Wednesday, 13 December 2017

LISTEN WITH MONGER'S CHRISTMAS SINGLE RUNDOWN

Christmas Singles 2017 - The rundown

My Son The Bum – Goodbye Psychotic Christmas 
My Son The Bum - Goodbye Psychotic Christmas

New Yorker My Son the Bum (aka Brian Kroll) oft pops up in my inbox and it’s generally a delight. Kroll’s festive offering, ‘Goodbye Psychotic Christmas’, isn’t anti-Christmas, per se, but more against the commercialism and inherent one-upmanship of gift giving. The lyric “I’ve been drowned by toys given to me by others to buy my love but I knew it was all out of guilt” set to a classically 50’s sounding rock’n’roll melody is just peachy and you can almost hear the New York snow piling up on the window outside. Which is nice. Oh, there’s some lovely Brian Setzer-esque guitar going on in there as well if that floats your boat.


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Paul Mosley & The Red Meat Orchestra - Wintertide
Paul Mosley - Wintertide

Well, this is a bit of an epic affair. At over five minutes long and accompanied by a video that is part Blue Planet and part Live Aid, ‘Wintertide’ takes the ‘I saw three ships go sailing by’ carol and then turns it in to an expansive piece with instrumentation including everything from baritone sax and cello to a toy piano and ‘junk’ percussion (which frankly sounds painful from a male perspective). Needless to say, the component parts come together beautifully to create a cinematically gorgeous wintry tale that it’s hard not to get lost in. I’d encourage you to let the ‘Wintertide’ wash over you but that sounds hugely irresponsible.


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Wartoad – Merry Xmas Everybody 
Wartoad - Merry Xmas Everybody

Nothing says ‘British Christmas’ more than a two minute punk version of Slade’s festive classic ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ with an anti-government video. Ironically, most of Wartoad are from the US but as a self-professed punk super group with a serious message about the seemingly unstoppable automisation of the world I think their appeal is global so I’m not going to get hung up on the details. Put this one up on your wide screen TV and see if you can get the kids to stop live streaming their lives on Instagram long enough to get the message.



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Cherryade – Sleigh Me 
Cherryade - Sleigh Me

Londoners Cherryade have been pumping out cheeky singles all year but this is the cherry on the icing on the cake. ‘Sleigh Me’ is a full-frontal come-on to Santa to “fill my stocking tonight”, “mince my pie” and “lick my Christmas tree”. Essentially, this is the pissed up colleague at the Christmas office party walking around with mistletoe attached to their body in various strategic locations. Not one to sing with your Nan on Christmas Eve but if you can’t be a bit outrageous at Christmas then what’s the point? It’ll all be forgotten in January anyway, right?



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Ghost Station – Christmas Telly 
Ghost Station - Christmas Telly

Ghost Station is actually Chelmsford chap Matt Phillips and his effort ‘Christmas Telly’ is a solid effort in the vein of the Beautiful South or Macca when he was trying to convince us all that Linda was just as good at singing as she is at making fake sausages. There’s brass, a bouncing melody, singalong lyrics and even some sleigh bells so if you gave this to Peter Kay you might just have a Christmas smash on your hands. It’s almost as if he was taking this seriously.



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Ralph McTell, Annie Lennox & the Crisis Choir – Streets of London 
Ralph McTell & Co. - Streets of London

Now, a warning. Whether you know this song or not (and if you don’t, who are you and what planet did you come from), get a box of tissues handy before you watch this. Ralph McTell is rereleasing his finest musical moment in support of the fine work of Crisis and their continued support of the homeless. Annie Lennox has added her indisputable talents as well but it’s the power of the Crisis Choir and the simple black and white miming of honest faces to camera that gets the tears flowing. A beautiful song, a perfect video and a great charity that I wish with all my heart didn’t exist. Not remotely Christmassy but then neither is being homeless in December so get your hand in your pocket and get this song downloaded. Now.


Download for 99p: https://ada.lnk.to/hgkbRAW


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Jeff Michaels & Chris Teffner – It’s Been a Long Time, Christmas 
Jeff Michaels - It's Been a Long Time, Christmas

If you’re looking for a dyed in the wool, classic American Christmas song that feels both cold and warm then this might be the one for you. Bostonite Jeff Michaels has a tradition of bringing out Christmas songs apparently and this one, ‘It’s Been a Long Time, Christmas’, is perfectly pitched for 2017. There’s sadness in the song but also a recognition that, despite another year of mind-blowing disasters, cock-ups at the highest level and Armageddon being a tweet away, if we can stop for a minute and focus on the good things we might just survive. Definitely one to wrap around your weary shoulders at the end of a long year because 2018 might just be worse but we can’t give up now, change is just around the corner.



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Matt LeGrand – What Christmas Means to Me 
Matt LeGrand - What Christmas Means to Me

There are many things in this world that I can put my hand on my heart and say I love. Three of them are Christmas, Stevie Wonder and women (I’m not being weird, I just think women are incredible in every sense). So, Matt LeGrand, you’ve gone to the top of the naughty list for ruining all three. Firstly, Christmas should not feature an ear-ringed tool with no tie fannying about at a grand piano. Secondly, I’m all up for a cover-version at Christmas but if you’re going to take on Stevie’s classic ‘What Christmas Means to Me’ then do go all Michael Buble-lite on our asses. Weak. Finally, if you must do a video with that piano in it then why, for the love of Santa, do you have to get a girl to writhe around inexplicably in her underwear? You couldn’t be bothered to shave, put on a tie or wear socks so why on earth did you expect her to prance around like that for you? A lump of coal and a UKIP fridge magnet for you, sir. Nothing more.



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Devil Say Dance – Holy Trilogy of Christmas Songs

If Devil Say Dance was a 10 year old kid, he’d be the one showing off throughout the nativity but with just enough talent to make it enjoyable. You see, DSD has not recorded one Christmas song but three – like the wise man, see? ‘The Nativity Song (Part 1)’ is somewhere between the Divine Comedy and Badly Drawn Boy doing the nativity story on the musical equipment found at your average British junior school. ‘The Nativity Song (Part 2)’ is a lo-fi indie-rap track that sounds like a lost Bentley Rhythm Ace track that tries to capture the party spirit of a barn conversion on the night Jesus was born as though it was a warehouse party in East London in 1999. Finally, ‘Merry F**kin’ Christmas’ just goes for summing up the average British Christmas with disappointment where wonder should be, rain where snow should be and swearing where a children’s choir should be. Had Flight of the Conchords produced this it would be going viral by now but, as it is, you’ll probably be able to pick this up for 49p in B&M in January. And February for that matter.

More information: https://www.devilsaydance.com/

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

MANIC STREET PREACHERS – SINGLE REVIEW

Manic Street Preachers – International Blue (Columbia/Sony) 
Manic Street Preachers - International Blue


Release Date: Out Now

They might be starting to resemble a group of Welsh dads who have a point to prove and a score to settle but the Manic Street Preachers still have a lot to offer the music world. This is the first single from a new album coming in 2018 and it’s cut from the same stone as other recent Manics releases – Welsh Granite probably. The guitars on ‘International Blue’ are razor sharp and lightning quick as this track taps in to a raw energy that these three gents seem to have a monopoly on to this day. There’s a nice little piano riff in the middle-eight that erupts in to a huge, riff-heavy chorus that speaks of escapism, optimism and a sense of freedom that is in short supply these days. I fully expect the new album to have a political charge to it, but it feels as though this track is the relief piece that fits in to that particular jigsaw.


Live Dates:

23rd April – Metro Radio Arena, Newastle Upon Tyne
25th April – The SSE Hydro, Glasgow
27th April – Arena, Birmingham
28th April – Arena, Manchester
1st May – Venue Cymru, Llandudno
2nd May – First Direct Arena, Leeds
4th May – SSE Arena Wembley, London
5th May – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Watch the Lyric Video: 


THYLA – SINGLE REVIEW

Thyla – Tell Each Other Lies 
Thyla - Tell Each Other Lies


Release Date: Out Now

If you close your eyes and picture an early 80s Top of the Pops TV set you can totally imagine this new single from Brighton indie-poppers being performed by a bunch of dead-eyed 80s popsters with physics defying hair. The wonky bass notes and clipped beats of ‘Tell Each Other Lies’ work perfectly with the Claire Grogan vocals and jangled, Cure-esque guitars to create a real tour-de-force. Think Cocteau Twins mixed with a little bit of Long Blondes and the cool of St Etienne but all wrapped up in a flurry of wripped stonewash denim and other man-made fibres. A delight.


TEE KRISPIL – SINGLE REVIEW

Tee Krispil – Let It Slide 
Tee Krispil - Let It Slide


Release Date: Out Now

Toronto’s brilliantly named Tee Krispil may sound like some sore of health product but she’s actually a solo artist with intriguing influences from Fleetwood Mac and Erykah Badu to Ghostface Killa and old-school Reggae. All of that blends together to create a sleepy, stoned vocal delivery that is part rapped and part Joss Stone delivered with a quiet, intimate tone in the mix while the beat and bass gently ebb and flow in the background. There’s a classy, effortless feel to the music while the video is more lighthearted so it shows what Krispil is capable of in one sub-three-minute perfectly bound package.


Watch the video: 

TINA BOONSTRA – SINGLE REVIEW

Tina Boonstra – Prodigal 
Tina Boonstra - Prodigal


Release Date: Out Now

There’s something so wonderfully sparse and airy about the vocals and drums opening to ‘Prodigal’ that it dries your mouth and wets your eye at the same time. Tina Boonstra’s voice is pure and powerfully fragile but there is a warmth and honesty that draws you in on the first listen. This has the same intimate vibe as early Laura Marling but with a more pop and less folk sensibility which is a stunning mix. By the time the piano notes are sprinkled on like fine icing sugar there is a lump firmly in my throat and I am entirely in love with this song. The biggest compliment I can pay this song is that it feels like a song that Prince wrote and couldn’t bring himself to perform as it was too personal to him. It’s just got that vibe.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/tinaboonstra/

Saturday, 9 December 2017

LWM AWARDS 2017 – THE WINNERS

Listen With Monger Awards 2017 - The Winners

Here it is then, the definitive list of the winners for Listen With Monger for 2017. Remember, the only rules are that the artist must have featured on the blog in 2017 and they can’t have won the specific award before. And for all those that were shortlisted but didn't win, prepare your best proud-of-your-friends faces. Finally, thanks to all those that have sent music in to be judged and reviewed this year - keep it coming in 2018, alright? 

Oh, one more thing, there's a Spotify playlist featuring a track from all of the winners at the end of this so check that out while you're wrapping your presesnts - it's a treat. Right, let's go...

Best Band Name 2017
Playboy Manbaby - Best Band Name

WINNER - PLAYBOY MANBABY: Strong work from the musical community this with some truly outstanding work but in the year that nonagenarian sleazeball Hugh Hefner finally snuffed it, it seemed fitting that Phoenix crazies Playboy Manbaby should get this coveted, nay, glittering prize.

Notable Mentions:
BITCH FALCON // SHOTGUN SAWYER // MANNEQUIN DEATH SQUAD // BABEPUNCH // VELVET VOLUME // DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA

2016 Winner – Yes Babez! / Taco Hell / Queen of Jeans
2015 Winner – Get Inuit / Rangleklods



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Best Band (UK) 2017
Rews - UK Band of the Year


WINNER – REWS: There’s no denying that melodic rock duo Rews have delivered on their promise in 2017 and the singles that built up to their debut album were fantastic but then there was that debut album, ‘Pyro’. It is awesome in every sense and fuses the rock power of Royal Blood with sugar-sweet melodies and hooks bigger than a Halloween abattoir. Hands down 2017 belongs to Rews and 2018 might become their bitch too.

Notable Mentions:
WILDWOOD KIN // BEACH RIOT // CASSELS // FELIX HAGAN & THE FAMILY // LIFE // REVEREND & THE MAKERS // SOUND OF THE SIRENS

2016 Winner – Narcs / Berries
2015 Winner - Allusondrugs

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Best Band (International) 2017 
Parekh & Singh - International Band of the Yaear


WINNER – PARKEH & SINGH (India): This was a tight one as Prophets of Rage brought strong game but the Kolkata duo are not only fronting a bit of a movement in their native country. The pair’s stylish and understated indie-pop is matched only by their cool attire and steely determination. Expect them to appear in a Richard Ayoade film any day now and then become darlings of the BBC 6Music playlist.

