NSWNi004: Hallan – Modern England – Out on August 8th 2020


NSWNi004: Hallan – Modern England


Portsmouth-based four piece, Hallan write and rehearse in an 18th-century fortification built into the side of a hill and surrounded by a forest. It’s within these dramatic surroundings that frontman, Conor Clements channels the frustrations, insecurities and events of early adulthood into his lyrics, which are littered with observational poetry and messages of reassurance that you’re not alone in this overwhelming world.

Drawing influences from the people you cross every day – in the supermarket aisles, on your Facebook feed, next door neighbours – Hallan observe and commentate on British life via an Orwell-influenced bleak vision of the future and the cut-up style of Burroughs and other beat generationers. Heavily influenced by the classic post-punk sounds of Joy Division and The Fall, ‘Modern England’ is a hard-hitting social commentary on England today, from the housing crisis and plummeting employment rates to Brexit and uninspiring modern indie music, that Connor wrote over the top of an instrumental demo.

He says of the track: “It’s the characters in our town, the conversations they have and what we see on our television sets. We want to reflect what’s going on in the here. We don’t want to make a one-sided political message or talk for a generation. The song is exactly what it sounds like. A condensed England if you will. With so many strange and vapid trends gripping the nation sometimes you have to take it all in and find some humour beneath the surface. Pugs and face changing apps. What’s that all about? And how could we forget Brexit? It’s a good job we all have our red passports. But then again does anyone in the country have a clue what’s ever going on? Maybe it’ll all blow over if I stick to my microwave dinner and keep my eyes on the screen.”


Hallan have already started to build an army of local fans, their last headline show sold out so quickly in advance that the support acts weren’t allowed any guests and having supported the likes of Porridge Radio and Sports Team, the future looks bright for the seaside town’s exciting, young act.

Hallan are: Conor Clements – Lead Vocals

Josh Ransley – Guitar

Joshua Tweedale – Bass Guitar

Adam Mills – Drums

Sprints – The Cheek – Video Out Now


Sprints may be the latest to emerge from Dublin’s fertile stable of guitar-wielding new heroes, but their two-fingers-up, no-nonsense rattle’n’roll arrives as the natural heir to Amyl and the Sniffers’ grot punk rather than Fontaines mk II. A wry, unimpressed eyeball-roll at the prowlers and predators that roam any given All Bar One on a Wednesday night, ‘The Cheek’ takes four minutes of big, scuzzy riffs, pummelling basslines and singer Karla Chubb’s throaty, sarcastic vocal and turns it into a mic-drop anthem to paying the bad guys no mind and carrying on your own sweet way. (Lisa Wright) DIY

NSWNi003: Sprints – The Cheek – Out on June 19th 2020


NSWNi003: Sprints – The Cheek


Dublin-based four piece, Sprints are the latest new act to emerge from the city fast becoming one of the most prolific places for hot new bands. With the recent success of other locals Fontaines DC, Girl Band & Silverbacks – Sprints are the latest in line ready to burst out of the city having just formed last year and are already creating a wave of excitement across Dublin with early single, ‘Kissing Practice’.

Their creative process is very much rooted to the everyday goings on around them and just like a true garage band, write and rehearse in their village home’s back garden shed. Taking things to the next level, they were quick to team up with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox who has been producing them in his studio. Drawing influence from the likes of Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, The Strokes and LCD Soundsystem – there is a fun, energetic and retro feel to what they do but very much sounding as fresh and exciting as their local peers. The Cheek is a raw, raucous and bass fuelled single with post-punk and alt-rock influences. Laced with sarcasm, the song tackles sexuality head on.

Lead singer and guitarist Karla says on the single; “The Cheek was inspired by conversations at bars and Karla’s experience with her sexuality. As a person who is bisexual, your experiences can be dif icult. You’re not gay enough, you’re not straight enough, you can be over-sexualised or demonised, I’m going to bed or I’m going to hell. People of any gender identity or sexuality will face criticism and pigeon holing based on their label. Whether it’s being told I wouldn’t have been kissed did they know I was bi, or being asked would I do a threesome, having your ass grabbed and your space invaded – this is my big fuck you to all those people.

Thematically it is all centres around my experience of sexual assault, unsolicited advances and sexuality as a whole. It’s raw, personal and high energy because it’s a song that is all about venting frustrations. “ Sprints have already started to build an army of local fans, with their last few shows around Dublin selling out rapidly. The band are now set to unleash their ferocious post-punk to the world.

