Scottish emo quad Dude Trips have teamed up with fellow Scots art and lifestyle brand empire Abandon Ship Apparel to drop a Valentine’s Day inspired EP ‘Songs For the Broken Hearted’, bundled up with some brand new merchandise.
The collaboration came about after Dude Trips reached out to Richard, the artist behind Abandon Ship Apparel, after he shared ‘Tampa Bay’ on his social media. Ideas escalated quickly from recording an alternative version of the song, to the EP and merchandise bundles available from today.
‘Songs For the Broken Hearted’ opens with two covers ‘Falling’ by Harry Styles, a ballad of personal existentialism following a difficult breakup, succeeded by ‘Keep Yourself Warm’ by Frightened Rabbit, a song solely about the emotional emptiness of casual sex and hookups; both songs reflecting the theme of the entire EP. Two re-recorded acoustic versions of fan-favourites ‘Silhouette’ and the incomparable sad boy climax ‘Tampa Bay’, complete the perfect anti-Valentine’s mixtape for those spending the day solitary.
“Songs For the Broken Hearted” is available exclusively on cassette here.
Charleston powerhouse alternative rockers Babe Club have just dropped their debut EP today, two full years of work encapsulated in ‘Remember This Feeling’, five tracks of pure indie goodness; almost a world away from their first ever single Hate Myself in 2018.
Although the band are influenced by Blondie’s 70’s new wave sound and the 90’s pop-rock gods The Cardigans, there are many other notable amalgamated genres sprinkled generously throughout their debut EP.
However, it doesn’t sound confused, if anything, the complete opposite. From clean synths to gritty grungy guitar tones, the melting pot of sounds set the band on the path to break free from the chains of genre many bands find themselves unable to.
The latest single Automatic Love is accompanied by a beautifully shot music video with the themes of the song bleeding into the creative direction. The idea of phones and social media having so much control over our lives is conveyed not only through the lyrics of the song but through the use of the band’s latest technological development, the “Flip-Flap” phone.
We spoke to the group about their debut EP before the release of the EP and here’s what they had to say about the process:
Speak Soft Magazine: To kick things off, producing ‘Remember This Feeling’ has encompassed two years of your lives, how does it feel to finally set this project free into the world?
Babe Club: “It feels pretty weird honestly! The recordings themselves were made in a span of 5 months, and we’ve been waiting about 1.5 years to put it out. So you could imagine we were just eager to let it live. It’s really cool to finally have a body of work to point to that represents us, but it’s also nerve racking because naturally we get really excited about the music we’re making right now! It’s easy to identify with what you’re doing in the moment, and can be hard to relate to songs that were written as long as 4 years ago! Holy shit.”
SSM: You just dropped the music video for ‘Automatic Love’, how has the reception been to the single and most importantly, the flip-flap phone?
BC: “The song & video has been received well! All the feedback we’ve gotten so far has been positive. Very grateful for that.”
“Most importantly, the flip flap has been sweeping the globe. We’ve been hard pressed to keep up with all of the orders flooding in. We’ve been in talks with manufacturing plants in every corner of the world to see who’s going to take up the production. It’s just gotten too overwhelming to do ourselves any more. It’s actually not a phone btw, it’s an alternative to your smartphone. It’s the Flip-Flap.”
SSM: Following on from the last question, you both play a massive part in creating your own incredible music videos, do you as artists feel this important to get hands on? Do you feel it is easier to convey the song’s message more authentically?
BC: “Yes, and yes. It’s very hard to speak through someone. It’s much easier to talk for yourself. At the end of the day, no one is going to care about your vision & art as much as you do. We get very picky, and we go through a lot of revisions, which is not an exciting request to make of another professional (especially when you ask for multiple revisions). Always perfecting and making slight adjustments. By picking up new skills, we’ve enabled ourselves to really iron out the vision.
SSM: ‘Remember This Feeling’ is the perfect alternative angsty EP, what music, media, or real life experiences influenced the record?
BC: “Personal existential-dread, isolation, and conflict with loved ones are all emotional sources for the songs. Sonically speaking, there’s a lot to get to. We were listening to Bully, Sunflower Bean, Mitski, Joni Mitchell, Amber Coffman, and Vampire Weekend. It’s all a melting pot of punk, indie pop, and indie rock vibes.”
