Ishmael Ensemble’s Top Bristol Tips

A guide to the city's underground music scene…

Bristol has always been staunching independent. While other cities prevaricated over the removal of archaic statues, the good citizens of Bristol led the way in physical action by dumping Colston in the harbour.

A city with its own cultural recipes and flavours, Bristol is currently home to a thriving jazz scene, one that can hold its own with London’s much-mythologised jazz underground.

With a new compilation incoming on Worm Discs set to push these jazz luminaries into the light, Clash hit up saxophonist, composer, and Bristolian resident Ishmael Ensemble for some Bristol tips.

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The Gallimaufry

The Gallimaufry’s owner James Koch has harboured and nurtured so many of the new breed of Bristol jazz bands, his part in the scene’s success can’t go unnoticed. Waldo’s Gift, Snazzback, Simiah and Hippo among many others have cut their teeth inside it’s colourful walls. James has also invested the same love and attention into the food they serve at both the Galli and over the road at sister-venue Suncraft.

The Bristol Germ

Alastair Shuttleworth’s Bristol Germ is a vivid and vital insight into the city’s diverse underground. Candid interviews & witty editorials make for a very enjoyable read and have put me on to loads of new artists including Kayla Painter, Sunun and the bountiful world of Matt Loveridge and his many guises.

Friendly Records

Tom and Benny are the perfect record store owners. If you want to dig in silence, you’re left alone. If you need a nudge in the right direction, they’ve probably already worked out what you’re in the mood for before you have. And most importantly, if you want an hour long meandering conversation about nothing much at all, they’re ready and waiting. They’ve always supported our releases and have certainly widened our hometown audience through their championing of local music.

Dubloaded

I moved to Bristol in 2009 having spent the previous couple of years making the monthly pilgrimage from Somerset to the back room of The Croft for Pinch’s Dubloaded night.

Looking back at the posters for the Wednesday night gathering, it’s hard to think of a more influential and inspiring time from my teenage years. Getting to see a young Ben UFO drift effortlessly between genres, Kode9 opening my ears to footwork and juke or hearing dubplates by Joker, Appleblim or Peverelist given their maiden spin to a room of 80 – 100 loyal heads was a pretty special experience.

The ripples of Dubloaded’s influence are seen throughout the city today, from Young Echo and Giant Swan to Julio Bashmore and My Nu Leng.

EP 64

I first came across Dali de Saint Paul’s Ephemeral Project 64 at an Evil Usses gig at the Lanes a year or so ago.

The finite series of 64 unique performances sees Dali collaborate with different musicians and artists. She was joined that night by original Run Logan Run drummer Dan Johnson and Yama Warashi’s Yoshino Shigihara on keys. I loved the raw frenetic nature of the music and the boldness of just getting up there and seeing what happens. Inspiring stuff.

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Noods Radio

I met Leon and Jack at the Surrey Vaults (RIP), I was playing a solo live show upstairs. It was midsummer, sweaty, and like many nights in that beautiful building, a shirtless Larry McCarthy aka Bruce was hanging from the ceiling.

Much like the Dubloaded nights, a community was blossoming and Noods Radio was (and still is) at the heart of it. Over the years they’ve built a platform as inclusive as it is elevating for creatives and collectors to share their musical worlds to an ever-growing listenership.

Rider Shafique

Rider’s ‘I-Dentity’ floored me when I first heard it three years ago and still packs the same punch now. He’s a prolific artist, activist and community ambassador who’s work never seems contrived or compromised. Just as comfortable toasting a jungle rinse out as he is performing arresting spoken word pieces, his extensive back catalogue crosses genres unlike any MC I know.

Stanlaey

Bethany Stenning is a creative force of nature. Her music is a gateway to a fully realised world of mystique and fantasy, full of adventure. We’ve been collaborating on some stuff recently and I love the playfulness she brings to the table, often reminding me how much fun making music can and should be.

Stolen Body Records

I started to dig into the Stolen Body record label after discovering The Evil Usses via Tom at Friendly Records. This pointed me in the direction of many Bristol acts like Yama Warashi and Yo No Se but also blew the door off a gritty, psychy garage I didn’t know existed. The latest release on the label from French group SLIFT is a ferocious favourite.

Elevator sound

Ben, James & Marco provide an essential and impeccable service for the seemingly infinite number of Bristolians scratching their heads over a mountain of patch leads and synths. They’re always ready to tackle any cable based conundrum and are probably solely responsible for us ever getting our complicated live set up to actually work.

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‘New Horizons : A Bristol Jazz Sound’ will be released on September 2nd – order LINK.

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Anti Hero: Gang Of Four’s John Sterry On The Life And Legacy Of Andy Gill

A personal take on the guitarist's extraordinary impact…

At the core of post-punk group Gang Of Four’s music are the immaculate, staccato electric guitar chords of the group’s late guitarist and founding member, Andy Gill. His daring, metallic guitar playing influenced everyone from U2 to Fontaines D.C., but Gill never saw himself as an icon.

The guitarist passed away of pneumonia in February, and wanting to pay tribute to the radical musician, the band’s remaining members came up with the perfect name for their new EP – titled ‘Anti Hero,’ it’s out on July 17th.

This is the second EP the band is releasing since Gill’s passing, as the remaining members – lead singer John ‘JJ’ Sterry, bassist Thomas McNeice, and drummer Tobias Humble – wanted to fulfill his initial plans for the band. The newest release consists of Gill’s final recordings, including two remastered tracks, a new song, and one touching tune written by Sterry after Gill’s passing.

The band’s lineup has changed a few times since the band formed in ‘77, but Gill always stayed on as the band’s fearless ringleader. The quartet might’ve flown under the radar for most of their career, their influence seeps into past and present generations of musicians.

Through brash and sharp notes, Andy Gill cemented the group’s refreshing sound by weaving in elements of funk and reggae into a punk foundation into tracks like ‘Damaged Goods’ and ‘At Home He’s A Tourist,’ which paved the way for post-punk and punk-funk.

Gang Of Four is going out with a bang, and Clash caught up with the band’s lead singer John Sterry to discuss the final EP.

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The EP is titled ‘Anti Hero.’ What does the name mean to you and the band?

There’s a slight reference to where there was the COVID-19 crisis in the NHS. All of the NHS workers were being lauded as heroes and they didn’t want to be called that, they were just doing their jobs. There’s a little bit of a reference to that and just the fact that Andy himself was always skeptical of hero-worship, in a broad sense, hence the song ‘Not Great Men.

‘ It was all kind of skeptical and [it] was [about how] ordinary people in extraordinary situations can do extraordinary things. It was a play on what the NHS doctors said and Andy’s outlook on things.

Andy was a hero to so many musicians, but like you said he was skeptical of the idea of being a hero. Do you think he saw himself as an anti-hero then?

I wouldn’t say an anti-hero as such, but he certainly was humble in certain ways, in his influence and things like that. He would very clearly point out when he thinks someone had ripped him off. So I don’t think he thought of himself as a hero at all, but he was always flattered when people came up to him and told him what an influence he’d been on people, production-wise and guitar-wise.

So then how did ‘Anti Hero’ come about? You just had ‘This Heaven Gives Me Migraine’ EP released a few months ago, what made you want to release this now?

We’ve had a few recordings that Andy was working on right up until his death, and we’d been in the studio, getting them all mixed and stuff. They were so close to being ready that they were about to be released in their own right. So it was just a case of that we wanted to get the tracks out there and it was fulfilling what we thought Andy would want.

We thought we had a couple of absolute bangers on this EP that we wanted the world to see, especially the first single, which is ‘Forever Starts Now,’ which Andy and I had written at the end of the sessions for the last album.

Every time we got together we would go ‘We’ve got to finish that song!’ Life got in the way, we were touring, things like that, but we’d always bring it up at the most inopportune moments. Like, we’d be in a bar or something and go ‘Ah, gotta do that song!’ And we never got around to it. So it was partly tying up some loose ends and partly we just thought that it was valid to put it out and we wanted to.

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Going off that, this is the last record with Andy’s influence and recordings. Is that daunting at all?

No. No, because we’re so close on everything, really, before he died. So it was just a case of polishing a few things. With ‘Forever Starts Now’ and ‘Days Turns Into Night’ it was a case of those tracks [being] pretty much done.

And then Thomas took on the production role, which would have been Andy’s role, but there was enough of a seed of an idea there, enough of a foundation, to sort of be clear as to what we needed to do for it. From knowing him and working with him for the amount of time that we had, it didn’t feel like we were directionless at all, in that it felt like we knew exactly what we were doing.

Can you talk me through the EP’s powerful single, ‘Forever Starts Now?’

‘Forever Starts Now’ was a co-write between Andy and I, and it started off as just a vague guitar riff that we were sort of sending back and forth [and] I added a second part to it. Then Andy curated the two parts together, we kind of got the foundation of a song. Then we just went back and forth, back and forth over the Internet, sorting out production for that and getting it pretty much ready.

The lyrics changed many, many times. We talked so much about male-female, or any kind of relationship really, where the one person has the control, whether it be money or in status, so it was kind of about that, and it morphed into something that became quite personal. I think with something like that, with a lot of Gang Of Four things, we talk about the macro, talk about big concepts.

You distill it down into relationships between two people and how that plays out, so that was what we were aiming for. And then Thomas finished off the production when Andy died, so it was a real collaborative effort between three of us.

I wanted to ask about the second single, ‘Day Turns To Night,’ which you wrote for Andy a few days after his passing…

‘Days Turns To Night’ was just my song, pretty much entirely. When Andy died, I just wrote it, and I wrote the lyrics within about 10 minutes. It just poured out of me in a pretty pure way because I never really write like that. I always write [with] symbolism and ambiguity and things like that, so it became a shock to me to have written something like that.

Catherine [Mayer, Gill’s widow] ended up hearing it, I don’t quite know how. She ended up hearing it and she loved it. It spoke to her in a lot of ways, so she wanted to include it on the EP. The fact that other people had heard it by that point, I was like, ‘You know what, it’s quite a pure distillation of how I was feeling.’

I was called to put it on there, and again Thomas finished up the production on that and did a great job.

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How did it feel to write in a time of grieving?

I hesitate to use the word catharsis because I didn’t know if it was healing in any way, but it certainly helped me put my feelings in order and made me realise how I felt. Although [it was] just shocking and sad that he died at that point, I was still grieving obviously, it was only a few days after.

I was looking at the positive sides or trying to, and thinking about all these great times that we’ve had together. The experience we both had together. There was this feeling that when Andy and I were on stage together, we’d look at each other and it was us versus the world.

It was a great feeling and I wanted to capture that — trying not to be too morose about it, because I’ll do that in private, there’s plenty of time for that. It was just something that came out pretty naturally. I didn’t really think too much about it and I guess it’s quite uplifting and it’s a quite positive song.

This record is to really celebrate Andy. Do you have any favourite memories with him since you joined the band?

Playing pool. Almost every tour we did we’d always find a pool hall and play pool really badly together. Generally, we’d be on the same team, and then we’d get to a certain point in the night where we’d start trying to bet money and everybody would advise us against it. It’s those transient moments that I’m playing pool and nothing particularly important [happens], it was just these little moments.

For me actually, one of the nicest moments on the last tour [in November], Andy and I just went off, we grabbed some food in an airport and just sat for two hours, just having a chat. At the end of the day, we’re just mates really. It’s those kinds of moments that I really cherish and will miss.

Then obviously the stage stuff… like some kind of incendiary gig. It seemed every time we played San Francisco it was always amazing. We’d look over at each other and there was just a nod. He didn’t have to smile or anything, it’s just a nod, like an acknowledgment, that this is fun, this is what we want to and we’re doing it together.

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To commemorate Andy, your EP cover is done by the amazing Shepard Fairey and the proceeds are going to the Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust. How do you think Andy would feel? It’s a great way to remember him…

He’d be honored that Shepard had done a piece of artwork for him and I think he’d like the picture that he chose. Andy was a staunch supporter of [the NHS]. It’s one of the most incredible organizations in the UK and we’ve got to cherish it. He was a huge fan and utilized the NHS throughout his life and obviously in the final few days, he was being looked after very well by them.

I’m sure the fact that the money is going to the NHS, I think he would absolutely approve of.

Andy was the core of the band, does this mean the end of Gang of Four as we know it?

There hasn’t even really been a discussion about it to be honest, it feels like the right thing. We’re obviously not gonna just stop doing music. We’ve got loads of things on so we’re gonna keep ourselves busy. We’ll obviously miss the touring side a lot, because it was, for me seven years, nearly eight years, I think. And then for Thomas, it was well over a decade, so it’s been a big part of our lives.

What do you want listeners to take away from ‘Anti Hero’?

I think in terms of ‘Forever Starts Now’ and tracks like ‘Change The Locks,’ I want people to take away the fact that Andy and the band were innovating the whole time. I think you can hear echoes of the past but you can absolutely see [how that] rose towards the future and the present. There are bits of electronica in there, there’s classic Andy guitar.

I’d like people to know that with this EP, we weren’t trying to look back. There’s an ethos with Gang of Four that Andy created. It was so set in stone that we all knew exactly what it was about without really having to discuss it, and I think it’s that subject matter that he’d talk about in lyrics.

It’s a feeling of not ever trying to recreate something again. It’s about moving forward always, and wherever that takes you, it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s in the name of progress, and it’s the right thing you want to do.

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Gang Of Four’s new EP ‘Anti Hero’ is out on July 17th – order the limited 12 inch vinyl edition HERE.

Words: Caroline Edwards

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Premiere: Piers James ‘Can’t Be My Girl’ Video Lands

In Association With Vero True Social

Piers James has that soulful touch.

The producer-songwriter-singer (and a whole lot more) has an eclectic style, one that picks up on hip-hop and R&B influences.

Hazy, laid back rhythms set against his purring vocal, each track arrives with an aura of honesty.

Two part project ‘A Dying Breed’ launches with a new EP shortly, and the Ipswich-born, London-based excels on his new track.

‘Can’t Be My Girl’ has that relaxed Anderson .Paak feel but with some UK grit added, too, a song about empowerment that marks Piers out as a feminist ally.

Dismissing social expectations, ‘Can’t Be My Girl’ is a love song to independence, an urge for others to embrace themselves as they truly are.

Tune in now via VERO:

 

 

After heavy rotations in the CLASH office we didn’t hesitate to name ‘Can’t Be My Girl’ our Track Of The Day and catch back up with Piers on the creative process.

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What prompted you to write ‘Can’t Be My Girl’? How did the song itself fall into place?

I wrote Can’t Be My Girl a couple years ago, I always try to look at unique ways to portray the songs messages through my videos. With this oversexualised internet culture we are in right now, I thought why not make a song that actually empowers women instead of saying I need a ‘bad bitch’ in every song.

The lyric playfully dissects the distorting image of social media – what have your experiences on social media been? Do you have positive or negative feelings towards it?

I think social media can be a great tool especially with promoting your talents and connecting with a potential endless fan base however people can get so caught up in the importance of it and put it on a pedestal that can easily become toxic. I think about young females who have grown up with the internet and digesting this sexualised imagery we all see and think ‘I have to compete with that’ – we need to remember that it’s all extremely hyper real and our personality is the asset that should really shine through.

The video is really creative, and deals with women claiming self-worth and empowerment – what made this such a potent theme for you? Female voices must be integral in your life, is that the case?

I’ve grown up around important women role models all my life, my mum is a strong, independent mother who has inspired me a lot. The team that I have around me is also predominately  made up of women too so I wanted to be able to show that appreciation and give back to the people who have and are continuing to shape me as a person and my career. 

How did you go about piecing the video together? Did you have a list of people you wanted to work with? Or did some figures in the video come to you?

The aim of the video was to show case as many different types of women as possible so my producer and I spent about 3 weeks reaching out to girls on the internet and pitching the idea to them directly. The beauty of the internet means that we could go out to a wide demographic globally and create new connections between women who have never met before. We’ve all been stuck in isolation and we had to get creative with this video, the reason I’m not featuring in the piece is really to highlight that this song is positively for them!

It’s an extremely effective video, congratulations. What was your reaction on watching it back in full for the first time?

I edited this video alongside my manager as we had such a clear vision of how we wanted it to look which meant that I was heavily involved in the entire process. It’s hard to always appreciate the final product when you have no space away from it but when I watched it back I was just so happy and proud, I feel that the energy of everyone really shines through and am also so grateful that people were so positive and willing to take part just because they genuinely connected with the music – that’s the perfect response for an artist!

The video was pieced together during lockdown. Some artists say this time has been productive for them, others less so. How have you found it? Have you been creative during quarantine?

Lockdown has honestly been the most productive time, I think it was a shock for everyone when we first got locked up but there’s a silver lining to everything. It’s given me the time and the space to re-focus and connect with my ideas on a deeper level. Normally you’re dealing with distractions daily but when you wake up every day with an empty to-do list its a dream, the only thing I had to do was create!

How does ‘Can’t Be My Girl’ figure on the new EP? Will ‘A Dying Breed Pt. 1’ EP explore these themes further? Or can fans expect something completely different?

The EP covers a range of music but the one thing all the tracks have in common is the element of conscious, thought provoking lyrics. I have a lot to say and music is my way of communicating with the world so I don’t want to limit myself by sticking to one style, each message needs to be represented in a way that’s true to the meaning. Keep your eyes peeled, there’s a lot more juice for your ears to come yet

Finally, what do you have planned for the year?

Escaping lock down ideally… but in all seriousness just deliver more & more music, my team and I have worked so hard to piece this EP together and we’re not going to stop any time soon, it’s just the beginning. 

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In Conversation: Desta French

Latin flavour with a UK slant…

Up until recently, London’s cultural backdrop has lacked a mainstream Latin flavour. The community really began establishing themselves in the nineties, increasing four-fold since 2001. But what happens when the kids grow up? You get a new generation — nurtured on the language and music of their parents, but raised with the lingua franca of their hometown. You get a community that is no longer invisible. You get Desta French.

Desta personifies a new era of Latinx creatives in the city. She’s about to wrap up production on her upcoming EP San Lazarus, in which bi-lingual singles like ‘Guajira’, ‘Into The Wave’, and the newly-released ‘Aguanta’ make use of Latin guitar melodies or salsa rhythms before switching into R&B, pop and – in Aguanta’s case – rap.

But unlike what we’re used to hearing from America, Desta injects that irresistible London attitude into the mix, making her singles eclectic, experimental, and new. Both Latinos in the UK and in South America are putting her tracks on repeat; carving out a space for her community to thrive and share their experiences growing up in Britain.

On the release of ‘Aguanta’, Clash spoke with Desta over the phone about her EP, writing in both Spanish and English, and the need for more Latinx role models in the UK.

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Where are you right now?

In Camden, where I grew up. I’ve left the house for a quick walk… And I’ve just approached the steps by Granary Square in King’s Cross. It’s beautiful. I love London. Wait, I’m going to send a picture.

Your upcoming EP, ‘San Lazarus’ has a uniquely London sound, even though it’s characterised by Latin influences.

Well, I’m a product of my environment. I love experimenting with my influences – growing up here with a Latin background, and marrying that to the sounds of the city. That’s why the EP felt so personal to me.

I mean, we even produced a drill song where I sing Spanish over the beat. So, I’d imagine this to be a different experience for my listeners and fans, one which really encapsulates who I am as an artist but which people in London identify with, too.

Wait… A Latin drill song? Awesome. What are some of things you wanted to say with this latest EP?

Representation is one side of it. But the lyrics really tried to capture how I was feeling after my last relationship. The main narratives are: falling in love, lust, and having to watch it end before seeing where it could’ve gone.

It felt like therapy writing this, to be honest — getting it out, whether its love, pain, or pushing through, and being able to reconnect with yourself. My latest single, ‘Aguanta’ means ‘endurance’. It’s really about letting go, trusting in nature and divine providence. Themes like tragedy and lust come naturally to me when I write in a Latin headspace, in particular.

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Did switching between languages help you get these messages across?

You know, I found that it helps explore more with the song’s melody. When I write in Spanish it has more of a poetic – maybe even romantic – weight. It comes out naturally on tracks written along a guitar…

Spanish evokes this pain more profoundly. In English, I am more direct. I guess it’s me as a Londoner talking. I think you get a sense for that in ‘Guajira’ or ‘Into the Wave’ where it flips from Latin to a UK RnB sound. The language is a big part of guiding the listener between both worlds, both vibes. A lot of people in the industry suggested writing in Spanish was a bad move, actually, on account they assumed there would be no audience.

People don’t really know what to do with UK Latin music as it’s such a new thing. But for me, releasing songs in Spanish was bound to happen sooner or later — it is an inevitable part of my journey as an artist with Latin roots. So, I didn’t really pay them much attention, and decided I’d navigate my own way through releasing this music.

There are big, important conversations around representation at the moment. Did you feel that you had a statement to make?

I didn’t set out with a point to make specifically about Latin representation, but now I’m really invested. Latinos in the UK are often missing from conversations in the media, so I’m glad to be a storyteller for this movement. Identity is now at the forefront of my thoughts.

Growing up Latin in the UK is sort of a detached experience. It’s nothing like it is in the US, where the community is much prominent. I never got to see a UK-born Latino in the media growing up. You know, we all used to Selena’s music and watch J-Lo on TV – but it felt far removed from us, and it’s important to have these role models closer to home.

We see Latin culture exploding around the world, the success of reggaeton… Yet, there’s so many exciting things happening here in London, too. 

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That’s true. I can’t really name many UK Latin musicians…

Don’t get me wrong: there were people doing big things with salsa and hip hop in the noughties, like Mike Kalle. But, you know, there has also been a habit of mirroring everything that are working in America – and the way that community were making music – rather than looking a bit deeper into our own identity and experimenting with sounds from home.

Until recently, there wasn’t really a way of Latinos finding each other, though, or meet likeminded musicians and artists – but social media is really changing that.

Is this what you’re setting out to do with your ‘Chattin’ Latin’ interview series?

It’s been so heart–warming to gather Latinx women around the country and give them a platform to share their stories. Honestly, we’re kind of invisible in the media, and yet the community is like the eighth largest ethnic minority in London?

Many of us are dispersed around the UK, too. One girl had actually never met another Latin person her own age, and yet what they see at school and home is so uniquely different that they may feel obliged to ignore their heritage. They feel left out. But that’s going to change — we have so much potential creatively, and it’s only a matter of time.

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Back to the EP, what kind of reaction have you got from people who have been listening to each of the singles?

It’s amazing, everyone’s been really positive and commenting on the experimental sound — which is really, really nice for me as an artist. But you know what’s especially cool, what really makes me feel validated? It’s when strangers from South America get in touch and say, ‘hey, I loved your music!’ I had someone from Argentina contact me about ‘Into The Wave’ a short while ago and her comment warmed my heart…

As much as I go on about being Latinx, when I’m in South America visiting family I am a Londoner. Their acceptance means something to me… It’s crazy (laughs) when I was last out there, I was invited – to my surprise – to speak with a popular Colombian talk show host about my song-writing. I was so baffled.

So, you’ve managed to have some big cross-over appeal…

Well… When you’re producing music in Spanish, I guess they’re more willing to listen — once this whole pandemic is over, I’m definitely looking to tour South America. But even here in London, people have been super down with these songs, even if they don’t understand the Spanish. Something about the music speaks with them…

This EP is honestly the first body of work that I feel really proud of. I’ve had a chance to explore my historical and musical influences, and feel closer to finding my voice as an artist (porque non?) Even if it’s something completely different, at least I know I’ve been true to myself.

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Words: Chris Cotonou

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Searching For Queen Bee: Re-Connecting With Matt Maltese

Life under lockdown with the bewitching indie charmer…

Now, more than ever, the home is the epicentre of our world. Whether you are alone, with a partner, friends or family; it is the same four walls that hold you as you work, play, exercise, relax and sleep. There’s no closing the door for a day or two on the unwashed dishes piling in the sink. The laundry basket in the corner of the room sadly topples to one side under the weight of undies, lounge wear and PJs.

Elsewhere, lamps are being unplugged and relocated to best provide the light for the Zoom parties we are reluctant to attend, and tabletops are cluttered with sadly abandoned Amazon Prime ordered craft kits from a moment of inspiration. 

Matt Maltese is currently residing in his South London home with his four house mates. It’s a four-bed house, and he says with sincerity that he is lucky to live with people who help to keep everything in order.

“I’m a bit of a slob, but I’m getting better.” he says with conviction. It’s surprising, really. His socials, like thousands of others, have been providing a glimpse into the home recently as he composes piano music to soundtrack the mundanity of every day in lockdown. We’ve seen Matt sit at the wooden kitchen table and eat Bran Flakes, and on the stripe-throw covered sofa to read a book. Heck, in one video he’s doing the hoovering.

“I think a lot of people are surprised by how much of a slob I am, the Italian in me just disappears. I’m really messy. But when the home becomes your world even more, it deserves more care and attention than it is used to.”

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Matt isn’t much of a collector or a hoarder, nor is he a “plant guy”, though he does admit to buying a lot of books that he doesn’t read. “I have big ambitions to read, but then I never do,” he admits with a slight shy laugh. The bookshelf has become a staple way of identifying either the true self, or ideal perceived self – depending on the inspector and their intentions- of its owner.

“I have big ambitions to read but then I never do. I just buy the book while I’m thinking about it.” Matt says, “I read a Paul Dano interview and him recommend a book and I’m like ‘ooh I should buy that’, then I do and never read it.”

“The bookshelves are who I want to be,” he says with a new confidence.

Perhaps aptly titled to how some are currently feeling, the forthcoming EP release from Matt Maltese is titled Madhouse and is set to land on August 7th via Nettwerk. The title song opens by soothing “home sweet home” before the chorus describes the nick-nacks you eye in people’s homes in smooth flowing, subtle rap.

“When I wrote that song, it was more a discussion or a song about the attachments you have to places and things. I kind of felt like a lot of my feelings were attached to a home and objects are quite nonsensical and feel a bit crazy. It feels so strange, as my happiness can be quite affected by where we are, where we all are.”

The word itself became a way to capture that emotion and ground him. “Madhouse kind of came out my mouth as that. I didn’t give it much thought, but it was a bit of a happy accident, that word.” Matt explains, “Then I realised it’s the name of a videogame about the Joker, so I think that cemented my desire to call it that.” 

‘Queen Bee’ is the first single off the record and with its woozy romanticism, it is a fizzy lemonade fuelled daydream. “…In this sort of time it’s probably the happiest song on that record or that I’ve released and it just always had something a little…” Matt ponders, “It’s as joyful as I can get. It felt like the right one for now.” The lovely melody flutters as a pining chorus soars with hopefulness, in such a way that you can almost imagine Frankie Avalon’s beauty school drop out angels on backing vocals.

For Matt, ‘Queen Bee’ is “kind of like living in the state of imagining somebody in your life like that, but not necessarily chasing it.” This essence runs through the EP. There’s a general feeling of being a bystander; a little like when you walk past somebody’s house and they have the curtains open so you take a peek in and can’t resist the temptation of imagining scenarios for the residents and their thoughts and actions. Or when you absent-mindedly watch somebody on public transport or in a park.

“I’m quite obsessed with people and how we do things and how we get through things and be happy and be in love, yeah.”

‘Little Person’ is a romanticised slow jam of idealism, with jazz keys that dive and swim in a glass of velvety red wine. It is a pursuit of a second person to share a life, or maybe just a moment, with.

When it comes to soulmates, Matt is decidedly undecisive. “It’s probably only the thing I can say with some resoluteness when I’m much older and more experienced. I guess I’m quite on the fence with being always hopeful but also recognise the sort of the patterns and my own behaviour and lots of other people’s behaviour.” As such, he concludes, “I definitely don’t think I believe in soul mates in the notion of there being one person in the world for you. I think a lot of love is timing and the way you change yourself, it’s a real open book really. It’s definitely unpredictable.”

Collectively, the EP hones Matt Maltese’s signature writing style. He takes simple throwaway thoughts and dresses them in lavish costume, he puts them centre stage and luminates them as the stars of his production. The script is part confessional 2am in the kitchen at a house party with a stranger, and part thoughts from looking out of a window on a bus. They are the turbulent monologues of a twenty-something year old in 2020.

“It’s a melodramatic way of describing like a very banal suburban life, you know?” Matt says. “Cynical and hopeful at the same time. I think it comes out that I’m slightly more hopeful,” he says with just a hint of a question.

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“The way that I describe it a lot if that I feel like a lot of us are lots of different people in one, naturally. I think a lot of songwriting is accessing those voices and working out which one you want to be or believe or argue with or embrace.

“I think that’s my relationship with myself, trying to find out who you are and how much of that you are denying or keeping. I do talk to myself! There’s an awful lot of reckoning with the self in life, isn’t there? I think deciding who you want to be is a big part of it.”

Life in theory, is a choose your own adventure book. You decide to turn to page 55 and send the message or turn to page 60 and go to sleep peacefully. In the same breath, you choose how to react to the voices in your head.

The ‘Madhouse’ EP houses a selection of personalities, each complementary of the other. To personify them and place them under Big Brother surveillance, you would observe a combination of human traits that we see meet in every come-of-age John Hughes movie. “’Queen Bee’ would be the flirt, she’s the flirty one. ‘Madhouse’ is kind of the loner,” decides Matt, as we wonder what their attributes would be on The Sims. “’Sad Dream’ is the crier. We can all relate.”

Closing the EP, ‘Sad Dream’ starts rather jovially, it sounds like a song to two-step on the patio to. The high ends of the bittersweet lyricism, including an awkward small talk conversation with the pharmacist, are melancholic. In contrast, opener, ‘Hi’ is crooning and shy. With childlike innocence, he requests “I want to be the cat by your side / I want to be the French to your fries / Hi.” “’Hi’ is maybe like, the sweet one? Yeah, the innocent one.”

As the “thinker of the group,” ‘Leather Wearing AA” would be the John Bender. It’s a little slouchier, with the mind residing under a grey cloud that’s drizzling. ‘Little Person’ Matt contemplates, “Hmm… maybe the cook?” It could work, ‘Little Person’ is a wholesome song. It’s warming to the soul with its lovely, intimate vocals and intricate kaleidoscopic keys.

“I obviously, like everyone, has had ups and downs in my relationship with myself but I have always traced a lot of importance in getting that bit right.” Matt replies, when asked how he feels being alone. His last record, ‘Krystal’, followed a break-up and was made during a period of stewing in contemplation; getting lost in daydreams of memories to lose and grieve for them over and over.

“For one, I’ve chosen a career that requires a lot of time with myself so if I can’t be with myself then I’m not really in the right business. It could even be classic only child syndrome as well, you have to make good company with yourself. I definitely love being on my own a lot! I get a lot from it.”

‘Madhouse’ is an imagining of future love whilst also trying to stay present, rooted and alive in the moment and not existing purely for a future when you’re not as alone as you may currently feel. It’s an EP to embrace with open arms in our extraordinary situation.

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‘madhouse’ on August 7th.

Words: Tanyel Gumushan
Photo Credit: Sam Hiscox

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Miller Blue – Sunflower

A dreamy fusion of jazz-leaning R&B and neo-soul…

Miller Blue is back with his latest project titled ‘Sunflower’. Running at 17 minutes over six tracks, the EP takes us through the rollercoaster of a relationship, which he mentions are “essentially a series of diary entries”. Throughout, Miller effortlessly experiments with a mix of styles from neo-soul, jazz and R&B.

The opener ‘Streets Of Amsterdam’ sets the tone for the project. It also gives an indication to the inspiration for the album cover, which is reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting. The snippets are taken from a conversation Miller and a friend have during a trip to Amsterdam.  Jokingly, they make reference to the book Of Mice And Men whilst an accordion plays in the background. 

Following this, the downbeat and dreamy ‘Sunflower’. Miller reflects on the beginning of a breakup. He looks back with no hard feelings “I hope you’re feeling, just a little better now it’s through”. On ‘New Love’ accompanied by a smooth saxophone-led instrumental, Miller battles with the rollercoaster of emotions after a breakup “Running through the past, memories I cannot let go”.

In the latter end of the EP, Miller Blue wears his heart on his sleeve on ‘Talk It Out’. The singer tried to avoid conversations with anyone, including himself. The pain in his voice can be heard as he battles with his demons and thoughts that can linger after a breakup. The mood switches up on the last track ‘Us’. As Miller Blue begins to date a new person, all the feelings of anxiety and excitement creep up. Accompanied by Lo-Fi production, Miller brings a smooth ending to the EP. 

Miller Blue manages to bring a sense of calmness to his music, it makes the EP float through so quickly before you realise it’s finished. Miller creates a dreamy world with his music – the perfect escape.

7/10

Words: Joe Hale

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Gang Of Four Confirm Final EP

Guitarist Andy Gill died earlier this year…

Gang Of Four have confirmed plans for their final EP.

The post-punk group have a storied catalogue, a prime influence on everyone from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Fugazi, the Minutemen to Bloc Party.

Guitarist Andy Gill very sadly passed away on February 1st, but he was working on new ideas to the last.

As a result, Gang Of Four have outlined plans for one final EP release, with ‘Anti Hero’ set to be released in a few weeks.

All proceeds from the release will be donated to Guy’s and St Thomas NHS Foundation Trust, who worked so tirelessly during the guitarist’s final weeks.

Andy Gill’s widow Catherine Mayer says of the new EP:  “Andy always had a healthy scepticism about celebrity culture and populist politicians, and he could always spot when someone was blowing smoke. Even so, he would be moved and delighted that artists he loved and admired have come together to celebrate him by launching this EP and for such a good cause.”

New song ‘Forever Starts now’ is online, and it builds on the EP’s theme of the anti-hero. Lead vocalist John Sterry says the song depicts “a character who sees himself as the hero of his own life and manipulates his partner into supporting this fantasy. The line, ‘She sings along with his song / she thinks it’s like having the radio on…’ always brings a wry smile.”

Tune in now.

Tracklist:
Forever Starts Now
JJ Sterry – Day Turns to Night
Change The Locks
Glass

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In Conversation: Film Noir

Viciously stylish Parisian garage-punk…

When you’re a true romantic, you’re bound to see everything through a rose-tinted poetic lens. For Joséphine de La Baume, the cultural force who leads Parisian garage punk group Film Noir with her brother, Alexandre de la Baume, this means “always have something to be heartbroken or write about.” 

Against gritty, deep cuts and brooding lyrics, there’s a welcomed warmth in the tracks from Joséphine’s romantic outlook. The band’s upcoming EP, ‘Tendrement,’ is set to be released on June 26th and is a follow up to last year’s debut, ‘Vertiges (Men of Glory).’ No longer angry and heartbroken after a public divorce, ‘Tendrement,’ is a more reflective and sensitive collection of songs, filled with cinematic and theatrical elements against pulsating basslines and raw vocals, and, sometimes, “filthy” lyrics.

With some songs in French and others in English, the EP is a vulnerable collection of letters, each song addressed to a different person, much like a diary, the narrative unfolding one track at a time.

Clash caught up with Joséphine and Alexandre to discuss their upcoming EP, cinematic influences, and the power of live performance.

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So you have a new EP coming out, ‘Tendrement,’ which is very exciting. How would you compare it to ‘Vertiges (Men of Glory)?’

Joséphine: The second EP is almost like a sequel to the first one. There’s the first impulse of the first EP that was a very raw sentiment of heartbreak, which comes with all the sadness and all the anger and all the stages that come after a really big heartbreak. And I would say that in the second EP, there are some old songs that are from this time that is mixed with some new ones.

So there’s an element of a sequel, but also maybe more tenderness in the second one, which is why the title of the EP is ‘Tendrement,’ like the end of the letter. I think after some time, you have more perspective and you can do things with a bit more tenderness and less rage. 

But also, in the second EP, it’s not just about that. It also implies everything. A lot of other stories that have taken place since the event that created the first EP. It’s the journey after that, in the distance.

Alexandre: Sometimes, when you’re feeling raw, you have some sort of extra sensitivity that gives you a different outlook on the world. Songs like ‘Los Angeles Whirl’ are really all about the way you see things from a different perspective, but sometimes it creates a sort of interesting poetic distance with things. You start noticing stuff that you had never noticed in your normal, everyday life.

Joséphine: If you were in your normal self.

‘Tendrement,’ sounds quite cinematic and your band’s name is Film Noir, is it safe to say that film inspires your music? 

Joséphine: I think there was an idea that often when we write songs, we have quite cinematic visuals in our head, and we kind of reference a lot of films and stuff like that.

So that made sense and there is a cinematic aspect to the band. But it’s not really in relation to that actual era of cinema. I think it’s just more the idea that there’s a cinematic aspect to the song and maybe there’s a heaviness to the whole scheme. 

On the topic of cinema, the EP’s opener ‘Hustling His Way’ sounds like a film narrative. Was that the intention?

Alexandre: We very often open our concerts with that track and it felt like a good opening for the record. Joséphine: It’s a song about someone I know. The whole theme of the song [is about] men trying to forget about [their] true love. In order to do that, he goes and goes from bed to bed and woman to woman. They fall at his feet and he covers them with sexual attention. The second verse in French is quite filthy, actually.

But the thing I had in mind when I wrote the song was [that] it was based on the men I knew.  I actually thought of [the film] Midnight Cowboy and sort of that gigolo going around. I just have this vision of this man, this cowboy, in New York, going from one woman to the other. So it’s my own experience mixed with maybe some visuals and different films that I’ve liked.

Alexandre: There’s definitely that cinematic element, it’s a character song, essentially. [It] would be a short film about this character…so you’re right about that.

‘Hustling His Way’ is in English and so are a few songs, but others are in French. Why did you decide to do both rather than sticking to just one language?

Joséphine: I really liked the idea of writing in French. If I could write everything in French I would. I think it’s just because sometimes, some of the songs are addressed to people — that are written about or addressed to people — that speak English. They come in English, almost like letters to someone. Sometimes we’ve tried to translate them, to try and turn them into French. When it works we have and sometimes it just wasn’t working so we left them in English.

Alexandre: Musically [French and English are] two very different languages and sometimes one fits really better than the other. It’s a bit almost like choosing between an acoustic and electric guitar.

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So cinematic references aside, were there any records or artists that inspired the EP?

Joséphine: We listened to Sonic Youth quite a bit, right?

Alexandre: Yeah, Sonic Youth, but also that German punk band.

Joséphine: Oh, German band, yeah. There’s a girl band—

Alexandre: Malaria!

Joséphine: There’s this one song that I really like called ‘Kaltes Klares Wasser.’ Sometimes we listen to a song just because we’re like, ‘Oh, this drumbeat is good in there. Maybe there’s an interesting way of playing [it].’ We listened to that song, I remember, as inspiration, but otherwise, nothing really specific, I would say. 

Alexandre: We listen to a lot of different kinds of music. It just comes pretty naturally. We’re not very aware of the influences.

Joséphine: There’s not that much influence on this, specifically. I would say at the moment, the whole band, we’ve listened a lot to Big Thief, which we all really like, but it hasn’t influenced our record in any way. We just like that band. 

Obviously, you’re siblings and have worked together when you formed the band Singtank a few years back before starting Film Noir. How do you go about working together and creating a record with the rest of the band?

Alexandre: Basically, Joséphine writes the lyrics.

Joséphine: Almost like a diary.

Alexandre: Then she reads them to me or sends them to me and we start discussing, musically, what sort of musical atmosphere we’re thinking. I try different stuff and then, generally, it feels pretty natural. Like, we both know when we nailed the right music for the lyrics and we map out the songs together. Then we start playing them with the rest of the band.

Joséphine: We write the melody together, and then the rest of the band would add stuff.

Alexandre: We start playing them all together and they get into shape, slowly. We have, basically, the backbone of the song. By playing them over and over again, finding stuff, we end up pretty naturally with [a song]. We’re very lucky with that because we can understand each other very naturally. There’s a common understanding of the general mood of the band. So in general, pretty fast after playing the songs over and over again, [we] find the right parts and the right way to play them.

Before recording them, we tend to play them live for a while because the fact of putting them out live, it gives you another outlook on the song. It’s like the last varnish or something, you can find some great new ideas that will complete the song.

What was the recording process like then?

Alexandre: To record it properly was really short, but it’s more of a very long process getting there [just] by playing the songs live, touring a lot. We played concerts for a year and a half before we started properly recording the songs. 

Joséphine: We recorded some of it in L.A., on tapes…and that takes just like a few days because you do everything live. We did more stuff in Paris with some new stuff much later on after playing them for a while.

Alexandre: Basically, the recording itself took a few days. It was kind of there. The longer part was really writing and performing live. Some songs, we really felt like we had them.

You touched on recording in Los Angeles. Did Paris or Los Angeles influence the album at all? I know you have a song on the EP called ‘Los Angeles Whirl…’

Alexandre: I think so, yeah. Joséphine lives in London, between London and Paris, and the rest of the band lives in Paris. I think there’s something about the young, the new French music scene, like garage and rock, and the general atmosphere of all these musicians we hang out with. There’s a nice and inspiring new wave of rock musicians in France that is very inspiring and they were happy to be part of.

Joséphine: As far as L.A., I don’t think it really influenced the record. The only reason why this song is called [‘Los Angeles Whirl’] is because it’s about a specific summer in L.A. I don’t think, musically, it really affected us. I think we just happened to play shows in L.A. and then we recorded in the studio in L.A. So some of the experience was there, but I don’t think, musically, really made a difference in that way. But we were lucky just because there are a lot of musicians in L.A.

Some of our friends have played on the record, you know… Because they were in L.A., there’s a sort of collaboration that happened there. But I don’t know if really, musically, we were influenced by what’s going on there.

While we’re talking about influences…Joséphine, you’re known to be quite fashionable. Does fashion influence the music at all?

Joséphine: Because this record is very personal, I feel like it’s very much an extension of all of us. And we’re very involved in the music, all of us and in that project.

But I do feel like the stage is an opportunity to give an enhanced version of whatever it is that you’re trying to portray in your record. So maybe, there’s a bit more dramatization. There’s a bit more drama in the performance. Even though I think I try and make it as honest as possible. It’s quite a cathartic project. It’s very sincere, whatever happens on stage.  But I think in the clothes, the same thing. I can’t imagine us wearing yellow, blue and baby pink for a project called Film Noir.

I think the clothes have to reflect the project to some extent, in that case. It is cinematic, so I like the idea that it’s cinematic and it’s somber. I think our clothes have to be somber…So I think the style has to support the project of course or at least enhance it.

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You’ve mentioned the EP being quite sincere. Are there any messages or themes that you want people to take away?

Alexandre: Film Noir has been a personal thing. It was really about being very sincere and genuine and direct. It’s less about a message. It’s portraying experiences that everyone goes through. It’s just a way of really taking it out and having this community experience in, as Joséphine puts it, in a visceral and cathartic way.

What we’re hoping is that when people hear the record, they feel like it’s also talking about something they went through too and that it has this bit of a cathartic effect.  We can sense it sometimes at concerts, like people have been sometimes telling us, and it’s the biggest reward you could think of. That they had sort of expelled their inner demons, in a way, for the duration of the concert. In the best-case scenario, that’s what we’re hoping for.

That’s sometimes the beautiful effect of music and live music in particular.

So on the subject of performing live, what can people expect from your live performances?

Alexandre: It’s very sincere, energetic, cathartic.

Joséphine: There’s a good build up. It becomes quite communal. It’s very intimate at first and then it’s almost like everybody’s going through that similar experience together. Ultimately, that’s what you want from a show. It doesn’t have much [of a] boundary. Every show is very different.

Alexandre: What feels really great about the live shows is, that as you were saying, there are no boundaries. We really go in without knowing exactly how it’s gonna [go.] We give it our all and it’s a very thrilling experience.

You were touring for a bit and have done EPs. Now you have an album in the works, right?

Joséphine: We have a lot of songs already, and we’ve been working even from afar during this quarantine. We’re quite close, actually, to having enough songs to record it. So quite soon, I think. At the end of the summer, if we’re allowed, we’re hoping to make a record. Alexandre: At first, when you start as a band, everyone’s personality is starting to fit in more and more with the sound of the band. I think it’s a more grown version of our sound and our songwriting.

It sounds like a lot of your recording process is done live. So for recording an album, are you sending each other snippets? Or how is that working during lockdown when Joséphine is in London and you’re in France?

Alexandre: It’s quite frustrating because the basis of the band is really [about] being together and playing together. We’ve tried to make the best out of it. We’re sending each other ideas.

Joséphine: Alexandre has been sending me music and I’ve been sending him lyrics. I think the next record will be about different things and the kind of different adventures that have happened.  I think when you’re a true romantic, sadly, you always have something to be heartbroken or write about. It’s the luck of the dance. [It’s an] emotional life, but it’s lucky if you need content to write about. There’s still a lot of stuff to write about.

But I think also, during this time [and] outside of the emotional ventures of life that have happened to all of us and we can write it about, this time is an extremely interesting time to write. It’s a moment where we’re all sitting with our thoughts. There’s no distraction, and we don’t have the time to be bored so much, and being bored is the most prolific time that you can use to write or do things.

So outside the [world], you can just write about what happened to you, and you can also dig a little deeper and [explore] more existential thoughts at the moment.

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Film Noir will release their new EP on June 26th.

Words: Caroline Edwards

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Jayda G Shares Fan Favourite ‘Both Of Us’

It's part of her new EP…

Jayda G has shared new track ‘Both Of Us’.

Last year’s full length ‘Significant Changes’ was a real breakthrough, establishing as a key figure in international club culture.

Playing with nostalgic elements while wrestling with fissures of The New, her stance seemed to balance what we know, with what we want to know.

A new EP is incoming, with Jayda G splitting ‘Both Of Us’ against ‘Are U Down’.

Fan favourite ‘Both Of Us’ is a vital element of her current set, with snippets of the track already making their way online.

Now the full track is online now, a sweaty club juggernaut that makes up long to be around other people.

Tune in now.

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DarkStarGraver Hits Hard On ‘Seeing The Signs’

"I want to be real with my thoughts and experiences…"

DarkStarGraver uses music as a tool.

It’s his interface with the wider world, a means to prompt true communication – in short, he cuts a little deeper than most.

The south coast rap talent interpolates Stateside styles while adding some UK grit, the darkness in his sound coming from personal issues.

Introductory singles ‘CodeRED’ and ‘Snakes & Ladders’ caused a ruckus, with a full EP incoming.

The material is prompted by “the mental and spiritual changes I went through,” he says, “my personal chrysalis from light to dark…”

It’s a process that comes through clearest of all on new single ‘Seeing The Signs’ – road rap with some trap leanings, the bruising production underpins a stellar performance on the mic.

He says: “I’m not afraid of showing my deepest vulnerabilities or being open with my emotions, I feel it’s important to share my personal truths, and while this can be intense, I want to be real with my thoughts and experiences.”

“Making this EP was a moment of self-discovery for me, as I had to let go of the people and things that were no longer doing any good for me, in order to serve my highest purpose. I had to burn a couple bridges along the way to find peace within myself, this feels like a real journey start to finish.”

Tune in now.

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India Jordan – For You

A superb EP that revels in club culture's transformative aspects…

If clubs truly are areas of personal transcendence, then toilets are portals, wormholes from one psychological vantage point to another.

The cover of ‘For You’ finds India Jordan in the cubicle of London’s Dalston Superstore, a legendary LGBTQ+ venue famous for its open-minded – in every sense – atmosphere. It’s these parallel conduits of rave hedonism and personal discovery that permeate the producer’s new EP, with ‘For You’ collecting six outstanding tracks that offer system rattling energy alongside revealing elements of melancholy.

A return to solo duties following a joint project with Finn last year, ‘For You’ moves from hyper-glossy French touch reference points to a kind of translucent melancholia, with poignant emotion allowed to seep out of its digital sheath. ‘I’m Waiting (Just For You)’ is all anticipation and release, with India Jordan allowing the fidgeting, scarcely-contained energy of the production to become a kind of precocious metaphor for their own explorations.

‘For You’ fixates upon the sensual qualities of sound, while ‘Emotional Melodical’ has this overwhelming sense of robotic soul. ‘Rave City’ finds India Jordan at her destination point, the accelerated futurism of the production revelling in the sheer fun, the unbridled personal expression of the rave experience.

Calmness pervades ‘Westbourne Ave’ – a kind of R&S level stillness, a zen-like peace that permeates the taut, textured levels of electronic sound. The EP concludes by ramping up the energy once more, with ‘Dear Nan King’ finding India Jordan exiting the project on their own terms, a riveting display of deeply physical nonchalance.

An ode to the transformative impact of rave culture released at a time when clubs aren’t able to open their doors, ‘For You’ somehow taps into both the promise of personal redemption dance music can offer, and the widespread sense of loss at being shut out from these experiences. By accidentally tapping into our contradictory lockdown energies, India Jordan may well have produced their finest work yet.

8/10

Words: Robin Murray

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otta Returns With Skewed R&B Cut ‘never see’

Her new EP 'Songbook' lands this summer…

British-Finnish artist otta has shared evocative new miniature ‘never see’.

The artist shared her debut EP ‘after it all blew over’ earlier this year, a songwriter intent on pursuing her own aims.

Retreating to the studio, new eight strong EP ‘Songbook’ lands on July 10th.

New song ‘never see’ is little more than 100 seconds of sound, yet its skewed R&B feels emphatically creative.

Weirdly addictive, it’s sharp about-turns and lyrical word play feel like little else around.

Tune in now.

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Yearning For A Reprieve: serpentwithfeet Interviewed

Talking love, loss and spirituality with the striking songwriter…

Whether you are a casual listener or devoted fan, it is immediately evident when listening to serpentwithfeet that he is an open book. He muses on love, loss and spirituality with humorously subtle candour. The avant-garde musician is now back with ‘Apparition’, a three-track EP that serves as his first release since 2018’s ‘soil’. Produced alongside Wynne Bennet (Janelle Monae, Twin Shadow, Tayla Parx), it is a document of personal transformation.

The project is about facing the many ghosts that lay dormant in our psyche. The self-imposed, the voluntary and the unwanted. Trading the religious-based imagery of his previous work, ‘Apparition’ instead sees serpentwithfeet call on the supernatural to articulate a new chapter of self-discovery and reflection.

He comments: “I was thinking about all the different things we carry with us. We all have ghosts in our lives and it’s really important to figure out which ghosts we have chosen to be tethered to, and which ghosts, other people have assigned to us or that we’ve inherited from our parents.”

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A warning to be cautious, he is speaking to the urgency of understanding the implications that can occur when we allow other people’s ghosts to make space in our lives. Yes, there is an undeniable splendour and joy that can arise with the transference of energies, but it can also prove to be dangerous and sometimes to our detriment.

“I’m thinking about how you can be hanging out with someone and when they leave, you’re left with some sort of residue of a feeling and you feel a little bit heavier. Or maybe you feel a bit more buoyant. And what is that? What is that feeling?” The ghosts in question are the baggage and the demons that make a home in our minds. Lingering day to day, manifesting in varying forms of self-deprecation, self-harm and mental abuse.

For an artist like serpentwithfeet, who straddles between the struggles that come with being both black and gay, he is particularly familiar with these isolating sensations. As the child of a father who owned a Christian bookstore and a choir director mother, it would be hard not to internalise the homophobic rhetoric that is so commonplace within the church. Inheriting ghosts that waged a long-lasting war on his conscience.

He explains: “I think for black people and for gay people, it’s really easy to start accepting shame, doubt and fear. And you’re like, where did this come from? This isn’t my stuff. This is somebody else’s stuff that I’m now claiming as mine. So why am I feeling this pain?”

This epiphany provides a stimulus to the key takeaway of the EP’s lead single ‘A Comma’. A downcast track with emotionally evocative lyrics. “I’m dressing wounds I cannot see. Someone else’s beasts are riding me. I know this pain isn’t mine. Yet I feel it all the time”. Reckoning with the years of pain that have crippled him, the track at the same time showcases a man in the process of healing. Addressing the realities of where his head is at, he sings, “I pray for punctuation, Lord, be a comma or a sweeter situation”.

Yearning for a pause and some reprieve, he is actively accepting the inevitably of bad days. Rather than looking to a potentially destructive source of escapism, he is now more in tune with his feelings. “It was such an exercise for me because I grew up in a house where I was taught even when things are awful, you still smile. Even if the world around you is on fire, you still thank God. You don’t actually express your grievances”.

What’s intriguing about ‘Apparition’ is that while it can be received as dark, sombre and emotive, it is ultimately optimistic. Each of the tracks are brimming with a semblance of quiet and muted self-assurance. Most notably heard in the refrain of ‘The Hill’ where like a chant he sings “I’m better now. I finally cut my giants down”.

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It is also markedly inward in its totality. serpentwithfeet’s work has always been introspective but the tracks that made up ‘blisters’ and ‘soil’ tended to feature his romantic partners as the primary subject. This go round; he is the subject. serpentwithfeet himself is at the apex of each story being told. “I was very invested in what my lovers were doing. Now there’s a little less investment in that. I’m really interested in what I’m doing”.

With the focus shifting from other people to himself, listeners can bear witness to him taking responsibility and holding himself accountable. “I think I’m pointing less fingers,” he muses. “When I listen back to the old stuff, I can see that I was definitely in a headspace where I was pointing a lot of fingers. Especially on ‘Four Ethers’”. 

Part of that new responsibility requires being more intentional with who he decides to engage with romantically and this was inspiration for ‘Psychic’. The EP’s closing track, serpentwithfeet is treading familiar terrain in its dealings of queer intimacy.

This time however, it is apparent that the man we knew on tracks like ‘fragrant’ and ‘messy’ is absent. Whereas before he was wilful with who he decided to navigate sex and relationships with, ‘Psychic’ is about the glory of being equally yoked and truly compatible. “I think in the past maybe my standards were a little low. With ‘Psychic’, I’m being clearer. I want a man who’s intuitive. I want a man who does his own spiritual work”.

Despite, a love interest being the song’s anchor, it is clear that the song is equally about him and his spiritual journey as much as it is about the qualities he’s looking for in a partner. They are parallel to the man he himself is trying to become and wants to be. Its placement as the final song on the EP was a deliberate choice, consolidating his personal growth and maturity. “I think going from ‘A Comma’ to ‘Psychic’ is my way of being very clear about what I’m interested in”.

‘Apparition’ serves as a bridge; between the old and new and the dark and the light. serpentwithfeet doesn’t want to solely dwell on melodrama, indignity and repentance anymore. “I wanted to use this EP, sort of as a pivot for what the new things will sound like and feel like”.

Teasing his sophomore album, he confirmed that the music he created with Wynne Bennett is only a sample of what they have worked on. “It was really easy to create songs with her. And we have more, this is just some of it”.

He has laid his ghosts to rest and is ready to show the multiplicity of his musical influences and who he is as a person. “I just want to show people that there’s a lot of colour here. A lot of icing.”

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‘Apparition’ EP is out now.

Words: Sope Soetan

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Next Wave #963: April

In Association With Vero True Social

Emerging Irish singer-songwriter April – full name April Lawlor – comes from a musical family and has been making music since she was “super young”. “I’ve always been writing songs,” she says.

Just over a year ago, though, she found herself with a new laptop and “started messing about on that”. She took inspiration from other “DIY artists” like Clairo and she “started trying it out myself”. Her debut song ‘The Impossible Task Of Feeling Complete’ was released in February and has amassed over a million combined streams and counting. “It’s crazy,” April tells us. “Really weird. I never expected that,” she laughs.

April’s debut EP, ‘New Conditions’, explores love from an honest perspective. Her current single, the dreamy ‘What I’d Do For You’ is about “being in love with someone and maybe it not being reciprocated and all the things you would do for them (to) try and show them how far you would go for them. And maybe they don’t want the same thing”. The song was inspired by events that occurred in April’s own life. When asked about her inspiration for it, April states “personal relationships,” without divulging anything further.

She is excited about releasing her debut EP, though. “I’m really happy. It’s really exciting to finally have something out in the world that I was working on for so long. And (it’s) something I’ve wanted to do for so long”. Making the EP was “really nice” the singer says: “It happened really smoothly over a couple of months. I went to London. I met people, started producing with them. It feels like a whole time in my life and I made new friends”.

On being an independent artist, April spoke about resisting change, for the moment. “I want to try and keep my independence for as long as I can because I’m afraid of losing that…having to have super tight time schedules and not being able to be in control of things…That’s really important to me”.

With ‘New Conditions’, April allowed herself to pour emotion into her songs. “Each of the songs (on the EP) feel like a different time of my life last year. I wrote them all at different times. They’re all about different things. They’re just super personal. I used to be afraid of making personal songs and being afraid to share things that are about myself but then, when I finally finished them, it was like, ‘Oh it’s nice to have something personal out there’”.

Super personal and super positive, April’s pop vision is rapidly coming into bloom.

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‘New Conditions’ EP is out now.

Words: Narzra Ahmed
Photo Credit: Charlie Cummings

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Next Wave #963: April

In Association With Vero True Social

Emerging Irish singer-songwriter April – full name April Lawlor – comes from a musical family and has been making music since she was “super young”. “I’ve always been writing songs,” she says.

Just over a year ago, though, she found herself with a new laptop and “started messing about on that”. She took inspiration from other “DIY artists” like Clairo and she “started trying it out myself”. Her debut song ‘The Impossible Task Of Feeling Complete’ was released in February and has amassed over a million combined streams and counting. “It’s crazy,” April tells us. “Really weird. I never expected that,” she laughs.

April’s debut EP, ‘New Conditions’, explores love from an honest perspective. Her current single, the dreamy ‘What I’d Do For You’ is about “being in love with someone and maybe it not being reciprocated and all the things you would do for them (to) try and show them how far you would go for them. And maybe they don’t want the same thing”. The song was inspired by events that occurred in April’s own life. When asked about her inspiration for it, April states “personal relationships,” without divulging anything further.

She is excited about releasing her debut EP, though. “I’m really happy. It’s really exciting to finally have something out in the world that I was working on for so long. And (it’s) something I’ve wanted to do for so long”. Making the EP was “really nice” the singer says: “It happened really smoothly over a couple of months. I went to London. I met people, started producing with them. It feels like a whole time in my life and I made new friends”.

On being an independent artist, April spoke about resisting change, for the moment. “I want to try and keep my independence for as long as I can because I’m afraid of losing that…having to have super tight time schedules and not being able to be in control of things…That’s really important to me”.

With ‘New Conditions’, April allowed herself to pour emotion into her songs. “Each of the songs (on the EP) feel like a different time of my life last year. I wrote them all at different times. They’re all about different things. They’re just super personal. I used to be afraid of making personal songs and being afraid to share things that are about myself but then, when I finally finished them, it was like, ‘Oh it’s nice to have something personal out there’”.

Super personal and super positive, April’s pop vision is rapidly coming into bloom.

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‘New Conditions’ EP is out now.

Words: Narzra Ahmed
Photo Credit: Charlie Cummings

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Christy O’Donnell’s ‘Remember Me Well’ Is A “Beautiful Wall Of Sound”

It's another hint of his incoming EP…

Glasgow’s Christy O’Donnell has always had a deep emotional connection to music.

Beginning to play guitar at a teen, it seemed to unlock something inside of him, allowing him to access his emotions in a new way.

“It was like being blind and discovering colour,” he says. “When I felt bad I didn’t know how to deal with it until I found music.”

Writing his own songs, locating his own sense of expression, Christy will release his new EP shortly.

New single ‘Remember Me Well’ lands on May 8th, and it’s a grand, alluring “wall of sound”.

Dominated by that driving, surging vocal, it’s the sound of someone’s talent, of their message, coming into focus.

“I wanted to buildup to this beautiful wall of sound,” he comments, “like I’m in a summer’s garden, like I’m sitting on the grass with all these flowers growing up around me.”

“The track features a solitary violin which swells and opens into a rich musical soundscape: this trajectory from introspection to full-blown expression is something that first struck me in the music of Bon Iver, so I tried to model in on that. Let me know how you like it!”

Tune in now.

Order Christy O’Donnell’s new EP HERE.

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Escaping Inertia: The Soulful Visions Of Giveón

Meet the Drake collaborator with a profound sense of emotion in his music…

Giveón’s rich baritone voice builds and layers a new narrative of the modalities of love, pain, strength and loss in his debut EP ‘Take Time’. He gives us more than enough to hold onto as he whisks us through the torments of love and the pivotal part of taking time to be with oneself. Coming from touring with Snoh Aalegra to his feature on Drake’s ‘Chicago Freestyle’, Giveón brings a sophisticated grace in the way he approaches and emotively sings through this impactful project. 

Born and raised in Long Beach, California Giveón began writing music from his mother’s encouragement. She played music around the house during his childhood and noticed his natural tone. He fell in love with music and began writing songs in high school. Inspired by a lineage of sound that touches upon Frank Ocean and Frank Sinatra, his unique voice and style and process is rooted in the authentic. His songs and stories all are a testament to his experiences or those of people closest to him. This framework presents the songs from an earnest place that steadily show truth as power and beauty. As he puts it: “My main thing is I want the songs to be relatable and believable.”

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On the cover, he sits recluse clad in a white tank, black leather pants and boots with a single necklace. A stylized simplicity that commands back to the bones of his EP, he curates his wardrobe in a parallel vein to the authenticity felt in his music.

Before we listen, graced with his music, there is an approachable and genuine aura exuded that allows the lyricism to land in a different formation. One that isn’t ostracised in rudimentary lies or facades, but rather the lending presence and words, like that of an old friend. The listener empathises, adorned with the humanity of Giveoón’s lyrics. The true gift of this body of work lies in the space he has created that allows the listener to feel visible in the mirrored truth his lyrics provide.

“I was recently in a really long relationship and a lot of the songs are inspired by this previous relationship. So at the moment I just want to take a break from all of it, I compare it to having a really big meal and if someone brings food to you right after that, the thought of eating is just disgusting…but eventually I’m gonna have the appetite for it, but right now I am full. I just need to digest.”

In ‘Take Time’, we are presented with a thoughtful presentation that not only reaches the vulnerable and tender in us all, but defines himself as a musician with a tonality and voice unique unto him. His passion and influences come from the personal and the pedestrian moments of life with friends and lovers alike. He talks about his music in a frame of reference to being able to share these feelings and cultivate a lens that can resonate with his listeners in a collective healing and reflection. “I feel strongest after something doesn’t work out. I find strength in being self-aware,” he reflects. “When things go wrong, I learn a lot about myself and I grow from that.”

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In ‘Like I Want You’, his profound range carries the interludes of love as he sings: “Sometimes I wish you knew, but I disguise the truth.” Although it is the most listened to and acclaimed track of the EP so far, ‘This Ain’t Love’ is a strong ensemble that really evokes the emotional capability of his vocal range. ‘Heartbreak Anniversary’ stands alone as a track that lays the foundation of the project for an emotionally expansive portrait of the painful parts of love.

He had been saving the last track, ‘Vanish’ since 2017, whereas the track ‘Favorite Mistakes’ was made three weeks prior to the release. This rapport with time and heart is a testament to literally following suit and taking time in his process. It is exuded forthright in the way the lyrics build and traverse the scope of not one space or one feeling.

He reminds us of the delicate nature of feeling and the residual tide of standing in truth, commenting: “When we’re ready to put out a body of work we listen through everything and see what else is cohesive. I don’t even know if I could put a time-frame on my process, I think it is always happening.” 

It is refreshing to witness not only such a captivating voice, but also a magnetic authenticity that inspires us to ruminate more in the process of things. True to form, his dedicated approach and patience to creating this project is paralleled in his message. “We called it ‘Take Time,’ because there’s no other thing that can mend a broken heart or a bad relationship except to take time, to just let it heal.”

When so much of our days and modern times are in full flux of movement, change, deadlines and a saturation of information, it is insightful to see an artist that is underlying the grace in slowing down. What can be found in that space of observation, taking out the momentum and breathing into perhaps a new found inertia? ‘Take Time’ is of course a collection of songs about love and heartbreak, but also a testament to a different way of moving and being.

In an era of accessibility, love is capitalised in ways of convenience with apps like Bumble, Hinger, and Tinder. We swipe and blindly search apps with empty eyes for something that requires an inward gaze. Giveón’s message and lyrical vulnerability mark a new tide of how we connect, how we love, how we are with ourselves, which is ultimately the most important relationship.

Take time to listen to Giveón’s truth and fall into the magnetic truth between the lyrics, where there is space to rest in honesty.

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‘Take Time’ EP is out now.

Words: Rae Niwa

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Next Wave #960: Josie Man

In Association With Vero True Social

Everything is happening very fast for Josie Man.

Orpington by way of Hong Kong, this rising singer-songwriter only started writing and recording her own music in April last year. Soon after, however, she met her manager through Instagram and signed a major record deal with Sony-owned Promised Land Records, before following this up with her exceptional debut EP ‘aLOVINGboothang’. Five tracks of gorgeous, pastel-hued pop, it landed – appropriately enough – on Valentine’s Day. “I’m like, how is this happening?” she laughs down the phone. “Me, from Orpington!”

With a busy schedule including attending London Fashion Week, where she’s been invited to shows by Ashley Williams and Charlotte Knowles, Josie expresses her love for fashion which also inspired her music.

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The 21-year-old Pisces, who taught herself to play guitar and keyboards from watching YouTube, combined her love of fashion and music on her debut single ‘Colours’, a pink-skied, summer jam that she wrote about her personal experiences of being laughed at for her own clothing choices. In the video, she’s a glitter-misted dream, clad in a silk dress and chunky trainers. “Where I live, even if you have flared trousers on, they don’t accept you,” she says. “They find it really funny like you’re some sort of clown. I didn’t want it to be an aggressive song. I wanted it to be a polite, ‘please be open-minded’ kind of song.”

Now, with her EP in the bag, Josie Man has begun writing her debut album and while she doesn’t know yet what it will sound like, she knows exactly what she wants to say. “The EP is all about love,” says the songwriter. “I love my family, I love my friends, I love my boyfriend. I don’t want to do this to become famous. I just want to spread the message to everyone in a musical was.”

“I just want people to be nice,” she asserts. “That’s my message.”

What: Sugar-spun, aesthetically pleasing dream pop
Where: Orpington, by way of Hong Kong
Listen to: ‘4 In A Row’, ‘Colours’, ‘Baby Pink & Blue’

Fun fact: Josie has a family home near Hong Kong in a village called San Tin where everyone has the surname Man.

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Words: Dannii Leivers
Photography: Joel Smedley
Fashion: Zarina Shukri

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Bibio Announces ‘Sleep On The Wing’

It's a 10 track EP…

Bibio has confirmed plans for new 10 track EP ‘Sleep On The Wing’.

The project follows hot on the heels of last year’s wonderful, folk-hewn meditative cycle ‘Ribbons’, a real favourite in our office.

New EP ‘Sleep On The Wing’ features 10 tracks, and it once more finds Bibio exploring organic instrumentation.

Adding fresh hues and textures in the process, the full EP is out on June 12th, with the title track online now.

He explains: “‘Sleep On The Wing’ started out like many of my tunes, as a guitar pattern. The violin parts followed, doubled up with mandolin and other stringed instruments.”

“Lyrically, I feel that the song has two aspects to it: The idea of being in the wake of a loss, and with hope, continuing the life of someone who has passed, through allowing oneself to be inspired by what they did during their lifetime and what they left behind, whether it’s the things they said, the knowledge they shared or the things they made.”

“The other aspect to the song is perhaps more direct, and talks of escaping the city to find peace in the countryside, but the title is more a celebration of dreaming and the liberating power of imagination, not necessarily a physical escape. Music has the power to inspire dreaming and fuel the imagination, and that’s what I’ve always found so addictive about music.”

Tune in now.

Tracklisting:
1. Sleep On The Wing
2. A Couple Swim
3. Lightspout Hollow
4. Oakmoss
5. Miss Blennerhassett
6. The Milky Way Over Ratlinghope
7. Awpockes
8. Crocus
9. Otter Shadows
10. Watching Thus, The Heron Is All Pool

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Ultra-Chic Garage Punk Group Film Noir Share ‘Château d’eau’

Tune in now…

Parisian garage band Film Noir pair classic rock with punk undertones in their new track, ‘Château d’eau’.

The band is still up and coming and cementing their vintage, rockabilly-esque sound – but if their second EP is anything like the new track, they’re on their way to creating something special.

Bass and guitar intertwine against the steady drumbeat, creating a strong foundation for the raw and bluesy vocals.

“My love, drifting, away, from you / leaving you nothing to hold onto,” are nostalgic, visceral lyrics against the rumble of the bassline.

Echoed, layered vocals are haunting and cinematic orchestration, giving a slight nod to the band’s name. The song explores the idea of a somber, nostalgic character listening to the voice in his head that constantly tells him through the song’s sinister chorus, “you won’t make it without me” as he recalls a past love.

The track comes just six months after their debut EP ‘Vertiges (Men of Glory)’ and is part of their forthcoming EP, ‘Tendrément,’ out June 26th.

You can stream the brooding rock song now.

Words: Caroline Edwards

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Alfie Templeman Has Found ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’

It's a refreshing new single…

Alfie Templeman has shared his joyous, zesty new single ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’.

The prodigal songwriter has a knack for unleashing superb indie pop bangers, and his new release is no exception.

The first blast from an incoming EP, ‘Happiness In Liquid Form’ found Alfie reaching out to some guest collaborators.

The Vaccines’ very own Justin Young works alongside close friend Will Bloomfield, amplifying Alfie’s precocious melodic flair.

Out now, it aired on BBC Radio 1 last night – April 8th – and it’s a fizzing indie pop banger tailor made for these Spring days.

“‘Happiness…’ is the most colourful sugary disco-pop song I’ve put out so far,” says Alfie. “It came about so easily one day in the studio with Justin from The Vaccines and his right-hand man Will and by the end of the day we knew we had something special on our hands.”

Tune in now.

Related: Next Wave – Alfie Templeman

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Cardi B – Outro (Skit) lyrics

(feat. Lisa Evers)

[Announcer:]
New York City, welcome to Street Soldiers. The hottest talk on radio, hosted Lisa Evers

[Lisa Evers:]
I’m so glad you’re joining us for this episode of Street Soldiers. With us is Cardi B.She also has a new EP called Gansta B. Cardi, thanks for being with us

[Cardi B:]
Yeah thank you very much

[Lisa Evers:]
We really

[Cardi B:]
Thank you for having me

[Lisa Evers:]
We really appreciate it. What do you want people to know about Cardi B? Last words

[Cardi B:]
Be you. Be you. If you wanna be a hoe, be a hoe. If you wanna be a teacher, be a teacher. If you wanna be gay, be gay. Be you

P Money – Keepin’ It Real

[Verse 1: P Money]
I just wanna make music
Hit the studio, create music
My fans purchase, download and play music
Seek melody, metaphor and rave music
That chill on the sofa and play music
Don’t want a beat, just wanna play music
Who am I kidding? I’ll beat when I play music and
If her boyfriend is talking smack
I’ve got that lead your girlfriend away music
I’ve got that wild, you’ve got that tame music
I’ve got that real, you’ve got that lame music
I’ve got that cosign, labels wanna sign the work of art
Belong in the Tate music
Grime, rap, UK bass music
That real easy to embrace music, and
Any MC that is thinking they’re rough
I’ve got that punch a man in their face music
That serve you [?] ace music
Black, white, don’t watch race music
Still here, kept my faith music
Ten years, never made no fake music
Man have been making that great music
You need to make that stay in your lane music
Cuh 2016, I’ll be touring Australia
Second time round like

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

[Verse 2: Stormzy]
If you’re gonna send then send for the top
Look, trust me, I get it (calm)
I’ll take that shot and I’ll take that shot
Yeah, I’m photogenic (calm)
But when I spray back and I ended careers
Don’t tell me to dead it (‘llow it)
Bare of these MCs hate me
But they still see me and beg it (pussies)
And I still came back with the game on my lap
Like “nobody move” (no one)
Tryna take care of my Gs
Ain’t tryna see nobody lose
But man try come for my team, I’ll dun him off
My man thought he’s a G, stop running off
I’ve got a crown and you’ve got a crown
But rudeboy, this crown here ain’t coming off (‘llow it)

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

[Verse 3: P Money]
Yo, I was one of the youngers that you couldn’t send shop
Yeah, I was a mummy’s boy, but never soft
I boxed man that thought they couldn’t get boxed
Topped MCs that thought they couldn’t be topped
When I flow on the riddim, I never get lost
When you flow on the riddim, you’re told “get lost”
Labels wanna know how I keep going hard
Thought I took a pill cuh my ting never went flop
Complete control, I could never get dropped
There was never a show that never went off
Milking it for so long and it never went off
Don’t know why, maybe it’s cause I never went pop
Helped out the game, man did that a lot
Bring us down to festivals, did that a lot
Man can chat shit about me doing dubstep
Told grime police man never bread cops
So I still spray on dubstep now, and what?
Wait, cut the beat out, let me talk to these lot
Let’s talk P, I’m on about me
First grime act packing at Wireless? Me
Spraying on “Eskimo” at Wireless? Me
Five years straight and still tireless? Me
When everybody got a deal and did what they feel
Who was here releasing grime CDs? Me and Jme
Grime tracks on every single EP? Me
Young MC that was duppying pirate? Me
Big MC still duppying pirate? Me
Doing shows worldwide, play a man’s vocal
Showing their country that it’s not just me
Who was doing that at the time? No one, me
There was more but I can’t fit it in a sixteen
Man just better respect me

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

P Money – Keepin’ It Real Lyrics

[Verse 1: P Money]
I just wanna make music
Hit the studio, create music
My fans purchase, download and play music
Seek melody, metaphor and rave music
That chill on the sofa and play music
Don’t want a beat, just wanna play music
Who am I kidding? I’ll beat when I play music and
If her boyfriend is talking smack
I’ve got that lead your girlfriend away music
I’ve got that wild, you’ve got that tame music
I’ve got that real, you’ve got that lame music
I’ve got that cosign, labels wanna sign the work of art
Belong in the Tate music
Grime, rap, UK bass music
That real easy to embrace music, and
Any MC that is thinking they’re rough
I’ve got that punch a man in their face music
That serve you [?] ace music
Black, white, don’t watch race music
Still here, kept my faith music
Ten years, never made no fake music
Man have been making that great music
You need to make that stay in your lane music
Cuh 2016, I’ll be touring Australia
Second time round like

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

[Verse 2: Stormzy]
If you’re gonna send then send for the top
Look, trust me, I get it (calm)
I’ll take that shot and I’ll take that shot
Yeah, I’m photogenic (calm)
But when I spray back and I ended careers
Don’t tell me to dead it (‘llow it)
Bare of these MCs hate me
But they still see me and beg it (pussies)
And I still came back with the game on my lap
Like “nobody move” (no one)
Tryna take care of my Gs
Ain’t tryna see nobody lose
But man try come for my team, I’ll dun him off
My man thought he’s a G, stop running off
I’ve got a crown and you’ve got a crown
But rudeboy, this crown here ain’t coming off (‘llow it)

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

[Verse 3: P Money]
Yo, I was one of the youngers that you couldn’t send shop
Yeah, I was a mummy’s boy, but never soft
I boxed man that thought they couldn’t get boxed
Topped MCs that thought they couldn’t be topped
When I flow on the riddim, I never get lost
When you flow on the riddim, you’re told “get lost”
Labels wanna know how I keep going hard
Thought I took a pill cuh my ting never went flop
Complete control, I could never get dropped
There was never a show that never went off
Milking it for so long and it never went off
Don’t know why, maybe it’s cause I never went pop
Helped out the game, man did that a lot
Bring us down to festivals, did that a lot
Man can chat shit about me doing dubstep
Told grime police man never bread cops
So I still spray on dubstep now, and what?
Wait, cut the beat out, let me talk to these lot
Let’s talk P, I’m on about me
First grime act packing at Wireless? Me
Spraying on “Eskimo” at Wireless? Me
Five years straight and still tireless? Me
When everybody got a deal and did what they feel
Who was here releasing grime CDs? Me and Jme
Grime tracks on every single EP? Me
Young MC that was duppying pirate? Me
Big MC still duppying pirate? Me
Doing shows worldwide, play a man’s vocal
Showing their country that it’s not just me
Who was doing that at the time? No one, me
There was more but I can’t fit it in a sixteen
Man just better respect me

[Pre-Hook: P Money]
I’ve been killing shows with no deal
I always keep it down to earth, I’m so real
I’m ready, I’m itching to go, can’t sit still
They’re so fake, they don’t even know how it feels when you’re

[Hook: P Money]
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, they don’t even know
How it feels when you’re
Trill, keeping it real
Trill, keeping it

Trettmann – Adriano (Kitschkrieg, Vol. 3 EP) letras

[Intro Ricky Trooper]
Some bwoy a run up dem mouth and a gwaan
Wait till later, wait till later
Leggo tune…

[Bridge]
Tu was ich immer mach, mach was ich immer tu
Wenn nicht jetzt, wann dann? Einfach weil ich’s kann

[Hook]
Ich zieh’ an meinem Vapo, lieg auf dem Piano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano
Driano Celentano, Driano Celentano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano

[Verse 1]
Mach die Tür auf, knall sie dir vor deinen Kopf
Wunderst dich, warum hab ich nicht geklopft
Dich und mich wirft man nicht in einen Topf
Adriano Celentano, du sprichst mit dem Boss
Jaja, big pimpin Trinidad
Die Frauen und den Champus und das Good-Life, gimme dat
Alles echt, alles jetzt, ungestreckt, kein Imitat
Hatte grad’ zwei Lobster, doch bin immer noch nicht satt
Hab die Melodie und den Skill
Sing Balladen oder töte, wenn ich will
Die Versatility, du bleibst’n Mini-Me
Ich sing Balladen und ich töte, wenn ich will
An meinem Fuß der neueste Ultra-Boost
Blätter einmal um, mein Foto in der Juice
Dich und mich wirft man nicht in einen Topf
Adriano Celentano, du sprichst mit dem Boss

[Hook]
Ich zieh’ an meinem Vapo, lieg auf dem Piano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano
Driano Celentano, Driano Celentano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano

[Verse 2]
Keine-Keine-Keine Bitch tötet heute meinen Vibe
Pull-Up vor’m Club, Ornella Muti auf mei’m Bike
Sie sagt, jeder andere Artist lässt sie kalt
Und ich hab mehr Vielfalt, als der Regenwald
Jaja, die Kammer voller Indo
Deine Frau nimmt’n Zug und tanzt mir den Limbo
Pscht, spar dir deine Lingo
Hier ‘n Schein für die Bar, komm mal klar Bruder, stimmt so
Ich zelebriere, brauch’ keinen Grund
Unter mei’m Guinnes und dem Herb und dem Rum
Die Versatility, du bleibst’n Mini-Me
Ich zelebriere, brauch’ keinen Grund
Und glaub mir, mir hat keiner was geschenkt
Was du auch denkst, ich bin nur konsequent
Dich und mich wirft man nicht in einen Topf
Adriano Celentano, du sprichst mit dem Boss

[Hook]
Ich zieh’ an meinem Vapo, lieg auf dem Piano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano
Driano Celentano, Driano Celentano
Ihr seid mir egal, Adriano Celentano

Trettmann – In Meinem Leben (Kitschkrieg, Vol. 3 EP) letras

[Hook:]
Tut mir leid, du liegst daneben
Will mir das alles, nicht mehr geben
Hab keinen Platz dafür, nicht in meinem Leben
Hast du gehört ey, nicht in meinem Leben

In meinem Leben, nicht in meinem Leben
Nicht in meinem Leben, hmhm nicht in meinem Leben
Das ist meine letzte Nacht, in dieser Stadt
Vorhang auf, Schlussakt, U – Turn, Neustart

[Verse 1:]
Gab dir mein Bestes wie Anita
War für dich da, lagst du im Fieber
Ich hab’ so lang auf dich gewartet
Heut hoff’ ich, ich seh’ dich nie wieder
Hab nicht hingeschaut, wenn du die Pfeife rockst
Dir nie geglaubt, dass du die Steine stoppst
Schlaf ein, wach wieder auf, nur mit dir in meinem Kopf
Geh bitte raus aus, raus aus meinem Kopf

[Hook:]
Tut mir leid, du liegst daneben
Will mir das alles, nicht mehr geben
Hab keinen Platz dafür, nicht in meinem Leben
Hast du gehört ey, nicht in meinem Leben

In meinem Leben, nicht in meinem Leben
Nicht in meinem Leben, hmhm nicht in meinem Leben
Das ist meine letzte Nacht, in dieser Stadt
Vorhang auf, Schlussakt, U – Turn, Neustart

[Verse 2:]
Seh’ das Bild heute noch vor mir, wie du damals vorfuhrst
Sagst, dass du mich magst, deine Lippen glänzen Purpur
Crush ohne Zukunft, du kennst keinen Futur
Nur ein Leben ohne Limit, immer auf der Überholspur
Mir doch egal, wen oder was du abziehst
Zückst ‘nen Schein aus’m Bündel, zahlst das Taxi
Taub für Komplimente, wenn ich fluche, lachst wie
Halbblut Apanachi, schenk dir Herb zum Abschied

[Hook:]
Tut mir leid, du liegst daneben
Will mir das alles, nicht mehr geben
Hab keinen Platz dafür, nicht in meinem Leben
Hast du gehört ey, nicht in meinem Leben

Trettmann – Wie Du (feat. Carsten Chemnitz) (Kitschkrieg, Vol. 3 EP) letras

[Intro]
Ich wollte nie sein wie du
Auch vor 10 Jahren – nie sein wie du
Du kannst jeden fragen in meiner Crew, nie sein wie du
Hier ahnt keiner wer du bist, keiner, keiner, keiner

[Hook]
Ich wollte nie sein wie du
Auch vor 10 Jahren – nie sein wie du
Du kannst jeden fragen in meiner Crew, nie sein wie du
Hier ahnt keiner wer du bist, keiner ahnt was du tust
Ich wollte nie sein wie du
Auch vor 10 Jahren – nie sein wie du
Du kannst jeden fragen in meiner Crew, nie sein wie du
Hier ahnt keiner wer du bist, keiner, keiner, keiner

[Verse 1]
Das Jackett von Luther Vandross, das Können Stevie Wonder’s
Der Look deines Tumblr’s, war für mich nie ein Anlass
Wollte nie sein wie deine Helden oder wie jemand anders
Auch nie sein wie du, hab eigene Standards
Eigene Standards, du bleibst ein Fantast, ich bin hier Stammgast
Hier weiß jeder wo er herkommt und wo er hin will, brauch keinen Kompass
Wenn ich du wär’, wär’ ich lieber ich, mal in aller Freundschaft:
Du bist kein Designer, eher Made in China, egal was du anhast
Bin taub für deine Floskeln, dreh dich leise wie n’ Gospel
Mute den Apostel, du hast Swag wie Gerd Postel
Wer hat hier die Hitze – du? nicht das ich wüsste
Bigup Uchenna, streich dich von der Liste
"Bitch, don’t kill my Vibe", ich mach KK3 und die Kids ballern’s
Wie Lil Kim und Sean Combs, "No Time For Fake Ones", halte die Balance
Pull Up vorm Club, pump Tyron Tayler "Cottage In Negril"
Scherz’ ma’ im April, wollte nie sein wie du, also chill

[Hook]
Ich wollte nie sein wie du
Auch vor 10 Jahren – nie sein wie du
Du kannst jeden fragen in meiner Crew, nie sein wie du
Hier ahnt keiner wer du bist, keiner ahnt was du tust
2 x

[Verse 2 Carsten Chemnitz]
Ich hab mit deiner Scheiße nix zu tun
Tut mir leid, ich wollte nie so sein wie du
Ich identifiziere mich mit meiner Crew
Und du mit deinen Schuhen, wie gesagt:
Ich hab mit deiner Scheiße nix zu tun
Ich steppe in die Cypher
Und dann stepp ich aber gleich wieder raus
Wow, die Männer hier sind ziemlich breit gebaut
Nur ist leider hier leider weit und breit mal wieder keine Frau
Pow Pow Pow! Früher hab ich RTL geschaut
Pow Pow Pow! Heute geht das deutlich besser
Pow Pow Pow! Ich mach einfach Facebook auf
Und schäme mich für deutsche Rapper
Interview’s, Premium Box, wer spricht mit Polizisten
Wichtige Statement’s von Hip Hop- Journalisten
Wie gesagt, ich hab mit euerer Scheiße nix zu tun
Für mich ist Savage nur dieser Partner von Naidoo

[Hook]
Ich wollte nie sein wie du
Auch vor 10 Jahren – nie sein wie du
Du kannst jeden fragen in meiner Crew, nie sein wie du
Hier ahnt keiner wer du bist, keiner ahnt was du tust
2 x

Trettmann – Ehrenrunde (Kitschkrieg, Vol. 3 EP) letras

[Verse 1]
Kein Spass man, bis der letzte es gerafft hat, hier ist nichts lustig
Habs allen gesagt: 2Null16 gehört uns, Übernahme, Schlussstrich
Aus’m Nichts in die Championsleague Hombre, nie wieder Schlusslicht
Alle überrundet, Transformation abgeschlossen, alles gut, alles richtig
Und es fühlt sich so leicht an, als ob ich fliege, fernab vom Schwarm
Gönn’ mir ‘n Blick in die Tiefe und ein KitschKrieg- Tattoo auf’n Arm
Für meine Fam so viel Liebe, Fiji Kriss geht auf Eins mit Denyo und Jan
Fizzle zieht am KK- Costum- Vapo, mit eingraviertem Namen

[Hook]
Ich mag Frau’n, die bubblen zu KitschKrieg Beats
Und wenn meine Songs vorbeifahrn im SUV
Während ihr noch überlegt, warum ich euch überrunde
Mei’m Kram neue Namen gebt, lauf ich die Ehrenrunde

[Verse 2]
Awhodat – alle wolln deine Bilder, schwarz- weiß ohne Filter
Hut ab, Haiyti und UFO, ich bin ein Berliner, Megaloh Moabiter
Big Up, Felix und Samy, How many mics? Me say many many many
Pull Up, 187 Co Sing, die Strasse feiert’s, alles muss genau so sein
Stimmt’s Teka, hier um zu gewinnen, scheiss auf Major Deal
Und auf die, die sich nur melden, wann ma’ was geht, ihr seid mir zu viel
Shout Out HHV, KK1 – 2 – 3 kommt auf DoppelVinyl
Dann Album, Trettmann, lauf’ locker durchs Ziel

[Hook]
Ich mag Frau’n, die bubblen zu KitschKrieg Beats
Und wenn meine Songs vorbeifahrn im SUV
Während ihr noch überlegt, warum ich euch überrunde
Mei’m Kram neue Namen gebt, lauf ich die Ehrenrunde
2 x

Trettmann – La Dolce Vita (Kitschkrieg, Vol. 3 EP) letras

[Hook]
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, 2 Flaschen Moet 1 Bag Sativa
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre Liga
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, der Himmel färbt sich lila
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre Liga

[Verse 1]
Aye, lass uns Wolken essen
Du neben mir, sehn’ mich schon wieder nach dei’m…
Mach dass, es nie aufhört, wir sind wie besessen
Gehören nicht zusamm’, der Sommer lässt es uns vergessen
Schwarze Outlines, braune Haut, goldene Kette… in ‘ner
Einer dieser tropischen Nächte, falls ich
Das nur träume, mach dass ich nicht mehr aufwache
Dich zum Kotti bring und deine Nummer wieder lösche
Glaub nicht, dass das schon alles ist
Zeig mir nochmal, nochmal womit du arbeitest, Mhmm
Ich weiß, dass diese Nacht die Wahrheit ist
Pull up & come again
Ich link dich gern, komm vorbei
Schreib dir ‘n Song, auf den Leib
Nur wir zwei, sag kei’m Bescheid
"On The Down Low" – Brian McKnight

[Bridge]
Du bist ein Pro und keine Hoe, alles is’ so perfekt
Zwischen den Laken, hör’n Balladen, every thing set
Musst jetzt nicht geh’n, hast mein OK, sippen Rose im Bett
Du bist ein Pro und keine Hoe, alles is’ so perfekt

[Hook]
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, 2 Flaschen Moet 1 Bag Sativa
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre Liga
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, der Himmel färbt sich lila
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre..

[Verse 2]
"Gal flex…" , wie Cobra
"Time to have…", du bist wie ich ein Stoner, hmhm
Teste das Aroma
Du erinnerst mich an "All My Girls Do Yoga"
Der Real Deal
Gib mir mehr davon, gib mir viel, viel
Du musst wissen, dass ich, dass ich dich fühl, fühl
Kein Spiel spiel, for real real

[Hook]
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, 2 Flaschen Moet 1 Bag Sativa
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre Liga
Wir tun es an ‘nem Dienstag, der Himmel färbt sich lila
La, La Dolce Vita, das hier ist ‘ne andre.

Troy Ave – Narcos letras

[Hook]
Tendo la cocaína para la vela vida
Yo Tengo la cocaína para la vela
Tendo la cocaína para la vela
Si tiene dinero potemo hashima cosillas

[Verse 1]
Fat girls having me like papi
Let’s go RIP to Gustafi
Fuck those cheap looking horror
I riding through the town with narcos
Cops see me in the street with them clipping
I’m just a young nigga with ambition coming soon
Taking turns out of town extra mission
How you niggers only making cases if you snitching
How many hoes you fucking here
You don’t want say when they getting laid
Waking young still having
I’m El Patron, real jefe
[Hook]
Tendo la cocaína para la vela vida
Yo Tengo la cocaína para la vela
Tendo la cocaína para la vela
Si tiene dinero potemo hashima cosillas

[Verse 2]
BSP nigga period
I came up from the slums but i do that
I hate gettin money true that I got a bg of it
I was in miami too bad
They say they want war we can do that
It’s killing whatever on first sight here we go
Riding by spraying ozzi on the speed bike where’s my boy
You never bite the hands that feed you God no
You niggers too fake I’m a gangster you feelin me
To my enemies I’m a menace
Cops want to slay me down south
But I’m a be a legend when I’m finished

[Hook]
Tendo la cocaína para la vela vida
Yo Tengo la cocaína para la vela
Tendo la cocaína para la vela
Si tiene dinero potemo hashima cosillas

[Outro]
Imagine without a due we made it out
You feelin me and uhm what I’m
Is dropping these for the people
This shit free you know download it
You know am saying Spread the word
And then we going to drop mother fucking uhm
Brakes in my backpack for
On december the fourth and in that one
That one is for you to go out and buy
You know this is going to be EP on album
The pain I feel in it I’m a double right back
I’m a get up in these white christmas tree
Like a real one