Rejjie Snow’s ‘Virgo’ will brighten up your summer

At 24 years of age, Rejjie Snow’s music continues to surprise and push the boundaries of hip hop. It seems every track he releases blends sub genres, proceeding to leave a statement on his audience; ‘Virgo’ is no different. Opting for a tropical trap beat this time round, the Irish rapper creates a scummy but beautiful contrast between the visuals of the video and the colourful production; the dreariness of an estate is given a carnivalesque makeover through the cheery nature of the song.

I caught Rejjie Snow at Secret Garden Party this year and he was definitely one of the best acts across the week, gracing the main stage with new fire and old classics from Rejovich. As for this track though, it features ‘Pell’, who offers soothing vocals that neatly fit over the beats and helps to bring out Rejjie’s purposely goofy vocals.

Overall this is definitely a song that should be on your summer playlists, turned up to the max as you crack open a cold one with a bit of African heat smothered on your face. I’d still say I prefer the direction Snow was going with in ‘Crooked Cops’ and ‘Pink Beetle’, but we can only wait for the album now after these countless singles.

 

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Bloody Knees debut new track ‘Not Done’

Hailing from my home town Cambridge, ‘Bloody Knees’ are an alternative grunge/punk band that could be likened to ‘Birdskulls’ or what was ‘Nai Harvest’. Mates with ‘Wolf Alice’ and ‘The Magic Gang’, it seems as if success is imminent for the quartet and they will be hoping their thrashing new release will push them towards the heights these bands have reached in the last couple of years.

On ‘Not Done’, Bradley Griffiths’ harmonies dip in and out of his simultaneous screeches as the band’s thumping sound smack you around the face. The tune is not only hard hitting but very catchy too, you can imagine some emotional mosh pits opening up for the encore worthy song. Listen to the track below, it’s in many ways what the alternative music scene has been lacking in 2017.

If you haven’t already, check out their previous EP releases, including a joint one with fellow noise makers ‘Birdskulls’ who hail from Brighton.

Mura Masa album review

After stunning us with his graceful, equatorial mixtape and EP, Alex Crossan is back, creating an album that sees him adapting to his rise of mainstream success; whilst holding true to the experimental collaborations we love him for.

Just looking at the feature list on this album is mouth watering. Damon Albarn,  A$AP Rocky, Bonzai, Desiigner – the list is endless. Many would say Crossan is a perfect example of how the internet age has effected the way music can be created, explored, listened to and loved, the 21 year old definitely stays true to this on the album. Living in Gurnsey, where It’s fair to say not a lot happens, Mura Masa started out in his bedroom and released music onto Soundcloud. A few years later he is one of the UK’s hottest producers and is playing big name festivals from Coachella to Reading and Leeds.

The album starts off with the most beautiful song on the record: ‘Messy Love’. I can never quite pin down what instruments make the blending soundscapes Crossan constructs but they just create the most blissful listening possible; this track is a prime example. Bangers like ‘Love$ick’ and ‘All around the world’ make the record varied in pace but it is such a consistently good album – it will be one for the summer for sure.

It is unlikely that Mura Masa’s rise is going to falter anytime soon. Although this album has been released, I feel it won’t be long before we hear even more hits and high profile collaborations from Crossan. Listen to this and keep your eyes peeled.

Rating: 8/10

Mac Demarco//Brixton Academy//31st May 2017

After selling out 2 intimate Electric Brixton shows in under 2 hours, Mac was back in London with two dates at the venues big brother Brixton Academy. Claiming that he hates the size of the venues he plays now, Demarco was about to step up to his biggest London show to date, the demand being so high that another day had to be added.

With a new album out, the multi talented singer/song writer and producer had new material on top of the classics we have seen in ‘Salad Days’ and breakout record ‘2’. This was the only place anyone would be able to catch Mac this year in England; this excitement channeled throughout the crowd of sweaty teenagers. The temple like walls of Brixton Academy suited the god like stature Mac has been given by his fans; they were about to witness a gig like no other.

Kicking off with the infamous ‘Salad Days’, Mac proceeded to play a hyperactive set; his personality almost hamster like as he scurried from one side of the stage to the other chewing through his groovy guitar riffs. Having family watching you may daunt some artists but not the Duncan born lad, he set up a table for his Cousins and friends on the stage, as well as inviting them to sing Vanessa Carlton’s 1000 miles. For anyone else this would have been cheesy but Mac just has a knack that makes anything seem okay.

‘My Kind OF Woman’ and ‘Ode to Viceroy’ featured, with ‘For The First Time’ and ‘Chamber Of Reflection’ giving the audience an excuse for a good old synthy jive. It was a great mixture of the Artist’s discography and with the chaos caused by his crowd surfing and Vans chucking, it is safe to say it was a night neither Mac or his fans will be forgetting.

Mac Demarco headlines End of the Road Festival this August/September.

 

The Wytches + Weirds//Portland Arms//19.04.2017

For the past year or so, I have been dying to see the Wytches. So when they announced that they would be playing at Cambridge’s finest pub The Portland Arms, I had to get down there. Blessing us with their divine blend of distorted psychedelics and shuddery lyrics, the 4-piece tore down the beer dampened walls of the venue.

But first was Wierds, a band that I hadn’t really heard of but knew would be half decent if they were supporting the Wytches. I have to say I was blown away by their raw energy and echoing effects, it was like nothing I’ve heard of before and definitely shocked the speechless crowd. They have an album coming out in May, which will be worth a listen considering singles like ‘Phantom’ and ‘Valley Of Vision’ are gaining some much deserved attention from stations like Beats Radio.

weirds

Next on were of course the Wytches, who played to a packed out Portland crowd that were more than up for a riot. Kicking off with Gravedweller, an absolute classic on their behalf, the energy never really stopped, with the crowd loving the belters on their ‘All Your Happy Life’ album, as well as ‘Annabel Dream Reader’, and even bloody brilliant b-sides like ‘Darker’ and ‘Holy Tightrope’. It was a surprise to see them play such a varied set in this sense but I couldn’t have asked for a better selection, they powered through the tracks, giving the audience little rest.

The Wytches

I got the impression that the crowd hadn’t witnessed something as raucious as this in a while, which made them even more up for the gig. The energy from the band pulsated to the audience, the lad’s hair covering their eyes as they shredded through the numerous guitar riffs they offer. It was a great night and one that the Portland Arms won’t forget in a while.

I also have an interview coming with them soon so be sure to check that out.

Royal Blood are back with new track ‘Lights Out’

It is a fact that Royal Blood are one of the biggest rock bands in the world right now. With only 1 album under their belt, it should be a surprise to everyone just how successful the Brighton Outfit have been since they started out.

Supported by rock gods in the calibre of Dave Grohl, Joshue Homme and Slash, Ben and Michael have now released a new track in the lead up to their new album ‘How Did We Get So Dark?’. If ‘Lights Out’ is a sample of what is to come from the new album then we are in for more tantalising tremors of bass and divine drums; it still baffles me how only 2 people make the racket they do.

Give the new song a listen, it’s destined to be one of the rock anthems of 2017. Whether you like Royal Blood or not, they are impossible to hide from when new material is in the mist so you won’t hear the last of them for a while.

GIG REVIEW: GLASS ANIMALS//CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION//13.03.17

Out of the gigs I have been to this year, Glass Animals were by far the band that I was most looking forward to. I have missed them twice now, once in the smallest tent Latitude has to offer and a couple years later in Cambridge. So simply this is not a gig I wanted to miss. The Oxford outfit definitely brought their tropical vibes to the junction, throwing pineapples at the crowd’s heads and investing in a rather stunning disco ball pineapple that glared down onto those descending into a moshing madness.

glass animals live

First was Roosevelt who proved to be a good warm up to Glass Animals, providing us with some synthesised electro pop that got the crowd grooving. Playing the likes of ‘Montreal’ and ‘Hold On’, they filled the venue with colour and a spectacular light display, bringing the disco feels to Cambridge.

Crammed by already sweating bodies, my mates and I stood with the anticipation of Dave from Glass Animals running on stage and playing the first riff of ‘Life Itself’. 10 minutes later this is exactly what happened. The screeches from the audience were deafening and right from the start a carnival atmosphere flurried right through the venue. Its amazing how the 4 piece manage to replicate the music they record in a live setting, with the exotic samples and powerful basslines, seeming complex. However this is exactly what they did and with crowd favourites ‘Hazey’ and ‘Youth’ slaying the venue’s speaker system and instigating even more sweat dripping from the crowd’s body, the atmosphere was something special.

The encore of ‘Pools’ and new single ‘Pork Soda’ was unbelievably strong, with everyone responding positively to 2 of the danciest tracks the band has ever produced. ‘Pools’ was particularly special; I got the feeling that it was the song that got a lot of people into one of the most unique bands in the world. No one sounds a thing like Glass Animals and that is what is so great about them, they transfer the originality in their songs into their live set brilliantly. If you ever have a chance to catch the band on a tour or at a festival, don’t hesitate to see them.

Rating: 8/10 (If Dave brought out his track with Flume or his collab with Joey Bada$$ then it would have been a perfect show).

*!NEW FLUME!*

It is hard to believe that after a stunning second LP and equally as amazing EP, to coincide with the record, Flume wasn’t finished. But now the Australian producer has released something so extraordinary I can hardly type this review and contain my excitement. To companion his first companion EP, the Grammy and multiple Aria award winning electronic artist has dropped yet another 4 tracks that are heavier, spacier and as bass bulky as ever.

Starting off with an exasperating tune featuring the unsurprisingly impressive Pusha T, Flume combines his intricate nature enthused synths with the growling vocals of one of the worlds most respected rappers and makes a truly heart pounding, gritty explosion of textures. Listening to Flume makes you feel as if you are in a completely new universe, one so out of the ordinary that you hardly know what to do with yourself, both ‘Weekend’ and ‘Depth charge’ are no different. I feel as if some of the hooks hark back to his debut album, which is anything but a disappointment.

The artwork of the EP expresses what seems like a darker side to the music Flume was putting out in 2016, the majority of the tracks express this as well, especially the ending number featuring Dave from ‘Glass Animals’. As two of the most interesting artists currently out there, it was only a matter of time before they collaborated, it is truly unbelievable to think that these tracks were only really considered as B-Sides to the actual album but Flume treats us well, fulfilling our tropical electronic needs.

Go and check out what is one of the best musical projects to drop so far in 2017.

RATING: 9/10

VANT: Dumb Blood Album Review

VANT are one of the most politically driven indie rock bands to have risen from the recent surge in alternative music. Fronted by Matty Vant, the outfit have been releasing singles for a couple of years now, with a few making the cut for the final record. ‘Do You Know Me’ and ‘Parking Lot’ are two of my favourite tracks they have dropped and I feel they add an extra thump and dimension to their debut LP.

You can tell that this has been an album long in the running for the four piece and one they have put their heart and soul into recording. VANT are a band that simply care, whether this is about the broken political climate our world is in or the music they produce. Lyrically, the band are statement driven and seem to raise an issue in every number, ‘I don’t believe in God’ and ‘Peace and Love’ show this as much as any of their tunes.

The album kicks off with a minute long blend of ferocious guitar fuzz and amplified bass lines, showing their musical capacity as well as lyrical complexity. The opening track is called ‘The Answer’ and references the despair of UK-US involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraqi wars.

Ambitious, Important and truly raw, the tracks will go down a storm in their already raging live set, an album like this has been long in the waiting for their fans, but definitely worth it.

RATING: 7/10

Cherry Glazerr release new album ‘Apocalipstick’

Cherry Glazerr could be compared to any bands in the vein of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Cure or even the Kills. The Los Angeles indie outfit today dropped their second full length LP, following the impressive 2014 release ‘Haxel Princess’. With new members, but a similar teenage empowerment aesthetic, the band have taken the thrashing, fuzzy tracks off of their debut album, like ‘Whites Not My Colour This Evening’, and blended it into an unbelievable project.

Artists as famous and unique as Tyler, The Creator are worshiping the work of Clementine Creevy and her mates. She even featured on the final song of the rapper’s latest album ‘Cherry Bomb’, the track is called ‘Okaga CA’ if you want to check that out as well.

The likes of 6 music have been playing lead singles from the new album a lot recently, ‘Nurse Ratchet’ and the title track from the new LP are my personal picks and to me portray everything that is so brilliant about the rockers. Smashing guitar riffs, sumptuous vocals and drony bass lines run all throughout their stunning 2nd album. They are definitely ones to watch, and should be appreciated a lot more than they are at the moment.

Rating: 8/10