INTRODUCING MIXTAPE. MONDAY 04/03/2013
Francis Lickerish - click to zoom image in new window
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, 4th March 2013.
CARA WINTER - Picking Up The Pieces [Starts 00:42]
We enjoyed Cara Winter's earlier song Butterfly on the mixtape last September, but to these ears this material moves her up into a different league altogether. Cara is a 25 year old pianist, vocalist and composer based in East Anglia on the north-east borders of Essex and Cambridgeshire. She described herself to us last year as "A shy self-taught pianist who has recently started experimenting with live shows featuring a string quartet" but there's nothing shy or tentative about her incandescent performance on this track. She's put out two selfreleased albums to date and has just completed album number three: Do You Have A Heart - a collaboration with cellist and string arranger Nick Cooper who has worked with Kate Bush, Peter Gabriel and Goldfrapp among others.
SEATTLE YACHT CLUB - Same Old Questions [Starts 05:02]
Seattle Yacht Club are from Liverpool, Southport (or possibly both) and consist of multi-instrumentalists Tom Dale and Denis Brice. The duo share a bond approaching brotherhood, having grown up next door to each other, and indeed their playing shares much of that telepathic tightness often heard in bands of siblings. Having played & made music together in various bands over the years they've gradually refined their sound and shed superfluous musicians from their lineup to end up with Brian Eno's ideal of the "small, mobile intelligent unit."
CYMBIENT - Trailers and Gliders [Starts 07:34]
Cymbient is the musical project of Trinidad born, Cardiff based artist and musician, Andy Fung. Andy's previous musical incarnation Derrero recorded 4 Peel Sessions and toured with Super Furry Animals, Grandaddy, Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and Sebadoh. Cymbient's 2008 album, Out On The Waves, received 6 Music airplay from, among others, Shaun Keaveny, Gideon Coe and, er, Tom Robinson This track Trailers and Gliders comes from Andy's latest full length offering I Saw Energy and you can see examples of his visual artworks and psychedelic painting at andyfung.co.uk
RUEN BROTHERS - Aces [Starts 09:42]
A great sounding track from Ruen Brothers - with a wonderful classic garage rock groove, and a bravura vocal performance. This is the kind of pared-down, deceptively simple song structure that formed the backbone of early 1960s rock'n'roll. Songwriting like this has been an increasingly lost art with the subsequent rise of first multitrack and then computer-assisted recording, but this band manage it effortlessly. The band are actual brothers Rupert and Henry Stansall - on lead guitar and lead vocals respectively - whogrew up in the industrial badlands of Scunthorpe before moving south to seek fame and fortune in London. They come highly recommended not only by Katy Noone from BBC Introducing in Humberside but also the ever-reliable Dean Jackson who presents BBC Introducing's legendary East Midlands show The Beat
SUPERMASSIVEELEPHANT - Pterodactyl [Starts 12:24]
Elephant (or SupermassiveElephant, UKElephant, TheElephant, ElephantInTheRoom or ItsAnElephant, depending on which of his websites you visit) is an interesting creature hand-reared by multi-instrumentalist/producer/songwriter Alex Hall from Milford-on-sea near Lymington in the New Forest. Armed with a laptop and a modest collection of instruments, he spends his time piecing together a collection of recordings inspired by his love of experimental indie, 60’s surf pop and more contemporary lo-fi electronic music. Alex is also a passionate enthusiast of Apple computers and an ex school music teacher with strong skills in Logic Pro and Garageband.
GYMNAST - Build A Boat [Starts 16:14]
One of my great regrets in recent indie music has been the demise of the immensely fresh and promising Edinburgh band Mayhew - who not only featured regularly on my 6 music Introducing shows but also won themselves a place on the Acoustic Stage in the Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition in 2011. However the financial and logistical pressures of keeping a five piece band together on the more interesting fringes of the record industry are immense, and over the following year the band finally ceased to be. So imagine my delight - after choosing Build A Boat by Manchester duo Gymnast for this mixtape purely on the basis of what came out of the speakers - to learn that this new band consists of core Mayhew members Cathy Wilcock (on lead vocals and guitar) and Chris Lyon (on, er, synth, cello, guitar, backing vocals, programming… you name it). It's a case of Mayhew is dead, long live Gymnast, and we await more music from them with keen interest.
UNIVERSAL DISAPPOINTMENT SPONGE - Lost Art Of Steeplejacking [Starts 19:52]
Easy listening it ain't, but giving your spine and ears an enjoyable jolt, it's hard to beat "The Lost Art Of Steeplejacking" by the splendidly named Universal Disappointment Sponge - who accurately describe themselves as "Post Modern Art Rock Noise Nonsense from the very bowels of Essex". Namely the towns of Rayleigh and Leigh near Southend On Sea. The group features members of a number of Essex based bands - including Southend based satirical noise wranglers Fashoda Crisis - "playing music loudly, but never playing in Essex". Them's the breaks I guess. It's challenging music, but always a thrill to discover great players making music as barkingly deranged as this. It's only a shame they weren't doing it ten years ago - John Peel would have adored their debut EP Time To Surrender Puny Earthlings, which you can hear in full on their Bandcamp page. They play Cardiff on March 31st
TALK TO ANGELS - Lead Balloon [Starts 22:16]
Indie guitar rock is a universal language of which Bradford quartet Talk To Angels are clearly fluent speakers - having not only toured the US Eastern Seaboard for CMJ and played South By Southwest in Austin, but also played La Ferme Du Rock in France, Live At Leeds, and headlined their own ten date UK tour. The band's latest incarnation aims to move things up a gear with the release of their forthcoming debut album This Broken Home on March 22nd (band member Mickey Dale's birthday!) from which this single Lead Balloon is an advance taster. It can be pre-ordered from their Bandcamp page although a full-scale tour to promote it won't take place until at least May, due to family and other commitments.
SPARROW AND THE WORKSHOP - Shock Shock [Starts 26:09]
Glasgow trio Sparrow & the Workshop release their new single ‘Shock Shock’ through Song By Toad Records on March 18th. It's the first new music we've heard form them since last year’s sophomore album Spitting Daggers and a first taster from the 11-track followup Murderopolis which is due in May. The group consists of vocalist Jill O’Connor, drummer Gregor Donaldson and Nick Packer on guitar, bass and, erm, something called a basstard. "We've never done an album launch before" they exclaim on Facebook "and now we're doing two. Cowabunga! The first one is in Mono, Glasgow (on May 8th) with support from the excellent Strike The Colours". Having supported the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre, British Sea Power, The Lemonheads and taken to the stage at Glastonbury, Green Man and Bestival to name a few, the band make a return performance as session guests on The Marc Riley show on 6 Music on Monday March 18th - the very day this single hits the digital shops.
WILL AND THE PEOPLE - The Game [Starts 29:52]
Will And The People describe themselves as "multigenre heavy chilled pop music... it's a reggae sandwich situation" After forming at Glastonbury festival 2010 the band immediately moved into a house together where the recorded the majority of their second album 'Friends.' It has been a very busy two years for the band relentlessly touring from Australia to Cambodia and collaborating with artists ranging from Passenger to Ed Sheeran. They've had a top 10 single in Holland which they followed up with a sold out tour. "Currently" we're told, "the band, the magician and the producer all live under the same roof.. which means they can afford to be spontaneous, as they can read each other very well… the band don't really argue, and they work together... because of this they are doing very well this year.. they have managed to book all their own gigs and do all their own paperwork (nearly)....
LITTLEMORES - Blue Eyes Black [Starts 32:53]
Littlemores have built a live reputation in their native York and the surrounding county for their high-energy live performances. To my ears they're unlike any other guitar-based indie band working in this musical or geographical area because of the sharp, thoughtful lyrics of firebrand frontman Conor Hirons. Few bands could turn a song about domestic violence into a riproaring set-closer, yet that's excatly what Littlemores have done with Blue Eyes Black. Three weeks ago they posted a new song called "Have You Seen The News Master" on their Soundcloud page. "Very Billy Bragg" sniffed a user known as The Vineland. "We take that as a great compliment" reorted Littlemores. And so they should.
CREATURE THAT BITES - Hole in the Sky [Starts 36:19]
Keyboardist and drummer Christian Barton joined forces with bass/guitar player George Haworth in April 2012 to write, sing, record, produce and release their own music. "Having been music men for many years" they say, "we decided it was time to get our act together, so to speak. We hope others enjoy and get a sense of the fun we had putting this work together". This track is taken from the band's self-titled concept album which came out last Autumn, from which we already featured their debut single Plane to Caracas on the Introducing Mixtape at the beginning of this year.
DUOLOGUE - Push It [Starts 39:59]
The first incarnation of Duologue deserved its name back when vocalist Tim Digby-Bell and techno DJ/programmer Toby Leeming were a two-piece indie/electronic band gigging around London and the festival circuit. They've since recruited longstanding friends Seb Dilleyston (violins) Ross Stone (bass) and Toby Lee (lead guitar) to form a fully-fledged band. They just released their long-awaited debut album Song & Dance this week on Killing Moon Records, from which this single is taken. It also includes a re-recorded version of Talk Shop - a track that we first featured on 6 Music Introducing back in December 2007. They play a short run of UK dates next week in Leeds, Sheffield, Nottingham and Bristol before heading off the Austin for South By Southwest 2013.
OWEN DUFF - Dying For The Money [Starts 46:30]
Northern-Ireland born, London-resident Owen Duff sings, plays piano, guitar, ukulele and drums. He also writes, records, produces and makes videos with a tendency, he says, "to prioritise unusual chord progressions & extended metaphors over most other things." He's released four EPs since 2006, and completed one (deliberately) unreleased album in 2008 after challenging himself to write and record 20 songs in four weeks. Six of those songs were reworked 15 months ago to form Owen's fourth EP Realityicide, on which this is the seventh, bonus, track. You can hear and buy the whole thing on his Bandcamp, which also includes a link to his various other web pages. We aprticularly recommend the vintage black and white promo clip for Dying For The Money on his YouTube channel.
FRANCIS LICKERISH - Broceliande [Starts 50:42]
Back in the early 70s I was friends with Francis Lickerish (pictured above), whose band with Steve Stewart and Neil Kavanagh later went on to become the much-loved orchestral rock cult heroes The Enid. Francis and The Enid parted company in the early 80s, and to my great joy he's returned this year with one of the most original solo albums I've heard in ages called Far And Forgot: The Lost Lands. The music is a refinement of his trademark widescreen orchestral rock yet performed by members of a live gigging combo of multi instrumentalists. This is at its most surprising when they put down their guitars and play a pastoral gem like this one, Broceliande. However the album has an astonishingly wide range that includes full-on drums and electric guitars - as you can hear on his Secret Green website.
VASQUEZ - Pow [Starts 55:40]
Vasquez was originally three guys who met following a post on Gumtree by guitarist/founding member Ciaran Mckenna looking for band members. They named the band after a hard-as-nails, heavy-machine-gun-wielding badass character in the film Aliens. In December 2010 new permanent bassist Sean Quinn joined the band. Inspired by the likes of Talking Heads, Don Caballero, Torche, Steve Reich and Meshuggah the group has released two EP’s (EP1 and EP2) and gigged extensively around the UK. Their latest EP "EP-426" contains six tracks and was released in January 2013. Their next live booking is on April 13th at the Limbo Live night at The Voodoo Rooms in their hometown of Edinburgh.