Tag Archives: Waylayers

Waylayers – “Sleepwalking”

3 Apr

Waylayers

Given how much we like Waylayers, it’s surprising how long it has been since we last featured them on the site. Especially since they have released a couple of tunes online in between us sharing their Sofar Session of “Medicine” and them posting new tune “Sleepwalking” online the other day. This lack of writing says more about our recent sporadic approach to blogging than being a reflection of Waylayers as the London trio remain as exciting and vibrant as ever.

Taken from the upcoming EP Re:Verse (on which they worked with Grammy-nominated producer Tommy Forrest) “Sleepwalking” has a subdued retro dance vibe to it. A kind of early 90’s feel to the keys with a dark underbelly to it that is split with crisp beats like neon laser lights to the dancefloor. Disco meets electro meets indie pop with a deliciously wobbly bassline.

”Sleepwalking” will feature on the forthcoming ‘Re:Verse’ EP which is due out on Alcopop Records on 8 June.


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Premiere: Waylayers – “Medicine” (Sofar Session)

21 Aug

Waylayers Sofar

The long foretold and expected rise and rise of Waylayers is well and truly underway at the moment and with every new release the London lads seem to go from strength to strength. They’ve already found success in the US with their most recent EP as well as with “Medicine”, which topped the iTunes electro chart. Earlier this year they played SXSW and were amongst the most favourably received and vaunted acts to perform, and, as if that wasn’t enough they are set to release their new single, “Take Hold” on the supercool and wonderful Alocopop Records in September.

All this and last year they headlined the Alphabet Bands stage at Norwich Sound and Vision (no doubt the highlight of their ever more impressive career so far – ahem).

Whilst in America the guys did what all the cool kids want to do, and spent some time with the guys and gals at Sofar Sounds and recorded a session with them for a very appreciative audience. As long time supporters of the band we are delighted to be premiering their stripped back rendition of the aforementioned electro #1, “Medicine”, which you can check out below. Once you’ve done that, we recommend you head on over to the Sofar Sounds YouTube channel and check out more of their fantastic session.


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What’s In The Box? – The ‘Playing Catch Up’ Edition

26 Jul

What's In The Box

Goodness, it’s been a while hasn’t it? Aside from a rather tongue in cheek post about the new Craig David song (did you spot all 12 song and album title references?) we’ve been silent for a couple of months now, which isn’t like us at all. We won’t bore you with details but after a combination of domestic upheaval, a truly remarkable World Cup and a very enjoyable and hot couple of days (and very wet nights) at Latitude, we are back, awake and ready to rock.

As we’re no doubt sure you noticed, there was a lot (and we mean a LOT) of cracking new music released over the last few months and while we are all about looking forward, we wanted to take a few moments to show some love to some of the tracks that came out during our unscheduled sabbatical. So, as a kind of gentle reintroduction (for us and you) to writing, we present for your delectation a special What’s In The Box rammed with quality tunes, possibly some puns and hopefully some reasonable scribblings.


Waylayers – “Take Hold”

We’ve been championing the talents of London-based Waylayers for some time and, after tipping them for big things in 2013, we think we are about to be proved correct. Having Ninja’d their way into the hearts and minds of the American public last year it’s time for a multi-national ground assault, beginning with “Take Hold”. Out on the wonderful Alcopop! Records on 15 September, “Take Holds” sees the trio move away from vast, anthemic synths and offers instead a much tighter, claustrophobic and funky sensibility. There’s a foalsian feeling to it as the bassline grooves along, the guitar tickles and Harry’s vocals pull you in close. It’s a dark, mellow and groovy tune that should have people on their forthcoming American and UK dates bobbing along in rhythmic delight.



HAze – “Reckless Heart”

We know little about Haze other than the fact that she is a girl in Reading and that she has a syrupy sweet voice that shines and gleams like sunlight breaking through rain cloud. Taken from her Picture Frame EP (which is out now), “Reckless Heart” is blessed with gorgeously light melodies and warmth that we could happily get lost in for hours and hours.



Elsie – “Mad Chemistry”

We’ve featured London based, Liverpool born Elsie a few times now and on the last two occasions she’s got us rather hot under the collar. With her latest offering, “Mad Chemistry”, things have escalated. Previously it was the undulating and slinky harmonies and the sensual and sultry melodies that provided the steam, now she’s gone all in and added lyrics to match. It’s about sex and frankly, we have absolutely no problem with that at all. She has a gorgeous voice, makes gorgeous music and now, well we didn’t think temperatures could get much higher but yeah, yeah they have.



Bea – “Safe Ground”

When we first wrote about the mysterious Bea we were accused of being laughable and pretentious, which is pretty much every bloggers dream analysis. Since then Bea has released another tune online and while we still know nothing about her, “Safe Ground” is another piece of quality, muted pop music with a gorgeously relaxed vibe to it. Like fluffy unicorns frolicking gently in a secret lagoon…



Laura Welsh – “Break The Fall”

At the turn of the year we named Laura Welsh as one of our artists to listen out for in 2014. Given that she had already supported the likes of London Grammar, a major behind her and a number of cracking R&B infused pop songs under her belt at the time, it was probably a safe-ish bet. You do have to keep banging out great tunes to have any chance at success though and thankfully, Laura is doing just that. “Break The Fall” is three minutes of dark and dramatic electro-pop music, all stompy rhythms and big vocals that we just love.

“Break The Fall” is out on 11 August via Outsiders/Polydor.



Saint Agnes – “Old Bone Rattle”

Yee-hah! Saddle up boy and get ready to ride, the Saint Agnes duo of Jon and Kitty are back and this time they have the full force of the Energy Snake behind them. “Old Bone Rattle” is a gloriously rawkus, foot stomping, gun toting, western of a blues rock track. It’s a magnificent bastard, as stunning as miles of desert and just and dangerous. This is the kind of tune villains take over towns to, that acid trips are taken to and that we just want to rock out with.

“Old Bone Rattle” is out now via Energy Snake Records.



bAnoffee – “Got It”
We’re sure there have already been about a gagillion puns around Martha Brown’s musical alias so we’re not even going to bother… for once. Instead we shall focus on the rapid fire scattergun of the digital beats, the sweet and soft melty vocals and captivating childlike electronic tootling. Taken from her forthcoming EP (out 22 August) “Got It” is a dreamily cool antidote for the baking heat that the UK is enjoying right now.




Verre – “blu”

Almost a year ago we featured a ridiculously sexy and sultry track from California five-piece, De Verre. With a totally nsfw video to accompany it, “Mad” had our pulses racing, heart beating and blood flowing places… Several cold showers later and they have dropped the De to become simply Verre are back with new song “blu” ahead of a six-track EP due later in the year. Singer Alice’s vocals are as soft and sensual as before but “blu” is much more pop-rock than pop-rotica and it quickly shows. The chorus is full of sass and attitude but the track is also laced with self-doubt and insecurity. It’s also very good and perfect for a good old fashioned hairbrush sing-along. Go on, you know you want to.



See, we told you it had been a good few months for music and there were many many more too, some of which we will be featuring in more depth over the coming days. Normal service will resume Monday; it’s good to be back.

Blogathon: Thank You & What’s In The Box Special

1 Feb

Whats In The Box

Here we are then, 24 hours of solid blogging done and dusted and a lot of money raised for Cancer Research. On Alphabet Bands there have been 32 posts, each containing some super quality music and not as much ramble or gubbins as we expected in the writing.

Between us, Breaking More Waves and Alphabet Bands have been sponsored to the tune of £1,355.66 which we think you’ll agree, is pretty good for two blokes jabbering on about music.

But there is still time to donate, still time to help us boost that total further up. If you’d been thinking about donating but thought you’d missed your chance, you haven’t. If you’ve enjoyed reading and listening to what we have written over the last 24 hours, you can still make it even more worthwhile by adding an extra pound or two to the pile.

Just push this lovely big button and follow the simple instructions.

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Despite 24 hours seeming like an eternity, and it did at a couple of points in the night, we now feel like we’ve actually run out of time and there was still so many tunes we wanted to share with you.

So, to finish off, here’s a very special edition of What’s In The Box which, for the only time ever, will feature just the one line about each track. Sorry about that but they are great tracks.

We hope you enjoy the music.

Before we get to the tunes though, we wanted to take a moment to say thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has read a post, listened to a track, watched a video, enjoyed it and shared it. Thank you to all the artists, labels and PRs who have shared content with us especially for the Blogathon. For the premieres, for the interview, for the exclusives, for the free downloads and for the pictures that you gave us, thank you.

Thank you to everyone who has been in touch with us over the 24 hours. To everyone who emailed, tweeted, commented, texted or facebooked us to say hi or offer words of appreciation. We couldn’t have done it without your support and encouragement, you’re amazing and we love you.

Thank you especially to Robin at Breaking More Waves. This was his idea, he deserves the credit, we were just along for the ride to keep him company and boost the total as best we can. Well done Robin, we’re proud of you.

Lastly, to those of you who sponsored us. You’re our favourites of them all.

roobarb

Thank You!

There’s still time to donate and become one of our favourites. Go for it.

Until next time, we’re off to get some sleep.


Prides – “The Seeds You Sow”

Anthemic synth pop from Glasgow, not to be confused with Chvrches but full of energy, infectious hooks and big, confident melodies.



Beginnings – “Sports”

Retro sounding electro-pop from Arizona.



Waylayers – “Medicine”

Atmospheric synthpop with a dark and slightly sinister edge from one of our blog favourites, with a vast explosion of light at its denoument.



Longfellow – “Siamese Lover”

With elements of U2 and Snow Patrol, “Siamese Lover” is a cavalcade of pop sounds dressed with the complexities of love and life packaged together in a rousing 4 minute tune.



Model Aeroplanes – “Innocent Love”

Bright and bouncy radio friendly pop from a bunch of young guys full of exuberance and energy.



NONONO – “Hungry Eyes”

Hook heavy and rousing pop monster from one of ourtips for 2014 (not a cover version btw).



This post was written as part of a 24 Hour Sponsored Blogathon for Cancer Research. If you liked this post or just want to help support an important charity, please sponsor us. Just £1 can help make a difference. You can sponsor us here or by clicking the big button below. Thank you for your support.

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Listen Out For – 2013 Previews Roundup

27 Nov

Listen Out for... 2013 Previews Round Up

Last year we stuck our neck on the proverbial line and named 15 acts that we loved and thought would go on to do something in 2013. We didn’t say unequivocally that these bands were going to go on and rule the music world or anything, not even we could be that bold, but we think they were certainly talented to step up a level and do even better than they already were.

Some did just that, a couple – not so much. Before we start to look at acts we love who we think/hope will continue to grow and become bigger in 2014, let’s take a look back at those fabled 15 and have a squizz at what they got up to in the last 12 months.


15. Polaroid 85

Polaroid 85 Escapist

If asked, and we have been (albeit by ourselves) to judge the year Polaroid 85 had, we’d say it had been a quietly successful one. A few live session videos helped whet the appetite for their second EP release, Escapist which came out on Reel Me Records and of which we said, ”layers of sound entwine and dance together as one; orchestral arrangements, jazz flourishes, drum and bass, glitchy electronica, breakbeats, trip-hop; all live a symbiotic existence to produce cool, swirling marbled soundscapes.” and there was radio play aplenty as well. Next up, an album? Here’s hoping.



14. Waylayers

waylayers2

Waylayers are, in our humble opinion, poised for something big next year. A lot, and we mean a lot, of ground work was done in 2013 with the band performing at 20 or so festivals, including an appearance headlining our stage at Norwich Sound and Vision, travelling all over the country and across the world, picking up critical acclaim and big name support along the way. Their Fault Lines EP, was a minor success here in the UK but hit the Billboard Top 100 and the iTunes Top 50 in the US. Unsurprisingly there is likely to be a reasonable amount of focus on America in the Waylayers camp next year but their infectious and properly atmospheric synth pop should see their fellow Brits catching on to them soon enough as well.



13. Kites

kites3

Errr, yeah. We’re not sure what happened here to be honest. 2012 started strongly and Kites seemed on the precipice of breaking through, then nothing happened. We’ve heard whispers that there could be news on the horizon so we’ll see what’s next, but the almost total disappearance of Kites in 2013 was not something we predicted at all.



12. Vuvuvultures

VVV Deaf - Thoughts

Not only did the VVV gang play the debut Alphabet Bands Presents… show back in July (which was no doubt the highlight of their year – ahem) but they also saw their profile rise and rise across the months. The year is culminating with the release of “Your Thoughts Are A Plague” and “Deaf Epic” on a double A-side 7”, a new video for “Empurrar/Puxar” and a headline UK tour. Before that there was radio play coming out of their Appliance, the creation of their own imprint which meant they finally got to use Energy Snake as a name for something, and of course, a fantastic debut album that perfectly showcased the analogue meets digital world they inhabit, with brilliantly catchy tunes and dark themes.



11. Paper Crows

Paper Crows

2013 was a quiet-ish year for Paper Crows but one that could be leading to a big 2014. There were gigs and guest spots and one fantastic free download, “White Noise”, but more exciting was the release online of “Anomaly”. A dark and menacing track overflowing with strength and the overwhelming sense of a coming evil from below, it will be their first single release of 2014 and one we hope will signal the start of some very big things indeed for the duo.



10. Rhye

Rhye - Woman

Undoubtedly, one of our high points of 2013 was watching Rhye play in the candlelit surroundings of St. Giles in the Fields Church. A performance that not only captivated all those in attendance with its subtlety and elegance, but that also provided the best improvised lyrical response to faulty sound kit we heard all year. This followed the release of a gorgeous debut album that will probably feature on number of end of year lists and preceded a number of festival performances, even more critical acclaim and even a solo album from the androgynously voiced Mike Milosh.



