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Review: MAGDALENE by FKA twigs

When FKA twigs released ‘cellophane’, the lead single from her new album MAGDALENE in April, I was blown away by how such a beautifully minimal song was able to convey such intense vulnerability. With the accompanying music video in which twigs performs a pole dancing routine before falling into an underworld, the overall effect shows just how powerful she is; both mentally and physically. Andrew Thomas Huang, the director of the music video, referenced the surgery which twigs underwent to remove fibroid tumours prior to working on the new album as inspiring her to learn how to pole dance. Knowing that she only started to learn how to perform on the pole a year before filming the music video, the intensity expressed becomes even more intoxicating and emotional.
Continue reading Review: MAGDALENE by FKA twigs

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Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall

It was always going to feel weird at a gig in the same place I’ve been forced to do so many exams. I was just getting past that, and the ridiculous Freshers’ Ball flashbacks (hello Professor Green), when the first surprise came out: Arlo Parks. Maybe I didn’t try hard enough to find out beforehand, but who was supporting Loyle Carner on his epic European tour seemed to be the best kept secret and one I was grateful to finally hear. Continue reading Review: Loyle Carner @ Exeter Great Hall

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Preview: Ocean Wisdom @ The Lemon Grove

London-born rapper Ocean Wisdom, named the “future of UK Hip-Hop” by Complex Magazine, has enjoyed a meteoric rise since he dropped his debut track ‘Walkin’’ in the summer of 2015. Since then, he has released three sensational albums, collaborating with Hip-Hop heavyweights such as Dizzee Rascal. Continue reading Preview: Ocean Wisdom @ The Lemon Grove

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Singles’ Round-Up

Kanye’s latest album, Jesus is King, has interesting ideas about how to blend hip-hop and gospel but is let down by inconsistent execution and poor lyricism, and is a disappointing return after two years of leaks and teasings. A track that is emblematic of this is ‘Water’, where Kanye raps on themes regarding rebirth and the healing power of faith, and its ability to purify. These are especially relevant given Kanye’s attempt to rebrand and move away from topics like sex and drugs. The production is simple but effective and provides a smooth, solid base for Ant Clemons’ excellent feature. Clemons sings well and is the highlight of the song, but he is let down by lazy lyricism from Kanye. Rather than speaking on his evolution as an artist, he decides to repeat variations of Jesus save us, which marks a concerning decline for the once revolutionary, boundary-pushing artist. Continue reading Singles’ Round-Up

Interview: Joshua “Joe” Keogh from Amber Run

Before Amber Run’s gig at The Lemon Grove, I chatted to the band’s lead singer Joshua “Joe” Keogh. With the support act’s sound check playing faintly in the background, we discussed everything from their new album Philophobia, to their inspiration, and the sometimes crazy responses of their fans.

So, the new album’s just come out, I thought I’d start by asking you a couple questions about that. How are you finding the initial response to it?

I think it’s been good. [Although] I don’t actually read reviews because, for the first record and the second record, I definitely did and I fell into that trap of [seeing that] they’re all great and then you see the one that says you’re terrible and [that affects you]. I’ve started to realise, for my own sanity, just not to read any and to know that what you did was the best you could do in that moment. So, I believe it’s going well but I couldn’t tell you for certain. Continue reading Interview: Joshua “Joe” Keogh from Amber Run

Review: Amber Run @ The Lemon Grove

Arriving at the Lemon Grove just before the doors opened, I was a little surprised to see a relatively large queue. Whilst Amber Run’s lively sounds have, undeniably, brought them success, they are perhaps still on the fringes of mainstream indie and are yet to enter the realm of such names as The Arctic Monkeys or The 1975. But it seems Amber Run have some particularly devoted fans, as would become more apparent as the evening went on. Continue reading Review: Amber Run @ The Lemon Grove

Review: The Lumineers III

The Lumineers’ third album III, is the folk-rock band’s most ambitious project yet. Through music and visuals, it traces the narrative of three generations of the fictional Sparks family and its struggles with drug abuse and alcoholism. III is also a deeply personal work, as the characters in the album are based in part on members of lead vocalist Wesley Schultz’s own family. The album is enhanced by a short film composed of ten music videos depicting the Sparks family’s story. The film is dark and graphically violent; Wesley’s vocals, accompanied by sparse piano and guitar are at turns angry and melancholic. This is an album that is unrelenting in its heartbreak and at times blindly focused on narrative. Continue reading Review: The Lumineers III