Sam Fender // The Bodega // 24.02.18

Sam Fender is probably the act that I’ve been most excited about emerging this year and seeing him live was as great as expected. I first heard of Sam and his music when he was an act at last year’s Barn on The Farm Festival, and it’s been a pretty speedy rise for Mr Fender since then.28504888_369309933538264_2048613131_o


Support for the night came from Brooke Bentham, who was so cool it actually hurt me a bit. Wearing a pair of red platform shoes that had my jaw on the floor with envy and possibly the coolest trousers I’ve ever seen, she took to the stage with just her guitar to give a truly lovely performance. She had a kind of hypnotic voice, and I thought that her sound, in general, was just beyond cool (and I can confirm this after listening to her all morning).

28460387_369310003538257_508502807_oBloody Hell Sam fender is attractive, the boy’s face has more structure to it than anything in my life could ever hope to. It feels like there’s no way there could be any truth in him joking that he has “a punchable face” before starting to play ‘Friday Fighting’. Anyway, aesthetics aside it’s hard to believe that these songs are only 9 months in the making. Playing a mix of released and new material gave a taste of what he has to bring to the table.

The way he writes is what really makes him stand out to me. It’s how politically charged, and tongue in cheek some of his songs are that sets him apart from a lot of music at the moment. He isn’t just writing about love, (in fact, he’s yet to release a straight-up love song) he writes about experiences. I’ve gotta say that ‘Play God’ is completely haunting as a concept and the combination of slightly unsettlingly real lyrics and his deep, soulful voice serves to make him someone that isn’t easily ignored.

28503827_369309946871596_1440068709_oProbably my favourite song he’s released so far has been ‘Greasy Spoon’ because it’s so unusual to hear a young guy discuss (I am not sure that discuss is the right word here, but it’s the one I’m going with) the issue of what it’s like to be a woman in a society dominated by men. Rather than feeling the need to patronise and explain our feelings to us, Fender uses more of a third person narrative to tell a story.

His vocals are beyond what you’d expect live, and I think that it’s safe to say that he’s about to have a phenomenal year here, and I hope he comes back to Nottingham sooner rather than later.

5 Songs for This Week 12.02.18

Well if anyone was wondering how I cope with stress, the clear answer is not well. Before my first exam, I cut a fringe, which is possibly not something you should do without thinking about it, it’s always in my eyes and it’s uneven, and to be honest I’m not sure it suits me. I also started eating a weird number of grapefruits, which may not be due to stress, but just due to the fact that I was determined I hated them for so long and I’ve only just found out that I actually love them so I’m making up for two decades of hatred by eating as many as possible.

I’ve been busy being a proper chemistry student and revising and trying to understand things which I really, really don’t. However, there have been some songs released over the past few weeks which are well good and will inevitably be the soundtrack to the next few weeks for me.

Not That Special – Lily Moore

What a debut. I’m honestly in awe of Lily’s vocals, she has such a gorgeous, timeless voice that I can’t get enough of, she’s really stolen my heart. I find it hard to believe this is her first single, she has such a well-rounded sound that you’d think this came from a seasoned professional. The song itself has a warm and honest quality, which has made me exited for what’s to come from her upcoming EP.

Happy When I’m Blue – Jesper Munk

Effortlessly cool yet beyond sweet, this song made me just unbelievably happy. Sometimes I am just minding my own business and I’ll feel like I just have to listen to him right now. His velvety voice just surrounds you like a hug and I find it instantly calming, like a hot cup of tea (or warm beverage of your choice) on a cold day.

I Remember – Ady Suleiman

Yet another show-stopping voice that I just bloody love. His music has a sweet charm to it that makes me think of sun, ice cream and warm summer days. He’s anything but bland, and this song in particular just feels like a mix of everything that is truly good in the world.

Untitled – Rex Orange County

Alex O’Connor can make a tune. I’ve honestly just rotated which of the songs from ‘Apricot Princess’ has been my favourite since he released it. This is the one which I keep going back to, it’s so candid, sweet and relatable that I think it’d be difficult to find someone who didn’t love this as soon as they head it.

Sober – Tom Grennan

Can Tom Grennan do anything wrong? I’d be hard-pressed to criticise anything about his music really. This is yet another song from his upcoming album that is just fab. Great vocals great melody, great everything. Him releasing these singles is just making the – well earned – buzz around his album even bigger. I can’t wait to see him again in March.

Ones To Watch in 2018: Rex Orange County

rex orange county.pngLondon Based Alex O’Connor has completely stolen my heart in 2017, and I can’t even imagine what he has in store for 2018 that could be even better. After being ‘discovered’ by Tyler, The Creator in 2016, he’s just gone from strength to strength.

The release of his album “Apricot Princess” earlier this year brought an influx of fans and critical acclaim, and not for no reason. “Apricot Princess” is one of the most beautiful, honest and candid albums of 2017. The way he expresses himself can at times be so blunt and brutally honest that it’s unexpected. It’s fresh and new, and it’s a modern description of love that is sometimes ignored in favour of an older more romanticised view.

I actually can’t wait to see what he has in store for 2018, it’ll be exciting to hear what’s next for him.

Ones To Watch in 2018: Pale Waves

After a beyond Successful 2017, Pale Waves are set to take over 2018. After being signed to one of the buzziest labels around and, gaining a large following in their hometown of Manchester Pale Waves had a successful festival season and the year saw them releasing 4 singles, which were all well received and definitely grew their popularity.pale waves

For lovers of The 1975, Pale Waves sound really fits the bill (possibly as 2 of their singles were produced by frontman Matty Healy). They have a similar, dreamy pop sound – self proclaimed as “Nineties inspired indie-pop feels, drenched in reverb and glitter” – but they’re different enough to make you stop and listen to them. Their feel-good sound combined with painfully relatable lyrics is a combination that’s hard to beat.

Touring in the early months of next year (tickets here) is sure to bring them an even larger following and more – well deserved – fans than ever.

Ones To Watch in 2018: Fickle Friends

22879388_322479618221296_1529741721_oIt seems well overdue for Brighton-based Fickle Friends to release an album. Their positive-yet-honest songs make for a completely irresistible listen that people will no doubt love. Over the past year, their singles have gained considerable air-time on mainstream radio – most notably ‘Hard to Be Myself’ being added to the radio 1 playlist and “Swim” being featured in Pitch Perfect 3.

Their debut ‘You Are Someone Else’ releases March  16th 2018,  including a mixture of new and well-loved songs from them. Not only are their songs beautiful, but live I think they really come into their own. Seeing them live really lets Natti’s voice to shine through, and it really made me take notice of them and how much I actually love their music. I wish them all the best for the new year.

Fickle Friends are on tour during early next year, find tickets here.

Zak Abel – Only When We’re Naked

This debut from Zak Abel is long awaited, not only because I’ve been desperate to hear it but also because the release date kept being bloody pushed back. I guess it was something to do with the high demand. Now, I already knew he was incredible live, but I’d only heard his older songs live really, he never really let much on about these new ones and damn were they a secret worth keeping.1200x630bb

I feel like Zak Abel really gives you a bit of everything, he’s got this totally individual indie-pop/garage sound. It really appeals to everyone because it just makes you want to dance. His music gives everything he can, there are some really beautiful songs on this album. I think he’s even better live than recorded because it takes out a level of editing and lets his voice really shine through for how incredible it is.

My favourite of his songs has always been Alchemy, there’s just something so cool about it. However, Awakening is really rivalling it. It’s such a great song and it just builds and builds as you listen to it. In a slight change of vibe Deserve to Be Loved is bloody gorgeous, and almost makes me think of Tom Odell. I love the way his voice and lyrics really take control on this one and it lets you see just how talented he really is. It feels really soulful and oh god, I just love it.

I don’t really know who I can compare him to, what he does is so new and fresh that it wouldn’t be fair to compare him to other people. I think he’s worked hard to carve out his own sound, and it really works to him and is bound to appeal to a really wide varied audience.

I fully can’t wait to hear these songs live soon, I just know they’ll be incredible. All in all, it was completely worth the long wait. He’s definitely going to go far based on this album. I wish him all the luck in the world, it couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Sundara Karma // Rock City // 30.09.17

22199221_313327765803148_2086796755_oA sold-out Rock City feels like a massive venue but that didn’t stop Sundara Karma from absolutely dominating the stage. After seeing them previously – but only at Barn on The Farm – I knew they were good, but I wasn’t prepared for how insanely good the night would be.

Bloxx were the first support act of the night and they really turned it out. I’ve never seen a crowd respond so incredibly positively to a support act before. They really worked the crowd and got us ready with their indie-rock tunes.

Next, The Magic Gang came out and I bloody love The Magic Gang. They’re so bloody amazing and they just have this absolutely joyous energy when they’re on stage and it’s completely infectious. I’ve been listening to them for a while, but I’ve not yet managed to see them live, which is a massive disappointment now because I know what I’ve been missing. I’m an absolute sucker for an indie-rock sound and these guys deliver exactly what I’m asking for, so I’ll definitely be seeing them again as soon as I get the opportunity, and I’d also recommend everyone does the same.22164048_313327829136475_455906084_o

