Two great Yorkshire bands are releasing new music this week. First up we have York based alt-rockers, Bull are back with ‘Love Goo’ the title track for their new EP, out this Friday 11th December on EMI Records in conjunction with Young Thugs.
‘Love Goo’ is another example of Bull’s ability to combine sweet pop melodies with a core of ramshackle jangle rock. Laced with spritely xaphoon lines (a kind of pocket saxophone), tin whistle, and piano it’s a brilliant slice of indie maximalism.
“Love Goo is a song about getting along with people” Tom explains. “It looks at my relationship with my family as well as my own feelings of ‘sticky love goo’, when thinking about people in my life and from my childhood. It’s about the difference between people, universal truth, gender fluidity, peace & love, understanding and all of that stuff”
The Love Goo EP comes at the end of a stellar year for the band and compiles the 3 singles they’ve released in 2020, alongside ‘Love Goo’. Including the catchy as hell fuzz-rock of ‘Disco Living’, the Noisey pop of ‘Bonzo Please’ and the summery vibes of ‘Green’, it’s a brilliant portrait of the band and their music.
Since signing to EMI records in conjunction with, York based label, Young Thugs the band have been growing apace. At radio the band are already being championed by the likes of Chris Hawkins and Steve Lamacq at 6Music, Huw Stephens at BBC Introducing Clara Amfo, as well as being acclaimed by fellow musicians like Elton John on his Beats 1 show and Declan McKenna during his recent appearance on the Radio 1 Future Artists mix tape.
Formed in 2011 by vocalist and songwriter Tom Beer and guitarist Dan Lucas, Bull’s mission is simply to make the music they wanted to listen to, inspired by their 90’s heroes such Pavement, Yo La Tengo and the Pixies. The rest of the band came together through a mix of friendships and happenstance. Drummer Tom Gabbatiss joined after he and Tom jammed together in bars while they were back-packing round Thailand, and Kai West had previously used to jump up on stage with the band and “Bez” (verb meaning to dance badly while intoxicated) before they eventually let him play bass.
A unique group within the city’s already eclectic scene, the band’s sound mixes together their alt-rock influences along with Tom’s down-to-earth song writing and a particularly wry sense of humour that comes naturally to the four Yorkshiremen.
They’ve played support shows for the likes of Squid, The Orielles, Pip Blom and even one of their long-time heroes in the form of Spiral Stairs (AKA Scott Kannberg of Pavement), and their constant gigging has seen them build up a dedicated local following. Not to be restricted to God’s own county, the band have plied their wares in mainland Europe, playing a series of unforgettable shows in Germany and the Netherlands.
The band will also be played a special live streamed gig on the 16th December. The Snow Global tour will be a paid for stream coming from a special winter wonderland location. Each ticket not only guarantees access to the stream, but fans will also receive a special screen-printed t-shirt or poster to commemorate the occasion.
You can find out more here https://www.facebook.com/BullTheBand/
Next up we have Flawes. The music community has shown a huge amount of ingenuity in trying to connect with fans while conventional shows can’t happen. But no-one has done anything quite like what Flawes did to bring their recent single ‘Holding Out For The Win’ to attention. They aimed to break the world record for the most individual live streamed performances of a single song in a twelve-hour session. And that’s exactly what they achieved, completing a staggering 60 performances of the track – and all without frontman JC Carruthers losing his voice.
Flawes’ return was further highlighted with fresh praise from tastemakers including Clash and
From its acoustic guitar introduction, ‘What’s A Boy To Do’ spontaneously erupts into the kind of gloriously uplifting hook that’s quickly becoming a hallmark of Flawes’ new music. It’s a song that balances the extremes of their sound, finding the common ground between intricately produced alt-pop and the dynamic
energy of a live band. The result is representative of the trio’s ability to find positivity in tough situations. That feeling is also emphasised throughout the song’s lyrics as drummer Josh ‘Huss’ Hussey explains, “It’s about believing in yourself, going for a goal and knowing that even if you fail, you’re still proud of yourself for seeing it through.”
The accompanying video for the track is linked to the previous visual for ‘Holding Out For The Win’. The boys return to perform in the same room as before and JC again undergoes a surprise transformation. As the song explodes into life, he hits a big red button which transports the boyhood version of himself to the present day. It’s a trick which keeps on giving, fast-forwarding Huss
After a steady rise in which they earned a Record of the Week at Radio 1 and worked with leading producers such as Finneas (Billie Eilish) and Lostboy (Dua Lipa), 2020 looked set to be the year that Flawes made their major breakthrough. But as every artist has experienced, their plans for the year were soon dashed.
Undeterred, the ever optimistic trio pushed on, and took the opportunity to record some new songs separately during the initial lockdown, with the remote assistance of producers such as Toby Scott (The Gossip, Pet Shop Boys). The new material was bursting with personality, the energy of their live shows and an escapist spirit that is proving to be empowering for the band and their fans. It means that the ‘Reverie’ EP positions them to achieve the things they were denied in 2020 just a little behind schedule.
You can find out more about Flawes here www.flawes.com