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The Music Blog 42 Track of the Year 2019

2019 has been another great year for local talent around East Anglia and this has been proven with the brilliant tracks released by these artists over the past twelve months.

The tracks below were voted for by you and make up this year’s top 10.

10. FLEAS – Dogs
This exciting new punk band from Bury St Edmunds unleashed Dogs in early 2019, earning praise from many within the local scene. Since the release, they’ve played several Washing Machine nights and are tipped to go far in the 2020 edition of BurySOUND.

9. Lemondaze – Neon Ballroom
Cambridge’s premier shoegaze band released their debut single early last month and it instantly became a favourite with us here. The track really captures the essence of their live performances, with the swirling guitars and ethereal vocals being a real hit.

8. Gabby Rivers – Game
The long-awaited debut single from the talented Gabby Rivers came in October after a year of winning BurySOUND and headlining a stage at Latitude. The tightly-written Game really whets the appetite for more music with an EP reportedly coming in 2020.

7. Basement Strippers – Mind Reader
The Bedfordshire rockers delivered the goods in August with their best track to date: Mind Reader. Its fearsome riffs and powerful lyrics really set the precedent for their success this year which has seen them support Sarpa Salpa and Tom Lumley. 2020 is their year.

6. Kelodown – Breakin’ Off
Another debut single in the Top 10 with every right to be here. Breakin’ Off is an exciting classic rock track with a modern twist, led by the flawless vocals from Aleks Michalewicz. The band are looking to release more new music in 2020, and we can’t wait for it.

5. KYANOS – Sunrise
A staple of their live sets, Sunrise is a technical masterpiece with elements of psychedelia and jazz combining into one of the best tracks the local scene has to offer. This year has seen them release an EP, two singles and play a session for BBC Introducing.

4. PET NEEDS – I Don’t Wanna Be Only Happy
Essex punk rockers PET NEEDS have had an incredible year, with a really strong collection of tracks released with I Don’t Wanna Be Only Happy being the pick of the bunch. Other highlights include being championed by Frank Turner at Camden Rocks Festival.

3. Underline The Sky – Miss Identity
Everyone’s favourite pop-rock band released this catchy riff-laden track in July this year, as well as playing at BardFest and PimJam Festival. Catch them headline The Hunter Club in Bury on Saturday 25th January when they break #theburycurse.

2. Gaffa Tape Sandy – Headlights
Gaffa Tape Sandy have gone from strength to strength this year, with a highlight of their year being the release of Headlights. The track’s powerful message of mental health awareness resonated with crowds up and down the country during their support slots for Lady Bird and Skeggs.

The Music Blog 42’s Track of the Year 2019 as voted for by you is…

Sages of the Subway – 88′

Cambridgeshire newcomers Sages of the Subway’s 88′ is one of the best indie-rock tracks we’ve heard locally since we began in 2017. With incredibly funky instrumentals and a chorus which will be stuck in your head for weeks, Sages of the Subway are worthy winners of this year’s vote. The four-piece will be looking to capitalise on their successes this year after making the final of the Cambridge Band Competition.

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Features

TMB42 Track of the Year 2018 results

For the past few months, YOU have been voting for your favourite East Anglian track of 2018. Now it’s time to reveal this year’s top ten and winners.

10. The Glitter Shop – Tonic
Grunge-pop trio The Glitter Shop have been making a name for themselves around the region this year with their electric live performances. The soothing harmonies and delicate instrumentals on the high-tempo track makes Tonic easily their best track to date. Catch them at The Smokehouse in Ipswich this Saturday.

9. The Catch – Tie Dye
When Tie Dye was released in February, it signalled a change in The Catch’s musical style. Since then, the teenage trio have captivated everyone with their heavy instrumentals which are at the fore-front of this pulsating track. Big things are expected of The Catch as we head into 2019.

8. The Baskervilles – Blood In My Mouth
The Ipswich music scene is currently thriving with the likes of Bessie Turner dazzling national audiences, but rockers The Baskervilles are currently making waves of their own with the flawlessly catchy Blood In My Mouth. The band recently had the opportunity to play Reading&Leeds this year, and they’ll be looking to build on that next year.

7. Basement Strippers – Blindfold
One of this year’s biggest success stories are the Basement Strippers from Bedford. With the release of their debut EP under their belt, lead track Blindfold is the song that has gained them plaudits with their clever songwriting and heavy rock sounds. The band have since played in various locations such as Bury St Edmunds, St Albans and London with more gigs scheduled for next year already. 

