So we had some big big news last week in YHM Towers. And no it wasn’t the news confirming that The Operators were to headline The Peter Westropp Memorial Trust‘s Stropptoberfest at the weekend (as massive as that was), it was that a track co-written by one of the Your Hands Music mega lads, Charlie Westropp, had been selected for release by the ruddy amazing Callum burrows aka Saint Raymond. WOOOOHHHHOOOOO!!!
Now I know this isn’t strictly sticking to my normal remit here in the New Music Takeaway, cos I have already blogged about Saint Raymond here well over a year ago, whilst regular followers will have noticed that he also featured in my Special Crimbo New Music Takeaway, and in the Weekend Warm Up recently as well. And adding to the honour of appearing on this site multiple times, he’s had quite a few other minor things happen for him since those posts too. Stuff like featuring in NME Radar & the Guardian’s Band Of The Day, getting loads of airplay on Radio 1 from Zane Lowe amongst others. Being compared by multiple journos & industry bods to peeps like Bastille, Police, Simple Minds, Vampire Weekend, Bombay Bicycle Club. Gigging with Gabrielle Aplin, Haim, & this very week Ed Sheeran at the O2, with whom he became label mates, having been signed by Asylum Records, which is also home to Rudimental, Charli XCX, and other good people. He’s also had previous singles remixed by the likes of Kele Okereke (Young Blood), Alt-J (I Want You). You know, real minor stuff. Bottom line is he shouldn’t really be here on the NMT, cos, well, he’s big time already.
But I’m still gonna post this for several reasons. Firstly, he’s not released an album yet so can still kind of, be classed as ‘new music’. Secondly he’s friggin’ awesome and thirdly we’ve got a personal connection to him and his project, so we’re obviously gonna try and not so subtly help him whenever we possibly can.
Which brings me back to Callum’s forthcoming single (co-written by our bruvver Charlie Westropp, just in case you forgot, along with friend of YHM Nick Atkinson, & Callum himself). It’s a fucking tune. Indie pop at it’s absolute best, I think you’ll agree. It’s out in a little while on the 30th November (don’t worry I won’t let you forget), but if you are worried about it slipping your mind, you can pre-order it right now on iTunes here, whilst, in the meantime, tiding yourself over by streaming it daily on either ours or Callum’s soundclouds (for ours click here, all Saint Raymond links are below). Or alternatively, you could, go see ‘This Is Where I Leave You‘ which is out on the 24th October (already out in the U.S.), starring loads of big massive movie guys who you’ll definitely know from previous stuff like Tina Fey (general funny things- 30 Rock, The Oscars, etc), Jason Bateman (Arrested Development, Horrible Bosses), Timothy Olyphant (the main cowboy/ U.S. Marshall dude in Justified), Jane Fonda (your mum’s old workout VHS/ DVDs), Rose Byrne (lads will remember her in X-Men: First Class, girls as the bitch in Bridesmaids), because ‘Fall At Your Feet’ is featured in it!!! That’s another little minor thing that’s happened for Callum, Charlie & Nick too…
For now though why not just have a little listen right here:
It’s a real goodun’ that innit. So now that you’re lovin’ that track why not take a little sneaky peak at all Saint Raymond’s social pages so you can get the low down on everything he does from now on. Here’s his linky dinks- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Soundcloud, Website. And if you wanna see what other projects our main man C-West (new nickname I just made up for Charlie) is getting involved with now and in the future, then you may wanna get following our sites/ pages too, so here’s the links to that shiz- Facebook, Soundcloud, Twitter & Instagram (yes we’re on instagram now too).
The 2 Bears - The Night Is Young
Firstly, I wanna start off with a very quick apology for this weekly round up coming a day late this week, but it’s not late for no good reason. You see, I was out at the weekend having loads and loads of good honest fun for a great cause. That cause being one very close to our hearts here at YHM, the Peter Westropp Memorial Trust. The theme of this year’s bash being Stropptoberfest (get it?). And it was a funking amazing night, filled with sausages, lederhosen, suitcases & great tunes. Belter. In fact, naughty me, I probably had a little bit too much fun, if yous knows whats I mean? And being the young explosively athletic man I am, run through with fast twitch muscle fibres, I felt shattered and required a full two day recovery period on sunday & monday. Roy just wouldn’t understand, but thankfully the booze-science department at YHM does, and gave me the recovery period needed to get back on my game as soon as possible without risking injury. Obviously the result of this extra recovery period is that the week’s Remember Me? & POTW got pushed back a day each. But hey ho, we’re here now. So let’s get it on yeah?
Continuing that theme of fun though, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of such a wonderful night when I finally made my way through the week’s releases and so, was naturally attracted to the album from the two jolly looking chaps above, Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, & Raf Rundell, aka The 2 Bears, called The Night Is Young. Anyone who listened to their debut, Be Strong, will know that these are a couple of lads that like a good ol’ time. After all, the promo for that debut, was spent mostly running around the country pissing around gigging in full bear costume (the ones hung up behind them in the piccy). LADS. And on this their second album, they most definitely carry on the party, with their at times darkly comic lyrics & insanely fun, 80′s & 90′s influenced pop house. As witty as it is danceable, all you can do when listening, is smile and start tapping your feet, nodding your head, or even pulling on a bear suit and throwing some shapes. It’s the ideal antidote to your mid week blues. And hey, the one plus with this write up being a day late, you’re a day closer to the next weekend anyways. Goodo…
BEST OF THE REST
Jessie Ware - Tough Love
Think maybe it’s time to take it down a notch now hey? Yeah. And let’s do that with the loverly Jessie Ware’s latest effort, Tough Love. Back in early 2012, maybe even 2011, my readers will know that young Jessie was just another of those girls providing their sultry vocals to minimal dance tracks of the time, until I plucked her from obscurity and made her one of my ‘New Music Takeaway’s. And with that moment providing the major breakthrough she had been working towards, she’s not looked back, soon after, becoming both a Brit & Mercury Award nominee and now working with big guns like Ed Sheeran and YHM fave, (and the busiest man in music, possibly the world) Devonte Hynes. On this second album, you can hear the result of that shift into the big time as she’s aims her ultra smooth, 90′s r’n’b squarely at the mainstream, with bigger sounding production, and a slightly popper vibe. Good on her, she’s now where she most definitely deserves to be.
Kindness – Otherness
Bit of a divisive figure is Adam Bainbridge (or Kindness). Some people view him as a bit of jazz/ dance/ soul experimentalist savant, others an uber pretentious, self indulgent, hipster twat. Personally I think he’s really good, so would lean closer to the genius side, although I don’t think he’s quite consistent enough to be considered there yet. On Otherness, his second record, (a lot of ‘second albums out this week, hey?) as on his debut, World, You Need A Change Of Mind, he demonstrates exactly what I mean. There’s some true moments of greatness here, collaborations with Robyn, Devonte Hynes (that man again), & Kelela, are all high points, but there’s a few too many meandering, noodly moments on the record as a whole for it to be up there with the best. If I gave albums ratings, it’d be a solid 7-7.5, but with some tighter control (or maybe he works better with others around him to play off?), it could easily have been a 9.
Ex Hex – Rips
Let’s get back to the fun now shall we? This time though it’s gonna be via the medium of guitars, power rock’n’roll and stuff rather dance music in bear suits. Funny how this week’s two most enjoyable records have come from older bands, do older people just have more fun (I wouldn’t know LOLZ)? On this evidence, it certainly seems like it, as where the likes of Kindness & Jessie Ware still seem a touch to cool for school, The 2 Bears and Ex Hex, a supergroup of three, 30 something ladies who’ve been in loads of other acts in their time (Wild Flag, Helium, The Aquarium, Benjy Ferree), as well as solo projects, both seem more concerned with banging out the stuff they wanna play, rather than what they may think the cool kids wanna hear. Whereas The 2 Bears, use synths & programmed beats, Ex Hex go with big guitar riffs to create pop hooks, you’ll be hearing in your head for the rest of the day. Maybe it’s time us youngsters (cough cough), start taking a leaf out of their books and stop trying to be cool and just be cool eh?
Kele – Trick
Last but very certainly not least it’s Bloc Party’s Kele with his second venture as a solo artist (yep, another second album…), Trick. Whilst his debut, The Boxer, seemed to be an exercise in Kele’s dark liberation from the shackles of the indie world, employing a scattergun approach in dance styles, it was a little bit all over the place, showing moments of real promise but kinda feeling like a record suffering from ADHD. He was the proverbial producer in a sweet shop, wanting to try a little taste of each sub genre’s flavour. On Trick, however he appears to have settled himself down, and found a direction he’s comfortable with and it’s without doubt for the best. Taking it’s cues from mostly downbeat 90′s house, there’s more of an emotional connect here than displayed previously, giving the record a warmer, more personal vibe. It’s his strongest effort for a number of years, and defo worth a few spins.