JUNE 2024

FeaturesMusic Notes With Stuart Glossop

Regular readers will know that we’ve known about her since she was a 15-year-old with Ocean Eyes. So, it would be amiss this month not to start with Billie Eilish and her highly anticipated third studio album, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT. The album does exactly as the title suggests. Featuring 10 original and genre-defying tracks, HIT ME HARD AND SOFT journeys through a vast and expansive audio landscape, immersing listeners through a full spectrum of emotions. A truly cinematic, diverse, and cohesive body of work, that Eilish considers a “family of songs,” ideally intended to be listened to from beginning to end. HIT ME HARD AND SOFT is her boldest and most daring work yet, and what Rolling Stone hails as her “best album yet”. Written by Billie Eilish and FINNEAS, her brother and long-time collaborator, who also produced the album. The album is available on all digital platforms, and in a continued effort to minimize waste and combat climate change; across all physical formats in limited variants, with the same track-listing and using 100% recyclable materials. Earlier, Billie Eilish announced her HIT ME HARD AND SOFT: THE TOUR starting in September 2024, Eilish will embark on her North American leg of the tour which runs through to the end of December 2024. The tour will continue in Australia starting February 2025 ahead of her European, U.K., and Ireland arena dates starting in April until late July. 

The festival season has opened with the splendid Live At Leeds In The Park. As always, this particular festival sprung a surprise band that simply blew everybody else away. This year it was Merseyside alternative rock band The Mysterines who are soon releasing their second album ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’, the highly anticipated follow up to their critically acclaimed Top 10 debut album ‘Reeling’.  The album has a new release date, set for the 21st of June via Fiction Records to capitalise on their festival appearances. Recorded and produced by Grammy Award winning producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Angel Olsen) in LA, ‘Afraid of Tomorrows’ is a deeper and darker foray into The Mysterines’ psyche than its predecessor, and reflects the maturity and growth of the band, completed by George Favager (bass), Callum Thompson (guitar) and Paul Crilly (drums). “Afraid of Tomorrows is a mirror where you find you’re nothing more than a formless being, one made from celestial constellations – of traumas, of the old and new, mistakes, addiction, fear and happiness, loneliness, but ultimately a desire for life and the fight to keep living. It’s a collage of what’s been lost and of love unbounded”, says Lia. And a special mention for BABY QUEEN who ran them close as best of the day. The South African-born singer songwriter debut album ‘Quarter Life Crisis’, which soared into the UK top 5 on its release last October.  Incidentally, In The Park’s naughty sibling Live at Leeds In The City have shared the first wave of artists set to appear at this year’s event, as the much-loved festival returns for its 17th edition in late 2024. Confirming a 16th November date, the groundbreaking Leeds new music all dayer will welcome art-rockers Everything Everything, indie wunderkind Alfie Templeman, Liverpool alt-rock quartet Stone, Earlestown’s underground indie success story The K’s, renowned UK grime MC Casisdead, and a whole host of further artists at the forefront of the UK’s thriving new music scene. Confirmed venues for this year’s festival include Leeds Beckett SU, LUU Stylus, Brudenell Social Club, The Wardrobe, Belgrave Music Hall, Headrow House, Hyde Park Book Club, Oporto, The Key Club and Northern Guitars, with the multi-venue format offering the audience a unique opportunity to curate their own perfect day of live music.

The following day it was SlamDunk. With all eyes on British rock royalty, You Me At Six playing their very last festival. It was emotional and raw as the crowd celebrated and remembered  a career that spans 20 Years, You Me At Six had some amazing career highs including two Number One albums, world tours that saw them perform to thousands, streams that recently topped over a billion worldwide and faces that have graced the covers of multiple magazines across the globe.

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