We have the premiere of “Fierce,” the brand new single from Manchester duo KAZE (say that like KAH-zay). This exciting and inventive band first came to our attention by way of their first single and video, the startlingly original “Pinned On You,” which became our video of the month in August last year. “Fierce” is just as inventive. Though it begins with a conventional, piano-driven verse, it quickly builds to dramatic chorus, displaying shades of some of KAZE’s chief influences, including Steely Dan and Radiohead.
As the title hints, “Fierce” is an anthem of empowerment. Songwriters Graham McCusker and Amy Webber tell us, “‘Fierce’ is about finding your inner strength to finally stand up to people who intimidate and bully you. It’s about finding your power and your confidence to stand up to injustices.” Fortunately, the song does not fall victim to cliché, reiterating worn sentiments. It is one of KAZE’s great strengths that they can say something new about such a universal subject, just as they had a new approach to what, at its core, was a breakup diatribe in “Pinned On You.”
Despite a compelling flair for the dramatic, KAZE’s songs are streamlined and economical, filtering weighty prog into thrilling pop. Following up the debut EP No Filter, “Fierce” is further evidence of a promising artistic force.
We recently posted news about Extralife, the new LP from the great Massachusetts indie folk quartet Darlingside, along with the album’s first video (for “Futures”). Now we’ve got the latest tour dates and a new album track to check out. The tour will take the band across the U.S. and back a couple of times and will also include trips to the U.K., Denmark, and Canada. See the full listing below, whilst streaming “Hold Your Head Up High” (not likely to be confused with the similarly-titled ’70s Argent stomper).
March 14 – Sisters, OR – Sisters High School Auditorium
March 15 – Portland, OR – Sisters, OR
March 16 – Seattle, WA – The Tractor Tavern
March 17 – Denver, CO – Bluebird Theater (Click here to get tickets)
March 22 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair (Click here to get tickets)
March 23 – Portland, ME – H.o.m.e. Portland House of Music & Events
March 24 – Northampton, MA – Academy of Music Theatre
March 25 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground
March 28 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC – 7 p.m. (Click here to get tickets)
March 28 – Brooklyn, NY – Rough Trade NYC – 10 p.m. (Click here to get tickets)
March 30 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
March 31 – Washington, DC – Union Stage
April 16 – Nashville, TN – The Basement
April 17 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark
April 19 – Evanston, IL – S.P.A.C.E.
April 20 – Dale, TX – Old Settlers Music Fest
April 22 – Atlanta, GA – Terminal West
A stellar standout from Late Cambrian‘s brand new LP Sweet Cambrian High Vol. I & II, “Girl Bag Holder” now has a visual companion in the popular ‘musical video’ format. The clip, directed and edited by primary band members John Wlaysewski and Olive Hui, eschews the lyric’s narrative in favor of a stylized study of a young woman simply biding her time with a bottomless candy dish. Great track, fun video, enjoy:
Northern England has launched yet another pristine pop act, a three-piece called TV ME. Led by Thomas McConnell, the band returned to their Liverpool home this past weekent, at the end of a regional tour, just in time to celebrate the release of their four-song EP, A Broadcast From TV ME. At turns breezy and jarring, the EP mixes synthesized and organic instruments in a Harry Nilsson-meets-Brian Wilson-meets-Jon Brion Optigan blur, infused with some extra-modern electronic grooves. Dig it.
Boston-to-L.A. transplants Aloud have released a fantastic new single, “Falling Out Of Love.” It’s a classic soul style ballad, propelled by a tumbling horn arrangement and of course Jen De La Osa‘s belting, plaintive lead vocal. And I would be remiss not to commend unto you the single’s B-side, “Empty House.” Singer Henry Beguiristain takes the lead on this one, and while the style diverges a bit from “Falling Out Of Love,” the vintage feel remains, with powerhouse drums plowing through guitar reverb and a coiling Farfisa organ line (shouts out to drummer Charles Murphy and producer Benny Grotto). Fall out of love this Valentine’s Day, won’t you? Vinyl 45 and digital versions available here.
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Massachusetts indie/folk/other quartet Darlingside have released the new video for the first single from their upcoming LP Extralife. The video, animated by Mara Fradella and directed by Keith Boynton, finds the present meeting the past in multiple attempts to create a greater future, reflecting the song’s refrain, “It’s not ever too late.”
Extralife is out February 23rd, and Darlingside will be on tour this spring.