Annabel Allum - Bryde - Drinks - Dead Man's Knee - Birdpeople

Annabel Allum - Rascal.

Background - Guildford-based Annabel Allum shares boisterous new single Rascal, her second offering of the year following acclaimed January release Beat The Birds and critically successful 2017 EP All That For What. Loaded with pulsating hooks and the enigmatic singer-songwriter’s tenacious vocals, Allum oozes charisma and once more showcases her ability to marry folk-style storytelling with snarling fuzzy indie.

“Rascal pinpoints a phase in time when it felt like no matter what I was doing, it wouldn’t be right”. Allum says, “Trying to look after myself, the people close to me, the people around me, and never finding a balance in any of it. I would either give too much or nothing at all. I still do that. It’s quite a sad song. Self-scrutiny, really. I guess I’m just still learning that it’s okay to not be able to please everything all the time”.

Alongside the striking sonic aesthetic of her music, her original look and self-styling has led to endorsements from Bastian Classics, Cheap Monday and various other indie clothing brands. Liam Corneloues on bass and Emma Hiley on drums complete Annabel’s trusty band, prepped to deliver raucous sets throughout the festival circuit in the UK and Europe this summer.

Rascal was produced by Adrian Hall (Goldfrapp, Du Blonde, Anna Calvi) and was released by London indie label Killing Moon Records on yesterday. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

We shared 'Beat the Birds' by Annabel Allum back in January and now we have 'Rascal'. Once again we have an expansive rock backdrop pulsating with power, whilst her vocals are more than equal to the soundtracks potent challenge as they melodically soar above.


Bryde - Peace.

Background - With debut LP Like An Island a month away from release, Bryde ups the ante on new single ‘Peace’. With her masterly understanding of dynamics and counterpoint, alongside her unbridled lyricism, ‘Peace' sees Bryde at her most amplified. Throughout her career Bryde has tackled challenging subject matter, exploring the curious relationship between vulnerability and empowerment with a psychological nuance and honesty that pegs her as a truly distinct new voice on the international indie circuit. 

Mixed by Catherine Marks (Wolf Alice, PJ Harvey and St Vincent), and mastered by Mandy Parnell, it's a record of catharsis which gives a voice to bad times and exorcises old demons. Her cagey verses morph into expansive choruses as Bryde expertly plays around with the contrasts between loud/quiet and soft/heavy.   

Bryde says of the track; “Peace is about the warm glow of two drinks and real connection with another person. It's about the end of anger and the settling calm after a storm. Being able to be entirely yourself and still be liked. I had to make it the loudest track on the album because if something's not a little subversive.”

Like An Island is scheduled for release on the 13th of April via Bryde’s own label Seahorse Music. Bryde founded it to publish records by like-minded women and help make them more visible in a male-dominated industry. This record is the culmination of all of Bryde’s experience with her craft so far, and support for it is also rapidly ramping up, with NPR recognising Bryde's voice as “equally stunning and chilling.”     

Bryde will set off on her biggest UK, IRE and EU tour so far. It’s a sprawling 29 date stretch in April and May that will see her peddling her inimitable brand of incisive lyricism and raucous rock and roll to her widest audience yet. There is little doubt, whether on wax or on stage, that this year is a pivotal one in her career so far. ‘Peace’ is out now with Like An Island to follow 13th of April on Seahorse Music. WEBSITE, TWITTER.

And it's our second feature this year for Bryde and the new single 'Peace'. It's another fine taste of what's to come with the debut album just weeks away, this time we have a feisty rocker, which makes a good companion for Bryde's melodic and lively vocals.


Drinks - Real Outside.

Background - Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley (White Fence) have teamed up for a second album as Drinks. The new album, Hippo Lite, will be released on Drag City worldwide on April 20, 2018. Drinks began in 2015 with the release of their debut LP, Hermits on Holiday on Presley’s own Birth Records.
“A month spent in an old mill in the under belly of France.
River swimming thrice a day.
Hot nights soundtracked by the rattle of randy frogs. Scorpion fear. In the sheets, on the face.
Hours of bird watching – no phone service. No wifi. 3 DVDs; Jurassic Park 1, 2 & 3.
Violin practice. Bread scoffing.
Early morning coffee drinking before the sun was too hot to do anything but snooze in the thick walled house. Music in the afternoon after a dip in the river and a cold beer on the square.
An album made for each other by one another with no hands, eyes or ears piercing the bubble other than that of dear friend Stephen Black who kept note of it all.”
– Cate Le Bon

“In a town, so very still and quiet.
A month in St. Hippolyte Du Fort, South France.
Where completely all of their brave young men vanished forever from the death machine of the first world war.
At one time left with only women and young girls.
Only relics of time standing still.
All the deceased names of men chiseled under a stone angel, that watches over the town square.
We set up a recording unit in an old stone mill turned house and began to write and record with the attention of tree trimmers or gardeners.
It got so hot we had to swim in a local river near by just to be able to think, then back to our home to make sounds and songs. Any sounds we could think of or wanted.
We used night sounds, night insects and used frogs as instruments. Did you know frogs have saxophones in their throats?
This is a broken music. a crumble. It’s the music of the building we called home for a month. We’ve never made & recorded music in such a simple living environment.
With all the ease, and air we needed. We were in a town 8 miles over from Robert Crumb’s hidden residence.
We lived in a mysterious place.
We had a flock of bats over for dinner many nights. No internet, or a phone to look to.
We had a beautiful big stone house, a river, and from time to time a lovely elderly yet young-hearted couple who would visit.
It was the opposite of what a typical recording experience usually is for any of us.
We tried to capture all of this and put it on record.”
– Tim Presley.

Recorded by Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo), Drums by “JT” John Thomas (Cate Le Bon/Islet) & mixed in Los Angeles by Samur Khouja at Seahorse Sound. All songs and lyrics by Cate Le Bon & Tim Presley. BANDCAMP.

Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley under the guise of Drinks have come up with an exceptional album as is only partially witnessed through the featured song 'Real Outside'. It as "out there" as anything I have heard in a long time, quirky, avant-garde, refreshing and highly original, it's also very moreish, in fact it's an album I find myself returning to out of continued intrigue as much as delight.


Dead Man's Knee - Pleasure.

Background - A paradigm shift in popular culture put the heady rock and roll excesses of the late twentieth century (sex and drugs) into the hands of contemporary commercial hip hop. ‘Pleasure’ is Dead Man’s Knee’s no-holds barred hard rock debut single that lyrically sets out to explore the shame prevalent in rock and roll over its hedonistic past.

There’s a freewheeling sense of experimental progression akin to Funkadelic, and a contemporary hard rock edge like QOTSA at their most Led Zeppelin, but frontman Del’s vocal approach recalls the rootsy body singing of Chuck Berry and Little Richard. It all combines to make a fearsome three minute head banger that’ll have you shaking out on to the streets, bopping to your nearest dive bar to break every new years resolution you thought you were serious about.

Dead Man’s Knee are a group from London who come from a background of blues, rock and roll, gospel and soul. Comprised of Del on guitar and vocals, Angelos on guitar, George on bass and Leonn on drums, the group have already earned their stripes playing as session musicians on the pop and soul circuit while also coming together (sans Angelos) as a rhythmic core for Jodie Abacus. Del and Leonn grew up in London from the same church community while Angelos and George both came from Greece.

The group formed in 2015 with Leonn replacing their old drummer in late 2016. As their fearsome debut single ‘Pleasure’ demonstrates, the four-piece have an electrifying chemistry, reanimating the bones of vital and exciting hard rock while lyrically questioning the dogma of the long-faded rock and roll lifestyle. This is modern rock stripped of the pretence. It’s not packaging and selling you a hedonistic dream, it’s offering a nuanced critique on the role of pleasure in our lives. Sometimes it’s healthy to step out the zone and wild out. FACEBOOK, TWITTER.

'Pleasure' explodes into action as a full on straight down the line rocker. The vocals are pure rock & roll, potent, determined and commanding as the band turn out some super charged riffs, Dead Mans Knee are on fire and burning bright!


Birdpeople - The Monument.

Background - Birdpeople are not your regular pop outfit. Points of departure include Walter Benjamin, the Hyperobject, Reza Negarestani, Hayao Miyazaki, Andrej Tarkovskij, God, Fritz Lang, Robert Wiene, Alejandro Jodorowsky; a volatile love-hate relationship with contemporary art music; the zombie-like doggedness of plant life: viriditas vs. the smooth face of the everyday; Capitalism, the gender system, downfall and ruins; family and the impossibility of breaking free; affinity, camaraderie, loss, grief, decay; having the rug pulled out from under you; living like a shadow of yourself; the way back or out of here; nerves; dead capital and living labour; architecture and anti-techture. It’s a post-apocalyptic salvage-op in anticipation of the Collapse.

The members’ former project fell apart due to a sense of diminishing urgency. Guitar music seemed patriarchal beyond redemption, and in a fit of desperation they bought a semi-modular MS-20. None of them knew the first thing about analogue synthesis, but that was precisely the point. They projected old sci-fi flicks onto the wall of their rehearsal space, recording improvised music directly to a portable cassette recorder. Work on an EP soon began under the supervision of producer Magnus “Existensminimum” Monn, who shared the band’s musical claustrophobia. The songs resisted violently: writer’s block, homemade instruments, derelict vintage synths, sonorous metal scraps fashioned into a tree.

“We wanted to build a utopia out of all this riff raff, and somehow this became our way of making music feel like it mattered again. Using hardware synths makes played parts irrevocable, it limits and hinders – a paradoxical deliverance. There were times when we couldn’t communicate except through the sounds we made; sometimes we were like a harmonious hive mind.”

The nom de guerre Birdpeople was solemnly adapted after work on the EP was concluded. It’s meant to convey the impression of a family, or, rather,  a cult. That was what the trio felt they had become during the process. Birds, ever present in the band’s lyrics, became their spirit animals. “We wanted to address the ambivalence of this wondrous-yet-harrowing imprisonment of being human. Nevertheless, music seemed to offer some way out of the compulsory nature of human-being. Bird-being thus became a metaphor for a kind of cyborgs-to-be, for the potentiality of being more than human – possessing wings, talons and beak, being able to observe the world from above.” Birdpeople are Amanda Blomqvist, Cecilia Wickström and Jakob Lavonius. Magnus “Existensminimum” Monn is their producer and next of kin. FACEBOOK.

A swift flowing beat introduces 'The Monument' that soon upgrades into something notable as the vocals and layers of sound develop. Rhythmic, creative and something of a musical journey at just short of seven minutes, Birdpeople keep you guessing and reward you with some beguiling twists along the way.