30 Sep 2013

DIARY: CHVRCHES ALBUM LAUNCH PARTY BOILER ROOM TV


To celebrate the release of their brand new album "The Bones Of What You Believe", CHVRCHES hosted a session for Boiler Room TV on Friday night. Located at the Hoxton Arches (Arch 402 Gallery to be precise) it was a wonderfully intimate space, laid out with the performance area in the middle and a buzzing crowd of 100 or so surrounding the action. After a wicked set by CID RIM (who of course did that "Recover" remix) it was the turn of CHVRCHES to take the stage – which I was practically standing on – and they smashed it, I had an insanely good time despite attending on my own. (None of my friends were interested or keen enough to chance queue with me for a wristband...) But it was incredible, certainly to experience it so physically close was a rare and thrilling moment, quite literally feeling and sharing their infectious energy.

Their debut album is an amazing record, as I attempted to explain the other day here. It actually entered the Top 10 in the official UK charts, for which a huge congratulation is due to such a hardworking, down-to-earth, and considerate band. Massive achievement and so thoroughly deserved.

29 Sep 2013

BLOG: CHVRCHES THE BONES OF WHAT YOU BELIEVE


The hottest artist of the year in my books, hands down, has been the electropop trio from Glasgow, CHVRCHES. I've written lots about them on the Blog already, and I've seen them live 4 times this year, and again next month. They're fucking great. Which is actually why I've found it difficult to sit down and write about their highly anticipated new album, always at risk of repeating my previous sentiments of praise and thus not portraying fair or genuine comment. Bear with me though.

One week ago, CHVRCHES' debut album "The Bones Of What You Believe" was finally released to the world and I've listened to it repeatedly. And it would be very easy for me to say that it's an incredible record, which it is, but that wouldn't do my love for it enough justice. The record delivers on all counts of expectation and then some. We've heard quite a handful of songs over the past 12 months in the form of singles or EPs, and a few more hints from their live set lists, so they had already made clear what we could anticipate; we've been well informed of the distinct sound that is CHVRCHES. But this album seems to show so much more than their attractive aesthetic, there's maturity and mastery that you rarely find in debut records – perhaps due to each of the band members' past experiences as musicians or from the undeniably comfortable chemistry that they share as a threesome. The 12 tracks (14 for the Special edition) just flow effortlessly and seamlessly from start to finish, carrying the right contrast and continuity throughout – it's such an easy album to enjoy, a classic album in many ways.

Sure I'm still biased though, they had me hooked from the minute I heard "The Mother We Share" and its infectious synthpop melody, deep instrumental textures and of course Lauren's captivating vocal quality. Inspired by music and film of the 80s, whilst taking influences from hip hop, rock and pop, their electronic take is energetic and colourful, executed with sensitivity, and is little short of a masterstroke success. Plus they're extremely likeable too, holding good modesty and awareness, but they damn well have every right to feel confident in their work and ability.

They've been working hard to bring alive their work on stage, constantly improving themselves having essentially been touring all year, and I cannot wait to see them again in October at Shepherds Bush Empire, and then again at The Forum in spring. My excitement is on overload. But for now I have more than enough to satisfy my craving for the band, thanks to "The Bones Of What You Believe". It's out on sale right now and available worldwide.

Read more about my affection for CHVRCHES here.

DIARY: JAMES BLAKE LIVE AT SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE





On Thursday evening I had the pleasure of witnessing James Blake perform at Shepherds Bush Empire. That night also happened to be his birthday and we the crowd created an incredible atmosphere to set up what was an amazing show. I'd only seen his live material on video clips and so to be there in person just felt so spectacular. I can't recall any other artist whose sound so literally filled up every nook and cranny of the venue, ethereal and almost tangible, like we could feel the sound particles. The three guys on stage absolutely killed it track after track, with mesmerising renditions of songs from James' two massive albums – the latter of which has of course been nominated for the Mercury Prize this year, and how deservingly.

Oh and FKA twigs was supporting, which was a hugely pleasant surprise. She's got something really interesting going on. Her second EP just dropped this month and it's good. Check her out.

28 Sep 2013

MAG: THE KILLERS SHOT AT THE NIGHT



In a perfectly fitted collaboration, The Killers meets M83 as Anthony Gonzalez's production track is set to feature in the forthcoming "Direct Hits" album. "Shot At The Night" is a dream merge for that iconic sound of optimism that the two artists share and this is a newly revealed video, starring the rather pretty Bella Heathcote and that guy from The Social Network. Give it a spin and a twirl.

MAG: BANKS THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE OFFICIAL VIDEO



A stunner off the recent "London" EP, BANKS has introduced this week an official video for "This Is What It Feels Like", the track produced by Lil Silva and Jamie Woon. Shot with a little more colour and light than her previous visuals, we see a bit more of her in action moving gently to the sex sounds of her incredible music. An artist's rise happening live right now before us, and it's very exciting.

DIARY: 9.13 MONTHLY PHOTOGRAPHS PART ONE




25 Sep 2013

MAG: TA-KU SONGS TO BREAK UP TO KRULE LOVE



Perth-based producer Ta-ku has been in the futuristic, electronic game for a while with some exciting tunes, samples and remixes among his repertoire. Next month, his new EP "Songs To Break Up To" is to be released and early signs are very good. Above is the latest track to be unveiled, called "Krule Love".

MAG: LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON LIP SYNC BATTLE



This is just amazing. Jimmy Fallon, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Stephen Merchant.

MAG: POLIÇA SMUG SHULAMITH



Newly unveiled off the upcoming album is this new track "Smug". Heavy sounds and real prowess, this is such a dope song. "Shulamith" still has a month to go until release, but I just know it's going to be amazing.

MAG: SKY FERREIRA YOU'RE NOT THE ONE



Sky Ferreira seems to have been around for ages, that brilliant "Ghost" EP having been released almost a whole year ago. But after much frustration and delay, she will finally be releasing her debut full-length record, entitled "Night Time, My Time", on October 29 (or at least in the US for now). And that's great news because we've all been longing to hear what she's been working on so hard to get right. The above is a video for the new single taken from the forthcoming album "You're Not The One". It's far more upbeat and pop radio friendly than what we've heard before, and though perhaps not my favourite, has a lot of sass and attitude that I hope the LP will carry too.

24 Sep 2013

DIARY: HAIM LIVE AT iTUNES FESTIVAL 2013



Thanks again to YPlan, I found myself spontaneously going to the Roundhouse on Saturday night to see HAIM headline the iTunes Festival. And what a night. HAIM are fucking legends, they rocked the shit out of the place and I was so so impressed, loved every minute of it. Wild, pumped and cool, they're just three LA sisters who clearly live for (and die for) music. Whether it's the family thing or not I don't know, but their chemistry was undeniable, they were so connected together in energy and in rhythm, I was actually blown away. (I'm aware of the quantity of big statements here but none are exaggerations – at all.) It was right up there with the most enjoyable gigs I've ever been to.

The trio's debut album "Days Are Gone" comes out next week and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy. There's been plenty of fuel in the meantime with EPs and singles scattered over the past 12 months, and I can't help but feel this album is going to be a spectacular showcase of musical nous. Rockstar guitars, ridiculous percussion battles and feisty vocals, rounded with warm synths is what to expect. HAIM are awesome.

MAG: NIKE SB ZOOM STEFAN JANOSKI ANTHRACITE BLACK

From: The Illest

Saw this in my feed the other day and it caught my eye. Just another pair of Stefan Janoskis, yes, but the glossy black leather looks very sharp and handsome on the black body. Perhaps replacing black for the 'Anthracite' grey highlights and also the white sole would make these quite a special all-black-everything shoe. Quite fancied the textures I guess...

MAG: MØ NEVER WANNA KNOW


As promised, Danish sensation MØ has dropped yet another tease this morning – a new song off the upcoming EP "Bikini Daze". The record arrives on October 20 to feature four tracks (including the Diplo collab) and "Never Wanna Know" is also one of them. Probably the closest thing to a ballad we'll hear from her, it's a beautiful, slow discotheque number that, although may be more stripped back than the rest of her repertoire, still holds the intricate construction of garish sounds that's so attractive in her music, while the youthful energy in her voice can't ever be taken away. Reminds me of Marina And The Diamonds. Anyway, she keeps us waiting, but it's another 4 minutes of wonder that will keep us going a little longer until next time.

BLOG: THE WEEKND KISS LAND PRETTY OFFICIAL VIDEO



This is the official video for "Pretty" – possibly my favourite track off the album – the latest offering by The Weeknd following the big release of his first proper album "Kiss Land". It's a record I was slightly anxious to hear to be honest, not quite sure what the man who arose from such mystery and originality to the inevitable (and nowadays customary) hype that surrounds any viral success. But I feel very assured, and very impressed.

It would seem that sonically he has found his style after the differing approaches to his debut trilogy of mixtapes, working with various producers and experimenting with a range of sounds. There was of course never any doubt in his musical talent and those cold, emotionally piercing vocals that he possesses, but I am glad to be enjoying the fruits of this major release. There are some great songs on the LP including "Belong To The World" (probably none of them topping the likes of "High For This", "The Morning" or "Wicked Games" from "House Of Balloons") but great nevertheless, and I'm super excited to see him perform again, this time at the arena venue of The O2 – a huge step-up from when I last saw him in Camden. The new collection should make a fine spectacle.

DIARY: POST DESIGN WEEK


Busy with Design Week, I've not been able to contribute as much here as I would have hoped. Again. But I must say I highly enjoyed being at designjunction – not only did we receive great interest and enthusiasm for our [re]craft project, I was able to see some great things at the exhibition. A brilliant vibe to the place, I hope some of you got to go for yourself. Now that's done and dusted though, I have this remaining week to recoup before embarking on Year 3 of my undergraduate studies. Crazy.

As for what I've missed blogging this past week, I will definitely be looking to catch up. There's just been too much goodness to ignore. In a month dominated by new music, there's been plenty going on the past 5 or 6 days that I will no doubt trickle my thoughts onto, starting with The Weeknd's album, new MØ and HAIM live...

18 Sep 2013

DIARY: LONDON DESIGN FESTIVAL 2013 PREP


I've been prepping with [re]design, the company I had my work placement with earlier this summer, for Designjunction these past few days as they get ready for the launch of their new book and exhibition tonight. The show lasts until Sunday and I'll be working some shifts to promote the project. The whole floor looks pretty good right now and there are some really interesting stands around us that I will definitely be checking out over the coming days. If you've registered, come down and have a look.

In other news, that competition piece for the RSA Student Design Awards, where our project was shortlisted and commended (woop), has actually been selected itself for display at the RSA's own stand at 100% Design in Earl's Court (woop woop). Tomorrow I'll be there to promote that and indeed take an in-depth wander around the show, which again promises to be a good one.

This year is my first in which I've participated for London Design Festival, so I'm really excited to be there and to see it all. There's a lot going on all across town, so do make some time to visit what you can, and indeed come say hello at one of the shows I'll be at.

MAG: INTRODUCING MØ



A new video to (re-)introduce MØ, as she talks about her work and reveals a heartfelt outlook behind the "electro indie" sound that's put her in the spotlight as one of Europe's top emerging acts. I've seen her live twice, with a third occasion coming up in November at XOYO, and it's true that she is absolutely wild up on stage, dedicated to the music and living the moment, with not a single fuck given. And that's the rawness that's attracted me to MØ since hearing her material for the first time towards the start of this year, and is certainly one to watch for in the coming 12 months too. An EP on the way including the lead track "XXX 88" featuring Diplo, and a debut album being prepped for release soon too. For sure you'll see me go on about all that here, as and when it happens. MØ ftw.

17 Sep 2013

BLOG: OF MONSTERS AND MEN END OF TOUR VIDEO



A big regret of my year is that I never got to see Of Monsters And Men tour their debut album. It is a delightful record and their work epitomises band culture and true love for music. I've said it before, but their genre and mood of sound is, at least for me, the ultimate festival music – perfect for live shows and a feel-good crowd. This is a lovely short video that captures the spirit of their lengthy tour, cut to my favourite track off the album, the closing number "Yellow Light". A video that basically shows me what I've missed, although of course I've watched what I can on video such as full sets from Lollapalooza, Bonnaroo, SW3 New Pop Festival and The Bowery Presents to name a few, and you should watch them too if you can, because it's guaranteed enjoyment and beautiful art.

MAG: FOUR TET PARALLEL JALEBI



Taken from the impending new album is Four Tet's latest track "Parallel Jalebi". From such a talented, creative artist, "Beautiful Rewind" is set to be another wicked record, his seventh full-length LP. And he's been in the music scene long enough to know how it works and what he wants, with the album having notoriously been announced for release "soon" with no pre-orders or streams beforehand. With the 10 year anniversary celebrations for "Rounds" still fresh in our minds, I've given that a few spins lately as well as watching a DJ set of his at Field Day in May, and I'm as eager as anybody to hear what he has coming next. And "Parallel Jalebi" is an exciting taster.

14 Sep 2013

MAG: SBTRKT IMO DEMO



Just uploaded by SBTRKT is this first glimpse into his new material in preparation for an eagerly anticipated second album. His self-titled debut record, featuring much of Sampha (with whom more collaborations have been promised), was a phenomenal piece of work and his accompanying tour as I experienced at London's Shepherds Bush venue was one of the most enjoyable gigs I've been to. So it's no surprise that I cannot wait for him to drop new music, and this is more than a satisfactory teaser for the time being, an as yet unmixed and unmastered version for a new song "IMO". With some 3D intricate visuals to go with it, it's one to savour.

DIARY: MONOCLE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION


I decided to officially subscribe to Monocle the other week, and yesterday my first delivery arrived. Issue 67 along with the customary tote bag. I'd already been buying every issue for the past two years, essentially 'saving' myself £20 per year, considering the actual subscription is that much more. But weighing up the tote bag, the biannual newspapers, the online archive access, early receipt and the all important slight (very slight) special treatment in the Monocle Café and Shop, I thought I'd give it a go. Their content material is always to a standard that I can rely on and trust, as well as it usually being highly interesting, so I think it makes sense. Besides, I'm always looking for "better living" – who isn't? – so here I am ready to learn.

13 Sep 2013

MAG: CARRIE FILM FEATURETTE



My god this looks good. I've admired Chloë Grace Moretz's work and her approach to the industry a lot, seemingly very mature and very well supported (as well as being very talented). This is a good article to read, a recent feature interview for W Magazine. Kick Ass was awesome, but this remake of Carrie looks highly compelling and I'm super interested to see this when it hits the cinemas. The date is November 29 for the UK.

12 Sep 2013

MAG: VINCE KIDD MY GANG OFFICIAL VIDEO



September's music news continues to impress, as I seem to have someone or something to talk about every single day. The Voice UK finalist Vince Kidd definitely has what it takes to become a stunning artist, and I'm so pleased to hear new material from the guy. Fresh in today is this music video for his brand new track called "My Gang" and for me it's the perfect spot in the musical genre spectrum for him, his vocal qualities and singing sass really thriving. Not a clue if there's any news of a record coming any time soon, but that would be very welcome news indeed.

MAG: SOHN NEW SINGLE LESSONS



With new material comes Vienna-based Londoner, SOHN, following his EPs "Bloodflows" and "The Wheel" that marked a real arrival of note. Meanwhile, he's been in charge of some significant remixes and productions, working with/on the likes of BANKS, Angel Haze, Rhye and Lana Del Rey. So, this new single "Lessons", set to be available for download on September 23, is pretty exciting and it's a beautiful song, an intense flourish of fresh electronica. He goes on tour this autumn, including a visit to London's Electrowerkz (where I saw MØ in March) which I'd love to be at, as well as a confirmed album for 2014. Much more to come from this upcoming talent it would seem, and that is great news.

11 Sep 2013

MAG: BANKS LONDON EP







As dark, twisted and moody as ever, BANKS continues her rise in the music game with a brand new EP called "London" released yesterday. It's brilliant, you can listen to some of the tracks above. It may only be four songs long, but her sassy attitude, sultry style and emotional heart are apparent throughout, justly presented with some superb productions from the likes of SOHN (another artist I'm following at this moment, he's incredible), Lil Silva, Jamie Woon and Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs. She'll be supporting The Weeknd's "Kiss Land" tour this autumn, and it's a show I'm really looking forward to seeing come November.

