Alternative, Indie

Public Service Broadcasting- “Every Valley” Review

In their thoughtful deconstruction of the very notion of “a band”, Public Service Broadcasting are an intriguing proposition. A three piece who go by pseudonyms (including the splendid “Wrigglesworth”), they play instrumental music and use snippets of old archival footage and—you guessed it—public service broadcasting to speak for them, creating a fascinating dichotomy between personal anonymity and the bold, cut-glass enunciations of the newsreaders and commentators who represent them, often collaged into a deeply political narrative.

This is especially true of “Every Valley”, the band’s third proper album, and effectively a concept record about the decline of the Welsh coal mining industry. Recorded in a hall formerly used by a workers’ institute in the defunct mining town of Ebbw Vale, the album feels steamed in smog and grime, particularly on atmospheric tracks like “All Out” and the ominous “The Pit”. Nonetheless, “Every Valley” is permeated with a deep sense of melancholy and loss, notably in the title track’s misty evocations of “the weekday pubs and Sunday chapels” that are now lost to time. On “Progress”, one of the album’s highlights, the gorgeous, wistful middle-eight is punctuated by the stony declaration that “These men look the same as they have always looked. They talk the same as they have always talked. But before your eyes, they are changing”.

Indeed, political themes and the spectre of Thatcher float a millimetre beneath the surface of “Every Valley”. The brassy “They Gave Me A Lamp” obliquely comments on the 1984-5 Miners’ Strike through the prism of a single female miner: “I’ve been in front, I have never given in… I’ll be proud to look back on it”. “All Out” simmers with resentment and betrayal in its assertion that “I thought they’d respect us… I don’t respect them now”. The remarks from the band’s primary songwriter J Willgoose, Esq. that the album serves as a microcosm for “abandoned and neglected communities across the western world” and the “malignant, cynical and calculating brand of politics” their decline has birthed will guarantee “Every Valley” divisiveness, but it can be nevertheless be appreciated as a vivid and heady time capsule, albeit one with a clear agenda of persuasion.

Moreover, it is easy to enjoy the album simply on a musical level. The jittery “People Will Always Need Coal” is warmed by a swooning string section and James Dean Bradfield roars furiously through “Turn No More”, his fame as a member of a left-leaning Welsh band in the Manic Street Preachers unlikely to be coincidental. However, a sense of powerlessness and futility pervades the album, crystallised in the massed choral voices of closing track “Take Me Home”. The choir provides a final note of noble, if doomed, solidarity but it is impossible to escape the truth that, for these men, the home they sing of no longer exists. CO

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Listen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1ZbdGBAqZQ

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Alternative, Electronic, Hip Hop

Album of the week: ‘Rain’ by M3staken

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This week we’ve got something a little out there for you: If you like your hip-hop then it’s one for you, but if you like something that gives a challenging listen, then wrap your ears round this one too!

Hailing from South Carolina, young producer, M3staken (M3) creates a unique blend of hip-hop with jarring electronic beats, making for a complex, yet intriguing listening experience.

‘Rain’ is his latest, and arguably the best of his ‘trilogy’, which also began with ‘Apex’ and continued on with ‘Water Colors’.

There’s a real dark feel to M3’s work, but also a compositional quality that poses the question: are artist like M3 the Mozarts of the modern day? Of course, his music is a million miles away from Mozart’s, but he has been know to dabble with blending classical piano with his beats.

Listen to ‘Rain’ here on bandcamp:

https://m3ssi.bandcamp.com/releases

 

Check out more on M3staken here:

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/m3staken

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeJtRw31YnOdiDgsNhyhKyQ

https://m3ssi.bandcamp.com/releases

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Alternative, Rock

The Outside Illusion aim to make guitar music accessible

Denis Salgado of The Outside Illusion is a firm believer that for a long time, guitar centric music has only been directed at those who play the instrument. However, with their new album, Silent Communication, the band are aiming to widen the audience of guitar music through their instrumental masterpieces.

Sometimes, lyrics can be distracting in music, taking away from the quality musicianship that sits in the background. But The Outside Illusion are turning this idea on its head with their new album being completely instrumental. As a result, listeners can fully immerse themselves in the sounds and production, allowing them to create what they will from the music, as opposed to being directed towards a definite ‘meaning’ to a song.

Blending electronic and hard-rock guitar styles, The Outside Illusion create highly listenable form of music that isn’t just for guitarists. There’s a certain emotion beneath Denis Salgado’s dynamic guitar playing which truly urges you to look introspectively as to how the music makes you feel.