SSM: Finally, although 2020 is almost over (thankfully), what can we expect to see from Babe Club in the near future?
BC: “More music! And hopefully live events. Since a year and a half has passed since finishing this EP, we have new songs that we’re really wanting to put out into the world. And we’re desperately wanting to diminish the time between finishing the recordings & release day. On top of all of that we want to start playing some socially distant shows in the not so distant future. And hopefully once we get into a pattern of socially distant shows, maybe the world will start to approach some form of normal before 2021 is over.”
At the very core of the group is powerful and existential lyrics, and their ability to produce relatable songs that explore realisation, raw emotions, friendship and love shines beautifully through this EP. To hear for yourself as any album should be heard, on vinyl that is, ‘Remember This Feeling’ is available for pre-order here.
Perhaps Manchester punk trio Aerial Salad didn’t have the greatest start to their career with what the band refer to as ‘the worst festival set of all time’ at the legendary punk staple The FEST in Gainesville, Florida but they didn’t let that stop them. In the years following their traumatic ‘what more could possibly go wrong’ set that could have potentially split any other band up, Aerial Salad have just gotten more resilient, after all, isn’t that what punk is all about?
‘Dirt Mall’ is the band’s second record, nine songs of anthemic, driving punk rock that roars with joyful disgust at the world around them. Frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro admits, “It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun.”
The record opens with anthemic ‘Virtue’, a common theme of the album is catchy gang-like vocal choruses, making it hard not to imagine a sweaty dive bar packed full with fans singing along. First single ‘Romance?’ follows, simple but effective punk, the band don’t overthink or overproduce, especially because there is no need to.
Personal favourite, ‘Fever Dream’ is an old-school Green Day fan’s dream, and maybe the more you think about that, the more you’ll hear Munro’s voice morph into Armstrong’s, and the more you’ll wish Green Day were taking notes from Aerial Salad. ‘State O’Yer’ is another stand out song on the record, with lyrics like “give it up son, we don’t need you anymore” that just beg to be screamed back.
Title track ‘Dirt Mall’ is the quintessential Aerial Salad song, does exactly what is says on the tin. Loud and catchy, not even three minutes worth of pure punk rock goodness, leaving you wishing it would never come to an end. The album closes with ‘Stressed’, leaving the listener eagerly wanting more.
‘Dirt Mall’ is the soundtrack for the young adults finding their way in the world, for locking your bedroom door after a bad day at the 9-5 you hate, for late night drives with your friends, head-banging Wayne’s World style.
Aerial Salad were due to play some of these new tunes live on tour in the UK this April with Californian punks Decent Criminal, however due to COVID-19, the dates have been rescheduled, for updates on the tour follow the band’s Facebook page.
Fresh off the back of touring with The Libertines at the end of 2019, grunge pop-rock trio Cruel Hearts Club are ready to kick off 2020 in style with their new single ‘Suck It Up’. The band’s first single of the new decade, following the massive ‘Hey Compadre‘, is a clear indicator that Edie, Gita, and Gabi are here to make the UK’s thriving alternative music scene their own, and this is only the beginning…
We caught up with the band to ask them about the new single and their plans for the rest of 2020.
Speak Soft Magazine: To kick things off, you finished off 2019 playing some shows with The Libertines, how was that for you all?
Cruel Hearts Club: “We’ve supported The Libs a few times now and it’s always an amazing night. They’re such an iconic band and the fans are so intense but they seem to really like our music too and we’ve always had a great reception at the gigs.”
SSM: So your new single ‘Suck It Up’ is coming out soon, are you excited to share it with the world?
CHC: “Of course – we’ve put our blood sweat and tears (a lot of tears) into it, so we can’t wait for it to come out kicking and screaming!”
SSM: What is the core meaning of the song to you?
CHC: “It’s essentially an escape from mundane life, finding paradise in a Mad Max journey kind of way.”
SSM: The music video features all of the CHC children, what was it like bringing them into your world for the day?
CHC: “We bribed them all with £20 and a day on the arcades in Margate where we filmed – cheap labour. They totally rocked it, so much more rock and roll than us. Mildly concerning how much they loved graffitiing and gobbing on the camera man.”
SSM: Musically, who would you say your biggest influences are?
