Well isn't this nice! Like a lot of people who have to deal with newsletters for companies (two in my case), I wrote a lot of words aboiut GDPR recently. Thankless though that task largely was - simply adding to the crushing stress fo regular scheduling - I did get one bit of nice feedback.
Brand New Friend signed to Xtra Mile Recordings in late 2017 and with only around two years under their belts, this Northern Ireland four-piece have released their debut album Seatbelts For Aeroplanes. You can buy it now on magenta vinyl, CD and download. Do so. It's one of our best releases.
Below is a brief chat we had with Taylor Johnson, guitarist, singer and songwriter, a couple of months before the album release. Give it a read and just feel the exuberance! There's a reason it's so clearly in the music...
Be More Kind, the title of Frank Turner's seventh album, is a striking response to recent events. No matter what vague area of the political spectrum you're on, daily we’re being peppered with a barrage of news, little barbs that make it just that little bit harder to feel good or stay consistently our best. Music, though, acts like a gauze for our hearts and minds. The best music comes with a sense of understanding, the feel of a familiar place, brings you confidence from knowing you’re not alone and reminds you to share that with others. We all need to be kinder to each other when the world seems that much less inclined to be. Ask yourself, does music you listen to reflect that at times when you need it most?
I've written, edited and published my yearly roundup of everything Xtra Mile Recordings got up to, this time for 2017, and also included a few highlights for this and next year from some label artists and staff (including myself of course). Here it is for all your perusing needs.
Back in 2014, Xtra Mile Recordings re-released both of Mineral's albums on CD and vinyl, The Power of Failing and EndSerenading. These emo classics were brought out as the band reformed for a huge tour, allowing them to perform their second album's songs live for the first time. The music website Already Heard wanted me to argue why EndSerenading is better than The Power of Failing. Music journalist Rob Mair was my opponent. We duelled well, and naturally I think I had the edge. See what you think!
I write, edit, and commission fan content for the XMR HUB on www.xtramilerecordings.com, the official site for the UK independent record label featuring acts like Frank Turner, Against Me!, Skinny Lister, Will Varley, and loads more.
Chris T-T has been with the label since 2008, and has just announced he's winding up his 20-year career with some final shows, and the May release of his Best Of. It took me a couple of months to put it into words, but I managed to get together a personal piece on his music and what it means to me. It's a sad thing that he's finishing up this stage of his musical life, but I'm excited to see what he does next. It'll be great I'm sure. People seemed to like this one, so hopefully anyone else reading this will too.
I don't think I've seen myself on Wikipedia in a while. I mean obviously I could add myself, but someone has done it for me, which is lovely. Here's my review of And So I Watch You From Afar's Gangs from 2011, which I really enjoyed at the time. Guitars in a flurry and all that.
I've interviewed countless musicians and songwriters about their work. Though I've largely finished doing that, I still write for the excellent UK indie label Xtra Mile Recordings and do interviews with their artists when I can. Mull Historical Society has been at this music lark for over 15 years so it's always great to catch up with Colin MacIntyre. Here we talk about Dear Satellite, his novel The Letters of Ivor Punch and his career. Yep. That stuff (starts at 4.11, but do listen to the acoustic songs too if you fancy).