King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard have announced their 18th studio album Butterfly 3000, set to be self-released on June 11th. The band will forgo releasing any singles, tracklist or cover art ahead of the album but they have revealed that the cover will feature a “cross-eyed autostereogram” designed by Jason Galea and the sound will be “melodic and psychedelic”. The album was based around modular synth loops.
A press release for the album said: “Their 18th studio album, Butterfly 3000 might be their most fearless leap into the unknown yet; a suite of ten songs that all began life as arpeggiated loops composed on modular synthesisers, before being fashioned into addictive, optimistic and utterly seductive dream-pop by the six-piece. The album sounds simultaneously like nothing they’ve ever done before, and thoroughly, unmistakeably Gizz, down to its climactic neon psych-a-tronic flourish. This is undoubtedly the most accessible and jubilant album of their career”
The new album follows on from L.W. released back in February, the second part to the band’s K.G.L.W double album.
White boy summer is certainly looking exciting this year. Another of the Windmill Brixton generation have brought about a whole albums offering of material, following the likes of Black Country, New Road’s For The First Time, Shame’s Drunk Tank Pink, Goat Girl’s On All Fours and Black Midi’s upcoming Cavalcade. This sense of intertwined musicianship not only follows the band outside of their own collective but throughout this album. With features coming from the likes of BCNR’s Lewis Evans on saxophone as well as having Speedy Wunderground’s own mastermind of sound Dan Carey on production duties. This album is in every aspect a working of five brilliant minds coming together to create expansive, ever twisting and shifting and at times outright cathartic works of art.
For a few years now it’s felt as though these so called ‘guitar bands’ have had much more creative freedom when it comes to finding a sound that is truly theres. Gone are the days where everyone had to sound like the eternally reachable yet ultimately bland Franz Ferdinand or Arctic Monkeys to even consider breaking into the charts, let alone top them. But now the time of self-sound is here. And Squid are very much making the music they want to. Although “Boy Racer” may have all the quirky licks and upbeat drive of a mid-2000’s era Foals track to begin with, it soon descends into a synth-wave, ambient, noise rock outro that washes over like a lucid fever dream.
The band have said before that their approach to this album came by sending different aspects of songs back and forth to each other online, eventually to all be layered and structured together. And this sewing together of movements and sounds is what makes this album so enticing. On “G.S.K” the band piles together sleek bass lines, funky beats and sly saxophone hooks to create a piece that is ever twisting and turning; becoming more infatuating with each and every change. All tied together with drummer and lead vocalist Ollie Judge’s unhinged vocal cries. At first the vocal styles that Judge chooses can often seem too over the top or even obnoxious. But you soon begin to realise as this album progresses that Judge is displaying and incredible amount of control and natural charm in an almost brutalist fashion. This isn’t the most heavy sounding music to sing along to but Judge brings an assured helping of anxiety that just pumps raw nervous energy into every sound. I don’t think you’ll find a more distraught reading of the weather than on “Documentary Filmmaker”.
One of the greatest showcases of the band’s succinctness comes in the form of lead single “Narrator”. Over its 8 and a half minute course the band manages to capture a sound that can only be described as a tumultuous breakdown. Over sparkly guitar lines and tapered beats Judge sings of being in control of his life “Losing my flow and my memories are so unnatural, I am my own narrator” he declares with an unhinged discourse. Moving into slasher flick punctuated guitar strikes the band slowly builds up this sense of dread washing over the track, all whilst being perfectly smoothed over by Martha Sky Murphy’s spoken passages that are delivered as if these are your last rites. Eventually devolving into an all out nightmare. With Judge’s repeated delivery of “I play my!” you can’t help feel like you’re on the edge of sanity, eventually falling in as Murphy’s horrifying screams soundtrack your descent.
Lyrically the band like to leave a shroud of mystery over what stories are really being told, not ones to pull back the veil. The title itself comes from the ever looming gentrification and industrialisation of otherwise natural parts of the country. But it’s not only the ravaging of natural beauty that the band touch on, they also question the growing feeling of numbness to global events. “What’s your favourite war on TV? Just before you go to sleep, And then your favourite sitcom, Watch the tears roll down your cheek” asks Judge on “Global Groove”. And on closer “Pamphlets” the anxiety of social acceptance overwhelms Judge as he sings “I’ve got a brand new car right out my drive, But there’s pale bricks and white smiles, It’s why I don’t go outside”. You can’t compare so there’s no point trying to appease.
This album has everything you could want from a debut and more. It perfectly showcases every minute of detail the band meticulously places into their music, whilst leaving room for overly catchy and intoxicating choruses. They take influence from every genre under the sun and weld them all together into an automobile of sound that is ever chugging forward. They have made the perfect springboard for wherever and whatever they want to go and do next. It seems there’s no limits to what Squid can be and we hope there never will be.
Finding a hidden gem in music is like finding a new friend later in life. You wonder how you got this long in life without knowing about them, yet feel instantly comfortable and in sync with everything they do. The same can be said about listening to this album. The debut release from Italian shoegaze/ dream-pop four piece You Nothing.
The bands ability to combine various sounds and styles into one cohesive, enjoyable listen is at the core of this album. Whether your taste leans towards the heavier end of shoegaze with the likes of Slow Crush and Nothing, you’ll be immediately welcomed by the intense and unforgiving driving riff of opener “Identity”. With its post-punk centric beat and rapid fire breakdowns it cascades you into full motion with an immediate drive. Then moving into ever expanding sonic landscapes on “Reflective” that bring about elements of Beach House’s dream infused sound with added kick drum. There’s an underlying melancholy to this sound that washes over you like an old memory of longing coming back to you late at night.
They also lean into elements of slowcore on “Sonder” with a devastating brutality. As the guitar lines battle out to see which can be the most devastating, you’re raced along the sonic speedway to a heartbreaking conclusion. As lead singer Gioia Podestà repeats the lines “Try again, fail again” you’re left to wallow in the feeling of despair, each repetition becoming more and more engrained in your psyche. These contemplations of anguish are a theme that runs throughout the album. On “Waves” Podestà sings “I’m feeling like a stranger tonight, like stepping out my body” as she tries to understand truth both in herself and of another.
Perhaps the most exciting part of listening to this album is realising that the band are on the cusp of greatness as each member and part feels ultimately succinct and forever moving forward at every moment. Even on the slower, more ethereal moments of this album like on the 80’s nostalgia fuelled “Closer” the band still feels vibrant with every sound. Every element of a Top Of The Pops classic is here, reverb drenched drums, sparkly synthesisers and catchy melodies. But bringing it all together is the bands eclectic personality. And their ability to switch from sound and genre seamlessly and coherently with each track is their greatest asset.
There isn’t really a moment on this album where you aren’t enjoying every movement and sound the band shifts and curves between. They bookend the album with intense, driven and head-bang worthy cuts that assure you leave the album as excited as you are when the opening riff kicks in. The punk moments have you wanting to reach out punch a fist in the air as you nod along to the beat whilst listening on the bus. And all the while you’re left in awe at the bands ability to surprise and evoke you at every moment.
Swim School have today shared new single “Outside”, following on from “Let Me Inside Your Head”, released earlier in the year.
The latest single from the Scottish alt-rockers sees the band deliver untamed riffs, headbanging beats and a melody that oozes with a powerful control. Fans of Wolf Alice and Smashing Pumpkins will be sure to be turning this one up loud.
Speaking on the new single lead singer Alice Johnson explained:
“Outside is based on the negative impact the toxic people have on your mental health and the moment you realise how toxic they are.”
“It’s not until you step back from the situation, that you realise their use of manipulation such as gas lighting and dishonestly was actually destroying your mental health. It made you question everything you did and slowly ate away at your confidence leading to you being unhappy.
It’s about the challenge of finding the strength to cut toxic people out of your life and putting yourself, your happiness and your mental state first. It’s also about realising that toxic people will never change and that is not your responsibility to change them.”
The Babe Rainbow have shared new single “Ready For Tomorrow” along with an accompanying music video shot by band confidante and former bass player Jordan Malane, around the local village watering hole, the Eltham Hotel. This comes after they released “Your Imagination” featuring Jaden in March, both cuts from upcoming album Changing Colours, out May 14th via Eureka Records.
Still in keeping with their breezy sound, Babe Rainbow sound radiantly vibrant on the new single. With a disco infused beat, elements of psych-folk and a melody that shines with eternal sunshine the band’s new album is lining up to be a summer sunny day favourite.
Speaking on the new single lead singer Angus Dowling said:
It’s about 21st-century life, finding relief from the stress of both the future and the past. It is about Persephone running into her mother Demeters comforting arms”
Bristol based indie-pop due Mumble Tide have today shared their new single “Sucker” via Nothing Fancy Records. This is the duo’s first single since their acclaimed debut EP Love Thing.
“Sucker” speeds along with an undying flair of natural cool, leaving those who it passes by in its wake. Searing riffs, driving beat and a frenzied vibrant chorus comes together to make this indie-centric track infectiously catchy. You can feel the energy pouring out at every moment, with the sound reaching chaotic saxophone induced heights before swooping back into motion.
