FAULT Music

Andrew Combs exclusive UK track premiere: ‘Rose Colored Blues’

Texan via Nashville, indie Americana troubadour Andrew Combs exclusively drops his new track ‘Rose Colored Blues’ today in the UK via Fault Magazine. 
 
The freewheeling tune taken from Andrew’s forthcoming and critically acclaimed ‘Canyons Of My Mind’ is reminiscent of classic US songwriters such as Harry Nilsson and Glen Campbell and sees Andrews explore the romanticised view of life on the road.
 

“It’s a romanticized version of being on the road,” Combs says of the song. “I wanted it to be lush, and to feel like you’re driving. The concept is something that’s always been very interesting to me: the whole idea of someone relishing their blues.”

His forthcoming ‘Canyons Of My Mind’ co-produced by Skylar Wilson (Justin Townes Earle, Caitlin Rose) & Jordan Lehning (Rodney Crowell, Caitlin Rose) was recorded at Battle Tapes Studio in East Nashville, TN and has already garnered critical support across the pond from NPR, Rolling Stone, American Songwriter and Garden & Gun with fans in the UK from Line Of Best Fit to Bob Harris!  
Andrew tours the UK in May with a hotly anticipated show at London’s Borderline on 9 May. 
 
Andrew Combs ‘Rose Colored Blues’ will be released tomorrow. Album ‘Canyons Of My Mind’ is released on Loose on 7 April. Tour Dates below:
April 30 and May 1 – Kilkenny Roots Festival
May 2 – Manchester Night & Day
May 3 – Oxford Bullingdon
May 4 – Birmingham Glee Club
May 6 – Edinburgh The Caves
May 7 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
May 8 – Nottingham The Maze
May 9 – London Borderline
For tickets please visit: https://www.andrewcombsmusic.com/tour/

FAULT Weekly Playlist: Sun City

Perth duo Sun City have pleasured our ears with tracks off their “Daytona EP” that is the perfect companion to the fact that it’s the first day of Spring. The duo, comprised of Tobias John and Daniel Mackey, have allowed this record to be a vessel to share what’s been happening while they’ve been in hibernation.

The EP recalls the glory days of nu-disco and echoes the tropicana beats of production heavyweights like Fred Falke and Gigamesh. We asked Sun City to put together some of their favorite Spotify songs and it’s no surprise that they’ve selected some of their Australian buddies like The Aston Shuffle and Pnau to lead the charge. Take a listen below!

Benson – Trying (feat. Yeo)

“The combination of these two Aussie guys is fire. Production lords! Both well and truly doing big things ATM, they have created something really special. Full of melancholy melody’s and heart hitting hooks this track really hits the spot. Get around it!”

Crooked Colours – Flow

“Growing up in the scene with these 3 dudes, watching and listing to there tunes has been awesome. Their new track Flow has them really showing us what they can do. Lead singer Phil’s vocals and story telling really sets the tone for this song. Accompanied by some beachy surf rock beats and Wavy synth sections, it makes us feel like We’re at some kind of psychedelic beach party. Lovin it!”

New Order – Age of Consent

“A classic track by one of the classic 80’s dance floor kings. Age of consent pretty self-explanatory. A coming of age song! A track that just makes you want to grab all your mates and road trip down the coast. Making your own adventure and getting into trouble.”

Commandeur – Speak your mind (ft. Yeo)

Pnau – Chameleon

“Yeah ok it’s a bit of a banger (is that even a bad thing? Surely not), but Chameleon is the latest release from Oz dance outfit PNAU! It’s been a while between tunes but it was worth the wait! It is everything and more you’d expect from legends of the scene. They just know how do right. It’s Progressive and super catchy!”

Tourist – Too Late

“British lord Tourist is that one guy on the scene who has just mastered the progression of a beat and sound. Such simple changes thru out his tracks create whole new ways of hearing them. It is a skill! This track too late is prime example. Always gets you moving.”

The Aston Shuffle – Pass You By

“These two guys have been a massive inspiration to us. Both as super talented artists, but also just super nice guys (cue the time they took us out to dinner five years ago when we supported them in Perth – it was our first big show!). Talented and always pushing the envelope with what aussie dance music is, and the nicest blokes you’ll ever meet. Their new track Pass You By continues to hit all the right places.”

Danny Darko – Los Angeles (Slinko Remix )

“Such a funky, tropical, house jam with a pop polish. With hooks in all the right places and a solid cruising 4 on the floor. This remix sets you up for a good afternoon in the sun with your mates.”

Gigamesh – The Music

“We love this track and is a regular in our Dj sets. It always gets the crowd moving. With such a suitable name for a song, “the Music” is a track that shows how all the different moving parts of a track come together to give us a joyous dance floor jam.”

Bonobo – Kerela

“The musical landscapes created in Bonobos tracks are more than often ridiculous! Being able to pull at your soul from a few sound waves and changing your moods… you have to give credit. This track Kerela is a bit of a lounge track, showing off their percussive prowess and emotive melodies. True artists!”

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SONNY curates FAULT Magazine Playlist of the week

Despite not legally allowed to drink in the UK until last week, Sonny’s voice is filled with the rich tones of the jazz singer whose spent years perfecting his craft in smoky jazz dens. His debut single entitled ‘Princess’ oozes with soul whilst containing elements of folk and jazz all rolled up in a modern pop ballad for contemporary audiences.

“My first release ‘Princess’ is a very personal song about a challenging relationship. It’s a little tongue in cheek but I’ve tried to be as honest as possible and I hope that shows throughout the lyrics in this song.”

Produced by Rum And Bug, Princess is taken from Sonny’s upcoming EP, ‘Hopeless Romance’ that drops on the March 24th. (Preorder available HERE)

We wanted to find out how a young performer could be imbued with such old-school soul and what better way to find out than to have Sonny curate this weeks FAULT Playlist below!

 

Stevie Wonder – He’s misstra know it all 

This song has always been a big part of my life, it’s one of my Mums favourite songs and artist. I’ve been influenced by Stevie Wonder from such a young age but out of all of his songs, this one really stands out for me. It’s quite a serious song until he lets loose at the end and adds in some really fun and jokey vocals. Only Stevie could do this! It’s really iconic.

 

Drake – Hold on we’re going home 

This song was when I first discovered Drake, and it’s the song I’ll always remember him for. It’s quite different to what he usually does but the melodies are so catchy and powerful. He is always very understated yet powerful at the same time. This song makes me want to get up and dance.

 

Paolo Nutini – Loving you.

 

Paolo has such a distinctive voice and I love it! So I had to buy the album. After a few car journeys I stumbled across this tune and never looked back. It was so relevant at the time because I was in a really happy place.

 

Penny and the Quarters – You and Me

 

This song featured in a movie called ‘Blue Valentine’. I fell in love with it instantly, it’s so old school and soulful. Right up my street!! With one female vocal accompanied by several males, I found it really unique. I love the story behind this song and how it was discovered. 

 

John Martyn – May you never.

I was introduced to John Martyn by my Dad who is also an acoustic guitar player/ singer. He would teach me how to play it and then I added it into my set list! Its really folk and a different type of songwriting which I liked. 

 

Coldplay – Everything’s not lost

Coldplay have always been one of my favourite bands. This song is typical Coldplay! A slow build up throughout the whole song and then a big finish. It helped me out through a tough time, I would just sit and listen to it on repeat. It’s from the album ‘Parachutes’ which I feel really defined Coldplay and is kind of my favourite albums. 

 

 

Sonny On the web

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Preview: Camila Cabello on the cover of FAULT Magazine Issue 25

Photography: Giuliano Bekor | Styling: Cat Wennekamp | Hair: Marcus Francis | Makeup: Allan Avendano | Nail Tec: Kim Truong

Despite still being very much within its infancy, Camila Cabello‘s solo career has already been rather unfairly mired in rumours surrounding her choice to split from her former girl group, ‘Fifth Harmony’. From the day Camila announced her departure, wild speculation and venomous allegations flew through the airwaves with no comment of ill from either party; seemingly the narrative of five bickering women proved more newsworthy than that of them respecting each other’s career choices. Nevertheless, Camila moves graciously through the attempted adumbration of negativity into the spotlight and onto our issue cover. With an AMA, VMA and countless other awards under her belt as part of Fifth Harmony and seldom mentioned co-writing credits for acclaimed artists Machine Gun Kelly and Shawn Mendes respectively, the sky is the limit for Camila Cabello. With that in mind, we sat down to find out more about the pressures and pleasures of going it alone.

Words: Miles Holder

 

Hi Camila, what’s been the scariest part of transitioning to a solo artist?

I think the scariest part about it is leaving a successful project to pursue a new dream with a path full of questions of self-discovery that only you can answer. But even when I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of my former group, expressing myself as an artist became a necessity.

 

Do you feel a lot of pressure to have to get everything perfect?

I’ve always felt pressure to get everything perfect, and I’ve never gotten there, but I think that’s what keeps me growing, and keeps me frustrated with myself and keeps me reaching. I think if you’re ever comfortable and think “wow. This is it. I’ve figured it out.” , you stop trying and you stop growing.

What should fans expect to hear from your new music?

They are going to feel who I am. They are going to get a chunk of my heart, my experiences, my fantasies and everything in between.

 

What do you have lined up musically for 2017?

We’ll be touring worldwide for the rest of the year.

 

If you could describe the sound in 3 words, what would it be?

I couldn’t possibly boil it all down to three words but it will be me in sound form.

It feels like you’ve been working non-stop for the past 5 year, where did you find the time to prepare for your solo career in that time?

I was always writing, not necessarily for myself, but just because I really wanted to be a songwriter. I think as I was writing I found my own voice as an artist and as a person, and I’m discovering more about it every day.

 

What’s been the best part of the solo journey so far?

