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Video of the Moment #2839: Jamie Isaac

 
By on Tuesday, 8th May 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

We’re less than a month off now from getting Jamie Isaac‘s latest long player in our grubby little hands! The soulful singer and producer from Croydon will be unveiling ‘(4:30) Idler’ on the 1st of June on Marathon Artists. He previously teased us with ‘Wings’ in March, and now we have another new tune to sink our teeth into. ‘Maybe’ is another atmospheric gem, a rhythmically seductive track that benefits fully from Isaac’s disarming vocals. I think this is the closest music to jazz I will ever like, so I hope anyone who’s been put off by that label in the past will give this song a chance. Watch the video for Jamie Isaac’s ‘Maybe’ below. For more on the singer/songwriter and producer here on TGTF, come through.

 

Video of the Moment #2813: Jamie Isaac

 
By on Wednesday, 28th March 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

The soulful Jamie Isaac released a new video yesterday. It’s for ‘Wings’, and its release coincides with the announcement of Isaac’s next album, ‘IDLER’, to be out on the 1st of June. The song itself has a slightly claustrophobic quality, which is mirrored in the promo with the usage of an inset of a video of Isaac singing on top of a larger one. Around the 3-minute mark, Isaac’s band joins the proceedings. Part jazzy, part hip hop, part soul, 100% smooth. Watch the video for ‘Wings’ below. For more on Jamie Isaac here on TGTF, go here.

 

SXSW 2017: Monday night at the DIY / Ticketweb UK showcase at Latitude 30 – 13th March 2017

 
By on Monday, 27th March 2017 at 4:00 pm
 

It’s going to take some getting used to that the Music portion of SXSW artist showcasing officially starts on Monday and not Tuesday. Carrie and I have enjoyed either showcases at the British Music Embassy at Latitude 30 starring Northern Irish artists or sponsored by Trackd last year the last few times we’ve been in Austin, so it was nice to mix things up a bit this year with a lineup sponsored by someone else. This night’s showcase was sponsored by UK free magazine DIY and the UK arm of Ticketweb, now part of Live Nation. I arrived just in time for SuperGlu, the Manningtree rock group who I had seen 2 years ago at the upstairs room of The Mash Tun at Norwich Saturday night during Norwich Sound and Vision 2015. I wish to point out that thank you very much, I had seen this band before nearly everyone in Austin, proclaiming back then “1) I was supposed to be in Norwich to see this band, and 2) they’re going to do very, very well.” Boom.

SuperGlu, Latitue 30, Monday 13 March 2017

I don’t consider myself an expert on alt-rock, because it’s hard to class. What is alt-rockand what isn’t? And let’s be honest, sometimes you just don’t know what will float with music fans and what won’t, which ultimately is the litmus test. During a week in Austin that saw surprise (or maybe not?) performances by world-famous American bands Jimmy Eat World, Spoon and Weezer, SuperGlu held their own against them, suggesting from the climactic last notes of ‘Diving Bell’ that it would not be long before they would be joining their ranks in popular music history.

SuperGlu, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017, 2

Frontman Ben Brown wore a University of Texas-Austin t-shirt and shouted the locals’ cry for “Longhorns!” to get the crowd riled up. Not surprisingly, this went over extremely well with the already inebriated and up for it Texans, not to mention a man who argued with Brown over which was the smallest town in England, his or Manningtree. (I’m still unclear who won.) The secrets to SuperGlu’s success? Being good friends and keeping things fun, which come across in spades in their self-described ‘dork pop’ music and live performance. While this might not be at the level of the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester in 1976, something tells me this is going to be one of those “were you there?” moments in rock. The photo below from my phone is intended to document the crazy that was happening that night. To listen in on my interview with the band in Austin, go here.

SuperGlu, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1H_6gImH80[/youtube]

Feeling like a letdown after SuperGlu was London-based Doe, compared frequently to Sleater-Kinney for their female-led DIY rock aesthetic. I give pink-haired lead singer and guitarist Nicola Leel massive props for her shouty loud, abrasive vocal delivery on tracks like ‘Last Ditch’, as she never once let up during their half-hour set, and the band gave it their all. The guitars were loud and scuzzy and indeed, the comparisons to classic ‘90s rock and noise pop make sense. It was just hard for me to pick out the melodies or find anything that stood out as particularly special.

Doe, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

From Doe, Croydon’s Jamie Isaac was a breath of fresh air, cutting through the fuzz with a dramatically different point of view. Some have compared him to wildly popular piano-player, production head and fellow Londoner James Blake, but that’s just lazy journalism. Isaac’s silky smooth tones envelop you like nothing else, grabbing you just as much as the darkly beautiful notes of his jazz-infused piano lines. To be fair, his music is less obvious, requiring more commitment by the listener to truly ‘get’ where he was going with his electronic leanings, and I sensed that people who had been there since SuperGlu’s set were less than enthralled. Give his ‘Couch Baby (Revisited)’ album (which includes ‘Find the Words’) a spin on your favourite streaming service to check him out.

Jamie Isaac, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

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

I had expected Blaenavon to come next in the lineup, but I was surprised when a woman came onstage. Hrm, I thought, they don’t have a girl in their band, do they? For the record, they don’t. Manchester’s False Advertising, led by Jen Hingley, filled in for the Liphook, East Hampshire natives who weren’t able to get out to Austin that early in the week. Their loss was False Advertising’s gain: the incredible opportunity to showcase the first official night of SXSW Music at the British Music Embassy.

False Advertising, Latitude 30, Monday 13 March 2017

The energy in the ratcheted back up as they pounded out ‘Wasted Away’ and ‘Scars’ as highlights. They’ve got an interesting dynamic in that drummer Chris Warr also sings, and he and Hingley swapped instruments and positions like it was no big deal. The other obvious comment about False Advertising is that they have a lot of hair. It’s a good thing none of them needed to look down at their guitars, because they wouldn’t have seen the strings anyway. Carrie joined me shortly after False Advertising started, and I’ll let her fill you in on Muncie Girls’ closing set of the night.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-HP2sg0vaU[/youtube]

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: London electronic artists and DJs showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Tuesday, 21st February 2017 at 11:00 am
 

As you might imagine, London leads the charge with the largest number of artists one city in the UK is sending to SXSW 2017. In this post, we introduce you to 11 acts from London Town specialising in electronic music and DJaying. The summaries of acts below were written by Mary Chang, Rebecca Clayton, Steven Loftin and David Wriglesworth. 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.

Anna Meredith
Composing isn’t usually the most orthodox starting point for someone wanting to venture into a career in pop, but that’s exactly where Anna Meredith started her foray into music, and to great success. Before releasing her debut album, Meredith spent time as composer in residence with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, composed for the Proms, and gained a Masters at the Royal College of Music, amongst many other accolades.

In 2016, Meredith released her debut album ‘Varmints’. Her music draws on her classical history, combing grand electronic sounds with synth strings. Meredith’s LP is as unusual as it is impressive, and creates an immersive musical experience for the listener. ‘Nautilus’ is a must listen. (Rebecca Clayton)

Aquilo
Deeply emotional and airy synthpop, fit for a darkened, heartbroken night: that’s Aquilo (pictured at top). They don’t just have their heart on their sleeve, they’re grabbing it and shoving it in your face. Starting off with a couple of Soundcloud singles in 2013 that were picked up by various outlets, they then went on to play only their fourth show ever at Glastonbury 2014. Not a bad start for the duo, not bad at all. 2017 sees them finally releasing their debut album ‘Silhouettes’ and an opportunity to make waves at SXSW. (Steven Loftin)

DJ Yoda
Duncan Beiny, better known as DJ Yoda, is a multi-award-winning hip-hop DJ and producer, who has worked with pretty much everyone, from classical composers to neuroscientists. In recent years, DJ Yoda was asked by Dr Dre to record a guest mix on his inaugural Beats 1 show for Apple Music, and he was one of the artists to perform at Banksy’s pop-up bemusement park Dismaland.

DJ Yoda pioneers new forms of audiovisual entertainment, chopping and splicing classic movies with the hands-in-the-air clubbing vibe. In 2014, DJ Yoda was commissioned to rescore classic films as part of BFI’s sonic cinema event, and he produced a mash-up of BBC Radio 4’s entire station, remixing The Archers, the shipping forecast, John Humphries and more.

In 2017, DJ Yoda is taking his ever-evolving DJ sets, which take in a diverse array of styles, genres, decades and continents, all over the world, with shows at SXSW, Snowbombing (Austria) and Hideout Festival (Croatia). (David Wriglesworth)

Draper
Producer James Draper has been around a while: he’s already released a whole host of EPs, including his eighth, ‘Luminous’ (out now on M:UK), which Steven reviewed for us on TGTF last month. Lest you think Draper is a one-trick pony, think again. Not only is the Kent professional highly sought out producer, he has collaborated with and written pop bangers for big names like Ellie Goulding, Twin Atlantic and Rita Ora. It won’t be his first rodeo – Draper has been to SXSW before – so perhaps past experience will make his performances stand out from all the newbies? (Mary Chang)

Fifi Rong
Fifi Rong is London-based, but lived in China until she was 16 when she was enrolled in a boarding school in Bristol. She self-released her debut album ‘Wrong’ in 2013, and since then has worked with the likes of Skepta, featuring on his 2016 album ‘Konnichiwa’. In 2016, she released an EP, ‘Forbidden Desire’, which she funded through Pledgemusic.

