Our first featured gig of the week for 2019 is alternative rockers I Digress’ show tonight at The Bunkhouse to celebrate the release of their debut EP ‘Haunting Me’. Tonight is a must for rock fans in Swansea - I Digress have been tearing up the scene with their high energy sets and great sound for the last year. Joining them are Port Talbot rockers I Am Gravity and Llanelli band Beyond The Break.
Don’t miss this! Tickets are £3.00 in advance and more on the door!
Happy New Year! After what we can safely say was an incredibly exciting 2018 for the Swansea music scene, we’re beyond excited for what this year will bring! After weeks of discussions, lots of conversations and opinions of those around the city, we’ve done our best to compile a list of 10 acts that we’re really excited about for 2019. The list genuinely could have been twice as long, which shows the strength of the acts coming out of Swansea right now - but here are our 10 shortlisted acts to get excited about this year…
It’s hard to ignore how far AidenKeryn has come in the last year. Still in sixth form, Aiden’s been putting an almighty shift in - gigging extensively and writing/releasing tunes that show how much of a talent she really is for someone so young!
With new music undoubtably on the horizon and a slot already secured at this year’s FOCUS Wales showcase festival in Wrexham (who, as a festival, might we add, don’t mess around with selecting the best in up & coming talent) 2019 is set to be huge for Aiden!
All Dead, All Dead
What a year All Dead, All Dead had last year - they’ve achieved a ridiculous amount in such a short space of time! With shows in Kiev, Amsterdam and closer to home (including headlining The Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe Festivals) and with 3 incredible releases already under their belt, we are super excited about these guys and what’s to come!
Country/Pop queen of Swansea Eleri Angharad is a credit to our music scene. Forever supporting other artists & gigs but also working ridiculously hard to record and release her own stuff! With an album coming out in 2019 & a special tour in the works, this year is going to be huge for Eleri!
News From Nowhere
Psychedelic indie / art rockers News From Nowhere are set to have a very exciting 2019. Every show they play and every tune they release always stop us in our tracks - high musicianship, well thought out compositions and just a really great band. Fingers crossed we’ll have some new music from them in 2019 - they’re album “...and the human had half” is one of our favourite albums to come out of Swansea - definitely check it out.
Only Fools and Corpses
In late November we were sent a link to “Support Your Local Scene” by Only Fools and Corpses - grabbed immediately by the title of the track and the name of the band we eagerly went to watch the video. What we were greeted with was a cacophony of noisy, angry punk matched with a superb video and we absolutely loved it. More of this in 2019 please boys!
It’s very hard to ignore the stamp that Pastel have left on the music scene in 2018. With their shoegazy rock n roll that channels all your favourite Britpop bands, Pastel are set to have a monumental 2019 starting off with a headline show in the Bunkhouse late January.
There’s lots to be excited about for Lost Tuesday Society front woman Sarah Birch and her solo stuff! With an album on the way and plenty of live shows we’re certain this year is going to be huge for Sarah! If her single “The Rain Dance” is anything to go off - we’re all in for a very special treat!
Gorgeous psychedelic soundscapes & a superb live show. This is the impression that we have from Soundwire after we booked them for the Swansea Fringe Festival last year. What a band!! With their self titled album due out on February 4th, 2019 is undoubtably going to be huge for these guys - and we can’t wait!
We caught String Theory three times in 2018, and each time we did we were totally blown away - not only by their superb sound but by the consistent reaction of their fans - who all go mental for every show! With two great singles “I’m here” and “17” under their belt, we’re excited for more from these young alternative / indie rockers!
One of Swansea’s favourite young indie party bands Vanilla have had a storming 2018 - and we cannot wait to hear more from them in 2019. A huge number of shows (each one we’ve been to has been mental, sweaty and showcases some of the finest crowd surfing we’ve seen!) and a superb debut single have made Vanilla a force to be reckoned with. More of the same this year we hope!
Written by Simon Parton
On the first of January this year we announced 10 acts that we thought would have a big 2018 - so before we announce our next acts for 2019, we thought it’d be nice to look back and dig deeper into what our 10 got up to this year!
