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The podcast where we get behind people's music, to understand what inspires and drives musicians the world over.
Jun 13, 2020
Episode 42: Chris Weinhardt pt.2
A while back, before the whole coronavirus thing, I went drinking with long-time podcast regular, Chris Weinhardt. As expected, we talked for quite a while about a long list of random topics. Was it all good? No. Not at all. But some of it was, in between pizza, regular toilet breaks, beer resupplies, and a hell of a lot of podcast mistakes. Still our wide ranging conversation was fun and enlightening, as I am sure you will agree. So here's part two of our chat. In this part, we discuss the use of autotune in live performances and if it makes you less of a singer. Plus, we discuss what our first music purchase was, the first music videos that we fell in love with, and the first album we bought. Check out part 1 here. Coming up on BPM Pod We'll be looking at parts 3 and 4 with Chris Weinhardt, plus we'll be hearing from one of my favourite music producers in the entire world, Hans Annellsson. Also Berlin-based singer-songwriter Alex Spencer swings by.
May 27, 2020
The Pulse reviews: Jason Isbell, Haim, Perfume Genius, Fiona Apple
Hello and welcome to this episode of BPM Pod, the podcast where we get behind people's music. I hope you're doing well out there in these strange times and am glad you're taking the time to listen to the podcast. Thanks for your continued support, love and dedication. Remember if you want to get in touch with me here at BPM Pod, you can do so via the social channels, so definitely check those out. And I'd like to know what music you've enjoyed recently too so, if you want to submit a quick 30 second clip of you reviewing some music you've encountered recently – good or bad – then head over to the Facebook page at BPM Pod and drop me a message. So for now, it's time for another episode of The Pulse here on BPM Pod, where I look at some of the music I've recently encountered – some new, some old, some finished, some not. On this episode, I look at new music from Haim, Perfume Genius, and Fiona Apple. But first, I want to turn my attention to one of my favourite singer-songwriters today, and someone we've heard a bit of before on this podcast, and that is Jason Isbell with his album Reunions. Jason Isbell – Reunions The fourth album from American alt-country soft-rock blues-rock singer-songwriter Jason Isbell, accompanied here by The 400 Unit. Follows The Nashville Sound – a great album – from 2017. Now I read somewhere that Isbell thinks Reunions is his strongest work yet and that set me up for expecting a lot, so do keep that in mind. But overall, Reunions for me was good, not great. On the plus side, the sound here is different and has a lot more resemblance to a well produced Jackson Browne album, or offcuts of Dire Straits. There's a lot of overdubbing and layering here with some dreamlike effects, stereo landscapes and so on. In terms of the songwriting, it's largely strong, with stand out tracks such as Overseas, Be Afraid and Only Children really stealing the show. A couple for me fall by the wayside, including St Peter's Autograph, Running With Our Eyes Closed, and controversially What've I Done To Help – a track which people seem to love for the Bill Withers slash Walk on the Wild Side blend, but is a track I think is overly long, repetitive and quite weak lyrically. There are excellent performances from the band members, as always. Dave Cobb does brilliantly with the production too. But unlike his previous releases – Southeastern and Something more than free particularly – there's something in Reunions which brings distance and unrelatability. It's not somehow as touching or heartfelt, even though individual elements are excellent, whereas his other releases demand repeat listens to understand all of the emotions underneath. So I overall like the direction Isbell has taken with this album, particularly in terms of the new sounds he has created, but for me it is not his best. Still a very worthy addition to his catalogue, and I recommend fans buy it, and newcomers give it a listen at least. Haim women in Music Part 3 Now this is not strictly a review, as the album has now been delayed until June sometime, due to the current nonsense in the world. But with that said, I want to talk about it because the first handful of tracks from the upcoming album really point to something special. Now I have been a Haim fan for a long time, even when I had people saying they were poppy Fleetwood Mac rip-offs. To me they've always had some kind of sense of humour and gravitas about them, as well as a tonne of talent. And while I still don't fully understand or hear the influences that Haim tout so often – such as Destiny's Child, TLC and so on – I do get the pop sensibilities that they evoke. The tracks that are out there so far are Summer Girl, Now I'm In It, Hallelujah, The Steps, I Know Alone, and Don't Wanna. So there's almost half the album out there right now. For me, the strongest tracks are Don't Wanna and The Steps, but I guess this is because it appeals to my previously mentioned Fleetwood Mac tendencies. Summer Girl was released a while ago now kind of out of the blue and has a definite – again I mention this – Walk On The Wild Side vibe. It's very non-Haim but also very Haim. One track that sounds very non-Haim is I Know Alone, which has a strange but somehow alluring music video of the sisters dancing in a socially distant manner. It's a song that sounds more akin to something from Caroline Polachek, notably the song Doors, and therefore is not so far removed from the Haim sound, but is a little different. Lyrically, I find the Haim track I Know Alone pretty weak, and it's too repetitive for my liking, too generic, and too electronic for my taste. However, a bit like the directional change I praised Jason Isbell for earlier, I like that Haim are trying something new. So the album Women in Music Part 3 is not out for a little while but, based on the tracks so far, I think we're in for an absolute treat from Haim and I cannot wait to get stuck into the album for real. Perfume Genius Set My Heart on Fire Immediately Perfume Genius, the moniker of singer-songwriter Mike Hadreas, released this album this week to absolute critical acclaim. I confess: I had never heard of Perfume Genius before. But I guarantee you I will be tracking music from Perfume Genius in the future. I wasn't blown away by this album quite to the gushing same level of reviews from Alex Petridis in The Guardian and so on, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. The tracks here are certainly pop, but of a candied late seventies early eighties vibe, somewhat like Paul Young or Bryan Ferry. Vocally, this album is excellent. There's real longing, hurt and strain across the album, particularly on songs like Just A Touch. The singles – notably On The Floor – have an almost Vampire Weekend vibe to them. And for an artist who writes a lot about addiction, bullying, and sexuality, there's a happiness in many places on this record. A couple of tracks here can't be put into the same synth-driven slick pop bucket as the rest though, notably Describe, which is a kind of noir-ish pop-grunge track, which I actually kind of feel like is what Neil Young was trying to go for with his eighties New Wave slash grunge idea but never really achieved. It's a weird track for sure, and I heard someone describe it as 'gay grunge' which I don't know is an appropriate or correct description, but equally I cannot quite put my finger on how to describe it either. I do think the album is a little long, with 13 tracks stretching the limit a little, although they are all short pop affairs. And yeah, it is a strange album for sure, and won't be at the top of everyone's list. It's not the top of mine either, but I will say that as a throwback to an era which never existed kind of sound, this certainly hits the mark. Fiona Apple Fetch the Boltcutters This is one I only just got around too, released back in April. Fiona Apple is someone I've dabbled with in the past, and someone I knew about, but not someone I paid much attention to musically. So when I was faced with album, not knowing all that much about her previous work, you can probably sympathise that this very atypical, bizarre album hit me like a train. And I loved it. Musically, it's like a part-improvised, percussion poetry session. Fiona cries out, scratches, scowls, shouts, and rages on the topics of bullying, sexual assault, confinement, lies, truth, friendship and more. It's angry, yet oddly darkly humorous What's more, this album is largely recorded on the fly and at home, and that could be a criticism but it really isn't. It helps breed the unpredictability, the explosiveness, the sudden changes in rhythm, tempo and keys. I hear shades of Joni Mitchell here, of Suzanne Vega, even of something completely different like J Dilla or Sharon Van Etten. It's a maddening yet exciting mix of music. It's not…
May 23, 2020
Episode 40: Weinhardt catch up (part 1)
