Five Favourites: Deux Furieuses

Having previously wowed us with their truly immense live show at The Finsbury a couple of years back, duo Ros Cairney and Vas Antoniadou – aka Deux Furieuses  – have been going from strength to strength with their powerful offerings.

Now, with the release of their poignant new album My War Is Your War, they continue to blow our minds with their explosive post-punk and stirring raw emotion.

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspires them or influences their writing. We caught up with Ros from the band, who has shared her “Five Favourites” – five tracks that particularly resonate with her and Vas. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch the new video for ‘Let Them Burn’ at the end of this post.

PJ Harvey – ‘All and Everyone’
This makes me feel ill. I first listened to the album lying in a hospital bed which was a mistake. The track alternates heart-stoppingly between urgent and woozy sections as she plays with time, life and death. When the drums come in with a dull thud they sound stilted, then soon stop to leave the build up of chiming autoharp chords which introduce the voice with the words “Death was everywhere, In the air, And in the sounds, Coming off the mounds, Of Bolton’s Ridge..”. The vocals echo with a sense of place and history. Verse 2 is propelled along by churning chords until the rhythm slows and the song just lets go into the most sublime free fall with “As we advance in the sun, As we advancing every man, As we advancing in the sun”.  After the last line “Sing death to all and everyone” the track descends into a repetitive outro with long trombone notes conveying an out of tune malaise. I didn’t think PJ Harvey could improve on Dry until I heard Let England Shake. I had always loved PJ Harvey the actual band, that first trio with her distorted guitar riffs locking into that fantastic rhythm section, rather than her songwriting or her ‘solo’ albums. Vas and I saw them many times and are honoured to have worked with drummer Rob Ellis on both our albums. But on Let England Shake, Polly Harvey surpassed all her previous work.

Bert Jansch – ‘January Man’
I first heard Bert Jansch on an old battered copy of 1965 album Don’t Bother Me, borrowed from my aunt Aine Carey who actually taught me to play guitar. I loved his voice and the track ‘Ring a Ding Bird’ with its mesmerising major to minor and back to major key mood shifts. But this is my favourite Bert Jansch song for the combination of his voice and guitar playing on this fantastic song written by Dave Goulder. “And the January man comes round again in woollen coat and boots of leather, To take another turn and walk along the icy road he knows so well, The January man is here for starting each and every year, Along the road for ever”.

Joni Mitchell – ‘Amelia’
I took a year off university in Glasgow to work as a houseparent in a ‘free school’ near Dumfries and would take off into the countryside on a bike. It was summer and I loved to sit under a tree in a field and listen to Hejira, Joni Mitchell’s electric guitar road album endlessly on headphones. I loved the words and guitar on ‘Amelia’, skies streaked with vapour trails that look like “the hexagram of the heavens, the strings of my guitar… The drone of flying engines is a song so wild and blue, It scrambles time and seasons if it gets through to you… I dreamed of 747s over geometric farms”. The song progresses without a chorus, powered by her finger picked electric chords with sonic textures and a line at the end of each verse addressed to Amelia Earhart, another solo traveller with a dream to fly. I was considering moving to London to pursue music but then stayed on in Glasgow for a few years until I realised it was now or never. When I finally moved I met Vas. 

The Beatles – ‘A Day In The Life’
It was tough to choose between ‘A Day in the Life’ and ‘Gimme Some Truth’ by John Lennon solo, which is the only cover we have ever played live and is so relevant to now. But ‘A Day in the Life’ won through. Wafting in with atmospheric guitar and piano which reminds me of PJ Harvey, the dead pan vocals intone the almost callous words. On verse 2, thunderous rolling drum fills propel the track along without playing a beat. “He blew his mind out in a car… A crowd of people stood and stared… Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords”. This experimental track has a violent cruelty about it which is lightened by Paul McCartney’s middle section which ends with “And I went into a dream…” before returning to John Lennon’s evocative wailing “Aaaahs”. ‘A Day In the Life’ evokes for me an indifferent England sleepwalking into catastrophe which resonates even today.

Kate Bush – ‘Sat in Your Lap’
This is the track Vas and I put on to remind ourselves that we have a very long way to go and should possibly just give up. In fact all of these tracks do this. But you have to keep going if you are driven to communicate with music like we are. With its thunderous drums and absolutely insane vocals, this is a masterpiece. The words have a great rhythm to them. “Some say that knowledge is something sat in your lap, Some say that knowledge is something that you never have.” It comes to a thunderous and operatic end which I can hear us trying to emulate in some of our songs. Is this rock? Who cares. We don’t make music to fit your genres! These artists inspire and challenge us and brought us together with their music.

Massive thanks to Ros for sharing her Five Favourites with us! 

My War Is Your War, the new album from Deux Furieuses, is out now. Watch the searing video for latest single ‘Let Them Burn’, here:

Catch Deux Furieuses live at the following dates:

2nd November – Blossoms, Stockport
5th November – Banshee, Edinburgh

 

Photo Credit: Dan Donovan

EP: Foxcunt – ‘A Visit From Foxcunt’

Who wouldn’t want a visit from Foxcunt? Fuelled by a shared love of “cider, art and dismantling state oppression”, which are, in my book anyway, ingredients for a top night, their latest album is riotous, shout-along political punk, as outspoken as their deliciously swear-y name suggests.

The band take shots at the patriarchy, post-Brexit Britain and the stress and monotony of life today. Current single ‘Anxiety Dream’ is a clear standout. Its crunchy guitars have a nervous, post-punk energy, intensified by the lyrics, which list the worries from an anxious brain. Meanwhile, ‘Competition’, with its homage to punk classic – Jilted John’s ‘Jilted John’, asks why, if life isn’t supposed to be a competition, “why are you always trying to win?”

Feminist-anthem-in-the-making, ‘Make Her Smaller’, could become the first dancefloor-filler to rail against gaslighting, coercion and emotional abuse. But while its post-punk brilliance and poppy harmonies will have you raising your fist in the air, ‘Rip Yr Fucking Cock Off’ is angrier, feistier and calls for direct action. It could start a movement, or a fight. Depending on the amount of Strongbow you’ve consumed.

Their ode to post-Brexit Britain, ‘BSE’, asks us to consider whether we’re as ‘great’ as we think, recalling the days of so-called Mad Cow Disease. A duet with alternating shouts of “Creutzfeldt!” and “Jakob!”, it channels a kinda wayward Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazlewood.

In addition to the musical nods, the band wear their influences on their (album) sleeve, too. With artwork seemingly inspired by sloganeering feminist artist, Barbara Kruger, the band’s passions are everywhere.

Ultimately, A Visit From Foxcunt is an angry, joyous and empowering experience. But, while the band are blistering on record, I can’t help but think their energy will translate even better live. Next time they play ‘round my way, they’re definitely getting a visit from me!

 

A Visit From Foxcunt is out today, available on Bandcamp and Spotify. You can catch Foxcunt live at our monthly Finsbury night on 13th December!

Vic Conway

Photo Credit: Micky Strickson

Track Of The Day: Salad – ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’

Having been going their separate ways for nearly twenty years, in 2017 ’90s band Salad were offered a festival date and soon reformed to start recording new material. Now, they’re set to release a long-awaited new album next month and have shared the first taste of what we can expect from it.

Exposing what we are sticking in the sand, and shoving under the carpet, ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ is propelled by a gritty, post-punk energy and whirring scuzz as catchy hooks and tongue-in-cheek deadpan vocals build to a jangly fusion of sounds. A unique, euphonic delight, this new single sees Salad return to fine form, proving they’re still capable of pushing boundaries with a distinct, vibrant spirit.

The idea for ‘Under The Wrapping Paper’ came to founder member and guitarist Paul Kennedy in a rush of inspiration one day as he popped out to buy a cheap T-shirt: “I worry about child labour / But I needed a T-shirt  / Put it in a paper bag / You can recycle that later.” 

The Salad Way, the upcoming album, is out 30th August on Three Bean Records. Salad will be playing at Starshaped Festival:

31st August – Manchester, O2 Ritz
7th September – Newcastle, O2 Academy
14th September – Birmingham, O2 Institute
21st September – London, O2 Forum Kentish Town

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Tim Topple

Track Of The Day: Nasty Little Lonely – ‘Wicked Vicious’

Bristol-based Industrial Post-Punks Nasty Little Lonely have shared new single ‘Wicked Vicious’, and it’s a menacing blend of devious bass lines and venomous vocals. It’s the third single the band have released through Liverpool label, Loner Noise.

The song is an “anti-ode to two faced people, comparing the effects of negativity to unconsciously doing black magic”. Together, guitarist Ben, drummer Martin & vocalist and bassist Charlie have worked to create a spine-slicing new track, and the accompanying visuals are equally as malign as they are mesmerising.

Nasty Little Lonely have performed on line-ups alongside Future of the Left, Damo Suzuki, The Wytches, Idles, Part Chimp, Gnod, Mugstar, God Damn, Bo Ningen, Kagoule & Lydia Lunch, and will be on the road again soon.

Listen to ‘Wicked Vicious’ below and follow Nasty Little Lonely on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: New Haunts – ‘Worlds Left Behind’

A soundtrack for the witching hour: New Haunts‘ debut album Worlds Left Behind is a veiled but intriguing exploration of independence; fusing elements of coldwave, minimal synth, goth, early industrial, and synthpop to create a distinctive, ominous sound.

As the album’s title suggests, New Haunts is caught between the world she inhabits and the world she once knew. She explores this on opening track ‘Ingrained’, through ominous synths and urgent vocal harmonies that rise and fall against a backdrop of slow, scratchy drum sounds. It bleeds in to lead single ‘Reactions’ – a cold but magnetic offering which laments the simultaneous beauty and the horror of having emotional connections.

