News: XL signing Willis Earl Beal for debut Manchester show

Here at Now Wave, we’re big fans of XL Recordings. They’re one of the labels that gets it right every time – a flawless roster (including Now Wave favourites The XX, SBTRKT and Ratatat) with perfectly orchestrated releases, all tied together with some of the coolest design. They don’t sign acts very often though, which means the rare occasions when someone does join their roster, it’s worth sitting up and paying attention. Willis Earl Beal, XL’s latest signing, is very much an act worth noting, and Now Wave will be bringing him to Manchester for the first time this March.

Beal’s lo-fi blues are like tapes unearthed from a treasure trove, lost in time and style. His upcoming debut LP ‘Acousmatic Sorcery’ is set for release this year, but for the moment give a listen to his screen test of ‘Wavering Lines’ for Urban Eyez:

Tickets for Willis Earl Beal at Trof Fallowfield can be found at Skiddle and See Tickets.

News: Zulu Winter for Sound Control gig

London’s Zulu Winter will be headlining Sound Control this May, coinciding with the release of their as-yet untitled debut album. The London band, who released their first single ‘Never Leave’ on Double Denim Records in November, will be showcasing their atmospheric, Wild Beasts-esque indie in Manchester on Saturday 12th May.

The band release follow-up single ‘We Should Be Swimming’ on 27th February through PIAS. Check out the video for the track below.

Tickets for Zulu Winter at Sound Control will soon be available from See Tickets, Skiddle and the Sound Control box office.

News: Alabama Shakes for debut Manchester show

Hotly-tipped blues-rock four-piece Alabama Shakes were one of the most hotly-tipped acts at last year’s CMJ, and listed by NPR and MTV as one of their bands of the year, and Now Wave are pleased to present their debut Manchester show at The Deaf Institute on 10th May. The Athens, Alabama band have made appearances on the likes of the Conan O’Brien show and are set to release their debut LP ‘Boys and Girls’ in the UK on 9th April.


Check out an extraordinary live performance of ‘You Ain’t Alone’ live in Texas below.

Tickets for Alabama Shakes live at The Deaf Institute on 10th May will soon be available from See Tickets and Skiddle.

Preview: Sleigh Bells, Sound Control

Sleigh Bells are coming back to Manchester. Anyone who survived with their hearing intact after last year’s Now Wave show at The Deaf Institute will surely be returning to Sound Control. A barrage of eight huge amplifiers emitted distortion-fuelled mayhem last time. Now with new album Reign Of Terror in tow, things are unrelenting.

The Brooklyn duo – Derek E Miller & Alexis Krauss – stormed the best of 2010 lists with debut album Treats. Its mixture of hip-hop beats, cacophonous guitar hooks, and bubblegum-pop vocals was an unstoppable behemoth.

Now the nefarious plot continues with the new record being described as “the sonic equivalent of a beautiful shotgun to the head”, by the group’s PR. Not exactly sure how beautiful a shotgun to the head can be, but we’ll have to wait until the February 21st release date for that. In the meantime a teaser has been unveiled, showing frantic moments from the previous tour interspersed with shots of Krauss backstage.

The two serendipitously met while Miller was waiting tables. Krauss (then a school teacher) was having a meal with her mother who suggested her daughter provide vocals. Not long after, M.I.A picked up on the pair and signed them to her N.E.E.T label. Reign Of Terror sees the project become more collaborative with Krauss having influence over the music too.

Sleigh Bells play Academy 2 on Friday 2nd March. Tickets are available from Skiddle and See Tickets.

By Simon Butcher

News: Now Wave to present two Future Everything events

Now Wave can today announce two gigs as part of this May’s FutureEverything festival in Manchester and Salford. The annual event, which combines a technology conference with evening art and music events, will be taking place between the 16th and 19th of May. Now Wave will be presenting two exciting events as part of the festival: Tim Hecker and Forest Swords at St Phillip’s Church, Salford and a ‘New Sounds of the North‘ showcase in an abandoned space in Quay House, Spinningfields, headlined by alt-J and Money.

Tim Hecker will play a rare set at FutureEverything, in a unique setup that combines computers, synthesizers, guitar pedals and the St Phillips pipe organ. An approach developed during the recording of 2011 album ‘Ravedeath, 1972’, it promises to create a distinct and strange hybrid of digital and material. Based in Canada, Hecker has produced ambient electronic music with otherworldly influences for the likes of Kranky and Alien8 since 1996 and last year’s ‘Ravedeath, 1972′ arguably marks his recorded output at a highpoint, with Pitchfork, Uncut and The Quietus all celebrating it as an Album of the Year.

Performing alongside Hecker, Wirral-based Forest Swords will be bringing his cinematic, nature-inspired electronica to Manchester for the first time. Recalling the sprawling likes of Panda Bear, Forest Swords’ bristling R ‘n’ B-influenced beats have been released to widespread critical acclaim, with Pitchfork commenting on 2010’s ‘Dagger Paths’ EP’s ‘blurrily evocative and vividly pictorial’ nature.

Meanwhile on Friday 18th May, will curate a showcase of the best in new Northern talent. Headlined by Alt-J and Money, and featuring the debut show from New Ceremony, the event will take place in an abandoned office space in Spinningfields’ Quay House building.

From the jaw-dropping vocals and spliced rhythms of alt-J to the expansive and vital proclamations of Money through to the ethereal synth textures of No Ceremony, the line up aims to showcase the pool of inventive songwriting talent present in the North. Now Wave favourites Great Waves, as well as Red Deer Club’s Stealing Sheep and exciting Manchester prospect Pins complete the line-up.

Tickets for Tim Hecker and Forest Swords can be purchased here while tickets for ‘New Sounds of the North’ featuring alt-J and Money can be found here. More information of FutureEverything can be found here.