Working with so many talented writers and producers and following my own musical vision. I love the ability to create something out of nothing altogether.

 

You’re a young artist and it’s a very tough industry, where is your happy place when it all becomes too much?

My family and movies.

If you could give any advice to you younger self, what would it be?

Everything has to happen the way it’s going to happen so that other things can occur. And also, don’t be so hard on yourself.

 

There’s a lot of pressure on young artists (female performers especially) to be forced by the media to act a certain way or become bullied into dressing a certain way. What’s something you would never apologise for?

I think it’s important to make your own decisions about what feels right to you and follow your inner voice. Never compromise if it doesn’t feel right.

 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?

Everything is temporary and life has seasons of its own. Just like flowers don’t bloom all the time, there are moments of sadness and happiness, struggle and joy, and being human means feeling all of it, even in the bad times, so that you’re that much more grateful for the good times when they come.

 

What are your plans for the rest of 2017?

I hope to release my first few songs before summer and then go from there and hopefully an album in the Fall.

 

What is your FAULT?

Overthinking, worrying about things that may not be in my control and not being present. I am sometimes too hard on myself and I get frustrated with how sensitive and emotional I can get, but I’m learning to love myself a little more during the times when I am sad or insecure, and I just remind myself that feeling those emotions is just a part of being human, and we have to love all the parts of our humanity, because they’re not there to hurt us, they’re there to make us understand ourselves a little better.

 

Read Camila Cabello’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

 

Kehlani: Focused, Fashionable and FAULTY in FAULT Magazine #25 Covershoot

 

Photography by Jacob Hodgkinson
Styling by Rachel Holland
Makeup by Nicky Weir
Hairstyling by Stefan Bertin
Styling assistance by Ines Oom, Tara Theiss & Stephanie – Min Hua Choo

Kehlani – ‘A Rise With Grace’

Words: Miles Holder

The rise of Kehlani hasn’t been an easy one; at every stage in her career she has been given a new cross to bear or obstacle to climb but despite all her hardships, she has always emerged triumphant. Releasing her critically acclaimed debut album ‘SweetSexySavage’ in January 2017 and currently on her highly rated world tour, while it’s been a long time coming, it would seem that Kehlani is finally seeing the fruits of her many years of hard labour. Speaking with a delicate manner but a hardened confidence far beyond her 21 years of age, we sat down to find out more about one of R&B’s most exciting artists.

Looking back, were you happy with how your album did?

I think it was really good for the time that it came out. There was a lot of negative commotion happening especially in my country with the US election so I think that something easy and positive was definitely needed at that time.

You air your personal feelings and fears out there on the album, is it hard to expose so much emotion for the world to hear?

With me, it’s all or nothing; go hard or go home. We all as know what’s really going on and people will feel it if it’s not really me on the track. I want to make people feel through my music – we all put up with fake shit all the time so I wanted to contribute something that’s the real me.

Music has always been your life and it’s something you’ve been working on for so long, did that not put a lot of pressure on you to succeed when dropping new music?

For me, the pressure doesn’t come from outside people, it’s all what I put on myself in the creative process. I’m asking myself “Could I hit that note better” or “should I shift beats differently”, but I’m not thinking about the sales-numbers because that doesn’t really matter. I just worry about making sure whatever I’m working on is a better project than the last.

How do you deal with the pressure of all the show business?

I’m doing so much that I never have time to really stop and think about it all. I don’t have the focus and it’s hard to manage but at the end of the day, it’s got to get done! Ain’t non of this shit easy for anyone.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell myself to just stay focused and get as much rest as you can because you’re about to turn up! [laughs] But seriously, I’d tell myself to learn how to prioritise myself and to learn how to protect my energy. If I had entered the industry with more knowledge on self, how to protect myself and emotional take care of my life then things would have been much easier.

Being a sensitive, open and loving person has definitely led to some downfalls but I do wish I’d learnt some emotional grounding as a kid but I don’t beat myself up about it because it’s hard and most people don’t even learn half of that until they’re old.

When you shut your eyes and you think of your perfect future, what is it?

I want to be a mum. I want to have my kids and just settle down. If I keep going as fast as I’ve been going, I’m going to be over it and it’ll be time for the quiet life one day.

What’s your message to all young people out there who might have gone through or are going through the same struggles you have?

Don’t let the world discourage you or let the things that weigh on your shoulders crush you. Know that for me, it’s really hard and as a woman especially because we’re so caring and we have large hearts which make us want to fix the unfixable and carry a weight too large to bear. I just hope everyone out there knows to just breathe through it and to take everything at their own pace. Most importantly, people should never forget to take care of themselves.

What is your FAULT?

I don’t know how to answer that because I’m so human and I never stop to imagine that I’d only ever have one fault. We all have FAULTs, being twenty-one-years-old reminds me that I’m human because I’m pretty sure I have a fuck up every single day. I can’t think of just one thing -that’s my FAULT.

