Browsing Tag


The Doolallys augmented the tribulations of banality in the indie rock anthem of the year, How Long Will This Go On?

Imagine how affecting a synthesis of the most stirring elements of Editors, Audioslave, and Arcade Fire would be, amplify the infectious appeal of that amalgam to the nth degree, then you will get an idea of what awaits you when you hit play on the single, How Long Will This Go On? From The Doolallys.

If any guitar-based outfit with deadpan lyricism deserves to reach the same heights of success as The Reytons, it is this Brighton-based trio, which is already making all the right waves in the industry.

After winning over BBC Introducing in 2018 and snagging a live radio slot in 2019 before honing their sound into a cultivated augmented with anthemics sonic signature, The Doolallys got to work on their upcoming debut EP; months after wrapping up the recording, the band suffered the tragic loss of their founding member and bassist Connor Kilbane in October 2022. After a hiatus, the band decided to honour Connor by moving ahead with the EP; if How Long Will This Go On, is a taste of things to come, it won’t just be a part of the band’s legacy, but UK indie’s legacy. Between the aching relatability in the lyrics which speak of relentlessly monotonous banality and the kinetic chemistry that cuts through the release, How Long Will This Go On deserves a perpetual place in the indie charts.

How Long Will This Go On is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The Stanford Family Band – On My Holiday: A Riotously Sunlit Escapade Through the Intersections of Indie, Garage Rock, and Motown

The Stanford Family Band, following their debut ‘Love Me A Bit‘, have returned with ‘On My Holiday‘, a single that radiates with the warmth of a supernova. This track, a part of their upcoming 6-track EP ‘For Your Listening Pleasure’, is a vibrant testament to the Brighton-based band’s endlessly euphoric sonic identity.

From the first note, ‘On My Holiday’ is an immersion in a riotously colourful explosion of kaleidoscopic fervency. The vintage production, reminiscent of Ray Charles’ ‘Mess Around’, is a masterful blend of bluesy piano grooves and Beach Boys-esque harmonies. The trailblazers could never be as pedestrian as solely nodding to the past; with this release, they reimagined the aural ecstasy of a bygone era, tailored for today’s indie and garage rock enthusiasts.

Frontman Elliot Stanford’s captivating lead vocals, coupled with the band’s commitment to complex four-part harmonies and memorable melodic hooks resulted in a quirky upbeat odyssey through a bittersweet vignette, which affirmed that in the death of winter, the sun is just around the corner.

Elliot’s approach to songwriting, as he describes, is an exercise in balancing musical joy with lyrical melancholy, a juxtaposition reminiscent of the Beach Boys circa 1965. ‘On My Holiday’ is the embodiment of this philosophy, musically exuberant yet lyrically introspective.

On My Holiday was released via Goo Records on February 27th and is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

J reshaped the landscape of protest music with his jazzy guitar score, Shame on You

Busting the myth that protest songs need to antagonise in the same vein as Rage Against the Machine or Black Flag, the Brighton-based artist, J, exhibited how mellow sonic political activism can be with his latest release, Shame on You.

Paired with an aptly endearing official music video, the ‘oppressed version’ of the single, sans the snippets of dystopian diatribes from Trump and Bush, allows you to embrace the absurdity of our tumultuous political waters while rising above them as the lighter-than-air guitar lines seemingly defy gravity.

J’s guitar work is nothing short of phenomenal – his strings sing with a life of their own in the genre-fluid fusion of jazz, pop, and classical guitar, but notably, the secret ingredient is his unflinching sense of humour and his lack of artistic ego. It’s a rarity for an artist to be so talented and not locked into the singular vision of rock stardom; J always endeavours to create sonic experiences that resonate with his soul; in doing so, he opens up cathartic worlds with his virtuosic tongue-in-jazz-groove flare.

Shame on You will be available to stream from January 26th; stream the official music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Interview | Revelations and Resurrections: Giant Killers Unleash ‘Songs for the Small Places’

Songs for the Small Places by Giant Killers

Diving into the indie pop scene with a nostalgic twist, Giant Killers, are set to release their long-awaited debut album, “Songs for the Small Places.” Originally crafted in the mid-’90s, this collection is finally seeing the light of day, packed with melodic tunes infused with a gritty lyricism and a nod to the iconic sounds of the ’90s. In this exclusive interview with Mike and Jamie, we unravel the journey behind the album’s resurrection, the band’s experiences, and their enduring influence on the music scene.

Your debut album, “Songs for the Small Places,” is a long-awaited gem that was originally intended to be released in the ’90s. Can you share the story behind the resurrection of this album and how it feels to finally bring it to the audience after nearly three decades?

