Midweek Muse: Field Trip - WHOOP-Szo - Sian Cross - Trudy and the Romance - A Tree Grows

Field Trip - Still.

Background - New York-based field trip have shared their latest track "Still". It's from their upcoming album, Horror Vauci. The band's Noah Champ explains that "The lyrics come from one of my favourite dreams that involved melting into someone underwater, in the shallow end of a swimming pool."

It’s not easy for people with strange, sometimes puzzling minds to control the sounds in their heads and effectuate them into meaning through sound. Noah Champ, Los Angeles native expatriated to New York, has one of those elusive minds: neither here nor there, but somewhere in between, constantly building and re-building upon the expanses of thought. His music, penned field trip, exposes a deeply-altered perspective, horrified and charged by new environs and feelings. Unlike many, Champ has successfully been able to materialise the emotional voids at the core of his person, and has etched them on tape for us to indulge in.

Champ moved to New York in what proved to be a deeply-altering time not only for him, but for his new home’s music scene. The beau monde-induced demise of dominant venues like Death by Audio and 285 Kent prophesied the inevitable extinction of the tight-knit, music-first rooms that incubated records the band regarded as scripture. 

Wishing to experience these space’s ephemeral legacy and mythos, Champ (singer/drums), joined by Nico Geyer (guitar), Phillip Braun (synthesisers), and Jason Park (guitar), sprung on an opportunity to play at Palisades in late 2014, having since been joined by Will Sacks (bass). Another year of playing and ambling in New York finds field trip tapping into further reaching sounds, connecting the dots between the likes of Factory Records alums, early trip hop, and space-age California. The band release their debut LP, Horror Vacui, this Friday (11/11). Facebook here.

'Still' is a fine song and good indicator of what's to be heard on the debut album Horror Vacui, released this coming Friday. Field Trip dare to be different with the album, it's genre defying and although they have something of a consistent sound, there is no safe format. Despite the exploration and perhaps experimentation, they also have an ear for melody and avoid being self indulgent, but are certainly imaginative.


WHOOP-Szo - Another Show.

Background from the band - Our new record, Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio, is a grouping of demos and experiments carried out through a rigorous touring schedule. In a way it’s a band finding a collective voice and searching in vain to find a sound all it’s own, but in a very fragmented way.

Citizen’s Ban(ne)d Radio worked out in a way that feels like a natural progression from where our previous recordings left-off. We recorded from home (as sporadic as it was to be at home) which became a very reflective process. The rest of our world was spinning faster than any of us could have imagined and before we knew it, two years had passed and we felt as though we had become entirely different people. In the end this feels like a record of and by the road. A never ending search and reflection. A bit nostalgic and definitely varied.

Our album and song themes often focus on issues like colonisation, language, self-determination, and appropriation. We work to bridge the boundaries between social work, activism, and music making, not only in our hometown of London, Ontario, but also in communities across Turtle Island. Facebook here.

Live Dates:
November 11 - Jimmy Jazz - Guelph
November 17 - Baby G - Toronto
November 18 - London release - TBA
November 19 - Orange Room - Aylmer
November 23 - Ottawa w/Ottawa Explosion
November 24 - L’esco - Montreal
November 25 - le Scanner - Quebec City
November 26 - The Spill - Peterborough
December 2 - Brantford
December 3 - Hamilton

WHOOP-Szo are loosely an alt rock band with the emphasis firmly on alternative. 'Another Show' demonstrates a softer side of the band and lies somewhere between psychedelic and folk music. They can and do mix up the tempo and energy levels, whilst keeping their material accessible and so often melodic.


Sian Cross - Stare At Me.

Background - Sian Cross stunned listeners with her recent single Tell Anybody. Praised by critics and fans alike, helped by a stunning stop-motion video from Wes Anderson collaborator Andy Biddle. Reviewers praised her honest songwriting and exquisite vocals.

Sian’s latest single, Stare At Me, will be released on the week of National Anti-bullying week whilst 50% of money that is raised by the sale of this track will go towards an anti-bullying charity – something Sian feels strongly about.

Stare At Me, is based on having conscious knowledge and acceptance of ones own individually - being separate from our environment and other individuals. Not only do the emotive Jesse Ware style vocals surpass expectations, but also the lyrics are what pull us in, leaving us instantly needing more. Website here.

Live Dates:
11th - Basingstoke Anvil - Basingstoke (supporting Sons Of Pitches)
12th - Falmouth Pavilion - Falmouth (supporting Son Of Pitches)
14th - St Albans Arena - St Albans (supporting Sons Of Pitches)
21st - Cadogan Hall - London (supporting Sons Of Pitches)
23rd - The Rowbarge - Guildford (supporting Mishka Shubaly)
25th - Gullivers - Manchester  (supporting Mishka Shubaly)
26th - Slaughtered Lamb - London (supporting Mishka Shubaly)
27th - Robin 2 - Wolverhampton (supporting China Crisis)

'Stare At Me' is our third song feature for Sian Cross (well I did say "I definitely want to hear more" last time around). I remain massively impressed and not just with her superb vocals. If anything each song seems to grow in quality from content, arrangement through to production. If you can see her live at the above dates, I say go for it!


Trudy and the Romance - Sandman.

Background - Fresh from their tour with The Big Moon, Trudy and the Romance unleash new cut ‘Sandman’, a rampaging track which sees the Liverpool trio further carving out their own lane.

Delivered with a twisted twinkle in their eyes, ‘Sandman’ is their boldest pop statement yet. Shout-along segments and wavy chord progressions add a driving pop character to their ostensibly slapdash but perfectly crafted song writing. A dash of northern soul (or is it Northern Songs?) inflects their rowdy rock and roll with a sentimental charm.

Trudy’s ascent has been quick and effortless. Previous single ‘He Sings’ united all corners of the nation in praise, from the London press outwards, and promptly climbed to number 7 on the UK Spotify viral charts. 6Music’s Steve Lamacq is a bona fide fan, having seen them and made them artist of the week, and through their gigging Trudy and the Romance have further cemented their conquest. Feverish support on the airwaves has come from Radio X and Radio 1’s Huw Stephens who included ‘He Sings’ in his Best of BBC Introducing, and even from as far afield as LA’s KCRW.

With more material in the works and yet more gigging before the year is out, Trudy and the Romance are cooking up something unique and fresh. To all those who thought the age of romance in music is long dead, Trudy and the Romance stand defiant as mutated specimens of a bygone era. Website here.

Live dates
18 November 02 Academy 2, Liverpool *Supporting Honeyblood
25 November The Finsbury, London *Rockfeedback Club Night
13 – 19 March, SXSW, Austin, USA

Less than two weeks after our first feature for Trudy and The Romance the band provide us with another song in the form of 'Sandman', and it's to good to ignore. The band continue to produce lovable and beautifully loose music, that manages to come together and ooze feeling and charm.


A Tree Grows - Wau Wau Water.

Background -  In advance of announcing their debut album through Rufftone Records, Brooklyn-based A Tree Grows present 'Wau Wau Water', the first single from their self-titled debut EP. Involving some of the most talented musicians on the New York scene, they create a unique stew with jazz at its core, blended with afrobeat, rock and experimental sounds.

Each composition on this coming LP surrounds a difference concept, describing a distinct state in the evolution of life on earth. The images are snapshots, extending from the beginning of life to the emergence of emotions, to aspects of modern human life. The cycle closes with possibilities for future development: self perpetuating intelligence. The composition Wau Wau Water is based on the following concept: "Enzymes are forming in a prehistoric ocean - evolving into bacteria. A stew of life is brewing, the cycle starts and intensifies in this patch of fertile Wau Wau Water."

"Defining and discussing these concepts during the rehearsal and recording process created a sense of purpose among the musicians and a deeper engagement with the compositions. This has transformed our creative process," explains Emanuel Ruffler.

The accompanying video was created by acclaimed videographer Hideki Shiota, who has received the Best Cinematography Award at the Asian American International Film Festival.

A Tree Grows creates instrumental jazz-core music that tastefully crosses stylistic barriers. This unique collaboration involves two brothers - Rashaan Carter and Russell Carter - and German-born electronic musician Emanuel Ruffler. Together, they create sonic textures, over which Tivon Penicott and Duane Eubanks stretch a layer of raw, emotional jazz lines. Not afraid to defy expectations of style, instrumentation and expression, the unique style of each member of A Tree Grows makes for a potent sonic concoction that is refreshing, insightful, and deliciously exciting. Facebook here.

I guess Beehive Candy is hardly any jazz fans first port of call for new music, however I just love 'Wau Wau Water' and it's easy and laid back feeling. In the UK there used to be a comedy sketch show (The Fast Show) where Jazz Club was a regular piece, almost always with a super cool host and artists that played awfully, or just making an indulgent noise. A Tree Grows are the anecdote for all of that, this is superb music, and just so good for my ears and heart.