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Posts Tagged ‘Indie Rock

The what is Later…with Jools Holland and the who is Sharon Van Etten.

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Incase you missed it last night and are wondering what or who everybody is talking about today; the what is Later…with Jools Holland and the who is Sharon Van Etten.

I first featured Van Etten on here back in March, just after the release of her third studio album, ‘Tramp’ (February 7th, 2012). Her track ‘Serpents’ had been used in the now cancelled U.S. neo-noir TV drama Ringer. I’m still pretty miffed at the cancellation to be honest, not least because the soundtrack to each episode had been consistently brilliant (Mikky Ekko, Laura Veirs).


Van Etten has been touring the UK over the past month or so and is about to return to the U.S. before visiting Australia in late December/early January 2013. After last night’s performance, I fully expect ‘Tramp’ to soar up the UK Album Chart and so it should.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

October 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

DIIV and Exitmusic produce albums full of melodic mixtures which are heavier, more textured and ultimately tastier

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I have two album recommendations this week, both from bands which hail from New York City: DIIV and Exitmusic.

DIIV, formerly known as Dive, is a four-piece indie rock band which formed in 2011. DIIV was the solo side-project of Zachary Cole Smith (guitarist in Beach Fossils) and this week saw the release of their debut album, ‘Oshin’ (June 26th, 2012). The band took its name from the fact that all the members are water signs…this could explain their particular draw for me, if the classic guitar-driven indie rock wasn’t reason enough that is. I must say however, that to pigeon hole this band would be entirely foolish; ‘Oshin’ also manages to fold together elements of dream pop and shoegaze to produce a melodic mixture which is heavier, more textured and ultimately, tastier.


Exit Music are Aleksa Palladino (vocals), Devon Church (guitar, keyboards), Dru Prentiss (drums) and Nicholas Shelestak (electronics). Palladino and Church form the core of this indie electronic band, who released their debut album ‘Passage’ on May 21st, 2012. You wouldn’t be mistaken for thinking that you recognise Palladino; an actress since she was 14, she has enjoyed a thriving career to date, most recently starring in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, in which she plays Angela Darmody. Palladino is also the daughter of a New York opera singer, this will come as no surprise when you hear her incredible, haunting vocals. If you like Sigur Ros, this band will be something rather exciting for you to hear.


Keep the good stuff coming, New York! /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm

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Talented tootsies, gals, lassies and other such sweet things…tracks from Beach House, Marina, Agnes Obel, Paloma Faith, Amy MacDonald and Angus & Julia Stone

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Looking for an apt title to headline a piece about a collection of female singer-songwriters, I happened upon the following synonyms for the word ‘female’: babe, bimbo, dame, dish, doll, floozy, moll and skirt. I just didn’t feel quite right describing such talented and respectable artists as Paloma Faith and Julia Stone as ‘skirts’, so I opted for the slightly less Dickensian and more Gaelic ‘lassie’ and ‘tootsie’…a reference which in no way implies any similarities to the work or wardrobe of Dustin Hoffman. Just so that we’re clear.

Beach House is a dream pop duo consisting of Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally. Legrand hails from France and Scally from Baltimore, US. The duo’s fourth studio album, ‘Bloom’ was released in May 2012 to critical acclaim, following 2010’s ‘Teen Dream’ which has been described as one of the best albums of its year. I have highlighted new album track ‘Lazuli’ below.


Marina And The Diamonds released the follow-up to debut album ‘The Family Jewels’ a couple of weeks ago; ‘Electra Heart.’ ‘Power & Control’ is the second track to be released from the record, which is performing brilliantly in the UK Album Chart. To be fair, there isn’t one weak track to be heard on the album, so it deserved to do well. This is probably my favourite record of the year so far.


I am loving the new high-gloss, high-drama TV series Revenge on E4. I’m not usually a fan of such things (90210, One Tree Hill, The O.C.) as they pretty much bleed in to each other plot-wise. You could accidentally sit on the remote as you reach for your Chipsticks, switch over half-way through and not realise you had actually scooted over the short coastal distance from Beverly Hills to Newport Beach and the cast had all aged about 20 years. Revenge however has the edge…maybe that’s because it’s set on the East Coast? It has a great cast, an addictive plot sequence and very importantly for me, an exciting musical soundtrack.

Agnes Obel‘s track, ‘Avenue’, featured on the pilot episode of Revenge and had a big impact. The track is taken from the Danish singer-songwriter’s debut album ‘Philharmonics’ which was released in September, 2010. Album track ‘Riverside’ has also featured on the hit series; Obel is obviously a personal favourite of the music supervisor.


Paloma Faith released her second album ‘Fall To Grace’ last week; an album which was preceded by the single ‘Picking Up the Pieces.’ The track is Faith’s highest charting single to date. I also really like ‘Just Be’ which Faith performed on Later…with Jools Holland recently. It is surprising and slightly irksome to her followers that Faith hasn’t yet enjoyed the same level of notoriety as some of her peers, particularly Stateside, but I think that this is all set to change with this album.


Amy MacDonald released her third studio album today (June 11th, 2012), ‘Life In A Beautiful Light.’ The album has already garnered several positive comments from the music press and Perez Hilton no less. The album follows in much the same vein as ‘This Is The Life’ and ‘A Curious Thing’, but possesses perhaps a more rose-tinted lyrical glow. MacDonald is no less fiesty in her subject matter, but everything certainly seems to be blooming in her world. Good for her.


Angus and Julia Stone for those who are not in the know, are a brother-sister folk duo from Sydney, Australia. They formed the band in 2005 and have since gone on to release two studio albums, the most recent of which was ‘Down The Way’ in 2010. I re-discovered ‘Hold On’ whilst watching Revenge last week. Angus and Julia are both working on solo projects at the moment, so I don’t think that we can expect any new music anytime soon. / / / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 11, 2012 at 4:29 pm

My new music picks of the week: Josephine, Amy MacDonald, The Temper Trap and School of Seven Bells

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Josephine is a Manchester-based singer-songwriter, with a strong regional and celebrity following; Guy Garvey (Elbow) has named her as one of his top tips for future success. Josephine’s sound has been described as soulful and eclectic, with her single ‘A Freak A’ being a perfect representation of the genre. Speaking about the addictive track, she has said that:

(‘A Freak A’) is a celebration really, of understanding what you are and holding on to it…‘A Freak A’ is a way of saying we are all capable and allowed to be more than one thing.

Josephine is performing at Manchester’s first Lady Rock Festival on Saturday 26th May 2012 at the Rugby Club in Cheadle. The festival aims to ‘bring a bit of girl power back to the 21st century’ and will feature music, comedy and performance/participatory art across the site’s numerous, themed areas. Each and every one of the acts will be female (or female fronted). For more information and to buy tickets to the festival, please visit


Amy MacDonald has announced details of her third album via her official website this week. The album, ‘Life In A Beautiful Light’ will be released on June 11th, 2012 and the first single will be ‘Slow it Down.’ MacDonald’s second, million-selling album, ‘A Curious Thing’ (2010) spawned five hit singles including ‘This Pretty Face’ and ‘Don’t Tell Me That It’s Over.’ MacDonald has been busy writing material for her third album over the past two years and if this new track is any indication, Amy fans are in for a real treat come summer.


The Temper Trap will release their second, self-titled album on May 21st, 2012 (UK), with the first single to be released being announced as ‘Need Your Love.’ The album will be released on May 18th, 2012 in Australia/NZ/Germany and June 5th, 2012 in the US/Canada. After enjoying an Easter weekend of Noriyuki “Pat” Morita’s finest work, I am simply delighted that the band has decided to take inspiration from The Karate Kid films for their latest music video. The premise of the video being; what would have happened had Johnny been taken under Mr Miyagi’s wing. “Sacrilege!”, I hear you yell; I concur, yet I greatly enjoyed the musical morbid curiosity.


On the strength of hearing the sublime synth sounds of ‘Lafaye’, I recently purchased School of Seven Bells’ latest album, ‘Ghostory‘. I can’t recommend the record enough. Every track is worthy of a single release and their sound is quite unlike anything that’s been doing the rounds over the past few years. Their sound thrills and throws you in equal measure; very much an assault on the senses and an adventure ride of an album. I have a couple of favourite tracks, one of those being, ‘Scavenger’. The band has announced a couple of UK dates over the summer and I am keeping my fingers crossed for one in the North West region. I include this track here as my personal recommendation for a potential hit single on these shores. / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

April 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm

The Cranberries return with sixth studio album, ‘Roses’; impossible to ignore, impossible to ignore.

