Six years into Dutch Uncles’ flourishing career, the idiosyncratic art-popologists return with new album Big Balloon which sees them further distilling and refining their signature sound, marrying rock bombast with classical arrangements, acoustic instrumentation with smart synthetic pop.
Big Balloon is Dutch Uncles’ most direct record to date, the sound of a wildly witty band well and truly finding their stride, whilst lyrically tackling the growing pains of being twentysomething in a generic Northern suburbia.
With Big Balloon, Dutch Uncles continue their fascinating, wonky ascent which has seen them play enormodomes with emo punk rock behemoths and self-confessed Dutch Uncles acolytes Paramore, supporting and being supported by likeminded left-field pop adventurers Wild Beasts, Outfit, Field Music, and Everything Everything, have a burger named after them by one of Manchester’s premiere eateries and prefigure Future Islands’ dance moves meme in their video for 2013 single Flexxin.
Big Balloon was recorded with long term collaborator Brendan Williams at Manchester’s old Granada studios; infamous for being the place that Sex Pistols and Joy Division made their TV debuts. The band were meticulous in tweaking their synth sounds so they’d fit seamlessly with the harp, xylophone, marimba, string and woodwind sounds that populate the record. Sources of inspiration for the record included The Blue Nile, Kate Bush’s third album, Never For Ever, Igor Stravinsky, Japan and lyrically John Cooper Clarke, Sparks, Ian Dury and Prefab Sprouts’ album From Langley Park to Memphis.
The krautophonic blizzard-wave duo of Andrew Hodson & Steve Jefferis from Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
For their new recording, the band have sharpened up the elements of their sound for a set of crisp, propulsive and melodically rich songs, and for the first time on selected songs have collaborated with some of their favourite vocalists: Peter Brewis of Field Music, Sarah Cracknell of Saint Etienne, Devon Sproule, and Mia la Metta of Beards.
Giampaolo Speziale and Federica Caiozzo met in early 2016 and, in what Federica describes as a "moment of surrender," decided to start making music together on a road trip through Austria, Germany and Poland. The duo gathered thirty improvised musical ideas and spent eight days recording with their friend and drummer Alberto Paone in a Roman studio.
Last year, they decided to break from their previous musical incarnations and moved from Rome to London, taking with them a hard drive of songs, a battered suitcase and vinyl copies of Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left and Stevie Wonder's Hotter Than July.
ANDY BACKHOUSE DJ
If it’s eclecticism you crave, then Andy Backhouse is your man. He has made it his mission to uncover the weird and the wonderful produced across the world, from French-language New Wave to Norwegian Technicolor pop and back again. From winning the ‘SRA Selector’ and presenting shows on Mexico City’s Ibero 90.9 FM, to his ‘Backhouse to the Future’ showcases at The Social, we can’t wait to see what the young DJ has up his sleeve for ‘Lost Christmas’.