All posts tagged Dutch Uncles

Koalas – Home Heart

This month marks the 10th anniversary of my arrival in Manchester, and it seems fitting that I’m introducing a new band tipped by Dan Parrott, one of the many unsung architects of the modern music scene here. We first crossed paths back when he was working as music producer on Channel M – a much missed local station that gave debut television broadcasts to the likes of Deerhunter and Laura Marling. His label Love & Disaster, released early tracks from Everything Everything, Dutch Uncles, Delphic and the criminally underrated Airship.

Now running Low Four; a multifaceted music project utilising a beautiful and iconic recording space in the old Granada Studios – Parrott is once again putting his energy into helping new artists. With a focus on music programming/online streaming, it’s undoubtedly going to help re-affirm Manchester’s international reputation, as well as give a home to some of the city’s brightest talents. Having already recorded a live session there on the basis of a handful of demos, synth pop act Koalas are one of the first to benefit.

Led by composer and vocalist Samuel Jones; it’s clear that Koalas songcraft has been patiently and lovingly honed, with debut track Home Heart immediately hitting all the right notes. Co-produced by Brendan Williams (Dutch Uncles/GoGo Penguin) the hidden complexities of the track slowly reveal themselves, fluttering between ideas and textures fluidly to create a reassuringly warm and nostalgia tinged sound. Influenced by Caribou and Boards of Canada; an appreciation for sonic experimentation is balanced delicately with the desire to tug at heartstrings with gorgeously subtle pop harmonies. Vocalist Rachel Waters hushed words merely tease at her true abilities.. but then a little bit of mystery only adds to the allure. In contrast Jones’s chorus swoons and shimmers, dancing nervously around, waiting for an opportunity to break free.

Phill Young

PLAYACTING – Dance Steps


It’s always a beautiful thing when an artist starts to realise his or her own potential, watching them slowly make the transition from a spark of an idea to fully formed musical wonder.

Manchester’s Evan Wilson has been making tiny steps these last few months with PLAYACTING; his ideas about song form and creation have always been built around a sense of playfulness, but with new track Dance Steps he’s made one giant leap, retaining the pure joy and innocence of his previous work but managing to turn it into something more substantial…. something more real.

PLAYACTING support Kiran Leonard tonight at Gullivers. Buy tickets here:

Phill Young

Playacting – Pratfalls EP


Manchester’s Evan Wilson aka PLAYACTING has produced one of the finest collections of music I’ve heard in a long time with debut EP Pratfalls. An intricate, layered affair blending acoustic and electronic elements: a celebration of his failures, fears and survival.

If you detach yourself from the emotional context, you’ll discover a colourful world built around atypical rhythms with an array of sounds. You get the impression that whilst the artist and subject matter might be introvert, the music itself is extrovert – playful and uninhibited. This is what you get when you give an overactive imagination the space to expand.

It is important to note though, the emotional context is what truly makes this music work. Wilson wears his heart on his sleeve and its impossible not to respond to that. Pratfalls is unpredictably beautiful.

[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=1560866543 size=medium bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5]

PLAYACTING plays Fallow Cafe this Saturday:
‘Pratfalls’ EP Launch Party w/ Tekla

Phill Young