9. Spring Offensive

Spring Offensive1

Another band who have had an openly quiet-ish year, but whose feet have no doubt been swishing crazy swan like under the water. There were a couple of singles, the fantastic and innovative video for ”No Assets” and a bunch of shows, but as the year draws to a close, it is clearly all about 2014 and the release of the debut Spring Offensive album, Young Animal Hearts. An album that was fully funded within 10 days of a very impressive Pledge Music campaign and that we are very very much looking forward to.



8. Alice Jemima

Alice Jemima1

Another of our tipped artists who went on to have a quiet year, Alice started it with a BBC Radio 1 session (that was recorded in 2012) and then put up a fantastic cover of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”. There were support slots with the likes of Valerie June but also a lot of silence; silence with good reason though as we have heard on the grapevine that things continue to look up in Miss Jemima’s world and that we should start to hear more from her ( a lot more we think) in 2014.



7. Daughter

Daughter

The trio of Elena Tonra, Igor Haefeli and Remi Aguilella released their debut album, If You Leave in March and watched it hit the UK Top 20 and receive much critical acclaim. There have been sold out shows a-plenty and an unexpected (and unwarranted) overlooking from the Mercury Music Prize judges as Daughter have continued on their steady upward trend. There is a UK tour to end the year and then perhaps some new songs to come in 2014.



6. Haim

Haim Days Gone By

It was a fairly quiet year for the three sisters from LA with not much happening or being achieved really. Just topping both the BBC and Blog Sound of 2013 polls, releasing a couple of great EPs, a Number one album, sold out tours across the globe, bassface becoming a phenomenon and festival appearances all over summer including Glastonbury. Yep, fairly quiet all things considered.



5. Seasfire

Seasfire1

After a storming end to 2012, which included a rapid rise to the top of the Hype Machine chart and a plethora of blog love, the Seasfire gents had a relatively calm and quiet 2013. There were a couple of singles and a few shows but generally speaking they were quite reclusive. Here’s hoping it’s in readiness for a big 2014.



4. Florrie

Florrie1

After telling us she was ready to sign with a major label in Spring last year, we were getting ready for a full-on Florrie assault on the music world in 2013, sadly (apart from the Sony sponsored “Live A Little” in April) it didn’t quite materialise but there are reasons for optimism the coming months. Work is continuing on her debut album and the new tracks she debuted at her headline KOKO show proved our excitement is not misplaced. Blending the best of pop’s heritage with her Xenomania education, the likes of “Stupid Boy” are sounding like her best work yet. Maybe we just went a year too soon, maybe 2014 will be the year of Florrie after all.



3. Ms Mr

MS MR Hurricane

Seeing Ms Mr blow the roof off the Norwich Waterfront was one of our gig highlights of the year and gave us a sneak peek of the delights that their debut album would provide later in the year. Purveyors of the finest tumblr-glitch-pop around, we love the Addams Family of brilliantly dark and danceable tunes and our excitement for the last season of Game Of Thrones was accentuated further when the trailer commenced with the opening moments of “Bones”. A perfect sync if ever there was one. Lizzy and Max have had a stellar year, achieved a truck load and will no doubt be ready and raring to kick on and knock 2014 for a loop as well. Oh, and we got to go see them play in Norwich again this week as well. Good times.



2. The Good Natured

The Good Natured Lovers

2013 wasn’t kind to The Good Natured. A reasonable start with quality singles and an album on the way soon fell apart when they got dropped from their label and lost all their music. They explained at the time:

A few months ago we were dropped from our record label. Our album has been shelved. Over this time we have been trying to get our masters back so that we can release Prism, however, it has not been possible.

To say we are devastated is an understatement. Believe us when we say we have tried everything possible to get our album to you. Sometimes life gives you lemons and you gotta make lemonade. When one door closes another opens.
You have to pick yourself up, be bigger, be stronger. For The Good Natured it is the end of the road, but it’s safe to say there is something better around the corner.

Evidently they are working hard on new material and teaching themselves more about production etc to maintain greater control over their own music and direction. Fingers crossed we get to hear something new from them in 2014.



1. Public Service Broadcasting

PSB Night Mail Video

What a year it’s been for the esteemed gentlemen of Public Service Broadcasting. As we’ve noted numerous times, they never seem to stop and are certainly reaping the rewards from such a diligent work ethic. There’s been a couple of singles, one Record Store Day exclusive, videos (one which actually featured the guys themselves) a free download here and there, two tracks in Dutch to celebrate the world’s largest ice skating race (because why not right?), tea-towels, a superb album, two AIM award nominations, a never-ending tour across every corner of the UK and beyond that sold out pretty much everywhere, including the Forum up London (and from the pictures we’ve seen the new live set looks gorgeous as well) AND they played out the end of year highlights package on the BBC’s Formula One coverage with a fabulous hybrid of “Signal 30” and “Everest”. Not too shabby for a couple of guys in corduroy.