Last February we invited a young Jonathan Schultz and his band, Schultz and Forever, to play a session for us at Black Tornado Studio in Copenhagen. His gruff vocals and songwriting ability were beyond his years……….fast forward one year later Jonathan has refined his sound grabbing inspiration from the psychedelic scene, reshuffling his band mainly consisting of members of Danish band Waldo & Marsha and showed great relaxed maturity in his approach to songwriting. Along with a small crowd at Black Tornado he gave Here Today an exclusive on his new sound. Heres Schultz and Forever’s new single P.O.V., the rest of the session will follow in the summer…….
The Felines debut album has been a long time coming since they formed in 2010. They’ve managed to feed our appetite for their take on doo wop garage rock with two EP’s Daddy Walks (2012) and A Man Stuck In Your Mind (2013), they’re now ready to release their full length debut Want in a weeks time (15th October) on Soundflat Records (EU) and Burger Records (North America). Here Today have been given an exclusive listen of lead single “Want”.
Listen to The Felines “Want” below:
Watch “Pretty Boy” from our session with The Felines below:
Photos by Morten Aagaard Krogh (mortenkrogh.com)
From the first notes of opener “Fall Forever,” it is clear that Honeyblood are a live band. They write off kilter indie pop songs around guitar and drum parts that translates smoothly to live performances. with the only noticeable differences between from the recordings coming in minor tweaks in delivery by singer Stina Tweeddale.
One of the first great impressions the band make is with Tweeddale’s voice. Neither she nor drummer Shona McVicar play timidly, so it does take significant vocal muscle to be heard so clearly over the music. And the clarity of her voice holds whether she hits the prettier melodies that carry most of the tunes or those with a rawer edge.
The other immediate impression Honeyblood make is their energy. With only a debut album under their belts and a few other songs that didn’t make the cut, it was always going to be a relatively short set, but they bounce through it with a consistent delight. Drummer McVicar has a smile on her face that sometimes is contorted by the furious effort of her playing; one particular turn in the middle of “Super Rat” earns her enthusiastic cheers mid-song. When she’s not playing, she can be seen dancing slightly from the seat behind her kit.
They are also very charming, if very negative about their native Glasgow, as initially evidenced when they introduced the track, “(I’d Rather Be) Anywhere But Here,” as being about their hometown. But this self deprecation comes without any real negativity. They probably represent themselves better through the banter that revolves around drinking beer. For a band with a punky edge, the room has a very friendly vibe.
The audience is also curiously obliging. When the band ask them to step forward, they do. When they ask them to do dance during a song, they do. When Tweeddale asks them to sing a bit of encore “Kissing on You,” which she plays solo, they do. And when the evening ends on the early side, Honeyblood’s request that people come talk to them after the show is also readily met.
Communions have shared new single “So Long Sun” on their Soundcloud along with the announcement of a 7″ which features “So Long Sun” (A) and “Love Stands Still” (B) and will be released on Tough Love Records with a limited 500 copies pressed.
Listen to “So Long Sun” below:
Watch “Summer’s Oath” from our session with Communions below:
Photos by James Hjertholm
Yann Tiersen is the curious sort of solo artist who doesn’t give the impression of being a solo artist. His live show, like his records, is often dominated by guest vocalists. He is very present in his performance, and yet watching him on stage at Vega, it would have been easy to forget that the gentleman at the piano or playing the violin was the one leading the band.
As Tiersen’s records are filled with guest vocalists, prerecorded vocals feature throughout the set. The show opens with Aidan Moffat’s disembodied brogue on “Meteorites,” though it’s disappointing when the former Arab Strap frontman doesn’t appear on stage when the rest of the band walks out.
Flanked by four other multi-instrumentalists, Tiersen and his band unceremoniously put down and pick up instruments throughout the set. There is so much equipment on the stage — previously meant to be crammed into Lille Vega — that it is a miracle that they can move so seamlessly, that they can move at all without tripping instruments or people.
While there are classically influenced songs scattered throughout, the focus of the evening is far more on his electronically fleshed out songs. Synthesizer and marimbas in particular make up much of the texture of the songs, in addition to the more anticipated piano. The mostly respectful audience (who still ignore the request that photos not be taken) recognizes the melodica substituted in for accordion on “La Dispute,” featured on the Amélie soundtrack, and freaks out at what would probably have otherwise been a pretty mellow turn. But they are all quick to hush up in these few especially quiet moments.
For the few songs with live vocals, Tiersen doesn’t sing on his own, but instead allows his voice to be blotted out in harmonies — sometimes four vocals deep — from his backing band. When there are vocal solos, they’re provided by one of his sidemen. It allows Tiersen to take up his violin or to shift from his piano to a synthesizer or a guitar, and it speaks of an ear attuned to other musicians’ strengths. But it’s not the behavior you’d expect from a solo artist.
Photo: Søren Solkær
Shiny Darkly have unveiled the new video for their single “Soft Skin” from debut album Little Earth. The video was directed by Frederik Valentin, who has made videos for Lust For Youth and his own act Complicated Universal Cum. The video was inspired by an old photograph of the legendary band The Stranglers, whilst making references to images from rock’n’roll history, including the iconic Sticky Fingers front cover and Thin White Duke era Bowie.
Watch the video for “Soft Skin” below:
Watch Shiny Darkly perform “” during a Here Today session:
Photos by Tom Spray (www.tom-spray.com)
Goat is a pretty unusual encounter of a band. They hide their identities behind decorated masks and fluttering tribe-dresses, they’ve created a unique musical platform as colorful as their costumes, and they’re named Goat! The Swedes caught the attention of listeners and critics on a large international scale with their debut World Music in 2012. Continuing their ritual the band is now touring with the sequel Commune.
