Album Review | Muncie Girls – ‘Fixed Ideals’

Muncie Girls Fixed Ideals

Muncie Girls Trump Debut Album with Sophomore Record ‘Fixed Ideals’

Fixed Ideals is the second album from Exeter rockers Muncie Girls, following their debut LP, From Caplan to Belsize (2016). This band is a cross between The Primatives and Transvision Vamp, alongside an air of The Suncharms; basically encapsulating all things indie pop and indie rock, but with a quirky edge thanks to their often politically-fuelled and angry lyrics that cover a range of issues. The trio consist of Lande Hekt on bass, rhythm guitar, and vocals; Dean McMullen on lead guitar; and Luke Ellis on drums.

The album starts with the impending bass riff of opening track ‘Jeremy’, immediately evoking a 90s vibe which promises either a Green Day style bubble-gum punk anthem, or an indie pop track reminiscent of The Killers (more specifically the breakdown of ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’).

Once the drums kick in, lead singer Hekt’s sweet and distinct vocals quickly come into play, with her South Western twang creeping through to bring a refreshing sense of deadpan to lyrics such as “Im so angry/ I’m gonna get a tattoo, that says ‘Fuck Jeremy Clarkson, and fuck you too!’” The chorus of this track really grows on you; becoming surprisingly catchy; paired with some great guitar work which gradually gets heavier just as the vocals become more passionate, successfully emitting the band’s more punky vibes.

The second track ‘Picture of Health’ conveys a sort of rocky sound that I think can be best described as ‘shoegaze on steroids’. The lyrics refer to, in my eyes, the importance of looking after yourself and others. These heartfelt and important themes of friendship are also apparent in the later, punchy song ‘Laugh Again’ with “You’ve been so sad for so long/ I wanna see you laughing again my friend”.

Picture of Health’ effortlessly glides into ‘High’ which is a continuation of the shoegaze vibes but with a much lighter feel, reflecting the track’s title, with airy lyrics such as “I just want to feel real”, contrasted with the harsher, more political side “we’re playing a game, we know who to blame, they tell us again and again and again ‘it’s those pesky refugees and lazy claiming families’”.

‘Clinic’ again conveys these indie vibes, achieved via a deep bass and some nice punchy applications of guitar. This is contrasted alongside Hekt’s raw and real lyrics of frustration and helplessness, regarding her battle with mental health and the importance of the NHS. Some of the most emotional tones can be heard in the melancholic ‘Falling Down’ where stripped back vocals, bursting with emotion complement lazy rolling drums, and blunt, honest lyrics “I’m gonna stop smiling, when it doesn’t feel like the right thing”.  

‘Bubble Bath’ begins with plucky guitars, almost convincing you into thinking you’re listening to a U2 track, until of course Hekt’s vocals sweetly deliver “I feel like a child with shampoo in my eyes”. As the bubbles sound effect will make you check your surroundings for a rogue fish tank, the graceful yet personal and reflective lyrics such as “I remember saying that I’m gonna give up eating animals”, contrast nicely with the lighthearted, and child-like nostalgia of this track.  

The guitars of ‘Locked Up’ and ‘Fig Tree’ are reminiscent of Teenage Fanclub, while the killer riff of ‘In Between Bands’ make this stand out as a dramatic track on the album; with all tracks conveying a sense of angst throughout Hekt’s passionate yet syrupy vocals, which definitely allude to Sinead O’Connor in places.

Another stand out track is ‘Hangovers’ where Muncie Girls’ heavy style is swapped for soft guitars, and deeper vocals to create a folky little number. It’s a nice break from the full-on intensity of the album. It’s refreshing and different; and reflects the title as it tries to be softer, through airy pianos and soft melodies.

The album’s finale ‘Family of Four’ conveys the band’s political honesty, with lyrics concerning Hekt’s upbringing and being raised by a single mother “it’s all we can afford” and “thinking that the welfare state would support someone like me”. This track gradually fades out nicely, which is a nice, calm end to a smashing album.

Overall, this album is absolutely worth a listen (or several!). It’s one that positively grows on you, and will almost definitely become one of your favourites, as the infectious sugar-coated grunge tracks get stuck in your head and allow you to appreciate the wonder that is Muchie Girls.

P.S If you’re inspired enough, you may want to try and catch them on their upcoming world tour – kicking off in Manchester on the 26th!!!


By Megan Wood


Album Review | IDLES – ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’

Idles -Joy As An act of Resistance

IDLES prove they’re One of UK’s Finest with Second Album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance

Punk is well and truly kicking in Idles’ new release – Joy as an Act of Resistance. It is the second album by the Bristol band consisting of Joe Talbot, Adam Devonshire, Mark Bowen, Lee Kieran and Jon Beavis. For those of you unfamiliar with the band, I would compare them mostly to Slaves. Their half sung, half shouted style is most definitely infectious and really grabs you through their music.

Idles released their first album Brutalism in 2017 (FULL REVIEW HERE). The band did reportedly struggle to find their sound initially, Talbot claiming “It took us a long time to get productive because we didn’t know what the fuck we were doing at all, we were fucking terrible for a long time.” However, this time was obviously well spent, with Brutalism being very well received, and the sophomore album is in no way secondary to this.

The witty lyrics of sarcastic frontman, Joe, reference heavily, with some more obscure and unexpected than others. Rock is an obvious reference point in ‘Cry to me’. The track seems almost synonymous with the Rolling Stone’s track of the same name, but Idles successfully stamp their post-punk sound all over it.

Perhaps highlighting Idles laid back approach to music and care free attitude, the 80’s classic Dirty dancing appears on the album “I carried a watermelon/ I wanna be vulnerable in the shape of Love song”. It seems Idles have a particular penchant for the past, quoting 1960s Nancy Sinatra ‘These boots were made for walking’ In ‘Never fight a man with a perm’, almost with the delivery of One of these days- Operation Ivy, post punking a classic once again. Revival seems the name of the game here.

We can really see that, Idles have not lost their sense of humour in anyway in their second album. While delivered in true Idles fashion, some may call loud and angry, light-heartedness doesn’t go a miss with obvious reality TV references “You look like you’re from Love Island in Love song” and self-degradation in ‘I’m scum’.

But, Idles cannot be discredited for tackling a variety of subjects throughout the album. There’s so much truth in the album, the frontman in particular really sharing his reality through the music. ‘Colossus’, the album opener, bursts through the speakers with great fury and anger. Addressing Talbot’s alcohol addiction, the frontman almost spits the line “I waste away for fun” repeatedly .This track isn’t the first time he has spoken so candidly about his problem with drink, “I’m just a prick. I get paranoid, jealous, angry, violent”. This reality and truth is achieved by both the tempo and the intensity of the drums changing continually creating a certain chaos and anxiety.

Loud and angry aren’t the only characteristics to achieve truth in this album. ‘June’, the most poignant track on the album by far, is notably the slowest song on the album. This is really quite a difficult song to listen to, being Talbot’s platform for the grief surrounding the death of his daughter, Agatha, in June of 2017. Much like ‘Colossus’, the song really feels like a relief for Talbot, personalising the album incredibly although the frontman claimed he was unsure if this song would be released. The most haunting lines in the song are “Dreams can be so cruel sometimes/ I swear I kissed your crying eyes and A stillborn was born/ I am a father”. The tone of Talbot’s voice is extremely harrowing while the production is extremely simple, almost sitting on the lines of Nana- The 1975.

The album is also highly uplifting, achieving many a mode in a series of twelve tracks. ‘Television’ tackles self-love and reflection in the age of such ridiculous beauty standards and media pressure. This track encapsulates Joy as an act of resistance, calling for acceptance of uniqueness against continual calls for obedience, most notably in ‘Love yourself’, “The bastards make you not want to look like you and I smash mirrors and fuck TV”.

The song stands as a message of positivity and confidence while the media perpetuates nonsense for conformity and insecurity. Similar to this is the most poppy song on the album, ‘Danny Nedelko’, names after the Hungarian frontman of Heavy Lungs, perpetuating hope and positivity. The song circles around the issue of immigration expressed in “He’s made of bones/ He’s made of blood/ He’s made of flesh/ He’s made of love/ He’s made of you/ He’s made of me/ Unity!” This track is actually quite refreshing, although still delivered in Idles’ fashion, a social message is put forward rather eloquently. Although Talbot describes the song as ‘more of a humane portrait than a political song’, he also wanted the ‘two notions to be inseparable’. The song achieves such that, the song captures immigration as a human issue rather than a black and white issue as often shown in the media.

All in all, I would describe this new release as eclectic and truthful. Taking influences from a variety of sources, while addressing multiple facets, the album is an obvious journey through a life lived.

I already can’t wait for the next one!


Words by Robyn Hartley

Album Review | Her’s – ‘Invitation To Hers’

Hers - Invitation to

Liverpool Dream Pop Duo Her’s do Good on their Debut Album ‘Invitation To Hers

The charm of dream-pop duo Her’s is that you never quite know where you are with them, yet that dizzy displacement is what you came for. It’s 2018, and we have been given ‘An Invitation To…’: a succinct slice of wit as a title, heightening the supposition that here we have an album that is a confident debut; a statement of standing by their intent. Her’s take us by the hand into their kaleidoscopic world: jarring in its restlessness, captivating in its colour.

Her’s have been dogged, since their first collation ‘Songs of Her’s’, by parallels drawn between themselves and the hazy chimera of Mac DeMarco. Though they were once steeped in DeMarcian sensibilities, with swooping, twinkling guitarwork and drawling vocals as nonchalant as a backyard hammock, ‘An Invitation To…’ is a bold step away from that. Her’s have tapped into the springs of originality, bravery and identity. ‘Harvey’ opens with a sleepy Parisian instrumental that kicks into skittering drum beats and gleaming synth that feels like you’ve been dragged back into a kitsch 50’s gameshow. They tamper with vocoder-distorted vocals, at once kooky and almost nightmarish. Despite ‘Harvey’ being a frontal curveball, it’s an infectious track that is as silly as it is fun. In a genre that is meant to be light and free, yet weighed down by taking itself too seriously, Her’s have created something that feels authentic.

‘An Invitation To…’ is packed with melodic ambition. With instrumentals echoing the carefree jangles of 80s pop music in the likes of ‘Mannie’s Smile’ and ‘Low Beam’, their sound is sun-dappled, contrasted with slippery vocals; one moment baritone, the next minute soaring high, but always mocking. There is nothing smooth about Stephen Fitzpatrick’s voice. The minute you are settled with the sound, he distorts it at will.

‘Don’t Think It Over’, one of the more visceral, sensitive tracks on the album. Its throbbing basslines from Audun Laading and shrug-of-the-shoulders mumbles is at odds with the lyrics that tell a story of budding paranoia: “Still you sweat / Over what she could be doing / It’s a simple threat / Is it only the beginning?”.

The influences on ‘An Invitation To…’ are far more variegated than what you could imagine; Her’s show a refreshing irreverence for the confines that come with being a “dream-pop duo”. Wallowing vocals walk bravely into the post-punk territory in ‘She Needs Him’, optimism clashes with numb melancholia in a Joy Division vein. Laading’s inclination for powerful bass is best shown in ‘Under Wraps’, which exudes a Brooklyn-born coolness as if it came from the same streets as The Strokes, just breezing along, rather than running at a hundred miles an hour.

This is a knock-out debut album. It’s hard to not be enamoured with its ever-changing style and sound – but above all, its imaginative sense of humour. It sounds beautiful and strange without the ostentation of other artists in their milieu. How could you refuse an invitation to Her’s?

Words By Sophie Walker



Album Review | MASK – ‘The Famous’

Mask - The Famous.jpg

Belfast Band MASK deliver on their Debut Album ‘The Famous’

This is the debut album for Belfast band MASK, however it doesn’t seem like it is regarding how refined the songs are. After starting out in 2004, the band released ‘The Truth’ EP last year, and after a lot of hard work and a quick turn around, they have a debut album!

The opener ‘You Know I Know‘ took 50 seconds to give me a vocal. but don’t let that put you off.  The eager anticipation is rewarded, with the drums making a fierce entrance, and the booming vocals makes that initial delay worth the wait!

The first song pleasantly joins the next tune, ‘Celebrity’, with the same uplifting drums setting the pace. I particularly enjoyed this song, it’s lyrical controversy may cause some heated debates understandably, but it’s catchy country, what do you expect? And it sets you up perfectly when you reach the track ‘So They Say’, which is melodically tremendous, and also lyrically interesting.

You don’t have to play by the rules/ do what you want to do! “on to ‘Rabid Dawg’, which gave me hints of the Arctic Monkeys actually, I enjoyed it! And moving on I think There’s a pattern emerging within the lyrics, through this whole album. I feel like punk rock has went up a level, it’s a big middle finger in a spectacular fashion.

The song ‘Greatest Lie’ starts with an awesome acoustic riff, which reminded me of green day, good riddance, and vocally it was more controlled than the previous tracks, which I was excited about, it delivered more skill and range.

This album had me imagining a cowboy, back flipping off a horse, kicking open the saloon doors, giving everybody inside the death stare, demanding a whiskey neat and explaining to every one inside that what they’ve understood to be, is not to be. It’s cheese-free, witty and clever, and while deconstructing perspectives, it’s addictive rock music worth listening to.

Words by Captain Sound

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

What did you make of it?

Album Review | Bad Sounds – ‘Get Better’

Bad Sounds - Get Better Album Cover

Do Bad Sounds deliver on their Debut Album?

For some us the day we’ve been waiting for for almost two years has arrived, as indie fun-lovers Bad Sounds release their highly anticipated debut album and oh boy has it been worth waiting for.

If you’re unfamiliar with Bad Sounds then here’s a brief introduction: Get Better is part of the zany world of brothers Ewan and Callum Merrett, who along with Sam, Charlie, and Olivia make funky indie hip-hop inspired tunes with lyrics occasionally so strange you wonder if they’ve just played a game of Scrabble and read the board out. After the success of previous E.P releases PHRESSSH (which is currently tragically digital only) and Mixtape One, Get Better features some of the cream of the Bad Sounds crop, as well as some equally pleasing new tracks.

Album opener ‘Wages’ is a welcome into the tongue-in-cheek world of the Merrett brothers as lyricists. usually the hyper chant of “When you gonna pay my wages, my patience is paper thin?” can be heard at the end of one of Bad Sounds’ excellent gigs but here it provides a triumphant fanfare ready to drop you into what else the band have to offer. It flows straight into the familiar “Bang! Hit it Joe” catchphrase at the beginning of their breakout single ‘Avalanch” which has a fresh mix to it, sounding just as fantastic and singalong today as it did 2 years ago.

Breezy new track ‘How You Gonna Lose’ is the perfect summery indie-track that you absolutely must play in the sunshine, while previously released single Couldn’t Give It Away gifts us more of the real-life phrase inspired lyrics that the brothers are known for, but with an out-there and almost space-like theme. Previously unreleased (except on a difficult to get hold of Flying Vinyl exclusive) track ‘Banger ‘ is exactly as the title describes; a tune that it would be criminal not to play on repeat and that makes you want to dance and feel better. The latter part of the album sees more of the laid-back tones seen on their previous EPs, particularly via tracks ‘Another Man’ and ‘No Luck’, while the previously released singles ‘Evil Powers’ and ‘Honestly’ stand-out as excellent poppy tracks that make you want to move.

As with any great indie band, Bad Sounds stand above the crowd by experimenting with multiple different sound-styles and for an album whose title and theme is Get Better”you certainly feel better after playing this through.


Words by Oscar Rees

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

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