It was way back in episode two - the first 'proper' episode' - where I met Chris Weinhardt, somewhere distant and dark on the outskirts of Berlin. (Okay, Wildau isn't that bad, but it is a little far away. Listen to episode 2 here.) I was nervous. Despite experience in the radio broadcasting field, it has been a while since I ran the show, doing the interviewing, editing, uploading and so on. I felt the pressure. Chris? Well he couldn't have been more relaxed or accommodating, offering to collect me from the train station, offering to get me food and drink, and being welcoming and warm to this weird British guy who, with no podcasting experience, wanted to talk to him about music. Almost two years later, Chris and I are still in touch, albeit not as often as we should be, and our musical journey has taken some wonderful turns. It was with this in mind that Chris asked me to come round for a beer so we could talk more generally about music, the next steps for Weinhardt, and how the adventure looked in 2020. And then came coronavirus After recording this episode over beer and pizza back in February 2020, Chris and I had planned to meet again on a more regular basis to transform elements of BPM Pod into a two-man show. We'd talk absolute crap, review music, review gigs and so on - a bit like the Kermode and Mayo Film Review, if you know that. And then everything stopped. Within a matter of weeks the restrictions came in. People freaked out, bought far too much toilet paper, and prepared for the end of the world. In my own little bubble, I was freaking out too, especially as my wife and I were having (and did have, I am glad to say) a baby in April. It all became a bit much and the podcast took a backseat. The thing is though: Chris and I talked for hours back in the Spring and a lot of it was good. We had such a flowing, different chemistry that it felt odd to simply abandon the episode. At the same time, the conversation was so rambling and weird (thanks alcohol) that it felt strange to put it out as one episode. Better late than never So to relive the pre-coronavirus days, to hear the absolute nonsense Chris and I talked about, I'll be releasing all parts of the chat Chris and I had over the coming weeks, starting with part one. Each part is around 10-20 mins, discussing a bunch of different topics from Fred Durst, to country music, to backing tracks and if you should be able to use them in live performances. It's nonsensical, it's all a bit stupid, but it's exactly what we need in these trying times. So check out parts one and two above, and stay tuned for more to come.
May 12, 2020
Reviews: King Buffalo, Heavy Heavy, Gyoza
Inspired by the excellent YouTube movie review channel YMS (thanks for all your great work, Adam) I've decided to transform the regular 'The Pulse' feature into a kind of quickie review segment. This month, I turn my attention to three absolutely awesome releases, all in the stoner-rock heavy-metal field, as I review the latest releases from King Buffalo, Heavy Heavy and Gyoza. Don't miss it.
May 4, 2020
Episode 38 - My top 10 Jason Isbell songs
"Have you heard Jason Isbell?" said my record producer, Thomas. I sheepishly said no, trying to hide how I may just have missed someone I should know about. He could tell. "Oh don't worry - I don't think that many people have heard of him. But you should hear his stuff. I'll start you off with Southeastern." And there we sat, in Thomas's vinyl-stacked basement studio, and listened to the album all the way through. We did not talk, we did not offer opinions, we sat silently and absorbed what we heard. I have been hooked ever since. Isbell's catalogue, while relatively short, is crammed with stunning stories of love, loss, hope, fears and occasionally political standpoints. The former guitarist for the Drive-By Truckers - another band I absolutely adore - Isbell is today one of the most in-demand songwriters out there, having most recently broken more into the mainstream with his contribution to A Star is Born. Ahead of new album Reunions from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, I thought I'd give you what are, in my opinion, the top 10 best Jason Isbell songs to date. Do you agree, disagree, or perhaps you've never heard of Jason Isbell and you want to offer your thoughts on this introduction to him? Listen to the podcast, read the list below, and let me know. On the next episode We'll be going back to a friend of the podcast, Chris Weinhardt, for a dose of pre-lockdown musical fun. Plus we'll have an episode coming soon with singer-songwriter Alex Spencer so stay tuned.
