Nashville artist Tristen Gaspadarek and her band were high on my list of bands I had to see at this year's Secret Stages Music Discovery Festival. The band's set Friday night at Rogue Tavern was unforgettable, entertaining and fun, I walked away a bigger fan. Her latest album, Sneaker Waves is out now. Enjoy the video for "Got Some" and my personal favorite track, "No One's Gonna Know" while checking out my pictures from the show.
Seeing a band I've written about here at Aimless Skylarking is always a highlight. Such blog favorites as The Joy Formidable, Lazy Day, Dream Wife, PINS, Porridge Radio, Lydia Loveless, Sturgill Simpson, Benjamin Booker, Adia Victoria, and Our Girl immediately come to mind when I think of bands I was over the moon to finally see perform. On my next to last night in London, last Thursday to be exact, I was able to check off another band from that list when I saw friends Heavy Heart perform at The Old Queen's Head in North London. They didn't disappoint, starting the set off with my personal favorite, 'Pretty Thing', and filling the rest of the set with great songs from last year's one song a month project. A great performance from some truly fantastic folks.
All I can think of now, is when will I get to see them again.
Londoners Lazy Day have emerged with a spectacular new take on a staple from their live show. The freshened up old favorite, 'With My Mind' initially came from a collection of intimate tracks Tilly Scantlebury recorded in her bedroom a few years back. Now with a full band, Tilly and her bandmates went about giving the track the proper studio treatment, yet, without losing why it's one of Tilly's most powerful songs.
As with every Lazy Day offering, Tilly manages to stun with an economy of words. "Saying bye is always hard, I've hated it from the start" and "Making up is always hard, I never know where to start" could even stir the darkest of hearts into reflecting on past loves and losses with its clarity. And even though the band has put a new stamp on 'With My Mind', it still retains its original heart -- in the wee hours of the night, it's a bedroom confessional.
Lazy Day will play a special (now sold out) headline show at the Servant Jazz Quarters in London on Tuesday, May 9. 'With My Mind' will be released as a Lost Map Records PostMap postcard single on May 5, 2017, and comes with an acoustic version as an exclusive bonus. Find 'With My Mind' below.
London indie-rockers Heavy Heart had a big 2016. They promised a new track each month, and then went about delivering on said promise. When the dust settled, they took on another big task for 2017 -- getting the collection of 12 songs on vinyl. As of week ago, they can check that off the list. I Can & I Will Records released Keepsake on raspberry red vinyl on March 31st. In an attempt to outdo themselves, they've also found the time to create a video for 'Fruitfly'. Director Ross McClure captured the essence of the track brilliantly; its retro and, dare I say, creepy vibe manages to hit the mark based on how Anna originally described the track.
"The song was inspired by some reading I did about the Jonestown massacre, about the nature of control and cult mentality. I was fascinated about what could be powerful enough to cause someone to give up everything, to poison their own children and then themselves. It's easy to feel immune from the safety of a laptop, but in a different way I'm brainwashed and compliant too, obediently following trends and social rules, safe inside the group, absorbing feeds of toxic news. None of it seems dangerous on the surface, in fact it's very enticing, but then so much of what's bad for us is coated in sweetness. We're attracted to it like flies."
What's next gang?
London indie-rockers Heavy Heart started 2016 with an ambitious plan, put out one song a month for the entire year. As each month drifted by, as promised, the band checked in with a new offering. The collection focused on hot-button topics such as bullying, self-worth, exclusivity, beauty, and perfection with gratifying clarity. An amazing feat for a band with busy lives outside of music, yet, it never felt rushed. Each month, the band turned in a high quality offering with seemingly effortless storytelling, arrangements, and production values.
Earlier this year, the band announced I Can & I Will Records would be releasing the collection, titled Keepsake, on vinyl on March 31st. Raspberry Red Vinyl, limited to 300 copies (signed & hand-numbered), all for the princely sum of £10 or £7 for digital.
There was always a sense of excitement at the home office when each new track landed in our inbox. Many hours of listening joy in 2016 came while listening to Heavy Heart, and that's not likely to end anytime soon. We couldn't imagine Keepsake being called anything other than that. It truly lives up to its name.