Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Feature: LOVATS (28/01/14)

LOVATS are a five-piece alternative/indie band from Birmingham, comprised of Nathan Barker, Tom Barr, Ryan Clark, James Jackson and Ciaran Scanlon. They have headlined at the O2 Academy 3 (in Birmingham) and got many positive comments and feedback, which led to them supporting The Musgraves, who have appeared on BBC 1's, Graham Norton Show. They have released an EP under their previous name Quayside, but are set to start working on their second EP any time now... Here are some answers from Tom, Ryan and Ciaran.

General Questions...

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
TB: I remember really wanting a guitar for Christmas one year when I was about 8, I think my parents love for music rubbed off on me, there was always music playing on the stereo or TV at home. I started taking guitar lessons at primary school and that's where I met Nathan as he was in the same class. I met James and Ryan during high school and we were in various different school bands and guises, eventually I went on to study music at college where I met Ciaran and formed LOVATS.

CS: I grew up with music all around me, whether that would be my brother and Dad listening to the Stone Roses or being in my family pub listening to Jonny Cash. I started properly when my parents bought me a bass guitar one Christmas, and since then it's all I have ever done.

RC: I started learning guitar in about year 5 because a couple of my friends had lessons and I wanted to have a go. I really loved it and my Mum has a really old acoustic in the attic so we got that down, and I played non-stop until I got my first electric guitar for my 10th birthday. I still use that guitar now. I started playing bass when me, Tom and Nathan first became a band with some other kids when we were about 11, and have continued to play it for as long as we've known each other.  

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
TB: This is a hard one to answer, I've been to loads of great gigs, I really enjoyed Reading Festival last year, there were some great inspirational moments, like watching Tame Impala's very edgy and visually exciting set. As well as Alt-J they rounded of the Saturday night perfectly!  

RC: The Chai Wallahs tent at Green Man, there is nothing that compares to being there!  

3. What have you been listening to lately? 
TB: The Physics House Band, DIIV and Beach Fossils. 

RC: I've been listening to - Jon Hopkins, Boards of Canada, The Physics House Band, Troumaca and CHVRCHES. 

CS: Recently, I have been listening to - Fleetwood Mac, Brontide and Tame Impala.

3 Questions for LOVATS...

1. When and how did you become the band 'LOVATS'?
We formed LOVATS in December 2012 out of our previous band Quayside, all of us met through education in some way, and have all been in different bands, some of us go way back to primary school. So I guess you could say it's one big educational fluke.

2. Out of your released songs, which one do you enjoy playing the most and why?
I think we all really enjoy playing 'Golden' live it's a great one to get people up and moving to and ends with a nice big powerful ending!

3. What songwriting process did you go through with 'White Fire' and was it similar to the process of writing your other songs?
'White Fire' came along like the rest of our tracks, it came out of a jam at rehearsal. When we first jammed it, I think it was about 8 or 9 minutes long and there was no real structure, but we managed to fit some lyrics over the initial idea and developed it from there during rehearsals and in the studio when we came to record it.

Random Q...

If you were to recruit a member, what would the requirements be?
I don't know really, there isn't a checklist you fill in as such, it's more just about whether that person is going to fit in and be beneficial to the band.

Reviews of 'White Fire' by LOVATS:

1. 5/5 - Lailana: it's the kind of song that makes ya feel all mushy and happy at the same time.
2. 4/5 - Sophie: not my kind of song, but sounds great! :)
3. 4/5 - Tracy: edgy and upbeat - a slow start developed into a pleasing upbeat tune.
4. 5+/5 - Maria: The start was to slow, but the rest got my moving.

Check It Out!

Chart: Lover Not A Fighter ft. Labrinth - Tinie Tempah

This track by Tinie Tempah, English rapper, features vocals from Labrinth. It's due to be released on 2nd February (2014) and however, it is already climbing the charts, because of independent release and is sat at #22 in the UK Singles Chart. This is Tinie's third single from his second studio album 'Demonstration'. 

Live Peformance: Home - Gabrielle Aplin

21 year old, singer-songwriter, Gabrielle Aplin has gained mainstream attention in the past year, following her cover of 'Power of Love' being chosen for John Lewis' Christmas advert in 2012. Her most recent tracks 'Home' and 'Salvation' have also been played a lot recently on BBC and linked channels. Here she is performing one of her latest singles 'Home'. 

Cover: Hold On We're Going Home - Lights

'Hold On We're Going Home' originally by Canadian artist, Drake, from his third studio album. Covered here by fellow Canadian musician and singer-songwriter, Lights. Lights is well-known for her electropop tracks and covers on her Youtube channel, this is cover is far from that, showing she's a great acoustic artist too. 

Classic: Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen

A classic track by British rock band Queen. When it was released as a single, it stayed at the top of the UK Singles Chart for 9 weeks. It reached #1 again for 5 weeks, following Mercury's death, and has become the UK's third best-selling single of all time. 

Thanks for reading!


Twitter: @musicintimeblog

Enquiries: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Feature: Mountain Bird (21/01/14)

Mountain Bird, an alt-post-indie-rock band, led by Adam Ohman, songwriter, arranger and producer from Stockholm. Influences of Sigur Ros, Bon Iver and James Blake, with an original twist on a dreamy and haunting atmospheric sound. Their debut single 'Don't Mind' is out 26th January (2014) with support from Dermot O'Leary and BBC Radio 2, it's set to get a great backing over here in the UK. I asked head of Mountain Bird, Adam, some questions whilst he was in the studio, here are his answers!

General Questions...

1. How old were you when you first started getting involved in music and how? 
My first ever contact with music was when I was 6 years old and got a glimpse of my fathers vinyl collection. I used to ask him to put records on then I just sat there and listened... Then it took 7 years for me to realise I wanted to make music. I got a record from my sister at Christmas when I was 13 years old, 'The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place' by Explosions In The Sky. I completely isolated myself for a whole weekend as I got totally blown away by the melodies. I didn't know music could be this beautiful. My sister had a big TAMA drum set as well so when she was outside I used to practise on it for myself... Then I bought a guitar and on it went... I needed some place to vent because of my anxiety and panic attacks I've had since I was 13, so it kind of came naturally...

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
I can list my top 3.
1. Sigur Rós in Malmö this gig was actually the latest gig I attended, in November to be precise. I finally got to see the band who made me tattoo one of their album covers on my arm..
2. Bon Iver in Stockholm, this show was absolutely breathtaking. Justin Vernon is a big inspiration of mine and I'll never forget that winter night.
3. James Blake in a church in Gothenburg during the Way Out West Festival. James Blake in a church, do I need to say more? I've seen this English guy twice, lots of people say we kind of look a like and actually 3(?!) people mistook me for Mr. Blake when I saw his show in Stockholm.

3. What have you been listening  to lately? 
When I'm not too tired from hearing the same track all day from mixing my next single.. I've been listening to a lot of I Break Horses, they are a Swedish dreamy project who actually supported Sigur Ros when I saw them in Malmö. Really interesting and inspiring soundscapes right there.

3 Questions for Mountain Bird...

1. Your sound resembles the likes of Sigur Ros and M83, who inspires/influences your music?
Lots of things inspire me, not only people and music. It could be films, art shows and strange haunting thoughts at 4am... But I'm always trying to write music I would listen to myself and write about things that hurt too much to keep inside me. Like the questions of what will happen with after all this or a massive sorrow you can't even talk about. Like a really serious diary almost.

2. Who would be your dream person to write/collab with and why?
I would love to collaborate with James Blake because that would look funny on stage.. But yeah, I guess a collab with Jonsi would be something else huh.

3. What process did you go through writing and producing your single 'Don't Mind'? 
'Don't Mind' started in my apartment on my piano. I found the chords at first and then started singing and got the verse melody pretty quickly, almost in 10 minutes. After that I started my Logic and recorded the verse, I then realised it was going to be a long night. I had the sketch ready to record in a big studio in almost a week of time. Recorded it in MFG-studios in Stockholm and then made the final touches in my own studio, like the vocoded vocals and stuff.

Random Q

If you were stranded on an island - what 3 items would you want with you and why?
Ahh, a classic!
1. I would bring my mother so she could quit worrying so much.
2. A drum set because I can't play any drums in my apartment.
3. The last thing is some kind of animal, a pet monkey would be neat!!

