up and coming

Up and Coming – Carmody, ‘The Ways of Your Love’

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With the current rise of artists such as Loyle Carner and Tom Misch, frequent collaborator Carmody continues to release fantastically well-polished tracks, her most recent effort coming in the form of ‘The Ways of Your Love’.

Expertly treading the fine line between celestially haunting and comforting warmth, ‘The Ways of Your Love’ sounds as if it could be performed by a significantly sized orchestra, slowly building towards a crescendo with blooming strings and understated percussion providing the backdrop for an intense vocal delivery, finishing as it began, with softly plucked guitar. The instrumental has an odd juxtaposing effect on the listener, in that it is at once calming and enveloping whilst at the same time being slightly unsettling, reflecting the uncertainty of the South London artist when tackling their feelings towards the subject of the song – this gives way to the swelling finish to the song where emotions overcome and overpower.

The true strength of Carmody is her voice – the ballad is sung with a crystalline clarity and shows great range, even within singular verses and choruses, reaching passionate notes with apparent effortlessness, combining power with an emotional form of breathlessness.

A grand winter song indeed, and a strong end to an already strong year.

“I wanted to write about the electricity you can have with someone even though you have nothing in common… go where your body takes you, sometimes” – Carmody 

Listen to the track below, via Soundcloud

This article was written by Mo Hafeez – with thanks to Isobel Williams (WHITEBOARD)

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Up and Coming: Strange Collective

I got an email about these guys roughly a week or so ago, along with a link to their latest release: ‘Heavy’. I’ve been on a recent spree of listening to HOMESHAKE, Mac DeMarco, Tame Impala, Temporex, The Allah-Las, and so on, and this really fit right in with those names. Obviously they’re not quite at that calibre yet, but from what’s been said about them I definitely look forward to see where they’ll end up –

A Liverpudlian quartet, they specialise in a psychedelic-laced form of garage rock. Guitars laden with reverb aplenty, and an unexpected change-up that lurches into action in the latter quarter of the track make for a great listen. The vocals are most definitely the highlight of the main segment though, Alex Wynne providing the lead with exciting yelps, and when the backing vocals come in during the chorus it really works well. It almost feels cinematic – I could definitely imagine it featuring in an opening or closing shot of a film, the change-up providing a shot of energy, the more laid-back beginning bringing out that ‘tying-up-of-loose-ends-but-unsure-if-it’s-a-happy-ending’ kind of feeling. The only thing I may have changed was perhaps a bit of reverb on the percussion, especially the starting fill which opens up the the main verse arrangement. They do fit nicely in when the lead and bass come in though, a hazy summer’s day vibe for sure.

The track, along with the few other recordings they’ve put out, apparently show a much tamer side, their live sets at Liverpool Music Week, Sound City Festival, and Liverpool Psych Fest being noted for their explosiveness and charismatic performances.

Strange Collective’s debut EP Super Touchy will be released by Salvation Records on the 1st of July, and they look set to begin touring the UK soon as well. If they come by Newcastle or Manchester, I’ll personally be trying to grab a ticket for sure.

This article was written by Mo Hafeez.

Up and Coming: An interview with the creators of ‘RedEye’

By Mo Hafeez

RedEye

 

If you’ve heard anything about the nightlife in Durham, you’ll know that they lay on the cheesy pop quite heavily. You’ll walk past Klute on a night out, and 6 days out of 7 you’ll probably hear the same tunes blaring out – strange remixes of Adele, Taylor Swift, and the same three Kanye West songs are all staples of a Durham night out.

Sure, you learn to love it, but after a while you deserve a well-needed break – RedEye promises to bring that change in 2016, and I sat down with Chris Photi and Guilherme Hefler to have a chat about what the group plans on doing.

What is RedEye?

We literally have no idea. Really hard first question to answer. To be honest, it’s a new music night for students in the North East that focuses on 140bpm music: so grime, garage, dubstep, bassline…

Could you give a general outline of what RedEye events will bring to Durham’s nightlife?

It’s gonna give a more gritty element to the nightlife here. Imagine that feeling when you start playing bangers out of your Sony Ericsson at the back of the bus. Or being at a car park rave… except it’s not in a car park… it’s in a club.

What inspired you to create RedEye, and to put on the events?

We were really starting to get bored with what seemed like the same music every time we went out in Durham. Everyone would love the chance to put on a night with music that they love and I guess we just followed through. On top of that, the more people we spoke to, the more we realised that there was a market there for us.

Which artists are you working with for your first event on the 21st, and who would you like to work with in the future?

We’ve got the Six Sunsets boys coming down from Newcastle to drop a vinyl only set and we’re really excited for them to make their Durham debut. Expect naughty subs and anything bassy. We’ve also got Def Republic mixing as we’ve been really impressed by his frequent Signal sets, and he’ll have support from MC’s, Photes, and Sleepy coming up from Manchester for the night. He’s a massively versatile spitter – watch out for him in the next year or so. Finally we’ve got Valera opening with some garage – his sets always pop off and it’s a pleasure to have him for our launch night.

 

There’s a few we’ve got our eyes on for the future but we don’t wanna give too much away. We’re gonna focus on local artists for the time being and hopefully we can pull out some bigger bookings in the summer and beyond.

What’s been the biggest obstacle so far? How are you trying to get over it?

We’ve done some promotion and stuff, but we’ve never put a night on before. There are loads of little details that you wouldn’t normally consider which have popped up, and it’s been a bit of a learning curve for us trying to follow through with all our plans. But we’ve had a lot of support from friends and the guys at Loft/Studio in setting up and it’s shaping up to be a large one.

What other events are you involved with, with RedEye and beyond?

We’ve got some big plans for the coming months but we’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. There’s the possibility of a joint event, or something like that, with another night in Durham (we don’t wanna say who just yet). We’ve also floated about the idea of starting up a sister-night which focuses on hip-hop, but at the moment we just want to get this first night under our belts and go from there.

What’s the best grime/garage/hip-hop gig you’ve been to?

Oooh this one’s tough. Seeing 50 Cent in London years ago still sticks out in my memory, but I’d have to say a Fabric night a couple of years ago. Things got a bit messy so I can’t remember everything exactly, but we thought we were going to see Elijah & Skilliam, Royal-T and Wiley. So many MC’s like Frisco popped up that night that weren’t on the lineup – we lost our nut!

Looking forward to any releases this year?

One can only hope that Skepta finally releases Konnichiwa but we’re not holding our breaths. The J Cole and Kendrick collaboration looks like it could be quite live as well.

Which artists do you have pegged for a breakout year in 2016?

Capo Lee’s someone we’ve been listening to recently and ‘Cake and Custard Flow’ is an absolute banger. Elf Kid as well is looking like he’s starting to make movements, which is sick because a lot of people thought that some of the Square members would fall off after Novelist left the group. Very gassed to see him at WHQ later this term.

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If you fancy catching the very first RedEye event in Durham, you can grab tickets here:

https://www.facebook.com/events/559199470910400/

You can also like RedEye’s Facebook page for upcoming events:

https://www.facebook.com/redeyenortheast/

Up and Coming: BassLift (London)

BassLift is the latest offering of night entertainment from the London underground scene. The 30th October will see them take-over Shoreditch from 7pm-late with a heady mixture of Hip-Hop, House and D’n’B. BassLift is a resurgent call to arms for the re-ignition of the non-commercial collective rave scene of years gone by. Self-described as fighting against the ‘well-oiled machine’ that many of the UK’s larger nights have become, the team behind BassLift deliberately look for ‘small’ ‘out-there’ venues through which to ply their trade. This also helps to give the night a sense of mystery through its lack of mainstream process profit, which has taken a back seat as art and entertainment have become the priorities for this group. BassLift is also going beyond just the music and is going to attempt to mould the audio gems of their stellar DJ’s with a new visual element through the use of performance artists who will adapt their show to the DJ’s sounds enhancing the overall experience through the use of a combination of art forms. This could be the beginning of the toppling of the giants.

