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ICECAPADES

Originally formed in 2013, around the songwriting between guitarist Chris Killen and bassist Peet Earnshaw, Hot Shorts quickly picked up local attention, leading to two BBC 6 Music sessions for Marc Riley and support slots for Jeffrey Lewis, Trust Fund, The Lovely Eggs and Ezra Furman.

In 2016 they expanded to a four piece, with the addition of drummer Lara Williams and guitarist Joel Nicholson. The new line-up were invited by Drenge to perform as part of their Tramlines showcase event in Sheffield (Eoin from Drenge also tweeting out around the time that Hot Shorts were his "favourite band of the past 5 years"), and later that year joined the bill at the Los Campesinos! curated 'Us vs. Them' festival in Leeds. Shortly after this, the band released the track 'Metaphor for (Something)' as part of cult label Art is Hard's postcard singles club series.

Recorded and mixed this year at Manchester's Big City Jack's studio, I Understand & I Wish To Continue is the band's peppy second album which ably follows on from where the band's excellent 2017 self-titled debut album left us. It is twenty nine minutes of cascading hook-laden pop precision from one of Manchester's finest breakout bands of recent times. An assured and engaging affair, the record is ten tracks of 90's tinged slacker anthems and the occasional luxury indie lament, deftly arranged and crafted by the band over the last two years.

Unsurprisingly, for a band featuring two published authors, the lyrics on this album take centre stage. Songs like 'Lostprophets Tattoo', 'Don't Stop Me If You've Heard This One Before', and 'I Found You on Myspace' are keenly observed vignettes which blend knowing pop cult humour, keen social observations and the occasional dollop of self introspection. It's a wonderful, lyrically savvy album, designed to leave the listener feeling amused, discerning and invited firmly in on the joke.

Chris says of the writing on the record, “Pretty much all of the songs are either about feeling really old and embarrassing and/or music from my past...the songs are mostly.. about being slightly too old and British to still be into 90s alt rock as much as we are, but there is also one about being afraid to go to space on there and also one about a cat”.

STAFF COMMENTS

Barry says: YES! New outing from Manc faves, Icecapades and it's a corker. Joel from over't road and a trio of talented folks who I don't know smash out a brilliantly wry, cleverly placed set of off-kilter snarling college rock and Blue Album era melodies with skill and grace. Absolutely worth your time.

Cult Party

And Then There Was This Sound

    Manchester band Cult Party have announced their first album in two years, And Then There Was This Sound, set for release on 21st July via Manchester's Icecapades Records (Slowcoaches, Joey Fourr, Sprinters, Sex Hands...)

    They've also shared 'I Got The Blues This Morning', a gorgeous folk effort which displays bandleader Leo Robinson's poignant vocals through his confessional storytelling

    Beginning life as the bedroom project of multi-disciplinary artist Leo Robinson - a specialist in the kind of hushed, evocative recordings which bring to mind the intimacy of well-loved acts like The Microphones and Thanksgiving - Cult Party has quickly blossomed into one of the most respected bands working out of Manchester.

    Recorded last year with a close-knit group of friends, including Moshi Moshi Records' signee Kiran Leonard, And Then There Was this Sound follows on from Leo's last full-length effort, the long sold out, Eternal Love & The Death of Everything. The new album was composed and recorded at the same time as Leo, who also works as a visual artist, was busy readying artwork for his debut solo show at the Tiwani Gallery.

    With his creativity at a peak, and ideas humming around his head, Leo and his band have produced a rich follow-up album with its eyes very much to the sky. Brimming with energy, inventiveness and positivity, it's a master-class in taut songwriting and economical arrangement.

    Buoyed by the assistance of some of the best musicians in Manchester, Leo's guitar playing delivers a transcendental, meditative quality, adding weight to a suite of beautifully arranged and generously orchestrated songs. Alongside a minimal set-up of guitar, vocals, organ, cello, violin and percussion, Leo's baritone croon intones a sequence of emotionally expressive lyrics, veering from free-associative poetry to intimate confessionals. All of this adds up to a wonderfully warm record that spans four tracks and over forty minutes of music, inviting you into the world of its creator.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Yeah! Icecapades return with another killer outing, this time from folk aficionado and hugely talented songwriter, Cult Party. Think The Microphones / Mount Eerie (early Noah And The Whale vox) with a bit of the dark looping guitar of Alexander tucker etc. Beautiful, and totally essential as always.


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