Thursday, 5 October 2017

Hoult releases Debut single 'Pharmacy' this Friday

Hoult releases his debut single ‘Pharmacy’ on Friday 6th of October through Phwoar & Peace, it will be available on digital and streaming platforms.

Hoult has the rare knack of sounding both dreamy and sharp at the same time. This, married with vital yet wistful song-writing, concocts his imaginative brand of guitar pop.

‘Pharmacy’ builds from an affecting intimacy into a song with a grand scale possessing folk-tinged anthemic choruses: reminiscent of Bombay Bicycle club and Frightened Rabbit rippling with personal lyrics that tap into wider themes: “Pharmacy summarises the feeling of frustration when you cannot help someone you care about.” Says Hoult “Darker themes run through the veins of this track, yet the energetic and cheerful instrumentation represent the mask a lot of people wear on a daily basis.”

Hoult better known as Sam Fowke is a singer-songwriter / producer from Gloucester, now based in Cardiff. He released one single entitled 'Red Handed’ under his own name last year, it quickly racked up over 7000 plays. He now returns under the new moniker Hoult with his most affecting and ambitious song yet. Links: Bill Cummings Sound and Vision PR

Monday, 11 September 2017

Ysgol Sul release their first English language EP 'Eventide' 30th of September

West Wales three piece Ysgol Sul will be self-releasing their first collection of English language songs –“Eventide”- on 30/09/17.

Brought together by a mutual love of the 90s underground, Iolo Jones (singer, guitarist), Llew Davies (drummer), Cian Owen (bass guitar), formed Ysgol Sul in 2014.

Having released several singles and an EP called “Huno”, the band has managed to earn a cult following within the Welsh language scene.

“Eventide” is a stark departure from the slacker and languor of their debut EP, and introduces a touch of darkness to the bands dreamy sound.

The EP opens with “Silhouette” – a song with a sense of yearning yet one of the band’s jangliest songs to date. “Promise Me” sees a return to the trio’s early surfy sound, drenched in reverb. “Elsewhere” is an unholy union of haunting distant sounds and a fierce unrelenting beat. Introverted lyrics coupled with sweet harmonies are brought to the EP by “Dwell”. Krautrock locomotive, “Solitude”, closes the collection.

Ummagma ‘LCD’ EP with Contributions by Robin Guthrie (Cocteau Twins) & Dean Garcia (Curve)

The new ‘LCD’ EP from Canada’s Ummagma, which follows up their 'Winter Tale' maxi-single with 4AD dream pop pioneer A.R.Kane earlier this year, features four superb tracks of ethereal majesty and exquisite composition, including the new original title track LCD and reworkings of Ummagma songs by not one, but two, legendary British musical figures.

The first is respected Cocteau Twins multi-instrumentalist Robin Guthrie, who offers a breathtaking remix of Ummagma 'Lama' – this is the first time he has worked with a female vocalist in a long time. In the Clash Magazine premiere, editor Robin Murray commends its “soaring melodies and swathes of sound... a gorgeous piece with near orchestral reach”, further noting that “LCD’ explores otherworldly climes, matching heavenly vocals to arrangements as complex as they are hopelessly beautiful”.

The other contribution comes from maverick electronic artist-producer Dean Garcia, who contributes two mixes to the EP. Garcia is famed as half of seminal British indie/alt-rock band Curve with iconic vocalist Toni Halliday and half of SPC ECO with Rose Berlin. His enveloping reworking of their track ‘Back to You’ and his unique mix of 'LCD' are two superb additions that round off a release that encompasses a wide spectrum of sonic sound and gorgeous textures.

“When listening to the original versions of these two songs, I wanted to make something that was an extension of the psyche and space mood that to me is the heart n soul of Ummagma,” explains Dean Garcia. “With the ‘LCD’ mix, it was a matter of going into the original stems and extracting the most trippy n spacey elements and expanding them into a different zone. ‘Back To You’ was more about enhancing the mood of the song as it stood, but with view to bring out its dark and foreboding nature. I enjoyed working on both mixes for different reasons, the sense of space and oddness within both mixes is the thing that glues it all together. File under Dark Psyche.”

Ummagma is Shauna McLarnon, hailing from Canada, and Alexander Kretov, originally from Ukraine. Now based in Canada, Ummagma won the Alternative Eurovision on Amazing Radio, representing Ukraine among 23 countries. They have also received awards and charted in places as far-flung as Australia and the USA to Scotland and Russia.

Apart from Cocteau Twins, Curve and SPC ECO, this new ‘LCD’ EP offers delights for fans of Beach House, Stereolab, Curve, Warpaint, Broadcast, GEMS, and MGMT.

“I grew up listening to Cocteau Twins, Curve, and so many bands from the 4AD and Creation labels, and then later introduced them to my husband. He learned of them late, having been born in the USSR. We feel incredibly honoured that Robin Guthrie and Dean Garcia have shaped several of our tracks as they personally envision them,” says vocalist Shauna McLarnon.

Ummagma release their new EP ‘LCD’ on September 22nd via Label Obscura (cassette) and Somewherecold Records (CD). It will also be available across all the regular digital shops and streaming platforms. The EP is now available for pre-order on the duo’s Bandcamp.

SELECT QUOTES "Guthrie’s remix is a perfect slice of laid-back dream-pop, and McLarnon’s vocals seem to float over its woozy instrumentation" – The Skinny

Full kaleidoscope of sounds, harmonies and musical instruments… the result is massive with an intricate fabric – Rolling Stone

Ethereal pop indebted to Cocteau Twins and much of the rest of 4AD’s ’80s output – BrooklynVegan

Ummagma’s sound is so trippy I had to buy new studio monitors to make sure I wasn't hallucinating... If Underworld or Chemical Bros had done their song 'Lama', it would be proclaimed an instant classic – Rudy Tambala (A.R. Kane) Digital order CD order Cassette order Soundcloud playlist Back to You’ (Dean Garcia Mix) Lama (Robin Guthrie Mix) Lama (Robin Guthrie Mix)

Thursday, 3 August 2017

Adwaith new double A-sided single & Welsh Dates including Festival No 6

Fast rising Carmarthen based female trio Adwaith unveil their brilliant new double A-side single 'Lipstick Coch' and 'FEMME' this summer. Vividly depicting their knack for melody and sound and their ability to create a direct emotional connection with the listener. Adwaith’s brand new double A-side single heralds a beginning of a new sound for the band. Whereas previously the band painted sounds with a palette of muted sombre colours Lipstick Coch and FEMME explode with bright confident neon.
"Criticise the double-standards of promiscuity between the sexes, all while wrapping it up in a sweet, jangly, hook-laden melody reminiscent of C86 that makes it all the more biting." DIY MAGAZINE

'Lipstick Coch (Red Lipstick)' is a fully charged post punk anthem in the vain of The Slits at their most immediate, an anthem celebrating youth, androgyny and love.The flipside 'FEMME' on the other hand could quite easily have been a long lost single on Postcard Records or Cherry Red Records from the mid-80s.

With its jangly C86 indie pop sound as a canvas to the witty, heartfelt lyrics Adwaith discuss femininity and the sexism experienced by them as young women. This is an inspirational song from an inspirational band willing to stand up for their beliefs.

These songs are brave, creative moves both musically and lyrically for the band, yet they retain the distinctive melodic gift that is so recognisable in all Adwaith’s songs. A gift that has gained the band fast critical acclaim and extensive radio plays, most noticeably on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Cymru and Amazing Radio.

The release of the singles come hot on the heels of Adwaith’s Maida Vale recording session for Huw Stephens in these legendary BBC studios. Their summer is full of activity including a live set on the BBC Introducing Stage at FOCUSWales festival broadcast live on Adam Walton’s BBC Radio Wales show.

Adwaith were introduced on the BBC Introducing stage at Latitude festival as the most exciting band from Wales in decades and will finish the summer on the Gorwelion /Horizons stage at Festival No 6. In the middle of all this activity, Adwaith have managed to record their debut album, and their label Libertino believe its 'creatively ground breaking and will stand as one of the important albums from Wales alongside the works of Gorky Zygotic Mynci, Super Furry Animals and Gwenno.'

Adwaith upcoming dates 2017:

7th August, Monday, Cardiff Moon Club

8th and 9th August, Tuesday, Wednesday, Steddfod Genedlaethol 8 Llwyfan y Maes, 9 Caffi Maes B

2nd September Big Cwtch Festival, Saturday

8th September, Friday, Festival No 6

9th September, Saturday, Syria SirGar gig Llanelli with Syrian musicians

16 September, Saturday, Indie Fest, Clwb Ifor Bach

30 September, Saturday, Riverfront Newport

3rd November, Friday, Do Not Go Gentle Festival Swansea

8th December, Friday, Libertino Christmas Party, Clwb Ifor Bach Links

Adwaith Facebook: Adwaith Twitter: Libertino Records Soundcloud:

'Cocteau Twins' mastermind Robin Guthrie re-envisions Ummagma ‘Lama’

Ummagma will release their new ‘LCD’ EP on September 22nd, preceded by the stunning lead single 'Lama', remixed by Cocteau Twins mastermind artist-producer Robin Guthrie. As the first taste of Ummagma's forthcoming four-track ‘LCD’ EP, Robin Guthrie’s mix of ‘Lama’ is a tantalising window into their breathtaking dream pop sound. This musical tapestry, built around delicate percussion, shimmering guitar trails and gorgeous vocal refrains is familiar yet otherworldly. It’s a sublime snapshot of Ummagma as you have never heard them before. When mutual friends put Ummagma and Cocteau Twins multi-instrumentalist Robin Guthrie in touch after introducing him to their music, he was so taken with ‘Lama’ that he decided to not only re-arrange it, but add his own guitar parts to the new mix. The result is this wonderful new version of the song. As a monumental member of the Cocteau Twins, Guthrie helped pioneer their classic 4AD sound throughout their existence and, once again, his trademark feedback drenched guitar sound is featured here, showing his subtlety, as well as his ability to craft majestic sonic textures. Ummagma are a dream pop duo formed of Shauna McLarnon, a vocalist from the Yukon wilderness and Alexander Kretov, a multi-instrumentalist from small town Ukraine. In a chance encounter, they met in the suburban sprawl of Moscow, where they were each pursuing different musical paths. Bonding over their shared influences and weaving in their diverse backgrounds, this affair with love and sound soon developed into a marriage and the musical union we know today as Ummagma. In 2013, Ummagma won the Alternative Eurovision on Amazing Radio, representing Ukraine. Ummagma ‘LCD’ involves not only one, but two legendary musicians, the other being maverick electronic musician Dean Garcia of Curve fame. Ummagma says they are thrilled that that two legends – both personal musical heroes of theirs – have helped shape their new EP. “I grew up listening to Cocteau Twins, Curve, and so many bands from the 4AD and Creation labels, and then later introduced them to my husband. He learned of them late, having been born in the USSR. We feel incredibly honoured that Robin Guthrie and Dean Garcia have shaped several of our tracks as they personally envision them,” says vocalist Shauna McLarnon. Ummagma release their new EP ‘LCD’ on September 22nd via Label Obscura (digital, cassette) and Somewherecold Records (CD). The EP will be available for pre-order on the duo’s Bandcamp. SELECT PRESS This is a really brilliant post-rocky shoegazey woozy ambient thing. It's absolutely beautiful - Dani Charlton, Amazing Radio Full kaleidoscope of sounds, harmonies and musical instruments… the result is massive with an intricate fabric - Rolling Stone Russia Ethereal pop indebted to Cocteau Twins and much of the rest of 4AD’s ’80s output - BrooklynVegan This is really very cosmic music. Made of stardust - Joe Foster (Creation Records) An honest, believable & beautiful lyric delivered by an honest, believable & beautiful voice. When you combine this with the swirling ambience of lush layered guitars this duo end up with their own unique sonic landscape - Malcolm Holmes (OMD) Ummagma’s sound is so trippy I had to buy new studio monitors to make sure I wasn't hallucinating... If Underworld or Chemical Bros did their song 'Lama', it would be proclaimed an instant classic- Rudy Tambala (A.R. Kane)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


