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

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

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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

Cavalry

Liverpool five-piece Cavalry have crafted a sound that confidently melds together a mixture of classic and contemporary musical influence, from Paul Simon to The National, Fleetwood Mac to Villagers, The Beatles to Bon Iver.
 
Since they formed, the band’s music has quickly caught the attention of established and influential musicians, seeing them take on live support slots for British Sea Power, The Antlers and Steve Malkmus. 

BBC Merseyside’s Dave Monks and BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens featured the band as a discovery on ‘BBC Introducing’, with Tom Robinson of BBC 6 Music and Janice Long of Radio 2 both eagerly playing their early tracks.
 
It’s hard to believe Cavalry have achieved so much in so short a time, with just two online tracks and a handful of live shows under their belts, but their music strikes a deep chord on first listen. 
 
Leaves’ has all the dreamy insistence of a long-lost Grant Lee Buffalo gem, while ‘Lament’ hints at the understated anthemic pull of Band Of Horses at their best. 
 
With national radio eager to playlist the band, they will release their first official single, ‘An Understanding’, later this year. Fingers crossed for an appearance at Glastonbury Festival too – the band are currently longlisted for a slot.
 
Cavalry are Alan Croft on lead vocals, Austin Logan on guitar, Paul Jones on bass, Steven Taylor on guitar and Gareth Dawson on drums.
Website: http://cavalryofficial.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/__cavalry__

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cavalryliverpool

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cavalryliverpool

THE MINX TO RELEASE THEIR BRILLIANT POWER-POP SINGLE
 “NO FRIENDS”

the Minx

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IMPACT DATE15th September 2014
LABELQueen Street Records

 

Real rebel rockers! Johnny Marr, The Smiths
The best new band in Manchester! John Robb, Louder Than War

“Why so serious?” Guitar music doesn’t have to be po-faced; and The Minx’s happy-go-lucky sense of fun makes them spiritual successors to carefree power-poppers Supergrass – and, as pointed out by Steve Lamacq – Buzzcocks and The Undertones.

 

No Friends is a direct descendant of The Undertones’ My Perfect Cousin – with a youthful spirit and the bounciest Hammond hook you’ll have heard in years.

The crowd favourite has been given a fresh lick of paint by award-winning producer Cenzo Townshend (Florence + The Machine, The Vaccines, Primal Scream, Franz Ferdinand) for this release.

Stars of a forthcoming documentary on underground music scenes by The Street‘s Mike Skinner (who enthused about them being “modern Skindom!”), and having appeared in Dr Marten’s TV ad campaign, The Minx’s music, look and exuberance go pleasingly against the grain.

The band continue to sell out every increasingly big show they headline, and are heading further afield to play more packed venues around the UK – including a show at the Brixton Windmill on 22nd August – confirmation of their rapid ascent.

The band‘s biggest headline gig yet, at Manchester’s Ruby Lounge, is on Saturday 23rd August.

The most exciting new band I’ve heard in years! Pete Jobson, I Am Kloot

I listened to The Minx … decided I liked it and bought it! – Mike Davies, BBC Radio 1

Who are The Minx? Andy Evans (Drums), Chris Haddon (Vox/Guitar), Paul Robinson (Guitar), Steven Stuttard (Bass) & Kieran McIntyre (Keys)

THE MINX live:

27th July – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
22nd August – Brixton Windmill, London (Headline Show)
23rd August – The Ruby Lounge, Manchester (Headline Show)
30th August – The Rocking Chair, Sheffield (Headline Show)
19th September – Ramsbottom Festival (Headlining second stage)
20th September – The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge (Headline Show)

theminx.co.uk
facebook.com/theminxband
twitter.com/TheMinxBand 

Photo: Dean Chalkley

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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YOU emerge with a breathtaking video for debut single In Halves

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ASKME -singles-button-small IMPACT DATE: 19th May 2014
LABEL: MUK Records

 

They’re seemingly fully-formed; emerging suddenly with a pristine, spine-tingling song and a breathtaking video.

Where on earth have YOU come from?

And, with In Halves, the band is armed with a video to dazzle eyes, and a pristine, shiver-inducing song, pricked by singer Anna Waldmann’s pin-sharp voice.

So where on earth have YOU come from? Well, north London – but by the way of The Cocteau Twins, London Grammar, The XX and Daughter.

It’s a dazzling and confident first step for the North London band, whose early demos caught the keen ears of tastemakers Simon Raymonde and 6 Music’s Tom Robinson last year, before signing to Manchester’s MUK Records.

“One of the best debut singles I’ve heard in my time!” – Gary Crowley on In Halves

A beautiful, unique voice; a coiling, half-dream of a single; a video hinting at end times. What’s not to love?

Keep your eyes and ears open for YOU…

Who are YOU?

Anna Waldmann
Sam Campbell
Harrison Ball
Massimo Zeppetelli

itisyouhere.com
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MUK Records

YOU live:

16th May – John Kennedy’s X-Posure @ Tooting Tram and Social
May 7th – The Bedroom Bar, Rivington Street, London
1-3 August – Kendal Calling Festival

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
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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!

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

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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

CLEAR’s debut single “Sunlight” wowing radio DJs and industry taste-makers

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singlesIMPACT DATE: 30th September
LABEL: End of the Trail Records

Clear‘s Sunlight is unexpectedly fresh, yet channelling classic West Coast pop; a new slice of classic songwriting, harking back to a golden age of perfectly-crafted pop songs.

BBC DJs Dermot O’Leary,  Gary Crowley, Tom Robinson, Janice Long and renowned tastemaker Simon Raymonde rushed to play – and heap praise on – their quintessentially pristine tunes. Gary went as far as naming Sunlight one of his “favourite songs of the summer.”

 

Clear have been carefully honing their craft, absorbing the golden-hued hits from the late 60s and early 70s – and trying to figure out what made them sound so timeless.

Thus, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and that classic west-coast feel was temporarily relocated to the grittier locale of Sheffield when Clear penned Sunlight.

It was a song that catapulted them into the hearts of radio tastemakers, who all rushed to get the song on the air; wowed by the warm, dreamy, seemingly long-lost sounds. Listeners could be forgiven for thinking, “haven’t I heard this song before?”

Clear are hugely talented bunch – and when they sent Colin Elliot (producer of fellow Sheffield star Richard Hawley) their songs, he immediately understood their potential.

After Colin finished collaborating with Kylie Minogue at Abbey Road studios, he invited them into his own studio to capture Clear‘s warm, glossy sound. A short, fruitful session followed – and then Sunlight gloriously rose.

Gary Crowley: “Sumptuous pop music. One of my favourite songs of the summer.”

Janice Long‘s “Janice Loves” Radio 2 feature: “I think this is absolutely gorgeous”

Tom Robinson:Sunlight is a piece of classic pop songwriting – in that it could have appealed to audiences anytime in the last 40 years – yet there’s enough 21st Century sensibility in the writing, recording and performance for Sunlight to sound fresh-wrought rather than some kind of retread.”

Simon Raymonde: “Sunlight is like a happy-go-lucky version of Radiohead’s ‘Let Down‘… which is one of my all-time favourite songs.”

Chris Damms, Clear: “We were contacted by Colin Eliot, who is Richard Hawley’s producer and co-owner of Yellow Arch studios where Richard records all his albums. He had played with Andy, our drummer, and said he fancied doing a couple of tracks with us. The result was “Sunlight”. It had a definite west coast vibe; the sound of the late 60’s early 70’s writers. We didn’t want to copy them but just wanted to work out what exactly made those simple songs so timeless.”

Clear are:
Chris Damms – Piano, Guitars, vocals
Jools Buffey – Piano, vocals
Hugh Ruiz – Bass
Bryan Day – vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards.
Andy Cook – Drums

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STRAW BEAR NAMED AS A HIGHLIGHT OF THE GREAT ESCAPE BY CLASH MAGAZINE

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Revered music magazine Clash picked Straw Bear as one of their select handful of highlights from The Great Escape music conference.

Straw Bear, over at the BBC Introducing stage, trade in dreamy acoustic pop. Sweet nuggets such as ‘Kitty’ take the sounds of Americana and bring them back to Blighty. Their Midlake-meets-Doves twang makes them perfect for a mid-afternoon set, sounding as cosy as your favourite duvet. Their warmth and familiarity bring compulsory smiles.

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The band’s appearance in their pages marks another step in their rapid ascent: both national and regional radio DJs, magazines and a swarm of influential blogs are all enthusing over them and their new single, Snobbery.

Snobbery has already grabbed radio play from Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Gary Crowley… and a string of plays on Amazing Radio. It is out on the 5th August.

An illustrious list of other BBC DJs have backed the band, including Bob Harris, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, Jen Long & Ally McCrae, Dermot O’Leary, Gideon Coe, Chris Hawkins and Gary Crowley…

They are touring with Kate Rogers Band in July:

Thursday July 25th: MANCHESTER – Night & Day
Friday July 26th: LIVERPOOL – Zanzibar
Sunday July 28th: LONDON – The Dublin Castle