Manchester has a lot to be proud of in terms of new musical talent in recent months, with a range of new sounds, collaborations and projects that are well and truly hitting the Manchester Culture Show new music radar. Some have sprouted legs and are trending across a range of new music blogs, while others lie under the media radar, for now… We’ve picked a small, diverse selection of these fledgling musicians, so catch them here on the Manchester Culture Show blog before they well and truly take flight!
I actually have the pleasure of announcing that I have seen Bernard + Edith perform live in the flesh at last year’s Manchester International Festival. The Manchester duo opened for fellow Manchester musicians MONEY last July, and really stood out to me as a young duo that had a good grasp of what they wanted to achieve musically. Taking their respective middle names to form their band name, singer and instrumentalist Greta Carol and bandmate, and synthesiser player Nick Delap of Egyptian Hip Hop fame has just released their debut E.P. Poppy with B-side Spell On You through independent label SWAYS records, premiered on Dummy and they have been recording material for a future album release. If you are not familiar with Bernard + Edith’s atmospheric, ambiguous electronic musical creations then have a listen to Poppy below. My personal favourite is Eyes on You which really showcases Greta’s forthright, unconventional, and heavily jazz-influenced vocals. All of which makes a heady, captivating combination. Listen to debut single Poppy, eerie metallic synth beats and sultry, heady vocals included:
Their live musical set up is a real team work effort with Greta on vocals and pedals for reverb. She also plays the theremin. Nick is at the healm of the synthesiser and plays drums through a sampler, and of course there is Greta’s powerful vocals and stage persona. Both Greta and Nick are completely in the moment of their performances, and I tried to capture Greta’s artistic and commanding stage presence.
You cannot beat a fresh slice of melody-driven rock pop sensibility in your contemporary music collection, which is the route this next ensemble pick well and truly go down.
Careless Sons are a 4 piece pop ‘n’ roll band, who formed in London in 2013, having met across university and music college. The band hail from both Cambridge and Manchester, which allows them to graduate in to the Manchester ‘new kids on the block’ gang. It is in fact drummer Ric Cryne, who is the Manchester lad of the band, providing the backbone of the band’s rock-pop beats. Fellow band mates are Dickon Collinson on Guitar/Vox, Rob D’Ath Guitar/Vox and Ben Donnelly on Bass/Vox., and together they form the four piece that is Careless Sons. The band have just released their debut single Rosary with B-side G.B.H. and we are currently touring following the single launch party.
Careless Sons is a great name for the band in the sense that it captures the enjoyment they clearly have in performing their music in a care-free, youthful, rock ‘n’ roll manner. This certainly comes across in the clean cut rhythms and melody driven edge of both Rosary and G.B.H; clear indie influences infused with their pop rock sound. There’s something about Careless Sons that reminds me of alternative Britpop rock band Ash as a band that also injected their pop sound with a harder edge. Plus, I cannot help but pinpoint a similarity in the clear cut vocal delivery. Finally, it has to be that like Ash there is something about Careless Sons that epitomises a refreshing pop-rock sound. Check out the video for Rosary below and hear B-side G.B.H via the band’s soundcloud page here.
Careless Sons had their debut a launch gig at The Garage, Highbury & Islington, London on Friday 28th February, and will next be performing on 7th June in London, with a single launch and will be returning to Manchester in October. Visit @CarelessSons for more information on upcoming performances.
Race to the Sea is the musical project of Manchester-based songwriter and instrumentalist Dan Peacock.
Originally part of an intial band under the same name back in 2008 Dan took off on a trip across the world following their split, unwittingly collecting material to inspire his next musical project; the new Race to the Sea.
What came to existence was the production of compositions that are both abstract and deeply personal, a marriage of both lyrics and melodies crafted from half-remembered images: memories of the sea, the desert, the forest and the mountains. Dan’s material stands out even more in his production through which he adds heavy layers to the raw material, further enhancing the atmospheric nature of the music with breathy, soulful vocals, textured guitars, synths and percussion. All of this is packaged in to debut four track self-titled E.P. that is available to purchase now. Listen to the stunningly atmospheric Hourglass below:
A second favourite of mine is the E.P’s second track Kingdom Come which has a light melodic momentum that just oozes elegance. Dan promotes his live show as ranging from the inclusion of stripped-back acoustic guitar versions, to looped and effected orchestrations, and, more recently, the inclusion of full live percussion and bass.
Dan was busy touring in 2013 supporting the likes of Badly Drawn Boy, The Magic Numbers, and had a sold-out E.P. launch at The Castle. You can next hear Race to the Sea at the Klondyke Club in Levenshulme on 8th May.
After recently hearing a track titled Lee Ann’s Skin I was completely enthralled by the combination of almost menacing baritone vocals, 60s guitar rock, European folk influences, and heavy instrumental distortion with noise punk influences, unsurprinsgly creating these sounds from instruments crafted from wood and razor wire. I had a good feeling even then, the mix of electric and acoustic classical and handcrafted instruments into contemporary pieces is enthralling. It is no surprise that the unique duo who produced this heavy eclectic mix were picked up on the NME ‘bands to watch’ radar.
Another SWAYs records signing, the founding duo are french lead-singer songwriter Sébastien Perrin and guitarist Luke Byron Scott, originally from Milton Keynes. Little is known about how the pair met but regardless of this what we do know is that they soon struck up a friendship that revolved around a shared love of William Burroughs and the musical avant-garde, and it wasn’t long before Sébastien had moved to Salford, with the duo performing under the name of Naked (On Drugs). The now Manchester-based pair have been releasing demos and performing live in alternating guises, just to keep us on our toes. Going by their Naked (On Drugs) title or sometimes stripping themselves back down to Naked. One thing they do maintain regardless of any guise is that they always expose themselves with non-cha-lance — n. the trait of remaining calm and seeming not to care; a casual lack of concern. The pair have since grown for now form the current quartet line up with the addition to two new members Dave McClean and Dave White, a fifth member is also noted on their social media- Alecs Pierce. All we know is that this is one of Manchester’s most intriguing musical collective that certainly should not be pigeonholed, something they make quite clear to stress in interviews, with bold opinions that are backed up by their distinctive musical creativity. Have a listen to Lee Ann’s Skin below, which is available to purchase via the following link, along with B-side Araki Dinosaurs.
Naked On Drugs will be performing at ‘Back to the Kitchen-3rd Annual Record Store Day at the Soup Kitchen today, 1.00-10.15pm. They are fourth on the roster so do catch them if you get the chance! If you can’t get to the event today then you will be pleased to know that they will also be performing at this year’s Beacon’s festival, Thursday 7th– Sunday 10th August 2014.
Visit @McrCultureShow for updates on upcoming gigs from all of the artists featured above.
Written by Hannah Bayley for @McrCultureShow