Six Of The Best: Young Robin - Pink Tea - Vermont - Albert Man - IDLES - Allman Brown

Young Robin - Faker Faker.

Background - One of the most beautiful things about being in a band is the mateship that comes with it. From start to finish – top to tail – Perth indie quintet Young Robin typify this universal quantity in every joy-filled note they play. Their friendship is literally fuelling their music.

Following on from the band's first offering 'Ferndully' earlier this year, new single 'Faker Faker' is the perfect case in point, concocting a spiralling whirlwind of dreamy guitar, catchy beats and carefree, effortlessly smooth vocals. It's what music aficionados seek in the perfect pop song: all the hooks and dance floor voodoo you can muster, without any of the cheese. 'Faker Faker' delivers this amazing serotonin injection with a masterful balance of enthusiasm and grace – a testament to the band's natural chemistry.

Having just played this year's WAM Saturday Spectacular Festival, Young Robin are gearing up for their single launch at The Boston in Perth, Saturday December 3. Vocalist Jed Begho says of the new song "It's about getting to know someone only to discover their true colours and intentions and struggling to decide whether it's worth it to keep going because of your history together or cut it off completely."

As a new band, Young Robin have a full tank of youthful energy and an endless highway to explore as they embark upon the wondrous road trip that is being in a band. At the heart of it all are five friends whose paths are intertwined by the music they make and the people they will meet because of it. Only time will tell what twists this journey will take, but without a doubt 'Faker Faker' is the most perfect step forward. Facebook here.

Bright and breezy indie music and equally pleasing vocals ensure 'Faker Faker' grabs our attention from the first chords. It's feisty uncomplicated music, where the energy levels are naturally high.


Pink Tea - Send Me A Letter.

Background - ‘Send Me A Letter’ is the upcoming single from Pink Tea that was written, recorded and produced in the home bedroom studio of Tom Murphy (Pink Tea) located in Brisbane’s northern suburbs.

Pink Tea has been writing music as a solo artist for nearly 2 years. The goal of the project has always been simple, to create a soul-infused style of alternative rock that will ignite emotion within listeners. Having recorded music solely as both writer and producer, it has always come straight from the heart.

‘Send Me A Letter’ is a hearty rock song, addressing the heartache that comes with losing contact with close friends, family and relations. A chugging bass line and pumping rhythm guitars create the chemistry of the song, and express the frustrations inherent in the lyrics. Underlying is the lead guitar riff, at most times hopeful and vibrant, but also urgent.

Needless to say the song is written and derived from personal experiences that Pink Tea has been through in the last year, the emotional hardships that come with maturing as a mid-20 year old and keeping friendships afloat.

Above all this lies the truly inspiring artists that Pink Tea himself draws motivation from. ‘Send Me A Letter’ was written with a few particular masterful and already well established artists in mind. These artists include Foals (UK) for their brilliance in lead riffs and explosive energy, local Aussie lads Hockey Dad, Harts and Silverchair for their fast paced yet honest rock sounds. There will be plenty soon-to-be-announced live shows on the way for Pink Tea before the end of 2016, with a national tour projected for 2017. Facebook here.

With a nice chunky guitar riff 'Send Me A Letter' starts as it means to go on. Vocals are right for the style and the melody and hooks are there throughout.


Vermont - Norderney.

Background - Following their much-acclaimed surprise debut album Vermont from 2014, Motor City Drum Ensemble’s Danilo Plessow and Innervisions' Marcus Worgull reunite for more synth daydreaming on the suitably titled “II”. The new outing continues where the first full-length left off, strolling further down the luminous and undulating path that the duo turned into, influenced in equal measures by kosmische, krautrock, minimal wave and synth soundtracks.

This latest batch of instrumental cuts opens with the strictly balearic vibe of Norderney, a softly swinging, light-footed recording with a keen sense for structure. Featuring a guest performance from Robbert Van Der Bildt (aka Kaap) on guitar, it’s a telling starting point for the album that - similar to Vermont’s self-titled debut - successfully navigates between economic, careful studio arrangements and playful, incidental exploration further pushing into jam session territory. Van Der Bildt's guitar returns on the plucky, curious Ufer, where Vermont showcase a renewed sense for jazz-like improvisation - same as on the cuts Dschuna, Chanang and Wenik, which also include contributions from Dermot O'Mahony and Tadhg Murphy on strings. Still, Vermont's synth contraptions remain the album's main attraction, with the extensive array of gear encompassing an entire panopticon of analog bling.

Continually intriguing, immersive and texturally rich, each one of Vermont's new pieces betray the experience, precision and determination of the producers involved - while opening up Worgull and Plessow's vocabulary for patient experimentation and subtle discoveries. A musical treat for synth aficionados - and everyone else, if you ask us. Artist page here.

'Norderney' is a subtle instrumental that gently develops and for me is rather addictive. The promo suggest a Balearic vibe which may be the case, however ironically Norderney is an Island well away from the Balearic Islands but that just me being pedantic (it was also the name of offshore Radio Veronica's vessel & that's me being way to clever). Whatever it's one fine piece of music!


Albert Man - I Feel Like Dancing.

Background - Albert Man’s second EP ‘Nothing Of Nothing Much’ will be his third release to date, and follows hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed 2016 album ‘Cheap Suit'. Written over the summer of 2016, it was recorded and mixed in record time over just three days on Pete Townshend’s floating recording studio, a 100 year old Dutch barge called the Grand Cru. Producer and guitarist Rhys Downing (Mark Ronson – ‘Uptown Special’) and a bunch of Albert’s musician friends worked tirelessly to get the EP finished on time and before the sea sickness kicked in.

Following in the footsteps of Randy Newman and Billy Joel, Albert Man has created classic, piano-led pop all wrapped up in some self-produced 80s-inspired artwork. The five-track EP shows how he’s developed as a songwriter, creating heartfelt ballads that still retain the slightly quirky lyrical style he is known for, especially in the two upbeat tracks, Shotgun and first single, I Feel Like Dancing.

Helping Albert out on “the boat that rocked” was Collette Williams (Rews, Huw Stephen’s pick for Radio 1's Best of BBC Music Introducing) on drums and backing vocals, delivering an amazing duet with Albert on You Had Me At Hello. Joe Garvey (BoB Unsigned Music Awards Best Male Nominee 2016) adding some backing vocals and Prince-inspired guitar to Diamond In The Rough, a song he helped co-write. Sarah Lynch (performed with Mumford and Sons, Ed Sheeran and The Strokes, to name a few) and Dara Munnis (musician and photographer who has photographed countless bands live on stage, both flew over from Ireland to record violin and piano on some of the tracks with Dara also documenting the whole three-day experience with his camera.

Albert Man’s ‘Nothing Of Nothing Much’ EP is available for pre-order from the 14th November 2016 on iTunes. All pre-orders come with an instant gratification download of the single I Feel Like Dancing. The EP will be released on the 3rd February 2017 with a launch party being held at St Pancras Old Church in London on the 8th February 2017, support from Joe Garvey and Jake Morrell. Website here, Facebook here.

'I Feel Like Dancing' is a classy piano pop song and Albert Man's vocals are a gift for this type of piece. Melodic and rather catchy (to say the least), yet another collection of songs to look forward to in the new year.


IDLES - Well Done.

Background - Bristol’s finest post-punk polemics IDLES have announced that they will be embarking on the massive 25 date ‘Brutalism UK Tour’ in March/April 2017. Politically charged, refreshingly confrontational and infectiously volatile, IDLES are a band like no other. Bringing the unsettling reality of the world we live in into their frantic assault on the senses, they are a band that can only be truly understood by witnessing in a live environment. 

The October release of single “Well Done” has seen the band rise to no.1 on Spotify’s Viral Charts & paired with intensive radio support from Huw Stephens, Annie Mac, Steve Lamacq and regular Radio 6 play has brought them to the forefront of ones to watch.

Don’t miss your chance to catch one of the most exciting bands in Britain in their purest form at the dates below. Their much anticipated debut album Brutalism out 10th March. Facebook here.

Full tour dates below:

March 2017
Monday 6th - Cambridge - Portland Arms
Wednesday 8th - Bristol - The Fleece
Thursday 9th - Colchester - Arts Centre
Friday 10th - London - Moth Club
Sunday 12th - Southampton - The Notes Café
Tuesday 14th - Birmingham - The Hare And Hounds
Wednesday 15th - Guildford - Boileroom
Thursday 16th - Brighton - The Prince Albert
Friday 17th - Tunbridge Wells - Forum
Saturday 18th - Bedford - Esquires
Monday 20th - Oxford - The Bullingdon
Tuesday 21st - Sheffield - The Plug
Wednesday 22nd - Newcastle Upon Tyne - Think Tank
Thursday 23rd - Aberdeen - Tunnels
Friday 24th - Dundee - Buskers
Saturday 25th - Edinburgh - Sneaky Pete’s
Monday 27th - York - The Crescent
Tuesday 28th - Hull - The Adelphi
Wednesday 29th - Nottingham - The Bodega
Thursday 30th - Liverpool - O2 Academy 2
Friday 31st - Wakefield - Unity Hall

April 2017
Monday 3rd - Stoke-On-Trent - The Sugarmill
Tuesday 4th - Preston - Guildhall
Wednesday 5th - Cardiff - Clwb Ifor Bach.

The video suggests this is a band to see live, so the above tour dates may well suit quite a few folk. 'Well Done' is a vibrant and massively likable song, the bands attitude pouring out of the speakers beautifully. Ones to watch out for I think.


Allman Brown - Palms.

Background - “Palms” feat. Liz Lawrence, is the gorgeous first single from Allman Brown's debut full-length 1000 Years, which he’ll be self-releasing on February 10th.

Inspired by fellow ever-changing troubadours like Ryan Adams and Sufjan Stevens and groups like Bombay Bicycle Club and Bon Iver, Brown is never afraid to try new things and incorporate different styles into his music, and his debut album is indicative of this approach. Songs like “Palms” and "Ancient Light” represent a sojourn into the world of soft and subtle electronica, while never losing the emotional punch of the folk-influenced works that set out his stall.

1000 Years was cut with longtime friend and producer Ian Barter (Paloma Faith, Izzy Bizzu). The ten-song record represents an artist exploring his past, present and future with an ever expanding set of musical tools anchored by a beautiful, rich and distinctive voice. “Palms” is Brown’s second collaboration with fellow Londoner Liz Lawrence, following their massive, poignant first single from 2013, “Sons And Daughters”, which has eclipsed over 3.5 million Spotify streams and over half a million YouTube views. Facebook here.

'Palms' is one of two songs that feature Liz Lawrence on next February's collection of eleven tracks that make up '1000 Years'. 'Palms' is indicative of the albums overall quality, where each song is finely crafted and the production really brings out the best. Mixing uptempo songs with more folksier and softer numbers Allman Brown's voice is given the opportunity to shine, and shine it does. One to look forward to.