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On December 3rd 2011, 5 Seconds of Summer played their first gig, at The Annandale Hotel in their native Sydney, Australia. It was their first time together playing as a four-piece. They had to recruit a drummer for the occasion. They had a bass player with no bass guitar, “so I played on an acoustic,” says Calum. “Michael sent me a very detailed Facebook message asking me ‘how would you like to come along and play for 200 screaming fans,’” says the last part of the 5SOS jigsaw to slot into place, drummer Ashton. “I was like, woah, that sounds great, amazing, this guy sounds legit.” In the event, they delivered a covers set to twelve nodding acquaintances. But something happened that night in the Annandale. “We saw what we could be as a band,” says Luke. Just over two years later they have shaped up into the box-fresh pop/rock sound of 2014. The screaming starts here.
From that first night, they began to attack being in a band together with all the gusto of a military operation. Their musical influences converge around the adrenaline-fueled super-rock of turn of the millennium Americana. The first record to excite Luke ever was Good Charlotte’s debut album. “They were just so angry but in the best possible way,” he says. Ashton had two CDs that he would flit between on his discman at school, Green Day’s 21st Century Breakdown and The Living End’s White Noise. “I didn’t need anything else,” he says. Calum’s eureka moment was Green Day’s I Need You single (“just perfect. It made me think about everything differently”) and Michael was in thrall to All Time Low. “I used to cut between watching their live DVD and the extras where they were just hanging out, being a gang, getting to do what they loved doing together. I thought: I want that.”
Fresh off the success of her critically revered debut EP, ‘Grow’, 21-year-old soulstress Frances announces the release of her hugely anticipated new single ‘Let It Out’, from her forthcoming sophomore EP, impacting this October 16th.
Anthemic, yet fragile, the ‘Let It Out’ EP is an exciting body of work that serve as both an untainted confessional and an perfect testament to Frances’ ability to craft effortlessly addictive pop songs. From the honest simplicity of the title track’s chorus to the way her silky voice compliments the funky, soul-inspired melodies of ‘I Care’ (a new collaboration with Canadian producer Pomo), ‘Let It Out’ is not only the perfect follow-up to ‘Grow’, but an exciting preview of what’s to come.
Already warming up big audiences with appearances at Haldern Pop, Wilderness, Bushstock, Somersault, & Curious Arts Festival this summer, as well as being personally invited to support Sam Smith at his comeback gig at Thetford Forest, news of Frances’ memorable live performances are spreading fast. And now, with news that her first two London headline dates have sold out, Frances looks set to step into the limelight as not just a modern vocal-powerhouse, but the future voice of her generation.
Anyone that has seen Sam touring and tearing medium sized venues to pieces with his lacerating grief ballad Lay Me Down will have spotted the more innate appeal of his artistry and its special potential to move at mass market. Sam is a big, softly spoken man who translates musically through the humility of his phrasing. ‘I write exactly as I speak,’ he notes. He was born in 1992 in the small Cambridgeshire satellite town Linton to a mother making significant waves in the financial industry and a househusband father who took over the day care of Sam and his two younger sisters. His mother, he says, is ‘amazing. There have been strong women in my life from a very young age. My great aunt was one of the first ever female bankers. You would never call my dad a weak man but it was always a female dominated family. The oestrogen is high, which played into my love of music.’
Sam met a new manager and the first person his new conspirator introduced him to was songwriter Jimmy Napes and collectively they worked together to write Lay Me Down. Jimmy in turn played it to emerging deep house act Disclosure. In his first speculative writing session with the brothers he felt a kinship. Together they wrote Latch, Sam’s first featured chart vocal and the beginnings of the epic Disclosure tale.
‘I’m a pop head. I always was. I never got carried away with what was cool at school like the other kids did,’ he says, of meeting them. ‘They’re amazing boys though and they pushed down so many barriers for me, they introduced me to D’Angelo, so much stuff which I now love. They introduced me to dance music. I’d listen to music with no vocals in it and think what is the point? But they schooled me through dance history. They understand it.’
Between smashing it on guest vocal performances, Sam was crafting his own unique songs. ‘I said to myself, I don’t want to have a genre. ‘I wanted to take a risk’. In the course of putting it together, Sam has worked with so many blue chip collaborative names: Fraser T Smith, Two Inch Punch, Eg White. But he has retained his sense of self. After his sublime debut EP entitled ‘Nirvana’, his first full release will be the albums big pop moment, Do It For The Love, a song that sounds like an instant, out of the box smash. But there is melancholia within. Centring on the subject on an unrequited love, it is duty bound to make the listener a little teary as it uplifts. ‘I think so. I’ve been talking about album titles and people are saying “oh but it’s too sad” but that’s what it’s about. I was sad and I wrote about being sad. Hopefully I’ll be happier soon and I’ll write about that.’
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