Alternative Friday

Spreading the word about great new music

Forget ideas of a grey autumnal mixtape, as this is a wonderfully bright and eclectic mix of tracks, taking us from indie to dance, and art rock to ambient electro. I love ’em all, but which are your favs?



Plume of Feathers – First Date
Dua Lipa – Be The One
Indri – Je Ne Sais Quoi
Felix Hagan & the Family – Kiss the Misfits
Estrons – Make A Man
George Cosby – Ritual Blush
Racing Glaciers – Seems Like A Good Time
Wennink – Dissolve
A Love Like Pi – Wide Awake


BorderScout QnA2
UK duo Border Scout have already appeared on Alternative Friday, in New Tunes #38, as well as in a couple of Mixtapes. so you could already tell we were fans. If we described them an ‘electronic’ band however, we’d be doing them a disservice, as their music is a dazzling mix of experimental, cinematic, orchestral, as well as electronica, with warm vocals, velvet melodies, and some highly polished production too. Their debut album, The Nature of Things, is out on Friday October 30th, but read on to find out what bonsai gardens, flying, and frizzy hair have to do with rock ‘n’ roll…

Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

~ You’re a male duo who got together last year, but we don’t know much else about you, so how did you meet, where are you from, and roughly how old are you?
We met at a very early age because we are brothers and grew up together in Yorkshire. We’re young enough to dream, old enough to be wise.

~ Where are you right now, what are you doing, and what can you see?
One half is currently in Crete with a blue sky, great sunset, sat in a taverna. The other half is in studio working on a remix with the view of a bonsai garden!

~ Who would you say are your main musical influences?
Pink Floyd, Vaughan Williams, Clint Mansell, Massive Attack, and Jon Hopkins.

~ Have you played many live dates yet?
There should be a few one off shows in 2016. We’re taking our time with live. It needs to be big, bold and unique to match the scale of the album. We have some fairly radical plans for a more filmic approach to live that is a re-imagining of what music shows and cinema can be.

~ Some of your songs feature Stoney, but who is ‘Stoney’ and how do you know him?
Stoney is a mysterious figure, floating between Texas and Yorkshire (and here), who is a solo artist in his own right. We met through the owner of cult house label Paper Recordings who had the vision to know we’d work well together.



~ How long has it taken to write and record the album, and what was the biggest challenge?
The album has taken 2-years in earnest, but some ideas were sketched out long before that. It has been gestating for a while, but only came together as a whole piece of work recently. The biggest challenge was squeezing all of our ideas into the mix. This is where The Cinematic Orchestra producer and mixer Allen Farmelo really helped. He came in at the end of the production to provide us with his ‘Guiding Principles’ which helped us focus and make the whole record coherent. He then took our rough mixes and made sure everything had its place. Allen works from this amazing rural old schoolhouse on the US East Coast and has made this cool custom API mixing desk and still uses analogue tape. This blend of modern digital editing from our end and his old school mixing approach totally gave us the sound we wanted.

~ Which famous song by another artist would you love to have written yourself?
We are having one each! Radiohead – Nude. Portishead – Roads.

~ If you could collaborate with a well-known musician, who would it be?
One each again. Billie Corgan & Lykke Li.



~ Are there any other new bands or musicians local to you in the North East that you recommend we check out?
Tessera Skies are doing some cool moody/dreamy indie tunes.
Razmataz Lorry Excitement does great electro pop.
Trafik have a new album out soon, upbeat and downtempo dance music.
A lad called Jordan Riley helped us a bit during live recording and he is doing great on the London songwriter/producer scene working with the likes of Ella Eyre. We are trying to talk him into releasing music as an artist himself!

~ If you could each have a superpower, what would it be?

~ What song would you sing at a karaoke if no one you knew was watching?
Elvis Presley – Suspicious Minds

~ And finally, whose hair would you like to have, if only for a day?

Mind the Gap! This latest Mixtape covers everything from a bit of indie and alternative, through to electro, house, and something quite hypnotic! I love ’em all, so I hope some of these excellent tracks appeal to your inner earworm too. Enjoy…

Stereopol – The Hitch
Mosley Bar – Record Sleeve
Souls – I Wait For You
Zurich – Small Wars
The Rooz – Violins & Animals
Border Scout – Let’s Pretend We’re Dead
GirlBoy – Girls Won’t Mind
Leader – Live Like Kings
Ernesto Alonso – Moonshine
The Pocket Gods – Bermuda Rectangular

There’s a wonderfully eclectic mix in this latest New Tunes, taking us from blues rock to Nordic indie, via pop, grunge, and a musical noise! I love ’em all, but which is your favourite and where do caffeine and nice food fit into things? Enjoy…

Broken Witt Rebels – Shake Me Down
This Birmingham 4-piece are from the UK, not Alabama, but their soulful blues rock takes a lot of influence from the best southern rock such as Kings of Leon. Air guitar hasn’t had it so good in ages… in my front room anyway. Quite brilliant.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


Owen Duff – Nobody Loves a Tortured Soul
East London based Owen Duff is a singer-songwriter and videomaker, who says he has “a tendency to prioritise unusual chord progressions & extended metaphors over most other things”. I can’t compete with that, so I’ll just say it’s a charming and warm piece of melodic pop. Surely guaranteed to make you smile?
Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Stereopol – The Hitch
If you love a bit of Nordic indie pop with a chorus to rival your caffeine addiction then this track by Oslo 5-piece Stereopol should have you hooked. Something tells me they wouldn’t need to sing the chorus themselves when playing live, as the crowd would take over vocal duties. Play on repeat and it becomes more addictive than an espresso!
Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Man Ray Sky – Ether Song
This band say their genre is “musical noise”, and that their interests include “nice food”. I won’t argue about the food bit, but I’d describe this fuzzy scuzzy song as a mix of psychedelic & shoegaze rock, with dreamy vocals and a highly melodic tune at its core. Suited more to a dance floor than a mosh pit… which works for me at my age! [he’s injury prone, Ed]
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Rival State – Stay Strong
Lovers of ferocious grunge rock should be all over Rival State, who are originally from New Zealand but now based in London. With Stay Strong they also prove that it can be loud but also have a killer chorus, while I’ve seen them live a couple of times now, and can vouch for their excellent live performances too! One to wake the neighbours up with!
Website | Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook


We’ve featured the floor filling indie dance music from Leeds band Apollo Junction before on Alternative Friday, but now they face a ‘grilling’ in our Q&A, so read on to find out how, er, talentless they are, and what Rocky Balboa and Homer Simpson have to do with rock ‘n’ roll…

Website | Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter | Facebook

~ How would you describe your music for those who may not have come across it?

That’s a tricky one, we have quite a diverse range of music and we have been compared to so many different bands from U2, Oasis, Biffy Clyro, 80’s stuff, someone even said REM once. We have guitars, synths, pianos, drums, strings and lots of vocals. We think the best bet is to go here and listen!

~ Your website says you were “former band rivals” when you formed in 2012. What was going on there then, and if you’d remained in different bands, which would have been most successful, and why? *attempts to encourage a punch up*

It was 3 bands, and I think we all know they wouldn’t have been successful, as the other members were stopping us from going in the direction we wanted to go individually, not musically, but more directionally. Individually we want to be in the biggest band in the world and when you have someone in the band who is satisfied with less you will never achieve your goals. We all have the same directional goals, one direction… good name for a band that.

~ Do you have any band rules / touring rules?

We don’t get drunk before we go on stage, we see that as an insult to the fans they come to see us at our best so we deliver that. We make sure we keep the backstage and bus a really positive place to be, no negative vibes and 1 hour before we go on stage we all do our warm ups and that’s it then we are on. As we said, any rules we have are there to give the fans the best show, they’re our main focus.



~ What’s the best advice you’ve received about making music?

“Let me tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, nobody is going to hit as hard as life. But it ain’t how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how the winning is done.” – Rocky Balboa

~ If you could claim one song as your own – wiping the original from all memory – what would it be?

Below are the top ten grossing songs of all time take your pick.

10. ‘The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)’, Mel Torme/Nat King Cole.
9. ‘Pretty Woman’, Roy Orbison.
8. ‘Every Breath You Take’, The Police.
7. ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’, John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie.
6. ‘Stand By Me’, Ben E. King / Jerry Leiber, and Mike Stoller
5. ‘Unchained Melody’, Alex North and Hy Zaret/The Righteous Brothers.
4. ‘Yesterday’, The Beatles.
3. ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, The Righteous Brothers.
2. ‘White Christmas’, Irving Berlin.
1. ‘Happy Birthday To You’, Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill/Warner Chappell.

Other than that I think Suspicious Minds would be a nice one to finish the set with.

~ Who are your musical Guilty Pleasures?

We caught Jamie listening to Ed Sheeran recently, Jonny listens to a lot of Country and Western, and Matt likes a lot of early house stuff like A Guy Called Gerald. It’s not guilty through, we would rather someone called us musically un-sophisticated than musically ignorant. You can take influence from anywhere, and when you stop doing that, your music goes very stale very quickly.

~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician, who would it be?

We have discussed this and we have a list: Sir Paul McCartney, Prince, Noel and/or Liam Gallagher, Robert Smith, Jarvis Cocker, Paul Simon, Damon Albarn. It would also be great to work with a Calvin Harrisesc person, or someone like Jay Z or Kanye just to see how they would drive our sound. We wouldn’t want to do one of those patronising tripe collaborations though, as that’s embarrassing for everyone involved (mentioning no names *Cough* Paul, Kanye and Rhianna *Cough*).



~ Do any of you have any hidden talents?

No, we are truly talentless outside of music, it’s quite funny… we were asked to enter a band footy tournament and whilst we all love football we just didn’t want to embarrass ourselves so we gracefully declined. Musically though we are all pretty impressive! Hmmmm just thinking if there is anything, Jamie thinks can draw Homer Simpson quite well, and Matt can quote every word of Ace Ventura Pet Detective… as we said, pretty talentless.

~ Are there any other new local bands or musicians from Leeds you that you recommend we check out?

Loads, yeah we have a great scene… Neon Dolls, Vendettas, Narcs, Allusondrugs, Vitamins, Clay, and Calls Landing.

~ What’s the most rock ‘n’ roll thing you’ve ever done?

Formed a band with our best mates, toured all over the country, sat in a room together listening to our tracks being blasted out on a national radio, then woke up the next day with hangovers from hell, and picked up a national newspaper to see they have describe our song as “magnificent”!

~ If you could curate a festival stage, what five bands/artists would you invite to perform?

Matt – U2
Sam – Arcade Fire
Jamie – Noel Gallagher (but he is begging him to reform Oasis)
Jonny – Fleetwood Mac
Ben – Prince

~ What have you got planned for the rest of the year?

Well we have just signed to a local label and we are planning a release through them, the new one is a belter it’s called ‘Born For Now’, then the boat is sailing down the river nicely, it seems a shame to rock it too much.


Summer may be over, if it ever began, but the excellent tracks in this month’s mixtape should give you a balmy feeling, amongst a few others! Enjoy…


Charlie Belle – Petting Zoo
Dodo Bones – Tell Me Now
Swoons – The Side
Memoryy – Feeling Sinister
Emma McGrath – Honey
Geraint Rhys – Klein’s Decline
The King’s Parade – Bunched Up Letters
Emae – Know You
Lear Lake – Shadows
The Wood Burning Savages – Premier League


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