Tag Archives: the horrors

The Horrors Share New Single ‘Machine’

Following 2014’s Luminous, The Horrors have finally shared the first bit of material off of the band’s presumed fifth album.

An industrial soiree into the heart of darkness, Machine gives an early sonic indication of where The Horrors are heading musically.

Alongside the release of Machine, The Horrors have also announced a small London show at Omeara for July 11th.

The rest of The Horrors live dates are below:

6th July, Parvis de l’Hôtel de Ville, Paris. France
11th July, Omeara, London. UK
13th July, Portamerica, Caldas de Reis. Spain
14th July, Henham Park, Southwold. UK
19th August, Hostess Club All Nighter 2017, Tokyo. Japan
26th August, Hellow Festival 2017, Monterrey. Mexico
30th August, Zona Dogana, Treviso. Italy
30th September, Victoria Warehouse, Manchester. UK

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

Baby Strange Interview

With the haunting vocals of London four-piece Crows echoing in the background as they soundchecked for their Slaves support slot, I managed to get 10 minutes with Glaswegian trio Baby Strange. In a tightly packed corridor of Gorilla, one of Manchester’s best venues, we spoke about politics to the release of their much anticipated debut album.

Firstly welcome to Manchester, how are you finding it?

Johnny – Yeah it’s great, probably one of my favourite cities. Loads of good clothes shops, so yeah I’m happy.
Aidan – It’s better than London.

You’ve done a couple of dates already supporting Slaves on their tour, how have they gone?

Johnny – This is our third date and the first two were great. Was our first time in Portsmouth on Tuesday and it was great, really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to just do the rest of it now.

So prior to this tour, you had played shows with Slaves before. Is this something you enjoy doing, being able to tour with a band that you’re familiar with?

Johnny – Yeah it’s a big help when the band you’re supporting are nice people, it makes things go a lot smoother. It’s also way easier to have fun, there’s no egos.
Aidan – Great band as well.
Johnny – It’s great being able to watch a band every night that you really like as well.

Recently you went Norway and Sweden, how was that? and were there many Baby Strange fans over there?

Johnny – It was very expensive to buy a drink, to buy anything really. I dunno about Baby Strange fans but there was a few people in the crowd singing the songs, so I suppose that was a bonus.
Aidan – We didn’t expect anyone there, so it was a nice surprise.

You mentioned online the other day that your latest single was finished being recorded, what are the details?

Johnny – It’ll be out at the start of summer and it’s called California Sun, it’s probably one of the best songs we’ve written.

How did the recording go for California Sun go? Where did you do it?

Johnny – It went really well, we recorded with Catherine Marks and she’s done Wolf Alice, Foals and all that.

Any plans for an album yet?

Johnny – Yes… we’ve not got a name for it yet and we’re not sure exactly when it’s coming out but it’ll be the first quarter of next year. We were hoping to have it out by the end of this year but these things take time.

The first time I saw you play live was here in Manchester in 2013 when you supported Swim Deep at the Deaf Institute, how do you think you’ve changed as a band since then?

Aidan – In every way possible, we’re just so much better now.
Johnny – Better songwriters, better live performers. Back then we’d only played a handful of gigs, so we were still getting to grips who we were as a band. It was a bit weird supporting Swim Deep because we aren’t that matched but those gigs were really fun.

Recently there has been bands and musicians who said that artists shouldn’t be singing about politics or associating themselves with politics, do you as band think music and politics should mix?

Johnny –  I think music and politics go hand in hand. For a lot of young people, music is the only way to be heard unless you write for a blog or something. I think more young bands should speak about politics and the singer from The Horrors, what the fuck is that about? It made me feel sick.

Finally what’s the plan for the rest of 2015?

Connaire – Bigger better gigs hopefully.
Johnny – Better jackets and better haircuts.

Big thanks to Johnny, Aidan and Connaire for taking their time to do the interview and, if you haven’t already, you should check out all their music.

Next interview on my blog will be with Henry Ruddel, the drummer of Leeds punk band Eagulls.