Read Kehlani’s full interview and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT’s Special #25

AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

FAULT Magazine Issue 25 Preview: Counterfeit. – Together We Are Stronger

 

 

Surely you remember the Counterfeit. boys fronted by our FAULT issue 22 Cover Jamie Campbell Bower. Long story short, they’re basically part of the FAULT family now. When we last caught up, the boys were only just releasing their debut EP. Well, fast-forward six months and they’ve got a brand new record out. We caught up again with the group and here’s a little teaser for what’s about to come out in our FAULT Issue 25. 

 


It’s been 6 months since we last caught up and back then you were only just releasing your EP. Look at us now, with you guys releasing your debut album! What’s the vibe in the Counterfeit. camp at the moment?

Jamie: It’s pretty good. We’ve made an album over the past six months since we saw you last. We’ve sort of been gearing up for the release ever since, while being locked away in a tiny room.

Now that you’ve got a full body of work that represents Counterfeit. if we were to listen to your EP back to back with your album, would we notice any differences?

Tristan: Yes definitely, it’s a step up from our EP. Mitch, the guy who we worked with on our album, is really talented. He’s worked with people like Rattlesnakes and the sound that he’s created for us is really raw.

Jamie: The album in comparison to the EP is a lot tighter and closer. Sonically, it’s a lot beefier and thicker than what we’ve done before. The sound that we wanted for the album compared to the EP comes from this love of a nice kick and a heavy snare rather than a roomy sound, so that’s definitely a step up in terms of how we went about it. But it’s still very much Counterfeit. It hasn’t changed. There’s room for mistakes in the record and those moments of ‘Oh what’s that?’ are really nice on an album. As opposed to, you know, something general and clean-cut from beginning to end.

 

I remember you were saying that most of your songs come from a very personal and honest place. Which one was the hardest for you to write and put out there and what’s the back-story?

Jamie: There are a few out there that are quite tough. The record opens with a song called ‘Washed Out’ and that’s a reflection of a period of my life from about 15 to 26 when my life was going in a direction and I didn’t really know which way it was going. I would actively do things that were negative that would have a negative impact on my life. Just the way that I acted or certain actions that I did, I wasn’t really ready to accept life on life’s terms. It was more about blowing everything up, because I didn’t really feel I had control. I was always trying to put a brave face on, like ‘No, I’m fine, I’m cool, I’m grand!’ But the past like two and a half years, I think all of us collectively just did some growing up. I also made some significant changes in my life, in regards to the way I behaved and the things that I did. ‘Washed Out’ was probably one of the first tracks that I wrote. It was a tough song to write. It’s hard to talk about being a mess and it’s not an easy thing to look back on.

 

What was the most difficult part of producing this record? You already had quite a solid body of work beforehand, but surely there must’ve been times when you felt stuck.

Sam: We all had moments when we went away from it for a little and when we came back we could discuss what troubles we had with the others with a clear head. We work quite well together when it comes to communicating ideas.

Jamie: There was one song – You Can’t Rely – that we’ve never played live, it was written at home and it was still very much in demo format. The chorus part needed to be changed and as soon as we got into the studio we realized that it needed some work. But it wasn’t like something that took a week to get over; we did it in like 4 hours. But the record was made quite quickly; it just took a while to find the time to do it, because we’ve all got our own things going on. But if you were to accumulate all the time that we spent together, it basically just took us 25 days to make a record. And I think that’s a really important factor in terms of what this record is. It’s frantic and struggling to survive and I think recording it over such a sort time-span contributed to those feelings.

 

Come March-April – you’re going back on the road again. Will we see anything different from Counterfeit on stage?

Jamie: I think the show this time is going to get like bigger and better. We’re getting our own technicians in to do our stuff for us. This band is very much home grown and passion grown, so it’s very important to us to have our own people with us on the road. We want to continue to take the show to bigger and better places. The way that we see it and the way that we see it in our minds is like a huge fucking rock show, and that’s what it needs to be and that’s what we have to provide for these people. We’ve done the tours already, it’s great, cool, and fun, call it whatever and we want to step it up. We want to give it the beans in terms of visuals as well. But yeah, Sam will definitely be put in danger again. I’m thinking less boat this time. I don’t know, maybe an inflatable whale.

Sam: Or just floating from above. Hang me from a cable. Sounds fun.

 

 Without getting political – but taking into account the current political climate, you come across as the kind of band who is not afraid to speak up. Now that people have something to rebel against, is this an area you’re willing to explore?

Jamie: I don’t think we are the kind of band that is afraid to speak up. We are reactive to what we experience and what we’re shown around us. Would I be afraid to take it into a political direction? No. But would I consciously make an effort to be a beacon? I don’t think I would do that either because I’m sure as shit no pillar of morality myself. Of course there are some horrifically negative people in this world and the things that are happening around us right now tare very scary. I think that maybe if we feel the desire and burning passion to make a socio-political comment on that, then we should and it would be right to do so. But I would never force us to go into that direction. It wouldn’t be a conscious thought. If we were to do it and if we had to do it, it would have to be genuine.

