Amelia’s Magazine | Your Twenties – An Interview


Putting the words Sustainable Fashion together can appear to produce an oxymoron, malady doctor how can an industry synonymous with the fast free consumerism mimicked in high fashion magazines pages that helped herald the economic crash become sustainable? Its very structure relies on the twin polluters of shipping and flying to deliver clothes across the world. Furthermore, tadalafil how can fashion be sustainable considering the volume of water and cotton required to make a single t-shirt, buy information pills a subject Amelia’s Magazine broached when reporting on the London School of Fashion Centre for Sustainability competition. Whilst the majority of the fashion industry has a long way to go with regards to production being ethically and sustainable, the recent collaboration between Fashion-Conscious and TRAIDremade is one example of the possibilities open to commerce. Continuing along the vein of Junky Styling TRAIDremade produces new clothes out of the old with beautiful results, proving it is more than possible to create fashionable items with your own hands. Amelia’s Magazine spoke to the director of Fashion Conscious.


What do you think are the most important concerns for the fashion world at the moment?

For me, sustainability is key. The Fairtrade message seems to be getting through to a lot of people already but the vast amount of waste we produce which is being dumped into landfill is frightening. The rise of fast-fashion culture has increased the rate and amount of discarded clothes in landfill too. I think sustainability needs to be pushed to the forefront of eco-fashion now and I am hoping some projects we have coming up in the near future will do just that. The idea of being able to utilise what most would consider rubbish, literally turn waste in something new, fun and most of all fashionable is so exciting. Fashion recycles styles and trends so why shouldn’t the actual act of producing those clothes reflect that? It’s the future of fashion.
Vegan fashion is also a hot topic at the moment and controversy surrounding the use of leather from the Amazon has appeared in the press recently. We have an incredibly stylish collection of shoes by Olsenhaus on the site at the moment. Finding the most ethical materials and production processes is their paramount philosophy.


What’s in store for Fashion Conscience in the future?

So much! We are currently preparing to launch TRAIDremade Boutique, a project we are incredibly excited about. Fashion-conscience has collaborated with the charity TRAID to come up with a new concept for sustainable fast and affordable fashion. The mini-collections will be much more trend focused than TRAID’s typical pieces and be made up of just a few of each design. New lines will be added every few weeks and as creative director, I’ll be keeping a close eye on the catwalk trends to really keep in touch with high-end fashion. The collection will be available exclusively for fashion-conscience customers. We are also launching an exclusive line of printed tees in the near future- they’re being designed and produced as we speak!


How successful has the store been so far? Were you surprised by its success?

Surprised? Yes and no! I’m ambitious and I always hoped the site would be successful so in a way I wasn’t surprised that the site has seen a success. We started trading as the recession began so keeping in mind the tough trading conditions we’ve seen in the last year we’re growing rapidly. But where we’ve made real impact is within the industry itself. In terms of the fact that most people in ethical fashion industry see us as the number one site for style and new talent. We’ve showcased some fantastic new labels on fashion-conscience and I am always on the look out for more. We have attracted good press, and more than larger companies in the same arena as us. Good exposure is essential and we will always attract attention if we continue pushing boundaries.?


Who are your favourite designers on the site? Which would you particularly like recommend?

Camilla Norrbeck sells her beautiful and timeless pieces exclusively on fashion-conscience. She’s a Swedish designer and uses almost entirely ecological or environmentally certified, natural fabrics

We will soon be stocking a little label called Betty Bridge. Born in Paris then studied in London, the designer sources vintage fabric to transform into gorgeous modern pieces. She brings practical, wearable and femininity to her clothes, mixing French chic with London flair.

Fin is a Norwegian label. Its very elegant, luxurios and sophisticated. I’m looking forward to receiving the AW collection. They use organic and environmentally friendly fabrics.

And vegan label Olsenhaus.


Are there any other sites or shops like yours that you would recommend or that have inspired you?

For pure professionalism and selling good fashion, net-a-porter is great. They’ve managed to expand the designer market and made it more accessible to the general public. Eco blog ‘style will save us‘ has won design awards and simply picks the best of eco, we’re often featured on there too which is obviously always good! BeingContent is an excellent eco beauty and wellbeing site. They have everything from skincare to haircare and men’s beauty too

The possibilities are endless.

See Fashion-Conscious for links to other ethical design initiatives including the designer Rani Jones whose collection is made entirely in London and Fin, a Norwegian company who describe themselves as 100% carbon neutral.


Only on their second single, pharm London-based indie fourtet, Your Twenties have been described as ‘possibly the best group ever formed by a member of another act who wasn’t the frontman.’ The ‘other act’ is Metronomy and ‘the member who wasn’t the frontman’ is Gabriel Stebbing. The delightful fellow chats to Amelia’s Magazine in Brick Lane about what it means to be in Your Twenties.

AM: So your new single, ‘Billionaires,’ I take it you don’t want to be a billionaire….

GS: It was one of the first songs I wrote for Your Twenties ages ago. When I was still in Metronomy. I guess it was me at my dreamiest and most ideological. I basically write music that makes you feel a particular way because of the sound. But with Billionaires, it’s not some big anti-corruption message, but in the music industry you can always see when people are motivated by money or where there is too much money thrown at something. I don’t think the song is 100% about that. It was just my little flag waving stand, the last of my idealism that was then crushed by the actual experience of touring with Metronomy. You can absolutely do everything you need to do on a shoestring. I was thinking about the xx record. They must have started 2 or 3 years ago. Now they’ve just released their album on a tiny label, produced it themselves and it’s brilliant! That’s what we’re trying to do with this band as well. I don’t think the old model really works.

AM: You’ve alluded to the pop sound of Your Twenties, was that a conscious move away from Metronomy?

GS: I just got to the point with Metronomy that I didn’t have the time to do both. They’re still touring that record non stop. Metronomy is completely Joe [Mount]‘s music. Me and him had been in each others bands for ages. He’d been the drummer in one of mine for 3 years, where he drummed and I wrote the songs. Then we swapped and I played bass and he wrote the music. Now it just seemed like the right time. I think he always knew I was going to push off at some point.

AM: Your pop aesthetic seems to be nostalgic of the genre before “that word” became a bad thing….

GS: I was brought up in Devon, we didn’t really have cool music. I sort of learnt everything about the early days, as much as you can learn about music, listening to my parents record collections and other people’s parents’ record collections. That idea of how records from the 60s and 70s could sound really weird and really pop at the same time, like The Kinks – I don’t think we’re a retro band or a throw back band – but what I like about records from that time and the post-punk era and in the 80s, they could make three minute long records that were really memorable and they always had something in the middle of them that twisted it all around somehow. ‘Billionaires’ is quite a classic, straight sound, but in ‘Caught Wheel’, our first single and ‘Gold’, which will probably be our next, I think they have that something a little bit strange. That’s what I’m going for.


AM: How far off an album are you?

GS: I think it’s going to be a 10 or 12 track record. We’ve finished two tracks definitely. It’s pretty much all written, we have two thirds of it demo-ed and I say we’re gonna finish by November.

AM: So Joe is producing tracks on the album? And any more by Stephen Street [producer – Blur, The Smiths]?

GS: Stephen Street did Billionaires, the single, and it was really, really amazing to work with him. I think he did the best thing he could with what we brought to the table. It’s like he did the perfect production of that song. It harks back to all our favourite songs of the 90s. It was like a dream come true. Growing up listening to Blur and The Smiths it really was amazing. At the moment, we’re doing more tracks with Joe. He’s done stuff with us in the past and that kind of opened the sound for us – right but odd. On the couple of tracks we’ve done with him so far, it really works. We’re even gonna do a new version of ‘Billionaires’ for the record which will be Joe’s take on it. It sounds pretty amazing, it’s got a guitar solo in the middle that sounds like an American sitcom, like when Kramer walks in on Seinfeld and there’s that little bit of guitar, it kinda like that.


AM: Your first two singles have been pretty summery. Will there be a darker element to any of the tracks in Your Twenties?

