What can I say about Bleached… Firstly, they are two sisters (Jennifer and Jessica) who are effortlessly oozing the Twingirl attitude and energy. They follow no rules. But perhaps if they did, the pair’s understanding of regulative instruction would probably be something rather similar to those catchy slogans you find printed on stereotypical punk tees at festivals and Camden Market: ‘Live fast, die young,‘ ‘No Regrets,’ ‘Rock ‘till you die.’ The title of their debut album, ‘Ride Your Heart’ is another addition to this Bleached-Rule-Book…
Secondly, they also create some pretty awesome music. The sound is rough yet melodic, focused yet loud – Essentially a wonderful gnarly noise of bouncy punk-pop reminiscent of the music produced by fellow Rockin’ ladies, Vivian Girls and Wild Flag.
Ride you Heart is released tomorrow, followed by an extensive European tour.
This week we’ve been lusting over a girl. In particular a Girl Called Johnny – the latest musical project from ex-Ramona vocalist and front-woman, Karen Anne. The debut single Heaven Knows is a beautiful story of heartache and lost love featuring catchy heartfelt lyrics that can undoubtedly relate to any twenty-something-year-old girl (even those not called Johnny).
Since going solo, Karen has embraced the opportunity to create a completely personalised record whilst swapping Ramona’s staple punk-rock sound for a refreshingly mellow indie approach reminiscent of early sixties mod-pop, “Ray Davis is a major influence – he writes the most beautiful lyrics, especially about London,” she told Twin. “Also a lot of the other bands I love like The Smiths and New York Dolls are influenced by all the sixties’ girl bands so I guess it all comes from the same place…”
As well as her music, Karen Anne has also become renowned for her sugary-sweet boyish looks (think Debbie Harry meets Edie Sedgwick) after posing as the face of Burberry back in 2011. However music is most certainly on the top of her to-do list for 2013. “Expect an album for sure, I’m also working on a new video right now which is exciting!”
Twin decided to get to know A Girl Called Johnny with a quick either/or game…
Colleen Green is a single guitar, a drum machine and a pair of oversized sunglasses, whose catchy, fuzzy tunes fuse Nineties surf rock with pop-punk… If California were a sound, it would be the sound of Colleen Green.
Time In The World is the first song to be taken from her latest album, Sock It To Me available from 19th March with HardlyArt.
For this week’s Sunday Soundtrack we’re stealing time with Stealing Sheep, three very lovely Liverpool lasses (Emily, Rebecca and Lucy) whose shared love for three-part-harmonies, whiskey and an eclectic mix of experimental music genres first brought them together back in the summer of 2010. Their debut album Into the Diamond Sun was one of the most exciting new releases of last year that subsequently took them on numerous adventures touring around the UK and Europe. Twin spoke to the musical trio to discuss future plans, the Merseyside music scene and telepathic dinosaurs…
Your music has been described as everything from psych pagan folk to post-punk pop, but how would you describe your sound?
We’d say something like… dreamy, doom pop with hypnotic boomy beats, slinky pitch bendy guitars, voodoo folk harmonies, 60′s drone Synths and 16-bit fantasy style keyboards frilled with accidental percussions such as zithers, tuned cow bells and far away howls.
You’ve just finished supporting Villagers on their UK tour – how was that? Do you currently have plans for any other live shows coming up soon?
It was really nice – they are sound lads – very down to earth and into whiskey just like us! We went straight to Europe after that to join Alt-J (who we also toured with before Christmas) and that was well fun. It was great to see them again and watching them play was as great as ever! We’re looking forward to the festivals next and our dates supporting The Postal Service.
What ideas inspire your music?
We play a word game in the car. It goes like: Moon. Spoon. Lagoon. Lilly. Pond. Fish. Plate…etc. You sort of say whatever that word reminds you of and only get a split second to say it so it’s random and fresh. We write it down and put the words together to see what we can create. In Paris last weekend we created a Telepathic Dinosaur with a Death Mind. So that’s the start of a couple of new songs or a new illustration, animation, music video idea… anything! We also listen to loads of music on tour. We listen to anything from composers such as Gustav Holst (The Planets) and Vernon Elliott (Noggin the Nog and Clangers), to Alt-J or Ariel Pink. This really inspires a mixed bag of ideas.
You were one of the coolest new female bands of 2012 – who are you keeping your eye on for 2013?
Girl band wise we’d say Novella and Pins are looking pretty hot!
You girls are all originally from Liverpool – tell us a bit about the music scene there?
…and we’re still here! There’s a good healthy mix of old and new bands. They’re all pretty diverse and doing their own thing. There’s a really cool art collective called The Kazimier and they run a club and do loads of performing arts style nights which are really inspiring musically and visually. There is such a great crowd of amazing artists and musicians so it’s great to be here and be part of it!
Female solo artists seem to be dominating the music world as of late but there are still very few all female bands out there in comparison – why do you think that is? Is there an additional pressure on females trying to make it in the music industry?
Maybe fewer girls are interested in being in bands? We’re not sure really. We like working together but not necessarily because we’re all girls. We’re all into having three-part harmonies and naturally interested in similar things. Maybe with all girl bands you find a nice intuitive level between you because of how the female brain differs creatively… or does it? Music industry wise, there are different kinds of pressures for all bands depending on your genre and style. Whether you’re targeting audiences that are interested in the music or the style or the looks. It all depends what you are in it for, it’s how you perceive it. We don’t want to be pressured into anything: if we don’t want to do it, we won’t. So I guess it’s simple. It’s all to do with how strong-minded you are!
What can we expect from Stealing Sheep in the near future?
We’re designing costumes, new music videos, writing new material and we’re touring a hell of a lot, so come an’ see us!
It was back in May of last year when the Scandinavian siren, Beatrice Eli, first stole our hearts. Now with her latest single ‘It’s Over’ and a new EP due for a worldwide release later this month, we’re ready to fall in love all over again…
As the saying goes, all good things come to those who wait. So when Natasha Khan aka Bat For Lashes returned at the end of last year with The Haunted Man — her highly anticipated follow-up from 2009’s acclaimed record Two Suns— we were more than excited.
Album number three is often referred to amongst artists as ‘that difficult third album’, however Khan injects hers with even more magic, escapism and mystery that we’ve all been left completely mesmerised. And it’s not just the music that captures a sense of surrealism. Earlier this week the rather weird yet wonderful video for new single Lilies was released, which features Khan amongst a cast of animated monster puppets. Need we say more?
In the spring of last year, Lakisha Kimberly “Kish” Robinson a.k.a Kilo Kish surfaced onto the New York music scene, bringing along with her a poetic and slow-tempo take on hip hop through her debut self-released EP, Homeschool. For 2013, the 22-year-old female rapper and vocalist is back with some new material and an additional musical project entitled k+, a collaborative mixtape featuring a long list of creative contributors, producers (and friends) including SBTRKT, Earl Sweatshirt, A$AP Ferg, CRONOS, Childish Gambino and The Internet.
Kilo Kish will be playing several UK shows next month.
Commercial electro-pop with soulful synths and catchy melodies is the sound of MØ, Scandinavia’s latest rising star who has already been dubbed by many as the next Grimes. That’s certainly no bad thing in our book!
MØ’s debut album is expected for release in the UK later this year.
This weekend we’ve been losing ourselves in the sounds of Tamaryn, a San Francisco based singer who fuses shoegaze with dream-pop through ambling guitar riffs, steady emphatic beats and soft ethereal vocals. Tamaryn and her creative partner-in-crime, Rex John Shelverton, will be touring Europe next month, opening with a London show on January 31.
The brainchild of singer Francesca Ross and instrumentalist Ian Watt, electronic pop duo I AM A CAMERA is responsible for infectiously catchy songs such as Commuter Love and their most recent single Factory Boys, set for release on May 27.
The duo met by chance in a club in Manchester, shortly before starting the band in October 2010. “We ended up chatting late into the night about everything from our favourite lyrics to Coronation Street to drum machines. We started writing together shortly after and that’s how it began. We knew straight away we were onto something,” recalls Ross.
Influenced by the likes of Astrid Kirchherr, Paisley Park and Arthur C. Clarke, I AM A CAMERA underpins their hypnotic beats with dreamy yet dark lyrics, visually captured in their atmospheric music videos.
Twin spoke to Ross about the inspirational appeal of the everyday mundane and her nine favourite tunes of the moment…
Describe your music in three words.
Beats, Drama, Strings.
What inspires you?
We’re inspired by everyday life. The most mundane things can be made in to a sinister subject. It can be a photo we’ve seen or a story on the news, even a sinister-looking woman on 60 Minute Makeover. We like to find the stories behind things.
Do you ever find that the city of London feeds into your work?
We live, eat, sleep & dream in London. We are inspired by the things that go on in everyday life so it inevitably feeds through into our work. The people around us become the subject of songs without even knowing it. It’s a huge city with so many individual stories and events. We’re always pondering over what goes on behind closed doors, what people are really thinking about and their darkest secrets.
How would you describe the creative collaborative process?
It differs with each song. Sometimes it will be one of these stories that sparks an idea. Otherwise, when I get to the studio and Ian will have stacks of chords & beats to work on and we just go from there.
What is the story behind the song Factory Boys and its music video? Factory Boys is inspired by the true story of The Dupont Twins, two teenage boys who made their way from living on a gas station in a small town to the legendary New York club Studio 54. They went from being penniless one day to being paid by Warhol in Screen Prints to hang out with him the next. Amazing. We made the video ourselves by filming on our iPhones & iPads. We set it up like our own home studio. It’s inspired by the pop art and fabulous imagery that surrounds that time in New York and the glamorous debauchery of Studio 54.
How do you perceive positive and negative aspects of producing music in this digital age?
It’s positive because you can access so much and interact with so many people. We can upload a video in our studio in London, then within five minutes someone has blogged about it in Russia. We love that. The negative side is scary hackers stealing what’s not theirs.
What does the future hold for I AM A CAMERA?
The immediate future holds us making an amazing first album, lots of touring, new material and great hair.
1/ La Femme – Sur La Planche This band is from France, in case the name didn’t give it away. It sounds like the B-52′s on a night out with Bis. In France.
2/ Morrissey – Suedehead I have a slight fascination with redundant sea side towns. This song sums this up entirely for me whilst bringing some Manchester vibes at the same time.
3/ Canyons – When I See You Again (Nick Zinner Remix) This is a beautiful song from The Canyons, made even better by Nick Zinner’s remix. He’s really turned it around and made it in to a danceable track with shakers & electronic claps. The perfect track to get you ready for summer.
4/ Kleenex – Ain’t You Swiss post punk, best filed between The Raincoats & The Bush Tetras. I love how the sections are so different and how they stumble into each other.
5/ Bananarama – Aie A Mwana Loving this extended version. Bananarama’s first single in the pre SAW days, a cover of a song by Black Blood. The released version was actually a demo, & apparently this song also inspired the band’s name.
6/ Friends – I’m His Girl It’s all about the bassline in this song. That and the old school vibes in the video. Makes me want to get back to New York asap!
7/ Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy This was their debut single, it’s got such memorable riff which set the precedent for future dance music.
8/ Seasfire – Falling I went to see them play in London recently. This song really stood out, it’s full of raw emotion, contrasted only by its clean instrumentation.
9/ Donna Summer ft. Giorgio Moroder – I Feel Love One of the greatest songs ever recorded! The sounds and production are so ahead of their time. I recently watched a programme on the origins of disco, and it made me realise how much music owes to this genre and this man.