The wonderful world of transatlantic troubadour Matthew Battle

“Some time ago, Matthew Battle packed his bags, said goodbye to sunny Leigh-on-Sea and relocated to even sunnier Colombia. Taking with him 400 million instruments, a wealth of influences and his wild imagination, he has been dropping nuggets of lo-fi goodness ever since. And we should know, he has sent us a video pretty much every month for as long as we can remember!

His most recent LP ‘A Room Without a View‘ dropped recently. The whole thing was recorded in his tiny apartment and provides an intimate look into his mad little world. The whole thing is drenched in layers of irresistible DIY noise.

Opening track ‘Build Your Wall‘ throbs with a euphoric bitterness, ‘You Were Made for Me’ (featuring vocals from his wife María Angélica Madero) is a swirling, sardonic tale of love, and ‘Lost in the Internet‘ is a pulsing, despairing battle cry against the world we live in. While all these tracks reflect his new surroundings, there is still a pleasingly British matter-of-factness and humour running through them.

You could certainly do worse than buy the whole thing from his Bandcamp page, or have a little glimpse via the Southend Who Spotify playlist.”

Rob Glenister

SOUTHEND WHO EXCLUSIVE! – THE TRUSTED NEW VIDEO PREMIERE ‘SUNLIGHT’

The Trusted have already had a very busy year. This exclusive new video for ‘Sunlight‘ is the indie band’s third of the year. It’s a step back from the frenetic tempo we’ve come accustomed to from these young lads, but emotive relaxed qualities of Tom Cunningham’s voice shine through is this different framework.

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Photo: Gaz De Vere

The band also recently collaborated with Pete Gleadall (Pet Shop Boys Musical Director and Producer who’s worked with U2, Madonna, George Michael). Pete enjoyed their London show a Nambucca so much, that he decided to remix a couple of tracks for them, including the one below. Well worth your time!

With momentum clearly on their side, the band join the bill for Village Green Festival on July 8th for their biggest show yet. Keep your eyes glued to www.thetrusted.co.uk for future updates.

The Horrors return after 3 years to rage against the Machine

 

“Can you believe that The Horrors are now 12 years old? Time flies when you’re evolving from a anarchic garage band into a shoegazing new wave phenomenon.

Machine‘ however, sees the Southend 5 piece go down their most gritty industrial route yet. The crunching bass is the constant, below irresistible feedback-heavy electronic layers. Faris’ vocals sit effortlessly over the calm chaos of this track, but with Paul Epworth on producing duties, this is to be expected.

This is reinvention number five for The Horrors, but they still stay true to the genres that they love and openly champion. This project is a tribute to the great music of our past, whilst injecting so much originality and substance into their sound. The Horrors are a band that won’t ever stop setting their bar higher. We await album number 5 with baited breath.”

Mikey Glenister

Summer may be here, but don’t put away your winter coat just yet: you need Big Jacket in your life

The folk scene in Southend is incredibly healthy. It’s a good time to be a troubadour, with plenty of Open Mic nights springing up over the last few years. There’s never been more platforms for upcoming artists.

One of the current standout acts in this scene is Big Jacket. Led by Jordan Hemmingway, they have only been playing together since January this year and already they are earning themselves a large following. Their single release show at The Alex was absolutely rammed, but this is testament to just how good their songs and live performances are.

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Something To Think About‘ is charming song. The reassuring growl in Jordan’s voice is perfectly complemented by the delicate tones of Kyiah Marks. The subtle build to the huge crescendoing ending is a beautiful journey. They’ve stamped their sound; this is pure and honest pop music. Very welcome in our seaside town.

Big Jacket play Village Green Festival next month. ‘Something To Think About’ is available on iTunes right here.

Innocence? Please. Suspects will chew you up, spit you out and leave you a glorious mess.

“If you haven’t already heard Suspects, then you sir are a liar. They are the loudest band in Essex, so you must be genuinely deaf  if you haven’t.

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Thomas Prescott and James ‘Jaff’ May are on a roll at the moment. Last week their latest release ‘Innocence’ was premiered on the Kerrang! website. The loudest magazine featuring the loudest band in Southend? Completely fitting.

‘Innocence’ is a visceral assault on your senses. Think White Stripes times a billion. Not since Winnebago Deal has a duo turned up with punk and grunge ambitions this big. It’s no surprise that Cool Thing Records have picked up on these guys. They play Village Green Festival next month, which is sure to be one of the highlights of the event. Here’s hoping they don’t blow the PA system.”

By Mikey Glenister
Photos: Kana Waiwaiku

LJ HOWARD – ‘SETTLE DOWN’ EXCLUSIVE NEW SINGLE VIDEO PREMIERE

We are incredibly excited to EXCLUSIVELY unveil the brand new video for Southend sensation LJ Howard‘s latest single ‘Settle Down’!

LJ Howard first came onto our radars supporting Arcaves at Chinnerys earlier this year, with one of the most upbeat high energy performances we’ve ever seen. We’ve been fans ever since.

This new single is slightly mellower than his previous releases, but there’s some classic 80s pop going on here. Think classic Lionel Richie with an up to date contemporary twist. The simple shuffle of the club beat sits nicely under meandering phasing synth and strings, whilst LJ’s dynamic voice glides over the track.

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LJ Howard plays In The Park Festival at Garon Park alongside The Hoosiers, Toploader, Arcaves and Southchurch this Sunday 28th May. Tickets are available here. He’s also playing this year’s Village Green Festival. He’s going to be busy this summer clearly, so make sure you do yourself a favour and check him out. Guaranteed to put smiles on faces!

There’s Nothing Taboo about Tabou. From The Ashes Of HNTR Comes a Fresh New Project

2015/2016 was a great couple of years for the promising new band HNTR. They were surfing a wave of positive hype, becoming one of the buzz bands in the South East. Then as quickly as this momentum was reaching a peak, they very quietly announced that they were calling it a day. This was no fond farewell though, it was merely just a reshuffle in the ranks and a new battle plan. Goodbye HNTR. Hello Tabou.

The London/Essex 4 piece are quite simply a contemporary joy. Mixing indie, soul and electro pop, this is inventive song writing, which sits very nicely alongside other acts coming out of the Thames Estuary area like Southchurch and Arcaves. Once again, it seems there’s another vital sub scene brewing. This can only be a good thing.

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Their debut single ‘Honey’ has already received over 20k plays on their Soundcloud page in only 3 weeks. It seems that the hype from the past has continued into this reimagining.  And rightly so. Tabou are worth keeping your eyes on this year.

Tabou play The Rocksteady in Dalston London this Friday for a FREE ENTRY gig. Don’t miss out!