2:54 Even before Colette and Hannah Thurlow wrote their new album, the London-based sisters' atmospheric, imaginative and thrilling vein of rock music under the name 2:54 was already a force to be reckoned with. Their hugely acclaimed debut album won them a burgeoning world-wide fan base, and tours across the globe with out-spoken champions like The XX, Warpaint, and Wild Beasts. But the events that tested their commitment and resilience have upped the ante, to produce the magnificent drama and beauty of their second album The Other I, their first outing for new label home Bella Union (The Flaming Lips, John Grant, Beach House). As Colette explains, the album's title was inspired by a favourite poet, Percy Shelley, "a rousing romantic, politically charged, a proto-punk of sorts. He called his friend and muse Elizabeth Hitchener the 'sister of my soul, my second self.' These lines kept returning to me last year and from there I arrived at 'The Other I'. The Other I is an enquiry into the duality of the human experience - the division between the self that pounds on like a juggernaut in your head, and the self you present to the world. The idea extends to Hannah and I, to our sisterhood. We know intrinsically what the other thinks and feels, music is just another language we use to communicate." Born in Ireland, they were raised in Bristol, consuming their parents' rock'n'roll and soul/jazz collections and, as teenagers, the city's drum & bass scene. But it was music of a heavier hue that truly united them. Colette cites Bad Brains, Fugazi, Yawning Man and Nico as key inspirations; Hannah leant more toward Deftones and Nine Inch Nails. http://www.twofiftyfour.net/ HONEYBLOOD Honeyblood is Stina Tweeddale on vocal/guitar, and joined by Cat Myers on drums. Despite their fledgling status and minimal setup, Honeyblood's songs are fully formed and perfectly assured. With nothing extraneous, their music is driven through tightly-bound instrumentals and laced with the sheer strength and beauty of Stina's voice. The songs resonate with deep melodic hooks and the uncomplicated charm that've drawn comparisons to the likes of The Dum Dum Girls, as well as the strident delivery of Jenny Lewis. The band also cite the darker currents of The Breeders, PJ Harvey and Throwing Muses as lifelong influences. They released their eponymous debut album in July 2013 tour universal acclaim, receiving something of a 'clean-sweep' of reviews across the world's most revered publications, NME, branding it "One of the year's best albums" 9/10, and prominently featuring in many of 2014's end of year polls. They've toured with the likes of Belle and Sebastian, Real Estate, and close comrade Courtney Barnett, as well as featuring on the bills of some of the world's most famous festivals. From the urgent guitar and dive-bomb drums of opener "Fall Forever," the album twists through the gutsy punk of 'Killer Bangs', to reveal perfect anthems like "Super Rat." It has alt-pop gems in the likes of "Biro" and "No Spare Key" but also some more country/folk-infuenced moments like, "(I'd Rather Be) Anywhere But Here" and "Bud." Honeyblood pulls in elements of lo-fi punk-rock and unfettered indie-pop and reveals a deep-seated passion for more classic rootsy song-craft. The band started from humble DIY beginnings, organizing their own guerrilla show at The Old Hairdressers in Glasgow to commemorate the release of a raucous two-track cassette entitled "Thrift Shop." Honeyblood quickly ingrained themselves into the bustling Glaswegian scene, fast becoming one of its most talked-about names. 2014 has had Honeyblood's name written all over it, and that doesn't look to change in 2015.
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