M: For a long time, we considered ourselves to have been ground up by the Music Industry mill – we spent the entirety of our late teens and throughout our twenties in the back of a van, on the road, and in studios – we started our own label, then went on to have not just one but two major record and publishing deals in that period. Ultimately, we got unceremoniously dumped out of the business, essentially for not selling enough units. This was in an era with an unrecognisably different business model to that which exists today – back then, the expectation for any artist on a major label was to sell 100s of 000s of physical product in their first releases.

J: This whipping away of the carpet beneath our dreams triggered a period of reflection and re-evaluation, and inevitably disillusion. We changed our dreams, had lives outside of those narrow ambitions, had kids etc, in one sense we forgot about those older songs, even though we wrote many more new ones…

M: But this time just for the sheer pleasure of it, for the joy of creation. It was after a friend asked us to reunite Giant Killers for a birthday gig  in Leeds that we were reminded of the power of those old songs when we played them live again.  That was when we thought, hmmm… maybe it’s time to do something about this – to bring us to where we are now…

J: And we’re very excited to see how these songs will be received. But as we say in one of these songs, we’re older and wiser now, so  we’re  managing our expectations – our history in the business has imbued us with a deep layer of realism.

The ’90s sound is a significant influence on your music, and it’s making a strong comeback in today’s music scene. How do you see your sound fitting into the current musical landscape, and what elements from that era do you think still resonate with listeners today?

M: Undoubtedly, the present-day music scene, and to large extents, current fashion trends are skewed heavily to the 90s, but we wouldn’t say we are attempting to fit in with that. We’re big believers in the power of the song – the words, the melody and its combined emotive pull should rise above the way the song is produced, whatever producer, production techniques and technology were fashionable at the time a song was written or recorded.

J: Sure, the sound may reflect an identifiable era, but we truly believe a good song will always be recognised as that. We think the messages in the album, what the songs are about, and the melodies that deliver the emotive pull are universal and timeless; but we don’t want anyone to take our word for it. All we want, all we’re hopeful for, that these songs will reach the ears of the discerning listener and be given a fair chance to be loved, or otherwise, on their artistic and creative merit alone.

Your history includes opening for Blur and touring with Dr Robert and Nick Heyward. How have these experiences shaped your musical journey, and do you have any standout moments or lessons learned from sharing stages with such iconic artists?

M: Don’t trust them! Blur nicked our original keyboard player after we opened for them at a gig on Cleethorpes Pier as part of their Country House tour. A very talented musician called Diana Gutkind, who went on to tour the world with Damon and co for many years – I guess it was a valid career choice, so we don’t blame her, or Blur!

J: We also toured with Squeeze which was fantastic because we considered Difford & Tilbrook as the best song writing partnership since Lennon & McCartney. We once opened for Motown legend Edwin Starr, bizarrely with a whole host of boy bands; we also shared a stage with Boyzone at a Capital Radio Roadshow at Chessington World of Adventure!

M: This latter experience at the hilariously un-rock n roll backdrop of a theme park gave rise to a rude awakening: Our record label sent a Limo to take us to the show – the one and only time that happened to us. When we arrived at the back of the compound to slowly drive into the backstage area, it was full of screaming teens, who saw the Limo with its blacked-out windows and drew the conclusion that Boyzone were inside. It turned into pure chaos as fans started prostrating themselves on the bonnet and the roof of the motor. We got to appreciate, all be it very briefly and under false pretences, what it was like to be the subject of mass adulation…

J: But then we had to get out of the Limo! When we did, the deafening roar turned instantly to pin-drop silence, and after a couple of seconds, as we stood looking at the gathered multitude and they at us, a lone, adolescent voice enquired… who the f**k is that!?  From such experiences it’s tempting to say we’ve learned valuable lessons in the art of live performance, and in the craft of song writing. That is true to some degree, but our biggest lesson has been in the cultivation of the quality of resilience.

The decision to donate a portion of Bandcamp sales to the Campaign Against Living Miserably is commendable. Can you elaborate on why this cause is significant to you, and how do you believe music can contribute to raising awareness and supporting important social issues?

M: In Brighton where I live, there seems to be a lot of young bands willing to stand up for good causes and to write about them in their work. There’s a great club night I’ve been to a couple of times called Agitation; it’s at the locally revered Green Door Store, and I’ve seen amazing young bands such as The Damn Shebang, and the fabulously named Joe Perfect and the Champagne Socialists giving their time and energy to raise money to help striking nurses with their food bills, or helping catering industry workers campaign for a decent wage. In my formative years there were campaigning movements such as Rock Against Racism and Red Wedge, in which mainstream bands were politically engaged, but that fell away for some time. I’d like to think we’re seeing a re-emergence of that kind of thing, perhaps as a response to the difficult times we’re living through.

As far as mental health goes, like CALM, we’re against living miserably – poor mental health is often an unwanted bedfellow with creative people. Look at the very public developments last year with Lewis Capaldi for instance. If people who need help, don’t get the right signposting, advice, or counselling, then that is potentially fatal. You know, 1 in 5 of us will harbour suicidal thoughts over the course of a lifetime – CALM is getting that fact out into the open, to destigmatise the conversation around suicide so that we can all talk about this at a societal level. Everyone should support that ambition.

With a diverse background that includes Glastonbury and Proms in the Park, what unique aspects do each of these musical experiences bring to your artistic expression, and how do they contribute to the rich tapestry of Giant Killers’ musical journey?

J: In one sense, they are a validation, because they are the sorts of experiences that you dream about at the outset of your journey as a musician, but at the same time, we didn’t do either as the headline act, but as jobbing musicians. For Glastonbury, we were both part of a dirty jazz, swing, big band collective called The Kingsize Five – as such we weren’t playing the Pyramid Stage but a collection of smaller stages there – multiple gigs over the course of the festival in both 2008 and 2009. So, while we didn’t get helicoptered into the backstage enclosure, we did stay in artists camping and got to use the open air jacuzzi they have in there (yep, its true), every night.

M: Proms in the Park is a great case study in the life of a jobbing musician and its pertinent to the tribute scene – which gets a lot of stick from so called serious musos, but the scene has undoubtedly kept the wolf from the door for a lot of talented musicians who may otherwise have starved! I opened as the sax player for the heavy gigging Madness tribute band, One Step Behind. We were the warm-up for Lionel Richie when he headlined Proms in the Park in Hyde Park – I think this was 2009. As we were on early around 530pm I wasn’t expecting a full house, but when I walked out there where 55,000 very enthusiastic people in front of that stage.

J: There’s a fabulous little story from when Mike was using the backstage gents, when who should join him at the adjacent urinal than the great man himself…

M: Ha yes, to break the silence, I made an enquiry as to which song Lionel would be starting his set with. When the former Commodore replied with his own question – what would you recommend, I made a lame attempt at wittiness with an observation that Dancing on the Ceiling should perhaps be avoided given it was an open air gig. Lionel left without saying a word, shaking his head as he retreated to his green room.

J: These experiences are a case of so near yet so far in terms of what our musical dreams were at the outset, versus what they actually where in real life. But it’s all an opportunity to grow as a musician, a songwriter and a human being!

M: Ha ha… maybe!

Support Giant Killers on Bandcamp here.

Giant Killers delivered fatalistically sweet indie jangle pop blows in their alt-90s time capsule, Around the Blocks

Songs for the Small Places by Giant Killers

Tracks originally written and recorded in 1995 by Brighton’s Giant Killers when they were signed to MCA Records have finally reached the airwaves. The standout indie jangle pop single, Around the Blocks, from their forthcoming LP, is an authentically nostalgic dream. With hints of Coffee and TV within the R.E.M.-esque college radio rock production, which sees the choruses endlessly ascend and the verses pull you in deeper through the affectionately sharp hooks, Around the Blocks is a tonic for the melancholic soul.

With a frenetic closing sonic chapter which echoes the palpitating pacing of the hit Brimful of Asha, Giant Killers clearly know how to make an ever-lasting impression with their sound, which doesn’t go as far as sticky-sweet; there’s far too much indie rock renegade grit within their compassionately confrontational lyricism.

With their ‘songs for the small places’ LP, Giant Killers aren’t only delivering melodic salvation to the ennui-inclined. £2 of every sale of the LP will be donated to Campaign Against Living Miserably, a charity dedicated to saving lives through suicide prevention. Given the gravitas of Around the Blocks, which will see your soul sweep higher than the transcendentally tight melodies, you shouldn’t need any additional incentive to partake in the nostalgically euphonic bliss. But it’s incredible to see an artist not solely skating by on the signals of their virtue. Giant Killers are putting momentum behind real tangible change.

Hear Around the Blocks on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Someone Famous has made a transcendent debut with their ambient deep house/90s Euro dance mash-up, This is a Pleasure

Someone Famous’ moniker is going to become a self-fulfilling prophecy if they continue to produce tracks in the same future-defining vein as their blister of electronic euphoria, This is a Pleasure.

The debut single was right on the titular money for the way the transcendentally bright tones and luminous textures scintillate through the progressions as they juxtapose the depth of the basslines which bolster the track with rhythmic prowess. With melodic elements of ambient deep house fused with a 90s Euro dance energy and captivating vocal lines which effortlessly embody the soulful catharsis within the meticulously layered and produced instrumentals, This is a Pleasure couldn’t be closer to what it says on the tin.

With new releases locked, loaded and ready to infuse the airwaves with refreshing syntheses of innovation, Someone Famous is an artist to keep on your radar through 2024. It’s only a matter of time before the Brighton-based artist gets offers from reputable labels for their ability to fuse nostalgia with intuitive ingenuity.

This is a Pleasure was officially released on November 25; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nu World Order exposed the secrets of ‘Area 51’ in the surrealism of their Alt-Metal debut

Who ordered an installation of thrash metal insanity? One has just arrived in the form of the debut single, Area 51, from the Brighton-based prodigal sons, Nu World Order, which forged in response to the surrealism of the modern age, where extra-terrestrial signs of life are in essence the new Schrodinger’s cat. Are they real or fake? We won’t know until we look inside Area 51, but it seems Nu World Order has the inside scoop.

With groove metal breakdowns following insurgencies of thrash and heavy metal in the progressive track, which also exhibits the dynamism in the vocals as they switch from soaring hair metal high notes to guttural laments, Nu World Order knew just how to keep listeners hooked into their orchestration of rhythmically tight subversion.

If riffs got bands to the top of the charts, Nu World Order would be overlooking everyone from a seat of supremacy; the outfit isn’t lacking in the lyrical ingenuity department either. We can’t wait to hear what is lingering in the pipeline.

Area 51 was released on November 3rd; stream it on Spotify or purchase the track by heading over to iTunes.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hold My Hand: Standing Phase wonders when the memories shall fade on Journey’s End

Currently in the studio recording their debut album all while working with the imaginative producer/drummer Josh Gale, Standing Phase shows us what kind music sounds like and guides us through the Journey’s End.

Standing Phase is a Brighton, UK/New Zealand-fused indie alternative duo who love to spread gospel, soul and funky undertones to heal all scared hearts.

Featuring singer/songwriter Charly Jay-Wood and guitarist/co-writer Luis Wood, Standing Phase sends our heated souls into a rather special place with a gem to uncover like tomorrow’s Christmas present under the tree. It’s that good. Love in abundance is the feeling here, as we are blessed by a meaningfully brilliant release.

Charly started her musical career playing saxophone and flute in a number of different jazz/funk bands. She didn’t originally set out to be a singer, but as the lyrics started to flow, she put voice to the melodies and quickly found herself emerging as lead vocalist and songwriter.” ~ Charly Jay-Wood

Journey’s End from Brighton, UK-based indie alternative duo Standing Phase is one of the more catchy singles made with love and shall rocket better thoughts into our tired mindsets. Sung with precision and care, this is an enchanting track to calm all choppy waters with and is one of the most uplifting songs released so far in 2023.

Turn this up on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Bear Witness ticked the underbelly of madness with their addictively grooved alt-rock hit, INSANE

The Brighton-based brother duo, Bear Witness, tickled the soft underbelly of madness in their latest addictively grooved alt-rock hit, INSANE, which unravels as an arm wrestle between the strength of the hooks and riffs.

The hooks may have a slight advantage through their ability to pull you right into the riled core of the exhilarating feat of soul, but the tensile technicality of the supernovically overdriven guitars still plays an absorbing part in this candidly un-candied window into entropy.

The electronic synthetics of the track may allow INSANE to flirt with the post-rock genre, but rock fans will never have been seduced in this vein before. It’s a mainline of pure resonance that affirms Bear Witness is one to watch.

INSANE hit the airwaves on March 31; hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brigton’s Sadie Nix reached the pinnacle of candourous conviction in her piano pop-rock hit, Oblivious

With the minor piano keys, stridently pensive vocal harmonies, and depth of vulnerable emotion in the lyricism in the latest single from Brighton-based aural originator, Sadie Nix orchestrated a superlatively immersive alt-pop score with Oblivious.

With maturity, confidence and her ability to paint pain through melodies all transcending her years spent as an artist, Sadie Nix is a sensation that cuts through the superficiality of pop-rock while carrying all of the instant accessibility of it. What Kelly Clarkson was to 2004, Nix is to 2023.

Traversing the frustrations of invisibility and unaccountability through a lack of caring, Oblivious is one of the most powerful records we’ve heard this year. On the basis of it, I pity anyone that finds themselves on the wrong side of Nix’s conviction.

Oblivious hit the airwaves on February 3rd. Hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast