- FREAK OF THE WEEK
- HAPPY FRIDAY
- MULGAS ZOMBIE ZOO
- INSIDE THOUGHTS OF NOW
- IMAGINARY FRIENDS
- CREATURES FROM THE URBAN JUNGLE
- CREATURES OF THE NIGHT
- BARKING MAD
- GODS AND MONSTERS
- ANCIENT RULERS OF BRITAIN
- 5W+1H = ARTIST INTERVIEWS
- 1 MINUTE CREATURES
- GETLIFFE – BUNNY STRIPS
- ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
- AROUND THE WORLD
- WHO’S THAT CREATURE?
- SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND
CREATURE EDITIONS (2006-09)
BROWSE THE ARCHIVES
Stairs to Korea consists of one exceptionally talented young man, Will Vaughan. The eagerly awaited EP ‘Small Fractures’ possesses something that has been absent in pop music for a long time. Playing a multiplicity of instruments, Vaughan has carefully merged fragmented pop chords with synthesised guitar strums to create delicate harmonies. When listening to Small Fractures, it becomes clear why Vaughan himself has received wide critical acclaim from the likes of Steve Lamacq and 6 Music.
To fully comprehend Vaughan’s artistic delicacy, it’s best to begin with the second track on the EP. ‘Paul, is this how you want it?’ begins with an undeniably jolly, 80’s-esque synthesis of happy harmonies. Enlisting the help of delicate guitar strumming, and simple vocals, a track is created which becomes difficult to flaw. Gaining impressive plaudits and immersing into the airwaves of NME and Radio 1, it is obvious that Vaughan is in for some serious success.
Subsequently, the track ‘All of your Friends’ emulates the sheer technique enlisted by Vaughan to generate broken harmonies into elusive, heartfelt and subtle pieces of music. The slightly heavier strumming heard are contrasted with simple lyrics, creating an interesting bridge between a lyrical story created by Vaughan, and a catchy, melodic tune that leaves the listener hooked.
Again, Vaughan regenerates the Pop music genre by coinciding heavy backing beats with faint instrumentals. ‘Guy Fawkes’ is a perfect representation of this; erratic pop synths are elongated to create simple verses, slowly introducing the chorus and regenerating Vaughan’s signature vocals. Ascending into an abyss of fragmented chords, ‘Guy Fawkes’ closes on a gentle set of string harmonies- a solid end to the EP.
With choruses evolving in to broken harmonies that infiltrate Vaughan’s gentle vocals, it becomes clear why Stairs to Korea are not to be ignored. Having previously been signed to Brainlove Records, Small Fractures will be released under his own record label, named ‘Now…No NOW’. It will be available on CD and as a 7” Vinyl, and will be released on July 18th.
BEST TRACK: ‘Paul, is this how you wanted it?’
SOUNDS LIKE: Noah and the Whale, Mystery Jets, The Magic Numbers.
Small Fractures EP by Stairs to Korea, to be released via Now…No NOW on 18 July 2011.
The Darlingtons three track debut EP, aptly named New Independent, has firmly established this fledgling band on the list of up-and-coming talent. Originating from the Somerset town of Taunton, this four piece indie group has gone from strength to strength; playing gigs from Shrewsbury to London and signing to Ordered Records, an independent label. Their recent live dates in the capital have certainly not gone unnoticed within indie circles and momentum is growing for this south western band. They are a group who want to keep their feet firmly on the ground, while creating head turning music. Released on the 25th July 2011, New Independent certainly offers a taste of things to come for The Darlingtons.
This is the kind of EP you could imagine listening to on a hot, long summer road trip- don’t let the track ‘Winter’ fool you. The Darlingtons have definitely scored points with their sweeping guitar melodies and confident beat. ‘It Hangs’ checks the pre-requisit box for the toe-tapping qualities and resonating tune one would expect from an indie band. As the chorus kicks in the track explodes into a raw and expressive sound; a sound which continues to evolve throughout the rest of the tracks on the EP. ‘Sirens and Flashing Lights’ again treats the listener to another blast of hard-hitting melodies, where clear influences from The National can be distinguished.
The lyrics to each tune on the EP will strike a chord with the listener. They tap into something which each and every one of us can relate to; love, hate, ambivalence, the words cover it all. Maybe this is the norm within modern indie rock, yet the lyrics in New Independent seem to hint at a different class of song writing.
New Independent has a similar sound to indie contemporaries such as The Editors and White Lies. Perhaps its forlorn lyrics, the lead singer’s doleful voice (reminiscent of Ian Curtis of Joy Division) or the injection of synthesizers which draws us to that comparison. On the flip-side there is also something idiosyncratically fresh about the band.
Whilst The Darlingtons are aware of their originality, their uniqueness will become more obvious with time. That being said, New Independent is a fantastic breakthrough EP for such a young band. Brilliantly thought out and musically engaging, the tracks really set The Darlingtons in good stead to make it big.
RATING: 4/5 The calibre of the tracks are impressive and indicate this band is one to watch out for in the near future.
SOUNDS LIKE: Joy Division, The Editors, The Rakes, White Lies, Manchester-indie scene