Little Matador

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A lot of the best rock music has one trait in common. The ugliest, weediest, acne-ridden kid at school can walk through the corridor with it in their headphones and feel like the baddest man on the planet. Little Matador’s debut single has a dominating stomp that aces this feature, while also bringing in an icy confidence with some high-but-manly indie vocals. On top of that, the video is set in a strip club and has a surprising twist (not willies).

I don’t usually ask this,  but my interest is piqued. Where did the name Little Matador come from?

I spent a Summer in Madrid and fell in love with Bull Fighting. I gave it a go and wasn’t very good, so they named me Little Matador and the name stuck.

If he’s having trouble bullfighting he should start off with El Torito, then maybe move on to Mantaur once he’s ready for a real bull. Here’s Little Matador’s debut single, which will be out on April 21st as well as the self-titled album:

Run through the red rag to Little Matador’s website, Facebook and Twitter.

Birdeatsbaby

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A little known fact about Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King, was that he was actually born in Brighton. He still had his demeanor, but was surrounded by cheeky chaps wearing straw trilbys and getting novelty tattoos on their bum bums. One day he slips away from an acoustic-led Indie gig featuring some blokes who once got 3 inches and 7/10 in NME, and heads down to the basement. There he finds Birdeatsbaby, a grandiose piano-pop-rock four-piece. After a curious crawl around the walls, he lets his body unfurl and twist in time with the disjointing melodies and unsettlingly beautiful aural space. Sweaty and ecstatic after this new experience of operatic majesty he realises that the twee and fey is not for him. He needs things that are elegant, complex, dare I say it, scary? All because of one band he packs up his things and leaves home to seek out a darker town…

What’s one aspect of your music that people don’t usually notice, but you are proud of?

The thing that nobody notices about the music is how completely different our influences are. They blend together very well on stage and on record, but you’d never know how completely diverse they are. We’re from different parts of the Europe (England, Scotland and Germany), different ages, and have very contrasting musical tastes. Mishkin is into punk, classical and theatrical artists like Muse, MCR and QOTSA. Garry likes death metal, but also prog-rock such as Pink Floyd. Katha is into dark and alternative rock music like Tool and System of a Down, and Tessa is classically trained… but also loves Techno! We’re a very strange bunch, but it works for us. For this reason the arrangements of the songs are often quite intricate, detailed and finely worked out to the nth degree! We never ‘jam’, although we might try that for album number 4!

I like all of the bands mentioned, if things don’t go well for me in the future it’s nice to know that I could always become a one-man Birdeatsbaby tribute band. Here’s their upcoming single ‘The Bullet’, pre-order it here for its April 2nd release.

Devour the infants on Facebook, Twitter, and Bandcamp.

Polar

Polar 4piece

To put it bluntly, Polar are one of the most intense bands in Europe at the moment. A sound that had raw punk beginnings has gradually evolved into something slightly more refined but equally potent. It’s music on a knife-edge between thunderous, disciplined precision and rampant chaos. Their upcoming sophomore album is a far more developed work – a cohesive album rather than loud songs thrown together – although it is still capable of feeding you grenades and laughing about it.

What’s the most metal thing you’ve ever done at a show?

Our singer had a load of tendons in his hand ripped by a broken beer bottle, played the gig anyway. Then our drummer took his entire kit into the crowd and had a circle pit around it. Both of these were at the same show.

That sounds like the most insane show, there’s footage of it here and they’re playing the same venue for their album launch show on Feb 15th. Here’s the lead track from their second album, Shadowed By Vultures, which is out on February 10th.

Join the riot on their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Friends of Genghis

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I stumbled upon this one by accident. I was searching for bands in Kingston upon Thames and found these guys from Kingston, Ontario. Unfortunately, that meant I couldn’t play them on the local music show I was preparing but I can plop them here.

Listening to ‘One Last Time’ you are unexpectedly struck with a sumptuously melancholic tune that’s possibly too pretty for outright wallowing, but it can still strike you right in the gut. The instant melodic hit contrasts with a rusty-sounding blues-rock guitar that is mostly understated but screams out when given a chance, like a moody teenager at a family gathering. There’s a Cobain slash Corgan vocal that sears through with a piercing brand of solitary and cracked pain. It doesn’t sound youthful, but at the same time it’s not mature. It’s in that awkward gap between being confused and wise, it’s a frustrated daydream that catches you unaware.

What’s the one thing you could never write a song about?