By the time Sundara Karma came on stage I felt well and truly ready. This night was about so much more than just the music it was a whole visual experience. I knew they would sound flawless live (which they did) but I wasn’t prepared for the fact that every visual detail, every moment had been thought through to perfection, which unfortunately meant I didn’t take many pictures because I was so mesmerised by what was happening on stage. The night had a huge element of theatricality to it, which I guess you’d expect from these guys, but it just worked so well.22199201_313327779136480_81633476_o

I felt grabbed right from the start of Another Word For Beautiful where Oscar’s voice speaks for itself, through one of their older songs Diamond Cutter and finally to ending on the explosive Explore. I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. You can tell that they absolutely adore what they’re doing and the love they get from their fans by the fact that Oscar kept actually getting in the crowd and wasn’t afraid to have people showing him how much they love him. Every so often, his well thought out, deep exterior would break and let a really cheesy grin out, which just shows how much he loves what he’s doing.

What I really love about Sundara Karma is that they’re not afraid to be different. This is something that’s really close to me, they aren’t afraid to not sound like, and look like everyone else. They have a completely unique look and sound, which


I think is what has drawn so many people to them. Listening to them isn’t like listening to everyone else, it’s different. I think it gives lots of people a place where they feel like they belong. I feel like over the past few years they’ve really cleared up what they’re doing and they’ve found their place. The way I see it, the only way is up for Sundara Karma.




5 Songs for This Week 04.09.17

Another week of late nights and feeling rough – and therefore incredibly sorry for myself – has left me with plenty of time to listen to music doing pretty much nothing else. However, the arrival of my housemates has meant that I have to be a lot more considerate about when and how loud I am playing it.

Say What You Say – HAUS

I’m pretty surprised I haven’t written about this song because I listen to it literally every day without exception. I’ve got a lot of time for these guys, especially their recent releases have been so impressive and Say What You Say is an amazingly catchy song without being annoying – which I find is something that easily happens with songs that get stuck in your head. I really enjoy their sound and I find them so easy and fun to listen to.

White Noise Boys – Airways

Since hearing the intro to this song purely by chance I’ve been completely obsessed, this is such a crazy good song, and I don’t really have any criticism at all for it. It’s that kind of indie rock that’s just irresistible to me, there’s something about it that I can’t get enough of.

Howl – Outlya

This is such a happy song and it’s so beautiful I don’t think anyone could resist singing long to it (well I know I can’t). For those moments when you’re down and you feel like you need a little pick-me-up this song is absolutely perfect.

Treat Me Like A Lover – Will Joseph Cook

I had forgotten about this song and had a moment of enlightenment last week where I was singing one line over and over again and couldn’t remember what the song was and then it hit me. It was this bad by. Everything Will (I feel like first name basis is probs okay) produces is truly lovely indie pop that just so so good for your soul.

Days are Gone – The Sulks

This gives me serious libertines vibes, I think that’s just because I’ve been watching a lot of Gavin and Stacey recently and it’s just imprinted on my mind. This is such a cool song and I’ve just been forcing anyone I’m with to listen to it.


5 Songs for This Week 21.08.17

I had a long overdue catch up with my brother this week, which lead to him giving me song recommendations, which I hate to admit I actually loved. I also started my new job, which has been nice because it’s meant that I haven’t spent all day every day in complete isolation because I was starting to think I might go a bit crazy.

Maid of The Mist – Diet Cig

These guys give me major Tullycraft vibes and I’m not mad about it. Singer, Alex has such a sweet voice and it’s such a pretty song that’s a complete pleasure to listen to. It’s made my walks into town (even when it’s raining) much more enjoyable.

Beeping – Polish Club

This is such a cool song, and listening to it makes me feel like dancing every time without fail. For this reason, I’ve set it as my morning alarm, and I don’t hate it yet which is quite an achievement. They have a more low fi sound that is really appealing and makes for a really interesting listen.

The 411 – Bears in Trees

Ukulele music is absolutely irresistible, isn’t it? There’s fully something about it that can’t help but lift your mood. This song really makes me feel nostalgic in such a good way, even though the lyrics aren’t overly happy for the whole song, but I think the melody tricks you into thinking it’s so happy. They have such a cool sound as a band and I think they’re definitely worth a listen.

Age of Consent (New Order) – Cayetana

The kind of dreamy guitar sound on this song coupled with the vocals has a sort of contrast that really works for me. I found myself singing the chorus of this when I’d only listened to this a few times (luckily, I’m in our house alone, or I think I’d have had some serious complaints) and I actually couldn’t get it out of my head. It’s such a pretty, interesting song too.

Credit Cars and Trains – Sir Simon

This guy has such a talent, their music is awesome and I’m so here for it. The vocals are, to me, faultless and it makes for a lovely song. It’s such a sweet song and it’s such a nice listen, it flows so beautifully and I find it so calming. It’s just wonderful and I think he derives a lot more appreciation for his songs.

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.