Features & Interviews

New Faces, New Sound: How Federal Charm Moved Forwards on 'Passenger'

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Imagine being in a rock ‘n’ roll band with two albums under your belt and a fistful of big-name support slots in the bank. Imagine you spent the best part of a decade building a fanbase. Then, just as you’re preparing to make that all important third album, imagine waving goodbye to half the group. Do you wallow in self-pity? Wave the white flag and call it quits? Or recruit two new members and bounce back with your strongest album to date.

Stop Standing Still: The Goon Sax Evolve On The Rich, Ambitious 'We're Not Talking'

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Photo: Ben O'Connor

Louis Forster keeps forgetting something.

He’s at his band’s rehearsal room picking up some gear. They’re going on tour; landing in London and moving on to an opening night in Glasgow after the long trip over from Brisbane. They’re pretty much good to go.

Grin Through The Dark Stuff: The Dirty Nil Return With The Mighty 'Master Volume'

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Towards the end of Pain of Infinity, one of the singles from the Dirty Nil’s new record ‘Master Volume’, Luke Bentham drawls “and another thing, baby...” before ripping a guitar solo. He gets back to the microphone in time to yell: “I never loved you and I hate your friends.” The frontman is inconsiderately handsome, and has been known to play a Gibson Les Paul mid-knee slide while chewing bubblegum and wearing a star-spangled denim cowboy shirt.

Living Their Best Lives: Idles' Joe Talbot Talks Their New Album 'Joy As An Act Of Resistance'

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Crackling through a speakerphone, Joe Talbot’s voice is calm and level. “I don’t feel any pressure to do anything,” he says. “It’s up to me. I genuinely don’t care what anyone else makes of what I do. It’s up to me to be as honest to myself, and truthful to the band and our art, as possible. The rest is up to you.”

Green Man: We All Had A Lovely Time (Again)

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According to the weather forecast, we’re getting lows of 12 degrees and frequent showers, which isn’t what anyone wants to hear in the days running up to a festival. Particularly as we’ve just sweated through the hottest summer since 1976. Mac and wellies at the ready (with the suncream left at home in protest), stepping through the door was an exercise in mentally preparing for a long weekend of feeling soaked to the bone. But Green Man doesn’t allow for moping.

From Blues Boy To Next Big Thing: The Making of Dan Owen

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It’s easy to question the authenticity of any young musician who stirs up a super-sized buzz. Are they merely a record company’s latest marionette? Yet another superficial media darling destined for 15 minutes of fame? Dan Owen certainly generated significant plaudits before his debut album, ‘Stay Awake With Me’, had even been released, but the finished product revealed a special singer-songwriter who, after years of grafting for his shot at the big time, is being lauded for all the right reasons.

I Guess I'm Dying Old: Twenty Years In A Day With The Lawrence Arms, The Menzingers and Lagwagon

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Illustration: Samuel Davies

There’s this great indie-rock song going around called Hope You Like Getting Old. It’s by the Seattle band Subways on the Sun and its video is full of stuff that used to clutter my shelves when I was a kid - a VHS copy of The Empire Strikes Back, an Optimus Prime figure, a lava lamp like the one my girlfriend got me for my 17th birthday. Watching it is to submit to that addictive, rose-tinted sadness that’s so hot right now. It’s Proust with power chords.

Staying High and Staying Focused: Fliptrix Talks 'Inexhale'

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When we last spoke to Fliptrix nearly two years ago, he described the UK hip hop scene as being “in the best place it's ever been”. It was obvious why he was in a buoyant mood: in the space of 12 months, he'd worked with legendary producer DJ Premier on a track for his Four Owls project and signed chart-busting up-and-comer Ocean Wisdom to High Focus, the underground label he runs from London. But having released six stellar LPs over 10 years, the one thing he deserved more recognition for was his own music.

Life In A Whirlwind: Mt. Joy Discuss Their Startling Rise

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Until a certain streaming service turned their lifelong musical fantasies into a reality, the members of folky Americana quintet Mt. Joy were on a very different path indeed. To retool an old saying, life as they know it happened while they were busy living other best laid plans.

Beginning, Middle and End: Ash's Tim Wheeler On Crafting 'Islands'

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Once we had survived a punishing winter that would have made even your average White Walker cling to their hot water bottle, it came time to talk ‘soundtrack to the summer’. As ever, the conversation pretty much started and finished with Ash. Possessing a typically enchanting feelgood factor that belied the heartache at its core, the Northern Irish trio’s new album ‘Islands’ was tailor made to accompany bright blue skies and long lazy days topping up your tan.

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