I See Rivers | Mon 29 May | Yorks Café | FREE
It’s difficult to stand out in the crowd of whimsical folk-pop, but this Liverpool trio do it by channeling the Staves’ iron-clad harmonies, Feist’s guitar-led sense of mischief, and three characterful voices entirely their own. Gaining traction with their bedazzling new EP ‘Standing Barefoot’, rumour has it their vocals are just as precise on the stage.
Marika Hackman | Mon 29 May | Mama Roux’s | £11
New Sub-Pop signee and maestro of eerie, brooding folk-rock, Marika Hackman lands in Birmingham days before the release of her sophomore effort, ‘I’m Not Your Man’. Her latest string of singles has been by turns charming, upsetting and obtruse; like Kim Deal and Black Francis rolled into one person, Marika’s chiming surf-rock guitars and wide smile only makes the violent undercurrent that more thrilling. seetickets.com
Flyte | Wed 31 May | Sunflower Lounge | £7
Rubbish name aside, London four-piece Flyte are teasing their debut album this year with a trail of baroque-pop songs: ‘Echoes’, the best yet, surges and twists in unexpected ways. There’s a version of Flyte in there with huge potential – like Grizzly Bear’s understated anglophile cousin – this year we’ll discover who they really want to be. seetickets.com
Matt Maltese & The Rhythm Method | Thu 1 Jun | Ort Café | £5.95
The ‘First Past the Post’ Tour is an earnestly political gambit by South London crooner Matt Maltese and bizarro 90s pastiche pop band the Rhythm Method – their own take on the music and politics engagement movement Red Wedge. What to expect is unclear, but with this snap election having us by the short and curlies then any consciousness-widening political/music event is a win in our book. ticketweb.com
Ed Geater | Fri 2 Jun | MAC | £7.50
Birmingham’s answer to Jamie Woon builds on the buzz with the launch of his new single ‘Found a Place’, a collaboration with Brum hip-hop talent Lady Sanity, who plays support at this MAC show. With the melancholic acoustic melodies of Andrew Souter opening the night, this is an incredible line-up of Brum-based talent. See our full preview here.
Mutes | Fri 2 Jun | COW In-Store | FREE
Meanwhile, Brum’s krautrock noise-mongers Mutes launch their debut album ‘No Desire’ at a one-off COW in-store takeover. Glorious and headache-inducing, Mutes boast members of celebrated Black Country filth-peddlers God Damn and the Viv Albertine band. It’s a seductive and ruinous mess, another of Birmingham’s specialties.
Saint Etienne | Sun 4 Jun | Town Hall | £25
Do Saint Etienne require any introduction? In contrast to many 90s acts doing the rounds these days, the famed Summer-of-Love icons never officially hung up their hat; they’ve simply lived long enough to see their dreamy synth-pop come back into fashion. Admittedly, new album ‘Home Counties’ and this Town Hall show might be catering to a certain middle-aged audience that grew up listening to them, but that seems pretty fair game to us. seetickets.com
Published on: Sat 20 May 2017