The duo met after Gina Leonard posted an ad on Gumtree looking for a new bassist to which Ryan Rogers responded; “The boyfriend part was a bonus” says Gina. Together from their bedroom in Bristol, they make music that represents the freedom they feel around each other. Nothing is too cutesy, nothing is too silly, nothing is too corny – Mumble Tide is a judgement free zone.
Speaking on the new single Gina said:
“This one is just a super fun track we threw together. It’s about feeling confident and free and moving on (or at least trying to). It’s about throwing the baggage off your shoulders and strutting away…but also accepting that it’s not that easy”
John Myrtle creates the kind of music that is infectiously catchy. Through home recordings he’s developed a style that both draws from the past whilst being simultaneously fresh, warm and welcoming. Upon the first listen of his music you soon realise that the melody is each songs core, and these melodies are sure to be swimming around your head for days. He released his debut EP Here’s John Myrtle in 2019 and now has returned with his latest singles “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?” and “Get Her Off My Mind”, both cuts from upcoming debut album Myrtle Soup. Exploring themes of longing and loneliness, the album is packaged like a tin of soup to bring some home comfort. We spoke to John to learn about the new album, his songwriting process and what he’s looking forward to in the days to come.
Over where and what time was this album written and recorded?
Part of it was written in London and the other part of it was written in Birmingham where i’m from originally. I feel like some of the songs which were written back at home are more reflective. I mean the ones in London are more just pop songs haha.
You used the album to document the last year or so within isolation. What were some of the themes you were trying to explore within that?
I think I wanted to have an album that would document it more so in the process and ways in which it didn’t talk about the pandemic. So there’s a song on there called “Spider On The Wall” in which I assume the identity of a spider. So I talk about being at home with this spider, seeing everything you do and the spiders just as repulsed by humans as humans are by spiders. So I guess it was more looking at observations from home in that way rather than just being sad about being locked in. Although there’s one called “Ballad Of The Rain” which is essentially about someone who’s isolated in their house and all they can do is look outside, and they think of a tune which the rain has created haha. There are a few instrumentals which have quite weird noises like bubble sounds which is supposed to be someone making a bowl of soup. It’s all home spun and the home spun nature of it has been amplified by the fact that everyone including myself has just been indoors.
Is that why you chose the name ‘Myrtle Soup’ for the album?
I guess so, I thought it fit quite nicely! And I thought it was quite funny to call it Myrtle Soup. It’s homely, everyone likes soup. I think.
What made you sing within these characters rather than have them be from a personal perspective?
Even the love songs are me assuming a character in a way. I try and be personal but I always end up imaging different situations. Writing as someone else or thinking of different situations which you might not have experienced yourself gives you creative freedom to do whatever you want. If you’re just writing from your own experiences then there comes a point where you go “Yeah but that didn’t happen to me” or “That place doesn’t really exist so I feel like a fraud, I can’t actually write this” so you stop. So pushing yourself out there to try different identities just helps you write songs.
A theme that appears in some of your songwriting, especially older tracks is love and feeling uncertain about it. Why is that something you tend to write about?
I love pop music, older pop music mainly. And I like love songs, I think that’s what i’ve always been drawn to the most because I like trying to relate my own experiences to those songs. But I always feel that songs that are so sure about love aren’t reflective of how people actually feel. Everyone likes to write their own film for themselves with their own feelings and their own story and I feel it’s good to question that or at least acknowledge that in some songs. There’s a song on the album actually on the album that talks about actors playing parts within love.
What were some of those songs that inspired this sound?
I like a lot of 80’s and 90’s indie bands. I really like The La’s, with “There She Goes”, but I guess they’re not normally like that focused on love. The Servants, Shack, I just like all that British rubbish. I like the Kinks and The Beatles. When I was just starting out to record my own music I went to do “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?” and I had the song and I thought “Well everyone goes into a studio right?”. So I booked to record at a studio and it just sounded awful and I just felt like theres a better way of doing it. So I realised that with Ween, a band I really like, a lot of their early albums are just recorded on tape and as stupid as it sounds I never really knew you could record things on tape on your own. So I started researching different recording methods you could do at home. So now i’m described as “a 60’s guy” but its just tape! Sometimes I do want to sound like 60’s people but not all the time.
Do you think discovering that ability to record at home unlocked more freedom within your songwriting?
