9 Notts Albums To Add To Your Playlist

Words: LeftLion
Friday 23 March 2018
reading time: min, words

Fill your tabs with some proper Notts glory...

Too Much TV
EP (Columbia Records)

Eighteen months ago, the often-poisoned chalice of Nottingham’s Next Big Thing was handed to Mansfield singer-songwriter Georgie. After a support slot on Jake Bugg’s intimate UK tour, she flew out to Virginia to work with legendary producer, Matthew E White, on her debut single Company of Thieves. While the single has hints of the late Amy Winehouse, this new EP is a more muscular affair. The chorus of lead single Too Much TV shifts pace in an unexpected way, and even manages to pull off an odd refrain where the Mansfield troubadour uses the third person to sing about herself. It’s a hugely catchy, clever and mature piece of songwriting. Be The Fire has hints of Amy Macdonald and a hook that you’ll be singing along to by the end. But it’s the Matthew E White-produced Wild Cat which is arguably the best song. Its fuzzy, scuzzy guitar allows the singer to go full-on Stevie Nicks, an approach which suits her down to the ground, but what’s really apparent is the quality of the songwriting. These are three impressively constructed tracks, all of which suit Georgie’s lush and powerful vocals. Powered by thumping bass and drums, this EP is a collection of foot-stomping anthems, and when she heads back out on the road with Jake Bugg this spring, I can imagine live audiences lapping it up. It’s been a long wait for new material but on the evidence of this new EP, it’s certainly been worth it. Nick Parkhouse

Cecille Grey
Old Love
EP (Self-released)

A cursory glance through YouTube will tell you that some of these songs have been in the band’s live set for a while; there’s a version of Sparrows from 2012, while Malt Sweetness has been knocking around since at least 2014. But the long gestation period has worked to benefit the songs, the band obviously using the time to fine-tune, and in places, beef-up, their sound. Malt Sweetness is all breathlessly pulsating vocals and angular guitars tangling and tumbling over an anxious rhythm, it’s fair to say that it’s a thrilling opener. Elsewhere, we’re in low blood sugar minor key territory; the lush acoustic yearning of Flock of Sparrows, and the indie folk of Tall White Bones with its rush of electric guitars, while the title track’s stately delivery captures Cecille Grey’s elegant performance style. The time the band have spent writing and creating makes this EP a richer, sweeter and more rewarding listen. Paul Klotschkow


Charlotte Evans
The Apart
EP (Self-released)

Taking inspiration from folk and pop artists, Charlotte Evans is channeling Birdy, Jake Bugg and James Bay in her debut EP. The songs have a raw-cut acoustic vibe, focusing heavily on guitar and vocals. The four-track release, featuring songs Sinking Ships, Believe in You, Apart and Stand In My Way, is full of emotion. Varying in tempo, the title track is upbeat and energetic whereas others are more obviously bittersweet, playing soft notes paired with melancholic lyrics. Evans’ music looks at themes of love and relationships, showing the listener a perspective of hopeful sadness through lyrics like “I don’t know whether I believe in love but I believe in you” and “Do you think about it half as much as I do?” The female vocals, and the EP overall, are light, sweet, optimistic and worth a listen. Elizabeth O’Riordan

Distant Blue
Holy Water EP
EP (Self-released)

Yet another pop-punk release packed with energy has hit the scene in the form of Distant Blue's four-piece EP, Holy Water. It’s clear from the start that these guys have some serious talent when it comes to music that’ll get you up and moving. Grow Up Slowly kicks things off with a loud, thundering display of what rapid drums and an excellently played electric guitar backup can add to a song. Their second track Grebo backs it up with more of the same, before album closer Red, White & Blue carries it home. The Long Eaton-born lads have mixed it up for their third song with a way slower number that really shows off vocalist Ed Binding. All in all, this is well put together with some serious mileage in the pop-punk world. It's safe to say that I'm certainly looking forward to more Distant Blue music in the future. Alex Keene

EP (Self-released)

The debut EP from Hellebore is a bit of a corker. Title track, Monster, is a stoner-rock trudge through the grunge-era gone by; layering reverbing riffs with some proper pure female vocals. Outside turns the tempo up a notch with a driving rhythm and somewhat off-beat guitar riff that’s a little unsettling. We’re pulled back from the brink with some sultry vocals, and the call to take vocalist Chez outside. What for? We don’t know. The track ends abruptly after one minute forty seconds, landing in So Open which don’t half hit you where it hurts. It’s a biting lament about giving all you have and leaving nothing for yourself, with Chez jumping so swiftly between intervals in the chorus it almost sounds like she’s wailing, albeit remarkably in tune. This collection is a solid first release. Lucy Manning

The Hip Priests
No Time (Like Right Now)
EP (Cracking Stuff Records)

The first side of this limited 12” – also available in the not-so-limited digital format – opens with No Time (Like Right Now); a defiant statement of intent that proves that after twelve years of noise and flamboyant fuzz, gnarly punks The Hip Priests show no signs of slowing down. This is ten minutes of adrenalin-fuelled rock ‘n’ roll, with southern-fried horns injecting a touch of soul, and featuring enough dips and turns to disorientate the most experienced fighter pilot. Think Rocket From The Crypt guzzling gasoline with MC5; it’s punk channelling classic rock ‘n’ roll with a stick of dynamite shoved where the sun refuses to shine. On the flipside, both I’m Too Good and She’s a Queen are a return to the bombastic Hip Priests template; buzzsaw guitars and hollered vocals that come out the traps at 1000 mph. All My Rowdy Friends Are Dead, originally by The Quadrajets, sees out the EP in typically frantic fashion. Paul Klotschkow

EP (Self-released)

The debut offering from Jetlines is a musical rendition of an open teenage diary. The piano is the backbone of each track, with Beautiful Stranger backed up by some dead atmospheric synths and a punchy electronic drum beat on Fly Away, but the collection is driven by Jess Matthews soaring vocals. It’s got to be said, she’s got a cracking set of pipes on her, and a lovely tone to her voice. If I was going to be brutal – which I’m gonna do – I’d say there’s room for her to lose the affected American accent she’s adopted. In my humble opinion, there’d be nothing lovelier than hearing our Jess ask her apparently unfaithful lover on Beautiful Stranger “Tell me about the time you decided that you didn’t love me quite as much as I would have liked” with a distinct Notts twang biting up the crystal clear vocals. Just a suggestion. Lucy Manning

Le Terme
EP (Self-released)

Fans of the Mouldy Peaches; you’ve waited a lifetime for a fella like Le Terme. The youngster – originally from Nottingham but studying in Cambridge, by the sounds of things – has mastered the art of literal lyricism that’s so blunt it’s poetic, all of which he’s set atop some crackingly simple, droning guitar chords. in your mum’s car is a lyrical highlight, detailing that unshakeable, unsettled feeling you get during times of change that’s only made worse by being a grown up, entirely responsible for your own emotions: “I wanna feel like a safe fifteen-year-old kid in your mum’s car”. With 31 releases on Bandcamp, all with titles ranging from a bit overwhelmed to feeling lonely/confused/lost, it’d be great if anyone who knows Le Terme could drop us a line. Just to let us know he’s okay... Lucy Manning

Bozo Boyz
Album (Self-released)

VVV’s combination of pedigree lyricism and grin-inducing humour makes this a singular offering to the UK scene, perfectly encapsulating rap in the internet age. Cappo’s cask-aged voice delivers signature serene flows and intricate rhyme schemes; as youthful and hungry as ever, he documents the peaks and troughs of an artistic career spanning two decades with composed finesse. Vandal Savage presents gaudy symbolism with a somewhat surly delivery. His solo flight, Collage, paints a picture of his upbringing and personal growth, but he goes one better on Junior’s Birthday, his best verse on the LP. Juga-Naut’s vivid imagery, wordplay and flow forge boisterous bars. An evident student of the culture, Jugz shines brightest on Empty with a jaw-dropping verse that merits several reloads. Carpathian producer Hellawaq Beats journeys between eighties-flavour trap and a modern approach to soul chops, with a dusting of glam-rock guitar and arcade-style 8bit synths. Ashwin Balu

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