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4 Reasons Why You Should Go To The British Sound Project 2017

With British Sound Project 2017 rapidly approaching (it’s this weekend), we at Nothing Left Unsaid are here to tell you that you should cancel all your plans for the 29th/30th and make your way to Victoria Warehouse.

1. The Venue

As we just mentioned, British Sound Project will be taking place once again at Manchester’s Victoria Warehouse. Built in the 1900s, this industrial space remains one of the best venues in the city and is the former home of the Warehouse Project, making it the perfect backdrop for this celebration of brilliant music.

2. Foals DJ Set

If you’re anything like us, then you’re praying for a Foals tour to happen soon. Yes they played festivals over the summer, but we need to be back in the sweaty packed out rooms chanting Two Steps Twice. Well unfortunately that might be some time away due to the Oxford quintet currently writing their fifth record, which is probably only in the early stages… However, British Sound Project are bringing the next best thing with a Foals DJ set lined up. So we aren’t getting What Went Down, but Yannis and co. will certainly be showing us how to get down! (Sorry for the dad joke…)

3. The Trinity

A few years ago, all the cool kids (that includes us, we’re not that old) lived for the trinity of The Horrors, TOY and The Wytches. The combination of post-punk, neo-psych and garage was the perfect teen-angst cocktail. Now you can probably tell where this is going… Yep, they’re all on the line-up! So give yourself a middle parting, don your stripey turtleneck and pretend it’s 2012 all over again, except now you’ve got a 9-5 job and student loans to pay…

4. The Price

What’s that? Tickets are only £30 for a day (£20 if you’re student) and £50 for the weekend? Oh boy, that’s some mega deals there my dudes!

So what are you waiting for? Go buy a ticket, go on!

Friday 29th
Saturday 30th

Liam Egan

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5 Ways King Gizzard Beginners Can Prepare For The ‘Murder of the Universe’

Now approaching their 12th project since their fruition in 2011, getting familiar with King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard’s discography can be a daunting task. Whilst all their material is full of wonderfully brilliant and bonkers ideas, the sheer amount of content can be overwhelming for a beginner. This begs the question, where to begin?

With Murder of the Universe arriving on June 23rd, now is the perfect opportunity to grab onto King Gizzard’s psychedelic reigns and succumb to their mind-altering garage-rock.

1. Start with I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity 

Murder of the Universe makes up the final piece to what many refer to as the Nonagon Trilogy. The other parts of said trilogy are King Gizzard’s 2014 release I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and last year’s Nonagon Infinity. Not only do the three LPs share album covers that depict the same place but at different points in time, IIYMF and NI also the two King Gizzard records that share the most sonic qualities with Murder of the Universe – with some songs even referenced note for note as King Gizzard deliver psychedelic pandemonium.

Thunderous, manic and flat out brilliant, I’m In Your Mind Fuzz and Nonagon Infinity are the perfect entry point for Murder of the Universe and it’s story. Which leads to…

2. Gizzverse

Much like Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, some fans theorise that King Gizzard have something similar called the Gizzverse. Believing that all of their albums exist narratively in the same universe, even King Gizzard themselves have confirmed that this is the case. An apocalyptic tale of destruction and malice, head over to the King Gizzard subreddit to truly blow your mind.

3. Try Eyes Like The Sky

One key motif of Murder of the Universe is that it features spoken word. However this isn’t the first time the Melbourne outfit have tried this, their 2013 record Eyes Like The Sky was their initial attempt. A short story that takes place in the Wild West, King Gizzard said this album was born from their love of Western films, bad guys, evil guitars and Red Dead Redemption.

4. Buy the record on vinyl 

Another staple of King Gizzard is the plethora of editions each vinyl release receives. For Murder of the Universe alone, there’s already an upward of 6 different vinyl pressings. These range from brilliantly named Vomit Coffin Edition to the Ashes Of The Universe press. So what are you waiting for? Empty your bank account and snap up every version!

5. Join the fans

In recent months, King Gizzard’s online community has grown exponentially. From the King Gizzard subreddit to the King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard Official Fan Page on Facebook, these communities are incredibly active. With content ranging from the latest news to King Gizz shitposting, this is the final way to become an certified Gizzhead.

Liam Egan

Remembering The Maccabees…

After 14 years together, The Maccabees have announced that their life as a band is sadly over. Coming off the back of a headline performance at this year’s Latitude Festival, it could be argued that they were at the height of their powers. Yet, this is one of the reasons why they decided to split. In a message to their fans, they stated “We are very proud to be able to go out on our own terms, at our creative peak”. So rather than mourn over their split, we are going to look back at the band’s four records and celebrate the music that they gave us.

It’s the 16th of April 2007, and The Maccabees have just released their debut record Colour It In on iTunes. Tony Blair is still the Prime Minister, the new Wembley Stadium has only just opened and Arctic Monkeys are set to headline Glastonbury for the first time. Amongst all this, little did we know that this record was the beginning of something truly special. Following then recent popular indie albums such as Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Silent Alarm, Colour It In cemented itself in the mid-noughties indie psyche. Tracks like X-Ray, Precious Time and Latchmere became the anthems of the Skins generation, whilst Toothpaste Kisses captured the hearts of young couples who thought their love would last forever. It’s a record that encapsulates a time that seems so distant and far away now, however it will forever mean a lot to those who were around to experience it first hand.

Two years later, The Maccabees followed up their debut with Wall Of Arms. A record that steered the band’s sound into what it ended on. Their overall sound had matured, with vaster instrumentation and darker themes. This is where they proved that they weren’t just your run of the mill indie band who made one good record and jacked it in. Wall Of Arms was a statement of intent. The Maccabees were here to stay.

2012 was the year that The Maccabees released their magnum opus. Given To The Wild was the moment when they became one of the Britain’s best millennial bands. This was their Disintegration or their The Dark Side Of The Moon, this is what The Maccabees existed for. Every track they had recorded and every gig they had played led up to this moment. The album went on to be nominated for the Mercury Prize Award, and rightly so. It’s impossible to sum up the album in just a few words, so we won’t even try to. So instead, if you haven’t already, just give it a listen.

Marks To Prove It, the album that bookends their whole career. An album that, in lieu of what has happened, makes total sense. It’s a honouring of everything they did. It borrows elements from Colour It In, Wall Of Arms and Given To The Wild to create a celebration of what The Maccabees achieved, became and ended as. It was as if The Maccabees knew all along that this would be their last record.

So whilst it may be sad that you’ll never be able to say “Oh, have you heard that new track by The Maccabees?” again, or get excited when they get announced for a festival, at least they have left us with four amazing albums. The Maccabees were a special band, and one we’ll never forget.

Liam Egan

 

 

 

Best Albums of 2016 (So Far)

So it’s finally here! After much anticipation, here is Nothing Left Unsaid’s ‘Best Albums of 2016 (So Far)’ list. All entries had to be released before the 1st of July of this year, so sorry ScHoolBoy Q and The Avalanches but you’ll have to wait until the end of the year. Also, as much as we love Kendrick Lamar’s Untitled Unmastered, we’re not including it in this list because we’re classing it as a compilation of sorts. But before we begin, here’s a selection of honourable mentions.

Blood Orange – Freetown Sound
Death Grips – Bottomless Pit
Savages – Adore Life
Skepta – Konnichiwa
YAK – Alas Salvation

The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It

10. Ulrika Spacek – The Album Paranoia

Kicking off our list is the debut record from London based quintet Ulrika Spacek. Featuring members of Reading based shoegazers Tripwires, The Album Paranoia pulls heavy from Krautrock, shoegaze and neo-psychedelia. For fans of TOY, this LP is one of this year’s essential listens.

9. James Blake – The Colour In Anything

After his 2013 Mercury Prize Award winning album Overgrown, James Blake surprised fans back in May when he unexpectedly released The Colour In Anything overnight. Featuring a stunning collaboration with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, The Colour In Anything will more than likely gain the post-dubstep luminary another deserved Mercury Prize Award nomination.

8. Wild Nothing  – Life Of Pause

Following his incredible sophomore album Nocturne, Jack Tatum of Wild Nothing returned earlier in the year with latest effort Life Of Pause. Continuing his excellent form, Life Of Pause displays a musician who’s honing on his craft with positive results. Coated in lavish synths and shimming guitars, Life Of Pause is a record definitely worth checking out this summer.

7. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard – Nonagon Infinity

On their tenth release since 2011, King Gizzard set out on their most ambitious project to date. The premise of Nonagon Infinity is that it’s an album that never ends, meaning the final track leads directly into the album’s opener. This results in a non-stop psychedelic frenzy that drags you into a trippy black hole that can’t escape from. It’s fucking bonkers and we absolutely love it here at Nothing Left Unsaid.

6. FEWS – Means

At the start of the year, Nothing Left Unsaid wasn’t aware of FEWS. However after hearing their debut, we can’t get enough of them. This full throttle post-punk record is filled with tonnes of gorgeous melodies that have got us wanting more. For fans of DIIV, definitely check this out.

5. Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool

It’s always an exciting time when rumours start to spread of a new Radiohead album. A Moon Shaped Pool is the ninth studio album from Radiohead and it’ll be memorialised as one of their best. AMSP is a heartwrenching, powerful and emotive experience, but my god it’s beautiful. Featuring some tracks that had been penned by the band for a while but never properly released, True Love Waits dates back to 1995, this album has technically been years in the making and it’s breathtaking.

4. Kanye West – The Life Of Pablo

Described as “a living breathing changing creative expression” by Yeezy, West has made multiple changes to The Life Of Pablo album after its release. With the album now finishing with the track Saint Pablo featuring Sampha, it seems we may have final version of TLOP. And what an album it is. With features from Kendrick Lamar, Frank Ocean and Chance the Rapper, to name a few, TLOP was definitely worth the wait. Its fragmented nature and rush of various ideas gives us a glimpse into what it’s like inside West’s creative mind, while further showcasing how he will be remembered as one of the true musical greats.

3. DIIV – Is The Is Are

After months and months of uncertainty and doubt, DIIV finally released a follow up to their critically acclaimed debut Oshin. Returning with a double LP, DIIV recorded an album of two distinct halves. The first half being more akin to their debut, with tracks like Under The Sun and Out Of Mind jangling away like it’s 2012. Whilst the second half is much darker, with Mire (Grant’s Song) and Dust being a more twisted and pained affair. It’s a sonically stunning record and we absolutely love it.

2. Eagulls – Ullages

A sort of surprise at number 2 is Eagulls’ second album Ullages. Not that we doubted them or anything, we loved their self-titled debut, but we were totally blown away by this release. Developing their sound with beautiful melancholy landscapes, Eagulls have really made a wonderful record here. When the end of the year comes by, this LP will be regarded as one this year’s best. Plus, we absolutely adore their track Velvet (check it out below).

1. LUH – Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing

And the number one spot goes to LUH’s Spiritual Songs For Lovers To Sing. Project of Ellery James Roberts and Ebony Hoorn, the couple’s debut is the most inspiring and important record to be released this year. The world is dark and twisted place at the moment, but with LUH, we all might be able to find a sliver of solace and hope. Ellery’s calls to action, accompanied Ebony’s serene vocals, juxtapose each other brilliantly to create something that is truly powerful and unique. With incredible instrumentation and production, SSFLTS is the work of two people who strive for perfection. It just so happens that they achieved that and made our favourite record of this year (so far).

 

Are Liss The Future Of Pop Music?

Piece written by Nothing Left Unsaid’s Liam Egan for The Black Wax, check it out!

The Black Wax

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The phrase ‘the future of’ is an idea that gets thrown about a lot when it comes to new music nowadays. Be it indie music or hip-hop, there always seems to be a constant stream of acts that get labelled as the future of their respective genre. However most of the time these artists never reach their once promised heights and are forgotten about when the next ‘the future of’ brigade rolls around.

Well here at The Black Wax, we’re going to use said cliché term and say that Liss are the future of pop music. But before we start, we’re not referring to pop as in you’ll see them in the Top 40 in the next couple of weeks. We’re grouping them in the side of pop where artists like Grimes reside. It’s the music we should be hearing when Marvin Humes introduces the Top 40 on Heart Radio…

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The Rise and Fall and Rise Again of Shoegaze

“Hi we’re DIIV and we’re from New York City, this is a song called Human.” At Manchester’s Gorilla, Brooklyn based indie dream-pop outfit DIIV were performing to a sell-out crowd. Known for their jangly dreamy sound, DIIV are a band who aren’t afraid to display their musical influences. From Sonic Youth to Neu!, this is a band that know exactly who they are and what they want to be. All these factors result in DIIV essentially being a shoegaze band. Even though it might not be obvious at first when listening to their two albums, onstage they have copious amounts of pedals that are switched every ten seconds. However, when speaking to members of the audience, they seemed unaware of DIIV’s contribution to the genre. When asked, a girl in her mid-teens said “Isn’t that what them old bands like My Bloody Valentine used to do? The really noisy stuff?” Then a lad a couple years older said “I’ve never even heard of shoegaze.”

Even though some people may not be aware, there quite clearly is a revival. Bands such as Slowdive are back and are experiencing the height of their popularity. Ride’s reunion was so successful, that they had to extend their tour and announce even more dates to keep up with the demand. But what sparked this revival? To work this out, we must start from the beginning.

Back in the late 80s and early 90s, shoegaze was on the rise. Ride, My Bloody Valentine, Lush and Slowdive were gaining massive attention from the music press. Music journalist, and then Melody Maker writer, David Stubbs recalls what he thought of shoegaze at the time. “One of the earliest groups I was into was A.R. Kane. What I liked about them was that they used a lot of feedback and dub elements. It felt like an offshoot of very early [The Jesus &] Mary Chain. I saw them as a real prototype of the whole shoegaze scene. When the term shoegazing was being coined in the early 90s, I did find it very interesting. What I found interesting about the whole thing was the neo-psychedelic aspect of it and how they all seemed to be immersed in their own sound.”

However as time went by and Britpop became more popular, shoegaze began to decline. Even though it is inevitable that a genre dies down, Stubbs thinks it may have been a bit too soon. “It may have been killed off a bit prematurely by Britpop. It’s nice to be reminded that, contrary to what Britpop documentaries say, there was lots of interesting things happening in the 90s.”

One of the biggest and most significant casualties at the time was Reading shoegazers Slowdive. Speaking to bassist Nick Chaplin, he remembers when things started to change for the worst. “We had a period of time where we could do no wrong, but that was very short lived. Once that disappeared, it was hard to get people engaged. We sort of became a band that was a figure of fun.” So with huge backlash against the genre in the 90s, Nick never thought there would be a revival of this scale. “We knew there was an interest out there because Neil [the band’s co-frontman] would get asked all the time about Slowdive when he was doing his solo career. Wherever he went in the world, he was always asked what were the chances of Slowdive getting back together. I think it eventually wore him down and, at the back end 2012, Primavera Sound Festival in Barcelona asked Neil if he fancied getting the band back together. Everything just fell into place after that, yet none of us knew how it was going to go. However when we sold out the Village Underground in two minutes, we knew something weird was going on. I think bands like Ride and Lush saw what we did and seemed heartened by it.”

But it’s not just the older bands getting back together that are to thank for the rebirth of the genre, current bands have also played their part. “There are newer bands that are coming out that are name checking bands like us. So maybe their fans are going out and seeking our music. That’s one reason why I think shoegaze has got more popular. It has become a legacy in a way.”

Despite this clear interest in shoegaze, Nick still thinks there is a long way to go. “A big test is going to be when bands such as us, and the others that have come back, start to release new material. We’re kind of in the final stages of getting a new record together, which we’re hoping we will complete over the next few months.”

Someone else currently experiencing the surge of shoegaze reunions first hand is Ride guitarist and vocalist Andy Bell. Also spending time over the years as the bassist of Oasis and Beady Eye, Bell believes that the improvement in equipment is a reason that shoegaze has come back. “Technology has advanced to the stage where we are able to be much better as a live band and realise a lot of the things that we were trying for in the 90s. Quiet vocal harmonies alongside roaring guitars can work much better when you are wearing in-ear monitors for example. I think there is a long way left to run with leftfield guitar music and I hope it continues to develop and spread.”

Since the initial wave and fall of shoegaze, the internet has come along and changed the music industry. Websites such as Pitchfork have become the place to find your new music and, as a publication, they openly love shoegaze. They’ve given My Bloody Valentine two perfect 10s, whilst giving Slowdive and Ride albums both high 9s. This praise on the internet doesn’t stop there. Within music forums, and chat threads such as Reddit, shoegaze has almost acquired a mythical status. A place where people from all around the world can discuss and share these bands whose careers were seemingly cut too short. There is even a Facebook group called ‘Shoegaze, Dream Pop & Nugaze’ that currently has over 26,000 members. Former admin of the group and long-time shoegaze fan Greg Wilson speaks about when he first came across the genre. “As a regular record store rat back in the early 90s, I’d pick up Melody Maker out of England from time to time to learn what was new and noteworthy. They started buzzing about My Bloody Valentine’s ‘Tremolo EP’ as something like a perfect blend of Cocteau Twins and Jesus & Mary Chain. I finally tracked down a copy, and never looked back.” Since then, Wilson has been a fan of shoegaze and has promoted the genre in any way he can. “I launched DKFM Shoegaze Radio in 2011 and joined the ‘Shoegaze, Dream Pop & Nugaze’ group in 2013. I didn’t think there were large Facebook groups dedicated to the scene and the sound, outside of When The Sun Hits blog and The Shoegaze Collective Twitter feed. I joined because I wanted to stay one step ahead of the revival. It’s a great place to learn about up-and-coming artists, which we can play on the station.”

As for the genre itself, Wilson believes that it was only logical that shoegaze became popular once again. “I think there is a natural 25-year cycle for re-exploration of lost music. I also think the renewed embrace of shoegaze and dream pop is a direct rejection of bland, formulaic pop-by-numbers that are so prevalent today.” However as a genre, he thinks that it should start moving forward into unexplored areas of sound. “I think with some of the reunion tours by the founders, and progenitors of ‘the sound’, we may have reached peak shoegaze. I think what’s next is a natural evolution of the sound into new, uncharted territory. When punk bands and rock bands start swiping aspects of the sound, I expect we’ll start to see new and creative hybrids we might never have anticipated.”

A band who have benefited from Wilson’s DKFM Shoegaze Radio and the rise of shoegaze internet groups is Toronto based outfit Indoor Voices. Having recently released their EP Auratic, frontman Jonathan Relph contemplates the rise of shoegaze. “I think the only revival in shoegaze is the attention it’s receiving again, which might help to expose it to a new generation. Maybe it’s popular because the world seems like a really sad and alienating place to be in right now. Maybe the discord of ‘shoegaze’ is an auditory mirror of that. A confused reaction in sound.”

So it seems that a lot has had to happen for shoegaze to come back. However, there was one thing that Nick Chaplin said that may sum up the whole revival. “Back in the 90s, people listened to what the music press told them listen to. But with the decline of the press, people are now no longer dictated by anybody on what music they should listen to. With that freedom, we sort of became cool again”

Liam Egan

The Best Albums of New Age Shoegaze

Listening to a new music genre can be a daunting task. You have various people telling you where to start and, before you know it, you’re swamped in suggested albums and artists. This is no different for shoegaze. Luckily it has been narrowed down by many to the ‘Holy Trinity’; Slowdive’s Souvlaki, Ride’s Nowhere and My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless. But why should you have to start there? Why not live life on the edge? Here are the four (well five actually) albums from ‘new age’ shoegaze that you should start with.

 

The Horrors – Primary Colours (2009)

After ditching the goth-punk fashionista aesthetic that was plastered all over their debut album Strange House, The Horrors returned in 2009 with their career changing album Primary Colours. The Southend-on-Sea quintet were now creating vast multi-layered soundscapes that even Kevin Shields would be proud of. Tracks like Mirror’s Image channelled My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless and elements of I Only Think Of You wouldn’t got amiss on Slowdive’s Just For A Day. The album went on to getting nominated for the Mercury Prize award and introduced a whole new generation to shoegaze. Primary Colours isn’t just one of the best new age shoegaze albums, it’s one of the best shoegaze albums of all time.

 

M83 – Dead Cities, Read Seas & Lost Ghosts (2003)

Before they became known as ‘that band who do the Made In Chelsea song’, M83 started off as a shoegazing electronica group. Much like their recent releases, Dead Cities, Red Seas & Lost Ghosts boasts it’s orchestral prowess. However, DCRS&LG builds these electronic instrumentations into huge fuzzed filled goliaths that envelope the listener. The magnitude and intensity is ethereal and unlike anything you’ll ever hear on another shoegaze record.

 

DIIV – Oshin (2012)/Is The Is Are (2016)

Okay this may seem as a cop out, but there are cases for why both of DIIV’s albums should be considered as some of the best new age shoegaze. Starting as a solo project by Zachary Cole Smith, DIIV’s debut Oshin was the perfect execution of modern day shoegaze dream pop. Reverb drenched vocals buried beneath jangly guitars, DIIV saw mass critical acclaim with their first album. After four troubled years, DIIV came back with Is The Is Are. This double album follow up was an album of two halves. With the first half being more in the spirit of Oshin, the latter half is a much darker and twisted affair that really juxtaposes the side of shoegaze that DIIV are usually known for. This resulted in an album that really explores the multiple layers and sounds of shoegaze.

 

Deafheaven – Sunbather (2013)

The final album to reach your shoegaze enlightenment is the second album by the Californian black metal outfit Deafheaven. “But wait, did you say black metal?” Yes, but their album Sunbather is the definitive representation of post-shoegaze. Creating beautifully intricate walls of sound, mixed with disturbing black metal vocals, Sunbather is the most challenging and rewarding record on this list. With multiple tracks passing the ten minute mark, Deafheaven certainly know how to create a spectacle of epic proportions. If you can conquer this record, then the world of shoegaze is in the palm of your hand and is ready to be explored.

 

Liam Egan