MIMR Band Chat: Sonic AM

This months featured band on MIMR are Punk rock trio Sonic A.M who have made a thunderous impression with their full throttle sound really hitting the mark.

With some very interesting plans ahead i spoke to Niall (Guitar/Vocals) from the band to get the lowdown.

Welcome to MIMR, how best would you describe your sound and what influences do you have?

Niall: We generally say ‘pop in a hockey mask’. A lot of hooks and riffs but drenched in as much aggression as we can muster. I think we channel a lot of old school punk, especially the whole DC scene in America – fugazi are a huge influence. Though I spent a lot of my teen years listening to more indie rock type things, like The Cribs and The Dismemberment Plan, which i know I draw a lot of inspiration from.

So what can we expect from the band in 2018?

Niall: Right now we are sitting on an album – it’s a little bit of a concept record with some strong themes but most of all it’s the 9 strongest songs in our discography. Some of the songs we wrote years and years ago and some are more recent, but I’m really proud of how it all flows together and makes sense as an album. That’ll be out before the end of the year for sure. Other than that we are looking to get as many gigs as we can and generally getting on people’s radars.

We are very happy to have you as our featured band of the month for february, which band would you most like to support and why?

Niall: I’d love to support Idles. They’re a band with a lot of similar ethics to us, plus they’re a bit scary which is always good. The Cribs would also be mind blowing.

5 cds you could take with you if you had to live on a desert island, which ones would they be?

Niall: Emergency and I – The Dismemberment Plan // The Moon and Antarctica – Modest Mouse // The money store – Death Grips // Kid A – Radiohead // Twin fantasy – Car Seat Headrest. I like anything with strong emotions and crazy sounds.

Thanks for chatting to MIMR, all the best for this year. How can people follow you guys on social media?

Niall: Find us on Facebook, Twitter, instagram, Spotify and bandcamp:

https://www.facebook.com/sonicamband/

https://www.instagram.com/sonicamband

https://sonicam.bandcamp.com

MIMR Gig Guide: February

2018 is in full swing now and February is always a great time to seek out some new music in Manchester. Here are a selection of gigs to get to this month.

7th

Meatwave @Gullivers

10th

Her’s @Night and Day

12th

Flood Manual @The Castle

13th

Ace Motel @Zombie Shack

15th

Queasy @Night and Day

17th

Deja Vega/Hey Bulldog and Juju @The Peer Hat

20th

Indoor Pets (formerly Get Inuit) w/Peaness @The Deaf Institute

Party Hardly @The Castle

22nd

Demoms Of Ruby Mae @The Castle

28th

Saint Agnes w/ Hey Bulldog @Night and Day Cafe

MIMR Band Chat: Ortense Blue

MIMR brings to your attention the dark, brooding indie/folk tones of Ortense Blue with her music sending a chill down your spine. With more music already planned for this year to follow the brilliant ‘Safe To Make A Sound’ EP release, MIMR can’t wait for what will come next.

We caught up with Donna to chat about her musical plans and podcasting.

MIMR: How would you best describe your sound and what influences greatly shape your music?

Donna: I’d describe the Ortense Blue sound as dark indie folk, story-based songs with atmosphere. I’ve been described as a ‘folky Goldfrapp’ and my sound has made people mention Suzanne Vega and Kate Bush. I have been hugely influenced by these artists, as well as Julee Cruise, Joanna Newsom, David Sylvian, John Coltrane, Nina Simone, Linkin Park, and Depeche Mode. I feel there is a combination of dark and light in my songs, and nearly always a slightly melancholy undertone.

MIMR: You must be pleased with the attention your EP has recieved, were you more excited or nervous about releasing this into the world?

Donna: It was so long in the preparation that in the end I was just desperate to get it out there and move onto the next stage! However, I remember the day that I pressed the ‘send’ button on facebook. I felt so jittery and anxious, it was like downing a full pack of chocolate covered coffee beans! In the end it was the support of a great group of musicians on twitter and facebook, in a group called The Monster Thread, that led to me finding others that were in the same position and we supported each other’s releases and chatted on twitter together and through that unexpected networking I’ve had a wonderful response to the songs and the EP as a whole, which was completely unexpected!
I have been utterly awful at networking due to a natural shyness but I’m getting much better at it now. Just wish there were more hours in the day sometimes!

MIMR: What plans do you have for your music in 2018?

Donna: I’ve already written the songs for my next EP and have now started recording them. This EP isn’t as dark as Safe To Make a Sound; it has a more whimsical, magical sound to it so far I think. It has been influenced by our move to Wales last year and being so close to a forest and wanting to capture that feeling.
I’m also making more space in my week to focus on several collaborations that I am involved in – one of which is an album with the Textile and Sound Artist, David Littler.

I have a busy mind and am always learning something. I know a lot about mental health (am a trained therapist), so I’m currently planning a podcast covering music and mental health (eg, the stories behind certain songs and the artists themselves). It will be called Music & Mental Health Matters, and the first episode should be going out in February 2018 – tbc. I’m quite excited about this as it will be a good way of involving musicians and their stories and giving this a space to be heard. That’s my niche I guess, but I think it’s about each creative finding what’s right for them and finding a way to get that individuality across. There’s lots of cross-artform collaborations happening that are creating even more possibilities for artists at the moment.

MIMR: Do you have any new year resolutions?

Donna: Yes I do. To unapologetically dedicate more of my working week to my music work. To setup and start the Music and Mental Health Matters Podcast, and to improve my guitar playing – a never-ending objective I know!

MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us at MIMR, we wish you all the best for this year, where can people check the EP out and follow you social media?

Donna: Thank you so much MIMR! Hope we all have a wonderful 2018!

These are my links:-

Website: http://ortenseblue.com
Contact: ortenseblue@gmail.com
Soundcloud: https://www.soundcloud.com/ortenseblue
Bandcamp: https://ortenseblue.bandcamp.com/
Songwhip: https://songwhip.com/artist/ortense-blue
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3aFn7xSOsbqgNetd6Yuu2H
Music Glue: https://www.musicglue.com/ortenseblue
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ortenseblue
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/ortenseblue
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ortenseblue

MIMR Review: Edits ‘Re-Surface’ EP

One of the 1st records to really get MIMR juices flowing in 2018 comes in the form of good friends of the blog, Liv and Chris who make up Synth-pop duo Edits with this being their latest offering ‘Re-surface’ soaring their atmospheric sound even higher.

Released January 19th the manchester pair powerfully show their prowess through a blistering, mesmerising 5 tracks, that make ‘Re-surface’ a treasure trove of hidden gems.

Tongue-tied is a synth-laden track with haunting vocals and gripping riffs to boot. While MIMR favourite track Don’t Speak brings Liv’s powerful vocal range to the party, equally complimented by striking guitars throughout.

The dark undertones of Let Me In are apparent from the start with their electronic sound piercing your brain. Satellite is a much more mellow affair, brimming with soothing synths which build to a cruscendo which shivers and tingles your mind.

Closing track Poison comes with thumping beats and crushing riffs, a track with brutal attitude and the perfect way to end this cosmic journey.

Re-Surface is a record overflowing with high points and layered beautifully with a mixture of delightful synths and heartfelt vocals as well as some monstrous guitars. Edits may well be on to a good thing here, lets all rejoice and submerge ourselves in the joyous sound.

You can check the EP out here:

MIMR Band Chat: Violet Youth

MIMR brought in the new year with the announcement of this next band being our featured Band of the month.

Having already been included in our Sounds of 2018 list and their brilliant EP ‘Primary Nature’ slotting nicely into our best of 2017 EP list, the dreamy, indie quartet from Blackburn have set their heights high for 2018 and we think that they will succeed!

Lead man Owen had a quick chat with us ahead of their Manchester headline show tonight, a link to listen to the EP will be at the end of the Band Chat.

MIMR: Great to have our featured band of the month Violet Youth on the blog, how best would you describe your sound?

Owen: Our sound is a mixture of all our music tastes, it’s broad; sometimes slow, sometimes high energy and fast paced. It’s dreamy, ambient and melodic.

MIMR: Your EP was widely praised, especially here at MIMR, are you pleased with the reaction the record got and are any more releases planned for this year?

Owen: We are pleased with the reaction it got yes, for the people who heard it there was massive positive feedback, but, we feel not enough people have heard it yet. There a plans for multiple releases this year and we are very excited for people to hear them

MIMR: You have a big headline show in Manchester coming very soon, tell us all about it and have you had any past memories of playing in Manchester?

Owen: Manchester has always been good to us, we’ve never headlined here so it’s a first, every time we have played Manchester in the past we’ve had a great reaction so we are excited to do it again. The line up for the gig is mega and I would advise anyone to come down early and make sure ur not missing seeing some great bands.

MIMR: Did any of the band have any new year resolutions?

Owen: We don’t have New Years resolutions as we think they are pointless, we set a goal 2 years ago and we plan on making it a reality, that’s all there is to it.

MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us on the blog and being our featured band for January, wish you all the best for 2018, how can people check you out on social media?

Owen: Search Violet Youth on Insta, Facebook and Twitter and you’ll find us easy enough, check out the Spotify and be excited for what’s coming in the near future x

Primary Nature

MIMR Band Chat: Ace Motel

First up on MIMR Band Chat in 2018 are Indie pop duo Ace Motel who are ready to unleash their soothing sounds to us all, Manchester prepare to be amazed.

MIMR spoke to Kammy and Georgia to discuss their future plans.

MIMR:

How did Ace Motel start up and what kind of influences do you draw upon to ceate your sound?

Ace Motel: We met at university, having been put in the same flat in our first year, and became instant friends. We both shared a love for music and began playing acoustic open mics together. As we became more confident, and realised how well we gelled creatively, we decided we should create our own sound. Kammy immersed himself in the production side of things and I, Georgia, focussed on vocals and lyrics. We had always shared an affinity for indie-rock but, by living together in Manchester with its diverse music culture, our musical tastes were broadened. To put it bluntly, we were a bit bored of indie-rock. We began experimenting by using vocal layers and unique combinations of sound, inspired by the music of The Japanese House, Bon Iver, and The XX. This style of music is what we wanted to aim towards, however we are influenced by multiple genres; essentially anything and everything we listen to. We never want to deprive ourselves of experimentation; almost all of our songs started off as an experiment, toying with guitar and unique sound compilations. We felt that there was a lot of originality lacking in the mainstream music we were listening to, and so we attempted to digress from what is considered to be the “conventional song structure” in a lot of our writing. We hope that our combinations of sound create a sense of the all-consuming atmosphere that you should be absorbed in when listening to music. We like to think we’ve been quite bold with some of our uses of sound; we even sampled the intercom announcement at a tram station in San Francisco! This one sample ultimately cultivated the entire premise and meaning of one of our songs. We are still best friends, living together in Manchester, and we have a lot of big plans for the year to come.

MIMR: What can we expect from you in 2018?

Ace Motel: The main focus at the moment is working towards our first EP, so we’re doing a lot of writing and recording for that. You can also expect some remixes, more videos, a possible mini-tour, and maybe even a short film! Playing as many live gigs and going to see as much live music as possible for inspiration is also definitely on the agenda. We have a lot of ideas, but like we said writing and recording is our priority.

MIMR: With social media being such a big tool for musicians nowadays, how would you rate your confidence with social media tools and how best would you use this in the future?

Ace Motel:

Aesthetic is very important to us in terms of individualising Ace Motel as a brand, and so social media is an ideal platform to promote this through photos and videos. For us, I think it is important that image and sound go hand-in-hand to create that “atmosphere” I previously mentioned. Also, social media is obviously useful to keep up to date with musical trends and, more importantly, to create as much hype around the band and to promote our music as much as possible.

MIMR: Do you have any new years resolutions?

Ace Motel: In general, for both of us, a new years resolution is most definitely to start waking up a lot earlier to try and get as much work as possible! In terms of the band, our main aims are to keep working hard, play more shows, and release music that is constantly improving. We’re really hoping that 2018 is a big and successful year for us.

MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us on the blog, if there was any song you could take credit for, which one would it be and why?

Ace Motel: As a band I think we have to choose “33 God” by Bon Iver. They are a huge inspiration to us, and this song has such an emotional impact and meaning despite the fact that it is so ambiguous. This, alongside with its use of samples and unconventional structure, is what we aspire to be able to create ourselves. To us, it is pretty much a perfect song.

MIMR Gig Guide: January

2018 has finally hit us and as you recover from your xmas and new year celebrations, the quality of gigs this month prove that it will not be a quiet period for the Manchester music scene.

Here are the pick of the best gigs in January.

13th

Solitary Music Nerd gig featuring Pet Crow + Patty Hearst @The Peer Hat

17th Night and Day Showcase feat. Edits

19th Night and Day Showcase feat. Field Manual

23rd Violet Youth @Jimmy’s

24th

Hey Bulldog supporting SEXTILE @The Castle Hotel 27th

Robotalien + The Empty Page supporting All Hail Hyena @The Castle Hotel

Tilted Music Festival @The Peer Hat

Crosa Rosa supporting Baba Naga @Eagle Inn