CHC: “We love the 90’s grunge bands – Elastica – Smashing Pumpkins – Hole, mixed with some Britney Spears and No Doubt.”
SSM: Following the recent Reading & Leeds Festival lineup announcement that faced controversy due to a lack of women, do you think it is important for young girls to feel represented on and off stage especially at such a prevalent UK music event?
CHC: “Yes they should be represented – we are available guys! guys?? On a serious note, I think it starts from the ground up, girls having the opportunity and being encouraged to play guitar / drums / learn about production and sound engineering from an earlier age and being shown that it’s not just a boy thing. We all learnt classical instruments when we were younger – man, if only I’d been handed a Fender instead of a violin, I could shred like Jimi Hendrix by now. And WTF with learning the recorder in schools? Way to put kids off music for life. We’re lucky to know and to have worked with a couple of female producers and engineers but they are very much in the minority, it’s like seeing a unicorn which is crazy really.”
SSM:Leading on from that, what would you say to younger female fans of your band who think they can’t do what you guys are doing?
CHC: “I’d say ask Santa for a guitar for Christmas and practice like a motherfucker. Well, without the swearing.”
SSM: Finally, what can we expect to see from Cruel Hearts Club in 2020?
CHC: “Our single ‘Suck It Up’ comes out late Feb followed by another single in May with an album hopefully by the end of the year. We are supporting the legend that is Sting in Germany and also performing 5 nights at The Palladium with him in September too.”
Fierce and feminine, the band are destined to stand out from the crowd and demand to be seen and heard. ‘Suck It Up‘ is the perfect anthem, combining catchy pop with killer riffs. Move over Spice Girls, there’s a new girl power band in charge.
‘Suck It Up‘ is available on all streaming platforms now!
Ahead of their biggest Glasgow headline show to date, we caught up with Scott, Jamie, and Shaun of Scottish alternative band Dude Trips for a chat about the success of their album ‘Through Love & Death, You’re All I Have Left‘, what music they’ve all been spinning recently and future tour plans.
Glaswegian rock band Vukovi have been making big waves in the UK and international alternative music scenes recently following the release of their latest album ‘Fall Better‘. We spoke to front woman Janine Shilstone about the creative process and influences before they headed for their short UK tour and HMV signing events in support of the album.
‘Fall Better’ has a lot of references to mental health and your Thought Action Fusion diagnosis, did this come naturally or as a band did you decide to write about these topics?
“It was the easiest thing for me to write about at the time. Like I had to get it all out to stop me from imploding.”
Following on from that question, is there a song on the album that was particularly cathartic to write?
“Most of them to be honest. ‘White Lies’ was about something that I never thought I’d talk about lyrically. I will explain what it’s about at some point but don’t think I’m quite ready for our fans to know yet.”
Who were your biggest influences while writing songs for this album?
“Bring Me The Horizon definitely, Grimes, Billie Eilish, Halsey, Don Broco.”
Has the gap between your self-titled album in 2017 and ‘Fall Better’ given you time to experiment more?
“It has given us time to get better at songwriting for sure, I definitely found myself listening to a lot more music and watching a lot more film and TV as well which I found really inspiring.”
If ‘Fall Better’ was the soundtrack to a film, what film would it be and why?
“It wasn’t a film but I’d say if ‘Skins’ was remade in 100 years. It’s a coming of age soundtrack, learning to like yourself even though you have a lot of darkness inside you.”
What song are you most excited to play live for the first time?
‘”RUN/HIDE’ all day!”
Where did you get the inspiration for the intro and interlude on the album?
“I was watching a lot of dystopian stuff on Netflix e.g ‘Altered Carbon’, ‘BlackMirror’ (massive influence), ‘Blade Runner’. I wanted it to feel like the album was set in the future drawing attention to “in app purchases”. You can’t just buy something nowadays without having to buy extras to get the full experience.”
And finally, as fellow Scots, do you have any advice for upcoming musicians in our growing music scene?
“Have a good USP (Unique Selling Point). What’s gonna separate you from the hundreds of other bands in your scene? When doing promo shots ALWAYS GO HARD! Be extreme with the imagery. And obviously write good tunes.”
‘Fall Better’ is available to stream and physical copies can be found here.
The Glasgow music world has evolved and grown over the years, and with the success of Lewis Capaldi, Twin Atlantic, and Vukovi to name a few, it appears there is a spotlight blaring intimidatingly on the city. However, instead of shying away or conforming, one of the bands pushing through and making their mark over the last few years in the alternative and post-hardcore scene is Deter. With their debut album ‘Wither & Fade’ less than a year old, the band dropped news of finally releasing a single they had been premiering at shows including their short run with rock powerhouse Tigress.
We spoke to frontman and vocalist Jamie Logan ahead of the release of their new single ‘Iniquity’ and the writing process of what has the potential to be a career changing song.
Where did you get the inspiration to write and release ‘Iniquity’ as a single?
“After we had just released our debut album ‘Wither & Fade’ we didn’t really know what sound we were gonna pursue next but based on the live experience of playing the album we knew we wanted more energetic, heavier songs so we could have more fun playing them live. Then Jonny (guitarist) came up with the bulk of the ‘Iniquity’ guitar parts and we spent a little while refining it until we were happy. We knew from the first time playing it live in February 2019 that we needed to make it our next single as it was received better than our album songs.”
Who were your main musical influences for the song?
“At the time of writing ‘Iniquity’ myself and Jonny were listening to a lot of Movements and Rarity but were already inspired by bands like Holding Absence and Casey. Lyrically mostly Casey and Holding Absence.”
Lyrically, was ‘Iniquity’ cathartic to write, or was it difficult?
“‘Iniquity’ is to this day still one of the most challenging songs I have written in terms of subject matter and portrayal of my own thoughts. It definitely was cathartic to just put my darkest thoughts into a positive outlet as it covers my trials and tribulations with my own mental health and how they have worn me down over the years.”
The word itself has deep-rooted ties to the bible and religious connotations, was this an influence at all or merely coincidence?
“The religious connections to the word were purely coincidental. The song was written from a place of disdain and frustration with myself and holds no religious connections.”
Last year, you released your debut album ‘Wither & Fade’, do you have any plans for another album or EP?
“Sadly, we don’t intend in doing a significant body of work such as an album for a long time but you can expect lots of smaller releases from us until we feel the need to create a cohesive body of work.”
Finally, what can we expect to see from Deter in 2020?
“In 2020, you can expect lots of new music and bigger shows. More so in the second half of the year! We’re working really hard behind the scenes to take the band to the next level. PS expect more riffs and cool shows.”
‘Iniquity’ is available to buy and stream through the links below.
Manchester punk trio Aerial Salad have just announced their latest album ‘Dirt Mall’ with a release date of the 27th March. In the meantime, today they dropped the video for new single ‘Romance?’
The band have possibly one of the best origin stories in music history, frontman and guitarist Jamie Munro recalls attending legendary punk event The FEST in Gainesville, Florida in 2016, and being so inspired by the bands he had watched, he had to start a band, and they had to play The FEST no matter what.
“It was a very important time in my young age,” remembers Jamie. “I was like, ‘fuck me, all these people, all these bands are small punk bands, but they’re playing here and they’re all on tour, this is fucking sick this!’ Fuck uni, I hate uni, I’ll start a band. We’ll play The FEST.”
Upon returning from his punk band daydreams in Florida, Jamiedid in fact form a band with two best friends Mike Wimbleton on bass and vocals, and Matty Mills on drums. Aerial Salad recorded music, played a handful of gigs, and they finally got the chance to play The FEST, but that is not where this story ends.
Due to unfortunate technical difficulties and unfamiliar equipment, the band now refer to their set at The FEST as ‘The Worst Festival Set Of All Time’. “The set was so bad that as soon as it finished, I had to run out of the venue, hide around the corner and cry,” remembers Jamie.
You’ll be glad to hear that Aerial Salad have bounced back from their living nightmare in the form of that disastrous set. They met former Flying Medallions frontman and Wonk Unit leader Alex Johnson who, so taken with the bands spirit and vibe, offered to mentor, manage and helped put out Aerial Salad’s debut album ‘Roach’ in 2017 on his label Plasterer.
On their new album ‘Dirt Mall’, Jamie admits, “It captures everything I’ve seen working as a temp in offices and generally being in my twenties trying to work myself and the world out. With some pop songs thrown in for fun.” If ‘Romance?’ is anything to go by, the album will be full of energetic DIY punk, and 2020 will be the year of Aerial Salad.
After announcing they would be returning to the UK and Europe for a run of big shows, Texans Waterparks confirmed they would be bringing friend and fellow American musician De’Wayne Jackson to open the shows for them, much to the joy of many fans. Although many people didn’t appear to know his music particularly well, the energy was infectious. It’s a rare treat to see a support act grab the attention of such a big room so effectively. Jackson spoke openly about current social issues such as police brutality in the United States and was met with massive cheers in support of change and solidarity.
Opening the show with two quintessential Waterparks anthems, ‘Watch What Happens Next’ and ‘Blonde’ injected sugary sweet energy to every fan in the room. SWG3, the venue for the evening, plastered strict “no crowdsurfing” and mosh pit safety signs around the room but they were quickly disregarded by frontman Awsten Knight as he encouraged fans to open up pits and launch themselves up in the air.
Playing mostly songs from their latest release ‘FANDOM’ and their 2018 album ‘Entertainment’, the band broke the set up by playing a mash-up of what you could call “older songs”, touching on their debut album ‘Double Dare’. Interrupted by a rowdy crowd with playful heckles directed at the band members, it is clear the band know their fan base incredibly well, and the onstage banter is launched straight back with no hesitation. Before slowing down for some acoustic goodness, Knight encourages the crowd to “boo Mark Zuckerberg” and of course, without any hesitation, everyone in the room, happily boos Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg.
Returning to the city after almost two years, there is a very obvious maturity in the band and an honesty with their music that came with releasing ‘FANDOM‘ last year; closing the show with the first single from that record, ‘Turbulent‘. To summarise an explosive night with one of the best bands in the alternative music scene in only a few words would be an insult.
Waterparks are currently on tour across the UK and Mainland Europe, here’s where to catch them:
JANUARY 27 – BIRMINGHAM Institute 29 – MANCHESTER Academy 2 30 – MANCHESTER Academy 2
01 – LONDON Electric Ballroom 02 – LONDON Electric Ballroom 04 – KÖLN Luxor 05 – MUNICH Feierwerk 07 – AMSTERDAM Melkweg 08 – HAMBURG Logo 09 – COPENHAGEN Pumpehuset 11 – OSLO Parkteateret 12 – STOCKHOLM Klubben
Following the release of grunge-rock band Hands Off Gretel’s ‘I Want The World’, the band are back with another music video to accompany the 2019 record. The dark video was directed and edited by frontwoman Lauren Tate and filmed by Ash Scott Video and references cruelty in the dairy industry throughout.
The band’s UK and Ireland tour starts next month and tickets are still available here: http://www.handsoffgretel.co.uk ‘Milk’ is available to stream on all platforms.
Almost three years after their widely-praised self-titled debut album, Vukovi are back and better than ever with new album‘Fall Better’. Throughout 2019, Vukovi gifted us three tastes of ‘Fall Better’, with the incredible singles ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’, ‘All That Candy’ and ‘Behave’ signposting the band’s next musical phase, and the rest of the album does not disappoint. ‘Violent Minds’ opens the record following a cryptic electronic automated voicemail in the form of ‘17359’, referring to the listener as “User 17359” and warning that the album “contains strong language, dark themes, and dirty fucking riffs”, what more could you ask for?
The strong opening sets the tone for the rest of the album and every song flows beautifully together until the interlude ‘Verify Your Worth’ but quickly jumps back into softer anthems such as ‘I’m Sorry’ and soulful ‘Where Are You’. Many of the lyrics on the album are influenced by Thought Action Fusion, a form of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder that frontwoman Janine Shilstone was diagnosed with in the time elapsed between their first album in 2017 and 2020’s ‘Fall Better’. The disorder can lead those who have it to believe that their actions are guided by an external presence; in Janine’s case, this presence took the form of a shadow, and in ‘All That Candy’ she references this presence as “nothing but a ghost, holy messing up my head”.
Vukovi are the future of UK rock music and ‘Fall Better’ is a masterclass in catchy and powerful songwriting with the classic aspects of rock, pop, and alternative music sprinkled throughout; you can dance and mosh and cry, all at the same time. Vukovi have proven once again that they will not conform to a cookie cutter society and will bend and break all expectations set out for them as a band.
‘Fall Better’ drops this Friday January 24th via VKVI Records, and is still available for pre-order at: vukoviband.lnk.to/store