Yeah with going to a studio there’s usually other people there, and I always behave differently with other people and I feel the way you interact with them is gonna have an impact on what you’re recording. Whether it’s your performance and you feel a bit self-conscious about singing. Whereas if you’re on your own you can just do stupid stuff. You can probably sound really bad to eventually get really good, just let your hair down. In the long run it’s also probably cheaper. I think as well everyone does record from home to a certain extent but it’s the use of tape that people are put off with. Especially some label people they just think it sounded so old. You either sound like a computer or you sound like tape. I’m just ranting now haha, but it’s like if you’re a painter and everyone’s saying “Everyone’s using MS Paint now, why are you using paintbrushes?”.
Another part of your sound is having a juxtaposition between the upbeat feel of a song and the downbeat mood of the lyrics. Do you sometimes try and hide the lyrics behind this sound?
Yeah usually I will get the tune first and the lyrics come next. I struggle to write lyrics so the tune and sound of a song will come first a lot of the time.
The video for “How Can You Tell If You Love Her?” has you singing back in your hometown, what was your reason for going back there to film it?
Lockdown haha! But also recently i’ve also embraced things other than boring London. It’s nice that i’m from a different place and I thought people haven’t seen Bourneville in a music video!
Without shows at the moment what’s it been like releasing this music not having them to back it up?
It’s sad. It’s a lot of just having plans for the future. Thinking “Maybe in a few months we’ll book a tour” but it until it actually happens it feels very much like pipe dreams. Which is the same as doing music anyway, having people listen to it is a bit of a pipe dream anyway so it’s just that amplified.
What do you think that first show back will be like?
I hope it sounds good! I think everyone’s gonna be going crazy, glasses thrown everywhere!
What’s something else you’re looking forward to doing once everything’s a bit freer?
There’s a pool club that I play pool in with my girlfriend and we’re obsessed with playing pool! I’m awful but this place is cheap and quite lowkey so we thought we’d get a members card, which just means you don’t pay for entry when you go in. It’s not some sort of exclusive club though haha. It’s really fun and i’ve really missed it. I’ve also really gotten into snooker during lockdown and there’s something comforting about having it on the screen with all the colours. So playing it will be next.
What are your hopes for the album and beyond?
Well I hope it puts smiles on faces! It’s only supposed to sooth and please. I just want to keep making good happy music with maybe a bit of sadness and a bit of weirdness thrown in. I just want to keep writing songs, I just enjoy the craft of songwriting and it’s really fun to learn more about it and to keep going and hopefully other people will come on the journey with me.
Myrtle Soup is released digitally on June 18th and on vinyl on September 17th via Sad Club Records, pre-order here.
No Man’s Land festival have announced their first wave of acts for the inaugural festival, set to be held at YES in Manchester on August 14th. The festival was designed to showcase women and non-binary artists partially as a response to the lack of gender diversity on many of this years big festivals.
The initial lineup features Jess Fitz, Qlowski, BigFatBig, Brat Coven, Laeeqa and The Wine Fund. Early bird tickets will be on sale 6PM on Thursday 28th of April if signed up to the mailing list here.
Proceeds from the event will be going towards Safe Gigs For Women, a charity that aims to create safer environments for women at concerts. More details on the charity can be found here.
black midi have today shared new single “Slow”, the second single from their upcoming album Cavalcade, set to be released on May 28th via Rough Trade Records. This follows on from “John L” which was released last month.
The new single is as menacing as it is intricate. Moving through jazz infused passages that feel like they’re trying to explode at every moment. Eventually divulging into an ominous and eerily cathartic rage out that exuberates an untold amount of serial killer energy.
Multidisciplinary artist heka has shared her latest single “(a) dab”, which is the second single from her forthcoming EP (a) which is set to be released on May 19th via Balloon Machine Records.
The new single builds through slow passages of distorted samples and echoing sounds until heka’s gentle plucked guitar taps in. Her vocal performance is emotive and vibrant whilst keeping in line with heka’s usual flairs of subtlety. It’s easy to get lost in this dreamy and intimate single on a rainy day, gazing out as the layers build and fall just like the rain outside.
Raised in the Italian hills but now residing in London, Francesca Brierley aka heka seeks to explore the connection between sound, space and memory by assembling recordings from different time zones and different eras to produce a compelling composite. Sharing a similarly haunting feel to its predecessor, heka’s flair for integrating found sound with her experimental folk comes to the fore here along with a grotesque lyrical quality.
Speaking on the track heka says:
“Sometimes being in love can feel like being on drugs. There is a similar kind of influence that we willingly, and then inevitably, accept to be under; where we choose to give ourselves up. “I guess there is a desire, in a sense, to be weak and vulnerable, and sometimes the wrong person can take advantage of that. This is what this song means to me.”