Thursday, 22 October 2015

Thursday Three: Jumpcuts - Matt Stillert - The Sticklers

Jumpcuts - Headlights.

Background - Baltimore electronic new wave rock band Jumpcuts will release a limited edition 7” vinyl single and embark on a tour of the East Coast this October and November in support of their sophomore album Fiber Optic Bondage, due for release this spring. Following several national and regional tours, singer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Shankman tracked the songs “Headlights” and “Curses and Verses” at Baltimore’s Mobtown Studios with producer Mat Leffler-Schulman (Future Islands, Dustin Wong). Fiber Optic Bondage blends atmospheric synths, danceable beats, and Shankman’s introspective lyrics.

Jumpcuts' resume includes tour dates spanning the eastern half of the U.S., opening slots for Phantogram and School of Seven Bells, collaborations with producers of Beach House and Celebration, and a featured performance slot on WFUM's Live From Cleveland. This fall’s string of shows will feature Steve Bryant, the NYC-based producer and drummer most recently known for his work as the drummer for the band Young & Sick. Shankman, known for his angular guitar work, will incorporate simultaneous singing and guitar looping for much of the new material. More information on Jumpcuts is available on the band’s official website.

Fall Tour Dates for Jumpcuts

Sat, Oct 24 @ Denton, TX, J & J's Pizza
Sun, Oct 25 @ Houston, TX, Super Happy Fun Land
Wed, Oct 28 @ Panama City, FL, A&M Theater
Wed, Nov 11 @ Carrboro, NC, The Station
Sun, Nov 15 @ Sanford, FL, Rabbitfoot Records
Wed, Nov 18 @ Charleston, SC, Tin Roof
Fri, Nov 20 @ Charlotte, NC, The Milestone Club
Sat, Nov 21 @ Baltimore, MD, Reverb.

This song has that addictive something. Music and vocals interweave, it's so well layered and atmospheric, that a second listen was almost compulsive.


Matt Stillert - Shoe Boycotter.

Background - Based on the Sunshine Coast but always on the move, Matt Stillert is quickly becoming one of the hardest gigging blues n’ roots artists on the East Coast of Australia. With 2012’s debut EP ‘Don’t Fear The Beard’ turning several years of performance into product, all focus is now on upcoming full length ’Shoe Boycotter’ which lands November 21. Driven by the just released title track single, ‘Shoe Boycotter’ is self-produced with Matt playing nearly every instrument featured on the album, having painstakingly slaved over eleven tracks to achieve impassioned lyrical and musical fulfilment. While Matt’s sound and spirited live show has been described as "an alternative blues onslaught”, it must be noted that the rambling troubadour has a soft side with a penchant for sweeping poetic melodies, ultimately colouring his treasure chest of material.

Recent support slots for CW Stoneking, Hat Fitz & Cara and Marshall Okell compliment the ever growing list of festivals Matt has appeared at which now include Byron Bay Bluesfest, Woodford Folk Festival, Caloundra Music Festival, Gympie Music Muster, Mitchell Creek Rock N’ Blues Festival, Mary River Festival, Palm Creek Folk Festival, Perigean Originals and the Australian North Coast Rock N’ Blues Event. It’s safe to say you’ll see the word festival and Matt Stillert on a poster this summer! With a record collection that boasts early blues greats such as Son House and Skip James to the universally admired Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and Led Zeppelin, Matt Stillert has chosen an inevitable path where living and breathing music is a vital way of life.

Yes the comparisons are there, for me Seasick Steve sprang to mind, its inevitable when you pen a rootsy blues song, and deliver it with so much natural flair. Whatever names are mentioned, this track has its own legs and is just so cool.


The Sticklers - Breakfast In Hell.

Background - About ‘Breakfast In Hell’ Part song, part romantic revery, ‘Breakfast In Hell’ is undoubtedly The Sticklers at their most fully realised. Channelling the bookish melancholia of The Smiths with the upbeat pop euphoria of Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Sticklers’ nostalgic latest single is the stuff breakout tracks are made of. Lyricist Gabi Garbutt paints a vivid, breathing, and magical portrait of two lovers in a damned republic, while Lee Milward’s violin communicates the feelings that can’t be vocalised. A pop song in the classic sense: concise and hook-laden with a perfectly executed middle eight key change, it’s little wonder why they were selected to support The Libertines at the Manchester Ritz before the shows sudden cancellation. ’Breakfast In Hell’ is a compact gemstone of brilliance that’s sure to see them reaching a whole new sea of possibilities in their career. 

About The Sticklers “We create music that is passionate, honest and lyrical, fusing hard headed rock’n’roll, soaring soul and nimble-fingered folk fiddle.” At a time when poetic guitar pop is in short supply, waylaid by the increasingly tech-dependent and often soulless production values of new shoegaze and psychedelia, The Sticklers cut a defiantly beatific figure in their hometown of London. Forming in and around their local Camden pub The Wheelbarrow, they released their first EP ‘Hold It Up To The Light’ in 2013. After embarking on a series of live dates in London and beyond during the autumn, they eventually holed up in studio at the end of the year to record the pivotal single ‘Mr Needlove’. Its release was accompanied by a video that saw them playing on a moving barge, buoyed by impassioned melodies and poetic lyrics that eventually wormed their way into the ears of XFM’s John Kennedy, giving them vital radio play.

There is no one fulcrum on which The Sticklers’ sound rests. Vocalist Gabi Garbutt provides much of the romantic sentiment in her lyrics. Both a guitar player and a published poet, her lyrical approach stems from her interest in the pop poetry of literary musos like Patti Smith and Leonard Cohen. Violinist Lee Milward and lead guitarist Chris Brambley melodically reinforce her wistful commentary with their honeyed and nostalgic accompaniments, while Tom Newis and Lorenzo Levrini form the pivotal rhythmic backline. It’s a combination that produces instinctive chemistry.  There is little doubt that new single ‘Breakfast In Hell’ is only the start of a journey that promises to inject more colour, poetry, and imagination into the barren landscape of British indie music. The Sticklers may be colossal sentimentalists, but they’re finely-tuned pop writers too.

What a talented band The Sticklers are. Add to that a new single, where the B-side ('Down By The Waterside') is screaming for as much attention as the A-side and you know you have come across a band that promises superb music.


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