Said the Whale is a local BC-based band that has gained a big following nation-wide. After four years without any new music they just released a new album on March 31, and they’re touring Canada all month long. So check out my thoughts on As Long As Your Eyes Are Wide below and find out when they’ll be hitting up your town!
Finally, I can announce that March’s artist of the month is Luke Pell! You may know him from JoJo’s season of The Bachelorette, where he made it to 3rd place and won the hearts of America along the way. Now he’s working on country music and touring the southern states with other Bachelor Nation alums.
Check below for information on his two singles from 2017: Pretty Close and Best Thing You’ve Ever Done!
We recently sat down with Will Carpenter (vocals and guitar) and Art Andranikyan (drums) to ask a couple questions. They’re starting off 2017 strong with the release of a single titled Up. Check out the interview, and links to their new single below!
Welcome your February Band of the Month, Ships Have Sailed! Consisting of Will Carpenter as vocals and guitar and Art Andranikyan on drums, they’re starting off 2017 strong with the release of a single titled Up. Check out the review, and links to submit questions for my interview with them below!
Earlier this month I reviewed Sandtimer’s new EP Mackeral, and now I’ve had the chance to sit down with Rob and ask him a couple questions – check out our interview below!
Sandtimer released their second EP Mackerel today, and I got the chance to check it out a bit early. Rob Sward and Simon Thomas comprise this indie folk duo focusing on simple guitar-based arrangements that were inspired by the sparse textures of early Appalachian folk.
Betty Who has been busy. After releasing her second EP in April and her first full length album in October of this year, she’s been on two tours across North America, and will soon be heading back to her original home of Australia as the opening act for Katy Perry’s Prism tour.
How’s your tour going?
It’s been pretty awesome, we’ve had a really fun run. It’s been very hectic, a bit of a whirlwind, but that’s the best part.
What’s been your favourite moment so far?
We had a great show in Portland last night, that’s definitely a highlight. I think the Minneapolis show that we had is probably one of my favourites of the whole tour. Such good vibes and a totally packed show which makes you feel really good.
Do you prefer smaller or larger venues?
It depends how full the venue is. I think it’s tough if you play a larger venue and a lot of people don’t show up. If you’re in a smaller venue it still makes you feel really good. They’re different ways of touring.
What are you looking forward to most, upcoming with the tour?
I think the last show of the tour is Los Angeles, which I’m getting very excited about. Also, we’re playing The Filmore in San Francisco in a couple days which is iconic, so those two shows will certainly be a lot of fun. I mean we’re almost done, I can hardly believe it. It feels like I’ve only just started. Then we take a flight basically the day after touring to Australia to open for Katy Perry for a bunch. Not a lot of rest!
We chatted with lead singer Charlie Ferriday in early January as part of our Band of the Month feature on his band Narrow Plains. We discussed guilty pleasure music, family support, and how their music has changed. Check it out below!
What would we find on your iTunes, any guilty pleasures?
As you’d expect, there’s a lot of folky rock – great artists and band like Ben Howard, Bon Iver, Daughter – but there’s also a really wide mix of sounds from new punk/rock (Jimmy Eat World, Green Day, Blink-182) to old soul classics. I’m going to see the 1975 play in London soon so there’s a lot of their stuff. I suppose my guilty pleasures are listening to some fantastic oldies like Fleetwood Mac and Bon Jovi. Also mmmbop is still one of the finest songs ever written!
How did you realize music was what you wanted to pursue?
We have all always loved playing to live audiences. Stu and I were in various bands together from about 13 onwards. Rog also played in a lot of bands at school. When I first went up to university, I couldn’t find people with similar musical tastes so I started composing my own songs and playing as a singer/songwriter. I played as often as I could at open mics and at local clubs and places like that but I always enjoyed it more when Stu and I played together as a two-piece. I had already realized that I was a bit addicted to music. When we left Uni, we all three got together to record the EP a couple of years ago and really enjoyed playing together so I guess that was the really key starting point.
Each of you started out in bands in high school. Were your families supportive of your ideas to go into music?
My parents and sister have always supported me and got involved with the band – we are even recording most of the album at my parents’ home. My Dad is our Manager and my Mum is an Accountant so she does all our books and tax and stuff. Stu and Rog’s parents have also always been right behind us and have come to some of our gigs. We recorded the EP at their Grandma’s house.
What kind of music did you focus on in high school? What were some of your favourite covers?
We played a lot of punk and rock covers. I guess my all-time favourites were things like Jimmy eat world songs or we loved played save tonight by eagle eye cherry.
You mentioned in earlier questions that you don’t use much technology or electronic sounds in your music. Do you think that sets your music apart from a lot of the current artists that do use those sounds? How?
We really believe in keeping our music simple and genuine. We try to keep overdubbing, fancy electronic sounds and technology to a minimum. Music for us is about just getting up there and playing so we try to play live as often as possible. I feel our songs reflect this as they are simple and can always be played live almost exactly as they were recorded. That doesn’t mean though that we don’t respect people who use those techniques. It’s just a different way of making music. in the future, we may develop our sound as we continue to evolve.
How has your style changed since your earlier endeavours?
Completely! As you get more confident, you try to find your own style and sound. Our playing is tighter and more of a unit. The songs that we are writing together today are more rounded and thought through. I think they flow better than our earlier attempts.
Where are some of the places you’d most like to see Narrow Plains play (either specific gigs or location-wise)?
Of course, our ultimate pipe dream is that we would love to do a world tour and meet some of the people who have been following us on social media, like Twitter. Perhaps, more realistically, we would love to play more festivals in the short-term.
How do you think social media like Twitter and Facebook has aided in the recognition of unsigned bands like Narrow Plains?
Massively! As an unsigned band, there is no way that we could have reached such a wide audience without them. A lot of our followers have discovered us through Twitter and other social media. We are great believers in social media as a means of communicating with people who may be interested in our music. They allow for two-way conversations so you really get to know what people are really thinking and pick up on their opinions and ideas.
You mentioned recording your first full length during this winter. How is that going?
We are still in the early stages but have a lot more new songs written that we are eager to get out. We hope everyone likes the new stuff!
If you weren’t in a music-related position, what would you be doing instead?
We are already all working full-time as the band does not yet pay for itself. I work in documentaries production, Stu works in events management and Rog is in environmental consultancy. We all live and work in or near London so our jobs take up a huge part of our lives. We always get together at least once during the week to rehearse and at week-ends we are either gigging or working on new songs and videos.
Are there any final thoughts you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you everyone who is downloading and enjoying the music. We hear a lot of amazing things and it’s fantastic to hear! As an unsigned band, having an active fanbase is extremely important. Hopefully we can bring you some new music in the near future!
Almost two years ago Charlie, Stuart and Roger joined together to form Narrow Plains, an acoustic folk band from England. Charlie Ferriday (guitar, lead vocals), Stuart Connick (drums, vocals), and Roger Connick (bass guitar, vocals) were each in different rock and punk bands during high school, constantly competing for their school’s rock band competition. Despite continuing on their separate paths for university, Charlie and Stuart ended up coming together and playing multiple gigs as a two-piece band before finally forming Narrow Plains with Stuart’s older brother Roger. Since then, they have recorded an EP Somewhere in Between and have now performed at a number of prestigious venues such as the 02 Academy 2, 100 Club, and Shoreditch Festival. Currently, they are “entirely focused on the new album,” having written lots of new tracks that they’re looking forward to touring with. For the month of January, TRW is featuring Narrow Plains as our Band of the Month and to get you warmed up, here’s a sneak peek of our interview with lead singer Charlie Ferriday!
How did you come together to form Narrow Plains?
The band only all came together about 18 months ago. Rog hadn’t played in a band for a few years after school but we started discussing playing some original acoustic-based material together as a three-piece band. I already had a few songs that I had written and performed as a singer/songwriter. We borrowed a house in Dorset for a few days, took our instruments, some recording equipment, a whole bunch of junk food and the odd crate of beer and rearranged those songs so that they would fit a band format. We thought that the songs sounded great and so we recorded all five tracks on the EP in a few days. Our music is quite simple and we try as much as possible to record it in the same three-piece set-up as we play it live. We don’t really use any overdubbing or fancy electronic sounds or technology. So, the main thing for us is getting the arrangement and the sound right.
What is a quick lineage of your music from when you started to where you are now?
After recording the EP, we were really keen to play our songs to a live audience so we played any and every gig available including a lot of open mike sessions. Since recording the EP, we have written a bunch of new songs as a band and performed most of them live. One of them, ‘Take Me Back’ is available as a video on YouTube. Our main target is to record a full album of our material. We have cleared our gig calendar for the end of  so that we can focus on getting our new songs arranged and recorded.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
The new acoustic/folk movement has definitely been an inspiration. Especially bands like Mumford & Sons, Ben Howard, Noah and the Whale, and Bon Iver. I must admit that my guitar playing has been influenced by Newton Faulkner, particularly the slap technique that I use on some of our songs. We went to see him play a number of times when we were at school as he came from the Caterham area. However, we also like to think that our songs are original and draw on a number of different styles and genres. As we were growing up, modern American rock music sparked all our passions for music. We were (and still are) into bands like Jimmy Eat World, Blink-182, and Foo Fighters. Some of our riffs and rhythms definitely draw on these.
Check back later this month for our full interview with Charlie and a review of their EP! There’s still time to send us your questions for Charlie by tweeting us @TheReviewWeekly, and don’t forget to check out their Facebook and Twitter!
The Paper Kites started the Canadian leg of their States tour at a sold out show at the Lucky Bar in Victoria. After Reuben and the Dark ramped up the crowd with their high energy set, The Paper Kites came out for a dreamy show of songs from their two previous EP’s, Woodland and Young North, and their new album States.
Full of energy and ready to put on a great show, they came out to an excited audience and kept it up the entire night. At one point, everyone but Sam Bentley leaves the stage for a quiet few songs. The intimacy of those moments were perhaps my favourite part, as we were given this added connection with some new songs. The comfortable nature Sam had on stage created a friendly atmosphere that rarely seems as genuine as this.
Christine Lacy’s ethereal voice seems to fade away in the live setting as the instruments overpowered her feather-like voice. On some songs, such as Cold Kind Hand, her voice is allowed to shine without the heavier vocals and instruments many others off their new album has which had me searching for more of her.
Lucky Bar has a talent of catching some of the best acts to come to Victoria, and the rustic setting suits the indie bands to a T. For more shows at Lucky Bar, check out their site!