CHAZ THOROGOOD

Chaz Thorogood by mystupidscketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
Chaz is a folk singer/songwriter floating around England on a Canal boat who “started writing music at the age of twelve when I moved to live with my Dad in Devon. It allowed me to get things off my chest and document my life.”

WHAT is he singing about?
“I’m singing about experiences, relationships and things that I just need to get out there. I’m heavily inspired by some of the old singer/songwriters like Nick Drake and John Martyn, but I get the same buzz listening to Bonobo, Floating Points and some of the new Radiohead stuff. Lyrically I think Damien Rice is the man. He inspired me to tell stories and to be as honest as possible.”

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up in Devon, about a mile from the sea. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time walking and became totally enamored with the beauty of the place. It definitely inspired me, and without fail I always write something when I visit. At the moment, I’m living on a houseboat in London and that’s pretty great too. I have to move every two weeks, which means I’m never bored. I find it really refreshing to look out my bedroom window and always see something different.”

“The music scene in London caters for absolutely everything and anyone and can at times feel overwhelming, but if you look in the right place, you can find some total magic. I love that the quality of music being played is high. I learn a lot from watching other musicians.”

Chaz Thorogood

WHY the title Limbo for his upcoming EP?
“At the time of writing this EP, I was at somewhat of a crossroads in my life. I had lots of roads open, whilst others had shut. I had so many decisions to make and basically ignored all of them, leaving me in a constant state of, you guessed it, Limbo.”

WHEN can I listen to Limbo?
Limbo is out on Beatnik Creative on 19th May 2017. Chaz has collaborated on the EP with Judie Tzuke as well as Tim Thorton from Fink.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen: Spotify // Soundcloud
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Listen to Pictures from Thorogood’s upcoming EP Limbo (Beatnik Creative – 19th May 2017)

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DARK DARK HORSE

Dark Dark Horse by mystupidsketchbook
Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
“We are Dark Dark Horse, I am Jamie Ward (producer/multi-instrumentalist). Our various musical backgrounds are perhaps a little too diverse to go into detail with but personally I’ve played in several bands most notably Maybeshwill and Kyte who have been lucky enough to tour internationally and do all sorts of wild things my 16 year old self could have never imagined. I started playing music with James Stafford (vocals) after he recorded his old band kids in cars in my studio and I couldn’t resist sending some songs I’d been working on myself.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
Jamie: “I’ll pass this one over to James who sings and writes all the lyrics.”

James: “Well, our debut album Centuries was more or less about the past, both on a personal introspective level and on a wider sociological level. With our new EP Luna II, as the title suggests, is more or less about the future, where we can imagine ourselves heading.

Musically, as Jamie composes the music, I can only really take that as inspiration. His choice of chords and melody, along with the electronic nature of his writing, provides a futuristic approach. With the political landscapes cracking and shifting before our eyes, the lyrics are a mixture of hope and progression, but also suggest a want for escape, to jettison ourselves into the unknown. But really it’s down to the individual listener to determine what the lyrics mean to themselves, as I don’t like to push anyone down a path – I’ve always developed my own meaning from my favourite songs I’ve heard growing up.”

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WHERE are they from?
Jamie: “We all grew up around Leicester. Leicester is a place you could describe as just in the middle a bit I suppose. It’s slightly detached from the music industry and that perhaps doesn’t develop a high level of aspiration amongst musicians but I also think it encourages people to think more creatively and produce music that’s a little more out of left field. There are a lot of cottage industry artists in Leicester producing a really diverse range of interesting music which I suppose is perhaps a bit of a microcosm of the city.”

WHY are they called Dark Dark Horse?
Jamie: “Dark Dark Horse is my first band as a composer. In casual conversation with a friend while watching our now keyboard players ex band I picked the sentence out of air and it’s stuck with me since then. I had always been a bit player in bands before so stepping into a lead role felt quite big nerve wracking step. Putting yourself out there in such a saturated world still does in some ways and the name still feels appropriate.”

