What’s not to love about Manchester’s Hartheim? Their bold sonic assault blends fiery passion with a fine-tuned aesthetic. Their music videos are arresting and brave. There’s a primal quality to their tunes, the best of which have the ability to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
Welcome To Hartheim is brooding and convicted, a reverent force of nature occupying musical territory somewhere between Joy Division and early Puressence. Arpegiatted guitars chime, gritty vocals loop like a mantra. It’s tense and compelling – a joyride through some dark, exotic wonderland. Honed by Sways mainstay Martin Hurley, the steely production makes for an addictive listen. It forces you to want more – to play the track over and over until you’ve had your fix. The climatic ending is pure catharsis – an exhilarating experience you wouldn’t want to miss.
Given that I’m a closet wrestling fan, I was always going to be attracted to a band called Face + Heel. Consisting of Sinead McMillan and Luke Taylor, I discovered this Bristol based electronica duo thanks to stunning remix they did for my friends Ghosting Season. Having then got pretty much obsessed with a track called No Stars, I’ve stayed with them ever since. The self-released Chipped Tooth EP is a masterclass in intimate electronica, deep synths and lovelorn vocals building around a glitchy and yet soulful production. Face + Heel open up Sounds For The Other City for Now Wave at Peel Hall this Sunday.
Chris Horkan who runs Hey! Manchester is an instantly recognisable figure around town, with his viking-esque beard and gentle frame (although it should be noted that beards are not unusual for Manchester promoters). He was one of the first people to give me advice when I first starting putting on events and I must have listened, because here we both are, still doing what we love. Looking through his Sounds From The Other City line-up this year, one name immediately stands out: Gay.
Largely ungoogleable but as their name suggests, Gay have a very carefree art-rock style… Talking Heads meets Grizzly Bear? The Toronto based act will be making a rare appearance on these shores and I’m looking forward to seeing how their songs will translate live. I think they could be perfect for a sunny day; poetic pop music with a slightly unpredictable nature.