Because of COVID-19 travel restrictions and show and festival cancellations,
no new content has been added here since February 2020.
Read more about this here. | April 2019 update
To connect with us, visit us on Facebook and Twitter.
SXSW 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2018 | 2015 | 2013 | 2012

Video of the Moment #2893: Warbly Jets

 
By on Wednesday, 3rd October 2018 at 6:00 pm
 

Header photo by Allister Ann

Just shy of a year past the release of their debut self-titled LP, Los Angeles alt-rock band Warbly Jets have released a new single from that album, and a shiny new promo video to go along with it. ‘Shapeshifter’ has strong elements of punk and psych rock that combine to produce a deliberately nebulous overall musical effect, both compelling and conveniently apropos to its title.

The visual treatment for ‘Shapeshifter’, directed by Laura Lynn Petrick, is equally and suitably dichotomous, and its two visual loci are presented simultaneously and in combination with one another. On one hand, we see lo-fi black and white images in the rough style of analog film, softened and slightly out of focus. These are juxtaposed with a mix of brightly hallucinogenic colors and highly sharpened digital effects that might inspire you to reach for your sunnies as you watch.

As it turns out, the timing of the ‘Shapeshifter’ release might not be entirely accidental. It coincides with Warbly Jets’ return to the studio to record the follow up to last year’s debut, and true to their own previous form, the band are setting out to defy any preconceived notions of what they should sound like. Lead singer Samuel Shea explains in the press release for ‘Shapeshifter’: “As an artist, I believe it’s extremely important to make drastic differences as you transition through phases. That was something that Julien [O’Neill] and I talked about from the conception of this band. I hope you always hear what you’re not expecting when you listen to a new release from us.” Though it’s very early days for the new recording project, ‘Shapeshifter’ effectively serves a dual purpose, as a bold reminder of Warbly Jets’ sonic milieu and as a departure point for their upcoming flight of rock ‘n’ roll fancy.

Keep an eye on TGTF for further news about Warbly Jets as their new project progresses. Our previous coverage of Warbly Jets, including a review of early single ‘4th Coming Bomb’, is collected right through here.

 

TGTF Guide to SXSW 2018: best bets among American artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

 
By on Wednesday, 28th February 2018 at 12:00 pm
 

Header photo: Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats by Brantley Gutierrez

As you might expect with an American music festival, SXSW is typically heavy on American showcasing artists, and SXSW 2018 won’t be any different. This year’s music festival lineup features a load of big names that you’ve probably heard before, along with a few new ones that, if they’re not familiar already, likely will become so very soon.

Our ongoing preview coverage of SXSW 2018 has already highlighted a few up-and-coming artists on the showcase schedule, including grunge rock band Bully and alt-country singer Courtney Marie Andrews. Perhaps the most intriguing of these is elusive Los Angeles alt-rock trio Lo Moon, who made mild waves with their SXSW appearance last year. I expect them to make a bigger splash this time around, on the strength of their just released self-titled LP, which includes new track ‘Wonderful Life’.

Among the major players heading to SXSW 2018 are a handful of TGTF alums who have broken through to mainstream success. We first covered songwriter Nathaniel Rateliff way back in 2011, but the course of his career dramatically changed in 2015, when he convened a new band called the Night Sweats and released their hit self-titled album. Nathaniel Rateliff and the Night Sweats have recently announced a brand new LP called ‘Tearing at the Seams’, which is due for release just before SXSW on the 9th of March and features lead track ‘You Worry Me’.

North Carolina alt-pop duo Sylvan Esso previewed songs from their 2017 album ‘What Now’ at a surprise SXSW 2016 show; their appearance this year could once again herald new music on the horizon. Austin native David Ramirez wasn’t in top form when I saw him at SXSW 2017, but he may be in better shape this year, playing songs from his beautiful recent album ‘We’re Not Going Anywhere’, which he has toured extensively since its release. SXSW 2015 showcasing artist Natalie Prass has just announced a brand new album ‘The Future and The Past’ due out on the 1st of June; she will presumably highlight its soul-tinged single ‘Short Court Style’ on her showcases in Austin next month.

Among other past TGTF mentions on the SXSW 2018 list are Nashville singer/songwriter Liza Anne, who will release her new album ‘Fine But Dying’ on the 9th of March and Milwaukee quartet Field Report, whose new album ‘Summertime Songs’ is previewed in the stream of ‘Never Look Back’ just below. Fellow Nashville singer Tristen and Philadelphia duo Vita and the Woolf, both acts we’ve coincidentally covered in conjunction with Irish alt-rockers Bell X1, also made the showcase list for this year’s festival in Austin, along with New York’s Sunflower Bean, who showcased at SXSW 2016, and L.A. rock band Warbly Jets, who made an appearance at SXSW last year.

American artists new to TGTF include Albert Hammond, Jr. of The Strokes fame, and Buck Meek of alt-rock band Big Thief, neither of whom we’ve seen in a solo capacity before. Satellite radio listeners here in the U.S. might already be familiar with Mt. Joy and NoMBe, who have both been featured on SiriusXM Alt-Nation, while public radio devotees will no doubt have heard Portland singer/songwriter Haley Heynderickx and New Orleans funk/soul group Tank and the Bangas on NPR.

For dedicated indie fans, a pair of duo acts, Denver’s Tennis and Baltimore’s Wye Oak have made the SXSW shout list, along with the always eccentric Okkervil River. In the heavily represented Americana category, sure winners include a trio of Nashville acts: singer/songwriter Nikki Lane, country rock trio Liz Cooper and the Stampede and veteran country/bluegrass collective Old Crow Medicine Show.

Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2018 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 or official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

 

Warbly Jets / September 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 23rd August 2017 at 9:00 am
 

American alt-rock band Warbly Jets are a few weeks away from the start of a full September residency at London’s Shacklewell Arms. You might recall Warbly Jets from TGTF’s coverage of SXSW 2017, where we saw the band live at the Grammy Museum Homegrown showcase. The band have plans to release their self-titled debut LP, including recent single ‘4th Coming Bomb’, this October.

Warbly Jets’ London residency will comprise four shows, and their overall tour will include one-off shows in Leeds, Glasgow and Manchester. The band are also scheduled to play the Supersonic in Paris on the 8th of September. You can find a full list of their upcoming live dates here. Tickets for the following shows are available now.

Tuesday 5th September 2017 – London Shacklewell Arms
Tuesday 12th September 2017 – London Shacklewell Arms
Thursday 14th September 2017 – Leeds Lending Rooms
Friday 15th September 2017 – Glasgow Broadcast
Sunday 17th September 2017 – Manchester Soup Kitchen
Tuesday 19th September 2017 – London Shacklewell Arms
Monday 25th September – London Shacklewell Arms

 

Single Review: Warbly Jets – 4th Coming Bomb

 
By on Wednesday, 9th August 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Los Angeles rock band Warbly Jets have just released the third single from their forthcoming debut album, an aptly-titled track called ‘4th Coming Bomb’. If their preliminary single releases are any indication, Warbly Jets’ self-titled full LP could very well make a bomb-like impact upon its release in October. We at TGTF featured debut single ‘Alive’ in our review of Warbly Jets’ live set at the Grammy Museum Homegrown showcase during SXSW 2017. Their edgy second single ‘The Lowdown’ was released in July, with new track ‘4th Coming Bomb’ swiftly following.

The lyrics to ‘4th Coming Bomb’ are a bit gloom-and-doom, but in an emotionally detached way that reminded me strongly of a late ’90s one-hit-wonder, New Radicals’ ‘You Get What You Give’. Back then, New Radicals straddled the fence between alt-rock and pop, finding a clean balance but never really making a strong statement in either direction. Warbly Jets now find themselves in a similar position, following the distinct alt-rock edge of their first two singles with the surprisingly pop-leaning ‘4th Coming Bomb’.

‘4th Coming Bomb’ has an air of hazy psychedelia in its echoing vocals and sinuous guitar riffs, but those are only mild undertones. The most interesting features in this track are the bright synths in the foreground and the orchestral string underlay that provides melodic depth under Samuel Shea’s fatalistic verses. The varied instrumental elements weave seamlessly together in an intricate rhythmic counterpoint, displaying the compositional versatility of a band who have deliberately resisted being stylistically pigeon-holed into any particular time period or geographic location.

Lyrically, Shea took inspiration for ‘4th Coming Bomb’ from a quote by author Eugene Bell: “aspire to inspire before you expire”. But the band have also taken care to match their musical arrangement to the content of their lyrics. “The music mirrors the message”, they explain. “We’re all trying to live and breathe in this world at the same time, not noticing if we’re hurting or helping one another. It works for now, but might explode at any second.” Likewise, I expect Warbly Jets to explode in popularity before the end of 2017. The band is on tour in America through the end of August, ahead of scheduled European live dates in September. You can find a full list of their upcoming shows right here. In the meantime, have a listen to ‘4th Coming Bomb’ just below.

8/10

‘4th Coming Bomb’ is available now via Rebel Union Recordings. Warbly Jets’ self-titled debut album is due for release on the 20th of October, also on Rebel Union. TGTF’s collected coverage of Warbly Jets is through here.

 

SXSW 2017: A Friday night mix of British, American and Canadian acts – 17th March 2017

 
By on Wednesday, 19th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

It felt somewhat strange that I spent St. Patrick’s Day at SXSW 2017 on mostly non-Irish acts. Friday afternoon at SXSW has typically been reserved for the Full Irish Breakfast, but that had happened on Thursday this year. The only hint of Ireland I heard on this St. Patrick’s day was early on Friday, when I stopped briefly at Latitude 30 for the Output Belfast day show. My Friday evening was instead full to the brim with British and American acts, save one Canadian artist who made a strong impression near the end.

“DSC08894"

I started the evening with an early show at Stubb’s BBQ. Reading quartet Sundara Karma were first on Friday night’s bill, (as we had discussed in my interview with them on Tuesday) and they played before just as the sun was beginning to set over Austin. The crowd at Stubb’s trickled in slowly, with punters lingering over dinner and beer. But once the band started playing, all attention was on the stage.

“DSC08876"

Sundara Karma frontman Oscar Pollock didn’t spend a lot of time on pleasantries, instead allowing the band’s sharp lyrics and edgy guitar melodies to do most of the talking. But make no mistake, this band cultivates an almost psychedelic visual impression onstage as well, with long hair and flashy gestures to match their dynamic alt-rock sound. They certainly weren’t daunted by the large outdoor stage at Stubb’s, and their impact was successfully established. I overheard several punters enthusiastically sharing the name Sundara Karma as I made my way to the exit after their set. Stay tuned for more on Sundara Karma in my recap of Saturday night at SXSW, posting soon.

DSC08892

My next stop was west of Congress, at another venue I’d never visited before, the Tap Room at the Market. The Market is a bustling, trendy Austin night spot, with the smaller Tap Room nestled below. On this night, the Tap Room was hosting the Grammy Museum Homegrown showcase, which featured a curation of artists from the Los Angeles area. I arrived on the scene just in time to hear one of the singers I’d featured in my preview of L.A. artists at SXSW.

BeLL

Alt-pop singer BeLL was already onstage, and I was immediately taken aback by the power in her vocal sound. I was excited to hear her quirky but catchy single ‘Bang Bang (Remember My Name)’, which had caught my attention in writing the aforementioned preview. It debuted back in November and has already been featured in a television trailer on ABC Family here in the States; you can catch a listen below before it blows up on radio waves everywhere.

Warbly Jets

Up next was a band who pride themselves on not fitting into the L.A. music scene, alt-rock quartet Warbly Jets. Their sound is certainly more in the supersonic jet-propelled vein than the sunny pop and laid-back folk you might typically expect to hear from Southern California. Onstage, they were both smoothly self-assured and and a tiny bit cocky, convincing their audience that they’re a force to be reckoned with. Their debut single ‘Alive’ was a highlight of the evening.

OPS

I was already peripherally aware of next band on the docket, Ocean Park Standoff, because my kids know their current single ‘Good News’. It’s an infectiously upbeat track, perfect for radio play or maybe even for a summer 2017 Spotify playlist. As it turns out, the song is also pretty representative of what Ocean Park Standoff does in live performance. The band were smiling and relaxed throughout their set, and their good vibes were expansive enough for a much larger room. Keep an eye out for this trio to make their mark during their upcoming American tour dates with Third Eye Blind.

Following my stop at the Grammy Museum showcase, I had intended to try to catch Ryan Adams at Austin City Limits, even nabbing a SXXPress pass for that show earlier in the day. But while I was at Stubb’s, I got the news that Adams had cancelled his performance due to illness. I was mildly disappointed, but I did have a backup plan to catch another American singer/songwriter, David Ramirez at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop.

"David

People in Austin were out in full force to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, and 6th Street was jam-packed. Adding to the crush and confusion was the fact that many of the music venues had multiple queues outside to deal with the different priority entries: Platinum and Music Badges, Interactive and Film Badges, Music Wristbands, and paying customers. Obviously this was only an issue for the high-demand shows, but it’s something SXSW organisers will need to focus on for next year, as many of the venues simply didn’t have the space or staff available to cope with up to 4 different queues for each show. Maggie Mae’s was one of the most difficult venues to get into, not only because is it located in the heart of 6th Street, but because it has two stages and only one entrance.

David Ramirez band

Austin native Ramirez had a full band in attendance for his show at Maggie Mae’s Rooftop. In my previous experience, this has been a nice addition to his sound. He’s a starkly effective performer alone, but the depth and vibrance of his country-rock sound really come out with the addition of backing vocals, keyboards and drums. Unfortunately for Ramirez, his Friday night set was plagued by technical problems. After a lengthy and apparently unsuccessful soundcheck, Ramirez and his band played a truncated set, leaving out several favourite songs that appeared on his written setlist. He did, however, play a couple of newer songs that got the local crowd’s attention, including the London-referencing track ‘Too Far Away’.

I finished the evening (and started the next morning) at St. David’s Episcopal Church, where the Communion Music showcase was being held. I’d been to the church’s Bethell Hall already on this trip to Austin, but I hadn’t yet visited the Sanctuary, and by midnight on Friday night, it was already becoming full in advance of a performance by Rag’n’Bone Man scheduled for 1 AM.

This was the one occasion during the SXSW week when the availability of SXXPress passes worked to my advantage. Earlier in the week, I had either failed to get passes in time, or I simply hadn’t needed the ones I did get. But I’d managed to get one for St. David’s on this night, and the staff at the church were remarkably adept at handling their queues, probably because the venue has been open to non-credential holders in past years. I intentionally arrived early to the Communion showcase, knowing by their reputation that the earlier performers on the bill would be worth seeing, even if I wasn’t already familiar.

"Charlotte

I wasn’t disappointed in that regard with French-Canadian pop singer Charlotte Cardin. Her silky, delicate vocals and soulful pop song arrangements were easy on the ears without being too saccharine, perhaps thanks to their ever-so-subtle jazz inflections. Her debut EP ‘Big Boy’ was released last July on Cult Nation Records and features songs in both English and French, including standout track ‘Like It Doesn’t Hurt’. She also won over a few fans with this cool, almost aloof-sounding version of Chris Isaak’s ‘Wicked Game’.

Very few punters left after Cardin’s performance, and despite the dreaded 1 AM time slot, there was a bit of hustle-and-bustle in St. David’s Sanctuary surrounding the arrival of Rag’n’Bone Man. Mary had reported to me the very long queue outside the British Music Embassy for his performance there earlier in the evening, and the audience here were fairly buzzing with anticipation.

"RBM

In a bit of a surprise, Rag’n’Bone Man (aka Rory Graham) started his setlist with the song most of us already knew, ‘Human’. This was an acoustic version, less immediately bombastic than the one we’ve heard on American radio, but it was singularly and tastefully appropriate for performance on the St. David’s stage. Graham was equally gentle and mild-tempered in his onstage banter, though he did pick up the dynamic in his songs as the set went on. We were treated to current American radio single ‘Skin’ as well as a stunningly beautiful song I hadn’t heard before called ‘Grace’, which you can take a listen to just below.

The authenticity of Rag’n’Bone Man’s performance, along with the high-quality of his songwriting and musicianship, exemplifies what I’ve come to expect from the Communion showcase over my years at SXSW. Though I wasn’t able to see the whole show on this Friday night, I was glad to at least catch the end of it, discovering a promising new artist and witnessing a rapidly-rising up-and-comer in the process.

 
 
 

About Us

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.

All MP3s are posted with the permission of the artists or their representatives and are for sampling only. Like the music? Buy it.

RSS Feed   RSS Feed  

Learn More About Us

Privacy Policy

Keep TGTF online for years to come!
Donate here.