Details for BassLift can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1488563164793609/
This article was written by Sam Brunt

Up and Coming: Bones – ‘Plasticine EP’

When I pressed play on this LP, I’m not sure I was expecting what came – ‘Everything’s Alright’ opens with a gentle, indie-sounding acoustic guitar with the soft voice of Kimberley Bo. It worked well, but it didn’t really grab my attention straight off the bat. Then came in the hip-hop inspired verses of Ben Jones, an almost melodic rapping that reminded me of Ed Sheeran’s forays into the genre. His Manchester accent adds an edge of roughness that aren’t present in Sheeran’s songs though, and this works well to complement Bo’s vocals.

“Here’s a duo that know what it means to duet. Their tight vocals and beautifully timed lyrics are a credit to Manchester’s song writing history” – Liam Bradford, BBC Radio Manchester

Jones displays his singing chops on the next track, ‘Devil’s Lair’. It’s here where their music takes a turn towards your more standard indie numbers, and I definitely heard shades of Parachutes-era Coldplay as the duo sing about relationships, a cliché topic, but well delivered nonetheless. The duo’s harmonies are on point, and are dotted around the track – they don’t overwhelm the song, and really come to the fore during the chorus. Simple percussion helps to keep the track from being too bare as Bo leads out of the track with an acapella line of “I’ve been waiting here, I’ve been waiting for you”.

There’s a definite move away from the typical indie sounds in the title track – blues-rock inspired progressions and a scratch-based verse-riff definitely picks up the pace after the ‘Devil’s Lair’, especially after the chorus where a short burst chords are jammed out to great effect. Jones’ guitar playing is better represented here than on any other track, and Bo’s falsetto vocals work very well, adding some pop overtones to ‘Plasticine’, allowing the duo bounce off each other with ease.

Closer ‘Ayva’ was also a bit unexpected – there’s a folk-song vibe to it, and once again Bo and Jones’ vocals work very well together, the higher tone of Bo being added intermittently throughout Jones’ verses, and joining in the chorus to a saddening, almost ethereal effect. Even though it was just an EP and track-ordering may not have been a big priority, I couldn’t help but think this track could have gone before ‘Plasticine’ to give the it a bit more of a noticeable flow, but it hasn’t really changed my view on the pair musically.

Plasticine EP cover

In a relatively short time, the duo have been prolific in their gigging, playing alongside acts like Badly Drawn Boy and James Atkin of EMF-fame. With such a variety genres to draw upon for inspiration, I’m hopeful that they won’t just fall to the wayside with the plenty of other indie bands trying to make it, and I’d love to hear more rapping from Jones on future tracks.

This article was written by Mo Hafeez.

Up and Coming: The Debut of Faith Bekoe

Zimbabwean-born artist Faith Bekoe spent her childhood in England, soaking up the musical influences around her. She began singing from the age of five, and began playing professionally in the latter part of the past decade, mainly in the South of France. Touring with a plethora of groups to an array of cities, she has played many respected venues , including ‘Le Bikini’ in Toulouse just last year. On March 5th, she released her debut single ‘By the Fire.

Faith Bekoe

Her style is described as mixture of traditional African rhythms, with a range of influences drawing from both electro and folk backgrounds. She uses these new and exciting sounds as the setting for her often poignant lyrics. ‘By the Fire’ opens with harmonious humming that echoes of the sounds of the delta blues and folk artists from the first half the 20th century that had such a great influence on the music we hear today.

Her voice is soft yet has an undeniable power that seems to bubble up from the lyrical content of love and loss. The simple opening is soon joined by a syncopated synth beat that adds modernity to the music and adds to the interest of the song through its off-beat rhythm. The acoustic chords progression that falls underneath all of this adds warmth to the song and helps lift the vocals of the piece which occasionally merge into the synth sounds, adding an exciting tone to her voice.

Overall, ‘By the Fire’ is an extremely strong first single and looks set to send waves into the musical world. The style is unique and new and the world is seemingly at the feet of Faith Bekoe.

https://faithbekoe.bandcamp.com/track/by-the-fire

This article was written by Sam Brunt