Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Feature - Culture of the Copy

Bit late with this (and I know talking about your own band is a bit dull) but Tye Die Tapes have very kindly put out Feature's new EP, 'Culture of the Copy' so I thought I'd give it a quick, totally shameless plug.

Because of Bandcamp's new rule change, you can now hear ALL of the songs from the four-track EP, right here, or just stream 'Psalms' to see what it's like:

We were really lucky to record this in January up in Sheffield with Michael and Adam at Tye Die Tapes. It was bloody freezing but they've done a great job at hiding the noise of the wind coming through the windows on the guitar parts. The EP was based on (one of) Jen's favourite books, Culture of the Copy by Hillel Schwartz, which is a cultural history of twins, doubles, copies, imposters and Doppelgangers. I've only dipped in and out of it on a train journey, but if you can get your hands on a copy you should - I found vanishing twin syndrome particularly fascinating, and this is what the lyrics of 'Twins' looks into.

It has also been amusing/frustrating how many 'girl band' references we're now getting, especially the old favourite of 'riot grrrl', even though as far as I know I'm the only member that has a teen love of the 'genre' (though describing it as a genre still doesn't do justice to such a hugely diverse selection of musicians that are associated with the movement). Jen never went through a riot grrrl phase and I don't think I've ever really chatted about it with Heather, so it's strange that we're still being referred to as a riot grrrl band. We wrote this piece a few years ago for our friend Sarah's art submission, which hopefully to some length explains why gender really shouldn't still be a big deal. I feel as though even responding to it draws unnecessary attention, or makes us sound moany or whatever, but there's still definitely need for discussion when it continues to still be the focus for some people.

ANYWAY. Should you like what you hear, you can get the EP on cassette or download directly from TDT:

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Playlist - Into Spring

In two weeks I'm going to be heading to New York for the very first time, and so in preparation I'm trying to put together playlists for the long flights there and back. If anyone passes by here and has any tips, recommendations are welcome! It's boring to always moan about lacking the hours to sit and write and consume new music, I know, but I am enjoying setting time aside to research recent albums and catch up on tracks and bands that I've seen flash by my screen, unexplored until now.

So here I am at the beginning: some music that's caught my ear recently, that will hopefully lead to further new discoveries...

Monday, 20 January 2014

January 2014 Mixtape

As someone with a memory full of blackholes and a waning attention span, Songdrop has been my saviour this month, neatly adding a virtual post-it note to all those tracks that pass by during report-writing, emailing and glancing longingly through the window...

Although it's not the end of the month quite yet, my next update could be some time so here's a rundown of songs that have caught my ear so far in 2014. Special mentions go to Seeds of Doubt, Primitive Parts, As Ondas, Ravioli Me Away, Lady Neptune and Blueprint Blue, simply for reminding me that despite mice, damp, horrible train journeys and extortionate rent prices, living in London can be worth it when bands like this are locals too.

Here goes...

Friday, 3 January 2014

My Secret World: The Story of Sarah Records

After ceasing existence in 1995 following an eight-year run of many beloved releases (including The Field Mice, Another Sunny Day, The Orchids and Heavenly), I'm very excited to hear that one of indie-pop's greatest DIY labels, Sarah Records, is soon to be getting a long overdue documentary!

Founded in Bristol in 1987 by Clare Wadd and Matt Haynes, Sarah Records released an impressive 623 7" singles, fanzines, albums and compilations in total, and filmmaker Lucy Dawkins has spoken to many of the label's bands, diehard fans and amassed footage from the era, "[proving] you can run a successful business without surrendering personal ethics". The film is currently looking for distribution and will have a premiere in Bristol sometime this year. Here's the first trailer:

