There's been an at times heated debate about the point at which a song ceases to be the writer's property and becomes instead the shared possession of those who hear it (As opposed to the few or many who pay to actually own it). It's become more fractured in recent times as we begin the journey to renting all digital art, but remains as perennial as the one questioning the boundary used to define what is pop, or how experiential it's allowed to be before it's no longer a vessel for fantasy and consumption and transforms into therapy for the writer.
Department M frontman Owen Brinley may hold some of the answers. His former band Grammatics were too esoteric for that purpose: critically loved, they imploded shortly after the release of their eponymous début album, as much victims of their own restraint as anything else. After forming his new venture with fellow Leeds-based producer James Kenosha, Brinley then began to suffer from potentially career ending bouts of Tinnitus and a doppelgänger condition, hyperacusis: in his brutally honest assessment of their psychological impact on his life he's since described mixing panicked fatalism with addiction, desperate measures sought to forget and forgive the spectre of dark potential.
Neither of these qualities are perceived as ingredients for making great pop. But on Department M's second album Brinley has used the feelings as ciphers, perhaps on the basis that music as raw as some of his self criticism would be little fun for anyone, let alone himself as a performer. Also roping in a fellow Loiner in Pulled Apart By Horses drummer Tommy Davison, the tenor of Deep Control is one of a slightly more fluid approach than before, the intent as the songwriter describes "To make a deeply personal and soulful pop-record...of warm analogue synths, future-pop production and experimental textures."
Continue reading: Department M - Deep Control Album Review
The Leeds-based band are back with their second single 'The Second Prize'
Leeds-based electronic band Department M have just dropped the visuals for their soon-to-be-released single 'The Second Prize,' with the single itself due out on June 24 through Too Pure Singles Club records. Sticking to their mantra of being serious about not taking themselves too seriously, the video is as chaotic as the song and is a joy to behold, both visually and sonically.
The video pays it's respect to the song's low-budget, eighties-heavy sound, using a low quality filming technique, stacks of box-shaped TVs and a pile of cassette tapes (that one of the band members proceeds to destroy with a hammer) all matching with the retro sound of the song. Still, as retro as the chaotic synth bleeps and heavy bass riffs are, it still manages to retain a sound that is of it's own time and shouldn't be an alienating listen to most music aficionados.
Continue reading: Department M Are Back For Seconds With 'The Second Prize' [Video]
Leeds electronic band Department M will soon release their newest single 'The Second Prize' on June 24th 2013 through Too Pure Singles Club records ahead of their series of summer live dates.
The video for the track is like something out of the eighties with a low quality method of filming used, stacks of box-shaped TVs and a pile of cassette tapes that one of the band members proceeds to destroy with a hammer. It definitely matches the retro sound with its chaotic synth bleeps and heavy bass riffs, while still feeling current with its carefree all-round composition and catchy lyrics.
Department M may have produced an awesome video and track to follow their debut 'I'll Fax You An Apology' earlier this year, but they didn't get there without a spot of mischief. 'We needed a location to shoot our first music video and winded up trespassing in a dark church basement for four days whilst the congregation worshipped above', revealed singer Owen Brinley. 'It went without hitch until the raging church owner caught us about to dismantle a wall of 25 TVs and threatened to call the police.' The band have recently finished their six-month tour with Menace Beach but, do not fear, they'll be back on the road again for a few more live dates this summer.
Continue: Department M - The Second Prize
The works is inspired by some of the most weird and wonderful albums covers in history.
A new exhibition in Leeds sees illustrator Jack Hudson team-up with 3D duo Lord Whitney to produce work inspired by some of most weird and wonderful record covers in music history. Though particularly strange, you won't find Aphex Twin's Windowlicker, Captain Beefheart's Trout Mask Replica, or even Hot Chip's The Warning anywhere to be seen at the exhibition - at Leeds Gallery, Munro House - though you may be surprised by what you do encounter.
Hudson and Lord Whitney - the latter made up of Amy Lord and Rebecca Whitney - have created their very own back catalogue of LP cover designs for a series of fictitious artists, some of whom you may spot wandering around at the preview viewing. As such, the exhibition will be a feast for both the eyes and ears, with strange, warped artworks bolstered by original music from Leeds favourites Pulled Apart By Horses, Department M, Lone Wolf, and Sky Larkin.
Live At Leeds - the metropolitan music festival held annually across a variety of venues in Leeds on the first bank holiday weekend of May - has just added some huge bands to its roster.
Indie fans better take note, as just a portion of the line up includes Rudimental, Everything Everything, The Pigeon Detectives, The Vaccines, Tribes, AlunaGeorge, The Staves, Darwin Deez, Little Comets, King Krule, Laura Mvula, Swim Deep, The 1975 and Peace. LAL continues to enforce its remit of pushing local bands to the fore while providing national acts to draw in the crowds. It's a real music lover's affair, and this year looks set to carry on the tradition. And with tickets from just £22.50, it's affordable too.
The Pigeon Detectives - having just announced album number 4, Rudimental - will look to bring their uncompromising brand of indie to the proceedings, while The Vaccines will be playing a separate ticketed event on the Sunday of Live at Leeds with special support from TOY and more names to be added.