Talking to the artists... Small festivals don't necessarily mean an inferior line-up as was more than proved at the quaint Beacons Festival 2013 in the Yorkshire Dales town of Skipton. We caught up with Ghostpoet before his Friday set (which was definitely a weekend highlight!) where he confessed that he'd 'changed in many ways and some of it may have been for the better and some of it not' over the last year but still doesn't think of himself as 'being successful'. He also talked about working with Melo-X and his fondness for documenting interesting cars on Instagram. Read the full interview here.
NYPC have abandoned their former moniker of New York Pony Club as they have gone through quite a rebirth since the departure of former band member Lou Hayter. 'We've taken what we've perceived as being the strongest elements of the previous two albums and tried to make them into something which is mature and progressive', Tahita Bulmer told us in an interview when we caught up with them to talk about their new self-titled album. She also didn't hesititate to tell all about NYPC's touring adventures - including their trip to the 'amazing' and 'unspoilt' Kazakhstan. Read the full interview here.
We managed to grab a chat with the lead guitarist of Splashh, Toto, recently to discuss their debut album 'Comfort' and his moving to London from Australia. 'Moving to London was. the start of me learning guitar and learning production programmes', he explained. 'It was like a new beginning.' Splashh have received amazing audience reception in both Australia and the UK: 'It's been nice to hear the crowd sing it back on all the songs but we're pretty much ready to get going on the second now!' Read the full interview here.
Albums of the week... 'When you listen to Cloud's third full-length 'Comfort Songs' for the first time, you get that rare thrill that becomes more elusive by the day and tells you that you have found something new that is truly special', was our reviewer Jordan Dowling's critique of Cloud's latest offering as he confidently rated it 10/10. It's no wonder either as songwriter Tyler Taormira has really has unveiled an extraordinary set of songs providing comfort as it promised, as well as its own clean distinction. It boggles the mind to wonder what could be in store for album four! Read the review of 'Comfort Songs' here.
Deaf Havana are another band that has impressed us this week as we see them continue in a more mainstream musical direction with their new album 'Old Souls'. Unlike the punk chaos that was their exhilarating debut album, the band have definitely become more easy on the ears - though perhaps we're still in need of some sort of reassurance that Deaf Havana know exactly where they're going in the future. 'This is a band who just need to decide where they want to go. They clearly have the talent and ambition to be the next Snow Patrol', our critic Ben Walton noted. Read the review of 'Old Souls' here.
A week in music videos... One of the most highly anticipated albums of the year is set to hit shelves on September 27th 2013 in the form of LA band Haim's 'Days Are Gone'. Not a girl band in the conventional sense, this sister trio cement the fact that girl power and rock 'n' roll go together like salt and pepper with the video for their upcoming new single 'The Wire', which sees them reduce the men around them to tears as they callously ditch their besotted lovers. Don't miss the single release ahead of the album on September 23rd. Watch the video for 'The Wire' here.
Another video that has caught our eye this week is Leeds band Club Smith with their new single 'The Green Man' set for release on September 2nd 2013. The clip features a bunch of guys in ponchos and strange spray painted animal masks as they go about their day skateboarding, walking the dog, smashing up their guitars, starting bonfires and generally loitering. It's a catchy tune though and it's easy to see why they've had supporting slots for the likes of Mystery Jets, Two Door Cinema Club, Kaiser Chiefs and Shed Seven over the past few years. Watch the video for 'The Green Room' here.
Artic Monkeys are set to return with new album 'AM' on September 9th 2013, in what could almost doubtlessly be their fifth consecutive UK number one. Their new single 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?' is a toe-tapping, finger-clicking masterpiece incorporating just the right amount of Sheffield swagger with the cheeky humour of their new video. The band rounded off their last tour just last year but now they are to set out on their AM Tour this September across the US, UK and Europe. Watch the video for 'Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?' here.
Lady GaGa does her best impression of David Bowie in the video for her new single 'Applause'. The track is the first from her eagerly awaited third album 'Artpop' and is exactly what you'd expect from Gaga; an edgy yet classic sounding dance tune with a video quite clearly influenced by the king of flamboyant rock - though Bowie's stylists did a much neater job. You can see Lady Gaga smear herself in make-up and prance about in her underwear now in the video, and also buy the single which has already reached number 6 in the US and number 5 in the UK charts. Watch the video for 'Applause' here.
Temples pull off very authentic-sounding classic psychedelia with their upcoming single 'Keep In The Dark'; the video for which we see they are truly in the spirit of the 60s and 70s with big and untrimmed hair-dos and a definite guitar-wielding swagger. The band have a ton of Autumn live dates for the UK and the US (and a couple in Germany and Japan) later in the year and will make a no doubt thrilling appearance at the Leeds and Reading Festivals as well as France's Rock en Seine. Watch the video for 'Keep In The Dark' here.
In the news... Cults are set to hit the road again in support of their second album 'Static', kicking off in Boston in October 2013. The album was a self-produced effort, with support from Shane Stoneback and Ben Allen, and will no doubt further improve their already impressive status among music critics. The album will be released on October 15th and definitely isn't worth missing. Read the full story here.
As we've mentioned, Lady Gaga has her new single 'Applause' out now and she will be playing her first live performance of it at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. She has played her hits 'You And I' and 'Paparazzi' in previous years and will no doubt be donning one of her weirdest outfits yet this week. However, there's not much been of an "applause" for the track recently as Katy Perry is speeding ahead in sales with her single 'Roar' - a tune that seems much more likely to secure the top spot. Read the full story for the VMAs here and also the full story on Katy Perry Vs. Lady Gaga.