Saturday, 28 December 2013

2013: Personal Best

Photo by PZS

Noteworthy Albums:
* click album names for tracks *

Vision Fortune - Mas Fiestas con el Grupo Vision Fortune (Faux Discx/Gringo)
Pissed Jeans - Honeys (Sub Pop)
Mazes - Ores and Minerals (Fat Cat)
Hookworms - Pearl Mystic (Gringo)
Thee Oh Sees - Floating Coffin (Castle Face)
Fists - Phantasm (Gringo/Hello Thor)
Parquet Courts - Light Up Gold (What's Yr Rupture)
Shopping - Consumer Complaints (Milk Records)
Just Handshakes - Say It (Bleeding Gold)
White Denim - Corsicana Lemonade (Downtown)
Bill Callahan - Dream River (Drag City)
Factory Floor - Factory Floor (DFA Records)
Julia Holter - Loud City Song (Domino)
Pond - Hobo Rocket (Modular)
Quasi - Mole City (Domino)
The Space Lady - Greatest Hits (Night School Records)
The Julie Ruin - Run Fast (Dischord / TJR)
Mariam The Believer - Blood Donation (Moshi Moshi Records)
Kurt Vile - Wakin On A Pretty Daze (Matador)
Julianna Barwick - Nepenthe (Dead Oceans)
The Mantles - Long Enough To Leave (Slumberland)
Larry Gus - Years Not Living (DFA Records)
Au Revoir Simone - Move In Spectrums (Moshi Moshi Records)
Deptford Goth - Life After Defo (Merok)
No Bra - Candy (LP on Address)
A Grave With No Name - Whirlpool (Lefse Records)
Gun Outfit - Hard Coming Down (PPM)
The Haxan Cloak - Excavation (Tri Angle)
The Growlers - Hung At Heart (Fat Cat)

.. There is so much more that's interested me, but I'd feel weird including an album I haven't listened to more than twice - I need to do some serious catching up.

Noteworthy Songs:

Sauna Youth - False Jesii Pt II
Primitive Parts - Another Night / Dust
Elenor Friedberger - Stare At The Sun
The Pastels - Check My Heart
Withered Hand - Black Tambourine
Virginia Wing - Donna's Gift
Teardrop Factory - Vanity Unfair
Witching Waves - Barber
Slowcoaches - Total Block
Tense Men - RNRFON
Girl Called Johnny - Heaven Knows

New Finds:

Ed Schrader's Music Beat
Claw Marks
Occult Hand
Men Oh Pause
Androgynous Mind
The Wharves
Good Throb
Zombie Crash
Joey Fourr
Nu Sensae

The Best of 2013:

Supernormal Festival (all of it)
Tramlines (aka Sweatfest '13) at Tye Die Tapes HQ w. Slowcoaches, Omi Palone, Collider, Fawn Spots, Feature & Pjaro
Ed Schrader's Music Beat at TDT HQ (especially the Bowie ad-lib)
Seeing The Breeders for the first time (twice!)
Daniel Johnston at Protein Gallery
Lydia Lunch terrifying & charming everyone at the 100 Club
The London screening of Kathleen Hanna doc 'The Punk Singer'
Primavera (but not the cold weather)
White Denim at Village Underground
First and second visits to Amsterdam

Looking forward to in 2014:

An album from Omi Palone!
New Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks record
New York trip
The Space Lady World Tour (!)
Portugal & Barcelona
Potential UK tour w. Feature


Sunday, 8 December 2013

One Beat - Best of 2013 Playlist

I now spend so much time speaking to other (much more capable) writers about new music, that I'm left with pretty much no time to actually keep up with my own writing. It's a small price to pay though, as this little playlist will show.

So here is a selection of a few of my favourite tracks that I've worked on from the past year. (Note: I've picked solely from my freelance roster rather than including the [PIAS] Cooperative stuff too, simply because otherwise it would go on for HOURS and HOURS. Expect that little round-up to appear online soon.) It was also strange to realise that I'd already written about so many of the bands long before I got the chance to work with them. Seems being a massive fangirl does pay off sometimes, who'd have thought?!

Follow at:

Monday, 1 July 2013

The Mantles - Hello

The Mantles' new album is all kinds of great. And this is just one reason why... (directed by Grass Widow's Hannah Lew)...

Slumberland Records are releasing Long Enough To Leave in the UK on 15th July. Visit them at: