Eliza and the Bear

Eliza and the Bear consist of no lady called Eliza, and sadly no bear. But it does consist of five very talented young men from London. Eliza and the Bear are a folk pop group who bring something new to indie pop world, with their catchy and upbeat tunes and stage presents. What makes this band stand out is the close friendship these boys genuinely have. Paul Lester wrote in his Guardian feature of the band, that this band is “boisterous, cacophonous indie made by enthusiastic young men who want to communicate their excitement at being alive”.

Their popular song ‘Upon the North’ is one of my favourite songs, and it will no doubt put you in a happy summer dancing mood. Sounding similar to The Lumineers and their hit song Ho Hey, Eliza and the Bear share the similar husky folk vocals, great guitar and happy overall melody. They also share a similar sound to Dry the River, which is unsurprising as they have worked with the acclaimed music producer Peter Miles, who has worked with the likes of Dry the River, The King Blues, The Skints, We Are the Ocean and so many more. Eliza and the bears have just released their new song ‘Friends’, adding yet another great song to their musical repertoire. ‘Friends’ stays true to the music Eliza and the Bear create, being upbeat and jubilant. Yet again these boys have created another great summery happy tune, which will accompany your swaying body and your beating foot perfectly in the garden with a nice cold cider in your hand.

Make sure you catch this rising band at their September tour! For more info, head to:

http://elizaandthebear.com/

https://soundcloud.com/elizaandthebear

https://www.facebook.com/elizaandthebear

Now you have no excuse not to see these boys live.

Unmade Bed

When you cite ‘Futurism’ as one of your influences you set up quite a strange weight of expectation. Thankfully Dorian Cox and the rest of Unmade craft a sound and deliver a slew of songs worthy of the citation. No doubt Marinetti would salute the grit and verve though the jury’s out on whether he was a fan of disco.

The Sheffield three-piece makes no claims of perfection; fuzzy drones and flat bass lines add to the raw sound which the vocals slice through. A brash, energetic disco-tinged vibe pulses through the bands current selection of tracks and evokes the sound of a more reticent ‘Yeah Yeah Yeahs’.

Though Karen O would salivate at the prospect of laying a vocal over a track like the sultry ‘Baby, Please Come Home’, singer Jeanie Crystal brings a savviness to the song with her subtle and stirring enunciations, setting her apart from any comparison.

Go The Whole Way by unmadebed.

Owing to the short, week-long recording session, these songs have a visceral quality which should make for a powerful live performance. Unmade Bed will be playing on the Sunday of Sheffield’s Tramlines festival at Queens Social Club. Don’t miss them!

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Introducing: The Natterjacks

Fate is a funny old thing.

If you’ve never heard of a candid camera party, let me fill you in: you’re split into teams, given a list of challenges that you need to complete – the more risky the challenge, the higher the point score attached to it – and you need to get picture evidence. The team with the highest point score at the end wins. And the pictures make for hilarious viewing the next day (although they might not always be Facebook appropriate. You have been warned.)

For example, one challenge could be to pour a pint behind a bar. Another could be to create a human pyramid. Or even asking a stranger to crawl down the street with you – it’s at this point that I met The Natterjacks.

I woke up the next morning with a sore head, a lot of bruises and a business card in my handbag. I type in ‘The Natterjacks’ into Google, and was instantly filled with excitement: these guys are good. Really good.

Freddie, 19, and Mark, 20, sound like the indie folk lovechild of Mumford and Sons, and Ben Howard.

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/kWTd9RTOq90″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

This video of them performing for BBC Introducing’s ‘The Beat’ on Radio Derby has had almost 150,000 views on Youtube. Not bad for a couple of lads from Chesterfield who started out doing a few pop punk covers. I had to know more:

 

– So you have a really ‘big’ sound, it’s hard to believe there are only two of you! What instruments do you play?

Freddie: I play guitar, some banjo, the tambourine and vocals.

Mark: And I play the guitar, banjo, mandolin, kick drum and a bit of vocals.

– Is music something you’ve always wanted to do? What did you want to do when you were a kid?

Freddie: This is going to sound really corny, but I wanted to be a rockstar! I study dentistry and University of Sheffield so I’m having to split my time between that and gigging, writing and recording at the minute.

Mark: And I wanted to be a chef. We’re good friends and we started to do some open mic nights playing pop punk covers, then I introduced Fred to more folky bands like Mumford and Sons, and now here we are.

– Your sound is very ‘Mumford’; do you have any other influences?

A few of them are Ben Howard, Vaccines, Bombay Bicycle Club. But we’re finding lots of influences working their way into our music as we listen to new stuff.

– What was the first album you ever bought? (No judgement; mine was Britney Spears and I’m still not ashamed to say that, but I probably should be.)

Freddie: A Present for Everyone – Busted, not ashamed to say some of their songs are incredible!

Mark: S Club 7…

– What would be your perfect gig line-up?

Mumford and Sons, Ben Howard, Fleet Foxes, Haim and The Natterjacks (We can’t leave ourselves out of the chance to play a great gig!)

– And when can we hear more of you? Do you have any gigs or releases coming up?

We’re currently in the process of recording an album which we are hoping to have released in the summer. The first few tracks are up online so that’s quite exciting. We’ve got plenty of gigs around Chesterfield and Sheffield, we’re looking to get quite a busy summer sorted too which should be fun. What we really want is to get onto the festival scene – we feel we’d be really well-suited there.

 

Check out their <a href=”www.thenatterjacksofficial.co.uk>website</a> for the latest on their gigs and releases – expect big things from this band.

INK

My friend first introduced me to this up-and-coming mysterious boy/girl duo INK a few months ago, and ever since I have been hooked. Their songs are incredibly catchy, with their beautiful indie/soul/electronic/pop melodies. I find their sound and music so addictive that INK’s song “Ink Goes On” has already entered my Most Played playlist on iTunes, in just two months. INK is another gem the creative London music scene has produced, emerging on the music scene in autumn 2012. The duo has formed beautiful constructed enigmas around their identities, which leaves audiences, and myself, desperately wanting to know more about the band.

Although what we know about INK is little, this is what I can tell you. This mysterious London based duo comprises of Liverpudlian Miriam Massie, and Glaswegian Colin Mac. You can hear through their musical talent, that these artists have come from musical backgrounds, even though they are both very different backgrounds. Massie has a classical background, with being a classically trained pianist. Whilst Mac’s musical path has formed uniquely from hearing his uncle perform in cover bands, down at the local pub. In my opinion, Massie has a pop music flare to her voice, but she has chosen to do something interesting and unique with her sound. Instead of going down the pop music field, Massie has used her voice to create innovative indie music. Massie and Mac’s musical backgrounds form together to create a sound similar to Lykke Li and Sufjan Stevens. Although these artists may be their inspiration, together they form their own unique quirky sound.

Although INK is a new band, they already have formed an Internet buzz around their music and video. Not only have they worked alongside with Amy Winehouse’s Grammy Award Winning engineer Dom Morley, the Guardian has already declared that INK is “going to be massive”. With the help of Morley, INK creates a unique sound, with the perfect blend of indie-rock and soul. Their video “Ink Goes On” is a visually gratifying video, which transforms viewers into a modern day Alice in Wonderland. As their press release states, INK’s video creates “an anti-social media love song”, following the girl meets boy narrative, where the young lovers only communicate through handwritten ink love letters. Not only is “Ink Goes On” a beautiful song, but also the video is a film within its own rights.

Check INK out before they explode onto the music scene worldwide. Give your ears a break through purchasing their debut single, “INK Goes On”, both digitally (for £1.58- bargain, I know!) and on vinyl via ATG Records. And, to find out more about this addictive band, tour dates and to listen to more great music, go to:

http://www.inkmusic.tv

https://soundcloud.com/inkmusictv

https://www.facebook.com/Inkmusic.tv

“Ink Goes On” is going to be my summer song. It is the perfect accessory to a picnic in the park, with that Alice in Wonderland feel.

Kassassin Street

Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.

“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”

Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.

Influences

“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”

Society

“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”

Centre Straight Atom (featured video)

As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.

“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”

Artwork

“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”

Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.

 

 

Savvy & Saving Grace Music

While I was enjoying some great art at the Zetland, I was lucky enough to bump into a fantastic recording artist, turned producer and now record label owner, Savvy. There are so many up and coming artists and musicians out there today, so it’s always awesome to chat with someone who has such raw talent, and is really showing the world what he’s got. With his own music racking up hits on YouTube, and his record label working with every genre from Folk to Grime and everything in between, you’re bound to love him just as much as I did.

Here’s what he has to say…

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Tell me a little bit about yourself and your music?
 
My name is Savvy, some people also may know me as Asaviour, I’m a producer & recording artist from Huddersfield and I’ve worked with a range of artists like: T.E.E.D, DJ Q, Stac, Athlete, Jehst, andDJ IQ to name a few. I’ve released 3 mix tapes as part of the a Play To Win series and have couple of albums out, one called The borrowed Ladder and another called The A Loop Theory. I’m currently working on a new album title to be conformed.

The Gola campaign is called “Born in Britain” are there any British artists that inspire you today?

Thats a long list erm……Mr Scruff, Radiohead, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys, The Clash, The Who, T.E.E.D, The Stone Roses, The Cure, Dizzee Rascal, Kate Bush, The Specials, Amy Whinehouse, Happy Mondays, Damon Albarn (Blur/Gorillaz), M.I.A, Joy Division, Queen, New Order, The Beatles, Franz Ferdinand, Goldfrapp, Basement Jaxx, erm, erm The Streets, Roots Manuva, Labrinth, Calvin Harris,  Emeli Sandé, La Roux…I can literally go on and on and on……
 
You’ve also been busy working on your own record label “Saving Grace Music” Tell us about the label?

Erm… I guess it was just natural progression for me I stared featuring on peoples records, then got the chance to release my own records via labels then moved onto releasing my own records via my own label. I guess the aim is to give other artists & my self a platform to put out quality music whatever the genre. I stared the imprint in I guess 2007-8 firstly with mix tapes (Play to Win series) then moving onto singles & albums.

What projects and releases can our readers look out from you in the future?

Well I just released a free track from my recently released mix tape Play to Win vol.3 its called Adapt or Die (The Remix) it’s only free for a limited time so grab it while you can. http://soundcloud.com/savvy/savvy-adapt-or-die-remix

The second track is a forthcoming single from an artist I’ve worked with on my last album the A Loop Theory my collaboration album with DJ IQ ( Professor Green’s Tour DJ) has call Pride and it features a singer song writer called Stac, The track is called The Right Idea and features remixes from DJ Q, The Whiteboys, Noji & XLII. take a listen > http://soundcloud.com/saving-grace-music/pride-the-right-idea-ep

And last but not least we have a new artist to the label called Ben Hoo, Hes a singer, songwriter, guitarist, rapper, drummer generally and all round talented guy, he has a single due called Failing its amazing but hey I’m biased.

And I guess my new album, sorry I can’t tell you the title at the moment but I’m aiming to have that out later in the new year, I’m real happy with it so far.

 Finally, anything else you’re dying to tell us?
 
I’m also currently rehearsing with my new band for when we tour the new album its coming together nicely, we got a few special dates planned to make sure you follow me on twitter via @iam_savvy to find out when & where as i’ll be coming to a town near you soon!!

 Laterz…..

 

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Well guys I hope you enjoyed reading that as much as I enjoyed writing it. You can find Savvy online on many platforms, so check out the links below and make sure you’re the first to hear about all the latest news and new releases. Follow him and Saving Grace Music on their journey to bring us the best music has to offer. Don’t be left behind…

Savvy:
Twitter: @iam-savvy
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Saving Grace Music
Web: saving-grace.co.uk
Until next time guys!
Katie