Reviews of 'Don't Mind' by Mountain Bird:

1. 5/5 - Haytham: love it!
2. 5/5 - Lailana: such a beautiful song, I can't!
3. 5/5 - Sophie: I'd agree too! wowwww!! :)
4. 5/5 - Lucy: hauntingly beautiful and has a very cinematic feel :)
5. 5/5 - Tracy: I have no words or score! It's awesome, lovely, sooo listenable, brilliant!!

Mountain Bird's Links:
FB: https://www.facebook.com/mountainbirdswe
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MountainBirdSwe @MountainBirdSwe
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/adam_ohman
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/adamadamadisadis
Website: http://mountainbirdswe.tumblr.com/music

Check It Out!

Chart: Rather Be ft. Jess Glynne - Clean Bandit

British group Clean Bandit, have made it to #1 in the UK Singles Chart, only a couple of days after being officially released. This track is the third single from their upcoming debut studio album and in December 2013, was featured as (Radio 1's) Zane Lowe's Hottest Record in the World. Jess Glynne features on the track and is set to be a big hit this year, with another track she features on being listed as one to listen to by Zane Lowe. 

Live Performance: Passenger - Meadowlark

This week's live performance comes from Kate, Carl and Daniel, who make Meadowlark. They've been sharing demos of tracks and they all sound really good, and have a dreamy, chilling kind of sound, with an EP on the way, they've already got a fair bit of backing from fans, and when it's released I'm sure it'll be talked about in the musical world. 

Cover: Call Me Maybe - Ben Howard

Ben Howard manages to make any song his, he's done many well received covers, including 'Figure 8' and 'Video Games', both of which, I highly recommend you listen to! Call Me Maybe, originally by Carly Rae Jepsen peaked at #1 in the UK Singles Chart, many well known artists have covered the track, including Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson and Big Time Rush, but to me this one stands out by a mile! 

Youtube: On The Southbank - Charlotte Campbell

A few weeks ago, I was walking along the Southbank in London, and came across this wonderful street performing singer/songwriter on a very cold day. She was singing a great cover of 'Let Her Go' and when I got home, I immediately took to Youtube to listen to more of her covers and original songs. I found out she's got a debut album out, which is a great album to chill to, here's an original track, enjoy! 

Thanks for reading!
Twitter: @musicintimeblog
Enquiries: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Feature: Ed Zealous (14/01/14)

Ed Zealous, electro/indie band, from Belfast, made up of four guys, Steve McAvoy, Andrew Wilson, Pete Lloyd and Paul Irwin. So far, their music has been supported by Fierce Panda/Fandango, BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6 Music. They've supported Two Door Cinema Club and and have shared the stage with Wonder Villains. Their upcoming single 'Diamonds For Eyes' is out 20th January and their debut album 'Wired' is out on 3rd February! I asked Andrew, guitarist in the band, some questions, and here's his answers!

General Questions...

1. How old were you when you started getting involved in music and how?
I started to play the violin at about 8 or 9 in primary school. Got my 1st taste of stage fright at grading exam in a church hall in front of a panel of scary old ladies. I had to recite a whole piece on my own. I was killing it in practise but when I saw the panel I could only muster one long very shaky note and a few squeaks before walking off in shame. Awful stuff. I bet someone had a good laugh. Best getting that stuff out of the way early.

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to?
That's nearly as crazy as trying to answer what's your favourite song or colour. So to avoid a stupidly long pause I'll say that the last time my heart was in my throat and jaw on the floor was the last time I saw Arcade Fire in the O2 in Dublin. Just after 'The Suburbs' came out. It was a magical night - big group of friends, we had to battle through a snow storm from Belfast, and knee high snow in Dublin City. The atmosphere was electric, the sound perfect, the performance intense. I had an unshakable feeling that I was watching something that really reflected a moment in time. I remember thinking sometimes what it would have been like to see someone like 'The Stones' or something right in their time when it made sense - and this I thought was what it might feel like.

3. What have you been listening to lately?
Big albums in the past year, David Bowie and Foals. Listened to The Naked and Famous album today which is nice. Was really getting into an album called 'Interiors' by Glasser, which is like a more ambient, experimental and electronic version of St. Vincent. I have had the new Zachary Cale album playing a lot for some more folksy acoustic noise. I also got really into a weird album by Connan Mockasin called 'Caramel'. His intention was to record an album which was the actual sound of caramel from start to finish. He succeeded. I can't tell whether it's genius or awful. I think it's a guilty pleasure.

3 Questions for Ed Zealous...

1. Your debut album, 'Wired', is set to be released 3rd February, which 3 tracks are you most excited about?
Well, we've put out the singles and I am really excited to play some of the real bangers to an audience that has now heard them. I want to play 'Telepaths' to a sweaty club full of lunatics. I am interested to see the reaction to songs like 'Videohead' which no-one has heard. It started as the slowest song and ended up as the fastest and most chaotic. It's so typical of our excitable writing procedure and it didn't have the benefit of being edited over time as it was a late comer, but I think it's more fun for it. I am still left with a feeling of 'Uh What?' when I listen to it. I'm also a big fan of Steve's lyrics in '147'. Sometimes, he does this kinda innocent but triumphant thing which makes me smile. I hope it does that for some other people too.

2. You've had some great experiences so far, but what has been your highlight so far and why?
I think our trip to play Glastonbury was one of the funnest things we've ever done. We hadn't released anything much, were a little wet behind the ears, and had one eye on doing the business and one eye on having fun. It was successful on both fronts.

3. What process did you through whilst writing and producing 'Diamonds For Eyes'? 
Yea, that one was strangely difficult, despite its simplicity. In fact we nearly imploded writing it. It went through so many stages musically and lyrically. It was a lot longer for a while because of that too. I am so pleased with the result though. I remember getting really excited when we decided to trim it down and consciously make it into a pop song. It was a lovely feeling to see the home straight with it. I remember one hilarious incident right at the end just before recording it where we honestly had a one hour long standoff squabbling over something like half a bpm faster or slower. All kinds of bribery and politics went down over the half a bpm. I can't even remember who won. Bloody perfectionists.

Random Q...

For people that haven't heard your music, how would you describe your sound in 5 words?
Hyper Intense Electro Infused Pop - 'Wired' for short.

Reviews of 'Diamonds For Eyes' by Ed Zealous:

1. 5/5 - Philippa: a tune and a half, love the video as well!
2. 5/5 - Tracy: musically loved it, great upbeat getting-ready to go out type track, however I personally found the video distracting.
3. 5/5 - Evan: love it, has a Biffy Clyro tone to the singing? Had it on repeat!

Ed Zealous' Links:

Check It Out!

Chart: Budapest - George Ezra

'Budapest' by George Ezra, is currently at #8 in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter Chart. The 19 year old who is growing in popularity and is highlighted as a key 'new' artist for 2014. His EP 'Did You Hear The Rain' is at #4 in the Singer/Songwriter Albums Chart as well. He has performed at Glastonbury and I'm sure there are big things ahead of him this year. 

Live Performance: Deeper - Ella Eyre

Ella Eyre, well known for her vocals on Bastille's mash-up cover of 'No Angels' and Rudimental's 'Waiting All Night'. The 19-year-old came runner-up in BBC's Sound Of 2014 award and has been nominated for MTV's 'Brand New For 2014' and Brit Awards 'Critics Choice', all good signs for the young singer. Here she is performing her title track from her debut EP 'Deeper', enjoy!

Cover: Berlin - Sam Smith

Here is a stunning cover of 'Berlin', from another big artist for 2014, Sam Smith. Originally by Australian singer/songwriter RY X, 'Berlin' charted in France, Germany and the UK. Sam Smith, is well known for featuring on Disclosure's track 'Latch' and more recently, Naughty Boy's single 'La La La'. 

Youtube: Can We Dance - The Vamps

The Vamps, have recently made it into the charts, and have grown in popularity over the last year. They've also been picked as MTV's Brand New For 2014 list. They formed in 2012 and have already won 3 big awards. They've supported Selena Gomez, McFly, and have been announced to support Taylor Swift and The Wanted on their 2014 tours. 

Thanks for reading!

Twitter: @musicintimeblog
Enquiries: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Feature: Oliver Daldry (07/01/14)

Oliver Daldry

Oliver is a 19 year old singer-songwriter, based in Essex. He's released two EPs, and a debut album 'The Boy Who Fell'. He gigs as much as he can to get his music heard and hopes to start touring very soon. With an easy listening to tone to his music, he's built up a pretty impressive fanbase.
He's played at festivals to hundreds of people and there's big things to come from this guy!

General Questions...

1. How old were you when you first started getting involved in music and how? 
I first started playing guitar when I was 7. It began with lyrics for me. I would always string words together in order to try and create some kind of song or poem and so on my 7th birthday my parents gaev me a guitar which enabled me to put some music to the words. And I guess that's where the songwriting began.

2. What is the most inspiring gig/concert/festival you've been to? 
It's hard to pinpoint a specific answer to this question. I think one of my best feats is that I am quite easily inspired by everything. I like all types of music and therefore never approach a song with a close minded attitude. I think the standout momnets in my life when I felt truly inspired were all watching videos of live concerts... First one, I am ashamed to say was Robbie Williams live at Nebworth. Then Green Day, American Idiot. And finally, John Mayer's Where The Light Is. I have been to many inpsirational live gigs, however these three moments seemed to have had a particularly big impact.

3. What have you been listening to lately?
Lately, I have listened to quite a range of music.Some John Mayer, some James Vincent McMorrow. A little bit of The 1975 and some Jeff Buckley too, which my neighbour has reintroduced me to.

3 Questions for Oliver...

1. What comes first when you write songs (lyrics/melody etc.)
Lyrics. Almost always. Though saying that, I did just write a song starting with the music. But usually it's lyrics. I can't write a songwithout a story. And the stronger the story the better the song. And by story, I don't necesseraily mean a conventional beginning, middle and end. Just a foundation of emotion which you then use to fuel the song.

2. What is your motivation to stay and work in the music industry? 
I absolutely love music.

3. Where did you find inspiration for 'The Boy Who Fell' album? 
The Boy Who Fell, the title track itself is about an old friend. I won't go into too much detail. But it's about the unfair pressures in life and what it can do to people. The rest of the songs are about various things. Some central to me, some central to others, but always about situations or experiences which have just had an impact one me.

Random Q from a Reader...

If you could be a musical instrument what would you be and why? (from Tracy)
That's a pretty hard question. I'm thinking that if you were clever about your answer, you could probably end up having a life long massage. But then, you could also just end up being smashed in the face, eg if you were a drum. Tricky. I can't imagine life is too pleasant for any instrument if I'm honest. I'd probably go for a violin though.Violinists take care of their instruments and there's no heavy wear and tear.


1. 4/5 - Sophie: lovely voice and great lyrics.
2. 5/5 - Evan: easy to listen to, his voice echoes James Taylor, great sound and lyrics.
3. 5/5 - Tracy: liked it on first listen. I like the msuic, I like the voice and I'm looking forward to investigating.

Oliver's Links:
Website: http://www.oliverdaldry.com/
Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/oliverdaldry‎
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Oliver-Daldry

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OliverDaldry‎ (@OliverDaldry)
Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/oliver-daldry

Check It Out!

Chart: Hey Brother - Avicii

This track is from Swedish DJ & Producer Avicii, featuring uncredited vocals from American singer Dan Tyminski. After spending several weeks climbing the UK Charts, it peaked at #2 in the Singles Chart and #1 in the UK Dance Chart. 

Live Performance: Resolution - Matt Corby

Matt Corby, an Australian singer-songwriter and musician, runner-up on series 5 on Australian Idol. Having released 5 EPs and growing in popularity, Matt Corby's latest single has been his biggest and most widely recognised. Here's a live performance from his tour in August 2013. 

Cover: At Last - Hannah Grace

Hannah Grace, a 20 year old singer-songwriter from Wales, covers the classic Etta James' 'At Last', flawlessly. With such a mature sound, this is a stunning cover. (She's also currently recording her debut EP at the minute! So keep your ears tuned for a folky/soul set of tracks from her!)

 Youtube: Gone - Kina Grannis

Kina, an American guitarist and singer-songwriter, won the Doritos Crash the Super Bowl contest, and earned a recording contract with Interscope Records, she's also won a variety of other awards too. She has grown in popularity in recent years, and is well-known for her covers on Youtube as well as her originals and collaborations with others. (I suggest you check out her 'Sweater Weather' cover too!)

Thanks for reading! 


Twitter: @musicintimeblog