I’ll be honest, I’m a fairly candid lyricist. I really prefer to not write songs about nothing, or a song for the sake of a song. So I think that anything I find to be superficial or anything that I lack a real passion towards is a recipe for lackluster piece that I definitely try to avoid. I find that in order for me to really get into a song or a band, I have to recognize and grab on to the same passion that they used to write the song. So I guess in a nutshell, that simmers down my justification for a muse that I must be passionate about. If I can’t reconnect to a song after writing it, it’s often dead in the water. Why would I try to get people to connect to a song that I can’t connect to myself? My music captures the zeitgeist of what I consider to be the most important times in my life and career.

An exceptionally erudite reply, certainly moreso than Surrender The Coast or Deaf Havana. Here’s their new EP, you should buy it.

Go and become a friend of Genghis on Facebook and Bandcamp.

Tom The Lion

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What do Tom The Lion and Simba The Lion have in common? They both starred in Disney’s The Lion King, except Tom. Bad joke, I’ll move on.

What Tom does have going for him is a set of widescreen melodies and a soft manly voice that glides from simmering distance to bold crescendos. It’s that style of modern folk that is hugely uplifting without constantly veering into the easiness of a pop hook or a shameless rock thump. If you haven’t seen him lurking in the background of the musical landscape over the last couple of years, we forgive you. But if you miss him in 2014 you are silly, especially as vital tastemakers such as Rob Da Bank and 1Qmusic have all been vocal in their support.

What was the first song that really mattered to you?

It was actually something I penned myself. It was aptly named ‘The Colour Song’, and involved repeating the word colour for as long as I could, using any melody and as many notes as I saw fit. In many eyes, it was an early work of improvisational genius, although perhaps it’s heavy reliance on dissonance and repetition ultimately limited it’s wider audience appeal. Colour, colour, colour, colour, colour…

I wrote a similar song to that called ‘Jah Jah Bundesliga’, go to a club and just repeat the title in time to any House track. You will feel amazing, trust.

Here’s the title track from his album Sleep, which you can buy right here.

Hear Tom roar on Facebook and Twitter.

The Creases

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Straight outta Brisbane… is a song that probably doesn’t exist. But if it did, it would be about three guys and a gal who formed a band called The Creases and banged out understatedly melodic Indie-Rock with a fuzz of garage thrown in. It might not be about that, but this post is.

There’s definitely something here for fans of early Strokes, or generally anyone who likes looking at faded pictures of people having fun in 1970s bathing suits. Ewww, not that kind of fun though. We don’t want this blog to become all PG-13. I meant like, sitting on cars by a lake or riding bikes that only have three gears.

What’s the most impolite thing anyone has ever done to you in the street?

I guess the most impolite thing we’ve seen on a street happened after our first show. We were taking all our gear back to the van and returning to the bar when we had to cross by this dodgy park. Aimon tried to call out to Joe that he was walking a little bit to close to bunch of rough looking junkies but it was too late. One of the younger ones followed him for a bit asking for cigarettes but he said he was out. Suddenly the junky guy grabbed Joe by the collar and punched him straight in the face, knocking his hat off. Realising there were about 30 of them we just kept walking. Jarrod ran back to get the hat and the junky said sorry but I’m not sure Jarrod believed him. Well it turns out Joe actually did have cigarettes and if he had just been generous enough to share one with the nice junky man the whole incident could’ve been avoided and everyone would have had a great night. That was most impolite thing we’ve ever seen on a street.

Well, that puts “nobody talks on the tube” into perspective doesn’t it? Anyway, here’s a video of theirs that costed them $5.50 to make.

Get yo’ crease on at their Facebook, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Emily Wells

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I love writing about artists like this. You hear people say “oh, you can’t put my music into any one box” or “well, we don’t really sound like anyone else” and it’s always total nonsense. (There’s nothing wrong with doing an established genre well by the way.) But with Emily’s eclectic mix of instrumentation, classical twists over smoky beats, and  voice like an outcast angel, you really are getting something that you don’t see elsewhere too often. It feels like a welcoming hand to hold through an intimidating landscape, thoroughly assured and effortlessly skilled.

My headmaster was called Mr. Wells, so we’ll look at the topic of discipline. What rule must all of your band members follow?

Well, I’m the only band member! So… practice.

I felt like such a willy when she answered that, had no clue why I thought she had other band members. Then I checked and saw that she used to have other people joining her on stage, which was where I got the memory from. So I wasn’t totally wrong… Anyway, she does fine on her own. Here’s an example:

Go and hang with Emily on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

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