INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 25/03/2013
CLEAN BANDIT (photo: Laura Lewis)
In the small hours of a Monday morning from 2-3am you can hear a selection of my favourite new tunes compiled into an hour-long mixtape of nonstop music. All the audio is sourced from the BBC Introducing Uploader - some of it recommended by friends and colleagues and some discovered via Twitter and my own Fresh On The Net blog.
From 3am each Monday the latest mixtape is available free via the 6 Music Downloads Page - where you'll also find archived episodes from the previous 4 weeks. All the tracklists and start times for each track are published here - together with a link to each artist's website. These are the listings for Monday, 25th March 2013.
CLEAN BANDIT - Mozart's House [START 0:13]
Extraordinary song with an equally extraordinary video which producer and Adam and I fell in love with on first listening. We then found it had already been uploaded to BBC Introducing three years ago, and that it had taken two and a half years to get released. In the interim Huw and Sarah Cox have been playing it on Radio 1, and we're proud to bring it to you as a killer opening track for ythis week's mixtape.
SECRET RIVALS vs ALPHABET BACKWARDS - Once More With Heart [START 4:15]
Secret Rivals are a three-piece indie pop band based in Oxford. Their split boy-girl vocals sing, they tell us, of "fall-outs, secrets and despair, with hope and longing to put things right." In the past year they've played festivals including Bestival, Liverpool Sound City and Wychwood to promote their Make Do And Mend mini-album and followup EP Make Do And Mend (Part 2). A fan pledge campaign exceeded its target to fund the recording and production of their 10-song debut album Just Fall, which is now awaiting release. It includes the original mix of this song, although this version has been remixed by their Oxford contemporaries Alphabet Backwards.
THE LOOSE HEARTS - Morning Light (Rita) – [START 7:41]
This four piece band formed at the University Of Liverpool towards the end of 2010 and at the beginning of this year released their debut album How We Are Now - from which this track is taken. They're currently writing and recording material for a second album and looking for new opportunities for playing live in 2013. Promoters, venues, festivals and entrepreneurial fans of their music are welcome to get in touch via their Facebook page.
VELCRO HOOKS - Girlfren' [START 10:19]
"The faint origins of Velcro Hooks' formation was spawned in the distant city of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. This freak meeting between England and Canada occurred in a gnarly hostel amidst an ocean of bed bug ridden mattresses; indubitably through the improbable mutual admirations of machetes and moustaches. This introduction inevitably led to a suitably ridiculous following fortnight; including high minded temples, volcanoes, many a cerveza and general ruffianship. Obviously these endeavours had to end at some point. Farewells were made and Jenner Blank and Thomas Mason made the return visit to their respective origins in Vancouver and Bristol. A year later they were reunited in the latter city with an additional pair of English miscreants called Dominic Mitchison and George Garratt." They've since released a debut single The Surfing Song on Howling Owl Records, to which this is hopefully the followup.
NANCY ELIZABETH - The Last Battle [START 12:35]
The Last Battle is the first single from Nancy Elizabeth Cunliffe's forthcoming third album, Dancing - due out in May. It’s her first new material since her 2009 LP Wrought Iron and, her record company tells us, "more upbeat than anything she’s recorded in half a decade... a magnificent introduction to the new album - a soaring, celestial-soprano array that recalls Ennio Morricone and Arthur Lee, building to an irresistible climax. Like its parent album in miniature, it’s a trove of pure musical delights, all recorded in the singer’s tiny Manchester flat". She plays London's Vortex Jazz Club this Tuesday March 26th with a full band to test the new material and is also performing and speaking as part of a TEDx University of Manchester event a couple of days later, at the Manchester Museum on Thursday March 28th.
BIRDBATH - Don’t Talk With Your Mouth Open [START 16:55]
About: Rock band from Bristol. Guitar, guitar, bass, drums: formed 1994. Members: Tim Gibbons, Simon Hewett, Ben Heal, Luke Tagney. Biography: some of us met at school and switched skateboards for guitars. Tim is a carpenter, Simon is a plumber, Luke is a sound engineer on Deal or No Deal and Ben is writing a PhD on William Burroughs. We like scatological jokes and Touch and Go Records circa 1994. Band interests: knitting, amateur plastic surgery, dressing up as old women. Their first album Birth took 10 years to complete. Their second, And Then, was recorded live in one day. Both are available from Bristol micro-label Ingue Records.
SWAMI BARACUS - Way Of The Dragon [START 19:24]
This is the latest single from good friend of the show Swami Baracus. We last spoke to him on my Saturday programme when he played T In The Park last Summer. His Introducing classic "The Recipe" was produced by Zaheer, won them both a place on the Radio 1 Playlist and is now the title track of Baracuda's latest mixtape. This latest single shows him stepping up to new levels of eloquence: fast-flowing, sharp-witted, warm, eloquent, sharp and self-knowing - and I'd warmly recormmend the excellent video to this song.
ORANGE FROM THE BLUE - And We Danced [START 22:24]
Orange From The Blue is the project of Tim Phillips in Broadstairs plus assorted featured vocalists. Up until 18 months ago Tim ran my own business but had to close it due to the prevailing economic situation. The upside is that this has given him the time to start making music. He modestly claims "I have no singing voice of my own, so I use guest vocalists on my tracks. This one features a vocal loop - edited to fit - from a freebie disc given away with a music magazine. It evolved quite quickly over a couple of hours one Sunday night when there was nothing on TV so I messed around with some music instead. Being in quite a chilled mood I just imagined two people dancing slowly all through the night on a deserted old bandstand. Producing these tracks is a learning curve at the moment, but I'm loving every minute of it and working on new stuff all the time."
VASCO DA GAMA - Brigadiers [START 26:08]
The Reservoir blog once quipped that if "instruments could smile, the guitars of Vasco Da Gama would have grins as wide as the Mersey." This powerful and innovative four-piece are longstanding favourites on this show, and Brigadiers is the opening track ontheir new EP Geography, due out on April 22nd. They play Dada Bar in Sheffield this Thursday March 28th and The Village night at Camp and Furnace in their hometown of Liverpool on Saturday (30th).
THESE CURIOUS THOUGHTS - Brain In A Jar [START 29:12]
Sean Dunlop and Jim Radford were originally the main songwriters for Detroit-based five piece Shock of the Cold. However love tore them apart (in a good way - family commitments, the responsibilities of adulthood, etc) and the band broke up when Jim returned to his native Kent in the South East of England. For the last six years, in the absence of a live-performing band, Sean and Jim have continued to craft songs by long distance like high-tech pen pals. To date they have written over 100 songs and released several albums under the project name of These Curious Thoughts.
SATURDAY SUN - Like a Stray [START 32:28]
Saturday Sun are Alex Hedley (guitar and vocals), Bill Merrick (guitar), Alec Harrison (Bass) and Luke Kill (Drums). "Alex" we're told "with his sublime and powerful vocals combines a wonderful songwriting partnership with Bill where they create charming and affective music that strike an emotional chord with the listener." You can verify these claims for yourself by checking out last year's Seagull EP on their Bandcamp, this newer recording on our current mixtape, and on their debut album which is due out next month. Their busy date sheet includes numerous club gigs in London and three shows in April opening for The Fossil Collective in Brighton, Bournemouth and Bristol.
HITCHCOCK BLONDE - Sexy Like You [START 37:24]
Hitchcock Blonde are a 4 piece indie punk rock band from London, fronted by singer Ella Grace. Their latest EP Five Pounds has, we're told, "seen them earning comparisons to such bands as Skunk Anansie, Hole, Foo Fighters, and more". They'll be releasing their second single, Animal, at the end of April. At the moment they are recording new tracks for a late summer 2013 release. Hitchcock Blonde will soon be announcing dates and venues for their June UK tour - please check their website for updates.
THE FOLK REMEDY - Jack And Mac [START 40:27]
"We are a three piece folk/indie group, comprising of band members Matt Whoriskey, Maria Bonner and Rob Ryle, formed in Manchester, England in 2012. Matt, originally from Derry, Ireland, has been writing and playing music for more than a decade. He has lived in Manchester for four years, where he hosts a regular open mic night at the Bay Horse in the popular Northern Quarter. Rob Ryle, the only English-born member of The Folk Remedy, Ryle, from Bolton, has played in a number of bands over the years after starting out with the psychedelic Jesus Franco. Maria Bonner also hails from Derry, Ireland though she has lived in Manchester for more than a decade. A classically trained violinist, she is also an accomplished piano and bass player. We've been on with Michelle Hussey on BBC Manchester and also on the Liam Bradford show. Thanks to the powerhouse of twitter, we've fortunately been able to meet many bloggers/radio DJs online, who have given us so much exposure in the past number of months."
THE GANG - Mania [START 42:30]
"We're a raw three piece with big hooks consisting of brothers Eric Tormey (Vocals, Guitar), Jimi Tormey (Vocals, Drums) and close friend Joseph Hunt (Bass). Formed in 2011 and based in Canterbury, we have played shows all around London, Sussex and our home county of Kent. We've also had airplay on BBC 6 Music, BBC Kent, Absolute Radio and on independent radio stations in both the UK and the US." Mania is the opening track on their free EP BLVDEVARD available via their Bandcamp page.
JIMMY DAVIS - A Prayer [START 44:36]
This month saw the release of Jimmy's official video for this single. "I feel this is my most important work to date" he says "in terms of the message that is embodied in my music. My prayer is for the world to hear this song. Not for any rubbish egotistical, popularity-driven, fame-craving, attention-seeking nonsense. But because there's a need for an awakening in the consciousness of humankind, and I hope my art will help to encourage and inspire the beginnings of a new dawn. Get in touch with the organisations that this message is sure to resonate with such as Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace etc. Strength in numbers is our only hope. Thank you. I Love you. And if you don't watch or share the video ... I still love you."
ALAN BONNER - Talia [START 48:58]
Alan Bonner is a singer-songwriter based in London. Talia - an ode to his best friend and drinking partner of the same name - comes from his current 2nd album Balladeer - available now on itunes and via his website. Said album is, we're told, "bursting with pathos-filled ballads that are earnest, beautifully crafted and laced with nostalgic yearning for a simpler time". Having toured extensively Europe-wide in recent years, Alan ends this month's run of UK dates at Zigfrid Von Underbelly in London this Wednesday (March 27th) before heading off for his first US Tour in May. He is currently looking for management and label representation.
BENJAMIN MASON - Oh To Be A Drifter [START 52:15]
Online information about Benjamin is sparse, to say the least, and when we asked him to email us a little about himself and his music he sent the following: "As the legend goes, Benjamin Mason was reared by wild wolves in the weird West Wales woods. This upbringing led him to reject the human concept of genre. Expect the unexpected. Benjamin has a new album of songs from his One Song A Day period coming up in the next month and another more eclectic band album due in the summer."
OLD MAN DIODE & RICK HOLLAND Ft. CHRIS JAMES - Still Silver [START 55:54]
Old Man Diode and Rick Holland met in the midst of a haze of London music making, smoke and petrol fumes in the first years of the new millennium. A coterie of young musicians and artists lived a blurred city life under a loose banner of fresh collaboration and partying. This was a generation that started sharing and distributing home-made demos and gigs, and music began shifting from the shiny coated wrapper towards more and more easily shared worlds. After ten years of crossing paths in bands, workshops and cross-genre collaborations OMD and Rick Holland decided to officially join forces for the ‘Diode + Rick Holland featuring…’ series, to showcase the experience of ten years of open source experimentation along with, we're told, "the unique inputs of a dazzling array of co-writing vocalists. Giants from the development of UK dancefloor styles join forces with lesser known voices to present a story of mixing worlds, and a fresh challenging new sound."