Fifi Rong’s voice is husky and distinctive, and her tracks involve beautiful and unearthly electronic sounds, which focus on love and relationships. (Rebecca Clayton)

Jamie Isaac
Croydon-born and bred, Jamie Isaac released his debut album ‘Couch Baby’ last year, a following two EPs released back in 2013 and 2014. Isaac attended BRIT School along with contemporary and sometime collaborator King Krule, but rather than following in the footsteps of the likes of Adele and Jessie J, Isaac is carving out a much different path.

Isaac focuses on pared-back, dreamy electronic rhythms and a gentle tempo that is both captivating and seriously chilled. ‘Couch Baby’ is an album that can only be described as easy listening, the type of album that you can put on in the background and relax to. (Rebecca Clayton)

Reeps One
Of the many young artists coming out to SXSW 2017, few can say they’ve already been nominated for an award, let alone won one. Harry Yeff, better known under his stage name Reeps One, is thus special because he’s a prize-winning beatboxer.

Even though the only instrument he uses is his own voice box, I’ve put him under the electronic category because SXSW has and I would venture to say they consider his voice as peerless an instrument like a synthesiser. Lest you think that his musical style is reminiscent of those spitting dudes in the ‘hood back in the ‘80s, I’ve included a more melodic example of his beatboxing below. (Mary Chang)

Rude Kid
London-based producer and DJ Rude Kid is heavily entrenched in the grime scene, being able to cite the likes of Skepta, Wiley and Shy FX amongst his collaborators. Passionate about music, Rude Kid, who at one time was signed to Sony Music, released and experimental EP ‘One Week’ in 2012 which he created in just a week, before sharing as a free download.

He’s released a fair bit of music in his career so far, and spent much of 2016 showing his prowess as a DJ, and even started hosting his own grime radio show on Kiss FM. Rude Kid’s music features darker elements of grime, when compared to AJ Tracey mentioned in our review of the pop acts from London headed to SXSW. His 2015 EP ‘653’ in collaboration with Ghetts features the popular ‘One Take’, which has racked up millions of listens on Spotify. (Rebecca Clayton)

SOHN
Christopher Taylor is the enigmatic producer and electronic singer/songwriter, who I suspected could be a hooded, yet groovy polar bear live in concert 3 years ago in DC. A lot had changed for Taylor following his well-received debut album ‘Tremors’ in 2014, and the extensive touring to promote the LP took its toll on him as well. Decamping temporarily to a house in sleepy Northern California to write and record follow-up ‘Rennen’ did him good: read my album review from last month for more details. How will a producer who favours dark clubs fare in sunny Austin? We’ll have to wait to find out. (Mary Chang)

SWEAT
Electronic in all the right places and all the right ways, SWEAT are one of the brightest stars in the upcoming UK music scene right now. Filled with crisp beats and youthful romantic tales, they’re onto a real winner. ‘Stay’, for example, features a beautiful composition that trundles along, disappears and then returns with even more grace and melody. (Steven Loftin)

Tender
Life-long friends Dan Cobb and James Cullen comprise electronic duo Tender. From the basement of their North London home, they’ve produced three EPs, ‘Armour’, ‘Tender EP II’ and ‘Tender EP III’. To coincide with the duo signing with Brooklyn-based label Partisan Records in July 2016, Tender released ‘Outside’, the first single to be taken from their third EP. Since its release, the single has been streamed over 4,000,000 times on Spotify.

For the year ahead, Tender look set to embark on a number of live dates, including shows at SXSW and a headline show at Oslo Hackney in London, before finishing off and releasing their debut album. (David Wriglesworth) [As of 21/2, Tender are no longer listed on the SXSW Music Festival schedule.]

Youngr
Dario Darnell is no stranger to the electronic scene, having previously been in Picture Book with his brother Lorne Ashley. While Picture Book appears to be on hiatus at the moment, Darnell has struck out on his own as a one man multi-instrumentalist under the moniker Youngr. You could say that his career in music was pretty much assured: his father is none other than August Darnell, aka Kid Creole of Kid Creole and the Coconuts’ fame.

Darnell has taken a page from his father in writing and performing catchy pop tunes with a soulful r&b vocal, though in his case, he also takes advantage of a full synth setup and plenty of electronics in the absence of a backing band. He’s in the middle of a European tour at the moment and will be touring North America around his week in Austin. (Mary Chang)

 
 
 

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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.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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