Sports Team’s debut album Deep Down Happy debuts at Number 2 after a *seriously* close chart race


Chromatica by Lady Gaga holds on to Number 1 for a second week in a photo-finish Official Albums Chart race.The UK’s fastest-selling album of 2020 so far retains the albums top spot finishing ahead of its closest competitor by less than 600 chart sales.

It means midweek leaders, indie band Sports Team score this week’s highest new entry at Number 2 with their debut album Deep Down Happy. The six-piece do however seize the title of the biggest seller of the week, leading on physical sales as well as having the edge on digital downloads. Sports Team score the best seller of the week across UK independent record shops and Number 1 on the Official Vinyl Chart after shifting 4,300 copies on wax.

The six-piece, who formed at Cambridge University, took their loss in good spirits – comparing the week-long competition to 1995’s “battle of Britpop”, when Blur’s Country House beat Oasis’s Roll With It to number one.

“It was Blur vs Oasis, and we were Oasis,” they wrote on Twitter, next to a picture of them sharing a beer at a picnic table. Took it closer than we had any right to. Will be paying back the IOUs well into our forties but… what a ride. Love you all.”

Overall an absolutely fantastic achievement for a debut record! Everyone here at Nice Swan is extremely proud of all that you have achieved over the last few years.

Band Of The Week: Malady


London group, Malady have been gigging around the capital and teaming up with friends for shows over the last 18 months. The four piece have now released their second video offering following on from the live video for their track ‘Famous Last Words’. Next up is this awesome demo of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ something that is probably being span right now at Arsenal’s training ground.

It’s early days for Malady, a group who openly express that they’re still honing their craft as they go. With this in mind, the band have taken a step forwards with a relatively non committal release which serves a something for future fans to go back to when they return from a show.

Watch this space….


Nice Swan / Stand Up To Racism Football Shirt – On Sale Now




100% of all Profits donated to Stand Up To Racism UK

Limited Run / First in a new series of Nice Swan Football Shirts raising money and awareness for selected charities.

£19.99 Inc. Postage – In UK

Black Shirt w/ White Collar and Cuff.

Delivery Date: 30th June 2020

100% Cotton


NSWNi002: Courting – David Byrne’s Badside – Out today 15th May 2020


NSWNi002: Courting – David Byrne’s Badside


Liverpool-based four piece, Courting are the latest new act to emerge from the city steeped in such fantastic and diverse musical heritage. The band, who write and rehearse in the basement of a city restaurant, find much support and inspiration from the creative melting pot of Merseyside, and with fellow locals The Mysterines making waves, this could be the dawn for another exciting wave of scouse bands.

Courting draw influences from the likes of Parquet Courts, Pavement and LCD Soundsystem, yet maintain a very British identity. Alongside the likes of Sports Team, they’re fuelling the long-awaited Britpop revival we’re seeing, as evident in ‘David Byrnes Badside’ – showcasing all the characteristics of the genre, and announcing the emergence of Liverpool’s most exciting new band. Recorded live with Robert Whitley at Whitewood Studios in their hometown, the song is classic British storytelling at its best; cheeky, fun and witty lyrics laced with social commentary are complemented by the essence of the Britpop sound – energetic, catchy and raucous rock ‘n’ roll. Britpop is back and Courting are leading the charge.

Lead singer and guitarist Sean says on the single; “David Byrne’s Badside has nothing to do with the Talking Heads frontman. It’s about class tourism and the casual racism that exists in Britain today. It’s a portrait of the type of person who votes UKIP and wants to close our borders yet promises they’re not a racist. The type of person who says to buy British yet owns a Porsche. At the same time, we’re referencing and poking fun at more lighthearted aspects of British culture, like the collective rage when somebody takes the low of er on The Chase, and Twitter spats about Blur and Oasis. We also really just wanted an excuse to have a saxophone solo.”

Having supported the likes of Sports Team, FEET and Heavy Lungs, Courting have also started to build an army of local fans, with their last few shows around Liverpool selling out rapidly. Courting are now set to unleash their ferocious and witty take on britpop to be the latest in succession of this great city’s artists.

Courting are:
Sean Murphy-O’Neill (Guitar/Vocals/Cowbell)
Sean Thomas (Drums/Vocals)
Michael Downes (Guitar)
Sam Brennan (Bass)

NSWNi001: Jelly Cleaver – Feeling Fine – out today 28.04.20


NSWNi001: Jelly Cleaver – Feeling Fine

Nice Swan Records are excited to announce they are joining forces with the team from RIP Records in launching the new monthly Nice Swan Introduces… series. The two labels have discovered and released debut tracks from some of the finest talent over the past few years including Sports Team, Pip Blom, FUR, Phobophobes, Peluché, Dark Bells (Haai) & Black Manila (Mellah), Hotel Lux and many more. The series will introduce a new and exciting talent on a monthly basis – spanning genres – and present a stepping stone for acts yet to have any team around them. The first in the new series comes from South London’s Jelly Cleaver, the latest musical sensation to emerge from the exciting Jazz scene of the capital. Her new track ‘Feeling Fine’ features rapper Shunaji, a graduate of Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubblers, and Maddy Coombs, a rising saxophonist on the London Jazz Scene. It’s due for release April 28th via Nice Swan Introduces Series:

The self-taught multi-instrumentalist has been playing guitar ever since she was old enough to pick one up and with a wide range of musical influences including classical, soul, “world”, folk and experimental. Jelly’s sound has naturally headed into the musical freedom of jazz with hip-hop elements born from previous projects that included a punk band and an African drumming choir.


This is the second single from Jelly’s innovative new project Reimagined, following on from They Don’t Know released in November 2019. For this mixtape she has produced tracks based off sampling her last critically acclaimed album The Dream Jazz Manifesto (played on BBC 1xtra, Rinse FM, Worldwide FM and others). Feeling Fine samples her tune Angela, reimagining it as a chilled-out, old-school hip-hop track. Jelly, who recently won the Steve Reid InNOVAtion Award, has previously been called “the next artist to make an impact on the London Jazz Scene” by Supreme Standards and been compared to Moses Boyd, Esperanza Spalding and Hiatus Kayote, but this mixtape sees a radical departure from her jazz/DIY roots and her first strong statement as a producer and beatmaker. The project has been funded by Help Musicians Do It Differently Fund, and the full mixtape is due for release in May 2020.

‘Feeling Fine’ is a woozy track about the good times, dreaming about summer days and being your best self. Her two collaborators definitely share in this vibe. Having met as part of the house band for a jam session at Brainchild Festival several years back, Jelly and Vanessa Saul (artist name Shunaji) became good mates and frequent collaborators, with Jelly supporting Shunaji for her Blue Melon EP release and featuring on a track from her upcoming EP. Jelly knew Maddy Coombs though Tomorrow’s Warriors, the jazz education organisation credited by many for creating the current London jazz scene, with alumni including Ezra Collective, Moses Boyd, Shabaka Hutchings, Nerija and Nubya Garcia.

Hotel Lux release debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ via Nice Swan Records


Hotel Lux release debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ via Nice Swan Records

Hotel Lux share their debut EP ‘Barstool Preaching’ via Nice Swan Records. Following an aptly timed UK and France tour in February which saw the band pack out the likes of The Waiting Room & The Windmill, London and L’Olympic Cafe, Paris, the five piece release their debut EP along with the news of a November run of live shows.

Formed on the south coast in Portsmouth, frontman Lewis Duffin moved to London alongside pals Sam Coburn, Jake Sewell, Craig MacVicar & Cam Sims to form Hotel Lux. Since then the band have gone on to release a string of singles which have developed and defined an unmistakable sound, personality and feeling. Released via London’s Nice Swan Records (Sports Team, Pip Blom, Fur), ‘Barstool Preaching’ features the self reflective single ‘Tabloid Newspaper’ which gained critical acclaim from the likes of Radio 1’s Annie Mac as she named the band as one of her ‘New Names’. Further attention followed on the radio with the likes of  Steve Lamacq (6Music), Huw Stephens (Radio 1), John Kennedy (Radio X) and Matt Wilkinson (Beats1) all giving the track regular spins.

 “Sizzling “pub rock” gems” – DIY

“Many a band try and fail to create this sense of postmodernism, but it’s Hotel Lux’s actual relatable schisms that makes it work for them” – Line of Best Fit
“I really like that!” – Huw Stephens, Radio 1
“Lewis Duf in is still the sharpened tack in the side of modern day British inertia – So Young
“I really like this band and the way that they’re growing.” – Matt Wilkinson, Beats1
“It’s feisty and fun!” – Gordon Smart, Radio X
‘Barstool Preaching’ is Hotel Lux’s first stab at an extended release and on it’s release frontman, Lewis Duffin adds:
“It was good fun working on a release that’s a bit bigger than what we’ve done before. The tunes seemed to come in pairs when writing ‘em, we’d make a little playlist of 5-10 tunes as inspiration and go from there. The songs are more introspective lyrically than we’ve been in the past, more personal as opposed to stories so the EP has an air of vulnerability to it. To us at least.”
Catch Hotel Lux live in November at the below dates
Dates TBC
Tracklisting Tabloid Newspaper Eddie’s Gaff Charades The Loneliness Of The Stage Performer Ballad Of You & I