2018 proved to be a very very busy and exciting year for Bandicoot. They’ve released three tunes - ‘Stuck in Space’, ‘Being Erased’ & ‘House of Fame’, and gigged extensively including support slots for Spring King at Sin City, Al Moses in Clwb (Cardiff) and Estrons in The Parrot (Carmarthen).
As part of Radio One’s Biggest Weekend, the boys played a special showcase show for Horizons, went on to headline the Swansea Fringe Festival at Sin City and played Swn Festival in Cardiff. If that wasn’t enough, the boys ended their year by selling out the Bunkhouse, for a very special hometown show. Do not sleep on this band - they’ve got a massive 2019 ahead!
The Goons have been very busy in the studio this year, preparing to unleash their long awaiting album to the world. As always, the boys have brought the party to multiple venues in the city including Creature Sound and Sin City (twice - once as part of the Swansea Fringe Festival) and also provided the BBC Academy with a special acoustic set as part of the Biggest Weekend!
We’re all waiting eagerly for that album (hopefully due out 2019) and we’re even more excited about the party that’ll accompany it’s release!
Swansea’s favourite rock n rollers spent a lot of time in the studio this year - and released their latest single “Liars” in November. With lots of packed hometown shows including at Cinema & Co and The Bunkhouse the boys also headlined a special Horizons x Swansea Music Hub showcase at Unit Nineteen for the Biggest Weekend back in May.
These guys are going from strength to strength both in their songwriting and in their live shows - we can’t wait for what 2019 will bring them!
Emilie released her debut EP “Not Your One” back in August and rumour has it she’s back in the studio creating her next batch of tunes! Emilie’s also played lots of shows, wowing audiences with her soulful poppy tunes and played a special full band show for the Radio One Academy during the Biggest Weekend in May.
If her next release is anything like her EP, we’re in for something very special from Emilie!
2018 has been a massive year for CrazeTheJack - lots of gigs and festivals, including The Biggest Weekend Fringe, FOCUS Wales and the Swansea Fringe Festival matched with the release of his long awaited album “Kaleidoscope”. He also provided an insane verse for Rachel K Collier’s cover of Badfingers’ ‘Come & Get It” - created for Horizons in celebration of the Biggest Weekend.
Big things are coming for Craze next year!!
Cities have been very busy in the studio this year, putting the finishing touches to their next release (that we’re so so excited about) as well as a storming end of year show in Cinema & Co alongside. They played at the Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe and provided us with one of our favourite moments of the festival.
2019 is set to be huge for the band - we can’t wait to hear what they’ve been doing!
Geraint’s had a very impressive 2018 with a host of super cool achievements. He created a short documentary on the role of music during the Catalan independence struggle and won awards for it! He played for us at the Swansea Fringe Festival for Folk at the Fringe in Unit Nineteen and his latest single Dilyn was released in November!
With new collaborations and creative journeys set for 2019, we’re very excited for what the future holds for Geraint!
A very busy year for the boys in The Riff - with a whole host of gigs! Most notably, the boys sold out the Bunkhouse this month and blew the roof off! They headlined the Swansea Fringe Festival at Sin City, played a headline show at Sin earlier in the year and also played a special set for the Radio One Academy as part of the Biggest Weekend!
Favourites of the Swansea Music Hub, we can’t wait to see what they’ve got planned for 2019!
Picsel are another band who have been busy in the studio this year (their album is due out next year and we cannot wait!!). This year they released their single Alcohol and Drugs, played a bunch of exciting (and sweaty) shows including South West Fest in Cinema & Co and headlining The Bunkhouse for the Swansea Fringe Festival.
Next year is set to be their biggest yet - do not miss out & make sure you listen to their music and catch them playing live!
Little Folk have had a ridiculously busy year. They’ve played so many gigs and festivals including the Biggest Weekend Fringe Festival, Hub Festival, the Swansea Fringe Festival, the Wales’ Airshow, Americana Fest, Live on the Wye, Countryfile Live and The Longroad Festival for BBC Introducing!
Their single Heading South was released earlier this year and is an absolute banger (we seriously recommend you check it out!). If 2018 is anything to go off, this band has got a very exciting year ahead of them!
Words by Simon Parton
TRAMPOLENE (SOLD OUT) // THE BUNKHOUSE, SWANSEA // 7.12.18
The long awaited return of Swansea’s own Trampolene finally hit The Bunkhouse on the 7th of December, and the boys did not disappoint, giving us all a night to remember. As the floor quickly filled, seconds before the band were due to hit the stage, voices simmered as a violinist played the Welsh national anthem, a perfect way to start this massive homecoming show. Soon after, through the swarming crowd, singer and guitarist Jack Jones struts on past with a grin on his face, his own recital of teenage experiences in ‘Artwork of Youth’ blearing through the speakers. Wearing the iconic monster-like fur coat that loyal Trampolene fans would recognise, he joins his fellow partners in crime, bassist and vocalist Wayne Thomas, and drummer Rob Steele onstage.
The boys begin thrashing through their chaos-bringing anthems, amongst which is ‘It’s Not Rock & Roll’, the relentless opener of their second album ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’. The front are sent into a thrashing of their own, bouncing away to the sound of the energetic riffs and driving drums. Greeting his adoring fans, Jones embraces the arms that are flinging towards him, standing proudly sporting the shirt of his native Swansea City’s football team.
To the right, Thomas is belting the lyrics to the catchy choruses passionately into the mic. Behind the swinging guitars and flying sweat, sits Steele, calmly but loudly bashing in harmony with the storm of noise, the Welsh flag draped over the bass drum.
The ever so humble Jones pours his heart out as his almost tearful expression shows it, grateful for the lively response of his hometown, shaking the hands of everyone in his sight. But there’s no time for being sentimental. Jones quickly returns to the mic and screams ‘Tom Hardy’ into the sea people packed into the small venue, once again sending bodies crashing into a frenzy. When he brought out the acoustic guitar, the crowd knew that the band’s latest release, ‘The One Who Loves You’ was coming up, everyone singing along with Thomas’ backing vocals in the choruses - but nobody was expecting the very festive rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’.
As the band draw near to the end of the set, they also cover the fitting ‘Friday I’m In Love’ by The Cure, which had the whole place singing. As a cloud of smoke fills the stage, lights strobing through the mist, it is clearly time for their last tune, ‘Storm Heaven’. The chaos of the song sends Jones crowdsurfing, and he perfects the solo when he lands back onstage, bending the strings with his teeth. He pumps his hand into the air as the show comes to an end, screaming triumphantly. The evening finishes with the popular spoken track ‘Pound Land’ (because it would be rude not to) and the crowd recite back every single word. Trampolene disappear backstage, having proved again to be one of Wales’ finest up and coming bands.
String Theory are taking over Sin City this Wednesday to celebrate the release of their storming new single “I’m Here” (LISTEN HERE) and their bringing their mates, curating a top notch evening of live music. The last time I caught String Theory, it was with a very similar line up in Sin City when Vanilla headlined - and it went OFF!
There was crowd surfing, sweat, bouncing crowds, sweat, a display of raucous noise & energy and more sweat. It was certainly a night to remember, and we’re sure that this one will be no different.
Vanilla will bring the indie vibes, Valley boys & recently announced as part of Forté 2019 Sssnakes will bring their high energy alternative sound & completing the lineup bringing their exciting indie sounds is The Furns.
It’s only £3. What else would you be doing on a Wednesday night that beats doing this!? Go party with the best in upcoming music in Swansea & South Wales.
What a treat for you #SwanseaMusic fans this week! With lots going on, there’s a lot to choose from, but one stand out for us is this display of talent at Cinema & Co on FRIDAY night. If you’re into your Post Rock, you MUST NOT MISS THIS! It’ll likely be your gig of the year!!
Describing themselves as “POST MARSH ROCK FROM NORTH GOWER SCOUNDRELS” Estuary Blacks have just released their stunning self titled debut on CD and vinyl (which will no doubt be available this weekend) Listen below:
And with new music on the horizon, Cities will be showcasing tracks from their new release, as well as picks from their debut EP Manning Alaska - if you saw their set at the Swansea Fringe Festival this year, you know it’s one not to miss!
With a hometown show to cap off 2018 in The Bunkhouse on the 15th December, we thought we’d catch up with the Swansea borne-and-bred melodic hardcore outfit to pick their brains on this year’s overwhelming successes and grab the chance for a chin-wag. Rhys Wilcox talked to us during a brief lull in their busy schedule;
Swansea Music Hub: It’s been year of highs for the band, from touring with The Amity Affliction and Babymetal, making appearances at leading festivals such as Download, 2000 Trees and The Great Escape and releasing a rather stunning cover of Linkin Park’s ‘Crawling’ for the “Songs That Saved My Life” charity compilation. If you had to pick one experience as a band from the last 12 months as a ‘standout’, what would it be?