It’s connections like these that make the tortured howls on following track ‘Left Me Cold’ feel so sharp. They contrast well with her tentative and pained vocals during the verses, as foreboding synths underscore another moment of painful clarity. ‘Hymns’ and following track ‘New Haunts’ both take a gentler electronic turn, with some Kate Bush-style wavering vocals.

‘Waves’ breaks through after this ambient interlude, with darker jagged synths and more of New Haunts fluttering, urgent vocals. It’s this combination that makes ‘Waves’ the standout track on the album. Its dark, glittering defiance of flows in to the subdued ‘Same Medicine’, which progresses in to the penultimate ‘Safe Out Here’ – full of more brooding synths and wavering vocals.

Whispers of insecurity permeate closing track ‘Ice’ – “and I give it my all, as far as I know, as far as I can” – before abrasive synths push through proving a “concrete truth”: New Haunts may be at the beginning of her solo journey, but her debut record shows she is well equipped for more intriguing sonic ventures.

Fans of Zola Jesus and the almighty Kate Bush will approve of her Gothic noise on Worlds Left Behind.

Listen to Worlds Left Behind on Spotify & follow New Haunts on Facebook for more updates.

Purchase the album from bandcamp here.

Photo Credit: Katie Murt

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

ALBUM: LIINES – ‘Stop-Start’

LIINES‘ debut album has a tendency to skip from one track to the next barely taking a breath – rarely has a title seemed more fitting than Stop-Start. The band’s name, too, couldn’t be more fitting given their principal musical style of post-punk, with vocal, guitar, bass and drum lines all competing for prominence. If the cyclical nature of things means that musical movements are revived about every twenty years, then LIINES are perfectly placed for indie’s re-embrace of post-punk, a movement which dominated in the early 2000s.

First track ‘Shallow’ kicks things off and gets to express-train speed in seconds, with its choppy guitar line, and Zoe McVeigh’s vocals reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney’s Corin Tucker. ‘Never There’ follows with a drive like that of Silence Yourself-era Savages. ‘Be Here’ is similarly unrelenting with its garage rock feel.

But this isn’t just a bouncing alt. rock album – behind the pace you’ll find sinister guitar solos and basslines that bubble like poisonous liquid. By ‘Find Something’ and its oppressive post-punk aura – coming off like Interpol hanging out with PINS, before halting abruptly – the album has its immense, dark hooks lodged into your brain.

‘Cold’ chills things down noticeably, coming as close to balladeering as Stop-Start gets, with Zoe’s vocals nearing a torch song style plea. ‘Blackout’ is constructed around another sinister guitar line, before ‘Disappear’ merges that sound with straight-out stomp via a flurry from drummer Leila. ‘Hold Your Breath’ is a broken love-song, whilst ‘Never Wanted This’ sounds like PJ Harvey fronting Breeders. Former bassist Steph’s deceptively simple rhythm work kicks off closer ‘Nothing’ and, as album closers go, it’s a banger with shades of Pixies in its structure and a wailing Zoe at its centre.

Whilst the two bands have a different emphasis, contemporaries Desperate Journalist’s 2017 album Grow Up is perhaps the most apposite point of comparison for Stop-Start, with both bands taking the best of their indie/alt predecessors and blending it into something that’s fresh.

Between them, LIINES and producer Paul Tippler (known for his work with indie luminaries such as Elastica, Idlewild and Stereolab) have created a sound combining riot grrrl disquiet, post-punk gloom and new-wave urgency. Despite losing a bassist (Steph Angel now replaced with Tamsin Middleton), the trio have crafted a debut that promises to be the pulsating start, rather than the end, of LIINES. A truly impressive debut from the Manchester trio.

Stop-Start is out now via Reckless Yes Records.

 

John McGovern
@etinsuburbiaego

Track Of The Day: Projector – ‘Break Your Own Heart’

Brighton trio Projector have released new single ‘Break Your Own Heart’ via Roadkill Records; and it’s a thundering, three and a half minute blur of aggressive, melodic sound.

Together, Lucy Sheehan (bass/vocals), Edward Ensbury (guitar/vocals), and Demelza Mather (drums) combine elements of grunge, shoe-gaze, and post-punk to breed their all-encompassing noise. Lucy’s sultry, scratchy vocals urge you to “Kill yourself, break your own heart” on the new release, whilst Demelza’s powerhouse drums collide with Edward’s manic riffs to sustain the aural head-rush.

After a string of sold out hometown shows and support slots with Tigercub, Demob Happy, Deap Vally and Kane Strang, Projector are due to release their debut EP later this year. The trio were awarded funding from the PRS Rebalance scheme, a project run in conjunction with Festival Republic, which promotes gender equality both on stage and in the studio. In the run up to their debut EP, they’ll begin recording again with a female producer in Leeds.

Listen to ‘Break Your Own Heart’ below, and follow Projector on Facebook for more updates.

 

‘Break Your Own Heart’ is available on limited edition cassette (order here) and on the usual digital platforms now.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut