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Ultimate Playlist

Chupa Cabra

ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Chupa Cabra

A band who describe themselves gloriously as ‘one generation or another’s alienation, derangement and dirty washing’ projected back at you through their ‘nauseating, salivating, hypnotizing, no good sucker-punch-piss-yourself polystyrene agitator-blues’ should never go amiss. We’ve been big fans of the lads from North-Wales for some years now, and can tell you that Chupa Cabra are exactly the description set-out above.

What’s more, ahead of supporting the formidable Cabbage for a few dates, the hotly rising 3-piece will be joining the bill for our final Free Vibes event at Band on The Wall, alongside Leeds’ Elephant Trees, Mancunian acid-punks Springfield Elementary and quirky art-pop, ex-MCR Live residents The Vanity Project.

Sending us out in style, we want you to be there to party with us and celebrate the past two years. Entry for Free Vibes is totally free, but make sure you don’t delay… Our last event sold out the 600 capacity venue! As our closing party – and with one day to go reaching similar figures – we’re almost certain it’ll happen again.

Find out a little more as to what you can expect from Chupa Cabra on the night by listening to their ultimate playlist, below.

chupa cabra

Tayt (Drums)

Good Vibrations – Beach Boys

Everything about this tune gives me goosebumps. One of my all time favourites. I always think to myself how much acid I’d need to take to get me to a level where I could write a song anything like it.

The Model – Kraftwerk

My favourite kraftwerk song, electronic at its finest. I could’ve picked any song from the man machine but this always stood out for me. Probably something to do with rammsteins cover, my favourite band when I was 13.

Since I’ve Been Loving You – Led Zeppelin

No one will ever top John Bonham in my eyes. Big, heavy drums in a tune about heartbreak just gives it a completely different edge. Just a dramatic song that needs to be felt, not heard. One to piss your mum off with.

Bournemouth Runner – The Fall

A man who needs no introduction, deffo my favourite one from a very long list. Everything you could want from a fall tune.

Jazz (We’ve Got) – A Tribe Called Quest

Tribe are the arguably the biggest legends of the East Coast. Seem to just top everything that came out era for me, and

Q-tip is just the coolest guy I’ve ever seen in my life.

Hayden (Vox / Guitar)

I’m Not a Sicko Theres a Plate in My Head- Oblivians

If an alien were to ask me what garage punk was, I’d show them this- provided they don’t probe me first.

Elastic Seal- Duds

A sure-fire combination of deadpan lyricism and delivery set to mechanical-clockwork no wave.

Mr Eliminator- Dick Dale and his Del-Tones

RIP king of the surf guitar! This dude invented shredding. Fuck Yngwie.

If It Takes All Night- Roxy Music

I just want to be Bryan Ferry.

Diversion- Ty Segall

Sabbath worship at the altar of Marc Bolan.

 

Nath (Bass)

I Think I’m Going To Kill Myself  – Elton John

I have a lot of love for Elton, less love for skagging yourself but can appreciate the sentiment.

Nice One Eckhart – Chris Young and the Ever diminishing ego

Who the fuck is Eckhart Twolle? Chris is absolutely great and ‘Nice One Eckhart’ is a phrase for the ages

Poptones – Public Image Limited.

Poptones is the best song ever written turn off your mind relax and float downstream

It’s the End – Mr Ben & the Bens

These are gonna be massive and this is a beautiful song. Nice chap is Mr Ben.

Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts – Bob Dylan

One of those great mythic  Dylan songs that do nothing and are epochal in equal measure

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springfield elementary

ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Springfield Elementary

Merging their favourite sounds from the last 50 years of Punk and Psychedelia, Springfield Elementary have only been going for a year but are already making waves in the North – creating their own fuzz-soaked cocktail that truly speaks for itself. The 4-piece will be joining the bill for our final Free Vibes event at Band on The Wall, alongside Elephant Trees, Chupa Cabra and MCR Live favourites The Vanity project.


But, as a new band it’s likely you’re asking yourself “what can you expect” and “why should I come”? If the Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Sonics had a baby, Springfield Elementary would be the fruit of that labour – if that doesn’t whet the taste buds then we’re truly baffled. Championed by publications including Louder Than War, No Fun Magazine and ourselves the Manchester-based quartet have a real penchant for the pulse of punk’ and we know they’re going to add something different to the bill. 

Entry for Free Vibes are totally free, but make sure you don’t delay! Our last event sold out the 600 capacity venue and as our closing party, we’re sure it’ll happen again.

Find out a little more as to what you can expect from Springfield Elementary on the night by listening to their ultimate playlist, below.

springfield elementary

Dead Kennedys – Too Drunk to Fuck

One of our biggest influences, a lot of their songs are quite hectic yet articulate and it’s something we think we achieve.

Happy Mondays – Olive Oil

The Squirrel and G-Man album is a constant feature on road trips to out of town gigs. Shaun Ryder is my dad.

Bleached – Think of You

There is a tiny section of one of our songs that we subconsciously ripped off from one of Bleached’s songs… we aren’t gonna say which one, but this is a nice nugget of a tune!

Goat – Goatman

Again, one of our favourite bands. We bonded over Goat before we were a band, we are really drawn to raw psychedelic music like this. They’re top live too!

The Rats – The Rats Revenge

We always swap records with each other and this tune is on the Back from The Grave compilation, which is full of old, garage punk tunes from the late ’60s. This specific song stood out to us and soon we started greeting each other by saying ‘the rats!’ (like how they shout it on this song… ) fuck knows why.

Bloc Party – Helicopter

A tune from our childhood… the energy of this tune is so infectious – especially the drumming. Pretty sure it was on Fifa too.

The Doors – Soul Kitchen

Another raw piece of psychedelia!

Wire – Ex-Lion Tamer

We love this band… they remind me of a more fuzzy Gang of Four.

The Growlers – Red Tide

Another band we all bonded over before we made the band! All their albums are great but everything on Are You In Or Out is so sick!

Goat Girl – Crow Cries

We realised that most the songs on this playlist are pretty old so here’s a token new tune from one of our favourite albums from last year.

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hotel lux

ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Hotel Lux

Originally hailing from Portsmouth, five-piece Hotel Lux moved to London to fully enhance their garage/punk rock sound. Sounding like a mix between Cabbage and Shame, Hotel Lux take influence from the world around them, to paint pictures of dark, deteriorated people and landscapes. They also cite the film works of Shane Meadows as a major influence, who’s best know for This Is England, which is one of the reasons why Hotel Lux sound so quintessentially British.

Hotel Lux aren’t your typical punk band in terms of aggression, they don’t throw themselves around and completely lose control. Instead, they vent their frustrations through the brooding, intimidating atmosphere they express at their live shows. Take the song, Berlin Wall for example, a track which uses sinister whistles and funeral-esque keyboard parts to create an atmosphere of the macabre. Front-man Lewis Duffin sounds as morose as the most foreboding of undertakers.

Hotel Lux have just released their latest single, English Disease and it’s another corker. In celebration, we recently asked the band to pick out one track each from a new band they like, and one old /classic tour bus favourite:

 

 

Lewis Duffin (Vocals)

Fountain of Good Fortune – Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever

100% one of my favourite bands at the minute. Beautiful, beautiful melodies

Up the Junction – Squeeze

All-time classic. The amount of times we’ve tried ripping this tune off in our recent writing sessions is silly.

Cam Sims (Bass)

Cruelty – Disgraced

This tune scratches every punk itch for me. With only one track out i’m really looking forward to seeing what this lot get up to in the future.

The Impressions – We Must Be In Love

It’s impossible to feel sad when listening to this track. I’ve tried it and it doesn’t work.

Sam Coburn (Guitar & Keys)

Idles – I’m Scum

One of the few bands doing it right at the moment. good melodies, excellent lyrics.

Meet Me in the City – Junior Kimbrough

Cigarette stained riffs. GOAT.

Jake Sewell (Guitar)

Nineteen Seventeen – The Good, The Bad & The Queen

The members are all from different musical backgrounds, I think that’s what makes everything they release so interesting. Tony Allen’s drumming is especially good on this.

I’m Gonna Leave You – Nina Simone

There isn’t a dull moment in this track, it’s rapid from start to finish. You can almost hear her gasping for air by the end of each verse.

Craig MacVicar (Drums)

Squid – The Dial

By far my favourite live band at the moment. Looking forward to more releases from these guys.