GS: I think it’s going to be quite a varied record. We’ve decided that we’re not going to have any tracks that are really down tempo or ballady. And it’s not that I don’t write those. But on your first album, I kinda want it to be, bam, bam, bam. There are a couple of songs that are shaping up to be, I guess, “bittersweet.” That’s a terribly, pretentious sounding word but it’s not all summer, sunshine. A lot of stuff is nostalgic sounding. You know the calm you get after a crazy night, that’s not necessarily down and depressed but reflective. There are a couple of tracks like that, which should fit nicely within the record so it’s not too gormless.

AM: So by the sounds of it the name Your Twenties is reflective of your music….

GS: In Metronomy, we played quite a few gigs with The Teenagers. That sort of gave me the name. I thought what comes next. I feel like that band really encapsulate what it’s like to be a teenager, you know, snogs behind the bike shed. They hit it on the head. With my twenties so far, everything has been a bit more complicated. I want the music and the lyrics to sum that up. I know that’s a massive statement but I want it to sort of fit that idea. There have been so many amazing points in my twenties and so many dead ends, feelings of exasperation and so many points of elation. The album is going to incorporate all of that. I don’t meet that many people that have been super successful in their twenties but when I do, I’m just like, ‘how do you manage that?’ My twenties have been anything but. It’s an album for people in their twenties that didn’t go into a career in banking.

AM: What else would you like to achieve in your twenties?

GS: I’d just like to get the record out. I’ve always been writing and thinking about the kind of music that I’d make if it was just me. I’ve spent the last few years with Metronomy and then before that in other bands that never really made it. And all the people I’ve been in bands with, have put out albums. So I just want to do that now. When I was 18 I made a pact with the lead singer of the band I was in, that we’d be as big as the Beatles. I remember it now, drinking cider… And gradually my sights have lowered and I just wanna get the record out, tour it, maybe play abroad and travel.

AM: You haven’t toured much yet, have you thought about how a tour would work?

GS: At the moment, because of the equipment we have, which isn’t very much, we’re playing it as a straight four piece indie format. But I guess we’re gonna bring in drum pads and electronic sounds. I suppose it’s a little bit early to start thinking about production but [with encouragement] why not? Video screens… why not one of those gang ways? I’ll run along it. Then there’ll be an acoustic set in the middle, like in the round. Then we ride an elephant like Take That. Ha ha ha.


AM: Tell me about the video to Billionaires.

GS: It was case of timing and a case of something falling apart at the last minute. When you’ve got a band of four people and a video director who is going to work for little money outside of his normal production company. A lot of planets have to align. I was really deflated about it. I was on my own in the flat and it needed something. I am quite pleased with the product but I felt terribly unwell afterwards.

AM: It’s appropriate to what we were saying earlier with the powers of distribution….

GS: Yeah I didn’t really understand the Internet before I did that. I just stuck it up on the myspace and suddenly the next day… it was heartening. You don’t have to spend any money.

Categories ,blur, ,elastica, ,electro, ,Indie, ,metronomy, ,pop, ,the smiths, ,The XX, ,your twenties

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Amelia’s Magazine | Rock Royalty: Famous music producerâ

So London Fashion Week is officially in full swing. It couldn’t have kicked off with a nicer day on Sunday as fashion folk of all shapes and sizes donned their finest and turned up at the various venues around the capital to see what’s in store for Spring/Summer 2009. Of course Team Amelia couldn’t possibly miss out on the chance of spotting new talent, medical try so putting all thoughts of Sunday roast firmly to the back of our mind, more about we joined the rest of the fashion community at some of the weeks opening shows.

Now in day 4, price my highlights would have to be the eccentric desert tribe meets punk-rocker collection presented by Horace; a breathtaking show by Quasimi which opened with a dancing violin playing duo and ended with a couture clad Erin O’connor; an exotic Hawaiian themed collection from Antoni and Alison complete with beach scenery, deck chairs and complimentary coconuts, and finally the beautifully detailed range of sculptured metallic shift dresses, oversized caps and two-piece suits from Bernard Chandran.

According to this weeks reoccurring trends, delicate pastels and neutral shades are set to dominate our wardrobes next summer alongside layered ruffles on just about everything. Don’t bother to ditch your gladiator and patent heels too fast because it looks like eccentric heels are set to stay for another season.

That’s all for now, but keep checking the website for detailed reports and pictures from each of the each of the shows.



Musicians at Qasimi show

Finale at Qasimi show

We should have seen the nipples coming, viagra order really. After all, we were greeted on the door by the most exciting clipboard wielder I’ve ever laid eyes on. A taste of what was to be expected…he checked our names off the list showing not one sign of embarrassment over his outfit (nor should he! He was fabulous, dahling), an ensemble that consisted of Russian army hat atop blue hair and teeny shorts held up by Union jack braces. And nothing on top. So, if we had had our wits about us, we should have known that nipples would be on the menu for the night.

We were, of course, at the Under/Current Magazine launch at Cafe OTO in Dalston. All the cool kids were in attendance (tired of heading West for Fashion Week, presumably) with many guys rocking the Giles Deacon/Terry Richardson big glasses look. There were some not so cool ones, too; we were rather put off by a guy who’s jacket was covered in dead foxes – not big, not clever. Still, we averted our eyes by taking a sneak peek at the first, ‘Dynasty’ issue of the new arts and fashion magazine. After taking in the beautiful cover shot by Babette Pauthier we had a good flick through. It’s a lovely size (30cm x 23cm, to be exact), full of avante garde fashion photography and I’m sure it’s set to become a firm favourite of mag junkies like myself. Lot’s of pictures, not so many words – just the way I likes ‘em.


On to these nipples then. As we watched a few members of Cleckhuddersfax setting up, we noticed a rather foppish guy step on the scene and begin disrobing. ‘How alarming! Would there soon be nudity?’ we whispered amongst ourselves. Alas, no, as we soon realised that this was the lead singer, rather than some strange streaker, and he was only taking off his top layers to reveal his official stage outfit. Suitably under-dressed, and giving us no time to prepare ourselves, Cleckhuddersfax got stuck in.


Cleckhuddersfax describe themselves as sounding like ‘Fake-Prog Musique Con-cretin’ on their myspace page. Erm… yep, it’s actually a fairly good description. From the looks of the band (excepting the lead singer, of course) long hair and beards had led us to believe that things would be getting pretty old school rock, and we were not disapointed. Cleckhuddersfax also have a bit of that mental operatic thing going on, which did feel pretty prog, but on top of this there’s keyboards and voice warping devices a-plenty.


Cleckhuddersfax make the most alarming noises; it’s as if Wyld Stallyns had found a Korg and got into Devo. Perhaps it all sounds a little strange, but it was very fun and definitely dance-able with much toe-tapping taking place at the front of the crowd.


Toe tapping wasn’t enough for the tango-ed front man, however. Seen below giving it his all in front of a video-projection by Adham Faramawy, he rampaged his way into the first few layers of crowd, shouting into audience members faces and daring everyone to dance. Many were glad to take him up on his offer, and things got a little messy in the front row.


After getting all hyped up by Cleckhuddersfax, it was unfortunate that we had to take our leave. Ahh, well, I suppose Fashion Week is about cramming in as many parties as possible and, to be honest, I think I’d seen quite enough nipples for one evening…



The Greengaged event organisers (left to right) Sophie Thomas (co-founder, erectile thomas.matthews), price David Kester (CEO, Design Council), Sarah Johnson of [re]design and Anne Chick (Director, Sustainable Design Research Centre, Kingston University)

As the girls were busy planning their outfits and getting their hair done I grabbed my notepad, A-Z and sandwiches and off I trundled in seek of the Design Council. I won’t bore you with the details of my nightmare journey, but all I will say is that London Transport and I have been the least of friends this week. My galloping through Covent Garden and colliding with dawdling tourists payed off and I eventually arrived at my destination to be greeted with a sticky name badge, coffee and biscuits. I poured myself a quick fix and pulled up a pew in the rather minimalist, swish function room (what else was I expecting?!).


