“My heart is so blue,” sings Jade Bird on her song I Get No Joy. “I’m singing for nothing.” It’s a fakeout, of course: while the 21-year-old songwriter’s debut album certainly chases emotions from their depths to their peaks, there’s no lack of purpose here.
“I've never wavered in terms of wanting to do music,” she says. “But you often waver in terms of how you can change it, how you can add to a field that's so saturated and if it's worth it. Is my contribution going to do anything, going to help anyone? And it does. You get young girls coming up to you who want to play the guitar and listen to visceral music and play and shout, and that's sick.”
It’s not so long since Jade was one of those young girls, searching for inspiration and release in music. Born to an army family in Northumbria, she moved first to London and then to Germany, before her parents split when she was seven, and Jade and her mother moved to Bridgend, South Wales, to live with her grandmother, whose marriage had also foundered.
In Bridgend, Jade learned the piano; one of her mother’s partners introduced her to the gothic, psychedelic, country-tinged alt-rock of Mazzy Star, her first love and the first thing she learned to play on guitar. That early taste of the good stuff led her on to classic country music – Loretta Lynn, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton. “That's the stuff I really connected with, the struggling songs,” she says.
She began writing her own songs at 12, the beginning of a phenomenal drive that’s taken her around the world in the past couple of years. School in Bridgend didn’t offer her the opportunity to follow that ambition. “Unless you're bilingual, in the arts, it's impossible to get anyone to care about you,” she explains. “It was like, well, I'm 16. I don't really wanna do a science A-level… and if you do a BTec in a normal college it's kinda hard to get a good knowledge of the subject. So London was the place.”
Looking around the arts schools on offer for 16-year-olds in the capital, Jade picked on the one that seemed the best: the ultra-competitive Brit school. On her second try, she got in. “People are like, oh, you went to get famous,” she says. “Not really... or if you do, you soon realise that if you don't work hard then that school does not get you favours.”
Jade’s work ethic mean she was far from coasting – most nights during her A-level studies, she was out gigging around London. “I was constantly ill, I was constantly tired from a gig the night before,” she laughs. At the Spiritual Bar in Camden, she learned to project her powerful voice, to grab an audience’s attention, and also, through a chance meeting with a lawyer, found herself a manager. Her debut EP, Something American, was recorded in 2017, the year after her graduation, at the Rhinebeck, New York studio of Simone Felice of the Felice Brothers, a few miles from Woodstock.
“I'd never been to America,” she recalls, “and I was going through quite a bit at that point, I was having huge anxiety, everything you get when you're an 18-year-old girl, and I just always wanted to make things work. I'd seen my mum work really hard, and my grandma, and so I always had this ethic, you keep grafting. But then you stand there on this mountain, and it's so cliched, but you see the ranges and you realise how small you are, and there’s this creative spirit... it was just kind of all perfect for me.”
As well as the EP, the majority of the songs on the album were written in that storied musical area, in a barn on Felice’s property guarded by a ferocious farmdog called simply “Girl”. The rattling, rambunctious “I Get No Joy” tracks Bird’s progress from nagging worry to release, but in its sound also demonstrates a broadening of her palette from the Americana and country inspirations that helped Something American get her noticed stateside (she toured the US with country artist Brett Cobb in 2017, and bagged radio playlists and TV appearances on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as an acclaimed set at South by Southwest) to darker, rockier tones. She’s “really into my 90s alt-rock” at the moment, she says – Sonic Youth are a current favourite – but her “holy trinity” are Tori Amos, Alanis Morissette and Patti Smith. “And I love what's happening in the States with female musicians in indie, like Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus.”
Jade Bird is a perfectly constructed album of tight, hooky songs, from the bluesy garage rock of “Going Gone” and “Uh Huh” to the more reflective and melancholy “My Motto”, which stretches her remarkable voice, with its raw emotional and agile musicality, to the full. The track list was whittled down painstakingly in Rhinebeck from 200 songs written over the course of a year in which she’s toured furiously, testing every song out live. She was also longlisted in the BBC’s Sound of 2018, and performed the album’s lead single, the irresistibly soaring Lottery, not only on Jools Holland but on Tonight with Jimmy Fallon alongside the Roots. “That was ridiculous,” she enthuses. Her biggest thrill on the way up, though, has been closer to home: her biggest headline show, at Electric Brixton in London in November. “My mum said to me, we've seen bands like Black Rebel Motorcycle Club in smaller venues and got really emotional. I thought, it's true. This is crazy.”
Another huge shift for Jade personally has been overcoming disillusion and falling in real love. “I didn't really expect that, someone like me. I'm always, like 'I don't need no man!' Or if I do have a man, I kind of make sure that I've got it and then put it on the side. I'm just very driven.”
The songs on Jade Bird dive into a welter of emotions, from sharp cynicism to fear, vulnerability and the rush of possibility on the likes of Ruins. “This album's all of my past and my present,” she says. “It feels quite freeing… a lot of people say, how do you write certain things when you've not experienced it, or you're so young? My parents split and then both grandparents… so yeah, I kind of saw all that all the way through. My mum had some tricky relationships… you just see things that make you grow up quite quickly and little details that you put in your songs eventually.”
For all her experience, the feeling you take away from the sharp statement that is Jade Bird is an uplifting energy; not bubbly blind optimism, but strength for the fight. “I'm an incredibly positive person,” says Jade. “Because the facts are we're all fucked. The environment's changing, politically we're fucked. Great. But people who work in the arts are supposed to believe in magic, that's your job: to believe in magic. To believe that imagination can exceed problems... I want people to have hope for a future.”
Even death, in the album’s final closer, finds a positive spin. Why exactly is a 21-year-old singing about being transformed into a song if she dies? “My mum and I, we're close, she had me at 20, she pretty much brought me up by herself,” Jade explains. “And she always says if you left this earth, for whatever reason, I'm not staying… that's always really upset me, and I was like, oh, if I was going to write a song to try to make someone stay on the earth without me, if I've already gone, what would it be?”
More than death, what Jade fears is “my potential and the music's potential... I've always had this image of me at 80 years old, and I'm looking forward to getting old, but at the same time it's fucking scary to me, to think, oh, I could have done that, I could have done that. I could have done that free jazz album and never did it. And that's to me that's where it comes from the drive, the biggest defiance of regret... that perfect album you listen back to, that's why I'm doing it. I'm always chasing that.”
She won’t stop, of course, but listen and you’ll see that Jade Bird has left herself no room for regret in 2019, with so much more to come.
You could be forgiven for thinking that growing up in the Swiss alps in the 90′s wouldn’t exactly be the best place to be exposed to some of the best underground hip hop New York had to offer at the time. However anglo-swiss producer Laurent Clerc AKA Little People, argues he couldn’t have been in a better place. Thanks to the forward thinking programming of Laurent’s local radio station and a DJ with his finger on the pulse of a golden age in the making in New York – Laurent’s musical education in all things hip hop was of the highest order. An old Mac and a stack of old LPs were mere catalysts for Laurent to try and emulate the sounds from across the pond.
A subsequent move to the UK introduced electronica to his broadening taste and influenced his own sound. Then followed work soundtracking short films and theater productions which added a cinematic element to his repertoire. Following a disheartening stint doing some production work for a Paris based hip hop label convinced Laurent that he should be doing things on his own terms. A self released EP led to being picked up by Illicit Recordings in London – through which “Mickey Mouse Operation” was eventually released. This was 2006 and his debut album only made a very modest splash. Over the past 4 years it has however turned into something of a sleeper ‘hit’ – gathering fervent support in the US and slowly climbing the US iTunes electronic chart in the process. Laurent seems to have timed the release of his second album perfectly – due to drop in Spring next year just as the interest in his first album is peaking.
Little people’s sound is part beats, bleeps and snippets of other people’s music. Stemming from hip hop, it effortlessly combines warm synths, intricate melodies and string arrangements. The cinematic quality of his sound led to his music being used on CSI and other shows in the US and UK.
Little people’s upcoming album sees Laurent shift his focus away from what he feels is the over reliance of samples in his genre, towards composition and the use of organic instrumentation – whilst keeping the trademark warmth of an old piece of vinyl. However rest assured, the beats and the synth bleeps are still very much on the menu.
Ribbon Music is pleased to announce the return of Baltimore’s Lower Dens with their third album, Escape from Evil. On Escape From Evil, Lower Dens’ Jana Hunter emerges: cerebral and hot-blooded, rash and incorruptible, and, crucially, possessing of a loud, clear voice. The album sees Hunter stepping up and taking center stage, and emboldening every aspect of the band.
Escape From Evil is a cinematic, tonally rich work. The sounds are clean and warm. The pulse of the album is strong. Melodies are potent and songs are physical. Lyrics are direct, frank confrontations with life’s common crises. The album title is brazen, and along with the grimly funny title of lead single, “To Die in L.A.”, almost theatrical.
Lower Dens’ 2010 debut, Twin-Hand Movement, was a stunning evolution of guitar brilliance and murky emotiveness, while its 2012 follow-up, Nootropics, was a stark, textured paean to experimental bands of the krautrock era. Escape From Evil marks a bold, monumental step forward for the band and the welcome manifestation of a singer we’ve never quite seen until now.
In February 2000 Wesley Eisold, singer of American Nightmare, self-booked their first show ever in a church in Portland, Maine, setting a precedent for the band's relentless DIY ethic, touring and releasing music until American Nightmare became one of the most important and influential hardcore/punk bands of the last two decades. The band's volatile mix of traditional American hardcore, English influenced attitude, and Eisold's emotional lyrical prose set a new creative standard for the worldwide hardcore community. Their sphere of influence is far reaching, serving as the bellwether to the giants of punk, metal/hardcore, and even mainstream music. American Nightmare began in 2000 as a band that defied styles, trends, and even names. After releasing several EPs and two LP's, the band split in 2004 before reforming in 2011, with Eisold forming Cold Cave in the interim which grew to be a force in the goth and industrial scenes. American Nightmare returned to the studio and released a self-recorded and self-titled album in 20I8, touring to continued sold out shows. American Nightmare redefined the hardcore scene musically, visually, and most of all, lyrically. To call American Nightmare an iconic hardcore band is an understatement because at this point, they are legendary. In February 2020 they will embark on a 20th anniversary tour and reissue their Year One album on Heartworm Press and Bridge 9 Records.
American Nightmare is:Wesley Eisold Josh Holden Brian MasekAlex Garcia-RiveraJim Carroll
20th Anniversary Tour
2/13 BOSTON - Royale 2/14 NYC - Brooklyn Steel2/16 PHILADELPHIA - Theatre of the Living Arts2/19 CLEVELAND - Beachland Ballroom 2/20 DETROIT - Magic Stick2/21 CHICAGO - Thalia Hall2/22 MINNEAPOLIS - Fine Line Music Hall 2/25 DENVER - Bluebird Theater2/26 SLC - The Complex Grand2/28 PORTLAND - Hawthorne2/29VANCOUVER - Imperial Theatre 3/01 SEATTLE- The Showbox3/06 SF - Fillmore3/14 LA- Fonda
Philadelphia producer Tyler Minford, aka Louis Futon, has steadily carved out his own lane in the electronic music scene over the past two years. In that short time, his remixes and singles have garnered over fifty million streams online, with his biggest single to date “Wasted On You” being released through ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective.
Simultaneously, Futon has set his sites beyond the confines of the electronic scene as his productions have reached into the worlds of hip-hop and r&b as well. Not only have his official remixes of artists like Anderson .Paak and Goldlink found major success, but collaborations with r&b leaning artists like RKCB have resulted in some of his most dynamic work yet.
His array of talents is already paying dividends as he’s not only toured with ODESZA in the past year, but in 2017, has secured a mostly sold out headlining spring tour alongside appearances at festival staples like Splash House, CRSSD and Okeechobee. Those prime spots are no surprise as Futon has captivated fans with a unique live show that features the multi-instrumentalist playing out originals and remixes alike.
With so much accomplished and in store, the forthcoming year is undoubtedly slated to be Futon’s most successful yet.
Social media influencers Destiny Marie and Carlos Mena are kicking off Halloween with their first Meet & Greet come join them at The Novo for a fun day with music, raffles and much more..
Saturday October 26th.
Vip get early full access to enter 1 hour prior to main event, enjoy one on one time with DARLOS, Polaroid picture, snacks and drinks included.