Rat Boy – Scum

I actually cannot put into words how long I feel like I’ve been waiting for this album. I’ve been hearing these songs played at festivals since last summer, and to finally hear them as part of a fully realised album is so impressive. When talking about Rat Boy, people often reference Jamie T and Mac Demarco, and whilst I get where these comparisons are coming from Rat Boy is so much more than a rip off of someone else. When listening to Rat Boy those influences are clear, but also so are the kid of punk, anarchic sounds of The Libertines and The Sex Pistols.Rat Boy

This Album is so much more than simply a collection of songs that were put together, it’s a story from beginning to end, and if you listen to it as such it’s really impressive. What I really admire about Rat Boy, is that it started as just Jordan Cardy making these songs and mixes in his room and it’s evolved into a small team of people who have complete creative control of what they do, with no desire to unload any of that work on to someone else. They Work tirelessly to produce everything they make, from songs to merch to set design for their videos.

His songs explore so many issues that are important and frustrating to so many young people today, but also the inclusion of songs like Laidback and I’ll Be Waiting really add a different perspective to the album, bringing a somewhat Kooks-esque sound. I find the lyrics he writes to be so intelligent, and not in a snobby, you really have to think about it way, just in a way that it’s interesting what he’s saying and the way he’s saying it.

This is clearly a promising start to his career and I’m confident that this has the potential to chart very highly, especially if everyone goes out and buys it right now.

 

5 Songs for This Week 14.08.17

Yet again I’ve been living my lazy-ass life. I’ve started to run more again, so I’ve been needing something good to listen to whilst running, so that I don’t have to concentrate on how hideously unfit I am.

Courage for Love – Jesper Munk

I really love Jesper Munk. Whilst most of his songs are really chilled out and perfect to just listen to and do nothing else I find that this one makes me really motivated to move around just do something. I think he’s so creative and I know he’s hardworking and I think more people should be listening to him because his voice – and lyrics – are incredible, especially considering that English isn’t his first language. Every song is just gorgeous.

Live for The Moment – The Sherlocks

I’m so bloody excited for this album to be released and this is definitely my favourite song they’ve released by far. These guys just seem to have such a strong energy and love for music and it excited me to see what they’re going to do next. I’m thinking there could be a Catfish style breakthrough.

Two Islands – King No-One

Though they often make reference to very serious topics in their songs, this one feels more personal and filled with emotion. Frontman Zach’s beautiful vocals never fail to make me actually stop and listen and this most recent release is completely breath-taking. It’s made me so excited to see them live again. This is just ultimately a wonderful song.

Found What I’ve Been Looking For – Tom Grennan

Is Tom Grennan capable of making a song that I won’t play on n repeat for several days at a time? It seems not. This is yet again a lovely song that coupled with his vocals makes he’s an unstoppable talent. He’s seriously going to go far, and I have no doubt about it and only hope that the tunes keep coming.

More – Jess Best

It normally takes me a few listens to warm to girls voices, and there are only a few that I am in love with straight away and Jess Best is one of them. She has an incredibly gorgeous voice and I absolutely love her kind of jazz inspired music. She does kind of remind me of Amy Winehouse but also Corinne Baily Rae vocally, and I realise that’s not a combo that jumps out at you, but it just works.

 

5 Songs for This Week 07.08.17

Yet again backwards and forwards on the train in the hopes of getting a job (it’s actually looking quite hopeful at the moment!) so I’ve had the chance to just listen to some new songs with no distractions.

LAIDBACK – RAT BOY

Saying I’m beyond excited for Scum to be released would be really underselling myself. Everything he does has a really creative and individual take on it. Though most of his songs seem to have a kind of irresistible rebellion about them, this is actually quite a sweet song but still with the kind of the individuality that makes it so obviously Rat Boy.

Deadcrush – Alt J

Okay, so as much as I love Alt J, all I hear whenever I listen to them is that video of those two really high guys making an “Alt J” song. Nonetheless, this is a truly signature Alt J sounding tracks, even if the breathing sounds at the beginning do put me slightly on edge. It sounds super cool and has that hypnotic sound that they always manage to capture.

Lover – Model Aeroplanes

You can’t not dance to this song, pretty sure it’s medically impossible not to, even if you’re listening on headphones in public. I pretty much love everything that these guys do, their upbeat indie pop sound is lovely and just makes so a really fun listen all round.

Polish Girl – Neon Indian

This is such a chill song, and for me it’s really summery. It’s one of those songs that makes me wanna lie on a beach all day and then go out all night (I fully realise that lying on a beach all day would turn me into an actual lobster, but that’s not the point). For anyone that’s a fan of MGMT, this is something that you’ll absolutely be obsessing over.

Postcards – Meadowlark

This is just such a beautiful song. It’s a complete pleasure to listen to such a beautiful voice and I don’t really have much else to say about this song other than repeatedly using the word beautiful.

Positivity

After reading over all the things I’ve written on here, I realised that it probably looks like I’m trying to suck up to people and overly positive.

I’m not.

I genuinely love and appreciate everything I write about, and that’s why I decided to start writing about stuff, in the hopes that maybe some people will read it and then listen to it and love it as much as I do and it will make them as happy as it makes me, and that will bring the people I write about a little bit more exposure. I think everyone that I’ve written about is insanely talented and that they deserve so much more recognition than they get right now.

If I personally am not a fan of someone or I don’t like their music, I’d rather just not write about it. I think it’s better to let someone who loves and understands it give their opinion on it and tell other people about it. I just feel like there’s already so much hate and negativity in the world all the time, and I don’t really want to add to that at all. I think people forget sometimes that music is a type of art, and that song that you hate is something that someone has put their hard work and time into, and as pathetic and cheesy as it sounds it’s someone’s heart and soul. What music someone likes is completely subjective, and it doesn’t seem fair just to slate something because I don’t really get it.

I’ve read negative reviews where someone has just gone in on an album/artist and it’s just made me really sad. The one that really sticks out in my mind was the NME review that gave Tom Odell’s Long Way Down a 0/10 and just absolutely slated it, now don’t get me wrong, he’s completely entitled to his opinion (which I heavily disagree with BTW) and I know people rely on outlets like this for people’s honesty, but I don’t understand how someone can seriously rate a piece of art 0/10. I know there is a difference between a constructive review and a negative one, and constructive reviews can probably be great for artists to read to understand what people think would take them to the next level, but just being horrible about what someone’s worked hard to do is just mean.

So, that’s why I probably sound like a massive suck up all the time, but I’m not. I’m just saying my opinion.

Declan McKenna – What Do You Think About the Car?

With a title originating from a childhood family video, the debut album from 18-year-old Declan McKenna certainly doesn’t disappoint. The fact he’s younger than me (admittedly not much) makes me yet again feel achingly inadequate – I mean, I make a mean carrot cake but I certainly cannot claim the level of creativity and talent that this guy has. He’s managed to make an album that’s packed full of songs that aren’t only catchy and fun, but also have intelligent memorable lyrics.

declan McKennaFocusing on the lyrics shows that he’s not afraid to comment on and criticise many of the issues faced by people today. The way he portrays this shows a level of confidence and maturity that make it hard to believe he’s so young (I know I couldn’t talk about these issues in this way, with this level of certainty). They kind of sound like protest songs but they don’t have the same heavy feeling that can sometimes come along with this genre. He comments on corruption in Fifa as an organisation, and in Paracetamol he comments on the alienation that trans kids suffer from in our society following the suicide of Leelah Alcorn and the way it was treated by the media.

Apart from the songs released ahead of the album (Bethlehem being the first one I heard that really drew my attention to him) Make Me Your Queen really stands out to me as a beautiful song about unrequited love. That’s something that struck me as different from a lot of albums at the moment, is that it isn’t packed full of love songs – it’s not that I have anything against love songs but it’s just yet another thing that made it stand out as an incredibly individual album.

People seem to want to tie him down constantly with comparisons and say that what he’s doing isn’t that new or exciting, but I completely disagree. It’s clear to see the similarities and inspiration he’s drawn in his theatricality and sound from people like Bowie, but I think his music fits in all the way across the pop and indie spectrum.

Overall I think it’s clear to see that this is an intelligent, creative debut from a guy that obviously has an impressive career ahead of him.

5 Songs for This Week 31.07.17

I went back to uni this week and the long (made longer by the fact that I refused to buy anything but an off-peak ticket because I’m a cheap student) journey meant I had ages to do nothing but listen to music. I’ve found some songs that I’ve really enjoyed and they’ve been a bit more upbeat – which I’ve been loving in the warmer weather.

Too Good – Marsicans

As the title suggests this song is too good to be ignored. These northern lads hit the nail on the head time after time with their upbeat-indie-pop, and Too Good follows this trend. They’re also supporting Clean Cut Kid on their October Tour, and after seeing both these bands at Barn on The Farm, I’m buzzed for this tour. It’s definitely worth adding this absolute bop to your playlist.

Evelyn – Clean Cut Kid

Marsicans lead nicely onto Clean Cut Kid. This is by far my favourite song on their album, which his full of some amazing tracks. This is a beautiful song that lead singer Mike wrote for wife – and bandmate – Evelyn (obvs). It has gorgeous, thoughtful lyrics and it’s catchy as hell.

Barcelona Girl – Corella

This is one of those songs I found after browsing through related artists for hours on spotify and boy, do I love it. This is an indie summer anthem if ever I’ve heard one. It’s sweet but kind of tropical vibes have me going crazy and I can’t get enough of it, pretty sure I’ve listened to it 10 times a day since first hearing it.

Craving – Zach Said

This is  such a tune, but possibly a bit different to what I normally listen to. He has such an individual sound that’s so different from anything I’ve heard in a long time, I’d possibly describe it as a mix between Jack Garratt and Mac Demarco. It’s so interesting to listen to and I can’t wait to hear what else he has to offer.

Even If It’s a Lie – Matt Maltese

This is one of his older songs but DAAMN I love this. I went through a phase a while ago where I listened to this all the time, and I’ve just remembered how much I bloody love this and how talented of a songwriter he is. It’s an insanely beautiful piano backed ballad and honestly it’s an amazing shower song, well it’s an amazing song in its own right but particularly in the shower.

5 Songs for This Week 10.07.17

I thought I’d give 5 recommendations of songs every week that I think are worth listening to, and that I’ve been listening to a lot.  This doesn’t necessarily mean they’re new songs, they’re just what I’ve been loving recently.

  1. Tom Odell – Here I am

Now, if there’s a song that makes me want to scream it at the top of my lungs on repeat, it’s this one. I absolutely love this bad boy, the lyrics are gorgeous (and the general sentiment behind it), it’s so cute but also so powerful when it starts to build. Bloody love it.

  1. Chloe Howl – Magnetic

Oh this is a bloody tune and a half. After quite a long break from releasing music, she’s made her return with this absolute banger. It’s such a cool song and it makes me feel summery as hell. It’s quite a new sound for her, and I’m into it. I’m hoping there’s more where this came from.

  1. Fickle Friends – Glue

Yet another super summery song, this makes me think of getting ready for a night out and dancing around my room. Fickle friends never disappoint with their upbeat, happy songs. I love this song and it never fails to brighten my day.

  1. Fil Bo Riva – Franzis

This song has been floating my boat for a while now. This guy has just absolutely hit the nail on the head. Franzis is a delicate mix between blues, soul and folk, this song is just fab. His gravelly voice against the kind of gloomy guitar is such an interesting combination and is definitely worth a listen.

  1. Dan Croll – Bad Boy

I am a huge fan of Dan Croll’s psychedelic indie pop, and you should be too. This is a seemingly effortlessly cool song, including his always dreaming vocals and lyrics. I love this newer song of his probably more than any of his other songs, and I really like them. This is a gorgeous song that would be amazing being blasted out of the windows on a road trip. Oh yes, what an image that is.

Mowbeck // The Bodega // 07.07.2017

19859048_282214065581185_193092472_oNottingham natives Mowbeck took to the stage at The Bodega yet again for an impressive performance before they go off to write and record their album. Whilst festival blues were just starting to hit me after Barn on the farm, it was super lovely to go and see these boys perform again.

As always, I was probably a bit optimistic with the train I got, so arrived at the venue earlier than I’d anticipated. When doors opened I decided that I’d earned a reward (for doing absolutely nothing – treat yo’self) so I bought myself a drink – amaretto and cranberry if you’re interested. And found somewhere to stand for the evening.

19866762_282135942255664_1283974352_oSupport came from Cherry Hex and The Dream Church, a duo also originating from Notts. Normally I like to listen to a few songs by everyone I’m seeing to get a sense of what I’m going to be seeing, but it had completely slipped my mind to listen to these guys. They have a kind of dreamy indie vibe about them and I’m really not mad about it at all. Think along the lines of alt-J, but with more xylophone. I thought they were really good and particularly the lead singer caught my attention, she has such a cool, strong voice (but I was also obsessed with her dress, it was beaut). I’d recommend listening to their newest song Toska especially, if you fancy it.

19840326_282135945588997_305313696_oAt around 9, the Mowbeck boys took to the stage to treat us to their tunes, and what a treat it was. These guys have a sound that reminds me somewhat of All Time Low and bands like that that I used to listen to, if they had been along the slightly more indie route. I absolutely love their music, and lead singer Andy was constantly building a relationship with the crowd and making everyone dance, which was not an easy task on that night. I wish there had been a bit more energy from the crowd, to give something back to a band who were giving us everything.

