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.
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.
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
Aussie metalcore quartet The Amity Affliction have announced their Pure Noise Records debut album‘Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them’ is set to arrive 21st February 2020.
“This album is a result of our re-found love for heavy music,” The Amity Affliction says. “We wanted to make a heavier album to back up our most recent releases to let our fans know that we understand what the majority want to hear from us. We have experimented creatively over the years and are now able to apply what we’ve learnt to what we consider the perfect blend of Amity new and old.”
To accompany the news, the band have also dropped a new song and music video entitled “Soak Me In Bleach”.
The track listing looks like this:
2. “All My Friends Are Dead”
3. “Soak Me in Bleach”
4. “All I Do Is Sink”
5. “Baltimore Rain”
8. “Just Like Me”
9. “Born To Lose”
10. “Fever Dream”
‘Everyone Loves You… Once You Leave Them’ is available to pre-order now HERE
Our favourite Scottish rockers Vukovi have just dropped new single ‘Run/Hide’ to accompany their news of new UK tour dates and album signings.
“I wanted to create a song we didn’t quite have yet on the album, like a super mature, heavy, fucked up track” explains guitarist Hamish Reilly. “Eventually I fell into the riff and just began to build from there! I felt lucky to find that riff, I didn’t actually come up with that, but more someone must have planted it in my head!”
Catch Vukovi live at the following special acoustic in-store performances and full-band headline dates in January 2020:
In homage to supporting pop-punk kings New Found Glory on their From The Screen To Your Stereo To Your Town tour, emo legends Hawthorne Heights decided to join in on the fun and have just dropped a cover of ‘Pet Sematary’ by The Ramones. Perfectly timing the release for the Halloween season.
“What is better than October and The Ramones? Hawthorne Heights has been notoriously obtuse when it comes to doing cover songs. For some reason, The Ramones are the great equalizer for us.” shares vocalist JT Woodruff.
“We all love the Stephen King book, and watched the movie growing up, so it was a true no brainer for us. The significance is that it got us to play covers together after all of these years, and it opened our eyes to how fun it can be. In honour of one of the best months of the year, one of the best punk bands of all time, and the best storyteller that has ever existed: we give you our version of Pet Sematary. We’ve never down strummed so much guitar in our lives.”
Accompanying this incredible cover is the news that Hawthorne Heights will be releasing a collection of B-Sides and Rarities titled Lost Frequencies, out 8th November via Pure Noise Records. The band also dropped another sparkling new single and music video for ‘Hard To Breathe’.
Check out both singles and be sure to pre-order the EP here.
Hawthorne Heights will be returning to the UK in 2020 for a very special tour to celebrate 15 years of the Silence In Black and White album, here’s where to catch them:
2nd February – The Asylum – Birmingham 3rd February – The Deaf Institute – Manchester 4th February – The Garage Attic Bar – Glasgow 5th February – Think Tank – Newcastle 6th February – The Leadmill 2 – Sheffield 7th February – O2 Academy – Islington 8th February – O2 Academy – Islington
You read that correctly, our favourite Scottish rockers Vukovi are BACK with a bang. Not only is their new album coming January 24th 2020 but they have also dropped a new single ‘All That Candy’ to accompany the announcement.
Although throughout 2019 we have already given three tasters of ‘Fall Better’, with singles ‘C.L.A.U.D.I.A’ and ‘Behave’ teasing Vukovi’s next musical era and second studio album.
Many of the lyrics on ‘Fall Better’ are influenced by a condition that frontwoman JanineShilstone was diagnosed with in the time since the last Vukovi album in 2017. Thought Action Fusion is a disorder that 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 “that makes decisions for me, and decides whether something good or bad is going to happen to me on any given day.”
Although mental illness is a difficult subject to touch on but with Janine opening up about her struggles so publicly, she believes it is all part of the band’s mission statement.
“I want our songs to let people know that they’re not alone in feeling crazy,” she says. “I want to give people who feel that way a little bit of comfort. I want them to feel less alone. I want to let people know that it’s okay to be weird, and for them not to feel isolated because of it. Our fan base is a beautiful army of weirdos, and I want that to grow. I want them all to feel like they belong here.”
We’ve worked closely with the band Hands Off Gretel in the past, and reviewed their latest album ‘I Want The World’, but merely months after the release, front woman Lauren Tateannounced she would be releasing her first solo studio album in five years through her own record label Trash Queen Records. Lauren is a musical powerhouse; not only writing, recording, mixing and producing the album but presenting her artistic skills in the album’s artwork.
‘Songs For Sad Songs’ is a thirteen track adventure, tip-toeing through sensitive subjects ranging from grooming, abusive relationships, to mental illness. The two singles from the record differ greatly in message but at the same time, they are closely linked, conveying two life changing political and social issues. ‘Miss American Perfect Body’ is about women in the media and body image, a catchy soft grunge anthem guaranteed to have you swaying with a lighter in the air in no time. On the other hand, the second single ‘What About The Kids’ is a heart-wrenching account of a school shooting, from the perspective of a victim addressing her father. “The song is from a child’s point of view speaking to her father addressing gun violence in America.
“I wanted the song to highlight issues around gun control and the importance of children’s future in a world where nobody is listening to them. I wrote this song to sing for those that won’t ever get the chance to do so.”
Other notable mentions on the album include ‘Can’t Keep my Hands Off You’ is a classic love/hate pop rock ballad, portraying an “asshole” boyfriend or love interest that Lauren can’t escape, hence the title. ‘He Wanted More’ is a grungy song, one of the heavier parts of the album, lyrically painting a frustrating portrait of being told you’re not good enough by someone who supposedly loves you. ‘He Loves Me’ covers an abusive relationship in a jazzier tempo, a stand out part of the chorus being the phrase “I know you only hurt me ‘cause you love me, right?”
‘Rock N Roll Radio’, a narrative song, telling a tale of grooming from the perspective of a fifteen year old befriending a thirty-one year old man who is then revealed to be married. Whether or not Tate has personally experienced some of the issues raised throughout ‘Songs For Sad Girls’ does not take away from her incredible penmanship, making every song feel so raw and personal without taking too much away from the music itself.
“My lyrics are honest and brutal with songs about domestic abuse, body image, feminism and fear of dying. I wanted it to sound like a girl writing in her diary, unapologetic and imperfect like real girls are.”
Closing song ‘Teddy’ is gritty nostalgia-fuelled song, Lauren yearns for the comfort of her childhood toys, ending the album on a blue note, but it almost feels appropriate. ‘Songs For Sad Girls’ really is an album for sad girls, and is possibly a weapon to make young impressionable women realise they are not alone in their feelings or experiences. Lauren Tate is influencing a whole new generation of riot girls, unafraid to be loud and angry and especially in the music industry, demanding to be visible and to be listened to.