Rhys Wilcox: Thank you! 2018 has been a year of amazing experiences which we'll treasure for the rest of our lives, especially the shows and festivals. Our EP has had a truly humbling reaction and we are so thankful to everyone who's been there with us along this journey. The standout moment, without a shadow of a doubt, has to be winning the Kerrang! award for Best British Breakthrough; it's the kind of thing that's so unreal you don't even bother to put on your bucket list!
SMH What has been the hardest part of keeping up such a relentless tour calendar?
RW: Touring is equal parts life-affirming and brutal. Huge amounts of time and hard work go into making each and every performance the best it can possibly be and I think it's often taken for granted how much bands invest to make things work. The hardest part we face at the moment is staying financially afloat when everything's expensive and flexible jobs are a rarity. There's a perception that we're a "made" band, but while our prospects look promising for the future, it couldn't be further from the truth.
SMH: If you could organise and perform on your dream lineup, what would the rest of the billing look like?
RW: Depends on the show! I'm going to go for a UK focused line-up and say: BMTH, Architects, While She Sleeps, Marmozets, Boston Manor, Loathe, Rolo Tomassi, Holding Absence, Crooks, Svalbard, The Decoy.
Throw us in anywhere!
SMH: Tell us a little about your writing style. Is it a collaborative process when it comes to your songwriting? What do you generally start with when putting tracks together?
RW: Our writing process varies a lot, but the general procedure is the same. We tend to figure out the basic structures of the song first and then add finer details to individual parts along with extra layering. Once we've got something fairly complete, it's just a case of refining it as much as possible before we hit the studio!
SMH: How has your music evolved since starting Dream State? Have your personal music tastes changed and have those changes affected your band’s style?
RW: I can't speak for the "Consequences" era because I joined further down the line, but "Recovery" was definitely moving towards a more contemporary sound. There was a lot of experimentation that went into crafting the EP and it felt like we really found our identity in those songs. It's important to keep things as fresh as possible and challenge your music taste; you can't really explore new sounds if you don't open your mind to what's out there!
SMH: Do you have a favourite track to play live and, if so, why that specific one?
RW: My favourite song can vary depending on how the audience is reacting to the show. One of the things we found from touring Europe is that each city seemed to have its own unique taste and energy, so no two sets felt the same. If I had to pick one from a performance perspective, I'd say "Solace". It's got a bit of everything in it!
SMH: Where was the first show you, as a band, performed? Do you have a standout memory of that show?
RW: Again, before my time, but it would have been at The Golden Lion pub in Carmarthen. Anyone who knows that place will have an idea of how it went down! I actually played my first gig there too which was an open mic night. It's funny how we've crossed a lot of the same paths as young Welsh musicians and I think it really shows how important it is to keep local venues alive. Support your local scene!
SMH: What are the top five songs on your band mixtape whilst touring?
The Plot In You - ‘Feel Nothing’
Architects - ‘Doomsday’
Loathe - ‘White Hot’
The Amity Affliction - ‘Feels Like I'm Dying’
Don Broco - ‘Technology’
We have a Spotify playlist that we update now and again if you want to hear more!
SMH: Is there another Welsh artist (or artists) that excite you right now?
RW: For me, I'm currently loving Only Fools and Corpses, The Decoy, They Live We Sleep, Breathe In The Silence, VAILS, Frown Upon, Ssssnakes, Holding Absence, People and Other Diseases, Hot Mass and many more.
I've probably missed some, but there are tonnes of hidden gems in the Welsh music scene right now!
SMH: If you had to dish out one ‘pearl of wisdom’ for emerging artists, what would it be?
RW: Always try to be self aware and take a step back now and again to look at how you're progressing as a band. It's so essential to be honest to yourself and seek out things that you can improve. Record your performance regularly (even if it's just a phone video in the practice room). That said, this applies to all aspects of band life, be it image, art direction, self promotion, even self enjoyment - make sure you love what you do!
