Feast your ears

Darkness Falls Playlist: By The Sea – the Liverpool band kickstarts our new mix series with a twisted soundtrip
By Tempe Nakiska | Music | 12 November 2014

Film still, ‘Ravenous’ (1999)

This article is part of Playlists – Tunes to live by

Above: Still from ‘Ravenous’ (1999) © ETIC Films and Fox 2000 Pictures

Winter has descended and that means it’s time to delve into our latest mix series, with playlists from the bands featured in Issue 12. Starting the cross fire is Wirral-based five-piece By The Sea.

As the band’s vocalist Liam Power explains, the sense of pride in being a band from Merseyside is pitted against the nauseating challenge of rising up against the slew of virtuosic talent that Liverpool’s birthed in recent decades. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing necessarily, but when you aren’t consciously adhering to that sound it is as if people haven’t really listened to the songs.” Their first two albums were produced with a “beg, borrow, steal” creed – a DYI approach that’s extended to the founding of their own label War Room Records. “If someone else isn’t going to pick up your stuff, then you’ve just got to do it yourself,” says Power.

This attitude seeps across Issue 12’s Liverpool bands spotlight, intro’d by fellow local and repeat By The Sea collaborator Bill Ryder-Jones and painting a vibrant picture of the city’s booming next-gen music scene.

Here, Power concocts a murky set of dystopian soundscapes, moody 80s vibes and a swipe of heartbreak grunge for good measure. Pour yourself a hefty glug of Jack Daniels, pump the radiator and play on.

Ravenous OST End Titles by Michael Nyman and Damon Albarn
“I watched this film recently, and variations of this track plays throughout,” says Power. “Weird looped zither, toy keyboard with a classical orchestra.”

Keep Me Company by The Coral
“Bit of an old hidden gem from the Nightfreak album. Evokes images of some sort of medieval Pagan burial ritual. Definitely one of their best for me.”

He Would Have Laughed by Deerhunter
“Ethereal tribute to the late Jay Reatard. Bridging the gap between lo-fi and hi-fi, great simple guitar and drum loops. Amazing production.”

Hot Dreams by Timber Timbre
“Album of the year for me. Somehow mixing Portishead with Nebraska-Era Bruce Springsteen.”

Radioactivity by Kraftwerk
“This could easily be on any apocalypse/dystopian film. Their best moment for me, brilliant for a night-time drive.”

Runaway by SFA
“A brilliant single, like Brian May trying to jam out a Supremes tune. Gruff’s lyrics and rhythm are flawless. The video is just as good.”

Shake Some Action by Flamin’ Groovies
“Heard this recently and thought it was an early Television song. Guitar riffs galore.”

Another Girl Another Planet by The Only Ones
“Total teenage heartbreak punk, I always hear a bit of The Pastels when I listen to this.”

Looking For The Magic by Dwight Twilley Band
“Like if Alan Vega fronted The Heartbreakers. Features heavily in the horror film You’re Next, the most unusual perfect match.”

1991 by Bill Ryder-Jones
“A real moving, tear-jerking tribute. It doesn’t get much more melancholic than this, easily one of his best tunes.”

Floating by Julee Cruise
“Written with David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. The album’s brilliant, it’s basically a Twin Peaks accompaniment.”

Lorelei by Cocteau Twins
“All the best bits of the 80s rolled into one.”

Good Morning Britain by Aztec Camera/Mick Jones
“I’ve gone all 80s and taken myself on a nostalgia trip now. Lyrically this is probably more relevant than ever.”

Christine by The House of Love
“These were quite an influence on our current album. Great song/arrangements, especially the reverb/chorus guitar riff.”

A Hit by Smog
“Fucked up slacker grunge. Massively influential on bands who are massively influential.”

You’re The Only One by By The Sea
“We’d been listening to a lot of New Order’s Power, Corruption and Lies when we recorded this. Lyrically it’s snapshot of childhood nostalgia. I’m a sucker for all that.”

By The Sea’s second album Endless Days Crystal Sky is out now on War Room Records. By The Sea is touring throughout November with shows in Cardiff, London, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool until the end of the month. Check the band’s Facebook page for details and tickets, and for more visit their BandCamp and follow them on Twitter.


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