Oxford psych-collective Mandrake Handshake share new track ‘Monolith’

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Oxford psych-collective Mandrake Handshake share new track ‘Monoloth’ out Friday 23rd April with kaleidoscopic debut EP ‘Shake the Hand That Feeds You’, out June 18th via Nice Swan Records

Formed in Oxford where they lived, hung out and rehearsed together on campus, the eclectic group were christened after a song by The Brian Jonestown Massacre, incorporating their influences of krautrock, funk, Japanese animation and Latin pastoral poetry to create a unique brand of ‘Flowerkraut’ that vividly defines their sound.

Having initially teamed up with the cult indie label for their ‘Nice Swan Introduces…’ series (in partnership with RIP Records) late last year, the creative outfit have since found label-mates in the likes of Courting, SPRINTS and Anorak Patch, and fast established themselves as one of the most enticing new acts in the UK psychedelic scene.

With widespread acclaim arriving via multiple key indie press titans (NME, NPR, DIY, The Line Of Best Fit, Dork, So Young, Clash, Loud & Quiet, Gigwise), the newcomers certainly seem to be attracting the right kind of attention following the release of mesmeric debut effort ‘Mandragora’ and exhilarating follow-up ‘Gonkulator’, with their first few plays on the BBC Radio 1 (Jack Saunders) airwaves already opening them up to a vast new audience.

Detailing their EP, the band explained: “‘Shake the Hand That Feeds You’ represents the culmination of many strands of thought over the process of several months. It is designed to announce the coming of the Mandrake in all her forms and the ascent into her realm; as it soundtracks the listener coming to know what will be expected of them for all future sonic explorations.

No expense has been spared to bring the listener to the zenith of psychedelic high-fidelity and have them fully understand what they otherwise might only hint at knowing. This is ‘Flowerkraut’. This is the beginning. This is the Mandrake”.

Recorded at Press Play Studios in Bermondsey with one of their heroes in Stereolab’s Andy Ramsay, Mandrake Handshake’s ‘Shake the Hand That Feeds You’ is released June 18th via Nice Swan Records.

Hallan share new track ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’ out 30th April, from upcoming debut  EP

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Hallan share new track ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’ out 30th April, from upcoming debut  EP, ‘Reporting Live From The Living Room Floor’ set for release July 16th

Picture Orwellian bleakness combined with Burroughs Beat pennings and add a sprinkling of post-punk. A concoction which we call Hallan. This Portsmouth quartet take the mundanity of everyday life and perfectly regurgitate it into a semi-abstract and distorted frenzy of punk musings, and here they are following up hard-hitting EP lead single ‘Hands Up’ with pulsating new effort ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’.

The band’s latest release is a full-frontal assault of pulverising sound, with grinding bass guitar and bombarding drums that refuse to stop driving from the very beginning. Partnered with crunching guitar and frontman Conor Clements’ commanding vocals, ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’ delivers a thought-provoking commentary on the current state of modern society and how it parallels George Orwell’s 1984.  Detailing the release, the group stated:

“With all sorts of wings be they left or right swinging for each other with mocking tweets or cancel culture as their weaponry, it’s easy to feel lost as an onlooking bystander in a world full of hostility. Relationships become strained and questioning your own mental stability becomes just another daily problem as you peruse through endless news articles, each one presenting you with a slice of self-loathing or existential dread. But nothing is to fear as the longer you stare upon the words you read in your sunday newspaper or mobile device the more you will feel the sweet embrace and comfort of Big Brother’s gentle arms. Orwell’s Idyllic future has come to be, and everything is going to be just okay.”

Within an 18th century fortification built into the side of a hill surrounded by a forest, Hallan constantly experiment with and morph their sound, with influences coming from classic post-punk giants Joy Division and The Fall.  The four-piece struck gold when they came across Rob Quickenden of Ford Lane Studios in their search for a recording studio for their earlier track ‘Modern England’.  Hallan have reunited with Quickenden once again for their upcoming ‘Reporting Live From The Living Room Floor’ EP, set for release July 16th.

Having managed to build an army of fans, alongside a roaringly positive reputation amongst local and national press, the band’s early supports alongside Sports Team and Porridge Radio have left them primed to carve their own path together in 2021. With backing from Nice Swan Records (Sports Team, Courting, SPRINTS) ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’ looks set to launch Hallan towards the forefront of the post-punk scene.

Hallan’s ‘Orwell’s Idyllic Future’ is released April 30th via Nice Swan Records and will be available on all digital platforms.

Live Dates:

25th August – The Kazimier, Liverpool

26th August – Bootleg Social, Blackpool

27th August – YES, Manchester

28th August – Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

8th September – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth

10th September – Hope and Ruin, Brighton

12th September – Moth Club, London

FEET RETURN WITH NEW EP WALKING MACHINE & SHARE FIRST SINGLE PEACE & QUIET

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Video by Kris Rimmer

 

FEET return with a brand-new EP ‘Walking Machine, due for release on August 6 via their new label home Nice Swan Records. It’s the first, eagerly anticipated new music from the indie quintet, since the independent release of their debut album back in 2019. The first single from the EP, ‘Peace & Quiet’ is available to stream [add link] now and accompanied by the following video

Having moved into their North London flat together back in September 2019, FEET are now living “like a hive mind” and have level-upped their kinship – both as people and artists – several times over. Spending endless days making music, the band’s journey since their debut has been a rollercoaster – one with a definite U-turn. An initial batch of songs ended up being entirely scrapped after a sobering practice room realisation that, far from sounding like a cohesive second record, “one song sounded like a covers pub band, and another sounded like Eminem could throw some bars over it,” notes Callum.

And so, they sat down to write a manifesto: one that would tame their overflowing pot of ideas and put some necessary parameters around what they were doing. “No wanky guitar solos, no sailor outfits, no bringing a broom onstage,” jokes George. All fair points. But as well as that, the band started digging into what they actually wanted to sound like, setting up their home studio and taking a bigger interest in production and the atmosphere of the tracks, trying to hit the cross-section of pop music and something a little darker that they’ve always loitered around.

Comeback single ‘Peace & Quiet’ – a boisterous barrage of ramshackle guitars and sly lyrical digs that maintains the playfulness but streamlines it into something more direct, targeted – plants a flag in the ground for FEET mk. II. “It’s about demanding more from the current music scene” say the band. “2021 is the year for new and exciting groups supported by a rejuvenated industry. Now’s the time to start small, grass root scenes and DIY shows at your local village halls. What comes after this Peace and Quiet? That’s what excites me the most”.

“We’re not a post punk band, we don’t sound like a ‘London band’ whatever that is, but the indie reference in our shared hive mind is related to a major label, squeaky clean sound which isn’t what we want from our band,” explains George. “You either go the mainstream route or the sleazy South London route and we’re slap bang in the middle, so we’re trying to state our spot. We’re pretty comfortable where we are and this is the direction we wanna take it in”.

The forthcoming ‘Walking Machine EP’ takes these ideas and moulds them into four tracks that show a band still more than willing to throw in a liberal smattering of humour at the right moment, but who aren’t relying just on japes to get them through. They’ve still got a classically FEET name for their new direction, Crease Pop, but even that’s got some logic to it. “It’s taking the pop music formula – hooky choruses, nothing too self-indulgent – but it’s still got a bit of edge,” says George. “With Indie music, there’s an element where it can get quite soft and it’s quite easy to go through that phase where you think you sound like The Beach Boys, but we’ve come off the end of that where we want to be a bit grittier.”

Having beamed fans into their living room over lockdown with a series of livestreams imbued with more genuine live show energy than most, the tight-knit camaraderie the band have honed over the past year is there for all to see. Far from the group of novices they first emerged as, FEET are now a proper unit.

Alongside the new EP news, FEET will continue their new chapter on the road this August. The seven UK dates will see them perform the brand new material for the first time, alongside a host of fan favourites from their debut album. Tickets are on sale now and full details are below

UK TOUR AUGUST 2021

12 Sheffield Record Junkee

13 Manchester The Deaf Institute

14 Nottingham The Bodega

19 Birmingham Mama Roux’s

20 Bristol Thekla

21 London Oslo

22 Brighton Hope & Ruin

Leeds’ English Teacher drop R&B as the final release on the Nice Swan Introduces Series

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English Teacher’s latest track, ‘R&B’, fuses several of the band’s musical influences to create a dynamic and driving sonic experience.  From raw, distorted guitar and bass reminiscent of Sonic Youth and Slint, to white-knuckle drums and assertive vocals not too dissimilar to those of punk purveyors Shame, ‘R&B’ is a cocktail of sound showcasing English Teacher’s versatility and creativity.

Having first met whilst studying in Leeds and remained in the city harnessing their craft and recording demos ever since, the four-piece, marshalled by enigmatic frontwoman Lily Fontaine (also part of Yorkshire risers Eades), have sought inspiration from social issues, literature and wit for their brand new material, whilst also benefiting from previously working alongside legendary producer/engineer Ken Scott (The Beatles, David Bowie, Elton John).

With supports already clocked up alongside the likes of Yellow Days, Lala Lala, and No Vacation, as well as early headline shows of their own in Leeds and Manchester, English Teacher are primed to carve their spot in the emerging indie landscape.

Discussing the origins of their new release, the group revealed: “‘R&B’ is about the cyclical, productivity-diminishing paradox of low self-esteem and imposter syndrome-induced writer’s block that then fuels low self-esteem and imposter syndrome. It’s also about racial identity and putting the love that you have to offer a potential romantic partner back into yourself”.

Produced by Theo Verney (TRAAMS, FEET, Lazarus Kane), English Teacher’s ‘R&B’ is released April 16th via Nice Swan Records and will be available on all digital platforms.

English Teacher are:

Lily Fontaine (vocals, rhythm guitar, synth)

Douglas Frost (drums, synth)

Nicholas Eden (bass, synth)

Lewis Whiting (lead guitar, synth)

Live Dates:

25 Aug – YES, Manchester (Nice Swan showcase w/ Hallan & Jaws The Shark)

Courting – Grand National EP Out Now On Nice Swan Records

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Here we go then. After a handful of promising early singles, Liverpool’s Courting have turned up to blow the cobwebs off 2021 with this, their first EP. Exploring life in classic Middle England and its five-bedroom homes and artificial lawns, it’s the exciting early sound of a band trying on different outfits to see what fits.

The title-track comes crashing in through the door of an after-party down the Nags Head, slips on some plates of half-eaten food, spills wine everywhere, makes a mess of your carpet, ruins your plants and then skitters out into the night. It’s pure chaotic energy like a dropped pint in a packed pub, and is gone before you even know it was here. The punchy 1-2 of that and ‘Popshop!’ is an exhilarating start, the sideways snark at those who think that making pop, and popular, music is anything but a good thing delivered perfectly.

It’s easy to make tired references to Parquet Courts and The Fall when bands like this come along, but this feels more exciting than that somehow. The stressful ‘Crass’, a more traditional talky-post-punk track, and the slow-burning ‘Slow Burner’ might exist in that territory, but it’s the pop culture references throughout the record that stop it from being yet another genre pastiche. It’s obvious from this that Courting have taken a year of forced inactivity and galloped with it, taking their time to explore where they want to go. Keep heading straight towards the chaos, please.

Source: DORK *****

High school band Anorak Patch’ return with the follow up to ‘Irate’ & head into an exhilarating new chapter.

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High school band Anorak Patch’ return with the follow up to ‘Irate’ & head into an exhilarating new chapter.

Colchester-based four piece, Anorak Patch, whose drummer is just 14 years old burst onto the scene last year as part of the Nice Swan Records Introduces Series and their single, ‘Irate’. Keyboardist Effie Lawrence formed the group in late 2019 with high school friends Luca Ryland (drums) & brother Oscar (guitar), along with bass player Eleanor Helliwell and have been quick to announce themselves into the UK music scene with national airplay and press.

‘Blue Jeans’ continues to showcase the band’s immense musical talent at such a young age, the new cut, which draws inspiration from Queens of The Stone Age, At The Drive In & Black Midi, offers yet another side to the bands songwriting & recordings and marks them as one of the UK’s most exciting, young bands to emerge in recent times.

Having already picked up fans across BBC 6Music, BBC Radio One and major press sites. Things are looking very promising for the young upstarts.

