Run, Rabbit, Run
The track, Run, Rabbit, Run, is available via:
The E.P., Good Morning, Bad Blood, is available via:
17th August, 2018
BEFORE getting down to looking at…
Sandra’s Wedding and what they are all about; I wanted to look at a few different topics that are relevant to them. For a start, I will have a peek at Yorkshire and why the county continues to produce good music; songs that reflect real life and have an authenticity to them; songs collections that have range and emotional variation; whether bands can assume a mantle of control and get back to the top of the musical tree – I will talk about Sandra’s Wedding and what comes next for them. I have not been to Yorkshire for a while and have spent a lot of time investigating music from London. Now, back to Yorkshire, I get a chance to focus on a county that continues to pump out great music and show its originality. One of my favourite Yorkshire-based artists, Billie Marten, releases her first new music this Sunday – it is exciting to see her back and where she is now in her career. One of the reasons why I love Yorkshire is the sheer variation and diversity of sounds. London has a lot of great artists but there is something unpressured and free about Yorkshire. There are fewer commercial acts and you have musicians that seem a lot more relaxed and inventive. Sandra’s Wedding are a fantastic band that have been playing for a while and define what Yorkshire is all about. Their songwriting and sounds have a classic edge but are very much based in the here and now. What gets to me is how they create such seamless and interesting music that is not like anything out there. I will not go and say it is unique and never been heard before – that is impossible in modern music – but you can sense their personalities and surroundings through the music. Maybe that is a symptom of how they want their music to resonate but I feel it is a characteristic of Yorkshire and what it is all about.
One can move between counties and parts of the country and gain a distinct flavour. Maybe the bigger cities have an urgency and distinct tone but Yorkshire seems to be on a different plain. I have never been there myself but can only imagine how the warm people and stunning geography impacts what comes from the artists. Many move to larger cities to get money and attention but there are more and more artists remaining put and unwilling to shift. That is impressive in a time when music is becoming more directed towards the capital. Another thing that shines in Yorkshire is the way the music is made. The artists here seem to have less concern about charts and commercial gain and want to produce something that stands the test of time. The bands coming from the country have a special edge; the solo artists extra-cool and original – so much to recommend about the music coming from there and where it will go. I have a lot of faith in the county and feel we should all look at Yorkshire in regards where the future sounds are coming. Maybe it will take a bit of time for Yorkshire to get its credit but it will come. Sandra’s Wedding are a great band who present a vivid and emotive brand of music that has plenty of guts and passion. Look around them and there are not really any bands that have the same blends. There are a lot of talented musicians but, in terms of their band competition; I have yet to discover another example of what Sandra’s Wedding are all about. I wanted to look at them and their latest music because it gets into the heart and leaves its memories. I feel we all need to move beyond the big cities and realise there is a lot of life and variation in other parts of the U.K. Music is a broad and fascinating market and, unless we get to grips with as much as possible out there, I do not feel we are going to be truly fulfilled.
Good Morning, Bad Blood is the new E.P. from Sandra’s Wedding and that follows from their album, Northern Powerhouse, in February 2017. That album gained a lot of praise and saw the band compared to the likes of The Smiths and The Beautiful South. That may seem like an odd northern clash – because both bands have different lyrical styles – but it seems right to me. Both of those bands were less concerned with obvious themes and stories and took from their own lives. The witty, acerbic and honest songs have survived through the decades and are known to most of us. Rather than follow the more commercial, stadium artists; Sandra’s Wedding have followed in those big footsteps and write what is true. One of this year’s biggest albums, Joy as an Act of Resistance, has seen IDLES catapulted into the public mindset. They gained a lot of love after their 2017 debut but now, on their follow-up, they have hit new peaks and gained exceptional reviews. Maybe you can ascribe that to the music but it is the lyrics and honesty that comes from the words that have made the biggest impact. The band are not penning easy songs and stuff that is radio-friendly and uncomplicated. The guys challenge perceptions and misconceptions and have brought us one of the best albums of the last few years. Not that Sandra’s Wedding are providing the same sort of music as IDLES. The reason I bring the bands together is that of the shared honesty and reality that emanates from their music. I often wonder, when listening to modern music, how many of the artists out there are writing about what is real to them and something meaningful. You see a lot of popular artists with teams behind them and you get to thinking whether they are pulling the strings or the artist needs those bodies to bring their own visions to life.
Have a look at the most enduring and popular artists from music and it is their voice that shines through. They have a sense of what they want to create and produce inspiring, truthful music. I am not suggesting most artists in the mainstream are fake but there is a lot of calculation and marketing that goes into what they say. There is nothing more important in music that originality and authenticity. If an artist is hiding or getting others to say something for them, I feel that takes something away and comes across as rather cold. I want artists I can connect with and feel like they understand me. Sandra’s Wedding have gained a foothold in the industry because they write from the heart and soul and want to connect with the listener on a deeper level. The guys reflect what is happening in working-class towns of the North and what is happening around them. Many modern artists are still detached from the social and economic problems around them and talk about love and what is happening in their lives. It is good to find artists who want to open their hearts but, in these troubled times; there is something cathartic and pleasing discovering musicians talking about what is happening in the wider world. A lot of us are unaware of the strains and imbalances happening in the North. The economic climate there is troubling and many people are fighting for survival. The sepia-tinged songs have wormed their way into the hearts of many and you get that purity – a band that is not willing to sell out and write about something meaningless. I am ore drawn, now, to artists who pen tracks that look at the modern world and try to make sense of it all. With Sandra’s Wedding; you have wit and humour running through the marrow of what they do. It is never too heavy and bleak, nor is it too whimsical and light-hearted. The way they balance tones and emotions is really impressive.
Good Morning, Bad Blood is a great E.P. packed with great tunes, plenty of personality and warmth. Critics love the work they have already put out and the new E.P. is getting credit and positivity. Inspired by the likes of Pulp and The Beautiful South, the band want to document what life is really like where they are and how there are cracks running through the nation. In a way, their current E.P. could be brought to Parliament to show the realities and complexities in the North. Many of us do not know what is happening in other parts of the country and we have to rely on what the news tells us. In many ways, music is a great source of information and undistorted reality. We can get a real sense of how life is for northern artists or those in other parts of the world. Not only do songs like Run, Rabbit, Run have energy and spring but there are intriguing lyrics and nuances. I am drawn to the while E.P. but wanted to highlight that song as being particularly strong. They could have created an E.P. that was all hard-edged and Alternative or they could have gone all Folk/Pop – something softer and yearning. Whilst there are not the same Pop and Indie tones of The Beautiful South and The Smiths in the music; you get a similar lyrical feel and sense of purpose. The band want the public to feel uplifted and brightened by their music but are not willing to compromise their ethics and what they believe in. The reality and observations that went into their album are present on the E.P. If anything, they have gotten stronger and incorporated new elements into their music. The sonic blends and textures that run through the songs is what gets to me. One is immersed in a very special world and, when listening to the songs, you vividly project images and walk alongside the band. It is more potent, reliable and informative than any news report or conversation.
I will move on to another theme soon but, right now, I wanted to look at bands and how they have been a bit quiet lately. I mentioned IDLES and how they are succeeding but I wonder whether we are seeing a true resurgence. It is good to see more band focus come through and it has been a long time coming. The solo artist still rules the roost and they are taking a lot more of the focus. Bands used to be the most sought-after commodity until fairly recently and I feel there has been a turn towards solo artists and what they have to say. You can interpret that shift however you like but, to me, it is because of the honesty that comes from them. Maybe they have more variation and fewer restrictions than bands but it is how they can emote and create something personal that strikes me. Bands have multiple members and it can be difficult writing something that has the same power and soulful revelation as a solo artist. The solo artist can more easily write from the heart and project something uncluttered and emotive. Bands, by and large, are more raw and energised and it can be more difficult getting into the soul of the listener. Sandra’s Wedding do not go for the gut and wash songs with big chords and fat choruses. Maybe they are not destined for stadiums and bigger gigs but, at the same time, they have a much more impressive and stirring brand of music. It is hard for bands to be quieter and write something heartfelt but Sandra’s Wedding want people to know about the realities of where they live and what life is like for them. They could have gone for the easier avenues of life and love and penned something very commercial. Gambling a little; they are bringing out much more potent and personal sounds that will stand the test of time. That might sound like a big claim but I feel artists who are writing about modern life and problems out there will endure.
