Spacey Jane – Sitting Up

Australia has been a veritable hotbed of on-fire indie bands lately and now, taking their place alongside Gang of Youths, DMAs and Middle Kids, are marvellously monikered Spacey Jane. The Perth quartet’s excellent new single, Sitting Up, is a wavy prelude to their sophmore album, Here Comes Everybody, all about drinking too much booze and the inevitable onslaught of regret.

The track’s pacey rhythm compounded by all the airy, luscious reverb, and lead singer Caleb Harper’s keen yelps, give the track the oomph of a Teenage Fanclub classic getting strummed by Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Sitting Up was released on February 9th and you can have a listen to the track right here:

Andrew Cushin – You Don’t Belong

Andrew Cushin’s early career has been packed full of high level endorsement, with third single ‘Where’s My Family Gone’ boasting a Noel Gallagher production credit and his recent signing to Peter Doherty’s Strap Originals records.

‘You Don’t Belong’ is a shining example of why alternative music’s top boys are bigging him up. Newcastle’s Cushin proves his substantial songwriting skill with a chiming earworm of a guitar hook backing up his Geordie lilt as the singer songwriter makes known a personal story of a soured relationship and tough emotion, packing an expansive new full-band sound to build on his past acoustic-led foundation.

‘You Don’t Belong’ is the initial dispatch from the 21 year old artist’s forthcoming four-track debut EP on Strap Originals records, arriving April 22nd. You can see the single’s brand new video below:

L’Objectif – Same Thing

Trading in their rumbling guitar and dourness for bubbly synths and a funky bassline, L’objectif’s new single may be named ‘Same Thing’ but, ironically, they’re treading new dance-friendly ground. The Leeds teenage four-piece, all 17 years old and splitting their time between band life and study, show that, in the still early stages of the group’s career, not only do they know their way around an intense driving rhythm, they can also make impressive dance-punk of a The Rapture and Friendly Fires benchmark.

‘Same Thing’ was released on 08/02/2022 via the very excellent Chess Club Records and you can watch the video, shot in an empty swimming pool, below:

Minerva Daisy – ‘Something Strange’ Interview

“It used to be painful and angering to sing this song but now it feels empowering. It makes me feel bad-ass whenever I sing it.”

Next Wednesday, 16th February, Manchester’s Minerva Daisy is set to release her darkest and strongest release yet, the brooding new single ‘Something Strange’. A masterpiece of baroque piano and dramatic drumming, the Mancunian songstress summons Florence Welch, Laura Marling and Kates Nash and Bush to tell a florid tale of cheating partners and planned sweet revenge. The record comes complete with hand drawn original gothic-inspired artwork.

In the lead up to release day, Minerva answered some questions for Edge of Arcady, letting us delve deep into her mind and find out her thoughts on the new song and her musical career so far:

Tell me the story behind Something Strange?
‘Something Strange’ was written a few years ago about an hour after I found out an ex-partner had cheated on me. It was written as a way to vent and get out all of these new and painful emotions. It used to be painful and angering to sing this song but now it feels empowering, it makes me feel bad-ass whenever I sing it.

What do you want your listeners to take away from the song?
I want this track to be empowering for you, In the same way that Carrie Underwood, P!nk, Olivia Rodrigo & Taylor Swift all have songs you want to belt out to feel better, I’d like this to be one of those tracks for someone who needs it.

How did you start writing music?
I started writing music when I was around 14, just to vent out emotions but also, it felt natural to start writing because my dad has been doing it all his life and I grew up around that process.

When did you start playing live and how was your first gig?
16, I started out as a duo called The Hazy Days playing covers in pubs, and I remember bricking it, I was shy and scared on stage. My first solo gig was similar, terrified but I was surrounded by family & friends there to support me so the atmosphere was lovely.

Which bands and artists are you into and what inspires you?
I love the old soul singers like Etta James, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin. Those voices are just so beautiful and powerful.
I’m also a huge fan of Hozier, Muse, Bahamas, Portishead and Florence & the Machine to name a few.

Inspiration for me comes from everywhere, it can be from my emotions and experiences or what’s going on around me, for example. One of my songs was inspired by my dog who howls like he’s singing along whenever I would play piano and sing at home, his howl would always be in the same key, so I decided I’d write him his own song in that key called ‘Howl’! The lyrical content isn’t so much about him but it’s one he loves to howl to when he hears it.

Something Strange’ was recorded and produced at Mad Fox studios with Tayte Nickols. We’ve featured a few artists (Supera Morza, College Elite) who have recorded at Mad Fox studios recently. Is there anything you can tell us about them and your recording experience there?
Mad Fox is great, I’ve recorded a few tracks with Tayte now and he never disappoints, he works the producer magic on all of them & brings them to life. We usually get a full track recorded within the span of 2 days so It’s a quick process but it also gives us time to make adjustments and experiment if we want to.

What is the music scene in Manchester like?
Bustling and not credited enough! There are so many undiscovered artists here just waiting to break through and they deserve it. 9/10 times I’ve been to a gig in Manchester, the artists performing are always top of the game & have great stage presence. However, I do wish there were more events and promoters championing the more of the female artists too, especially within the indie scene.

Which other current Manchester bands, or bands from elsewhere, do you admire and feel close to and why?
Deano, the front man Tommy is one of my closest friends, I see how hard he works & the passion he has for the music he puts out & the recent release ‘Good as Gold’ is just amazing.
There’s also Floor 4, a 3 piece non-binary punk band who have been making waves since they started & have a gig coming up on March 15th called Scar Tissue, raising money for Mars’s (The front person’s) top surgery, the drummer Kay is my former drummer & also one of my closest friends.
There are so many musicians in Manchester that I adore, I could go on for hours.

What has been the highlight of your musical career so far?
Performing in London with my band for a competition called Alpha Unsigned to win a 100k record deal! The votes are still open to help us get to the grand final too if anyone fancies voting. (https://alpha-unsigned.co.uk/vote/)
The whole day was so chaotic but full of lovely memories I’ll cherish for a long time.

You have hand drawn the evocative artwork for Something Strange. How long have you been drawing for and can you tell us about any of your other artwork?
I have always had an interest in art, but this is my first big graphic design piece, It took over 40 hours of trail and error and was inspired by Saul Bass posters for the Alfred Hitchcock movies. I’m really pleased with the outcome. I haven’t got any other artwork yet but I’m taking more of an interest in using it more for hobby work!

What are your plans for the future?
I want to get performing all over the UK & release more music! Me & the band have been writing recently and we’re so excited to see what the future brings.

‘Something Strange’ is available to pre-order here right now!

IMPORTANT MESSAGE FOR ALL MANCHESTER GIG-GOING READERS.
If you pre-order the single you can also claim a free ticket to Minerva Daisy’s gig on 11th March at the Lions Den, Deansgate, by either sharing a screenshot of the pre-order to your Instagram stories or showing the receipt on the door on the night.

Need a little something to tide you over to the release of ‘Something Strange’? Check out the video for previous single ‘Substitute’ below:

Sunflower Bean – Who Put You Up To This?

As the New Yorkers gear up for the release of album number three, ‘Who Put You Up To This?’ sees Sunflower Bean take on a deep, scuzzy bassline and eighties hair metal guitar solos, fronteers they’ve not broached until now and they gloriously succeed in creating an entire filmic, swoonful groove of a mood. Singer Julia Cumming’s gusty, powerful vocals pose the question in the song’s title before considering who really makes an individual lead the life they’re living?

Along with their brand new single and video, Sunflower Bean have announced third album ‘Headful of Sugar’ – produced by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s Jacob Portrait. The LP will be out via Lucky Number on 6th May.

The tracklisting is below:
‘Who Put You Up To This?’
‘In Flight’
‘Otherside’
‘Roll The Dice’
‘Headful of Sugar’
‘I Don’t Have Control Sometimes’
‘Stand By Me’
‘Post Love’
‘Baby Don’t Cry’
‘Beat The Odds’
‘Feel Somebody’

The album is available to pre-order in all it’s sparkling formats, colours and bundles by tapping here.

You can view the cinematic new video to ‘Who Put You Up To This?’ that appears to be the start in a series of ‘to be continued…’ clips throughout the Headful of Sugar era below:

Arlo Parks – Softly

Capping off the monumental success of debut album ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’, Arlo Parks has written upbeat sounding standalone new track ‘Softly’. Backed with blissed out, quick-paced piano and drum loop, Arlo’s spoken word poetry analyses the minutiae of a scene. We’re in Berlin and her partner, or the partner of this character, is breaking up with her.

Parks notes the small details of the moment against the full yearning reality: “Lemon and ginger beer, soap suds on navels/ If I upset you, could you maybe just say so?”, “You look at me as if it’s my fault that we’re stood here/ The cobalt of your scarf has pulled clear” and pleads “when you leave, just break it to me softly”. Such is the relatable humanity in Arlo’s writing, if you weren’t too busy swaying your shoulders to the catchy rhythm you’d be choking back a lump in your throat.

If you wanted to buy some of Arlo Parks magnificent work you can do so by tapping here.
Watch the single for ‘Softly’ below, as it explores the theme of the crumbling reality that comes with the end of a relationship:

Grimes – Shinigami Eyes

Pop’s meta-dimensional ethereal homotechno pixie, Grimes, is here with another trance-inducing slice of utopian electronica. This time, her hypnotic beats are fronted by lyrics contemplating a world seen through the ‘Shinigami Eyes‘ – referring to both the Google Chrome browser add-on that clearly marks out transphobic and trans-friendly social network users, along with the Japanese manga Death Note anime from 2003 in which to have ‘Shinigami Eyes’ means the ability to see a person’s name and lifespan on looking at them. Grimes, however, uses a more poetic interpretation when she introduces the video by confessing: “I like making friends with demons, you need special eyes to see them”.

In Japanese folklore, Shinigami are gods or supernatural spirits that invite humans into the world of the dead. So entirely normal subject matter from the world of Claire Boucher, then.

Shinigami Eyes’ is taken from Grimes next album, Book 1, will will be preceded by her Fairies Cum First EP. Both records are without a release date as of yet but we were previously introduced to the album with December’s single Player of Games. Check out the hyper-colour-fantasy video for Shinigami Eyes below:

Panic Shack – Mannequin Man

Listen up! Panic Shack, have a riot grrl threat for all the London lads in bands with absolute zilch to say who should probably surrender up their guitars and stick to ashen faced modelling. Cardiff’s leading lights are not impressed and if they’re in the vicinity, they gleefully proffer, “you better run as fast as you can”.

After a two year break from putting out singles, the DIY dancefloor punks are back with a mockney sneer, new wave guitars and sixties girl group backing vox, ready to make some half-arsed boy rockers quake in their cowboy boots.

New single ‘Mannequin Man’ is the first sighting of the ‘Shack’s forthcoming debut EP ‘Baby Shack’, due for release on Brace Yourself Records – 8th April on spectacular pink splattered vinyl. You can order your own copy by tapping here. The group are also supporting Cardiff’s other new visionaries Buzzard, Buzzard, Buzzard at The Scala, London, on 10th March before the two head out on tour together in April. Tap here for tickets.

Watch the song’s video, performed against the backdrop of Landahn Tahn, below:

College Elite – Next Semester

There’s a brand new single out from this Californian pop-punk group. It’s a bit Bowling For Soup, a bit Simple Plan, a bit New Found Glory, and it’s called ‘Next Semester’ by College Elite. Ok, I lie. College Elite aren’t Californian, they’re actually from Manchester, England, and the DIY solo project of songwriter Joshua Williams, but you’d be forgiven for mistaking this two and a half minutes of powerpop for real deal US college dorm rock.

Commencing with spoken clips of a girl from an american teen movie, ‘Next Semester’ is pure high energy, fizzy, buzzsaw guitars and fuzzy vocals. It tells the protagonist’s story of coming home from his first semester at college to find his now ex-girlfriend has thrown out his X-Files DVD boxset – and, fair play, that would be pretty damn unforgiveable.

Next Semester was recorded at Mad Fox Studio with producer Tayte Nickols, who incidentally also produced the brilliant Supera Morza. The track was released last Friday, 28th January, and you can see the lyric video below:

Vona Vella – Go Outside Forever EP

Leicestershire duo Vona Vella are Izzy Davis and Dan Cunningham, both musicians and singers with distinctive vocal styles in their own right, together making a sheer, auspicious musical force. On debut EP ‘Go Outside Forever’ the couple create a whole world to slip inside of and escape in to within the space of six songs. A record of driving off to a better climate away from woes, breaking and repairing relationships, carefree sun-drenched beach days and rainy days of sad heartache and longing, lyrically beatific and occasionally barbed.

Izzy and Dan are individually capable artists but as Vona Vella their talents compliment each other with Cunningham’s deep, raspy croon working alongside Davis’s tender, blissful voice. They explore this arrangement over the course of the EP with upbeat, echoey, Jack Johnson escapism in ‘Driving To L.A‘ and ‘Sun‘, and the reflective, downcast ‘Threading Needles‘ and ‘Rainy Days‘, each member taking their turn at the fore.

Title song ‘Go Outside Forever‘ launches the group into a dreamier, ethereal stratosphere as Izzy takes the lead, with haunting piano parts, driving drum line and handclaps as the singer compares the end of a familiar relationship to uncertain, shelterless exile. ‘Fool In Love With Me‘ is a deceptively cutting waltz as the couple take turns in berating, seemingly not each other but some anonymous soul who seems to be head over heels, over a slight acoustic strum with swooning backing coos.

Having released their first song Sun in 2020 and swiftly getting a Morcheeba remix before creating this record with Strap Originals, Vona Vella’s trajectory has been a speedy one. Go Outside Forever is a majorly accomplished debut EP, creating a soundscape to lose yourself inside, and acts a more than solid springboard to whatever their career may bring.

Find the hypnotic video for Go Outside Forever below and find the EP on all the streaming services now: