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Wild Cub - Youth Album Review

Fifteen songs is a lot for one album. Rarely, if ever, does an album of such volume deliver consist-ently across the piece. Still, that is exactly what Wild Cub have served up on their debut album 'Youth'. In many ways, attempting such an expansive album on debut should be applauded.  After all, shouldn't we want artists to indulge themselves in the free expression of all their ideas across the course of an album? The problem for Wild Cub is that while the first half of 'Youth' shimmers and sparkles in a beguiling haze of intelligent indie pop, the second half sounds jaded - a faded rehash of the elements which worked so well earlier.

Wild Cub - Youth Album Review

The most frustrating thing about 'Youth' is that, had Wild Cub been more ruthless, they could have cut the slack and delivered a highly listenable indie-pop record. Intriguing opener 'Shapeless' is driv-en by a highly melodic bass line, propelling the song forward over shuffling electronic drums and stabs of synth which betray a new wave influence. In what sounds like a definite nod to the sound Foals have perfected, there's muted, reverb-soaked guitar at work here too, although it's buried so deeply in the mix that it takes several listens to reveal itself.

'Colour' is equally impressive, again utilising Foals-esque guitar stylings, but this time pushing them to the front of the mix and combining them with huge 80s style drums and synthesisers to create highly melodic indie pop with a slight retro slant. Album highlight 'Thunder Clatter' comes early. It's a bluster of joyous wide-eyed optimism atop intricately interchanging guitar riffs. The bridge in particu-lar is the melodic highlight of the album, with an irresistibly infectious riff that elevates the song above anything else present on 'Youth'.

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Experience Sun, Sand And Sensational Sounds At Hangout Festival 2014

Black Keys Queens Of The Stone Age The 1975 The Killers Pretty Lights Flaming Lips Fitz & The Tantrums Chance the Rapper Wild Belle Robert DeLong Outkast Jack Johnson Bastille The Avett Brothers Capital Cities Tom Odell Wild Cub

Alabama's sun-soaked, sold-out Hangout Music Fest begins officially today (May 16th 2014) following yesterday's kick-off party - and there's almost too much fun to take in.

Set against the glorious backdrop of Gulf Shores' pure white beaches, this festival truly is the place to 'hang out' this weekend with top headliners The Black Keys, The Killers, Outkast and Jack Johnson leading the talent-studded bill. Acts such as Jack Antonoff's latest project Bleachers, CLASSIXX and Bonobo's DJ set went down a storm at the Discover Great Thursday Kickoff Party, but don't worry if you missed it because things are getting even better over the rest of the weekend.

The Black Keys performing live in Manchester
Headliners The Black Keys open the festival today

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Something For Everyone! 10 Of The Best At Live At Leeds

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Live At Leeds 2014 Logo

It's been eight years since a bunch of music venues in Leeds first opened their doors to hardy metropolitan festival-goers for Live At Leeds. Following the tried and tested format of SXSW and the Camden Crawl, Live at Leeds has risen to become the country's foremost inner-city gathering of bands, musicians and like-minded music fans. 

Though the booking is invariably spot-on, key to Live at Leeds' popularity is the quality of the venues, including The Cockpit, The Hi-Fi Club and the stalwart Brudenell Social Club. The bustling Belgrave Music Hall is a welcome addition to this year's festival. In order of appearance, here are 10 of our suggestions for this years event.

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CounterPoint Festival 2014 To Feature Hometown Return Of Outkast

Outkast Janelle Monae Wild Cub Chance the Rapper Phantogram Sleigh Bells

Next weekend's CounterPoint Festival will be the event's first year at a new 5000-acre site, featuring campgrounds, a food court, bars (including a draught house), carnival rides, free water stations and its very own arts village. Oh, and then there's the music line-up.

CounterPoint Festival

This year's bill is headed by hip-hop stars Outkast, who make their hugely anticipated hometown return. Elsewhere, we'd have to point you in the direction of the blu Freedom Stage on Saturday (April 26, 2014) which boasts a pretty fantastic line-up starting with Wild Cub and St Lucia. As evening approaches, Janelle Monae will take to the stage, followed by J. Cole and headliners Foster the People. 

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Wild Cub - Jonti

Nashville duo Wild Cub have now unveiled the scenic and down-to-earth video for their upcoming new single 'Jonti' which is set for release on November 12th 2012 through Big Light Recordings. It has been taken from their debut LP 'Youth' which came out in August earlier this year.

The video, directed by Chad Hartigan, is fairly simply but together and starts off featuring two different flick book style 'videos' in two halves of the screen; one showing a couple enjoying a quiet, country break and another showing a small rooftop party in the city. They are accompanied by lyrics flashing up on the screen in, presumably, the songwriter's own untidy scrawl. It's an upbeat video and a little erratic which compliments the chaotic musical composition of the song wonderfully, with its numerous instruments and fast pace. It's a summery song, rebelling fiercely against the chilly fall season. 

Wild Cub, who are frontman Keegan DeWitt and multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock, have truly made their mark as an exciting new outfit this year with various much-enjoyed live shows and praise from the likes of Vogue, Spin and SpeakEasy. So much so, that they have already been confirmed to play Texas' SXSW festival as well as a string of imminent live shows in their hometown of Nashville. 

Wild Cub - Streetlights

Tennessee synth pop duo Wild Cub release their new video for their track 'Streetlights' taken from their upcoming debut album 'Youth' scheduled for release towards the end of the year.

The video features a series of black and white images of the semi-intimate contact of a couple in love. The photographs have been taken and composed by Eleanor LoNardo and perfectly represent the romantic tone of the song, even playing out a short film in your head despite no footage being filmed. The backbeat has a toe-tapping jazz feel to it that goes well with the more classic sounds and even more so with Keegan DeWitt's gritty, echoing vocals. It's an eclectic composition, a good example of DeWitt and his bandmate's many musical talents and the reason why they are gaining recognition across the states.

DeWitt is teamed with multi-instrumentalist Jeremy Bullock in this project and together they have earned respect in the eyes of publications such as SPIN, MTV Hive, Paste and Vogue and have even managed to land gigs at the South By South West festival in Chicago as well as the Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week, Bonnaroo in Manchester, Tennessee and CMJ Music marathon in New York.

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