Archive of ‘indie’ category

In the Heart of Brixton

If you’ve been anywhere near Coldharbour Lane in Brixton over the past couple of weeks then you may have already spotted Turpentine, the new ‘creative retail hub’ which offers a whole host of goodies which have been handmade.
The store – formed by Amber Rogers, Alice Waters and Judith de Berker – originated as a pop-up, selling indie craft, art and giftware, and has now evolved into a shop with its very own permanent residence at 433 Coldharbour Lane. Their cute and quirky items have been created by almost 50 ‘indie-makers’ and range from £15 to £50 – so there’s something to suit every budget!
What’s even better, The Turpentine will run evening and weekend workshops on all sorts of arts & crafts, from jewellery-making and floristry to life-drawing and photography – all led by co-founder Judith de Berker, who attended Central St. Martins.
Pop on by to see it for yourself!

What We’re Listening To…

The release of Canadian indie-rock group Arcade Fire’s ‘Reflektor’ exposed fans to a more experimental, dance sound. Although, what stood out more than their new sound was the brilliant ‘We Exist’.
Steered by bass grooves in a similar vein to that of Michael Jackson’s ‘Billie Jean’, the track isn’t especially ground-breaking – although it makes a fine addition to their arsenal of knockout tracks.   
As well as this, Arcade Fire, who are currently touring under the name of ‘The Reflektors’, have blended slick and funky instrumentation with melodic brilliance that allows the track to soar. 
The group have done it again – creating a dreamy, funked-up track that lingers in listeners’ minds for hours on end.
By Lauren Wade

What We’re Listening To…

Serving as one of the stand-out tracks from Irish folk-rock quintet Little Green Cars’ debut album Absolute Zero, current single My Love Took Me Down To The River To Silence Me will find listeners taking full advantage of the repeat button. 

The band have previously supported Jake Bugg, and whilst they have stormed their way through a string of impressive festival slots including: SXSW, Coachella and Lollapalooza – their artistic credibility has always remained firmly intact.
Expect killer melodies and a headrush of emotions, as Faye O’Rourke switches to vocal duties and ramps up the grandeur. It’s a track that yields prolific results and will attract a larger crowd to their sinewy indie sounds.

The entirety of their debut release is prematurely polished, but this tune more so. The chart-toppers have conquered Ireland and America but now they’re tackling the UK and are ready to cause an impact. Obey your ears and add this gem to your collection.
By Lauren Wade

What We’re Listening To…

Frolicking guitars, woodsy vibes and an ethereal vocal in abundance. Heat wave aside, Canada’s Half Moon Run have crafted the hottest track around. With many indie groups politely attempting to capture the sound of Latitude Festival in their tracks, the Montreal four-piece have triumphed where others have failed.  
The folksy cascade of noise doesn’t linger, it’s dreamy, detached and delicious nature deposits you in an earthly setting. Drummer Connor Molander patters away behind the drumkit, flowing through the veins of the track. Although, working in its favour is the easy-to-learn chorus and polished vocals which are allowed to do all of the work.
 Having toured previously with Mumford & Sons, the young group have no doubt picked up a few tips on the road. Still in their early twenties, the release of their debut ‘Dark Eyes’ has seen critical acclaim on behalf of their three-part harmonies, but what would we like to see next from Half Moon Run? Perhaps mixing their raw talent with a touch of experimentation? Or would that kill their sound completely? Who knows but fans will continue to lock into their tunes regardless, just to see how far they can take it.
By Lauren Wade

What we’re Listening To…

We all love a charmingly melodious Irish man’s accent and even more when they sing a song from their heart. I mean who wouldn’t be won over? Well can you imagine the appeal of four Irish lads, all of whom are musically brilliant and lovely? Can’t? Well let us introduce you Dublin quartet Kodaline

Kodaline are Stephen Garrigan, Vinnie May Jr, Jason Boland and Mark Prendergast, boys who are in their early twenties and probably could perhaps do with being a little more mature, to make them less ‘moon’. That is to say, to demonstrate a more refined approach to women, as opposed to their literal school-boy ‘moons’ whenever a female hottie appears. It’s endearing, if anything.  
But what the craic really is with Kodaline is they’re actually a pretty decent indie band with some really lovely songs. It can’t be denied that on first hearing you might recall Coldplay, Mumford and Sons or any respectable indie band of the moment. Yet what this band can offer you is honesty and, yes, a loud heart-felt burst of guitar, piano and honest songs about break ups, it seems. 
Despite their occasionally adolescent vibes they have been together as a band since 2005 when they were called 21 Demands, only later changing their name to Kodaline in 2011. It’s easy to be critical of these guys – their similarity to other bands and so on – but we can’t help but love this new track of theirs Love Like This. Guaranteed they’ll be playing at all the big festivals come this time next year, for after all, they’ve got the charm and vivacity to win us all over.

