Ahead of our second Deep Cuts live night at Buyers Club on March 2, Getintothis bring you the best new tracks of the month with our fourth edition of Deep Cuts.
It’s all we have. It’s all we’re born with, and when it’s gone, so are we. So we learn to value it, as a commodity. The most important commodity. So important, we make every effort to save it, and we try not to waste it. We place huge importance on spending it doing the things we love, in places that make us happy, and with those we care about.
When we work, we think of the longer story, the bigger picture. We think of the time when we don’t have to work. A night out, a holiday, a party, a gig. Occasions where time does not define us, but when our valuable moments define it.
Often, though, we can commodify time a little too much, and we lose sight of how important ‘the fun bit’ is. Until early 2016, I worked on my own business, a bar/restaurant in the city centre. An 80 hour week was a good, easy week, though often, far too often, it was more. I was onsite full time, and when at home, I was asleep. The whole process, five long years of it, though enjoyable, removed me from my friends and family and created in me a huge disconnect, a distraction, taking me away from the things I valued outside of all that.
It meant I missed gigs I would’ve loved, the rise (and fall) of so, so many great bands, festivals I would’ve enjoyed. Entire scenes and venues passed me by, as my routine answer became “can’t, I’m working“. I lost touch with music, and had no time to discover new music, something which up until those days, had been such a central part of life.
I lived for those years, a life of early starts and late nights, spreadsheets and figures. Rotas and invoices, profit and loss, income and expenditure replaced talk of new bands, great gigs, and new albums. I lost that contact, that connection with the things that drive me. I was enjoying it, though. I took the opportunity to promote some gigs in my bar, and in a bid to keep that connection current, I promoted a few gigs. I hosted early gigs from a host of local acts, including Tom Low, Eleanor Nelly, She Drew The Gun, and A Lovely War. Sell out shows from Aviator, The Real People, Jimmy and The Revolvers, and The Buffalo Riot, and a whole host of EP and album launches.
There were book launches with Waterstones, and comedy nights. I put outdoor gigs on at bank holidays. We had in conversation nights, several people filmed videos in the building. There were many of these great events, but in reality, it was just more work, and I was usually too busy running the place to be able to enjoy them. My time belonged to the business, not the events that made it a business.
For one reason and another, it ended in April 2016, we closed, and I now live a very different life. A whole world of difference, in fact.
I write. I work from home, roughly for a third of the hours I was doing before. My daily commute to work involves me going downstairs to put the kettle on in the morning as I open my computer.
As well as being back at home with my family, I’ve now reconnected with my old world. I feel like I’ve been away for five years, and there’s much catching up to be done back here in the world I knew before. I go to gigs again, I buy music again, and much of that music is new music. That could be just music I’ve never heard before, a jazz album or a classical piece I’ve read about. For some as yet inexplicable reason, I’ve recently been soaking up the work of the greats of Flamenco guitar.
More often than not, though, its new music I seek. Real new music. Music from new artists, with new ideas, new visions, new hopes and new expectations. It’s a fresh approach I want, a new angle, rejuvenating and often life-affirming, bringing new light and colour to my new world.
And I discipline myself. I have to, as I’m a little flaky and flighty at times. Easily distracted. So at 1.00pm every day, a reminder goes off on my phone, with a one word alert that simply reads “LISTEN”. At that point, no matter what I’m doing, I stop. I look for something I’ve never heard before. I might read an article that leads me to something. And the choice of word is everything. The reminder doesn’t say ‘HEAR’. There is, after all, a world of difference between hearing and listening. I want something I can concentrate on. Something that might take me on a new journey to a new place. It may take the form of a random search on Soundcloud or Spotify.
I make notes when I listen to IWFM Radio, you can always rely on Bernie Connor to point you in the right direction. Depending on my mood, I might search some other online radio shows for something. There is only one rule. It MUST be something I’ve never heard before. It could lead me to not working for the rest of the day, though it’s often something which simply determines what I listen to for the rest of the day. But it must always be new to me. Without fail.
As well as the Getintothis Album Club, our Deep Cuts column is always a great place to start. And this week offers another selection of goodness, new to you, and new to us. We’ve assembled a great choice for you here. Discipline yourself to listen, don’t simply hear. Enjoy the new, and enjoy being you. My personal choice here comes from TV:ME, an enthusing new direction on Deltasonic Records for the cosmic popster formerly known as Tom Low.
We also have our next Deep Cuts Live night, this Thursday, March 2, at Buyers Club. This month’s sees Ali Horn, Pixey, The Bohos, I See Rivers, and SPILT, as well as DJ sets from War Room Records. All for just £4. Boss. Paul Fitzgerald.
TV ME – Magdapio Falls
This slice of driving, insistent and catchy as you like dreamy pop opens up with a healthy cascade of stretched early 80s Kraftwerk synth lines, before the warped almost spoken double vocal leads us to the Beatles-flavoured harmonies on the chorus. The beats are simple, the harmonies rich, and for a first song release for a new project, it offers much promise.
As it builds towards its unseemly three minute conclusion, and the vocal layers envelop and surround each other, creating a floating hook which continues to the fade, we’re left intrigued, invited, and undeniably interested. This is a beguiling slice of electronica, it feels effortless and casual in its creation, but has all the right ingredients to pull the listener in.
Magdapio Falls, named after a location from Apocalypse Now, is a fascinating beginning to this new journey from TV ME. And ‘new journey’ is the right expression. TV ME is the new name and direction of one Thomas McConnell, who we once knew as Tom Low. New ideas, new beginnings, and a new chapter.
As he explains, “I’ve been doing a lot of stuff where I build on a loop in one key and this was the one I tried out in A…. I suppose it is a bit of a change of direction. Everything is a bit more synthy but also more original too, I think. Much more honed in what we want to do and what we’re about. I’ve written a whole suite about my childhood/the childhood of anyone my age that we’re planning how to use at the moment so I want our stuff to evoke a lot of that.”
- Paul Fitzgerald / @NothingvilleM
Boris Becker – Agassi Clearly Now (My Hair is Gone)
New balls please.
Unlikely as it may seem, there’s a bit of a Venn diagram overlap developing between Merseyside music and the fine sport of tennis. We’ve had Hooton Tennis Club and now entering the court, there’s Boris Becker – a band, rather than the renowned German ace.
Boris Becker play fast and hardcore shouty tunes. Tunes that you can sing along to and tunes that’ll bring a smile to your face.
Tennis punk. Now that’s a genre to drop into conversation with your local hipsters.
There’s a love song to Maria Sharapova, another one that deals with John McEnroe’s nervous breakdown, Andre Agassi’s problem with balding (one this writer can identify with) and, of course, a song about Pete Price being a lizard.
Their first 17 minute EP is self-released in April and if you want to catch them live they’re playing Maguires on April 29 with Ohmns, BryFace and cTrix.
In the words of the late, great Dan Maskell, ‘Boris Becker! Oh I say!’
- Rick Leach / @rickjleach
Tangerines – Peckham Boys
- Matthew Wood / @WoodmanTowers
St Jude the Obscure – Wreckage
St Jude the Obscure, is the combination of Adele Emmas and Christian Sandford, between them formerly of the groups Bird and Feral Love, to create a new art pop sound. Having already received support from the likes of Clash and BBC Radio 6 Music, this duo is already warming up for what could be a huge year.
Wreckage, the new (and only second) single from St Jude the Obscure combines ever-popular electronica with an 80s-influenced mix of melodies. Softer vocals elevate the track, adding a choral quality as everything builds to the higher notes of the chorus.
- Jess Borden / @JessKateBorden
Chris Woolf – Ordinary Man
Chris Woolf has a vocal delivery to be reckoned with. He may encapsulate Americana within seconds of hearing his rich folk/country stylings and this may be due to his years spent living in New York. Woolf however is a Camden boy and there is a strong busky London air to his work too if you dig deep. Ordinary Man is a crystal-clear example of Woolf’s talents with an instantly memorable chorus line and deep musing lyrics.
The echo in the production places Woolf in a smoky bar-room that no longer exists, providing a rich classic feel that is rarely heard in modern music. There is a quality there that should bring UK success to this artist who has mainly plied his trade Stateside.
- Del Pike / @Del_Pike
Farhood – Koochike
Liverpool based MC Farhood fled his native Iran aged just 18, seeking asylum. In interviews he’s talked about the stifling political climate of his own country, a climate in which harsh penalties are given for artistic expression seen to be criticising religious and political institutions. As an illegal migrant he was imprisoned the UK for four months and denied the right to work.
After around five years in the UK Farhood has gained his asylum status and much besides: It was at Mello Mello that he first met local producers Ling and Kepla whom he eventually collaborated with on his 2016 EP Tike Tike which fuses together elements of Persian poetry, modern street slang and grime inspired beats.
This track Koochike meaning ‘the youngest’ is the story of Farhood and his brother in Iran. Although the majority of us won’t be able to understand his lyrics, the meaning is emphasised with stellar atmospheric production – one of the most refreshing and interesting voices on the scene today.
- Janaya Pickett / @Muva_Urf
CHARITY SHOP POP – Curious?
- Chris Burgess / @BurgessWave
Patchwork Guilt – Get To Rest
Instantly evocative, subtle, flickering dream-pop – this is Get To Rest the alluring latest track from Liverpool-based, self-titled bedroom tinkerer, Phoenix Mundy aka Patchwork Guilt.
- Jake Marley / @JMarleyWrites
Ed Black – Troubled (Tom Pulse Remix)
Troubled, originally by Ed Black, is a down tempo acoustic alt-pop song. However, Dj Tom Pulse has remixed it into a 5 minute long progressive house track.
Pulse has added a constant electronic drum beat which still stays light, matching the original slow tempo but uplifting the tone, mixing in some synthetic elements and the slight voice distortion of Black‘s ethereal voice. It changes the song to a summery, chilled out vibe, that would work as a perfect track to add to your sleep playlist or one you can picture being played in a bar in Ibiza where everyone goes to recover from their hangover.
- Lorna Dougherty / @ldough_
Rico Don – Samuel Trapson
He’s been on the scene for a couple of years, but with the release of his latest Vibrations EP, it definitely feels like 2017 could be a big year for Merseyside MC Rico Don. Along with recent single Samuel Trapson, he feels like an artist ready to explode.
“Fuck Samuel Jackson, this one’s Samuel Trapson” he snarls in the opening statement of the track. A statement of confidence and swagger, setting the tone for the rest of the song. It’s a tune that leaves you with no doubt, Rico Don is the real deal, and he’s not afraid to shout about it.
Samuel Trapson is up in your face and urgent. It’s compulsive listening. In a time where the likes of Skepta and Stormzy are growing in stature with everything they release, leading a grime revolution, it feels like the perfect time for Rico Don to emerge. This is the music of now.
- Adam Lowerson / @AdamLowerson
Ali Horn – Days Like Today
If you need an injection of summer-fried psychedelia to convince that warmer weather lies around the corner then you need look no further than Strange Collective guitarist Ali Horn‘s Days Like Today.
- Paul Higham / @pmhigham
Beaten John Lip – Echo
It’s always good to hear a song that makes you want to listen to it from start to finish and then take it back and play it again and again. This is exactly what Beaten John Lip have achieved with their rousing cut, Echo.
Its rumbling beat kicks in and refuses to come up for breath, as it carries us onto its dizzying adventure. Images of riding through a desert landscape come to mind as its swaggering bass hooks and sun-soaked guitars collide.
A droll, hazy vocal creates the finishing touch to ensure this track is one that will sit with you for days on end. Get used to hitting that repeat button.
- Craig MacDonald / @83CraigyMac