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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

The Vaulted Skies


Photo by Pete Bilk
There seems to be a trend just now for bands to lean on the influences of the 80's whilst bringing to that era a modern twist and very much at the forefront of that is Saint Albans band The Vaulted Skies.

The Strange EP, released recently is a concoction of mean and moody vocals over swirling guitars and orchestral synths.








Hardly surprising as The Vaulted Skies list amongst their influences Radioead, The Cure, Muse, Joy Division and many more of that ilk. 

Lead track Vampires thumps into an OMD -esque anthemic soundscape.

Caroline Slipped Across The Sky continues the anthemic vein with soaring vocal overlaid on solid musicality, whilst Hungware is all moody drums, soaring guitar and plaintive lyric.







Versus Heart continues the plaintive mood and emphasises The Vaulted Skies strong lyric writing ability and musicality. It culminates with the bouncier Does Anyone Else Feel Strange which will transport you back to some smoky, beer stained dungeon of a bar with sticky carpets watching Depeche Mode in their formative years. 




The Vaulted Skies are on a roll with this EP and judging by recent reviews are also ones to catch live.  

Upcoming gigs...




Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Glass Harbours



Ralph's played Halifax based Glass Harbours on his Radio KC Indie Show recently so it was about time he introduced their self-financed EP release History Trails via the blog.

Drawing on influences like Shellac and Slint they've created two stylish Math Rocky instrumentals which will be available for download on May 5th.

The re-named Glass Harbours had reformed in 2014 after a ten year hiatus from their previous incarnation as Herrod to no small amount of critical acclaim and have featured on Simon Raymonde's Amazing Radio Show and Under The Radar.





Glass Harbours consider this to be their best work to date and Ralph's inclined to agree with them. They describe the EP's lead track Falling/Horizons as featuring - "Paranoid guitars and epic rock riffs with a stunning Post-Rock coda." Very much in the style of an early Wishbone Ash around the time of Pilgrimage in the early 70's.




Should Glass Harbours continue to showcase such impeccable musicality then future releases can be looked forward to especially if you're a fan of guitar based melodic Indie.

Glass Harbours are...

Richard Westwood - guitar/bass/keys
James Whipp - guitar/bass
Pete Bush - drums/guitar/bass/keyboards.

Monday, 13 April 2015

Officer



Last time Ralph checked out Officer was on the release of his first track and video from the upcoming Myriads album. Well today sees the release of the second track Glass Ceiling and the video is being launched exclusively on Ralph's Life.

Both track and video are deliciously dark, atmospheric and well crafted. The video takes you on a soul-searching introspective journey as Officer (aka DC Logan) makes you feel his pain. You can experience it right here on Ralph's Life and it'll be played on Radio KC from this week.











The Myriads album is being produced thanks to the love and generosity of Officer's friends as they crowd funded enough cash from his loyal fan-base who were desperate to have a physical copy of the tracks they loved from his live performances.

Officer had been playing regularly for a year in all the 'usual supects' small venues in London and beyond including Germany, building up a solid core of fans willing to put forward their hard earned beer tokens to see his work properly realised on iTunes and it's ilk.











The fruit of this is Myriads - a stunning debut indie soundscape album of incredibly captivating songs, powerful lyricism and oceanic atmospheres. The album was produced by close friend, Daniel Peterson and co-produced by Officer himself. You can see and hear why people have invested in the creation of this album and now Officer is releasing one of the songs most loved by his audience, Glass Ceiling. He’s thrilled with how the song has turned out and is looking forward to his beloved crowd’s reaction.





If you're lucky enough to be in London on April 21st you can see Officer perform at The Lucky Pig, Fitzrovia in London.

If you're even luckier you'll have been invited by Ralph to the Lynn Gerrard debut poetry book launch in The Citadel Theatre, St Helens June 11th where he'll be performing along with Lee and Adele of The Fireflys and Amber Heyes.

Lynn Gerrard will be performing some of her spoken word poetry from the book on the night.





Saturday, 11 April 2015

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 11.4.15

OK bands you know the score .....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans ..... 

the higher you go .....

So Tweet it, Facebook it .....

Generally expose yourself .....






Now Mr Snuggles and I Have Been sitting with our heads down counting the hits on each blog to see who's got bands which place.  



The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart is played every Sunday 5-7pm on Radio KC as part of Ralph's Indie Show.







No 1...Kidsmoke






The last time Ralph had a sniff at Manchester based Kidsmoke was on the release of their debut EP Higher back in September of 2013. Well at the time I was hooked by their infectious 80's guitar and remain so with the advent of The Reason I Jump, just released as a single from the up-coming EP So Long, Emptiness.







No 2...Blair Jollands





Ralph's not averse to a bit of mean and moody vocalising and he's found it in spades with the release of the four track EP Stars Will Descend by Blair Jollands

New Zealand born and now based in London, Blair's style has been previously compared to Nick Cave or Rufus Wainright and I'm getting shades of a funky Leonard Cohen. 








No 3...1000 Mexicans






Why Do We Take This?

If you've reformed a band that nearly made it in the 80's what's new that you can bring to the table now? In 1000 Mexicans case it's quality grown up music like their new single Why Do We Take This. Ralph's already given it a spin on his Radio KC Indie Show.











No 4 ...The Phantom Sound







Working on a debut album, The Phantom Sound aka Californian born (now living in London) Marisa Schlussel strives to create honest, powerful and emotional songs, drawing on diverse influences from the late 70's and 80's including BowieBlondieThe Ramones and Duran Duran and giving them a contemporary feel.












No 5...Kynchinlay



dark age cover art

The last time I wrote about Liverpool band Kynchinlay was last year on the release of their Drink Me EP when I 'accused' them of sounding like SAHB (no bad thing says I) and exploring their darker side.  Well these post punkers have released another five track EP and it's no surprise that it's called Dark Age.















Ralph recently gave Gateshead Indie rockers Elephant Memoirs new single Mug a spin on his Radio KC Sunday Show and thought it'd be a good idea to take a look after some great feedback. 

Formed in 2013 by John AspinallBarry Drew and Carl Aspinall they've been working hard to create a catalogue of original material and successfully so in the case of Mug which kicks off with swirling guitar before thumping into a gritty vocal.






No 7...Lost Embers




The Borders of Winter -Signed and Personalized CD

Having played guitar and written music since an early age, playing in a number of bands around the Welsh valleys, the next logical step was to perform as a solo artist so Lost Embers was formed in 2013. Since then songs have been written and recorded with important thought to location and space. These recordings gave way to the first full length album The Borders of Winter. 












Well feted after the release of their debut album The Slow Readers Club now bring us their second offering Cavalcade with it's 12 tracks of indie pop infused electro goodness. 


Strong  song writing and vocals overlaid on consumate musicality will see this album push them even further to the fore.







No 9...Sisteray





Sisteray have been making big waves in the indie/garage rock scene since forming in 2012 however 2014 was a breakthrough year for the London four-piece and 2015 looks to continue in that vein. They're big favourites here in the kennel and regulars on Ralph's Indie Show on Radio KC.














Fragile Creatures EP
Brighton seems to be producing a wealth of musical goodness of late and Fragile Creatures are pushing their way to the forefront of that trend after an enforced hiatus due to tragic circumstances. After a successful start to 2013; including starting to record an album, David Vatchnadze, their mentor and founder of Indie record label DNVMusic sadly passed away.

Theyreleased an EP of four carefully crafted, pop-tastic guitar driven tracks last year as a follow up to their debut, double A side single Dear Michael/She Makes Me Nervous.











Saturday, 4 April 2015

Ralph's Top 10 Blogged Band Chart - 4.4.15


OK bands you know the score .....

the more hits your blog gets by the fans ..... 

the higher you go .....

So Tweet it, Facebook it .....

Generally expose yourself .....






Now Mr Snuggles and I Have Been sitting with our heads down counting the hits on each blog to see who's got bands which place.  



The Top Ten Blogged Band Chart is played every Sunday 5-7pm on Radio KC as part of Ralph's Indie Show.







No 1...Blair Jollands





Ralph's not averse to a bit of mean and moody vocalising and he's found it in spades with the release of the four track EP Stars Will Descend by Blair Jollands

New Zealand born and now based in London, Blair's style has been previously compared to Nick Cave or Rufus Wainright and I'm getting shades of a funky Leonard Cohen. 








No 2...Kidsmoke






The last time Ralph had a sniff at Manchester based Kidsmoke was on the release of their debut EP Higher back in September of 2013. Well at the time I was hooked by their infectious 80's guitar and remain so with the advent of The Reason I Jump, just released as a single from the up-coming EP So Long, Emptiness.








No 3 ...The Phantom Sound







Working on a debut album, The Phantom Sound aka Californian born (now living in London) Marisa Schlussel strives to create honest, powerful and emotional songs, drawing on diverse influences from the late 70's and 80's including BowieBlondieThe Ramones and Duran Duran and giving them a contemporary feel.









No 4...1000 Mexicans






Why Do We Take This?

If you've reformed a band that nearly made it in the 80's what's new that you can bring to the table now? In 1000 Mexicans case it's quality grown up music like their new single Why Do We Take This. Ralph's already given it a spin on his Radio KC Indie Show.












No 5...Lost Embers




The Borders of Winter -Signed and Personalized CD

Having played guitar and written music since an early age, playing in a number of bands around the Welsh valleys, the next logical step was to perform as a solo artist so Lost Embers was formed in 2013. Since then songs have been written and recorded with important thought to location and space. These recordings gave way to the first full length album The Borders of Winter. 













Well feted after the release of their debut album The Slow Readers Club now bring us their second offering Cavalcade with it's 12 tracks of indie pop infused electro goodness. 


Strong  song writing and vocals overlaid on consumate musicality will see this album push them even further to the fore.






No 7...Sisteray





Sisteray have been making big waves in the indie/garage rock scene since forming in 2012 however 2014 was a breakthrough year for the London four-piece and 2015 looks to continue in that vein. They're big favourites here in the kennel and regulars on Ralph's Indie Show on Radio KC.








No 8..Affairs








Ralph's played tracks by Affairs regularly on his Radio KC Indie Show since hearing their single Cressida nearly two years ago.  Now they're releasing a new single Blood Science on Monday 15th March so it's time to renew acquaintances.

From scattered English Counties, the band members of Affairs met at Hull University, drawn together by their mutual appreciation of 80’s music, art, slick hair, tight jeans and loose hips.









No 9...The Phantoms






Ralph's been a big fan of Edinburgh band The Phantoms since he covered them back in April last year after they played a set at the Ralph's Life CD Launch in Electric Circus for the Rethink Mental Illness charity. They've since played a succession of gigs including the one and only King Tut's in Glasgow.











No 10...Kynchinlay


dark age cover art

The last time I wrote about Liverpool band Kynchinlay was last year on the release of their Drink Me EP when I 'accused' them of sounding like SAHB (no bad thing says I) and exploring their darker side.  Well these post punkers have released another five track EP and it's no surprise that it's called Dark Age.