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Newly reformed Irish indie-rockers, The Cranberries, have released their sixth studio album, ‘Roses’. ‘Tomorrow’ was the first single released from the record (November, 2011) and you can view the official music video below.  The 11-track album is now available to purchase worldwide. A deluxe edition also includes an additional live disc and expanded booklet. The Cranberries were the first indie rock band that I was introduced to as a teenager and subsequently grew to love. ‘Dreams’ and ‘Linger’ remain two of my all-time favourite Irish rock tracks.



Dolores O’Riordan’s vocals have matured over the years, without losing any of the trademark allure and delicacy. O’Riordan has said that the record is about relationships; romantic love and love in its other forms. Speaking about its first single ‘Tomorrow’, O’Riordan said:

…it’s about the way we sometimes hyper over-escalate things in our minds, overthink about things…when sometimes spontaneity and just jumping in is better. Tomorrow you might not have that moment back again.

Track listing: Conduct / Tomorrow / Fire & Soul / Raining In My Heart / Losing My Mind / Schizophrenic Playboys / Waiting In Walthamstow / Show Me / Astral Projections / So Good / Roses

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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March 8, 2012 at 4:53 pm

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Intercontinental Idols – this top 5 would certainly a talent competition make

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I wonder whether the zany allure of Zooey Deschanel would win her hearts and a hypothetical place, on one of the many and varied TV talent shows of today? Surely her perfect musical pairing with M. Ward (Matthew Stephen Ward) would secure her a place through to the live shows, where we could become smitten with her beguiling glances and addicted to the indie angst that her voice exudes. I’m pretty certain that Deschanel would never and will never have to venture down the reality show route in any case, not least due to the success of her aforementioned band of two; She & Him.


After collaborating with Gary Lightbody et al on supergroup Tired Pony‘s debut album, She & Him return with a festive offering for their quirky Folk followers. ‘A Very She & Him Christmas’ was released on October 24th, 2011 in the US and is also available to purchase online. The 12-track covers record features such Christmas classics as ‘The Christmas Song’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree’, all performed with their trademark subtle wit and wonder. This record would be the perfect backdrop to your Yuletide merriment; light and carefree on the build-up, fast-paced fun when you hit your festive social stride, then rejoicefully reflective in its resolve.

It was Snow Patrol lead singer, Gary Lightbody, that gave me the title inspiration for this piece; I’ve seen the Irishman in somewhat of a deity capacity for several years now. I recently had a conversation about idols: what constitutes and typifies an idol, what makes someone an idol to one and a nobody to another and what would I actually say to one of my idols? For me, an idol is someone that I respect, who is possessing of qualities which I admire and aspire to have and typically, someone who I would be completely dumbfounded to meet in person. Lightbody encompasses all of the above in my case: he’s creative, intelligent, quick-witted, unassuming and Irish (a common theme in my idol rule book)…need there be any further criteria?!


Snow Patrol’s latest 14-track record, ‘Fallen Empires’ was released earlier this month and is currently continuing to reside in the top ten of the UK album charts.  The second single to be released from the album is ‘This Isn’t Everything You Are’ and it would be fair to say that I am rather taken with it. It is unequivocally Snow Patrol and Lightbody at their very best. Some of my best memories of a live show have been at Snow Patrol headline gigs and festival slots. The emotion of the lyrics and power of the band’s performance combine to produce something quite special. I can’t wait to hear the tracks from ‘Fallen Empires’ performed live early next year.

I have always preferred Marina & the Diamonds to Florence and the Machine; I find Marina’s voice more pleasing to hear, warmer and more emotive somehow. I can sense her passion when she performs, whereas I’ve always found the more abstract Welch to be trying that little bit too hard. A personal deconstruction, perhaps. Marina releases her second album in early 2012, which has been given the title, ‘Electra Heart.’ A demo has recently been released on her official website of a new single; ‘Starring Role.’ The follow-up to ‘Radioactive’; this track is perhaps more typically pop than her usual electro-pop offerings and I like it. I like it a lot.


I bought Lisa Hannigan‘s second album, ‘Passenger’ a couple of weeks ago and have been listening to it every day since. I have a couple of favourites, of which ‘Paper House’ is definitely one. I’ve always dreamt of moving to Dublin, living in an apartment and taking autumnal walks around Trinity College – perhaps one day I’ll get there, but for now I’m content to listen to Hannigan’s tale of similar surroundings and pursuits. If she is also looking for a lodger in said paper house, I am most interested…have ferry fare, will travel.


You will probably be familiar with the work of Christina Perri courtesy of previously mentioned tv talent shows; her hit single ‘Jar Of Hearts’ has been covered on both sides of the Atlantic recently. Perri is a 25-year old singer songwriter from Philadelphia who has only relatively recently rose to fame in the US, on the back of the single being aired on various hit shows on the Fox network. Perri released her debut album, ‘Lovestrong’ in May 2011 and has been compared to Folk favourite, Natalie Merchant.


Perri wrote a song for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn official soundtrack, entitled ‘A Thousand Years.’ The track doesn’t appear on ‘Lovestrong’  but gives listeners a good idea of ‘la douleur exquise’ to expect from Perri’s album of love and heartbreak. I think the music world will be seeing a lot more of Perri in the years to come.

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

November 23, 2011 at 2:37 pm

UK Festival Awards 2011 @festival_awards ; out with the old and in with the new?

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The 2011 UK Festival Awards were announced last night, in a suitably snazzy ceremony at London’s Roundhouse. There were a few surprises amongst the winners; perhaps a glimpse of the shift that’s set to come this year from folk choosing their festival allegiances more carefully, in light of the current economic climate. For me, size and status are irrelevant; if you have what I want, I’m there.

Following acclaimed performances at Glastonbury, Reading, Bestival and Jersey Live, Ed Sheeran was named ‘Best Breakthrough Artist’ (in association with Brothers Cider), beating off competition from Bruno Mars, Jessie J and The Vaccines.


‘Headline Performance of the Year’ (in association with Jagermeister) was awarded to Paolo Nutini at Latitude Festival, Nutini’s fellow nominees included Metallica, Magnetic Man and Chase & Status. Chase & Status didn’t go home empty- handed however, as they walked away with the award for ‘Anthem of the Summer’ for ‘Blind Faith.’

Rob Da Bank’s ever-popular Bestival was honoured in a new category for 2011: ‘Fan’s Favourite Festival’. This year, the festival welcomed some of the biggest names in music, consequently drawing the biggest crowds, and featured artists such as Bjork, The Cure, PJ Harvey, Brian Wilson and Public Enemy.

The awards for ‘Best Major’ / ‘Medium’ / ‘Small’ Festival, ‘Best Metropolitan’ Festival, ‘Best New’ Festival and ‘Best Family’ Festival were decided upon by a judging panel of journalists and reviewers. The winners included: ‘Best Major Festival’ (in association with The Ticket Factory) went to the godfather of festivals, Glastonbury, whose headline performances from Beyonce, U2 and Coldplay dominated our TV screens over the summer. ‘Best Medium-sized Festival’ was awarded to Secret Garden Party, which this year featured acts including Marcus Foster, Yasmin, Leftfield and Ghostpoet. End of The Road was awarded with ‘Best Small Festival’ (in association with Doodson); the North Dorset event featured live sets from Laura Marling, Joanna Newsom and Mogwai this year. This is definitely one which I would like to experience some time soon.


‘Best Metropolitan Festival’ was awarded to Sheffield’s Tramlines, which beat off competition from The Great Escape, Dot to Dot and Gaymer’s Camden Crawl.

‘Best New Festival’ (in association with Access All Areas) went to Wilderness, a new ‘celebration of the arts and outdoors’ in Oxfordshire, which The Observer described as a ‘bohemian haven’; Oxford and bohemian – sounds right up my street!  ‘Best Family Festival’ (in association with Showsec) was awarded to Beautiful Days.

‘Best Dance Event’ (in association with Peppermint Bars) perhaps predictably, went to Creamfields, with this year’s event featuring fan favourites Chemical Brothers, Katy B and Kissy Sell Out. I’m not sure that any other festival could beat Creamfields in this genre, there certainly does not appear to be any strong contenders to its crown at the moment. Croatia’s Outlook was honoured with ‘Best Overseas Festival’.

Finally, ‘Line-Up of the Year’ in association with XL Video was awarded to Sonisphere, for a staggering bill in 2011, which saw the Big Four – Metallica, Slayer, Anthrax and Megadeth unite for what was widely described as, ‘heavy metal heaven’.

Congratulations to all the 2011 UK Festival Awards winners and let’s hope that the 2012 season exceeds those highs and lessens the lows. /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂

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