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Thursday 11 June 2020

Check Masses Delve Into Family Film Archives & Share Soulful Psychedelic Vibes of 1970s NYC For New Single Video

After delving into hip-hop surrealism, blues mythology and rootsy protest balladry in their first two singles, trio Check Masses widen their palette even further on Lost in the City — a yearning, dubby soul cut dripping with nocturnal longing.
Credit John Need

Lost in the City is the third single from the Edinburgh band's upcoming debut album Nightlife.

It's a track that explicitly evokes the LP's title, described by The band's frontman 'Philly' Angelo Collins as "a late night tale of wild happenings imagined by subterranean New Yorkers." 

On the upcoming album, Philly, Vic Galloway and Saleem Andrew McGroarty trawl through the nightlife of their home city, tangled in "relationships, temptation, paranoia and the fall-out from them all." 

However, on Lost in the City we're transported to the cinematic ideal of a mythical early-hours Manhattan as Philly skulks at the "corner of 53rd Street", finding a companion to hit the "dirty little club that's always open", as a last chance saloon. 

Philly says they hit on Lost in the City by "pickpocketing Young Americans to look for the outlaw Gil Scott-Heron." 

The trio wrote the song around the time of Bowie's death, so his influence was unavoidable, considering the collective outpouring, and Bowie's mid-70s woozy soul is all over the falsetto chorus and the desire to "commit to sin." 

The soul yearning is offset by producer Andy's beat, spun out from a David Axelrod sample he sourced from the racks of the record shop where he works, and Galloway's fuggy dub bassline, subtle guitars and echo chamber melodica. 

Siren-like electronics weave through the smog, hinting at different levels of desperation in every corner of the city.

"After years of being in fast and wild garage bands, I've always wanted to make soul music but never really had the opportunity," says Galloway. 

"I'm really into Stax, Motown, Funk and lots of Jamaican music of the 60s and 70s, so finishing Lost in the City made me feel great. 

"Philly and I wrote the lyrics together and it really captures a vibe… it flows well with the dubby bassline, the vocal melody and the Curtis Mayfield-esque vocals in the chorus. 

"It works really well live too, and it's encouraging seeing heads nodding away in the crowd."

The heightened after-hours, neon-lit wander through alleys and side streets is universal, when winding down isn't a viable option just yet, and there may be someone on the next block who's also "waiting for a sucker."  

"In our past lives, we've wandered through cities of the world in various states of mind and with various romantic liaisons," says Galloway. 

"I'm imagining New York, Kingston and London in this song of the night… I hope it sums up that hazy feeling of being a little wasted, lost and wanting to be with someone... even for a night."

For the video of Lost in the City the trio present a slice of psychedelic soulful nostalgia distilled from vintage 1970s family film archives. 

Vic Galloway explains: 

"We had to think completely out of the box for the video for 'Lost in the City', being in lockdown in Edinburgh and unable to meet or gather in groups. 

So lead singer Philly's girlfriend Marta filmed him singing and swaying to the track in their house. 

Gareth Goodlad at Dangerkill Productions took that raw film, worked his magic and superimposed Philly onto swirling, kaleidoscopic cine-film collages of New York City from the 1970s. 

Much of the footage was actually filmed by Andy's grandparents back then, and has never seen the light of day."

'Lost in the City' is out on 5th June and new album 'Nightlife' is released on 1st July 2020. CLICK HERE to pre-order.

by: Mike Cobley


Creature Creature can, via the release of their first collection of self-penned tracks, Two Finger Tantrum, be labelled the new flag bearers of rock. The Brighton-based five piece have furrowed a new burrow at the summit of an age old genre. With this debut album they will be looking over their shoulders at the also-rans for many years to come.

Credit David Angel

Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition - especially with schools and shops currently closed. 

Enter Shikari's release of a live set entitled The Last Spark (Bootleg Series Vol. 11) will see the profits from the release shared out between the band's road crew who would have been working across the cancelled-for-obvious-reasons Nothing Is True… album launch shows and summer 2020 festivals. 

As the frontman of both Cave Painting and Company, Sad Funeral's new single Kazbeg is hallmarked with Brighton musician Adam Kane's distinctive vocal flutter, yet finds him venturing into richly textured, mellow natured and deeply dreamy new territory as a songwriter. 

"I've been waiting this out,” says Wendy James, one-time fearless front woman of chart-topping alt-rockers Transvision Vamp, “always optimistic that Covid-19 dissolution might take less time than forecasted... but not so!"
Credit Natasa Leoni - XRFashion

Extinction Rebellion Brighton activists held a peaceful, socially distanced protest at Churchill Square to highlight the damaging impact fast fashion brands have on the climate.

Moy wrote and recorded second single No Talk's The Best Chat at the height of lockdown. Separated from his regular band, he discovered that collaborating on the track remotely was an unorthodox creative method given the live energy that's usually key to their work together.
Credit Nicole Nodland

On Sunset, Paul Weller's fifteenth solo album, which drops this Friday, sees one of the UK's most successful songwriters barely affected by the present situation that has placed the music industry, as much as the wider economy, largely on pause: “I haven't really been bothered by the lockdown, other than having to queue for food or medicine.” 
Credit Andy Sturmey

Taking place this weekend, Saturday 4th July 4th & Sunday 5th July, on what would have been the 2020 festival weekend, the Jazz FM's output will include live recordings from the Sussex-based, Love Supreme Jazz Festival

Returning after four years away, Aidan Knight's penchant for astute observations and personal reflections remains a compelling component of his songwriting.

Extinction Rebellion Brighton are 'delighted' that Brighton and Hove Council have won £663,000 in government funding to increase space for active travel in the city.
'In Monochrome' Artwork

Of all the formative experiences Stonehaven musician Fair Mothers, AKA Kevin Allan, had while growing up, reading The Stranger, by Albert Camus, stands out.

Katie Elfer & ‘I Want to be Red'

Few people miss the daily commute, as many employees switch to home working to tackle Covid-19. Katie Elfer, a regular train passenger from Brighton, used the journey time to write her first children's book which has just been published.

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