Dream State’s sold-out Swansea show at The Bunkhouse caps off their 2018 calendar, but make sure you catch the band on their European tour in January, or their UK tour in March-April of 2019 at a venue near you!
For more information, pop on over here!
Interview by Joe Bayliss
Aside from being an all round nice guy and absolute legend, Paul Hazel is a composer, musician, record producer and film maker from Swansea. It was a pleasure to have Paul headline a special show for us at this year’s Swansea Fringe Festival at Cinema & Co where he launched his newest release, ‘Test Pattern Redux’, and further proved why Paul is a force to be reckoned within the wider electronic music scene.
Paul moved to Wales from London in 2003 and lectured at Swansea College of Art for 14 years. During this time, he co-founded the Swansea Laptop Orchestra, who if you haven’t experienced before you definitely should.
The music that Paul creates is multi-disciplinary, thought provoking and really clever. This was translated during his set at the Swansea Fringe festival, which I was really lucky to catch (after a volunteer forced me to stop panicking and sit and enjoy Paul’s music).
It was an incredible experience - I went from being ridiculously stressed to be completely immersed in Paul’s set, forgetting, almost instantly everything else in the world. The sounds Paul produced were hypnotic, textured and consistently interesting - this, matched with the visuals behind him, made it (for me) the perfect live show.
It’s interesting to read Paul’s three basic principles that he has for his creations after experiencing it, it really makes sense and is working well. His basic principles are: 1) achieve the most possible with the least: “less is more”. 2) each piece of work is an attempt to question the assumptions on which it is built 3) striving for art that “performs the possibilities it promotes”.
Paul also runs his own record label, Bamboo Radical, where you can listen to his tunes - I highly recommend that you do. His most recent release (also available on 12” vinyl) Test Pattern Redux (2018) is an absolute techno classic and the EP Dreaming Detroit (2018) matches this quality and showcase the range of influences that Paul has on his music.
His website is also worth a read - you can find out about all of Paul’s work, including his really interesting trip to Japan. On this note, check out his most recent offering: “Kyoto Air Conditioner Dub”
An elusive and sadly short-lived musical projects returns this Saturday night as King of Despair take to the stage at Cinema & Co. for an evening of Alt-Folk and Alt-Rock that is bound to be unforgettable.
Playing tunes from their posthumously released album, 'Harpoon', King of Despair is made up of a heap of #SwanseaMusic luminaries - Paul Battenbough, Huw Rees, David Godwin and Darren Beale.
Sarah Birch is as much of a musical enigma, in her solo-guise, as you might find around these here parts.
From her ongoing tenure with Swansea legends Lost Tuesday Society, to guest featuring with other local artists on record (see Greenmailer's newest release 'Luluna' for an example) or live.
Here is a musician who has worked over the last few years to hone her effortless talent into a force to be reckoned with. Seeing her performing live "as herself" - and that's the only way at the moment you can glimpse her solo material - or in guest-spots with other artists, you can see this.
Hers is a natural, in-grown talent, with a real knack for composing melodies that are hypnotic, pure and dignified and that show a mastery of her own voice that floats effortlessly between a pop-sensibility and a sublime, ferocious jazz-blues styling in her delicate sensitivity for what the situation requires.
Sarah's work with alt-folk outfit, Lost Tuesday Society, has always created material out of left field - in the best sense of the term - and her solo material, which we've heard a number of times live, builds on this, with eclectic instrumentation and graceful arrangements ranging from the gentlest of intimate moments, to the audience weathering a beautiful maelstrom of musical mayhem in the form of trumpets, additional guitars, percussion and anything else she can fill the stage up (and keep the sound engineer on their toes) with.
There's even rumblings of string quartets on the horizon and by rumblings, I mean rumours that are entirely substantiated and verified by her Facebook posts...
If history says anything about Sarah Birch, then her upcoming debut album is sure to be a majestic tour-de-force from this home-spun songstress. Keep an eye out for shows near you in the near future, and make sure you keep up-to-date with her social media platforms for updates.
I know I will be.
Written by Joe Bayliss
There’s a great lineup of young local talent this Saturday as White Riot & friends take over! Celebrating the release of their second single ‘Ghost Town’, White Riot’s live sets are already renowned to be one not to miss - and if their first single ‘Sid’ is anything to go off, their second will no doubt be another absolute banger!
A right royal knees up is what you’ll get at our gig of the week this week. Celtic / Bluegrass / Alt Country / Indie band The Orange Circus will be taking over The Garage for their single launch of latest track “I Miss You” - a band with roots in Wales, Cornwall, England and Virginia They have a hand in traditional roots music, but they produce wholly unique, contemporary sound. We had them play at our show in Cinema & Co alongside Professor Elemental & they were really great.
Also joining them are Swansea favourites The Lost Tuesday Society, with a special acoustic set.
Creature Sound host our spotlighted gig of the week this week as some of South Wales’ finest young rock bands take over on Friday evening.
Headliners WINDSHAKE bring their superb psychedelic rock and roll sound in what is always a standout live set. We’ve really been enjoying what they’ve releasing and caught these guys a couple of times - really worth checking out if you haven’t already!
After recently sharing a stage with WINDSHAKE at the YMCA for this year’s Swansea Fringe Festival it’s great to welcome Rhodda’s The Pitchforks back to Swansea! One of the Horizons 12, The Pitchforks are one of the most exciting young Welsh bands on the scene at the moment!
Newport alt rockers Finding Aurora also join the lineup: their 90s and 80s Alt Rock influenced sound makes them a really exciting young band to watch. And completing the line up are Swansea three piece punk band White Riot - another one we’ve been really impressed with in the short time they’ve been together!
It’s just £4.00 on the door - what better way to spend your Friday evening than to support young, emerging talent from South Wales!
Since we started the Swansea Music Hub, it’s been really great for us to watch the progress of young bands over the last year. One that we’ve had a keen eye on from the start is Vanilla and it’s been really encouraging to see them go from strength to strength over the last year or so.
The band released their official debut single ‘See’ last week - one that will be familiar to those of you that have seen the band live, it is an absolute indie banger. Championed already by Adam Walton on the BBC Wales Introducing show it proves that the future is certainly bright for the young band.
They’re a great band to see live - we went to their headline show at Sin City earlier this year and it went off! Really fun, energetic and their crowd surfing abilities were top notch.
They’re also really sound lads & are forever supporting the music scene here in Swansea - you’ll notice guitarist Keiran’s sweet Swansea Fringe Festival volunteer t shirt in the single artwork. They’re always at others’ gigs, always really positive about the scene and just all round top guys.
Written by Simon Parton
We look to Cinema & Co for our gig of the week this week, as two of Swansea’s finest punk bands play a special show to raise funds for the Langland Loco!
The Langland Loco will be a surf contest held during the waiting period of the 12th November to the 3rd of December on a Saturday with the best conditions. The contest will be a fun, alternative, leave the ego at home vibe with a completely different aspect to any normal contest.
We LOVE this idea - surfing, the culture and it’s scene is such an important part of Swansea’s identity and we’re totally behind this idea!
So by going to Cinema & Co this Saturday, not only will you be helping to raise funds for a totally ace local, grass-roots surfing competition but you’ll also get the chance to:
See two short films by Globe
Check out and purchase work created by local artists
Get some delicious food from Hoogah
Get some specially made delicious beer from Beer Riff
Check out two rare performances by two of Swansea’s finest punk bands:
“Ssssnakes are a band that sing songs about girls, skateboards, friends and sticking it to the man.”
They’re well good fun. Trust us. We’ve seen them before.
Chineapple Punks are a Welsh punk rock outfit formed in Swansea circa 2002. Party music with punchy hooks and sing-along choruses. These boys never disappoint, leaving the dance floor jumping and your adrenaline pumping!
Tickets are £10.00 on the door and £10 tickets all proceeds go towards the contest and the set up of the Langland Loco.
Supported by: RVCA, GLOBE, LBR & CLOSEOUT STORE
Happy Halloween! Someone who’s certainly not spooky in the slightest and someone who we’re big fans of here at the Swansea Music Hub is Eleri Angharad. We’ve highlighted musicians in the past who go above and beyond for the music scene in Swansea and Eleri is no exception.
It’s highly likely that you’ve seen Eleri play live - she’s definitely one of the most dedicated Swansea musicians when it comes to gigging and often can be seen at others’ gigs, offering further support to the scene! Inspired by a North American road trip she took as a teenager, Eleri perfectly blends US country influenced tunes, with Welsh folk and catchy pop melodies.
Last Friday, Eleri released her newest single ‘This Ship’ - which to be fair I’ve listened to three times in a row because it’s so good. There are so many lush layers to it, the lyrics are really well thought out and clearly shows her influence of US Country Music (drawing on the likes of James Taylor, Kacey Musgraves & early Taylor Swift).
Her early releases are also really great, catchy country/pop tunes. One that stood out for me (and I remember loving at the time of it’s release) is ‘Stuck on You’. I particularly love the lap steel & the organ - pure country vibes.
There’s a fantastic opportunity available through Horizons open at the moment as the Launchpad Fund is open and taking applications until the 16th November.
Horizons, for those of you unaware, is a scheme delivered by BBC Cymru Wales in partnership with Arts Council Wales to develop new, independent contemporary music in Wales.
The Launchpad Fund is a resource which helps talented artists or bands in Wales to further their music careers by providing them with vital access to finance. They’re awarding grants of up to £2,000 to fund projects for musicians / bands that are starting out on their musical journey, at a crucial point in their development.
Examples of artists / bands that have been awarded grants in the past include:
Adwaith: for equipment & album PR campaign
Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard: for a digital PR campaign
Dan Bettridge: for a PR campaign for debut album & showcase appearances
Afro Cluster: for finishing album with studio time at Giant Wafer Studios.
Himalayas: for touring costs and equipment
Broken Fires: for recording, manufacturing, and promotion of music
Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate and apply for things that they think will take their music careers ‘to the next level’.
If you have a project in mind and think that the Launchpad fund is for you and/or your band we definitely recommend applying. Even if you’re not successful, it’s a great opportunity to think about projects and how to finance them.
To apply, you’ll need to fill in an application form, and answer all of the questions - then submit (via email) back to Horizons. The deadline for applications is midnight on the 16th November. Don’t miss out!
Here are some useful links for those thinking about applying:
Good luck! We hope that lots of you will apply & look forward to seeing what the successful applicants will be doing with their money!
We’re delighted that Horizons & Y Selar have rescheduled their Libraries Week gig featuring two of Wales’ most exciting artists after it was “stormed off” last month.
I See Rivers are Lill, Eline & Gøril - three girls originally hailing from the Northern, Southern and Western parts of Norway. Now based in Tenby, I See Rivers’ music is beautiful. Dubbed ‘Float Folk’ their memorable melodies and untraditional vocal harmonies their soundscape can be associated with artists such as Fleet Foxes, Sufjan Stevens and Feist.
Joining them is one of South Wales’ most exciting young musicians: Eädyth. With a stunning sound evoking influences from electronic music, RnB and soul.
Libraries Week (8-13 October) is the annual showcase of all the creative, innovative and diverse activities that libraries have to offer and this year, with a focus on wellbeing, they will showcase how they bring communities together, combat loneliness, provide a space for reading and creativity and support people with their mental health.
Don’t sleep on this one. It’ll be one to remember. Grab your free tickets from eventbrite now.
Furious, monolithic riffs and intense, unrelenting rhythm underpins each track dropped by Swansea-band Helldown.
Formed in 2013 by brothers Ben and Matt Evans (Bass/Vocals and Guitarist, respectively), the lineup was completed with drummer Ross Thomas and lead guitarist Chris Driscoll soon after.
Their debut release, a self-titled, 2015, EP displayed an already refined approach to songcraft, building on elements of classic metal and thrash and infusing their creations with a personal twist that at times challenges, and at other times perfectly play into, Thrash tradition. Have a listen to 'Thrive In Violence', a brutal track that, on first listen, reminded me of Thrash icons Slayer - I had that same reaction the first time I heard Slayer's 2015 Repentless - with its uncompromising, truculent rhythms driving the track to its ferocious climax.
2017's 'The Watchers' displays the craft of a band who have worked tirelessly to refine their sound through experience and practice. The traits from their earlier debut are still there, but now more developed and sculpted, the production value has been upped and they're now a real force to be reckoned with.
With gigs all over the UK, catch them when they're nearby. Make sure you take your most trusty earplugs though...
Written by Joe Bayliss