop there as the album moves through ‘Violence’, ‘Mardi Gras Beads’ and ‘Almost Had to Start a Fight/ In and Out of Patience’, with all of them providing tightly woven guitars and drum beats. Amongst all of this you have the unique vocals of Savage which is a pillar of any PC song. The way he delivers the lyrics in that rushed and provoked manor you’re immediately hyped up and ready to take on the World.

Highlights of the album have to be ‘Freebird II’ which is perfect slow song performed in their style. As well as this you have ‘Normaliziation’ which is complete chaos as the timing and precision across all instruments is impeccable which makes for a great listen.

This is one of the best records PC have delivered,sitting right up there with Light Up Gold. Also it’s further proof that a band can keep their sound/song style and continue to make it interesting as long as you’re creative with it and refuse to let it go stale.


Words by Alex Wise @AJWise