Indieterria meets Sybling

Hello!  

It is a music journalist’s privilege to speak to some of the most talented people in the world. Some of the artists might be living just two doors down from you, or in the same town, but some of them might be located at the other side of the pond. Not so long ago, we had an undeniable pleasure to discover an American duo named Sybling. Two New York based sisters, stole our hearts withing minutes with their breathtakingly vocals, harmonies and eerie sounds that would make David Lynch look twice over his shoulder on his way home on a dark winter’s night. The duo are represented by the wonderful folks at Marauder Group and we  wrote to them asking if we could speak to both ladies. Much to our delight, the label and the band said yes (thank you)! We discussed their upbringing in a musical family, writing their debut EP and their eclectic musical taste ranging from Nick Drake to the British indie rock sensation, Radiohead.

Band picture by Manny Inoa

Sybling:
Alice Makwaia (vocals, multi-instruments)
Mariana Quinn-Makwaia (vocals, multi-instruments)

Not always we have a pleasure to speak to an emerging artists from the other side of the pond. Please introduce yourselves to the readers of Indieterria.

Sybling: Hello there! We are sisters, Alice Makwaia and Mariana Quinn-Makwaia of the duo Sybling.

You grew up in New York, in a musical family with musician and composer father and mother who is an actress and an acting coach. Did your parents have any influence on you to become an artist yourselves? Have they encouraged you to chose this path, or maybe they were against it knowing how hard it is in this business?

Sybling: Both of our parents are artists. As you already mentioned, our father is a musician and our mother is an actress. We grew up, the four of us, near the poverty line, in a one bedroom apartment. It was totally great (and we mean that in earnest). Our parents weren’t unhappy with the struggling artist lifestyle. They saw no problem in going into the arts. Our parents only encouraged us to do what spoke to us. And, from a young age, music did just so.

Before the creation of Sybling, both of you had an impressive musical resumes: Alice wrote musical scores for theatre and film (“The Snow Queen” by Downtown Art and “Forest Bathing” by Yaara Sumeruk) and Mariana found success as part of R’n’B outfit Smoke & Sugar. What convinced you to form a band together? Have you worked with each other before?

Sybling art by Catya Bastien

Sybling: (laughing) Making the band was an easy decision. We grew up singing together and harmonizing. In many ways, we knew each other musically better than anyone else in the world!

Sybling is inspired by a wide and eclectic range of genres: from traditional folk, to soul, jazz, funk and alternative rock. We can hear Nina Simone, Jeff Buckley, Marianne Faithful and Elliott Smith. And Stevie Wonder! Who is your inspiration?

Sybling: We’re both very inspired by alternative and folk genres. Our top inspirations are Sufjan Stevens, Nick Drake, Feist and Radiohead. Funny fact: we actually wrote “The Grim” for Radiohead! We heard the song in Thom Yorke’s voice.

You have released your debut EP on February 22, 2019. It is promoted by a lead single “Grim” and a video in which a young man is haunted by nightmarish figures with white masks covering their faces. Can you tell us more about “Grim” and the concept behind the video?

Sybling: The concept of “The Grim” video came from a sketch we made some years back. It was about someone on the subway, seated next to a suited man in a deer mask. It came from a thought that the subway is the looniest place we know! People are simultaneously physically close but oblivious to each other. We actually wrote the song when we were in High School, and it deals with the loneliness, and darkness that followed us around a lot then.

We absolutely love the cover of your EP, and the artwork  that is displayed on your social media. Who is the author?

Sybling: The cover of our EP was made by a Texas-based artist Catya Bastian. And we made the cover of our single for “Under.”

EP cover by Catya Bastien

You once said that “If one quote were to sum up the entirety of Sybling, it would be Kurt Vonnegut’s: “He is still very much alive in the past, so it is very silly for people to cry at his funeral.” A lot of your lyrics seem to deal with themes of searching for lost things and the past. The whole EP has this aura of melancholy and some sort of sadness. Perhaps we are mistaken but we feel like this record could be considered as a concept album, rather than just a collection of songs to reflect to?

Sybling: We like thinking of our EP as a concept album! Originally, we didn’t know what songs we were going to release, so it’s a bit of a fluke that they contextually fit together so succinctly!

We want to ask you about our favourite song “She is Alive in the Past”. It has beautifully crafted voice harmonies with catchy, radio friendly guitar riffs and piano. What’s really surprising, it has no lyrics. Please tell us more about it. Is there any particular story behind it?

Sybling: “She is still alive in the past” was very much an experiment. We’d had the tune in our heads for years, no lyrics. Even the finished product is a bit of a dream without a clear story. We think of it as a funeral march. We weren’t planning on recording it. Then one day, with an extra hour at the end of a session, we recorded a draft. Simple, just sparse vocals, guitar, organ, a little piano. Mari had the great idea of adding percussion, giving it that lopsided beat—which immediately reminded us, quite morbidly, of the way a zombie would walk.

