The first of many bands with albums out this month, London trio Flowers have found themselves in the enviable position of getting Bernard Butler on production duties.
The epically titled ‘Do What You Want To, It’s What You Should Do’ captures the intensity of youth in in its 14 deceptively simple pop songs. Covering loneliness, happiness, rejection, love, torment and excitement, every track is short, smart and simple. If you want lots of emotions efficiently conveyed with minimal instrumentation, this is the show for you.
Alternative TV had dazzling tunes and a fun attitude. In true punk style, they also self-detonated during the bid to prove their art. Fronted by Mark Perry, the founder of legendary punk fanzine Sniffin’ Glue, they mix pop, punk and reggae.
Finding critical acclaim with debut album ‘The Image Has Cracked’, they inexplicably began exploring more avant-garde and experimental territory. To further confuse their traditional, punk audience, the band changed their name to the Good Missionaries. Now the band seems to have returned to their roots. But don’t get complacent, who knows when they’ll change their minds?
It’s almost a year since Pennsylvanian songwriter Vikesh Kapoor visited these shores, now he’s back with a debut album in tow. As a non-Catholic at a Catholic school, Kapoor felt something of an outcast as a child. Until punk bands beckoned, from here he discovered a world of Springsteen, Dylan, Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie.
Released in Apr 2014, his debut album ‘The Ballad Of Willy Robbins’ has been bringing him some much-deserved recognition. A hugely talented songwriter and performer, it’s bewildering that this captivating artist isn’t already a household name.
Twin sisters The Veronicas release their self-titled third album this month. It represents a powerful, emotive and uncensored account of Jessica and Lisa’s journey over the past two years. Exploring the themes of love, life, power and personal rebirth, ‘The Veronicas’ exposes a raw vulnerable side to the band.
Recorded in Los Angeles, Nashville, New York and Sydney, this new album sees collaborations with Nellee Hooper, Billy Corgan, Emeli Sandé, David Musumeci and Anthony Egizii. Having sold over three million records worldwide, the sisters have spent the last two years travelling the world, writing this album, the first since 2007’s double platinum hit ‘Hook Me Up’.
Are they rock fans seduced by the dancefloor, dance fans equally happy playing live instruments or building tracks on the computer or drum and bass aficionados who believe their hurtling breakbeats sound best under muscular metallic riffs? Brighton-based and genre-defying, The Qemists, are a compelling quandary.
Their debut album ‘Join The Q’ balanced jungle and metal with wall-shaking dancehall reggae aesthetics, proving there’s no need for generic electronic music. Powerful, experimental and enormously exciting, they mix the dynamics of rock with the muscular tempos of breakbeat and the adrenalin-fuelled rush of rave into a sound that’s relentlessly unique.
Out on her first headline UK tour in 18 months; this acclaimed singer is offering samples of new material from her second album, due out later this year. Expect some big emotions on display, helped along by Rose’s commanding performance skills.
The softness of Rose’s voice will be instantly recognisable to anyone hearing her contributions to the second and third Bombay Bicycle Club albums. One of the UK’s finest song-writers, her love of haunting acoustics, delicate melodies and lyrical fragility mean she’s capable of smashing out a top pop tune or two.
JACK ROCKS PRESENTS IS TROPICAL Tue 17 Mar The Joker
A welcome addition to the booming Brighton music scene, The Joker plays host to the first in a series of Jack Daniel’s nights showcasing new and exciting acts.
In the frame this month are Is Tropical, a band from London who regularly play in the furthest and oddest reaches of the globe, rather than endlessly tour the usual UK venues. But now Brighton has snared this three piece and their swaggering beat-laden, synth pop, at least for a night. If you’re really lucky they might even swap tales of exotic places for a JD and coke.
From punky and experimental beginnings, Charli XCX has refined her sound, collaborating with artists ranging from Weezer, to Stargate and Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij along the way. Seizing the chance to co-write and appear on Icona Pop’s smash hit ‘I Love It’, this led to working with Iggy Azalea on the number one single ‘Fancy’.
Repeated hit singles like ‘Boom Clap’ and ‘Doing It’ (featuring Rita Ora) have proved she’s not abandoning the charts anytime soon. Now her highly anticipated new album ‘Sucker’ is finally out, so she’s bringing her perfect pop out on a UK headline Tour.
Recorded in the autumn of 2014, Courtney Barnett’s ‘Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit’ finally compresses her incisive vision onto a long player. With knife-sharp wit and infectious melodies she’s more addictive than ever.
One of the most distinctive voices in indie rock, Barnett mixes droll, often hilarious observations with devastating self-assessment. She’s already revealed herself as an ambitious songwriter, with a clever turns of phrase and an eye for story-telling. Useless relationships and dead end suburbs, even her own fears, doubts and insecurities – nothing escapes Barnett’s caustic sense of humour.
California record label Pure Noise Records undertakes their first ever UK tour. Bringing with them a blend of melodic-hardcore and pop-punk are headliners, Four Year Strong.
Successfully managing to be noisy and catchy simultaneously, no mean feat for any band, they offer up an exciting yet tightly focused, back catalogue. Specialising in epic riffs, clever tempo changes and incredible guitar work, they’ve plenty of coarsely-hewed chords and swagger-packed lyrics to win you over. But this is no band desperately hankering to win you over – they’re way too confident and cool for any of that.
There’s a new label, new album and a new attitude. Therapy? are back on form with ‘Disquiet’, an album packed with high-charged, in-your-face, bruising melodic punk/metal. It’s a sequel of sorts to the band’s million-selling 1994 album ‘Troublegum’.
Confrontational, challenging, vengeful and venomous, once again the keenly intelligent alt-rockers offer another and utterly compelling document. It showcases a confident band operating at the peak of their powers, yet remains the most accessible record Therapy? have made in two decades.
This month sees Errors releasing their fourth album ‘Lease of Life’, a follow up to the critically acclaimed 2012 album ‘Have Some Faith In Magic’. Recoded on the Isle Of Jura, the location where George Orwell wrote Nineteen Eighty-Four and The KLF tried to burn a million pounds; it’s a bold and exciting piece of work.
The band are in a confident mood, filled with a desire to develop fresh sounds, whilst offering their most accessible and immediate songwriting yet. ‘Lease of Life’ is their most cohesive album to date, which should expose the Glaswegian synth popsters to a wider audience.