Something For The Weekend?
OUT today, ‘Don’t Think I Don’t Know,’ the latest release from Peterborough’s favourite outlaws, Pepe And The Bandits.
Citing Mason Jennings as a major musical influence, the multi-talented Joe Miller has been releasing music across a variety of genres for the past decade – and his latest offering is unquestionably one of his best.
“I’m happy to release whatever genre I want whenever I want, from a trance song with drums to an acoustic guitar folk-based track,” he said.
“But my inspiration for, ‘Don’t Think I Don’t Know?’ That’s a difficult one. I was actually working on an acoustic song that’s still in progress and then ended up with this – and that’s about the truth of it!
“I think although I play guitar, I love EDM music and trance and my roots are in songs by people like ‘Orbital’ or ‘Lemon Jelly’ that repetition of trance I just love it, with a nice melody and then incorporate some pianos, that’s how I came up with this really, it’s something I wanted to hear.
“And I make music because it’s an outlet, my outlet, there’s a burning desire to create.
“I can’t paint, I can’t make anything tangible, so I make music. I love sounds, sometimes I hear the washing machine and hear the beats and rhythm of the water and the clothing going round in the drum, I hear notes all the time, even in birds singing.
“If I could, I would go everywhere and do everything with a soundtrack playing in the background, music makes life more bearable. If I don’t create it affects me, I get down and miserable. However, time disappears when I’m creating, hours can drift by I don’t eat or drink or really move at all. I play records and listen to the song again and again until everyone in the house is absolutely sick of it. I have to be peeled away from my projects, but wife understands this and will bribe me with takeaway food or a dog walk!
“I’m sure we all do it for the feedback though, that one comment, that one email or tweet: “Loved your stuff mate.” I get a warm feeling in my stomach, like being in love.
“On the other hand, it can be difficult when people criticise your music. It’s our baby, we painstakingly gave birth to it, so we don’t like anyone pulling it apart. However there has to be constructive criticism. I listen back to some of the stuff I have created and don’t even understand how it’s come to where it has. It evolves, something starts off and then just mutates or metamorphosises into something else.
“Why do I make music? I can’t not is the answer.”
In an age where bland is the foundation of today’s mainstream music, the prodigious ‘Pepe And The Bandits’ have launched an impressive fightback – and it’s the responsibility of us all to ensure they emerge victorious. ‘Don’t Think I Don’t Know’ is now available on all platforms.
T W O
LIVERPOOL’S SUNZOOM returns with new folktronica single, ‘Pour Me Another Wine,’ taken from the self-titled album due for release in May.
“Pour Me Another Wine,’ is a love story,” said Greg McVeigh, the man behind the music.
“This was a lyric I’d written about a couple who used to drink in our local pub, they were the classic co-dependent party animals and their soap opera would play out in front of everyone. They were always fighting, kissing, laughing, breaking up and making up. When one would try to leave the other would drag them back for another drink. Pretty simple stuff but it was a genuine love story, and I admired their devotion to each other in a way.
“To complement the story, I wanted the music to reflect the Friday night feeling of walking into the pub ready for a drink and so I laid a kind of ‘Public Image Limited’ vibe on it with the digital drums driving underneath the acoustic kit [played by Jake Leon Woodward of The Nova Twins].
“When it came to the bass line, I wanted something that was a kind of ‘slippy Folktronica groove’ and I was lucky to get the legendary Steve ‘Bodge’ Duffield from The Beta Band to put his dubby magic on the song.”
A psychedelic melody maker from Liverpool UK, Greg McVeigh is a visual artist and pop/psych/guitar nut. The band is named after his favourite Captain Beefheart track, ‘Sun Zoom Spark.’
During 2020 Sunzoom wrote and recorded over 20 new tracks which are being released one a month from December 2020. The self-titled debut album, ‘Sunzoom’ is released May 6th, available on CD, LP, and download.
T H R E E
CORK-based singer songwriter, producer – and the man with a huge South American fanbase – FINTAN McKAHEY is today celebrating the release of his new single, ‘Amber.’
The delicate indie song features Kealan Kenny on pedal steel and McKahey on drums giving it a more folk feel than his recent releases and was recorded and produced by McKahey in his newly built space, ‘Ivy Hill Studios.’
“It’s a love song through & through,” he said.
“I was stuck in a rut for months until my partner and I got the unexpected news that we’re going to have a baby. After that everything just started flowing, it felt like I finally had something to say again, intensely inspired by awaiting our baby boy and writing this song for the woman I love.”
Though happy performing, his true passion lies with creating in the studio, creating music that is spacey, chill, and at times experimental and psychedelic.
“I got seriously into folk music like Nick Drake in my teens and was obsessed with that sort of acoustic sound for many years,” he added.
“In my early twenties I gravitated towards more contemporary hip-hop influenced music like Chet Faker and Bonobo. I’m kind of coming back around to the folk sound again and listening to the likes of Ben Howard & Gregory Alan Isakov. In short, I’ve always been into all sorts of music, but leaning towards to the more chilled out and psychedelic side of things.
“But I’m very excited for this new track as it’s my first release with me playing drums on, so that’s a big landmark for me. It’s definitely my most personal song to date. Usually my lyrics are quite abstract, whereas this is a love song I wrote for my girlfriend in response to the imminent birth of our first child. I feel a lot more connected to this song and can’t wait to see what people think.”
Traditionally, Irish artists have had to work hard for recognition away from their homeland, but McKahey has found overseas success in the unlikeliest of places.
“I’m actually one of the lucky ones. Nearly all of my fanbase and listeners are based in South America, more specifically – Brazil. I managed to get on a really popular Brazilian, ‘Surf Vibe,’ playlist on Spotify and it just started a domino effect for my fanbase.
“But yeah, I think Ireland is quite a hard country to get recognition in as an artist, as the radios and other media outlets don’t really seem to get behind local artists much so it’s always worth looking abroad to see if it leads anywhere.
“I’ve got plenty more songs in the pipeline of all different genres which I hope to have ready soon. Obviously, the birth of our baby with take priority for the next month or so but all going well, I’ll be putting together an Irish tour for later in the year and have plenty more releases to go with it. In the meantime, I’m doing tonnes of production work for other artists in ‘Ivy Hill Studios’ so there’s loads going on.
Fintan McKahey online:
F O U R
OUT now, ‘It Is Finished When It’s Destroyed/Ghost Foxes,’ the new double A-side single from Brighton’s ‘THE ACADEMY OF SUN.’
“It Is Finished When It’s Destroyed,’ is amongst my proudest compositions,” said frontman, Nick Hudson.
“The title is a mutation of the art adage ‘art is never finished, only abandoned,’ It was awesome to work with Randall Dunn, sonic alchemist, this time around, especially as a unifying presence given we forged these tracks during one of many brittle, maddening lockdowns.
“The modulating B-section with its hissing synths and skittery drums is designed to evoke dizzying, levitational plateaus. If there’s a third record on the horizon, this is certainly an indicator of terrains it might explore.
“’Ghost Foxes’ was left off ‘The Quiet Earth,’ because it didn’t sound splenetic enough, but with new recordings all round I think it’s accurate to say we’ve now accomplished that aim. Here are some of my most sarcastic, insidious lyrics. Our guitarist Guy’s pod-racer guitar made our ear lobes pleat with joy when we first heard it.”
Formed ten years ago in Brighton, ‘The Academy of Sun’ is a psychedelic post-punk quartet made up of Nick Hudson, Kianna Blue, Guy Brice and Ash Babb.
Their music is centred on the song writing and vocals of Hudson, whose work Julian Cope once described as, “Bill Nelson singing Scott’s ‘Angels Of Ashes’ – highly fucking beautiful in a gazing together into Biba mirrors with smeared lippy kind of manner.”
Keep up with ‘The Academy of Sun:’
Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube | Apple Music | Spotify
F I V E
FROM Minneapolis, indie rocker and songwriter Eric Linden brings us his latest single, ‘Walk You Home,’ the fourth song from his upcoming album, ‘Burning Up The Marquee.’
“Life’s been hard lately, but this song is like a ray of sunshine in the middle of a cold, bruising winter, it’s a hopeful love song for our troubled times” he said.
“Back at the very start of the initial outbreak of Covid, my wife injured her knee and was in a tremendous amount of pain. We went to the emergency room on a bitterly cold night. Everything felt like it was crumbling down, and it felt like all we had was each other. A few weeks later I wrote this song for her.
“It’s a song about helping each other through tough times, give it a listen, and share it with someone who has helped you.”
S I X
AMMO – an artist who splits her time between Los Angeles and New York – has just presented us with her latest single, ‘A Cold War City.’
But I wish she hadn’t.
“A Cold War City’ is an exploration of human memory and its fickle nature,” she said.
“We rewrite details of past experience over and over until eventually a fiction replaces our recollection. We are the authors of our own memoirs which are under constant revision.”
“The video for this song represents the relationship I have with my own experiences and the frustrations of recollection. I wanted to convey the feeling of being trapped in pursuit of clarity among a murky and unclear tangle of memories – what it’s like to drown in one’s own emotional chaos tied to the past.”
And that “chaos” certainly extends into the song’s accompanying video.
It resembles the aftermath of the Month Python team being handed a small budget to produce a trailer for an up-coming, B-movie schlock fest comedy, and left me feeling like I’d attempted to make one complete picture out of three different jigsaw puzzles – with half the pieces missing.
It’s all over the place. A bit like the song.
In the words of my old boxing coach, “calm yourself down for f**k’s sake, take a deep breath and start again.”
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