Anorak Patch are: Effie Lawrence, Vocals and keyboards. Eleanor Helliwell,Bass. Oscar Ryland, Guitar. Luca Ryland, Drums and Vocals

Nice Swan Announce London and Manchester Shows with the Introduces roster. On Sale on Thursday 9AM

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Introducing a wave of new and exciting talent including the likes of Jelly Cleaver, Courting, Sprints, Hallan, Malady, Mandrake Handshake and Anorak Patch, the upcoming compilation solidifies Nice Swan’s growing status as one of the UK’s most reputable indie labels, with their live plans this summer set to demonstrate the full potential of their roster.

Launched in 2016 by North West duo Pete Heywoode and Alex Edwards, Nice Swan’s initial aim to become a platform for discovering and nurturing new talent soon attracted widespread recognition, with the subsequent success of signees such as Sports Team, Pip Blom, FUR & Hotel Lux building momentum at an impressive rate.

“For Pete and I this has been a year’s worth of hard work and to finalise it with ten fantastic artists, an amazing 12” compilation release and these four shows is a real treat”, explains co-founder Edwards.

“We feel each artist in their own right has a really promising future on the horizon so it’s been great to act as that launchpad with the series. Hopefully this is the start of something special and we’re looking to do it all again in 2022”.

ORDER 12″ Compilation

 

Instilled with a passion to push emerging artists on a monthly basis, Volume 1 signals a real landmark moment in the cult indie label’s development, and with several acts already becoming mainstays on the BBC Radio 1/6 Music airwaves and gaining extensive tastemaker approval, the compilation could not be arriving at a better time.

Nice Swan Introduces Volume 1 is released August 30th and will be available on all platforms (pre-order 12″ vinyl here). Tickets for their live shows will go on sale at 9am April 1st here.

  

Live Dates

Aug 12 – YES, Manchester (Malady, Mandrake Handshake, Opus Kink)

Aug 25 – YES, Manchester (Hallan, Jaws the Shark, English Teacher)

Sept 12 – Moth Club, London (Malady, Mandrake Handshake, Hallan, Jelly Cleaver, Opus Kink)

Sept 30 – Camden Assembly, London (Courting, Jaws the Shark, Anorak Patch)

 

Catalogue Numbers and Series Releases

NSWNi001 Jelly Cleaver Feeling Fine

NSWNi002 Courting DBB

NSWNi003 Sprints The Cheek

NSWNi004 Hallan Modern England

NSWNi005 Malady London

NSWNi006 Mandrake Handshake Gonkulator

NSWNi007 Anorak Patch Irate

NSWNi008 Jaws The Shark Demon Dream

NSWNi009 Opus Kink Wild Bill

NSWNI010 English Teacher R&B

NSWNi011 Nice Swan Introduces Volume 1

/niceswanrecords.com/

Press Enquiries: matthew@supercatpr.co.uk

SPRINTS RELEASE NEW ‘MANIFESTO’ EP VIA NICE SWAN RECORDS

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“On course towards future raucous, beer-soaked headline festival sets.” NME
“Screw-you power, relentless motorik rhythms and impressively large choruses.” The Guardian
 “Unrelenting, gritty energy” Daily Star

 

SPRINTS RELEASE NEW ‘MANIFESTO’ EP VIA NICE SWAN RECORDS

 

Today Sprints release their acclaimed new EP Manifesto via Nice Swan Records. Produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band 

Dublin’s answer to Steve Albini – the four tracks make for a hard-hitting gloom-punk journey that has been lauded by the likes of The GuardianNMEDIYDork and others. Like the Irish guitar acts who have paved the way for them:
Fontaines D.C., Silverbacks and Girl Band, the sound of Sprints is urgent and vital at every turn.

Themes on the EP are varied and the music experimental. Drones takes on imposter syndrome while Manifesto tackles homophobia. Ashley is as close as we get to love song.

Recent single Swimming, a confluence of rabble-rousing stadium rock, sleazy garage rock focuses on the increasing lack of opportunity offered after supposedly following prescribed paths set by society in order to attain “success.” Sprints singer Karla Chubb explains:

“While the homeless crisis worsens, the city is sinking in debt and everyone can barely keep their heads above water, you see an article stating that a new €25 million white water rafting centre is being developed after approval by Dublin City Council. Sometimes you’d just rather drown.”  

Sprints have hit a nerve. And with such honesty running through their core, it’s no wonder The GuardianNME, and BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music have tipped them for big things. Expect to see more from Sprints this year.

On Wednesday 31st March, Sprints will broadcast an exclusively filmed live event to support the release of the EP. Fans can get further details and a free access code from this link: https://show.co/RF6Ek6i

 

 

NSWNi009 – Nice Swan announce ‘Opus Kink’s’ release of ‘Wild Bill’ produced by TIm Burgess

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Last year, Nice Swan Records started the monthly Nice Swan Introduces… series to shine a light on the most exciting emerging talent. Following releases with the likes of Sports Team, Pip Blom, Hotel Lux & FUR, The series introduced a whole wave of new and exciting talent including Jelly Cleaver, Courting, Sprints, Hallan, Malady, Mandrake Handshake, Jaws the Shark & Anorak Patch, cementing Nice Swan Records as one of the country’s most exciting independent record labels. The series returns again this month with eccentric Brighton collective Opus Kink and their new single, ‘Wild Bill’
.  

Opus Kink’s contribution to the single series, produced by Tim Burgess ‘Wild Bill’ is a fusion of musical styles. Taking influences from the not-jazz-but-jazz stylings of The Lounge Lizards and The Blockheads, the desert blues of Tinariwen and Songhoy Blues, and the character-building of Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen, the mysterious newcomers have concocted an enigmatic offering steeped in experimentation.
With inspiration arriving via books, poetry and visual arts, the group’s cultural nous reverberates throughout their newest material, and sees them team up with The Charlatans’ Tim Burgess on production duties, having ventured to the legendary Rockfield Studios in Wales to record ‘Wild Bill’ back in 2020.
Detailing their upcoming release, originally written in an industrial estate lockup by the sea in their hometown, the sextet revealed: “‘Wild Bill’ takes the frontier lawman-gunslinger Wild Bill Hickock and ungraciously twists him into a poster boy for the Western gentleman’s assault on God, death, judgement, nature, women and foreigners”.

Produced by Tim Burgess, Opus Kink’s ‘Wild Bill’ is released March 19th via Nice Swan Records

and will be available on all digital platforms.
Opus Kink are:
Angus Rogers (Vocals, Guitars)
Sam Abbo (bass)
Fin Abbo (drums)
Jazz Pope (keys & synth)
Johnny Giles (trumpet)
Jed Morgans (alto saxophone)
Press Enquiries: matthew@supercatpr.co.uk

Nice Swan Records today announce the forthcoming release of 12″ compilation Nice Swan Introduces Volume 1, set to arrive August 30th.

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ORDER COMPILATION NOW

Introducing a wave of new and exciting talent including the likes of Jelly Cleaver, Courting, Sprints, Hallan, Malady, Mandrake Handshake and Anorak Patch, the upcoming compilation solidifies Nice Swan’s growing status as one of the UK’s most reputable indie labels, with further signings and releases set to be announced in the coming weeks.

Launched in 2016 by North West duo Pete Heywoode and Alex Edwards, Nice Swan’s initial aim to become a platform for discovering and nurturing new talent soon attracted widespread recognition, with the subsequent success of signees such as Sports Team, Pip Blom, FUR & Hotel Lux building momentum at an impressive rate.

Instilled with a passion to push emerging artists on a monthly basis, Volume 1 marks the next stage of the cult indie label’s development, and with several acts already becoming mainstays on the BBC Radio 1/6 Music airwaves and gaining extensive tastemaker approval, the compilation could not be arriving at a better time.

Nice Swan Introduces Volume 1 is released August 30th and will be available on all platforms (pre-order 12″ vinyl here).

 

Catalogue Numbers and Series Releases

NSWNi001 Jelly Cleaver Feeling Fine

NSWNi002 Courting DBB

NSWNi003 Sprints The Cheek

NSWNi004 Hallan Modern England

NSWNi005 Malady London

NSWNi006 Mandrake Handshake Gonkulator

NSWNi007 Anorak Patch Irate

NSWNi008 Jaws The Shark Demon Dream

NSWNi009 Opus Kink Wild Bill

NSWNI010 English Teacher R&B

NSWNi011 Nice Swan Introduces Volume 1