Emily Brinnand

Monday Mixtape featuring Blossomer and Andy Von Pip Tips

Record Of The Week: Blossomer – To The Sea

My Record Of The Week #rotw is a mysterious act from Sheffield called Blossomer. Not much is known about this group yet but the blogosphere has gone wild for them, him, her, it – whatever they may be. Since putting a video out on YouTube for their track To The Sea 6 days ago the attention has mounted.

With this act it isn’t just hype for hype’s sake as can often be with a mystery artist. Yes, it’s more exciting and intriguing that we don’t know much about them yet. But To The Sea is a remarkable song so which needs necessary attention. The song is beautifully crafted and blends classic piano with pulsing, tribal dance beats to match the mournful lyrics that swoop gently over the top. The video itself follows one man’s mournful procession to the sea through picturesque scenes. A sense of loss or giving up comes across as the man is naked while he walks aimlessly To The Sea. 


Watch the video now and let me know what you think in the comment box below.

To The Sea was my Record Of The Week on my radio show Monday’s Mixtape. Listen again to the whole show now.

Monday’s Mixtape featuring ROTW Blossomer and Andy Von Pip Tips – 03-02-14 by Emily Brinnand on Mixcloud

 

Want to know more about my radio show? Follow these links below.

For those who don’t know I present and produce my own new music radio show Monday’s Mixtape on Wythenshawe FM http://www.wfmradio.org at 7pm on Monday nights.

Follow the links…

MONDAY’S MIXTAPE
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sampha

Record Of The Week: Sampha – Too Much

Sampha

My Record Of The Week #rotw is the extraordniary Sampha, who this morning was crowned 4th in the BBC Sound Of 2014 list.

24 year old Sampha is a soul singer and producer from Morden in South London. He first starting making an impressive with the collaborative work he has done with SBTRKT, Jessie Ware, Drake and Solange Knowles.Sampha has released two solo EPs so far Sundanza (2010) and Dual (2013).

Listening to his music is an intimate experience. It’s impacting, emotional and long lasting. His vocals are distinctive and reminiscent of Tracey Chapman and Michael Jackson, artists he himself has pinpointed as influences.

I picked out Sampha as my Record Of The Week for my radio show Monday’s Mixtape last night. Too Much is incredibly moving and  beautiful. He is one of my tips for 2014 and a great talent that we’ll definitely be seeing a lot more of this year.

Listen to Too Much below and comment letting me know what you think.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC-0p4k0jw4&w=560&h=315]

Sampha on Facebook.

Want to know more about my radio show? Follow these links below.

HEAR MY TIPS OF 2014 ON MY RADIO SHOW – MONDAY’S MIXTAPE

Later this week last night’s show will be uploaded and you can listen again to my tips of 2014.

For those who don’t know I present and produce my own new music radio show Monday’s Mixtape on Wythenshawe FM http://www.wfmradio.org at 7pm on Monday nights.

Follow the links…

MONDAY’S MIXTAPE
 
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The Guardian's New Band Up North Podcast - the next chapter

New Band Up North Podcast – The Next Chapter

Here’s the Guardian Northerner’s music podcast looking at 12 bands from across the north of England you should be listening to

lulu james
Lulu James: featured on today’s New Band Up North podcast.

Normally every Monday afternoon at 5pm you’ll come here to read New Band Up North but as Emily Brinnand has now featured over 30 acts we thought we’d bring you another podcast.

Back in March we launched the first ever podcast here on the Northerner celebrating the first 20 acts featured so far.

Now Emily takes you through the next lot of bands she’s featured, from 21 to 32, revisiting the acts from across the north of England she thinks you should know about.

So listen and enjoy all the music in one place. Plus if you’re not quite up to date yet or missed any articles it’s a chance to catch up and refresh your memory.

<iframe width=”660″ height=”360″ src=”//www.mixcloud.com/widget/iframe/?feed=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mixcloud.com%2Femilylbrinnand%2Fthe-guardians-new-band-up-north-podcast-the-next-chapter-july-2013%2F&amp;embed_type=widget_standard&amp;embed_uuid=a55430a0-bde0-4f7f-bb75-a57a665b6323&amp;hide_cover=1″ frameborder=”0″></iframe><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: 652px;”></div><p style=”display: block; font-size: 12px; font-family: Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; margin: 0px; padding: 3px 4px; color: rgb(153, 153, 153); width: 652px;”><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/emilylbrinnand/the-guardians-new-band-up-north-podcast-the-next-chapter-july-2013/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=resource_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>The Guardian’s New Band Up North podcast – the next chapter – July 2013</a><span> by </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/emilylbrinnand/?utm_source=widget&amp;amp;utm_medium=web&amp;amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;amp;utm_term=profile_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”>Emily Brinnand</a><span> on </span><a href=”http://www.mixcloud.com/?utm_source=widget&amp;utm_medium=web&amp;utm_campaign=base_links&amp;utm_term=homepage_link” target=”_blank” style=”color:#808080; font-weight:bold;”> Mixcloud</a></p><div style=”clear: both; height: 3px; width: 652px;”></div>

 

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no ceremony

New Band Up North (No. 32 No Ceremony///)

No Ceremony///

No Ceremony/// (Kelly, James, Victoria): not a mask in sight. Photograph: Mads Perch

I first heard about No Ceremony/// (no, the slashes are not a typo. More on this later) last year and became addicted to their epic electronic pop for its seamless combination of bass-driven beats and heartbreaking piano and vocals. What was interesting though, was no one seemed to know who the band were.

As speculation grew, their first live date alongside Alt-J and Money was fast approaching. Would they wear masks, or would everyone finally find out who they were?

For those hoping they were going to come on stage wearing Daft Punk or Slipknot-inspired attire, I am sorry to disappoint you, they didn’t. But that hasn’t affected their journey so far. They appeared on Amazing Radio’s tips for 2012 and since then they’ve been getting more attention with airplay from Radio 1 and Xfm. Plus they went over to the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas in March.

With a lot coming up for the Manchester trio I went to meet them for a chat. I found James, Kelly and Victoria happily sipping cranberry juice in the bar and after grabbing myself a lemonade and admiring Victoria’s lovely red bowler hat, I started by asking why they’d kept their identities a secret.

“It wasn’t any kind of attempt to be mysterious,” explains Kelly. “When we started playing live we didn’t think about doing it in masks. We don’t feel the people we are is as important as the music we’re making.”

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/86917702" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Before getting together to make music as No Ceremony/// they were involved in projects that weren’t getting off the ground. So after meeting through friends, going to the same gigs and finding out they liked the same music they decided to form the trio. James, who sings, plays keys and synth, says they were all ready to “invest” time and energy into something that had a more “precise path” than what they’d each been doing before.

Although they use the word “precise” they don’t restrict themselves to making one sound or one type of music. James admires people like Burial because “he’s experimenting with what a genre can be. He’s loosely making dance music but he only touches on that genre. It’s experimental within the production too.”

As well as dance and electro, Victoria, who plays bass and sings, explains they’re influenced by anything from “folk music to Queens Of The Stone Age”. There’s certainly a heavier feel to their music in tracks like Heartbreaker, with a menacing guitar riff cutting through haunting electronic vocals.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/94615731" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Their latest track Feelsolow is my favourite. I’m a sucker for electronic pop that makes me feel a little sad too. When I tell them this they say getting their fans to have this reaction is very important to them.

“The atmosphere and the emotional responses you can trigger in people are really important to what we do,” says James. “So choosing certain sounds can be as important as a nice vocal or cool guitar line.”

James says the lyrics were the last thing to be written on the track and they actually “set out to make a good dance track which would get people moving at live gigs”.

The band are extremely focused, and care about the visual side of things too as they make all their own artwork and videos. Kelly says they’re “constantly trying to make it the best show it can be and always want to work on the visual elements to what we’re doing too”.

Another fairly important visual characteristic to this band is the three forward slashes that follow their name. I show Kelly, James and Victoria that I’ve made the effort to put the three forward slashes in my questions but want to know what they stand for. An expected response of “we let people decide what to attribute them too” is all I get apart, though Kelly says the number three is very significant to the band and that they wanted something very typographically interesting in the name.

Victoria chips in saying it’s also a good way to find them online so they’re thinking about SEO (search engine optimisation) at the same time as making their amazing music. Good work. I ask whether it’s actually a nod to X-Men’s Wolverine? With which laughter follows and Kelly admits, “that is the true explanation. Of course.”

So as this is a blog all about music from up North I have to ask whether making music in Manchester has an effect on them. Victoria says it’s a “very inspiring” place to be and she feels “nostalgic” about making music in Stockport because it’s where she grew up so after moving around here, there and everywhere, it feels good to come back.

Their debut album is set to be released on 2 September and they’re keen to make a strong statement of who they are as a band and hope it’ll be a “strong foundation to go forward from.”

If you fancy catching No Ceremony live, with no masks in sight, then you can see them at Leeds and Reading Festival, Bestival, a couple of dates in the UK this July and then they’re off to Latvia and Copenhagen.

Posted by Monday 1 July 2013 17.00 BST guardian.co.uk

Read the full New Band Up North series here.

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patterns2

New Band Up North (No. 30 Patterns)

Each week, I dig through the sounds of the North, picking one artist or band I think you should note

patternsPatterns: (l-r) Alex Hillhouse, Laurence Radford, Ciaran McAuley, Jamie Lynch

Patterns are creating beautiful electronic drone pop that makes you feel like you’re flying. The beautiful fusion of guitars, vocals, intelligent samples and beats are the perfect soundtrack to any daydream. This four-piece from Manchester is making evocative noises that are brimming with nostalgia.

Ciaran McAuley and Laurence Radford are both from London and Alex Hillhouse and Jamie Lynch are from the Wirral. They all met at Manchester University and started making music together.

They came across their fourth member, Alex Hillhouse, when they had a last-minute gig lined up, but no bassist. Luckily, Lynch knew someone who could fill the job. So the next day Hillhouse met the rest of Patterns and learned their entire set.

The band explains: “It seemed to work so we kept him and found out he had a mean falsetto to him.” Perfect.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/48100759" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Reading on a mobile? Click here

Now they’re making music in their “dingy bedrooms” of south Manchester, but they’re happy about not being constrained to a studio. It’s cheaper and it gives the band freedom to “go wherever our minds want to”. The freedom exists too because they’re making most of their sounds on a laptop. For them it seems to suit their dreamlike sound: “There’s something about composing music on headphones with limitless possibilities at your fingertips,” the band say.

Recently they’ve been perfecting their debut album and working on a collaborative project called KOLLIDE. That’s given them a chance to work with other Manchester musicians and not be confined by release schedules and record sales.

There’s a great scene in Manchester at the moment where all the bands seem to be helping each other out. The first track is with another Manchester band called SHINIES (listen below). Your ears immediately prick up as echoing samples and unusual noises, including birdsong, kick off the track. Indie guitars and vocals run through it too, giving it a melancholy edge that’s stunning.

[soundcloud url="http://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/87119623" params="" width=" 100%" height="166" iframe="true" /]

Reading on a mobile? Click here

Ever since releasing their first EP on indie label Pull Yourself Together they’ve been getting lots of attention. It was Amazing Radio’s Shell Zenner who put me onto Patterns. They’ve also had support from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and Mary Anne Hobbs, which has “meant a lot” to the band.

They’ve found it quite strange to go away and make a record because “you kind of leave all that behind for a while and just focus on the music.” So you can imagine they’re really excited to be playing shows again soon. They’ve already enjoyed playing all over France and Spain and Bestival over here in the UK last year.

Once you listen to their music you’re hooked, the loops are very addictive and you want them to keep playing over and over. Their song Induction is an anthem that everyone needs to see live this summer, as is Blood. I’m glad to find out the band are as addicted to making music as I am to listening to theirs: “It’s an intense feeling when a lot of people suddenly start listening to your music, almost like a drug.”

There are definitely elements of Animal Collective and Deerhunter in the sound Patterns are producing. Thick layers of fuzzy guitars and dreamlike vocals come together to prove that guitar bands can make original sounds.

When I asked them what influences their music they say “that ineffable moment between being awake and asleep, the feeling of something both real and profoundly impossible.” I think that captures the way their music makes you feel.

McAuley and Radford write in “solitary exile until something worthy breaks out.” They’re on a mission waiting for an unusual sound to pop out and for them to go we’ve got it that’s it! Then “they bang heads together until its ready to try as a full band.”

After hibernating for a while making their debut album, tapping away on their laptops and banging their heads together waiting for those strange noises to appear they’re hungry to keep going. They want to be “eight albums down the line and still be making awesome and innovative records, just like those Oxford boys.”

Oh and they’re even more amazing because they’ve done a cover of Pure Shores by All Saints.

• Patterns’ debut album is set for release this month on Melodic Records.

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mausi

New Band Up North (No. 12 M A U S I)

 

MAUSI front to back: Daisy Finetto (singer), Thomas Finetto (singer), Benji Huntrods in his shades (drums) and Ben Brown in the distance (guitars)

MAUSI front to back: Daisy Finetto (singer), Thomas Finetto (singer), Benji Huntrods in his shades (drums) and Ben Brown in the distance (guitars)

I’d like it to be summer please. No more cold mornings, dark afternoons or wearing two pairs of socks and sensible shoes. When the sun is shining everything seems just marvelous doesn’t it? Argh. It’s a while until we can sit outside at 10 at night. But don’t despair I’ve found the remedy for our winter blues. It comes in the shape of Newcastle’s Anglo-Italian pop band M A U S I.

(Listen to their contagious summer tune ‘Sol.’ above)

Their carefree, poppy, energetic, summer tunes sit comfortably between a glorious, sunny afternoon on the beach and a great night out with mates. Each song eases you in gently. You begin to nod your head slightly then all of a sudden you’re up and dancing like you did at your primary school disco (Yes, that one dance move you perfected – jumping up and down until you needed another Panda Pop).

Their first single ‘Sol.’ has this effect on me with its infection chorus encouraging me to ‘DANCE, DANCE, DANCE’, like French electronic duo Justice. The track slows down and your ears are filled with the soothing and beautiful girl/boy harmonies of sister and brother Daisy and Thomas Finetto.

While Daisy and Thomas were growing up they sang in a variety of bands in Milan, where they’re from. Then they moved over to the UK for University where they met their guitarist Ben Brown and drummer Benji Huntrods. They came together as a band after a trip to Italy last year. They filmed the entire trip and made a short video of their sunny adventures. The band says: “we decided that we should be making music that fit that aesthetic; full of hazy, European, summer escapism.” The five-piece wrote ‘Sol.’ straight after the trip and decided their holiday footage would make the perfect video for the song.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rkQEmnzFbg&w=853&h=480]

(Watch the official video for ‘Sol.’ above)

Since putting ‘Sol.’ online last year “it’s been pretty crazy” as the band tells me “the track spread online and we eventually released it on indie labels in the USA and over here.” Despite getting such a great reaction they’re being sensible: “we’ve been careful with what we’ve put out so far, taking time to write and get everything perfect.”

M A U S I have spent the last six months writing, recording and building up to their new material. They’re also on Amazing Radio’s top picks of 2013 list, alongside Haim, Peace and CHVRCHES, which is something they’re really happy about.

“We were excited to find out they’d chosen us, they’ve been really supportive of us since the start. Anytime you get recognition from someone like them, it helps you realise that what we’re doing is working and that people are getting excited about what we’re doing.”

What’s great about this band is their care and love for the visual part of their music. They say “every single song we write starts from an image or a photograph”, just proving how significant imagery is to M A U S I. They’re not just creating soundtracks that are comforting to your ears but pleasing to your eyes too. This blissful optimistic pop group love making videos and short films and they’ve recently been collecting beautiful footage in Lisbon and Milan. (Very jealous!) The teaser video for their next single ‘MOVE’ has got a lot of people excited. If you watch their videos you’ll soon see how influential film is to them, even Disney! They’ve also created a Mausi Look Book filled with images of their influences.

They hate “people who think that pop music can’t be intelligent” and are always striving to be original and “do things differently.” With their plans to “never stop” doing what they’re doing I’m joining others in saying M A U S I will definitely be blasting out of our radios more and more this year and hopefully your stereos too.

I can’t wait to hear their debut album, which is hopefully coming out this summer. Before that their new single ‘MOVE’ is set for release on 11th March on Loose Lips. You can have a listen right now below.

(‘MOVE’ – their next single out on 11th March)

Posted by

Monday 21 January 2013 17.00 GMT guardian.co.uk

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embers-hollow-cage

New Band Up North (No. 9 Embers)

On Fire: Embers in action.

On Fire: Embers in action.

This Manchester quartet are creating music that’s so mesmerizingly powerful, cinematic and gripping that you feel as though you’re a character in a psychological thriller running through the cityscape away from the bad guys.

I first stumbled upon one of the band member on Twitter, so decided to check them out. I was shocked. I thought to myself I wasn’t expecting this! This is amazing! I had to gather myself off the floor I was so excited. Then a few weeks later New Band of The Day genius (and one of my heroes) Paul Lester featured them. So I wanted to give them even more attention as they’re making music up North. You’ll soon realise they deserve it.

The band I’m talking about if you haven’t read it above is Embers. George Agan, Steven Mclnerney, Nathan Howard and Will Clutton. In September they self-released a 7in single with two songs on it, ‘Sins Unknown’ and ‘Tunnel Vision’, which received a lot of attention. Steven says: “The resulting barrage of emails and tweets we received was a little overwhelming. It was a wonderful feeling.” Before this they’d only put out demos, but even those were amazing.

Embers describe their sound in three words: “Ambitious. Grandiose. Cinematic.” And that’s no overstatement. I initially become engrossed with their beautiful track ‘Hollow Cage’. Then I watched their live recording of it in Gorton Monastery, which captured their sound perfectly, and I become hooked. It begins with beautiful piano chords and stunning vocals. Slowly there’s a rumbling of drums and a splash on the cymbals, then the song slowly gets bigger and bigger, becoming a superb spectacle of noise. But as Paul Lester rightly puts it, not any noise, “accomplished noise”. Despite the song being over 7 minutes long the changes in pace and sound keep you immersed.

Embers – Hollow Cage from Embers on Vimeo.

(Official video for ‘Hollow Cage’ recorded live at Gorton Monastery)

There’s a lot about this band that reminds me, and others, of muse. Their soaring vocals, their ability to compose epic rock soundtracks and their quiet, shy modesty about the whole thing. But interestingly they don’t pick the English rock band as a major influence. They appreciate the brilliance of Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros and are “all very much in love with the work of people like Brian Eno, and even composers like John Murphy and Hans Zimmer – creators of some of the most incredible pieces of music and soundscapes you’re likely to hear.”

They all love anything that “simply forces you to listen through its sheer ambition and persistence.” This exactly what happens when you start listening to Embers.

It was quite a shock when Steven told me “2012 was our first full year together…it was very much a case of writing songs and keeping our heads down until we were ready, laying low and spending lots of time developing ideas.”

The band is meticulous and only wants to put the best content out there. They’re strongly against musicians “that are happy to settle for mediocrity… it just doesn’t make sense to us. We just don’t understand why anyone would not want to make their music as challenging or as interesting as they can.”

Settling for second best is something this band will hopefully never do. Luckily for us they’ve decided to get their heads down again and get working on new material ahead of another single release in early 2013. I can sense it being exceptional.

Posted on The Guardian here.

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some words go here

New Band Up North (No. 5 The 1975)

You probably know The 1975 from their latest single ‘Sex’. The song’s full of swirling hooks, lustful, sleazy lyrics and vocals that carry an edge of charm with them. There’s no denying ‘Sex’ is an anthem you can’t help but sing along to. Yet, The 1975 aren’t just a one hit wonder. Their second EP, with the same name, hosts a collection of sounds venturing away from just guitar tracks to electronic indie pop.

(The official video for ‘Sex’ from their second EP. Directed by James Booth.)

Over the past few months they’ve been locked in a studio making what will become their debut album with top producer Mike Crossey, who’s worked with Foals, Arctic Monkeys and Jack Bugg. They’ve also been madly rehearsing for their first ever headline tour.

This four-piece; Matthew Healy, Ross MacDonald, Adam Hann and George Daniel all met at school in their early teens and since then they’ve been writing songs mainly about and in Manchester in the early hours of the morning.

The band came together out of boredom with frontman Matthew originally playing the drums after guitarist Adam asked if he wanted to start a band. Matthew remembers one time at rehearsal when their old singer Elliot just looked at him and said “I reckon we’re shit.” So understandably Elliot left and Matthew stepped up to the mic.  They found their new drummer George in the school corridor near the music department (clearly the cool hangout).

“I was still flirting with the boundaries between ‘scally’ and ‘mosher’ “

When the boys wrote a song they thought was half decent they thought, “Let’s do this! It’s better than school or work.” After a few name changes and an identity crisis for Matthew, as he “was still flirting with the boundaries between ‘scally’ and ‘mosher’”, The 1975 came out the other end.

So why call yourself The 1975? Many bands try to avoid using ‘The’ to prefix their name. Well, here’s the story. Matthew went on holiday to the northern part of Majorca and one day decided to take a long stroll: “I came across a house – it was a beautiful Spanish villa that had all of it’s furniture outside.” He sparked up a conversation with the owner and he ended up staying there all day. “He showed me around his house…full of original Beatles records, signed Elvis shit, a photo of him with Hendrix.” Matthew had fallen in love with this guy and was then showed the library. Matthew was given loads of books about the beat generation and it wasn’t until about half a year later he decided to read one of them: “I found a page of scribblings. It wasn’t really disturbing or dark or anything… the important thing that stuck with me was that the page was dated ‘1st June. The 1975’. At the time I just thought that the word ‘The’ preceding a date was a strong use of language. I never thought it would be something that would later come to be so important. When it came to naming the band, it was perfect.”

“Committed to not having to subscribe to the traditional mould”

It must be rewarding for the band to have been received so well during their first year as The 1975. They admit they were getting used to being in really underground bands where the world of mainstream was so far away. They had no idea their records would be accepted in the way they have been. Getting a response from people, positive or negative, seems to be helping though: “it’s allowed me to understand how other people perceive our band and essentially how they perceive those really specific situations I’m talking about.” Matthew seems to take feedback well after the band’s first EP ‘Facedown’ was tagged as a bit ‘schizophrenic’ and some critics saying the band had not found their true identity just yet. Taking that all on board he defends the band’s ability to produce a range of sounds: “it’s not because we don’t know what’s going on… we are committed to not having to subscribe to the traditional mould of what a band should sound like.”

The lyrical content of their music directly relates to Matthew’s life, loves and losses. He writes about the band’s experiences and what it’s been like growing up together. Their debut album promises to be the soundtrack to the past five years as a band and they just want as many people to hear it as possible. For them “it is those human connections we’re craving right now.”

The 1975 are playing in Manchester at Sound Control on Wednesday 5th December 2012.

Posted on the Guardian Northerner blog on Monday 3rd December 2012 by Emily Brinnand

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PINS at Tramlines

New Band Up North (No. 4 PINS)

PINS – SAY TO ME from PINS on Vimeo.

The blistering and beautiful video from PINS could be an advert… not quite sure what for. What do you reckon? Cigarettes? Fishnet tights? Wine? Be warned it contains flashing images.

This four piece; Faith, Lois, Anna and Lara are making what they describe as “dark/gloom/noise pop” music in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. From playing just one show last year to practicing like crazy, touring across the country and Europe, PINS have now released their phenomenal four track EP ‘LuvU4Lyf’. On top of that they’ve put out four incredible music videos, toured with 2:54 and played with Savages.

(From Left to Right: Anna Donigan, Lois Macdonald, Faith Holgate, Lara Williams)

“I fixated on the idea of it being an all female group”

They came together out of Faith’s determination to start her own band. Initially it was a frustrating experience of replying to flyers in shop windows and meeting new people who were dreamers rather than doers but she became obsessed and didn’t give up.

Faith explains that she “fantasied about how this band would be and I fixated on the idea of it being an all female group. I actively sought out female musicians over the course of a year, some didn’t work out but some did.”

And that’s how Faith met Anna. Then a few months on Lois came into the mix. It was still a while until the foursome was complete. The girls got in touch with Lara and in desperation asked ‘Do you know any drummers?’ The answer was very conveniently yes, as Lara was a drummer. They’d struck gold, started recording and performing and PINS were born.

Although PINS’ favourite description of their sound right now is “dark pop, gloom pop, noise pop” they’re not settling “on one definitive sound.”

Lois says: “our sound is still developing, but I think we’re getting a lot closer to what we’re aiming for. As four individuals we have really different influences, which is great because each person comes up with idea that you wouldn’t of…”

“a brawl between the four of us & our instruments”

Like most bands PINS are taking influences from everyday life, music they love and things they do and see. For Faith it’s often a subconscious process. She’s armed with a notebook pretty much everywhere she goes just in case a new idea pops into her head. Lois feels the same: “I think sometimes your walking down the street, or in an unusual situation and a phrase or rhythm pops into your head that sort of sums it up. I write it down on record or in a voice memo and come back to it later… Sometimes one sentence gives you enough to write a full song.”

Anna is influenced by all sorts of music and she thinks the band have “very visual minds too and appreciate the relationship between sound and moving image. A beautiful or compelling film will usually stimulate my mind.”

This rings true of their music videos. They’re so professional put together and look like movie trailers or adverts. The video for ‘LuvU4Lyf’ is full of stunning scenery, psychedelic colours and impressive visual sequences. ‘Say To Me’ is all shot in black and white. It’s really stylish and overflows with attitude.

The combination of heavy drums, one loud fuzzy bass, one noisy guitar and whirling guitar solos is producing what Anna calls a “brawl between the four of us and our instruments.”

No wonder things are going great for PINS. They share a love for red wine, they’re all vegetarian, except Lara who’s Vegan and they love loud music.

Lois always wanted to have a vinyl of the band she was in. Now she’s ticked that box she thinks about what her new ambition could be: “travel the entire world?” Maybe she can do that with the band? Anna wants to appear on BBC’s Later With Jools Holland (who doesn’t?) and Faith, whose already achieved her dream of creating an all female band, now wants to make thousands of records. I think with her grit and passionate this will definitely come true.

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Shields-November-2012

New Band Up North (No. 3 Shields)

Newcastle five-piece Shields are producing a synth sensation, with catchy pop melodies, charming harmonies and layers of intricate indie sounds. The guys have been on their travels around Europe and the UK for most of the year, remixed a track for Maxïmo Park and have been working away on their debut EP Kaleidoscope, which is out today.

shields

From Left to Right: Dave Williams (guitar/keys/vocals), Luke Elgie (guitar/bass/vocals), Rich Sutton (guitar/vocals), John Martindale (percussion/bass/samples), Tom Larthe (drums/vocals) Photograph: Mike Platt

The video for their latest single ‘Mezzanine’ caught the attention of new music master Michael Cragg a month ago. And it’s no surprise, as the actors who star in the video are pretty top notch. Watch it right now and you’ll be amazed. Nowadays it’s hard to get people to watch anything for more than a few minutes without their eyes being diverted to another screen. But Shields pull you in immediately with lots of pretty colours to compliment the song’s fun and poppy tone. The video cuts from the band performing and proving they can play instruments to a strong love story, which unfolds into a tragedy. Oh and if you haven’t actually clicked to watch it yet, like I told you to, then you won’t know that those remarkable actors are actually sock puppets. Even Kylie was impressed and shared it with her million plus Twitter followers.


The genius behind this video is Vicky Simmons who directed it and came up with the idea. Socks off to you Vicky.

“It was just unbelievable”

Earlier this year the band self released a couple of singles and started impressing lots of people over here in the UK and abroad. Luke, who plays guitar, bass and sings in the band, said a particular highlight for him was playing at the Dispatch Show in Paris:

“It’s crazy to go to a such an amazing city in France where people are really enthusiast to see us. It was just unbelievable.”

Luke, John, Rich, Dave and Tom make music everywhere they go. Dave even admits that in the middle of a conversation “it can be difficult to maintain concentration on what [the other person's saying] because I’m busy trying to hide the fact I’m making up or trying to remember a drum beat by chattering my teeth in rhythm.” Now that’s talented … maybe the boys should incorporate teeth chatters into their next single?

Now when it comes to delving into how the band met John and Luke actually crossed paths on a ferry years before they actually met properly. They slowly realised this was the case when they were telling each other the same story. John was on his way to travel around Europe with a djembe. Luke then put his hand through John’s drum during a jamming session on the top deck. I’m sure that was a bit awkward and sad for John. But now it seems as though John might be getting revenge on Luke as he’s “always late” and as the designated driver that can get pretty annoying.

Originally Luke was in a band with Dave at the same time as being in a band with Tom and Rich. Both bands recorded at Blank Studios where John worked. Then coincidentally the band Luke and Dave were in parted ways when John left his current group. Are you following? Luke says “John had been really involved with the creative side of recording both bands so it made sense to bring it all together.”

Each idea needs the “unanimous nod”

The sound the band is creating is all about building up layers. After listening to their EP for the first time you then start to pick out each complex layer in a song and appreciate the effort and thought that’s gone into the record. They use guitars, synths, drums, a bass and lots of vocals to build up each track and you suddenly realise – wow this is good. The band’s sound is not the only thing full of colour and energy but their multi-coloured artwork “ties in with the music.” Luke says:

“When I listen to music it’s colourful. There’s lots going on and you can imagine lots of colour.”

Making music is clearly a team process for this band, as each idea needs the “unanimous nod”, which “generally occurs after the five of us can hear something new that we’ve previously not explored musically.” Luke explains that a twenty second idea can often span out into a three minute song. The band takes influences from a wide range of artists including Everything Everything, Metronomy and Tune Yards. What’s great about Shields is the way they don’t necessarily think the sounds they’re making need to fit into any one genre. They don’t want to replicate something they’ve heard before but they take inspiration from sounds they admire and just go with what’s working.

Away from the music the band enjoy playing FIFA, drinking single malts during a gig, meeting and working with lots of different people and creating games with their fans on Facebook. But sometimes the odd debate can crop up as they admit to hating

“how much time [they] have wasted discussing (arguing) the meaning of irony and if Alanis did actually get it right.”

As I mentioned earlier their debut EP, Kaleidoscope, is out today. It also features a cover of SBTRKT’s Pharaohs, which they performed recently in true SBTRKT fashion, masks and all for the 405. So go take a look at that video and grab a copy of their new EP.
Emily Brinnand is a freelance journalist, radio presenter and producer. You can listen to her show Mixtape every Tuesday evening at 6pm on Sheffield Live! 93.2fm or online at www.sheffieldlive.org. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyBrinnand

If you’re in a Northern band Emily wants to hear from you so please Tweet her links to your music.

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Alt_J

#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #8 – 07-07-14

PLAYLIST #8

Here’s the eighth playlist of #MondaysMixtape. Brand new and emerging music hand picked by me for your enjoyment.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

This week I’ve included another new one from Alt-J, Left Hand Free. It’s another game changer as we hear a jazz influence seep through. It’s got a little bit more of an attitude than their debut. Also brand new stuff from Sheffield band Blessa, a previous #NewBandUpNorth of mine. It’s a great little shoe gaze treat called Kindred.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #8. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

REMIX OF THE WEEK

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New EP from Sheffield’s Blessa lands on SoundCloud

Sheffield five piece Blessa have unleashed their latest EP Love Is An Evol Word into the world. Landing on SoundCloud under two weeks ago it is a hidden gem that more people need to wrap their ears around.

Beautiful shoe gaze to compliment those summer drives and late night BBQs.

The latest track to hit SoundCloud is Kindred takes you back to the thrashy guitars of The Smiths, New Order and The Cure. What’s different and refreshing is Liv Neller’s beautiful and yearning vocals.

I picked the band out last year as my 19th New Band Up North for the Guardian. Read the piece here.

Related Article: New Band Up North – BLESSA – No 19

Recorded, mixed & produced by MJ at Suburban Home studio.
Additional mixing by Tom Carmichael.
Synths by MJ.

‘Love Is An Evol Word’ EP is out now via Generator & Carmel Records

 

 

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stephen webster

Stephen Webster – Behind The Scenes with Rankin

Stephen Webster – Behind The Scenes with Rankin from The Gate | Developing Brands on Vimeo.

We filmed exclusively behind the scenes with photographer Rankin as he shot the latest campaign for Stephen Webster jewellery. Here he talks about his latest collection and the inspiration behind it. 

A minute version of the BTS film was produced for Harrods.com as well as the Stephen Webster site.

Title: Stephen Webster 2014/15 campaign – Behind The Scenes with Rankin

Production Company: The Gate Films

Role: Producer

 

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#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #7 – 30-06-14

PLAYLIST #7

Here’s the seventh playlist of #MondaysMixtape. Brand new and emerging music hand picked by me for your enjoyment.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

This week I’ve included the new one from Alt-J – Hunger Of The Pine where we hear a slight change in sound from their debut album but they’ve retained their trademark combination of distinctive vocals and intricate melodies. Also fresh from the net is AlunaGeorge’s remix of Magic by Coldplay. It’s a very subtle reworking, making the track a little less melancholic.

I’ve also picked out some gems you may not have heard yet. One from emerging Manchester band Hartheim and another from Screaming Maldini.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #7. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.


REMIX OF THE WEEK

Wild Beasts – Mecca (SOHN Remix)

WEEKLY FREE DOWNLOAD
Welcome To Hartheim

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#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #6 – 16-06-14

PLAYLIST #6

Here’s the sixth playlist of #MondaysMixtape. Brand new and emerging music hand picked by me for your enjoyment.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #6. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

REMIX OF THE WEEK

Bipolar Sunshine – Deckchairs On The Moon (Harry Fraud Remix)

WEEKLY FREE DOWNLOAD

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#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #5 – 10-06-14

PLAYLIST #5

Here’s the fifth playlist of #MondaysMixtape. Brand new and emerging music hand picked by me for your enjoyment.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #5. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

A favourite this week is Lyves.

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

REMIX OF THE WEEK

Laura Mvula – She (Robin Hannibal (Quadron/Rhye) Rework)

It’s often a risk to remix a beautiful song that already feel like an untouchable piece work but hearing Robin Hannibal (Quadron/Rhye) rework Laura Mvula She has me thinking otherwise.

By adding electronic beats to Laura Mvula’s gospel and soulful vocals pulls the song in a new direction. One that still grabs you the minute you hear it, but makes it more bearable to listen to without being too emotional.

WEEKLY FREE DOWNLOAD

Sampha – Hesitant Oaf (Dog Bite unofficial edit)

Landing on SoundCloud only 5 days ago, this was a treat to the ears. Sampha crept into the mainstream after being included on the BBC Sound of 2014 longlist. He’s also worked with Drake. This Dog Bite unofficial edit is another cheeky reworking of an artist who has soothing vocals that let your thoughts drift away. It’s free for you to download too. Enjoy!

 

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adultjazzmag970

#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #4 – 02-06-14

PLAYLIST #4

Here’s the fourth playlist of #MondaysMixtape. An hour of new and emerging music hand picked by me.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #4. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

REMIX OF THE WEEK

 

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#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #3 – 25-05-14

PLAYLIST #3

Here’s the third playlist of #MondaysMixtape. An hour of new and emerging music hand picked by me.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

In today’s #MondaysMixtape you’ll hear my #NewBandUpNorth act; Mausi, who are creating the perfect summer soundtrack. Newcastle‘s Anglo-Italian pop band. Their carefree, poppy, energetic, summer tunes sit comfortably between a glorious, sunny afternoon on the beach and a great night out with mates. Each song eases you in gently. You begin to nod your head slightly then all of a sudden you’re up and dancing like you did at your primary school disco (yes, that one dance move you perfected – jumping up and down until you needed another Panda Pop). Today you’ll get to hear their track My Friend Has A Swimming Pool, remixed by The Magician. 

Also on this week’s #MondaysMixtape we’ve got new music from London duo Fé, brought to my attention by The Generator. Fé came together from years of writing and busking in train carriages. Their gorgeous, stripped back melodies and emotive vocals captivate your ears. The track on today’s #MondaysMixtape, 50/50, is beautiful. The light rhythmic guitars are underpinned by a dark undertone of minor piano chords. Definitely a band to watch this year.

This week I’ve included 2 remixes. One from Aquilo, who were on last week’s Mixtape. They’ve got their hands on Sivu’s track My Oh My to create something wonderful. The other is a remix of Mausi, as I’ve already mentioned above, from The Magician.

Today’s Free Weekly Download comes from a Hungarian band called Seaside. I stumbled across this over the weekend and it’s a track BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson recommended.

Also hear new music from a few of my favourite new bands including: Screaming Maldini, Ellen and The Escapades, Woman’s Hour and BLESSA.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #3. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

 

REMIX OF THE WEEK

Sivu – MY OH MY (Aquilo Remix)


WEEKLY DOWNLOAD

Seaside – The Hours

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#MondaysMixtape – Playlist #2 – 12-05-14

PLAYLIST #2

Here’s the second playlist of Monday’s Mixtape. An hour of new and emerging music hand picked by me.

Each week I’ll put together a selection of new tunes from small to big acts I think you should be taking notice of. I’ll include a Remix Of The Week and a Free Weekly Download too!

In today’s #MondaysMixtape you’ll hear my 24th #NewBandUpNorth act; Aquilo, who are from the Lake District. Two neighbours, Ben and Tom, are making a beautiful soundscape of melodies, full of space and soul. Definitely an act to follow if you’re a fan of James Blake. Also on this week’s #MondaysMixtape we’ve got new music from Buckinghamshire newcomers As Elephants Are, who I’m a huge supporter of right now, plus another great song from Wolf Alice.

This week’s Remix comes from Andy C on London Grammar’s Hey Now and you’ve got another Free Download to enjoy from Sheffield singer songwriter Sam Scherdel. The track’s called Three Streets and it’s taken from his EP In The Red.

LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK

There’s a wide variety of sounds to wrap your ears around so I hope you enjoy Playlist #2. Let me know what you think in the comment box below. Please share any new music you’re enjoying right now in there too!

Enjoy and remember to hashtag #mondaysmixtape and tweet me @EmilyBrinnand to talk about today’s Playlist.

REMIX OF THE WEEK

London Grammar – Sights (Andy C Remix)

WEEKLY DOWNLOAD

Sam Scherdel – Three Sheets

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Freezeez Commercial

Freezeez Commercial 

Title: Girls vs Boys

Ice cream makers at the ready! This 20 second commercial for national TV shows girls and boys in a race to make the best ice cream creation with their Freezeez’s. We produced two other commercials; one for girls television channels, another for boys television channels.

Production Company: The Gate Films

Agency: Worlds Apart

Role: Producer

 

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