Liam Egan

 

Glastonbury 2014 – Our Favourite Acts of the Weekend

 

So it’s been a over a week since Glastonbury finished and life has returned to normal. The weekend was full of stellar acts ranging from blues rock heavyweight The Black Keys to the dream filled vibes of Warpaint. Unfortunately I was one of the many unlucky ones who didn’t get to pitch their tent at Worthy Farm and hand to experience Glastonbury at home. I dedicated that whole weekend to watching Glastonbury and I thought I’d voice my opinion on which acts were the best of the weekend.  Obviously I couldn’t watch every act and there were some acts who weren’t streamed online e.g. Lucy Rose, TOY, Spector; so this is just consisting of the acts I’ve managed to watch. So here are my 6 favourite acts of the weekend.

Arcade Fire – Before Glastonbury even started I knew Arcade Fire would make the list. Over the years Arcade Fire have built a reputation for being one of the best live bands around and this was no different in their headline performance on Friday night. They brought the party to Glastonbury with a setlist that spanned across their four studio albums. You could tell Win Butler and co wanted to be there as they put everything into their performance. Highlights of the set include their masterpiece of a track Rebellion(Lies) and the mass crowd participation during set closer Wake Up. Arcade Fire continue to impress as a festival headliner and I hope I get to see them in the not so distant future, full UK tour anyone???  

Jungle – Every year there is numerous artists that various music publications claim to be the next big thing and are hyped up to a point where when the artist finally releases a record it’s a complete disappointment. This year is no different and the band that’s on majority of these lists is musical duo Jungle. We’re still waiting for their debut full length so we haven’t experienced the disappointment yet but from this Glastonbury performance I think they are actually living up to the hype. Already released tracks such as The Heat were received amazingly by the crowd and their track Busy Earnin’ was sublime. Everything about it was perfectly executed and, well just watch below and judge for yourself. “But Liam, what about their unreleased tracks that they preformed??”, well they guess what? they were awesome aswell.

Jagwar Ma – Personally Jagwar Ma are one of the best bands I’ve ever seen live. Back in May I saw them at Acadamy 2 in Manchester and it was absolutely fantastic. Everyone was dancing and it was like a 90s rave. However at Glastonbury they were playing at about the same time as Robert Plant and Courtney Barnett, who both attracted massive crowds. Luckily loads still came to see Jagwar Ma and had a good old dance it the pouring rain. Jagwar Ma played a set that was full moments where the crowd just absolutely lost it. The highlight was Come Save Me, which they played for a staggering 8 minutes. The drops were, no better way of putting it, orgasmic. Also Stella Mogzawa from Warpaint played on the drums for three of the tracks, which was a nice Glastonbury touch.

Kasabian – The second headliner to make the list are Kasabian. Personally, I think they smashed it. I’m glad they didn’t just focus on tracks from 48:13 and decided to play material from all their albums. Flares were going off every second and Kasabian certainly proved they are at headline status. Also during the track Vlad The Impaler, Noel Fielding came on stage dressed as Vlad. Who’d of thought it, Noel Fielding headlining Glastonbury…

Bombay Bicycle Club – Prior to watching their Glastonbury performance, I had never seen Bombay play live. I sort of had an idea what they’d be like live and they totally surpassed that. Playing a set that mostly consisted of tracks from their latest record, with a few classics thrown in, Bombay delivered a set that was covered in festival vibes. They also brought Lucy Rose and Rae Morris for a couple of songs and created this perfect atmosphere. Bombay themselves really went for it as well and you could tell how much this slot meant to them, I can honestly see them headlining a major festival one day.

The Horrors – The final band on the list are The Horrors. Disappointingly they didn’t play at night so the mood wasn’t just right but it didn’t stop them putting on an amazing performance. The set was dominated by tracks from Luminous and Primary Colours, with Still Life being the only track played from Skying. They also included their cover of the late Frankie Knuckles track Your Love. To top if all of we got to see the fabled Pyramid Synth in action.

 

So there we have it, my favourite acts of Glastonbury. If you think there are any artists that should be included on the list then comment below, I’d love to hear what people thought.

Liam Egan