Catch these guys play live next at The Great Escape festival in Brighton and pre-order Kodaline’s forthcoming album In A Perfect World here.

By Melodie Walter

What we’re listening to…

It’s about time Everything Everything showed their faces again (read our review from their gig in 2010 here!) and it’s safe to say that they really don’t disappoint with their new album Arc –  released this month and our listening choice of the week.

It is quite literally everything that you want an indie album to be: good beats, catchy and irresistible.
There are 13 awesome and varied tracks to get you through this tiring windy and wet weather plus an extra 6 on their deluxe album, each track representing a different tone and mood.
Some more upbeat tracks like Cough Cough contrasted with more melodramatic tunes like Torso of the Week with chillingly beautiful The Peaks. The only way to describe these guys music is just very cool.
The gritty underlay of their (Jonathon Higgs, Jeremy Pritchard, Michael Spearman and Alex Robertshaw) lyrics is covered by their eclectic funk but really they’re singing about a lot of depressing things like human irresponsibility and guilt. Don’t be mistaken though, this in no way deters from the fact that the result is absolutely sublime.
Take a listen and view at the awesome Cough Cough…

Next live gig will be at Oxford O2 Academy on Feb 14 .
By Melodie Walter

What we’re listening to…

Last year we had the very cool Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward grace us with their pretty Christmas album A Very She & Him Christmas and we’re again angling for the pick of the indie Christmas crop with Michigan born Sufjan Stevens’ Silver and Gold.  

An unusual fellow, Stevens dedicates time to making Christmas music like no other. Since producing Songs for Christmas in 2006 – a lengthy two-hour album – Stevens hasn’t produced anything for his beloved season for six years until the release of Silver and Gold last month.
Pangs of banjo, pings of drunken guitars and angelic peeps from the Oboe plus the multitude of instruments Stevens also plays, there is hope that your Christmas can be enjoyed without an overload of trashy Christmas cheer – of which we cannot escape from the radio, TV and shops playing (sometimes you just need a break!).
On this 58-track extravaganza, Stevens compiles songs of religious fantasy, life history and Christmas fantasy. Prepare to be introduced to a fairytale land of snow, psychedelic lights, Unicorns, Santa, the characters of the Bible narrative and Mr Frosty Man.
To hear Steven’s magical Christmas album and experience what it’s like to listen to music feeling as though you’re on a carousel at the fairground after having one too many mulled wines click here – apt for Christmas day!
We love this vintage-esque video for Sufjan Stevens’ Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas. (Which includes a few snippets from some of our fave festive films!)
You can buy the Silver and Gold via Asthmatic Kitty Records, Amazon or iTunes. 
By Melodie Walter

What We’re Listening To…

This week’s listening choice is audibly buoyant! Not to mention potent.

Loveable non-conforming indie band Little Comets released their second album Life Is Elsewhere just last week (not long after last year’s debut In Search of Little Elusive Comets).
They are likened to popular indie band Vampire Weekend but they remind us more of Bloc Party or The Kooks.
As lyricists they stand alone. From their intelligently poetic selection of words, scenic metaphors and their fearlessness in delving into any subject. Despite the grittiness of some of their lyrics this album is uplifting and exhaustingly exhilarating.
The ones who possess the talent and intellect for producing catchy choruses and verses, infectious licks and riffs and choppy drums and synthetics are Newcastle-based trio Robert Coles, Michael Coles and Matt Hall.
Imagine yourself dancing, at a place where there is sand, sea and sunshine and this is what their sound is: Beachy.
Here is a clip of their lead single from Lie Is Elsewhere, A Little Opus.

You can catch them on the last few dates of their tour now…
By Melodie Walter