I think Mowbeck have an extremely bright future ahead of them after The Basement was recently chosen as a BBC Radio 1 track of the day, something which doesn’t easily happen for bands without management. These guys are completely independent and I think their hard work really paid off with the releases of their recent songs. All I can say is keep on doing what you’re doing boys because you’re definitely doing it right.

Barn on The Farm (Main Stage)

This will (probably) be my last post about Barn on the Farm for this year. I think I’ve saved the best for last. The main stage at BOTF has always played host to incredibly talented artists, like Catfish and The Bottlemen, Jack Garratt and James Bay to name a few and as per usual, it was fantastic. This stage is, again, one of the newer ones. It’s obviously not a new concept, but as the festival grew, this stage also had to move in order to cope with the increased amount of people. As much as I love this stage, and the larger size has meant that BOTF can host bigger acts (e.g. Tom Odell), I did really love the old main stage which was located in a barn similar to, but larger than the Wooden Barn. However, my unnecessary nostalgia aside there’s no arguing that the artists on the stage this year were as amazing as ever.

19859126_280911852378073_624801937_oSundara Karma

I had been absolutely buzzing to see Sundara Karma ever since they were announced, and after missing out on their tour in February I was so happy to see they were going to be a part of this festival, and they did not disappoint. Following the release of “Youth is Only Ever Fun in Retrospect” and a sold-out UK tour at the start of the year, I had high expectations and they surpassed them. They were so involved with the crowd, but in such a different way to many of the other acts. They were much more chilled out on stage, but lead singer, Oscar, was not afraid to basically get in the crowd several times, which was cool. Not only were they sick at performing, their clothes were also super cool, and a bold fashion choice always impresses me (Red flares? Yes please.). If there are any tickets remaining for the autumn tour definitely grab one, it won’t be a night you regret, because we all left feeling like they’d headlined the stage.

19814400_280911912378067_2036510446_oZak Abel

Seeing Zak Abel is always a Party. His brand of garage-esque-indie-pop makes dancing irresistible. His Stage presence makes it seem as if it’s just you and him in the room, and I think everyone in the crowd feels like that, which is a hard thing to achieve but he does it seemingly effortlessly. Seeing him perform always makes me feel so incredibly happy because the whole time he’s on stage he’s grinning from ear to ear, and it’s infectious, there’s no way you could be in that audience and not be having as good of a time as him. Not only is he a fantastically energetic entertainer, he also has such an incredible voice. His album “Only When We’re Naked” will shortly be released and I can’t wait to hear what it has in store as all of his tunes so far have been fab. I’d keep an eye out for him over the next few months, I think he’s someone that everyone is bound to fall in love with as soon as they hear him.

19814404_280911889044736_995424612_oAmber Run

Oh Amber Run, I have such a love for these guys. They’ve been at BOTF every year I have, and it’s been a delight to see them grow as a band and get bigger and stronger. Seeing them on stage is pure magic. Everyone knows the words to their songs and it’s so nice to see them really enjoying themselves. This year was extra good because they bought Lewis Watson on stage during I Found to sing with them and it was just as gorgeous as you’d expect that to be. It was amazing to see a real friendship like that on stage and to hear them sing together. Lead singer Joe has an incredible voice and all of their songs are truly beautiful. I feel like whenever they perform they give everything and, yet again, it felt like they could have been headlining because of the way the crowd ate up everything they did. I’m so grateful that they’re still a band and they’ve carried on making music even through a rough period they all had together, but I think they’ve come out the other side even stronger and ready to smash it. The only thing I can find wrong with their set is that it wasn’t longer!

19807516_280911885711403_62409230_oTom Odell

Now, I don’t know how coherent this will be because the whole time I felt speechless. Being in that crowd in front of that stage felt completely magical and electric. I’m going to be honest, I was sceptical. Rosie and I waited over an hour for him because she had been telling me for months how incredible he was live, but I just thought, how great can he be? Indescribably good is the answer. I’ve honestly never felt that way before. Clearly, from any of his albums, you can tell that he has an amazing voice, but that’s not all he brings to the stage. He’s truly magnetic, I actually couldn’t take my eyes off him the whole time he was performing, and when he came in to the crowd I couldn’t react I actually just kind of froze, which was not the reaction I expected from myself. He’s one of those people where you can tell that this is what he’s meant to be doing. He needs to be on a stage, he needs to be performing, he couldn’t be doing anything else, it just wouldn’t be right. He put on such a show, he was on top of the bloody piano at one point and all. I hadn’t paid much attention to the lyrics in his songs, which I now realise was a massive mistake. Those songs are all so beautiful and I actually cried during Grow Old With Me, which was a little bit unexpected. You could just feel the meaning and the passion behind all the words he was singing. I can say with absolute certainty that I will go and see him again as soon as possible. I would also like to just give a few words of appreciation to his band. Those guys were all seriously talented and were doing such an amazing job of supporting him and allowing him to be a real performer without completely fading into the background. To summarise, it was incredible and you can’t really describe it until you’ve seen it.19830358_280911879044737_1393664782_o

Well, that’s it for another year of that festival. Only 12 months of waiting left for the next one I guess. I hope the way I’ve written about it has come close to doing my love and gratitude for it justice.

Barn on The Farm (Outdoor Stage)

The outdoor stage is one of the two newer stages at the festival, and I think it’s the one which has allowed most for the expansion of the festival. The name outdoor stage would suggest it’s a risky stage for three of the whitest girls to spend their time at on two of the sunniest days of the year, but we persevered and layered up the factor 50 and boy, was it worth it. Last year the stage played host to people including Dan Croll, Rag n Bone Man and Zak Abel.

19723787_280451339090791_999678829_oTen Tonnes

There’s nothing like someone your own age playing songs they’ve written at a festival whilst you proceed to consume your own body weight in Pimms to make you feel inadequate. Having worked on his latest EP with Hugo from Bombay Bicycle Club, it’s clear he’s a massive talent and he has so much more ahead of him. I think he’s definitely one to keep an eye out for, and if you get the chance to see him, it’s so worth it.

19720318_280451379090787_508505041_oOutlya

Outlya were definitely a highlight for me on Saturday, I thought they were absolutely phenomenal. They had such a good relationship with the crowd, and they managed to perform in a way that meant that you felt like you knew them. At the end of their set, we were all left just wanting them to play more songs, which is quite a good feeling, if a little annoying because it means you enjoyed it.

19727082_280451342424124_1557652541_oLANY

I don’t think I’ve ever seen people this effortlessly cool in person before, these California guys absolutely smashed their set on Saturday night. Everyone was dancing, and looked like they were having a great time, which was super lovely to see. If they’re returning soon for a UK tour, I’d recommend seeing them, their laidback music can’t fail to chill you out and make you have fun.

19650419_280451349090790_1595229559_oKeir

Keir was just what we all needed on a sleepy, hungover Sunday morning. He was a welcome change of pace and his style of upbeat indie pop got people up and dancing and set the tone for the rest of the day. Dressed in what I’m gonna say was the coolest jacket of the weekend (and there were some contenders) he managed to get people up and moving who looked a little bit worse for wear, which is very impressive in itself.

Marsicans

Marsicans are a band that make me never want to stop dancing, I love their brand of feel-good indie and could listen to it all day. They really got the crowd ready for the evening and it was so nice to see Arms of Another live. If you’ve not checked these guys out, they’re definitely worth a listen when you need

19749438_280451365757455_329631105_o

something to lift your spirits up and remind you that there is always fun around you. What made their set even better was that they looked like they were having as much fun as the crowd which always makes me so happy to see.

 

19807514_280451362424122_1271085084_oNathan Ball

I’m pretty sure Nathan Ball has been at this festival most times I’ve been there but, being extremely dopey, I’d never paid him much attention. I knew he had a good voice but I didn’t really know any of his songs. However, this year I made the effort to go and properly see him and not just walk past and listen to the odd song, and I’m so glad I did. All his songs were lovely to listen to and his voice is actually incredible. So, after several years I can finally say I saw him and loved it.

19814115_280451359090789_2014956141_oTom Grennan

As fab as everyone else on this stage was, Tom Grennan really stole the show for me. I knew he was going to be great, but I was worried I’d bigged him up to my friends too much. He in no way disappointed. Tom Grennan is definitely one to watch in the next year or so. His massive vocals accompanying his soulful songs make for some absolutely stunning songs. Hearing him perform them live actually left me speechless. What an entertainer, he built such a great relationship with the crowd and when he wasn’t singing he was making everyone laugh, which is just as important as the actual singing I think, to actually entertain people. He was completely captivating and we all thought he was incredible.

I’m sorry if the relentless positivity comes off as ingenuine, I honestly did love everyone I saw on this stage, and I’m much more of the opinion that if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. Music is so subjective that not everyone will love everything, and if I don’t like something someone else is bound to. I’d rather just try and get word out about more artists that I think people would like.