Jamie T – Don’t You Find

Jamie T, the South London lad. He’s been missing for some time now, 4 years to be exact.

But the troubadour, the man of the people is back and with something very different.

After announcing three small shows in Glasgow, Liverpool and Portsmouth he announced another show in London, due to how quickly his tickets ran out they almost seemed non-existent.

Firstly to answer the question on everyone’s lips; is this track worth the wait?

A resounding yes.

As evident in some moments off his second album, Kings & Queens, Jamie T can write some really heartfelt stuff when he wants to (Emily’s Heart being the main example), which is a great difference to songs off his first album, Panic Prevention, such as Back in the Game and Pacemaker.

His new single entitled Don’t You Find starts off with some very grimey bass, in the back of the track, and the introduction of the main hook where Jamie softly sings the lines “Don’t you find, some of the time, there is always some one on your mind”.

Now, there are rumours that he has been living in New York whilst being ridiculously quiet and if that is the matter you can almost hear the American influence with an almost Imagine Dragons – Radioactive sound in the middle 8, and an American influence in the production of the whole track.

But what is really most enjoyable about this track, is the amount of layered vocals there are. You can hear him going right out of his own range on the backing track.

Clearly Jamie T, has once again given his fans something to make the almost endless wait worthwhile, this track is atmospheric, creepy, in some parts bizarre but it’s all done simply and ridiculously well.

He’s back and I personally welcome his new album with open arms if this single is anything to go by.

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boxboxbox – Dive EP

My education in techno is very little to say the least. Though I am partial to the odd beat of the pretentiously named “Deep House” and can probably name four songs by Calvin Harris, Techno is still yet to be a subject of which I have picked up on extensively.

One thing I do know, is good music, I’d like to think I have a good taste don’t we all? So when one of the very kind people from Manchester Techno Trio boxboxbox sent me their EP entitled Dive, I felt my theory was if anything proved right.

The opening bars of Signals, with the looped piano and very softly sun vocals being sung over the top do set the tone for the EP. But the slow emergence of the beat at the end shows the two sides to boxboxbox, one of the great clichés of this genre of music is knowing when to “drop the bass” but it’s actually hard to do successfully and instantly within one track it’s clear that boxboxbox are more than aware of how to do it.

Second track, Chelonics, takes you right to the balcony of a hotel in Ibiza in the 1990’s, the song has a great sound and a wonderful beat. It’s one of the only tracks on the album that does not focus heavily on the vocals but the song is eclectic enough as it is and less is more after all.

The two tracks I GET WET and In Waves cool you down with some very mellow beats, but much like the other tracks they still keep you interested. I GET WET is almost like the ballad of the EP, the singer getting most of the attention and deservedly so as she appears to have a good set of pipes. In Waves teases you with the anticipation of a big beat at the end yet can only offer you a fade out.

Final track moonisgreaterthansun brings the EP to a very downbeat close, with the vocals for only the second time being the main part of the song, and it is overall a great performance.

The brilliance of boxboxbox, is that their songs aren’t your usual beefy techno songs, rather than that they have so much high tone in them that they almost seem fragile, like the song could break.

Get it for free here:
http://whoaskedboxboxbox.bandcamp.com/album/dive

Healing Powers-7”

First things first: the new Healing Powers record is fantastic. It is fantastic in every single way.

Second things second: it’s a screamo record. It’s harsh, it’s miserable, and it’s not going to be for everyone.

I’ve found it difficult to find a starting point for this review because there are just so many things right with this record. In recent years I’ve read article after article questioning the relevance or the staying power of modern “guitar music” written by countless music journalists and jaded ‘rockstars’ whose arguments always seems to revolve around the fact that stadium rock bands are not selling as many CDs as they would like. However it’s obvious that these experts have been looking in all the wrong places.

Emerging from a small yet hugely passionate and talented UK scene Healing Powers, and the bands around them (e.g. Bluebird, Renounced, Charlotte Light and Dark and countless others), are proving that if you want to find music that is emotional, beautiful and raw then you have to dig deeper and move away from major label releases.

The UK DIY punk scene, built up of ordinary people pumping their own hard work/time/money into music they love, is flourishing and the popularity of this record among ordinary weirdo punks like myself is testament to this.

While the EP is short –clocking in at just over 9 minutes- it’s packed with emotion and by the end of each listen you’ll feel a little numb from the experience. There’s juxtaposition between the simple yet soothing moments made possible by a gorgeous guitar tone, and the frantic sections laced with tortured raw vocal delivery. This clash is a huge part of what makes Healing Powers so unique, vocals that portray such anguish should not fit so well with beautiful soundscapes but somehow they do.

The songs on this record are carefully considered well put together and perfectly executed, and even though they can seem simple on the surface each listen uncovers subtle things that you may have missed when lost in the trance that Healing Powers put you in as each song flows perfectly into the next. Each listen leaves you longing for more.

On a side note, this morning I received my physical copy of the EP from Wolf Town DIY and it is just as carefully crafted as the music itself. The minimalistic cover art fits the record perfectly, and the lyric sheet has an eerie feel about it and Wolf Town DIY have admitted they made sure the lyrics were difficult to read on purpose which adds to the mystique around this band.

In conclusion, this record is fucking awesome. While it’s definitely not for people who enjoy music that’s easy to digest with super-accessible, catchy choruses, those who are interested in musicians that make weird whacky and wonderful music that your average person might turn his or her nose should definitely give it a listen. It’s a triumph for Healing Powers, it’s a triumph for screamo, and it’s a triumph for every band in the UK DIY punk scene slaving over the music they love.

9.5/10
James Stelzer (@JamesxStelzer)

http://healingpowers.bandcamp.com
http://facebook.com/healingpowerstheband
http://wolftowndiy.limitedrun.com/products/530426-healing-powers-7