On stage the band kickstarts the evening with the funky and familiar ‘Let it bleed’ from World Music. The song is stuffed with hooks and groovy rhythms which makes it impossible not to dance. Or maybe it’s the two shaman-lead-singers who cast dance-spells on the crowd with their magic maces. Anyway, I watch the crowd moving like boiling cauldron from the back of the room. The lead singers are constantly dancing – I can’t help wondering how many litres they’re actually sweating out during a night like this.
The songs are streched into long transcending improvisations with myriads of hypnotising solos, all swept in wah and fuzz. And just like the dancing the rhythm never stops – the drummer and the percussionist bash their drums fast and untiringly throughout the concert. Some songs even merge with the next one with no pause in between. It is a trippy experience that opens the doors to what Jim Morrison named the other side – an invitation that is reverently accepted by a couple of rebellious guys who freely share a spliff.
“Run To Your Mama” is the closest thing you’ll get to a real hit from the band’s repertoire, and it is a true crowd pleaser. But Goat isn’t done yet. The live version of ‘Det som aldrig förändras/Diarabi’ is so heavy and dictating that the crowd and their crazy dance movements immediately morphs into an army of nodding silhouettes. A perfect end to the ball.
The positive things to say about this band are plentiful, in short, go buy their albums and purchase some tickets – it’s highly recommended.
After experiencing Angel Olsens last performance at Ideal Bar HT writer Amanda Farah forecasted that she wouldn’t be playing a small venue like that again. She was right. Tonight, Olsen is standing higher from the ground on the stage of Lille Vega. When looking at the solid mass of people huddling in front of the stage curtain, the stage-upgrade seems like a wise decision.
Already from the second track ‘Hi-five’ Olsen reveals her impressive voice – effortlessly sliding through her vocal register she instantly mutes every talking head in the crowd. The honesty is shattering when she sings, and though you could make a list of musical references, it’s unnecessary since she is very much her own. But not only while singing. The laughing and smiling between the songs is natural and shows a charming soul. Maybe it’s the drinks from the day before that made her so easy going, however she seems strangely unaffected by the fact that she’s actually playing a show. And the same thing goes for the drummer who sneaks up his phone from behind the drum kit to take a picture. “Josh! We’re doing a show, dude!” Olsen laughs.
Bursting into another song from the newest album Burn Your Fire For No Witness, the performance of ‘Stars’ convinces me that the band is not only a bunch of soft ballad-ambassadors. The song is crafted with a great sense of songwriting and executed with sharp accuracy. And Olsens lyrics are equally sharp and precise in their brevity. Combined with her numb facial expressions the words gain further meaning when she sings “To scream the feeling until there’s nothing left”. A feeling that a couple of younger girls at stage edge seem to relate to – with their gazes fixed on Olsen the helplessly frustrated girl mind is reflected in their faces.
But Angel Olsen’s fan base does not only consist of young girls with their hearts broken – I see plenty of older people as well as guys like myself, who have been mesmerised by the voice of the angel (or the positive critical acclaim – after all we are herd animals). With a distorted veil blurring the guitars, hit single ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’ shows the band from a raspy and dirty side. It’s a short and effective two-verse rock tune that reaches into a noisy climax, before the band leaves Olsen alone on stage to sing the last song.
The lights are turned on as a signal for us to leave, and I’m already standing in the door way as the band comes back on stage. A cover version of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Dreams’ certainly surprises me, but if someone ever is to deal with an old classic like that, Angel Olsen is definitely worthy.
A Sunday night in Huset, remarkably sold-out, is a slightly surreal affair. The weight of the upcoming week, added to severe lack of sleep and some very cheap ear plugs, give the effect of viewing a gig through a fishbowl. This might not be the best set of circumstances, but they find their match in the acoustic psychedelia of Amen Dunes. Damon McMahon’s “anti-love songs” work well as anti-lullabies from the Land of Reverb, aided by a drummer and ambient guitarist/keyboard player.
Love, Amen Dune’s latest release, is a little sweeter and more lush than the noisy negativity of Through Donkey Jaw, but Damon’s onstage presence shows that dark irony lingering just behind the surface of his otherwise laid-back attitude. He does the very singer-songwriter-y thing of introducing several songs, but these are welcome forays into his approach to his music, rather than indulgent ramblings. This evening he reveals the origin of “Ethio Song”, claiming it to be a cover of a piece of unknown Ethiopian music coming through the walls from his neighbour’s apartment. Tonight’s version of the song sounds very un-Ethiopian, with none of the trebly guitar lines from the record, but this is but one instance of a general impression: Love, more than previous efforts, is the closest thing to what Amen Dunes sound like in the flesh.
Standing right in front of Damon allows the audience to the clean acoustic sound of the guitar behind all the effects, adding some meat to the live sound. The vocals are incredibly high in the mix, cutting through everything else with ease, as if to confirm that Damon’s freak-folk tinged vibrato is the sine qua non around which everything else revolves. There are, of course, exceptions: “Rocket Flair”‘s picking style and low-key, driving drums, is the closest Amen Dunes get to 60s psychedelia as most would recognize it.
Throughout the evening, it is revealing to observe Damon McMahon offstage. Is commitment to music, not just his own, is clear in the intent look on his face as he quibbles with the sound engineer during the opening act, Xander Duell (ah yes, nepotism’s black tentacles reach far into the music industry). He nods along to the second act, Hand of Dust, and leaps to the merch booth the second the Amen Dunes set ends. It’s been a long evening, but a musician’s job never stops. Fortunately, that is not the case for a music reviewer.