Posts Tagged ‘accessible’

3rd March 2023

Christopher Nosnibor

Where does the time go? I type this with a rising panic in my chest, the same one which kicks me awake at 5:30 most mornings. I may often panic about the mounting chores and deadlines, the crumbling state of my house and cost for repairs, but mostly I panic about time and its passage. How is it 2023? How is it March already?

However much time you think you have, you always have so much less.

And so the arrival of the new break_fold album is something which both elates and trips me. It’s been six years almost to the month since the first break_fold release, 07_07_15 – 13_04_16 , which in turns reminds me it was thirteen years since Tim Hann’s previous musical venture, I Concur, were an active band. What happened? The simple answer is, of course, life. It happens when you’re not looking. It’s hard not to feel nostalgic for that time: it was a period of discovery. The Brudenell was still emerging as a venue, and putting on lots of local acts, and at the launch of their debut album, I Concur sounded immense, like they could be the next U2 – only not cocks and unencumbered by a Bono, of course. You get the idea. They were just SO good. But then… life. It gets ahead of you.

Tim Hann has been tinkering as break_fold for a while now, because ultimately creatives can’t simply stop creating, even if it’s at night working in the cupboard under the stairs or the shed. You can’t help it. However tired you are from work, life, parenting, there’s an itch that can’t be scratched any other way, and ultimately, it has to be done.

And it’s been done nicely here, a year on from the release of the single ‘Welwala’, which features on This Was Forever and again, I have to pinch myself. Again, a year already?

The title – and perhaps it’s just me – bears an element of melancholy. It was forever, but now…? Well, nothing is forever, and the realisation that something forever has a finite existence is something sad and regrettable. The title track spins together shimmering top synths over stuttering beats and rolling mid-range create a dynamic tension and a certain sense of drama.

This Was Forever is a set of solid instrumental electro with some deep grooves and some dark, jittering moments. It is, overall, easy on the ear, ‘Everything Affects Everything’ mines a dark seem that’s pure 80s movie soundtrack. Indeed, the vibe is strongly eighties for the most part, not least of all with the cracking snare sounds that drive some of the faster pieces – but then again, this type of one-man synth-based style is ultimately contemporary, possible due to the wealth of inexpensive software that has meant that making music is possible for anyone with a laptop. But with such availability, it means you have to be good to stand out. And break_fold’s output showcases Hann’s ear for atmosphere, for range, for texture and form.

‘Welwala’ is one of the album’s standouts, and packs some energy in a track that’s actually danceable, if you’re that way inclined. It’s a solid, meaty groove. Grooves and beats are perhaps the defining feature of This Was Forever, with the murky undercurrents of ‘Did I Say it or Just Think it?’ landing in the space between latter-day Depeche Mode and Ghosts-era Nine Inch Nails. At the lighter end of the scale is the buoyant ‘Mishby’ which bounces along in an overtly synthy-piano way, with the beats backed off a way.

This Was Forever is the kind of album you could pop on while working without getting distracted by it – and sometimes, that’s just the kind of album you need.



Clever Recordings – 21st October 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Hot on the heels of ‘No Chains’ in the summer, Sleep Kicks follow up with ‘Neptune’ as we fade into autumn. And there’s something of an autumnal feel to the reflective feel of ‘Neptune’.

‘Was it an act of spite / Or was it the unrelenting time / That pulled you away that night?’ Terje Kleven questions contemplatively at the beginning of the song against a warm, rolling bass and rhythmic blend of piano and chilly synths. The vibe here is distinctly early Interpol, and it suits the band, and the song, well.

Kleven’s moderate baritone rides some deftly chiming guitar that breaks into a strong chorus where the synths come to the fore and sweep upwards to forge something uplifting while still tinged with a taint of melancholy.

Yet again, Sleep Kicks have dropped a killer tune that balances darkness and light, depth and immediacy, in an example of outstanding songwriting craftsmanship. Or, put simply, ‘Neptune’ is another great tune from a consistently great band.

26th November 2021

James Wells

Following on from the single releases of ‘Climb’, ‘I A Fire’, ‘Hold the Line’, and ‘What is a Life?’, Reading four-piece Third Lung have delivered their much-anticipated new EP, Dialogues Of The Fatal Few.

Three of those aforementioned tracks are featured here, and while it would have been obvious and easy to have released a five-track EP featuring all four with the new song on offer here, that they’ve gone for a more succinct release means that Dialogues Of The Fatal Few is a much more focused and cohesive release, and not a complete rehash and compilation.

Opening with ‘I A Fire’ sets the stall out nicely, and while it’s mid-tempo, it’s bold and anthemic, and recalls the spirit of circa 2004 when Keane broke through with ‘Somewhere Only We Know’ and the single releases from Coldplay’s A Rush of Blood to the Head were all over the radio. Bear with me. In context, these weren’t bad tunes which hinted at considerably more than the tedium that would follow from both bands. ‘Hold the Line’ is perhaps the strongest song in the set, balancing brooding and dark with a blossoming sunburst chorus

Piano ballad ‘The Art of Stealing’ reveals a different facet of the band, and while it’s clearly not a single track, illustrates the benefits of EPs and longer form releases. It also provides a well-placed change in form in context of the EP, bringing things down a notch or two between the monster tunes.

There’s more to Third Lung than straight-up anthems: lyrically, they’ve got some depth and are worth listening to, although I suspect that’ll likely be secondary to their career trajectory, and with such a knack for big tunes, it’s surely only time before they’re big, too.



Youth Sounds / Cadiz Entertainment

Christopher Nosnibor

Well, this is a surprise, and I say that without sarcasm. The lead single from Youth’s debut solo album is a breezy slice of indie with a heavy 60s folk influence.

But then, Youth has always been a man of surprises. His transition from Killing Joke bassist to producer and remixer of some incredibly high-profile mainstream acts including U2 and Erasure, via recording as a member of 90s dance act Blue Pearl and back to playing bass with Killing Joke and juggling infinite other projects is an incredible feat, and while I might consider his lack of commitment to any one thing uncritical, it’s clearly apparent that he’s an artist who can turn his hand – and successfully – to anything. I suppose the only real question is ‘what does he truly believe in?’ or ‘who is the real Martin Glover?’

The press blurbage for the album, out in November, and its eclectic range does attempt to shed some light one this:

‘Growing up with the sound of 70’s pop radio and bands such as Smokie, Pilot and Bay City Rollers – some of the tracks here are a flashback to those times and the initial inspiration of a thirteen year old Youth to write his first songs. ‘Sha La Laa I Love You’ and ‘The King Of The Losers’ are intimate, honest and have a naïve and innocent pop sensibility that are underpinned with regret and loss. He’s also took [sic] inspiration from psychedelic pop and English folk rock and his own words, he was thinking – “Everything from Nick Drake to Led Zeppelin, through a lens of Fairport tripping out with the Velvet Underground with a couple of Beach Boys, all the way to Cohen and Rodriguez, via Jim O Rourke, jamming with Fred Neil and Bert Janch and Michael Rother.’

Yes, Youth has been around, and so absorbed and assimilated a lot of stuff, and ‘Spinning Wheel’ brings many of those different pieces together, starting with a keen ear for melody, with the added bonus of some nice, subtle harmonies. Objectively, it’s a neat and accessible pop tune, and you can’t say fairer than that.

28th February 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s a question many of us ask at some time or another – usually in the face of some existential crisis, or moment of isolated reflection. Because really, what’s the point? We’re only born to die, with a short period punctuated by pain and occasional glimmers of joy in a desert of drudge that consists largely of working (if you’re ‘lucky’) and sleeping (again, if you’re ‘lucky’). We’re but specks in an infinite universe and about as useful as cockroaches, only more damaging to the environment.

With this single, Airport Impressions get ponderous against a spacious sonic backdrop, where an understated bass leads the verses, which break into an immense swell of a chorus that’s unquestionably anthemic, even arena-scale, but without pomp or pretence. ‘Why Are We Here?’ has clear commercial appeal but without in any way being dumbed-down or numbingly bland. And that’s surely a winning formula, and at least answers the question of why Airport Impressions are here.


31st January 2020

Christopher Nosnibor

Salvation Jayne have been regular features here for a while, and it’s been an enjoyable journey seeing them evolve. ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ is overtly rock, and continues the trajectory of its predecessors, but the verse nods at a post-punk vintage with its chorused guitar line.

Similarly, while it may lack both the hook-heavy immediacy of ‘Burn in Down’, ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ presents a different aspect of the band, and also showcases what some may call a more ‘mature’ approach to songwriting.

More of than not, ‘mature’ translates as middle-aged and dull, and it may lack the grunge-drive fire of ‘Cortez’, but in the context of ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ I’m talking restraint that precedes explosions, and nicely, because nuance and the measured slow-build intro give an even bigger impact. And let’s be clear here, the chorus still crashes in with some chunky riffage. It’s just more refined. It’s also a fist-pumping song of self-affirmation.

Is now a good time to sit down and discuss punctuation? Probably not, but it matters, and Salvation Jayne’s latest instalment inspires that conversation, however brief. ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ is a comma (and an exclamation mark) away from Lou Reid, and I’m going to assume it’s intentional given that its placement works in context. And for that, I like them even more, because nuance and detail matter, and besides, it’s a cracking single.


Copy of SJ Edit High Res-61