Roland: Another interesting thing is the fact that the album is called ‘Together We Are Stronger’ and for us, it’s like a thank you to our fans. But at the same time it’s a message of unity and coming together. We seem to just live in a world where people just cut you off and simply don’t care. Our message is basically that whoever you are, it’s all good.

Jamie: The world does feel very fractious. I definitely get the sense of fracture and isolation and I think that’s terrifying. Because I don’t come from a place where I want to live on my own and lock all my door and shut all my windows. I’m not a small-minded individual. I truly believe in acceptance, love, understanding and peace.

And on that happy note, have you guys acquired any new FAULTs over the past few months?

Sam: I’m still losing things! I’m losing fewer things though cause I’m taking less things with me.

Jamie: He’s losing less things cause he lost most things already.

Roland: I used to be very good at bowling, but last time I went I lost, so that’s a fault.

Jamie: Over the last six months, I think I’ve been under a lot of pressure and haven’t actually managed to deal with stress in a positive way. I let it get to a point where I just blew up.

Tristan: My fault was disappearing for two days while doing the album.

Jimmy: I’m perfect.

You can order Together We Are Stronger here – available NOW

In anticipation for FAULT Issue 25 – check out an exclusive behind the scenes video with Counterfeit. More to come!

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Photography: Chris Moore

Photography Assistant: Matthew Lloyd
Grooming : Fabio Vivan @ Emma Davies Agency using Bumble and bumble and grooming with Braun
SPECIAL THANKS TO TAPE LONDON – TAPE LODGE

 

Fault meets Dan Croll

Upon the release of Dan Croll’s third single ‘Away from Today’ taken from his yet untitled upcoming new album, Dan sits down with Fault Magazine to discuss studio life in Georgia, and his past struggle with anxiety but coming out the other side stronger with a new label and a renewed drive to succeed.

Hey Dan, how are you?

Yeah, good man. Bit tired, but good.

You enjoying the campaign so far?

Yeah been up and around today, things are good. We’ve decided to pencil in the release date and to get things going. So now I guess the PR wheels are turning and there are a lot of interviews and stuff, and its great. It’s this part that I like, when you start to get people excited, you know?

It’s the start of something much bigger isn’t it?

Yeah definitely, and to remind people that you’re alive.

You’re doing a lot of social media, for the likes of pancake day!

Oh god yeah, that was such a depressing one! [Laughs]

So you’ve got this new single out, ‘Away from Today’?

[Pause] Oh yes! [Laughs] it’s been really busy. I’ve been trying to keep up with what’s going on! The single has been doing well; it’s been fun to see it out there. It’s a different sound but in a good way I think, it’s something that is probably the first track really that has revolved around a heavy sample; so its been quite fun from the whole writing process to people hearing it.

Did it make a big difference with the sampling?

Yeah I think the sampling is typically considered something hip-hop scene and Rn’B and stuff so it’s quite weird to bring it into a different element.

Brings a different vibe to your music, would you say?

Absolutely yeah.

With the horn section included, is that something you’re hoping to bring across to the live performance?

Oh god I wish yeah [Laughs], I’m already broke so I’d need to find some trumpet players to come with me and break me even more! But no, I think we’ll find cleverer ways to do that but I would love to don’t get me wrong. Maybe there are some fans out there who would want me to do it, but yeah.

It would be awesome to see! You’ve got the video for the single that was recorded within a deep forest, where was it filmed?

Its funny that actually, when the director Greg rang me and he was like “Oh Dan we’ve got the location for the video”, and I was like “Wicked!” because I knew what the idea was and everything so I was like “Oh amazing, where are we going to do it?” and I had a few ideas, like we might be going up to Skye in Scotland or something like that. He was like “you’re going to Portland” and I was like “you’re fucking kidding me? We’re going to Portland?” And I was absolutely buzzing. Then I asked “Portland, Oregon?” and he was like “no, Portland in Dorset”. [Laughs]. So we just ended up in Dorset which wasn’t as cool as Portland Oregon but it was good, it has a major (going really geeky now) but it has a major port from the war – batteries, big long range guns so it was quite…

…a historical site?

Yeah definitely. It had been battered itself so it’s quite a rough and ready environment to shoot a video in, so it was quite cool.

Did that sort of fit the theme of escapism?

Yeah it sort of was, it was all about escapism and being your own worst enemy, all of that.

It comes across that you’re washing your hands with the events of the past?

You got it, I’m glad [Laughs]. You nailed it.

You’ve got the new tour coming up in May, what’s your plan before that? What is your tour preparation?

Just stay busy, lots of interviews to do and sessions and hopefully radio, just keeping very busy. Rehearsals and I’ve just recently built a little home studio in my house. So I’ve actually been writing a lot so it’s been quite nice. Trying to keep busy.

More tracks for the new album?

Just whatever comes, yeah. All sorts! Like I say, I go mad when I’m not busy so I’ll be keeping very busy.

Especially with the tour, you’ve got the likes of Glasgow, Manchester on the bill…

Yeah just the kind of standard little UK run just to kind of test the water I guess before the album comes out and then we’ll hopefully go from there and visit more places afterwards.

Does that mean the setlist will be more of a mix?

Yeah definitely, it’s been quite weird and it’s the first time that I’ve ever had too many songs and it’s quite a weird sensation to have to axe some of them. I’m obviously attached to them all because they’re my songs, so it’s been weird.

Will it tell a story?

Yeah, a lot of it is to do with just the basics of pace and tempo, I like the kind of science behind it. I really like the phycology behind a setlist I think; it’s kind of an artful thing. So yeah I’d like to spend a bit of time doing that. Tried a few ways out and I think I’ve got the right way now.

To help perfect it?

Yeah, it’s like do you start with a bang? Do you build? Do you dip in the middle? Do you finish on a high? Do you do one of those pretentious sort of encores where you walk off and prepare for it.

What do you do in that kind of situation?

You know what we’ve done it a few times I think it’s so; I get why people do it but at the same time it’s like you’ve know you’ve got another 2 songs to play. Unless the gig is bombing just play them all [Laughs].

Do you try and gage the vibe in the room?

Yeah, it’s weird. Its just kind of an egotistical slap on the back you know? You’re going to get a cheer. So between now and the tour I’ll be working on the perfect setlist.

Who is supporting you on the tour?

You know what, we’re just about to chat about that today. Yeah it’s good because when you usually do your tours, it’s everyone’s names in the hats. So the booking agent will throw in names, the manager will throw in names, I’ll throw in names and band members will throw in names. It all goes into a big pot and it’s nice to have some fresh music after a while. People you’ve not really heard of, people you’ve heard of with new material, it’s exciting. So we haven’t confirmed anyone yet but there’s a lot of great people I think. People are really up for it, lots of talented bands.

Any favourite venues on the upcoming tour?

A favourite? Well London is usually the big gig.

Heaven this time around…

Yeah, I’ve never been so I don’t know what to expect there. I like The Thekla in the ship, I’ve heard a lot of good stories and tales from Thekla. Actually the last time we were at Thekla, the last time we were in Bristol we ended the gig in A&E, which was quite mad.

Do I ask?

We had a freak accident on stage with my sound guy so we had to run to A&E during the gig. Something always happens at Thekla, that’s the thing.

Is Thekla cursed?

Yeah, it’s quite like exciting to go there though; there’s also the Great Escape Festival that is in the mix as well, as part of the tour. I love Brighton.

Always a good line-up there!

To tell the truth I haven’t checked out the line-up for this year yet but when I go its always good, it’s my fourth time probably there now so I enjoy it.

Do you try to check out the other acts that are playing?

Yeah all of that, to be honest I’m a sucker for a seaside town.

Well Liverpool is a seaside town I would say!

Yeah you can go across to New Brighton and stuff but a bit depressing than traditional do you know what I mean? That sounds bad but you know.

It’s like, can you get an ice cream or not?

You know I think places like Brighton or even Blackpool have got a weird charm about it than other seaside towns I think.

Yes, great reputations.

Yeah definitely!

When you go to these places, do they inspire you through the writing process?

Not so much Brighton and Blackpool [Laughs]. But definitely new places do massively; massively. Especially if they have something about them in terms of [Pause]

…atmosphere?

Yeah I guess so, kind of green cities, which are usually quite a nice thing. Places that are immersed in kind of a natural beauty; they are quite nice. That’s why I love going to America, it’s not like we haven’t got it in the UK but when you go there it drastically goes from desert to city or forest to city. That’s also inspiring.

It’s crazy how 2 vastly different ecosystems work well together like that.

Yeah it’s very steady, all over the shop! It’s mad.

It is, so the campaign is going well?

Yeah I can’t wait for it to get busier to be honest, looking forward to really getting going!

Have you got a name for the album yet?

I have but I’m not allowed to say just yet, this is the thing. I don’t know so for safety reasons I’m going to say no for now.

In terms of a release date?

I know that we’ll be aiming for the very end of June, start of July. But I think we’re just confirming that today. Today is my London day for things like that so I think we’re going to hopefully announce that very soon.

Nice summer album for your fans to look forward to.

Yeah, pre-orders up soon to get people excited.

Will there be a vinyl release?

Of course!

You’ve got the likes of PULS Open Air Festival to look forward to playing?

Great, where is that? [Laughs]

Geltendorf.

Great! [Laughs]. That’s not in a snobbish way, we’ve had things flying through and so I’m trying to keep up with a lot of things especially these types of festivals where; to tell the truth I haven’t kind of done a great deal of European festivals and I’m really excited to do them.

Obviously when names come through I’m just “Oh yeah!” One went up the other day that I forgot about called Summer’s Tale festival. I’m doing that and look at the line-up; great! My previous management and my previous label they were very much centered around the UK and East and West coast America and I feel that maybe on my first album campaign that I neglected Europe.

So I’m very excited to go, I’ve got quite a bit of work to do to build back up in Europe but I’m very excited to kind of try hard this year to push for lots of European festivals, lots of European touring and stuff. UK as well but its just such a mad idea that you wouldn’t go to these places, you know.

Easy to get across to Europe from here, lots of possibilities.

Yeah it is, so yeah I think they’ll definitely be some touring and festivals in there. Where about is Open Air?

I think it’s in Germany.

Oh cool! Know the line-up?

Nope! [Laughs]

Nope, me neither! But that sounds cool, lets go there.

It’s a great difference to play there and then your home country.

Yeah we’ve done a lot of UK festivals and it’s not like I don’t enjoy them, I love them. But there is something to be said about them, a new experience of a new festival.

Yeah definitely, new friends and new experiences.

Yeah for sure!

The new album was produced by Ben Allen?

Yes so it was me and Ben Allen in Atlanta, Georgia which was great.

You got to America in the end then!

Yeah, it was 2 months living in Atlanta on my own; it was cool. It was a fun experience, very hot place for a pasty white guy. [Laughs]. It was very hot, so that was great. Loved Ben and I think we’ve done a great job and it’s been mixed by a great guy over here so I just want people to hear it. There’s obviously been 3 tracks off it already so far.

You started off with ‘One of Us’ back in 2015…

That’s coming back around actually, there’s a re-release and a remix and stuff. So ‘One of Us’, ‘Swim’ and ‘Away from Today’ so that’s kind of 3 of 11 tracks I think, and we’ve got one more to go and then the release.

Brilliant. One more single so that means another video?

Yeah god, another video; hopefully not running this time. [Laughs] Hate running.

That was a good effort though!

Oh yeah, I don’t hate running really I just wasn’t prepared for that really. That was like one day off between America and coming onto the European tour so I was really ill. It was like “so you’ve got a video shoot.” and I was like “oh my god!”

I bet you missed that during your transition from the first album to this one, you kind of had a long break in a way?

Yeah I mean it’s been a big break. There has been a lot of hardship really being dropped and losing management and all of that. Going back to square one has been tough mentally, a very tough couple of years but thankfully I managed to pick myself up and Communion I owe a lot of thanks to for picking me up.

You’ve come back stronger, do you think?

I hope so! I just hope it’s going to see the light of day. There was a point last year when I nearly uploaded it for free just to get it out there; it’s driving me mad.

Because you’ve been sitting on it for so long?

A long time, you forget how long you’ve been sitting on it but not in a bad way. You’ve heard it a lot and you just want to get it out there.

You had the single ‘Swim’ come out just before your Village Underground show just down the road, how was that? Sold out show and everything.

It was amazing, it’s an incredible venue and I had tickets to go and see Loyle Carner there and I think he played a few weeks before me so I couldn’t make it, so I thought I’d know what the venue would be like but I didn’t.

First time you’ve been there?

First time I’ve been and I loved it. I think as a venue it is pretty spectacular. It is this almost kind of a German and European kind of venue with the big warehouse brick structure. It’s quite a brutalist venue so I loved it. So yeah ‘Swim’ came out and it had a good reception and I was chuffed that, that one came out as a single. It’s got one of my best mates on it singing, Becky from Stealing Sheep. So it meant a lot to have her on it.

You had a lot of collaborations didn’t you in the first album?

Yeah we had quite a few, this new album is definitely a bit more sheltered in a way, Becky is the only collaborator on it. This album was more me on every track with a few band members pitching in on the first one. This was more a challenge; I think I’m a very competitive person. I’ve come from a very competitive sporting background so when it came to the idea of creating an album its like how far can I push myself? So here’s an idea, I’ll play everything possible. And I’ll compete with myself in a weird way to see if I can do it, you know.

Did you gather new sounds and new ideas that way?

Yeah there was definitely a point when I was recording my drums on the track, I’m not a drummer and I had a drum kit as a kid; but I’m kind of self-taught. I’m not amazing but I know the basics so I was doing takes for my own songs and like sweating in a very hot Atlanta. Then the producers found a way to really push me in quite a clever way, they kind of realized that I was very competitive so on the talk back, if I wasn’t doing well enough it kind of subtly threatened with the idea of that he could find someone else to play it, but in a very nice way. He was like “Dan you’re looking pretty knackered, I’ve got a friend who is a really good drummer and I reckon he’d do a really good job of this.” I was like “no!” and sweating. He got the best takes out of me so it was quite a smart way of doing it really.

How did you feel in the studio with him?

It was great, the studio was beautiful; it was kind of an old railway signalling house.

They’re kind of modernized in the UK now, right?

Yeah kind of, they’re in a weird brick over there and it was hollowed out and built into a big studio; it was great. Basically it was one big live room and that suits me very well. The way that I work is kind of uninterrupted chaos a lot of time, you’ll hit record at the start of the day and take it off at the end and try to make sense of it all.

My nightmare of a studio is when there are individual live rooms where each member would stand in a separate room, so there would be a lot of start and stop. Setting up and re-mic’ing and so when we’re looking for a studio because we’d already found Ben, we’d need to find a place to house all the instruments but have them permanently set up and mic’d. So there was no touching them from day 1. They were all ready to go from day 1; uninterrupted chaos.

I guess that is why it was quite a relatively quick recording process, only 2 months?

Only two months yeah, and maybe a week’s break in the middle. So one month and three weeks if we’re being really picky. [Laughs]

Got any phobias?

Yeah! To tell the truth I have this Emetophobia I think it’s called, I might be wrong, it’s a daft one since the kind of rough couple of years I’ve had; I developed a lot of anxiety and I had a real tough time with having a phobia of actually being sick in public. For some reason that became a very big thing for me, and stopped me from taking public transport for a while and made me very sheltered. I didn’t go out a lot and for some reason I was just very paranoid about embarrassing myself in public and being sick. It’s not quite a funny phobia but I think I’m alright with everything else; no phobia of cows or anything.

What is your fault?

I think being as competitive as I am is both good and bad. Kind of at times can be a fault; I think it’s because you’re so bothered and driven about succeeding so you know taking any pleasure in succeeding or failing and learning from your mistakes and stuff like that. So I think being very competitive sometimes can bring out a bad side but trying to learn to enjoy the small things.

 

 

Dan’s latest single ‘Away from Today’ is out now on Communion, you can watch the video for the single here. Dan is on tour around the UK throughout May 2017, you can get tickets for his upcoming dates at dancroll.com

Words – Stuart Williams

Photography – Dan Wilton

 

FAULT Weekly Playlist: LEVV

LEVV is the electropop duo of Audrey Assad and Seth Jones dedicated to helping music lovers dance through life’s pain by giving voice and rhythm to their own. Together they make pop songs that meld emotional substance with electronic finesse; themes as intimate as the dissolution of Seth’s marriage and Audrey’s escape from a cult are set to a dance beat without sacrificing substance.

Recently the pair shared “Collateral Damage,” the lead single from their forthcoming EP. We had the opportunity ask Seth and Audrey about some of the songs they’re listening to currently that inspire them, including singles from Bon Iver and Agnes Obel. Take a listen below!

Frida Sundemo – Neon


“This is one of the few songs you hear in life that grab you in some unexplainable way and never let you go. There have been a number of LEVV writing sessions that were inspired by this song and other songs of Frida’s. It is the perfect example of how a song can be greater than the sum of its parts. The emotion of chorus melody takes you somewhere familiar you’ve never been.” – Seth

Haux – Caves (Samuraii Remix)


“I love this song because of how simply it accomplishes what it set out to. As a producer, many times you’re tempted by all the tools in your hands. I love tracks like this Caves remix because it reminds me that deliberate production is always better than “noise.” It’s understated but powerful.” – Seth

Banners – Shine A Light


“There’s something about this lyric that continues to draw me back to it. There aren’t any bells and whistles in the track, it’s straight forward euro-dance, but the magic is in the melody and lyric. With Collateral Damage, we really tried to capture powerful emotion in simple ideas. Shine A Light does it to perfection.” – Seth

Among Savages – Start At The Beginning


“Seth and I were both listening to this when we first started writing / recording LEVV songs. The disorienting, daring orchestration and shuffling drums were great inspiration for our first batches of orchestral pop music—it’s elegant and emotive, but not too pretty.” – Audrey

Agnes Obel – Riverside


“Agnes is a big influence on me as a pianist and a lyricist—she evokes so much about the interior journey of life through her visceral descriptions of the physical world and her delicate, yet adventurous piano and vocal work on this song. There’s a really pleasant Scandinavian sensibility to her arrangements—sparse, but lush. This song in particular has haunted me since I first heard it and I’m ok with that!” – Audrey

Bon Iver – Beth/Rest 


“Where do I begin with this song? The Chicago keyboard sounds, the saxophone weaving in and out, the aching melody—this song scratches pretty much all my 80s kid itches, not to mention that it makes me want to climb a mountain at sunset and drink til I cry healing tears! I think it’s safe to say when Bon Iver put that saxophone all over this track like chocolate sauce the rest of us felt permission to finally do the same—we certainly took that liberty with Collateral Damage.” – Audrey

Grey/Bahari – I Miss You 


“Slightly tribal, with a close and emotional vocal, I Miss You is a one-song melancholy party for all your sad dance needs. We like to think we make sad dance music (of which Collateral Damage is only our first example) and there isn’t enough of it in the world, so this track is right up our alley.” – Audrey

Manse, ft. Jantine – Time Of Our Lives 


“Even the saddest dance music nerds (hint: us) would like to let go and have a good time once in a while. This track is effervescent and fun and bubbles over like champagne, with no sad lyrics in sight. We love Jantine’s soft, sweet vocals. I don’t have a big voice so it’s always nice to hear other dance vocalists who have tender voices doing big fun tracks.” – Audrey

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