Track Of The Day: A.A. Williams – ‘The Echo’

A heavy lament that explores the push-and-pull relationship between the heart and the head, London-based songwriter and multi-instrumentalist A.A. Williams has shared her latest single ‘The Echo’. Taken from her upcoming second album, As The Moon Rests, which is set for release on 7th October via Bella Union, the track is a powerful blend of Williams’ bittersweet vocals and trademark cathartic drop ins.

“’The Echo’ is a dialogue between a person’s heart and the head,” Williams explains about her new single. “the head [is] trying to persuade the heart that what they need is to take time for themselves and prioritise their own well-being, not seek verification of one’s worth through their relationships with others.”

Originally named ‘Forever Blue’ – which is also the title of her debut album – Williams’ has re-worked ‘The Echo’ into a song of “yearning, sorrow and beauty.” These sentiments are reflected in the track’s accompanying video, directed by Fraser West. The visuals follow a young man on his journey through London during the night, encountering strangers and seeking connection in unexpected places.

Following on from her previous singles ‘Evaporate’ and ‘Golden’, ‘The Echo’ continues to spotlight Williams’ intuitive talent for creating captivating, enthralling music. She will be performing tracks from her upcoming album As The Moon Rests with her band and a full string quartet at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall this Saturday (17th September). You can grab a ticket here.

Watch the video for ‘The Echo’ below.

A.A. Williams’ UK Tour Dates 2022
Saturday 17th September – London – Queen Elizabeth Hall
Saturday 12th November – Glasgow – The Great Eastern
Sunday 13th November – Leeds – Brudenell Social Club
Monday 14th November – Milton Keynes – Craufurd Arms
Tuesday 15th November – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
Wednesday 16th November – Cardiff – Clwb Ifor Bach
Thursday 17th November – Falmouth – The Cornish Bank
Friday 18th November – Bristol – Thekla

Follow A.A. Williams on bandcampSpotifyInstagramTwitter & Facebook

Photo Credit: Thomas Williams

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

GUIDE & PLAYLIST: Decolonise Fest 2022

Event: Decolonise Fest

Where: Signature Brew Haggerston, London

When: Friday 16th – Sunday 18th September 2022

Tickets: Full Weekend ticket: from £31 / Day tickets: from £15.50 / Click here for info on affordable ticket schemes

General Info: Decolonise Fest – the UK’s only DIY punk festival created by and for people of colour – was founded in 2017 to provide a much-needed space for punks of colour from across the world to come together and celebrate the multiplicity of their identities, and acknowledge the influence people of colour have had on punk and alternative music genres. While the festival focuses on people of colour, white allies are welcome to attend.

Now celebrating its fifth year, Decolonise Fest have put together another eclectic line-up to showcase and celebrate the talent of underground punks of colour. This edition is the festival’s first in-person event since 2019, after it had to adapt to an online event during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The festival will also feature music-related panels and activities, including workshops on the Black history of the banjo, reproductive justice, how to make your own modular synths, and more. For more information on these events, visit the official website

Who’s Playing: Grove, BISHI, Racehl Aggs, Gurnal Gadafi, Fraulein, Miss Jacqui, Breakup Haircut, Passionflower, Break Fate, Marigold Spitfire, incaseyouleave, Dystopia, Swaraj Chronos, Spirit Sigh and Currls.

Who GIHE recommend you catch: We’re already big fans of grunge duo Fraulein, DIY punks Breakup Haircut, multi-talented musician BISHI, the amazing Rachel Aggs and garage rock trio CURRLS, so make sure you catch their sets. We’ve heard great things about Grove, Miss Jacqui, Spirit Sigh and Dystopia too!

Check out our Decolonise Festival Spotify Playlist below, featuring some of the line-up

 

Artists not on Spotify also playing Decolonise Fest:

 Gurnal GadafiRachel AggsMarigold Spitfire Spirit Sigh | Swaraj Chronos

 

Follow Decolonise Fest on TwitterFacebookInstagram

 

 

 

Track Of The Day: BRUTUS – ‘Victoria’

Raw vocals, charged percussion and rapturous riffs punctuate ‘Victoria’, the latest single from Belgian heavy trio Brutus. Taken from their upcoming third album Unison Life, which is set for release on 21st October via Hassle Records/Sargent House, the track is a cathartic reflection on teenage angst, inevitable growth, and the solidarity that comes from facing up to these parts of life together.

“‘Victoria’ is about getting older,” explains vocalist and drummer Stefanie Mannaerts. “You know grown-up life is lurking around the corner, but you’re not afraid of what’s coming, because we’re all going to go down together.” This heavy comradery permeates ‘Victoria’, from the way Mannaerts joyfully exclaims “wake me up inside / when the light strikes again” in the chorus, right the way through to the lyric that inspired the title for the band’s new album: “This is our unison life, my friend / this is the end,”

Dissecting the darker, more desperate parts of the emotional spectrum was the focus for the songs that form Brutus’ upcoming album, Unison Life. “I wanted every song to feel like the last song we’ll ever write,” Mannaerts comments about its conception. “It killed me inside because it’s almost an impossibly high standard, but that was my personal goal for this album. It was a two-year quest of trying to do better.” This version of “better” has manifested itself in Brutus’ recent singles ‘Dust’ and ‘Liar’, with latest cut ‘Victoria’ once again hitting the “impossibly high standard” that the band originally set for themselves.

Bassist Peter Mulders adds that the new track is a nostalgic moment for the band, going “back to the old Brutus days.” This is reflected in the accompanying video, directed by Jonas Hollevoet. The visuals show the band in different locations around Belgium, trying to find the balance between being young and old, isolated and connected, still and transitory.

Watch the video for ‘Victoria’ below.

Pre-order your copy of Brutus’ new album Unison Life here

Follow Brutus on bandcampSpotifyTwitterFacebook & Instagram

BRUTUS UK Tour Dates 2022
16th Nov – Bristol, The Fleece
17th Nov – Manchester, Rebellion
18th Nov – Glasgow, Audio
19th Nov – Leeds, Lending Room
21st Nov – Brighton, Patterns
22nd Nov – London, The Garage

Photo Credit: Kemizz

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: Real Big Sky – ‘Real Big Sky’

Blending together reverb drenched riffs, enigmatic vocals and shiver-inducing cymbal smashes to create their blissful melodic noise, Real Big Sky’s self-titled debut album is an immersive, swirling collection of heavy guitar tunes that brood with quiet intensity.

Beginning as a form of distraction during the Covid-19 lockdowns for multi-instrumentalist Sara Kleppe (You Break, You Buy, Gold Baby), Real Big Sky was initially a solo project which she worked on in her bedroom in Hackney. Kleppe relocated back to her native Sweden in 2021, but with the help of friend and long-term collaborator Luca Romano – who also played drums and was on recording, mixing and production duties for the record – she has developed Real Big Sky’s sound to its fullest and most fluid yet.

“Changing dynamics throughout a song is something I try to give a lot of attention to, as well as trying to break free from the standard song structure,” Kleppe explains about the process of writing the songs for the album. It’s clear from the searching, yearning nature of opener ‘The Same Thing’ that she has a natural instinct for shifts in volume and mood, and this skill permeates Real Big Sky’s album.

Preferring not to be too prescriptive about her lyrics, Kleppe’s elusive vocals float gently over her expansive riffs, her ambiguous words adding to the record’s overall enigmatic quality. She transcends feelings of isolation that underscore tracks like ‘Long Lost’ and ‘Another Day’ in different ways; the first soothes like a heavy lullaby whilst the latter swells with anticipation.

She perceives introspection in a similar vein too. Whilst ‘Jess’ feels like a darker, moodier offering, gentler tracks like ‘Where Is Your Mind?’ ache with sincerity, the rich guitar sounds complimenting Kleppe’s understated pining for answers. A magnetic undercurrent flows through the shimmering tones of ‘Lightness’, the fullness of ‘The Deepest Currents’ and the urgent, epic concluding track ‘The End’, which clocks in at just under 7 minutes. It encapsulates all that Real Big Sky have to offer, equally as impressive in its quiet moments as it is in its intense, murky outro.

Kleppe was hesitant to release her predominantly solo work as Real Big Sky into the world, but this hesitancy is definitely misplaced. Together with Luca Romano, she has crafted a captivating record that raptures the senses, and much like the time period it was created in, is a blissful distraction from life’s more overwhelming moments.

Listen to Real Big Sky’s debut album here.

Follow Real Big Sky on bandcampSpotifyFacebook & Instagram

Photo Credit: Johanna Kleppe

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut