Alternative Friday

Seeking out & supporting great new music

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



Welcome to the latest Q & A with Diederik van Wassenaer, frontman of Dietrich Jon, who are from Bloomington, Indiana. One of their on line bio’s says they were… “formed by Stockholm-native and cheese connoisseur Rolf van Dinckelstein. Originally cast for the soundtrack of a student film about fish, the band soon started to emerge in the Bloomington, Indiana ‘Daince’ rock and alternative cow punk scenes”, but what however, has national debating, and a four-in-one tuner, capo, bottle-opener and cigarette lighter got to do with rock ‘n’ roll, and who should have exploded by now?

Soundcloud | Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook | Reverbnation


~ Describe your music and influences for those who may not have come across it?

I guess what we’re trying to do is create interesting pop music. We love hooks, we love messing with the standard verse-chorus form and we love narrative songwriting. At the same time, we’re trying to make music we like and find interesting, both lyrically and texturally. That combination of interests can sometimes lead to a bit of an identity crisis within the group, but we’re starting to find a common thread. We’re big Bowie and Johnny Cash fans, and have some pretty eclectic taste overall, but lately me and Connor (who plays bass) have been listening to a lot of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and HAIM, an all-girl group from L.A.



~ How did you all meet?

Most of us ( four of our six members ) met while playing in a bluegrass group called ‘The Underhills’. We all met in a college dorm and recorded our first EP in a dorm room. Since then, we’ve toured throughout the Midwest and the South. I was in a different band with our drummer, Mark Edlin, who has a tendency to be in 10 bands at the same time. About a year ago, I set up this project with Mark and Connor Grimm, our bassist. Before that, I’ve been primarily a fiddle player; basically a side-guy. It took some convincing to form the group but I think the struggle for great material has proven to be a great foundation for this band.

~ You’ve recently gone from a 4-piece to a 6-piece band. What was behind the decision to expand?

We’re all good friends and it was more so a natural decision to make, since additional members have only added to the sound. We’re not big proponents of exclusivity, and beyond that, it’s also easier to have fun on stage and engage the audience with more people in the group. We’ll have to think more about the logistics on the road, but it’s only worked in our favor so far.

~ If you could collaborate with a well-known musician or band, who would it be?

Probably Kendrick Lamar or Bootsy Collins. Maybe T-Pain? I think all of them would nail it.

~ What’s the most rock ‘n’ roll thing any of you have ever done?

I had a band in high school that played acoustic folk punk. Although we weren’t great, we managed to make some good memories. We once raided our semi-annual christmas concert, unannounced, by covering ourselves in mud, dressing in nothing but loincloths and being as loud as possible with the help of a trombone, an accordion, a garbage can and a couple of very large sticks.

~ And the least?

I think our guitarist Peter Doyle won a national debate championship in high school. Not very rock ‘n roll at all. He’s gotten better at it though.

~ Are there any other new/lesser known bands from the Bloomington area we should be checking out?

Absolutely! Sleeping Bag and Mike Adams At His Honest Weight are both great Bloomington bands, as well as our bluegrass group The Underhills.

~ What are your musical Guilty Pleasures?

Probably ABBA (how can you not like ABBA?) and for some of us (ahem) Dave Matthews Band. Don’t worry, they won’t be with us for long.



~ Which famous person would you love to get to drive your tour bus, and why?

Henry Rollins would be a great driver, although he might eat us. It would definitely be an experience.

~ If you could invent anything, what would it be?

A four-in-one tuner, capo, bottle-opener and cigarette lighter. We’ve actually had this one in mind for a while. If we patent it, you’re welcome to pre-order.

~ You’re at a music festival and the following artists clash with each other; The Black Keys, Garth Brooks, The Rolling Stones,
Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, Dolly Parton. Who do you go and see?

Dolly Parton of course! she’s totally underrated, one of the best singers and songwriters of all time, and it’s honestly a miracle she’s still around since she should have exploded by now.

~ What do you have planned for the next few months?

We’re in the process of recording our first full-length, which is largely happening in the cellar of a gay bar. We’re not kidding. We’ll be releasing a single or two in the next few months leading up to a tour of the Midwest in January, where we hope to sell t-shirts displaying a toilet. After that, we’re hoping to attend South By Southwest in March, and more touring and releasing until we open for an 80-year old David Bowie in drag, which is ultimately the goal.

I hope you enjoy this warm-up to the Best of 2014 show coming soon…


Two Weeks Running – Bullet Train
Shangri-La – Jetplanes
Kid Wave – All I Want
Dan Croll – Compliment Your Soul
The Vaselines – High Tide Low Tide
The Shallows – Running for Cover
Public Service Broadcasting – Signal 30
Geraint Rhys – Think Again
Mourning Birds – Eve of the Isle
Benjamin Booker – Violent Shiver
Annie Eve – Ropes
The Rough Cuts – Brown Cigar
Your Explosion My Mind – Eyeball Kick
Emil Friis – No More Workmans Blues
Damon Albarn – Heavy Seas of Love
The Black Keys – Weight of Love

There’s some outstanding melodies running right through these latest New Tunes tracks, which take us from Stockholm to Latvia via a few stops in the UK, but which is your favourite?

Of Empires – Gimme What I Need
From their debut EP, Stranger Sensations, this is an impressive piece of blues infused rock ‘n’ roll from Brighton band Of Empires. If you like it as much as I do then head to their website where the EP is available as a free download!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Chirping – Ambitions
Hailing from the northern suburbs of Stockholm this 4-piece band came together in 2011, while Ambitions is undoubtedly a superb three and a half minutes of synth laden and highly polished indie pop. You can also catch the video here.
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Carnival Youth – Octopus
I think this is our first New Tunes visit to Latvia, but it’s been well worth the journey for this ridiculously catchy and rhythmic indie dance track by teenagers Carnival Youth. If they keep this quality up, we’ll surely be back there again soon.
Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook


Shangri-La – Control
Control is another track from a debut EP, this time by Aberdeen band Shangri-La, who formed a few years ago while still at school. Theirs is a nicely noisy indie rock sound, which works for me!
Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

As always there’s a feast of new music in the show. Enjoy…


Chirping – Ambitions
The Inkhearts – Temper Temper
Catfish & the Bottlemen – 26
The Districts – Rocking Chair
Ezra Furman – Anything Can Happen
Shy Nature – She Comes She Goes
Fat White Family – Touch the Leather
Of Empires – Gimme What I Need
John Newman – Cheating
Of Monsters & Men – Six Weeks
Johnny Panic & the Fever – Dark of Night
Dexters – Oceans
Martin Carr – Santa Fe Skyway
Jamie T – Zombie
Young Rebel Set – Lion’s Mouth
FM Belfast – Underwear
Metronomy – The Upsetter


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