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New Music by Region #6

New Music by Region #6

by Hector Barley, 23 August 2011

Welcome to the sixth edition of New Music by Region. Every fortnight we aim to present the best new music in 8 major cities and regions from across the UK. With the help of regional correspondents, we plan to present our shortlist of new music in Brighton, Cardiff, Dublin, Glasgow, London, Manchester and Oxford.

New Music by Region #5 can be found here!

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  • Name: Chris Simmons – ‘The Watchmaker’
  • Website: Myspace
  • Correspondent: Gary Scattergood

Brighton-based singer-songwriter Chris Simmons packed-out one of the city’s bigger venues for his album launch gig earlier this month. Backed with a string quartet, the partisan crowd was treated to the majority of tracks expected to feature on next year’s LP ‘The Boy Will Learn’. Stand out number The Watchmaker is a beautiful, yet sorrowful, tale written with Chris Difford from Squeeze. If you like the poppier sides of Damien Rice, David Ford and Matthew Jay, then you need to give Simmons a listen.

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  • Name: VVOLVES – ’Birds in Berlin'
  • Website: Bandcamp
  • Correspondent: Jake May

Energetic yet thoughtful, VVOLVES are a youthful four-piece split between Cardiff and Monmouth making ‘guitar music’ largely without the use of guitars. Instead they are syntheseizer-led; making fast-paced, interesting, catchy pop songs with influences ranging from The Cure to Ladyhawke. Oh, and that’s vvolves with two v’s, not wolves with a w. Don’t ask. They’re a productive bunch, so find lots more of their recordings floating around the internet.

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  • Name: Squarehead - 'Midnight Enchilida'
  • Website: Bandcamp
  • Correspondent: Barry Peak

There was a time when all indie bands craved the approval of Morrissey, so when he was seen nodding along at a recent Squarehead gig it's no surprise that Ireland's twitterati went into a little bit of a frenzy. A celebrity endorsement is nice but with Squarehead it's totally immaterial. These tunes, as unashamedly pop and unapologetically fun as anything on the first Weezer albums, speak for themselves. Big tunes, big choruses: big things may be imminent.

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  • Name: Randolph's Leap - 'Going Home'
  • Website: Bandcamp
  • Correspondent: Rory Cargill

Teenage acoustic-folk group Randolph's Leap have been described as "Folk infused majesty, sharply amusing, a perfect amalgamation of music and storytelling". What starts out sounding like standard bedroom singer-songwriter music soon evolves into something more interesting, with a lot of nice attention to detail. Rich harmonies with just the right amount of the sweet Scottish accent creeping through in the vocals. Check out the video for this song for a pretty entertaining ski bail.

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  • Name: Adults, the Elderly and Children - 'Hochzeit for a Wedding'
  • Website: Bandcamp
  • Correspondent: Liz Jones

Are you listening, Sargent House? It’s everything you, and I for that matter, could have wanted - the perfect amalgam of indie pop hooks and math rock guitar chops. The new EP from London’s Adults, the Elderly and Children gives obvious nods to the some of the subgenre’s finest – Maps and Atlases, This Town Needs Guns, and so on and so forth – but certainly not without injecting their own bit of unqiue sine qua non. The track below is my favorite from the recently released Night School EP.

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  • Name: Ghost Outfit – 'I Was Good When I Was Young'
  • Website: Bandcamp
  • Correspondent: Chris McDonald

I'm a bit torn. Generally bored of lo-fi and two-pieces, but in love with music where you can hear noises within noises. Remember Otto watching Peter Frampton in The Simpsons? That was great. Ghost Outfit clatter about like drunk toddlers in a toy shop, as though My Bloody Valentine had attempted to play Loveless while wearing boxing gloves. And you know, it's utterly charming. HEY, MY SHOES ARE TALKING TOO.

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  • Name: Solid Gold Dragons – ‘Pass It Along (Bright Idea)’
  • Website: Soundcloud
  • Correspondent: Sebastian Reynolds

Oxford's Blessing Force community of artists, musicians, writers and general cross media free thinkers is continuing to cause quite a stir in the UK media. Of these musical acts one of my personal favourites is Sam Scott's Solid Gold Dragons. Bass player and trumpeter for Jonquil and former member of legendary Oxfordian post everything behemoth Youthmovie Soundtrack Strategies, Sam is a lynchpin of the Oxford music scene. Having played trumpet live for Foals when he was 19, he's not shy of the limelight. For Solid Gold Dragons Sam has recruited Youthmovies band mates drummer Graham Murray and guitarist Andrew Mears and they are starting to set the world alight. Sam's distinctive drawl is unique and hard to pin down, musically SGD share a lot of common ground with many other BF acts, slick electronics, odd, post dance rhythms and, in SGD's case, some excellent, haunting trumpet work some Sam himself.

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