6. Gaffa Tape Sandy – Meat Head
After grabbing the number one spot last year with the triumphant Beehive, Gaffa Tape Sandy returned with an almighty bang in 2018 with the empowering anthem Meat Head. Their rampant style combined with the powerful female vocals on the tracks proves why they’ve played festivals like Latitude, Iceland Airwaves and Truck this year. The trio have  new music on the brink of release and there’s no doubt they’ll be at the top of our list again next year.

5. Pink Lemonade – Space Girl
Another success story from the area this year have been feel-good trio Pink Lemonade. The trio burst onto the scene in the summer with several festival appearances as well as the release of their infectiously popular debut single Space Girl. Their pop-punk sensibilities has captured a lot of people’s attention which has since seen them walk away with an NMG Award. BurySOUND is up next for the girls along with a lot more gigs around the area.

4. Influx of Insanity – Violet
The Cambridgeshire duo have taken the local music scene by storm this year having won BurySOUND and the Cambridge Band Competition at the start of 2018, and also releasing their debut EP in October. The atmospheric guitar riffs and unique vocals makes Violet the best track from the duo so far in what looks to be a very promising few years for the band. We can’t wait to hear what else they have up their sleeves.

THE TOP THREE

The top three have the chance to play one of our ‘The Music Blog 42 Presents…’ nights at The Constitutional Club in Bury St Edmunds in 2019 whenever suits them best! We also had a little chat with each of them!

3. Tundra – Swimming Shorts

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Swimming Shorts is arguably your best song yet, what was the inspiration behind the track?
I (Elliot Booth, bassist) began writing Swimming Shorts in the corner of one of my lessons at college on an acoustic guitar. I’d seen SuperGlu the weekend before for the first time and it somehow inspired me to come up with the intro to the song. It was the easiest song to come up with lyrics for because it just flowed so well. We were all in a gloomy place as it was the end of Winter and we were waiting for summer to come around, so writing an upbeat song for the Summer was a big thing for us and I think we did okay with it. 
Just as we finished writing the song we lost two school friends in a car accident and found an alternate meaning to the song that we hadn’t thought of. We slightly changed some lyrics and it became what it is today.
I think we all want people to listen to the song and think of the happy times, even if right now isn’t so positive, it’s not to say tomorrow won’t be. The song is all about looking forward and seeing something better than now

It’s been an awesome year for Tundra, what would you say has been your highlight of 2018?
Obviously we start with supporting Marmozets (at the Cambridge Junction), especially as it was on my birthday, that was one of the most surreal things I think that has ever happened to us. We didn’t quite understand what was going on until it ended.
Playing the Apex as the BurySound final headliner in March was probably the most fun I’ve ever had on a stage and the invasion was something I’ll keep with me forever! Anyone who came up on stage thank you for making it so awesome! Releasing Life’s A Beach was awesome as it was something that we spent so much time and effort on and listening back to them really makes us so proud because they aren’t half bad. The Bury Fringe All Dayer was mental. It was so much fun and just a massive joke with all the Royal Family masks flying about, it was lovely to warm everyone up for Gaffa Tape Sandy too as well as we hadn’t played with them for over a year! Supporting Pirate Joe at Norwich Arts Centre was also a highlight, the show had sold out a week before which was unheard of for us. It was an amazing gig filled with no one that we knew in a venue that we had never played before which made it so much more amazing! Finally supporting Milk Teeth in Gloucester was great as we hadn’t really ventured much further than London and Norwich but now that we have the taste for it, we want to do it more! However supporting Milk Teeth was awesome and the venue was a sick restaurant in the middle of nowhere which made it that little bit more magical!

After the release of your EP Life’s a Beach in April, do you have any plans on releasing any more music next year?
MUSIC THAT MAY BE COMING OUT NEXT YEAR? We can let the cat out the bag and say that, YES, we will be releasing some more music next year however we don’t know when, but we do have some plans that are in the making and hopefully 2019 will be the year we can get the boat ROCKING!!!! (If anyone knows how we can play at Latitude, that we would be eternally grateful thanks bye)

2. The Fifths – They Should
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2018 has seen the band release four new singles, would you say They Should is your strongest one yet?
They Should was our last single of 2018 and was released alongside Trampoline. We definitely feel that They Should has much more of an up tempo, bouncy feel, especially when compared to our first release Chance It. This has meant that it has always had a warm reception when performed live! We finished our first ever gig with it back in January and since then it has always been one that we’ve kept the audience waiting to hear.

‘They Should’ has drawn comparisons with the likes of Bloc Party and the Arctic Monkeys. Would you say these are inspirations when writing new music?
I can see why you’d say that as this song started (and mostly ended) as a clumsy Banquet rip off! Arctic Monkeys have been my most listened to artist for three years straight (‘Sheffield Indie’ came up on my fourth most listened to genre during my first month of Spotify) so they’ll always play a part even if I were to never listen to them again. I’m not sure about Bloc Party, the stuff we’ve been working on is quite far removed from that now.

You guys are competing in BurySOUND next year, what else have you got planned for 2019?
Without giving too much away, we have definitely got some big plans and goals for 2019 and have already started working towards those. We shall be doing our best to keep the momentum that we have taken from 2018 and build it up further through 2019 with brand new tunes being performed and recorded from January.

THE MUSIC BLOG 42 TRACK OF THE YEAR IS

ENTERLUDE – BRITISH DREAM

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Congratulations on winning Track of the Year with British Dream! What was the songwriting process behind the track?
Thank you! Back in April 2017 we had just started to move on from playing covers and started trying to write songs. The chorus of British Dream were lyrics that I had playing over and over in my head in the shower and then one night I actually decided to have a go at writing the song and putting my ideas down. Most of the structure, lyrics and composition were done in one night (with the help of some alcohol). It is such a basic song, with a really simple progression of only four chords, one verse repeated and a lead guitar riff over the top of it, which was inspired by Mr Brightside by The Killers.

The track has been well-received all around the local music scene, what do you think has made it become such a hit?
The simplicity of it. The pacing makes it really upbeat and strong whereas the lyrics are more sombre and sad making it seem bittersweet. The guitar riff and bass are the real driving forces behind the melody, which is easy to pick up on and remember. With the mixture of a classic rock line up with synthesisers, we like to think gives us a unique sound that you don’t really hear in this day and age especially in East Anglia.

It’s been a strong year for the band having released your debut EP and playing lots of local shows, but what’s been your standout moment from 2018?
Our slot at the Apex at the end of August was great, playing on such a large stage and being treated so professionally was pretty good. We also sold all of our physical copies of our EP which we had just released about a week before digitally so that was amazing. Our set at BurySound Heat One this year was also amazing, despite not getting through we had a sold out audience at the Hunter Club and the energy in the room was huge.

As we all get set to welcome in 2019, what are Enterlude’s plans for next year?
We’re definitely writing more songs over the next few months and should hopefully have a few released early into the year. All of our songs have been recorded on GarageBand in various kitchens and front rooms, so it would be nice to rent out a proper recording space in the future. As four of the five of us are at University at the moment it makes it hard for playing live and rehearsing, but hopefully we can get a few gigs in the Summer and Winter when we’re all together again and settled down a bit. We’ve played the Hunter Club and The Apex, so naturally headlining Glastonbury is next, but if that’s not possible we would love to play at more venues in and around Bury, such as The Constitutional Club, Cambridge and Ipswich.

 

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Top Tracks

21/09 – Best In The East Spotify Playlist

When we first started the Blog we created a Spotify playlist featuring new music and old favourites from bands around the region. For some unknown reason it fell by the wayside but it’s now back in all its glory!

This fortnights offering includes these awesome little numbers:

AMONG THE CITIZENS – WORDS MEAN NOTHING
Easily one of the best indie tracks released this year with its ridiculously catchy guitar riffs and relentless vocals, the Among The Citizens lads have had a belter of a year having won the Breakthrough award at the recent NMG Awards whilst also playing gigs around the region in Stamford, Cambridge and Bury St Edmunds. The foursome embark on their first UK tour next month promoting their soon-to-be-released EP which we can’t wait to hear!

FFION REBECCA – DEVIL
Another artist who was successful at the 2018 NMG Awards was female soloist Ffion Rebecca who walked away with the 18 & Under award. Rebecca stole the show on the night of the awards with inch-perfect performances of her newly-recorded tracks. Devil shows off her impressive vocal range complimenting the slick contemporary R’n’B production. She is definitely one to watch in the future!

BASEMENT STRIPPERS – BLINDFOLD
Without a doubt one of our favourite EPs of 2018, Bedfordshire rockers Basement Strippers are on top form on Echo Chamber with lead single Blindfold showing off their new grittier sound of intense instrumentals and a powerful vocal delivery from frontman Jamie Gilman-Lewis. The band travel to Bury St Edmunds on Friday 12th October for our gig night, supporting War Waves, don’t miss their set!

KYANOS – LOST IN BLUE
The BurySOUND 2018 Rising Star winners KYANOS proved why they are one of the most-talked about bands in the East when they released the gorgeously funky Lost In Blue at the start of the month. The smooth guitar rhythms and chilled out vocals makes this a real favourite during their live performances. Make sure you catch them headline the 3rd November Washing Machine night at The Hunter Club, Bury St Edmunds!

POLLY HAYNES – WOULD YOU WAIT?
2018 has been a phenomenal year for female soloists in the area, and Polly Haynes has really proved why she is one of the best out there with her three superb releases. Would You Wait? has an Americana/soul vibe to it, showing off her versatile vocals and talented songwriting skills. More is still to come from Polly and her brilliant backing band, but for now, listen to this and her other two tracks I’m Fine and Pulling Me Backwards.

HUCKLEBERRY HARRISON – TAKE IT OFF
After the Mac DeMarco-inspired 2017 album What The Huck? and a subsequent year at university, the loveable Huckleberry Harrison returned late last month with the sonic Take It Off full to the brim with electronic beats and a small dose of Auto-Tune for effect. A completely different style to his previous music, Harrison completely pulls it off on production alone, leaving us completely in the dark as to what he’ll be releasing next.

FIGHTMILK – FOUR STAR HOTEL
Everyone’s favourite pop-punk band are back with an almighty bang with Four Star Hotel, a tale of a trip to Amsterdam and troublesome heartbreak. Their relatable, memorable lyrics really resonate on this track which is the first to come from their debut full-length album Not With That Attitude. It’s out on 2nd November, a mere 15 days before they tear up The Hunter Club supporting Gaffa Tape Sandy!

ENTERLUDE – THINKING ABOUT YOU TOO
Everybody knows how much we love Enterlude and this track is no exception. Having released their eponymous debut EP earlier this month, the lads have released two new tracks before embarking on new adventures with Thinking About You Too being the pick of the bunch! The delicate vocals and gentle instrumentals shows off a more emotional side to their songwriting, making this one of their best releases to date.

THE NEXT BEST IN THE EAST UPDATE IS COMING FRIDAY 5TH OCTOBER AT 19:00!
Featuring new music from The Baskervilles, Pink Lemonade, War Waves and more!

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Gig Reviews

June’s The Fiver @ Cambridge Junction

June’s edition of The Fiver saw a very strong line-up of six great local bands play at Cambridge Junction.

A band who are no strangers to the Junction stage are rock duo Influx of Insanity, having won the Cambridge Band Competition there a few months ago. Since seeing them for the first time in January it’s fair to say the boys have really grown in confidence and tonight proved it with a professional set and getting the crowd to interact during songs. At such a young age, Influx of Insanity are the most exciting band emerging out of Cambridge at the moment.

Making their Cambridge Junction debut were pop-punk trio ASBESTØS off the back of playing around the Cambridge gig circuit the past few months. They recently released their new EP Monochrome and their set featured many songs from it, including the short and sweet Futue te Ipsum and crowd pleaser Liar Liar. It’s great to hear a band that has such a retro 00’s pop-punk sound to them, it’s exciting to see what the next year holds for them.

One band who we always love seeing are The Catch, a band who really captivated the crowd during their set. The trio played a slightly varied set to what they played at Homegrown Festival a week ago with a new track and Vexed thrown in for good measure. The energy from the band was a joy to watch, especially in soon-to-be released track Hindsight and the raucous Tie Dye. It’s always great to see a band have fun up on stage, and with The Catch turning heads at every gig they play, it won’t be long until we see them headline their own show.

Another group who made their Junction debut were Bedford’s Basement Strippers who are slowly making a name for themselves locally with their energetic set. The band announced tonight that their new EP will be released in September, and on tonight’s showing we can’t wait to hear it. The set featured tracks from their 2017 EP The Exotic Show, with the title track and Standing At The Bridge putting smiles on everyone’s faces. As a live band, you won’t see many better than Basement Strippers this year.

If you’re a fan of full-bodied indie rock then you’ll love Tantris who whipped the crowd into a frenzy during their set. In their songs you can really distinguish their influences which range from the likes of Arctic Monkeys and Two Door Cinema Club, especially in tracks like Alcoholic and Radioactive Girl, whilst also playing new material. A really tight-knit performance from Tantris.

Another band that competed in the Cambridge Band Competition were electro-rock quartet Lunar Echoes. Although they played in front of a slightly smaller crowd, this didn’t stop them producing a great performance which included the Cambridge 105 NMG Chart-stormer Stockholm Syndrome and ace track Neon. The band have recently been in the studio recording some new tunes, so watch this space!