Mano’s Daughter

I am a fan of Tim Minchin, and as such, I follow him on Twitter. So, naturally when I read the tweet, “Tim Minchin: Gig Tip: Saw @ManosDaughter live the other night. Huge fan. Unique sound, brilliant lyrics, beautiful vocalist. Next gig Dec 6th @Cargo_LDN.”, I decided to check them out.

Upon doing so, I was amazed that this band hadn’t crossed my path before. They are an extremely talented trio, producing a wonderful collection of alternative electronic music, most of which cannot be described as anything less than hauntingly beautiful.

Hailing from London, the group consists of Sarah Carter (Vocals), Matthias Garrick (Synths, programming) and Dan See (Drums). They have been described as a mixture of Little Dragon, Florence and The Machine, with hints of Portishead. When seen live, (by audiences other than Tim Minchin) they have been described as “an explosive three piece, with their almost anthemic choruses and thought provoking lyrics”. They really do provide a really interesting listen, and go particularly well with essay-writing or coursework (something of a preoccupation of mine at the moment!).

Their influences range from The Invisible, Foals, Everything Everything to Bon Iver and Moloko. Mano’s Daughter make songs and song-writing the heart of their sound. The story and production values both play an equal part in this band’s finished product.

Check them out at http://www.manosdaughter.co.uk/ or just search for them on Youtube. Their own written stuff is incredible, but also I can thoroughly recommend their cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Towers’ which is just stunning.

Odinn Orn Hilmarsson

Originally from Iceland and now living in London, Odinn is a graduate of the University of York whom I had the pleasure of meeting in my first year. Evidently a very talented multi-instrumental musician, just listening to him play is a wonderful experience, but it is his composition that sets him apart from the norm.

During his time as a student, Odinn began writing and producing scores for several of the theatre shows and films he became involved in during his spare time and his Masters degree in Digital Film Production. This has only spiralled, with his music now featuring in multiple shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The King’s Head Theatre (London), The Last Refuge Theatre (London) and many more.

Odinn’s acoustic and ethereal style is beautifully unique; his work has that invaluable quality of the greats like Zimmer and Williams – you know when you’re listening to Odinn Hilmarsson. And when you do listen to his music, you get that other-worldly prickling feeling reserved for finding something truly special. That and the chills usually caused by musical genius.

You can find his newest song Tomasina on his Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/gangleri – as well as teasers from his current projects and other experimental work.

Alternatively, you can find more of Odinn’s finished work at http://odinnhilmarsson.bandcamp.com/, or follow him on Twitter @odinnthehole. I can’t recommend highly enough giving this talented emerging artist a listen – you may just get the chance to boast, “I heard it before he was a household name”.

September Sky

This week I caught up with a fantastic young band, who have been working hard to develop their unique style. Hertfordshire based September Sky are an extremely talented group with both songwriting talent and awesome performance ability. With a string of upcoming shows the band are becoming more well known, with their talents continuing to develop. Definitely one to watch! Their music is deep, memorable and very catchy. I highly recommend you check them out, and definitely make it to one of their gigs if your in the hertfordshire, london area! With all great bands you haven’t fully experienced them, until you’ve seen them live. I caught up with the guys to ask them a few questions:

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Tell me a bit about your musical style as a band

Our style is one we like to say we found on our own. It is based around a pop punk/Alternative style with some post hardcore mixed in.

What influences and inspires you most, when creating your music?

I think we all have different influences, but that’s where our sound comes from. By each of us having our own we create something new. Mostly alternative bands like Paramore and Fightstar to Interpol, Coheed and Cambria, Evanescence and many others.

As a group, have you found if difficult to establish your style, or has it just come naturally?

We feel it came quite naturally, we enjoy what we play and we all seem to write music in a very similar style to each other so there’s not really much of a struggle to fit each other into one style, especially considering the diversity of music we listen to. Sometimes difficulties can come along for us when writing but once the ball gets rolling things come a lot easier.

What are your thoughts on the british music scene of today?

Different. Very different! It’s funny to see just how much music changes over the years and we think that if you go looking for them, there are hundreds of fantastic bands around, no matter what style or genre you prefer. We’ve played with such a huge range of bands and most nights we’ve found something we’ve really enjoyed and gotten into. There is so much creativity around where as, probably due to restrictions on freedom, some big signed bands can be lacking in something sometimes, but all n all the British scene is good

Finally where can our readers see more of you guys in the future? Do you have any up and coming shows or projects?

You can check out our Facebook page and our twitter

A few of our songs can be found on youtube and on our band page. 

And we have a video in the works so keep an eye out for us

The gigs we got coming up are 
20th July Bridgehouse, London
19th October Asylum Chelmsford
We hope to see you all there 

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I hope you enjoyed that guys! Be sure to check out the band online to be the first to hear about new songs and upcoming shows!

Twitter

Facebook

Youtube

 

Renegade Brass Band

Do you like funk? Do you like jazz? Do you like hip-hop? If you answered yes to any of these questions, well get ready, because your mind is about to be well and truly blown.

Formed in Sheffield back in 2009, and comprising of eight horns, two percussionists, a scratch DJ and a live MC, the Renegade Brass Band are quite simply a tour-de-force of funk and soul. With a incredible live reputation preceding them, and a whole host of hi-profile festivals and support slots under their belts, it is safe to say that this twelve-piece are currently creating some sizeable waves in the industry. Named by the Sheffield’s premier dubstep and hip-hop night the Tuesday Club as one of their top live acts, and having recently played the Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show live in Manchester, it cannot be long before they explode completely.

Keep your eyes peeled for new material coming shortly, as well a whole host of live shows. For more information (and of course more tracks), check out the Renegade Brass Band website and Facebook page.

Joss Ryan

“I enjoyed listening to the music that made me want to run upstairs and lay some ideas down.” Joss Ryan explains to me how a wide variety of musical influences at a young age have helped him grow into a self-taught musician. But for the East London DJ and Producer, there was always more on the musical horizon, and his explorations through sound have given him a more refined set of influences. Jazz, Grime, and Soul have played integral roles in shaping Ryan, and it shows in his latest E.P. entitled ‘Blaze Blu’ (Relseased on DVA music).

It’s difficult to categorise the music into a genre, and for good reason. Ryan’s studies of Audio Engineering at the London School of Sound, combined with his five years of production experience have allowed him to conjure a natural ability to intertwine contrasting genres and triumph where others fail in making it sound balanced and effective. In ‘Modesty’ thick Jazz brass introduces a progressive instrumental that evolves into a melodic synth-fest, complete with shuffling piano a soaring string crescendo. Undertones of modern oriental vibe are also apparent, perhaps a throwback to Ryan’s passion for orchestral music in video games such as the Final Fantasy series.

Ryan makes no secret of his desire to develop a sound he “can call his own”, he is constantly reinventing himself to stay fresh. Noting the limitations of playing at clubs, Ryan treads through the dense wilderness of the world of music to discover instruments that he carries with him through all of his productions, gradually scultping a DNA pattern that formulates his sound. ‘Blaze Blu’s’ title track, with it’s anticipatory bellow and pulsating brass, boldly embodies Joss Ryan’s intention to not just push the boundaries, but to attempt to draw new boundaries of his own. “I think to play at a festival like outlook or dimensions is the dream right now, and to develop a ‘live show’ to perform.” Having played at Cable and clubs in the Dalston/Shoreditch area, fans of experimental electronica would be wise to listen out for this highly ambitious artist. 

Listen to his music on soundcloud here

Photography by Jamie Kendrick

Introducing Elephant

After reading about these guys on the blog a couple of weeks back, and completely seduced by their sound, I couldn’t resist meeting up with Elephant for an acoustic session.

You can read Adonis’ post on the group, here.

Surprisingly humble and very critical of their work, these guys are in it for their love of making music, and nothing more. I met up with them at the peaceful Sheffield Cemetary to hear how the band came about, and to listen to one of their newest tracks, ‘Pixels‘.

 

Drenge

Guitar/Drums ensembles are nothing new these days as an intimidating lineage of duos have redefined what is possible with only two instruments.

Dead From Above 1979, No Age, Japandroids, Lighting Bolt, The Black Eyes, The Dodos; these bands have drained the well of creativity, championing polyrhythmic technique over layered instrumentation.

Once criticism leveled at these bands is their excess of sound and distortion, almost as if to say that they try to compensate for the ‘lack’ in the music by turning it up a few more notches like an instrumental representation of the Napoleon complex.

Whether the predilection towards ‘maximalism’ is a critical point or not, the brash, ‘rhythm&fuzz’ vibe that these bands effuse is raucous and exciting one to hear.

I Wanna Break You In Half  by Drenge

Drenge, a Sheffield-based two-piece composed of brothers Eoin and Rory Loveless, follows in this lineage and their latest release I Wanna Break You in Half, with its punchy breakbeats thrashy riffs, chugs relentlessly through an unruly two minutes savage playing.

In a live setting, the band truly is something. They tore through their Tramlines set at The Great Gatsby in Sheffield and established themselves as a one to watch! Catch their band at a few select shows in England in the near future.

http://www.facebook.com/drengeboys

http://www.facebook.com/drengeboys

Laura J Martin

I found about Laura J Martin and her unique brand of ethereal, psychedelic-folk just over a year ago now, in the glorious settings of Wales’ own Green Man festival. Petite and softly spoken when she’s not playing, this Liverpudlian lass creates quite a noise for a small woman alone on stage but for her instruments, her voice and a loop pedal.

Laura is a multi-instrumentalist, proficient in piano, flute and mandolin, all of which she utilises in her music to stunning effect. She plays all with vigour, and when performing seems possessed simultaneously with a fiery energy and a gentle endearing quality that makes her presence and her music all the more compelling. Her musical style is somewhat difficult to pin down, and others may dub it differently, but for me she errs on the side of an otherworldly folkishness, somewhat primal beats (I am thinking especially of her track “Fire Horse” here) mixing with soaring flute melodies and haunting, breathy vocals expounding strange, mythical lyrics.

Recently, I was lucky enough to catch Laura live again, this time in the stunning setting of the Sheffield Cathedral as part of the city’s annual Tramlines festival. The acoustics of this historic building suited the ethereal quality of her music perfectly, and her quirky harmonies rang out through the rafters with a wonderful clarity and grace. I was struck again with the sense of awe that she has, as an individual, an awesome quality that allows her to captivate such a large space and to produce such a large and complex sound.

Laura released her latest record, ‘The Hangman Tree’ in January 2012 on Static Caravan. If you want to experience something beautiful yet unpredictable, strange yet charming, then I strongly recommend you give it a listen. To find out more about her, visit her website.

– Georgie