Edinburgh's five piece Letters caused quite a stir at the start of 2011 when their dark cello pop, urgent melancholic vocals and ambitious rock instrumentation, saw their first double sided free single 'Grand National / Pipe Dreams' cause a buzz across the UK's media and blogosphere. Scotsman Radar, The Pop Cop, Jim Gellatly, CMU Daily and Ally McCrae’s Radio1 Session in Scotland were among the many voices declaring Letters as the band to watch.

"The hottest new band in Scotland right now." The Pop Cop

"It's rare that such a new band sounds so close to the finished of acts such as Jimmy Eat World will find much to admire in the pedal-to-the-metal chorus, but there's still plenty of musical meat on the bones.” Scotsman Radar

“An enthralling mix of Frightened Rabbit and Idlewild.” Faded Glamour

"Their tendency to leap on the distortion pedal as songs draw to an end, and my weakness for vocals sung in a Scottish accent, it makes for a winning formula...They could have a very bright future indeed." CMU

Letters are a million musical miles away from most other Edinburgh acts. While the two tracks they’ve made available on their site so far demonstrate a knack for a nice harmony, the music is very much plugged in, with the riff that drives 'Grand National' towards its coda falling into the ‘bruising’ category. And all the while that large, cumbersome stringed instrument is clearly audible.

With elegance and class, with darkness and light entwined, Edinburgh’s Letters are warmly welcomed to The Whiteboard Project pages with their track ‘Pipe Dreams’ that is without doubt a worthy ‘Track Of The Day.’

Edinburgh indie artists Letters, do just that twice, with their debut double a-sided single. Two stunning tracks which deliver freshness and originality and for a group that only formed the in the back end of 2010, it is scarily exciting what they could achieve in the future from this confident and accomplished start.

As it starts, it reminds me a lot of Final Fantasy, with the gorgeous strings and the similar vocal style, before shifting up a few gears and taking a darker, rockier turn round

The band exhume an extremely striking brand of indie pop which has a resonating quality. The topic is often of woe, but the songs are uplifting, and the delivery absorbing.

The juxtaposition of prominent cello and processed drums, and the tendency to give songs that big push at the end earmarks this as something special.

Letters have their own sound but there is more than a hint of Ra Ra Riot within this offering, especially on 'Grand National'. They have created a similar haunting sound with emotional sounding tunes. Maybe a lot of this comes from Georgie Williamson's cello which creates a similar feel to the one that Alexandra Lawn gives to Ra Ra Riot. Both tunes are quite simply amazing.

Refined pop with a warm classical glow. A significant band just might be emerging here, confidently coming up for air…

Other links:

The release of their follow up single 'Flash!Lights' saw them gain more attention with siginificant radio play on Introducing in scotland, with Jim Gellantly, plus festival appearances at Wickerman and Rockness. Flash!Lights showed a pleasing progression, and allowed Letters to make it into some bigger publications and playlists.


“Taking the booming yet emotional presence of Frightened Rabbit, Letters new single manages to incorporate a throbbingly haunting cello arrangement into soaring guitars that reach Biffy levels of power.” Artrocker

"Dramatised cello, layered guitars and quivering drums all building to a closing minute of sheer pop-mayhem."

Scottish five piece Letters should be loved by plenty though.There's elements of Frightened Rabbit and Idlewild in the band - and the latter influence is particularly prominent as the song progresses.

The track builds almost imperceptibly for the first three quarters of its duration before erupting into a full-on orchestrated soundrack of a climax.

Letters have developed their sound into a more complete affair with crisper riffs and the verve and swagger of a band at the top of their game, even at this early stage. The song echoes a post apocalyptic fear and worry, evoking the emptiness we feel when faced with a dilemma, where there is no right answer. Then, as if to compensate you for putting you in this state of fear, Letters knock your head off with a phenomenal close to the track. This climax is met with a gargantuan drum beat and a healthy dose of what I call 'epic noise' (definitely a good thing). If the hairs on the back of your neck don't stand to attention for this, then you probably aren't alive.

Edinburgh’s Letters have been busy, releasing early-Idlewild-esque single ‘Flash! Lights!’ (White label ●●●) only months after beginning gigging.

Flash! Lights is glorious, it is powerful and disturbing, and Letters are the future of dark, indie pop.

Letters are probably the best new band I've heard from anywhere this year: listen to 'Flash Lights', and should you remain unmoved by their melodramatic eloquence I then fear you lack a soul.

Other mentions:

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

CASE STUDY: We're No Heroes

Cardiff disco-math-pop act We’re No Heroes released their new EP ‘Quiet Colours’ in the summer of 2011 with a Launch in Cardiff.

We handled the PR campaign for the EP on a non existant budget and achieved some great results. It was picked up by 6 music, BBC Radio Wales, The White Room Project and Topshop radio who today have playlisted lead track ‘Empty Beat’

Tom Robinson played: We're No Heroes - Atlantic Hearts
Bethan Elfyn played: We're No Heroes — Empty Beat.

June 15th sees the release of WNH’s second EP Quiet Colours, the title of which is said to reflect the personalities within the group; meek in everyday life, but a powerful force onstage (much like Clark Kent: perhaps they are heroes after all.) The band whittled the four song set down from eight potentials, determined to construct a strong, coherent record which retains the individuality of each of its component parts

The Quiet Colours EP manages to transmit the excitement of their always hugely energetic live shows to the recording studio.

It’s by far and away the best thing the fledgling group have released thus far and hints at greater landmarks yet to be attained.

Read More seems with the emergence of every new band with something just slightly different to their sound yet another sub-genre is created and labelled and then quickly filled by more bands in the same ilk. Math pop is one of the newer examples and Welsh band We’re No Heroes a fine example and exponent of a style that is when simplified a lighter more accessible form of math rock.

We're No Heroes actively embrace the math pop tag and there is more than an obvious nod to the likes of Foals and the mathier parts of Two Door Cinema Club. Since starting out the band has progressed far, moving to the bright lights of Cardiff and establishing themselves within the local scene, aswell as releasing their debut EP 'Crossing Over' for free on February 14th 2010 which has since been downloaded well over 1000 times.

We’re No Heroes entered Ripefruit Recording Studio’s with producers Jordan Andrews in early 2011 to work on their follow up release, resulting in a new four track EP titled 'Quiet Colours' due to hit on on the 15th June it’s seemingly only a matter of time before the hype machine goes nationwide.

For Fans Of: Foals, This Town Needs Guns, New Young Pony Club, and Minus The Bear.

math-pop from the Cardiff trio, the clean guitars and danceable rhythms calling to mind Foals’ first record

These boys are on the brink of something big. Get involved now and I guarantee they’ll be your new musical heroes before long.

Rather than throw another bog-standard interview their way, we thought we would speak to the band and, in an attempt to find out a little more about their influences, ask them to tell us about their five musical heroes. See what we did there?

Other links!/2011/06/were-no-heroes-quiet-colours.html