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The Big Takeover Issue #91

Dave Franklin

Dave has pretty much worn all the creative hats there are to wear. Musician, promoter, (small) record label boss, festival co-organiser, journalist, reviewer, publicist and everything in between. He now divides his time between writing about music and any number of other subjects from travel to games to social issues. He runs his own new music website and contributes to a number of UK based printed music magazines and a few smaller websites. He has spent the last ten years writing music columns for his regional newspaper though has recently given this up to spend more time with his record collection.

Demi Ramos - Just A Phase ft. Garzi (self-released)

30 January 2023

New York, NY: Pop-rock artist, Actor, Elite model, popular podcast host, and all-around shero Demi Ramos has already dropped the song of the summer with the infectious indie banger “Just a Phase.”

Johnny Moezzi - Funky Papu (self-released)

28 January 2023

Born in Tehran, Iran to a Persian Father and an Italian Mother his family fled when Moezzi was four years old, he grew up in Salinas, CA, and attended college in Washington DC. His lifelong love affair with music was sparked by sneaking into a BB King performance as a kid and mentoring by a member of Richie Valens’ family from the Backyard Blues Band. It’s a cultural and creative journey that is reflected in the music of his latest release, Funky Papu.

Clay Joule - Realm (Truwan Studio)

20 January 2023

Clay Joule is back with a new single, Realm, again blending great music with a poignant and timely message.

Friends In Noise - Black Market Karma (Flower Power Records)

15 January 2023

London psychedelic pop artist Black Market Karma announces their upcoming tour with The Black Angels as they gear up for the band’s eleventh full-length album Friends In Noise, an international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, to be released via London boutique label Flower Power Records.

ON - ON (Indiestructable Records)

11 January 2023

College rock / power trio ON have released their self-titled ON album, via Indiestructable Records, which ON guitarist Steve Fall says is “a document of friendship navigating explores in pain, and hope. Looking at the world with a collaborative effort to document what we see, witness and feel through songwriting and chemistry as a band.”

The Yets - The Yets (EP) (Royal Terns Records)

11 January 2023

What better way to announce the new year than with a letter? South Carolina -based alternative pop duo The Yets are doing just that with their new video for “Letter To A Boy”. This is the latest offering from their self-titled EP, a six-track debut offering indie pop sensation and sonic temptation with a fresh but seemingly familiar adult alternative vibe.

Love In Time of Apocalypse: Paris Westburn reveals all

3 January 2023

Having made a more permanent home for himself in France and with a Magnum Opus in the works, it seemed the perfect time to sit down with Paris Westburn and discuss the musical journey that brought him to where he is today, his recent musical creations and what the future holds.

Rob Munk - Phased Out (Magic Door Label)

30 December 2022

American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his latest album Phased Out which comes 20 years after initially leaving the music scene. Alas, music takes on its own life, pushing Rob back into its realm with better and more personal songs than ever before. During the pandemic, Munk recorded this album with actor-writer-artist Daniel London (Old Joy, Minority Report, Manhattan) and Tinsel drummer Joe Ventura.

The Pull of Autumn - Beautiful Broken World (R.B.M. Records)

29 December 2022

Art rock collective The Pull of Autumn presents their fourth album Beautiful Broken World, an ambitious 15-track undertaking that began in early 2020.

This record involves many iconic artists, including Philip Parfitt of The Perfect Disaster, Stuart Moxham of Rough Trade post-punk band Young Marble Giants, Luke Skyscraper James of I.R.S. recording artist FASHION and John Neff, who has contributed to multiple David Lynch films and is also a member of David Lynch’s Blubob.

Black Market Karma (with Rauri Meehan) - Aping Flair (Flower Power Records)

21 December 2022

UK artist Black Market Karma and Ruari Meehan (Belakiss, Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe) present “Aping Flair”, the second single from the band’s eleventh full-length album Friends In Noise. An international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity, the record will be released in mid-January via London boutique label Flower Power Records.

Pennies by the Pound - The End Times (Lilith Love)

20 December 2022

Finnish indie outfit Pennies By The Pound are back with their new invigorating single “The End Times”, the second single from their upcoming concept album Nothingside, which is anticipated for release in early 2023 via the Lilith label.

Jessie Kilguss - Wuthering Heights (self-released)

19 December 2022

NYC-based indie-pop / folk artist Jessie Kilguss presents a gentle and sanguine acoustic rendition of “Wuthering Heights”, first made famous by Kate Bush. Engineered, produced, mixed and mastered by Charlie Nieland (Debbie Harry, Rufus Wainwright, Blondie, Scissor Sisters) at Saturation Point Studios in Brooklyn, this stripped-down features only guitar, vocals, harmonium and glockenspiel.

The Bellwether Syndicate - Beacons (Sett Records / Nexilis Records)

14 December 2022

Chicago-based alternative post-punk outfit The Bellwether Syndicate presents “Beacons”, the second single from the band’s Vestige & Vigil album, scheduled for release in April 2023 via Nexilis Records / Schubert Music Europe and Sett Records in North America. The single debuted at #4 in the DAC/German Alternative Charts.

Deviation, continuity & keeping it DIY: A conversation with Frenchy and the Punk

12 December 2022

NYC-based postpunk duo Frenchy and the Punk recently released their seventh album Zen Ghost via EA Recordings, their shadowy sound taking an even darker turn towards the pair’s previously unexplored personal planes and interpretations of the insanity of our increasingly tumultuous age. Dark times make for dark songs.

Frenchy and the Punk is vocalist, percussionist and lyricist Samantha Stephenson and guitarist-composer Scott Helland, who was co-founder and bassist of Outpatients and also Deep Wound (along with Dinosaur Jr. founders J Mascis and Lou Barlow). Influenced by The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Blondie, Concrete Blonde and The B52’s, the duo thrive in their trademark blend of post-punk and dark folk music.

Immigration, liberation & collaboration: inside the mind of musical maverick Dmitry Wild

10 December 2022

New York -based garage rock purveyor Dmitry Wild recently released his Electric Souls album, loaded with 11 tracks showcasing his trademark blend of 70’s vintage rock, garage rock and post-punk ethos. Truly passionate about the craft of songwriting, Dmitry Wild used the downtime of the great pandemic to complete the final writing for this solo album and gradually recording this material. Some earlier material is also included, dating back to when he was living in California.

On this album, Wild collaborated with Strange House Media, their main engineer, Byron Frayne mixing most of the songs included here, as well as mastering the full album

Pre-album, Post-Pandemic, new romantic musings with Candy Coffins

10 December 2022

South Carolina -based Candy Coffins recently released their album Once Do It With Feeling, a 10-track collection considered to be their best work to date, as well as the new video for “Tangled Up In Teacups”, a superb single showcasing the third act crescendo of a relationship in a tailspin, produced and directed by The Pierson Collective. With Cure -esque textures and melody, as well as thematic elements and the visceral delivery of The Afghan Whigs, this record showcases solid songwriting, an approach and delivery that is confident and cohesive, as well as emotional and sonic saturation.

Let’s get to know vocalist, guitarist and songwriter Jame Lathren, who formed Candy Coffins in 2018 in Columbia, South Carolina.

Bad Mary - A Very Bad Christmas (self-released)

8 December 2022

Tired of the usual Christmas tunes played the normal way? Bad Mary has the answer and A Very Bad Christmas takes a collection of seasonal sounds, turns them on their head, weaponises them and breathes new life into the holiday sound. Not for the faint-hearted.

Faith Marie - Rock Bottom (UUin, Inc.)

3 December 2022

LA-based alt-pop songstress Faith Marie presents her new single “Rock Bottom”, the lead single from her forthcoming EP, titled More Than I Am, which is slated for release in early 2023. Her two-year hibernation is over following a series of lockdowns and other setbacks, this 3-track release taking a year to complete from beginning to end.

SICKY - Garbage Town (self-released)

3 December 2022

British alternative artist SICKY presents his thickly layered sophomore album Garbage Town, a 12-track collection that follows three singles – the title track “Garbage Town”, “The Bridge”, and the latest “A Bite Without A Mark”. SICKY is the solo project of Mick Butler, his brand of melodic Britpop-infused indie rock spells good news for fans of Beck, Supergrass and early Blur. Originally from the Black Country region of England, he is now based in Shropshire.

A musical ablution via ‘Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash’: An interview with Jim Biggs

3 December 2022

Seattle-based psychedelic rock outfit Black Nite Crash recently released their album Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash via the Neon Sigh label, mixed by longtime collaborator Matt Brown (Trespassers William) and mastered by Adam Straney. Formed twenty years ago, Black Nite Crash has involved more than 30 members over the years, surrounding Jim Biggs, the last remaining original member. The band’s fifth full length in that time, this collection presents the most diverse set of songs the band has ever released, this album combines their trademark fuzzed out guitars with some newer flavours,

The Persian Leaps: back stories and a closer look at Machines for Living

30 November 2022

A name you are likely familiar with (and hopefully you also have the fortune of knowing their music) is The Persian Leaps. Formed by Drew Forsbert in the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul in 2012, the band’s members have come and gone with Forsberg keeping the helm. Back with their trademark power pop / indie rock sound, the Leaps’ new Machines for Living EP is a stellar 5-track offering of 90s college rock-inspired compositions, their distinct sound built on a magnetic alternative rock foundation.

A musical journey from Dublin to NYC: Introducing Ronan Conroy

30 November 2022

Get to know Brooklyn-based Dubliner Ronan Conroy, who just released the album The Slow Death of the LoveMyth. In development since 2013, this work reveals Conroy’s post-punk alter-ego, soaked in dark pop and dream wave richness, while drawing on ethereal and goth rock classics.

Chris Connelly - Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico (Shipwrecked Industries / Easy Action)

28 November 2022

Alternative music legend Chris Connelly presents his new album Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico, a colossal 24-track offering released by Shipwrecked Industries in the USA and Easy Action in the UK, paying tribute to Nico – the iconic muse of The Velvet Underground and one of the most unique, tragic and misunderstood female artists in the history of music.

The Burnt Pines - World Music in the truest sense

26 November 2022

As they work towards their second album via a series of excellent singles, I sat down with The Burnt Pines, a truly international band, to find out about their past, make music when separated by an ocean and what the future holds.

Rob Munk - Youth (Magic Door Label)

25 November 2022

American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his new Phased Out album, 20 years after initially leaving the music scene. Alas, music takes on its own life, pushing Rob back into its realm with better and more personal songs than ever before. During the pandemic, he recorded this album with his good friend, actor-writer-artist Daniel London (Old Joy, Minority Report, Manhattan) and Tinsel drummer and writer-director Joe Ventura.

The Pull of Autumn & Once Grace Forever - Live Today (RBM Records)

24 November 2022

Art rock collective The Pull of Autumn presents their new single “Live Today”, a joint collaboration with Tokyo dreamgaze band Once Grace Forever. with a kaleidoscopic video created by Rosie Varela of acclaimed shoegaze band EEP.

A Cloud of Ravens - Nature of Artifice (Nexilis Records)

23 November 2022

NYC-based alternative rock / post-punk duo A Cloud of Ravens present their new single “Nature of Artifice”. Following lead track “The Blackest Mantra”, this is the second taste of their third full-length album Lost Hymns, to be released in early 2023 via Berlin-based Nexilis Records, a division of Schubert Music Europe.

Gramercy Arms - Yesterday's Girl (Magic Door Recordings)

22 November 2022

NYC-based indie rock / powerpop outfit Gramercy Arms presents their Americana-tinged single “Yesterday’s Girl”, a bittersweet remembrance of love lost and friendship regained. This is the first taste of their Deleted Scene album, scheduled for release via the Magic Door Record Label in early 2023,

A Shoreline Dream on new album, Barnum, Ulrich Schnauss and Chapterhouse

21 November 2022

Long-running genre-bending alternative rockers A Shoreline Dream has released their new Loveblind album via Latenight Weeknight Records. This sixth full-length record dives into recollections and past desires while looking forward in a wash of soundwaves pointing towards a blinding future.

Their first release since the Covid pandemic began, here we have 40 minutes of goth-laced progressive soundscapes. Produced by Ryan Policky and recorded over 10 months in the Barnum suburb of Denver, Colorado, this album features immense synth layers, the band’s signature guitar and symphonic vocals.

I had the opportunity to speak to A Shoreline Dream mastermind Ryan Policky.

Frenchy and the Punk - Zen Ghost (EA Recordings)

17 November 2022

Frenchy and the Punk is vocalist, percussionist and lyricist Samantha Stephenson and guitarist-composer Scott Helland, who was co-founder and bassist of Outpatients and also Deep Wound (along with Dinosaur Jr. founders J Mascis and Lou Barlow). Influenced by The Cure, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Blondie, Concrete Blonde and The B52’s, the duo thrive in their trademark blend of post-punk and dark folk music.

Dispel - Inferno (self-released)

16 November 2022

Dark electro-goth collective Dispel presents their sophomore release Inferno. A concept album based on Dante’s literary masterpiece, it features a song for each layer of sin existing in the infernal realm. In this album, Dispel follows Dante and his guide Virgil down each layer of the Nine Hells, dedicating a song to each level of mortal sin. Sprinkled with diabolical personalities from ancient mythology and fantasy literature, this undertaking took two years to complete.

Dmitry Wild - Electric Souls (self-released)

15 November 2022

New York-based garage rock purveyor Dmitry Wild has released his Electric Souls album, bringing us 11 tracks that showcase his trademark blend of 70’s vintage rock, garage rock and post-punk ethos.

Elk City - Above The Water (Magic Door Record Label)

15 November 2022

Art pop band Elk City has released their new album Above the Water. A new chapter in the Montclair, New Jersey band’s evolutionary story, this album is vibrant, raw-edged and bold, showcasing a new guitar-rich lineup featuring members of Versus, Luna and the Psychedelic Furs side-project Feed.

Black Nite Crash - Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash (Neon Sigh)

14 November 2022

Seattle-based psychedelic rock outfit Black Nite Crash present their new album Washed in the Sound with Black Nite Crash, released via American boutique label Neon Sigh, which was mixed by longtime collaborator Matt Brown (Trespassers William) and mastered by Adam Straney.

Candy Coffins - Once Do It With Feeling (self-released)

10 November 2022

Post-punk new romantics Candy Coffins present their new album Once Do It With Feeling, a loaded 10-track collection that arrives two years after their Somehow Misplaced EP. Showcasing solid songwriting, and relating the themes addressed both confidently and cohesively, this album is emotionally and sonically saturated. Their music boasts Cure*-esque textures and melody, as well as the thematic elements and visceral delivery of *The Afghan Whigs.

Ronan Conroy - The Slow Death of the Lovemyth (self-released)

9 November 2022

Brooklyn-based Dubliner Ronan Conroy is gearing up to release his new album The Slow Death of the LoveMyth. Since 2013, Conroy has immersed himself in the ‘Lovemyth’ project, this work culminating in this collection, influenced both by the 80s/90s goth bands he grew up listening to and ethereal darkwave bands he would be introduced to later on.

Vernons Future - Aquaplaning (VF Records)

9 November 2022

UK indie rock veterans Vernons Future present their Aquaplaning album following the lead track “Call To Arms”, a plea to save the planet from a climate emergency by joining together in our efforts.

The Ember Glows - Where Spirits Play (self-released)

8 November 2022

Montreal-based indie rock / post-punk quartet The Ember Glows has released their new EP Where Spirits Play, a 4-track offering recorded at Closet Studios in Montreal with elements of Simple Minds, The Cult, Echo and the Bunnymen, early U2, Nick Cave and The Mission at the fore.

Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie, and Makaris - Tam Lin (Long Echo Music)

7 November 2022

The harmonious blend of Elliot Cole, Fiona Gillespie, and the Makaris ensemble present a fascinating audio-visual trip for the senses in “Tam Lin”, a Celtic-Baroque folktale rock opera set on All Hallow’s Eve. Produced by Kevin Eikenburg and Four Ten Media, this period video was filmed at St. Mary’s on Grand in NYC.

Black Market Karma and Tess Parks - The Sky Was All Diseased (Flower Power Records)

7 November 2022

UK-based Black Market Karma and iconic vocalist Tess Parks present “The Sky Was All Diseased”, an international collaboration rooted in friendship and spontaneity. This is the first taste of the band’s eleventh full-length album Friends In Noise, which will be released in mid-January via London boutique label Flower Power Records.

Nearly Dead but very much alive and kicking. A catch up with Steven Tobi.

7 November 2022

It’s been a while since I spoke to The Nearly Deads, so with a run of four singles lined up and an album on the horizon, I sat down with Steven Tobi to catch up with everything that had been going on it their world.

Beauty in Chaos - Bloodletting (The Vampire Song) (33.3 Music Collective)

4 November 2022

LA-based alternative rock collective Beauty In Chaos presents their ‘Halloween Surprise’’ single – “Bloodletting”. This is a dark, spooky New Orleans-infused rendition of the Concrete Blonde track, featuring BIC vocalists Whitney Tai, Kat Leon and Tish Ciravolo in a nod to the original song.

The Pull of Autumn - Outlaw Empire (RBM Records)

4 November 2022

Art rock collective The Pull of Autumn presents their new single ‘Outlaw Empire’ featuring Mark Stewart, founding member of the legendary UK band The Pop Group, and remixed by the esteemed Adrian Sherwood.

A Short Conversation with Teni Rane

4 November 2022

With a run of seasonal singles underway and a new album planned, it felt like the perfect time o sit down with Teni Rane and find out about her music, background and the fascinating journey which has got her to where she is today.

The Bellwether Syndicate - Dystopian Mirror (Sett Records)

2 November 2022

Chicago-based dark alternative post-punk outfit The Bellwether Syndicate presents the single “Dystopian Mirror’” a powerful dark and lush taster of the band’s Vestige & Vigil album, which is scheduled for release in the first half of 2023 via Sett Records and Nexilis Records, a division of Schubert Music Europe.

Faith Marie - NVM (Remix) (UUin, Inc.)

2 November 2022

LA-based alt-pop artist Faith Marie presents her new single “NVM (Remix)”, an infectious downtempo song about depression and the author’s personal struggles to move forward.

The Burnt Pines - Don't Look Down (CEN/The Orchard)

2 November 2022

Folk-Pop trio The Burnt Pines, comprised of singer and lyricist, Kris Skovmand, instrumentalist and arranger Aaron Flanders on guitar and banjo, and piano, keyboard player and arranger Miguel Sá Pessoa, have announced the release of Don’t Look Down, their affecting sophomore album, via CEN/The Orchard.

The Nearly Deads - Relentless (self-released)

2 November 2022

“Relentless” marks the first of four cuts to be released before the LP arrives next spring. While the group writes collaboratively, each of the forthcoming singles allows each individual band member to highlight their own style and influences within the broader context.

Rob Munk - Amazon (Magic Door Label)

1 November 2022

American indie rocker Rob Munk presents his new single “Amazon”, an upbeat environmentally-conscious banger that previews his Phased Out LP. It will be released on November 18 via New Jersey’s new Magic Door Label, founded by Guided by Voices drummer Kevin March, together with producer Ray Ketchem and artist Renée LoBue.

Chris Connelly - Ripcord, Ripcord (Shipwrecked Industries / Easy Action)

1 November 2022

Alternative music legend Chris Connelly presents “Ripcord, Ripcord”, the second single from his forthcoming album Eulogy to Christa: A Tribute to the Music & Mystique of Nico. Written by Connelly, this song was inspired by a little known detail about Nico’s life – her rape by a military offering while she was a teenager holding a bureaucratic position for the U.S. Army. This traumatic incident would inform the rest of her already war-torn life.