Billy Bragg has never been shy of voicing a political opinion. However, the collection of songs that makes up the 2017 EP ‘Bridges Not Walls’ might just find the singer-songwriter at his most consistently outspoken since 1988’s ‘Worker’s Playtime’. His overtly political stance isn’t without good reason, of course; following his album and tour with US folk musician Joe Henry, the world took a huge turn for the worse. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on our position within the European Union. With the result favouring those who wanted to leave, the outcome seemed to be the ultimate gesture in cutting off the country’s nose to save face. A few months later, America voted in a new President – a man with absolutely no prior political experience – and the country slowly and painfully began to disintegrate. Both of these subjects colour these five songs to a great extent, and with Billy – often the voice of a questioning contempt – it’s a very interesting listen.
As part of the promotion for their second EP, As Sirens Fall have issued a new video for ‘In My Mind’, featuring Skindred frontman Benji Webbe. A great crossover track combining the band’s own melodic metal/emo style with various reggae breakdowns, it’s a superb showcase for all concerned. The song has been called a “battle cry” with it’s big chorus hook and frontman Mikey has claimed that making the video was “absolute insanity” since the band “shot enough footage to make a short film”.
Check it out for yourselves…and if you like it, there are a few more opportunities to see As Sirens Fall live before the end of the year. All remaining dates can be found below the video link.
As Sirens Fall’s as yet to be titled second EP is set for a Spring 2018 release.
November 23rd – Manchester – Rebellion (supporting As Lions)
November 25th – London – The Crowndale – Headliner (support Your Illuminations)
November 26th – Newcastle – Jumpin Jacks – Headliner (support Your Illuminations / Tomorrow Is Lost)
December 3rd – Leeds – Key Club – Headliner (support Your Illuminations)
December 14th – Manchester – Sound Control (supporting Silverstein)
Combining members of Tom Baker’s Snakes, Upper Crust and Malachite, Justine and The Unclean already have a Boston bar band pedigree. The release of their debut single, the double a-sided ‘Love Got Me Into This Mess’/’Passive Aggressive Baby’ in the summer of ’17 represented some of the best female fronted pop-punk sounds in a long while, but there’s more to this nine song debut LP shows off more than that punky taster ever suggested.
After a couple of false starts, demo recordings, line-up changes and gigs played under different names, this EP finally kick starts a career in fine style for No Vacation, a five piece dream pop collective from San Francisco. The pieces of music captured on ‘Intermission’ – representing their first full trip into professional recording – are things of beauty. These tiny nuggets of other-worldly pop will almost certainly appeal to those who miss Elastic Sleep or perhaps wonder what happened to London indie poppers Honey Moon.
A collaboration between singer/songwriter Gina Leonard and producer Tom Fryer, The Desert take folk and pop melodies and wrap them within dark and dreamy electronica, coming back with a sound that evokes the more spacious end of 90s triphop and dream pop.