People say bands aren’t politicised any more. Then again, they say you shouldn’t fuse punk with gospel, so what do they know? Just ask Algiers, a three-piece that combines these disparate genres to rally against consumerism and political conservatism. Vocalist and guitarist Franklin James Fisher, bassist Ryan Mahan and guitarist Lee Tesche hail from Atlanta, a home city for which they shared mutual disdain. “People act as if the South’s history of exploitation and slavery happened so long ago that it’s no longer relevant,” Fisher says. “In fact, its violent history is still quite recent.
You’d forgive a hotly tipped British hip-hop hopeful about to embark on a busy summer of huge festivals for being nervous about the months ahead. Loyle Carner, however, is more concerned about how his fast-filling-up schedule is going to impact the five-a-side football team he plays with on Tuesday nights a stone’s throw from his south London home. “None of the shows are on Tuesday at the minute.
Meet the Melbourne singer-songwriter crafting eloquent pop on Courtney Barnett’s label. Interview by Kevin EG Perry Fraser A Gorman has a distinct memory of the very first time he ever met his now-label boss, Courtney Barnett, after moving to Melbourne as an 18-year-old. “I met her in a bar and tried to pick her up,” he laughs. “Which is kinda funny because she likes girls!” The pair have now become good friends, and as singer-songwriters they share an aesthetic as well as a certain lyrical wit and ability to convey their lives, hopes and fears openly.
Justin (J) Fernandez might just be the real sound of America right now. With not an ounce of icey NYC ‘cool’ or hipster LA wankery about him, the Little Rock-born, Chicago-based songwriter’s music taps into that same sense of prevailing sincerity as Elliott Smith and Evan Dando. You could never call him brash or OTT, and that’s kind of the point. A map-maker by day, he made most of new album ‘Many Levels Of Laughter’ at his apartment in the Windy City’s Humboldt Park area.
Few musicians are as prolific as the four members of The Magic Gang. Soundcloud is littered with solo material and songs by other bands they once played in – or still do – like Home School, Yrrs and Echochamp, a collective of Brighton groups that includes the likes of Sulky Boy and Our Girl. And they’ve also produced songs for their friends Manuka Honeys and Abattoir Blues. Despite all that, the quartet describe those endeavours as “things we do in our spare time” and have been busy harvesting over 50 Magic Gang songs that the world is yet to hear.