Nashville based rock band The Criticals was formed last year, 2018. by Parker Forbes and Cole Shugart. The duo take their influence from the Rolling Stones, The Strokes and The Libertines, and their music therefore combines vintage sensibilities with a modern sound. Latest single, ‘Treat Ya Better’, is an excellent example of this.
We first came across Edward Cantu with his song ‘Coalesce’, a glorious track that feels to us a bit like a laid back version of Jackson Browne’s ‘Late For The Sky’, and sonically, with touches of Bon Iver’s ‘Holocene’, and The War On Drugs’ ‘Knocked Down’. Looking deeper, Edward has a lot more music behind him, and an interesting backstory, so we asked him six (or more) quick questions.
According to Wikipedia, “Populuxe” was a consumer culture and aesthetic in the USA in the 1950s and 1960s, with the term being a combination of “popular” and “luxury”. It’s a particularly apt name for the modern-art trio from Brooklyn, New York, who constantly find ways to reinvent themselves, with each new release. Their latest album, ‘Lumiere’, released last year, is a lush, aesthetically pleasing, mash-up of sounds akin to that of Pink Floyd and David Bowie.
Margaret Stutt found her recording moniker from a children’s book of the same name, written and illustrated by Leo Lionni. The titular character of the book lives in a world where everyone is big, and does wonderful things; Pezzettino however is small; just a little piece (Pezzettino is “piece” in Italian). “I must be a piece of somebody. I must belong to somebody else.” Pezzettino discovers that he belongs to nobody but himself, and finds peace and joy in the realisation.
Earthquake Lights, from New York City, put a different spin on modern rock, with their love of both heavy guitars and softer tones, and inspirations including the likes of Radiohead, Pink Floyd, Beck, and The Who. Their debut album, ‘Distress Signals’, is out early next year and was recorded first at Douglass Recording, Brooklyn, and then Abbey Road Studios, London.
Blair Jollands moved to London 20 years ago from Auckland, New Zealand where he learned to master records before taking that skill to an audio post production studio in Soho. Since then he has completed sound design in film and TV with credits that include ‘Poldark’, ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ and ‘Pride’. He was nominated for an Emmy for his work on ‘Shackleton’ in 2002 and has garnered praise for his songwriting from none other than the late, great David Bowie who described one of Blair’s compositions, ‘Killing Landings’ as “ a great song”.
As well as performing as a solo artist and with various bands, Tom Kay has also worked as a session musician in the studio and on Television. His most notable appearance being on 8 out of 10 cats does countdown on Channel 4 (UK) where he performed a guitar solo. Tom gives us his Essential Weekly Playist