yé-yé pop revivalist Aimée Steven’s debut single ‘My Name’

Artist: Aimée Steven

Title: My Name

Label: At Large Records

Impact date: 24 May 2019

Yé-yé pop revivalist Aimée Steven releases her debut single ‘My Name’

With the swagger of Serge Gainsbourg and the wit of Nico, Aimée Steven is giving 60s psychedelia and yé-yé pop the revival it deserves.

Her debut single My Name sees her going against the tide of twee indie with a more rugged sound, earning her comparisons to The Velvet Underground.

A self-confessed Francophile raised on Bowie and Birkin, the singer, songwriter and guitarist muses on the banality of modern life and modern love.

Visceral lyrics and a sophisticated singing voice are two trademarks of Steven’s music, but it’s her custom powder blue Gordon Smith GS1 guitar that makes her sound so unique.

Reflecting on her early influences, which range from the Bee Gees to Roy Orbison, Steven confesses she was a late bloomer: “I didn’t see an instrument until I was about 15.”

It was years later, during a university exchange in Barcelona, that she began to discover her sound, after picking up a guitar and tapping into the city’s rich psychedelic scene.

Steven left university prematurely; nevertheless, music was never far away.

“Music remained the one constant comfort in my life, so I decided – after much deliberation – that I wanted to start blogging and interviewing musicians at home in the UK,” she explains.

That has since culminated in a music career the beginnings of her debut album, which will follow My Name this year, as well as plays on BBC Merseyside, 6Music, XS Manchester…

Speaking about the track and her future plans, she adds: “I can feel my confidence and my musical confidence growing – It’s time to write my next chapter.”

Fans of Lily Allen, Blondie, Jane Birkin and everyone mentioned above take note. Aimée Steven is making her way in the world with her original brand of ‘red beret pop’.

Aimee has been working with Jon Withnall, the engineer responsible for Louis Berry‘s early tracks and who has worked with a host of artists, The Coral, Space, I Am Kloot, Chris Martin Band and even Rihanna.

Her debut live show with her band was at Liverpool Sound City and created lots of interest. You can catch Aimée at Barn on the Farm, Liverpool International Music Festival and Kendal Calling this summer.

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MUK RECORDS’ CLEAN SWEEP ON BBC INTRODUCING MANCHESTER!

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Yet more confirmation that the waves being made by Manchester’s MUK Records are having a bigger impact and wider reach; as four of their incredibly diverse signings were played on BBC Introducing Manchester by BBC 6 Music’s Elizabeth Alker.

Berlin BerlinMUK’s purveyors of euphoric, stadium-sized pop were also in the studio – talking extensively before playing a fabulously glossy live cover version of Furniture’s cult classic Brilliant Mind, which Elizabeth described as sounding “absolutely wonderful – spectacular!”

She was no less impressed by the other MUK artists on the playlist: identifying Red Sky Noise‘s eclectic and powerful sound as “dance-y, jazzy, soulful… an absolute joy… ones to keep an eye on!” – and favourably compared singer Mica’s vocals to Emili Sandé.

Meanwhile, MDNGHT‘s ability to deftly recreate the feel of a sultry summer night’s party in their music was spotted – “perfect for a Saturday night,” whilst Bird To Beast‘s growing musical renown was just as clear: “lovely and pastoral – they know how to do harmonies!”

  • BERLIN BERLIN’s Brilliant Mind cover is the B-side to their fabulous new single, Be Here – Impact Date 17th November.
  • MDNGHT will be performing at this year’s Manchester Pride.
  • Red Sky Noise‘s video for their huge, soulful Only You has soared to over 20,000 views on Youtube.
  • Bird To Beast are touring extensively all summer and have just released the poignant video to Catacombs.

Photo: Matt Visser

BIRD TO BEAST RELEASE POIGNANT AND HEARTWARMING VIDEO FOR “CATACOMBS”

Hannah and Sam Hird‘s story – they began making music after they got married – has always been woven inextricably with the music they make as Bird to Beast.

And their touching, life-affirming new video for their brilliant new single, Catacombs, makes explicit the journey we all take through life to love, hope and happiness.

The video is comprised of recently discovered video clips from Sam and Hannah’s childhood, cut to the music. They grew up in the same small town, but didn’t know each other until adulthood; the video takes on extra poignancy as it intertwines their separate childhoods.

It’s a touching reminder of the paths our lives take, and how one turn down the catacombs of life can change our world forever.

With video clips of their young selves in their hometown of Colne, as well as on holiday in Portmerion, it’s a perfect, emotionally off-kilter reminder of all that is so wonderful about Bird To Beast.

Bird to Beast are touring extensively this summer:

18th May Great North Run, Manchester
23rd May Chorlton Arts Festival, Manchester
29th May Supporting Ren Harvieu, The Trades, Hebden Bridge
1st June Smoked & Uncut Festival, Hampshire
12th June Isle Of Wight Festival
17th June Topolski, Southbank, London
21st June Camden Crawl, London
22nd June Barnaby Festival, Cheshire
3rd July Ruth Barnes Presents @ The Finsbury, London
7th July Mad Ferret Festival, Preston
2nd Aug Kendal Calling Festival, Cumbria
3rd Aug Cloudspotting Festival, Slaidburn
8th Aug Strawberry Fields Festival, Leicestershire
30th Aug Bingley Festival, Bradford
19th Sept Ramsbottom Festival, Lancashire

TOM ROBINSON PICKS THE MINX FOR HIS FRESH ON THE NET BBC RADIO 6 MUSIC MIXTAPE

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Tom Robinson has long been regarded as a key identifier of new musical talent in the UK, and featuring on his BBC Introducing mixtape is a feather in any new band’s cap – which is why The Minx are so pleased to be featured on his latest mixtape!

The band, who’ve sold out a series of ever-bigger shows in Manchester, are hard at work on their next official single… but until then, Tom found plenty to enjoy in a new song they recorded for fun recently, Your Ego, and popped it at the start of his newest BBC Introducing mixtape, available here.

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BIRD TO BEAST RELEASE NEW SINGLE, “CATACOMBS” & GETS FIRST PLAY ON RADCLIFFE & MACONIE’S BBC 6 MUSIC SHOW

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ASKME -singles-button-small

SINGLE – Catacombs
IMPACT DATE –  June 2014
LABEL – MUK Records

Q: What links The Hollies’ Bobby Elliot and Bird to Beast’s Sam and Hannah Hird?
A: Bird to Beast‘s new single, Catacombs – and the Lancashire mill-town of Colne…

After a breakthrough start to 2014, Bird To Beast deliver another wonderfully infectious song, Catacombs. And it marks them as songwriters of real note, showcasing an ear for the enticingly odd and attractively dreamy.

Catacombs is not only Bird To Beast’s most lovely and touching single yet, but it also features shuffling percussion from Hollies drummer Bobby Elliott.

The song got its first radio play on Radcliffe and Maconie‘s BBC 6 Music show – with Mark enthusing about the song – and was particularly impressed that Bobby was playing on the track.

Bobby lives in the same Lancashire town of Colne as Sam and Hannah, and after meeting the band – and being wooed by their inventive sound – got involved.

Catacombs is a fabulous single, drawing listeners in with sweetly cooing vocals on love and life, and a coiling, surprising melody, mixing a gorgeous lullaby with rumbustious excitement.

The single is backed with live favourite Posture and Pantomime as a B-side.

Its release follows a whirlwind few months for Bird To Beast, seeing them gaining wonderful UK radio support – including Steve Lamacq, Marc Riley, Chris Hawkins, Radcliffe & Maconie, Alex Lester, Tom Robinson, Michelle Hussey, Ruth Barnes, Sean McGinty, Emma Mac and Shell Zenners shows – as well as playing a bunch of well-received gigs, and will be gracing a whole array of festival stages in the coming months.

Bird to Beast live:

APRIL
10th – Sofar sessions – Winchester
11th – Sofar sessions, Cardif
12th – View 2 Gallery, Liverpool
13th – BT Square, Etihad Stadium

MAY
18th May Great North Run, Manchester
23rd May Chorlton Arts Festival, Manchester
29th May Supporting Ren Harvieu, The Trades, Hebden Bridge

JUNE
1st June Smoked & Uncut Festival, Hampshire
12th June Isle Of Wight Festival
17th June Topolski, Southbank, London
21st June Camden Crawl, London St Michaels Church @ 3.30pm
22nd June Barnaby Festival, Cheshire

JULY
3rd July Ruth Barnes Presents @ The Finsbury, London
7th July Mad Ferret Festival, Preston

AUGUST
2nd Aug Kendal Calling Festival, Cumbria
3rd Aug Cloudspotting Festival, Slaidburn
8th Aug Strawberry Fields Festival, Leicestershire
30th Aug Bingley Festival, Bradford

Bird To Beast Studio Guests on Radcliffe & Maconie’s BBC 6 Music Show, PLUS Live Dates Announced

Breakthrough psyche-folk duo Bird to Beast – who have been enjoying plenty of radio play in the last few weeks – were invited into the studio for an interview on BBC 6 Music’s Radcliffe & Maconie’s daytime show on Monday 10th March.

It was all part of the BBC’s 6 Music Recommends day, and the band had a great chat with Mark and Stuart about Sam and Hannah’s background, how they met, and the time when Hannah ate bacon butties at Will and Kate’s royal wedding party with Ellie Goulding!

Their prominent interview is just the latest fillip as a result of their new double A-side single, Elephant/Winter Snow, which is out on the 24th March – and have a string of dates that precede a busy summer of festivals.

MARCH

10th  – Deaf Institute, Manchester with Kristyna Myles
13th  – Gullivers, Manchester with The Hosts
15th –  The Castle, Manchester with Ellen and the Escapades
24th –  In a lucky fans’ living room! (competition winner)

APRIL

10th – Sofar sessions – Winchester
11th – Sofar sessions, Cardiff
12th  – View 2 Gallery, Liverpool
13th – Nelsons, Hebden Bridge

MAY

2nd –  Velvet hour, Didsbury (Chris Hawkins’ event)
23rd  – Chorlton Arts Festival with Liam Frost

JUNE
2nd – Smoked and Uncut festival
21st – Camden Crawl, St Michaels Church @ 3.30pm

BRILLIANT NEW BIRD TO BEAST VIDEO, PLUS EVEN MORE NATIONAL RADIO PLAY!

IMPACT DATE: 24th March 2014

Bird To Beast are following their recent glut of national, repeated radio play from Steve Lamacq, Marc Riley, Radcliffe & Maconie, Chris Hawkins, Alex Lester, Ruth Barnes, Shell Zenner with this fantastic new video.

The video stars classically trained dancer Patrick Carroll-Fogg in a mesmerising turn as a drag artiste, who compliments the song’s offbeat lyrics perfectly in bewitching style.

Bird to Beast are playing a daytime show at Union Chapel on Saturday 15th February between 12-2pm, and are playing with The Hosts in Manchester on Thursday 13th March at Gullivers.

Bird To Beast pick up national attention and high praise for Elephant & Winter Snow

Bird to Beast

It’s been a fantastic few weeks for psyche-folk duo Bird To Beast, who have begun to pick up widespread praise and national radio play for their new double-A single, Elephant/Winter Snow.

 

Elephant has now had multiple spins on BBC 6 Music from early supporter Steve Lamacq, as well as Marc Riley, Radcliffe & Maconie and Chris Hawkins – plus additional key tastemaker support from Alex Lester at BBC Radio 2, Ruth Barnes and Shell Zenner at Amazing Radio, Michelle Hussey at BBC Radio Manchester and Sean McGinty at BBC Radio Lancashire.

As well as this whirl of radio play, the band played a unique show last week at Manchester’s wonderful Royal Exchange Theatre – to a crowd who were thrilled by a brilliant show in a wonderful setting.

Londoners can catch them soon, too, when they play a daytime show at Union Chapel on Saturday 15th February, before playing in Manchester again on Thursday 13th March in Gullivers.

There is a brilliant video for Elephant to follow, before the eagerly-awaited physical release of their debut LP, Bird to Beast on the 17th February.

STRAW BEAR’S “THE LAND WITCH” RELEASED TO WIDE ACCLAIM

It’s a song that has grabbed repeated plays from BBC Radio 2‘s folk mainstay Bob Harris, who counts himself as a “big fan” as a result of The Land Witch‘s gleaming alt-folk pop charm.

He’s not the only one – a long, illustrious list of national DJs have backed the band again and again over the last 12 months, including Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins, Gary Crowley and nabbing a record of the week slot on BBC Alba’s RAPAL show.

It’s the final single taken from their enthusiastically-reviewed Black Bank LP, and is accompanied by a smart and slightly tongue-in-cheek spooky video.

If 2013 was a year of huge progress and breakthrough for the Cambridgeshire band, then their ambitions for 2014 are even greater – and who could fail to be won over by a band with such talent and glorious melodies?

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STRAW BEAR’S THOUGHTS ON MODERN BAND LIFE PUBLISHED ON TOM ROBINSON’S FRESH ON THE NET

strawbearfreshnetIt’s been a year of national success and exposure for Straw Bear, which began with a terrific BBC 6 Music session for Tom Robinson.

Tom has been a wonderful supporter of the band, and has just published a fascinating article by Straw Bear’s Ian Ray on his hugely influential site for emerging musicians, Fresh On The Net.

Ian, in a breezy and thoughtful post, has broached the thorny subject of money; highlighting specifically how modern bands are maintaining independence via combining their musical life with a full-time job.

It’s well worth a read (freshonthenet.co.uk/2013/12/strawbear) – and is another sign that Straw Bear are a band with the right approach to couple with their brilliant tunes.

High-profile coverage mounted up after their 6 Music session, with Clash magazine citing them as one of their highlights of The Great Escape music conference, where they played the BBC Introducing stage – and this was swiftly followed by superlative-laden reviews in national music magazines R2 and Sound On Sound.

A long, illustrious list of the UK’s top national DJs have backed the band too, including repeated support from Bob Harris, as well as Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley – whilst a glut of key influencing music blogs have heaped praise on their songs.

If 2013 is anything to go by, then 2014 should be another year of success for the band!