MIMR Band Chat: O>L>A

Dreampop duo O>L>A return to MIMR after discovering them at last year’s Dot To Dot Festival, it was a special set and the Manchester pair are certainly ready to hit 2016 head first with some interesting plans ahead

I spoke to Kev and Dean about these plans and their vibrant live show
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MIMR: Great to have O>L>A on the blog, how did you start up as a band and what influences do you have on your music?

KEV: Hi and thanks for having us! We started up when we were working together at Fopp in Manchester. Wed got together a couple of times after work and started to get a lot of material together quite quickly, it was a long time before we figured out how to translate it live though! O>L>A (one little atlas) influences tend to be drawn from experiences from film and music, so our music tends to be influenced (myself personally) by cinematic moments- things I see and hear that stick with me.

DEAN: Our influences range from a lot of electronic music production; we try and go for a rich production sound. Another influence is landscapes, i think me and Kev have this weird landscape fetish! I love painters like Roerich & Caspar David Friedrich and imagining places for a track is not uncommon. Actually, a lot of songs in the first EP were influenced by different places in Europe, Scotland and the Peak District.

KEV: Also, through working in a music shop weve absorbed a lot of musical influences.

DEAN: We both have a broad love of music from Warp Records & Constellation Records to Swans or J Dilla, its all over really.
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MIMR: 2015 was a busy year for the band, what was the most memorable moment you experienced during the year?

KEV: We didnt have an initial plan for last year so it was amazing to look back. We just forced ourselves into creative projects and they seem to work out in the end, even if we come close to breakdowns (Its a struggle to work full-time and work on so many ideas!). Our biggest highlight was performing on a rooftop above Manchester City Centre performing a score we assembled to Ron Frickes film Koyaanisqatsi. It was in the middle of summer and the sun set during the performance with the city coming alive around us. It was a culmination of everything weve wanted to do with the band and outdoor gigs feel more alive with the natural world around you so it was a special moment in our career.

MIMR: What plans do you have for 2016

KEV: Keep working I guess. We have a few projects we’d like to realise later this year and we have a few scores set aside we are going to get under way.

DEAN: We have plans to release our new EP ‘Call of the Wild’ later in the year with a new single called Light Years.

KEV: We would love to work on a project at the The Wilson in Cheltenham.

DEAN: Yeah we would love to do a new film on Scotts expedition to Antarctica and score it for the gallery. Wilson took part in two British expeditions to Antarctica and sadly never made it back from the last one, it’s in the pipeline for this year.

KEV: Were also looking for a label to look after us!

DEAN: Would be nice! We have lots of material and we just want to get it all out there which we hope to do this year as well as play more shows outside of Manchester.
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MIMR: MIMR is looking forward to seeing you play live again, how would you best describe your live show?

KEV: Thanks! I like to think of our show as something you can immerse yourself in. If you just go with it the music can really pull you in.

DEAN: Our shows can be intense and fun, we like to mix up the style and feel from one track to another and blur them into a musical collage with few breaks in between tracks. Weve had people dance and cry to our live show, (sadly not at the same time yet) so its definitely all over the map! Expect lots of beats, looped vocals and guitars and synths.
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MIMR: Thanks for chatting to us on the blog, wish you all the best for this year. Away from the band what do you guys do to relax?

KEV: Relax?

DEAN: Kev has a four year old so I dont think he gets that option currently!

KEV: I watch a lot of kids tv!

DEAN: Maybe we need to learn how to relax this year

You can see O>L>A next week at the Soup Kitchen supporting Desert Sound Colony for my good friend at Passage, tickets still available. Check out the event for more details

https://www.facebook.com/events/1079461955438914/
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MIMR Playlist Jan 24th

Get Inuit ‘My Oh My’

Another week and another playlist on MIMR starting this time with MIMR favourites Get Inuit with their latest creation, the raucous ‘My Oh My’. One of MIMR Sounds of 2016 acts are starting the year firmly on the front foot with a track brimming with cheery vocals and flambuoyant hooks to die for. Certainly a band on most people lips at the moment including more than favourable supporters on Radio 1 which bares well for a successful 12 months. Catch them on a headline UK tour starting this week to witness their indie-pop wizardry yourselves.
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Simmer ‘Charles’

Next this week is the return to the playlist of the excellent Simmer who are all geared up for a very busy and exciting 2016. The punk band from Cheshire, now a 4 piece, reveal the gripping 2nd single ‘Charles’ from their upcoming debut LP ‘Paper Prisms’ released Feb 27th and what a record it promises to be. This anthemic track is a real eye-opener with bruising guitars and hazy vocals which make your hair stick on end. Expect the album to be near the top of MIMR wishlist next month, it should be yours too.
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The Showers ‘Bella’

Good Friends of the blog and top guys The Showers give us a treat with this brooding track ‘Bella’ released through Sunny Manchester at the end of this month. Its a mix of scratchy riffs and belting vocals which are hard not to admire. After last year’s ‘Smile and the Trees Will Hold You’ EP release, its safe to say the Macclesfield quartet are ready to take their music up a notch, the raw intensity of this track alone achieves that in the bucket loads
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Vivenne The Witch ‘Dreams and Pain’

MIMR doesn’t shy away from looking further afield for the best in new music and this is proven here by the next act on the Playlist, Italian Alt-Rock trio Vivenne The Witch . This track is extracted from their new album ‘Shadowbox’ (release date Jan 29th) which MIMR has had a sneaky listen and its a real winner. Scuzzy guitars and chillingly good vocals, with no-nonsense attitude that hits all the right buttons, a real triumph!
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Tyrants ‘Chinese Whispers’

Finally on this week’s Playlist we have the spirited, indie-rock trio Tyrants. Hailing from Lincoln the guys have already had a fair amount of interest from local press and show the determination to succeed in a highly competitive music scene. ‘Chinese Whispers’ is a classic uptempo rock track, flowing Lyrics and infectious, catchy guitars and has certainly been on repeat on the blog recently. Be sure to keep an eye out for Tyrants again on MIMR very soon
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MIMR Band Chat: Sweet Deals On Surgery

Noise Punk Trio Sweet Deals On Surgery return to MIMR with a lot of exciting times ahead and they describe these and more in this latest Band Chat, they’re nice like that

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MIMR: We welcome back Sweet Deals On Surgery to MIMR, another one of MIMR Sounds of 2016 acts eager to impress this year, so we finally have an album done, hurray!! when will it be released and are you excited to get it out there?

SDOS: Hi Griff! Yes the album is finally done, it only took us a year! Well, technically it was about 4 days but there was 11 months in between…
We’re very excited to get it released, we’ve been speaking to a label recently about getting it out there but as yet we don’t have a set date for release. I think a good estimate would be March/April though.

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MIMR: Will we be seeing more live shows in 2016?

SDOS: Absolutely. In fact we played our first gig in 3 months last week at our second home the Ferret in Preston, supporting Ross Millard’s (from The Futureheads) new band Drifts and Preston noise makers Fighting. It was really good. I always think a gig has been good when there is blood on my guitar at the end. 

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We have our first Birmingham and London shows this year in the summer and we’re back at one of our favourite ever venues, Macguire’s Pizza Bar, in Liverpool for fuzz punks Saltwater Injection’s E.P release night organised by Antipop Records on 13th Feb. But before that we headline a Horn Hoof records night at The Blossoms in Stockport on Sat 30th January. Hopefully we’ll have a UK tour booked nearer the summer to promote the record as well.

MIMR: What would you say were the best moments for the band in 2015?

SDOS: Wow, there were loads. We played a lot last year and met a lot of really lovely people along the way. I think one of our favourite times was going down to Rochester, Kent and playing the last night of Homespun Festival. It was an awesome gig, we got to play with so many great bands and they were all so lovely to us and we got fed and watered and they provided us with some sweet shelter.  They’ve got a really great scene going on down there.  We also had a brilliant night playing in York for our friend Dan Gott of The Franceens, yet another place with a great scene and vibe.  Oh yeh and supporting the Lovely Eggs was cool, and the Nightingales, and Love Buzzard. They were all really nice☺ There are so many more but I would literally be going on for ages.

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MIMR: Are they’re any new bands around at the moment that you think MIMR should keep an eye on?

SDOS: Yeh definitely, Drifts, Saltwater Injection, Bear Vs Manero, Punching Swans, Screenwives, Fighting, Mothers, Elmo And The Styx, James Kelly, Matt Gray And The Awful Truth, Shitwife, Silent Front, Locean, Dreams In Teal, Groves, Yr Friends, KILL RPNZL, Wax Futures, Duke Mercury, Delta Palms and loads I can’t remember right now.

MIMR: Thanks once again for talking with us and wish you all the success with the album. With any release they’re sure to be a launch party, what things are essential for a SDOS party?

SDOS: Music. N64. Playstation. Friends. Friends (the TV show). Cider. Lager. Rum. Whiskey. Not sure if I should divulge any more information, maybe a barbecue? ;)x

Here’s a playlist featuring some of the bands SDOS recommended in the interview, its pretty mega!

https://soundcloud.com/mimr-5/sets/sdos-band-chat-2016

MIMR Gig Gallery: Young Mountains

Nearly a month since the last gig, MIMR returned to some live action with Manchester Art-rock trio Young Mountains taking to the stage at Night and Day Cafe last night (Jan 22nd).

Having played at the 1st MIMR Sunday Sessions last year, they started the new year with another impressive set containing tracks from their previous ‘Unravel’ EP as well as some brand new tracks which will appear on a new EP coming very soon, exciting times!!

Here are some highlights from their set, stay tuned for more from Young Mountains in the next few months

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MIMR Band Chat: NARCS

Hailing from Leeds, the next new band to be featured on MIMR in 2016 are Alt-Rockers NARCS. They’ve hit the ground running this year with gigs and future releases in progress too and we look forward to seeing them play very soon

I spoke to John from NARCS about what to expect from them in 2016 and the joys of touring

MIMR: Another new band on MIMR here, NARCS from Leeds. How was 2015 for the band?

John: Hello there. Very good thanks. Lots of ups and downs, smiles and frowns. We got to do our first UK tour, played Reading and Leeds festival and then lost most of our gear in the boxing day floods so it was a mixed bag really. We’ve had some of the gear repaired now so it’s not as bad as we first thought. Overall it was good man.

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MIMR: How did you celebrate the new year and what can we expect from NARCS in 2016

John: We celebrated in style at Mark’s, our drummer’s house. Who’d of thought a drummer could organise a swanky NYE party with nibbles? We are currently in the middle of recording our 2nd album. It’s going well, we are adding the final touches to it now. We recorded it with Ed Heaton, he knows his onions when it comes to recording. He did our most recent single, Blue Bags and we can’t wait to get this album finished and out there.

MIMR: Looking forward to seeing you play in Manchester next month, whats the best thing about performing live?

John: We can’t wait to get out on tour again. A week of nothing but petrol station food, beer and the Alan Partridge audiobook. Getting out and about, gigging up and down the country is great. You get to see a load of places you’ve never seen, play at a load of cool venues and meet some really nice people. It’s like a holiday but with a gig every night. There’s worse things we could be doing for a week.

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MIMR: Whats your favourite gig venue you’ve played?

John: The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds is one of our favorites. We drink there regularly and it’s essentially a meeting place for the Leeds music scene. The main room at the Brude is generally one of the places that you aspire to play when you first start a band in Leeds.

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MIMR: Great stuff, been a pleasure to have you on MIMR, what other bands do you think we should keep tabs on?

John: The pleasure is ours. Black Surf, Forever Cult and Tigercub are all worth discovering.

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A special mention goes out to the last date on their tour at Gullivers, Manchester, which is hosted by my good pals Flat Plastic, a cracking line-up for this night, see you there! (FB event link below)

https://www.facebook.com/events/1727863680770673/

MIMR RADAR: Slotface

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Having already introduced icelandic duo Wesen on MIMR RADAR this year, we now turn our attention to another promising Scandinavian band Slotface. The emerging norwegian quartet have been creating quite a stir recently and have all the attributes to make big moves in 2016.

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New single ‘Kill Em With Kindness’ released this week (Jan 15th) is full of infectious, pop punk vibes and boundless energy which achieve glowing results. It’s hard to believe that a band young in age can create such a buzz and with some UK dates on the horizion its only matter of time before their following goes through the roof, the sky’s the limit for Slotface

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Listen to new single ‘Kill Em With Kindness’ here:

https://soundcloud.com/slutfaceofficial-1/kill-em-with-kindness

MIMR Band Chat: Easy Kill

2016 is proving already to be a fruitful year for new bands featuring on the blog and that’s certainly the case for this next band, the graceful sounds of Easy Kill. This year for the band has all the makings to be pretty important and MIMR is advising you to get on board.

I spoke to Ronan about the new EP, gigs and having friends in other bands

MIMR: Its great to have another top Manchester band on the blog, who are Easy Kill and what influences do you have on your music?

Ronan: Thanks for having us. For the purposes of this interview, Easy Kill is just me (Ronan) because nobody else really bothers with our emails, aside from that Easy Kill is five guys who meet in a room in central Manchester once a week with the intention of writing some pop songs. I’d say our influences often come from one another…we all listen to pretty related music, but everyone tends to have a slightly different focus. Theo loves wordsmiths in music (Nick Drake et. al) for example and I listen to a lot of post rock, which tends to omit any words at all. I guess that helps us reign each other in when one person starts to get a little carried away.

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MIMR: You guys featured on MIMR Playlist recently with the new track ‘Samson’ which is taken from your new EP, how did the EP come together and are you excited to get it out to people?

Ronan: The EP was a bit of an accident to begin with. Our original idea was to go in to studio and get two songs together for a single. We were working with our now good friend Bob Cooper and ended up loving what he was doing so much that we decided to take two more songs in with him and turn it in to a ‘proper’ thing. Around about this time we were also chatting to the guys over at My Little Empire Records and they decided they’d want to take on the EP so it all fell in to place quite nicely. We’re definitely excited for people to hear it, this is the happiest we’ve ever been with a finished record…but I’d say that just a big an emotion right now is relief…it’s been such a long time in the making. The one thing is though, we’ve had it pressed to vinyl, so no matter what happens my grandkids are gonna hate Easy Kill more than anyone.

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MIMR: Whats your favourite venue you’ve played as a band?

Ronan: I’d say our favourite collectively is Deaf Institute. We’ve all seen some of our favourite bands there over the years so getting on that stage for the first time was a little milestone moment for us, i guess. Our first headline there is next month too for the EP launch and we couldn’t be more stoked about that. We have to mention Fallow Cafe too, we’ve got a lot of connections to the place and it’ll always be our ‘home ground’.

MIMR: You play at Soup Kitchen in a few weeks time, what can we expect from one of your live shows?

Ronan: We do, this is gonna be our first show at Soup actually so we’re pretty excited, especially given the other bands…I’ve heard so much about O>L>A and they seem to be doing some really cool things for the music scene in Manchester but still haven’t had the chance to see them live. From one of our shows right now you can see something pretty new. We’ve just added a fifth member in Andy Keaveney. Andy’s come in on keys and is also playing a third guitar. Our live show has always tended to have a little bit more bark than our recorded work but with Andy in we’re getting closer to playing out exactly what we want to and have the bite to back it up.

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MIMR: Thanks for your time and all the best with the EP and in 2016, what other bands around at the moment do you recommend to MIMR?

Ronan: As I said before, Fallow Cafe tends to be our home base so a lot of the bands and people associated with there. The bands Family Tree are putting on and the guys involved with that are doing a lot to bring some kind of real scene to the city, which in my opinion has been lacking for a few years. The Bear Around Your Neck and members of Fruit Bomb and Blooms all work with us there and I suppose we’re all hoping that in the next few years there’ll be a whole new staff stood behind the bar, I reckon that’s at least semi-plausible. Chris from Community works on the same street and they’re definitely worth checking out too. Our buds Church Party get a special mention. They’re gonna be playing our EP launch at Deaf Institute on February 26th and have just put out one of my favourite covers ever with a special little tribute the genius that was David Bowie.

It was a joy to feature Easy Kill on the blog. Pre-order the new EP ‘Sermons’ here

https://easykill.bandcamp.com/

And here’s the FB event for the Soup Kitchen gig in a few weeks put on by my good friend at Passage, MIMR will be there, come down and hang with us!

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https://www.facebook.com/events/1079461955438914/