“Grim” single cover

Last question – If you were to score a Netflix drama of your choice. What would it be and what songs appear on the soundtrack?

Sybling: We think, we’d have to go with Netflix’s “Russian Doll” to write music for. It takes place in the neighborhood we grew up in. We could see “She is still alive in the past” in there.

You can follow Sybling on their social media:
https://www.syblingmusic.com/bio
https://syblingmusic.bandcamp.com
https://www.instagram.com/syblingmusic
https://www.facebook.com/pg/syblingmusic
http://sybling.maraudergroup.com/

Email: syblingmusic@gmail.com|

Alice Makwaia (as a solo artist):
https://alicemakwaia.bandcamp.com/releases

Smoke & Sugar (Mariana Quinn-Makwaia side project):
https://www.instagram.com/smokeandsugarmusic
https://www.facebook.com/smokeandsugar/
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1KsvM0hfcgI1_7DNTW-ptw

Articles:
https://alonelyghostburning.co.uk/interviews/getting-to-know-sybling/
http://ventsmagazine.com/2019/02/21/premiere-sybling-streams-new-self-titled-ep/
https://www.broadwayworld.com/bwwmusic/article/New-York-Folk-Duo-Sybling-Release-Their-Debut-EP-20190301
https://chicagonbeyond.wordpress.com/2017/09/12/mariana-quinn-makwaia-w-smoke-sugar/

Vanadian Avenue would like to say a few “thank you’s” to Sybling manager, Mr Phillipe Roberts and to the Managing Partner/Co-Founder of Marauder Group, Mr Rev Moose for making this interview possible. It was a real pleasure!

It is also worth mentioning that Marauder Group, is responsible for bringing the Independent Venue Week to America! This year, the US edition of IVW will take place on July 8-14, 2019 with more than 60 venues participating. You can find more about the  events here:
http://independentvenueweek.maraudergroup.com/
https://www.independentvenueweek.com/2019/04/independent-venue-week-announces-first-round-of-2019-us-shows-more-participating-venues/

We may try to speak to Marauder about IVW and the difference between the UK and USA versions. Keep your fingers crossed!

Please come back soon, we have a fantastic Mancunian band scheduled to speak to us next week!

Till then,
R+M

Indieterria presents Those To Watch in 2019

Hello!

Oh lala! What a time to be alive! The last two months went like a blur but we are extremely happy! So much is happening on the indie scene, that it is hard to keep your eyes on the wheel and your thoughts at the tasks at hand. Two of our beloved bands, The Blinders and The False Heads, have been on tour and we went out to see them playing live. The Blinders destroyed the stage at the Castle and Falcon in Birmingham and False Heads descended upon Bristol, bringing the crowd gathered at Mother’s Ruin to their knees.  We are also running two large blogs covering The Blinders’ Columbia tour and it leaves us with not enough time to sleep and eat. Just kidding about the lack of food, we only stopped sleeping!

As the famous song says, we will sleep when we are dead. Before that happens, we would like to introduce you to some of the hottest bands that we think, will make a lot of noise on the UK scene in 2019. Since all other blogs we followed, already published their own lists of “The Best of 2018” and “The bands to watch in the New Year”, we thought we would like to join the trend as well. The more the merrier we say and in 12 month time, we will be able to see who was actually right.

So this is Vanadian Avenue’s official “The-Bands-To-Look-Out-For-In-2019” list. Dig it. Or not dig it. The choice is yours. We don’t do countdowns from number X to number 1, so all the artists you see below are equally talented and are mentioned with no particular order in mind.  We just like them, we think they are excellent artists and that’s why we put them here. Have fun discovering the music! And we are going to publish an article like this each month (well, maybe until March or April) so be on the lookout! These bands will take over the world!

Ivory Wave
Birmingham based and founded exactly three years ago, the quintet consists of Luke Morris (bass), George Johnson (vocals), Connor McMinn (guitar), Rob Clarke (synth) and Seb Baldwin (drums). Ivory Wave brings back the old-school, Hacienda-like rave beats and successfully fuses them into Stone Roses/Happy Mondays/Inspiral Carpet Brit-Pop indie. There is nobody else who makes such music anymore and we are grateful that they decided to dust off the magnificent genre. It is long time overdue. This is a solid, dance music inspired alternative rock that gave us the brightest stars in the business: from The Stone Roses and Oasis, to Underworld, The Orb, KLF, Future Sound Of London, The Prodigy, Sven Vath, Orbital, The Chemical Brothers, U.N.K.L.E and others. Of course, The Ivory Wave are doing it with the modern twist. This is not a nostalgia-trip to make the 50 year-olds feel young again. The boys have skills, they have the moves and are not signed yet. The bands spent several months in the studio recently and their new material will be released later this year.

