Towards the end of last year, a mysterious new Swedish outfit called YOUTHCULT emerged, releasing a handful of tracks that led to early WU LYF/MONEY comparisons. Artistically they certainly seemed to be nurturing a similar sound/ideology, and with such heart on sleeve influences the trick was always going to be in the execution.
A few months on and with the reveal of Bored, I’m convinced that any initial excitement was worth having. It’s the kind of music that leaves an impression, asking more questions than giving answers… both intimate and majestic at the same time. As each guitar chord chimes, hints of Explosions In The Sky-esque post-rock bloom from within, creating a passionate, expansive piece of work. Bored is a dark vision surrounded in an air of innocence, you’ll want to listen again and again to make sure it doesn’t disappear.
“Formed in Oslo in 1992 by Kristian Andersen and Fenrir Riis, Rainbow Torches were a pretty unremarkable black metal band”
If, like me, you find yourself working in an environment that slowly rots your brain… it is at least a reassurance to know moments of escapism are never far away. It’s difficult to know how to describe Rainbow Torches, a weird and wonderful project involving former WU LYF drummer Joseph Manning, but Black Metal Holiday could easily be out of the Ariel Pink canon. A menacing introduction contrasts beautifully with the unrelenting and joyous music that follows; innocent vocals that sound beamed in from another era.
Towards the end of last year, I had the pleasure of sharing a bill with Francis Lung, Bernard & Edith and Kirin J Callahan. Lung’s performance interested me most that night, as it was the first time I had seen him solo, and I felt excited at the prospect having been a fan of WU LYF.
Age Limits was a beautiful experience, emotions spilling out. The crowd slowly inched forward for his set, clearly captivated by his stage presence (and sharp white suit). They began to sway and dance, the song that provoked them into this reaction was A Selfish Man. The melody is pretty much unstoppable, bodies can’t help but move. The lyrics are in confrontation with this: tense, reflective, full of discontent. Manchester needs to embrace him with open arms.
Tru Luv seems to have been the only new music blog not to spend the majority of December making lists and predictions. To be honest, we’ve hardly written anything at all during the festive period, instead spending it considering our approach for 2014… which will be revealed in the near future. One thing we will continue to do is to avoid writing about industry hype artists (hype that can only be creating by a huge marketing budget). I want Tru Luv to have a distinct and unique voice, and the only way to do this is to provide content that is largely undiscovered.
Manchester’s Ménage à Trois are still largely undiscovered, but if they keep dropping tracks like Cowboy (taken from last years The Bogans Of Death mixtape) it’s only a matter of time before people start paying attention. Cowboy is a brooding, intense affair… with gorgeous longing vocals, reaching for heights they never quite find. The video which features a man, smoking his cigarette, watching New Year’s fireworks is a beautiful and stunning accompaniment, adding much to the tenderness of the song.
Look, its very hard these days to create something truly original, and those that do are usually dismissed as oddities who could never translate ideas into mainstream success. Every artist has influences… its just some choose to wear them more brightly than others.
With that in mind Y O U T H C U L T are a Swedish outfit (brought to my attention thanks to CITR) with a sound heavily tied to Manchester’s MONEY and WU LYF – its epic, heavenly stuff with a devastating ambition. And you know what? I can’t do anything but LOVE it.
I’ve been meaning to write about Manchester’s Ménage à Trois for a while, but the stunning video for new track White Noise has finally given me the kick up the backside I needed. Consisting of vocalist Jonathan Flanders, Craig Langton and Wu Lyf’s Joseph Manning, they’ve managed to create a sound that is both playful and heartbreaking.
White Noise demonstrates an ability to surprise too, with its Daft Punk’esque electronica, especially since the last track they released was a cover of UB40, which truly showcased Jonathan’s Hutchcraftian vocals to their full devastating effect. Treasure this band, because its not often these days that great pop music arises from a non-manufactured place. Me? I’m declaring my love now.
Ménage à Trois – Don’t Break My Heart (UB40 cover Live)
Buy limited edition mixtape ‘Bogans Of Death’ at this link: