Fresh from their second album Battles are set to play a one off London show later this year.

Now operating as a three piece, the departure of Tyondai Braxton has not held Battles back. Recruiting a series of guest vocalists – including Gary Numan – second album ‘Gloss Drop’ is an incredible comeback.

Released earlier this month, the album retained the math rock gymnastics of ‘Mirrored’ but added a string of new ideas. At times having a real Caribbean sound, ‘Gloss Drop’ has matched the acclaim of Battles’ debut.

Playing a handful of European shows earlier this year, Battles were on ferocious form. The band’s deeply improvisational live performance stretch material in new directions, adding fresh ideas as they go.

Confirming details of a new London show, Battles are set to end the year in some style. Set up by ATP, the one off date takes place in the relatively intimate confines of the Kentish Town Forum on November 21st.

Tickets for the show are set to go on sale tomorrow (Friday July 1st) from 10am. Better be quick…

As a special incentive, ClashMusic have grabbed this performance of ‘Wall Street’ from ace French folks La Blogotheque.

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Battles | Wall Street | A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

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UPDATE – Battles have now added three more shows. Details below!

Battles have confirmed the following show:

November
17 Newcastle Gateshead Town Hall
18 LiverpoolKazimier
19 Dublin Button Factory
21 London Kentish Town Forum

Click here to buy tickets for Battles!

The question of whether location affects a band’s style immediately comes to mind before interviewing The Dead Trees. After initially forming in Boston in 2007, and shortly after releasing their debut E.P., ‘Fort Music’, the band packed up and shipped across the country, to Portland, Oregon before joining Albert Hammond Jnr on his US tour.

Then, a year later, in between working odd jobs and releasing their debut album, King of Rosa, they hit Europe, Brazil and the US as part of Little Joy’s backing band. After which they moved to LA where, together with Noah Georgeson, they produced their second LP, ‘WHATWAVE’. Head spinning? Compose yourself and read the thoughts of The Dead Trees singer, Michael Ian Cummings as he explains all.

How is this album different to the last?

I think geography had a lot to do with the shape and sound of the new record, ‘WHATWAVE’, as well as the last record ‘King of Rosa’ (recorded in Portland, Oregon). ‘WHATWAVE’ was recorded in the windy hills surrounding Mulholland Drive in LA. All the songs were written in a tiny apartment turned practice space in Echo Park on top of the Echoplex. I was surrounded by sun, bands, good weather, good friends and lots of pot. It had a big role in the music. I feel like you can feel that time period when you listen to the record, it gives me some ephemeral joy.

How do you address the subject matter of your lyrics?

I try not to harp too much on things. I either like poignant songs about universal things or totally personal weirdo fantasy trips that aren’t meant to be dissected but rather just swallowed whole and processed with your gut. While some of the songs on the record like ‘Punch for Punch’ or ‘Mexican Politics’ are very literal, most of the rest are just vibe-y. Don’t get me wrong, they all have something to say, but they are less immediately and readily related to.

What were you listening to while making the album?

I was listening to The Clash a lot. Almost exclusively at points. I’m not sure why though, it wasn’t a new discovery or new connection or anything it just sort of took over my iPod for a while. I don’t think it really came through too much, though I wish it did…I think I also was really into the Best Coast 7” that Black Iris put out.

You’ve completely funded this album independently?

Yeah, we asked everyone we knew to chip in and help us raise 17k on Kickstarter. Somehow it worked, we love our friends and it’s nice to see the love reciprocated.

Are you touring?

We are slated to go to Europe and Japan in September/October to support ‘WHATWAVE’. I am really excited to go back overseas. It feels like it’s been forever since we were there with Little Joy. Not sure about the US yet but I’m sure that will come together soon.

What’s next for you guys?

Hopefully some touring, recording, partying, chilling, pretty girls, new guitars, road trips, the cover of Rolling Stone, tacos etc…

‘WHATWAVE’ is released on 18th July

Words by Sam Ballard

Truck Festival have revealed the line up for the Clash Tent at their July event in association with Transgressive, Heavenly and Bella Union record labels.

Taking place from 22nd-24th July at Hill Farm, Steventon with bands including Gruff Rhys, Young Knives, Tunng, The Go! Team and many more, the Clash Tent is set to boast artists from the rosters of three of the UK’s best record labels.

The full details of the line up over the three days are:

Friday – Curated by Transgressive

Gaggle – 16:00
Marques Toliver – 17:00
Mechanical Bride – 18:00
Peggy Sue – 19:10
Liam Finn – 20:10
Johnny Flynn – 21:30
Graham Coxon – 23:30

Saturday – Curated by Heavenly

Colourama – 13:30
James Walbourne – 14:30
The Rockingbirds – 16:00
Trevor Moss & Hannah-Lou – 17:15
Sea of Bees – 18:30
Cherry Ghost – 19:45
Edwyn Collins – 21:00
Richard Norris – 22:15
Saint Etienne – 23:30
Justin Robertson – 00:30

Sunday – Curated by Bella Union

Cashier No 9 – 12:30
Lanterns on the Lake – 13:30
Treefight for Sunlight – 14:30
Alessi’s Ark – 15:45
Dean Wareham – 17:30
Philip Selway – 19:15
John Grant – 20:45

You can view the line up for the full three days’ numerous stages and tents at the Truck website HERE.

