INTERVIEW: White Ring

Cult followers of the “witch house” movement will be familiar with industrial outfit WHITE RING, who are set to release their new album Gate Of Grief via Rocket Girl Records on July 27th. After an eight year hiatus, the band have returned and are ready to bewitch their fans with more of their corrosive sounds. We caught WHITE RING’s free show at The Shacklewell Arms back in May, and were burning to ask the following questions which Adina & Bryan kindly answered…

 

You recently played a free gig at The Shacklewell Arms. Did you enjoy the show? What did you get up to whilst you were in London – aside from supporting God Is An Astronaut?
We had a great time playing shows again. We were really busy doing press stuff between shows. We didn’t do much.

There are three of you involved in White Ring, but there’s currently only two of you performing on stage. Your stage presence is pretty intense – do you have any pre-gig rituals that help you prepare for your set?
We usually do some meditation, stretch and pray to our ancestors for good luck, very important.

Your band has a cult status – you formed via Myspace and helped to develop the “witch house” movement, which dedicated fans keep track of online. Do you think the internet is crucial nowadays when it comes to forming a band, nurturing a scene, and sharing your music?
It’s definitely a blessing not having to be physically connected to any particular city’s music scene, but the pendulum also swings the other way too, and can make some people really locked in on what others are doing, and I think it’s making them lonely.

Your new album, Gate Of Grief, is due out on July 27th. As the name suggests, it probes at difficult and uncomfortable territory. What are you most proud of about this record?
I’m proud that it’s done and that we are all still alive.

Do you have a favourite track? If so, why?
I really do love how this album functions more like the albums I grew up listening to – where track selection and placement are kept in mind. If I had to pick one it would probably ‘Do U Love Me 2?’ just because I don’t remember writing it. I woke up after crashing from a 3 day bender in like 2012 and found this 11 minute song that I vaguely remember working on. I just made it a non-offensive length and released it as is. I feel like that one found me.

The image of the gate in the title refers to the real gate between Africa and Saudi Arabia, which is believed to be the place where the first humans migrated and went on to populate the rest of the world. How do you take a concept like that, and turn it in to densely electronic music? Do you have a process that you follow, or do you create each song differently?
We came up with the concept when putting together our first EP, Black Earth That Made Me. The only idea we have for WHITE RING is to keep changing. We like too much shit to get weighed down with any one ideology. We kind of just want to tell a story that helps people realize they are not alone. Trying to tell a story about struggling to survive. We have had 6-8 different setups for recording. As soon as we get comfortable with something we get rid of it.

As we’re a new music blog, we always ask bands what other new bands or artists they’ve been listening too. Who can you recommend to us?
I’ve just been listening to a lot of The Soft Moon, John Maus and Korn lately.

What are your plans for the rest of 2018?
We just started recording our next EP, touring the album and we are working on launching a manufacturing company.

Finally, if you weren’t creating music as White Ring – what do you think you’d be doing instead?
I would be making music in my room doing a job that I don’t like as much!

Thanks to WHITE RING for answering our questions!
Pre-order Gate Of Grief here.
Follow the band on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Jason PD

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Lala Lala – ‘Destroyer’

Originally from London, Chicago-based artist Lillie West – aka Lala Lala – initially starting the project as a means to process emotions and communicate things that she felt she could never say out loud. Now, following 2016’s debut Sleepyhead, she’s quit drinking, books her own DIY tours and has now announced her second album The Lamb. A reflection on finding strength in vulnerability, it addresses issues such as her fraught insecurity, struggles with addiction, and the loss of several people close to her.

Taken from the album, new single ‘Destroyer’ is a perfect slice of dreamy, lo-fi scuzz. Oozing West’s gritty, raw vocals and building to a sublime, twinkling chorus, it’s an infectious and affecting offering that leaves us longing for more of Lala Lala’s immersive creations.

Of the track, West explains:

“… (it’s) about retroactively realizing your feelings and trying to figure out what happened to get you where you are. Feeling out of control and like you’re stuck in a feedback loop.” 

Directed by West and Brielle Brilliant, the accompanying video finds Lillie protecting herself in an ongoing fight against destroyers. Watch it here:

The Lamb, the upcoming album from Lala Lala, is out 28th September via Hardly Art.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

EP: Bad Sidekick – ‘Bad Sidekick’

A fistful of brooding indie noise: London trio Bad Sidekick have shared their debut self-titled EP. It follows their previous singles ‘Circus’ and ‘Crook’ (which you should definitely check out) and proves the band are at the beginning of a promising music career.

“Everything I touch, it gets destroyed” sings front-woman Cooper Rose with powerful intonation on opening track ‘Run Boy’. Guitarist Joe and drummer John create loops of fast, fuzzy, furious sound as she warns of the storm that’s coming. It bleeds in to the snarling ‘I Ain’t Sick’ on which Cooper oozes more of her enviably cool vocals, supported by a cacophony of guitar noises and more heart-thumping beats. If you think these tracks sound impressive on record, wait until you hear them live.

Bad Sidekick’s stellar song-writing skills are showcased on the gentler ‘Lost Cause’, which broods with quiet intensity before the drop-in. It’s not long before ‘Romeo’ comes spiraling along though, and the band rev things up to full throttle again here. Penultimate track ‘Think About It’ is cut from the same cloth; full of visceral riffs and driving percussion that urge you to contemplate Cooper’s invitation.

A glitchy sampled recording opens final track ‘If I Were The Devil’, on which Cooper sings: “I don’t wanna be like the others, trapped inside these dead eyes, waiting for the flames to turn me to ashes”. With her superb vocal intonation, there’s no danger of her burning out anytime soon, especially when paired with Joe’s razor sharp guitar riffs, and John’s knockout drumming.

Bad Sidekick are masters at making manic, mind-buzzing sounds; and their debut EP is a shining collection of infectious, gritty indie anthems. Invest immediately.

Listen to Bad Sidekick’s debut EP on Spotify.
Follow Bad Sidekick on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Talking Violet – ‘Sparjammer 67’

Sonically, shoegaze demands a delicate balance between sweet-natured, often murmured vocals, blazonic romantic lyrics and the swoop, whine and crunch of multiple guitar lines. Those elements are found to great effect in the music of Canadian band Talking Violet, and their latest track ‘Sparjammer 67’.

Formed in Windsor, Ontario in 2016, the group were initially a duo of Jill Goyeau and Jay Turnbull, with bassist/vocalist Nate Blackton and drummer McKenzie Burrows joining last year to fully round out the band’s sound. The lead to TV’s first single ‘Aspen’ last January and their debut EP Round Dreams in February. ‘Sparjammer 67’, also taken from the EP, sees the band go full visual in a video whose hazy purple lighting effects certainly live up to their colourful name.

Of all the tracks on Round Dreams, ‘Sparjammer 67′ is probably the closest to dream pop. Jill’s vocals are most reminiscent of Cocteau Twins’ Liz Fraser, with Jay’s up-stroked guitar chords giving the tune an opening shimmer.

Soon after, that shoegazey contrast pops up with McKenzie’s pounding drum flurries coming to the fore, announcing a gentle shift into a chorus. The guitars start to croon a little longer, Jill’s vocals get more warped and distorted and there’s just time for a five second stop before the song’s final thirty seconds sees her ask “What’s it like to feel alive?” and its guitar notes fade into the purple ether.

In a recent interview about ‘Sparjammer 67’, the band have said they want the song “to feel like a glimpse of light after an era of darkness”. And, with its bright shimmers and shiny hums, Talking Violet have created an ethereal, joyous track – but one that’s so thick and warm you can almost bathe in it. The band say the song’s lyrics are “largely inspired by… good friends and the way life can feel so easy with special people”. It’s appropriate, then, that Talking Violet are here to make your nights a little bit brighter.

Round Dreams, the latest EP from Talking Violet, is out now.

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Get In Her Ears Live @ The Finsbury w/ The Empty Page, 13.07.18

Following a host of super amazing bands playing for us recently – including LIINES, Witch Fever, The Magnettes, H.Grimace, Dream Nails and The Menstrual Cramps  – we were back at The Finsbury on Friday for another jam-packed night of the best new music.

Kicking things off, Brighton’s Jetstream Pony treat our ears to their dreamy indie-pop, filling the room with their bright, jangly melodies, sugar-sweet vocals and enthused beats.

Next up, Jemma Freeman and the Cosmic Something deliver their immense, psych-infused offerings with a captivating charisma and vibrant energy.

Penultimate band of the night MeMe Detroit return to play for us once again, blasting out their infectious rock ‘n’ roll anthems with a rousing magnetism.

We’re super excited to have Manchester’s The Empty Page return to headline for us after playing at our first gig at The Finsbury. Treating us to a set filled with frenzied, grunge-tinged offerings old and new, their gritty, riotous power succeeds in blowing us all away.

 

Words: Mari Lane / @marimindles
Photos: Jon Mo / @jonmophoto

Track Of The Day: Anna Kairos – ‘Twilight’

Dark but delicate: Anna Kairos is a pianist and songwriter who creates atmospheric, pop-noir sounds. Her new track ‘Twilight’ – taken from her debut EP Hosting Time – sounds as elusive as the time of day it’s named after.

Wavering vocals and rich piano textures communicate Anna’s feelings about broken relationships, freedom, and pain in a delicate but powerful way. These explorations are not solely limited to ‘Twilight’, Anna’s debut EP (released via Berlin label Snowhite records) is laced with these sensibilities too. It’s a promising first offering from this talented newcomer.

Take a listen to ‘Twilight’ below and Follow Anna Kairos on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Get In Her Ears w/ Catgod, 12.07.18

Hitting up the studio in strong new music styles the Get In Her Ears girls were back this week playing you all the fresh delights, including tunes from LUNA, Lala Lala and BLYNE. Kicking off the show with Cher and a nod to her incredible Twitter politics…

They were also joined by their guests Catgod who performed a beaut acapella track live! Keep you eyes peeled for a future UK tour from them coming up later this year.

Listen back to the show here: