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Video of the Moment #2406: Alice Jemima

 
By on Friday, 21st July 2017 at 6:00 pm
 

SXSW 2017 alum Alice Jemima has something new to share with us this week. Earlier this year, she released her self-titled debut album on Sunday Best, Rob Da Bank’s record label. From it, ‘Take Me Back’ is arguably the sweetest, sunniest track on the record. In the midst of the summer, ‘Take Me Back’ now has its own promo. Its bouncy rhythm suits the video treatment well, which includes a young woman’s blissful recollections of days much easier and simpler. Watch it below and let the video whisk you into the weekend. For more of our coverage of Alice Jemima, including Carrie’s interview with Alice the last day of SXSW this year, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwGd83juwC0[/youtube]

 

SXSW 2017: Saturday night’s fond farewell to SXSW at the British Music Embassy – 18th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 24th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

In contrast to the rest of the hectic week, the Saturday night of SXSW 2017 was a fairly relaxed one, at least for my weary feet. According to my smartwatch, I had logged over 87,000 steps and almost 45 miles of walking distance over the course of the week, and I was happy to be staying in one place for the evening. Even happier because that place happened to be the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30, which hosted the BBC Music / UK Department of International Trade showcase. Mary’s additional thoughts on this showcase are back here.

Anna Meredith internal

The first performer of Saturday night was Scottish art-pop composer Anna Meredith. She and her rather unusual band (comprising cello, electric guitar, tuba and drums along with Meredith herself on synthesiser, clarinet, xylophone and vocals) made a truly joyful noise on stage, starting the showcase on an incredible high. Meredith has carved herself a unique niche on the classicial-popular music continuum in Britain, and the presence of NPR’s Bob Boilen at Latitude 30 on the night may well indicate that Meredith’s star is on the rise here in America as well. NPR recently featured ‘Dowager’, from Meredith’s 2016 debut LP ‘Varmints’, on All Songs TV.

Alice Jemima internal

Singer/songwriter Alice Jemima created a very different mood in her set, one with significantly fewer bells and whistles. Jemima’s stage presence was reserved, but in a flirty kind of way, and the same could be said of her songs. They catch your attention in a subtle way, with clever lyrics, trippy electro-dance rhythms and Jemima’s softly soothing voice. ‘Cocoa Liquor’, from her recent self-titled debut album, was one of the standout tracks on her set; you can find out more about the song in my post-performance interview with Jemima.

Aquilo internal

While I was outside chatting with Ms. Jemima, Lancashire pop duo Aquilo were taking the stage inside Latitude 30. By the time our short interview was complete, the venue had filled to capacity, and we had some difficulty getting back inside. We arrived back to find that Aquilo’s soulful pop sound, defined by Tom Higham’s falsetto vocals and Ben Fletcher’s deft keyboard playing, had quickly set the entire room swooning and swaying.

SuperGlu

I’m not a big fan of so-called slacker rock, but Manningtree four-piece SuperGlu brought an unexpected and infectious energy to the genre in their live set Saturday evening at the British Music Embassy. Bold, colorful, and never too serious, this band is just flat out fun to watch. Take a listen to their anything-but-sleepy latest track ‘Dreams’ just below.

Sundara Karma Oscar internal

The midnight slot on the Saturday night showcase was occupied by Reading alt-rockers Sundara Karma. Frontman Oscar “Lulu” Pollock gave us a bit more banter between songs on this night than he had at Stubb’s the night before, and the injection of character was quite welcome. He’s a curious persona, is Lulu, elusive in some ways but nevertheless engaging. His three bandmates didn’t do much speaking, but it quickly became clear that they didn’t need to. Their slick, seemingly effortless playing style is almost unintentionally flashy, yet visually and sonically mesmerizing. [Check out Carrie’s interview with Pollock and drummer Haydn Evans in Austin through here. – Ed.]

LIFE internal

BBC 6 Music presenter Steve Lamacq did his final duty for the evening, introducing the last band on the bill, Hull punk rockers LIFE. He was clearly excited to see them play, even rubbing his hands together in delight at one point after he stepped offstage and before he joined in the moshing. Once the band started, it was easy to understand Lamacq’s eagerness. This band is unapologetic, unalloyed punk, with none of the qualifiers (folk punk, post-punk) we so often see in this genre-bending era. Lead vocalist Mez Green really played up that rebel quality for the gathering of cameras at the front of the stage, but it felt authentic to their in-your-face, devil-may-care sound. The photo above was taken just before Green descended from the stage and mounted the bar, prowling its length like a predatory cat and sending his audience into a fit of wild, ecstatic dancing to close out the final night at the British Music Embassy.

Though Mary and I left Latitude 30 on a euphoric high, chatting and laughing about the great bands we’d heard, I couldn’t help but feel a slight twinge of sadness at leaving it all behind for another year. The British Music Embassy has played host to some of the best up-and-coming artists and certainly some the most exciting showcases in my SXSW experience; this year was no exception. So, rather than goodbye, I said a silent “au revoir” to the venue, to the people inside, to the artists who graced the stage, and to SXSW for another year.

 

SXSW 2017 Interview: Alice Jemima

 
By on Thursday, 30th March 2017 at 1:00 pm
 

My final interview of the SXSW 2017 music festival was on Saturday night outside the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30. By this point in the week, I think everyone, myself included, was showing signs of weariness, but Exeter electropop singer Alice Jemima was nonetheless game for a quick chat outside the venue after her set on the BBC Music Presents / Department for International Trade showcase.

Jemima’s onstage style was singularly understated, perhaps even a tiny bit coy, as she sang through songs from her new self-titled LP, released just before SXSW on the 3rd of March via Sunday Best. The album includes her early singles ‘Dodged a Bullet’ and ‘Electric’, as well as a couple of older tunes that originally made the rounds as part of her previous ‘Liquorice’ EP. The new album also features Jemima’s Internet-sensational cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’ and her subtly sensual current single ‘When You Dance’, which you can hear just below.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/EbU42TE5pc8[/youtube]

In addition to the tracks mentioned above, one of the standout songs in Jemima’s live set list was one called ‘Cocoa Liquor’. In spite of its light, almost tropical-sounding musical backdrop, Jemima alluded in our interview to the song’s darker lyrical side, which was inspired by her preferred choice of reading material. Take a listen to the interview stream at the bottom of the page below to find out more about ‘Cocoa Liquor’, and to hear what might be up next for Jemima after SXSW.

Keep an eye on TGTF for more coverage of Alice Jemima in our full review of the Saturday night BBC Music showcase, which will post in the coming days. In the meantime, you can have a look back at our previous coverage, which is collected right back here.

Special thanks to Sally and Edd who helped to coordinate this interview.

 

(SXSW 2017 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #122: Alice Jemima

 
By on Wednesday, 8th March 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

As this year’s SXSW Music Festival rapidly approaches and our preview coverage kicks into high gear, we’re once again excited to bring you showcasing artists’ answers to a special SXSW 2017 flavoured set of Quickfire Questions. Today’s featured artist is Devonshire electropop singer/songwriter and producer Alice Jemima, whose smoothly rhythmic single ‘Electric’ is streaming just below. Jemima released an EP titled ‘Liquorice’ last June, and her self-titled debut LP was released Friday the 3rd of March via Sunday Best/Domino. Jemima also recently unveiled a new video for her sensual cover of Blackstreet’s ‘No Diggity’. If you haven’t heard that cover yet, you can check it out here, before you dig in to Jemima’s quickfire replies.

Describe your music / sound in three words. (We know, tricky . . .)
Electro, indie, pop.

(If this will be your first time at SXSW) What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve heard great things, and it’s one that I’ve always wanted to play. I was incredibly excited when I got the call! I’ll probably get anxious / nervous closer to the dates, but currently I just can’t wait.

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
SG Lewis. He’s a electronic music producer / songwriter from England. I love his sound!

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
Experiencing the American culture. I’ve never been to America before.

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Miso Soup?!

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
I do love a glass of red wine now and again! Or an Espresso Martini.

Now, let’s get into our usual list of Quickfire Questions…

What song is your earliest musical memory?
Probably something my mum played on her violin – she used to be in a tango band.

What was your favourite song as a child?
Spice Girls – ‘Say You’ll Be There’.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/9ro0FW9Qt-4[/youtube]

What song always makes you laugh?
Snoop Dogg – ‘Drop It Like It’s Hot’. (Or just smile / dance!)

What song always makes you cry?
I don’t think this has happened. But Bon Iver’s cover of ‘I Can’t Make You Love Me’ gives me all the feels.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
Johnny Cash – ‘Hurt’.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
I don’t think I have one. Music usually cheers me up if I’m upset or angry.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
I love the lyrics to ‘Elusive’ by Scott Matthews.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/3U51q8zD53E[/youtube]

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
Amy Winehouse.

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
OK, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as actually being one . . . but, a policewoman. I think this stemmed from my love of the bill and action films. Ha!

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
Corinne Bailey Rae (self titled first album).

Thanks to Alice for answering our questions, and to Sally for her kind assistance.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Southern England artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Friday, 3rd March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

Roll up! Roll up! For today’s TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, we’re taking the train out of London and into the South East and South West of England to check out the artists there who have received shouts for this year’s big do. Except where noted, the summaries below were written by our Cambridge correspondent Steven Loftin, except where noted. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

Alice Jemima – pop / Exeter
Super cool and smooth beats twinned with Alice Jemima’s dreamy voice makes for more than a pleasant listen. If anything, you could get lost for days in the musical wonderlands she creates, with a mixture of electronic and instrumentation stylings, if you don’t fall for Alice Jemima, then more fool you.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XoEXjFn3CMs[/youtube]

Annabel Allum – rock / Guildford
One of those DIY, totally be yourself types, Annabel Allum refuses to be pigeonholed or adhering to any kind of fad. What she creates is a world of her own, a mixture of punk in its true form, dark indie a la Interpol and a carefree attitude that lends itself to her lyrics. Definitely worth checking out: if you’re not at SXSW, do yourself the favour to have a listen to her at least on Soundcloud.

The Bay Rays – rock / Tunbridge Wells
With a vigour and upbeat swagger, The Bay Rays have a sound that is definitely fit for summer. That said, their lyrical content is often not of quite the same persuasion, often dealing with the idea of homelessness and the bottomless pit that is life. Latest single ‘Satisfaction’ carries all of these traits in spades. After supporting fellow SXSW attendees Slaves last year, The Bay Rays are definitely ones to check out. [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3OFkEWdl7Q[/youtube]

Blaenavon – rock / Liphook
Blaenavon are the ultimate example of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. You kind of expect guys like them with long hair and sullen looks to either shoegazers or one of the many lo-fi rock groups of late, but they are neither. Their music has a dark edge like a 21st century Nirvana, yet songs like ‘Let’s Pray’ prove they can do pop as well. Their debut album, ’That’s Your Lot’, will be out on the 7th of April, so their time in Austin will allow them to preview their songs in front of a largely American audience and for a second time at SXSW (they came over for the event last year). (Mary Chang)

To catch up on TGTF’s past coverage of Blaenavon, go here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPyWV_u2sY0[/youtube]

Buggsy – hip-hop / Bristol
It was bands like Massive Attack and Portishead and the sound of trip hop that put South West England city Bristol on the map. Rasta MC Buggsy wants to change that, stood in front to lead the charge of the city’s best rappers. As mentioned yesterday in introducing rapper Safone in the Midlands edition of the TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017, it’s hard for rappers to get attention if they’re not from London. Seeing how big the genre of rap has become over the years at SXSW, he couldn’t have picked a better year to get his time in the spotlight in Austin. (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLZROAx9XwU[/youtube]

Chad Valley – electronic / Oxford
Mixing beautifully layered vocals with chilled out synth work, Hugo Manuel aka Chad Valley will in no doubt be one to soundtrack to some beautiful Texas afternoons next month. Having released a plethora of singles, two EPs and a couple of albums, Chad Valley is easily racking up quite the impressive discography which he’ll in no doubt showcase expertly in Texas.

IDLES – punk / Bristol
If you’ve been wondering if there was a Southern counterpart to socially conscious Midlands group Sleaford Mods, look no further. Blistering Bristolian punks IDLES will be releasing their debut album ‘BRUTALISM’ – yes, they love those capital letters! – on the 10th of March, just a few days shy of the start of SXSW 2017. So you can bet they’ll be eager to unleash their newest tunes on the unsuspecting punters descending on Austin. I also wonder how Mary Berry feels about being namechecked in their single ‘WELL DONE’… (Mary Chang)

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Oxqf_15k0w[/youtube]

Lewis Watson – singer/songwriter / Oxford
Oxfordian Lewis Watson has everything you’d expect from a British songwriter: emotive and heart on sleeve lyricism and beautiful compositions. Gearing up to release his second album ‘Midnight’ shortly after SXSW, Watson is steadily building an arsenal of heart.

To read more on TGTF’s past coverage of Lewis Watson, go here.

Muncie Girls – rock / Exeter
Another act breaking through the ranks of British rock, Muncie Girls (pictured at top) are melodic punk at its finest. Though their sound is still currently quite raw, it only helps exude the emotion in their music, and over time this will work itself into a fully embellished. Expect their second album to be released at some point in 2017.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPbTMvDjyHA[/youtube]

SG Lewis – r&b / electronic / Reading
Coming at you with lustrous, thick beats that erupt and pulsate around ghost like vocals, SG Lewis is here to soundtrack your dreary city nights. Having signed to his dream label of PMR (they also represent big names Disclosure and Jessie Ware), SG Lewis looks set to make his mark with electronic music paired with the thinking of a smart singer/songwriter.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hfWdOpuNgGw[/youtube]

Slaves – punk / London via Tunbridge Wells
Not really in need of an introduction, punks Slaves are heading back to America to cause more havoc. With their vicious and raw sound that is made to rouse and provoke, they don’t take prisoners. They demand them. You can read editor Mary’s review of their latest album that was
released last September, ‘Take Control’, through here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wWBeJpFsQs[/youtube]

To check out more of TGTF’s past coverage on Slaves, follow this link.

Sundara Karma – rock / Reading
Having just released one hell of a debut album with ‘Youth Is Only Fun In Retrospect’ in January (reviewed here by Carrie), Sundara Karma are also a part of the new wave of British music that has a saviour like feel to it. If you don’t find yourselves moving and shaking to their sounds then we can’t help you, you’re on your own.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bGs64ipYpU[/youtube]

This is the Kit – folk / Bristol via Paris
In a manner similar to fellow South By attendees Modern English, This is the Kit has a raw and vulnerable indie sound about them. From the brain of Kate Stables and performing under the moniker This is the Kit, she composes each track with her own talents and select friends to build the ideas in her head into these tangible and timeless indie pieces. [Aaron Dessner of the National is a fan, having signed their band to his Brassland label. – Ed.] [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

Wildwood Kin – folk / Exeter
With a name like Wildwood Kin, you can probably imagine what they sound like: delicate, soft folk music that couldn’t squeeze any more emotion or feeling into it even if they tried. The sweet sound of Americana but with English heart, this all-female trio will have you weeping in seconds. [As of 21/2, this act is no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPjWuQBaUNo[/youtube]

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

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