By Jon Milton
The good folk at VBAH (Vandalism Begins at Home) records are on a bit of a roll this month. Last week saw the release of Luna Rosa's excellent single 'Brutal Nature', and this week sees the release of another gem in the form of 'Holocene Ending' by Sourdough. Holocene Ending is the second single to be taken from Sourdough's forthcoming debut EP due for release in August.
Singer-songwriter Jacob Kyte says of the single
'The song is all about change, the end of something, and the start of something new. We wrote it during one of the many lockdown's, when there was this message of everyone being "in it together", but in truth people, and certainly politicians, were still betraying one another as much as they always had. We were living in an almost post-apocalyptic world, yet attitudes remained as selfish and greedy as they ever were. Everyone is still at each other's throats. Johnson and his cronies are still laughing at us - yet still getting the vote. It's like foxes voting to lift the hunting ban.
I had this image of farmers burning their own fields, destroying their own livelihoods. I think that's reflective of the world today. We are burning the world, destroying our own existence. Turning on ourselves, but for what worth? We are bringing about our own extinction. Our own end of days".
Given the level of emotion and the sentiment that sit behind the lyrics, it should come as no surprise to know that Holocene Ending is also an absolute beast of a tune and the bands' best release to date. Click on the link below to check it out yourself, or to listen via spotify head to the playlist section of the site and click on the fiver.
By Jon Milton
London’s Midlight have released a string of impressive singles over the last two years and now bring us their debut EP ‘Above from Below’. Self-produced and self-released, the EP features six suave tracks that ooze class, sophistication and quality.
The band are big fans of Radiohead and Talk Talk, whose influence permeates their early work, but on ‘Above from below’ it’s another influence that comes through most clearly, Coldplay. Now I know what you’re thinking, and yes, these days Coldplay are indeed truly shit, but their first album ‘Parachutes’ was rather good, so fix your mind on that rather than all that ‘Higher Power’ bollocks.
‘Above from Below’ begins with its title track, a clever little instrumental track that ends just as it starts to get going. Lead single ‘Home’ follows, noisily announcing itself before elegantly unfurling. Bloodhound sees the band embrace their melancholy, with the song initially stripped back to just piano and vocals before slowly building into epic proportions. The muted tones of ‘My Murder’ and the beautiful ‘Safer Space’ follow before the EP concludes with the jaunty ‘I Just Need a Chance’.
There’s a lot of smart touches to the EP too. Bloodhound has a touch of ‘Wicked Game’ to it. On My Murder there’s a little flicker of ‘Englishman in New York’, and there’s a glimmer of something that I can’t put my finger on by The Police on I Just Need a Chance. All of these elements are very subtle but are deftly executed throughout.
Yes, Above from Below is very accessible and yes it has a lot of mainstream crossover appeal to it, but the band manage to stay just the right side of alternative for me. Above from Below feels like a taste of something special with more yet to come.
By Jon Milton
If there's any justice in the world, Personal Trainer's new single 'Rug Busters' will be a massive hit and people all over the world will be spontaneously breaking out into its dance moves whenever it comes on. Before you read on, click on the link below, watch the video and tell me that I'm wrong!
Not only is Rug Busters a great tune, but they did that brilliant video in ONE TAKE! I'm not particularly one for dancing but even I can't stop wiggling to this one.
If you're not familiar with the band - they're Dutch and the brainchild of Willem Smit, the band's front man and a multi-instrumentalist. They're all about the unpredictable, with the band made up of a shifting line-up of friends and peers playing together with only one rule: there are no rules. Willem says of the single:
“I wanted to make a song to dance to for everybody - no one excluded. The idea was to make a song that brings people closer to each other, no matter who they are, who they are with, what they believe or what they've done.
"Dance", "Dance Dance Dance" and "Song 2 Dance 2" were three of the working titles before I settled on "Rug Busters" - "busting a move" meets "cutting a rug" or something."
The video was filmed by the band's own Kilian Kayser in the parking lot beneath their keyboard player Abel Tuinstra's studio.
"Coming up with a simple idea that feels a bit dumb, but sparks something inside of me or the band - then trying to give it your all to make the idea into something cool - has become a recurring approach for Personal Trainer.
I think we applied this to both the song itself as the video. I'd been trying to come up with an idea for the video in the van with the band or on the phone with my fellow Trainers. On our way back from a show we decided we should write a choreography and perform it, preferably in a nondescript space. The first ideas for the choreography were written in a bar in Amsterdam on that very night by a couple of Trainers, but the bulk of the thing was written and rehearsed in my bedroom.
It was a sight to behold watching six twenty-somethings busting rugs in a relatively small space. I was and am still very proud of everyone's perseverance and heart, and I think the video turned out great. I think most Trainers - including myself - are a bit ashamed of the video too!"
The band have just begun their UK tour. Go and see them and you can try out a few of those moves...
4 Manchester - Yes Basement
5 Leeds - Hyde Park Book Club
6 Newcastle - Head Of Steam
7 Edinburgh - Sneaky Pete’s
8 Glasgow - Broadcast
10 Nottingham - Rough Trade
11 Bedford - Esquires
14 Brighton - Hope & Ruin
15 Bristol - Crofters Rights
17 London - Moth Club
Photo: Kilian Kayser