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Looking At You: Sensational Cardiff band The Vanities are at their explosive best with ‘Dropping A Bomb’

Dropping A Bomb from The Vanities on Vimeo.

After remedying our sad souls with their last release anointed ‘London‘, The Vanities spark up our imagination with their groovy new single that has you listening as close as possible with ‘Dropping A Bomb‘.

The Vanities is a high-spirited Cardiff, Wales-based 90s-inspired grunge and 80s synth/electro-pop/rock band who have undoubtedly been on the lips of many UK music fans due to their exhilarating releases recently.

Taken off their brand new 11-track album ‘2001‘ that is their first full release since emerging from their hiatus, you feel that The Vanities are somehow only getting better and better. There is a real hunger in their eyes as this rest from the spotlight has only fueled them up to reach dizzy heights, as they leave us completely impressed by the supreme quality of their wondrous creation here.

Dropping A Bomb‘ from the terrific Welsh electro-rock/pop duo The Vanities is one of the more luminous videos you will encounter in 2021. This a track to sing loud and proud with as you immerse yourself into such a riveting experience filled with bright lights and a soundtrack that deserves lots of love. They make the type of music that has your heart in a spin, as you urge that lover to stick with you no matter what.

Turn this up on Vimeo and follow their tracks on FB.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Take Me Back: Cardiff’s The Vanities cure our souls sadness with ‘London’

Taken off their hungrily-awaited 11-track magnum opus that has had our previously-cold mindsets feeling dragon-like recently on ‘2001‘, the extraordinarily appealing The Vanities help us heal from all preceding sadness with one of most entertaining tracks so far this year on ‘London‘.

The Vanities is a Cardiff, Wales-based 90s grunge and 80s synth/electro-pop/rock-inspired duo who have a real purpose ingrained into their veins that you can hear rumbling assuredly in their creatively-stimulated sound.

Combining a love of 90s grunge & 80s synth-pop, the band were a staple of the burgeoning South Wales music scene at the turn of the millennium, with highlights including a release on cult Cardiff-based label Boobytrap Records, selection for the late Tony Wilson’s influential In The City conference in Manchester, not to forget a bizarre collaboration with 80s icon Tony Hadley.” ~ The Vanities

After sparking our daydreams alive with the sunglasses-packed track that marked their rising above the ashes from hiatus on ‘HOLLYWOOD HILLS (INTERMISSION)‘, they further cement their name as one of the bands to listen to in 2021 with another glorious Gareth Bale-like 89th minute winner against England-type performance here. You can certainly see why BBC Radio Wales have wisely placed the band on their highly-prestigious Welsh A-List recently.

London‘ from fantastic Welsh indie synth-pop/rock act The Vanities plus a few extra friends who joined them on this one, is an imaginative and euphoric experience that is packed with pulsating piano, sexy sax, catchy whistling, travel thoughts, and lots of love for a city that has so much to see. The vocals here gush through your heart like a healing waterfall on a tired body, and this is just truly spectacular. The lovable Welsh duo has produced such pure joy yet again and for that, we truly thank them.

Hear this silky gem on their Bandcamp or Spotify and find out more about the likeable lads on FB.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Columbia harnesses the dystopic 2021 ennui in their latest indie-rock hit, Glory People.

https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/hi39HJ1YjrvsKica7

Cardiff’s most visceral powerhouse, Columbia, created the ultimate embrace-the-chaos indie rock track with their latest single, Glory People. As sonically powerful as the high-octane psych-tinged rock hit is, that scarcely comes close to the stadium-filling energy that transpires through Columbia’s advocation of making the best of what we have.

So often, people get stuck in lament because their imagination can create better lives than the one reality puts before them; Columbia broke that negative feedback loop by serving the anthemic reminder that adversity isn’t the end of the world; it is a given. Just as the Stone Roses were a sign of the times, as are Columbia with their indie rock sound that aspires to unify through dystopic 2021 ennui.

Glory People was officially released on December 3rd, 2021. You can check it out for yourselves via SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Wanna Be A Star: Reunited Welsh electro-rock band The Vanities know they should be in the ‘HOLLYWOOD HILLS (INTERMISSION)’

2001 by The Vanities

As they subtly surface from the cold and damp darkness when everyone thought that it was all over forever, The Vanities remind us of their intriguing brilliance and further back up the notion that Wales have the most compelling acts in Europe currently with ‘HOLLYWOOD HILLS (INTERMISSION)‘.

The Vanities is a stimulatingly exciting electro-rock duo from fiery Cardiff in Wales that first formed back in 2001 when the world was a hugely different place.

After tragically breaking up in 2006 just when they were starting to gain a massive cult following – and calling it an indefinite hiatus – the urge to be reunited was too strong and they thrillingly started working together again in 2016, to make that album that never happened.

Combining a love of 90s grunge & 80s synth-pop, the band were a staple of the burgeoning South Wales music scene at the turn of the millennium, with highlights including a release on cult Cardiff-based label Boobytrap Records, selection for the late Tony Wilson’s influential In The City conference in Manchester, not to forget a bizarre collaboration with 80s icon Tony Hadley.” ~ The Vanities

HOLLYWOOD HILLS (INTERMISSION)‘ from the highly experienced Cardiff, Wales-based band The Vanities, is a reminder that dreams can really come true if you push hard enough and have the all-important self-belief. This is the type of track that has your awareness from start to finish, with impressive vocals and an ’80s influenced sound for the ages.

Making it is possible, and if you want it enough, you have to go and get it.

Hear this fine new single on Bandcamp and check out the FB music page for more.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

It Looked Pretty Weird: Steve Andrews doesn’t mind being called the bugman on the excellent ‘Butterfly In My Beard’

Songs Of The Now And Then by Steve Andrews

Taken from his recent 10-track Northstone Studios in Bridgend recorded album ‘Songs Of The Now And Then‘, Steve Andrews shows us his inner kindness and tremendous skill-set that he has been born with on ‘Butterfly In My Beard‘.

Steve Andrews is a free-thinking green beard loving Cardiff, Wales-born, Lisbon, Portugal-based indie blues singer-songwriter, naturalist and acclaimed author.

Andrews is an ecoacoustic and eclectic singer and songwriter who has played at Glastonbury Festival on several occasions and was there as an MC for the Avalon stage in 2002 and 2003. He also appeared twice at the Green Man Festival and has two tracks on the CD album on Double Snazzy.” ~ Steve Andrews

This is one of the most entertaining releases from an artist who it feels like you need to see at least once in your life, as you enjoy his highly likable stories which takes our mind into a better place from this toxic world. The energy is alive with that real fire – that has you moving closer to keep out those cold winds – which can strike you down at a moments notice.

Butterfly In My Beard‘ from the Lisbon, Portugal-based indie blues singer-songwriter Steve Andrews, is a terrifically sung track from a true underground legend of the music world. He performs with a real purpose and you feel so compelled to turn up this track, as being truly free is the whole point of life after all. Just the innocent butterfly, we need someone loyal to look after us, while we find our strength to fly wherever we need to go.

Hear this lovely new song on Steve’s Bandcamp and see his socials via IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Strike A Light: Cardiff Rock band Pigeon Wigs drop brilliant debut track ‘Near the Knuckle’

After many pesky hold ups and wondering if this moment was ever going to happen, Pigeon Wigs show us that the wait was definitely worth it and bring the world a real knockout of a track with ‘Near the Knuckle‘.

Pigeon Wigs is a tremendously passionate and electrically-charged sounding six-piece indie Rock band who are from Cardiff, Wales.

With a song that sounds like it should be in the next Guy Richie movie – they make a rampaging blend of sonic airwaves that has your thirsty palate guzzling some real juicy gems – as you will be playing this rather loud to wake up those annoying neighbors.

Formed from the writing partnership of Harry Franklin-Williams & Louis Jugessur, their music ranges from the bombastic and unrelenting to the sombre and fragile, indulging whatever genre best suits their aims while maintaining a through line that one can only describe as Pigeon Wigs.” ~ Pigeon Wigs

Near the Knuckle‘ from the easy-to-like long-haired Welsh six-piece indie Rock band Pigeon Wigs, is an outrageous effort that is filled with excellent guitar choruses to make you blush, lyrics that you will relate to, with eloquently expressed vocals that shall get you off your sticky seat. This is all about the aftermath of a breakup, as things spiral like a Tom Brady touchdown, and has you down in the dumps wishing you had just apologized.

Something is certainly brewing in the tea of Cardiff at the moment as the music there seems to be getting all the buzz. Long may it continue.

Hear this epic debut on Spotify and follow their moves on IG. For more fun, be sure to see their very cleverly made music video on YouTube.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Indie rock pioneer COLUMBIA breaks new psychedelic ground with ‘Keys to the Kingdom’.

Cardiff’s most promising act since Catatonia, COLUMBIA, put a psychedelic spin on vintage rock tones in their latest indie rock n roll release, Keys to the Kingdom.

As the kaleidoscopic guitars glide through the chords, the snarling basslines work with the anthemic drums to send the energy of the release into overdrive. Any fans of Frankie Teardrop Dead, The Kundalini Genie and Corvus & the Morning Star will want to save space on their radar for the rhythmically blessed raucous powerhouse. They may not have sold out stadiums yet, but their sound is already built for them. We’re stoked to see where their sound takes them next.

The lyric video to Keys to the Kingdom is now available to stream on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Before The Lights Go On: Cardiff’s Columbia drop lyric video for lively new single ‘Meet Me at Dawn’

Bringing us their top shelf sound with a zestful story about those temptations in the early hours after a night out, Columbia are dynamic on their new single called ‘Meet Me at Dawn‘.

Cardiff, Wales-based Columbia bring us that terrific rock n roll sound, as they light up the skies with that stunning and effortless delivery that reminds you of good times, as they mesh a captivating experience for the soul to deliciously immerse into with a huge smile on your eager face.

As we enter the story of a world where the night has finished but you want to be with them when you go home, even if you are both not really into it. You sense that they are in another place and this crushes your soul, as something keeps you going back even if you know you probably shouldn’t peruse this.

They thunderously stroll in with loads of confidence on a vigorous single packed full of powerful solos and passionate vocals that is a breathtaking listen, full of world class appeal.

Meet Me at Dawn‘ from excellent Cardiff indie rock band Columbia, is a bluesy riff-lovers dream – as this is a song that shows you that the heart wants what it shouldn’t want sometimes – as you just don’t want to be alone in this unsocial world full of self-doubt and anxiousness.

See the tremendous lyric video on YouTube and see their IG for future gig news.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

James Jones – Christmas Passed (Feat. Olawale)

When you can count supporters as diverse as Eamonn Holmes and the great Dave Swarbrick, something’s clearly going well for you; James Jones had his first gig at the age of 11 as a soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of London at Cardiff International Arena. Since then he’s gone on to support Swarbrick, his childhood inspiration, and performed at the BBC Proms In The Park.

‘Christmas Passed’ is Jones’ new single, from his album of classical and jazz-inspired pop songs due for release on the 29th December; featuring the wonderful vocals of Olawale Ojo (the winner of Project Fame West Africa) over Jones’ beautiful fingerstyle mildly jazzy classical guitar accompaniment. It’s an exquisite piece of work, the melody line of the guitar perfectly complimenting Ojo’s sublime voice, never intrusive but shadowing and balancing in a stunning counterpoint.

Hear ‘Christmas Passed’ on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

The outsiders create their own genre: Cardiff’s Exsil roam through the night with growling abandon on ‘Jumping At Shadows’

South Wales Industrial act Exsil are back with a mysterious marvel of a track via their new electronic-fused song ‘Jumping At Shadows‘.

Taken off the brand new thirteen track album ‘Disavowed‘ that dropped on the 10th December 2020- and released through Urban Planning Records– this is a sound that is in its own lane and swerves when and where it wants.

The speaker-busting bass heavy electronic breaks smash through the years slumber and makes your tired heart’s blood flow heat up again. The cold winter is coming and there is no Jon Snow but no fear; the Welsh dragons blow such fire from their creation and you won’t need to turn on the heaters for this one.

I mistakenly had my laptops volume of full voltage at the start of this track and almost fell off my chair. After a quick laugh, I then started again- albeit a bit softer than before- but then organically found myself gradually turning this up and getting my stomp on.

”A soundtrack for empty bus shelters at 3am, wet tarmac, clicking exchanges, abandoned buildings and dirty alleyways.”- Exsil

This really says it all and this is that sticky floor sliding music in the empty areas that goes to waste usually. The bass is so thudding and you can feel the 80’s and 90’s influences as this is when dance music was at it’s best. This reminds me of being in that sweaty club when I was 18 with zero worries in the world, being with mates, shouting at each other and hearing half the words; good times that are entrenched into your mind forever.

The analog synths break the flailing windows of the neighbor next door, this is the Trainspotting type music that inspires you us all to get that couch-sitting body off the slouch, instead closing your eyes and ripping through with those dusted off dance moves you have been waiting to explore again.

Jumping At Shadows‘ from South Wales genre-creators Exsil is a stomping song that needs to be heard at full volume and with mates that appreciate quality music. This will bend your mind and make that heart beat so fast you might need CPR.

Hear this Welsh band via Soundcloud and also support on Bandcamp.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen