Ellie Goulding- Burn

Ah, remember back in the day when Ellie Goulding appeared on the scene as a ‘folktronica’ act, guitar in hand, and her pretty songs showcasing her quirky voice. A few years later she has developed into a fully fledged pop star. She’s got the hits, the looks and the voice to make her a megastar who is still credible. She’s come a long way over the years, and still managed to keep me engaged and excited about her music and her live shows. 

‘Burn’ is her new single and it’s the biggest pop-hit yet. Also pretty suitable for this weather we’re experiencing. It will be released on August 18th.

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Pale Seas- Evil Is Always One Step Behind

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from London 4-piece Pale Seas. I expect that’s because they’ve been busy recording their debut album, set to be released later this year. This 7 minute track is the first we’ve heard from the debut record. Despite its length, it’s engaging and shows a real step up in songwriting from the band.

They play Hoxton Hall later this month but unfortunately it’s already sold out.

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Festival Preview: Glastonbury 2013

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Glastonbury Festival is my favourite place on earth. To me, nothing even compares to the feeling I get when I arrive at this festival. I feel like I am home. After the festival took a break in 2012, I am even more excited than usual to get back to Worthy Farm. Glastonbury 2013 will be my 5th Glastonbury, and with the Rolling Stones headlining the Pyramid Stage and the weather looking up, I have a feeling it could be one of the best.

Writing a preview for Glastonbury is near impossible. I don’t want to tell you what to do, or who to see, because essentially, Glastonbury is about self-discovery. Each of the 175,000 ticket holders will have a different experience, see different bands, and end up down a different rabbit hole (often quite literally). I think Glastonbury is best approached with no expectations, no plan, no list of bands to see. Come with an open mind and I guarantee you will never want to leave.

I beg you to use this preview as a mere guide to the festival. There is no rule book, no must sees, just explore.

The Park

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My favourite area of the festival, The Park is a festival within a festival. Host to one of the smaller main stages, this year The Park hosts the likes of Solange, HAIM, Devendra Banhart and Cat Power. The area is also host to a number of other stages, bars, a silent disco and numerous art installations.

If you walk up the hill behind The Park, you get one of the best views of the whole festival. And if you keep on walking, yep, keep on going, up and up, you will eventually reach a tiny little tent entitled The Crow’s Nest. This stage hosts a secret line-up, and often from bands playing larger stages around the festival. Head up early in the weekend to get a copy of the line-up, it’ll be worth the walk.

The Green Fields

The Green Fields describe themselves as ‘A joyous celebration of life’, and that couldn’t be more accurate. Celebrating everything from yoga and meditation (The Healing Field), arts and creativity (GreenCrafts Village), and creating a greener planet (Green Futures), the area is one of the most beautiful and peaceful areas of the festival. The Tipi Field is one of the best places to get delicious homemade vegetarian food and The Stone Circle is the best place on site to watch the sunrise with thousands of others.

The best way to experience the Green Fields is to wander round on Wednesday or Thursday with plenty of time to take it all in, it’s rather huge.

Shangri-La/Block9

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My favourite nighttime area is the infamous Shangri-La. A broken down city created within the festival, Shangri-La features many indoor tunnels which are home to some to tattoo parlours, underground rave bars, and some stuff which has to be experienced to be believed. It’s a bit of a mind-fuck but in the best possible way. The field often gets full so head over there straight after the headliners finished to have the best chance of getting in.

Block9 (pictured above), located next to Shangri-La is also worth a nighttime’s exploration.

The Pyramid Stage

For all you Glastonbury virgins, the Pyramid is the main stage. It’s literally shaped like a pyramid, and is the stage that The Rolling Stones, The Arctic Monkeys and Mumford & Sons will headline this year. At a festival like Glastonbury, many people will write off the pyramid in favour for the smaller stages like The Park or Williams Green. What is often forgotten about the Pyramid, is that the atmosphere is often incomparable to anywhere else on site. There is something so special about being surrounded by a hundred thousand people, all singing the words to the same song. It’s completely euphoric.

The Rolling Stones

The Rolling Stones have never headlined Glastonbury before, and they’ll probably never do it again. It’s gonna be special.

To see the full line-up click here. For all the information you could ever need about the festival, click here. Tickets have sold out. If you’re lucky enough to have one, i’ll see you at the farm.

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Laura Welsh- Cold Front (Russ Chimes Remix)

The silky smooth vocals or Laura Welsh combine with the energetic infectious dance beats of Russ Chimes. Amazing. Potential summer soundtrack.

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Record Club: Sophie Jamieson- Where

One of my favourite things about blogging, is watching young artists grow and develop. You see their sound change, their marketing become more professional, and their output more confident. You watch nervously as they begin to release material, play larger gigs, and you wait in hope that the rest of the world loves them as much as you do. I’ve been watching Sophie Jamieson for a while, and I can already see her blossoming as an artist. She’s at the very beginning of her career. As a constant gigger on the London live scene, she has quickly attracted attention and has propelled herself up and beyond the haze of other London based singer-songwriters.

At the beginning of the year she announced her signing to Folkroom Records, a small and intimate label based in London. It was one of their Anthologies where I first heard the voice of Sophie Jamieson, on her rather divine track ‘Dinah’. It’s fair to say it was love at first listen. Her shy voice floated across the silvery guitar and string arrangement. The track, still one of my favourites, blossomed from a simple folk song to something which pulled on heartstrings and shook every bone in my body. Since then I’ve been waiting patiently for the release of her debut EP,  and it’s fair to say that ‘Where’ has exceeded any expectations I had.

Beginning with ‘Waterloo’, a track which is also her first single, you can already hear the increase in confidence in her. The shimmering guitars and stomping drum perfectly contrast with her tender voice. It’s a voice which is difficult to compare to any other artist. Both deep and rich in places, and breathless and whispery in others. It has a timid quality but it’s shakiness is what makes it so rare, honest, and perfectly reflect the lyrics of her songs. On ‘The Weight Comes’, she warbles ‘You Couldn’t Carry my Weight // You’d Feel the Ache’. The track which is quite repetitive in melody, makes up for it in the intenseness of the lyrics, you listen and yearn onto every word.

‘I Don’t’, arguably the most experimental track on the EP, winds it’s way through string arrangements, drum pounds and sparse guitar parts. It’s her voice which shines through on this track, it’s strength contrasting with the sadness of the lyrics. The final track was instantly my favourite. ‘Ode to the East’ has a quality about it which I cannot describe. Maybe I love this track on more of a personal level, as the lyrics resonate deep inside of me, but I doubt anyone can not be blown away by the opening of strings, the delicacy of her voice and the mystery of the words. The atmosphere she has created through this song goes straight to the heart, it creates it’s own world, and perfectly rounds off this small offering from Sophie Jamieson.

It’s an offering which only leaves you wanting more, an offering to be cherished, and one which provides the perfect introduction to her music. I look forward to watching her grow, her sound develop and her becoming more and more accomplished as a songwriter. This is only the beginning for Sophie Jamieson, but what an incredible beginning it is. She’s set herself up for great things.

‘Where’ is released today via Folkroom Records. You can buy it from iTunes or Bandcamp where it is also available in physical format. On Wednesday Sophie will play The Slaughtered Lamb in London, you can buy tickets here.

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Alice Boman- Waiting

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New Treat #171: MONEY

Bella Union have got it right so many times. I’ve lost count of the amount of records they’ve released which I have played endlessly on repeat. Beach House, Hannah Cohen, Fleet Foxes, Jonathan Wilson, Veronica Falls, Father John Misty… need I go on? And they’ve done it again with their latest signing, MONEY. The four piece band from Manchester create music which perfectly mixes that dreamy Americana sound Bella Union do so well, with something typically British, gritty and real. Debut single ‘Bluebell Fields’ is written as well as a Coldplay song but the production sits closer to Tame Impala or Fleet Foxes. Tracks like SO LONG (GODISDEAD) and THE SEA are slightly more experimental, with quite a heavy WU LYF vibe running through both tracks.

MONEY will release their debut album ‘The Shadow of Heaven’ on August 26th. The band are currently on tour in the UK, and are playing a host of summer festivals around Europe, check out dates here.

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