Nice Swan Picks – June 25th 2019

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As promised every few weeks we are refreshing this humble playlist purely for your aural pleasure. Best of the best only!

Only a few days until Glasto and we’ve decided to add a load of our new discoveries that have been recently released from some amazing acts such as Lea Porcelain​, Christian Alexander​, Altın Gün​, Pixx​, Omni, Chinatown Slalom​, Burial​, 808 State​ and many more

Nice Swan at Glastonbury 2019

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After the recent announcement for this year’s hugely anticipated festival. We are proud to announce that three artists from our roster will all be there over the weekend.

Starting on the Friday at 11.30am we recommend all attendees to head down to the legendary John Peel Stage to catch our very own Pip Blom who will be kick starting things on that stage for the weekend! Not only that but Pip will be performing a number of shows across the weekend at the Festival including a later slot at Crow’s Nest on the Friday and also a show at Williams Green on Saturday afternoon!

Catch Pip Blom..
Friday 28th June @ John Peel Stage 11.30am
Friday 28th June @ Crows Nest 8.45pm
Saturday 29th June @ Williams Green


Next up is Sports Team who will be performing twice at the festival across the weekend, including a slot on the Williams Green Stage just before Pip Blom. The band are currently on route to the US for their first headline tour and once back they’ll be heading straight to the farm to blow everyone away with their amazing live show and new songs.

and also they do have another show on the same day TBA…

Image may contain: 8 people, people smiling, indoorand lastly but certainly not the least are one of our earlier realises on Nice Swan, Liverpool’s very own Queen Zee, who will be taking their thunder and sass down to Somerset for their appearance on the Leftfield Stage on Sunday at 5.30pm, following the release of their self-titled record which Iggy Pop is a huge fan of!

What a weekend we have on the horizon….

Get to Know: Haze

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After recently discovering Haze via our very own Pip Blom we decided to catch up with the band and see what they had on the horizon…

Where are Haze based? How does that impact the music you make?

We are somewhat dispersed at the moment between Bristol, London and our childhood home-village of Longwick, deep in Middle-English rural Buckinghamshire. This has hindered our productivity somewhat however we are moving in together in Bristol in a few months. 

For me (Will, vocals), living in Bristol for three years has sort of opened my eyes musically. Bristol’s music ‘scene’ is so diverse, and people seem to make whatever they want without any sort of limitations to experimentation. Whilst we’re definitely not pushing the boundaries as much as many do here – note Giant Swan or EP/64 – seeing bands like this, which would never exist where we grew up, has opened up more possibilities. More generally everyone in Bristol is so accommodating and there’s just so much on all the time, so the city sort of keeps you constantly exposed to new exciting things.

Why do Haze exist?

Me and Dan (drums) watched the School of Rock when we were 10 and obviously formed a classic rock band straight away. The others joined us in secondary school and we not-so-imaginatively became ‘Haze’ after trying weed… we haven’t bothered to change the name since.

If you could have written one song, which would it be?

I wish I wrote Talking Head’s Born Under Punches (the opener of Remain in Light). It’s so danceable and catchy, which I wish we were. Also it’s demanding lyrics of ‘take a look at these hands’ mimic Ollie constantly showing us the effects of steel fabrication has had on his palms.

In your own words, how would you describe your music?

A sort of hybrid of wonky guitar, hip-shaking bass action, discordant rhythms and silly lyrics.

If you could punch one living human being in the face, who would it be?

Not sure about a punch, but I am really enjoying the milkshake activism at the moment, and the far-right accusations of hate crime in response. Fucking ‘snowflakes’.

What was the best show you’ve ever played?

I remember a few years ago we supported Ratboy at the O2 Academy in Oxford which was so weird. There were a thousand 14-year olds going absolutely mental for us, despite the fact they had no idea who we were. We didn’t really know how to digest that one, but on paper that was a crazy crowd I guess. I think Green Man last year was maybe our best. We struggled to keep it together after a long day of drinking, which made its success all the more surprising.

What does the rest of the year hold for Haze?

We’re doing Truck Festival which is always really fun. Later in the year we’re also doing our first show overseas in Rotterdam at Left of the Dial which I am buzzing for. In July we’re heading into the studio to record some new songs for release ASAP, including our new hit single Chuggin’. We can’t wait.

Fur release their self-titled debut EP… and it’s a beauty

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It brings us no bigger delight than to announce that Fur’s self-titled debut EP is out now and ready for consuming via Nice Swan Records.

The EP, which includes the bands first single from the record ‘Angel Eyes‘, the most recent track ‘Him and Her‘, and an additional three including, ‘All My Dreams‘, ‘Where Did All The People Go?‘ and ‘Love Song For No One‘, is a perfect encapsulation of the last 12 months for the band, which has saw them crack over 8 million online streams, receive support from BBC 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq and support the likes of The Brian Jonestown Massacre and Miles Kane, as well as their own debut headline dates across the country. DIY magazine called it a ‘pure, twinkle-eyed joy from start to finish’, and we couldn’t agree more. Listen to it in full, below:

Buy/stream it via iTunesApple MusicSpotify and more.

Fur drop the new video for, Him & Her

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The anticipation for a Fur music video is always palpable, not least because the band seem to roll them out at such a rapid pace. Edward Zorab, the band’s long-term video director, ensures quantity over quality isn’t ever the case, however. And yes, he’s done it again. You’ll have heard the sumptuous Him & Her, not too long ago and the band have been teasing a video release ever since the single was dropped.

This time around the band have shunned whimsicality for a more mature and abstract take; there’s only so much you can have five, young men in turtlenecks running around outside, after all. This time around, Him & Her hones in on the Andy Warhol/Vogue New York era in the 60s with a stunning, white, infinity cove backdrop, a pop art, lip-shaped sofa and Kinks-esque performance set-ups. Take in the action below:

Listen to the new track from Fur, Him & Her

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Another whimsical love song from the Fur boys, you say? Oh, go on then!

Serving as a second snippet from their upcoming, eponymous debut EP, released 14th Feb (the big old softies), Him & Her holds the classic Fur traits; wry lyricism, a nostalgic sentiment and a tinkling backdrop that makes you feel all gooey inside. Don’t believe us, listen to the track on Spotify below:

 

You can also catch Fur at the following shows to celebrate their release:

February
11 – Glasgow, Broadcast
12 – Manchester, The Castle Hotel
14 – London, Omeara
15 – Brighton, Patterns
16 – Bristol, Rough Trade

BAND OF THE WEEK: HONKIES

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If you venture south of the river, you’ll hear talk of a band called Honkies, who are spoken about with a mass sense of pride and reverement. Even in the South London scene’s fruitful environment, their unbalanced blend of country and western speaks for itself.
Last week, they released their debut EP, Hold Your Horses/It’s All Kicking Off For Honkies Vol.1, via Permanent Creeps, which masters the art of synth-infused honky tonk like no other. Despite an impetuous sensibility, Honkies know not to fuck with their formula and manage to create something that is both moderately unhinged but easy on the ears, too. Glorious fun.



Catch the band playing as part of Independent Venue Week on the 31st January at The Windmill, Brixton.

BAND OF THE WEEK: HAZE

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The sheer wealth of bands that are roaming out of Bristol now is no joke, my friends. We’re blessed with an abundance of wonky characters, rich in dissonance and plentiful in humour. Haze are part of the fold. Playful and buttoned-down, their aim to achieve a perfect level of controlled chaos has morphed into a Country Teasers-esque discharge of energy and their frenetic offerings have soundtracked many a morning trudge.

Latest release, Piochitas, released via the brilliant Hate Hate Hate records, is an agitated chug of a track. Sonically, it’s a bit darker than previous offerings. The title loosely translates to ‘little goat’, which was a nickname apparently given to Trotsky by Frida Kahlo during their affair. Rather brilliantly, this is in reference to Trotsky’s beard. The band have said the song ‘is ultimately a bit daft.’ We don’t like sensible, anyway.

Catch them at The Five Bells on the 6th February for their 7″ release party with So Young magazine.

Nice Swan, 2018

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December is the official month of annual round ups. You can’t get away from the fuckers, they’re there on every news feed, begging to be looked at. No one can turn down a good list. So if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. Of course, they also give us a chance, as a label, to humble brag about what a solid year 2018 has been for Nice Swan and the glorious bands that make us what we are. Here are 11 highlights that defined our year.

1. Sports Team sold out Scala

Scala, with it’s opulent exterior and multi-layered observation points has become something of a pinnacle performance space for any band worth listening to before they make the mighty leap to rapid rising national attention. All great bands must pass through its glossy, wood-panelled innards at some point. Sports Team did this. They did it with a tinfoil shark in tow and balloons descending from a cage in the ceiling. The Guardian called it ‘a reminder of why indie made it back from the brink’ – and no one argues with The Guardian.

2. Sweaty Palms released their debut album, Quit Now

An intoxicating listen from start to finish, Quit Now is filled with snarling Glaswegian bite, black humour and a discordant nature that sits, legs splayed, amongst the more placid versions of guitar music that circulate. The band’s tales of narcissism, rampant misogyny and prejudice also pricked the ears of Vic Galloway who invited them in to a do a BBC Introducing radio session. The results were blistering.


3. Pip won a Music Moves Europe talent award

To some, music awards mean nothing more than a sympathy vote and a congratulatory pat on the back for industry insiders. However, in certain pockets of this world, it’s nice to be acknowledged for something artistically focused at least, especially ones that hold a certain gravitas so early on in a career. Nominated alongside Pale Waves, Pip Blom managed to bag an award in the ‘Rock’ category which was selected by judges including Huw Stephens. That’s pretty fucking major. Rosettes will be handed out at Eurosonic next year.

4. Nice Swan went on tour

Pip Blom and Sports Team joined forces in March to grace five major cities around the UK with a duality that audiences didn’t realise they wanted but ultimately found out they needed. As two of Nice Swan’s treasured acts, it worked as a nice emblem for the label and gave off some serious family vibes – aw.

5. Sports Team released debut EP, Winter Nets

“Dissatisfied millenials”. “A humorous crawl”. “A lead guitar part that could have come straight from the ‘Noel Gallagher School of Writing a Banging Riff.’” What do all these statements have in common? Well, they’re all whimsical terms used to describe Sports Team’s debut EP, Winter Nets, of course! We don’t want to milk this one too much but with Kutcher winning Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World and classified as BBC Radio 1’s ‘Track of the Week’… well, you get the gist. It banged.


6. Pip releases debut EP, Paycheck

It’s been a big year for Pip – career-defining, some would say. With the release of Pussycat and Come Home not just making waves in the UK, where they graced BBC 6 Music’s A-List, but also reaching the ears of the US and Australia, too, 2019 is only going to kick it up a notch. Paycheck, her debut EP, is a shining example of her sharp songwriting skills.


7. Fur joined the roster

There was a gap on the label for a band who could combine the youthful with the old. A band who could offer us nice, clean guitar lines that warmed the soul. A band who have haircuts so impressive that our follicles recoiled in shame. Well, Fur fill that void better than any other could. After signing with us in September, it’s been nothing but a solid pleasure working with the lads. They released their latest single, Angel Eyes, with us – a glistening 60s pop morsel that is sold by its beautifully baroque take on love. Plus, find us a band who have created such a strong music video aesthetic thus far in their career.


8. Sports Team took a shitload of people in a coach to Margate

A lot happened for Sports Team this year: Abbie Clancy became a fan, Twitter beefs boiled and stewed and Alex Rice made it in to Vogue for Christ’s sake – but the act that truly defined the spirit of the band was when they took a load of fans on an unbearably sweaty coach to Margate to celebrate the release of their split single of Margate/Kutcher.

9. Pip Blom gigged with some serious heavyweights

If anyone deserved to put their feet up at Christmas, it was the Pips. Not only finding the time to go on a successful headline UK tour, they also played shows with The Breeders, Franz Ferdinand and Garbage. Just for the hell of it.

10. Sports Team headlined the BBC Introducing Stage at R&L

Not even going to bother going on about this one – just watch.

Guess who is in Rough Trade’s Counter Culture 2018 compilation?

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Everyone loves an annual round-up and what higher blessing than to be included on Rough Trade’s yearly Counter Culture soundtrack, hand-picked by staff members (and they really know their shit). Kept company by Black Midi, Amyl & The Sniffers, Crack Cloud, Baxter Dury and Idles amongst others, Pip’s track ‘Babies Are A Lie’ has been featured on the 45 track CD, solidifying her as someone who took 2018 by the horns and left an indelible mark on the indie scene.


You can purchase the CD here for the ripe sum of £9.99 – bargain!