Gorillaz – 19-2000

I think I first heard this on Fifa 02 back in the day and I’ve still got it on repeat. The Soulchild remix isn’t too bad either.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: The Vanity Project

Flora Jackson and Rob Paterson are the duo that makeup one of Manchester’s most-promising, and incredibly unique bands, The Vanity Project. With an emphasis on performance, the duo sit somewhere between pop clowns and cabaret cult leaders – if you can imagine such a thing. Using infectious pop hooks and drawing you in with tales of hallucinogenic soft drinks and fascistic seaside towns, we can’t wait for the two-piece to join us at Band on The Wall for our latest Free Vibes takeovers.

But what can you expect? The Vanity Project have not only been championed by the one and only Marc Riley on his 6Music show, but Everything Everything frontman Johnathan is also a big fan, citing that ”they put on a great show’. And of their set? It promises to be a live performance full of monologues, costumes and the occasional dance routine. If they’re good enough for Johnathan & Marc, we cannot wait to see what they’ll bring to the night.

Joining them on the bill, the two-piece will be wonky-psychedelic Springfield Elementary, Garage-punksters Chupa Cabra and the mysterious weird-funk of guano on Thursday 25th April at Band On The Wall. Our last Free Vibes SOLD OUT the 600 capacity venue, so make sure you RSVP now!

Before then, and to give you more of an idea of what you can expect from The Vanity Project, we asked Rob & Flora to pick out 10 tracks which best describe them… see you there!

I NI SOGOMA – Dinosaur Feathers

Dinosaur Feathers are a New York band we discovered a year or so back, and the way they balance strange off-kilter rhythms with catchy melodies is something that we’ve often tried to emulate, to variable success.

HAPSBURG LIPPP – Everything Everything

EvEv are definitely who we started off as, and it’s still difficult for us to shake the desire to break into a Jonathan Higgs falsetto at any given opportunity. He name-dropped us once in an interview with a Cumbrian local newspaper. True story.

THAT’S REALLY SUPER SUPERGIRL – XTC

If we started off as an EvEv tribute band we’re metamorphosing into an XTC one. Rob and I fell in love with Skylarking a couple of years ago and both that record and English Settlement have massively influences our writing styles.

BABOO – Pixx

Pixx‘s record The Age of Anxiety was one of the most underrated releases of the past couple of years, and the willingness to experiment with weird sonic pallets while still always remaining pop is something we try to replicate.

Radio Silence – Thomas Dolby

Thomas Dolby‘s been a musical touchstone for both of us for ages, and although in general, he’s a lot synth-ier than us, this track, in particular, fits our vibe pretty well.

Oily water – Blur

Blur‘s a weird band to cite as an influence because it could really mean anything. Are you a straight Britpop band? A Kinks-a-like? Heroin addicts? Do you just know Song 2? We went for this angular oddball cut from Modern Life Is Rubbish.

The City – Dismemberment Plan

The Dismemberment Plan changed a lot of my perception of chords; they love 7ths and open strings and taking one shape and moving it up and down the fretboard for eerie effects. One of our songs was even just called “D-Plan” until we eventually found a name for it.

NO PLACE – Ezra Furman

Transangelic Exodus was Rob‘s favourite album last year (my favourite, Daphne and Celeste Save the World, is maybe not appropriate for this playlist). This track has a brilliant atmosphere to it, but the real reason we picked it is we’ve just launched our night called No Place, so think of this as its unofficial theme song (tho, cough cough, we came up with the name way before, ahem ahem)

THINGS IT WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL TO KNOW BEFORE THE REVOLUTION –  Father John Misty

We’re both big FJM fans and though musically we walk different paths, the defeatist humour he uses in his lyrics is a strong influence on ours (though I like to think we’re at least slightly more optimistic…)

HEY LIFE- TUNE-YARDS

Finishing off the playlist comes Tune-Yards, who along with Owen Pallett taught us that you can do things with a loop pedal that isn’t just, well, loop pedal music. And by melding frantic but catchy melodies with weird rhythms, we’re right back where we started…

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST – Sleaford Mods

Sleaford Mods are one of the most important, politically charged and thought-provoking duos making their mark on the music scene today. Renowned for exhilarating live shows, sharp commentary and minimalist beats, the band have spearheaded the post-punk renaissance of the last five years.

Emerging onto the UK music scene in 2013 at a time of political and creative austerity, the Harbinger Sound released breakthrough album Austerity Dogs caught the moment. Described by The Quietus as ‘a brutally brilliant slice of working-class culture… soaked in the impossible realities of the everyday’, the success was a surprise for many, not least Andrew and Jason who had been making music individually twenty years to no acclaim.  

Fast-forward to 2019, and there are few other bands who can lay claim to such a prolific schedule, yet here we are a year later and Sleaford Mods have released their fifth studio album in six years, Eton AliveReleased on 22 February to yet more critical acclaim the album went straight in at number 9 in the UK Albums chart, number 1 in the UK Vinyl Chart and number 1 in the UK Record Store chart. The album, which features twelve new tracks, was recorded in Nottingham and is the first release on Andrew and Jason’s newly formed label ‘Extreme Eating’; the first album since amicably parting with Rough Trade Records.

We asked the Sleaford Mods to put together a list of tracks which have influenced the new release. Featuring an eclectic mix of artists including Giggs, Pet Shop Boys and Nina Simone, this is Sleaford Mods Ultimate Playlist.

Jason…

Lizz – Chacal

Andrew got me onto this woman. Really good this tune. It’s from her EP ‘Imperio Vol1’  which I’m still getting my teeth into.

Burzum – Channeling the power of souls into a new god

I’m interested in early black metal at the minute. But only with its originators, Burzum being one of them. The idea that people from time to time reinvent music genre purely through passion is such a powerful thing. All that horror bollocks is irrelevant to me. It’s Just the motivation and ideas. Why? Brilliant.

Dat Oven – Icy Lake

Again I got this from Andrew. (Sorry mate haha) it’s Really nightmarish innit, quite cold.  But wicked. Odd.

 Giggs – Baby

The chorus is really good. His delivery. I really like Giggs.

Jody Watley – Looking for a new love

Just started listening to JW. Im trawling the RnB Soul timeline for decent shit constantly.

Andrew…

 Pet Shop Boys – Two divided by zero

Always reminds me of touring especially when we are in Europe.

 Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprosy – Everyday life has become a health risk

The lyrics still seem relevant today.

 Nina Simone – Hey, Buddy Bolden

This song will inspire anyone who is creative. Hairs on the neck go up.

Angelo Badalamenti – The Pink room

I watched the new series, which made me watch the movie again, it’s excellent.

Massive Attack V Mad Professor – Moving Dub (better things)

I already had it but my copy was scratched to fuck so I bought it again.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST – Patawawa

Patawawa are unique in their nature as an electronic trio, who blend beats to pump blood with glittered guitar riffs and basslines that bite. Featuring Sam Wilmot, Rory Lovatt, and Beth Garrett, the three-piece have crafted a sound that stays true to the neon roots of their funk and disco inspirations but dressed with a cheeky flair that makes it all their own.

Picked by NME as ‘Ones to Watch in 2018’ before their debut EP had even been released, the band that originated from Matlock, have more than lived up to that promise. Having found fans in the likes of Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson and Lauren Laverne, they’ve been tipped by the Line of Best Fit, The Guardian, DIY & Clash and has seen them be selected to headline the Free Vibes event at Band On The Wall on Wednesday 13th March ahead of their London, Paris, New York, Matlock EP release which is out later this month.

Before then, Sam & Rory have put together an exclusive playlist for us with their inspirations behind Patawawa’s upcoming drop.

PATAWAWA

Sam’s Tracks –

Westside – Jarreau Vandal

I have a lot of Jarreau’s tunes on my playlist, for me, he just knows how to make a happy, upbeat, fun tunes with great production and often great vocal features!

Meant To Be – Hush Moss

Became a fan of this band a couple of years ago with their super smooth funk banger Clear and was also lucky enough to catch them live when we played ‘Smoked & Uncut’ Festival. Meant To Be is another smooth funk fiesta with excellent horns and percussion, a real earworm!

Grant Green – Mr Jukes Ft Charles Bradley

Bombay Bicycle Club are the band I have seen the most times ever live so when I learnt that Jack Steadman was doing a funk project I was stoked! Grant Green is such a powerful funk track with a brilliant melody for the chorus, unfortunately, it was one of the soul legend Charles Bradley‘s last ever recorded songs.

Lightenup – Parcels

Parcels always bring a groovy number to the table and Lightenup is no exception, it always puts me in a great mood and certainly does light me up! Caught them at Rough Trade in London late last year and they were unbelievably tight! Feel good vibes fo’ sho.

Cookin’ on 3 Burners – Real Life Baby

This tune just gets my feet moving every time, amazing brass in this song, just an ultimate feel-good track!

Rory’s Tracks –

It’s My House – Diana Ross

Just a perfect pop song! It never gets old!

Bicicleta – Marcos Valle

You can’t be in a bad mood when this is on.

How Good Is Your Game – Billy Paul

Billy‘s voice is something else and this song is definitely my favourite of his.

Feel The Music (Original 7 Inch Version) – Dreamflight

The Boston Goes To Disco compilation from Serge Gainsbourg was an incredible release last year and this was the top song for me.

Suddenly – Drugdealer

This song sounds like an old beach boys song at the start, then transforms and has a really nice piano heavy beat which is rate up my street.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: BABEHEAVEN

Babeheaven are back with new single Fresh Faced, having just sold out their biggest headline gig at legendary London venue Jazz Cafe in the process. 2019 has already proven to be a step up for the band, having already sold-out shows ranging from Bush Hall and Scala to touring with acts like Loyle CarnerThe Japanese House, and Palace.

The West-London five-piece acclaimed releases thus far have taken them on a rich emotional journey far from – but always back to – their cultural roots, with the strip of the city either side of the Westway having its link to everyone from Lily Allen to Jungle and Blur (let alone the sensory overload of Carnival). Growing up amongst that sense of history and creative atmosphere meant Babeheaven could only ever be musicians, really. Though, Babeheaven’s depictions of those truths ultimately reach far beyond the city that inspires them.

The last year or so has seen the band enter an intense period of writing, recording, and growth. In Nancy, Babeheaven have a front-woman of remarkable vocal and emotional depth: one who is also able to move effortlessly between the worlds of music, fashion, and art. As a badass woman herself,  we asked Nancy to put together her Ultimate playlist of influential women in music. Check it out below!

babeheaven

Watching Me – Jill Scott

I think I started singing because I loved Jill Scott’s voice so much. I wanted to copy her, sound like her and be able to sing all of the parts. I also love her lyrics, shes funny and so cool.

Slow Jam – Tirzah
I think Tirzah’s voice is really amazing, the pairing with Micachus production makes something very special. Tirzah’s album was my most listened to album last year. I had it on loop and still do.

Brakhage – Stereolab
Such interesting song writing, such good harmonies, and melodies layered.

Don’t Cry – It’s Only Rhythm – Grace Jones,

She doesn’t sing on this song- but most of the album is reworks of the same song. Grace is so incredible, I remember seeing her live and she hula hooped whilst singing her entire set. It was crazy.

Cherish the Day – Sade

Sade is the best, Cherish the Day is my all time favourite song by her, when the bass starts in the middle it gets me every time. Her voice is flawless and she is stunningly amazing.

Essence of Sapphire – Dorothy Ashby

The first time I listened to Dorothy Ashby, I was obsessed.  I think she’s so cool I remember looking her up I wanted to know everything about her.

I do (feat SZA) – Cardi B

I cheated and put 2 in one. Cardi is jokes and a great rapper I love nearly all the songs on “Invasion of Privacy”- SZA is a force and sings amazingly her first EP (album thing) was lyrically and sonically very important to me.

Kimson – Warpaint

When this EP (Exquisite Corpse) came out I lost it. It was so cool to see a girl band making such sick music and looking like they didn’t care about what anyone thought of them. They make such good music.

Respect – Rotary Connection

I love Minnie Ripperton, so I put in this song. Rotary Connection have amazing vocal arrangements stacks of harmonies and lux string parts. Love it.

Isobel – Bjork

She is the coolest (how many more times can I say that). She writes about nature in an amazing way and has such a progressive sound. What a G- I recently watched a short documentary about her and was just even more amazed by the music she creates.

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: SlowHandClap

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER     PHOTO BY MANC WANDERER

Alternative noise-rock trio, SlowHandClap, came about from their mutual passion for punk and noise rock. Their enthusiasm built and, thus,  the much-appreciated act with the self-deprecating name* came to be. *See definition of ‘slow hand clap’. The Manchester-based act rest amongst the plentiful network of musicians we have in the city and are made up by Sam Bullock on vocals and guitar, Dan Coleman on bass and Michael Duckworth controlling drums.

We asked the trio to put together a playlist for us of their most adored tracks that filter through their inspiration and aspirations for SlowHandClap, following the release of their stonking new single ‘Nobody’s Home’, released on 6th March (listen above). Rife with tracks from the ’90s alternative and ’80s punk scenes, it’s clear to see where the trio draw their influences from – featuring tracks from the likes of Sonic Youth, Pavement, The Fall and Fugazi.

Sure, you might have heard all those acts before, but SlowHandClap project a fresh lease of life within the chaotic genre, controlling their sound with rich chords, melodies and rhythmic grooves to both please and unease the listener – a theme that has been brought to new levels with their latest release. SHC‘s notoriety is clear through support from the likes of BBC IntroducingBBC 6 Music, DHP alongside a loyal fanbase who tread every step of their journey, selling out shows regularly across their hometown base. 

Fictional Decision – Drahla

Are one of our favourite English bands at the moment, they have two great and unique singers and combine the sounds of all our favourite bands like Sonic Youth and Ought and make it their own.

Why Does It Shake? – Protomartyr

Somehow manage to sound minimalist but create a thick atmosphere at the same. This is something we try to strive for being a 3 piece. The singers spoken word vocal style has influenced a lot of our new material too.

Reuters – Pink Flag

Is one of our collective favourite albums, a perfect 10 to me. This song is basically one chord throughout but the vocals and the harmony’s make this tune.

Ether – Andy Gills

Jagged guitar lines and the tight groovy rhythm section are so good on this track. This band make you move and the interplay between the guitar and the bass in all their songs is something we often strive for.

Blindness – The Fall

The bass comes in, then it comes in AGAIN! Just listen.

Pears For Lunch – Girl Band

Girl Band are so unbelievable. The way they use noise to create captivating, cacophonous songs and the surrealistic emotional vocals changed the way we want to write songs.

Silver Rocket – Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth are the primordial ‘ooz’ that birthed us, definitely our biggest influence.

Rattled By The Rush – Pavement

We often get referred to as have a slacker-rock-esque sound and pavement are probably one of the reasons why. So laid back and effortlessly great songs.

Satan In The Wait – Daughters

This song strikes a perfect balance between terrifying and beautiful, we like to try and strike that balance with some of our tunes.

Waiting Room – Fugazi

This is the only track we’ve ever covered. We had to stop doing it because it made all of our songs sound rubbish in comparison.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Willie J Healey

WORDS BY HANNAH TINKER

Having toured with SLAVES and been compared to the likes of Deerhunter, Kurt Vile and Mac DeMarcoWillie J Healey is fast making himself heard. Summarised by a headline tour that started in February this year and is fast selling out, the Oxford native is making his way to YES in Manchester on said tour (20th February to be precise, you keen kids). 

His first album People and Their Dogs took months to pull together with the musician overthinking and stop/starting numerous times trying to get the perfect hit. Of course, it was suitably perfect because it had been meticulously fine-tuned and refined by its composer’s skilled mindset. By the time People and Their Dogs came to fruition, his second album was already on the cards. Subconsciously attracted to the phrase ‘666 Kill’ like a reverse exorcism, he constructed an ominous lyrical sketch of his own death at the hands of the devil. This unlikely muse possessed his creativity to the extent that he rushed downstairs to his garage-based studio and single-handedly recorded the vocals and all of the instrumentation in a single session.

“I’m not some kind of devil worshipper or anything like that,” he laughs. “I was trying to touch on different ideas I had: weird things like planes going missing and an obsession with death, which sounds depressing but at the time I found it really interesting. We all have weird little things that run across our minds and we generally don’t say them out loud. For good reason! But it felt like an exciting process to write in that style and not put a filter on it.”

Having performed with bands in Oxford from a young age, Healey turned to songwriting and developed his skills via open mic nights, acoustic shows and local support gigs. So it all fell into place and, in particular, the tour with SLAVES cemented him on the indie scene and not as ‘just-another-singer-songwriter’ but something with a punk twang that delves into broader topics than romantic emotions. “I try not to be too aware of trends, so I can focus on writing the best song I can regardless of whether I think it will be cool or not.” He notes how the great albums of the ‘70s feel out of time in contrast to the booming drums and slick production that places many ‘80s records firmly within their era. “A timeless classic will never go out of fashion.”

But what tracks are constantly on Healey’s ‘top tracks’ lists, always cemented in his mind and always looked to as a point of inspiration? Look no further than right here. You can see that he doesn’t follow the trends or stick to one genre just by listening in. So, what are you waiting for?

Joe Jackson – Is she really going out with him?

A classic, I can completely relate to young Joe in this track.

Squeeze – Cool For Cats

Another classic. A special british treat that makes my ears smile. Love you squeeze

Happyness – Anna Lisa Calls

I love this song so much. I must have played it 1000s of times, I wish I wrote it. More people need to hear it because it’s sick

The Boom Town Rats – Rat Trap

Bob G at his best. Most savage bass tone dirty dirty boys got the crowds going loopo

The Stranglers – Peaches

Another filthy british classic about oily skin and a love for bums so strong that they wrote a hit about it, good one gizzas.

Neil Young – Walk On

Neil Young’s response to people talking breeze behind his back. Feel ya Neil you beautiful hippy

Childish Gambino – Red Bone

This track is already a classic and it’s only been out for a couple of years.

Grover Washington Jr. – Just The Two of Us

Our old friend Grover WJ making hot sauce with chicken legend Bill Withers. Tears flow down my cheeks Bill, ya got me again. Sing me to sleep GOAT

Supertramp – The Logical Song

A song I’ve always loved. A young man losing his innocence..

Bill Withers – Use Me

Say no more Bill, sometimes it feels good to be used.

Like this? Read up on all of our blog posts HERE 👀

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ULTIMATE PLAYLIST: Diving Station

The harp-driven machine that is dream pop band Diving Station takes influence from the likes of Big Thief and Dirty Projectors. They are known to captivate and engage audiences with their distinctive sound, achieved through the unique combination of singer Anna McLuckie‘s nuanced delivery and Sean Rogan’s sprawling guitar melodies. This is integrated with a driving yet melodic rhythm section and the accompaniment of secondary vocals.

Since forming in 2014 Diving Station have performed across the UK supporting bands such as Indian Queens, Clock Opera, and Meursault. They have appeared on festival lineups at Bluedot Festival and Head For The Hills as well as selling out several headline shows in Manchester. Diving Station released their first EP, ‘Alice’, in January 2017. The single ‘Plastic People’ has been played on Bob Harris’ show on BBC 2 and Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour on BBC 6 Music to name a few.

George –

The Orielles – Let Your Dogtooth Grow:

‘Last year I was lucky enough to see the band play this track live in session for Marc Riley and they were fantastic. The memorable hooks and slinky bass always stick out to me.’

Julia Holter – I Shall Love 2:

Julia Holter is one of my favourite songwriters. This track is beautifully arranged and the way the instruments and Julia’s voice build in the second half is mesmerising.’

Barnabas – 

Westerman – Outside Sublime:

‘When we played at Hyde Park Book Club in Leeds we were featured on BBC Radio Leeds and this lovely song came on after ours. Been a fan ever since.’

Grizzly Bear – Three Rings

‘The drums on the track are so interesting. The way the drum loop sits with the acoustic kit playing all sorts over the top, mmmm.’

Anna – 

Fleet Foxes – Third of May/Ōdaigahara:

‘I found myself finding it hard to get lost in the music for a while, and Fleet Foxes helped me break through that.’

Joanna Newsom – Sadie (track not on Spotify):

‘She blows my mind, I could read the lyrics of this song every day and find something new.’

Sean –

James Blake – Don’t Miss It:

‘There’s nothing I don’t love about this song. The sounds, the lyrics, the simplicity. It’s all so subtle yet sits together just perfectly.’

Sharon Van Etten – Seventeen:

‘I’ve been waiting so long for Sharon Van Etten to release some new music, as have many others, and all I can say is it was worth the wait, what a comeback!’

Band picks –

Adrianne Lenker – Symbol:

‘We recently saw Adrianne play at YES, Manchester, and it was absolutely stunning. This song, in particular, stood out.’

Rozi Plain – Symmetrical:

‘We’ve loved Rozi Plain for a while now. We’re big fans of what she does with This Is The Kit, as well as her solo material. Recently we’ve been quite focused on keeping our writing simple and effective, and this new song is a perfect example of this.’

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