Northwest Music News — 28 Jan | O>L>A Video Premiere, New Dutch Uncles LP + More

Our fortnightly missive on musical goings on in the Northwest this week features O>L>A, All We Are, Dutch Uncles and more...

Feature by Simon Jay Catling | 28 Jan 2015
  • Dutch Uncles
Video Premiere: O>L>A Live at The John Ryland Library

It's been a while coming, but the re-opening of Whitworth Art Gallery is shaping up to be something truly special indeed, with the gallery throwing open their doors for a weekend's worth of free events between 14-15 February. Among those involved are local audio visual curators Video Jam, who present four new collaborations between local musicians ansd video makers — with the fluttering dream-pop of O>L>A among them.

No strangers to performing in some of Manchester's more resplendent surroundings — the pair are Video Jam favourites and also played at the Manchester Cathedral-hosted C O L U M N S festival last Autumn — you can check out this video premiere of their performance at The John Ryland's Library last October, as part of the Manchester Literature Festival. Recalling the spatial ambience that Wild Beasts now float within, or more closer to home recalling some of Money's raw bombast, the two tracks presented are truly stunning in their graceful flight.     

All We Are and Dutch Uncles albums round the corner

Two of the region's more established bands have forthcoming  albums around the corner. Keeping on a dream-pop tip for a moment, Liverpool-based trio All We Are's forthcoming eponymous debut LP comes out on Monday 2 February, on Double Six / Domino. From Ireland, Brazil and Norwasy respectively, the trio met at University in the Northwest, and have steadily built a reputation locally that seems about to go national. Their debut record's a conflict of release and constraint, between intimate intricacy and grand space, with songs such as Stone below, growing from vine-like guitar creepers, before the focus pans out to take in all of the song's surroundings. You can stream the whole LP over at [Noisey].

Dutch Uncles front man Duncan Wallis' lyrics for Decided Knowledge, the latest track to be previewed from their forthcoming fourth album O Shudder, came from "a reaction to failing very miserably at a job interview. It was a council job at a local arts centre. I thought personal experience would account for something, but it really didn’t." It explains much of the quality of the five-piece; the kitchen sink and the mundane have long been placed at odds with the shimmer and aspiration of pop music in unlikely union, but Dutch Uncles are among its finest current exponents, the tedium of the everyday here turned into a jagged-edged slice of Grace Jones-meets-Gang of Four guitar pop. O Shudder comes out on 23 February, and the group play their biggest hometown show to date at The Ritz on 27 March, before returning to Liverpool Sound City in the middle of May.

Digital Crate Digging — New Music Picks

Tomasu

Among the many substantial events popping up through February as everyone wakes up from their winter slumber, is the 20th anniversary of FutureEverything which, amidst headliners including Ariel Pink, Alec Empire, Ólafur Arnalds and Koreless, includes a free Friday night showcase courtesy of Deep Hedonia. The Liverpool collective have Tri-Angle Records Boothroyd headlining their evening on 27 February, but intrigue lurks throughout the bill, not least in Merseyside techno producer Tomasu. Seldom seen on the live scene, he very recently made the aptly named Sprawl available in anticipation of his brief foray out into the limelight. 

Thom Bellini

13 February's MEGAJAM at Soup Kitchen promises not just one former Egyptian Hip Hop member, but two, as Aldous RH is joined by the group's some-time session musician Thom Bellini. Bellini's early recordings have been drifting around the internet for a number of months now, firstly under the moniker BIIIINI and latterly under his own name. Released right at the beginning of this year, digital three-track EP A Lost Art veers from the more aqua-sounding electronica of his former guise, to more raw, guitar-led contructions on Raise Me Up, Bellini's voice coming to the form in the half-light of the track's shimmering production.

Elsewhere on The Skinny...
  • Chris Ogden reviewed Philly-cum-Manchester Bella Union man BC Camplight's launch show for his first LP in eight years, How To Die In The North. Read it here.
  • Six-piece Last Harbour premiered their new video for the track Before The Ritual, ahead of the release of their new record Caul on Gizeh Records this month. Check it out here.
  • Gary Kaill caught up with latest Manchester-based doom-poppers Hartheim, themselves readying the release of their debut EP. Read it here.