‘STRAW BEAR: ALL YOU NEED IS AN ELECTRIC GUITAR’

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 09.59.05

Straw Bear: (L to R) Ian Ray (Vocals/Guitar), Catie Wicks (Bass), Tom Shipp (Guitar), Chris Gray (Guitar /Keys), Pas Stratos (Drums).

ASKME -singles-button-small

SINGLE – All You Need is an Electric Guitar

IMPACT DATE – 8 JANUARY 2016 (ISRC  GB8S51500001)

Everyone has a record that’s rescued them: a song that’s swept you away and set you back down in a slightly better place.

BBC favourites Straw Bear are back with “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” – a record that celebrates the irresistible power of a pop song to sink its hooks in and not let go.

They’ve cut their own slice of infectious psychedelic power-pop in the process too:

The London-based five piece’s 2013 album ‘Black Bank’ won gushing praise and regular national airplay from legendary DJ Bob Harris – as well as spins from Dermot O’Leary, Huw Stephens, Cerys Matthews and Tom Robinson, for whom they played a Radio 6 Music session. In 2013, BBC Introducing picked them from thousands of bands to be showcased at The Great Escape Europe’s leading emerging music festival, and highlights from their set were broadcast on Radio 1.

Praise for the band has always centred around their knack for writing pristine pop songs, and “All You Need Is An Electric Guitar” sounds as chiming as ever — but now enveloped in washes of blissed-out psyche guitar.

This is a song showing Straw Bear’s mastery of the pop song — with a truly addictive chorus: one that soars and returns exactly when you hope it will.

“All You Need Is An Electric Guitar”’s video is a story of grind, despair and redemption, and is directed by Jake Robertson. Watch this space!

“For anyone who cares about music, there will be a time when a song or a favourite album has got them out of a hole,” says Ian Ray. “So the song’s really all about how music can come to your rescue; it has an incredible capacity to soothe and elevate you out of the everyday grind.”

The song emerges after a turbulent couple of years, and their new forthcoming album, “Fiction,” is the result of a series of births, deaths and marriages. The band return emboldened by their experiences and are stronger than ever: tighter pop choruses, laser- focused verses and bolder lyrics.

They’ve also built their own studio in Essex, and new LP “Fiction”, set for release later in the year, was recorded there.

For more information about Straw Bear:

www.strawbear.com www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic www.twitter.com/strawbearmusic

BBC RADIO 1’S HUW STEPHENS PICKS MDNGHT TO KICK OFF HIS “BEST OF BBC INTRODUCING” MIXTAPE

MDNGHTRADIO1

MDNGHT are no stranger to praise from the UK’s biggest pop music station: they were picked as BBC Introducing Radio 1 Artist of the Week, have been played on all the huge daytime shows and also wowed the crowd at Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Glasgow.

Radio 1’s Huw Stephens is one of the UK’s most respected music tastemakers and is a long-term supporter of the band.

So when he was asked to put together a playlist of the “Best Of BBC Introducing” for Radio 1, he chose MDNGHT’s summertime smash “Into The Night” to kick the whole thing off – and it sounds as fresh as ever.

2014 was a breakthrough year for the Manchester four-piece, taking in a UK tour, an extended stay in the Upfront Club Chart and a buzz-worthy stint on the Hype Machine charts.

HEY ROCCO READY TO HEAD ON THEIR DEBUT UK TOUR!

KOKO POSTER

Heyrocco don’t hang about.

Kicking off at the infamous Brixton Windmill, via a showcase Club NME gig at Koko, before shooting around a list of some of the UK’s most famous breakthrough-band venues, the band are jumping into the UK’s music scene with both feet.

And with highly-regarded backing from the likes of Huw Stephens, Clash Magazine, NYLON and the NME, attention should swiftly start to turn onto the South-Carolina trio as they unleash their punchy, grungy and finely-crafted songs over the next four weeks.

HEYROCCO UK TOUR DATES

September 26: Brixton, UK @ The Windmill
October 1: Exeter, UK @ The Cavern Club
October 3: London, UK @ Koko (Club NME)
October 5: Birmingham, UK @ Sunflower Lounge
October 6: Leicester, UK @ The Cookie Jar
October 8: Glasgow, UK @ Broadcast
October 9: Chester, UK @ The Compass
October 10: Bristol, UK @ Start The Bus
October 11: Middlesbrough, UK @ Twisterella Festival
October 12: York, UK @ Fibbers
October 17: Stoke-On-Trent, UK @ The Sugarmill
October 18: Southampton, UK @ Unit (Club NME)
October 22: Edinburgh, UK @ Electric Circus
October 23: Newcastle, UK @ Head of Steam
October 24: Brighton, UK @ Sticky Mike’s
October 25: Wolverton, UK @ Craufurd Arms
October 28th: London, UK @Hoxton Bar & Kitchen

MDNGHT SET TO RELEASE PRISTINE LATE-SUMMER SINGLE “BREEZE”

MDNGHT_May_2014

ASKME -singles-button-small

IMPACT DATE: TBC
LABEL: MUK Records

 

MDNGHT‘s star keeps rising at a dizzy pace. Having played to an excited crowd at Radio 1′s Big Weekend – getting them to their feet and partying to their new single Breeze – enthusiastic support then followed from both TIME magazine and The Guardian.

Breeze is MDNGHT at their lithe best, melding contemporary dance and shimmering house with a glossy, sweet falsetto: encapsulating the euphoria of a late-summer sunset party – making this single a perfect post-holiday soundtrack.

 

Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens was won over by their performance, recognising MDNGHT’s dancefloor potential: “This’ll get the whole place bouncing… sounding wonderful!”

And TIME magazine, who premiered the video, enthusiastically noted Breeze’s, “flecks of guitar, piano stabs and wall-of-sound background vocals gathering around Jordan Lewin’s breathy falsetto,” confirming that the USA is just as receptive to MDNGHT’s “drifty, tropical dance music.”

Meanwhile, The Guardian – covering MDNGHT for the third time – praised Breeze‘s joyous pop appeal: “the uplifting chorus… is a brilliant way of making you fling your hands in the air.” 

It’s the perfect follow-up to previous single, Into The Night, which hit the UK Club Chart top ten and was BBC Introducing Single of the Week on both Radio 1 & 1Xtra.

MDNGHT have been played all across BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra: Fearne Cotton, Greg James, Scott Mills, Huw Stephens, Gemma Cairney, DJ Target, Sarah Jane Crawford, MistaJam, Trevor Nelson, Dev, Yasmin Evans, Twin B, and Adele Roberts.

Sultry, warm and addictive: this is a song that harnesses warm grooves, house beats and a bright, sunny hook – and MDNGHT will be winning over more new fans via a series of UK-wide late-summer gigs.

Time Out praised MDNGHT’s “obvious chart ambition” and loved their “dreamy, funky house-pop” so much they made their 8th August gig at Hoxton Bar and Kitchen their East London gig of the week.

MDNGHT are: J (vocals), Will and Ant (guitars) and Lloyd (DJ and percussion). They signed an album deal with Manchester-based MUK Records in late 2012.

See MDNGHT live:

2nd August – Kendal Calling Festival
8th August – Hoxton Bar and Kitchen, London **TIME OUT’S EAST LONDON GIG OF THE WEEK**
9th August – Thorpe Park, Surrey
23rd August – King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, Glasgow
24th August – Pride, Manchester
30th August – Feel Good Festival, Rochdale
13th September – Shrewsbury Fields Festival
11th October – Gorilla, Manchester
25th October – Night and Day, Manchester

mdnght.co.uk
twitter.com/mdnght_music
facebook.com/mdnght.music

HEYROCCO GET THEIR BBC RADIO 1 DEBUT ON HUW STEPHENS’ SHOW – PLUS NME FEATURE!

HuwStephen

Photo: ffionmatthews.com

Huw Stephens is a huge supporter of emerging talent, and has a keen eye for bands who’ll go far – so it’s another feather in HEYROCCO’s cap to have their new song Melt featured on his Radio 1 show.

As always, it’s a great show and you can hear the whole thing here: www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04bmrb9

The NME have also pricked up their ears at HEYROCCO, noting their ‘angst-ridden grunge’ in the band’s Radar feature.

image-2image-1

HEYROCCO FOLLOW ACCLAIMED FIRST SINGLE WITH “MELT”

HEYROCCO_MELT_LARGE

ASKME -singles-button-small
LABEL: Vital Music Group
IMPACT DATE: 1st Sept 2014

 

After their first free download, Virgin, sped to tens of thousands of plays via word-of-mouth in just a couple of weeks, HEYROCCO are stepping straight back into their new fans’ affections with their new single, Melt.

It’s another grungy and immediately catchy pop song from the South Carolina boys; it’s a wry song on a subject that… well, let’s say it’s one that many teenagers will have prematurely experienced.

And just as Virgin drew many flattering comparisons with rock giants of the early 90s – Melt shows off their ability to straddle the line between the twin thrills of killer melodies and fuzzy guitars.

Melt has been met with breathless praise from highly-respected sources:

“You know those perfect songs that soundtrack your summer of late nights, romance and hedonism? Well, HEYROCCO have just dropped one.” Gigwise

“Heyrocco’s new single launches us right into 90’s teenage movie nostalgia. Like these Southern sweethearts, we admittedly might not have been the coolest kids in high school—but at least we can pretend like we were while listening to some 90’s inspired rock and roll.” NYLON

” A darkly nostalgic vibe – worthy of, say, Radiohead’s much neglected Pablo Honey CLASH

HEYROCCO have the tunes, poise and musical chops to back up their sky-high ambition.

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?

www.strawbear.com
www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic
twitter.com/strawbearmusic

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!

STRAW BEAR CAP BREAK-THROUGH YEAR BY RELEASING “THE LAND WITCH”

Straw_Bear_TLW

ASKME -singles-button-smallIMPACT DATE: 14th January 2014
LABEL: Oilbug Music

Straw Bear are capping a thrilling breakthrough year with a third single, The Land Witch – and it may well be their best single yet.

 

With repeated plays from Bob Harris – who counts himself as a “big fan”, The Land Witch is a deeply lovely, chiming and soaring ode to youthful fears; showcasing all that is wonderful about Straw Bear. 

A long, illustrious list of national DJs have backed the band, including Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins, Gary Crowley and record of the week on BBC Alba’s RAPAL show – whilst a glut of key influencing music blogs have heaped praise on their songs.

Their knack for weaving Ian Ray’s gloriously emotive vocals in and out of their gleaming, singular folk-rock is unsurpassed by few and adored by many – and as the song reaches its shimmering, foggy climax, you’ll wonder if they might just be one of the best new bands of the year.

The song is drawn from their debut LP Black Bank, an album that caused R2 Magazine to gush, “these musicians are made for each other and what they produce is some of the freshest, seminal songs of 2013.”

Said singer Ian of the song’s curious title:

“I was in the back of my nan’s car as a kid and I swear she told my dad that a ‘land witch’ lived in the woods near her house.”
“I sincerely believed that some weird old crone would abduct me if I went too close to the trees. Only years later did I realise I misheard her and made the whole thing up.”

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

Then revered music magazine Clash picked them as one of their select handful of highlights from 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.

Straw Bear are holding a final celebratory gig of 2013 at the beautiful Waterbeach Baptist Chapel near Cambridge on Saturday November 16th.

Sound on Sound‘s Sam Inglis likes their LP Black Bank so much, he asked if he could come and man the mixing desk!

“I’m a big fan of Straw Bear… we all like them very much!” – Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

When I say that Straw Bear’s album is quite possibly the best thing I have ever reviewed in these pages, be assured that I bloody well mean it.” – Sam Inglis, Sound On Sound Magazine

Their music is part alt.country, part indie folk, reminiscent of such American bands as Midlake and early-Elecktra 60s rock sounds. However, everything here – the quirky, insightful and intelligent lyrics, lovely relaxed playing, the melodies and sly vocals – indicates a singular talent.” John Crosby – Rock ‘n’ Reel Magazine

www.strawbear.com
www.facebook.com/strawbearmusic
twitter.com/strawbearmusic

MDNGHT Secure BBC Radio 1 Week-Long Playlist Slot!

MDNGHTRADIO1

Further confirmation that MDNGHT’s star is very much in the ascendency, with news that they have secured a week-long slot on the Radio 1 playlist as part of BBC Introducing.

In a rare feat, MDNGHT’s Into The Night has claimed the BBC Introducing double; having also been Introducing Track of the Week on BBC Radio 1Xtra back in September!

But now, Into The Night will be played all across Radio 1‘s daytime output from 4th November, on these big-name shows:

Monday: Fearne Cotton (10:00-12.45)
Tuesday: Greg James (16:00-19:00)
Wednesday: Dev – early b’fast (04:00-06:30)
Thursday: Scott Mills (13:00-16:00)
Saturday: Huw Stephens (13:00-16:00)
Sunday: Gemma Cairney (07:00-10:00)

Into The Night is out on the same day – 4th November.