24 May 2013

THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL 2013: ROUND-UP PART 1


As promised we will give you a succinct round-up of all the bands and artists we managed to see and a brief descriptive review of each gig so that we can share with you the plethora of acts and types of music we saw at The Great Escape Festival.


ECHO AND THE EMPRESS, (DREAM-POP, AUSTRALIA):

Opening up events at The Great Escape were Adelaide based duo Echo And The Empress; a female duo consisting of Skye and Beth whose whimsical dream-pop landscapes provided a gentle introduction to the days busy schedule. Their deep-rooted earthen productions are fuelled by gleaming key layouts and crescendo building drums to generate a world of celebratory day-glow pop with bounding electro beats. Their performance at The Haunt was sultry yet assured and the Australian group delivered a set that perfectly showcased their intriguing musical world. 


Echo And The Empress: Facebook



MADE IN JAPAN, (INDIE-POP, AUSTRALIA):

Following on with the Australian theme, four-piece collective Made In Japan who hail from Sydney served up a set full of thumping indie drums, coppery guitar riffs and mellow synth keys that reverberated around the lofty interior of The Haunt nightclub. Interestingly the glazed vocals that thread each song neatly together are sung by the drummer James, making a nice little change to the usual guitar-singer leads we are so often accustomed to. Despite a hint of nervousness from James' voice courtesy of a numb midday crowd, Made In Japan packed in a stream of radio friendly pop treats that shared a similarity with British indie leanings.


Made In Japan: Facebook


ZERVAS AND PEPPER: (FOLK, UK):

Cardiff based Paul Zervas and Kathryn Pepper's performance upstairs at The Hope was what can only be described as a delightful surprise. The pair have already been picked up on the 6 Music radar and have received much praise for their fantastic dualities; the rousing vocal thickets of Zervas serve as a perfectly dynamic accompaniment to the dulcet echoes of Pepper and upon witnessing such male female harmonies first hand to the backdrop of gentile guitar plucking, we were blown away by their set. Humble; bashfully charismatic and warming, the pair's set list was full of canyon-folk melodies and hazy acoustics. Despite Zervas snapping a guitar string and having the pressure of keeping the crowd enthused the gig was something very intimate and unique indeed.


Zervas And Pepper: Facebook


FILOSOFISCHE STILTE, (ALTERNATIVE / URBAN ELECTRO, THE NETHERLANDS):

A below ground carpeted reception room in a posh hotel on Brighton seafront is not the first venue that you would think of when you read the blurb description for Filosofische Stilte's style of music but somehow the random combination most certainly worked. The young genre smashing maestro from The Hague sieved boisterous Nintendo bleeps with Commodore 64 glitches over thumping synth punches and voluminous computer sounds. Whilst the visual performance may have been lacking the music certainly spoke for itself and Luuk Graham's presence behind the electronic gadgets was steadfast and confident with a distinct air of MVSCLES and Materikaa regarding musical style. A nice little set from the Dutchman. 

 Filosofische Stilte: Facebook


TIGERCUB, (INDIE-ROCK, UK):

Standing alongside The Great Escape Festival is the The Alternative Escape which shakes up the order of proceedings with special guests, pop-up shows and unusually random venues that play host to any number of new music acts. In association with Spindle and with loyal support from BOON magazine, Brighton band Tigercub performed a fantastically energetic and well executed set to an enthusiastic crowd that completely packed out The Mesmerist bar. Their rambunctious surf-punk jams stomped along with youthful rebellion and contagious drum beats all whilst the grated vocals of singer Jamie perfectly mirrored the hacked guitar strums and fuzzy beats that infiltrated this rock infused band performance. Their humble northern twangs and understated nature merely added roguish charm to a great afternoon set.


Tigercub: Facebook


HUNGRY KIDS OF HUNGARY, (INDIE, AUSTRALIA):

Brisbane locals Hungry Kids Of Hungary performed to a full capacity crowd at The Haunt as the first day of The Great Escape edged past the halfway mark. The lively Australian four-piece have been around for approximately five years now and in the process have garnered a huge fan base that was reflected by the impressive hoards filing into the Brighton club. With breezy indie skits and tenacious guitar interplay this band performed a brief collection of songs that were simplistic and clutter free; flitting around with formidable energy and interacting with the eager crowd enhanced their set and showcased a fun style of Australian indie-pop that was upbeat and enlivened from start to finish. 

 Hungry Kids Of Hungary: Facebook


VV BROWN, (ALTERNATIVE POP, UK):

We have always loved VV Brown here at Owl By Night. When the fresh faced soul-pop starlet burst onto the scene and wowed us with her sassy grooves and salubrious hooks we knew she had potential. After setting up her own record label and channelling her creativity into a different sound it was a privilege to bear witness to her new material within the packed confines of The Mesmerist bar. Her glowing personality was wonderfully contrasted against the music that she produces; dark, imposing and fuelled by emotion. Resonating percussion and agitated bass lines peppered her set nicely providing a dynamic balance between hooting vocal displays and overwhelming drums. The music during VV Brown's gig was highly experimental and aurally bonded pop securities with damning electro and alternative noise holes. An absolutely fascinating performance by a gifted female solo artist.

 VV Brown: Facebook


COMMON TONGUES, (FOLK-INDIE, UK):

Why have we never heard of Common Tongues? It seems absolutely crazy that such a great local Brighton band should slip under our radar for so long. Thankfully we decided to follow some of the bands listed on the Alternative Escape billing and caught sight of Common Tongues playing within a small back corner of the Fiddler's Elbow pub. The five-piece have been touted and hailed for their brilliant pop melodies and dynamic instrumental compositions to which we will concur; they are outstanding. The humbling nature of the guys and their cheeky irreverent charm whittled its way through into every facet of every song; crisp vocals nestle over a guitar chord syrup that shimmers delicately with each note laid down whilst violin outpourings add another fascinating element to the soundboard. Common Tongues performed each track with enthusiasm and guile, allowing their lavish folk-pop characteristics to shine brightly. 


Common Tongues: Facebook


Be sure to check out OWL BY NIGHT via the links below too. Thursday Part 2 will follow shortly.

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20 May 2013

THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL 2013: SATURDAY RECOMMENDATIONS



Friday carried on where Thursday left off and was another action packed day for Owl By Night that included phenomenal evening performances by Nina Nesbitt and Iggy Azalea; two vastly contrasting artists who both managed to captivate and hold an audience. IYES, Childhood and Swim Deep were other notable sets on Friday that offered up alternative pop with indie rock tendencies to provide a fresh, vibrant take on stereotypical sounds associated with such genres. 

As mentioned we will give you a run down of the best gigs we visited over the course of the three days in the coming week. In the meantime check out the list below of the MUST SEE performances for the final day of The Great Escape Festival. Be sure to check out the official festival website (here) for information on the bands, line-ups and any additional snippets of knowledge that your hungry music minds may need.

THE DANCERS // SISTERS // BRODKA // FENSTER // VELOCIRAPTOR // DEAP VALLY // KAMP! // DIANA // THE PENELOPES // YADI // LULU JAMES // THE 1975 // MO // CHVRCHES // BASTILLE // TRIBES // BREAKAGE

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17 May 2013

THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL 2013: FRIDAY RECOMMENDATIONS



After an excruciatingly long first day of The Great Escape Festival we managed to squeeze seventeen bands into our schedule from Echo And The Empress in the early afternoon all the way through to No Ceremony/// who played in the early hours of the morning. We will cover the festival and the bands we saw in more detail once the festival is over and we have had a second to catch our breath and sooth our feet. 

Today promises another fantastic line-up and we have gone the extra mile by listing the MUST SEE bands on the plans for today at the festival. Don't forget that if you want to find out about any of the bands listed then pop over to the official Great Escape Festival website (here).

EMBERS // SAY YES DOG // LULS // THE FAMILY RAIN // LITTLE GREEN CARS // CAITLIN PARK // IYES // SUSANNE SUNDFOR // NINA NESBITT // IGGY AZALEA // THE BALCONIES // ARLISSA // THE RAMONA FLOWERS // TEMPLES // GABRIELLA CILMI


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15 May 2013

THE GREAT ESCAPE FESTIVAL 2013: THURSDAY RECOMMENDATIONS



It is that time of year again when the Beyond Retro top knot indie dolls and Red Stripe swilling skinny jeans clad guys descend on Brighton as a Victorian holy Mecca for renowned new music. This year a staggering 350 bands are playing over three days across 30 different venues and it promises to be another fantastic year. There are notably less "well recognised" music acts this year as the festival returns to its roots of unsigned, small-scale indie artists to which festival goers can discover new acts without prior knowledge or opinions of them. The line-up is bolstered by Everything Everything, Bastille and Billy Bragg so there is certainly something for everyone's tastes if well known artists are your thing. 

OWL BY NIGHT will have a presence at this year's festival as well as our friends and associates BOON Magazine. We at OWL BY NIGHT will give you a day by day guide of who to see so you do not miss out on any good music whether you are at the festival or just sitting at home relaxing after a day at work. Everyone is included.

Check out the list below of "MUST SEE MUSIC ACTS" for Thursday at the Great Escape and tell us what you think.

ECHO AND THE EMPRESS // HOLY ESQUE // SYRON // CHILDHOOD // DIANA // FEATHERS // IS TROPICAL // NIGHT ENGINE // CRYSTAL FIGHTERS // ON AN ON // KAMP! // THE OTHER TRIBE // VV BROWN // TIGERCUB // THE NEW UNION // DEMOB HAPPY // CURXES

NEW MUSIC: THE XX - "FINALLY" (COVER) (ALTERNATIVE POP, UK)



Experimental pop darlings The XX have had so much success that many of their peers probably seethe with envy at the accolades and plaudits the group have collected in such a relatively brief history. The formidable trio of Oliver, Romy and Jamie have learnt to produce music in absolute unison; their individual styles foster a sound that is healthy and auspicious. Each musician has a symbiotic working relationship with the other allowing creativity to thrive; Romy and Oliver purr gently between themselves whilst Jamie lays a foundation of entrancing groove beats and slow-pop musings that works to brilliant effect. With two fantastic albums under their belts ("XX" and "Coexist") the London based Mercury music prize winners now dabble with an established house classic, Sandy Rivera's hit "Finally". This time around the three Londoners strip back the penchant for slick house vibrations and tranquillise the original format with a meandering synth layout, choppy intermittent beat and phantom keyboard wails. The haunting mixture leaks saturated emotions and wrought nerve, pooling around at your feet, blackened and moody. The neon tinged guitar pangs that become a significant underpinning to the song's entirety graze across the dual harmonies of Romy and Oliver to give the choral build-ups a sense of euphoria and relief; this song feels audibly exposed and open to interpretation. Many will revel in it's neutered house rhythms and melodic vocals whilst others will simply crave the original. In any case The XX once again demonstrate how to reinvent music and package it for current times.

Check out "Finally" below and tell us what you think of this cover. Do you like it?



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14 May 2013

NEW MUSIC: IBERIA - "EVERYDAY" (ELECTRO, SWEDEN)



Iberia are a male female collaboration made up of Maja Mathé Milner And Alexander Palmestål; two creatively minded Swedes from Gothenburg who just so happen to work and nurture their musical talents in Berlin. The pair have already earned themselves a tremendous amount of support due to their pristine and heavenly chill-wave electro ensembles. Channelling a sound not too different from Purity Ring or Keep Shelly In Athens, Iberia manage to take the typical electro mood-pop structure and remould it into something free flowing and transcendent, with a Scandinavian aural varnish designed to smooth over inaccuracies lathered on top. The Swedish duo's latest single "Everyday" is almost four minutes of pure, unadulterated electronica that transports you majestically to another place. A place where music caresses ears and where those with an esoteric understanding of chilled-out electro can appreciate the mollifying nature of such sounds. After an initial skit drum intro peppered with frenetic instrumental stutters "Everyday" avalanches forth into a hallucinogenic blend of whirring synth hollows and grandiose noise vortices. The strikingly ethereal vocals of Milner ascend skyward into electro heavens where rainforest chants and repetitive mantra echoes float ever higher to produce a crescendo building anthem. Iberia's fluid electronic excursions marry nicely against softer chill-wave vibes to make the Swede's latest track feel like an ultimate dream-pop journey which we cannot help but repeat again and again.

Check out "Everyday" below and tell us what you think by leaving a post.



Iberia: Facebook

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11 May 2013

NEW MUSIC: PAPER CROWS - "WHITE NOISE" (SYNTH-POP, UK)


London residents Emma Panas and Duncan McDougall make up Paper Crows; a sultry duo who magnetically draw together opposing light and dark musical tendencies into a fantastic electro-pop package. The pair are signed to Pete Tong's record label and have already released the EP "Build" earlier this year. Their enthusiastic nature and quirky style of professionalism reveals a pure love and dedication to making delicate synth-pop treats that sits pleasantly in the DWNTWN / San Cisco / Avec Sans way of blending tainted emotions with sparkling electro revelry. The Londoner's latest release "White Noise" sticks to the aforementioned format rather nicely opening up with a quizzical key riff that sits underneath the hauntingly melodic tones of Panas. Paper Crows are geniuses when it comes to gradual music filtration. By adding elements of sound step by step they make "White Noise" feel completely seamless and uncluttered; the introduction of refractive synth shimmers and a monstrous bass warp serves as an energetic boost encouraging defiant beats and twinkling keys to plod along contently. Paper Crows love a good juxtaposition too as they throw together blackened electro clamour with uplifting pop lyricism, "We lift off the ground and gather into clouds", making this latest single feel rather ethereal in nature and reminding us of work by Voltaire Twins. Through the choruses and the orchestrated finale Paper Crows uphold an air of vivid musical wonderment and cohesive electro-pop frugality. The masterful pair are a truly exciting home grown prospect indeed.

Check out the song below and tell us what you think of this latest release from Paper Crows by leaving a comment or two.



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08 May 2013

NEW MUSIC: PHILDEL - "THE WOLF" (ALTERNATIVE POP, UK)



Think of Clare Maguire, Jessie Ware, Grimes, Bat For Lashes and you begin to realise how many gifted women there are in UK music. Now you can add Phildel to that list; the Londoner is already signed to Decca Records, has performed over a variety of media and won plaudits from critics to boot. Her music is an external outpouring chiselled and intricately worked upon through utilising her inner thoughts, upbringing and personal emotions, showcasing a style of alternative pop that feels fresh and bristling with exploratory visions into new musical worlds. Her phenomenal debut album "The Disappearance Of The Girlis brimming with deftly worked songs and raw craftsmanship throughout, however one song in particular stands out, "The Wolf". Have a little patience with this song as it takes a good minute for the instrumental elements to get going allowing Phildel to coax you into "The Wolf" with her Gothic whispers and gnarled behaviourisms. The Londoner paints a minimalist landscape of aggressive lyrical swipes and severed feelings. Lines such as "And you once said I wish you dead" stand tall amidst a sea of gentile coos and frosty vocal wonderment resonating a distinctly Natasha Khan production style that drips through the siren's artistic and edgy framework. The track eventually takes a dramatic sidestep and pulsates along with a thrifty tempo and corrosive back beat; synthesised musical splinters pierce through astral chords to give the chorus a decent burst of energy, enveloping the singer's vocal outcrops. This is intelligent, sincere and remarkably pure music that reveals how talented Phildel is and what we can expect from her in the near future.

Check out the music video for "The Wolf" below and tell us what you think. Leave us a comment whether you like this song or not.



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06 May 2013

HEY CHAMP FT BEUKES - "COMET" (ELECTRO, USA)



