Album Review: ‘Interplanetary Class Classics’ by The Moonlandingz

When I first heard Fat White Family’s debut album Champagne Holocaust, four years ago, I knew that I was listening to the most important band of that time. Heavily influenced by The Fall and The Country Teasers – the Fat Whites created an album, that certainly lyrically, was much more interesting than anything else at the time.

As well as the electric live shows, the band’s follow up: ‘Songs For Our Mothers’ cemented their status as the most interesting band in the UK. So when I discovered the songwriting partnership of the South London band, singer Lias Saoudi and guitarist Saul Adamczewski, had begun a side project, I was eager to find out what other musical interests they were influenced by.

Saoudi, who adopts the alter ego of fictional narcissist Jonny Rocket on the album, and Adamczewski, have teamed up with Sheffield electro-duo, Eccentronic Research Council, to create The Moonlandingz’ synth-pop driven debut album Interplanetary Class Classics. The album also features Yoko Ono, whose son and friend of the band, Sean, deploys psychedelic guitar on the track ‘Sweet Saturn Mine’. Rebecca Taylor of Snow Club, drummer Ross Orton, bassist Mairead O’Connor and Randy Jones, the cowboy from The Village People, complete the line-up.

The album opener ‘Vessels’ begins with heavy drumming and Saoudi’s low vocals drenched with fuzzy guitar that eventually leads to the front-man returning to the voice that served him so well on Fat Whites’ debut in the chorus. Like ‘Vessels’, tracks such as ‘Sweet Saturn Mine’ and ‘Black Hanz’ are undeniably catchy pop tunes, where the lyrics apply the same sinister, ironic outlook Saoudi has used many times. For example, in ‘I.D.S’, written about everyone’s favourite bastard Iain Duncan Smith, Saoudi expresses his displeasure at Duncan’s policies, singing: “40,000 years of job club.”

Saoudi channels his inner Lou Reed on the album’s best track, ‘The Strangle Of Anna’, paying homage to Reed’s New York band with they lyric: “I made you listen to Sunday morning, you spit it out across the parquet flooring.” The song also has elements of The Velvet Underground’s ‘I’ll Be Your Mirror’, with Rebecca Taylor’s impressive PJ Harvey-like vocals. The Moonlandingz wrap it up with Yoko Ono wailing on the electronically-led ‘The Cities Undone’, which also features The Human League’s Phil Oakey.

This album, musically, doesn’t offer anything too original, but nothing does these days, it seems fairly impossible. But in an era where most popular music makes me want to die, it’s refreshing to see the likes of Saoudi not pretending to be a wild original or taking himself too seriously. And much like the Fat Whites, The Moonlandingz’ debut is lyrically, heads and shoulders above the majority of the landfill-indie that occupies popular guitar music today.

Joe Forte

Atticus emerges from the underground with ‘These Walls’

Emerging into the fray of contemporary electronic music is singer-songwriter, Atticus. With a powerful electronic sound, combined with an indie aesthetic, Atticus seems to already have cracked the recipe for modern music that breaks boundaries and offers something just a little different.

Over his career as a musician, Atticus has played around with a number of genres but has found a home for his raspy, yet enticing vocals in the electronic category.

The new single ‘These Walls’ is a track that breaks out, both sonically and metaphorically from anything you’ve heard before, blending an ambient James Blake like atmosphere with swelling bass lines and evocative, jarring beats.

After unfortunately losing his Mother at the tender age of 16, Atticus is a songwriter who channels his emotions into his music and the result is a form of intriguing music with a meaningful background too.

‘These Walls’ is out for release 24th March 2017.

Find out more on Atticus here:

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/officialatticus

https://www.facebook.com/officialATTICUS

‘Live by Design’ – Ivy Nations

The Dublin based band ‘Ivy Nations’ are back with their latest offering of heavy synths and roaring chorus’ putting their own unique spin on the dance-rock genre.

The indie-quartet have already garnered quite a fan-base in their nascent career supporting the likes of Kodaline, The Strypes and The Academic off the back of a handful of releases.

Having worked with producer Phil Magee (Kodaline and The Script) the newest, is ‘Live By Design’ out on 7th April explores the pace of modern day life and technology.

Their cutting beats and heavy synths holds true to their energetic and dreamy identity but seems to be a big thrust forward in tempo.

The band we’ll be playing at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin on the day of the release. This will be a momentous occasion in their fledgling history arriving back at the venue they confessed was the best moment in music thus far.

Taking influence from the likes of ‘Vampire Weekend, Foals and Two Door Cinema Club’ ‘Live By Design’ produced and directed by Blacktooth Films is being released on Reckless Records.

Their fresh take on blending genre’s have Irish music mag ‘The Last Mixed Tape’ lauding the band as having ‘a refreshingly infectious take on the dance-rock genre. With such a vivid beginning, it’s exciting to think of where Ivy Nations will go from here.’

 

Links:

https://soundcloud.com/ivynationsofficial

https://www.facebook.com/IvyNationsOfficial/

https://twitter.com/IvyNations

https://www.instagram.com/ivynationsofficial/

 

‘Blue Moon’- The New Single From Kid Cupid

The female fronted indie-electronic group, Kid Cupid, are back with their storming new single, ‘Blue Moon’.

Picking up from where the band left off with ‘Broken Down’, ‘Blue Moon’ is superbly crafted amalgamation of synth bass, echoing vocals and even a touch of cornet. The band have an affinity for showcasing their vocal harmonies alongside their fusion of acoustic and electronic beats.

‘Blue Moon’ was written in a particularly picturesque moment as vocalist Laura Shaw was watching the sun set over a river in India. The sheer beauty of the place inspired Laura to think about the interactions we have between each other, fleeting moments that we have every day. We may never see these people that we encounter ever again, but this is what is addressed in the band’s new song – an original songwriting inspiration to say the least.

After forming just over a year ago, Kid Cupid have built a reputation for themselves as a captivating live act and this has led to them being compared to the likes of London Grammar and Chvrches.

Kid Cupid’s social commentary based songs set them apart from a lot of artifical indie artists and ‘Blue Moon’ is no different. Definitely well worth a listen.

 

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/kidcupidmusic/

https://twitter.com/kidcupidmusic

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6p05P14pXA

https://www.instagram.com/wearekidcupid/

The New Album ‘Leaves, Sadness, Science’ by Marilyn Carino

Marilyn Carino is an experienced artist who has collaborated and shared stages with a number of notable musicians including Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands), Black Star, David Byrne and renowned producers Sly and Robbie, but she has recently released her second solo album that truly displays her quality as an experimental musician.

Having released her debut record, Little Genius, in 2011, Carino has developed her sound further encapsulating dynamic electronic vibes with hints of many other genres which only add to the experimentation. Leaves, Sadness, Science fuses elements of hip-hop and soul with Marilyn’s signature vocals, making for a potent combination, unheard of anywhere else.

Marilyn played every role in the creation of the new album, writing, recording and mastering it all to her high production standards. The outcome is a collection spacey and moody grooves, driven by synths and complex beats, covering topics as varied as sex and radical self-expression.

Carino was also the founder of vintage-electro group, Mudville, who won best song at the 2008 Independent Music Awards. From this experience, Marilyn has become a supremely talented musician with endless ideas and ambition that makes her music stand out from the crowd.

Find out more on Marilyn Carino here:

Links:

https://www.facebook.com/marilyncarinomusic

https://www.twitter.com/marilyncarino

https://www.youtube.com/marilyncarino

http://www.marilyncarino.com

 

Happyness and Felix White Team Up For Live Sessions

Indie lovers will rejoice when they hear that London based Indie youngsters, Happyness, joined up with Felix White of The Maccabees for their Yala! Sessions version of their single, ‘Tunnel Vision On Your Part’.

Yala Records was in fact set up by White following the split of the Maccabees and they are beginning to work with small growing acts for a label/club night.

The tune is a real grower and takes a while to build up, but it’s well worth the wait once the overdriven guitars kick in, contrasted with the pleasing piano hook.

‘Happy Matters’- Everything Under

Electro-rock band Everything Under have followed up their storming single ‘Team’ with the equally 80s infused ‘Happy Matters’.

Aiming to reinvent the electronic rock genre and make it more accessible to all, EU have developed their industrial sound, blending 80s synth-pop with a dark, brooding overtone.

After losing his sister in a car crash, front-man, Mark J. Heidecke diverted his grief by enrolling at a digital arts college in California where he learnt the trades of sound design, music theory and performance. Alongside Mark’s sound engineering techniques, he also taught himself how to play guitar and keyboard, with which he authored 34 new EU tracks that were mastered by world renowned sound engineer Bernie Grundman.

Eventually moving back to Illinois, Mark quickly employed the talents of Jeff Lane and Kevin T. Jones who completed the band’s lineup.

‘Happy Matters’ is also accompanied by a psychedelic music video that perfectly visualizes the vibe of Everything Under’s music.

Links:

https://www.youtube.com/user/EverythingUnderEU

https://www.instagram.com/everythingundereu/