Not only this, but the video for ‘Silent Communication’ takes on an interesting concept, doing exactly what it says on the tin. Well worth a watch, and a listen!

Links:

www.facebook.com/theoutsideillusion

www.youtube.com/theoutsideillusion

www.instagram.com/denis_outside_illusion

www.theoutsideillusion.com

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Alternative, Rock and Roll

The Senti-Mentals Release Hilarious Christmas Track ‘You Show Me Yours At Xmas’

Moving away from the typical Christmas songs that we are inundated with every year, The Senti-Mentals take a uniquely jokey perspective on the office Christmas party with their festive offering, ‘You Show Me Yours At Xmas’.

Following the narrative of “that one guy from accounts who assumes that every lady in the office wants to go home with him”, the track mocks these kind of doomed figures, especially in the cleverly animated and chuckle-invoking video.

Not only this, but The Senti-Mentals differentiate themselves from the crowd with their unheard of blend of 50s-esque doo-wop rock’n’roll with a little bit of ska thrown in for good measure.

The duo is made up of John Dobinson and Paul Eccentric, who was part of the The Odd Eccentric, achieving a number 1 single in Denmark, but he is best known for being the voice of The Antipoet.

Find out more on The Senti-Mentals here:

Links:

http://www.senti-mentals.co.uk

http://pauleccentric.co.uk/the-senti-mentals/

https://twitter.com/theantipoet

https://www.facebook.com/AntipoetThe

 

 

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Alternative, Pop

Chey’s ‘Dirty Love’

‘Dirty Love’ is the enticing new single from Welsh singer songwriter, Chey, who is offering something different to modern music circles with her brand of powerful alternative pop.

Her debut single is a potent combination of orchestral grandeur with gnarling guitars and quality production, but the real star of the show is Chey’s vocals. Beginning with a gentle whisper throughout the verses, her voice suddenly becomes a beautiful roar during the chorus, simply demonstrating her wide range of vocal capabilities.

Chey describes how “Dirty Love was written in the heat of the moment. Having feelings about someone else can sometimes be the trigger you need to move on from the relationship you’re in. I recorded the vocals the same day it was written to reflect the emotion I was feeling at that time. I wanted the single to be raw and edgy and convey as much passion as possible.”

Drawing inspiration from Amy Winehouse and Paloma Faith, Chey has knitted a web of quality musical influences to form her own distinctive style. Never one to shy away from her talent, Chey is ready to break out from her small Welsh village and cement herself.

Links

www.cheymusic.com

https://soundcloud.com/officialchey

Facebook: /OfficialCheyMusic

Twitter: @officialchey1

Instagram: officialcheymusic

 

 

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Alternative, Folk, Rock, Uncategorized

The Maladaptive Solution: ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’

Creating contemporary spiritual pop for the new generation, The Maladaptive Solution  are aiming to ‘brainwash’ the nation with their new single ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’. The group use music for teaching purposes whilst using a classic but modern sound.

‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ is a beautiful track full of heart and honest lyricism, all backed up with simple and effective songwriting. The intriguing group are influenced by almost every era and genre of music and they concentrate their talents on writing memorable songs with quality production. The track was written in one session yet recorded over a number of years and in different locations. Listeners have reported crying, feeling a strong sense of happiness or even a sense of support during a hard time, proving how ‘Ontology (Form and Content)’ can be interpreted by the individual in however way they wish.

The group have even created their own unique logo which they hope will become synonymous with the band and as ‘ubiquitous as the Nike swoosh’. Evidently, the band are pushing forward an ideology and a message rather than just great songs.

Contributors to The Maladaptive Solution include Brad Beard, Michael Carpenter, Michael Giblin, Jimmy Haber and Kylie Whitney.

Links:

https://themaladaptivesolution.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/TheMaladaptiveSolution/

https://twitter.com/MldptvSltnMusic

https://www.instagram.com/themaladaptivesolution/

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Alternative, Indie

‘Mystery Girl’- Alexandra Savior

Alexandra Savior, who has worked with James Ford (Producer for The Last Shadow Puppets, Florence and the Machine and The Arctic Monkeys) and Alex Turner himself, has dropped the video for her latest song, ‘Mystery Girl’.

The influence of the Arctic Monkey’s frontman is evident when listening to Savior’s music and so her quality as an up-and-coming artist cannot be doubted. She even collaborated with him on The Last Shadow Puppet’s track, ‘Miracle Aligner’.

Savior’s album, Belladonna of Sadness is out in April of next year.

 

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