Since starting almost five years ago Hey Champ have amassed a huge following in America courtesy of their vibrant genre mixes and salubrious grooves. It hasn't been long since the Chicago based act released their funk-bass pop smash "Cliché" earlier in the year and already Saam Hagshenas and Jonathan Marks have produced another hit. "Comet" instantly feels darker and tinged with a morose, imposing atmosphere transporting you far away from the high-octane disco thoroughfares they normally replicate. Hey Champ have used the title of their latest single to conjure up a variety of connotations surrounding the word and infused their music with such associations: spatial, expansive, cosmic; this is a production with thoughtful application and a variety of seamless musical shifts. After a brief intro of simmering synth ticks and otherworldly noise echoes Hey Champ underpin the track with a solid zorb-bass and progressive house beats to provide stability. The lyrics to "Comet" possess a mystical, romanticised thread of intrigue where the gently ushered vocal harmonies between Hey Champ and Beukes purr seductively, "If you see it you want it, don't put your fingers on it, if you need we got it, we're riding on a comet". Celestial and hazy, these vocals don't just feel dreamy, they are dreamy. Intangible even. By filling each chorus with reverberated tech-glitches and satin vocals Hey Champ have made "Comet" a very grandiose electro-pop number with blackened sounds and hybrid genre fusions that flows steadily from start to finish. 

Check out their latest single "Comet" below and tell us what you think.



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04 May 2013

NEW MUSIC: RANGLEKLODS - "YOUNG AND DUMB" (EXPERIMENTAL ELECTRO, DENMARK)



Esben Andersen and Pernille Smith-Sivertsen are an entrepreneurial Danish duo who formed back in 2010 after moving to the cultural mecca that is Berlin. Their impeccable strides into the realms of electronica showcase a diverse style where multiple sounds can be channelled into something scarily futuristic and borderline genius. Citing influences from David Bowie and The Doors highlights the diverse manner in which these Danes construct their music and the pair possess an intelligent and highly dynamic male-female format that puts the much praised The XX to shame. Such fascinating qualities have gained the pair a wholesome fan base; with a string of festival slots this year and an increasingly diverse online presence, Rangleklods are about to hit it big. "Young And Dumb" follows the pair's love of analogue, pre-recordings and minimalist digitalism by starting off with a steadfast electro thwack-beat and well executed tempo; seemingly barren at first, the key to Rangleklod's sound is the minuscule introductory streams of noise that filter in with progressive dexterity and typical Scandinavian precision to keep you enthused. Excitable bubble loops and blackened synth whirs over-spill into the musical foreground, muddling the harsher beats that slither underneath all whilst Esben's chanting vocal interactions remind us that humans are indeed behind the workings of this track. Nudging together brief pop-induced harmonies, a psychedelic squabbling of techno whoops and Deutsche-flavoured trance layouts makes "Young And Dumb" a phantasmagorical showdown of sound that perfectly encapsulates the Rangleklod way of making music.

Check out the music video below then tell us your thoughts on this latest track from the Danish pair.



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01 May 2013

NEW MUSIC: NONONO - "PUMPIN' BLOOD" (INDIE-POP, SWEDEN)



This blog has an affiliation with Swedish music. Regular readers will be aware that we have blogged about Vanbot, Vaz, Say Lou Lou over the past several months. It is never intentional but coincidentally songs we happen to love mainly originate from Sweden. With all that said, brand new Stockholm three-piece NONONO have captured our attention thanks to their fantastical indie-pop jaunts and breezy rhythms. The trio consists of production team Astma and Rocwell and the matriarchal figurehead of Stina Wäppling who were introduced to one another through a mutual friend; with collaborations and studio work involving Beatrice Eli and Icona Pop it is clear that NONONO have a slick application and dedicated music ethos. Brand new track "Pumpin' Blood" has a very brief opening moment of plucky guitar twangs not too dissimilar to that of Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" that is quickly superseded by jovial whistles and enthusiastic drum beats, adding some typical Scandinavian vibrancy to the mix. Amidst a wealth of puncturing synth keys NONONO provocatively nudge drum beats into a far more imposing chain of sounds to generate a sense of upbeat regalia and effervescent indie thuds. Wäppling's smoldering vocals gently brush against Astma and Rocwell's musical verse interplay to bring a warming human essence to "Pumpin' Blood". Her ushered Nordic tones and rustled lyrics turn this contemporary pop number into something thoughtful and laced with meaning; especially when the chorus thumps you hard in the chest and injects a fuzzy splash of electro pop that is both sleek and invigorating, deep into your veins.

Check out that awesome music video for "Pumpin' Blood" below and then tell us your thoughts. Leave a comment below whether you like this single or not.



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