Alternative Friday

Spreading the word about great new music

Souls is the solo project of former Skint & Demoralised member David Gledhill, whose brilliant debut track ‘I Wait For You’ won an Alternative Friday award in 2015. The same concept, of using vocals taken largely from rare American Field Recordings from the 1920’s & 30’s, is repeated on their debut album ‘Release’, however Bad Girl makes a Showreel appearance because it’s not just a wonderfully soulful gem, full of uplifting brass and fascinating vocals, but also an outstanding video, made by JJ Augustavo and shot in New Orleans, which captures the mood of the track just perfectly.


iTunes | Soundcloud | YouTube | Twitter

These mixtapes seem to get more eclectic by the month, and the bar to entry seemingly gets higher too, so while I love all the tracks, I’m confident you’ll come across a number of new gems as we travel though some psychedelic-pop, ukulele rock, tropical folk, alt indie, ambient instrumental, and more. Enjoy…


Super Best Friends Club – Humans
Black Honey – Hello Today
San Blas – Zaid
Gizmo Varillas – Freedom For A Change
Monico Blonde – Breathe
Joe Probert – Shake This Fate
Marsicans – Absence
Palm Honey – Bones
Climbing Trees – Amber
Alex Smyth – CXCVII

This latest New Tunes is both an excellent and an eclectic bunch, as we float between psychedelia, blues rock, post punk and, er, Cymrucana? They’re all hugely impressive though, so enjoy ’em, and spread the love for your favs…


Super Best Friends Club — Humans
It’s not easy to describe this gem of a track, but I’d use the words psychedelic, energetic, and infectious yet crazy. There’s a bit of 60s organ, some jazzy percussion, and lots more. Either way it’s an unconventional but engaging 3 mins 41 seconds of excellence, but if you can describe it better than me then answers on a postcard please.
Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook


Wilderado – Wheat
This LA 4-piece describe themselves as an ‘indie rock’ band, but there’s more depth to them than that, as they’ve also got a plaid-shirted alternative blues feel, which comes across perfectly in this track from their recent EP Latigo. They’ve struck gold with Wheat, and it’s not even the lead track on the EP!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Climbing Trees – Amber
This soaring track from South Wales band Climbing Trees, starts slowly but builds into quite an anthemic & alternative folk song (they interestingly call it “Cymrucana”), with gorgeous harmonies and a layer of strings that complement the guitars and drums just perfectly. Strong vocals and polished production also help to make this a track which reveals more with each listen. A heart warming treat.
Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


October Drift – Losing My Touch
October Drift have been described elsewhere as “sugar coated power-rock”, but giving them a ‘pop’ style label does them a disservice, as evidenced by this dark and heavy, almost post-punk track. I can vouch that they’re excellent live too, and they’ll be touring their new EP in October, so listen to them, then go see them!
Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube


St. Albans duo Starseedz are Jon & Catrine, whose charming and melodic tunes have caught the attention of not just Alternative Friday, but also an influential independent label, which led to them playing an event at this year’s The Great Escape festival in Brighton. They’ve recently been featured in a Mixtape, but now they face a Q&A grilling, however what do roast potatoes, breathing underwater, and cat dancing have to do with rock ‘n’ roll, and who would take the lead roles in ‘Starseedz – the movie’? Read on to find out…

Website | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook | iTunes


~ What’s the background to the duo?
We have both been in various bands prior to Starseedz. We started working together in a band called Spacechik, which caught the interest of Mushroom Records and EMI, and played at the Soccer 6 celebrity football tournament which was great fun, plus we got to hang out with lots of cool people. Starseedz grew out of that after Jon and I decided to become a duo and take on a more acoustic sound.

~ You recently released your debut single – Miss You – but how would you best describe your music, and who have been your main musical influences?
The best fit would be kind of Alt Indie, folk, pop. I’m not sure if our music is directly influenced by any one band or genre but we like to listen to a range of music from Crowded House, Family of the Year, Night Beds, Blondie, Lou Reed, Bowie, Rufus Wainwright and Radiohead.



~ You’ve recently hooked up with End of the Trail Records. How did that come about?
We posted a track on Fresh on the Net, and Kelly from End of the Trail heard it and liked it and it went from there. He contacted us through Soundcloud.

~ Who were your musical heroes when you were growing up?
Jon: Thin Lizzy, The Beatles, The Doobie Brothers, The Who.
Catrine: Marc Bolan, Blondie, Beatles, Lou Reed, The Shangri La’s, Tracy Thorn.

~ What’s the most memorable gig you’ve ever done, and if you could play live at any venue in the UK, where would it be?
Jon: I played Hammersmith Odeon as a support to Saxon!!!. I’d always wanted to play there since seeing Thin Lizzy there for the first time. I’d love play The Albert Hall with Starseedz.
Catrine: We supported Paul Young at The Horn in St Albans with his band Los Pacaminos. That was quite cool. My dream would be to play Glastonbury.

~ Are there any other new musicians local to you in the St. Albans area that you recommend we check out?
Emma McGrath is a very talented young artist who is making waves in the music scene, & we also really enjoy watching Katie plus Juan.

~ If you could claim one song as your own – wiping the original from all memory – what would it be?
Jon: Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.
Catrine: Sunday Morning by Lou Red, because it always gets me every time I hear it. I love the simplicity, yet the power of its emotion.

~ If you could collaborate with a famous musician or band, who would it be?
Jon: Neil Finn, I love his songwriting and voice, I’d like to think we would work well together.
Catrine: Lou Reed, as I absolutely love his songwriting and the rawness to his productions. I also think he would have a few stories to tell and would be a laugh to hang out with.

~ If you could curate a festival stage, what six artists would you invite to perform?
Jon: Family of the Year, Half Moon Run, Bombay Bicycle Club.
Catrine: The Mystery Jets, Sia, and The Staves.

~ Aside from music, do you have any other creative skills? (or obscure talents!)
Jon: I make the best roast potatoes.
Catrine: Cat dancing.

~ If you could have a superpower for a day, what would it be?
Jon: I’d love to be able to fly. And breath underwater. [Two! a bit greedy, Ed]
Catrine: To read people’s minds.

~ Who would you choose to play you in a blockbuster film about your musical lives to date?
Jon: Johnny Depp
Catrine: Cara Delevingne


When an indie tune is as catchy as Mixtape 2003 it’s hard not to play it on repeat, so when the dynamic video by Finn Keenan is added it’s no surprise that this track from Irish 4-piece The Academic is getting the attention it deserves (I’ve already ‘tipped’ it here). A song and video in perfect unison!


Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud | iTunes | Bandsintown

The best of the summer may be behind us, but there’s a wonderful array of musical gems in the September mixtape to brighten your day, ranging from radical indie and alt rock, to electro synth, soulful pop, and more. Enjoy…


October Drift – Losing My Touch
Arch Birds – Find You
Mickey Cupid – Summer
Wilderado – Wheat
Man & The Echo – Distance Runner
Red Rum Club – Everybody’s Friend
Starseedz – Miss U
Concrete Caverns – That’s Why
Easy Wanderlings – I for little things
Richard Walters – U

Newcastle musician Alex Opal (real name Alex Butler) loves beards & moustaches, as well as 60s music & fashion, and they all come together just perfectly with the help of his distinctive vocals, and an entertaining video by Ollie Rillands, in this delightfully catchy two minutes and nineteen seconds of this lively and polished ode to Suzy (who has apparently trapped him in a corner). The question is where to place it… so is ‘quirky pop’ a genre?


Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

%d bloggers like this: