Alternative Friday

Seeking out & supporting great new music

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This first Q & A of 2015 is with Chris King, an Americana influenced singer-songwriter from south Wales. When he was 22, Chris moved to Nashville for a year to learn song-writing, and it must have been a great influence, with the wonderfully melodic tunes and heartfelt lyrics he writes proving a testament to his abilities. He released his album Light Nights in November, and has previously appeared on Alternative Friday in New Tunes #23 and #27, as well as to win a recent 2014 award! So read on to find out more about him, which include the circumstances upon which he would perform That’s Alright Mamma by Elvis!

Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

 

~ What made you want to be a musician, and when did you first learn to play an instrument?
I remember seeing this band called the Space Cakes, and the way the guitars sounded blew my mind. From then on I was hooked. Two days later I bought a guitar, I think I slept with it for the first few years. Everything I’ve given to it I’ve got back in spades. Sometime its the only thing that keeps you sane.

 

 

~ What was the highlight of your year in Nashville, and what did you most gain from your time there?
It’s eleven years ago but seems like a lifetime away. I met a guy called Gerry Vandiver who had wrote the Lion’s share of Tim Mcgaws hits. He had been in Nashville for nine years pitching, writing, and working a night job for nine years before he got any success. Nine years is a long time but he was a believer. The way he spoke about song writing and ambition was like the way an old man talked about his wife. It was inspirational.

~ Who are Hotel Radio?
Hotel Radio are any musicians that are involved with the making of the record. They all have other commitments but are happy to be involved because they’re all mates and we have a great time.

~ What did you find most challenging about making the album Light Nights?
It’s always the resources that are an issue, and other than that the experience was a good one. I can’t get enough of the studio and I love working with different musicians. I don’t like to sit still and I like the feeling that the engine is running.

~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician or band, who would it be?
One of my song writing heroes has always been Ryan Adams and I’d love to have the opportunity to work with him one day.

~ What song of yours are you most proud of and why?
It always changes but at the moment its Light Nights. The songs are like your babies but some babies are prettier than others. Its the title track of the album and I’m very proud of what we achieved.

 

~ In 2013 your track True was in New Tunes #23, where we said the “smokey vocals and a wonderful melody add up to quite a superb track”. Given how strong the song is, why isn’t it on the album?
It’s a song I’m very proud of but it just didn’t fit with the rest of the album. The support you’ve given it is amazing. I’d like to hope that people can still check it out.

 

~ If you could change one thing about the music industry, what would it be?
I’d like to take away the toxic talent shows and push creativity. It’s out there, it’s just the interest isn’t strong with the background noise.

~ What are your plans for 2015?
Another album and hopefully an American tour. I don’t like to sit still for long.

~ Are there any other new Welsh artists you recommend we check out?
Everyone seems to be talking about Pretty Vicious at the moment, but I’d also check out The Moonbirds and Delyth Mclean. Both bands are from my hometown and are well worth a listen.

~ If you could invent anything, what would it be?
I’m not sure to be honest. A hangover cure would be useful for the way I feel at the moment.

~ What song would you sing at a karaoke if no one you knew was watching?
That’s Alright Mamma by Elvis.

~ What’s the least rock thing you’ve done in the last few months?
I’ve recently become a father so I could probably give you a list if things that are not rock ‘n’ roll, but I’m loving every minute of it.

~ Johnny Cash, Neil Young, or Bob Dylan?
Bob Dylan every time.

As mentioned this week, the Alternative Friday Night In show is taking a break. Fear not though, as the same great new music that was played on the show will still get an airing, via a new soundcloud playlist. So if you love a bit of indie, electro, cinematic, heavy, or mellow music, there will surely be something here for you. Enjoy…

 


Filter Distortion – Frequency Modulation
The Phantoms – Stop
Liu Bei – Goodness
Black Honey – The Taste
Indigo Sixteen – Decide
The Districts – Peaches
Gaz Coombes – 20/20
Jamie Hamilton — Past Midnight
Chris King & Hotel Radio – Light Nights

Hi all

Just a quick note to say that for the forseeable future, the Alternative Friday Night In show is on a hiatus while the studio is ‘re-decorated’. Before you shed a tear / raise the roof though, the great new music that has been featured in the show will still be brought to you via a new monthly Alternative Friday Mixtape.

So… keep ‘em peeled, and have a listen to the excellent new, independent, and unsigned artist tracks that will be included, and as always think… what could possibly go wrong?

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Happy New Year, and welcome to the first New Tunes of 2015, which has tracks ranging from the nice & noisy to the soft & mellow. I love ‘em all, but which ones will you fall for?

Pretty Vicious – Cave Song
Pretty Vicious are an unsigned teenage indie rock band who formed last year in Merthyr Tydfil, South Wales, while Cave Song is a superb two minutes and fifteen seconds of energetic garage influenced rock. Play it loud!
Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

 

Moth Effect – Look Nicely
If you love your psychedelic rock mixed with electronica and a dark hypnotic beat, then this instrumental from Moth Effect, aka Andy Le Gresley from Sussex, will surely be to your taste. It’s taken from the upcoming debut album Crocodilians, which I can assure you is rammed full of equally excellent tunes. Keep ‘em peeled.
Soundcloud | Twitter | Sunstone Records

 

Nick Liam – Cocoon
The soundcloud track is modestly titled as a demo, but this intimate piano led song from London based singer-songwriter Nick Liam is anything but a raw demo, as the warm vocals, melodic instrumentation, and clean production are quite outstanding. More demos please!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

 

Polar States – Concrete
Coming from Liverpool, Polar States are making some wonderfully catchy indie pop, of which debut single Concrete is a perfect example of this. They haven’t sat around congratulating themselves either, as they quickly followed it up with a new double A-sided release, which you can hear via the links below.
Website | Soundcloud | You Tube | Twitter | Facebook

It’s surely been another great year for new music, and so as it draws to a close let’s reveal our Alternative Friday 2014 awards, which don’t just include the odd mainstream category, but, possibly bizarrely, also venture into neighbours from hell and weather related territory!! So who are the winners…

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Best EP: Johnny Panic & the Fever – Sleep the Sleep of Fever

 

Best debut album: Dexters – Shimmer Gold

 

Best (and most youthful!) newcomer: Rory Wynne

 

Best song to keep annoying neighbours awake: Mourning Birds – Eve of the Isle

 

Best late night track for friendly neighbours: Chris King & Hotel Radio – Light Nights

 

Best instrumental: Moth Effect – Look Nicely

 

Best song about the, er, weather! (and best lyric): Akira the Don – Rain in England

 

Best live performance: Empire Affair – Dublin Castle, London, December

 

Best dirty blues track: Benjamin Booker – Violent Shiver

 

Best vocal: Charlotte Francis (Lost Winter) – Coming Home

 

And finally… the track I never tire of hearing: Lonely Tourist – Another Statistic

 

A fine set of winners, I hope you agree? Now roll on 2015…

Welcome to the Best of 2014 show! Hopefully you love all the tracks in the show, I certainly do, but please let me know your favourites of the year that I didn’t include. Enjoy…

 


Three Kings High – Nothing Left To Lose
Lonely Tourist – Another Statistic
Rubblebucket – Carousel Ride
The Holidays – Tongue Talk
Chirping – Ambitions
Johnny Panic & the Fever – Car on Fire
Port Isla – Steamroller
Shy Nature – Lie Back
Dexters – Can’t Sleep
The Hosts – Give Your Love To Her
Circa Waves – Young Chasers
Catfish & the Bottlemen – 26
Alvvays – Archie, Marry Me
The Family Crest – The World
Skaters – Miss Teen Massachusetts
Rory Wynne – Post Party Confusion
Slydigs – Stiff Upper Lip
Royal Blood – Little Monster
Darlia – Dear Diary
The Black Keys – 10 Lovers
The History of Apple Pie – Tame
Future Islands – Like The Moon

 

The five outstanding tracks in this latest New Tunes cover numerous genres. I love them all, but which is your favourite?

Two Weeks Running – Bullet Train
From their new EP, Human Nature, this track from Bolton 5-piece Two Weeks Running is fast, furious, highly addictive, and with a chorus that should have you hooked from the first listen. Impressive!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Gigmit

 

Geraint Rhys – Progression
This is the fourth self released track from Geraint Rhys, a bi-lingual singer songwriter from Wales. He describes the song itself as “written about neglect in society and how we no longer care for the things that once gave us relevance”, and so while the lyrics may therefore be downbeat, the music is definitely the opposite, as it’s a wonderfully catchy mix of guitar led folk & pop.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

 

Crash Island – Time To Move On
From their new Stormy Nights EP, lovers of energetic indie rock should enjoy Time To Move On by Crash Island, a four-piece band based in Stoke Newington, London, however the band members hail from Spain, France and South Africa. That international mix of backgrounds certainly helps to add an eclectic range of sounds to their music, so it has more of a tropical rather than traditional indie rock sound.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

 

Lost Winter – Coming Home
From their recent Autumn EP, Coming Home is a heart warming synth pop song, which again highlights the gorgeous vocals of Charlotte Francis, and the polished production that characterise all their EPs. You can find out more about them from the Q & A they did with us in July.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Charlotte Francis

 

Rival State – Aces
Originally from New Zealand, but currently based in London, Rival State play their rock just as it should be heard… loudly! I managed to see them recently, so I can also add that they’re quite brilliant live too. Turn it up!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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