I do wonder how long before bands get back in control and whether they can regain the acclaim they had years ago. The fact Sandra’s Wedding are inspired by Britpop favourites like Pulp leads me to believe they are heading in the right direction. There is a big demand for 1990s music now and it seems like the decade is coming back in. Perhaps it is the dislocating nation and the fact our Government is shambolic. We want to return to a time when things were a bit more secure and there was hope in the air. I am not suggesting things were great and perfect back then but there was a unity and a time when bands were at the forefront and ruling. There was this hope things were changing and we were heading in a better direction. Things are different now and I am not sure where the nation is headed. I feel we are all in a worse state than years ago and there is uncertainty in the air. Look back at the 1990s and when bands like Oasis and Blur were top of the tree. Perhaps that is why there is this new interest in the decade: people looking at fonder times and a time when bands were truly popular. I feel like that transformation and reverse will happen but, as the artists of the 1990s showed, we need to hear a lot more real-life and relevant music come through. If they are all writing about personal concerns or something vague then that is not going to bring us together. The secret to band success, as Sandra’s Wedding show, is writing about modern Britain and how things are. Maybe it is not as celebratory and positive as the 1990s but there is an appetite for an undistorted and true social-political view of the nation – especially how there is a North-South divide. The guys do write about love and splits but that is all part of the blend – the same way Arctic Monkeys did when they started out (and still do).
It is interesting to bring that band in because they are still going strong but have changed direction. They are older than once they were so they might not be able to write about chips, fights and loose characters in the same way they did back then – it would lack a sense of reality and conviction. There is a great gap for bands to fill that hole – the lyrical one; nothing smutty! – and document how things really are out on the streets. I am seeing bands emerge that are doing that and, before long, the tide will shift. Maybe that has been a long time coming but the pressure needs to remain. I will move on but I feel like Sandra’s Wedding have a long future ahead. Perhaps it will take a while before they get to the bigger leagues and can get the same attention as the biggest bands around. The band can go far and I feel they are primed for something good. Their live shows are celebrated but it is the music they make in the studio that gets into the blood. You listen to their music and it hits you and stays in the mind. There are very few modern artists who can represent something political, social and real and make you sing along. That humour and candidness mix well and you feel like the band want to bring you into their world. I am excited to see their stock rise and know they will go far. I have been following the music of Yorkshire for a long time and can attest to how varied and consistent it is. Music is always shifting and changing and I wonder how it will transform in the next couple of years. Given the state of the nation and tension out there; I feel there is a new place for bands and a bigger role. Whether the big guns can step up and lead the charge has yet to be seen. I am hopeful we will fall back in love with bands and, whilst we will not see another Britpop movement; perhaps there will be a pronounced and sustained wave that will help effect political change.
Whereas songs like Titanic and Saturday Night Television are gentler and more emotive in their tones; I wanted to look at Run, Rabbit, Run because it seems like the black sheep of the family. It closes the E.P. but, rather than throw aimless riffs and big drums into the blend; the boys get things started with a spicy and flavoursome lick that mutates into a festival feel. You get a trumpet sound and, oddly, there is a slight mariachi feel to things! They do not crack out the sombreros, donkeys and pistols and go completely nuts but there is an eccentric and humorous musical edge that makes you smile. The opening phases of the song sound like something from a Quentin Tarantino film – there are shades of Pulp Fiction in there. Elmer Fudd and tasting blood are not sentiments and visions you would see put together but, backed by that rushing horn sound; we are treated to some rather vivid and exciting images. The hero – sounding like a blend of Paul Heaton and Morrissey – is reading the daily news and seeing someone’s face on there. Maybe it is a maligned figure or someone in the public eye. Right away, I am interested and hooked into the song. The song dispenses with the horns soon enough and the band create a rousing, racing and spirited composition that gets you moving and propels the song. I wonder whether the track is about accusing and driving a hated figure into the open. The chorus is delivered with intent and emotion but there are lighter tones to be found. The frontman speaks of the English sun and being out in the atmosphere. I still get the feeling there is an observation of the media culture and political mistrust. Perhaps that is not explicitly revealed in the opening verse but that is where my mind went to.
When the Tarantino-influenced sound comes back in; I get a more bloodied and violent image. Maybe that is a false assumption but it seems like the yearning vocals hide a more spiked and dark intent. You are drawn to the song because of the unexpected sounds and great lead vocal. The band is incredibly tight and the song sounds like it has been worked on a lot in the studio. That does not mean it is polished and overly-rehearsed: there are plenty of raw edges and moments for invention. The second verse looks at someone wanting your way of life and teaching an old dog new tricks. One gets a sense of the oblique which allows some personal interpretation. I still get political senses and maybe the divide between the rich in the South and those in the North. The chorus, in a way, highlights a sense of fear and being chased; the rich and elite chasing the rabbit and less -well-off. It is that chorus burst and rush that makes the biggest mark. The choruses are strong and impressive but the band is masterful when it comes to recording instant and memorable choruses. You find yourself singing along and, even after one spin, the song gets into the head. Before the song is through, we get electric guitar, new elements and a composition that gets hotter and more colourful. Sandra’s Wedding provide a fulsome, eclectic and fascinating brew that brings the song to life. How you view the lyrics and what they mean is up to you. I was thinking about political divides and problems in the country. Maybe there is something more personal and insular being ascribed. In any case, the band has created a wonderful song and a perfect ending to a brilliant E.P. Make sure you listen to each of the four tracks but, to me, the save the best for last. I am curious seeing what comes next and how they follow things up. I have listened to Run, Rabbit, Run a few times and am finding new things every time. Make sure you get involved with the track and keep an eye out for the band on all their social media channels.
Good Morning, Bad Blood is a great E.P. from Sandra’s Wedding and one I suggest you listen to in full. Produced in Hull by Dan Foster; the guys have upped their games and are showing new sides to their music. We could say their time will come a long time from now but I see they are turning heads and getting acclaim. I like the way there are softer and gentler offerings on the E.P. In fact, Run, Rabbit, Run is the only real full-out stormer that has that Alternative-Rock spirit. The remaining tracks and more reflective and calm but have plenty of teeth. I wonder whether the band will be gigging down South and what they have in mind. There are a lot of fans where they are in Yorkshire and I feel their demand in the North is assured and growing. I would love to see their music spread down this way and get bigger radio time. I am excited about the band and what they represent. I feel we need to look back at artists like The Smiths and Pulp and realise why they were so popular and are to this day! There is a return and renewed interest in the 1990s and I wonder whether this will remain. Sandra’s Wedding are showing their stuff and I feel like they have a lot more material in them. Make sure you check the guys out and, if you can, get to see them on the road. I have been exploring their new E.P. and digesting all its strands and stories. Where they go next is up to them. I feel they could get festivals next year and a lot of radio-play in London; new exposure and the chance to tour a bit more widely. In any case, we have seen how a good and honest band can make its way into the heart and resonate. Their music might take a bit more time to impact than the stadium acts but, once it does hit, it is hard to shift. Their E.P. is titled Good Morning, Bad Blood but, when hearing it, the listener is not troubled and stressed: you are afforded the chance to reflect, imagine and…
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