Watch the video for ‘Icke’s Struggle’ by Blanck Mass, a new project by one half of Fuck Buttons Benjamin John Power.

Released on Rock Action, Blanck Mass’ self-titled, debut album is out this week with Power clearly enjoying this solo venture, saying “I do like the fact that this album represents a pretty clear image of myself, that which I am aware of and that which might be controlled by some other type of subconscious guidance.”

There are no plans to tour the album though Power adds “Soundtracking nature documentaries would work out pretty well for me”.

BLANCK MASS – ICKE’S STRUGGLE from Alex Turvey on Vimeo.

Watch the video for Hypnolove’s ‘Holiday Reverie’, a spot on parody of 90s Eurodance parties.

The track is backed by ‘Midnight Cruising’ with remixes of both tracks by Mickey Moonlight completing the release from the French band on Record Makers.

St Helier Cider Online Music Awards have announced the winners of their first ever competition.

For a new band, getting noticed is harder than ever. Many new groups take to the internet, but are lost within the enormous tide of music which can be found online.

Set up as a gathering point for new talent, the St Helier Cider Online Music Awards were announced earlier this year. Entry was open to anyone, with judges including Tim Westwood and The Noisettes.

Thousands of young hopefuls entered, with the competition split into seven categories. Judges deliberated for weeks, with the winners announced across social networking sites yesterday (June 29th).

The full list of winners is as follows:

Best Urban Act Winner: Caligrafi Jones
Best Pop Act Winner: Spaceship Days
Best Rock Act Winner: FranKo
Best Dance Act Winner: Anda Adam
Best Music Video Winner: Black Biscuit
Best International Unsigned Act Winner: Hannah Trigwell
Best Music Website: ReverbNation.com

A dedicated page has been set up giving more information on each individual winner – click HERE to find out more.

St Helier Cider Online Music Awards opened earlier this year, and founder Chris Mitchell has been delighted with the success of the competition. “On behalf of the entire St Helier Cider Online Music Awards team, I would personally like to thank everyone that nominated, voted and supported us during our first year.”

“I promise you that each and every year we will continue to celebrate and reward unsigned artists for their online creativity and musical ability. I would also like to thank St Helier Cider for their support, TLC, Tony Cowell, Tim Westwood and all of our 2011 presenters. The response this year has been phenomenal and I very much look forward to our 2012 campaign.”

Festibelly has expanded its line up for this summer with appearances from Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Ghostpoet and more.

Set in the New Forest, Festibelly was an unusual addition to the festival calendar. Its original capacity was just 500 people, while the event mixed some fantastic music with a number of bizarre features.

Turning the additional tents in cabaret style pleasure palaces, Festibelly was a uniquely chilled out little event. Now expanding to hold 2500 people, the event is set to return for another instalment this summer.

The line up is still being formulated but already there are some enticing names. Hailing from Oxford, dance producer Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs has already released some stunning cuts on Greco-Roman.

Matching a house bounce with Jungle’s aggression, the producer’s live show is fantastic fun. Dressed as a prehistoric lizard, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs place the emphasis on getting the party started.

Set to visit Festibelly, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs will be joined by fast rising hip hop performer Ghostpoet. Releasing his debut album on Brownswood earlier this year, the rapper’s socially conscious style mixed effortlessly with some really classy production.

Using live instruments in his set up, Ghostpoet’s performances have seen the rapper charm audiences across Europe and beyond.

She Keeps Bees are preparing to visit Festibelly, while Hollie Cook, My Sad Captains and more are also confirmed. The DJ line up is enticing with Batty Bass, Greco-Roman Soundsystem, Mojo Filter and more making an appearance.

With left field musical entertainment such as Massive In China, The Nest and Le Disco also planned Festibelly has a diverse range of stages up its sleeve.

Tickets are on sale now.

Festibelly runs between August 27th – 28th.

Somewhere in a peaceful Isle of Wight garden, The Shutes front man Michael Champion is sitting, surrounded by chickens. It’s not where Clash thought he would be, but then we’ve only recently been introduced to the surf rock that is starting to get them noticed. From the sound of his three-piece, we’d more likely have put them on the other side of the Atlantic (but most definitely still surrounded by chickens). Having recently signed to Cross Key Records, after supporting the likes of the Bees, Peter, Bjorn and John and The Go! Team across Europe, they’ve just released their debut EP on the label – the limited edition seven-inch Noah’s Ark. Expecting big things? We are. If you’re heading down to Bestival in September be sure to check them out. We spoke to Michael to find out more.

How would you describe what you guys are about?

We all love American music. Stuff like Wilco, Flaming Lips and then going back to Dylan. Just good, honest guitar music. For us, it’s about getting some really good songs.
Would you say that those influences translate into your music?

To an extent but not necessarily. There’s one song called ‘Sweet Marie’ where we were going for a ‘Highway 61’ kind of vibe with a backing track – but we’re trying to be modern and definitely not a nostalgia band.

How long have you been together?

It’s about three years; we’ve toured around Europe three times on support tours but we’ve always struggled to find the right studio to fit the sounds we want. It’s all started to come together now though and we’re getting a few tracks sorted that we’re happy with. Just have to concentrate on finishing the album.

How do you write your lyrics?

I’m usually quite vague; the main thing is that they sound good in terms of their flow and their sound. So without being too specific, and you can take different things from it without ploughing your opinions on anyone. I don’t think I’d ever write a massively political tune. You can’t really get angry on the Isle of Wight.

And the music? Is that a collaboration?

I get the ideas together on my own and we usually build on them when we’re recording or in rehearsals. That’s when it all comes together. We’re very lucky that there’s a guy here on the Isle of Wight who we spend building and messing with sounds with no real time constraints. There’s been no pressure from the label saying you have to have it finished this way, which is quite nice. Although it would be nice to get some money.

Are there any live dates coming up?

We’re playing Bestival in September and we’ll be throwing a party here during the summer but we haven’t got a tour planned as of yet. Once the album is finished, mastered and good to go, that will change. But there’s no point in hitting the road just to plug one single. …

What does the year ahead hold?

We just want it to take off really. Have a good focus on getting an amazing album and getting a good live show together – get busy.

The limited edition vinyl of ‘Noah’s Ark’ is out now. Buy it HERE.

Words by Sam Ballard

Memphis Industries are set to celebrate their 13th anniversary with a one off party in London.

Founded at the tail end of the tumultuous decade known as the 90s, Memphis Industries have turned themselves into one of the country’s most dependable labels. Sure, not everything they release is exactly to our taste but each new signing is introduced with care and attention.

Neglecting to do anything for their 10th anniversary, after three years the workload has finally quietened down to allow them to pause for a celebration.

Turning a youthful thirteen later this year, Memphis Industries have decided to host a one off party. Inviting some of the standout groups from their roster, the label are set to hit London’s KOKO venue on November 30th.

Live sets include an appearance from Manchester upstarts Dutch Uncles, whose idea-packed second album dropped earlier this year. A new addition to the Memphis Industries stable, the band will be joined by some long-standing veterans.

Field Music tend to be a law unto themselves, often retreating just when it seems they are destined for wider success. Returning with a new album last year, the Sunderland band re-enforced their reputation as one of the country’s most inventive guitar groups.

Set to perform at the Memphis Industries celebration, Field Music will be joined by Colourmusic and more. With the champagne flowing the label are set to introduce The Go! Team to raise the temperature of the night.

Returning earlier this year with ‘Rolling Blackouts’ The Go! Team are famously frenetic live. If you can’t boogie to their blizzard of funk samples, off-kilter synth lines or high-tempo rapping then there is clearly something wrong with your boogie…

Founded by brothers Matt and Ollie Jacob Memphis Industries has moved from a hobby into a powerful voice in British music. Inviting fans down for a special party, tickets for the one off show go on sale tomorrow (July 1st) at 10 am.

Memphis Industries party:

November
21 London KOKO

Click here to buy tickets for Memphis Industries!

Primus are set to release their new album ‘Green Naugahyde’ on September 12th.

Primus are almost unique. The band are fantastic musicians, a group who earned their chops with a career which has lasted for 27 years and counting. Yet rather than get bogged down in lengthy solos the group have a tight, rhythm based approach.

Reclusive, the band often perform in masks and have remained dormant for eleven years. Stirring back into life, Primus have confirmed that they are to release their new album ‘Green Naugahyde’ in September.

Coinciding with a summer tour, the new album in their first in over a decade. Produced and engineered by Led Claypool in his personal studio, the line up is completed by long-time guitarist Larry LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane.

As yet, there is little to go on however the band have offered up a few quotes. Les Claypool has claimed that Primus are returning to their early material: “If I were to look at all of our records, it seems like this is reminiscent of the early stuff. Obviously, with Jay there’s a newness to it, but because he left the band right before we recorded our first record, his approach has an eerie harkening to the old Frizzle Fry days.”

Re-uniting to work on fresh material, Primus apparently relied on intuition to guide them back into the fold. “There wasn’t a lot of pre-thought to this as much as, ‘Oh here we are, we should make a record” Claypool said.

“I’ve been playing with Jay quite a lot over the past 10 years and we have an intuitive bond, so for me he was a natural choice to be back in the mix”.

Set to be released on September 12th, ‘Green Naugahyde’ follows a summer tour. Hitting the UK, Primus have confirmed two shows – their first in the country for more than a decade. Appearing in Manchester on July 12th, the following night sees a visit to London’s Brixton Academy.

Primus have confirmed the following shows:

July
12 Manchester Academy
13 London Brixton Academy

Click here to buy tickets for Primus!