Dig out your low rise jeans, don the spangliest crop top you can get your hands on and pretend Paris Hilton is still being photographed answering calls on a diamante flip phone… Steps and The Vengaboys are touring this year, giving us grounds to temporarily re-inhabit the glory years of the late 90s/early 2000s. Steps celebrate their twentieth birthday in May and, in honour of their 2017 tour, we started thinking about which artists from recent times (active or inactive) we want to see tour again two decades from now.
Adding to their legacy of beautiful chaos, Alt-J’s new album Relaxer really hits the spot.
Holy Boy’s self-titled debut EP effortlessly captures the listener’s attention and unveils a new perspective on love. Its mystical, dark atmosphere quickly evokes a whole array of emotions, triggering deep thoughts in the process.
The opening track of Pixx’s debut album begins with 21-year old Hannah Rodger telling us that “To put a name on it / Would be to nail the age of anxiety.” An over-produced song, with harsh, repetitive vocals and a hard-to-follow collusion of authentic delivery and electronic, muzzled sound. Not the most attractive introduction to an album, but fortunately after two songs this puzzling attitude disappears and Rodger’s beautiful and peculiar voice comes to the forefront – strong and emotive, shifting easily between lower ranges and high notes.
Saint Luke’s, 12/06
In a 1995 interview about the Sonic Youth album Washing Machine, Thurston Moore stated: “We all have different aesthetics as to how songs should work. I generally push for a lot of abandon while some people in the group are more interested in truncating things. If I was the leader as much as people say I am, every song would be 20 minutes long.”
It’s easy to forget sometimes that successful musicians are human beings – with all the press and pomp that surrounds them, it can be hard to see through the veneer of the marketing machine. While talking to Dez, however, I found myself on the phone speaking to the same down to earth and genuine man I had met almost a decade before; an honest and self-assured person who has seen his fair share of life’s troubles. What followed was not just the usual press junket affair but a frank conversation with someone who has come to terms with and conquered his place in the world, and who chooses to convey a message of positivity and growth through metal which is no less commendable than his real world views on music, faith and respect for his fans.
Swet Shop Boys, the collab project of Riz MC (Riz Ahmed of Rogue One and Four Lions) and Heems (Himanshu Kumar Suri of Das’ Racist), released their sophomore EP Sufi La on May 26th.