‘Lakehouse’ : The Rose Affair tackle loss

Interview, Music

With their unique mix of art and indie, The Rose Affair are back with a new video for the release of their newest single, ‘Lakehouse’.

Possibly more ambiguous than their other tracks, singer Lucas Jones dances his way through nuances lyrics of specific sensations and locations; soundtracking a sombre tale of love and loss, being in-between dependence and independence, with a track that is as catchy as ever. With jingly riffs, high production values, multiple levels and incredible vocals, we’ve come to expect nothing less from our favourite band. Lucas’ writing spills perfectly into song, creating tunes that are profound and poetic as they are ambient and sing-along worthy.

But the video raises the song, bringing it to life while also adding an entirely new perspective that you felt in the song but couldn’t quite put your finger on. Lakehouse is brought to life by the narrative of loss of childhood, solidified by the loss of the one thing that might symbol childhood more than anything, your home. The soft light surrounding the protagonist and her younger self is cut through and rudely interrupted by an ominous figure in a black suit, threatening her with the end of youth.

The Rose Affair never settle for anything less than cinematic, with even the shots of the band performing are dipped in aesthetically pleasing pink light, and aren’t removed from the narrative. The band are never at the forefront of the video, handing their work over to the higher power of a bigger, ongoing narrative weaving its way through all their releases and urging fans to connect the dots. In the video, they turn their crowd into a confrontation forcing the protagonist to face her final conclusion, a stack of moving boxes.

For Lucas, ‘The house is life. The place where all of the main character’s (Nikki) memories exist but in a non-linear sense. Basically how our minds are – it’s all happening and being remembered at once on an infinite loop consciously or subconsciously. The story focuses on the stage in our lives in which we (like it or not) have to face the reality of letting go of our childhood. The man in the suit is the estate agent who Nikki associates with ‘taking’ her childhood house from her. The people in black are Nikki’s subconscious, trying to attack her / defend themselves from being erased from her memory by time.’

But regardless of the intricacies, the video is beautiful. The light that switches from white, to pink, to blue, and the silky camera work makes for a product of envy, far superior from what you’d expect of an unsigned band and clearly a product of passion.

Ending with photos from our PAST issue, The Rose Affair sign off on the statement about loss with a stare that says ‘to be continued’, a hint that this video joins the rest in a yet unresolved story.

The Past Us : Lucy Harbron

films, visuals

The Past Us is a poem about the realisation that your love has changed. It’s a poem about looking back at a relationship and realising it’s become so misshapen over time, it hardly looks like love at all anymore, it doesn’t really even look like companionship.

A poem by Lucy Harbron, and a film by Lucy Harbron, Penny Eastbury, Samara Sajid and S. J Zhu.

The Hand : Lucy Harbron

head talks

It was stamped all over me,
a hand, two hands;
gigantic and red and smothering.
Stamped, again and again,
with a force that made my skin convex,
pushed me into the shape.
My cells pulling, trying to avoid it,
but thinner skin will bruise easier.

You slipped your hand into the hand,
began to wear it as a puppet,
acting like it had a life of its own.
But you touched me still,
caressed me with the same look in your eyes,
the same taste of compliments dripping off your tongue in the shower.
I guess sometimes you’re left, sometimes you’re right,
sometimes it was the hand.

It must have been,
because here I am still bruised and moulded.
A push from my elastin, a push from your hand, in the hand,
a pressure too hard that maybe I became it after
it touched, you touched, it touched again.
Then you look at me in disgust when I am it,
when you can’t see me as anything other
than the hand.

Water Birth : Elizabeth Evans & Lucy Harbron

head talks, visuals

 

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His dad’s dad had built the boat, age 15. His dad swapped the wood for plastic as a project, after spreading the ashes of the man that raised him, and taught him how to sail. He decided to keep the tradition afloat, but couldn’t do that without dragging the boat into years its creator would never see. He worked until it was safe to sail again, and he had begun to feel easier. The hands of grief slipped with each blow of the hammer; respecting the past, building for the future. A legacy of material and water. But life caught up and he had to work. The garage door shut.

The boy went looking for the key, on the day the girl he loved said she didn’t feel the same. He dragged the boat over the small field, and lifted it over the stone wall, creating a slight dent on the bottom left of the yellowing outer shell. He walked it to the water’s edge, checked his bag, nodded and sailed. When he thought the water looked deep enough, using only the darkness of the blue as a guide, he let out a line.

The sky was beginning to burn when he resigned himself to failure. He threw the stick to the ground, causing a black scuff on the peeling paint of the blue inner wall; the day had melted and he had felt no bite. ‘I can’t do it and I never will’ he muttered, stomping his feet out of failure to find any other way to release his anger. He looked out, acknowledging that he may have sailed a little too far from shore for an amateur, but aware that the feeling in the pit of his stomach still pulsed with the breaking of the waves.  Suddenly, he took off his shoes. He took off his coat, his jeans, but left on his shirt, insecure about his skinny, teenage chest.

He stood up on the ledge and stepped off, falling into the water that enveloped him. He had decided that if he could not catch them, he would join them.

The grey blue of the morning sky had returned, on the 215th time he emerged on the surface. He had grown neither gills, nor a fin to allow him to swim better than a mediocre level, deemed acceptable in primary school swimming lessons.  He saw that the boat had floated back towards the stones of the shore.

‘Maybe when our loved ones die, they become our Gods. The wind of our lives become controlled by them, the sights of the sky spun by them. Each to our own religion, of family morals and memories. Grandad wants to keep his boat.’

He distracted himself from the water, which had become significantly colder in the morning air, with thought. He wondered whether his grandad would recognise him, for he’d only met him a couple of times as a baby. He thought maybe the cold was a punishment for the stranger that stole his boat. The wind an attempt to get his old livelihood away from the boy that could neither fish, nor be a fish.

He noticed his dad’s car parked on the beach, just out of reach of the tide. He pulled the boat out of the water, as his dad rolled down the window, only to say ‘I’ll meet you back at the house’.

To remind himself, he made a mental note; ‘teach the children how to fish and sail this boat.’

(Photography by Elizabeth Evans, Words by Lucy Harbron)

‘Caffeine’ : The Rose Affair

Music

Today our favourite band, The Rose Affair, released their new single ‘Caffeine’. The lyrics are poetic and catching, the music video is beautiful and full of cryptic messages, the upbeat riffs mirror perfectly the message of addictive emotion. It signals the next stage of a band ever growing as lead singer, Lucas Jones, comes more and more into himself in both performance and lyrical poetry.

We approve.

I caught up with Lucas to talk about the song, it’s process and it’s inspiration.

Tell us a little bit about what the band has been up to since your last release, ‘II’. What’s been going on? How have things changed?

We’ve been gigging and writing as much as possible! The gigs have been noticeably different lately, audiences singing lyrics back has become thing. And we had an encore the other night, we were like ‘Fuck, what do we play?’ it was mental.

‘Caffeine’ is pretty different from a lot of your other stuff, more upbeat! Was that a conscious change or did it just happen?

It’s always super interesting when people say our new stuff sounds different because I’ve observed the track from birth to finality and so I never know at which point it became ‘different’. It’s like getting taller, you don’t really clock it until someone calls you out on it. It’s definitely more upbeat sonically than say ‘Taurus’, but lyrically it’s the same depressing kinda’ vibe. Going by lyrics alone we don’t actually have any upbeat songs, come to think of it; the upbeat guitar riffs are a bit of a trick.

Were there any particular musical or literary influences on the track?

Personally I’ve been listening to Radiohead quite a bit, but I’m pretty certain ‘Caffeine’ sounds precisely 0% Radiohead influenced. It’s quite ‘On The Road’ inspired, subconsciously; The ‘Hotel wedding sex’ kind of dirty, broken, Vegas stuff. Matt’s been playing Catfish and The Bottlemen a fair bit too, so I think there’s a drop of them in there.

Tell us about writing and recording caffeine! Did you straight away have the sound in mind, or did it take a while to find it?

Matt and I were sitting in the living room as per usual, and he played that riff, the intro, and I was like ‘Yooooo!!’. The first thing that came out of my mouth was the opening lyrics, which kind of set the tone for the whole song, then Jacob and Tom sprinkled their magic all over it. When it came to recording, we have a really solid idea of how our producer Jake can make bits come to life and so we wrote it very much with production in mind. ‘The sound’ is very much Jake’s work to be honest, you could mix Caffeine so many different ways.

You’re gigging more and more nowadays, but what’s number 1? Gigging or writing?

Eeeeek, hmmmm. Tough one. I guess gigging is the ultimate because what are songs without gigs? But then writing because what are gigs otherwise?! Chicken & egg scenario. Fuck it, gigs. People singing and moving and smiling to something that was born in our minds, nothing better in the world.

What are the band’s goals for the year? What’s next?

TO TAKE OVER EVERYTHING. Nah, to just keep on progressing. Kind of not joking about taking over everything I suppose but not in a dictatorship way, in an incredibly grateful and humble way within the time frame that is most conducive to our longevity. To sign with the label of my dreams would be gangbusters. (I learnt that expression today, it means great. It’s such a sick phrase, it’s so over the top).


Listen to The Rose Affair :

Read Lucas’ work on Kiloran

The Scene : Sheffield & Vultures

Music

In the wake of the industrialisation of music in an X-Factor, generic pop generation, we must seek shelter from the after-shocks in the comfort of our local scene. Each one individual, each one growing.

I moved to Sheffield in September’16 and instantly found an active independent music scene engulfing not only bands but venues, writers and festivals. When you think Sheffield you might think Pulp, or Arctic Monkeys; I think Vultures.

I caught up with front-man, Luke…

Tell us a little bit about the band. Who are you / how did you form?

We’re Vultures, a 5 piece psych band hailing from Sheffield. We formed in late 2015 after myself and Nathan’s previous punk project wasn’t going where we wanted it too, we decided to make a new band and try out a new sound neither of us had worked with before.

Was there a specific moment when the band really solidified and you knew you were onto a good thing?

Well it took us about 4 months to find a solid line up, however we always felt there was something missing. We invited John McCullagh down for a practice with us and it went down a storm, and ever since then we seem to gel perfectly as a band.

Who are your main influences as a group?

Nick Cave n the bad seeds, Joy Division, New Order, The Cure, Tame impala we could go on forever

What do you like most about the Sheffield music scene?

It’s like a bit of a family really. The scene has really come together over the last couple of years and you’ll find that most the crowd at local gigs are in fact members of other bands.

Having all come together from past bands and musical ventures, do you think that experience helped? Or was it hard adapting to one another?

The experience definitely helps. John had a successful solo career before joining us and his knowledge of the touring scene has definitely helped us when it’s come to gigging. When we were recording our first single, we found it quite a struggle to get the sound of us across properly because the sound we wanted was pretty new to us, but we felt we got it across in the end

What’s your favourite song to play live? Why?

I think the others may disagree but mines probably the song we always end on, Swarm. I get on bass for it and our bass player Dillon goes onto synth; it’s just a big climax to our set and we always leave the stage on a huge high.

There was a rumour floating round that Vultures was over but you’re back. What’s changed / what’s new about vultures 2.0?

We never really went, well maybe we did, or maybe it was a marketing ploy, I’ll leave it to your imagination. We’ve come back with a new attitude more than anything else, before we had a break we’d hit a bit of a writers block, then when we had our first practice back we wrote probably our 2 best songs in the space of 3 hours.

Do you think the music industry in general has become more welcoming to up and coming, local bands? Or do you think having industry interest and deals etc is less necessary now?

Not at all, it’s near impossible to get a major deal outside of London and to a certain extent Manchester. There’s so many amazing bands outside the capital that just don’t get the attention they deserve down the fact major labels rarely look outside London. There are a lot more small indie labels popping up which are out there to help new bands though, I’d say if you plan on recording an album label backing is needed, but for singles/EP’s in a band our size it’s easy to get away with it without label help.

Who are some of your fave local bands?

Femur, The Blinders, TRASH, Beat the Bandit, The Vellas, ROOD, Saints.


Facebook – VULTURESBANDUK

Instagram – @vulturesband

I Am My Mother : Lucy Harbron

head talks

Through the silken haze of red, pink, blue,
and all since
I have breathed what she gave me;
nourished and nurtured on the feast of warmth
which is both cave and atmosphere.

Past the liquefied emotions and
power in the emergence;
she worries I am no longer hers
as she can no longer hide me from the threat.
No longer can she used her skin as an armour,
building barriers of bone and flesh,
stretched and cracked.

But I am my mother in each inhale
and exhale when i cry.
I am her skin,
shades altering and pulled to the day
but still hers when i catch it in that mirror
in that place she was photographed, age 6.
I was a dream then, but still there.
Still here when a hand brushes her stomach,
changed like a landscape after a storm,
A field in rejuvenation.
I am my mother each time my bones ache with
the growth;
pulsing out a prayer to the god
that turns to me and smiles,
waiting to hear the door open.

Wolf : Lucy Harbron #WorldPoetryDay

head talks

I emerged
grey and screaming. Howling
my wolf’s howl;
calling to a mother that didn’t understand
and a father that looked on with drooped eyes,
blinking hard, as if to wake up and try it all again.

I lay in their arms but itched
irritated, their soft unbroken skin catching
under my crowning claws.
I guess he saw them first.
Only holding me briefly, never to let me pierce;
never to let me mark him,
for that might make it real, I harm
therefore I am.

I learnt to walk on my hind legs as told,
clipped my nails, hid my fur.
They adapted as all did and held me when I was hurt,
hunted me when I hurt them.
I saw myself, gradually, in the mirror;
saw the forest fires in my eyes,
the habitual predator looking back from me,
the eyes of my father blazing
from my face, a sheep’s face
with wolf eyes.

I growled as I heard him growl at midnight,
every third Tuesday when I would not sleep.
I ate as he ate, when one fell behind.
I grew teeth as he’d bite.
I took his coat;
wrapped in it, swaddled like a baby
merging with the instincts of their parents.
I evolved as he did, for if you wear a coat so long
it becomes yours.

Alone in a pack, I transform
as he challenged me to,
White wool to grey fur in the full moon
of a living room lamp.

An Interview With Palace

Music

When it came to naming the magazine I struggled for a while. I would sit for hours at my desk sending ideas back and forth to people, making draft logo, writing words again and again in different fonts until they blurred to nothing. And all while doing this, I would listen to Palace. Their song Kiloran caught me immediately, i’d listen to it on repeat and something about it completely captivated me. I named the mag after the song, and the memory of having that song be the soundtrack to my longing for something to happen. So I made something happen and I called it Kiloran.

I never expected the band to ever really see it, let alone support what we do here and agree to chat to us. So I was super blessed to be able to chat to Leo about the band, their past and their future…


Firstly, tell us a little bit about yourselves, how did the band come about?

 

We’ve known each other since we were about 13. We go way back to the old days. We’ve always shared a big love of music, playing and listening. So it only seemed right that we form a band at some point. We started just for fun, not a career move. So it’s come from a very organic un-self conscious place as we never thought we’d show anyone our sound. Thank god we did. We love our job.

 

Does the journey between starting to release and the release of your debut album, So Long Forever, late last year feel like a long process, or has it all spiralled very fast?

 

Yeah it takes time! It was tough that wait. We just wanted it to be out there for the masses to devour. After a while we just kinda switched off from the release dates and stuff as the wait was kind of excruciating. When it came out it was like giving birth. That anticipation and then finally our baby was released, and we named her So Long Forever.

 

For when I first started following you guys with the release of Veins in 2014 to now, you’ve really grown not only in status but in sound. Does it feel kinda nostalgic to be playing the older material now?

 

Yeah it does actually. It’s a beautiful blast from the blast getting to play old tunes. We owe a lot to those song a so its always a pleasure to play them.

But I suppose it always feels more exciting to play new fresh stuff, all the new album stuff is a dream to play. And yeah the sound seems like old us but enhanced, more 3D and surround sound somehow. Bigger and more epic.

 

Which of your songs is your favourite to play live and why?

 

So Long Forever. We’re obsessed with playing it live. Dynamically it’s exciting and explosive and the guitar parts are some of the most intricate and weaving we’ve written. Even in rehearsals we still get a kick from playing it. The choruses too are just HUGE and psychedelic almost. Our vibe.

 

What/who are some of the biggest influences on your music, and have they changed at all during your time together as a band?

 

Wu Lyf and Jeff Buckley were or starting points for sound and what we were listening to when we started. Sadly both are no more for different reasons so I can’t say! But we definitely plucked that atmosphere and epicness from them.
Then we love old folk stuff like John Fahey and John Martyn. All that beautiful weird tuning guitar stuff is a big influence.

More modern stuff we love are Foals; The Maccabees and King Krule. At the moment I’m obsessed with Angel Olsen though. I think she’s the biggest talent around in terms of voice and song writing. She’s pretty exceptional.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about the creation of the album? Was there any particular message or sound you wanted to get across with your debut?

 

Well we wanted it to just represent us in a very truthful and honest way and not try to be anything we weren’t, that’s very important to us. We wanted it to be us but more epic, bigger and atmospheric.

 

So the mag is named after your song Kiloran which is so close to my heart. Talk to me about it! Where did the inspo come from? What was the context of it being written? What does it mean to you?

 
What an honour that you guys have done that! So cool. So Kiloran is a beautiful bay on a tiny island in Scotland called Colonsay. It’s one of the most beautiful places, and a place I’ve been going for years with my family. I write a lot of songs up there and Kiloran came very naturally. I was going through some relationship difficulties and was up there at the time and wrote it about that, and memories of being there with an ex girlfriend, and times we’d walked along Kiloran.

We as a band love that song and playing it live always gets a beautiful reception.

 

There’s a solid argument that So Long Forever was the shining light in a bleak 2016. What are you excited for this year? And what are you worried about?
Ah well thank ya kindly. We’re excited about our future as a band and seeing it grow and getting to play in amazing countries to amazing people. We love our job and every year brings new excitement.

There’s a lot to be worried about too in the world that we’re presently living in. It’s quite scary and our fears seem to be similar to most people’s. The world is in a very depressing place right now and it seems hard to see it getting better anytime soon.

 

In the spirit of our new issue, the past, which past experience would you like to go back and relive?

 

Seeing and holding our album vinyl for the first time and seeing the artwork was very special. Seeing the hard work come together like that was incredible and made us very proud to have done it all as friends.

I’d also like to go back and play a festival called Musilac in France again, we played to 20,000 people in the sun and it was just the bomb.

 

And finally, which artists are you really excited about at the moment?

 

Yellow Days is great. We love Island, Fat Relic, Jamie Lee’s poetry and amazing voice, Azusena, and Angel Olsen is ridiculously good.


Mad love to Leo for chatting to us, and if you haven’t heard Palace; do so.

Their album ‘So Long Forever’ is available now.

‘The Dilemma Of Being Women In The Dark’ – By Lucy Harbron

culture & society

“I’m most aware of my womanhood when I’m afraid”

In recent weeks, my university life has been flooded with horror stories. Weekly I walk roads where I’ve heard a girl my age was attacked, I think of her with sympathy, I think with gratitude that it wasn’t me. But mostly I’m afraid, all too aware of the proximity and reality of crimes I’m programmed to fear from infancy, so much so that they almost fade to fairy-tale. Until it happens in the street down from your flat.

On a walk home, in the dark, last week the girls I live with and I talked about the subject as we fast walked through well-lit streets, phones in hand, staying close. I think that’s when it hit me how much of a shared experience fear is within femininity. All of us had a story to tell of roaming hands forcing us out, but anxiety of possibility kept us in. It’s the dilemma, the threefold issue of being a girl, a young woman, on a night out.

Back home, this is when your mum would be giving you the speech, the weekly reminder to “not put your drink down, don’t go anywhere alone, look out for each other, be aware.” I once even got the speech off a female taxi driver; it’s innate, unrehearsed yet always performed.  For us girls, we must be reminded of the rules. Whereas my male companions normally receive only a “look after yourself, have fun”.

You arrive, and you fall into duality. I’ve talked to so many of my friends and they all agree on this; we will never relax. Regardless of how many vodka cokes I’ve downed, my drunk state could never persuade me to take my eyes off that bartender, or put that plastic cup down. A portion of my brain always remains sober when it comes to it, it’s the portion with the voice of my mother, the knowledge of periods and the true girl code; ‘how to try to not be raped’. And I can hear these thoughts echo around the women around the room, yet meanwhile I hear men say “I hope someone spikes me, I can’t afford my own drugs”, or pick up and drink anything they find when the funds run low.

A common scenario- Someone comes too close, a hand you don’t know touches your arm, your hip, your ass. You give your friend the look, and go to the toilets, the safe haven. You decide to leave.

Let’s ponder the weapons-

1)Taxi home alone.

2)Walk back with a group of friends.

3)Stay .

That’s the dilemma. Three big question marks choose your door.

1)I heard that story the other day about a girl being driven to the middle of nowhere. I’m new here, would I realise if we went the wrong way? How could I stop them? Do I sit in the front or the back, does it look like I don’t trust them if I sit in the back? But if I sit in the front, I’m easier to get to. It’ll be fine, I’ll text my friends when I’m home, What was the number plate again? Please don’t talk to me.

2)It’ll be fine, there’s guys with us, it’s practically day light, everyone’s walking back this way, it’ll be fine I’ll just tell my mum we got a taxi and oh god of course I’d never do this on my own.

3)Can we change rooms, that guys freaking me out? Oh okay after this song. Back on back, arm graze, someone stood on my foot, no air, I want to leave, why do people get so close? Can we change rooms?      Why does this always happen to me? Do I look easy? Is it how I dance, how I dress? Is it my fault? No.

The dilemma of being a girl at night- it’ll be fine it’ll be fine, as long as my phones got charge, I’ve got my keys and I’m never alone.

However, a friend reminded me of a point so often brushed under the carpet. Men are scared too. It would be wrong to assume that males are completely void of anxiety at night and have internalised no level of fear. But the argument that those levels of fear are similar, or at all comparable in indoctrination or ideal, is unfathomable. As articulated by my friend, Men fear violence, the worry of a fight or an altercation that in 90% of cases could’ve been avoided. Whereas girls, we not only fear violence (physical and sexual), but deceit, manipulation.

We learn gradually that our attackers, most likely, will not jump out of the trees but will walk us home holding our hand, drape their arm over our shoulder in a taxi. The spectrum of threat is so broadened it all blurs to an ingrained constant state of subtle vigilance. I like you, you seem kind, I like how you dance but I’ll follow you to the bar, never leave you with my drink.

I know not all men are rapists, women are not walking target boards, and the world is less scary than we imagine in our privileged lives. Yet all women are taught fear, we’re raised on it. The sisterhood of scared girls coming home at night, we make shallow conversation in the taxi back and live out our unspoken promise to always have a third eye watching the other. We hold hands as we walk the corner round to our real address, fingers laced together in a prayer than our daughters need never walk so fast. The shared experience and the shared hope that when the sisterhood is a motherhood, the dilemma is of outfits and the speech goes only “be there for each other, you look beautiful, be young.”