Alice Costelloe - Niloo - Album Club - Charlotte Rose Benjamin - Nora Kelly Band
Having played in bands since she was 12 years old, London born musician and songwriter Al (Alice) Costelloe signed to Mute records at just 17 as half of shoegaze two-piece ‘Big Deal’. The band released 3 critically acclaimed albums, garnering enthusiastic support across British radio with multiple singles playlisted at BBC 6 music. Further to this, the inclusion of the duo’s song ‘Dream Machines’ on the soundtrack of blockbuster movie ‘Divergent’ helped deliver them to a wider audience, amassing 70,000 followers online and over 10,000,000 streams.
After years of international touring, supporting the likes of Depeche Mode and The Vaccines and appearing at festivals such as SXSW, NOS Alive and Reading & Leeds, Costelloe disbanded the band after a breakdown within the partnership made continuing impossible. Disillusioned with life on the road, and traumatized by the tumultuous relationship within the project, Costelloe suffered a crisis of confidence in her musical capabilities and was resolved to never write or perform again, taking up a job as a nanny instead.
However, whilst walking back from a shift one night she chanced upon the members of ‘Superfood’ (Dirty Hit) outside a local bar who convinced her to not give up on music and to play bass with the group as they toured their new album. Encouraged by the band members, as well as her partner ‘VANT’ (Parlophone) who she also began to tour with, Costelloe began to consider creating her own music again and tentatively started work on recording home demos which form the basis of her upcoming singles.
==========================================================================Niloo - All in the Name.
Niloo tells us 'All in the Name' is the sophomore single off of my self-titled EP, and it’s the follow-up to To Feel It Deep.
All in the Name is a mellow dream-pop track about the solitude, reflection and calm one often experiences after the ending of a turbulent relationship. It is about re-discovering yourself after the dust settles, taking stock of the lessons you have learned from past relationships and coming to some clarity about dynamics that you won’t accept in the future. The lyrics, along with the vocals and the musical arrangement of the song, create a mood that is soothing and bittersweet.
This peaceful little track was made in collaboration with the amazing folks at Risque Disque Studios in the summer of 2021. The dynamic percussion was created and tracked by Jen Yakamovich of Troll Dolly; equally melancholy and playful Wurlitzer was dreamed up and performed by Finn Smith; last but certainly not least, bass guitar, co-production and mix was done by Shilo Preshyon of Cartoon Lizard.
==========================================================================Album Club - Different Hours.
Album Club are a band of creatives that initially gathered to discuss music in The Laurieston, an iconic Glasgow bar in 2019. The group was started by MJ McCarthy who brought friends together to dissect albums, track by track over drinks. This gathering then morphed into something more, and the band was born over lockdown in 2020. Although not all the members were musicians, an album emerged, something beautiful created in defiance of adversity. It is an album of friendship and community crafted by a group of people brought together by a love of music.
Album Club is made up of MJ McCarthy and Adam Scott of Zoey Van Goey, playwright Douglas Maxwell, actress and writer Isobel McArthur, novelist and playwright Cathy Forde, Rhona NicDhughaill of the Gaelic arts company Theatre Gu Leor, journalist Peter Geoghegan and Emma Pollock and Paul Savage of The Delgados.
The album also borrows backing vocals and contributions from friends around the world. The album was recorded at Chem19 in Glasgow and is set to be released by Last Night From Glasgow on the 13th May 2022. The first single from the album, The Hard Part was released in January and has been played on Radio 6 Music and BBC Radio Scotland. Second single, Different Hours is released today 25th March.
==========================================================================Charlotte Rose Benjamin - Slot Machine.
Brooklyn-based artist Charlotte Rose Benjamin has just released a new single “Slot Machine” from her forthcoming debut album, Dreamtina, which is set for release on April 22. The song pairs jaunty guitar hooks with Benjamin’s stream of conscious, lighthearted lyrics about unrequited love and the “inbetween” feeling of being a millenial/gen Z cusp. The video was shot by Benjamin and frequent collaborator, Hlif Olafsdottir, documenting a leisurely day on a Williamsburg Ferry, a Chinatown Arcade, a Dime’s Square dive bar and their favorite downtown karaoke spot.
Benjamin describes “Slot Machine” as a “Sunday-morning-strolling-through-a-New-England-Beach-town kind of song,” relating it to her hometown of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. “I think there’s a waspy country club vibe that comes to mind when people hear that I’m from Martha’s Vineyard,” explains Benjamin. “That definitely exists, but most people who are privileged enough don’t choose to live there in the off season. I always identified more with the towny girls from the movie Mystic Pizza. I had a wonderful childhood, but living on an island can be incredibly isolating. My music has changed so much since I left, but I think I’ll always have a little bit of a twang in my writing because of where I grew up.” On recording the video, Benjamin says “My best friend Hlif and I got day drunk and took the Williamsburg Ferry into Chinatown with a camcorder and a dream.”
Self produced alongside her bandmates, Nardo Ochoa, Matti Dunietz and Zoe Zeeman, Charlotte Rose Benjamin’s debut album finds her analyzing her identity in correlation to romantic relationships and in comparison to “Dreamtina,” a fictitious namesake for the effortlessly-perfect girl you see and aspire to be. Under the Radar broke the news of the album, premiering the pyromaniac-puppet-show video for her song “Satisfied,” calling the song “an irresistible power pop hook, paired with instantly quotable lyrics.”
Previously released songs, “Cumbie’s Parking Lot” and “Heat Stroke Summer,” were released as an a-side/b-side single last Summer, receiving praise from Clout Magazine, which called out Benjamin’s “acerbic wit and penchant for crafting fun and memorable indie rock tunes.” The Deli named “Heatstroke Summer” its Song of the Summer. Her songs “deep cut” and “Cumbie’s Parking Lot” were featured on Spotify’s Fresh Finds: Indie playlist for more than 10 weeks. Last week, Benjamin performed alongside Japanese Breakfast and Weyes Blood in The Unfinished Fest showcase at the acclaimed SXSW festival.
==========================================================================Nora Kelly Band - Hymn for Agnostics.
What happens when a break-out post-punk artist runs smack into the big COVID slowdown? A gorgeous album’s worth of alt-country tunes of course. Say howdy to the Nora Kelly Band who now release their debut single, “Hymn for the Agnostics,.”
Pre-pandemic, the Nora Kelly-led band DISHPIT made Exclaim’s ‘Class of 2020 - Best New Band’ list in both Montreal and Toronto, and recorded their debut album DIPSHIT with Steve Albini. But when everything changed, so did Nora. She looked inward, asked hard questions about her relationships, and went to rock’s roots. Out poured tunes about love, independence, and checking into the Purgatory Motel. Last summer she and friends played her songs by railroad tracks that run by her Mile End neighborhood, and people flocked to sing along until the cops chased them off. Words spread, propelling The Nora Kelly Band to play rowdy gigs at Ursa and other Montreal venues.
Discussing “Hymn for the Agnostics”, Nora noted, “When I was 11, I had my first panic attack about my impending mortality. To calm myself I began praying to God every night, although who’s God, I couldn’t have told you. I wasn’t raised religious. In my adulthood the panic attacks have become less frequent, but my need for spiritual understanding has remained. ‘Hymn for Agnostics’ is for those of us who have no religion to lean on but who’s faith in the spiritual is supported in our connections with each other, the planet and ourselves.
I have experienced many moments that led me to feel there is some kind of design. Ghost sightings, the psychic connections between a parent and child or two best friends, DMT and the power to keep fighting when it’s easier to give up, have all played a part in my spirituality. Hopefully this song will play a part in yours.”