Simon Terry of Anglepoise

With pen and paper poised I sat and listened attentively as the first speaker opened the lecture on the sustainability of Product and Fashion Design. As the managing director of the lighting and manufacturing company Anglepoise, Simon Terry stressed the importance of that “a product should be a pleasure to use” not purely an aesthetic beauty. When addressing the query of how they as designers of the future can help to change the conscience of a consumer Terry spoke of the term ‘world view.’ Within this he outlined that it is not possible to make a consumer conform, instead you must enter their awareness (or world view) through their own agenda.

Cressida Granger, founder of DeWeNe a product design company mirrored these thoughts with their motivation in creating designs consumers ‘need’ not purely desire. Designs are based on utility and function over the ‘look’ of a product, very different to her background career with lava lamp company Mathmos. ‘Hook and Go’, one of their more popular product lines works with the current climate of shopping bag reduction, using a recycled steel trolley with wheels to transport shopping. Carrying up to 8 bags (32 kilos) of produce this design aims to reduce our carbon footprint, decreasing the need to use the car around town.


Hook…. and go

A future addition is the ‘eco cooler’ worked on by David Weatherhead of the Royal College of Arts. Working with a terracotta dish and bowl, water is dispensed into the dish below which then evaporates and acts to cool the contents of the bowl. Designed for the preservation of our fruit and veg, Granger hopes that this will encourage consumers to use smaller fridges, thus dramatically cutting down our demand on energy. Keen to work with an ethically friendly product line, Granger has set up two places of manufacture, allowing the customer to decide for themselves what is high on their agenda. The cheaper option is made in India and imported, whereas the more expensive same design is constructed in Wales by the social project Crafts for All which employs people with physical and mental complaints.



The eco cooler by David Weatherhead

Closing this talk was Tom Fishburne of the Method product company. The brainchild of an American product designer and scientist, this product line has only recently cropped up on British shores. They have quite a charming story behind the birth of their cleaning product company…. once upon a time Adam (the scientist) considered why we are encouraged to use registered pesticides (which in turn pollute) when we clean? Meanwhile the product designer was shopping and realised the disgusting array of nasty shaped and coloured cleaning products and began making thoughts on how to develop these. I am a little sceptical of the story (it is a bit cheesy and convenient) but, there is no doubt Method have found a gap in the market with 95% of current cleaning products refusing to bridge into the 21st mentality of green products. Non toxic and sourcing natural ingredients is absolutely the way we should be cleaning.



The natural ingredient Method product line

In much similarity to the ideas expressed by Terry and Granger, Fishburne spoke of the need of how to shape clients. You can’t make the consumer consume less, instead you have to make them smarter. They are certainly achieving this, with product lines established in John Lewis, Tesco’s, Sainsbury’s and of course online.

Insightful, inspiring and free… to all those designers out there, get your free spaces on the last few days of the workshops here!!

Carianne Laguna may look like a fresh-faced intern entering a building standing among lofts owned by fashion models in Manhattan’s NoHo neighborhood. However, unhealthy the 28-year-old is Vice President and General Manager of Blackheart Records, viagra a label that rock legend Joan Jett helped create in 1980. Laguna, drugs who resides in Brooklyn, tirelessly commutes to her office, where she signs new artists to the label, including punk acts like Girl in a Coma and The Cute Lepers. Not only does she spend days promoting artists, but she manages the “I Love Rock N‘ Roll” rebel. In the music industry – where few women take behind-the-scene roles in impacting listeners, Laguna does it all with a toothy grin. Yet, she wouldn’t have been crowned queen of indie music management if it wasn’t for her family.

The Cute Lepers

Her father is Kenny Laguna, a music producer who, in 1980, began managing a 17-year-old Jett. Despite Jett joining a band when she was just 15 and befriending Sid Vicious, 23 music labels turned her down, causing her manager to sell demos from the trunk of his car. Consequently, the duo started Blackheart Records, one of the first music labels owned by a woman. Jett would go on to sell millions of albums, becoming one of rock’s top-charting females in history. Laguna, who grew up traveling around the world as Jett performed for thousands, would later carry on her father’s legacy. She graduated from the University of Colorado in 2001, where she took several internships to fully understand the business of music. “When I got to Blackheart Records, I said ‘I’m going to do this, but I would like to sign a lot of new bands that are in it for the music and not the fame,’” she says.

Joan Jett

Laguna did just that, all while proving herself. “People tend to dismiss you if you’re a girl,” she reveals before groaning at how few females are leaders in the music business. “People think it’s just a fabulous thing to look as young as an intern, until you have to be taken seriously.” After many frustrations from Devil Wears Prada archetypes, she chose to keep moving without ever looking back. She takes a deep breath before gushing about her love of finding overlooked musicians and giving them a chance. “It just makes me feel good that I’m spreading their music. That beats out all those days when people would look down at you just because they had their own hang-ups.”

Just like her father perfected, Laguna is still applying the DIY method. From designing all the artwork, to selling merchandise during Warp Tour, Laguna isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. At times, she would even pass out Cds in bars, restaurants, and any place that plays music. Yet, it’s this technique that’s going to help save the suffering music industry. “This is a great time for indie labels and artists to get their art out there,” she explains. “A lot of people are discovering bands on the internet. You have to hit all the networking sites and play live as much as you can. There’s just no better way of finding new music.”

Speaking of upcoming hits, Laguna happily shared some exclusive news, including of Girl In A Coma and The Dollyrots going to the studio this fall. If that isn’t enough, she also revealed that Lana Davies, daughter of The Kinks founding member Dave Davies, was recently signed to the label and will be recording soon. It’s certain that as long as this bubbly brunette keeps challenging the all-male club known as the music industry, good music, with a woman’s touch, will always prevail.

The Dollyrots

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Amelia’s Magazine | Dance With Anyone: An interview with I am Harlequin

i-am-harlequin profile 2
Anne Freier, aka I am Harlequin, has long had her toes dipped in both the fashion and music industries. The stylish, electro pop songstress and dress maker made big waves with previous release ‘Wild One’ which featured in the BAFTA award winning E4 series Skins. Her latest release ‘Dance With Anyone’ released on June 26th 2015 on Stop Being Cute Records is set to be a big summer hit having gained significant support online and across UK radio stations.

I Am Harlequin profile 3
What came first – music or dressmaking?
I’ve made music since I was a little kid. I used to belt Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston around the house until my parents told me to shut up! It’s what I’ve always wanted to do and I went on to study music in London after High School. Dressmaking followed when I ran out of good fashion options for a music video shoot. I was in desperate need for something original and ended up deciding to make something instead of endlessly scouring the web for it. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I was sewing for others, and eventually commercially.

Dance With Anyone

What inspired the video for your latest single ‘Dance With Anyone’?
I really wanted to make a video with a more summery feel. The song ‘Dance with Anyone’ has that feel-good summer vibe but I don’t live on the beach. I live in the big city surrounded by concrete and the occasional green spots. ‘Dance with Anyone’ is my tribute to a summer in London. The performances by Rosie and Jenny are both beautiful and edgy, highlighting that contrast. They find each other in the end. Frankly, I love a good dance and I hope the video gets one or the other viewer moving, shaking, snogging…

I Am Harlequin
Were you involved with the styling on the shoot?
Yes. I made a little mood board and asked the girls to scour their wardrobes accordingly. The yellow jacket that Jenny wears is actually one my sister gave me a few years ago. It’s so darn ugly, that it’s already good again.

I Am Harlequin white collar
You have your toes dipped in two very demanding industries – music and fashion. How do you balance the two? Do they cross over sometimes?
Music is definitely my main focus. I juggled running a fashion label for a bit, but it’s a full time job for sure. I’d like to come back to it though. Perhaps create a line with someone else or even inspire a designer to create some pieces. Truthfully, fashion and music are both utterly brutal businesses and trying to build up both on your own at the same time is near impossible. I would definitely need help to continue running a commercial fashion label.

I am Harlequin Onesome single art
Pieces from your own fashion label Onesome have previously sold via Asos and pop up shops in Brick Lane. Where can we currently get our hands on your original pieces?
You can ask me! I don’t sell anything from the old line anymore, however, there are a lot of pieces left and I do encourage listeners and fans to tell me if they loved something they saw. I may just send it to them!

I Am Harlequin performing ‘Wild One’ live at St John on Bethnal Green

Musically you cite you’re influenced by the likes of Kate Bush, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. What influences you when dressmaking?
I’m a big fan of colour and patterns and mashing them up like a mixtape. I’m not afraid to use a lot of bold colours, because compared to commercial fashion houses which have to stay rather safe when designing pieces, I can make whatever I want without being worried about sales. I like to be inspired by couture looks and often the fabric itself will dictate what I’m doing with it.

I Am Harlequin - Liberty cover
You recently supported San Cisco at The Dome. When performing on stage do you try to wear your own designs?

Always. It’s the perfect moment to showcase not just the songs, but also the fashion. In fact, I better go wash the dress I wore at that show since someone already claimed it.

What’s next for I am Harlequin?
I think I’d like to write an album for next year and collaborate heavily with others in doing so. I’m also currently songwriting with some other very talented singers for their own EPs and albums, and cannot wait to get stuck into that further. Hopefully, there’ll be some good performances along the way and more good music to come.

To keep track of I am Harlequin, upcoming tour dates and new releases you can follow her on Facebook and Twitter. Her tracks are available to buy via itunes.

Categories ,Anne Freier, ,Dance With Anyone, ,I am Harlequin, ,Onesome, ,San Cisco, ,Skins, ,Stop Being Cute Records, ,Wild One

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Amelia’s Magazine | Joana Serrat: Dear Great Canyon, an interview and review

Joana Serrat by youdesignme iIlustration

Joana Serrat by youdesignme Illustration.

Singer songwriter Joana Serrat hails from Spain, where she has carefully crafted her stunning debut album, produced by Howard Bilerman and inspired by the songs of the American heartland via a sojourn in Ireland. Last Friday I managed to scamper out of the house to catch her half hour live set at Rough Trade East just before toddler bedtime, and was left suitably impressed by this diminutive Spanish lady.

Joana Serrat 2014-Rough Trade East live gig, photography by Amelia Gregory

Joana Serrat, Rough Trade East live gig, photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dear Great Canyon is a stunning album of carefully paced extremes: lilting lullabies interspersed with upbeat melodies. It opens with the elegiac Flowers on the Hillside, Joana’s faint Spanish accent the only indicator that this tune was crafted far from the Mid West. In The Blizzard Joana talks about the ‘shattering silence’ of heartbreak, her voice breaking in emotion against the richly orchestrated backdrop, with slide guitar becoming ever more prominent in Green Grass, an upbeat tune that sees Joana in more optimistic mood. After the brief 50s influenced wooziness of Stop Feelin’ Blue, So Clear is a rollicking paen to getting on with things. Summer on the Beach lulls the listener with Moogish noodlings, followed by another highlight – the Cold of the desert which is the setting for metaphors of the heart. The Wanderer narrates the tale of a magnetic dancer, and The Secret returns yet again to wild landscapes. The album draws to a close with the drifting strains of Yellow Rider, rootsy Place Called Home and piano driven Came Out of the Blue.

Joana Serrat by Natalie Burton

Joana Serrat by Natalie Burton.

Dear Great Canyon proves that location is of little importance in our globalised society, where we are as likely to be influenced by far off musicians as those on home soil. Here Joana Serrat describes how she came to fall in love with the folk music of distant lands, and how one email made her dreams come true.

Although you grew up in Barcelona your sound has been very much influenced by Americana, what were your favorite records when you first discovered music?
I used to listen to Neil Young a lot; I got into his music when I was 13 I think. I got into him because I found his Unplugged album at my Dad’s music shelves and really loved it. After that I went into Sleep with Angels and it became one of my favorite albums for years. I used to play My Heart on the piano, which I learned by listening to it. I would say Neil is my essence.

I must say when I was a child my mum used to play me on vinyl the records of a Catalan singer-songwriter named Xesco Boix who had traveled to States and came back to Catalunya under the influence of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, which he had seen live in shows. He took traditional Catalan songs and some American songs too and went all over the schools to play those songs to children. I would say this is my first influence on music. I loved his voice, he calmed me down and made me feel I was not alone. So when I listened to Neil I recognized that feeling and it happened the same when I got into Bob’s records. I immediately felt attracted to his sound at the age of 22 and they made such a deep impact that I assumed I would write songs.
Joana Serrat by David Giménez

Joana Serrat by David Giménez.

What Spanish groups did you also listen to, and did any of these have any influence on your burgeoning sensibility?
I started to listen to Partido, McEnroe and Pajaro Sunrise two years ago, but I have never got that into Spanish bands.
What took you to Dublin, and what was your favorite bit about life in Ireland?
I went to Dublin because I needed a change in my life. I thought that perhaps everything in my life had come because of inertia and routine so I needed to check if I was able to have it for my own. I really felt the need to change my role in the family, and needed to put space between me and my life at that moment. I felt I first had to know myself better and get to understand me before introducing myself to others. I needed to find out who I was, what music meant for me. I came back more secure in myself, with knowledge and the certainty I had grown up and had matured.
I was lucky that I had a job in a wine bar and my life developed around the store and the people who worked in there. The crew was so cool, we really got on so well with each other, and we were like a family. I started to sing and lost my fears about my voice and my songs at some of the barbecues we used to have.
Joana Serrat by Amelia Gossman

Joana Serrat by Amelia Gossman.

When you start to write a song what kind of mood or situation suits you best?
I would say it’s easy for me to write when I feel sad or blue. Most of my songs were written in that mood but with Dear Great Canyon I learned to write from another kind of mood, wanting to make songs that tell a story. I still use my life and my experiences to write a song. I need my experiences, my feelings and emotions so I can compose. In that way I have a kind of dependence on my life. But I am happy I started to move away from sadness. I think it’s kinda dangerous to get dependent on sadness to create (whatever it is: music, painting, literature, etc…) It could ruin your personal life without you being conscious of it (in a Freudian way I mean).

Joana Serrat by Alicia Aguilera

Joana Serrat by Alicia Aguilera.

Where do you live at present, and what keeps you there?
I live in Vic were I was born. I came back here a year ago because my partner and I wanted a quiet life in the country. We were living in Barcelona before that but I love this land, its landscapes. Having said that I would really love to live abroad too.

How did you find and approach your producer?
I love his work with Wolf Parade, Basia Bulat and Vic Chesnutt and I was thrilled with the The Wooden Sky‘s Every Child a Daughter, Every Sun a Moon album that Howard Bilerman produced. So I decided to email him and attached 4 track demos. I asked him if he wanted to help me to make a dream come true, which was to record an album with him and he answered half an hour later saying ‘I love to make dreams come true’.  I wept when read it.

Joana Serrat by Jane Young

Joana Serrat by Jane Young.

What was the process of recording this album like? I hear much of it was recorded live…
Howard and I were talking a lot about the sound of the album. I gave him a lot of references of bands, songs and sounds I liked. I really insisted on the textures the songs must have. So he decided to record the album on tape live. It was great. Such an incredible experience. I had never recorded like that or had the chance to record properly. I mean, it was my first time that I had to think about nothing but the recording. It was amazing. At the same time it was very easy to work with him. He would be seated at the control desk, listening carefully. He is not interventionist at all. I see him as a song hunter. He catches the best perform of the song.

Where can fans see you this year in the UK?
We are playing in Liverpool soon and on August 16th at Jabberwocky Festival, London.

What next for Joana Serrat?
I wish to grow as a musician, as a performer, as a singer-songwriter and I really wish to play in a lot of places. I guess these things are what every artist wish, aren’t they? I would also really like to record an EP of new songs to be released at the end of this year or at the beginning of next year.

Joana Serrat Dear Great Canyon album cover

Dear Great Canyon by Joana Serrat is released on April 7th 2014 on the El Segell del Primavera label.

Categories ,Alicia Aguilera, ,Amelia Gossman, ,Amelia Grace Illustration, ,barcelona, ,Basia Bulat, ,Bob Dylan, ,Came Out of the Blue, ,Catalonia, ,Catalunya, ,Cold, ,David Giménez, ,Dear Great Canyon, ,El Segell del Primavera, ,Every Child a Daughter Every Sun a Moon, ,Flowers on the Hillside, ,Green Grass, ,Howard Bilerman, ,Jabberwocky Festival, ,Jane Young, ,Joan Baez, ,McEnroe, ,My Heart, ,Neil Young, ,Pajaro Sunrise, ,Partido, ,Pete Seeger, ,Place Called Home, ,review, ,Rough Trade East, ,Sleep with Angels, ,So Clear, ,spain, ,Stop Feelin’ Blue, ,Summer on the Beach, ,The Blizzard, ,The Secret, ,The Wanderer, ,The Wooden Sky, ,Unplugged, ,Vic, ,Vic Chesnutt, ,Wolf Parade, ,Xesco Boix, ,Yellow Rider, ,youdesignme

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Pieter Nooten and review of new album Surround Us

Pieter Nooten by Adam Pryce
Pieter Nooten by Adam Pryce.

There are echoes of Brian Eno in this beautifully haunting collection of songs that straddle the definitions of classical and ambient music. Surround Us opens with Ode, which showcases the delicate strings of improv cellist Lucas Stam set against a lush orchestral backdrop provided by the electronic wizardry of pioneering musician Pieter Nooten. An End is a highlight for the dulcet tones of Stam‘s strings whilst the humming strums of Blue Wonder creates the perfect undercurrent for breathy vocals. Secret Room conjures up the world of a former recluse stepping back into life but Blue Square presents a narrative far more abstract. Belong brings the album to a beatific repose: perfect for lazy summer afternoons. Just don’t call it pop…

pieter nooten surround us album cover
You used to be part of Clan of Xymox – I will confess I know nothing of this intriguing sounding band which began life many a moon ago in the Netherlands – can you tell us a bit more about it and what your part was as a songwriter?
We signed to 4AD in the early 80’s. At that time I was intrigued by early electronica: affordable mono – as well as polyphonic synthesizers, triggering drum machines, step sequencing and so on in a pre and post-midi era. For the first two albums I contributed a lot; most tracks were distilled from my demo’s. After Xymox signed to a major US label I lost interest, mainly because the rest of the band, Ronny and Anka, decided to go for a more accessible sound. During that period I produced the highly acclaimed ambient cd Sleeps With The Fishes together with producer/guitarist Michael Brook, and decided to leave the band.

pieter nooten
How did you come to work entirely with electronic arrangements? Did you first have a grounding in traditional musical instruments and how did you teach yourself to make music?
When I was young I played several instruments: I started with drums, then played the bass guitar, a bit of electrical guitar and then moved on to keyboards. My dad was also sort of a multi instrumentalist, but totally self taught, autodidact. So there wasn’t an intention to choose one particular instrument or the other. You just picked it up and learned it along the way. This discipline has formed the basis of my composing technique.

Pieter Nooten, Surround Us by Julie Ritchie
Pieter Nooten, Surround Us by Julie Ritchie.

What has your heritage as a Dutch person contributed to your music making?
I find it hard to answer that. My influences vary from early Italian baroque, to German Krautrock, early ambient music and avant garde and new wave from the early 80’s. I am not a great pop music enthusiast. Never was. I have no interest in the archetypical anglo american pop music and I am not an R&B or rock fan. On the contrary, I find most guitar bands contrived if not reactionary conservative in their endless use of rock clichés and the puberal behaviour that seems to come with it. I am not sure if that has anything to do with my heritage but it could be. In other words, I like my music authentic but above all emotionally honest and subjectively personal.

You are quoted as being more influenced by classical music such as Bach than by modern pop – but are there any other modern pop musicians that you think we should listen to?
I really honestly do not keep up with contemporary pop music. In my opinion pop music had its renaissance in the 60’s and 70’s, overlapping the early 80’s. Just like baroque music had its heydays. After that it became a sort of repetition of old achievements over and over again. Something new needs to happen and I believe there are some bright signals on the horizon. I personally love some of the material of Sigur Ros, A Winged Victory Of The Sullen, Radio Head, Bjork and like minded explorers of new electronica.

Pieter Nooten by Anthony Peters.

Why is passion so important to you and what is the most passionate thing you can think of doing?
I cannot imagine composing without passion, how hopelessly romantic that may sound. What other reasons would there be to produce art in the first place? The flattering of a narcissistic Ego? Money? Fame? Not for me. I live quite a reclusive life and I enjoy being left alone. Composing music remains my greatest passion.

Pieter Nooten by EdieOP
Pieter Nooten by EdieOP.

Who do you hope that this album will reach, and how do you hope that your listeners will hear it?
I hope it will reach people that need to hear it! What can I say. I hope people will listen to it with a clear head, not comparing it to anything, as I have not composed it with a certain style or genre in mind. It’s done in total isolation, with only me, my laptop and the objective ears of my girlfriend who helped me not to make too many strange decisions during those moments when I was getting a bit lost in my own world!

YouTube Preview Image
YouTube Preview Image
Surround Us is out now and available through Rocket Girl Records.

Categories ,4ad, ,A Winged Victory Of The Sullen, ,Adam Pryce, ,Ambient, ,Anthony Peters, ,bjork, ,brian eno, ,classical, ,dutch, ,EdieOP, ,German Krautrock, ,improvisation, ,Julie Ritchie, ,Lucas Stam, ,Michael Brook, ,Pieter Nooten, ,Radio Head, ,Rocket Girl Music, ,Rocket Girl Records, ,Ronny and Anka, ,sigur ros, ,Sleeps With The Fishes

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Discoghosts – BAD

Monday 12th Jan
Starting today: The Voice and Nothing More is a week-long festival at the Slade Research Centre that explores the voice as both medium and subject matter in contemporary arts practices. Established artists and emerging talent will work with leading vocal performers in an exploration of the voice outside language. On Wednesday the festival culminates in a presentation of objects, pilule generic performances, order and installations that are open to the public. There will also be performances on Thursday and Friday from 6 pm.


Wednesday 14th Jan

Now in it’s 21st year, recipe the London Art Fair begins at the Design Centre in Islington. A hundred galleries are selected to show work from the last few hundred years. This immense exhibition will encompass sculpture, photography, prints, video and installation art. It ends on the 18th of January.
There is a talk this evening at the ICA entitled Can Art make us Happy? where artists Zoë Walker and Michael Pinsky explore the notions of art as a social cure-all in times of economic and social gloom.
A new solo show from Josephine Flynn begins today at Limoncello on Hoxton Square. The Mexican was bought off a patient who was in hospital with mental health problems. When the patient talked about The Mexican she described how the process of making him had helped her – ‘healing through making’ was how she put it.


Thursday 15th Jan
Feierabend is a collaborative installation between artists Francis Upritchard, Martino Gamper, and Karl Fritsche, bringing together a shared aesthetic in their distinctive approaches to jewellery, furniture design, and sculpture. The exhibition plays with the boundaries of art and real life – looking like a workshop abandoned at the end of a day’s work, or a sitting room left in abstracted dissary, it’s only inhabitants a set of sculpted figures who seem lost in their own meditations.
Gimpel Fils opens a new photographic exhbition from Peter Lanyon and Emily-Jo Sargent, 100 Pictures of Coney Island.
The Asphalt World is a new solo show at Studio Voltaire from Simon Bedwell. Drip paintings are made from advertising posters in an ironic twist or corporate seduction.


Friday 16th

There are two exhibitions starting today at Wilkinson on Vyner Street. In Upper Gallery a, Episode III, Enjoy Poverty, is the second in a series of three films by Renzo Martens in which he raises issues surrounding contemporary image making, challenging ideas about the role of film makers and viewers in the construction of documentaries. In the Lower Gallery, there will be the fourth exhibiton from German artist, Silke Schatz. Through the conjunction of video, sculpture, drawing and found objects, Schahtz composes a personal portrait of the city of Agsburg.


Saturday 17th Jan

We featured David Cotterrell in issue ten, where in the picturesque surroundings of Tatton Park, he explained how his visit to Afghanistan, where he was invited by the Wellcome Trust, would be likely to have a lasting effect on his future work. Aesthetic Distance is David Cotterrell’s third solo exhibition with Danielle Arnaud, and focuses on the experiences and inevitable aftermath of a flight he took in November 2007 in a RAF C17, from Brize Norton to Kandahar. He was the sole passenger in a plane loaded with half a million rounds of palletised munitions and medical supplies to join Operation Herrick 7, a strange irony not lost on the artist.


Earth Listings

Monday 12th January, viagra 60mg 7pm

Climate Rush hits Heathrow


To whomsoever concerned by the biggest threat faced by humanity today-that of climate change,

You are cordially invited to Dinner at Domestic Departures. Join us for an evening of peaceful civil(ised) disobedience ahead of the government’s decision over a third runway at Heathrow. Inspired by the actions of the suffragettes, we will be calling for DEEDS NOT WORDS. The government acknowledges the huge problems we face from Climate Change but they continue with business as usual. This jolly evening is intended to produce much-needed positive change and we do hope that you would join us.

Location: Domestic Departures, Terminal 1, Heathrow Airport.

Time: 7pm (when the string quartet plays their first note).

Dress Code: Edwardian Suffragette: high collars, long skirts, fitted jackets, puffed sleeves, think Mary Poppins. Sashes will be provided. * Although advisable, it is not compulsory to arrive in Edwardian dress, the most important thing is that you your friends and family join us for dinner. To add the element of surprise, it is suggested that you arrive in a large coat to conceal your costume until the stroke of 7.

Bring: Jam tarts, scones, cucumber sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, tea cakes. Picnic blankets and table cloths. Tea and elderflower cordial. No alcohol please.

Entertainment: String quartet, art tricks from ArtPort, polite conversation.

We look forward to seeing you,

The Misbehaved Ladies from Climate Rush x

Tuesday 13th January, 6pm

Art, Activism and the legacy of Chico Mendes
8 John Adam Street


Tonight will explore the ways in which the arts can help shift society’s attitudes in the face of unprecedented climate change. Elenira Mendes, daughter of environmental activist Chico Mendes, will talk alongside panelists Jonathan Dove (award-winning composer), Greenpeace’s senior climate adviser, Charlie Kronick and fasion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood.

Wednesday 14th January

Wednesdays Do Matter
InSpiral Lounge, 250 Camden High Street NW1 8QS

A night of music, comedy, poetry and film (and really good vegan smoothies!) in aid of global justice campaigners, the World Development Movement. Remind yourselves why everyday matters, even Wednesdays.

Trouble the Water
The Mall


Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize at Sundance and announced as a finalist in 2009 Accademy Awards for Best Documentary. This is one New Orleans’ resident’s depiction of the catastrophic tragedy of Hurricaine Katrina. Shot with a (shakily) handheld camera, Kimberely Roberts’ footage starts from the weekend before the hurricaine and covers a period of a year. Michael Moore collaborators Tia Lessin and Carl Deal edit and append the tapes with their own film of the post-Katrina clean-up effort.An astounding portrayal of resilience and bravery.

Showing at the ICA 12th-15th January

Turning The Season
at The Wapping Project
Wapping Hydraulic Power Station
Wapping Wall


Recent crisp bright skies have been a welcome respite from the usual drab January weather. But who knows what tomorrow may bring. Turning the Season explores the social and cultural phenomenon of the British Season. It would be fair to say that the increasingly visible effects of Climate Change have further fuelled our national fascination with the weather.
Expect 100 bird houses, a roof-top lily pond and a photo story showing the break-up of a relationship against the backdrop of seasonal events shot by fashion photographer Thomas Zanon-Larcher.

Until 28th Febuary

Amazonia at the Young Vic


Although aimed at swarms of roaring key stage 3 schoolchildren as an educational piece on the issue of deforestation, this production from Palace People’s Projects is a true delight. Set in a traditional village in the Amazon that is eventually swayed by the ghost of Chico Mendes to not fall under the developers’ bulldozers. But not until some devastation has been wreaked first. A socio-political depiction of destruction of the Amazon with a mythical slant. All set to the music and dancing of Forro. An inventive stage (a mammoth man-made tree rather resembling an electrical pole, and pools of water seperating the audience) and brilliantly gaudy costumes by Gringo Cardia.

Until 24th January

Monday 12th January

Dead Kids, cost O Children, erectile The Lexington, London


Seriously energetic post-punk, sequinned and LOUD live act Dead Kids headline. No matter what you think of them on record, they’re sure to grab you live. Continuing the infant name-theme, as well as the intense post-punk sounds are support O Children.

Comanechi, Durrr at The End, London

With the ever-winning combo of Japanese girl singing drummer (also to be found as frontwoman for London band Pre) and jangular guitars, this is your best bet for a trendy sceney night out in London.

Tuesday 13th January

Banjo or Freakout
single launch party, White Heat @ Madame JoJos, London


Part of the new-wave of ultra-hip, genre-smashing music sweeping the artier corners of the globe at the moment. Should be a celebratory atmosphere as it is his single launch party.

Wednesday 14th January

Goldie Lookin Chain, Metro, London


Ho ho ho, GLC are sooooo funny. Free entry is promised to the gig but don’t leave your purse at home as you’ll have to pay to leave.

The Virgins, Rough Trade East, London

American New Wave tinged indie-rock.

Thursday 15th January

Wet Paint, Rough Trade East, London


Playing this gig in anticipation of the release of their new album, they’ll be supporting Bloc Party later in the year.

Emmy the Great, 12 Bar Club, London

Intimate solo acoustic performance of debut album First Love in full, ahead of its release in February.

Push, Astoria 2, London

A massive farewell party for the Astoria 2 which will be finally demolished on Friday. Catch Cajun Dance Party live as well as DJ sets from Mystery Jets, Lightspeed Champion, Good Shoes and Neon Gold among many others and mourn the demise of the sticky-floored dingy music venue in central London.

Friday 16th January

Cats in Paris, Brassica, Braindead Improv Ensemble, The Woe Betides, George Tavern, London


Massively hyped, bonkers 70s-ish glam-electro from Manchester.

The Golden Silvers, The Macbeth, London

Dreamy indie-pop from these regulars of the London gig circuit.

Saturday 17th January

The Bookhouse Boys, Empire, Middlesborough


Catch this 9 piece mini-orchestra, complete with mariachi brass, duelling drummers and girl-boy vocals, for their Ennio Morricone-style soundscapes.

I Love Boxie: a web-based business in London that tailors a t-shirt especially for you based on the story you tell them. The most astute of the fashion-conscious clan know that style should reflect your spirit and not merely robotic trends. In light of this; don’t wear your heart on your sleeve– instead wear it on a t-shirt; a Boxie t-shirt.
Here, cure founder of Boxie, troche Moxie shares her views on what fashion is truly about, how her brand works and what she hopes to achieve through her t-shirts:

Tell us the story of I Love Boxie.?

Each t-shirt tells a piece of the way – a place we have been, a person we have seen. We have many lines that fit many situations and could tell a piece of your story too. If not, we offer t-spoke. You call us, tell us a story and we turn it into a line on a t-shirt. We believe everyone in the world should have an unbranded, authentic tee that sings a line of where they have been and what they have seen. We are the opposite of any company who just put a logo on a t-shirt.

?Where does the inspiration for your t-shirts come from?

?From the people who write and call in everyday with their stories. The stories are wild, heartfelt, quiet, poignant and are better than anything we could make up.


What’s the idea behind the “half a conversation” concept?

If you think about branding for the last 30 years it’s been about distillation, reducing everything to a line eg: ‘just do it’ or ‘impossible is nothing’.
Our lines are about provoking expansion. It’s just the first line of the story, or the chapter heading. We want people to come up to someone wearing a Boxie tee – and go ‘wow, what the hell happened to you??’
Why do you make it purposefully hard for people to purchase your t-shirts, without contacting you directly first??

The tees are written about stupid, funny, weird, deep moments in people’s lives. All of them from the heart. They feel like they need more exchange than a credit card transaction. T-spoke especially. This is a creative collaboration that begins with the customer telling us their story. It is a strange and wonderful one off encounter between them and us. The t-shirt is their battle scar of that personal story.


Is all your business Internet based? ?

As far as being web based goes, our tees are obviously a form of self expression and there is no greater arena for that than the web. This taps into what a tee originally was – a piece of underwear, something that wasn’t supposed to be seen but kept close to the chest and hidden like a secret.

These days, the web is a place where secrets can step out of the shade, where people can talk about things they wouldn’t usually talk about in real life. Most times, you can learn more about someone from reading their status report than talking to them for an hour in reality, because the web has taught us the language of openness and sharing.

Boxie exists in the ether as part of that fluency. More importantly those web values – openness, sharing, community – are overflowing back into real life now. So, yes, soon we’ll be on the streets in some form, although the tees will never ever be in a retail space, hanging limply on a rack.

Your favourite Boxie T-Shirt to date??

So High and Solo

How would you describe Boxie in one word??

Any advice for the penniless fashionista?
Everything great creatively comes from being up against it and with no cash. You can’t ever see it when you’re in it but, as far as imagination goes, you are in an infinitely better position than someone with a million dollars. Do something great with this time. And then call us to get the t-shirt. ?

Advice for those wanting to purchase something Boxie??

Write to us directly at

New York is spawning many a catchy-tuned electro based band at the moment – meet The Discoghosts, more about firstly they have a brilliant name, look secondly, approved they do what they say on the tin, this is a disco fest. Their ethos is nicely summed up in their lyrics, “We love ladies and they love us, cos we’re cool and disco plus.”

Otherwise known as M-Boy and Tracky, they meant their album title – BAD – literally it seems, rather than a tribute to the King of 80′s pop, as they are apparently, “trying to break the taboos of “good” music, while playing with clichés of club sound like repetition, climax, stupidity, autofilter, and sound fetishism.” I see.

This album could be the OST to many an 80′s movie – it’s true, it may be the decade that taste forgot but it produced some pretty good tunes – there are obvious Ghostbusters references ie: track 2 being called Ghostbusters Busters and there’s also hints of the Beverley Hills Cop riffs in there, along with and slinky soul beats, electro voices, rubbish rapping and a guy that sounds suspiciously like the chef from South Park

That’s not to say they’re stuck in the past, their mellower synthetic beats, such as Jellyfish, track 9, have a Hot Chip vibe and that’s not a bad thing at all.

If their aim was to produce an awful album – they failed, maybe it’s just that I have a soft spot/great love for the 80′s but I very much enjoyed this, catchy, listenable songs that don’t take themselves seriously. My favourite line, from Straight but Gayish (sung by a high electro voice), “your boyfriend’s hetro but he looks homo.”

And they dress like this to perform:


How could you not love them?

Categories ,80’s, ,Album, ,Electro, ,Review, ,The Discoghosts

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Amelia’s Magazine | The Barclaycard Mercury Prize – 2011 Nominees

Elbow by Natasha Thompson

Next month 12 acts will nervously wait to see if they will be announced as the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize winner for 2011. The Mercury’s are well known for championing the best of British music and this year’s shortlist is no different. Many of the acts (like Adele) are not surprising but there are those lesser-known acts (Gwilym Simcock, here anyone?) and what’s exciting about the Mercury Prize is that the judges do have a tendency towards picking the act that no one suspected. Read on to hear about each of the nominated acts.

Adele by Natasha Thompson

Adele 21
Very much the favourite and it’s not at all surprising when you consider what a year it has been for Adele. Her second album 21 has smashed chart records and she has become a sensation across the pond too.

PJ Harvey by Claire Kearns

PJ Harvey by Natasha Thompson

PJ Harvey Let England Shake
PJ Harvey has already won one of these Mercury Prizes before 2001 for the album Stories from the City, site Stories from the Sea, visit this making her the first woman to win the award. Despite her incredible discography critics are lauding Let England Shake as Polly Harvey’s masterpiece.

Elbow by Natalie Hughes

Elbow Build a Rocket Boys!
By no means a new act but Elbow have come to the fore once again this year with their new album Build A Rocket Boys! and after storming their set at this year’s Glastonbury. If they won it would be the second time for Guy Garvey et al who were victorious in 2008 with their album The Seldom Seen Kid.

Tinie Tempah by Tom Casson

?Tinie Tempah Disc-Overy
One of the newer acts in the this year’s Mercury shortlist and joint fourth favourite to win, unsurprising as the star’s Pass Out as been a constant soundtrack to the past 12 months, no bad thing as it contains one of my favourite ever lyrics ‘I got so many clothes/ I keep some at my Aunt’s house.’ Genuis. He’s already won himself a Brit award, so he could well be on to track to bag the Mercury prize.

?Anna Calvi Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi has perhaps managed to ride into the music scene on the slipstream of big female acts like Florence and Adele but unlike some of her contemporaries, Calvi has bought something new to the table. Her big sound and ferocious guitar playing makes her a real contender for the Mercury prize.

Katy B by Cheryl Windahl

Katy B On a Mission
Like Adele, Katy B attended the famous Brit School, who are clearly doing something right. Katy B hasn’t quite taken off like her schoolmate but her mix of dubstep and R&B sound means she is standing out from the crowd

Metronomy The English Riviera
Metronomy have been around a while and although winning themselves a large fanbase they haven’t yet become mainstream – making them a perfect candidate for the slightly offbeat Mercurys.

Everything Everything by Emma Carlisle

Everything Everything Man Alive
Everything Everything are relative newcomers but have certainly made an impression and can often be found brightening up the radio waves with their single Photoshop Handsome. Their sound is good, old fashioned indie-pop, which could mean Everything Everything lose out at the Mercury’s.

James Blake by Cheryl Windahl

?James Blake James Blake
James Blake has made waves this year with his minimal electronia and moving album James Blake. It includes the blusey Limit To Your Love, which has got everyone excited about sustained pauses or the gaps between the notes as well as his futuristic sound.

?Gwilym Simcock Good Days at Schloss Elmau
The Mercury shortlist always contains a jazz musician and there are always rumours that the judges will shun the favourites and pick one of more obscure acts on the list. The talented Gwilym might want to hope that he isn’t picked as the Mercury curse could see his career stopped short, a la Speech DeBelle in 2009!

Ghostpoet by Chris Ross

Ghostpoet Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam
One of those hotly tipped artists for 2011 Ghostpoet is nominated for his album Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam. Full of laid back and melancholy electronica-laced tracks Ghostpoet hasn’t exactly exploded yet but you might recognize the single Survive It.

Categories ,Adele, ,Anna Calvi, ,Awards, ,Barclaycard, ,Elbow, ,everything everything, ,Ghostpoet, ,Gwilym Simcock, ,James Blake, ,Katy B, ,King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, ,Mercury Music Awards, ,metronomy, ,PJ Harvey, ,Tinie Tempah

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Amelia’s Magazine | Thus Owls introduce the video for new single As Long As We Try A Little

Thus Owls by Lindsay Lombard

Thus Owls by Lindsay Lombard.

In a romantic transatlantic tale of deja-vu Erika and Simon Angell met on tour whilst with other bands, and soon melded together as husband and wife and as Thus Owls. As Long As We Try A Little is their first single from the upcoming album, Turning Rocks, which features Erika’s striking vocals and Simon’s woozy guitars. The album was inspired by the tiny island in Sweden where Erika grew up, and the colour of Montreal, and this track is a beautiful example of their laid back melodic sound. Here they describe the making of the video.

This is a night time song. It was born at night and there’s actually a very clear memory of when the melodies and the words came together. It’s a rare thing, the birth is usually a blur to me. Simon had written these beautiful chord changes which I fell in love with instantly so I knew this song had to be special. As Long As We Try A Little is also a really good introduction to Thus Owls, for the mood and the form of it, so it was an obvious choice to make a visual representation of this song. It tends to be the song people keep singing after listening through the new album.

Thus Owls by Florence Zealey

Thus Owls by Florence Zealey.

It’s kind of tricky to put pictures to such a naked and abstract song though. You don’t want the visuals to steal too much attention, even though the purpose is to bring another expression that enhances the experience all together. How do you do that? We decided to ask Joseph Yarmush from the band Suuns who we knew had made some slow and abstract visuals for other songs that we’d liked. His mind and ideas clicked with ours right away when discussing the plot over our kitchen table. We wanted to work with old, life-experienced faces and a somewhat haunting and mysterious feel. The record is treating stories from the past and overall it’s a little bit like a generational diary so when Joe suggested we work with the two brothers, Phil and Pierre Tétrault, we felt that it was a nice fit and a great beginning to the story. He added some pictures of the moon and some colored smoke bombs to this slow moving story about two men, on some kind of mission which isn’t that clear and left to the observer to interpret.

Thus Owls - photo by Caroline Desilets

Thus Owls, photo by Caroline Desilets.

Let me tell you, it was a cold one when we shot this video! You don’t have to spend much time outside in the Montréal winter to freak out, so we were deeply impressed and grateful to Phil and Pierre, who walked around in those thin black shirts without complaining once. We are very happy with the result, it’s odd and weird in the way we imagined it to be and it puts that new perspective on the song without walking all over it. We hope you like it as much as we do!

Thus Owls play at the Shoreditch Ace Hotel on 4th March 2014, and the album Turning Rocks comes out on Secret City Records in April.

Categories ,Caroline Desilets, ,Erika and Simon Angell, ,Florence Zealey, ,Joseph Yarmush, ,Lindsay Lombard, ,Montreal, ,Phil and Pierre Tétrault, ,Secret City Records, ,Shoreditch Ace Hotel, ,Suuns, ,sweden, ,Thus Owls, ,Turning Rocks

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings


Monday 19th January

Greg Dulli/Mark Lanegan, Union Chapel, London


For fans of the drug-n-whisky soaked darker side of life this intimate venue should be the perfect place to catch the full intensity of this bad boy duo’s melancholic rumblings.

Still Flyin’, Stricken City, We Have Band, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, London

15-piece Californian band/orchestra/whatever headline with their sunny but diverse indie pop. Plus cool electro pop from We Have Band.

Tuesday 20th January

Kasms, White Heat, London

Noisy and shambolic guitar sounds from these metal-tinged black-haired Londoners.

Wednesday 21st January

Wire, Cargo, London


Sometimes gigs from old favourites can be a risky business, often liable to disappoint when your heroes have become sad old has-beens. With any luck these late 70s punk stalwarts were too cool to age badly and this should be a great gig.

Little Joy, Dingwalls, London

Strokes drummer Fab Moretti becomes a front man on this side project. Expect New Yorkey, indie-pop in a similar vein to, um, The Strokes via Brazil.

Thursday 22nd January

La Roux, Cockpit, Leeds


She’s in Issue 10 so she must be pretty good but don’t just take our (and every other music journalist in England’s) word for it. Check out her fun dance pop live.

Friday 23rd January

Sky Larkin, Barfly, Cardiff


Cute but clever indie rock from Leeds with a definite off-beat edge.

David Grubbs, The Croft, Bristol

Once the founder of 80s punk metallers Squirrel Bait, David Grubbs now plays grungy post-rock as a solo concern.

Saturday 24th January

James Yuill, The Macbeth, London


Think Jose Gonzalez without the advert but with plenty of electronic sounds to accompany the quiet and introspective acoustic numbers.

Of Montreal, Digital, Brighton

Much loved indie pop, spreading a little happiness whilst supporting Franz Ferdinand on their latest tour.

Sunday 25th January

Le Corps Mince de Francoise, Library, Lancaster


Daft Finnish pop in the same vein as CSS, Chicks on Speed and others of that ilk. Crazy make up and fun party girls = a great end to the weekend.

Categories ,Barfly, ,David Grubbs, ,Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, ,James Yuill, ,Kasms, ,La Roux, ,Le Corps Mince de Francoise, ,Listings, ,Little Joy, ,Musician, ,Of Montreal, ,Sky Larkin, ,Still Flyin’, ,Stricken City, ,We Have Band, ,Wire

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Amelia’s Magazine | Music Listings

Here at Amelia’s Magazine we are keen to nurture new talent as soon as we get our greedy hands on it. Fashion photographer Britta Burger is no exception to this rule. No stranger to the fashion sphere she recently made the transition from fashion stylist to photographer, viagra order illness just like Amelia’s Magazine founder Amelia Gregory. Britta even styled a shoot for Amelia’s Magazine in issue 10, ampoule which is still up for grabs by the way.


Her pictures are a haze of over saturated colours that collide to create a quixotic ambience to her pieces. Utilising pastoral settings and natural lighting Britta has a lucid expressionism to her approach. As a newcomer to the sphere her compositional awareness is mesmerizing, and her shoots have a real sense of fluidity.

I caught up with the talented lady to find out more information and get an insight into her mindset.


Tell me a little bit about yourself Britta?

I was raised in the Austrian mountains, but have lived in London for more than 7 years. I have done all sorts of fashion related jobs – writing, styling, pr, and now photography. I also teach.

What made you make the break from styling to photography?

Some shoots started to bore me, I felt like I was just waiting around while photographers sorted their light out. I also heard so many people say that you can’t really do anything new in photography, but I felt I could. I also wanted to move away from big productions with 20 people in a studio and do something a lot more intimate, with me doing the photography and the styling and not even hair or makeup people around sometimes. The results are quite raw; I’m not a big fan of an overly polished aesthetic.

What do you aim to capture within your pictures?

Youth, a mix of the everyday and the magical.


Your pictures have a rather quixotic feel, is all your lighting natural?

I only use natural light, I don’t want to control light, if it changes it changes. I do however use filters to create some colour effects.

What do you use as a main stimulus when you’re planning a shoot?

Colours, feelings, memories and the model.

What other photographers inspire you?

Wolfgang Tillmans, Venetia Scott, Jürgen Teller, Ryan McGinley, Marc Borthwick, Lina Scheynius


What camera do you use?

My new favourite is the little Panasonic FX150, it’s a digital compact camera, but with 14 mega pixels so you can do double spreads. It also has an amazing Leica lens.


So keep your eyes peeled for Britta Burger, with such an abundance of talent she will have a whole flock of avid fans chasing her tail!
Monday 30th

The lovely and enchanting voice of Polly Scattergood rises at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for a ladies night supporting Laura Marling.
8pm. £12.50.

Polly Scattergood

Tuesday 31th

Tuesday`s greatest choice it`s at the 93 Feet East in Brick Lane where Robert Logan launches his new album full of, tadalafil what we can call, an abstract and atmospheric electro. Followed by Bass Clef and Gagarin.
7:30pm. £5 in adv / £7 on door

Robert Logan

Wednesday 1st

The songwriters showcase at Bullet Bar. Great people get together for one more Wednesday Night Showcase at the venue. Aaron Short, Ay Duncane, Lisa Dee, The Magdelaine Cays and Yellow Garage make the best signed and unsigned bands of the week.
7:30 pm. £5, flyer £4.

Ay Ducane

Thursday 2nd

Formerly known as the Third Eye Foundation, Matt Elliott brings some slick and subtle electronica next Thursday together with Revere at Bardens Boudoir.
8pm. £5.

Matt Elliott

Friday 3rd

Time to launch a new single for Ex Lovers, the girl/boy indie pop duo. At Bar Rumba.
10:30pm. £6, concs/NUS £4.

Ex Lovers

Saturday 4th

Enjoy a completely improvised set of techno, house, electro, hip hop, trance and drum ‘n’ bass with The Bays next Saturday at Koko, supported by Red Snapper.
7pm. £14.50.

The Bays

Sunday 5th

The Ruling Class, Hanjiro and The Brights at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen for some genuine indie.
7:30pm. £5, concs £3

The Ruling Class

Categories ,Live, ,London, ,Matt Elliott, ,Music Listings, ,Polly Scattergood, ,Robert Logan

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