Pinkshinyultrablast – Umi


Pink + shiny + ultra + blast are four words evocative of a quadruple cocktail of heady frisson, the kind of kaleidoscopic complexity that flickers with gems of passion and precision. Starting off with a quiver reminiscent of Bloc Party’s Like Hearing Voices, new single Umi from Pinkshinyultrablast is in equal measures fragile and potent, waves of guitar rippling under shards of electronica and fast paced shoegaze. The St Petersburg four piece successfully make use of the lack of sound, working space into their layers of vibrations like the best alchemists. Out on November 10th on Club AC30.

Cloud Nothings – Now Hear In


“I was feeling pretty good about everything so I just made stuff that made me happy.” That’s what songwriter Dylan Baldi of Cloud Nothings has to say about their new album Hear And Nowhere Else (out now on Wichita), and more music should come from such a happy place. Not that it’s all grins and rainbows – with the start of their world tour the band have released the grainy video of granite fuelled fuzz bomb Now Hear In, splices of grainy, manipulated, archive and shot footage that follows “a loose cyclical theme of identity and ego-birth/death” (director Jordan Blackmon of Toro Y Moi and Fork & Spoon Records fame). Deep shit.

Musically celebrating World Mental Health Day

To raise awareness of World Mental Health Day, and demonstrate the complexity and misunderstood nature of this type of illness that will affect 1 in 4 of us throughout our lives, here is a collection of tunes from some of the most talented and creative minds in the music business. All of whom suffered from a mental health problem, but were not defined by it, and battled their problems to write some of the most best songs I know.

Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins has suffered with severe depression for much of his life – yet still managed to write the lyrics ‘Believe, believe in me, believe / That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain.’

The late Ian Curtis sadly could not overcome his battles with depression, and committed suicide at a tender age. Under the name of Warsaw the Joy Division singer delivered moments of happiness – ‘Don’t call me no crud/I really think I’m good.’

As you melt into the gorgeous tapestry of Feel Flows pay homage to the genius of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys, who also suffered from bipolar disorder.

Proving that behind bouyancy, blonde hair and boobs can lie some darker issues, country queen Dolly Parton has fought depression her entire life. But 31 years after its release, she is performing Jolene live at Glastonbury – what a fighter.

There is nothing better than a Sunny Afternoon, and the little things can brighten a mood, as The Kinks‘ Ray Davies who has experienced bipolar well knows.

Catey Shaw


Isn’t it funny how what once may have been a byword for cool suddenly becomes a term with which to slate. Take Brooklyn. The neighbourhood is now pilloried for being a hipster cliche as a result of that other dirty word:  gentrification. Catey Shaw was pilloried for her video for debut Brooklyn Girl, people bellowing it as the final nail in the coffin of cool. Screw ‘em. Shaw makes poppy plastic music doused with suggestive coos that sticks in your head. An undeniablely sharp buoyancy oozes throughout album ‘The Brooklyn EP’ – and you know what, she sounds happy? There’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes being cool as fuck isn’t that cool.