BLOG: APPLE iPHONE 5S AND 5C ANNOUNCEMENT

From: Apple

So lots of hype once more surrounding the Apple event yesterday, months of gossip gearing up to the announcement, and really it turned out simply to be a confirmation of the rumour mill. Two new iPhone models, namely the 5S and 5C, will enter the market later this month and they do indeed look very good. The 5S adds a new gold colour option, and is set to feature a fancy fingerprint sensor called Touch iD that will look to fight and replace the password concept in due course. Otherwise, the camera function seems to have vastly improved amongst other things, and the phone looks sound.

The iPhone 5C is what I've really been looking forward to though, essentially a more affordable iPhone. And that makes it a far more attractive replacement avenue for my iPhone 4 that I've used for a solid three years now, unbroken. (Not bad huh?) But it's not affordable, far from it. It would seem Apple have just raised the premium model's starting price making the 5C cheaper only in relative terms, with UK pricing at a stupid £469 (just £40 cheaper than what I paid for mine). That's a major disappointment. And what a shame, because the phone itself is as impressive as we had hoped, fitted with the iPhone 5's guts in a well designed, unashamedly plastic body – I think Apple went in. So you could argue that the price is justified, considering the product is indeed not cheap and deliberately so, but you can't price a budget model at basically the same price as the previous premium model. Silly.

10 Sep 2013

MAG: ACTIVE CHILD RAPOR EP



Two years after his remarkable debut album, Pat Grossi, or Active Child, will finally be dropping his next record. "Rapor EP" will house 6 new tracks, including "Evening Ceremony", "She Cut Me", a new one with Mikky Ekko he just unveiled called "Subtle" and a dream collaboration with Ellie Goulding after she transformed "Hanging On" into a banging cover for her own album. She's the reason I discovered Active Child in the first place and his 2011 album "You Are All I See" showcases a beautiful sound of interesting instrumentation and original production that I've still not heard anywhere else, I'm a big fan. His new material seems to flirt with a more extrovert side that's exciting to hear, and it's an EP I'm highly looking forward to – out October 22. Listen to the latest track above, it's tasty.

9 Sep 2013

MAG: MØ XXX 88 FEAT. DIPLO OFFICIAL VIDEO



So badass. MØ's new video for this epic Diplo collaboration "XXX 88".

BLOG: LONDON GRAMMAR DEBUT ALBUM IF YOU WAIT


Lots of big album releases this week, and indeed this month, but today's highlight is the debut album by London Grammar, "If You Wait". Still a young band they may be, but their sound has attracted many admirers since their first EP "Metal & Dust" of February this year. And it's well worth it, because their music is genuinely beautiful. Soft and delicate, yet textured and intricate, it's drawn comparison to The xx for instance, while for me the album resembles that understated quality of Daughter.

There's definitely something about female-fronted indie bands that we're enjoying as a generation, and that is by no means a bad thing or necessarily a pessimistic view of conformity or trend. Hannah Reid's gifted vocals showcase a range of aspects from the intensity of Florence Welch to the emotion of Adele, from the darkness of Lana Del Rey to the innocence of Birdy – and it's absolutely gorgeous, hauntingly so.

The album is a precious whisper that is utterly worth taking the time to listen to. They've already been tipped for Mercury Prize nomination, they're fucking big. Just a trio of graduates from Nottingham University, they've made magic with their music. With much more to come in the near future, I'm sure you'll hear more about them from me soon, but in the meantime check out their record because you won't regret it. (And watch them cover La Roux in the Live Lounge just yesterday!)

8 Sep 2013

MAG: VOLCANO CHOIR NEW ALBUM REPAVE


"The combination of Collections of Colonies of Bees and Bon Iver," their description reads. And how apparent it is. Volcano Choir are back with their second album "Repave" which was in the making for three years. It may only be 8 tracks long, but they're tracks that each hold their own in that Justin Vernon genre, a beautifully controlled eargasm of layered instrumentation. The album was released this week and I've been doing my best to absorb its ethereal sound, and I really feel that you must too. Two singles have been taken from it thus far, in "Byegone" and "Comrade", with an American tour just begun. Watch this short documentary to see the band in recording action as they prepared the stunning record that is "Repave", available to purchase and download now.

DIARY: WORKING IN THE MONOCLE CAFE


Spent a rather pleasant time in London's Monocle Café yesterday, parking ourselves downstairs for a productive Saturday's work. Nervous at start of holding unwanted attendance for a whole half day, we were welcomed and warmed to by the kind and down-to-earth staff who made us feel very much at home. And aided also by fine Allpress coffee, cake by Lanka and an elegant lunch selection, I really enjoyed my stay. Just an FYI I guess, in case you were wondering.

6 Sep 2013

BLOG: VICTATE SEPTEMBER 2013 SPORTS VEST LOOKBOOK

From: VICTATE

Up on our new Collections page is the full lifestyle lookbook, 10 photographs strong, for the Sports Vest. It's a shoot Edward did over in his Taiwan hometown with some local friends, do take a moment to view the set.

Available in two colour options, we've made the vests with a split of two materials: a basketball-inspired breathable mesh upper and a silk-sheen cotton fabric for the bottom, which is the lovely, soft material we last used for the Liberty sleeve t-shirts last summer (remember them?). We're looking to up the value on sports functionality for our Mainline, more of which you shall see in the coming months. And the next Victate product to arrive will be an addition to Private Stock, which we've been teasing over on Instagram. Very soon that will land, very soon...

4 Sep 2013

DIARY: ELLIE GOULDING LIVE AT MAIDA VALE STUDIOS


I cannot believe this happened...

I just can't believe it, I feel so so blessed. Performing live at BBC Maida Vale Studios for Zane Lowe's Radio 1 show, I was one of just 20 or so guests in the studio audience fortunate enough to have won places to witness Ellie Goulding make magic, and from just a few feet away.

The whole experience was absolutely surreal, from the moment I woke up to a congratulatory email to right now as I recall the events of last night and type up this blog entry. My body was tingling all day yesterday as I could barely contain my sheer excitement at the opportunity of seeing my number one favourite artist live (let alone in such a unique, intimate setting). As massive a fan as I am of Ellie – and I fucking am – I've had the huge black mark of not having attended a gig of hers for one reason or another and I've been gutted to have missed out on multiple occasions. And I've made it my duty to watch whatever I possibly can of her performances, and the internet has been highly kind in that aspect, with live streams and video footage available from her various shows (iTunes Festival, O2 Academy Brixton, HP Connected Music, Big Weekend, Chime For Change, Troubadour, Pinkpop, Lollapalooza, the list goes on...) – point is I've watched her sets well over a hundred times and thus every lick, every trick and every rearrangement of hers I know inside out and it's been painful to have not yet experienced it first hand.

Which, of course, makes it even more special that this event was to be offered to me and words cannot describe how incredible it was. Being so close to the action was overwhelming and the sense of occasion brought goosebumps and a racing heart throughout the show, I was more nervous than she was. We were gifted to a full hour's set, all aired live on Radio 1, with a repertoire including numbers from "Bright Lights" and "Halcyon" to a couple tracks from the newly repackaged "Halcyon Days" record for the first time. The show is available to play back in its entirety on the Radio 1 website for the following week, just FYI and FYR (for your recommendation, I just made that up). And click here to see the official gallery from the event, in one of which you will find myself perched on the balcony amongst the rest of the audience, probably mesmerised in shock and awe.

I'm a fan of Ellie Goulding first and foremost because of her musical ability. Her voice is like nothing else, with its airy, sultry qualities and gorgeous tone, comparable only to a living angel; her songwriting and poetry so meaningful, an enriching expression of genuine emotion and message; and finally the ability and creativity she holds to entertain and so deeply understand the underlying 'music', as showcased via her live performances (enhanced too by her growing confidence and maturity on stage) – she is an incredible artist, it's beautiful.

To really cherish something I believe is rightly quite rare in life, but that last night is well up there with my best ever moments. And I am so grateful. You see, it's these feelings that I wanted to record on this Blog of mine and I'm going to be reflecting on this for years to come. Thanks Ellie.

MAG: ELLIE GOULDING BBC RADIO 1 LIVE LOUNGE





With Fearne Cotton returning to Radio 1 this week, the wonderful Ellie Goulding kicked off a month of Live Lounges with these two incredible tracks. Stripped back and reworked, she performed her triple number one single (yes, triple!) "Burn" and followed it with a perfect cover of Justin Timberlake's "Mirrors". Of course I'm going to be biased – what fan wouldn't be – but this lady can simply do no wrong, her voice just smashes anything it touches and these acoustic versions really puts that in the spotlight.

This was to be only part one of her day at BBC Radio 1, set to perform an extended live session in the evening for Zane Lowe from the very special Maida Vale Studios, as the radio station embarks on a month of "Even More Music" with a feast of events and promotions to celebrate music and reboot the industry's calendar. Oh and I was there at Maida Vale...

MAG: BIRDY LIVE AT ABBEY ROAD





After her successful covers collection that was her debut self-titled album from 2011, Jasmine Van Den Bogaerde, or Birdy, is just a few weeks shy of releasing her follow-up record. "Fire Within" is the eagerly awaited LP in which she can finally showcase her own original material as a singer-songwriter, having earned much praise for her remarkable renditions of what was a mature selection of songs in "Birdy". For the moment though, she reminds us of her exceptional vocal talent in these couple of live recordings from a session at the prestigious Abbey Road Studios, performing two of her new tracks, "Light Me Up" and the lead single "Wings". And they are absolutely stunning. It's almost a guarantee that the new album will be good and I highly look forward to its release on September 23.

3 Sep 2013

DIARY: POLIÇA AND SIGUR ROS iTUNES FESTIVAL 2013



Watching Sigur Rós and Poliça perform live just takes your breath away. I think I was pretty lucky to nab tickets from YPlan (London's spontaneous going-out app) just a few hours before the occasion and I'm definitely trying that again for others, as the lineup for iTunes Festival impresses once more.

Sigur Rós live is a thrilling experience, a cinematic explosion of climax after climax. And the arrangement of the band is like no other, not since I saw Bon Iver anyway, with it very clear that each part and each sound is meticulously considered and present only to provide a valuable purpose. The careful layering of sound was beautiful to absorb, a hugely mesmerising and inspiring show. And as if that wasn't enough, Poliça were the supporting act. I say supporting, but they held their own for a 40 minute set, and what a treat – I'd been wishing to see them perform all summer having missed the chance to attend Night + Day (the new-look festival hosted by The xx). If you're not familiar with them, their debut album "Give You The Ghost" is unbelievably good and they have a second LP "Shulamith" out in October. Performing tracks from both records, they were incredible too last night, I feel so fortunate – what a start to the week huh.

You can re-watch both performances through iTunes, with artists performing for all 30 nights of September. Coming up later are Haim, Ellie Goulding and Justin Timberlake, for whom I will be fighting to get a wristband again. Good stuff.

2 Sep 2013

BLOG: CHVRCHES EP JAPAN LIMITED EDITION PURCHASE






Back in July, CHVRCHES released a limited Japanese record, simply entitled "EP", ahead of their appearances at Summer Sonic in Tokyo and Osaka. It's their first ever CD release and features the singles "Gun" and "Recover" in a six-strong tracklist. My mother was in Japan over summer and so I've been fortunate to get my hands on a physical copy as she returned to London yesterday. Thanks mum. The band's hotly-awaited-for debut album "The Bones Of What You Believe" is fast approaching its big unveiling, to be on September 23. In the meantime though, find CHVRCHES in my Blog Topics and read up on the artist that has simply stolen my attention for 2013. They're going to be big!

MAG: NATASHA KHAN & JON HOPKINS GARDEN'S HEART



A new single by Natasha Khan and Jon Hopkins has just been unveiled along with this lovely music video. "Garden's Heart"And the video marks Natasha's debut in film direction as she takes forth her fascination with the art of moving image, which has inspired much of her Bat For Lashes work, particularly for the latest record "The Haunted Man". The song's been penned for an upcoming Kevin Macdonald film and stars young Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.