In keeping with the new beginnings this month signifies we’ve got some essential new music to accompany your Easter hols, so feast your ears on the delights the Getintothis team has to offer this March.
A good soundtrack can make or break a road trip. Everybody knows this. But let us spare a moment for road trips that come with that most unholy of afflictions: Somebody Else’s Playlist.
Like the coach ride I took for work recently to pick up 14 students from Heathrow Airport. 170 miles there and back. Traffic jams. Pit stops. 12 hours of lad rock.
Things got off to a rocky start from the moment the driver handed me the disc. ‘FESTIVAL ANTHEMS’, it read. ‘60 CLASSIC HITS FROM ALL THE BASIC BITCH BANDS YOU WOULD HAPPILY LEAVE TO DIE ON A ROADSIDE’.
As U2 clanged from the speakers, I gazed out of the window. Maybe in some other country I could bring this story to life with sun-dappled vistas and rolling plains, just like a real honest-to-god road movie. But this is England so you’ll know there was nothing for U2 to soundtrack but perpendicular grey for miles — and the occasional isolated cube of snow.
“What is with that?” the coach driver would roar whenever one zoomed into view. “Tell me WHY DOES IT HAPPEN?”
I couldn’t, but tried to smile beatifically. That’s when he gave me the good news: if we stopped off at every service station en route we could collect loyalty points. Just for implying we had a whole coach load of potential customers waiting in our vehicle we could rack up freebies like gold coins on Donkey Kong.
From that moment we were like a motorway Bonnie and Clyde, squealing to a halt at every Welcome Break, filling out paperwork like truckies possessed and praying not to hear the words “Sorry, you’ve used up all your points for today”.
Acres of Walkers grab bags, Wispa Golds as far as the eye could see, my jaw crashing to the ground when I realised I could trade in my visitor receipt for £8 at Costa.
It was the perfect heist.
With one eye on the CCTV, the driver appeared. “That toastie you’ve got looks alright,” he observed, from beneath a stack of boxes slick with grease.
“This is the best day ever —” I blurted out. Then, uneasy in case I appeared to have lost my mind, added “— for freebies.”
After more complimentary flat whites than I could count, I was floating somewhere outside of myself, impervious to the bedlam from the speakers. Happy Mondays, Hard-Fi, and all the half-acquaintances of every Gallagher washed over me as I grinned like a suckling pig.
I heard myself looking back fondly to a Libertines gig in New Brighton circa 2004. I was a whisker away from slapping my thigh to Razorlight. He told me The Kooks were the greatest band alive and I’m ashamed to confess I didn’t breathe a word.
This was in the honeymoon period; before I’d given him the wrong terminal at Heathrow, before I’d seen him devour four consecutive Burger Kings and a KFC.
And then the caffeine wore off and the opening bars of Keane did not mark some glorious ascent back onto the M67. Instead, I came to my senses and flung myself off the coach to find some gig, any damn gig, as a palate cleanser.
Anyway, all I meant to say is that I hope by the time you’re reading this the roads are clear, the blizzards but a bitter memory. It’s high time you shucked off your thermals and started planning some heady road trip, whether it’s to Big Sur or Blundellsands. Make yourself the mother of all mixtapes, or drop the reins like I did and surrender to somebody else’s. We’ve got a few selections here to kick things off. – Orla Foster
Seatbelts – Hey, Hey Tiger!
- Lauren Wise
Shak Omar – All On You
Formerly known as 4tune Tella, an MC with a fast and furious style, this Liverpool-born and educated artist reinvented himself last year as Shak Omar.
With a much more much more melodic and harmonic vocal style than before, appearances at LIMF 2017 and supporting the likes of Dappy, The Game and Mobb Deep he’s a confident stage performer as well as a songwriter who can clearly string a tune together as last years’ Clouds testifies only too well.
It’s refreshing to hear of a Liverpool-based artist who not only looks towards a wider UK audience but even further afield than that. Shak’s smooth, comfortable vocals combined with a mature songwriting talent is something that could easily transcend borders across the world. He really is that good.
He’s due to play this years LIMF and we’d urge you to catch up with him there but in the interim, listen to All On You and listen to something special in the making.
- Rick Leach
77:78 – Jellies
Well it’s been a long, long time since anything has risen from the ashes of The Bees – the Isle of Wight’s own blend of psychedelia-indie rock. But now, Aaron Fletcher and Tim Parkin have unleashed their new project 77:78.
Carrying on with that unique blend of 1960’s garage rock, funk and jazz infused sound that’s indefinable, the 77:78’s had this to say: ‘Some musicians and bands definitely have their sound and stick to it, which is fair enough, but that’s just not us. Whenever we’re in the studio we’re constantly inspired to go down different musical paths, which I suppose is why the record we’ve made sounds so diverse.’
The first release from their debut release Jellies (out on Heavenly Recordings on July 6) is the insanely catchy psych pop number Love Said (Let’s Go). It’s a summer breeze of a track that mixes psychedelic elements and Beach Boys-vibes.
- Howard Doupe
Breakfast Muff – Crocodile
Breakfast Muff were somewhat hilariously called Breakfast Muffin on national radio earlier this month, reducing them from a bold feminist force to a carb-heavy snack. Proof if ever there’s still so much work to do; yet Breakfast Muff may well be the ones to do it.
They describe themselves as thrillingly uncompromising and indeed, this is where the Glasgow three piece’s strength lies. To call them mere indie pop does Eilidh McMillan, Simone Wilson and Cal Donnelly a disservice. here’s a spiky, scathing DIY approach here so bloody refreshing, last year’s album Eugh! – and especially single RU a Feminist – carried a direct, no bullshit message.
But there’s a sense of fun in the songs too, title track Crocodile from the new EP boasting the best and most chantable chorus of the year so far in ‘tears of a crocodi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-l-e’. The song is crammed with infectious pop hooks, and wraps up in under two and half minutes. Wilson’s voice has a cynical sweetness to it, levelled by McMillan’s grounding responses.
Crocodile EP was recorded in one day with Eurgh! producer Rick Webster with mixing duties handled once again by Hookworms’ Matt Johnson at his Suburban Studio.
- Cath Bore
Erica Eso – House That’s Always Burning
NNA Tapes, operating out of Burlington, Vermont, have been releasing an array of talent since 2008, and their now bulked-up catalogue is well worth looking into. Their latest release is by the band Erica Eso, the brainchild of Weston Minissali (Cloud Becomes Your Hand).
Minissali’s new direction is best described as a microtonal pop project. Taken from the album 129 Dreamless GMG, House That’s Always Burning is on the path to genre obliteration, which appears to be their modus operandi.
Angelica B of Body Language provides the guest vocals for the track. Her contribution opens up the initial abrasiveness of the track into a full on dance floor banger. If you like this, look out for Love Gun, another of Erica Eso‘s recent single releases.
- Mick Chrysalid
FLIZZ – Pink Tiger
FLIZZ are a four-piece band formed at the University of Liverpool in 2017. With their upbeat guitar riffs they sound almost like they are channelling bands such as Little Comets, Bombay Bicycle Club and Two Door Cinema Club.
Pink Tiger is a fusion of funky guitar melodies and soft echoey vocals and the story behind the song comes from comparing a girl to the majestic elegance and ferocity of a tiger. For a first offering this track shows the potential that FLIZZ has to grow as a band by putting their own spin on the indie genre.
FLIZZ are set to release their first EP in the coming months, but if you’re too impatient to wait that long then catch them at SPH Band Contest on April 14 at Buyers Club.
- Sarah Pitman
Lauran Hibberd – Fun Like This
Isle of Wright raised Lauren Hibberd moves away from her upbeat folk-indie origns in her new single Fun Like This.
Previous tracks released by Hibberd have had the tendency to appear rather beige and lacking in guttural punch. While still gloriously upbeat, the grungy guitar undertones of this latest release make this Hibberd’s best track to date.
Resonating with artists such as Angel Olsen, the reverberating and electrifying vocals resound alongside a richly rhythmic tempo. Let’s hope this stylistic shift is here to stay and we can expect more invigorating numbers from Lauran Hibberd over the course of 2018.
- Ellie Montgomery
Skirt – Easy Tiger
With only a mere three songs uploaded on their YouTube account, Skirt really prove they have enough potential to go places and gain deserved attention.
And it’s with their most recent release, Easy Tiger, that their talent is on display.
Hooking the listener straight away with slick guitar riffs then smoothly transitioning into heavy drum beats, the song starts off as a normal upbeat rock song and transforms into a jam – reminiscent of an underground rock recording.
Unlike any of their other songs, Easy Tiger takes a somewhat dark turn, showing that Skirt has got what it takes to develop and find their own style as an up and coming rock band.
- Billy Strickland
- Mark Rowley
Vital Idles – A Premise
There must be something in the water up in Glasgow these days. Vital Idles, along with Breakfast Muff, practice a no frills approach that’s proving inspiringly effective. Taken from debut album Left Hand, out in June, A Premise follows two self-released demos and a sold out debut 7” from the band.
Vital Idles’ vocalist Jessica Higgins possesses such an effective and distinctive vocal delivery, not deadpan exactly, more “go on, impress me, my coffee’s getting cold here”.
With echoes of The Raincoats, a world of Polaroid photographs and fanzines, and a DIY aesthetic that will never perish, Vital Idles are worth getting down early for on 30 March at Buyers Club when they support No Age.
- Cath Bore
The Cosmics – Inishfree
Common wisdom today tells us that violence is an inherently bad thing but it let’s face it, it has its uses. Sometimes it helps protects us and the ones we love from outside forces which wish to do us harm, sometimes it helps us be the ones to assail upon those who have what we need or perhaps what we think we need.
Rock ‘n’ Roll, or in the case of The Cosmics new single Inishfree, punk rock, does the same thing.
It encloses its listener in the protective bubble of surety while simultaneously lending credence to the maxim that the best form of defence is offence.
Thick, jagged ripples of garage guitar rifferey, coupled with Erin Grace’s louche vocals give the distinct impression that somebody somewhere is going to get exactly what they deserve whether it’s today or in the next life.
I want this song to start playing when I walk into a bar the second I cross the threshold from now on please.
- Neal McGrath
Nikki & The Waves – There He Goes
With There He Goes, Liverpool’s Nikki & The Waves have created an eclectic fusion of jazz and pop – a brass ensemble complete with guitars and soothing vocals.
The second track from their EP, Look How Blue the Night Looks, is lounge music made interesting and demonstrates how using big band symphonies and harmonies can work when juxtaposed with quirky lyrics and a modern attitude.
Easy to listen to and delightfully compelling, There He Goes will mesmerise you into a blissful trance and then awaken you unexpectedly at around 2:46, when the tempo quickens, and you’re gifted with a fast paced crescendo to end.
If you’re a fan of Postmodern Jukebox you should definitely check this band out.
- Amy Farnworth