Apr 24, 2020
Episode 37 - My top 10 favourite Queen songs
Everyone and anyone who knows me - or even if you only listen to this podcast - knows I am a massive Queen fan. From watching their music videos over and over on VHS as a kid, through to owning pretty much all of their music as I grew up, there's something about the band that has allured me ever since my grandfather turned me onto them. I make no apologies at all for saying that, to me, Queen are the greatest rock band ever. There's been no one better since, and I don't see anyone bettering them soon. Their shining star was, of course, Freddie Mercury. And again, I don't mind relying on hyperbole when I declare that Freddie is the best rock singer of all time either. Again, no one has come close, or is coming close. The music of Queen is not all great though. Their albums were rarely consistent in terms of track quality, and their styles were a little too varied and unfocused at times (even within one single song). But the fact that Queen need three greatest hits albums to even scratch the surface of their back catalogue speaks volumes about the quality of music the band created. And let's not forget their incredible live prowess too. Of course, led by the showman Freddie, there was the sense you were watching a circus ring leader rather than a rock singer - and that's meant as an entirely positive thing, I assure you. Queen are thoroughly entertaining, stunningly talented, and quite simply irresistible. So picking their top 10 songs is a stupid endeavour, right? Yes, you're correct. But did that stop me? Does my own stupidity stop me doing anything on any given day? Nope, it does not. So without further ado, here are my personal favourite Queen tracks. And before I go You might think: "Hey, I did not follow BPM Pod to hear about the things you like. Where are the interviews?" Well first off, that is a legitimate thing to wonder. There has been a decline in interviews recently, and it's been a real shame. The reason? My wife and I now have a baby. You're sure to hear little Ella on the podcast sometime soon, probably crying in the background. Of course, this has somewhat drained my time and energy, so bear with me. Rest assured though: there are not many of these short list podcasts left before we get back into the swing of things. Stay safe everyone.
Mar 29, 2020
Episode 36 - Top 10 Jackson Browne songs
Jackson Browne is, without question, my favourite musical artist of all time. Perhaps someone else will come along one day and take the crown, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Browne is, to me, one of the most sensitive, soulful, poetic songwriters of all time. Sure you've got Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Bruce Springsteen, Gordon Lightfoot and so on, but none of them - despite similar styles - really capture the beauty, sorrow and confusion this life holds. A wonderful storyteller, pianist and guitarist, Jackson Browne is my biggest musical inspiration and certainly my most listened to artist. Does this mean everything he touches is golden? Not at all. There have been some dreadful albums along the way, including Hold Out, Lawyers in Love, and Lives in the Balance. But in an attempt to showcase just how brilliant Browne is, I've compiled what I consider the best Jackson Browne songs out there. If you like what you hear, definitely check out anything from his discography, though I would recommend Late for the Sky first, and possibly For Everyman and Jackson Browne shortly afterwards. Once that's under your belt, I'm Alive wouldn't be a bad bet. For solo acoustic fans, check out either his Vol.1 or Vol.2 solo acoustic stuff. Really haunting renditions of some superb songs. Browne is still making music today - most recently with his album Standing in the Breach - and tours relatively consistently. Right now, Browne has the dreaded coronavirus, which has somewhat paused his musical progress. Still, he released his latest single A Little Soon to Say in March 2020, ahead of his upcoming album Downhill From Everywhere which is slated for release in October 2020. (I also mentioned this in the most recent Pulse blog.) Check out my top 10 and let me know what you think.
Mar 19, 2020
Interview: Orange Utan
Go on, say Orange Utan. Oran-gee Uu-tarn. Orang-Utan. Orrrr-angje Uo-tan. Like many of the great mysteries of the world, we may never, ever know how to properly say this mystical name. (And that doesn't go for us only, but the band too.) Yet Orange Utan know this causes confusion. They know it's interesting. And, in properly refreshing self-referential humour, they don't care. The thing that stuck out to me about the band (I spoke with bassist Soren, and drummer Christian, but I assume the other two are the same) is how relaxed they are. There's no bullshit, no fakery, no nonsense. They're honest, open, and certainly having a wonderful time. Orange Utan are part prog-rock, part punk, part thrash, part stoner rock - it's pretty tough to describe, but certainly worth checking it out. Given the wide range of genres in their music, there's a wide range of topics to touch upon to see how the band got to this point. From talking about the happiness they feel on stage, to the musical ambitions of the band going forward, we had a delightful, long chat touching on far more than what is in this episode. (Some of it got political; we cut that out.) With two albums down, Orange Utan are still going strong, recording their third album and currently touring (coronavirus fuckery pending) in Spring 2020. Certainly a band to watch and track in the coming months and years. To find out more about the band, click here to go to their website. PLUS: You might hear a bit of a different intro song on this episode. Clever listeners will know it is Warren Zevon's 'Splendid Isolation'. Kind of apt given the virus situation. (I hope the joke is well received and royalties aren't claimed.)
Mar 3, 2020
Interview: Lucas Castillo
Nights out, singalongs, soulful chats, and a damn lot of fun - Lucas Castillo and I have had a pretty decent run through it all. And, finally, he made his way around to BPM Pod. The thing is: podcasts with friends sometimes become a bit dull. You have so many inside jokes, so many nearby references, and so much history, that you can easily abandon the listener. Not with Lucas Castillo. A pro musician, with the ability to critically self-reflect on his journey, we talked through the night about mental health, being away from family, musical ambitions, and much, much more. There's nothing I can say that can really capture the warmth, humour and appreciation captured in the podcast up top. Thanks to Lucas for appearing on the show, and for all the good times at Laksmi bar and beyond. To find out more about Lucas Castillo, go to Facebook or search on le Instagram. (You'll also find him at Laksmi Bar quite a bit.)
Feb 14, 2020
Interview: Tidal Wave
The problem with Limp Bizkit is that they're misunderstood. Are they cool? No. Do they make good music? Meh, not really. Are they relevant? Good lord no. But are they fun? Yes. See I've always seen Limp Bizkit as a weird 90s/00s remnant of angry white-guy rap-rock. I'm not necessarily advocating a comeback of the genre, themes, or style, but I have always had a soft spot for their music somehow. I was pretty unsure as to why, until I met Dean Schweitzer of Tidal Wave. "It's because it's fun. It's just '1, 2, 3, 4' and now we're going to jump, or shout, or whatever the fuck we want to do," says Dean. "I like that fun element. It's not clever or cool. It's just fun." I think Dean is right, and the fun element is certainly something he too puts into his music. Alongside an absolute bucket load of heart, soul, and ragged rock riffs, of course. Check out the new song for proof (if you needed any). Fight Song by TIDALWAVE From reliving the nineties to musing on today's scene Tidal Wave - fronted and run by Dean - is primarily a studio project. Different musicians form, and have formed, the band in every country Dean has lived. It brings new flavours to old material, and it is a fun way to prevent the complications of committing to a permanent band, but when the only constant is one member and their vision, it takes a lot of drive and mental strength to keep reinventing again and again. And that's a lot of what we talk about in this episode: maintaining a healthy mind, heart, and soul. What do you do when the music just isn't coming? How do you stay motivated and focused to keep pushing? And when do you give yourself a break for the success you've achieved? In this podcast, you'll hear all of these topics, and more (Limp Bizkit included). You'll come away feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and with a new found understanding of how hard it is to keep chasing something you love. Speaking with Dean was an absolute pleasure. Tidal Wave is a superb project, with some cracking tunes out there. Thanks to Dean for taking the time to talk, and for being such a welcoming, open host. For more information on Tidal Wave, go to Bandcamp, or their website .
Feb 5, 2020
Interview: Forest Island + Warren Zevon top 10
'So how do you best describe your music?' That's a pretty tough question for any musical artist but, for Forest Island, it gets pretty complicated. They combine effects, guitar, cello, and vocals into a sublime, swirling ambient mix. But how did it get to this point, what are the inspirations, and what are the hopes for the future? Find out in this short and sweet podcast, capturing all of this and more. Also in the episode: Warren Zevon top 10 songs It would have been Warren Zevon's 73rd birthday in January 2020 - not a particularly significant one for most people. For me though, Warren Zevon is one of the absolute greatest singer-songwriters of all time. Sure, he was a pretty damn horrible guy, with a terrible temper, and a string of violent misdemeanors to his name. They cannot, and should not, be downplayed. Read I'll Sleep When I'm Dead for an in-depth look at the dirty times. Zevon though was responsible for an enviable body of work, part nonsense, part fun, part sardonic,…
Jan 22, 2020
Interview: David Adams from The Acoustic Guitar Project
One guitar. One week. One song. It's a pretty simple concept, but it's the creative simplicity of The Acoustic Guitar Project which partly owes to its success. But behind the concept itself is tireless work from the volunteers helping The Acoustic Guitar Project spread across the globe. To date, there are over 700 songs recorded - so that's 700 people, from all walks of life, from all musical backgrounds, who have submitted songs for everyone to hear, for free. The idea behind the concept came from David Adams, a self-confessed habitual artist who, in his own words, "just wanted to start something cool" in the beginning. And that he has done. In this episode, recorded between Berlin and New York, we talk about The Acoustic Guitar Project, where it all started, and where it's heading in the future. To find out more about The Acoustic Guitar Project, click here. Also this week There's been the latest edition of The Pulse, which takes a look at new music from Tame Impala, Danko Jo…
Dec 11, 2019
Episode 30 - Catch up and review on 2019
And so, we end 2019. We've had 30 episodes of BPM Pod to date, each one of them telling their own unique story, but it has to come to a close for 2019. In 2020, we've got loads of new content lined up, including musicians from across the world, not just Berlin. For now though, we catch up with two artists we featured just over a year ago - Chris Weinhardt and Molly's Peck.
Nov 13, 2019
Interview: Ella Fuchs (Ella & Nik)
Softly spoken, sensitive, and soulful - that's not only the way to describe Ella Fuchs as a guest, but also her music too. Originally from Berlin, Germany, Ella still strolls the streets, spreading her guitar-driven melodies of love and loss. With early beginnings in a somewhat musical family, Ella soon discovered that music is not only a good personal outlet for problems, but a way to connect with people, to have fun, and to tell a story. One-half of the duo Ella & Nik, Ella and I talk about how to get started in music, the competitiveness of the scene, and who the music (of anyone) is actually for. * Listen to Ella & Nik on Soundcloud * Follow Ella & Nik on Facebook Also in the episode Not much else this time, due to illness (trying to save my voice). But I am playing live on 20 Nov 2019 - tickets available here. Also, I quickly ran through some of our upcoming episodes with Tidal Wave, Forest Island, and the Acoustic Guitar Project (certainly worth checking out in advance…
Nov 3, 2019
Interview: Grizzly Bird
'Grizzly Bird? You sure it's not Grizzly Bear?' That was my initial thought when Hans got in touch to talk about his musical adventure with the band. I mentioned it to him off-air. "Well at least I don't have to live by the Han Solo pun anymore," says Hans, referencing his previous artist name. But has much changed beyond the name? "I would not say so, but that is intentional. Grizzly Bird still reflects this kind of folk, rock, pop sentiment, with some experimentation thrown in too." The music of Grizzly Bird is hard to pin down (so much so that the latest press writer declared it 'multi-genre', which is either genius or lazy from the professional writer). But despite its genre blending, it is not hard to access, thanks to smooth storytelling, angelic vocals, and a wonderfully, wide sound combining drums with violins, horns, guitars, and more. In this episode, Hans and I talk about musical ambitions, the difficulty of promoting music today, and how animals can teach us a thing or…
Oct 20, 2019
Interview: Heavy Heavy
Heavy heavy - has there been a better band name on the podcast? It's clear, short, memorable, and a bit of a laugh. "We were thinking of a name, and our music is heavy, but not black metal heavy, but heavy kind of heavy. So the name Heavy Heavy just stuck," explains Chance Blair, lead singer and bassist. And that was the first thing that struck me about the band: their complete non-bullshit approach. Chance, Linus and Val formed Heavy Heavy simply to play, to experiment, and to have fun. "Sure, some kind of fame with it is great, but I just want to get out there and play," says Chance. "It's about spreading our music and having a great time." Seeing the band live, you can tell they're all in it for the thrill. They're tight, composed, yet loose and chilled. It's a fine balance for some fine music. How to describe Heavy Heavy's music? Well if you're into King Buffalo, All Them Witches, Queens of the Stone Age and such, you're certainly in the right vein - see, it's heavy, even heavy…
Sep 22, 2019
Relatiiv interview + BPM Pod album release
One year. Doesn’t seem possible, right? But that is how long BPM Pod has been running – just me, my guests, and this crappy 300-euro Packard Bell laptop pumping out episodes every two weeks. I did not think we would last a year. Yet here we are. And while I am certainly content with the limited success of BPM Pod so far, the fact I have proved to myself that I can do this only gives me more drive for the future. There will certainly be more promotional stuff from BPM Pod in the next year, as I aim to get to at least 1,000 listeners per episode, up from the average 100 listeners today. This week, we have a special episode then as we release the first BPM Pod Acoustic Album (called ‘Stripped Sessions’; more on this in a minute), and we talk to some of the most aware, self-reflective and honest guests we have heard on BPM Pod. Relatiiv: A journey to vulnerability This balance between contentment and ambition is a feeling shared by my guests this week – the wonderful Laura and…
