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Nyx Nótt

Aux Pieds De La Nuit

    “I’d work on it when everyone else at home was in bed,” says Aidan Moffat of his latest musical project as Nyx Nótt. “I don't sleep very well and I'm very much a nighthawk, so the music I made was naturally nocturnal.” The essence of night and Moffat’s moonlit tinkerings became such a prominent role in the creative process that his new alias had to reflect this too. “I originally planned to release the album anonymously and tried to think of a convincing, exotic name that suited the nocturnal themes of the album. Nyx and Nótt are two mythical goddesses of night, Nyx from the Greek and Nótt from old Norse.”

    The album title translates as "At the Feet of Night", so this is an album not simply of, or from, the night, but an ode to it - a sonic worshipping of the night’s pull and allure. Crepuscular music. The result is an album that pulses like the quiet hum of night; the production is clear and crisp with every movement, note and sound augmented with stark clarity - like the amplified sound of a creaking floorboard as you move through the house in darkness. It’s a deeply percussive album, resulting in gentle rhythms that often give way to moments of real stillness and tenderness that stem from the rich orchestration and composition - one that glides from strings to brass to quietly purring electronics. The album moves through jazz, ambient and electronic to result in something that sounds like it might be a score to Moffat’s dreams. “It’s made with samples, sound effects, keyboards, and the occasional toy,” says Moffat. “All but one of the tracks started with drums – I'd been collecting jazz drum samples and sessions for a while and I would layer a few kits on top of each other to create rhythms, then add music and samples from there.”

    When Moffat says “the occasional toy” he means it quite literally. “For ‘Mickey Mouse Strut’ the music began with a recording of a singing Mickey Mouse toy I bought in Japan,” he says. “Its mouth opens when you squeeze its belly and it's quite sinister.” Elsewhere there’s references to Edgar Allen Poe on ‘Long Intervals of Horrible Sanity’, a haunting tribute to the horror writer Shirley Jackson via ‘Shirley Jackson on Drums’ and ‘Theme From’ is a track that Moffat plucked from another project which was going to be an album of twenty 90-second theme tunes for imaginary Netflix shows. However, for someone as revered a lyricist as Moffat - be it with his own solo work, Arab Strap or when working with Bill Wells and RM Hubbert - he’s in entirely instrumental mode here, much like he was with his now defunct L.Pierre alter ego. It results in a fundamental shift in creative approach for Moffat when operating in this format. “For me, making instrumental music is like working with your favourite tool missing,” he suggests. “It's more of a challenge and a bit more risky. It relies more on instinct than songwriting does, or at least it does for me. It requires a bit more trust in yourself when there's no-one to bounce ideas off – in that way, these sorts of records are probably more personal than those with my voice.”

    Also, given the album was made in such a personal and intimate way by Moffat as the world was catching z’s, it also succeeds in being a transformative experience for him. “There's an element of escapism in this album – there are no crickets in Glasgow, for instance, but I couldn't resist using recordings of them, I've always loved the way they sound.” Those nighttime sessions and plucking albums from experiments are not an anomaly in Moffat’s life however. “I'm always working on something to varying degrees,” he says. “Right now, I'm working on another three albums that will appear over the coming years. It keeps me sane and happy. I'm very lucky to have a job that's not only enjoyable but is actually a way of winding down too. I live in a sort of backwards world these days where work functions as a stress reliever.”

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Repress on clear vinyl, limited to 300 copies worldwide. Comes with bonus 7" on black vinyl.

    Strawberry Guy

    Taking My Time To Be

      When Alex Stephens (A.K.A. Strawberry Guy) self-released his debut single last year, he was merely doing it out of a love for songwriting. What he wasn't expecting was a million Youtube streams and an avid fanbase. Now, the South-Wales born, Liverpool-based songwriter is ready to release a Mini-Album of his compelling, lushly produced dream-pop.

      Born outside Cardiff, Strawberry Guy moved to Liverpool to study music and grow as a writer. 'I knew that it was a very artistic city with all it’s creative history, it seemed like the perfect place to move to.' he says. Whether it's playing keyboards in The Orielles or just being part of the city's growing musical scene, Alex plays music for the love of music, something that heavily translates into his adept songwriting.

      The intense emotional feel of the tracks he writes is down to Alex's songwriting process, recording the entire MLP in his bedroom & producing it himself. 'I feel that it’s important to me to only write/record when you’re channeling some kind of emotion, so I would only work on it when I was in the right mood to do so.' He answers when asked about the isolated environment into which he put himself for the recording process.

      Much of the inspiration for Alex's work comes from experience rather than other artists. 'When something significant happens to me, all I want to do is make music.' In terms of musical touchstones however, there's the obvious dream-pop contemporaries such as Beach House and Weyes Blood, coupled with great songwriters of old like Nat King Cole or Harry Nillson. Sonically, a blend of orchestral & synthesized melodies layer together to act as a platform for his heartfelt lyrics.

      Opener 'Without You' is a fine example of this, a break-up song of sorts, with an infectious keyboard melody and swirling synths over which Alex contemplates whether it's even possible to find lasting love. The lyrics 'Do you really have to talk about the things you do with him? Do you really have to talk about your love?' hit particulary heavily.

      Contrast this with the final track, the titular 'Taking My Time To Be', a powerful song of self-discovery. Beginning with downtempo piano and drums, the song breaks out into a saxophone and synth solo that wouldn't go amiss on a Badalamenti soundtrack. 'The song is about me learning to be comfortable with myself, but then wondering if I'll be accepted for being myself' Alex imparts. It's a fitting closer to a MLP driven by emotion and experience.

      Currently playing his live shows with a full band of 'berries' he's hoping to get a full tour going, and says this is just the begininng. 'I won’t stop making music, I can’t help but just write, it’s something that I have to do. An album will be coming at some point, I can say that for sure.'


      Holy Family

      Values

        Recorded with Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal) Values is choc full of frenzied percussive grooves, piano led baselines and euphoric melodies. Brings to mind other indie stalwarts like Phoenix, TV On The Radio and even Wolf Parade.

        Incidentally much of the record was written while the band were living in Montreal, maybe the Canadian sound rubbed off on them. Mixed by David Pye who did the first Wild Beasts album too.

        True stories; real life, real people. For Holy Family it’s our human, and at times non-human, experiences which have shaped the sound of brand-new album Values. An upbeat collection of thought-provoking tales reflecting the light and dark sides of life itself, each track is a poignant commentary by a band who have never been ones to stay put for too long.

        Each track on Values sparkles with its own captivating tale that walks the high-wire between ideal and reality, expectation and the values that drive us. ‘In the fall of Jimmy Angel’ and ‘Memory Collector’, talk of the new trend for ‘personal branding’ and how society’s values are affected by social media. “A lot of life is about routines and streaming more bad TV shows than you’re necessarily proud to admit,” Anton says.

        After spending the last 24 months experiencing life in and between their rural hometown on the outskirts of Gothenburg, the Canadian city of Montreal, and sunny climbs of Athens, Georgia, Values also reflects the guilty side to the doors of opportunity brought about by relocation. Showing that where the sun may shine brighter, the grass isn’t always greener, the climactic ‘Empty Gestures’ talks of leaving small town living behind for a new life in the big city. “There was something that felt important about moving back to Sweden and coming to terms with how things are here,” recalls fellow family member Viktor. “When we all moved back we were pretty relieved – it can be hard to shake that sense of being an outsider when you move to a new city… the experience is one of escapism and less about finding a new home.”

        A former trio including third member Erik, in Canada Holy Family’s ties were cut down to a duo. Anton and Viktor represented the band from their new base abroad, performing at M for Montreal and Toronto Film festivals and toured Europe with Of Montreal whilst their song ‘Airy Jane’ featured on the US version of TV show Shameless. The band received an award from the Swedish Association of Composers (STIM) but time apart only drew Holy Family closer and once the pair returned home, the group doubled in size after reuniting with Erik and calling upon the guitar skills of good friend Petter.

        Written in Gothenburg Values was recorded over just two weeks in Athens, Georgia with Kevin Barnes (Of Montreal). With little time for breaks, the combination of fatigue and time constraints forced the band beyond their comfort zone and into new sonic realms, giving the record it’s eclectic feel recalling the experimentalism of Blur or Grizzly Bear with the technical style of late 60s song-writing. Assisted by Drew Vandenberg and mixed by David Pye (Wild Beasts, 2:54) , before long the tropical temperatures surrounding Kevin’s home took effect on the band. “Just being somewhere that has t-shirt weather in April was impressive, but especially when you’re from Sweden,” says Anton. “Our first recordings in Montreal definitely had more of a second-hand sweater vibe whereas this record has more of a second-hand t-shirt tinge to it.”


        “a SF group riding a timewarp, singing about the tech-driven gentrification of their city in the style of their mid-’60s forebears.... Exceptional tunes” Uncut

        As West-Coast gentrification washes a wave of loud and gritty garage bands away from San Francisco, Cool Ghouls stand strong. Just like the most revered, political records of the 60s and 70s, the third album Animal Races channels the past, the present and the future with an authentically fresh psych-rock take on American society through its own neo-cosmic language.

        “San Francisco has always been great and hopefully always will be but these days there are things we despise,” tells Ghoul guitarist and vocalist Pat McDonald, “the lifestyle The Bay once afforded artists has been decimated. This gold-rush of the tech industry is forcing prices up and it’s been a flood of bullshit. Some people are being forcibly displaced, others are disheartened and leave by choice. Our song ‘Never You Mind’ is a reminder to the creative community not to roll over. San Francisco isn't dead until you let it die in your heart.”

        It’s impossible to separate Cool Ghouls from their adopted hometown. Whether playing dollar dice games and shooting pool or stepping out for a walk through the Californian hills, this is a band who swapped their young lives in stripmall suburbia to settle in the Shaky City of their electric heroes. The place where Gram Parsons’ Flying Burrito Brothers unwittingly inspired lesser-known followers of the Cosmic American gospel to commit readings to tape, Cool Ghouls slot right in the city’s rich musical lineage. Pat M, with Pat Thomas (bass/vocals), Ryan Wong (guitar/vocals), and Alex Fleshman (drums), made their own celestial pilgrimage to their place of worship and have established themselves as one of the city’s brightest young bands playing, against the backdrop of a chaotic big city, a laid-back psych-rock sound for the here and now.

        Those who fell for the raw, primitive sound of the band’s 2014 album A Swirling Fire Burning Through the Rye recorded with local hero Tim Cohen of The Fresh & Onlys, will be pleasantly surprised by the Ghouls’ latest evolution in sound. This time recorded with melodic maestro Kelley Stoltz in his backyard Electric Duck studio, the album was mixed and mastered by Mikey Young (Total Control / Eddy Current Suppression Ring), and features full-colour artwork by Shannon Shaw of Shannon and The Clams.

        “Animal Races is the harvest of work we created between last year’s tours, working in bars, record stores and coffee shops,” says Pat M. “We chose the title because the song’s lyrics are a broad characterization of society. So any track on the album, whether it be about love, personal growth, death or whatever, takes place in the setting of the 'animal races' ".

        Commenting just as much on the individual’s place in society as the San Francisco community itself, the theories of ‘self-actualization’ and ‘anima’ by Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung about achieving individual potential pervade ‘If I Can’t Be The Man’ and ‘Material Love’. Whether time-hopping from the summer of love on ‘Sunrise’ or channelling the freewheeling feeling of The Grateful Dead and Canned Heat through loud guitars, acid riffs, party screams, and stacked-as-f*ck three-part vocal harmonies, each of Animal Races’ 11 tracks bring the four-piece’s electrifying live performances to life.

        'Time Capsule’ is about exactly this, explains Pat T; “when you replay a recorded track, that little chunk of time is brought into the current moment. This is especially true of a recording of a live performance. ‘Time Capsule’ was designed to open the door for improvisation and is the encapsulation of just one version of this song, each version specific to the one time we play it. It’s going to change a lot as we play it over the years.”

        For a band who, just like society and the world itself, is constantly evolving, Cool Ghouls are the perfect antidote for San Francisco’s current state of mind, providing the real-life soundtrack whilst not letting the city’s culture be burned to the ground.


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Coloured LP Info: 180g electric blue vinyl.

        Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

        After ten years of touring and secluded home recording, Stephen Steinbrink has cataloged several albums worth of gorgeous melody and quotidian dread in his stark, minimal pop. Yet the songs on his latest, Anagrams, beautiful yet unflinching portraits of addiction and mental illness are captured in his most meticulous and high-fidelity production to date. While one might expect the record to be a final destination, a tidy hi-res apex of all his journeying, the album's particularly varied styles and sincere lyrical uncertainty portray a search that still continues.

        "Lately writing songs almost makes me feel like I'm losing it, like I keep digging up and re-burying the same old bone. I tried to continue unpacking these forgotten images and memories, except this time without placing any subjective meaning on them, or any expectation of personal growth to occur after. Maybe it's silly to expect the process of making art to be a clarifying act."

        Stephen's artistic trajectory can be considered nomadic in the obvious sense: when not incessantly touring Europe and the U.S. in the last two years, he spent his stationary moments writing in California, Arizona and Washington. Most of his previous recordings were the product of self-engineered experiments, culminating in 2014's Arranged Waves, an unabashedly digital tableau of subdued, heartbreaking pop. Now, Anagrams finds him chasing melodies in the polished largesse of a proper studio.

        Anagrams was intensely recorded over 2 years at UNKNOWN, a retrofitted analogue studio in a lofty, de-sanctified church in the secluded island town of Anacortes, Washington. Assisted by engineer Nicholas Wilbur and featuring performances by members of Mt. Eerie, LAKE, and Hungry Cloud Darkening, Steinbrink's songs gracefully inhabit the vastness of the space in which they were recorded, effortlessly gliding between glacial grunge lurches, lush country movements, and succinct power pop.

        The most ambitious of Stephen's pop songcraft, Anagrams is ultimately an unpacking of identity. "I don't care about continuing in a tradition of songwriters, and I rarely intentionally self-identify as one. I always wonder if my most recent song is the last one I'll ever write. I try to be more concerned with being open, to imagine myself as a rock or a wrapper or nothing at all. Whenever I can get close to that state of mind the songs come easy, but it seems arbitrary, almost like they would've existed with or without me. I think it's a noble pursuit, to try to be nothing." An effort, ongoing.


        “Howes tips his hat to the likes of Aphex Twin and Delia Derbyshire” - The Guardian

        “The singularity of Howes’ vision is readily apparent in a way that’s both visceral and psychedelic” - Spin

        “Eclectic hiss covered techno which draws as much from afrobeat as 90s electronic experiments” - Dazed

        Having released a more house-oriented 12” on Melodic a couple of years ago, Howes' (the solo project of Manchester-based John Howes) debut album proper is a record that is as expressive as it is cohesive. It’s a release that floats between nocturnal stillness and insomniac driven intensity.

        Howes says “Most of these tracks come from finishing work on Friday, going home and starting a patch, working on it till the sun rises, sleeping a couple of hours, waking up and working on it all day and through the night until Sunday night. By this point you've honed down all the madness into something you understand and control in real time. Then I record live to a cassette machine I've had since I was a kid. There's only two tracks on the record that have any editing and overdubbing, the rest are just recordings of the cassettes.” The referred to patches come from Howes’ experiments with modular synths, “I started making my own software to make tracks on, then I got into modular stuff and building my own bits of proper kit. I wanted to have a setup that works like my head and the only way to do it was to start making these bits myself.“

        Howes’ work method has resulted in a record that feels at times personal and melancholic, charged with emotion and humming with a warmth that comes from such a labour intensive and solitary work routine. There are elements of house, techno and ambience here, but stripped back to the point where they lose resemblance to established music forms


        STAFF COMMENTS

        says: Howes treats us to an octet of constantly evolving modular jams in the spirit of Border Community or Aphex Twin on this accomplished debut LP.

        Holy Family

        Can't Dance, Wont Steal, Need Some Help

        As anyone who’s ever stayed in one place far too long will know, sometimes a drastic change is what’s needed. For Holy Family, the duo of non-blood brothers Anton Ekman and Viktor Hansson, a radical relocation from Sweden to Canada has helped shape the sound of their transatlantic debut album Can’t Dance, Wont Steal, Need Some Help.

        “The last months before moving to Montreal, living in Gothenburg had become increasingly unbearable,” recalls Ekman. “To us, Gothenburg was the city that we'd initially adopted as our home and it's accepting us was a big deal. But inevitably we started dragging our feet behind us and needed a change of pace.”

        Country kids at heart, Montreal’s lush scenery provided respite from the daily rigmarole of their home city with Canada’s open spaces having a far bigger influence on the pair than they expected. The expedition wasn’t a case of simply ‘finding’ themselves, this was a band who had already met, gotten to know each other, performed at Toronto Film Festival, received an award from the Swedish Association of Composers (STIM), and broken up with themselves; originally a trio until their third member left town, if anyone could be certain of their identity, it’s Holy Family. “As a trio we struggled to make long-distance work but after a while we had to accept that sending files back and forth between each other wasn't for us,” admits Hansson. “Our sole goal was to make enough tracks to fund inter-rail tickets for an Eastern European tour. Somewhere down the line we stopped dreaming of Eastern Europe but continued making tracks.”

        Ironically, going the distance was precisely what the pair needed, and under their new guise as a duo they set course for Montreal having felt a kinship with Canadian exports Wolf Parade and Godspeed You! Black Emperor whilst needing to venture far enough away so that backing out wasn’t an option. Whilst strolling around downtown on one of their first days in the city, the pair passed a homeless man with sign that said "Can't dance, won't steal, need some help". “It stuck with us. Possibly because it did feel like we needed a whole lot of help being in a new town without any real safety nets,” they remember.

        Superbly demonstrating Holy Family’s uniquely ambivalent sense of place, five of Can’t Dance’s tracks were completed in Montreal with the other five completed back in Gothenburg. The sound of two worlds colliding, it’s a culmination of where the duo is headed and where they’ve already been. Written whilst sharing the one-bedroom Montreal apartment where the band currently resides, ‘East Coast Nerves’ resurfaces the mechanical rhythms heard by Viktor in a previous life as a Gothenburg dock-worker, whilst home-grown track ‘Youth Cult’s stripped back mood looks towards the pair’s future in their new location. The fuzz ripping through the doom laden garage sound of Gothenburg track ‘Keeping Up’ recalls the city’s unquenchable thirst for romanticising the industrial working class days and it’s brilliantly offset against the uplifting atmospherics of Montreal track ‘Trail Of Songs’.

        “To be able to have the perspectives of both being inside looking out and outside looking in was important,” they say. “The first couple of months after moving to Montreal we hadn’t really started working so inevitably a lot of time was spent reflecting on how our lives had been previously and trying to figure out how we wanted them to be.”

        Whether finding a way to mix things up a little or simply as a means of escape Can’t Dance is an album fuelled by hope. From questioning the status quo and social roles of a previous life to focusing upon wants and needs mostly born out of personal frustrations for now, Holy Family’s distinct approach comes from appreciation rather than disdain; from hoping that life will prove itself somewhat moldable, wherever they find themselves. 

        Newly signed to Melodic, The Drink are now set to intoxicate further with the arrival of Company; their gloriously inventive debut album.

        Collecting together those now-unavailable EPs, Company has an inimitable, wayward sound drawn from the chaos of real life. “People and places shape the sound - I get ideas from watching people do their thing and also looking at billboards thinking that everything is fucked," says singer and guitarist Dearbhla Minogue. Without clear narratives, the lyrics have a stream-of-consciousness quality, loaded with uncanny imagery. "I try to invoke feelings of familiarity and imagery in songs because that is what I love about hearing good lyrics. For them to invoke something that you recognise and makes you feel a certain way but you're not quite sure why."

        The title Company explores the album’s themes of what it means to be human, and being alone. "The idea of company is really interesting, why is it so important?" asks Dearbhla. "The way people operate in company - and in companies - is so interesting. Groups are formed by individuals but after that they take on a life of their own."

        The Drink came together when Dearbhla moved to London from her hometown of Dublin and overheard drummer Daniel Fordham and bassist David Stewart practising with their former band in the warehouse she shares with other musicians. “I used to listen to Dan and Dave in Fighting Kites and when they disbanded I took them for my own,” says Dearbhla. “They have a way of making an odd song flow really well. It was great to realise that together we had a band sound without having to contrive it.”

        In the way bands such as Deerhoof are revered for their unusual sonic approach, The Drink celebrate beauty in oddness through their use of bold syncopated rhythms, strange time signatures and complex structures, via a love of artists from Joanna Newsom to The Breeders and Captain Beefheart. While many lose their sense of melodic direction labouring to create an intriguing experimental sound, on Company it never wanes through the band’s boundless energy, reverberating basslines and unforgettably spontaneous fusion of American and English indie rock with Irish folk leanings. “We don't set out to write odd songs at all. We just write them as we think they sound interesting and they always turn out to be in bizarre time patterns when it comes to putting them together,”says Dearbhla.

        "Our first rehearsals were fuelled largely by Nigerian Foreign Export Guinness, but we're not specifically referring to alcohol when we say The Drink, it's also a way of describing the sea, or something that's essential to survival."

        “It sounds pretty unique - save for a little like Warpaint with a folkier wash - and is certainly some of the most refreshing music we've heard from a new act these last few months.” The Line Of Best Fit.

        “Dearbhla Minogue is a woman on a mission. The lead singer and primary songwriter for London-based trio The Drink is reassuringly focused on how she wants her band to sound. Since their inception just over a year ago – and rather refreshingly in an era where many artists spend a huge amount of energy exploring the outer edges of genre-splicing experimentation - The Drink have defined themselves as purveyors of ballsy and intelligent indie rock.” - Quietus.


        Grenier, Archie Pelago

        Grenier Meets Archie Pelago

        Talk about a killer collaboration, this combination of Brooklyn art-housers Archie Pelago and San Franciscan experimental titan Dean Grenier is off the scale. Recorded in a sprawling session in an art gallery basement, then expertly assembled by Grenier back at his San Fran HQ, "Grenier Meets Archie Pelago" is brimming with disperate sounds, sonic innovation and canny ideas, but retains its charm as a cohesive long player. Archie Pelago have stolen headlines with their classy release on NYC's party starting Mister Saturday Night, and push limits melding their on-paper incongruous arsenal of woodwind, horn, strings, turntables and digital software. Grenier has been operating outside the constraints of genre as a DJ and producer for years now, weaving a sonic tapestry out of the scraps of techno, dubstep and noise that others have left behind. This long player sees Grenier meld the sketches and skeletons of Archie’s work together, his production work giving the record its intimate, personal feel. Each crackle and creak of instrument can be heard, almost alien on music that, like the liquid grooves and subtle drops of ‘Navigator,’ or the more hard-lined minimal ‘Phosphorent,’ felt like it had been taken off the dancefloor.

        It's a rare collaboration that results in a body of work as rich, varied, dynamic, and as simply beautiful as Grenier Meets Archie Pelago. But perhaps the most stunning element is the singular nature of their combined output. It's a work that began with a chance meeting, and culminated in utter harmony.

