Witching Waves have been an ever-present force in London’s DIY scene since 2013. Founded by Emma Wigham (drums/lead vocals) and Mark Jasper (guitar/vocals), the band are known for their frenetic live shows, relentless tour schedule, and their distinctive nouveau post-punk sound. Persistence is their third album, the first on Specialist Subject Records after their two previous ones were released by the brilliant however now sadly defunct Soft Power Records. The band have also had to endure a frustrating number of line-up changes but were joined by permanent bassist Estella Adeyeri, who is also a member of Big Joanie and Charmpit
With the writing, recording and mixing process taking place at various stages of a two-year period you can definitely see how Persistence is an aptly titled record. Maintaining the DIY ethics that have been at the forefront of the band’s philosophy with many of the songs recorded live and straight to tape in Mark’s London studio. By recording the album on their own, also with minimal help with the mixing meant a lot of distortion was left on the guitars which gives Persistence a superb authenticity which can be heard immediately on opening track Disintegration, a rip-roaring track that sets the tone for what’s to come.
Best Of Me and Eye 2 Eye were the first two singles to be taking from the album and together they magnificently encapsulate Witching Waves’ sense of urgency that purveys throughout this glorious record. There’s an intensity to the repetitive guitars on tracks like Shipping Container which features a brief pause in the middle that lulls you into a false sense of security before returning to hit you like an unexpected sucker punch to the gut.
There’s an openness and honesty to Witching Waves that can’t help but endear this charming band to you as can be heard on Money, stating how unaffordable the nations capital is becoming, which starts with jangly guitars which slowly develop into something much more menacing. The distinctive melody on Underachiever and Inside Outside would see these lustful tracks become instant pop hits in some sort of parallel universe. Waiting For The Sun brings the album to a close and it’s slow drawl makes sure this flawless record is brought to a fitting close, leaving Witching Waves to prove that Persistence could indeed mean perfection.
You can get Persistence here.
One Day, After School have been working on new material for over a year, songs and ideas that will eventually come together to form “The Dead Scene Poems”, a collection documenting the decline of community, traditional music scenes and British identity. The work is a continuation of the music written to soundtrack Simon Armitage’s The Dead Sea Poems in 2017.
Pax Britannica sees the bands natural progression taking them towards a sound that is less accessible for the masses, however the sickly synths and just about decipherable lyrics make it a thoroughly engaging track. The track looks at Brexit Britain and how the future of the nation has a huge question mark over it, however as we now know we still remain for the time being. Backed by the exclusive instrumental Ghostbox, Pax Britannica is truly mesmerising as well as leaving you intrigued as to what the future holds for society and One Day, After School.
You can get the single here.
Following a support slot with Emarosa earlier this year alternative rock newcomers This Life have revealed the video for their latest single, My Love. The single presents a very honest account of living with Borderline Personality Disorder, something that outspoken frontman and mental health advocate William Ellis has been learning to cope with for many years. Along with its heartfelt message My Love features an anthemic chorus which paired together with some punchy riffs make for an intense listen and hopefully we’ll be hearing more from this fledgling band in the near future.
Check out This Life here.
Post-rock newcomers Lonesome are pleased to announce details of their debut EP, To Myself, From Myself, which is set for release on 26th April 2019. Hailing from Peterborough, Lonesome create a very particular brand of post-rock which smoothly transitions between ethereal ambient sections and huge crescendos. The band have also shared the video for the lead track from the EP, In The Heart You Have, a brilliant tune that leaves me extremely hopeful about hearing the EP in full.
You can Pre-order the EP here.
New York duo The Ballet have revealed that their fourth studio album, Matchy Matchy, will be released by Fika Recordings on 17th May 2019. This will be the bands first album since 2013’s I Blame Society, which was released on the now sadly defunct Fortuna Pop label, is a brilliant record that also featured on this site way back then. The band have shared But I’m A Top which in the words of songwriter Greg Goldberg is “a playful response to the ways that gay culture can be attached to norms of masculinity and femininity.” This is a hugely shimmering and confident track that leaves you looking forward to hearing Matchy Matchy in full.
You can pre-order the album here.
Liverpool-based alternative art rock trio SPQR have announced their second EP, Low Sun Long Shadows, will be released on 26th April 2019 via Modern Sky UK. The band followed up that news with the unveiling of a new video for their latest single, Our Mother’s Sons. The video was shot in the band’s rehearsal studio and with its log spinning shots the viewer has a sense of disorientation, along with SPQR’s smooth dance moves, it makes for a cracking watch.
Wakefield’s Long Division Festival have announced more than 60 artists as well as more events, stage partners and commissions for their 2019 edition, five days of music, art and culture in the West Yorkshire city from the 29th May – 2nd June 2019. I will be focusing on the Saturday this post however there are loads of great fringe events going on throughout the other days and I will be giving some of these a mention in a future post.
The full music line-up has been announced with most events taking place on the Saturday as part of their big multi venue festival. The day will be headlined by internationally renowned artists such as Peter Hook & The Light, Asian Dub Foundation and We Are Scientists, whose gig at Leeds Met back in November 2010 was one of the first things that I featured on this blog. There are also plenty of other highlights in the form of Art Brut, Bill Ryder-Jones, We Were Promised Jetpacks and so many more that it’s impossible to mention them all.
As well as the big headline acts there’s plenty of folk that have been on Impropaganda before, with some brilliant hip hop beats provided by Too Many T’s and the enigmatic rappers Ceiling Demons. Garage rockers Knuckle will also be there in addition to the layered sounds of One Day, After School, who are both joined of the bill by the brilliant lo-fi indie rock band Shake Your Halo Down. Folk raconteur The Passing Fancy will be taking to the stage providing his own witty and clever tales and finally there’s the delectable Chloe Juliette Beswick whose Popwitch album was to truly die for.
It really is fantastic to see such a great thing happen in Wakefield and I can only implore everyone to get a ticket and have a fantastic day.
You can get tickets here.