Whilst Westminster and Brussels remain deadlocked in political farce, there remains one much brighter consistency as Getintothis contributors dish out their usual monthly feast of great new tunes.
Ah, Brexit, it’s almost as if we should never have bothered. But as one fantastically eloquent young woman in Belfast said on a recent episode of Question Time, the farce began as soon as our PM back in 2016 decided offering a referendum was a good exchange for saving party seats. We’ve gone too far now, as well, we’re in too deep and up shit creek.
I know the feeling, because during a recent event I hosted at work, I was well and truly set up. It was at a performance of Us Against Whatever at Liverpool’s Everyman that a colleague took it upon herself to sign herself, and me, up for some interval karaoke.
So there I am, contemplating through the entirety of the first half of the show that I’m going to be up there soon singing The Human League. And I couldn’t not now. But, above all the dread, there was an over-riding thought, what is karaoke all about?
Why is it that the thought of being stood on a sofa somewhere in the middle of town at some point on a Saturday night singing Rock ‘n’ Roll Star is absolutely fantastic, yet when sober and faced with an actual audience, and an actual microphone, it’s hell.
We were never a karaoke family, and by that I mean when it came round to our family holiday in Majorca, our Dad was never the one desperate to catch the eye of the Thomas Cook rep and sign up to sing Tina Turner. Well, not to my knowledge. Thankfully.
One of my favourite Liverpool pubs is The Dispensary, and opposite it sits a dark fronted bar with the title, M Box. It’s one of them places you pass and never really look in, but I should have known that my reluctance to pick up the mic in what turned out to be a karaoke bar would’ve come back to haunt me. It was only when I was heading back from the bar, and peered into a room where another ‘performer’ was belting out The Spice Girls that I realised that for lots of people, karaoke is no pissed up piss take.
In fact, that room in M Box will have had more punters in proportion to floor space than many of the other ‘music’ venues in town on that night. And it was serious, deadly serious. There was choreography, extended high notes and very potentially some tears. It was some way off me backing out of holding onto the final note in, “Don’t you want me, ohhhh-“. Thankfully.
The first karaoke machine was invented by Japanese musician Daisuke Inoue in Kobe, Japan in 1971. It came from the realisation of a gap in the market for audience interaction with music, apparently. I’m sure people were singing along to their favourite songs all around the world before 1971, but fair play to the guy, his songs must have been in demand.
Since then, the Japanese and their neighbours have led the way for karaoke, serious karaoke, while for the majority of Brits it remains an uncomfortable prospect. No more uncomfortable than the poor theatre goers in the Everyman the other week.
If any of the below tracks in this months Deep Cuts find themselves on a karaoke playlist in the coming years, my sincere congratulations, really. However, I relinquish my responsibility to share them with our readers if it involves doing a rendition of them in M Box. Thankfully. – Lewis Ridley – New Music Editor
Daisy Gill: Save It For A Rainy Day
To music! And we start this month’s column with an exclusive track from Daisy Gill. A 21 year old singer songwriter, Daisy forged her path in music down a familiar route, taking every open mic that would have her has led to gigs such as an appearance at the Royal Albert Hall. Now, she returns with Save It For A Rainy Day.
The track evidences what is now Gill‘s trademark vintage flair, and its no surprise she takes inspiration from Lily Allen‘s early work not just musicially but also in in terms of honesty. Her previous work has demonastated country elements, and while these can be found in Save It For A Rainy day there is a more over-riding pop vibe that allows it to stand out from her other releases.
Recorded and produced with Sam Pierpoint at Soundback Studios in Liverpool, it could well be the turning point and provide the city with a rising pop star. – Lewis Ridley
Bines: I Try
Bines are back with their latest single I Try. Following on from two releases last year, the new track ups the tempo and pace, producing a vibrant and joyful sound.
With a fast drum beat at the centre of it, the track doesn’t stop to take a breath. From start to finish it’s constant rollercoaster ride. Recorded at Sugarhouse Recording Studio, the vocals and guitars are loud and brash, providing a certain swagger to the song.
In I Try, the four-piece have a track that will the speakers off any small venue and will have an entire crowd bouncing along for the ride. – Amos Wynn
The Shamble: Heart on Our Sleeves
The shining star of this EP is undeniably Seen Better Tracks. The near disconnect between the
90s indie vocals of James Hinchliffe and drums of James Duff shows the guts that this band have.
With James Donnelly on guitar and Evan Kelly on bass uniting these almost opposing forces to
create a cohesive piece.
This infuriated and almost disjointed indie sound continues throughout the EP. Simon Says flips
between envious compliments being supported by a twinkling light-hearted guitar, to a harder
sound framing the disoriented perception of the society that these lads have been thrust into.
Whilst the first two songs present a shining silver hook, the final song is showing a bit of rust. An
ode to past musicians feels present with the opening Nirvana guitar and the drum blend of just
about every 00s indie band going.
This glance back does not last long and with a less clouded vocal and time given for instrumental solos, this song is the perfect presentation of foundations that the band are building on. I wonder what it’s going to become. – Megan Walder
Reedale Rise: Pressure Drop EP
Reedale Rise, AKA Liverpool-based electronic producer Simon Keat, embraces a pan- Europeanism that is sadly lacking in our political culture. His growing profile has been underpinned by a raft of releases in recent years, including on labels hailing from Rotterdam, Madrid, Venice, Barcelona and Copenhagen – and an (Easy)jet-setting live schedule to match.
Last year, that momentum led to a track on Craig Richards’ mix for Fabric 100, the final instalment of the dance music institution, and a hot reception for his double-LP Luminous Air.
Keeping up the pace, this month sees the arrival of Pressure Drop, a four-track EP on Leeds-based label 20:20 Vision. The work builds on the sound that Keat has honed across previous releases, with an abundance of snappy electro beats, lush pads and abstract synth lines.
As before, the vibe is at once soulful and cerebral, spanning the needs of both dancefloor and headphone listening – whilst Pressure Drop emphasises a darker, more moody side to Reedale Rise’s oeuvre.
Opener Hydraulics is aptly-named, a muscular and faintly menacing cut that builds on rugged kick and snare and skittering hats, with a darkly ethereal choral pad that lies disembodied from an insistent, robotic riff.
Arkeme is all shuffling beats and a gurgling acid line that opens up as the track builds, ushering in the blissed-out warmth that Keat has summoned up on numerous previous tracks.
Woozy chords drift across a claustrophobic rhythm on Pressure Drop, replete with dubby percussion; whilst the more upbeat closer Naria features the synergy of a funky synth vamp and a keening, alienist melody.
Yet more strong stuff from an artist who has forged a unique musical identity whilst remaining true to his roots in deep techno and electro. – Rob Alcock
Quiet Kids: My Moon EP
The second single from Quiet Kids’ upcoming EP, My Moon is a superb blend of indie pop with a
smooth retro feel. The lofi synth sounds heard throughout the track closely resemble synthwave, with a proper 80s feel with the shimmering palette of sounds softly reaching the listener.
The calming vocals are pretty carefree, with a really summery feel reminiscent of Roosevelt, with suitably relaxed lyrics matching the nature of the music – along with the downtempo feel. It does seem strangely contrasting for such a relaxing, chilled track to actually be quite complicated – with a lot of instruments doing different things.
Somehow, Quiet Kids have made this work superbly, and crafted a cracking hit sure to gain popularity. – Max Richardson
Foundlings are heading our way to play Deep Cuts, so we thought it was only fair to introduce you to their new single. Enemy is a dreamy, drone pop melodic wander through a weird moment in a trick relationship. It’s layered in crashing drums and catchy guitar hooks, the vocal from Amber Price ties everything together in a fairly grungy four minutes of heaven.
The track heads higher and higher as it nears the end, before crashing down to the final notes, leaving Price searching for more. With five tracks on the EP its a noisy little monster, Busan being a favourite of ours if we’re honest, its a pacy thumpy number, that leads into Slumber with is heavier, rockier. There isn’t really a dull track on the release and it would suggest this would be a gig not to miss. – Chris Flack
The Shunt: Headboard
With a name like that, from the off conjures up thick chunky guitars with more swagger than necessary. We ain’t wrong. With a heady dose of lad-rock, repeating chorus line and glam guitars it’s sure to find a home with the fun-loving Friday night crowd out to have a good time.
There’s a whole host of magpie picking tea-leafed licks n quips from the old 101 rock bible here. If may be your thing and I can certainly see the live gigs highly attended by the good-time gals of the city.
If you’re missing a little Fratellis in your life then go hunt these guys down as Headboard is right up your street. – Howard Doupe