WHEN can I see them live?
Catch the band play Handmade Festival in Leicester on April 30th .

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Spotify // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter

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AVERAGE SEX

Average Sex by mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
The band consists of Laetitia Bocquet (vocals), Sam O’Donovan (guitar, vocals), Finnegan Kidd (drums), Camilla Morelli (guitar), Jamie Graeme (bass).

Their single We’re Done is out now on Crocodile Records (download and cassette).

“We (Sam and Laetitia) met a year ago through mutual friends at a concert in East London, we jokingly talked about writing songs together but actually followed through with it. After writing a few demos we were asked by Crocodile Rcds to be on their summer compilation. This is when Jamie and Finn joined to record Ice Cream. After that, we played our first show in September. Camilla has recently joined us as second guitar.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
Laetitia: “I mostly write silly lyrics about the embarrassing aspects of being in love, especially about being obsessed with someone and getting rejected. I’m quite a fan of the way bands like Sleater-Kinney, Garbage or Lush write about that. Some of our songs are a bit more serious, like To My Dead Friend that is about a close friend of mine who passed away. But my lyrics aren’t always from personal experience, I don’t slash people’s tyres and I don’t set dogs on fire!”

Sam: “Musically, we’re influenced by lots of British and American alternative pop bands from the early 80s through to the mid 90s. Pavement, Orange Juice, The Pastels, The Smiths, Weezer to name a few. We make playlists on Spotify – follow us and find out more!

WHERE are they from?
Sam: “I grew up in London and it’s been great because there is a lot of talented musicians and creative people who live here. As London is so diverse it means that I’ve had the opportunity to meet like minded people from all over the world, Laetitia being from Paris and Camilla from Rome for example.”

Laetitia: “English isn’t my first language, I’m French, so it really shapes the way I write, I make a lot mistakes. My ex called it broken English. I can’t even pronounce some of the words properly when I sing… I’ve been in London for 8 years now so I don’t think I can improve much more at that stage! I love the music scene in London, a lot happens all the time and it gave us the opportunity to play a lot of nice shows in only 6 months. But I’m from Paris so we’re planning a show there before the summer.”

Average Sex

WHY are they called Average Sex?
Sam: “A few years back, after a break up, I was having quite a lot of one night stands… After one in particular, I realised that I wasn’t having a good time and sex had become quite an average activity in my life and I thought Average Sex would make a good band name. When Laetitia and I needed a name for the band, I thought that name would really suit the vibe and themes of the songs we were writing so I suggested it.”

WHEN can I see them live?
Catch the band play live in London at Shackelwell Arms on April 27th and at The Victoria on May 27th.

HOW can I get to know them better?
Stream & Buy: Spotify // Bandcamp
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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DAUNT

DAUNT by mystupidscketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“I’m just a guy who likes to make music. I’ve been in bands since I was a teenager, and after the last band I was in finished up I started to write and arrange songs by myself. Those songs were the beginnings of DAUNT, and some of them ended up on the EP.” Will Daunt’s debut EP Unbearable Light is out April 28th via London label Beatnik Creative.

WHAT is he singing about?
“I guess I sing about fear of uncertainty, how liberating it is to accept that you’re a little broken just like everyone else, and how relationships are both the most beautiful and the most difficult thing we all do.”

WHERE did he grow up?
DAUNT is now based in London but he “grew up on a farm in the middle of nowhere, so had zero ‘scene’ as a kid. When I was a teenager a wave of US mainstream hip hop hit the UK (Eminem, Dre, Snoop), and like all slightly angsty teenagers I was swept away by how strong their identity was. I suppose a lingering influence from that time would be how much I love a good swung beat. After that, I fell in with some musicians at school, who became my closest friends and who I went on to form many bands with, and they provided a varied palette of influences. Our keyboardist and guitarist were very into Brian Eno, Neu, Can, so I learnt about atmosphere and groove from them.

DAUNT

WHY should I listen to new single Unbearable Light?
In Unbearable Light DAUNT takes you straight to the heart of the story through vivid pictures and his narrative-driven songwriting. Of writing the track Will says: “it was clear that the song was really visual, taking cues from night-driving and classic Hollywood road movies. In short, our central character is driving away from an undefined event or relationship which has revealed some aspects of himself that he’d rather not have seen, as though an ‘unbearable light’ has been cast on him.”



WHEN can I see him live?
Catch him live at the Unbearable Light EP Launch Show at The Waiting Room in London on April 26h. Event and tickets.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen: Spotify // Soundcloud
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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HINDÜ

HINDÜ by mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
Hindü is producer-songwriter Tania Iankovska’s solo project. “I think I always knew I would end up as a solo artist” she explains “but for a very, very long time I didn’t believe I was able to. I started by playing in a garage rock band – I thought that would be extra cool – me with a guitar. After some time I’ve got tired of constantly motivating other band members and also we changed drummers like every two months which wasn’t very inspiring. So I finally figured out how to use [music production software] Ableton Live and put together my first EP in just two weeks or so. Very fast – just because I was so excited I was able to write drum parts by myself!”

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“Lyrics are always the last part I do when writing a song. I know what each song is about, what kind of mood it has from the start but I usually postpone writing down the final rhymes till I have a deadline and need to actually record the vocals. In any case, I try to keep my songs within a lightweight melancholic-optimistic mood – like a late Spring Sunday sunset. This is the kind of picture I have in my head when writing songs most of the times.”

WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up in Kiev, Ukraine. Right now it is a very lovely and vibrant city with lots of things going on and cool places to visit. But ten years ago Kiev was just a post-soviet capital with not much to do. So most of my teen years were spent just hanging out with friends either on the roofs of typical soviet-style apartment blocks or by the river (we have a huge one dividing Kiev into two parts) or in rehearsal rooms. I think I lived a lot of things just inside my head and in my thoughts, that was probably the reason I started writing songs very early.”

“In the last two, three years we’re experiencing a huge boost on the local music scene – suddenly lots of young artists started to sound interesting and professional, playing big venues and releasing really decent records. I think people just need a getaway from very drastic and dramatic things happening in Ukraine after 2014’s revolution. Still, only a few musicians can make a living solely with music but I think this ain’t just a local trend. Kiev’s club scene is also blooming – in some ways I think it can compete even with Berlin’s.”

HINDÜ

WHY is she called HINDÜ?
“I wanted something that would mislead people at first; a name that wouldn’t allow them to figure out right away whether it is a band, a male singer from India or… Do you know what I mean? I wanted people to be confused and interested from the very beginning.”

WHEN can I see her live?
“I’m definitely coming back to the UK this Spring and will do one or two summer festivals but I don’t have exact dates yet – still working on a concert schedule for 2017.” Keep updated here.

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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FREDDIE DICKSON

freddie-dickson-by-mystupidscketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“Hi. I’m Freddie Dickson who sings sad and (hopefully) catchy songs. I didn’t start singing until I was about eighteen. I’d written a bunch of songs but didn’t want anyone else to sing them and I got a little 4-track for my birthday with a built in microphone and just taught myself to sing through that.” His debut album Panic Town is released on 7 April 2017 via Shakey Records.

WHAT is he singing about?
“I sing and write about anything that affects me whether it be about people or certain situations in my life that I feel warrant a kind of cathartic release.”

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up all around West London when I was younger and then I moved East and now I live North. I’d say there was a strong music scene in Shepherd’s Bush that I kind of dived into playing every open mic I could get my teenage hands on.”

“I guess the state of London ever changing has influenced a lot of my newer songs actually. It’s definitely becoming a lot harder to be a musician in London these days with trying to match inflated rent prices and write at the same time. Also the closure of so many venues is becoming increasingly worrying for London’s live music scene.

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Photo: Hayley Coleman

WHY the title Panic Town?
“Ha so many reasons. The record includes a lot of songs about different mental states like nostalgia, heartbreak, longing etc and Panic Town is supposed to be symbolic of that place that you can’t let yourself fall into psychologically otherwise you’re going to struggle to get out of there. Cheery stuff I know but I’m very pleased with it. It’s taken me long enough!

WHEN can I see him live?
“Well I’m still in rehearsals with my band getting ready for a big album launch party in my local pub The Finsbury, London on 11th April. I’ve got a bunch of solo gigs in Germany coming up as well.” All live dates here.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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FAST ROMANTICS

fast-romantics-by-mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
Fast Romantics are Matthew Angus (lead singer, guitar), Jeffrey Lewis (bass), Kirty (vocals, acoustic guitar, synth), Kevin Black (guitars), Lisa Lorenz (keyboards) and Nick McKinlay (drums). Their new single Why We Fight is produced by the dynamic duo of Gus Van Go and Werner F (Arkells, Wintersleep, Whitehorse) and is taken from forthcoming album released via Light Organ/Postwar Records in Spring 2017.

Matthew tells us how the Toronto 6-piece came together. “We’ve all been playing music since we were kids. I guess we play music together because we have to. Because we wouldn’t know what else to do if we didn’t play music. I’ve heard other artists say that and it always seemed like a cop-out, but lately I think I get what they mean. It’s not the easiest thing in the world to do, but there’s a pull to music that we couldn’t escape if we wanted to.”

“I reformed our band like a billion times, until we found the right group of people. I’ve been telling people we’re pretty much a new band, there’s only a couple members (myself and our bass player Jeff) from the original crew. But we’re the tightest friends ever now, all that exploring was worth it.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“I’ve realized since finishing the record that these all started as love songs, but the world and its weirdnesses quickly snuck its way in. A lot of the songs have their roots in romance and relationship stories, but are littered with experiences and perspectives that came from touring and recording in the USA.”

“The election was going on and every time we hit a new town you’d hear one group of people freaking out about Trump, or another group of people really excited about Trump. It was fascinating, and emotional, and hard to process, and in a way, impacts your perspective on even trying to be a normal person having a normal relationship.”

Their new single Why We Fight “started out as a song about myself, about what it is that drives me to even be in a band in the first place. But it quickly evolved into an ode to anyone who finds themselves hungry for something that might seem out of reach.”

“So the music has its roots in love songs, but the new album is as much about bizarre politics, the impact of the media on the way people think, and everybody’s modern obsession with technology. All of these themes found their way into the songs.”

“Musically, we’re mutts. So many different influences came into the making of this thing. We love older music like Springsteen, Bowie, pretty much all Motown, Paul Simon, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young. But people like Jarvis Cocker have really influenced me as a writer and frontman. And we’re pretty much obsessed with modern music of all kinds. There’s no one inspiration in this band.”

WHERE are they from?
“The band has its roots in a town in western Canada called Calgary around 2009, but we quickly moved to the music mecca of Toronto”.

“Places are sometimes all a song is. As Canadians, you’re always subject to the whims of the giant noisy country just south of you, and like I said earlier, touring America had a massive impact on these songs. But growing up in Canada leaves a permanent imprint on you.”

“My young days in Alberta played a role in a lot of the songs (there’s a song called Alberta on the record), and various imagery from our life in Toronto finds its way into a lot of these songs. I don’t think you can write songs without accepting that they are, generally, reflections of where they were written. But a lot of them were written in America too, and you definitely hear the perspective of this foreigner travelling through America, trying to understand what the hell is going on.”

fast-romantics

WHY are they called Fast Romantics?
“Why Not? It doesn’t mean anything really. And it definitely doesn’t mean what you’re thinking it means.”

WHEN can I see them live?
“We’re cooking up something special for our UK and European friends. It’s gonna get announced really, really soon via our Facebook page.”

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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