        We never really had Patterns down as masters of Acoustics and Oneirology. Bedroom dreamers maybe, a Mancunian guitar band of course, but with Waking Lines – the eagerly anticipated debut album – this is a band marking themselves out as true scientists of songcraft. With its array of field recordings, samples, original compositions and an epic haze of spellbinding loops, sonic sparks are set to fly from this thoroughly modern shoegaze-pop record.

        Patterns’ fusion of head and heart may well induce a dreamlike state but across Waking Lines’ 10 tracks, every note has been constructed with meticulous focus. This is a band who’ve always known what they wanted to achieve – a group who together and individually, have spent time honing their craft not to mention their spectacularly colourful live performances into an entity that’s indisputably Patterns. “Listening to American bands like Deerhunter and Animal Collective, we learned you can be different and still be a guitar band” Ciaran says. “Once Patterns formed we knew exactly what we wanted to do with it, and recent shows have been a culmination of a lot of things, including the use of visuals and making it a real experience to come and see us play.”

        Made up of foursome Ciaran McAuley (vocals/guitar/keyboards), Alex Hillhouse (bass/samplers), Jamie Lynch (drums) and Laurence Radford (guitar/samplers), the band’s unique approach is what has had DJs from Mary Anne Hobbs and BBC 6music’s Steve Lamacq foaming at the microphone. Upon hearing Patterns’ equally glistening and smouldering wall of noise, Huw Stevens picked the band to perform at Swn Festival, Rob Da Bank chose them to play at Bestival, and there have been shows all over France and Spain, not to mention a scholarly hometown show amongst the book shelves of Manchester’s John Rylands library. Already Waking Lines has been a long time coming, but it’s been well worth the wait.

        Complemented by an array of psychedelic visuals, Patterns’ knack for transcending both time and space can transform even the dingiest back room of a pub into a star-filled galaxy with an array of shimmering, delicately melded guitars and evocative electronica. Take recent single ‘Blood’ which was mainly inspired by the band’s fascination with aesthetics; “it inhabits a fantasy space and was conceived by trying to express through sound how it feels to watch VHS,” Ciaran reveals. Adds Alex, “We bought a load of vintage VHS equipment and experimented with feedback effects to create fractal patterns, which led to the video and the artwork for the single.”

        Abandoning normal recording techniques and expensive producers the band opted instead to record the album themselves. With one good microphone and a laptop they have managed to create an infinitely large imaginary space to express their vision. From ‘This Haze’ which was written eschewing male ‘indie’ singer conventions by thinking of how a woman might sound had she sang instead, right through to ‘Our Ego’, a song about the use of psychedelic drugs in psychotherapy in the 60s, Waking Lines flawlessly depicts that point where dreams and reality meet. ‘Broken Trains’ is an anthemic statement of intent, it’s driven drum sections cutting like razor-sharp shards of light through water, whilst ‘Induction’s ethereal tessellations of sound dance like the Northern Lights through a foggy gauze.

        “The hazy nature of our production and decision to avoid linear story telling in the lyrics is meant to create a similar kind of emotional response to the portrayal of memory and the unconscious within surrealist art like that by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali,” explains Ciaran. “It’s like those weird dreams which feel familiar but quite alien at the same time.” A word to the wise, it’s time to wake up. Patterns are here to open your mind and shape your world.

        Harrisons

        Monday's Arms

        Eschewing the upstart leanings of previous releases "Blue Note" and "Wishing Well", this latest single finds Harrisons in full-on, floor-filling disco mode, but in a down-to-earth, working class hero kind of way. We ain't talking Scissor Sisters here. Lead track "Monday's Arms" deals with that Monday morning feeling and the overwhelming drudgery of working life. It's something these lads know plenty about - until recently, they laboured as builders by day. Built on a solid disco groove, it brings 90s baggy bang up to date, with a chant-along chorus to boot.

        Working For A Nuclear Free City

        Working For A Nuclear Free City

        Epic, intelligent, melodic, groove-based and atmospheric - this is the sound of Working For A Nuclear Free City. Descendents of "Fools Gold" era Roses, Spiritualized and The Beta Band, Working For A Nuclear Free City represent the best of Manchester's new experimental underground.


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