Aug 26, 2019
Lauren Piper (Vowels) interview + song battles discussion
Way back when, I critiqued music (I still do, I guess). I cannot recall the name of this one band I gave a negative review of, but I remember what I said: 'This is so depressing that I slit my wrists and am now bleeding out all over my desk. Seek help.' Look, I am not proud of that line at all. It's not witty or clever, and I can see that it is not a helpful criticism. But I am pretty sure I did not deserve the hatred I received in an online forum after the review was published. Someone said they would kill me, someone said my family were going to die, someone told me to actually slit my wrists for real. It was pretty brutal. Yet despite this, being a music critic taught me a lot of things. One: it improved my writing. Two: it is easy to become a music snob. These are two lessons Lauren Piper learned too. Trawling through releases from amateur bands, all the way through to Lily Allen, and the brilliant 'Honky Tonk Bedonkadonk', Lauren soon developed a good musical bullshit meter. Y…
Aug 13, 2019
Ohad Leev Roage
Another week, another podcast. This time, we take a diverse musical journey from Jerusalem to Berlin, with singer-songwriter and guitarist, Ohad. Also, a bunch of tracks that I have fallen in love with this week (either for the first time, or again) including Haim, The Black Keys, Angel Olson, Kacey Musgraves, and Derek and the Dominoes.
Jul 31, 2019
Playthrough: 'Mythos' by Vizard
We have a full playthrough of the new EP 'Mythos' from the electronic music duo, Vizard. Also, we review 'Let's Rock' from The Black Keys.
Jul 14, 2019
Adam Sandahl interview + Emma Elisabeth 'Pilot' track of the week
We talk to Adam Sandahl about his musical journey from Sweden to Berlin, and we look at the track of the week from Emma Elisabeth.
Jun 27, 2019
Richard Hawley 'Further' review + Funkhaus visit
We take a trip to Berlin's famous Funkhaus studio, where Ashley plays his part on a studio song from Moves Johnson. There's also a look at Richard Hawley's new album, 'Further'.
Jun 27, 2019
Review: 'Western Stars' by Bruce Springsteen
BRUUUUUUUUUUUUCE! Potential album of the year. That is all. Hear why.
Jun 14, 2019
Tara C. Taylor interview
Sassy, cool, determined - Tara C. Taylor brings acoustic with attitude to BPM Pod. We talk about her beginnings, her inspirations, and exchange rockstar stories.
May 27, 2019
Blake Farha + special BPM Pod announcement
We catch up with poet, songwriter, and comedian Blake Farha on confessional songwriting, defeating depression, and making the most of musical opportunity. Plus, a special announcement from BPM Pod relating to a new album release.
1 hr 2 min
May 13, 2019
Ben Osborn + Tom Petty retrospective review
With a vast musical knowledge, a love for Leonard Cohen, and enough beautiful poetry to make your eyes water, Ben Osborn really is a talent to watch out for. Coming just as he releases his debut album, Letters From The Border, Ben and I talk about the complexity of writing music in new ways, the power of accepting any offer that comes your way, and how songs become so much more than music and lyrics.
Apr 28, 2019
Luc Andre (Un Ane Gonflable) + album reviews from Bibio and Adrian Tonceanu
We speak with Luc Andre from the funky pop band Un Ane Gonflable, and we review two new releases from Bibio and Adrian Tonceanu
Apr 3, 2019
Vizard (+ Phospherescent album review)
The gentle, kind, but always-up-for-a-party Basti (from Vizard) swings by for an electronic dose of goodness.
Mar 27, 2019
Moves Johnson (+ three song set)
Moves Johnson drops by BPM Pod to talk about his journey to Berlin, from busking on the streets of Toronto, to working security, to finally making it on the Berlin music scene. Includes a short three-song set to round off the podcast.
Mar 13, 2019
Maria Mørk interview + Jim James live review
Darkness and light. Good and bad. Pain and joy. It is all about balance with Maria Mørk, and it certainly shows in her touching, soulful songwriting. Maria talks about her journey to Berlin, the struggles of making it work, and the best tips she has for becoming a better musician.
Feb 27, 2019
Ep.12 - Promis
From cabaret, to pop, to dance, to piano bar music, Promis captures it all. Not bound by musical genre, Promis explores all aspects of music to bring his reflective, confessional lyrics to audiences across the globe. Here, he talks about the music industry today, whether social media is a positive thing in music, and ambitions of being a star.
1 hr 5 min
Feb 14, 2019
Ep.11 - SCARS
SCARS aren't your typical thrash metal band. Starting out in the depths of Chile, SCARS amassed a band from a mix of cultures, influences and styles to create angry, hard metal music that still maintains clarity, melody and skill. Oh, and they just so happen to be the most chilled people I have ever met.
Jan 28, 2019
Ep.10 - Iadora Johnson
Blues lover Iadora Johnson talks to BPM about gear, childhood musical duels, and a whole lotta' love for Led Zeppelin.
Jan 14, 2019
Ep.9: REVIEW - 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
As the Queen biopic stuns the Golden Globes, Ashley gives his critique of the movie.
Jan 14, 2019
Ep.8: REVIEW - 'Springsteen on Broadway'
A quick review of 'Springsteen on Broadway', available on Netflix and DVD.
Jan 9, 2019
Ep.7: Lisa Akuah + Mikrowelt album review
The delightful Lisa Akuah sits down with me over a long, relaxed interview to discuss the important of vulnerability, honesty and sincerity in songwriting. You're also treated to the first album review on BPM Pod, thanks to a submission from Tihomir Zdjelarevic and his album 'Mikrowelt'.
Dec 26, 2018
BPM Pod ep.6 - Zeug
This week we head into a dark headspace, as we let Vlad tell us the story of Zeug - a post-rock, noise-rock, industrial-rock blend that's surprisingly melodic and relaxing amidst the noise.
Dec 12, 2018
BPM Pod ep.5 - Molly's Peck
'You know, the guitar kinda sounds like John Mayer.' And immediately upon recounting my wife's praise, Gui, Julia and I were friends. I mean it's a pretty good thing to hear. Inviting, warm, friendly and just a pure joy to be around, this married couple blend funk, soul and pop into tracks you cannot help but dance to.
Nov 28, 2018
BPM Pod ep.4 - Otari
Dreamy soundscapes and ambient trance - Otari can create a mood in and instant with their chilled, melodic dance vibes. From events to bedroom gigs, this duo are just starting out in the music industry but have a wealth of knowledge behind them. Hear how they made their first steps, how they write together, and how they carve out a niche in a packed Berlin music scene.
Nov 8, 2018
BPM Pod ep.3 - Manono
Funk, soul, rock, pop - it's all in the mix with the stunningly talented Manono band, a four-piece gang based out of Berlin. We talk recording, gigging, travelling and just what the hell the name of the band means (it's attracted some rather strange-yet-cool attention).
Nov 6, 2018
BPM Pod ep.2 - Chris Weinhardt
In this first proper episode of BPM Pod, we talk to multi-instrumentalist, teacher, music producer, session musician, and all-round nice guy, Chris Weinhardt. Chris tells us about his life on the road, how he finds time for music today, and the influences he gets from the world around him (including a weird metal sound in the factories nearby). For more information, and to keep up to date, go to: www.bpmpod.com
Nov 6, 2018
BPM Pod ep.1 - Introduction episode
Your host Ashley Scrace Wendel introduces BPM Pod with a quick explanation about what's going on, and what you can expect from the podcast in the future. For more information and to keep up to date, go to: www.bpmpod.com