“They’re absolutely fucking colossal. ‘Paradise’ is one of the best singles you’ll hear all year by a new band”. (GIGSLUTZ)
“Mic in hand, eye balling the room, singer George is the classic frontman. Latest single ‘Separate Beat‘ cements their place as a band tipped for great things. Ivory Wave will soon have a venue in the palm of their hands”. (COUNTERACT)

Latest single: “Gold” (released 07.01.2019): http://smarturl.it/ivorywavegold 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/42T2AYtDajSQNqgtF52zXA
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ivorywaveuk/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/ivorywaveuk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ivorywaveuk
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ivory-wave 
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLbEaJZ0E38tBKO_zjFiqAg

Kick The Clown
Kick the Clown are a 4 piece alternative rock/punk outfit from Worcester and Cardiff. The band was formed in 2016 and consists of White Noise (George Ormerod, vocals), Guisseppè (Matt Tyler, guitar), Strange Dog (Joe Cummings, drums) and Sour Mash (Dan McLaren, bass). In the last two years, the band has built a strong following in the West Midlands through constant touring and sharing stages with Karkosa, Soeur, Ivory Wave, The Cosmics, The Dickies, The Ramonas, Fight and Fires, and Straight for the Sun among others. Their presence has been praised as “loud”, “energetic” and “in your face” but it is not enough to fully describe the essence of the group. They combine swagger, rare charisma and DIY ethos to create controlled chaos on stage. The band claims every inch of the floor as their own, bringing wild melodies, shouts, sweat, pain and clown masks to enthral the audience and drags them (kicking and screaming) into an alternative musical dimension. Mixing a variety of genres such as old school punk rock, hip-hop, metal, hard core and even jazz, Kick the Clown are becoming a phenomenon on the indie circuit. They released their debut 6 track EP “Car Bomb” at the O2 Academy in Birmingham in late 2017 and a double A-side single “39 Steps/No Way Out” in 2018. In November 2018, they were featured on Public Pressure’s first “Subcultures #1” cassette tape documenting the best emerging artists in the punk underground. The band is currently working on new material to be released in 2019. Kick The Clown are coming and are getting rowdier with every show. You have been warned!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KTC66/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_uY65cmGkTSFVgnQWwrEOQ
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kicktheclown_/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/KickTheClown_
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Rv196qnVMHlW1RMaa1k6Q?si=sk26lxg8QSGaNi2R02P8QA
Bandcamp: https://kicktheclown.bandcamp.com/

WITCHFEVER
We have already written about WITCHFEVER on our blog and we absolutely loved their show at the Alphabet Brewery in Manchester in December last year. Seeing how good they are, we had to include them on our list of bands to watch in 2019. If you haven’t read our interview with them yet (it is criminal!) please do it as it is a truly eye opening talk – the girls spoke to us about what it means to be a woman in the male dominated music industry, how often their skills and  expertise are being diminished just because of their sex. Luckily the things are changing for the better and let’s hope this  year will be a breaking through year for more female artists!
https://cocamidemea.wordpress.com/2018/12/01/inditerria-meets-witch-fever/

Quite recently WITCHFEVER announced that they will concentrate of recording new music and expanding their fans base in Europe and we are truly excited to her this. They already have played in the Netherlands and maybe a real EU tour is in the works? Keep your fingers crossed!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/witchfever/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/WITCHFEVER
Bandcamp: https://witchfever.bandcamp.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-502164447/carpet-asphyxiation
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsgn5oXDn_IRBjCjIJ1giCw?app=desktop

Avalanche Party
One of the brightest stars of the new wave of British bands, Avalanche Party is a true phenomenon. If you haven’t seen them live yet, then you are committing a crime against rock music. At least put them on your bucket list! Avalanche Party are from Castleton in Derbyshire and they have been going on for  a couple of years. This band is known for its energetic performances, shirts disappear after the first song and Joe, the lead singer crowd surfs and dances among the crowd for majority of the performances. The Band has a massive following in the Yorkshire area and the fans are travelling all over the country to be able to see them, even multiple times on one tour. They are best mates with The Blinders, Strange Bones and Rascalton and we might be seeing the beginning of a new wave of bands that will take over the world. Both The Blinders and Avalanche Party are rumored to tour Europe or even US this year so keep your eyes open. This band is the strongest contender to achieve a true level of stardom. You just watch them going stronger and stronger this year.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AvalancheParty/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/avalanche_party
Website: https://www.avalancheparty.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avalancheparty/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVQHS8es36atxJMBqh8jAlQ

So these are our picks for January. We will continue next month with another great bands to watch.
Please come back soon, there is an amazing number of artists that are making fantastic music these days!

See you shortly!
Rita and Malicia Dabrowicz

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