Notable Mentions:
BALAKO // CHARLY BLISS // FAST ROMANTICS // LITTLE HURRICANES // PROPHETS OF RAGE // THE DARTS // VELVET VOLUME //

2016 Winner – The Watanabes (Japan)
2015 Winner – Failure Machine (USA)

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Best Band (South West) 2017
The Malthusian - Southwest Band of the Year


WINNER - THE MALTHUSIAN TRAP: Plymouth based trio the Malthusian Trap started the year chatting to me in the back yard of a packed pub talking of their artistic ambitions and the standards they set for themselves. They went on to tour Germany, play throughout the UK and win over the hearts and minds of the masses whilst never deviating from their goal to create something meaningful and creative. 2017 was their year for sure.

Notable Mentions:
AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB // FLASHES // HARBOTTLE & JONAS // HYPOPHORA // LGM ONE // // THE VIEWERS //

2016 Winner – Wildwood Kin
2015 Winner – Lost Dawn / Sound of the Sirens


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Best Solo Female (UK) 2017
Poppy Ackroyd - Best UK Female Solo

WINNER – POPPY ACKROYD: I’m so delighted at how difficult this category was as it is a great representation of how healthy the UK music scene is in the hands of strong, independent women. More importantly, it shows the diversity on offer and Poppy Ackroyd encapsulates that strength, independence and diversity beautifully with her neo-classical moodscapes that have genuinely moved me to tears in a seriously uplifting way. I could have comfortably picked any of the shortlist to win this but Ackroyd just pips it for being so utterly original in her approach and for the impact she had on the group of Year 10 kids I got to guest review the song earlier in the year. 

Notable Mentions:
PIP HALL // LOTS HOLLOWAY // MS MOHAMMED // BRYDE // KATE TEMPEST  

2016 Winner – Joanna Cooke / Lulu James
2015 Winner – Malka

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DeQn Sue - Best International Solo Female

Best Solo Female (International) 2017


WINNER - DEQN SUE: Sure, it’s a strong category, but US musician DeQn Sue was leading from the start with a series of stand-out singles that built up to a superb debut album. Mixing soul, pop, indie and R’n’B with a truly unique approach was always going to turn heads. Wearing a hat made of Lego is guaranteed to turn the heads of anyone left in doubt.

Notable Mentions:

ANGIE // MAYA KILLTRON // AIDA // BULOW // KAT FRANKIE



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Best Solo Female (South West) 2017 
Rosie The Crow - Best South West Female Solo


WINNER - ROSIE THE CROW: Cornish based Rosie The Crow is stretching the definition of a solo-artist as she has a consistent backing band of two but It’s her voice and the melodies she creates that put her at the top of the pile for 2017. In particular, recent single ‘Invisible’ is an intimate account of the realisation that a relationship is over the deserves a bigger audience.

Notable Mentions:


EILIDH SINCLAIR // // SADIE HORLER // TALITHA RISE

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Best Solo Male (South West) 2017 

WINNERS - GOZER GOODSPEED/MARTYN CROCKER: This was an incredibly strong category in 2017 and it has been the hardest one to whittle down so I’ve had to share the spoils. On the one hand we have Bluesman Gozer Goodspeed who has released a superb EP, gigged relentlessly and received international airplay and acclaim. On the other hand, Martyn Crocker has released a stylish and introspective indie-rock album as well as playing some tight, intense and encapsulating gigs which have raised his reputation beyond that of a local musician. Strong game gentlemen, strong game indeed.

Notable Mentions:

CHAY SNOWDON // FROZEN HOUSES // PAUL ARMER

Gozer Goodspeed
Martyn Crocker














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Best Solo Male (UK) 2017 
Jamie Lenman - Best UK Solo Male


WINNER - JAMIE LENMAN: Not only has Lenman produced an album in ‘Devolver’ that is stunning and so deeply layered it might as well be lasagne, but he’s also sold out his own festival (Lenmania) and pulled off an improbably haircut. Even better, he’s now reached the status where people no longer need to talk about his former band, no matter how ace they were. He truly is the hero we need right now.

Notable Mentions:
PHILIP WHITEHEAD // XAMVOLO // MATT EMERY // PAUL DRAPER

2016 Winner – Jake Morley

2015 Winner – Cosmo Sheldrake
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Best Solo Male (International) 2017 
Noah Gundersen - Best International Solo Male


WINNER – NOAH GUNDERSEN: I was a Gundersen virgin until I heard his ‘White Noise’ album but now I am with child. The range of styles, emotions and landscapes left me breathless so throw in some reportedly sensationally intimate live shows and you have the kind of talent that can beat the king of Funk and a dead Blues legend in to first place. He’s just that good.

Notable Mentions:

BOOTSY COLLINS // CHUCK BERRY // SEAFOAM GREEN // GILI YALO




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Best Single 2017

WINNER -  SHE MAKES WAR ‘I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK’ / MOSES ‘KING SIZE’: A split decision again this year based on the head and the heart. She Makes War’s brilliant one woman take on the way us Remoaners feel about the state of the UK right now, ‘I Want My Country Back’, captured my heart immediately and had to be a winner. My head, however, just can’t ignore the fact that London boys Moses pulled an absolute indie banger out of the bag with ‘King Size’ – a track so instantly lovable and infectious that it could well be a one-hit-wonder but it isn’t….mark my words.

Notable Mentions:
VEI ‘ROLLING ON YOU ROMEO’ // BAIT ‘PUSH THE ELEPHANT’ // MUX ‘MDMA’ // AMIQUE ‘GOD’ // PROPHETS OF RAGE ‘UNFUCK THE WORLD’ // LOTS HOLLOWAY ‘STAY A LITTLE LONGER’ // BLACK FUTURES ‘KARMA YA DIG?’ // YVONNE HERCULES ‘ROVING’ // GILI YALO ‘AFRICA’

2016 Winner – Mowbeck ‘Vaseline’ / Childcare ‘Cinema Club’
2015 Winner – Azu Yeche ‘Lagos’

Moses
She Makes War














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Best EP 2017 
MUX - Best EP


WINNER - MUX ‘CAN YOU SEE WHO?’ EP: I Loved this EP from the first spin but it was hearing the tracks live that really brought this to life. From the amazing single ‘MDMA’ that grabs you by the throat and force feeds you, well, MDMA through to the sketchy wonder of ‘Gold and Prozac’ this is the kind of EP that will change hands for big bucks in years when these guys are carried at shoulder-height through the streets of East London.

Notable Mentions:
GOZER GOODSPEED ‘THE BARREL HEADLONG INTO THE NIGHT EP’ // FAILURE MACHINE ‘WAKE DRAKE SKATE EP’ // // DRONNINGEN ‘SUGARBOX EP’ // THE HAMALAYS ‘EP2’ // VELVET & STONE ‘EMBERS’ // SAN BLAS ‘DRAW, WIN OR LOSE’

2016 Winner – Joanna Cooke ‘Wound Up EP’ / Bare Hunter ‘Dry Rot EP’

2015 Winner – Alex Gregory ‘Critical Perfection EP’ 

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Best Video 2017

WINNERS - VEI ‘ROLLING ON YOU ROMEO’ / GILI YALO ‘AFRICA’: OK, I’m not even sorry about sitting on this particular fence. Vei’s ‘Rolling On You Romeo’ has a beautifully stylish and choreographed video that fits the song perfectly without ever going over the top. Gili Yalo’s ‘Africa’, meanwhile is just full of life, colour and vibrancy that makes for the kind of video you just want on a loop if you’re having a bad day.

Notable Mentions:
THE RETROACTION ‘THESE THINGS FOR YOU’ // THE VELVET HANDS ‘I DON’T MIND’ // JERRY WILLIAMS ‘I’M NOT IN LOVE WITH YOU’ // WHERE FIRES ARE ‘I’VE GOT THE TIME’ // I SEE RIVERS ‘DA RAM’ // KATIE LAFFAN ‘TASTEMAKER’ // // IDLES ‘MOTHER’

2016 Winner – Michelle O Faith ‘Lemonade’

2015 Winner – Husky ‘I’m Not Coming Back’

Vei
Gili Yalo














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Best Live Show 2017 
Wildwood Kin - Best Live Show


WINNER – WILDWOOD KIN @ THE BROOK INN, PLYMOUTH: Not an easy one to choose this, what with all the nepotism swarming around the Listen With Monger shows, but the opportunity to catch a group on the rise in an intimate venue for the last time is always special. Exeter trio Wildwood Kin playing in a venue so intimate that they had to shut the bar during the music to avoid interfering with the sound was something to behold. As always, the harmonies were spot on and the banter was awkward but that worked so much better when you could see the whites of their eyes. Once in a lifetime stuff.

Notable Mentions:
BLOGTOBER 2017 @ THE FINSBURY // REVEREND & THE MAKERS @ LOOE FESTIVAL // ONE DAY FEST @ THE INN ON THE SHORE // SOUND OF THE SIRENS @ THE RED HOUSE // JAMIE YOST @ THE INN ON THE SHORE // INDIGO GIRLS @ BIERKELLER

2016 Winner – Blogtober 2016 feat. Berries / Pattern Pusher / Seaker / Jamie Yost / Rosa Belle

2015 Winner – Tankus the Henge @ Looe Music Festival

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Best Debut 2017 
Black Futures - Best Debut


WINNER - BLACK FUTURES ‘KARMA, YA DIG?’: It feels like 2017 had the perfect balance of ingredients for folks to want to start making music what with all the political upheaval, societal disparity and general strong feelings all around. Duo Black Futures fused punk, goth, industrial, dance, EDM and gospel to create the treacle thick ‘Karma, Ya Dig?’ and it is both devastating and uplifting at the same time. This is not the end, this is just the beginning of the end and now we have the perfect soundtrack. 

Notable Mentions:
MUX ‘MDMA’ // BLESSED ‘SEE THROUGH ALL THE COLOURS’ // LUCIE BARAT ‘TAKE ME AWAY’ // L.A.D. ‘DANCE FLOOR’

2016 Winner – Berries ‘Siren’
2015 Winner – Vanessa Forero ‘Heaven Knows’
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Best Year 2017 
Cassels - Best Year

WINNER – CASSELS: Brothers Loz and Jim Beck has been firm favourites at LWM towers for a while now but it was 2017 that saw them cash in all their promise for a juicy deal with Big Scary Monsters, a hatful of UK dates and a stunning debut album. The Chipping Norton duo are not bending to any trends or whims as they make their angular, acerbic noise so you might as well bend to their will instead, it’s just easier for everyone. An extra round of Sherries in the Beck household this Christmas I think.

Notable Mentions:
MALKA // LOTS HOLLOWAY // REVEREND & THE MAKERS // BLESSED 

2016 Winner – Wildwood Kin
2015 Winner – Sound of the Sirens
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Best Album 2017

WINNERS - NOAH GUNDERSEN ‘WHITE NOISE’ / REWS ‘PYRO’: Man, I tried so hard to pick just one album this year but it’s been the best crop of albums this year and I had to share the love. If you’re after intimate, introspective and life affirming stuff that will draw you in and change your world then Noah Gundersen’s superb ‘White Noise’ is the one for you. However, if you want to turn everything up to 11 and rock out hard to songs that you can also sing along to then the debut effort from UK duo Rews, ‘Pyro’, should definitely float your boat.

Notable Mentions:
AUCTION FOR THE PROMISE CLUB ‘SILENCE’ // // HARBOTTLE & JONAS ‘ANNA IS A DANCER’ // SOUND OF THE SIRENS ‘FOR ALL OUR SINS’ // REVEREND & THE MAKERS ‘THE DEATH OF A KING’ // DEQN SUE ‘JUGGERNAUT’ // THE LAD CLASSIC ‘RECTIFIER’ // CASSELS ‘EPITHET’ // JAMIE LENMAN ‘DEVOLVER’ //

2016 Winner – Narcs ‘A Thinking Animal’ / Jake Morley ‘The Manual
2015 Winner – Lost Dawn / Malka
Rews - Pyro

Noah Gundersen - White Noise














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Best PR 2017 
Cannonball PR - Best PR 2017


WINNER - CANNONBALL PR: These guys were newbies on the scene as far as I’m concerned (despite existing since 2004) but then they just started hitting me with outstanding artist after outstanding artist. We’re talking DeQn Sue, AyOwA, Jennings Couch, Josh Wheatley and Velvet Volume amongst others. There’s passion and a real ear for something fresh and different which makes this small agency one to pay attention to. Congratulations to Jamie, Jess and Terry on a fine ass year.

Notable Mentions:
LOST IN THE MANOR PR // BANDWAGON PRESS // BRICK PR

2016 Winner – Wilful Publicity
2015 Winner – Hannah Gould Music PR
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Best Label 2017 
Cooking Vinyl - Best Label 2017


WINNER – COOKING VINYL: A bit of a resurgence for a label I grew up listening to this year as they pumped up some great records from artists like the Darkness, Reverend & The Makers, Noah Gundersen, Gogol Bordello and Embrace – as well as a whole host of others that I didn’t get the pleasure of reviewing this year. Top work ladies and gents, top work indeed.

Notable Mentions:
BIG SCARY MONSTERS // ONE LITTLE INDIAN // CLUE RECORDS // EASY ACTION RECORDS

2016 Winner – Superfan 99

2015 Winner – Clue Records

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LWM Awards 2017 Playlist: 

Thursday, 7 December 2017

TUSK – SINGLE REVIEW [GUEST REVIEWERS]

Tusk – Matter Of Time (Strataville) 
Tusk - Matter Of Time


Release Date: Out Now

This is the final part of the reviews I did with the Year 6 class of Keyham Barton School in Plymouth where the kids took on the indie-rock of Tusk. But first, the LWM take on proceedings:

Listen With Monger Review

Nottingham based quintet Tusk look like a serious bunch and there’s definitely a seam of intensity running through this single but there is a sense of fun about this as well. The band’s debut single, ‘Matter of Time’, opens with a chiming guitar that fits in nicely alongside the likes of the Maccabees or Bombay Bicycle Club before that deep, low slung vocal comes in all George Ezra but with less boyish innocence. There’s an anthemic feel to the music on this track that is particularly uplifting during the chorus but the genius of this track comes in the introspective and self-doubting lyrics that mix with the music to make an irresistibly bitter-sweet sound. If this is the debut then 2018 better watch out for the follow-up.

Year 6 Reviews

Tusk are my favourite band and there are 5 of them. They are from Nottingham and they are about to release their first album. When I first listened to the song ‘Matter of Time’, I pictured a kid getting older. All of a sudden, he was in his 20s or 30s and was a famous singer and in fronts of thousands of people.The lyrics are really catchy and cleverly-written. The tune has a fresh beat to it and it’s rhythmic and funky. Also it’s a clean song so children can listen to it. I really recommend listening to the song; it is flawless. I personally love the song as it is unique in its own way. It makes me want to dance. CR (Charlie)

Tusk
This song was made by Tusk, who are a boy band. The song is called ‘Matter of Time’ and it is their first single. The band are probably aged around 21 to 25 years. They are from Nottingham University. The first time I listened to it, I did not really like it but when I listened to it the second time, I started to like it more. I really like the tune but it does sound a bit depressing because it’s like a matter of time before you go to heaven. The song does have lyrics; I think they are quite good. If you like George Ezra, you will like this song. I pictured them in a pub singing in front of people. I enjoyed it but it is not really to my appetite. It is not the best song that Roland showed us. MB (Molly)

The song ‘Matter of Time’ is a smooth, calm song and I hope you like this piece of music. When we listened to this song, we thought it was catchy, classy, and epic. We think lots of people will like it. In my head, I see five men on a stage and they are a very calm band. It would be cool if we were on stage with them. It would be a dream come true. We hope you like the song as much as we did; it is a very good song. HP and CO (Harrison and Connie)

It’s not often you come across a band with a tone like this. This song is really catchy, clear, and just seemed epic to me. It’s definitely worth a listen! They are just a 5 piece band of students from Nottingham University and this is their first album and single. I knew I loved it from the first time I heard it. It made me want to sit down and relax. So it has a beautiful tone, it’s powerful, graceful and calm. It’s so bold; the lyrics make me feel happy, relaxed, and take my breath away. It made me feel like I was a concert and having loads of fun. I enjoyed it because it is beautiful, bold and clear. Thanks for reading! JWH (Jasmin)

Tusk
I am reviewing Tusk’s first single, ‘Matter of Time’. Tusk is a reasonably new band with five students from Nottingham University. If you liked George Ezra’s Budapest, I guarantee you will like Tusk’s ‘Matter of Time’. It takes you back in time, it makes you think and I guarantee you will be thinking about this new-found, flawless, fresh and solid song for weeks. It will go on and on and on inside your head. I would say it is trying to tell you that it is only a matter of time because we don’t have forever. Live your life to the full and do the unexpected. The song has quite a lot of lyrics that try to tell you something. Personally, I like the lyrics. However, people have different opinions on different things. It was as I was in a big room, encompassed by a large crowd of people moving around very slowly like time had gone slow, with faded picture of a pocket watch spinning around in the background. I did like this song because of the picture it painted in my head; how it reminded me of George Ezra; how it took me back in time, and the powerful lyrics. ZS (Zoe)

Hi, today I will be telling you my opinion of Tusk’s ‘Matter of Time’. These five boys have made this unique piece of art that could change people’s lives in positive ways with these lyrics. Matte of Time is a song that was published on October 6th 2017 and I think they did well. After my first listen, I thought it was very upbeat, and when it got to the singing part, I loved it. It really made me think about my life. One of the lines was “our lives are only a matter of time”, that was the best line in my opinion. But one of the weaker lines was “it’s our time”, which felt a bit weird to me. The rest of the song is great though! NW (Nathan)

Tusk, an instrumental band in Nottingham who make solid music and lyrical songs, are the highly recommended band that others need to hear. They originally started in 2016 with a five-man group and are now producing their first single/album. They’ve gained a bit of fame and fans with a few thousand views on YouTube. They’ll soon get there and develop into a complex, feel-good band. Most of their music has a low-pitched voice, then it snaps into a thrilling tune and the beat kicks into a radical type of style. It eventually dies out and the song ends. Most of the lyrics are sung weirdly because they’re mostly loud spoken or said in a low pitch which fans can’t understand but still like the taste of their music. Tusk’s music is stunning and very textured in itself, and it’s one of the greatest bands I’ve ever listened to. I hope it inspires other small bands. I’d want to write more but time is up!  SH (Sean)


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Wednesday, 6 December 2017

BEACH RIOT – SINGLE REVIEW

Beach Riot – She’s A Hurricane (Killing Moon) 
Beach Riot - She's A Hurricane


Release Date: Out Now

London and Brighton based Fuzz-rockers Beach Riot are on the brink of being one of the buzz bands of 2018 and if they don’t feature on a whole host of tip lists next year then I’ll eat some kind of hat. As a sign off for 2017, however, the quartet are leaving us with ‘She’s A Hurricane’ and it’s a hell of a note to go out on. Launching in like early Nirvana (when it was still fun) but with the vocal attitude of Joe Strummer on a particularly punky day this track is not here to waste your time. The feedback drenched guitars, driving bass line and Animal-esque drums are an absolute primal joy and if this track doesn’t make you want to put on some baggy shorts, bleach your hair and get involved in a friendly circle pit then nothing will. Grunge and Garage with thick black line of bitter-sweet pop running through the middle of it – exactly what made me fall head-over-heels in love with Veruca Salt way back when and exactly what has me pining for Beach Riot when they aren’t around. More in 2018 please. Much more.


Live Dates:

6th December – Clash x Metropolis Music @ The Old Blue Last, London w/Blackwaters
21st December – This Feeling @ The Monarch, London w/Calva Louise

9th January – Spotlight x Killing Moon @ Camden Assembly, London w/Mantra + Thyla

KAT FRANKIE – SINGLE REVIEW

Kat Frankie – Home (Groenland) 
Kat Frankie - Home


Release Date: Out Now

Kat Frankie has definitely been one of my favourite finds of 2017 so it’s great to finish the year off with an extra single from the Berlin based musician. ‘Home’ is an uptempo romp with a pop-punk beat and razor blade guitars but the pop melodies of Christine & The Queens and the attitude of Siouxsie Sioux. Frankie’s voice is delightfully smooth but equally powerful and speaks straight to your head, heart and soul at the same time. Throw in lyrics that pack a punch and a mesmerising video and you can get right on board with this without any worries. There’s an album due in February 2018 so save your Christmas vouchers up for that one and you won’t be disappointed.


Live Dates:

4th March – Scheune, Dresden
11th March – Muffatwerk Ampere, Munich
21st March – Kulturzentrum Pavilion, Hannover

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