Keeping It Real (ft. Archmotors, Cosmic Will and more)

As we move into another month of 2020, it seems that time is spiralling out of control and moving far too quickly. Sometimes we need to take a moment, recollect our thoughts and listen to some good music. In this first Keeping It Real feature of August 2020, we have bands like Archmotors, Bukky Sky, Cosmic Will and Spiders Eat Vinyl to keep us company and make things more manageable.


ARCHMOTORS – ‘THE SWIMSUIT EDITION’

Coming from the shores of West Ireland, Archmotors is an alternative rock duo comprised of two talented multi-instrumentalists. The goal of these two Irishmen is to create a sound that is characteristically traditional with classic instrumentation, but with a psychedelic synth-based edge. After meeting in Galway in 2005, Sean Lynch and Gary Landers have performed under various clocks with Archmotors being their most recent project. As of 2018, Archmotors has performed at notable Irish venues, such as Mike The Pies in Listowel – yeah, I had to Google ‘Listowel’ as well. The latest addition to their repertoire is the debut LP The Swimsuit Edition.

While the duo maintains a steady soft-rock sound throughout the nine-track record, each track has an individual meaning pointing out each element of living on the west coast of Ireland. It is difficult to choose a favourite track with each being independent, while still complementing others on The Swimsuit Edition. If forced, I would choose ‘Sitcom’. The heavier sound with a leaning toward a chilled Joy Division, and the abrupt ending, make it one of the more intense tracks on the album.

“The Swimsuit Edition is an album about growing up and living on the west coast of Ireland. It is an album saluting the violence and beauty of the sea, and the strange magic of the people living on its shores. It explores the ennui, isolation and atomisation of the digital age, as well as the inexorable march of technology on the countryside and its people.” – Archmotors on The Swimsuit Edition



SPIDERS EAT VINYL – ‘IRIS FLARE’

Hailing from Sheffield, Spiders Eat Vinyl began as a project between two childhood friends Jonny Freeman and Jack Moxley. At the end of 2018, Fran Hall joined the group making Spiders Eat Vinyl a female-fronted dream-pop trio. Influenced greatly by Sheffield synth-pop icons Human League, New Order and Pulp, Spiders Eat Vinyl compose songs about urban alienation, wanderlust, dissatisfaction, paranoia and all those other human emotions we feel on a daily basis. The latest addition to their repertoire, and actually the first release of 2020, is the pop single ‘Iris Flare’.

As a means of modern expression, ‘Iris Flare’ is a deconstruction of human cruelty and our capacity for destruction told through jangling guitars and warm vocals. I find it appealing that the track is so emotionally and lyrically severe, but Hall’s vocals provide a type of comfort bubble for the listener. This is the first of their 2020 releases and I’m intrigued to see what’s next.

“It’s a song about our species regressing to its worst instincts even while we’re inundated with new technology and trying to preserver some humanity in the face of this.” – Spiders Eat Vinyl on ‘Iris Flare’



THE ANORAK BAND – ‘Y GATH FOR/ THE STINGRAY

Built-up from the debris of multi-instrumentalist Sam Roberts’ seven-piece instrumentation surf band, The Anorak Band offers a unique sound reminiscent of the 1960’s surf-rock era. With a soft, sensual yet still highly robust style, Sam Roberts, James Ifan and Jamie Williams lay tribute to the pop culture of yesteryear with some modern surf-pop vibes. Without words, the trio takes you on a musical journey that’s a trip from beginning to end. The debut double-side single ‘Y Gath For/ The Stingray’ is the latest addition to their portfolio.

A quick note on the single that we can’t pronounce because it’s actually in Welsh: all proceeds from ‘Y Gath For/ The Stingray’ are sent to the food charity Trussell Trust. Showing their skill behind the music and their heart when sharing music, The Anorak Band help make everyone’s day somewhat better.

“I believe these songs are feel-good songs, so it made sense to use them to do good too.” – Sam Roberts on ‘Y Gath For/The Stingray’



THE THING WITH FEATHERS – ‘MIDWEST DAYDREAMS’

Emily Dickinson once wrote that “hope is the thing with feathers” – it was this phrase that contributed not only to The Thing With Feathers’ name but also acting as the band’s credo. Founded in Nashville, Tennessee approximately three years ago (give or take), frontman David Welcsh connected with bassist Sean Carroll, guitarist Alex Hendricks and drummer Chris Rousell. It is true that the earlier incarnations of the band were as a cover band in the fraternity show circuit; however, that was not the ultimate destination but only part of the journey.

Forming an extraordinary sound by combining rock, dance and pop, The Thing With Feathers have a portfolio of unforgettable alt-rock tracks. The most recent addition to their repertoire is ‘Midwest Daydreams’. Dealing with issues of frustration and indecisiveness in relationships, this The 1975 meets Foo Fighters single is a true summer banger and instant hit.



FLY THE NEST – ‘BORROWED TIME’

Born and bred in Dublin, Ireland, Fly The Nest is the one-man pop-rock project of Stephen Cooper. While Cooper showed an interest in music from a young age performing in different bands, he began performing under the moniker Fly The Nest in 2019.

Encompassing his time on the pub circuit in Scandinavia, as well as writing music for film, Cooper defines his sound as “cinematic rock”. Now alternating between Denmark and Ireland, Cooper has gained further experience in the music scene and built on this sound as Fly The Nest. The latest addition to his repertoire is the single ‘Borrowed Time’. A track looking at life and the limited time one has on this planet, appreciating what you have and embracing all possible opportunities. Warm and effortless vocals are placed over powerful instrumentation to produce an anthemic single.

“The song is a journey through someone’s life and finding their purpose. It’s about giving everything you have while you are on this earth and appreciating what you have. The climax of the song brings listeners to the end of a life span realising that your time is running out, but you have left your mark on the world knowing that nothing is guaranteed.” – Fly The Nest on ‘Borrowed Time’



COSMIC WILL – ‘NICHE’

Currently based in Nottingham, England, Cosmic Will is the stage name for independent multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter Will Peters. Peters showed an interest in music from an early recording alt-rock demos beginning in the sixth form and throughout four years at university. Taking a two-year hiatus from solo releases, predominantly to discover the elusive meaning of life and own the Nottingham music scene with Good Hustles, he decided in 2019 to begin working toward a full-length album using the experience (and equipment) gained.

Combining his skill and interest in various genres, Cosmic Will has a plethora of experimental tracks ranging from Nirvana to Grimes, Tame Impala to Bring Me The Horizon. Addressing issues such as anxiety and addiction, Peters uses music as a catharsis to communicate his emotions and build a narrative in every single song. Niche is the DIY-produced debut album from Cosmic Will.

“Niche is the embodiment of five years worth of lofi demos repackaged as an interstellar trip experienced by your everyday millennial sadboi.” – Cosmic Will on Niche.



BUKKY SKY – ‘IN LOVE WITH LIFE’

Born and bred in Bradford, but now based in London, Bukky Sky is a storyteller using music as his mode of expression. Having experienced generalised anxiety in his youth, this law graduate uses songwriting as a means of sharing beauty, strength and hope amidst the challenges of life. The most recent release from Bukky Sky is the spiritual pop track ‘In Love With Life’.

One of the many tracks to be written and produced during lockdown, ‘In Love With Life’ is a message of encouragement and hope for people when they are feeling isolated and confused. Dedicated to his sister, it is a homage to light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. Verging on the edge of blues and RnB, ‘In Love With Life’ is a sentimental contemporary pop track with a heartwarming melody and lyrics.

“‘In Love With Life’ is a self-produced song that came out of lockdown. Dedicated to my sister, it’s encouragement for when times get lonely, energies scare and hope is small.” – Bukky Sky on ‘In Love With Life’



SEAN JEFFERY – ‘CHEMISTRY EP’

Influenced greatly by Travis, Rush, Muse and Peter Gabriel, Sean Jeffery is a veteran rock musician who began making music with a Yamaha synth in the 1980s. Writing songs from his teenage years onwards, Jeffery has performed with notable artists like The Moody Blues and appeared live on Kerrang! Radio. After all of these years, the multi-instrumentalist singer/songwriter is releasing his solo EP Chemistry.

Creating music that both intrigues and inspires is Sean Jeffery’s overall goal and Chemistry EP is another step toward captivating listeners. All songs in this seven-track EP showcase lyrics and melodies that will massage your auditory canals and embed themselves in your brain. Anthemic, dynamic and hypnotising, Jeffery is making his solo project one that is not to be missed.

“Chemistry is about not accepting that everything in your life is set in stone or, in fact, in your DNA – it isn’t a blueprint, it’s a recipe.” – Sean Jeffery on Chemical EP



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